Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Feb 26, 2016

1)   What department and a top consortium of UK research institutions signed an MoU to further development and partnership in the field of crop science?

a. Department of Biotechnology
b. Department of Agriculture
c. Department of Science
d. Department of Atomic Energy
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Department of Biotechnology

Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology and a group of top UK research institutions signed MOU for establishment of a joint India-UK collaboration programme in crop science. The aim of the agreement is to enhance collaborative research, promote knowledge exchange, and support capacity building to develop resilience in food security. All parties agreed on the importance of crop science as an area of enormous potential for scientific collaboration, and of great importance for global food security in India and beyond. Agreement checks on collaboration in fundamental science underpinning yield enhancement, disease resistance and drought resistance; research into crop re-breeding; and the translation of fundamental research into sustainable agriculture practice. It also contemplates the establishment of a joint Indo-UK Plant Science Centre in India.

2)   Union Cabinet has given approval for setting up of AIM and SETU in NITI Aayog. What does AIM and SETU stand for?

a. Atal Innovation Mission, Self Employment and Town Urbanisation
b. Atal Innovation Mission, Self Employment and Technology Utilisation
c. Atal Invention Mission, Self Employment and Talent Utilisation
d. Atal Innovation Mission, Self Employment and Talent Utilisation
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Atal Invention Mission, Self Employment and Talent Utilisation

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for establishment of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Self Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) in NITI Aayog. AIM will be guided by Mission High Level Committee and a Mission Director will be appointed with other manpower by NITI Aayog. Mission will be headquartered in New Delhi.

3)   Shri Pranab Mukherjee greeted the people of which state on their national day, February 25th?

a. Kuwait
b. Bahrain
c. Jeddah
d. Dubai
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Kuwait

President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has extended his greetings and felicitations to His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah Amir and people of the State of Kuwait on the eve of their National Day (February 25, 2016). India and Kuwait share friendly bilateral ties.

4)   Union Cabinet has approved several steps to promote cashless transactions. These are:

a. Mandatory card based or e-payments beyond prescribed threshold
b. Withdrawal of additional charge imposed on digital payment by various government entities
c. Rationalisation of Merchant Discount Rate on card transactions and telecom service charges for digital financial transactions.
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

These include mandatory card-based or electronic payments beyond a prescribed threshold and withdrawal of any additional charge currently imposed on card or digital payments by various government entities and the introduction of the required infrastructure for digital payments in all government offices. Cabinet also gave approval for rationalising of the merchant discount rate (MDR) on card transactions and telecom service charges for digital financial transactions to promote mobile banking.

5)   Union Cabinet approved the setting up of a Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation with which EU nation?

a. France
b. Germany
c. Italy
d. Spain
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: France

Union Cabinet was apprised of the signing of an agreement for Indo-French Joint Committee on Science & Technology Cooperation.India and France have signed the arrangement for establishment of this apex level Joint Committee on 25th January 2016 in New Delhi. As per the agreement, the Joint Committee will define and prioritise Indo French cooperation in science, technology and innovation for economic and social development. Joint Committee will be co-chaired by MST and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development or official of Secretary rank from India and DG from France. Enhanced technical and scientific cooperation between the two nations has intensified as a result of this.

6)   Union Cabinet has given approval for DTAA agreement from international air transport with which neighbouring country?

a. Pakistan
b. Afghanistan
c. Maldives
d. Mauritius
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Maldives

Union Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi has approved the forging of an agreement between India and Maldives for avoiding DTAA from international air transport. Agreement provides relief from double taxation for airline enterprises of India and Maldives through exemption of income from the enterprise of India resulting from operation of aircraft in international traffic from tax form Maldives and vice versa. Agreement also provided for Mutual Agreement Prcoedure for resolving difficulties in interpretation or agreement application.

