Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Oct 20, 2017

1)   Sawfish are a type of ______.

a. Rays
b. Fish
c. Sharks
d. Elasmobranchs
e. Both a and d
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and d

Scientists on World Sawfish Day (observed on October 17th) announced that sawfish, sighted off Indian coast less than 10 times in over a decade appears to be more threatened than tigers and elephants

Sawfish also known as carpenter sharks are a family of rays.

They are characterized by long, narrow, flattened rostrum or nose extension, lined with sharp transverse teeth resembling saw.

Sawfish are closely related to sharks and have shark-shaped bodies, hence, they are also called flat sharks

The sawfish, included in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 enacted to save them from exploitation, have been sighted off the Indian coast less than 10 times in over a decade and they appear to be more threatened than tigers and elephants.

A statement issued by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute held the sawfish may be the most endangered fish species in India.

Anecdotal evidence suggested they were once common along the Indian coast.

There are only five species of the sawfish ever identified - dwarf sawfish, knife tooth sawfish, small tooth sawfish, large tooth sawfish and green sawfish.

Sawfish are elasmobranchs, meaning their skeleton is made of cartilage.

They are closely related to sharks and have shark-shaped bodies and, hence, are also called flat sharks.

The CMFRI statement held that the sawfish family has been assessed either 'Endangered' or 'Critically Endangered' in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Global Red List, considering their threatened status, high extinction risk and observed population decline.

Protection Status: In the International Union for Conservation of Nature Global Red List, sawfish family has been assessed either 'Endangered' or 'Critically Endangered' considering their threatened status, high extinction risk and observed population decline.

2)   MCX on Dhanteras launched an option's contract in which commodity for the first time?

a. Silver
b. Platinum
c. Gold
d. Both a and c
e. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 


Finance minister Arun Jaitley on 17th Oct 2017 launched an option's contract in gold on the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) on the auspicious occasion of Dhanteras.

Options are an instrument that give the buyer a right to buy or sell an underlined at a present price on a future date.

They are of two types: calls (right to buy) and puts (right to sell).

According to market experts, options are also a much better hedging instrument as compared to futures for hedgers.

Gold option contract, with Gold (1 Kg) futures as underlying, expiring on November 28, 2017 and January 29, 2018 are made available for trading from Oct 17.

The launch denotes one of the most significant reform measures since modern commodity derivatives trading started 14 years ago.

The introduction of options gives a strong impetus towards systematic development and transformation of commodity derivatives market in India, ushering in a new era in price risk management in response to stakeholder expectations.

The industry has waited for this new instrument since year 2003 when then NDA government opened up the Indian commodities market.

More commodities option launch may be in line.

To start with, the options trading will be available on a 1 kg gold futures contract, the exchange said in a statement.

In August, commodity and capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) allowed MCX to launch options trading in gold while the competing agriculture commodity-focused NCDEX was given permission to launch options trading in guar seed.

Traders can hedge their risks at a fraction of the cost in options compared to futures contracts.

The launch of options is also expected to boost volumes in futures contracts.

As with equity derivatives, investors will have two types of options - call and put - to invest.

If an investor sees gold prices rising, then he can buy into a call option and take a position in a put option if he expects a bearish trend.

In both cases, if the expectation of price movements comes true, the premiums on options will go up and investors will benefit.

Each option expiry shall have a minimum 31 strikes available - 15 each for In-the-Money (ITM) and Out-of-Money (OTM), and one At-the-Money (ATM).

Gold options will have a position limit of 10 tonnes for clients and 100 tonnes for members.

This price range covers wide price movements during contract time but most liquidity and trading usually happens at ITM or the price around which relevant futures are traded.

OTM means far from the trading range and ITM means within the trading range.

Interestingly, this development comes exactly after 14 years of futures launch in the country that commenced in 2003.

Gold Option will be available in Mega Gold Contract and not in any other gold variants such as gold mini.

All options on maturity will devolve into futures or become futures contract, if not squared off before the given time-frame.

After it becomes futures, all norms of futures will apply.

3)   India and which country are set to expedite development of the Rovuma gas discovery?

a. Mozambique
b. Malawi
c. Madagascar
d. Cote d'Ivoire
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Mozambique

India and Mozambique agreed to expedite development of the giant Rovuma gas discovery, which is planned to be converted into LNG for exports.

ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), holds 16 per cent stake in Mozambique offshore block Rovuma Area 1.

Oil India Ltd has 4 per cent stake while a unit of Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) holds 10 per cent stake.

The Area 1 covers roughly 10,000 square kilometre area and is located in northernmost part of offshore Mozambique Rovuma Basin.

According to OVL, second and final exploration phase for Area-1 ended on January 31, 2015 and have resulted in five discoveries, with combined recoverable resource of about 60 trillion cubic feet.

