Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Nov 06, 2017

1)   Which is the first bot to write horror stories developed by MIT Media Lab?

a. Shelley
b. Poe
c. Edgar
d. Frankenstein
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Shelley

MIT Media Lab have conjured 'Shelley', a deep-learning Artificial Intelligence (AI) bot who writes her own horror stories.

Named after Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, the AI bot uses information and spooks from 1,40,000 pieces of horror fiction from Reddit's r/nosleep subreddit.

Every hour, her Twitter handle tweets one line beginning a story.

Akin to the round robin writing technique, people add to the story with their tweets ending with #yourturn. Shelley adds her own lines occasionally, and this goes on till the tale is complete, when somebody ends a line with #theend.

Of course, Shelley is the final arbiter of this all.

The final product of this human-AI collaboration is often some genuinely frightening material, collated on

According to the website, Shelley is created to learn from human beings' 'nightmarish ideas', and to tell the best collaborative tales.

Shelley's creative mind has no boundaries according to researchers at MIT.

2)   Which states in the Western Ghats have the highest number of rattan or cane hotspots?

a. Karnataka
b. Kerala
c. Tamil Nadu
d. Both a and b
e. Both b and c
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both b and c

Scientists have discovered that non-protected areas near the Agastyamalai Biosphere Reserve, Silent Valley-Mukurthi National Parks and Coorg-Wayanad in the Western Ghats are hotspots of rattan or cane (light, flexible climbing palms) species.

Urgent conservation attention in the face of threats including habitat loss and excessive harvesting would be critical here.

More than half a million people are directly employed in harvesting and processing rattan in Southeast Asia, including India.

Though unsustainable harvests driven by rising demands are decimating rattan stands (clumps) worldwide, how are the rattans of the Western Ghats faring, was a the question studied.

Using location records from field studies and literature, scientists at Bengaluru's Asoka Trust for Ecology and Environment (ATREE) and Pune's Indian Institute for Science Education and Research (IISER) first mapped the distribution of all 21 endemic rattan species across the Western Ghats.

At 19, the Western Ghats in Kerala and Tamil Nadu have the highest number of species.

The team then designated 'conservation values' (CV) for each species based on aspects such as the area it is found in and the commercial harvesting pressure it faces.

Three species (including Calamus neelagiricus which is found only in Kerala's Silent Valley National Park) showed very high CV; the authors suggest that these be classified as endangered (based on categories developed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature) while three others be categorised as near-threatened and 15 as vulnerable for prioritising conservation action.

The scientists also identified three rattan hotspots in the Western Ghats. - near the Agastyamalai Biosphere Reserve, Silent Valley-Mukurthi National Parks and Coorg-Wayanad regions.

All these areas fall outside existing protected area networks, where excessive unsustainable harvests could be a problem. Loss of tropical forest tracts to coffee and tea plantations - as is common in the Coorg-Wayanad complex - is also an issue.

3)   What are the sequel to the Panama Papers that indicate 714 Indian companies and entities have skirted taxes?

a. Paradise Papers
b. Appleby Papers
c. Black Money Papers
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Paradise Papers

After Panama Papers, a new set of data taken from another offshore law firm, Appleby, could expose the hidden wealth of individuals, including Indians, and show how corporations, hedge funds and others may have skirted taxes.

Among the 180 countries represented in the data+ (being dubbed Paradise Papers), India ranks 19th in terms of the number of names.

In all, there are 714 Indians in the tally, it reported.

Interestingly, an Indian firm figures as Appleby's second-largest client globally, with at least 118 different offshore entities.

The disclosure comes two days before the NDA government marks the first anniversary of the demonetization drive on November 8, which the Centre will observe as Anti-Black Money Day+.

The leaked documents also show that US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, the Trump administration's point man on trade and manufacturing policy, has a stake in a firm that does business with a gas producer partly owned by the son-in-law of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The latest revelations come out of an investigation led by the ICIJ , which was provided data collected in an alleged hack in 2016 of Appleby Global Group Services, a Bermuda firm providing legal services for hedge fund managers and corporations.

The leak also revealed that millions of pounds from the private estate of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II have been invested in offshore tax haven funds.

Around £10 million ($13 million, EUR11.3 million) of the Queen's private money was placed in funds held in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda,

The investments, which were entirely legal, were made through the Duchy of Lancaster, which provides the monarch with an income and handles investments of her vast estate and remain current.

Reporters working with the ICIJ, which was also behind the release of the Panama Papers, are reviewing the millions of pages of documents that reveal strategies used to hide assets and avoid taxes.

Among the individuals and companies expected to be cited in the articles are Glencore Inc and Yuri Miltner, an early backer of Facebook.

