Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Oct 13, 2017

1)   Make in India: Sweden 2017 was organised by which department in Stockholm on Oct 12 and 13th?

b. DAE
c. DoT
d. Both a and c
Answer  Explanation 


Make in India: Sweden 2017, organized by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion in Stockholm, from October 12-13aims to enhance Indo-Swedish cooperation and explore new areas of partnership.

Minister of Commerce and Industry also met the Co-Chair India-Sweden Business Leaders’ Round Table (ISBLRT) and Chairman, SEB, Mr. Marcus Wallenberg and President SAAB, Mr. HakanBuskhe.

The Commerce & Industry Minister acknowledged the importance of the partnership with SAAB, a pioneer Swedish company in the Indian market.

SAAB expressed interest in introducing full scope for development of industrial systems, from design and engineering to production.

The importance of technological cooperation was highlighted with focus on creation of high-technology zones close to forward going universities.

SAAB representatives appreciated the successful GST introduction in India that has resulted in growth of domestic trade. Importance of fostering an EU-India Free Trade Agreement was discussed, given its potential to open borders and enable products to compete.

It was agreed that higher economic integration and interdependencies will help resolve global political issues.

The main highlight of the event was the second edition of the India-Sweden Business Leaders’ Roundtable (ISBLRT) which focused on cooperation between the two countries, progress update of four joint working groups (Digitization, Smart Cities, Defence and Security and Skill Development) and the work plan for the year to come.

2)   On which occasion was Indian Armed forces first mobile health app MedWatch launched?

a. 85th anniversary of IAF
b. 80th anniversary of Indian Navy
c. 95th anniversary of SSB
d. 100th anniversary of Indian Army
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 85th anniversary of IAF

On the occasion of its 85th anniversary, the Indian Air Force has launched an innovative mobile health App named `MedWatch' in keeping with the Prime Minister's vision of ‘Digital India'.

The concept and content of the App is by the Directorate General of Medical Services (Air) and it has been developed in-house with zero financial outlay by the Directorate of Information Technology (DIT).

‘MedWatch’, available on the IAF's AFCEL network, comprises a host of features that will provide authentic health information to all IAF personnel.

A Reminder Tool to enable timely immunization for the children of all Air Warriors is an important component of the App. This will directly enable 'Mission Indradhanush' of the Govt of India.

‘MedWatch’, the first mobile health app in the three Armed Services, was launched by Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa PVSM AVSM YSM VM ADC, Chief of the Air Staff, during the Air Force Commanders' Conference at New Delhi on 11 Oct 17.

3)   What is India's first sewage treatment plant under Hybrid Annuity Mode called?

a. Nirmal Ganga
b. Namami Gange
c. Swachhta Ganga
d. Sajal Ganga
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Nirmal Ganga

India’s first Sewage Treatment Plant under Hybrid Annuity Mode is to come up in Haridwar and Varanasi.

Work is on so Namami Gange Programme shows significant progress by December next year.

Interactive website for CSR activities and newsletter of NMCG were also launched.

Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Shri Nitin Gadkari has said that Nirmal Ganga is the biggest priority of his Ministry, and all efforts will be made to ensure that the Namami Gange Programme shows good progress by the end of next year.

The Minister further said that about 3000 MLD sewage from 97 cities on its banks are the biggest source of pollution for Ganga.

Of this, 1750 MLD sewage comes from just 10 cities. 34 projects worth INR 3581 crore had been sanctioned for Ganga cleaning between 2008-2014, while 56 projects worth Rs 9630 crore have been approved since 2014 till date.

This marked the first time ever in India that Hybrid Annuity-based PPP mode is being applied in sewerage sector.

Under this agreement the maintenance of the project will be the responsibility of the concessionaire for which there will be performance based phased manner of payment.

This would ensure continued performance of the sewage infrastructure assets created due to better accountability, ownership and optimal performance.

The 50 MLD STP in Varanasi was awarded to a consortium led by Essel Infra Projects Limited at an estimated cost of INR 153.16 crore. In Haridwar,

HNB Engineers Private Ltd. won the contract for a total sewage treatment capacity of 82 MLD (68MLD in Jagjeetpur & 14MLD in Sarai) at an estimated cost of INR 171.53 crore.

The awarded projects would ensure that untreated sewage does not flow into river Ganga, thus giving a boost to India’s flagship Namami Gange program.

The construction of these two new/ green field STPs will commence shortly.

A second set of sewage treatment projects under HAM are on the anvil. The upcoming projects which have already been sanctioned under HAM are STPs at Naini, Jhusi, and Phaphamau at Allahabad (72 MLD), STPs at Unnao, Shuklaganj, and Bithoor along with Kanpur (21.4 MLD), STPs at Digha and Kankarbagh in Bihar (150), STPs at Kolkata and Howrah (141 MLD) STPs at Farukhabad (30 MLD), STP at Bhagalpur (65 MLD).

