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Current Affairs for IAS Prelims Exam: 8 to 14 April 2017

Apr 14, 2017 18:35 IST

Weekly Current AffairsAn IAS aspirant must prepare current affairs with greater intensity and enthusiasm because it will also help them in IAS Mains Exam. Current affairs can play a significant role for an IAS aspirant to get selected in the final list of UPSC civil services exam.

Here, we have provided a compilation of current affairs quizzes based on the events happened between 8 April 2017 and 14 April 2017.

Current Affairs for IAS Prelims Exam: 1 to 7 April 2017

1.    The Government is going to organise an exhibition entitled ‘‘Swachhagraha Bapu Ko Karyanjali”- on the occasion of:
a.    100th Birth Anniversary of B. R. Ambedkar
b.    100th Anniversary of Champaran Satyagraha
c.    100th Anniversary of Swadeshi Movement
d.    100th anniversary of Dandi Yatra

Answer: b

Explanation:

The Prime Minister will inaugurate the exhibition entitled ‘‘Swachhagraha Bapu Ko Karyanjali”-A Mission, An Exhibition’ on the occasion of 100th Anniversary of Champaran Satyagraha on 10th April 2017 in National Archives of India (NAI) Janpath, New Delhi. The exhibition is a humble tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on hundred years of his first experiment of Satyagraha in India, in Champaran and it is an attempt to sensitize future generations to fulfil Gandhi’s dream of ‘Swachh Bharat’, where society’s reflection would be as clean as the thoughts within, of every citizen of India. This digital and experiential exhibition strives to connect the essential principles of Satyagrah ‘Jeevan-Chakra’ evolved by Mahatma Gandhi, with the elements of Swachhagraha, the movement. The exhibition will be open for public in NAI campus for one month and later on, it will be taken to other cities of the country as Mobile exhibition.

Current Affairs for IAS Prelims 2017: March 2017

2.    The Government has launched the 352 housing projects in 53 cities in 17 States across the country with an investment of over Rs.38, 000 cr to build over 2 lakh houses. Consider the following statements regarding this project:
I.    These housing projects to be taken up by the members of Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI) across the country are the first major private investments initiative into affordable housing.
II.    As per the details furnished by CREDAI, the cost of construction of these affordable houses will be in the range of Rs.15 lakh to Rs.30 lakh with the average cost of construction coming to Rs.18 lakh per house.

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 Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu today launched 352 housing projects in 53 cities in 17 States across the country with an investment of over Rs.38, 000 cr to build over two lakh houses.

These housing projects to be taken up by the members of Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI) across the country are the first major private investments initiative into affordable housing. These projects were launched at a function in Gandhinagar, Gujarat today. As per the details furnished by CREDAI today, the cost of construction of these affordable houses will be in the range of Rs.15 lakh to Rs.30 lakh with the average cost of construction coming to Rs.18 lakh per house.

Current Affairs Quizzes: February 2017

3.    Recently, the 11th Standing Committee meeting of Inter-State Council has been held. The meeting will discuss the recommendations of which following committee was set-up to take a fresh look at relative roles and responsibilities of various levels of government and their inter-relations?
a.    Punchhi Committee
b.    Abid Hussain Committee
c.    Abhijit Sen Committee
d.    Chakravarty Committee

Answer: a

Explanation:

The 11th Standing Committee meeting of the Inter-State Council chaired by the Union Home Minister is to be held recently in Delhi. The meeting will discuss the recommendations of the Punchhi Commission on Centre-State Relations.

The Punchhi Commission, notified in 2005, submitted its report in 2010. The recommendations of the Punchhi Commission, which are contained in seven Volumes, pertain to History of Centre-State Relations in India, Constitutional Governance and Management of Centre-State Relations, Centre-State Financial Relations and Planning, Local Self-Governments and Decentralized Governance, Internal Security, Criminal Justice and Centre-State Cooperation, Environment, Natural Resources & Infrastructure and Socio-Economic Development, Public Policy and Good Governance.

