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IAS Preparation Questions for Prelims: 29 March 2018

Current affairs have been an essential section of IAS Exam and it has to be prepared with an effective strategy on daily basis. The every-day current affairs on the topics like the economy, polity, science and technology, environment and ecology and topics of international importance are very important for IAS Exam. Here, we have provided current affairs quizzes based on such topics are very important for IAS Exam.

1. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for enhancing the scope of Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY). Consider the following statements regarding the PMRPY:
1. PMRPY has been in operation since August 2014.
2. Under the scheme, Government is paying the 8.33% contribution of Employers to the Employees' Pension Scheme (EPS) in respect of new employees (who have joined on or after 1st April 2016) having a new Universal Account Number (UAN), with salary up to Rs. 15,000/- per month.
3. The scheme has a dual benefit i.e., on the one hand, the employers are incentivized for increasing the employment base of workers in the establishments, and on the other hand, a large number of workers will find jobs in such establishments.

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: c

Explanation:

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for enhancing the scope of Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY). The Government of India will now contribute the Employer's full admissible contribution for the first three years from the date of registration of the new employee for all the sectors including existing beneficiaries for their remaining period of three years.

The informal sector workers would get social safety net and there would be more job creation. Till now, the scheme has produced quite encouraging results and has added about 31 Lakhs beneficiaries to the formal employment involving an expenditure of more than Rs. 500 crore.

Background:

PMRPY has been in operation since August 2016. In this scheme, Government is paying the 8.33% contribution of Employers to the Employees' Pension Scheme (EPS) in respect of new employees (who have joined on or after 1st April 2016) having a new Universal Account Number (UAN), with salary up to Rs. 15,000/- per month. The scheme has a dual benefit i.e., on the one hand, the employers are incentivized for increasing the employment base of workers in the establishments, and on the other hand, a large number of workers will find jobs in such establishments. A direct benefit is that these workers will have access to social security benefits of the organized sector.

 

2. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal of the Department of Fertilizers for fixation of Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) rates for P&K Fertilizers for the year 2018-19. Consider the following statements regarding this:
1. Government is making available fertilizers, namely Urea and 21 grades of P&K fertilizers to farmers at subsidized prices through fertilizer manufacturers/importers.
2. The subsidy on P&K fertilizers is being governed by NBS Scheme with effect from 1 April 2010.
3. The Government has increased the subsidy expenditure by Rs. 1913.07 crore in comparison to Financial Year 2017-18 to save the farmers from the impact of an increase in international prices of P&K fertilizers.

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 Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal of the Department of Fertilizers for fixation of Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) rates for P&K Fertilizers for the year 2018-19.

The CCEA has also accorded ex-post facto approval on the proposal of the Department of Fertilizers subsidy paid on specific quantity of P&K fertilizers received in the districts during February & March months in different years since 2012-13 at the rates fixed for the next financial year which were lower than the rates approved by Cabinet/CCEA for that year.

The CCEA has authorized Department of Fertilizers for releasing subsidy, if required, as per the rates fixed for the financial year or of the next financial year whichever is lower on the specific category/quantity of P&K fertilizers received in districts during February and March months of the year in consultation with Department of Expenditure.
Financial Outlay:

The expected expenditure for the release of subsidy on P&K fertilizers during 2018-19 will be Rs. 23007.16 crore.

Background:

Government is making available fertilizers, namely Urea and 21 grades of P&K fertilizers to farmers at subsidized prices through fertilizer manufacturers/importers. The subsidy on P&K fertilizers is being governed by NBS Scheme with effect from 1 April 2010. In accordance with its farmer-friendly approach, the Government is committed to ensure the availability of P&K fertilizers to the farmers at an affordable price. The Government has increased the subsidy expenditure by Rs. 1913.07 crore in comparison to Financial Year 2017-18 to save the farmers from the impact of an increase in international prices of P&K fertilizers.

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3. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for continuation of Credit Guarantee Fund for Education Loans Scheme and continuation and modification of Central Sector Interest Subsidy Scheme (CSIS). Consider the following statements regarding this:
1. In order to allow more students to access the benefit, (and also considering that the average loan size has been only Rs. 4 lakhs), the ceiling on the loan amount has been refixed at Rs. 7.5 lakhs.
2. CSIS Scheme was launched on 1st April 2009 under which full interest subsidy is provided for the education loan taken from Scheduled Banks under the Model Education Loan Scheme of Indian Banks' Association, covering a period of course duration +1 year.

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 Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for continuation of Credit Guarantee Fund for Education Loans Scheme and continuation and modification of Central Sector Interest Subsidy Scheme with a financial outlay of Rs. 6,600 crore for the period from 2017-18 to 2019-20.

Central Sector Interest Subsidy (CSIS) Scheme was launched on 1st April 2009. Under the Scheme, full interest subsidy is provided for the education loan taken from Scheduled Banks under the Model Education Loan Scheme of Indian Banks' Association, covering a period of course duration + 1 year. This is made available for all the professional/technical courses in India and students with annual gross parental income up to Rs. 4.5 lakhs were eligible. The loans are disbursed without any collateral security and third-party guarantee. An amount of Rs. 9,408.52 crore has been disbursed towards interest subsidy and 25.10 lakh students have benefitted till date.

Credit Guarantee Fund for Education Loans (CGFEL) Scheme provides a guarantee for the education loan under the Model Education Loan Scheme of Indian Banks' Association, disbursed by the banks without seeking any collateral security and third-party guarantee, for a maximum loan amount of Rs. 7.5 Lakh.

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4. Recently, India has signed a MoU in the field of Judicial Cooperation with which of the following countries?
a. Mozambique
b. Zambia
c. Nigeria
d. Tanzania

Answer: b

Explanation:

The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Zambia in the field of Judicial Cooperation.

During recent years, social, cultural and commercial relations between India and Zambia have developed in the positive direction. The signing of an agreement on cooperation in the field of justice will further enhance good relations between the two countries and add new dimensions in the field of judicial reforms.

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5. Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal of Department of School Education and Literacy to formulate an Integrated Scheme on School Education by subsuming Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE) from 1st April 2018 to 31st March 2020. Consider the following statements regarding this:
1. The scheme comes in the backdrop of PM’s vision of Sabko Shiksha, Achhi Shiksha and aims to support the States in universalizing access to school education from classes pre-nursery to XII across the country.
2. The main emphasis of the Integrated Scheme is on improving quality of school education by focussing on the two T's - Teacher and Technology.
3. The Scheme gives flexibility to the States and UTs to plan and prioritize their interventions within the scheme norms and the overall resource envelope available to them.

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 Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal of Department of School Education and Literacy to formulate an Integrated Scheme on School Education by subsuming Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE) from 1st April 2018 to 31st March 2020. An estimated allocation of Rs 75,000 crore over the period has been approved which is a 20% increase over the current allocations. The scheme comes in the backdrop of PM’s vision of Sabko Shiksha, Achhi Shiksha and aims to support the States in universalizing access to school education from classes pre-nursery to XII across the country.

Main Features of the Scheme:

The vision of the Scheme is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education from nursery to senior secondary stage in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goal for Education. The main emphasis of the Integrated Scheme is on improving quality of school education by focussing on the two T's - Teacher and Technology.

Impact:

The Scheme gives flexibility to the States and UTs to plan and prioritize their interventions within the scheme norms and the overall resource envelope available to them. It will help improve the transition rates across the various levels of school education and aid in promoting universal access to children to complete school education. The Scheme, by providing quality education, aims to equip the children with varied skills and knowledge essential for their holistic development and prepare them for the world of work or higher education in the future. It would lead to an optimal utilization of budgetary allocations and effective use of human resources and institutional structures created for the erstwhile Schemes.

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