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Current Affairs for IAS Prelims Exam: 15 to 21 April 2017

Apr 21, 2017 18:24 IST

Weekly Current AffairsContinuous study of current affairs, as suggested by the IAS toppers is much essential for IAS Exam. In a view to the recent pattern of IAS Exam, there will be a large number of questions to be asked in the IAS Prelims Exam. Here, we have provided a compilation of quizzes which have been created during the week from 15 April to 21 April 2017.

1. Consider the following statements regarding the term, ”Anchor investors” which is often seen in news:
1) Anchor investors are institutional investors that are invited to subscribe for shares ahead of the IPO.
2) This is basically to boost the popularity of the issue and provide confidence to potential IPO investors.
3) Anchor investors can sell their shares anytime after the date of allotment.

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

Recently, Investment bankers want the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to allow anchor investors in public issues of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) while also enhancing the upper limit for paid-up capital of such companies to allow relatively larger firms to enter the capital market while ensuring institutional investor participation in the dedicated segment.

Anchor investors or cornerstone investors are marquee institutional investors like sovereign wealth funds, mutual funds and pension funds that are invited to subscribe for shares ahead of the IPO to boost the popularity of the issue and provide confidence to potential IPO investors.

The benefit for institutional investors applying in anchor quota is that they get guaranteed allotment. Allotment to investors applying in an IPO depends on the number of times the issue gets subscribed.

Anchor investors, however, cannot sell their shares for a period of 30 days from the date of allotment as against IPO investors who are allowed to sell on listing day.

Weekly Current Affairs for IAS Prelims Exam- 8 April to 14 April 2017

2. The Government of India has decided to felicitate the 16 families associated with the Paika rebellion of 1857 against British colonialism. Consider the following statements regarding the Paika rebellion:
1) Paika rebellion took place when the British East India company wrested the rent-free land that had been given to the Paiks for their military service to the Kingdom of Khurda.
2) Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar led his army of Paikas forcing the British East India Company forces to retreat.
3) It projected Lord Jagannath as the symbol of Odia unity.

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

The Paik Rebellion was an armed rebellion against the British East India Company's rule in Odisha in 1817. The Paiks rose in rebellion under their leader Bakshi Jagabandhu and they projected Lord Jagannath as the symbol of Odia unity.

When the British started tinkering with the revenue system in 1803, the farming community of Odisha rose in rebellion. Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar who was the military chief of the King of Khurda led his motley army of Paikas and forced the British East India Company forces to retreat.

The rebellion predates the first war of independence in 1857 but did not get similar recognition. It took place when the British East India company wrested the rent-free land that had been given to the Paiks for their military service to the Kingdom of Khurda.

3. Sagarmatha Friendship-2017 is a joint military exercise between which two countries?
a. India and China
b. Nepal and China
c. Bhutan and Nepal
d. Bhutan and China

Answer: b

Explanation:

Sagarmatha Friendship 2017 is first of its kind joint exercise between the armies of Nepal and China which will be focusing on tactics of counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism.
The joint exercise aimed at promoting military relations and enhancing interoperability between Nepali and Chinese Special Forces at functional level by placing emphasis on counter terrorism tactics, techniques and procedures.

The joint training will prove to be a great platform to learn and share each other’s knowledge and experiences. The cooperation between Chinese People’s Liberation Army and Nepal Army in dealing with the threat of terrorism serves the common interest of both countries.

4. Recently, the Second National Lok Adalat for 2017 was held throughout the country from taluk level courts to High Courts which have historically settled nearly 6.6 lakh cases. Consider the following statements regarding the Lok Adalats:
1) Lok Adalats have been given statutory status under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.
2) The decision made by the Lok Adalat is deemed to be a decree of a high court and no appeal against such an award lies before any court of law.

Which of the above statements is true?
a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: b

Explanation:

National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) along with other Legal Services Institutions conducts Lok Adalats. Lok Adalat is one of the alternative dispute redressal mechanisms, it is a forum where disputes/cases pending in the court of law or at the pre-litigation stage are settled/ compromised amicably.

