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

Feb 9, 2018 20:00 IST
    IAS Preparation: Questions for Prelims 5 February to 9 February 2018
    IAS Preparation: Questions for Prelims 5 February to 9 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 5 February to 9 February 2018 are given below.

    1. Recently, the Government has approved the construction of 1, 86,777 more affordable houses for the benefit of urban poor under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban). Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. The approval was given in the 30th meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee in its meeting held on 7 February 2018.
    2. Gujarat has been sanctioned more number of affordable houses out of recently sanctioned 1, 86,777 affordable houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).

    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:

    Ministry of Housing & UrbanAffairshas approved the construction of 1,86,777 more affordable houses for the benefit of urban poor under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) with an investment of Rs.11,169cr with central assistance of Rs. 2,797 cr. The approval was given in the 30th meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee in its meeting held here yesterday.

    Haryana has been sanctioned 53,290 houses in 38 cities and towns with an investment of Rs.4,322cr with central assistance of Rs.799 cr. Tamil Nadu got 40,623 houses in 65 cities and towns with an investment of Rs.2,314cr and central assistance of Rs.609 cr. Karnataka has been sanctioned 32,656 affordable houses in 95 cities with an investment of Rs.1,461cr and central assistance of Rs.490 cr. Gujarat has been sanctioned 15,584 houses in 45 cities and towns with an investment of Rs. 946cr with central assistance of Rs.234 cr.  Maharashtra has been sanctioned 12,123 houses in 13 cities and towns with an investment of Rs.868cr with central assistance of Rs.182 cr.  Kerala has been sanctioned 9,461 houses in 52 cities with an investment of Rs.284 cr. with central assistance of Rs.142 crores. Uttarakhand has been sanctioned 6,226 houses in 57 cities and towns with an investment of Rs.258 cr. with central assistance of Rs.93 Cr., Orissa got 5,133 houses in 26 cities and towns with an investment of Rs.156 cr. with central assistance of Rs.77 Cr.

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    2. Consider the following statements regarding Government's initiatives to make school education qualitative:
    1. Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat was launched in 2014 to ensure that students of classes I & II are able to read with comprehension as well as basic numeracy skills.
    2. Shaala Siddhi is a comprehensive instrument for school evaluation leading to school improvement, which was launched in November 2015.
    3. Distribution of tablets preloaded with relevant e-content in Kendriya Vidyalayas has been started on a pilot basis to connect students and their teachers for effective learning.

    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 Central Government has been consistently pursuing the matter of expeditious recruitment and redeployment of teachers and to implement norms of the RTE Act 2009 with the States and UTs at various forums. Advisories have also been issued to States and UTs from time to time to implement the norms of the RTE Act and for the redeployment of teachers to ensure that all school teachers should spend adequate time serving in rural areas through a transparent policy. Further, the Government has initiated the following steps to make school education qualitative:

    • Shagun portal has been launched to create a repository of best practices in school education and to monitor the implementation of SSA;
    • Swachh Vidyalaya Campaign for the provisions of separate toilets for girls and boys in every school;
    • Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar was instituted from 2016-17 at District, State and national level as the next step to Swachh Vidyalaya initiative;
    • Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat was launched in 2014 to ensure that students of classes I & II are able to read with comprehension as well as basic numeracy skills;
    • Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan was launched in 2015 to motivate children of the age- group of 6-18 years in study of Science, Mathematics and technology;
    • The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act has been amended in February 2017 to include reference on class-wise, subject-wise Learning
    • Outcomes to ensure that all children acquire appropriate learning level;
    • Section 23 (2) of the RTE Act has been amended in August 2017, to extend the period of in-service training for untrained elementary teachers to 31st March 2019 to ensure all teachers acquire minimum qualifications as laid down by the academic authority;
    • E-pathshala web portal (http://epathshala.gov.in/) and mobile apps (Android, iOS and Windows) have been launched in November 2015 to disseminate e-resources including e-books developed by NCERT, SCERT/ SIEs, State boards etc;
    • Shaala Siddhi is a comprehensive instrument for school evaluation leading to school improvement, which was launched in November 2015;
    • Kala Utsav programme has been started to promote arts in education by nurturing and showcasing the artistic talent of school students at the secondary stage;
    • An Online Project Monitoring System (PMS), for online management and monitoring of RMSA, has been enabled from August 2014,
    • Distribution of tablets preloaded with relevant e-content in Kendriya Vidyalayas has been started on a pilot basis to connect students and their teachers for effective learning; Also, 93 Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) have been started during last 3 years and 62 new Navodaya Vidyalas have been sanctioned.
    • Automated Monitoring System at the school level under Mid Day Meal Scheme has been introduced for real-time monitoring of the scheme.

