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Current Affairs for IAS Prelims Exam: 20 to 26 May 2017

May 31, 2017 18:38 IST

    Weekly Current AffairsCurrent affairs should be prepared with a great thrust during IAS Exam preparation. Sincere study of current affairs quiz would be beneficial for both the stages i.e., IAS Prelims and IAS Mains Exam. So, the IAS aspirants should keep practicing more and more number of current affairs quizzes during IAS preparation which will give them immense confidence. Here, we have provided current affairs quizzes based on the important events happened during the week from 20th May 2017 and 26th May 2017.

    Current Affairs for IAS Prelims Exam: 20 May to 26 June 2017

    1. A high-level Indian delegation is going to participate in the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) to be held in Cancun, Mexico from May 22-26, 2017. Consider the following statements regarding the GPDRR:
    I. GPDRR is a global forum for strategic advice, coordination, partnership development and review of progress in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) 2015-2030 which was adopted in 2015.
    II. This platform will mark the first opportunity since 2015 that global leaders and stakeholders in disaster risk reduction will meet for the international community to review global progress in the implementation of SFDRR.
    III. It will also provide a platform for all stakeholders to galvanise their efforts in sustainable development and climate change adaptation, sharing experiences, discussing innovative solutions, and charting out the course for an integrated approach at the international, regional, national and local levels.

    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:

    A high-level Indian delegation is leaving today for participating in the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) to be held in Cancun, Mexico from May 22-26, 2017. More than 5,000 delegates, including Heads of State, Ministers, CEOs, disaster experts, volunteers, representatives from science and technology sectors and academia are expected to gather in Cancun.

    GPDRR is a global forum for strategic advice, coordination, partnership development and review of progress in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) 2015-2030 which was adopted at the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in March 2015 in Sendai, Japan. This will mark the first opportunity since 2015 that global leaders and stakeholders in disaster risk reduction will meet for the international community to review global progress in the implementation of SFDRR. It will also provide a platform for all stakeholders to galvanise their efforts in sustainable development and climate change adaptation, sharing experiences, discussing innovative solutions, and charting out the course for an integrated approach at the international, regional, national and local levels.

    2. Recently, 13 countries have jointly supported commissioning of a study to define and structure a Common Risk Mitigation Mechanism (CRMM) for solar power generation projects in solar-rich countries which is considered as a major step in the implementation of the Paris Declaration of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) adopted on 30 November 2015. Consider the following statements regarding the ISA Programme:
    I. The International Solar Alliance is an initiative jointly launched by the Prime Minister of India and the President of France on 30 November 2015 at Paris.
    II. Under the ISA, solar rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics are invited to share and aggregate data regarding their needs and objectives.

    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:
    Argentina, Burkina-Faso, Chad, France, India, Ivory Coast, Mali, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Sénégal, Uganda and Yemen have jointly supported commissioning of a study to define and structure a Common Risk Mitigation Mechanism (CRMM) for solar power generation projects in solar-rich countries recently. This is a major step in the implementation of the Paris Declaration of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) adopted on 30 November 2015 and of the ISA Programme aimed at mobilising “Affordable finance at scale”. This instrument will dramatically lower the cost of finance for renewable energy and the overall price of electricity.

    The International Solar Alliance is an initiative jointly launched by the Prime Minister of India and the President of France on 30 November 2015 at Paris, in the presence of the Secretary-General of the UN, on the side lines of COP21. Under the ISA, solar rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics are invited to share and aggregate data regarding their needs and objectives; emulate successful practices; and set up common mechanisms and instruments, in order to address obstacles to deployment at the scale of solar energy.

