Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Mar 23, 2017

1)   Where is the world's third largest hypersonic wind tunnel?

a. Thrissur
b. Trichi
c. Thiruvananthapuram
d. Travancore
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Thiruvananthapuram

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) created history by commissioning the world’s third largest hypersonic wind tunnel at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram.

A wind tunnel is used to study the effects of air flowing past a solid object - in ISRO’s case, space vehicles.

With the space agency lining up big missions like the ‘Reusable Launch Vehicle’ (RLV), ‘Two Stage to Orbit’ (TSTO) rockets, air breathing propulsion systems, and the human space flight programme for the future, the aero-thermodynamic modelling of these in a hypersonic environment is vital for optimal designs.

These facilities, indigenously designed, developed and ‘Made in India’ with the support of Indian industries, are the third largest in terms of size and simulation capability in the world.

A few critical technologies, which are under embargo, have been jointly developed by Isro and industries for realisation of these facilities.

There is no replacement for wind tunnel testing for aerodynamic characterisation.

2)   When is World Down Syndrome Day observed?

a. 19th March
b. 20th March
c. 21th March
d. 22th March
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 21th March

The World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) was observed on 21 March 2017.

On this day of observation of the World Down Syndrome Day people with down syndrome and their nearby organise and participate in activities to raise public awareness of Down syndrome.

The day also seeks to create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome.

The 2017 WDSD will focus on the theme #MyVoiceMyCommunity – Enabling people with Down syndrome to speak up, be heard and influence government policy and action, to be fully included in the community.

About WDSD

  • Down syndrome is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been a part of the human condition, exists in all regions across the globe and commonly results in variable effects on learning styles, physical characteristics or health.
  • People suffering from the syndrome require adequate access to health care, inclusive education and early intervention programmes for their growth and development.
  • The World Down Syndrome Day came into existence in December 2011, when the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared 21 March as a day via its resolution (A/RES/66/149).
  • The General Assembly decided, with effect from 2012, to observe World Down Syndrome Day annually on 21 March.

3)   When is world poetry day celebrated?

a. 20th March
b. 21th March
c. 22th March
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 21th March

The World Poetry Day was celebrated on 21 March 2017 across the globe.

The objective behind the day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression as well as to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their societies.

The day also provides an occasion to honour poets, revive oral traditions of poetry recitals, promote the reading, writing and teaching of poetry.

World Poetry Day: Know More

  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) first adopted 21 March as World Poetry Day.
  • This was during its 30th General Conference in Paris in 1999.
  • Each nation is invited to celebrate the day in its own manner with the active participation of National Commissions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and public and private institutions concerned.
  • For its part, UNESCO will endeavour to encourage and support national initiatives designed, to promote poetry.

4)   Who has won KCK International Award for excellence in print journalism for 2015?

a. Wanjohi Kabakuru for How East Africa Lost its Innocence
b. Rakesh Sharma for investigative news series Sexual Harassment in Nari Niketan
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rakesh Sharma for investigative news series Sexual Harassment in Nari Niketan

President Pranab Mukherjee on 20 March 2017 presented the KCK International Award for excellence in Print Journalism.

The awards were organized by Rajasthan Patrika in New Delhi.

The award for the year 2014 was conferred upon Wanjohi Kabukuru’s team for the story How East Africa Lost Its Innocence that was published in New African magazine, London.

The award for the year 2015 was awarded to Rakesh Sharma and his team for an investigative news series Sexual Harassment in Nari Niketan, published in Amar Ujala.

The award carries the cash prize of USD 11000. Journalism has had a long history in India.

Print Journalism in India

  • It has been closely associated with India’s struggle for independence and social reforms.
  • The history of Indian journalism has been that of progressive reform, social renaissance and anti-colonialism.
  • The contribution of print journalism to an evolving Indian society and nationhood was immense beginning with the ‘Samvad Kaumudi’ brought out by Raja Rammohun Roy in 1819.
  • Others include ‘Samachar Chandrika’ and ‘Mirat-Ul-Akhbar’, Harijan and Young India edited by the Mahatma.
  • Print journalism has its own impact because journalists through their columns or stories find a permanent place in the minds of readers.

