Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Sep 26, 2017

1)   Who is the first Asian scientist to be chosen for the Von Hippel Award for materials research?

a. MS Swaminathan
b. CNR Rao
c. Amartya Sen
d. CV Raman
Answer  Explanation 


Eminent scientist, Professor C.N.R Rao, has become the first Asian to be chosen for the prestigious Von Hippel Award for his immense contribution in materials research.

The award is the US-based Materials Research Society’s (MRS) highest honour.

It recognises “those qualities most prized by materials scientists and engineers - brilliance and originality of intellect, combined with vision that transcends the boundaries of conventional scientific disciplines,”.

The award citation noted Mr. Rao’s immense work on:

  • novel functional materials, including nanomaterials (having particles of nanoscale dimensions), graphene (the strongest and thinnest material)
  • 2D materials,
  • superconductivity, and
  • colossal magnetoresistance (change in electrical resistance of a material in a magnetic field).
The award will be presented in Boston on November 29, during an MRS meeting, according to a release issued by the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research here of which Mr. Rao, a Bharat Ratna awardee, is the founder president.

The award includes a cash prize, trophy and a diploma.

2)   Who took over as CAG of India on 25th September 2017?

a. Rajiv Singh
b. Shashi Kant Sharma
c. Rajiv Mehrishi
d. Naveen Kumar
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rajiv Mehrishi

Former Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi took over as the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India on 25th Sept 2017.

Mr. Mehrishi succeeds Shashi Kant Sharma, who demitted office on September 22, officials said.

President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath of office and secrecy to Mr. Mehrishi (62) at a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan that was attended by Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi among other dignitaries.

Mr. Mehrishi, a 1978 batch (retired) IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre, completed his two-year fixed term as Home Secretary last month.

Mr. Sharma took over as the CAG on May 23, 2013. He was Defence Secretary prior to this appointment.

Mr. Mehrishi will have a tenure of about three years.

The CAG is appointed for a term of six years or till the incumbent attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.

As a constitutional functionary, the CAG is primarily entrusted with the responsibility of auditing the accounts of the Union government and of the State governments.

CAG reports are laid before Parliament and legislatures of the States.

Rajiv Mehrishi: Know More

  • Mr. Mehrishi, who hails from Rajasthan, holds an MBA degree from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow (U.K.).
  • He holds Master of Arts (M.A.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degrees from THE Delhi University.
  • Mr. Mehrishi has held several posts in both his State cadre Rajasthan and in the Centre.
  • Before his appointment as the Home Secretary, he worked as the Economic Affairs Secretary and Chief Secretary of Rajasthan.
  • Mr. Mehrishi has also worked as Secretary in Departments of Chemicals and Fertilisers, and Overseas Indian Affairs

3)   TRIBES INDIA brand will be promoted through a tie up between TRIFED and which e-commerce company?

a. eBAY
b. Amazon
c. AliExpress
d. Jabong
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Amazon

To popularise the ‘Tribes India’ brand in national and international markets, Trifed has signed a memorandum of understanding with Amazon Seller Services Pvt Ltd for sale of tribal products through e-commerce giant

As a part of the MoU, authentic tribal art and craft items crafted and sculpted by tribal artisans from all over the country will be showcased on the online portal for sale, an official release said.

From a single store in Delhi in 1999, the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd (Trifed) has established a chain of 42 retail outlets and tie-ups with 13 State-level emporiums.

The nationwide expansion of the scheme to provide minimum support price for 24 minor forest produce (MFPs), such as karanj seed, mahua seed, tamarind, wild honey etc was announced.

The scheme is already being implemented in nine States.

For higher value addition of MFPs, big corporates shall be involved under PPP model.

The public-private partnership (PPP) model will be based on utilising private entrepreneur skills in undertaking processing as well as marketing of the produce, creating infrastructure and providing enabling environment for undertaking value addition of systematic scientific lines.

These will be sophisticated large value addition hubs managed by private entrepreneurs.

