Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Mar 17, 2017

1)   SEBI has allowed celebs to endorse which products?

a. Stocks and shares
b. Mutual funds
c. Dividends
d. Insurance
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Mutual funds

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has allowed celebrities to endorse mutual fund products at the industry level.

The purpose is of increasing awareness of mutual funds as a financial product category.

However, such endorsements will be not used as a branding exercise of an asset management company or promoting scheme of a particular mutual fund.

Prior approval of SEBI will be required for issuance of such advertisements which feature celebrities.

SEBI also issued new advertising code that will require fund houses to communicate in a simple manner with the public.

2)   A banana research center is being established in which district of Bihar?

a. Vaishali
b. Ara
c. Muzzafarpur
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Vaishali

The Union government has established banana research centre at Goraul in Vaishali district of Bihar.

It will function under Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University (RPCAU) at Pusa in Samastipur.

It is second such in the country after the National Research Centre for Banana at Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu.

The centre will focus on the reasons for less production of banana and will work on expansion of its cultivation, plant protection, suitable utilisation of various parts of it such as pulp and fibre, marketing, processing, and value addition etc.

Maharashtra is the largest banana producing state in the country with productivity of 65.7 tonnes per hectare.

Overall the banana production in India stands at 142 lakh tonnes per year.

3)   Who won the vote of confidence in Goa?

a. BJP
b. INC
c. GKP
d. MGP
Answer  Explanation 


Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has won the vote of confidence during specially convened Goa Assembly by 22-16 votes.

It was announced by protem speaker Siddharth Kunkolienkar after the vote of confidence on the floor.

In the newly elected Goa Assembly, BJP had strength of 13 MLAs and Congress has 17 members.

In the trust vote, three members each of Goa Forward Party and MGP and three independents along with 1 NCP member supported the BJP coalition government led by Manohar Parrikar.

4)   Who has been sworn in as the 26th CM of Punjab?

a. G. Badal
b. Capt. Amarinder Singh
c. Navjot Sidhu
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Capt. Amarinder Singh

Senior Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh was sworn in as 26th Chief Minister of Punjab.

He was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor VP Singh Badnore at Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh.

Besides him, 7 ministers including Navjot Singh Sidhu also sworn in as cabinet ministers.

Two women MLAs Aruna Chaudhary and Razia Sultana were sworn in as Ministers of State (Independent Charge).

In the 2017 state election, Congress under the leadership of Amarinder Singh had won 77 seats in the 117 member Assembly elections.

5)   FTII and Canon signed an MoU to promote ________

a. Film education
b. Film funding
c. Film production
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Film education

The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune and Canon India Private Limited on 15 March 2017 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

It aims promote film education through short-term courses across several towns and cities in the country.

The courses are proposed to be held in non-metros such as Guwahati, Jaipur, Vishakhapatnam, Raipur, Chandigarh, Raipur, Bhopal, Leh and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Basically, Canon partnered FTII for its Skilling India in Film and Television (SKIFT), an initiative designed to spread the art of cinematography and film making across the country.

Under FTII’s unique initiative SKIFT (Skilling India in Film and Television), several short courses, mostly of skill-oriented nature have been proposed with several State Governments, Universities and Educational institutions in partnership.

Canon as a technology partner of SKIFT will be providing high-end cameras and accessories free of cost for the courses.

This support by Canon will be a major contributing factor in keeping the course fees affordable while offering an opportunity to course participants to use cutting-edge equipment.

FTII: Know More

  • FTII Pune is one of Asia’s leading and India’s foremost institute in film and television education.
  • It has been working to break new grounds by pushing to democratise cinematic education.
  • It is offering quality and affordable training to general public and practitioners at locations where there is a demand for such courses.
  • FTII is also in the process of aligning some of the short courses with Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) under National Skill Development Council.

6)   What does TIES stand for?

a. Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme
b. Trade Investment for Export Scheme
c. Trade India for Export Scheme
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme

Government has launched a new scheme Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme for developing export linked infrastructure in states to promote outbound shipments.

Launched by Commerce and Industry ministry, TIES bridges the gap in infrastructure and provides forward and backward linkages to units in trade activities.

The Minister said the proposals of the implementing agencies for funding will be considered by an inter-ministerial empowered committee specially constituted for this Scheme to be chaired by the Commerce Secretary.

An empowered committee will be set up to periodically review the progress of the approved projects in the scheme.

The committee will also take the required steps to ensure that the objectives of the scheme are achieved.

The committee chaired by Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia would also look over the proposals of the implementing agencies for funding.

The biggest cost incurred by the exporters is on account of the absence of proper dedicated infrastructure, whether it is testing or handling facilities or cold storages at ports.

