Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Mar 31, 2017

1)   Where did the third edition of the G20 Framework Working Group conclude on 29th March, 2017?

a. Lucknow
b. Allahabad
c. Mirzapur
d. Varanasi
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Varanasi

The third meeting of the G20 Framework Working Group concluded on 29 March 2017 in Varanasi, UP.

The meet saw discussions on the current global economic conjecture as well as deliberations on the policy options that countries can pursue to counter the challenges.

The focus of the meeting was to deliberate on the inclusive growth agenda of the G20 and formulation of a framework for country specific inclusive growth policies.

In the two-day meeting, officials from more than 30 countries discussed the growth strategy to raise the world GDP by 2 per cent till 2018.

Since the inception of the Framework Working Group in 2009, this is the fourth occasion India is hosting this meeting.

The meeting was co-hosted by the Union Ministry of Finance and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

G20 group is helping India to enhance the production from the manufacturing capacity to INR 2 lakh crore under the Make In India initiative.

G20: Know More

  • The G20 (or G-20 or Group of Twenty) is an international forum for 20 governments.
  • It also covers central bank governors from 20 major economies.
  • It was founded in 1999 with the aim of studying, reviewing, and promoting high-level discussion of policy issues.
  • It is concerned with the promotion of international financial stability.

2)   Which drug injection did USFDA approve on 28th March 2017, the first such for eczema?

a. Dupident
b. Dupitent
c. Dupixent
d. Dupizent
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Dupixent

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 28 March 2017 approved Dupixent injection to treat adults with moderate-to-severe eczema (atopic dermatitis).

Dupixent is intended for patients whose eczema is not controlled adequately by topical therapies, or those for whom topical therapies are not advisable.

The injection will have an initial list price of USD 37000 per year, according to Sanofi SA and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, which developed the drug.

Dupixent is administered as an injection under the skin. The injection’s active ingredient is an antibody (dupilumab) that binds to a protein [interleukin-4 (IL-4) receptor alpha subunit (IL-4Ra)], that causes swelling.

By binding to the protein, the drug is able to stop the inflammatory response that plays a role in the development of atopic dermatitis.

The safety and efficacy of the injection were established in three placebo-controlled clinical trials with a total of 2119 adult participants with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis not adequately controlled by topical medication.

Atopic Dermatitis

  • Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease.
  • It is the most common of the many types of eczema. Its cause is a combination of genetic, immune and environmental factors.
  • In atopic dermatitis, the skin develops red, scaly and crusted bumps, which are extremely itchy.

3)   Which country is being voted on for inclusion in NATO on 28th March 2017?

a. Montenegro
b. Zambia
c. Tanzania
d. Siberia
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Montenegro

The US Senate on 28 March 2017 voted to approve Montenegro as the 29th member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The accession treaty for the small Balkan nation to join the transatlantic alliance was passed through a 97-2 vote. Republicans Rand Paul and Mike Lee voted against the measure.

The move to add Montenegro as the 29th member was backed by President Trump.

As of now, 25 other NATO members have ratified Montenegro’s accession. The Netherlands and Spain have yet to do so.

However, Russia opposes Montenegro’s accession, calling it a provocation that would reinforce the pro-Western military alliance’s presence in the Balkans.

NATO: Know More

  • NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance. It is based on the North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed on 4 April 1949.
  • The organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.
  • Three NATO members (the United States, France and the United Kingdom) are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto.
  • The organization’s headquarters are located in Haren, Brussels, Belgium.

  • Montenegro: Know More

  • Montenegro is a sovereign state in Southeastern Europe.
  • It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast, Kosovo to the east, and Albania to the south-east. The country’s capital is Podgorica.
  • The World Bank classifies it as an upper middle-income country.
  • It is a member of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Council of Europe and others.
  • On 2 December 2015, the country received an official invite to join NATO.

4)   Match the following GST bills correctly with their respective provisions:

IGSTLevy and collection of tax on intra-state supply of goods and services
CGSTLevy and collection of tax on inter-state supply of goods or services
UTGSTLevy on collection of tax on intra-UT supply of goods and services

a. 1-I, 2-ii, 3-iii
b. 1-ii, 2-i, 3-iii
c. 1-iii, 2-ii, 3-i
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 1-ii, 2-i, 3-iii

The Lok Sabha on 29 March 2017 passed four Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bills:

  • The Central Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017 (The CGST Bill).
  • The Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017 (The IGST Bill).
  • The Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017 (The UTGST Bill).
  • The Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to the States) Bill, 2017 (The Compensation Bill)
These four Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bills will subsume all the indirect taxes currently levied such as the Value Added Tax (VAT), excise duty, service tax and central sales tax.

