Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Oct 3, 2017

1)   Scientists have used which technology that can turn everyday objects into remote controls for televisions?

a. Matchpoint
b. Volumepoint
c. Channelpoint
d. Menupoint
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Matchpoint

Scientists have developed a technology that can turn everyday objects - such as teacups or toy cars - into remote controls for televisions.

Researchers said the ‘Matchpoint’ technology, which only requires a simple webcam, works by displaying moving targets that orbit a small circular widget in the corner of the TV screen.

These targets correspond to different functions - such as volume, changing channel or viewing a menu.

The user synchronises the direction of movement of the target, with their hand, head or an object, to achieve what researchers call ‘spontaneous spatial coupling’, which activates the desired function.

Unlike existing gesture control technology, the software does not look for a specific body part - such as a hand - it has been trained to identify.

The technology looks for rotating movement so it does not require calibration, or the software to have prior knowledge of objects.

This provides much more flexibility and ease for the user as it works even while hands are full.

When selecting volume adjustment or channel selection, sliders appear.

The user moves their hand, head, or object, in the required direction indicated by the slider to change the volume or to find the desired channel.

As well as televisions, the technology can also be used with other screens.

Multiple pointers can be created to allow more than one user to point at drawings or pictures on interactive whiteboards simultaneously.

Matchpoint also allows users to manipulate images on whiteboards by using two hands to zoom in and out, and rotate images.

In addition to short-term couplings, users can also link stationary objects to controls, which even when left for prolonged periods will retain their control function.

2)   Which breed of cows is known for its high milk yielding capacity and adaptability in difficult conditions?

a. Rathi
b. Dangi
c. Khillari
d. Ongole
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Ongole

The Ongole breed cow is known for high milk yielding capacities and adaptability in tough conditions.

An innovative cattle breeding technology replicating the In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) procedure developed by the veterinary scientists at the Livestock Research Station, promising a revolution in cattle breeding.

After successful clinical trials in which the surrogate embryo of the higher genetic Ongole cow is transferred to lower genetic cows under the “Indigenous Bovine Embryo Transfer Mission” at Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University, Livestock Research Station, Lam, Guntur, scientists are now taking the technology to the doorstep of farmers.

The programme has been taken up under the National Mission on Bovine Productivity (NMBP) under the Department of Animal Husbandry Dairying Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, and Andhra Pradesh Livestock Development Agency.

The big advantage that a dairy farmer has is there is an increase of offspring by 5-6 times through the bovine embryo transfer technology.

The quality of offspring is also better as the embryo transfer is in between higher genetic animals to lower genetic animals.

Tadikonda MLA and board member of the university Tenali Sravan Kumar launched the programme at the Live stock Research Station, Lam, in the presence of senior officials of the department.

Under the National Mission on Bovine Productivity, it was proposed to carry out 1,000 embryo transfers during October 2-10, 2017, across the country and the Embryo Biotechnology laboratory at Livestock Research Station, Lam, has been identified to carry out this activity in Ongole cattle.

3)   Who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or medicine from these?

a. Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young
b. Yoshinori Ohsumi
c. Marie Curie
d. Only a and b
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Only a and b

American scientists win Nobel Medicine/Physiology for discoveries about daily bodily rhythms

Three Americans won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday for their discoveries about the body's daily rhythms.

This paves the way for opening up whole new fields of research and raising awareness about the importance of getting proper sleep.

Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young won the 9-million-kronor ($1.1 million) prize for isolating a gene that controls the body’s normal daily biological rhythm.

Circadian rhythms adapt the workings of the body to different phases of the day, influencing sleep, behaviour, hormone levels, body temperature and metabolism.

They were able to peek inside our biological clock and elucidate its inner workings.

Mr. Rosbash is on the faculty at Brandeis University, Mr. Young is at Rockefeller University and Mr. Hall has been associated with the University of Maine.

The winners have raised "awareness of the importance of a proper sleep hygiene.

