Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Dec 17, 2016

1)   Who won the ICFA Global Agriculture Leadership Award 2016?

a. Ratan Tata
b. MS Swaminathan
c. Varghese Kurien
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Ratan Tata

The Indian Council of Food and Agriculture on 15th Dec 2016 presented the Global Agriculture Leadership Award 2016 to Chairman Emeritus TATA Group, Ratan Tata in Mumbai.

Tata was conferred with the prestigious award for his positive role in turning the TATA Group into a global phenomenon during his 20 years as Chairman.

The Leadership Awards Jury was chaired by Prof. MS Swaminathan, pioneer of India’s Green Revolution.

The Indian Council of Food and Agriculture was launched as an apex body as a:

  • Think tank
  • Policy research
  • Trade facilitation
  • Development catalyst
  • Monitoring centre for food and agriculture sector
  • The body also serves as a global platform for partnerships.
  • It also focuses on agri-entrepreneurs and farmers and connects them with market opportunities.
Know More About Ratan Tata
  • Current posts held: Chairman Emeritus TATA Group, Interim Chairman TATA Sons Indian businessman, investor and philanthropist.
  • Served as chairman of TATA Group from 1991-2012.
  • Conferred with Padma Bhushan in 2000.
  • Conferred Padma Vibhushan in 2008.

2)   Who authored the best seller "To Sir, With Love"?

a. Rudyard Kipling
b. VS Naipaul
c. Salman Rushdie
d. ER Braithwaite
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: ER Braithwaite

Guyanese educator, author and diplomat ER Braithwaite who authored the bestseller To Sir, With Love died at age 104.

Ginette Ast, his companion, said he fell ill on 17th Dec 2016 and passed away following this.

Schooled at Guyana, UK and the US, he wrote several fiction and non-fiction books focusing on racism and class and the contrast between First World and colonial cultures.

He was also regarded as a chronicler of the British from a Guyanese perspective.

He influenced authors such as Caryl Philips and Hanif Kureishi.

Guyana President David Granger paid a tribute to Braithwaite.

To Sir, With Love was his first, and most famous book. Published in 1959, it was an autobiographical tale of how a West Indian teacher inspired a white, rowdy class of East End teens. This book was also made into a famous movie.

3)   What was the series of nuclear tests conducted by Pakistan in 1998 called?

a. Chagai-I test series
b. Kirana-I test series
c. Pokhran-II test series
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Chagai-I test series

Pakistan has declared a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing according to the Deputy Permanent representative to the UN Nabeel Munir.

The states should prevent WMDs proliferation to states as well as non-state actors, according to Munir at the UNSC debate.

Listing the steps taken by Pakistan to fulfil its non-proliferation obligations, he stated that Pakistan has elaborated and implemented a comprehensive export control regime harmonised with the NSG/Nuclear Suppliers Group and MTCR/Missile Technology Control Regime.

The Pakistani representative also said the country has been forthcoming on translating this into a bilateral arrangement on non testing with India.

He also added that Pakistan’s credentials clearly establish its eligibility to become an NSG member.

The grant of waivers to long held proliferation norms and rule carries obvious proliferation risks and undermines regional strategic stability.

The Pakistani representative also said an equitable, non discriminatory and criteria based approach to promote civil nuclear cooperation and membership of export control regimes in particular of the NSG is adopted.

Chagai I

  • Country: Pakistan
  • Test site: Ras Koh, Pakistan
  • Period: 1998
  • Number of tests: 1
  • Test type: underground tunnel
  • Max. yield: 32 kilotonnes of TNT (130 TJ)
  • Next test series: Chagai II

4)   China’s first aircraft carrier has displayed its maiden live fire exercises on a massive scale. What is it called?

a. Liaoning
b. Xiaoning
c. Jiaoning
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Liaoning

China’s first aircraft carrier battle group has carried out its maiden live-fire exercises on a massive scale.