It empowers the centre to impose an additional tax of up to 1 per cent on the inter-state supply of goods for two years or more.


IGST Bill makes provisions for levy and collection of tax on inter-state supply of goods or services or both by the Union Government.


The CGST Bill makes provisions for levy and collection of tax on intra-state supply of goods and services by the Union Government.


The UTGST Bill makes provisions for levy on collection of tax on intra-UT supply of goods and services in the Union Territories without legislature.


Union Territory GST is similar to States Goods and Services Tax (SGST), which shall be levied and collected by the States and Union Territories on intra-state supply of goods or services or both.

5)   Who is the 46th Grandmaster of India?

a. Srinath Narayanan
b. Vishwanathan Anand
c. Chandan Katna
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Srinath Narayanan

Srinath Narayanan is all set to become India’s 46th Grandmaster after he defeated Spanish Grandmaster David Anton Guijarro (Elo rating of 2676) at the Sharjah Masters.

Srinath Narayanan, the 23-year-old from Chennai, came into limelight when he became India’s youngest FIDE rated chess player in 2002 when he was just eight years old.

Three years later, Srinath Narayanan became joint-winner at the under-12 world chess championship held in Belfort, France.

Srinath became an International Master at the age of 14 and crossed the 2500 Elo rating a few months back. He had already secured five GM norms.

He won his first GM norm in 2012 by winning the Asian Junior Chess Championship, which he won again the next year.

6)   Which State became the first to win all major domestic BCCI tournaments in a year?

a. Kerala
b. Karnataka
c. Telangana
d. Tamil Nadu
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Tamil Nadu

After emerging victorious in the final of Deodhar Trophy 2016-17 against India B, Tamil Nadu became the first state team to win the tournament as well all major domestic BCCI tournaments (involving state teams).

They won the final match by defending 303 against Parthiv Patel-led India B.

Tamil Nadu, however, had won their first and only Ranji Trophy tournament in 1987-88, followed by Irani Trophy in 1988-89.

Tamil Nadu were the first champion team in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2007-08.

Coming to India’s premier List A tournament, which is famously named as Vijay Hazare Trophy, Tamil Nadu have won this tournament four times (2002-03, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2016-17), and shared once with Uttar Pradesh in 2004-05.

They completed the set by winning the Deodhar Trophy this time.

This year makes the state five-time winners in the tournament.

Tamil Nadu has won the Irani Cup in the year of 1988-89 and the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in the year of 2007-08.

7)   Which city saw the launch of wired broadband internet services of 1 Gbps for the first time in India?

a. Chennai
b. Hyderabad
c. Vijaynagar
d. Amravati
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Hyderabad

ATC Fibernet has launched wireless broadband internet services with a speed of Gbps for the first time in India.

The 1 Gbps plan will be available for all retail customers in Hyderabad initially at INR. 5,999 per month, with a FUP of 1 TB.

The service will soon be expanded to all the 11 cities ACT is present.

The service was launched in the presence of K. Taraka Rama Rao, Minister for IT, Telengana.

ACT is the first ISP in India to giga enable an entire city in India.

India was one of the few countries to get broadband speeds of 1 Gbps.

ACT was the first ISP to provide such huge speeds and FUP to retail customers.

High speed connections are available only for enterprise customers. ACT Fibernet has made it available to any individual. It will be able to provide the high-speed service within 72-90 hours of application.

The average internet speed in India was only 2.5 Mbps compared to the 1 Gbps now offered by ACT. The downloads would be faster than transferring data from a USB drive.

This would enable users to upload even huge files to the cloud in seconds and download ten HD movies simultaneously in less than 10 minutes.

The upgrade could be done with the existing fibre network.

Only the last mile cabling would need replacement for supporting such high speeds.

The user would never have to worry about data limits or speeds any more.

Multiple users can simultaneously download or upload huge amounts of data without worries.

This would be a boon for startups, Malladi said.

ATC Fibernet: Know More

  • ACT Fibernet calls itself as the largest broadband provider in twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad with over 65 per cent market share.
  • It said that the new service will not only provide internet connections at high speeds, but will also disrupt and lead technological growth in the country.
  • ACT Fibernet is India's third largest ISP (Internet Service Provider) in the wired broadband category with a customer base of 1.2 million.
  • It is headquartered in Bangalore and runs in 11 cities across India.
  • India is the second largest market globally with internet connectivity reaching over 400 million people.
  • When the average internet speeds in India is 2.5 Mbps, ACT Fibernet's 1Gbps launch aims to boost Hyderabad's average internet speed to 400x national average.

