Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Dec 16, 2016

1)   Major Port Trust Authorities Bill 2016 replaces which act?

a. Major Port Trusts Act 2014
b. Major Port Trusts Act 2005
c. Major Port Trusts Act 1985
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: None of the above

Union Cabinet headed by PM Narendra Modi on 14th Dec 2016 approved the Major Port Trust Authorities Bill, 2016

The bill replaces Major Port Trusts Act, 1963.

Purpose of the legislation is to reform and enhance the efficiency of the major ports by providing greater autonomy and reforming the institutional structure.

The 2016 bill is more compact as compared to the Major Port Trusts Act 1963 as the number of sections were reduced from 134 to 65 by eliminating obsolete sections.

New bill has proposed a simplified composition of the Board of Port Authority. The bill lowered the number of board members from 17-19 to 11.

Boards of the Port Authority have been delegated full powers to enter into contracts, planning and development of ports.

The bill empowers the board to make its own master plan in respect of the area within the port limits.

It empowers the board to undertake construction of pipelines, telephones, communication towers, electricity supply and transmission equipment in port limits.

The board is empowered to lease land for port related use for 40 years and for any purpose specified in section 22 of the Act for up to 20 years.

Role of Tariff Authority for Major Ports has also been redefined.

As per the bill, the authority will be provided powers to fix tariff for purposes of bidding on PPP (public private partnership) projects.

Sagar Mala Initiative

This bill is part of the GoI effort to further port led development under Sagar Mala initiative.

This project emphasizes:

  • Port modernization
  • Port led industrialization
  • Development of coastal communities.

2)   Government of Haryana launched which initiative on 14th Dec 2016 for safety of women?

a. Mahila Police Initiative
b. Mahila Police Volunteer initiative
c. Mahila Volunteer initiative
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Mahila Police Volunteer initiative

Government of Haryana on 14th Dec 2016 launched the Mahila Police Volunteer initiative for the safety of women.

The initiative was launched by Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar.

Haryana has become the first state in the country to adopt this scheme.

This scheme is part of a number of initiatives to achieve gender equality.

Mahila Police Volunteer scheme is a joint initiative of WCD and MHA ministry.

Its aim is to create a link between police authorities and local communities in villages.

Specially trained women volunteers will be appointed by the state government- target is to appoint at least a single volunteer in every village.

Primary job of a volunteer is to keep an eye on situations where women in the village are harassed or their rights and entitlements are denied.

The volunteers are selected through a procedure from among empowered, responsible and socially aware women who will facilitate police outreach on gender issues.

Volunteers are trained by respective state police authorities on their roles and responsibilities.

Government Gender Empowerment programs

National Policy for Women was launched on May 2016.

It identifies 7 priority areas, namely:
1. Health including food security and nutrition,
2. Education,
3. Economy,
4. Governance and Decision Making,
5. Violence against Women,
6. Enabling environment and
7. Environment and Climate Change.

  • Bechi Bachao Beti Padhao was launched in Oct 2014.
  • It addresses the issue of falling sex ratio.
  • Participation of women in police force is set to be 33 percent.

3)   Union Cabinet on 14th Dec 2016 approved the MoU between ISRO and which body?

b. WHO
c. FAO
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


Cabinet approval was given on 14th Dec 2016 for the MoU between ISRO and United States Geological Survey for cooperation in the use of US Land remote sensing satellite data.

MoU is aimed to enable USGS landsat 7 and 8 in India.

USGS will also receive Resourcesat-2 data of the US region.

ISRO has been pushing peace cooperation with many US organisations including NASA, NOAA and USGS.

ISRO & Landsat

  • ISRO first received Landsat data through 1984 to 2001.
  • The data are received at Shadnagar.
  • The data laid the foundation of the Indian remote sensing programme.
  • USGS launched Landsat 8 in February 2013.

  • Spacecraft properties

  • Bus: LEOStar-3
  • Manufacturer: Orbital Sciences (prime), Ball Aerospace (OLI), NASA GSFC (TIRS)
  • Launch mass: 2,623 kilograms (5,783 lb)
  • Dry mass: 1,512 kilograms (3,333 lb)

4)   ICAN stands for______

a. International Civil Aviation Negotiations
b. International Civil Aerospace Negotiations
c. Indian Civil Aviation Negotiations
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: International Civil Aviation Negotiations

International Civil Aviation Negotiations 2016 was held in Nassau from 5-9 December 2016.

