Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Feb 10, 2017

1)   What does the new IIM Bill 2017 offer?

a. IIMs can set up campuses abroad
b. IIMs will have statutory powers
c. IIMs will grant degrees
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All of the above

The Indian Institutes of Management can now set up campuses abroad.

After advocating more autonomy to the premier management institutes and giving them the power to grants degrees, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar introduced the IIM Bill 2017 in the Lok Sabha on 9th Feb 2017.

This would confer statutory powers on them.

As per the bill, IIMs will be allowed “to set-up centres of management studies and allied areas outside India in accordance with guidelines laid down by the Central Government and in accordance with the provisions of the laws in force in such foreign country”.

IIMs would be declared as “institutions of national importance” with Board of Governors (BOG) as the principal executive body of each of them.

The bill also empowers IIMs to appoint their own chairperson.

The BOG will appoint the director (now termed Chief Executive Officer) of IIMs, who has so far been appointed by Centre.

The search-cum-selection committee to be constituted by the board will consist of chairperson and three members chosen from eminent administrators, industrialists, educationists, scientists, technocrats and management specialists.

The BOG of each institute shall consist of a chairperson, one nominee each of Centre and state government, four eminent persons (including a woman) distinguished in fields of education, industry, commerce, social service or public administration.

Two faculty members, one member from SC or ST and up to five persons co-opted from the alumni or who are members of the society of the existing institute would also be members of the Board.

It will have at least three women members.

An earlier draft of the Bill had the provision of the President being the Visitor and choosing the director.

The HRD ministry removed the provision to grant more autonomy to the institutes.

IIMs till now had been registered as societies and unable to grant degrees, including PhD, to their students.

Reservation in admissions will be provided as per Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006.

The Governing Board of IIMs will evaluate and review the performance of the institute within first three years of establishment and thereafter at least once in every three years.

The bill also lays down that there would be a Coordination Forum, with an eminent person as its chairman. This forum would discuss issues which are of common interest to all the IIMs.

IIMs: Know More

  • The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are a group of 20 public, autonomous institutes of management education and research in India.
  • They primarily offer postgraduate, doctoral and executive education programmes.
  • The establishment of IIMs was initiated by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India.
  • This was based on the recommendation of the Planning Commission.

2)   Two day 17th international seminar on Counter-IED was held. What is IED?

a. Improvised Explosion Device
b. Improvised Explosion Device
c. Interim Explosion Device
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Improvised Explosion Device

The two-day 17th International Seminar on “Counter- Improvised Explosive Device (IED) strategy”, organized by the National Security Guard (NSG), concluded on 9th Feb 2017.

33 International delegates from 12 countries and 225 delegates from various states of India participated in the seminar.

The theme of the seminar was “Synergising the National and International special forces to meet challenges of terrorism and IED".

Discussions were held on IEDs with various experts from within the country as well as from Australia, UK, USA, Japan, Russia and Israel throwing light on various facets of the issue.

Besides, demonstrations on IED, simulation of IED blasts and futuristic IEDs were also organized.

3)   India will host the NSA meeting of which grouping?

d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


India will host the first meeting of national security advisers (NSAs) of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries to coordinate action against terrorism, extremism and radicalisation.

It was offered by India at the BIMSTEC senior officials meeting held in Kathmandu, Nepal.

India’s offer comes as concerns about the growth of radicalisation of ethnic Rohingyas of Myanmar by Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in recent months.

This issue was part of the conversation between Indian leadership and NSA Ajit Doval and the Myanmar NSA U Thaung Tun, who visited India recently.

BIMSTEC: Know More

  • The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organisation involving a group of countries.
  • These are in South Asia and South East Asia.
  • These are: Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.
  • BIMSTEC was initially founded in 1997

4)   Britain's House of Commons approved the bill to start exit talks with _____________

a. EU
b. Ireland
c. Wales
d. Scotland
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


Britain's House of Commons gave its final approval on 7th Feb 2017 to a bill authorizing the government to start exit talks with the European Union.

This is despite fears by opposition lawmakers that the UK is setting out on the rocky path to Brexit with a sketchy roadmap.

But the decisive 494-122 result was another big step on Britain's road to the EU exit door.

The bill now goes to the House of Lords, which has the power to delay - but not to derail - the legislation.

It should become law within weeks.

Lawmakers had backed the bill by a 498-114 margin during an earlier vote last week.

