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IAS Questions for Prelims: 31 July to 4 August 2017

Aug 4, 2017 16:42 IST
    IAS Questions for Prelims: 1 to 4 August 2017
    IAS Questions for Prelims: 1 to 4 August 2017

    Current affairs hold immense significance in the IAS prelims exam and it is advised to all IAS aspirants to solve current affairs quizzes daily. Most of the questions in IAS prelims exam are asked from the current happenings in the country and around the world.

    IAS Prelims Exam Guide

    All the academic subject knowledge like in geography, environment, polity and economy should be supplemented with relevant current affairs knowledge for IAS Exam. Here, we provide latest current affairs quizzes based on current happenings from 31st July to 4th August 2017 which is relevant for IAS prelims 2018.

    1. Consider the following statements regarding the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS):

    1) The Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) is an SIDBI mandated system.
    2) It will offer integrated and interoperable bill payment services to customers through a network of agents or online, allowing multiple payment modes and provides instant confirmation.
    3) National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) will function as the authorised Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU).

    Which of the above statements is true?

    a. 1 and 2
    b. 2 and 3
    c. 1 and 3
    d. 1, 2 and 3

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) is a RBI mandated system which will offer integrated and interoperable bill payment services to customers across geographies with certainty, reliability and safety of transactions.

    It offers bill payment services to customers through a network of agents or online, allowing multiple payment modes and provides instant confirmation. It will facilitate a less cash society through migration of bill payments from cash to electronic channel.

    National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) will function as the authorised Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU), which will be responsible for setting business standards, rules and procedures for technical and business requirements for all the participants.

    NPCI, as the BBPCU, will also undertake clearing and settlement activities related to transactions routed through BBPS. Existing bill aggregators and banks are envisaged to work as Operating Units to provide an interoperable bill payment system irrespective of which unit has on-boarded a particular biller. Payments may be made through the BBPS using cash, transfer cheques, and electronic modes.

    Current Affairs Quizzes for IAS Prelims 2018: June 2017

    2. Consider the following statements regarding the features of Muntra, recently seen in the news?

    1) Muntra is India’s first unmanned tank.
    2) DRDO has developed it for surveillance, mine detection and reconnaissance in areas with nuclear and bio threats.

    Which of the above statement is true?

    a. Only 1
    b. Only 2
    c. Both 1 and 2
    d. Neither 1 nor 2

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed Muntra, an unmanned, remotely operated tank which has three variants that are the surveillance, mine detection and reconnaissance in areas with nuclear and bio threats. The paramilitary has expressed interest in using them in Naxal-hit areas.
    Muntra-S is the country's first tracked unmanned ground vehicle developed for unmanned surveillance missions while Muntra-M is for detecting mines and Muntra-N is for operation in areas where there is a nuclear radiation or bio weapon risk.

    The two remotely operated vehicles designed like an armoured tank were on display at an exhibition - Science for Soldiers - organised by DRDO as a tribute to former President APJ Abdul Kalam.

    The vehicle has been tested and validated under dusty desert conditions where temperatures touched 52 Celsius. It has surveillance radar, an integrated camera along with laser range finder which can be used to spy on ground target 15km away - may be crawling men or heavy vehicles.

    3. India has nominated a total of five direct access entities for accreditation by the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Which of the following entities is the first entity from India to be accredited as Direct Access Entity (DAE)?

    a. National Bank For Agriculture And Rural Development(NABARD)
    b. Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI)
    c. IDFC Bank and YES Bank
    d. All of the above

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is one of the operating entities under 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. Out of five two are 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.

    NABARD is the first entity from India to be accredited as Direct Access Entity (DAE). 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.

    Current Affairs Quizzes for IAS Prelims 2018: May 2017

    4. Recently, the ministry for women and child development has put out in the public domain a “concept note” on issues related to civil aspects of International Child Removal. Consider the following statements regarding the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction:

    1) Hague Abduction Convention is a multilateral treaty developed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH)
    2) It provides an expeditious method to return a child internationally abducted by a parent from one member country to another.
    3) The Convention applies only to children under the age of 18.

