Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Mar 20, 2017

1)   With which country did India hold a military industrial conference?

a. Russia
b. US
c. UK
d. Germany
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Russia

The India-Russia Military Industrial Conference was on 17 March 2017 jointly inaugurated by India and Russia in New Delhi.

On the sidelines of the conference, two agreements were signed between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and United Aircraft Corporation and United Engine Corporation of Russia.

The agreements are related to general terms and conditions governing long term supply of spares and rendering technical assistance over five years for the Su-30 MKI aircraft.

The basic objective of the conference is to address issues related to life-cycle support and maintenance of major Russian-origin equipments and platforms such as SU-30 MKI aircraft, Mi-17 Helicopters, MiG-29K aircraft, INS Vikramaditya and T-90 tanks.

Apart from the consultations on various policy issues, break-out sessions on aerospace, naval systems and land systems were also held.

About 150 representatives from Russia participated in the conference, which included over 100 representatives from its defence industry.

Russia: Know More

  • Capital: Moscow
  • Currency: Russian rouble
  • President: Vladimir Putin
  • Population: 143.5 million (2013) World Bank
  • Prime minister: Dmitry Medvedev

2)   Scientists have discovered a new wireless internet based on _______.

a. Harmless infrared rays
b. X-rays
c. UV rays
d. Gamma rays
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Harmless infrared rays

Scientists have developed a new wireless internet based on harmless infrared rays.

This is 100 times faster than existing wi-fi network and has the capacity to support more devices without getting congested.

Slow Wi-Fi is a source of irritation that nearly everyone experiences.

Wireless devices in the home consume ever more data, and it is only growing, and congesting the wi-fi network, researchers said.

The wireless network developed by researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands not only has a huge capacity - more than 40 Gigabits per second (Gbit/s) - but also there is no need to share since every device gets its own ray of light.

The system is simple and cheap to set up.

The wireless data comes from a few central 'light antennas', for instance mounted on the ceiling, which are able to very precisely direct the rays of light supplied by an optical fibre.

The antennas contain a pair of gratings that radiate light rays of different wavelengths at different angles ('passive diffraction gratings').

Changing the light wavelengths also changes the direction of the ray of light. Since a safe infrared wavelength is used that does not reach the vulnerable retina in your eye, this technique is harmless.

As a user, if the smartphone or tablet moves out of the light antenna's line of sight, then another light antenna takes over.

The network tracks the precise location of every wireless device using its radio signal transmitted in the return direction, they said.

It is a simple matter to add devices: they are assigned different wavelengths by the same light antenna and so do not have to share capacity.

Moreover, there is no longer any interference from a neighbouring wi-fi network.

Current wi-fi uses radio signals with a frequency of 2.5 or five gigahertz.

The new system uses infrared light with wavelengths of 1,500 nanometres and higher.

This light has frequencies that are thousands of times higher, some 200 terahertz, which makes the data capacity of the light rays much larger.

Researchers managed to achieve a speed of 42.8 Gbit/s over a distance of 2.5 metres.

The system has so far used the light rays only to download; uploads are still done using radio signals since in most applications much less capacity is needed for uploading.

Gigahertz: Know More

  • The gigahertz, abbreviated GHz, is a unit of alternating current (AC) or electromagnetic (EM) wave frequency equal to one thousand million hertz (1,000,000,000 Hz).
  • The gigahertz is used as an indicator of the frequency of ultra-high-frequency (UHF) and microwave EM signals.
  • It is also used, in some computers, to express microprocessor clock speed.

3)   Which firms will have to deduct tax collected at source up to 1 percent while making a payment?

a. E-commerce
b. M-commerce
d. Financial
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: E-commerce

eCommerce firms like Snapdeal and Amazon will have to deduct 1 percent tax collected at source while making payments to suppliers under the GST regime which is expected to come in from July 1.

Model Goods and Services Tax law, finalised by the GST Council, provides 1 percent TCS to be deducted by e-commerce operators.

Model law provides electronic commerce operators who are not agents should collect one percent TCS as notified on the recommendation of the Council of net value of taxable supplies made by other suppliers where the consideration with respect to the supplies should be collected by the operator.

Experts have expressed concern that a similar amount will be levied on inter-state movement of goods taking TCS deduction to 2 percent.

"We have included the word 'up to' in the final model GST law. This would mean that TCS would not exceed 1 per cent of the sale proceeds.

Industry has been expressing concern over the TCS provisions saying it would mean a lock-in of capital and also dissuades companies from selling through online aggregators.

E-commerce companies will also have to file returns on the TCS deductions, but in case of return of goods by the consumer, these companies will not have to deduct TCS as there is no actual sale.

The model law had defined 'electronic commerce' as supply of goods or services, including digital products, over electronic network.

'Electronic commerce operator' would mean those persons who own, operate or manage digital or electronic facility or platform for electronic commerce.

4)   Which University Institute has entered into an agreement with Indian Railways?

a. Monash
b. Macquerie
c. Canberra
d. Adelaide
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Monash

Australian research centre Monash University Institute of Railway Technology and Indian Ministry of Railways Corporation Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited signed an agreement to this effect.

IRT with partners Balaji Railroad Systems Ltd (BARSYL), leading railway consultants in India, PwC, and Indian Institute of Bombay (IITB) were selected as the preferred supplier from a competitive global selection process.

They will provide guidance on the establishment of a new applied research and development institute in India known as SRESTHA (Special Railway Establishment for Strategic Technology & Holistic Advancement).

SRESTHA will be locally engaged, but have a global reach.

It will have the aim to become a world leader in the advancement of rail.

Significantly, the project will provide guidance to the Indian Railways on international models that will be adapted to the Indian railway environment.

