Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Sep 21, 2016

1)   What is the most advanced surface-to-air missile launched by India off Odisha coast on 20th Sept 2016?

a. Barak 4
b. Barak 6
c. Barak 8
d. Barak 10
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Barak 8

India on 20th September 2016 successfully test-fired the most advanced surface-to-air missile Barak 8 off the Odisha coast.

  • Long range nuclear capable ballistic missile was jointly developed with Israel
  • It was launched from the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur, Balasore
  • The 4.5 m missile is around 3 tonnes and can carry a payload of 70 kgs
  • It also includes a Multi-Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar for detection, tracking and missile guidance
  • Several other missiles jointly developed by India-Israel partnership were tested in 2016. Three medium range surface to air missiles were successfully test fired between June 30 and July 1.
  • Tested missiles will be inducted in three armed services-army, navy and air force
  • Indian Navy also successfully tested long range surface to air missile in late 2015 undertaken on the western seaboard by INS Kolkata
  • DRDO was formed in 1958; this defence agency headquartered in New Delhi launched Barak 8
  • DRDO was formed by a merger between Technical Development Establishment and Directorate of Technical Development and Production with the Defence Science Organisation under the administrative control of GoI’s Ministry of Defence
  • DRDO is India’s largest and most diverse research organisation

2)   A festival held once in 12 years is being celebrated in Ladakh since 16th September. What is it called:

a. Naropa Festival
b. Kumbh Mela of Himalayas
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Naropa Festival

A once in 12 years festival of Buddhist culture, tradition and spirituality commenced on 16th September 2016 at the Hemis monastery of Drukpa lineage in Ladakh region, India

  • Festival will conclude on 22nd September
  • Monks, devotees and tourists reached Ladakh for the Kumbh Mela of the Himalayas, the Naropa Festival
  • This drew large number of Buddhists
  • Most were from the Drukpa branch practiced in Ladakh and Bhutan
  • Dancers in silk costumes and traditional gear performed to drum as well as pipe music as part of the mountain festival to celebrate 1000th birth anniversary of Buddhist saint Naropa.
  • A 60 foot tall silk embroidery brocade of Buddha Amitabha was also launched on 19th Sept 2016
  • 12th Gyalwang Drukpa, spiritual head of the 1000 year old Drukpa Order based in Himalayan town unfurled the brocade thanks amidst chanting of prayers
  • Special stand was erected at Naropa palace to display this thanks, said to be the world’s largest silk embroidered thanka or brocade
  • Naropa was an Indian Buddhist Mahasiddha saint and a contemporary of Atisa, a Buddhist Bengali leader and spiritual master
  • He was born in a high status Brahman family of Bengal and entered the Buddhist University at Nalanda in his 20s to study Sutra and Tantra
  • He was given the title of Guardian of the North Gate and was a disciple of Tilopa; he was also a pupil of Niguma
  • Hemis Monastry is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery of the Drukpa Lineage located in Ladakh’s Hemis hamlet
  • Monastery has existed since the 11th century and is the abode of Saint Naropa
  • Monastery was re-established in 1672 by Ladakh’s King Sengge Namgyal

3)   World leaders on 19th September adopted which declaration at the UNGA’s first summit for refugees and migrants?

a. New York Declaration
b. Washington Declaration
c. London Declaration
d. Moscow Declaration
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: New York Declaration

World leaders on 19th September 2016 adopted the New York Declaration at the opening of the United Nation’s General Assembly first ever Summit for Refugees and Migrants

  • Delegates adopted the landmark declaration issuing a solid commitment to address current issues and prepare the world for future challenges.
  • This includes starting negotiations and adoption of global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration in 2018

    Highlights of the declaration are as follows:

  • Protection of human rights of refugees and migrants regardless of status including the rights of women and girls ad promoting equal and meaningful participation in finding solutions
  • Ensure that refugee and migrant children are receiving education within a few months of the arrival
  • Prevent and respond to gender based violence
  • Support those countries, receiving and hosting numerous refugees and migrants
  • Work towards ending the practice of detaining children for the purpose of assessing the migration status
  • Find new homes for all refugees identified by Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees as needing resettlement
  • Increase opportunities for refugees or migrants to relocate other countries through labour mobility or education schemes
  • Strengthen global governance of migration by bringing the international organisation of migration into the UN system
  • Adopting the NY Declaration means more children can attend school, more workers can seek jobs and rights of refugees and migrants will be protected
  • Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General has launched a new campaign called Together – Respect, Safety and Dignity for All to respond to rising xenophobia and turn fear into hope.

