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Current Affairs for IAS Prelims Exam: 22 to 28 April 2017

Apr 28, 2017 19:11 IST

    Weekly Current AffairsA current affair as one of the important sections of IAS Exam and it needs a continuous study with a great thrust. A better practice of current affairs quiz enhances not only the chances of scoring good marks in IAS Prelims Exam but it also gives an edge to the preparation of IAS Mains Exam.

    Here, we have compiled the current affairs quizzes created from 22nd April to 28th April 2017, crucial for the upcoming IAS Prelims Exam.

    1. Consider the following statements regarding the BRS Conventions recently seen in news:
    1) The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions are multilateral environmental agreements.
    2) The Basel Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants is a global treaty to protect human health.
    3) The Stockholm Convention is based on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.

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

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions are multilateral environmental agreements, which share the common objective of protecting human health and the environment from hazardous chemicals and wastes.

    The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was created to protect people and the environment from the negative effects of the inappropriate management of hazardous wastes worldwide.

    The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for certain hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in international trade provide Parties with a first line of defence against hazardous chemicals.

    The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from highly dangerous, long-lasting chemicals by restricting and ultimately eliminating their production, use, trade, release and storage.

    To enhance cooperation and coordination among the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, their respective conferences of the Parties have taken a series of decisions.
    This so-called "synergies process" aims to strengthen the implementation of the three conventions at the national, regional and global levels by providing coherent policy guidance, enhancing efficiency in the provision of support to Parties to the conventions, reducing their administrative burden and maximizing the effective and efficient use of resources at all levels, while maintaining the legal autonomy of these three multilateral environmental agreements.

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

    2. Mahatma Gandhi NREGS has reached a new milestone by geotagging one Crore assets and putting them in public domain. Consider the following statements regarding Geotagging:
    1) GeoMGNREGA is a unique endeavour of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
    2) A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for geotagging the assets created under MGNREGS in each gram panchayat.
    3) It is expected that the exercise will lead to greater transparency and ensure accountability at field level.

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

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    Mahatma Gandhi NREGS has reached a new milestone by geotagging one Crore assets and putting them in public domain. The scale of rural assets created under MGNREGA is very large. On an average, about 30 Lakh Assets are created annually which includes a variety of works such as water harvesting structures, plantations, rural infrastructure, flood control measures, individual assets for sustainable livelihood, community infrastructure and so on.

    The process of geotagging is going on and all assets under MGNREGS will be geotagged. Special focus is being given to geotag Natural Resource Management works especially the water-related works. GeoMGNREGA is a unique endeavour of the Ministry of Rural Development in association with National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), ISRO and National Informatics Centre.

    A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Ministry of Rural Development with NRSC on 24th June 2016 for geo-tagging the assets created under MGNREGS in each gram panchayat. The strength of Space technology has been leveraged.

    3. Indian Navy successfully undertook the firing of BrahMos Land Attack Supersonic Cruise Missile from a ship. Consider the following statements regarding the BrahMos Missile:
    1) The BrahMos is a long-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile.
    2)  The BrahMos can be launched from submarine, ships, aircraft, or land.

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

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    BRAHMOS is a two-stage missile with a solid propellant booster engine as its first stage which brings it to supersonic speed and then gets separated. The liquid ramjet or the second stage then takes the missile closer to 3 Mach speed in cruise phase. Stealth technology and guidance system with advanced embedded software provides the missile with special features.

    The BrahMos is a short-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarine, ships, aircraft, or land. It is a joint venture between the Russian Federation's NPO Mashinostroeyenia and India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) who have together formed BrahMos Aerospace.

    The name BrahMos is a portmanteau formed from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia. The missile has a flight range of up to 290-km with supersonic speed all through the flight, leading to shorter flight time, consequently ensuring lower dispersion of targets, quicker engagement time and non-interception by any known weapon system in the world.

    It operates on ‘Fire and Forget Principle’, adopting varieties of flights on its way to the target. The missile has an identical configuration for land, sea and sub-sea platforms and uses a Transport Launch Canister (TLC) for transportation, storage and launch.

