Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Feb 12, 2016

1)   MoU has been signed by Ministry of Railways and which state government for the formation of JV companies for Development of Railway Infrastructure?

a. Andhra Pradesh
b. Telangana
c. Karnataka
d. Tamil Nadu
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Telangana

MoU was signed between Ministry of Railways and State Government of Telangana for formation of JV companies for the development of rail infrastructure within the state. The MoU was signed against the Budget’s promise to set up JVs with states for focused project development as well as land acquisition and resource mobilisation as well as project implementation and critical rail project monitoring. and Railways has projects on the anvil valued at INR 3.5 lakh crore and additional lines of 9000 km. 17 states have already consented for the formation of the JVs and around 5 states have signed MoU with Railway Ministry for this.

2)   NRDC has entered into an MoU with Indian Institute of Chemical Biology for promoting entrepreneurship. What does NRDC stand for?

a. National Resource Development Corporation
b. National Regional Development Corporation
c. National Research Development Corporation
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: National Research Development Corporation

National Research Development Corporation has entered into an MoU with Indian Institute of Chemical Biology- CSIR for promoting entrepreneurship. The MoU has been signed in the presence of Union Ministers for Science and Technology along with the Minister of State for West Bengal. CSIR IICB is associated with research on diseases and biological problems of international interest. The institute also promoted the country’s start up movement through a research unit called TRUE or Translational Research Unit of Excellence. NRDC and CSIR-IICB aim to contribute to the “Startup India” and “Make in India” Missions, promoting Entrepreneurships, Incubation, IPRs, Technology Transfer as NRDC has rich experience in these areas over 60 years and executed about 5000 technology Licence Agreements with industries to this point.

3)   Which are the bread basket states?

a. Northern states
b. Southern states
c. Eastern states
d. Western states
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Northern states

The northern bread basket states have experienced a groundwater decline. Around 15% of the Indian foodgrains is being produced in the states, Of the 6607 ground water assessment units, around 1071 are over exploited. This means that withdrawal of ground water is greater than the recharge within a particular unit. Currently 914 units are in varied stages of ground water criticality. NAQUIM has revealed that around 1.04 lakh has been mapped and management plans have been prepared for approximately 82,000 sq.kms.

4)   An aquifer is which of the following?

a. Underground layer of water bearing rock
b. Rock from which water can be extracted
c. Both a and b
d. Neither a nor b
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both a and b

Government of India has launched a project for Aquifer Mapping and Management. Aquifer mapping will help in preserving the quantity and quality of ground water levels. Country will also become resilient to climate change. The NAQUIM or National Aquifer Mapping and Management program is being undertaken by the CGWB or Central Ground water Board. Ground water can be predicted using this plan. This marks the first time that this type of mapping has been carried out on a larger scale by the country. The programme is in place to prepare management Plans to identify and replenish declining groundwater.

5)   Which Indian software company is buying a US based insurance technology platform called HealthPlan Services?

a. Wipro
b. TCS
c. Infosys
d. Cognizant
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


Wipro is buying the US based insurance technology platform for USD 460 million or INR 3000 crore. This marks its 4th acquisition in the last half a year. This is its biggest acquisition since USD 600 million buyout of US data centre provider Infocrossing in the year 2007. HealthPlan Services was founded in the 1970s and headquartered in Florida. It is owned by Water Street Healthcare Partners, a PE firm associated with the healthcare industry. Water Street all be fully purchased by Wipro. HealthPlan services provide technology platforms and business process as a service solutions to healthcare insurance firms. It is the largest US independent provider of sales, retention, reform and technology solutions to insurance companies. This is the 4th acquisition of Wipro in less than 6 months as it had made the following purchases during this period of time:
DesignIt: Denmark based firm
Cellent - German IT consulting firms
Viteous Group: New Jersey based BPaaS provider

6)   In a major impact on world markets, Dow Jones industrial average was down by how much?

a. 300.3 points
b. 1.89 percent
c. 1.67percent
d. Both a and b
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and b

Wall Street fell by more than 1 percent on 11th February 2016 pushing the S&P 500 and Down Jones Industrial average down 10 percent for the year. Major S&P financials were in the red especially banks and the financial sector dropped by 2.71%. Janet Yellen, the Fed Reserve Chairman indicated tightening financial conditions were on account of a less than robust international economy and steep fall in US equity markets. The S&P 500 was down 29.18 points, or 1.58 per cent, at 1,822.68 and the Nasdaq Composite index was down 50.14 points, or 1.17 per cent, at 4,233.45. Benchmark BSE Sensex plunged by 148 points when the NSE Nifty fell below the 7200 mark in early trade on 11th February through sustained selling by funds and retail investors amid weak Asian cues. The index traded down by 148.20 points or 0.62 per cent at 23,610.70 with all sectoral indices led by metal, capital goods, banking and realty leading the fall. Sensex has fallen by as much as 858 points in the past three days while NSE Nifty fell below 7200 mark by falling 29.50 points or 0.40 per cent to 7,186.20. Hong Kong’s Hang Sen also slumped while Chinese and Japanese markets remained closed for public holidays.

