Current Affairs Questions & Answers - May 24, 2016

1)   India and which country inked 12 agreements during PM Modi’s visit there in May 2016?

a. Iran
b. Iraq
c. Afghanistan
d. Pakistan
Answer  Explanation 


India and Iran have inked a dozen agreements ranging from contract to developing strategic Chahabar port to an initial pact to establish an aluminium plant and one on railways line to give India access to Central Asia and Afghanistan.

  • 12 agreements and MoUs signed during the PM’s visit to Iran have deepened bilateral ties in diverse fields
  • Main agreement signed was a contract for development of Phase I of the Chabahar port on southern coast of Iran by an Indian joint venture.
  • Also an agreement to provide USD 150 million credit line was signed by Exim Bank of India. IRCON signed an initial agreement to lay a rail line from Chabahar port to Zahedan, while state-owned Nalco signed an MoU to look at possibility of setting up a 0.5 million tonne aluminium smelter at Chabahar free trade zone provided Iran gives cheap natural gas.
  • An MoU was also signed between the Export Guarantee Fund of Iran and the Export Guarantee Corporation of India. Also signed was an executive protocol between the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology of Iran, and India's Ministry of Science and Technology and an MoU between National Archives of India and National Library of Iran.
  • An executive programme of cultural cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance as well as an MoU between Iran's Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations was also signed.

2)   India, Thailand and which other country are working on a 1400 km long highway linking India to SE Asia?

a. Pakistan
b. Myanmar
c. Bangladesh
d. China
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Myanmar

India, Thailand and Myanmar are working on a 1400 km long highway linking India with SE Asia for the first time in decades

  • This will boost trade and cultural exchanges between the three countries
  • Negotiations are currently underway to conclude a tri- nation motor vehicle agreement for the use of the 1,400-km road that will reach Thailand at Tak, Mae Sot district. “
  • Tri-nation highway exemplifies India's "Act East" policy.
  • Myanmar's Dawei deep-sea port and industrial estate project near the Thai border is also expected to help further integrate eastern India with South East Asian countries. The planned port can be linked up with India's Chennai port as well as Thailand's Laem Chabang Port on the other side of the ocean, the envoy said.
  • India is also preparing to negotiate a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which includes the 10-country-grouping, on top of the current India-Asean free-trade agreement (FTA). Thai-Indian trade amounted to USD 8 billion last year, while more than a million Indian tourists visited Thailand last year.

3)   What does RLV-TD stand for in the context of ISRO?

a. Reusable Satellite Long Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator
b. Reusable Satellite Launch Vehicle Technology Demonstrator
c. Relaunchable Satellite Long Vehicle Technology Demonstrator
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Reusable Satellite Launch Vehicle Technology Demonstrator

A milestone in indigenous satellite program, Indian Space Research Organisation ( ISRO ) successfully launched the Re-usable Satellite Launch Vehicle- Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) from Sriharikota.

  • It demonstrated the success of the hypersonic flight, re-entry aero thermodynamics, autonomous mission management and hot structures for thermal protection
  • Nearly 80% of the rocket cost is towards engines and structure. If the engines and the structure can be recovered and re-used, there could be substantial reduction in cost to launch payloads in space.
  • Further there will be tests on the RLV with Air breathing propulsion system (ABPS) which uses atmospheric air as oxidiser for combustion with vehicle fuel to propel the rocket and it can bring down space travel cost by minimum one tenth
  • It is developed relatively at a low cost compared to other countries. Current RLV-TD incurs a project cost of Rs 95 crore.

4)   Which country’s former president has been granted refugee status by the UK in May 2016?

a. Myanmar
b. Sri Lanka
c. Bangladesh
d. Maldives
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Maldives

Former Maldives President Mohamad Nasheed, who was allowed to travel to London to seek medical treatment by the government of President Abdulla Yameen in January 2016, has been granted refugee status by the United Kingdom on 23rd May, 2016.

  • The former President – the first democratically elected head of state of the troubled island nation – was convicted and jailed in the Maldives in 2012 after a trial that attracted international criticism, including from the United Nations Group on Arbitrary Detention.

5)   Which veteran director has won his second  Palme d’Or at the Cannes Festival?

a. Woody Allen
b. Ken Loach
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Ken Loach

Veteran British director Ken Loach won his second Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival when I, Daniel Blake, his latest social-realist drama, took the Best Picture award on May 22.

  • Loach, 79, is one of only nine directors to have won the top prize at Cannes twice. Loach had won in 2006 with The Wind That Shakes the Barley.
  • I, Daniel Blake, shows how Britain’s social security system conspires to drive a downtrodden carpenter and a single mother of two into poverty in the northeastern city of Newcastle.
  • The Iranian film Forushande (The Salesman) by Asghar Farhadi received two awards, for Best Screenplay and for Best Actor, won by Shahab Hosseini.
  • Canadian director Xavier Dolan, who won the Jury Prize with Mommy in 2014, received the Grand Prix for his Juste la Fin du Monde (It’s Only the End of the World).
  • The Jury Prize went to American Honey by British director Andrea Arnold, while Olivier Assays, director of Personal Shopper and Cristian Mungiu who made Bacalaureat (Graduation) tied for Best Director.
  • Jaclyn Jose won Best Actress for her role in Ma’ Rosa, a brutal dive into the Manila underworld directed by Brillante Mendoza.
  • Jean-Pierre Leaud, one of the most famous faces of the French New Wave, received the Palme d’Or d’Honneur, a lifetime achievement award.

