1. Home
  2. |  
  3. Civil Services|  

Current Affairs for IAS Exam: 1 to 10 March 2017

Mar 10, 2017 13:36 IST

    Weekly Current AffairsThe IAS aspirants have to understand the significance of current affairs in IAS exam. For this, IAS aspirants should analyse the UPSC Previous Year question papers. The intensity of asking current affairs based questions has been increased from the last few years. So, in no way, the IAS aspirants can ignore to study the current affairs for IAS Exam.

    Current Affairs Quizzes: February 2017

    Current Affairs Quizzes- 1st March 2017

    1. Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) signs ten (10) more Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) pertaining to various sectors of the economy like Telecom, Pharmaceutical, Banking & Finance, Steel, Retail and Information Technology etc. Consider the following statements regarding the APA Scheme:
    I. The APA Scheme was introduced in the Income-tax Act in 2012 and the “Rollback” provisions were introduced in 2014.
    II. The scheme endeavours to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and setting the prices of international transactions in advance.
    III. The total number of APAs entered into by the CBDT has reached 140 which includes 10 Bilateral APAs and 130 Unilateral APAs.

    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 Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into 10 more Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) over the last one week, including 7 Unilateral APAs signed on 28th February alone. Two of these ten agreements are Bilateral APAs with the United Kingdom and Japan. Seven of these Agreements have Rollback provisions in them.  With this, the total number of APAs entered into by the CBDT has reached 140. This includes 10 Bilateral APAs and 130 Unilateral APAs. In the current financial year, a total of 76 APAs (7 Bilateral APAs and 61 Unilateral APAs) have already been entered into. The CBDT expects more APAs to be concluded and signed before the end of the current fiscal.

    The APA Scheme was introduced in the Income-tax Act in 2012 and the “Rollback” provisions were introduced in 2014. The scheme endeavours to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and setting the prices of international transactions in advance. Since its inception, the APA scheme has evinced a lot of interest from taxpayers and that has resulted in more than 700 applications (both unilateral and bilateral) being filed so far in about five years.

    2. The OECD Economic Survey of India 2017 has been launched recently in Delhi. Consider the following statements regarding the OECD Economic Survey of India 2017:
    I. The OECD Economic Survey of India 2017 hails India’s recent growth rate of more than 7 percent annually as the strongest among G-20 countries.
    II. It identifies priority areas for future action, including continuing plans to maintain macroeconomic stability and further reduce poverty, additional comprehensive tax reforms and new efforts to boost productivity and reduce disparities between India’s various regions.

    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 Indian economy is expanding at a fast pace, boosting living standards and reducing poverty nationwide. Further reforms are now necessary to maintain strong growth and ensure that all Indians benefit from it, according to a new report from the OECD.

    The latest OECD Economic Survey of India 2017 finds that the acceleration of structural reforms and the move toward a rule-based macroeconomic policy framework are sustaining the country’s longstanding rapid economic expansion.

    The Survey, launched in New Delhi recently by OECD Secretary-General Mr Angel Gurria and Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India, Shaktikanta Das, hails India’s recent growth rate of more than 7 percent annually as the strongest among G-20 countries. It identifies priority areas for future action, including continuing plans to maintain macroeconomic stability and further reduce poverty, additional comprehensive tax reforms and new efforts to boost productivity and reduce disparities between India’s various regions.

    Current Affairs Quizzes: January 2017

    3. Recently, the government of India has signed $375 million in loans and grants to develop 800-kilometer Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor with which of the following international organisations?
    a. Asian Development Bank
    b. International Monetary Fund
    c. World Bank
    d. OECD

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    Recently, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed here $375 million in loans and grants to develop 800-kilometer Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor, which is the First Phase of a planned 2,500–kilometer long East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC). The Corridor is expected to spur development on India’s eastern coast in line with the Government of India’s Make in India policy to stimulate manufacturing, and Act East policy to integrate the Indian economy with Asia’s dynamic global production networks.

    The signing event was held on 23.02.2017 followed the ADB approval of $631 million in loans and grants in September 2016 to develop the Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor. ADB’s approved loans comprise a $500 million multi-tranche facility to build key infrastructure in the four main centres along the corridor – Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Amaravati, and Yerpedu-Srikalahasti in the State of Andhra Pradesh. The First Tranche of $245 million was signed today that will finance sub-projects to develop high-quality internal infrastructure in 2 of the 4 nodes of the corridor–Visakhapatnam and Yerpedu-Srikalahasti.

    4. India’s trade with the CLMV countries has grown from USD 1.5 bn to more than USD 10 bn in the last 10 years and India-CLMV concave was recently held to boost ties. Which of the following statements is true regarding the CLMV countries?
    I. Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam collectively, are the third largest economy in ASEAN.
    II. India is looking to boost trade and investment with the CLMV region as part of the ‘Act East’ policy.

    Codes:
    a. Only I
    b. Only II
    c. Both I and II
    d. Neither I nor II

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam collectively, are the third largest economy in ASEAN, followed by Indonesia and Thailand.  Due to close proximity, India is looking to boost trade and investment with the CLMV region as part of the ‘Act East’ policy AS announced during the 12th India – ASEAN Summit in 2013.

    The CLMV conclave is an annual feature which provides an opportunity for Indian business leaders to interact with government and business stakeholders representing the four countries. The conclave facilitates to create and provide a platform for the decision makers from CLMV countries to interact with a range of Indian business companies involved in trading, manufacturing, processing, engineering, consultancy, construction etc.

    5. Recently, the Ministry of Railways flagged off the first Antyodaya clan of trains from which stations?
    a. Between Ernakulam and Howrah
    b. Between Chennai and Howrah
    c. Between Delhi and Howrah
    d. Between Mumbai and Howrah

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    Indian Railways introduced the first Antyodaya Express between Ernakulam and Howrah that is the Ernakulam-Howrah Antyodaya Express (Weekly). The train service was inaugurated by Minister of Railways through video conferencing from Rail Bhawan.  As announced in Railway Budget 2016-17, Antyodaya Express is long-distance, fully unreserved, superfast train service, for the common man to be operated on dense routes.  The one way distance is around 2307 Kms.

