Current Affairs for IAS Prelims Exam: 10 to 15 July 2017

Jul 17, 2017 17:46 IST

Weekly Current AffairsCurrent affairs MCQs is one of the essential parts of IAS prelims preparation as most of the questions in IAS prelims exam is derived from current happenings. All the academic subject knowledge like in geography, environment, polity and economy should be supplemented with relevant current affairs knowledge.

Current Affairs Quizzes for IAS Prelims 2018: May 2017

Here, we cover IAS questions related to important issues from 10 to 15 July 2017 from the most authentic sources like the Hindu, PIB and the all India radio news.
We will continue to provide the current affairs Quiz for IAS Prelims 2018 to help you gain a better perception type of questions asked in the examination.

1. The government recently launched Swayam Prabha portal to take education to the remotest corners of the country. Which of the following statements is true regarding the Swayam Portal?

a. The platform has been constructed by Microsoft with totally indigenous efforts.
b. The SWAYAM Prabha channels are available for free for anyone who has a set top box to receive either DD Free Dish or DishTV.
c. The UGC has already issued Regulation that allows transfer of credits earned through the courses done through SWAYAM into the academic record of the students.
d. All of the above

Answer: d

Explanation:

Swayam Portal is India’s own online interactive learning platform that provides, not only video lectures, reading the material but also assignments/quizzes that could end up in securing credits after completing the assessment system. The platform has been constructed by Microsoft with totally indigenous efforts.

The SWAYAM Prabha channels are available for free for anyone who has a set top box to receive either DD Free Dish or DishTV. There is no monthly charge for viewing these channels. These channels include the IIT-PAL channels which were intended to help students taking the prestigious JEE examination, taught by the IIT faculty.

The UGC has already issued Regulation that allows transfer of credits earned through the courses done through SWAYAM into the academic record of the students. It is now possible for the students and others to take courses of the prestigious IITs or IIMs without formally studying there.

2. India has ranked a high at 23rd out of 165 nations in the Global Cybersecurity Index. Consider the following statements regarding the Global Cybersecurity Index.

1) The Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) released by WTO.
2) Each country’s level of development is analysed within five categories: Legal Measures, Technical Measures, Organizational Measures, Capacity Building and Cooperation.

Which of the above statements is true?

a. Only 1
b. Both 1 and 2
c. Only 2
d. None of the above

Answer: c

Explanation:

The Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) is a multi-stakeholder initiative to measure the commitment of countries to cyber security. Cyber security has a wide field of application that cuts across many industries and sectors. Each country’s level of development is analysed within five categories: Legal Measures, Technical Measures, Organizational Measures, Capacity Building and Cooperation.

The Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) is released by the UN telecommunications agency International Telecommunication Union (ITU). It has observed that only about half of all countries have a cyber security strategy or are in the process of developing one and urged more countries to consider national policies to protect against cyber crime.

India is ranked 23rd on the index with a score of 0.683 and has been listed in the "maturing" category, which refers to 77 countries that have developed complex commitments to cyber security and engage in cybersecurity programmes and initiatives.

3. For what innovation did the Indian Railways Organization for Alternate Fuel (IROAF) has been awarded the Golden Peacock Award for Eco-Innovation?

a. Solar Energy based fuel 1400 HP engine
b. CNG based dual fuel 1400 HP engine
c. Magnetic force HP engine
d. All of the above

Answer: b

Explanation:

Indian Railways achieves a major landmark in the field of Eco-friendly fuel technologies at Indian Railways Organization for Alternate Fuel (IROAF) which has been awarded the coveted National level “Golden Peacock Award for the Year 2017 for Eco-Innovation” for:

• Substitution of fossil fuels (Diesel) by environment-friendly CNG in DEMU passenger train services.
• Use of CNG in Train Sets for passenger transportation has been done for the first time in the world.
• The CNG based dual fuel 1400 HP engine used in DEMU trains developed by IROAF has successfully substituted diesel fuel with CNG up to 20%.

