Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Sep 21, 2017

1)   Which organisation is the lead agency for the BIMSTEC DMEx-2017?

a. National Disaster Response Force
b. National Disaster Management Force
c. National Disaster Security Force
d. National Disaster Rehabilitation Force
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: National Disaster Response Force

The First ‘BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2017’ (BIMSTEC DMEx-2017) will be conducted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as the lead agency from October 10-13, 2017 in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).

This Exercise will be a platform for sharing Best Practices on all aspects of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), strengthening regional response and coordination for Disaster Management among the BIMSTEC member countries.

Delegates from all seven nations of the ‘Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation’ (BIMSTEC) grouping, - namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand, representatives from Embassies/High Commissions of BIMSTEC nations in Delhi, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), and Senior Officers from the Nodal Ministries are participating in the event.

At the 17th BIMSTEC Senior Officials Meeting held in Kathmandu, Nepal on February 7, 2017, it was decided that India would organize the first annual Disaster Management Exercise for the region.


  • The main focus of the BIMSTEC DMEx-2017 will be on testing the region’s preparedness and resilience towards effective activation of inter-Governmental interaction/dialogue/agreements for immediate deployment of regional resources for disaster response.
  • It will help create synergy and synchronize efforts to institutionalize regional cooperation among the member countries.
  • The exercise will help strengthen the effective utilization of the Search & Rescue Teams for Disaster Relief & Emergency Response, including Emergency Rapid Assessment Teams and Management of mass casualties especially in situations involving breakdown of infrastructure and communication.
  • At the end of the four-day Exercise, a publication will be brought out on the outcomes and recommendations of the Joint/Common Exercise and include Agreement among BIMSTEC Nations on regional cooperation for Disaster Management and Emergency Response.
  • This would be presented to the BIMSTEC Leaders at the Summit to be hosted by Nepal in October/November, 2017.
  • The BIMSTEC DMEx-2017 is being conducted in two phases in Delhi and NCR. The main exercise will comprise of Table Top Exercise (TTX), Field Training Exercise (FTX) and After Action Review (AAR) which is scheduled for October 10-13, 2017.
India's Role and BIMSTEC
  • India has been at the forefront of DRR efforts by hosting the South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise (SAADMEx).
  • It also hosted Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR).
    India has also offered its expertise and capabilities in DRR such as the South Asia satellite, GSAT-9, and the Tsunami Early Warning Centre to other countries.
  • Disaster Management was one of the important Agenda items the BIMSTEC leaders deliberated upon during the Goa BRICS Summit in October last year where BIMSTEC leaders were the Special Invitees.
  • The BIMSTEC region is home to around 1.5 billion people, constituting around 22% of the global population with a combined GDP of US $2.7 trillion economy.
  • Majority of the BIMSTEC countries are situated in the South Asian Region (SAR), prone to natural disasters such as floods, cyclones, earthquakes, avalanches and drought.

2)   For whom was a radio jingle released by MSME ministry on 20th Sept 2017?

a. National SC ST Hub
b. Marginalised communities
c. Minority communities
d. Both a and c
e. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: National SC ST Hub

The Vice President, Shri Venkaiah Naidu was the Chief Guest of National SC ST Hub (NSSH) Confluence organized by Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and also released first ever radio jingle for National SC ST Hub.

A collective, coordinated action is needed to strengthen the eco-system for promoting SC & ST Entrepreneurs in the country.

Capacity building is important; credit availability is important, technology up-gradation is also important, he added.

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Sector (MSME) is the bulwark of the Indian economy and one of the largest employers after agriculture. He further said that it is also one of the major contributors to the country’s GDP.

With Make in India envisaging to push contribution of the manufacturing sector to 25 per cent of the GDP by 2022, the MSME sector will be required to play a critical role in achieving the goal, he added.

Skill up gradation is one area that requires top attention for the overall development of SC/ST entrepreneurs.

National SC/ST Hub was lauded for signing MoUs with Sector Skill Councils to skill over 2,000 entrepreneurs, as these associations and incubators have a huge role to play in supporting the objectives of National SC/ST Hub.

