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IAS Preparation Questions for Prelims: 26 to 30 March 2018

The IAS aspirant should read current affairs topics and questions based on those topics every day. An IAS aspirant having such strategy of practicing current affairs questions on daily basis will also give an edge to the preparation for the IAS Mains Exam. As per the recent trend, most of the questions asked either in IAS Prelims or in IAS Mains Exam used to be associated with current happenings of national and international importance.

Here, we have provided current affairs quizzes are most effective for IAS Prelims Exam 2018 but the topics covered in questions are also important for the IAS Mains Exam.

1. India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F08) successfully launched GSAT-6A Satellite into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) on March 29, 2018. Consider the following statements regarding this:

1. This launch of GSLV was its twelfth and took place from the Second Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.
2. In its oval-shaped GTO, GSAT-6A is now orbiting the Earth with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 169.4 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 36,692.5 km with an orbital inclination of 20.64 degrees with respect to the equator.
3. The Satellite will be commissioned into service after the completion of orbit raising operations and it’s positioning in the designated slot in GSO following in-orbit testing of its payloads.

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:

India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F08) successfully launched GSAT-6A Satellite into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) on March 29, 2018. This launch of GSLV was its twelfth and took place from the Second Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota, the spaceport of India. This is the fifth consecutive success achieved by GSLV carrying indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage.

In its oval-shaped GTO, GSAT-6A is now orbiting the Earth with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 169.4 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 36,692.5 km with an orbital inclination of 20.64 deg with respect to the equator.

Few seconds before the launch countdown reached zero, the four liquid propellant strap-on motors of GSLV-F08, each with nearly 43 tons of liquid propellants, were ignited. At count zero and after confirming the normal performance of all the four strap-on motors, the 139-ton solid propellant first stage core motor was ignited and GSLV lifted off. GSAT-6A is a communication satellite built by ISRO to provide mobile communication services through multi-beam coverage. For this, it is equipped with S and C band transponders.

 

2. Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland regarding cooperation and Exchange of Information for the Purposes of Combating International Criminality and Tackling Serious Organised Crime. Consider the following statements regarding this:
1. This is the first instance of the signing of such MoU regarding the investigation and prosecution of crime and the tracing, restraint and confiscation of the proceeds and instruments of crime with the UK.
2. The MoU will reinforce the collaboration in the field of security that will be mutually beneficial.

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: b

Explanation:

The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland regarding cooperation and Exchange of Information for the Purposes of Combating International Criminality and Tackling Serious Organised Crime.

India and U.K. already have an agreement concerning the investigation and prosecution of crime and the tracing, restraint and confiscation of the proceeds and instruments of crime (including crimes involving currency transfers) and terrorist funds, which was signed in 1995. Both the countries desire to further strengthen cooperation in fighting international criminality and serious organized crime. The MoU will reinforce the collaboration in the field of security that will be mutually beneficial.

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3. Recently, the Union Cabinet has given its ex-post approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Canada on IPRs. Consider the following statements regarding this:
1. The MoU is intended to promote innovation, creativity and economic growth in both countries.
2. The MoU establishes a broad and flexible framework through which both countries can exchange best practices and work together on training programs and technical exchanges to raise awareness on IPRs and better protect intellectual property rights (IPRs).
3. Under the MoU, cooperation to understand how traditional knowledge is protected; and the exchange of best practices, including traditional knowledge related databases and awareness raising of existing IP systems.

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 ex-post approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Canada.   The MoU was signed on 23rd February 2018 to establish bilateral cooperation activities in the field of Intellectual Property (IP). The MoU is intended to promote innovation, creativity and economic growth in both countries.

The MoU establishes a broad and flexible framework through which both countries can exchange best practices and work together on training programs and technical exchanges to raise awareness on IPRs and better protect intellectual property rights (IPRs).

The priority initiatives under the MoU include:

  • Exchange of best practices, experiences and knowledge on how to raise IP awareness among the public, businesses and educational institutions of both countries;
  • Exchange of experts for interacting with the human resources engaged in specialized IP fields;
  • Exchange and dissemination of best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP with industry, Universities, research and development organizations and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) through participation in programs, training, and events, organised singly or jointly by the participants;
  • Cooperation in the development of automation arid implementation of modernization projects, new and existing documentation and information systems in IP and procedures for management of IP;
  • Cooperation to understand how traditional knowledge is protected; and the exchange of best practices, including traditional knowledge related databases and awareness raising of existing IP systems;
  • Collaboration in IP related training for local IP and business communities, and
  • Any other cooperation activities they may mutually decide upon within the scope of this MoU.