    Which of the following statements is true?

    a. 1 and 3
    b. 1 and 2
    c. 2 and 3
    d. 1, 2 and 3

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    The ministry for women and child development has put out in the public domain a "concept note" on issues related to civil aspects of International Child Removal. A multi member committee led Chairmanship Justice Rajesh Bindal, Judge Punjab and Haryana High Court was set-up to study all aspects of the matter pertaining to Hague Convention on Child Abduction in detail and make its recommendation.

    The report once ready will steer further deliberations of the WCD ministry to recommend to the government of India on whether India should ratify the Hague convention and if it does how to ensure that the rights of the parents and child are not compromised in any way.

    The Ministry pointed that with the rise in trans-national marriages and complexities involved in modern day relationships; the protection of rights of parents and children involved is a critical issue of National and International importance.

    The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or Hague Abduction Convention is a multilateral treaty developed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) that provides an expeditious method for returning a child internationally abducted by a parent from one member country to another.

    The Convention has concluded 25 October 1980 and entered into force between the signatories on 1 December 1983. The Convention was drafted to ensure the prompt return of children who have been abducted from their country of habitual residence or wrongfully retained in a contracting state not their country of habitual residence.

    The primary intention of the Convention is to preserve whatever status quo child custody arrangement existed immediately before an alleged wrongful removal or retention thereby deterring a parent from crossing international boundaries in search of a more sympathetic court. The Convention applies only to children under the age of 16.

    5. What has been identified as a potential new gas source for China in the South China Sea?

    a. Shale gas for tar sand on the shores of South China Sea
    b. Deep Sea drilling has discovered new reserves in the South China Sea
    c. Natural gas from methane hydrate, also known as "flammable ice"
    d. All of the above

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    China has successfully produced natural gas from methane hydrate, also known as "flammable ice", in an experimental project in the South China Sea. A drilling platform deployed off the coast of the southeastern Chinese city of Zhuhai for 60 days produced a total of 309,000 cubic metres of natural gas, a record extraction volume from gas hydrate.

    After nearly 20 years of unremitting efforts, China has achieved theoretical, technological, engineering and equipment innovations and has made a historic breakthrough. Flammable ice consists of methane trapped within water crystals, and has been identified as a potential new gas source for China, with the South China Sea thought to contain some of the world's most promising deposits.

    6. Recently, the Ocean Observation Systems has been in news. Consider the following statements regarding the Ocean Observation Systems:
    1. The Ministry of Earth Sciences has been implementing a major program on Ocean Observations System since 1996.
    2. The ocean observation system has been designed to acquire real-time, time series data on surface meteorological and upper oceanographic parameters from the seas around India including from the Indian Ocean Region.
    3. One of the major observing systems is moored buoy network, equipped with deployment and maintenance of a set of buoys at fixed locations in the Exclusive Economic Zone of India (EEZ) for obtaining long term data.

    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 Ministry of Earth Sciences has been implementing a major program on Ocean Observations System since 1996. The ocean observation system has been designed to acquire real-time, time series data on surface meteorological and upper oceanographic parameters from the seas around India including from the Indian Ocean Region. A wide range of ocean observation systems are deployed in different parts of the Indian Ocean for acquisition of specific ocean parameters on different spatial and temporal scales. These include moored buoys, drifters, current meters, wave rider buoys, Cargo floats, tide gauges, coastal radars and Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCP), which are broadly classified into two categories viz., drifters and moored.

    The primary purpose of acquiring a suite of accurate measurements of ocean parameters is to cater research and a wide range of operational services including issue of issue of early warning to tsunami and storm surges. Besides, the information from the seas around India is extremely useful of ocean-atmospheric modelling purposes and validation of satellite data.  
    One of the major observing systems is moored buoy network, equipped with deployment and maintenance of a set of buoys at fixed locations in the Exclusive Economic Zone of India (EEZ) for obtaining long term data. These buoys are capable of collecting data upto 76 parameters and transmitting the information in real time through satellites. Currently, the moored buoys network has been augmented to 19 buoy network, deployed in the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal.  The ocean observing systems are primarily deployed, operated and maintained by four organizations viz., National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai; National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa; Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad and Survey of India, Dehradun. All the systems except Tide gauges and coastal Radar are deployed in the EEZ of India, outside jurisdiction of coastal states/UT of India.

