Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Oct 20, 2016

1)   The base year for calculating the revenue structure of the state according to the GST Council is:

a. 2014-2015
b. 2015-2016
c. 2016-2017
d. 2017-2018
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 2015-2016

The Goods and Services Council on 18th October 2016 reached a consensus on the way in which states would be compensated for loss of revenue with a four slab structure of 6, 12, 18 and 26 along with lower rates for essential items and highest band for luxury goods

  • Base year for calculating the revenue of the state would be 2015-2016
  • Secular growth rate of 14% would be taken for calculating the likely revenue of each state in the first 5 years of implementation of the GST
  • A consensus was reached on definition of revenue to compensate the state for revenue loss due to GST implementation
  • Rate structure should be such that it does not lead to further inflation and both States and Centre have adequate funds to discharge their duty.
  • The rate is to be revenue neutral so that there is no need to burden consumers with additional tax
  • To ensure inflation remains under control, food items along with other 50 percent items of common usage are proposed for tax exemption
  • Lower rates would be levied on essential items and the highest for luxury and demerit goods

2)   Which scheme for MSMEs did PM Modi announce on 18th Oct 2016?

a. Zero Defect, Zero Impact
b. Zero Defect, Zero Effect
c. Zero Effect, Zero Defect
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Zero Defect, Zero Effect

PM Narendra Modi on 18th October 2016 launched the national SC/ST hub in Ludhiana apart from launching the Zero Defect, Zero Effect scheme for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

  • Several national awards were given to MSME entrepreneurs and the PM also distributed 500 spinning wheels to women of weaker sections of Punjab to enable them to earn their livelihood
  • The hub was set up under PM’s Employment Generation scheme to provide support to entrepreneurs from SC and ST communities
  • It was started with the objective of providing professional support to entrepreneurs from SC/ST sections
  • It aims at promoting entrepreneurship among SC/ ST population
  • The hub with an initial outlay of INR 490 crore will work towards strengthening market access linkage, monitoring, capacity building, leveraging financial support schemes and sharing industry-best practices
  • It will also enable CPSEs to fulfil the procurement target set by the government
  • Some national SC/ST hubs under the MSME ministry was announced by FM Arun Jaitley in his budget speech
  • ZED or Zero Defect, Zero Effect scheme was first introduced by PM Modi in his Independence Day speech
  • ZED scheme denotes high quality manufacturing with a minimal negative impact on environment
  • It aims at raising quality levels in unregulated MSME sector
  • It will support MSMEs across the nation in all Make in India sectors through quality control cells will be constituted by government. Cells will rate then after carrying out annual assessment of their products

3)   PM Narendra Modi has dedicated three hydropower projects in HP. This includes Koldam, Parbati and which other project?

a. Rampur
b. Rangpur
c. Revapur
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rampur

PM Narendra Modi visited Mandi in Himachal Pradesh where he dedicated three hydropower projects to the nation namely Koldam, Parbati and Rampur

  • PM Modi on 18th Oct inaugurated the three hydropower projects of 1752 MW capacities in HP
  • Inauguration of the new hydropower projects will change economic horizon of the hilly state
  • The three hydropower projects are:
  • 540 MW generation capacity third phase of Parbati hydropower project of NHPC in Kullu
    800 MW Koldam power project in Bilaspur district
    412 MW Rampur Project of SJVN Ltd in Shimla
  • This was the PM’s Maiden visit to the hill state after becoming PM

4)   DBT scientists have fortified which cereal with iron to ensure the problem of anaemia is addressed?

a. Rice
b. Wheat
c. Jowar
d. Maize
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


To address the problem of anaemia in the country, scientists of the department of biotechnology have developed innovative ways to fortify rice with iron which can be mixed with normal rice and consumed without losing out on the flavour

  • Fortified rice using broken rice kernel through DBT technology matches the normal rice kernel in shape, size and sheen
  • It provides 50% of the recommended daily allowance of iron to children when mixed with the normal rice in the ratio of 1:100
  • Clinical studies substantiate that regular feeding for one year increases iron store and decreases anaemia in school going children according to DBT scientists in the note on rice fortification
  • The National Family Health Survey conducted in 2005-2006 found that prevalence of anaemia was there in 70 percent of the children of 6-59 months age group
  • Anaemia is a low haemoglobin condition that results on weakness, loss of energy and shortness of breath
  • It is mainly caused by iron deficiency
  • As the Indian population is primarily vegetarian, it is dependent on plant based sources which limits iron absorption in the body
  • This has led to iron deficiency in a massive section of the population
  • Rice fortification initiative was first launched in India by the UN World Food Program in Odisha where a pilot programme on iron fortified rice was served to children under the Midday meal program in Gajapati district earlier in 2016
  • DBT’s technology will enable the rice fortification model to move forward in other parts of the country where there is nutritional deficiency
  • As per the DBT technology, rice is fortified through a process known as extrusion in which dough made of rice flour, vitamin, mineral mix and water is passed through an extruder and cut into grain like structures that resemble rice grain
  • Department explained the appropriate quantities of iron, iodine, zinc, water soluble vitamins and fat soluble vitamins. Water soluble vitamins include folic acid, B1, B2, B6, B12 and Niacin
  • Fat soluble vitamins such as A and D are added to commonly consumed foods under this technology to bridge the gap between daily requirement and daily food intake

