Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Sep 20, 2017

1)   Which Indian astrophysicist and Nobel laureate predicted rapidly rotating stars emit polarised light?

a. Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
b. CV Raman
c. Ramanujan
d. Amartya Sen
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

Over 70 years after Indian astrophysicist and Nobel laureate Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar predicted that rapidly rotating stars would emit polarised light, scientists in Australia have observed the phenomenon for the first time.

Researchers used a highly sensitive piece of equipment to detect the polarised light from Regulus, one of the brightest stars in the night sky.

The equipment provided unprecedented insights into the star, which is in the constellation Leo, allowing the scientists to determine its rate of spinning and the orientation in space of the star’s spin axis.

Regulus is rotating so quickly it is close to flying apart, with a spin rate of 96.5 per cent of the angular velocity for break-up.

It is spinning at approximately 320 kilometres per second - equivalent to travelling from Sydney to Canberra in less than a second.

Chandrashekar's Prediction: Know More

  • In 1946, Chandrasekhar had predicted the emission of polarised light from the edges of stars, prompting the development of sensitive instruments called stellar polarimeters to try to detect this effect.
  • Optical polarisation is a measure of the orientation of the oscillations of a light beam to its direction of travel.
  • In 1968, other researchers built on Chandrasekhar’s work to predict that the distorted, or squashed, shape of a rapidly rotating star would lead to the emission of polarised light, but its detection has eluded astronomers until now.
  • The instrument built, the High Precision Polarimetric Instrument (HIPPI) is the world’s most sensitive astronomical polarimeter.
  • Its high precision has allowed scientists to detect polarised light from a rapidly spinning star for the first time
  • It has previously been extremely difficult to measure these properties of rapidly rotating stars, researchers said.
  • Yet the information is crucial for understanding the life cycles of most of the hottest and largest stars in the galaxies, which are the ones that produce the heaviest elements, such as iron and nickel, in interstellar space.
Regulus: Know More
  • Regulus is about 79 light years away.
  • Regulus, also designated Alpha Leonis, is the brightest star in the constellation of Leo and one of the brightest stars in the night sky, lying approximately 79 light years from the Sun.
  • Constellation: Leo
  • B - V color index: –0.11/+0.86
  • U - B color index: –0.36/+0.51
  • Apparent magnitude (V): 1.40/8.13/13.50
  • Absolute magnitude (MV): –0.52/6.3/11.6
  • Age: ≳ Polarised light emitted by 1 Gyr
  • During the total solar eclipse in the US in August, Regulus was just one degree away from the Sun.
  • It was, to many people, the only star visible during the eclipse.

2)   Which region of Mars has a densely packed river deposit indicating this planet had water 3.5 billion years ago?

a. Aeolis Dorsa
b. Tharsis
c. Olympus Mons
d. Hellas
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Aeolis Dorsa

Mars had a surface environment that supported liquid water about 3.5 billion years ago, according to a study of river deposits spread across the red planet.

A region of Mars named Aeolis Dorsa contains some of the most spectacular and densely packed river deposits seen on the planet, researchers said.

These deposits are observable with satellite images because they have undergone a process called “topographic inversion,” where the deposits filling once topographically low river channels have been exhumed in such a way that they now exist as ridges at the surface of the planet, they said.

With the use of high-resolution images and topographic data from cameras on orbiting satellites, researchers identified fluvial deposit stacking patterns and changes in sedimentation styles controlled by a migratory coastline.

They also developed a method to measure river paleo-transport direction for a subset of these ridges.

Together, these measurements demonstrate that the studied river deposits once filled incised valleys. On Earth, incised valleys are commonly cut and filled during falling and rising eustatic sea level, respectively.

Cardenas and colleagues conclude that similar falling and rising water levels in a large water body forced the formation of the paleo-valleys in their study area.

Cross-cutting relationships are observed at the valley-scale, indicating multiple episodes of water level fall and rise, each well over 50 metres, a similar scale to eustatic sea level changes on Earth, researchers said.

The conclusion that such large water level fluctuations and coastline movements were recorded by these river deposits suggests some long-term stability in the controlling, downstream water body, which would not be expected from catastrophic hydrologic events.

