Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Mar 03, 2017

1)   UK's Upper House has voted to amend which bill?

a. Brexit bill
b. Pollution control bill
c. Environment bill
d. Money bill
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Brexit bill

UK’s upper house, The House of Lords voted on 2 March 2017 to amend the Brexit Bill.

This is thereby delaying the bill’s passing.

The members of the House voted 358 to 256 for an amendment that will require the ministers to protect the rights of more than three million European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) citizens living in the UK after it exits the EU.

The Brexit Bill will now have to return to the lower house, the House of Commons for further debate and deliberation.

However, since it was approved by a large majority in the lower house, chances are high that the house would reject the proposed amendment and send the original bill back to Lords.

This move does though delay the final approval of the bill just weeks ahead of Theresa May’s set deadline for triggering Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon treaty.

On 23 June 2016, the citizens of UK voted to decide whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union.

Almost 30 million people cast their vote to decide UK’s fate. The total turnout was around 71.8 per cent.

The final results saw 51.9 per cent votes in the favour of UK to leave EU and 48.1 per cent to remain.

The vote was fuelled by concerns of mass migration of people from the EU to Britain. May promised to end free movement of workers from the other 27 EU countries to Britain.

2)   Which state government signed an agreement with Invest India on March 1, 2017?

a. Bihar
b. Jharkhand
c. Odisha
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Odisha

Odisha Government and Invest India on 1 March 2017 signed an agreement to promote start-ups and MSME sector of the state.

The agreement was signed with an aim to help the start-ups and MSME sector to gain access to best practices of the world.

According to reports, Odisha became the first state to sign MoU with Invest India for working on startups.

Invest India is a National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of the Union ministry of commerce and industries.

Startup Odisha Initiative and Startup India Hub run by the Invest India will help in achieving the Mission-1000 startups by the year 2020. The mission will help the youth in realising their dreams.

A toll-free start-up helpline, 1800-345-7100, was also launched.

The Prime Minister’s initiative Start-up India has the objective of making India a country of job creators. The vision is to make India the No. 1 start-up nation in the world.

Invest India, which is the official investment promotion and facilitation agency of India, is mandated to facilitate investments into India.

Specifically, the agency is the first point of reference for potential investors.

They provide sector and state-specific inputs and other supports to investors through the complete investment cycle.

3)   Which state will host its first river festival in March-April 2017?

a. Assam
b. Manipur
c. Meghalaya
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


Assam will host its first river festival- Namami Brahmaputra at the riverfront of Brahmaputra in Guwahati from 31 March to 4 April 2017.

The decision was announced by Assam’s Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal himself. The state’s government has invited India’s President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi,

Ambassadors of all the countries and all Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries to participate in the mega event.

The 5-day festival aims to promote the state’s economy, culture, art, tourism, skill industry, investment option, trade, commerce and heritage.

Namami Brahmaputra, which means “Obeisance to the Brahmaputra”, will showcase the grandeur of the river and the land it flows through.

It will be spread across 21 districts of Assam.

The international event would feature traditional Assamese sports, cultural performances, business meets, exhibitions, seminars and symposiums, river ecosystem zones and interpretation events.

It would also feature a film festival, comprising the screening of leading Assamese films.

Other events include tea festival, river cruises, rafting, visits to tea gardens and programmes related to history, tradition and legends of Assam.

A group of government officials will be visiting all the state capitals and major cities as a part of the festival to create a positive image of the state beforehand.

Through the festival, the state government basically aims to expose the tourists from both India and abroad to Assam’s rich legacy and splendour and represent it as a viable tourist destination on the world map.

Apart from this, the government also hopes to create an environment that would reconnect the people with their roots and rejuvenate the Brahmaputra civilisation.

4)   Who has won the Polly Umrigar award, being the first cricketer to receive it thrice?

a. R. Ashwin
b. V. Kohli
c. A. Rahane
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: V. Kohli

India Test captain Virat Kohli will be awarded with the Polly Umrigar Award at the BCCI award ceremony in Bangalore on March 8, 2017.

Kohli, who received the award in 2011-12 and 2014-15, becomes the first Indian cricketer to get it on the third occasion.

The award is given to the international cricketer of the year by the Indian cricket board.

In another first, all-rounder R Ashwin will also become the first Indian to receive the Dilip Sardesai award twice.

Earlier, The BCCI Annual Awards committee consisting of N Ram, Ramachandra Guha and Diana Edulji had nominated Rajinder Goel and Padmakar Shivalkar for the Col. C.K. Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mumbai Cricket Association has been chosen as the State Association of the Season (2015-16) for winning the Ranji Trophy, the CK Nayudu Trophy and also the Women’s Plate League Group.

