Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Feb 22, 2017

1)   International Mother Language Day was observed on?

a. 19th Feb
b. 20th Feb
c. 21st Feb
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 20th Feb

International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999 (30C/62).

On 16 May 2007 the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution A/RES/61/266 called upon Member States “to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world”.

By the same resolution, the General Assembly proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of Languages, to promote unity in diversity and international understanding, through multilingualism and multiculturalism.

International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh.

Bangladesh: Know More

  • Capital: Dhaka
  • Dialling code: +880
  • Currency: Bangladeshi taka
  • Prime minister: Sheikh Hasina
  • Population: 156.6 million (2013) World Bank
  • President: Abdul Hamid

2)   South Asian Speakers Summit 2017 was held at?

a. Indore
b. Bhopal
c. Jabalpur
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Indore

The South Asian Speakers Summit 2017 concluded on 20 February 2017 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

The summit was organised for three days by the Parliament of India in association with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

The summit was held as a follow up to the conclusions of the South Asian Speakers’ Summit. The summit was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2016.

The focus of the summit was to evolve appropriate strategies to achieve goals set by the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda (SDA) of the United Nations.

The summit deliberated on chances and challenges that parliaments in South Asia face in making their contribution to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The agenda of the South Asian Speakers Summit embedded the gender perspective to reflect growing inequalities between men and women.

Discussions also focussed on the impact of climate change on economic and social development in the region. The participants of the summit also discussed measures to strengthen cooperation among parliaments to address today’s most pressing challenges.

IPU: Know More

  • The IPU is the international organization of parliaments.
  • It was established in 1889.
  • The union is the focal point for world-wide parliamentary dialogue and works for peace and co-operation among peoples and for the firm establishment of representative democracy.
  • In October 2011, the IPU adopted its Strategy for 2012-2017 under the overall title – “ Better Parliaments, Stronger Democracy.”
  • The IPU is financed primarily by its members out of public funds.

3)   Apple has acquired which start up on 20th Feb 2017?

a. RealFace
b. RealTime
c. RealTech
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: RealFace

Apple has acquired Israel-based start-up RealFace that develops deep-learning-based face authentication technology.

The terms of the deal are not public, but it is estimated at ‘several million dollars’.

Apple would mainly be interested in the promise of the technology than pure resources.

Set up in 2014 by Adi Eckhouse Barzilai and Aviv Mader, RealFace has developed a facial recognition software that offers users a smart biometric login.

This is aiming to make passwords redundant when accessing mobile devices or PCs, the Times of Israel reported.

Apple came out in the open publishing its first AI research paper that focuses on advanced image recognition.

Titled ‘Learning from Simulated and Unsupervised Images through Adversarial Training’, the paper describes techniques of training computer vision algorithms to recognise objects using synthetic, or computer generated, images.

4)   Which global investors summit in Jharkhand was held in Khelgaon, Ranchi?

a. Momentum Jharkhand
b. Go Jharkhand
c. Move Jharkhand
d. Change Jharkhand
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Momentum Jharkhand

The Momentum Jharkhand Global Investors’ Summit 2017 was held for two days at Khelgaon, Ranchi.

The summit was inaugurated by the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 16 February 2017.

The objective of the summit was to establish Jharkhand as a premier investment destination for foreign and domestic investors in India.

Besides those from India, more than 9,000 delegates attended the summit from four partner countries ( Japan, Czech Republic, Tunisia and Mongolia).

The attendees were also from 28 other nations such as Australia, the US, the UK, Ukraine, Russia, China, Canada, Nepal, Nigeria, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Sudan, Korea, UAE, Italy, Oman, Venezuela and Pakistan among others.

It was a first of its kind initiative of the State government to showcase Jharkhand as an investment destination.

During the summit, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das explained in detail various labour and policy reforms undertaken by the State government to boost State’s Ease of Doing Business ranking.

The Government of Jharkhand, especially the Department of Industries, signed 209 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) during the Momentum Jharkhand Global Investors’ Summit.

The MoUs are expected to attract INR 3 lakh crore worth of investments from domestic and foreign sources into the State.

These agreements would create three lakh new jobs in the State.

The Essar group announced that the company would invest about Rs 10,000 crore in Jharkhand for setting up a 1200 MW power plant at Tori in Latehar district.

The company also announced development of Toskiud North Coal Mine with an estimated investment of about Rs 1100 crore.

Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla announced commitment of Rs 5,000 crore in investment in Jharkhand in various sectors including mining.

Jharkhand: Know More

  • Founded: 15 November 2000
  • Area: 79,714 km²
  • Capital: Ranchi
  • Population: 31.9 million (2012)

5)   GoI has invoked emergency for manufacture of which product?

a. Coronary Stents
b. Respiratory inhalers
c. Bio sutures
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Coronary Stents

Moving to ensure there is no shortage of stents due to price control, the government has invoked an emergency provision making it mandatory for manufacturers to maintain production and supply of coronary stents at previous levels for at least six months.