    IAS Preparation Questions for IAS Prelims 2018: July 2017

    3. The Government of India has been implementing a Scheme for Surrender-cum-Rehabilitation of Militants in the North-East. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. The objective of the Scheme is to wean away the misguided youth who have strayed into the fold of militancy and bring them to the mainstream.
    2. The Surrender Scheme has been modified to be more effective and will be effective from 1st April 2018 under which the surrenderees will be paid monthly stipend not exceeding Rs. 6,000/- p.m., for a period of 36 months and an immediate grant of Rs. 4 lakhs will be kept in a bank, in the name of each surrenderee as fixed deposit for a period of 3 years.

    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:

    The Government of India has been implementing a Scheme for Surrender-cum-Rehabilitation of Militants in the North-East. The objective of the Scheme is to wean away the misguided youth who have strayed into the fold of militancy and bring them to the mainstream. Surrenderees are paid monthly stipend not exceeding Rs. 3,500/- p.m., for a period, not more than 36 months and an immediate grant of Rs. 1.5 lakh is kept in a bank in the name of each surrenderee as fixed deposit for a period of 3 years.  They are also given incentive for surrendered arms/weapons.

    In 2012, a special scheme for Government of Manipur was formulated to encourage militants to surrender and join the mainstream.  The scheme was effective from 1 December 2012 for 3 years and lapsed on 30.11.2015. The special features of this scheme were:

    i. An immediate grant of Rs.2.50 lakh to be kept in a bank in the name of surrenderee as fixed deposit for a period of three years.

    ii. Monthly stipend of Rs.4000/- p.m. for a maximum period of 36 months.

    The Surrender Scheme has been modified to be more effective and will be effective from 1st April 2018. According to the revised scheme, the surrenderees will be paid monthly stipend not exceeding Rs. 6,000/- p.m., for a period of 36 months and an immediate grant of Rs. 4 lakhs will be kept in a bank, in the name of each surrenderee as fixed deposit for a period of 3 years.  The incentive for surrendered weapons has also been revised.

    IAS Preparation Questions for IAS Prelims 2018: June 2017

    4. Which global technology company was fined Rs. 136 Crore by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for unfair business practices in India?
    a. Google
    b. Facebook
    c. Microsoft
    d. Apple

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on February 7, 2018, imposed a fine of Rs 136 crore on internet search giant Google for unfair business practices in the Indian market.

    The CCI took the decision for ‘infringing anti-trust conduct’ on the basis of the complaints filed in 2012 by Matrimony.com and Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) against Google LLC, Google India Pvt Ltd and Google Ireland Ltd.

    In the complaints filed, it was alleged that Google is indulging in abuse of dominant position in the market for online search through practices leading to search bias and search manipulation.

    While the majority order is by CCI chairperson D K Sikri and three members, two other members have issued a dissenting order saying that they don't find Google in violation of Section 4 of the Competition Act, which pertains to abuse of dominant position.

    The imposed fine of Rs 135.86 crore translates to 5 percent of the company's average total revenue generated from its India operations between 2013 and 2015.

    Globally, this is one of the rare cases where Google has been penalised for unfair business ways, even as it has been under probe in several countries.

    About Competition Commission of India

    • It is a statutory body established under the Competition Act, 2002 to prevent activities that have an appreciable adverse effect on the competition in India.

    • The body was established on October 14, 2003, and it became fully functional in May 2009.

    • It comprises of one chairperson and six members, all of whom are appointed by the Union Government.

    • The main objective of the Commission is to eliminate practices that have an adverse effect on competition, promote and sustain competition, protect the interests of consumers and ensure freedom of trade in the markets of India.

    • The CCI is also required to give an opinion on competition issues on a reference received from a statutory authority established under any law and to undertake competition advocacy, create public awareness and impart training on competition issues.