The forthcoming meeting of the Standing Committee of Inter State Council will be examining the first three volumes of the Punchhi Commission's report. The subjects expected to be discussed at the meeting include significant issues concerning Centre-State relations, such as:

•    Role of Governors

•    Centrally sponsored schemes and financial transfers from the Centre to the States

•    Creation of a unified agricultural market for the nation

•    Measures to involve the States more closely in planning and delivery of services

•    Steps to be adopted to make Inter State Council more vibrant and

•    Measures directed towards better fiscal management by the Centre and the States.

The meeting acquires special significance in that the Standing Committee of the Inter-State Council is being convened after a gap of 12 years. The recommendations of the Standing Committee will be placed before the Inter-State Council at its next meeting.

Current Affairs Quizzes: January 2017

4.    The National Mission for Clean Ganga has approved 26 projects at an estimated cost of Rs 2154.28 Crore Sewage Treatment Projects. Consider the following statements regarding the Sewage Treatment Projects:
I.    Under the project, the amount will be spent in the states of UP, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Delhi for the creation of new sewage treatment capacity of 188 Million Litres per Day (MLD) (approx.)
II.    Under the project, the rehabilitation of 596 MLD of existing STP capacity, upgradation of 30 MLD of existing STP capacity, Interception and Diversion works and sewerage network of 145.05 km to be done.
III.    Under Namami Gange Programme, 100% central funding is being made for new projects.

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:

In a major push to Namami Gange programme, National Mission for Clean Ganga has approved 26 projects at an estimated cost of Rs 2154.28 Crore. This amount will be spent in the states of UP, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Delhi for creation of new sewage treatment capacity of 188 Million Litters per Day (MLD) (approx.), rehabilitation of 596 MLD of existing STP capacity, upgradation of 30 MLD of existing STP capacity, Interception and Diversion works and sewerage network of 145.05 km.

Under Namami Gange Programme, 100% central funding is being made for new projects. The completion of these projects will help in reducing the pollution load on the river Ganga as the discharge of untreated effluent is one of the major source of pollution in river Ganga.

5.    As per the recent data released by CSO, the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) inflation stood at 5.2 per cent in January 2017 while the Consumer Price Index (combined) declined to 3.2 per cent in January 2017 from 3.4 per cent in December 2016. Which of the following measures taken by the Government to control inflation:
I.    Increased budgetary allocation for Price Stabilization Fund in the budget 2017-18 to check volatility of prices of essential commodities, in particular, of pulses.
II.    Created buffer stock of pulses through domestic procurement and imports.
III.    Announced higher Minimum Support Prices so as to incentivize production.

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:

Wholesale Price Index (WPI) inflation stood at 5.2 per cent in January 2017, which was the highest in the last 29 months. Consumer Price Index (combined) declined to 3.2 per cent in January 2017 from 3.4 per cent in December 2016. The rise in WPI inflation during January 2017 was mainly due to rise in inflation of Fuel and Power.

The Government has been successful in bringing down the prices of essential commodities through astute food supply management. The Government has taken a number of measures to control inflation. The steps are taken, inter alia, include:

•    increased budgetary allocation for Price Stabilization Fund in the budget 2017-18 to check volatility of prices of essential commodities, in particular, of pulses;

•    created buffer stock of pulses through domestic procurement and imports;

•    announced higher Minimum Support Prices so as to incentivize production;

•    issued advisory to States/UTs to take strict action against hoarding and black marketing under the Essential Commodities Act 1955 and the Prevention of Black-marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980;

•    imposed 20 per cent duty on export of sugar; and (vi) reduced import duty on potatoes, wheat and palm oil.

Current Affairs Quizzes: December 2016

6.    Consider the following steps taken by the Ministry of Human Resource to develop a Digital Study Material for the students:
1) An online platform “Swayam”, to make study material available online to students.
2) E-Pathshala provides comparative information regarding the performance of students at State and National level.
3) An online platform, namely, SHAGUN for monitoring Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
4) The Saransh website provides access to textbooks and other resources developed by the NCERT.

