Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Mar 06, 2017

1)   What was the theme of 13th Economic Cooperation Organization Summit held in Islamabad?

a. Listening to Regional Voices
b. Connectivity for Regional Prosperity
c. Connectivity for Regional Profitability
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Connectivity for Regional Prosperity

The Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the Economic Cooperation Organization, gathered on the occasion of the thirteenth ECO Summit Meeting, in Islamabad under the theme “Connectivity for Regional Prosperity”.

This was at the invitation of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, on the first day of March 2017, to review the objective conditions and progress in implementation of ECO programmes and projects.

It aimed to exchange views on regional and global issues of common interest to the ECO Region with the aim of consolidating ECO as an organization, bolstering cooperation and building on shared values and mutual interests.

2)   GST Council has approved the draft versions of which bills?

d. Both a and b
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both a and b

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, in its meeting held in Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi under the Chairmanship of the Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley has approved the draft CGST Bill and the draft IGST Bill as vetted by the Union Law Ministry.

This clears the deck for the Central Government to take these two Bills to the Parliament for their passage in the ongoing Budget Session.

i. A State-wise single registration for a taxpayer forfiling returns, paying taxes,and to fulfil other compliance requirements. Most of the compliance requirements would be fulfilled online, thus leaving very little room for physical interface between the taxpayer and the tax official.
ii. A taxpayer has to file one single return state-wise to report all his supplies, whether made within or outside the State or exported out of the country and pay the applicable taxes on them. Such taxes can be Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST), State Goods and Services Tax (SGST), Union Territory Goods and Services Tax (UTGST) and Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST).
iii. A business entity with an annual turnover of upto Rs. 20 lakhs would not be required to take registration in the GST regime, unless he voluntarily chooses to do so to be a part of the input tax credit (ITC) chain. The annual turnover threshold in the Special Category States (as enumerated in Article 279A of the Constitution such as Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Assam and the other States of the North-East) for not taking registration is Rs. 10 lakhs.
iv. A business entity with turnover upto Rs. 50 lakhs can avail the benefit of a composition scheme under which it has to pay a much lower rate of tax and has to fulfil very minimal compliance requirements. The Composition Scheme is available for all traders, select manufacturing sectors and for restaurants in the services sector.
v. In order to prevent cascading of taxes, ITC would be admissible on all goods and services used in the course or furtherance of business, except on a few items listed in the Law.
vi. In order to ensure that ITC can be used seamlessly for payment of taxes under the Central and the State Law, it has been provided that the ITC entitlement arising out of taxes paid under the Central Law can be cross-utilised for payment of taxes under the laws of the States or Union Territories. For example, a taxpayer can use the ITC accruing to him due to payment of IGST to discharge his tax liability of CGST / SGST / UTGST. Conversely, a taxpayer can use the ITC accruing to him on account of payment of CGST / SGST / UTGST, for payment of IGST. Such payments are to be made in a pre-defined order.
vii. In the Services sector, the existing mechanism of Input Service Distributor (ISD) under the Service Tax law has been retained to allow the flow of ITC in respect of input services within a legal entity.
viii. To prevent lock-in of capital of exporters, a provision has been made to refund, within seven days of filing the application for refund by an exporter, ninety percent of the claimed amount on a provisional basis.
ix. In order to ensure a single administrative interface for taxpayers, a provision has been made to authorise officers of the tax administrations of the Centre and the States to exercise the powers conferred under all Acts.
x. An agriculturist, to the extent of supply of produce out of cultivation of land, would not be liable to take registration in the GST regime.
xi. To provide certainty in tax matters, a provision has been made for an Advance Ruling Authority.
xii. Exhaustive provisions for Appellate mechanism have been made.
xiii. Detailed transitional provisions have been provided to ensure migration of existing taxpayers and seamless transfer of underutilised ITC in the GST regime.
xiv. An anti-profiteering provision has been incorporated to ensure that the reduction of tax incidence is passed on to the consumers.
xv. In order to mitigate any financial hardship being suffered by a taxpayer, Commissioner has been empowered to allow payment of taxes in instalments.
Source: Press Information Bureau

The Council has also included a revised peak rate of 20 per cent under GST, instead from the earlier 18 per cent.

