Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Feb 17, 2017

1)   Who is the first Indian to be made a TD by FIBA?

a. Norman Isaac
b. Norman Thomas
c. Norman Simmons
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Norman Isaac

Norman Isaac in February 2017 became the first Indian to be promoted by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) as the Technical Delegate (TD).

His appointment/promotion was confirmed by the sport’s worldwide governing body.

He was promoted to TD along with a select few aspirants, who successfully cleared a series of tests at Doha, Qatar.

As a Technical delegate, Norman will be assigned to any country and will be responsible for conducting an entire event which will range from actual competition management including media arrangements to logistics.

However, any country will not include his country.

In 2006, as a FIBA Commissioner, Norman was conferred with the title at Muscat, Oman.

His earliest assignments included in 2009 for the FIBA Asia women’s championship at Chennai and the FIBA Asia girls’ under-16 years’ tournament in Pune.

His last assignment as the FIBA Commissioner was in the FIBA Asia Challenge Cup for men in Iran in September 2016.

He played his first senior Nationals at Ludhiana, Punjab as a ball-handler in 1981.

He represented Andhra Pradesh till 1992.

After his playing days, he joined the Basketball Federation of India’s (BFI)’s B panel in 1993.

Later in 1996, he graduated to the A level as the only one of 13 to pass the exams at Guwahati.

He became a FIBA Referee in 2001. In 2002, he officiated in the FIBA Asia Champions Cup in Kuala Lumpur. In 2004, he officiated in the FIBA Asia championship at Singapore.

In 2015, the BFI appointed him as its Chairman, Technical Commission.

2)   Who won the Laureus World Sports Award 2017?

a. Usain Bolt
b. Simona Biles
c. Both a and b
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and b

Usain Bolt and Simone Biles, the 2016 Rio Olympic champions won top awards of ‘Sportsman of the Year’ and ‘Sportswoman of the Year’ at the Laureus World Sports Awards 2017, held in Monaco.

Usain Bolt was conferred with the top honour for the fourth time, equalling the record set by tennis legends Roger Federer and Serena Williams and surfer Kelly Slater.

He received his award from one of the world’s greatest sprinters, Michael Johnson.

Many-times Olympic champion Michael Phelps received the award for ‘Comeback of the Year’ from Boris Becker, former world number one in Tennis.

Phelps who had retired after 2012 London Olympics came back to win 5 gold medals at Rio Olympics.

The Laureus award for ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ was conferred to Formula One World champion Nico Rosberg.

Rosberg who was a runner-up in both 2014 and 2015, finally won the title in 2016, after which he announced his retirement from the sport.

The only quadruple amputee in international wheelchair fencing, Beatrice Vio was honoured with “Sportsperson of the Year with a disability’ trophy.

In other categories, professional racing cyclist Rachel Laura Atherton won the ‘Action Sportsperson of the Year’ award, the American baseball team Chicago Cubs won the Laureus ‘Team of the Year’ award.

The popular football club Leicester City was awarded ‘Spirit of Sport’ award.

Waves for Change- a South African charity was recognised for their outstanding community work with the ‘Sport for Good’ award, and the ‘Sport Inspiration’ award was given to Refugee Olympic Team.

For the first time, sports fans were given a chance to voice their choice in a brand new category – ‘Best Sporting Moment of the Year’ award, which was conferred to Barcelona’s under -12 team.

The ceremony was hosted by popular actor Hugh Grant.

3)   Who has been appointed as UN peacekeeping operations head?

a. Dean-Pierre Lacroix
b. Sean-Pierre Lacroix
c. Jean-Pierre Lacroix
d. Alan-Pierre Lacroix
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Jean-Pierre Lacroix

France’s Jean-Pierre Lacroix (56) was appointed as Under-Secretary-General for the United Nations peacekeeping operations.

He will succeed Herve Ladsous, who will step down in March 2017 after six years of service.

Mr. Lacroix will have tenure of one year. Currently, he is director for the UN at the French foreign Ministry.

UN Peacekeeping: Know More

- A UN peacekeeping operation is led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).

- It works to create the conditions for lasting peace in a country torn by conflict.

- A peacekeeping operation consists of military, police and civilian personnel.

- They work to deliver security, political and early peace building support.

4)   FSSAI has launched which logo for fortified foods?

a. Square with an F and a +sign with a ring
b. Circle with an F and a +sign with a ring
c. Rectangle with an F and a +sign with a ring
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Square with an F and a +sign with a ring

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has unveiled a Logo for fortified foods which may be used by food businesses.