4)   What is the Minsky moment?

a. Massive forex reserves turn adverse
b. Less forex reserves turn adverse
c. Massive forex reserves turn positive
d. Less forex reserves turn positive
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Massive forex reserves turn adverse

Addressing the recently held 19th congress of the communist party of China, president Xi declared that China had entered a 'New Era'. In political terms, the message is amply clear: more absolute power in his hands for a longer tenure.

It is commonly agreed that China built trade and current account surpluses over successive decades by keeping the yuan artificially weak, which facilitated its emergence as a global manufacturing powerhouse.

Between 2000-2014, Chinese authorities allowed the yuan to appreciate about 27% against the dollar, to encourage domestic consumption and offset persistent criticism of its exchange rate policy.

Since 2014, however, sustained pressure of capital outflows from residents led to a 10% fall in the yuan, despite massive intervention by PBoC, which sold a total of $790 billion in 2015 and 2016.

The moot point here is how much of forex reserves is in liquid form to help defend the yuan? Various estimates put it in the range of $1-2 trillion,

Given the sharp fall in the ratio of forex reserves to broad money during the last five years (22% in 2012 to 13.3% in 2016), it is doubtful if the liquid forex reserves are sufficient to arrest the yuan's fall, if the residents trigger another bout of capital outflows.

Despite capital controls anywhere, if the economic incentives are strong enough, residents will find a way to move money cross-border.

In China, the temptation to do so is rising with its deepening debt problem and the current over-valuation of the yuan, which, as per the BIS, is about 20%.

The overseas tourism outflow rose from 0.9% of GDP in 2012 to 2.2% in 2016.

The logic of economics says that the yuan should depreciate in line with China's fundamentals, counterbalanced by the authorities' need for stability.

The longer it is delayed, overshooting becomes a distinct possibility and a 'Minsky Moment' can happen.

Paradoxically, massive forex reserves, meant to assure stability, may themselves lead to instability. If it happens, reverberations will be felt far and wide, including in India.

5)   During Jan-Sept 2017, which state emerged as the top investment destination in India?

a. Gujarat
b. Karnataka
c. Kerala
d. Delhi
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Karnataka

Poll-bound Gujarat, with 'investment intentions' worth INR 65,741 crore obtained during the period January-September this year, is behind the national topper Karnataka that bagged 'investment intentions' worth INR 147,625 crore in the period.

Karnataka, with investment intentions of INR 154,173 crore had last year (January-December) wrested the numero uno spot from Gujarat that got investment proposals of INR 56,156 crore.

In 2015, Gujarat was the state with the maximum 'investment intentions' in value terms with INR 64,733 crore, while Karnataka was only the fourth with INR 31,668 crore.

Other States leading in 'investment intentions' during January-September 2017 were Maharashtra (INR 25,018 crore), Andhra Pradesh (INR 24,031 crore), Jharkhand (INR 13,002 crore), Telangana (INR 12,567 crore) and Uttar Pradesh (INR 9,443).

India received investment proposals of INR 332,266 crore till September this year. In all of 2016, the country had received intentions worth INR 414,086 crore, while it received only INR 311,031 crore in 2015.

A state-wise assessment of implementation of the 340 reform recommendations in 2016 had seen Gujarat ranked third behind Andhra Pradesh and Telengana, while Karnataka was 13th in the list. The business reforms action plan in 2017 includes 405 reform recommendations, and the latest implementation scorecard shows Telengana topping the list, followed by Haryana and West Bengal, while Karnataka is eighth and Gujarat ninth.

6)   Majuli is the world's _________ river island.

a. Smallest
b. Greenest
c. Biggest
d. Most pollution-free
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Biggest

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal rolled out a carbon free tourism project in the world's largest river island Majuli.

The project 'Majuli Sustainable Tourism Development Project' is aimed at encouraging a carbon free tourism experience in the island along with creating an environment protocol for the tourism industry, an official release said.

The project also envisages different levels of interventions, starting from promoting carbon free travel to capacity building programmes and creating environment protocol for tourism industry to act as catalyst in funding for women and indigenous communities.

The project is a joint initiative between Assam Tourism Development Corporation and the NGO Root Bridge Foundation.

7)   Which trader's body saw its secretary general included in the GST panel?

Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


Traders body CAIT's Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal has been nominated to be a part of the government's GST panel.

The panel -- which has been constituted with approval of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley -- includes other members like Araghya Sengupta (Research Director, Centre for Legal Policy), Vinod Jain (CA), Anuj Sahai (CEO of Federation of Indian Exporters Organisation) and Laghu Udyog Bharti President Om Prakash Mittal, CAIT said in a statement.

Gautam Ray, retired chief commissioner of Central Board of Direct Taxes, has been named as the convenor.

The group will discuss possible changes in GST law and its rules and will submit its recommendations to Law Review Committee by November 30.

