Current Affairs Questions & Answers - May 18, 2017

1)   Which charter is an attempt to bring accountability and transparency in EPFO functioning?

a. EPFO Charter 2017
b. Pension Fund Charter 2017
c. Citizens Charter 2017
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Citizens Charter 2017

The Minister of State for Labour & Employment(IC), Shri Bandaru Dattatreya launched EPFO’s Citizens’ Charter 2017 and e-court management system in Bangalore on May 16th 2017.

Citizens’ Charter 2017 is an attempt to bring transparency and accountability on the part of EPFO and make service delivery system and grievance redressal mechanism more efficient.

Aim is that it delivers goods and services to its all stakeholders in a time bound manner with a reduced timeline from earlier timeline of 30 days.

The timeline in case of claim settlements is 10 days and 15 days in case of grievance redressal management.

The citizens’ charter has been launched with the vision of social security coverage to all employees as well as implementation of policies for benefit of all stakeholders with adequate support level of social security.

EPFO e-court Management System has been launched which is in tune with Digital India. The objective of the project is a transparent and electronic case management system which will cater to aspirations of all stakeholders - the employers, the employees, litigants and CBT.

It is a step towards paperless court system wherein court procedure of EPF & MP Act, 1952 and EPFAT will take place in a digital environment.

Further, in order to facilitate easy access to the tribunal, automated messages will be sent to the litigants on their registered mobile numbers on the status of their cases. The stakeholders can also track the individual cases online.

Now the parties can file all their paper / evidence / documents online and all the details along with status can be accessed online.

Updation is an important part of e-court management system in which digital case record will create a digital database which can be utilized to generate meaningful and accurate reports.

This is also an attempt to create paperless court procedure along with efficiency and transparency in the system.

2)   A separate 24/7 DD channel has been announced for which eastern state in May 2017?

a. Jharkhand
b. Bihar
c. MP
d. UP
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Jharkhand

Minister for Information & Broadcasting Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu has announced a separate 24x7 DD channel for the state of Jharkhand.

The Government was putting up a vision document for a 24x7 DD Jharkhand channel for the people of the state and the proposal was included in the 3 years Action Plan of DD.

However till the launch of 24x7 channel, DD Ranchi programmes would be telecast on DD Bihar. Jharkhand related programmes would be provided a special window in already available 24x7 satellite channel- DD Bihar.

Government of Jharkhand has been requested to provide a dedicated power supply through separate feeders to All India Radio & Doordarshan Stations in the state. Action was being taken to cover all shadow areas of Koderma region by December 2018, to ensure 100% coverage of all geographic regions in the state by DD & AIR.

State Government was urged to make use of the platform of Community Radio to ensure last mile reach. Educational Institutions & NGOs should be motivated to set up community radio stations.

Community radio was an empowering tool which caters to the information needs of the people in local language/dialect. It broadcast programmes on various local issues relevant to the community.

Giving a boost to radio outreach, Ministry of I&B has increased the subsidy amount to 75% for stakeholders for setting up of CRS in various states.

Under the FM Phase III, 16 more Private FM channels have been proposed for the state of Jharkhand.

This state government received the Special Mention Award in the Most Film Friendly State Award category at the 64th National Film Awards.

3)   MoS signed an MoU for development of skills in coastal area youth with which department?

b. MoEF
c. WCD Ministry
d. Ministry of Rural Development
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Ministry of Rural Development

For skills development of youth in coastal areas, the Ministry of Shipping signed an MoU with the Ministry of Rural Development in New Delhi today.

The MoU is for convergence of the Ministry’ prestigious project Sagaramala and Ministry of Rural Development’s flagship programme Deen Dayal Upadhyay Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU GKY) .

The Minister of Shipping and Road Transport & Highways, Shri Nitin Gadkari and the Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj.

DDU-GKY is expected to bring in its skilling expertise to provide skilling for the coastal communities, thereby preparing them to take advantage of the job opportunities that are expected to come up in the maritime sector following port led development under Sagarmala.

This MoU will meet the exact skill needs of industries in the port and maritime sector and provide the coastal communities right skills for better opportunities emanating from the large scale impact of Sagarmala projects.

With skill development there will be close involvement of the coastal communities in Sagarmala and will make them contributors in the economic development and will ensure inclusive growth of the coastal districts of the country.