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    5. Consider the following statements related to the first Khelo India School Games (KISG), which were concluded recently.
    1. Haryana was the overall champion with 111 medals.
    2. The games were held in Chandigarh.
    3. Under-17 athletes took participation across 16 disciplines.

    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 first edition of the Khelo India School Games (KISG), which are a part of the Khelo India programme, were conducted from 31st January to 8th February 2018 in New Delhi. Under-17 athletes took participation across 16 disciplines like Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Football, Gymnastics, Hockey, Judo, etc. While Haryana emerged as the overall champion with 102 medals overall, including 38 gold, Maharashtra was at the second position with 36 gold and overall 111 medals.

    KISG was organised as a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious vision to make sports more popular across the country and also to make India a strong contender at the Olympic level.

    IAS Preparation Questions- 2016 for IAS Prelims 2018

    6. Recently, the CCEA has approved some changes to the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. Which of the following is/are part of those changes?
    1) The target was increased from the existing 5 crore to 8 crore LPG connections with an additional allocation of Rs 4800 crore.
    2) The coverage of the scheme has been expanded to include all the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe households in the country.

    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 February 2018, the Union Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the following two changes to the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).
    The target was increased from the existing 5 crore to 8 crore liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) connections  with an additional allocation of Rs 4800 crore. The revised target of PMUY will be achieved by 2020.

    The scheme will cover all the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe households, beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana Gramin and Antyoday Anna Yojana (AAY), forest dwellers, most backward classes (MBCs), tea and ex-tea garden tribes, people residing in the Islands and rivers and the Socio Economic Caste Survey (SECC) identified households.

    About Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana

    • The scheme was launched in May 2016 by the Union Government.

    • The scheme seeks to provide free LPG connections to women in below poverty line (BPL) households and builds on the objective of achieving universal coverage of cooking gas in the country.

    • Under the scheme, a financial support of 1600 rupees will be provided in lieu of each LPG connection to each BPL household.

    • The identification of eligible BPL families will be made in consultation with the States and Union Territories.

    • So far, more than 4.65 crore applications have been received. The initial target is to cover 5 crore BPL households by March 2019.

    7. Consider the following statements related to the Prithvi-II missile that was successfully test-fired recently.

    1) It is an indigenously developed nuclear capable cruise missile.
    2) It is the first missile to be developed by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.

    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:

    India on February 7, 2018 successfully test-fired indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II ballistic missile at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in the Dr. Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha. Inducted into the armed forces of the country in 2003, Prithvi-II is the first missile to be developed by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).

    The trial was conducted by the Strategic Force Command (SFC) of the Indian Army and monitored by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The SFC is responsible for the management and administration of the country's tactical and strategic nuclear weapons stockpile. It was created in January 2003.

    About Prithvi-II missile

    • It is a nine-metre-tall and single-stage liquid-fuelled missile. It has a strike range of 350 kilometres.

    • It is capable of carrying 500 to 1000 kilograms of warheads and derives its thrust from liquid propulsion twin engines.

    • It uses an advanced inertial guidance system with a planned trajectory to hit its target.

    • The naval operational variant of Prithvi-II class missile is known as Dhanush.

    Ballistic vs. Cruise missile

    • While a ballistic missile has a ballistic (arc-like) trajectory  over most of its flight path, a cruise missile can fly in a relatively straight line. A cruise missile also has high maneuvering capability.

    • While a ballistic missile travels at higher altitudes, a cruise missile travels at lower altitudes.

    • While ballistic missiles are used for long distances, a cruise missile is used for short distances.

    • While Prithvi, Agni and Dhanush are ballistic missiles, BRAHMOS is the only known versatile supersonic cruise missile system that is in service.

    IAS Preparation Questions for Prelims 7 February 2018

    8. Recently, the Union Cabinet approved the ratification of the Minamata Convention that governs the usage of _____
    a) Mercury
    b) Lead
    c) Cadmium
    d) Benzene

    Answer. a

    Explanation:

    On 7 February 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the proposal for ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury and depositing the instrument of ratification.

    The approval entails the ratification of the Convention along with flexibility for continued use of mercury-based products and processes involving mercury compound up to 2025.