NMCG website: Know More

  • The Ministry also launched an interactive website on National Mission for clean Ganga (NMCG) to enable the corporates to undertake CSR activities for Ganga Rejuvenation today.
  • This webpage, which will be available on NMCG website at, gives the details of projects and activities which can be taken up under CSR funds, and will enable applying for the same online.
  • Water Resources Ministry is exploring innovative ways for utilization of recycled sewage by power plants, sugar industries, distilleries, tanneries as also for extracting bio - CNG, methane and Carbon Dioxide.
  • Also released was the inaugural issue of NMCG newsletter on the occasion.
  • Through Namami Gange newsletter, NMCG aims to keep all departments/stakeholders associated with the programme well informed with the activities and achievements of the organization.

4)   US is withdrawing from which UN body, accusing it of anti Israel bias?

d. WHO
Answer  Explanation 


The United States on October 12 announced its withdrawal from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), accusing it of “continuing anti-Israel bias”.

UNESCO is the first UN agency that has admitted Palestine as a full member, in 2011.

As required by law, the US has stopped funding the UNESCO since then.

The U.S. withdrawal will take effect on December 31, 2018 and until then it will remain a full member of the body.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson notified UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova on the morning of October 12 of the U.S decision.

US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the U.S. would seek to establish a permanent observer mission to UNESCO.

This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects U.S. concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organisation, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO.

The United States indicated to the Director-General its desire to remain engaged with UNESCO as a non-member observer state in order to contribute US views, perspectives and expertise on some of the important issues undertaken by the organisation, including the protection of world heritage, advocating for press freedoms, and promoting scientific collaboration and education.

US laws bar funding to any U.N. agency that recognises the Palestinian state.

The US had earlier once withdrawn from the UNESCO, in 1984, under President Ronald Regan who accused it of favouring the Soviet Union.

Under President George W. Bush, Washington rejoined the organisation in 2002.

Israel and UNESCO have a contentions relationship, and Israel recalled its ambassador to UNESCO in 2016, accusing it of ignoring Jewish views of the heritage of the region.

5)   Which two rival factions in Palestine signed a reconciliation deal on Oct 12 2017?

a. Arab Liberation Front, Fatah
b. Al Mustaqbal, Fatah
c. As-Sa'iqa, Fatah
d. Hamas, Fatah
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Hamas, Fatah

Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal on Oct 12, 2017.

This is after Hamas agreed to hand over administrative control of Gaza, including the key Rafah border crossing, a decade after seizing the enclave in a civil war.

The deal brokered by Egypt bridges a bitter gulf between the Western-backed mainstream Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas, an Islamist movement designated as a terrorist group by Western countries and Israel.

Palestinian unity could also bolster Mr. Abbas’s hand in any revival of talks on a Palestinian state in Israeli-occupied territory.

Internal Palestinian strife has been a major obstacle to peacemaking, with Hamas having fought three wars with Israel since 2008 and continuing to call for its destruction.

Hamas’s agreement to transfer administrative powers in Gaza to a Fatah-backed government marked a major reversal, prompted partly by its fears of financial and political isolation after its main patron and donor Qatar plunged in June into a major diplomatic dispute with key allies such as Saudi Arabia.

They accuse Qatar of supporting Islamist militants, which it denies.

Egypt helped mediate several previous attempts to reconcile the two movements and form a power-sharing unity government in Gaza and the West Bank, where Mr. Abbas and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) are based.

Hamas and Fatah agreed in 2014 to form a national reconciliation government but the deal soon dissipated in mutual recriminations with Hamas continuing to dominate Gaza.

The agreement calls for Mr. Abbas’s presidential guard to assume responsibility of the Rafah crossing on November 1, and for the full handover of administrative control of Gaza to the unity government to be completed by December 1.

Analysts have said the deal is more likely to stick than earlier ones given Hamas’s growing isolation and realisation of how hard Gaza, its economy hobbled by border blockades and infrastructure shattered by wars with Israel, was to govern and rebuild.