This would mean that the total incidence of the tax could go as high as 40 per cent.

But smoothening concerns, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said that it would not impact the four-tier rate structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent.

The UT-GST Bill would be for levying of the new tax in Union Territories that do not have a legislature (excluding Delhi and Puducherry).

The four laws will be approved by the Union Cabinet and taken to the Parliament in the coming session,.

Finance Ministry officials said that the proposed anti-profiteering agency under GST would not send out inspectors to check on prices but will look at applications made consumers.

The remaining two Bills namely, State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) Bill and the Union territory Goods and Services Tax (UTGST) Bill, which would be almost a replica of the CGST Act, would be taken-up for approval after their legal vetting in the next meeting of GST Council scheduled on 16 March 2017

3)   President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the Centenary Celebrations of which historic association on March 3, 2017?

a. Women's Indian Association
b. Indian Women's Association
c. Indian Association
d. International Women's Association
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Women's Indian Association

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the Centenary Celebrations of Women’s Indian Association (March 3, 2017) at Adyar, Chennai.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that no society can call itself civilized if it does not accord due value to its women and female children and guarantee their safety and security.

Government schemes and programmes to promote gender justice can never succeed unless a deep commitment to basic human values is built into our very consciousness.

Violence against women reflects violence in the hearts and minds of those that perpetrate these acts.

The President remembered Dr. Annie Besant and Smt. Sarojini Naidu who had played a leading role in the foundation of the Indian Women’s Association.

He said that role of Women’s Indian Association in the enactment and implementation of the Child Marriage Restraint Act for raising the minimum age for marriage of women and the Sarada Bill for abolishing the Devadasi system is well recognised.

He said that he looks forward to more branches of the Women’s Indian Association taking up social causes with commitment and zeal to be the change they want to see.

4)   Over 58% of children below 5 years of age are _____, according to NFHS-4.

a. Myopic
b. Anemic
c. Obese
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Anemic

The recently released family health survey (NFHS 4) results show that over 58% of children below five years of age are anaemic, that is, they suffer from insufficient haemoglobin in the blood, leaving them exhausted, vulnerable to infections, and possibly affecting their brain development.

The survey, which was carried out in 2015-16 and covered six lakh households, also showed that around 38% of children in the same age group were stunted, 21% were wasted and 36% underweight.

While all the internationally accepted markers of children's health have improved since the last such survey in 2005-06, the levels of undernourishment, caused mainly by poverty, are still high and the improvement too slow.

Based on the 2011 Census data, the total number of children under five in India in 2015 is projected at 12.4 crore.

So, around 7.2 crore children are anaemic, nearly 5 crore are stunted, around 2.6 crore are wasted and 4.4 crore are underweight.

These numbers are not too different from those in 2005-06. Since population has increased, their share is down.

The World Health Organisation says high levels of these markers are clear indications of poor socio-economic conditions and suboptimal health and/or nutritional conditions.

In short, lack of food, unhealthy living conditions and poor health delivery systems.

The WHO defines wasting as low weight for height, stunting as low height for age, and underweight as low weight for age.

The survey also found that just over half of all pregnant women were anaemic. This would automatically translate into their newborn being weak.

Overall, 53% of women and 23% of men in the 15-49 age group were anaemic.

There is wide variation among states.

The data for UP has not been released in view of the ongoing polls, according to Balram Paswan, professor at Mumbai-based International Institute for Population Sciences which was the nodal agency for the survey done for the health ministry.

But poorer states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Assam, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh have higher than national average rates on all markers.

More advanced states like those in the south, Haryana and Gujarat have slightly better numbers but are still at unacceptable levels.

In Tamil Nadu, 51% children are anaemic while in Kerala it is over one-third.

In many states, stunting has declined but the share of severely wasted children has increased.

