Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Mar 16, 2017

1)   Commonwealth Day 2017 was celebrated on which date?

a. March 12
b. March 14
c. March 13
d. March 15
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: March 13

The Commonwealth Day 2017 was celebrated by the 52 countries of the Commonwealth on 13 March 2017.

The theme of the day was ‘A peace-building Commonwealth’.

It is a natural follow-up from the 2016 theme ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’.

The theme cements Commonwealth Charter principle that international peace and security, sustainable economic growth and development are essential to the progress and prosperity of all.

This annual observation of the day marks 40 years of the Commonwealth Day that became a global celebration in 1977.

Commonwealth: Know More

  • It world’s oldest political associations of states.
  • It began back when some countries were ruled by Britain under the British Empire and was founded in December 1931.
  • The countries that became self-governing, while keeping Britain’s monarch as Head of State, formed the British Commonwealth of Nations.
  • The Commonwealth came into existence in 1949 and since then independent countries from Africa, America, Asia, Europe and the Pacific have joined the group.
  • Headquarters : Marlborough House, London
  • Working language : English

2)   NTPC has installed India's largest floating solar photo voltaic plant at _________

a. Kayamkulam, Kerala
b. Medak, Andhra Pradesh
c. Thrissur, Kerala
d. Salem, TN
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Kayamkulam, Kerala

The NTPC Ltd in the second week of March 2017 installed India’s largest floating solar photo voltaic plant.

This was at the Rajiv Gandhi Combined Cycle Power Plant (RGCCPP) Kayamkulam in Kerala.

The 100 kWp floating solar photo voltaic plant is the largest of its kind in India as on date.

This floating platform has been indigenously developed by the NETRA (NTPC Energy Technology Research Alliance) in partnership with Central Institute of Plastic Engineering & Technology (CIPET), Chennai.

The system was installed by Swelect Energy Systems Ltd, Chennai with the help from NETRA and NTPC Kayamkulam station in a short span of 22 days.

Floating solar photo voltaic plant systems are fast emerging as an alternative to conventional ground mounted photo voltaic systems, which are land intensive.

These have various benefits like conserving water through the reduction of evaporation, increased generation due to cooling effect on the panels and reduced installation time.

Installation potential of such type of systems in India is huge due to the abundance of water bodies.

The potential is approximately 800 MWp in various reservoirs in existing stations.

Due to availability of abundant water bodies, this type of system has a great potential in RGCCPP, Kerala.

NTPC: Know More

  • NTPC is India’s largest energy conglomerate with origins planted way back in 1975.
  • It aims to accelerate power development in India.
  • Since then, it has established itself as the dominant power major with the presence in the entire value chain of the power generation business.
  • From fossil fuels, it has forayed into generating electricity via hydro, nuclear and renewable energy sources.
  • This foray will play a major role in lowering its carbon footprint by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

3)   Joanna Rowsell Shand is an Olympic winner associated with which sports?

a. Cycling
b. Swimming
c. Weight lifting
d. Discus throw
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Cycling

Joanna Rowsell Shand has announced her retirement at the age of 28.

She is stepping away from elite cycling with two Olympic gold medals and five world titles in the locker.

Primarily a track rider, Rowsell Shand formed an integral part of the British women's team pursuit squad.

The team pushed the discipline to new heights, helping to stretch the world record time and again.

That benchmark now stands at 4:10.236 - the ride that won the gold in Rio this summer - while the gold medal ride from London 2012 set the final world record for the 3km distance, before it was increased to four kilometres in 2013.

About Joanna Rowsell Shand

  • Rowsell Shand was spotted by British Cycling's talent programme at the age of 15 and, after taking junior national titles on the track in 2005 and 2006, she stepped up to senior level in 2007 at the age of 18.
  • In 2008 she won her first elite gold medal, forming part of a triumphant women's team pursuit quartet at the World Championships.
  • She battled back alopecia and glandular fever to return to full fitness in time for the all-important Olympic year in 2012.
  • Shand won the team pursuit world title again before claiming Olympic gold in London at her first Games.
  • She also won the team pursuit title at the Worlds for a fourth time, before winning her first and only elite individual titles - at the Worlds and then the Commonwealth Games.
  • Shand's team won gold and broke the world record, at the Rio Olympics.