Which of the above statements is true?
a. 1 and 2
b. 2 and 3
c. 1 and 3
d. 1, 2, 4 and 3

Answer: c

Explanation:

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has created an online platform namely, swayam to make study material available online to students. In addition, the National Council of Educational Research and Training has also launched a web portal called e-Pathshala which provides access to textbooks and other resources developed by the NCERT.

The CBSE has developed an in-house decision support system called ‘SARANSH’. The system provides the following facilities:

•  Data-driven analysis empowering Schools and Parents to take best decisions for students.

•  All the performance metrics are presented through numbers as well as charts/ graphs for easy understanding.

•  Equip schools and parents to review student's performance in various subjects.

•  It helps the school to look performance in scholastic areas at an aggregate level and at the level of each student.

•  The Saransh website, inter-alia, provides comparative information regarding the performance of students at State and National level.

Ministry of Human Resource Development has developed an online platform, namely, SHAGUN for monitoring Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the flagship programme of the Government of India supporting universalisation of Elementary Education.

7.    The Eleventh joint training Exercise, ‘Nomadic Elephant - 2016’ to promote military associations has commenced recently. Consider the following statements about this exercise:
1) The joint training Exercise Nomadic Elephant is to promote military associations between India and Mongolia.
2) The aim of this exercise is to develop interoperability between the two armies to fight in Counter Terrorism environment under the United Nation mandate.

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

The Eleventh Indo-Mongolia joint training Exercise, ‘Nomadic Elephant - 2016’ to promote military associations between India and Mongolia has commenced at Mongolia. The aim of this exercise is to develop synergy and interoperability between the two armies to fight in Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism environment under the United Nation mandate.

The Indian contingent will share their practical experiences of Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism operations through a series of classroom lectures and outdoor demonstrations which include aspects like House Clearing and Room intervention techniques in the hostage situation, road opening, establishing mobile check posts, intelligence gathering and drills for countering Improvised Explosive Devices.

8.    Which of the following statements best describe the objectives of “Shodhganga”?
a. It will develop a national repository of theses and dissertations with an intuitive interface.
b. It will extend access to plagiarism detection software to eligible universities.
c. It will provide access to Indian theses and dissertations in open access to worldwide academic community
d. All of the above.

Answer: d

Explanation:

The University Grants Commission Regulation, 2016, mandates that after successful completion of the evaluation process the Institution concerned shall submit an electronic copy of the M.Phil dissertation /Ph. D. thesis to the Information and library Network (INFLIBNET), for hosting the same so as to make it accessible to all Institutions/Colleges. To implement this provision of the UGC Regulations, 2016, Shodhganga repository was set up.

The main objectives of Shodhganga are as follows:

•  It will develop a national repository of theses and dissertations with an intuitive interface which enables submission of electronic version of theses and dissertations by Universities in India and facilitates search, browse and downloading of theses available in the repository.

•  It will avoid unnecessary duplication and repetition that, in effect, is wastage of huge resources, both human and financial.

•  It will provide access to Indian theses and dissertations in open access to worldwide academic community and make visibility of Indian research to other countries.

•  It will extend access to plagiarism detection software to eligible universities.

•  It will fund eligible Universities (that are under the purview of the UGC) for digitisation of back lists of theses submitted to their universities.

9.    Scientists have been able to experimentally produced graphene to conduct current along one zigzag edge. Which statement best describe the importance of this study in nanotechnology?
1) The zigzag edge of graphene layer has a unique property as it allows the flow of charge with resistance at room temperature and above.
2) A few layers thick graphene that conducts current along one edge and so can lead to quantum information transfer even at room temperature.
3) This successful demonstration of the dissipation-less edge conduction will help to make high-quality graphene nanoribbons or nanostrips with clean edges.

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:

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have been able to experimentally produced graphene that is single or a few layers thick to conduct current along one particular edge called the zigzag edge. The zigzag edge of graphene layer has a unique property as it allows the flow of charge the without any resistance at room temperature and above.

A few-layers-thick graphene that conducts current along one edge does not experience any resistance and so can lead to realising power-efficient electronics and quantum information transfer, even at room temperature.

