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Showing posts from June 22, 2017

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 28 December 2016

Q1 - 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

Q2 - Which of the following country has not signed an open sky offer with India?

A. Sri Lanka
B. Jamaica
C. Nepal
D. Cech Republic

Q3 - West Bank area mostly seen in news, is related to which of the following parts of the world?

A. Central Asia
B. South East Asia
C. Southern America
D. Middle east.
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 Answer  1-C,  2-C,  3-D

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 27 December 2016

Q1 - Which of the following is not a missile under integrated guided missile development programme?

A. Agni
B. Dhanush
C. Prithvi
D. Nag

Q2 - Polavaram does not run through which of the following state?

A. Odisha
B. Chhattisgarh
C. Telangana
D. Andhra Pradesh

Q3 - FC-31 stealth fighter is manufactured by which of the following countries?

A. China
B. USA
C. France
D. Russia.
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Answer  1-B,  2-C,  3-A

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 22 June 2017

Q- Which of the following is correct regarding International day of yoga?

1. Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India
2. On 11 December 2014, the United Nations adopted resolution for international day of yoga
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both
D. None


Q- Which of the following is not a function of SEBI?

A. regulating the business in stock exchanges and any other securities markets;
B. Registering and regulating the working of venture capital funds and collective investment schemes,including mutual funds;
C. promoting and regulating self-regulatory Organizations
D. All of the above are functions of SEBI


Q- Arrange these water bodies from west to east

1. Timur sea
2. Arafura sea
3. Gulf of carpentaria
4. Coral sea
A. 4-2-3-1
B. 1-2-3-4
C. 2-4-3-1
D. 1-3-2-4.
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Answer 1-C,  2-D,  3-B

We can’t afford to lose farmers (downtoearth)

It took the tragic death of six farmers in Madhya Pradesh for the national media to report on the deep-rooted agricultural crisis. The farmers who were killed in police firing during protests were demanding that the government pay a higher minimum support price (MSP) for their crops. But it is not only in Madhya Pradesh that farmers are out in the streets. Agricultural unrest is worse in the more prosperous and productive regions, where the input cost of farming is higher and so is the debt. Farmers are bleeding. Enough is enough, they are saying.

The current crisis is about the problem of aplenty. The crop production this year has been good, but the farmers are in trouble because the glut means that the value of the crop has gone down. After seasons of bad yield (caused by rain failure or variable and extreme weather), this is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. The bumper crop could have helped them make good their losses and pay their loans. Their despair should make us act.

T…

Countries are progressing too slowly on green growth, says OECD (downtoearth)

Many countries have become more efficient in using natural resources and the services provided by the environment, generating more economic output per unit of carbon emitted and of energy or raw materials consumed. Yet progress is too slow, and if emissions embodied in international trade are included, advances in environmental productivity are more modest, a new OECD report shows.

Green Growth Indicators 2017 uses a range of indicators covering everything from land use to CO2 productivity and innovation to show where 46 countries rank on balancing economic growth with environmental pressures over 1990 to 2015. It finds that Denmark, Estonia, the United Kingdom, Italy and the Slovak Republic have made the most progress on green growth since 2000.

The report shows that no country is performing well on all green growth dimensions and most of the countries studied are yet to fully disconnect economic growth from fossil fuel use and pollutant emissions. Progress has often been insufficie…

Why is Centre making Aadhaar compulsory for poor TB patients despite Supreme Court order? (downtoearth)

Going against the Supreme Court’s order to not make Aadhar compulsory for public welfare schemes, the Centre has decided to make the 12-digit UID number mandatory for tuberculosis patients who want to avail benefits of its scheme.

In a notification dated June 16, 2017, the government said that anyone seeking benefit under Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) will have to either furnish Aadhar or apply for it. And this is for patients who are already fighting a deadly disease. Under this scheme, the government provides medicine to patients for free.

