Current Affairs Questions & Answers - May 15, 2017

1)   Which are the worst hit communities in terms of exclusion from access to public goods, according to a CES report?

a. Dalits
b. Muslims
c. Adivasis
d. Only a and c
e. All of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All of the above

According to the 2016 Indian Exclusion Report (IXR) released by the Centre for Equity Studies (CES), in terms of exclusion from access to public goods, Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims continue to remain the worst-hit communities.

The report has found out that the same historically disadvantaged groups such as Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims, and persons with disabilities and age-related vulnerabilities continue to remain as the most severely and consistently excluded groups of the society.

The 2016 IXR Report determines exclusion by taking into account four public goods, namely, pensions for the elderly, digital access, agricultural land, and legal justice for under-trials.

With the respect to the criteria of agricultural land as a public good, the report has found that the landowners to be invariably belonging to the upper castes, cultivators to be belonging to the middle castes.

Dalits and Adivasis remain largely as the agricultural workers and landlessness was highest among Dalits (57.3%).

Also, 52.6% of Muslims and 56.8% of women-headed households were landless.

In addition, Adivasis constituted around 40% of all those displaced by the developmental activities.

The report has highlighted that the Land reform efforts have not benefited Dalits, women or Muslims significantly.

The land holdings of Dalits, Muslims and women were found to be meagre in size.

Also, it has noted that the Land allotments to SC/ST households were not implemented efficiently. Internet reach

The report has observed that even though India has been ranked among the top five nations in terms of the number of internet users, almost 1.063 billion Indians were found to be offline.

It has cited poverty and geographic location to be the two major barriers to digital access.

The report has also cited the reluctance on the part of government to be a signatory to a non-binding UN Human Rights Council resolution to protect human rights on the Internet.

UNHRC: Know More

  • Abbreviation : UNHRC
  • Formation: 2006
  • Type : United Nations System inter-governmental body
  • Head: Joaquín Alexander Maza Martelli, Council President
  • Parent organization: United Nations General Assembly
  • Website:

2)   The National Contact centre has been launched by EC for what purpose?

a. Get query or complaint relating to elections registered
b. Enquire on subjects such as elections, voting dates, electoral roll and online registration
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

The Election Commission of India has launched National Contact Centre with a toll free number- 1800111950.

The move would enable any citizen from any part of the country to call on the toll-free number and get their query or complaint addressed at any time of the day in Hindi or English.

The callers would be able to enquire on subjects such as elections, voting dates, electoral roll and online registration.

They would also be able to register their complaints by simply dialling the toll free number.

The executives at the Contact centre would also be making outbound calls to educate the electors and spread voter awareness.

The National Contact Centre is operated on a National Grievance Redressal System Software.

The Redressal software is a single window platform to manage complaints and feedback received through calls, emails, sms and website access in an integrated and time-bound manner.

Callers may connect with the executives to lodge a complaint and enquire about its status of receipt and disposal as well as to give suggestions and feedback at every step of the way.

The EC through the establishment of the Contact Centre aims to bring about electoral reforms that empower the citizens and officials to monitor and report any irregularity or violation of the ECI’s instructions during, before or post elections.

Soon each state and Union Territory would also be setting up dedicated State Contact Centres (SCC) and District Contact Centres (DCC) in order to ensure smooth flow of information across the contact centres for proper redressal of issues and queries of the citizens.

National Contact Centre would also have IT protocols to ensure that any call landing at NCC is properly redirected to the respective State Contact Centre.

3)   Who has been appointed the new DoT secretary on May 10, 2017?

a. PK Purwar
b. Sadhana Dixit
c. Aruna Sundararajan
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Aruna Sundararajan

Aruna Sundararajan was on 10 May 2017 appointed as Secretary of Department of Telecommunications.

However, she will continue to serve as the Secretary for Union Ministry of Electronics and IT (Meity).

Aruna succeeds PK Pujari, who was appointed to the post temporarily in March 2017.

Sundararajan’s Secretary position will also be temporary.