Many groups over the world have been trying to access these edges but have been largely unsuccessful because when current flows through graphene, it flows through both the edge as well as the bulk.

However, success was achieved by creating the bulk part of graphene extremely narrow (less than 10 nanometre thick), and hence highly resistive, thus forcing the current to flow through the edge alone.

In the past, others researchers had tried making narrow graphene through chemical methods. But the use of chemicals destroys the edges. So the IISc team resorted to mechanical exfoliation to make graphene that are single- and few-layers thick. They used a small metal robot to peel the graphene from pyrolytic graphite.

This successful demonstration of the dissipation-less edge conduction will act as great incentive to develop new chemical methods to make high-quality graphene nano-ribbons or nano-strips with clean edges.

10.    Recently, India has jumped 12 places to 40th rank globally in travel and tourism competitiveness list. Which organisation establishes this ranking?
a. World Bank
b. World Economic Forum
c. World trade organisation
d. International Monetary Fund

Answer: b

Explanation:

The World Economic Forum has engaged leaders in travel and tourism to carry out an in-depth analysis of the Travel and Tourism competitiveness of 136 economies across the world.

The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index measures “the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable development of the travel and tourism sector, which in turn, contributes to the development and competitiveness of a country”.

The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index enables all stakeholders to work together to improve the industry’s competitiveness in their national economies.

The theme of this edition is “Paving the Way for a More Sustainable and Inclusive Future”, reflects the increasing focus on ensuring the industry’s sustained growth in an uncertain security environment while preserving the natural environment and local communities on which it so richly depends.

Current Affairs Quizzes: November 2016

11.    Which of the following gases is used as a chemical warfare nerve agent?
1) Sarin Gas
2) Tabun
3) Soman
4) Cyclosarin

Choose the correct codes:
a. 1 and 2
b. 2 and 3
c. 1 and 3
d. 1, 2 and 3

Answer: d

Explanation:

The United States believes the Syrian government employed a sarin-like nerve agent in the deadly attack in the country's north-west. Originally conceived as a pesticide, sarin was used by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's regime to gas thousands of Kurds in the northern town of Halabja in 1988.

Poisonous Gases
Chemical Warfare gas properties inhaled or absorbed through the skin, the gas kills by crippling the respiratory centre of the central nervous system and paralysing the muscles around the lungs. The combination results in death by suffocation, and sarin can contaminate food or water supplies.
Sarin is 26 times more deadly than cyanide gas. Just a pinprick-sized droplet will kill a human. Nerve agents are generally quick-acting and require only simple chemical techniques and inexpensive, readily available ingredients to manufacture.

12.    A committee constituted by the Ministry of Environment recently held the Cochin Port Trust (CPT) responsible for Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) violations in Vembanad. Consider the following statements regarding Vembanad:
1) Vembanad is the largest lake in India.
2) The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is conducted on a portion of the lake.
3) The Vembanad Wetland system was included in the list of wetlands of international importance, as defined by the Ramsar Convention.

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:

Vembanad is the longest lake in India and the largest lake in the state of Kerala. Spanning several districts in the state of Kerala, it is known as Punnamada Lake in Kuttanad, Kochi Lake in Kochi. Several groups of small islands including Vypin, Mulavukad, Vallarpadam, Willingdon Island are located in the Kochi Lake portion. The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is conducted in a portion of the lake.

The government of India has identified the Vembanad wetland under National Wetlands Conservation Programme. Vembanad Kol Wetland was included in the list of wetlands of international importance, as defined by the Ramsar Convention for the conservation and sustainable utilisation of wetlands. It is home to more than 20,000 waterfowls - the third largest such population in India. It is also an ideal habitat for shrimps.

The uncontrolled mining of shells from the lake bed is also posing a threat to the eco-system. The sewage effluents and the heavy load of organic material released from the neighbouring areas are let into the water and are responsible for the decrease in dissolved oxygen content in the water in the water body.