7)   Which Sections of the Atomic Energy Act have been amended in the recent winter session of parliament in 2015?

a. 2,13
b. 2,14
c. 2,15
d. 2,16
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 2,14

Sections 2 and 14 of the Atomic Energy Act were amended as per the passage of the Atomic Energy (Amendment) Bill, 2015, which would enable Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) to form joint venture companies with other Indian PSUs to meet the additional funding requirements for further expansion of our nuclear power programme, while simultaneously exercising Government control over such joint venture companies. Security of nuclear power plants is guarded by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board through multi-tier reviews, apart from periodic regulatory inspections, to ensure adherence to these requirements.

8)   Space Cooperation between India and which group of nations has been formed for setting up a satellite tracking and data reception entire and data processing facility in Vietnam?

Answer  Explanation 


As part of space cooperation between the nation and ASEAN or Association of South East Asian Nations, ISRO is working towards setting up of Satellite Tracking and Data Reception Station and Data Processing Facility in Vietnam for ASEAN member countries. Under this initiative, all ASEAN member countries, including Vietnam will be allowed to access processed remote sensing data pertaining to their country.

9)   NFAI, a media unit under Ministry of I&B in association with International Federation of Film Archives and Film Heritage Foundation has organised a workshop in Pune on film preservation and restoration. Where is NFAI located?

a. Pune
b. Hyderabad
c. Bengaluru
d. Mumbai
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


National Film Archives of India under the I&B Ministry in association with International Federation of Film Archives and Film Heritage Foundation has organised a unique first of its kind initiative , a 10 day international workshop on film preservation and restoration at Pune’s NFAI campus, commencing from 26th February. 48 participants have enrolled for this workshop which will examine theory and practice on numerous techniques related to film conservation, digitization, restoration and film archiving. This is in furtherance of the National Film Heritage Mission.

10)   Under National Urban Livelihood Mission, MP and TN are providing shelters for urban homeless to the maximum. What has NULM been renamed as recently?

a. Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-NULM’
b. Deendayal PratiyodayaYojana-NULM’
c. Deendayal AtiyodayaYojana-NULM’
d. Deendayal AbhiyodayaYojana-NULM’
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-NULM’

Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal leading in the task of providing shelters for urban homeless under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana ‘National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM)’ while Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Mizoram are leading for functional shelters according to Minister of State for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation/HUPA. Under Shelters for Urban Homeless of this scheme, 75% of cost of construction of new shelters and restoration of old shelters was provided as central assistance by HUPA Ministry.
Of the 270 shelters for urban homeless in 9 States, Madhya Pradesh leads with 100 followed by West Bengal-37, Tamil Nadu-33, Mizoram-33, Telanagana-24, Andhra Pradesh-23, Maharashtra-14 and 3 each in Karnataka and Rajasthan.

11)   India will begin its first ever major multinational exercise at Pune with 18 ASEAN Plus nations. What is the name of this exercise?

a. War18
b. Force18
c. Peace18
d. Battle18
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Force18

This exercise will be held in Pune with 18 ASEAN Plus members including South Korea, Japan, Russia, China and the US, This is in line with the Act East Policy to learn and share best practices of other armies in the world and display commitment for peace in the region. The theme of Force18, which will be held from March 2nd to 8th, is humanitarian mine action and peacekeeping operations. Foreign trainers will be participating in this exercise too.

12)   A new regional consultative mechanism has been proposed for challenges facing Afghanistan. What is it called?

a. 6+1
b. 5+1
c. 4+1
d. 3+1
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


India has received the invitation to be part of a new regional consultative mechanism to weigh in on the critical challenges facing the war-torn nation. The 6+1 group will include India, Pakistan, Iran, Russia, the US and China in along Afghanistan. This mirrors the special envoys club, International Contact Group. While Iran is willing, US and Pakistan are currently reluctant.

13)   e-Tourist Visa Scheme has been extended to how many more nations starting 26th February 2016?

a. 37
b. 47
c. 57
d. 67
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


This will take the number of beneficiary countries to 150. Nations added in the latest round include Albania, Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Comoros, Cote D'Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Iceland, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Moldova, Namibia, Romania, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Swaziland, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Trinidad & Tobago, Zambia and Zimbabwe. e-Tourist visa scheme was launched in 2014.