    7. Which of the following statement is true regarding the Mahila Coir Yojana (MCY)?
    a. The Coir Board is implementing Mahila Coir Yojana (MCY) exclusively for empowering women in the country by giving training and distribution of coir processing equipments.
    b. This is a 100% woman oriented programme intended to provide self employment to the rural women artisans in coir producing regions.
    c. Both (a) and (b)
    d. All of the above

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    The Coir Board is implementing Mahila Coir Yojana(MCY) exclusively for empowering women in the country by giving training and distribution of coir processing equipments. This is a 100% women oriented programme intended to provide self employment to the rural women artisans in coir producing regions.

    The scheme envisages distribution of motorized ratts/motorized traditional ratts and other coir processing equipments, which can be operated by women, at 75% subsidy after imparting training with a duration of 2 months subject to a maximum amount of Rs.7,500/-.

    The training under MCY is conducted through all training centres of the Board. The scheme is prevalent in coir producing coastal States such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Lakshadweep, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Pondicherry, A& N Islands, West Bengal and NE Region.

    During the current year the targets of 1000 women for training and 200 ratts/equipments for distribution to the trained women have been fixed under MCY and an amount of Rs. 35.00 lakhs have been allocated for the current year. Coir Board has received 97 applications under the Scheme and all the applications are from Kerala only.

    8. The Government announced a few changes in its Sovereign Gold Bond (SGB) Scheme recently. Which of the following is true regarding the changes?
    a. There was the increase in the limit to 4 kg (from 0.5kg) for individuals, HUF and 20 kg for Trusts.
    b. These bonds aim to help reduce India’s over dependence on gold imports.
    c. The Government introduced flexibility in the scheme to design and introduce variants to cater to a cross-section of investors.
    d. All of the above

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    The sovereign gold bond was introduced by the Government in 2015. The Government introduced these bonds to help reduce India’s over dependence on gold imports. The scheme was also aimed at changing the habits of Indians from saving in physical form of gold to a paper form with Sovereign backing. The basic premise is that most Indians believe in gold as a time-tested and safe asset class and prefer it over other forms of investment.

    The primary change was the increase in the limit to 4 kg (from 0.5kg) for individuals, HUF and 20 kg for Trusts. This was probably done to encourage high net-worth individuals, rich farmers as well as trusts to invest in these bonds. The Government also introduced flexibility in the scheme to design and introduce variants to cater to a cross-section of investors.

    9. Recently, the Government has entered into nine Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (UAPAs) with Indian taxpayers in July, 2017. Consider the following statements regarding the UAPAs:
    1. The APA Scheme endeavours to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and determining the Arm’s Length Price of international transactions in advance for a maximum period of five future years.
    2. CBDT has signed its first APA with a taxpayer engaged in supplying rigs used in Oil & Gas exploration.

    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 Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) entered into nine Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (UAPAs) with Indian taxpayers in the month of July, 2017. Some of the UAPAs signed had rollback provisions also.

    The APA Scheme endeavours to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and determining the Arm’s Length Price of international transactions in advance for a maximum period of five future years. Further, the taxpayer has the option to rollback the APA for four preceding years, as a result of which, a total of nine years of tax certainty is provided. Since its  inception,  the  APA  scheme  has  attracted  tremendous  interest  among  Multi  National Enterprises  (MNEs).

    The nine APAs signed in the month of July, 2017 pertain to diverse sectors of the economy. CBDT has signed its first APA with a taxpayer engaged in supplying rigs used in Oil & Gas exploration. Other than the Oil & Gas Sector, the APAs pertain to Education, Banking, Pharmaceutical, Manufacturing and Information Technology sectors of the economy. The international transactions covered in these nine APAs include provision of software development services; provision of IT enabled services, provision of engineering design services, distribution, contract manufacturing, etc.

