Current affairs importance in the IAS prelims is increasing exponentially every year and hence special emphasis should be given for preparing current affairs for the IAS prelims 2018. Practicing MCQ questions based on current affairs should be an indispensable activity while preparing for the IAS prelims 2018.
Here, we have provided some important mock questions on the latest happenings. We will continue to provide the current affairs questions for IAS Prelims 2018 to help you gain a better insight of how questions can be asked in the examination.
1. Recently, the Union Cabinet approved setting up of a Commission to examine Sub-Categorization within OBCs. It is against this backdrop, consider the following statements related to reservations to OBCs.
I. Reservations to OBCs are provided in the original constitution that came into force on 26 January 1950.
II. The creamy layer ceiling of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) is Rs 8 lakh per annum.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
a) Only I
b) Only II
c) Both I and II
d) Neither I nor II
Ans. (b) Only II
The original constitution didn’t contain the explicit reservation provisions for the OBCs. It contained the reservations for Anglo-Indians, SCs and STs. The reservations to OBCs were implemented in 1990s based on the Mandal Commission’s recommendations.
The Union Cabinet on 23 August 2017 approved the setting up of a Commission under Article 340 of the Constitution to examine the issue of sub-categorization of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
The Commission will be known as the 'Commission to examine the sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes'. It will be required to submit its report within 12 weeks from the date of appointment of the Chairperson of the Commission.
Terms of References of the Commission
• It will examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the communities included in the broad category of OBCs.
• It will work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters in a scientific approach for sub-categorization within OBCs.
• It will identify the respective castes, communities or sub-castes in the Central List of OBCs and classify them into their respective sub-categories.
The Union Government also raised the creamy layer ceiling of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) to Rs 8 lakh per annum from the existing Rs 6 lakh for central government jobs.
Till date, there had been three revisions of the OBCs creamy layer bar. It was fixed at Rs 1 lakh in 1993 and at Rs 2.5 lakh in 2004 and was hiked to Rs 4.5 lakh in 2008. The current ceiling of Rs 6 lakh came in the year 2013.
2. Consider the following statements related to the Mentor India Campaign that was in news recently.
I. The campaign seeks to engage leaders who will nurture and guide students in the Atal Tinkering Labs.
II. The campaign was launched by the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry to encourage start-up companies set up by minority communities only.
Which of the above given statements is/are correct?
a) Only I
b) Only II
c) Both I and II
d) Neither I nor II
Ans. (a) Only I
NITI Aayog on 22 August 2017 announced to launch the Mentor India Campaign, a strategic nation building initiative to engage leaders who can guide and mentor students at more than 900 Atal Tinkering Labs.
These Atal Tinkering Labs are established across the country as a part of the Atal Innovation Mission.
Highlights of the Mentor India Campaign
• Mentor India is aimed at maximizing the impact of Atal Tinkering Labs.
• It aims to engage leaders who will nurture and guide students in the Atal Tinkering Labs.
• These labs are non-prescriptive by nature, and mentors are expected to be enablers rather than instructors.
• These leaders will be expected to spend one to two hours every week in such labs to enable students experience, learn and practice future skills such as design and computational thinking.
About Atal Tinkering Labs
• Atal Tinkering Labs are dedicated works spaces where students from Class 6th to Class 12th learn innovation skills and develop ideas that will go on to transform India.
• The labs are powered to acquaint students with up to date equipment such as 3D printers, robotics & electronics development tools, Internet of things & sensors etc.
• The government is in the process of setting up 900 such labs across India and also aims to have 2000 labs by end of 2017.
3. Recently, it is with this neighbouring country India signed eight agreements to boost bilateral cooperation.
d) Sri Lanka
Ans. (c) Nepal
India and Nepal on 14 August 2017 signed eight agreements in different areas of mutual benefit including demand reduction and prevention of illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and cooperation in the field of standardization and conformity assessment among others. The agreements were signed in New Delhi during Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba visit to India. This is Deuba's first visit abroad after assuming the office of Prime Minister of Nepal in June 2017.
Nepal PM Deuba is on a five-day long state visit to in India (23 August to 27 August 2017). The signed agreements will help the two nations to boost the bilateral relations.