4)   A green body launched the first online interactive tool in India helping users to improve their food and dietary habits. What is it called?

a. Know Your Diet
b. Apna Ahaar Janein
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

Centre for Science and Environment launched the “Know Your Diet” interactive online food and diet tool available in English and Hindi.

  • It is a Hindi version of the tool known as “Apna Ahar Janein”
  • India needs a clear policy to help promote good food
  • Tool is for benefiting anyone of 9 years or more who can access it from computers, tablets and smartphones
  • Indians can use this tool for better policy and practices on promotion of good food
  • Aimed at increasing the transitioning food habits and growing burden of diet related non communicable disease in the nation, the interactive tool focuses on critical themes like awareness on food labels and connection between food and health, balanced diet and consumption of foods and beverages which are packaged, non packaged and cooked outside the home been supported by expert inputs from doctors and nutritionists. However, it does not intend to replace in-person professional consultation.
  • Tool is expected to help shape food related policies in India
  • The tool comprises one main survey and six mini surveys that focus on different aspects of food and health, including sections like 'food labels and you', 'fruits you eat', 'vegetables you eat', 'beverages you drink' and 'household consumption’.
  • The Good Food movement has also been launched by CSE
  • “KNOW YOUR DIET is a first of its kind initiative to help people of India know about their food and dietary habits. We hope that it will ignite a ‘Good Food’ movement in our country,” said Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general of CSE, while launching the tool

    Know Your Diet interactive tool focuses on the following topics:

  • i. Food and health
    ii. Food labels and you
    iii. Fruits you eat
    iv. Vegetables you eat
    v. Beverages you drink
    vi. Household consumption

  • It also comprises a specifically designed ‘School Children Survey’.

5)   People born without sight use which part of the brain to engage in numerical reasoning?

a. Frontal
b. Temporal
c. Visual
d. Cerebral
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Visual

For the first time, researchers have found that people born without sight solve math problems using visual areas of the brain.

  • Humans and animals have a basic number sense that many believe evolves from seeing the world and trying to quantify all the sights
  • Neuroscientists have found that the brain network behind numerical reasoning is identical in blind and sighted people
  • Researchers found visual cortex in blind people is highly involved in doing math, indicating that the human brain is more adaptable than previously thought
  • Blind people may not see anything in their lives, but they have the same number network as people who can see
  • Researchers also found the more complicated the math problem, the greater the activity in the visual cortex
  • New finding contradicts recent research
  • The visual cortex is now found to respond to everything from spoken language to mathematics problems

6)   Nearly what percent of India’s land area is vulnerable to moderate or severe earthquakes, according to the latest seismic zone map?

a. 56
b. 59
c. 62
d. 65
Answer  Explanation 


A whopping 59 percent of India’s land area is vulnerable to moderate or severe earthquakes according to the latest seismic zone map released on 20th Sept.

  • It also shows how out of 304 million households in the country, about 95 percent are vulnerable to earthquakes in different degrees
  • Map will soon be accessible on mobile to assess how quake proof your home or office is
  • Map has been prepared by National Disaster Management Authority and Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council
  • Earthquake zoning maps provide details down to block level
  • The maps are colour coded. Colour coding denotes the location in 5 different zones of earthquake intensity, Map shows the boundaries of the hazard zones of numerous intensities
  • Maps also help district authorities to assess which regions can be impacted by intense hazard occurrences
  • Information can be basis for formulating preventive action to reducing the impact of the hazard, installation of a warning system and formulating building be laws with seismic resistant features
  • Earthquake zoning maps will help to state and central authorities to identify the districts most prone to severe disaster situation and those with multi hazard situations
  • Mitigation measures will also be formed on the basis of the map

7)   NASA has proposed a complex algorithm based on what to identify common cancer biomarkers?

a. Similarities between galaxies
b. Origins of black hole
c. Differences between stars
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Similarities between galaxies

A detailed and complex algorithm and technique used by Jet propulsion library/JPL of NASA identifies common cancer biomarkers through an algorithm initially developed to identify similarities between galaxies.

