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IAS Preparation Questions for Prelims: 12 March to 16 March 2018

Mar 16, 2018 18:40 IST
    IAS Preparation Questions for Prelims: 12 March to 16 March 2018
    IAS Preparation Questions for Prelims: 12 March to 16 March 2018

    The IAS aspirant should read current affairs topics and questions based on those topics every day. An IAS aspirant having such strategy of practicing current affairs questions on daily basis will also give an edge to the preparation for the IAS Mains Exam. As per the recent trend, most of the questions asked either in IAS Prelims or in IAS Mains Exam used to be associated with current happenings of national and international importance.

    Here, we have provided current affairs quizzes are most effective for IAS Prelims Exam 2018 but the topics covered in questions are also important for the IAS Mains Exam.

    IAS Prelims Exam Guide

    1. Recently, the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) has released the report titled 'Fostering Effective Energy Transition' ranking. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. India has ranked 78th position in Energy Transition Index while Sweden topped in the list of 114 countries.
    2. Among India's emerging market peers, Brazil stood at the 38th place, Russia at 70th and China at 76th place.
    3. Between 2013 and 2018, India improved its performance score by 5.6 per cent, mainly with improved energy access, reduced subsidies and reduced import costs.

    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 World Economic Forum’s (WEF) on March 15, 2018, released the report titled 'Fostering Effective Energy Transition', ranking 114 countries on how well they are able to balance energy security and access with environmental sustainability and affordability.

    The report's Energy Transition Index ranked India at the 78th position. The Index was topped by Sweden.

    Key points of the report:

    • The Energy Transition Index was topped by Sweden, followed by Norway at the second position and Switzerland at the third.

    • Rounding out the Top 10 were Finland (4th), Denmark (5th), the Netherlands (6th), the United Kingdom (7th), Austria (8th), France (9th) and Iceland (10th).

    • Among India's emerging market peers, Brazil stood at the 38th place, Russia at 70th and China at 76th place.

     
    2. Recently, the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Solutions Network has published the World Happiness Report 2018. Consider the following statements regarding this:

    1. India ranked 133rd on the list while India stood far behind Pakistan (75th Rank) in the global list of the happiest countries.
    2. This year's World Happiness Index ranked Finland as the happiest country in the world.

    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 United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Solutions Network on March 14, 2018, published the World Happiness Report 2018.

    The Report comprises the World Happiness Index, a landmark survey to know the state of global happiness. It ranked 156 countries by their happiness levels and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants.

    This year's World Happiness Index ranked Finland as the happiest country in the world.

    Highlights of the World Happiness Index 2018

    • In addition to the usual ranking of the levels and changes in happiness around the world, the main focus of the 2018 World Happiness Report was also on migration within and between the countries.

    • The overall ranking of a country's happiness is based on the collective results from Gallup World Poll Surveys from 2015-2017, which show both- change and stability.

    • The top ten positions in the Index are held by the same countries as in the last two years, although with some swapping of places.

    • Land of skiing, saunas and Santa Claus, Finland emerged as the happiest place to live in.

    India's Rank in the World Happiness Index 2018

    India ranked 133rd on the list, far behind terror-ravaged Pakistan (75th Rank) in the global list of the happiest countries. India slipped 11 places from the 122nd position last year.

    It ranked behind the majority of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Nations, apart from Afghanistan, that stood at 145th position. While the countries like Bhutan was ranked at 97th, Bangladesh at 115th, Nepal at 101st, Sri Lanka at 116th and China at 86th.

    3. Recently, Union Cabinet has approved a MoU between India, Iran on cooperation in Traditional Medicine. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. The MoU will enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the areas of Traditional as well as modern Systems of Medicine.
    2. India and Iran have a huge biodiversity and are home to rare medicinal plants that are frequently used in Traditional Systems of Medicine.
    3. This will be of immense importance to both countries considering their shared cultural heritage.

    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: c

    Explanation:

    Cabinet approves MoU between India, Iran on cooperation in Traditional Medicine

    Highlights of the signed MoU:

    • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 14, 2018, approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between India and Iran in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine.

    • The MoU will enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the areas of Traditional Systems of Medicine.

    • This will be of immense importance to both countries considering their shared cultural heritage.

    • India and Iran have a huge biodiversity and are home to rare medicinal plants that are frequently used in Traditional Systems of Medicine.

