Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Dec 25, 2016

1)   When was Good Governance Day established?

a. 25th December 2014
b. 25th December 2015
c. 25th December 2011
d. 25th December 2012
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 25th December 2014

Good Governance Day is being observed across India on 25th Dec 2016.

The day is observed to mark the birth anniversary of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee who has turned 92.

For marking the occasion, a Good Governance campaign will be undertaken for 100 days.

During this campaign, the ministers and members of Parliament will travel across India and attend programs that highlight key government initiatives.

Six major initiatives will also be launched by the Ministry of Personnel, Personal Grievances and Pensions.

Initiatives include:

  • Immovable Property Return through Property Related Information System (PRISM)
  • Recruitment Rules Formation, Amendment Monitoring System (RRFAMS)
  • Announcement of E-Service Book
  • Mandatory online filing of APAR by all All India Services and Central Group A Service Officers
  • Launching of redesigned website of Department of Personnel and Training
Endeavour of the government is to improve delivery systems, to promote digital transformation and take forward the connectivity revolution in all sectors.

Good Governance Day was established in 2014.

The concept of the day encompasses two fundamental elements- transparency and accountability.

2)   Defence and Research Development Organisation has flight tested SAAW. What does SAAW stand for?

a. Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon
b. Smart Anti-Aerial Weapon
c. Smart Anti-Airfield Warship
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon

The Defence and Research Development Organisation has successfully flight tested the Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW) from an Indian Air Force aircraft.

DRDO also announced that the flight test was conducted at the integrated test range in Chandipur, Odisha.

It was flight tested on 24th Dec 2016.

SAAW is an indigenously designed and developed 120 kg, class smart weapon, developed by DRDO is capable of engaging ground targets with high precision up to a range of 100 kms.

This lightweight high precision guided bomb is one of the world class weapon systems.

The system is capable of engaging ground targets with high precision up to a range of 100 kms.

INR 56.58 crore SAAW project was sanctioned by the Union Government in September 2013.

Earlier in May 2016, the DRDO conducted the first test of the weapon system from Indian Air Force Jaguar DARIN-II aircraft in Bengaluru.

Know More About DRDO

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation: Agency of Republic of India.
  • Headquarter: New Delhi
  • Founded: 1958
  • Annual Budget: INR 103 billion
  • Number of Employees: 30,000
  • Aircraft designed: Nishant, Lakhsya, Avatar.

3)   Researchers have identified 9 new species of desert bees belonging to which genus?

a. Perdita
b. Pandora
c. Persephone
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Perdita

Studying the diverse group of solitary, desert bees, researchers have reportedly identified 9 new species of the genus Perdita, including two ant-like males.

These solitary bees play an important role in the natural ecosystems of the American Southwest, including the sizzling sand dunes of California’s death valley.

Researchers have described the anti-like males of the two of the species, completely different in appearance from their mates.

These males have this unique form and the elusive bees have been tracked by watching for their buzzing shadows in the blinding, midday sunlight the diminutive insects tend to favour.

Activity during the hottest part of the day may avoid predators.

They are an important pollinator of desert plants known as Crinklemats.

Crinklemats, flowering plants of the genus Tequila grow low to the ground and feature hairy leaves and small, trumpet shaped blue blossoms.

Scientists have reported that female bees use pollen collected from the flowers to build up a supply to nourish their young.

Once they have completed a pollen provision, the bees lay their eggs on the stash and leave their offspring to fend for themselves.

Numerous bee species remain as yet undiscovered.

4)   China’s parliament passed a law to levy what type of taxes on the industry?

a. Environmental protection
b. Environmental pollution
c. Environmental conservation
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Environmental protection

China’s parliament has passed a law on 25th Dec 2016 that will levy specific environmental protection taxes on industry for the first time from 2018, as part of a renewed focus on fending off the nation’s pollution woes.

China is currently the world’s second largest economy.

The tax rate will be 1.2 yuan (USD 0.17) per unit of atmospheric pollution, 1.4 yuan per unit of water pollution, 5 yuan per tonne of coal waste and 1,000 yuan per tonne of "hazardous waste.”

Industrial noise polluters will also be levied 350 yuan per month if they exceed limits by 1-3 decibels, 700 yuan for 4-6 decibels and 11,200 yuan per month for 16 decibels or more.

Law goes into effect on Jan 1, 2018.

Prior to this, China has not imposed any specific environmental taxes and the new levy will replace an earlier system of miscellaneous charges regarded as far too low too deter polluters.

New policy is not for increasing tax burden on enterprises.

Conflicts of interest have emerged as other departments worry about lost revenues once the previous system of emission discharge fees is abolished.

PRC Legislature NPC

  • Stands for: National People’s Congress
  • Membership: 2987 (2013)
  • Largest Parliamentary body in the world.
  • Unicameral legislature
  • Referred to as the LIanghui or Two Assemblies along with CPPCC.
  • NPC is elected for 5 years.
  • Annual sessions are held in spring (10-14 days)
  • Highest organ of state power in China.
  • Considered the Rubber Stamp of the Communist Party of China (BBC 2009).

