Current Affairs Questions & Answers - July 11, 2017

1)   Which state government has signed an MoU with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for a CoE in Transfusion Medicine?

a. West Bengal
b. Manipur
c. Odisha
d. Bihar
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: West Bengal

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Government of West Bengal to formalize its support to set up a state-of-the-art Centre of Excellence in Transfusion Medicine at Kolkata.

Government of India has approved this important initiative with an outlay of approximately INR 200 Crores towards equipment, manpower and running costs.

The land for this initiative will be provided free of cost by the State government.

The move intends to strengthen the blood transfusion services in the State and the surrounding region.

Metro Blood Bank Project is conceived to be a Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to set up state-of-the-art Centres of Excellence in transfusion medicine in the four metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.

These centres are high volume blood collection centres where there is state-of-the-art technology in transfusion medicine for component separation, processing of blood and quality systems.

Facilities for screening of collected blood by NAT would be made available at these centres and also extended to the other blood banks of the State.

Approval of Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare has been accorded for the first phase, wherein these facilities are to come up in Chennai and Kolkata.

National Blood Transfusion Council under National AIDS Control Organization will be the implementing division of the Ministry for this project.

The MoU for setting up the Metro Blood Bank in Chennai has already been signed on 14th June 2016.

Blood Donations in India: Know More

  • India collects near about 11 million blood units every year.
  • Nearly 71% of these blood donations are collected through voluntary non-remunerated donors.
  • A recently concluded assessment of licensed Blood Banks of India revealed that the average blood donation rate in India is 0.8, which is lower than many high income countries.
  • This is leading to a shortfall in quantum and access to safe blood in select hard-to-reach areas of the country.
  • Rational use of blood also needs to be ensured to enhance utilization, as one unit of blood can benefit more than one beneficiary through separation into red cells, plasma, platelets.

2)   When was the MALABAR series of exercises between India, US and Japan initiated?

a. 1994
b. 1993
c. 1992
d. 1991
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 1992

Naval co-operation between India, US and Japan epitomises the strong and resilient relationship between the three democracies.

The MALABAR series of exercises, initiated in 1992 between the Indian and US Navies, have steadily grown in scope, complexity and participation into a multifaceted exercise.

This is with the participation of Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF).

The 21st edition of the exercise, MALABAR-17 will be conducted in the Bay of Bengal from 10 to 17 July 2017.

The primary aim of this exercise is to increase interoperability amongst the three navies as well as develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations.

The scope of MALABAR-17 includes wide-ranging professional interactions during the Harbour Phase at Chennai from 10 to 13 July 2017.

It also includes diverse range of operational activities at sea during the Sea Phase from 14 to 17 July 17.

The thrust of exercises at sea this year would be on Aircraft Carrier operations, Air Defence, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Surface Warfare, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS), Search and Rescue, Joint Manoeuvres and Tactical procedures.

In addition, officials from the three countries will be flown onboard the ships at sea on 15 July 2017.

The Indian Navy will be represented by the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya with its air wing, guided missile destroyer Ranvir.

Also part of the line up are indigenous stealth frigates Shivalik and Sahyadri, indigenous ASW corvette Kamorta, missile corvettes Kora and Kirpan.

Included in the exercise will be one Sindhughosh class submarine, fleet tanker INS Jyoti and Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft P8I.

The US Navy will be represented by the ships from the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group and other units from the US 7th Fleet.The US Navy forces will include the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier Nimitz with its air wing, Ticonderoga-class cruiser Princeton, Arleigh Burke-class destroyers Kidd, Howard and Shoup along with integral helicopters.

Also included are a Los Angeles-class attack submarine and one Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft P8A.

The exercise will also witness a separate interaction between IN and USN Special Forces and Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams at the IN MARCOS training base INS Karna at Visakhapatnam.

The JMSDF will be represented by JS Izumo, a helicopter carrier with SH 60K helicopters and JS Sazanami, a missile destroyer with SH 60K integral helicopter.

