Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Feb 24, 2017

1)   What does CBEC stand for?

a. Central Board of Excise and Clearance
b. Central Board of Excise and Customs
c. Central Board of Excise and Cash
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Central Board of Excise and Customs

In step with the Government’s Digital India initiative, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has launched a mobile application for Goods and Services Tax.

Taxpayers can readily access a host of GST information such as:

  • Migration to GST-Approach and guidelines for migration
  • Draft Law-Model GST Law, IGST Law and GST Compensation Law
  • Draft Rules-Rules related to Registration, Returns, Payment, Refund and Invoice
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on GST
  • Various resources on GST such a videos, articles etc.
  • Related Website Links
  • Helpdesk/Email Contact
The Mobile Application enables taxpayers to be well informed of the latest updates on GST.

Taxpayers can also provide feedback and contact CBEC’s 24x7 helpdesk “CBEC Mitra” through a toll-free number or email, at the flick of a button.

The mobile application can be downloaded free of cost on Android platforms. The iOS version will be made available shortly.

GST Mobile Application is a yet another initiative by CBEC towards improving ease of doing business and providing outstanding taxpayer services.

2)   What is Sampark?

a. Business Idea challenge
b. Industry academia interface event
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DONER), jointly with the Department of Business Administration, Tezpur University and North Eastern Finance Corporation Limited (NEDFi), is coming up with a Business Idea Challenge to encourage entrepreneurship.

This is in the North-East Region (NER).

The annual industry-academia interface event “Sampark”, which will see the DoNER Ministry’s involvement for the first time, brings the spirit of entrepreneurship in the region.

The event will take place on March 3, 2017 and will be the 17th edition in the series.

Pioneering Business Idea Challenge 2017 is being organized as a part of the event. The contest is open to any student of North Eastern Region, having a business idea.

Sampark 2017 will have different sessions to motivate the students to be addressed by established entrepreneurs, prominent start-ups.

A session on Act East Policy (One of India’s foreign policy effort to cultivate extensive economic and strategic relations with the nations of Southeast Asia) will also feature in the event.

There will be an exclusive interaction where the funding agencies represented by respective heads of the NER will clarify various queries of the prospective entrepreneurs and start-ups.

3)   Who has been appointed Chairman of the Cauvery Tribunal?

a. Justice Ghodke
b. Justice Sapre
c. Justice Shahane
d. Justice Bobde
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Justice Sapre

The Union Government has appointed Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre of the Supreme Court as Chairman of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

He was nominated by Chief Justice J.S. Khehar.

In December 2016, Union Cabinet had cleared a proposal to set up a single, permanent Water Disputes Tribunal to adjudicate all inter-state river water disputes subsuming existing tribunals.

It also had proposed to float some Benches to look into disputes to speed up water sharing disputes among States.

Cauvery Tribunal

  • The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) was constituted by the Government of India on 2nd June 1990.
  • It was to adjudicate the water dispute regarding inter-state river Cauvery and the river valley thereof. The Tribunal had also passed an Interim Order in June, 1991 and further Clarificatory Orders on the Interim Order in April, 1992 and December, 1995.
  • The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal has submitted its reports and decision under Section 5 (2) of Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 to Government on 5th February, 2007.
  • The party states and the Central Govt. have sought clarification and guidelines under Section 5(3) of the Act.
  • Matter was heard on 29.7.08 and the apex court passed the order that the matter maybe listed before a three Judge bench in Nov, 2008.

4)   Scientists from NASA have discovered microbes trapped inside crystals for how many years?

a. 60,000
b. 50,000
c. 40,000
d. 30,000
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 60,000

Scientists from NASA’s Astrobiology Institute have discovered living microorganisms (most of them bacteria) trapped inside crystals for as long as 60,000 years.

These were found in a Naica mine in Mexico.

These ancient microbes have evolved so they can survive on a diet of sulphite, manganese and copper oxide.

