Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Oct 15, 2016

1)   The World Health Organisation on 13th Oct 2016 released a global report on which disease?

a. Malaria
b. Typhoid
c. Tetanus
d. TB
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


The World Health Organisation on 13th Oct 2016 released the Global Tuberculosis Report 2016 showcasing that countries need to move on faster to prevent as well as detect and treat TB.

  • The report highlights the inequalities among countries in enabling people with TB to access existing cost effective diagnosis and treatment interventions that can accelerate decline in TB worldwide
  • Report signals need for bold political commitment and increased funding to access cost effective diagnosis and treatment for meeting international targets
  • In an effort to respond to TB, more than 3 million lives have been saved in 2015; the TB burden is higher than previously estimated indicating survey data from India
  • In the year 2015, there were 10.4 million new TB cases worldwide.
  • Six countries accounted for 60 percent of the total burden with India bearing the most massive load, followed by Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa
  • An estimated 1.8 million people died from TB in 2015 of which 0.4 million were infected with HIV-AIDS
  • While global TB deaths fell by 22% between 2000 and 2015, the disease was one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide in 2015
  • Gaps in testing for TB and reporting new causes are a major issue- of an estimated 10.4 million new cases whereby 6.1 million were detected and notified, there was a gap of 4.3 million
  • Additionally, the rate of reduction in TB cases remained static at 1.5 percent from 2014 to 2015
  • The need is to accelerate this to 4-5 percent by 2020 as per the World Health Assembly approved end TB strategy
  • Multi-drug resistant TB remains a crisis in public health with the WHO estimating that 480,000 people fell ill with MDR-TB in 2015
  • The country carries a major burden of Multiple Drug Resistant TB long with China and the Russian Federation which account for nearly half of the cases globally
  • In 2015, 22 percent of HIV positive TB patients were not enrolled on antiretroviral therapy
  • Close to 84% of the financing available in middle and low income countries in 2016 was from domestic sources
  • This was mostly accounted by BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India China and South Africa)
  • Other low and middle income countries relied considerably on global donor financing with more than 75 percent coming from The Global Fund ti Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria
  • WHO estimates that at least an extra 1 billion US dollar per year is required to accelerate the new vaccines, diagnostics and medicines
  • India underreported TB for 15 years from 2000-2015, according to WHO which then underestimated the global TB epidemic
  • India has reported only 56 percent of its TB burden in 2014 and 59 percent in 2015
  • As India accounts for more than one quarter of the TB cases and deaths in the world, the revisions in estimated have a considerable impact on international estimates
  • Revised estimates place the incidence of TB in India at 217 per 100,000 people in 2015 as against 127 which was previously estimated
  • In fulfilment of the SDGs, numerous governments have agreed to end the RB epidemic at both the World Health Assembly and the United Nations General Assembly
  • Targets include 90 percent reduction in TB deaths and 80 percent reduction in cases in 2030 as against 2015

2)   India and which other country on 13th Oct 2016 signed a bilateral agreement for cooperation in the development of a network of integrated infrastructure irradiation centres?

a. US
b. UK
c. China
d. Russia
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Russia

Russia and India on 13th Oct 2016 signed a bilateral agreement for cooperation in the development of a network of integrated infrastructure irradiation centres.

  • The agreement was signed between Indian Agricultural Association, Hindustan Agro Co-Op Limited and United Innovation Corporation, a subsidiary of ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation of Russia
  • It was signed by Bharat Dhokane Pandurang, Chairman of HACL and Denis Cherednichenko CEO of UIC
  • This will be implemented through a Joint Venture and the aim is to set up 25 integrated irradiation centres
  • In the 1st phase, 7 centres will be set up in Maharashtra commencing with the current centre in Rahuri in Ahmednagar district
  • The 7 centres are likely to be established in Solapur, Sindhudurg, Satar, JNPT, Jalana, Nagpur and Pune in the first phase
  • UIC will be a technology partner and set up irradiation centres in India
  • In India, as per estimates post harvest losses in food and food grains is close to 40-50 percent on account of insect infestation, microbial contamination and lack of shelf life
  • In irradiation, food products are subject to a low dosage of radiation to treatment them for germs and insects, raising longevity and shelf life.
  • Use of irradiation will make it possible to reduce loss of food products in India
  • Radiation treatment is carried out in a dosage recommended by International Atomic Energy Agency
  • It neither reduces nutritional value of food nor spoils taste or presentation

3)   Who has been appointed DGFT w.e.f 13th Oct 2016?

a. Ajay Kumar Singh
b. Ajay Kumar Bhalla
c. Ajay Kumar Gupta
d. Ajay Kumar Jain
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Ajay Kumar Bhalla

IAS officer Ajay Kumar Bhalla was on 13th Oct 2016 appointed the Director General of Foreign Trade succeeding Anup Wadhawan was appointed as Additional Secretary in the commerce ministry

  • Bhalla, a 1984 batch IAS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre is currently the Additional Secretary in the commerce ministry
  • Directorate General of Foreign Trade Organisation is an attached office of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry headed by the DGFT
  • It was entrusted with responsibilities for formulating and implementing the foreign trade policy with the main objective of promoting Indian exports
  • It also issues authorisation to exporters as well as monitors for meeting their corresponding obligations through a network of 36 regional offices and an extension counter at Indore

4)   Researchers at IISER in Kolkata have found a fresh way to produce what for solar cells?

a. Cathodes
b. Anodes
c. Carbon
d. Oxygen
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Cathodes

Scientists at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Kolkata have found a fresh way to produce cathode for solar cells.