6)   Which digital storytelling platform for women has Anand Mahindra invested in?

a. SheThe People
b. SheThePower
c. SheThe Strength
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: SheThe People

Anand Mahindra, Chairman of Mahindra Group, has invested an undisclosed sum into the digital storytelling platform for women, SheThePeople.TV.The platform was founded by Shaili Chopra.

  • Mr. Mahindra has invested in his private capacity in the video platform.The funds that have come in will help SheThePeople part-finance its expansion plans.

7)   Which countries signed a three way transit agreement on Chabahar with India?

a. Bangladesh, Iran
b. Afghanistan, Iran
c. Pakistan, Iran
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Afghanistan, Iran

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 23rd May 2016 signed a three-way transit agreement on Iran's southern port of Chabahar

  • The accord, which calls for joint investments, will significantly boost the role of the undertapped port of Chabahar, connecting Iran through India and Afghanistan to central Asia, the Iranian presidency said on its website.

8)   Which famous author’s book entitled My Favourite Nature Stories was released on May 19, 2016?

a. Ruskin Bond
b. Vikram Seth
c. VS Naipaul
d. Salman Rushdie
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Ruskin Bond

The book titled My Favourite Nature Stories authored by famous author Ruskin Bond was released on 19 May 2016.

  • In the book, Bond details various encounters with the natural world. He offers detailed explanation why he has such an overwhelming love for nature.
  • Apart from My Favourite Nature Stories, Bond also launched another book titled The World Outside My Window. In this book, he writes about some of the most interesting insects, birds, trees and flowers he has observed.
  • Both the books were brought out by Rupa Publications to celebrate Ruskin Bond's 82nd birthday.

9)   World Bank Group launched PEF to help poor countries against deadly pandemics, what does PEF stand for?

a. Pandemic Emergency Financing
b. Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility
c. Pandemic Emergency Financial Facility
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility

World Bank Group on 21 May 2016 launched the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF) to protect poorest countries against deadly pandemics.

  • The PEF is an innovative and fast-disbursing global financing mechanism. It will accelerate both global and national responses to future outbreaks with pandemic potential.
  • It was built and designed in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the private sector, introducing a new level of rigor into both the financing and the response.
  • It includes an insurance window, which combines funding from the reinsurance markets with the proceeds of WB-issued pandemic (catastrophe, or Cat) bonds, as well as a complementary cash window.
  • All 77 countries eligible for financing from the International Development Association, the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries, will be eligible to receive coverage under this facility.

10)   Greetings and facilitations were extended by India’s president to which nation on their Independence Day on May 24?

a. Eritrea
b. Madagascar
c. Syria
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Eritrea

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has extended his greetings and felicitations to the Government and people of Eritrea on the eve of their Independence Day (May 24, 2016).

  • In a message to His Excellency Mr. Isaias Afwerki, the President of the State of Eritrea, the President has extended greetings on the 25th anniversary of the country’s independence

11)   A rare Persian manuscript was released on the occasion of a conference on May 23 by GoI- what is it called?

a. Kalileh-wa-Cimneh.
b. Kalileh-wa-Timneh.
c. Kalileh-wa-Kimneh.
d. Kalileh-wa-Dimneh.
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Kalileh-wa-Dimneh.

The rare Persian manuscript Kalileh-wa-Dimneh, released on 23rd May, captures the close historical links between India and Iran.

  • It is remarkable how the simple stories of the Indian classics of Jataka and Panchatantra became the Persian Kalileh-wa-Dimneh.
  • It is a classic example of exchange and travel of cultural ideas between two societies.

12)   Which INS ship named after an Island in A&N Islands was added to the force on May 23rd?

a. INS Tarmugli
b. INS Baratang
c. INS Karmugli
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: INS Tarmugli

The Indian Navy on 23rd May 2016 commissioned the highly manoeuvrable Fast Attack Craft INS Tarmugli at the hands of Vice Admiral HCS Bisht AVSM, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command at a formal ceremony held at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam.

  • INS Tarmugli is being based in Visakhapatnam under the Naval Officer-in-Charge (Andhra Pradesh) and would be deployed for coastal patrol and surveillance operations along the East Coast of India
  • INS Tarmugli is the first Follow-on Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (WJFAC), is an improved version of WJFAC, earlier constructed by GRSE.
  • Conceived, designed and built indigenously, the commissioning of this ship completes the addition of another chapter to the nation’s ‘Make in India’ initiative and indigenisation efforts in the field of warship design and construction.
  • Named after a picturesque island in the Andaman group, the 320-tonne INS Tarmugli, measuring 48 meters in length, can achieve speeds in excess of 30 knots.
  • The ships armament consists of a 30 mm CRN 91 gun manufactured by Ordnance Factory Medak. An electronic day-night fire control system namely Stabilised Optronic Pedestal (SOP) manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) controls the gun.
  • The ship is also equipped with two 12.7 mm heavy machine guns (HMG) and multiple medium machine guns, besides shoulder-launched Igla surface-to-air missiles to combat aerial threats.