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Showing posts from April 17, 2017

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 10 December 2016

:: National ::

Q. 1

1. Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi (retd.) was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation,for alleged involvement in the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal case.
2. The government rescinded the contract in January 2015 in view of the bribery allegations.
Which of the following statements is/are true-?
a) Only 1
b) Only 2
c) Both 1 & 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2

:: International ::

Q. 2

1. The U.S. Congress has cleared the decks for India to become a “major defence partner.
2. Turkey’s ruling party will submit a bill to Parliament to expand President Erdogan’s powers just after the failed coup.
Which of the following statements is/are true-?
a) Only 1
b) Only 2
c) Both 1 & 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2

:: Business and Economy ::

Q. 3

Aachi group of Companies Chairman A.D. Padmasingh Isaac was presented the National Award for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) 2016 under “The Best employer’ category.
Aachi Group and Mr. Isaac have bagged several awa…

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 09 December 2016

:: National ::

Q. 1

1. India and the U.S. finalised the specifications for designating India and US ‘Major Defence Partner’ .
2. India was accorded this status during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington in June 2015.
Which of the following statements is/are true-?
a) Only 1
b) Only 2
c) Both 1 & 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2

:: International ::

Q. 2

1. India is in early talks with Russia to build the world’s most expensive pipeline costing close to $25 billion.
2. The two nations had signed an initial pact for building a 4,500 km to 6,000 km long pipeline.
Which of the following statements is/are true-?
a) Only 1
b) Only 2
c) Both 1 & 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2

:: Business and Economy ::

Q. 3

The central government admitted “hard to achieve” the $48 billion target for textiles and garment exports for 2016-17.
Overall exports of textiles and garments from India in 2015-16 was $40 billion.
Which of the following statements is/are true-?
a) Only 1
b) Only 2
c) Both 1 & 2
d) …

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 08 December 2016

:: National ::

Q. 1

1. Remote sensing satellite Resourcesat-2A was launched from Sriharikota in December 2016.
2. Resourcesat-1 was put in space in October 2006 and Resourcesat-2 in April 2011.
Which of the following statements is/are true-?
a) Only 1
b) Only 2
c) Both 1 & 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2

:: International ::

Q. 2

1. Time magazine named Donald Trump its “Person of the Year” for 2016.
2. The Time magazine said its person of the year, “had the greatest influence, for better or worse, on the events of the year”.
Which of the following statements is/are true-?
a) Only 1
b) Only 2
c) Both 1 & 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2

:: Business and Economy ::

Q. 3

Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corp signed a pact to build India’s biggest oil refinery on the west coast.
IOC will hold a 50 per cent stake in the project while BPCL and HPCL will have 25 per cent each.
Which of the following statements is/are true-?
a) Only 1
b) Only 2
c) Both 1 & 2
d)…

Death metal: how nickel played a role in the world's worst mass extinction

Around 250 million years ago, life on Earth nearly came to an end, in a mass extinction between the Permian and Triassic periods known as the Great Dying. Some 90% of the species in the oceans and 70% of vertebrate families on land were killed, and the great marine life experiment of the Palaeozoic era was brought to a halt. The Conversation

What does this have to do with nickel? Well, as part of my recent work as a mining geologist, which involves studying the world’s most valuable nickel ore deposits in Siberia, I uncovered evidence of a link between ore genesis – how the nickel got there – and the onset of the Great Dying. These results were recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

It was an exceedingly strange world 250 million years ago, and finding the culprits for the world’s worst mass extinction is like putting together a puzzle.

Earth, fire, water

This catastrophic episode was triggered by several different events, which in turn killed the …

Community forest rights in critical tiger habitats under threat ()downtoearth, (downtoearth)

In a letter dated March 28, 2017, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) of the Government of India ordered against the recognition of forest rights (which are rights recognisable under the Forest Rights Act, 2006) in ‘critical tiger habitats’. The order has raised many eyebrows with questions being asked on the legality of such an order and the authority of the NTCA to issue it.

The two-sentence order-cum-letter has been based on a premise-that forest rights cannot be conferred inside 'critical tiger habitats' because guidelines for notification of 'critical wildlife habitats' which were envisaged under the FRA, 2006) had not been issued yet. This is confusing because the declaration of the two habitats is governed by two different legislations, which follow a two-step process–identification and notification.

