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UPSC Civil Services IAS Preparation Questions : 1 -15 April 2018

Apr 13, 2018 16:59 IST
    UPSC Civil Services IAS Preparation Questions
    UPSC Civil Services IAS Preparation Questions

    The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the civil service (IAS) Exam each year in order to recruit the candidates for the All India Services like IAS, IPS and IFS. UPSC conducts this common exam to recruit for the Central Civil Services also.

    Unlike other competitive exams, civil service exam is very much aligned with the whole society as well as the nation’s interest. The UPSC IAS exam requires a constant upgrade on all the relevant issues with the perspective of solving the real problem which lies in the core of the issue. To get the pulse of the core issue, the IAS aspirants need to delve into the issue get the historical, sociological economical and ethical perspective of the issue and then suggest the pragmatic and legal solution to the situation. Innovation is expected from the IAS Aspirants at each and every step of their preparation.

    Here we present the weekly update for the IAS Preparation at one place so that the IAS aspirants need not to search several places for the right study material.

    1.    Which of the following is false regarding the recent India and UK MoU on the return of illegal migrants.

    a.    It will facilitate that the Visa Free Agreement for holders of Diplomatic passports as well as liberalization of the UK Visa Regime for those who are travelling to the UK legally
    b.    It will ensure the return of persons who have no lawful basis to be in the territory of the other Party
    c.    It will help in streamlining the procedure of return of nationals who are caught to be staying illegally, belonging to the other party in a specified time-frame.
    d.    All of the above

    Answer. D

    Explanation

    The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to the MoU between India and the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland on the return of Illegal Migrants.

    Benefits:

    The MoU will facilitate that the Visa Free Agreement for holders of Diplomatic passports as well as liberalization of the UK Visa Regime for those who are travelling to the UK legally, after the conclusion of the MoU.

    It will ensure the return of persons who have no lawful basis to be in the territory of the other Party after verification of nationality to its satisfaction.

    It will help in streamlining the procedure of return of nationals who are caught to be staying illegally, belonging to the other party in a specified time-frame.

    National Anti-Profiteering Authority

    2.    Consider following regarding the Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ initiative. The districts were selected in the basis of

    1.    The districts were selected on the basis of using a composite index of key data sets that included deprivation enumerated under the Socio-Economic Caste Census
    2.    Key health and education sector performance
    3.    State of basic infrastructure
    4.    Area of the district

    Which of the following is true?

    a.    Only 1 and 3
    b.    Only 3 and 4
    c.    Only 2,3 and 4
    d.    Only 1,2 and 3

    Answer. d

    Explanation

    The 115 districts were identified from 28 states, at least one from each state, in a transparent  manner by a committee of Senior Officers to the Government of India, in consultation with State Officials using a composite index of key data sets that included deprivation enumerated under the Socio-Economic Caste Census, key health and education sector performance and state of basic infrastructure.

    The ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ initiative aims to remove this heterogeneity through a mass movement to quickly and effectively transform these districts. On the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement on 9th August 2017, Hon’ble Prime Minister interacted with the District Collectors through video conference and stated that “when the socioeconomic conditions improve in the 100 most backward districts, it would give a big boost to the overall development of the country”.

    The broad contours of the programme are Convergence (of Central & State Schemes),Collaboration (of Central, State level ‘Prabhari’ Officers & District Collectors), and Competition among districts driven by a spirit of mass Movement. With States as the main drivers, this program will focus on the strength of each district, identify low-hanging fruits for immediate improvement, measure progress, and rank districts.

    3.    Who decides the number of Judges in the Supreme Court of India?

    a.    President of India
    b.    Prime Minister of India
    c.    Parliament of India
    d.    Ministry of Law

    Answer.c

    Explanation

    The Parliament by Law decides the number of judges in the Supreme Court. Though, every judge of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal after consultation with such of the Judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts in the States as the President may deem necessary, but their salaries and other service conditions are decided by Parliament through a Law enacted for that purpose.
    The Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1956 Section 2 describes the number of judges in the Supreme Court of India. It was amended and notified in 2009 to increase the number of judges in the Supreme Court.

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    4.    Consider the following

    1.    The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)  launched the IRNSS-1I navigation satellite on April 12, 2018
    2.    It was the eighth such satellite to be a part of a constellation
    3.    It was launched with the help of PSLV-C41
    4.    It is a Polar satellite system because launched through the PSLV rockets.

    Which of the following is False

    a.    1 only
    b.    2 only
    c.    3 Only
    d.    4 Only

    Answer. d

    Explanation

    India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its forty-third flight (PSLV-C41) in XL configuration launched IRNSS-1I Satellite from First Launch Pad (FLP) of SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota. The 'XL' configuration of PSLV is used for the twentieth time. The IRNSS-1I is the eighth satellite to join the NavIC navigation satellite constellation.

