Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Mar 14, 2017

1)   FM Arun Jaitley has been appointed Defence Minister in Modi government for?

a. 4th Time
b. 3rd Time
c. 2nd Time
d. 5th Time
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 2nd Time

A communique issued by GoI has said FM Arun Jaitley has been given additional charge as defence minister along with other portfolios.

Meanwhile, Minister Manohar Parrikar is set to be sworn in as Goa CM.

This is the second time that Jaitley is holding the additional portfolio of Defence Ministry during the present NDA government.

He was in charge of the ministry earlier from May 26 to November 9 in 2014.

Defence Ministry: Know More

  • Formed: 1776
  • Jurisdiction: India
  • Headquarters: South Block, Cabinet Secretariat, Raisina Hill, New Delhi, 110 011
  • Cabinet minister: Arun Jaitley
  • Minister of state: Subhash Bhamre

2)   Who has been appointed Group Chairman of HSBC?

a. Mark Tucker
b. Simon Tucket
c. Stuart Gulliver
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Mark Tucker

HSBC has appointed Mark Tucker, the chief executive of Asian insurer AIA, as group chairman.

Tucker will take over on 1 October, succeeding Douglas Flint who has been in the role since 2010.

The appointment breaks an HSBC tradition of appointing insiders to the chairmanship.

Tucker has been chief executive of AIA for seven years, during which he oversaw the insurer's expansion in Asia.

Prior to AIA, he was the chief executive of insurance giant Prudential, and brings to HSBC his experience at the top of a UK financial giant as well as his Asian exposure.

HSBC has been through an overhaul in recent years in an attempt to reverse declining profits.

Over the past six years it has cut more than 40,000 jobs and sold off businesses.

Despite those efforts, profits tumbled more than 60% last year.

In 2017, it reached a $470m (£325m) settlement with the US government and states related to dubious mortgage lending and foreclosure practices during the financial crisis.

In late 2012 HSBC paid US authorities $1.9bn in a settlement over money laundering.

AIA said that Ng Keng Hooi, would take over as chief executive from 1 September.


  • CEO: António Pedro dos Santos Simões (1 Sep 2015)
  • Headquarters: London, United Kingdom
  • Founded: 15 August 1836, Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • Number of employees: 85,000
  • Subsidiaries: First Direct, M&S Bank, HSBC Bank, HSBC France, more
  • Parent organization: HSBC

3)   UP has the highest number of women MLAs since?

a. Independence
b. 1950
c. Formation of Modi government
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Independence

When the 17th Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly convenes, there will be a record 38 women MLAs in attendance, the highest since Independence.

The positive result came despite political parties giving tickets to only 96 women candidates.

BJP gave tickets to 43 women, the highest among all the parties.

Of these, 32 won.

From BSP and Congress, two women won, while one each from the Samajwadi Party and Apna Dal were also elected.

According to records available with the Election Commission, in the first UP assembly election after Independence, held in 1952, 20 women were elected.

The strength of women in the assembly has fluctuated in the elections ever since.

The next major milestone was in 1985, when 31 women were elected. However, in 1989, the number fell to 18, while only 10 women were elected in 1991.

In 1993, 14 women MLAs were elected, a number which steadily increased to 20 in 1996 and 26 in 2002.

In 2007, however, the number fell to a mere three women MLAs, but in 2012 a record 35 were elected.

In 2017, this number has gone up even further, in what is a positive sign.

Out of 403 constituencies in the state in which the party contested, BSP fielded only 20 women candidates.

4)   Ice free Arctic could be the result of?

a. Manmade global warming
b. Natural swings
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

Natural swings in the Arctic climate have caused up to half the precipitous losses of sea ice around the North Pole in recent decades.

However the rest was driven by man-made global warming as per a study.

The study indicates that an ice-free Arctic Ocean, often feared to be just years away, in one of the starkest signs of man-made global warming, could be delayed if nature swings back to a cooler mode.

Natural variations in the Arctic climate may be responsible for about 30-50 percent of the overall decline in September sea ice since 1979.

Sea ice has shrunk steadily and hit a record low in September 2012– late summer in the Arctic–in satellite records dating back to 1979.