Conference was attended by 106 countries out of ICAO membership of 191 countries. India held negotiations with 17 countries.

“Memorandum of Understanding” was signed with 12 countries.

The major issues resolved at these negotiations as per the directions in National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP 2016) were as follows.

India renegotiated traffic rights with Oman increasing the entitlements with 6,258 seats effective from Summer 2017 as the existing entitlements were nearly exhausted.

India also agreed with Saudi Arabia to increase the capacity by 8000 seats per week from IATA season when Indian carrier’s utilisation reaches 80%.

India concurred with Ghana to increase the present allocation of 2 frequencies to 7 frequencies per week to encourage connectivity between the two countries.

Open Skies agreement as per NCAP 2016 allows unlimited number of flights to six metro airports namely Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai, was signed with six countries namely Jamaica, Guyana, Czech Republic, Finland, Spain and Sri Lanka.

New Air Service Agreements were signed with Jamaica and Guyana.

Code shares will be encouraged and other air service agreements were resolved with nations such as Ethiopia and Bangladesh.

Open Skies Agreement

  • International policy connect.
  • Calls for liberalisation of commercial aviation.
  • It minimises government intervention for passenger, cargo and combination transport as well as scheduled and charter services.
  • It adjusts the regime under which military and other state based files be allowed.
  • Air transport agreement(bilateral or multilateral) is signed to give effect to open skies policy.

5)   Pakistan and Russia held their first ever consultation on 14th Dec at which city?

a. Moscow
b. Karachi
c. Islamabad
d. Rawalpindi
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Islamabad

Pakistan and Russia held their first ever consultation in Islamabad on 14th Dec 2016.

A wide range of regional issues and areas of key mutual interest including connectivity and economic cooperation were discussed.

Two sides exchanged views on global and regional developments.

Next round will be convened in Moscow in 2017.

This marks a policy shift in Russia on account of growing Indo-US ties.

Pak-Russia ties

  • Russian and Pakistani troops held first every joint military exercises in Sept 2016.
  • The exercise was held in Cherat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
  • Joint drill was named Friendship 2016.
  • It signifies growing military cooperation between countries that remained rivals for decades.

  • Pakistan's decision to develop closer ties to Russia was taken after:

  • 2011 killing of al-Qaida chief, Osama bin laden, in a secret military operation by US in Abbottabad, Killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers the 2011 in NATO airstrikes on a check post along the Durand Line.
  • Defence deals for MI-35 choppers have been signed between the two nations.

6)   Forbes magazine has ranked which Indian leader 9th in the top 10 most powerful in the world?

a. Narendra Modi
b. Sonia Gandhi
c. Pranab Mukherjee
d. Arun Jaitley
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Narendra Modi

Forbes released its annual list of World’s Most Powerful People on 14th Dec, 2016.

PM Modi was ranked among the top 10 most powerful people in the world, attaining the 9th rank on a list of 74 persons.

The list was topped by Russian president Vladimir Putin for the 4th straight year.

Putin was followed by Trump, Merkel and Jinping.

Forbes list of World's Most Powerful People 2015: Top 10

i. Vladimir Putin : Russia
ii. Donald Trump: The United States
iii. Angela Merkel: Germany
iv. Xi Jinping: China
v. Pope Francis: Roman Catholic Church
vi. Janet Yellen: The United States
vii. Bill Gates: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/Microsoft
viii. Larry Page: Google/Alphabet
ix. Narendra Modi: India
x. Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook

Youngest in the list included Travis Kalanick(Uber), Justin Trudeau (Canada) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook).

The oldest were 88-year-old Li Ka-Shing (rank 33) of CK Hutchison Holdings, 86-year-old Warren Buffett (rank 15) of Berkshire Hathaway, 85-year-old Rupert Murdoch (rank 35) of News Corp, 83-year-old Sheldon Adelson (rank 73) of Las Vegas Sands and 81-year-old Charles Koch (rank 31) of Koch Industries.

Apart from Modi, another Indian on the list was Mukesh Ambani at 38 rank.

