Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Mar 18, 2017

1)   Where was the 3 Day International Buddhist Conference held?

a. Rajgir
b. Patna
c. Ara
d. Digha
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rajgir

The three day International Buddhist Conference was organized by Ministry of Culture and Nava Nalanda Mahavihara Deemed University at Rajgir.

It was inaugurated by His Holiness The Dalai Lama.

There were two highlights of the inaugural session.

One was the release of the reprint of the Pali Tripitaka in Devanagri script by His Holiness the Dalai lama.

The second highlight was the announcement of the opening of the department of the Buddhist science for the first time in Asia.

Rajgir: Know More

  • Rajgir is a city and a notified area in Nalanda district in the Indian state of Bihar.
  • The city of Rajgir was the first capital of the kingdom of Magadha.
  • This is a state that would eventually evolve into the Mauryan Empire

2)   Where is Asia's first greenfield training facility being set up?

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


Civil Aviation ministry has launched Asia's first greenfield training facility being set up by EU aviation major Airbus.

Airbus India Training Centre will support India's need for Airbus aircraft pilots and maintenance engineers.

India's rapidly growing passenger aircraft fleet will be matched by adequate availability of skilled engineers and pilots for maintenance.

The centre will be constructed over an area of 7,000 square metres. Once completed, the facility will have two A320 full flight stimulators.

The centre is expected to train 800 pilots and 200 service and maintenance engineers.

Airbus currently has more than 250 aircrafts in service in India and state carrier Indian Airlines has placed an order for more.

Country's rapidly growing fleet of passenger aircrafts may be matched by supply chain ensuring availability of maintenance engineers and skilled pilots.

Domestic Aviation Market in India: Know More

  • India is one of the fastest growing domestic aviation markets across the globe.
  • The market is expected to grow at over 9 per cent, year-on-year for the next two decades.
  • This growth rate would be far greater than the world average of 4.6 per cent.
  • The number of per capita trips is expected to grow 4-fold in the next 20 years, boosted by improving economic and demographic factors.
  • As per the estimates, Airbus sees a demand for more than 1,500 new aircraft and the accompanying need for close to 25,000 new pilots and maintenance engineers in the next 20 years.

3)   Where has National Physical Laboratory established an atmospheric monitoring station?

a. Palampur
b. Shimla
c. Dalhousie
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Palampur

National Physical Laboratory has established an atmospheric monitoring station in the campus of the Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology at Palampur, Himachal Pradesh at 1391m for generating the base data for atmospheric trace species and properties to serve as reference.

The aim is comparison of polluted atmosphere in India. At this station, NPL has installed state-of-the-art air monitoring system, GHG measurement system and Raman Lidar.

Numerous parameters like CO, NO, NO2, ammonia, sulphur dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, HC and BC besides carbon dioxide and methane are being monitored at the station.

On account of Palampur’s pristine air, and the capability of the new monitoring station for detection of small amounts of pollutants, the impact of faraway pollution sources can be measured precisely.

The data taken at this station during past one year shows that the pollution levels are far below the limits of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

A new station has the experimental facilities to investigate the aerosol/cloud interactions, and such investigations would be helpful in generating a better understanding of the Earth’s climate system.

The data generated by pristine CAAQMS station at Palampur will act as background data for the measured pollution at various cities in the country.

The generated background data will be shared with different pollution control boards and agencies in the country so that the more precise pollution mapping traceable to standard values can be done.

This would assist policy decisions for the abatement of air pollutants.

About the CAAQMS Station

  • In India, air quality parameters are mostly measured in industrial and residential areas.
  • The NPL’s station will also serve as a base station for inter-comparison of air quality monitoring equipment.
  • The pristine CAAQMS station houses calibrated state-of-the-art-equipment for the continuous measurements of ambient and greenhouse gases (CO, NO, NO2, NH3, SO2, O3, PM1, PM2.5, PM10, hydrocarbons, black-carbon, CO2 & CH4), and weather parameters.

4)   Parliamentary panel has suggested merger of which two PSU firms for their long term survival?

d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


A parliamentary panel has suggested the merger of state-run telecom firms BSNL and MTNL for long term survival.

Committee on Petitions chaired by the BJP MP Bhagat Singh Koshyari in a report tabled in the LS on March 16, 2017 said the merger will be a positive move.

Synergies and advantages in an integrated national telecom infrastructure will pave the way for lower investment cost and greater ability to face competition.

Committee was formed after BJP MP Arvind Sawant received representation regarding service improvement in BSNL and MTNL.

