Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Sep 12, 2017

1)   Which online facility has DGFT set up for resolving foreign trade issues?

a. Sampark@DGFT
b. Contact@DGFT
c. Connect@DGFT
d. GetinTouch@DGFT
Answer  Explanation 


The Government has set up an online service facility that can be used by importers and exporters to resolve all foreign trade-related issues.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), which comes under the Commerce Ministry, has asked all exporters and importers to use the system - Contact@DGFT - for resolution of their matters.

Traders can raise all matters related to the directorate or other agencies of the Centre and States through this facility, which is activated at the DGFT website.

Contact@DGFT system has been activated as a single point contact for resolving all foreign trade-related issues, for all regional authorities, export promotion councils, commodity boards and members of trade and industry.

It said best efforts will be made for expeditious resolution.

In the interest of systematic monitoring and effective resolution, exporters/importers are requested not to send their queries through twitter or e-mail and use Contact@DGFT service instead.

2)   Where in Kerala has a new edible freshwater fish been discovered?

a. Pampa river
b. Periyar river
c. Kallada river
d. Kabini river
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Pampa river

Researchers exploring the waters of the Pampa river in Pathanamthitta have chanced upon a new species of edible freshwater fish that could possibly be farmed on a commercial scale.

The new species that belongs to the Labeo genus is only the second one to be reported from Kerala. Named Labeo filiferus, it has been collected from the stretch of the Pampa running through Edakadathy in Pathanamthitta.

The fishes in the Labeo genus are widely distributed in the inland waterbodies of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Burma, Malaysia, tropical Africa and Syria.

They are medium- sized elongate fishes with rounded abdomen, swollen snout, finged lips and a straight lateral line.

As many as 31 species of Labeo are reported to be present in India, with L.rohita, commonly known as Rohu, extensively used in aquaculture.

The only other Labeo species reported from Kerala is L.dussumieri.

L. Filiferus: Know More

  • According to the authors, L.filiferus was found to be distinct from the other species of the genus in its features including black coloured body and fins, prominent barbels, smaller eyes, longer snout and elongated dorsal and anal fins.
  • The eyes are brilliantly coloured with orange tinge. The specimens were 20 to 40 cm long and weighed four to five kg.
  • The name filiferus was taken from Latin (filum in latin means ‘thread’ and fero means ‘to bear’) and refers to the very long dorsal fin of the species.
  • More species of the Labeo genus are expected to be discovered in the near future from the aquatic bodies in north and central Kerala.

3)   Which SE Asian city state will have a Muslim Malay woman president for the first time?

a. Myanmar
b. Singapore
c. Thailand
d. Indonesia
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Singapore

There are no Muslim Malays in the top echelons of Singapore’s army, and few among the senior ranks of its judiciary, but a member of its poorest ethnic minority is set to become the first woman President of the Southeast Asian city state.

Halimah Yacob, a former speaker of Parliament, will be formally named to the mostly ceremonial post on Wednesday, media reported, after other candidates fell short of the criteria set for contesting the election.

Ms. Yacob (63) was born to an Indian Muslim father and a Malay mother.

Aiming to strengthen a sense of inclusivity in the multicultural country, Singapore had decreed the presidency would be reserved for candidates from the Malay community this time.

Ms. Yacob’s experience as house speaker automatically qualified her under the nomination rules.

Of the four other applicants, two were not Malays and two were not given certificates of eligibility, the elections department said.

The last Malay to hold the presidency was Yusof Ishak, whose image adorns the country’s banknotes.

Yusof Ishak was President between 1965 and 1970, the first years of Singapore’s independence following a short-lived union with neighbouring Malaysia, but executive power lay with Lee Kuan Yew, the country’s first Prime Minister.

The separation of Singapore from Malaysia gave ethnic Malays a clear majority in Malaysia, while ethnic Chinese formed the majority in independent Singapore.

Leaders of both countries, however, recognised that peace and prosperity depended on preserving harmony between the two groups.

But living in a Muslim-dominated neighbourhood, with Malaysia and Indonesia next door, Singapore’s leaders have long worried about the risk of conflicted loyalties among Malays.

For Lee Hsien Loong, is now Prime Minister, the answer to social cohesion lay in creating a culture of meritocracy, rather than adopting policies of positive discrimination to boost the chances of advancement for Singapore’s Malay and Indian minorities.

Singapore’s economic success and education policies have helped swell the ranks of middle-class Malays, but the last census in 2010 showed they lagged other ethnic groups on socio-economic measures such as household incomes and home ownership.

Malays, who form just over 13 per cent of Singapore’s 3.9 million citizens and permanent residents, also underperform on measures such as university and secondary school education.

4)   Which planet's mountain ranges have been named after Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary?