It came after three days of debate. In this, opposition lawmakers tried to pass amendments guaranteeing Parliament a bigger role in the divorce process.

Also emphasised was setting rules for the government's negotiations with the 27 other EU nations.

Pro-EU lawmakers had hoped to prevent an economy-shocking "hard Brexit," in which Britain loses full access to the EU's single market and faces restrictions or tariffs on trade.

One amendment would have committed the government to continuing tariff-free trade with the EU.

Another sought to guarantee the residency rights of EU citizens already living in Britain.

Yet another called for a new referendum on the eventual divorce terms.

All were defeated, as pro-EU lawmakers from Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party backed the government despite their reservations.

The government didn't want to let Parliament debate the bill that passed recently at all.

It was forced to introduce the legislation after a Supreme Court ruling torpedoed May's effort to start the process of leaving the 28-nation bloc without a parliamentary vote.

Most British lawmakers backed the losing "remain" side in last year's EU membership referendum, but voted to trigger Brexit out of respect for voters' wishes.

The bill is likely to face further challenges in the House of Lords.

The government wants to pass the bill through Parliament by early March and trigger Article 50 of the EU's key treaty - starting a two-year divorce process - by March 31.

5)   A middle sized black hole weighing how much was recently found by scientists?

a. 2,200 suns
b. 2,300 suns
c. 2,400 suns
d. 2,500 suns
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 2,200 suns

An important cosmic missing link has been found: a middle sized black hole.

Till now, scientists had found either small black holes weighing a few Suns or supermassive black holes weighing millions or billions of Suns, like the one at the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way.

But in an ancient cluster of stars some 13,000 light years away from Earth, scientists discovered an intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH) weighing 2,200 Suns.

It was hiding at the centre of the globular star cluster 47 Tucanae.

Such holes serve as missing link between stellar-mass and supermassive black holes. They may be the primordial seeds that grew into the monsters seen in the centres of galaxies.

47 Tucanae had been examined for a central black hole before without success.

In most cases, a black hole is found by looking for X-rays coming from a hot disk of material swirling around it.

This method only works if the black hole is actively feeding on nearby gas.

The centre of 47 Tucanae is gas-free, effectively starving any black hole that might lurk there.

A black hole also betrays its presence by its influence on nearby stars causing them to speed up.

But the crowded centre of 47 Tucanae makes it impossible to watch the motions of individual stars.

Scientists studying 47 Tucanae found that heavy stars nearer the centre were getting speeded up and flung away as if a cosmic "spoon" was stirring the pot.

This was measured by the astronomers and compared with computer simulations, leading them to conclude that there was some very heavy body at the center causing this gravitational stirring.

Pulsars were also found at greater distances from the cluster's centre than would be expected if no black hole existed.

Combined, this evidence suggests the presence of an IMBH of about 2,200 solar masses within 47 Tucanae.

47 Tucanae: Know More

  • 47 Tucanae is a 12-billion-year-old star cluster located in the southern constellation of Tucana the Toucan.
  • It contains thousands of stars in a ball only about 120 light-years in diameter.
  • It also holds about two dozen pulsars that were important targets of this investigation.

6)   Which is the world's largest refugee camp?

a. Daabad
b. Dadaab
c. Badaad
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Dadaab

The order comes as a relief to Somalia as over 2 lakh Somalis are housed there.

A Kenyan court ruled on Thursday that the government must not close the world’s largest refugee camp and send more than 2,00,000 people back to war-torn Somalia.

This is a decision that eases pressure on Somalis who feared the camp would close by the end of May.

Kenya’s Internal Security Minister abused his power by ordering the closure of Dadaab camp, the court said.

Rights groups Amnesty International, Kituo cha Sheria and the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights had challenged the government’s order to close the camp.

The judge called the order discriminatory, saying it goes against the Kenyan constitution as well as international treaties that protect refugees against being returned to a conflict zone.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government has not proved Somalia is safe for the refugees to return, the judge has said, also calling the orders to shut down the government’s refugee department “null and void.”

Al Shabab & Somalia's Largest Camp: Know More

  • Somalia remains under threat of attacks from homegrown extremist group Al-Shabab.
  • United States President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Somalia, had put added pressure on the Dadaab refugees.
  • 140 of the Somali refugees, who had been on the brink of resettling in the U.S. were sent back to Dadaab instead.
  • Said Abuka, a community leader in Nairobi and a refugee for 22 years, said the court ruling would help the Somali refugees.
  • Newborn babies could not be registered as refugees because of the shutdown of Kenya’s refugee department, he said.
  • Al-Shabab has carried out several attacks on Kenya, which sent troops to Somalia in 2011 to fight the militants.
  • The attacks, include the September 2013 attack on Westgate mall that killed 67 people and the 2015 attack on Garissa University that killed 148 people, mostly students.