The ice is now around the smallest for mid-March, rivalling winter lows set in 2016 and 2015.

The study, separating man-made from natural influences in the Arctic atmospheric circulation, said that a decades-long natural warming of the Arctic climate might be tied to shifts as far away as the tropical Pacific Ocean.

The findings could help narrow down huge uncertainties about when the ice will vanish.

5)   UK Parliament has ____ to Brexit.

a. Disagreed
b. Agreed
c. Objected
d. Both a and c
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Agreed

Britain lurched closer to leaving the European Union on March 13, 2017 when Parliament stopped resisting and gave Prime Minister Theresa May the power to file for divorce from the bloc.

But in a blow to May's government, the prospect of Scotland's exit from the United Kingdom suddenly appeared nearer, too.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called for a referendum on independence within two years to stop Scotland being moved out of the EU against its will.

The House of Commons approved the bill weeks ago, but the 800-strong Lords fought to amend it, inserting a promise that EU citizens living in the UK will be allowed to remain after Britain pulls out of the bloc.

They also added a demand that Parliament get a meaningful vote on the final deal between Britain and the remaining 27 EU nations.

Both amendments were rejected on March 13 by the Commons, where May's Conservatives have a majority.

A handful of pro-EU Conservatives expressed their unhappiness, then abstained from the vote.

The bill returned to the Lords, in a process known as parliamentary ping pong.

Faced with the decision of the elected Commons, the Lords backed down and approved it without amendments.

Once the bill receives royal assent, May will be free to invoke Article 50 of the EU's key treaty, triggering two years of exit negotiations, by her self-imposed deadline of March 31.

The House of Commons and House of Lords battled over the bill's contents, with the status of EU nationals in Britain drawing especially emotional debate.

Pro-EU lawmakers accused the government and Brexit-backing lawmakers of running roughshod over the concerns of the 48 percent of Britons who voted to stay in the EU.

6)   Which part of UK has demanded an independent referendum in 2018-2019?

a. Scotland
b. Ireland
c. Wales
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Scotland

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon on March 13, 2017 demanded a new independence referendum to be held in late 2018 or early 2019.

This is once the terms of Britain's exit from the European Union have become clearer.

A vote that could rip apart the United Kingdom just months before Brexit adds a tumultuous twist and highly uncertain consequences to the two-year process of leaving the EU after more than four decades.

PM Theresa May is poised to launch the Brexit process, something opposed by most Scots in last June's vote on leaving the bloc.

Ultimately it is the UK parliament in Westminster–where May commands a majority–which makes the call on whether Scotland can hold a second referendum.

Sturgeon has previously said she wanted Scotland to be allowed to strike its own deal with the EU to keep access to the bloc's tariff-free single market.

The results of the June 23 Brexit referendum called the future of the UK into question because England and Wales voted to leave the EU but Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay, with an overall 55 percent in favour of leaving.

Scots rejected independence by 55-45 percent in a referendum in September 2014, though the vote energised Scottish politics and support for the SNP has surged since then.

7)   Name Japan's largest warship.

a. Tizumo
b. Cozumo
c. Izumo
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


Japan aims to dispatch its largest warship on a three-month tour through the South China Sea beginning in May.

This is the biggest show of naval force in the region since World War Two.

China claims almost all the disputed waters and its growing military presence has fuelled concern in Japan and the West.

The United States has been holding regular air and naval patrols to ensure freedom of navigation.

The Izumo helicopter carrier will make stops in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka before joining the Malabar joint naval exercise with Indian and US naval vessels in the Indian Ocean in July.

It will return to Japan in August.

Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei also claim parts of the South China sea which has rich fishing grounds, oil and gas deposits and through which around $5 trillion of global sea-borne trade passes each year.

Japan does not have any claim to the waters, but has a separate maritime dispute with China in the East China Sea.

