Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Jan 19, 2017

1)   Netherlands is hosting a festival of India at which cities in 2017?

a. Hague
b. Amsterdam
c. Rotterdam
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 


A Festival of India is being organized in the Netherlands from 26 January – 27 March 2017.

The Festival will showcase diverse Indian culture.

These include classical and folk dances, music, and exhibition on handmade ethnically sourced silk clothes and accessories.

The events will be held in the cities of The Hague, Amsterdam, Rotterdam/Maastricht, Utrecht, Eindhoven and Groningen.

During the Festival, the following events will be showcased:

  • 13-member Kathak Dance by Aditi Mangaldas Kathak Dance Group
  • 15-member Bhojpuri Folk Dance from North Zone Cultural Centre
  • 4-member Classical Instrumental Music Group of Subhash Ghosh
  • 3-member Exhibition-cum-Demonstration on Handmade ethnically sourced silk clothes and accessories by Dr. Sanjay Kumar, Director, Sewa Bharat
  • 10-member Bharatnatyam Dance by Dr Sanddhya V. Pureccha.

  • Netherlands: Know More

  • The Netherlands is a country in northwestern Europe.
  • Capital: Amsterdam
  • Currency: Euro
  • Official languages: Dutch, Papiamento, Frisian
  • Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
  • Monarch: Willem-Alexander
  • Prime Minister: Mark Rutte
  • Legislature States: General
  • Upper house: Senate
  • Lower house: House of Representatives
  • Kingdom established: 16 March 1815
  • Constituent country: 15 December 1954

2)   Which dedicated portal has been launched for SSA by MHRD?

a. ShaGun
b. AvGun
c. NirGun
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


Union HRD Ministry Slaunched a dedicated web portal ‘ShaGun’ for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

The portal was launched at New Delhi on 18th Jan 2017.

‘ShaGun’ tracks innovations and progress in Elementary Education sector of India.

Through continuous monitoring of the flagship scheme - Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), it also aims to improve quality of education.

ShaGun, which has been coined from the words ‘Shala’ meaning Schools and ‘Gunvatta’ meaning Quality, has been developed with a twin track approach:

Repository with an engaging interface, positive stories and developments in the field of School Education.

Online monitoring module to measure state-level performance and progress against key educational indicators.

SSA a CSS is providing universal access to education to children in the age group of 6-14 years of age.

SSA ShaGun web portal can be accessed at

3)   West Bengal fisheries department will give legal protection to which fish?

a. Rohu
b. Betki
c. Hilsa
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


West Bengal fisheries department has proposed to give legal protection to Hilsa Fish.

The aim is to arrest its dwindling population.

Fisheries department is speaking to the state home department to bring about provisions in CrpC and IPC.

With the formal introduction of the provisions, Hilsa will become the first fish variety in the country to get legal protection.

It will lead to arrest or fine anyone for selling, catching and buying small Hilsa.

Hilsa is commonly called “khoka ilish” in Bengal.

Hilsa fish is on brink of extinction due to decades of migration barriers, over-fishing and pollution.

Earlier as a protection measure, state government had declared five hilsa sanctuaries on the Hooghly river from Farakka to Sagar .

Covering a stretch of 250 km, here, fishing has been banned between June-August and October-December.

4)   UK unveiled the 12 point plan for implementing Brexit deal within how many years in phased manner?

a. 2
b. 3
c. 4
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


United Kingdom unveiled her 12-point plan to leave European Union.

This is for implementing Brexit deal within two years in phased manner.

The priorities include:

  • Control over immigration;
  • Securing the rights of EU citizens in Britain;
  • Committing to retain workers’ rights;
  • Building a strong trading relationship with EU and rest of the world;
  • Removing Britain from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice; and
  • Making Britain an attractive place for investors and students.
In June 2016 referendum, UK had voted to leave the EU (a single market and the customs union with the 28-nation economic bloc). The vote was by a margin of 51.9% to 48.1%.

5)   India has entered into a collaboration with which country for freight rail?