Period Gene: Know More

  • The awardees’ work stems back to 1984, when Mr. Rosbash and Mr. Hall, who was then also at Brandeis, along with Mr. Young isolated the “period gene” in fruit flies.
  • Mr. Hall and Mr. Rosbash found that a protein encoded by the gene accumulated during the night and degraded during daytime.
  • A decade later, Mr. Young discovered another "clock gene."
  • The paradigm-shifting discoveries by the laureates established key mechanisms for the biological clock.
  • Our wellbeing is affected when there is a temporary mismatch between our external environment and this internal biological clock, for example when we travel across several time zones and experience 'jet lag.
  • There are also indications that chronic misalignment between our lifestyle and the rhythm dictated by our inner time keeper is associated with increased risk for various diseases.
  • That misalignment may be associated with diseases, including cancer and degenerative neurological conditions.
  • Circadian dysfunction has been linked to sleep disorders, as well as depression, bipolar disorder, cognitive function, memory formation and some neurological diseases.
  • Last year the prize was won by Yoshinori Ohsumi, a Japanese cell biologist who unpicked the mechanisms by which the body break downs and recycles components of cells – a process that guards against various diseases, including cancer and diabetes.
Nobel Prizes
  • In total, 107 Nobel prizes for physiology or medicine have been won by 211 scientists since 1901, with just 12 awarded to women.
  • Nonetheless, it remains the science award with the highest such tally – so far the physics prize has only been awarded to two women: Marie Curie and Maria Goeppert Mayer.
  • From 1901 till this year, Nobel prizes have been awarded 579 times to 911 Laureates and organisations with the youngest winner being 2014 Peace Prize awardee Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan at 17 years.
  • By winning the Peace Nobel at this tender age along with India’s Kailash Satyarthi, Ms. Yousafzai beat the previous record of Lawrence Bragg, who won the Physics Nobel in 1915 at the age of 25.
  • The word “Laureate” signifies the laurel wreath awarded to winners of athletic competitions and poetic meets in Ancient Greece. In Greek mythology, god Apollo is represented wearing on his head a laurel wreath, a circular crown made of branches and leaves of the bay laurel.
  • On 27 November 1895, Alfred Nobel signed his last will and testament, giving the largest share of his fortune to a series of prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Peace.
  • In 1968, Sweden’s central bank Sveriges Riksbank established The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Nobel.
  • At the Nobel Award ceremonies on December 10, the Laureates receive three things: a Nobel Diploma, a Nobel Medal and a document confirming the Nobel Prize amount.
  • The Nobel Prize amount for 2014 is set at Swedish kronor (SEK) 8.0 million per full Nobel Prize.
Interesting facts
  • The average age of all Nobel Laureates in all prize categories between 1901 and 2014 is 59 years.
  • Most common birthday month of all the Nobel Laureates is June.
  • Since 1901, prizes have not been awarded 49 times, most of them during World War I (1914-1918) and II (1939-1945).
  • Leonid Hurwicz has the distinction of being the oldest Nobel recipient at the age of 90 for Economics in 2007.
  • Till now, 48 women have won the Nobel while two Laureates declined the prize.
  • Jean-Paul Sartre, awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature, declined it as he had consistently declined all official honours.
  • Le Duc Tho, awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger for negotiating the Vietnam peace accord, said he was not in a position to accept the award, citing the situation in Vietnam as his reason.
  • Four Laureates were forced by authorities to decline the Nobel.
  • Adolf Hitler forbade three Germans Richard Kuhn, Adolf Butenandt and Gerhard Domagk, from accepting the Nobel Prize. They, however, received the Nobel Prize Diploma and Medal later but not the prize amount.
  • Boris Pasternak, the 1958 Nobel Laureate in Literature, initially accepted the Prize but was later coerced by authorities of his native country the Soviet Union to decline the award.
  • Three Peace Laureates — Germany’s Carl von Ossietzky, Myanmar’s pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and Chinese rights activist Liu Xiaobo — were under arrest at the time of the award.
  • The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was given the Nobel Peace Prize thrice while its founder Henry Dunant won the first Peace Prize in 1901.
  • Linus Pauling has the distinction of being the only person to have been awarded two unshared Nobel Prizes — the 1954 Prize in Chemistry and the 1962 Peace Prize.

4)   The Global Wildlife Programme 2017 saw the release of which documents?

a. National Wildlife Action Programme
b. Secure Himalayas
c. Both a and b
d. Neither a nor b
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and b

Inaugurating the Global Wildlife Programme here today, Dr. Harsh Vardhan emphasised that modern technology must be used to counter poachers and wildlife crimes. He pointed out that the effort has always been to resolve all issues related to wildlife in a harmonious manner.

The Minister said that India has the largest participation of people living in the forests towards conservation efforts.

Two documents – India’s National Wildlife Action Plan (NWAP) for the period 2017-2031 and Secure Himalaya were released on the occasion.

The Plan focuses on preservation of genetic diversity and sustainable development.

The NWAP has five components, 17 themes, 103 conservation actions and 250 projects.

The five components are – strengthening and promoting the integrated management of wildlife and their habitats; adaptation to climate change and promoting integrated sustainable management of aquatic biodiversity in India; promoting eco-tourism, nature education and participatory management; strengthening wildlife research and monitoring of development of human resources in wildlife conservation and enabling policies and resources for conservation of wildlife in India.

The Plan will help to mainstream wildlife conservation in development planning processes.

The Minister also launched the India Wildlife Mobile App to mark the occasion.

Conference will provide a platform to build strategic partnerships between all the 19 nations and enable India to strengthen its enforcement mechanism to control wildlife trafficking.

The nations will learn from each other on strengthening peoples’ participation.

The Environment Secretary emphasised that some new action issues have been considered in the Third National Wildlife Action Plan.