The logo comprises of a square encompassing an F with a ‘+’ sign with a ring around it, signifying addition of additional nutrition and vitamins to daily meals to provide good health, protection for active life.

Several food businesses across the country have already started using this logo.

Food fortification or enrichment is the process of adding micronutrients i.e. essential trace elements and vitamins into the food.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has also constituted a Panel on Food Fortification and Nutrition to identify critical nutritional gaps in the Indian diet in general and also in specific target groups.

The 11 member panel will frame final regulations on fortification of foods and prepare strategies to address malnutrition problem.

5)   What does QS in QS World University Rankings stand for?

a. Quacquarelli Symonds
b. Quacquarelli Dymonds
c. Quacquarelli Simmons
d. Quacquarelli Simon
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Quacquarelli Symonds

Mumbai, the second most affordable city in the world for students till 2016, has dropped to the 30th position this year.

Delhi, on the other hand, ranks way higher at 15, states a report by Quacquarelli Symonds, who are compilers of the QS World University Rankings.

The organisation published the 2017 list of the 'top 100 student cities in the world' on 16th Feb 2017.

Mumbai and Delhi rank 85th and 86th in the list, respectively.

Paris, which had topped the list since it was first compiled in 2012, was replaced by Montreal in Canada for the first time.

London, ranked fifth last year, has moved up to the third position.

Melbourne, on the other hand, dropped to the fifth position from second.

The top five cities in Asia include Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore and Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe.

Where Mumbai and Delhi managed to get higher ranks was in "employer activity".

A city's performance is ranked on six composite indicators - affordability, desirability, student mix (international students), university ranking, employer activity and, for the first time, views of students.

Although an official QS statement shows that Mumbai and Delhi have seen an increase in their desirability score, these cities are still at the bottom.

Mumbai is placed at the 90th position and Delhi 91th. The desirability score takes into account the quality of life, including pollution, corruption and safety.

QS World University Rankings

  • Quacquarelli Symonds is a British company specialising in education and study abroad.
  • The company was founded in 1990 by Nunzio Quacquarelli.
  • In its inaugural rankings for 2012, QS had published the rankings for the top 50 cities.
  • Later, it began to publish rankings of 75.
  • This year, it has expanded the list to 100.

6)   Which government won the motion of confidence with just 5 votes?

a. Irish
b. Scottish
c. British
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


The Government has won its motion of confidence in the Dáil by just five votes - 57 to 52, with 44 abstentions - after a series of terse exchanges between Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin.

Fianna Fáil abstained in the vote.

Sinn Féin, Labour, Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit, Independents4Change, Social Democrats, Green Party and Independents Michael FitzMaurice, Mattie McGrath and Michael Collins voted against the Irish Government.

The Government’s confidence motion was in response to a Sinn Féin motion of no confidence in the Coalition.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny sharply attacked Sinn Féin as the Dáil debate on the motion kicked off.

Sinn Féin tabled the motion over the handling of sex crime allegations against Irish police whistleblower Maurice McCabe.

The party accused the government of covering up "who knew what and when."

Sgt McCabe and now retired John Wilson previously alleged there was corruption with the Republic of Ireland's driving licence penalty points system.

The Garda (Irish police) commissioner denied telling journalists that Sgt McCabe was facing sex crime allegations.

The claim against Nóirín O'Sullivan was made by Irish Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin in the Dáil (Irish parliament).

7)   Where will the Food Legumes Research Platform be set up?

a. MP
b. UP
c. HP
d. AP
Answer  Explanation 


Giving a fillip to agriculture research in the country, the government will set up a Food Legumes Research Platform (FLRP) at Amlaha, Sehore in Madhya Pradesh.

Its satellite hubs in West Bengal and Rajasthan.

The hub in West Bengal will research in pulses while the one in Rajasthan will focus on natural resource management for sustainable agriculture.

The research institute will be set up with the help of the International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) which has an exceptional track record of innovation in climate resilient technologies.

This is including suitable food legume varieties for dry-land production systems.

The proposal in this regard was approved by the Union Cabinet in its meeting on 16th Feb 2017.

The Cabinet also gave its 'in principle' approval for conferring on the Food Legume Research Platform of ICARDA an "international status" as contemplated in Clause 3 of the United Nations (Privileges and Immunities) Act, 1947.