Sundararajan is an IAS officer who played an important role in creating an IT department for the Kerala government in 1998.

She has rich experience in overseeing operations of Kerala Government’s Bharat Broadband Scheme which provides subsidized broadband connections.

Her previous important posts include IT secretary for Kerala Government and CEO of National Common Service Centre.

The post of full time Secretary of DoT has been lying vacant since the removal of J S Deepak from the post in March 2017.

4)   Who is India's next ambassador to France?

a. Mohan Kumar
b. Vinay Mohan Kwatra
c. Pooja Kapoor
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Vinay Mohan Kwatra

Seasoned diplomat Vinay Mohan Kwatra, currently a joint secretary in the Prime Ministers Office, has been appointed as the next ambassador to France.

Announcing his appointment, the External Affairs Ministry said Kwatra is expected to take up his assignment shortly.

A 1988-batch foreign service officer, Kwatra will succeed Mohan Kumar, who is retiring.

Apart from having experience of dealing with the UN organisations such as International Labour Organisation (ILO) and World Health Organisation (WHO), he has served in Indian diplomatic missions in China and the US.

He has also held the position of joint secretary in-charge of the counter-terrorism division in the MEA.

He has masters in science and also holds a diploma in international relations.

Kwatra speaks French and has a knowledge of Russian works and he is very fluent in Hindi.

Kwatra was considered to be the private secretary on Prime minister Narendra Modi but he was later replaced by another IFS officer Sanjiv Singla.

As a diplomat, Kwatra’s first assignment was in Geneva and later he dealt with United Nations organisations such as International Labour Organisation, World health Organisation and so on.

He was posted in Consulate in Durban of south Africa where he was mainly responsible for commercial and economic work.

Later Vinay Mohan Kwatra was posted to Deputy China of Mission to the Embassy in China, where he worked on trade and commerce.

Kwatra served at the Indian Embassy in Tashkent in the economic and political wing.

Vinay Kwatra also served as director in MEA where he dealt with India’s relations with Iran and Afghanistan. He also handled India’s development work in Afghanistan.

Vinay Mohan Kwatra worked as director and head of commerce, trade and finance issues at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

In May 2010, Kwatra moved to Washington DC where he served as the head of the commerce wing in the Embassy of India.

After taking over as OSD in PMO, Kwatra was assigned to monitor PM’s visits abroad.

5)   Telangana has introduced a logo for which category of vehicle drivers?

a. Women
b. Seniors
c. Hearing impaired
d. Physically challenged
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Hearing impaired

Telangana has introduced a logo for identifying vehicles driven by persons with hearing impairment and has become the first state in the country to do so.

State’s transport department has finalised the logo designed by Hyderabad-based graphic designer Manikanta Annapragada, who incidentally is the first person to obtain a driving license in the ‘hearing impaired’ category.

The logo was chosen from eight designs submitted by Manikanta himself.

According to the DC report, a hearing impaired mark is part of the logo which has the following text, “Driver is deaf - Please watch out”.

For two-wheelers, the symbols should be four inches high and three inches wide on the rear side, and three inches tall and two inches wide on the front.

The logo should be six inches tall and five inches wide at the rear side and four inches tall and three inches wide in the front for four-wheelers.

Close to 10 persons had applied for learner’s license in the hearing disability category.

Manikanta had obtained his learner’s license on May 5 from the Khairatabad Regional Transport Authority and was granted a permanent license on May 9 from Kondapur RTA.

The Union Transport Ministry in November 2016 had directed all state governments to grant driving licenses to persons with hearing impairment if the driver passes regular tests, noting that driving was a visual skill.

6)   Ministry of health and family welfare has launched a new vaccine for which disease in May 2017?

a. Pneumonia
b. TB
c. Diptheria
d. Malaria
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Pneumonia

Minister for Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda has launched new Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine, PCV, for Pneumonia at Lal Bahadur Shastri Medical College Hospital in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh.

The vaccine is a part of government’s Universal Immunization Programme (UIP).

Henceforth, the vaccine will be administered under routine immunization programme.

The vaccine would help in controlling pneumonia and reducing the child mortality rate.

In India, more than 1 lakh children die of pneumonia every year.

The vaccine will provide protection against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria which results in pneumonia.

This is the 12th disease for which the Health Ministry has launched a vaccine.

The vaccine Pneumococcal Conjugate protects against Streptococcus pneumonia and diseases such as pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections and meningitis.

Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine was first introduced in 2000.

The whole of Himachal Pradesh as well as six districts of Uttar Pradesh and seventeen districts of Bihar will be covered under the first phase of the immunisation programme.

PCV: Know More

  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) is a pneumococcal vaccine and a conjugate vaccine used to protect infants, young children, and adults against disease caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus).
  • There are currently three types of PCV available on the global market, which go by the brand names: Prevnar (called Prevenar in some countries), Synflorix and Prevnar 13.
  • PVC protects against 13 bacteria related to pneumococcal infection.

7)   What is the name of the invisible laser wall to be used for the protection of the Indo-Pak border by BSF?

a. Kavach
b. Lakshya
c. Shakti
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Kavach

The Border Security Force will make use of the Invisible Laser Wall Kavach that is capable of detecting intrusions and relaying information to the nearest post for action to safeguard the 198 km India-Pakistan international border in Jammu and Kashmir.

The technology developed by the Delhi-based defence IoT firm, CRON Systems is expected to bolster BSF’s defences amid strained ties and increase in the number of infiltration bids and ceasefire violations.

The new technology called Kavach (KVx) series laser walls has been built indigenously and are a notch higher than the existing laser walls.

BSF is presently pilot testing the Kavach walls along the Samba sector border in Jammu and Kashmir.

Kavach walls have intrusion detection system based on infrared array and hence are invisible. They will also be effective in transparent water and glass.

Kavach walls are all-terrain weather-proof system that uses complex, encrypted technologies to monitor and immediately alert the nearest outpost about intrusion attempts.

It is capable of monitoring large swathes of any territory from a single interface.

The devices will use CRONet, an encrypted network, to communicate with each other.

Five such KVx-series walls will be capable of securing a kilometre-long stretch.

Indo-Pak Border: Know More

  • India and Pakistan share 3000km border of which 198 km international border and 740 km Line of Control (LoC) falls in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Infiltration of Pakistani terrorists along the border area which has 13 rivers and rivulets is a major issue for the BSF.
  • BSF has been making use of various technologies like electric fencing, and other technologies such as laser to detect and prevent intrusions.
  • Adoption of Kavach walls are the latest in the series of upgradations made by the force.
About the Technology
  • Kavach walls have intrusion detection system based on infrared array and hence are invisible. They will also be effective in transparent water and glass.
  • Kavach walls are all-terrain weather-proof system that uses complex, encrypted technologies to monitor and immediately alert the nearest outpost about intrusion attempts. It is capable of monitoring large swathes of any territory from a single interface.
  • The devices will use CRONet, an encrypted network, to communicate with each other. Five such KVx-series walls will be capable of securing a kilometre-long stretch.

8)   What is the new base year for IIP and the WPI?

a. 2011-2012
b. 2004-2005
c. 2007-2008
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 2011-2012

The government has released new-look index of industrial production (IIP) and the wholesale price index (WPI) , which have been built on the new series of data.

The new IIP and WPI series has been released by Chief Statistician of India and Secretary, Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation, and Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion to usher in greater accuracy and improved synchronisation leading to better policies.

Instead of the earlier 2004-05, base year for the IIP and the WPI will be 2011-12.

Already, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and gross value addition etc., have 2011-12 as the base year.

The common base year of 2011-12 is aimed at reducing discrepancies.


The number of items covered in the new series of the WPI has increased from 676 to 697.

Overall, 199 new items have been added and 146 old items have been dropped.

Under the primary articles, new vegetables and fruits like radish, carrot, cucumber, bitter gourd, mosambi (sweet lime), pomegranate, jackfruit, and pear have been added.

Under the mineral group, new items like copper concentrate, lead concentrate and garnet have been added and other items like copper ore, gypsum, kaolin, dolomite, and magnesite have been dropped.

Under the manufacturing items, 173 new items including conveyer belt, rubber tread, steel cables, tissue paper, and wooden splint have been added, while 135 items like khandsari, poppadom, and video CD players have been taken out.

Under the new series of WPI, weight of manufactured items has decreased to 64.2 per cent from 64.9 per cent in old series.

Similarly, the weight of fuel and power has decreased to 13.1 per cent from 14.9 per cent. On the other hand, the weight of primary items have increased to 22.6 per cent from 20.1 per cent.


The IIP has been revised after a gap of 13 years and the obsolete items which are no longer in production in the index have been replaced with contemporary products in the new index making it to be more comprehensive in nature.

Introduction of the new series would make all the key macroeconomic indicators such as IIP, WPI, CPI and national accounts to have a common base of 2011-12, paving way for easier comparisons among them. The new series indices have painted a healthier picture of the Indian economy in 2016-17 than that of the old series.

The new series of IIP will include 809 manufacturing products and 55 mining products that are re-grouped into 521 item groups.

The new series of IIP will include technology items like smart phones, tablets, LED television etc.

A technical review committee has also been established to identify new items by ensuring that the series remains relevant.

The committee is slated to meet at least once a year.

9)   Which wrestlers won silver medals at the Asian Wrestling Championship, 2017?

a. Sakshi Malik
b. Vinesh Phogat
c. Divya Kakran
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat & Divya Kakran have bagged silver medals at the Asian Wrestling Championship held at the KD Jadhav Stadium in New Delhi.

Wrestler Sakshi, India’s bronze medallist at the Rio Olympics was strong in her first two rounds against Uzbekistan’s Nabira Esenbaeva and then Kazakhstan’s Ayaulym Kassymova.

She was defeated by Rio Gold medallist Risako Kawai of Japan and got settled for a silver medal in the 60 kg category.

Divya Kakran and Vinesh Phogat bagged silver in the 69 kg and 55kg categories respectively.

About the Championship

  • In the championship, 112 freestyle,103 Greco-Roman and 83 female wrestlers are competing for 24 Gold and Silver, and 48 bronze medals.
  • Asian Wrestling Championships are organized every year by the Asian Associated Wrestling Committee (AAWC).
  • While the men’s wrestling tournament began in 1979, women’s tournament began in 1996.

10)   Which Indian batsman is the fifth to be awarded the MCC honorary life membership?

a. Sachin Tendulkar
b. Zaheer Khan
c. Rahul Dravid
d. VVS Laxman
Answer  Explanation 


Ex Indian batsman V V S Laxman on 11 May 2017 was awarded an honorary life membership to the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).

He is the fifth Indian to receive the honour, after Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Zaheer Khan.

Born on 1 November 1974, Vangipurapu Venkata Sai Laxman is a former Indian cricketer. He was a right-hand aggressive batsman, who played mostly in the lower middle order.

He is significantly known for his numerous match-winning and saving innings. His knock of 281 against them in Eden Gardens in 2001 is often considered as the greatest ever test-innings.

In 2011, he was honoured with the Padma Shri award.

He is one of the few players who have played 100 Tests but have never played in a Cricket World Cup.

In 2002, he was named one of Wisden’s five Cricketers of the Year. In 2012, he retired from international cricket.

MCC: Know More

  • Marylebone Cricket Club is a London based cricket club.
  • It was founded in the year 1787.
  • It is located at Lord’s in St John’s Wood, London NW8.
  • It was formerly the governing body of cricket both in England and Wales as well as worldwide.
  • In 1993, many of its global functions were transferred to the International Cricket Council (ICC) and its English governance passed to the Test and County Cricket Board (TCCB) simultaneously.