    4. Consider the following statements regarding the “Quality Mark” Award Scheme:
    I. The “Quality Mark” Award Scheme is for dairy Cooperatives to promote and encourage enhancement of safety, quality and hygiene of milk and milk products manufactured by dairy cooperatives.
    II. The scheme is aimed at bringing about process improvement in the entire value chain from producer to the consumer to ensure availability of safe and quality of milk and products for the foreign market only.
    III. The Quality Mark” Award Scheme for dairy Cooperatives in the country has been initiated to instil confidence in the consumers for the quality of milk being marketed by them by ensuring availability of safe and good quality milk and milk products.

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

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    As part of the innovative initiatives under the “White Revolution” umbrella Schemes, the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries has supported the National Dairy Development Board(NDDB) developed initiative of “Quality Mark” Award Scheme for dairy Cooperatives to promote and encourage enhancement of safety, quality and hygiene of milk and milk products manufactured by dairy cooperatives.

    It is aimed at bringing about process improvement in the entire value chain from producer to the consumer to ensure availability of safe and quality of milk and products both for the domestic and foreign market. The Quality Mark” Award Scheme for dairy Cooperatives in the country has been initiated to instil confidence in the consumers for the quality of milk being marketed by them by ensuring availability of safe and good quality milk and milk products.

    The quality mark scheme was rolled out on 6th January-2016 after deliberating on the process and award mechanism for over a year. The initiative does not propose any new/ additional system for Food Safety and Quality Management but lays down minimum standards against each link of the processes required for ensuring quality and safety.

    5. Recently, the Indian Navy successfully undertook the firing of BrahMos Land Attack Supersonic Cruise Missile from a ship. BrahMos Missile has been jointly developed by India and which of the following countries?
    a. Russia
    b. Israel
    c. Japan
    d. USA

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    Indian Navy successfully undertook the firing of BrahMos Land Attack Supersonic Cruise Missile from a ship recently. This variant of Long Range BrahMos Missile was fired from Indian Naval Ship Teg, a Guided Missile Frigate, on a target on land.

    BrahMos Missile has been jointly developed by India and Russia, and its Anti-Ship variant has already been inducted into Indian Navy. The majority of the frontline ships of Indian Navy, like the Kolkata, Ranvir and Teg classes of ships, are capable of firing this missile. Land Attack variant of BrahMos Missile provides Indian Naval Ships with the capability to precisely neutralise selected targets deep inland, far away from the coast, from stand-off ranges at sea.

    This successful maiden firing of BrahMos Land Attack Supersonic Cruise Missile has significantly enhanced the prowess of Indian Navy and has placed India into the club of select few nations.

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

    6. Significant Achievements of NITI Aayog over the last three years has been in the news recently. Consider the following statements regarding one of the achievements of the NITI Ayog- the Agricultural Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index:
    I. The ‘Agriculture Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index’ has been developed by the NITI Ayog to sensitise states about the need to undertake reforms of Agriculture Market Reforms only.
    II. The index carries a score with a minimum value “0” implying no reforms and maximum value “100” implying complete reforms in the selected areas.
    III. As per NITI Aayog’s index, Maharashtra ranks highest in the implementation of various agricultural reforms.

    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:

    NITI Aayog has developed the first ever ‘Agriculture Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index’ to sensitise states about the need to undertake reforms in the three key areas of Agriculture Market Reforms, Land Lease Reforms and Forestry on Private Land (Felling and Transit of Trees). The index carries a score with a minimum value “0” implying no reforms and maximum value “100” implying complete reforms in the selected areas.

    As per NITI Aayog’s index, Maharashtra ranks highest in the implementation of various agricultural reforms. The State has implemented most of the marketing reforms and offers the best environment for undertaking agri-business among all the States and UTs.  Gujarat ranks second with a score of 71.50 out of 100, closely followed by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Almost two third States have not been able to reach even the halfway mark of reforms score, in the year 2016-17. The index aims to induce a healthy competition between States and percolate best practices in implementing farmer-friendly reforms.

    7. Recently, the Digital Payments Movement has been in news recently. Consider the following statement regarding the Digital Payments Movement in India:
    I. NITI Aayog has constituted a Committee of Chief Ministers on Digital Payments on 30th November 2016 with the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu, as the Convener to promote transparency, financial inclusion and a healthy financial ecosystem nationwide.
    II. To incentivize the States/UTs for the promotion of digital transactions, the Central assistance of Rs. 50 crore would be provided to the districts for undertaking Information, Education and Communication activities to bring 5 crore Jan Dhan accounts to a digital platform.
    III. Niti Aayog also launched two incentive schemes to promote the digital payments across all sections of society - the Lucky Grahak Yojana and the Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana  –Over 16 lakh consumers and merchants have won Rs. 256 crore under these two schemes.