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    4. Recently, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has announced the launch of program ‘LaQshya’. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. The programme aimed at improving quality of care in labour room and maternity Operation Theatre (OT).
    2. The Program will improve quality of care for pregnant women in labour room, maternity Operation Theatre and Obstetrics Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and High Dependency Units (HDUs).
    3. ‘LaQshya’ will reduce maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality, improve quality of care during delivery and immediate post-partum period and enhance the satisfaction of beneficiaries and provide Respectful Maternity Care (RMC) to all pregnant women attending public health facilities.

    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:

    Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has recently announced the launch of program ‘LaQshya’, aimed at improving quality of care in labour room and maternity Operation Theatre (OT). The Program will improve quality of care for pregnant women in labour room, maternity Operation Theatre and Obstetrics Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and High Dependency Units (HDUs). The LaQshya program is being implemented at all Medical College Hospitals, District Hospitals and First Referral Unit (FRU), and Community Health Center (CHCs) and will benefit every pregnant woman and new-born delivering in public health institutions.

    ‘LaQshya’ will reduce maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality, improve quality of care during delivery and immediate post-partum period and enhance the satisfaction of beneficiaries and provide Respectful Maternity Care (RMC) to all pregnant women attending public health facilities.

    The Program aims at implementing ‘fast-track’ interventions for achieving tangible results within 18 months. Under the initiative, a multi-pronged strategy has been adopted such as improving infrastructure up-gradation, ensuring availability of essential equipment, providing adequate human resources, capacity building of health care workers and improving quality processes in the labour room.

    5. The Government of India is in the process of formulating a Scheme ‘Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Maha Abhiyan (KUSUM). Consider the following statements regarding this:
    a. Under the scheme, installation of grid-connected solar power plants each of capacity up to 2 MW in the rural areas
    b. Installation of standalone off-grid solar water pumps to fulfil irrigation needs of farmers not connected to the grid

    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 Government of India is in the process of formulating a Scheme ‘Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Maha Abhiyan (KUSUM)’ which, inter alia, provides for:

    (i) Installation of grid-connected solar power plants each of capacity up to 2 MW in the rural areas;

    (ii) Installation of standalone off-grid solar water pumps to fulfil irrigation needs of farmers not connected to the grid;

    (iii) Solarisation of existing grid-connected agriculture pumps to make farmers independent of grid supply and also enable them to sell surplus solar power generated to DISCOM and get extra income; and

    (iv) Solarisation of tube-wells and lift irrigation projects of the Government sector.

    The details on funds and mode of implementation will be decided on approval of the Scheme.

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    6. Recently, it is in this country India inaugurated the building of the World Hindi Secretariat.
    a) Maldives
    b) Mauritius
    c) Fiji
    d) Guyana

    Answer. b

    Explanation:

    In March 2018, President of India Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the building of the World Hindi Secretariat in Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius. While land for the Secretariat was provided by the Government of Mauritius, the Government of India has provided a grant of Rs. 33 crore for its construction. The foundation stone of this building was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015 during his visit to the country.

    The primary objective of the secretariat is to present Hindi as a common man’s language (Janbhasha) in front of the world. As a language, Hindi has played an important role in the cultural evolution of Mauritius. The Indian Diaspora in Mauritius has played a huge role in the spread of the language.

    7. Recently, it is with this African nation India signed a Bilateral Defence Agreement.
    a) Kenya
    b) Madagascar
    c) Nigeria
    d) Egypt

    Answer. b

    In March 2018, India and Madagascar signed a Bilateral Defence Agreement. The agreement was signed during the visit of the President Ram Nath Kovind to Madagascar. This is the first ever visit by a President or Prime Minister of India to this country. The defence agreement between the two countries focuses on friendly visits by Indian ships to Madagascar, and capacity building and training of Madagascar’s personnel.

    During the visit, the President inaugurated the Centre for Geo-informatics Applications in Rural Development. This Centre will support communities in Madagascar in using geospatial technologies for a host of applications in rural development, and will strengthen bilateral cooperation in agriculture and related areas.

    8. Identify the State in which the Tuting Air Field is located. The air field was in the recently.
    a) Arunachal Pradesh
    b) Sikkim
    c) Jammu and Kashmir
    d) Punjab

    Anwer. a

    Explanation:

    In March 2018, the Tuting Air Field (Tuting Advance Landing Ground) was in the news as the Indian Air Force has successfully landed its largest transport aircraft, C-17 Globemaster, in it. The air field is located very close to the Chinese border in the Upper Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. It is located on the banks of River Siang, which is a tributary of Brahmaputra. Abandoned after 1962 Indo-China war, the air field became operational in 2016.

