Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Mar 24, 2017

1)   Which township became the first to go cashless in India?

a. GIFT city
b. Majuli
c. Nand Niketan
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Nand Niketan

Essar’s Nand Niketan at Hazira (in Surat district, Gujarat) became India’s first private sector township to go cashless.

People here are using the mobile wallet for performing digital transactions.

Mumbai-based tech company The Mobile Wallet/TMW was roped by the township to provide smartphone based application for mastercard-enabled mobile wallets.

So far around 8,000 prepaid cards were issued in the township to the employees, merchants and shop owners operating within its precincts.

An average of INR 2 lakh worth of digital transactions are being executed every day.

TMW: Know More

  • The Mobile Wallet Pvt. Ltd. was founded by Mr. Vinay Kalantri and has launched
  • The Mobile Wallet, India´s first full service wallet which empowers its users to complete their day to day payments in a simple manner.
  • Through the innovative services backed by the best in technology and the highest level of safety, security and reliability, The Mobile WalletPvt. Ltd., offers consumers a special app which will make complex household budgeting a thing of the past

2)   Which countries agreed on redesigning Miyar Hydroelectric project?

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

ANSWER: India, Pakistan

India and Pakistan have agreed on redesigning the Miyar Hydroelectric project at the end of two-day talks of Indus Water Commissioners held in Islamabad, capital of Pakistan.

The countries also agreed that the Lower Kalnai and the Pakal Dul projects would be inspected again.

The talks between the two neighbouring countries began after 22 months when Pakistan in 2015 skipped consultations following objections on the Kishenganga and the Ratle hydroelectric projects by India.

Kishenganga is in arbitration.

Pakistan’s request for arbitration on Ratle is still pending with the World Bank, which is the guarantor of the 1960 Indus Water Treaty.

3)   Which HC ordered separate counting of Sikhs in nation-wide census?

a. Peshawar
b. Rawalpindi
c. Lahore
d. Lyallpur
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Peshawar

The Peshawar High Court on 22 March 2017 ordered authorities to ensure separate counting of Sikhs in the nation-wide census.

The order came after the community members filed a plea for not being counted among the religions. The court ordered that the section of Sikhism be included in the religion column in the census form.

The first phase of the 6th census had clubbed Sikhs with the Scheduled Castes of the country while separately counting the Muslims, Hindus, Christians and some other groups.

The Sikhs community filed a petition in the high court, which ordered that the section of Sikhism be included in the religion column in the census form.

The high court directed that the implementation of the ruling should be carried out in the second phase of the population census, which would start from 25 April 2017.

Pakistan is holding its first census in 19 years.

The country conducted its last national population census in the year 1998. In the ongoing census in the country, only nine of its estimated 70 languages will be listed, which disappoints many communities.

No regional languages from sparsely populated Gilgit-Baltistan are included in the census form.

However, it is for the first time that around three million registered and unregistered Afghan refugees in the country will also be counted in the census.

It is also for the first time that transgendered citizens will be counted. The ongoing census will be concluded in two phases.

The first phase, which already started on 15 March 2017, will conclude on 15 April 2017. The second phase starts from 25 April 2017 and will conclude on 25 May 2017.

Sikhs in Punjab

  • Sikhs form a very small community in present-day Pakistan.
  • Most of the community members live in the province of Punjab and Peshawar in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
  • Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, is located in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
  • Before the partition, significant populations of Sikhs inhabited the largest cities in the Punjab such as Lahore, Rawalpindi and Faisalabad.
  • However, post-partition, the minority Hindu and Sikh migrated to India.
  • In the decades following Pakistan’s independence in 1947, the Sikh community began to re-organise, forming the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PGPC) to represent the community in Pakistan.

4)   Who won the Gold in Double Trap at ISSF, Mexico?

a. Ankur Mittal
b. Apurvi Chandela
c. Heena Sindhu
d. Jitu Rai
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Ankur Mittal

Indian shooter Ankur Mittal won Gold medal in the Men’s Double Trap event at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World24 Cup held in Acapulco, Mexico.

He defeated James Willet of Australia, the gold medalist at ISSF World Cup held in New Delhi in February 2017.

Ankur finished with a tally of 75, while Willet managed 73 points win silver medal.

China’s Ying Qui won bronze medal with 52 points.

Mittal had settled for a silver at the recent International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in New Delhi, where Willet had won the gold.

Mittal ended with 75 points out of possible 80 in the six-man final to win India's first medal in the competition while Willet managed 73.