5)   Where has the first sanctuary in Latin America opened?

a. Brazil
b. Argentina
c. Colombia
d. Spain
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Brazil

Brazil has opened the first elephant sanctuary in Latin America for animals bred in captivity. Elephant Sanctuary Brazil is located in the central Brazilian state of Mato Grosso was founded by US based NPO Global Sanctuary for Elephants and it has two residents already

  • Global Sanctuary for Elephants settled in Brazil as there was a grassroots effort to get the sanctuary to start and volunteers be prepared to assist
  • In Brazil, there is a lot of support for elephants bred in captivity in circuses and the great public awareness of the issues surrounding the animals is a must

6)   NGT has banned spending on the Ganga in which state?

a. Bihar
b. Odisha
c. UP
d. Uttarakhand
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


The National Green Tribunal has rapped UP government for wasting crores of rupees of public money on Ganga rejuvenation and restrained it from spending on any major project except maintenance work on the stretch from Haridwar to Kanpur.

  • The state of Uttar Pradesh and its authorities will not carry out any major project of Sewage Treatment Plant/ Common Effluent Treatment Plant except under the directions of the NGT with the exception of the maintenance of pipelines
  • The NGT passed the order after Central Pollution Control Board and state authorities including UP Jal Nigam failed to state the total number of industrial units and the quantum of industrial waste discharged by them into the Ganga
  • Tribunal said authorities were spending large amounts on projects without knowing the requisite details
  • On December 11, 2015 the tribunal had banned use of plastic of any kind from Gomukh to Haridwar along the river from February 1 and decide to slap a penalty of INR 5000 days for erring hotels, ashrams and dharamshalas spewing waste into the river
  • NGT was established in 2010 under the NGT Act 2010 for effective disposal of causes related to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources
  • It also works for the legal rights of the environment and is a specialised body for handling environmental disputes involving multidisciplinary issues

7)   APJ Abdul Kalam Ignite award was bestowed on a 13 year old from Chhattisgarh. Who is he?

a. Roshan Sori
b. Roshan Rateria
c. Roshan Manikpur
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Roshan Sori

A 13-year-old boy Roshan Sori from Maoist affected Sukma district of Chhattisgarh has been honoured with the APJ Abdul Kalam Ignite Award for a software to register a vote through EVMs with authorities

  • Sori is among three students from the state constituting the 28 awareness this year
  • Two other winners of this award from Chattisgarh were Himanshu Rateria of Janitor Chanpa district and Indu Manipur of Dantewada in Bastar
  • While the former student wanted to create a medical alarm on TV for senior citizens, the latter awardee developed a septic tank pressure record scale
  • NIF announced the name of the awardees on the 85th birth anniversary of the former president and Missile Man of India
  • This competition was organised by NIG in partnership with CBSE, Honey Bee Network and other partners
  • State Educational Boards namely Board of School Education Haryana, Nagaland Board of School Education, Directorate of Higher Education, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, Lok Sikshan Sanchalanalaya, Madhya Pradesh, Rajiv Gandhi Shiksha Mission, Dept. of School Education, Govt. of Chhattisgarh and Mizoram Board of School were also involved.

8)   Which two largest travel portals in India have merged together?

a. Yatra, Makemytrip
b. Makemytrip, Ibibo
c. Airbnb, Yatra
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Makemytrip, Ibibo

India’s two largest travel booking portals Ibibo and MakeMyTrip have agreed to merge together in an impending consolidation in the consumer internal sector

  • The transaction is estimated at USD 1.8-2 billion
  • Another indication of the valuation came from a statement by Makemytrip which pegged the stake owned by Ctrip at 10 percent
  • This is a step forward for the rapidly growing travel industry in India
  • The acquisition comes after Yatra was acquired by SPV acquisition firm Terrapin Acquisition Corp in a reverse merger deal
  • NAspers invested USD 250 million in Ibibo Group recently
  • The focus is on moving people from offline to online booking as travel penetration for online websites remains low at 15 percent for the accommodation industry and 18 percent for the organised bus industry

9)   Which African nation became the first to withdraw from the International Criminal Court on 19th Oct?

a. Libera
b. Guinea
c. Sierra Leone
d. Burundi
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Burundi

This move underlies the depth of the crisis in the country and comes amidst antipathy in Africa towards the court

  • President Pierre Nkurunzinza who criticised the court signed the decree paving the departure of the east African nation from the court
  • He has been accused of human rights violation
  • His decision comes when ICC was investigating the deaths of several hundred in Burundi following politically motivated violence triggered by the President’s decision to seek a third term as against accords in 2005 which ended a 12 year civil war
  • Other nations in a campaign for all AU members to leave the court are Zimbabwe, Uganda, South Africa and Kenya
  • The Republic of Burundi in east Africa is bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania in the east and south and DRC to the west. Its capital is Bujumbura.