  • IISER researchers use human hair to produce effective, metal-free cathodes for use in solar cells
  • This is the first time that a bio-waste derived electrode has been used as a cathode na quantum dot sensitised solar cell device
  • The graphitic porous carbon cathode shows an excellent performance to ensure visible sunlight is converted to electricity, which is higher than commercially activated carbon cathodes
  • This offers higher efficiency for converting visible sunlight to electricity
  • The cathode was found to generate high open-circuit voltage at par with conventional platinum and activated carbon cathodes
  • Producing graphitic porous carbon cathode using human hair is simple, quick and affordable
  • Unlike the other synthetic porous carbons, no physical or chemical activation process or templates were required to produce the pores of 2-50 nanometres diameter
  • The porosity along with the high surface area to volume ratio plays an important role in adsorption-desorption of electrolyte
  • Cleaned and dried human hair was first treated with sulphuric acid at 165 degrees C for 25 minutes to attain pre-carbonisation
  • It is then heated to different temperatures in the presence of inert gas for 6 hours to carbonise and ensure better electrical conductivity for efficient charge transfer.

5)   A new face has been added to the solar system with a dwarf planet looping around the sun called by which name?

a. 2014 UZ224
b. 2015 TZ226
c. 2018 JZZ45
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 2014 UZ224

A new dwarf planet has been added to the family portrait of the solar system.

  • Scientists have discovered a new dwarf planet looping around the sun in the region beyond Pluto
  • The dwarf planet known as 2014 UZ224 measures 330 miles across and is located above 8.5 billion miles from the sun
  • It was found on Oct 11
  • In comparison, Pluto’a largest moon Charon is around 750 miles or 1,200km in diameter and a maximum distance of 4.5 billion miles from the sun
  • David Gerdes, a professor of astronomy at the Michigan University also revealed that the new dwarf planet was discovered through the DECam or Dark Energy Camera.
  • The universe is not only expanding but accelerating in the expansion; dark energy is the name given to the mechanism powering the expansion
  • DECam was created to study the movement of supernovas and galaxies as they move from earth
  • The goal is to find out what dark energy is and where it comes from
  • Dark Energy Survey was used to create a map of the universe relevant to the study of this form of energy
  • The DES maps have already been used to study dark matter
  • The dark energy constitutes 80% of the mass in the universe, but its exact nature is a mystery
  • Scientists also aim to find previously unidentified objects

6)   Indian Railways has inked a pact with which EU nation to run high speed trains in the country?

a. Germany
b. France
c. Spain
d. Italy
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Germany

Reducing travel time significantly, the Indian Railways will form a pact with Germany for running high-speed trains in the nation

  • Pact will strengthen ties between the two countries for bilateral cooperation in the rail sector
  • German Minister Alexander Dobrindt will visit the capital city from Oct 12-15 thereby sealing the deal
  • Both rail ministers will hold talks at Rail Bhavan and the ministers will focus on deepening collaboration and strengthening ties in railways and high speed trains

7)   Which bill’s draft framework seeks to develop and manage the river basin in an integrated manner?

a. National River Framework Bill 2016
b. National Water Framework Bill 2016
c. National Riverine Framework Bill 2016
d. National Riparian Framework Bill 2016
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: National River Framework Bill 2016

To resolve inter-state conflicts over water sharing of rivers, Union Government of India in Oct 2016 came up with the draft National Water Framework Bill 2016.

  • The bill seeks to establish a mechanism to develop and manage river basin in an integrated manner
  • Mechanism will help states to get equitable share of the river’s water without violating other’s rights
  • The Bill calls for the establishment for River basin authority for each inter-state basin to ensure optimal use and sustainable development of rivers and valleys
  • It also proposes the establishment of institutional arrangements at all levels to solve disputes through negotiations, conciliation or mediation before they become acute
  • It also devises an integrated approach for managing and conserving groundwater
  • It holds that all states are equal in rights and there is no hierarchy of rights, which means that states will get an equitable share in the river waters
  • States also need to recognise that rivers are not owned by the basins states but are public trustees
  • The bill is not binding on the states as water is a state subject under Schedule V11 of the Constitution.