Current Affairs Questions & Answers - May 09, 2017

1)   Which Indian state is launching a boat ambulance service?

a. Bengal
b. Odisha
c. Maharashtra
d. Kerala
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Odisha

To augment the existing healthcare delivery system, Odisha government has decided to allocate six boat ambulances in four districts where people are facing problems in availing 108 ambulance service.

The boat ambulance service will be made available in Koraput, Kendrapara, Kalahandi and Malkangiri districts through state funds.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on Saturday between the State government and the Ziquitza Health Care as part of the major initiative to boost health care services.

The government will also shortly add 92 Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulances to its fleet of 420 ambulances that are now in operation in different parts of the state.

INR 21, 21 crore will be spent towards extending emergency ambulance services in the entire state.

Besides, the state government signed another MoU with the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) for imparting post graduation diploma course to the serving doctors in different district headquarters hospital across the State.

Odisha: Know More

  • Founded: 1 April 1936
  • Capital: Bhubaneswar
  • Population: 43.73 million (2014)

2)   What does BBIN stand for in the context of motor vehicles agreement?

a. Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal
b. Bhutan-Bangladesh-India-Nepal
c. Burma-Bhutan-India-Nepal
d. Burma-Bangladesh-India-Nepal
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal

India is back at the drawing board on BBIN (Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA), an ambitious sub-regional transport project, even as Bhutan has shelved it for the time being.

The BBIN, which is promoted by India and aimed at creating seamless connectivity between the four countries for enhanced sub-regional trade and movement of people, suffered a blow on April 29, with Bhutan announcing that it will not be able to ratify the plan before it addresses some of concerns raised domestically over the project.

Just that India and the other three countries will have to redraw plan.

They can join it once they are ready, but as a new member.

With the final approval from Bhutan, the plan would have come into force.

The lower house of Bhutanese Parliament had also rejected it in November last year but there were hopes that the Upper House would approve it.

The joint working group on BBIN, which was due to meet this month, will now meet next month to redesign the routes. This is because, as per the present plan, some corridors are starting from Paro and Phuentsholing in Bhutan connecting Dhaka and then Kolkata.

Thereafter, protocols have to be amended by India, Bangladesh and Nepal separately, after which, each of these countries will have to pass the edited protocols through their respective Parliaments because this is an international agreement.

The reason behind Bhutan’s hesitance to sign the pact now is because of environmental concerns raised by a section of the country’s citizens.

Ironically, the deal was signed in Thimpu on June 15, 2015, as part of the commitments made in the 18th SAARC Summit held in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The larger MVA project is aimed at connecting all those countries that share land borders.

The BBIN MVA is also touted to be the cornerstone for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Look East’ strategy in his key foreign policy initiatives.

India’s share in sub-regional trade is over 90 per cent.

In 2015, India’s volume of total trade with BBIN countries was about $10.82 billion, of which exports accounted for $9.35 billion and the remaining was India’s import from BBIN, according to the IMF.

3)   Which Indian sports icon received the Fellowship award at the 7th Asian Awards on 8th May 2017?

a. Sachin Tendulkar
b. Sunil Gavaskar
c. Anil Kumble
d. Kapil Dev
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Sachin Tendulkar

India’s cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar plans to support charities and various initiatives to help the under-privileged people in the second innings of his life and he received the Fellowship Award at the 7th annual Asian Awards on may 8, 2017.

Sachin played for India for 24 years was a memorable journey and winning the world cup was icing on the cake.

Now in the second chapter of his life he plans to support charities and various initiatives to help the under-privileged people.

Providing solar lights to poor people in India was one of them, Tendulkar said. He called on the stage 8-year-old Hollywood star Sunny Pawar who had earlier won the Rising Star award for his role in the film ‘Lion’.

The ceremony, which celebrates excellence in the global Asian community, also paid tribute to Indian actor Om Puri.

The award for outstanding achievement in Cinema was posthumously conferred on Om Puri who died earlier this year at the age of 66.

India’s playback singer Adnan Sami won the Fellowship Award for ‘Outstanding achievement in Music.”

Other award recipients were Krishnan Guru-Murthy (Outstanding Achievement in Television), Ajay Banga (Business Leader of the Year), Masayoshi Son (Entrepreneur of the year).

