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Showing posts from May 3, 2017

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 03 May 2017

Q.1- Which country abolished its 457 Visa programme which is used largely by Indians?

A. China
B. Australia
C. New Zealand
D. United States of America

Q.2- New series of IIP is about to be unveiled by India. Consider the following statements:

1. Base year of New IIP would be 2010-11
2. It captures manufacturing activities on monthly basis
Which of the following statement/s is/are correct?
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both
D. None

Q.3- Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding India’s credit rating?

1. According to S&P India’s credit rating is BBB-
2. According to Moody’s outlook of India’s economy is stable
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both
D. None
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 Answer 1-B, 2-B, 3-A

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 02 May 2017

Q.1- The term ‘Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership’ often appears in the news in the context of the affairs of a group of countries known as

(a) G20
(b) ASEAN
(c) SCO
(d) SAARC

Q.2- Which of the following is a function of stem cells?

a) It's a special cell which fights cancer
b) To produce all the cell types in the body
c) It is a specialized cell which stems out of liver
d) It is a cell to increase the memory

Q.3- Which of the following are part of core sector of economy?

1. Coal
2. Electricity
3. Power
4. Natural gas
A. 1, 2
B. 2, 3 and 4
C. 1, 2 and 4
D. All
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.Answer 1-B,  2-B,  1-C

Water-sensitive innovations to transform health of slums and environment

Polluted water and inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene cause around 80% of diseases and one in four deaths in developing countries. The world is recognising that existing strategies simply aren’t working.

We are starting a five-year project early this year to implement an innovative water-sensitive approach to revitalise 24 informal settlements in Fiji and Indonesia.

Funded by the Wellcome Trust, the project aims to turn informal settlements into independent sites that:

recycle their own wastewater;

harvest rainwater;

create green space for water cleansing and food cultivation; and

restore natural waterways to encourage diversity and deal with flooding.

Working with local slum communities, the project will design and deliver modular and multi-functional water infrastructure. This will be tailored to their settlements. Providing secure and reliable water and sanitation services and flood management should improve public health and create more resilient communities.

This pr…

Who has rights over a citizen’s body? New twist in Aadhaar controversy (downtoearth)

The Centre’s claim that people "can't have absolute right over one's body" further reinstated its absolute faith in biometric technology. Its latest defense in favour of collecting biometrics for Aadhaar came during the hearing of three petitions challenging constitutional validity of a change in law that compels people to link Aadhaar with PAN card.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi argued that the government was entitled to have details about a person's identity if it was providing facilities. But one person’s entitlement could mean disenfranchisement for others.

While Rohatgi argues that recent protests over "so-called privacy and bodily intrusion" are "bogus", others seem to be asking whether privacy is indeed a fundamental right.

Linking right to privacy with Article 21

The Article 21 of the Constitution says, "No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to a procedure established by law."

In 1994,…

Prepare emission standards for industries in NCR by June: Supreme Court asks CPCB (downtoearth)

The Supreme Court, on May 2, asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to frame emission standards for industries in the National Capital Region. The court directed that standards must be prepared by June 30 and must be complied with by December.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing in a 1985 PIL filed by environmentalist M C Mehta, said that pet coke and furnace oil, which are being used by industries, are harmful because of their high sulphur content.

The Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) said that emission of sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides has to be brought down for improving the quality of air in NCR. The EPCA representative added that China had stopped importing the two substances on environmental grounds.

Currently, there are no standards for sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions from industries in the country.

Use of pet coke and furnace oil, which are by-products from refineries, is banned in New Delhi, but remains rampant in other parts of …

New model agriculture law aims to increase farmers’ income (downtoearth)

In a move to liberalise trade in agricultural produce, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare proposed a new model law, the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act, 2017. The draft law seeks to end the monopoly of APMC mandis and promote private players through wholesale markets, direct sale and purchase of agricultural produce, single market fee, and one time registration or licensing for trade in multiple markets.

The model law is expected to bring necessary reforms in the farm forestry sector, which has been listed along with allied activities such as livestock, poultry and bee-keeping to double farmers’ income by 2022.

The said reforms are expected to provide the agro-forestry sector a much-needed boost through exemption of trees grown by farmers on private land from felling, a unified trading license, relaxation of transit rules and a single point levy of market fee.

