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IAS Preparation Questions for Prelims 23 February 2018

Feb 23, 2018 12:27 IST
    IAS Preparation Questions for Prelims 23 February 2018
    IAS Preparation Questions for Prelims 23 February 2018

    To crack IAS Exam, continuous study to master the current affairs component is a must during IAS preparation. To answer current affairs based questions in IAS Prelims Exam, one should not only have the basic information about the current events, but also the clarity about the issues and concepts involved.

    IAS Prelims Exam Guide

    Here, we have provided current affairs quizzes for IAS Prelims Exam considered the best questions for IAS Prelims Exam.

    1. Consider the following statements related to ‘NITI Forum for Northeast’ that was set up recently:
    1. The forum will be headed by the Prime Minister.
    2. Its primary objective is to accelerate the development in the northeast region.
    3. Chief Ministers of all the eight States of the northeast are members of the forum.

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

    Answer. a

    Explanation:

    On February 21, 2018, the Union Government issued an order to set up the NITI Forum for Northeast. The primary objective of the forum is to identify constraints and recommend suitable interventions for speedy and sustainable growth in the North East Region (NER).

    The forum will be co-chaired by the Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog and the Union Minister (Independent Charge) for the Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER). The forum will have its Secretariat in the Ministry of DoNER. The DoNER oversees the development in eight States in the NER i.e. Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, Assam and Sikkim.

    Secretaries of Ministries of Road Transport and Highways, Railways, Power, Water Resources, etc, are the members of the forum. Chief Secretaries of northeastern states will also be members of the Forum. Secretary, North East Council (NEC), Shillong will be Member Secretary.

    The NITI Forum for Northeast is tasked to identify various constraints on the way of accelerated, inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the NER of the country and to recommend suitable interventions for addressing identified constraints. It will also review the development status in the NER.

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    2. India will host the inaugural conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in March 2018. Against this backdrop, consider the following statements related to the ISA:
    1. ISA is the first International intergovernmental treaty-based organization headquartered in India.
    2. It was jointly launched by India and France in November 2015.
    3. The only mandate of the ISA is to encourage the usage of solar energy in industries.

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

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    The Union Government announced that the inaugural conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) will be held in New Delhi on March 11, 2018.

    The conference will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emanuel Macron. Besides, heads of States/Governments of countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Seychelles, Ghana, Gabon, Australia, Venezuela, Fiji and Mauritius will attend the conference.

    About International Solar Alliance

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

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

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

    • ISA is a coalition of solar resource-rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn and aims to specifically address energy needs by harnessing solar energy. The ISA seeks to reduce the cost of finance and cost of technology for immediate deployment of solar generation assets.

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

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    3. Recently, SpaceX has launched first high-speed internet satellites into orbit. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. A used Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Space Launch Complex 4E at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base, carrying Spain's PAZ, a radar-imaging satellite, and two SpaceX test satellites for global broadband.
    2. According to the mission description, equipped with an advanced radar instrument, PAZ will cover the entire globe in 24 hours, serving both commercial and government needs.
    3. Designed for a mission life of five and a half years, PAZ will orbit the Earth 15 times per day, providing internet coverage for an area of over 300,000 square km from an altitude of 514 km and a velocity of seven km per second.

    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:

    US private flight company SpaceX on 22 February 2018 launched its first two test satellites for its global broadband internet in space project. A used Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Space Launch Complex 4E at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base, carrying Spain's PAZ, a radar-imaging satellite, and two SpaceX test satellites for global broadband, Xinhua news agency reported.

    The Falcon 9's first stage separated from the second stage about two minutes after lift-off. Cheers and applause broke out in the SpaceX control room as the launch was streamed live online. The launch's primary mission is to deliver PAZ into orbit for the Spain-based company Hisdesat. The satellite has been deployed approximately 11 minutes after launch. "Successful deployment of PAZ satellite to low-Earth orbit confirmed," the California-based company tweeted.

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    4. Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Kenya was signed and notified in 1985. Consider the following statements regarding the recent revision of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Kenya:
    1. The DTAA was renegotiated and a revised DTAA was signed between both countries on 11th July 2016.
    2. The revised DTAA provides for a new Article on Limitation of Benefits to allow treaty benefits to bonafide residents of both countries, to combat treaty abuse by third country residents and to allow application of domestic law to prevent tax avoidance or evasion.

    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 Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Kenya was signed and notified in 1985. Subsequently, the DTAA was renegotiated and a revised DTAA was signed between both countries on 11th July 2016. The revised DTAA has been notified in the Official Gazette on 19th February 2018.

    Some of the key features of the revised DTAA are highlighted as under:

    In order to promote cross-border flow of investments and technology, the revised DTAA provides for reduction in withholding tax rates from 15% to 10% on dividends, from 15% to 10% on interest, from 20% to 10% on royalties and from 17.5% to 10% on fees for management, professional and technical services.

    The revised DTAA provides for a new Article on Limitation of Benefits to allow treaty benefits to bonafide residents of both countries, to combat treaty abuse by third country residents and to allow application of domestic law to prevent tax avoidance or evasion.

    The Article on Exchange of Information has been updated to the latest international standard to provide for the exchange of information, including banking information for tax purposes, to the widest possible extent.

    A new Article on Assistance in Collection of Taxes has also been provided in the revised treaty which will enable assistance in collection of tax revenue claims between both countries.

    The revised DTAA will improve transparency in tax matters, help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance, remove double taxation and will stimulate the flow of investment, technology and services between India and Kenya.

    IAS Exam 2018: All You Need Know

    5. Consider the following statements regarding the NITI Aayog's role in the national policy, frontier technologies:
    1. The Budget 2018-19 envisages a defined role for NITI Aayog in critical areas of artificial intelligence and agriculture policy, apart from reiterating a shared vision for national development in line with NITI Aayog’s Three Year Action Agenda, the Seven Year Strategy and the 15 Year Vision Document.
    2. NITI Aayog will initiate a national program to direct our efforts in the area of artificial intelligence, including research and development of its applications.
    3. NITI Aayog, in consultation with Central and State Governments, will put in place a fool-proof mechanism so that farmers will get adequate price for their produce.

    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 New India Budget presented by the Finance Minister has cemented NITI Aayog’s role as a driver of transformational change in the country, said Hon’ble MoS (IC) for Planning Shri Rao Inderjit Singh, addressing a press conference today highlighting the budget allocations, achievements and programmes of NITI Aayog.

    Allocations for the Ministry of Planning, which is embodied by the NITI Aayog, have increased by more than 20% over last year i.e. to Rs 339.65 crore in 2018-19 from Rs 279.79 crore in 2017-18.

    Further, the budget envisages a defined role for NITI Aayog in critical areas of artificial intelligence and agriculture policy, apart from reiterating a shared vision for national development in line with NITI Aayog’s Three Year Action Agenda, the Seven Year Strategy and the 15 Year Vision Document.

    NITI in the Budget

    NITI Aayog, in consultation with Central and State Governments, will put in place a fool-proof mechanism so that farmers will get adequate price for their produce.

    NITI Aayog, in consultation with State Governments, will evolve a suitable mechanism to enable access of lessee cultivators to credit without compromising the rights of the landowners.

    NITI Aayog will initiate a national program to direct our efforts in the area of artificial intelligence, including research and development of its applications.

    Apart from the above mentions, NITI Aayog through its officers, advisers and policy-shaping role has been predominant in the planning of Ayushman Bharat, the world’s largest health insurance scheme.

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