Medal events now remain in the Mens and Womens Skeet shooting disciplines, scheduled to be held over the weekend.

5)   When is World Meteorological Day observed?

a. 23rd March
b. 24th March
c. 25th March
d. 26th March
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 23rd March

The World Meteorological Day was observed globally on 23rd March 2017.

The theme of WMD 2017 is ‘Understanding Cloud’ to highlight the enormous importance of clouds for weather climate and water.

The day is organized every year by World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The theme aims to highlight the enormous importance of clouds for weather climate and water. Clouds are central to weather observations and forecasts.

Clouds are one of the key uncertainties in the study of climate change: we need to better understand how clouds affect the climate and how a changing climate will affect clouds.

Clouds play a critical role in the water cycle and shaping the global distribution of water resources.

World Meteorological Day marks the launch of a new edition of the International Cloud Atlas after the most thorough and far-reaching revision in its long and distinguished history.

The new WMO Atlas is a treasure trove of hundreds of images of clouds, including a few newly classified cloud types.

It also features other meteorological phenomena such as rainbows, halos, snow devils and hailstones.

For the first time ever, the Atlas has been produced in a digital format and is accessible via both computers and mobile devices.

The International Cloud Atlas has its roots in the late 19th century. It was revised on several occasions in the 20th century, most recently in 1987, as a hard copy book, before the advent of the Internet.

What Are Snow Devils?

  • Whirlwinds are subdivided into two main types, the great (or major) whirlwinds and the lesser (or minor) whirlwinds.
  • The first category includes tornadoes, waterspouts, and landspouts.
  • Some lesser whirlwinds may sometimes form in a similar manner to greater whirlwinds with related increase in intensity.
  • These intermediate types include the gustnado and the fire whirl.
  • Other lesser whirlwinds include dust devils, as well as steam devils, snow devils, debris devils, leaf devils, and shear eddies such as the mountainado and eddy whirlwinds.

6)   What is India's rank in the HDI as per HDR 2016?

a. 130
b. 131
c. 132
d. 133
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


India slipped down one place from 130 to 131 among the 188 countries ranked in terms of human development, says the 2016 Human Development Report (HDR).

This was released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on March 21st.

India’s human development index (HDI) value of 0.624 puts it in the “medium human development” category, alongside countries such as Congo, Namibia and Pakistan.

It is ranked third among the SAARC countries, behind Sri Lanka (73) and the Maldives (105), both of which figure in the “high human development” category.

The world’s top three countries in HDI are Norway (0.949), Australia (0.939) and Switzerland (0.939).

The HDI is a measure for assessing progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge, and access to a decent standard of living.

The report praised India’s reservation policy, observing that even though it “has not remedied caste-based exclusions”, it has “had substantial positive effects”. It pointed out that in 1965, for example, Dalits held fewer than 2% of senior civil service positions, but the share had grown to 11% by 2001.

The HDR also hailed the national rural employment guarantee programme as a “prime example” of “combining social protection with appropriate employment strategies”.

The report noted with approval India’s progressive laws, especially the Right to Information, National Food Security, and Right to Education Acts.

It commended the Indian grassroots group Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanghatan for popularising social audits of government schemes.

Noting that women, on an average, have lower HDI than men across the world, the report pointed out that the largest gender disparity in development was in South Asia, where the female HDI value is 20% lower than the male value.

In South Asia, gender gaps in entrepreneurship and labour force participation caused an estimated income loss of 19%.

Between their first and fifth birthdays, girls in India and Pakistan have a 30% to 50% greater chance of dying than boys.

While India’s HDI value increased from 0.428 in 1990 to 0.624 in 2015, it still had the lowest rank among BRIC nations. However, its average annual growth in HDI (1990-2015) was higher than that of other medium HD countries.

Public Health Expenditure

  • The report says 1.5 billion people worldwide still live in multidimensional poverty.
  • Around 54% of them concentrated in South Asia.
  • While poverty fell significantly from 1990 to 2015, inequalities sharpened in the region.
  • South Asia also had the highest levels of malnutrition in the world, at 38%, and the lowest public health expenditure as a percentage of the GDP (1.6%, 2014).
  • India’s public health expenditure was even lower, at 1.4% of the GDP.
  • It did make some gains between 1990 and 2015, improving life expectancy by 10.4 years in this period. Child malnutrition also declined by 10 percentage points from 2015.
  • Also there was a modest gain in infant and under-five mortality rates.

