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IAS Preparation Questions for Prelims: 19 to 23 March 2018

Mar 23, 2018 17:01 IST
    IAS Preparation Questions for Prelims: 19 to 23 March 2018
    IAS Preparation Questions for Prelims: 19 to 23 March 2018

    Current affairs quizzes compiled here are based on the events of national and international importance. Such events happened in the month of March 2018 are very important for IAS Prelims Exam 2018.

    IAS Prelims Exam Guide

    1. Recently, the Union Cabinet has apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in Renewable Energy between India and Guyana. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. Both sides aim to establish the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable energy issues on the basis of mutual benefit, equality and reciprocity.
    2. The MoU envisages establishing a Joint Working Committee to review, monitor and discuss matters relating to areas of cooperation.
    3. The MoU aims for the exchange of expertise and networking of information.

    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 Union Cabinet has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in Renewable Energy between India and Guyana. The MoU was signed on 30th January 2018 in New Delhi by the Minister of State (IC) for Power and New and Renewable Energy (NRE) and 2nd Vice President and the Foreign Minister of the Co-operative, Guyana.

    Both sides aim to establish the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable energy issues on the basis of mutual benefit, equality and reciprocity. The MoU envisages establishing a Joint Working Committee to review, monitor and discuss matters relating to areas of cooperation. The MoU aims for the exchange of expertise and networking of information.

    The Memorandum of Understanding will help in strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

     

    2. Secure Hash Algorithm is related which of the following given below?
    a. Psychological Profiling
    b. Cryptocurrency
    c. Space Technology
    d. None of the above

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    A secure hash algorithm is actually a set of algorithms developed by the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) and other government and private parties.

    These secure encryption or "file check" functions have arisen to meet some of the top cybersecurity challenges of the 21st century, as a number of public service groups work with federal government agencies to provide better online security standards for organizations and the public.

    In cryptography, SHA-1 (Secure Hash Algorithm 1) is a cryptographic hash function which takes an input and produces a 160-bit (20-byte) hash value known as a message digest - typically rendered as a hexadecimal number, 40 digits long.

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    3. Recently, the Union Cabinet has given its approval for moving official amendments in the "Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016". Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 proposes to regulate surrogacy in India by establishing National Surrogacy Board at the central level and, State Surrogacy Boards and Appropriate Authorities in the States and Union Territories.
    2. Once in effect, the Act will regulate the surrogacy services in the country and will control the unethical practices in surrogacy, prevent commercialisation of surrogacy and will prohibit potential exploitation of surrogate mothers and children born through surrogacy.

    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 Union Cabinet has given its approval for moving official amendments in the "Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016". The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 proposes to regulate surrogacy in India by establishing National Surrogacy Board at the central level and, State Surrogacy Boards and Appropriate Authorities in the States and Union Territories.
    The proposed legislation ensures effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy and allow altruistic surrogacy to the needy Indian infertile couples.

    Once the Bill is enacted by the Parliament, the National Surrogacy Board will be constituted. The States and Union Territories shall constitute the State Surrogacy Board and State Appropriate Authorities within three months of the notification by the Central Government.

    4. Consider the following statements regarding the performance of Remote Sensing Satellites:
    1. These satellites are being utilised to their capacity to meet the requirements of resource monitoring, infrastructure planning, enabling weather forecasting, disaster management support including a host of societal applications.
    2. The services derived from these satellites are being used by various Ministries/Departments in agriculture, water resources, forest and environment, urban and rural development, ocean and meteorology.
    3. Indian Remote Sensing satellites are meant for revenue generation.

    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: b

    Explanation:

    At present, there are 19 Remote Sensing satellites (including Meteorological satellites) operational in orbit. These satellites are being utilised to their capacity to meet the requirements of resource monitoring, infrastructure planning, enabling weather forecasting, disaster management support including a host of societal applications.

    The services derived from these satellites are being used by various Ministries/Departments in agriculture, water resources, forest and environment, urban and rural development, ocean and meteorology.