    ECONOMIC SURVEY 2016-17 IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

    10. Recently, the Government has launched a new scheme namely “Financial Support to MSMEs in ZED Certification Scheme”. Consider the following statements regarding the objective of this scheme:
    1. To develop an Ecosystem for Zero Defect Manufacturing in MSMEs.
    2. Encourage MSMEs to constantly upgrade their quality standards in products and processes.
    3. Drive manufacturing with the adoption of Zero Defect production processes and without impacting the environment.

    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 has launched a new scheme namely “Financial Support to MSMEs in ZED Certification Scheme”.

    The objective of the scheme for promotion of Zero Defect and Zero Effect (ZED) manufacturing amongst micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and ZED Assessment for their certification so as to:

    • Develop an Ecosystem for Zero Defect Manufacturing in MSMEs.

    • Promote adaptation of Quality tools/systems and Energy Efficient manufacturing.

    • Enable MSMEs for manufacturing of quality products.

    • Encourage MSMEs to constantly upgrade their quality standards in products and processes.

    • Drive manufacturing with the adoption of Zero Defect production processes and without impacting the environment.

    • Support ‘Make in India’ campaign.

    • Develop professionals in the area of ZED manufacturing and certification.

    There are 50 parameters for ZED rating and additional 25 parameters for ZED Defence rating under ZED Maturity Assessment Model. The MSMEs are provided financial assistance for the activities to be carried out for ZED certification i.e., Assessment / Rating, the Additional rating for Defence angle, Gap Analysis, Handholding, Consultancy for improving the rating of MSMEs by Consultants and Re-Assessment / Re-Rating.

    11. Recently, the Government of India has extended the loans to entrepreneurs under Stand UP India Scheme. Consider the following statements regarding the Stand UP India Scheme:
    1. The total number of entrepreneurs who have been extended loan facility under the Stand Up India Scheme in 2016 was 21735 and the total amount sanctioned was Rs. 4747.95 crore.
    2. The Stand Up India Scheme is designed to facilitate at least 2 bank loans (one loan to SC or ST and one to Woman entrepreneur) per bank branch of Scheduled Commercial Banks for setting up greenfield enterprises.

    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 total number of entrepreneurs who have been extended loan facility under the Stand Up India Scheme in 2016 was 21735 and the total amount sanctioned was Rs. 4747.95 crore. The percentage wise break up was Scheduled Caste (SC) - 15.05%, Scheduled Tribe (ST) - 4.28% and Women - 80.67%.

    The Stand Up India Scheme is designed to facilitate at least 2 bank loans (one loan to SC or ST and one to Woman entrepreneur) per bank branch of Scheduled Commercial Banks for setting up greenfield enterprises. Under the Scheme, State-wise target has not been specified.

    12. Recently, the Government has extended loans to women entrepreneurs by various Member Lending Institutions (MLIs) under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY). Consider the following statements regarding the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana:
    1. To encourage further coverage of women entrepreneurs, the Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Ltd. (MUDRA) extends a rebate of 0.25% on its refinance interest rate for PMMY loans given by MLIs.
    2. 76% of the borrowers under PMMY are women entrepreneurs.
    3. The Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) is a scheme launched by the Union Government on April 8, 2015, for providing loans up to Rs. 10 lakh (around US$15,000) to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises.

    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:

    As on 21 July 2017, about 6.28 crore loans have been extended to women entrepreneurs by various Member Lending Institutions (MLIs) under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY). 76% of the borrowers under PMMY are women entrepreneurs. MLIs extend PMMY loans as per criteria and parameters determined by them. To encourage further coverage of women entrepreneurs, the Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Ltd. (MUDRA) extends a rebate of 0.25% on its refinance interest rate for PMMY loans given by MLIs such as Micro Finance Institutions to women borrowers.