3)   Who is the  SSB chief w.e.f 30th Sept ?

a. Rajni Kant Mishra
b. Archana Ramasundaram
c. YC Modi
d. Kiran Bedi
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Rajni Kant Mishra

Mishra, a 1984 batch Uttar Pradesh cadre IPS officer, will succeed Archana Ramasundaram, a 1980 batch Tamil Nadu cadre IPS officer, who is set to retire on September 30.

Rajni Kant Mishra will be the new chief of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), it was announced on 18th Sept 2017.

The decision was taken by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.

Mishra, a 1984 batch Uttar Pradesh cadre IPS officer, will succeed Archana Ramasundaram, a 1980 batch Tamil Nadu cadre IPS officer, who is set to retire on September 30.

Mishra, 58, a native of Patna in Bihar, joined the Border Security Force (BSF) as Inspector General in 2012.

He was appointed as Additional Director General of the BSF in November 2014. He was recently elevated to Special Director General rank in the BSF.

Mishra, a Master of Science, will hold the post till his superannuation on August 31, 2019, from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders, according to an order from the Department of Personnel and Training.

Archana Sundaram: Know More

  • Sundaram, who assumed charges as the SSB chief in 2016, earned the distinction of being the first woman to head a para-military force in the country.
  • A post-graduate in Economics from the Rajasthan University, she worked as a lecturer before her appointment to the Indian Police Service (IPS).

4)   Who has been named the chief of the National Investigation Agency in Sept 2017?

a. YC Modi
b. DB Pant
c. Rajni Kant Mishra
d. Rupan Deol Bajaj
Answer  Explanation 


Senior IPS officer Y C Modi, who was part of the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team that probed the 2002 Gujarat riot cases , was named chief of the National Investigation Agency.

The federal probe agency is tasked with probing terrorism and terror-financing related cases.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved Modi's appointment as director general of the NIA, an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) indicated.

Another senior IPS officer, Rajni Kant Misra, has been appointed director general of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).

Modi will hold the post till his superannuation, i.e. May 31, 2021, the order said.

ACC has also approved the appointment of Modi as officer on special duty (OSD) in NIA with immediate effect to ensure a smooth takeover.

Modi, a 1984 batch IPS officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre, is at present special director in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

He will take over from Sharad Kumar after he completes his tenure on October 30, the order said.

Kumar, who was appointed DG NIA in July 2013, has been given two extensions.

In October last year, he was given a one-year extension, apparently to help the agency complete some important probes, including the Pathankot terror case, terror strikes in Kashmir, Burdwan blast case and the Samjhauta blast cases

Misra has been appointed director general of the SSB till the date of his superannuation, i.e. August 31, 2019.

Misra, a 1984 batch IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, is at present additional director general in the Border Security Force (BSF).

5)   Where was the Shaheed Gram Vikas Yojana in Jharkhand launched?

a. Ulihatu
b. Birthplace of Birsa Munda
c. Ranchi
d. Only a and b
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Only a and b

BJP president Amit Shah on 18th Sept 2017 launched the ‘Shaheed Gram Vikas Yojana’ during a programme at Ulihatu in Khunti district of Jharkhand.

Ulihatu is the birthplace of Jharkhand’s tribal icon Birsa Munda.

Shah, on the third day of his Jharkhand visit, also met the descendants of Birsa Munda and gave away gas connections, solar lamps to some of the beneficiaries.

The programme launched by Shah would provide 136 pucca houses to the dwellers of Ulihatu and a couple of other hamlets around it.

The government is providing two-room, a verandah, bathroom and toilet house.

6)   REIT and InVITS have been allowed to raise capital by which means?

a. Issuing debt securities
b. Initiating IPO
c. Making investments in stock market
d. Raising loans
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Issuing debt securities

Capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on 18th Sept 2017 allowed infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs) and real estate investment trusts (REITs) raise capital by issuing debt securities.

The Sebi board, at its meeting on 18th Sept 2017, also made several other relaxations to the InvIT and REIT framework to give a boost to the stalled infrastructure projects in the country.

InvITs and REITs are investment vehicles that allow investors take exposure to an income-generating infrastructure project or real estate property.

Prior to this development, the framework only allowed launch of equity-oriented REITs and InVITs, which offer only indicative yields, not fixed yields.

Issue of debt-oriented REITs and InVITs will offer a fixed-return to investors, which could give a fillip to these instruments, said bankers.

Further, Sebi has extended the concept of 'strategic investor' for REIT. Currently, it was only allowed for InVITs, which has seen two issues in the domestic market.