    Indian Remote Sensing satellites are meant for meeting national needs for public good services. These satellites are not meant for revenue generation. The benefits are accrued through applications derived from these satellites.

    5. Recently, the Union Cabinet has given its approval for revision of the Agreement between India and Qatar for the avoidance of double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. The revised DTAA updates the provisions for exchange of information to the latest standard includes Limitation of Benefits provision to prevent treaty shopping and aligns other provisions with India's recent treaties.
    2. The existing Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with Qatar was signed on 7th April 1999 and came into force on 15th January 2000.

    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 Union Cabinet has given its approval for revision of the Agreement between India and Qatar for the avoidance of double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

    The existing Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with Qatar was signed on 7th April 1999 and came into force on 15th January 2000.The revised DTAA updates the provisions for exchange of information to the latest standard includes Limitation of Benefits provision to prevent treaty shopping and aligns other provisions with India's recent treaties. The revised DTAA meets the minimum standards on treaty abuse under Action 6 and Mutual Agreement Procedure under Action 14 of G-20 OECD Base Erosion & Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, in which India participated on an equal footing.

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    6. Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for continuation of Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA). Consider the following statements regarding the RUSA:

    1. RUSA, in its 2nd phase, aims at the creation of 70 new model degree colleges and 8 new professional colleges; Enhancing quality and Excellence in 10 select state universities and 70 autonomous colleges, providing infrastructural support to 50 universities and 750 colleges etc.
    2. RUSA seeks to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio of the country to 30% by 2020 and to increase the spending on higher education by the State Governments.
    3. The project cost in the publicly funded institutions for all sub-components is shared between the Central Government and State Governments in the ratio of 90:10 for the North-Eastern States.

    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 Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for continuation of Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2020.

    RUSA is an overarching scheme, operated in a mission mode for funding the state universities and colleges in order to achieve the aims of equity, access and excellence. It seeks to improve the overall quality of existing state higher educational institutions by ensuring their conformity to prescribed norms and standards.

    Major impact and Targets:

    • RUSA seeks to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio of the country to 30% by 2020,

    • It also seeks to increase the spending on higher education by the State Governments,

    • The scheme, in its 2nd phase, aims at the creation of 70 new model degree colleges and 8 new professional colleges; Enhancing quality and Excellence in 10 selected state universities and 70 autonomous colleges, providing infrastructural support to 50 universities and 750 colleges etc.

    • Improving access, equity and accessibility of higher education in Slates through reforms such as academic reforms, governance reforms, affiliation reforms etc.

    • Improve equity in higher education by providing adequate opportunities for higher education to socially deprived communities; promote inclusion of women, minorities, SC/ST/OBCs and differently-abled persons,

    • To identify and fill up the existing gaps in higher education, by augmenting and supporting the State Governments' efforts,

    • Promote a spirit of healthy competition amongst states and institutions to excel in quality higher education, research and innovation.

    Funding Ratio: The project cost in the publicly funded institutions for all sub-components is shared between the Central Government and State Governments in the ratio of 90:10 for the North-Eastern States, J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, 60:40 for other States and UTs with Legislature and 100:0 for UTs without Legislature.

    7. Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved the opening of 18 new Indian Missions in Africa over a four year period from 2018-2021 in which of the following African nations except?
    a. Burkina Faso
    b. Uganda
    c. Chad
    d. Rwanda

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The Union Cabinet has approved the opening of 18 new Indian Missions in Africa over a four year period from 2018-2021. The 18 new Indian Missions in Africa will be opened in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Rwanda, Sao Tome& Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland and Togo over a four year period from 2018-2021 thereby increasing the number of Resident Indian Missions in Africa from 29 to 47.

    The decision will enhance India's diplomatic outreach in the African continent and allow India to engage with Indian Diaspora in African countries. The opening of new Missions is also a step towards implementing the vision of enhanced co-operation and engagement with Africa.

    8. Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved the launch of a new Centrally Sponsored Ayushman Bharat -National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM).  Consider the following statements regarding this:

    1. The scheme has the benefits cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year.
    2. The target beneficiaries of the proposed scheme will be more than 10 crore families belonging to poor and vulnerable population based on SECC database.
    3. AB-NHPM will subsume the on-going centrally sponsored schemes –Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS).

    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 Union Cabinet has approved the launch of a new Centrally Sponsored Ayushman Bharat -National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) having central sector component under Ayushman Bharat Mission anchored in the MoHFW. The scheme has the benefits cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year. The target beneficiaries of the proposed scheme will be more than 10 crore families belonging to poor and vulnerable population based on SECC database. AB-NHPM will subsume the on-going centrally sponsored schemes –Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS).

    Implementation Strategy:

    At the national level to manage, an Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission Agency (AB-NHPMA) would be put in place. States/ UTs would be advised to implement the scheme by a dedicated entity called State Health Agency (SHA). They can either use an existing Trust/ Society/ Not for Profit Company/ State Nodal Agency (SNA) or set up a new entity to implement the scheme. States/ UTs can decide to implement the scheme through an insurance company or directly through the Trust/ Society or use an integrated model.

    Background:

    RSBY was launched in the year 2008 by the Ministry of Labour and Employment and provides cashless health insurance scheme with benefit coverage of Rs. 30.000/- per annum on a family floater basis [for 5 members], for Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, and 11 other defined categories of unorganised workers. To integrate RSBY into the health system and make it a part of the comprehensive health care vision of Government of India, RSBY was transferred to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) with effective from 1 April 2015. During 2016-2017, 3.63 crore families were covered under RSBY in 278 districts of the country and they could avail medical treatment across the network of 8,697 empanelled hospitals. The NHPS comes in the backdrop of the fact that various Central Ministries and State/UT Governments have launched health insurance/ protection schemes for their own defined set of beneficiaries. There is a critical need to converge these schemes, so as to achieve improved efficiency, reach and coverage.

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    9. Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the revision of energy norms under New Urea Policy. Consider the following statements regarding the New Urea Policy:

    1. The Target Energy Norms under New Urea Policy-2015 (NUP-2015) for 11 urea units to be implemented with effect from 1st April 2018.
    2. Three Naphtha based urea units are also allowed the existing energy norms for another two years/till gas pipeline connectivity.

    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 Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has accorded the following approval to the proposal of Department of Fertilizers:

    • The Target Energy Norms under New Urea Policy-2015(NUP-2015) for 11 urea units to be implemented with effect from 1st April 2018.

    • The extension of present energy norms with token penalties, under the New Urea Policy-2015 for a further period of two years for 14 urea manufacturing units which failed to achieve the Target Energy Norms.

    • Three Naphtha based urea units are also allowed the existing energy norms for another two years/till gas pipeline connectivity.

    • The target energy norms as per NUP-2015 will be continued for 5 years with effect from 1st April 2020.

    The extension of present energy norms for a further period of 2 years will ensure easy availability of urea to farmers throughout the country. It will also help to maximize the indigenous urea production and will lessen the import of urea.

    The approval will also help to recover some part of the CAPEX invested by urea manufacturing units for making their units more energy efficient. Energy efficient urea manufacturing units shall reduce the carbon footprint and it will be more environment-friendly.

    Chemical Fertilizers have played an important role in making the country self-reliant in food grain production and provide a very vital input for the growth of Indian agriculture.
    The energy efficiency norms notified by the Department for the year 2018-19 are capital intensive. The cost economics of the companies does not support the implementation of energy saving schemes as the simple payback on investment is very long.

