Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Sep 15, 2017

1)   Which of the following MoUs/agreements were signed between Japan and India?

a. Disaster risk management
b. Skills connectivity
c. Connectivity
d. Only a and c
e. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

List of MoUs/Agreements signed during the visit of Prime Minister of Japan to India (September 14, 2017)

A. Disaster Risk Management

S. No.MemorandumsDescription
1MOC between the Ministry of Home Affairs, of the Government of the Republic of India and the Cabinet Office of the Government of JapanAims to cooperate and collaborate in the field of disaster risk reduction and to share the experiences, knowledge and policies on disaster prevention.
B. Skills Development
S. No.MemorandumsDescription
2MoC in the field of Japanese Language Education in India between MEA and MOFA, JapanTo further strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation in the field of Japanese language education in India
C. Connectivity
S. No.MemorandumsDescription
3India Japan Act East ForumTo enhance connectivity and promote developmental projects in the North Eastern Region of India in an efficient and effective manner

D. Economic & Commercial
S. No.MemorandumsDescription
4Arrangement between India Post and Japan Post on Administrative Instruction for the Implementation of Cool EMS serviceAims at implementing the commercial arrangement of "Cool EMS” service between the Japan Post and India Post through which fresh food can be sent from Japan to India in cool boxes to facilitate for the Japanese expatriates in India
E. Investment (Gujarat)
S. No.MemorandumsDescription
5India-Japan Investment Promotion Road map between DIPP and METITo facilitate and accelerate the Japanese investments in India
6MOC between METI and the State of Gujarat on ‘Japan-India special programme for Make In India’ in Mandal Bechraj-Khoraj in GujaratTo Cooperate in infrastructure development programmes in theMandal Bechraj-Khorajregion
F. Civil Aviation
S. No.MemorandumsDescription
7Exchange of RoD on Civil Aviation Cooperation (Open Sky)It opens skies between India and Japan i.e. Indian and Japanese carriers can mount now unlimited number of flights to the selected cities of each other’s countries.
G. Science & Technology
S. No.MemorandumsDescription
8Agreement for International joint exchange programme between interdisciplinary theoretical and mathematical sciences programme (iTHEMS), RIKEN and National Centres for Biological Sciences (Simons-NCBS)To establish a Joint Exchange Program to identify and foster talented young scientists from both the countries to collaborate in the field of theoretical biology
9Joint Research Contract between National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology (AIST), Japan and Department of Biotechnology (DBT)To conduct joint research and to establish an International Center named as "DBT-AISTInternational Centre for Translational & Environmental Research (DAICENTER)” at AIST, Japan in order to promote science and technology in both the institutions and countries.
10MOU Between DBT and National Institute of Advanced Science & Technology (AIST)To promote research collaboration between DBT Research Institutes and AIST in the field of Life Science and Biotechnology
H. Sports
S. No.MemorandumsDescription
11MoU on International Academic and Sports Exchange between Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education (LNIPE)and Nippon Sports Science University, Japan (NSSU)To facilitate and deepen international education cooperation and exchanges betweenLakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education, India and Nippon Sport Science University, Japan
12MoU on International Academic and Sports Exchange between Sports Authority of India and Nippon Sports Science University, Japan (NSSU)To facilitate and deepen international education cooperation and exchanges between both Sports Authority of India and Nippon Sport Science University , Japan
13LETTER OF INTENT between Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education (LNIPE) and University of Tsukuba, JapanTo strengthen strategic collaboration, joint research programme and exchanges betweenLakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education, India and University of Tsukuba, Japan
14LETTER OF INTENT between Sports Authority of India and University of Tsukuba, JapanTo strengthen strategic collaboration, joint research programme and exchanges betweenUniversity of Tsukuba, Japan and Sports Authority of India
I. Academics/Think Tank
S. No.MemorandumsDescription
15MoU between RIS and IDE-JETRO for promotion of Cooperation in Research Related ActivitiesTo promote institutional cooperation between RIS and IDE-JETRO to strengthen the capacity of research and effectiveness of dissemination of research findings

2)   Operation Insaaniyat is a programme that offers humanitarian assistance to which refugees?

a. Rohingya Muslims
b. Shia Muslims
c. Sunni Muslims
d. Bori Muslims
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rohingya Muslims

A humanitarian crisis arose in Bangladesh due to heavy influx of refugees from neighbouring Myanmar.

The government of India has decided to assist Bangladesh in this crisis by sending relief material.

The Indian Air Force was tasked to airlift the relief material from India to Bangladesh.

One C-17 Globemaster strategic heavy lift cargo aircraft was positioned at short notice at Delhi on 13 Sep 17 to airlift 55 Tons of relief material to Chittagong, Bangladesh.