  • Medals won:

  • 5 World Titles,
  • 4 European Titles, Commonwealth Gold and
  • 2 Olympic Golds
  • Multiple World Cup and National Championship medals across both team and individual events

4)   MoU in shipping was approved by Union Cabinet on March 15, 2017 with ________.

a. Bangladesh
b. Pakistan
c. Nepal
d. Sri Lanka
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Bangladesh

The Union Cabinet chaired by the PM Narendra Modi has approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Aids to Navigation (AtoNs).

The MoU was signed between the Directorate General of Lighthouses & Lightships (DGLL), Ministry of Shipping, Government of India and the Department of Shipping, Government of Bangladesh.

The MoU envisages cooperation between Bangladesh and India:

- To extend advice on lighthouses and beacons;

- To extend advice on Vessel Traffic Service and chain of Automatic Identification System (AIS); and

- To impart training as per International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) training module to AtoN Managers and Technicians for Bangladesh.

Ministry of Shipping: Know More

- Website:

- Jurisdiction: India

- Headquarters: Parivahan Bhavan, 1, Parliament Street, New Delhi - 110 001

- Cabinet minister: Nitin Gadkari

- Minister of state: Pon Radhakrishnan, Mansukh L. Mandaviya

- Programs: Sagar Mala project

5)   Who has been sworn in as Manipur CM?

a. Okram Ibobi Singh
b. Biren Singh
c. Yumnan Joykumar Singh
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Biren Singh

Biren Singh was sworn in as Chief Minister of Manipur in Imphal.

The oath of office was administered by Governor Najma Heptulla.

Eight others were also sworn in, taking the number of Ministers in the BJP-led government to nine. Yumnan Joykumar Singh of the National People’s Party (NPP) was appointed as the Deputy Chief Minister.

The lawmaker from the Uripok Assembly constituency is a former Director General of Police from the State.

Biren Singh is the first BJP CM of the NE state.

Manipur: Know More

  • Manipur is a state in northeastern India.
  • It has the city of Imphal as its capital.
  • It is bounded by Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south, and Assam to the west; Burma lies to its east.
  • Land area: 22,327 km²
  • Founded: January 20, 1972,
  • Population: 2.722 million (2011)
  • Capitals: Imphal, Guwahati (Judiciary)

6)   Who has been appointed as administrator for medicare and medicaid services in the US?

a. Seema Verma
b. Nikki Haley
c. Sunita Williams
d. Priti Patel
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Seema Verma

Indian-American Seema Verma has been sworn-in as the head of a key healthcare agency in the Donald Trump administration.

Ms. Verma was sworn in on March 14, 2017 by U.S Vice President Mike Pence as administrator of the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

These are part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The $1 trillion agency oversees health insurance programmes for everyone from nursing home residents to newborns.

The Senate confirmed her nomination on Monday by a vote of 55-43, largely along party lines.

Verma is taking over the agency as a Republican healthcare bill moving through the House has reopened the debate over the government’s role in healthcare.

Verma is an Indiana healthcare consultant.

The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), which represents more than 60,000 physicians, welcomed Verma’s appointment.

Her role will extend beyond the insurance programmes - Medicare for senior citizens and Medicaid for the poor - to helping craft and implement the Republican healthcare reform plan to replace Obamacare.

7)   Pakistan is planning to declare which region as its 5th province?

a. Khyber Pakhtunwala
b. Gilgit Baltistan
c. Northern Area
d. Both b and c are the same
e. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both b and c are the same

Pakistan is planning to declare the strategic Gilgit-Baltistan region as its fifth Province.

This is a move that may raise concerns in India as it borders the disputed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Pakistan’s Minister for inter-provincial coordination on 14th March 2017 indicated that a committee headed by Advisor of Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had proposed giving the status of a Province to Gilgit-Baltistan.

A constitutional amendment would be made to change the status of the region, through which the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor passes.

JKLF has warned Pakistan against changing status of Gilgit-Baltistan

Gilgit-Baltistan is treated as a separate geographical entity by Pakistan.

It has a regional Assembly and an elected Chief Minister.

It is held that China’s concerns about its unsettled status prompted the move, which could signal a historic shift in the country’s position on the future of the wider Kashmir region.

All About Gilgit Baltistan Region

  • Gilgit-Baltistan, formerly known as the Northern Areas, is the northernmost administrative territory of Pakistan.
  • Area: 72,971 km²
  • Founded: 1 July 1970
  • Government body: Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly
  • Capital: Gilgit

8)   An alliance of Madhes political parties withdrew support from which government in Nepal?

a. Prachanda government
b. Oli government
c. Bhandari government
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Prachanda government

An alliance of Madhes based political leaders on 15th March 2017 withdrew support to the Prachanda led Nepal government after it failed to meet a 7 day ultimatum to meet demands.