7)    Amazon has acquired 26% stake in which TATA owned publishing house?

a. Westland
b. TataMcGraw Hill
c. Palgrave Macmillan
d. Tata Infomedia
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Westland

American e-commerce player Amazon has acquired a 26% stake in Westland publishing house owned by TATA company Trend for INR 9.5 crore. This has upped its presence in the third largest economy of Asia, India, and the deal also allows the Jeff Bezos company to purchase the remaining 74% stake in future. Trent acquired Landmark Book Stores in 2005 thereby inheriting Westland. Prior to this, two other publishing businesses have seen the TATA Group divest in them. TATA Infomedia was exited in the past and is known as the publisher of the TATA Yellow pages directory. TATA McGraw Hill Publishing is a promoter of professional as well as educational books. Westland is a culmination of EastWest Books and Westland Books which focuses on Indian authors and is one of the top 5 publishing houses in India. India us currently 7th in overall publishing after US and UK publishing industry. A FICCI report has stated that book publishing in India will be worth INR 10,000 crore growing at the rate of 30% on an average.

8)   National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) has been launched for which years by the Health Ministry?

a. 2015-2030
b. 2016-2030
c. 2015-2031
d. 206-2031
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 2016-2030

Health Minister JP Nadda has launched the NFME or National Framework for Malaria Elimination 2016-2030 which defines India’s strategy for eliminating this disease by 2030. NFME document defines goals, objectives, strategies, targets and timelines and will serve as a roadmap for advocating and planning malaria elimination in the country in a phased manner. NFME 2016-2030 also defined key apaches such as programme phasing and categorisation of states or UTs with API as the main criterion. Elimination of Malaria will result in lowering expenditure on disease control and lessons from polio and tetanus elimination can prove valuable for eradicating malaria.

9)   Australia has appointed which Indian origin diplomat as the next High Commissioner to India?

a. Harvinder Singh
b. Harindar Singh
c. Harinder Sidhu
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Harinder Sidhu

Australia on 11th February 2016 announced the appointment of Indian origin Harinder Sidhu as the next High Commissioner to India. Ms Sidhu is an Indian origin citizen who has worked as a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and has been also serving as First Assistant Secretary of the Multilateral Policy Division, previously serving overseas in Moscow and Damascus. Australia began its first maritime exercises for bilateral cooperation with India in 2015. Currently, 450,000 people of Indian descent are residing in Australia.

10)   South Korean workers have shut down the joint industrial park run with which nation?

a. China
b. Japan
c. North Korea
d. Myanmar
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: North Korea

In what is Seoul’s strongest punitive measure to stop Pyongyang from using hard currency from the park for developing nuclear and missile programmes, South Korea has started shutting down a joint industrial park in N Korea. This was the last major cooperation project in Korea and has been shut down as punishment for Pyongyang’s recent rocket launch.

11)   NATO and which nation(s) have signed an agreement to improve cyber defence cooperation?

a. US
b. EU
c. UK
d. Australia
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


NATO and the European Union have signed an agreement for improving cooperation in cyberdefence. Technical agreement was signed in NATO HQ and both NATO and EU having 22 member countries in common will enhance cooperation in the area of defence related fields. In a statement, the EU said the new agreement will facilitate information-sharing to improve cyber incident prevention, detection and response at both the EU and NATO. EU has also been participating in Cyber defence exercises of NATO with objectives of progress in the EU Cyber Defence Policy Framework, which has set cooperation with NATO as one of its five priorities.

