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The 10 PM Daily Quiz – 8 July, 2016

8-july

Hi Friends,

The purpose of these questions is to enable practice on a daily level for you to prepare Current Affairs for Civil Services Prelims Examination. This questions will be moderate level and it is expected of you solve these questions with decent overview of 9 PM Brief.

Please type your answers in the comments below .

Note : Answers to the quiz will be posted one day later.


Q.1) Atithidevo Bhava has been taken from which of the following Upanishads?
a) Chandogya
b) Aitareya
c) Taittiriya
d) Mundaka


Q.2) Greenwich  Meridian passes through which of the following African lake?
a) L.Chad
b) L.Volta
c) L.Turkana
d) L.Malawi


Q.3) What is Ganga Vahini?
a) A boat which will carry out cleanliness work in the lower course of Ganga.
b) A mobile application which will cover the updates regarding Namami Gange
c) A distinct personality which will be the brand ambassador of the Namami Gange project
d) A national volunteer force


Q.4) Consider the following statements regarding Gender Inequality Index

  1. Higher GII value represents less disparities between females and males.
  2. Health, empowerment and labour participation are the major dimensions for measuring GII.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both are correct
d) Neither is true


Q.5)   Equator doesn’t pass through which country?
a)    Columbia
b) Rwanda
c) Uganda
d) Gabon


Q.6) Consider the following statements regarding Financial Intelligence Unit-India

  1. It is the central national agency responsible for receiving, processing, analyzing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions.
  2. FIU-IND is an independent body reporting directly to the Economic Intelligence Council (EIC) headed by the Prime Minister.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both are correct
d) Neither is true

 

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9 PM Daily NEWS Brief

9 PM Daily Brief -8 July 2016

8-july (1)

Brief of newspaper articles for the day bearing
relevance to Civil Services preparation

What is 9 PM brief?


GS PAPER 2


[1]Railways set to make revenue out of garbage

The Hindu

Context

In order to generate revenue apart from fares, railways has been considering proposals to sell garbage produced across various stations in the country.

Analysis

  • Railways is considering a proposal sent to it by a waste management group which has offered Rs. 1.50/kg of garbage at railway stations.
  • The garbage will be collected from the station round-the-clock. The collection of garbage and its disposal will be the responsibility of the waste management company.
  • The railways has also set up a Non-Fare revenue directorate. This directorate has been tasked to find means from which railways can generate revenue apart from fares and freight.

Conclusion

This move seems like a win-win for both the railways. For railways it would entail cleaner railway stations while also earning money by cleaning them. The waste so collected can also be used to generate energy and manure.

 


GS PAPER 3


[1]DRI unearths Rs. 2,240 cr. banking-hawala scam 

The Hindu

Context

A scam has been unearthed by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence whereby Public Sector Banks have illegally remitted Rs . 2240 crores abroad. Fake documents and false declaration of traded goods was used to do this.

News

  • As many as 6 PSBs are found to be involved in the scam. Inflated export figures and non-existent imports were shown to claim duty drawbacks.
  • Majority of these remittances were made by a Punjab National Bank’s branch in Mumbai. It alone remitted around Rs. 1398 crores without following any due diligence.

Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) norms have also been violated. FEMA puts a limit on the amount that can be remitted abroad.

[2]Centre mulling raising FDI cap in newspapers, periodicals

The Hindu

Context

Another sector might see FDI liberalisation soon as the centre is planning to increase the FDI limit in newspaper and periodicals.

News

  • Govt. is planning to increase the FDI limit in newspapers and periodicals to 49% .
  • At present FDI of 26% is permitted in publishing of newspapers and periodicals dealing with news and current affairs, through government approval route.
  • Recently the government has eased FDI norms in 8 sectors the major ones being defense, civil aviation, food processing. This relaxation is bound to attract more foreign capital for India.

[3]RBI board flags risk of conflict of interest in MPC appointments

The Hindu

Context

RBI board has pointed out at the conflict of interest which might arise out of the composition of Monetary Policy Committee(MPC) decided by the govt.