Each association must extend support in building capacities and mentoring entrepreneurs in its respective sector.

National SC ST Confluence: Know More

  • The confluence brought various insights from Industry Association and Incubators to understand the gaps in realizing the mandate of Public Procurement Policy.
  • It put forth innovative strategies for holistic development of MSEs owned by SC/ST Entrepreneurs.
    The discussion held was extremely fruitful and intend to go a long way in meeting the objectives of the National SC ST Hub.
  • Interactive session was held with over 150 industry associations and incubators with representation of over 400 participants, focussing on collaboration with NSSH, to augment the capabilities of existing SC/ST entrepreneurs.
  • Several excellent suggestions were made with respect to market access; capacity building, tender challenges, technology upgradation, etc. were made.
  • The session also focused on future action plan along with role to be played by each stakeholder to achieve the objectives of the hub.
  • In addition, MOUs were signed with 3 Sector Skill Councils to provide skill development trainings of SC-ST Entrepreneurs under capacity building initiatives of NSSH.
  • The Government of India formulated the Public Procurement Policy, 2012 which states that 20% of total procurement of goods and services by Central Ministries, Departments and CPSEs shall be made from MSEs and 20% of such procurement (4% of total) shall be from SC & ST owned MSEs.
  • NSSH is a unique initiative launched by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 18th October 2016. This initiative is aimed empowering SC ST owned MSEs in order to achieve the 4% mandate of the Public Procurement Policy.
  • In view of the above, the NSSH initiative has the potential to work on ground and have an impact till the last mile. Due to the social and economic bearing the programme can have, it requires a strategy that delivers sustained and measurable impact, on the entire MSME ecosystem.
  • Therefore, there have been continual efforts to include all relevant stakeholders including state, industry associations, incubators, CPSEs to identify synergies and work collaboratively and cohesively towards a shared goal.
Milestones in the Hub

Some of the milestones achieved by the hub are as follows -

1. Data analysis completed for 5 lakh SC/ST units to identify suppliers to CPSEs

2. Physical verification of over 4,900 SC/ST entrepreneurs completed that had potential to supply to CPSEs

3. Telephonic interaction with over 2,590 SC/ST MSMEs completed to understand challenges in securing PSUs’ tenders

4. Information of 1,003 SC/ST enterprises mapped with 42 CPSEs for vendor empanelment and procurement

5. Appointment of nodal officers in 67 CPSEs. Discussion with over 60 CPSEs conducted

6. Special Marketing Assistance Scheme - 950 units participated in domestic and international fairs/exhibition

7. 2,107 units facilitated with CPSE linkages under Special Vendor Development Programme

8. 512 SC/ST units benefitted under Special Performance & Credit Rating Scheme

9. Training programme conducted in IIM Noida (Satellite institute of IIM Lucknow), IIM Lucknow, IIM Raipur, IIM Kolkata and XLRI Jamshedpur (on pilot basis) for SC/ST entrepreneurs for over 100 SC/ST entrepreneurs.

3)   Who is the author of art book  “Bhartiya Kala Mein Salil Kridayen Evam Sadyahsnata Nayika” released on Sept 20, 2017?

a. Mahesh Sharma
b. Sanjib Kumar Singh
c. Kshetrapal Gangwar
d. Both b and c
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both b and c

Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Culture released the book entitled “Bhartiya Kala Mein Salil Kridayen Evam Sadyahsnata Nayika”.

It was authored by Dr. Kshetrapal Gangwar and Shri Sanjib Kumar Singh at a function in National Museum.

This is an Art Book based on original research, written in Hindi and published by National Museum after few decades.

Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Labour and Employment presided over the function.

This is a book written to highlight the Indian Art and describes the Water Sports (Salil Kridayen).

This form of art has been the part of Indian Art from time immemorial.

The literary sources and archaeological evidence proves that it was a dear subject for the artist and Literary persons.

Almost all the famous school of art of India bears these kind of sculptures and Paintings.

