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Showing posts from May 11, 2017

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 11 May 2017

Q.1- FCRA has been seen in the news recently, it is related to which of the following?

A. Health Indicators
B. Malnutrition
C. NGO's
D. Security

Q.2- Which of the following is correct regarding Leukaemia?

1. It is a cancer which starts in blood-forming tissue, usually bone marrow
2. During leukaemia abnormal over-production of red blood cells happens.
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both
D. None

Q.3- 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
 Answer  1-C, 2-A, 3-D

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 10 May 2017

Q.1- With reference to pre-packaged items in India, it is mandatory to the manufacturer to put which of the following information on the main label, as per the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011?

1. List of ingredients including additives
2. Nutrition information
3. Recommendations, if any, made by the medical profession about the possibility of any allergic reactions
4. Vegetarian/non-vegetarian
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1, 2 and 3
(b) 2, 3 and 4
(c) 1, 2 and 4
(d) 1 and 4 only

Q.2- Which of the following statements are correct regarding International court of Justice?

1. It is one of the principal organs of UN
2. The seat of the Court is in The New York
3. Only UN members are entitled to be the party to the court
A. 1 only
B. 1, 2 only
C. All
D. 1,3

Q.3- How many non-permanent members are there in the Security Council

(a) 10
(b) 18
(c) 15
(d) 22
 Answer   1-C, 2-A, 3-A

CWG legacy project on air quality spreading to more cities (downtoearth)

The Commonwealth Games (CWG) which India hosted in 2010 may have been forgotten for various reasons but one of its legacy projects is thriving and helping citizens with air quality information.

The project known as “System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research” or SAFAR-India, initiated by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, provides location specific information on air quality in near real-time and forecasts up to three days. It was introduced in the national capital during the games, and later on in Mumbai and Pune. On Friday, the service will be launched in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar.

The system has been developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune along with India Meteorological Department (IMD). It is being implemented in various cities in collaboration with local authorities. The system synthesizes data on sources of air pollution, its transport over neighbouring states, modelling processes, its impact on public health, food, regional climate, to arr…

To recharge groundwater, give due attention to soil: conservationist Vijay Borade ()downtoearth,

We are concentrating only on water conservation but unless we give due attention to soil conservation, the problem of water scarcity will not be solved, observed Vijay Borade—winner of Krishi Bhushan Award and the former member of Maharashtra Water Conservation Advisory Council—at the Natural Farming Summit 2017 organised by the Sri Sri Institute Agricultural Sciences & Technology Trust (SSIAST) in Bengaluru on Tuesday, May 9.

Borade has the highly successful Kadwanchi watershed project in Maharashtra’s water-stressed Jalna district to his credit. The integrated watershed management approach that Barode had adopted during the five-year-long project between 1996 and 2001 led to an increase in cropped land from 1,365 hectares to 1,517 hectares. Land under perennial irrigation had also increased from 174.14 hectares to 617 hectares.

According to Borade, nature has its own arrangement of recharging groundwater. But this natural process has been disrupted because of drastic land-use c…

Consider HDI to design global stocktake under Paris Deal: India at Bonn Climate Meet (downtoearth,)

Negotiations started as part of informal consultations on the issue of global stocktake, one of the key elements of the Paris Agreement.

Global Stocktake, mentioned in Article 14 of the Paris climate deal, is meant to assess collective progress of climate actions, including mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation, with a view to enhance the future round of climate action plans or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

With a view to streamline negotiations, co-chairs proposed four bullet points under which discussions could take place. These relate to possible linkages and context, possible outputs, possible elements of modalities and possible elements of sources of inputs. The output of the discussions would be captured in an informal note to be prepared by co-facilitators.

Parties also emphasised on the linkages that Global Stocktake has with regard to different segments of the Paris Agreement, including long-term goals, information on NDCs, technology mechanism, tr…

Reversing drug resistance made possible (hindu)

Drug-resistant E. coli become sensitive to antibiotics when H2S synthesis is inhibited

Indian researchers have unravelled the mechanism by which hydrogen sulphide (H2S) gas produced by bacteria protects them from antibiotics and plays a key role in helping bacteria develop drug resistance. And by blocking/disabling the enzyme that triggers the biosynthesis of hydrogen sulphide in bacteria, the researchers from Bengaluru’s Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune, have been able to reverse antibiotic resistance in E. coli bacteria; E. coli bacteria were isolated from patients suffering from urinary tract infection. The results were published in the journal Chemical Science.

Antibiotics kill by increasing the levels of reactive oxygen species (oxidative stress) inside bacterial cells. So any mechanism that detoxifies or counters reactive oxygen species generated by antibiotics will reduce the efficacy of antibiotics. “Hydrog…

NASA missions on solar system (hindu)

A new mission to Saturn’s moons Titan or Enceladus to find signs of life beyond Earth cannot be ruled out as NASA says it is reviewing 12 proposals for future unmanned solar system mission to be launched in the mid-2020s.

