Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Sep 25, 2017

1)   RBI has relaxed norms for which of the following bonds?

a. Masala bonds
b. Rupee denominated overseas bonds
c. Green bonds
d. Both a and b
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both a and b

The Reserve Bank today relaxed norms for issuance of rupee-denominated overseas bonds, popularly known as masala bonds.

They will be treated as external commercial borrowings from October 3, thereby freeing up more investments by FPIs.

Currently, the limit for investment by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) in corporate bonds is INR 2,44,323 crore.

This covers issuance of masala bonds by resident entities of INR 44,001 crore, including the ones in pipeline.

After a review, the RBI said that from October 3, masala bonds will no longer form part of the limit for FPI investments in corporate bonds.

They will form part of the ECBs and will be monitored accordingly.

As a result, INR 44,001 crore arising out of shifting of masala bonds will be released for foreign portfolio investor (FPI) investment in corporate bonds over the next two quarters.

Now, FPI investment limit for corporate bonds will increase to INR 2,44,323 crore from January 1.

Further, an amount of INR 9,500 crore in each quarter will be available only for investment in the infrastructure sector by long-term FPIs - sovereign wealth funds, multilateral agencies, endowment, insurance and pension funds and foreign central banks.

With surge in inflows in Indian debt markets, the cumulative utilisation of FPI limit in corporate bonds stood at 99.07 per cent as on September 21, 2017, reflecting limited scope of further FPI investments.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) changed the rules pertaining to the calculation of the foreign investment limit in so-called masala bonds, potentially opening up space for Indian companies to sell more such securities.

“Such a shift will allow companies to issue masala bonds as they are currently barred by Sebi (Securities and Exchange Board of India).

This will also lead to better monitoring of issuances by RBI as the external commercial borrowings framework is restrictive in terms of end-use of funds.

In a 20 July circular, market regulator Sebi had said that issuance of masala bonds would be temporarily stopped until the total foreign holding of corporate bonds falls below 92% of the limit.

As of 21st Sept 2017, foreign investors had exhausted over 99% of the available cap.

In June, the Reserve Bank of India had tightened the rules on the issuance of masala bonds.

The central bank mandated a minimum maturity of three years for sales of up to $50 million. Issuances above $50 million must be of five years or above maturity.

2)   NITI Aayog has launched SATH. What does it stand for?

a. Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capabilities
b. Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital
c. Sustainable Action for Transformation of Human Capital
d. Sustainable Action for Transformation of Human Capabilities
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital

The Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Assam and NITI Aayog organized a state consultative workshop today (September 22) in Guwahati.

The consultation marked the launch of program called SATH- Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital, a joint initiative of Government of Assam and NITI Aayog, which aims to provide structured support to Assam.

The help is in identifying key health priorities and implement the solutions towards transforming the health and improving the well-being of people of Assam.

The SATH program embodies the philosophy of co-operative federalism.

NITI Aayog selected the three states through a three stage challenge-process - expression of interest, presentations by the states and assessment of commitment to health sector reforms.

Finally, three states: Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka were chosen based on objective assessment criteria affecting the potential for impact and likelihood of success.

A consortium of reputed technical consultants are closely working with NITI Aayog and the states to conceptualize the initiatives and provide support in the implementation process.

SATH in Assam: Know More

  • The reforms suggested through this workshop and the SATH program overall will follow a systems approach, rather than a systematic approach, and there will be focus on improving infrastructure and strengthening human resources to achieve our health objectives.
  • This workshop was key to developing partnerships and bringing convergence among different stakeholders working towards the same goal of transforming health outcomes.
  • The event saw participation of over 100 people including experts from development organizations such as World Bank, World Health Organization, UNDP, UNICEF and World Health Partners, officials, stakeholders and private partners from Assam’s public health system, and healthcare representatives from several districts of Assam.
  • While NITI will be an enabler, leaders from within the state system will be created. These leaders can be from any designation or position, but will be those who are committed to tangible change.
  • The prosperity of Assam is key to a prosperous India in 2022, a critical milestone for achieving progress towards the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
  • The workshop helped identify and build consensus on the priorities, which included strengthening of human resources, improving governance and performance management of the healthcare system, reducing maternal and child mortality especially in remote areas such as tea plantations, improving nutritional status to tackle preventable causes of morbidity and mortality and using health care technology for end-to-end strengthening of the health system.
  • The action plans that were created on the priority themes in this workshop will be further detailed, planned implemented in the coming months as part of the SATH initiative.

