Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Dec 30, 2016

1)   Who has been named the new General Secretary of the AIADMK?

a. Sasikala Pushpa
b. VK Sasikala Natarajan
c. O Panneerselvam
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: VK Sasikala Natarajan

Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK chose VK Sasikala, a confidante of the late J Jayalalithaa, as its new General Secretary at its Executive Council meeting on 29th Dec 2016.

Sasikala, 60, was selected unanimously, making her the third General Secretary of the AIADMK after its founder MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa, both of whom went on to become State Chief Ministers.

The meeting passed 14 resolutions, including the appointment of Sasikala as party General Secretary.

The resolution reads that Sasikala is appointed General Secretary till she is formally elected to that post in tune with party rule 20, clause 2.

Sasikala Natarajan is officially J Jayalalithaa’s successor.

With 37 MPs in Lok Sabha, AIADMK is the third-largest party after only Congress and the BJP.

Her appointment surely acquires significance at the national level.

Sasikala will now be the third most powerful woman in Indian politics, the first two being Sonia Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee.

Know More About AIADMK

  • Headquarters: 226, Avvai Shanmugam Salai, Royapettah, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India - 600014
  • Founder: M. G. Ramachandran
  • Founded: October 17, 1972
  • Ideology: Populism, Social democracy
  • Political position: Centrism

2)   Anil Baijal has been appointed as the ___ LG of Delhi.

a. 20th
b. 21st
c. 22nd
d. 23rd
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 21st

Ex IAS officer Anil Baijal is set to be appointed as the 21st Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.

The approval for the appointment was given on 28th December 2016 by President Pranab Mukherjee.

Baijal is set to succeed Najeeb Jung, who will resign from the post of Delhi LG on 22nd Dec 2016.

Jung has resigned 18 months short of his tenure.

Anil Baijal is a 1969 batch IAS AGMUT cadre officer .

He is currently associated with the Vivekananda International Foundation.

A master's degree in arts from University of Allahabad, he is also an alumnus of the University of East Anglia.

He has also served as Home Secretary under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.

He also served as former Vice Chairman of Delhi Development Authority.

He has also served as:

  • Chief Secretary of Andaman & Nicobar Islands,
  • MD of Indian Airlines,
  • Development Commissioner of Goa,
  • CEO of Prasar Bharati,
  • Additional Home Secretary in the Information and Broadcasting.

  • He retired as Secretary of the Urban Development Ministry in 2006.

    He also planned and implemented the INR 60,000 crore Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal

    Mission launched by the Manmohan Singh government.

    He has served on multiple corporate boards including IDFC bank.

    Know More About Najeeb Jung

  • Retired Indian Administrative Service officer who served as the 20th Lieutenant Governor of Delhi from July 2013 to December 2016.
  • He previously served as the 13th Vice-Chancellor of the Jamia Millia Islamia, from 2009 to 2013.
  • Born: January 18, 1951 (age 65), Delhi
  • Education: University of Oxford, St. Stephen's College, Delhi, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Books: The Sting of a Bee

3)   Where is the Chashma-III nuclear power plant located?

a. Mianwali
b. Lahore
c. Rawalpindi
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Mianwali

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif on 28th Dec 2016 inaugurated Chashma-III nuclear power plant near Mianwali in Punjab Province.

The plant alleviates load shedding problems in Punjab Province and aids Pakistan in attaining the commitments under the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions.

As per the INDCs submitted by Pakistan to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate

Change, use of non-fossil fuel based energy sources will be encouraged in the country.

The Chashma-III Nuclear power plant is also called the C-III nuclear power plant.

It is a joint collaboration between Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and China National Nuclear Corporation.

It is executed by the PAEC under the guidelines of the IAEA that monitors diversion of nuclear energy material and technology for non civilian uses.

It will further the government's commitment to end load shedding by 2018.

About the C-III Nuclear Power Plant

China Atomic Energy Authority and the Export-Import Bank of China extended technical and financial support.

Capacity: 600 MW

Part of the larger Chashma Nuclear Project comprising 4 nuclear power plants.

Chashma-I and Chashma-II power projects are already operationalised.

Chashma-IV plant will be operationalised in 2017.

The four plants will help PAEC to achieve the overall target of 8000 MW nuclear energy capacity.

Pakistan is also constructing K-II and K-III nuclear power plants in Karachi.

These projects are expected to add 8800 MW electricity to the national grid by 2030.
Nuclear ties between China and Pakistan are likely to strain Indo-Pak bilteral relationships.

4)   The Watal Committee submitted its report in Dec 2016. Its recommendations include ________.

a. Make payment regulation independent of the RBI
b. Update the Payments and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

Committee on Digital Payments headed by Ratan P. Watal in Dec 2016 submitted its report to the Union Ministry of Finance.

The committee was formed by the Union Government to suggest measures to increase digital financial transactions across the nation.