This innovation will reduce emissions considerably by bringing down NOx by 16%, CO2 by 6% and Particulate Matter by 18% besides achieving economy in fuel cost by 8%. So far, 19 Engines of DEMUs have been successfully converted into CNG based dual fuel engines with this technology.

Golden Peacock Awards have become a hallmark of excellence, both locally & globally. Based on internationally recognised criteria, the credibility of these awards lies in the transparency depth & impartiality of the assessment process.

Present technology of 20% substitution of diesel by CNG, has potential to save up to Rs. 1360 crores annually if implemented over the entire fleet of Diesel Locomotives of Indian Railways. An improved technology of 40% substitution is at present being developed by IROAF.

IROAF is a unique organisation in the Government space which was established by Ministry of Railways to explore new environment-friendly fuels/ renewable energy and eco- friendly technologies.

Current Affairs for IAS Prelims 2018- April 2017

4. Consider the following statements regarding the recently launched First Maize Based Mega Food Park:

1) Maize Based Mega Food Park is the first major and serious step in the history of India for containing the desertification problem of Punjab.
2) Maize is rich in protein, provides nutritional requirements and consumes more water.
3) The Mega Food Park is being developed at District Kapurthala which has been declared as a Dark Zone district where slow desertification is happening because of overexploitation of water due to cash crops.

Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

Maize Based Mega Food Park is the first major and serious step in the history of India for containing the desertification problem of Punjab and would make farmers turn to maize cultivation which needs less water for more production. Maize is being used by different industries for seed, starch, brewery, food additives, sweeteners etc and it is also a basic raw material to thousands of industrial products like oil, proteins, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, beverages, film, textile, gum, value added foods, paper industries, bio-ethanol etc.

The Mega Food Park is being developed at village Rehana Jattan, Phagwara, District Kapurthala, Punjab which has been declared as a Dark Zone district where slow desertification is happening because of overexploitation of water due to cash crops.

The Mega Food Park will leverage an additional investment of about Rs.250 crores in 25-30 food processing units in the park and generate a turnover of Rs.450-500 crores annually. The Park will provide direct and indirect employment to 5,000 persons and benefit about 25,000 farmers.

5. Recently, a scheme for IPR awareness,” Creative India Innovative India” has been launched. Consider the following statements regarding the Creative India Innovative India scheme:

1) The Scheme aims at raising IPR awareness amongst students, youth, authors, artists, budding inventors and professionals to inspire them to create, innovate and protect their creations and inventions across India.
2) The Scheme for IPR Awareness aims to conduct over 4000 IPR awareness workshops/seminars in academic institutions (schools and colleges) and the industry, including MSMEs and Startups.
3) The Scheme for IPR Awareness would be implemented through partner organisations to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.

Which of the statements is true?

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

Taking forward the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy 2016, a ‘Scheme for IPR Awareness – Creative India; Innovative India’ has been launched by Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) under the aegis of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.

The Scheme aims at raising IPR awareness amongst students, youth, authors, artists, budding inventors and professionals to inspire them to create, innovate and protect their creations and inventions across India including Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 cities as well as rural areas in the next 3 years.

The Scheme for IPR Awareness aims to conduct over 4000 IPR awareness workshops in academic institutions and the industry, including MSMEs and Start-ups, as also IP training and sensitization programmes for enforcement agencies and the judiciary.

Workshops will cover all vital IP topics including international filing procedures, promotion of Geographical Indications and highlighting the ill effects of piracy and counterfeiting. The Scheme for IPR Awareness would be implemented through partner organisations to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.

6. Recently, the Mission Privar Vikash has been launched. Consider the following statements regarding the Mission Privar Vikash:
1. Mission Parivar Vikas will focus on 146 high fertility districts in 7 states with high Total Fertility Rate (TFR).
2. Under this, specifically targeted initiatives shall be taken for population stabilisation through better service delivery.
3. Mission Parivar Vikas is a new initiative conceived with a strategic focus on improving access through the provision of services, promotional schemes, commodity security, capacity building, enabling environment and intensive monitoring.