12)   Scientists have detected gravitational waves in fabric of space time predicted by Albert Einstein exactly 100 years ago using LIGO. What does LIGO stand for?

a. Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory
b. Laser Interferometer Gravity-Wave Observatory
c. Laser Interceptor Gravitational-Wave Observatory
d. Light Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory

In a discovery that has been lauded by scientist Stephen Hawking and the scientific world, scientists have detected gravitation waves as the ripples in the fabric of space time predicted by Einstein 100 years ago finally became confirmed. This moment has been likened to the time when Galileo took to the telescope to observe planets. Discovery of these waves formed by violent collisions in the universe opens new ways of observing the cosmos,, specifically its soundtrack. A USD 1.1. billion instrument Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO, has been used to detect a gravitational wave from the distant crash of two black holes, one of the ways these ripples are created. This discovery is as big as the finding of the God particle.

13)   SC has recently said that who has no role to play in issues regarding anti defection law?

a. Governor
b. Speaker
c. MP
d. MLA
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Governor

Hearing the Arunachal Pradesh case, the apex court on 11th February indicated that governors have no role to play in issues pertaining to anti defection law which is in the speaker’s domain. Governor JP Rajkhowa’s position was examined by five-judge constitution Bench headed by Justice JS Khehar also asked "How can the governor take away the constitutional powers of the speaker to disqualify lawmakers on the grounds of defection?” At the time of hearing, SC also said governor may have the power to summon and advance the sitting of the House, but he cannot ask that a particular party-wise composition be maintained, as it would amount to interference in the duties of the speaker.

14)   US Chamber of Commerce has just released its 4th Annual Global IP Index. What does IP stand for?

a. Immediate Possibilities
b. Infinite Possibilities
c. Intellectual Possibilities
d. International Possibilities
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Infinite Possibilities

US Chamber of Commerce has ranked India as 37 of 38 nations in the 4th annual International IP Index -Infinite Possibilities- which measured the IP environment in India alongside 37 other economies. Only Venezuela has scored low. Index was produced by GIPC or Global Intellectual Property Centre and India’s overall score fell from 7.05 to 7.23. Report also noted a decrease through introduction of Global Measure of Physical Counterfeiting in the current edition, in which India was ranked 7th.

15)   Who has been appointed as OSD in DIPP?

a. Raman Singh
b. Ramesh Abhishek
c. Amitabh Kant
d. Rattan P Wattai
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Ramesh Abhishek

IAS officer Ramesh Abhishek has been appointed as the Officer on Special Duty in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. He was tipped to be the next SEBi chief. He will succeed current DIPP secretary Amitabh Kant following the latter’s retirement.

16)   Facebook has decided to do which of the following with respect to its Free Basic Programme in India?

a. Shut down operations
b. Become a paid operation
c. Commence operations only in rural areas
d. Commence operations only in urban areas
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Shut down operations

Facebook has taken the decision to close down its controversial Free Basics programme in the country, following TRAI’s support for net neutrality by barring operators from charging different rates for Internet access based on content.The service was available in India with Reliance Communications. In December, RCom put the service on hold following a TRAI directive to that effect.

17)   India and UAE have signed how many agreements as Prime Minister Narendra Modi twice met the visiting Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan?

a. 7
b. 8
c. 9
d. 10
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


Agreements spanned areas such as cybersecurity, technology and currency swap. The two leaders discussed ways to increase the annual trade volume by over 60% in the next 5 years.
"Cooperation in the oil sector, food security, UAE's contribution to our strategic oil reserves, maritime security and terrorism as a common threat were some of the other issues discussed by the two leaders," said an official press release. UAE also began FTA negotiations with Gulf Cooperation Council and India.

18)   What are gravitational waves?

a. Faint ripples in space time
b. Fourth dimension which is hard to fathom
c. Collision which sends ripples across the universe
d. Both a and b
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both a and b

Sound waves may exist but hearing the experience has proved to be unforgettable for physicists worldwide. Gravitational waves were first theorised by Albert Einstein in 1916 as part of the theory of general relativity. These are faint ripples in space time which are a forth dimension. What happens is that when massive yet compact objects such as black holes or neutrons combine through collision, gravity sends ripples across the universe. While the indirect proof of the existence of gravitational waves in 1970s led to the awarding of the 1993 Nobel Prize in physics, this announcement is considered a direct detection of the gravitational wave. Gravitational waves are the soundtrack of the universe and Einstein theorised that scientists would ever be able to hear them. Sensitivity is vital for the LIGO instrument detecting the waves as LIGO detects waves that stretch and squeeze the entire Milky Way galaxy by as little as the width of the thumb.Each LIGO has two giant arms more than 2 miles long which are perpendicular. A laser beam is split and travels both ways bouncing off mirrors to return to the arms' intersection. Gravitational waves stretch the arms to create an incredibly tiny mismatch infinitely smaller than a subatomic particle which is detected by LIGO.