7)   Which state government is providing free WiFI in colleges and universities?

a. Bihar
b. Jharkhand
c. Odisha
d. West Bengal
Answer  Explanation 


The Bihar government has launched an ambitious programme to provide free WiFi facilities in colleges and universities.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar formally launched free WiFi facilities for students on the occasion of Bihar Divas celebrations.

The objective is to provide free Wi-Fi facility to help youths to move ahead in life and to become digital smart.

Incubation centre is being established in different educational institutions in the state to help young entrepreneurs.

Start-up means an entity, incorporated or registered in Bihar not prior to five years with an annual turnover not exceeding INR 25 crore in any preceding financial year.

It should also be working towards innovation, development, deployment or commercialisation of new products, processes or services driven by technology or intellectual property.

Bihar: Know More

  • Land area: 99,200 km²
  • Population: 99.02 million (2012)
  • Capital: Patna
  • Sorrow: Koshi River

8)   What is the name of the newly proposed OBC panel?

a. National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Categories
b. National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes
c. National Commission for Educationally and Socially Backward Classes
d. National Commission for Educationally and Socially Backward Categories
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes

The Centre has approved a proposal to set up a national commission for OBCs with constitutional status.

This is an initiative that carries the symbolic gesture of putting backwards on a par with scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.

The announcement, coinciding with the birth anniversary of Ram Manohar Lohia, a mascot for Mandal classes has the proposed OBC panel, to be named National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes.

It will be created through a constitutional amendment similar to the ones providing for national commissions for SCs and STs.

It will replace the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) and will have the power of "grievance redressal" of backwards as exercised by the panels for SCs and STs.

The first big task before the new commission will be deciding the demand of Jats for OBC status.

In a departure from post-Mandal Commission paradigm, the Centre has proposed that Parliament will decide on inclusion and exclusion of communities in the central OBC list.

Currently, the Centre can simply issue a notification to change entries in the OBC list based on recommendations of the NCBC.

However, changes to the lists of SCs and STs can only be made through a legislation.

It has been a longstanding demand of OBC champions that the Mandal classes should get a separate constitutional identity , with its own grievance redressal mechanism.

The NCBC's mandate was limited to inclusion and exclusion of communities from the Central OBC list and OBC grievances were heard by the National Commission for SCs.

9)   Which subsidies would be transferred to manufacturers on actual sales when reforms are announced?

a. Fertilizer
b. Insurance
c. Agriculture
d. Mining
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Fertilizer

Centre has decided to roll out one of its biggest subsidy reforms across the country from June where fertilizer subsidies would be transferred to manufacturers on the basis of actual sales.

This is a move which will pave the way for implementation of the direct benefit transfer (DBT) system in this sector and could save up to INR 7,000 crore by plugging leakages.

Though it will take some more time for the government to directly transfer subsidies to accounts of the end users (farmers), the June roll out will provide the government enough data through point of sale (PoS) machines having Aadhaar-based authentication system at retailers end.

It will aim to achieve its ultimate objective system of transferring benefits to farmers possibly after mid-2018.

The government has budgeted INR 70,000 crore for fertilizer subsidy in the current financial year.

Subsidies are currently paid to fertilizer companies on the basis of receipt of fertilizer at rail rake points or identified godowns in districts.

Once the new system is implemented from June, the manufacturers will get the difference between the actual value and the subsidized price of fertilizer in the companies bank account after giving actual details of sales through the PoS.

It will plug leakages and save huge amount of money to the exchequer.

Sales of neem-coated Urea have already stopped illegal diversion of fertilizer for non-agriculture applications like in plywood and textile sectors or for milk adulteration.

A soil health card scheme launched last year will help in determining the actual need of fertilizer but so far it has achieved only 40% of its target.

10)   Which firm has MeiTY announced a partnership with to make digital payments safer?

a. Bing
b. Microsoft
c. Google
d. Yahoo
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Google

Ministry of Electronics and IT and Google announced a partnership to make digital payments safer as well as impart digital skill training to artisans and Android training to developers.

The collaboration with Google will be hugely beneficial in harnessing the capabilities of technology for the India growth story.

Google India and MeitY will support the launch of a ‘Digital Payments Security Alliance’ in collaboration with the Data Security Council of India.

The Alliance will bring together several stakeholders from the ecosystem, including banks, fintech companies and the government.

The program will target customers as well as merchants and small businesses.

Google India, which had announced a program to impart digital training to SMBs earlier this year.