Lok Adalats have been given statutory status under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. Under the said Act, the award (decision) made by the Lok Adalat is deemed to be a decree of a civil court and is final and binding on all parties and no appeal against such an award lies before any court of law.

The persons deciding the cases in the Lok Adalats are called the Members of the Lok Adalats, they have the role of statutory conciliators only and do not have any judicial role.

5. Consider the following statements regarding the Deendayal Antodaya Yojana:
1) Deendayal Antodaya Yojana is an important rural poverty alleviation program.
2) It is implemented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation with the support of State Governments.

Which of the above statements is true?
a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: a

Explanation:

Deendayal Antodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission is an important rural poverty alleviation program implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development with the support of State Governments. The women from rural poor households are provided financial assistance, in addition, facilitating access to bank loans for undertaking livelihoods activities.

The Ministry of Rural Development held a national consultation with SHG women of all States and UTs on transforming lives through livelihoods thrust and Strategy for Poverty Free Gram Panchayats. The event also marked the inauguration of a 10 day Aajeevika Mela that is being organised to promote exhibition and sale of products produced by SHGs from different parts of the country.

6. Consider the following statements regarding the Malabar exercises:
1) Malabar is a trilateral exercise between India, USA and Australia.
2) Malabar is a trilateral naval exercise includes the maritime interdiction operations Exercises.

Which of the statements is true?
a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: b

Explanation:

The annual Malabar series began in 1992 and includes diverse activities, ranging from fighter combat operations from aircraft carriers through Maritime Interdiction Operations Exercises.

Exercise Malabar is a trilateral naval exercise involving the United States, Japan and India as permanent partners. Originally a bilateral exercise between India and the United States, Japan became a permanent partner in 2015. Past non-permanent participants are Australia and Singapore.

Besides interception and dissimilar air combat exercises, it featured surface and anti-submarine warfare, maritime interdiction and visit, board, search, and seizure operations to counter piracy and other non-state acts at sea.

7. Recently, the Prime Minister of India has launched the projects related to SAUNI Yojana at Botad to divert one MAFt excess over flowing flood water of Narmada allocated to Saurashtra Region. Consider the following statements regarding the SAUNI Yojana:

I. SAUNI project involves making pipe canals instead of the conventional open canals which has led to no acquisition of land for the project.
II. The excess over flowing flood water of Narmada will be distributed to 115 reservoirs of eleven districts of Saurashtra through total 1126 km long four link pipelines benefitting 10,22,589 acre land.

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:

Saurashtra-Narmada Avataran Irrigation Yojana (SAUNI Yojana) has been launched to divert one MAFt excess over flowing flood water of Narmada allocated to Saurashtra Region. The excess over flowing flood water of Narmada will be distributed to 115 reservoirs of eleven districts of Saurashtra through total 1126 km long four link pipelines benefitting 10,22,589 acre land.

The Prime Minister of India has dedicated to the nation, Phase-1 (Link 2) of the SAUNI (Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation) Yojana, at Botad. He also laid the Foundation Stone of Phase 2 (Link 2) of the SAUNI Yojana.

8. Consider the following statements regarding the much in news terms, Khurki and Teenkathiya systems of indigo cultivation under the British raj in India:
1) Under Khurki system, the British planters used to pay some money to the farmers (Raiyyat) by mortgaging their lands and houses and compelling them to sow indigo.
2) Under the Teen Kahitya system, the teen katha land out of one bigha was reserved for indigo (Neel) farming.

Which of the statements is true?
a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

Explanation:

The Neeley Britishers had confiscated more than one lakh crore fertile lands and set up their kothis there. Farmers were being exploited and oppressed in different ways by Neeley Britishers under Khurki and Teenkathiya systems. Under Khurki system, the British planters used to pay some money to the farmers (Raiyyat) by mortgaging their lands and houses and compelling them to sow indigo. The British administration and Zamindar had established “Teen Kahitya” system under which teen katha land out of one bigha was reserved for indigo (Neel) farming.

