Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Oct 16, 2017

1)   How many types of colour receptors does the mantis shrimp have?

a. 6
b. 10
c. 16
d. 26
Answer  Explanation 


Scientists have developed an ultra-sensitive camera that mimics the eye of the mantis shrimp and can potentially improve early cancer detection.

The camera, developed by researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the U.S., is capable of sensing both colour and polarisation.

The mantis shrimp, considered one of the best hunters in shallow waters, possesses one of the most sophisticated eyes in nature.

Compared with human vision, which has three different types of colour receptors, the mantis shrimp has 16 different types of colour receptors and six polarisation channels, the researchers said.

2)   Melting ice is causing coastal waters in Greenland to become _____ saline.

a. Completely
b. More
c. Less
d. Both a and b
e. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


Melting ice is causing coastal waters in Greenland to become less saline, which may in turn affect marine life as well as the global ocean currents that keep Europe warm, a study warns.

For the first time, scientists from Aarhus University in Denmark have unveiled the long-term impact of the melting of the Greenland ice sheet.

The observed increase in freshwater content will affect the conditions in all Greenland fjords.

Over the years, the dramatic meltdown of ice in the Arctic Ocean has received great attention and is easy to observe through satellite images.

Also, glaciers have been observed to melt and retreat and the researchers know that today’s meltdown of the Greenland ice sheet has more than doubled compared with the period 1983-2003.

How the increased influx of fresh water will affect the marine environment is, however, largely unknown.

Now, unique annual measurements made within the framework of the ‘Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring Program’ since 2003 in northeast Greenland tell a clear tale - fresh water from the ice sheet accumulates in the surface layers of the surrounding sea and flows into the Greenland fjords.

Measurements show that the surface water layers became up to 1.5 per mill less saline.

This is equivalent to an increase in freshwater content from about one metre in 2003 to almost four metres in 2015.

3)   India has launched an Adopt a Heritage scheme as part of which initiative?

a. Swadesh Yatra
b. Paryatan Parv
c. Monument Mitra
d. Desh Videsh Yojana
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Paryatan Parv

India has always been renowned for its rich cultural heritage. India’s glorious past and cultural diversity make a potent blend which attracts millions of tourists each year to its tourist destinations.

India's rich heritage is abundantly reflected in the form of numerous temples, palaces, monuments, forts etc.

This has led to an increase in India's tourism particularly at the heritage sites. Tourism in India has registered a considerable growth in the last few years, ever since additional initiatives were taken by the Government of India to boost India’s image as a destination for tourism.

Ministry of Tourism in close collaboration with Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) envisages providing world class tourist facilities at the various heritage sites / monuments and other tourist sites across the country under the “Adopt A Heritage” initiative.

The project would begin with ASI ticketed monuments and would be expanded to other cultural sites across India. It envisages entrusting of heritage sites/monuments and other tourist sites to private - public sector companies, or individuals for the “Monument Mitras” development of tourist friendly amenities and facilities.

4)   Which IIT has seen the launch of the world's largest combustion research centre?

a. IIT Bombay
b. IIT Madras
c. IIT Kharagpur
d. IIT Kanpur
Answer  Explanation 


The world's largest combustion research centre which will impart a major boost to the Indian scientific community was inaugurated at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras on Oct 15, 2017.

The National Centre for Combustion Research and Development (NCCRD) was inaugurated by NITI Aayog member V K Saraswat.

This is the world's largest combustion research centre.

With over 30 faculty members from six departments of IIT-M working on the project, this is the largest grouping of academic combustion researchers globally.

In addition, the infrastructure facilities are also the largest for any combustion research centre in an academic setting globally.

NCCRD's research interests will cover automotive, thermal power and aerospace propulsion, besides fire research and microgravity combustion to minor extent, the release said.

The NCCRD has been established at a total cost of INR 90 crore.

It will develop state-of-the-art capabilities in combustion research involving experts in the country.

The establishment of the centre will impart a major boost to the Indian scientific community and will provide an impetus to research in 'Alternative Energy and Environmental Protection' by focusing on effective utilisation of combustion as a means of thermo-chemical energy conversion.

NCCRD is supported by the state-run Science and Engineering Research Board of Department of Science and Technology (DST).
NCCRD was one of the premier centres in the country.

The intention is to make it a knowledge base in areas like gasification, combustion, propulsion and automotive sectors.

This is one of the best diagnostic centres in the country to understand combustion.

NCCRD has been set up as a nodal centre in the region and any institute and industry can work with it as it is totally IT-enabled and possess a strong simulation facility, the NITI Ayog member said.