    The stoppages includes Kharagpur, Balasore, Bhadrak, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Khurda Road, Brahmapur, Palasa, Srikakulam Road, Vizianagaram, Duvvada, Rajahmundry, Vijaywada, Ongole, Renigunta, Katpadi, Jolarpettai, Salem, Erode, Coiambatore, Palakkad and Thrisur.

    Current Affairs Quizzes: December 2016

    Current Affairs Quizzes- 2nd March 2017

    6. Recently, Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems (ASICS) evaluated major cities to highlight urban governance. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1) The ASICS report is designed to help city leaders pinpoint issues in urban governance in their cities and help them chalk out a reform roadmap to make them more livable.
    2) The survey found that the 21 cities generate just 37% of the amount they spend on average.
    3) Pune has topped the list on urban governance.

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

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    The ASICS report is designed to help city leaders pinpoint issues in urban governance in their cities and help them chalk out a reform roadmap to make them more livable. The City-Systems framework comprises four distinct but inter-related components urban planning and design, urban capacities and resources; empowered and legitimate political representation and transparency, accountability and participation.

    Thiruvananthapuram is the first place. Pune is ranked second, while Kolkata retains its third slot. The survey found that the 21 cities generate just 37% of the amount they spend on average, with Patna raising only 17% on its own. Only Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Pune generate over 50% of the amount they spend from their own revenue.

    7. The Madras high court directed the Tamil Nadu to eradicate seemai karuvelam trees (prosopis juliflora) in the state. Consider the following reasons why seemai trees are being eradicated:
    1) Prosopis juliflora has become an invasive weed.
    2) The seemai karuvelam trees that sucks a lot of water has invaded into water bodies.
    3) The seemai karuvelam trees emit more oxygen.
    4) Such trees roots change the ground water poisonous.

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

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The Madras high court directed the Tamil Nadu to eradicate seemai karuvelam trees (prosopis juliflora) in the state. Acacia Nilotica or Acacia Arabica, the biological name for Karuvelam trees are to be eradicated because it absorbs as much as four litres of water to produce one kg of biomass. The species is also known to germinate very fast and it spreads easily as a weed.

    It never shelters birds because they produce less oxygen but emits more carbon dioxide. It also affects soil nutrients. It makes it the surrounding drought. If there is no rain it starts absorbing underground water & if there is no underground water they absorb the humidity from the air surrounding it. Moreover, its roots change the ground water poisonous.

    8. Consider the following statements regarding the much in news bilateral exercise called Al Nagah-II:
    1) Al Nagah-II 2017a 14-day joint defence exercise between India and Oman
    2) The aim of the exercise is to build and promote bilateral naval relations and enhance interoperability.

    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:

    In an effort to build bilateral military-to-military relations and skills, a 14-day joint defence exercise 'Al-Nagah-II' between the armies of India and Oman will begin in Himachal Pradesh. This is the second joint military exercise between the two countries which have a history of extensive cooperation in the defence arena. The participating troops for this exercise have been drawn from one infantry battalion each from the Indian Army and the Royal Army of Oman.

    The aim of the exercise is to build and promote bilateral Army-to-Army relations and enhance interoperability while exchanging skills and experiences between the Indian Army and the Royal Army of Oman. The aim is also to qualitatively enhance knowledge of each other's military procedures thus increasing the scope for interoperability and better responsiveness to a common threat.

    9. An interceptor missile Advanced Area Defence (AAD) has been successfully launched by which of the following organisation of India?
    a. Indian Space Research Organisation
    b. Defence Research and Development Organization
    c. Indian Institute Space Science and Technology
    d. Department of Space

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    DRDO conducted the successful launch of the interceptor missile Advanced Area Defence (AAD) at 1015 hrs today from Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha. The endo-atmospheric missile, capable of intercepting incoming targets at an altitude of 15 to 25 kms successfully destroyed the incoming missile. All the mission objectives were successfully met.

    The weapon system radars tracked the target and provided the initial guidance to the interceptor which could precisely home on to the target and destroyed it in endo-atmospheric layer. The complete event including the engagement and destruction was tracked by a number of electro-optical tracking systems using infrared imagery.

    Radars and telemetry stations tracked the target and the interceptor till the destruction of the target. The launch has proved the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) prowess of the country.

    10. Which of the following states has decided to celebrate the festival Namami Brahmaputra?
    a. Sikkim
    b. Assam
    c. West Bengal
    d. Arunachal Pradesh

    Answer: b
    Explanation:

    Recently, the Chief Minister of Assam has announced that the Namami Brahmaputra Festival will be organised in the first week of April 2017. Namami Brahmaputra, which means “Obeisance to the Brahmaputra”, will showcase the beauty and glory of the mighty river and the land it flows through. It will also help to highlight Assam’s potential in the global platform, bringing economic opportunities and development, Chief Minister Sonowal said.

    The festival will promote the Brahmaputra as a tourist attraction. The Brahmaputra that is the lifeline of Assam is the strength of the economy and Namami Brahmaputra will promote it in a bigger way. There are more than 2,300 islands in the river and visitors will have the unique experience of seeing them first-hand.

    Current Affairs Quizzes: November 2016

    Current Affairs Quizzes- 3rd March 2017

    11. The ‘Working Group on Migration’ set by the government of India has submitted its Report recently. Consider the following recommendations made by the committee:
    I. The Protocols of the Registrar General of India needs to be amended to enable caste-based enumeration of migrants so that they can avail the attendant benefits in the States to which migration takes place.
    II. Migrants should be enabled to avail benefits of Public Distribution System (PDS) in the Destination State by providing for inter-State operability of PDS.
    III. States should be encouraged to proactively eliminate the requirement of domicile status to prevent any discrimination in work and employment.