The discovery has caused concern for astrobiologists about bringing back samples collected on space missions in the solar system as dangerous extraterrestrial organisms could accidentally enter into Earth on a returning spaceship.

Besides there is also risk that Earth organisms could contaminate other planets in the course of missions.

Bacteria: Know More

  • Bacteria constitute a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms.
  • Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a number of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals.
  • Scientific name: Bacteria
  • Rank: Domain

5)   CERT-In has launched which PC and mobile security solution?

a. Cyber Forensic Kendra
b. Cyber Swachhta Kendra
c. Cyber Swachh Kendra
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Cyber Swachhta Kendra

At a time when cyber attacks are increasing, the government through its Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in) on 21st Feb 2017 launched Cyber Swachhta Kendra.

This a new desktop and mobile security solution for a secure cyber space in the country.

The new solution will notify, enable cleaning and secure systems of end-users to prevent further infections.

Around 13 banks and internet service providers using this facility.

Cyber Swachhta Kendra will also enhance awareness among citizens regarding botnet and malware infection along with measures to be taken to secure their devices.

National Cyber Coordination Centre will be operational by June 2017. The government also announced it would set up CERT-Ins at the state level as well.

The government will set up 10 more STQC (Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification) testing Facilities.

Testing fee for any start-up that comes up with a digital technology in the quest of cyber security will be reduced by 50 per cent.

Part of the solution, USB Pratirodh is a desktop security solution that controls the usage of removable storage media like pen drives, external hard drives and other USB-supported mass storage devices.

M-Kavach tool offers a comprehensive mobile device security solution for Android devices addressing threats related to mobile phones.

AppSamvid is a desktop solution which protects systems by allowing installation of genuine applications through white listing. This helps in preventing threats from malicious applications.

CERT-in: Know More

  • CERT-In (the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team) is a government-controlled information technology (IT) security organization.
  • The purpose of CERT-In is to respond to computer security incidents.
  • It also issues report on vulnerabilities and promote effective IT security practices throughout the country.
  • CERT-In was created by the Indian Department of Information Technology in 2004.
  • CERT organizations throughout the world are independent entities, although there may be coordinated activities among groups.
  • The first CERT group was formed in the United States at Carnegie Mellon University.

6)   Bharti Airtel will acquire the business of which company?

a. Telenor (India) Communications Private Limited
b. Telenor India
c. Vodafone
d. Both a and b
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both a and b

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel will acquire the business of Telenor India for an undisclosed sum in all seven circles where it holds spectrum.

Airtel on 23rd Feb 2017 said it had entered into a definitive agreement with Telenor South Asia Investments Pte Ltd to acquire Telenor (India) Communications Private Limited.

In a statement, Telenor said the transaction would not trigger any impairment.

As of fourth quarter 2016, the remaining value of tangible and intangible assets in Telenor India amounted to NOK 0.3 billion. '

The transaction is expected to close within 12 months.

Airtel is India’s largest wireless operator with over 269 million subscribers and a revenue market share of over 33 per cent.

As the new owner, Airtel will take over Telenor India’s spectrum, licences and operations, including its employees and customer base of 44 million.

As a part of the agreement, Airtel will acquire Telenor India’s running operations in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Assam.

It will also enable Airtel to further bolster its strong spectrum footprint in these seven circles, with the addition of 43.4 MHz spectrum in the 1,800 MHz band,” Airtel said.

Telenor India’s operations and services will continue as normal until the completion of the transaction.

The acquisition of additional spectrum through this transaction, which made an attractive business proposition, has further enhanced Airtel’s spectrum portfolio.

With effect from the first quarter of 2017, Telenor India will be treated as an asset held for sale and discontinued operations in Telenor Group’s financial reporting.

Telenor announced its entry into India in 2008. In 2016, Telenor India’s revenues were NOK 6.0 billion and the operating cash flow was NOK - 0.4 billion.