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: d

Explanation:

Mission Parivar Vikas will focus on 146 high fertility districts in 7 states with high TFR. Under this, specifically targeted initiatives shall be taken for population stabilisation through better service delivery. The Mission Parivar Vikas is a new initiative conceived by the Ministry with a strategic focus on improving access through the provision of services, promotional schemes, commodity security, capacity building, enabling environment and intensive monitoring. The Ministry of Health has decided to hold saas-bahu sammelans in the country’s 146 districts where the total fertility rate (TFR) has remained stubborn. This idea, if effectively implemented, can play a role in reducing the TFR in the problem districts, mostly located in the cow belt of UP, Bihar, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, besides isolated districts in tribal areas. Contrary to popular perception, women who live with their parents-in-law are likely to have more children than women who have to arrange child care support.  The government has rightly honed in on the correlation between the intensive grandparent's child care and the fertility rate.

ECONOMIC SURVEY 2016-17 IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

7. Recently, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribe (NCST) has decided to take action on the objectionable video films and pictures of Aboriginal Tribes uploaded on social media. Which of the following tribes are protected as Aboriginal Tribes?
1. Andamanese
2. Jarawas
3. Nagas
4. Sentinelese

Choose the correct code:
a. 1, 2 and 3
b. 1, 2 and 4
c. 1, 3 and 4
d. All of the above

Answer: b

Explanation:

The National Commission for Scheduled Tribe (NCST) has initiated action on cognizance of objectionable video films and pictures of protected Jarava and other tribal communities of the Andaman Islands on YouTube social media platform.

As per provisions of Andaman and Nicobar Island (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation, 1956 (PAT), the Andamanese, Jarawas, Onges, Sentinelese, Nicobarese and Shom Pens have been identified as “aboriginal tribes”. The total population of the tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is about 28077. Out of these five tribal communities have a population of below 500.

The PAT contains the provisions of protection of these communities from the outside interference. Penalty provisions for promoting tourism through advertisement relating to aboriginal tribes have also been included.

Whoever entering these areas in contravention of the notification under section 7 (which prohibits entry into reserve areas) for taking photographs or making videos shall be punishable with imprisonment up to three years.

8. Recently, the Government has submitted a proposal for availing the loan in line with the mandate of the Government to double farmer’s income in next five years. Consider the following statements regarding milk production in India:
1.    India ranks first among the world’s milk producing Nations since 1998 and has the largest bovine population in the World.
2.    Milk production in India during the period 1950-51 to 2014-15, has increased from 17 million tonnes to 146.31 million tonnes.
3.    The government has therefore submitted a proposal for availing loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency for ‘Dairying through Cooperatives-National Dairy Infrastructure Plan’’ in line with the mandate of Government to double farmers' income in next five years.

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: d

Explanation:

India ranks first among the world’s milk producing Nations since 1998 and has the largest bovine population in the World. Milk production in India during the period 1950-51 to 2014-15, has increased from 17 million tonnes to 146.31 million tonnes. The milk production during 2015-16 is 155.49 million tonnes. About 54% of the milk produced in the country are surplus for marketing in the domestic market, of which only 20.5% is procured/processed by the organized sector being equal, shared by Cooperatives and Private dairy organizations.

Government has therefore submitted a proposal for availing loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency for ‘Dairying through Cooperatives-National Dairy Infrastructure Plan’’ in line with the mandate of Government to double farmers' income in next five years. The total outlay of the proposal is Rs 20,057 crores. The proposal primarily aims to cover additional 1.28 lakh villages, 121.83 lakh additional milk producers, setting up of 1.05 Lakh bulk milk coolers at village level, creating 524.20 lakh Kg milk per day capacity of milk chilling and creation of milk & milk product processing infrastructure of 76.5 lakh Kg per day capacity. Besides, the programme will modify/expand old milk and milk product plants created 20-30 years ago under Operation Flood and also create milk & milk products plants for value added products which will benefit 160 lakh existing farmers. The fund will be routed through the National Dairy Development Board for the development of the dairy sector. The proposal has been forwarded by the Department of Economic Affairs to Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

9. Which city has been declared as India’s first World Heritage City?
a. The walled city of Ahmadabad
b. The walled city of old Delhi
c. The walled palace of Udaipur
d. Fatepur Sikri city

Answer: a

Explanation:

The World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO made the announcement recently that the Walled City of Ahmadabad, founded by Sultan Ahmed Shah in the 15th century, has been declared India’s first World Heritage City.