Women in the Forbes Most Powerful list 2016

Only 6 women women placed in the list:

i. Angela Merkel (rank 3) from Germany,
ii. Janet Yellen (rank 6) from the United States,
iii. Theresa May (rank 13) of United Kingdom
iv. Christine Lagarde (rank 25) of International Monetary Fund,
v. Ginni Rometty (rank 61) of IBM and
vi. Mary Barra (rank 62) of General Motors.

According to Forbes, nine women were featured in the 2015 and 2014 lists.

About the Forbes List

  • 'Most Powerful People' list "identifies one person out of every 100 million whose actions mean the most."
  • It represent's the magazine's "best guess about who will matter in the year to come."

  • It says it judges candidates on four criteria:

  • the number of people they have power over,
  • the financial resources they manage,
  • the different "spheres" of activity that they have power in, and
  • active use of power.

7)   Which city is called the Marvellous City?

a. Kuala Lumpur
b. Cincinnati
c. Rio de Janeiro
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Rio de Janeiro

Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro nicknamed the Marvellous City entered the UN’s list of world heritage sites in recognition of its massive granite cliffs, urban rainforest and beaches.

UNESCO, highlighted the “extraordinary fusion” of man-made and natural beauty in certifying Rio on the world heritage list during a ceremony held at the Christ the Redeemer statue.

Rio’s tourism was boosted during the 2014 football World Cup and this Aug Olympic Games.

Persistent high crime, Zika virus and political instability have hurt the image of the city.

UNESCO status was announced in 2012.

It became official after Brazil was given 4 years to report plans for protecting numerous sites like Flamingo Park, Sugarloaf Mountain, the Corcovado, Copacabana beach, the Botanical Garden and Tijuca forest.


  • Full form: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
  • A specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris.
  • Purpose: Bring peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights.
  • Headquarters: Place de Fontenoy, Paris, France
  • Membership: 195 member states
  • Head: Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
  • Website:

8)   Which digital payments platform has announced a partnership with NHAI toll concessionaires?

a. Paytm
b. PayPal
c. PayU
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


Digital payments platform Paytm has inked a partnership with major NHAI toll concessionaires like Reliance Infra, Sadhbav, IRB, MEP, L&T and GMR to enable cashless payments at state, national and city toll plazas.

With the partnership, commuters across the country can now pay their toll charges instantly with Paytm by scanning the QR code placed at toll payment counters, using Paytm app.

The company will cover 5 lakh vehicles per day by 2016 end.

Users can pay toll tax using Paytm across 6000 plus lanes in the country.

Over a million offline merchants across India now accept Paytm as preferred payment mode.

Know About Paytm

  • Indian e-commerce website
  • Launched: 2010
  • Headquarters: Noida, India
  • Owned by: One97 Communications
  • Offers: Mobile recharging, bill payment and e-commerce, booking bus travel, movie ticket booking.

9)   e-Tourist Visa was earlier called as

a. Electronic Travel Authorisation
b. e-Visa
c. Visa on arrival
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Electronic Travel Authorisation

The government has extended the facility of e-Tourist Visa for citizens of 161 countries.

Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma indicated the number of foreign tourist arrivals on e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) during January to November this year was 9,17,446.

The sector is registering a growth of 168.5 per cent over same period of previous year.

The Government of India has extended the facility of e-Tourist Visa for the citizens of 161 countries including Japan for which facility of Visa on Arrival is also available

The e-visa scheme was launched on November 27, 2014.

Under the scheme, an applicant receives an email authorising him or her to travel to India after it has been approved. The tourist can travel with a print-out of this authorisation.

On 27 November 2014, the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) facility became operational for citizens of over 40 eligible countries, including those who are eligible for visa on arrival.

The list was further expanded to 113 countries in August 2015 .

ETA is issued for tourism, visiting friends and family, short duration medical treatment and business visits.

The scheme was renamed to e-Tourist Visa (eTV) on 15 April 2015.

10)   Who has been appointed IBA’s CEO?

a. MG Kannan
b. VG Kannan
c. DG Kannan
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


V G Kannan took charge as Chief Executive of the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).

He succeeds M V Tanksale who resigned from office as Chief Executive on August 9, 2016 after for three years

Kannan had retired as Managing Director & Group Executive (Associates & Subsidiaries) of State Bank of India on July 31, 2016.