    9. Recently, India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) project got clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to set up a lab in which of the following places in India?

    a) Bodi West Hills, Tamil Nadu
    b) Baddi, Himachal Pradesh
    c) Yumthang Valley, Sikkim
    d) Nandi Hills in Bangalore

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    The India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) project has got a fresh lease of life with the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) taking it up as a special case and granting it environmental clearance to set up the lab in Bodi West hills.

    MoEF’s Expert Appraisal Committee (Infra 2), after detailed deliberations on the proposal and submissions by the project proponent, recommended this at its meeting on March 5. According to the minutes of the meeting available in the public domain, the EAC was given to understand that though the proposals were not within its scope, the Ministry wanted it to consider this as a special case.

    As the previous EC granted in 2011 was quashed by the courts, a certified compliance report may not be required and no work has been initiated at the site, the project proponents submitted.

    The panel was informed that there was no scope for radioactivity and leaching of water and these have been explained to the courts. The project proponents clarified that studies showed there would be no impact of blasting on any habitation in the vicinity.

    10. Which of the following states have launched insurance scheme for journalists?
    a) Kerala
    b) Assam
    c) Goa
    d) Karnataka

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The state government of Assam has proposed an insurance scheme for journalists and their families in its budget for 2018-19.

    The information was shared by Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma while presenting the state’s budget in the assembly on March 13, 2018. Sarma stated that the state has earmarked a budgetary allocation of Rs 63 crore in 2018-19 for the Information and Public Relations Department that would implement schemes for journalists. The new Journalist Insurance Scheme would ensure security and protection of the journalists and their families.

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    11. Recently, the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) announced that the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) rose by 7.5% in January 2018 as compared to the index figure for January 2017. Against this backdrop, consider the following statements.

    1. At present, the base year of the IIP is 2011-12.
    2. IIP data are published on the weekly and monthly basis.
    3. The CSO is a part of the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

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

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    IIP measures the quantum of changes in the industrial production in an economy and captures the general level of industrial activity in the country. It is compiled and published every month by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. In May 2017, the base year of the IIP was revised from 2004-05 to 2011-12. The new base year was selected keeping in view the base year of other macroeconomic indicators, namely, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Consumer Price Index (CPI).

    12. Consider the following statements related to Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) that was in the news recently:
    1. It is a professional body under the aegis of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
    2. Its primary mandate is to implement the National Intellectual Rights Policy 2016.

    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 March 2018, the Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) was in the news as it organised the National Conference on Counterfeiting and Role of Enforcement Agencies in New Delhi.

    The objective of the conference was to provide a common platform for national and international experts to have dialogue and exchange best practices for benefit of enforcement agencies and industry representatives.

    About CIPAM

    CIPAM is a professional body under the aegis of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion of the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It has been created to take forward the implementation of the National IPR Policy that was approved by the Union Government in May 2016, with the slogan – “Creative India; Innovative India: रचनात्मक भारत; अभिनव भारत”

    CIPAM is working towards creating public awareness about intellectual property rights (IPRs) in the country, promoting the filing of IPRs through facilitation, providing inventors with a platform to commercialize their IP assets and coordinating the implementation of the National IPR Policy in collaboration with government ministries and departments and other stakeholders.

    13. Recently, the Prime Minister of India has launched a campaign to eradicate tuberculosis (TB) from India by 2025. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. The campaign was launched after the inauguration of the Delhi End TB Summit, which is being co-hosted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, WHO South East Asia Regional Office (SEARO) and Stop TB Partnership.
    2. The TB free India Campaign will take the activities under the National Strategic Plan for TB elimination forward in a mission mode.
    3. The new NSP will adopt a multi-pronged approach that aims to detect all TB patients with an emphasis on reaching TB patients seeking care from private providers and undiagnosed TB in high-risk populations.

    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:

    Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi on March 13, 2018, launched a campaign to eradicate tuberculosis (TB) from India by 2025, five years ahead of the globally-set deadline.

    The campaign was launched after the inauguration of the Delhi End TB Summit, which is being co-hosted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, WHO South East Asia Regional Office (SEARO) and Stop TB Partnership.

