Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Sep 01, 2017

1)   Who took over as Secretary to GoI in the MHA on 31st Aug 2017?

a. Shri Rajiv Gauba
b. Shri Rajiv Singh
c. Shri Rajiv Gupta
d. Shri Rajiv Sinha
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Shri Rajiv Gauba

Shri Rajiv Gauba, IAS (Jharkhand cadre-1982 batch) today took over as Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Shri Gauba joined the Ministry of Home Affairs as Officer on Special Duty on June 27, 2017 and took charge as the Union Home Secretary upon the superannuation of Shri Rajiv Mehrishi.

Prior to this, Shri Gauba was Secretary in the Ministry of Urban Development.

He has wide-ranging experience in senior positions in the Central and State Governments and in international organisations.

Hailing from Punjab, the 1959 born Shri Gauba is a Physics graduate.

He has worked as Chief Secretary, Jharkhand.

Earlier, Shri Gauba served in the Central Government in the Ministries of Home, Defence, Environment and Forests and Department of Electronics and Information Technology.

Shri Gauba also served in the International Monetary Fund representing the country for four years on the Board of IMF.

2)   Which common food processing incubation centre was launched in Chettikulam village?

a. Small Onions
b. Shallots
c. Tomatoes
d. Both a and b
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and b

Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries launched Common Food Processing Incubation Center for Shallots (Small Onions) in Chettikulam village.

This is in Perambalur District of Tamil Nadu through video conferencing.

Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that it is a historic & auspicious occasion for Tamil Nadu and Chettikulam Village in particular.

She also congratulated Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT), Thanjavur for their initiatives to help double farmers’ income by 2022.

She also said that farmers in Perambalur District are producing 70000 tons of shallots per year in a cultivation area of 8000 hectares, in spite of the increasing difficulty in cultivation due to increase in prices of inputs, unpredictable weather, disease outbreak and not getting adequate prices in the market.

This Central Processing Center for Shallots in Perambalur will ensure that no shallots are getting wasted, increase farmers’ income and also ensure availability of shallots to consumers.

This Onion processing technology should be taken to all parts of India.

Mission Onion: Know More

  • Central Food Processing Center for Shallots in Chettikulam, Perambalur District is part of the Mission Onion in improving the lives of Onion farmers in this area.
  • This centre will help farmers’ to double their income through value addition. This centre will process Shallots and produce 4 Shallot products viz. Fresh Shallot, Peeled Shallot, Onion Powder, Onion Paste, Onion Flakes.
  • IIFPT is working on Mission Coconut which will be launched next year on World Coconut Day (2nd September 2018).
  • Perambalur district is the hub for small onions (Shallots) cultivation in over 8000 hectares producing around 65,000 to 70,000 tonnes every year.
  • Farmers reported massive losses due to conventional methods of handling and storage.
  • Stakeholders from this region expressed their need to provide technological solutions to minimize wastage, particularly during seasons with surplus production.
  • The farmer producers union which will be involved in this initiative was also launched recently.

3)   CBDT and CBEC held a joint conference under the umbrella of which meet for the first time?

a. Rajaswa Gyan Sangam
b. Udesh Gyan Sangam
c. Sandesh Gyan Sangam
d. Sandharbh Gyan Sangam
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Rajaswa Gyan Sangam

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) have been holding annual Conferences of senior officers for a number of years.

In 2016, for the first time, a joint Conference of the two Boards was held under the umbrella of “Rajaswa Gyan Sangam” which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

This year also, a joint Conference of the two Boards is scheduled to be held on 1st and 2nd of September, 2017 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

The Rajaswa Gyan Sangam, 2017 will be attended by the senior officers of CBDT and CBEC.

For the first time ever, senior officers of the Finance Department of the States and Union Territories will be attending this event.

There will be several Joint Sessions of the officers of the two Boards.

One of the plenary sessions will be addressed by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev on the first day when he will be speaking on “Inner Engineering - Technologies for Well Being”.

Sh. K V Chowdary, Central Vigilance Commissioner will address the joint session on the second day.