    10. Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for Central Sector Scheme "Integrated Scheme for Development of Silk Industry" for the next three years from 2017-18 to 2019-20. Consider the following statement regarding this:

    1. The scheme will be implemented by the Ministry through Central Silk Board (CSB).
    2. The scheme will promote Women Empowerment and livelihood opportunities to SC/ST and other weaker sections of the society.
    3. The core objective of the scheme is to improve the productivity and quality of silk through R&D 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:

    The core objective of the scheme is to improve the productivity and quality of silk through R&D intervention. The focus of R&D intervention is to promote improved cross­breed silk and the import substitute Bivoltine silk so that Bivoltine silk production in India enhances to such a level that raw silk imports become nil by 2022 thereby making India self-sufficient in silk.

    R&D interventions will include race improvement through development of improved host plant varieties and improved disease resistant silkworm breeds by having collaborative research with reputed National Research organizations like IITs, CSIR, IISc and international research institutes on Sericulture in Japan, China, Bulgaria etc. Technological advancements with respect to pre cocoon and post cocoon sectors. Thrust will be given on technology upgradation and make mechanization affordable.

    The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for Central Sector Scheme "Integrated Scheme for Development of Silk Industry" for the next three years from 2017-18 to 2019-20.

    The Scheme has four components:

    • Research & Development (R&D), Training, Transfer of Technology and IT Initiatives

    • Seed Organizations and farmers extension centres

    • Coordination and Market Development for seed, yarn and silk products and

    • Quality Certification System (QCS) by creating amongst others a chain of Silk Testing facilities, Farm-based & post-cocoon Technology Up-gradation, and Export Brand Promotion.

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    11. Ministry of Women and Child Development conducted a first National workshop on POSHAN Abhiyaan involving all the States and Union Territories at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra, New Delhi. Consider the following statements regarding POSHAN Abhiyaan:

    1. POSHAN Abhiyaan was launched on 8th March 2018 by the Prime Minister in Jhunjhunu.
    2. The Abhiyaan targets to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and reduce low birth weight by 2%, 2%, 3% and 2% per annum respectively.
    3. The target of the mission is to bring down stunting among children in the age group 0-6 years from 38.4% to 25% by 2022.

    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 Ministry of Women and Child Development conducted a first National workshop on POSHAN Abhiyaan involving all the States and Union Territories at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra, New Delhi today. The Ministry organised the day-long workshop with participation from all the states/UTs to provide a complete orientation on the POSHAN Abhiyaan,to explain the key components of the Abhiyaan, to provide handholding in using the software involved, and to augment the convergence with the different Ministries involved in implementing the Abhiyaan for improved Nutritional outcomes.

    POSHAN Abhiyaan was launched on 8th March 2018 by the Prime Minister in Jhunjhunu. The Abhiyaan targets to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and reduce low birth weight by 2%, 2%, 3% and 2% per annum respectively. The target of the mission is to bring down stunting among children in the age group 0-6 years from 38.4% to 25% by 2022.

    12. Recently, the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Dehradun has signed a MoU with Technology Information, Forecasting & Assessment Council for Supporting Forest Based Communities. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. Through this collaboration, TIFAC shall help ICFRE to refine and up-scale the technologies developed, take technologies to the end users including farmers, State Forest Departments, forest-based industries and forest-dependent communities in a more effective manner.
    2. ICFRE through its Institutes and Centres located throughout the country is carrying, promoting and coordinating forestry research, extension, education, and their applications.

    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 Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Dehradun (an Autonomous Council under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change) and Technology Information, Forecasting & Assessment Council (TIFAC), New Delhi (an Autonomous Council under Department of Science and Technology) signed a MoU with an objective to provide livelihood opportunities and augment income of the forest-based communities.

    Through this collaboration, TIFAC shall help ICFRE to refine and up-scale the technologies developed, take technologies to the end users including farmers, State Forest Departments, forest-based industries and forest-dependent communities in a more effective manner.

    ICFRE through its Institutes and Centres located throughout the country is carrying, promoting and coordinating forestry research, extension, education, and their applications. Currently, ICFRE is focusing on contemporary issues of national and international importance particularly in the area of climate change, forest productivity, biodiversity and skill development.

