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Showing posts from May 10, 2017

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 22 December 2016

Q.1- Which one of the following is the largest Committee of the Parliament?

A. The Committee on Public Accounts
B. The Committee on Estimates
C. The Committee on Public Undertakings
D. The Committee on Petitions

Q.2- Crimea has been in news recently, this is a disputed area between which of the following?

A. Russia and Ukraine
B. Russia and Turkey
C. Syria and Iraq
D. Syria and Israel

Q.3.- Military exercise Hand-in-Hand is exercise between India and which of the following country?

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

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 21 December 2016

Q.1- Which of the following is/are correct regarding Nirbhaya missile?

1. It is a cruise missile
2. It is hypersonic in speed
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both
D. None

Q.2- Khanjar-III is military exercise between which of the following countries?

A. India and Russia
B. Russia and China
C. India and Kyrgyzstan
D. Russia and Afghanistan

Q.3- UPI has been in news recently, what is the full form of UPI?

A. Unified Payment Interchange
B. Unified Payment Interface
C. Unified process interchange
D. Unified process interface
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Answer  1-A, 2 -C, 3-B

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 09 May 2017

Q.1- Which of the following is correct regarding CoBRA?

1. It was formed in 2000
2. It's primary governing body in Central reserve police force

A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both
D. None\
Q.2- Which of the following is not a principle organ of UN?

A. Security Council
B. International court of Justice
C. Economic and Social Council
D. WIPO

Q.3- India is member of which of the following bodies?

1. Asian Development bank
2. ASEAN Regional Forum
3. East Asia Summit
A. 1 only
B. 3 only
C. 1,3 only
D. All
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Answer  1-B,1-D,3-D

Towards a unique digital South Asian identity (.hindu )

Executed properly, Aadhaar could become a central pillar of India’s ‘neighbourhood first’ policy

The enthusiasm with which government agencies and businesses have embraced Aadhaar should prompt India’s foreign policy planners to deploy it abroad. Executed properly, Aadhaar could become a central pillar of India’s “neighbourhood first” policy, culminating in the creation of a unique digital South Asian identity. A single, region-wide platform to authenticate residents of South Asia could integrate its markets, bring communities closer and allow governments to offer a wider range of governance services. None of this is to ignore the steps that India’s Unique Identification Authority must take to secure its own Aadhaar ecosystem. But the demand for identity-driven governance in South Asia is indisputable, and Aadhaar could be Indian foreign policy’s biggest asset to promote economic and political convergence in the region.



Already, South Asian economies are in varying stages of conceivi…

Emmanuel Macron's win, a triumph for French liberalism (.hindu)

Emmanuel Macron represents the powerful, liberal electorate that has emerged since the 1990s

It is tempting to see Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential run-off on Sunday as little more than a coronation. Yes, he won 66% of the vote but he did so with one of the highest rates of abstention in recent history and a record number of spoiled ballots. Even those who voted for him often did so by default in order to prevent the far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen, from winning.

More importantly, say critics, this unusual presidential run-off had two important consequences. First, that Mr. Macron’s ideas were never really discussed in depth. Second, that the new President has no proper electorate. Instead, many believe that his supporters are little more than an uncomfortable coalition of ill-matched groups and individuals. They do not share a common vision and they certainly do not agree with each other. When the parliamentary election rolls around in June, they will disperse…

Most Muslim thinkers say there’s no such thing as triple talaq: Salman Khurshid (.hindu )

The senior Congress leader talks Pakistan, triple talaq, Indian Muslims, and his party’s need for a new vocabulary

Congress leader, former Foreign Minister and lawyer Salman Khurshid is a man of many parts. From tomorrow, he will be appearing in the Supreme Court as amicus curiae in the controversial triple talaq case. In a wide-ranging conversation, he talks about the triple talaq issue, what it means to be a Muslim in Narendra Modi’s India, the need in the Congress party for a new narrative, and the problem with the government’s Pakistan policy. Excerpts from the interview:

Why have you offered your services to the Supreme Court on triple talaq?

Why not? It may have a political context, but it’s not necessary to look at it in a political context. It can be seen in pure humanistic terms, and towards (developing) a pure understanding of the sociology of Islam. Instead of a partisan approach, we can have an objective discussion that will be helpful for both parties, the court and soci…

Indian science needs hard work: duplication isn’t synergy (.hindu )

PARK (Sustainable Progress through Application of Research and Knowledge) is a proposed initiative to synergise science activity in India. A new, more efficient way of managing science is surely welcome, but one needs to put in a lot of thought before taking any action.

