Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Oct 24, 2017

1)   Where is the ASEAN defence ministers meeting plus being held in Oct 2017?

a. Philippines
b. Malaysia
c. Indonesia
d. Thailand
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Philippines

The ASEAN defence ministers began their high-level security dialogue on Oct 23, 2017 to discuss security issues, including counter-terrorism, drug trafficking and maritime conflicts, facing the region.

They held a breakfast meeting before the formal opening of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) to specifically discuss the threat of violent extremism in the region

The Philippines, chair of the ASEAN this year, is hosting the 11th ADMM and 4th ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) that include eight of ASEAN's dialogue partners namely Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and the US.

The meeting hopes to come up with frameworks for maritime interaction, education and training exchanges, aircraft encounters among others.

ADMM: Know More

  • The ADMM is the highest defence consultative and cooperative mechanism in the ASEAN.
  • It aims to promote mutual trust and confidence through greater understanding of defence and security challenges as well as enhancement of transparency and openness among the 10 ASEAN member states-Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • The ADMM-Plus is a platform for the ASEAN Defence Ministers to engage their dialogue partners from Asia and the Pacific.

2)   India's first Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra for Skilling in Smart Cities was formed in collaboration with which government body?

a. PWD
c. BMC
d. DMC
Answer  Explanation 


To bring momentum in skilling through collaborative efforts, the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh along with Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Shri Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated India's first Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) for Skilling in Smart Cities.

This is in collaboration with New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC)

Affirming synergies with the Government of India's flagship programs, the new skill development centres underscore the commitment of the Ministry of Urban Affairs & Housing (MUHA) and the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) to support skilling in smart cities.

National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), an executive arm of MSDE, has collaborated with New Delhi Municipal Council Smart City Limited (NDMCSCL) to extend cooperation for setting up of PMKK Centres for Smart Cities, to provide skill training for unemployed youth through its short-term training (STT) module and contribute to the capacity building of municipal employees through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) program.

India which has the privilege of being a young nation, would gain from this demographic dividend to become a superpower and be amongst the top three counties in the world by 2030.

The key to reach this milestone is by investing in our youth and making them skilled.

This initiative is for integration and convergence approach towards the Prime Minister's two most ambitious projects-the Skill India Mission and the Smart City Mission.

Skilled workforce is required for effective development of any big or small project.

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra

  • The newly inaugurated Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra leverages NDMC infrastructure for skilling initiatives.
  • Located at Mandir Marg, New Delhi, the NDMC-PMKK Centre for Skilling in Smart Cities is an exemplary heritage building of approx. 30,000 sq. ft., with a capacity of skilling 4,000 youth annually. Catering to healthcare and solar energy sectors, the centre will be managed by one of NSDC's affiliated training partners-Orion Edutech.
  • This is a company which has an impeccable record of training nearly 3 lakh candidates through its network of over 275 skill development centres across the country.
  • On this occasion, a solar-power lab powered by Schneider Electric was also inaugurated.

3)   Who has been appointed the representative of India to carry forward dialogue in J&K?

a. Pranay Sahay
b. Dineshwar Sharma
c. Shyam Saran
d. Shiv Shankar Menon
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Dineshwar Sharma

In a major development, the Centre on 23rd Oct 2017 appointed Shri Dineshwar Sharma, former Director of Intelligence Bureau, as the Representative of Government of India to initiate and carry forward a dialogue with the elected representatives, various organizations and concerned individuals in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Shri Sharma will initiate a sustained interaction and dialogue to understand the legitimate aspirations of the wide cross sections of society, particularly the youth in Jammu and Kashmir and communicate them to the State Government and the Centre.

The move comes in the wake of various steps taken by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to address the needs of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

On November 7, 2015, the Prime Minister had announced a package of INR 80,068 Crores for the overall development of the State.

He has also met the leaders of political parties from time to time and received suggestions with regard to the issue of peace and development in J&K.