3)   Where has the Deendayal Hastkala Sankul been inaugarated?

a. Varanasi
b. Lucknow
c. Allahabad
d. Patna
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Deendayal Hastkala Sankul, a trade facilitation centre and Crafts Museum for handicrafts at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

The centre and Crafts Museum was proposed by Union Finance Minister in his 2014-15 Budget speech to develop and promote handlooms, handicrafts and silk products.

The centre will facilitate weavers/artisans/exporters in promotion of handlooms and handicrafts in both domestic and international markets.

Moreover, Crafts Museum at the centre will preserve traditional handloom/handicrafts products of Varanasi and showcase handloom & handicraft products.

The centre will help to promote rich traditional craft of ancient Varanasi.

It will provide enabling platform and environment to showcase Indian handloom and handicrafts. It will provide supply chain linkages to domestic and foreign buyers.

Moreover, it will give thrust to domestic and international tourism. It will also give boost to trade and economic development of Varanasi as well as eastern parts of country.

4)   DST has launched which of the following yojanas to experiment and formulate S&T interventions for sustainability through cluster approach?

a. Pt Deen Dayal Upadhayay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana
b. Pt Deen Dayal Upadhayay Vigyan Kshetra Sankul Pariyojana
c. Pt Deen Dayal Upadhayay Vigyan Panchayat Sankul Pariyojana
d. Pt Deen Dayal Upadhayay Vigyan Sankul Pariyojana
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Pt Deen Dayal Upadhayay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana

Department of Science and Technology is implementing several initiatives for upliftment and economic development of rural areas in the country.

A number of appropriate technologies have been developed, demonstrated and deployed at several locations in the country.

The Minister of Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr. Harshvardhan launched “Pt Deen Dayal Upadhayay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana” which will experiment and endeavour to formulate and implement appropriate S&T Interventions for Sustainable Development through cluster approach in Uttarakhand.

This project has been inspired by teachings and ideals of Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhayay whose birth centenary is being celebrated this year.

DST has conceived to adopt a few clusters of villages in Uttarakhand and transform them to become self-sustainable in a time bound manner through the tools of Science and Technology (S&T).

The key deliverable in this approach is to utilise local resources and locally available skill sets and convert them in a manner using science and technology, that substantial value addition takes place in their local produce and services which can sustain the rural population locally.

Further, the local communities are not compelled to migrate from their native places in search of jobs and livelihoods.

Once this concept is validated in the few selected clusters, it can be replicated across large number of village clusters in the country.

Four clusters at Gaindikhata, Bazeera, Bhigun (in Garhwal) and Kausani (in Kumaon) have been selected for the intervention through a series of dialogues held among officials of DST and Uttarakhand State Council of Science and Technology (UCOST); Gramodaya Network, Surabhi Foundation and Uttarakhand Utthan Parishad; and other experts.

Intensive interaction with local population and field visits were carried out to identify the challenges and opportunities that exist in the clusters.

About a lakh of people would benefit directly or indirectly through this project in four identified clusters of 60 villages in Uttarakhand for pilot phase which are located at different altitudes (up to 3000 meters).

As the living conditions and resources available at different altitude is relatively different, the adopted strategy would help in creating models that are appropriate for different altitudes and could then be replicated in other hill states as well.

Areas of interventions in these selected clusters would be processing and value addition of milk, honey, mushroom, herbal tea, forest produce, horticulture and local crops, medicinal & aromatic plants and traditional craft and handloom of Uttarakhand.

Post-harvest processing of Kiwi, Strawberry, Cherry, Tulsi, Adrak, Badi Elaichi through solar drying technology, extraction of apricot oil using cold press technology.