MALABAR-17: Know More

  • MALABAR-17 will be another milestone with participation of 16 ships, two submarines and more than 95 aircraft.
  • It aims towards strengthening mutual confidence and inter-operability as well as sharing of best practices between the Indian, Japanese and US Navies.
  • The exercise is a demonstration of the joint commitment of all three nations to address common maritime challenges across the spectrum of operations.
  • It will go a long way in enhancing maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region, for the benefit of the global maritime community.

3)   Which former Indian US diplomat was also a Padma Vibhushan awardee?

a. Naresh Chandra
b. Jaishankar
c. Shiv shankar Menon
d. Shyam Saran
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Naresh Chandra

Former Indian Ambassador to U.S., and Padma Vibhushan awardee, Naresh Chandra (82) died at Manipal hospital at Dona Paula near Panaji on July 9th night due to multiple organ failure.

Mr. Chandra had been a diabetic and had suffered a cardiac arrest.

He used to be a frequent visitor to Goa.

While he was holidaying in Goa he took ill.

Mr. Chandra, a bachelor, had served as the Cabinet Secretary from 1990-92 and was the Indian Ambassador to the US from 1996 to 2001.

Naresh Chandra was conferred Padma Vibhushan in 2007.

4)   Where has the first edition of Wings 2017 Sab Uden Sab Juden Expanding Regional Connectivity hosted in July 2017?

a. Kochi
b. Mumbai
c. Bangalore
d. Delhi
Answer  Explanation 


The First edition of WINGS 2017 Sab Uden, Sab Juden”- Expanding Regional Connectivity was hosted in New Delhi by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The Plenary session was chaired by the Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Shri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju.

Around 338 delegates from Government and Civil Aviation sector participated in the first edition of WINGS-2017.

This event brought together the key stakeholders of the Aviation Sector such as States, Tourism Departments and Tour Operators as a Group representing airline consumers to facilitate interaction.

It sought discussion with various airlines, airport operators, cargo operators and other ecosystem players at a common forum.

The event saw participation from 28 States and Union Territories and out of this 19 states and Union Territory made presentation emphasizing the incentives or special packages to the airlines other than the support offered by Government of India under RCS- UDAN.

During the Wings-2017, Interactive sessions with Stakeholders of entire Ecosystem such as Tourism Departments, Tour Operators, Airport Operators, Cargo Operators, Aircraft Manufacturers, Engine Manufacturers and other players in the value chain was convened.

The States enthusiastically capitalized upon the unique platform provided by the ministry, wherein they had 112 one to one discussions (G2B meetings) with the Airlines operators in an attempt to showcase their destinations and routes as viable business market for the airlines.

The WINGS 2017 lived upon the expectations and served as a unique outcome oriented platform for the stakeholders of the entire ecosystem in the Civil Aviation sector.

Some notable outcomes expected from the forum are identification, marketing of new routes, destination and most importantly making flying accessible to the citizens across the country.

5)   UNESCO has added which of the following sites to its World Heritage List on July 9, 2017?

a. Volango Wharf Archaeological Site
b. Sunderbans
c. Rann of Kutch
d. Great Barrier Reef
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Volango Wharf Archaeological Site

The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO on 9 July 2017 added Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site in the World Heritage List.

The committee, during its meeting in Krakow, Poland, stated that Valongo is the most important physical trace of the arrival of African slaves on the American continent.

Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site is located in central Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and encompasses the whole of Jornal do Comercio Square.

The place where the site stands is the former harbour area of Rio de Janeiro where the old stone wharf was built for enslaved Africans who arrived in South America through Valongo from 1811 onwards.

An estimated 900000 Africans arrived at that time.

Valongo was the place where the slaves, often sick after the voyage, were taken to be quarantined, sorted and sold.

