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

Mar 9, 2018 14:42 IST
    IAS Preparation: Questions for Prelims 5 March to 9 March 2018
    IAS Preparation: Questions for Prelims 5 March to 9 March 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

    1. Consider the following statements related to the National Nutrition Mission that was launched recently:
    1. The mission has been set up with a three year budget of Rs 9046.17 crore commencing from 2017-18.
    2. It seeks to involve masses through Jan Andolan for their participation through various activities.

    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:

    On 8 March 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the National Nutrition Mission (NNM). The NNM is a comprehensive approach towards raising nutrition level in the country on a war footing.

    It will comprise mapping of various schemes contributing towards addressing malnutrition, incentivizing states/UTs for meeting the targets, incentivizing Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) for using IT based tools, eliminating registers used by AWWs and introducing measurement of height of children at the Anganwadi Centres (AWCs).

    It will also comprise social audits, setting-up Nutrition Resource Centres and involving masses through Jan Andolan for their participation through various activities, among others. The mission has been set up with a three year budget of Rs 9046.17 crore commencing from 2017-18.

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    2. Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved the signing of Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement between India and France. Consider the following statements regarding this:

    1. The Agreement represents a major milestone in enhancing people-to-people contacts, fostering mobility of students, academics, researchers and skilled professionals and strengthening cooperation on issues related to irregular migration and human trafficking between the two sides.
    2. The Agreement is a testimony to India's rapidly expanding multi-faceted relationship with France and symbolizes the increasing trust and confidence between the two sides.
    3. The Agreement is initially valid for a period of seven years, incorporates provision for automatic renewal and a monitoring mechanism through a Joint Working Group.

    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 signing of Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement between India and France. The Agreement is expected to be signed during the forthcoming State visit of the French President to India.

    The Agreement represents a major milestone in enhancing people-to-people contacts, fostering mobility of students, academics, researchers and skilled professionals and strengthening cooperation on issues related to irregular migration and human trafficking between the two sides. The Agreement is a testimony to India's rapidly expanding multi-faceted relationship with France and symbolizes the increasing trust and confidence between the two sides.

    The Agreement is initially valid for a period of seven years, incorporates provision for automatic renewal and a monitoring mechanism through a Joint Working Group.

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    3. Recently, the Union Cabinet has been apprised of a MoU between India and Hellenic on Renewable Energy Cooperation. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. Both the countries aim to establish the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable issues on the basis of mutual benefit equality and reciprocity.
    2. The MoU envisages establishing a Joint Working Group to review, monitor and discuss matters relating to areas of cooperation.

    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 been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in the field of Renewable Energy between India and Hellenic.  The MoU was signed by the External Affairs Minister, Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Government of India and H.E. Nikos Kotzias, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic during the latter's visit to New Delhi in November 2017.

    Both sides aim to establish the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable issues on the basis of mutual benefit equality and reciprocity.

    The MoU envisages establishing a Joint Working Group to review, monitor and discuss matters relating to areas of cooperation. The MoU aims for the exchange of expertise and networking of information.

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    4. Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for the promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for in-situ Management of Crop Residue in the States of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. The Government will establish Farm Machinery Banks for Custom Hiring of in-situ crop residue management machinery.
    2. Financial Assistance will be provided to the farmers for Procurement of Agriculture Machinery and Equipment for in -situ crop residue management.
    3. A National Steering Committee headed by Secretary, DAC&FW will formulate the policy and give overall directions and guidance to the implementation of the scheme by the State Government and will monitor and review its progress and performance.

    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 the promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for in-situ Management of Crop Residue in the States of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi.

    The total outgo from the Central funds would be Rs. 1151.80 crore (Rs. 591.65 crore in 2018-19 and Rs. 560.15 crore in 2019-20).

    Background:

    As per budget 2018-19 announcement, a special scheme to support the efforts of the Governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi to address air pollution and to subsidize machinery required for in-situ management of crop residue, a new Central Sector Scheme (100% Central share) in this regard in the States of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi for the period 2018-19 to 2019-20 has been proposed.

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    5. Recently, the Union Government has expanded the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) programme to all the 640 districts of the country. Against this backdrop, consider the following statements:
    1. The primary objective of BBBP is the prevention of gender biased sex selective elimination.
    2. The Phase I of BBBP launched in January in 100 selected districts low in the child sex ratio.

