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IAS Preparation: Questions for Prelims 12 to 16 February 2018

Feb 16, 2018 13:52 IST
    IAS Preparation Questions for Prelims 12 to 16 February 2018
    IAS Preparation Questions for Prelims 12 to 16 February 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 important current affairs Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) on a weekly 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

    The IAS weekly current affairs quizzes for the period from 12 to 16 February 2018 are given below.

    1. Consider the following statements related to ‘Paschim Lehar’ that was in the news recently.
    1) It is the first ever joint naval exercise between India and Brazil.
    2) The exercise was held in the Arabian Sea.

    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:

    On 12 February 2018, a tri-Service maritime exercise, code named ‘Paschim Lehar’ commenced on the Western Seaboard. The exercise includes the participation of a large number of ships, submarines and aircraft from the Western Naval Command of the Indian Navy. In addition, units of the Eastern Naval Command, Indian Army, Indian Air Force and the Indian Coast Guard are also participating in the exercise.

    Over 40 ships and submarines, similar number of fighter aircrafts, helicopters and remotely piloted aircrafts of the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force are participating in the exercise. The amphibious capabilities of the armed forces, along with the elements of the Army Amphibious Brigade will also be deployed and tested for operational tasking during the exercise.

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    2. Recently, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamat Banerjee announced that the State would opt out of the National Health Protection Scheme, which was announced in the Union Budget 2018-19. Against this backdrop, consider the following statements related to the scheme.
    1) Once operational, it will be the world’s largest government funded health care programme.
    2) It will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families across the country.
    3) It provides health insurance coverage up to 5 lakh rupees per family per year.

    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:

    On 14 February 2018, the West Bengal became the first State to opt out of the Union Government’s National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS), which was proposed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget 2018-19. As per the State Government, the scheme has no relevance for the State as it has already made hospitalisation and medical treatment free for its citizens. The State has already enrolled 50 lakh people under its Swasthya Sathi Programme.

    Key features of National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS)

    • The NHPS, which is also called as Ayushman Bharat Scheme, seeks to provide health insurance to poor and vulnerable families across the country.

    • It will cover over 10 crore families or approximately 50 crore beneficiaries.

    • The scheme will provide coverage up to 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. The existing  Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) provides an insurance cover of Rs 30,000 per year to poor families.

    • Once it is operational, it will be the world’s largest government-funded health care programme and cover population larger than the combined citizenry of the USA, the UK, Germany and France.

    3. Consider the following statements related to the Baltic Dry Index that was mentioned in the Economic Survey 2017-18.
    1) It is a freight index and indicates the robustness of trade and shipping services.
    2) It is issued daily by the London-based Baltic Exchange.
    3) The index gives investors an insight into global supply and demand trends.

    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:

    The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) was mentioned in the Union Economic Survey 2018-19. The India’s BDI fell from a peak of 11,793 on 20 May 2008 to a low of 663 on 8 December 2008. It was in the red at 290 on 11 February 2016 and improved since then. It was at 1,164 on 17 January 2018.

    About Baltic Dry Index (BDI)

    • It is a shipping and trade index created by the London-based Baltic Exchange. It measures changes in the cost of transporting various raw materials.

    • It is considered as a good proxy for the robustness of trade and shipping services.

    • A change in the BDI can give investors insight into global supply and demand trends. It is often considered a leading indicator of future economic growth.

    4. Recently, India signed second loan agreement with New Development Bank for USD 100 million for Rajasthan Water Sector Restructuring Project for desert areas. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1) This is the first tranche loan of USD 100 million approved by the NDB under the Multi-Tranche Financing Facility of USD 345 million for this project.
    2) The objective of this Project is to rehabilitate the 678 km long Indira Gandhi Canal system built during 1958-63 to prevent seepage, conserve water, and enhance water use efficiency as mandated by both national and state-level policies on water use.

    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 Loan Agreement for the financing of Rajasthan Water Sector Restructuring Project for the Desert Areas was signed between Government of India and the New Development Bank (NDB) on 13th February 2018 at New Delhi. This is the first tranche loan of USD 100 million approved by the NDB under the Multi-Tranche Financing Facility of USD 345 million for this project.

