Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Oct 10, 2017

1)   According to researchers, how are children impacted by air pollution?

a. It damages their cognitive capabilities
b. It damages working memory
c. It impacts long term memory adversely
d. It harms decision making capacities
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: It damages working memory

Exposure to air pollution on the way to school can have damaging effects on growth of children's working memory, suggests new research.

The study found an association between a reduction in working memory and exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) - fine inhalable particles that have diameters of 2.5 micrometres or less-and black carbon-a pollutant directly related to traffic-during the walking commute to and from school.

The findings of an earlier study had shown that 20 percent of a child's daily dose of black carbon is inhaled during urban commutes.

The results of earlier toxicological and experimental studies have shown that these short exposures to very high concentrations of pollutants can have a disproportionately high impact on health.

The detrimental effects may be particularly marked in children because of their smaller lung capacity and higher respiratory rate.

The study was carried out in Barcelona and enrolled over 1,200 children aged from 7 to 10, from 39 schools, all of whom walked to school on a daily basis.

The children's working memory and attention capacity were assessed several times during the 12-month study.

Their exposure to air pollution over the same period was calculated on the basis of estimated levels on the shortest walking route to their school.

Statistical analysis of the findings revealed that exposure to PM2.5 and black carbon was associated with a reduction in the growth of working memory.

An interquartile range increase in PM 2.5 and black carbon levels were associated with a decline of 4.6 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively, in the expected annual growth of working memory, the study said.

The interquartile range (IQR) is a measure of variability based on dividing a data set into quartiles.

2)   What is the Nobel Prize in Economics also known as?

a. The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences
b. The Gunnar Myrdal Prize in Economic Sciences
c. The Knut Wicksell Prize in Economic Sciences
d. The Bertil Ohlin Prize in Economic Sciences
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2017 was awarded to Richard H. Thaler ''for his contributions to behavioural economics.''

Dr. Thaler (72) has incorporated psychologically realistic assumptions into analyses of economic decision-making, a media release by Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.

By exploring the consequences of limited rationality, social preferences, and lack of self-control, he has shown how these human traits systematically affect individual decisions as well as market outcomes.

Dr. Thaler's contributions have built a bridge between the economic and psychological analyses of individual decision-making.

His empirical findings and theoretical insights have been instrumental in creating the new and rapidly expanding field of behavioural economics, which has had a profound impact on many areas of economic research and policy.

Richard Thaler: Know More

  • Dr. Thaler is a Professor of Behavioural Science and Economics at University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
  • He is the co-author (with Cass R. Sunstein) of the global best seller Nudge (2008) in which the concepts of behavioural economics are used to tackle many of society’s major problems.
  • Thaler also supports demonetisation.
Nobel Prize in Economics
  • The Prize was first awarded in 1969, nearly seven decades after the series of prestigious prizes that Nobel called for.
  • Despite its provenance and carefully laborious name, it is broadly considered an equal to the other Nobel and the winner attends the famed presentation banquet.
  • The winner will walk away with 9-million-kronor ($1.1-million) prize.
  • Last year, Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström shared the prize for their contributions to contract theory.
  • Indian economist Amartya Sen won the Nobel in 1998 for his contributions to welfare economics.

3)   What is the award conferred to senior citizens for helping the elderly announced by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment called?

a. Vayoshreshtha Samman
b. Samoohik Samman
c. Shreshtha Samman
d. Kartavya Samman
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Vayoshreshtha Samman

The President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind conferred the “Vayoshreshtha Samman” to eminent senior citizens and institutions in recognition of their services towards the cause of elderly persons.

There is a healthy tradition of respecting and taking care of elders in our country.

According to the last census, the population of senior citizens in our country was approximately 10.5 crore, which was about 8.5% of our total population.

The average life expectancy has increased in recent decades due to improvement in health services and other reasons.

It is estimated that by the year 2050, the number of senior citizens will be approximately 19% of our total population.

National Programme for Healthcare of the Elderly wherein specialised services will be provided for their treatment is operational.
Under the National Health Insurance Scheme implemented with the help of State Governments, additional health insurance is being provided.

National Award ‘Vayoshreshtha Samman’ will help to motivate younger generations to understand the contribution of the elderly persons in building of the society and the nation.