13.    A recent Anthropological Survey of India publication has brought to the startling revelations about the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in the country including the fact that no baseline surveys have been conducted among more than half of such groups. Consider the following statements regarding the PVTGs:
1) PVTG is a government of India classification created with the purpose of enabling improvement in the conditions of certain communities with, particularly low development indices.
2) This was created based on the Swaran Singh Commission report and other studies.
3) The features of such a group include a pre-agricultural system of existence that is the practice of hunting and gathering, zero or negative population growth, extremely low level of literacy in comparison with other tribal groups.

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

Particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG) is a government of India classification created with the purpose of enabling improvement in the conditions of certain communities with, particularly low development indices.

During the fourth Five Year Plan a sub-category was created within Scheduled Tribes to identify groups that considered being at a lower level of development. This was created based on the Dhebar Commission report and other studies. This sub-category was named "Primitive tribal group".

The features of such a group include a pre-agricultural system of existence that is the practice of hunting and gathering, zero or negative population growth, extremely low level of literacy in comparison with other tribal groups.

Groups that satisfied any one of the criteria were considered as PTG. At the conclusion of the Fifth Five-year plan, 52 communities were identified as being a "primitive tribal group"; these communities were identified on the basis of recommendations made by the respective state governments.

14.    Recently, the Government has released funds for Pollution Abatement. In India which of the following organisations monitors air quality across the country?
a. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)
b. State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs)
c. Both a and b
d. Neither a nor b

Answer: c

Explanation:

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in association with State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) monitors air quality across the country under National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP).

The NAMP network comprises of 680 monitoring stations located in 300 cities/towns covering 29 states and 6 union territories. State-wise details of funds released to various monitoring agencies during the years 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 for ambient air quality monitoring as operational and maintenance cost under National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP).

The Government has formulated the environmental regulations and statutes for management and control of pollution. The Government has also laid down National Ambient Air Quality standards and notified 115 emission/effluent standards for 104 different sectors of industries, besides 32 general standards for ambient air.

The compliance and implementation of these provisions and standards by the polluting industries are mandatory and binding. In so far as the scheme for abatement of pollution is concerned, it allows for the participation of Public as well as Private Sector.

15.    Realising the immense scope for development of fisheries and aquaculture, the Government of India has restructured the Central Plan Scheme under an umbrella of Blue Revolution. Consider the following statements regarding the Blue Revolution:
I. It provides for a focused development and management of the fisheries sector to increase both fish production and fish productivity from aquaculture and fisheries resources of the inland and marine fisheries sector including deep sea fishing.
II. The Blue Revolution is being implemented to achieve economic prosperity of fishermen and fish farmers and to contribute towards food and nutritional security.
III. Under the scheme, it has been targeted to enhance the fish production from 107.95 lakh tonnes in 2015-16 to about 150 lakh tonnes by the end of the financial year 2019-20.

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:

Realising the immense scope for development of fisheries and aquaculture, the Government of India has restructured the Central Plan Scheme under an umbrella of Blue Revolution.

The restructured Central Sector Scheme on Blue Revolution: Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries (CSS) approved by the Government provides for a focused development and management of the fisheries sector to increase both fish production and fish productivity from aquaculture and fisheries resources of the inland and marine fisheries sector including deep sea fishing.

The scheme has the following components:

•    National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) and its activities.

•    Development of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture.

•    Development of Marine Fisheries, Infrastructure and Post-Harvest Operations.

•    Strengthening of Database & Geographical Information System of the Fisheries Sector.

•    Institutional Arrangement for Fisheries Sector.

•    Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) and other need-based Interventions.

•    National Scheme on Welfare of Fishermen.

The Scheme Blue Revolution: Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries is being implemented in consultation with all States & UTs. Besides the activities undertaken under both the marine and inland sectors, no specific role for the coastal states has been defined.

ECONOMIC SURVEY 2016-17 Analysis

16.    Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved the “Signing and Ratification of MoU for Establishment of the BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection”. Consider the following statements regarding the BIMSTEC:
I. The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organisation involving a group of countries in South Asia and South East Asia viz. Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.
II. The "Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation in BIMSTEC" was formulated in the first BIMSTEC Energy Ministers' Conference held in New Delhi on October 4, 2005.
III. In this plan, under the "BIMSTEC Trans-Power Exchange and Development Project", it was decided that a Task Force led by Thailand, with representatives of member countries, will give a report on draft MoU for grid interconnections.