    The Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) was launched on April 8, 2015, for providing loans up to Rs. 10 lakh (around US$15,000) to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises. Under PMMY, all banks viz. Public Sector Banks, Private Sector Banks, Regional Rural Banks (RRBs), State Cooperative Banks, Urban Co-operative Banks, Foreign Banks and Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs)/Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) - are required to lend to non-farm sector income generating activities below Rs.10 lakh.  These loans are classified as MUDRA loans under PMMY.

    13. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is going to launch the Intensified Mission Indradhanush. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. Under Intensified Mission Indradhanush, greater focus will be given in rural areas which were one of the gaps of Mission Indradhanush.
    2. Every district identified for Intensified Mission Indradhanush will be monitored by partners through an identified nodal person for each district.
    3. A distinctive feature of Intensified Mission Indradhanush is that greater focus is being given on convergence with other ministries/departments especially women and child development, Panchayati Raj, urban development, youth affairs, NCC etc.

    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:

    With the aim of accelerating the full immunization coverage and provide greater focus on urban areas and other pockets of low immunization coverage, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has drawn up an aggressive action plan to achieve the target by 2018. According to the plan, States will conduct Intensified Mission Indradhanush drives for 7 working days from the 7th day of every month starting from 7th October 2017 for four consecutive months excluding Sundays, holidays and Routine Immunization days. A total of 118 districts, 17 urban areas and 52 districts of North East states will be targeted under Intensified Mission Indradhanush.

    Under Intensified Mission Indradhanush, greater focus will be given in urban areas which were one of the gaps of Mission Indradhanush. This will be done through mapping of all underserved population in urban areas and need-based deployment of ANMs for providing vaccination services in these areas. Mobility support to field staff for deployment to such areas in urban as well as rural areas will be provided.

    14. Six-foot statue found at Angkor Wat site of which of the following country?
    a. India
    b. Afghanistan
    c. Cambodia
    d. Singapore

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    Archaeologists at Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temple complex studying the site of a hospital from eight to nine centuries ago say they have found a large statue in their excavations.
    The government agency that oversees the complex, the Apsara Authority, said on its website that the statue measuring six feet and three inches in height and 23 inches in width was discovered on Sunday by its team, working with experts from Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. It is one of the largest statues from the era to be unearthed in recent years.

    Angkor was the capital of the Khmer Empire, which flourished from approximately the 9th to the 15th centuries. Large numbers of architectural and religious artefacts have been looted from there and sold overseas, while others were buried for safekeeping during a civil war in the 1970s.

    15. Slumdog Millionaire actor Frieda Pinto has partnered with an initiative to promote a global awareness movement to save tigers from extinction. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. The Project CAT- Conserving Acres for Tigers aimed at raising awareness to preserve the habitats of the declining number of the wild tigers.
    2. By conserving nearly a million acres of protected land on the border of India and Bhutan, the collaboration aims to ensure a healthy habitat for future generations of tigers.
    3. The Discovery Channel collaborated with the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) will leverage its vast creative resources and unmatched global distribution platform of linear, digital and social media channels through tiger conservation content.
    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:

    Slumdog Millionaire actor Frieda Pinto has partnered with an initiative to promote a global awareness movement to save tigers from extinction.

    Frieda will promote 'Project CAT: Conserving Acres for Tigers', aimed at raising awareness to preserve the habitats of the declining number of the wild tigers. She has joined hands with Discovery Channel, which has collaborated with the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).

    The initiative is aimed at doubling the wild tiger numbers by the year 2022. By conserving nearly a million acres of protected land on the border of India and Bhutan, the collaboration aims to ensure a healthy habitat for future generations of tigers.

    Discovery will leverage its vast creative resources and unmatched global distribution platform of linear, digital and social media channels through tiger conservation content.
    Animal Planet Channel will host a six-hour block of tiger themed shows from Saturday and is also creating an online Tigerpedia for the people who are interested in the conservation effort.

    16. Recently the Ministry of minority affairs launched the “jiyo parsi phase 2”. Consider the following statements regarding the jiyo Parsi scheme:

    1) “Jiyo Parsi” scheme is to reverse the declining trend of Parsi population.
    2) The scheme has two components that are the medical assistance and Advocacy/counselling.
    3) The jiyo Parsi scheme has been unsuccessful so far.