These are clear signs of an endemic crisis of hunger in the country that policy makers don't appear to be addressing.

5)   Which city in south India has achieved 100% waste segregation?

a. Tirunelveli
b. Trivandrum
c. Tuticorin
d. Tuticorin
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Tirunelveli

Tirunelveli has attained the feat of achieving 100% segregation of waste at source across households and establishments.

It involved securing undertakings from each household to segregate biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste, campaigns though TV and local radio channels targeting housewives and roping in religious leaders and NGOs.

The city, with a population of 4.8 lakh, achieved this at a time when other cities are either weighing the risk of failure before starting any initiative or considering imposition of penalties on erring residents.

The Tirunelveli model can be easily adopted by other cities.

Tirunelveli, which has around 1.6 lakh households, took up this challenge in April 2016.

However, an intensive campaign started only on October 2, taking cue from the Solid Waste Management Rules 2016, which make it mandatory for all waste generators to segregate biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste before disposal, and hand over the segregated waste to authorised waste pickers-waste collectors.

While biodegradable waste is collected every day, non-biodegradable waste such as plastic is collected every Wednesday.

Tirunelveli: Know More

  • Tirunelveli, also known as Nellai and historically as Tinnevelly.
  • It is a city in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
  • It is the administrative headquarters of the Tirunelveli District.
  • It is the sixth-largest municipal corporation in the state.

6)   Which is the world's oldest aircraft carrier in active service?

a. INS Shardul
b. INS Kaveri
c. INS Viraat
d. INS Vikrant
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


The world's oldest aircraft carrier in active service, INS Viraat, will be decommissioned on March 6 after serving the Indian Navy for nearly 30 years.

INS Viraat's retirement will not only end a glorious chapter in the Indian Navy's history but will also create a vacuum as the sea hawks will be short of two aircraft carriers now.

Earlier, INS Vikrant was decommissioned in 1997.

The decommissioning ceremony will be attended by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and other dignitaries.

The grand event will see the lowering and wrap-up of the naval flag installed on the warship at sunset, marking an end to a long sea odyssey lasting 55 years.

INS Viraat was commissioned in Indian Navy in 1987, before that the historic ship served Royal British Navy for 27 long years.

It was built in 1943, during the Second World War.

The carrier has provided utmost protection to the country during many tense situations.

The decision on the warship's future has not been taken yet.

INS Viraat: Know More

  • Length: 226 m
  • Construction started: 21 June 1944
  • Launched: 16 February 1953
  • Draft: 8.8 m
  • Beam: 49 m
  • Builder: Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering

7)   India and the US have strengthened bilateral security ties under ATA. What does stand for?

a. Anti Double Taxation Assistance
b. Anti Terrorism Assistance
c. Anti Trade Curbs Assistance
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Anti Terrorism Assistance

India and the US are set to further strengthen their bilateral security ties under the Trump administration.

The two countries deciding to continue exchange programmes on hostage crisis, terror crime scene probe and cybercrime.

A delegation of officials from the US met their counterparts in the Home Ministry last week and discussed ways to streamline the training programmes being conducted under the Anti-Terrorism Assistance (ATA) pact.

Indian police officers will undergo training programmes in the US training institutes on negotiations in hostage situations, terror crime scene investigations, besides on two new courses relating to cybercrime and maritime security.

India and the US are working towards strengthening bilateral ties on security front, including training programmes.

The US will be introducing two new courses for Indian police officers this year.

Indian police officers currently can opt for six training programmes under the ATA pact.

These courses have been an integral part of the bilateral cooperation on internal security between the two countries.

India is a key strategic partner of the US in its war on terror and with groups like ISIS using Internet to reach out to potential recruits in India, the ATA courses are seen as extremely relevant.

Currently the ATA courses include among others, investigating the dark web (IDW), hostage negotiation training, terrorist crime scene investigation.

Around 120-150 police officers from Central police organisations and state police forces visit the US every year for training in these courses under the ATA.

