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IAS Preparation: Questions for Prelims 13 February 2018

Feb 13, 2018 12:58 IST
    IAS Preparation Questions for Prelims 13 February 2018
    IAS Preparation Questions for Prelims 13 February 2018

    A current affair plays a substantial role for an IAS aspirant to get selected in the IAS Exam. The importance of current affairs has significantly risen in the last few years. So, it is very important for an IAS aspirant to prepare current affairs very well before IAS Prelims Exam 2018. Here, we have provided current affairs quizzes for IAS Prelims Exam 2018.

    IAS Prelims Exam Guide

    1. Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has tightened its rules around bank loan defaults in its latest bid to accelerate resolution of the bad loans problem at Indian banks. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. The new set of rules are aimed at creating a "harmonised and simplified generic framework" for resolution of stressed assets in view of new bankruptcy regulations.
    2. The new system will force lenders to identify and tackle any stressed-asset accounts more rapidly.
    3. Under the new rules, banks will have to file for insolvency proceedings against loan defaulters with 20 billion rupees ($311 million) or more if a resolution plan is not implemented within 180 days of the initial occurrence of a default.

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

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) late on Monday tightened its rules around bank loan defaults, seeking to push larger loan defaulters toward bankruptcy courts and abolishing half a dozen existing loan-restructuring mechanisms, in its latest bid to accelerate resolution of the bad loans problem at Indian banks. The new set of rules are aimed at creating a "harmonised and simplified generic framework" for resolution of stressed assets in view of new bankruptcy regulations, the RBI said on 12 February 2018.

    After enacting its first comprehensive bankruptcy regime in 2016, India last year gave the central bank more powers to push lenders to deal with the nearly $150 billion in troubled debt at banks, which has stymied new lending and slowed economic growth.

    Last year, the RBI ordered banks to force roughly 40 of the biggest corporate loan defaulters into bankruptcy proceedings. The new system will force lenders to identify and tackle any stressed-asset accounts more rapidly, the regulator said. Under the new rules, banks will have to file for insolvency proceedings against loan defaulters with 20 billion rupees ($311 million) or more if a resolution plan is not implemented within 180 days of the initial occurrence of a default, the RBI said.

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    2. India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2017 has been released recently. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. The 2017 assessment report reveals that 15 states/UT’s have above 33% of the geographical area under forest cover.
    2. The report shows that the forest cover in five north-eastern states - Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Meghalaya - has, however, decreased in 2017 as compared to 2015.

    Which of the above statements is/are correct?
    a. 1 only
    b. 2 only
    c. Both 1 and 2
    d. Neither 1 nor 2

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    India’s forest cover increased by 6,778 sq km over the last two years with Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha and Telangana increasing their green footprint during the period though there is a worrying decline in six north-eastern states, including a shrinkage of 630 sq km in the eastern Himalayas. While overall green cover, including tree patches outside recorded forest areas, reported an incremental 1% increase (8,021 sq km) over the last assessment year in 2015, the quality of forests remains a hotly debated subject even as satellite monitoring has increased the availability of data.

    The increase, based on satellite data and subsequent ‘ground truthing’, has put the total forest cover at 7, 08,273 sq km which are 21.54% of the country’s geographical area. Releasing the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2017 on Monday, the environment ministry looked at the overall green cover (total forest and tree cover) of 8, 02,088 sq km and pitched it as a success of multiple afforestation programmes. Though this figure puts green cover at 24.39% of India’s geographical area, this does not reflect a complete picture as it includes tree cover of 93,815 sq km, primarily computed by notional numbers.

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    3. Recently, ONGC-led consortium of Indian state oil firms have signed an agreement to acquire 10% stake in Lower Zakum Oil Field in the middle East. The off-shore oil field belongs to ______
    a. United Arab Emirates
    b. Saudi Arabia
    c. Oman
    d. Qatar

    Answer. a

    Explanation:

    In February 2018, an Indian Consortium led by ONGC Videsh signed a pact for acquisition of 10% participating interest in the ADNOC’s offshore Lower Zakum Oil Field. The agreement will be in force for 40 years from 2018 to 2057. The pact was signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United Arab Emirates.

    While ONGC Videsh is a wholly owned subsidiary and overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), ADNOC stands for Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.
    This is the first time that Indian oil & gas companies have been given a stake in the development of Abu Dhabi’s hydrocarbon resources. Other participating Indian companies in the consortium are Bharat PetroResources Limited (BPRL) and Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL). Sixty percent of the participating interest will be retained by ADNOC and the rest will be awarded to other international oil companies.

    The Lower Zakum oil field is located 84 km north-west of Abu Dhabi Islands. It was discovered in 1963. It is owned and developed by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. The total proven reserves of the oil field are around 17.2 billion barrels.

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    4. SpaceX is planning to launch the first of its test satellites on 17 February 2018. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. SpaceX's this launch will put two test satellites, Microsat 2a and 2b, into orbit which will test connections with ground stations in Washington, California, and Texas, plus receivers in mobile vans scattered around the country.
    2. The existing internet satellites fly at geostationary orbits, over 20,000 miles above the Earth but SpaceX wants to put their satellites much closer, at around 750 miles, only three times farther than the ISS.

    Which of the above statements is/are correct?
    a. 1 only
    b. 2 only
    c. Both 1 and 2
    d. Neither 1 nor 2

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    In fact, SpaceX is not the only company with a plan for a global internet network. Boeing, Samsung, OneWeb, and others all have plans to launch their own satellite constellation over the next few years. SpaceX might beat them all, though, simply because it also owns the rockets necessary to get those satellites into space and is already beginning to launch them.

    The launch this Saturday will put two test satellites, Microsat 2a and 2b, into orbit. These satellites will test connections with ground stations in Washington, California, and Texas, plus receivers in mobile vans scattered around the country.

    If these tests go well, SpaceX could begin launching the first of its satellites later this year, with a functional, if limited, network in place by 2020. This initial network would include about 800 satellites and cover the United States. The company would then begin expanding coverage to the rest of the world.

    5. Consider the following statements related to ASH TRACK mobile app that was in the news recently.
    1. It was launched by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
    2. It acts as an interface between ash producers and prospective ash users.

    Which of the above statements is/are correct?
    a. 1 only
    b. 2 only
    c. Both 1 and 2
    d. Neither 1 nor 2

    Answer. b

    Explanation:

    In February 2018, the Union Ministry of Power launched a web based monitoring system and a fly ash mobile application named ASH TRACK. These platforms will enable better management of the ash produced by thermal power plants by providing an interface between fly ash producers like thermal power plants and potential ash users such as road contractors and cement plants.

    Around 200 million tonnes of fly ash would be managed by locating coal based power plants between 100 km and 300 km range from a given location and availability of fly ash. The ASH TRCK gives plant-wise, utility-wise and State-wise ash utilization status in the country.

    The thermal plants would regularly update fly ash generation, utilisation and stock on the web portal and the app. This would allow effective monitoring and reviewing for increasing ash utilisation.

    The ASH TRACK also help the government in increasing the utilization of fly ash from the present 63 per cent to 100 per cent.

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