Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Sep 22, 2017

1)   50 countries signed a treaty to ban which weapons on 20th Sept 2017?

a. Nuclear
b. Military
c. Laser
d. Missile
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Nuclear

Fifty countries on 20th Sept 2017 signed a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, a pact that the world’s nuclear powers spurned but supporters hailed as a historic agreement nonetheless.

Before the day was out, 50 states as different as Indonesia and Ireland had put their names to the treaty; others can sign later if they like.

Guyana, Thailand and the Vatican also have already ratified the treaty, which needs 50 ratifications to take effect among the nations that back it.

They would be barred from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, otherwise acquiring, possessing or stockpiling nuclear weapons “under any circumstances.”

Seven decades after the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan during World War II the only use of nuclear weapons there are believed to be about 15,000 of them in the world today.

Amid rising tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests, U.N. Secretary - General Antonio Guterres said that the threat of a nuclear attack is at its highest level since the end of the Cold War.

Supporters of the pact say it’s time to push harder toward eliminating atomic weapons than nations have done through the nearly 50-year-old Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Terms of the Treaty

  • Under its terms, non-nuclear nations agreed not to pursue nukes in exchange for a commitment by the five original nuclear powers the U.S., Russia, Britain, France and China to move toward nuclear disarmament and to guarantee other states’ access to peaceful nuclear technology for producing energy.
  • More than 120 countries approved the new nuclear weapons ban treaty in July over opposition from nuclear - armed countries and their allies, who boycotted negotiations.
  • The U.S., Britain and France said the prohibition wouldn’t work and would end up disarming their nations while emboldening “bad actors,”.
  • Brazil was the first country to sign onto the ban, followed by nations from Algeria to Venezuela.

2)   ILO has released Global Estimates of Modern Slavery with which organisation?

a. Walk Free Foundation
b. Born Free Foundation
c. Be Free Foundation
d. Set Free Foundation
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Walk Free Foundation

As per the 2017 Global Estimates of modern slavery released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Walk Free Foundation (WFF) on 20th Sept, an estimated 40.3 million people were victims of slavery worldwide.

Women accounted for 71% (29 million), while children constituted 25% (10 million) of modern slaves.

Of the 40.3 million trapped in slavery, 25 million were in forced labour and 15 million in forced marriage.

Of the 25 million, 16 million were exploited by the private sector, 4.8 million were in forced sexual exploitation, and 4.1 million were in forced labour imposed by state authorities.

Debt bondage was responsible for 50% of all forced labour in the private sector.

This proportion rose to 70% for adults forced to work in agriculture, domestic work, or manufacturing.

More women (9.2 million, or 57.6%) than men (6.8 million, or 42.4%) were affected by privately imposed forced labour.

The largest share of adults who were in forced labour were domestic workers (24%), followed by the construction sector (18%), manufacturing (15%), and agriculture and fishing (11%).

Women and Children in Slavery: Know More

  • Women represented 99% of the victims of forced labour in the commercial sex industry, and 84% of the victims of forced marriages.
  • As per the Global Slavery Index 2016, India had the world’s largest number of modern slaves, at 18.3 million, with 1.4% of the population living in slavery-like conditions.
  • Also, 151.6 million children aged 5 to 17 were engaged in child labour in 2016. Nearly 50% (72.5 million) were involved in hazardous work.
  • While 70.9% of child labour was concentrated in agriculture, 11.9% worked in industry.
  • The highest number (72.1 million) was in Africa, followed by Asia and the Pacific (62 million).
Global Estimates: Modern Slavery
  • Modern slavery was most prevalent in Africa (7.6 per 1,000 people), followed by Asia and the Pacific (6.1 per 1,000) and then Europe and Central Asia (3.9 per 1,000).
  • Forced labour was most prevalent in Asia and the Pacific (4 per 1,000 people), followed by Europe and Central Asia (3.6 per 1,000), and then Africa (2,8 per 1,000).
  • The latest figures are expected to aid in policy-making aimed at achieving Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which calls for effective measures to end forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking, and child labour in all its forms.
  • The world won’t be in a position to achieve the SDGs unless we dramatically increase our efforts to fight these scourges.
  • The new global estimates can help shape and develop interventions to prevent both forced labour and child labour.
  • According to the ILO-WFF report, the term ‘modern slavery’ covers “a set of specific legal concepts including forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage, other slavery and slavery-like practices, and human trafficking.” Though not defined in law, “essentially, it refers to situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, deception, and/or abuse of power.”