Many industrial and R&D organisations like Mahindra, TVS, AVL, GAIL, GE, Shell, BHEL, DRDO (DRDL, GTRE, CFEES), NAL, ISRO, Forbes-Marshall, Siemens, Thermax, Cummins, FM Global, Tata Power, VTT and Valmet are working closely with NCCRD.

5)   Who has been appointed the UNESCO head w.e.f 15th Oct 2017?

a. Audrey Azoulay
b. Irina Bokova
c. Christine Lagarde
d. Veronica Dauge
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Audrey Azoulay

UNESCO’s executive board today chose former French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay to be the UN cultural agency’s next leader over a Qatari candidate in an unusually heated race overshadowed by Mideast tensions.

The US announcement this week that it’s quitting UNESCO rocked the multi-day election and heightened concerns about the agency’s funding and future direction.

Azoulay succeeds outgoing Director-General Irina Bokova of Bulgaria, whose eight-year term was marred by financial woes and criticism over Palestine’s inclusion as a member.

US and Israel said they plan to pull out of the Paris-based organisation over its perceived anti-Israel bias.

Audrey secured a win in her surprise 30-28 vote win today over Qatari candidate Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari.

UNESCO’s general assembly will have to sign off next month on the executive board’s leadership pick, but it’s seen as a formality.

The new director will set priorities for the organisation best known for its World Heritage Programme to protect cultural sites and traditions.

The agency also works to improve education for girls, promote an understanding of the Holocaust’s horrors, defend media freedom and coordinate science about climate change.

Azoulay, a Jewish woman, had started the week’s voting with much less support but built up backing as other candidates dropped out and won a runoff earlier today against Egypt’s candidate.

The vote was a huge blow to Arab states, who had long wanted to lead the UN educational, scientific and cultural organisation.

UNESCO has previously had European, Asian, African and American chiefs, but never an Arab one since the organisation was founded in 1945 following World War II to promote world peace through culture.

The agency’s inclusion of Palestine as a member state in 2011 complicated this push, as did Qatar’s diplomatic dispute with Arab neighbours over accusations of sponsoring Islamic extremism.

Azoulay will be the second French leader of the organisation since Rene Maheu, UNESCO’s director general from 1961-74.

Azoulay’s father is Moroccan and was an influential adviser to Moroccan kings, so she does have a connection to the Arab world.

6)   The Bureau of Indian Standards Act will help in which of the following?

a. Provision to bring services and products under a mandatory standard regime
b. Multiple type of simplified conformity assessment scheme including self declaration of conformity
c. Appoint authority besides BIS to verify conformity of products and services to standardisation
d. Both a and c
e. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

The much-awaited Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Act has come into effect from October 12 with a provision to bring more services and products like jewellery under the mandatory standard regime.

Parliament had, in March 2016, passed the law to replace the BIS Act of 1986.

The Consumer Affairs Ministry finalised the rules for the new law only this week.

The new law will further help ease of doing business in the country.

Not only the provisions of the Act will give fillip to ’Make In India’ campaign but also ensure availability of quality products and services to the consumers, he said.

As per the new law, the government can bring under compulsory certification regime any goods and service which it considers necessary in the public interest or for the protection of human, animal or plant health, safety of the environment, or prevention of unfair trade practices or national security.

Enabling provisions have also been made for making hallmarks of the precious metal articles mandatory.

The new Act also allows multiple type of simplified conformity assessment schemes, including self-declaration of conformity against a standard which will give simplified options (to manufacturers) to adhere to the standards and get certificate of conformity.

There is also a provision that enables the Centre to appoint any authority/agency, in addition to the BIS, to verify the conformity of products and services to a standard and issue certificate of conformity.

Further, there is provision for repair or recall, including product liability of the products bearing Standard Mark but not conforming to the relevant Indian Standard.

The current Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) will be known as National Standards Body of India.

7)   World Standards Day 2017 was observed with which theme?

a. Standards make cities smarter
b. Standards make smart cities smarter
c. Standards make cities intelligent
d. Standards make smart cities intelligent
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Standards make cities smarter

Each year on 14 October, the members of the IEC, ISO and ITU celebrate World Standards Day, which is a means of paying tribute to the collaborative efforts of the thousands of experts worldwide who develop the voluntary technical agreements that are published as international standards.

World Standards Day began as a celebration of the birth of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which held its first meeting in London on October 14, 1946.

From an initial roster of 25 countries, ISO (based in Geneva, Switzerland) now has 123 member nations and has evolved into the global clearinghouse for all standards activities.