The objective of the Conference is to enable a two-way communication between the policy-makers and the senior officers in the field offices with a view to increase revenue collection and facilitate effective implementation of law and policies in key result areas.

4)   Researchers at IIT have discovered a bioartificial model of which organ growing within a 3D silk scaffold?

a. Liver
b. Kidney
c. Stomach
d. Pancreas
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Pancreas

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati have successfully created an implantable bioartificial pancreas model grown within a 3D silk scaffold.

The “pancreas”, which encapsulates insulin-producing cells, is capable of naturally producing insulin in a sustained manner.

If successful in animal and human trials, it can be used for treating people with type 1 diabetes.

The silk scaffold was found to be biocompatible (not toxic to living tissue) as it did not trigger any immune reaction.

The silk scaffold (6 mm in diameter and 2 mm in thickness) was made porous by using salt grains of specific size to dissolve the silk proteins.

The pores - 400 - 500 micrometre in size - allowed glucose and oxygen to enter the scaffold and insulin released by the beta cells to enter the bloodstream;

There was also greater cell survival. Insulin producing beta cells taken from 8 - to 10 - week-old rats were added to the scaffold.

Type 1 diabetes arises when the body’s immune system kills the insulin-producing beta cells.

Since type 1 diabetes patients do not have insulin-producing beta cells, the researchers have turned to stem cells to produce beta cells.

5)   India and which country signed an MoU to restore damaged pagodas at Bagan?

a. Myanmar
b. Vietnam
c. China
d. Japan
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Myanmar

India and Myanmar are set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the conservation of earthquake-damaged pagodas at Bagan.

This is during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Myanmar next week.

The cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Myanmar for the conservation of earthquake-damaged pagodas at Bagan, Myanmar.

Began is a renowned tourist attraction of Myanmar.

India’s role in rebuilding damaged pagodas at Began will be an opportunity to showcase India’s expertise in the restoration and conservation of monuments not only to the people of Myanmar but also tourists from other countries.

The MoU will be signed during the visit of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Myanmar on September 6-7, 2017.

This will further strengthen India’s enduring ties with Myanmar, in culture and religion.

Prime Minister’s visit will generate immense goodwill for India among the people of Myanmar due to the religious significance as well as the touristic significance of the project.

6)   Konkani writer Mahabaleshwar Sail has been honoured with which award for his novel Hawthan?

a. Saraswati Samman
b. National Literary Award
c. Pulitzer
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Saraswati Samman

Eminent Konkani writer Mahabaleshwar Sail has been honoured with the Saraswati Samman 2016 for his novel Hawthan.

The 74-year-old’s novel was shortlisted out of 22 books written in as many languages.

The award carries a cash prize of ?15 lakh and a citation.

Mr. Sail is a bilingual writer who has four Marathi dramas and seven Konkani novels to his credit.

He has also written five short stories and a novel in Marathi.

Mahabaleshwar Sail: Know More

  • Mahabaleshwar Sail was born on 4 August 1943 in Shejebag in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. He had served in Indian Army and had participated in 1965 Indo-Pakistani War.
  • He also had served as UN peacekeeper in 1964-1965 at Israel and Egypt border.
  • He also had worked as supervisor in Forest Department, Goa, Daman and Diu Police and India Post till his retirement.
  • Saraswati Samman: Know More
  • Saraswati Samman is an annual award bestowed upon Indian citizen for his outstanding literary work written in any 22 Indian language mentioned in Schedule VIII of Constitution and published during last 10 years.
  • The award has been named after Indian goddess of learning Saraswati.
  • It is considered one of the highest literary awards in India.
  • It was established in 1991 by the KK Birla Foundation
  • It carries cash prize of 15 lakh rupees, a citation and a plaque of goddess Saraswati.
  • Harivansh Rai Bachchan was first recipient of this award for his autobiography published in four volumes.

7)   A major set of reforms have been put in place to enhance combat capability of Indian Army based on __________ suggestions?

a. Lt Gen Shekatkar committee
b. Masoof Raza Commitee
c. Brigadier Singh committe
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Lt Gen Shekatkar committee

In a first, the government on 30th Aug, 2017 approved reforms within the Indian Army.

