Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Mar 29, 2017

1)   What is a dedicated grievance redressal platform on social media for queries to oil and gas?

a. MoPNG l-seva
b. MoPNG m-seva
c. MoPNG d-seva
d. MoPNG e-seva
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: MoPNG e-seva

Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on 24 March 2017 launched MoPNG e-Seva, a dedicated grievances redressal platform on Social Media for all queries and grievances relating to Oil and Gas Sector.

The grievances will be dealt on real-time basis.

The MoPNG e-Seva portal will be a single point interface for all customers to reach out to the government for addressing their feedback or grievances related to Oil & Gas Sector on social media.

It will also deliver 24 x 7 support for consumers. It will serve as a single point for queries on Twitter and Facebook to begin with; and other social media platforms in due course.

A team of Nodal Officers from Oil Companies and Allied Services will be addressing the issues on real-time basis.

Conversations will be tracked on real-time basis and a standard operating procedure will be put into place for immediate intervention and closure by concerned officials of Companies.

It will also handle queries that are received on the official handles of Union Petroleum Minister and Union Petroleum Ministry.

For quick intervention and resolution of complaints, consumers can send their feedback or query with compulsory information like Full Name, Consumer ID, Location, Service Agency and Company

2)   Which UN conference was boycotted by India on 27th March 2017?

a. Negotiation of legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons leading to complete elimination
b. Prohibiting nuclear weapons
c. Prohibiting nuclear tests
d. Both b and c
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Negotiation of legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons leading to complete elimination

The United Nations conference to ‘negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination’ took off at the UN headquarters in New York on 27 March 2017.

The meeting was attended by more than 100 countries.

The United States, leading a coalition of more than 40 countries including Britain and France boycotted the talks. India too chose to skip the meeting

The countries skipping the negotiations are instead committed to the Non-Proliferation Treaty that was brought into force in 1970 and is aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology.

France and UK’s ambassadors to the UN also spoke against the ban treaty negotiations saying that the security conditions were not rights to disarm the nuclear states.

The countries leading the ban effort include Austria, Ireland, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and Sweden. Their efforts are being backed by hundreds of NGOs.

Among the non-nuclear states opposing the ban treaty, Australia has been the sole one in its neighbourhood to side with the nuclear-armed nations and boycott the negotiations for a new global treaty.

Indonesia, Thailand, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea are the prominent countries among the regional ones that have agreed to push for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Negotiating a ban without the participation of countries possessing nuclear weapons would not help the goal of reductions in nuclear arsenals.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution in December with 113 votes in favour, 35 against and 13 abstentions that decided to “negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination” and encouraged all member states to participate.

The ban treaty was opposed by all nine known nuclear-armed states – the US, China, France, Russia, India, UK, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea.

While the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Israel and Russia voted no, China, India and Pakistan abstained from voting. Japan also voted against the talks.

3)   Which nation's president was sentenced to death for treason on 25th March 2017?

a. Yemen
b. Libya
c. Somalia
d. Sudan
Answer  Explanation 


A court in Yemen’s capital city Sanaa sentenced the Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and six other top government officials to death for treason on 25 March 2017.

The court lies in a territory that is controlled by the armed Houthi movement, the arch enemy of the Saudi-backed pro-government forces.

This judgement may cause further stalling of peace talks to end the two-year-long civil war in Yemen that has resulted in the death of almost 10000 people till now.

Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country has been stuck between a war between the two factions the Houthi rebels and supporters of Yemen’s internationally recognized Aden-based government of President Hadi.

Though the Houthis and the Yemeni government have been battling each other on and off since 2004 but much of the fighting then was confined to northern Yemen’s poor province Saada, where the Houthi’s had a stronghold.

However, in September 2014, the Houthis took control of Yemen’s capital Sanaa and attempted to push further towards the country’s second-largest city, Aden.

To restrict their advance, a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia launched a military campaign in March 2015 to defeat the rebels and restore power to Yemen’s government.

The Gulf Arab military coalition has launched thousands of air strikes since then and as a result led to the killing of almost two-thirds of reported civilian deaths.

The Houthis that are allied to Iran have in turn been accused of causing mass civilian casualties in their siege of Taiz, third largest city in Yemen.

4)   What are the recommendations of Law Commission to curb hate speeches?

a. Means of inciting people through speech need to be regulated
b. Factors to consider before restricting a speech include its content and status of the speaker
c. Promotion of harmony among different groups
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

The Law Commission of India on 23 March 2017 submitted its Report No. 267 titled Hate Speech to the Union Government for its consideration.

In the Pravasi Bhalai Sangathan Vs Union of India (AIR 2014 SC 1591) case, the Supreme Court of India had asked the Law Commission of India to examine issues related to hate speech including its definition.