IBA is a self-regulatory organisation of banks.

The 70-year old body has 237 members comprising public sector banks, private sector banks, foreign banks having offices in India, co-operative banks, regional rural banks, and all India financial institutions.

It aims to promote and develop in India sound and progressive banking principles, practices and conventions and to contribute to the development of creative banking.

It also works to render assistance and to provide various common services to members and to the banking industry; to develop and implement new ideas and innovations in banking services, operations and procedures.

It organises co-ordination and co-operation on procedural, legal, technical, administrative or professional problems and practices of banks and the banking industry.

11)   Who has been appointed LIC Chairman on 15th Dec 2016?

a. VK Sharma
b. VK Verma
c. BK Sharma
d. BK Verma
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


GoI has appointed V K Sharma as the chairman of state-owned Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) for five years.

Sharma, who is the managing director of LIC, was acting as chairman since September 16 when the then chairman S K Roy was relieved of his duties.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the proposal of the Department of Financial Services for appointment of VK Sharma, MD, LIC, as chairman, LIC in fixed pay of INR 80,000 (pre-revised) for a period of five years from the date of notification of his appointment or up to the date of his superannuation, or until further orders.

Sharma who joined the body as a direct recruit officer in 1981, served as the CEO of its mortgage subsidiary LIC Housing Finance and zonal manager in charge of the south zone.


  • Stands for Life Insurance Corporation.
  • Assets: 22 lakh crore
  • Status: largest financial institution in the country.
  • Estimated asset value of ?1,560,482 crore (US$230 billion).
  • As of 2013 it had total life fund of INR1433103.14 crore with total value of policies sold of 367.82 lakh that year.
  • Founded: 1956 through LIC Act

12)   Inflation at wholesale level registered a growth of what percent in Nov 2016?

a. 3.15
b. 3.16
c. 3.17
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 3.15

Inflation at the wholesale level slowed in November due to subdued prices, with the Wholesale Price Index registering a growth of 3.15 per cent, its slowest rate since June 2016.

WPI registered a growth rate of 3.4 per cent in October, and the index has now witnessed a slowing growth rate for the third consecutive month as of November.

The easing in wholesale prices comes at a time when even retail price inflation has been cooling off, with the Consumer Price Index witnessing a two-year low growth rate of 3.6 per cent in November.

What is WPI?

  • The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) is the price of a representative basket of wholesale goods.
  • Some countries use WPI changes as a central measure of inflation. But now India has adopted new CPI to measure inflation. However, United States now report a producer price index instead.
  • WPI monitors price movements that reflect supply and demand in industry, manufacturing and construction.
  • This helps in analysing both macroeconomic and microeconomic factors.

13)   NITI Aayog has launched which cash award schemes for digital payments:

a. Lucky Grahak Yojana
b. Digi-धन Vyapar Yojana
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both of the above

GoI plans to give cash awards to consumers and merchants who utilise digital payment instruments for personal consumption expenditures.

The scheme specially focuses on bringing the poor, lower middle class and small businesses into the digital payment fold.

It has been decided that National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) shall be the implementing agency for this scheme.

The primary aim of these schemes is to incentivise digital transactions so that electronic payments are adopted by all sections of the society, especially the poor and the middle class.

People in village and rural areas can participate in this scheme through AEPS.

The scheme will become operational with the first draw on 25th December, 2016 (as a Christmas gift to the nation) leading up to a Mega Draw on Babasaheb Ambedkar Jayanti on 14th April 2017. It will comprise of two major components, one for the Consumers and the other for the Merchants.

To ensure that the focus of the scheme is on small transactions (entered into by common people), incentives shall be restricted to transactions within the range of INR 50 and INR 3000. All transactions between consumers and merchants; consumers and government agencies and all AEPS transactions will be considered for the incentive scheme.

The winners shall be identified through a random draw of the eligible Transaction IDs [which are generated automatically as soon as the transaction is completed] by software to be especially developed by NPCI for this purpose.

The estimated expenditure on the first phase of the scheme (up to 14th April 2017) is likely to be 340 Crores .

