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IAS Preparation: Questions for Prelims 15 January 2018

Jan 15, 2018 13:50 IST
    IAS Preparation: Questions for Prelims 15 January 2018
    IAS Preparation: Questions for Prelims 15 January 2018

    To clear the IAS Exam, continuous efforts to master the current affairs component are a must. To answer current affairs based questions in prelims, one should not only have the preliminary information about the current events, but also the clarity about the issues and concepts involved.

    To cater to this need of IAS Exam aspirants, Jagran Josh is providing five important Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) on a daily basis. The questions cover important current affairs events in the fields of economy, national, India-World relations, science and technology, environment, etc. Answers along with detailed explanations to the questions will help the aspirants in answering further questions on the given topic in all the phases of the exam – Preliminary, Mains written and Personality Test.

    IAS Prelims Exam Guide

    IAS Exam Current Affairs Prelims Practice MCQs for 15 January 2018 are as given below.

    1. Consider the following statements related to the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System that was in the news recently.
    1) The satellite system is being built by Japan.
    2) It is considered as the equivalent to the GPS of the USA.
    3) It is projected to achieve the global coverage by 2020.

    Which of the above statements is/are true?
    a) Only 2
    b) 2 and 3
    c) 1 and 3
    d) None of the Above

    Answer. b

    Explanation:

    China on 12 January 2018 successfully launched two BeiDou-3 satellites to provide navigation and positioning services to countries that are part of the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative. The satellites were launched on-board the Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan in China.

    The twin satellites are coded as the 26th and 27th satellites in the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS). This is the first launch of BeiDou satellites in 2018 and over the next one year, 18 more such satellites will be launched into the space.

    About BeiDou Navigation Satellite System

    • It is being built as a rival to the Global Positioning System (GPS) of the USA.

    • It consists of two separate satellite constellations - a limited test system that has been operating since 2000, and a full-scale global navigation system that is currently under the construction.

    • Named after the Chinese term for the Big Dipper, the BeiDou project was formally launched in 1994. It began to serve China in 2000 and the Asia-Pacific region at the end of 2012.

    • By around 2020, when the BDS will go global, it will have more than 30 satellites.

    • After the launch of the remaining satellites and establishment of the ground monitoring stations, the BeiDou is expected to reach the millimetre level accuracy, which is ten times more exact than the finest level of GPS.

    • Navigation satellite systems similar to that of BeiDou and GPS are Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) of Russia and the European Space Agency’s Galileo.

    About One Belt, One Road (OBOR)

    • The primary objective of the OBOR is  to establish new routes linking three continents - Asia, Europe and Africa by 2049.

    • As the name, One Belt, One Road, suggests, the initiative has two parts – Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

    • The Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) seeks to link China to Europe by cutting through mountainous regions in the Central Asian Region. The word Belt is referred as a planned network of overland road and rail routes, oil and natural gas pipelines, and other infrastructure projects.

    • The focus of the SREB is on jointly building a new Eurasian Land Bridge and developing China-Mongolia-Russia, China-Central Asia-West Asia and China-Indochina Peninsula economic corridors by taking advantage of international transport routes.

    • THE 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR) is the maritime equivalent of SREB and seeks to link China's port facilities with the African coast and then pushes up through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea.

    • The MSR is a network of planned port and other coastal infrastructure projects that dot the map from the South and Southeast Asia to East Africa and the northern Mediterranean Sea.

    • It is designed to go from China's coast to Europe through the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean in one route, and from China's coast through the South China Sea to the South Pacific in the other.

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    2. Consider the following statements related to the Readiness for the Future of Production Report 2018 that was released recently.
    1) The report was released by the World Economic Forum.
    2) Among the 100 countries and economies surveyed, the report has ranked India at the 30th position in terms of the future - ready structure of production.

    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:

    The World Economic Forum (WEF) on 12 January 2017 released the Readiness for the Future of Production Report 2018. The report measured how well positioned 100 countries and economies—across all geographies and stages of development—are to shape and benefit from the changing nature of production through the adoption of emerging technology.

    Among the countries and economies surveyed, India was placed at the 30th position in terms of the competitiveness of the structure of production and the 44th position in terms of drivers of production.

    Findings of the report about India’s manufacture sector

    • With a total Manufacturing Value Added of over USD 420 billion in 2016, India is the 5th-largest manufacturer in the world. India ranks 45th in terms of economic complexity.

    • Over the last three decades, India’s manufacturing sector has grown by more than 7% per year, on average, while accounting for between 16% to 20% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

    • Employment in the manufacturing sector constitutes 11.4% of the total working population.

    • Medium hi-tech and hi-tech industries constitute 37.9% of the total value added by the manufacturing sector.

    • Home to the second-largest population in the world and one of the fastest growing economies, the demand for Indian manufactured products is rising.

    • Two key challenges for India are human capital and sustainable resources.

    • The report suggested that India needs to continue to raise the capabilities of its relatively young and fast-growing labour force. This entails upgrading education curricula, revamping vocational training programs and improving digital skills.

    • Furthermore, India should continue to diversify its energy sources and reduce emissions as its manufacturing sector continues to expand.

    • India has made a significant push to improve key enablers and move towards a more connected economy with the launch of the Make in India initiative in 2014 and the recent announcement of over USD 59 billion investment in the infrastructure sector.

    Other major findings of the report

    • The first of its kind Readiness for the Future of Production Report 2018 by the WEF assessed the countries on two major parameters. They are the structure of production and the drivers of the production.