    3. Recently, the Chitale Committee recommends several measures for De-siltation of Ganga-recommends several measures for de-siltation of Ganga. Consider the following statements regarding the Chitale Committee:
    I. The committee was constituted in July 2016 by the Ministry of Water Resources River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to prepare guidelines for de-siltation of river Ganga from Bhimgauda (Uttar Pradesh) to Farakka (West Bengal).
    II. The committee was asked to establish the difference between de-silting and sand mining and also to establish the need for de-silting for ecology and e-flow of the river Ganga.
    III. The committee in its report says Local factors such as topography, river control structures, soil and water conservation measures, tree cover, and riparian land-use or land disturbance (for example agriculture, mining, etc.) can have a large impact on sediment loads in rivers.

    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:

    Chitale committee on De-siltation  of Ganga has recommended a slew of measures which include study of reach wise sediment transport processes along with establishing annual sediment budgets to guide de-silting activities, Preparation of annual reports (Sand registry) describing the previous de-silting/ dredging activity and a technical institute may be entrusted to conduct the sediment budget, morphological and flood routing studies that would examine and confirm the necessity of the de-silting of the reach under consideration.

    The committee was constituted in July 2016 by the Ministry of Water Resources River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to prepare guidelines for de-siltation of river Ganga from Bhimgauda (Uttarakhand) to Farakka (West Bengal). The committee in its report says erosion, sediment transport and siltation are very complex phenomena. It is impossible to apply a “one-size-fits-all‟ approach to sediment management and control because the issues involved are frequently very regionally-specific. Local factors such as topography, river control structures, soil and water conservation measures, tree cover, and riparian land-use or land disturbance (for example agriculture, mining, etc.) can have a large impact on sediment loads in rivers. River control structures (such as reservoirs), soil conservation measures and sediment control programmes can cause downstream sediment loads to decrease, while factors such as land disturbance (clearing of vegetation, for example) or agricultural practices can cause increased sediment loads.

    ECONOMIC SURVEY 2016-17 IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

    4. Recently, the rank of India has improved in International Tourist Arrivals (ITAs). As per the latest UNWTO Barometer for March 2017, Rank of India in International Tourist Arrivals is:
    a. 24
    b. 40
    c. 41
    d. 50

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    As per the UNWTO definition, International Tourist Arrivals (ITAs) comprises two components namely Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) and Arrivals of Non-Resident Nationals. The UNWTO in its barometer ranks countries in terms of their ITAs. So far only the figures of FTAs were compiled in India. However, now India has started compiling the data arrivals of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), also.

    The number of NRI arrivals during 2014 and 2015 were 5.43 million and 5.26 million, respectively. Accordingly, the numbers of ITAs in India during 2014 and 2015 were 13.11 million and 13.28 million, respectively. The data of ITAs, containing both the arrivals of NRIs and FTAs, is now as per International recommendations.

    Due to this inclusion, India’s improved rank reflecting the true and comparable scenario has now been acknowledged by the UNWTO. As per the latest UNWTO Barometer for March 2017, Rank of India in International Tourist Arrivals in both 2014 and 2015 is 24 as against the previous rank of 41 and 40 in the year 2014 and 2015, respectively. With this inclusion, the share of India in the ITAs has also increased from 0.68% (based on FTAs) to 1.12% in the year 2015.

    Earlier India’s rank in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI), 2017 had also shown 12 places jump from 2015. Rank of India in TTCI Report of 2017 was 40th as compared to 52nd in 2015, 65th in 2013 and 68th in 2011.

    5. 5 times more Villages electrified in 2016-17 under DDUGJY as compared to 2013-14. Consider the following statements regarding the rural electrification in India:
    I. Under new DDUGJY, Government of India provides grant at the rate of 60% of project cost (85% for special category States).
    II. More than 350 Gram Vidyut Abhiyantas (GVA) deployed in the field to monitor the progress of village electrification works.
    III. The population criteria have been dispensed with and all Villages/hamlets without any population restriction are eligible under the scheme.

    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 remaining rural electrification works of the erstwhile scheme have been subsumed into DDUGJY. The scheme outlay is Rs 43,033 Crores with Rs 33,453 Crores grant from Government of India. The overall outlay, with the subsumed rural electrification works, is Rs. 75,893 Crores including Grant of Rs. 63,027 Crores from Government of India.

    Under new DDUGJY, Government of India provides grant at the rate of 60% of project cost (85% for special category States). Further, additional grant at the rate of 15% grant is provided (5% for the Special Category States) on the fulfilment of the prescribed milestones. Under this scheme, the new projects with an outlay of Rs. 42,553.17 Crores have been approved for 32 States/UTs including works of Feeder Separation (Rs 15572.99 Crores), System Strengthening & Connecting Rural Households (Rs 19706.59 Crores), Metering (Rs 3874.48 Crores), Village Electrification (Rs 2792.57 Crores) and Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (Rs 398.54 Crores).

    Current Affairs Quizzes for IAS Prelims 2017- April 2017

    6. Recently, two Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) have been signed. Consider the following statements regarding the APA Scheme:
    I. The APA Scheme endeavours to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and determining the arm’s length price of international transactions in advance for the maximum of five future years.
    II. The two APAs signed pertain to chip design/development of embedded software and Information technology (software development) sectors of the economy which has been 4 in the current financial year now.
    III. The progress of the APA Scheme strengthens the Government’s commitment to foster a non-adversarial tax regime.

    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 Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into two Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) on 04th May 2017 and 11th May 2017 respectively, with Indian taxpayers. One of the Agreements also has “Rollback” provision.

    The two APAs signed pertain to chip design/development of embedded software and Information technology (software development) sectors of the economy. The number of APAs signed in the current financial year now is four. The CBDT expects more APAs to be signed in the near future. The progress of the APA Scheme strengthens the Government’s commitment to foster a non-adversarial tax regime.

    The APA Scheme endeavours to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and determining the arm’s length price of international transactions in advance for the maximum of five future years. Further, the taxpayer has the option to roll-back the APA for four preceding years, as a result of which, total nine years of tax certainty is provided. Since its inception, the APA scheme has attracted tremendous interest among Multi-National Enterprises (MNEs).

    7. Recently, the scientists of which of the following space organisation have named a new organism discovered by them after the A.P.J. Abdul Kalam?
    a. ISRO
    b. NASA
    c. BARC
    d. Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The scientists at NASA have named a new organism discovered by them after A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Till date, the new organism — a form of bacteria — has been found only on the International Space Station (ISS) and has not been found on earth. Researchers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the foremost lab of NASA for work on interplanetary travel, discovered the new bacteria on the filters of the International Space Station (ISS) and named it Solibacillus kalamii to honour the late President, who was a renowned aerospace scientist.

    The filter on which the new bug was found remained on board the ISS for 40 months. Called a high-efficiency particulate arrestance filter or HEPA filter, this part is the routine housekeeping and cleaning system on board the international space station.

    8. Recently, Hillary Step was in news. Consider the following statements regarding the Hillary Step:
    I. The Hillary Step was a 12-metre-tall rocky outcrop on the south-east ridge of the Alps Mountain in Europe.
    II. Hillary Step was named after Edmund Hillary who was the first to scale Everest in 1953.

    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:

    Mountaineers confirmed on Sunday that the notorious Hillary Step on Mount Everest has collapsed, possibly during the earthquake in Nepal in 2015.

    The Hillary Step was a 12-metre-tall rocky outcrop on the south-east ridge of the mountain. The near vertical outcrop is named after Edmund Hillary who was the first to scale Everest in 1953. The Step was considered one of the trickiest parts of climbing the world’s highest peak. It is said that the scaling of the 40-feet rock face pushed Sir Edmund Hillary to the limit. Located at 8,790 metres, the Step is considered by climbers to be the last obstacle before the summit, which is at 8,848 metres. However, a few years earlier, the ascent and descent of the step were made easier with the help of ropes usually fixed by the first ascending team of the season.

