Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Mar 09, 2017

1)   First smart tribal model village in J&K is?

a. Hubbi
b. Pulwama
c. Uri
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


The first smart tribal model village ‘Hubbi’ was inaugurated at Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir.

It was inaugurated by the Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Food, Civil Supplies, and Consumer Affairs Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali.

The village was developed by Rural Development Department of the State Government.

The smart tribal village has been introduced with smart classes in the schools, better roads, electricity and water facilities.

Rajouri: Know More

  • Rajouri is a district of Jammu region in Indian state of J &K.
  • The Line of Control lies to its west, Poonch to the north, the Reasi district to its east and the Jammu district to the south.
  • Rajouri is famed for its kalari (made from milk).
  • Representing an ancient, old principality, Rajouri was a joint district, along with Reasi, at the time of J&K accession to India in 1947.
  • The two tehsils were separated and Rajouri was merged with the Poonch.
  • Rajouri again became a separate district in 1968.

2)   China's banking system has become the world's largest by?

a. Assets
b. NNP
c. GDP
d. FDI
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Assets

China's banking system has outdone Eurozone to become the largest in the world by assets.

China’s increased influence in world finance and its reliance on debt to drive growth since the 2009 global financial crisis were also considered.

Chinese bank assets had hit $33 trillion at the end of 2016, versus $31 trillion of the eurozone, $16 trillion of the US and $7 trillion of Japan.

The value of China’s banking system is more than 3.1 times the size of its annual economic output, compared with 2.8 times for the eurozone and its banks.

China’s GDP had outperformed EU’s economic bloc in 2011 at market exchange rates, but its banking system did not take over the top spot until the end of 2016.

China's GDP: Know More

  • GDP (PPP)(2016 estimate)

  • Total

  • $20.853 trillion[12] (1st)

    Per capita

  • $15,095[12] (83rd)
  • GDP (nominal)(2016 estimate)

  • Total

  • $11.383 trillion(2nd)

  • Per capita

  • $8,239[12] (72nd)
  • Gini (2015): 46.2
  • HDI (2014): Increase 0.727( 90th)
  • Currency: Renminbi (yuan; ¥)

3)   Which playback singer set a new world record playing most songs on the Gayathri veena?

a. Vaikom Vijaylakshmi
b. Kavita Krishnamurthy
c. Sunidhi Chauhan
d. Alka Yagnik
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Vaikom Vijaylakshmi

Playback singer Vaikom Vijayalakshmi on March 5 2017 set a new world record by playing the maximum number of songs in the shortest time on a single string musical instrument.

She played various classical and filmy songs on the Gayathri veena continuously for over five hours and in the process became the first person to achieve the feat.

The music maestro, who is visually impaired, broke the record by playing a total of 69 songs on the instrument during a programme.

Even though Vijayalakshmi managed to enter the record books when the 51st song was completed, she went on till the 69th song.

Several awards have been won by Vijayalakshmi.

Besides singing for the Malayalam movies,she has performed songs in Tamil and Telugu films.

Vijayalakshmi has conducted several Gayathri veena recitals.

The instrument gifted by a well-wisher was modified by Vijayalakshmi’s father, Muraleedharan.

Gayathri Veena: Know More

  • Instrument family: String instrument, Plucked string instrument
  • Place of origin: India
  • Related instrument: Sitar, Tanpura, Sarod, Saraswati veena.
  • Classification: String instrument

4)   Fin Min has allowed which banks to offer ESOPS?

a. PSU banks
b. nationalized banks
c. Regional Rural Banks
d. Private banks
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


FinMin has agreed in-principle to allow public sector banks to offer stock options to their employees from next fiscal.

This is a move aimed at retaining experienced hands with better incentives.

Employee Stock Option plans (ESOPs) could be given by those banks which have not only earned substantial profit but also made remarkable improvement in managing NPAs.

It will help motivate employees to work towards strengthening the financial status of their banks so that their share value rises.

The percentage of profit can be earmarked for ESOPs is to be worked out.

This is based on the suggestion of Banks Board Bureau (BBB). One of the proposals is to issue shares equivalent to a certain percentage of banks’ net profit to employees which is being examined.

For large banks, the ESOPs could be as much as 5 per cent of profit after tax while for the smaller ones, it could be about 3 per cent but no decision has been taken yet.

Apart from ESOPs, bonuses and other performance-linked packages are also being discussed as suggested by BBB.

ESOPs are common in the private sector, where companies offer stocks to reward and retain key and top-performing employees.

Since the employees stand to benefit from any appreciation in stock price, ESOPs also help in aligning the interests of the employees with those of shareholders.

It can be monetary or non-monetary benefits to make it more attractive for professionals to enter public sector banking space.

PSU Banks in India

  • Public Sector Banks (PSBs) are banks where a majority stake (i.e. more than 50%) is held by a government.
  • The shares of these banks are listed on stock exchanges.
  • There are a total of 27 PSBs in India [21 Nationalized banks and 6 State bank group (SBI + 5 associates) ].
  • In 2011, IDBI bank and in 2014 Bharatiya Mahila Bank were nationalized with a minimum capital of INR 500 crore.

5)   Where is Bhagoria festival held?

a. Jhabua
b. Dhar
c. Chambal
d. Both a and b
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both a and b

The annual tribal festival Bhagoria commenced in 5 districts of Madhya Pradesh from March 6.

The week-long festival is organised at different Bhagoria haats (local markets) in Jhabua, Alirajpur, Dhar, Khargone and Barwani districts in western Madhya Pradesh.