The site possesses several archaeological layers, the lowest of which consists of floor paving in pe de moleque style, attributed to the original Valongo Wharf.

The Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site received support from the International Scientific Committee of UNESCO’s 2013 Project for its inclusion in the World Heritage List as it reiterates the history of slavery and its legacy in the Americas.

Presently, the Valongo site is not on the water, but on inland after the expansion of the original city.

The remains of the African slaves were discovered by accident in 2011 during the urban renovation of the central area of the city of Rio de Janeiro.

After few archaeological diggings, it was found that the Valongo complex included the Wharf, a group of warehouses used for quarantining, displaying and selling the Africans.

6)   Who is Britain's first transgender man to give birth to a child?

a. Hyden Cross
b. Hyden Mitchell
c. Thomas Beattie
d. Hyden Beattie
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Hyden Cross

Britain’s first pregnant man has given birth to a baby girl!

Hyden Cross, 21, made headlines around the world earlier in 2017 when he announced that he was pregnant by a sperm donor.

Three years ago, Cross had legally become male through gender assignment.

He, however, put his transition on hold to have a child.

Reports suggest that his daughter, Trinity-Leigh, was born on 16 June 2017 by caesarian at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

With her birth, Cross became the first transgender man to give birth in the United Kingdom.

After the birth of the child, Cross plans to return to complete his gender realignment as soon as possible.

Under the gender reassignment, he will have to under the process of removal of his breasts and ovaries.

This reassignment will help him to transform himself into a man from a woman.

The first man to give birth was Thomas Beatie in the US in 2008.

Born a woman, he had a partial sex change but kept his womb and was able to conceive.

Earlier Cross applied to have his eggs frozen in the UK’s state-funded National Health Service (NHS) with a hope that he would be able to have children in future.

But after being refused, he was able to find an anonymous donor through a Facebook

7)   Union government has proposed a scheme to open what type of schools for SC girls in backward districts?

a. Residential
b. Evening
c. Night
d. Hostel
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Residential

Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot on 7 July 2017 said that the Union Government has proposed to introduce a scheme to open residential schools for scheduled caste girls in educationally backward districts.

Residential schools will have classes from VI to XII and 70 per cent of the seats will be reserved for SC girls and the remaining for those from BPL families in other categories.

Union Government is committed to ensuring the welfare of scheduled caste and tribes, OBCs and BPL families through the proper implementation of all centrally-sponsored social security and welfare scheme.

Also, the ministers and officials have been asked to prepare a report on the financial assistance being given under different schemes and by the national financial corporations within a month.

Rashtriya Vayoshree Yojana for senior citizens is also being implemented.

Benefits of these schemes would be given on the first-come-first-serve basis.

In addition to this, the minister also gave away cheques to entrepreneurs from the SCs and launched a website of Venture Capital Fund for SCs and a brochure on the subject.

Haryana: Know More

  • Haryana is a North Indian state surrounding New Delhi on 3 sides.
  • The Yamuna River runs along its eastern border with Uttar Pradesh.
  • Shared with Punjab, the state capital Chandigarh is known for its modernist buildings and gridlike street plan designed by Swiss architect, Le Corbusier.
  • The Zakir Hussain Rose Garden features 1,600 species
  • Rock Garden showcases sculptures made with recycled materials.
  • Capital: Chandigarh
  • Districts: 22
  • Population: 27.76 million (2016)
  • Chief minister: Manohar Lal Khattar

8)   Revamped NHB Residex was launched on which occasion?

a. NHB entering its 30th year
b. NHB celebrating its 25th year
c. NHB completing 29 years
d. Only a and c
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Only a and c

The revamped and expanded official online user friendly NHB RESIDEX that captures movements in the prices of residential real estate prices released revealed that prices during January-March, 2017 have increased over that of October-December, 2016.

This is in about half of the cities covered under the survey while the other half have either registered a decline or remained the same.