    The objective of the Convention is to protect human health and the environment from the anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds.

    The Convention protects the most vulnerable from the harmful effects of mercury and also protects the developmental space of developing countries.

    The Minamata Convention on Mercury will further urge enterprises to move to mercury-free alternatives in products and non-mercury technologies in manufacturing processes. This will drive research and development and promote innovation.

    Background

    • In February 2009, the Governing Council of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) decided to develop a global legally binding instrument on mercury.

    • The Convention entered into force on 16 August 2017. The first meeting of its Conference of the Parties (COP1) was held from 24 to 29 September 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.

    • The Convention is named after the Japanese city Minamata. This naming is of symbolic importance as the city went through.

    Previously, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified ten chemicals or groups of chemicals that are of major public health concern. They are Mercury, Air Pollution, Arsenic, Asbestos, Benzene, Cadmium, Dioxin an Dioxin-like substances, Inadquate or excess fluoride, Mercury and Highly hazardous pesticides.

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    9. Recently, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) has developed a technology to convert sewage into bio-fertilizer. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1) The use of such bio-fertilizer provides organic carbon and other nutrients to the soil.
    2) The developed technology, subjects the dried sludge to crushing and exposure to 10 kGy radiation dose which kills the pathogens in the sludge and makes it safer for 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:

    Conventionally sewage treatment plant treats the sewage and the same is dried. The technology developed by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) subjects the dried sludge to crushing and exposure to 10 kGy radiation dose. This kills the pathogens in the sludge and makes it safer for use. In the next step, BIO-NPK (Nitrogen Phosphorus Potassium) microorganisms are sprayed on to it to make it bio- fertilizer. The use of such bio-fertilizer provides organic carbon and other nutrients to the soil. The process also helps in recycling of the waste material to useful Bio-fertilizer.

    (i) A 100 ton/day capacity facility has been constructed at Ahmedabad under Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation.

    (ii) The cold trials have been completed successfully.

    (iii) The facility is scheduled to be fully operational soon after radiation source loading.

    (iv) Another similar facility of 100 ton/day capacity will be constructed at Indore under MoU with BARC.

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    10. Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved a proposal to implement the Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) scheme. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1) Under the scheme, the top 3,000 B.Tech graduates of the country will get grants to pursue a PhD in the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc).
    2) The cabinet approved the scheme at a cost of Rs1,650 crore for a period of seven years, beginning 2018-19.
    3) The scheme would go a long way in tapping the talent pool available in the country for carrying out research indigenously in the cutting-edge science and technology domains.

    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 on Wednesday approved a proposal to implement the Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) scheme, under which the top 3,000 B.Tech graduates of the country will get grants to pursue a PhD in the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc).

    The cabinet approved the scheme at a cost of Rs1,650 crore for a period of seven years, beginning 2018-19. The scheme was announced by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley during his budget speech in Parliament on 1 February. Apart from this, a research grant of Rs2 lakh each will be provided to the fellows for a period of five years to cover their foreign travel expenses for presenting research papers at international conferences and seminars. A maximum of 3,000 fellows will be selected over a three-year period, beginning 2018-19. The scheme would go a long way in tapping the talent pool available in the country for carrying out research indigenously in the cutting-edge science and technology domains.

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    11. Recently, Kolleru Lake was in the news. Identify the State, in which the lake is located?
    a. Andhra Pradesh
    b. Punjab
    c. Madhya Pradesh
    d. Kerala

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    In February 2018, Kolleru lake was in the news as the Pelican Bird Festival 2018 was held at the Atapaka Bird Sanctuary near the lake in Andhra Pradesh. In winters, thousands of pelicans and painted storks migrate to Kolleru Lake.

    About Kolleru lake

    • It is a natural eutrophic lake. It is situated between the two major river basins of the Godavari and the Krishna. It is fed by these two seasonal rivers and a number of drains and channels.

    • Kolleru Lake functions as a natural flood-balancing reservoir between the deltas of the two rivers.

    • It provides habitat for a number of resident and migratory birds, including declining numbers of the vulnerable Grey Pelican (Pelecanus Philippensis).

    • Besides, it sustains culture and capture fisheries, agriculture and related occupations of the people in the area.

