Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Mar 30, 2017

1)   Which Indian origin anti apartheid activist was sentenced in the Rivonia Trial of 1964?

a. Ahmed Kathrada
b. Mohamed Kathrada
c. Ahmed Ali
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Ahmed Kathrada

Indian origin anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada passed away on 28th March 2017 after brain surgery complications.

Settled in South Africa, Kathrada was one of Nelson Mandela’s closest aides in his struggle to end the white minority rule.

During his struggle, he spent 26 years and 3 months in prison, including 18 years on the infamous Robben Island.

Kathrada was among three political prisoners who were sentenced to life imprisonment after the infamous Rivonia Trial of 1964.

After the end of apartheid, he served from 1994 and 1999 as parliamentary counsellor to President Mandela in the first African National Congress (ANC) government.

Kathrada also got the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award, India’s highest honour for foreign nationals of Indian-origin, in 2005 from the President of India.

As a prolific writer, Kathrada penned six books alone or with co-authors.

Kathrada was born in 1929 to Indian immigrant parents in northwestern South Africa.

2)   Which households in urban and rural UP will get free power connections?

a. APL
b. BPL
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 


The below poverty line households in the urban and rural areas of Uttar Pradesh will henceforth get free power connection and those above the poverty line will get the 100 per cent financing option with easy EMIs.

The decision was taken during a meeting between Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal and Uttar Pradesh Energy Minister Shrikant Sharma on 27 March 2017.

Free power connection will be provided to urban and rural and below poverty line households and to the above poverty line households at reasonable EMIs.

The connections will be provided solely on the basis of the latest socio-economic census data, without discriminating on caste or religious lines.

Aside from this, an amnesty scheme would be provided to all the households and commercial connections that wish to take legal electricity connections.

The state would also run a state-wide campaign against power theft along with a drive to sensitise all the stakeholders to bring honesty into the sector by shunning corruption.

There would also be transparent monitoring to prevent harassment to the consumers at the hands of field officers.

A state power official will also be placed at each industrial feeder level to monitor the consumption, billing and collection and also to ensure the flow of 24 hrs reliable quality power to the industry.

Further, the Power Minister has directed the officials of the power ministry to conduct a weekly ground level review of the progress of the projects being implemented in the state along with the state power department officers in Lucknow.

The Minister also directed the state power officials to come up with a strategy to replace all the old thermal power plants in the state with Super Critical Power Plants.

It will also aim to engage in 100 per cent coal linkage swap in order to bring down the power costs for the common man.

3)   Which sports drama was voted Best film of 2016 by the Film Companion Critics Poll?

a. Dangal
b. Chak De! India
c. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
d. Iqbal
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Dangal

Aamir Khan’s sports drama Dangal is also getting critical acclaim for its content.

Leading film critics have voted it as the Best Film of 2016.

As many as 23 critics got together to pick the best of Bollywood through poll - Film Companion Critics’ Poll.

Film Companion, a platform for cinematic content backed by critic Anupama Chopra, for the first time conducted a year-end poll.

The results of the poll in five categories were announced in a statement.

Dangal - based on a true story of the inspiring and empowering journey of a father who trains his daughters in wrestling - was named as the Best Film.

Aamir Khan: Know More

  • Aamir Khan is an Indian film actor, director, and producer.
  • Through his career in Hindi films, Khan has established himself as one of the most popular and influential actors of Indian cinema.
  • Born: Mohammed Aamir Hussain Khan
  • DOB: 14 March 1965
  • Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • Nationality: Indian
  • Years active 1984–present

4)   Which language did Google release its Knowledge Graph in on 29th March, 2017?

a. Bengali
b. Konkani
c. Madhesi
d. Maithili
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Bengali

Aimed at helping Bengali speakers discover new information quickly, Google on March 29, 2017 announced the introduction of Knowledge Graph in the Bengali language on Google Search.

What is more, Google said its search will now also support spell correction for Bengali queries, improving the search experience for the millions of Bengali speakers around the world.

The Knowledge Graph enables users to search for things, people or places that Google knows about - landmarks, celebrities, cities, sports teams, buildings, geographical features, movies, celestial objects, works of art and more.

This will help over 200 million Bengali speakers to search for things they care about,

Google Knowledge Graph is currently available in 41 languages and it is tuned based on what people search for, and what Google finds out on the web, improving results over time.

The feature allows users to get straight to the answer and not trillions of webpages to scroll through.