    Which of the above statements is correct?
    a. I and II
    b. II and III
    c. I and III
    d. All of the above

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    The ‘Working Group on Migration’ set by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation 2015 who submitted their Report to the Government. The Working Group has recommendations as follows:

    • The Protocols of the Registrar General of India needs to be amended to enable caste-based enumeration of migrants so that they can avail the attendant benefits in the States to which migration takes place.

    • It also recommended that migrants should be enabled to avail benefits of Public Distribution System (PDS) in the Destination State by providing for inter-State operability of PDS.

    • States should be encouraged to proactively eliminate the requirement of domicile status to prevent any discrimination in work and employment.

    • States are also to be asked to include migrant children in the Annual Work Plans under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) to uphold their Right to Education.

    • The vast network of post offices needs to be made effective use of by reducing the cost of transfer of money to avoid informal remittances.

    • It also suggested that migrants should be enabled to open bank accounts by asking banks to adhere to RBI guidelines regarding Know Your Customer (KYC) norms and not insist on documents that were not required.

    • The Group suggested that the hugely underutilised Construction Workers Welfare Cess Fund should be used to promote rental housing, working Women Hostels etc., for the benefit of migrants.

    12. Aleppo report of the Unites Nations accuses all sides of brutal war crimes. With which war is Aleppo report concerned with?
    a. Sri-Lankan Civil War
    b. Bangladesh Civil War
    c. Syrian Civil War
    d. Ukrainian Civil War

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    The UN-established commission has issued a damning report on human rights violations in Syria's war-ravaged Aleppo, accusing both sides to the conflict of committing war crimes. The commission gathered evidence to confirm witness accounts that the Syrian and Russian governments used prohibited cluster munitions on civilians in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, suggesting the deliberate destruction of hospitals with repeated airstrikes, among other rights violations.

    Cluster munitions release smaller "bomblets" that cover a wider area than regular bombs and are criticised for causing damage beyond intended targets. Aleppo was once Syria’s largest city, with a population of about 2.3 million. It was also the country’s industrial and financial centre. The old city is a Unesco World Heritage site and was famous for its 13th Century citadel and 12th Century Great Mosque.

    13. Recently, a maiden Anti-Ship Missile has been successfully conducted by:
    a. DRDO
    b. Indian Navy
    c. ISRO
    d. NARL

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    Recently, the Indian Navy has successfully conducted the maiden firing of an Anti-Ship missile from the first of the indigenously built Kalvari class submarines, during a test firing in the Arabian Sea.

    The missile successfully hit a surface target at extended ranges during the trial firing, held this morning. This missile launch is a significant milestone, not only for the Kalvari, which is the first in a series of Scorpene class submarines being built in India, but also in enhancing the Indian Navy’s sub-surface warfare capability.

    All six Kalvari class submarines being built in India will be equipped with this anti-ship missile, which has a proven record in combat. These missiles will provide the submarines the ability to neutralise surface threats at extended ranges.

    14. Recently, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) handed over which of the following products for induction into the Indian Army?
    a. Weapon Locating Radar (WLR), SWATHI,
    b. NBC Recce vehicle
    c. NBC Drugs
    d. All of the above

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) handed over three of its products for induction into the Indian Army. The products are namely (i) Weapon Locating Radar (WLR), SWATHI, (ii) NBC Recce vehicle and (iii) NBC Drugs. The Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar who presided the function handed over the products to the Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat on behalf of DRDO.

    The NBC Recce Vehicle Mk-I, is developed by Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (VRDE) for carrying out post event recce of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Contaminated areas. It is capable of collecting solid and liquid samples of biologically contaminated areas, mark the nuclear and chemical contamination zone and transfer the recce data speedily to support formations. On the successful development of NBC RV Mk-I in association with DL, Jodhpur, and the equipment was approved for induction into the Services.

    15. Measles is highly infectious and is one of the major childhood killer diseases. Consider the following statements regarding the India's ambitious target of eliminating measles and controlling congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), caused by the rubella virus, by 2020:
    I. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “a single dose of rubella vaccine gives more than 95% long-lasting immunity.”
    II. All children aged nine months and 15 years will be administered a single dose of the combination vaccine.
    III. Of the 1, 34,000 measles deaths globally in 2015, an estimated 47,000 occurred in India.

    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:

    Buoyed by the elimination of polio six years ago and maternal and neonatal tetanus and yaws in 2016, India has set an ambitious target of eliminating measles and controlling congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), caused by the rubella virus, by 2020. While two doses of measles vaccine given at 9-12 months and 16-24 months have already been part of the national immunisation programme, it is the first time that the rubella vaccine has been included in the programme. Since the rubella vaccines will piggy-back on the measles elimination programme, there will be very little additional cost.

    Measles is highly infectious and is one of the major childhood killer diseases. Of the 1, 34,000 measles deaths globally in 2015, an estimated 47,000 occurred in India. The introduction of the second dose of the measles vaccine and an increase in vaccine coverage have led to a sharp decline in deaths in India — from an estimated 1,00,000 deaths in 2010 to 47,000 in 2015. Unlike measles, rubella is a mild viral infection that mainly occurs in children. But a woman infected with the rubella virus during the early stage of pregnancy has a 90% chance of transmitting it to the foetus. The virus can cause hearing impairments, eye and heart defects and brain damage in newborns, and even spontaneous abortion and foetal deaths. Of the 1, 10,000 children born with CRS every year globally, an estimated 40,000 cases occur in India alone.

    ECONOMIC SURVEY 2016-17 based important Questions and Analysis

    Current Affairs Quizzes- 6th March 2017

    16. One of the world’s largest nesting grounds of Olive Ridley sea turtles are getting destroyed due to shrinking coastal space. Consider the following statements regarding the Olive Ridley sea turtles engendered status:
    1) Olive Ridley sea turtle has found a place in Schedule – I of Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (amended 1991).
    2) The sea turtle is protected under the ‘Migratory Species Convention’ but not CITES (Convention of International Trade on Wildlife Flora and Fauna).
    3) All the species of sea turtles in the coastal water of Odisha are listed as “endangered” as per IUCN Red Data Book.