This is to enhance the combat capability of the forces thereby rebalancing defence expenditure in a phased manner by December 2019 based on the Lt Gen Shekatkar committee.

The first phase of the reforms involves redeployment and restructuring of approximately 57,000 posts of officers.

The measures will be implemented in a gradual manner.

Restructuring of the Indian Army is aimed at enhancing combat capability in a manner that the officers will be used for improving operational preparedness and civilians will be redeployed in different wings of the armed forces for improving efficiency.

The committee headed by Lt Gen (Retd) DB Shekatkar had given 99 recommendations to the government in its report on December 2016.

Out of this the Ministry of Defence has decided to implement 65 suggestions.

The net effect of this is, as to various, different functions in the Army, as per the changed environment of technology, economy, combat capability of the Army, how it is to be best utilised.

Under this, the government will do away 39 military farms and several Army postal departments in peace locations.

Army Reforms: Know More

  • There will be optimisation of signal establishments to include Radio Monitoring Companies, Corps Air Support Signal Regiments, Air Formation Signal Regiments, Composite Signal Regiments and merger of Corps Operating and Engineering Signal Regiments.
  • The committee was given the mandate to recommend measures for enhancing the Combat Capability and Rebalancing Defence Expenditure of the Armed Forces with an aim to increase "teeth to tail ratio.

8)   Which government agency has developed a Handbook of State Statistics?

a. DEA
b. NITI Aayog
c. Planning Commission
d. Both a and b
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


NITI Aayog has developed a Handbook of State Statistics that consolidates key statistics across sectors for every Indian State/UT.

While the State data on crucial indicators is currently fragmented across different sources, this handbook provides a one-stop database of important State statistics.

Starting with Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), the handbook provides sectorial compositions of State economies from 1980-81 to the latest possible year.

Five different GSDP series are available between 1980-81 and now, and this database covers all of them.

It covers statistics on State government finances from 1981 to 2017across indicators such as gross fiscal deficits, revenue deficits, social sector expenditure, capital expenditure etc.

Labour statistics from the national sample surveys (NSS), statistics on labour force participation rates (LFPR), worker-population ratio (WPR) by industry and unemployment rates are also presented.

Data on education covers primary, secondary and tertiary levels including enrolment ratios, schools, enrolment, teachers and performance indicators, among others.

Some of the health indicators covered by the handbook include infant mortality rate (IMR), birth rates, life expectancy, sex ratio at birth, immunisation and institutional deliveries among others.

For certain indicators such as IMR, TFR, birth rates, data from 1971 onwards to 2015 is available.

For other indicators the data series starts in 2005.

Data in the Handbook: Know More

  • The final section of the publication provides state-wise estimates of poverty numbers. Data has been presented according to the Lakdawala Methodology (data from 1973-74 to 2004-05) and the Tendulkar Methodology (data from 1993-94 to 2011-12).
  • Data is quinquennial, as estimates for poverty are derived from NSS Household Consumption Surveys.

9)   When will the National Nutrition week be observed?

a. 1st to 7th Sept 2017
b. 7th to 14th Sept 2017
c. 14th to 21st Sept 2017
d. 21st to 28th Sept 2017
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 1st to 7th Sept 2017

The National Nutrition Week will be observed throughout the country from 1st to 7th September.

The theme of the National Nutrition Week for 2017 is “Optimal Infant & Young Child Feeding Practices: Better Child Health”.

The basic objective of this annual event is to intensify awareness generation on the importance of nutrition for health which has an impact on development, productivity, economic growth and ultimately National development.

One day workshops will be held to sensitize and for capacity building of State/Districts Level officers on importance of nutrition for better health.

There will be lecture cum demonstration on low cost nutritious recipes for grassroots level functionaries like school teachers, anganwadi workers and helpers, village women and mahila samitis.

Mini exhibition on nutrition displaying low cost nutritious diets for different age groups will also be organized at grassroots level.

Awareness generation on weight management and its importance through Body Mass Index will be held for adolescent boys and girls.