    NAVIC

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 29, 2016 named the new system as 'NAVIC' (boatman) as he dedicated it to the people of the country and said SAARC countries can also take advantage of its services. PM Modi gave the expanded form of 'NAVIC' as 'Navigation with Indian Constellation'.
    With seven satellites in orbit, the constellation’s primary focus is to provide information in the Indian region and 1,500 kilometers around the mainland.
    IRNSS will provide two types of services, namely, the Standard Positioning Service (SPS) which is provided to all the users and Restricted Service (RS), which is an encrypted service provided only to the authorised users. The IRNSS System is expected to provide a position accuracy of better than 20 m in the primary service area.

    Some applications of IRNSS are:
    •    Terrestrial, Aerial and Marine Navigation
    •    Disaster Management
    •    Vehicle tracking and fleet management
    •    Integration with mobile phones
    •    Precise Timing
    •    Mapping and Geodetic data capture
    •    Terrestrial navigation aid for hikers and travellers
    •    Visual and voice navigation for drivers
    ISRO IRNSS Launch Timeline

    5.    Which of the following institution has launched the project” Science and the City”

    a.    National Centre for Biological Sciences, Banglore
    b.    Indian Institute of Sciences, Banglore
    c.    Indian Institute of Technology , Chennai
    d.    Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi

    Answer . a

    Explanation

    National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) has launched an initiative to take science to the people, to their very doorstep, as a matter of fact. The initiative, called Science and the City, encourages apartment complexes to host lectures on popular science topics on their own premises, at no cost.

    National Electricity Policy

    6.Consider the following points regarding Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Gramin. Which of them is true.

           1.    To accelerate sanitation coverage in rural areas to achieve the vision of Swachh Bharat by 2nd October 2022.
           2.    To create significant positive impact on gender and promote social inclusion by improving sanitation especially in marginalized communities
           3.    To bring about an improvement in the general quality of life in the rural areas, by promoting cleanliness, hygiene and eliminating open defecation.
           4.    To encourage cost effective and appropriate technologies for ecologically safe and sustainable sanitation.
    State which of the following is true
    a.    Only 1 and 3
    b.    Only 1 and 2
    c.    Only 2, 3,4
    d.    None of the above

    Answer. c

    Highlights of Three-Year Action Agenda

    Explanation:

    The aim of Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) is to achieve a clean and Open Defecation Free (ODF) India by 2nd October, 2019
    Objectives of Swachhh  Bharat  Mission (Gramin)
    •    To bring about an improvement in the general quality of life in the rural areas, by promoting cleanliness, hygiene and eliminating open defecation.
    •    To accelerate sanitation coverage in rural areas to achieve the vision of Swachh Bharat by 2nd October 2019.
    •    To motivate communities to adopt sustainable sanitation practices and facilities through awareness creation and health education.
    •    To encourage cost effective and appropriate technologies for ecologically safe and sustainable sanitation.
    •    To develop, wherever required, community managed sanitation systems, focusing on scientific Solid & Liquid Waste Management systems for overall cleanliness in the rural areas.
    •    To create significant positive impact on gender and promote social inclusion by improving sanitation especially in marginalized communities
    Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Gramin, launched on October 2, 2014 by the Prime Minister of India, Shri NarendraModi, is the largest behaviour change campaign ever attempted in the field of sanitation in the world. It aims to build an ODF (Open Defecation Free) and Swachh Bharat by October 2, 2019 as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary.

    7. Consider the following regarding the India-Nepal Joint Statement issued in April 2018

    a.    This was the first foreign visit of PM of Nepal to any country
    b.    Prime Minister Oli stated that after the landmark political transformation, his Government has given priority to economic transformation with the motto ‘Samriddha Nepal Sukhi Nepali’.
    c.    The two Prime Ministers agreed to give fresh momentum to bilateral cooperation in the agricultural sector and decided to launch a New Partnership in Agriculture.
    d.    To develop the inland waterways for the movement of cargo, within the framework of trade and transit arrangements, providing additional access to sea for Nepal.

    Which of the above statements is/are correct?

    1.    Only 1 and 4
    2.    Only 2 and 3
    3.    Only 3
    4.    All the statements are true

    Answer. 4

    Explanation:

    Prime Minister Oli stated that his government attaches high importance to further strengthening friendly relations with India. He expressed the desire of the Government of Nepal to develop bilateral relations in a way so as to benefit from India’s progress and prosperity for economic transformation and development. Prime Minister Modi assured Prime Minister Oli that India remains committed to strengthening its partnership with Nepal as per the priorities of the Government of Nepal.

    The two Prime Ministers inaugurated the Integrated Check Post at Birgunj in Nepal. They hoped that its early operationalization will enhance cross-border trade and transit of goods and movement of people bringing greater opportunities for shared growth and development.

    The two Prime Ministers witnessed the ground breaking ceremony of the Motihari-Amlekhgunj cross-border petroleum products pipeline at Motihari, India.