    Key Highlights

    • The TB free India Campaign will take the activities under the National Strategic Plan for TB elimination forward in a mission mode.

    • The National Strategic Plan for TB elimination is backed by funding of over 12,000 crore rupees over the next three years to ensure every TB patient has access to quality diagnosis, treatment, and support.

    • The target for eradicating the terminal disease in India has been set for 2025, five years ahead of the global target of 2030.

    • The new NSP will adopt a multi-pronged approach that aims to detect all TB patients with an emphasis on reaching TB patients seeking care from private providers and undiagnosed TB in high-risk populations.

    • The Union Government has asked all the state governments to join this mission.

    14. Recently, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved India’s membership application. Against this backdrop, consider the following statements:

    1. The EBRD was established in 1991 to support socialist economies of the Eastern Europe in their transition to market economies.
    2. Suma Chakrabarti, an Indian origin British civil servant, has been the President of the bank since 2012.

    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:

    Recently, the Board of Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) voted in favour of India’s membership application. With this, India is all set to become the 69th member of the EBRD after the completion of the necessary formalities.

    About European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD):

    The bank was established in 1991 to support the transition to market economies of socialist economies in Eastern Europe and the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).It is owned by 64 countries, the European Union and the European Investment Bank. Its headquarters is located in London, the UK.
    Suma Chakrabarti, an Indian origin British civil servant, has been the President of the bank since 2012.

    15. Recently, the Government puts up National Rare Disease Policy in place; allocates Rs 100 crore towards genetic disorders. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. Under the policy, the Central government will contribute 60 percent towards spending on treatment, while state governments will have to bear the remaining 40 percent of the cost.
    2. The government’s effort to improve diagnosis and bring better treatment and care to patients is already in progress, building on existing capabilities.
    3. Approximately 7,000 rare diseases have been identified so far, with about 80 percent of these are genetic in origin and predominantly affect children.

    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:

    Rare diseases, which are often referred to as orphan diseases, are estimated to have impacted 72-96 million people in India. The Indian government has now put a National Rare Disease Policy in place and Rs 100 crore funds have been allocated towards genetic disorders.

    Under the policy, the Central government will contribute 60 percent towards spending on treatment, while state governments will have to bear the remaining 40 percent of the cost. The government’s effort to improve diagnosis and bring better treatment and care to patients is already in progress, building on existing capabilities.

    Disorders such as Thalassemia, Hemophilia, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Fragile X, Inborn Errors of Metabolism, and Lysosomal Storage Disorders are just some frequently encountered genetic disorders, informed Dr. Ratna Dua Puri, Senior Consultant, Institute of Genetics and Genomics, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi.

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    16. Consider the following statements related to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) that was in the news recently.

    1) It is a statutory organisation.
    2) It has regulatory oversight over the insolvency professionals, insolvency professional agencies and information utilities.
    3) The Union Finance Minister is the Chairperson of the IBBI.

    Which of the above statements is/are correct?

    a) 1 and 2 only
    b) 2 and 3 only
    c) 1 and 3 only
    d) All of them

    Answer. a

    Explanation:

    In March 2018, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Under the MoU, IBBI and RBI will assist and co-operate with each other for the effective implementation of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

    About Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI)

    • The IBBI was established under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, which was approved by the Parliament in the form legislation in May 2016.

    • It is a unique regulator as it regulates a profession as well as transactions. It has regulatory oversight over the insolvency professionals, insolvency professional agencies and information utilities.

    • It writes and enforces rules for transactions, namely, corporate insolvency resolution, corporate liquidation, individual insolvency resolution and individual bankruptcy under the Code.

    • It is a key pillar of the ecosystem responsible for implementation of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code that consolidates and amends the laws relating to reorganization and insolvency resolution of corporate persons, partnership firms and individuals in a time bound manner.

    • The Governing Board of IBBI consists of Chairperson and seven members. At present, M.S. Sahoo is the Chairperson of the IBBI.

    17. Recently, which country has successfully test-fired the Kinzhal hypersonic missile?

    a) China
    b) USA
    c) France
    d) Russia

    Answer. d

    Explanation:

    In March 2018, Russia claimed that it had successfully test-fired hypersonic Kinzhal missile. The Kinzhal is said to travel at 10 times the speed of sound and have a range of 2,000 km. The nuclear capable high-precision aeroballistic missile was test-fired from a MiG-31 supersonic interceptor jet.