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


Two mountain ranges on Pluto have been named after Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary respectively by the International Astronomical Union, which for the first time, has officially approved the naming of 14 features on the icy dwarf planet.

These are the first geological features on the planet to be named following the close flyby by the New Horizons spacecraft in July 2015.

The names pay homage to the underworld mythology, pioneering space missions, historic pioneers who crossed new horizons in exploration, and scientists and engineers associated with Pluto and the Kuiper Belt.

This is the first set of official names of surface features on Pluto to be approved by the Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the internationally recognised authority for naming celestial bodies and their surface features.

NASA’s New Horizons team proposed the names to the IAU following the first reconnaissance of Pluto and its moons by the New Horizons spacecraft. Tenzing Montes and Hillary Montes are mountain ranges.

These are honouring Tenzing Norgay (1914-1986) and Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008), the Indian/Nepali Sherpa and New Zealand mountaineer who were the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest and return safely.

Other Names

  • Other names had been used informally by the New Horizons science team to describe the many regions, mountain ranges, plains, valleys and craters discovered during the first close-up look at the surfaces of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon.
  • The approved Pluto surface feature names include the Burney crater that honours Venetia Burney (1918-2009), who as an 11-year-old schoolgirl suggested the name “Pluto” for Clyde Tombaugh’s newly discovered planet.
  • Sputnik Planitia is a large plain named after Sputnik 1, the first space satellite, launched by the Soviet Union in 1957.
  • Djanggawul Fossae defines a network of long, narrow depressions named for the Djanggawuls, three ancestral beings in indigenous Australian mythology who travelled between the island of the dead and Australia, creating the landscape and filling it with vegetation.
  • Sleipnir Fossa is named for the powerful, eight-legged horse of Norse mythology that carried the god Odin into the underworld.
  • Virgil Fossae honours Virgil, one of the greatest Roman poets and Dante’s fictional guide through hell and purgatory in the Divine Comedy.
  • Hayabusa Terra is a large land mass named in honour of the Japanese spacecraft and mission (2003-2010) that returned the first asteroid sample.
  • Voyager Terra honours the pair of NASA spacecraft, launched in 1977, that performed the first “grand tour” of all four giant planets. Tartarus Dorsa is a ridge named for Tartarus, the deepest, darkest pit of the underworld in Greek mythology.

5)   What is Project Insight?

a. Project for monitoring high value transactions to curb circulation of black money
b. Data mining, collation, collection and processing of such information
c. Effective risk management to widen tax base
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

The Income Tax department is planning to implement the first phase of ‘Project Insight’ from May 2017 to monitor high value transactions, with a view to curbing the circulation of black money.

This project has been initiated for data mining, collection, collation and processing of such information for effective risk management with a view to widening and deepening tax base.

Project Insight will use big data analytics to match information from social media sites to deduce mismatches between spending pattern and income declaration.

The tax department will analyse mismatches in income declarations and spending patterns to trace tax evasions and black money, an official said.

The government has also made linking of PAN with Aadhaar mandatory to get a 360 degree view of a person’s income and assets.

The tax department had last year signed a pact with L&T Infotech for implementation of Project Insight, which is designed to strengthen the non-intrusive information driven approach for improving tax compliance.

This is part of the steps the government has taken to unearth and tax undeclared or illegal wealth.

The steps include launch of ‘Operation Clean Money’ after demonetisation of old higher denomination currency for collection, collation and analysis of information on cash transactions, extensive use of information technology and data analytics tools for identification of high risk cases, expeditious e-verification of suspect cases and enforcement actions.

The information technology-based Project Insight will strengthen the information driven approach for improving tax compliance.

The project will use technology to allow the government collate databases of IT returns, IT forms, TDS/TCS statements and Statement of Financial Transactions received from financial institutions. As part of Project Insight, a new Compliance Management Centralised Processing Centre (CMCPC) would also be set up for handling preliminary verification, campaign management, generation of bulk letters/notices and follow-up.

Key Issues

  • ‘Project Insight’ is an integrated platform that will utilize vast amount of information easily available on social media to conduct raids online rather than traditional way of conducting random searches, known as tax raids.
  • It will use data mining, big data and analytics to scoop out tax evaders from social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • The Permanent Account Number (PAN) will be the unique identifier is used by the Income Tax department to link and analyse various transactions relating to the tax payers.
  • This will enhance the department’s ability to monitor the flow of funds and will provide an audit trail of high value transactions and curb circulation of black money
  • The ‘Project Insight’ will be implemented in phased manner during the period 2016-2018. For its implementation, the IT department has signed a contract with L&T Infotech Ltd.
  • It will also be leveraged for implementation of Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act Inter Governmental Agreement (FATCA IGA) and Common Reporting Standard (CRS).
Significance of ‘Project Insight’
  • It will help in catching tax evaders in a non-intrusive manner using technology and without traditional intrusive methods like search and seizure.
  • The integrated platform will play a key role in widening of tax base and data mining to track tax evaders.
  • The reporting compliance management system of project will ensure that third party reporting by entities like banks and other financial institutions is timely and accurate.
  • It will also set up a streamlined data exchange mechanism for other government departments.