Telenor: Know More

  • CEO: Sigve Brekke (17 Aug 2015)
  • Headquarters: Fornebu, Bærum, Norway
  • Owner: Politics of Norway (54%)

7)   Scientists have discovered Earth like planets near a star called _________

a. Trappist-10
b. Trappist-1
c. Trappist-3
d. Trappist-4
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Trappist-1

For the first time, astronomers have discovered seven Earth-size planets orbiting a single nearby star - and these new worlds could hold life.

This cluster of planets is less than 40 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius, according to NASA and the Belgian-led research team who announced the discovery Wednesday.

The planets circle tightly around a dim dwarf star called Trappist-1, barely the size of Jupiter.

Three are in the so-called habitable zone, the area around a star where water and, possibly life, might exist.

Scientists said they need to study the atmospheres before determining whether these rocky, terrestrial planets could support some sort of life.

But it already shows just how many Earth-size planets could be out there - especially in a star ripe for extraterrestrial life.

The more planets like this, the greater the potential of finding one that's truly habitable. Until now, only two or three Earth-size planets had been spotted around a star.

The potential for more Earth-size planets in the Milky Way galaxy is mind-boggling.

The discovery gives us a hint that finding a second Earth is not just a matter of if, but when.

University of Liege's Michael Gillon and his team reported finding three planets around Trappist-1. Now the count is up to seven, and scientists said there could be more.

This crowded yet compact solar system - 235 trillion miles away - is reminiscent of Jupiter and its Galilean moons, according to the researchers.

Altogether, astronomers have confirmed close to 3,600 planets outside our solar system since the 1990s, but barely four dozen are in the potential habitable zone of their stars.

Of those, just 18 are approximately the size of Earth.

Both ground and space telescopes were used to identify and track the seven Trappist-1 planets, which they label simply by lowercase letters, "b" through "h."

As is typical in these cases, the letter "A" - in upper case - is reserved for the star.

Planets cast shadows on their star as they pass in front of it; that's how the scientists spotted them.

Tiny, cold stars like Trappist-1 were long shunned by exoplanet-hunters (exoplanets are those outside our solar system).

But the astronomers decided to seek them out, building a telescope in Chile to observe 60 of the closest ultracool dwarf stars.

Their Trappist telescope lent its name to this star.

While faint, the Trappist-1 star is close by cosmic standards, allowing astronomers to study the atmospheres of its seven temperate planets.

All seven look to be solid like Earth - mostly rocky and possibly icy, too.

They all appear to be tidally locked, which means the same side continually faces the star, just like the same side of our moon always faces us.

Life could still exist at these places, the researchers explained.

Chemical analyses should indicate life with perhaps 99 percent confidence.

8)   Alphabet Inc launched a new technology to track abusive comments called ________

a. Perspective
b. Attitude
c. Mindset
d. Approach
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Perspective

Alphabet Inc's Google and subsidiary Jigsaw launched on 23rd Feb 2017 a new technology to help news organisations and online platforms identify abusive comments on their websites.

The technology, called Perspective, will review comments and score them based on how similar they are to comments people said were toxic or likely to make them leave a conversation.

The tool has been tested on New York Times and the companies hope to extend it to other news organisations such as The Guardian and The Economist as well as websites.

Perspective examined hundreds of thousands of comments that had been labelled as offensive by human reviewers to learn how to spot potentially abusive language.

The company was open to rolling out the technology to all platforms, including larger ones such as Facebook and Twitter where trolling can be a major headache.

The technology could in the future be expanded to trying to identify personal attacks or off-topic comments too.

Perspective will not decide what to do with comments it finds are potentially abusive; rather publishers will be able to flag them to their moderators or develop tools to help commenters understand the impact of what they are writing.

The initiative against trolls follows efforts by Google and Facebook to combat fake news stories in France, Germany and the United States after they came under fire during the US presidential vote.

The debate surrounding fake news has led to calls from politicians for social networks to be held more liable for the content posted on their platforms.