The DoT informed the panel both public sector firms are facing financial resources and declining revenue on account of rising expenditure and loss of market share.

PSUs have not been able to adequately invest in expansion, modernisation of network on account of coverage issues.

Firms are now taking steps to modernise wireline and wireless networks.

MTNL has been unable to upgrade GSM and landline network for 3-4 years due to funds constraint.

Managed Service Model with BSNL is being explored for its mobile services.

5)   BJP has picked Trivendra Singh Rawat as the new CM of __________

a. Manipur
b. Goa
c. Uttar Pradesh
d. Uttarakhand
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Uttarakhand

The BJP has picked Trivendra Singh Rawat as the CM candidate in Uttarakhand.

Rawat was elected the legislature party leader by party MLAs on March 17, 2017.

Rawat defeated INC's Hira Singh Bhisht in Doiwala with a margin of 24,000 votes.

This has the third win in the constituency when elections were contested since 2002.

Rawat is a Thakur leader with strong RSS roots. He was RSS pracharak from 1983 to 2002.

He held several important positions in the Sangh.

Rawat holds a master's degree in journalism.

During the 2014 LS elections, Rawat was given the responsibility of regional election in-charge in UP under Shah. Where BJP emerged victorious.

Overseeing the BJP affairs in Jharkhand, he took over the party to victory in Assembly polls.

BJP registered a landslide victory in Uttarakhand. It won 57 of 70 seats.

This was the biggest win by any party in the state ever. The party won around 46.5 % of the votes.

Uttarakhand: Know More

  • Land area: 53,483 km²
  • Founded: November 8, 2000
  • Population: 10.08 million (2012)
  • Capitals: Dehradun, Nainital (Judiciary)

6)   Bandhan Bank has signed an agreement with which payment solutions provider to offer seamless access to PoS?

a. Avenues India Pvt Ltd
b. Paytm
c. BillDesk
d. DirecPay
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Avenues India Pvt Ltd

Bandhan Bank Ltd has signed an agreement with Avenues India Pvt Ltd, a payment solutions provider to offer merchants seamless access to Point of Sale and payment gateway products.

With this partnership, merchants have speedier and direct access to PoS machines, competitive financing options and payment gateways.

Additionally, the agreement facilitates that two parties will cooperate and benefit from the networks, customers, techniques, systems and expertise for enhancing consumer experience.

As a fastest growing bank, ways are being explored and means for smart transactions studied.

Online business banking is the backbone of the economy at present. The entire merchant base will get the support of the combining of e-payment gateways.

Bandhan Bank: Know More

  • Bandhan Bank presently has 3,546 touch points pan-India.
  • It is comprising 828 branches, 2,437 Doorstep Service Centres (DSCs) and 281 ATMs.
  • The bank has mobilised deposits worth more than INR 22, 000 crore and its loan book stands at about INR 22,000 crore.
  • It has two divisions - general banking and micro banking.

7)   Lenovo has announced whose appointment to head the HR team in Asia Pacific?

a. Subhankar Roy Chowdhury
b. Subhasish Roy Chowdhury
c. Sudhakar Roy Chowdhury
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Subhankar Roy Chowdhury

Lenovo has announced the appointment of Subhankar Roy Chowdhury to head the HR team in Asia Pacific.

He was earlier the executive director and global head for HR strategy, merger and acquisitions and HR analytics.

He will now work on transforming business operations and putting together people strategy in Asia Pacific with the aim to build leadership, transform culture and develop talent resources.

Chowdhury will report to senior vice president and President Asia Pacific Ken Wong leading the company's business across the region.

Subhankar and his team have advantaged corporate HR strategy at Lenovo.

Subhankar previously held leadership positions in HR consulting and HR generalist roles at Nokia, IBM Business Consulting, PwC, Siemens Information Systems and L&T in India, Middle East Africa and South East Asia regions.

Subhankar holds a masters degree in personnel management and a bachelor's degree in Economics.

Subhankar succeeds Andrew Dahms, who departs towards the close of March 2017.

Lenovo: Know More

  • Headquarters: Morrisville, North Carolina, United States
  • CEO: Yang Yuanqing (since 5 Feb 2009)
  • Parent organization: Legend Holdings

8)   Centre will come out with the national silt policy to _______

a. Enlist measures to scientifically desist rivers
b. Prevent floods in Bihar
c. Both of the above
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

To handle the threat of floods in many parts of the nation during Monsoon, the Union Government has aimed to come out with a national silt policy.