It has said that regulation of payments should be independent from the RBI.

The Payments and Settlement Systems Act 2007 was also updated.

The committee stresses on promoting digital payments and receipts within the Government.

The committee also created a fund proposed as DIPAYAN from savings generated from cashless transactions.

It also recommended a ranking and reward framework to encourage and recognise government agencies who lead the efforts on enabling digital payments.

It asked the government to consider outsourcing the operations of payment systems like Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT).

It also recommended to upgrade payment systems like RTGS and NEFT to operate on a 24x7 basis in the due course of time.

It aimed to allow non-bank payment service providers (PSPs) to directly access payment systems.

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) should be made payments centric in its ownership and objectives.

Payments to be made inter-operable between bank and non-banks as well as within non-banks.

A formal mechanism will be created to enable innovations and new business models and implement other measures to promote digital payments.

In addition to the above recommendations, the committee also suggested other measures to promote digital payments including

  • Promoting Aadhaar based eKYC and paperless authentication
  • Providing disincentives for usage of cash
  • Creating awareness and transparency on cost of cash

  • About the Watal Committee

  • Chairman: Ratan P. Watal
  • Formed: 23rd Aug 2016
  • 11 member committee
  • Headed by Watal, the principal advisor to the NITI Aayog and the former finance secretary.
  • Committee was asked to review the Payment and Settlement System Act, 2007, the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 and Information Technology Act, 2000.

5)   SP Vaid has been appointed as the police chief of which state?

a. Jammu & Kashmir
b. Uttarakhand
c. Himachal Pradesh
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Jammu & Kashmir

The Jammu and Kashmir government on 28 December 2016 approved the appointment of Dr Shesh Pal Vaid, Special DG, Coordination and Law and Order, as new Director General of Police.

Vaid, the 1986 batch Indian Police Services (IPS) officer of J&K cadre, will hold the office until October 2019.

He will succeed DGP K Rajendra, whose extended term of service will end on 31 December 2016.

Kumar was appointed as DGP of J&K in May 2014 and later was given an extension of three months during the unrest that occurred in the valley after killing of militant Burhan Wani.

His appointment was approved at a cabinet meet chaired by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

He is the second officer from Jammu to have risen to the post of Director General of Police.

MM Khajuria was the first person from Jammu to hold the position. He held the position in 1985.

About Shesh Pal Vaid

  • Promoted to rank of DG, appointed DG Prisons on Mar 3, 2016.
  • Transferred and posted as Special DG (Coordination and Law & Order) on Sept 8, 2016.
  • Survived a major explosion while serving as Superintendent of Police, Jammu.
  • He was also chosen for the post ahead of 1985 batch IPS officer SK Mishra.
  • Another contender for the post was 1987 batch IPS officer SM Sahai.

6)   Whom did the Odisha government name the INR 7600 crore Mega Lift Irrigation Scheme after?

a. Writer Rabindranath Tagore
b. Filmmaker Satyajit Ray
c. Freedom fighter Parbati Giri
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Freedom fighter Parbati Giri

Odisha State Government in third week of December 2016 named the Rs 7600 crore Mega Lift Irrigation Scheme after freedom fighter Parbati Giri.

The State Cabinet took the decision to mark respect for Giri’s contribution to the freedom movement and service to the poor and needy.

The government approved tender for 13 Mega Lift Irrigation Schemes with a total command area of 19400 hectares in Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts of the state.

From August 2013, 102 mega lift irrigation schemes in eight clusters are under construction in a phased manner in 17 districts.

The Odisha Government has planned to take up 174 schemes in 15 clusters in 22 districts to create an additional irrigation potential of 214270 hectares.

Know More About Parbati Giri

  • Born: 19 January 1926.
  • Parbati Giri was a prominent female freedom fighter from Odisha.
  • Nicknamed Mother Teresa of Western Odisha.
  • Born in Samlaipadar village near Bijepur of the present Bargarh district and undivided Sambalpur district.
  • Imprisoned for 2 years for anti British activities.
  • Only 16 when she joined the Quit India Movement.
  • After freedom, she opened an orphanage in the state.

7)   Where is India's first fully digital tribal colony located?

a. Kerala
b. Karnataka
c. Tamil Nadu
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Kerala

Nedumkayam colony in the Karulazhi panchayat in Malapuram District of Kerala became the first fully-digital tribal colony in the country.

It is located about 400 kms from Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram.

Declaration was made after adequate training for the entire tribal people of the colony in digital literacy and cashless transaction.

The training was completed with the support of National Service Scheme (NSS), volunteers of an

Arts and Science College at Kondotty and Jan Sikshan Sansthan, of Malappuramdistrict.

The Adivasi colony at Nedumkayam has become the first tribal community in the country to go digital.

The tribal colony in Karulai panchayat within the Nilambur forests was declared cashless on 27th Dec 2016.