4. Recently, Express Mail Service (EMS) has been launched by the Ministry of Communications, is one-way import service from which of the following countries to India?
a. Japan
b. USA
c. Germany
d. China

Answer: a

Explanation:

Ministry of Communications has launched the Cool EMS Service which will come into force from 29 March 2018. Cool EMS service is one-way service from Japan to India which allows customers in India to import Japanese food items for personal use which is allowed under Indian regulations. Initially, Cool EMS Service will be available in Delhi only.

Food items will be carried by Japan Post in special cool boxes containing refrigerant to preserve the quality of the food items and addressee will collect them from Foreign Post office, Kotla Road, New Delhi in-person or through a messenger in the prescribed time frame. All other features like track and trace, etc of Express Mail Service (EMS) will be available for Cool EMS service as well.

IAS Exam 2018: All You Need Know

5. Recently, Union Cabinet has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and South Asian Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP) for cooperation on the response to Oil and Chemical Pollution in the South Asian Seas Region. Consider the following statements regarding this:
1. The MoU intends to promote closer cooperation between India and other maritime nations comprising the South Asian seas region.
2. Indian Coast Guard (ICG) will be the Competent National Authority and national operational contact point for implementation of "Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan" under the MoU.
3. The SACEP jointly with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) developed a "Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan" to facilitate international co-operation and mutual assistance in preparing and responding to a major oil pollution incident in the seas around the Maritime States of Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

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 approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and South Asian Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP) for cooperation on the response to Oil and Chemical Pollution in the South Asian Seas Region.

Impact:

The MoU intends to promote closer cooperation between India and other maritime nations comprising the South Asian seas region namely Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka for protection and preservation of the marine environment in the region.

Implementation:

Indian Coast Guard (ICG) will be the Competent National Authority and national operational contact point for implementation of "Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan" under the MoU and shall respond to oil and chemical spills on behalf of Government of India. Further, ICG Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCCs) will be the national emergency response centre for marine incidents.

Background:

In order to promote and support protection, management and enhancement of the environment in the South Asian region, the Governments of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka established the SACEP in 1982 in Sri Lanka. The SACEP jointly with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) developed a "Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan" to facilitate international co-operation and mutual assistance in preparing and responding to a major oil pollution incident in the seas around the Maritime States of Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

6. 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.

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7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. Which of the following is the Nodal Ministry of Election Commission? 

A. Ministry of Home

B. Ministry of Personal

C. Ministry of Law and Justice

D. None of the Above

Answer. C

Explanation: Though the Election Commission is an Independent Constitutional Body under Article 324 of the constitution of India, Ministry of Law and Justice is the nodal ministry for the Election Commission. Election Commission supervises the Elections of Lok Sabha, Elections of Rajya Sabha, Elections of State Assembly, Elections of State Legislative Councils, President Elections and Vice President Elections. 

12. As per the Economic Survey of India 2017-18, which of the following is not among the 10 New Economic Facts about India Economy?

A. For the first time in India’s history, data on the international exports of states has been  dwelt in the Economic Survey.

B. The data highlighted another seemingly known fact that Indian society exhibits a strong desire for a male child.

C. Extrapolating the data the survey indicated that growth in savings did not bring economic growth but the growth in investment did.

D. The survey mentions that collections of direct taxes by Indian states and other local governments, where they have powers to collect them is significantly higher than their counterparts in other federal countries. 

Answer. C

Explanation: The following are the 10 Economic Facts of Indian Economy.

1. Goods and Services Tax (GST) has given a new perceptive of the Indian economy and new data has emerged.  There has been a fifty percent increase in the number of indirect taxpayers. There has also been a large increase in voluntary registrations, especially by small enterprises that buy from large enterprises wanting to avail themselves of input tax credits.

2. India’s formal sector, especially formal non-farm payroll, is substantially greater than what it currently is believed to be. It became evident that when “formality” was defined in terms of social security provisions like EPFO/ESIC the formal sector payroll was found to be about 31 percent of the non-agricultural work force. 

