Current Affairs Questions & Answers - Sep 29, 2016

1)   Scientists have found icy plumes of water from which moon/s in the solar system?

a. Europa
b. Enceladus
c. Both a and b
d. Ganymede
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both a and b

NASA scientists have found water vapour plumes on Europa, a moon of Jupiter. Europa will be the second moon in the solar system known to have water vapour plumes. In 2005, Cassini orbiter from NASA detected jets of water vapour and dust from Enceladus, a Saturnian moon.

  • This latest discovery about Europa could give scientists fresh hope that a robotic spacecraft could fly past these potential plumes and learn about their contents without drilling into the icy shell of the moon
  • Using UV images taken by Hubble, a space telescope launched in 1990, the plumes were seen on the southern edge of Europa and appear as dark fingers or patches of possible absorption
  • This was spotted in 2014 first; finger-like projections were observed while viewing Europa’s limbs as the moon passed ahead of Jupiter
  • Plumes are estimated to rise 125 miles or 200 km before, raining material into Europa’s surface
  • Europa has a large global ocean that contains twice the water as against Earth’s oceans which are protected by cold and hard ice of unknown thickness
  • Plumes provide an opportunity to gather samples originating from under the surface without landing or drilling through the ice.
  • Earlier in 2012, a team led by Lorenz Roth of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, detected evidence of water vapour erupting from the frigid south polar region of Europa and reaching more than 100 miles (160 km) into space.
  • Although both teams used Hubble's Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph instrument, each used a totally independent method to arrive at the same conclusion.
  • Now scientists will launch the infrared vision of the James Webb Space Telescope to confirm the venting activity on Europa
  • Besides, NASA also has a mission to Europa on the cards with the payload confirming the presence of plumes and studying them from close range during multiple fly-bys.
  • Hubble is a collaboration between NASA and ESA; the telescope is managed by the Greenbelt, Maryland unit of NASA

2)   Which airport became the first in the Asia-Pacific region to attain carbon neutral status?

a. Indira Gandhi International Airport
b. Veer Savarkar International Airport
c. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport
d. Kempegowda International Airport
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Indira Gandhi International Airport

The Delhi International Airport Limited on 27th Sept announced Indira Gandhi International Airport has become the first in the Asia-Pacific region to attain carbon neutral status

  • DIAL is a GMR-led consortium which manages IGI airport
  • Announcement on the carbon neutral status was made by the Airports Council International during the Airport Carbon Accreditation certificate presentation ceremony in Canada’s Montreal city
  • ACA has upgraded Delhi Airport to Level 3+ Neutrality which is the highest achievement for airports across the world
  • Carbon neutrality is the net zero carbon footprint
  • It appears when net carbon emissions over an entire year are zero
  • Airport absorbs and offsets the same amount of emission generated
  • This is used in context of CO2 releasing processes associated with transport, industry processes like carbon neutral fuel and energy production

3)   Union Government has changed the name of which city in NCR?

a. Noida
b. Greater Noida
c. Indirapuram
d. Gurgaon
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Gurgaon

Union government has approved the change of the name from Gurgaon to Gurugram
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar on 27th Sept 2016 announced the city and district of Gurgaon will now be known as Gurugram.

  • Gurgaon is also called the Millennium City
  • It is recognised globally and nationally as a business and corporate hub
  • Haryana decided to rename Gurgaon as Gurugram in April 2016
  • Mewat is being renamed Nuh as well
  • Decision was taken on the basis of representations by people
  • City’s name change stems from a proposal by the municipal corporation in 2012

4)   Which person was appointed the first ambassador from The USA to Cuba?

a. Navtej Sarna
b. John Kerry
c. Jeffrey DeLaurentis
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Jeffrey DeLaurentis

The United States on 27th Sept 2016 appointed first Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis to Cuba

  • The two countries had broken off ties in the 1960s since the communist revolution
  • He was appointed to the post by President Barack Obama who said this was a step towards normal and productive relationship
  • Appointment will need approval from Republican-led Senate which opposed dealings with Cuba
  • New ambassador DeLaurentis has worked at the US embassy in Havana which opened since 2014
  • Cuba is a unitary sovereign state comprising archipelagos, an isle and the island
  • Located in the Northern Caribbean, it is south of Florida and Bahamas, north of Jamaica and west of Haiti
  • Havana is the capital city
  • The current currency is the Cuban Peso

5)   Which is India’s first international football event?