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment as the nodal ministry for the cause of senior citizens, has been celebrating the International day of Older Persons since 2005 by conferring Vayoshreshtha Sammans to eminent senior citizens and institutions in recognition of their services towards the cause of elderly persons, especially indigent senior citizens.

In 2013, the Vayoshreshtha Sammans have been upgraded as a “National Award”.
The National Award ‘Vayoshreshtha Samman’ is given in thirteen categories.

The applications had been invited from NGOs, institutions, individuals to apply for the awards in different categories.

This year Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment honoured 22 awardees under 11 categories

List of awardees for (National Awards) Vayoshrestha Samman 2017 individuals

CentenarianSh. Chemanchery Kunhiraman Nair, Kozhikode, Kerala.
CentenarianMrs. Arvinda Vishnukant Dave "Akshat", Vadodara, Gujarat.
CentenarianSh. Thanga Darlong, Kailashahar, Unakoti, Tripura.
CentenarianLate Shri Kishan Chand Garg (Posthumous). Received by Dr. V.K. Garg on behalf of his Late father, Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
Iconic MotherSmt. Kaushalya Joshi, Jalandhar, Punjab.
Lifetime AchievementDr. Parvatidevi Patil, Gulbarga, Karnataka.
Lifetime AchievementDr. Mahadeorao Jyotiramji Meshram, Nagpur, Maharashtra.
Creative ArtShri Yumnam Rajendra Singh, Imphal, Manipur.
Creative ArtSh. B.Shankara Rao, Bangalore, Karnataka.
Creative ArtShri S. Thippeswamy, Mysuru, Karnataka.
Creative ArtSmt. Mangal Ramchandra Bansode, Satara, Karawadi, Maharashtra.
Creative ArtDr. Dolly Das, Dibrugarh, Assam.
Sports and AdventureSh. G.S. Sandhu, Patiala, Punjab.
Sports and AdventureSh. Yogendra Vaidya, Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
Sports and AdventureMrs. Manorama M. Kulkarni (Female), Kolhapur, Maharshtra.
Courage and BraveryDr. Aabha Verma, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh.
Courage and BraveryShri Padmashri Shambu Nath Khajuria, Poonch, J&K.
Best Institution for providing Services to Senior Citizens and Awareness GenerationVarishth Nagrik Kesari Club, Delhi. Received by Ms. Kiran Chopra, Chairperson, Delhi.
Best District Panchayat in providing Services and Facilities to Senior CitizensUjjain (O/o Zila Panchayat). Received by Shri Sandeep G.R., CEO, Zila Panchayat, Ujjain, MP.
Best Urban Local Body in providing Services and Facilities to Senior CitizensNagar Palika, Nagda. Received by Shri Bhavishaya Kumar Khobraghade, Chief Municipal Officer, Municipal Council, Nagda, Madhya Pradesh.
Best State in implementing the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act. 2007 and providing Services and Facilities to Senior CitizensState of Kerala. Received by Shri Biju Prabhakar, Secretary, Dept. of Social Justice, Govt. Secretariat, Trivandrum, Kerala.
Best Public Sector Organisation in promoting the well being and welfare of Senior Citizens.Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. Received by CMD and General Manager (HR), BHEL.

4)   Who heads the GoM of Finance Ministers of state to look into the GST composition scheme?

a. Amar Agarwal
b. Haseeb Drabu
c. Himant Biswa Sarma
d. Parminder Singh Dhindsa
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Himant Biswa Sarma

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma heads the group of ministers (GoM) of state finance ministers that have been set up to look into various issues pertaining to a scheme for small taxpayers under the Goods and Services tax (GST), also known as the composition scheme.

The GoM will also look into the proposal to reducing GST rates on air-conditioned restaurants from 18 percent to 12 percent.

Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Sushil Modi, Jammu & Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu, Punjab Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa and Chattisgarh's Commercial Taxes Minister Amar Agarwal will be a part of the GoM.

Composition scheme is an alternate method of taxation, which allows small businesses with annual turnover up to INR 75 lakhs, to pay tax at a concessional rate, as well as reduce the compliance cost.

