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IAS Questions for Prelims: 22 to 28 July 2017

Aug 1, 2017 15:37 IST
    IAS Questions for Prelims: 22 to 28 July 2017
    IAS Questions for Prelims: 22 to 28 July 2017

    Current affairs quizzes are the essential parts of IAS Prelims Exam preparation as the most of the questions in IAS prelims exam is asked from the current happenings in the country and around the world. All the academic subject knowledge like in geography, environment, polity and economy should be supplemented with relevant current affairs knowledge for IAS Exam.

    IAS Prelims Exam Guide

    1. Consider the following statements regarding the Atal Pension Yojana:
    1. Indian Citizens between the age group of 18 to 40 years eligible to join APY through their savings bank account or post office savings bank account.
    2. APY is based on defined benefit for providing guaranteed minimum monthly pension of Rs. 1000 or Rs. 2000 or Rs. 3000 or Rs. 4000 or Rs. 5000 at the age of 60 years based on pension amount chosen.
    3. The Central Government contributes 100% of the total contribution in this scheme.

    Which of the following above statements is true?
    a. 1 and 2
    b. 2 and 3
    c. 1 and 3
    d. 1, 2 and 3

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    The Atal Pension Yojana (APY) has been launched by the Government of India in May 2015, which is primarily targeted at the unorganised sector and informal workers. The registration of subscribers under APY started from June 1, 2015. The salient features of the Atal Pension Yojana are as under:

    • Indian Citizens between the age group of 18 to 40 years eligible to join APY through their savings bank account or post office savings bank account.
    • APY is based on defined benefit for providing guaranteed minimum monthly pension of Rs. 1000 or Rs. 2000 or Rs. 3000 or Rs. 4000 or Rs. 5000 at the age of 60 years based on pension amount chosen.
    • The Central Government would also co-contribute 50% of the total contribution or Rs. 1000 per annum, whichever is lower, to each eligible subscriber, for a period of 5 years, i.e., from Financial Year 2015-16 to 2019-20, who have joined the APY before 31st March 2016, and who are not members of any statutory social security scheme and who are not income tax payers.
    • In the case of premature death of Subscriber (death before 60 years of age), spouse of the subscriber has been given an option to continue contributing to the APY account of the subscriber, for the remaining vesting period, till the original subscriber would have attained the age 60 years.

    With a view to providing flexibility to the subscribers of APY with seasonal or irregular income, besides the monthly mode of payment, quarterly and half yearly mode of payment of contributions have been provided in the Scheme. Further, in the case of default in the payment of the contribution, a subscriber may regularise the account by paying the overdue amount along with a minimal charge to obtain the guaranteed pension.

    2. The National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP) is being implemented in the country. Consider the following statements regarding the NHDP:
    1. Main components of NHDP are Concessional Credit, Handloom Marketing Assistance, and Block Level Clusters.
    2. The weavers have been benefitted by waivers of overdue loans, availing loans at concessional rates, participation in exhibitions/fairs/craft meals for marketing handloom products, up gradation of looms and training to improve their earnings.

    Which of the following statements is true?
    a. Only 1
    b. 1 and 2
    c. Only 2
    d. Neither 1 nor 2

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP) is being implemented in the country.  Main components of NHDP are Concessional Credit, Handloom Marketing Assistance, and Block Level Clusters. The benefits to the weavers vary from component to component. The weavers have been benefitted by waivers of overdue loans, availing loans at concessional rates, participation in exhibitions/fairs/craft meals for marketing handloom products, up gradation of looms and training to improve their earnings.

    3. As per “The State of the World‘s Children 2016” Report, India ranks 10th in terms of underweight prevalence published by which of the following international organisations?
    a. World Bank
    b. UNICEF
    c. WEF
    d. WWF

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    As per “The State of the World‘s Children 2016” Report published by United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) which is based on 2005-2006 data, India ranks 10th in terms of underweight prevalence and 17th in terms of stunting prevalence in the world. However, as per NFHS-4 survey based on 2015-16 data the prevalence of underweight and stunting has come down to 35.7% & 38.4% from 42.5% & 48% NFSH-3.

    The Government is implementing several schemes and programs like Anganwadi Services and Scheme for Adolescent girls under Umbrella ICDS to address the problem of malnutrition.