3. For the first time in India’s history, data on the international exports of states has been  dwelt in the Economic Survey.  Such data indicates a strong correlation between export performance and states’ standard of living.  States that export internationally and trade with other states were found to be richer.

4. India’s exports are unusual in that the largest firms account for a much smaller share of exports than in other comparable countries. Top one percent of Indian firms account only for 38% of exports unlike in other countries where they account for substantially greater share – (72, 68, 67 and 55 percent in Brazil, Germany, Mexico and USA respectively).

5. It was pointed out that the Rebate of State Levies (ROSL) has increased exports of ready-made garments (man-made fibers) by about 16 per cent but not of others. 

6. The data highlighted another seemingly known fact that Indian society exhibits a strong desire for a male child.  It pointed out that most parents continued to have children until they get number of sons.  The survey gave details of various scenarios leading to skewed sex ratios and also gave a comparison on sex ratio by birth between India and Indonesia.

7. The survey pointed out that tax departments in India have gone in for contesting against in several tax disputes but also with a low success rate which is below 30 per cent. About 66 per cent of pending cases accounted for only 1.8 per cent of value at stake.   It further stated that 0.2 per cent of cases accounted for 56 per cent of the value at stake.

8. Extrapolating the data the survey indicated that growth in savings did not bring economic growth but the growth in investment did. 

9. The survey mentions that collections of direct taxes by Indian states and other local governments, where they have powers to collect them is significantly lower than their counterparts in other federal countries. 

10. The survey captures the footprints of climate change on the Indian territory and consequent adverse impact on agricultural yields.  Extreme temperature increases and deficiency in rainfall have been captured on the Indian map and the graphical changes in agricultural yields are brought out from such data.  The impact was found to be twice as large in un-irrigated areas as in irrigated ones.        

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13. The National Agricultural Research System comprises of

A.The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), other central research institutes 

B.National research centres set up by ICAR

C. Both 1 and 2

D None of the Above

Answer. C

Explanation:

India has built up a fairly advanced agricultural research system. The Indian NARS is one of the largest systems in the world. The present agricultural research system comprises essentially two main streams, viz. the ICAR at the national level and the Agricultural Universities at the state level. Besides, several other agencies such as the Conventional / General Universities, Scientific Organizations, and various Ministries / Departments at the Center, and also Private or Voluntary Organizations participate directly or indirectly in research activities related to agriculture. The ICAR directly administers 47 Research Institutes in the areas of crop, animal and fishery sciences.

14. When was the immunization programme was introduced in India?

A. 1978

B. 1976

C. 1980

D. 1974

Answer. A

Explanation: Immunization Programme in India was introduced in 1978 as Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI)

The programme gained momentum in 1985 and was expanded as Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) to be implemented in phased manner to cover all districts in the country by 1989-90.

UIP became a part of Child Survival and Safe Motherhood Programme in 1992 Since, 1997, immunization activities have been an important component of the National Reproductive and Child Health Programme and is currently one of the key areas under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) since 2005. Under the Universal Immunization Programme, Government of India is providing vaccination to prevent seven vaccine preventable diseases i.e.

Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Measles, severe form of Childhood Tuberculosis and Hepatitis B, Hiaemophilus influenza type b (Hib) and Diarrhea.

15. What is Rice Blast?

A. It is a new genetic procedure through which the productivity of rice can be increased manifold

B. It is an old traditional rice cultivating practice done in the North Eastern part of India

C. It is a fungus that destroys up to 30 per cent of the world’s rice crop each year.

D. None of the above

Answer. C

Explanation:  Rice blast is a fungus that destroys up to 30 per cent of the world’s rice crop each year. It is a disease that is hugely important in terms of global food security.

16. The International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) have signed the Host Country Agreement on 26 March 2018. Consider the following statements regarding this:
1.The Agreement will give ISA a juridical personality and gives it the power to contract, to acquire and dispose-off movable and immovable properties, to institute and defend legal proceedings.
2.Under this agreement, ISA shall enjoy such privileges, applicable tax concessions and immunities as are necessary for ISA’s Headquarter to independently discharge its function and programmes.
3.The International Solar Alliance is an initiative jointly launched by the Prime Minister of India and President of France on 30th November 2015 at Paris, in the presence of the Secretary-General of the UN, on the sidelines of COP21 UN Climate Change Conference.