8)   For which state's development has India signed its first loan agreement with NDB?

a. MP
b. UP
c. HP
d. AP
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


India signed its first loan agreement with the New Development Bank (NDB) for $350 million to be used in the development and upgradation of district roads in Madhya Pradesh.

“he objective of the project is the upgradation of major district roads in the state of Madhya Pradesh to improve connectivity of the interior areas of the state with the national and state highway networks.

The project would include upgradation, rehabilitation or reconstruction of approximately 1,500 km of district roads to intermediate lane, all-weather standards, with road safety features and improved road asset maintenance and management.

The project is to be implemented over five years with the Government of Madhya Pradesh and the Madhya Pradesh Road Development Corporation acting as the implementing agencies.

The loan agreement was signed by Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs and Xian Zhu, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of the New Development Bank.

New Development Bank: Know More

  • Headquarters: Shanghai, China
  • President: K. V. Kamath
  • Founder: BRICS
  • Founded: 15 July 2014, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil
  • Type of business: International Financial Institution
  • First president: K. V. Kamath

9)   What is the name of the ousted South Korean president first to be arrested?

a. Park Teun-hye
b. Park Geun-hye
c. Park Meun-hye
d. Park Cheun-hye
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Park Geun-hye

South Korea's ousted president Park Geun-hye has been arrested over the corruption and abuse of a power scandal that brought her down.

She was taken to a detention centre in Seoul on March 31, 2017.

The Seoul Central District Court ordered Ms. Park’s arrest on charges of bribery, abuse of authority, coercion, and leaking government secrets, after a marathon court hearing the previous day.

Ms. Park, 65, becomes the third former leader to be arrested over corruption in Asia’s fourth-largest economy, where politics and big business have long been closely tied.

Being taken into custody is a dramatic step in the disgrace of South Korea’s first woman President, and was a key demand of the millions of people who took to the streets to protest against her as the scandal engulfed her leadership last year.

The former leader was grilled for nearly nine hours in court on Thursday as a judge deliberated whether she should be arrested.

She was stripped of her immunity when she was dismissed from office by the country’s top court earlier this month. She has denied the accusations against her.

An election to choose her successor will be held on May 9, 2017. Moon Jae-in, her rival in 2012 and a former Democratic Party leader leads opinion polls by large margins.

South Korea

  • Capital: Seoul
  • Code: +82
  • Currency: South Korean won
  • Prime minister: Hwang Kyo-ahn
  • Population: 50.22 million (2013) World Bank

10)   Which record did Peggy Whitson, the oldest spacewoman in the world break?

a. Most spacewalks performed by a woman
b. Longest duration of spacewalk performed by a woman
c. Most number of days at ISS for women
d. Both b and c
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Most spacewalks performed by a woman

The oldest and most seasoned spacewoman, Peggy Whitson broke Sunita William's record for the most spacewalks performed by a woman.

It was the eighth spacewalk of her career as Whitson floated out of ISS to set up a new parking spot on 30th March 2017.

Whitson and her spacewalking partner, station commander Shane Kimbrough, ventured out to complete prep work on a docking port.

The spacewalkers needed to hook up vital heater cables to the docking port and install shields to protect against strikes by micrometeorites.

This will serve as the second of two docking ports for the future SpaceX and Boeing crew capsules.

SpaceX will launch the final piece of this particular port later this year or early next year.

Whitson surpassed the current record for women of 50 hours and 40 minutes of total accumulated spacewalking time, held by former space station resident Sunita Williams.

Williams is one of four NASA astronauts who will make the initial test flights of the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing Starliner capsules.

57-year-old Whitson has been in orbit since November. This is her third space station stint.

Altogether, she's spent more than 500 days off the planet, also more than any other woman.

Peggy Whitson: Know More

  • Born: 9 February 1960
  • Location: Mount Ayr, Iowa, United States
  • Space missions: Expedition 50, STS-111, Expedition 51
  • Nationality: American

11)   Which retail company has launched an in-store payment solution through UPI with NPCI?

a. Reliance Retail
b. Big Bazaar
c. FabIndia
d. Myntra
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Reliance Retail

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and the Reliance Retail announced launch of a new in-store payment solution that will enable customer payments through Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platforms.