This aircraft was loaded overnight with relief material consisting of critical daily necessities.

The C-17 carrying relief material departed early morning on 14 Sep 17 and routed via Kolkata to pick up additional load.

The material was delivered at Chittagong, Bangladesh at 1245 hours on 14 Sep 17.

One more C-17 is scheduled to airlift additional relief material to Bangladesh.

The Indian Air Force rose to the challenge and played a pivotal role to further strengthen the close ties of friendship between India and Bangladesh.

3)   Which of the following was a president of the Supreme Court Bar Association and a Padma Bhushan awardee?

a. PP Rao
b. Rupinder Singh Suri
c. RK Jain
d. Kapil Sibal
Answer  Explanation 


Noted constitutional law expert and senior counsel P P Rao died on 13th Sept 2017 following a cardiac arrest.

He was 84.

Rao, who was a former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2006 and was regular commentator on legal affairs.

The eminent lawyer completed 50 years of legal practice in July 2017.
Born in July 1933, he completed his LLB and LLM from the Osmania University, Hyderabad, after which he started his career by teaching law in Delhi University in 1961.

He enrolled as an advocate in 1967 in Delhi. He became an advocate on record in 1969 and was designated senior advocate by the Supreme Court in 1976.

He had the privilege of assisting lawyers like H M Seervai, M C Setalvad, N C Chatterjee and A K Sen and appeared before the Supreme Court in many landmark cases like the Kesavananda Bharati and the Babri Masjid demolition cases.

4)   Name the MoEFCC campaign for land use science or Forest Plus?

a. Good Wood
b. Wood Good
c. Wood is Good
d. Good Earth
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Wood is Good

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has launched “Wood is Good” Campaign under Partnership for Land Use Science (Forest-Plus).

It was launched on sidelines of two-day conference on “Sustainable landscapes and forest ecosystems: Theory to Practice” in New Delhi.

Forests are integral part of Indian culture and tradition. Government is committed to increase forest cover from 24% to 33% of geographical area and creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tons of CO2 equivalent in forests, as reflected in Internationally Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)

Dr. Harsha Vardhan launched the ‘Wood is Good’ campaign on the occasion under the Forest-Plus programme.

The purpose of the campaign is to promote wood as a climate-friendly resource and substitute to materials like steel and plastic as it is a renewable resource, having zero carbon footprint, unlike other materials that leave carbon footprint in their production.

While emphasising on the need to create an enabling environment through small steps such as planting more trees, the ministry also indicated the need for raising the forest cover much beyond the stipulated 33 percent.

Key Objectives of Conference to Launch Scheme

  • To explore issues and opportunities for ecosystem approach to land management in India.
  • To discuss how the approaches and tools developed under the Forest-PLUS programme can be used to improve forest management in India.
  • To document and disseminate that learning with a wider group.
About Forest-Plus
  • The Partnership for Land Use Science (Forest-Plus)is a joint programme by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to strengthen capacity for REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) implementation in India.
  • The programme will bring together experts from both India and the United States to develop tools, technologies and methods of forest management in order to meet the technical challenges of managing forests for the health of the ecosystem, carbon stocks, biodiversity and livelihood.
  • The REDD Programme is collaborative programme of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • It was created in 2008 in response to UNFCCC decisions on Bali Action Plan and REDD at COP-13. Its goal is to reduce forest emissions and enhance carbon stocks in forests while contributing to national sustainable development.

5)   Delhi is seeking to connect Chennai to which Russian city in direct challenge to OBOR?

a. Stalingrad
b. Leningrad
c. Moscow
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: None of the above

Aiming to put in place a key maritime route connecting India with Northeast Asia and Western Pacific region Delhi is contemplating to put in place a major connectivity initiative - direct shipping link between Chennai and Vladivostok amid China’s ambitious Maritime Silk Route (MSR) connecting Asia with Africa.

With India making concrete moves to expand its presence in Far East Russia to harness natural resources as evident through Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Vladivostok last week plans are in making for a maritime link connecting Chennai with the key Russian port on the Pacific.

This shipping link would enable to transfer cargo between Chennai and Vladivostok in 24 days in comparison to over 40 days currently taken to transport goods from India to Far East Russia via Europe.

This proposed maritime route which could be transformed into a corridor could juxtapose with Indo-Japan Pacific to Indian Ocean Corridor amid Beijing’s OBOR of which MSR is a part – virtually connecting entire SE Asia through road, shipping and rail links.

Additionally, there will be a Russia Desk for facilitating Russian investments into India as assured by PM Narendra Modi during the annual summit in St Petersburg in June.

This is the 3rd such Desk in India after Japan and Korea. Russia Desk would provide complete support service for any kind of Russian investment/ Businessmen/ from legislative to taxation; from personnel to finding right partner, according to informed officials.

