Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Mar 07, 2017

1)   Tech Mahindra will buy which US based healthcare IT consulting firm?

a. CJS Solutions Group
b. Practo
c. Health Advances LLC
d. Navigant
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: CJS Solutions Group

Tech Mahindra, India's fourth biggest software services exporter, will buy US based healthcare IT consulting firm CJS Solutions Group for an enterprise value of US $110 million.

Tech Mahindra, which will acquire CJS through a unit, will make an upfront cash payment of US $89.5 million for the acquisition of 84.7% stake in CJS.

The remaining 15.3% to be acquired over three years, the company said in a statement.

CJS, which operates as the HCI Group, specialises in the implementation of electronic medical records (EMR) software.

Healthcare and life sciences business, which accounts for around 7 pct of Tech Mahindra's revenues, has been a key focus area for the Indian company and the acquisition of CJS will help it consolidate its position, the company said.

Ernst & Young acted as the due diligence advisor to Tech Mahindra while Allen & Company LLC were the financial advisors to HCI Group.

The transaction is expected to close before the end of April.

Tech Mahindra: Know More

  • CEO: C. P. Gurnani (24, May 2012)
  • Revenue: 4.1 billion USD (March 2016)
  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • Founder: Anand Mahindra

2)   IT major Symantec released an automated solution to counter which cloud bug?

a. Cloudburst
b. Cloudbleed
c. Cloudbust
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Cloudbleed

Symantec on March 6, 2017 released an automated solution to identify and resolve potential exposure to 'Cloudbleed' - a bug that compromised millions of user accounts in cloud applications.

The company has released the solution to current Symantec 'ProxySG' customers.

The solution leverages integrations between its 'CloudSOC Cloud Access Security Broker' (CASB) and the broader Symantec security portfolio.

Discovered on February 17, 'Cloudbleed' is a security bug that leaked data from the content delivery network Cloudflare.

Following the incident, Symantec analysts mapped the vulnerable 'CloudBleed' web URLs to specific cloud applications and 'CloudSOC Audit' identified more than 2,000 applications that were potentially affected by CloudBleed.

As a result, 'CloudSOC Audit' now tracks the CloudBleed vulnerability as an at-risk attribute for cloud applications.

'CloudSOC Audit' tracks intelligence on over 20,000 cloud applications based on 90-plus different risk attributes, now including the 'CloudBleed' vulnerability.

CloudBleed: Know More

  • Cloudflare, which is used by more than 5.5 million websites leaked mass amounts of sensitive user information from those sites.
  • This is including passwords, private messages, hotel bookings, and more between September 2016 and February 18th of this year.
  • The leak has been called ‘Cloudbleed’.
  • Security researcher, Tavis Ormandy, discovered the vulnerability, which is the result of a software bug in their code.
  • This is technically known as a buffer overrun.

3)   Amrita University TBI and CCSN have set up India's first startup hub for?

a. Cybersecurity
b. Online operations
c. eCommerce
d. Mobile banking
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Cybersecurity

Amrita University's Technology Business Incubator (TBI) and its Centre for Cybersecurity Systems and Networks (CCSN) have come together to set up India's first startup hub exclusively for cybersecurity.

The focus areas will include mobile, cloud, cyber-physical systems, digital forensics, cryptography, malware analysis and so on.

The initiative will bring together research, funding and industry on the same platform.

There are more than 4,000 startups in the country today, but less than 100 operate in the field of cybersecurity and build related products.

With wars being fought every minute across the world in cyberspace, cybersecurity has become a strategic national priority.

Cybersecurity Threats: Know More

  • Cybersecurity is estimated to be a US $70 billion industry worldwide, with an annual loss of US $400 billion due to cybercrime and threats. This loss is expected to shoot up to US $2 trillion by 2020.
  • India witnessed an estimated 50,000 cybersecurity incidents in 2015.
  • More than 26,000 websites have been defaced and 91 lakh infected systems have been detected in the country till now.
  • 80% of all cybercrimes go unreported.
  • Without strong software security and protection techniques, all software-based systems are vulnerable to devastating attacks from hackers and spies.

4)   US is setting up which missile defence system in South Korea ?

d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


US missile launchers and other equipment needed to set up a controversial missile defence system have arrived in South Korea, the US and South Korean militaries said on March 7, 2017.

This is a day after North Korea test-launched four ballistic missiles into the ocean near Japan.

The plans to deploy the Terminal High-Altitude Area defence system, or THAAD, by the end of this year have angered not only North Korea, but also China and Russia, which see the system's powerful radars as a security threat.

The system is defensive and not meant to be a threat to Beijing or Moscow.

The US military said in a statement that THAAD is meant to intercept and destroy short and medium range ballistic missiles during the last part of their flights.

Some South Korean liberal presidential candidates have said that the security benefits of having THAAD would be curtailed by worsened relations with neighbours China and Russia.

China's condemnation of South Korean plans to deploy THAAD has triggered protests against South Korean retail giant, Lotte, which agreed to provide one of its golf courses in southern South Korea as the site of THAAD.

