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Current Affairs for IAS Exam: 18 to 24 March 2017

Mar 24, 2017 18:18 IST

Weekly Current AffairsCurrent affairs should be prepared with a great thrust during IAS Exam preparation. Sincere study of current affairs would be beneficial for both the stages i.e., IAS Prelims and Mains Exam. So, the IAS aspirants should keep practicing the current affairs quiz on basis during IAS Preparation. Here, we have provided current affairs quizzes based on the important events happened during the week from 18th March to 24th March 2017.

Current Affairs Quizzes- 20 March 2017

1. The rankings of all 193 United Nations member countries regarding the world ranking of the number of women parliamentarians was released recently. Consider the following statements in this regard:
1) This ranking was released by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women.
2) The percentage of women in parliaments worldwide barely ticked up to 23.3 percent in 2016.
3) India’s percentage is same as that of the world tally.

Which of the above statements is correct?
a. 1 and 3
b. 1 and 2
c. 2 and 3
d. 1, 2 and 3

Answer: b

Explanation:

A world ranking of the number of women parliamentarians has placed India at number 148. The rankings of all 193 United Nations member countries released recently by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women showed that women in India made up 11.8 per cent of the Lok Sabha where 64 were elected to the 542-member house and 11 per cent of the Rajya Sabha with 27 of the 245 members.

Rwanda ranked first in the number of women parliamentarians with 61.3 per cent in the lower house, followed by Bolivia with 53.1 per cent and Cuba 48.9 per cent. India ranked 88 in the number of women Ministers with five or 18.5 per cent in the cabinet. The percentage of women in parliaments worldwide barely ticked up from 22.6 per cent in 2015 to 23.3 per cent in 2016. India’s percentage is about half the world tally. A constitutional amendment bill to reserve 33 per cent of Lok Sabha and State Assembly seats for women was first proposed in 1996 but has failed in the last 20 years to make headway.

Current Affairs Quizzes: January 2017

2. The Commerce and Industry Ministry launched the Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) recently. Consider the following statements regarding TIES:
1) The objective of the proposed scheme is to enhance export competitiveness by bridging gaps in export infrastructure.
2) The Central and State Agencies, including Export Promotion Councils, Commodities Boards, SEZ Authorities and Apex Trade Bodies recognised under the EXIM policy of the Government of India; are eligible for financial support under this scheme.
3) The Central Government funding to all the states will be in the form of a grant-in-aid, normally not more than 50% of the total equity in the project.

Which of the above statements is correct?
a. 1 and 3
b. 1 and 2
c. 2 and 3
d. 1, 2 and 3

Answer: b

Explanation:

The Commerce and Industry Ministry launched the Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) recently. The Scheme is focussed on addressing the needs of the exporters and the focus is not just to create infrastructure but to make sure it is professionally run and sustained.

There will be an Empowered Committee to periodically review the progress of the approved projects in the Scheme and will take necessary steps to ensure achievement of the objectives of the Scheme.

The scheme would provide assistance for setting up and up-gradation of infrastructure projects with overwhelming export linkages like the Border Haats, Land customs stations, quality testing and certification labs, cold chains, trade promotion centres, dry ports, export warehousing and packaging, SEZs and ports/airports cargo terminuses. The objective of the proposed scheme is to enhance export competitiveness by bridging gaps in export infrastructure, creating focused export infrastructure, first mile and last mile connectivity for export-oriented projects and addressing quality and certification measures.

The Central and State Agencies, including Export Promotion Councils, Commodities Boards, SEZ Authorities and Apex Trade Bodies recognised under the EXIM policy of Government of India; are eligible for financial support under this scheme. The Central Government funding will be in the form of a grant-in-aid, normally not more than the equity being put in by the implementing agency or 50% of the total equity in the project. (In case of projects located in the North Eastern States and Himalayan States including J&K, this grant can be up to 80% of the total equity).