    The two Prime Ministers underlined the need for expeditious implementation of bilateral projects in Nepal, and to reinvigorate the existing bilateral mechanisms to promote cooperative agenda across diverse spheres.

    Three separate joint statements on the following key areas of mutual interest were issued
    •    India-Nepal: New Partnership in Agriculture
    •    Expanding Rail Linkages: Connecting Raxaul in India to Kathmandu in Nepal
    •    New Connectivity between India and Nepal through Inland Waterways

    The two Prime Ministers agreed that the visit has imparted new dynamism to the multifaceted partnership between the two countries.

    8. What is Gaganshakti  2018?

    1.    It is a newly developed sky monitoring system of HAL India
    2.    It is a joint Air force exercise of Indian Air force with the Israel Air Force
    3.    It is biggest ever Indian Air Force Exercise along the Pakistan and China Border
    4.    None of the above

    Answer. 3

    Explanation

    The Indian Air Force (IAF) is going to conduct its biggest ever combat exercise along Pakistan and China borders.  The exercise- Gagan Shakti, 2018- will be taking place between April 10 to 23. Depending upon the order of the Air Force Chief, the Air Force will mobilise its assets in the war scenario within 48 hours of the orders.

    The aim of this exercise is real time coordination, deployment and employment of Air Power in a short & intense battle scenario. During Gaganshakti IAF will exercise the entire machinery to validate its concept of operations and war waging capability. With each successive exercise, the lessons learnt in the previous exercises and doctrinal precepts are put to test, for developing new concepts. This year the IAF has planned tactics that will be tested in a real time scenario. For the first time, the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas will be taking part in the exercise and will perform both the offensive and defensive roles. Joint operations scenario with the Army and the Navy are part of this exercise.

    Apart from wartime drills, IAF will also practice and validate various Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief drills that the IAF is expected to undertake from time to time. Some, such measure would involve mobilization of the Air Ambulance version of transport aircraft and helicopters to airlift simulated sitting and bedridden casualties to metros/big cities having good medical facilities and would include evacuation of casualties from highways that facilitate such operations.

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    9.What is not  the objective/objecitves of Ganga Hareetima Yojana?

    a. The scheme aims to enhance the green cover in the catchment areas of the river Ganga and to control the land erosion.  
    b. Under it tree plantation will be carried out in 3 Km areas from banks of river
    c. Both a and b
    d. only b

    Answer . d

    Explanation

    The Uttar Pradesh Government launched the Ganga Hariteema Yojana, also known as Ganga Greenery scheme, on April 7, 2018 in the 27 districts of Uttar Pradesh that are located on the bank of river Ganga. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched the scheme at Allahabad in a function organised on the bank of Sangam, the confluence of rivers of Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati.

    Ganga Hariteema Yojana

    •The scheme aims to enhance the green cover in the catchment areas of the river Ganga and to control the land erosion.
    •Under the scheme, plantation will be carried out in one-kilometre areas from the banks of river.
    •Common people will also will be encouraged for plantation on their private lands under 'One Person One Tree' slogan.

    10. What is Odilorhabdins ?

    a.Newly discovered species of frog
    b. A new class of naturally occurring Antibiotic
    c.New water borne disease in Pigs
    d. None of the above

    Answer .b

    Expalanation

    An international team of scientists led by the University of Illinois, Chicago, has discovered a new class of naturally produced, ribosome-targeting antibacterial agents, odilorhabdins, produced by a nematode-symbiotic bacterium.
    Called Xenorhabdus nematophila, the bacterial symbiont produces toxins and immuno-modulators, enabling the nematode to colonize and kill insects. The bacteria further benefit the host nematode by releasing antibiotics that prevent the invasion of the insect’s carcass by other competing bacteria and fungi.

    They found that odilorhabdins act on the ribosome — the molecular machine of individual cells that makes the proteins it needs to function — of bacterial cells.

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    11. An Agreement to facilitate Mutual Recognition of Academic Qualifications between the Government of the Republic of India and the Go, the government of the French Republic has been signed recently. Consider the following statements regarding this:

    1. The signing of MoU with a foreign country is not a unilateral course of action and verily depends on various factors.
    2. In other words, agreement with a country evolves during the course of negotiations and as such, it cannot be predicted/planned in advance.

    Which of the above statements is/are correct?
    a. 1 only
    b. 2 only
    c. Both 1 and 2
    d. Neither 1 nor 2

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    An Agreement to facilitate Mutual Recognition of Academic Qualifications between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the French Republic has been signed during the recent visit of French dignitaries to India.

    The signing of MoU with a foreign country is not a unilateral course of action and verily depends on various factors viz.  education system prevailing in that country, the response of the foreign country, bilateral relations, mutual benefit to be accrued by signing such kind of MOUs, etc. In some cases, it can materialize soon whereas in other cases it may not materialize or take time. In other words, agreement with a country evolves during the course of negotiations and as such, it cannot be predicted/planned in advance.