Some others were Nisha Dutt (Social Entrepreneur of the year), Dr Jack Preger (Philanthropist of the year), Ding Punhui (Outstanding achievement in sport), Demis Hassabis (Outstanding achievement in Science and Technology) and Sir Harpal Kumar (Outstanding contribution to the community).

Sachin Tendulkar: Know More

  • Born: 24 April 1973 Mumbai
  • Test debut (cap 187): 15 November 1989 v Pakistan
  • ODI debut (cap 74): 18 December 1989 v Pakistan
  • Last ODI: 18 March 2012 v Pakistan

4)   Which online classified platform acquired home services marketplace Zimmber?

a. Quikr
b. Olx
c. Times Classified
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


Online classifieds platform Quikr has purchased home services marketplace Zimmber for an undisclosed amount.

The online platform looks to grow deeper into the home services space.

Zimmber is Quikr’s tenth acquisition and offers a marketplace for plumbers, electricians, carpenters and cleaning agents.

The company will continue to function independently of the parent company’s own services.

The acquisition allows us to further scale Quikr to deep stack service capabilities.

Zimmber had raised nearly $7.5 million from investors such as IDG Ventures and Omidyar Networks.

The company raised its last round of $5 million in July 2016 and is suspected of having run out of money, leading to a sale.

While co-founder Amit Kumar will make the move to Quikr along with founding member Siddhartha Srivastava who serves as the CPO, the rest of the founding team have exited the business.

Quikr had acquired real estate portal CommonFloor in a $200 million deal which it announced in January this year.

Quikr: Know More

  • Founder: Pranay Chulet
  • Founded: 2008
  • CEO: Pranay Chulet (Jul 2009–)
  • Location: India
  • Headquarters: Bengaluru
  • Major Subsidiaries: Commonfloor, Blitzkrieg Technology Private Limited

5)   Where is a major portion of the world’s biggest X-ray laser located?

a. Germany
b. Italy
c. Spain
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Germany

The world’s biggest X-ray laser has generated its first beam of light, that will allow scientists to get a glimpse of new materials, drugs and chemical reactions at the atomic level.

The 3.4-kilometre-long European XFEL, most of which is located in underground tunnels in Germany, will usher a new era of European research, according to scientists.

The biggest X-ray light has a wavelength of 0.8 nanometre - about 500 times shorter than that of visible light.

At first lasing, the laser had a repetition rate of one pulse per second, which will later increase to 27,000 per second.

The achievable laser light wavelength corresponds to the size of an atom, meaning that the X-rays can be used to make pictures and films of the nanocosmos at atomic resolution - such as of biomolecules, from which better understanding of the basis of illnesses or the development of new therapies could be developed.

The facility, to which many countries around the world contributed know-how and components, has passed its first big test with flying colours.

Scientists can now begin to direct the X-ray flashes with special mirrors through the last tunnel section into the experiment hall, and then step by step start the commissioning of the experiment stations.

The first laser light produced today with the most advanced and most powerful linear accelerator in the world marks the beginning a new era of research in Europe.

The European XFEL will provide scientists with the most detailed images of the molecular structure of new materials and drugs and novel live recordings of biochemical reactions.

The facility will enable research into chemical processes and catalytic techniques, with the goal of improving their efficiency or making them more environmentally friendly; materials research; or the investigation of conditions similar to the interior of planets.

The X-ray laser light of the European XFEL was generated from an electron beam from a superconducting linear accelerator, the key component of the X-ray laser.

6)   Where has India's first integrated bio-refinery for renewable fuels and chemicals been inaugurated?

a. Rahu, Pune
b. Kothrud, Pune
c. Baner, Pune
d. Khondwa, Pune
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rahu, Pune

Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari has inaugurated India’s First Integrated Bio-refinery for Renewable Fuels & Chemicals for producing ethanol from varied biomass.

The plant is based at Rahu in Pune district of Maharashtra. The demonstration plant has been constructed by Praj industries.

The inaugurated Bio-refinery plant is capable of producing 1 million litres of ethanol per annum by processing a variety of biomass like rice and wheat straw, cane trash, corn cobs, cotton stalk, bagasse, & stover with superior product yields.

In the year 2015, the GoI has asked Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) to target 10 % blending of ethanol in as many States as possible.