Current Affairs Quizzes: February 2017

3. Recently, the Government has introduced Soil Health Card Scheme in all States/UTs. Consider the following statements regarding the Soil Health Card Scheme:
I. The main aim to assist all State Governments to evaluate fertility in all farm holdings across the country and issue soil health cards to farmers regularly in a cycle of 5 years.
II. Soil Health Cards provide information to farmers on nutrient status of their soil along with recommendations on appropriate dosage of nutrients to be applied to improving soil health and its fertility.

Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
a. Only I
b. Both I and II
c. Only II
d. Neither I nor II

Answer: c

Explanation:

The Government has introduced Soil Health Card Scheme in all States/UTs with an aim to assist all State Governments to evaluate fertility in all farm holdings across the country and issue soil health cards to farmers regularly in a cycle of 2 years.  Soil Health Cards provide information to farmers on nutrient status of their soil along with recommendations on appropriate dosage of nutrients to be applied to improving soil health and its fertility.

Against the target of 2.53 crore soil samples, the States have collected 2.71 crore samples and tested 2.05 crore samples to print about 11 crore soil health cards.  As on 14.03.2017, 5.66 crore cards have been distributed to farmers.

A study conducted by National Productivity Council (NPC) in 2016 has shown that 84% of farmers have expressed that they have applied the nutrients recommendations suggested in soil health card that has proven to be beneficial to them in reducing the cost of cultivation and improving the productivity of crops.

4. The AYUSH medical treatment is gaining momentum in the country with more and more hospital providing this treatment. Consider the following statements regarding the National AYUSH Mission (NAM):
I. The Central Government, through Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM), extends support for the promotion of AYUSH healthcare to the States/UTs for the development of infrastructure, purchase of equipment & furniture and supply of essential AYUSH medicines.
II. NAM also extends support for the development of AYUSH educational institution, Quality control of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani & Homoeopathy (ASU & H) drugs and Medicinal Plants.
III. Under National Health Mission (NHM), support is provided to States/UTs for strengthening their healthcare systems including for mainstreaming of AYUSH based on the requirements posed by the States/UTs in their Programme Implementation Plans (PIPs).

Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
a. Only I
b. I and II
c. II and III
d. All of the above

Answer: d

Explanation:

The number of hospitals providing AYUSH medical treatment in the country has increased to a total of 3590 hospitals as on 01.04.2016. These include 2820 hospitals of Ayurveda, 256 of Unani, 273 Siddha hospitals, 7 of Yoga, 30 of Naturopathy and 203 homoeopathy hospitals.

The Central Government, through Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM), extends support for promotion of AYUSH healthcare to the States/UTs for co-location of AYUSH facilities at Primary Health Centres (PHCs), Community Health Centres (CHCs) and District Hospitals (DHs) for development of infrastructure, purchase of equipment & furniture and supply of essential AYUSH medicines.

NAM also extends support for the development of AYUSH educational institution, Quality control of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani & Homoeopathy (ASU & H) drugs and Medicinal Plants. Further, under National Health Mission (NHM), support is provided to States/UTs for strengthening their healthcare systems including for mainstreaming of AYUSH based on the requirements posed by the States/UTs in their Programme Implementation Plans (PIPs). These supports also include support for engagement of AYUSH doctors/paramedics in public health facilities.

5. The National Physical Laboratory (NPL)- CSIR has dedicated the first pristine air-quality monitoring station to the Nation at:
a. Palampur
b. Srinagar
c. Nanital
d. Shimla

Answer: a

Explanation:

National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has established an atmospheric monitoring station on the campus of Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT) at Palampur (H.P.) at an altitude of 1391 m for generating the base data for atmospheric trace species & properties to serve as a reference for comparison of polluted atmosphere in India.

At this station, NPL has installed state of art air monitoring system, greenhouse gas measurement system and Raman Lidar. A number of parameters like CO, NO, NO2, NH3, SO2, O3, PM, HC & BC besides CO2 & CH4 are being currently monitored at this station which is also equipped with weather station (AWS) for measurement of weather parameters.

In India, air quality parameters are mostly measured in industrial and residential areas, however, data for air quality of pristine atmosphere is not available in India. NPL’s station will contribute to filling this important gap. The NPL’s station will also serve as a base station for inter-comparison of air quality monitoring equipment being used in India to improve the quality of monitored data in India.