    12. Recently, the Union Cabinet has given its approval to the Protection of Human Rights (Amendments) Bill, 2018. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. It proposes to add a woman Member in the composition of the Commission.
    2. The Amendment will strengthen the Human Rights Institutions of India further for the effective discharge of their mandates, roles and responsibilities.
    3. It proposes to incorporate a mechanism to look after the cases of human rights violation in the Union Territories.

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

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the Protection of Human Rights (Amendments) Bill, 2018 for better protection and promotion of human rights in the country.
    Salient Features:

    • It proposes to include “National Commission for Protection of Child Rights” as deemed Member of the Commission;

    • It proposes to add a woman Member in the composition of the Commission;

    • It proposes to enlarge the scope of eligibility and scope of selection of Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission as well as the State Human Rights Commission; and

    • It proposes to incorporate a mechanism to look after the cases of human rights violation in the Union Territories.

    • It proposes to amend the term of office of Chairperson and Members of National Human Rights Commission and State Human Rights Commission to make it in consonance with the terms of Chairperson and Members of other Commissions.

    The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2018

    13. Every year, 5th April 2018 has been observed as Samta Diwas on the occasion of the birth anniversary of which of following eminent personalities of India?
    a. Babu Jagjivan Ram
    b. Jyotirao Govindrao Phule
    c. B. R. Ambedkar
    d. Rajendra Prasad

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    A homage function on the occasion of the 111th birth anniversary of Babu Jagjivan Ram was organised by the Babu Jagjivan Ram National Foundation under Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment today at Samta Sthal, opposite Rajghat, New Delhi.

    Babu Jagjivan Ram was an Indian independence activist and politician from Bihar. He was instrumental in the foundation of the All-India Depressed Classes League, an organisation dedicated to attaining equality for untouchables, in 1935 and was elected to Bihar Legislative Assembly in 1937, after which he organised the rural labour movement. In 1946, he became the youngest minister in Jawaharlal Nehru's interim government, the first cabinet of India as a Labour Minister and also a member of Constituent Assembly of India, where he ensured that social justice was enshrined in the Constitution.

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    14. Consider the following achievements of ISRO during the year 2016-17:
    1. ISRO augmented Indian Earth Observation capability with four remote sensing satellites viz. Resourcesat-2A, Scatsat-1 and two Cartosat-2 series.
    2. ISRO successfully conducted two technology demonstrator missions viz. Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) and Scramjet Engine, an Air Breathing Propulsion System.
    3. ISRO successfully launched 104 satellites in a single go, onboard PSLV C37.

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

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    Major achievements of ISRO along with new R&D missions accomplished during last three years are detailed below:

    During the year 2014-15:

    • Mars Orbiter Mission

    • An experimental mission of GSLV-Mk III (with passive cryogenic stage)

    • The launch of three navigation Satellites viz. IRNSS-1B, 1C and 1D.

    • The launch of GSAT-16 communication satellite

    During the year 2015-16:

    • GSAT-6 communication satellite

    • The launch of the first observatory in space “ASTROSAT”

    • The launch of communication satellite “GSAT-15”,

    • The launch of two navigation satellites viz. IRNSS-1E and 1F.

    During the year 2016-17:

    • India's GSLV-F05 with indigenous Cryogenic stage

    • Augmented Indian Earth Observation capability with four remote sensing satellites viz. Resources-2A, Scatsat-1 and two Cartosat-2 series.

    • Successfully conducted two technology demonstrator missions viz. Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) and Scramjet Engine, an Air Breathing Propulsion System.

    • Successful testing of indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage “C25” for GSLV MkIII for full flight duration of 640 seconds.

    • Successfully launched 104 satellites in a single go, onboard PSLV C37.

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    15. As announced by the Prime Minister of India in the India-ASEAN Summit in October 2010, ISRO is pursuing a proposal to support Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries to receive and process data from Indian remote sensing satellites (RESOURCESAT-2 and OCEANSAT-2). Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. ISRO has built and launched ‘South AsiaSatellite’ on May 5, 2017, to provide satellite communication services to individual South Asian nations and also across the region.
    2. All the 10 members of ASEAN, viz., Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, will get benefitted from this project.

    Which of the above statements is/are correct?
    a. 1 only
    b. 2 only
    c. Both 1 and 2
    d. Neither 1 nor 2

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    As announced by the Prime Minister of India in the India-ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) Summit in October 2010, ISRO is pursuing a proposal to support Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries to receive and process data from Indian remote sensing satellites (RESOURCESAT-2 and OCEANSAT-2) and also to provide training in space science, technology and applications.

    All the 10 members of ASEAN, viz., Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, will get benefitted from this project.