The notification reads: “An individual eligible to receive the benefit under the scheme is, hereby, required to furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo Aadhaar authentication.” The deadline given to apply under Aadhar is August 31, 2017.

The RNTCP is a public welfare scheme under which, conditional cash assistance is also offered to the eligible TB patients, private health care providers and treatment supporters. …

At least 750,000 children at risk of contracting water-borne diseases in Eastern Ukraine, says UNICEF (downtoearth)

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has issued a warning that at least 750,000 children are at imminent risk of water-borne diseases in Eastern Ukraine following a threat to cut off water supplies as the conflict between the government and the Russia-backed separatists surges.

UNICEF reports that recent escalation in the fighting has damaged vital water infrastructure which has affected approximately 400,000 people, which includes 104,000 children. Their drinking water supply was cut off for four days last week. A surge in fighting will put more lives at risk in the rebel-held territory.

Urgent repairs to damaged pipes have been completed, but the water infrastructure, which three million people rely on, is now on the line of fire.

"We expect more families will be cut off from safe drinking water, putting children at severe risk of disease and other dangers," said Afshan Khan, UNICEF’s Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia.

Children cut off from clean drinki…

As Zika spreads, questions for India (hindu)

In the 1950s, a drug called thalidomide was given to pregnant women to control morning sickness. The drug, a teratogen — an agent or factor which causes malformation of an embryo — was responsible for the birth of thousands of disabled babies who had reduced or missing arms and legs. As a rule, birth defects such as these are rare and sporadic events. Thalidomide was different as it caused an epidemic of birth defects. As case after case was reported, the human tragedy became evident from the plight of disabled babies and their helpless parents. There was a realisation that preventing birth defects and providing care to newborns with severe disability is a public health responsibility, requiring a range of specialised services. Parents required information on the disabling condition as well as access to rehabilitation services. This included guidance on home management of the baby. Contact with other parents was needed to overcome stigmatisation and guilt and receive further advice o…

When immunity goes awry (hindu)

A national registry of primary immunodeficiency disorders offers hope for early diagnosis and treatment

When he was three years old, R. Sai Monesh, now seven, was diagnosed with a rare condition: Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis or HLH, a life-threatening condition, in which the body’s immune system cells attack healthy tissue.

“He was constantly ill: he had loose motions, fever and vomiting and at one point was hospitalised for a month with a 108°F temperature,” says his mother, R. Rajeshwari, who works as a domestic help. Six months ago, Sai Monesh underwent a bone marrow transplant at a private hospital in Chennai — his father, a construction worker, was the donor — and is now recovering.

What are PIDs

Sai Monesh’s condition is one of the over 300 types of primary immunodeficiency disorders (PIDs) — conditions that weaken the immune system, leaving patients susceptible to infections and health complications. Many people with PIDs are born with some of the body’s immune defences …

Cholesterol-cutting vaccine shows promise (hindu)

Early-phase trials checking if antigen, positive in mice, works in humans

A cholesterol-lowering vaccine has shown promise in mice, said researchers on Tuesday who announced they had started early-phase trials to see if it also works in humans.

Such a treatment could offer a welcome alternative to statins, the main pharmaceutical choice today for lowering cholesterol in people at high risk of heart attack or stroke.

The vaccine, dubbed AT04A, reduced cholesterol levels in trial mice by half, and reversed damage done to blood vessels due to plaque build-up by more than 60%, researchers said in a statement.

Fatty diet

The mice were given the vaccine after they were fed a fatty diet to resemble the high-cholesterol intake of a human Western-style diet.

“Levels of cholesterol were reduced in a consistent and long-lasting way,” said study co-author Guenther Staffler of the AFFiRis biotech. This resulted in “a reduction of fatty deposits in the arteries and atherosclerotic damage, and redu…

TB patients will need Aadhaar for cash benefits (hindu)

Patients would not be denied diagnosis or treatment for want of an Aadhaar number, Sunil Khaparde, a senior Health Ministry official told “The Hindu”.