Rafah Crossing, and Palestine: Know More

  • Key was the Rafah crossing, once the gateway to the world for the 2 million people packed into the small impoverished territory.
  • Fatah said it should be run by presidential guards with supervision from the European Union border agency, known as EUBAM, instead of the currently deployed Hamas-linked employees.
  • EUBAM Rafah maintains readiness to redeploy to the Rafah crossing point when the security and political situations will allow.
  • Any decision on EUBAM deployment would be taken in conjunction with the Palestinian Authority and Israel’s government, he said in a statement.
  • Some 3,000 Fatah security officers are to join the Gaza police force.
  • But Hamas would remain the most powerful armed Palestinian faction with around 25,000 well-armed militants.
  • Both rivals hope the deal’s proposed deployment of security personnel from the PA to Gazas borders will encourage Egypt and Israel to lift tight restrictions at frontier crossings - a step urgently needed to help Gaza revive a war-shattered economy.
  • Another major issue in talks on the deal was the fate of 40,000-50,000 public employees Hamas has hired in Gaza since 2007, a thorny point that helped crash the 2014 unity accord.
  • Under the deal, these employees will receive 50 per cent of what their PA salary would be - or equivalent to what they are being paid now by Hamas - pending vetting of their professional qualifications.
  • The last Palestinian legislative election was in 2006 when Hamas scored a surprise victory.
  • This sparked the political rupture between Hamas and Fatah which eventually led to their short civil war in Gaza.

6)   Which is India's largest food product marketing organisation?

a. All India Food Processor's Association
b. Agritech World
c. Evergreen Agro Tech India
d. Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited

India’s largest food products marketing organisation, Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF), which markets the Amul brand of milk and milk products, has been recognised as the country's best Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company in the food sector.

This recognition is accorded by the International Advertising Association (IAA).

Amul was presented the Fifth IAA Leadership Award for this recognition at Mumbai.

The prestigious awards instituted by the IAA’s India Chapter recognise excellence towards contribution in marketing, advertising and media sectors as well as celebrate outstanding achievements of individuals and teams.

Amul and GCMMF: Know More

  • Amul is India's largest food brand with annual brand turnover of Rs 38,000 crore. It is a cooperative milk federation of 36 lakh milk producers of Gujarat.
  • The turnover of GCMMF has registered a quantum growth of 238 per cent in the last seven years, which implies an impressive cumulative average growth rate (CAGR) of 19 per cent during this period.
  • Also, Amul has successfully quadrupled the income of its dairy farmers in the last seven years, demonstrating the efficacy of its model in exceeding the country’s goal of doubling farmer’s income in six years.
  • Amul is not only synonymous with the best cooperative model and farmer’s faith in cooperative structure but also with marketing and advertising strategies it has adopted to make it the most preferred brands of dairy products.
  • GCMMF is currently procuring 180 lakhs litres of milk per day through 18,600 village dairy cooperative societies.

7)   Payments Council of India estimates PPIs will rise to what percent in half a decade from less than 10 percent now?

a. 30-40 percent
b. 40-50 percent
c. 50-60 percent
d. 60-70 percent
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 30-40 percent

The contribution of Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPI) will rise to 30-40 percent over 5 years from less than 10 percent now on the Reserve Bank push, as per PCI.

RBI came out with the third set of reforms in PPI yesterday to make it interoperable with all existing payment instruments, on par with acceptance of debit/credit cards in a phased manner.

This would ensure that PPIs contribution to digital payments from current share of less than 10 percent can move to 30-40 percent in the next 5 years.

The Council praised the regulator for a progressive and positive set of guidelines.

It however said a concern is that even the low usage wallets with limited merchant transaction functionality are required to do a KYC beyond 12 months.

"This adds friction to customers and costs to issuer. In line with international guidelines, a framework of proportional KYC could have been adopted," it said.

PCI is the representative body of PPI issuers.

RBI guidelines mark the 10 year anniversary to the industry and seem to be a true reflection of a collaborate approach for the industry.

8)   Which company is acquiring Tata Teleservices Ltd. as of 12th Oct 2017?

a. Bharti Airtel
b. Vodafone
c. Idea
d. British Telecom
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Bharti Airtel

The country’s largest operator Bharti Airtel on Oct 12, 2017 stated it would acquire the loss-making consumer mobile business of the Tata Group on a ‘debt-free, cash-free’ basis, while taking on some spectrum-related cost.

The deal, which is Bharti Airtel’s seventh acquisition in the past five years, will entail the operator paying a “small portion” of unpaid spectrum liability of the Tatas, estimated at INR 2,000 crore.

All past liabilities and dues would be settled by the Tatas, the companies said in a joint statement, adding that Airtel would acquire 40 million subscribers of Tata Teleservices Ltd. and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra Ltd. across 19 circles.

These circles represent the bulk of India’s population and customer base,

Tata Teleservices has a debt of about INR 31,000 crore.

The proposed merger will include transfer of all the customers and assets of the Tatas’ consumer mobile business to Bharti Airtel.

It will also enable Bharti Airtel to further bolster its strong spectrum footprint with the addition of 178.5 MHz spectrum (of which 71.3 MHz is liberalised) in the 850, 1800 & 2100 MHz bands.