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

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    Olive Ridley sea turtle has found a place in Schedule – I of Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (amended 1991). All the species of sea turtles in the coastal water of Odisha are listed as “endangered” as per IUCN Red Data Book.

    The sea turtle is protected under the ‘Migratory Species Convention’ and CITES (Convention on International Trade on Wildlife Flora and Fauna). India is a signatory nation to all these conventions.

    Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary is a marine wildlife sanctuary located in Odisha is very famous for its nesting beach for olive ridley sea turtles. It is the one of world’s most important nesting beach for turtles. The ‘Homing’ characteristics of the Ridley sea turtles make them more prone to a mass casualty.

    17. Recently, World Wildlife Day was celebrated on 3rd March with the theme of “Listen to the Young Voices.” The United Nations proclaimed the day of signature of the CITES convention, as UN World Wildlife Day. Consider the following statements regarding the CITES Convention:
    1) The focus of the convention is solely on the protection of species.
    2) It also promotes controlled trade that is not detrimental to the sustainability of wild species.
    3) Wild species are categorised in Appendices I to III which often reflects species threat status on the Red List of the IUCN.

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

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) works primarily through a system of classification and licensing. Wild species are categorised in Appendices I to III. This often reflects species’ threat status on the Red List of the IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species first created in 1964.

    The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international regulatory treaty between 182 member states. It was formed in 1973 and regulates the international trade in over 35,000 wild species of plants and animals.

    The focus of the convention is not solely on the protection of species. It also promotes controlled trade that is not detrimental to the sustainability of wild species. It has become the best-known conservation convention in the world.

    Appendix I prohibit trade in species classified as highly endangered. Appendix II allows trade under very specific conditions. This requires exporting countries obtain a permit, but not the importing country. Appendix III species require only a certificate of origin to be traded.

    18. Kurukh, an endangered tribal language is set to get a new lease of life or revitalised in the Indian state of West Bengal. Consider the following statements regarding the Kurukh Language:
    1) Kurukh is a tribal language of the Dravidian family,
    2) It is spoken by the Oraon tribal community.
    3) The language is marked as being in a vulnerable state in UNESCO’s list of endangered languages.

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

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    Kurukh is a member of the North Dravidian subfamily of Dravidian languages with Tolong Siki script, spoken by some 1.8 million people of the Oraon tribes of the Chota Nagpur plateau of east-central India. It is closely related to Sauria Paharia and Kumarbhag Paharia, which are often together referred to as Malto.

    The language is marked as being in a “vulnerable” state in UNESCO’s list of endangered languages. Jharkhand has recognised Kurukh as a language. West Bengal government is taking steps for the recognition of the Kurukh language of the Oraon community who live in Dooars. The language was given official status in the State last month.

    19. A bilateral meeting was recently held in New Delhi between India and Canada focussed on expanding bilateral trade and investment between the Countries. Consider the following statements regarding the India-Canada trade and investment relations:
    I. Both the countries agreed to expedite the conclusion of Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) and Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
    II. Both the countries agreed that the present trade which is in the range of $ 8 billion is much below its potential and there is a need to conclude CEPA in a time bound manner for ensuring higher levels of trade in goods and services.

    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:

    A bilateral meeting was recently held on 3rd February 2017 in New Delhi between visiting Canadian Minister of International Trade, Mr François-Philippe Champagne and Commerce and Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman. The two Ministers carried forward the discussion from the bilateral meeting held on the sidelines of World Economic Forum at Davos in January 2017. The discussion focussed on expanding bilateral trade and investment between the Countries. Both the Ministers agreed to expedite the conclusion of Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) and Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

    Both the Ministers agreed that the present trade which is in the range of $ 8 billion is much below its potential and there is a need to conclude CEPA in a time bound manner for ensuring higher levels of trade in goods and services. They directed the respective Chief Negotiators on both sides to agree on a timeline and conclude it as per the agreed timeline.

    20. The work on the disputed Shahpur Kandi Dam is about to resume. Consider the following statements regarding the Shahpur Kandi Dam:
    I. The project was being built at an estimated cost of Rs. 2285.81 crore (April 2008 price level) and is included in the Scheme of National Projects by Government of India.
    II. The construction of Shahpur Kandi project was taken up in May 1999 but later halted in 2014 due to the dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
    III. The 55.5 high Shahpur Kandi dam, located in Gurdaspur district of Punjab.

    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:

    In a major step today towards utilisation of India’s rights on Eastern Rivers of Indus basin, the mediation efforts of Ministry of Water Resources, RD&GR persuaded the States of J&K and Punjab to reach an agreement to resume works on Shahpur Kandi Dam project in Punjab/ J&K.

    The project was being built with an estimated cost of Rs. 2285.81 crore (April, 2008 price level) and is included in the Scheme of National Projects by Government of India. Under the scheme, MoWR, RD&GR provides central assistance at 90% of the balance cost of works component of irrigation and water supply. Both the States agreed that other issues will be referred to Arbitration mechanism provided in the agreement signed between two states of 1979 without affecting the progress of work.

    It was unanimously agreed that the work on the Shahpur Kandi Dam Project would resume as soon both the State Governments formally approve the agreed decisions. The 55.5 high Shahpur Kandi dam, located in Gurdaspur district of Punjab, will help in providing irrigation facility to 5000 hectares of land in Punjab and 32173 hectares in J&K besides generation of 206 MW power.