    • It was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in November 1999 by the Union Government under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.

    • It was designated as a wetland of international importance in November 2002 under the Ramsar Convention.

    12. Which of the following state has launched the Mukhya Mantri Anila Bhagya Yojane (MMABY)?

    a. Gujarat
    b. Kerala
    c. Maharashtra
    d. Haryana

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The Union Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas had advised the Karnataka State Government to implement MMABY as a complementary Scheme of PMUY and has advised the State Government to follow the procedure of implementing the Scheme through OMCs only, being done in case of States Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Assam, Punjab and Haryana.

    Under the Anila Bhagya scheme, the state government would provide an LPG gas connection along with a gas stove and two cylinder refills to each beneficiary of the state. Through Mukhyamantri Anila Bhagya LPG Scheme, the state government will target around 15-20 lakh beneficiaries in the state. The beneficiaries can avail the scheme benefits by making registrations through online or offline modes. The application forms for the scheme would be invited through online mode and the registration process is expected to start in next 15 days.

    IAS Preparation Questions for IAS Prelims 2018: July 2017

    13. Recently, scientists have discovered the beautifully-preserved remains of prehistoric “proto-spiders” that sported tails longer than their bodies. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. Fossil hunters found the extraordinary creatures suspended in lumps of amber that formed 100m years ago in what is now Myanmar.
    2. The ancient arachnids are described as “chimeras” after the hybrid beast of Greek mythology because they have a curious mix of primitive and modern body parts.
    3. Amber from Myanmar has been mined for thousands of years and traded with China as jewellery.

    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 Mukhya Mantri Anila Bhagya Yojane (MMABY) is being implemented in the State of Karnataka in collaboration with Government of India. The State Government of Karnataka has earlier approached the Ministry for approval of MMABY. The Ministry had advised State Government to implement MMABY as a complementary Scheme of PMUY and has advised the State Government to follow the procedure of implementing the Scheme through OMCs only, being done in case of States Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Assam, Punjab and Haryana.

    The state government of Karnataka has launched its much awaited Mukhyamantri Anila Bhagya LPG scheme to provide an LPG connection to all BPL families of the state. Under the Anila Bhagya scheme, the state government would provide an LPG gas connection along with a gas stove and two cylinder refills to each beneficiary of the state.
    Under Mukhyamantri Anila Bhagya LPG Scheme, the state government will target around 15-20 lakh beneficiaries in the state. The beneficiaries can avail the scheme benefits by making registrations through online or offline modes. The application forms for the scheme would be invited through online mode and the registration process is expected to start in next 15 days.

    IAS Preparation Questions for IAS Prelims 2018: June 2017

    14. Recently, the scientist has discovered massive reserves of mercury hidden in permafrost. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. Permafrost is a thick subsurface layer of soil that remains below freezing point throughout the year, occurring chiefly in Polar Regions.
    2. The recent discovery of natural mercury have significant implications for human health and ecosystems worldwide as exposure to mercury - even small amounts - can cause serious health problems.
    3. The study also reveals the northern permafrost soils are the largest reservoir of mercury on the planet, storing nearly twice as much mercury as all other soils, the ocean and the atmosphere combined.

    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:

    Scientists have discovered massive reserves of mercury hidden in permafrost. Permafrost is a thick subsurface layer of soil that remains below freezing point throughout the year, occurring chiefly in Polar Regions. Researchers have discovered permafrost in the northern hemisphere stores massive amounts of natural mercury, a finding with significant implications for human health and ecosystems worldwide as exposure to mercury - even small amounts - can cause serious health problems.

    The study reveals the northern permafrost soils are the largest reservoir of mercury on the planet, storing nearly twice as much mercury as all other soils, the ocean and the atmosphere combined. In a new study, scientists measured mercury concentrations in permafrost cores from Alaska and estimated how much mercury has been trapped in permafrost north of the equator since the last Ice Age.

    15. Which of the following has become the first country to legally approve the three-parent baby technique?
    a. France
    b. China
    c. Australia
    d. United Kingdom

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    In February 2018, the Government of the United Kingdom allowed its doctors to create three-parent babies through mitochondrial donation. In fact, in December 2016, the UK has become the first country to legally approve the technique.