List of MoUs/Agreements signed during the visit of Prime Minister of Nepal to India
• MoU on Modalities for Utilization of India’s Housing Grant Component to support Reconstruction of 50000 Houses
• MoU on Implementation of the Grant Component of India’s Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Package in the Education Sector in Nepal
• MoU on Implementation of the Grant Component of India’s Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Package in the Cultural Heritage Sector in Nepal
• MoU on Implementation of the Grant Component of India’s Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Package in the Health Sector in Nepal
• MoU for Implementation Arrangement on Cost Sharing, Schedules and Safeguard Issues for Construction of Mechi Bridge under ADB's SASEC Road Connectivity Programme (Tranche 2), Funded by GoI
• MoU on Drug Demand Reduction and Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Precursor Chemical and Related Matters
• Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Standardization and Conformity Assessment
• MoU between the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal
4. Consider the following statements related to the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana that was approved by the Union Cabinet recently.
I. The objective of the scheme is to supplement agriculture, modernize processing and decrease Agri-Waste.
II. The scheme was approved for the period of 2016-20, which is co-terminous with the 14th Finance Commission cycle.
III. The scheme with an allocation of Rs. 6,000 crore is expected to leverage investment of Rs. 31,400 crore.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
a) Only I and II
b) Only II and III
c) Only I and III
d) I, II and III
Ans. (d) I, II and III
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, on 23 August 2017 approved the renaming of the new Central Sector Scheme - SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) as "Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY)" for the period of 2016-20 coterminous with the 14th Finance Commission cycle.
The objective of PMKSY is to supplement agriculture, modernize processing and decrease Agri-Waste.
PMKSY with an allocation of Rs. 6,000 crore is expected to leverage investment of Rs. 31,400 crore, handling of 334 lakh MT agro-produce valuing Rs. 1,04,125 crore, benefit 20 lakh farmers and generate 5,30,500 direct/ indirect employment in the country by the year 2019-20.
• The implementation of PMKSY will result in creation of modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farm gate to retail outlet.
• It will provide a big boost to the growth of food processing sector in the country.
• It will help in providing better prices to farmers and is a big step towards doubling of farmers’ income.
• It will create huge employment opportunities especially in the rural areas.
• It will also help in reducing wastage of agricultural produce, increasing the processing level, availability of safe and convenient processed foods at affordable price to consumers and enhancing the export of the processed foods.
5. As per the new cadre policy for IAS, IPS, IFos officers, which was approved by the Union Government recently, the total 26 candidates were grouped into this many number of zones.
Ans. (a) Five
The Union Government has finalised a new policy for cadre allocation for IAS, IPS and other officers with the aim of ensuring national integration in the country's top bureaucracy.
The new policy would require officers of all-India services including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) to choose cadres from a set of zones instead of states.
• The officers currently employed under the three services are allocated a cadre state or a set of states to work in.
• They may be posted on central deputation during the course of their service after fulfilling certain eligibility conditions.
• In the newly proposed policy, the existing 26 cadres have been divided into five zones:
Zone-I includes seven cadres: AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territories), Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana.
Zone-II comprises Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha.
Zone-III consists of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Zone-IV will constitute West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam-Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura and Nagaland.
Zone-V will comprise Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Overall, the new policy will ensure national integration of the bureaucracy, as officers will get a chance to work in a state that is not their place of domicile for instance, officers from a particular state such as Bihar, will get to work in southern and north-eastern states, which may not be their preferred cadres.
Elaborating on the same, an official said, "All-India service officers are supposed to have varied experiences which can be earned when they work in a different state, which is new to them. The officers may not be able to experiment new things if they work in their own domicile state.”
Main provisions of the Policy
• With the implementation of the new policy, candidates appearing for the civil services examination will have to first give their choices in a descending order of preference from among the various zones.
• The candidates would be allowed to indicate cadres in order of preference from each zone. A candidate can list all 26 cadres.
• The preference for the zones will remain in the same order and no change will be permitted there.
• If a candidate does not give any preference for any of the zones/cadres, it will be presumed that he has no specific preference for those zones/cadres.
• If candidates are not allocated any one of their preferred cadres, they shall be allotted any of the remaining cadres, arranged in an alphabetical order, wherever there are vacancies.
• Candidates will be allotted their home cadre on the basis of merit, preference and vacancy in the category.
The new policy is likely to be put into effect from this year.