The South Korean government also raised worries about a reported ban on Chinese tour groups visiting the country.

North Korea recently fired four ballistic missiles in an apparent protest against ongoing US-South Korean military drills that it views as an invasion rehearsal.

The missiles flew about 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) on average, three of them landing in waters that Japan claims as its exclusive economic zone

5)   Which digital streaming service partnered with 4 companies for Indian markets?

a. Netflix
b. HBO
c. Disney
d. Pixar
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Netflix

Digital streaming service Netflix on March 7, 2017 has partnered with Airtel, Videocon d2h and Vodafone in India as it looks to ramp up its presence in the Indian market.

The US-based firm, which is up against strong competition from rivals like Amazon Prime, HotStar and others in the Indian market, is investing aggressively in local content.

Adding that the growth in consumption has also been driven by free data offering from new-comer Reliance Jio, Netflix is in discussion with many other players in India for partnerships.

Netflix has offices in the US, Amsterdam, London, Singapore and Tokyo.

It has about 94 million users globally, of which 40 million are outside the US.

In December, Netflix had inked a long-term deal with Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies to give viewers exclusive access to the Bollywood superstar’s upcoming as well as past films.

Despite the intense competition, the company will focus on improving its content library and continue to have a premium play rather than changing prices.

Netflix, which has gained popularity in India on the back of successful shows like Narcos and The Crown, is also keen on bringing more original programming to consumers.

This will bring content to users across markets without worrying about licensing the content.

The company is also looking at introducing more payment options for Indian users, given the low penetration of credit cards.

6)   Dr Thomas Starzl was a pioneer in which surgery?

a. Heart transplant
b. Liver transplant
c. Kidney transplant
d. Both b and c
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both b and c

Dr. Thomas Starzl, who pioneered liver transplant surgery in the 1960s and was a leading researcher into anti-rejection drugs, has died. He was 90.

The University of Pittsburgh, speaking on behalf of Dr. Starzl’s family, said the renowned doctor died on March 5, 2017 at his home in Pittsburgh.

Dr. Starzl performed the world’s first liver transplant in 1963 and the world’s first successful liver transplant in 1967, and pioneered kidney transplantation from cadavers.

He later perfected the process by using identical twins and, eventually, other blood relatives as donors.

Since Dr. Starzl’s first successful liver transplant, thousands of lives have been saved by similar operations.

Scientists regard him as the father of transplantation.

His legacy in transplantation is hard to put into words it’s really immense.

About Dr. Starzl

  • Dr. Starzl joined the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1981 as professor of surgery, where his studies on the anti - rejection drug cyclosporin transformed transplantation from an experimental procedure into one that gave patients a hope they could survive an otherwise fatal organ failure.
  • It was his development of cyclosporin in combination with steroids that offered a solution to organ rejection.
  • Until 1991, Dr. Starzl served as chief of transplant services at UPMC, then was named director of the University of Pittsburgh Transplantation Institute.
  • Here he continued research on a process he called chimerism, based on a 1992 paper he wrote on the theory that new organs and old bodies “learn” to co-exist without immunosupression drugs.
  • The institute was renamed in his honour in 1996, and he continued as its director.
  • In his 1992 autobiography, The Puzzle People - Memoirs of a Transplant Surgeon, Dr. Starzl said he actually hated performing surgery and was sickened with fear each time he prepared for an operation.

7)   Which country is not included in the list of barred countries for travel to the US?

a. Sudan
b. Syria
c. Libya
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: None of the above

The Donald Trump administration issued a new executive order on Monday, temporarily banning travel from six Muslim-majority countries to the US.

This is after an earlier order ran foul of the country’s judiciary.

The new executive order bans travel from six countries - Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen, leaving out Iraq that was also in the list of barred countries in the January 2017 order.

In an attempt to pass the next round of inevitable judicial scrutiny, current visa and green card holders from these countries will not be affected by this order.

The order also explains the basis for including the six countries trying to remedy a lacuna in the earlier order.

The new order also avoids the preferential treatment offered to Christian refugees in the earlier order.

The new order will not come into effect until March 16.

There will be a 90-day ban on the issuance of new visas for citizens of these six countries, and nation’s refugee program will be suspended for 120 days, according to the order.

While the temporary ban is in place for 90 days, the US administration will review the security measures in place to prevent potential threats from gaining a US visa.

The number of refugees to be admitted this year has been reduced to 50,000 from the 110,000 cap set by the Obama administration. The indefinite ban on Syrian refugees has been lifted.

The order said each of the six countries was a state sponsor of terrorism, has been significantly compromised by terrorist organisations or contains active conflict zones.

The order gives country-wise details justifying the inclusion of each and also explains the exclusion of Iraq.

Iraq: Know More

  • Capital: Baghdad
  • Currency: Iraqi dinar
  • President: Fuad Masum
  • Prime minister: Haider al-Abadi
  • Official languages: Arabic, Kurdish

8)   Researchers have stored what type of data in DNA for the first time?

a. OS
b. Movie
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both of the above

Researchers from Columbia University and the New York Genome Centre have stored a computer operating system, a short movie along with other data in DNA.