The fuel doping programme that required blending of 5% ethanol had started in November 2012. It was notified under the Motor Spirits Act on January 2, 2013.

The Government has also permitted the OMCs to procure ethanol produced from other non-food feedstocks, like cellulosic and lignocellulosic materials including petrochemical route.

Biofuels: Know More

  • Ethanol blending is the practice of blending petrol with ethanol.
  • Internationally many countries including India, have resorted to ethanol blending to reduce vehicle exhaust emissions
  • The inauguration of the refinery paves the way for increasing 20% ethanol blending program and can reduce the import burden of crude petroleum.
  • Biofuels are fuels which are derived from biomass.
  • The term covers solid biomass, liquid fuels and various biogases and also denotes Biodiesel, Bio-alcohol and bio-gasoline.
  • The most well known Biofuel crops include Sunflower seeds, Wheat, Sugarbeet, Cassava, Algae, Coconut, Jojoba, Castor Beans, Corn, Rapeseed/Canola, Sugarcane, Palm Oil, Jatropha, Soyabean, Cottonseed.

7)   Where will India organise a cultural festival to mark Rabindranath Tagore's 156th birth anniversary?

a. Egypt
b. Pretoria
c. Bangladesh
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


India is set to organise Tagore cultural Festival in Egypt to mark the 156th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore from May 8-12.

Tagore Festival will be held by the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC), which is the cultural wing of the Indian Embassy in Cairo.

The fest will be organised in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, Cairo Opera House, Cultural Production Sector, Dancers’ Guild and the Indian Community Association in Egypt.

The festival will comprise a dance show, film screening, a play and painting competition. As a part of the festival, a dance drama based on Tagore’s work called ‘Chitrangada‘ will be performed by the Kolkata-based Dancers’ Guild.

Chitrangada is the warrior princess in the epic, Mahabharata.

Tagore visited Egypt as a young adolescent in 1878 and later in 1926. Tagore was impressed by the strong literary trends of Egypt.

During his visit, he met King Fouad and has interacted with many scholars in Alexandria and Cairo.

He had a lasting friendship with Egyptian poet Ahmed Shawki and wrote a moving eulogy on his death in 1932.

Tagore had also written about the enchanting relationship between the Nile River and the flourishing civilisation of Egyptians.

Rabindranath Tagore: Know More

Tagore was a famous Indian poet (1861-1941). He was the first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 for his collection of poems, ‘Gitanjali‘.

His poetry, novels, plays, short stories and essays are world famous and are widely read across the world.

Tagore was the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore who was associated with the Brahmo Samaj.

He gave up the Knighthood following the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre.

8)   As per the Times Rich List, who topped the list of 134 Indian billionaires?

a. Hinduja Brothers
b. Ratan Tata
c. Goenka brothers
d. Ambani brothers
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Hinduja Brothers

As per the Times Rich List 2017, three India-born citizens are among top 5 richest people in Britain. The 29th edition of the Sunday Times Rich List’ released the names of UK’s 1000 wealthiest people including 40 Indian-born citizens.

Hinduja Brothers Srichand and Gopichand have topped the list to become the top of 134 billionaires in the country. The Hinduja brothers has estimated assets worth 16.2 billion pounds.

Their investments in various industries include oil and gas, automotive, IT, energy, media, banking, property and healthcare sectors.

The Mumbai-born David and Simon Reuben has been placed at the third position in this year’s list with a net estimate of approximately 14 billion pounds.

The Reuben brothers made their wealth with lucrative property deals. The Reuben brothers were holding the first place in the previous editions list.

The famous steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal has jumped up seven spots in this edition’s list to reach the fourth spot this year. His net worth is estimated to be approximately 13.23 billion pounds.

This year’s list features a total of 40 Indian-origin people in the rankings. The other prominent Indians in the list include Gujarati brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa of Euro Garages at 133rd position and Lord Swraj Paul, an NRI with an estimated fortune of 600 million pounds at 194th position.

Interestingly, in this year’s edition, there is not even a single Briton among the top 5 wealthiest in Britain.

Overall, the billionaires in the United Kingdom are far richer than before as it is held widely that the billionaires reaped benefits from Brexit boom.

The assets of UK’s top 500 people and families in this edition are much more than the last year’s wealthiest 1,000.

However, the list compiler has stated that the revival in the stock market to be the reason behind the growth of fortunes.

The second place in the list was allotted to the Ukrainian businessman Len Blavatnik. Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosevenor, has been ranked 9th with assets worth 9.52 billion pounds.

Sunday Times Rich List

  • The Sunday Times Rich List is a list of the 1,000 wealthiest people updated annually in April.
  • It is published by British national Sunday newspaper since 1989.
  • Apart from the British citizens, the List also includes individuals and families born overseas who predominantly work or live in Britain.

9)   Where has the CRPF anti naxal operations command HQ shifted?

a. Kolkata
b. Raichur
c. Raipur
d. Indore
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Raipur

The strategic anti-Naxal operations command headquarters of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has been shifted back from Kolkata to Raipur.

In 2010, the central zone command headquarters was shifted from Raipur to Kolkata owing to logistics and connectivity issues.

The recent decision comes at the backdrop of ambush in Sukma district that killed 37 jawans of the paramilitary force.

The central zone command headquarters was raised on August 7, 2009, to carry out the deployment of troops to the States affected by Left Wing Extremism such as West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

CRPF: Know More

  • CRPF is the largest central armed police force or paramilitary force in India.
  • It operates under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
  • It was established in 1939, under Crown Representative’s Police but after independence, it was made statutory after enactment of the CRPF Act, 1949.
  • Its primary role is to assist States/Union Territories in police operations to maintain law and order and contain the insurgency.
  • Apart from anti-Naxal operations, CRPF personnel also carries out several operations in situations of crisis like terrorist attacks, counter-terrorism operations, rescuing citizens during terrorist attacks among others.

10)   Which award has Hollywood actor Emma Watson received, marking the first time for such an award?

a. Genderless Acting Award for Best Actor
b. Genderless Acting Award for Best Actress
c. Genderless Acting Award for Best Supporting Actor
d. Genderless Acting Award for Best Supporting Actress
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Genderless Acting Award for Best Actor

Hollywood actor Emma Watson has received the first-ever Genderless Acting Award for the Best Actor category at the MTV Movie and TV Awards.

This is the first ever genderless award that doesn’t separate nominees based on their sex.

The 2017 edition of the MTV Movie & TV Awards were held on May 7, 2017, in Los Angeles, California. It was the 26th edition of the awards.

The MTV Movie & TV Awards is a film and television awards presented annually to winners decided online by the general public.

Emma Watson is a British actress, model, and activist. She is famous for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series.

11)   Who has been elected as the President of the UN Habitat?

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


India has been unanimously elected as the President of the UN-Habitat. UN-Habitat, an organ of the United Nations’ Organisation (UNO) reports to the United Nations General Assembly.

UN-Habitat promotes socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements across the world. India has been elected as the President of UN-Habitat after a gap of 10 years.

This is only the third time that India has been elected as the President of UN-Habitat after 2007 and 1988. The UN-Habitat was established in 1978.

The Governing Council of UN-Habitat is an inter-governmental policy making and decision making body that aims to promote integral and comprehensive approach to human settlements, assist the countries and regions in addressing human settlement problems and strengthen cooperation among countries over the issue of human settlement.

Minister Venkaaih Naidu will chair the 26th Meeting of 58 member Governing Council of UN-Habitat in Nairobi, Kenya.

The theme of the meeting is “Opportunities for effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda”

He will also chair the Bureau Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Ministers’ Conference on Housing and Urban Development in Nairobi.

The New Urban Agenda which was adopted by the world community at Quito, Ecuador would focus on inclusive, sustainable and adequate housing for a better future and sustainable urbanization and integrated human settlements.

UN-Habitat: Know More

  • UN-Habitat, also known as United Nations Human Settlements Program is a UN agency responsible for sustainable urban development and human settlements.
  • It was established in 1978 and has its headquarters in the UN Office at Nairobi, Kenya.
  • It is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.
  • It is also a member of UNDP. UN-Habitat works in more than 70 countries in five continents focusing on seven areas:
- Urban Legislation, Land and Governance;
- Urban Planning and Design;
- Urban Economy;
- Urban Basic Services;
- Housing and Slum Upgrading;
- Risk Reduction and Rehabilitation;
- Urban Research and Capacity Development.