Bhagoria Haat is the colorful festival of the Bhils and the Bhilalas.

This festival is held particularly in the district of West Nimar and Jhabua and the ‘haat’ is held actually in the nature of a mass ‘Svayamvara’ or a marriage market.

This is indicated in the name of the festival, Bhagoria Haat and during the festival the young people elope after choosing their partners.

They are later on accepted as husband and wife by the society through prearranged customs.

As per tradition, the boy is supposed to apply gulal, red powder, on the face of the girl whom he chooses as his wife.

If the girl is willing, she also applies gulal on the boy’s face.

The Bhagoria Haat also concurs with the completion of harvesting, making it an agricultural festival as well.

The Bhagoria Haat Festival is held on 25th feb to 5th March 2016, mainly on various market days before the beginning of the Holi Festival.

MP: Know More

  • Area: 308,252 km²
  • Population: 73.34 million (2012)
  • Chief minister: Shivraj Singh Chouhan
  • Capitals: Bhopal, Jabalpur (Judiciary)

6)   Where is the country's longest tunnel?

a. J&K
b. HP
c. UP
d. MP
Answer  Explanation 


The country's longest tunnel connecting Chenani and Nashri in Jammu & Kashmir will be opened for traffic later in March 2017.

Called the "Tunnel of Hope" in Kashmir, the structure ensuring all-weather connectivity will reduce the distance between Jammu and Kashmir by 38km.

Work for the 9.2km tunnel started in May 2011 and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had laid the foundation stone.

It was originally scheduled for completion by August last year.

This project along with the other tunnel between Quazigund and Banihal on this corridor will be a big boost to state's economy.

These two projects will provide all-weather connectivity between Jammu and Kashmir and reduce the distance by at least 50km.

The 8.45km Quazigund-Banihal tunnel is scheduled for completion by March 2018.

The Chenani-Nashri connectivity will be a single tunnel with 9.3 metre width and an escape tunnel for emergency while Quazigund-Banihal stretch will have twin tubes with a width of seven metres each.

At present, it takes about 10-11 hours to go from one city to the other under normal weather conditions. The two tunnels will also end traffic logjam on NH-1A due to heavy snowfall during winters and landslides in monsoons.

While the all-weather tunnels will help traders transport fruits produced from this region to other parts of the country , it will also ensure seamless supply of essential items to the valley even during winter and rainy season.

This will also boost food processing industry in the region and generate jobs for locals.

7)   A new 4 lane, extradosed bridge across Narmada at Bharuch holds the record for?

a. Longest extradose cable stayed bridge
b. Only second such bridge in the country
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

In a relief for Vadodara- Surat section of NH-8 (New NH-48), Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated a new four lane, Extradosed Bridge across river Narmada at Bharuch to the nation on March 8, 2017.

The aim is also to convert eight state highways of Gujarat to National Highways, and this will give a big boost to the infrastructure of the state.

The Narmada bridge project has been completed in 34 months at a cost of INR 380 crores.

About the Bridge

  • The 1.4 km ‘Extradose’ cable stayed bridge is the longest in India and the second such bridge in the country after Nivedita Setu over Hooghly.
  • The bridge is 20.8 metres wide, with 14.5 metre carriageway and 3 metre footpath.
  • It is supported on 9 Pylons of 36 meter height on pile foundation of 1.5metre diameter.
  • The bridge will be lit by more than 400 LED lights.
  • The bridge is part of National Highways Authority of India’s project for six laning of Ahmedabad-Mumbai section of NH-8( a total length of 6.745 Km between km.192.00 to km.198.745.) in Baruch.

8)   Scientists have developed a new brain computer interface to read people's thoughts and correct robotic errors relying on?

a. Error related potentials
b. Brain signals that occur automatically
c. Both a and b are the same
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and b are the same

Scientists have come up with a new brain-computer interface reading people's thoughts in real time to correct robotic errors.

This advance may lead to safer self driving cars. Existing brain-computer interfaces need people to train with it and even learn to modulate their thoughts to help the machine understand.

By relying on brain signals called "error-related potentials" (ErrPs) that occur automatically when humans make a mistake or spot someone else making one, the new approach allows even complete novices to control a robot with their minds.

This technology developed by researchers at the Boston University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

It may offer intuitive and instantaneous ways of communicating with machines, for applications as diverse as supervising factory robots to controlling robotic prostheses.

Researchers collected electroencephalography (EEG) data from volunteers as those individuals watched a humanoid robot decide which of two objects to pick up.

This data was analysed using machine-learning algorithms that can detect ErrPs in just 10 to 30 milliseconds.

This means results could be fed back to the robot in real time, allowing it to correct its course midway.

9)   Scientists have developed an algorithm to enable robots to?

a. Ask intelligent questions when confused about fetching objects
b. Quantify certainty about what the user wants
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

Scientists have created an algorithm that enables robots to ask intelligent questions when they are confused to help them get better at fetching objects.

This is an important task for future robot assistants.

The algorithm developed by researchers at Brown University in the US enables a robot to quantify how certain it is about what a user wants.

When its certainty is high, the robot will simply hand over the object as requested.

When it is not so certain, the robot makes its best guess about what the person wants, then asks for confirmation by hovering its gripper over the object and asking.

One of the important features of the system is that the robot does not ask questions with every interaction, it asks intelligently.

Supposing a user asks for a wrench and there are two wrenches on a table. If the user tells the robot that its first guess was wrong, the algorithm deduces that the other wrench must be the one that the user wants.

It will then hand that one over without asking another question. Those kinds of inferences, known as implicatures, make the algorithm more efficient.