The new version of NHB RESIDEX was released on the occasion of the National Housing Bank entering its 30th year.

The price indices for the last quarter of last financial year i.e 2016-17 proved wrong the critics of demonetization who said that economy will take a hit.

He also said that the National Housing Bank also collected data on land prices which showed that a correction in land prices is taking place which again reflects the declining trend in transactions of unaccounted money.

NHB RESIDEX for January-March,2017 revealed that price indices for residential properties based on actual market prices for ongoing construction prices have increased over the previous quarter in 24 of the 47 cities covered in the Index.

This is including in Jaipur, Chennai, Lucknow, Guwahati, Howrah, Hyderabad, Bidhannagar etc.

In Delhi, Faridabad, Chandigarh, Patna and Nashik etc, prices have come down.

This component of RESIDEX, called Housing Price Index@Market Prices is based on actual market information.

The other component of RESIDEX called as HPI@Assessment Prices based on the information furnished by banks and other lending agencies showed that prices have increased in 27 of the 50 cities surveyed.

These include; Gurgaon, Mumbai, Vadodara, Raipur, Kanpur, Chandigarh, Bhubaneswar, Visakhapatnam and Coimbattore.

Prices, however, have declined in Ranchi, Gandhinagar, Surat, Ludhiana, Kolkata etc.

The RESIDEX has been computed for three categories of houses with carpet of below 60 sq.mtre, 61-110 sq.metre and 111 sq.metre and above.

RESIDEX: Know More

  • RESIDEX, the country’s first official housing price index (HPI) was launched in 2007 covering 26 cities.
  • It was published till March, 2015 on a quarterly basis.
    The revamped RESIDEX has been expanded to 50 cities spread over 18 States and UTs.
  • These include 38 smart cities, of which 18 are state capitals.
  • Base year for the new RESIDEX has been moved from 2007 to 2012-13 to capture the changing structure of the economy.
  • This is also for capturing the latest information to accurately reflect the current economic situation, as per the internationally accepted practices.
  • CMD of National Housing Bank informed that RESIDEX will soon cover 100 cities and also will be further widened to include Land Price Indices, Building Materials Price Indices and Housing Rental Index.
  • NHB RESIDEX helps buyers and sellers to check and compare prices before entering a transaction. They can also analyse the price trends across different cities both at composite level and product category level.
  • It helps lenders in credit evaluation.
  • It provides promoters with a standardized tool to assess the housing demand.
  • Government agencies can monitor trends in macro and micro markets and predict future behaviour of the housing market.

9)   A new tax payer service module was compiled by the IT dept called ____________.

a. Aaykar Setu
b. Aaykar Jyoti
c. Aaykar Yojana
d. Aaykar Rupee
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Aaykar Setu

The Finance Ministry launches a new tax payer service module ‘Aaykar Setu’ that compiles various tax tools, live chat facility, dynamic updates, and important links to various processes within the Income Tax Department in a single module.

This e-initiative would not only provide better taxpayer services but would also help in reducing the direct physical interface between assesses and tax assessing authorities.

To enhance mobile access experience, a mobile responsive android version was also released along with the desktop version.

This highlights the Government’s commitment towards continuously upgrading tax payer services.

This initiative will be minimizing the chances of any tax harassment.

The new step is an effort by the Income Tax Department (ITD) to directly communicate with the taxpayers, on a range of multiple informative and useful tax services aimed at providing tax information at their fingertips.

The module compiles various tax tools, live chat facility, dynamic updates, and important links to various processes within the Income Tax Department in a single module.

The tax payers will also be able to receive regular updates regarding important tax dates, forms and notifications on mobile numbers registered with the ITD.

All taxpayers who wish to receive such SMS alerts are advised to register their mobile numbers in the Aaykar Setu module.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) constantly endeavours to provide better taxpayer services and reduce taxpayer grievances.

New schemes and e-initiatives to educate the taxpayers and deliver tax payer services in an effective manner are key to this effort.