4)   Who has been appointed TATA Sons CFO with effect from 26th Sept 2017?

a. Eruch N Kapadia
b. Eruch N Shah
c. Eruch N Mehta
d. Eruch N Modi
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Eruch N Kapadia

Tata Sons, the promoter of major Tata Group companies, has appointed group veteran Eruch N Kapadia as its new chief financial officer (CFO).

Mr. Kapadia, who is vice-president at Tata Sons and a member of the audit committee at Tata Business Support Services, assumed the new role following the retirement chief operating officer (COO) F. N. Subedar.

He will report to Tata Group CFO Saurabh Agrawal.

Mr. Kapadia is a Tata Group veteran with more than 18 years of service in Tata Chemicals in different roles.

Besides being a chartered accountant, he is also a cost accountant.

5)   Which anti immigration, rightist  party won 13.1 percent of votes in German elections for the first time in more than half a century?

a. Alternative for Germany
b. Chance for Germany
c. Growth for Germany
d. Opportunity for Germany
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Alternative for Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel won a fourth term in office on 24th Sept 2017 but will have to build an uneasy coalition to form a German government after her conservatives haemorrhaged support in the face of a surge by the far-right.

The anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) stunned the establishment by winning 13.1% of the vote, projected results showed, a result that will bring a far-right party into Parliament for the first time in more than half a century.

Ms. Merkel’s conservative bloc emerged as the largest parliamentary party but, with just 33.2% of the vote, saw its support slump to the lowest since 1949 - the first time national elections were held in post-War Germany.

Her main Social Democrat rivals also received their worst result since the 1940s - just 20.8% - after nearly half of voters repudiated the two parties that have dominated Germany since Second World War.

With Parliament now fragmented, Ms. Merkel appears likely to cobble together a tricky three-way coalition with a pro-business group and the Greens.

Success for a far right was a test for Germans. It was important to listen to the concerns of their voters and win them back.

The election was fought on the tense backdrop of surging support for far-left and far-right parties across Europe.

Germany in particular is coping with the arrival of more than one million refugees and other new migrants, with tension with Russia since Moscow’s incursions into Ukraine, and with doubt about Europe’s future since Britain voted to quit the EU.

After shock election results last year, from the Brexit vote to the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, leaders of Europe’s establishment have looked to Ms. Merkel to rally the liberal Western order.

Without the SPD, Ms. Merkel’s only straightforward path to a majority in Parliament would be a three-way tie-up with the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens, known as a “Jamaica” coalition because the black, yellow and green colours of the three parties match the Jamaican flag.

Such an arrangement is untested at the national level in Germany and widely seen as inherently unstable.

Both the FDP and the Greens have played down the prospect of a three-way coalition, but neither won enough seats on 24th Sept 2017 to give Ms. Merkel a majority on its own.

The other parties elected to the Bundestag all refuse to work with the AfD.

Despite losing support, Ms. Merkel, Europe’s longest serving leader, will join the late Helmut Kohl, her mentor who reunified Germany, and Konrad Adenauer, who led Germany’s rebirth after Second World War, as the only post-War Chancellors to win four national elections.

6)   What is the military exercise on counter terrorism operations enhancing defence ties between Pakistan and Russia called?

a. DRUZBA 2017
b. KREMLIN 2017
c. STALIN 2017
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 


Pakistan and Russia are holding a two-week long military exercise focussing on counter- terrorism operations to enhance defence ties between the two countries, ahead of Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s visit to Moscow.

The joint exercise DRUZBA 2017 between special forces of Pakistan and Russia Armies started in Minralney Vody, Russia.

The opening ceremony was attended by senior military officials of special forces of both countries, the Pakistan army said in a statement.

The joint exercise will focus on counter-terrorism operations, hostage and rescue, cordon and search operation.

The joint exercise will enhance and further strengthen military ties between the two countries and share Pakistan Army’s experience in war against terrorism, it said.

Gen. Bajwa will visit Russia in the first week of October as part of regular high level exchanges between the two countries in the past few years.

Pakistan’s ties with Russia have moved past the bitter Cold War hostilities in recent years and the chill in the relations between Pakistan and the US, especially after President Donald Trump warned Islamabad for providing safe havens to terrorists, has further pushed the country towards Russia and China.