Vladivostok: Know More

  • The Far Eastern Federal District (twice the size of India) is the largest but the least populated of the eight federal districts of Russia, with a population of roughly 6.3 million.
  • India was the first country to establish a resident Consulate in Vladivostok in 1992.
  • Current engagement of India with the region is limited to isolated pockets such as the Irkut Corporation in Irkutsk where the Mig and Sukhoi aircraft are built and over USD 6 billion worth of investments by ONGC Visesh Limited in the Sakhalin 1 project.
  • The region has a wealth of natural resources such as land, timber, mineral and other resources like tin, gold, diamonds and oil and natural gas.
  • The Russian government has announced several initiatives to attract investments in the region, including an agricultural SEZ, the Vladivostok Free Port Project and also invites participation in the timber industry , mining of the huge mineral resources (coal & diamonds) and precious metal deposits (gold, platinum, tin and tungsten).
  • Opportunities for collaboration for Indian companies include in such sectors as agriculture, mining, port development and infrastructure, diamond processing, agro-processing.

6)   Name the first tri-service war games held between India and Russia?

a. Indra
b. Dhanush
c. Nag
d. Sankalp
Answer  Explanation 


In the first such tri-Service wargames, India will hold a major combat exercise with Russia this year to crank up military-to-military ties between the two long-standing strategic partners.

The Indra exercise, to be held in Russia, will include assets and manpower from the Army, Navy and IAF.

This is the first time India will deploy the three services together for an exercise with a country.

Though Russia has been India's largest defence supplier for long, notching up military sales worth over $50 billion since the 1960s, their armed forces do not exercise much together.

In sharp contrast, India and US hold a flurry of exercises every year, ranging from the top-notch naval Malabar wargames (with Japan now a regular participant) to the counter-terror Vajra Prahar & Yudh Abhyas Ines between their armies.

The US has also bagged Indian arms contracts worth $15 billion since 2007, even overtaking Russia in annual sales over the last four years.

But India and Russia have now resolved to expand their military-to-military ties. "The first initial planning conference has already been held with Russia to discuss the exercise scenario, assets and manpower for the tri-Service Indra.

Two more such conferences will be held soon to finalise everything.

While Indian and Russian armies and navies have been separately holding their Indra exercises off-and-on for the last few years, the first-ever bilateral air combat exercise "Avia Indra" was held in the Astrakhan region, near the Caspian Sea, in 2014.

India has also inked pacts with Russia to acquire five S-400 Triumf advanced air defence missile systems, four Grigorivich-class frigates and 200 Kamov-226T light helicopters, while also sealing the lease of a second nuclear-powered submarine after INS Chakra, all together worth around $10.5 billion.

7)   India has ranked at which position on the WEF Global Human Capital Index?

a. 103
b. 104
c. 105
d. 106
Answer  Explanation 


India has been placed at a low 103 rank, the lowest among BRICS economies, on the World Economic Forum's (WEF's) Global Human Capital Index, which has been topped by Norway.

India also ranks "among the lowest in the world" when it comes to the employment gender gap, but has fared well when it comes to development of skills needed for the future with a rank of 65 out of total 130 countries surveyed.

The list compiled by Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) takes into account "the knowledge and skills people possess that enable them to create value in the global economic system" to measure the 'human capital' rank of a country.

India was ranked 105th on this list last year, while Finland was on the top which has pushed by Norway to second place this year.

The WEF said India is ranked lower than its BRICS peers, with Russian Federation placed as high as 16th place, followed by China at 34th, Brazil at 77th and South Africa at 87th place.

Among the South Asian countries also, India was ranked lower than Sri Lanka and Nepal, although higher than neighbouring Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Low Ranking by India: Know More

  • India is held back by a number of factors, including low educational attainment (primary education attainment among 25 -54 year olds is 110th for example) and low deployment of its human capital, meaning the skills available are not getting put to good use.
  • WEF said India ranks 118 for labour force participation among the key 35-54 year old demographic, suggesting far too many Indians are engaged in informal or subsistent employment.
  • However there is a modern India rising. When it comes to development of skills needed for the future, the country fares strongly, ranking 65 out of 130.
  • The country also performed well in the know-how parameter that measures the use of specialised skills at work
  • The overall list was topped by Norway, followed by Finland and Switzerland in the second and third place respectively.
  • Other countries in the top 10 include, the United States (4th), Denmark (5th), Germany (6th), New Zealand (7th), Sweden (8th), Slovenia (9th) and Austria (10th).
  • The report measures 130 countries against four key areas of human capital development; Capacity (determined by past investment in formal education), Deployment (accumulation of skills through work), Development (continued upskilling and reskilling of existing workers) and Know-how (specialised skills-use at work).
  • According to the report, 62 per cent of human capital has now been developed globally.