14)   Annual Conference of State Minorities Commission which commenced on 24th February 2016 has which theme(s)?

a. “Sabka Saath,Sabka Vikas”
b. “Minority Welfare Schemes of Government of India-An Overview”
c. “Functioning of State Minorities Commissions-Problems and Challenges
d. Both b and c
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both b and c

One day Annual Conference of the State Minorities Commission commenced with the focus on inclusive growth with the motto “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas.” The one day Conference focusing on Development of Minorities had two Technical sessions besides the inaugural. Valedictory. Mr. Praveen Davar addressed the Technical I session on “Minority Welfare Schemes of Government of India-An Overview”. Technical II session on “Functioning of State Minorities Commissions-Problems and Challenges” was addressed by Ms. Mabel Rebello. Last year, the themes of the conference were “Capacity building of Minority Educational Institutions in India” and “Corporate Social Responsibility and Development of Minorities in India”.

15)   Which are the plants that can harness water from thin air?

a. Cactus
b. Pitcher Plant
c. Geraniums
d. Both a and b
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and b

Harvard scientists have designed a new material akin to organisms such as cacti, pitcher plants and desert beetles which harvest water from thin air. This is the first step towards developing a system that can collect water and guide it to reservoirs. While the Namib beetle collects water droplets on the bumps of its shell, the V shaped cactus spines move droplets into the body of the plant. Complex bioinspired approach involves the use of these natural systems and SLIPS/Slipper Liquid Infused Porous Surfaces Technology to collect and direct flow of water droplets that are condensed.

16)   What are brain tumours known as?

a. Sarcoma
b. Gliobastoma
c. Angioblastoma
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Gliobastoma

In what is the first step of its kind, researchers have developed a method to turn skin calls into cancer hunting stem cells which can destroy glioblastoma/brain tumour. Survival rate beyond two years for a patient with glioblastoma is 30 percent because it is so difficult to treat. The new technique is based upon the most recent version of the Nobel Prize-winning technology from 2007, which allowed researchers to turn skin cells into embryonic-like stem cells. Researchers reprogrammed skin cells known as fibroblasts producing collagen and connective tissue become induced neural stem cells. Next steps will be using this finding to focus on human stem cells and test effective anti cancer drugs that can be loaded into tumour seeking neural stem cells.

17)   What ensures that a wet penguin in a bone chilling air has feathers free of ice and sleek?

a. Microstructure of the penguin’s wings
b. Microstructure of the penguin’s feathers
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Microstructure of the penguin’s feathers

A wet penguin in bone chilling air will ensure its feathers stay sleek and free of ice due to the unique microstructure of the feathers. Based on their findings, the scientists replicated the architecture in a nano fibre membrane that could be developed into an ice-proof material. Researchers examined Humboldt penguins from Peru to Chile using a scanning electron microscope. Feathers were found to be composed of barbs, wrinkled barbules and interlocking hooks. Hierarchical system with grooved structures is anti adhesive in addition to being hydrophobic. Scientists have discovered an ice phobic polyamide fibre menarche that could be used in electrical insulation applications.

18)   Moon will hide star Aldebaran in a astronomical phenomenon called________.

a. Lunar eclipse
b. Occultation
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Occultation

Moon will hide star Aldebaran or Rohini Nakshtra in March in a phenomenon known as occultation. While it is similar to an eclipse, only 37% of the moon will be illuminated through this phenomenon slated to take place on March 14. Aldebaran is in a cluster of stars nameless Hyades cluster and one may be able to see the darker side of the moon depending on local conditions. The darker side if the moon is that side which is not illuminated by sunlight, but rather by sunlight reflected by the earth.

19)   Parliamentary panel led by which person raised import duty on aluminium in a move to protect domestic firms?

a. Rajiv Kumar
b. Ajay Kumar
c. Shanta Kumar
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Shanta Kumar

The Committee on Public Enterprises under the chairmanship of Shanta Kumar has raised import duty on aluminium to protect domestic firms and also rapped state run aluminium companies for failing to attain capacity utilisation programs. Serious concerns that import duties on aluminium and scrap have adverse effect on PSU profits have prompted this recommendation. According to the Mines Secretary out of total aluminium consumption in the country, 55 percent is met from aluminium scrap and 45 percent through aluminium, on which the import duties are 2.5 percent and 5 per cent respectively, resulting in cheap imports from countries such as China.