They were runner-up in the Cooch Behar Trophy (U-19), the Vijay Merchant Trophy (U-16) and the Women’s One-Day Elite Group.

Complete List of Winners: BCCI Awards

Dilip Sardesai award (For India’s best cricketer in the West Indies series 2016): R AshwinJalaj Saxena of Madhya Pradesh
Best Umpire in Domestic cricket in 2015-16:Nitin Menon
Jagmohan Dalmiyra Award (Best Woman cricketer (Jr.) of 2015-16):Deepti Sharma of Uttar Pradesh
Jagmohan Dalmiyra Award (Best Woman cricketer (Sr.) of 2015-16):Mithali Raj of Railways
Lala Amarnath Award for the best all-rounder in domestic limited-overs competitions, 2015-16:Axar Patel of Gujarat
Madavrao Scindia Award (Highest scorer in the Ranji Trophy 2015-16):Shreyas Iyer of Mumbai
Madavrao Scindia Award (Highest wicket-taker in the Ranji Trophy 2015-16):Shahbaz Nadeem of Jharkhand
M.A. Chidambaram Trophy (Highest scorer in (U-23) Col. CK. Nayudu Trophy 2015-16:Jay. G. Bista of Mumbai
M.A. Chidambaram Trophy (Highest wicket-taker in (U-23) Col. CK. Nayudu Trophy 2015-16:Satyajeet Bachhav of Maharashtra
NKP Salve Award (Highest scorer in (U-19) Cooch Behar Trophy in 2015-16):Arman Jaffer of Mumbai
Raj Singh Dungarpur Award ( Highest wicket-taker in (U-16) Vijay Merchant Trophy in 2015-16):Abhishek Sharma of Punjab
Raj Singh Dungarpur Award ( Highest scorer in (U-16) Vijay Merchant Trophy in 2015-16):Abhishek Sharma of Punjab
NKP Salve Award (Highest wicket-taker in (U-19) Cooch Behar Trophy in 2015-16):Ninad Rathva of Baroda
Polly Umrigar Award:Virat Kohli
BCCI special award:VV Kumar, Late Ramakant Desai
BCCI Lifetime achievement award for women:Shantha Rangaswamy
Col. CK. Nayudu Lifetime achievement award:Rajinder Goel, Padmakar Shivalkar

5)   DRDO has signed a technology transfer agreement for manufacture of which steel?

a. High nitrogen steel
b. Steel alloy
c. Both of the above
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both of the above

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has signed a technology transfer agreement with Jindal Stainless (Hisar) Ltd. (JSHL) for manufacturing high nitrogen steel (HNS).

The steel alloy has significant applications in the defence sector, but currently the country is mostly dependent on imports.

HNS has higher ballistic strength and is not only tough but also has good strength.

It is non-magnetic and corrosion-resistant.

It costs about 40% less than that of rolled homogenous armour steel (RHA).

Its domestic production will further the Indian Army’s quest for lighter armouring material.

HNS: Know More

  • HNS is corrosion resistant and provides exceptional ballistic and blast protection than the existing material.
  • This is at a much reduced thickness along with longevity which increases the fuel and mass efficiency.
  • It exhibits higher energy absorption.
  • Aim is to launch additional variants of HNS with enhanced blast and ballistic protection to cater to niche requirements of the defence sector.
  • HNS passed ballistic tests in different calibers with 8-10 times higher impact and blast protection.
  • It has potential application in all armoured vehicles, including infantry combat vehicle (ICV), light speciality vehicle (LSV), light armoured multi-purpose vehicle (LAMV), futuristic infantry combat vehicle (FICV), main battle tank (MBT), future ready combat vehicle (FRCV), aviation and naval systems.

6)   South Korea and US held which joint military exercise?

a. Mission Eagle
b. Desert Eagle
c. Operation Eagle
d. Foal Eagle
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Foal Eagle

South Korean and United States held large-scale joint military exercise called Foal Eagle to test their defence readiness against the threat from North Korea.

It will continue until the end of April 2017.

The exercise comes amid heightened tension following the latest test launch of a ballistic missile by the North in February 2017.

South Korea also has signed agreement with US Lotte Group conglomerate to secure the land to station the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defence system.

Another exercise conducted by both countries in 2016 involved about 17,000 American troops and more than 300,000 South Koreans.