TIES: Know More

  • Scheme will oversee projects like checkpoints, first and last mile connectivity, border haats and integrated check posts, would help in ensuring smoother movement in export cargo and better quality standards and certification.
  • The main objective of the scheme is to enhance export competitiveness by bridging the gap in export infrastructure, which has not been addressed by any other scheme.
  • Under this scheme, all central and state agencies including Commodities Boards, SEZ authorities, Export Promotion Councils and Apex Trade Bodies recognised under the EXIM policy of Government of India will be eligible for financial support.
  • The funding would be in form of grant-in-aid and in normal cases it would not be more than the equity being funded by the implementing agency or 50% of the total equity in the project.
  • Five per cent of the grant approved would be used for appraisal, review and monitoring.

7)   Union Cabinet on 15th March 2017 approved MoU for border haats with which country?

a. Bangladesh
b. Burma
c. Bhutan
d. Borneo
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Bangladesh

The Union Cabinet on 15 March 2017 approved the revised Mode of Operation (MoO) and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Bangladesh to establish the Border Haats on India-Bangladesh Border.

The Revised MoU and Mode of Operation will provide a legal framework for establishment and operationalisation of additional Border Haats.

These Border Haats are being created with an aim to promote the well-being of the people dwelling in the remote areas across the borders of the two countries.

Besides promoting the well-being of people who are the residents of the remote areas, these haats will help in promoting the traditional system of marketing the local produce through local markets.

These measures help to improve the economic well-being of marginalised sections of society. The approval to this revised MoU and MoO was given at a Union Cabinet meet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Border Haats: Know More

  • At present, four Border haats are operational between the two countries, two each in Tripura and Meghalaya.
  • These haats were established under the MoU and Mode of operation of Haats earlier signed between Bangladesh and India on 23 October 2010.
  • On 15 May 2012, an addendum to the mode of operation of Border Haats was also signed.
  • The border haats were created with an objective to boost the trade between the two countries.
  • The trade in these haats is permitted in Indian Rupees and Bangladeshi Taka as well as on barter basis. Data of such trade is managed by the Haat Management Committee of the respective haats.
  • As per reports of December 2016, the data furnished by the concerned state governments said that the cash trade was equivalent to Rs 1686.62 lakhs.
  • This transaction was carried out at the four border haats in the five-year period ending 2015-16.

8)   Which singer turned Union Minister has been appointed vice president of U-17 FIFA World Cup committee?

a. Babul Supriyo
b. Hema Malini
c. Lata Mangeshkar
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Babul Supriyo

Singer turned Union minister Babul Supriyo has been appointed Vice President of the 2017 U-17 Fifa World Cup organising committee, turned-BJP MP Babul Supriyo as vice-president of the Local Organising Committee (LoC) of the FIFA U-17 World Cup to be hosted by India from October 6 .

The 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup will be the 17th edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

It is the biennial international men's youth football championship contested by the U17 national teams of the member associations of FIFA.

FIFA U-17 World Cup

  • Dates: 6 Oct 2017 – 28 Oct 2017
  • Teams: 24
  • Venues: 6

9)   Royal assent has been given to Brexit bill to trigger which article of the EU Lisbon Treaty?

a. Article 50
b. Article 51
c. Article 52
d. Article 53
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Article 50

Queen Elizabeth II gave her royal assent on March 16, 2017 to a Bill empowering British Prime Minister Theresa May.

The assent will permit the trigger Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty and begin the process of leaving the European Union.

A letter will be send European Council informing them of Britain's decision to leave the bloc by the end of March, following a majority vote for Brexit in last year's referendum.

The legislation now has royal assent.

The Queen's signature on the Bill allows May to invoke Article 50 at any time, starting a process that will take a maximum of two years unless Britain and its EU partners agree to extend the deadline.

May said she will address the British parliament to inform lawmakers that she has triggered Article 50, and an initial response is expected from the European Commission within 48 hours.

Lisbon Treaty: Know More

  • Signed : 13 December 2007
  • Signatories : EU Member States ( EU-27 )
  • Effective : 1 December 2009
  • Languages : 23 EU languages

10)   The students of MIT-Pune and IBM have developed which robot to assist senior citizens in everyday tasks?

a. Chintu
b. Mintu
c. Chintan
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Chintu

Maharashtra Institute of Technology-Pune and technology giant IBM have developed a robot Chintu.

This will assist senior citizens in everyday tasks.

Chintu is a 2 feet tall robot developed by MIT Pune in collaboration with IBM after an INR 10 lakh grant last year.

It is powered by the US-based company's cognitive assistant, IBM Watson.

Chintu can move his hands and read books to an audience.