20)   Government has constituted Committee for Evolution of New Education Policy. Who is heading it?

a. TSR Subramaniam
b. Shailaja Chandra
c. Sevaram Sharma
d. Sudhir Mankad
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: TSR Subramaniam

The Government of India has formed a Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy’. The Committee consists of Shri T.S.R. Subramanian, Former Cabinet Secretary as the Chairman and Smt. Shailaja Chandra, former Chief Secretary, NCT of Delhi, Shri Sevaram Sharma, former Home Secretary, NCT of Delhi, Shri Sudhir Mankad, former Chief Secretary, Gujarat & Prof. J.S. Rajput, former Director, NCERT as members. Committee is set to draft a National Education Policy and Framework for Action.

21)   GoI has proposed to launch RIS on lines of Air Traffic Control. What does RIS stand for?

a. Rail Information System
b. Riverine Information System
c. River Information System
d. Rail Informational System
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: River Information System

GoI has proposed to launch a River Information System akin to ATC which will combine tracking and meteorological equipment with specialised software to increase traffic and transport processes within inland navigation apart from swift e-data exchange between mobile vessels and shore base stations through real time exchange of data. Navigational aids are also provided to guide the vessel during navigation and Inland Waterways Authority of India has been taken up on National Waterway 1 on River Ganga in 3 phases. Vessels plying on National waterways will be made compatible with RIS.

22)   Which Group chairman has stepped down from the board of the company on 25th February 2015?

a. Ratan Tata
b. Vijay Mallya
c. Adi Godrej
d. Shiv Nader
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Vijay Mallya

UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya has stepped down as non executive chairman of United Spirits Limited controlled by Diageo Plc after a deal in which the firm agreed to drop all charges of alleged irregularities under his watch, and pay him $75 million over five years in return for getting him to go. Now, Mahendra Kumar Sharma will be made the chairman of United Spirits. Sharma is currently independent non executive director and chairman of the audit committee of United Spirits.

23)   IPCL has entered into an agreement with which company to acquire shares of MEPL?

d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


India Power Corporation Limited has entered into an agreement with ENGIE of France to acquire shares of MEPL or Meenakshi Energy Private Limited. MEPL is a coal fired thermal power company located in AP’s Nellore district. IPCL indicated ENGIE used to hold 90% stake in the company which will be purchased in entirety by IPCL.

24)   Research has identified which form of cancer as a set of 4 diseases each with differing genetic triggers and survival rates?

a. Lung cancer
b. Blood cancer
c. Throat cancer
d. Pancreatic cancer
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Pancreatic cancer

Recent research has found that pancreatic cancer is not one, but 4 diseases watch with differing survival rates and genetic triggers leading the way for more accurate diagnosis and treatment of the same. University of Melbourne researchers have also found 10 genetic pathways at the core of transforming normal pancreatic tissue into cancerous tumours. Some of these processes are related to bladder and lung cancers, opening up the possibility of using treatments for these cancers to also treat pancreatic cancer. 32 genes have been identified from 10 genetic pathways mutated in pancreatic tumours, but further analyses showed 4 distinct types suggesting four different kinds of disease with differing treatments.

25)   Which country has the third highest child mortality rate among SAARC nations?

a. Pakistan
b. Nepal
c. Bangladesh
d. India
Answer  Explanation 


According to World Bank data, India has the third highest child mortality rate among SAARC nations with 48 deaths reported per 100 live births and according to the data, country’s under 5 mortality rate is 48 per 100 live births. Pakistan (81) and Afghanistan (91) are higher still. According to ORGI, the U5MR, estimated as number of child deaths per 1000 live births, was 85, 77, 59, 55, 52 and 49 in 2000, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively.