In the IAS prelims exam, practising MCQ questions based on current affairs should be given priority. The latest economic and social happenings that affect the structure of the nation form the core part of the IAS exam.
We will continue to provide the current affairs questions for IAS Prelims 2018 to help you gain a better insight of how questions can be asked in the examination.
1. The Union Cabinet has recently approved amendments to the bilateral Social Security Agreement (SSA) between India and the Netherlands. Consider the following statements regarding the said SSA:
1) The SSA allows exemption from double contribution to the social security system in both jurisdictions.
2) The SSA will also help promote more investment flows between the two countries.
3) India has signed and operationalises SSAs with only European countries.
Which of the above statements is true?
a. 1 and 3
b. 2 and 3
c. 1 and 2
d. 1, 2 and 3
The Union Cabinet recently approved the amendment of the bilateral Social Security Agreement (SSA) between India and the Netherlands by incorporating the “Country of Residence” Principle into the said SSA.
The amended SSA between India and the Netherlands will continue to favourably impact the profitability and competitive position of Indian and Dutch companies with foreign operations in either country by reducing their cost of doing business abroad. The SSA will also help promote more investment flows between the two countries.
The SSA allows exemption from double contribution to the social security system in both jurisdictions and exportability of accumulated social security benefits across jurisdictions. The principle sought, is to bring in equity in exportability of social benefits to the class of Dutch citizens who reside outside the Netherlands.
As on date, India has signed and operationalized SSAs with 18 countries – Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and South Korea.
2. Consider the following statements regarding the newly launched web portals ‘MERIT’:
1) ‘MERIT’ has been developed by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
2) The MERIT Web portal displays an extensive array of information regarding the merit order of Electricity procured by State(s).
3) It will facilitate must run status for hydro and renewables and will promote the use of green and clean power more transparently.
Which of the above statements is true?
a. 1 and 3
b. 2 and 3
c. 1 and 2
d. 1, 2 and 3
The recently launched portal ‘MERIT’ (Merit Order Despatch of Electricity for Rejuvenation of Income and Transparency) has been developed by Ministry of Power in association with POSOCO and Central Electricity Authority.
The MERIT Web portal displays an extensive array of information regarding the merit order of Electricity procured by State(s) such as daily state-wise marginal variable costs of all generators, daily source-wise power purchases of respective states/UTs with source-wise fixed and variable costs, energy volumes and purchase prices. The web-portal also give information regarding reasons for deviation from merit order such as must run conditions, transmission constraints etc.
Information available in the Portal shall help State Discoms to optimise their power procurement in the more efficient way leading to lower cost of power to consumers. It will facilitate must run status for hydro and renewables and will promote the use of green and clean power more transparently.
It will also promote competition for lower costs as information will be available to all Stakeholders including generators and utilities for more efficient procurement. Since the information will be available to all consumers on the continuous basis it will create pressure on utilities for continued efficiency.
The advantages of “Merit” Portal are as follows:
• Empowerment of the Consumer and participative governance
• Transparent information dissemination pertaining to marginal variable cost and source wise purchase of electricity
• Promotes economy and efficiency in operations
• Demystifies the utility portfolio and its complexity
• Optimisation of the power procurement costs
• Facilitates renewable integration and handling of the variability and uncertainty of renewables
• Indication of supply side reliability, adequacy, and cost of power procurement
3. Which of the following statements is true regarding the ‘City Liveability Index’?
a. The Ministry of Urban Development today launched the ‘City Liveability Index’.
b. ‘City Liveability Index’ for measuring the quality of life in 116 major cities including smart cities, capital cities and cities with a population of above one million each.
c. Tamil Nadu topped the list scoring 96.06% marks.
d. None of the above
In yet another major initiative, the Ministry of Urban Development today launched the ‘City Liveability Index’ for measuring the quality of life in 116 major cities including smart cities, capital cities and cities with a population of above one million each.
In a first of its kind Index to be introduced in the country, cities will be assessed on a comprehensive set of 79 parameters to capture the extent and quality of infrastructure including availability of roads, education and health care, mobility, employment opportunities, emergency response, grievance redressal, pollution, availability of open and green spaces, cultural and entertainment opportunities etc.
Progress in respect of reforms like e-governance, Audit of accounts, Tax revision policies and extent of tax revenue collection, Energy and Water Audit, Establishing State Level Financial Intermediaries for resource mobilisation, Credit Rating etc., was taken into account.
Andhra Pradesh topped the list scoring 96.06% marks. Others who received the incentive fund in order of merit were; Odisha (95.38%), Jharkhand (91.98%), Chattisgarh (91.37%), Madhya Pradesh (90.20%), Telangana (86.92%), Rajasthan (84.62%), Punjab (77.02%), Kerala (75.73%), Goa (75.38*), Mizoram (75.00%), Gujarat (73.80%), Chandigarh (72.73%), Uttar Pradesh (70.67%) and Maharashtra (70.52).
4. Recently the Government has constituted a committee to prepare the National Education Policy. Consider the following statements regarding this:
I. The committee for preparation of final draft of National Education Policy has been constituted under Dr K. Kasturirangan.
II. The committee has eight members and diversity will help it understand the varied issues involved in the formulation of a key policy document.
III. The government had earlier formed a panel under former cabinet secretary T S R Subramanian on NEP.
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
The committee for preparation of final draft of National Education Policy has been constituted under the Chairmanship of eminent Scientist Padma Vibhushan Dr K. Kasturirangan. The Chairperson apart, the committee has eight members.
In an exhaustive democratic exercise carried for last 30 months, the HRD ministry has received thousands of suggestions from, educationists, teachers, experts, students and other stakeholders from across the country. Consultations were held at Tehsil, District and state level.
Rajya Sabha debated the issues and a special education dialogue was organised in which 48 MPs from all parties participated. Many MPs have given their views in writing. On MyGov platform 26, 000 people gave their views online. TSR Subramaniam Committee has given its detailed input.
5. The Deccan Mahseer, an endemic carp found in which of the following rivers/places in India?
a. Ganga River
b. Western Ghat
c. Eastern Ghat
A new study has found that dams and other barriers across rivers in the Western Ghats do affect fish species and their recovery downstream. The Western Ghats is home to 290 freshwater fish species, more than half of which are endemic. Studies in the upstream, barrier-free stretches confirmed the presence of 28 fish species, including the Deccan Mahseer, an endemic carp.
However, this number dipped immediately downstream of barriers; fish recovery was low here. But it picked up further downstream, as the distance from the barrier increased. The scientists also noticed that the more the number of barriers upstream, the more diminished was fish recovery downstream.
But there was a silver lining: as long as barrier-free tributaries merged with the Malaprabha River, fish — including endemics — recovered well, even in dammed stretches of the river. These tributaries, along with other environmental factors, increased dissolved oxygen content and reduced the hardness of water (alkalinity) in the Malaprabha, helping fish recover better. Fish diversity recovered to the highest level of a distance of 2 km downstream of barriers.