6)   What is Navika Sagar Parikrama?

a. First ever circumnavigation of globe by all women crew
b. First ever circumnavigation of globe by all women Indian crew
c. First ever circumnavigation of Indian peninsula by all women crew
d. First ever circumnavigation of Indian peninsula by all woman Indian crew
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: First ever circumnavigation of globe by all women Indian crew

Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 10th Sept flagged off the all-women team of the ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’ in Panaji, Goa.

The crew of the ‘Sagar Parikrama’ comprises of six-member all women team on board the sailing vessel INSV Tarini and will circumnavigate the globe in approximately 165 days.

This is the first-ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew. Cdr Dilip Dhonde has trained the crew. He is the first sailor to circumnavigate.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to congratulate and wish the team on their journey.

The team comprises of- Lt Cdr Vartika Joshi and Lt Payal Gupta from Uttarakhand, Lt Cdr Pratibha Jamwal from Himachal, Lt Cdr P Swathi from Andhra Pradesh, Lt Aishwarya Boddapati from Telangana and Lt Shourgrakpam Vijaya Devi hailing from Manipur.

  • Vartika Joshi has rich sailing experience and has led INSV Mhadei as well as INSV Tarini.
  • Pratibha Jamwal has sailed from Goa to Port Blair, Goa to Mauritius and Goa to Cape Town.
  • P Swathi who sailed onboard INSV Mhadei also took part in the recent Cape to Rio race.
  • Aishwarya Boddapati has sailed onboard INSV Tarini and Mhadei in 2017 and 2016 respectively.
  • Vijaya Devi has sailed extensively from 2014 onwards.
  • Payal Gupta has distinguished herself as a sailor.

7)   Who chaired the Second India Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Council?

a. Sushma Swaraj
b. Salahuddin Rabbai
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

Modi government on 11th Sept kickstarted the process by approving 116 additional development projects across 31 provinces in the war-torn country.

New Delhi will also provide assistance to Afghan defence forces, besides extending 500 scholarships to the kin of deceased Afghan soldiers battling Taliban and other terrorist groups.

At the second meeting of the India- Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Council, co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbai, both countries agreed to step up security cooperation.

Additionally, there would be trade and people to people contacts by relaxing visa regime.

India and Afghanistan jointly agreed to embark on a "new development partnership" in keeping with Afghanistan's priorities.

New development projects would involve building a drinking water supply system for Kabul, low-cost housing for returning refugees, a water supply network for Charikar city, and a polyclinic in Mazar-e-Sharif.

Both ministers jointly agreed to embark on a New Development Partnership in keeping with the priorities of Afghanistan and the main focus will continue on building governance and democratic institutions; human resource capacity and skill development.

Both countries also signed Motors Vehicle Agreement to pave the way for overland transit. India will also supply wheat to Afghanistan in the coming weeks via Chabahar port.

Afghanistan: Know More

  • Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located within South Asia and Central Asia.
  • The country has a population of 33 million, making it the 42nd most populous country in the world.
  • Capital: Kabul
  • President: Ashraf Ghani
  • Currency: Afghan afghani
  • Capital and largest city: Kabul
  • Points of interest: Shrine of Ali, Darul Aman Palace,

8)   PC and Mac apps for Google Drive will be replaced by which app for G Suite service users?

a. Drive File Stream
b. Backup and Sync
c. Drive Backup Stream
d. Drive Sync Stream
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Drive File Stream

Google let fly an announcement that PC and Mac desktop app for Google Drive is going the way of the Dodo bird.

As the new alternative, customers will have two options.

For those using the G Suite service, the solution is called Drive File Stream, an app that will allow for quicker, more streamlined access to their files and also the ability to choose which ones are made available offline.

For non-G Suite users, another app called Backup and Sync will be the way to go.

It will have all the same features as the Google Drive desktop app that most users currently access on a regular basis, but with an added photo capability as well.

This seems to be a move towards making Google more of a one-stop shop for your online cloud storage.

The Backup and Sync app will allow users to store a large amount of photos, provided they're cool with the slight compression that will happen during the upload process.

If not, they'll have to pay extra for more storage.

After the debacle that was Google+, the company is hoping that, with this change, more customers will be housing all of their data in their infrastructure instead of with other providers.