The existing systems of science governance in this country are robust with departments reporting to ministers who in turn report to the Union Cabinet. There is no lack of sound advisory bodies and committees within these departments. As for overarching bodies, we already have the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Prime Minister and the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. Why are there two such similar bodies? Have any of their recommendations resulted in concrete actions? In the end, they have remained toothless. Do we need a third such body?

The science departments are too different from one another to come under the purview of one “overarching” body like SPARK. The Department of Science and T…

Chasing peace in Syria (.hindu)

The latest de-escalation bid for Syria is the most realistic agreement yet

The so-called de-escalation agreement reached among Russia, Turkey and Iran last week in Astana is the latest in a series of attempts to bring the six-year-old Syrian civil war to an end. Previous ceasefire plans have either failed to take off or collapsed soon after, given the continued hostility between the regime of Bashar al-Assad and rebels. Still, the latest agreement is significant for a number of reasons. First of all, any attempt to cease violence is welcome given the destruction the war has wreaked in Syria. More than two million people are estimated to be living in rebel-held territories (barring areas controlled by the Islamic State) in terrible humanitarian conditions and under constant fear of aerial bombing. For them, an end to the Russian-Assad regime strikes is a great relief. Second, the agreement involves the three main external players in the civil war. Russia and Iran are the key backers o…

Justice Karnan, the recalcitrant judge (.hindu)

It is doubtful if sending Justice Karnan to jail is the most judicious way of restraining him

It is singularly unfortunate that the Supreme Court’s efforts to discipline Justice C.S. Karnan of the Calcutta High Court has had to end in a six-month prison term for contempt of court. With the recalcitrant judge making it a habit to bring the institution into ridicule by his aberrant behaviour, the court probably had few options but to act in defence of its reputation by holding him guilty of contempt of court — a finding that is unexceptionable. He had not only flung irresponsible charges of corruption against several judges, but also sought to make political capital out of his Dalit identity. He had repeatedly sought to pass purported judicial orders in his own cause. His arrest will undoubtedly mark an abysmally low moment in the country’s judicial history. Therefore, it remains a pertinent question whether the court could not have waited for his imminent retirement so that the countr…

Bonn climate talks begin to further implementation of Paris Agreement (downtoearth)

Climate talks have started in Bonn within the three broad streams—Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Ad-hoc Working Group on Paris Agreement (APA).

The Bonn session scheduled to be held from May 8-18, 2017 has started amid growing speculations about the present and future US engagement in the Paris Agreement.

The declarations made by the Donald Trump administration, including no funding for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Green Climate Fund, Clean Technology Fund and the Strategic Climate Fund, calling for immediate review of the Clean Power Plan and reversing several of Barack Obama’s moratoriums on climate change, will have a direct impact on addressing climate change in the US as well as globally.

The slash of funding will have a direct impact on the implementation of climate action plans or Nationally Determined Contribution…

FSSAI expert group recommendations on junk food regulation add nothing new (downtoearth)

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has recommended additional taxation on ultra-processed food and sugar-sweetened beverages. India’s top food regulatory authority also suggested a ban on advertising foods with high fat, salt and sugar content on children’s shows and channels.

The recommendations were recorded in a report released on May 8 by an 11-member expert group set up by the body. The expert group was set up in 2015 after Delhi High Court ordered FSSAI to issue guidelines for making available wholesome, nutritious, safe, and hygienic food to school children in India.

Other recommendations of FSSAI include nutrient specific guidelines, monitoring systems to assess fat, salt and sugar intake periodically, nutrition education and awareness, reformulating commercialised products, positive nutritional labelling, among others.

However, the report lacks clarity on how these recommendations would be implemented as it does not assign roles and responsibilities to take…

Centre admits challenges in implementing PMFBY, seeks robust system to assess crop loss (downtoearth, )

There’s a need to create a foolproof mechanism that will make it easier for the government to assess crop loss and speed up the process of settle insurance claims of farmers, said Ashish Bhutani, joint secretary, Ministry of Agriculture,  at the Natural Farming Summit 2017 organised by the Sri Sri Institute Agricultural Sciences & Technology Trust in Bengaluru on Tuesday (May 8).

Progress in PMFBY implementation

While dishing out figures about the adoption rate of the scheme, he said 57.3 million farmers have been insured in 2016-17 as opposed to 48.5 million in 2015-16, which is a little over 18 per cent growth. “The biggest change has been witnessed in the coverage of non-loanee farmers. Awareness building activities among farmers have helped. More than 20 per cent of the farmers, who opted for insurance last year, were non-loanee farmers,“ says Bhutani.

Total cropped area insured, according to him, has increased by 58.9 million hectares and premiums worth Rs 21,968 crore have …