3)   New Yorker reporter Lilian Ross was known for a revealing portrait of which famous writer?

a. Rudyard Kipling
b. Somerset Maugham
c. Lewis Carroll
d. Ernest Hemingway
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Ernest Hemingway

Lillian Ross, the ever-watchful New Yorker reporter whose close narrative style defined a memorable and influential 70-year career has died at age 99.

Ross died early Wednesday at Lenox Hill Hospital after suffering a stroke.

Ross’ approach, later made famous by the “New Journalists” of the 1960s, used dialogue, scene structure and other techniques associated with fiction writers.

She regarded herself as a short story writer who worked with facts, or even as a director, trying to “build scenes into little story-films.”

In 1999, her 1964 collection of articles, “Reporting,” was selected by a panel of experts as one of the 100 best examples of American journalism in the 20th century.

The group, assembled by New York University, ranked it No. 66.

Lillian Ross: Know More

  • Born in Syracuse, New York, she was always more comfortable as an observer and played hooky just to hang around professional newspaper offices.
  • She graduated from Hunter College, worked at the liberal New York Citydaily PM, then was hired by The New Yorker in the mid-1940s, when the magazine was looking for women writers because so many men were serving in World War II.

4)   National Institution for Transforming India/NITI Aayog signed an SOI for ITS with which organization?

d. IRF Geneva
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) and the International Road Federation, Geneva (IRF Geneva) have on 21st Sept 2017 signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) to cooperate in the field of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).

The objective of the SoI is to create a national platform, involving all relevant Government of India stakeholders, Indian and foreign companies active in the sector, and relevant technical experts for the purpose of developing a National ITS Policy covering:

1) Traffic Management,

2) Parking Management,

3) Electronic Enforcement of Traffic Rules and Regulations,

4) Fleet Management and Monitoring,

5) Innovation in the field of ITS, and

6) Education in the field of ITS.

Objectives of National ITS Policy

  • The objectives of this national ITS Policy will be to contribute to reducing urban traffic congestion, improving the situation around parking of vehicles in cities, improving road safety, and improving the security of passenger and goods traffic.
  • The work of this National Platform will provide a coherent and consistent National ITS Policy covering domains such as traffic and parking management, enforcement, and security.

5)   Where is the 6th edition of international textiles and apparel fair VASTRA being held on 21st Sept 2017?

a. Jaipur
b. Kota
c. Jodhpur
d. Jaisalmer
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Jaipur

The Minister for Textiles and IB, Smriti Irani was inaugurating the 6th Edition of the 4-day international textiles and apparel fair VASTRA 2017, in Jaipur on 21st Sept 2017.

Growth of the textiles sector lies the growth of India and the growth of job opportunities.

Textiles sector provides direct employment to over 45 million people and indirectly impacts close to another 20 million households.

Government of India has brought in Rs. 6,000 crore package specially aimed at providing support to the textiles, apparel and made-ups sectors.

VASTRA 2017 is an all-encompassing trade fair and conference on Textiles and Apparel presenting a fusion of the finest and the latest in textiles products.

The event is jointly organized by Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investments Corporation Limited (RIICO) and Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and is supported by the Government of Rajasthan.

More than 50 countries and 13 Indian States are participating in VASTRA 2017.

6)   International Day of Peace was observed this year with which theme?

a. “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.”
b. “United for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.”
c. “Together for Peace: Respect, Dignity and Safety for All.”
d. “Together for Peace: Dignity, Respect, and Safety for All.”
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.”

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September.

The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

The theme for 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.”

The theme honours the spirit of TOGETHER, a global initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes and those leaving in search of a better life.

TOGETHER unites the organizations of the United Nations System, the 193 Member States of the United Nations, the private sector, civil society, academic institutions and individual citizens in a global partnership in support of diversity, non-discrimination and acceptance of refugees and migrants.

It was initiated during the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants on 19 September 2016.

This year, the International Day of Peace focuses on engaging and mobilizing people throughout the world to show support for refugees and migrants.