Drawing from Watson's domain knowledge, Chintu will assist senior citizens in conducting everyday tasks such as reading the newspaper/book and generate reminders on their daily medication.

IBM: Know More

  • Headquarters: Armonk, North Castle, New York, United States
  • Founder: Charles Ranlett Flint
  • Founded: 16 June 1911, New York City, New York, United States
  • Revenue: 79.92 billion USD (2016)
  • Number of employees: 386,558

11)   What will be the impact of World Bank approving US$175 for India's Hydrology Project?

a. Strengthening the capacity of existing institutions to assess the water situation
b. Equipping them with real time flood forecast systems across the nation
c. Helping new states to better manage water flows from reservoirs
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All of the above

The World Bank has approved USD 175 million for the National Hydrology Project in India.

It will strengthen the capacity of current institutions to assess the water situation and enable them to have real time flood forecast systems across the nation.

Apart from helping states benefiting from earlier projects to fund and upgrade as well as complete monitoring networks, the national project will also assist new states to manage reservoir water flow better.

This will reduce the vulnerability of many regions to recurring floods and droughts as a result of real time ground information for the entire country issuing alerts for difficulties encountered.

The entire project worth INR 3679 crore will be implemented by 2023-24.

World Bank will provide financial assistance for nearly 50 percent of the total cost.

National Hydrology Project approved by the World Bank Board on 15th March 2017 building on the success of earlier India projects- Hydrology Project I and II.

This led to real time flood forecast systems integrated with weather forecast in two large river systems - Krishna and Satluj Beas.

This gives reservoir managers an accurate picture of water situation in their region.

National projects will now scale up successes attained under HP-1 and 2 to cover the whole nation including Ganga and Bramhaputra Barak basins.

In the context of climate change, advanced flood management and enhanced river basin planning are essential for creating livelihood and sustaining economic growth.

Project can help communities to plan in advance to create resilience against uncertainties of climate change.

About the National Hydrology Project

  • This was approved by Union Cabinet in April 2016.
  • It is a CSS with total outlay of INR 3679 crore
  • INR 3640 crore will be spent for the national project while remaining INR 39 crore will be for establishment of the National Water Informatics Centre.
  • Project will help states to monitor all aspects of the hydro-meteorological cycle and adopt procedures laid out in previous projects.
  • This measures how much rain or snow has been received in catchment areas of rivers, the rapidity with which snow will melt, speed with which water is flowing, how much silt has built up and how the water will reach the reservoir and how soon it will work.
  • The Project is aimed at improving the extent, quality, and accessibility of water resources information and decision support

12)   Union Cabinet on 15th March 2017 approved the National Health Policy for _________

a. Increasing public healthcare expenditure to 2.5 percent of GDP
b. Allocation of more than two-thirds of the resources towards primary healthcare
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both of the above

Union Cabinet on March 15, 2017 approved the National Health Policy 2017 aiming to increase public healthcare expenditure to 2.5 percent of GDP.

More than two-thirds of resources will be going towards primary healthcare.

The policy is aiming to reach healthcare to all parts of the country, specially the underserved and underprivileged.

The last national health policy was framed in 2002.

This policy guides a time-bound implementation framework with clear milestones and distinct deliverables to attain policy goals.

The policy works to raise public healthcare expenditure to 2.5% of the GDP from the current 1.4%.

Features of the National Health Policy

  • Policy envisages larger package of assured comprehensive primary healthcare via Health and Wellness centres.
  • This is an extensive package including care for NCDs, mental health, geriatric care, palliative and rehabilitative care services.
  • It works to ensure availability of 2 beds for every 1000 persons to enable access within emergency.
  • The policy aims to make healthcare accessible for all and offers financial protection, proposing free drugs, diagnostics and emergency as well as healthcare services in public medical hospitals.
  • The policy also aims to raise life expectancy from 67.5 to 70 years by 2025.
  • It also aims to establish regular tracking of disability adjusted life years or DALY index as a measure of burden of disease and trends through major categories by 2022.
  • The reduction of total fertility rate to 2.1 at national and sub-national levels was aimed for by 2025.
  • Another goal of this policy is to reduce mortality of children under 5 years of age to 23 per 1000 by 2025 and maternal mortality rate from current levels to 100 by 2020.
  • The scheme also aims to reduce infant mortality rate to 28 by 2019 and reduce neo natal mortality to 16 and still birth rate to single digit by 2025.
  • The policy aims to strengthen the regulatory environment and seeks putting in place systems for setting standards and ensuring healthcare quality.
  • The policy also checks out reforms in the current existing regulatory systems for easing manufacturing of drugs and devices for promoting Make in India and reforming medical education.
  • Policy advocates development of mid-level service providers, nurse practitioners, public health cadre to improve availability of required health human resource.