Knowledge Graph: Know More

  • The Knowledge Graph is a knowledge base used by Google to enhance its search engine's search results.
  • It uses semantic-search information gathered from a wide variety of sources.
  • Knowledge Graph display was added to Google's search engine in 2012.
  • It was starting in the United States, having been announced on May 16, 2012.

5)   Which recommendations did TRAI release on 29th March 2017?

a. "Sharing of Infrastructure in Television Broadcasting Distribution Sector".
b. "Sharing of Infrastructure in Radio Broadcasting Distribution Sector"
c. "Sharing of Infrastructure in Internet Broadcasting Distribution Sector".
d. "Sharing of Infrastructure in Communication Broadcasting Distribution Sector".
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: "Sharing of Infrastructure in Television Broadcasting Distribution Sector".

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on 29th March, 2017 released its recommendations on "Sharing of Infrastructure in Television Broadcasting Distribution Sector".

According to the recommendations of Trai secretary Sudhir Gupta the television (TV) broadcasting sector has witnessed tremendous growth in the last decade.

There has been an exponential increase in the number of satellite TV channels which predominantly distributed using Cable TV, Direct to Home (DTH), and Head-End in the Sky (HITS) networks to subscribers.

At present, there are seven DTH operators, more than 1200 Multi System Operators(MSOs) and 2 HITS operators in the country.

The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) had sent a reference in April 2016 requesting TRAI to examine the issue of the infrastructure sharing and provide its recommendation.

The MIB had also sought recommendation on the amendment that may be required in the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 and Rules to facilitate the infrastructure sharing.

The TRAI examined the issues in sharing of infrastructure in TV broadcasting distribution sector comprehensively through comprehensive consultation with the stakeholders by issuing pre-consultation paper, consultation paper and conducting open house discussion with them.

After considering the comments, counter-comments and views expressed by the stakeholders during the consultation process, the recommendation was finalized on "Sharing of Infrastructure in Television Broadcasting Distribution Sector".

These recommendations are to ease up policy environment for facilitating sharing of infrastructure in TV broadcasting distribution sector, on voluntary basis.

In addition, it would lower the entry barriers for new service providers and provide more space on broadcasting distribution networks for niche channels - necessary for satisfying the diverse needs of general public - to reach targeted customers.

Lowering of entry barriers in the distribution space could propel competition in the market and more choices to consumers due to presence of multiple operators in single territory.

6)   Supreme court has ordered the transition of vehicles to which BS level?

b. BS-IV
c. BS-V
d. BS-VI
Answer  Explanation 


In its order, an SC bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said that even though the BSIII inventory is smaller than the total stock of vehicles in the country, public health is far more important than commercial interest of manufacturers.

This was a landmark judgment, upholding people's right to breathe clean air.

The particulate matter (PM) emissions from commercial vehicles will reduce by up to 80% with the transition to BS-IV.

In two-wheelers, hydrocarbon (HC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions will reduce by 41-80%, depending on the engine size.

The analysis based on Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers' submission in the SC had revealed that many companies continued production of BS III vehicles in large numbers between January and March 2017.

According to the industry data, there are about eight lakh unsold BS-III vehicles in the country.

These include 96,724 commercial vehicles; 6,71,305 two-wheelers; 16,198 four-wheelers and 40,048 three-wheelers.

The industry asked for a year to clear the unsold stock.

The transport ministry's notification on transition to BS IV had come two years ago.

The amicus curiae in the case, Harish Salve, said in his affidavit to SC that the transition to BS IV is a critical step to combat toxic air pollution in the country.

The note recounts that the SC-mandated Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) had given a prior notice to automakers so that BS III inventories can be reduced and manufacture of BS IV vehicles can be started.

BS Norms: Know More

  • Bharat stage emission standards' are emission standards instituted by the Government of India.
  • It is to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles.
  • The standards and the timeline for implementation are set by the Central Pollution Control Board under the Ministry of Environment & Forests and climate change.
  • The standards, based on European regulations were first introduced in 2000.

7)   Which cricketer received the Garfield Sobers Trophy in March 2017?

a. Ajinkya Rahane
b. Viraat Kohli
c. Mahindra Singh Dhoni
d. Ravichandran Ashwin
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Ravichandran Ashwin

India's off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on March 28, 2017 received Garfield Sobers Trophy for being named the ICC Cricketer of the Year as well as the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year.

Ashwin received the award the award from former India captain and ICC Cricket Hall of Famers Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar respectively.