It will extend this training in partnership with MeitY to over 100,000 artisans per year across the country.

The training will be delivered by National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology.

Google India will equip the National Institute trainers with training modules and content.

Google India will also provide mobile training labs to reach artisan clusters across India.

Under the collaboration with the Ministry, Google will also extend specially-designed instructor-led training program course curriculum to the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology.

This will in turn train over one lakh developers and students through its network of centres.

MeiTY: Know More

  • Website:
  • Formed: 19 July 2016
  • Jurisdiction: India
  • Headquarters: Sanchar Bhawan, New Delhi, India
  • Cabinet minister: Ravi Shankar Prasad
  • Minister of state: P. P. Choudhary
  • Predecessor: Ministry of Communications and Information Technology

11)   Which ride sharing app has acquired Pune based startup FinitePaths?

a. Lyft
b. Uber
c. Ola
d. TaxiForSure
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


Ride sharing app aggregator Lyft has acquired Pune based FinitePaths for an undisclosed amount.

Trail Answers, the app created by FinitePaths will be shut down and cofounders will join the Lyft team.

FinitePaths was set up in November 2015 with the move to leverage technology to enable people to take better decisions.

The app Trail Answers enabled answers to questions using social, contextual and local signals.

The company has been founded by Vinay Kakade and Balaji Raghavan, who worked with Amazon and Google respectively before setting up the firm.

The cofounders will now work with Lyft to help in expanding its infrastructure and services.

Following this acquisition, the company has stopped signing up new users and will shut down the app over the next two weeks.

Lyft: Know More

  • Founded: 2012
  • CEO: Logan Green (Jun 2012)
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States
  • Founders: Logan Green, John Zimmer

12)   What is the global temperature in 2017 in terms of the pre-industrial period?

a. 1.1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial period
b. 2.2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial period
c. 3.3 degree Celsius above pre-industrial period
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 1.1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial period

Extreme weather and climatic conditions including Arctic heatwaves have continued into 2017 after global temperatures set a record last year and the world witnessed exceptionally low sea ice and unabated ocean heat, according to WMO.

Global temperatures have hit an astounding 1.1 degree Celsius above the pre-industrial period,

Global sea level touched record highs and planet's sea ice coverage dropped more than 4 million square kms below average in Nov.

The increase in global temperature is in line with other changes in the climate system.

With CO2 levels in the atmosphere breaking fresh records, influence of human activities on the climate system has become more obvious.

Each year since 2001, there has been a 0.4 degree Celsius above the long term average for 1961-1990 base period used as a reference for climate change monitoring by the UN agency.

The 2016 heating was further boosted by the powerful El Nino weather system, during which global sea-level also rose very strongly.

Similarly, carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere reached the symbolic benchmark of 400 parts per millions in 2015 - the latest year for which WMO global figures are available.

This will not fall below that level for many generations to come because of the long-lasting nature of CO2.

The extreme weather patterns are continuing in 2017 adding that at least three times so far this winter, the Arctic saw what can be called the Polar equivalent of a heatwave, with powerful Atlantic storms driving an influx of warm, moist air.

At the height of the Arctic winter and the sea ice refreezing period, there were days which were actually close to melting point.

In the US alone, 11,743 warm temperature records were broken or tied in February, according to the US NOAA, said the UN agency.

NOAA/National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration: Know More

  • Headquarters: Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
  • Founder: Richard Nixon
  • Founded: 3 October 1970
  • Parent organization: United States Department of Commerce

13)   What is the Affordable Care Act also known as?

a. Obamacare
b. Planned Parenthood Bill
c. Affordable Health Bill
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Obamacare

GOP House leaders delayed a promised vote on March 24, on the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

This is a massive setback for US President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

The legislative test came after Trump, who was a master dealmaker failed to reach agreement with rebel Conservatives and moderate leaning Republicans.

The bill could come to a vote in some days, but the cancellation of the Friday vote was a defeat.

This is on the 7-year anniversary of Obama signing the Affordable Care Act.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows RNC refused the bill after trying to get concessions to reduce requirements on insurance companies.

The Republican legislation would have halted tax penalties against people who don't purchase coverage and cut federal state Medicaid program for low income people.

The Republican bill sought to provide tax credits to pay medical bills, permitting insurers to charge older Americans more and repeal tax boosts the law imposed on health industry and high-income people.

Measures would also block federal payment to Planned Parenthood for another year.