    13. Recently, the Government has approved the setting up of a Plastic Park in which of the following states?

    a. Kerala
    b. Jharkhand
    c. Haryana
    d. Uttar Pradesh

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers has announced that the Government of India has approved the setting up of a Plastic Park in Deoghar District, Jharkhand. The project would be set up at a cost of Rs. 120 crores in an area of 150 acres and a range of polymer products including woven sacks, moulded furniture, water tanks, bottles, pipes mosquito nets, etc would be manufactured. It has great potential for attracting investment for setting up an ecosystem for plastic industry and generates employment opportunities for the local populace.

    The project is likely to provide direct employment generation to about 6000 people and indirect employment to over 30000 people. This human resource is of vital importance as the plastic industry is growing at a rapid pace and the polymer consumption in India would double from the current 10 million metric tonnes to 20 million metric tonnes by 2022.

    14. National Cultural Audiovisual Archives (NCAA) becomes the World’s First Trusted Digital Repository, recently. Consider the following statements regarding this:

    1. The primary objective of the NCAA is to identify and preserve the cultural heritage of India available in audiovisual form through a process of digitization and making it accessible to the people.
    2. NCAA pilot digital repository was developed in collaboration with the Centre of Excellence for Digital Preservation by C-DAC, Pune.
    3. At present, NCAA has a total of twenty-one (21) Partnering Institutions from across the country, covering 11 governmental and 10 non-governmental cultural organisations.

    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:

    At present, NCAA has a total of twenty-one (21) Partnering Institutions from across the country, covering 11 governmental and 10 non-governmental cultural organisations. The digitization and metadata standards followed by the Project are in parity with international standards within the overall framework of the OAIS model. The digitization standards are in concordance with those prescribed by the International Association of Sound & Audiovisual Archives (IASA) and the metadata schema is extended Dublin Core, followed by galleries, libraries, archives and museums worldwide. The primary objective of the NCAA is to identify and preserve the cultural heritage of India available in audiovisual form through a process of digitization and making it accessible to the people.

    National Cultural Audiovisual Archives (NCAA) project of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, implemented by Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) has been certified as the world’s first Trusted Digital Repository as per ISO 16363:2012 standard, granted by Primary Trustworthy Digital Repository Authorisation Body Ltd. (PTAB), United Kingdom.

    15. Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has reconstituted the composition of Committee on Journalist Welfare Scheme and Central Press Accreditation Committee. Consider the following statements regarding the Journalist Welfare Scheme:

    1. Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has recently increased the provision for Journalist welfare scheme by fivefold to Rs. 1 crore in BE 2018 - 19 from Rs.20 lakh in 2017-18.
    2. The scheme aims to provide one-time ex-gratia relief on an urgent basis to journalists and their families in the event of extreme hardship.

    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:

    Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has recently increased the provision for Journalist welfare scheme by fivefold to Rs. 1 crore in BE 2018 - 19 from Rs.20 lakh in 2017-18. The scheme aims to provide one-time ex-gratia relief on an urgent basis to journalists and their families in the event of extreme hardship. This scheme covers journalists accredited to PIB / State Governments / UTs or non-accredited journalists working for a minimum period of five continuous years either whole time or part time as news editor, reporter, photographer, cameramen, photo journalist, and freelance journalist.

    The financial assistance available under this scheme is up to Rs. 5 lakh to the family on account of the death of a journalist, up to Rs. 5 lakh to the journalists in case of permanent disability, up to Rs. 3 lakh towards the cost of treatment of major ailments which is not covered by CGHS or any other insurance/health schemes.

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    16. A team of scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered the new species of water strider in which of the following states?

    a. Kerala
    b. Nagaland
    c. Sikkim
    d. West Bengal

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    A team of scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered the new species of water strider named ‘Ptilomera Nagaland Jehamalar and Chandra’ from Intangki River in Peren district of Nagaland.

    The species is named after the Nagaland state itself. The findings were published in Zootaxa Journal in January 2018. The Study was co-authored by E Eyarin Jehamalar, Kailash Chandra, Srimoyee Basu & C. Selvakumar of Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata.

    17. The state cabinet of Karnataka decided to recognise Lingayats as a ‘religious minority’. Consider the following statements regarding the Lingayats:
    1. Lingayats, a distinct Shaivite religious tradition, are followers of the 12th-century poet-philosopher-social reformer Basaveshwara who rebelled against established Hindu tradition by defying the caste system and Vedic rituals.
    2. The people of the community are strict monotheists, they worship only one God, namely, Linga (Shiva) in the form of ishtalinga.
    3. They consider themselves different from Veerashaivas, also a Shaivite religious tradition, which adheres to the Vedas and supports the caste system, while the Veerashaivas think the community was an ancient religion established by Shiva and Basavanna was one of its saints.

    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 state cabinet of Karnataka on March 19, 2018, decided to recognise Lingayats as a ‘religious minority’ and include the Veerashaivas who follow Basavanna as a group within the community, approving recommendations of the HN Nagamohan Das Committee.

    Lingayats, a distinct Shaivite religious tradition, are followers of the 12th-century poet-philosopher-social reformer Basaveshwara who rebelled against established Hindu tradition by defying the caste system and Vedic rituals.

    The people of the community are strict monotheists; they worship only one God, namely, Linga (Shiva) in the form of ishtalinga. They consider themselves different from Veerashaivas, also a Shaivite religious tradition, which adheres to the Vedas and supports the caste system, while the Veerashaivas think the community was an ancient religion established by Shiva and Basavanna was one of its saints.

    18. Researchers from the Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) have discovered a number of Acheulian artefacts (dated to about 1, 500,000–1,50,000 years ago). Consider the following statements regarding this:

    1. The discovery of stone tools belonging to the Acheulian age in a region known to have rich evidence of the Soanian period presents the possibility of continuity of the two Stone Age cultures at the site.
    2. The oldest dated Acheulian sites in India are those at Attirampakkam in Tamil Nadu, dating to 1.5 million years ago.

    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:

    Researchers from the Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) have discovered a number of Acheulian artefacts (dated to about 1, 500,000–1,50,000 years ago) along with contemporary Soanian ones from an unexplored site at Ghumarwin in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh. The site is close to the site where scientists in the 19th century discovered fossil remains of Sivapithecus, the last common ancestor of orangutans and humans.

    The discovery of stone tools belonging to the Acheulian age in a region known to have rich evidence of the Soanian period presents the possibility of continuity of the two Stone Age cultures at the site.

    The oldest dated Acheulian sites in India are those at Attirampakkam in Tamil Nadu, dating to 1.5 million years ago, whereas recent assessments of the South Asian Paleolithic (Stone Age culture) records have suggested that most Soanian assemblages are younger than Acheulian evidence in the Sivalik region. According to experts, the Soanian stone age cultures date to 600 ka (about 6,00,000) years ago.

    19. Consider the following statements regarding recently discovered material- graphene:

    1. Graphene made from honeycomb sheets of carbon just one atom thick.
    2. It is a three-dimensional form (allotrope) of carbon that consists of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice.
    3. Graphene has been described as wondrous stuff — of being the strongest material ever tested, almost 300 times stronger than steel.

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

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The 21st century seems set to become the age of graphene, a recently discovered material made from honeycomb sheets of carbon just one atom thick. It is a two-dimensional form (allotrope) of carbon that consists of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. Graphene has been described as wondrous stuff — of being the strongest material ever tested, almost 300 times stronger than steel. It is also the best heat- and electricity-conducting material to be discovered. It could also become a valuable aid in filtering water. Researchers from Australia announced recently that they used a graphene-based product to make a water filter that can make highly-polluted sea water drinkable after just one pass.