Stringent product and process control interventions for energy and water conservation would also be ensured through this project.

Novel strategies for sustainable development in this ecologically fragile state are important.

Practice of agriculture, agro-based cottage industries and animal husbandry in an eco-friendly manner will be emphasized during the implementation of the project.

Sustainable employment and livelihood options within the clusters such as eco-tourism, naturopathy and yoga, are also planned to be promoted.

These clusters would act as model production cum training and demonstration centres.

There is a possibility of replicating this pilot phase initiative in other hill states of the country once it is established and stabilized.

Various scientific institutions would participate collectively in this endeavour to accomplish the dream of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay towards ‘Swavlamban’.

Department of Science and Technology (DST) has committed INR 6.3 crore support for a period of three years for this project.

5)   Which of the following are MoRD's flagship skill development programmes?

d. Both a and b
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and b

Rural Skills Division, Ministry of Rural Development has organized ‘Bharat ke Kaushalzaade’, an event honouring beneficiaries of its key skilling programmes, on the eve of Antyodaya Diwas 2017.

Staying true to the spirit of Antyodaya Mission, which lies in ‘reaching out to the last person, the event, was graced by almost 800 plus candidates and alumni to celebrate and honour beneficiaries from both of MoRD’s flagship skill development programmes i.e. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) and Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETI).

On this day 3 years ago that the Ministry of Rural Development announced DDU-GKY with a focus on building capacity of rural youth to address the needs of domestic and global skills requirements.

Additionally, MoRD has re-energized RSETI through alignment with Common Norms for skills development schemes.

And through sustained efforts and focus on both programmes, the Ministry has successfully skilled 5.05 lakh rural candidates under DDU-GKY and has also been conducting skilling for self-employment through RSETI with a total of 14.09 lakhs candidate skilled and 9.70 lakhs candidates settled till date.

DDU-GKY not only offers industry relevant skill training to candidates, it also works closely with industry and leading corporates to strengthen the post-training employment scenario for its trainees.

A result of this is sustained and fruitful corporate linkages pan-India, with leading names like Pizza Hut, KFC, OCIFIT, Safe Express, Matrix to name a few, whose employees i.e. DDU-GKY alumni participated at the event.

Following training through RSETIs and DDU-GKY, the youth are getting monthly income of INR 10,000 to INR 30,000.

The quality training imparted at these institutes will make them stand not only at Indian job market, but they can also make a mark in foreign countries.

Kaushal Panjee: Know More

  • The event also witnessed the mobilization platform launch, branded ‘Kaushal Panjee’ (Skill Register). It aims to be citizen centric end-to-end solution to aid mobilization of candidates for RSETIs and DDU-GKY.
  • It facilitates mobilization of candidates through Self Help Group members, Gram Panchayat Functionaries, Block Officials, CSCs and directly by the candidate.
  • RSETIs and DDU-GKY Partners can access the Kaushal Panjee to connect with the mobilized rural youth. Kaushal Panjee is connected to the Social Economic Caste Census (SECC 2011) which will help the States plan and target their mobilizations based on the socio-economic profile of households in their State.
  • The re-branding exercise was undertaken by MoRD for Rural Self Employment Training Institutes, wherein a new logo for RSETI was unveiled.
  • The logo, depicting ‘reaching for the stars’ aims to portray the RSETI beneficiaries and their achievements.

6)   The “Ghar Bhi Saaf Pados Bhi Saaf” initiative involves how many components?

a. 3
b. 4
c. 5
d. 6
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques


‘Swachhat Hi Sewa’ campaign at Bhikaji Cama Place in South Delhi was marked by sweeping and collecting the litter. Also inaugurated were modern litter pickers imported by South MCD.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been piloting Swachh Bharat Mission has resulted in an unprecedented ‘individual connect’ with sanitation across the country.

This has led to construction of about five crore toilets across the country including over 38 lakh in urban areas in a short span of three years.