Current Affairs Quizzes: December 2016

Current Affairs Quizzes- 21st March 2017

6. Recently, the APTA Ministerial Council in its meeting held on 13th January, 2017 has formally approved the implementation of the fourth round of exchange of tariff concessions. Consider the following statements regarding the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA):
I. The Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA, formerly the Bangkok Agreement) is an Agreement signed since 1975.
II. The current membership of APTA consists of six countries, namely, Bangladesh, China, India, Lao PDR, Republic of Korea, and Sri Lanka.
III. Three Rounds of tariff concessions have already been exchanged among the member countries till 2003.

Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
a. Only I
b. I and II
c. II and III
d. All of the above

Answer: d

Explanation:

The Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA, formerly the Bangkok Agreement) is an Agreement signed since 1975. The current membership of APTA consists of six countries, namely, Bangladesh, China, India, Lao PDR, Republic of Korea, and Sri Lanka. Three Rounds of tariff concessions have already been exchanged among the member countries till 2003. The tariff concessions being granted to APTA member States, on Margin of Preference basis, are being expanded under the fourth round of exchange of tariff concessions. The APTA Ministerial Council in its meeting held on 13th January, 2017 has formally approved the implementation of the fourth round of exchange of tariff concessions.

APTA is a preferential treaty based on Margin of Preference. Concessions on tariff lines offered by China and Korea, inter-alia, cover certain textiles and chemical products, which are likely to benefit the Indian exporters. Some of items on which concessions have been offered by China and Korea include certain organic and inorganic chemicals, knitted and crocheted fabrics, and articles of apparel and clothing accessories etc.

7. Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved the four GST related bills. Consider the following statements regarding these bills:
I. The Compensation Bill provides for compensation to the states for loss of revenue arising on account of implementation of the goods and services tax for a period of five years.
II. The Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill make provisions for levy and collection of tax on inter-state supply of goods or services or both by the Central Government.
III. The Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill make provisions for the levy on the collection of tax on intra-UT supply of goods and services in the Union Territories without the legislature.

Which of the above statements is correct?
a. I and II
b. II and III
c. Only I
d. I, II and III

Answer: c

Explanation:

The Finance Minister in his Budget Speech has mentioned that country-wide outreach efforts will be made to explain the provisions of GST to Trade and Industry. The Union Cabinet has approved four GST related bills namely, the Central Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 (The CGST Bill), the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 (The IGST Bill), the Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017 (The UTGST Bill) and the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to the States) Bill 2017 (The Compensation Bill).

Some features of these bills are as follows:

• The CGST Bill makes provisions for levy and collection of tax on intra-state supply of goods or services for both by the Central Government.

• The IGST Bill makes provisions for levy and collection of tax on inter-state supply of goods or services or both by the Central Government.

• The UTGST Bill makes provisions for the levy on a collection of tax on intra-UT supply of goods and services in the Union Territories without a legislature.

• The Compensation Bill provides for compensation to the states for loss of revenue arising on account of implementation of the goods and services tax for a period of five years.

8. Which of the following initiatives taken in recent years for the implementation of the SEZ policy in the country is correct?
a. Minimum Land Area requirement for setting up of new SEZs has been reduced to 50%.
b. A new 'agro-based food processing' sector has been introduced to encourage agro-based industries in SEZs.
c. Online processing of various activities relating to SEZ Developers and Units has been introduced.
d. All of the above

Answer: d

Explanation:

The Government periodically reviews the policy and operational framework of SEZs and takes necessary measures so as to facilitate speedy and effective implementation of SEZ policy.  Many initiatives have been taken in recent years for implementation of the SEZ policy in the country and resolve the issues therein.

Minimum Land Area requirement for setting up of new SEZs has been reduced to 50% for Multi-product and Sector-specific SEZs. Sectoral broad-banding has been introduced to encompass similar/related areas under the same Sector.

