Current Affairs Questions & Answers - May 19, 2016

1)   According to the WHO report based on 2012-2013 data which rank does Delhi hold in the list of most polluted cities in the world?

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


The current WHO report on air pollution has been called “misleading” by the MoEF which plans to come out with pollution data of major cities across the EU and US.

  • The WHO report has listed 30 Indian cities among 100 most polluted cites in the world. Indian Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said WHO had not factored in various key pollutants like benzene, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide while analysing air quality.
  • To categorise cities as polluted based on PM 2.5 was misleading as there were 8 other major pollutants which have adverse impact on health.
  • There is ozone, benzene and SO2 as well as NO2 pollution with adverse impact on health.

2)   Fossils of Dinosaur skulls in the midwestern US have revealed two new species of unusual horned Dinosaurs- Machairoceratops cronusi, and  Spiclypeus shipporum,- what is the latter’s nickname?

a. Judith
b. Meredith
c. Helen
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Judith

Fossils of dinosaur skulls unearthed in Midwestern United States have revealed two new species namely Machairoceratops cronusi, and Spiclypeus shipporum.

  • The latter also nicknamed Judith after the Montana Judith River geological formation is close to 76 million years old and was part of the Chasmosaurine family -- which includes the famous Triceratops -- and had "horns over the eyes, which stuck out sideways from the skull.
  • This is a new addition to the family of horned dinosaurs that roamed western North America between 85 and 66 million years ago. Spiclypeus, however, appears to be unique to Montana.
  • Its name is combination of two Latin words meaning "spiked shield," and shipporum is a nod to the man who found the fossil on his land, Bill Shipp.
  • Another horned dinosaur uncovered in the Wahweap Formation in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah was adorned with two spikes rising out of its neck shield.
  • This one, newly named Machairoceratops cronusi, lived around 77 million years ago and weighed one to two tons. Its skull features showed it was unlike any previously known centrosaurine, a subfamily of ceratopsids which were characterized by parrot-like beaks, facial horns and ornate neck shields.

3)   Rapidly melting glacier in which part of the world is on track to lift oceans at least two metres and could pass tipping point of no return?

a. Antarctica
b. East Antarctica
c. Arctic
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: East Antarctica

A rapidly melting glacier a top East Antarctica is on track to lift oceans at least two metres, and could soon pass a "tipping point" of no return, researchers said on 18th May

  • To date, scientists have mostly worried about the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets as dangerous drivers of sea level rise.
  • But the new study, following up on earlier work by the same team, has identified a third major threat to hundreds of millions of people living in coastal areas around the world.
  • From the air, the contours of Totten Glacier roughly the size of France are invisible because the entire Antarctic continent is covered by a seamless, kilometres-thick blanket of snow and ice.It’s underbelly is eroded with warm sea water and is rapidly melting.
  • Sea levels during the Pliocene peaked at levels more than 20 metres (65 feet) higher than today. This could happen again.

4)   Scientists have found a bird with the largest wingspan recorded. What is the species it belongs to called?

a. Bony toothed bird
b. Pelagormithid
c. Both a and b
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: None of the above

Scientists on May 18 found the remains of a giant prehistoric bird that lived 50 million years ago in Antarctica and had the largest wingspan ever recorded.

  • Palaeontologists at a natural history museum in Argentina said they had identified the pelagornithid, or bony-toothed bird, nearly three years after its fossilised bones were first found at an Argentine research base on the Antarctic island of Marambio.
  • The bird's wings, fully extended, spanned more than 6.4 meters (21 feet), she said. Antarctica specialists say there were two kinds of pelagornithid on the continent, one that reached up to five meters tall, with a similar wingspan, and another that stood more than seven meters.
  • The birds likely developed to their monstrous size some 50 million years ago, when warming ocean temperatures would have given them an abundance of food to thrive, the researchers said.

5)   Afghanistan has signed a draft agreement with which militant group?

a. Hezbollah
b. Taliban
c. Hezb-e-Islami
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Hezb-e-Islami

Afghanistan signed a draft agreement on May 18 with the Hezb-e-Islami militant group in a move the government hopes could lead to a full peace accord with one of the most notorious warlords in the insurgency.