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    20. Recently, it has been found that the coral reefs in Seychelles face climate change threat. Seychelles is an archipelago island in which of the following Oceans?

    a. Indian Ocean
    b. Pacific Ocean
    c. Atlantic Ocean
    d. Arctic Ocean

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    Beneath the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean island nation of Seychelles, a fight is growing to save the coral reefs that shelter a range of creatures, from tiny invertebrates to the sprawling octopus, from climate change.

    The fragile reefs act both as a protective barrier for coastlines and an attraction for the tourists who keep the country’s economy going. But the reefs are also one of the first victims of rising ocean temperatures.

    Seychelles in some areas lost up to 90 percent of its coral reefs in 1998 in an environmental event known as bleaching, where coral in warming waters expel the colourful algae that live within their skeletons and, without their nutrients, starve. Another bleaching event occurred in 2016 after the reefs had partly recovered, said David Rowat, chairman of the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles.

    Already, conservationists have launched a number of coral reef restoration projects around the nation’s 115 islands. In one, more than 50,000 coral fragments have been nurtured and transplanted by a local charity, Nature Seychelles, in what the organization calls the world’s largest coral restoration program.

    21. Recently, the Union Government has signed a $120 million loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for completion of works for double-tracking and electrification of railway tracks. Consider the following statements regarding this:

    1. The tranche 3 loan is part of the $500 million multi-tranche financing facility for Railway Sector Investment Program approved by the ADB Board in 2011.
    2. The loan amount will be used to complete the ongoing works commenced under earlier tranches.
    3. The project mainly aims to enhance the efficiency of rail infrastructure through electrification, the introduction of modern signalling system and doubling rail tracks on the major routes in the country.

    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 Union Government on March 16, 2018, signed a $120 million loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for completion of works for double-tracking and electrification of railway tracks along high-density corridors to improve the operational efficiency of Indian the railways.

    The tranche 3 loan is part of the $500 million multi-tranche financing facility for Railway Sector Investment Program approved by the ADB Board in 2011. The loan amount will be used to complete the ongoing works commenced under earlier tranches.

    Objective

    • The project mainly aims to enhance the efficiency of rail infrastructure through electrification, the introduction of modern signalling system and doubling rail tracks on the major routes in the country.

    • It will help develop an energy-efficient, safe and reliable railway system that will result in reduced travel time along project rail routes and improved operational and financial efficiency.

    22. Niti Aayog has released comprehensive roadmaps and detailed timelines for its initiative ‘Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital in Education (SATH-E)’ project. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. The comprehensive roadmaps are for the coming two years, from 2018 to 2020.
    2. These roadmaps present the first-of-its-kind, customised, action-oriented programmes, outlining interventions at the individual, district and state level.

    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:

    NITI Aayog has released comprehensive roadmaps and detailed timelines for its initiative ‘Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital in Education (SATH-E)’ project in New Delhi on March 17, 2018.

    The roadmaps are released by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and the Chief Secretaries of Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha after a day-long workshop with the Principal Secretaries of the States, State Project Directors and other experts and representatives operating in the field.

    Key Highlights

    • The comprehensive roadmaps are for the coming two years, from 2018 to 2020.

    • The prints lay out detailed interventions that will be taken up by the three participating states- Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha – which aim to become ‘role model states’ in school education.

    23. Consider the following statements regarding the Electoral Bond Scheme, 2018:

    1. Electoral Bond (EB) would be a bearer instrument in the nature of a Promissory Note and an interest-free banking instrument.
    2. The electoral bond would be issued for a certain value denomination from the specified branches of the State Bank of India (SBI).
    3. The scheme of EB is to provide anonymity to the donors but at the same time establish a transparent political funding system.

    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 Government notified the Electoral Bond Scheme, 2018 on January 02, 2018 to establish and cleanse the system of political funding in the country. Broad features of the said Scheme are under:

    Electoral Bond (EB) would be a bearer instrument in the nature of a Promissory Note and an interest-free banking instrument. A citizen of India or a body incorporated in India are eligible to purchase the bond.