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 Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Power for Signing of "Memorandum of Understanding for Establishment of the BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection". It will be signed by member states of BIMSTEC at the upcoming 3rd BIMSTEC Energy Ministers' Meeting to be held in Nepal shortly.

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organisation involving a group of countries in South Asia and South East Asia viz. Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal. The "Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation in BIMSTEC" was formulated in the first BIMSTEC Energy Ministers' Conference held in New Delhi on October 4, 2005. In this plan, under the "BIMSTEC Trans-Power Exchange and Development Project", it was decided that a Task Force led by Thailand, with representatives of member countries, will give a report on draft MoU for grid interconnections.

Total five meetings Task Force for BIMSTEC on Trans-power Exchange were held and the draft MoU for the establishment of BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection was finalised by the Task Force on 16th Mar 2015. In the BIMSTEC Leaders' Retreat 2016, held in Goa on 16th October 2016, the Leaders decided to expedite the signing of the MoU on BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection. Eventually, during the 4th meeting of BIMSTEC Senior Officials on Energy held on 11th-12th January 2017, the MoU was discussed and finalised.

17.    Which Indian state has adopted a new draft population policy that denies government jobs to people with more than two children?
a. West Bengal
b. Assam
c. Bihar
d. All of the above

Answer: b

Explanation:

The Assam government recently announced a draft population policy which suggested denial of government jobs to people with more than two children and making education up to university level free for all girls.

Any person getting a job after meeting this condition would have to maintain it till the end of his service. For employment generation schemes like grant of tractors, houses and for other government benefits, this two-child norm will be applicable.

Besides, all elections such as panchayats, municipal bodies and autonomous councils held under the State Election Commission will also have this norm for candidates. The policy proposes to set up a State Population Council and a State Population Research Centre. The proposed population policy would seek to debate on increasing the legal age of marriage from 18 for girls and 21 for boys. If anybody had child marriage then he would be ineligible for a government job. The policy would also seek stringent laws to prevent violence and sexual abuse of women.

18.    Recently, the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) was in the news as it will encrypt the data submitted by businesses and have firewalls to prevent leaks. Consider the following statements in this regard:
1) Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) is a non-Government, private limited company.
2) 10% equity is with non-Government financial institutions.
3) The Company has been set up primarily to provide IT infrastructure and services to the Governments for implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

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: c

Explanation:

Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) is a Section 8 (under new companies Act, not for profit companies are governed under section 8), non-Government, private limited company. It was incorporated on March 28, 2013.

The Government of India holds 24.5% equity in GSTN and all States of the Indian Union, including NCT of Delhi and Puducherry, and the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers (EC), together hold another 24.5%. Balance 51% equity is with non-Government financial institutions.

The company has been set up primarily to provide IT infrastructure and services to the Central and State Governments, taxpayers and other stakeholders for the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax the (GST). The Authorised Capital of the company is Rupees ten crore only.

19.    Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved setting up of Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. Consider the following statements regarding the Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE):
I. The Institute will have the governance structure as well as legal mandate to grant degrees in a manner similar to that enjoyed by IITs.
II. A separate Act will also impart the required status to the Institute to become a "Centre of Excellence" in petroleum and energy studies.
III. The objective is to meet the quantitative and qualitative gap in the supply of skilled manpower for the petroleum sector and to promote research activities needed for the growth of the sector.

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 Union Cabinet has given its approval for setting up of Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh as "an Institute of National Importance" through an Act of Parliament. The Institute will have the governance structure as well as legal mandate to grant degrees in a manner similar to that enjoyed by IITs. A separate Act will also impart the required status to the Institute to become a "Centre of Excellence" in petroleum and energy studies.