    Current Affairs Quizzes for IAS Prelims 2018: May 2017

    4. Which of the following states to setup vegetable price stability fund?
    a. Gujarat
    b. Madhya Pradesh
    c. Haryana
    d. Uttar Pradesh

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    With an aim to address the problem of seasonal fluctuation of vegetable prices, the Haryana government will soon set up a vegetable price stability fund.

    Perishable vegetables like potato and tomato cannot be stored for long and farmers have no solution to this problem. The fund will be set up to provide assistance to farmers in the event of price fluctuation.

    5. The year 2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the remarkable ‘Save Western Ghats March’. Consider the following statements regarding the Western Ghats:
    1. The forests in the Western Ghats are home to hundreds of globally threatened species, including rare and unique ones like the Malabar torrent toad, the Nilgiri langur, Wroughton’s free-tailed bat, the Nilgiri laughing thrush and many species of caecilians, the limbless amphibians.
    2. The Western Ghat is recognised today as one of the world’s top 35 biodiversity hotspots and for very good reason.

    Which of the following above statements is true?
    a. 1 and 2
    b. 2 and 3
    c. 1 and 3
    d. 1, 2 and 3

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    This year marks the 30th anniversary of the remarkable but relatively little known ‘Save Western Ghats March’, a response to the socio-ecological challenges the area grappled with. A diverse set of people—scientists, anthropologists, sociologists, activists, journalists and local communities—marched together for 100 days along the length of ghats and met at a conference in Goa to discuss the issues.

    The march was as much an exercise in envisioning the future as it was an acknowledgement of the past—of the extreme richness of this ancient mountain range that extends from River Tapti to Kanyakumari.

    The beauty of the landscape is unmatched, endemism in the forests is high, and nearly 250 million people living in peninsular India are nourished by the many rivers that originate here. The forests are also home to hundreds of globally threatened species, including rare and unique ones like the Malabar torrent toad, the Nilgiri langur, Wroughton’s free-tailed bat, the Nilgiri laughing thrush and many species of caecilians, the limbless amphibians.

    The Western Ghat is recognised today as one of the world’s top 35 biodiversity hotspots and for very good reason. What the march did way back in 1987 was to offer a unique opportunity to understand the place and its people. It was an exercise in creative activism that might also be considered prescient, predating as it did the international recognition the Ghats have achieved in the last three decades. The idea of a ‘biodiversity hotspot’ was first articulated only in 1988.

    Current Affairs for IAS Prelims 2018- April 2017

    6. Consider the following statements regarding the project 'Mausam':
    1. Project ‘Mausam’ is the initiative of Ministry of Culture to be implemented by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as the nodal agency with research support of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and National Museum as associate bodies.
    2. This project aims to explore the multi-faceted Indian Ocean ‘world’–collating archaeological and historical research in order to document the diversity of cultural, commercial and religious interactions in the Indian Ocean.
    3. The main objective of the project is to inscribe places and sites identified under Project Mausam as a trans-national nomination for inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

    Which of the following above statements is true?
    a. 1 and 2
    b. 2 and 3
    c. 1 and 3
    d. 1, 2 and 3

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    Project ‘Mausam’ is the initiative of Ministry of Culture to be implemented by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as the nodal agency with research support of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and National Museum as associate bodies. This project aims to explore the multi-faceted Indian Ocean ‘world’–collating archaeological and historical research in order to document the diversity of cultural, commercial and religious interactions in the Indian Ocean. It also aims to promote research on themes related to the study of Maritime Routes. The main objective of the project is to inscribe places and sites identified under Project Mausam as a trans-national nomination for inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

    The project was launched in June 2014 during the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee. An SFC was approved in April 2015 for 2 years i.e. 2015-16 and 2016-17.

    7. Recently, the Union Home Ministry has identified 10 islands from Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep for development. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. Ten islands from Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep have been identified by the government for improving the maritime economy, preserving the eco-system and addressing security concerns.
    2. The islands include Smith, Ross, Aves, Long and Little Andaman in Andaman and Nicobar and Minicoy, Bangaram, Suheli, Cherium and Tinnakara in Lakshadweep.
    3. The decision was taken at the first meeting of the newly- constituted Islands Development Agency (IDA) which was set up on June 1, 2017.

    Which of the following above statements is true?
    a. 1 and 2
    b. 2 and 3
    c. 1 and 3
    d. 1, 2 and 3

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    Ten islands from Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep have been identified by the government for improving the maritime economy, preserving the eco-system and the addressing security concerns.