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 International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), signed the Host Country Agreement here, today. The Agreement will give ISA a juridical personality and gives it the power to contract, to acquire and dispose-off movable and immovable properties, to institute and defend legal proceedings. Under this agreement, ISA shall enjoy such privileges, applicable tax concessions and immunities as are necessary for ISA’s Headquarter to independently discharge its function and programmes. ISA shall be deriving its status, privileges and immunities as per Article 10 of Framework Agreement.

The International Solar Alliance is an initiative jointly launched by the Prime Minister of India and President of France on 30th November 2015 at Paris, in the presence of the Secretary-General of the UN, on the sidelines of COP21 UN Climate Change Conference. The main objective of ISA is to undertake joint efforts required to reduce the cost of finance and the cost of technology, mobilize more than the US $ 1000 billion of investments needed  by 2030 for massive deployment of solar energy, and pave the way for future technologies adapted to the needs of 121 countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics.

17. GSAT-6A, the second predominantly S-band communications satellite, is set to be launched from Sriharikota on March 29, 2018. Consider the following statements regarding this:
1.It will complement GSAT-6, which has been orbiting since August 2000 at 83 degrees East longitude.
2.A special feature of the GSAT-6A is its 6-metre-wide umbrella-like antenna, which will be unfurled in once it is in space.
3.It is designated for the use of the Armed Forces and will not add any transponder capacity for general uses.

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 second predominantly S-band communications satellite- GSAT-6A, is set to be launched from Sriharikota on March 29. It will complement GSAT-6, which has been orbiting since August 2015 at 83 degrees East longitude. The 2,000-kg-class 6A, costing about ₹270 crore, is a great deal more than a routine communications satellite. It is designated for the use of the Armed Forces and will not add any transponder capacity for general uses, according to sources in the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

A special feature of the GSAT-6A is its 6-metre-wide umbrella-like antenna, which will be unfurled in once it is in space. The antenna is thrice as broad as the antennas generally used in ISRO satellites. It will enable mobile communication from anywhere via hand-held ground terminals. Regular communication satellites with smaller antenna require much larger ground stations, said a former director of ISRO.

18. World's longest cave 'Krem Puri' discovered in which of the following states?

a. Meghalaya
b. Maharashtra
c. Sikkim
d. Karnataka

Answer: a

Explanation:

The world’s longest sandstone cave named Krem Puri was discovered near Laitsohum village in Mawsynram area in East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya. The expedition team was accompanied by two associated scientists from India who conducted ongoing bio-speleological studies of the areas.
Krem Lumshken, located close to the Mawlongbna Tourism Guest House, proved to be the second longest cave to be explored in 2018, yielding 3,424 m of cave passage.

Krem Puri Underground Cavern

• Krem Puri is more than 6,000 metres longer than the world record-holder cave 'Cueva Del Saman' in Edo Zulia, Venezuela, a sandstone cave measuring 18,200 metres.

• It is known for its complex cave systems hidden under its surging hills.

• This sandstone cave is also India’s second longest cave in general category after limestone Krem Liat Prah-Umim-Labit system measuring little over 31 km in Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya.

• Krem Puri cave system also has fossils of dinosaurs, especially Mosasaurus, a giant reptile that lived 66-76 million years ago.

19. Recently, a ‘National Conference on Down Syndrome’ was organised by the National Trust under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in New Delhi on March 26, 2018. Consider the following statements regarding this:

1.The main objective of the conference was to provide excellent opportunities to the parents to obtain information about latest development in education and skilling and inclusive living of persons with Down syndrome.
2.A book titled ‘Twilights Children’ based on the lives of people suffering from Down syndrome was also released on the occasion.

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:

A ‘National Conference on Down Syndrome’ was organised by the National Trust under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in New Delhi on March 26, 2018.
The conference was inaugurated by Dr. Kamlesh Kumar Pandey, Chairman of National Trust in the presence of Mukesh Jain, JS & CEO of National Trust, Dr. Surekha Ramachandran, Chairperson of Down Syndrome Federation of India and various stakeholders associated with Down syndrome.

The main objective of the conference was to provide excellent opportunities to the parents to obtain information about latest development in education and skilling and inclusive living of persons with Down syndrome.

Key highlights

• The conference provided a common platform to intellectuals from all walks of life to come together and exchange ideas and knowledge on Down syndrome to enable a positive change in the people with Down syndrome.