It also allowed single-asset REIT on the lines of InVIT.

It also allowed a REIT to lend to the underlying holding company (Hodco) or special purpose vehicle (SPV).

Sebi had notified the regulations for REITs and InvITs in 2014. However, fund raising through these instruments has failed to take off.

So far, only two InvITs - IRB InvIT Fund and Indiagrid Trust - have been listed on the stock exchanges. While several realty players have shown interest in launching a REIT, there hasn't been a single issuance under this route.

SEBI Proposals for REIT, InVIT: Know More

  • The regulator has also proposed to amend definition of valuer for both the trusts. Currently, the valuer should not be an investor in InvITs or the assets being valued.
  • The valuer should have minimum experience five years in undertaking valuation of the infrastructure assets.
  • The changes approved by Sebi is yet another attempt to push the REIT and InvIT regime, which till date has practically been a non-starter despite the regime being notified several years back (with an exception of just a few such vehicles being set-up).
  • Allowing such vehicles to raise debt capital by way of issuance of bonds is unique for a Sebi fund regulatory vehicle as its not permitted for other Sebi regulated fund vehicles like alternative investment funds (AIFs) and mutual funds.
  • This brings the investment trust regime more at par with the RBI's NBFC regime which typically raises private capital by issuance of NCDs
  • Besides, the market regulator has apprised the board on the action taken against the 331 suspected shell companies which were barred to trade since August 7.
  • So far, the regulator has asked for a forensic audit of about 12 firms. While stock exchanges are looking into the credentials of about 90 firms, in some cases, the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) had put a stay order on the trading ban.
  • Sebi has learnt to have also reviewed the cases that are pending before various courts and appellate tribunals.
  • In a first, Sebi has also appointed a chief economic adviser who may assist the regulator on various policy issues.

7)   Union Law Ministry has approved which bill to empower government to confiscate properties of economic fugitives?

a. Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2017
b. Economic Offenders Defaulters Bill 2017
c. Defaulters Economic Offenders Bill 2017
d. Economic Offences Fugitives Bill 2017
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2017

The Union Law ministry has approved Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2017 to empower government to confiscate property of economic offenders and defaulters who flee India.

The Bill seeks to deter economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by fleeing the country.

It was drafted in pursuance of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s 2017-18 Budget speech promising legislative changes or even new law to confiscate the assets of such fugitives.

The Finance Ministry had prepared the draft Cabinet note on the bill and sought the law ministry’s opinion on it.

Features of Bill

It defines fugitive economic offender as any individual against whom warrant for arrest in relation to economic offence has been issued and person has left the country and refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution.

The burden of proof for establishing that an individual is fugitive economic offender will be on authorities.

The proposed bill will be applicable in cases where the value of offences is over INR 100 crore.

It will allow Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the premier technical snoop wing under the finance ministry, to file an application for declaration of fugitive economic offender for confiscation of their assets.

The bill entrusts responsibility to try such cases to the courts under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).

The bill has provision for appointment of an administrator to dispose off property of fugitive offender to pay off the creditors. Besides, it has provisions to override provisions of other existing laws.

Law ministry wants Saving Clause to be incorporated in the Bill before it is introduced in Parliament. Saving clause provides for certain exception(s) in a statute.

It enables repealed law to be in force with respect to some existing rights as provisions of the proposed bill has bearing on the provisions of existing laws.

The existing laws under which such fugitive economic offender are tried include Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act (RDDBFI), Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002, (SARFESI) and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code

Need for this Bill

  • In the recent past, there have been instances of big-time offenders, including economic offenders, fleeing the country to escape reach of jurisdiction of Indian courts.
  • Most recently, Vijay Mallya, chief of erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines who owes over INR 9,000 crore to various Indian banks, had fled India to escape legal proceedings in connection with the loans.
  • Such cases have several deleterious consequences as it hampers investigation in criminal cases, wastes precious time of courts of law and undermines the rule of law of the country.
  • The law ministry observed that necessary constitutional safeguards in terms of providing hearing to the person through counsel allowing him time to file a reply, serving notice of summons to him and an appeal to the High Court have been provided for in the bill.
  • Also, the bill has provision for appointment of an administrator to dispose off the property to pay off the creditors.
  • Besides, the provisions of the proposed law will override provisions of other existing laws.
  • In the recent past, there have been instances of big-time offenders, including economic offenders, fleeing the country to escape the reach of the law.
  • The finance ministry had in May sought comments from stakeholders on the proposed legislation.
  • As per the draft law, a 'fugitive economic offender', means any individual against whom a warrant for arrest in relation to an economic offence has been issued and the person has left the country and refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution.
  • Also, the burden of proof for establishing that an individual is a fugitive economic offender will be on the authorities.