    India pursues international cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space with space agencies of 43 nations and 5 multilateral bodies. As part of this, ISRO keeps developing new products and services, jointly with partnering agencies, through joint missions, scientific instruments accommodation, data sharing and exchange of expertise. ISRO has built and launched ‘South AsiaSatellite’ on May 5, 2017, to provide satellite communication services to individual South Asian nations and also across the region. India participates in international disaster management mechanisms including International Charter "Space and Major Disasters“, Sentinel Asia programme of Asia Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF), UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP) and UN Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UNSPIDER). India, as a member of the International COSPAS-SARSAT system for search and rescue operations, provides distress alert and position location services to India and seven neighbouring countries. India has also been providing training programmes on space technology applications to officials from other countries.

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    16. Recently, the Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Iran. Consider the following statements regarding this:

    1. The approved MoU is on the establishment of an expert group on trade remedy measures to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest.
    2. The MoU was signed on 17th February 2018 during the visit of the President of Iran.
    3. The MoU will promote cooperation between the two countries in the area of trade remedies such as exchange of information, capacity building activities, cooperation in investigations related to anti-dumping and countervailing duty, etc.

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

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    The Union Cabinet chaired has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Iran on the establishment of an expert group on trade remedy measures to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest. The MoU was signed on 17th February 2018 during the visit of the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani.

    The MoU will promote cooperation between the two countries in the area of trade remedies such as exchange of information, capacity building activities, cooperation in investigations related to anti-dumping and countervailing duty, etc.

    17. As per the Symantec's ‘Internet Security Threat Report 2017’, India placed at which of the following rankings?
    a. 2
    b. 3
    c. 4
    d. 5

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    India emerged as the third most vulnerable country in terms of risk of cyber threats, such as malware, spam and ransomware, in 2017, moving up one place over a previous year, according to a report by security solutions provider Symantec. In 2017, 5.09% of global threats detected were in India, slightly less than 5.11% in 2016. The U.S. (26.61%) was most vulnerable to such attacks, followed by China (10.95%), according to ‘Internet Security Threat Report’.

    The global threat ranking is based on eight metrics — malware, spam, phishing, bots, network attacks, web attacks, ransomware and crypto miners. As per the report, India continues to be second most impacted by spam and bots, third most impacted by network attacks, and fourth most impacted by ransomware.

    The report also pointed out that with the threat landscape becoming more diverse, attackers are working harder to discover new avenues of attack and cover their tracks while doing so.

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    18. Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved the signing of a Cooperation Arrangement between FSSAI, MoH&FW and Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock (MAIL), Afghanistan for cooperation in the field of Food Safety and related areas. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. Under the MoU, the establishment of a mechanism of information exchange and communication would be done.
    2. The MoU will facilitate technical exchange on identified topics of interest especially about import procedures, quality control operations, sampling, testing, packaging and labelling.

    Which of the above statements is/are correct?
    a. 1 only
    b. 2 only
    c. Both 1 and 2
    d. Neither 1 nor 2

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of a Cooperation Arrangement between Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW) and Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock (MAIL), Afghanistan for cooperation in the field of Food Safety and related areas.

    The areas of cooperation include the following:

    • Establishment of a mechanism of information exchange and communication;

    • Facilitating technical exchange on identified topics of interest especially about import procedures, quality control operations, sampling, testing, packaging and labelling;

    • Facilitating/organization of joint seminars, workshops, visits, lectures, training programme, etc;

    • Other areas of interest to the participants within their responsibilities as they may mutually determine.

    The cooperation arrangement will facilitate information sharing training and capacity building measure and learn from each other’s best practice to improve food safety ecosystem.

    19. The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the Federal Transport Authority - Land & Maritime of the United Arab Emirates on Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. The MoU will provide a platform for Indian Railways to interact and share the latest developments and knowledge in the railway sector.
    2. The MoU will facilitate the exchange of information, expert meetings, seminars technical visits and implementation of jointly agreed cooperation projects.
    3. The identified areas of cooperation inter alia include high-speed corridors, speed raising of existing routes, development of world-class stations, heavy haul operations and modernization of rail infrastructure, etc.

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

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the Federal Transport Authority - Land & Maritime of the United Arab Emirates on Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector. The MoU was signed on 10th February 2018.

    The MoU will enable technical cooperation in the following areas:-

    a. Regulation, safety and technical investigation of accidents;

    b. Station redevelopment;

    c. Locomotives, coaches and wagons; and

    d. Any other area jointly identified by the Participants.

    Benefits:

    The MoU will provide a platform for Indian Railways to interact and share the latest developments and knowledge in the railway sector. The MoU will facilitate the exchange of information, expert meetings, seminars technical visits and implementation of jointly agreed cooperation projects.

    Background:

    Ministry of Railways has signed MoUs for technical cooperation in the Rail sector with various foreign Governments and National Railways. The identified areas of cooperation inter alia include high-speed corridors, speed raising of existing routes, development of world-class stations, heavy haul operations and modernization of rail infrastructure, etc. The cooperation is achieved through the exchange of information on developments in areas of railways technology & operations, knowledge sharing, technical visits, training & seminars and workshops in areas of mutual interest.