5)   Pakistan has asked the World Bank to fulfil obligations regarding Indus treaty over which project/s?

a. Kishenganga
b. Ratle
c. Both a and b
d. Neither a nor b
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and b

Pakistan has asked the World Bank to fulfil its obligations regarding the Indus Water Treaty.

It objected to the body pausing two concurrent processes related to Indo-Pak dispute over Kishenganga and Ratle project.

Pakistan finance minister Ishaq Dar held that the treaty does not provide for a situation where a party can pause performance of its obligations under the accord.

World Bank’s decision to pause the process of empanelment of the Court of Arbitration will seriously prejudice Pakistani interests and rights under the Indus Waters Treaty 1960, according to Dar.

Appointment of a Chairman of the Court Arbitration was stressed upon by Pakistan.

The pause by the World Bank is to protect the Indus Waters Treaty and help India and Pakistan to consider alternative approaches for resolving interests under the treaty and its application to two hydroelectric power plants.

India took exception to the World Bank’s decision to set up a Court of Arbitration and appoint a Neutral Expert to go into Pakistan’s complaint against it over Ratle and Kishenganga hydroelectric projects in J&K.

Know More About the Permanent Indus Commission

  • Permanent Indus Commission is a bilateral commission of officials from India and Pakistan.
  • Aims to implement and manage the goals, objectives and outlines of the Indus Waters Treaty.
  • Commission cooperates between the two countries.
  • Following the September 2016 terror attacks, the Indus Commission was deactivated.
  • Indus Water Treaty was signed in September 1960.
  • The Indus Commission is the first step for conflict resolution.
  • If an agreement cannot be reached at the Commission level, the dispute is to be referred to the two governments.
  • If the governments too fail to reach an agreement, the Treaty provides an arbitration mechanism.

6)   US President Barack Obama signed a defence law asking US to take steps to recognise which nation as its major defence partner?

a. India
b. Pakistan
c. Bhutan
d. Nepal
Answer  Explanation 


US President Barack Obama has signed into law a USD 618 billion defence budget for 2017, which enhances security cooperation with India ad conditions nearly half of the funding to Pakistan on a certification that is taking demonstrable steps against the Haqqani network.

Obama on 23rd Dec 2016 signed the NDAA or National Defence Authorisation Act 2017 which asks defence secretary and secretary of state to take steps to recognise India as America’s major defence partner

NDAA 2017 enhances security cooperation between US and India.

It also asks the administration to designate an individual within the executive branch who has the experience in defence acquisition and technology to reinforce and ensure, through inter-agency policy coordination, the success of the Framework for the US-India Defence Relationship and resolve remaining issues impeding US India defence trade, security cooperation and co-production and co-development opportunities.

The NDAA among other things, creates a USD 1.2 billion counter ISIL Fund imposing four conditions on Pakistan to be eligible for USD 400 million of the USD 900 million of the coalition support fund.

US Defence Secretary will also need to certify to the Congress that Pakistan continues to conduct military operations that are contributing to significantly disrupting terror havens and freedom of movement of the Haqqani Network in Pakistan and that Islamabad has taken steps to demonstrate the commitment to prevent the Haqqani network from using any of its territory as a safe haven.

Earlier in 2016, US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter refused to give similar certification to Pakistan due to which it was not given USD 300 million under coalition support fund.

7)   Jnanpith award was conferred on 23rd Dec 2016 on which Bengali literary figure?

a. Shankha Ghosh
b. Mahasweta Devi
c. Satyajit Ray
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Shankha Ghosh

Jnanpith Selection Board on 23rd Dec 2016 conferred the 52nd Jnanpith Award on modern Bengali poet Shankha Ghosh.

Board chaired by scholar and writer Prof. Namwar Singh announced this.The award returned to Bengal after a gap of 20 years.

Before Ghosh, Bengali fiction writer and social activities Mahasweta Devi won the award in 1996.

Born in 1932, Shankha Ghosh is a prolific poet, critic and academician.

He is an authority on Tagore, whose poetic idiom and experiments with various poetic forms mark his greatness as a creative talent. His poems do not have polemics.

Murkho Baro, Samajik Noy and Baborer Prarthana are some of his classic creations while Dinguli Raatguli and Nihita Patalchaya are among those creations which have inspired modern poetry.

Poems have been translated into many Indian languages including Hindi, Punjabi, Assamese and Malayalam.

He has translated his work into foreign languages as well.

He was a recipient of many awards including Narsingh Das Puraskar, Sahitya Akademi Award and Saraswati Samman.

Know About Jnanpith Award

  • One of the most prestigious awards in literature.
  • Sanskrit words Jnan Pith means seat of knowledge.
  • Award was set up by the Bharatiya Jnanpith Trust in 1961.
  • Award was given to Indian citizens who write in one of 22 languages mentioned in Schedule VIII of the Indian Constitution.
  • The 51st Jnanpith Award was conferred on renowned Gujarati writer Dr Raghuveer Chaudhari.