The court also directed the commission to submit its recommendations to the Parliament to strengthen the Election Commission to curb the menace of hate speeches.

Against this backdrop, the Law Commission of India has undertaken a study of laws restricting hate speeches in India.

However, right to freedom of speech and expression has been subjected to reasonable restrictions enunciated under Article 19(2) of the Indian Constitution.

The reasonableness of this restriction is subject to several tests.

Laws that seek to prevent speech that marginalise the vulnerable sections of the society strive to harmonise the freedom of expression with the right to equality.

In order to protect the vulnerable sections from discriminatory attitudes and practices, it is necessary that forms of expression that have the potential of inciting hatred and violence are regulated.

The Commission recommended that the anti-discrimination should take into account the harmful effect of speech on the rights of the vulnerable group. T

The Law Commission also advised that the several factors need to be considered before restricting a speech, like, the context of the speech, the status of the victim, the status of the maker of the speech and the potential of the speech to create discriminatory and disruptive circumstances.

After a thorough examination of the issue and an analysis of the international legal framework, the Commission proposed amendments to the Indian Penal Code by the insertion of new sections after section 153B and 505A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

The commission also advised the government for adoption of certain other strategies to encourage harmony among different groups of the society like sensitising and educating the public on the responsible exercise of speech.

Law Commission: Know More

  • Legal status : Ad hoc, term based
  • Purpose : Law Reform in India
  • Chairman : Justice B. S. Chauhan (21st Law Commission)
  • Formation : First 1834; Current 2016-03-10

5)   Who was appointed leader of the SP legislature party in UP legislature?

a. Mulayam Singh Yadav
b. Akhilesh Yadav
c. Dimple Yadav
d. Azam Khan
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Akhilesh Yadav

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav was on 28th March 2017 unanimously elected Leader of the SP Legislature Party in both the Houses of the Uttar Pradesh Legislature.

SP veterans Azam Khan and Shivpal Singh Yadav were conspicuous by their absence from the meeting.

At the meeting of SP MLAs and MLCs, the former chief minister was unanimously elected as the combined leader of the party in both the state assembly and council.

Besides, Akhilesh was also authorised to pick the leader of the party in the legislative council.

Akhilesh is a member of the Upper House, where senior SP leader Ahmed Hasan leads the party.

He had nominated seniormost party MLA Ram Govind Chaudhary as the leader of the SP in the assembly, paving the way for his becoming the leader of opposition(LoP) in the assembly.

RLD has one MLA in the 403-member state assembly.

6)   Which Reliance chairman has been inducted into the international advisory board of global think tank, the Atlantic Council?

a. Anil Ambani
b. Mukesh Ambani
c. Both a and b
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Anil Ambani

Reliance Group ADAG chairman Anil Ambani has been inducted into the international advisory board of global think tank, the Atlantic Council.

The global think-tank has a prominent group of global corporate and political leaders.

This includes media baron Rupert Murdoch, Airbus CEO Dr. Thomas Enders, former US national security advisor Dr. Zbigniew K. Brzezinski and former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and others.

The former Utah Governor Jon M Huntsman is Chairman of the Atlantic Council.

The Atlantic Council, which has its headquarters in Washington, DC, through the work of its 10 programmes and centres.

It promotes constructive US leadership and engagement in the world based on the central role of the Atlantic community, working with its allies and partners, to meet global challenges.

The Council aims to shape policy choices and strategies and provide an essential forum for navigating the dramatic, economic and political changes that define the 21st century.

Among the 10 regional and thematic centres, the Council’s South Asia Centre manages sustainable and innovative programmes that are focused on fostering development and cooperation in South Asia and its neighbourhood.

7)   What are the features of the new 12 sided British pound coin?

a. Hologram that changes from a pound symbol to a numeral one.
b. Micro lettering and milled edges
c. Larger in diameter but lighter than round pound
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

A new 12-sided British pound coin is entering circulation amid concern that the round pound was too easy to counterfeit.

The new coin introduced on 28th March 2017 is intended to be the most secure in the world, featuring a hologram that changes from the pound symbol to the numeral one.

It also has micro-lettering and milled edges.

It is slightly larger in diameter, but lighter than the round pound.

And despite its many sides, the Royal Mint says the new coin will roll and has been tested for the last three years to make sure it will work in vending machines.

The old coin and the new coin will co-exist for a period of around six months. It’s the first new pound coin to be introduced in 30 years.

It is considered the world's most secure coin.

Bimetallic with different inner and outer rings, a hidden identification system, a hologram, micro lettering with a diameter of 23.43 mm.