    Which of the 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 Minority Affairs ministry recently launched the “Jiyo Parsi Publicity Phase-2” and it was stated that Parsi community has an immense contribution to nation building and the Parsi community has been a “role model” for other communities for its culture and traditions. The Parsi community has given so many great people who have been “architects of nation building”. But the declining population of Parsi community in India is a matter of concern.

     “Jiyo Parsi Publicity Phase-1” was initiated in 2013 for containing the declining trend of population of the Parsi community. The main objective of the “Jiyo Parsi” scheme is to reverse the declining trend of Parsi population by adopting a scientific protocol and structured interventions, stabilize their population and increase the population of Parsis in India.

    Ministry of Minority Affairs’ scheme has two components: Medical Assistance and Advocacy/Counseling. The scheme has been successful. 101 babies have been born in Parsi community through “Jiyo Parsi” scheme.

    17. Consider the following statements regarding the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), often seen in news:

    1) National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) is a quasi-judicial body.
    2) It was established under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code of 2016.
    3) Once the NCLT admits a case for initiating corporate insolvency resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code of 2016, the case cannot be withdrawn even if the parties have decided to settle.

    Which of the following statements is true?

    a. 1 and 2
    b. 2 and 3
    c. 1 and 3
    d. 1, 2 and 3

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) is a quasi-judicial body and it was established under the Companies Act, 2013 and is a successor body of the Company Law Board.
    NCLT will have the same powers as assigned to the erstwhile Company Law Board, Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) and powers related to winding up of companies.

    The setting up of NCLT as a specialized institution for corporate justice is based on the recommendations of the Justice Eradi Committee on Law Relating to Insolvency and Winding up of Companies.

    Recently, the Supreme Court, using its extraordinary constitutional powers, has allowed two companies to withdraw from insolvency proceedings and settle their loan dispute despite the case having been admitted by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

    It should be noted here that once the NCLT admits a case for initiating corporate insolvency resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code of 2016, the case cannot be withdrawn even if the parties have decided to settle.

    18. Recently, the Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed among India and various BRICs countries for establishment of the BRICS Agriculture Research Platform (BRICS-ARP). Consider the following statements regarding this:

    1) During the 7th BRICS Summit held on 9thJuly 2015 at Ufa in Russia, Prime Minister Modi proposed to establish BRICS Agriculture Research Centre.
    2) The Centre will promote sustainable agricultural development and poverty alleviation through strategic cooperation in agriculture to provide food security in the BRICS member countries.
    3) BRICS-ARP will be the natural global platform for science-led agriculture-based sustainable development for addressing the issues of world hunger, under-nutrition, poverty and inequality.

    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:

    During the 7th BRICS Summit held on 9thJuly 2015 at Ufa in Russia, Prime Minister Modi proposed to establish BRICS Agriculture Research Centre which will be a gift to the entire world. The Centre will promote sustainable agricultural development and poverty alleviation through strategic cooperation in agriculture to provide food security in the BRICS member countries.

    In order to further intensify cooperation among BRICS countries in agricultural research policy, science and technology, innovation and capacity building, including technologies for small holder farming in the BRICS countries, an MoU on establishment of the Agricultural Research Platform was signed by the foreign Ministers of BRICS countries in the 8th BRICS Summit held at Goa.

    BRICS-ARP will be the natural global platform for science-led agriculture-based sustainable development for addressing the issues of world hunger, under-nutrition, poverty and inequality, particularly between farmers' and non-farmers' income, and enhancing agricultural trade, bio-security and climate resilient agriculture.

    Current Affairs Quizzes for IAS Prelims 2018: May 2017

    19. Recently, the Government has launched a scheme namely ‘National Mission on Cultural Mapping and Roadmap'. Consider the following statements regarding this:

    1) The ‘National Mission on Cultural Mapping and Roadmap’ has been launched with the main objectives of talent hunt as well as collection of database of artists, artisans and various art forms across the country.
    2) The objective of the Mission is to applaud new talent and protect all age group of artists by organizing activities under ‘National Cultural Awareness Programme’ from Block level to National level.