    As per the experts, the missile system has no counterparts across globe owing to high flight performance characteristic of MiG-31 fighter jet and hypersonic missile with small radar signature and high manoeuvrability. The first air unit equipped with Kinzhal system was deployed in Russia’s Southern Military District in December 2017.

    18. Consider the following statements related to ‘Samvedna 2018’ that was in the news recently.
    1) It is the first composite Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Air exercise in the South Asian region.
    2) The multilateral exercise is an initiative of the Indian Air Force.

    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:

    A Multilateral Air Force exercise, ‘Ex Samvedna’, is being spearheaded by the Indian Air Force and conducted by Southern Air Command (SAC) between 12 March and 17 March 2018. ‘Samvedna’ means ‘empathy’ and will ensure better understanding and sharing of response procedures between a number of friendly neighbouring nations.

    It is the first composite Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) (HADR) Air exercise in the South Asian region. Its focus is on practicing Air Force centric HADR solutions in a multi-national cooperative disaster management environment.

    Air Forces of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Myanmar are participating in the exercise. Major part of the exercise will be conducted at the dispersal area of the Air Force Station in Trivandrum, Kerala.

    19. Recently, the Union Government has formed a tribunal to adjudicate Mahanadi Water Dispute between these two States.

    a) Odisha and West Bengal
    b) Chhattisgarh and Odisha
    c) Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh
    d) Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra

    Answer. b

    Explanation:

    In March 2018, the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation constituted the Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal to adjudicate water dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh. The tribunal will be headed by the Supreme Court Judge AM Khanwilkar and consists of Justice Ravi Ranjan of the Patna High Court and Justice Indermeet Kaur Kochhar of the Delhi High Court.

    As per provisions of the Inter-State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956, the tribunal shall comprise a chairman and two other members. They are nominated by the Chief Justice of India from amongst the judges of the Supreme Court or High Courts.

    20. Recently, India hosted the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). Against this backdrop, consider the following statements related to the ISA.
    1) ISA is the first international intergovernmental treaty-based organization headquartered in India.
    2) The founding conference of the ISA was held in New Delhi.
    3) The only mandate of the ISA is to encourage the usage of solar energy in industries.

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

    Answer. a

    Explanation:

    The Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) was held on 11th March, 2018 at Rashtrapathi Bhavan Cultural Centre (RBCC) in New Delhi. The conference was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, French President Emanuel Macron, and heads of States/Governments of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Seychelles, Ghana, Gabon, Australia, Venezuela, Fiji and Mauritius.

    On this occasion, India announced a USD 1.4 billion line of credit to the ISA. The fund will cover 27 projects in 15 countries and boost the much-required financial power to the solar sector.

    About International Solar Alliance

    • The ISA was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Francois Hollande, the former President of France, in November 2015 in Paris. It was launched on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC).

    • ISA is the first international intergovernmental treaty-based organization headquartered in India. Its headquarters is located in Gurugram in Haryana.

    • So far, 46 countries have signed the ISA Framework Agreement. And, out of these, 19 countries have ratified the agreement.

    • ISA is a coalition of solar resource rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn and aims to specifically address energy needs by harnessing solar energy.

    • The ISA seeks to reduce the cost of finance and cost of technology for immediate deployment of solar generation assets.

    • Presently ISA has three programmes. They are Scaling Solar Applications for Agricultural Use, Affordable Finance at Scale and Scaling Solar Mini-grids. In addition, ISA plans to launch two more programmes on Scaling Solar Rooftops, and Scaling E-Mobility and Storage.

    IAS Preparation Questions for Prelims: 26 February to 1 March 2018

    21. Recently, it is with this country India signed fourteen agreements/MoUs to deepen bilateral cooperation.

    a) France
    b) Germany
    c) Australia
    d) Russia

    Answer. a

    Explanation:

    In March 2018, India and France signed fourteen agreements/Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to deepen bilateral cooperation. The agreements were signed during the President of France Emanuel Macron’s visit to India.

    The fourteen agreements/MoUs covers the following areas of cooperation.