Last year, Russia held its first-ever military exercises with Pakistan and also started selling weapons to Islamabad.

7)   PENCIL portal will be for elimination of which social evil?

a. Child labour
b. Caste discrimination
c. Illiteracy
d. Poverty
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Child labour

Government has enacted the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 which came into force with effect from 1st September, 2016.

With this amendment, employment of a child below 14 years is completely prohibited in any occupation or processes.

Government has taken several initiatives subsequent to the enactment of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 to strengthen the governance of the legislative provisions.

This include Framing of State Action Plan and circulating to all States/ UTs for enforcement of the Amended Act, Framing of Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Central Rules subsequent to the Amendment in the Act (notified vide notification dated 02.06.2017) and Review of the Schedule of hazardous occupations and processes by Technical Advisory Committee.

The genesis of the PENCIL portal is in the felt need to create a robust implementing and monitoring mechanism for both enforcement of the legislative provisions and effective implementation of the NCLP especially in the backdrop that the subject of Labour is in the concurrent list and enforcement to a large extent depends of respective State Governments.

It was felt that an online portal which connects Central Government to State Government, District and to all Project Societies would provide a mechanism for implementation.

In this backdrop the online portal PENCIL was conceptualized. PENCIL Portal has following components:

a. Child Tracking System
b. Complaint Corner
c. State Government
d. National Child Labour Project
e. Convergence

PENCIL: Know More

  • “PENCIL”: an electronic platform for effective enforcement for no child labour developed by Ministry of Labour and Employment is going to be launched by Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singhji on 26th September 2017 in the National Conference on Child Labour at Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra, Chanakya Puri, New Delhi.
  • The Conference is being attended by State Labour Ministers and Labour Secretaries of the State, Secretaries of Central Ministries, District Nodal Officers as well as the Project Directors for National Child Labour Project (NCLP).
  • Nobel Laureate Shri Kailash Satyarthi will be the guest of honour while the Labour and Employment Minister, Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar will preside over the conference.
    The conference will have a detailed technical session.
NCLP: Know More
  • The National Child Labour Project (NCLP) Scheme initiated in the in 1988 to rehabilitate working children by eliminating all forms of child labour through identification and withdrawal of all children in the Project Area from child labour,
  • Preparing children withdrawn from work for mainstream education along with vocational training. NCLP has been revised expanded and aligned to the new legislative provisions.
  • The legislative changes have been accompanied by creation of additional institutional mechanisms at the district, state and national level for identification and rescue, along with revamping the rehabilitation scheme and a centralized database for case to case monitoring and accountability.
  • The Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) is aimed at creating a ready reckoner for trainers, practitioners and monitoring agencies to ensure complete prohibition of child labour and protection of adolescents from hazardous labour ultimately leading to Child Labour Free India.

8)   PM Narendra Modi launched “Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana”, also known as ________.

a. Saubhagya
b. Sahishnu
c. Sanket
d. Sankshipt
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Saubhagya

Modi's government's development and welfarist image underwent a boost by announcing a mega scheme to provide electricity connections to four crore families deprived of regular power.

Modi launched a INR 16,000-crore scheme, Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (shortened to Saubhagya, meaning good fortune).

This yojana promises free electricity connections by December 2018. However, customers will have to pay the monthly power bill.

A large number of people lacked electricity connections more than a century after the invention of the incandescent bulb.

Even 70 years after Independence, four crore out of 25 crore families did not have a power connection.

The scheme reflects the Modi government's focus on delivering on schemes like housing, power, loans and farm insurance to key sections of the electorate.

Alongside electrification, the PM Awas Yojana has sanctioned more than 26 lakh houses for the urban poor and more than 1.76 lakh units have been constructed.

Another 11 lakh are being built while two lakh houses are complete under JNNURM.

The total outlay of the project is INR 16, 320 crore while the Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) is INR 12,320 crore.

The outlay for the rural households is INR 14,025 crore while the GBS is INR 10,587.50 crore.

For the urban households the outlay is INR 2,295 crore while GBS is INR 1,732.50 crore. The Government of India will provide largely funds for the Scheme to all States/UTs.

The States and Union Territories are required to complete the works of household electrification by the 31st of December 2018.

