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Showing posts from March 25, 2017

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 18 December 2016

Q1- Which of the following is/are correct regarding Art 370 of the constitution?

1. The article is drafted in Part XXI of the Constitution.
2. This Article Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions.
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both
D. None

Q2 - Which of the following satellite was not launched in PSLV C-34?

A. M3MSat
B. LAPAN A-3
C. SkySat Gen2-1
D. All were launched

Q3 - Which of the following country recently demonetised their high value currency?

A. Cuba
B. South Korea
C. Venezuela
D. Canada.
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 Answer  1-C,2-D,3-C

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 24 March 2017

Q.1- Traditional knowledge digital library is an initiative between CSIR and which of the following ministry?

A. Ministry of Science
B. Ministry of Human resource development
C. Ministry of Ayush
D. None of the above

Q.2-Which of the following is correct regardingUnited Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):

1. has its headquarters are at New York, United States
2. has received two Nobel Peace Prizes
A. Only 1
B. Only 2
C. Both
D. None

Q.3- Which of the following statements are correct regarding World Trade organisation?

1. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations.
2. Kazakhstan is the latest member to join WTO
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both
D. None.
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 Answer  1-C,2-B,3-C

Gains in tuberculosis control threatened by drug resistance (downtoearth,)

Gains made in controlling tuberculosis (TB) are now threatened by growing drug-resistance in the bacteria that causes it. Experts from various countries including India, China and South Africa expressed their concern in an article published in the journal Lancet Respiratory Medicine, on March 23.

They opine that the rise and spread of two kinds of drug resistant TB—multi-drug resistant (MDR) and extremely drug resistant (XDR) tuberculosis—mirrors the spread of antimicrobial resistance against malaria, HIV and gram negative pathogens. It is believed that drug resistant-TB resulted out of poor compliance of treatment regimens and programmatic failure is now being questioned.

The multi-drug resistant variant of TB remains unaffected by two of the most powerful anti-TB drugs, isoniazid and rifampicin. XDR-TB, is a form of drug-resistant TB with additional resistance to more anti-TB drugs that therefore responds to even fewer available medicines. XDR-TB involves resistance to isoniazid an…

Mortal combat (Eat less, live long) (downtoearth,)

Squatted on a charpai just outside his one-room tenement in an obscure village called Karahal on the edges of the Chambal ravines in Madhya Pradesh, Ram Sevak Pathak exudes a Buddha-like serenity. His eyes, ears and knees might be deserting him, and his brain may now have a tenuous hold over his hand muscles, but looking at his relatively smooth skin, his upright spine, and, most remarkably, his exceptionally supple memory, no one can guess that the man is 105 years old.

What’s the secret of his long life when an average Indian man does not even cross 70? He betrays a childlike smile and replies with utter seriousness: “I believe the most important thing is to give your body the respect it deserves. If you don’t, there would be obvious consequences.” Pathak says that as much as he could, he has tried to follow a regular regimen of diet and exercise, besides abstaining from alcohol and tobacco. “Even now I do yoga in the morning,” he says with pride. “My only weakness,” he adds, “was …

Nursing infections (downtoearth)

If you thought hospitals only treat diseases and make us healthy, then think again. Hospitals in Jharkhand are hotbeds of infections that put doctors and patients at a high risk of catching diseases. The reason is the way the hospitals, government and private alike, handle their biomedical waste.

Every day, healthcare facilities in Jharkhand dump 2,201 kg of biomedical waste without even basic treatment, says the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). This is over 40 per cent of the total biomedical waste generated in the state. The India average is close to seven per cent.

Worse, several healthcare facilities in the state sell plastic waste such as infected syringes and blood bags to scrap dealers, shows a study by Delhi-based non-profit Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). The study, which collected waste management information from 19 hospitals in Ranchi and Dhanbad districts with a combined bed capacity of 3,486, highlights how the hospitals are flouting the Bio-Medical Was…

SC to decide the fate of BS-III vehicles in India on Monday (downtoearth, )

The Supreme Court on March 24, Friday, reiterated it firm stand against polluting vehicles and fuel, during a hearing on the registration of Bharat Stage III (BS-III) vehicles in the country. The final decision on the matter will be announced on March 27, Monday by the bench, which includes Justices Madan Lokur and Deepak Gupta.

As per a Union government order, cleaner fuel complying with Bharat Stage IV standards will be available across India starting April 1, 2017. The automobile industry demanding an extension as there are over 820,000 BS-III vehicles instock, including 96,000 trucks, around 16,198 cars, close to 40,048 three wheelers and 671,305 two wheelers, which need to be released.

Hearing arguments from industry representatives and amicus curie Harish Salve, the bench listed three options for dealing with the issue. First was a complete ban on BS-III vehicles which are more polluting as compared to BS-IV, as suggested by Salve. Second, the court proposed to allow registrati…

The compulsive patent hoarding disorder (Hindu.)

The current model of commercialisation does not work for publicly funded research

It takes money to make money. CSIR-Tech, the commercialisation arm of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), realised this the hard way when it had to shut down its operations for lack of funds. CSIR has filed more than 13,000 patents — 4,500 in India and 8,800 abroad — at a cost of ₹50 crore over the last three years. Across years, that’s a lot of taxpayers’ money, which in turn means that the closing of CSIR-Tech is a tacit admission that its work has been an expensive mistake — a mistake that we tax-paying citizens have paid for.

Recently, CSIR’s Director-General Girish Sahni claimed that most of CSIR’s patents were “bio-data patents”, filed solely to enhance the value of a scientist’s resume and that the extensive expenditure of public funds spent in filing and maintaining patents was unviable. CSIR claims to have licensed a percentage of its patents, but has so far failed to show…

One India, two time zones (Hindu.)

The insistence on observing IST vis-à-vis Northeast India’s needs ignores its social and economic impact

In a two paragraph order delivered by Chief Justice Ajit Singh, the Gauhati High Court has dismissed a public interest litigation filed by Rita Mozumder seeking a direction from the Central government to notify a separate time zone for the Northeast. The court cites a high-level committee study, constituted by the Ministry of Science and Technology, that recognised the difficulties faced by a single time zone in eastern India but concluded that Indian Standard Time (IST) should nonetheless be retained. The issues raised by the petition demanded more than a cursory order dismissing the petition given the importance of the issue. Legislators, activists, industrialists and ordinary citizens from the Northeast have often complained about the effect of IST on their lives, and pursued the issue of having a separate time zone with the Central government, without much success. The petitio…

Terror in London: the challenges posed by 'lone wolves' (Hindu)

Wednesday’s attack once again underlines the challenges posed by ‘lone wolves’


The attack in London’s Westminster that left five persons dead, including the assailant, was the type of terror strike that British security officials have been expecting. For almost three years, the threat level from international terrorism in Britain has been “severe”, meaning an attack is deemed highly likely. This incident was different from a conventional terror strike, but bore similarity to attacks on European cities in recent years claimed by the Islamic State. As the Berlin and Nice assailants did last year, the London attacker, Khalid Masood, turned a vehicle into a lethal weapon by mowing down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and later killed a police officer with a kitchen knife at the Parliament compound. Britain has one of the best counter-terror police and intelligence agencies in Europe. Since the 2005 London bombings, the country has remained largely safe. In the last four years, British of…