A new sector 'agro-based food processing' sector has been introduced to encourage agro-based industries in SEZs. Dual use of facilities like Social & Commercial infrastructure by SEZs and non-SEZs entities has been allowed in order to make SEZ operations more viable. Online processing of various activities relating to SEZ Developers and Units has been introduced for improving ease of doing business.

9. India has committed to reduce emissions intensity of its GDP in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Consider the following statements regarding the NDC:
I. The NDC was framed by adopting an inclusive process of consultations with key Ministries, State Governments, civil society organisations, think-tanks, and technical and academic institutions.
II. Following the Paris Agreement, the Missions continue to contribute to the declared goal of reduction of emissions intensity of GDP as also other sustainable development goals outlined in the NDC.

Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
a. Only I
b. Only II
c. Both I and II
d. Neither I nor II

Answer: c

Explanation:

Emission Intensity is calculated by dividing ‘Total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions’ by ‘Total Gross Domestic Product (GDP)’ of a country. India has committed to reduce emissions intensity of its GDP in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Goal of reducing Emissions intensity of GDP allows a country to reduce its emissions even while its GDP grows. The NDC was framed by adopting an inclusive process of consultations with key Ministries, State Governments, civil society organisations, think-tanks, and technical and academic institutions.

Each country has chosen its own metric for climate action. Many other developing countries also use Emission Intensity of GDP for the purpose. Each Mission under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) is independently anchored by respective Ministries in-charge of implementing the Mission. Following the Paris Agreement, the Missions continue to contribute to the declared goal of reduction of emissions intensity of GDP as also other sustainable development goals outlined in the NDC.

10. The Extra Mural Research Scheme under Ministry of AYUSH provides grant to Public/Private research organization which are competent to undertake project in the field Ayurveda, Yoga & Natoturopathy, Unani Siddha and Homoeopathy. Consider the following statements regarding the Extra Mural Research (EMR) scheme:
I. The scheme was formulated in the year 1999 and has been lately amended in November, 2014.
II. The total No. of the project funded under this scheme is 211, out of which a total of 141 projects have been completed.
III. The scheme has attracted the best scientists from reputed organizations, viz. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) etc.

Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
a. Only I
b. I and II
c. II and III
d. All of the above

Answer: d

Explanation:

The total No. of the project funded under this scheme is 211, out of which a total of 141 projects have been completed. A total of 161 papers have been published in the peer reviewed journals. Further, 13 patents have been filed as a sequel to the research work undertaken under the EMR scheme in the Ayurveda and Unani stream. So far, 10 homoeopathic drugs have been validated under this scheme.

The EMR scheme provides for engagement of 1-2 Research Fellows for the specific duration of each project. However, the number of scholars encouraged across the country through this scheme has not been assessed. The EMR scheme has grown in popularity among the scientific community of the country. During last two years, 400 projects (approx.) have been received in the Ministry of AYUSH. After amendment of the scheme in November, 2014, the total grant during the 2015-16 raised from Rs. 1.80 Crore to Rs. 5.82 Crore. The scheme has attracted the best scientists from reputed organizations, viz. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) etc.

Current Affairs Quizzes: November 2016

Current Affairs Quizzes- 22nd March 2017

11. The National Green Tribunal has suspended the Environmental Clearance (EC) granted to the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO). Consider the following statements regarding the Environment clearance in India:
1) The guideline is that if any project falls within 5 km from an inter-State boundary or within a notified national park or a sanctuary has to be considered a category ‘A’ project.
2) The Tribunal found that the Mathikettan Shola National Park was just about 4.9 km from the proposed project site making it a Category ‘A’ project.
3) For category ‘B’ project, an Environmental Impact Assessment is necessary.

Which of the above statements is correct?
a. 1 and 3
b. 2 and 1
c. 3 and 2
d. 1, 2 and 3

Answer: b

Explanation:

Under the guidelines laid down by the Environment Ministry, any project that falls within 5 km from an inter-State boundary or within a notified national park or a sanctuary has to be considered a Category ‘A’ project that involves a number of processes before an EC is granted. In this case, the MoEF had called it a Category ‘B’ project, for which an Environmental Impact Assessment is not necessary, but the department processed it as an additional measure.

The Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal has suspended the Environmental Clearance (EC) granted to the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) that was to come up in Theni and asked the project proponent to make a fresh application.

The Tribunal found that the Mathikettan Shola National Park in Idukki district of Kerala was just about 4.9 km from the proposed project site and the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border was just a kilometre away, making it a Category ‘A’ project. Since the proposed project is near a national park, the INO has also been asked to get clearance from the National Board for Wildlife.

12. By unravelling the science behind ancient herbal ink ‘mahi’, researchers are planning to recreate the lost techniques of manuscript writing. With which Indian state this ink is associated?
a. West Bengal
b. Tamil Naidu
c. Assam
d. All of the above

Answer: c

Explanation:

‘Mahi’ was used in early and medieval Assam for writing on ‘sancipat’ manuscripts that are the folios made of the bark of the sanci tree. The endurance of the ink is proven by the stability of sancipat manuscripts. The key factor for this long-lasting marriage between ‘mahi’ and ‘sancipat’ is the herbal concoction’s resistance to aerial oxidation and fungal attacks.

By unravelling the science behind Assam’s ancient herbal ink ‘mahi’, researchers are planning to recreate the lost techniques of manuscript writing. They say their efforts could boost heritage tourism.

The technique involves extracting ‘mahi’ using cow urine from a cocktail of fruit pulp and tree bark such as haritaki, amla, bibhitakhi or bhomora, mango and jamun — often infused with the blood of eels or catfish. Rust from iron tools or nails was added for an intense black hue.

13. Recently, the Ministry of Defence has formulated a separate Defence Export Strategy to give impetus to defence exports. Consider the following statements regarding the Defence Export Policy:
I. All exports including defence exports are covered under the Export and Import (EXIM) Policy issued by Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).
II. India's Export-Import Policy aims at developing export potential, improving export performance, encouraging foreign trade and creating a favourable balance of payments position.
III. The Exim Policy is a set of guidelines and instructions recognised by the DGFT in matters related to the import and export of goods in India.

Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
a. Only I
b. I and II
c. II and III
d. All of the above

Answer: d

Explanation:

All exports including defence exports are covered under the Export and Import (EXIM) Policy issued by Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).  However, Ministry of Defence has formulated a separate Defence Export Strategy to give a fillip to defence exports.  The strategy includes the creation of an Export Promotion Body, engaging Indian Missions / Embassies abroad in export promotion, export financing through Line of Credit etc., better use of offset policy, export of indigenously developed defence systems and streamlining of the export regulation processes.

EXIM Policy in India comprises of various policies related decisions taken by the government in the sphere of Foreign Trade, i.e., with respect to imports and exports from the country and more especially export promotion measures, policies and procedures related thereto. Trade Policy is prepared and announced by the Central Government (Ministry of Commerce).

India's Export-Import Policy also know as Foreign Trade Policy, in general, aims at developing export potential, improving export performance, encouraging foreign trade and creating a favourable balance of payments position.

14. A recent report states that West Bengal has the highest number of arsenic-affected people in the country. Consider the following statements regarding the arsenic level in drinking water in India:
1) The WHO’s guideline for drinking water quality has given a permissible limit of arsenic in groundwater to be about 0.01 mg per litre.
2) In India, the permissible limit of arsenic, in drinking water has been increased from .01 mg per litre to .05 mg per litre.

Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: a

Explanation:

According the report tabled in the Lok Sabha for Drinking Water and Sanitation, West Bengal topped the list with more than 1.04 crore arsenic-affected persons as on March 4, 2017. Bihar comes second with 16.88 lakh persons, with Assam in third spot with 14.48 lakh victims. The total number of arsenic-affected people in the country is about 1.48 crore.
According to the WHO’s guidelines for drinking water quality (2011), the permissible limit of Arsenic in groundwater is .01 mg per litre. However, in India the permissible limit in drinking water has recently been revised from .05 mg per litre to .01 mg per litre.