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    20. Recently, the Union Cabinet has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Canada. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. The MoU aims at fostering cross-border partnerships focused on research excellence and industry-academic collaboration between India and Canada that brings robust innovation gains to both countries.
    2. The MoU enables Indian and Canadian researchers to undertake graduate-level academic research mobility and cross-border industry-academic cooperation.
    3. The collaboration is expected to lead to new knowledge creation, joint scientific publications, Industrial exposure, IP generation, etc.

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

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Canada. The MoU was signed on 21st February 2018 in New Delhi.

    The MoU aims at fostering cross-border partnerships focused on research excellence and industry-academic collaboration between India and Canada that brings robust innovation gains to both countries.

    Igniting collaboration through talent mobility is the core of the partnership. The MoU enables Indian and Canadian researchers to undertake graduate-level academic research mobility and cross-border industry-academic cooperation. Under the graduate level academic research mobility programme, both sides intend to support upto 110 Master's and PhD student researchers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields in a three-year period from eligible universities in India to participate in 12 to 24 weeks' research with Canadian university research laboratories. The same number of researchers from Canadian universities will also participate in 12 to 24 weeks' research with research laboratories of eligible Indian universities. Under the cross-border Industry-Academic Cooperation, upto 40 Master's and PhD student researchers in three years from each side participate in 16 to 24 weeks' research with industry partners located in the counterpart country.

    21. Recently, the digital initiatives have been launched by Export Inspection Council (EIC) for ease of export. Consider the following statements regarding this:

    1. EIC is the official export certification body of Government of India and has launched this flagship project of Digital India Initiative to keep pace with changing dynamics of the world.
    2. To provide fast, efficient and transparent services for ease of doing business in all sectors the complete export food chain has been integrated into this digital platform.

    Which of the above statements is/are correct?
    a. 1 only
    b. 2 only
    c. Both 1 and 2
    d. Neither 1 nor 2

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    Union Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation Minister, Suresh Prabhu launched digital initiatives by Export Inspection Council (EIC) for ease of export at New Delhi on 3 April 2018.

    EIC is the official export certification body of Government of India and has launched this flagship project of Digital India Initiative to keep pace with changing dynamics of the world.

    In order to continue the vision for credible inspection and certification and to strengthen the confidence on Indian produce, three portals have been developed to reduce transaction time and cost in a transparent manner. The portal not only provide an opportunity for ease of export but also plays an important role in the Go Green initiative by reducing paper usage and saving millions of trees.

    To provide fast, efficient and transparent services for ease of doing business in all sectors the complete export food chain has been integrated into this digital platform. Primary production, chain catch, aquaculture pond, dairy farms and apiaries are all linked. Processing units, testing laboratories, official controls and exports have complete traceability.

    Schemes for Inclusive Growth in India

    22. Consider the following statements regarding the Deendayal Antodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM):

    1. DAY-NRLM seeks to alleviate rural poverty through building sustainable community institutions of the poor.
    2. The centrally sponsored programme is implemented in partnership with the State governments.
    3. The Mission, launched in 2011, has seen a rapid expansion in the last three years in which 820 additional blocks were covered under the “Intensive” strategy during FY 17-18.

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

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    Deendayal Antodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) is a flagship programme of the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) that seeks to alleviate rural poverty through building sustainable community institutions of the poor. The centrally sponsored programme is implemented in partnership with the State governments.

    The Mission, launched in 2011, has seen a rapid expansion in the last three years. During FY 17-18, 820 additional blocks were covered under the “Intensive” strategy. Cumulatively, the Mission is being implemented in 4,459 blocks spread across 586 districts of 29 States and 5 Union Territories (UTs).

    DAY-NRLM also provides Interest Subvention to women SHGs availing bank loans amounting to Rs.3.00 lakhs, to subsidize the cost of borrowing. The interest subvention effectively reduces the cost of borrowing to 7% per annum. In respect of 250 districts, an additional interest subvention of 3% is also allowed on timely repayment of loans, reducing the effective interest rate to 4% per annum. Since the inception of the scheme, a cumulative amount of Rs. 2,324 crores have been provided as interest subvention.

    The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2018

    23. Consider the following statements regarding Mahila Kisan Shashaktikaran Pariyojana and Value Chain Initiatives:
    1. As of March 2018, more than 33 lakh women farmers were being supported under this scheme.
    2. In order to enhance agricultural productivity, the Mission promoted 4,150 Custom Hiring Centre/ Community Managed Tool Banks across multiple States.

    Which of the above statements is/are correct?
    a. 1 only
    b. 2 only
    c. Both 1 and 2
    d. Neither 1 nor 2

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    In order to promote agro-ecological practices that increase women farmers’ income and reduce their input costs and risks, the Mission has been implementing the Mahila Kisan Shashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP). As of March 2018, more than 33 lakh women farmers were being supported under this scheme. Further, about 8 lakh Mahila Kisans have been mobilized into 86,000 Producer Groups (PGs) which are federated into 126 Producer Companies (PCs). These value chain development initiatives have contributed significantly to the farmers’ income from agriculture, horticulture, dairying, fisheries and Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP) related activities.