Lucky Grahak Yojana [Consumers]

Daily reward of INR 1000 to be given to 15,000 lucky Consumers for a period of 100 days;

Weekly prizes worth INR 1 lakh, INR 10,000 and INR 5000 for Consumers who use the alternate modes of digital Payments

This will include all forms of transactions viz. UPI, USSD, AEPS and RuPay Cards but will for the time being exclude transactions through Private Credit Cards and Digital Wallets.

Digi-धन Vyapar Yojana [Merchants]

Prizes for Merchants for all digital transactions conducted at Merchant establishments

  • Weekly prizes worth INR 50,000, INR 5,000 and INR 2,500
  • Mega Draw on 14th of April - Ambedkar Jayanti
  • 3 Mega Prizes for consumers worth INR 1 cr, 50 lakh, 25 lakh for digital transactions between 8th November, 2016 to 13th April, 2017 to be announced on 14th April, 2017
  • 3 Mega Prizes for merchants worth INR 50 lakhs, 25 lakh, 12 lakh for digital transactions between 8th November, 2016 to 13th April, 2017 to be announced on 14th

14)   Which Assamese district is set to be carbon neutral by 2020, making it India’s first such area?

a. Majuli
b. Jorhat
c. Sylhet
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Majuli

Assam government has initiated a project to make river island Majuli the country's first ever Carbon Neutral district by 2020.

The project entitled 'Sustainable Action for Climate Resilient Development in Majuli' (SACReD, Majuli) has been initiated by Assam's department of Environment and Forest.

It was launched by Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Biodiversity and Climate) A K Johari at Majuli on 14th Dec.

The project, SACReD, Majuli has been initiated to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Importance of climate-based decision making highlights the need for low emission development strategy for Majuli to ensure sustainable development.

Mitigation through forestry activities and biodiversity conservation will be the starting points for the carbon neutral agenda followed by other interventions over the coming three years.

The project will be designed and implemented in partnership with other departments of the district for which a district level committee under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner has been constituted.

15)   Exports rose for third straight month in Nov 2016. Which other economic indices shot up?

a. Imports
b. GDP
c. NNP
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: None of the above

Exports rose for the third straight month in November, recording a growth of 2.29 per cent, though the trade deficit shot up to about two-year high of USD 13 billion mainly due to increase in gold imports.

Exports of engineering products rose by 14.10 per cent, petroleum by 5.73 cent and chemicals by 8.3 per cent compared to the same month last year, according to official data released on 16th Dec.

Imports too increased by 10.44 per cent to USD 33 billion. Rise in gold imports by 23.24 per cent to USD 4.36 billion in November pushed the trade deficit to a two-year high of USD 13 billion as against USD 10.33 billion in the same month last year.

It was in November 2014 when trade deficit hit a high of USD 16.86 billion.

Exporters body FIEO said that although growth is encouraging, uncertain global conditions still remains a challenge.

16)   DigiDhan Mela is being organised by MeitY at which city?

a. Delhi
b. Mumbai
c. Kolkata
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


DigiDhan Mela is being organized by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) at Major Dhyanchand National Stadium, Delhi to create awareness about the benefits of Digital Payment option.

The two day event (17-18 Dec, 2016) aims to handhold users in downloading, installing and using various digital payment systems for carrying out digital transactions.

The initiative plans to enable citizens and merchants to undertake real time digital transactions through the DigiDhan Bazaar.

Present at the Mela will be banks, telecom companies, mobile wallet operators, transportation network companies, Aadhaar enabled payment system (AEPS) vendors, Department of Post, merchants (through marketing associations).

Also co-operatives like Kendriya Bhandar and organised retail fruits and vegetable chains like Safal, milk booths, agricultural produce marketing committees etc. will be there.

Awareness will be spread about options available for digital payments, downloading and installing various mobile apps for digital payments and helped them do one digital transaction.

DigiDhan Mela Registration

Citizens who wish to be enrolled in Aadhaar are requested to carry the following:

  • A proof of identity with name and photo
  • Proof of address
  • Proof of date of birth (PAN card, Passport or Birth Certificate)
  • Citizens should carry their bank account details to enable the apps.

  • Merchants are requested to carry the following documents to digitally enable their accounts:
  • Company proof
  • PAN Card (of the proprietor and the company)
  • KYC (Driving License/Passport/Aadhaar Card/Voter ID) - Any one
  • Bank account details and IFSC Code