• People with Down Syndrome and their parents were also invited to share their inspirational stories.

• The conference included assessment and screening sessions for the children with Down syndrome.

• It also included panel discussions on various topics related to the disorder and question-answer sessions with senior doctors of reputed hospitals.

• A book titled ‘Twilights Children’ based on the lives of people suffering from Down syndrome was also released on the occasion.

What is Down syndrome?

• It is a genetic disorder and the most common autosomal chromosome abnormality in humans, where extra genetic material from chromosome 21 is transferred to a newly formed embryo.

• These extra genes and DNA cause changes in the development of the embryo and fetus resulting in physical and mental abnormalities.

• The children diagnosed with the condition are likely to have delayed development and behavioural problems.

• The syndrome has no cure and it occurs in about one per 1,000 babies born each year.

Union Budget 2018-19 Highlights and Questions

20. A little spacecraft of which of the following space agencies of the world will ascend on a Falcon 9 rocket of the SpaceX to go up in the space in the next month?

a. NASA
b. ISRO
c. CNSA
d. JAXA

Answer: a

Explanation:

The search for the cosmic real estate is about to begin anew with NASA and SpaceX joining hands for their all-new combined mission. NASA’s little spacecraft, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, will ascend on a Falcon 9 rocket of the SpaceX to go up in the space on April 16 at 6:32 PM.

TESS, abound with cameras and ambition, would be staying between the moon and the Earth for at least two years, scanning the sky for alien worlds. TESS is the latest effort to answer questions that have intrigued mankind for the last 30 years: Is there life outside the Earth? Are there other Earths or is it the only planet with humans? Evidence of even a single microbe anywhere else in the galaxy is sure to stun science. Over a decade ago, astronomers didn’t know if planets outside our solar system existed, too or, if there were any, whether they could ever be discovered or not. But post-1995, after the discovery of a planet circling the sun-like star 51 Pegasi, there has been a revolution.

21. Recently, the Union has approved the North East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS). Consider the following statements regarding this:
1. Under the scheme, a number of exclusive incentives will be available to new industrial units being set up in any of the eight states.
2. An important provision provided in the scheme is the Central Capital Investment Incentive for Access to Credit (CCIIAC), as per which, 30% of the investment in the industrial plant and machinery with an upper limit of Rs. 5 crore will be provided as the incentive amount per unit.
3. The Central Comprehensive Insurance  Incentive (CCII) which will provide for reimbursement of 100% insurance premium on insurance of building and Industrial plant & machinery for 5 years from the date of commencement and commercial production by the Unit.

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:
Under the scheme, Special incentives for new Industrial units in Northeast, a number of exclusive incentives will be available to new industrial units being set up in any of the eight states. An important provision provided in the scheme is the Central Capital Investment Incentive for Access to Credit (CCIIAC), as per which, 30% of the investment in the industrial plant and machinery with an upper limit of Rs. 5 crore will be provided as the incentive amount per unit. In addition, he said, Central Interest Incentive (CII) will be available to the tune of 3% on working capital credit advanced by eligible Banks/Financial Institutions for first 5 years from the commencement of commercial production by the Unit.

22. Consider the following statements regarding the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana:
1. Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) is one of the flagship programmes of the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India to alleviate rural poverty.
2. The programme aims to organize the rural poor women into their own institutions like Self Help Groups and their federations, Producers’ Collectives etc. and also ensure their financial inclusion and livelihoods support.

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:

Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) is one of the flagship programmes of the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India to alleviate rural poverty. The programme aims to organize the rural poor women into their own institutions like Self Help Groups and their federations, Producers’ Collectives etc. and also ensure their financial inclusion and livelihoods support. Since its launch in 2011, the Mission has spread to 4456 Blocks of 584 Districts, across 29 States and 5 Union Territories. Women from 4.7 crore of the poorest and marginalized families have been mobilized into 39.9 lakh Self Help Groups, which have been federated into 2.20 lakh Village Organizations and 19,000 Cluster Level Federations. Women’s Self-Help Groups have now accessed Rs.151,000 crores of funds from banks. The Mission has succeeded in identifying and working with more than 33 lakh women farmers, to increase the productivity of farms and promote diversified livelihoods, especially by promoting entrepreneurship.