4)   National Conference on Agriculture for which crop's campaign is being organised on Sept 19, 20 2017?

a. Kharif
b. Rabi
c. Seasonal
d. Both a and c
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and c

The National Conference onv Agriculture for Rabi Campaign - 2017-18 is being organized on 19th - 20th September, 2017 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

The Conference was inaugurated by Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh.

Farmers succeeded in attaining the ever highest production of more than 275 million tons of foodgrains and 32 million tons of oilseeds during 2016-17 as per the latest and the 4th Advance Estimates.

The quantum jump in pulse production from previous record of 19.25 million tons in 2013-14 to 22.95 million tons during 2016-17 also took place.

During the two day conference, with the overall aim of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

Group Discussions were held on important topics such as on

1. Soil Health Card Scheme – Review and Improvements,
2. Increasing Coverage of Non-loanee Farmers, Area and Crops under PMFBY and use of Modern Technology for Greater Efficiency,
3. e-NAM-Ideas on Improvements,
4. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) – Approach for Sustainable Agriculture,
5. Management of Drought,
6. Review of Post Harvest Management (PHM) & Value Chain in the Country,
7. Drought Proofing of 30 Vulnerable Districts, (8) Doubling Farmers’ Income. Each Group was

In addition, presentations on the following (ix) flagship schemes were made by Joint Secretaries and senior officials to set the tone for discussions:

i. Kharif review & Rabi prospects
ii. Seed Quality Control.
iii. E- National Agriculture Marketing (E-NAM).
iv.Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).
v. Soil Health Card (SHC).
vi. Organic Farming.
vii. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY).
viii. Horticulture/cold Chain.
ix. Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).

5)   What is the main focus of Khelo India-Play India scheme?

a. Identify and groom young sporting talent
b. Building sports infrastructure
c. Connecting rural India to global games
d. Both a and c
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and c

In a move to identify and groom young sporting talent, the Union cabinet on 20th Sept 2017 approved a revamped Khelo India (Play India) scheme under which 1,000 selected athletes will receive an annual scholarship of INR 500,000 each for eight years.

The scheme, which would cost the government Rs1,756 crore between 2017-18 and 2019-20, will also promote 20 universities across India as hubs of sporting excellence.

The revamped Khelo India programme would impact the entire sports ecosystem, including infrastructure, community sports, talent identification, coaching for excellence, competition structure and sports economy.

Until now, sports schemes were focused on building infrastructure such as stadiums.

However, the new scheme will focus on nurturing talent and connecting rural India to global games, sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said.

Companies could also fund the Khelo India scheme under corporate social responsibility.

Some of the salient features of the Programme include:

  • An unprecedented Pan Indian Sports Scholarship scheme, which would cover 1,000 most talented young athletes each year across select sports disciplines.
  • Each athlete selected under the scheme shall receive an annual scholarship worth Rs. 5.00 lakh for 8 consecutive years.
  • This is the first time ever that a long-term athlete development pathway would be made available to gifted and talented youngsters to excel in competitive sports and will create a pool of highly competitive athletes who can compete to win at the world stage.
  • The Programme aims to promote 20 universities across the country as hubs of sporting excellence, which would enable talented sports persons to pursue the dual pathway of education and competitive sports.
  • The Programme also aims at creating an active population with healthy life-style.
  • The Programme would cover about 200 million children in the age group of 10-18 under a massive national physical fitness drive, which will not only measure the physical fitness of all children in the age group, but also support their fitness related activities.
  • The power of sport in promoting gender equity and social inclusiveness is also fully recognized and special measures are provided for to achieve these objectives.
  • The programme also aims at engaging youth living in disturbed and deprived areas, in sporting activities, to wean them away from unproductive and disruptive activities and mainstream them in the nation-building process.
  • The programme strives to raise the standards of competition, both at school and college level, to have maximum access to organized sports competitions.
  • It also includes the use of latest user-friendly technology in all aspects of sports promotion such as, use of mobile apps for dissemination of sports training; National Sports Talent Search portal for talent identification; interactive website for indigenous sports; GIS based information system for locating and using sports infrastructure, etc.
  • This programme strives to promote “Sports for All” as well as “Sports for Excellence.”