Izumo: Know More

  • The 249 metre-long (816.93 ft) Izumo is as large as Japan's World War Two-era carriers.
  • It can operate up to nine helicopters.
  • It resembles the amphibious assault carriers used by US Marines.
  • It lacks their well deck for launching landing craft and other vessels.
  • Based in Yokosuka, near to Tokyo, which is also home to the US Seventh Fleet's carrier, the Ronald Reagan, the Izumo's primary mission is anti-submarine warfare.

8)   Who was overthrown as President of Egypt in a 2011 uprising?

a. Hosni Mubarak
b. Mohamad Morsi
c. Anwar Sadat
d. Abel Fateh Al Sisi
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Hosni Mubarak

Hosni Mubarak, who was overthrown as president of Egypt in an uprising in 2011, will be released from detention in a military hospital, the public prosecutor ruled on March 13, 2017.

The ageing former president would likely be released March 14 or soon after.

Mubarak was cleared of murder charges this month in his final trial.

He had faced various charges ranging from corruption to ordering the killing of protesters who ended his 30-year-rule.

He had one more jail sentence to serve but was cleared after serving time for the murder charges.

The prosecution subtracted the time served in the murder case from the time he was meant to serve for a separate case in which he was found guilty of appropriating funds reserved for maintaining presidential palaces.

Mubarak was originally sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for conspiring to murder 239 demonstrators during the 18-day revolt–an uprising that sowed chaos and created a security vacuum but also inspired a mission for democracy and social justice.

An appeal by the public prosecution led to a final retrial by the Court of Cassation, the highest in the country, which acquitted him on March 2.

Egypt: Know More

  • Capital: Cairo
  • Currency: Egyptian pound
  • President: Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
  • Official languages: Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic

9)   Pakistan is set to conduct its first national census in how many years?

a. 19
b. 18
c. 17
d. 16
Answer  Explanation 


Pakistan is set to conduct its first national census in 19 years. It will commence on 15th March 2017 with the assistance of 200 thousand troops.

This is the sixth census of the South Asian nation , which will be completed on May 25, and conducted in two phases.

At least one soldier will accompany each civilian enumerator going from house to house to enlist the number of households and individuals living there.

The soldiers will not only provide security but help in verification of data collected by the enumerators.

Administrative and security arrangements have been made for the population and housing census.

The number of the civilian staff taking part in the census is 118,918.

They are all government servants from various departments and thoroughly trained for the job.

Rs. 18.5 billion have been allocated for the census.

The minister of state said the holding of the census will help appropriate allocation of funds and other resources at right places.

Aurangzeb said that there will be imprisonment of six months and Rs 50,000 fine if wrong information is given.

Islamabad last conducted a census in 1998, which recorded a national population of approximately 180 million at that time.

Islamabad: Know More

  • Islamabad is the capital city of Pakistan located within the federal Islamabad Capital Territory.
  • With a population of two million, it is the 10th largest city of Pakistan
  • Governing body: Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation and Capital Development Authority (CDA)
  • Chief Commissioner: Zulfiqar Haider
  • Chairman CDA: Sheikh Ansar aziz
  • Mayor: Sheikh Ansar Aziz Political party PML-N

10)   US Chipmaker Intel is to buy which Israeli firm?

a. Mobileye
b. Mobilquick
c. Mobilex
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Mobileye

US chipmaker Intel is set to purchase Israeli technology firm Mobileye for USD 14 to 15 billion.

The companies are set to announce the acquisition, which is the largest ever for an Israeli hi-tech company.

Mobileye is a top supplier of collision avoidance car sensor systems.

Mobileye and Intel were already collaborating for a project with BMW, which announced a partnership with the two in July 2016 to develop completely autonomous vehicles to the market by 2021.

About Mobileye

  • Founded with a mission to reduce vehicle injuries and fatalities.
  • Mobileye listed in 2014 on the New York Stock Exchange.
  • Its market cap is $10.6 billion.
  • Goldman Sachs invested $130 million in the company in 2007.
  • CEO: Ziv Aviram (since 2010)
  • Founded: 1999
  • Headquarters: Jerusalem, Israel
  • Founders: Amnon Shashua, Ziv Aviram
  • Subsidiaries: Mobileye Technologies Limited, MobilEye Vision Technologies Ltd., Mobileye Inc.