15. Recently, under the USTTAD (Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development) scheme, many trainees have been allocated to various Project Implementing Agencies (PIAs). Consider the following statements regarding the USTTAD scheme:
I. The Scheme aims at upgrading Skills and Training of minority communities by preservation of traditional ancestral Arts and Crafts.
II. Under the scheme, assistance will be provided to traditional artisans to sell their products in order to make them more compatible with modern markets.

Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
a. Only I
b. Only II
c. Both I and II
d. Neither I nor II

Answer: c

Explanation:

Under the USTTAD (Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development) scheme, 16200 trainees have been allocated to various Project Implementing Agencies (PIAs).

As regards Hunar Se Rozgar scheme, total 13616 people got employment during the year 2015-16. The USTTAD scheme is for all areas of the country from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Arunachal Pradesh to Gujarat. This scheme appeals to those artisans engaged in traditional arts/crafts.

ECONOMIC SURVEY 2016-17 Analysis

Current Affairs Quizzes- 23rd March 2017

16. Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved certain proposals with regard to the Fund of Funds of Start-ups (FFS). Consider the following statements regarding the Fund of Fund for Start-ups (FFS):
I. The Fund of Funds of Start-ups (FFS) was established in June, 2016 with a corpus of Rs. 1,000 crores.
II. The FFS is being managed and operated by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).
III. FFS contributes to SEBI registered Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) that may go up to a maximum of 35% of the corpus of the AIF concerned.

Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
a. Only I
b. I and II
c. II and III
d. All of the above

Answer: d

Explanation:

Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved the proposals with regard to the Fund of Funds of Start-ups (FFS) which was established in June, last year with a corpus of Rs. 1,000 crores.

The Union Cabinet in its meeting held on 22 June 2016 had approved the proposal to establish a Fund of Funds for Start-ups (FFS) with a total corpus of Rs.10000 crore, with contribution spread over the 14th & 15th Finance Commission cycles based on progress of implementation and availability of funds. It was decided that the FFS shall contribute to the corpus of Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) for investing in equity and equity linked instruments of various start-ups at early stage, seed stage and growth stages.

The FFS is being managed and operated by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).  FFS contributes to SEBI registered Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) that may go up to a maximum of 35% of the corpus of the AIF concerned.

17. Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved North East Road Network Connectivity Project Phase I for development of 403 kms of National Highways in Meghalaya and Mizoram. Consider the following statements regarding this:
I. Out of 403 km, approximately 52 kms will be in Meghalaya and 351 km in Mizoram and the project will be executed in EPC Mode.
II. The projects will encourage sub-regional socio-economic development by improvement of infrastructure in Meghalaya and Mizoram.

Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
a. Only I
b. Only II
c. Both I and II
d. Neither I nor II

Answer: c

Explanation:

Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for development of 403 kms of National Highways in Meghalaya and Mizoram. Out of 403 km, approximately 52 kms will be in Meghalaya and 351 km in Mizoram. The project will be executed in EPC Mode.

The estimated cost is Rs 6,721 crore including cost of land acquisition, resettlement and other pre-construction activities.

The projects will be taken up for implementation during the financial year 2017-18. The civil works are expected to be completed by 2021 and maintenance works are expected to be completed by 2025. The projects will encourage sub-regional socio-economic development by improvement of infrastructure in Meghalaya and Mizoram. It will also enhance the connectivity with inter-state roads and International Borders. The works for development to two lane standards are under scheme "North East Road Network Connectivity Project Phase I" with loan assistance of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

18. Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for 2017 of which of the following crops:
a. Wheat
b. Copra
c. Maiz
d. Sugarcane

Answer: b

Explanation:

Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Fair Average Quality (FAQ) of "Milling Copra" to Rs.6500/- per quintal for 2017 season from Rs. 5950/-per quintal in 2016. The MSP for FAQ of "Ball Copra" has been increased to Rs.6785/- per quintal for 2017 season from Rs. 6240/- per quintal in 2016.

The MSP of Copra is expected to ensure appropriate minimum prices to the farmers and step up investment in Coconut cultivation and thereby production and productivity in the country.