Restrictions on felling of farm-grown trees, transit pass regulations and lack of access to mar…

Swachh Survekshan 2017 results on May 4; government says signs are ‘encouraging’ (downtoearth,)

The much awaited results of Swachh Surveskshan 2017 shall be out tomorrow (Thursday, May 4). In the survey commissioned by the Ministry of Urban Development during January–February this year, over 3.7 million citizens responded to a set of six questions giving their perception of sanitation situation in cities and towns. Besides, 421 assessors of Quality Council of India have physically inspected 17,500 locations in 434 cities and towns. Moreover, 2,680 residential locations, 2,680 commercial locations and 2,582 commercial and public toilets were inspected in these cities and towns for on-the-spot third-party assessment of ground level sanitation status.

Under the survey, 500 cities and towns with populations of more than 100,000 were being evaluated and ranked on the basis of cleanliness and other aspects of urban sanitation. However, rankings of 434 cities and towns will be announced on Thursday.

On May 2, the Ministry of Urban Development said that its findings suggest over 83 per…

Being pragmatic with Pyongyang (hindu)

The U.S. must realise that neither more sanctions nor military strikes are viable options to rein in North Korea

Rhetoric and political signalling is an accepted element of crisis management provided the messages are clearly understood by those for whom these are intended. If not, it becomes a source of misunderstanding and a recipe for unintended miscalculation and potential disaster. Nowhere is this more evident than in recent exchanges between the U.S. and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) where events threaten to spin out of control.

Trump’s mixed signals

In an interview to Reuters last week, U.S. President Donald Trump, while describing it as his “biggest challenge”, cautioned: “There is a chance that we could end up having a major major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely.” Earlier in April, amid reports that North Korea might be planning another nuclear test to coincide with the 105th birth anniversary of long-time leader Kim Il Sung, Mr. Trump had announced t…

Targeted treatment (.hindu)

Lakhs of HIV deaths can be averted as India follows WHO’s recommendations

Two years after the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended that antiretroviral therapy (ART) be initiated in people living with HIV irrespective of the CD4 (a type of white-blood cell) counts, India has aligned its policy with the guideline. In a major shift, Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda had recently said that any person who tests positive for HIV will be provided ART “as soon as possible and irrespective of the CD count or clinical stage”. Nearly 4.5 lakh deaths can be averted through this move.

It was in 2002 that the WHO first issued its ART guidelines. In the absence of AIDS-defining illnesses, the WHO set CD4 count less than 200 cells per cubic millimetre as the threshold to begin ART treatment. Over time, it changed its guidelines and, in 2013

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increased the threshold to CD4 count less than 500 cells per cu. mm.

Change in WHO guidelines


The recommendation was based on the evidence that an earlie…

Turkish detour: Erdogan's visit highlights the need to refresh ties (.hindu)

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit highlights the need to refresh bilateral ties

There is usually a heightened exchange of diplomatic niceties between two countries just before a high-level bilateral visit. However, the optics and the statements issued by India and Turkey just ahead of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit were distinctly undiplomatic. Just ahead of his trip to India, his first bilateral visit since 2008 when he was Prime Minister, Mr. Erdogan chose to make comments guaranteed to strike a discordant note in New Delhi. He said the Kashmir issue could be resolved through “multilateral negotiations”, and offered himself as an intermediary with Pakistan. Mr. Erdogan knows the region well, and is aware of India’s consistent position on resolving the Kashmir dispute bilaterally. That his comments came on the heels of his visit to Pakistan last year where he pledged Turkey’s support to the host’s position on Kashmir made them more pointed. New Delhi also made what could well be …

Powering up food: fortification is good but needs regulation (hindu)

Augmenting foods with nutrients can improve overall health, but it must be regulated

Since a diversified diet that meets all nutritional requirements is difficult to provide, fortification of food is relied upon by many countries to prevent malnutrition. The World Health Organisation estimates that deficiency of key micronutrients such as iron, vitamin A and iodine together affects a third of the world’s population; in general, insufficient consumption of vitamins and minerals remains problematic. Viewed against the nutrition challenge India faces, processed foods with standards-based fortification can help advance overall health goals, starting with maternal health. It is imperative, for a start, to make iron-fortified food widely available, since iron deficiency contributes to 20% of maternal deaths and is associated with nearly half of all maternal deaths. The shadow of malnutrition extends to the children that women with anaemia give birth to. They often have low birth weight, ar…