7)   What are wetlands?

a. Regions permanently covered in water
b. Regions temporarily covered in water
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

The SC provided major direction to preserve ecologically crucial wetlands threatened by encroachment in many parts of the country.

Supreme Court directed the Centre on 8th Feb 2017 to frame a policy to protect wetlands by June 30.

The court's direction will cover over 2 lakh wetlands across India which were identified through satellite imagery by ISRO.

The Centre has been asked to draw up a phased plan of action to conserve the water bodies.

The Centre is to notify all 2,01,503 wetlands and asked the states to provide details too.

The bench set a deadline of June 30 to frame policy for preservation of wetlands that are seen as effective carbon sinks to mitigate climate change and support a wide variety of arial, land and aquatic wildlife and fauna.

Wetlands are defined as areas of land either temporarily or permanently covered by water.

They play a key role in the hydrological cycle in storm and flood control, water supply, providing food, fibre and raw materials.

They support lakhs of migratory birds from colder regions of the world in summers, apart from mangroves that protect coastlines and filter pollutants.

With wetlands endangered by land grabbing activities, including by initiatives by state and central governments that include releasing lands for commercial development, environmentalists approached the Supreme Court seeking measures to protect the ecosystems.

The SC has been examining the issue since 2001 and passed various orders.

The Centre informed the court it had formed a comprehensive scheme of National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Eco-systems (NPCA) for conservation and restoration of lakes and wetlands.

The ministry has so far identifies 115 wetlands and 63 lakes in 24 states and 2 union territories for conservation and management under the scheme.

So far, since 1987-88 an amount of Rs 780 crore has been released for undertaking various conservation activities.

Mapping and State-wise Distribution of Wetlands

  • ISRO had in 2011 prepared a national wetlands atlas on the basis of satellite image and 201503 wetlands were mapped.
  • Total wetland area estimated is 15.26 Mha, which is around 4.63 per cent of the geographic area of the country.
  • Area under inland wetlands is 10.56 million hectare and area under coastal wetlands is 4.14 Mha.
  • State-wise distribution of wetlands showed that Lakshadweep has 96.12% of geographic area under wetlands followed by Andaman & Nicobar Islands (18.52%).
  • Daman & Diu(18.46%) and Gujarat (17.56%). Puducherry (12.88%), West Bengal (12.48%), Assam (9.74%), Tamil Nadu (6.92%), Goa (5.76%), Andhra Pradesh (5.26%), and Uttar Pradesh (5.16%) are wetland rich states.
  • The least extents have been observed in Mizoram (0.66%) followed by Haryana (0.86%), Delhi (0.93%), Sikkim (1.05%), Nagaland (1.30%), and Meghalaya (1.34%).

8)   Who was social reformer Gora's younger sister that joined the Quit India movement?

a. Racharla Samrajyam
b. Rachana Samrajyam
c. Rasana Samrajyam
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Racharla Samrajyam

Racharla Samrajyam, freedom fighter, died at her residence here on 3rd Feb 2017.

Samrajyam was born to Goparaju Venkata Subba Rao and Rajyalakshmi at Rajahmundry on April 26, 1919.

She was social reformer Gora’s younger sister.

Samrajyam was inspired by the Quit India Movement, when she was undergoing Hindi Pracharak training at Anantapur in 1942.

She quit the training programme and joined the Quit India Movement.

She was arrested at Bezawada (Vijayawada) and was sent to the Raya Vellore Jail for six months in 1944.

Motivated by G. Durga Bai, she underwent training in rural development activities for a year in 1945 in Kasturi Ba Smaraka Trust at Seva Gram through the Hindustan Naya Talmi Sangh.

This was under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.

She had worked in various capacities at the Kasturi Ba Gandhi Rashtriya Smaraka Trust’s Regional Office at Seethanagaram in East Godavari district, serving the trust for 34 years, from June 1946.

She received the ‘Tamra Patra’ from the Government of India in 1972.