    9. Recently, the commercial development of the globe’s huge reserves of a frozen fossil fuel known as “combustible ice” has moved closer to reality after Japan and China successfully extracted the material from the South China Sea floor off their coastlines. Consider the following statements regarding the combustible ice:
    I. Combustible ice is a frozen mixture of water and concentrated natural gas, technically known as methane hydrate.
    II. Methane hydrate has been found beneath seafloors and buried inside Arctic permafrost and beneath Antarctic ice.
    III. The combustible ice can be lit on fire in its frozen state and is believed to comprise one of the world’s most abundant fossil fuels.

    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:

    Commercial development of the globe’s huge reserves of a frozen fossil fuel known as “combustible ice” has moved closer to reality after Japan and China successfully extracted the material from the sea floor off their coastlines.

    But experts said on Friday that large-scale production remains many years away and if not done properly could flood the atmosphere with climate-changing greenhouse gases. Combustible ice is a frozen mixture of water and concentrated natural gas. Technically known as methane hydrate, it can be lit on fire in its frozen state and is believed to comprise one of the world’s most abundant fossil fuels.

    10. Recently, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned open defecation and dumping of waste on the floodplains of which of the following rivers?
    a. Ganga
    b. Yamuna
    c. Brahmaputra
    d. Kosi

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday banned open defecation and dumping of waste on the floodplains of the Yamuna River and announced an environment compensation of Rs. 5,000 for those violating the diktat.

    A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also constituted a committee headed by the Delhi Jal Board CEO to oversee the execution of work pertaining to the cleaning of the river and asked it to submit reports at regular intervals.

    The green panel noted that almost 67% of the pollution reaching the Yamuna would be treated by the two sewage treatment plants (STP) located at the Delhi Gate and Najafgarh under Phase 1 of the ‘Maili se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalisation Project 2017’.

    The panel, on May 1, ordered the inspection of the STPs at the Delhi Gate and Okhla Multi-National ensure that wastewater arresting before it reached the Yamuna. It had sought a report with regard to the functioning of these plants.

    The Hindu/EPW/Yojana Crux

    11. Digital India Corporation is recently in news. Consider the following statements regarding the Digital India Corporation:
    I. Digital India Corporation (DIC) will lead and guide in realising the vision, objectives and goals of the Digital India program.
    II. To ensure autonomy and viability of the organisation, in the long run, the DIC, will also collaborate and mobilise partnerships with the industry, to evolve revenue based models for service delivery.
    III. The judicious mix of talent will ensure that government is equipped with a broad spectrum of resources for the successful design of Digital India related 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:

    Digital India Corporation (DIC) will lead and guide in realising the vision, objectives and goals of the Digital India program. It will provide the strategic support to Ministries/Departments of Centre/States for carrying forward the mission of Digital India by way of Capacity Building for e-Governance projects, promoting best practises, encouraging Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), nurturing innovation and technology in various domains. To ensure autonomy and viability of the organisation, in the long run, the DIC, will also collaborate and mobilise partnerships with the industry, to evolve revenue based models for service delivery.

    To undertake these functions, Digital India Corporation will attract talent and resources both from government and market. The judicious mix of talent will ensure that government is equipped with a broad spectrum of resources for the successful design of Digital India related projects.

    12. The Department of Economic Affairs under the Ministry of finance has highlighted its achievements. Consider the following statement regarding India's Microeconomic Stability due to the initiatives were taken in the last three years:
    I. India recorded a growth of 7.9 per cent in 2015-16, as compared to 7.2 per cent in 2014-15 and 6.5 per cent in 2013-14.
    II. In terms of the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) prepared by World Economic Forum for 138 countries, India ranked 39 in 2016-17, as compared to India’s rank in GCI of 60 (among 148 countries) in 2013-14.

