Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Feb 11, 2017

1)   What is the official mascot of the FIFA U-17 World Cup?

a. Khileao
b. Kheleao
c. Khiladi
d. Khel
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Kheleao

The official mascot of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, ‘Kheleao’ was unveiled at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

The clouded leopard is an endangered wild cat whose habitat extends from the Himalayan foothills to mainland Southeast Asia.

Kheleao will participate in numerous activities in the run-up to the first-ever FIFA tournament to be hosted by India, which will be played from 6 to 28 October this year.

Driven by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi´s vision of making football the sport of choice in India, Mission XI Million, the biggest school sport outreach programme was launched by the Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel.

A first of its kind, the programme will encourage children to play the beautiful game of football, gain healthy habits and learn important life lessons in teamwork and sportsman spirit.

The approach is to work with school principals and sports teachers and encourage and incentivise them to make children play football games on regular basis.

The aim is to spread the message of productivity amongst all stakeholders

2)   Who is the third woman of Indian origin to fly on a NASA spacecraft?

a. Sunita Williams
b. Kalpana Chawla
c. Shawna Pandya
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Shawna Pandya

Dr Shawna Pandya is a general physician in Canada’s Alberta University Hospital.

She is also an astronaut preparing for two crucial space missions.

When they take off, she will be only the third woman of Indian origin, after Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams, to fly to space.

Born in Canada, the 32-year-old was shortlisted after topping the Citizen Science Astronaut (CSA) program.

Pandya said she will do experiments in bio-medicine and medical science.

She is part of a project called Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere (PoSSUM), which will study the effects of climate change.

She will also work on Physiological, Health, and Environmental Observations in Microgravity (PHEnOM).

She is a prime crew member of Project Poseidon, a 100-day underwater mission at the Aquarius Space Research Facility in Florida.

3)   Who has been appointed LIC MD?

a. Hemant Bhargava
b. Himesh Bhargava
c. Hitesh Bhargava
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Hemant Bhargava

Hemant Bhargava was appointed as managing director of state-owned Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India.

He is at present LIC’s zonal manager, Delhi. The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has approved Bhargava’s appointment to the post till his superannuation, i.e., 31 July, 2019.

The top LIC management consists of the chairman and three managing directors.

LIC already has Usha Sangwan as its managing director and Bhargava will join her as the second MD.

As per the LIC Act, the insurance corporation can have four MDs, apart from the Chairman, as part of its top management.

It is anticipated that one more MD will be appointed. In 2013, LIC functioned with its full strength of four MDs and one chairman after a long duration.

However, Sushobhan Sarkar and SB Mainak retired from the MD post after which two positions were lying vacant.

In 2016, former chairman SK Roy resigned from his post two years before completion of his term.

After this, LIC Managing Director VK Sharma was appointed as the Chairman.

All About LIC

  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • Founder: Government of India
  • Founded: 1 September 1956
  • Owner: Government of India
  • Revenue: 88.4 billion USD (2015)
  • Total assets: 20.09 trillion INR (2016)
  • Subsidiaries: LIC Cards Services, LIC Nomura Mutual Fund etc.

4)   Who has been appointed the new SEBI chief w.e.f March 1, 2017?

a. UK Sinha
b. Ajay Tyagi
c. Brijesh Mishra
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Ajay Tyagi

The government has appointed senior finance ministry official Ajay Tyagi as the chairman of the India markets watchdog, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for a five-year term.

Tyagi, who is currently an additional secretary at finance ministry’s economic affairs department, will succeed Upendra Kumar Sinha as the chairman of Sebi. Sinha’s current term ends on 1 March.

Upendra Kumar Sinha's extended tenure ends on March 1.

Tyagi, a 1984 batch IAS officer of Himachal Pradesh cadre, is at present Additional Secretary (Investment) in the Department of Economic Affairs and handles capital market, among others.

Tyagi has been appointed as chairman of the markets regulator, an official order said.

Sinha's three-year term began in February 2011, following which he got two extensions, making him one of the longest-serving SEBI chiefs.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet-headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Tyagi's appointment for a period not exceeding five years or till the age of 65 years, it said.

58-year-old Tyagi hails from Uttar Pradesh.

As per the eligibility criteria, a person can hold the position of Sebi chairman till the age of 65 years or for a term decided by the government.

Sinha, a 1976 batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre, had assumed office as the Sebi chairman on February 18, 2011, when the previous UPA government was in power.

He was later given a two-year extension. Days before the end of his tenure in February last year, he was given another extension till March 1, 2017.

Tyagi for a short while was also on the board of Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The process for selecting the next chief of the Sebi started in September 2015, pursuant to which several applications were received for the position.