Subsequently, Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh has also visited J&K from September 9-12, 2017 and met a large number of delegations from wide spectrum of the society.

Shri Dineshwar Sharma is a Retired IPS officer from 1979 Batch of Kerala Cadre.

During his distinguished career, he has served in J&K, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur and as Additional Director and Special Director in the Intelligence Bureau in the Headquarters.

He has in-depth understanding of security related matters and considerable knowledge and experience of issues relating to Jammu and Kashmir.

4)   Who has been appointed as the CEO and MD of IPPB?

a. Suresh Sethi
b. Arundhati Bhattacharya
c. Chanda Kochchar
d. Romesh Sobti
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Suresh Sethi

India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) has appointed Mr. Suresh Sethi, the former MD of Vodafone M-Pesa Ltd. as its Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Sethi had been selected by the Banks Board Bureau from amongst top contenders for the post, from both public and private sector Banking and Fintech professionals.

Mr. Sethi has broad international experience of over 27 years in the Banking and Financial Services industry with Citigroup, YES Bank and Vodafone M-Pesa across India, Kenya, UK, Argentina and US.

He has extensively worked in the Financial Inclusion space leveraging Fintech and digital led innovation.

His experience in the Digital & Mobile Payments space will be of great relevance to IPPB which aims to deliver financial inclusion with special focus in rural and semi-urban India and among the under-banked segments.

Mr. Sethi takes over from the dynamic leadership of Mr. A.P. Singh who had been the interim MD & CEO of IPPB since January 2017.

IPPB has been incorporated as a Public Limited Company under the Department of Posts with 100% GOI equity. IPPB plans to leverage the unparalleled reach of the India Post network to achieve a Pan India roll out of 650 branches by early next year.

5)   Who has been appointed the CISF ADG till May 31, 2020?

a. Alok Kumar Pateria
b. Kiran Bedi
c. KPS Gill
d. OP Singh
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Alok Kumar Pateria

Alok Kumar Pateria has been appointed as the new additional director general (ADG) of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

The appointments committee of the Union Cabinet on Monday approved the appointment of Pateria as the CISF ADG on deputation basis for a period up to May 31, 2020, the day of his superannuation from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier.

Pateria is a 1986 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the Madhya Pradesh cadre.

Among the winners of the President's Medal in 2010 is Alok Kumar Pateria, Joint Director (Policy) who earlier as JD (North) had handled sensitive cases like the disproportionate assets case against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati and the Provident Fund scam at Ghaziabad court.

CISF: Know More

  • The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) (established in its present form: 15 June 1983) is a Central Armed Police Force in India.
  • It was set up under an Act of the Parliament of India on 10 March 1969 with a strength of 2,800. CISF was subsequently made an armed force of the Republic of India by another Act of Parliament passed on 15 June 1983.
  • Its current active strength is 144,418 personnel and in April 2017, the government raised the sanctioned strength from 145,000 to 180,000 personnel.
  • It is directly under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and its headquarters are at New Delhi.
  • The CISF provides security cover to 300 industrial units, government infrastructure projects and facilities and establishments located all over India.
  • Industrial sectors like atomic power plants, space installations, mints, oil fields and refineries, major ports, heavy engineering, steel plants, barrages, fertiliser units, airports and hydroelectric/thermal power plants owned and controlled by Central Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), and currency note presses producing Indian currency are protected by CISF.
  • It thereby covers installations all over India straddling a variety of terrain and climatic conditions. CISF also provides consultancy services to private industries as well as other organisations within the Indian government.
  • The consulting wing has amongst its clients some of the renowned business houses and organisations of India including TISCO, Jamshedpur; SEBI Hdqrs. Mumbai; Vidhana Sabha, Bangalore; Orissa Mining Co., Bhubaneswar; Telangana Assembly, Hyderabad; Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corp.; HIL Kerala; IB Thermal plant, Odisha; IARI, Delhi; NBRI, Lucknow and Electronics City, Bangalore.
  • The scope of CISF's consulting practice includes security consulting and fire protection consulting.