The walled city of Ahmadabad on the eastern banks of Sabarmati River presents a rich architectural heritage from the sultanate period, notably the Bhadra citadel, the walls and gates of the Fort city and numerous mosques and tombs, as well as important Hindu and Jain temples of later periods.

The 5.5 km walled city area with an approximate population of four lakh, living in a century-old wooden residence is regarded as a living heritage. The UNESCO had preferred Ahmadabad over Delhi and Mumbai.

It has now joined the privileged club of heritage cities like Paris, Cairo, Edinburgh and two cities in the subcontinent, Bhaktpur in Nepal and Galle in Sri Lanka.

Union Budget 2017 Questions for IAS Exam

10. Recently, the Exercise Malabar Commenced in Bay of Bengal/ North Indian Ocean, which is a joint exercise of India with which of the following countries?
a. USA
b. Japan
c. Russia
d. Both a and b

Answer: d

Explanation:
Naval co-operation between India, US and Japan epitomises the strong and resilient relationship between the three democracies. The MALABAR series of exercises, initiated in 1992 between the Indian and US Navies, has steadily grown in scope, complexity and participates in a multifaceted exercise with the participation of Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF).

The 21st edition of the exercise, MALABAR-17 will be conducted in the Bay of Bengal from 10 to 17 July 2017. The primary aim of this exercise is to increase interoperability amongst the three navies as well as develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations. The scope of MALABAR-17 includes wide-ranging professional interactions during the Harbour Phase at Chennai from 10 to 13 July 2017 and a diverse range of operational activities at sea during the Sea Phase from 14 to 17 July 17. The thrust of exercises at sea this year would be on Aircraft Carrier operations, Air Defence, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Surface Warfare, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS), Search and Rescue, Joint Manoeuvres and Tactical procedures. In addition, officials from the three countries will be flown onboard the ships at sea on 15 July 2017.

The Indian Navy will be represented by the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya with its air wing, guided missile destroyer Ranvir, indigenous stealth frigates Shivalik and Sahyadri, indigenous ASW corvette Kamorta, missile corvettes Kora and Kirpan, one Sindhughosh class submarine, fleet tanker INS Jyoti and Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft P8I.

11.    The Karnataka Government constituted a nine-member committee to study the possibility of designing a separate state flag. Against this backdrop, consider the following statements.
1)    The Constitutional provisions provide for separate flag for a State with the prior approval of the President.
2)    Jammu and Kashmir is the only State in the country that has a separate flag of its own.
3)    Flag Code of India, 2002 mentions the manner in which other flags are hoisted along with the national flag.
Which of the above statements is/are true?
a)    1 and 2 only
b)    2 and 3 only
c)    1 and 3 only
d)    1, 2 and 3
Answer. (b) 2 and 3 only
Explanation

The Constitution of India doesn’t prohibit a State from having its own flag. At the same time, it doesn’t explicitly authorize a State government to have a flag of its own. Besides, there is neither a separate central law, nor any State laws dealing with the issue.
However, the Constitution gives exception to Jammu and Kashmir in this matter. Under the Article 370, which grants special status to the State, Jammu and Kashmir is entitled to have a flag of its own.
Flag Code of India, 2002 provides the basic framework for the manner in which the national flag is handled on a day-to-day basis. The code allows the use of other flags subject to the regulation by the court. It does not mention anything about separate state flag. However, it clearly mentions that the other flags should not dishonour the national flag. They have to be always below the national flag.