  • The algorithm checks patterns in tissue samples to find common cancer biomarkers
  • Partnership between space agency and Early Detection Research Network has revolutionised biomedical engineering and the partnership has been extended
  • Algorithms have helped to discover six new FDA approved chemical and genetic signatures to eliminate cancer
  • NASA press release has also said 9 signatures have been approved for clinical lab use in US
  • EDRN was founded in 2000
  • With standardisation in place, the algorithm can take varying types of data and information to look for patterns that could indicate cancer or other types of medical issues, similar to what NASA space ships do in space to identify celestial bodies.
  • Galaxies have been analysed using a machine learning algorithm taught to recognise astrophysical commonalities- the same is being applied to cancer images
  • On Sept. 6, 2016, JPL and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, renewed a research partnership through 2021, extending the development of data science that originated in space exploration and is now supporting new cancer discoveries.
  • "As we develop more automated methods for detecting and classifying features in images, we see great opportunities for enhancing data discovery. We have examples where algorithms for detection of features in astronomy images have been transferred to biology and vice-versa.” the press release said

8)   A countrywide campaign has been launched for generic medicines at a affordable prices for all. What is it called?

a. Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana
b. Prime Minister Jan Aushadhi Yojana
c. Pradhan Mantri Jag Aushadhi Yojana
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana

The Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana was initiated by Pharma Dept in association with Central Pharma PSUs.

  • Key PMAK centres were opened where high quality generic medicines are sold at low prices
  • The Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India/BPPI is implementing the scheme
  • Since 20th Sept,
  • 437 Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendras spread over 26 States/UTs are operational across the country. The Government is committed to open 3000 PMJAK by March 2017 across India.
  • Agreements have been signed with many national NGOs/Trusts/Societies like CSC, PCI, CNRI, Shree Tapovan vikas Trust, Indian Red Cross Society, Lions Club, CISSIL, CMAI, IMA, Vignan Bharathi, Bharat Sevak Samaj etc. for setting up of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendras in different States.

  • Following incentives are provided to open PMJAK:

  • Free space provided by State Govt./MCD/PSU etc.
  • An amount of INR 2.5 lakhs to be given to NGOs / agency running JAS in government hospital premises:

  • i. INR 1 Lakh reimbursement of furniture and fixtures
    ii. INR 1 Lakh by way of free medicines in the beginning
    iii. 0.5 Lakh as reimbursement for computer and other miscellaneous items.

  • PMJAK run by private entrepreneurs / pharmacists / NGOs / charitable institutions that are linked through internet are also entitled for sales incentive of 15% of monthly sales subject to ceiling of INR 10000/- per month up to INR 2.50 lakhs. In North east states the incentive is 15% and subject to monthly ceiling of INR 15000 and total limit of INR 2.50 lakhs.

9)   Which city tops list of 27 new smart cities announced by Ministry of Urban Development?

a. Amritsar
b. Ajmer
c. Madurai
d. Varanasi
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Amritsar

Golden Temple City of Amritsar topped the list of 27 new smart cities announced by Minister of Urban Development.

  • 8 other cities of pilgrim and tourist importance made it to the list as well
  • These are: Ujjain, Tirupati, Agra, Nashik, Madurai, Thanjavur, Ajmer and Varanasi.
  • With this the number of cities selected under Smart City Mission for financing implementation of smart city plans has gone up to 60.
  • The Minister informed that the new 27 smart cities have proposed an investment of INR66,883 cr under smart city plans including INR42,524 cr under Area Based Development and another INR11,379 cr for technology based Pan-city solutions that benefits all the citizens of respective cities.
  • With this, the total investment proposed by the 60 cities selected so far has gone up to INR1,44,742 cr, he said.
  • The 27 smart cities announced today are from 12 States including 5 from Maharashtra, 4 each from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, 3 from Uttar Pradesh and 2 each from Punjab and Rajasthan.
  • NE states Nagaland and Sikkim have made it to the smart city list for the first time.