    The objective of this Project is to rehabilitate the 678 km long Indira Gandhi Canal system built during 1958-63 to prevent seepage, conserve water, and enhance water use efficiency as mandated by both national and state-level policies on water use. The execution of the project would multiple benefits such as:

    • Arresting the seepage by rehabilitating the deteriorating canal lining of the Indira Gandhi Nahar Project (IGNP) which needs urgent attention;

    • Rehabilitation of waterlogged areas;

    • Modernization and optimization of the irrigation management practices in the project area by involvement of the water users’ associations (WUA) in the command area

    • Strengthening of drinking water supply and irrigation facilities in the project area

    The project implementation period is 6 years. The government of Rajasthan will implement the project primarily through Rajasthan Water Resources Department.

    5. Recently, the Forest Department of which of the following state has found that the Paliyar tribals producing high-quality residue-free coffee?
    a) Chhattisgarh
    b) Tamil Nadu
    c) Kerala
    d) Jharkhand

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    With no financial or technical support from the government and financial sector, Paliyar tribals living at Korankombu village in Tami Nadu have been producing high-quality chemical residue-free coffee, using their traditional low-cost cultivation methods. They raise both Arabica and Robusta variety of coffee in each farm. While tall Robusta crops are grown near field bund, short Arabica trees are planted inside the field. Orange trees are also there. They neither cut forest trees nor clean land to raise coffee.

    Natural coffee production does not affect the yield much. They have harvested 600 kg an acre when compared to one-tonne kg by mega planters elsewhere who use the inorganic method.

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    6. Recently, which country launched the ‘Progress MS-08’ unmanned cargo ship to the International Space Station?
    a. Japan
    b. United States of America
    c. Germany
    d. Russia

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    On February 13, 2018, Russian space agency (Roscosmos) launched the unmanned cargo ship Progress MS-08 to resupply the International Space Station (ISS). Loaded with three tons of food, fuel and supplies, the spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It was launched on-board the Soyuz 2-1A rocket. Besides the supplies, the cargo ship carrying the equipment for the German-Russian ICARUS research project, which is aimed at studying wildlife-migration patterns.
    The Progress 69 cargo vehicle will dock automatically to the aft port of the Zvezda service module of the ISS on February 15, 2018. The spacecraft will remain in the orbiting laboratory until August 2018.

    At present, the ISS is orbiting at a distance of 400 kilometres from the Earth. It is manned by six astronauts from the USA, Russia and Japan.

    7. Which of the following States in India did not elect any women representative in the Assembly?
    a. Assam
    b. Nagaland
    c. Goa
    d. Haryana

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    Even after 54 years of statehood and 12 assembly elections, Nagaland is yet to see any woman representative in the Assembly. The state is set to go to polls on February 27 and the results will be announced on March 3. Of the 195 candidates vying for a seat in the 60-member Assembly this time, five are women. While Wedie-u Kronu and Mangyangpula are contesting the polls on National People’s Party (NPP) tickets from Dimapur-III and Noksen Assembly constituencies, Rakhila is a BJP nominee from Tuensang Sadar-II seat.

    8. Recently, Brazil is planning to get a full membership of OECD. Consider the following statements regarding the OECD:
    1. The OECD is a bloc of 35 member countries that together account for 62 per cent of global GDP and around two-third of international trade.
    2. At present, the US, Canada, Mexico and Chile are the only full members from the Americas.
    3. It wields important influence over decisions by other international bodies, including the World Trade Organisation.

    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:

    Brazil will intensify negotiations in a bid to enter the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an official statement said. Brazil will strengthen its delegation to the OECD from March to meet the requirements for being a full member; Xinhua quoted the statement as saying. At present, the US, Canada, Mexico and Chile are the only full members from the Americas. The OECD is a bloc of 35 member countries that together account for 62 per cent of global GDP and around two-third of international trade.

    It wields important influence over decisions by other international bodies, including the World Trade Organisation. To apply for full membership, Brazil must show that it has met the 237 recommendations of the OECD. The government said Brazil has met only 36 so far.

    9. World’s largest glasshouse to reopen in May 2018 located in which of the following city?
    a. London
    b. New York
    c. Tokyo
    d. Singapore city

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    London’s Temperate House, home to some rare plant species, will once again welcome visitors following a lengthy facelift. “Temperate House” in London’s Kew Gardens is large enough to house three jumbo jets and was home to around 1,000 species of plants from around the world before it was shut in 2013 after falling into a state of disrepair. The wrought iron and glass structure were designed by esteemed Victorian architect Decimus Burton in 1860 and opened in 1863. The facelift required the removal of 69,000 individual elements to be cleaned, repaired or replaced and the restoration of 15,000 panes of glass.