GoI had decided to give a one-year extension to Sinha to ensure stability due to volatile market conditions.

Sebi chairman receives consolidated pay package of Rs 4.5 lakh per month.

5)   On 11th Feb, 2017, India tested the BMD related missile which stands for ______

a. Ballistic missile defence
b. Ballistic missile interceptor defence
c. Ballistic missile detector
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Ballistic missile defence

India took a big step towards an operational two-tier ballistic missile defence (BMD) system by testing a high-altitude interceptor missile to destroy an incoming ballistic missile over the Bay of Bengal on 11th Feb 2017.

This missile can destroy an enemy missile high in the sky. Only four to five countries in the world have done this.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation was itself gung-ho about its long-delayed BMD system, claiming it would now be possible to deploy the two-layered missile shield to protect a city or strategic installation in two years.

But it had earlier also promised that New Delhi would get the missile shield, capable of tackling hostile missiles with a 2,000-km strike range, by 2014 at the latest.

Scientists, however, say they are confident of achieving the target this time.

The "exo-atmospheric" interceptor missile tested on 11th Feb 2017, also called the PDV (Prithvi defence vehicle), after all, directly hit the target missile at an altitude of 97 km.

The test began at 7.45 am with the two-stage target missile, replicating an enemy ballistic missile, being launched from a ship in the Bay of Bengal.

In the fully-automated operation, with long-range radars continuously tracking the target and feeding data about its trajectory to the mission computers, the interceptor missile was then fired from the Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island) off Odisha coast around 200-km away.

India has crossed an important milestone in building its overall capability towards enhanced security against incoming ballistic missile threats.

It has entered an exclusive club of four nations (US, Russia, China and Israel) by developing capabilities to secure its skies and cities against hostile threats.

DRDO's experimental two-tier system is designed to track and destroy ballistic missiles both inside (endo) and outside (exo) the earth's atmosphere.

The third layer, in turn, is planned to tackle low-flying cruise missiles, artillery projectiles and rockets in the line with the overall aim to achieve near 100% kill or interception probability'.

Phase-I of the BMD system, with interceptors flying at 4.5 Mach high-supersonic speeds to intercept enemy missiles, is meant to tackle hostile missiles with a 2,000-km strike range.

Phase-II will be geared for taking on 5,000-km range missiles, with interceptors at hypersonic speeds of 6-7 Mach.

BMD Systems: Know More

  • BMD systems are highly complex to develop and deploy.
  • They require an overlapping network of early-warning and tracking sensors.
  • They also need reliable command and control posts, land and sea-based batteries of advanced interceptor missiles.
  • BMD systems also cannot ensure 100% destruction of all incoming hostile missiles.

6)   Who has been elected the new president of Germany?

a. Martin Schulz
b. Joachim Gauck
c. Frank-Walter Steinmeier
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Frank-Walter Steinmeier

Billed as Germany's "anti-Trump", centre-left former foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was elected on 12th Feb as the new ceremonial head of state.

The 61-year-old regularly polls as Germany's most popular politician.

He will represent the EU's top economy abroad and act as a kind of moral arbiter for the nation.

His Social Democrats (SPD) hope the appointment will boost their fortunes.

Their candidate Martin Schulz, the former European parliament president, readies to challenge Chancellor Angela Merkel in September elections.

Steinmeier received 931 of 1,239 valid votes after Merkel's conservatives, lacking a strong candidate of their own, agreed to back him to replace incumbent Joachim Gauck, 77, a former pastor from ex-communist East Germany.

The vote was held in Berlin's glass-domed Reichstag building by a special Federal Assembly, made up of national lawmakers and electors sent from Germany's 16 states.

Though the trained lawyer is usually measured in his speech, in the thick of last year's US election campaign Steinmeier labelled Donald Trump a "hate preacher".

As Steinmeier has prepared for the new post, which he assumes on March 19, he has vowed to serve as a "counterweight to the trend of boundless simplification.”

He is calling this approach "the best antidote to the populists".

A policy wonk by nature, Steinmeier served as advisor and then chief of staff to Merkel's predecessor, the SPD's Gerhard Schroeder.

In 2009, Steinmeier ran against Merkel and lost badly, only to return years later to serve in her cabinet.

Steinmeier is well known in the world's capitals, but his appointment worries some in eastern Europe, who see him as too soft on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Having Steinmeier move into the presidential Bellevue Castle in Berlin has emboldened the SPD.

For Germany's SDP, Steinmeier's election is a prelude to something bigger to come: a victory in September's elections against Merkel, according to some analysts.