  • Hezb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is a veteran of decades of Afghan war and rights groups have accused his group of widespread abuses, particularly during civil war in the early 1990s, when he briefly served as prime minister.
  • The U.S. has also linked the group to al-Qaeda and the Taliban and put Hekmatyar on its designated terrorist list.

6)   Maldives has severed diplomatic ties with which country?

a. Iran
b. Iraq
c. Saudi Arabia
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


The Maldives has terminated its four-decade-old diplomatic ties with Iran. Iran’s policies are detrimental to peace and security in the region (West Asia), which, in many ways, is also linked to stability, peace and security of the Maldives, said an official statement.

  • 13th Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul, Turkey, deplored “Iran’s interference” in the internal affairs of West Asian States.
  • Expressing “deep concern” over the announcement, the Maldivian Democratic Party, the principal Opposition party, said “this kind of irrational adventurism in foreign policy decisions will have serious negative repercussions on the security of the Maldives.”

7)   Which US technology major has agreed to sell Nokia branding rights to Finnish firm HMD Global?

a. IBM
b. Apple
c. Microsoft
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Microsoft

US technology major Microsoft, the owner of Nokia’s mobile device business, has agreed to sell the latter’s branding rights to Finnish firm HMD Global and contract manufacturer Foxconn for $350 million. In a separate agreement, Nokia Technologies will grant HMD Global Oy (HMD), a newly-founded company based in Finland, the exclusive global licence to create Nokia—branded mobile phones and tablets for the next 10 years.

  • Under the pact, Nokia Technologies will receive royalty payments from HMD for sales of Nokia-branded mobile products, covering both the brand and the intellectual property rights.
  • Microsoft also said it has signed a pact to sell the company’s entry-level feature phone assets to FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of Hon Hai/Foxconn Technology Group, and HMD Global Oy for $350 million.

8)   India has successfully test fired which missile on May 18th?

a. Prithvi-I
b. Prithvi-II
c. Prithvi-III
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Prithvi-II

India on May 18 successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile as part of a user trial by the army from a test range at Chandipur in Odisha. The trial of the surface-to-surface missile was carried out from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range at around 0940 hrs, defence sources said.

  • With a strike range of 350 km, the Prithvi-II is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engines.
  • It uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory to hit its target.
  • Inducted into Indian armed forces in 2003, the nine-metre-tall, single-stage liquid-fuelled Prithvi-II is the first missile to be developed by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme, defence sources said.

9)   By what percent is the incidence of cancer estimated to grow in India by 2020 according to ICMR?

a. 23
b. 24
c. 25
d. 52
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


New cancer cases or its incidence in India is estimated to grow by 25% by 2020, according to the cancer registry released by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

  • While new cases in Delhi have increased rapidly since 2008-09, the burden in northeastern states is also high. Cancer cases in India are expected to jump from around 14 lakh in 2016 to over 17.3 lakh by 2020.
  • Deaths due to cancer are projected to go up from 7.36 lakh to over 8.8 lakh in the next four years.
  • Breast, lung and cervical cancer have topped the list of new cases, the data show. Data also revealed that only 12.5% of patients come for treatment in their early stages.

10)   World Hypertension Day was observed across the world on which day?

a. 16th May
b. 17th May
c. 18th May
d. 19th May
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 17th May

The theme was Know Your Numbers. The theme know your numbers is related with the goal of increasing high blood pressure awareness in all populations around the world. The WHD 2016 challenge is to screen three million adults.

  • World Hypertension Day (WHD) is an annual initiative of the World Hypertension League (WHL), an affiliated section of the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) first inaugurated in May 2005 and has become an annual event ever since.
  • The purpose of the WHD is to promote public awareness of hypertension and to encourage citizens of all countries to prevent and control this silent killer, the modern epidemic.
What is Hypertension?
  • Hypertension or High blood pressure is very common indeed and hence a major public health issue. It is the major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
  • In 2002, it was named as the number one killer by the World Health Organization (WHO) in The World Health Report.
  • The risk of stroke is four times greater and the risk of myocardial infarction (a heart attack) two times greater if you have high blood pressure.