People have a better connect with immediate neighborhood, and so the Ministry unveiled ‘My Home-My Neighborhood’ (Ghar Bi Saaf-Pados Bhi Saaf) campaign with the following six components:

1. Segregation of waste at source
2. Compost making from wet waste within the premisesneighborhood/area
3. Recycling of dry waste
4. Freeing the neighborhood from open defecation and open urination
5. Motivating the residents of neighborhood against throwing garbage in open spaces; and
6. Adopting a near by park or open place for collection and waste segregation.

Neighborhood action plan leads to substantial reduction in the quantum of solid waste sent to landfill besides enabling better performance of Waste-to - Compost and Waste-to-Energy plants. Neighborhood could be a residential housing society, a colony,mohalla, market area etc.

Neighborhood action plan will be launched in all the cities and towns across the country on the occasion of the third anniversary of Swachh Bharat Mission on the second of next month.

7)   Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina floated which plan at the UN to find a solution to the Rohingya crisis?

a. 5 point plan
b. 6 point plan
c. 7 point plan
d. 8 point plan
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 5 point plan

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has floated a five-point proposal at the United Nations to find a permanent solution to the Rohingya crisis.

Hasina stressed the end to the 'cleansing' of the ethnic Rohingya minority.

The Rohingya crisis is deepening along Bangladesh’s border with Myanmar, a crossing made by over 430,000 refugees fleeing violence in Rakhine State in past over three weeks.

Hasina’s five-point proposal says:

  • Myanmar must stop the violence and the practice of ethnic cleansing in the Rakhine State unconditionally, immediately and forever;
  • the UN Secretary General should immediately send a fact-finding mission to Myanmar;
  • all civilians, irrespective of religion and ethnicity, must be protected in Myanmar;
  • and the recommendations of the Kofi Annan Commission Report must be implemented immediately, unconditionally and entirely.
  • for this, 'safe zones' could be created inside Myanmar under UN supervision; sustainable return of all forcibly displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh to their homes in Myanmar must be ensured

8)   Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat was launched from which village?

a. Muzaffarpur
b. Mota Ishanpur
c. Rampur
d. Both a and c
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Mota Ishanpur

Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan on 23rd Sept 2017 launched the 'Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat' from Mota Ishanpur village and handed over free LPG connection to a beneficiary of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.

Addressing the public, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister said his government has so far provided LPG connection to 8.5 crore households in less than three years as against 14 crore connections provided by the Congress government.

Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat will aim at spreading awareness among the LPG users about how to properly use the clean fuel and its many benefits.

One lakh LPG Panchayat (to be held across the country) will deal with the issue of safe use of LPG as well as its various benefits, like environment, health, and how it empowers women.

About 40 per cent of Ujjwala Yojana beneficiaries in Gujarat are tribals and Dalits.

The ministry also increased LPG distribution centres, with 106 new distribution centres added in the last one and half years in Gujarat alone.

LPG Panchayat: Know More

  • LPG Panchayat will serve as an interactive platform between those who received LPG cylinders under PMUY, officials, LPG distributors and NGOs.
  • In one panchayat, around 100 LPG customers of nearby areas will share their experiences with each others. They can also share their problems and suggestions.
  • The panchayats will also include safe practices, quality of service provided by distributors and availability of refill cylinders.

9)   Which multi-agency exercise was conducted in Hyderabad to tackle urban flooding?

a. Pralay Sahayam
b. Pralay Sahayak
c. Pralay Sahayata
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Pralay Sahayam

A multi-agency exercise was conducted on the banks of Hussain Sagar Lake as the final event of ‘Pralay Sahayam’ in Hyderabad.

The event demonstrated efforts of all central and state agencies, National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and the Armed Forces towards jointly tackling an urban flooding scenario in Hyderabad.

For the purpose of the exercise, Hussain Sagar Lake was transformed into urban colonies partly submerged under water, post heavy showers in the city.

A large number of dummy structures depicting multi-storied buildings and houses with stranded people, power stations, educational institutes etc., were erected in the lake in an inundated condition.

The hapless stranded occupants of these dwellings were rescued in joint operations carried out by the State Government agencies, Police, State Fire & Emergency Services, NDRF, CISF and the Armed Forces.