The farmers had to bear the cost of indigo farming and the British planters used to keep the yields without compensating the farmers. Not only this, they were even exploited through the various taxes levied on them. Thousands of landless labourers and poor farmers were forced to sow indigo instead of other crops.

Before 1867, 5 kathiya land system was reserved for indigo farming. The farmers were forced to pay several taxes while delivering indigo into the factories such as Bapahi-Putahi, Marvah and Sagaura. Despite taxes, the factories used to play very low prices for the indigo and the farmers were never paid their dues in time.

9. The ‘world’s largest single­site solar power project’ was in news recently located in which of the following cities of India?
a. Bhopal
b. Jaipur
c. Lucknow
d. Ahmadabad

Answer: a

Explanation:

The Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines presided over the signing of Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) between Delhi Metro Railways Corporation (DMRC) & Madhya Pradesh Power Management Company (MPPMC) with Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited, the implementing agency for the ‘world’s largest single­site solar power project’, the Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Power Project (UMSPP, 750MW) in Bhopal today.

The Rewa UMSPP becomes the first power project to conduct interstate sale of solar power to Delhi Metro. There would be huge savings to the Delhi Metro because of per unit cost of power reducing from over Rs. 4.50 to Rs. 3.30.

Current Affairs for IAS Prelims 2017: March 2017

10. Recently, the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill has been passed by Parliament. Consider the following statements regarding the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill:
I. The Bill seeks to prevent and control the spread of HIV and AIDS, prohibits discrimination against persons with HIV and AIDS, provides for informed consent and confidentiality with regard to their treatment, places obligations on establishments to safeguard their rights, and creates mechanisms for redressing their complaints.
II. The Bill lists the various grounds on which discrimination against HIV positive persons and those living with them is prohibited.
III. Every HIV infected or affected person below the age of 18 years has the right to reside in a shared household and enjoy the facilities of the household.

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 Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on February 11, 2014 by the Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad. The Bill seeks to prevent and control the spread of HIV and AIDS, prohibits discrimination against persons with HIV and AIDS, provides for informed consent and confidentiality with regard to their treatment, places obligations on establishments to safeguard their rights, and creates mechanisms for redressing their complaints.

Prohibition of discrimination against HIV positive persons: The Bill lists the various grounds on which discrimination against HIV positive persons and those living with them is prohibited.  These include the denial, termination, discontinuation or unfair treatment with regard to:

• employment,

• educational establishments,

• health care services,

• residing or renting property,

• standing for public or private office, and

• provision of insurance (unless based on actuarial studies).

The requirement for HIV testing as a pre-requisite for obtaining employment or accessing health care or education is also prohibited.

11. A recently released report called the Globalization Backlash claims that global integration has been good for economic development and poverty reduction. The 'Globalization Backlash' report is released by which of the following international organisation?
a. International Monetary Fund
b. World Bank
c. Asian Development Bank
d. BRICS Bank

Answer: b

Explanation:

The just released edition of the South Asia Economic Focus explores whether South Asian countries should worry about mounting protectionist pressures. This report, Globalization Backlash, claims that global integration has been good for economic development and poverty reduction, but finds that the region would be resilient to higher trade barriers in advanced economies.

South Asian economies also stand to gain from the observed recovery in advanced economies, which are their largest export markets. Possible protectionism in advanced economies should not deter export-oriented growth in South Asia, a region that could even benefit from the backlash against globalisation, a new World Bank report.

The report also confirms that South Asia remains the fastest-growing region in the world, gradually widening its lead relative to East Asia. Regional GDP growth is expected to rise from 6.7 percent in 2016 to 6.8 percent in 2017, and 7.1 percent in 2018.