7)   North Korea has fired a ballistic missile into which sea in Feb 2017?

a. Japan Sea
b. South China Sea
c. Red Sea
d. Caspian Sea
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Japan Sea

North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the sea early on 12th February 2017.

This is the first such test since U.S. President Donald Trump was elected, and his administration indicated that Washington would have a calibrated response to avoid escalating tensions.

The test was likely to have been of an intermediate-range Musudan-class missile that landed in the Sea of Japan, according to South Korea’s military.

The launch marks the first test of Trump’s vow to get tough on an isolated North Korean regime that last year tested nuclear devices and ballistic missiles at an unprecedented rate in violation of United Nations resolutions.

The latest test comes a day after Trump held a summit meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Abe called the launch “absolutely intolerable” and said North Korea must comply with UN Security Council resolutions.

China is North Korea’s main ally but has been frustrated by Pyongyang's repeated provocations,.

It also bristles at pressure from Washington and Seoul to curb the North and its young leader, Kim Jong Un.

China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Trump and his aides are likely to weigh a series of possible responses, including new U.S. sanctions to tighten financial control.

There may also be an increase in naval and air assets in and around the Korean peninsula and accelerated installation of new missile defence systems in South Korea, the administration official said.

Trump has pledged a more assertive approach to North Korea but given no clear sign of how his policy would differ from Obama’s so-called strategic patience.

This is part of a show of force in response to the new U.S. administration’s hard-line position against the North.

A South Korean military source said the missile reached an altitude of about 550 km.

While Seoul initially said the missile was probably a medium-range Rodong, it later said the launch was likely of a Musudan, which is designed to fly up to 3,000-4,000 km.

The North attempted eight Musudan launches last year.

Only one of those launches - of a missile that flew 400 km in June - was considered a success by officials and experts in South Korea and the United States.

Once fully developed, a North Korean ICBM could threaten the continental United States, which is about 9,000 km from North Korea.

8)   A new species of birds in Nepal discovered in Feb 2017 is called _________.

a. Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush
b. Rufous-tailed Rock Swallow
c. Rufous-tailed Rock Sparrow
d. Rufous-tailed Rock Pigeon
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush

A new species of birds has been discovered in the high mountainous region of Nepal.

This is bringing the total number of avian species in the Himalayan country to 866.

A Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Monticola saxitilis), considered an autumn passage migrant bird species in Pakistan and India, was photographed by an expedition near the Shey monastery within the Shey-Phoksundo National Park.

Researchers from an NGO Friends of Nature (FoN) Nepal spotted the bird while studying Himalayan wolf, wild yak and snow leopard last year.

The identification of the bird reported by the team was confirmed by the bird experts Carol Inskipp and Hem Sagar Baral.

The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) and Bird Conservation Nepal authorised the presence of a new bird species in the country.

Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush is considered an autumn passage migrant bird species in Pakistan and India.

The sighting location was very remote and rarely visited by ornithologists.

About the Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush

  • The common rock thrush, formerly rufous-tailed rock thrush or rock thrush.
  • This bird is belonging to the family Muscicapidae.
  • It was formerly placed in the family Turdidae.
  • Scientific name: Monticola saxatilis
  • Higher classification: Rock thrush
  • Rank: Species

9)   Which digital payment platform has been launched on iOS platform for fast secure transactions?

Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


BHIM, which the government has developed for fast and secure cashless transactions, was on 11th Feb 2017 launched on the iOS platform.

“The much awaited #BHIM for iOS is now available on the AppStore. Apple users, download #BHIM now! #ItPaystoBHIM," Niti Aayog indicated in a tweet.

The Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) was available on Android platform.

On December 30, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the app for fast and secure cashless transactions using mobile phones.

BHIM is a platform designed to make payment through UPI and USSD modes simpler.

The number of downloads for BHIM app has crossed 1 crore mark.

The BHIM app downloads which have shot up in a matter of a few days "shows how India is changing" with regard to adoption of digital payments and cashless transaction.

Digital payment channels like mobile wallets, USSD and RuPay have seen massive uptake and rise in transactions post demonetisation.

According to government data, the number of transactions on USSD (mobile short code message used mainly for banking services on feature phone) saw a massive 5,135 per cent jump.

The increase was from 97 such deals a day on November 8 to 5,078 on December 25.

UPI transactions - which allows users to transfer funds from one bank account to another using a smartphone - grew 1,342 per cent.

This is from 3,721 such transactions a day on November 8 to 53,648 on December 25.

BHIM: Know More

  • Developer: National Payments Corporation of India
  • Initial release: 30 December 2016
  • Platform: Google Play, App Store
  • Available in: English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, Gujarati
  • Type: Payment
  • Website: NPCI Portal