    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 key initiatives of the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance taken in the past 3 years have led to Improvement in India’s Macroeconomic Stability. Today, India is one of the bright spots among the major countries in the subdued global economic context. India recorded a growth of 7.9 per cent in 2015-16, as compared to 7.2 per cent in 2014-15 and 6.5 per cent in 2013-14. Predictions by expert agencies suggest that India’s growth rate is set to improve further in 2017-18.

    In terms of the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) prepared by World Economic Forum for 138 countries, India ranked 39 in 2016-17, as compared to India’s rank in GCI of 60 (among 148 countries) in 2013-14.

    13. Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture has highlighted the initiatives taken by the Government for the welfare of farmers and the agriculture sector in the last three years. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    I. Under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, a record coverage of 8 lakh 40 thousand hectares has been brought under micro irrigation during the year 2016-17.
    II. Under the National Agriculture Insurance Scheme, six crore farmers have got insurance for the Kharif season during three years of 2011-14.
    III. The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana has increased the number of non-loanee farmers by 238.96%.

    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:

    Some of the major achievement of the Government for the welfare of farmers and the agriculture sector in the last three years as:

    • Food grain production of the year 2016-17 has broken all previous records. This year, the growth rate in agriculture and allied sector has been approximately 4.4 %.

    • According to 3rd advance estimate for 2016-17, the total food grain production is estimated to be 273.38 million tonnes which are 8.67 % higher than that of the year 2015-16.

    • It is also worth mentioning that this production is also 6.37% higher than the average production of last 5 years.

    • For pulses, the production during 2016-17 is expected to be 22.40 million tonnes which will be a record production till date and is higher than that of the year 2015-16 by 37%.

    • Under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, a record coverage of 8 lakh 40 thousand hectares has been brought under micro irrigation during the year 2016-17.

    • Under the National Agriculture Insurance Scheme, six crore farmers have got insurance for the Kharif season during three years of 2011-14. Among them, there was only 77 lakh non-loanee farmers. While in the 3 years between 2014 and 2017, 9 crore 47 lakh farmers were insured for the Kharif season, of which 2 crore 61 lakh are non-loanee farmers. The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana has increased the number of non-loanee farmers by 238.96%. And in the last three years, the number of non-loanee farmers increased by 128.50% in Rabi Crops compared to the preceding three years.

    14. Consider the following statements regarding the performance of the Industrial sector in the last three years:
    I. The index for eight core industries (comprising crude oil, natural gas, petroleum refinery products, coal, electricity, cement, steel, and fertilisers) registered 4.8 per cent growth in 2016-17 (April-January) as compared to 3.4 per cent in 2015-16 and 4.5 per cent in 2014-15.
    II. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index for India which details out the growth of various sectors in an economy such as mining, electricity, IT, Infrastructure and manufacturing.
    III. All India IIP is a composite indicator that measures the short-term changes in the volume of production of a basket of industrial products during a given period with respect to that in a chosen base period.

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

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    As per the Second Advance Estimates of National Income 2016-17 released by CSO on 28th February 2017, the growth rates in Gross Value Added (GVA) of the industrial sector were 5.8 per cent in 2016-17, 8.2 per cent in 2015-16 and 6.9 per cent in 2014-15.

    The index for eight core industries (comprising crude oil, natural gas, petroleum refinery products, coal, electricity, cement, steel, and fertilisers) registered 4.8 per cent growth in 2016-17 (April-January) as compared to 3.4 per cent in 2015-16 and 4.5 per cent in 2014-15.

    The index for eight core industries (comprising crude oil, natural gas, petroleum refinery products, coal, electricity, cement, steel, and fertilisers) registered 4.8 per cent growth in 2016-17 (April-January) as compared to 3.4 per cent in 2015-16 and 4.5 per cent in 2014-15. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index for India which details out the growth of various sectors in an economy such as mining, electricity and manufacturing. All India IIP is a composite indicator that measures the short-term changes in the volume of production of a basket of industrial products during a given period with respect to that in a chosen base period.