The beneficiaries for free electricity connections would be identified using Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 data.

However, un-electrified households not covered under the SECC data would also be provided electricity connections under the scheme on payment of Rs. 500 which shall be recovered by DISCOMs in 10 instalments through electricity bill.

The solar power packs of 200 to 300 Wp with battery bank for un-electrified households located in remote and inaccessible areas, comprises of Five LED lights, One DC fan, One DC power plug. It also includes the Repair and Maintenance (R&M) for 5 years.

Outcomes of the Scheme

The expected outcome of the Scheme is as follows:

a. Environmental upgradation by substitution of Kerosene for lighting purposes
b. Improvement education services
c. Better health services
d. Enhanced connectivity through radio, television, mobiles, etc.
e. Increased economic activities and jobs
f. Improved quality of life especially for women

Technology for the Scheme

  • For easy & accelerated implementation of the Scheme , modern technology shall be used for household survey by using Mobile App.
  • Beneficiaries shall be identified and their application for electricity connection along with applicant photograph and identity proof shall be registered on spot.
  • The Gram Panchayat/Public institutions in the rural areas may be authorised to collect application forms along with complete
  • documentation, distribute bills and collect revenue in consultation with the Panchayat Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies.
  • The Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC) will remain the nodal agency for the operationalisation of the scheme throughout the country.
On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, the Prime Minister also dedicated a new ONGC building - the Deendayal Urja Bhawan.

The Prime Minister also dedicated to the nation, the Booster Compressor Facility in Bassein Gas Field.

Increase in renewable power installed capacity, towards the target of 175 GW by 2022 was aimed for.

New India will require an energy framework that works on the principle of equity, efficiency and sustainability. A change in work culture in the Union Government is strengthening the energy sector. This in turn, will positively impact the work culture of the entire country.

9)   A new Economic Advisory Council is set to be chaired by which economist?

a. Rathin Roy
b. Ashima Goyal
c. Surjit Bhalla
d. Bibek Debroy
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Bibek Debroy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25th Sept 2017 constituted a new Economic Advisory Council, which will seek to address the nation's macroeconomic issues.

The Economic Advisory Council will be chaired by NITI Aayog's Bibek Debroy.

Other members, including renowned economists such as Surjit Bhalla, Rathin Roy and Ashima Goyal, will be part-time members.

These members have earlier served as economic advisors to the nation.

Ratan Watal has been appointed as the Member Secretary of the Council. He will further notify the government of the developments made in the Council.

Earlier, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian had hinted that India has to work on its structural reforms and the structure carried out is likely to be a mix of monetary and fiscal policy.

With 18 months left in office for the Modi Government, the move comes about as a measure to boost India's growth.

The earlier economic advisories, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (PMEAC) and the Planning Commission, had been dismantled

10)   Which new V-409 interceptor boat was launched by BDIL for the Coast Guard?

a. Pavitran Alokkan
b. Pavitra Alokkan
c. Pavitran Survekshan
d. Pavitra Survekshan
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Pavitran Alokkan

Giving a boost to coastal security, a new interceptor boat (V-409) built by Bharathi Defence and Infrastructure Limited (BDIL) was launched at a function held at the Coast Guard yard.

Launching the new interceptor boat, Pavitran Alokkan, President and Head, BDIL, Mangaluru, added the company had a live order book of various defence vessels including interceptor boats for Indian Coast Guard and auxiliary vessels for the Indian Navy.

The shipyard was committed to delivering these assets to national security and every effort was being put in to arrange funds and expedite project completion, he said at the launch yesterday.

The 28-metre long, V-409 interceptor boat has aluminium hull and fitted with new generation of Arneson Surface Drive (ASD) which is propelled by two powerful diesel engines of 1650 KW each.

The vessel has the capability of attaining very high speed in a very short duration and can operate in shallow waters.

The INR 18 crore vessel would be inducted into Coast Guard service by mid-October this year and join four other vessels delivered by the shipyard earlier, a Coast Guard release here said.

BDIL is constructing 20 vessels for Indian Coast Guard of which six had already been handed over. The remaining vessels would be handed over on the projected time.