Jigsaw: Know More

  • Formerly called: Google Ideas (2010–2015)
  • Type: Think tank
  • Founded: 2010
  • Founders: Eric Schmidt
  • Headquarters: New York City, United States
  • Jared Cohen (President)
  • Parent : Google (2010–2015)/Alphabet Inc. (2015–present)
  • Website:

9)   TATA Communications has launched which iOT platform?

d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


Tata Communications on 24th Feb 2017 announced its entry into the USD 4 billion mobile data connectivity and cross-border Internet of Things market.

This is by unveiling its MOVE platform that will enable people and things to become seamlessly connected on a global scale.

With more than 3 billion Internet users globally and billions more connected 'things' from activity trackers and smart home hubs to connected cars and street lights, one lives in a truly digital world.

Tata Communications MOVE platform will enable people and things to become seamlessly connected on a global scale.

The platform is underpinned by Tata Communications' global network partnerships with 900 mobile communications service providers globally, and recent investment in Teleena.

Teleena is an IoT connectivity specialist and mobile virtual network enabler, whose technology manages the operational complexity and reduces the cost of IoT deployments for businesses.

Tata Communications' investment has made it the single largest shareholder in Teleena with a 35 per cent stake.

TATA Communications: Know More

  • CEO: Vinod Anand Kumar (since Feb 2011)
  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • Revenue: 3.2 billion USD (2014)
  • CFO: Pratibha K Advani

10)   Goa's Bombay HC became the first to pay court fees through which mode?

a. Adhesive stamps
b. Impressed stamps
c. Online mode
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Online mode

The High Court of Bombay at Goa has introduced online payment of court fees through e-payment gateway.

This is in coordination with the Goa Government and National Informatics Centre (NIC), a senior official said.

The Goa Assembly had last year amended the Court Fees (Goa Amendment) Act, 2016 enabling e-payment of the court fees.

The High Court in a notice issued on its official website has said that e-payment of court fees would be available for it (the High Court of Bombay at Goa), District and Sessions Courts as well as all subordinate Courts in the coastal state.

Presently, all the court fees are paid by way of impressed and adhesive stamps.

This facility will be in addition to the existing system of payment of court fees.

The notice mentions that to avail this service and for making electronic payment of court fees, user must have internet banking account, debit/credit card of respective bank specified by payment gateway website.

Necessary user manual to make payment through electronic mode is available on the official website of High Court of Bombay at Goa.

High Court of Bombay: Know More

  • Established: 1862
  • Country: India
  • Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra (Principal Seat) Nagpur, Aurangabad & Panaji (circuit bench)
  • Composition method: Presidential with confirmation of Chief Justice of India and Governor of respective state.

11)   SHA-1 is a cryptographic technology which stands for _________

a. Secure Hash Algorithm-1
b. Social Hash Algorithm-1
c. Simple Hash Algorithm-1
d. Superior Hash Algorithm-1
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Secure Hash Algorithm-1

A collaboration between Google's research unit and a Dutch institute on Thursday cracked a widely used cryptographic technology SHA-1.

This technology that has been one of the key building blocks of internet security, is known as Secure Hash Algorithm 1 or currently used to verify the integrity of digital files and signatures that secure credit card transactions as well as Git open-source software repositories.

Researchers were able to demonstrate a "collision attack" using two different PDF files with the same SHA-1 fingerprint, but with different visible content.

Moving forward, it's more urgent than ever for security practitioners to migrate to safer cryptographic hashes such as SHA-256 and SHA-3.

SHA-1: Know More

  • In cryptography, SHA-1 (Secure Hash Algorithm 1) is a cryptographic hash function.
  • It is designed by the United States National Security Agency.
  • It is a U.S. Federal Information Processing Standard published by the United States NIST.
  • SHA-1 produces a 160-bit (20-byte) hash value known as a message digest.