    15. Recently, an Exhibition ‘Return of the three stone Sculptures from Australia to India’ has been organised in the National Capital of India. It was organised to mark the safe return of which of the following stone sculptures from Australia to India?
    a. Seated Buddha
    b. Worshippers of Buddha
    c. Goddess Pratyangira
    d. All of the above

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    An exhibition “Return of the Three Stone Sculptures from Australia to India” has been organised in National Museum, Janpath New Delhi on 23 May 2017. The exhibition is organised to mark the safe return of three stone sculptures (Seated Buddha, Worshippers of  Buddha, Goddess Pratyangira) from Australia to India. These sculptures were purchased by National Gallery of Australia from the Nancy Wiener, New York in 2007 and Art of the Past, New York, 2005.

    Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Culture and Tourism attended a special event at National Gallery of Australia (NGA) in Canberra, Australia in which Senator Mitch Fifield formally handed over three ancient artefacts stolen and smuggled out of India and inadvertently acquired by National Gallery of Australia.

    Current Affairs for IAS Prelims 2017: March 2017

    16. Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved the policy for providing preference to 'Make in India' in Government procurements. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    I. The new policy will give a substantial boost to domestic manufacturing and service provision, thereby creating employment.
    II. It will also stimulate the flow of capital and technology into domestic manufacturing and services.
    III. The new policy is the reflection of the Government of India to encourage ‘Make in India’ and promote manufacturing and production of goods and services in India with a view to enhancing income and employment.

    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 a policy for providing preference to 'Make in India' in government procurements. The new policy will give a substantial boost to domestic manufacturing and service provision, thereby creating employment. It will also stimulate the flow of capital and technology into domestic manufacturing and services. It will also provide a further thrust towards the manufacture of parts, components, sub-components etc. of these items, in line with the vision of 'Make in India'.

    The new policy is the reflection of the Government of India to encourage ‘Make in India’ and promote manufacturing and production of goods and services in India with a view to enhancing income and employment. Procurement by the Government is substantial in amount and can contribute towards this policy objective. Local content can be increased through partnerships, cooperation with local companies, establishing production units in India or Joint Ventures (JV) with Indian suppliers, increasing the participation of local employees in services and by training them.

    Recently, the Union Cabinet has been apprised of MoU between India and Bangladesh on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space. Consider the following statements regarding this MoU:

    This MoU shall enable the areas of cooperation such as space science, technology and applications including remote sensing of the earth; satellite communication and satellite-based navigation.

    17. The MoU would lead to develop a joint activity in the field of application of space technologies for the benefit of humanity.
    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 chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Bangladesh on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.  The MoU was signed in New Delhi in April 2017. This MoU shall enable the areas of cooperation such as space science, technology and applications including remote sensing of the earth; satellite communication and satellite-based navigation; Space science and planetary exploration; use of spacecraft and space systems and ground system; and application of space technology.

    18. Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved a Joint Declaration of Intent regarding cooperation in the sector of alternative medicine with which of the following countries?
    a. Spain
    b. Germany
    c. Bangladesh
    d. Australia

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The Union Cabinet has approved the Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) between Germany and India regarding cooperation in the sector of alternative medicine.

    The signing of the JDl will enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the areas of traditional/alternative medicine. Initiation of collaborative research, training and scientific capacity building in the field of alternative medicine under the JDI between the two countries would contribute to the enhanced employment opportunities in the AYUSH sector.

    The Ministry has taken many initiatives for promotion of Ayurveda in Germany with the recommendation and the cooperation of the Indian Embassy in Berlin. One of the major initiatives is the collaborative research Project between the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) and Charite University, Berlin on Osteoarthritis of the knee. The results of the trial are encouraging and the clinical trial demonstrates significant improvement in patients. The study has been completed successfully and is under publication.