During the voting period, which ran from 14 September 2015 to 20 September 2016, the 30-year-old from Chennai played eight Tests in which he took 48 wickets and scored 336 runs.

Ashwin also claimed 27 wickets in 19 T20Is.

Ashwin had finished 2015 as the number-one ranked Test bowler in the world, a position he twice reclaimed in 2016.

8)   Who has UN chief Antonio Guterres appointed to head WFP?

a. David Beasley
b. Etharin Cousin
c. Nikki Haley
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: David Beasley

United Nations Chief Antonio Guterres has appointed former South Carolina Governor David Beasley to head Rome based World Food Programme.

This comes at a time when Trump is slashing funds for the world body and its agencies.

Beasley will replace Etharin Cousin who has been the WFP executive director since 2012.

Washington was the top contributor to WFP in 2016 with USD 2 billion. This marks a third of the agency's budget.

Trump has proposed an unspecified cut in funding for the United Nations and its agencies.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, like Beasley, is also a former governor of South Carolina.

Guterres said Beasley, who served as South Carolina governor from 1995 to 1999, was among 23 applications/nominations for the job.

The WFP executive board noted his appointment in a letter to Guterres.

9)   Which bank is offering “Unnati” credit cards to holders with balance of INR 20 to 25 thousand, without considering credit history?

a. State Bank of India
b. State Bank of Mysore
c. State Bank of Travancore
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: State Bank of India

State Bank of India on 28th March 2017 announced offering credit cards to account holders with a balance of INR 20,000-25,000.

The card called Unnati will be offered through a network of 20 thousand plus SBI branches.

SBI will not consider the customer's credit history. Card called Unnati will be issued free for first four years.

Lack of credit history will be the challenge in increasing card penetration in the country. Card will facilitate generation of credit history for fresh users which will bring them into the organised financial stream.

To encourage adoption of credit cards and facilitate expansion in the reach of digital payments, the SBI Card Unnati will be offered free, at zero annual fee, for four years.

SBI has close to 30 crore customer accounts, including Jan Dhan Yojana. Post-demonetisation the balance amount in these accounts increased significantly.

Many customers do not have credit history and are not eligible for cards. SBI wants to bring about financial inclusion in terms of credit facility with this new product.

The Bank is also in the process of increasing its stake in SBI Card to 74 per cent.

SBI currently holds 60 per cent stake in SBICPSL and 40 per cent in GECBPMSL.

The balance being held by GE Capital in both the ventures.

The SBI has approval to infuse Rs 1,160 crore in the two JVs - SBI Cards and Payment Services Pvt Ltd (SBICPSL) and GE Capital Business Processes Management Services Ltd (GECBPMSL)- through purchase of equity shares from GE Capital.

This is to increase the bank's stake in both the companies to 74 per cent.

The nation's largest lender SBI entered credit card business in 1998 by roping GE Capital India, the consumer finance arm of US-based GE Capital.

SBI Card, having 4.3 million user, said its latest offering 'Unnati' targeted at all SBI customers, including Jan Dhan account holders throughout the country.

SBI: Know More

  • Founded: 2 June 1806, Bank of Calcutta/ 27 January 1921, Imperial Bank of India/ 1 July 1955, State Bank of India/ 2 June 1956, nationalization
  • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • Area served: Worldwide
  • Chairperson: Arundhati Bhattacharya
  • Products: Consumer banking, corporate banking, finance and insurance, investment banking, mortgage loans, private banking, private equity, savings, securities, asset management, wealth management, credit cards.

10)   Which company became the first to become a member of ASCI?

a. Paytm
b. PayPal
c. Payoneer
d. PayU
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


The country’s fast-growing e-commerce industry will finally establish its presence at the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).

Paytm set to become a member of the self-regulatory voluntary organisation next month.

The move is significant because advertising violations by e-commerce companies, which are big spenders on television, print and digital media, have been on the rise in recent years.

ASCI members include key advertisers from various sectors, such as fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), media, auto and telecom.

These spend heavily to stay visible in the marketplace.

However, no e-commerce company is a member of the body yet.

By opting to be a member, companies submit themselves to the ASCI Advertising Code, conveying the message that they wish to be responsible advertisers.

Any violation, upheld by ASCI, puts the onus on the member to abide by the regulator’s decision.

This implies quick modifications to advertisements, which, if not done, could attract stringent action, especially in the case of television ads.