    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:

    On the occasion of the International Women’s Day on March 8 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the pan India expansion of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) programme to all the 640 districts of the country. The Phase I of BBBP launched in January in 100 selected districts low in the child sex ratio.

    The successful implementation of the programme in the states and districts has led the government to decide to go Pan-India and expand the programme to all districts. The Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) which was 918 in 2014-15 has improved to 926 in 2016-17 as per Health Management Information System (HMIS) data. The total outlay of BBBP is ₹1132.5 Crore from 2017-18 to 2019-20.

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    6. Recently, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) approved India’s membership. Against this backdrop, consider the following statements.

    1. The EBRD was established in 1991 to support socialist economies of the Eastern Europe in their transition to market economies.
    2. Suma Chakrabarti, an Indian origin British civil servant, has been the President of the bank since 2012.

    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:

    Recently, the Board of Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) voted in favour of India’s membership application. With this, India is all set to become the 69th member of the EBRD after the completion of the necessary formalities.

    About European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

    The bank was established in 1991 to support the transition to market economies of socialist economies in Eastern Europe and the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).It is owned by 64 countries, the European Union and the European Investment Bank. Its headquarters is located in London, the UK.

    Suma Chakrabarti, an Indian origin British civil servant, has been the President of the bank since 2012.

    7. The theme of the International Women's Day 2018 is
    a. Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!
    b. Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality
    c. Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030
    d. Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    On 8 March 2018, the International Women's Day 2018 was observed across the world with an aim to empower women in all settings, be it rural and urban, and celebrate the activists who are working constantly to assert women’s rights and realize their full potential.

    The theme of International Women’s Day 2018 was 'Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives'.

    This year, International Women’s Day came in the wake of such exceptional global movements aiming for women’s rights, equality and justice.

    This year's theme also echoed the priority theme of the upcoming 62nd session of the 'UN Commission on the Status of Women'.

    About International Women's Day (IWD)

    The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March during International Women’s Year 1975.

    Two years later in December 1977, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by the Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.

    8. India's first app-based helitaxi service has been launched in which of the following cities?

    a. Mumbai
    b. Bengaluru
    c. Delhi
    d. Kolkata

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    In a first, India's app-based helitaxi service was launched in Bengaluru on March 6, 2018. The maiden trip of the helitaxi took off from Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) to Electronics City, ferrying passengers in 15 minutes.

    The helitaxi service aims to connect a couple of locations from Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru. The one-way trip will fly people approximately in 15 minutes from KIA to Electronic City and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited airport.

    Six passengers can be ferried on each trip and the fare is fixed at Rs 4130 per seat including GST. The service includes pick up from airport terminal to the helipad and allowed to carry 15 kg luggage, however, will charge extra for more luggage.

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    9. Recently, under the “Make in India” action plan 21 key sectors have been identified for specific actions. Consider the following statements regarding this:

    1. Under "Make in India” action plan, the FDI policy and procedure have been simplified and liberalised progressively.
    2. The key sectors for specific action have been identified under policy initiatives, fiscal incentives, infrastructure creation, ease of doing business, innovation and R&D and skill development.

    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:

    Under the “Make in India” action plan 21 key sectors have been identified for specific actions under (i) policy initiatives (ii) fiscal incentives (iii) infrastructure creation (iv) ease of doing business (v) innovation and R&D and (vi) skill development.

    Under this, the FDI policy and procedure have been simplified and liberalised progressively. Key sectors have been opened up for FDI: defence manufacturing, food processing, telecom, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, civil aviation, space, private security agencies, railways, insurance and pensions and medical devices.

    In 2015-16, FDI inflow crossed the USD 55 billion mark in one fiscal year, for the first time ever. Total FDI inflow was USD 198.48 billion between April 2014 and October 2017, representing 38% of the cumulative FDI in India since April 2000. In 2016-17, FDI inflow stood at a record of USD 60 billion, highest ever recorded for a fiscal year ever. According to IMF World Economic Outlook (April 2017) and UN World Economic Situation Prospects 2017, India is the fastest growing major economy in the world and is projected to remain so in the year 2018.

    10. Recently, the Government puts up National Rare Disease Policy in place; allocates Rs 100 crore towards genetic disorders. Consider the following statements regarding this:

    1. Under the policy, the Central government will contribute 60 percent towards spending on treatment, while state governments will have to bear the remaining 40 percent of the cost.
    2. The government’s effort to improve diagnosis and bring better treatment and care to patients is already in progress, building on existing capabilities.
    3. Approximately 7,000 rare diseases have been identified so far, with about 80 percent of these are genetic in origin and predominantly affect children.