South Korea

  • Capital: Seoul
  • Code: +82
  • President: Park Geun-hye
  • Currency: South Korean won
  • Prime minister: Hwang Kyo-ahn

7)   What is Swachh Shakti Saptah focused on?

a. Involving women in the Swachh Bharat Mission
b. Involving seniors in the Swachh Bharat Mission
c. Involving teens in the Swachh Bharat Mission
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Involving women in the Swachh Bharat Mission

The national launch of 'Swachh Shakti Saptah' took place in Gurugram on March 1, 2017, in which Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar was the chief guest.

Largely women sarpanches and other ladies from villages of all six districts of Gurugram division have been invited.

Besides, the persons contributing in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) and organisations working in the field of sanitation were also invited.

He said that under the guidance of Prime Minister Narender Modi, the ministry of drinking water and sanitation decided to observe 'Swachh Shakti Saptah' throughout the country from March 1 and its launch is from Gurugram in Haryana.

The action plan for the entire week has also been chalked out. During the week, there will be a film or documentary on women and swachhta at district level, essay writing or painting or drawing competitions on girl child and sanitation and sports programmes for girls and women will be organised by involving government schools and colleges.

Panchayat Swachhta Rallies will be organised and exposure visits would be organised for women sarpanches for educating them to make their village Open Defecation Free (ODF).

Women Sammelan will be organised by involving women sarpanches, panches, anganwadi workers, ASHA workers, ANMs and self help groups. In the last women sanitation champions will be honoured.

8)   Which two areas will be merged in Pakistan?

a. FATA, Peshawar province
b. FATA, Khyber Pakhtunwala province
c. Peshawar Province, Khyber Pakhtunwala province
d. FATA, Singh province
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: FATA, Khyber Pakhtunwala province

Pakistan government on March 2, 2017 approved the merger of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

The aim is bring the impoverished and politically deprived tribal region at par with the rest of the country.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a meeting of the federal cabinet which approved in principle the recommendations of the FATA Reforms Committee.

The six-member committee headed by PM's Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz recommended that FATA should be made part of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

The FATA is a semi-autonomous tribal region in northwest Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan.

It consists of seven tribal agencies (districts) and six frontier regions, and are directly governed by Pakistan's federal government.

According to the plan, colonial era draconian laws known as Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) will be replaced.

The proposed merger would be carried out over a period of five years and a 10-year development package would be introduced for all of FATA.

The cabinet not only approved the plan but also agreed to set up courts, allocate additional funds and build infrastructure in the tribal region.

Due shares will be given from the national resources to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and FATA people.

The prime minister said it is obligatory for the Federal and provincial governments to work for the welfare of the people of these regions.

Nawaz Sharif: Know More

  • Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, MP is the 20th and current Prime Minister of Pakistan.
  • He has been in office since June 2013.
  • A veteran politician, he previously served as the Prime Minister from 1990 to 1993 and from 1997 to 1999.
  • Born: 25 December 1949, Lahore, Pakistan

9)   Who has been appointed India's next ambassador to Nepal?

a. Manjeev Singh Puri
b. Manjeet Singh Puri
c. Manjit Singh Puri
d. Manpreet Singh Puri
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Manjeev Singh Puri

India has proposed the name of Manjeev Singh Puri as its next Ambassador to Nepal, with the term of senior Indian diplomat Ranjit Rae coming to an end.

Mr. Puri is the incumbent Indian Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg.

An official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) in Kathmandu confirmed that Mr. Puri’s name was sent to the MoFA on Tuesday and the process for sending the agreement for his appointment would commence.

Outgoing Ambassador Mr. Rae, whose term ended on Feb 28, 2017, had informed Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ of New Delhi’s decision during his farewell call on March 1.

Nepal: Know More

  • Nepal is officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.
  • It is a landlocked central Himalayan country in South Asia.
  • It has a population of 26.4 million.
  • It is the 93rd largest country by area.
  • Capital: Kathmandu

10)   Lego will create figurines of which pioneering women scientists?

a. Computer scientist Margaret Hamilton
b. Astronaut Sally Ride
c. Katherine Johnson, a mathematician
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

Danish toymaker Lego plans to honour five women scientists, engineers and astronauts who worked for US space agency NASA.

The aim is to release figurines of the pioneering women that its creator hopes will inspire more girls to pursue careers in science.

The women include computer scientist Margaret Hamilton, astronaut Sally Ride and Katherine Johnson.

Johnson is one of three black female mathematicians whose work on the U.S. space programme in the 1960s is captured in Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures.

Maia Weinstock, a science editor and the winner of a Lego competition for new sets created by fans, said she wanted to recognise women who made significant contributions at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

There are people whose stories have not really been told who have made seminal contributions to the NASA programmes.

After submitting her design idea to a Lego website, Ms. Weinstock said it only took 15 days before her proposal garnered 10,000 public votes and attracted attention from the toymaker.