a. FIFA U-17 World Cup
b. FIFA World Cup
c. European Championships
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: FIFA U-17 World Cup

India’s first international football event is the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

  • Local organising committee for the World Cup on 27th Sept showcase the official emblem for the event
  • The U-17 World Cup will be held in six venues across the country
  • Emblem of the first ever FIFA tournament in India included elements of the Indian Ocean, the banyan tree, the kite and the starburst (an interpretation of the Ashok Chakra, an integral part of the national identity)
  • The Indian Ocean serves as the base of the emblem; it is an integral part of the subcontinent
  • Banyan tree is the national tree of India while the kite is a symbol of freedom and fun which represents the soaring aspirations of the young and vibrant democracy of India
  • Starburst evokes festivity
  • Shaped like the FIFA trophy, the emblem combines global and national elements
  • FIFA stands for Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).
  • This is a competition inspired by the Lion City Cup created by Football Association of Singapore in 1977
  • It began as a competition for U-16 and rose to 17 since 1991
  • The most recent tournament was hosted by Chile; it was won by Nigeria
  • Meanwhile, India’s NGO Slum Soccer has also won the inaugural FIFA diversity award
  • The other two finalists were the International Gay & Lesbian Football Association (IGLFA), which promotes and fosters the worldwide growth of football for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGBT) while also strengthening the self-respect of the global LGBT community, and Kick It Out, of England, an organisation which tackles discrimination
  • The FIFA Diversity Award is part of FIFA’s overall strategy to reinforce its fight against discrimination and promote diversity in football.

6)   Which company has partnered Microsoft in cloud computing for cars?

a. Nissan-Renault
b. Renault-Nissan
c. Daimler-Chrysler
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Renault-Nissan

Technology firm Microsoft has partnered an alliance between Renault-Nissan to work on connected car technologies.

  • Services will provide advanced navigation, remote monitoring of car features and up to date updates for cars connected to Microsoft cloud computing platform Azure
  • Renault-Nissan aims to develop 10 such vehicles in 2020
  • Automakers have been involved in this technology ranging from GM to Toyota
  • Alliance also said it would purchase French software development company Sylpheo to offer new services including ride-hailing and car sharing.
  • Automakers are investing in software firms and tech start-ups to position themselves for the rise of autonomous driving, ride-sharing and other connected services.
  • This threatens the traditional vehicle ownership model that has dominated the past century.

7)   India is set to withdraw MFN status to which country?

a. Pakistan
b. Afghanistan
c. Bangladesh
d. China
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Pakistan

As per the MFN principle of the WTO General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade for which India is a signatory or contracting party, WTO said all members should treat others as MFN trading partners.
MFN status was accorded to Pakistan in 1996 as per India’s commitment to WTO.

  • Pakistan did not reciprocate citing non-tariff barriers and huge trade imbalance
  • PM Modi called for a meeting to review MFN status to Pakistan
  • Currently , the level of bilateral trade is “very low” - representing a mere 0.4 percent of India’s overall goods trade worth USD 643.3 billion in 2015-2016.
  • India could consider making use of a ‘security exception’ clause - Article 21(b)(iii) - in the GATT to deny the MFN status to Pakistan or bring in certain trade restrictions.
  • However, there have been Article 21 disputes in the past between Czechoslovak (Socialist Republic) and the U.S. (1949); the U.S. and Nicaragua (1983 and 1985) and between the European Communities and former Yugoslavia (1992).

8)   Where was world’s first three-parent baby born in the world?

a. China
b. Mexico
c. Spain
d. Italy
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Mexico

The world’s first three-parent baby was born in Mexico with the aid of a new fertility technique that uses DNA from three people.

  • The baby is said to be healthy at 5 months of age
  • The technique allows parents with rare genetic mutations to have healthy children
  • Boy’s mother carries genes for Leigh syndrome, a fatal brain disorder
  • The Jordanian couple had a daughter but she was born with Leigh Syndrome as was their second child
  • The couple then sought out treatment at New Hope Fertility Centre in NYC
  • Researcher John Zhang and his team used spindle nuclear transfer- removing the nucleus from one of the mother’s egg and inserting it into a donor egg which has its own nucleus removed
  • Resulting egg- with nuclear DNA from mother and mitochondrial DNA from donor- was fertilised with the sperm of the father
  • 5 embryos were created one of which developed normally and the baby was born in April 2016
  • When researchers tested the boy’s mitochondria, they found that less than one percent carry the mutation; problems only start when 18 percent of the mitochondria is affected