The proposed missions of discovery — submitted under NASA’s New Frontiers programme —will undergo scientific and technical review over the next seven months, the US space agency said in a statement on Friday. Selection of one or more concepts for Phase A study will be announced in November. At the conclusion of Phase A concept studies, it is planned that one New Frontiers investigation will be selected to continue into subsequent mission phases.

Investigations for this announcement of opportunity were limited to six mission themes — comet surface sample return; lunar South Pole-Aitken basin sample return; ocean worlds (Titan and/or Enceladus); Saturn probe; Trojan tour and rendezvous; and Venus in situ explorer

“New Frontiers is about answering the biggest questions…

100 years with our closest star, the sun (hindu)

Indian Institute of Astrophysics releases digitised images of the sun for researchers and science enthusiasts

Every day, since 1904, staff at the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory in Tamil Nadu have aimed their telescope at the sun, freezing the images of its disc. This data, spanning a hundred years and more, has now been digitised by astrophysicists from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bengaluru, and made available to the public.

Apart from use in academic studies of long term behaviour of the sun, the data can be used to better understand sunspot activity which impacts climate and affects telecommunication systems. It also throws light on major events in the past which had an impact on the earth’s magnetic field. “From that knowledge we may understand the current and future events with greater precision. This also allows us to predict future [sunspot] activity levels with better accuracy,” says Dipankar Banerjee, IIAP, the Principal Investigator.

While ‘spectroheliograms’ were ta…

IIT-M makes white light from pomegranate, turmeric extracts (hindu)

This could be used in applications such as tunable laser, LEDs and white light display

Dr. Vikram Singh, former research scholar in the Department of Chemistry, IIT Madras won the BIRAC Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Award 2017 for his work on producing white light emission using natural extracts.

Dr. Singh and Prof. Ashok Mishra from the Department of Chemistry, IIT Madras used a mixture of two natural extracts — red pomegranate and turmeric — to produce white light emission. The researchers used a simple and environment-friendly procedure to extract dyes from pomegranate and turmeric.

While polyphenols and anthocyanins present in red pomegranate emit at blue and orange-red regions of the wavelength respectively, curcumin from turmeric emit at the green region of the wavelength. White light emission is produced when red, blue and green mix together. This is probably the first time white light emission has been generated using low-cost, edible natural dyes. The result…

Drought-stricken Somalia ‘hangs in the balance’: UN chief ( hindu)

439,000 people are at risk of famine, says Antonio Guterres  British Prime Minster Theresa May and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Thursday for more support for drought-stricken Somalia, with the U.N. chief requesting another $900 million in aid this year.  They spoke at a high-level conference to address the Horn of Africa nation’s deepening humanitarian and security crisis.  “Somalia now hangs in the balance between peril and potential,” Mr. Guterres said. “Here in London we can tip the scales from danger to safety.”  Mr. Guterres said some 439,000 people are at risk of famine and more than 6 million are “severely food insecure.”  Somalia is also facing new military interest from the United States, as President Donald Trump has approved expanded operations, including airstrikes, against the extremist group al-Shabab. Aid agencies have expressed concern that the military moves could endanger the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the drought.  Somalia also c…

Aadhaar data leaks not from UIDAI: Centre (.hindu )

Aadhaar is foolproof, it tells SC

Leaks of Aadhaar card details are not from the UIDAI, but at the State level, the Union government told the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

“As of today, Aadhaar is foolproof. Biometric technology is the best system in 2016. There has not been a single leak from the UIDAI. The leaks of details may have been from the States... their offices and agencies,” advocate Arghya Sengupta, counsel for the Centre, submitted in the court.

The Centre’s clarification comes in the midst of reports that data of over 130 million Aadhaar cardholders have been leaked from four government websites.

Reports, based on a study conducted by the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), a Bengaluru-based organisation, said Aadhaar numbers, names and other personal details of people have been leaked.

The Centre was washing its hands of the alleged leaks for the second consecutive day in the Supreme Court.

A-G’s assurance

On Tuesday, Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi had emphatically as…

e-facility to link Aadhaar with PAN launched .(hindu)

I-T Department asks people to ensure that the date of birth and gender in PAN and Aadhaar are exactly the same, to ensure linkage without failure.

The Income Tax Department has launched an e-facility to link Aadhaar with Permanent Account Number (PAN), a mandatory procedure for filing IT returns now.

The department’s e-filing website ( has created the link on its homepage.

The link requires the PAN, the Aadhaar number and the “exact name as given in the Aadhaar card”.

“After verification from the UIDAI [Unique Identification Authority of India], the linking will be confirmed. In case of any minor mismatch in the Aadhaar name provided, Aadhaar OTP [one time password] will be required,” the department said in an advisory to taxpayers and individuals.

OTP would be sent on the registered mobile number and email of an individual, it said.

The department urged people to ensure that the date of birth and gender in PAN and Aadhaar are exactly the same, t…