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IAS Preparation: Questions for Prelims 19 February 2018

Feb 19, 2018 15:26 IST
    IAS Preparation Questions for Prelims 19 February 2018
    IAS Preparation Questions for Prelims 19 February 2018

    Current affairs are an important part of UPSC IAS Exam and it has to cover on daily basis from the reliable sources like PIB, The Hindu, Indian Express and important magazines. Here, we have provided current affairs quiz for IAS Prelims Exam created from PIB and The Hindu which are very important for IAS Prelims Exam 2018.

    IAS Prelims Exam Guide

    1. It is with this country, India recently signed nine agreements/MoUs on bilateral cooperation, including one agreement on double taxation avoidance?
    a. Afghanistan
    b. Iran
    c. Jordan
    d. Yemen

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    In February 2018, India and Iran signed eight agreements/Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) to expand cooperation in matters related to traditional systems of medicine, health, agriculture and double taxation avoidance. The agreements were signed during Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to India.

    The India-Iran Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) facilitates mutual economic cooperation and provides tax certainty to the resident taxpayers of both the countries. Further, the DTAA has provisions for exchange of information for tax purposes. So far, India has signed such DTAAs with more than 85 countries, including China, South Korea and Sri Lanka. However, India has not signed DTAAs with Afghanistan, Jordan and Yemen.

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    2. Recently, scientists discovered 100 new exoplanets using the Kepler Space Telescope. Against this backdrop, consider the following statements.
    1. Exoplanets are planets that are located outside the Milky Way galaxy.
    2. Kepler Space Telescope was launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    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, an international team of scientists has confirmed the discovery of nearly 100 new exoplanets. The discovery was based on the data from the NASA's Kepler Space Telescope or K2.
    About exoplanets:

    An exoplanet is a planet that orbits a star outside our solar system. Exoplanets can be within our galaxy i.e. Milky Way or outside the Milky Way. The first scientific detection of an exoplanet was in 1988. Shortly afterwards, the first confirmed detection was in 1992. As of February 1, 2018, there are 3,728 confirmed exoplanets in 2,794 systems, ranging from rocky Earth-sized planets to large gas giants like Jupiter.

    NASA's Kepler Mission

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the USA launched the Kepler spacecraft in 2009 to hunt for exoplanets in a single patch of sky. However, in 2013, a mechanical failure crippled the telescope.

    Astronomers and engineers then devised a way to repurpose and save the space telescope by changing its field of view periodically. This solution paved the way for the follow up the K2 mission.

    With the recent discovery, the total number of exoplanets discovered by the K2 mission goes up to almost 300.

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    3. Recently, Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop One has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Maharashtra government to build a hyperloop transportation system between Mumbai and Pune. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. The Pune-Mumbai route is an ideal first corridor as part of a national hyperloop network that will dramatically reduce travel times between most of India’s major cities to under two hours.
    2. The Hyperloop concept was first proposed by Elon Musk, the force behind SpaceX and Tesla.
    3. Hyperloop is the next-generation train system, which uses a magnetic levitation and a low-pressure transit tube.

    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:

    Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop One has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Maharashtra government to build a hyperloop transportation system between Mumbai and Pune. Billionaire investor Branson claims Hyperloop will drastically reduce the travel time between the two cities to 25 minutes from the present three hours. The announcement was made during the Magnetic Maharashtra investor summit.

    “Virgin Hyperloop One can help India become a global transportation pioneer and forge a new world-changing industry. The Pune-Mumbai route is an ideal first corridor as part of a national hyperloop network that will dramatically reduce travel times between most of India’s major cities to under two hours,” Virgin Hyperloop One Chairman stated in a press release.

    For those who are not aware, Hyperloop is the next-generation train system, which uses a magnetic levitation and a low-pressure transit tube. The high-speed train network has been visualised as an alternative to short distance air travel and the existing train network. One can expect speeds reaching over 700 mph. The Hyperloop concept was first proposed by Elon Musk, the force behind SpaceX and Tesla. The technology has been open-sourced and Musk is no longer directly involved in the development.

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    4. Cyclone Gita, Severe Tropical Cyclone to impact which of the following areas?
    a. Fiji
    b. India
    c. Sri Lanka
    d. Haiti

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    Cyclone Gita hit the Pacific island nations of Fiji and Tonga last week, packing winds up to 275 km per hour and causing widespread destruction and flooding. It earlier caused extensive damage in Samoa and American Samoa.

    After Gita was named, a prolonged period of rapid intensification ensued as it quickly intensified into a Category 1 tropical cyclone on the Australian tropical cyclone intensity scale, before it passed within 100 km (60 mi) of Samoa and American Samoa. After moving past the Samoan Islands, Gita turned southeast, then southwards, under the influence of a near-equatorial ridge to the northeast. On February 10, Gita rapidly intensified to a category 3 severe tropical cyclone on the Australian scale while traversing anomalously warm sea surface temperatures of between 28–29 °C (82–84 °F).

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    5.  Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to launch India’s second AstroSat-2. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. ISRO had sought proposals from institutions in astronomy for the development of scientific instruments on February 3.
    2. Through Astrosat, one can conduct studies on astrophysical objects from nearby solar system to distant stars, timing studies of pulsations of hot white dwarfs and active galactic nuclei.

    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:

    Astrosat is a one-of-its-kind satellite, which is designed to observe the universe in the visible, ultraviolet, low- and high-energy X-ray regions of the electromagnetic spectrum simultaneously with the help of its five payloads.

    A unique feature of Astrosat is that it will provide simultaneous multi-wavelength observation of various astronomical objects from a single satellite.The space observatory consists of a total of six instruments such as the ultraviolet imaging telescope, soft X-ray imaging telescope and scanning sky moni tor among others. The information from Astrosat is being used not only by ISRO scientists but also by private research firms and laboratories in India.

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