Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Jan 30, 2017

1)   Who has been appointed Nalanda university's third chancellor?

a. Amartya Sen
b. George Yeo
c. Vijay Bhatkar
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Vijay Bhatkar

Nalanda University’s third chancellor will be Vijay Bhatkar, a well-known computer scientist.

He president of RSS-affiliated outfit Vijnana Bharati, which promotes ‘swadeshi’ science.

He was formerly chair of IIT Delhi’s board of governors.

The university’s newly-constituted governing board recommended Bhatkar’s name to the Visitor, President Pranab Mukherjee, who then approved the appointment on Friday, January 27.

Bhatkar’s appointment was confirmed after George Yeo, former Singapore foreign minister, resigned from the post in protest.

He said Indian government had not consulted him before making a series of decisions, including deciding:

  • Not to extend the term of the Nalanda Mentors Group-Governing Board,
  • Ending interim vice-chancellor Gopa Sabharwal’s extended term and
  • Determining the constitution of the new governing board.
Yeo had succeeded Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, after the latter withdrew himself from consideration for a second term, accusing the government of intervening in the university’s affairs.

Bhatkar led India’s supercomputing initiative by setting up the Center for Development of Advanced Computing in Pune in 1987, which is responsible for creating Param 8000 and Param 10000, India’s first supercomputers.

Bhatkar received a Padmashri in 2000 and a Padma Bhushan in 2015.

Niti Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya, ICCR president Lokesh Chandra and Arvind Sharma of McGill University are the new members of the board.

China and Thailand have re-nominated their members, while Laos and Australia are yet to confirm the names of their representatives.

N.K. Singh, former revenue secretary and Rajya Sabha member, was the only Indian nominee left out from the previous mentors’ group.

As per the statutes, the governing body has to recommend at least three names for appointment as vice-chancellor to the president.

About Nalanda University
  • Nalanda University in Rajgir, Bihar, is a cluster of multi-disciplinary schools.
  • Currently, the School of Historical Studies, School of Ecology and Environment Studies, and the School of Buddhist studies, Philosophy and Comparative Religion have admitted students.
  • Five more schools in linguistics, international relations, information science and technology, economics and management, and public health are also planned.
  • India had proposed the revival of Nalanda University at the East Asia Summit in 2007. This is showcasing the project to evoke India’s cultural linkages with the South East Asia and beyond.

2)   US President Donald Trump has appointed which Asian to the White House position on ethics?

a. Nicky Haley
b. Uttam Dhillon
c. Donald F McGahn
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Uttam Dhillon

US President Donald Trump has appointed Indian-American attorney Uttam Dhillon to a key White House position on ethics and compliance matters.

Dhillon served as Chief Oversight Counsel for the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee.

He has been appointed as Special Assistant to the President.

In this position, he would be part of the legal team to serve under White House Counsel Donald F McGahn with respect to compliance and ethics matters.

Prior to joining Financial Services, Dhillon served as chief of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement.

He previously worked as an Associate Deputy Attorney General for the Department of Justice.

He was also Chief Counsel for the House Select Committee on Homeland Security.

Previous posts include Policy Director for the US House of Representatives Policy Committee, and as an Assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles.

Dhillon graduated from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley in 1987.

3)   Scientist Keshav Krishna has been selected for which award?

a. National Geoscience Award 2016
b. National Science Award 2016
c. Abel Prize 2016
d. Padma Shri
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: National Geoscience Award 2016

A Keshav Krishna, a scientist at the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) has been selected for the National Geoscience Award for 2016.

The award given by the Union Ministry of Mines is in recognition of his work in the field of geo-environmental studies.

Krishna is presently involved in studies on:

  • Environmental risk assessment related heavy metal contamination in soil,
  • Sediments and water in industrial areas,
  • Abandoned mine sites and their interactions with the environmental pollutants.
Besides him, chief scientist at the NGRI N Purnachandra Rao was also selected for National Geoscience Award in the field of Geophysics.

The National Geoscience Awards was previously known as the National Mineral Awards.

It was was instituted by the Ministry of Mines in 1966, to honour individuals and teams of scientists for their extraordinary achievements in geosciences.

Dr. A. Keshav Krishna obtained B.Sc degree from Osmania University.

He also got an M.Sc degree from Andhra University and Ph.D from Osmania University.

Dr. Keshav is presently working as Scientist in Geochemistry research group and has 16 years of research experience in Environmental Geochemistry specialization.