The exercise brought out the role and function of the State Emergency Operations in coordinating conduct of the joint operations.

Further the significance of early warning systems of agencies like Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) was emphasised.

The exercise culminated with a static display which demonstrated the efficient and functional layout of a relief and rehabilitation camp for the displaced persons.

The camp catered for emergency medical assistance and other essential services for the needy. Indian vendors showcased state-of-the-art disaster management equipment and related wares.

NGOs such as Plan India, Care India, Sphere India, etc., also participated, bringing out their capabilities, organization and operational strategies.

10)   Which is the world's most ancient brainless animal that sleeps?

a. Crab
b. Locust
c. Worm
d. Jellyfish
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Jellyfish

Sleep is a fundamental part of life for many organisms on Earth, and new research suggests that even jellyfish require a few Z's - a discovery that sheds light on just how old and widespread the practice of sleeping must be.

In a study, Caltech researchers recorded the first example of a organism that enters a sleep-like state that has a “nerve net” - a simple nervous system - and no centralized brain.

There's a lot still unknown about the reasons and mechanics behind sleep, but scientists largely agree that it's a complex process that somehow involves memory.

Cassiopeia are commonly referred to as upside-down jellyfish because they rest on the bottoms of their containers with their tentacles floating upward into the air - opposite to the position most floating jellyfish assume.

The researchers observed how, when the lights were turned off in the room holding the jellyfish's habitats, the creatures appeared to “pulse” less frequently, and would stay still for long periods of time in some form of sleep-like extended rest.

To test if this was actually “sleep,” the scientists studied a group of 23 upside-down jellyfish using a three-pronged approach over the course of a week.

They were able to show that the jellyfish could be “awoken” from their slumber by poking them and feeding them in the middle of the night.

And when the creatures appear to be sleeping they reacted less quickly to being moved or overturned than when they were awake.

Most intriguingly, just like you need a certain amount of shut eye, the researchers found the jellyfish also need their rest. When the upside-down jellyfish were kept in containers that had water pulsed through them three times an hour to disrupt their peace and quiet, they reacted the next day.

They were 17 percent less active than normal in this sleep-deprived state.

Other relatively simple and brainless animals sleep too, such as worms.

But jellyfish are the most ancient creatures on the evolutionary tree that we know requires its sleepy time.

Jellyfish split off the evolutionary tree from the ancestors of most other living creatures hundreds of millions of years ago.

This means that sleep could be a very, very old behaviour at the root of nearly all animals, and not something that evolved later in more advanced organisms.

This insight could help researchers dig more into the “paradox of sleep”.

11)   Which of the following are butterflies species?

a. Psyche
b. Indian Blue Flash
c. Red Pierrot
d. Only a and c
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Only a and c

In a survey to make people aware about the ecosystem of butterflies, over 15 teams fanned out across Delhi-NCR and spotted around 69 species of butterflies.

On an average, 30 species were recorded from all locations and the highest recorded from one site was 49.

Delhi’s Big Butterfly Count initiative was led by researchers from Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).

Butterflies are cold-blooded creatures and need sunlight for energy. They play an important role in the ecosystem. A large number of butterflies indicate a healthy environment, experts say.

The highlights of the survey were sighting of species like Psyche, Indian Red Flash, Red Pierrot, Chocolate Pansy, African Babul Blue and Painted Lady.

They were spotted after years. In our count, Psyche butterfly was recorded after three years.

Chocolate Pansy, which is normally present in humid forests, were also recorded. In addition to this, southern ridge areas were found to be especially rich in butterfly diversity.

These findings indicate that we have seen over 70 per cent of the historical record of butterfly in Delhi.

In 1986, European scientist Larsen Torben conducted a study on butterflies of Delhi, which collated historical record dating back to 1944.

He had recorded a total of 85 butterflies.

The initiative also saw butterfly enthusiasts submit the names of four butterflies - one of which will be chosen as the state butterfly of the capital.

The census was part of the butterfly month which aimed to provide an accurate and updated list of butterfly species found in the region.