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Showing posts from April 8, 2017

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 28 November 2016

Q.1- Which among the following are the benefits of cashless society?

1. It reduces corruption in the system
2. It reduces the transaction cost
3. It decrease the tax base
A. 1,2 only
B. 2,3 only
C. 1,3 only
D. All

Q.2- In the wake of 14th finance commission recommendation, we have seen various changes in the Centre-State financial relations. Which of the following statements are correct after 14th FC recommendations?

1. Grant for BRGF and Rajiv Gandhi panchayat sashaktikaranyojana have increased
2. Devolution from tax pool has been increased.
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both
D. None

Q.3- Salam dam which was recently in news is present in which of the following countries?

A. Nepal
B. Bhutan
C. Afghanistan
D. China.
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 Answer    1-A,2-B,3-C

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 07 April 2017

Q.1- Teesta river does not flow through which of the following state?

A. Sikkim
B. West Bengal
C. Assam
D. Flows through all of the above

Q.2- Which among the following are the works of Rail Development Authority?

1. recommending passenger fares,
2. setting performance standards for rail operations
3. creating a level playing policy for private sector participation
A. 1,2 only
B. 2,3 only
C. 1,3 only
D. All

Q.3- 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.
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 Answer 1-C,2-D,3-D

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 06 April 2017

Q.1- Which of the following are findings of National family health survey-4?

1. Infant mortality rate has been steady since National family health survey-3
2. Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttarakhand has sex ratio of more than 1000
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both
D. None

Q.2- Who among the following has been appointed as the nodal agency for the purpose of registration and accreditation of VOs/NGOs seeking funding from the Government of India?

A. Home Ministry
B. NITI Aayog
C. PMO
D. Finance Ministry

Q.3- Which of the following is correct regarding National commission for Backward classes?

1. Commission came as a result of Indra Sawhney & Ors. Vs. Union of India case
2. Commission consists of five members and Chairman must necessarily be retired judge of the supreme court
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both
D. None.
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 Answer1-D,2-B,3-A

We are heading for the warmest climate in half a billion years, says new study (downtoearth,)

Carbon dioxide concentrations are heading towards values not seen in the past 200 million years. The sun has also been gradually getting stronger over time. Put together, these facts mean the climate may be heading towards warmth not seen in the past half a billion years. The Conversation

A lot has happened on Earth since 500,000,000BC – continents, oceans and mountain ranges have come and gone, and complex life has evolved and moved from the oceans onto the land and into the air. Most of these changes occur on very long timescales of millions of years or more. However, over the past 150 years global temperatures have increased by about 1℃, ice caps and glaciers have retreated, polar sea-ice has melted, and sea levels have risen.

Some will point out that Earth’s climate has undergone similar changes before. So what’s the big deal?

Scientists can seek to understand past climates by looking at the evidence locked away in rocks, sediments and fossils. What this tells us is that yes, the…

N2O emissions from Arctic soils not as low as previously thought: study (downtoearth)

A new study from the University of Eastern Finland presents, for the first time, the isotopic fingerprint of nitrous oxide produced by Arctic soils. The finding opens new avenues for predicting future trends in atmospheric nitrous oxide as well as identifying climate change mitigation actions in the Arctic, a region that is particularly sensitive to climate change.

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a powerful greenhouse gas and also the second largest contributor to ozone depletion in the stratosphere. It is produced naturally by soils, with agricultural and tropical rainforest soils being the main sources of N2O to the atmosphere. Until recently, scientists assumed that nitrous oxide emissions were negligible in colder climate regions like the Arctic and sub-Arctic.

This assumption, however, was contradicted by scientists from the University of Eastern Finland a decade ago, when they discovered that bare peat surfaces in permafrost peatlands are releasing high amount of N2O, despite the genera…

Depression, an invisible burden for TB patients; and we must urgently address this (downtoearth,)

On the occasion of the World Health Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) released some alarming statistics on mental health. It said that depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. Between 2005 and 2015, there has been an increase in the number of people affected by depression by more than 18 per cent.

The situation becomes all the more grim when it is analysed in the context of tuberculosis.

The prevalence of mental disorders, including depression and anxiety disorders, among people with tuberculosis is estimated to be between 40-70 per cent, the WHO says.