11)   Who discovered Neptune’s rings?

a. Andre Brahic
b. William Hubbard
c. Both of the above
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

Brahic, one of the discoverers of Neptune's rings, died on 15 May 2016 in Paris, France. He was 73. In 1984, Brahic with US astronomer William Hubbard launched a program that led to the discovery of the rings around the gaseous planet Neptune.

  • In 2001, he was given the Carl Sagan Medal.
  • The rings of Neptune consist primarily of five principal rings and were first discovered in 1984 in Chile.

12)   Steeplechase athlete Sudha Singh broke the national record in women’s _________ m steeplechase event to finish 8th in championship.

a. 3000
b. 4000
c. 5000
d. 6000
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 3000

Steeplechase athlete Sudha Singh on 14 May 2016 set a national record in women’s 3000m steeplechase event to finish eighth at the IAAF World Diamond League held at Shanghai.

  • Sudha clocked 9 minutes, 26.55 seconds to finish a eighth in the second leg of the prestigious IAAF Diamond League Meet.
  • In the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, she won the gold medal with a time of 9:55.67. In June 2012, she qualified for Olympic Games 2012 after she broke her own 3000m steeplechase national record with a timing of 9:47.70 secs.

13)   Which Indian American won the Intel Foundation Young Scientists Award?

a. Ashok Pavra
b. Abhishek Pavra
c. Syamatak Pavra
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Syamatak Pavra

Indian-American Syamantak Payra, a 15 year-old from Friendswood, Texas, in May 2016 won Intel Foundation Young Scientist Awards of 50000 US dollar.

  • He was awarded for developing a low-cost electronically aided knee brace that allows an individual with a weakened leg to walk more naturally.
  • He shared the 50000 US dollars award with Kathy Liu of Salt lake City, Utah who was awarded for developing an alternative battery component that could significantly improve battery performance and safety.

14)   Where is the world’s largest single rooftop solar power plant of 11.5 Mw capacity?

a. Amritsar
b. Dera Baba Jaimal
c. Both of the above
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Dera Baba Jaimal

World’s largest single rooftop solar power plant of 11.5 Mw capacity was inaugurated in Beas near Amritsar in Punjab.

  • Spread at a single rooftop stretch of 42 acre at Dera Baba Jaimal, the project was synchronised earlier this year.
  • In addition to single largest rooftop solar power plant, seven rooftop solar power plants of 8Mw capacity were also inaugurated in Beas Dera campus making this place the highest single campus generating solar power of 19.5 Mw at multiple rooftops in the country.

15)   IT department has launched special electronic grievance redressal system called________

a. Nivaran
b. e-Nivaran
c. e- Suvidha
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: e-Nivaran

The Income Tax department has launched a special electronic grievance redressal system called ‘e-nivaran‘ in order to fast track taxpayer grievances and ensure early resolution of their complaints.

  • A separate and dedicated window for grievance redressal has been launched recently in the Income Tax Business Application (ITBA), the new smart electronic platform for the regular operations of the department.
  • The facility is called ‘e-nivaran’ (electronic solution) and acts to integrate all online and physical complaints gathered by the department at this platform which will be monitored by the Assessing Officer of the case upto the supervisory officers in a paperless environment.
  • The e-portal will also ensure that grievances related to any section or domain of the tax department is transferred quickly to the department concerned like that of refunds issue or any other IT matter concerning an assessee.

16)   Department of Posts and UNPA have joined hands for which postage stamp’s joint issue?

a. HeForShe postage stamp
b. SheForHe postage stamp
c. IForYou postage stamp
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: HeForShe postage stamp

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, was apprised of the joint issue of UN Women HeForShe postage stamp.

  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Department of Posts and United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) in February, 2016 for this purpose.
  • In this Joint issue, the stamps were printed in the form of sheetlet of 20 se-tenants and Miniature Sheet of two stamps on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
  • UN Women HeForShe campaign is a solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other half of humanity for the benefit of all in social terms.