The revenue threshold is INR 50 lakhs for dealers across nine states such as Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Tripura, among others.

The enrolment into the plan is however, optional.

On Friday, the GST Council headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley decided to raise the annual turnover threshold on the scheme to INR 1 crore and reopen its registration for the third time till March 31, 2018.

Under the scheme, traders, manufacturers and restaurants can pay tax at 1, 2 and 5 percent, respectively.

The move to widen the turnover threshold is aimed at easing the compliance burden for taxpayers as they will have to file returns only once in a quarter as against monthly returns that needs to be filed by other normal taxpayers.

However, dealers cannot avail input tax credit, unlike a normal taxpayer.

Input credit means at the time of paying tax on output, a producer, trader or service provider can reduce the tax already paid on inputs.

The committee of GoM will take crucial decisions related to the scheme such as if the plan can be extended to taxpayers making inter-state supplies of goods, which was earlier not allowed.

The officials will examine whether turnover of exempted goods under GST can be excluded from the total turnover threshold for levying tax under composition scheme.

Apart of rationalising tax structure of different categories of restaurants, the committee will also examine if input tax credit (ITC) can be made available to registered taxpayers under GST from dealers who have opted for composition scheme.

Initially, the response for the composition scheme was lukewarm, with only 10.24 lakh dealers opting for it over a span of one and half months, starting July 1. Last month, the Council decided to reopen registration for the scheme from September 17.

This time, however, more than 5 lakh dealers opted for the scheme over just 13 days, taking the total number of assessess to 15.43 lakhs.

5)   Who has been appointed chairman of Pepsico India w.e.f Nov 1, 2017?

a. D. Shivakumar
b. Ahmed El Sheikh
c. Sanjeev Chaddha
d. Jon Banner
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Ahmed El Sheikh

D. Shivakumar has quit as the chairman of Pepsico India after serving for four years.

Mr. Shivakumar would be joining the Aditya Birla Group where he would be the group corporate president for strategy and business development.

Prior to joining Pepsico India, he was the managing director at Nokia India. He also had useful stints at Hindustan Unilever and Philips Consumer Electronics.

His exit from PepsiCo comes at a time when the cola industry is going through testing times on very many fronts.

At PepsiCo, Mr. Shivakumar played a key role in portfolio transformation and helped the company develop nutrition business.

He was responsible for launching winning innovations with the Quaker and Tropicana brands.

Ahmed El Sheikh, senior vice-president and general manager for PepsiCo Egypt and Jordan, will be the new CEO of PepsiCo India.

He would assume his India role on November 1.

Mr. Shivakumar will leave PepsiCo on December 31.

6)   Territorial Army celebrated its ___ raising day on Oct 9, 2017.

a. 67th
b. 69th
c. 68th
d. 66th
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 68th

Territorial Army (TA) celebrated its 68th Raising Day on Oct 9, 2017.

The TA is citizen's army of volunteers, who have the zeal to contribute towards the country's defence.

The Territorial Army provides an ideal opportunity to the youth of the country to receive military training in their spare time and serve the Nation in times of national emergency and internal disturbances.

The TA is in the process of expanding its footprint with raising of one Infantry Battalion (TA) at Nicobar and an Ecological Task Force Battalion for drought region of Marathwada, in Maharashtra.

Also, case for raising of one Composite Ecological Task Force for National Mission for Clean Ganga is in final stages of approval.

These new raisings and especially the unit for Namame Ganga Mission will allow the TA to contribute immensely in a National cause. In near future the unique strength of TA could be an ideal platform to build national effort during disaster management.

The TA has achieved many glorious feats and earned laurels during the past wars of 1962, 1965 and 1971. It has displayed its grit and courage in operations Pawan, Vijay and Parakram.

For outstanding performance in various operations, the TA personnel have been conferred with numerous awards.

The award of Kirti Chakra (Posthumous) to Maj David Manlun of 164 Inf Bn (TA) (H&H) NAGA and Army Commander’s Unit Citations awarded to three TA units on the occasion of Independence Day 2017 bears testimony to the bravery and unrelenting spirit of the TA.