6)   GoI, Ministry of Finance has made it mandatory to match the official identity card and photocopies for which transactions?

a. Transactions above INR 50,000
b. Transactions above INR 100,000
c. Transactions above INR 25,000
d. Transactions above INR 40,000
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Transactions above INR 50,000

The Government has made it mandatory for banks and financial institutions to check the original identification documents of individuals dealing in cash above the prescribed threshold.

Individuals carrying out transactions above Rs 50, 000 will have to furnish their original identity proofs to the banks.

For this, The Department of Revenue in the Finance Ministry has issued a gazette notification making an amendment to the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules. Under this order, it will be necessary for all financial institutions to match the official identity card and their photocopy.

The new rule now requires the reporting entity to compare "the copy of officially valid (identification) document so produced by the client with the original and recording the same on the copy".

The Aadhaar number and other official documents are required to be obtained by the reporting entities from anyone opening a bank account as well as for any financial transaction of INR 50,000 and above.

Moreover, furnishing an ID proof is also mandatory for all cash dealing of more than INR 10 lakh or its equivalent in foreign currency, cash transactions were forged or counterfeit currency notes have been used and all suspicious transactions.

PMLA and New Gazette Notification: Know More

  • To put an end to money laundering and black money menace, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 was implemented.
  • The PMLA and its rules impose an obligation on reporting entities like banks, financial institutions and intermediaries to verify the identity of clients, maintain records and furnish information to Financial Intelligence Unit of India (FIU-IND).
  • The Gazette notification said in case the officially valid document furnished does not contain the updated address, a utility bill like electricity, telephone, post-paid mobile phone, piped gas or water bill which is not more than two months old can be considered as a proof of address.
  • Every reporting entity shall at the time of commencement of an account-based relationship, identify its clients, verify their identity and obtain information on the purpose and intended nature of the business relationship as per Rule 9. Intermediaries like stockbroker, chit fund company, cooperative bank, housing finance institution and non-banking finance companies are also classified as reporting entities.
  • All cross-border wire transfers of more than INR 5 lakh in foreign currency and purchase and sale of immovable property valued at INR 50 lakh or more also fall under this category, according to the reporting rules.
  • RBI also confirmed that it is mandatory to link bank accounts to Aadhaar. The RBI issued a statement in the wake of some news reports quoting a reply to a Right To Information (RTI) application that Aadhaar number linkage with bank accounts is not mandatory.

7)   Who clinched the third Super Series premier title at Denmark Open in Oct 2017?

a. Kidambi Srikanth
b. PV Sindhu
c. Saina Nehwal
d. Joshna Chinappa
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Kidambi Srikanth

Kidambi Srikanth clinched his third Super Series Premier title with a dominating straight-game victory over Korean veteran Lee Hyun II in a lopsided final of the USD 750,000 Denmark Open here on Sunday.

Playing an opponent 12 years his senior, Srikanth asserted his dominance with a 21-10 21-5 win over 37-year-old Lee in a match that lasted just 25 minutes here.

World No. 8 Srikanth didn't give any chances to the more experienced Lee.

The duo were tied 4-4, before Srikanth changed gears and used his deception and powerful smashes to lead 9-5.

Other Wins at the Denmark Open

  • Earlier, 2013 World Champion Ratchanok Inthanon produced another gritty display to stave off the challenge from World No. 5 and defending champion Akane Yamaguchi of Japan 14-21 21-15 21-19 to win her first title of the season.
  • Ratchanok wanted to give "my best for our beloved King, who passed away last year."
  • Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest- reigning monarch, had passed away last year after 70 years as head of state.
  • Among other matches, Hong Kong's eighth seeded mixed doubles pair of Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet, who had clinched the 2012 Japan Open Super Series, notched up their maiden major title.
  • They defeated top-seeded Chinese combo of Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen 24-22 19-21 23-21 in a thrilling contest that lasted a little less than an hour.
  • Korea's women's doubles pair of Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan, who had won the 2014 World championship bronze medal at Denmark, dished out another sensational performance to outwit Japanese sixth seeds Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto 21-13 21-16 to clinch the title.
  • Chinese pair of Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan, seeded fifth, defeated second seeded Indonesian combo of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo 21-16 22-24 21-19 in the men's doubles final clash.

