Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Oct 11, 2017

1)   For the first time, scientists have created algae footwear that is _________.

a. Eco-friendly
b. Economical
c. Biodegradable
d. Both a and c
e. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and c

Scientists have developed algae-based, renewable flip-flops that could be an environment friendly alternative to petroleum-based slippers-the go-to footwear in countries like India and China.

Three billion petroleum-based flip-flops are produced worldwide each year, eventually ending up as non-biodegradable trash in landfills, rivers and oceans around the globe.

These are the shoes of a fisherman and a farmer.

This is the number one footwear in India, China and in Africa.

One of the largest pollutants in the ocean is polyurethane from flip-flops and other shoes that have been washed or thrown into rivers and flow into the ocean.

The flip flops consist of a flexible, spongy slipper and a simple strap.

Petroleum comes from algae that lived in the ancient oceans hundreds of millions of years ago.

A lot of people do not know that. But what that means is that anything we can make from petroleum we can ultimately make from algae.

The flip-flops, shoe soles and other polyurethane products scientists make from living algae oil are "sustainable" because the carbon to construct them was pulled from the atmosphere, rather than underground oil reserves.

Scientists are seeking to also make them "biodegradable," by chemically converting the algae oil into polyurethane in manner that will allow the carbon bonds to be degraded by microorganisms.

2)   What is the theme of the World Mental Health Day 2017?

a. Mental health in society
b. Mental health in schools
c. Mental health in the workplace
d. Mental health in the community
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Mental health in the workplace

Depression and anxiety disorders are common mental disorders that have an impact on our ability to work, and to work productively.

Globally, more than 300 million people suffer from depression, the leading cause of disability. More than 260 million are living with anxiety disorders.

Many of these people live with both.

A recent WHO-led study estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion each year in lost productivity.

Mental health in the workplace is the theme of World Mental Health Day 2017.

World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues and mobilizing efforts in support of better mental health.

World Mental Health Day seeks to raise awareness of mental health illnesses while educating the population and mobilizing efforts to support mental health.

Mental health, which includes a person's emotional, psychological and social well-being, has become increasingly important in recent decades as an estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression.

In 1992, the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) established World Mental Health Day in an effort to promote education and advocate for mental health sufferers.

The Foundation aims to provide further awareness and assistance for those suffering from a wide range of mental disorders in the hopes of saving lives and increasing quality of life for these individuals.

3)   Ministry of Road Transport and Highway's Value Engineering programme has which of the following objectives?

a. Increase speed of construction
b. Reduce construction cost
c. Make construction eco-friendly
d. Both a and b
e. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and b

materials, and equipment in highways projects executed either under PPP mode or public funding mode.

The objective of the programme is to use innovative technology, materials and equipment to reduce the cost of projects and make them more environment friendly, while simultaneously ensuring that the roads or bridges and other assets get constructed much faster, are structurally stronger and more durable.

The Value Engineering Programme is expected to

  • increase speed of construction,
  • reduce construction cost,
  • increase asset durability and
  • improve aesthetics and safety.
The Ministry had constituted a National Panel of Experts (NPE) last year, for approving proposals pertaining to deployment of

(a) new/innovative/alternative materials,
(b) new/innovative/alternative technologies and
(c) new/innovative/alternative equipment in the highway sector.

NPE: Know More
  • The NPE will examine all technical matters involving the new technologies, materials and equipment referred to it by the concerned Engineers or concessionaires/ contractors.
  • The NPE will also resolve the technical issues which arise as a result of difference in view between engineers and concessionaires/contractors regarding implementation of the new and innovative technologies, materials and equipment.
  • In addition, it will also decide about the need for field trials of any new or innovative technology/materials/ equipment before its adoption, and finalize associated design approaches, construction methodologies/sequences as well as the relevant specifications/codes/ guidelines so that the contractor may use the proposed new/alternative materials/technologies/ equipment in project highway.