    The islands include Smith, Ross, Aves, Long and Little Andaman in Andaman and Nicobar and Minicoy, Bangaram, Suheli, Cherium and Tinnakara in Lakshadweep.

    The decision was taken at the first meeting of the newly- constituted Islands Development Agency (IDA). The IDA was set up on June 1 this year following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's review meeting for the development of islands.  During the meeting, the home minister presented the vision for developing India's maritime economy while preserving the natural eco-system and addressing the security concerns.

    8. Consider the following statements regarding the Swadesh Darshan Scheme:
    1. The Ministry of Tourism has launched Swadesh Darshan Scheme in 2014-15 for integrated development of Theme-Based tourist Circuits in the country.
    2. The Ministry of Tourism extends Central Financial Assistance under the Swadesh Darshan scheme for Beach Cleaning Equipment as one of the admissible components to promote cleanliness of beaches.

    Which of the following statements is true?
    a. Only 1
    b. 1 and 2
    c. Only 2
    d. Neither 1 nor 2

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The Ministry of Tourism has launched Swadesh Darshan Scheme in 2014-15 for integrated development of Theme-Based tourist Circuits in the country. Coastal Circuit which includes inter-alia beach destinations has been identified as one of thirteen thematic circuits for development under this scheme. The Ministry of Tourism promotes India as a holistic destination as part of its on-going activities by releasing advertising campaigns in various media under the Incredible India brand-line, through its website, production of publicity and promotional material and through promotional activities undertaken by the overseas India.

    Cleanliness and maintenance of beaches is the responsibility of the respective State Governments/ UT administrations. However, Ministry extends Central Financial Assistance under the Swadesh Darshan scheme for Beach Cleaning Equipment as one of the admissible components to promote cleanliness of beaches.

    ECONOMIC SURVEY 2016-17 IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

    9. Consider the following statements regarding the welfare schemes meant for the benefit of ST women:
    1. Under the scheme of Girls & Boys Hostels for STs, Central assistance is given to States / UTs / Universities for construction of new hostel buildings and / or extension of existing hostels.
    2. The objective of the Ashram Schools in Tribal Areas is to provide residential schools for STs to increase the literacy rate among the tribal students and to bring them at par with other population of the country.
    3. The scheme for Strengthening Education among ST Girls in Low Literacy Districts is being implemented in 54 identified low literacy Districts where the ST population is 25% or more, and ST female literacy rate is below 35%, or its fractions, as per 2001 census.

    Which of the following above statements is true?
    a. 1 and 2
    b. 2 and 3
    c. 1 and 3
    d. 1, 2 and 3

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    The major policies of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs aim to ensure the overall development of both Scheduled Tribe men and women. However, within the Scheduled Tribes, women often suffer from a greater disadvantage. Ministry of Tribal Affairs, therefore, while trying to, ensure that women benefit equally from general schemes also has some special schemes meant for the benefit of ST women and girls as given below:

    • Scheme of Girls & Boys Hostels for STs

    • Scheme of Ashram Schools in Tribal Areas

    • Scheme for Strengthening Education among ST Girls in Low Literacy Districts

    • Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub Scheme (SCA to TSS)

    • Grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution

    • Adivasi Mahila Sashaktikaran Yojana

    10. The spices exports from the country have touched an all-time high during 2016-17. consider the following statements regarding the Spices Board:
    1. Spices Board is implementing the “Export Oriented Production, Export Development & Promotion of Spices” Scheme wherein assistance is provided to cultivators of cardamom for the production of quality planting materials.
    2. Spices Board implements several programmes for spices farmers which, inter alia, include the development of infrastructure for common processing facilities in Spice Parks.

    Which of the following statements is true?
    a. Only 1
    b. 1 and 2
    c. Only 2
    d. Neither 1 nor 2

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The spices exports from the country have touched an all-time high during 2016-17. No targets are fixed by the government for export of spices as the production and export of spices are dependent upon various factors such as climatic conditions, market forces, domestic and international demand, etc.

    Spices Board is implementing the “Export Oriented Production, Export Development & Promotion of Spices” Scheme wherein assistance is provided to cultivators of cardamom for production of quality planting materials, replanting of old and uneconomic gardens, new planting, irrigation development programme, improved curing facilities, farm mechanization, etc. for boosting production.