District Collector Amit Meena and P.V. Abdul Wahab, MP, jointly declared the colony digital at a function held at Nedumkayam in the afternoon.

The Adivasis transferred Rs. 5 to the District Collector’s bank account using online technology.

The Adivasis were given training in digital transactions as part of the Digital Malappuram,

Cashless Malappuram programme being implemented by the district administration. The tribal colony got special attention after Mr. Wahab adopted Karulai as a model panchayat under the Saansad Adarsh Grama Yojna (SAGY) scheme of the Central government.

The SAGY scheme put forth by Prime Minister Narendra Modi envisages that every MP transforms one village in their constituency into a model village by this year-end.

The Jan Sikshan Sansthan (JSS), which won this year’s UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy for its innovative work among tribals, had provided computer and internet facilities at the community centre of the Nedumkayam colony.

The Adivasis of Nedumkayam were given training in digital transactions with the help of National Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers of EMEA College, Kondotty.

A tribal volunteer has been appointed for further training for a year.

8)   Which year has a leap second added to it?

a. 2013
b. 2014
c. 2012
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: None of the above

This year will last a second longer as a "leap second" will be added to the world's clocks on New Year's Eve by the time recorders.

An extra second will be inserted at the US Naval Observatory's Master Clock Facility in Washington, DC at 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) which corresponds to 5:29:59 am Indian Standard Time on January 1.

Historically, time was based on the mean rotation of the Earth relative to celestial bodies and the second was defined in this reference frame.

With the invention of atomic clocks defined a much more precise "atomic" timescale and a second that is independent of Earth's rotation.

In 1970, international agreements established a procedure to maintain a relationship between Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and UT1, a measure of the Earth's rotation angle in space.

The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) is the organisation which monitors the difference in the two time scales and calls for leap seconds to be inserted in or removed from UTC when necessary to keep them within 0.9 seconds of each other.

In order to create UTC, a secondary timescale, International Atomic Time (TAI), is first generated; it consists of UTC without leap seconds.

When the system was instituted in 1972, the difference between TAI and UTC was determined to be 10 seconds.

Since 1972, 26 additional leap seconds have been added at intervals varying from six months to seven years, with the most recent being inserted on June 30, 2015.

After the insertion of the leap second in December, the cumulative difference between UTC and TAI will be 37 seconds.

Some mistake leap seconds to be a measure of the rate at which the Earth is slowing.

One-second increments are, however, indications of the accumulated difference in time between the two systems.

Know More About VLBI

  • Measurements show that the Earth, on average, runs slow compared to atomic time, at about 1.5 - 2 milliseconds per day.
  • These data are generated by the USNO using the technique of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI).
  • VLBI measures the rotation of the Earth by observing the apparent positions of distant objects near the edge of the observable universe.
  • These observations show that after roughly 500 to 750 days, the difference between Earth rotation time and atomic time would be about one second.
  • Instead of this, a leap second is inserted to bring the two time-scales closer together.

9)   Which nation's intelligence agencies faced sanctions from the US for interfering in the presidential elections?

a. Russia
b. Israel
c. Pakistan
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Russia

The United States struck back Thursday at Russia for hacking the presidential elections with punishments targeting Russia's spy agencies and diplomats. The US said Russia must bear costs for its actions.

Moscow called the Obama administration "losers" and threatened retaliation.

Sanctions were imposed against GRU and FSB, leading Russian intelligence agencies the US said were involved.

Hacking alledgdly involved GRU head, his three deputies, and two Russian nationals wanted by the FBI for cybercrimes.

10)   Which CM was suspended by his own party on 29th Dec 2016?

a. Pema Khandu
b. O. Pannerselvam
c. Mehbooba Mufti
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Pema Khandu

Peoples’ Party of Arunachal (PPA) on 29 December 2016 suspended Chief Minister Pema Khandu along with six other MLAs from the primary membership of the party. They were suspended due to anti-party activities.

With this suspension, CM Khandu ceased to be the leader of the PPA Legislature Party.

Others suspended from the party include Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and MLAs, namely Chow Tewa Mein, Passang Dorjee Sona, Jambey Tashi, Zingnu Namchom and Kamlung Mossang.

PPA President Kahfa Bengia said they were placed under temporary suspension from the primary membership of the party with immediate effect.

Disciplinary proceedings will be initiated against them.

Bengia also said that the party would elect a new legislature party leader.

Know More about Pema Khandu & PPA

  • On 17 July 2016, Khandu replaced Nabam Tuki as the Chief Minister of the state.
  • Pema Khandu, the son of the former CM late Dorjee Khandu, is one of the 42 former Congress leaders who rebelled from the party.
  • He joined PPA in mid-September 2016.
  • PPA is a regional political party in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • It was founded by Bakin Pertin and Tomo Riba in 1979.
  • At present, the party is a member of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), a political coalition formed by the Bhartiya Janata Party along with several other regional parties.