TA: Know More

  • After Independence in 1947, the Territorial Army Act was enacted on 18 August 1948 by the Constituent Assembly resulting in the constitution of the present Territorial Army.
  • The TA started functioning through re-designation and re-organisation of 11 Indian Territorial Force Infantry units.
  • The TA’s first camp was formally inaugurated by Shri C Rajagopalachari, the first Indian Governor General of India on 09 October 1949 and therefore, 09 Oct is celebrated as TA Day every year.
  • With Savdhani and Shoorta as the emblem, the 47,000 strong TA comprises 46 non-departmental units, funded by Ministry of Defence and 18 departmental units, funded by various State Government and Central Ministries like the Oil sector, Railways and Environment. 42 Infantry Battalions with 70% of TA troops being deployed on Counter Insurgency/Counter Terrorism environment have achieved a high degree of op focus and synergy with relentless efforts.
  • 10 Home & Hearth Battalions deployed in Eastern and Northern theatre and three Engineer Regiments deployed in Northern theatre for maintenance of LC Fence are tasked in challenging operational environment and have shown exemplary professional standards, commitment, devotion and dedication to service.
  • Departmental units of the TA have always risen to the occasion to support the national effort in rail communications, oil and natural gas refining and supplies.
  • Ecological Task Forces have been addressing the environmental concerns in their assigned areas on a war footing and have achieved commendable results.
  • The Ecological Force has also taken a unique initiative to help the people of border villages in Malari region of Uttarakhand by planting 4160 saplings of Walnut and Chilgoza to provide them livelihood and prevent economic migration.

7)   INA celebrates the Dilli seminar on 12th and 13th of Oct 2017 with which theme?

a. ‘India and Southeast Asia-Maritime Trade, Expedition and Civilisation Linkages’
b. ‘India and Asia-Maritime Trade, Expedition and Civilisation Linkages’
c. ‘India and South Asia-Maritime Trade, Expedition and Civilisation Linkages’
d. ‘India and East Asia-Maritime Trade, Expedition and Civilisation Linkages’
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: ‘India and Southeast Asia-Maritime Trade, Expedition and Civilisation Linkages’

Indian Naval Academy (INA), Ezhimala is all set to conduct the fourth edition of the prestigious annual Dilli seminar on 12th and 13th of October 2017.

The theme for this year’s seminar is ‘India and Southeast Asia-Maritime Trade, Expedition and Civilisation Linkages’.

INA conducts the annual Dilli seminar on elements and issues of maritime history and heritage of the nation to help the young officers and cadets keep an eye on future developments in the maritime domain with a strong foundation of the past.

This year’s theme is aimed to explore and elucidate the impact of historic maritime trade that existed between India and Southeast Asian countries on their society, religion, spirituality, art, architecture, language, literature, administration and other areas of civilization.

The papers presented in the seminar would deliberate and analyse the impact of the historical maritime connections on the present, to extrapolate the future.

The Dilli series of seminar has always been an intellectually stimulating experience for all participants especially the young cadets and the 2017 edition promises to be equally informative, especially considering the growing significance of Southeast Asian countries in the present socio-economic, geographical and political situation.

8)   National Mission for Clean Ganga has approved how many projects worth INR 700 crore?

a. 7
b. 8
c. 10
d. 11
Answer  Explanation 


National Mission for Clean Ganga has approved eight projects worth INR 700 crore, out of which four pertain to sewage management in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, three are related to treatment of drains through bio-remediation and one of inventorisation and surveillance of river Ganga.

On sewage management front, a project for pollution abatement in river Ganga at Bally in West Bengal has been approved at an estimated cost of INR 200.07 crore that would include construction of a 40 MLD STP under Hybrid Annuity based PPP model among other works.

Similarly, construction of a 65 MLD STP under Hybrid Annuity model has been approved for Bhagalpur in Bihar at an estimated project cost of INR 268.49 crore.

In Uttar Pradesh, sewage treatment related works at an estimated cost of INR 213.62 crore have also been approved that includes construction of two STPs (28 MLD + 05 MLD) in Farrukabad and one 2 MLD STP at Bargadiya drain in Fatehpur.

Pollution abatement works for river Ganga like interception, diversion and treatment of sewage in Bithoor have also been approved at an estimated cost of INR 13.40 crore.