    Current Affairs Quizzes- 7th March 2017

    21. Recently, which of the following ships of Indian Navy has been decommissioned?
    a. INS Viraat
    b. INS Vikramaditya
    c. INS Shakti
    d. INS Kolkata

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    A glorious era of INS Viraat being the flag ship of the Indian Navy came to an end on 7th March 2017. INS Viraat, the second Centaur-Class aircraft carrier in service which has spent 30 years in the Indian Navy and 27 years in the Royal Navy, was decommissioned on the day, in a solemn yet grand ceremony at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai. The decommissioning ceremony was attended by more than 1300 personnel who have served on board INS Viraat.

    INS Viraat holds the world record as mentioned in the Guinness Book of records for being the longest serving warship of the world. The ship which was the centrepiece of the Navy, housed the fighters Sea Harriers of INAS 300, popularly called “White Tigers”, Anti Submarine aircraft Sea king Mk 42B - also known as “Harpoons” -, Sea King Mk 42 C and the SAR helicopter Chetak as an integral flight. The indigenous Advance Light Helicopters ‘Dhruv’ and the Russian twin rotor Kamov-31 have also operated from the ship. The Sea Harrier fleet was decommissioned at Goa on 11 May 2016.

    22. Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved the India's accession to the Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention). Consider the following statements regarding the Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets:
    I. The Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets, 1975 (TIR Convention), is an international transit system under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
    II. The convention is to facilitate the seamless movement of goods within and amongst the Parties to the Convention and at present there are 70 parties to the Convention, including the European Union.
    III. The Convention will help Indian traders to have access to fast, easy, reliable and hassle free international system for movement of goods by road or multi- modal means across the territories of other contracting parties.

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

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    The Union Cabinet has given its approval for India's accession to the Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention) and for completion of necessary procedures for ratification, for its entry into force. The Convention will help Indian traders to have access to fast, easy, reliable and hassle free international system for movement of goods by road or multi- modal means across the territories of other contracting parties.

    After joining the convention, the need for inspection of goods at intermediate borders as well as physical escorts en route shall be obviated due to reciprocal recognition of customs controls. Customs clearance can take place at internal Customs locations thereby avoiding clearances at Border Crossing Points and ports that may often be congested. Movement under the TIR can be allowed by checking only the seals and the external conditions of the load compartment or the container thereby reducing border delays, transport and transaction cost thereby leading to increased competitiveness and growth for the trade and transport sectors.

    23. With which of the following country, India has signed a definitive agreement on Oil Storage and Management?
    a. Iran
    b. UAE
    c. Israel
    d. Qatar

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for signing of the Definitive Agreement on Oil Storage and Management between Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve Ltd (ISPRL) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) of UAE.

    As per the Agreement, the ADNOC will fill up 0.81 MMT or 5,860,000 million barrels of crude oil at ISPRL storage facility at Mangalore, Karnataka. Out of the crude stored, some part will be used for commercial purpose of ADNOC, while a major part will be purely for strategic purposes. The signing of the Agreement will augment India's energy security. India and UAE are strategic partners. The investment by ADNOC is a major investment from UAE under the High Level Task Force on Investment (HLTFI) and the first investment by UAE in India in the energy sector.

    24. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has published its first ever list of antibiotic-resistant 12 families of bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health. Consider the following statements regarding the WHO list:
    I. The list was part of efforts to address the problem of growing global resistance to antimicrobial medicines.
    II. None of these 12 superbugs are present in India.

    Which of the above statements is correct?
    a. Only I
    b. Only II
    c. Both I and II
    d. Neither I nor II

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    The World Health Organization for the first time has issued a list of the top 12 "priority pathogens." They're disease-causing bacteria that are increasingly resistant to antibiotics.
    Yet the development of new antibiotics to treat them has slowed to a crawl. WHO considers its new list is an attempt to get Drug Company and public research labs to make it a priority to collaborate on new treatments for the bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health.

    Critical: The highest priority is research and development for three families of multidrug resistant bacteria, including E. coli, that often prove fatal in hospitals and nursing homes.

    High priority: These are a grab bag of multidrug-resistant microbes including gonorrhea, staph infections and salmonella. They spread very easily and we don't have any other way of preventing them.

    Medium: This category includes Haemophilus influenzae, which can cause a wide range of infections, particularly in children, and penicillin-resistant streptococcus bacteria.

    25. The Lakkaram tank of Kakatiya period here has received a new lease of life under the Mission Kakatiya scheme. Consider the following statements regarding the Kakatiya dynasty:
    I. The Kakatiya dynasty was a South Indian dynasty whose capital was Warangal.
    II. The Koh-i-Noor Diamond was mined and first owned by the Kakatiya Dynasty.
    III. The name ‘Mission Kakatiya’ is given in the remembrance and tribute to the Kakatiya rulers who developed large number of the irrigation tanks.

    Which of the above statements is correct?
    a. I and II
    b. II and III
    c. I and III
    d. All of the above

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    The Kakatiya dynasty was a South Indian dynasty whose capital was Orugallu, now known as Warangal. It was eventually conquered by the Delhi Sultanate. The demise of Kakatiya dynasty resulted in confusion and anarchy under alien rulers for some time.  Mission Kakatiya is the Telangana government’s flagship programme aimed at restoring minor irrigation sources like tanks and other water bodies to help small and marginal farmers. The name ‘Mission Kakatiya’ is given in the remembrance and tribute to the Kakatiya rulers who developed large number of the irrigation tanks.

    The Koh-i-Noor Diamond, which is now among the jewels set in the British Crown, was mined and first owned by the Kakatiya Dynasty. Since the end of 13th Century and the early of 14th Century, Kakatiya Kingdom faced several attacks by the Delhi Sultanate. The attacks started under Alauddin Khilji’s rule and it is said that it is during this time that the Koh-i-Noor went into the hands of the Delhi Sultanate.

    Union Budget 2017 Questions for IAS Exam

    Current Affairs Quizzes- 8th March 2017

    26. The Union Cabinet has approved an MoU between India and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women). What is the main purpose of this MOU:
    a. It seeks to provide technical support to the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
    b. It seeks to provide technical support to the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
    c. It seeks to provide support to women welfare schemes.
    d. All of the above.