6)   India and Kazakhstan have agreed to deepen ties in which sector on Sept 20, 2017?

a. Oil and gas
b. Manufacturing
c. Transport
d. Both a and c
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and c

India and Kazakhstan discussed deepening cooperation in oil and gas sector as well as expanding the International North-South Transport Corridor by linking it to the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran rail link.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan-led a delegation to Astana for the India-Kazakhstan Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC), which is co-chaired by Kazakh Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev.

During the meeting, the two discussed ideas for stepping up the cooperation in energy sector, trade, economic, investment, transport and connectivity, agriculture, information technology, space, healthcare and cultural spheres between the two countries.

The two sides discussed the possibilities of expanding cooperation in exploration and production of hydrocarbons and investments in infrastructure projects in oil and gas sector.

ONGC Videsh Ltd owns a 25 per cent stake in the Satpayev oilfield in the Caspian Sea.

In the nuclear energy sector, the two sides agreed to work on application of nuclear science in the areas of health and agriculture.

They explored possibility of expanding the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) by linking it to the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran rail link.

Kazakhstan is strategically located between Europe and Asia and offers enormous business opportunities for investments.

The country is rich in mineral resources, such as uranium, oil and natural gas.

Both leaders agreed to collaborate in the oil and gas sector for mutual benefit and further strengthen the engagement by addressing issues of concerns to Indian investors, particularly in Kazakh hydrocarbon sector.

Bozumbayev invited Indian investments in various sectors particularly in the hydrocarbon sector, infrastructure, peaceful use of nuclear energy, co-production of films, cooperation in food processing and Information Technology.

Both sides exchanged lists containing priority export items.

INSTC: Know More

  • INSTC is a 7,200-km-long multi-mode network of ship, rail and road route for moving freight between India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia.
  • The route primarily involves moving freight from India, Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia via ship, rail and road.
  • India and Kazakh also agreed to develop and deepen bilateral relations in the field of agriculture, mining and civil aviation sector.

7)   What is the underwater site built by octopuses off the east coast of Australia called?

a. Second gloomy octopus site
b. Octlantis
c. Octopia
d. Both a and b
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both a and b

Scientists have discovered Octlantis - an underwater site built entirely by octopuses, where they communicate with each other by posturing, chasing or colour changes.

Researchers found the site in the waters off the east coast of Australia, that is the home of up to 15 gloomy octopuses.

It is the second gloomy octopus settlement found in the area, and the discovery lends credence to the idea that octopuses are not necessarily loners.

The first gloomy octopus site was found in Jervis Bay off the east coast of Australia in 2009. The new site is located just a few hundred meters away from the first site, and has been dubbed Octlantis.

8)   What is the name of the two-tiered barge that is a boat lab for River Brahmaputra?

a. Brahmaputra Biodiversity Biology Boat
b. B3
c. B4
d. Both a and c
e. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and c

Soon, it will be possible to cruise along the Brahmaputra along while doing some serious science.

The Department of Biotechnology will commission a two-tiered barge that will roughly be the size of two large conference rooms and host scientists and a full-fledged lab.

This will allow those on board to collect samples from various stretches of the river, perform tests on water quality and biodiversity of the wider ecosystem.

The proposed vessel, now only known as the Brahmaputra Biodiversity Biology Boat (B4), would also be linked to smaller boats and research labs.

The first experiments will likely begin this December and will have the boat - a re-purposed one - trawl Pasighat, Dibrigarh, Neemati, Tejpur and Guwahati in Assam and managed by the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati.

The “B4” will also have a teaching laboratory for school and college children.

Specifying that this wouldn’t be just a show boat, officials indicated there would also be ‘mobile labs’ that would run along the tributaries of the Brahmaputra to feed in data to the B4.

For a river of the size and diversity of the Brahmaputra, there is very little research done to understand its hydrology, water quality and biodiversity.

A boat of this nature would be one of its kind in the world though there were a few precedents in China and mobile laboratories that studied the Amazon river.

Government aimed to spend ₹200 crore across a range of programmes.