4)   President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated India Water week 2017 on which date?

a. Oct 9
b. Oct 8
c. Oct 11
d. Oct 10
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Oct 10

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated India Water Week-2017 on October 10, 2017 in New Delhi.

Water is essential to life. It is fundamental to the economy and to ecology - and to human equity. The issue of water is becoming still more critical in view of climate change and related environmental concerns.

Better and more efficient use of water is a challenge for Indian agriculture and industry alike.

It requires us to set new benchmarks in both our villages and in the cities we build.

80 per cent of water in India is used by agriculture and only 15 per cent by industry. In the coming years, this ratio will change.

The total demand for water will also rise. Efficiency of water use and reuse, therefore, has to be built into the blueprint of industrial projects.

Business and industry need to be a part of the solution.

In urban India, 40 billion litres of waste water is produced every day.

It is vital to adopt technology to reduce the toxic content of this water, and to deploy it for irrigation and other purposes.

This has to be part of any urban planning programme.

The stress is on a water management approach that is localised and will empower village and neighbourhood communities and build their capacity to manage, allocate and value their water resources.

Any 21st century water policy must factor in the concept of the value of water.

It must encourage all stakeholders, including communities, to expand their minds - and to graduate from allocating a quantum of water to allocating a quantum of benefits.

The government has prepared a strategic plan for ensuring drinking water supply in all rural areas by 2022, when India complete 75 years of Independence.

By that year, the goal is to cover 90 per cent of rural households with piped water supply.

5)   Which Indian state became the first to incorporate skill development programme in higher education?

a. Rajasthan
b. Gujarat
c. West Bengal
d. Odisha
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rajasthan

Rajasthan has become the first state to incorporate skill development programme in the higher education.

The programme was launched by the state’s Higher Education Minister Kiran Maheshwari and Vice Chancellor of IGNOU Prof Ravindra Kumar on 10 October 2017 in Jaipur.

The state’s Department of College Education in collaboration with IGNOU has prepared 16 courses for entrepreneurship and skill development for colleges in the state.

Under the project, 12 certificates and 4 diploma courses will be run and each college will be required to choose five courses.

94 colleges have already joined the project and 5656 students have registered themselves in it.

The practical training of the students pursuing the skill development courses will be done in different government departments.

The aim is for more than 10 thousand students to be enrolled in the programmes in the next session.

6)   Which country's Central Bank is set to block access to crypto-currencies websites?

a. Ukraine
b. Crimea
c. Georgia
d. Russia
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Russia

Russia will block access to websites of exchanges that offer crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin, Russian Central Bank.

Russian financial authorities initially treated any sort of money issued by non-state approved institutions as illegal, saying they could be used to launder money.

Later the authorities accepted the globally booming market of crypto-currencies but want to either control the turnover or to limit access to the market

The central bank sees rising interest in crypto-currencies because of high returns from buying into such instruments.

The crypto-currencies gradually transform into high-yielding assets from being a mean of payment.

Bitcoin, the most well-known virtual currency that emerged in mid-2010, last traded at around USD 4,807, up from its initial price of less than USD 1.

For businesses the usage of such crypto-currencies as an investment object carries unreasonably high risks.

Russian authorities said they would like to regulate the use of crypto-currencies by Russian citizens and companies.

7)   Who has been appointed president of USIBC on 10th Oct 2017?

a. Nidhi Desai Biswal
b. Nisha Desai Biswal
c. Indra Nooyi
d. Mukesh Aghi
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Nisha Desai Biswal

Nisha Desai Biswal, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, has been appointed president of the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC).

USIBC is a forum of U.S. businesses under the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The USIBC has been at the centre of a recent controversy after its previous board decided to set up a new organisation called the U.S-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), breaking away from the Chamber.

Former President of the USIBC Mukesh Aghi is heading the USISPF, which has on its board PepsiCo chairman Indra Nooyi and CISCO chairman John T. Chambers, among others.