This includes endorsement for the revised Constitution Amendment bill.

The United Democratic Madhesi Front with 39 lawmakers withdrew support.

Government continues to enjoy a majority as it is supported by more than 320 members in the 601 member CA.

Prachanda also said the government would form a commission to fianlise issues pertaining to provincial demarcation before the provincial elections.

UDMF on March 7, 2017 issued an ultimatum to address concerns including re-demarcation of the provincial boundary and a liberal citizenship policy among others.

It has been demanding government endorsement for revised Constitution Amendment Bill and withdrawal of the decision to conduct local polls in May.

Madhesi: Know More

  • The Madhesi, also referred to as Teraibasi Nepali, are an indigenous ethnic group.
  • They are Nepalese people who are natives of the Madhesh plains of Southern Nepal in Terai belt of South Asia.
  • India : over 23,000 Non Resident Nepali
  • Saudi Arabia : 199,757 Nepalese Migrant Workers
  • United States : 19,000 Nepalese Americans
  • South Korea : 22,878 Nepalese Migrant Workers

9)   Which Asian vendor become the first platinum member of OpenStack Foundation?

a. Xiaomi
b. Honor
c. Huawei
d. Baidu
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Huawei

Chinese ICT solutions provider Huawei has been chosen as a platinum member of the OpenStack Foundation, on March 15, 2017.

The OpenStack Foundation promotes the global development, distribution and adoption of the OpenStack cloud operating system.

This is the first time an Asian vendor has become a platinum member of OpenStack Foundation.

Huawei has provided cloud services to contribute to the OpenStack community.

It has cooperated with carriers, such as, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica and China Telecom to provide public cloud services for customers and has also developed its own public cloud services.

Huawei: Know More

  • Headquarters: Shenzhen, China
  • CEO: Ren Zhengfei (1988)
  • Founder: Ren Zhengfei
  • Founded: 1987, Shenzhen, China
  • Parent organization: Huawei Investment & Holding Co., Ltd.

10)   Clean Ganga mission saw 20 more projects launched in which states?

a. Uttarakhand
b. UP
c. Bihar
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All of the above

As part of the Clean Ganga mission, the Centre has approved 20 additional projects worth INR 1900 crore for UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Delhi and Uttarakhand.

The projects chiefly centre on setting up new STPs/sewage treatment plants, up gradation of existing STPs and laying sewage network in cities in the river basin.

Approved projects for Delhi include an STP at Okhla and pipelines in Pitampura and Kondli.

These projects were approved by EC of the National Mission for Clean Ganga on March 2, 2017.

The projects in the national capital come under NCMG approval. The central body deals with the Ganga river basin.

It covers the river and its tributaries including the Yamuna.

13 of the projects are in Uttarakhand.

A new sewage treatment plant is being set up in Haridwar as well. Other projects include 4 in Uttarakhand associated with pollution abatement works for Alaknanda.

For the Rishikesh project, a new MLD STP at Lakkar Ghat with online monitoring system has been approved.

11)   Indian exports soared by 17% in Feb 2017, led by _______.

a. Petroleum, engineering and chemicals
b. Manufacturing, services and IT
c. All of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Petroleum, engineering and chemicals

Noting positive growth for 6 months in a row, Indian exports soared 17.48 percent to USD 24.5 billion in Feb 2017 led by petroleum, engineering and chemicals.

But trade deficit also widened to USD 8.89 bn as imports grew.

Exports during Feb 2017 showed a double digit positive growth for the first time.

Imports were up 21.76% to USD 33.38b leaving a trade deficit of USD 8.89b as against USD 6.57 bn in Feb 2016.

During the April-Feb period of the current fiscal, exports have expanded by 2.52 percent to USD 245.4 bn.

Imports dipped 3.67 percent to USD 340.7 bn.

Trade deficit during the 11 month period stood at USD 95.28 bn as against USD 114.3 bn in the same period of the previous fiscal.

Oil imports rose by 60% to USD 7.68bn in Feb. Non-oil imports rose by 13.65% to USD 25.7 bn.

Gold imports too jumped manifold to USD 3.48 bn in February as against USD 1.4 bn in the same month last fiscal.

Trade Deficit: Know More

  • Trade deficit is an economic measure of a negative balance of trade.
  • In this, a country's imports exceeds its exports.
  • A trade deficit represents an outflow of domestic currency to foreign markets.