    In addition, Spices Board implements several programmes for spices farmers which, inter alia, include development of infrastructure for common processing facilities in Spice Parks, adaptation of upgraded technology in spice processing, setting up of quality evaluation labs for sampling and testing of the export consignments for meeting quality specifications of consuming countries, assistance to farmers on post-harvest quality improvement, imparting training to farmers in Good Agricultural Practices etc.

    Union Budget 2017 Questions for IAS Exam

    11. Recently, NITI Aayog has conducted an evaluation study on ‘Nai Roshni’- the scheme for Leadership Development of Minority Women in 2015-16 and prepared a report in June 2016. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. The main objective of the study was to assess the impact of the scheme on minority women and to identify policy/ programme impediments in implementation of the scheme.
    2. The main objective of the study was to assess the impact of the scheme on minority women and to identify policy/ programme impediments in implementation of the scheme.
    3. According to NITI Aayog, majority of the findings of the study indicate that the programme has been appreciated by most of the segments of the population of the society and it has assisted in creating confidence among minority women and developing leadership spirit in them.

    Which of the following above statements is true?
    a. 1 and 2
    b. 2 and 3
    c. 1 and 3
    d. 1, 2 and 3

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    NITI Aayog has conducted an evaluation study on ‘Nai Roshni’- the scheme for Leadership Development of Minority Women in 2015-16 and prepared a report in June 2016. The main objective of the study was to assess the impact of the scheme on minority women and to identify policy/ programme impediments in implementation of the scheme. The study covered 15 Districts, 30 Blocks, 87 Villages and 27 NGOs spread over 8 (eight) states namely Assam, West Bengal, Punjab, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

    According to NITI Aayog, majority of the findings of the study indicate that the programme has been appreciated by most of the segments of the population of the society and it has assisted in creating confidence among minority women and developing leadership spirit in them. Moreover, the trained women are also utilising their enriched knowledge within their surroundings and thereby helping their families as well as neighbours in raising their essential demands and claims from various Government authorities.

    12. In order to double the income of Jute farmers, the Government of India had started the Improved Cultivation and Advanced Retting Exercise for Jute (Jute – ICARE) project. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. ICARE was launched in 2015 to popularise/introduce some of the better agronomic practices and recently developed microbial assisted retting among farmers intensively in all the blocks in West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam on a pilot basis.
    2. The improved agronomic practices include -- line sowing of jute using seed drill to increase yield by 10-15%; weed management in jute by wheel hoeing/nail weeder instead of hand weeding for reducing the cost of weeding; and distribution of quality certified seeds at 50% subsidy.
    3. The area covered under the project for 2017 is approximately 70,328 hectares covering 26 Blocks in 6 jute growing states-- an increase of 167% as compared to 2016.

    Which of the following above statements is true?
    a. 1 and 2
    b. 2 and 3
    c. 1 and 3
    d. 1, 2 and 3

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    Improved Cultivation and Advanced Retting Exercise for Jute (Jute – ICARE) was launched in 2015 to popularise/introduce some of the better agronomic practices and recently developed microbial assisted retting among farmers intensively in a few blocks in West Bengal and Assam on a pilot basis. The improved agronomic practices include -- line sowing of jute using seed drill to increase yield by 10-15%; weed management in jute by wheel hoeing/nail weeder instead of hand weeding for reducing the cost of weeding; and distribution of quality certified seeds at 50% subsidy.

    Central Research Institute for Research in Jute and Allied Fibres (CRIJAF) developed a microbial consortium called SONA, to enhance the quantity of fibre yield by 20% as well as its quality in terms of grade by at least 1 ½ grades. Also, under the project, regular SMSs are sent in regional languages on improved practices in jute cultivation, to registered farmers. On an average over 50 SMSs are sent to each farmer at various intervals during the project. Supply of Seed drills and Nail weeders is undertaken for demonstration purpose.
    As a result of these interventions, the earnings of jute farmers have increased by more than Rs.10000 per hectare.

    13. The Ministry of Minority Affairs formulated “Hamari Dharohar” scheme for preservation of rich heritage and culture of minority communities of India in 2014-15. Consider the following statements regarding the Hamari Dharohar Scheme:
    1. The scheme aims to support curation of iconic exhibitions, calligraphy, research and development, etc.
    2. Under this scheme, the funding is project based and not the State/District-wise.