9)   What was Bharat Financial Inclusion Limited formerly known as?

a. Muthoot Finance
b. SKS Microfinance
c. IndusInd Bank
d. Bajaj Capital
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: SKS Microfinance

Bharat Financial Inclusion Limited (BFIL), formerly SKS Microfinance, on 11th Sept signed an exclusivity agreement for a potential merger with IndusInd Bank.

For IndusInd Bank, the immediate benefit will be deeper penetration in rural areas.

BFIL has more than 1,400 branches, around 7 million customers and a loan book of close to Rs 11,000 crore.

BFIL already works as a business correspondent for IndusInd Bank.

According to the IndusInd Bank statement, the agreement provides for a mutually agreed exclusivity period for due-diligence and discussions to evaluate a potential strategic combination between the company and BFIL by way of amalgamation through a scheme of arrangement or any other suitable structure.

The BFIL scrip closed at Rs 967.25, up 3.34 per cent, while IndusInd Bank shares rose 5.56 per cent to close at Rs 1,790.65 on the BSE.

The deal will bring a degree of business stability for the microfinance company, which has witnessed periodic surges in risk and uncertainty since 2010.

BFIL: Know More

  • Founded by Vikram Akula in 1997, SKS Microfinance became India’s first microfinance company to go public after it debuted on the BSE in July 2010.
  • But trouble started soon afterwards in its biggest business base, Andhra Pradesh, where, following a spate of suicides by poor borrowers, the state government told people not to repay loans.
  • The crisis led to a leadership change with Akula quitting the company as its executive chairman the following year.
  • Currently 98.37 per cent of BFIL shares are held by the public and 86.33 per cent of these shares are with foreign portfolio investors.
  • It was reported that a swap ratio of one share of IndusInd Bank for 1.75 shares of BFIL was agreed upon by both parties

10)   Where is the festivity to mark 120 years of the Saragarhi battle being held?

a. Ferozepur
b. Lucknow
c. Madhavpur
d. Rampur
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Ferozepur

The SARAGARHI Memorial and gurdwara premises in Ferozepur prepares for a state-level function to mark 120 years of the Saragarhi battle.

Although tributes are paid to 21 martyrs of 36th Sikhs of British Indian Army every year on September 12, this year the state government has planned a state-level function for the first time.

Out of the 21 martyrs of this historic battle, families of only 12 are living in Punjab at present and the rest have migrated out of country, Ferozepur district administration revealed.

Apart from this, a 14-member British contingent has also arrived in Punjab to take part in the September 12 function in Ferozepur.

The Battle of Saragarhi was fought between 21 Sikh soldiers of British Indian Army and 10,000 soldiers of Pashtun Orakzai on 12 September, 1897.

Havildar Ishar Singh was the commander at the post when British Indian Contingent was attacked by 10,000 Afghans.

11)   When is Cauvery Maha Pushkaram celebrated?

a. Once in 12 years
b. Once in 24 years
c. Once in 48 years
d. Once in 144 years
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Once in 144 years

Every 12 years, the small island town of Srirangam turns into an epicentre of spirituality with thousands of devotees thronging the place to celebrate the Cauvery Pushkaram.

This is a 12-day-long festival that is believed to have been celebrated by locals for the past 1,000 years to pray for good rains and crops.

This year the crowd is greater because of the Cauvery Maha Pushkaram - a moment that occurs once in 144 years due to rare planetary movement - on 12th Sept 2017 near the Amma Mandapam.

With the festival having its roots in Andhra Pradesh, a major chunk of devotees are from the state.

Among them are the followers of Sri Sri Thridandi Sriman Narayana Ramanuja Chinna jeeyar swamy, who have arrived in large numbers from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

The word Pushkaram refers to the 'worship of sacred river' and is also known as Pushkarulu in Telugu.

While such festivals are celebrated at shrines along the banks of 12 major rivers in India, ancestor worship, devotional music and cultural programmes are integral part of these events.

The Pushkaram is celebrated every 12 years along the banks of 12 major rivers by rotation, the last being celebrated along the banks of Godavari at Bhardrachalam in Telangana.

Notwithstanding the rotation system, the festival is religiously observed every 12 years along the banks of Cauvery in Srirangam.

This year it is declared as Cauvery Maha Pushkaram as it is the 12th instance on which Jupiter enters.

Various ‘homams’ and ‘yajnas’ by Vedic are conducted during of the 12-day-long festival.

Temple priests say it is believed that whoever takes a holy dip in the Cauvery during this time will be absolved of all sins.

An added attraction of this year's festival is that it coincides with the 1,000th birth anniversary of the Vaishnava ascetic Acharya Sri Ramanuja.