The number may go up to 200 this year with introduction of two new courses.

8)   North Korea fired 4 ballistic missiles, 3 of which landed in _________

a. Japan sea
b. China sea
c. South China Islands sea
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Japan sea

Nuclear-armed North Korea fired four ballistic missiles east of the peninsula on March 6, with Japan saying three of them landed in its waters.

Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile last month, its first such launch since October, which Seoul said was aimed at testing the response from the new US administration of President Donald Trump.

Seoul said several missiles were filed into the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, and that South Korea and the US were closely analysing tracking data for further details.

In terms of the range, it is around 1,000 kilometres.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said North Korea fired four missiles almost simultaneously, three of which landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

In response to the launch, South Korea’s acting president Hwang Kyo-Ahn convened an emergency National Security Council (NSC) meeting, the presidential office said in a statement.

Seoul and Washington launched annual joint military exercises last week that infuriate Pyongyang, which condemns them as provocative rehearsals for invasion.

North Korea has regularly carried out actions in protest against the US-South Korea exercises, last year firing seven ballistic missiles during them.

That rocket–said by the North to use solid fuel and to be capable of carrying a nuclear warhead–flew east for about 500 kilometres before falling into the Sea of Japan, South Korea said at the time.

North Korea is under heavy international sanctions for its nuclear and missile programmes.

Last month, China–the North’s chief ally and diplomatic protector–announced a suspension of all coal imports from the North until the end of the year, depriving Pyongyang of a crucial source of foreign currency.

China’s foreign ministry said Beijing and Pyongyang were still “friendly neighbours” but added it remained opposed to the North’s nuclear ambitions.

North Korea is barred under UN resolutions from any use of ballistic missile technology. But six sets of UN sanctions since Pyongyang’s first nuclear test in 2006 have failed to halt its drive for what it insists are defensive weapons.

Last year the country conducted two nuclear tests and numerous missile launches in its quest to develop a nuclear weapons system capable of hitting the continental US.

North Korea: Know More

  • Capital: Pyongyang
  • Supreme leader: Kim Jong-un
  • Premier: Pak Pong-ju
  • Currency: North Korean won
  • Population: 24.9 million (2013) World Bank

9)   How many new species of microbes have been found to flourish on mobile handsets?

a. 3
b. 5
c. 7
d. 11
Answer  Explanation 


Scientists have identified three new species of microbes that flourished on mobile handsets.

Reports from Western nations have suggested that mobile phones are more often harbouring deadly drug resistant bacteria.

The startling finding is by scientists of the government-owned National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS) here who have been able to identify three new species of microbes from screens of mobile phones.

Two bacteria and fungus, never before reported in scientific literature, were identified by this laboratory funded by the Department of Biotechnology.

Studies have also found mobile phones on an average housed some 10-12 different types of fungi and bacteria.

Mobile phones since they are carried in almost all human environments from the kitchen to the public transport harbour a larger diversity of microorganisms.

These microbes grow well on the sweat and grime left on the phones as humans carry them around.

In Pune, Yogesh S Shouche and his team from the Microbial Culture Collection group of the NCCS collected samples from 27 mobile phone screens and they were able to isolate 515 different bacterial types and 28 different fungi.

These microbes are friendly to humans and usually thrive on our bodies.

The team used sterilised cotton swabs and sterile saline solution to wipe from the surface these microbes which were then grown using standardised culture media at 30 degrees centigrade.

But what surprised this six-member team was that they encountered three new species of organisms.

These are two bacteria they have named Lysinbacillus telephonicus and Microbacterium telephonicum and a new species of fungi that they named Pyrenochaeta telephoni.

10)   India accounts for how many internet users globally, according to Adobe?

a. 500 million
b. 400 million
c. 350 million
d. 268.9 million
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 268.9 million

India has accounted for more than half of the 500 million new internet users globally come on board in the past three years, according to a software firm Adobe.

According to Mobile Adobe Digital Insights Report, India has a strong position in driving momentum of smartphones and number of new internet users globally and in the Asia Pacific region.