    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 Payments Movement undertaken by the Government:

    a. An action plan on advocacy has been prepared regarding awareness and co-ordination of handholding efforts among general public, micro enterprises and other stakeholders was prepared. Appropriate literature in print and multimedia was prepared on the subject for widespread dissemination. Presentations/ interactions were organized by NITI Aayog for training and capacity building of various Ministries/Departments of Government of India, representatives of State/UTs, Trade and Industry Bodies as well as all other stakeholders.

    b. NITI Aayog also constituted a Committee of Chief Ministers on Digital Payments on 30th November 2016 with the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu, as the Convener to promote transparency, financial inclusion and a healthy financial ecosystem nationwide.  The Committee submitted its interim report to the Prime Minister in January 2017.

    c. To incentivize the States/UTs for promotion of digital transactions, Central assistance of Rs. 50 crore would be provided to the districts for undertaking Information, Education and Communication activities to bring 5 crore Jan Dhan accounts to digital platform.

    d. Cash back and referral bonus schemes were launched by the Prime Minister on 14.4.2017 to promote the use of digital payments through the BHIM App.

    e. Niti Aayog also launched two incentive schemes to promote digital payments across all sections of society - the Lucky Grahak Yojana and the Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana  –Over 16 lakh consumers and merchants have won Rs. 256 crore under these two schemes .

    f. Digi Dhan Melas were also held for 100 days in 100 cities, from December 25th to April 14th.

    8. Recently, the BHIM-Aadhaar platform has been launched along with the two incentive schemes also has been launched. Consider the following statements regarding the BHIM Referral Bonus Scheme for the individuals:
    I. The Referral Bonus scheme will incentivise existing BHIM users for bringing new users on the BHIM platform and encouraging the new users to do transactions with others using BHIM or by referring new users on BHIM.
    II. The referral will be considered successful only after 3 unique successful financial transactions have been completed by the new user.
    III. Any Indian citizen or foreign nationals can pay digitally using their biometric data like their thumb imprint on a merchants’ biometric enabled device which could be smart phone having a biometric reader.

    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:

    Cash back and referral bonus schemes were launched by the Prime Minister on 14th April 2017 to promote the use of digital payments through the BHIM App.
    BHIM Referral Bonus Scheme (for individuals):

    (1) The Referral Bonus scheme will incentivise existing BHIM users for bringing new users on the BHIM platform and encouraging the new users to do transactions with others using BHIM or by referring new users on BHIM. Hence, the bonus will be paid to both the referrer and the new user of BHIM (referee).

    (2) The referral will be considered successful only after 3 unique successful financial transactions have been completed by the new user.

    (3) On completion of minimum 3 unique successful transactions totalling only Rs 50 to any 3 unique users (either to customers or to merchants), the referrer and the referee will be notified about the bonus amount via notification in BHIM app. The referrer will get Rs 10 per successful referral, while the new users will get Rs 25 for downloading and transacting from BHIM App.

    (4) Any Indian citizen can pay digitally using their biometric data like their thumb imprint on a merchants’ biometric enabled device which could be smart phone having a biometric reader.

    (5) Any citizen without access to smart phones, internet, debit or credit cards will be able to transact digitally through the BHIM Aadhaar platform.

    (6) Already, 27 major banks are now on board with 7.15 lakh merchants, so that they can start accepting payments using BHIM Aadhaar.

    9. Recently, the 48th Dadasaheb Phalke Award to be conferred to which of the following eminent personality of the Indian Cinema?
    a. Tapan Sinha
    b. Kasinadhuni Viswanath
    c. Rishi Kapoor
    d. K. Murthi

    Answer: b

    Explanaton:

    Renowned Film Director & Actor Kasinadhuni Viswanath is to be conferred the 48th Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2016.

    The I&B Ministry has approved the recommendation of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award committee.  The Award is conferred by the Government of India for outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian Cinema. The Award consists of a Swarn Kamal (Golden Lotus), a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakhs and a shawl. The Award shall be conferred by the President of India at a function on May 3rd2017 at Vigyan Bhawan.