The set, which will also pay tribute to astronomer Nancy Grace Roman and astronaut Mae Jemison, will feature a mini version of the Hubble Space Telescope which was sent into space in the 1990s to collect data and take photographs.

It will also include a space shuttle.

Lego: Know More

  • CEO: Bali Padda (since 1 Jan 2017)
  • Headquarters: Billund, Denmark
  • Founder: Ole Kirk Christiansen
  • Founded: 10 August 1932, Billund, Denmark
  • Type: Privately held company

11)   Sweden announced that the compulsory military service will start from _______.

a. 2017
b. 2018
c. 2019
d. 2020
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 2017

Sweden announced on March 2, 2017 that it will reintroduce compulsory military service starting this summer to respond to global security challenges, including from Russia.

The government wants a more stable staff supply system and to boost its military capability because the security situation has changed.

The Scandinavian nation, which has not seen armed conflict on its territory in two centuries, ended conscription in 2010 after it was deemed an unsatisfactory way of meeting the needs of a modern army.

Sweden’s minority government on March 2, 2017 was set to introduce to the Parliament a bill to restore conscription this summer for all Swedes born after 1999.

It will last for a duration of 11 months.

Some 13,000 young Swedes are expected to be mobilised from July 1, but only 4,000 of them will be selected for military service based on motivation and skills.

They will be called up each year after January 1, 2018.

Sweden is not a NATO member but has signed the body’s Partnership for Peace programme launched in 1994 to develop military cooperation between NATO and non-member countries.

On defence issues, Sweden is very close to its Finnish neighbour, which has with Russia a border of 1,340 km.

The Nordic and Baltic region’s only non-aligned countries, Finland and Sweden, have stepped up their military cooperation with US, following concerns over Russia’s increased military activity in northern Europe.

Sweden: Know More

  • Capital: Stockholm
  • Code: +46
  • Currency: Swedish krona
  • Population: 9.593 million (2013) World Bank
  • Official language: Swedish

12)   Scientists have discovered a computer made of DNA molecules that ____________

a. Grows as it ages
b. Grows as it computes
c. Can outdo standard systems in practical problem solving
d. Only b and c
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Only b and c

Scientists have designed a new super quick form of magic computer comprising DNA molecules that grow as one computes and can outdo all standard systems in practical problem solving.

University of Manchester researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of engineering a universal turing machine that is programmed to compute anything any other device can process.

Electronic computers are a form of UTM. No quantum UTM has been built since.

Theoretical properties of computing machine including exponential boost in speed over electronic and quantum computers has been comprehended for many years, but breakthrough shows a UTM can only be created using DNA molecules.

A computer is searching a maze and comes to choice point. The electronic computer needs to choose which point that needs to be followed first. The magical property of growing as one computes is because the computer processors are made of DNA rather than silicon chips.

DNA molecules are small so a desktop computer could use more processors than all electronic computers in the world combined and outperform the world's current fastest supercomputer while consuming a fraction of its energy.

DNA: Know More

  • Deoxyribonucleic acid is a molecule that carries the genetic instructions used in the growth, development, functioning and reproduction.
  • It concerns all known living organisms and many viruses.
  • DNA and RNA are nucleic acids.
  • Alongside proteins, lipids and complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides), they are one of the four major types of macromolecules that are essential for all known forms of life.
  • Most DNA molecules consist of two biopolymer strands coiled around each other to form a double helix.

13)   NASSCOM indicated the software services sector will grow at what percent in 2017-2018?

a. 8-10 percent
b. 6-8 percent
c. 4-10 percent
d. 6-10 percent
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 8-10 percent

Software services industry lobby NASSCOM indicated it expects the sector to grow 8-10 percent in 2017-2018.

NASSCOM revised down its fiscal 2017 revenue growth target to 8-10 percent from 10-12 percent as US headwinds emerged.

The United States is the largest revenue source for the industry.

Many domestic IT companies may change their business strategies and regroup themselves owing to newer trends such as increasing automation artificial intelligence, digital data and digital disruption.

At the same time, there is a feeling within Nasscom that the industry is going to change. It is going to change because of automation, artificial intelligence, digital data and digital disruption. So, many companies will regroup themselves and re-architect their journey forward.

Current trend also suggest that job accretion will be at best half of its growth in recent years.

NASSCOM: Know More

  • Chairperson: C. P. Gurnani
  • Founded: 1 March 1988
  • Motto: Transform Business, Transform India
  • Headquarters: Chanakyapuri, New Delhi
  • Founders: Dewang Mehta, Nandan Nilekani