Three projects of treatment of drains using bio-remediation technology have also been given a green signal at an estimated cost of INR 4.29 crore.

These are for Rajapur drain and Digha drain in Patna and Laksar drain in Haridwar.

One project for pollution inventorization, assessment and surveillance on river Ganga has also been approved at an estimated cost of INR 42.9 crore.

Continuation of an ongoing exercise, the project aims to strengthen environmental regulation and water quality monitoring vis-à-vis river Ganga.

9)   First ever conference of partner NGOs of which ministry was held in Delhi on Oct 9, 2017?

a. MoEF
b. MoD
c. WCD ministry
d. Science and technology ministry
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: WCD ministry

The first ever conference of Partner NGOs of WCD Ministry was held in New Delhi on Oct 9, 2017.

The Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi inaugurated the conference titled “Implementation of Policies, Schemes and Programmes for Women and Children: Challenges and Way Forward”.

More than 130 participants from various NGOs across the country attended today’s conference aimed at sensitizing them about the various schemes of WCD Ministry and to give them an opportunity to share their experiences and insights.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has taken up several new initiatives like One Stop Centres, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Women Helpline, National Policy for Women, Bill against Trafficking, National Alliance against Child Abuse amongst many such others.

The flagship scheme launched by the Prime Minister, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao has shown a tremendous success since 104 out of 161 BBBP districts have shown an increasing trend in Sex Ratio at Birth.

This implies a clear cut change in attitude and urged the NGOs to come forward to ensure further success of the scheme.

The conference was based on the following broad themes:

i) Violence Against Women: Prevention and Facilitating Access to Justice

ii) National Policy for Women: Policy Interventions for Gender Parity

iii) Trafficking of Women and Children: Role of State Institutions

iv) Cyber Crime and Children: Prevention and Harm Reduction

v) Implementation of JJ Act: Structural Challenges and Mainstreaming of Children

The expected outcome of the Conference is to ascertain the existing problems and drawbacks in the present set up of delivery system at the grassroots level.

It also aims to develop ways for constructive policy formulation and programme implementation by assessing the lessons discussed during the conference;

Another aim is to increase engagement of these organizations for advocacy on women empowerment and child safety and security.

10)   What does PMGDISHA stand for in the context of digital literacy?

a. Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan
b. Pradhan Mantri Gaon Digital Saksharta Abhiyan
c. Pradhan Mantri Gramin Dual Saksharta Abhiyan
d. Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Ayojana
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan

PMGDISHA is expected to make 6 crore rural households digitally literate by March 2019, making it one of the largest digital literacy programmes in the world.

PMGDISHA aims at imparting digital literacy to citizens in rural areas free of cost.

It aims to provide access to information, knowledge, education, and healthcare. It will create avenues for livelihood generation and financial inclusion through digital payments and help bridge the digital divide.

It is expected to reach around 40% rural households in country by March 2019.

Under it, people in rural area will be trained to operate a computer, tablet, smartphones, etc and how to access the Internet, government services, undertake digital payment, compose e-mails, etc.

The marginalised sections of society like SCs/STs, Minorities, BPL families, differently-abled (divyangs) all will be a part of this scheme.


  • The Scheme is applicable only for rural areas of the country.
  • Eligible Household: A household is defined as a unit comprising of Head of family, spouse, children and parents. All such households where none of the family member is digitally literate will be considered as eligible household under the Scheme.
  • Entry criteria: The beneficiary should be Digitally Illiterate; Only one person per eligible household would be considered for training; Age Group: 14-60 years.
  • Priority would be given to non-smartphone users, Antyodaya households, college drop-outs, Participants of the adult literacy mission: Digitally illiterate school students from class 9th to 12th, provided facility of Computer/ICT Training is not available in their schools.
  • Preference would be given to SC, ST, BPL, women, differently-abled persons and minorities.
  • The identification of the beneficiaries would be carried out by CSC-SPV in active collaboration with DeGS, Gram Panchayats, and Block Development Officers. The list of such beneficiaries would be made available on the scheme portal.
  • The implementation of the Scheme would be carried out under the overall supervision of Ministry of Electronics and IT in active collaboration with States/UTs through their designated State Implementing Agencies, District e-Governance Society (DeGS), etc.