It will enlist measures to scientifically de-silt rivers that over the years, have lost the ability to hold water due to deposition of excessive silt.

The need for a national policy was flagged by Bihar CM Nitish Kumar after many districts in the state faced floods at the time of the monsoon.

Experts have blamed siltation of the Ganga river and its tributaries for this situation.

Many committees have been constituted in the past to look into the silting problems in Indian rivers and suggest remedial measures.

Admitting the silting of rivers has assumed serious dimensions across the year.

The general assumption is flood prone rivers are undergoing a change in carrying capacity, leading to rising flood levels.

Deposition of silt in the Ganga on account of slow discharge of water from West Bengal's Farraka Dam has led to flooding of 12 districts of the state.

A committee has been set up by the water resources ministry to formulate guidelines for desiltation of river Ganga from Bhimgauda in Uttarakhand to Farraka in West Bengal.

9)   Who has become the Chairperson of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis?

a. Manhar Valji
b. Manju Diler
c. Dalip Kallu Hathibed
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Manhar Valji

Manhar Vaji on March 16, 2017 became the chairperson of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis.

Along with Valji, two other members Manju Diler and Dalip Kallu Hathibed assumed office.

The National Commission for Safai Karamcharis aims to study, evaluate and monitor the implementation of various schemes meant for the welfare of safai karamcharis.

The commission was set up in August 1994 as per the provisions of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis Act, 1993.

The commission consists of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson and five members.

Among them, at least one of the members shall be a woman.

The chairperson, vice-chairperson and every member shall hold office for such period not exceeding three years.

All orders and decisions of the commission shall be authenticated by the chairperson or any other officer of the commission duly authorised by the chairperson in this behalf.

Functions of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis

  • Recommend to the Union Government specific programmes of action towards elimination of inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities for safai karamcharis under a time-bound action plan.
  • Study and evaluate the implementation of the programmes and schemes relating to the social and economic rehabilitation of safai karamcharis.
  • Investigate specific grievances and take sou moto notice of matters relating to non-implementation of programmes or schemes in respect of any group of safai karamcharis.

10)   The Women in Politics Map 2017 released by IPU and UN Women pegs the number of women heads of state at _____

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


The Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN Women on March 15, 2017 launched the Women in Politics Map 2017.

Rankings demonstrated the number of women Heads of State or Government fell from 19 to 17 since 2015.

Progress in the number of women in parliament is gradual.

The Women in Politics Map 2017 report was launched alongside the 61st Commission of Status of Women.

The latter is the largest inter-governmental forum on women's rights and gender equality.

For 2017, the theme is on women's economic empowerment in the changing world of work.

Record of the Highest Number of Women in Parliament

RankCountryPercentage of women in Lower HousePercentage of women in Upper House
10South Africa42.035.2
The world ranking of women parliamentarians was placed in India at rank 148.

The report states that women constitute 11.8 percent of the LS where 64 were elected to a 542 member house and 11 percent of the RS with 27 of 245 members.

India also attained the rank of 88, when it came to women ministers with the number 5 or 18.5% in the cabinet.

Women hold important positions. Sumitra Mahajan is the Parliament Speaker while Sushma Swaraj is the Union Minister for MEA.

Sumitra Mahajan: Know More
  • Speaker of the 16th LS.
  • Born: 11 April 1943, Chiplun
  • Party: Bharatiya Janata Party
  • Education: Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya

11)   Union Cabinet has approved an MoU between LBSNAA and _____.

a. Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management
b. Namibia Institute of Management and Public Administration
c. Namibia Institute of Management
d. Namibia Institute of Public Administration
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management

Union Cabinet on March 15, 2017 approved an MoU between Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration Mussorie and Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management, Namibia.

MoU will be signed in the field of capacity building of public officials of Namibia. Other training activities for the benefit of both institutes will also be in place.

The MoU will enable the LBSNAA to disseminate the experience running a training institution for higher civil services in India to NIPAM.

Both countries will also engage in collaborative activities in public administration and capacity building.


  • LBSNAA : Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy for Public Administration and Management
  • LBSNAA was established in 1959.
  • It is based in Mussorie and was formed following the merging of the IAS Training School in Delhi and the IAS Staff College, Shimla.
  • Following its establishment, the academy has gained international recognition and stature as a global institution for training career bureaucrats.
  • The aim of LBSNAA is to promote good governance.
  • It provides quality training for building a professional and responsive civil service in a caring, ethical and transparent setting.