5)   What is the AIADMK party symbol frozen by ECI?

a. Two leaves
b. Single leaf
c. Three leaves
d. Four leaves
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Two leaves

With the Election Commission freezing the ‘two leaves’ symbol of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), the focus has now shifted to how the warring factions will come to terms with the changed circumstances.

Observing that a deeper examination of the issue was required and that the more than 20,000 pages of evidence would have to be examined, the EC, in its interim order, said any hasty decision during the nomination process for the byelection might lead to an erroneous conclusion.

The EC, which recognised that there was a split in the party, said pending the final settlement of the dispute, neither the OPS nor Sasikala group was permitted to use the name ‘All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.’

Also, they cannot use the party symbol for the bypoll on April 12.

Both the groups shall be known by such names as they may choose for their respective groups, showing, if they so desire, linkage with their parent party.

Both the groups shall also be allotted different symbols as they may choose from the list of free symbols notified by the Election Commission for the purpose of the byelection.

6)   Which is India's top drug regulator?

d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


Aiming to make combination drugs for HIV and Hepatitis B and C available to patients rapidly, government has decided to waive the regulatory processes to fast track approvals.

India's top drug regulator has said in a new order that companies manufacturing combination drugs for HIV and Hepatitis B & C can seek early approval with a WHO recommendation even if internationally the medicines are not approved as a combination but only individually.

However, the drugs have to be relevant for India.

The move is expected to benefit many of the over 21 lakh people estimated to be living with HIV in India.

Moreover, viral hepatitis has also been recognised as a serious public health problem in India by the World Health Organisation (WHO) with a total of over 52 million people infected with chronic hepatitis in the country.

Out of this, 40 million people in India are chronically infected with Hepatitis B and 6 to 12 million people are chronically infected with Hepatitis C.

The regulator has also allowed leeway to manufacturers for conducting clinical trials or bio-equivalence studies in India.

While these studies are conducted to test new drugs on local patients, they take a long time and hence often delays launches in the country.

The new norms issued by the regulator allows companies to apply for such studies and product approvals simultaneously.

Till now, companies had to submit data from trials before seeking product approvals.

In fact, in some cases the regulator has also suggested waiving off clinical trials for urgent use.

HIV and Hepatitis In India: Know More

  • Though India has demonstrated a 57% reduction in overall annual number of new HIV cases, it continues to have the third highest number of people living with HIV in the world.
  • Similarly, chronic Hepatitis is placing a huge disease, social and economic burden on affected families as well as the health system.
  • The condition can be self-limiting or can progress to liver fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer.
  • Early approvals in India are also likely to benefit people around the world as India is a major supplier of generic medicines, mainly anti-retroviral.

7)   US and UK have banned_________ from passenger cabins in certain flights.

a. Laptops
b. Tablets
c. Smartphones
d. Only a and b
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Only a and b

The US and UK banned laptops and tablet computers from passenger cabins on certain airlines' flights from some airports in Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa, citing terror threats.

Normally, decisions taken by American authorities and implemented by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are the result of specific threats identified by US intelligence agencies.

Certain groups like Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula have been trying for years to adapt to the progressive security measures put in place by the US and their allies, in particular by miniaturising explosives.

The new measures will be based on specific threats, without doubt an initiative by AQAP, one of the most advanced and sophisticated groups–in particular with regards to miniaturisation of explosive devices.

After AQAP and rebel groups in Syria drew closer together in 2014, the TSA banned devices with flat batteries, saying that passengers could be required to demonstrate that laptops and phones could be powered up before boarding planes.

The battery's housing could conceal a miniature explosive of just a few hundred grams.

These types of electronic devices contain all the component parts of an improvised explosive device (IED) except for the detonator and the actual explosives.

By adding those two missing elements, it could be possible to effectively assemble an IED, making these devices more sensitive than other electronics, he added.

If airport security have any doubt about a passenger and their baggage they can use a trace detector.