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    Union Cabinet has approved the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women).

    The proposal seeks to provide technical support to the Ministry of Panchayati Raj in strengthening capacities of governance institutions, including Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) to better leverage opportunities created for gender equality through legislation, policies and programmes.

    The parties agree that engendering the initiatives of MoPR, including capacity development efforts, will be of mutual benefit, and will further their shared mission of good governance, gender equality and women’s empowerment. In the long run, it will enable an improvement in the status of rural women in India.

    Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) and UN-Women have worked in collaboration with each other to promote participation of women in Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), to focus on building capacities of Elected Women Representatives to empower them and enhance their effectiveness.

    Given the past gains, the two parties will now work together towards the participatory design of governance processes and effective implementation of laws, policies and programmes to promote gender responsive governance.

    27. Consider the following statements regarding the new Trade Mark Rules of 2017:
    1) The number of Trade Mark (TM) Forms has been reduced.
    2) Modalities for determination of well-known trademarks have been laid out for the first time.
    3) e-filing of Trade Mark applications is promoted.

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

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    Some salient features of the new trademark Rules are as follows:

    •  The number of Trade Mark (TM) Forms have been reduced from 74 to 8.

    •  To promote e-filing of TM applications, the fee for online filing has been kept at 10% lower than that for physical filing.

    •  Based on stakeholder feedback, the fees for Individuals, Startups and Small Enterprises have been reduced from that proposed in the draft Rules.

    •  Modalities for determination of well-known trademarks have been laid out for the first time.

    Modalities for service of documents from applicants to the Registry and vice-versa through electronic means have been introduced to expedite the process; e-mail has been made an essential part of the address for service to be provided by the applicant or any party to the proceedings so that the office communication may be sent through email.

    Hearing through video conferencing has been introduced. Numbers of adjournments in opposition proceedings have been restricted to a maximum of two by each party, which will help dispose of matters in time. Procedures relating to registration as Registered User of trademarks have also been simplified. The New Rules should give a boost to the Intellectual Property Regime in India.

    28. The Centre has launched the first ever across-the-river survey in the Ganga to determine the population of aquatic life, especially that of the endangered Gangetic dolphin. Consider the following statements regarding the Gangetic dolphin:
    1) The Ganges River dolphins are also known as “susu” and inhabit the river systems of Nepal, India, and Bangladesh.
    2) The species is found exclusively in lake habitat.
    3) One of the main threats to the species is the loss of habitat due in large part to the creation of dams and irrigation projects.

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

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    The Ganges River dolphin, or susu, inhabits the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems of Nepal, India, and Bangladesh. This vast area has been altered by the construction of more than 50 dams and other irrigation-related projects, with dire consequences for the river dolphins.

    The Ganges River dolphin lives in one of the world's most densely populated areas and is threatened by the removal of river water and siltation arising from deforestation, pollution and entanglement in fisheries nets. The species is found exclusively in freshwater habitat.

    In Nepal, it inhabits clear water and rapids. In Bangladesh and India, individuals live in rivers that flow slowly through the plains. The Ganges River dolphin favours deep pools, eddy counter-currents located downstream of the convergence of rivers and of sharp meanders, and upstream and downstream of mid-channel islands. 'Susu' shares its habitat with crocodiles, freshwater turtles and wetland birds, many of which are fish eaters and are potential competitors with dolphins.

    29. Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved the Revised Cost Estimate of Koteshwar Hydro Electric Project, located in which of the following states in India?
    a. Himachal Pradesh
    b. Uttarakhand
    c. Odisha
    d. Karnataka

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the Revised Cost Estimate-I of 400 MW Koteshwar Hydro Electric Project (HEP) in Uttarakhand.

    The project is being implemented by Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDC) India Limited. In addition to additional generating capacity of 400 MW of peaking power, it will regulate releases from Tehri Reservoir for irrigation and drinking water supply. The reservoir of Koteshwar HEP will also act as a lower reservoir for under construction Tehri PSP (1000 MW).

    The Project has already been fully commissioned in March 2012. Only balance works are to be done which are not linked with the operation of the Plant but essential for safety and completion of the project.

    30. A recent report of Ministry of Water Resources suggests that water Level of 91 major reservoirs of the Country goes down by three per cent. Consider the following statements regarding the major reservoirs of the Country:
    I. The total storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is about 62% of the total storage capacity, which is estimated to have been created in the country.
    II. 37 Reservoirs out of these 91 have hydropower benefit with an installed capacity of more than 60 MW.
    III. States having lesser storage than last year for the corresponding period are Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.

    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 water storage available in 91 major reservoirs of the country for the week ending on March 02, 2017 was 64.55 BCM, which is 41% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This percentage was at 44 for the week ending February 23, 2017. The level of March 02, 2017 was 132% of the storage of corresponding period of last year and 102% of storage of average of last ten years.

    The total storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is 157.799 BCM which is about 62% of the total storage capacity of 253.388 BCM which is estimated to have been created in the country. 37 Reservoirs out of these 91 have hydropower benefit with an installed capacity of more than 60 MW.

    States having better storage than last year for the corresponding period are Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, AP&TG (Two combined projects in both states) and Telangana.  States having lesser storage than last year for the corresponding period are Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.

    IAS Complete Study Material

    Current Affairs Quizzes- 9th March 2017

    31. Recently, a one day conference on India-Poland Bilateral Cooperation in Agriculture & Allied Sectors was held on 8th March 2017. Consider the following statements regarding the India - Poland Bilateral Cooperation in Agriculture & Allied Sectors:
    I. By using Polish technologies to enhance food processing capacity in India could be a win-win formula for companies on both the countries.
    II. Polish food producers use only one third of the amount of fertilizers used elsewhere within the EU.