After setting up the Centre, the ICARDA will carry out research through a multi-disciplinary team of scientists for enhancing productivity of crops and livestock.

FLRP will be reducing poverty, improving food security, improving nutrition and health, and sustaining the natural resource base.

Benefits of FLRP

  • The establishment of FLRP in India will enable India to harness the best of international science in meeting the emerging food security challenges.
  • India would be able to rapidly and effectively absorb the research output achieved in the country by FLRP.
  • A major international R&D institution will make India an even bigger centre for agricultural research in the world.
  • This in turn, will attract further research & development investment in the country.
  • The research output would benefit farmers of all regions, whether big, small or marginal; and as technologies developed would be eligible for use by all farmers, the project is equitable and inclusive.

8)   Who is the author of the novel Q&A on which Slumdog Millionaire is based?

a. Vikas Swarup
b. Syed Akbaruddin
c. Arun Kumar Sahu
d. Upmanyu Chatterjee
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Vikas Swarup

Senior Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer and noted novelist Vikas Swarup of Slumdog Millionaire-fame will be the India's High Commissioner to Canada, as announced on 16th Feb 2017.

Swarup, currently working as Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, will replace Arun Kumar Sahu who is currently working as acting Indian High Commissioner to Canada.

Slumdog Millionaire which won eight Oscar's was based on Swarup's successful debut novel "Q&A".

MEA is set to appoint Gopal Baglay, who is currently joint secretary (Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran), as the new official spokesperson.

Baglay has earlier served as India’s deputy high commissioner to Pakistan. He was also the director in former external affairs minister S M Krishna’s office.

Baglay, who had served in Nepal and Russia, is deft at handling the media as he was earlier posted in the External Publicity Division in MEA as a director and was responsible for President’s visits.

Swarup, whose debut novel Q & A was made into the Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire, had helmed the high-profile office since April, 2015. Swarup had earlier served in Turkey, the US, Ethiopia, Britain, South Africa and Japan.

Under Swarup’s leadership, the MEA had launched a ‘Twitter Seva’ service to centralise its grievance redressal mechanism.

MEA had previously also launched an app, bringing websites and various social media handles of over 170 Indian missions on a common platform.

9)   What is Saras?

a. Civil aircraft
b. Light transport aircraft
c. Military aircraft
d. Both a and b
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both a and b

The transport aircraft fleet will see India revive three aircraft programmes, all being designed in Bengaluru, including the re-engined and modified version of the ambitious 14-seater Saras aircraft.

The National Laboratories Limited (NAL), which first conceived Saras as a civil aircraft has been pushing for a military certification in the past two years.

Saras, the Light Transport Aircraft has presently been handed over to the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment of IAF, and NAL is hopeful of having the first flight in about 45 days.

Manufacturing of two Limited Series Prototypes will require INR 400 crore to INR 500 crore.

Saras will boast of multi-role capabilities like feeder line aircraft, air ambulance, executive aircraft, troop transport, reconnaissance, aerial survey and light cargo transport.

The Saras programme had come crashing down after a 2009 accident.

The original design included a maximum take-off weight of 6,100kg and a maximum payload of 1,232kg.

The first prototype which completed its maiden flight on May 29, 2004, was overweight at 5,118kg compared to the 4,125kg design specifications.

The 70-seater aircraft programme has been relaunched given the renewed emphasis on regional connectivity.

Further, NM5-100, the 5-seater aircraft jointly developed by NAL and Mahindra Aerospace, testing of which was being done in Australia since 2011-12.

Saras: Know More

  • NAL Saras is the first Indian multi-purpose civilian aircraft in the light transport aircraft category as designed by the National Aerospace Laboratories.
  • In January 2016, it was reported that the project has been cancelled.
  • Top speed: 750 km/h
  • Wingspan: 15 m
  • Length: 15 m
  • First flight: May 29, 2004
  • Manufacturers: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, National Aerospace Laboratories

10)   Scientists have used genetic engineering to guard against addiction to _______.

a. Marijuana
b. LSD
c. Cocaine
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Cocaine

Mice have been genetically engineered to prevent them from becoming addicted to cocaine.

Scientists in Canada created mice that produce higher levels of a protein that normally strengthens the connections between brain cells.

Extra levels of the protein, called cadherin, appeared to make it difficult for a brain cell to receive a signal from others nearby so the pleasurable memory of the cocaine did not remain.

The discovery could help develop new drugs to treat addiction.