8)   Which three Indian districts have been selected for the Zero Hunger programme on October 16/World Food Day?

a. Gorakhpur, Koraput and Thane
b. Noida, Gurugram and Medak
c. Gorakhpur, Hajipur and Thane
d. Koraput, Thane and Gurugram
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Gorakhpur, Koraput and Thane

This programme will be launched in addition to what the government has planned to deal with the issue of malnutrition through various other initiatives under its goal to make India malnutrition free by 2022.

Three districts - Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, Koraput in Odisha and Thane in Maharashtra - will initiate India's ambitious 'Zero Hunger' programme through interventions in farm sector on October 16 (World Food Day).

Though many more districts will eventually be covered under this dedicated farm-based programme in sync with India's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end hunger by 2030, these three would act as a model of an integrated approach to deal with hunger and malnutrition by adopting suitable agricultural\horticultural practices.

The programme will ensure suitable methods of measuring the impact of intervention. There will be intensive training programme in order to identify the nutritional maladies in each district and the appropriate agricultural/horticultural and animal husbandry remedies.

The Programme will be initiated by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation and the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).

The concerned state governments will also be involved in the programme which consists of organisations of farming system for nutrition, setting up genetic gardens for biofortified plants/crops and initiation of a 'Zero Hunger' training.

A genetic garden for biofortified plants/crops contains the germplasm of naturally biofortified crops or such crops through plant breeding. It has plants and crops that help supplement micro-nutrient deficiencies, including iron, iodine, vitamin A and zinc among others.

MS Swaminathan and Zero Hunger Programme

  • It is hoped that such an integrated programme will help us achieve the zero hunger district goal surely and speedily, led by MS Swaminathan who is popularly known as father of 'green revolution' in India.
  • The 'Zero Hunger' programme, planned in Koraput, Thane and Gorakhpur districts, will focus on agriculture, nutrition and health in a symbiotic manner: MS Swaminathan
  • This programme will be launched in addition to what the government has planned to deal with the issue of malnutrition through various other initiatives under its goal to make India malnutrition free by 2022.
  • Under the UN-approved SDGs, which were adopted by countries including India in 2015, the government is expected to ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices in the country.

9)   A commemorative coin was released on which Bharat Ratna awardee on 19th Sept 2017?

a. Dr. MS Subbulakshmi
b. Nelson Mandela
c. Bacha Khan
d. Mother Teresa
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Dr. MS Subbulakshmi

The Vice President of India Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu released a Commemorative Coin on Bharat Ratna Dr. M.S. Subbulakshmi and inaugurated an exhibition entitled “Kurai Onrum Illai-MS: Life in Music” on the occasion of Birth Centenary Commemoration of Dr. M.S. Subbulakshmi on Sept 19, 2017.

Minister of State (Independent charge) for Culture Dr. Mahesh Sharma was the Guest of Honour.

Dr. M.S. Subbulakshmi was a legendary and iconic figure who mesmerized everyone from Mahatma Gandhi to common man.

India is a land of rich cultural heritage with music in diverse genres representing the truly myriad mosaic of plurality.

What defines India is this rich heritage of music and its unifying role in bringing people together cutting across religions, regions, castes and communities.

The roots of Indian music can be traced to Vedic literature, Sama Veda in particular and as such every note and cadence associated with our ancient music systems have to be preserved and propagated.

Dr. M.S. Subbulakshmi’s music is immortal and everyone in this country was influenced and thrilled by her music.

She was the first musician to be awarded Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian honour and first Indian musician to have performed at the United Nations General Assembly.

Bharat Ratna Dr. M.S. Subbulakshmi performed in 50th anniversary celebration of the United Nations and it was a very moment for all Indians.

Mahatma Gandhi Ji asked her sing “Prabhu Tum Haro Jan Ki Pir” and she had sung it with full dedication

Dr. M.S. Subbulakshmi was not only a singer but was an encyclopaedia of singing.