His research work pertains to contributions in the field of Applied Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Applied Geochemistry, and Environmental Geochemistry in soil, water management and related environmental pollution and risk assessment studies.

4)   Which is the world's premier trade fair for the metal working sector?

a. EMO Hannover
b. Frankfurt fair
c. Belgium fair
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: EMO Hannover

EMO Hannover 2017 is the world’s premier trade fair for the metal working sector.

It will focus on attractive and high potential markets.

The fair is being held at Hannover, Germany from September 18 to 23, after a gap of four years.

Christoph Miller, is the Managing Director EMO Hannover, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Fair organisers include:

  • VDW, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • European Association of the Machine Tools Industries from Brussels, Belgium
  • Deutsche Messe AG, Germany.
India Day will be celebrated on September 20. It will feature reports exclusively from Indian experts.

Representatives from Indian user sectors will be addressing technical and commercial trends from the automotive and aviation industries,

India is the only BRIC nation to report significant growth in industrial production output and capital investment.

In the machine tool industry, the country ranks eighth among the world’s largest markets, with a volume of most recently €1.6 billion in 2015.

This corresponds to a growth rate of 7% when calculated in euros.

India also imports almost all of its machine tools, with deliveries in 2015 worth a total of around .€1.1 billion.

India’s economy is currently growing faster than other industrial countries.

The manufacturing sector contributes only 15% to the nation’s GDP and hence there is enormous potential for growth.

5)   Which is the third entity to receive a payments bank license?

a. India Post
b. Paytm
c. Airtel
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: India Post

India Post received the payments bank licence from the RBI to start rollout of banking operations commercially under the permit.

India Post has received the payments bank license and the service will be launched as per schedule.

This is the third entity to receive payments bank permit following Bharti Airtel and Paytm.

The new banking model allows mobile firms, supermarket chains and others to cater to banking requirements of individuals and small businesses.

This bank will confine its services to certain specified ones including:

  • DD
  • Remittances
  • Internet banking
In 2015, RBI has granted in-principle approval to 11 entities including the DoP. The license is for setting up payment banks and proposed to provide licenses on tap basis in the future.

Of the 8 companies currently in the race to set up the payments bank, Airtel has launched its commercial operation across India with an investment of INR 3,000 crore.

It is offering interest rate of 7.25 per cent on deposits, free money transfer from Airtel to Airtel numbers within Airtel Bank, money transfer to any bank account in the country.

Paytm, promoted by Vijay Shekhar Sharma and backed by Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba, plans to roll out payments bank worth about INR 400 crore.

Others in the fray are Aditya Birla Nuvo, Fino PayTech, National Securities Depository, Reliance Industries Ltd and Vodafone m-pesa.

The interim MD and CEO of the India Post Payment Bank is AP Singh, the JS in the Department of Disinvestment and a member of the founding team that launched Aadhaar.

India Post: Know More
  • Indian name:भारतीय डाक
  • Type: Agency of the Government of India
  • Industry: Postal services, courier
  • Founded: 1 April 1854
  • Headquarters: Sansad Marg, New Delhi
  • Secretary: B.V Sudhakar
  • Services: Letter post, parcel service, EMS, delivery, freight forwarding, third-party logistics, deposit account

6)   How many nations has Donald Trump banned refugees from?

a. 6
b. 7
c. 8
d. 9
Answer  Explanation 


Also Muslim majority nations, where the Trump Organisation is active and which in some cases have faced troublesome issues with terrorism, do not figure in the list.

Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen are targeted by U.S. President Donald Trump in his executive order on 27th Jan 2017.

These are the nations where he does not have any business interests.

The “extreme vetting” bars all entry by travellers from these countries for the next 90 days.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a liberal watchdog group has filed a lawsuit arguing that Mr. Trump is already in violation of a constitutional provision barring federal officials from accepting payments from foreign officials.

The high-risk territories are based on Congressional statute and nothing else, a White House spokesperson said.

Trump has retained ownership of the company, meaning if it thrives during his presidency, he will profit.

7)   Which French star was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2013 for Amour?

a. Emmanuelle Riva
b. Eva Green
c. Melanie Laurent
d. Audrey Tatou
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Emmanuelle Riva

French screen and theatre actress Emmanuelle Riva, nominated for an Academu Award for best actress in 2013, has died at age 89.