The Union Cabinet has also approved Rs 655.46 crore as capital expenditure to set up IIPE and contribution of Rs 200 crore towards its Endowment Fund (in addition to a contribution of Rs 200 crore from Oil Companies towards the Endowment Fund).

As committed under the 13 Schedule of Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014, it has been decided to set up this Institute. The objective is to meet the quantitative and qualitative gap in the supply of skilled manpower for the petroleum sector and to promote research activities needed for the growth of the sector. The academic and research activities of IIPE will derive strength from the Institute's proximity to sector-related activities such as KG-Basin, Visakhapatnam refinery and the planned Petrochemical complex at Kakinada.

20.    Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved the policy to provide Purchase Preference linked with Local Content (PP-LC) in all Public Sector Undertakings under Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. Consider the following statements regarding this policy:
I. The Policy will be applicable for five years and a steering committee will be constituted to oversee implementation of the Policy and carry out annual review and recommend continuation of the policy from year to year basis.
II. Under the Policy, the targets of Local Content (LC) will be stipulated for certain oil and gas business activities.

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 Union Cabinet has given its approval for Policy to provide Purchase Preference (linked with Local Content (PP-LC) in all Public Sector Undertakings under Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. The Policy will be applicable for five years. A steering committee will be constituted to oversee implementation of the Policy and carry out annual review and recommend continuation of the policy from year to year basis.

Under the Policy, the targets of Local Content (LC) will be stipulated for certain oil and gas business activities. The manufacturers/ service providers who meet the local content targets and whose quoted price is within 10% of the lowest valid price bid would be eligible for purchase preference for a stipulated portion of the purchase order on matching such price.

The Policy is expected to encourage suppliers and service providers to progressively adopt 'Make in India' practices and add value to their goods and services within the country.
The Policy will apply to all the Public Sector Enterprises and their wholly owned subsidiaries, Joint Ventures that have 51% or more equity by one or more Public Sector Enterprises, attached and subordinate offices of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

Union Budget 2017 Questions for IAS Exam

21.    Recently, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in partnership with the World Bank Group released the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) 2017. Consider the following statements regarding the BRAP 2017:
I. The BRAP includes recommendations for reforms on regulatory processes, policies, practices and procedures spread across 12 reform areas.
II. BRAP 2017 also includes two new sectors i.e. Education and Agriculture.

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: a

Explanation:

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in partnership with the World Bank Group, released the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) 2017 for implementation by States/UTs.

The BRAP includes 405 recommendations for reforms on regulatory processes, policies, practices and procedures spread across 12 reform areas that are:

• Labour regulation enablers;

• Contract enforcement;

• Registering property;

• Inspection reform enablers;

• Single window system;

• Land availability and allotment;

• Construction permits enablers;

• Environmental registration enablers;

• Obtaining utility permits; paying taxes;

• Access to information and

• Transparency enablers

• BRAP 2017 also includes two new sectors i.e. Healthcare and Hospitality.

This year there are 103 new set of reforms (out of 405) focusing on the central inspection system, online land allotment system, online single window system for granting construction permits, registration under Inter State Migrant Workmen (RE&CS) Act, 1979, approval for boiler manufacturer and boiler erector etc.

22.    The Gender Parity Index specific to India in the formal sector to be announced soon. Consider the following statements regarding the Gender Parity Index:
I. The main aim of developing a Gender Parity Index is to evaluate gender diversity and empowerment of women in the formal sector and the progress made over the years.
II. The Index will serve as a framework for measuring gender parity and produce an overall score of an organisation and reflect it on the index.

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 Gender Parity Index (GPI) specific to India in the formal sector to be announced during the 33rd Annual Session of FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) to be held in New Delhi.
The main aim of developing a Gender Parity Index commissioned jointly by FLO and FICCI is to evaluate gender diversity and empowerment of women in the formal sector and the progress made over the years. The Index will serve as a framework for measuring gender parity and produce an overall score of an organisation and reflect it on the index.