The deal is likely to help Bharti Airtel narrow the gap with the Vodafone-Idea combined entity that would have about 400 million customers once the merger is concluded.

Bharti Airtel Deal: Know More

  • Bharti Airtel, which is also in the process of acquiring the India operations of Norway’s Telenor, has about 300 million subscribers with a market share of about 24%.
  • The Bharti Airtel-Tata’s CMB combined entity is likely to have a market share of about 27-28%, against the estimated 34% of the Vodafone-Idea combined entity.
  • The deal will also help the firm widen its lead over the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio.
  • Tata CMB’s operations and services will continue as normal until the completion of the transaction, the companies said, adding that the deal was subject to regulatory approvals.

9)   Which global index ranks 119 countries on hunger levels?

a. Global Food Index
b. Global Hunger Index
c. Global Nourishment Index
d. Global Food Policy Index
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Global Hunger Index

India has a “serious” hunger problem and ranks 100th out of 119 countries on the global hunger index - behind North Korea, Bangladesh and Iraq but ahead of Pakistan, according to a report.

The country’s serious hunger level is driven by high child malnutrition and underlines need for stronger commitment to the social sector, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) indicated in its report.

India stood at 97th position in last year’s rankings.

India is ranked 100th out of 119 countries, and has the third highest score in all of Asia - only Afghanistan and Pakistan are ranked worse.

At 31.4, India’s 2017 GHI (Global Hunger Index) score is at the high end of the ‘serious’ category, and is one of the main factors pushing South Asia to the category of worst performing region on the GHI this year, followed closely by Africa South of the Sahara.

As per the report, India ranks below many of its neighbouring countries such as China (29th rank), Nepal (72), Myanmar (77), Sri Lank (84) and Bangladesh (88). It is ahead of Pakistan (106) and Afghanistan (107).

North Korea ranks 93rd while Iraq is at 78th position.

GHI: Know More

  • The GHI, now in its 12th year, ranks countries based on four key indicators - undernourishment, child mortality, child wasting and child stunting.
  • The report ranked 119 countries in the developing world, nearly half of which have ‘extremely alarming,’ ‘alarming’ or ’serious’ hunger levels.
  • India’s high ranking on the Global Hunger Index [GHI] again this year brings to the fore the disturbing reality of the country’s stubbornly high proportions of malnourished children.
  • IFPRI pointed out that more than one-fifth of Indian children under five weigh too little for their height and over a third are too short for their age.
  • Even with the massive scale up of national nutrition-focused programmes in India, drought and structural deficiencies have left large number of poor in India at risk of malnourishment in 2017.
  • India has developed and launched an action plan on ‘undernourishment free India’ by 2022.
  • As of 2015-16, more than a fifth [21%] of children in India suffer from wasting [low weight for height] - up from 20% in 2005-2006.
  • Only three other countries in this year’s GHI - Djibouti, Sri Lanka and South Sudan - show child wasting above 20%.
    India’s child wasting rate has not shown any substantial improvement over the past 25 years.
  • However, India has made considerable improvement in reducing its child stunting rate, down 29% since 2000, but even that progress leaves India with a relatively high stunting rate of 38.4.

10)   Which bird, considered to be one of the most efficient travellers, can fly 800 km in a single day with an occasional flap of its 11 feet long wings?

a. Wandering Albatross
b. Pelican
c. Siberian Crane
d. Kite
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Wandering Albatross

MIT scientists have unveiled the key behind the marathon flight of the wandering albatross, which can fly nearly 800 km in a single day, with just an occasional flap of its wings.

The albatross is one of the most efficient travellers in the animal world.

The birds use their formidable wingspans, measuring up to 11 feet across, to catch and ride the wind.

Observers have noted for centuries that these feathered giants keep themselves aloft for hours, just above the ocean surface, by soaring and diving between contrasting currents of air, as if riding a side-winding rollercoaster - a flight pattern known as dynamic soaring.

Now, engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US have developed a model to simulate dynamic soaring.

The researchers have used it to identify the optimal flight pattern that an albatross should take in order to harvest the most wind and energy.

They found that as an albatross banks or turns to dive down and soar up, it should do so in shallow arcs, keeping almost to a straight, forward trajectory.

The new model will be useful in gauging how albatross flight patterns may change as wind patterns shift with changing climate, researchers said.

It also may inform the design of wind-propelled drones and gliders which could be used to perform long-duration, long-range monitoring missions in remote regions of the world, researchers said.

The team’s project was inspired, in part, by contests of dynamic soaring, in which competitors launch gliders from atop mountains and track the speed of each glider as it dives down and soars up.