Those who are not ASCI members use it as a lever to not abide by the regulator’s directives, choosing to continue with their original piece of communication.

Paytm’s decision is expected to prompt others to follow suit.

Paytm: Know More

  • CEO: Vijay Shekhar Sharma (Dec 2010)
  • Founder: Vijay Shekhar Sharma
  • Founded: 2010
  • Type of site: E-commerce
  • Headquarters: Noida, New Delhi

11)   Which country became the net exporter of electricity during April - February 2017 for the first time?

a. India
b. Pakistan
c. Afghanistan
d. Nepal
Answer  Explanation 


India has become a net exporter of electricity during the April-February 2017 period this fiscal for the first time.

This is as per the Central Electricity Authority, the designated authority of the government of India for cross border trade of electricity.

This is the first time India has turned from net importer of electricity to net exporter.

According to the statement, during the current year 2016-17 (April-February), India has exported around 5,798 million units to Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

This is 213 million units more than the import of around 5,585 million units from Bhutan.

Export to Nepal and Bangladesh increased 2.5 and 2.8 times respectively in the last three years. Ever since the cross border trade of electricity started in mid-80s, India has been importing power from Bhutan and marginally exporting to Nepal in radial mode at 33 kV and 132 kV from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh respectively.

On an average, Bhutan has been supplying around 5,000-5,500 million units to India.

India had also been exporting around 190 MW power to Nepal over 12 cross border interconnections at 11kV, 33kV and 132 kV level.

The export of power to Nepal further increased by around 145 MW with commissioning of Muzaffarpur (India)– Dhalkhebar (Nepal) 400kV line (being operated at 132 kV) in 2016.

The export of power to Bangladesh from India got further boost with commissioning of the first cross border interconnection between Baharampur in India and Bheramara in Bangladesh at 400kV in September 2013.

It was further augmented by commissioning of second cross border Interconnection between Surjyamaninagar (Tripura) in India and South Comilla in Bangladesh.

At present, around 600 MW power is being exported to Bangladesh.

The export of power to Nepal is expected to increase by around 145 MW shortly over 132 kV Katiya (Bihar) - Kusaha (Nepal) and 132 kV Raxaul (Bihar) - Parwanipur (Nepal).

Bhutan: Know More

  • Capital: Thimphu
  • King: Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
  • Prime minister: Tshering Tobgay
  • Currencies: Indian rupee, Bhutanese ngultrum
  • Official language: Dzongkha

12)   Who is the first woman to head a major Pakistani commercial bank?

a. Sima Kamil
b. Sima Ali
c. Sima Khan
d. Sima Ahmed
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Sima Kamil

The first woman to head a major commercial bank in Pakistan was named on 27th March 2017 in a landmark move where the glass ceiling holds firm.

Sima Kamil is currently the deputy CEO of the country's third largest lender United Bank Limited, taking charge on June 1, as per the directors.

She is the first chief of any commercial bank.

Women in Pakistan have faced discrimination and what are known as “honour killings” which are actually murder.

Kamal cited Shazia Syed as a female pioneer heading Pakistan's Unilever unit, a Dutch-British MNC.

UBL headquartered in Karachi, employs 15,000 people having branches in 15 other countries, including UAE, Qatar and the US.

13)   Which army chief has been conferred with the rank of General of the Nepal Army?

a. Bipin Rawat
b. Raheel Sharif
c. Indian army chief
d. Both a and c are the same
e. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and c are the same

General Bipin Rawat, India's army chief is on a 4 day visit to Nepal in March 2017. He was conferred with the honorary rank of the general of the Nepal Army and held talks with top leadership.

Chief of Staff Nepal Army Purna Chandra Thapa received Gen. Rawat. The honorary general of Nepal Army was conferred by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari.

General Rawat will also visit famous tourist spots and pilgrim sites in Nepal besides inspecting the high altitude training centre of Nepal Army and visiting the Indian Ex-Army pension paying camp situated in Pokhara.

General Rawat, who became the chief of the Indian Army on December 31, is also scheduled to visit Pashupati Nath temple.

Such high-level exchange of visits between Nepal Army and the Indian Army will help deepening and expanding bilateral relations between the two armies.

Nepal Army: Know More

  • The Nepalese Army is the armed military Land warfare force of Nepal available internationally.
  • It is a major component of the Military of Nepal.
  • Service is voluntary and the minimum age for enrolment is 18 years.
  • Headquarters: Kathmandu, Nepal