    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 has launched a scheme namely ‘National Mission on Cultural Mapping and Roadmap’ with the main objectives of talent hunt as well as collection of database of artists, artisans and various art forms across the country.

    The objective of the Mission is not only to collect the database of artists, artisans and various art forms, but also to applaud new talent and protect all age group of artists by organizing activities under ‘National Cultural Awareness Programme’ from Block level to National level.

    20. Recently, the government has asked the think-tank Niti Aayog to study the automobile standards developed in China to use methanol as an alternative fuel. Consider the following statements regarding methanol as an alternative fuel:

    1) Methanol is a clean-burning fuel that produces fewer smog-causing emissions such as sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.
    2) Methanol is most commonly produced on a commercial scale from coal.
    3) Methanol economy will help India use its vast reserves of coal while driving import substitution.

    Which of the above statements is true?

    a. 1 and 2
    b. 1 and 3
    c. 2 and 3
    d. 1, 2 and 3

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    Methanol may be made from hydrocarbon or renewable resources, in particular, natural gas and biomass respectively. It can also be synthesized from CO2 (carbon dioxide) and hydrogen. Methanol economy will help India use its vast reserves of coal while driving import substitution. Research in converting carbon dioxide to methanol is promising and can be a game-changer for methanol economy. India imports methanol from Saudi Arabia and Iran at present.

    Methanol is an alternative fuel for internal combustion and other engines, either in combination with gasoline or directly ("neat"). In the U.S., methanol fuel has received less attention than ethanol fuel as an alternative to petroleum-based fuels. In general, ethanol is less toxic and has higher energy density, although methanol is less expensive to produce sustainably and is a less expensive way to reduce the carbon footprint. However, for optimizing engine performance, fuel availability, toxicity and political advantage, a blend of ethanol, methanol and petroleum are likely to be preferable to using any of these individual substances alone.

    21. Consider the following statements regarding the proxy rights to NRIs as cleared by the Union Cabinet recently:

    1) The government will amend the Representation of the People Act to make proxy voting for NRIs a reality.
    2) NRIs will be casting the votes on the internet.
    3) To allow the vote by proxy is like in the case of an option already available to service personnel in India.

    Which of the following statements is true?

    a. Only 1
    b. 1 and 3
    c. 2 and 3
    d. 1 and 2

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    The Union Cabinet recently cleared a proposal to extend proxy voting to overseas Indians. The government will soon bring a bill that will amend the Representation of the People Act to make proxy voting for NRIs a reality. Nearly 16 million NRIs will be then able to vote in Indian elections by appointing proxies residing in their constituencies to cast their votes.

    It is believed that today's NRIs love the country, unlike the yesteryear NRIs who wanted to just run away from the country. The decision aims to make the small but influential NRI community feel connected with the country.

    At the moment, NRIs have to fly back to India to cast their votes, an option exercised only by 12,000 overseas voters. The government had considered two options to avoid this inconvenience: To send ballot papers electronically and receive the same back after the voter posts it to the nearest embassy or consulate, treating them as postal ballots. The second was to allow the vote by proxy like in the case of an option already available to service personnel in India. The only condition is that the proxy voter should be an ordinary resident of the constituency one is voting in.

    22. Recently, the Supreme Court prohibited the use of five chemicals, labelled as toxic by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), in the manufacture of firecrackers. Which among the following chemicals has been banned?

    a. Antimony, Lithium, Manganese, Arsenic and Lead
    b. Antimony, Lithium, Mercury, Fluoride and Lead
    c. Antimony, Lithium, Mercury, Arsenic and Lead
    d. None of the above

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    Ahead of the festive seasons of Dussehra and Deepavali, the Supreme Court prohibited the use of five chemicals, labelled as toxic by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), in the manufacture of firecrackers. The bench decided that no firecrackers manufactured by the respondents shall contain antimony, lithium, mercury, arsenic and lead in any form whatsoever.