Stent makers and importers have also been directed to submit a weekly report on stents production and distribution to the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), which regulates prices of drugs and medical devices.

Following reports of artificial shortage of stents after it imposed price caps, the NPPA had written to department of pharmaceuticals asking it to invoke the provisions.

After due deliberations on the current situation and alternatives available with the government to resume normal supply of the coronary stents, it has been decided to invoke the powers of Section 3 (i) of DPCO, 2013.

Withdrawal of any brand having got a license earlier without NOC (No objection Certificate) from NPPA shall be dealt firmly.

Last week, NPPA had fixed prices of bare metal stents at Rs 7,260, whereas both drug eluting stents (DES) and biodegradable stents were capped at Rs 29,600.

Section 3 of DPCO

  • Under Section 3 (i) of DPCO, 2013, the government can regulate distribution.
  • It can also direct any manufacturer to increase production and sell products to institutions, hospitals or any agency as the case may be in case of emergency.
  • This is also in circumstances of urgency or in case of non-commercial use in public interest.

6)   Britannia has signed a MoU with which Greek company?

a. Lays
b. Chipita
c. Chickita
d. Ruffles
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Chipita

Britannia Industries, has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Greek company, Chipita BIL said on Tuesday.

In a regulatory filing, BIL said that it has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Chipita, a Greek company for exploring certain business opportunities.

“The company is in an advanced stage of discussion with Chipita to finalise definitive agreements which inter alia includes joint venture agreement.

Presently the 123-year old mother-brand marks a presence in biscuits, breads, cakes, rusk and dairy products including value-added ones like cheese.

The company said that it is working not only in the new-launch space in biscuits but also in the adjacent macro snacking space.

Chipita: Know More

  • Chipita said on its website that it started in 1973 , producing and marketing savoury snacks.
  • This include mainly croissants and similar dough products like bakery rolls.
  • Since 1995, it has marked a presence outside the country.
  • It now has 38 production lines in 11 manufacturing facilities in several countries including India.

7)   Scientists are developing a new way of extracting _____ from seawater.

a. Uranium
b. Radium
c. Plutonium
d. Cesium
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Uranium

Scientists are developing a new way of extracting uranium from seawater, an advance that may help countries that lack resources to harness nuclear power from the oceans.

Researchers have long known that uranium dissolved in seawater combines chemically with oxygen to form uranyl ions with a positive charge.

Extracting these uranyl ions involves dipping plastic fibers containing a compound called amidoxime into seawater. The uranyl ions essentially stick to the amidoxime.

When the strands become saturated, the plastic is chemically treated to free the uranyl, which then has to be refined for use in reactors just like ore from a mine.

How practical this approach is depends on three main variables - how much uranyl sticks to the fibres, how quickly ions can be captured and how many times the fibres can be reused.

Researchers from Stanford University in the US improved on all three variables: capacity, rate and reuse.

Their key advance was to create a conductive hybrid fibre incorporating carbon and amidoxime.

By sending pulses of electricity down the fibre, they altered the properties of the hybrid fibre so that more uranyl ions could be collected.

Researchers supervised lab tests that compared Stanford's amidoxime-carbon hybrid fibres with today's amidoxime fibres.

The extent of uranyl each type of fibre could hold before reaching saturation was tested.

By the time the standard amidoxime fibre had become saturated, Stanford's amidoxime-carbon hybrid fibres had already adsorbed nine times as much uranyl and were still not saturated.

The electrified fibre captured three times as much uranyl during an 11-hour test using seawater from Half Moon Bay, about an hour from Stanford and had three times the useful lifespan of the standard amidoxime.

Trace amounts of uranium exists in seawater, but efforts to extract that critical ingredient for nuclear power have produced insufficient quantities to make it a viable source for those countries that lack uranium mines.

A practical method for extracting that uranium, which produces higher quantities in less time, could help make nuclear power a viable part of the quest for a carbon-free energy future.

Researchers believe that a practical way to extract uranium from seawater is needed to reduce the energy insecurity of nations that depend on nuclear power but lack uranium within their own borders.

Uranium: Know More

  • Symbol: U
  • Atomic number: 92
  • Atomic mass: 238.02891 u ± 0.00003 u
  • Electron configuration: [Rn] 5f36d17s2
  • Discovered: 1789
  • Melting point: 1,132°C
  • Discoverer: Martin Heinrich Klaproth

8)   Which state released a digital roadmap?

a. Punjab
b. Haryana
c. Delhi
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Haryana

Digital Haryana Roadmap will promote increased use of IT tools in the state and aid in a hassle-free delivery of citizen-centric services.

The Chief Minister, who was presiding over a meeting of CM Digital Haryana Cell here, said that not just delivery of services, but also the working of offices would undergo a complete change.

This is under the Digital Haryana Roadmap 2017-19.

The roadmap has been designed to convert governance into "Saral Shashan" which has been defined as "simple, all-inclusive, real-time, action-oriented and long lasting governance."