    The electoral bond would be issued for certain value denominations from the specified branches of the State Bank of India (SBI).

    Tenor of the Electoral Bonds is for 15 days during which it can be used for making donation only to the political parties registered under section 29A of the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and which have secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or a Legislative Assembly. It will not carry the name of payee or the donor.

    The bonds under the Scheme shall be available for purchase for a period of 10 days each in the months of January, April, July and October, as may be specified by the Central Government. An additional period of 30 days shall be specified by the Central Government in the year of the General election to the House of People.

    The scheme of EB is to provide anonymity to the donors but at the same time establish a transparent political funding system. Bonds can be purchased only after making payment through a KYC compliant account. Further, the bond shall be encashed by an eligible political party only through a designated bank account with the authorised bank. Electoral Bond is envisaged as an additional banking instrument for giving donations to registered political parties.

    24. Consider the following statements regarding the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN):

    1. The RAN was set up to provide financial assistance to patients, living below poverty line and who are suffering from major life-threatening diseases, to receive medical treatment at any of the super speciality Hospitals/Institutes or other Government hospitals.
    2. The financial assistance to such patients is released in the form of ‘multiple-time grant’, which is released to the Medical Superintendent of the Hospital in which the treatment has been/is being received.
    3. Under RAN Revolving Funds have been set up in 13 Central Government Hospitals/Institutions located all over India for providing financial assistance for treatment up to Rs. 2 lakh.

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

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The scheme Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) is under implementation in the country. The details of scheme and salient features are given below:

    The Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) has been set up vide Resolution No. F-7-2/96-Fin-II dated 13/1/1997 and registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, as a Society.

    The RAN was set up to provide financial assistance to patients, living below poverty line and who are suffering from major life-threatening diseases, to receive medical treatment at any of the super speciality Hospitals/Institutes or other Government hospitals. The financial assistance to such patients is released in the form of ‘one-time grant’, which is released to the Medical Superintendent of the Hospital in which the treatment has been/is being received.

    Under RAN Revolving Funds have been set up in 13 Central Government Hospitals/Institutions located all over India for providing financial assistance for treatment up to Rs. 2 lakh. In addition financial assistance is provided for individual cases referred by Government hospitals/institutions, which do not have a Revolving Fund and for cases referred by 13 Government hospitals/institutions with Revolving Funds for assistance exceeding Rs. 2 lakh.

    IAS Exam 2018: All You Need Know

    25. Consider the following statements regarding Government’s National Strategic Plan (NSP) to control cases of Tuberculosis in the country:
    1. The implementation of National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination (NSP 2017-25) has started in January 2017 and the funds allocated for FY 2018-19 is Rs.2770.91 Crore which includes funds for cash transfers and social welfare schemes.
    2. As per the Global report 2017 of the World Health Organisation (WHO), India accounts for 1,47,000 estimated MDR-RR cases which is 24% of the Global cases.
    3. As per the reports released by World Health Organisation (WHO), the incidence of TB in India has fallen from 217 per lakh population per year in the year 2015 to 211 per lakh population per year in the year 2016.

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

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The Government launched the National Strategic Plan (NSP) to control cases of Tuberculosis in the country during the period 2012-2017.

    The implementation of National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination (NSP 2017-25) has started in January 2017 and the funds allocated for FY 2018-19 is Rs.2770.91  Crore which includes funds for cash transfers and social welfare schemes.

    As per the Global report 2017 of the World Health Organisation (WHO), India accounts for 1,47,000 estimated MDR-RR cases which is 24% of the Global cases. However, as per this report, the incidence of TB in India has fallen from 217 per lakh population per year in the year 2015 to 211 per lakh population per year in the year 2016.

    After the introduction of NIKSHAY portal and Active Case Finding Scheme, a higher number of cases reported by private practitioners was included in the National data of TB case finding, this resulted in increased data on TB cases.

    Must do things after the UPSC IAS Notification and Form Filing

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