    Though Mexico became home to the first baby with this technique in September 2016 itself, the country has no explicit legal stance on this issue so far.
    About the 3-parent-baby technique

    • Mitochondria are structures in cells, which generate vital energy and contain their own set of genes called mDNA.

    • Mitochondrial diseases are passed through the mother and cause symptoms ranging from poor vision to diabetes and muscle wasting.

    • The technique involves in vitro fertilization of both the mother's egg and a donor egg with the father's sperm.

    • Before these two fertilised eggs begin dividing into an embryo, the unhealthy mother’s egg nucleus is replaced with the egg's nucleus of a healthy donor.

    • This gives the doctors with a fertilised egg with a healthy donor mitochondrion and the mother's DNA in the nucleus.

    • This fertilised egg with the donor’s healthy mitochondria will be implanted in the mother’s uterus.

    IAS Preparation Questions- 2016 for IAS Prelims 2018

    16. Consider the following statements related to the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC) that was in the news recently.
    1) NABARD is the National Implementing Entity (NIE) for implementation of adaptation projects under NAFCC.
    2) It covers only coastal States of the country.

    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:

    The National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC) was in the news in February 2018 as the Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Mahesh Sharm presented a list of projects approved under the fund to the Rajya Sabha.

    The NAFCC is a central sector scheme. It was established in August, 2015 to meet the cost of adaptation to climate change. The fund covers all the States and Union Territories that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, including Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, etc.

    So far, the Union Government has sanctioned Rs. 530 crore for the three year period between 2015 and 2018. NABARD has been designated as the National Implementing Entity (NIE) for implementation of adaptation projects under the NAFCC. Under this arrangement, NABARD would perform roles in facilitating the identification of project ideas and concepts from State Action Plan for Climate Change (SAPCC), project formulation, appraisal, sanction, disbursement of fund, monitoring and evaluation and capacity building of stakeholders including State Governments.

    IAS Preparation: Questions for Prelims 5 February 2018

    17. Recently, foreign exchange reserves (FOREX) of India touched a new life- time high of USD 417.789 billion. Which of the following constitute FOREX?
    1) Foreign currency assets
    2) Gold
    3) Special Drawing Rights
    4) Reserve tranche position with the IMF

    Select the correct code:
    a) 1 and 2 only
    b) 2 and 3 only
    c) 1, 2 and 3 only
    d) All of them

    Answer. d

    Explanation:
    In the first week of February 2018, the foreign exchange (FOREX)  reserves of India touched a new life- time high of USD 417.789 billion. The increase was due to a massive spike in foreign currency assets, which constitute around 95% of India’s FOREX reserves.

    The components of India’s FOREX reserves are foreign currency assets (FCAs), Gold, Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) and RBI’s Reserve position with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). FCAs are the largest component of India’s FOREX reserves and they are maintained in major currencies such as the euro, US dollar, pound sterling, Japanese yen, etc.

    Special drawing right (SDR) is an international reserve asset created by the IMF and allocated to its members in proportion of their quota in the IMF. The reserve tranche is a proportion of the required quota of currency that each member of the IMF must provide to the IMF. This part of the quota can be utilized by a member country for its own purposes without a service fee. The rest of the quota, if utilized, must be paid back over a three year period with interest.

    At present, India has a 2.76% quota in the IMF and it translates into 2.64% of total votes. Comparatively, China has a 6.41% quota and 6.09% of total votes in the IMF.

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    18. Which of the following organizations released the report entitled ‘World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2018’?
    a) World Economic Forum
    b) International Labour Organisation
    c) World Bank Group
    d) International Monetary Fund

    Answer. b

    Explanation:

    In January 2018, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) released its annual publication World Employment and Social Outlook for 2018. As per the report, the global unemployment rate is expected to fall slightly to 5.5 per cent in 2018 from 5.6 per cent in 2017. This marks a turnaround after three years of rising unemployment rates. However, with a growing number of people entering the labour market to seek employment, the total number of unemployed is expected to remain stable in 2018, above 192 million.

    Report with respect to India

    • The unemployment rate for 2017, 2018 and 2019 is projected at 3.5% per annum, which translates into 18.6 million and 18.9 million unemployed in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

    • In India, around 90% of the labour force is in the urnorganised sector.