    Which of the following statements is true?
    a. Only 1
    b. 1 and 2
    c. Only 2
    d. Neither 1 nor 2

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The Ministry of Minority Affairs formulated “Hamari Dharohar” scheme for preservation of rich heritage and culture of minority communities of India in 2014-15. The scheme aims to support curation of iconic exhibitions, calligraphy, research and development, etc. Under this scheme, the funding is project based and not the State/District-wise. The following two important projects have been undertaken so far under the scheme:

    • An iconic exhibition of Parsis (Zoroastrians) i.e. “The Everlasting Flame” to showcase the civilisation and culture of the Parsis (Zoroastrians) was organised during March-May, 2016. This involved curating 3 travelling exhibitions on Parsi Culture namely- ‘The Everlasting Flame’; ‘Threads of Continuity’; and ‘Painted Encounters’, Parsi Traders and Community & No Parsi is an island’, at the National Museum (NM), National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) and Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) at New Delhi. A total of Rs. 18.72 Crore was spent.

    • A project has been allocated to Dairatul Maarifil Osmania (an institution established in 1888 AD) under Osmania University, Telangana, for translation of 240 invaluable documents belonging to Medieval period on the subjects of Medicines, Mathematics, Literature, etc. from the Arabic language to English, digitisation and re-printing. The project implementation has already started and the state Government of Telangana is monitoring the same. A total of Rs. 2.77 Crore has so far been released for this project.

    Current Affairs for IAS Prelims Exam 2018: 10 July 2017

    14. Recently, the Government has taken measures to control the chronic Anaemia in women. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. In order to prevent anaemia among women and children, National Iron Plus Initiative (NIPI) has been launched in 2013, a flagship scheme under the National Health Mission based on the life-cycle approach, under which iron-folic acid supplementation is provided to the vulnerable age groups.
    2. The government of India has given directions to the States for identification and tracking of severely anaemic cases at all the sub centres and PHCs for their timely management.
    3. To tackle the problem of anaemia due to malaria particularly in pregnant women and children, Long Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLINs) and Insecticide Treated Bed Nets (ITBNs) are being distributed in endemic areas.

    Which of the following above statements is true?
    a. 1 and 2
    b. 2 and 3
    c. 1 and 3
    d. 1, 2 and 3

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    According to National Family Health Survey (NFHS)–IV (2015-16), the prevalence of anaemia among women aged 15 to 49 years is 53%. In order to prevent anaemia among women and children, National Iron Plus Initiative (NIPI) has been launched in 2013, a flagship scheme under the National Health Mission based on the life-cycle approach, under which iron-folic acid supplementation is provided to the vulnerable age groups. It includes Pregnant and lactating women and Women in reproductive age (WRA) group.

    Measures were taken by Government to ensure optimum nutritional requirements for women are:

    • Universal screening of pregnant women for anaemia is a part of ante-natal care and all pregnant women are to be provided iron and folic acid tablets during their ante-natal and post natal visits through the existing network of sub-centres and primary health centres and other health facilities as well as through outreach activities at Village Health & Nutrition Days (VHNDs) and also through the ASHAs. After the first trimester of pregnancy, every pregnant woman during ANC is to be given iron and folic acid (IFA) tablets for six months, and six months post-partum. Pregnant women, who are found to be clinically anaemic, are to be given double the dose of IFA.

    • The government of India has given directions to the States for identification and tracking of severely anaemic cases at all the sub centres and PHCs for their timely management.

    • Health and nutrition education to promote dietary diversification, the inclusion of iron foliate rich food as well as food items that promote iron absorption.

    • To address anaemia due to worm infestation, deworming of pregnant women is done after the first trimester preferably in the second trimester of pregnancy.

    • To tackle the problem of anaemia due to malaria particularly in pregnant women and children, Long Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLINs) and Insecticide Treated Bed Nets (ITBNs) are being distributed in endemic areas.

    15. Consider the following statements regarding the payment banks in India:
    1. Payments bank comes under a differentiated bank licence since it cannot offer all the services that a commercial bank offers.
    2. It can take deposits up to ₹1 crore per account and it can issue both debit cards and credit cards.
    3. The main objective of a payments bank is to further financial inclusion by providing small savings accounts and payments/remittance services to migrant labour workforce, low-income households, small businesses and other unorganised sector entities.

    Which of the following above statements is true?
    a. 1 and 2
    b. 2 and 3
    c. 1 and 3
    d. 1, 2 and 3

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    There are two kinds of banking licences that are granted by the Reserve Bank of India - universal bank licence and differentiated bank licence. Payments bank comes under a differentiated bank licence since it cannot offer all the services that a commercial bank offers. In particular, a payments bank cannot lend. It can take deposits up to ₹1 lakh per account and it can issue debit cards but not credit cards. Commercial banks in India like State Bank of India or ICICI Bank, do not have any such restrictions.