Tamra Patra: Know More

  • Tamra Patra are the royal records of grants engraved on copper-plates.
  • Tamra-shasan or tamra-patra derive from tamra which means copper in Sanskrit and several other Indian languages.
  • Because copper does not rust or decay, they can survive virtually indefinitely.
  • Approximate dimensions of copper plate is 9?3/4 inch long × 3?1/4 inch high × 1/10 (to 1/16) inch thick.
  • The earliest known copper-plate, known as the Sohgaura copper-plate, is a Maurya record that mentions famine relief efforts.
  • It is one of the very few pre-Ashoka Brahmi inscriptions in India.
  • GoI also issues tamra patras to freedom fighters.

9)   What are the Dead Sea Scrolls?

a. Oldest known manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible
b. Manuscripts dating from 3rd century BC to 1st century CE.
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

Archaeologists have uncovered a new cave that once housed Dead Sea Scrolls.

This is a discovery described as one of the “most important” in 60 years.

The Hebrew University in Jerusalem said the scrolls were missing from the cave.

The Dead Sea Scrolls include the oldest known manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible.

These date from the 3rd century BCE to the 1st century CE.

About 900 scrolls were discovered between 1947 and 1956 in the Qumran caves above the Dead Sea.

The parchment and papyrus scrolls contain Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic writing, and include several of the earliest-known texts from the Bible.

This is including the oldest surviving copy of the Ten Commandments.

This discovery of a 12th cave could revolutionise the information and herald most important” discoveries since 1956.

The cave discovered west of Qumran in the occupied West Bank contained no manuscripts, but there is ample evidence of their earlier presence.

This includes fragments of pottery in which they were placed and the leather straps.

Many of the caves containing the manuscripts were looted in the 1950s.

10)   Who has been appointed CEO of the Hinduja Technologies?

a. Kumar Prabhas
b. Kumar Singh
c. Kumar Prabhu
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Kumar Prabhas

Hinduja Technologies, part of the diversified business conglomerate Hinduja Group said Kumar Prabhas has been appointed as its CEO with immediate effect.

Prior taking up the new role, Prabhas was serving Larsen and Toubro, Technology Services as its COO and Whole Time Director.

Hinduja Technologies is one of the specialized Enterprise Resource Planning and Engineering Service Providers for automobile sector.

City-headquartered Hinduja Technologies has engineering and development centres in Chennai and Pune. It also has presence in USA, Germany, United Kingdom, France and Japan.

He has also worked in leadership roles in various companies including Unisys, Sasken, Wipro and among others.

11)   Who has been appointed as director on the RBI central board?

a. Ashok Gulati
b. Rajiv Kumar
c. Manish Sabharwal
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All of the above

GoI has appointed three directors on the all-powerful central board of RBI, which include two noted economists Ashok Gulati and Rajiv Kumar, for four years.

Besides Gulati and Kumar, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed Manish Sabharwal as a director.

Further, the ACC has also approved the proposal of the Department of Financial Services for appointment of three members on the local board of RBI.

Prasanna Kumar Mohanty (Southern Local Board), Vallabh Roopchand Bhanshali (Western) and Sunil Mitra (Eastern) have been appointed for four years.

The last board-level appointment by the government was made when it elevated N S Vishwanathan to the post of deputy governor in June.

Prior to that, in March, the government had nominated three non-official directors - Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Bharat Narotam Doshi and Sudhir Mankad - on the central board of the bank.

Manish Sabharwal is a businessman and entrepreneur, who is currently the chairman of Teamlease, which he co-founded.

Prior to this, he also co-founded India Life, a human resource outsourcing company.

Mr. Kumar is a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research and has authored several books on India’s economy.

He is also currently chancellor of the Gokhale Institute of Economics and Politics in Pune.

He is also the founding director of Pahle India Foundation, a non-profit research organisation.

Mr. Gulati is currently the Infosys Chair Professor for Agriculture at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).

Prior to that, he was the chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), the body responsible for recommending Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) of agri-commodities to the government.

In addition to this, the Cabinet also approved the proposal by the Department of Financial Services for appointment of three members on the local board of the RBI.

RBI Board of Directors: Know More

  • The RBI's affairs are governed by the central board of directors.
  • The board is appointed by the government.
  • The central board comprises the governor, deputy governors, 10 directors from various fields, two government officials and one each from the four local boards.
  • As per the RBI website, besides the governor and deputy governors, there are six directors on the central board.
  • These are Nachiket Mor, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Bharat Narotam Doshi, Sudhir Mankad, Shaktikanta Das and Anjuly Chib Duggal.