If the electronic device has been booby-trapped, there will be traces of explosive of that can be found. The wipe can be analysed in seven seconds and will warn of any explosives detected, the expert said.

In France, checked baggage is passed through an Explosive Detection System which can determine whether any explosives are present by analysing the molecules inside the bags.

If the machine estimates that there may be a threat, it alerts airport security who can take the bag aside for a more comprehensive check.

8)   What is the criteria for an Insolvency Professional according to IBBI?

a. The IP must not engage in any employment
b. IP cannot play two roles - profession and employment - at once
c. Both a and b
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both a and b

The first order issued by the recently-established Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) is expected to influence many firms, including well-known consultancies that are eyeing the huge market for stressed assets and debt resolution.

In its March 2 order, IBBI rejected an application for registration as an Insolvency Professional (IP) by an individual who works with one of the so-called Big Four consultancy firms.

It held that “... an IP must not ‘engage in any employment’, repeat ‘any employment’.

It envisages that a person must not play two roles — profession and employment - simultaneously,” according to the order.

IBBI is not going to grant registration to individuals in such a scenario and so entities that want to be registered will have to form a separate subsidiary with dedicated resources related to insolvency and bankruptcy work.

The law does allow insolvency professional entities or IPEs wherein the majority of partners are registered IPs.”

This segment is going to be extremely large in the future. There is around ?6.6 lakh crore worth of recognised NPAs in the banking sector as of today.

Legal experts say that the first order from IBBI has set a tone on how it is going to interpret the provisions of its regulations and is in line with the views of other regulators.

IBBI: Know More

  • IBBI seeks to consolidate and amend laws relating to reorganisation as well as insolvency resolution of corporate persons, partnership firms and individuals in a time-bound manner.
  • It has been set up by the code to regulate professionals, information utilities (IUs) and agencies engaged in the resolution of insolvencies of companies.
  • It has chairman and 10 members.
  • Current chairman is M S Sahoo.
  • There four government-nominated members.

9)   Where will NASA send its next-generation atomic clock in 2017?

a. Mars
b. Moon
c. North Pole
d. Space
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


In a key advance for safely navigating future human exploration of the solar system, NASA is set to send its next-generation atomic clock to space in late 2017.

This clock will be smaller, lighter and magnitudes more precise than any atomic clock flown in space before.

Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California have completed integration of the instrument, the Deep Space Atomic Clock, with the spacecraft that will take it into orbit later in 2017.

Timekeeping plays a critical role in spacecraft navigation and will be especially important for future deep space missions.

Most spacecraft are tracked using "two-way" methods -- the ground-based antenna 'pings' the spacecraft and waits for the signal to return.

By measuring how long the signal takes to travel, the distance to the spacecraft can be calculated.

A navigation team then processes this information to determine the spacecraft's flight path and also determine if any course corrections are required.

The next-generation atomic clock developed by NASA enables "one-way" tracking, where the spacecraft does not need to send the signal back to Earth.

The tracking measurements could be taken onboard and processed with a spacecraft-based navigation system to determine the path and whether any manoeuvre are needed to stay on course.

This will be a key advance for safely navigating future human exploration of the solar system by providing astronauts with their position and velocity when they need it.

It will lighten the load on the antennas in NASA's Deep Space Network, allowing more spacecraft to be tracked with a single antenna.

The Deep Space Atomic Clock would also improve the precision and quantity of the radio data used by scientists for determining a planet's gravity field and probing its atmosphere, NASA said

NASA: Know More

  • Formed: July 29, 1958
  • Preceding agency: NACA (1915–1958)[2]
  • Jurisdiction: United States government
  • Headquarters: Washington, D.C.

10)   Who has been appointed as the COO of FreeCharge on 22nd March?

a. Rahul Yadav
b. Jason Kothari
c. Ankit Khanna
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Ankit Khanna

FreeCharge on March 22, 2017 announced promotion of Ankit Khanna to Chief Operating Officer of the company.

Ankit will be managing product, user growth, user experience and business development at Freecharge.

Before taking charge as the COO, Ankit was the Chief Product Officer with the company.

