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Showing posts from April 13, 2017

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 13 April 2017

Q.1- With reference to Lok Adalats, consider the following statements:

1. An award made by a Lok Adalat is deemed to be a decree of a civil court and no appeal lies against thereto before any court.
2. Matrimonial/Family disputes are not covered under Lok Adalat.
Which of the statements given above is/ are correct?
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2

Q.2- Which of the following launch vehicles took chandrayaan-1 to its orbit?

A. GSLV-1
B. PSLV-C6
C. PSLV-C11
D. PSLV-C9

Q.3- Who among the following heads the panel to review FRBM Act?

]A. C. Rangarajan
B. Abhijeet sen
C. N. K. Singh
D. Raghuram Rajan.
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Answer  1-A,2-C,3-C

As Rajasthan government stops buying mustard, farmers resort to distress sellin\ (downtoearth,)

There are 93 markets in Rajasthan where mustard is being sold below MSP. Reluctance of the state government to purchase mustard on MSP has triggered distress selling. There are total 293 markets in India where mustard is sold at below MSP. Besides Rajasthan, states such as Madhya Pradesh (72), Uttar Pradesh (63), Gujarat (32) and Haryana (14) have large number of markets where mustard is sold below MSP. In other states, such markets are in single digit.
Markets across States as on April 1, 2017

The minimum support price fixed by the Indian government for mustard is Rs 3700 per quintal, including bonus of Rs 100. But farmers are forced to sell it between Rs 2800 and Rs 3400. In March 2017, more than two million tonnes of mustard reached the markets in Rajasthan. Rajasthan contributes 50 per cent of the total mustard production in the country. In 2016-17, the mustard production of Rajasthan has been projected at 3.73 million tonnes (MT), whereas average production of the country is aro…

How to check if your milk is adulterated (downtoearth)

Reports of substandard and adulterated food frequent the front pages of newspapers. Samples of items we consume daily—milk, pulses, oils, vegetables, sugar, among many others—have been rated substandard.

While it is difficult to track the production process and locate the item’s source, simple tests can help you distinguish a pure sample from an adulterated one.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has released a list of tests to detect some common food adulterants using household ingredients. The book is a compilation of tests for Detecting Adulterants with Rapid Testing (DART) covers common adulterants like artificial and toxic colours, extraneous matter.

In the first article of a series, we look at some easy ways to test milk for adulterants.

Test 1: Water in milk

Put a drop of milk on a polished, slanting surface
Pure milk either stays or flows slowly leaving a white trail behind
Milk adulterated with flow immediat…

Ethiopia curbed open defecation at fastest rate; what can India learn? {downtoearth}

In Ethiopia, seven in every 10 people use toilets instead of defecating in the open. While this may not sound like much of an achievement, to grasp the true import of the statistics one has to consider that some 25 years ago, less than one in every 10 Ethiopians used toilets. The African country, in fact globally, registered the maximum reduction in the proportion of the population defecating in the open between 1990 and 2015, as per the Joint Monitoring report of 2015 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Unicef.

The extent of the achievement becomes even clearer when one compares the figures with India, whose per-capita gdp is four times that of Ethiopia. In 1990, less than three in every 10 people in India used toilets. Despite several nationwide campaigns and celebrity endorsements to create awareness about sanitation, only six in every 10 Indians use toilets.

So how did Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries in the world, achieve the results? Ethiopia’s success lies in the …

NGT panel claims 2016 event ruined Yamuna floodplains; Art of Living calls it flawed ( downtoearth,}

The Art of Living’s three-day cultural festival in March 2016 destroyed the entire floodplain area between DND flyover and the Barapulla drain used during the event, according to the expert panel appointed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The committee, headed by Shashi Shekhar, secretary of Ministry of Water Resources, submitted its report to NGT on March 12.

According to the panel’s estimate, rehabilitation of Yamuna floodplains will cost more than Rs 42 crore and at least 10 years.

The AOL Foundation has, however, called the committee report “flawed, unscientific and biased”.

Committee’s observations

The report estimates that a total of about 180 hectares (about 420 acres) of floodplains of the Yamuna have been affected ecologically at different magnitudes.

The seven-member committee also submitted a time-bound action plan for physical and biological rehabilitation of the affected floodplain. The physical component is estimated to cost around Rs 28.73 crore and the biological…

New funding sources must to meet access to drinking water, sanitation (downtoearth,)

When it comes to universal access to drinking water and sanitation, many still lack access to safe and sustainable water supply and sanitation services.

As the world embarks on Sustainable Development Goal 6 related to clean water and sanitation, the GLAAS 2017 report led by the World Health Organization (WHO) on behalf of UN-Water focuses on the key role of financing in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sectors.

It is estimated that 660 million people do not have access to improved drinking water sources and over 2.4 billion people do not have access to improved sanitation, according to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme in 2015.

Increased spending needed

The report says that countries are not increasing spending fast to meet water and sanitation targets. It adds that countries will not meet their global aspirations of universal access to safe drinking water and sanitation unless steps are taken to use financial resources more efficiently and increase efforts to identi…

Raising the Syria stakes (.hindu )

Donald Trump has reversed his isolationist stance with the missile attack, but Syrian ground realities remain the same

U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to order a cruise missile attack on the Syrian regime on April 6, two days after a town in the rebel-held Idlib province was hit by chemical weapons, has earned him praise even from his strongest critics. The President’s supporters could now defend him better against accusations of him being a “Russian stooge”. But beyond the domestic political dividends, what did Mr. Trump’s Syria strike actually achieve in strategic terms?

Logic behind intervention

The popular narrative in the American media is that the President, apparently moved by the gruesome images of “beautiful babies” killed by the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun, has acted on his impulse. He immediately blamed Bashar al-Assad for the gas attack, which he said changed his views of the Syrian President. But Presidents don’t take go to war on an impulse, unless they are …

Courting faith and reason (.hindu}

How religious belief disguised as an economic principle changed the original intent of Ambedkar’s Constitution

The Challenger space shuttle exploded in 1986, killing all seven crew members. It occurred because of a design flaw in the rocket boosters of the spacecraft. The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had sub-contracted the design of the boosters to an independent company. The company had noticed that the putty used to seal rings on the boosters was forming bubbles that caused a heat jet so hot that it could burn through the rings. The engineers changed the putty. They knew that a putty erosion could still occur, but with very low probability of a catastrophic disaster. Unfortunately for the seven who perished, in a series of small steps NASA deviated from its safety standards and determined that the erosion of the putty was an acceptable risk of flight.

Later, NASA commissioned many inquiries into the cause of the disaster. The most insightful report came…

Ahmadinejad bid for Presidency: Populist’s return (.hindu)

Ahmadinejad’s bid for the presidency reflects the political uncertainties gripping Iran

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sprang a surprise when he registered himself as a candidate in Iran’s presidential election scheduled for May 19. After leaving the office of President in 2013 at the end of two controversial terms, the firebrand populist has been largely inactive in politics. He began as a favourite of the ayatollahs, but during his second term he had a turbulent relationship with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, who asked him not to run for President again. Mr. Ahmadinejad’s defiant return to the race shows the growing significance of hard-line politics in a charged region. As successor to the mild-mannered reformist Mohammad Khatami, he toed a strident line on Israel and the U.S., refusing to meaningfully negotiate with the West over Iran’s nuclear programme despite crippling economic sanctions. This election is crucial for Iran as it is seen as a referendum on the nuclear deal it…