    • Prevention of Drug Trafficking

    • Migration and Mobility

    • Mutual Recognition of Academic Qualifications

    • Technical cooperation in the field of Railways

    • Logistics support between their Armed Forces

    • Environment

    • Sustainable Urban Development

    • Exchange and reciprocal protection of classified or protected information

    • Maritime awareness

    • Hydrography and maritime cartography

    • Smart City Projects

    • Solar Energy

    22. Consider the following statements related to ‘I-Metros’ that was launched recently.

    1) It is an association of Indian Metro Rail companies.
    2) It will be registered under the Society Registration Act 1860.
    3) It will promote techno-economic studies and research.

    Which of the above statements is/are correct?

    a) 1 and 2 only
    b) 2 and 3 only
    c) 1 and 3 only
    d) All of them

    Answer. d

    Explanation:

    P K Sinha, Cabinet Secretary of Union Government, on March 8, 2018 launched 'I-Metros', an association of all Indian Metro Rail companies.

    The association was launched during the Conference on 'Indian Metros: Collaborating for Excellence'. The conference was attended by representatives of Metro systems from all over the world who are in Delhi to attend the management meeting of the Community of Metros (CoMET).

    About I - Metros

    • The platform will be a forum for exchange of ideas, knowledge, and sharing of experience among the Indian Metro Rail companies to nurture excellence in performance.

    • It will be registered under the Society Registration Act 1860.

    • The objective behind the formation of this association is to provide a common platform for all Metro rail companies for sharing experiences, information, best practices, innovations, etc.

    • This association will also promote techno-economic studies and research.

    • It will work to safeguard the interest and rights of metro rail companies and will be resource tank of information for decision making.

    23. Recently, the legislature of this State passed a bill to award death penalty for rape of girls below 12 years of age.

    a) Jammu and Kashmir
    b) Rajasthan
    c) Telangana
    d) Kerala

    Answer. b

    Explanation:

    Rajasthan Assembly on March 9, 2018 passed the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2018 awarding death penalty to convicts involved in the rape of girls below 12 years of age.

    The Bill was introduced by Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria and was passed in the House by a voice vote following a debate.

    Provisions of The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2018

    • The new amendment adds sections 376-AA and 376-DD to the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

    • The amendment says that a person who is convicted of raping or gang-raping a girl up to twelve years of age will be given a death sentence or rigorous imprisonment, which shall not be less than fourteen years.

    • It will award life sentence and life imprisonment to child rapists and will ensure that the convict does not get out of the jail even after completing 14 years of sentence.

    24. Consider the following statements related to the Pritzker Architecture Prize that was in the news recently.

    1) The Pritzker Architecture Prize was conferred on Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi.
    2) The international Pritzker prize was established by Chicago’s Pritzker family in 1979.

    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:

    Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi was on March 7, 2018 awarded with 2018 Pritzker Prize for being able to interpret architecture and transform it into buildings that respect Eastern culture.

    Doshi was recognised for his exceptional work, his commitment and dedication to his country and its communities and for his influence as a professor.
    With this, Doshi became the first Indian to win the Pritzker Prize, the premier global award for architecture. Doshi is one of India's foremost living architects and urban planners. He is known for designing extensive low-cost housing projects and public institutions.

    About Pritzker Prize

    The Pritzker Prize is regarded as equivalent to the Nobel Prize in the field of architecture. The award includes USD 100000 prize money and is sponsored by Hyatt Foundation. Previous winners include world-renowned architects like Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, IM Pei and Shigeru Ban.

    25. Consider the following statements related to Asiatic Lion.

    1) At present, they only live in India’s Gir Forest National Park in the world.
    2) In over five decades, their population rose from 180 to more than 600.

    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:

    Recently, Asiatic lion was in the news as their population rose to more than 600. Asiatic lion are cousins of the African lion. It is believed that both got separated 100000 years ago.
    Asiatic lions are slightly smaller and have a distinctive fold of skin along their bellies. Asiatic lion once inhabited complete southwest Asia, but, in the past few years, it got restricted to the 1400 square kilometre Gir Sanctuary in Gujarat state, leading to its listing as critically endangered in the year 2000.

    The species' population was under threat due to hunting and human encroachment. A recent survey revealed an increase in the number of Asiatic lions, Gir forest now inhabits more than 600 lions, up from 523 in a 2015 census.

    They are a major tourist attraction in Gujarat. Earlier, they were only regarded as the target of poachers. This increase in the number of lions is attributed to the wildlife conservation schemes, well-trained staff and vets as well as help from farmers.

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