Current Affairs for IAS Prelims Exam 2018: 10 July 2017

12.    Which of the following has become the first State to fix minimum educational qualification for contesting elections to cooperative bodies?
a)    Rajasthan
b)    Madhya Pradesh
c)    Telangana
d)    Karnataka
Ans. (a) Rajasthan
Explanation
On 10 July 2017, Rajasthan has become the first in the country to fix educational qualification for contesting elections to village cooperative societies and various other cooperative bodies. In this regard, the government of the State has amended State Cooperative Societies Rules, 2003.
The educational qualifications will range from Class V to Class VIII. The minimum qualifications for the primary committee members will be class VIII, for district-level committees, it will be class X and graduation for the state level committee.
Previously, in March 2015, Rajasthan became the first State in the country to fix a minimum educational qualification for contesting elections to the Panchayati Raj Institutions.
The Rajasthan Panchayati Raj (amendment) Act, 2015 made Class VIII pass mandatory for the post of sarpanch — except in tribal reserved areas, where the minimum qualification is Class V — and Class X for Zila Parishad or Panchayat Samiti elections. Besides, the amendemt Act  makes a functional toilet mandatory in the house of a contestant.

13.    India’s second case/instance of Zika virus was reported in Tamil Nadu recently. Against this backdrop, consider the following statements related to the Zika virus.
1)    Zika virus is a vector borne disease transmitted primarily by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.
2)    As the Aedes mosquito can fly more than 40 kms, the chances of spread of the disease from region to region is high.
3)    The virus causes Guillain-Barré syndrome, which is a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the nervous system.
Which of the above statements is/are true?
a)    1 and 2 only
b)    2 and 3 only
c)    1 and 3 only
d)    1,2 and 3
Ans. (c) 1 and 3 only
Explanation
Zika virus occurs in tropical areas with large mosquito populations and is known to circulate in Africa, the Americas, Southern Asia and Western Pacific. The virus was discovered in 1947, but for many years only sporadic human cases were detected in Africa and Southern Asia.
In 2007, the first documented outbreak of Zika virus disease occurred in the Pacific. Since 2013, cases and outbreaks of the disease have been reported from the Western Pacific, the Americas and Africa. In May 2017, WHO confirmed India’s first cases in Ahmedabad.
People catch Zika virus by being bitten by an infected Aedes mosquito – the same type of mosquito that spreads dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. The Aedes mosquito is a weak flyer; it cannot fly more than 400 meters. But it may inadvertently be transported by humans from one place to another, for example in the back of the car and plants.
During the first outbreak of Zika from 2013 - 2014 in French Polynesia, which also coincided with an ongoing outbreak of dengue, national health authorities reported an unusual increase in Guillain-Barré syndrome. It is a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the nervous system. It can be caused by a number of viruses and can affect people of any age.

14.    For the first time in history, scientists from New Zealand announced that they have achieved a major breakthrough in developing vaccine to Gonorrhea. Consider the statements related to the disease.
1)    Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
2)    It can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during delivery.
3)    Gonorrhea causes arthritis, skin problems and other organ infections.
Which of the above statements is/are true?
a)    1 and 2 only
b)    2 and 3 only
c)    1 and 3 only
d)    1,2 and 3
Ans. (d) 1,2 and 3
Explanation
Gonorrhea is an infection that is spread through sexual contact with another person. The gonorrhea germs are found in the mucous areas of the body (the vagina, penis, throat and rectum). Any sexually active person can be infected with gonorrhea. Most often, gonorrhea is found in younger people (ages 15-30) who have multiple sex partners. Gonorrhea is reported more frequently from urban areas than from rural areas.
Gonorrhea is spread through sexual contact. This includes penis to vagina, penis to mouth, penis to rectum and mouth to vagina contact. Gonorrhea can also be spread from mother to child during birth.
Gonorrhea is treated with penicillin or other antibiotics in pill form or by injection into the buttocks. All strains of gonorrhea are curable but this disease is becoming more and more resistant to many standard medications.