    Current Affairs for IAS Prelims 2017: March 2017

    10. Recently, at the third meeting of the Governing Council, NITI Aayog, in which the CEO of NITI Ayog outlined the initiatives taken in areas such as agriculture, poverty elimination, health, education, digital payments, disinvestment, coastal zone and island development etc. Which of the following components of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana was undertaken to improve the earning of the farmers in the country?
    a. Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme
    b. Har Khet Ko Pani
    c. Per Drop, More Crop
    d. All of the above

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    At the third meeting of the Governing Council, NITI Aayog, the CEO, NITI, Amitabh Kant, apprised the gathering of the work done by Niti Aayog for transforming the economy and cooperation with States in the sectors of education, health, infrastructure etc. He spoke of the work done by the sub-groups of Chief Ministers on the rationalisation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes, Swachh Bharat Mission and Skill Development. He outlined initiatives taken in areas such as agriculture, poverty elimination, health, education, digital payments, disinvestment, coastal zone and island development etc. He said that NITI will work with States to improve basic services and infrastructure, in districts and regions which require specific attention. He reiterated its resolve to facilitate partnership with States for transforming India under the framework of cooperative and competitive federalism. He requested the states to treat NITI as their outpost in Delhi.

    Member-Agriculture, NITI Aayog, Ramesh Chand elaborated on some of the steps needed for doubling farmers’ income and spoke of the various elements of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, such as Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme, Har Khet Ko Pani, and Per Drop, More Crop.

    11. India’s first underwater metro tunnel has been assigned to be constructed between which two twin cities?
    a.Thane and Mumbai
    b.Howrah and Kolkata
    c.Noida and Delhi
    d.None of the above

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    Recently, the construction of the first underwater metro tunnel in the country has begun inside the bed of the Hooghly River. The two tunnels running parallel will connect the twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata located on either side of the Hooghly.

    The twin tunnels are crucial to the much-awaited East-West Metro project that will connect Salt Lake Sector V in the eastern part of Kolkata to the Howrah Maidan across the river.
    Alongside, a dense concrete layer is being used to seal the tunnel, prevent the subsidence of earth, and stop seepage of water which is a primary concern for the engineers working on any water tunnel. The protective measures subsequently taken by the engineers included widening the foundation of the building and grouting of the soil.
    However, the last hurdle being faced by the East-West Metro Project is the threat the tunnelling work may pose to three heritage buildings in Kolkata. The Currency Building, an Italian structure that served as one of the first banks in the country, and two 19th century Jewish monuments that stands close to the Metro tunnels.

    12. Consider the following statements regarding the Government e-Marketplace (GeM):
    1) GeM is a completely paperless, cashless and system driven e-marketplace.
    2) The Government developed GeM portal for procurement of Products only.

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

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    Government e-Marketplace (GeM) is a very bold step of the Government with the aim to transform the way in which procurement of goods and services is done by the Government Ministries/Departments, PSUs, autonomous bodies etc.

    Government e-Marketplace (GeM) is a completely paperless, cashless and system driven e-marketplace that enables procurement of common-use goods and services with the minimal human interface.

    GeM owes its genesis to the recommendations of two Groups of Secretaries made to the Hon’ble PM in January 2016. They recommended setting up of a dedicated e-market for different goods & services procured/sold by Government/PSUs besides reforming DGS&D.

    DGS&D with technical support of NeGD (MeitY) has developed GeM portal for procurement of both Products & Services. Procurement on GeM has been authorised by GFR by adding Rule 141A.

    13. Indian social activist Prafulla Samantra was announced one of six winners of the Goldman Prize 2017. Which statement best describes the purpose of the Goldman Prize?
    1) The Goldman Environmental Prize is a prize awarded annually to grassroots environmental activists.
    2) It is also called the Green Nobel.
    3) The Prize is given to one from each of the world's four geographic regions that are Africa, Asia, Europe and Americas.

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

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    Mr Samantra was one of the key leaders responsible for rallying tribes, indigenous to Odisha's Niyamgiri region, and using legal provisions to thwart mining-to-metals conglomerate, Vedanta. The company has been forced to suspend plans to mine bauxite.

    The Goldman Environmental Prize is a prize awarded annually to grassroots environmental activists, one from each of the world's six geographic regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands and Island Nations, North America, and South and Central America.

    The prize is given by the Goldman Environmental Foundation headquartered in San Francisco, California. It is also called the Green Nobel.