23.    Cab Safety measures for women recommended by the Ministry of Women and Child Development are included in the New Taxi Policy Guidelines. Consider the following statements in the recommendations included in the New Taxi Policy Guidelines:
1) The taxis should be mandatorily fitted with GPS panic devices.
2) The central locking system in the taxis should be allowed.
3) The driver's identification along with the photo and registration number of the vehicle should also be prominently displayed in the taxi.

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: c

Explanation:

The safety measures, recommended by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, concerning the safety of women commuters availing of cab services have been included in the new Taxi Policy Guidelines.

The recommendations come in the background of numerous cases of sexual harassment of women in cabs being reported. The recommendations made by the WCD Minister have now been approved for inclusion in the regulatory guidelines.

Recommendations of WCD Ministry included in the New Taxi Policy Guidelines:

• The taxis should be mandatorily fitted with GPS panic devices.

• For the safety of women and child passengers, the central locking system in the taxis should not be allowed.

• The driver's identification along with the photo and registration number of the vehicle should also be prominently displayed in the taxi.

• Violation of the stipulated rules by the taxi operators/drivers should be strictly dealt in accordance with law.

• Sharing of the seat should be subject to the willingness of passengers.

24.    Which of the following Hindu new year and harvest festivals falls celebrated across the country:
1) Malayalis - Rongali Bihu
2) Tamilians - Puthandu
3) Punjabis - Baisakhi

Choose the correct code:
a. 1 and 2
b. 2 and 3
c. 1 and 3
d. 1, 2 and 3

Answer: b

Explanation:

A harvest festival is an annual celebration which occurs around the time of the main harvest of a given region. Given regional differences in climates and crops, harvest festivals can be found at various times throughout the world.

• Akhatrij: celebrated in West India, especially the Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Goa and Konkan regions

• Nuakhai: celebrated in Odisha, to welcome the new rice of the season.

• Bhogali Bihu: Assam, marks the end of harvesting season in mid-January

• Chavang Kut: celebrated by the Kuki-chin group in Northeast India on 1 November

• Deepoli Parba: celebrated by the Tuluva people from Karnataka/Kerala, India

• Dree Festival: agricultural festival of the Apatanis of Ziro valley in Lower Subansiri District of Arunachal Pradesh, celebrated from 4 to 7 July

• Gudhi Padwa: celebrated by the Marathi people of Maharashtra, Karnataka, India

• Kanyarkali: agricultural festival of the Malayalee Moothan, Nair and Tharakan communities of Chittur and Alathur thaluks of Palakkad in Kerala, India

• Lohri: North India, especially Punjab

• Monti Fest: celebrated on 8 September; celebrates the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary; in the Mangalorean Catholic community involves the blessing of Novem (new crops)

• Nabanna: Bengal region, which comprises West Bengal, India, and Bangladesh

• Onam and Vishu: agricultural festivals celebrated by Malayali people in Kerala, Chhattisgarh and other places

25.    The PSLV, with a near impeccable 37 successes in 39 flights is a clear leader in the category of rockets that lift small satellites. Which of the following statements is correct regarding the PSLV?
a. PSLV earned its title 'the Workhorse of ISRO' through consistently delivering various satellites to Low Earth Orbits.
b. PSLV has launched various satellites for historic missions like Chandrayaan-1 and Mars Orbiter Mission.
c. Both (a) and (b)
d. None of the above

Answer: c

Explanation:

The PSLV is one of the world's most reliable launch vehicles. It has been in service for over twenty years and has launched various satellites for historic missions like Chandrayaan-1, Mars Orbiter Mission, Space Capsule Recovery Experiment, Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) etc.

PSLV remains a favourite among various organisations as a launch service provider and has launched over 40 satellites for 19 countries. In 2008 it created a record for a number of satellites placed in orbit in one launch by launching 10 satellites into various Low Earth Orbits.

PSLV earned its title 'the Workhorse of ISRO' through consistently delivering various satellites to Low Earth Orbits, particularly the IRS series of satellites. Due to its unmatched reliability, PSLV has also been used to launch various satellites into Geosynchronous and Geostationary orbits, like satellites from the IRNSS constellation.

Current Affairs Quizzes for IAS Prelims 2017

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