Its messages are shared with communities hosting refugees and migrants, as well as people concerned that refugees and migrants may bring physical and economic insecurity to their lives.

The Day highlights solidarity with refugees and migrants and showcase the shared benefits of migration to economies and nations, while also acknowledging legitimate concerns of host communities.

Ultimately, it is about bringing people together and reminding them of their common humanity.

September 21 is International Day of Peace, which originated in 1989 by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.

A few decades later, the General Assembly declared to make the day a " period of non-violence and cease-fire."

Peace Day is the opportunity for “strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.”

To commemorate the day, a #PeaceDayChallenge was created by the U.S. Institute of Peace to bring people together not just to observe the day, but to take action.

To raise awareness for all issues related to peace, world organizations and peaceful influencers are spreading the message peace for everyone.

Even though September 21 is the day designated to celebrate peace, it does not have to stop there.

The purpose of the movement is to embrace tranquility for all, not only just for one day, The movement aims to create a world where people everywhere can unite, despite their differences.

7)   Which platforms will be treated as NBFCs and regulated by RBI?

a. peer to peer lending
b. P2P
c. B2C
d. Only a and b
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Only a and b

All peer-to-peer lending (P2P) platforms would be treated as non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and will be regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), according to a government of India notification released on 20th Sept 2017.

The notification is a precursor to the much-delayed final guidelines that the RBI, the banking regulator, will soon be released for regulation of P2P lending in India.

As per RBI, P2P lending is a form of crowd-funding used to raise loans which are paid back with interest.

It can be defined as the use of an online platform that matches lenders with borrowers in order to provide unsecured loans.

The borrower can either be an individual or a legal person requiring a loan.

If you want to invest money in it, you go to a P2P marketplace and register as a lender.

Interest rates or fees are paid to the platform by both the lender as well as the borrower. Borrowers pay an origination fee–either a flat rate fee or as a percentage of the loan amount raised–according to their risk category.


  • The RBI had floated a consultation paper in April 2016.
  • The proposed regulatory framework would encompass the permitted activity, regulations on capital, governance, business continuity plan and customer interface, apart from regulatory reporting.
  • P2P lending is one such business model that has gathered momentum globally and is taking root in India.
  • Although nascent in India and not significant in value yet, potential benefits that P2P lending promises to various stakeholders (to borrowers, lenders, agencies etc) and its associated risks to the financial system are too important to be ignored.
  • The regulator had argued in favour of regulating the P2P lending entities in the consultation paper, stating that the sector has the potential to “disrupt the financial sector and throw surprises”.
  • The paper further stated that the importance of an alternative lending channel which the P2P platforms are offering also needs to be acknowledged.
  • P2P lending promotes alternative forms of finance, where formal finance is unable to reach and also has the potential to soften the lending rates as a result of lower operational costs and enhanced competition with the traditional lending channels.
  • If properly regulated, the P2P lending platforms can do this more effectively.
  • This RBI regulation will bring much-needed legal clarity in the system, and lenders/platform will get legal rights to take adequate steps against defaulters.
  • Also, regulation will mean wide acceptability of this concept among lenders as well as borrowers.
  • This will fulfil RBI’s expectation of taking P2P lending to the masses of this country.

8)   What is LC3 technology?

a. New cement material technology that reduces CO2 emissions in manufacturing process
b. Limestone calcined clay cement technology
c. Combination of clinker limestone and clinker calcined clay
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All of the above

A research collaboration between India and Switzerland on a new cement material that can reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the manufacturing process is set to take off into implementation.

The construction sector is a major contributor to global carbon dioxide emissions.

Though this is known, it appears difficult to reduce the scale of construction, especially as it is a route to establishing more equitable conditions in developing countries like India.

One way of mitigating the emissions factor is the use of Limestone Calcined Clay Cement or the LC3 technology.

Traditional processes that manufacture cement from clinker-limestone or clinker-calcined clay combinations are well known.

LC3 effects a synergy between these processes. The combination of the new method and the material properties effectively reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 30% as compared to the traditional way of manufacturing cement.

