1-5 October 2017 Current Affairs

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05 Oct, 2017

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1) President Ram Nath Kovind on 2 October 2017 constituted a 5-member commission to examine the sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes (OBCs). Who was appointed head of this commission? – Justice G. Rohini

Explanation: A 5-member commission under Justice G. Rohini, Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, was constituted by President Ram Nath Kovind to examine the sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes (OBCs). The commission has been asked to submit its report in 12 weeks.

Justice G. Rohini, who became the first woman chief justice of the Delhi High Court in April 2014, is no stranger to the issue of reservation for the backward classes. She was part of the bench at the Andhra Pradesh high court that permitted the state government to appoint special officers to panchayati raj institutions, and to fix quotas in such institutions for backward classes.

The constitution of this commission is significant as it aims to give greater representation to the less dominant OBC groupings and also work towards inclusion for all.

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2) Which temple of south India was adjudged the best ‘Swachh Iconic Place’ (clean place) in India, as announced by the Union Ministry for Drinking Water and Sanitation on 1 October 2017? – Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple (Madurai)

Explanation: The famed Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai (Tamil Nadu) was adjudged the best ‘Swachh Iconic Place’ (clean place) in India. The Union Government had identified ten spots as part of the ‘Swachh Iconic Places’ initiative earlier this year.

As part of the recognition as Swachh Iconic Place, the Madurai City Corporation has conceived a project to clean the periphery of the temple. The project is in the early stages and is slated to be completed by March 2018. The project is estimated to cost Rs. 11.65 crore and has been sponsored by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

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3) The Union Government on 2 October 2017 launched a six-year project to ensure conservation of locally and globally significant biodiversity, land and forest resources in the high Himalayan ecosystem spread over four states in India. What is the name of this ambitious project? – ‘SECURE Himalaya’

Explanation: An ambitious project named ‘SECURE Himalaya’ was launched by the Union environment minister Harsh Vardhan in association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on 2 October 2017. The term SECURE stands for securing livelihoods, conservation, sustainable use and restoration of high range Himalayan ecosystems.

The project is meant for specific landscapes. It includes Changthang (Jammu and Kashmir), Lahaul – Pangi and Kinnaur (Himachal Pradesh), Gangotri – Govind and Darma – Byans Valley in Pithoragarh (Uttarakhand) and Kanchenjunga – Upper Teesta Valley (Sikkim).

Protection of snow leopard and other endangered species and their habitats is one of the key components of the project which will also focus on securing livelihoods of the people in the region and enhancing enforcement to reduce wildlife crime.

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4) Which Indian was appointed the Deputy Director General for programmes (DDP) of World Health Organisation (WHO) on 3 October 2017? – Dr. Soumya Swaminathan

Explanation: Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), was appointed the deputy director general for programmes (DDP) of World Health Organisation (WHO). This announcement was made on 3 October 2017 by WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Dr. Swaminathan, a pediatrician by speciality, has more than 30 years of experience in clinical care, research and translating those findings into programs. She is a globally recognized researcher on tuberculosis and HIV. She holds an MBBS degree from Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) in India, MD degree from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Her father M.S. Swaminathan is considered the pioneer of Green Revolution in India and mother Mina Swaminathan is a known educationalist.

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5) Scientists Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne won the 2017 Nobel Prize for Physics for their contribution in which area of the subject? – Gravitational waves

Explanation: US scientists Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne were chosen for the 2017 Nobel Prize for Physics for their pioneering role in the detection of gravitational waves. This was announced by the Nobel Prize committee on 3 October 2017.

Triggered when super-dense black holes merge, the waves were detected using laser beams at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).

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6) The Nobel Prize for Medicine for 2017 will be shared amongst which three American scientists for their research on the internal clock of living organisms, as was announced by the Nobel Prize committee on 2 October 2017? – Jeffrey C Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W Young

Explanation: The Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine has been awarded to a trio of American scientists (Jeffrey C Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W Young) for their discoveries on the molecular mechanisms controlling circadian rhythms. These molecular mechanisms are in simple words known as the 24-hour body clock.

These three scientists were recognised for their discoveries explaining “how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronised with the Earth’s revolutions.”

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7) Three European-born scientists – Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson – were awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, as was announced by the Nobel Prize committee on 4 October 2017. What is the area of work for which they were chosen for this prestigious award? – For developing a new way to assemble precise three-dimensional images of biological molecules like proteins, DNA and RNA

Explanation: The winners of Nobel Prize for Chemistry for 2017 are Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson. Their work has helped scientists decipher processes within cells that were previously invisible, and has led to better understanding of viruses like Zika. In the future, their techniques could offer road maps in the development of drugs to treat diseases.

Jacques Dubochet is a retired biophysicist at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. Joachim Frank is a professor at Columbia University in New York and Richard Henderson is a scientist at the British Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England.

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