    14. Recently, Online Statement of Transaction (e-SOT) and the e-PRAN card launched for the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) has been launched. Consider the following statements regarding the Atal Pension Yojana (APY):
    I. APY is available for all citizens of India in the age group of 18-30 years.
    II. Under the APY, the subscribers would receive a minimum guaranteed pension of Rs. 1000 to Rs. 5000 per month from the age of 60 years.
    III. Pension will depend on their contributions, which depends on the age of the subscriber at the time of joining the APY.

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

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    The Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is an ambitious scheme and it was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 9th May 2015 with effective from 1st June 2015. APY is available for all citizens of India in the age group of 18-40 years. Under the APY, the subscribers would receive a minimum guaranteed pension of Rs. 1000 to Rs. 5000 per month from the age of 60 years, depending on their contributions, which depends on the age of the subscriber at the time of joining the APY. The Same amount of pension is paid to the spouse in case of subscriber’s demise.

    After the demise of both i.e. Subscriber & Spouse, the nominee would be paid with the pension corpus. There is an option for Spouse to continue to contribute for the balance period of the premature death of subscriber before 60 years, so as to avail pension by Spouse.

    There are tax benefits at entry, accumulation and pension payment phases. If the actual returns on the pension contributions during the accumulation phase are higher than the assumed returns for the minimum guaranteed pension, such excess returns are passed on to the subscriber, resulting in enhanced scheme benefits.

    15. Recently, Spices Farmers Producer Companies (SFPCs) has been established with an objective to empower the farmers. The establishment of Spices Farmers Producer Companies (SFPCs) has been done in which of the states of India?
    a. Kerala
    b. Arunachal Pradesh
    c. Tamilnadu
    d. Sikkim

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    Recently, the orientation programme for the establishment of SFPCs and buyer-seller meet has been inaugurated at Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh. It is a Government of India’s initiative to benefit the small and marginal spice farmers in the North Eastern States.

    The objective of the programme is to operationalize SFPC on a pilot basis in 3 districts viz. Ziro in Lower Subansiri District for large cardamom and Namsai in Namsai District for ginger in Arunachal Pradesh & West District in Sikkim for large cardamom for empowering the farmers, especially women farmers in the identified spices growing districts, for better price realization through post-harvest management, primary processing, value addition, packing, aggregation, organic certification etc.

    16. What is the objective of ‘UDAN’ scheme, recently seen in the news?
    a. To stimulate regional connectivity through a market-based mechanism
    b. To generate more funds by CSR
    c. To stimulate cultural growth in the state of Jammu and Kashmir
    d. None of the above

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    The government of India recently flagged off the first regional flights under the Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme. The three inaugural flights were launched in the sectors of Shimla-Delhi, Kadapa-Hyderabad and Nanded-Hyderabad. UDAN is the first-of-its-kind scheme globally to stimulate regional connectivity through a market-based mechanism.

    The UDAN Scheme is a key component of the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) which was released by the Ministry of Civil Aviation in 2016. Airfare for a 1-hour journey of approximately 500 kilometres on a fixed wing aircraft or for a 30-minute journey on a helicopter would be capped at Rs 2,500.

    The Airports Authority of India has approved 27 proposals which will see 27 currently served airports, 12 currently underserved airports and 31 currently unserved airports (for a total of 70 airports) connected. As many as 22 states and two Union Territories will be connected through these 27 proposals.

    The airline companies chosen are Airline Allied Services (Alliance Air), SpiceJet, Turbo Megha Airways, Air Deccan and Air Odisha. The seating capacity of airlines under the scheme will range from 19 to 78, and 50 percent of the seats in every flight will have a fare cap of Rs 2,500 per seat per hour.

    17. Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to forge collaboration on skills and CSR. Consider the following statements in this regard CRS:
    1) Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) is a unique Public Private Partnership in India, working under the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship.
    2) The National Skill Development Corporation, (NSDC) is an autonomous organisation working under the aegis of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
    3) IICA aims at providing astute and credible intellectual leadership in corporate regulation, governance and running sustainable businesses.

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

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) is an autonomous organisation working under the aegis of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. It was set up as the premier organisation that aims at providing astute and credible intellectual leadership in corporate regulation, governance and running sustainable businesses. IICA is a capacity development and service delivery institute.

    The National Skill Development Corporation, (NSDC) is a unique Public Private Partnership in India, working under the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship. It aims to promote skill development by catalysing the creation of large, quality, for-profit the vocational institutions. NSDC provides funding to build scalable, for-profit vocational training initiatives. Its mandate is also to enable support systems such as quality assurance, information systems and train the trainer academies either directly or through partnerships.