CTH versus CWLH

Critical 'tiger' habitats (CTHs), also known as core areas of tiger reserves—are identified under the Wild Life Protection Act…

The world’s five deadliest volcanoes … and why they’re so dangerous ()downtoearth,

An eruption of Mount Etna recently caught out some BBC journalists who were filming there. The footage was extraordinary and highlighted the hazards volcanoes pose to humans and society. The Conversation

Since 1600, 278,880 people have been killed by volcanic activity, with many of these deaths attributed to secondary hazards associated with the main eruption. Starvation killed 92,000 following the 1815 Tambora eruption in Indonesia, for example, and a volcanic tsunami killed 36,000 following the 1883 Krakatoa eruption.

Since the 1980s, deaths related to volcanic eruptions have been rather limited, but this is not entirely a result of increased preparedness or investment in hazard management – it is significantly a matter of chance.

Research shows that volcanic activity has shown no let up since the turn of the 21st century – it just hasn’t been around population centres. Indeed, there remain a number of volcanoes poised to blow which pose a major threat to life and livelihood.

Vesuv…

Somali drought heightens risk to mothers during pregnancy and childbirth (downtoearth,)

Of the 6.2 million people affected by the drought ravaging Somalia, more than 1.5 million are women of childbearing age. UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is particularly concerned about the fate of 607,000 pregnant women across the country who need maternal health services to ensure a safe pregnancy and delivery, including emergency obstetric services.

To help address their needs, UNFPA is scaling up its emergency response to help more than 130,000 pregnant women who may require urgent care.

Somalia already has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, with over nearly 1 of every 22 mothers dying from pregnancy-related causes. More than 350 000 Somalis are refugees and a further 400 000 are internally displaced.

"I was struck by the fact that the face of displacement is a woman with her child. The men have stayed behind to tend their farms and livestock while it is the women who have made the arduous and risky trek often for many days to get some relief…

A glacial fight (.hindu)

While India and Pakistan have been unable to resolve the Siachen dispute, the new enemy is global warming

It is 33 years since humanity established a permanent presence on the snow-clad Siachen glacier and converted the ‘land of roses’ into the world’s highest battlefield.

On April 13, 1984, India launched Operation Meghdoot to capture the 76.4 km-long glacier on the Saltoro ridge, narrowly thwarting Pakistan’s own attempts in the process. A platoon of 4 Kumaon led by then Captain Sanjay Kulkarni planted the Indian flag at Bilafond La. The operation continues till date, making it the longest continuing one of its kind in the world. But the guns on the glacier have fallen silent following the 2003 ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) and the Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) across the Siachen. The LoC has flared up intermittently, but ceasefire along the AGPL has held since.

Siachen is a legacy of Partition. While the LoC was delineated and accepted by India and Pakistan up to …

Carpool for cleaner air (.hindu )

High-occupancy toll lanes will combat air pollution and foster a more disciplined driving culture

Air pollution in India causes at least a million deaths annually. In Delhi alone, over 30,000 people die every year due to air pollution, the main causes of which are increasing road traffic and factory pollutants, and crop and waste burning.

While the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government undertook several measures at the end of 2016 such as shutting down thermal power stations for 10 days and prohibiting construction activities temporarily, air pollution has been on the rise. This is because most of these measures were temporary, aimed at combating the deadly haze that had enveloped the city at that time.

The odd-even (licence number) scheme undertaken by the government during the first half of 2016 was one of the most ambitious. However, despite the initiative, general air pollution in the city, which is measured by PM2.5 rose by 15% and 23% during the first and second phase of the odd…

Justice Karnan's outrageous defiance (.hindu.)

Justice C.S. Karnan’s continuance as a judge makes a mockery of the rule of law

He has brought the judiciary into disrepute, flouted all norms of judicial conduct and thrown an open challenge to the Supreme Court. His continuance as a judge makes a mockery of democracy and the rule of law. The case of Justice C.S. Karnan is no longer just strange or curious; it is disgraceful and intolerable. The Calcutta High Court judge’s ‘order’ summoning the Chief Justice of India and six judges of the Supreme Court to his ‘residential court’ to face punishment under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, is yet another unacceptable affront to the apex court’s authority. Justice Karnan’s conduct goes against the assurance he gave the Chief Justice of India last year that he would foster a “harmonious attitude towards one and all”. At that time, he had expressed regret for passing a suo motu order staying his own transfer from the Madras High Court to the Calcutta Hi…