In a show of strength, following rising tensions with the US, the exercises were carried out over the South China Sea and Taiwan.

Aircraft carrier Liaoning conducted the drills with live ammunition in the Bohai sea involving dozens of ships and aircrafts as well as air-to-air, ship-to-air and air-to-ship missiles according to the People’s Liberation Army Navy.

Exercise was aimed at testing combinations of numerous types and numbers of ships to optimise the carrier’s combat ability according to the Chinese Navy.
The carriers, destroyers and frigates carried out exercises covering air interception, sea based attacks and air defence along with reconnaissance, early warning and anti-missile systems.

Carrier’s original design allows it to carry a 30 fixed wing aircraft. Time and location of the exercises were not disclosed.

This marks the first time a weapon used on a carrier was displayed in public since it entered services in 2012.

Videos of the J-15 live fire exercises were publicly broadcasted for the first time, on the China Central Television.

The exercises were carried out as China stuck a more aggressive posture over the disputed South China Sea and braced to have a showdown with US President elect Donald Trump over the One China policy.

China has become more assertive over the SCS islands after an international tribunal struck down its claim over all most all of the area.

Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have counter claims over the disputed SCS.

China has also confirmed that it is building military facilities in the reclaimed islands.

Know More About Liaoning

  • Liaoning is the first aircraft commissioned into the PLA Navy Surface Force.
  • She is a training ship.
  • She carries out carrier usage.
  • Construction started: December 6, 1985
  • Launched: December 4, 1988
  • Length: 304 metres
  • Draft: 10 m
  • Beam: 38 m

5)   Which country has become the first in the world to offer three parent baby fertility treatments?

a. Britain
b. US
c. Australia
d. South Africa
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Britain

Britain is set to become the first country in the world to offer “three parent baby” fertility treatments after regulators signaled positively.
The technique uses DNA from two women and a man. It allows mothers who carry disease causing mutations in their mitochondrial genes to give birth to children who are rid of illness.

British lawmakers have voted in February to permit the treatment, which uses in-vitro fertilisation but clinics needed to obtain licenses from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

An expert panel has said the practice should be cautiously adapted to stop genetic diseases from being passed on to future generations.

Mitochondria is a structure in the cells which generates vital energy and contains its own set of genes called mDNA passed through the mother. Mitochondrial diseases cause symptoms ranging from poor vision to muscle wasting and diabetes.

Health officials estimate that around 125 babies are born with mutations in Britain each year.

The first baby conceived using mitochondrial donation was born in 2016 in Mexico where there are no rules on its use.

Britain was the first to officially authorise it.

Critics have warned that the move paves the way for designer babies.

The treatment involves the embryo receiving the usual nuclear DNA from the mother and the father as well as small amount of healthy mitochondrial DNA from a female donor.

British review panel recommended its clinical use in specific circumstances where inheritance of the disease is likely to lead to death or serious diseases and there are lack of acceptable alternatives.

The first woman could receive treatment at the research centre in Newcastle.

6)   India and Russia have agreed to extend the range of Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles beyond which limit?

a. 300 km
b. 400 km
c. 350 km
d. 450 km
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 300 km

India and Russia have agreed to extend the range of Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles beyond the current 300 km, with the country joining the elite Missile Technology Control Regime.

Proposal for undertaking joint technical development work for extending range beyond 300 km has been executed between India and Russia.
In its first entry into any multilateral export control regime, India joined the MTCR in June 2016 as a full member.

Subsequent to India joining MTCR, Russia and India have extended the range.

Brahmos is short range, ramjet supersonic cruise missile travelling at the speed of Mach 3.0.

India and Russia are planning to develop a new generation of missiles that could have the ability to hit protected targets with pinpoint accuracy.