    18. Recently, the Government revamps jobs on compassionate engagement scheme offered to the dependent family members of Gramin Dak Sevak. Consider the following statements regarding the scheme:
    1) A GDS who dies in harness, the dependents of such GDS will benefit from a liberalized and time bound procedure for engagement on compassionate grounds.
    2) The new scheme of compassionate engagement will provide greater relief to the members of the family of the deceased GDS who belong to weaker and poorer sections of the society and are thrown into penury and hardship.

    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:

    Department of Posts has revamped the existing compassionate engagement scheme offered to the dependent family members of Gramin Dak Sevak. A GDS who dies in harness, the dependents of such GDS will benefit from a liberalized and time bound procedure for engagement on compassionate grounds. Henceforth, any death of a Gramin Dak Sevak while on engagement would be compensated by a compassionate engagement to a dependent family member irrespective of the circumstances or indigence.

    Upper age limit of the applicant has been relaxed wherever found necessary. Thus the new scheme of compassionate engagement provides great relief to the members of the family of the deceased GDS who belong to weaker and poorer sections of the society and are thrown into penury and hardship.

    19. North-east India's largest Information Technology (IT) hub was inaugurated in which state?
    a. Assam
    b. Arunachal Pradesh
    c. Tripura
    d. Nagaland

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    Recently, Northeast India's sixth and largest Information Technology (IT) hub was inaugurated in the Tripura state to boost employment and e-governance besides to export software technology. This IT hub would help to create employment opportunities for the IT educated youths and to further extend the e-governance to the door step of people.
    This IT hub would help India to export software technology as this globally standard IT hub would provide much needed impetus to the upcoming IT and IT services based industries creating huge job opportunities. Tripura last year got the award from the central government for its performance in IT and e-governance. Many e-governance based facilities and services already extended up to gram panchayat level in Tripura.

    The new IT hub, ready-to-use incubation space would be available for start-up companies, aspiring entrepreneurs, Indian and multi-national companies as per their requirements.

    20. Recently, Supreme Court called the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act as an eminently workable piece of legislation. Consider the following statements regarding the Lokpal and Lokayukta:
    a. The Lokpal Act requires a public servant to declare his assets and liabilities, and that of his spouse and dependent children.
    b. Maharashtra was the first state to introduce Lokayukta
    c. Both (a) and (b)
    d. None of the above

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    The Lokpal Act is an anti-corruption Act of Indian Parliament in India which seeks to provide for the establishment of the institution of Lokpal to inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries and for matters connecting them.

    The Lokpal Act requires a public servant to declare his assets and liabilities, and that of his spouse and dependent children. Such declarations must be made to the competent authority within 30 days of entering the office. Further, the public servant must file an annual return of such assets and liabilities by July 31st of every year. The Lokpal Act also mandates statements of such declarations be published on the website of the relevant Ministry by August 31 of that year.

    The new Bill replaces these provisions to state that a public servant will be required to declare his assets and liabilities. However, the form and manner of making such a declaration will be prescribed by the central government.

    21. Recently, India has won elections to two subsidiary bodies of a UN organ focussed on social and economic issues. One of the two subsidiary bodies of a UN organ in which India has been elected including other 12 members?
    a. Committee for Programme and Coordination
    b. Committee for the United Nations Population Award
    c. Committee on Contributions
    d. Investment Committee

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    Recently, India along with 12 other members has been elected to the Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC), a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). India garnered the most number of votes in the Asian group, with 49 out of 50 members of ECOSOC voting in its favour. The 13 members including India elected for 3-year terms, beginning January 2018, include Pakistan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Iran, Japan, Bulgaria, Moldova, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, the United Kingdom and the United States. The CPC is the main subsidiary organ of the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly for planning, programming and coordination.

    India, along with 19 other nations, was also elected by acclamation to the International Narcotics Control Board for a four-year term beginning January next year.

    22. Recently, NITI Aayog, the think tank of the Government has released its vision document 2031-31 that envisages a new India. Consider the following statements regarding the vision document:
    I. It envisages that every Indian will have houses with toilets, vehicles and power in next 15 years, i.e. by 2032.
    II. It says that the per capita income would go up by three-fold to Rs 3.14 lakh in 2031-32 from Rs 1.06 lakh in 2015-16.
    III. It also talks about India where the gross domestic product or whose economy would rise from Rs 137 lakh crore level in 2015-16 to Rs 469 lakh crore in 2031-32.