23. ISRO–BHEL Tie up for the Production of Space Grade Lithium-Ion Cells. Consider the following statements regarding this:

1. ISRO uses Li-Ion batteries as power sources for satellite and launches vehicle applications due to their high energy density, reliability and long cycle life.
2. Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) of ISRO at Thiruvananthapuram has successfully developed the technology to produce space grade Li-ion cell.
3. This Li-ion cell Technology Transfer will enable BHEL to produce space grade Li-Ion cells which can meet the country’s space programme requirements.

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:

ISRO has entered into a Technology Transfer Agreement (TTA) with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), which is one of the country’s leading PSUs, to transfer the technology for the manufacture of space grade Li-Ion cells. The TTA was signed at ISRO Headquarters, Bengaluru on 22 March 2018.

ISRO uses Li-Ion batteries as power sources for satellite and launches vehicle applications due to their high energy density, reliability and long cycle life. Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) of ISRO at Thiruvananthapuram has successfully developed the technology to produce space grade Li-ion cell, demonstrated the performance of the cell under various testing conditions and established its cycle life characteristics in accelerated mode. These cells are currently being used for various satellite and launch vehicle applications.

This Li-ion cell Technology Transfer will enable BHEL to produce space grade Li-Ion cells which can meet the country’s space programme requirements. This technology can also be adopted to cater to the Li-Ion cell requirement for other national needs.

24. Recently, the Bio-medical Waste Management Rules Amended to Protect Human Health. Consider the following statements regarding this:
1. Recent amendments will improve compliance and strengthen the implementation of environmentally sound management of biomedical waste in India.
2. Operators of common bio-medical waste treatment and disposal facilities shall establish barcoding and global positioning system for handling of bio-medical waste in accordance with guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board by March 27, 2019.

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:

Salient features of Bio-Medical Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2018 are as follows:

  • Bio-medical waste generators including hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, dispensaries, veterinary institutions, animal houses, pathological laboratories, blood banks, health care facilities, and clinical establishments will have to phase out chlorinated plastic bags (excluding blood bags) and gloves by March 27, 2019.
  • All healthcare facilities shall make available the annual report on its website within a period of two years from the date of publication of the Bio-Medical Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2018.
  • Operators of common bio-medical waste treatment and disposal facilities shall establish barcoding and global positioning system for handling of bio-medical waste in accordance with guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board by March 27, 2019.
  • The State Pollution Control Boards/ Pollution Control Committees have to compile, review and analyze the information received and send this information to the Central Pollution Control Board in a new Form (Form IV A), which seeks detailed information regarding district-wise bio-medical waste generation, information on Health Care Facilities having captive treatment facilities, information on common bio-medical waste treatment and disposal facilities.
  • Every occupier, i.e. a person having administrative control over the institution and the premises generating biomedical waste shall pre-treat the laboratory waste, microbiological waste, blood samples, and blood bags through disinfection or sterilization on-site in the manner as prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO) or guidelines on safe management of wastes from health care activities and WHO Blue Book 2014 and then sent to the Common bio-medical waste treatment facility for final disposal.

25. Consider the following statements regarding Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY):

1. PMJJBY offers a renewable one-year term life cover of Rupees Two Lakh to all subscribing bank account holders in the age group of 18 to 50 years.
2. Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) was launched on 9th May 2015.
3. The Scheme offered/administered through both Public and Private Sector Insurance companies, in a tie-up with scheduled commercial banks, Regional Rural Banks and Cooperative Banks.

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:

Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) were launched on 9th May 2015. The coverage period under these Schemes is 1st June of each year to 31st May of the subsequent year. These Schemes are offered/administered through both Public and Private Sector Insurance companies, in a tie-up with scheduled commercial banks, Regional Rural Banks and Cooperative Banks.

PMJJBY offers a renewable one-year term life cover of Rupees Two Lakh to all subscribing bank account holders in the age group of 18 to 50 years, covering death due to any reason, for a premium of Rs.330/- per annum per subscriber, to be auto-debited from subscriber’s bank account. Similarly, PMSBY offers a renewable one-year accidental death cum disability cover to all subscribing bank account holders in the age group of 18 to 70 years for a premium of Rs.12/- per annum per subscriber to be auto-debited from subscriber’s bank account. The scheme provides a cover of Rs. 2 Lakh for accidental death or total permanent disability and Rs One Lakh in case of permanent partial disability.

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