8)   NASA telescopes have spotted which cosmic bodies making massive planets on 3 distant solar systems?

a. Dwarf stars
b. Moons
c. Comets
d. Asteroids
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Comets

Scientists using NASA telescopes have spotted narrow dense rings of comets coming together to form massive planets on the outskirts of at least three distant solar systems.

Estimating the mass of these rings from the amount of light they reflect shows that each of these developing planets is at least the size of a few Earths.

Over the past few decades, using powerful NASA observatories such as the Infrared Telescope Facility in Hawaii and the Spitzer Space Telescope, scientists have found a number of young debris disk systems with thin but bright outer rings composed of comet-like bodies at 75 to 200 astronomical units from their parent stars - about two to seven times the distance of Pluto from our own Sun.

The composition of the material in these rings varies from ice-rich (seen in the Fomalhaut and HD 32297 systems) to ice-depleted but carbon rich (the HR 4796A system).

The scientists are especially intrigued by the red dust ring surrounding HR 4796A, which shows unusually tight form for an infant solar system.

Lisse traced the extreme red colour to the burnt-out rocky organic remains of comets, a result of the system's ring being close enough to the star that they have all boiled off.

Comets crashing down onto these growing planet surfaces would kick up huge clouds of fast-moving, ejected 'construction dust,' which would spread over the system in huge cloud.

The only apparent solution to these issues is that multiple mini-planets are coalescing in these rings, and these small bodies, with low kick-up velocities, are shepherding the rings into narrow structures - much in the same way many of the narrow rings of Saturn are focused and sharpened.

Comets in Distant Solar Systems

  • In Fomalhaut and HD 32297, researchers expect that millions of comets are contributing to form the cores of ice giant planets like Uranus and Neptune.
  • However, this is without the thick atmospheres enveloping the cores of Uranus and Neptune since the primordial gas disks that would form such atmospheres are gone.
  • In HR 4796A, with its warmer dust ring, even the ices normally found in the rings' comets evaporated over the last million years or so, leaving behind core building blocks that are rich only in leftover carbon and rocky materials.

9)   Under the Motor Vehicles Act, the noise range of horns has been fixed at?

a. 93-112 dB
b. 56-77 dB
c. 51-75 dB
d. 97-118 dB
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 93-112 dB

A study which analysed data on noise levels in seven big cities of the country came to the conclusion that finding a quiet place in these cities is next to impossible.

Data from 70 monitoring stations in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Lucknow was analysed for 2015.

While 17 of the stations were in silence zones, 25 were located in commercial areas, 16 in residential areas and the remaining 12 in industrial areas. Interestingly, 10 of the 12 industrial sites met the ambient noise standard.

On the other hand, none of the silence zones met the standard.

The study was carried out by a group of researchers from CSIR-National Physical Laboratory, Delhi Technological University (DTU) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

It noted that monitoring stations in residential and commercial areas too did not meet the required standard during both day (6 am to 10 pm) and night-time (10 pm to 6 am).

The decibel (dB) level in silence zones should not exceed 50 dB during day-time and 40 dB during night-time.

But the study, published in ‘Current Science' showed that noise level at these sites varied from 56 dB to as high as 77 dB in the day and from 51 dB to 75 dB at night.

Under the Motor Vehicle Rules, the noise range for horns has been fixed between 93 dB and 112 dB. Exposure to sound beyond 93 dB for eight hours can cause irreversible hearing loss

It recommended various control measures such as appropriate land use planning and creating buffer zones for sensitive receptors.