Exhibition on Subbulakhsmi: Know More

  • The title of the exhibition draws from an iconic song composed by Rajaji and rendered by Dr. M.S. Subbulakshmi, perhaps only by her.
  • The song tells God that she has no complaints about life, about him.
  • The exhibition looks at the life of Dr. M.S. Subbulakshmi from her early years to the people who moulded her the composers and songs she immortalized, her contribution to the freedom movement, her magnanimous charity work, her role in films and the many awards and accolades world decorated her with.

10)   Which award was jointly conferred by AICTE and ECI for the first time in Sept 2017?

a. Chhatra Vishwakarma awards
b. Vishwakarma Chhatra awards
c. Chhatra Sankalp awards
d. Sankalp Chhatra awards
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Chhatra Vishwakarma awards

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Engineering Council of India (ECI), felicitated the award winners of “AICTE-ECI Chhatra Vishwakrma Awards” of AICTE approved Degree & Diploma level Technical Institutions/Universities in New Delhi on 19th Sept 2017.
The ‘AICTE-ECI Chhatra Vishwakarma Awards’ are an epitome for motivating individuals and institutions/ organizations to raise their performance in their specific domains leading to significant contribution towards the growth & development of the nation.

These Awards are given in following categories separately for Degree and Diploma Students (including students from AICTE approved Community College) for providing an innovative solution “To convert existing institutes into smart institute using innovative approaches:

1.Category-I: Outstanding Student Engineers (3 Awards each in Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Electronics Engineering, Computer Science and Biotechnology streams or their allied branches)

2.Category-II: Outstanding Teachers Awards (3 Awards each in Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Electronics Engineering, Computer Science and Biotechnology streams or their allied branches)

3.Category-III: Outstanding Institutions Awards (3 Awards) based on the maximum number of awards won from the above two categories and other criteria.

The Council received 965 nominations from teams comprising of 3-4 members in each team.

Nominations were received from teams from 23 States.

All nominations were further shortlisted based on parameters like - Innovation, Implementability, Cost benefit, Eco friendly, and its Social impact.

Total 55 innovative solutions were shortlisted by a Jury comprising experts from Industry and Academia led by eminent industrialist Dr B D Mundhra, Chairman, Simplex Infrastructure out of which 50 ideas are from teams of Degree Level Engineering Colleges and 5 from the teams of Diploma Level Institutes.

All 55 Teams comprising of around 250 students and their Mentors also displayed prototype of their ideas for the given problem statement on 19th September, 2017 in AICTE HQs premises.

The following are the winners of the Awards:

Computer Science (Diploma)PSG Polytechnic College, Tamil Nadu
Mentor :
Dr. S. Brindha

Team Members :

1.Sh. S. Praneet 2. Sh. K..R. Dharani Dharam 3. Sh. S. Srinath 4. Sh. Niranjan
Electrical engineering (Degree)Samrat Ashok Technological Institute(Degree), Madhya Pradesh

Mentor : Sh. S.P. Phulambrikar

Team Name : Advance

1.Ms. Deepa Marskole 2. Ms. Priyanka Chouksey 3. Ms. Riya Rawat 4. Sh. Kapil Kumar Soni
Civil Engineering (Degree)St. Joseph’s College of Engineering

Mentor : Dr. S. Sivasankar

Team Name: The New Crew

1.Sh. P.K. Hariharan 2. Ms. B. Preethi Jain
3. Sh. J.D. Jeevith Prabhu 4. M. Nilaa
Mechanical Engineering (Degree)Poornima Group of Institutions, Rajasthan

Mentor : Sh. Ratnesh Sharma

Team Name : Smart Innovators

1.Oshin Gangwal 2. Sh. Prasoon Vikram Singh 3. Sh. Rahul Meena 4. Sh. Rahul Saini
Computer Science (Degree)Scms School of Engineering & Technology, Karukutty

Mentor : Dr. Sunil Jacob

Team name : A De-Addiction Coil for Drug Addicts

1.Sh. A.N. George 2. Sh. Ajish Sures 3. Ms. Amrutha Anil Kumar 4. Ms. Anu Paulson
BioTechnology (Degree)Kumaraguru College of Technology

Mentor : Sh. G. Ramakrishnan

Team name :Eco Innovators

1.Niveda R 2. Gowtham S