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
    a. Only I
    b. Only II
    c. Both I and II
    d. Neither I nor II

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    Recently, a one day Conference on India - Poland Bilateral Cooperation in Agriculture & Allied Sectors was held on 8th March 2017, at NASC Complex, Pusa, New Delhi. The conference was attended by Government Officers, Scientists and Industry representatives of both the countries. The conference apprised both sides on the latest developments of their activities in the field of Seed, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Plant Protection, Mechanization, food processing and allied agriculture sector. Finally, both the sides reaffirmed their commitment to maintain close contacts through the established channels. Both sides will continue to foster cooperation in priority fields of mutual interest.

    32. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 was recently in news. Consider the following statements regarding the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016:
    I. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 is considered as the biggest economic reform next only to GST.
    II. It offers a market determined, time bound mechanism for orderly resolution of insolvency, wherever possible, and orderly exit, wherever required.
    III. The Code envisages an ecosystem comprising National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunal (DRAT), Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT), Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Board).

    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 Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 is considered as the biggest economic reform next only to GST. It offers a market determined, time bound mechanism for orderly resolution of insolvency, wherever possible, and orderly exit, wherever required. The Code envisages an ecosystem comprising National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunal (DRAT), Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT), Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Board), Information Utilities (IUs), Insolvency Professionals (IPs), Insolvency Professional Agencies (IPAs) and Insolvency Professional Entities (IPEs) for implementation of the Code.

    With concerted efforts of all concerned, there has been considerable progress in terms of putting in place some of the key elements of the ecosystem and also operationalisation of provisions relating to corporate insolvency resolution and liquidation. The debtors and creditors alike have commenced transactions under the Code.

    33. Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved for settlement of Legacy Food Cash Credit Accounts (upto crop season 2014-15) of which of the following states?
    a. Gujarat
    b. Punjab
    c. Maharashtra
    d. Uttar Pradesh

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for settlement of Legacy Food Cash Credit Accounts (upto crop season 2014-15) of Punjab Government for food procurement operations. This proposal of Department of Expenditure was approved by Prime Minister under Rule 12 of (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1961.

    The early settlement of legacy issues will help the banks in disbursement of food credit in the larger interest of numerous farmers of the State and uninterrupted continuity in food procurement operations to ensure food security for the nation. Settlement of outstanding Cash Credit Limits (CCL) account by availing term loan by the Punjab Government would entail savings in terms of interest payment. This will create additional resource enabling Punjab Government to undertake capital expenditure.

    34. Punjab Agricultural has developed country's first genetically-modified (BT) varieties of cotton. Consider the following statements regarding this indigenously developed BT- Cotton:
    I. The price of seed of the newly developed (PAU Bt 1 and F 1861) Bt cotton varieties shall much lower as compared to current market price of Bt cotton hybrids seed.
    II. BT-cotton hybrids became popular due to ‘Bt technology’ which imparts resistance to bollworms, which are a major cause of yield loss in cotton.
    III.  Cotton and Bringal are the only genetically-modified seeds that are legally allowed in India.

    Which of the above statements is correct?
    a. I and III
    b. II and III
    c. I and II
    d. All of the above

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana has said that it has developed country's first genetically-modified (Bt) varieties of cotton — the seeds of which could be reused by farmers, resulting in saving the repeated cost they have to bear every season. Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has identified three Bt cotton varieties — namely PAU Bt 1, F1861 and RS 2013 — for cultivation in states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

    PAU Bt 1 and F 1861 were developed by PAU, whereas, RS 2013 was developed at Rajasthan Agricultural University (RAU), Bikaner. While the PAU Bt 1 was completely developed at Punjab Agricultural University, the F 1861 and RS 2013 varieties were converted to Bt version by Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR), Nagpur. The entire three varieties carry ''cry1Ac'' gene imparting resistance against bollworm complex.

    Notably, cotton is the only genetically-modified seed that’s legally allowed in India. Punjab alone needs around 20-25 lakh packets of Bt cotton seed for sowing of crop which roughly amounts to around Rs. 225 crores.

    With the new variety, the farmers can keep their own harvest for next sowing season. Bt cotton hybrids became popular due to ‘Bt technology’ which imparts resistance to bollworms, which are a major cause of yield loss in cotton. The price of seed of these Bt cotton varieties shall much lower as compared to current market price of Bt cotton hybrids seed, and thus, there is a scope to reduce the cost of cultivation and increase the savings of the farmers.

    35. Recently, the Joint Army Exercise,” Al Nagah-Ii” was held between India and which country?
    a. Oman
    b. Yemen
    c. Saudi Arabia
    d. Kuwait

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    The second edition of the Joint Army Exercise,” Al Nagah-Ii” was held between India and Oman recently. The training contingents comprised of platoon strength from both the Armies, which will be validated over 2-3 days by senior military observers of both the countries. The previous edition of the Exercise was held at Muscat, Oman in 2015.

    The aim of this exercise is to acquaint both forces with each other’s operating procedures, improve the interoperability in conducting joint operations in the backdrop of counter insurgency/ counter terrorism environment as also to enhance the existing military relationship between the Indian Army and the Royal Army of Oman.

    Current Affairs Quizzes- 10th March 2017

    36. Recently, the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 passed by Lok Sabha. Consider the following statements regarding the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016:
    I. Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 which inter-alia includes increasing maternity benefit to woman covered under the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 from 12 weeks to 26 weeks up to two surviving children in order to allow the mother to take care of the child.
    II. The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has already been passed by the Rajya Sabha on 11th August, 2016.
    III. These changes will have major impact on the health, well-being and growth of the future generation in the Country.

    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 Lok Sabha has passed the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 which inter-alia includes increasing maternity benefit to woman covered under the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 from 12 weeks to 26 weeks up to two surviving children in order to allow the mother to take care of the child during his/her most formative stage, providing maternity benefit of 12 weeks to Commissioning mother and Adopting mother, facilitate “work from home” to a mother with mutual consent of the employee and the employer, making mandatory in respect of establishment having fifty or more employees , to have the facility of crèche either individually or as a shared common facility within such distance as may be prescribed by rules & also to allow four visits to the crèche by the woman daily, including the interval for rest allowed to her and every establishment to intimate in writing and electronically to every woman at the time of her initial appointment about the benefits available under the Act.