    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:

    Rare diseases, which are often referred to as orphan diseases, are estimated to have impacted 72-96 million people in India. The Indian government has now put a National Rare Disease Policy in place and Rs 100 crore funds have been allocated towards genetic disorders.

    Under the policy, the Central government will contribute 60 percent towards spending on treatment, while state governments will have to bear the remaining 40 percent of the cost. The government’s effort to improve diagnosis and bring better treatment and care to patients is already in progress, building on existing capabilities.

    Disorders such as Thalassemia, Hemophilia, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Fragile X, Inborn Errors of Metabolism, and Lysosomal Storage Disorders are just some frequently encountered genetic disorders, informed Dr. Ratna Dua Puri, Senior Consultant, Institute of Genetics and Genomics, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi.

    11. Which country was India’s top crude oil supplier for the period between April 2017 and January 2018?

    a) Iran
    b) Iraq
    c) Russia
    d) Saudi Arabia

    Answer. b

    Explanation:

    Iraq has become India’s top crude oil supplier for the period between April 2017 and January 2018. Iraq supplied 38.9 million tonnes (MT) of oil in the period, while Saudi Arabia, the second largest supplier to India, exported MT of crude oil to our country.

    Overall, India imported 184.4 MT of crude oil between April 2017 and January 2018 as compared to 213.9 MT in the entire 2016-17 FY, and 202.8 MT in 2015-16.

    India meets 80% of its oil needs from imports. And, the majority of these imports are from the Middle East. India’s dependence on the Middle East for its crude oil needs has increased from 58% in 2014-15 to 63.7% in the April-January period of this fiscal.

    12. Recently, which country declared nation-wide emergency to control communal violence?
    a) Sri Lanka
    b) Bangladesh
    c) Nepal
    d) Pakistan

    Answer. a

    Explanation:

    On 6 March 2018, the Government of Sri Lanka declared a nation-wide emergency for a period of 10 days to control the law and order situation following the outbreak of violence against the minority community in its central district, Kandy.

    The decision comes as curfew was re-imposed in two police divisions of Kandy district following clashes between majority Sinhalese Buddhists and minority Muslims. The district has witnessed days of unrest between the two religious communities with a Buddhist man being killed and Muslim businesses set ablaze.

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    13. As per the United Nations (UN), it is in this country the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslim population has been continuing even today.
    a) Malaysia
    b) Bangladesh
    c) Myanmar
    d) Indonesia

    Answer. c

    Explanation:

    The United Nations stated that the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar’s Rakhine state continues even today.

    The alleged atrocities committed against the members of this minority community by the Myanmar military has been in the talks ever since over 700,000 Rohingyas fled the area to seek refuge in neighbouring nations such as Bangladesh.

    According to the Myanmar government, the Rohingyas are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh who were brought to Myanmar by the British as builders and settlers. The Citizenship Law, 1982 of Myanmar recognised eight races and 130 minority groups. However, the law excluded the minority Rohingya Muslims from citizenship.

    Later, it passed a second law that limited the Rohingya Muslim residence to two townships in the western state of Rakhine, which borders Bangladesh. It also restricted Rohingyas to have only two children.

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    14. Recently, PM reviews preparations for launch of Ayushman Bharat. Consider the following statements regarding the Ayushman Bharat:
    1) The Ayushman Bharat – the National Health Protection Scheme announced in the recent Union Budget will provide a cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family.
    2) It will be targeted to cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families and the beneficiaries will be able to avail cashless benefits across India.
    3) Ayushman Bharat will be the world’s largest government funded health care programme.

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

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    The second flagship programme under Ayushman Bharat is National Health Protection Scheme, which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage upto 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.  This will be the world’s largest government funded health care programme. Adequate funds will be provided for smooth implementation of this programme.

    Health and Wellness Centre and National Health Protection Scheme, the two health sector initiatives under Ayushman Bharat Programme will build a New India 2022 and ensure enhanced productivity, well being and avert wage loss and impoverishment. These Schemes will also generate lakhs of jobs, particularly for women.

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    15. According to UNICEF, child marriage numbers drop sharply in India which has contributed significantly to a global decline in child marriage. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1) India constitutes more than 20 percent of the world’s adolescent population and accounts for the highest number of child marriages in South Asia given its size and population.
    2) In the current trend, 27 percent of girls, or nearly 1.5 million girls, get married before they turn 18 in India which is a shrp decline from 47 percent a decade 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:

    The proportion of girls getting married in India has nearly halved in a decade, the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF said on Tuesday, which has contributed significantly to a global decline in child marriage.