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


India will partner Japan for providing scheduled freight rail services between Delhi and Bengaluru.

Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has picked logistics firm Nippon Express.

It will collaborate with Indian Railways and Container Corporation of India for providing rail services.

The services will transport finished cars as well as general cargo.

The first train service will depart from Delhi for Bengaluru on January 20 and will make a return journey on January 24.

The transit time for the service is less than 70 hours on each side.

The train service would lead to additional freight volumes. It would also promote increased frequency on the route.

Presently, only one time-tabled freight train is running on the Delhi-Bengaluru route.

Nippon Express will be the first major foreign player running a time-tabled freight train for Indian railways.

Japan is also heading India’s high-speed bullet train project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Of an estimated ₹97,636 crore, 81% of the funding for the 508-km project will come in as a loan from Japan.

Further, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is providing assistance to the Indian Railways in the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and the Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor.

JICA signed an agreement with the Indian government to provide ₹6,100 crore in loans for the Dedicated Freight Corridor Project.

6)   Simplygon, a privately held Swedish company has been acquired by ___________

a. Microsoft
b. Oracle
c. Apple
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Microsoft

Developer of automatic 3D data-optimisation solutions, Simplygon has been acquired by Microsoft on 17th Jan 2017.

It was developed by Donya Labs AB, a privately-held company based in Sweden.

This acquisition accelerates Microsoft's 3D For Everyone vision and strategy. This vision was introduced with the Windows 10 Creators Update.

Simplygon is a leader in 3D game optimisation.

It is dedicated to helping creators and users of 3D data across industries optimise content pipelines and streamline workflows.

Simplygon's technology and talent will strengthen Microsoft's position in 3D creation.

It will also be making it easier to capture, create and share in 3D.

7)   What is the name of the BNHS AI online platform that identifies Indian bird species?

a. Internet of Birds
b. Encyclopedia of Birds
c. Webpedia of Birds
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Internet of Birds

Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has recently launched a one-of-its-kind , AI online platform that identifies Indian bird species.

NGO has collaborated with Bangalore based tech firm Accenture to create online database of 300 species of avifauna in the nation.

This cloud-based platform, titled Internet of Birds, requires any amateur bird watcher to just upload picture of the bird.

It runs an analysis on the picture, compares it to the species in the database and informs the person of the bird species.

It also has an image recognition and deep learning mechanism.

This helps in identifying key species of birds.

Biodiversity in India: Avifauna

  • India is a biodiversity hotspot.
  • It is home to almost 12.5% of the world's avifauna.
  • It is consisting of 1,300 species.
  • This platform can identify over 300 species but will eventually support all species found in India.
  • Birds are excellent indicators of their environment.

8)   Karang, a small lake island in Manipur reached which important milestone?

a. First cashless island
b. First ODF island
c. First island to have wireless technology
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: First cashless island

Karang, a small lake island in Manipur has become the first cashless island.

The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology under the Digital India programme declared this is the first cashless island in India.

The island has fulfilled the necessary criteria of the Centre.

Karang is located in the middle of Loktak, the largest freshwater lake in NE India.

Akodara was the first digital village in India in 2015.

9)   India became an associate member of CERN w.e.f __________

a. 17th Jan 2017
b. 16th Jan 2017
c. 15th Jan 2017
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 16th Jan 2017

India has become an associate member of CERN w.e.f 16th Jan 2017 with the Indian government completing internal approval procedures. This is based on agreement signed with CERN in Nov 2016.

On Nov 21, 2016, Sekhar Basu, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and DAE secretary signed the agreement. CERN DG Fabiola Gianotti was the other signatory.

As an associate member, India will have total access to all data generated in CERN. Prior to this, India could get data only from experiments it was participating in.

India can participate in all experiments now and choose which ones it wants to participate in.

Indian industry will also be entitled to bid for CERN contracts, which will allow it to work in areas of advanced technology.

“Make in India” will get a boost due to CERN. Indian scientists will become eligible for staff appointments.

It will enhance the participation of young scientists and engineers in operation and maintenance of various CERN projects.