    • The structure of the production, in turn, was measured on the basis of the complexity of the production and the scale of the production and India’s ranking on these two parameters are 48th and 9th respectively.

    • The drivers of the production were measured on the basis of six factors. They are technology and innovation, human capital, global trade and investment, institutional framework, sustainable resources and demand environment.

    • Globally, India fared better in the ‘Demand for Environment’ (5th rank), in terms of ‘Sustainable Resources’ it was placed at the 96th position by the report.

    • While the top 5 countries in terms of ‘Structure of Production’ are Japan, South Korea, Germany, Switzerland and China in the ascending order, the bottom 5 countries on this parameter are Ethiopia (96), Ghana (97), Cameroon (98), Mongolia (99) and Nigeria (100).

    • However, India is ranked better than its neighbours such as Sri Lanka (66th), Pakistan (74th) and Bangladesh (80th).

    • While the top 5 countries in terms of ‘Drivers of Production’ are the USA, Singapore, Switzerland, the UK and Netherlands in the ascending order, the bottom 5 countries on this parameter are Kyrgyzstan (96), Uganda (97), Ethiopia (98), Tanzania (99) and Cameroon (100).

    The report has also categorised the 100 countries and economies into four groups. They are as follows.

    1) Leading (strong current base, high level of readiness for future)

    2) High Potential (limited current base, high potential for future)

    3) Legacy (strong current base, at risk for future)

    4) Nascent (limited current base, low level of readiness for future)

    India has been placed in the 'Legacy' group along with Hungary, Mexico, Thailand, Philippines, Russia and Turkey.

    Some of the other important reports released by the WEF are Global Gender Gap Report, Global Competitiveness Index, Human Capital Report, Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, etc.

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    3. Consider the following statements related to the ‘Aspirational Districts’ initiative that was in the news recently.
    1) As part of this initiative, the Union Government will take steps to for the rapid transformation of backward districts across the country.
    2) As part of the initiative, 115 districts will be developed as the model-districts by 2022.

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

    Answer. c

    Explanation:

    On 5 January 2017, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with Collectors and Officers-in-charge of Aspirational Districts, at a Conference organized by NITI Aayog in New Delhi. This event was organized in keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Transforming India by 2022.

    About ‘Aspirational Districts’

    • The Union Government has embarked upon a major policy initiative for the rapid transformation of 115 districts that are lagging on specific development parameters.

    • Special efforts will be undertaken in these districts to eradicate Left Wing Extremism (LWE) and achieve financial inclusion and skill development.

    • The 115 ‘Aspirational Districts’ include 35 districts affected by Left Wing Extremists (LWE) violence, 55 districts just affected by LWE and other districts affected by terrorism in the Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast.

    • The initiative was launched to address the issue of regional imbalances in terms of development and are expected to be the foundation for developing New India.

    • The NITI Aayog will come up with the ranking of these ‘Aspirational Districts’ by April 2018. They will be ranked on 10 socioeconomic parameters such as education, nutrition, health, etc.

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    4. Recently, Government has launched country's first agri-commodity options in Guar Seed. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1) The launched option, as an instrument will give a strong impetus towards systematic development and transformation of commodity derivatives market in India, which will make the agri-economy more efficient and bring huge amount of value for the farmers of India.
    2) The Guar Seed Options will be European type with a tick size of Re. 0.50 per quintal.
    3) Agri-Options will serve as a powerful tool to empower farmers by allowing them to lock in the prices of their produce at a minimum cost.

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

    Answer. d

    Explanation:

    Recently, Government has launched country's first agri-commodity options in Guar Seed in Delhi. It was launched on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. This new hedging tool, Agri-Options: Ek Aur Kadam Kisan Pragati Ki Ore is set to mark an important evolution in trading of agriculture commodities market.

    This instrument will give a strong impetus towards systematic development and transformation of commodity derivatives market in India, which will make the agri-economy more efficient and bring huge amount of value for the farmers of India. A Mandi.com mobile application was also launched on the occasion, where farmers can learn more about agri-Options and the commodities market.

    For more than a decade, NCDEX has played a big role in developing agriculture ecosystem. It has put a lot of effort and brought in various technological innovations that have helped in providing wider network and market access to farmers and other stakeholders, better price discovery, reduced information asymmetry, provided tools to mitigate prices risks and increased overall efficiency and transparency in the system. It will also ensure minimum occurrence of unnecessary losses due to massive procurements undertaken.

    5. Recently, a MoU has been signed between Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India, State of Bihar and State of Jharkhand for completion of balance works of North Koel reservoir project. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1) The construction of North Koel project situated on North Koel River, a tributary of Sone River was started in 1972 but was later halted in 1993.
    2) The North Koel project will provide irrigation to 1,11,521 hectares of land annually in the most backward and drought prone areas of Palamu and Garhwa districts in Jharkhand and Aurangabad  and Gaya districts in Bihar.

    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:

    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India, State of Bihar and State of Jharkhand for completion of balance works of North Koel reservoir project at an estimated cost of Rs. 1622.27 crore.

    The construction of North Koel project was started in 1972 but was later halted in 1993. The project situated on North Koel river, a tributary of Sone river will provide irrigation to 1,11,521 hectares of land annually in the most backward and drought prone areas of Palamu and Garhwa districts in Jharkhand and Aurangabad  and Gaya districts in Bihar. The project is scheduled to be completed in 30 months from the start of the project.

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