    Enough paint to cover four football pitches was used to spruce up the huge iron columns, and Kew expects hundreds of thousands of visitors to pass through its doors annually after reopening in May.

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    10. It is with this country, India recently signed an agreement to operationalise a strategic petroleum reserve in Mangalore.
    a. Saudi Arabia
    b. United Arab Emirates
    c. Qatar
    d. Iran

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    In February 2018, an agreement was signed between Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) to operationalise the filling up of a strategic petroleum reserve cavern in Mangalore. The agreement was signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The ADNOC is the state-owned oil company of the UAE.

    As part of the agreement, the ADNOC will invest about USD 400 million by way of storing crude in an underground rock cavern in Mangalore. The storage facility will have a capacity of 5.86 million barrels. The period of storage will be for three years with an automatic extension of up to four years.

    With this agreement, the UAE has become the first country to participate in India’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves Programme. The oil storage facility will help boost India’s energy security, as well as enable ADNOC to efficiently and competitively meet market demand in India and across the fast developing southeast Asian economies.

    About Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited (ISPRL)

    To ensure energy security, the Union Government had decided to set up 5 million metric tons (MMT) of strategic crude oil storages at three locations namely, Visakhapatnam, Mangalore and Padur (near Udupi). These strategic storages would be in addition to the existing storages of crude oil and petroleum products with the oil companies and would serve as a cushion during any external supply disruptions.

    The construction of the Strategic Crude Oil Storage facilities is being managed by Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited (ISPRL). It is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) and a subsidiary of the Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

    The crude oil storages are constructed in underground rock caverns and are located on the East and West coast of India. Crude oil from these caverns can be supplied to the Indian Refineries either through pipelines or through a combination of pipelines and ships. Underground rock caverns are considered the safest means of storing hydrocarbons. The estimated cost of the project was around Rs.2400 crore at September 2005 prices.

    11. Recently, India – UAE have signed bilateral investments. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. India has signed a bilateral agreement with UAE in the oil and gas sector under which Indian share of oil will be 10%, i.e. about 2.24 MMTPA at peak production.
    2. The second significant Agreement was between the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL) and ADNOC to invest in the strategic crude oil storage facility in Mangalore.
    3. UAE will be the first country which will participate in India’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves Programme.

    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:

    From a current production of 400,000 barrels per day, the production will peak at 450,000 barrels per day by 2025. Indian share of oil will be 10%, i.e. about 2.24 MMTPA at peak production. Average share for India will be 1.75 MMTPA for next 40 years. Total cumulative share of the Indian consortium will be 70 MMT over the next 40 years.
    UAE will be the first country which will participate in India’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves Programme. It is befitting that a strategic partner like the UAE is also India's valued partner in the area of SPR.
    The oil storage facility will help boost India’s energy security, as well as enable ADNOC to efficiently and competitively meet market demand in India and across the fast developing south east Asian economies. The initial Oil Storage And Management Agreement was signed in January 2017, during the State Visit by H.H Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed to India as Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations.

    12. Recently, the scientists extracted DNA from the coprolites and used new 'High throughput sequencing' technologies to study the genes of the organism for which they they dung samples of Moa (extinct flightless herbivorous birds) and prehistoric Kakapo (flightless parrots) species. Moa and kakapo were both endemic to which of the following countries?
    a. USA
    b. New Zealand
    c. Auralia
    d. India

    Answer: b

    Exlanation:

    The scientists extracted DNA from the coprolites and used new 'High throughput sequencing' technologies to study the genes of the organism. The dung samples were collected from caves, creeks and river valleys. Their age ranged from 124 to 1,557 years, and belonged to four species of Moa (extinct flightless herbivorous birds) and one prehistoric Kakapo (flightless parrots) species.

    Moa and kakapo were both endemic to New Zealand. Moa was a giant bird that weighed almost 250 kg and stood 3.6 metres tall. They found that both the birds ate ectomycorrhizal fungi (fungi that grow on roots of trees).

    “A key finding was that the giant birds were eating a wide range of mushrooms and fungi, including species that are critical for the beech forests that are widespread across New Zealand. The brightly coloured mushrooms remain distinctive parts of these forests today, but it appears they were meant to be eaten and then distributed by the moa,” says lead author of the research, Alexander Boast from the University of Adelaide, in a press release.

    13. Which of the following States launched ‘DASTAK’ campaign to eradicate Japanese encephalitis?
    a. Rajasthan
    b. Uttar Pradesh
    c. Haryana
    d. Madhya Pradesh

    Answer. b

    Explanation:

    In February 2018, the Uttar Pradesh Government  launched ‘DASTAK’ campaign against Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and Japanese encephalitis (JES). The campaign was launched in partnership with the UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund).

    As part DASTAK, door to door campaign will be undertaken in 38 JES and AE affected districts, which mostly fall in the Tarai region of the State. These districts contribute to about 60% of total AES cases in the country. The war cry of DASTAK is Darwaja khatkhatao, AES aur JE ko bhagao. Besides the State machinery, Children of 600 schools in the affected areas will also be part of this campaign.

    Key facts

    • Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a flavivirus related to dengue, yellow fever and West Nile viruses, and is spread by mosquitoes.

    • JEV is the main cause of viral encephalitis in many countries of Asia with an estimated 68 000 clinical cases every year.

    • Although symptomatic Japanese encephalitis (JE) is rare, the case-fatality rate among those with encephalitis can be as high as 30%. Permanent neurologic or psychiatric sequelae can occur in 30%–50% of those with encephalitis.

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    14. It is with this country, India recently signed a MoU to facilitate access to Duqm port.
    a. Oman
    b. Qatar
    c. Saudi Arabia
    d. Yemen

    Answer. a

    Explanation:

    In February 2018, India and Oman signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Military Cooperation that will facilitate Indian military vessels to get access to Duqm port and dry dock. The MoU was signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Oman.

    About Duqm Port

    • It is situated on the southeastern seaboard of Oman, overlooking the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.

    • With its deep draft, lengthy quay walls, and expansive basin, Port of Duqm has the trappings of a world-class, multipurpose commercial gateway.

    • At the heart of Port of Duqm’s appeal is its strategic geopolitical location, far removed from the Strait of Hormuz and the Arabian Gulf.

    15. Recently, which country announced its withdrawl from the United Nations Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework?
    a. Jordan
    b. Sudan
    c. Israel
    d. Tanzania

    Answer. d

    In Febrauay 2018, Tanzania announced its withdrawl from the United Nations Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework citing security reasons and lack of funds. This withdrawl is a setback for the United Nations (UN), as Tanzania has long been considered as a safe haven for refugees from conflict hit Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.

    About United Nations Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework

    • It is an outcome of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants (New York Declaration). It was adopted by all 193 Member States of the United Nations in September 2016.

    • The declaration calls upon the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to develop and initiate the application of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) in close coordination with relevant States, other UN agencies and stakeholders.

    • The CRRF specifies the key elements for a comprehensive response to any large movement of refugees.

    • These include rapid and well-supported reception and admissions, support for immediate and on-going needs, assistance for local and national institutions and expanded opportunities for solutions.

    16. 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.

    17. 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.

    18. 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.

    19. 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.

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    20. 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.

    21. Consider the following statements related to ‘Health Index’ that was launched recently.
    1) It was launched by the NITI Aayog.
    2) Among the larger States, Kerala adjudged as the top performing State.
    3) Among the smaller States, Mizoram adjudged as the top performing State.

    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:

    In February 2018, the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog released a comprehensive a report entitled 'Healthy States, Progressive India'. The report contains a health index that ranked the states on the basis of their performance on measurable indicators such as infant mortality rate, sex ratio at birth and functional 24x7 public health centres.

    The report divided States and Union Territories into three categories, namely, larger States, smaller States and union territories (UTs). Among the largest States, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh are best performed and the worst performed States respectively. Among the smaller States, Mizoram and Nagaland are best performed and the worst performed States respectively. Among UTs, while Chandigarh and Lakshadweep are the top two performing, Dadra and Nagar Haveli was the worst performer.

    The index has been evolved through comprehensive study and inputs from World Bank India and the Union Ministry of Health.

    As per the report, about one-third of the States registered a decline in their performance in 2016 as compared to 2015. The common challenges faced by the States include the establishment of Cardiac Care Units and quality accreditation of public health facilities.

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    22. Consider the following statements related to the National Deworming Initiative that was launched recently.

    1) The initiative is expected to benefit 32.2 crore children across the country.
    2) It covers all the children between 1 and 19 years of age.
    3) The initiative was launched by the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development.