The first meeting of the group has been convened on November 8 to discuss in-depth the GST law and rules and amendments needed to make compliance easier.

8)   Where is the famous Sri Ranganathanaswamy temple located?

a. Kerala
b. Karnataka
c. Tamil Nadu
d. Andhra Pradesh
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Tamil Nadu

The Sri Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangam has bagged an award of merit from Unesco for protecting and conserving cultural heritage, thus becoming the first temple from Tamil Nadu to grab the prestigious honour from the UN body.

The traditional method of renovating temple premises as well as re-establishment of rainwater harvesting and the historic drainage system in preventing flooding are the two key parameters that earned the temple the award.

Launched in 2000, Unesco Asia-Pacific awards for cultural heritage conservation programme is aimed at acknowledging the efforts taken to restore and conserve historical structures without affecting their heritage value in the region comprising 48 countries.

Unesco had invited applications earlier this year to submit conservation projects either taken up by individuals or in public-private partnership model in the last 10 years for the awards.

HR&CE sources said that the temple had received the international recognition for the INR 20 crore (from HR&CE and donors) renovation project taken up prior to a consecration ceremony in November 2015, especially without affecting its centuries' old architectural design.

There were 43 applications from 10 countries for the 2017 Unesco Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. Mumbai's Christ Church and Royal Bombay Opera House were the other monuments in India that received the Award of Merit this year.

UNESCO merit awards: Know More

  • The awards are classified under four categories -- Award of Excellence, Awards of Distinction, Awards of Merit and Award for New Design in Heritage Context.
  • They are being given to encourage the efforts of all stakeholders and the public in conserving and promoting monuments and religious institutes with rich heritage in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • A jury comprising nine international heritage conservation experts reviewed the documentation of the conservation project taken up by Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple management.

9)   What does SAAW stand for in the context of lightweight glide bombs?

a. Smart Anti Airfield Weapon
b. Smart Anti Aerial Weapon
c. Smart Anti Area Weapon
d. Smart Anti Army Weapon
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Smart Anti Airfield Weapon

The government indicated on 3rd Nov 2017 that an indigenously developed light weight 'Glide' bomb has been successfully tested in Chandipur in Odisha, marking a major milestone in developing such weapons.

The bomb - SAAW (Smart Anti Airfield Weapon) - was dropped from an Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur on Thursday.

"The guided bomb released from the aircraft and guided through precision navigation system, reached the targets at greater than 70 km range, with high accuracies," the defence ministry said in a statement.

It said a total of three tests with "different release conditions" and ranges were conducted and were all successful.

The guided bomb is developed by the Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), along with other laboratories of the DRDO and the Indian Air Force.

10)   Which of the following have been honoured with exclusive postage stamps?

a. Tirupati Laddu
b. Andhra Pongal
c. Bhaghare Baingan
d. Only a and b
e. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

The aroma of Hyderabad's trademark cuisine biryani, baghare baingan and seviyan -may 'waft' through the air the next time you receive a mail from the India Post.

These three signature dishes of Hyderabad have made their way into India postage, with the Department of Post issuing stamps with photos of these dishes.

These stamps are part of the postage on 24 different Indian dishes, including the famous Tirupati laddu. Andhra dishes - idlidosa and pongal - have also been honoured with exclusive stamps.

Stamps on Hyderabadi dishes have come as a tribute to the rich and varied cuisine of the city two months ahead of the 500th anniversary of the construction of Golconda Fort and foundation of Qutub Shahi dynasty. Biryani was nurtured in the royal kitchens of Qutub Shahis and Asaf Jahis.

Hyderabadi Cuisine: Know More

  • Biryani in Persian means fried onion.
  • The fables surrounding the origin of biryani are many . Emperor Babar was credited with bringing biryani to north India.
  • In the south, Qutub Shahis, who were of Iranian descent, introduced several Persian and Turkish dishes.
  • The Asaf Jahis, who were influenced by Moghuls, added more dishes to Hyderabadi cuisine.
  • Hyderabadi cuisine was also enriched by Sufi saints. Those in the 'Khanqah' of Sufi saints brought with them their own recipes.
  • There was interchange of recipes leading to new dishes with different flavour. Thus Hyderabadi biryani, though of Persian origin, turned native with a dash of local spices.
  • Bagare baingan is a hallmark dish of royal kitchens of Hyderabad. As brinjal is a native Indian plant, it had always formed part of the Indian cuisine.
  • Tomato is a later entrant into the Indian kitchen and forms an important ingredient in Andhra Pulao, which is also of Persian-Central Asian origin.
  • Cuisine experts are not sure when seviyan became part of Id-ul-Fitr celebrations.
  • Seviyan was introduced into Deccan by the Qutub Shahis.