ISO's US representative, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), is one of the founding organizations of World Standards Day.

Today, World Standards Day is sponsored annually by ISO; the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which develops international standards for the electrical and electronics industries; and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an international organization responsible for the coordination, development, regulation, and standardization of telecommunications standards.

The goal of World Standards Day is to raise awareness of the importance of global standardization to the world economy and to promote its role in helping meet the needs of business, industry, government, and consumers worldwide.

The international event pays tribute to the thousands of volunteers around the world who participate in standardization activities.

Since its initial celebration in 1970, member countries commemorate World Standards Day by organizing special gatherings and events, ranging from conferences, exhibitions, and seminars to film shows, TV and radio interviews, and full "standards weeks" around mid October.

The IEC, ISO and ITU announce the winners of annual World Standards Day contest. This year two competitions were launched, a poster contest and a video contest, along the theme “Standards make cities smarter”.

8)   Which city is set to host an International Puppet festival from Oct 26, 2017?

a. Kolkata
b. Chennai
c. Mumbai
d. Delhi
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Kolkata

The city is all set to host an International Puppet Festival from October 26.

West Bengal principal secretary Tourism and Home Affairs Atri Bhattacharya will be inaugurating the festival.

Artists from the UK, Germany, Peru, Portugal, Italy, Lithuania, Brazil, Singapore and India would be participating in the festival.

Kolkata will host such a festival for the first time and the six-day long festival will end on October 31, officials said.

The puppet festival is aimed at regenerating the emotions attached to puppetry and it will be held at Mohorkunj here.

9)   Who has been chosen for the Mathrubhumi Literary award for 2016 for contribution to Malayalam literature?

a. Kakkanadan
b. Uroob
c. Sarah Joseph
d. MK Sanu
Answer  Explanation 


Eminent critic, biographer and orator M K Sanu has been chosen for the Mathrubhumi Literary Award for 2016 in recognition of his rich contribution to the Malayalam literature.

The award carries a cash prize of INR 2 lakh, a citation and statuette.

A jury headed by eminent poet Vishnu Narayanan Namboothiri selected Sanu for the award.

Malayalam writer, literary critic and educationist Dr M Leelavathy, author and scientist C Radhakrishnan were the other members of the jury committee.

"Changampuzha Krishnapilla", "Nakshtrangalude Snehabhajanam", "Narayanaguru Swami", "Mruthyunjayam" "Kavyajeevitham", "Viswasathilek Veendum American Sahityam" and "Prabhatha Darshanam" are some of his important works.

The 89 year-old Sanu is a recipient of several honours, including the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award, Vayalar Award, Padmaprabha Award, Kendra Sahitya Adademi Award and Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for his overall contributions.

10)   Who has been appointed the new ambassador to PRC by India?

a. Gautam H Bambawale
b. Ajay Bisaria
c. Vijay Keshav Gokhale
d. Hardeep Singh Puri
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Gautam H Bambawale

1984-batch Indian Foreign Service Officer Gautam H Bambawale has been officially appointed as India’s new ambassador to the People’s Republic of China.

Along expected lines, the assignment will be taken up shortly by Bambawale who is currently serving as India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan since February 2016.

An old China hand, Bambawale had opted for Mandarin as his foreign language and served in Hong Kong and Beijing between 1985 and 1991.

He can speak Chinese and German fluently.

Bambawale has adequate experience of dealing with crisis with China in the past.

During the 21-day tense standoff at Depsang in 2013, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar was the ambassador in Beijing, while Gautam was dialling numbers from Delhi as Joint Secretary (East Asia) in MEA Headquarters in South Block then.

Bambawale is said to share a close working experience and rapport with Jaishankar and had also served as India’s first appointed Consul General in Guangzhou in 2007.

Bambawale replaces senior diplomat and 1981-batch IFS officer Vijay Gokhale, who will be homeward bound soon to take up his new assignment as Secretary Economic Relations in MEA.

Indian envoy to Poland and Lithuania, Ajay Bisaria is likely to succeed Gautam Bambawale in Islamabad as High Commissioner.

Gautam Bambewale: Previous Posts

  • In his diplomatic career, Gautam has held wide ranging assignments, including Director in Americas Division of the Ministry shaping up relations with US and Canada.
  • He was also Director of the Indian Cultural Centre in Berlin, Germany between 1994-98, as well as Deputy Chief for the Division of National Security Affairs, Defence and International Policy in the Prime Minister’s Office in the past.
  • He was also serving as Ambassador to Bhutan prior to his Pakistan posting.