    The main objective is to further financial inclusion by providing small savings accounts and payments/remittance services to migrant labour workforce, low-income households, small businesses and other unorganised sector entities.

    Out of the 11 entities that received an in-principle licence for opening payments bank, 7 entities received the final licence. Four payments banks have started operations — Airtel Payments Bank, India Post Payments Bank, Paytm Payments Bank and Fino Payments Bank.

    16. Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved the revision of guidelines of Sovereign Gold Bonds Scheme. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. Specific changes have been made in the attributes of the scheme to make it more attractive, mobilise finances as per the target and reduce the economic strains caused by imports of gold and reduce the Current Account Deficit (CAD).
    2. Sovereign Gold Bond (SGB) Scheme was notified by the Government of India on November 05, 2015 after due approval of the Cabinet.
    3. The main objective of the scheme was to develop a financial asset as an alternative to purchasing metal gold.

    Which of the following above statements is true?
    a. 1 and 2
    b. 2 and 3
    c. 1 and 3
    d. 1, 2 and 3

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given approval for revision of guidelines of Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGB) Scheme with a view to achieve its intended objectives.

    Two sets of changes have been made in the scheme:
    I. Specific changes have been made in the attributes of the scheme to make it more attractive, mobilise finances as per the target and reduce the economic strains caused by imports of gold and reduce the Current Account Deficit (CAD).
    II. Flexibility has been given to Ministry of Finance to design and introduce variants of SGBs with different interest rates and risk protection/pay-offs that would offer investment alternatives to a different category of investors. Ministry of Finance (the issuer) has been delegated this power to amend/add to the features of the Scheme with the approval of the Finance Minister to reduce the time lag between finalising the attributes of a particular tranche and its notification. Such flexibility will be effective in addressing the elements of competition with new products of investment, to deal with very dynamic and sometimes volatile market, macro-economic and other conditions such as gold price.

    17. Recently, the Union Cabinet has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the field of youth affairs and sports signed between India and which of the following countries?
    a. Germany
    b. Palestine
    c. Japan
    d. Russia

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Palestine on cooperation in the field of youth affairs and sports.
    The MoU will help in promoting the exchange of ideas, values and culture amongst all youth irrespective of their caste, religion and gender as well as the development of sports in the two countries. In turn, it will help in consolidating friendly relations between the two countries.

    Current Affairs for IAS Prelims Exam 2018: 11 July 2017

    18. Recently, the Union Cabinet has been apprised of the Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) between Department of Science & Technology (DST), India and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany on Indo German-Centre for Sustainability (IGCS). Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. The objective of the JDI on IGCS is to promote cooperation between German and Indian scientists on fundamental and applied scientific research.
    2. It includes areas such as policy support, teaching, training and dissemination of information in the area of sustainable development and climate change through inter-disciplinary/trans-disciplinary research.
    3. Under this JDI, the required institutional framework will be developed to provide fund support to the IGCS at IIT, Madras by DST and BMBF.

    Which of the following above statements is true?
    a. 1 and 2
    b. 2 and 3
    c. 1 and 3
    d. 1, 2 and 3

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) between Department of Science & Technology (DST), India and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany on Indo German-Centre for Sustainability (IGCS). The JDI was concluded on 30th May 2017 in Germany during the fourth Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) between India and Germany between Prime Minister of India and the German Federal Chancellor in Berlin. The JDI was signed by the Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, India, Dr Harsh Vardhan and Germany’s Minister for Education & Research Prof. Dr Johanna Wanka.

    The objective of the JDI on IGCS is to promote cooperation between German and Indian scientists on fundamental and applied scientific research. It includes areas such as policy support, teaching, training and dissemination of information in the area of sustainable development and climate change through inter-disciplinary/trans-disciplinary research. The IGCS will nurture future collaboration by widening the network with other Universities, Institutes and industries both in India and Germany. On the Indian side, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras will act as the host institution for IGCS.

    Under this JDI, the required institutional framework will be developed to provide fund support to the IGCS at IIT, Madras by DST and BMBF. DST will provide grant-in-aid support to IGCS for undertaking research in the areas of climate change for sustainable development. DST and BMBF will jointly support the IGCS for a period of five years starting from January 2018.