    It is the responsibility of the Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organisation (PESO) to ensure compliance, particularly in Sivakasi. The order came after the court heard the submissions from officials of the CPCB and Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organisation’s (PESO) Firework Research and Development Centre at Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu.

    23. Consider the following statements regarding the advantages of preservation and hygienization of food and agri-products by radiation:

    1) A significant increase in shelf life for many products including fruits, vegetables, cereals, pulses, spices, sea foods and meat products.
    2) Effective elimination of harmful bacteria, viruses and pests.
    3) Hot and clean process but requires raising of temperature.

    Which of the following statements is true?

    a. 1 and 2
    b. 2 and 3
    c. 1 and 3
    d. 1, 2 and 3

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) - Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has been engaged in R&D work on the technology of preservation and hygienization of food and agri-products by radiation. Irradiation is very effective in treating the horticultural produces. Extension of the shelf life of horticultural produces is very much depended on the produce, variety and storage conditions. For many fresh agri produce subjected to irradiation and proper storage, substantial shelf life extension has been achieved.

    Unique advantages of radiation processing are:

    • A significant increase in shelf life for many products including fruits, vegetables, cereals, pulses, spices, sea foods and meat products.
    • Effective elimination of harmful bacteria, viruses and insects/pests.
    • Cold & clean process (No temperature rise or residue); and treatment is done after final packaging (no repacking necessary).

    24. Consider the following statements regarding the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) Mission:

    1) In NISAR mission, NASA is responsible for the development of L-band SAR and ISRO is responsible for the development of S-band SAR.
    2) The L & S band SAR will be integrated with ISRO’s spacecraft and launched on board India’s PSLV.

    Which of the following statements is true?

    a. Only 1
    b. Only 2
    c. Both 1 and 2
    d. Neither 1 nor 2

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    ISRO and NASA are working towards the realisation of NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission by 2021. In NISAR mission, NASA is responsible for the development of L-band SAR and ISRO is responsible for the development of S-band SAR. The L & S band SAR will be integrated with ISRO’s spacecraft and launched on board India’s GSLV. The total cost of the project includes ISRO’s work share cost of about Rs. 788.00 Cr and the cost of JPL’s work share of about USD 808 million.

    After the launch in 2021, the plan of action includes:

    (i) calibration of instruments & validation of data products;
    (ii) development of science acquisition plan;
    (iii) development of data processing procedures & applications; and
    (iv) conduct of outreach activities in research institutes & academia.

    The L & S band microwave data obtained from this satellite will be used for variety of application, which includes estimating agricultural biomass over full duration of crop cycle; assessing soil moisture; monitoring of floods & oil slicks; coastal erosion, coastline changes; assessment of mangroves; surface deformation studies, ice sheet dynamics etc.

    25. which statement best describes the objective of recently launched e-RaKAM portal by Government of India?

    a. To provide a platform to sell agricultural produce.
    b. To provide a platform to sell horticultural produce.
    c. To provide a platform to sell Generic Drugs.
    d. To provide a platform to sell organic fertilizers.

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    The Union Government recently launched e-RaKAM portal to provide a platform to sell agricultural produce. The portal is a joint initiative by state-run-auctioneer MSTC and Central Warehousing Corporation arm CRWC.

    The platform is a digital initiative that aims to bring together the farmers, PSUs, civil supplies and buyers on a single platform to ease the selling and buying process of agricultural products.

    Key highlights

    • The e-RaKAM is a first-of-its-kind initiative that leverages technology to connect farmers of the smallest villages to the biggest markets of the world through internet and e-RaKAM centres.
    • The effort should be to auction 20 lakh tonnes of pulses in the first phase through the platform.
    • With the help of the platform, various crops whose price increases due to rainfall or bad weather conditions will be managed and get the market.
    • The portal aims at strengthening the agriculture-oriented Indian economy and farmers, who play an important role in national development.

    Current Affairs Quizzes 2016 for IAS Prelims 2018

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