The centre is planning to facilitate fisherman with mechanized trawlers that will allow them to fish till 30-40 Nautical Miles in international ocean.

This will generate employment opportunities for youth in coastal areas, as fishing is a big industry, which involves processing, packaging and export of fish and other sea produce.

There is a need to develop tourism around lighthouses in coastal areas, as this will provide employment to rural youth in these areas.

DDUGKU is the flagship programme of the ministry and after this MoU agreement, rural youth and women of coastal areas will be able to develop skills for Maritime, Shipping and Port Management.

Under skill development pilot project, around 7,000 persons have been already been trained and out of this 600 people have been already got employment.

The Coastal Communities are key stakeholders in the Sagarmala Programme and their skill development and livelihood is an important objective of the program.

A budget of INR 100 Cr. has been allocated under Sagarmala for coastal community development activities.

Before execution, understanding the exact requirement is a key step and therefore, an on-ground survey for accurate understanding of skill needs of 21 coastal districts has been done so that the training programs can be aligned to the exact requirements.

Along with the Skill gap studies, District Action Plans have been made in consultation with the State Governments and districts concerned and training will commence from May, 2017.

Specific training needs have been identified for more than 60000 trainees in the next phase through more than 100+ skill projects.

The primary goal of the Skills and Livelihoods in Sagarmala is to meet the exact skill needs of industries in the port and maritime sector and provide the coastal communities right skills for better opportunities emanating from the large scale impact of Sagarmala projects.

It is expected that the close involvement of the coastal communities in Sagarmala will make them contributors in the economic development and will ensure inclusive growth of the coastal districts of the country.

DDU-GKY: Know More

  • DDU-GKY is currently being implemented in 28 states and has over 654 training centres in 522 projects.
  • It is in partnership with over 261 training partners conducting training across 39 sectors, and over 329 job-roles.
  • So far a total of 4.54 lakh candidates have been skilled and 2.31 lakh candidates provided jobs.

4)   Who chaired the first Niti Aayog Samavesh meeting held in New Delhi on May 17, 2017?

a. Amitabh Kant
b. Ratan P Watal
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both of the above

In pursuance of the Prime Minister’s call for a New India 2022, the first meeting of the National Steering Group and other knowledge partners was held in NITI Aayog on 17th May 2017 under the co-chairmanship of Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO and Shri Ratan P Watal, Principal Adviser, NITI Aayog.

The meeting was aimed at bringing together 32 premier educational and policy research institutions to catalyse the development process, enhance institutional capacity development and a field level interface with the community for New India 2022.

The meeting witnessed signing of Memoranda of Understands (MoUs) between NITI Aayog and major think tanks across the country to create an ecosphere of evidence based policy research.

This network will enable efficient knowledge sharing and information exchange among all partners to fulfil their role in transformative policy reform so as to achieve a sustainable and more inclusive development in line with the National Development Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals as well as the 15 year Vision, 7 year strategy and 3 year action plan.

The meeting was also attended by representatives of four State Governments viz. Kerala, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

This is the first ever initiative taken in the country to bring the large number of institutions cutting across diverse domain themes to deliberate together on the way forward for inclusive development of the country.

As part of Samavesh initiative, a new link on NITI’s website was launched on the occasion which would eventually emerge as a major repository of knowledge based reports and case studies across different sectors of the economy

5)   Which new portal has ITD launched in May 2017?

a. Operation Clear Money
b. Operation Clean Money
c. Operation Constant Money
d. Operation Circulation Money
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Operation Clean Money

Income Tax Department (ITD) has initiated Operation Clean Money to investigate tax evaders. As a part of the operation, the government has launched a website on ‘Operation Clean Money’ operation.

The Operation Clean Money’ portal has been designed by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). Initial phase of the operation involves identification of around 18 lakh persons who have made large deposits or purchases between 9th November to 30th December 2016, which do not appear to be in line with the tax payer’s profile.

The provision of online verification of these transactions is aimed at reducing the compliance cost for the taxpayers while optimising the resources of the Income Tax department.

The PAN holders can view the information in the portal. The taxpayers would be allowed to submit online explanation without the need to visit the Income Tax Office.

