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Showing posts from February 21, 2017

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 18 February 2017

Q. Fundamental duties were included in the constitution by which of the following amendments? A. 40th
B. 42nd
C. 44th
D. 43rd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Answer B
Q. Which of the following is/are correct regarding Kamov KA-226T helicopters? 1. It is a heavy multi-role helicopter
2. Variants of the Ka-226 have the NATO reporting name of Hoodlum. A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both
D. None. . . . . . . . . . . . . Answer B
Q. An increase in the Bank Rate generally indicates that the A. market rate of interest is likely to fall
B. Central Bank is no longer making loans to commercial banks
C. Central Bank is following an easy money policy
D. Central Bank is following a tight money policy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Answer D

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 21 February 2017

Q- Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding poly metallic nodules? 1. Rare Earth materials are found in poly metallic nodules
2. Government of India signed a 15 year contract with International Seabed Authority for exploration of polymetallic nodules from Central Antartic Ocean Basin in 2002. A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both
D. None. . . . . . . . . . .
Answer A Q- Which among the following is/ are correctly matched? 1. South Korea. -CEPA
2. ASEAN. - CECA
3. THAILAND. - PTA A. 1 only
B. 1 and 2
C. 2 and 3
D. All... . . . . . . . . . . . .. . Answer B

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 20 February 2017

Q -Which of the following is/are correct regarding farakka barrage? 1. It is situated on the hooghly river
2. It was first started in 1975 A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both
D. None. . . . . . . . . . . . Answer B With reference to 3D Printing, consider the following statements 1. It is also called additive manufacturing
2. To perform a print, the machine reads the design from 3D printable file Which of the statements given above is/are correct? A. 1 only
B. 2 Only
C. Both
D. None.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Answer C

Q. Which of the following discontinuity is present at the intersection of earth's mantle and core? A. Mohorovicic
B. Guttensburg
C. Conard
D. Lehmann. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Answer C

Won’t grant NOCs to uranium mining projects in Meghalaya: Khasi District Council (downtoearth,)

With the Central government planning to revive uranium mining in Meghalaya, the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) has taken the side of the student organisations and NGOs opposing Centre’s plans. According to Chief Executive Member of KHADC, P N Syiem, the council has unanimously approved the decision to not grant No Objection Certificate to uranium mining in Meghalaya.

On February 8, in a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha, Jitendra Singh, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), who is also handling the Atomic Energy portfolio, said that it has already planned to develop the mineral resources at Domiasiat, a village in West Khasi Hills, about 130 kilometres from the state capital, under the name of ‘Kylleng- Pdengsohiong-Mawthabah (KPM) Uranium Mining Project’.

Incidentally, in August, 2016, the Meghalaya government revoked its earlier decision that granted permission to the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) to conduct uranium exp…

A plan to install 10 million fans for "refreezing" Arctic (downtoearth,)

After alarming levels of ice cap melting recorded from the Earth’s poles, scientists have proposed a plan to refreeze the Arctic ice to potentially battle climate change. The US $400 billion plan was published as a paper in Earth’s Future by Arizona State University researchers.

Researchers say that installing 10 million wind-powered pumps over the ice cap to spray sea water over the surface and replenish melting ice may keep the shrinking of poles in check.

The pumps can be switched on in the winter months to draw water from the ocean under the ice and deposit saltwater on ice surface. The seawater would freeze, forming an extra layer on the ice mass.

Lead author of the study, Steven Desch says this process can add ice layer up to one metre thick. To give a sense of scale, current thickness of ice is commonly around 2-3 metres.

Desch adds that believes that although the plan is expensive, it may be what needs to be done. “This loss of sea ice represents one of the most severe positive fe…

UN must help Africa meet Sustainable Development Goals, says Secretary-General (downtoearth,)

The United Nations would have failed in its work if it fails to make a difference in Africa, Secretary-General António Guterres said Sunday.

Speaking at a Town Hall meeting with UN staff in Addis Ababa Sunday, Secretary-General Guterres said the success of the UN worldwide was linked to its success in Africa, especially in terms of the UN’s development and peace and security policies.

He said the UN should help African governments to successfully implement Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals, a plan of action, which seeks to eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions from communities around the world.

Guterres said it was crucial for the UN to get it right in Africa and change the lives of the ordinary people, adding the UN’s peace and security policies should aim to help the continent more.

“Africa is unfortunately seen mostly as a continent with crises and sometimes we in the UN are also responsible for that,” he said.

Stressing that there are many remarkable Afric…

Bengaluru orders compulsory waste segregation by households, but challenges remain (downtoearth,)

Bengaluru’s municipal corporation has ordered compulsory segregation of waste by all households, taking a step towards better waste management. The order by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has come into effect from February 1.

It was estimated that only 30 per cent of the city’s waste was segregated at source before the announcement. BBMP claims to generate close to 3,500 tonnes of waste per day, but figures published by non-profit Centre for Science and Environment present a larger estimate of 4,000 tonnes per day. According to BBMP website, each of the city’s 25 lakh households produce close to 1.2 - 1.5kgs waste every day. Close to 54 per cent of the household waste is organic in composition.