Besides there will be large number of activities like quiz competition on nutrition and competition on preparation of nutritious recipes.

Awareness programmes will be held at village level through puppet shows, skits, dance & drama, films, slide shows, AV Spots, nutrition rallies etc.

Need for Nutrition Week

  • As, improving the nutritional status of the population is imperative for National Development.
  • Under nutrition in young children continues to be a major public health problem in India.
  • The NFHS4 has not shown an encouraging improvement in the nutritional status, especially among women and children.
  • As per NFHS-4 the level of underweight has decreased by 6.8% and is stunting by 9.6%.
  • Level of anaemia has decreased by 11% as compared to NNHS-3 figures.
  • Malnutrition is not to be viewed merely as an offshoot of poverty having adverse effects on health and development of individuals but as a national problem that results in loss of productivity and economic backwardness.

10)   What is FarmerZone?

a. Collective big data platform for smart agriculture
b. Collective open source data platform for smart agriculture
c. Collective smart data platform for rural agriculture
d. Collective smart data platform for urban agriculture
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Collective open source data platform for smart agriculture

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), under the Ministry of Science and Technology, convened the Smart Agriculture Conclave in New Delhi from August 29-31 2017.

This is in partnership with the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Research Councils UK (RCUK) India.

The objective of this conclave was to set the stage for “FarmerZone” - a collective open-source data platform for smart agriculture which will use biological research and data to improve the lives of small and marginal farmers.

It is envisaged that “FarmerZone” will help cater to all needs of the farmer, from dealing with climate change, weather predictions and soil, water, and seed requirements to providing market intelligence.

FarmerZone has been envisioned by the DBT and aligns with the Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi’s call for effective decision-making in agriculture that integrates science, technology, innovation and the farm ecosystem.

With the agricultural conclave, DBT aims to advance the process of technological intervention to help small and marginal land-holding farmers, who constitute a major component of Indian agriculture.

The conclave identified the challenges faced in each agro-climatic region, and discussed possible solutions through scientific interventions.

FarmerZone: Know More

  • The FarmerZone platform will connect farmers and scientists, government officials, thought leaders in agriculture, economists and representatives from global companies who work in the big-data and e-commerce space to bring about technology-based localised agri-solutions.
  • The platform will work on getting relevant quality data related to agriculture into the cloud, develop sentinel sites to help link with farmers and evolve PPP based enterprises for data delivery.
  • Food security is a global concern and the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of families depend on small-scale agriculture.
  • The conclave worked to address this challenge collectively and showcased the enormous research strength of India and its international partners in a global context, to achieve impact and build strong and sustainable research and innovation partnerships.

11)   Who has been appointed the CEC on 31st August 2017?

a. Sunil Arora
b. Rajiv Mehrishi
c. Rajiv Gauba
d. Nasim Zaidi
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Sunil Arora

In a major bureaucratic reshuffle, former IAS Officer Sunil Arora was on 31st August 2017 appointed as the Chief Election Commissioner.

The former home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi was made the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). Mehrishi’s tenure as union home secretary ended on 31st Aug.

He was replaced by Rajiv Gauba.

After Nasim Zaidi retired as Chief Election Commissioner in July, there was a vacancy in the poll panel.

While Achal Kumar Joti is the CEC, Om Prakash Rawat is the other Election Commissioner.

Arora’s appointment will be with effect from the day he assumes charge, a law ministry notification said.

Arora (61) had been the Information and Broadcasting Secretary, and Secretary in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

Meanwhile, senior bureaucrat Rajiv Kumar was appointed Secretary in the Department of Financial Services (DFS) while Anita Karwal was named CBSE chairperson.

17 IAS officers were appointed in various central government departments.

Karwal, a Gujarat-cadre IAS officer, was appointed in place of Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi, who will now be the director general of National Skill Development Agency,

Kumar, a 1984 batch IAS officer of Jharkhand cadre, is at present Special Secretary and Establishment Officer, Ministry of Personnel.

He was appointed to the post in place of Anjuly Chib Duggal, who superannuated on 31st Aug 2017, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.