    Small and marginal farmers producing Maize, Mango, Floriculture, Dairy, Goatery etc., have benefited significantly from the value chain interventions across different states. As of February 2018, more than 1.05 lakh SHG members have been covered under these interventions. In order to enhance agricultural productivity, the Mission promoted 4,150 Custom Hiring Centre/ Community Managed Tool Banks across multiple States. These hiring centres enable small and marginal farmers to hire farm equipment and services such as soil testing, cold chain management etc., at nominal rates.

    24. Recently, scientists have detected the most distant star ever viewed, located more than halfway across the universe named as:
    a. Icarus
    b. Antares
    c. Aldebaran
    d. Regulus

    Answer: a

    Explanation:

    Scientists have detected the most distant star ever viewed, located more than halfway across the universe and named it after the ancient Greek mythological figure Icarus.
    The star was formally named MACS J1149+2223 Lensed Star-1, but its discoverers dubbed it Icarus, who flew so close to the sun that his wings fashioned from wax and feathers melted, sending him plunging fatally into the sea.

    Researchers said they used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to spot the star, which is up to a million times more luminous and about twice as hot as our sun, residing 9.3 billion lights years away from Earth. It is a type of star called a blue supergiant.

    The star, located in a distant spiral galaxy, is at least 100 times further away than any other star previously observed, with the exception of things like the huge supernova explosions that mark the death of certain stars. Older galaxies have been spotted but their individual stars were indiscernible.

    Key Initiatives of Government in the Energy Sector

    25. Consider the following statements regarding the Deendayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana:
    1. Deendayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana is a sub-scheme of DAY-NRLM which aims at building placement linked skills of the rural youth and place them in relatively higher wage employment sectors of the economy.
    2. The CIPET and Indo German Tool rooms have also been engaged as Project Implementing Agency of DDUGKY program for high-end training with better placement & salary.

    Which of the above statements is/are correct?
    a. 1 only
    b. 2 only
    c. Both 1 and 2
    d. Neither 1 nor 2

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    DAY-NRLM has another sub-scheme viz., Deendayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDUGKY). DDUGKY aims at building placement linked skills of the rural youth and place them in relatively higher wage employment sectors of the economy.

    In FY 2017-18, as of Feb’18, 1.28 lakh rural youth have been trained and 69,320 have been placed. During the financial year 2017-18, 514 projects for training 5.93 lakh rural youth have also been sanctioned across the country till Feb 2018. Further, KAUSHAL PANJEE- a mobile app for registration of prospective training candidates was also launched. As of 31st March 2018, 7.56 lakh candidates have been registered in the Kaushal Panjee application.

    26. Recently, the Ministry of Tourism in close collaboration with Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) launched “Adopt a Heritage Project”. Consider the following statements regarding this:

    1. The project primarily focuses on providing basic amenities that include cleanliness, public convenience, drinking water, ease of access for tourists, signage etc. and advanced amenities like TFC, Souvenir shop, Cafeteria etc.
    2. The project envisages that selected public sector companies, private sector companies and individuals will develop tourist amenities at heritage sites.
    3. The project was launched by the President of India on 27th September 2017 with 93 ASI ticketed monuments and has now been expanded to other natural and cultural heritage sites and other tourist sites across India.

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

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    Ministry of Tourism in close collaboration with Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) launched “Adopt a Heritage Project” to provide world-class tourist facilities at the various natural/cultural heritage sites, monuments and other tourist sites to make them tourist friendly, enhance their tourist potential and cultural importance in a planned and phased manner across the country.

    The project primarily focuses on providing basic amenities that include cleanliness, public convenience, drinking water, ease of access for tourists, signage etc. and advanced amenities like TFC, Souvenir shop, Cafeteria etc.

    The project envisages that selected public sector companies, private sector companies and individuals will develop tourist amenities at heritage sites. They would become ‘Monument Mitra’ and adopt the sites essentially under their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity. They would also look after the operations and maintenance of the adopted site initially for the 5 years subject to review at any time.

    The project began with 93 ASI ticketed monuments and has now been expanded to other natural and cultural heritage sites and other tourist sites across India. The project was launched by the President of India on 27th September 2017 on the occasion of World Tourism Day.

    The heritage sites/monuments enlisted are categorized as green, blue and orange on the basis of tourist footfall and visibility. As a part of project guidelines, it is mandatory for Monument Mitra, who is opting for a monument from green category to choose at least one site from either orange or blue category.

    27. Which of the following monuments/historical sites recently been identified as tentatively for listing under World Heritage Site is correctly matched?
    a. Apatani Cultural Landscape - Manipur
    b. Moidams                           - Sikkim
    c. Namdapha National Park     - Arunachal Pradesh
    d. River Island                       - Sikkim

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    As many as 6 monuments/historical sites in the North Eastern states have been identified tentatively for listing under World Heritage Site.