  • Supersonic cruise missile.
  • Place of origin: India/Russia
  • Used by: Indian armed forces (Army, Navy and Air Force)
  • Manufacturer: BrahMos Aerospace Limited
  • Variants: Surface launched, Submarine launched and Air launched
  • Specifications: Weight around 3000kg (2500 for the air launched variant)
  • Length: 8.4m
  • Diameter: 0.6m

7)   What does AEPS stand for?

a. All Electronic Payments
b. Aadhaar Enabled Payment System
c. ALL Employees Payments System
d. Aadhaar Enabled Payment Site
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Aadhaar Enabled Payment System

Government will launch a mobile app to facilitate Aadhaar linked digital payments and roll out a nationwide program to train one crore people on e-payments.

The AEPS or Aadhaar enabled payment system will be promoted to enable coordination with the Finance Ministry.

Around 40 crore bank accounts have been linked to Aadhaar. Biometric devices can be connected to smartphones and convert it into PoS machine. A UPI enabled mobile application will be available in 2-4 days.

Customer feed Aadhaar number, scan figure on the biometric and approval of the amount paid on the application will be involved and the payment will be transferred from the account to the merchant’s account.

Customers will not need to share bank account details as the application will detect the bank account linked to the Aadhaar number with the aid of UPI or Unified Payment Interface.

Common Service Centres across the country are carrying out AEPS transactions and the same will now be available through mobile app.

Government will also train 14 lakh VLEs cross 500 districts and 6500 blocks carrying out digital transactions.

As per the programme, each VLE will train 40 individuals covering 80 lakh individuals and at least 10 shopkeepers will target total cover of 25 merchants across the nation.

Even migrant workers having Aadhaar will be able to open bank accounts.

Aadhaar Card

  • 12 digit unique identity number.
  • Issued by: Unique Identification Authority of India.
  • Central government agency UIDAI has launched this project.
  • It is considered the world’s largest national identification number project.
  • This card serves as proof of identity and address anywhere in India.
  • Enrolment is free of cost and needs to be done voluntarily.

8)   Which scheme provides for 50% tax and surcharge on declarations of unaccounted cash deposited in banks?

a. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana
b. Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana
c. Pradhan Mantri Jan Kalyan Yojana
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana

GoI has urged people to take advantage of the last window for disclosing black money and make declarations under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana that opens on 17th Dec, 2016.

The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana provides for 50 percent tax and surcharge on declarations of unaccounted cash deposited in banks.

Declarants also have to park a quarter of the total sum in a non-interest bearing deposit for 4 years.
The government also released an email id and urged people to mail any information about people who have black money.

PMGKY will close on March 31, 2017.

Disclosure under the scheme will attract 50% tax and penalty. Declarations under the black money disclosure scheme will be kept confidential. Information will not be used for prosecution.

Receipt of tax paid on deposited will have to be shown to avail disclosure scheme benefits including immunity from prosecution.

Currently, INR 393 crore of cash and jewellery has been seized of which INR 316 crore is cash and the rest is bullion and jewellery. Of the total INR 316 crore, INR 80 crore is in new currency.

Raids have revealed INR 2600 crore of concealed income.

9)   AYUSH Ministry has launched which programme to promote health and health education in rural villages?

a. Swasthya Suraksha Programme
b. Swasthya Raksha Programme
c. Swashtya Rakshak Programme
d. Swasthya Surakshak Programme
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Swasthya Suraksha Programme

AYUSH, according to a 16th Dec 2016 Parliamentary discussion, was launched by the AYUSH Ministry to promote health and health education in rural villages.

AYUSH stands for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy.

The Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), the Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM), the Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) and the Central Council for Research in Siddha (CCRS) are implementing the programme.