    • The rapid growth of ICT services in India has not generated enough employment opportunities for the large majority of the population.

    • The share of informal employment has risen within almost all manufacturing industries, partly as a result of labour market rigidities.

    Some of the other important reports released by the ILO are Global Estimates on Migrant Workers, World Social Protection Report and Global Wage Report.

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    19. Recently, India has successfully test-fired nuclear capable surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) Agni-I. Consider the following statements regarding this:

    1) The ballistic missile (SRBM) Agni-I, with better re-entry technology and manoeuvrability was launched on 6 February 2018 from a road mobile launcher placed at the launching complex-IV located in Abdul Kalam Island.
    2) The test was conducted by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of Indian Army with logistic support from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for a range of about 900 km.
    3) The test was carried out to reconfirm the technical parameters set for the user trial and checks the Army's readiness to use it.

    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:

    On 6 February 2018, India has successfully test-fired nuclear capable surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) Agni-I from a defence test facility off Odisha coast for an extended range proving its robustness. The missile with better re-entry technology and manoeuvrability was launched at about 8.30 am from a road mobile launcher placed at the launching complex-IV located in Abdul Kalam Island.

    The test came two weeks after successful flight testing of longest range Inter-Continental Range Balllistic Missile (ICBM) Agni-V from the same test facility. The test was conducted by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of Indian Army with logistic support from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for a range of about 900 km.

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    20. SpaceX is poised for the first test launch on 6 February 2018 of its Falcon Heavy. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1) The test aims to become the world's most powerful rocket in operation, capable of reaching the Moon or Mars some day.
    2) The launch is conducted from Cape Canaveral, Florida, is the most ambitious yet for SpaceX, and has been hailed by industry experts as a game-changer because of its potential to propel the California-based company to the very forefront of the modern day space race.

    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:

    SpaceX is poised for the first test launch Tuesday, 6 February 2018 of its Falcon Heavy, which aims to become the world's most powerful rocket in operation, capable of reaching the Moon or Mars some day.

    The launch, scheduled for 1:30 pm (1830 GMT) from Cape Canaveral, Florida, is the most ambitious yet for SpaceX, and has been hailed by industry experts as a game-changer because of its potential to propel the California-based company to the very forefront of the modern day space race.

    The car is destined for an elliptical orbit around the Sun, taking it into the vicinity of Mars. The Falcon Heavy is essentially three Falcon 9 rockets in one, with a total of 27 Merlin engines.

    International Relations (IR) for UPSC IAS Main Exam

    21. ISRO is gearing up for its most challenging space mission and leaving no stone unturned to make the Chandrayaan-2 (lunar-2) mission a success. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. This time, heavy-payload lifter GSLV Mk II will launch the spacecraft weighing 3,290kg as the module will carry an orbiter, a rover and a lander to the moon.
    2. Chandraayan-2 is a challenging mission as for the first time ISRO will carry an orbiter, a lander and a rover to the moon.
    3. The launch date schedule is sometime in April from the launch pad Sriharikota.

    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:

    ISRO is gearing up for its most challenging space mission and leaving no stone unturned to make the Chandrayaan-2 (lunar-2) mission a success. Unlike the first lunar mission when a PSLV rocket carried the spacecraft to the moon's orbit, this time heavy-payload lifter GSLV Mk II will launch the spacecraft weighing 3,290kg as the module will carry an orbiter, a rover and a lander to the moon.

    Giving exclusive details about the mission, Isro chairman Dr K Sivan told TOI, "Chandraayan-2 is a challenging mission as for the first time we will carry an orbiter, a lander and a rover to the moon. The launch date schedule is sometime in April. Once the GSLV rocket carrying the spacecraft is launched from Sriharikota, the orbiter will reach the moon's orbit in one to two months. (The moon's orbit is 3, 82,000km away from the earth's surface)." After spending 14 earth days, the rover will go into a sleep mode. We are hoping the rover will again come alive whenever that part of the moon (where the rover will land) gets sunlight and recharges the rover's solar cells. Besides the rover, the orbiter will also capture images of the moon while orbiting it.