How It Works

  • In manufacturing Portland cement, limestone and materials like clay are heated together in huge kilns to high temperatures (approximately 1,450 degrees C), so that they fuse without melting to give clinker.
  • This is the most CO2-intensive part of the whole process.
  • The carbon dioxide comes both from the burning of the fuel needed to create that temperature and due to the breakdown of limestone into calcium oxide and carbon dioxide.
    The latter part accounts for 60% of the CO2 emissions in manufacture of cement.
  • The best thing to do would be to substitute CO2-intensive clinker with a different material.
    In India, fly ash - a waste produced in the burning of coal for producing energy - is used in the manufacture of blended cement.
  • However this is used in a lower proportions and only where available; therefore, for effectively reducing emissions, more clinker is to be substituted with calcined clay and limestone.
  • This reduces emissions by 30% with respect to Portland cement.
  • There is an added advantage to the new material when used in coastal areas where reinforced concrete can be damaged by chloride diffusing through the material.
  • The new cement has less porosity and it is more difficult for the chloride to get in and damage the steel rods.
  • This gives the new cement a longer service life.

9)   What is a coma?

a. Bright halo of material on the comet
b. Long tail of dust
c. Two asteroids orbiting each other
d. Two planets orbiting each other
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Bright halo of material on the comet

An unusual object, discovered in the solar system’s asteroid belt, is actually two asteroids orbiting each other, scientists including one of Indian origin have found using the Hubble Space Telescope.

The object has comet-like features including a bright halo of material, called a coma, and a long tail of dust.

Hubble was used to image the asteroid, designated 300163 (2006 VW139), in September 2016 just before the asteroid made its closest approach to the Sun.

The images revealed that it was actually not one, but two asteroids of almost the same mass and size, orbiting each other at a distance of 96 kilometres.

Asteroid 300163 (2006 VW139) was discovered by Spacewatch in November 2006 and then the possible cometary activity was seen in November 2011 by Pan - STARRS.

Both Spacewatch and Pan-STARRS are asteroid survey projects of NASA’s Near Earth Object Observations Program.

After the Pan-STARRS observations it was also given a comet designation of 288P.

This makes the object the first known binary asteroid that is also classified as a main-belt comet.

The more recent Hubble observations revealed ongoing activity in the binary system.

The combined features of the binary asteroid - wide separation, near-equal component size, high eccentricity orbit, and comet - like activity- also make it unique among the few known binary asteroids that have a wide separation.

Understanding its origin and evolution may provide new insights into the early days of the solar system.

Main-belt comets may help to answer how water came to a bone-dry Earth billions of years ago.

Binary Asteroid System: Know More

  • The team estimates that 2006 VW139/288P has existed as a binary system only for about 5,000 years. The most probable formation scenario is a breakup due to fast rotation.
  • After that, the two fragments may have been moved further apart by the effects of ice sublimation, which would give a tiny push to an asteroid in one direction as water molecules are ejected in the other direction.
  • The fact that 2006 VW139/288P is so different from all other known binary asteroids raises some questions about how common such systems are in the asteroid belt.
  • We need more theoretical and observational work, as well as more objects similar to this object, to find an answer to this question.

10)   What are qubits?

a. how information is stored in quantum computers
b. information storage according to principles of quantum mechanics
c. Both a and b
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both a and b

Keen to tap into the next big advance in computing technology, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) is planning to fund a project to develop quantum computers.

A quantum computer, still largely a theoretical entity, employs the principles of quantum mechanics to store information in ‘qubits’ instead of the typical ‘bits’ of 1 and 0.

Qubits work faster because of the way such circuits are designed, and their promise is that they can do intensive number-crunching tasks much more efficiently than the fastest comparable computers.

For instance, to sort a billion numbers, a quantum computer would require 3.5 million fewer steps than a traditional machine, and would find the solution in only 31,623 steps, says a Morgan Stanley analysis.

Solving other problems, many having to do with computing physics, becomes possible on quantum machines, the authors say, whereas they might never be possible on traditional computers.

Experts from across the country are expected to gather this month in Allahabad for a workshop to develop such a computer.

Internationally, Canada’s D-Wave Systems, is a pioneer in developing quantum computers and has sold machines to Lockheed Martin and Google.

Experts, however, say that ‘true quantum computers’ are still years away, and existing systems use principles of quantum computing to solve very limited problems.