    UNICEF said 25 million child marriages were prevented worldwide in the last decade, with the largest reduction seen in South Asia - where India was at the forefront.
    “India constitutes more than 20 percent of the world’s adolescent population and accounts for the highest number of child marriages in South Asia given its size and population,” said Javier Aguilar, UNICEF’s chief of child protection.

    “In the current trend, 27 percent of girls, or nearly 1.5 million girls, get married before they turn 18 in India. This is a sharp decline from 47 percent a decade ago,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    16. List of MoUs/Agreements signed during the Visit of the King of Jordan to India. Consider the following statements regarding this:

    1. A Manpower Cooperation Agreement has been signed between India and Jordan with a view to promote best practices in the administration of the cycle of contract employment of the Indian nationals in Jordan.
    2. A MoU in the field of Health and Medicine between India and Jordan with an objective to establish and encourage cooperation in the fields of health, medical science, medical education and research on the basis of equality and mutual benefits in accordance with respective legislations and regulations of India and Jordan.
    3. The MoU for the long-term supply of Rock Phosphate and Fertilizer/NPK will serve the purpose of mining and beneficiation of rock phosphate and setting up of a production facility in Jordan for Phosphoric acid/DAP/NPK fertilizers, with a long-term agreement for 100% off-take to India.

    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:

    A total 12 MoUs/Agreements signed during the Visit of the King of Jordan to India. MoU on Defence Cooperation: Purpose of the MoU is to promote cooperation between India and Jordan in the field of Defence by defining the scope of such cooperation and making provisions for implementation of the cooperation in some of the recognized areas like training; defence industry; counter-terrorism; military studies; cyber-security; military medical services, peace-keeping etc.

    Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP): This programme for the period 2018-2022 provides for exchanges between India and Jordan in the areas of music and dance; theatre; exhibition, seminars and conference; archaeology; archives, library, museum, literature, research and documentation; Science museums; festivals; mass media, and; youth programs.

    Manpower Cooperation Agreement: This MoU provides for cooperation between India and Jordan with a view to promoting best practices in the administration of the cycle of contract employment of the Indian nationals in Jordan.

    MoU for the long-term supply of Rock Phosphate and Fertilizer/NPK: The purpose of the MoU is mining and beneficiation of rock phosphate and setting up of a production facility in Jordan for Phosphoric acid/DAP/NPK fertilizers, with a long-term agreement for 100% off-take to India. Such a MoU ensures long-term and sustained the supply of rock phosphates to India.

    17. Scientists from the Botanical Survey of India have identified a new plant species from two protected National Parks in West Bengal named after whom among the following personalities of India?
    a. APJ Abdul Kalam
    b. Deen Dayal Upadhyay
    c. Madan Mohan Malviya
    d. Atal Bihari Vajpayee

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    Scientists from the Botanical Survey of India have identified a new plant species from two protected National Parks in West Bengal. Named Drypetes kalamii, it is a small shrub found to be a shorter version of its close relative Drypetes ellisii. This adds to the rich floral wealth of India.

    Standing just 1 metre tall, the newly described plant is unisexual in nature, which means they have separate male and female plants. The new species is a close relative of a medicinal plant known in Sanskrit as Putrajivah. Earlier, NASA had recently named a new bacterium after Dr Kalam.

    The new species is found in wet, shaded areas of subtropical moist semi-evergreen forests, at a height ranging 50-100 metres. With pale yellow flowers in clusters and bright orange to red fruits, the plant is exclusive to the two national parks.

    18. The government has constituted a Steering Committee on Fintech related issues under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance. Consider the following statements regarding this:

    1. The objective of this committee is to consider various issues relating to the development of fintech space in India with a view to make fintech related regulations more flexible and generate enhanced entrepreneurship in an area where India has distinctive comparative strengths vis-a-vis other emerging economies.
    2. One of the Terms of Reference of the Steering Committee is to take stock of the developments in the Fintech sector globally, and in India, and arrive at a commonly shared understanding of the current state of play.
    3. The committee will also consider international cooperation opportunities in Fintech with countries like Singapore, UK, China, etc.

    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:

    In pursuance to the announcement made by the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley in his Budget Speech 2018-19 (Para 75), a Steering Committee has been constituted under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance.