Current Affairs for IAS Prelims Exam 2018: 11 July 2017

15.    India will soon join Global Foreign Exchange Committee (GFXC). Against this backdrop, consider the following statements related to GFXC.
1)    It was established by the G20 in May 2017 in London.
2)    It seeks to promote collaboration and communication among the local FXCs and non-GFXC jurisdictions with significant FX markets
3)    It will also maintain and update ‘Global Code of Conduct for the Foreign Exchange Markets’ issued by Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

Which of the above statements is/are true?

a)    1 and 2 only
b)    2 and 3 only
c)    1 and 3 only
d)    1,2 and 3

Ans. (b) 2 and 3 only

Explanation

About GFXC

•    The Global Foreign Exchange Committee (GFXC) was set up under guidance of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), an international financial organisation.
•    The GFXC was established in London during a meeting in May 2017 of public and private sector representatives from the foreign exchange committees (FXCs) of 16 international forex trading centres.
•    The newly expanded and formalised GFXC, replaces a similar but more informal organisation of eight FXCs - Australia, Euro area, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, UK and the USA.
•    The committee will include representatives from existing, or soon to be established FXCs or similar structures in China, India, Brazil, Korea, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland.
Objectives of GFXC
•    To promote collaboration and communication among the local FXCs and non-GFXC jurisdictions with significant FX markets
•    To facilitate exchange views on trends and developments in global FX markets, including on the structure and functioning of those markets, drawing on information gathered at the various FXCs
•    To promote, maintain and update on a regular basis the FX Global Code (the Code) and consider good practices regarding effective mechanisms to support adherence. The committee will also maintain and update ‘Global Code of Conduct for the Foreign Exchange Markets’ issued by the BIS.  
About Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
•    It is an international financial organisation owned by 60 member central banks, representing countries from around the world including India.
•    It fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks.
•    The BIS carries out its work through its meetings, programmes and through the Basel Process – hosting international groups pursuing global financial stability and facilitating their interaction.
•    Its headquarter is located in Basel, Switzerland.

16. Recently, the Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for signing a Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) between India and Germany on cooperation in the field of:

a. Health and Education
b. Solar Energy
c. Space Technology
d. Cyber Security

Answer: a

Explanation:

Recently, the Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for signing a Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) between India and Germany on cooperation in the field of Health.
The JDI covers the following areas of cooperation:-

a) Postgraduate education;
b) Training of medical personnel;
c) Pharmaceuticals and Pharma-co-economics; and
d) Health economics.

A Working Group will be set up to further elaborate the details of cooperation and to oversee the implementation of this JDI.

17. Recently, the Union Cabinet has given its approval for the Joint Interpretative Notes (JIN) on the Agreement between India and Bangladesh for the Promotion and Protection of Investments. Consider the following statements regarding this:

1) The JIN would impart clarity to the interpretation of the existing Agreement between India and Bangladesh for the Promotion and Protection of Investments (BIPA).
2) The JIN includes interpretative notes to be jointly adopted the definition of investor, the definition of investment, exclusion of taxation measures, Fair and Equitable Treatment (FET), National Treatment (NT) and Most Favoured Nation (MFN) treatment and much more.

Which of the above statements is true?

a. Only 1
b. Both 1 and 2
c. Only 2
d. None of the above

Answer: b

Explanation:

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the Joint Interpretative Notes (JIN) on the Agreement between India and Bangladesh for the Promotion and Protection of Investments.
The JIN would impart clarity to the interpretation of the existing Agreement between India and Bangladesh for the Promotion and Protection of Investments (BIPA). The JIN includes interpretative notes to be jointly adopted for many clauses, including, the definition of investor, definition of investment, exclusion of taxation measures, Fair and Equitable Treatment (FET), National Treatment (NT) and Most Favoured Nation (MFN) treatment, expropriation, essential security interests and Settlement of Disputes between an Investor and a Contracting Party.

Joint Interpretative Statements play an important supplementary role in strengthening the investment treaty regime. With increasing Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) disputes, issuance of such statements is likely to have strong persuasive value before tribunals. Such pro-active approach by States can foster a more predictable and coherent reading of treaty terms by arbitration tribunals.

18. Consider the following statements regarding the Falun Gong- an ancient meditation practice, which is often seen in news:

1) Falun Gong is a Japanese spiritual practice that combines meditation and qigong exercises with a moral philosophy.
2) Falun Gong is banned in China.
3) Falun Gong will be celebrated in India on July 15 with a parade.