The report, based on the global analysis of 1.7 trillion visits to more than 16,000 websites between January 2014 and January 2017, found that smartphones were the source of 500 million new internet users globally.

Within this, India delivered a staggering 268.9 million new consumers.

This was followed by China and Indonesia that accounted for 97.4 million and 15.7 million new internet visitors respectively, it added.

The report said smartphone traffic in India increased by 290% since 2014, while desktop traffic was recorded as 6% lower, and tablet traffic stayed stagnant at 3%.

When it comes to app installation growth, the report showed that India led the pack with a 49% increase since 2014, in contrast to most countries like the US and UK that have experienced a 9% and 38% decrease in the use of apps respectively.

Smartphones are allowing millions of people to access the internet, who otherwise might never have had the opportunity.

India has latched on to smartphones and outpaced many affluent countries around the world in internet usage, which is representative of the country s drive towards digital transformation.

The report found that consumers in developing countries are bypassing desktops and laptops and going straight to smartphones to access the internet. These regions have 34% higher smartphone-share growth, compared with affluent nations.

According to the report, India, which already has a high share of internet smartphone traffic, is showing no signs of slowing growth.

With a forecast of 46% of the world's smartphone share by 2018, India's rapidly expanding digital story continues to present a massive opportunity for marketers.

Organisations focused on delivering compelling customer experiences and leveraging this strong penetration of mobile to amplify their marketing efforts are likely to gain a competitive edge in the long run.

11)   India will organize its first Mobile Congress in September with _________

a. Special focus on reaching out to South East Asian markets
b. Stress on showcasing India as a global leader in telecom
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

India will organise the first mobile congress in September with a special focus on reaching out to South East Asian markets.

There is a mobile world congress in Barcelona and an edition in Shanghai. India's emergence as a global leader will be showcased in the Indian Mobile Congress.

Department of Telecom and Ministry of Electronics and IT have emphasized on the Indian Mobile Congress. It is being launched by the Cellular Operators Association of India. GSM Association organises annual global event of Mobile World Congress associating with the three day event held in New Delhi on Sept 27.

All Indian mobile operators, Facebook, Huawei , Ericsson, Cisco etc are likely to participate in the mobile congress.

Event will focus on knowledge sharing, exhibitions, startups, skill development and pillars of Digital India, including Make in India.

12)   _____ is the first river to go through across the river survey?

a. Ganga
b. Brahmaputra
c. Mahanadi
d. Godavari
Answer  Explanation 


GoI has launched the first across the river survey in the Ganga river to assess the population of marine life, including the endangered Gangetic dolphin.

Survey will create a baseline scientific data for governments to take up suitable measures to enhance the river water quality, according to the National Mission for Clean Ganga.

The first stretch of the survey was launched on March 1 from Narora in UP to Bijnor (covering around 165 km to establish the number of national marine animals).

The enumeration in the stretch from Allahabad to Varanasi is around 250 km in length.

Fish species composition in the 2525 km long river has been started from Harshil in Uttarakhand.

The authority is conducting the survey through Wildlife Institute of India, an autonomous institution of Environment and Forest Ministry, under Namami Gange Programme.

The disappearance of Gangetic dolphins, one of 4 freshwater dolphins in the world, stretches from Narora to Kanpur due to the pollution.

Study will locate stretches where dolphins are habitating, what conditions there are and levels of threat faced by the species in a particular belt.

Besides this, numerous dolphins, ghariyals and turtles in the river will also be ascertained after summer sets in completely as nesting takes place then and the counting will continue till October in 2017.

Besides populace count, the study will also assess the distribution pattern of aquatic life in the river, extent of threat level faced and habitat conditions.

Gangetic Dolphins: Know More

  • The South Asian river dolphin is a freshwater or river dolphin found in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan.
  • It is split into two subspecies, the Ganges river dolphin and Indus river dolphin.
  • Scientific name: Platanista gangetica
  • Rank: Species
  • Higher classification: Platanista