    The objective of this committee is to consider various issues relating to the development of fintech space in India with a view to make fintech related regulations more flexible and generate enhanced entrepreneurship in an area where India has distinctive comparative strengths vis-vis other emerging economies. The Steering Committee will also focus on how fintech can be leveraged to enhance financial inclusion of MSMEs.

    The committee will be headed by Economic Affairs Secretary. The other members of the high-level committee would include; Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Secretary, Financial Services, Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Chairperson, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC). Besides, the CEO of the Unique Identification Authority of India and Deputy Governor of RBI would be part of this panel. Joint Secretary (Investment) in Economic Affairs Department would be the convener of the panel.

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    19. Recently, first Mega Food Park in the state of Maharashtra has been inaugurated in which of the following districts?

    a. Nanded
    b. Satara
    c. Pune
    d. Latur

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The first Mega Food Park in the state of Maharashtra at Village Degaon, District Satara was inaugurated today the 1st March 2018. This is the 12th Mega Food Park operationalise in the country so far and the 10th operationalise during the tenure of the present government. To give a major boost to the food processing sector by adding value and reducing food wastage at each stage of the supply chain with a particular focus on perishables, Ministry of Food Processing Industries is implementing Mega Food Park Scheme in the country. Mega Food Parks create modern infrastructure facilities for food processing along the value chain from farm to market with strong forward and backward linkages through a cluster-based approach. Common facilities and enabling infrastructure is created at Central Processing Centre and facilities for primary processing and storage is created near the farm in the form of Primary Processing Centres (PPCs) and Collection Centres (CCs). Under the Scheme, Government of India provides financial assistance up to Rs. 50.00 Crore per Mega Food Park project.

    20. Recently, NASA has launched another of the world’s most advanced weather satellites to safeguard the western U.S. Consider the following statements regarding this:

    1. The GOES-S satellite thundered toward orbit aboard an Atlas V rocket, slicing through a hazy late afternoon sky.
    2. GOES-S is the second satellite in an approximately $11 billion effort that’s already revolutionising forecasting with astonishingly fast, crisp images of hurricanes, wildfires, floods, mudslides and other natural calamities.

    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:

    NASA launched another of the world’s most advanced weather satellites on Thursday, this time to safeguard the western U.S. The GOES-S satellite thundered toward orbit aboard an Atlas V rocket, slicing through a hazy late afternoon sky. Dozens of meteorologists gathered for the launch, including TV crews from the Weather Channel and Weather Nation.

    GOES-S is the second satellite in an approximately $11 billion effort that’s already revolutionising forecasting with astonishingly fast, crisp images of hurricanes, wildfires, floods, mudslides and other natural calamities.

    The first spacecraft in the series, GOES-16, has been monitoring the Atlantic and East Coast for the past year for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The same first-class service is now coming to the Pacific region.

    21. Consider the following statements related to the National Financial Reporting Authority that was recently approved by the Union Cabinet.

    1) It is an independent regulator for auditing profession.
    2) It will replace the existing Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).

    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:

    On March 1, 2018, the Union Cabinet gave its approval for the establishment of the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA). The NFRA will be established as an independent regulator for the auditing profession.

    The jurisdiction of NFRA for investigation of Chartered Accountants and their firms under section 132 of the Act would extend to listed companies and large unlisted public companies. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) would, however, continue to play its regulatory role in respect of its members in general and specifically with respect to audits pertaining to private limited companies and public unlisted companies below the threshold limit to be notified in the rules.

    The decision is expected to enhance economic growth, improve foreign/domestic investments, support the globalisation of business by meeting international practices and assist in further development of the audit profession.

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    22. Consider the following statements related to the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018 that was recently approved by the Union Cabinet.
    1) It lays down measures to deter fugitive economic offenders from remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.
    2) It helps financial institutions in achieving higher recovery from financial defaults.
    3) It provides for the creation of a ‘Special Court’ under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002.

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

    Answer. d

    Explanation:

    On March 1, 2018, the Union Cabinet gave its approval for the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018. The bill seeks to lay down measures to deter fugitive economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.

    The bill was drafted by the Union Government in view of the recent Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi episodes, who flew away from India after committing economic offences.

    Key features of the bill

    • The bill provides for the creation of a ‘Special Court’ under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 to declare a person as a Fugitive Economic Offender.

    • The process of repatriation of an economic fugitive under the act begins with the submission of an application before the special court declaring that an individual is a fugitive economic offender.

