Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Feb 15, 2017

1)   Which is the latest private airline to go operational from Feb 2017, and has joined RCS?

a. Zoom Air
b. Vistara Airlines
c. Zexus Air
d. Both a and c are the same
e. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and c are the same

India's latest private airline Zoom Air will start daily scheduled operations from Feb 15, 2017.

The airline becomes India’s 10th scheduled carrier for domestic skies presently, with others such as Air India, Air India Express, Jet Airways, Jetlite, Indigo, Spicejet, GoAir, Vistara and Air Asia India in the fray.

CEO and Director of Zoom Air is Koustav M. Dhar

Zoom Air will fill the gap of other scheduled airlines. On board Zoom Eat and a premium commuter airline service distinguish this player

A professional crew with 1:1 lady pilots on board operating from T3 in New Delhi and T2 in Mumbai marks another feature of this airline.

This airline also, for the first time, connects Durgapur (Kazi Nazrul Islam International Airport) in West Bengal.

This is India's first private airport, open for schedule flying built on a JV model with Changi Airport.

Zoom Air will connect leading India cities like Delhi and Kolkata to destinations like Tirupatu, Vijaywada and Pasighat.

Zoom Air was accorded the Schedule Operating Permit by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)on February 3.

Zoom Air (licensed under Zexus Air Services) presently has three CRJ-200LR aircraft, under dry lease from CRJ Aircraft Leasing, Dublin, out of which two have been imported.

The aircraft used by this airline produced by Bombardier are versatile for short sectors and aptly suited for Indian Tier-II and Tier-III cities, including a major support to the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s initiative for Regional connectivity Scheme (RCS).

Zoom Air becomes the first private airline to support and join the RCS.

The airline joins 18-20 per cent year-on-year growth, on such underserved and un-served airports, and have seen massive air growth in stations like Vijaywada, Tirupati, Ranchi, Chandigarh, etc.

It's all about connectivity and regular reliable services.

2)   Indian economy, according to India Ratings and Research, will grow at __ in the next fiscal.

a. 7.2%
b. 7.3%
c. 7.4%
d. 7.5%
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 7.4%

The Indian economy is likely to grow by 7.4% in the next fiscal, according t India Ratings and Research.

GDP growth estimate for 2016-2017 has been revised from 6.8 to 7.9 percent, lower than the CSO advanced estimate of 7.1%.

Gross value added of three production sectors, namely agriculture, industry and services would grow at 3%, 6.1% and 9.1% Y-O-Y in this fiscal.

The current account deficit will come at 1% of the GDP in 2017-2018 as against 0.9 percent in 2016-2017.

This will help the rupee trade at an average 69.18/USD in FY18.

India is likely to face continued headwinds on the exports front due to the play out of Brexit and the anti-globalisation stance of US President Donald Trump and imports are unlikely to pick up so long as the domestic investment cycle does not revive.

As against the popular perception, Ind-Ra said the main setback to investment growth came from the negative 2.2 percent growth in the gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) of household sector.

Ind-Ra expects GFCF to grow at 4.9 percent in 2017-18.

India's economic growth forecast of 7.4 percent by Ind-Ra in 2017-18 is on the upper end of the 6.75 to 7.5 percent band estimated in the Economic Survey.

Ind-Ra: Know More

  • India Ratings & Research (India Ratings) is a rating agency committed to providing the India's credit markets with accurate, timely and prospective credit opinions.
  • India Ratings has grown rapidly during the past decade gaining significant market presence in India's fixed income market.
  • India Ratings is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Fitch Group.
  • India Ratings currently maintains coverage of corporate issuers, financial institutions.
  • India Ratings is headquartered in Mumbai and has six branch offices located at Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Kolkata.
  • India Ratings is recognised by the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the Reserve Bank of India and NHB.

3)   Which country has the highest premature deaths due to ozone pollution?

a. India
b. Bangladesh
c. Pakistan
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


According to the State of Global Air 2017 report, as many as 2.54 lakh deaths occurred in 2015 on account of exposure to ozone and its impact on chronic lung disease.

India accounts for the highest number of premature deaths due to ozone pollution, its toll 13 times higher than Bangladesh's, and 21 times higher than Pakistan's

92% of the world's population lives in areas with unhealthy air.

With more than 2,000 researchers, the report factored in the role of an extensive set of behavioural, dietary and environmental risk factors for more than 300 diseases in 195 countries from 1990.

India's worsening air pollution caused some 1.1 million premature deaths in 2015 and the country now "rivals China for among the highest air pollution health burdens in the world," as per the report.

The special report on 'global exposure to air pollution and its disease burden' noted that the number of premature deaths in China caused by dangerous fine particulate matter, known as PM2.5, has stabilised in recent years but has risen sharply in India.