    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 Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) launched the National Deworming Initiative. The initiative was launched on February 10, 2018 to mark the National Deworming Day. The day was first observed in 2015.

    The objective of the initiative is to reach more than 32.2 crore children, who are aged between 1 and 19 years. It seeks to combat parasitic worm infections.

    About National Deworming Day

    • It is based on a single fixed-day approach to treat intestinal worm infections in all children on 10 February and 10 August each year. On these days, the mass deworming program is conducted.

    • On the National Deworming Day, health personnel and other stakeholders will be mobilized to prioritize investment in control of Soil Transmitted Helminth (STH) infections, which is one of the most common infections.

    • This goal of the day is to improve cognitive development, nutritional status and quality of life of children.

    • In order to reduce incidents of re-infection, behavioural change practices in terms of cleanliness, hygiene, use of toilets, wearing shoes/chappals and washing hands will be promoted.

    About STH

    • Parasitic worms or Soil-Transmitted Helminths live in human intestines and consume essential nutrients meant for the human body.

    • They cause complications among the children resulting in anaemia, malnutrition and improper mental and physical development.

    • Eggs produced by parasitic worms are passed in human faeces and spread to others by contaminating soil in areas where open defecation predominant and sanitation is poor.

    UPSC IAS Prelims CSAT 2017 Answer Key & Question Paper

    23. Consider the following statements related to Ghatak. It was in the news recently.
    1) It is a multi-calibre rifle.
    2) It was jointly developed by India and France.

    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. a

    Explanation:

    In February 2018, the Assam Forest Department announced that it was poised to be the first non-police or non-paramilitary force to acquire Ghatak rifle. Armed with these advanced rifles, the forest guards of the department will be in a better position to protect rhinos from poachers.

    About Ghatak

    • It was developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

    • It is called as a multi-calibre rifle, as it possesses the qualities of an automatic close-combat weapon such as AK-47 and a long-range firearm.

    • The rifle is used by Central Paramilitary Forces and the Assam Police. It is yet to clearance from the Indian Army for usage.

    IAS Preparation: Questions for Prelims 5 February to 9 February 2018

    24. Scientists have discovered three new species of eel in which of the following places of India?

    a) Bay of Bengal
    b) Western Ghat
    c) Northern Ghat
    d) Andaman and Nicobar

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    Scientists have discovered three new species of eel along the northern Bay of Bengal coast in the past few months. Dark brown with white dots on the dorsal side, Gymnothorax pseudotile was discovered at the Digha coast of the Bay of Bengal. The other two species, Gymnothorax visakhaensis (uniformly brown) and Enchelycore propinqua (reddish brown body mottled with irregular creamy white spots), were discovered from the Visakhapatnam coast of the Bay of Bengal.
    While Gymnothorax pseudotile is about 1 foot to 1.5 feet long, Gymnothorax Visakhaensis is about a foot long. Enchelycore propinqua is the smallest of them measuring less than a foot.

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    25. Recently, the Integrated Automatic Aviation Meteorological Systems (IAAMS) has been inaugurated at INS Garuda. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1) INS Garuda is the fourth air station to have been installed with this integrated system.
    2) IAAMS is an ambitious project of the Indian Navy to modernise the Meteorological infrastructure of the nine Naval Air Stations.
    3) The system can also provide automatic dissemination of routine weather reports of the air station as per World Meteorological Organization (WMO) standards to other Air Stations and to ATC tower without human intervention.

    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:

    Recently, the Southern Naval Command chief has inaugurated the ‘Integrated Automatic Aviation Meteorological System (IAAMS)’ at INS Garuda on 09 February 2018. INS Garuda is the fourth air station to have been installed with this integrated system. IAAMS is an ambitious project of the Indian Navy to modernise the Meteorological infrastructure of the nine Naval Air Stations. The IAAMS project at INS Garuda will give a major fillip to aviation safety through automation of weather monitoring process.
    Equipped with the state of the art Meteorological Sensors viz., Radar Vertical Wind Profiler, Transmissometer, Ceilometer and Automatic Weather Observation System, IAAMS undertakes automatic and continuous recording of relevant weather parameters that are vital for accurate weather forecasting.  It has a special alarm feature that alerts the duty staff about any abnormal change of weather parameters that may affect safe flying operations.  The system can also provide automatic dissemination of routine weather reports of the air station as per World Meteorological Organization (WMO) standards to other Air Stations and to ATC tower without human intervention.

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

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