    19. Recently, India has started the process for review and revision of the earlier Model Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs). Consider the following statements regarding the BIT Model:
    1.    BITs help to project India as an attractive Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) destination, as well as protect outbound Indian FDI, by increasing the comfort level and boosting the confidence of investors by assuring a minimum standard of treatment and non-discrimination.
    2.    The existing Indian Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) were largely negotiated on the basis of Model BIT text adopted in 1956, and as amended in 1993.
    3.    The 1993 Model BIT text contained provisions which were susceptible to broad and ambiguous interpretations by arbitral tribunals.

    Which of the following above statements is true?
    a. 1 and 2
    b. 2 and 3
    c. 1 and 3
    d. 1, 2 and 3

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    The existing Indian Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) were largely negotiated on the basis of Model BIT text adopted in 1993, and as amended in 2003. The 1993 Model BIT text contained provisions which were susceptible to broad and ambiguous interpretations by arbitral tribunals. Further, significant changes have occurred globally regarding BITs, in general, and investor-state dispute resolution mechanism, in particular. Accordingly, India started the process for review and revision of the earlier Model BIT, and came out with a revised Model BIT version, in December 2015. Discussion on commencing negotiations on Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) or investment agreement based on approved Model BIT text with Russia, USA and EU are ongoing.

    BITs help to project India as an attractive Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) destination, as well as protect outbound Indian FDI, by increasing the comfort level and boosting the confidence of investors by assuring a minimum standard of treatment and non-discrimination.

    20. Recently, the Government is formulating the Credit Guarantee Scheme for Startups (CGSS) with a corpus contribution of INR 2000 crores that will enable Startups to raise loans without any collateral for their business purposes. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. The scheme will provide benefit to a Startup recognised by DIPP as per Gazette Notifications issued from time to time.
    2. The proposed scheme will provide credit guarantee up to INR 500 lakhs per case inclusive of the term loan, working capital or any other instrument of assistance extended by Member Lending Institutions (MLIs) to finance an eligible borrower.
    3. The Management Committee (MC) shall be responsible for the overall supervision and monitoring of the Credit Guarantee Scheme for startups.

    Which of the following above statements is true?
    a. 1 and 2
    b. 2 and 3
    c. 1 and 3
    d. 1, 2 and 3

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    The government is formulating a Credit Guarantee Scheme for Startups (CGSS) with a corpus contribution of INR 2000 crores that will enable Startups to raise loans without any collateral for their business purposes. The proposed scheme will provide credit guarantee up to INR 500 lakhs per case inclusive of the term loan, working capital or any other instrument of assistance extended by Member Lending Institutions (MLIs) to finance an eligible borrower i.e. a Startup recognised by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

    Current Affairs for IAS Prelims 2018- April 2017

    21. India all set to access resources under the Green Climate Fund for Finance Climate Action. Consider the following statements regarding the Green Climate Fund:
    1. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is one of the operating entities under the financial mechanism set up under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to provide support to developing countries in combating climate change.
    2. India has nominated a total of five direct access entities for accreditation by the GCF.
    3. The signing of AMA between GCF and NABARD is an essential first step for accessing the GCF resources to help safeguard the lives, property and livelihoods of millions of people against climate change impact.

    Which of the following above statements is true?
    a. 1 and 2
    b. 2 and 3
    c. 1 and 3
    d. 1, 2 and 3

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has said that India is committed to the cause of Climate Change. Delivering the keynote address on the occasion of the signing of the Accreditation Master Agreement (AMA) between Green Climate Fund (GCF) and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

    The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is one of the operating entities under the financial mechanism set up under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to provide support to developing countries in combating climate change, with resources to be generated from funding by developed country Parties and various other public and private sources. It supports both climate change adaptation and mitigation projects in developing countries.

    So far, one project from India on “Installation of Ground Water Recharge System” in Odisha has recently been approved by the GCF for $34 million. Another proposal on coastal areas has already been submitted to the GCF Secretariat and several more projects are in the pipeline.

    India has nominated a total of five direct access entities for accreditation by the GCF. Two of these from the public sector and three from the private sector for accreditation by the GCF. The public sector entities are NABARD and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). The private sector entities nominated are YES Bank, IDFC Bank and IL&FS Environmental Services. So far, NABARD and SIDBI have been accredited by the GCF.