Riva died on 27th Jan 2017 in Paris after a long illness. Riva was Oscar nominated for her role in Amour.

With Riva, starring alongside movie legend Jean-Louis Trintignant, it won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film.

Amour also won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

About Emmanuelle Riva

  • Born: 24 February 1927, Cheniménil, France
  • Died: 27 January 2017, Paris, France
  • Nominations: Academy Award for Best Actress
  • Awards: César Award for Best Actress
  • Books: HIROSHIMA 1958

8)   What is the Doomsday clock?

a. A clock indicating when humanity will end.
b. A clock for how close humanity is to destroying the planet
c. A clock measuring climate change only
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: A clock for how close humanity is to destroying the planet

US President Donald Trump's stand on nuclear weapons and climate change has made the world less safer, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

The Doomsday Clock has consequently moved closer to midnight by 30 seconds. The clock is a metaphor for how close humanity has come to destroying the planet.

It was last changed in 2015 from 5 to 3 minutes before midnight.

It is now set at two and a half minutes to midnight following rise in strident nationalism across the world.

The factors that have influenced this, according to scientists comprising 15 Nobel laureates include strident nationalism, Trump's stand on nuclear arms and climate issues and a growing global insecurity.

On the nuclear issue, Trump also added that the US must build up its nuclear arsenal.

The last time the Doomsday clock was this closer was 63 years back in 1953 after the USSR exploded its first hydrogen bomb, creating the modern arms race.

The Doomsday Clock was created in 1947.

It has changed 19 times since then, ranging from two minutes to midnight in 1953 to 17 minutes before midnight in 1991.

9)   Scientists have combined pig and human stem cells in the first step towards growing ________________.

a. Heart organs
b. Liver organs
c. Lung organs
d. Transplantable organs
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Transplantable organs

Scientists have grown embryos containing a combination of pig and human stem cells, possibly leading to growing transplantable organs.

Research remains at an early stage, but this is the first critical step. The ultimate aim is the growth of functional and transplantable tissues or organs.

Scientists have implanted adult human stem cells. These are called intermediate induced pluripotent stem cells. These have been combined with pig embryos and permitted to grow for four weeks.

The embryos a human animal mixture known as chimera after the mythical Greek species was terminated before it could be born.

Researchers found that human cells began to form into muscle tissue in pg embryos.

Notion of creating human animal mixtures has raised ethical questions. It could lead to the creation of animals with human qualities and intelligence.

Work will lead to understanding the evolution, development and disease and lead to remedy for organ shortages.

10)   A programme to assess the status of Himalayan pheasants and finches is being carried out by _______.

a. Bombay Natural History Society
b. World Wildlife Fund
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Bombay Natural History Society

The Bombay Natural History Society has launched a climate change programme. Under this, a study has been funded by Oracle and CAF-India to assess the state of Central Himalayan birds.

The programme will assess the status as well distribution and conservation of pheasants and finches in Central Himalayas.

Himalayas hold a rich natural heritage with biodiversity. The study will focus on conservation with the aid of community participation.

The Indian subcontinent is home to 50 species of pheasants and 62 species of finches. Several species have been listed in Globally Threatened category by IUCN.

Both these groups are spread across the Himalayas. Shrinking habitats have been combined with many biotic factors, along with trapping and poaching pressures pushing the species to extinction.

Climate change can influence vertical and horizontal distribution of groups. This makes boundaries of protected areas fuzzy.

Species may adapt to survive but those sensitive to the temperature will suffer following climate change.

Long term monitoring project also assesses the socio-economic activities of local communities and involve them in the conservation effort. The aim is to sensitize the local forest department staff.

The aim is to understand the impact of climate change on biodiversity of the Himalayas.

To conserve biodiversity, local communities play a critical role and their involvement is critical for project success.

Project will contribute to make the inventory of pheasants and finches. Documentation of local specific conservation issues is essential.

Species specific conservation action plan will also be formulated.

BNHS: Know More

  • The Bombay Natural History Society, founded on 15 September 1883.
  • It is one of the largest NGOs in India engaged in conservation and biodiversity research.
  • It supports many research efforts through grants.
  • It also publishes the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society.
  • Many prominent naturalists, including the ornithologists Sálim Ali and S. Dillon Ripley, are part of BNHS.
  • BNHS is the partner of BirdLife International in India.
  • It has been designated as a 'Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation' by the Department of Science and Technology.