As a reminder, e-mail and SMS will also be sent to the taxpayers for submission of online response on the portal. The IT department will make use of the data analytics to select cases for verification.

After selection of cases, additional information requested would be communicated electronically. On getting the information, the portal will get dynamically updated.

The taxpayers covered under this phase are required to submit their responses within 10 days in order to avoid further notice and enforcement actions under the Income Tax Act. The response provided by the tax payer would be analyzed against available information with the department.

If response found justified, the verification would be closed. The verification will also be closed if the cash deposit has been declared under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna (PMGKY).

Operation Clean Money: Know More

  • Operation Clean Money was launched immediately after government’s demonetisation drive in order to bring the tax evaders with undeclared incomes under the tax net.
  • The income tax department has so far identified about 1.8 million persons and asked them to explain their deposits, pay tax or disclose past undisclosed income through the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.

6)   CCEA has approved a new coal linkage policy to ensure adequate supply of ___ to power plants.

a. Coal
b. Dry fuel
c. fuel
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All of the above

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a new coal linkage policy to ensure adequate supply of the fuel to power plants through reverse auction.

The new policy will help in ensuring fuel supplies to the power plants in an organised manner.

Though, the government’s initiatives and prevailing market conditions to a large extent has helped to bring down the prices of the dry fuel and boosted the domestic production, a proper mechanism for providing coal linkages to power plants at competitive rates was lacking.

The new policy will address this issue and will ensure proper sourcing of the dry fuel by the power plants as per their schedules.

Coal linkage policy is a policy designated by the union government for the allocation of coal among thermal power plants.

Inadequate availability of domestic coal coupled with high price for imported coal requires the government to allocate the available coal rationally among the power plants.

This is especially necessary as the coal producing firms are public sector companies. Also, the pricing of coal is an another important issue.

In this context, the government designates coal linkage policies to allocate coal among different thermal power plants.

7)   Who has become the first Indian woman to scale Mount Everest for the 4th time?

a. Anshu Jamsenpa
b. Arunima Sinha
c. Baichendri Pal
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Anshu Jamsenpa

Anshu Jamsenpa, a native of Bomdila in Arunachal Pradesh has scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to scale Mount Everest for the fourth time.

Anshu Jamsenpa who is a mother of two children had already had ascaled Mount Everest twice in a season that too taking only a gap of 10 days between the two climbs.

She scaled the highest peak twice in May 2011.

She again conquered the peak on May 18, 2013. Anshu began her summit expedition after 38 days of acclimatization and scaling several nearby peaks and passes.

Anshu Jamsenpa also plans to scale Mount Everest again in this season to create a new record for becoming the first woman to do a “double” twice.

She had sought the blessings of the Dalai Lama on 2nd April from Guwahati before embarking upon the journey to Nepal.

Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal were the first climbers to conquer Mount Everest.

They achieved this feat on May 29, 1953.

Reinhold Messner, an Italian explorer became the first person to scale Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen in 1978.

He is also first climber to ascend all fourteen peaks over 8,000 metres (26,000 ft) above sea level, including the Mount Everest.

8)   How many new indigenous PHWR were approved by cabinet in May 2017?

a. 12
b. 11
c. 10
d. 9
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


The Union Cabinet has cleared a proposal allowing for the construction of 10 indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR).

The reactors will have a capacity of 700 MW. These reactors will add 7000 MW capacity and will ramp up nuclear power generation in the country.

Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors use natural uranium as fuel and heavy water as both moderator and coolant.

India’s first PHWR was constructed at Rawatbhata in Rajasthan in technical cooperation with the Atomic Energy Canada Ltd (AECL).

However, the Canada’s support was immediately withdrawn after India’s first nuclear experiment at Pokhran in 1974.

India’s first nuclear power plant with a different design was built at Tarapur in Maharashtra. PHWR units are in operation in Rawatbhata, Kaiga, Kakrapar, Kalpakkam and Narora.

Recently, it was announced that the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is ready to sell Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors of 220 MWe or 540 MWe capacity to other countries.