    22. For the development of the internal infrastructure of solar parks has been planned by Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. (IREDA) under the aegis of Ministry of New & Renewable Energy. Which of the following international organisation is providing lost cost financing regarding this?
    a. World Bank
    b. Asian Development Bank
    c. International Monetary Fund
    d. BRICS Bank

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    World Bank financing of USD 100 Million for the development of the internal infrastructure of solar parks has been planned by Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. (IREDA) under the aegis of Ministry of New & Renewable Energy. The World Bank loan is proposed to flow to the interested Solar Power Park Developers (SPPDs) through IREDA.
    In addition, the World Bank is providing low-cost financing to rooftop solar developers under a $625 million Programme for Results (PforR) to be routed through the State Bank of India. These programmes will increase the availability of debt financing, de-risk commercial, financial flows, and build capacity across the solar PV industry to significantly expand the programme of rooftop solar PV across India. The first 100 MW of solar rooftop financing under this loan has just been approved, the Minister added.

    23. Recently, the Government has been Biofuel Scheme. Consider the following statements regarding this scheme:
    1. The Government is implementing the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme under which, Oil Marketing Companies sell ethanol blended petrol with the percentage of ethanol up to 10% as per BIS specifications, depending upon its availability.
    2. In order to improve the availability of ethanol, the Government on 10 April 2014 introduced the administered price mechanism for procurement of ethanol under EBP Programme.
    3. The Government also allowed procurement of ethanol produced from the cellulosic and lignocellulosic feedstock, including petrochemical route.

    Which of the following above statements is true?
    a. 1 and 2
    b. 2 and 3
    c. 1 and 3
    d. 1, 2 and 3

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    For the development of Biofuels, a National Policy on Biofuels has been announced in the year 2009. The Government is implementing the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme under which, Oil Marketing Companies sell ethanol blended petrol with the percentage of ethanol up to 10% as per BIS specifications, depending upon its availability. In order to improve the availability of ethanol, the Government on April 10, 2014 introduced the administered price mechanism for procurement of ethanol under EBP Programme. The Government also allowed procurement of ethanol produced from the cellulosic and lignocellulosic feedstock, including petrochemical route.

    The Minister further stated that to encourage production of Biodiesel in the country, the Government announced the Biodiesel Purchase Policy in October 2005, which became effective from 1st January 2006. The Government has permitted the direct sale of Biodiesel (B-100) for blending with High-Speed Diesel to all consumers, in accordance with the specified blending limits and the standards specified by the Bureau of Indian Standards

    24. The government of India has set up a dedicated fund called Nirbhaya Fund for implementation of initiatives aimed at enhancing the safety and security of women in the country. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. Nirbhaya Fund was set up with a corpus of Rs. 1000 Cr. During 2013-14 further an amount of Rs 1000 Cr. was provided in 2014-15 and for the financial years 2016-17 and 2017-18, an amount of Rs. 550 cr. (each financial year) was provided under the Nirbhaya Fund.
    2. Under the Nirbhaya fund, 22 proposals on women’s safety and security from Central Ministries and State Governments amounting to Rs.2209.19 Crores have been appraised and recommended by the Empowered Committee as on 21 July 2017.

    Which of the following statements is true?
    a. Only 1
    b. 1 and 2
    c. Only 2
    d. Neither 1 nor 2

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The government of India has set up a dedicated fund called Nirbhaya Fund for implementation of initiatives aimed at enhancing the safety and security of women in the country. As per the guidelines of the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Women and Child Development is the nodal authority for appraisal of the schemes/proposals received under Nirbhaya Fund. Also, Ministry of Finance has set up an Empowered Committee under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development for appraising and approving various schemes/project proposals proposed to be funded from the Nirbhaya Fund. The concerned Ministries take up the sanction and implementation of the schemes/proposals so appraised as they do for their other schemes/projects.

    Nirbhaya Fund was set up with a corpus of Rs. 1000 Cr. during 2013-14. Further, an amount of Rs 1000 Cr. was provided in 2014-15 and for the financial years 2016-17 and 2017-18, an amount of Rs. 550 cr. (each financial year) was provided under the Nirbhaya Fund.  The corpus transferred to the Public Account for the Nirbhaya fund up to 2017-18 is Rs. 3100 Cr.

    Under the Nirbhaya fund, 22 proposals on women’s safety and security from Central Ministries and State Governments amounting to Rs.2209.19 Crores have been appraised and recommended by the Empowered Committee as on 21 July 2017.

    Current Affairs Quizzes 2016 for IAS Prelims 2018

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