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: c

Explanation:

Falun Gong is a Chinese spiritual practice that combines meditation and qigong exercises with a moral philosophy centred on the tenets of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. The practice emphasises morality and the cultivation of virtue and identifies as a qigong practice of the Buddhist school, though its teachings also incorporate elements drawn from Taoist traditions.

Falun Gong is banned in China but it will be celebrated in India on July 15 with a parade and Human Word Formation by the Falun Dafa Association of India, which has been teaching Falun Gong in India. This event would highlight the persecution against the practitioners in China.

The Falun Dafa Association of India has been campaigning for months to familiarise the challenges that the followers of this group are facing in China. This parade aims to create awareness of the severe persecution suffered by Falun Dafa practitioners in China for over several years. Through moral rectitude and the practice of meditation, practitioners of Falun Gong aspire to eliminate attachments, and ultimately to achieve spiritual enlightenment.

Current Affairs for IAS Prelims 2018- April 2017

19. Which country has recently banned the destructive fishing practice of bottom trawling in its waters?

a. India
b. Sri Lanka
c. Bangladesh
d. All of the above

Answer: b

Explanation:

Sri Lanka recently banned the destructive fishing practice of bottom trawling in their waters. The development could directly impact a section of fishermen from Tamil Nadu, who engage in bottom-trawling and have often been found trespassing in Sri Lanka’s territorial waters.

While overfishing has long been recognised as causing major ecological changes to the fish community on the Grand Banks, concern has been raised more recently about the damage which benthic trawling inflicts upon seabed communities.

A species of particular concern is the slow growing, deep-water coral Lophelia pertusa. This species is home to a diverse community of deep sea organisms but is easily damaged by fishing gear.

Bottom trawling stirs up the sediment at the bottom of the sea. The suspended solid plumes can drift with the current for tens of kilometres from the source of the trawling. These plumes introduce a turbidity which decreases light levels at the bottom and can affect kelp reproduction.

Ocean sediments are the sink for many persistent organic pollutants, usually lipophilic pollutants like DDT, PCB and PAH. Bottom trawling mixes these pollutants into the plankton ecology where they can move back up the food chain and into our food supply.

Even in areas where the bottom sediments are ancient, bottom trawling, by reintroducing the sediment into the water column can create harmful algae blooms. More suspended solids are introduced into the oceans from bottom trawling than any other man-made source.

20. Recently, Japan’s men-only Island has been given the UNESCO heritage tag. Consider the following statements regarding criteria to be selected as a UNESCO heritage site:

1) Nominated sites for UNESCO heritage site must be of "outstanding universal value".

2) It must bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilisation which is living or which has disappeared.

3) The site must be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture, or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change.

Which of the above are the correct criteria?

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

A men-only island in Japan where women are banned and male visitors must bathe naked in the sea before visiting its shrine has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Nominated sites must be of "outstanding universal value" and meet at least one of the ten criteria. These criteria are as follows:

• Represents a masterpiece of human creative genius and cultural significance
• Exhibits an important interchange of human values, over a span of time, or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning, or landscape design
• To bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilisation which is living or which has disappeared
• Is an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural, or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates a significant stage in human history
• Is an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture, or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change
• Is directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance

• Contains superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance
• Is an outstanding example representing major stages of Earth's history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features
• Is an outstanding example representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems, and communities of plants and animals
• Contains the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.

21. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) to set up India’s first TISC in which of the following state?
a. Punjab
b. Gujarat
c. Maharashtra
d. Haryana

Answer: a

Explanation:

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, signed an Institutional agreement with the Punjab State Council of Science and Technology in New Delhi today to establish India’s first Technology and Innovation Support Center (TISC) at Patent Information Centre, Punjab, under the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) TISC program.

The objective of the TISC is to stimulate a dynamic, vibrant and balanced Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) system in India to foster creativity and innovation, thereby promoting entrepreneurship and enhancing social, economic and cultural development by establishing a network of TISCs in India.