Tuberculosis patients, hospitals and healthcare workers availing cash assistance from the government will need to register with the Aadhaar database by August 31, according to the Union Health Ministry.

A gazette notification on June 16 says ‘…an individual eligible to receive the benefit under the Scheme is, hereby, required to furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo Aadhaar authentication.’

The Scheme refers to the government’s Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP). Since 2012, the government requires that patients diagnosed with TB and availing treatment be registered with Nikshay, a web-based application used by the authorities to track funds, treatment outcomes and health providers connected to the RNTCP. It is being implemented by State governments and Union Territory administrations via governm…

Flat posture doesn’t do much for stroke treatment (hindu)

Little evidence to suggest patients recover better if they lie on their back

There is no significant difference in the disability outcomes for patients who have suffered acute stroke, whether they received treatment lying flat on the back with the face upwards or in a sitting-up position with the head elevated to at least 30 degrees.

This is the conclusion of a major trial that involved over 11,000 acute stroke patients for a 90-day window.

In the case of stroke patients, it is believed that lying flat may improve recovery by increasing blood flow in the main arteries to the brain, but there has been no clinical evidence. There has also been uncertainty over the role of head positioning after acute stroke and the potential risks of cardiopulmonary dysfunction and pneumonia infection.

About 14 hours after the onset of stroke, the patients were made to lie in one of the two positions for 24 hours. The trial was carried out in 114 hospitals in nine countries, including India. The result…

An asteroid strike on Earth is just a matter of time: experts (Hindu)

It is a case of when an asteroid collision will happen, rather than if it will happen, says Alan Fitzsimmons

An asteroid strike on the Earth is just a matter of time and such events could destroy major cities, experts warn.

According to Alan Fitzsimmons from Queen’s University Belfast in the U.K., it is a case of when an asteroid collision will happen, rather than if it will happen.

The warning comes ahead of the upcoming Asteroid Day on 30 June. On that day in 1908, a small asteroid exploded over Tunguska in Siberia and devastated over 2,000 square kilometres.

This year, discussions and presentations will be streamed live from Luxembourg on June 30.

Experts, including Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart and International Space Station astronaut Nicole Stott, will answer questions from social media followers.

Fitzsimmons warns that a similar unexpected strike in today’s world could easily destroy a major city and a larger asteroid could be more dangerous.

“It is important to know th…

Countdown begins for PSLV-C38 launch (Hindu)

29 nano satellites from 14 countries are being launched as part of the commercial arrangements between Antrix Corporation and international customers.

The 28-hour countdown for the launch of Cartosat-2 series satellite along with 30 co-passenger satellites from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh began at 5.29 a.m. IST on June 22.

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its 40th flight (PSLV-C38), would launch the 712 kg satellite for earth observation and 30 other satellites together weighing about 243 kg into a 505 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) at 9.20 a.m. IST on June 23, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.

The co-passengers comprise 29 nano satellites from 14 countries — Austria, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America besides a nano satellite from India. PSLV-C38 will be launched from the First Launch Pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.

This will be…

American voyage: On Narendra Modi's U.S. visit (hindu)

The PM’s meeting with Trump gives India a chance to study its options in a changed world

Three years after his first visit to meet U.S. President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Washington for his first meeting with the new President, Donald Trump, on June 26. His visit in 2014 was made easier by a strong Indo-U.S. relationship built steadily over the previous two decades, and grounded in Mr. Obama’s personal commitment to enhancing strategic ties. It also benefited from Mr. Modi’s willingness to let bygones be bygones, over the earlier denial to him of a visa to the U.S., in order to build a new relationship, and his show of diaspora strength in the U.S. Mr. Modi now goes to Washington as a seasoned interlocutor, not the ‘new kid on the world leadership block’ he was in previous visits. But the situation in 2017 is different. In the five months since his inauguration, Mr. Trump has made it clear that no international relationship can be taken for granted, a…