Key objectives of the programme are as follows:

  • Swasthya Rakshan OPDs or Swasthya Parikshan camps for hygiene awareness will be organised
  • Medical aid will be provided to adopted villages and colonies.
  • Health status and spreading awareness about ayurveda practices will work.
  • IEC banners, posters, handouts and other material was developed in Hindi, English and 7 regional languages.
  • Swasthya Rakshan OPDs were organised in each village on weekly basis for providing treatment for numerous disease conditions.
  • Mass campaigns were organised with a focus on personal, environmental and social hygiene.
AYUSH Ministry: Know More
  • Website:
  • Formed: November 9, 2014
  • Jurisdiction: India
  • Headquarters: Ayush Bhawan, B Block, GPO Complex, INA, New Delhi - 110 023
  • Minister of state independent charge: Shripad Yasso Naik

10)   Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India has notified which regulation that comes into immediate effect?

a. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016
b. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Liquidation Process) Regulations, 2016
c. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India Regulations 2016
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Liquidation Process) Regulations, 2016

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India has conferred under section 20 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Liquidation Process) Regulations, 2016.

Regulations provide for details of activities from issue of liquidation under Section 33 of the Code to Dissolution order under Section 54.

These Regulations prohibit an insolvency professional from acting as a liquidator for a corporate debtor if he is not independent of the corporate debtor.

These obstruct partners or directors of an insolvency professional entity of which the insolvency professional is a partner or director from representing other stakeholders in the same liquidation process.

These require the liquidator, and also registered valuer (s) and professional(s) assisting him in liquidation to make disclosures - initial and continuing – about pecuniary or personal relationship with any of the stakeholders entitled to distribution of assets.

Regulations provide that a liquidator should ordinarily sell the assets through auctions. He may sell the assets through private sale only when the asset is perishable; the asset is likely to deteriorate in value significantly if not sold immediately or the asset is sold at a price higher than the reserve price of a failed auction. He may sell an asset on standalone basis, or assets in a slump sale, assets in parcels or a set of assets collectively.

These Regulations also provide that the fee payable to a liquidator shall form a part of liquidation cost.

These further provide that a liquidator shall be paid such fees and in such manner as has been decided by the committee of creditors during the resolution process.

In all other cases, the liquidator shall be entitled to a fee as a percentage of the amount realised net of other liquidation costs and of the amount distributed.

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India

  • The Centre has constituted a four-member Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) in Oct 2016.
  • Board is under the Chairmanship of MS Sahoo.
The members of the IBBI are:
  • Ajay Tyagi, Additional Secretary, Finance Ministry
  • Amardeep Singh Bhatia, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs;
  • GS Yadav, Joint Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs; and
  • Unnikrishnan, Legal Advisor, Reserve Bank of India.
IBBI focuses on regulating:
  • Insolvency professionals
  • Insolvency professional agencies
  • Information utilities
  • Centre has notified the insolvency code in May.

11)   DRDO has handed over 4 naval systems to the Indian Navy in 2016. These include:

a. Abhay
b. Ajay
d. Only a and c
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Only a and c

Government has formally inducted 4 types of indigenously developed SONARS that will boost underwater surveillance capacity of the armed forces.

Some of the major systems are Heavy Weight Torpedo (Varunastra), Advanced Torpedo Defence System (Mareech), Multi Influence Ground Mines, etc.
In November 2016, Kochi based Naval Physical Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) of DRDO, has handed over the following four naval systems to Indian Navy:

  • Abhay (Compact Hull-Mounted Sonar for Small Ships & Shallow Water Crafts)
  • HUMSA-UG (Upgrade for the Hull-Mounted Sonar Array (HUMSA) Series of Sonar Systems for Ships)
  • NACS (Near-field Acoustic Characterisation System (NACS) for Ship Sonars)
  • AIDSS (Advanced Indigenous Distress Sonar System (AIDSS) for Submarines)
What is SONAR?
  • Stands for Sound Navigation and Ranging.
  • Uses sound propagation to navigate, communicate and detect objects under surface of the water.
  • Two types: Passive & Active
  • A special type of sonar is SODAR, an upward looking in-air sonar
  • Acoustic frequencies: Vary from infrasonic to ultrasonic
  • Study of Underwater Sound: Hydroacoustics.