12)   Rate of retreat has slowed down to what value for the Gangotri glacier?

a. 11 metres
b. 10 metres
c. 9 metres
d. 8 metres
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 11 metres

Rate of retreat of Gangotri glacier has slowed down to 11 metres since 2008 from the maximum of 35 metres recorded in 1974.

This is according to experts at the Almora-based GB Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable Development (GBPNIHESD) who conducted a study of the glacier located in Uttarkashi from 2008 till 2016.

While the slowing down of the rate of recession is good news, since it means that the glacier is not melting at a rate fast enough, scientists said that the worrying part is that the base of the 30-km long glacier is thinning.

As a result, it has become more fragile.

Gangotri is a gigantic glacier extending over a total area of 144 sq km. Because of its huge size, it takes longer to show any change with regard to climatic patterns.

But there are instances of indirect impact which have been caused due to the prevalence of small glaciers situated above Gangotri.

When temperatures rise, these glaciers melt fast due to their small size and the water generated from them flows down and seeps into the crevasses of the Gangotri glacier, causing them to melt from the bottom.

As the small glaciers are situated on the right side of the Gangotri glacier, it is the right side of the base that is most impacted.

Due to thinning of its shape, Gangotri glacier has become vulnerable to fragmentation which would ultimately lead to breakage and loss of water, happening and creating fissures.

Gangotri Glacier

  • Gangotri Glacier is located in Uttarkashi District, Uttarakhand, India.
  • This is in a region bordering China.
  • This glacier, one of the primary sources of the Ganges, is one of the largest in the Himalayas.
  • It has an estimated volume of over 27 cubic kilometres.

13)   Which economy will be the fastest growing among G-20 nations, as per Moodys?

a. Japan
b. UK
c. China
d. India
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


Moody has predicted India will be the fastest growing economy among G-20 countries clocking a 7.1 per cent growth in 2017.

The Indian economy had slowed in the fourth quarter of 2016 due to the withdrawal of 86 per cent of the currency in circulation, without an immediate replacement.

India is forecast to have the fastest growing economy among all G-20 countries with growth put at 7.1 per cent for 2017, down from a previous expectation of 7.5 per cent because of the effects of demonetisation.

With regard to global growth, Moody's said continuing cyclical recovery in global economic activity with growth in G-20 countries picking up modestly to 3 per cent in 2017 and 2018 from 2.6 per cent in 2016.

The potential shifts in US policy add uncertainty to this forecast.

There is unusually high uncertainty around our global forecasts due to the wide range of outcomes that could arise from significant shifts in US policy on a number of domestic and international issues, including trade and immigration.

The systemic risks to this forecast may stem from shifts in US trade policies, risks to global financial markets and emerging market economies if American interest rates were to rise faster than anticipated and/or the US dollar were to appreciate sharply.

Also there could be risks of a sudden and sharp deceleration in China and political and fragmentation risks in the EU and the euro area, Moody's indicated.

In the report titled 'Modest Acceleration in the Global Economy, but Shifting US Policies Inject Uncertainty', Moody's said there is a high risk of a significant protectionist shift in US trade policy and could inflict lasting damage to the global economy.

Regarding Asia, Moody's said China's economy stabilised around the official growth target of 6.7 per cent in 2016. It will likely continue to decelerate to 6.3 per cent and 6 per cent in 2017 and 2018.

Moody's expects that the US economy will get additional lift from a stimulative fiscal policy stance pushing growth above potential.

Accordingly, Moody's has revised its real GDP growth forecast to 2.4 per cent in 2017 and 2.5 per cent in 2018, from 2.2 per cent and 2.1 per cent, respectively.

Moody's forecast assumes the US Federal Reserve will raise the federal funds rate by 75-100 basis points in three to four rate hikes in 2017.

US Federal Reserve: Know More

  • Chairperson: Janet Yellen
  • Founder: United States Congress
  • Founded: 23 December 1913
  • Headquarters: Washington, D.C.
  • Central bank of: United States of America