    19. 'Adopt a Slum', a new campaign to mark the completion of three years of the Government has started by which of the following ministries of the Government?
    a. Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs
    b. Ministry of Rural Development
    c. Ministry of Urban Development
    d. Ministry of Minority Affairs

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    Ministry of Sports & Youth Affairs has announced “Adopt a Slum” - a new campaign to mark the completion of three years of the Government. The idea is to initiate developmental work in the slums and help the slum-dwellers in resolving various issues. A slum Yuva Daud/Marathon will mark the beginning of this campaign on May 26, 20174 in Delhi.

    The concerned Ministry along with Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, under the aegis of the Ministry, will initiate “Adopt a Slum” campaign and groups like NSS, public schools, rotary clubs, will pool in with efforts and manpower.

    20. Recently, the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology has launched the Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Telecom Skill Excellence Award Scheme and Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Sanchar Kaushal Vikas Pratisthan Scheme. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    I. In the first phase of the scheme of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Sanchar Kaushal Vikas Pratisthan Scheme 10,000 people from 10 States/UTs to be trained.
    II. Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Assam, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala are included in the first phase.
    III. The Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Telecom Skill Excellence Award will also be given the person who will perform at par excellence.

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

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    Recently, the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology has launched the BSNL’s satellite phone service that will be offered to government agencies in phase 1 and later opened for others in phased manner. On this occasion, the concerned minister has also launched the Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Telecom Skill Excellence Award Scheme and Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Sanchar Kaushal Vikas Pratisthan Scheme.

    In first phase agencies handling a disaster, state police, railways, Border security forces and other government agencies will be given in the first phase. Later people while travelling on flight and on ships will be able to use it. The services will be provided by INMARSAT which has a constellation of 14 satellites.

    In the first phase of the scheme of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Sanchar Kaushal Vikas Pratisthan Scheme 10,000 people from 10 States/UTs to be trained. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Punjab and Haryana are included in the first phase.The Department of Telecom to be established more than 1,000 Sanchar Kaushal Vikas Pratisthan in future under the newly launched scheme and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Telecom Skill Excellence Award will also be given the person who will perform at par excellence.

    21.  Recently, the definition of 'Start Up' has been changed. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    I. Taking into account the long gestation period by Startups to establish, an entity shall be considered as a Startup up to seven years from the date of its incorporation/ registration (from earlier 5 years).
    II. No letter of recommendation from an incubator/industry association shall be required for either recognition or tax benefits.
    III. The scope of the definition has been broadened to include the scalability of the business model with potential for employment generation or wealth creation.

    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 order to promote entrepreneurship in the country, the Government of India has amended the definition of a Startup. The following significant changes have been made to the definition of Startups:

    • Age of Startup increased: Taking into account the long gestation period by Startups to establish, an entity shall be considered as a Startup up to seven years from the date of its incorporation/ registration (from earlier 5 years). However, in the case of Startups in the Biotechnology sector, the period shall be up to ten years from the date of incorporation/ registration.

    • No Letter of Recommendation required: No letter of recommendation from an incubator/industry association shall be required for either recognition or tax benefits

    • Potential of Job and Wealth Creation: The scope of the definition has been broadened to include the scalability of the business model with potential for employment generation or wealth creation.

    As a constant endeavour to facilitate the Startup ecosystem, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has been holding extensive consultations with stakeholders. The above changes are an effort to ensure ease of starting up new businesses to promote the Startup ecosystem and build a nation of job creators instead of job seekers.

    22. Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved an MoU between Spain and India on cooperation in the field of Organ Transplant Services. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    I. The MoU would facilitate bilateral cooperation in the field of organ and tissue procurement and transplantation and better understanding between the two countries.
    II. The knowledge gained will help in improving the services rendered to the patients suffering from end-stage organ failure.

    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 approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the National Transplant Organization, Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, Spain and the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India on cooperation in the field of Organ Transplant Services.