12. Recently, the Supreme Court has agreed to reconsider the plea seeking that anti-defection law is not applicable to an elected member of a House, who had been expelled by his party. Consider the following statements regarding the anti-defection law in India:
1) The anti-defection law or the 10th schedule of the Indian constitution was inserted by the 52nd Amendment in 1985.
2) A Member of Parliament or state legislature is deemed to have defected if he votes or abstains from voting in such House contrary to any direction issued by his political party or anyone authorised to do so, without obtaining prior permission
3) Nominated members who were not members of a party could choose to join a party anytime.

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

The anti-defection law or the 10th schedule of the Indian constitution was inserted by the 52nd Amendment in 1985. The grounds for disqualification are mentioned under Articles 102 (2) and 191 (2) for the Members of parliament and members of legislative assemblies respectively.

A Member of Parliament or state legislature is deemed to have defected:

• When the elected member voluntarily gives up his membership of a political party

• If he votes or abstains from voting in such House contrary to any direction issued by his political party or anyone authorised to do so, without obtaining prior permission

• Independent members would be disqualified if they joined a political party

• Nominated members who were not members of a party could choose to join a party within six months; after that period, they were treated as a party member or independent member

13. The wind power installations (windmills) in India have crossed the 5 Gigawatt marks, to reach 5,400 MW in 2016-17. Consider the following statements regarding the wind energy in India:
1) The Indian wind industry has existed only in Tamil Naidu as it is the windiest State.
2) India has the second biggest capacity for wind energy in the world.
3) The Wind accounts for 10% of India’s total power capacity.

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

For the first time, wind power installations (windmills) reached 5,400 MW in 2016-17 in India. In the first-ever auctions of wind power capacity, the price at which windmill owners would sell electricity to companies that supply power to consumers fell to a record low as competitive forces were at play. Otherwise, wind power prices are fixed by the various state electricity regulatory commissions.

The Indian wind industry has been around since the late 1980s. For many years, it existed only in T.N., the windiest State. In the last decade, it spread to eight other States that have any wind potential and four other southern states, M.P., Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

India, with 32,280 MW, has the fourth biggest capacity in the world, after China, the U.S. and Germany. The national target is 60 GW by 2022. The Wind accounts for 10% of India’s total power capacity of 3.2 lakh MW; and 4% in terms of electricity produced.

14. The Government of India launched the unique portal and mobile app of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) recently. Consider the following statements in this regard:
1) RUSA is the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) under the aegis of the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
2) RUSA aims to provide strategic central funding to State Higher Education Departments and Institutions and achieve the broad objectives of access, equity and excellence.

Which of the above statements is true?
a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

Explanation:

Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS), launched in 2013 aims at providing strategic funding to eligible state higher educational institutions.

The central funding (in the ratio of 60:40 for general category States, 90:10 for special category states and 100% for union territories) norms are based and outcome dependent.
The funding to states is made on the basis of the critical appraisal of State Higher Education Plans, which would describe each state’s strategy to address issues of equity, access and excellence in higher education.

15. As a part of the Indian Navy’s Overseas Deployment (OSD) to the Mediterranean Sea and the West Coast of Africa, which of the following Indian Naval Ships arrived at Souda Bay, Greece for a three-day visit recently?
a. INS Mumbai
b. INS Trishul
c. INS Tarkash
d. All of the above

Answer: d

Explanation:

As a part of the Indian Navy’s Overseas Deployment (OSD) to the Mediterranean Sea and the West Coast of Africa, four warships, namely Indian Naval Ships Mumbai, Trishul, Tarkash and Aditya, arrived at Souda Bay, Greece for a three-day visit yesterday.

The warships will engage with the Hellenic Navy during their stay in the country. Apart from professional interactions, a number of sports and social engagements are planned, which would go a long way in enhancing co-operation and understanding between the two navies.

The current visit seeks to underscore India’s peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly and like-minded countries towards ensuring good order in the maritime domain and to strengthen the existing bonds between India and Greece.

16. Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Deposit Scheme has been recently in the news. Consider the following statement regarding the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Deposit Scheme:
I. Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, 2016 (PMGKY) is an amnesty scheme launched by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi in December 2016 on the lines of the Income declaration scheme, 2016 (IDS) launched.
II. A part of the Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Act, 2016, the scheme provides an opportunity to declare unaccounted wealth and black money in a confidential manner and avoid prosecution after paying a fine of 50% on the undisclosed income.

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:

The Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Act, 2016 and the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Deposit (PMGKD) Scheme, 2016 (the scheme), earlier proposed on 29 November 2016, became effective on 17 December 2016 and will be in force until 31 March 2017.

This scheme is another opportunity given by Government of India (GOI) to come clean by declaring any undisclosed income in the form of cash or deposit in an account maintained by specified entities by a person. (Refer our alert on 29 November 2016 for background of the scheme proposed by GOI).Based on the scheme, any person can declare undisclosed income by paying tax at the rate of 49.9% (i.e., tax at 30% of income, surcharge at 33% of tax, a penalty at 10% of income) of the declared undisclosed income. Also, it is mandatory to make a deposit of at least 25% of the declared undisclosed income, yielding no interest, with a lock- in period of four years.

17. The Channakeshava temple in Belur turned 900 this year. Which of the following statements is true regarding this temple?
1) The Channakeshava temple in Belur is a masterpiece of Chola architecture.
2) Chennakesava is a form of the Hindu god Vishnu.
3) This temple has been proposed to be listed under UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

The Chennakeshava Temple originally called Vijayanarayana Temple was built on the banks of the Yagachi River in Belur, by the Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana. Belur, which was an early Hoysala capital, is in the Hassan district of Karnataka state, India.

Belur is well known for its marvellous temples built during the rule of the Hoysala dynasty, making it and nearby Halebidu favoured tourist destinations in Karnataka state. These temple complexes have been proposed to be listed under UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

18. Consider the following statements regarding the  summary of the forecast for the 2017 south-west monsoon rainfall issued by Indian Meteorological Department (IMD):
1) Quantitatively, the monsoon seasonal rainfall is likely to be 96% of the Long Period Average (LPA).
2)  Forecast assessment suggests 38% of probability for near normal monsoon rainfall.

Which of the above statements is true?
a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

Explanation:

The first stage forecast of Southwest monsoon seasonal rainfall was issued by Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) recently. IMD has forecast that quantitatively, the monsoon seasonal rainfall is likely to be 96% of the Long Period Average (LPA) with an error of ± 5%. Forecast assessment suggests 38% of probability for near normal monsoon rainfall.
IMD issues various monthly and seasonal forecasts of rainfall for the south-west monsoon season. Operational forecasts for the south-west monsoon season rainfall are issued in two stages. These forecasts are prepared using state-of-the-art Statistical Ensemble Forecasting system (SEFS) that is critically reviewed and improved regularly through in-house research activities.

Since 2012, IMD has been using the dynamical global climate forecasting system (CFS) model, which was developed under the Monsoon Mission. The CFS model was further modified to provide improved rainfall forecasts over the Indian monsoon region through research efforts taken up under the Monsoon Mission.

19. Recently, the Union Cabinet of India has given its approval for signing of a Protocol amending the Convention for the avoidance of double taxation with which of the following countries of India?
a. Portugal
b. Australia
c. Malaysia
d. All of the above

Answer: a

Explanation:

Recently, the Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of a Protocol amending the Convention between India and Portugal for the avoidance of double taxation. The Protocol will also ensure prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

Once the Protocol enters into force, both India and Portugal would be able to exchange tax-related information, which will help tax authorities of both countries to curb tax evasion.