WIPO’s Technology and Innovation Support Centre (TISC) program provides innovators in developing countries with access to locally based, high-quality technology information and related services, helping them to exploit their innovative potential and to create, protect, and manage their Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).

ECONOMIC SURVEY 2016-17 IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

22. Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for up gradation and widening of 65 kms of Imphal-Moreh Section of NH-39 in Manipur. Consider the following statements regarding this:
1. The project is being developed with ADB's loan assistance under the South Asian Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity Investment Program (Tranche 2) which aims at up gradation of road infrastructure in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and India (BBIN) in order to improve the regional connectivity among BBIN nations.
2. The project corridor is also a part of the Asian Highway No. 01 (AH01) and acts as India's Gateway to the East.
3. Besides socio-economic development, the project will also lead to a reduction in average travel time along the project road by nearly 40%.

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: c

Explanation:

The Cabinet Committee on Economic has given its approval for up gradation and widening of 65 kms of Imphal-Moreh Section of NH-39 in Manipur at a cost of Rs. 1630.29 crores.
Manipur is a landlocked state with almost 90% of the area under difficult terrain presently has only road transport as a means of mass transport system within the state. Hence the development of the road infrastructure is of paramount importance to improve connectivity and progress of the State and to ensure that the administrative set up reaches the isolated and remote habitats. The project will improve connectivity between Imphal with the eastern part of the state. Based on the existing and projected traffic requirements the NH-39 will be widened to 4 lanes between Lilong village and Wanginj village, while the stretch between Wanginj village to Khongkhang will be upgraded to 2 lane with a paved shoulder.

The project is being developed with ADB's loan assistance under the South Asian Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity Investment Program which aims at up gradation of road infrastructure in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and India (BBIN) in order to improve the regional connectivity among BBIN nations. The project corridor is also a part of the Asian Highway No. 01 (AH01) and acts as India's Gateway to the East. Thus trade, commerce and tourism in the region will get a boost.

23. Recently, the Indian astronomers discover a super cluster of galaxies which they named as the:
a. Cosmos
b. Saraswati
c. Andromeda
d. Ganga

Answer: b

Explanation:

A team of Indian Pune-based Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) astronomers has discovered an extremely large supercluster of galaxies —— as big as 20 million billion suns — which they have named Saraswati.

This is one of the largest known structures in the neighbourhood of the universe, 4,000 million light-years away from Earth and roughly more than 10 billion years old, IUCAA said. Its mass extends over the scale of 600 million light years. Scientists of this institute were also involved in the path-breaking discovery of gravitational waves last year.
A cluster could roughly have galaxies ranging from 1000 to 10,000. A super cluster could have clusters ranging from 40 to 43.

24. The union cabinet has recently approved the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Investment Program. Consider the following statements regarding SASEC:
1. The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program brings together Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
2. Asian Development Bank (ADB) serves as the Secretariat for the SASEC member countries.

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program was set up in 2001 for bringing together Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka in a project-based partnership to promote regional prosperity by improving cross-border connectivity, boosting trade among member countries, and strengthening regional economic cooperation.

Since 2001, SASEC countries have implemented regional projects in the energy, transport, trade facilitation, economic corridor development, and information and communications technology (ICT) sectors. The Manila, Philippines-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) serves as the Secretariat for the SASEC member countries.

25. Consider the following statements regarding the cryptocurrencies:
1. Bitcoin became the first decentralised cryptocurrency.
2. There are already 3 major Bitcoin exchanges in India like Zebpay, Coinsecure and Unocoin.

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

Cryptocurrencies are a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the creation of additional units of the currency. Bitcoin became the first decentralised cryptocurrency in 2009. Since then, numerous cryptocurrencies have been created. These are frequently called altcoins, as a blend of bitcoin alternative.

Cryptocurrency, and especially bitcoin is nothing new in India, and there are already 3 major bitcoin exchanges: Zebpay, Coinsecure and Unocoin. The growth of cryptocurrency in India had been growing steadily, just like in most parts of the world, up until the end of last year.

Current Affairs Quizzes 2016 for IAS Prelims 2018

 

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