    The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has already been passed by the Rajya Sabha on 11th August, 2016. These changes will have major impact on the health, well-being and growth of the future generation in the Country. It will have positive impact on women’s participation in labour force and will improve the work- life balance of the women workers. The Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Act, 2016 will come into the force only after the President’s assent.

    37. Recently, Indian and Belgium have signed protocol amending the India-Belgium Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement and Protocol. Consider the following statements regarding the India-Belgium Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement and Protocol:
    I. The Protocol will broaden the scope of the existing framework of exchange of tax related information.
    II. This in turn will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance between the two countries and will also enable mutual assistance in collection of taxes.

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
    a. Only I
    b. Only II
    c. Both I and II
    d. Neither I nor II

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    Recently, India and Belgium have signed a Protocol amending the existing Agreement and Protocol between the two countries for Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income today in New Delhi. The Protocol was signed by Sushil Chandra, Chairman Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on behalf of India and Mr. Jan Luykx, Ambassador of Belgium to India, on behalf of Belgium.

    The Protocol will broaden the scope of the existing framework of exchange of tax related information. This in turn will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance between the two countries and will also enable mutual assistance in collection of taxes. Fighting the menace of Black Money stashed in offshore accounts has been a key priority area for the Government. To further this goal, India has either signed or amended international agreements, declarations or conventions for the Avoidance of Double Taxation & Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and for the Exchange of Information with Switzerland, Mauritius, Cyprus, Japan, Republic of Korea, Kazakhstan, Singapore and Austria during the financial year 2016-17.

    38. Recently, there is a change in ‘No-Detention Policy’ under the Section 16 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009: Consider the following statements regarding this:
    I. The RTE Act, 2009 that ‘No child admitted in a school shall be held back in any class or expelled from school till the completion of elementary education’.
    II. As per the change suggested if a child fails then allow the child an opportunity to improve and should be given an opportunity to sit for another exam, if the child is unable to pass the exam in the second chance, then detain the child.  

    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:

    Section 16 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 stipulates that ‘No child admitted in a school shall be held back in any class or expelled from school till the completion of elementary education’. Thus, the policy covers elementary stage of schooling covering classes 1 to 8.

    In pursuance of the decision taken in the CABE Committee meeting held on 19.8.2016, another Sub-Committee under the Chairpersonship of Prof. Vasudev Devnani, Minister of Education, Government of Rajasthan was constituted on 26.10.2015 inter-alia, to review the feedback received from States/UTs on the ‘No-Detention’ policy. The recommendations of the Committee are as under:

    (i) There should be an examination at Class 5. It should be left to the States and UTs to decide whether this exam will be at the school, block, District or State Level.

    (ii) If a child fails then allow the child an opportunity to improve. There should be additional instruction provided to children and the child should be given an opportunity to sit for another exam. If the child is unable to pass the exam in the second chance, then detain the child.

    (iii) At Classes 6 and 7, there should be a school based exam for students.

    (iv) At Class 8, there should be an external exam. In case the child fails, the child should be given additional instruction and then appear for an improvement exam. If the child is unable to pass the exam in the second chance, then detain the child. The matter regarding amendment to Section 16 of the RTE Act, 2009 is under the active consideration of this Ministry.

    39. Recently, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has set up committee on various aspects of education. Which of the following recommendations under the theme of ‘Promote English and Science in school education’ of School Education Sector provided?
    a. English to be a compulsory subject in schools from standard 6 onwards.
    b. At least one English medium school in every block
    c. Science education facility to be ensured in a radius of 5 kilometres
    d. All of the above

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    One of the terms of reference of the group of Secretaries was formed to look into ‘Education and Social Development’, is to develop full proof mechanisms for eliminating parking of funds under various schemes. The Group of Secretaries made the following recommendation under the theme of ‘Promote English and Science in school education’ of School Education Sector:

    (i) English to be a compulsory subject in schools from standard 6 onwards;

    (ii) At least one English medium school in every block;

    (iii) Science education facility to be ensured in a radius of 5 kilometres.

    40. Recently, the various Inter Regional Power Transmission projects sanctioned under the Power System Development Fund (PSDF) scheme of Ministry of Power. Consider the following statements regarding the Power System Development Fund (PSDF) scheme:
    I. 57 Inter Regional Power Transmission projects worth Rs.7, 268 crores sanctioned under the Power System Development Fund (PSDF) scheme.
    II. PSDF can be utilized, inter alia, for creating necessary transmission systems of strategic importance based on operational feedback by Load Dispatch Centres for relieving congestion in Inter-State Transmission Systems (ISTS) and intra-state system which are incidental to the ISTS.
    III. This fund can also be utilized for Renovation & Modernization of transmission and distribution systems for relieving congestion

    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:

    As per the data from Ministry of Power that as of now, 57 projects have been sanctioned under the Power System Development Fund (PSDF) scheme, at the cost of Rs.7268 Crores. PSDF can be utilized, inter alia, for creating necessary transmission systems of strategic importance based on operational feedback by Load Dispatch Centres for relieving congestion in Inter-State Transmission Systems (ISTS) and intra-state system which are incidental to the ISTS. This fund can also be utilized for Renovation & Modernization of transmission and distribution systems for relieving congestion.

    Current Affairs Quizzes for IAS Prelims 2017

    DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

    Latest Videos

    Register to get FREE updates

      All Fields Mandatory
    • (Ex:9123456789)
    • Please Select Your Interest
    • Please specify

    • ajax-loader
    • A verifcation code has been sent to
      your mobile number

      Please enter the verification code below

    This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK
    X

    Register to view Complete PDF