Under this, all departments where Information Technology-related projects are being implemented, would be connected.

The coordination would be established among them for proper monitoring of projects and policies.

Emphasis would be laid on curbing corruption and promoting digital literacy.

Service delivery to citizens would include immunisation updates through voice bursts, online calls with doctors, direct scholarship debit to bank accounts, real-time attendance updates to parents through SMS.

Other services include information on local voter registration via SMS, new service updates through Atal Seva Kendras, auto authentication for marriage registration and online registration of new apartments.

The government offices would be transformed to facilitate, among other things, daily feedback on school enrolment and bulk SMS to parents of children to improve attendance in schools.

It will also be promoting paperless governance.

Playing the enablers for various IT initiatives facilitating transformation across the state will be Atal Seva Kendras, online mobiles, and government offices.

Digital Haryana Roadmap 2017-19 was reaffirmation of the state government's resolute resolve to serve the people well.

It will make life easy by 'cutting down interface between the people and the administration' through increased use of IT tools.

185 IT projects are being implemented or are under process of implementation in the state, of which ten per cent are being implemented by the Central Government.

20 per cent projects have budget provision of more than Rs one crore, 50 per cent projects were launched in the last two years, and 70 per cent are being implemented through government agencies.


  • Area: 44,212 km²
  • Capital: Chandigarh
  • Population: 27.76 million (2016)
  • Chief minister: Manohar Lal Khattar

9)   Who is the Frogman of India?

a. SD Biju
b. Salim Ali
c. Sunita Narain
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


Professor SD Biju from Delhi University (DU) and his team discovered four new miniature species.

This is now listed among the smallest known frogs in the world.

The scientists were surprised by the relative abundance of these new miniature species.

In all Biju's team have discovered seven new frog species belonging to the genus Nyctibatrachus, commonly known as Night Frogs.

This finding is a result of five years of extensive explorations in the Western Ghats global biodiversity hotspot in India.

Four out of seven of the new species are miniature-sized frogs (12.2-15.4 mm), which can sit on a coin or a thumbnail.

These are among the smallest known frogs in the world.

Unlike other frogs in the genus that are predominantly stream dwelling, the new miniature frogs were found under damp forest leaf litter or marsh vegetation.

The newly sampled frogs were confirmed as new species by using an integrated taxonomic approach that included DNA studies, detailed morphological comparisons and bioacoustics.

Earlier Night Frog genus comprised of 28 recognized species of which only three were miniature-sized (<18mm).

Now the total number of known Nyctibatrachus species has increased to 35, of which 20% are diminutive in size.

This frog genus is endemic to the Western Ghats of India and represents an ancient group of frogs that diversified on the Indian landmass approximately 70-80 million years ago.

Among the new species are four true miniatures, between 10 and 15 mm body length, among the smallest of frogs.

These seem to be common locally and they probably were overlooked because of their small size.

They occur more terrestrially, in leaf litter.

However, the future of many of the new species may be bleak. All the newly described species are currently known only from single localities in the southern Western Ghats, and some lie outside protected areas.

Researchers found the Radcliffe's Night frog and the Kadalar Night Frog inside private or state-owned plantation areas facing threats such as habitat disturbance, modification and fragmentation.

The Athirappilly Night Frog was found in close vicinity to the Athirappilly waterfalls and the Sabarimala Night Frog near the Sabarimala pilgrimage centre, both of which are disturbed by anthropogenic activities.

"Over 32%, that is one-third of the Western Ghats frogs are already threatened with extinction.

Western Ghats: Know More

  • Elevation: 2,695 m
  • Area: 160,000 km²
  • Highest point: Anamudi
  • Passes: Tamhini Ghat, Naneghat, Palakkad Gap, Kasara ghat
  • Types of rock: Basalt, Limestone

10)   To promote a cashless economy, government is developing __________

a. Digital matrix to evaluate states for cashless economy
b. Online platform for regulating cashless payments
c. Mobile app for regulating online transactions
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Digital matrix to evaluate states for cashless economy

Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive Officer of the government's policy think-tank NITI Aayog, said on 21st Feb 2017 that the government is developing a digital matrix.

The matrix to evaluate states in the push for a less-cash economy.

States are playing a critical role in getting citizens to opt for digital payments.

Stating that the government was taking steps to promote digital payments and bring digital on par with cash, Kant said that the Budget had announced a number of incentives including cash back and referral bonuses.

Kant said the government was also pushing for an Aadhaar app and a reduction in the Merchant Discount Rate.

RBI had proposed to drastically cut MDR charges on debit card payments from April 1 with a view to maintain momentum of digital transactions post note ban, especially among small merchants.

Kant said the ultimate aim was to enable to market to take over and drive the digital payment movement in a big way.

Continuing the digital push, the Reserve Bank of India had on 20th Feb 2017 launched the BharatQR platform.

This is a platform where scanning a QR code through a mobile phone will allow a customer to transfer money from one source to another.