5)   Union Ministry for textiles has announced a solar energy scheme for which units from April 1, 2017?

a. Solar Energy Scheme for Small Powerloom Units
b. Solar Energy Scheme for Medium Powerloom Units
c. Solar Energy for Large Powerloom Units
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Solar Energy Scheme for Small Powerloom Units

Union Minister of State for Textiles, Ajay Tamta on March 16, 2017 announced to the LS that the ministry has approved the Solar Energy Scheme for Small Powerloom Units.

The scheme will come into force on April 1, 2017. Scheme seeks to provide financial assistance in the form of capital subsidy to small powerloom units for installation of SPV/Solar Photo Voltaic plants.

These plants will overcome the problem of power cuts and shortages faced by decentralized powerloom units in the nation.

Under the scheme, the plants will have 2 options:

  • On-Grid Solar Power Plant
  • Off-Grid Solar Power Plant
On-Grid solar power plants in areas where the power cuts and shortages are negligible, involves high power tarrifs.

Off-Grid Solar Power plants are involved in areas where there is power shortage and on-grid power is not constantly available.

Some of the initiatives to promote the powerloom sector across the country seek to assist entrepreneurs in establishment of world class units with latest technology, modern infrastructure and suitable market linkages.

The scheme was launched in two clusters - Bhiwandi (Maharashtra) and Erode (TN).

In 2013-2014, the Modified Comprehensive Powerloom Cluster Development Scheme was launched to extend the original scheme to other parts of the nation.

Guidelines of the scheme were issued in Oct 2013 by the Union Government with the objective of empowering the power loom industry and building capacity to meet challenges of international competition in a self reliant, sustainable way.

The 5 components include market development programme, establishing common facility centres and organizing awareness programs, seminars and workshops.

An SPV is set up to oversee the scheme implementation.

6)   ICAR and ICRISAT signed an agreement for _______.

a. Crop improvement
b. Transfer of agricultural technologies between two institutes
c. Development of climate smart crops, smart food
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All of the above

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research/ICAR and the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) on March 15, 2017 signed an agreement for crop improvement.

Agreement was signed between the Director ICAR and DG ICRISAT.

The agreement is called the ICAR-ICRISAT collaborative work plan for 2016-2018 facilitates the transfer of agricultural technologies between the 2 institutes.

Climate smart crops, smart food and digitalization of breeding database are core research areas covered under the agreement.

Partnership includes funding to research grain legumes and dry land cereals and support for smart food initiative to deliver nutritionally rich, sustainable products to consumers.

On the point of crop improvement front, the agreement will facilitate research activities on transgenic pigeon pea and chickpea for insect resistance.

Other focus areas over the next three years include the integration of systems modelling tools to upscale climate resilient agriculture, development of genetic and genomic resources of finger millet and enhancing genetic gains for priority traits.

ICAR: Know More

  • ICAR is an autonomous organization under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education.
  • It was set up as the Imperial Council of Agricultural Research on 16th July 1929 as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act 1860 by the UK government.
  • The Council is an apex body for coordination, guidance and management of research and education in agriculture, including fisheries, animal sciences and horticulture across the nation.
  • ICAR is one of the largest national agricultural systems in the world.
  • It is headquartered in New Delhi.


  • International organisation conducting agricultural research for rural development.
  • It is headquartered in Patancheru in Hyderabad, Telangana.
  • It was established in 1972 by a consortium of organisations convened by the Ford, Rockfeller foundations.
  • Its charter was signed by FAO and UNDP.
  • Headquarters: Patancheru
  • Founded: 1972
  • Motto: Science with a Human Face

7)   Which province has its own law to regulate the marriage of Hindus in Pakistan?

a. Khyber Pakhtunwala
b. Sindh
c. Peshawar
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


The law provides for the punishment of imprisonment and fines up to INR 100,000 or both for contraventions and all other offences to be tried in the court of the first class magistrate.

This is the first law applicable to entire Pakistan except Singh province which has its own law to regulate the marriage of Hindus.

The law would be passed on March 10 by the National Assembly which has endorsed amendments made by the Senate in Feb 2017.

Sindh Province: Know More

  • Area: 140,914 km²
  • Population: 55.25 million (2011)
  • Largest city: Karachi
  • Interior minister: Syed Murad Ali Shah

8)   What would be the Dubai Airports fastest free Wi-Fi services across terminals called?

a. WOW-Fi
b. NOW-Fi
c. SHOW-Fi
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


Dubai Airports has announced the world's fastest free Wi-Fi services across terminals to provide millions of passengers super fast internet access while flights are forthcoming.

Aptly titled WOW-Fi, the service offers a top speed of 100 megabits per second, about 10 times faster than what many internet users would achieve at home in the UAE.

The service provides internet connection surpassing all other airports, according to statements issued by the Dubai Airports.

The launch of the service follows Dubai Airport's launch of an upgraded free, unlimited high speed Wi-Fi connection across Dubai International and Dubai World Central in December 2016.

Unlimited free Wi-Fi at the DXB connects with a single click and offers fresh benchmarks for airports internationally.

For ensuring speed and reliability, Dubai Airports has invested in more than 6,000 new Wi-Fi access points to upgrade the entire wireless network infrastructure across airports.

As the biggest international airport in the world, Dubai Airport offers unlimited free Wi-Fi of the fastest speed across airports.

The service has been enjoyed by an average of 100,000 unique users per dy. This is called WOW-Fi experience and aims to impress 89 million passengers expected in 2017.

Dubai Airport: Know More

  • Address: Dubai - United Arab Emirates
  • Code: DXB
  • Elevation: 19 m