It also said that both the countries together were responsible for over half of the total global attributable deaths.

India had registered an alarming increase of nearly 50% in premature deaths from particulate matter between 1990 and 2015.

The State of Global Air 2017 is the first of a new series of annual reports and accompanying interactive website, designed and implemented by the Health Effects Institute.

This is in cooperation with the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington and the University of British Columbia.

The IHME is an independent population health research center that publishes the annual Global Burden of Diseases -- a systematic scientific effort to quantify the magnitude of health loss from all major diseases, injuries, and risk factors in populations across the world.

Its results are published every year.

US has experienced a reduction of about 27% in average annual population exposures to fine particulate matter with smaller declines in Europe.

Yet some 88,000 Americans and 258,000 Europeans still face increased risks of dying early due to PM levels today.

The report noted that the highest concentrations of combustion-related fine particulate matter were in South and Southeast Asia, China and Central and Western Sub-Saharan Africa in 2015.

These are the countries where household solid fuel use, coal-fired power plants, transportation, and open burning of agricultural and other wastes were among the most important contributors to outdoor air pollution.

"The Global Burden of Disease leads a growing worldwide consensus - among the WHO, World Bank, International Energy Agency and others - that air pollution poses a major global public health challenges.

The study finds that increasing exposure and a growing and ageing population have meant that India now rivals China for among the highest air pollution health burdens in the world.

Both countries are facing some 1.1 million early deaths from air pollution in 2015.

It said the long-term exposure to fine particulate matter -- the most significant element of air pollution -- contributed to 4.2 million premature deaths and to a loss of 103 million healthy years of life in 2015.

This is making air pollution the 5th highest cause of death among all health risks, including smoking, diet, and high blood pressure.

Health Effects Institutes

The Health Effects Institute is an independent, non-profit corporation.

It is specializing in research on the health effects of air pollution.

It is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, United States.

Founded: 1980

4)   Who resigned from the Trump administration after winning a post as NSA?

a. Michael Flynn
b. Nikki Haley
c. Ajit Pai
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Michael Flynn

Michael Flynn, a former military general who helped to shape President Donald Trump’s foreign policy views, resigned as the National Security Adviser (NSA) on 13th Feb 2017.

Mr. Flynn, in his resignation letter, admitted to giving incomplete information to the Vice-President on his phone calls with the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. while he was the NSA-designate.

U.S. intelligence agencies wiretapped the incoming NSA’s conversations with the Ambassador, and the episodic media leaks of its content and follow-up actions were responsible for his resignation,

Flynn's resignation was on the grounds that he misled vice-president Mike Pence, who apparently took the NSA's word that he did not discuss the sanctions issue with the Russian ambassador to US during Trump administration's transition phase.

Pence supported Flynn on television shows based on his assurance, but it transpired that the embattled NSA, already at sea in the tumultuous early days of the administration, had erred.

Flynn will go down in history as the NSA with the shortest stint- just 24 days-in a job whose average tenure is two and half years.

Another retired general, Keith Kellogg, was designated the interim national security adviser, and he along with two other former military brass, Gen David Petraeus and former Vice Admiral Bob Harward are being considered for the post.

5)   The half brother of which country's leader was assassinated in Malaysia?

a. North Korea
b. South Korea
c. Japan
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: North Korea

The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has been assassinated in Malaysia.

The agency quoted a Seoul government source as saying Kim Jong-Nam was killed on 13th Feb 2017.

The 45-year-old was poisoned by two unidentified female agents using poisoned needles at an airport in Kuala Lumpur.

Kim Jong-Nam was once considered heir apparent but fell out of favour with his father Kim Jong-Il following a botched attempt in 2001 to enter Japan on a forged passport and visit Disneyland.

He has since lived in virtual exile, mainly in the Chinese territory of Macau. Kim Jong-Un took over as North Korean leader when his father died in December 2011.

Kim Jong-Nam, known as an advocate of reform in the North, once told a Japanese newspaper that he opposed his country's dynastic power transfers.

Kim's case would be the highest-profile death under the Kim Jong-Un regime since the execution of the leader's uncle Jang Song-Thaek in December 2013.

Kim Jong-Nam: Know More

  • Born: 10 May 1971, Pyongyang, North Korea
  • Died: 13 February 2017, Sepang District, Malaysia
  • Education: Kim Il-sung University

6)   Which veteran AP photographer won the World Press award 2017?

a. Nick Ut
b. Rodrigo Abd
c. Burhan Ozbilici
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Burhan Ozbilici

Associated Press photographer Burhan Ozbilici summoned the composure to stand his ground and keep taking pictures, and now his image of gunman Mevlut Mert Altintas looming over the body of Ambassador Andrei Karlov was named World Press Photo of the Year.