Area-1 represents one of the largest natural gas discoveries in offshore East Africa and has the potential to become one of the world's largest LNG producing hubs.

Area-1 plans to develop initially two LNG trains of capacity 6 million tonnes per annum each.

Area-1 is working towards taking final investment decision (FID) as quickly as possible.

Area-1 has also incorporated Mozambique LNG1 Company Pte Ltd in Singapore to oversee marketing and shipping activities of LNG from first 2 trains of Golfinho-Atum field.

The partners are negotiating with buyers for conversion of existing non-binding Heads of Agreements (HOAs) to Sales Purchase Agreements (SPAs). Area-1 targets to raise up to USD 12-15 billion through project finance.

4)   MP is the ____ highest in milk production in the country, according to its animal husbandry department.

a. First
b. Second
c. Third
d. Fifth
Answer  Explanation 


Madhya Pradesh has achieved third position in milk production in the country, the state's animal husbandry ministry said.

Due to sustained efforts, the state has achieved third position in milk production in the country.

It was at sixth or seventh place 10 to 12 years back and last year it was at the fourth place,

Moreover for products, the new packaging is totally safe, leak-proof, made from food-grade plastic and there is no scope of any adulteration in it as its seal cannot be tampered with.

The state government is committed to doubling the farmers' income by 2022 and in it the state's veterinary department has a major role to play.

Milk producers were this year paid INR 200 crore, which is maximum by the state government so far.

5)   RBI has instructed banks to provide funds at the rate of 7% interest to which group?

a. SHG
b. Women SHGs
c. Ecological groups
d. Investment groups
Answer  Explanation 


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Oct 18, 2017 announced banks will provide funds to women SHGs (self help groups) in rural areas at 7 percent under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) in the current fiscal.

The central bank issued the revised guidelines on interest subvention scheme under DAY-NRLM, as received from the Ministry of Rural Development for implementation by 21 public sector banks and 19 private banks.

All women SHGs will be eligible for interest subvention on credit up to INR 3 lakh at 7 percent per annum.

Banks will lend to all the women SHGs in rural areas at the rate of 7 percent.

Banks will be subvented to the extent of difference between the Weighted Average Interest Charged and 7 percent subject to the maximum limit of 5.5 percent for the year 2017-18.

This subvention will be available to banks on the condition that they make SHG credit available at 7 percent per annum.

The Ministry of Rural Development in consultation with state governments will harmonise State specific interest subvention schemes, if any, in line with the central scheme.

The interest subvention scheme on credit to women SHG during 2017-18 is applicable in 250 districts across the country.

NRLM: Know More

  • Aajeevika - National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) was launched by the Ministry of Rural Development in June 2011.
  • Aided in part through investment support by the World Bank, the Mission aims at creating efficient and effective institutional platforms of the rural poor.
  • It is enabling them to increase household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements and improved access to financial services.

6)   Urban households spend ___ percent more than rural in India according to MoS.

a. 54
b. 74
c. 84
d. 94
Answer  Explanation 


According to the Ministry of statistics, urban households spend 84 percent more than their rural counterparts, depicting the stark inequality of the standard of living between urban and rural India.

In a paper released by Monojit Das, Deputy Director of the National Sample Survey Office, the household monthly per capita consumer expenditure (MPCE) in urban areas is an average of INR 2,630 while it is INR 1,430 in rural areas.

The paper titled, "Household Consumer Expenditure across Religious Groups in India" documents the variation in household expenditures across the different religious group.

It also highlights that Muslim households depict the least difference in terms of the rural-urban divide, with urban households spending 34 percent more than rural.

Hindus recorded the highest difference of 67 percent while the figures stood at 47 percent for Christians.

The paper also documents that Muslim households spend the most on food, among all other religious groups. But surprisingly the expenditure on food and beverages decreases as the income increases, having an inverse relationship.

The Hindu families come second with rural households spending 56 percent on food and urban families spending 43 percent, followed by the Christian households which spend 54 percent and 49 percent on food in the rural and urban areas, respectively.

7)   Which airports secured top ranks in the category of 2-5 million passengers in ACI-ASQ survey?

a. Jaipur
b. Srinagar
c. Delhi
d. Mumbai
e. Both a and b
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and b

The Jaipur and Srinagar Airport got First and Second rank respectively in the category of 2-5 million passengers in ACI-ASQ Survey.

Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, Airports Authority of India along with his team received the ACI-ASQ Award at a function held in Mauritius on 17th October 2017.

This is for the second consecutive time that Jaipur Airport has been rated the Best Airport in the World in the traffic volume of 2 to 5 million passengers per year.

Jaipur was ranked as the Best Airport in the World catering to a traffic volume of 2 to 5 million passengers per year in 2016 also.