The approval is based on recommendations of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). CACP, which is an expert body, takes into account the cost of production, trends in the domestic and international prices of edible oils, overall demand and supply of copra and coconut oil, cost of processing of copra into coconut oil and the likely impact of the recommended MSPs on consumers, while recommending the MSPs.

The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED) and National Cooperative Consumer Federation of India Limited (NCCF) would continue to act as Central Nodal Agencies to undertake price support operations at the Minimum Support Prices in the Coconut growing states.

19. Recently, Government of India and Government of France jointly decided on the appointment of the Interim Director General (IDG) of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). Consider the following statements regarding ISA:
I. The International Solar Alliance (ISA) was launched on 30th November, 2015 as a coalition of the solar resource rich countries during the Paris Climate Conference or CoP21.
II. India and France jointly laid the foundation stone of the ISA headquarters and inaugurated the Interim Secretariat of the ISA at the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) in Paris, France.

Which of the above statements is correct?
a. Only I
b. Only II
c. I and II
d. None of the above

Answer: a

Explanation:

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) was launched on 30th November, 2015 as a coalition of the solar resource rich countries jointly by Government of India and Government of France in the presence of the Secretary General of the United Nations on the first day of the Paris Climate Conference or CoP21.

ISA’s mission and vision is to provide a dedicated platform for cooperation among solar resource rich countries where the global community including bilateral and multilateral organizations, corporates, industry, and stakeholders can make a positive contribution to assist and help achieve the common goals of increasing use of the solar energy in meeting energy needs of prospective ISA member countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner.

Last year India and France jointly laid the foundation stone of the ISA headquarters and inaugurated the Interim Secretariat of the ISA at the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) in Gwalpahari, Gurugram.

20. The 2016 Human Development Report has been released recently. Which of the following statements is a measuring dimension regarding the Human Development Index (HDI):
I. Life expectancy of the population
II. Mean years of education among the adult population
III. Expected years of schooling for children of school-entry age
IV. Per-capita Gross National Income (GNI)

Choose the correct codes:
a. I, II and IV
b. I, III and IV
c. II, II and IV
d. All of the above

Answer: d

Explanation:

The Human Development Index is based on assessing progress on three dimensions of human development. First, a long and healthy life measured through life expectancy of the population. Second, access to knowledge measured by mean years of education among the adult population, and access to learning and knowledge measured by expected years of schooling for children of school-entry age. And last, standard of living measured by the country’s per-capita gross national income (GNI).

The 2016 Human Development Report has been released by the UNDP. HDI is also released as part of the report. India slipped down one place from 130 to 131 among the 188 countries in the report. Moreover, India’s human development index (HDI) value of 0.624 puts it in the “medium human development” category, alongside countries such as Congo, Namibia and Pakistan.

Union Budget 2017 Questions for IAS Exam

Current Affairs Quizzes- 24th March 2017

21. Consider the following statements regarding the capability of ISRO to launch satellites:
1) India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) has the capability of launching to Sun Synchronous Polar Orbit.
2) The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) has the capability to launch satellites to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
3) GSLV has proven its versatility in launching multi-orbit missions as well as lunar (Chandrayaan-1) and interplanetary missions (Mars Orbiter Mission).

Which of the above statements is correct?
a. 1 and 3
b. 2 and 3
c. 1 and 2
d. 1, 2 and 3

Answer: c

Explanation:

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) has the capability of launching 1700 kg to Sun Synchronous Polar Orbit (600 km). The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), with indigenous cryogenic upper stage, has the capability to launch satellites up to 2.2 tonnes to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).

PSLV has proven its versatility in launching multi-satellite/multi-orbit missions as well as lunar (Chandrayaan-1) and interplanetary missions (Mars Orbiter Mission). PSLV has already established itself as a preferred launch vehicle, in its class, in the global market for launch services, especially for smaller satellites.

In order to enhance the capability, ISRO has developed the next generation launch vehicle i.e. GSLV MkIII with indigenous high-thrust cryogenic stage, to launch 4 tonne class of communication satellites to GTO and its first developmental flight is scheduled to take place in the second quarter of 2017. The development of Semicryogenic engine has also been undertaken to further enhance the GTO payload capability of GSLV MkIII to 6 tonnes.