    The MoU would facilitate bilateral cooperation in the field of organ and tissue procurement and transplantation and better understanding between the two countries. The knowledge gained will help in improving the services rendered to the patients suffering from end-stage organ failure.

    The Memorandum of Understanding is proposed to be signed during the forthcoming bilateral meeting with the Spanish side.
    Recently, the Union Cabinet has given its approval for fixing the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane. Consider the following statements regarding the FRP of sugarcane:

    FRP of sugarcane has been determined on the basis of recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) and after consultation with State Governments and other stakeholders.

    Recommended FRP has been arrived at by taking into account various factors such as the cost of production, overall demand-supply situation, domestic and international prices, inter-crop price parity, terms of trade prices of primary by-products, and likely impact of FRP on the general price level and resource use efficiency.

    23. Recently, the news of Anshu Jamsenpa scripting history by becoming the first woman to scale the Mount Everest twice within five days. Who among the following first Indian women to conquer seven Summits of the world?
    a. Bachendri Pal
    b. Premlata
    c. Anshu Jamsenpa
    d. Arunima Sinha

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    Bachendri Pal is the first Indian woman to climb the Mt. Everest in 1984. With Anshu Jamsenpa scripting history by becoming the first woman to scale the Mount Everest twice within five days, we take a look at other women climbers who have achieved great feats in the field.  Arunima Sinha, 26, became India’s first woman to conquer Mt. Everest on a prosthetic leg. A former national volleyball player, Arunima lost her left leg, having been thrown off a moving train for resisting a chain-snatching attempt by some criminals on April 12, 2011.

    Ace woman mountaineer Premlata Agrawal is the first Indian woman mountaineer to scale the seven continental peaks after climbing Alaska’s McKinley Peak. She is also the first Indian woman mountaineer to step on the highest peak of North America.

    24. The FRP so approved shall be applicable for purchase of sugarcane from the farmers in the sugar season 2017-18 by the sugar mills.
    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 sugar industry is an important agro-based industry that impacts the livelihood of about 50 million sugarcane farmers and around 5 lakh workers directly employed in sugar mills, apart from those employed in various ancillary activities including farm labour and transporters. This decision has been taken to provide appropriate price to the farmers for their cane.

    FRP of sugarcane has been determined on the basis of recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) and after consultation with State Governments and other stakeholders. Recommended FRP has been arrived at by taking into account various factors such as the cost of production, overall demand-supply situation, domestic and international prices, inter-crop price parity, terms of trade prices of primary by-products, and likely impact of FRP on the general price level and resource use efficiency.

    25. Recently, the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) has reached 53 lakhs subscribers’ base. Consider the following statements regarding the APY Scheme:
    I. The Atal Pension Yojana became operational from 1st June 2015 and is available to all the citizens of India in the age group of 18-40 years.
    II. Under the scheme, a subscriber would receive a minimum guaranteed pension of Rs.1000 to Rs. 5000 per month, depending upon his contribution, from the age of 60 years.
    III. The same pension would be paid to the spouse of the subscriber and on the demise of both the subscriber and the spouse, the accumulated pension wealth is returned to the nominee.

    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 subscriber base under the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) has reached about 53 Lakhs. At present 235 Banks and Department of Post are involved with the implementation of the scheme. Besides the branches of the banks and CBS-enabled offices of India Post, quite a few banks are sourcing subscribers through their internet banking portals in a paperless environment.

    The Atal Pension Yojana became operational from 1st June, 2015 and is available to all the citizens of India in the age group of 18-40 years. Under the scheme, a subscriber would receive a minimum guaranteed pension of Rs.1000 to Rs. 5000 per month, depending upon his contribution, from the age of 60 years.  The same pension would be paid to the spouse of the subscriber and on the demise of both the subscriber and the spouse, the accumulated pension wealth is returned to the nominee.

    Current Affairs Quizzes for IAS Prelims 2017

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