ACI ASQ: Know More

  • The Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards are the aviation industry's most prestigious accolades.
  • The awards recognize the airports which have achieved the highest passenger satisfaction ratings in the ASQ Survey - the world's benchmark measure of airport excellence.
  • It is the only worldwide programme to survey passengers at the airports on their day of travel. Every year, the programme delivers some 600,000 individual surveys in 41 languages in 84 countries.
  • It measures passengers' views on 34 key performance indicators, including airport access, check-in, security screening, restrooms, stores and restaurants.
  • Each airport uses the exact same survey, creating an industry database that allows airports to compare themselves to other airports around the world.
  • The ASQ programme also has a feature that facilitates sharing of best practices among airport operators.

8)   GI stands for primarily which type of goods originating from a definite geographical territory?

a. Agricultural
b. Natural
c. Manufactured
d. All of the above
e. Only a and c
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

The Cell for IPR Promotions & Management (CIPAM) under the aegis of the Department of Industrial Policy Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has launched a logo and tagline/slogan contest for Geographical Indications (GIs) of India on website.

A Geographical Indication (GI) is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory. Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.

Some of the examples of registered Indian GIs are Darjeeling Tea, Tirupathi Laddu, Kangra Paintings, Nagpur Orange, Kashmir Pashmina etc.

GIs are not only part of our rich culture and collective intellectual heritage, but they also supplement the incomes of our rural farmers, weavers, artisans and craftsmen across the country.

The promotion of GIs is in line with the Government of India's 'Make in India' campaign and therefore, it is our responsibility to preserve and protect them.

Taking forward its ongoing social media campaign #LetsTalkIP to promote Indian GIs, DIPP aims to launch a certifying GI mark/logo that can be used to identify all registered GIs irrespective of the categories, and a suitable tagline/slogan for promotion of GIs.

This will also help in engaging more people on the subject of GIs and making them aware about the benefits of a GI tag.

DIPP has taken several initiatives for promoting awareness and outreach on GIs. One of the ways to promote GIs could be to present them as gifts.

In this context, CIPAM has also launched "Gift a GI" campaign to enhance the visibility and thus help in branding and promotion of registered GI products. DIPP is also working with State governments to spread awareness on GIs.

9)   The dagger called Khapwa is associated with which rulers and kings?

a. Mughal
b. Afghans
c. Sikhs
d. Rajputs
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rajputs

An exhibitions entitled "Decorated Arms & Armours" displaying select daggers, swords, armours as well as pistols from National Museum's reserve collection, which represents different time period, region, technique and customs associated with these beautiful masterpieces began on Oct 18, 2017.

Director General, National Museum Dr. B.R. Mani inaugurated it. The exhibition will be on displayed till 5th November, 2017.

The history of Indian arms and armours begins in pre and proto historic times, however in the historical context they are testified by several sculptures, painting and coins during the medieval period, there was considerable ingenuity and craftsmanship in manufacturing them.

During the Sultanate and the Mughal rule, weapons underwent significant modifications, and weapons with Persian, Arab and Turkish influences became common.

Examples are the Shamsheer from Persia and the Zulfikar from Arabia.

A variety of daggers, imported weapons for self protection and hand to hand combat were also in vogue.

There were regional variants like the Jamadhar, Jambia and Khanjar of Mughal the Chura of Afghans, the Khapwa of Rajputs, the Qurauli of Sikhs and the Khukri of Nepalis.

Many daggers were adorned with ivory, jade, crystal and soap stone and sometimes embellished with calligraphy.

From pre-historic period to the later Gupta period, we find that arms and armour were basically of a functional nature and do not bear much of an aesthetic element.

It was from the medieval period that arms and armour began to be profusely ornamented.

The ornamentation on weapons began to symbolize an individual's identity his political power and economic authority.

The study of ornamented arms and armour is interesting for the part they played in shaping our history and on the technical side, where arts were applied in various ways the ornamentation techniques, the metallurgy and utility of various materials.

These include gold, silver, copper, brass, jade, crystal, agate, ivory, horn, mother of pearl, tortoise shell, wood, hide, precious and semi-precious stones etc.

The arms and armour of the nobility, military commanders and elite warriors were adorned with precious decoration especially for ceremonial use.

Weapons used by the Royal houses of different dynasties were usually embellished with decorative designs bearing testimony to the fact of historical personalities.

The edged weapons like swords, daggers, spears etc were extensively decorate3 with hunting scenes; and several other patterns.

Many of the arms also bore the name of their owners.

Arms, most importantly ornamented daggers were the most common gifts presented to distinguished individuals in recognition of their services.

A custom which was prevalent right from the ancient times is still practiced in many parts of India. The arms and armours which made up as gifts were opulently decorated.

The decoration constituted things from everyday life and were subjected to a symmetrical arrangement, with pommel itself shaped like the head of horse, figures of deities and parrot among others.