This integration will provide a convenient and seamless payment experience to Reliance Retail customers and will be an added avenue for digital transactions.

Reliance Retail is the first organised retail chain in the country to offer its customers the option of mobile-based UPI app payments at its stores.

This new in-store UPI payment facility is currently live in more than 200 Reliance Retail stores in Mumbai across formats, including Reliance Fresh, Reliance Smart, Reliance Digital, Reliance Trends and Reliance Footprint, among others.

With the fast growing popularity of UPI-payment apps like NPCI's BHIM app, which has seen close to 20 million downloads, this initiative will increase UPI payment acceptance points in retail stores.

It is expected to play a vital role in driving a more cashless future.

The platform is engineered by Bangalore-based Innoviti Payment Solutions, with process support from the Axis Bank.

Reliance Retail: Know More

  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • Founded: 2008
  • Number of employees: 700
  • Type of business: Section 8 Company
  • Key person: M. Balachandran

12)   Emission norms for coal and thermal power plants were set up with respect to which pollutant(s)?

a. PM
b. SO2, NO2, Hg
c. Water Consumption
d. Only a and b
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All the above

Indicating that coal based power plants across the country will not be given any leeway, MoEF has made it clear that it will not dilute the emission norms for thermal power plants, as notified on December 7, 2015, to minimise air pollution.

Nor will it relax deadline for implementation of the stricter standards.

The revised emission standards for thermal power plants was notified with respect to PM, SO2, NO2, Hg and water consumption on Dec 7, 2015 and shall come into force from Dec 6, 2017.

This will dispel all doubts over the implementation.

The minister noted that the assessment in respect to level of implementation would be done only after these standards come into effect.

Besides notifying new emission norms in 2015, the government had taken other steps to clean up the environment in areas adjoining thermal power plants.

It included installation of continuous emission/effluent monitoring systems (CEMS), revised norms for fly ash utilisation.

Also included are industry specific action plans for critically polluted areas where significant number of thermal power plants are located and development of green belt in surrounding areas.

MoEF's Stance: Know More

  • According to the ministry, 142 out of 162 standalone power plants have so far installed CEMS.
  • Among these, 102 have also initiated online transmission of emission/effluent data to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) whereas six plants have installed flue gas de-sulphurisation (FGD) system for control of SO2 emissions.
  • The ministry seeks to have a mechanism in place to monitor implementation of emission standards.

13)   Which international energy body has India become a part of in March 2017?

a. IEA Association
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: IEA Association

India has become part of IEA Association that will allow the country play a more visible and influential role in the international energy landscape.

The “Activation of Association” is expected to serve as a bridge and platform for wider-ranging and deeper co-operation.

It will also promote collaboration between IEA member and Association countries in the future.

The Association status would facilitate it to participate in meetings of the standing groups, committees and working groups that constitute the IEA governance structure.

The IEA, which covers the entire spectrum of energy globally, will play an important role in India's energy security context, it said.

The Minister envisaged a greater partnership with IEA in taking forward the International Solar Alliance framework to other countries in the world.

India will pursue its key development objectives of energy access, energy security and environmental sustainability.

In this context, India has a vision of ensuring 24×7 affordable and environment friendly ‘Power for All'.
It has deeper engagement with IEA is a component of achieving this vision.

This gives India an opportunity for the country to become the voice of the developing countries.

India is world's 3rd largest consumer of energy, hence a very big market for catering the energy demands of a billion plus people.

One must realise mutual benefits for India and IEA in the global energy space.

Over 70 per cent of world's energy consumption is under the IEA umbrella which increases its relevance in global energy governance manifold.

India is moving fast to the centre-stage of Global Energy landscape, as pointed out by IEA's India Energy Outlook 2015.

IEA would look forward to increasing engagement with India in the areas like renewable energy, energy efficiency, among others.

Today, IEA is an important part of global dialogue on energy, providing research, data/statistics, analysis and recommendations on the global energy sector.

India can also richly gain from IEA's data gathering processes, survey methodologies and range of energy data, which could enable India in the near future to set up its own robust integrated database agency.

India's participation will enrich the energy efficiency and renewable sectors of IEA member and other countries.

IEA: Know More

  • Secretariat: Paris, France
  • Membership: 29 states
  • Executive Director: Fatih Birol
  • Deputy Executive Director: Paul Simons
  • Establishment: 1974
  • Website: