Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Mar 01, 2017

1)   Scientists have discovered the second largest Mayan jade pendant in which region?

a. Nim Li Punit, Southern Belize
b. Nim Li Punit, Southern Botswana
c. Nim Li Punit, Southern Bosnia
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Nim Li Punit, Southern Belize

A group of scientists unearthed a large piece of carved mayan jade pendant inscribed with a historical text describing its first owner.

The pendant once belonged to an ancient Maya king.

The T-shaped pendant is remarkable for being the second largest Mayan jade found in Belize to date.

The mayan jade pendant measures 7.4 inches in width, 4.1 inches in height and 0.3 inches in thickness.

The pendant is the only one known to be inscribed with a historical text. On the back of the pendant, 30 hieroglyphs about its first owner are carved.

The front of the pendant is carved with a T. It is the Mayan glyph “ik” which stands for “wind and breath.”The pendant was buried in a T-shaped platform.

A vessel with a beaked face, probably a Maya god of wind, was also unearthed with the pendant. Researchers estimated that the pendant was buried as a dedication to the wind god.

Mayan Civilization: Know More

  • The Maya civilization was a Mesoamerican civilization developed by the Maya people.
  • The civilization is noted for its hieroglyphic script, which is the only discovered fully developed writing system of the pre-Columbian Americas.
  • The civilization is also noted for its art, architecture, mathematics, calendar and astronomical system. The Maya civilization grew in an area that covers southeastern Mexico, all of Guatemala and Belize, and the western portions of Honduras and El Salvador.
  • The Preclassic period (2000 BC to 250 AD) saw the beginning of the first complex societies in the Maya region.
  • The first Maya cities developed around 750 BC. These cities possessed extensive architecture by 500 BC.

2)   Stanford scientists have developed FSP/Fault Slip Potential to calculate?

a. Possibility to trigger man made earthquakes from activities in oil and gas production
b. Measure pore pressure or pressure of groundwater trapped in tiny spaces
c. Measure pre-existing faults in the area
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

Stanford scientists have developed a new software tool. This will enable energy companies to calculate the possibility of triggering manmade earthquakes from activities associated with oil and gas production.

Oil and gas operations can generate significant quantities of produced water–brackish water that needs to be disposed of through deep injection to protect drinking water.

Energy companies also dispose of water that flows back after hydraulic fracturing in the same way.

This process can increase pore pressure–the pressure of groundwater trapped within the tiny spaces inside rocks in the subsurface.

This, in turn, increases the pressure on nearby faults, causing them to slip and release seismic energy in the form of earthquakes.

Identifying which faults are likely to be problematic, the newly developed Fault Slip Potential (FSP) tool uses three key pieces of information to help determine the probability of a fault being pushed to slip.

The first is how much wastewater injection will increase pore pressure at a site. The second is knowledge of the stresses acting in the earth.

This information is obtained from monitoring earthquakes or already drilled wells in the area. The final piece of information is knowledge of pre-existing faults in the area.

Such information typically comes from data collected by oil and gas companies as they explore for new resources.

Researchers have started testing their FSP tool in Oklahoma, which has experienced a sharp rise in the number of earthquakes since 2009, due largely to wastewater injection operations.

3)   Who has been appointed VP and Head of Marketing at ShopClues?

a. Harneet Singh
b. Harmeet Singh
c. Harpreet Singh
d. Harminder Singh
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Harneet Singh

Online marketplace ShopClues on 28th Feb 2017 said it appointed Harneet Singh as Vice President and Head Marketing.

Singh will oversee marketing strategy and brand building across channels covering online, offline, mobile, digital and strategic alliance partnerships.

Singh joins Shopclues from Zopper, a hyperlocal marketplace for electronics, where he was working as the Chief Business Officer.

ShopClues: Know More

- Founded: July 2011

- CEO: Sanjay Sethi (since Oct 2013)

- Founders: Radhika Aggarwal, Sandeep Aggarwal, Sanjay Sethi

4)   Which actor became the honorary ambassador of SightSavers?

a. Kabir Bedi
b. Pooja Bedi
c. Nasseruddin Shah
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Kabir Bedi

Noted film actor Kabir Bedi was today appointed as the honourary brand ambassador of Sightsavers, a global organisation working to prevent avoidable blindness.

Six blind girls from Madhya Pradesh, who had participated and won medals in the 5th National Blind and Deaf Judo Competition held in Gurgaon in January, were felicitated by Kabir Bedi and SY Quraishi, honourary chairman of the India unit of the organisation.

Quraishi is also the former Chief Election Commissioner of India.

Quraishi said problems of sight needed to be taken care of at school level as 80 per cent blindness in the country is avoidable if proper intervention is made.

He hoped the actor's association would help the organisation towards a focused journey with amplified impact in the coming days.

CEO of Sightsavers India RN Mohanty said the organisation would continuously strive to reach out to more people and benefit them.

SightSavers: Know More

  • Sightsavers is a global non-governmental organisation that works with partners in developing countries to treat and prevent avoidable blindness.
  • It also promote equality for people with visual impairments and other disabilities.
  • It is located in Haywards Heath in the United Kingdom, with branches in Sweden, Norway, India, Italy, Republic of Ireland, the United Arab Emirates, and the USA.
  • The charity was formed in 1950 by Sir John Wilson and was originally called the British Empire Society for the Blind.
  • It was then the Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind.
  • Its patron is HRH Princess Alexandra.

5)   WHO has published the first list of priority pathogens with how many bacteria?

a. 12 families
b. 13 families
c. 14 families
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 12 families

WHO on 28th Feb 2017 published its first ever list of antibiotic-resistant "priority pathogens" - a catalogue of 12 families of bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health.

The list was drawn up in a bid to guide and promote research and development (R&D) of new antibiotics.

This is as part of WHO’s efforts to address growing global resistance to antimicrobial medicines.

The list highlights in particular the threat of gram-negative bacteria that are resistant to multiple antibiotics.

These bacteria have built-in abilities to find new ways to resist treatment and can pass along genetic material that allows other bacteria to become drug-resistant as well.

The WHO list is divided into three categories according to the urgency of need for new antibiotics: critical, high and medium priority.

Priority 1:CRITICAL
Acinetobacter baumannii, carbapenem-resistant
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, carbapenem-resistant
Enterobacteriaceae, carbapenem-resistant, ESBL-producing
Priority 2:HIGH
Enterococcus faecium, vancomycin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant, vancomycin-intermediate and resistant
Helicobacter pylori, clarithromycin-resistant
Campylobacter spp., fluoroquinolone-resistant
Salmonellae, fluoroquinolone-resistant
Neisseria gonorrhoeae, cephalosporin-resistant, fluoroquinolone-resistant
Priority 3:MEDIUM
Haemophilus influenzae, ampicillin-resistant
Streptococcus pneumoniae, penicillin-non-susceptible
Shigella spp., fluoroquinolone-resistant

6)   On how many parameters would the liveability index rank Indian cities?

a. 70
b. 72
c. 74
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: None of the above

India is all set to introduce its own liveability index. Beginning with 100 smart cities, the liveability index would rank all Indian cities on 77 parameters including how they fare.

This is in terms of grievance redressal of citizens, pollution, availability of water and power, online citizen services, upkeep of historical buildings, increase in tourist footfalls, crime rate, extent of crimes recorded against women, children and elderly, availability of traffic surveillance system and education.

The liveability index, which would be unveiled at an urban development ministry workshop on Feb 28, 2017 would chart a city's progress against various standards under four categories - institutional, social, economic and physical.

These would in turn be divided into 15 sub-categories of standards and take the form of 15 category indexes, which will together contribute to a common City Liveability Index.

These indices will be used to create a ranking framework for all cities, facilitating a competitive environment amongst cities to improve their liveability.

A scientific formula has been developed giving percentage weightage to the four categories of reforms.

Maximum weightage (40%) would be given to physical infrastructure, which would include water, energy, waste water, solid waste, housing, open space, mobility and pollution indices.

This would be followed by governance index (30%). Social index (20%) would include health index, education, identity and culture index and security index.

Economic index (10%) would include unemployment rate, annual increase in number of registered offices and commercial establishments and other indices reflecting the health of city economy.

7)   SEBI announced plans to tighten regulations for which type of trading?

a. Spot trading
b. Investor trading
c. Algorithmic trading
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Algorithmic trading

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) plans to further tighten the regulations for algorithmic trading.

This aims to minimise instances of misuse of such systems that can be used to execute complex trading strategies at a very high speed.

SEBI chairman U.K. Sinha said that while India was one of the few countries in the world to regulate algorithmic trading - popularly called algo trading - the market regulator is looking to further strengthen the norms.

The aim is for instances of flash crashes that have happened overseas, and also in India a few times, could be minimised.

Algorithmic trading refers to the use of software programmes to execute trading strategies at a much faster pace.

On the National Stock Exchange (NSE), algo trades accounted for close to 16% of all trades.

On the BSE, it was 8.56% in January.

The SEBI chairman also said that while many countries and regulators, including the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), have been debating on this issue for many years, only India had been able to come out with proper regulations.

SEBI: Know More

  • Formed : 12 April 1992
  • Agency executive : Ajay Tyagi, Chairman
  • Headquarters : Mumbai, Maharashtra

8)   TATA Sons has announced an agreement with which former JV partner in TATA Teleservices?

a. NTT DoCoMo
b. RTT DoCoMo
c. NTTMoDoCo
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


Tata Sons has formally announced that it has reached an agreement with NTT DoCoMo of Japan.

This was its joint venture partner in Tata Teleservices Ltd., for an out-of-court settlement of their dispute.

As per the announcement, TATA Group and NTT DoCoMo have embarked on a joint approach to enable enforcement of the June 22, 2016, London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) award.

The two had jointly applied to the Delhi High Court, requesting that it accept their agreed terms of settlement, subject to such further orders as the court sees fit.

The settlement terms, if approved by the Delhi High Court, would clear the way for the US$1.18 billion already deposited by Tata Sons with the Delhi High Court to be paid to NTT DoCoMo.

It would also allow DoCoMo to transfer its shares to Tata Teleservices Limited.

In 2009, DoCoMo acquired 26.5 % stake in Tata Teleservices.

The two also agreed on a clause at that time that allowed the Japanese firm to exit the venture at a pre-determined minimum price.

The Reserve Bank of India, however, felt that such an exit could happen only at fair market value in tune with an amended rule in 2013. Since then, the dispute between the two has become a legal war.

The DoCoMo dispute is the centre of the TATA Sons dispute with Cyrus Mistry.

9)   Which satellite telecom firm is merging with Intelsat following fresh investment from SoftBank?

a. OneWeb
b. MagicWeb
c. TrueWeb
d. StayWeb
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


Satellite telecom firms OneWeb and Intelsat announced plans to merge, and a fresh $1.7 billion investment from Japan's SoftBank to advance an ambitious internet in the sky plan.

The deal aims to create a financially stronger company with the flexibility to aggressively pursue new growth opportunities resulting from the explosion in demand for broadband connectivity for people and devices everywhere.

The merger and new cash infusion aims to accelerate OneWeb's plans for a network of low-Earth orbit satellites to deliver internet to remote areas of the globe.

The OneWeb network, which is slated to begin operating in 2022, would be combined with Intelsat's geostationary orbit satellites.

This is aiming to support an extensive set of mass-market applications, including for consumer broadband, connected cars, and other data services, according to the statement.

SoftBank, which in December announced it was investing $1 billion in OneWeb, on 28th March 2017 agreed to add US$1.7 billion to the combined company, giving it a 39.9% voting stake plus additional nonvoting shares.

The company will be domiciled in Luxembourg, and listed on the New York Stock Exchange, with manufacturing and other facilities in the United States.

OneWeb founder Greg Wyler, will be executive chairman of the new company.

Intelsat chief executive Stephen Spengler will keep the CEO title at the new company.

SoftBank last year announced its first investment in OneWeb after its chief executive Masayoshi Son met President Donald Trump and pledged to invest $50 billion in the US economy and create 50,000 jobs.

OneWeb intends to launch 684 low-orbit satellites, to cover the entire planet and deliver internet to areas where conventional land systems are not economical.

IntelSat: Know More

  • Headquarters: Luxembourg City
  • CEO: Stephen Spengler (since 1 Apr 2015)
  • Founded: 20 August 1964
  • Number of employees: 1,110 (2011)
  • Parent organization: INTELSAT LTD

10)   Which South Korean company's chief has been charged with bribery and embezzlement?

a. Samsung
b. Maruti
c. Hyundai
d. Akai
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Samsung

South Korean prosecutors charged Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee with bribery and embezzlement on 28th March 2017 as the top businesses announced the dismantling of its corporate strategy office.

This is the latest development in the graft scandal that rocked the nation.

48-year-old Lee was arrested on Feb 17, over the alleged role in the corruption scandal involving impeached president Park Geun-hye.

This is a fresh blow for the conglomerate in Asia's 4th largest economy.

Lee, the third generation leader of the tech major chaebol and 4 other executives were charged with bribery and embezzlement.

Charges against Lee include pledging bribery to companies and organizations tied to Park's confidant, Choi Soon-sil to cement control of his business empire.

The charges came ahead of a Constitutional Court ruling on whether to uphold parliament's December impeachment of Park.

That impeachment was triggered by accusations that she colluded with Choi to pressure big businesses, including Samsung, to donate to two foundations set up to back the president's policy initiatives.

The 65-year-old daughter of a former military strongman has had her powers suspended. The Constitutional Court's ruling is expected sometime in March.

In case of impeachment, Park would become the country's first democratically elected president to be thrown out of office.

While a sitting president cannot be indicted, the special prosecutors nevertheless have classified her as a suspect.

They did not disclose specifics of the charges against Lee or other Samsung executives.

Samsung Group, which has denied paying bribes to Park or seeking improper favours from her, declined to comment on the indictment.

Park, Choi and Lee have all denied wrongdoing. Based on the main charges levied against Lee, he could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Samsung's corporate strategy office, a key nerve centre responsible for major initiatives such as investment in new businesses, amid accusations by politicians that it was a key organ for illicit lobbying efforts was also shut down.

Composed of around 200 employees hand-picked from various affiliates, the office did not exist as a legal entity but wielded enormous power as the instrument of control for the founding Lee family.

Samsung said the chief executives and boards of the various affiliates such as Samsung Electronics and Samsung C&T Corp would set their own course going forward.

This is a massive change to South Korea's chaebol management style.

A Samsung Group spokeswoman said it had not yet decided how the conglomerate would deal with group-level issues such as coordination among affiliates.

Lee was already moving towards more board-centric management to improve governance.

The executive became a board member of Samsung Electronics last year.

The prosecutors also charged four more at Samsung with offences including bribery and hiding assets overseas - group Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung, President Chang Choong-ki, Samsung Electronics President Park Sang-jin and Executive Vice President Hwang Sung-soo.

Samsung Group said in its announcement that Choi, Chang and Park had resigned.

Samsung chief Lee is accused of pledging 43 billion won ($38 million) in bribes to a company and organisations backed by President Park's confidant, Choi.

Samsung: Know More

  • Headquarters: Seoul, South Korea
  • Founder: Lee Byung-chul
  • Founded: 1 March 1938, Daegu, South Korea
  • Owner: Lee Kun-hee
  • Revenue: 305 billion USD (2014)
  • Number of employees: 489,000

11)   Which software major is offering iOT based solution for wind parks and wind turbine manufacturers?

a. Wipro
b. TCS
c. Infosys
d. HP
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


Software major Wipro on Tuesday offered a new IoT-based solution for wind parks and wind turbine manufacturers.

This leverages the Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Windpark Manager 4.0.

The solution manages wind turbines and associated IT infrastructure, including IT applications and security aspects to optimise operational expenditure.

It will also generate new revenue streams and future-proof a customer's business.

This solution will deliver higher outputs of usable energy while making a positive environmental and societal impact.

Solution's robust scalable architecture reduces the operating cost of wind parks and boosts the efficiency of wind turbine operations.

It also provides a real-time, executive dashboard that displays key business and IT-related information on wind park operations.

The Windpark Manager 4.0 provides a unique application of HPE Operations Bridge software capabilities through the simplification and automation of IT operations.

It also offers real-time visibility to help executives make decisions faster.

Wipro: Know More

  • CEO: Abidali Neemuchwala (since 1 Feb 2016)
  • Founder: M.H. Hasham Premji
  • Headquarters: Bengaluru
  • Revenue: 7.735 billion USD (2016)

12)   Scientists have said global warming could melt mountain snow slowly, leading to which of the following effects?

a. Less water for humans
b. More water for plants
c. Water that evaporates more easily rather than flowing into reservoirs
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

Researchers indicated global warming could melt mountain snow slowly, this may be a bad news for American West.

Scientists have known that snow is starting to melt sooner as the climate warms. The research found early snowmelt is slower than in the summer, mostly because the sun is weaker and nights are cooler in winter's latter part and early spring.

Slower snowmelt could mean less water for humans. Snowmelt lingers in the soil and is taken up by plants or evaporates instead of flowing into reservoirs.

This finding could explain the reason computer models show snow-fed rivers expected to lower as the climate warms.