20. Recently, the Union Cabinet approves permission to avail external assistance by State Government entities from bilateral agencies for implementation of vital infrastructure projects. Consider the following statements regarding the guidelines issued by the Government regarding this:
I. The guidelines will facilitate the State Government entities to directly borrow from the external bilateral funding agencies subject to fulfilment of certain conditions.
II. All the repayments of loans and interests to the funding agencies will be directly remitted by the concerned borrower.
III. The concerned State Government will furnish guarantee for the Loan and the Government of India will provide a counter guarantee for the loan.

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 policy guidelines to allow financially sound State Government entities to borrow directly from bilateral ODA (Official development Assistance) partners for implementation of vital infrastructure projects.

External assistance presently plays a supportive role in financing major infrastructure projects, social sector projects and in building up institutional capacity. The role of external assistance has gained further significance in view of the large gap in funding requirements for major infrastructure projects implemented by the State Governments in order to acquire competitive strength under the globalised economic framework.

21. Recently, the Ministry of Law & Justice has launched the three key legal aid and empowerment initiatives of the Department of Justice – including ‘Pro bono legal services’, ‘Tele law service’ and ‘Nyaya Mitra scheme’. Consider the following statements regarding this:
I. The concerned ministry has appealed to all those involved in the delivery of justice to join hands in improving the system to ensure that assistance is available to every citizen irrespective of his socio-economic position.
II. The new initiatives aimed at fulfilling the department’s core mandate of enhancing ‘access to justice’ for the poor and vulnerable communities, including making accessible quality and effective legal aid for them.

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 Ministry of Law & Justice and Electronics & IT have appealed to all those involved in the delivery of justice to join hands in improving the system to ensure that assistance is available to every citizen irrespective of his socio-economic position. The concerned ministry has launched the three key legal aid and empowerment initiatives of the Department of Justice – including ‘Pro bono legal services’, ‘Tele law service’ and ‘Nyaya Mitra scheme’.

The ‘Pro bono legal services’ initiative is a web-based platform, through which interested lawyers can register themselves to volunteer pro bono services for the underprivileged litigants, who are unable to afford it. The Department of Justice has launched the online application for this initiative on its website doj.gov.in. Through this online portal, litigants from marginalised communities (including members of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, women, children, senior citizens, persons with low income and persons with disabilities) can also apply for legal aid and advice from the pro bono lawyers.

22. For the collective action and efforts in remedying the situation of the heavy pendency of cases in courts across the country, the Ministry of Law & Justice has launched the Nyaya Mitra scheme. Consider the following statements regarding the Nyaya Mitra scheme:
I. The Nyaya Mitra scheme is aimed at reducing pendency of cases across selected districts, with a special focus on those pending for more than 10 years.
II. Functionalized through a retired judicial or executive officer (with legal experience) designated as the ‘Nyaya Mitra’, the project would be operated out of District Facilitation Centres, housed in CSCs.
III. Nyaya Mitra’s responsibilities would include among others assistance to litigants who are suffering due to delay in investigations or trial, by actively identifying such cases through the National Judicial Data Grid, providing legal advice and connecting litigants to DLSA, CSC Tele Law, other government agencies and civil society organisations.

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 Ministry of Law & Justice has taken the issue of heavy pendency of cases in courts across the country into their consideration. Ministry has also noted that at present, more than 2.4 crore cases are pending in the district and lower judiciary, of which nearly 10% are more than 10 years old. They called for collective action and efforts in remedying this situation. In this context, the concerned Minister also inaugurated the Nyaya Mitra scheme, which is aimed at reducing pendency of cases across selected districts, with a special focus on those pending for more than 10 years.

Functionalized through a retired judicial or executive officer (with legal experience) designated as the ‘Nyaya Mitra’, the project would be operated out of District Facilitation Centres, housed in CSCs. Nyaya Mitra’s responsibilities would include among others assistance to litigants who are suffering due to delay in investigations or trial, by actively identifying such cases through the National Judicial Data Grid, providing legal advice and connecting litigants to DLSA, CSC Tele Law, other government agencies and civil society organisations. He/she shall also refer the marginalised applicants to Lok Adalats for dispute resolution and render assistance towards prison reforms within the district, in coordination with the district judiciary and other stakeholders.