Prior to this, he was the Senior Vice President, Product at Snapdeal and has been with Snapdeal since the company's inception in 2010, where he joined as the Product head.

Ankit holds a Bachelors in technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

Before joining Snapdeal, Ankit also co-founded Itasveer in 2006, an online solution for photo printing which was later acquired by a Pune based IT Services company.

FreeCharge: Know More

  • Status: Acquired by Snapdeal on April 8, 2015
  • Total Equity Funding: $174.22M in 5 Rounds from 6 Investors
  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • Description: FreeCharge is a service that gives users coupons for charging their mobile plans.
  • Founders: Sandeep Tandon, Kunal Shah
  • Categories: Internet, Coupons, Payments
  • Website:

11)   Indian Institute of Technology is the first academic institution to get ______________.

a. Supercomputing facility
b. Computational support to carry out research and teaching in high performance computing
c. Both a and b
d. Neither a nor b
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and b

The Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur is the first academic institution to get supercomputing facility under the National Supercomputing Mission.

This will provide large computational support to users to carry out both research and teaching activities that involve state-of-the-art High Performance Computing (HPC).

It will usher in a new age in research and innovation in the country.

The Peta-Flop new system with both CPU and CPU-GPU based servers along with the already existing HPC equipment will provide about 1.5 Peta-Flop capacity support to several areas where the researchers of IIT-KGP are actively involved.

The Institute is setting up a new Centre for Computational and Data Sciences (CCDS) around such a supercomputing platform to build, manage and operate the HPC facility.

The institution is engaged in research in several areas of national importance requiring large computational (both hardware and software) support.

"The facility will cover cutting-edge research scope in different inter-disciplinary areas like bio molecular simulations, drug design and bio-informatics.

Also on the anvil are climate change and digital earth, geo-scientific exploration, infrastructure design and sustainable cities.

CCDS will also focus on education and capacity building. IIT-KGP is the nodal centre for HPC-related educational activities by NSM.

NSM: Know More

  • The objective of NSM is to achieve a self-reliant supercomputing platform in the country and to develop and expand the scope of using HPC systems to solve complex problems of national importance in different fields of science and technology.
  • The initiative is supported by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc).
  • The mission envisages building supercomputing capacity and capability in the country.
  • It has an estimated budget of INR 4,500 crore over a period of seven years.

12)   Which of the following are provisions of the Finance Bill 2017?

a. Aadhaar card mandatory for filing income tax returns
b. Aadhaar card to be made compulsory for applying for PAN
c. Cash transaction limit to be INR 2 lakhs
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

FM Arun Jaitley indicated on March 22nd that 18 lakh persons deposited funds higher than disclosed income levels; 8 lakh of these have responded to government queries through emails and SMSes.

Meanwhile LS passed the Financial Bill 2017 which has made the Aadhaar card mandatory for filing income tax returns or applying for a PAN (permanent account number) card.

GoI has also cut the limit for cash transaction to INR 2 lakhs from 3 lakhs proposed in the budget. The transaction will be illegal beyond the stipulated upper limit.

Aadhaar has been made mandatory for tax returns. Cases of individuals holding 5 PAN cards to evade tax have been noted. Around 98% of Indians have Aadhaar cards.

Agriculture is set to remain outside the taxation net.

Government has merged several administrative tribunals. It has also assumed powers to appoint and remove their chiefs, raising a question on the independence of quasi judicial institutions.

The bill has also allowed companies to make bigger, anonymous political donations. 8 autonomous tribunals have been merged with others and GoI now has the power to appoint and remove members in 17 such bodies.

The bill also laid down severance terms for chairpersons, vice chairpersons and members of merged tribunals. Up to 3 months pay and allowances are specified and officers will then revert to parent cadre, department or ministry.

Government indicated reducing the tribunals will increase dispute resolution and curb expenditure.

So far, a company could contribute 7.5% of three year average of net profits and had to disclose name of recipient political party. But now the cap is gone and companies don't need to disclose the names of beneficiaries.

Elections: Know More

  • Voting system: First past the post
  • Last election: 7 April – 12 May 2014
  • Next election: Indian general election, 2019