It is thinner and lighter than the old coin which ceases to be legal tender on Oct 15, 2017. With a thickness of 2.8mm and weight of 8.75g, the coin is unique in many ways.

8)   Which disease can now be diagnosed with a rapid blood test in just a few hours?

a. Typhoid
b. Tetanus
c. TB
d. Diptheria
Answer  Explanation 


Scientists have developed the first rapid blood test that can diagnose tuberculosis and measure the severity of the deadly infection within a few hours.

This is an advance that may help combat the worldwide epidemic.

Despite USD 6.6 billion spent for international tuberculosis (TB) care and prevention efforts, TB remains a major risk to human health.

This is particularly for the developing world and people with HIV infections.

Making matters worse, TB bacteria can lurk dormant in a person's lung tissue, often for decades, before spontaneously producing full-blown TB disease that can then spread to others.

World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that up to one-third of the world's population may have such dormant TB infections.

In the current front lines of TB testing, coughed-up sputum, blood culture tests, invasive lung and lymph biopsies, or spinal taps are the only way to diagnose TB.

The results can give false negatives, and these tests are further constrained because they can take days to weeks to get the results.

TB: Know More

  • In 2016, an estimated 10 million people worldwide still develop TB each year according to the WHO's most recent report, resulting in almost two million deaths.
  • TB remains a worldwide epidemic due to the lack of an effective TB vaccine, the rise in drug-resistant strains and the relatively poor performance of available TB diagnostics.
  • The new blood-based TB test outperforms all others currently on the market and takes just hours to complete.
  • This is critical since effective TB control requires that patients start treatment as soon as possible to reduce the risk of spreading TB.
  • This test also holds promise for rapid assessment of TB treatment, an important factor in reducing the development and spread of drug-resistant TB strains, researchers said.
  • Current TB assays often demonstrate reduced performance with HIV-positive TB patients or those with TB infections in non-lung tissues, and these patients can require tissue biopsies for diagnosis.

9)   Amazon has acquired which Middle East online retailer?

a. Myntra
b. Jabong
c. Alibaba
d. Souq
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


Explanation: has agreed to acquire Middle East online retailer, the two companies said in a joint statement on 28th March 2017.

The value of the deal was not disclosed.

By becoming part of the Amazon family, they will be able to vastly expand delivery capabilities and customer selection much faster, as well as continue Amazon's great track record of empowering sellers.

The co founder of Souq is Syrian-born entrepreneur Ronaldo Mouchawar. is the Dubai-based company which was started 12 years ago by Mouchawar.

It appears competition was fierce to acquire, with the Amazon deal announced just a day after Dubai-based Emaar Malls confirmed offering $800 million to acquire the site.

Founded in 2005 as an auction site, has evolved into a retailer and a marketplace for third-party sellers. The company says it attracts more than 24 million unique visits per month. won a major vote of confidence last year and emerged as the highest-valued internet company in the region when it secured $275 million in funding from international investors to support its growth.

At the time, the e-commerce market in the Middle East was growing very fast and expected to reach $20 billion in 2016. attracts over 45 million visits per month.

Amazon Retail

  • Amazon has been expanding into areas including cloud computing and streaming video where it is trying to rival Netflix.
  • But retail remains at its core.
  • Its retail operations have been taking in $26 billion in North America and $14 billion in the rest of the world in the last quarter of 2016.

10)   Which cryptocurrency's use can attract anti-money laundering provisions?

a. Bitcoin
b. Factom
c. Verticoin
d. Zcash
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Bitcoin

Government of India, on 28th March 2017, indicated that the use of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin is not authorised by RBI and could lead to anti-money laundering provisions.

RBI has cautioned users, traders and holders of the virtual currency including Bitcoin, regarding the financial, legal and security risks linked with the usage.

The absence of counter parties in usage of virtual currencies including Bitcoins, for illicit and illegal activities in anonymous/pseudonymous systems could subject the users to unintentional breaches of anti-money laundering.

This could be combating the financing of terrorism laws.

The creation of virtual currencies like Bitcoins as a medium of payments is not authorised by any central bank or monetary authority.

No regulatory approval, registration or authorisation is stated to have been obtained by the entities concerned for carrying on such activities.

The RBI had earlier warned that any user, holder, investor and trader dealing with virtual currencies would be doing so at his/her own risk.

Virtual Currencies: Know More

  • Bitcoin can be called the new trend setter, as its success has spurred the launch of many other virtual currencies (there are more than 150 cryptocurrencies).
  • The currencies inspired by Bitcoin are collectively called altcoins.
  • They have tried to present themselves as improvised and modified versions of Bitcoin.
  • These currencies are easier to mine.
  • They involve greater risk in terms of lesser liquidity, acceptance and value retention.