For normal learning, scientists must be able to both weaken and strengthen synapses.

That plasticity allows for the pruning of some neural pathways and the formation of others, enabling the brain to adapt and to learn.

Ideally scientists need to find a molecule that blocks formation of a memory of a drug-induced high, while not interfering with the ability to remember important things.

Through genetic engineering, scientists hard-wired in place the synapses in the reward circuits of these mice.

By preventing the synapses from strengthening, they have prevented the mutant mice from 'learning' the memory of cocaine, and thus prevented them from becoming addicted."

11)   What is ggcINDIA?

a. First beacon for Indian genomics data
b. Online web service on genomics data
c. All of the above
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

Global Gene Corp and Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) on February 14 launched ggcINDIA, the first ever beacon for Indian genomics data.

The ggcINDIA Beacon will start to address the lack of shared Indian genomics data.

The ggcINDIA becomes the 69th beacon to join the GA4GH Beacon Network.

A beacon is an online web service that allows researchers to determine whether an institution has particular genomic data in its data set.

The aim of the Indian beacon is to address the gap in shared Indian genomics data.

This helps scientists better understand disease and develop more effective drug delivery systems and therapeutics.

Promise of precision medicine can be realised with usable and sharable genomics data, as per Sumit Jamuar, Chairman & CEO of Global Gene Corp.

The CEO of this Cambridge UK based company is also the creator of the ggcINDIA beacon.

The Indian beacon joins those already on the Wellcome Genome Campus supplied by EMBL-EBI and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire.

Global Gene Corp

  • Cambridge-based Global Gene Corp (GCC) is based at the Wellcome Genome Campus.
  • It is co-founded by alumni from the Indian Institute of Technology, Harvard and National University of Singapore.
  • It was founded with the mission to "democratise genomics".

12)   What does cognitive computing involve?

a. Natural language processing
b. Machine learning
c. Deep learning
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All of the above

IBM has worked on cognitive computing. Already, the President and CEO of IBM Ginni Rometty indicated that digital is the foundation and cognitive computing is next on the anvil for India.

This should involve building abilities on natural language processing, machine learning, deep learning, image and vision, she said.

By 2020 the country will be home to the largest developer population in the world and 3 million programmers will be helping develop at least ten per cent of the apps this year.

IBM plans to open first blockchain innovation centre in Singapore

The company's artificial intelligence platform Watson will be touching the lives of 1 billion people across the world including 200 million people each in the fields of healthcare and education.

Watson can be very helpful in a country like India which has only 1 oncologist for 1,600 cancer patients.

IBM: Know More

  • Headquarters: Armonk, North Castle, New York, United States
  • Founder: Charles Ranlett Flint
  • Founded: 16 June 1911, New York City, New York, United States
  • Revenue: 79.92 billion USD (2016)
  • Number of employees: 386,558
  • Subsidiaries: SoftLayer, FileNet, Kenexa, Trusteer, Emptoris, more

13)   Who was sworn in as the next TN CM?

a. Edapaddi Palaniswami
b. O. Panneerselvam
c. Sasikala Natarajan
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Edapaddi Palaniswami

Edapaddi Palaniswami, who was nominated for the post by late chief minister Jayalalitha's aide Sasikala Natarajan, will be sworn in as TN CM.

Sasikala, who only uses one name, was nominated as chief minister by the state's ruling party.

However her conviction in a corruption case means she cannot hold office.

She had to surrender to authorities to serve a four-year jail term on 15th Feb 2017, but appointed Mr Palaniswami before she left.

He met State Governor C Vidyasagar Rao on 16th Feb 2017 morning, with proof that he had the support of a majority of lawmakers.

Mr Rao agreed to appoint him as chief minister on condition that he proves his majority in the state assembly within 15 days.

O Panneerselvam, who was sworn in as caretaker chief minister after the death of Jayalalitha in December, was vacillating between rebellion and loyalty to Sasikala.

Sasikala's elevation by the party had been questioned by acting chief minister O Panneerselvam, who said he had been "forced" to resign to make way for her.

Her candidacy for the top job had been questioned, since she has never been elected to public office.

Sasikala's role was always that of aide and confidante.

VK Sasikala/Sasikala Natarajan

  • Vivekanandan Krishnaveni Sasikala, is also known as Sasikala Natarajan
  • She is an Indian politician who is the acting general secretary of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
  • Born: 1957, Mannargudi
  • Party: All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam