Current Affairs Questions & Answers - May 16, 2017

1)   Who took charge as Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs on May 15, 2017?

a. Leena Naidu
b. Leena Nair
c. Leena Nathan
d. Leena Natarajan
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Leena Nair

On May 15, 2017, Ms. Leena Nair took charge as Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs. A 1982 batch IAS officer of TN cadre, she was Secretary for the WCD ministry before this.

The Ministry was set up in 1999 after the bifurcation of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment with the objective of providing more focused approach on the integrated socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes (STs), the most underprivileged of the Indian Society, in a coordinated and planned manner.

Before the formation of the Ministry, tribal affairs were handled by different Ministries at different points in time.

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is the nodal Ministry for overall policy, planning and coordination of programmes for development of ST’s.

To this end, Ministry of Tribal Affairs has undertaken activities that follow from the subjects allocated under the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961.

The programmes and schemes of the Ministry are intended to support and supplement, through financial assistance, the efforts primarily of other Central Ministries, the State Governments and partly of voluntary organizations, and to fill critical gaps in institutions and programmes taking into account the situation of STs.

The primary responsibility for promoting the interests of Scheduled Tribes rests with all the Central Ministries. The Ministry supplements their efforts by way of various developmental interventions in critical sectors through specially tailored schemes.

Ministry of Tribal Affairs

  • Website:
  • Formed: 1999
  • Jurisdiction: India
  • Headquarters: Shastri Bhawan, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road, New Delhi - 110 011
  • Cabinet minister: Jual Oram
  • Minister of state: Jasvantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor
  • Programs: Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana

2)   According to PAC report, which state has secured the first rank for the second consecutive year in the public affairs index?

a. Kerala
b. TN
c. WB
d. Karnataka
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Kerala

Kerala and Tamil Nadu have secured first and second rankings for the second consecutive year in public affairs index (PAI) released by the Public Affairs Centre (PAC), Bengaluru.

Gujarat has been ranked third followed by Karnataka and Maharashtra at the fourth and fifth position respectively in governance indicators.

The last four positions among the large states has been occupied by Bihar (18th), Jharkhand (17th), Odisha (16th) and Assam (15th).

Among the 12 small states which have been categorised as small as they have population less than two crore, Himachal Pradesh has been ranked first followed by Goa and Mizoram.

Delhi which occupied third position in 2016 index has slipped to ninth position in 2017.

The three last positions among small states have been occupied by Meghalaya (12th), Arunachal Pradesh (11th) and Jammu and Kashmir (10th).

The survey was carried out based on 10 themes, 26 focus subjects and 82 indicators.

In the category of essential infrastructure, Punjab has been adjudged as the best performer among all States followed by Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.

In the category of human development, Kerala, Maharashtra, and Punjab are the best performers while Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Assam are the worst performers.

In implementation of social protection policies, Kerala, Assam and Madhya Pradesh are the best performers while Telangana, Haryana and Punjab are the worst performers as they lagged behind other states in executing various State and Central government schemes.

In the category of women and children, Kerala has been adjudged as the best performer while Jharkhand, Haryana and Maharashtra are poor performers. In the category of fiscal management, Telangana has been adjudged as the best performer while Andhra Pradesh has been labelled as the poor performer.

For maintaining law and order, delivery of justice and environment categories, Tamil Nadu has been adjudged as the best performer but the state has been ranked last in the parameter of transparency and accountability in the administration.

In the category of economic freedom, Gujarat has secured top rank while Bihar has secured the last rank. PAC Public Affairs Centre (PAC), Bengaluru had come up with a Public Affairs Index (PAI) to rank governance inter-state by using data available in the public domain in key areas of governance.

PAC: Know More

  • Public Affairs Centre (PAC) is a not for profit think tank.
  • It was established in 1994 with a mandate to improve the quality of governance in India.
  • The genesis of PAC is attributed to Dr. Samuel Paul in the early nineties.
  • The objective of Public Affairs Index (PAI) is an attempt to bring together the states of the country which are culturally, economically and socially diverse, into a common data-driven framework in order to facilitate an interstate comparison.
  • A well-framed methodology backed by statistical data from government sources, has been included in the study to provide insights into the subject of good governance.

3)   India has jumped ___ spots to be 26th on World Bank's electricity accessibility index.

a. 13
b. 33
c. 73
d. 93
Answer  Explanation 


India has jumped 73 spots to be ranked 26th in World Bank’s electricity accessibility list. The country was ranked 99th in 2014.

Out of the 18,452 villages which lacked electricity, over 13,000 has been provided access to electricity.

In addition, a person applying for new electricity connection would be able to get the connection within 24 hours in areas where power infrastructure is available and in areas where there is no power infrastructure, electricity connection would be given in a week.

The government’s rural electrification programme is on track for completion within the targeted 1,000 days.

The flagship scheme Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with an aim to provide 24/7 uninterrupted electricity supply to each rural household across the country by 2022.

It aims to strengthen sub-transmission and distribution network to prevent power losses.

It focuses on feeder separation for rural households and agricultural purpose.

The Ministry of Power has also launched a new app, GARV-II to provide real-time data of all six lakh villages of the country.

Ministry of Power

  • Formed: 2 July 1992
  • Preceding Ministry: Ministry of Energy Sources
  • Jurisdiction: Government of India
  • Headquarters: Shram Shakti Bhawan, Rafi Marg, New Delhi, India
  • Annual budget: INR 13,881.14 crore (US$2.2 billion) (2017-18 est.)
  • Minister responsible: Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (Independent Charge)
  • Website:

4)   Who has been appointed the next UN humanitarian chief?

a. Ban ki-Moon
b. Stephen O'Brien
c. Mark Lowcock
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Mark Lowcock

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed British humanitarian expert Mark Lowcock to be the next U.N. humanitarian chief. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric indicated

that Lowcock will replace Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien in September.

O’Brien, who is also British, will stay until the end of August to complete several initiatives and reforms.

Lowcock is currently the top civil servant in the government’s Department for International Development.

He has worked in that department and its predecessor since 1985 and has held diverse jobs including postings in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Kenya and leadership posts at headquarters in London.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs mobilizes and coordinates humanitarian action with international, national and civil society partners to provide aid during disasters, emergencies and conflicts.

5)   Who is the fourth PM of Bahamas since the time of its independence?

a. Hubert Minnis
b. Lynden Pindling
c. Perry Christie
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Hubert Minnis

Dr Hubert Minnis was on 11th May sworn in as the fourth Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas since the country gained political independence from Britain in 1973.

Minnis, a medical doctor and former minister of health was sworn into office late Thursday at Government House by Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling.

Hubert Minnis pledged, on behalf of his colleagues, their commitment to serve with integrity as Her Majesty’s Bahamas Government.

He added that he looked forward to the “most cordial relations” with her office in the service of the nation.

On May 10, Minnis led his Free National Movement (FNM) party in a landslide victory. The FNM was able to pull off a stunning defeat securing 34 of 39 constituencies.

Bahamas: Know More

  • Coral based archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean
  • Capital: Nassau
  • Dialing code: +1
  • Currency: Bahamian dollar
  • Recognised regional languages: Bahamian Creole

6)   Which Indian driver became the first to win a GP3 series race?

a. Arun Maini
b. Arjun Maini
c. Karan Chandhok
d. Karun Chandhok
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Arun Maini

The 19-year-old Motorsports’ Indian driver, who drives for Jenzer Motorsport, has become the first Indian to win a GP3 Series (a feeder series to GP2) race at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. Arjun Maini is supported by JK Racing and TVS.

This victory has moved Arjun Maini into third place in the driver’s championship standings after completion of the first round of the eight-round GP3 series.

He has 23 points. Nirei Fukuzumi of Japan leads the championship standings with 29 points, followed by Alessio Lorandi of Italy with 25 points.

This is the third instance that the Indian National Anthem was played during an F1 weekend with the first two played after Karun Chandhok’s two wins in GP2.

GP3 rounds are held as support events during F1 Grand Prixs.

GP3 is a single seater motor racing series which was launched in 2010 as a feeder series for the GP2 Series.

7)   Organisations with turnover of how much will have to specify PAN while filing the Udyog Aadhaar Memo for registration?

a. INR 20 lakhs
b. INR 50 lakhs
c. INR 75 lakhs
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: INR 20 lakhs

Organisations with over Rs 20 lakh turnover will have to specify the PAN while filling the Udyog Aadhaar Memorandum for registration.

These organisations include companies, limited liability partnerships, cooperative societies, societies and trusts.

The decision, taken at a meeting chaired by the MSME Secretary K K Jalan recently.

This will be implemented after two months of the Goods and Services Tax coming into operation.

The GST regime is likely to come into force on July 1.

Presently, it is not mandatory for these organisations to mention the PAN number in the Udyog Aadhaar Memorandum.

However, since it will be compulsory for firms with turnover above INR 20 lakh to have a PAN number under the GST, this decision has been taken.

Apart from the Permanent Account Number (PAN) and Aadhaar, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will also have to attach a chartered accountant's certificate for participating in public tenders.

Udyog Aadhaar is for existing firms. The upcoming units do not need to apply for its registration.

The meeting of the Advisory Committee under the MSMED Act decided that there could be a ministry sponsored MSME specific M Tech course, which will focus mainly on practical shop-floor training, the business model that can be worked out among the MSME Associations present in the meeting, a suggestion mooted by the All India Council for Technical Education.

In the course curriculum, 20-30 specific activities can be listed after due deliberations.

The MSME ministry had earlier issued a one-page Udyog Aadhaar Memorandum, which must be filled online by all micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), for simplifying the registration procedure for entrepreneurs and promoting ease of doing business.

8)   Who is France's next PM in 2017-2018?

a. Philippe Edouard
b. Edouard Philippe
c. Emamanuel Macron
d. Manuel Valls
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Edouard Philippe

French President Emmanuel Macron has picked centre-right mayor of the northern port city of Le Harve, Edouard Philippe (46), as his Prime Minister.

The appointment of Philippe, a moderate from France’s mainstream right-wing party Les Republicains, is seen as a strategic move that could secure the support Macron needs to win a majority in the 577-seat National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament.

This is the first time in the history of the Fifth Republic that a President has appointed someone from outside his own party without being explicitly required to do so by a parliamentary vote.

Macron, who was Economy Minister in the Socialist government during 2014-16, already enjoys considerable support among former Socialists, including former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, against whom La Republique en Marche (REM),

Macron’s movement, is not fielding a candidate in the assembly elections. Additionally, all current MPs whom the REM has so far given tickets to are drawn from the Socialist party.

The French Prime Minister is required to have the support of the majority of MPs in its National Assembly and Philippe’s appointment is being seen as the President reaching out to the right – a move that could help his party push reforms through Parliament.

Macron was elected on a platform that promised reforms to labour and social security laws, training for workers, and relaunching the European Union.

Edouard Philippe: Know More

  • Trained as a lawyer, Mr. Philippe has worked in the private sector, including for French nuclear giant Areva and an American law firm.
  • Philippe’s early political leanings were with the Socialist Party, but later he came to be associated with former President Jacques Chirac and former centre-right Prime Minister Alain Juppe’s Union for a Popular Movement.
  • Juppe, also a presidential hopeful, lost the Les Republicains primaries in 2016.

9)   North Korea launched a medium long range missile with _____ capabilities on May 14, 2017.

a. Ballistic
b. Nuclear
c. Long Range
d. Both a and b
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both a and b

North Korea indicated the missile it launched over the weekend was a new type of “medium long-range” ballistic rocket that can carry a heavy nuclear warhead.

North Korean propaganda must be considered with wariness as Pyongyang has threatened for decades to reduce Seoul to a “sea of fire.”

This missile launch may mark another big advance toward the North’s goal of fielding a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the US mainland.

This launch tested a new type of missile in Pyongyang’s arsenal.

The test is also an immediate challenge to South Korea’s new leader, Moon Jae-in, a liberal elected last week who expressed a desire to reach out to North Korea.

Pyongyang’s aggressive push to boost its weapons program also makes it one of the Trump administration’s most urgent foreign policy worries, though Washington has struggled to settle on a policy.

North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency called the missile a “new ground-to-ground medium long-range strategic ballistic rocket,” and indicated the “Hwasong-12” was “capable of carrying a large, heavy nuclear warhead.”

The missile flew for half-an-hour and reached an unusually high altitude before landing in the Sea of Japan, the South Korean, Japanese and US militaries said.

The rocket, “newly designed in a Korean-style,” flew 787 kilometers (490 miles) and reached a maximum altitude of 2,111.5 kilometers (1,310 miles).

North Korea “verified the homing feature of the warhead under the worst re-entry situation and accurate performance of detonation system.”

North Korea is not thought to be able yet to make a nuclear warhead small enough to mount on a long-range missile.

10)   Where in TN will its first multi-modal logistics park be set up?

a. Near Kamarajar Port
b. In Ponneri Industrial Node
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

The National Highways Authority of India signed an MoU with the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Limited (TIDCO) in New Delhi, for the development of a Multimodal Logistics Park in the Ponneri Industrial Node area near Kamarajar Port in Tamil Nadu.

This is an important agreement for the development of an integrated, multi-modal transport infrastructure in the country.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is planning to develop Mutimodal Logistics Parks in under its Logistics Efficiency Enhancement Programme (LEEP) in 15 locations all over India at a cost of INR 33,000 crore, including INR 1295 crores investment for the Chennai Region.

The proposed logistics parks will bring down the overall freight costs, reduce vehicular pollution and congestion and will enable reduction of warehousing costs.

All this is expected to result in lower logistics costs.

11)   Which port will see a 4 fold rise in capacity of its coal jetties following upgradation?

a. VO Chidambaranar Port
b. Mundra Port
c. Kandla Port
d. Vizag Port
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: VO Chidambaranar Port

V.O. Chidambaranar Port is all set for a four-fold increase in the capacity of two of its Coal Jetties – Jetty I and II from 6.25 MTPA to 24 MTPA.

The VOCP Trust signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) for the upgradation of Coal Jetty I and II in New Delhi.

The project would benefit both TANGEDCO and the VOCPT.

It would make coal handling by the jetties much more voluminous and efficient, and thus bring down logistics costs.

This would also allow for cheaper production of electricity, which would be very beneficial for industrial growth.

With the upgradation of the coal jetties, TANGEDCO will be able to handle additional volume of coal cargo for the upcoming new power plants in Uppur and Kadaladi in Ramanathapuram district in Tamil Nadu.

In addition to this, there will be quicker turnaround of vehicles with the deployment of high tech handling equipments like two ship unloaders, each with a minimum 2000 TPH capacity and a high capacity conveyor system of 4000 TPH.

This enhancement of handling capacity and upgradation of infrastructure will result in reduction of logistics costs.

TANGEDCO will therefore be able to utilize the services of the Port in a more cost-effective way.

With the power generation from TANGEDCO’s Tuticorin plants being linked to the National Grid, this would enable availability of additional power at reduced costs, which, in turn, can fuel industrial growth and employment generation.

Port Upgradation: Know More

  • The project is the outcome of Ministry of Shipping’s Project Unnati, under which a study, ‘Unlocking National Ports Potential’ was done to improve the handling capacity of CJ-I & II.
  • The estimated cost for upgrading CJ-I & II is about Rs.800 Cr.
  • As per the MoU, initially Coal Jetty-I will be upgraded in about 24 months by constructing a new Coal Jetty-I of 300m x25m along with repair of the existing CJ-I.
  • CJ –II will be upgraded thereafter.
  • The upgradation will give a competitive edge to VOC Port and will help it maintain its lead position in coal handling.