    Details of monuments/sites identified/placed under tentative list for listing under world heritage in the northeastern states are given below:

    • Apatani Cultural Landscape, Arunachal Pradesh

    • Iconic Saree Weaving Clusters of India

    • Moidams – the Mound – Burial System of the Ahom Dynasty, Assam

    • Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh

    • River Island of Majuli in midstream of Brahmaputra River in Assam

    • Thembang Fortified Village, Arunachal Pradesh

    A total of 83 monuments/sites of the North-Eastern States are centrally protected under the Archaeological Survey of India.Expenditure incurred on centrally protected monuments/sites in the northeastern region of the country (state- wise) during the last three years.

    28. Recently, the Government has launched Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan to encourage Science & Mathematics learning in children. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan (RAA) is a convergent framework across School Education and Higher Education aiming to encourage children towards learning Science and Mathematics and to develop their interest through activities related to Science and Mathematics.
    2. One of the interventions under RAA is strengthening of school Science and Mathematics laboratories, through the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA).
    3. Under RMSA, an amount of Rs. 179.73 crore has been approved in 2017-18, for in-service training of science and maths teachers, remedial teaching, provision of science and math kits, science exhibitions, etc.

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

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    The Ministry of Human Resource Development has launched the Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan (RAA), a convergent framework across School Education and Higher Education aiming to encourage children towards learning Science and Mathematics and to develop their interest through activities related to Science and Mathematics. One of the interventions under RAA is strengthening of school Science and Mathematics laboratories, through the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA). Further, under RMSA, important interventions i.e. Science Fair/Exhibition and Talent Search at the district level; mathematics and science kits to schools, visit higher institutions of students and learning enhancement of students have been approved.

    Under RMSA, an amount of Rs. 179.73 crore has been approved in 2017-18, for in-service training of science and maths teachers, remedial teaching, provision of science and math kits, science exhibitions, etc.

    NITI Aayog under the Atal Innovation Mission is establishing Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) in schools across India. The objective of this scheme is to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds; and inculcate skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing etc. Till date, 2441 schools have been selected across the country to establish ATL.

    UPSC IAS Prelims Exam: MODERN HISTORY Study Material

    29. Which of the following initiatives was/were launched by the government in the field of higher education for the qualitative development of education in the country?
    a. Impacting Research Innovation & Technology (IMPRINT)
    b. National Academic Depository (NAD)
    c. Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM)
    d. All of the above

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    The Central Government, the University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) are constantly endeavouring to improve quality of higher education and make higher education practical in the country. The Central Government has launched several initiatives viz. National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), Impacting Research Innovation & Technology (IMPRINT), Uchhatar Avishkar Yojana (UAY), Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN), Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM), National Academic Depository (NAD), Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP), Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching (PMMMNMTT), National Digital Library, Campus Connect Programme etc. in the field of higher education for qualitative development of education in the country.

    30. Till date 34 projects successfully implemented under National Culture Fund Scheme which was set up on 28th November 1996 by the Government. Consider the following statements regarding this:
    1. National Culture Fund (NCF) set up with a view to mobilize extra resources through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs).
    2. The National Culture Fund is managed and administered by a council headed by Culture Minister to decide the policies and an Executive Committee headed by Secretary, Culture to actualize those policies.

    Which of the above statements is/are correct?
    a. 1 only
    b. 2 only
    c. Both 1 and 2
    d. Neither 1 nor 2

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    National Culture Fund (NCF) set up as a Trust under the Charitable Endowment Act, 1890 on 28th November 1996 by the Government, with a view to mobilize extra resources through Public-Private Partnerships has successfully completed 34 projects since inception, thus, promoting, protecting and preserving India’s cultural heritage.

    The National Culture Fund is managed and administered by a council headed by Culture Minister to decide the policies and an Executive Committee headed by Secretary, Culture to actualize those policies. The Fund aims at inviting the participation of the corporate sector, non-government organizations, private/public sector as well as individuals in the task of promoting, protecting and preserving India’s cultural heritage.

    The Government has granted Rs. 19.50 crore as one-time corpus fund to National Culture Fund out of the planned budget. Apart from this, there is no fund allocated by the Government to National Culture Fund. Besides this, NCF receives contributions and voluntary donations as endowments from many other sources.

    All the projects undertaken by the NCF are completed within a specified period, in accordance with a MoU signed by NCF with the concerned donor organization. Accordingly, any ongoing project is supposed to be completed in several stages for which adequate funding is made available by the donor at such different stages. Consequently, there is always some unspent balance lying with NCF in respect of such ongoing projects which are still awaiting completion.

    The CIPET and Indo German Tool rooms have also been engaged as Project Implementing Agency of DDUGKY program for high-end training with better placement & salary.

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