These issues include – climate change and wildlife, wildlife health, inland, coastal and marine conservation and wildlife conflict mitigation.

Some of the issues that will be discussed during the Conference are – leveraging partnerships to promote shared benefits on public-private partnerships and opportunities in wildlife-based tourism that help promote wildlife conservation; inclusive growth infrastructure for wildlife conservation and ways to mitigate impacts of infrastructure in wildlife and innovative approaches to engage people in wildlife conservation.

5)   On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti (2nd Oct 2017) who created a statue in Rajghat depicting the Father of the Nation?

a. Ram Sutar
b. Ram Singh
c. Ram Surendar
d. Ram Singla
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Ram Sutar

Rajghat, the Samadhi of the Father of the Nation in the national capital , has for the first time acquired a new feature that could appeal to the large number of visitors.

Vice-President of India Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu unveiled a 1.80 metre tall bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of the 148 Birth Anniversary of the champion of country’s independence.

The statue, sculpted by the renowned Shri Ram Sutar is installed in the Parking Area of Rajghat Samadhi Complex at a cost of INR 8.73 lakhs.

It is mounted on a two feet high pedestal clad with granite.

The famous message of Gandhi ji “Be the Change You Wish to See” is inscribed on the front side of the pedestal. Installation of the Statue is a part of a large number of improvement works at Rajghat undertaken during the last three years.

Over 10,000 people visiting Rajghat daily and foreign dignitaries pay homage to the Father of the Nation at the simple black stone platform marking the place where Gandhi ji was cremated.

Shri Venkaiah Naidu also inaugurated an Interpretation Centre in the Parking Area of the complex.

The INR 59 lakhs facility enables interactive learning about the life and works of the Mahatma through Digital Display using LED screens.

Visitors can watch films, life events, listen to speeches of Gandhiji besides participating in quiz, using ear phones for interaction without disturbance.

The Samadhi Complex also got a new administrative block that is equipped with Visitors Room, Publication Unit, Staff Room, Drinking Water facility. This has been built at a cost of about Rs.75 lakhs.

6)   When was Oct 1 designated as International Day of Older Persons?

a. 1990
b. 1991
c. 1992
d. 1993
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 1990

On 14 December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly (by resolution 45/106) designated 1 October the International Day of Older Persons.

This was preceded by initiatives such as the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing – which was adopted by the 1982 World Assembly on Ageing – and endorsed later that year by the UN General Assembly.

In 1991, the General Assembly (by resolution 46/91) adopted the United Nations Principles for Older Persons.

In 2002, the Second World Assembly on Ageing adopted the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, to respond to the opportunities and challenges of population ageing in the 21st century and to promote the development of a society for all ages.

Almost 700 million people are now over the age of 60. By 2050, 2 billion people, over 20 per cent of the world’s population, will be 60 or older.

The increase in the number of older people will be the greatest and the most rapid in the developing world, with Asia as the region with the largest number of older persons, and Africa facing the largest proportionate growth.

With this in mind, enhanced attention to the particular needs and challenges faced by many older people is clearly required. Just as important, however, is the essential contribution the majority of older men and women can continue to make to the functioning of society if adequate guarantees are in place.

Human rights lie at the core of all efforts in this regard.

The theme of the 2017 commemoration is “Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society”.

7)   Who was CMD of Loyal Textile Mills, a leading group in South India till 2nd Oct 2017?

a. Manikam Ramaswam
b. MS Swaminathan
c. Verghese Kurien
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Manikam Ramaswam

Manikam Ramaswami, 63, chairman and managing director of Loyal Textile Mills, passed away in Chennai on Oct 2, 2017.

Sources said Ramaswami had collapsed after being administered anaesthesia for a dental procedure and was taken to a private hospital in Adyar where doctors declared him dead.

His Loyal Group includes ‘P.Orr & Sons’, a popular watch dealing and servicing company.

He was also passionate about education — he was the correspondent of the Thiagarajar School of Management, Madurai and Thiagarajar Model Higher Secondary School, as well as the secretary at the Thiagarajar College of Preceptors.

Ramaswami was the past chairman of TEXPROCIL, the association for cotton textiles exports promotion.

He was the Honorary Consul for Chennai, The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

As chairman at TEXPROCIL, he had taken several efforts to boost yarn exports.

He joined Loyal Textile Mills, his family business, full time in 1976. The company’s revenues have risen to ?200-plus crore from ?2.5 crore in 1975, said a statement from his office.

Manikam Ramaswami: Know More

  • The industrialist is survived by wife Valli Manikam Ramaswami and daughter Vishala Ramaswami.
  • A mechanical engineer from IIT Madras, he was awarded the Banco Foundation Gold Medal.
  • As part of his college project, he received a patent for an oscillating piston internal combustion engine, the statement said. He has also served as chairman for SIMA.
  • He also played a key role in the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). He was the past chairman of CII Tamil Nadu State Council.