    • The application should comprise an attachment of the property of the fugitive.

    • After going through the application, the special court would issue a notice to the individual alleged to be a fugitive economic offender.

    • This would be followed by confiscation of the property of the individual resulting from the proceeds of crime.

    • The offender’s other properties located in India and abroad, including benami property would also be confiscated.

    • Further, the offender would be disentitled from defending any civil claim.

    • Finally, an administrator will be appointed to manage and dispose of the confiscated property under the Act.

    • Further, only those cases would come under the jurisdiction of the bill that involve a total value of Rs 100 crore or more.

    Who is a Fugitive Economic Offender?

    A fugitive economic offender is any individual against whom a warrant for arrest in relation to a schedule offence has been issued by any court of India who, either leaves or has left India to avoid criminal prosecution or refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution.

    A scheduled offence refers to a list of economic offences contained in the schedule of the bill, including cheating, forgery, fraud, corruption, insider trading and customs evasion.

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    23. Consider the following statements related to ‘NAG Missile System’ that was successfully test-fired recently.

    1) It is a third generation fire-and-forget and can be fired anti-tank missile.
    2) It has both land and helicopter versions.
    3) NAG Missile can carry a warhead weighing up to 8kg.

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

    Answer. d

    Explanation:

    In February 2018, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired Nag anti-tank missile. It was the third flight test of the missile. With this flight test, the developmental trials of the missile have been completed and it is now capable to engage targets in different conditions.  It is now ready to be inducted into the Indian armed forces.

    Features of Nag missile

    • It is a third generation fire-and-forget anti-tank missile. It can be fired during the night and day as well.

    • It is equipped with top attack capability to nullify the explosive reactive armour (ERA) of a battle tank.

    • It weighs 42kg and has a length of 1.90m. It can be fired against both moving and fixed targets.

    • Besides HeliNa, a helicopter version, it has the land, air-launched and man portable (weighing 14 kg) versions.

    • To carry the land version, DRDO developed the NAMICA (Nag Missile Carrier) for the army.

    • While the land version can hit targets in the range between 500m to 4km, the range of air-launched version is between 7 and 10 km. It can carry a warhead weighing up to 8kg.

    • It has been developed at a cost of 300 crore rupees by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).

    • Once inducted into the Armed Forces, the HeliNa missile will be integrated with the weaponised version of the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv, the light combat helicopter produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).

    24. Which of the following has become the first country in the world to launch own crypto-currency as its legal tender?
    a) Marshall Islands
    b) Iceland
    c) Mauritius
    d) Canada

    Answer. a

    Explanation:

    In March 2018, the Marshall Islands has become the first country in the world to launch own crypto-currency as its legal tender. To this effect, the parliament of the country (Nitijela) has passed a law. The digital currency will be used to raise some hard cash to pay bills and boost the economy.

    To issue the crypto-currency, the Marshall Islands nation has teamed up with a company Neema from Israel. The Neema will issue 24 million units of the Sovereign digital currency SOV. However, the numbers are capped to prevent inflation.

    What is Cryptocurrency?

    It is a digital or virtual currency created and stored electronically in block chains (a master ledger records and stores all the information regarding the currency along with its owner) while it has no physical existence and cannot be redeemed in another commodity like gold. Encryption techniques have been used to control its creation as a monetary unit and to verify the transfer of funds involved.

    Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, Ethereum, PPcoin, Dogecoin, Coinye, Namecoin etc. are some of the examples of cryptocurrencies. In the FY 2018-19 budget speech, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that the crypto currency wouldn’t be accepted as legal tender in India.

    IAS Preparation Questions for Prelims: 26 February to 1 March 2018

    25. It is with these countries, India signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) for civil nuclear cooperation.
    a) China and Sri Lanka
    b) Russia and Bhutan
    c) Japan and South Korea
    d) Russia and Bangladesh

    Answer. d

    Explanation:

    India, Russian and Bangalesh signed a tripartite MoU on civil nuclear cooperation. It was signed on March 1, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. As part of the MoU, the Nuclear Power Cooperation of India Limited (NPCIL) will assist Russia in the construction of the Rooppur nuclear power plant in Bangladesh.

    The MoU will allow Indian companies in construction, installation works and in the supply of equipment of a non-critical category.

    The MoU was signed in Moscow by the Department of Atomic Energy of India, the Ministry of Science and Technology of Bangladesh and Rosatom of Russia.

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