This initiative would be launched in 227 districts including 27 districts from North East and Jammu & Kashmir and 200 districts from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Odisha, Gujarat, West Bengal etc. and would be operated out of CSCs.

23. The Union Cabinet in its meeting held recently, decided to enable the States to regulate supply, distribution, sale, production, stock, storage, purchase and movement etc, in respect of sugar for a period up to six months. Consider the following statements regarding this:
I. The main objective of the decision is to enable the State Governments to issue control order with the prior concurrence of Central Government, for fixing stock limits/licensing requirements in respect of all the cash crop commodities, whenever the need is felt by them.
II. This is expected to help in the efforts being taken to improve the availability of these commodities to the general public at reasonable rates and control the tendencies of hoarding and profiteering.
III. The prices of sugar are being monitored by the Department of Food & Public Distribution regularly at factory gate as well as in the domestic market.

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: c

Explanation:

The Cabinet in its meeting held in October last year, decided to enable the States to regulate supply, distribution, sale, production, stock, storage, purchase and movement etc, in respect of sugar for a period up to six months. Accordingly the guidelines was issued, for enabling administrative department, States & UTs to decide stock limits etc. on sugar up to 28th April 2017, by amending the Removal of Licensing Requirements, Stock limits and Movement restrictions on Specified Foodstuffs Order, 2016 dated 29th September 2016.
The prices of sugar are being monitored by the Department of Food & Public Distribution regularly at factory gate as well as in the domestic market.

In September 2016 it was noticed that the retail prices had shown a sudden spurt. The price rise appeared to be more on sentiment than an actual shortage. In order to regulate the supply of sugar and address issue of speculative prices, fixing of appropriate stock limit on need basis was essential. In addition, despite the adequate availability of stocks for consumption in the current season, hoarding and consequent profiteering are anticipated due to drop in production over the previous year and hence a further extension of stock limit would a be required.

24. India develops National Action Plan to combat Antimicrobial Resistance. Consider the following statements regarding this:
I. It pledges to adopt a holistic and collaborative approach towards prevention and containment of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in India.
II. It calls on all stakeholders including UN, WHO, FAO and other UN agencies, civil society organizations etc., to support the development and implementation of the national and state action plans on AMR.
III. In alignment with global action plan, India’s action plan has objectives of enhancing awareness, strengthening surveillance, improving rational use of antibiotics, reducing infections and promoting research.

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:

Antimicrobial resistance is a serious threat to global public health that requires action across all government sectors and society and is driven by many interconnected factors. Single, isolated interventions have limited impact and coordinated action is required to minimize the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance. The National Action Plan pledges to adopt a holistic and collaborative approach towards prevention and containment of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in India. It calls on all stakeholders including UN, WHO, FAO and other UN agencies, civil society organizations etc., to support the development and implementation of the national and state action plans on AMR.

25. The issue of pricing turmeric was in news recently. Which of the following state is the leading producer of turmeric in India?
a. Andhra Pradesh
b. Maharashtra
c. Tamil Nadu
d. Odisha

Answer: a

Explanation:

Turmeric has a pungent, slightly bitter flavour and is used as the main ingredient in curries besides being a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory herb. Related to ginger, turmeric is a kitchen spice in use for food and medicine for ages. The banal life in urban pockets doesn’t allow many of us to see the amazing stages in which a farm crop originates and evolves before reaching the kitchen space.

Last year, the farm workers say, the crop fetched ₹8,000 per quintal. “Now it fetches anything between ₹4,500 and ₹5,000 per quintal. The rates may improve, you never know. Because traders create artificial scarcity in the market sometimes,” he says with a fond hope.

Andhra Pradesh is the leading state in producing turmeric followed by Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Kerala and Bihar.

Current Affairs Quizzes for IAS Prelims 2017

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