Companies with large commercial interests in India resent the iron grip of the U.S Chamber over the affairs of the USIBC, leading to the split.

8)   Which Facebook India MD is set to step down from his post towards the close of 2017?

a. Umang Bedi
b. Sandeep Bhushan
c. Kirthiga Reddy
d. Keertana Reddy
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Umang Bedi

Facebook India managing director Umang Bedi has stepped down from his position, according to a statement by the social networking giant.

Sandeep Bhushan has been named the interim managing director, as per Facebook.

Bedi was appointed as the managing director in mid 2016, taking over the India business from Kirthiga Reddy who moved to the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, in the U.S.

Prior to joining Facebook, Bedi served as the managing director of the South Asia region at Adobe.

Bedi is expected to start an entrepreneurial venture of his own

India is the second largest user base for Facebook globally, after the US.

9)   WHO has released new guidelines to prevent which global epidemic?

a. Childhood obesity
b. Lung cancer
d. Zika
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Childhood obesity

With increasing evidence that childhood obesity is a “global epidemic” affecting even the poorer nations, the World Health Organization (WHO) has released new guidelines on how trained professionals can better identify youngsters in need of help.

India has the second highest number of obese children in the world after China.

Doctors say identification of obesity in children is the main issue as often parents think a chubby child is a healthy child.

The WHO guidelines titled “Assessing and managing children at primary healthcare facilities to prevent overweight and obesity in the context of the double burden of malnutrition” provides updates for the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI).

The guideline includes counselling, dieting and assessment of eating habits along with the usual weight and height measurements.

In 2016, one half of all children overweight or obese lived in Asia and one quarter lived in Africa.

Paradoxically, overweight and obesity is found in populations where under-nutrition remains common - the term ‘double-burden of malnutrition’ is sometimes used to describe these settings.”

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) is disseminating the WHO guideline to all its members.

The prevalence of obesity in children reflects changing patterns towards unhealthy diets and physical inactivity.

A study published in Paediatric Obesity says India will have over 17 million children with excess weight by 2025.

Dr. Aggarwal said that urbanisation, increased income, availability of fast foods, educational demands, television viewing and gaming have led to a rise in the consumption of foods high in fats, sugar and salt and low physical activity.

Most obese children develop early puberty, joint pain and find it difficult to exercise. This in turn results in metabolic syndrome and they end up with Type 2 diabetes.

10)   RBI is set to launch a financial literacy drive in which of the following states?

a. Punjab
b. Jammu and Kashmir
c. Maharashtra
d. Tamil Nadu
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Maharashtra

The Reserve Bank of India will soon launch a financial literacy drive in 80 blocks in nine states on a pilot basis to educate people on e-transactions, formal sector borrowings and insurance purchases.

Six NGOs registered with the Depositor Education and Awareness Fund - CRISIL Foundation, Dhan Foundation, Swadhaar Fin Access, Indian School of Micro Finance for Women (ISMW), Samarpit and the PACE Foundation - have been selected to execute the pilot project in collaboration with banks.

The Reserve Bank is initiating a pilot project on financial literacy at the block level to explore innovative and participatory approaches to financial literacy.

The pilot project will be commissioned in the 9 states of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Odisha, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh across 80 blocks by the 6 NGOs in collaboration with the sponsor banks.

Total cost of the pilot project over a period of three years is INR 18.40 crore.

The aim of CFL is to inculcate the habit of making a household budget and recording financial transactions, encourage transactions in savings accounts, and active saving by depositing in banks through fixed deposits and recurring deposits.

Besides, the pilot project aims to ensure people borrow from formal finance institutions and approach banking Ombudsman for redressal of their grievances.

It will also encourage e-transactions through electronic means viz NEFT, RTGS, IMPS, Internet Banking, Mobile Banking, UPI (Unified Payment Interface) etc.

The NGO will be educating people to buy life insurance and pension products.