22. Recently, the National Commission for Schedule Tribes (NCST) has approved the proposal for five additional seats for tribals in the assembly of which of the following states?
a. Madhya Pradesh
b. Sikkim
c. Jharkhand
d. Odisha

Answer: b

Explanation:

National Commission for Schedule Tribes (NCST) has approved the proposal for five additional seats for tribals in Sikkim assembly. At present, there are 32 members in Sikkim assembly and it would be increased to 40. Out of the, proposed additional eight seats, five seats would be reserved for Limbu and Tamang tribes.

The Commission has also decided to send a three member high level investigation committee for on the spot investigation of atrocities on Scheduled Tribes. The Commission also decided send a letter to States seeking latest update on tribal welfare programmes. States will also be asked to provide full details about the activities of Tribal Advisory Committees.

23. Which of the following statements is one of the target to be fulfilled by a village to be termed as “Adarsh Village” as per Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY)?
a. Villages should be 100 % open defecation free
b. 50% institutional deliveries for pregnant women
c. 50% immunisation of children
d. All of the above

Answer: a

Explanation:

As per the scheme, details for a village to be declared as Adarsh village a minimum of three of the targets listed below have to be achieved by the end of the third year of implementation of PMAGY:-

• As far as possible, elimination of poverty, but the reduction in its incidence by at least 50% within three years.

• Universal adult literacy

• 100% enrolment and retention of children at the elementary stage (I-VIII).

• Reduction of infant mortality rate (per thousand live births) to 30 and maternal mortality rate (per lakh) to 100, by 2012.

• The village should fulfil the Nirmal Gram Puraskar norms of the Deptt. Of Drinking Water, Supply and these villages should be 100 % open defecation free.

• Access to safe drinking water facility to all villagers on a sustainable basis.

• 100% institutional deliveries for pregnant women

• Full immunisation of children

• Achieving all weather road connectivity to the village

• 100% registration of deaths and births in the village

• No child marriages, and child labour

• No public consumption of liquor and other intoxicating substances

• 100% allotment of Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana (PMGAY) houses to all eligible families.

24. The Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana will be launched in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh soon. Which of the following statements best describe the aim of this scheme:
a. Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana will aim at providing Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices for all citizens belonging to sc/st category.
b. Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana will aim at providing Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices for all Senior citizens only.
c. Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana will aim at providing Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices for Senior citizens belonging to BPL category.
d. All of the above

Answer: c
Explanation:

The “Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana”, a ‘Scheme for providing Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices for Senior citizens belonging to BPL category’ will be launched in District Nellore, Andhra Pradesh on 1st April 2017.

The Physical Aids and Assisted-living Devices for Senior citizens will be distributed in Camp mode. The devices will help the Senior Citizens to overcome their age related physical impairment and to lead a dignified and productive life with minimal dependence on care givers or other members of the family.

25. India's first genetically-modified varieties of cotton whose seeds could be reused by farmers is being developed by which of the following university?
a. Punjab Agricultural University
b. University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore
c. G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology
d. Indian Agricultural Research Institute

Answer: a

Explanation:

Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana has announced that it has developed the country’s first genetically modified varieties of cotton — the seeds of which could be reused by farmers with no commercial restrictions.

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has identified three Bt cotton varieties – PAU Bt 1, F1861 and RS2013 – for cultivation in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. All three varieties carry the Cry1Ac gene imparting resistance against bollworm complex.

Cotton is the only GM crop allowed to be cultivated in India. Punjab alone needs around 20-25 lakh packets of Bt cotton seed. The price of these varieties will be much lower than current Bt cotton hybrid seed, and it can cut cultivation costs.

Current Affairs Quizzes for IAS Prelims 2017

Highlights
  • Citing safety concerns, non-Kashmiri students demand
  • They are also calling for action against cops who lathicharged students
  • NIT campus has been tense since students clashed over Indias T20 defeat

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