The pourakarmikas or sanitation workers have been instructed to collect only segregated waste from households. While wet waste will be collected every day, dry waste will be collected twice a week. Defaulters will be fined of Rs 100 after the introductory week in the first phase. Th…

Funds for research on neglected diseases lowest in 2015 (downtoearth)

Global funding for research and development on neglected diseases reached a historic low in 2015, driven by declining public sector investment.

The G-FINDER report by Australia-based independent group, Policy Cures Research, says that the decline is due to the lack of funding by rich countries. According to it, this is the lowest-ever funding on record by the US. Same can be said of the UK. The G-FINDER analysis tracks public and private investment in diseases that affect people in the developing countries.

Over 1 billion people in 149 countries worldwide suffer from one or more neglected diseases, and they are now included in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Less money for “top tier” diseases

In 2015, the latest year for which figures are made available, US $ 3.041 billion was invested in research and development (R&D) of neglected diseases. This is a 2.3 per cent reduction when compared to 2014 and the third successive year of decreased funding. Despite cash crunch, investmen…

A brave new self-help world (Hindu)

We may have complained about the post-War order, but the lack of an intellectual replacement is a nightmare

While it is easy to laugh off or flatly dismiss U.S. President Donald Trump’s ‘un-American’ policies, a closer look at the larger context of his actions, articulations and their potential implications indicates the onset of a whole new world order, one that we may not necessarily like. The unsettling symptoms of a new world dis-order have been around for some time, but the election of Mr. Trump has now made it a near certainty. Are we then witnessing the gradual demise of the post-War world order, one that we often complained about, for a number of legitimate reasons, and yet clung to, especially after the Soviet alternative turned out to be a disappointment?

The age of uncertainties
We live in an age of myriad uncertainties. Political and geostrategic developments around the world today could potentially dispel some of our age-old certainties, values we hold dear, and potentia…

Being positive helps change attitudes (Hindu)

Information campaigns can reduce public opposition to immigration and motivate citizens to take action

Fears around immigration are not new and have been exacerbated by populist waves and the migrant crisis. India too is feeling the heat. In this context, a discussion paper titled ‘Countering Public Opposition to Immigration: The Impact of Information Campaigns’ from Europe’s Centre for Economic Policy Research is illuminating.

Giovanni Facchini, Yotam Margalit and Hiroyuki Nakata conducted a social experiment in Japan on the effect of exposure to positive information about immigration on attitudes towards immigrants. Japan was chosen for its rapidly ageing population, low birth rate, severe labour shortages in some sectors, and low levels of immigration due to public opposition. Subjects in the study were told that they were assessing texts as potential school curricular options (knowing the objective of the exercise could distort their responses).

All 9,000 participants were given …

In India, diverging incomes despite equalising force (Hindu)

Disparities have been strengthening, not weakening, over time. The less developed States are falling behind the richer ones instead of catching up

If India has to do well, the States as a whole must do well — which also requires that large differences in economic development between them must narrow over time. Economists call this narrowing — reduction in relative disparities — “convergence”.

This year’s Economic Survey throws up a deep puzzle about convergence within India. Rather, one striking outcome suggests two puzzles. The outcome is this: in the 2000s, while standards of living (measured in terms of Gross State Domestic Product or consumption) per capita increased in all the States, the disparities among them also increased. In other words, there was divergence across the States instead of convergence. The first puzzle stems from the international comparisons: across countries disparities are declining in contrast to India. The second puzzle is a temporal one: the tendency tow…

Two-state solution is dead (Hindu)

There are two alternatives. Israel wants one, but it is time for international actors to push for the other

U.S. President Donald Trump’s refusal to endorse the two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has understandably triggered sharp responses. At least since the 1993 Oslo Accords, giving statehood to the Palestinians has been the bedrock of any proposal to solve the oldest conflict in modern West Asia. It’s the internationally acknowledged solution. But Mr. Trump’s refusal to endorse the idea did not come out of the blue. For decades, the U.S. has played a partisan role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After the failed 2000 Camp David summit, hosted by President Bill Clinton, Washington never made any meaningful attempt to push the Israelis to accept the two-state proposal. The 2007 Annapolis conference hosted by President George W. Bush was not more than a photo opportunity. Under President Barack Obama, State Secretary John Kerry launched a peace bid which co…

Guilty until…(Hindu)

The wrongful arrest of two men in the 2005 Delhi blasts case must invite introspection

ADelhi court’s acquittal of two persons accused of involvement in the 2005 serial blasts in the city, thereby bringing an end to their long incarceration, brings to light another instance of unconscionable miscarriage of justice in this country. Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh acquitted the two men — Mohammad Hussain Fazli and Mohammad Rafiq Shah — of all charges, while saying it found no evidence to link the third accused, Tariq Ahmed Dar, to the blasts, though it convicted him for being a member of a terrorist organisation. At one level, the judgment is a reassuring affirmation of the independence at the lower rungs of the Indian judiciary. But it must invite, visibly, a response from the state to inquire into and address the processes that keep investigating agencies and prosecutors so determinedly on false trails. The frightening monotony with which Indian agencies have been failing to …