    22. Which of the following country has launched the world's smallest rocket with the ability to put micro-satellite into orbit?
    a. India
    b. Japan
    c. USA
    d. China

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    On 3rd February 2018, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has launched the world's smallest rocket with the ability to put a micro-satellite into orbit following a failed attempt and several postponements over the last year. The launch of the low-cost rocket — with a height of 10 metres and 53 centimetres in diameter — took place from the Uchinoura Space Centre in Kagoshima prefecture. The rocket, an improved version of JAXA's SS-520, was carrying a micro-satellite weighing three kilograms and was developed by the University of Tokyo to capture images of the Earth's surface.

    JAXA had launched the first of these rockets on January 2017, which fell into the sea after launch due to short-circuit caused by vibrations during take-off. The current launch aimed to test the ability of the Japanese aerospace agency to launch low-cost rockets that can put micro satellites into space at affordable rates against a background of growing demand from the private sector.

    IAS Preparation Questions for IAS Prelims 2018: July 2017

    23. Which of the following Indian airport becomes world’s busiest single-runway airport?
    a. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Mumbai
    b. Indira Gandhi International Airport
    c. Kempegowda International Airport
    d. Chennai International Airport

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    On January 20, Mumbai airport created a new world record for single-runway operations by handling 980 arrivals and take-offs in 24 hours, or almost one flight every minute. With this, the Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International airport bettered its own feat of 974 flights in 24 hours, recorded on December 6, 2017. While Gatwick, the U.K.’s second-largest airport, remains the most efficient single-runway airport in the world, Mumbai, despite battling a severe space crunch, is now headed to achieving the four-digit mark in flight operations in a 24-hour window.

    Officials said any increase in the number of flight movements using a single runway will be a major achievement for the airport operator, Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd (MIAL), and the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

    IAS Preparation Questions for IAS Prelims 2018: June 2017

    24. Recently, the Sal River was in the news as the Union Government approved a new project to control pollution in the river. Through which of the following States, the river flows through?
    a. Maharashtra
    b. Goa
    c. Karnataka
    d. Kerala

    Answer. b

    Explanation:

    In February 2018, the Union Government sanctioned a new project to control pollution in River Sal at Navelim town in Goa. The project was sanctioned by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change under the National River Conservation Plan. The project will be implemented at a cost of Rs. 61.74 crore. Both the Centre and State will share the cost on a 60:40 basis.

    Under the project, around 32 kms of sewers will be laid and sewage treatment plant of 3 million litres per day (MLD) constructed. The project is scheduled for completion by January 2021. The project will help in reduction of the pollution load in the river and improvement in its water quality.

    About Sal River

    It is a small river at Salcete in Goa. The river opens near Margao and passes through the villages of Benaulim, Navelim, Varca, Orlim, Carmona, Dramapur, Chinchinim, Assolna, Cavelossim, Mobor and drains into the Arabian Sea at Betul. Sal River has a natural harbour, ‘Kutubandh’ in Velim, Goa, meaning ‘hidden’ from the Arabian sea.

    25. Consider the following statements related to the KUSUM Scheme that was in the news recently:
    1. It seeks to encourage decentralized solar power production by farmers.
    2. The Union Government will spend Rs 48,000 crore on the scheme in a ten-year time span.

    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 Government on February 2, 2018, announced to launch 1.4 lakh crore Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan (KUSUM) Scheme to encourage decentralized solar power production by farmers. The initiative was proposed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his FY 2018-19 budget speech.

    Key features of KUSUM Scheme

    • It aims for decentralized solar power production of up to 28250 MW over a period of five years.

    • The Union Government will spend Rs 48000 crore on the scheme in a ten-year time span.

    • It will provide additional income to farmers by giving them the option to sell additional power to the power grid through solar power projects set up on their barren lands.

    • It will support the financial health of distribution companies by reducing the burden of subsidy to the agriculture sector and will support the States in meeting the Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPOs) targets.

    • It will also lead to a reduction in transmission losses by promoting energy efficiency and water conservation.

    • It will provide water security to farmers through provision of assured water sources through solar water pumps, both off-grid and grid connected.

    • It will offer reliable power to utilise the irrigation potential created by state irrigation departments.

    • It will fill the void in solar power production in the intermediate range between rooftops and large parks.

    IAS Preparation Questions- 2016 for IAS Prelims 2018

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