10)   Which Indian city is the first to make it to the UNESCO World Heritage List?

a. Kolkata
b. Delhi
c. Chennai
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: None of the above

UN cultural agency Unesco on 8th July 2017 declared the 600-year-old walled city of Ahmedabad as a world heritage city, the first Indian city to make it to the list.

The World Heritage Committee of Unesco met in Karlow, Poland on Saturday night where the decision was made.

This journey began in 2010 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi proffered the dossier of Ahmedabad to Unesco.

With this title, the Walled City of Ahmedabad has joined Paris, Vienna, Cairo, Brussels, Rome and Edinburgh.

Of the 287 world heritage cities across the globe, the only two cities in the Indian subcontinent which enjoy the status are Bhaktapur in Nepal and Galle in Sri Lanka.

The committee also added Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, to its list of World Heritage sites on Saturday. Earlier on Friday, it added Hebron-Al Khalil Old Town (Palestine) and W-Arly-Pendjari Complex (Benin, Burkina Faso) to the list.

It also added the site of Hebron-Al Khalil to the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger.

For over 600 years, Ahmedabad has stood for peace, as a landmark city where Mahatma Gandhi began India’s freedom struggle.

It has stood for unity with its elegant carvings in its Hindu and Jain temples as well as standing as one of the finest examples of Indo-Islamic architecture and Hindu Muslim art.

And beyond this, it epitomizes the United Nation’s objective of sustainable development as it accelerates in its development, chosen to be one of India’s first smart cities, while preserving its ancient heritage.

The nomination of Ahmedabad was supported by about 20 countries including Turkey, Lebanon, Tunisia, Portugal, Peru, Croatia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, South Korea, Croatia, Cuba and Poland.

Ahmedabad’s journey towards attaining a world heritage tag began in 1984 when the first study for conserving heritage structures was instituted by Ford Foundation.

In March 2011, Ahmedabad made it to Unesco’s tentative list of world heritage sites.

In January 2016, it was chosen over Delhi and Mumbai as India’s entry for the title.

Ahmedabad has about 25 ASI (Archaeological Survey of India)-protected structures, hundreds of ‘pols’(housing clusters in the walled city areas of Ahmedabad) that capture the essence of community living, and numerous sites associated with Gandhi, who lived here from 1915 to 1930.

This makes the walled city of Ahmedabad the first city in India and the third in Asia to be inscribed to the World Heritage List. In the past 3 years alone, India has managed to put five built heritage sites on the world heritage list of UNESCO.

India now has overall 36 World Heritage Inscriptions with 28 Cultural, 07 Natural and 01 Mixed site.

While India stands second largest in number after China in terms of number of world heritage properties in ASPAC (Asia and Pacific) region, it is overall seventh in the world.

Ahmedabad: Know More

  • Founded in 15th century, the walled city of Ahmadabad, on the eastern bank of the Sabarmati river, presents a rich architectural heritage.
  • Within this complex are 28 ASI Centrally Protected Monuments.
  • The urban structures of the historic city of Ahmedabad are distinctive due to their puras (neighbourhoods), pols (residential streets), and khadki (inner entrances to pols) largely made of timber.
  • The historic architecture reflects symbols and myths connected with its inhabitants.
  • The urban fabric is made up of densely-packed traditional houses (pols) in gated traditional streets (puras) with characteristic features such as bird feeders, public wells and religious institutions.
  • It is a unique example of multi-religious and multicultural coexistence.
  • The inscription has been done under Criteria (ii) and (v) as defined in the UNESCO's Operational Guidelines, 2016. Criterion (ii) refers to the important interchange of human values, over a span of time on development of architecture, monumental arts, town planning and landscape while Criterion (v) refers to being an outstanding example of human settlement and land use.
  • Thus, the acceptance of the proposal highlights historic city of Ahmedabad's exemplary settlement architecture and town planning.