Ozbilici's image of a political murder's immediate aftermath was part of a series titled "An Assassination in Turkey" that also won the Spot News - Stories category in the prestigious awards.

The photos were captured in the moments before and after Altintas drew a handgun and shot Karlov at an Ankara gallery on Dec. 19 2016.

The gunman shouted: "Don't forget Aleppo! Don't forget Syria!"

In the winning photo, the assassin, wearing a suit and tie, stands defiantly, pistol in his right hand pointed at the ground and with his left hand raised, his index finger pointing upward.

His mouth is wide open as he shouts angrily. The ambassador's body lies on the floor just behind Altintas.

The winning image was among 80,408 photos submitted to the prestigious competition by 5,034 photographers from 125 countries.

The World Press jury awarded prizes in eight categories to 45 photographers from 25 countries.

The eclectic selection of winners in the photo competition's eight categories highlighted the dominant news topics of the last year _ including conflict in Syria and Iraq, Europe's migrant crisis, the death of longtime Cuban leader Fidel Castro and the Olympic Games in Rio.

AP photographer Vadim Ghirda, based in Romania, won second prize in the Contemporary Issues - Singles category with an emotionally charged photo of migrants crossing a river as they attempt to reach Macedonia from Greece.

Another AP photographer, Felipe Dana, came third in the Spot News - Singles category for his image of an explosion in Mosul, Iraq.

Santi Palacios won second in the General News-Singles category for a photo that ran on the AP wire of two Nigerian children whose mother died on a rescue boat in the Mediterranean Sea of the coast of Libya.

For the first time, the World Press Photo awards for still images were announced at the same time as those for Digital Storytelling in the categories of:

  • Innovative Storytelling,
  • Immersive Storytelling,
  • Long Form and Short Form.

7)   What does NPPA stand for, in the context of healthcare?

a. National Pricing Pharmaceutical Authority
b. National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority
c. National Pharmaceutical Pricing Association
d. National Pricing Pharmaceutical Association
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority

Tightening the hold over hospitals, nursing homes and clinics performing cardiac procedures using stents, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has made it compulsory for such institutions to disclose separately the cost of the stent while billing a patient.

Medical facilities, including retailers and dealers of stents, will also have to display price list of stents on a part of their premises which is easily accessible to any person wishing to consult the same

Prices of bare metal stents have been capped at INR 7,260, whereas both drugeluting stents (DES) and biodegradable stents will now cost INR 29,600.

The regulator, however, said the new prices will be applicable for a period of one year, unless revised by another gazette notification.

Over 90% of stents implanted in India are DES — metal stents coated with a drug that prevents the arteries from closing again.

Till now, the price of DES in India had ranged anywhere from INR 35,000 to INR 1.95 lakh.

This is considered among the latest stent technology and was priced at around INR 1.80 lakh so far.

8)   PAN will now be issued on real time basis using?

a. Aadhaar's e-KYC facility
c. UPI
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Aadhaar's e-KYC facility

Now, get permanent account number in minutes and also pay income tax through your smartphone.

As part of its drive to make life easy for taxpayers, the Central Board of Direct Taxes is working on issuing PAN on a real-time basis using Aadhaar's e-KYC facility.

This allows an individual to verify his or her details such as address using biometric identification features like thumb impressions.

If a SIM can be issued through e- KYC, then the same can be done for PAN, said an officer.

He added that the process may be crunched to five-six minutes from two-three weeks at present.

While the number will be issued, the card will be delivered later.

The CBDT and the ministry of corporate affairs have already tied up to issue PAN to new companies incorporating through a combined form in four hours. T

The idea, again, is to move to real-time issuing of PAN, which will also become the business identification number for companies.

Separately, the tax department is developing an app that will help you pay taxes online and perform a host of other services such as apply for PAN or track your returns.

While the department is offering several services online through its portal, the app is expected to make life simpler for seniors as well as young taxpayers.

The two projects are being done in-house with the directorate of systems coordinating with CBDT.

CBDT: Know More

  • Residence: North Block, Secretariat Building, New Delhi
  • Appointer: Finance Minister of India
  • The CBDT Chairperson is usually the senior most IRS officer of the senior most batch.
  • The appointee for the office is approved by Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister
  • Term length: No fixed tenure is imposed on the office but term can be extended
  • Formation: 1944

9)   SC has imprisoned which TN CM aspirant?

a. VK Sasikala
b. OPS
c. K. Palaniswami
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: VK Sasikala

The Supreme Court on 14th Feb 2017 dealt a body blow to Jayalalitha associate V K Sasikala's vaulting ambition to be chief minister of Tamil Nadu.