India has to pay about INR 40 crore a year as an Associate member.

India has been actively involved in CERN’s scientific activities for over 50 years.

LHC accelerator and ALICE and CMS experiments, as well as to accelerator R&D projects are some projects where Indians scientists have participated.

In 1991, India and CERN signed a Cooperation Agreement.

It was setting priorities for scientific and technical cooperation.

India and CERN have signed several other protocols since then.

India’s involvement in CERN began in the 1960s with researchers from the TIFR participating in experiments at CERN.

In the 1990s scientists from Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore too got involved in CERN experiment.

India was granted Observer status to the CERN Council in 2002.

CERN: Know More

  • The CERN convention was signed in 1953.
  • It was signed by the 12 founding state.
  • Currently, CERN has 22 member states.
  • Besides India, Turkey, Pakistan, Ukraine are Associate members.
  • Serbia and Cyprus are associate members in the pre-stage to membership.

10)   Baidu has appointed whom as its COO and Group President on 17th Jan 2017?

a. Qi Lu
b. Wi Lu
c. Hi Lu
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


Baidu, leading Chinese ISP major announced the appointment of Dr. Qi Lu as the Baidu Group president and COO.

The appointment is with immediate effect. Lu is in charge of products, technology, sales and marketing operations.

Prior to this, he was Microsoft Global Executive Vice President. Lu hasalso led one of three Microsoft business units.

With leadership and management experience, Lu is a leading authority in the area of artificial intelligence.

Lu received bachelor and master degrees in computer science from Fudan University in Shanghai.

He holds a PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University.

He owns over 40 US patents and has authored many papers in his field.

Lu joined Yahoo! in 1998 and later became Senior Vice President in charge of search and advertising technologies.

He then became Executive Vice President in 2007.

In 2009 he joined Microsoft as President of its Online Services Group.

In 2013, Lu was appointed as Microsoft's Global Executive Vice President.

Baidu is a leading ISP provider in China.

Baidu: Know More

  • CEO: Robin Li (since Jan 2004)
  • Revenue: 66.38 billion CNY
  • Headquarters: Beijing, China
  • Founders: Robin Li, Eric Xu

11)   Who has been elected the new president of the European Parliament?

a. Martin Schulz
b. Gianni Pitella
c. Silvio Berlusconi
d. Antonio Tajani
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Antonio Tajani

Italian conservative and former spokesperson for Italy's Silvio Berlusconi, Antonio Tajani has been elected the new president.

63-year-old Tajani is a former EU commissioner as well.

He will head the European Parliament, taking over from Martin Schulz of Germany.

Tajani defeated fellow Italian Gianni Pitella for the post.

The European Parliament has the power to block/amend EU laws. It will have a final say on whether the Brexit deal will be approved with the UK.

Tajani secured 351 votes, Pitella, 282. The contest ran for its maximum 4 rounds.

European People's Party, under which Tajani fought, benefited from a coalition. The ALDE or parliament liberals were its ally, who hope to curb the influence of anti EU populists.

Pitella was a socialist.

ALDE leader Guy Verhofstadt withdrew his candidacy, paving the way for Tajani's victory.

EPP candidate Tajani dedicated his win to those who succumbed in Italy earthquake and the victims of terrorists.

The Centre-Right now controls three major EU institutions. These are the EU Commission, Council and Parliament.

EPP is the biggest group in the parliament followed by the Socialists & Democrats group fielding Pitella. ALDE liberals are the 4th largest group.

Meanwhile, Martin Schulz is leaving the EU parliament to return to national politics in Germany.

The successor to him will have to sign off the deal for Britain's exit from the EU by late 2018-early 2019.

Know More About the European Parliament

  • European Parliament (EP) is the directly elected parliamentary institution of EU.
  • President: Antonio Tajani, EPP, since 17 January 2017
  • Vice Presidents Number: 14
  • Leader of largest political group: Manfred Weber, EPP
  • Leader of 2nd largest political group: Gianni Pittella, S&D