8)   Which is India's first bullet train project?

a. Mumbai-Ahmedabad
b. Delhi-Chandigarh
c. Delhi-Jaipur
d. Mumbai-Pune
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Mumbai-Ahmedabad

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe laid the foundation stone for India’s first bullet train project in Ahmedabad on Sept 14, 2017.

The government has said the bullet train technology will revolutionise and transform the railways.

Critics, however, say the funds for the bullet train project could have been better utilised to revamp the ailing Indian Railways, which has witnessed various setbacks in the form of derailments and accidents in the past.

The train will have a top speeds of 320-350 km per hour and it is expected to reduce travel time between the two cities to around 2 hours from the existing 7-8 hours. The fares could be in the range of INR 3000 - 5,000.

Passengers will have two speed options in trains:

  • High-speed: It will take 2.58 hours to reach the destination
  • Rapid high-speed: It will cover the distance in 2.07 hours.
Initially, each high speed train will have 10 cars and the capacity to accommodate 750 people.

It will increase to 16 cars that will accommodate 1,200 people.

According to initial estimates, around 1.6 crore people are expected to travel by the bullet train annually. By 2050, around 1.6 lakh commuters should travel by the high-speed train on a daily basis

On the Ahmedabad-Mumbai route, 12 stations have been proposed: Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.

The railways will only require around 825 hectares of land for the project as 92% of the route will be elevated, six per cent will go through tunnels and only the remaining two per cent will be on the ground. India’s longest tunnel21-km-long - will be dug between Boisar and BKC in Mumbai, 7km of which will be under the sea.

The train tracks will elevated to 18 metres for most of its route to ensure the train runs over the existing railway route.

The remaining, less than 40km, stretch will be under sea between Thane and Vasai, and underground in Mumbai.

The 508km-long Mumbai to Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) is scheduled for completion in December 2023, but commencement date has been sought to be advanced to August 2022.

The government said it will create around 15 lakh new jobs in India.
A dedicated High Speed Rail Training Institute will train about 4,000 technical staff of the bullet train project, The Indian Express report said.

Second Project: India's Bullet Train
  • The Indian Railways will launch the country’s second high-speed train from Delhi to Amritsar via Chandigarh.
  • The train will run on standard broad gauge and the project shall be completed by 2024. The proposed train will cover the 458-km-long route in 2 hours and 30 minutes running at a speed of 300-350 kmph, reducing the travel time between New Delhi and Amritsar by about two and a half hours.
  • Proposed stops will be Ambala, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar. The fare will be fixed equivalent to that of Shatabdi’s AC executive class
  • Shinkansen, meaning ‘new trunk line’, are trains shaped like bullets that run at the speed of 320 kmph.
  • They have become a symbol of the country’s progress and technological advancements after the World War 2.
  • Shinkansen have a reputation for punctuality and safety. The trains have never been in any accident since 1964, when they were introduced.

9)   Which higher educational institutions have won the Swachhta Rankings 2017 awards?

a. O. P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat
b. Chitkara University, Kalu Jhanda (Barotiwala), Solan
c. K.L.E. Academy of Higher Education and Research, Belgaum
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All of the above

An award ceremony based on ‘SWACHHTA’ Ranking 2017 of Higher Educational Institutions was held in New Delhi.

Shri Prakash Javadekar congratulated the awardees of ‘SWACHHTA’ Ranking- 2017 of Higher Educational Institutions.

Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) were awarded on the basis of cleanliness and hygiene has been undertaken and concluded.

Parameters for a clean campus were formulated, like student/toilet ratio, kitchen hygiene, availability of running water, modernity of toilet & kitchen equipment, campus green cover, garbage disposal in hostels and academic buildings, disposal techniques, water supply systems and also a certain weightage to whether the institutions has adopted any neighbouring locality or village to spread awareness & activities in Swachhta.

About 3500 HEIs responded to the online invitation, submitting all their details as per format.

The top 174 institutions were shortlisted as per criteria and officials from UGC and AICTE inspected the premises of all 174 institutions.

Finally, the top 25 institutions across various categories like Universities, Technical Institutions, Colleges and Government institutions were selected and they were awarded on the occasion.

This exercise will help generate peer pressure amongst institutions in the all important area of cleanliness.

Clusters of villages have been adopted by certain HEIs under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan programme in consultation with District Collectors.

All Collectors and HEIs under the programme were invited to participate in the Best Collector & HEI Award by converting, before 31st August 2017, One Village into Open Defecation Free, with solid and liquid waste facility.

Many participated in the exercise and finally, 5 districts completed the exercise - Medak, Jhabua, Warangal, Ajmer and Indore.