"Depression has been an invisible burden for people with TB. The risk of people with mental disorders being prone to developing TB, or the mental well-being of TB patients during their treatment has often been overlooked,” says Mario Raviglione, Director of the WHO Global TB Programme. “We need to urgently address the mental and physical aspects of TB simultaneously if we want to improve well-…

Antibiotic use in animal farms linked to antimicrobial resistance in environment (downtoearth,)

In a new research published last week, scientists at the Virginia Tech, Colorado State University and University of Reading (UK) have found that continuous exposure of food-producing animals to veterinary antibiotics and use of animal-derived manure alters functioning of the soil microbial community, leading to increased antibiotic resistance in microbes in the environment.

The scientists have compared the microbial communities in soil obtained from dairy manure-exposed sites and reference sites across the US. The team analysed soil samples from 11 dairy farms and found that the amount of antibiotic-resistant genes was much higher in manure-treated soils as compared to the reference soil, without any manure.

These findings also indicate that continuous manure inputs in soil also leads to producing more resistant and lesser—efficient microbes.

"The growing human population and growing global middle class puts pressure on farmers to produce more livestock products," says Carl…

Health Ministry asks Railway Board to not allow junk food, tobacco ads (downtoearth,)

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has written to the Railway Board asking it to not allow advertisements of products detrimental to health such as alcohol, high fat, salt and sugar foods, sugar-sweetened beverages and tobacco on trains, according to media reports.

The health ministry has said that indirect or surrogate advertising of such products can increase the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which is a matter of concern. According to reports, the health ministry told the railways that promotion of products that have negative health externalities will be counter-productive and scuttle government's ongoing efforts to reduce consumption of alcohol, tobacco, food containing high fats, sugar and salt and sugar sweetened beverages.

In January, Indian Railways had announced initiatives to increase its revenue from non-tariff sources. It plans to augment revenue by monetising assets through advertising. Apart from trains, unused areas such as road over bridges, level…

An echo of the French past (.hindu)

The 1970s offer vital clues to understand Emmanuel Macron, the leading candidate in the presidential elections

The front runner in France’s presidential race is the dashing young technocrat, Emmanuel Macron. In less than a year, and without any experience as an elected politician, he has come to dominate a fractured and fractious political landscape.

Such a rapid ascent has inevitably given rise to a devoted fan base. In the past few months, endless articles have been written about how Mr. Macron’s success is “unprecedented”.

But history tells a slightly different story. Back in the early 1970s, with the shadow of Charles de Gaulle still hanging heavy over French politics, another technocrat burst on to the political scene. His name was Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.

The 1974 election

Few had heard of the young upstart when he unexpectedly decided to present himself as a candidate in the 1974 presidential election. He had graduated from France’s top higher educational institutions and ser…

EDITORIAL Track to efficiency: On creating a Rail Development Authority (Hindu )

A Rail Development Authority is more than a bold reform move, it’s a paradigm shift

Creating a Rail Development Authority for India is among the most significant reforms to an infrastructure system undertaken by the government. The railways connect the country’s far corners and act as a driver of the economy. High rates of economic growth have raised the demand for travel, but this remains largely unmet. The popular aspiration is for a modern system that offers high-quality travel with low risk of accidents, while industry wants smooth freight transfer. An independent, empowered regulator could be the paradigm shift that is needed. The proposed Authority would have to ensure that the resources of the system are optimally utilised, overcoming existing inefficiencies that arise from the fact that policy, regulatory and management functions of the railways are intertwined. As the National Transport Development Policy Committee noted in 2014, the centralisation of all functions in the Ra…

His Mugabe moment? — On the backlash to President Jacob Zuma's power gra b (Hindu )

South African President Jacob Zuma’s power grab triggers a popular resistance

South African President Jacob Zuma may not have anticipated the strength of the backlash when he decided last week to dismiss his much-respected Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, and various other colleagues in a ministerial shuffle. On Friday, thousands of South Africans demonstrated peacefully across cities against Mr. Zuma’s action, which appears to have triggered concerns about government corruption and a tottering economy. Even ailing Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu made an appearance in support of the protesters, most of whom called for President Zuma to resign. Adding to the woes of the weakening South African economy, the rand fell immediately by more than 2%. Yet the prospect of Mr. Zuma stepping down appears unlikely. His cabinet clear-out is widely considered to be an attempt to control the selection of his successor in the African National Congress, which swept to power in 1994 under Nelson Mandela.…