    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 vision Document, Strategy and Action Agenda beyond 12th Five Year Plan replacing the Five Year Plans beyond 31st March 2017. NITI Aayog is in the process of preparing the 15-year vision document keeping in view the social goals set and/ or proposed for a period of 15 years; A 7-year strategy document spanning 2017-18 to 2023-24 to convert the longer-term vision into implementable policy and action as a part of a “National Development Agenda” is also being worked upon.

    The 3-year Action Agenda for 2017-18 to 2019-20, aligned to the predictability of financial resources during the 14th Finance Commission Award period, has been completed and will be submitted to the Prime Minister on April 23rd at the 3rd Governing Council Meeting.

    23. Under the Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) over 21 lakh, conventional street lights have been replaced with LED street lights across the country. Consider the following statements regarding the Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP):
    I. The Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) was launched in 1000 cities on 5th January 2015 to convert conventional street and domestic lights with energy efficient LED lights.
    II. Under Street Light National Programme (SLNP), Government aims to replace 1.34 crore conventional street lights with energy efficient LED lights.
    III. The Scheme is being implemented in 23 States and Union Territories Annual energy savings of 295 million units.

    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:

    Under the Government of India’s Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) over 21 lakh, conventional street lights have been replaced with LED street lights across the country. The newly installed lights have led to brighter streets, feeling of enhanced safety and security among the residents and motorists. Energy Efficiency Services Limited, a Public Energy Services Company under the administration of Ministry of Power, Government of India is the implementing agency for SLNP.

    The installation of LED street lights has resulted in Annual energy savings of 295 million unit kWh, avoided capacity of over 73 MW and reduction of 2.3 lakh tonnes of CO2 annually. The project has been implemented across 23 states and union territories. The lighting level on roads has increased significantly after the replacement.

    Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi had launched the National Programme in 100 cities on 5th January 2015 to convert conventional street and domestic lights with energy efficient LED lights. Under Street Light National Programme (SLNP), Government aims to replace 1.34 crore conventional street lights with energy efficient LED lights.

    24. Which of the following premier institutes of India has found the molecular mechanism by which vitamin C impedes and even kills Mycobacterium smegmatis, a non-pathogenic bacterium that belongs to the same genus as the TB-causing mycobacteria?
    a. IISc Bengaluru
    b. IIT Bombay
    c. AIIMS Delhi
    d. None of the above

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    That vitamin C, an anti-oxidant agent, boosts and strengthens immunity is well known. Its ability to speed-up recovery from tuberculosis and impede the TB causing bacteria from causing disease, and even kill the bacteria in culture at high concentration are also known. Now, a study by a team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru has found the molecular mechanism by which vitamin C impedes and even kills Mycobacterium smegmatis, a non-pathogenic bacterium that belongs to the same genus as the TB-causing mycobacteria. The results were published in the journal FEMS Microbiology Letters.

    25. The process of bio-fortification has been in news recently. Consider the following statements regarding the bio-fortification:
    I. The bio-fortification is the process of growing crops to increase nutrition value from the seed on.
    II. It is the process same as the ‘fortified’ foods that have micronutrients added to them during processing.
    III. Crops can be bio-fortified through selective breeding or genetic engineering.

    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:

    If we look back in the 60s, the Green Revolution changed the way we looked at food, both in terms of growing and eating. The focus was simply this— to increase production of staples so no one would go hungry.

    Today, most of us do get enough to eat, in terms of calories, but we still may not be getting our essential micronutrients, such as iron and zinc. In other words, our focus has shifted from quantity to quality. This ‘hidden hunger’, a term used to describe dietary micronutrient deficiencies, must be taken care of. The answer, find researchers, is bio-fortification.

    Simply put, bio-fortification is the process of growing crops to increase nutrition value from the seed on. It’s not the same as ‘fortified’ foods that have micronutrients added to them during processing. Crops can be bio-fortified through selective breeding or genetic engineering. In India, bio-fortification is done exclusively through selective breeding. Though bio-fortified foods are not available off the shelf just yet, it’s really the next big thing in nutrition to look out for.

    Current Affairs Quizzes for IAS Prelims 2017

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