Study showed an algorithm designed for streaming video on a cellphone could unlock DNA's nearly full storage potential by squeezing more information into its four base nucleotides.

DNA is an ideal storage medium because it is ultracompact and can last hundreds of thousands of years if kept in a cool, dry place, as demonstrated by the recent recovery of DNA from the bones of a 430,000-year-old human ancestor found in a cave in Spain.

DNA won't degrade over time like cassette tapes and CDs, and it won't become obsolete.

Researchers chose six files to encode, or write, into DNA:

  • an operating system,
  • an 1895 French film "Arrival of a train at La Ciotat",
  • a US$50 Amazon gift card, a computer virus,
  • a Pioneer plaque and
  • a 1948 study by information theorist Claude Shannon.
They compressed the files into a master file, and then split the data into short strings of binary code made up of ones and zeros.

Using an erasure-correcting algorithm called fountain codes, they randomly packaged the strings into so-called droplets, and mapped the ones and zeros in each droplet to the four nucleotide bases in DNA: A, G, C and T.

The algorithm deleted letter combinations known to create errors and added a barcode to each droplet to help reassemble the files later.

The researchers showed that their coding strategy packed 215 petabytes of data on a single gram of DNA, which was the highest-density data-storage device ever created.

9)   India launched a plan to phase out which key refrigerant?

b. HFC
c. CFC
d. PCC
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


India on March 6, 2017 launched the country's latest plan to phase out the key refrigerant HCFC/hydrochlorofluorocarbon.

This is as part of the ultimate goal to close the use of ODS or ozone depleting substances by switching over to non-ozone depleting and low global warming potential technologies.

A plan is meant for the 2017-2023 period.

The final goal is to phase out consumption and manufacturing of this ozone-depleting refrigerant under an accelerated plan by 2030.

The HCFC is currently used in various sectors including refrigeration, air-conditioning and foam manufacturing.

Over 190 countries had in 1987 reached an agreement under Montreal Protocol to phase out the ODS in a time-bound manner.

Under the Protocol, India has already successfully phased out the earlier generation of refrigerants, Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and Halon.

The country is currently phasing out the HCFC in a gradual manner.

A multilateral fund, set up under the Protocol, has approved USD 44.1 million for India's HCFC management plan for the 2017-23 period.

The money will be used to help industries to switch over to alternatives and train manpower. Domestic industries are, however, expected to invest in research & development (R&D) to find out clean alternatives.

Industries must invest in R&D to carve out a niche for India at a global level. It will also create skills and generate employment.

India had also acted pro-actively to reach a fair deal in Kigali, Rwanda in 2016 to phase out another refrigerant, hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), which is currently being used as an alternative to ODS like HCFC.

He insisted that the government had worked hard to protect interests of domestic industries and it's time for the industries to invest in research to develop cutting-edge technology that can be used in future.

After phasing out HCFC, the country will have to move to a next stage where it will work on to phase out HFC as per an agreement reached by it along with 195 countries in Kigali last year.

Though HFC is not ODS, the countries had agreed to gradually phase it out due to its climate-damaging potential.

India has, however, a lenient schedule to phase out HFC. It will have to cut use of HFC by 85% by 2047 over the 2024-2026 level (baseline).

HCFC: Know More

  • Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are a large group of compounds.
  • The structure is very close to that of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), but including one or more hydrogen atoms.
  • Under usual conditions, HCFCs are gases or liquids which evaporate easily.
  • They are generally fairly stable and unreactive.
  • HCFCs do not usually dissolve in water, but do dissolve in organic (carbon-containing) solvents. HCFCs are chemically similar to Hydrobromofluorocarbons (HBFCs), Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and Halons.
  • They display some similar properties, however they are much less stable and persistent.
  • HCFCs are also part of a group of chemicals called as the volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

10)   What is Udan?

a. Civil aviation/regional connectivity scheme
b. Defence procurement scheme
c. IAF scheme
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Civil aviation/regional connectivity scheme

Government of India has approved INR 4500 crore project to revive 50 unserved and under-served airports as well as airstrips.

With the plan, the government is looking to enhance air connectivity to small cities and towns while the revival of such airports and airstrips would be "demand driven".

The proposal was agreed to by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be INR 4,500 crore. 15 airports/airstrips each would be revived during 2017-18 and 2018-19 each while 20 airports/airstrips would be revived during 2019-20.

As many as 50 unserved and under-served airports and airstrips of state governments, Airports Authority of India (AAI) and civil enclaves would be under the project.

Small cities/towns will be connected on commencement of operation of flights to under-served/unserved airports.

It will moreover boost the economic development in these areas as well as surrounding areas in terms of job creation and related infrastructure development.

Revival plan is demand driven. It would depend on firm commitment from airline operators as well as the state governments in terms of providing various concessions.

The unserved and under-served airports are to be developed without insisting on financial viability.

In the Union Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced plans for making adequate provisions for revival of unserved and under-served airports.

To make flying more affordable, the government has already unveiled the ambitious regional connectivity scheme UDAN ('Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik') under which fares are to be capped at INR 2,500 for one-hour flights.