NPCIL: Know More

  • Founded: 1 September 1987
  • Headquarters: 16th Floor, Centre - I, World Trade Centre, Cuffe Parade, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • Owner: Government of India
  • Organization type: State-owned enterprise
  • Purpose: Generation of nuclear power for electricity
  • Net income: 21.01 billion INR (2012–2013, US$310 million)
  • Key person: S. K. Sharma

9)   Which state has made the state language compulsory in all its schools?

a. Odisha
b. Bihar
c. Jharkhand
d. West Bengal
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: West Bengal

The West Bengal government has made the Bengali language compulsory in all schools, including private English medium schools of the State.

The announcement was made by the State’s Education Minister, Partha Chatterjee on 15 May 2017.

From now on it will be compulsory for students to learn Bengali in all schools. T

English medium schools affiliated to boards other than the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education will have to make Bengali an optional subject from Class I so that the students can study it either as a second or third language.

Till now, even though there were provisions for teaching language in schools, it was not mandatory to include Bengali as one of the three languages for students.

Besides Bengali, Hindi and English there are provisions for opting for languages such as Urdu, Gurmukhi, Nepali and Ol Chiki as the medium of instruction in schools of the State.

The students who select any of the other languages as their first language would need to pick up two other languages, among which one would have to be Bengali.

The decision follows a feedback that Bengali was not being offered as an option in many schools.

This decision by the Mamata Banerjee-led government comes shortly after a similar decision was taken by the Communist Party of India (Marxist)- led government in Kerala.

The Kerala government in April 2017 passed an ordinance making the teaching of Malayalam compulsory in all the state’s schools.

The government will be taking account the legal aspect on the matter as to whether it would require a separate legislation or that a state cabinet decision would be enough.

10)   Which cricketer has launched a foundation to create awareness for mental and physical help to women and children?

a. Ajinkya Rahane
b. Ravi Shastri
c. Rahul Dravid
d. Suresh Raina
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Suresh Raina

Indian cricketer Suresh Raina launched Gracia Raina Foundation (GRF) on 15 May 2017.

It is dedicated to creating awareness and work closely with mothers and children who require help ranging from physical and mental issues.

The announcement was made by the cricketer along with his wife Priyanka on the occasion of his daughter, Gracia Raina’s first birthday.

The foundation aims to work towards physical wellness of mother and child by providing the mother with knowledge and information about pregnancy, child care post birth and nutritional needs to keep them physically healthy.

It also aims to impart skills to the underprivileged mothers in order to enable them to earn a livelihood for sustainable living.

Besides this, it also aims to provide the pregnant women with a community where they can share their problems and get guidance from when needed, thus helping them in their mental wellness.

It also aims to empower women to make informed decisions about themselves and their children. The foundation believes the best way to unlock human potential is through the power of creative collaborations.

Suresh Raina: Know More

  • Born: 27 November 1986, Muradnagar
  • Height: 1.73 m
  • Spouse: Priyanka Chaudhary (m. 2015)
  • Children: Gracia Raina
  • Current teams: India national cricket team (#3 / Batsman), Gujarat Lions (Batsman), Uttar Pradesh cricket team (Batsman)

11)   Who has been appointed the UNFCCC Deputy Executive Secretary on May 16, 2017?

a. Richard Kinley
b. Shashi Tharoor
c. Ovais Sarmad
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Ovais Sarmad

Ovais Sarmad, a senior Indian official, in the second week of May 2017 was appointed as the Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The appointment was made after consultation with the Conference of Parties through its Bureau.

Sarmad was appointed to the post at the assistant secretary-general level by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Sarmad will succeed Canada’s Richard Kinley.

At present, Ovais Sarmad serves as Chief of Staff to the Director General of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

He joined IOM in 1990, in Geneva, where he served notably as chief of budget, director of resource management, director of the Global Administrative Centre and chief of Mission to the Philippines.

He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Hyderabad’s Osmania University. He also holds a professional certification in management accountancy from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants in London.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an international environmental treaty negotiated at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992.

The treaty entered into force on 21 March 1994. Its objective is to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”.

One of the first tasks set by the UNFCCC was for signatory nations to establish national greenhouse gas inventories of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals, which were used to create the 1990 benchmark levels for accession of Annex I countries to the Kyoto Protocol and for the commitment of those countries to GHG reductions.

The UNFCCC is also the name of the United Nations Secretariat charged with supporting the operation of the Convention, with offices in Haus Carstanjen, and UN Campus (known as Langer Eugen) Bonn, Germany.