The SC ordered that she be sent back to jail immediately to serve out the remaining three years, 10 months and 27 days of a four-year sentence for corruption, handed down to her by a trial court in September 2014.

In a unanimous judgment on a 21-year-old case of disproportionate assets, which also bars her from holding public office for 10 years, a two-judge SC bench "unhesitatingly" set aside the Karnataka HC's judgment .

This judgement was "erroneously" acquitting Jayalalithaa, Sasikala and two others in May 2015 and SC upheld the conviction of the trial court, which it found to be "flawless".

The split is now in the 134 MLA-strong ruling AIADMK between supporters of acting CM O Panneerselvam and Sasikala, who like Jaya before her, appears intent on ruling the state from behind bars.

Party elected Sasikala loyalist and strongman of Salem Edappadi K Palaniswami as the leader of the legislature party. Soon after- wards,

He visited governor C Vidyasagar Rao along with other senior leaders to stake claim to form government.

OPS contested the rival's bid.

Having won 89 seats in the May 2016 assembly election and with eight Congress representatives and two allies adding strength, DMK's neutral position in the 234-member assembly has only deepened the crisis in the AIADMK.

10)   Which of the following became the first cashless township in India?

c. Both of the above
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers (GNFC) township, the state owned company’s township at Bharuch, is 100% cashless and probably the first such township in India.

It has a population of around 5,000 and floating population of around 10,000 every day.

It has facilities like a big shopping centre, restaurants, eateries, schools and colleges, hospital, stadium, guest house, etc.

The GNFC township shall be launched by Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani on February 13 at Bharuch.

The GNFC is the first integrated industrial township in the country to go 100% digital in all financial transactions.

All the shops in the Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers township, which include paan shops, laundries, vegetable shops, barber shops, provision stores, cycle repairing shops, flour mills, conduct their business only through cashless transactions.

Transactions are done using PoS machines, e-wallets like BHIM, UPI, SBI Buddy, etc.

11)   Which state government launched the e-Prison project in Feb 2017?

a. HP
b. Uttarakhand
c. UP
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: None of the above

J&K government launches e-Prison project

The project will enumerate jail inmates in the State, where numbers of detainees keep swelling during unrest.

This project automates prison department of the state to avoid delays in processing the information and manage all the jails efficiently.

Under it, 25 district jails will be digitised along with two Central jails and one sub-jail in the state in the first phase.

In the second phase, the project will focus on videoconferencing between jails and prison headquarters, tele-medication, e-court in jails.

J&K Government: Know More

  • Governor: Narinder Nath Vohra
  • Chief Minister: Mehbooba Mufti (JKPDP)
  • Deputy Chief Minister: Nirmal Kumar Singh (BJP)
  • Legislature: Bicameral (87 + 36 seats)
  • Parliamentary constituency: Rajya Sabha 4; Lok Sabha 6

12)   Who is the new ICAI president for 2017-2018?

a. Nilesh Vikamsey
b. Nilesh Mehta
c. Nilesh Singh
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Nilesh Vikamsey

Nilesh Shivji Vikamsey was appointed new President of Institute of Chartered Accountant of India (ICAI) for the year 2017-18.

Prior to this appointment, he was the Vice President of the CA institute in 2016-17.

He has been a member of the ICAI since 1985.

Besides, Naveen N D Gupta was appointed as vice-president.

About ICAI:

  • ICAI is the statutory professional accounting body of India.
  • Its affairs are managed by a council in accordance with the provisions of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 and the Chartered Accountants Regulations, 1988.
  • The council has 32 elected members and 8 are nominated by the Union Government.

13)   Which bowler became the fastest to take 250 wickets in Test matches?

a. Dennis Lillee
b. Brett Lee
c. Waqar Younis
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: None of the above

Indian off-spin bowler Ravichandran Ashwin became the fastest cricketer to take 250 wickets in Test matches.

He achieved this feat in his 45th test match played against Bangladesh.

In his record 250th test wicket, he dismissed Bangladesh’s captain Mushfiqur Rahim.

With this, Ashwin surpassed previous record held by Australian fast bowler Dennis Keith Lillee, who had reached the milestone of 250 Test wickets in 48 matches.

Ravichandran Ashwin is sixth Indian bowler to reach 250 test wickets.

Earlier in 2016, Ashwin achieved the feat of taking fastest 200 wickets in Test in his 37th test.

He had beaten Pakistan’s Waqar Younis and Australia’s Dennis Lillee who had taken 200 wickets in 38 test matches.

Ravichandran Ashwin: Know More

  • Born: 17 September 1986 (age 30)
  • Madras (now Chennai), Tamil Nadu, India
  • Nickname: Ash
  • Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
  • Batting style: Right-handed
  • Bowling style: Right-arm off spin
  • Role: Bowling all-rounder