Installation of noise barriers for hospitals, schools, colleges and old age homes; enforcement of maximum decibel level of vehicles; establishment of no-honking zones especially for residential areas and silence zones and development of poro-elastic road surfaces for traffic noise control are some of the other measures which are recommended by the scientists in the study.

10)   Which planet was discovered by NASA's MAVEN to have a twisted magnetic tail?

a. Venus
b. Mars
c. Saturn
d. Neptune
Answer  Explanation 


Nasa's MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission) spacecraft, which has been orbiting Mars since 2014, has been gathering data that will allow scientists to understand changes in the upper atmosphere of the Red Planet.

It is known that Mars, billions of years ago, had atmosphere and water and could have supported life. It is now barren and cold.

What Mars now has is a thin atmosphere–and even this is at risk, say scientists who have discovered that the planet has a twisted tail.

The process that created this tail could also allow some of Mars' already thin atmosphere to escape to space.

Mars' magnetic tail, or magnetotail, is unique in the solar system. It's not like the magnetotail found at Venus, a planet with no magnetic field of its own, nor is it like Earth's, which is surrounded by its own internally generated magnetic field.

Instead, it is a hybrid between the two.

The team found that a process called "magnetic reconnection” must have a big role in creating the Martian magnetotail because, if reconnection were occurring, it would put the twist in the tail.

A model the scientists built suggested that such reconnection would cause the planet's tail to twist 45 degrees from what is expected, based on the direction of the magnetic field carried by the solar wind, the scientist explained.

The model was found to be in agreement with readings based on MAVEN data.

Mars lost its global magnetic field billions of years ago and now just has remnant ‘fossil' magnetic fields embedded in certain regions of its surface.

Mars' magnetotail is formed when magnetic fields carried by the solar wind join with the magnetic fields embedded in the Martian surface in a process called magnetic reconnection.

The solar wind is a stream of electrically conducting gas continuously blowing from the Sun's surface into space at about one million miles (1.6 million kilometres) per hour.

It carries magnetic fields from the Sun with it.

If the solar wind field happens to be oriented in the opposite direction to a field in the Martian surface, the two fields join together in magnetic reconnection, such that the reconnection might propel some of the atmosphere of Mars into space.

Mars' upper atmosphere has electrically charged particles (ions), which respond to electric and magnetic forces and flow along magnetic field lines.

Since the Martian magnetotail is formed by linking surface magnetic fields to solar wind fields, ions in the Martian upper atmosphere have a pathway to space if they flow down the magnetotail.

Like a stretched rubber band suddenly snapping to a new shape, magnetic reconnection also releases energy, which could actively propel ions in the Martian atmosphere down the magnetotail into space.

MAVEN: Know More

  • Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN Mission (MAVEN)[5] is a space probe developed by NASA designed to study the Martian atmosphere while orbiting Mars.
  • Mission goals include determining how the planet's atmosphere and water, presumed to have once been substantial, were lost over time.
  • MAVEN was successfully launched aboard an Atlas V launch vehicle at the beginning of the first launch window on November 18, 2013.
  • Following the first engine burn of the Centaur second stage, the vehicle coasted in low Earth orbit for 27 minutes before a second Centaur burn of five minutes to insert it into a heliocentric Mars transit orbit.
  • On September 22, 2014, MAVEN reached Mars and was inserted into an areocentric elliptic orbit 6,200 km (3,900 mi) by 150 km (93 mi) above the planet's surface.
  • The principal investigator for the spacecraft is Bruce Jakosky of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder.
  • On November 5, 2015, NASA announced that data from MAVEN shows that the deterioration of Mars' atmosphere increases significantly during solar storms.
  • Mars' gradual shift from its carbon dioxide-dominated atmosphere-which had kept Mars relatively warm and allowed the planet to support liquid surface water-to the cold, arid planet took place between about 4.2 and 3.7 billion years ago.