Analysis

  • MPC will include the following members: Governor of RBI, Deputy Governor in-charge of monetary policy, Executive Director in-charge of monetary policy, 3 members appointed by the govt.
  • Now the executive director (ED) of RBI reports to the Deputy Governor, also the performance appraisal of ED is done by the Deputy Governor. This might lead to conflict of interest and independence of ED may be compromised as he may have to toe in-line with the Deputy Governor.

Conclusion

This is a very pertinent issue which has been raised by the RBI board. For MPC to function properly it must be free from such conflicts and biases.

[4]Divesting in RBI to recapitalize banks

Livemint

Context

In the present times, majority of the Public Sector Banks are wriggling under the burden of NPAs. There is an imminent need for the government to recapitalize these PSBs. For recapitalization, the govt needs money and such money can come from disinvesting  some of it’s stakes in RBI.

 

Analysis

  • There is no doubt the recapitalisation of PSBs who are struggling with the NPAs is the need of the hour. This recapitalisation can be financed in 3 ways:

i) Increasing the govt. Revenues

ii) Increasing the govt. Borrowings.

iii) Divesting in some assets and using the money to recapitalise PSBs.

  • The third options seems to be a better and more practical approach than the other two. Economic Survey also advises to do the same.RBI is owned by the Govt. of India and its equity capital is much higher compared to international standards.
  • Govt. can thus, afford to reduce its equity in RBI and use the resources generated to recapitalise PSBs.

However, the Governor of RBI has advised against this. Let us see both the scenarios where RBI governor might be right and where economic survey might be right.

1. How disinvestment may not be a good move?

 

  • Let us assume that RBI buys back some of its shares from the govt. by giving up its govt. Bonds (say to the tune of  2 trillion). Now govt will have to sell these bond in the open market to households so that it can raise finance for recapitalization of PSBs.
  • However, the assumption that households will buy such bonds to the tune of 2 trillion is unrealistic.Households do not have such big capacities , that is why in the first place such RBIs and PSBs are expected to hold govt bonds.
  • So in a nut shell by this move, finances cannot be raised and PSBs cannot be recapitalised. 

2. How disinvestment may be a good move?

Let us assume a similar situation as discussed in point 1 with a slight difference.

  • RBI buys back some of its shares to the tune of say 25o billion instead of 2 trillion.
  • In this case the govt can sell these bonds worth 250 billion in open market to households.
  • Households will have the capacity to buy them and the finance generated can be used to recapitalise PSBs.

Conclusion

Avoiding disinvestment worth trillions in RBI and going for much practical disinvestment may actually work in generating finances for recapitalisation of PSBs. However, theories and analysis apart, the taste of the pudding is in the eating.

[5]Airlines, Centre lock horns over ‘passenger-centric’ rules 

The Hindu

Context

Several passenger centric norms mooted by the Government have been opposed by the airlines citing reasons such as lack of viability.

What norms are being opposed and Why?

  • The recent norm by DGCA which allows the passenger to carry 5 kg of extra baggage over and above the 15 kg free allowance at Rs. 100/kg has been opposed by the airlines. Before this norm the airline was charging Rs. 250-350 per kg.
  • The airline says that passengers are being offered extra 7 kgs already as free cabin luggage. Also if this norm by DGCA ( of extra 5kg baggage at 100rs/kg) continues, the airlines will have to increase their ticket prices due to consumption of more fuel by carrying excess baggage.
  • Another opposition by airlines is towards the proposal which disallows airlines to charge cancellation fees more than the base fare of tickets. Airlines want that they should be allowed a cancellation fee which includes the fuel charge component also along with the base fare.
  • Other proposals such as providing higher compensations for cancellation of flight,delays and denial of boarding have also been opposed by airlines. Airlines feel that such proposal have not quantified the impact of such extra burden on the airlines.
  • Airlines also do not want any penalties on them in case the cancellation of flight is due to limitations imposed by Air traffic control and inefficient infrastructure at airport.

Conclusion

While it may appear that airlines are opposing passenger centric norms for their own interests, it must be noted that many of their concerns are also genuine. The need of the hour is to weed out the problems by involvement of all the stakeholders and find a common ground.

 

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Daily Editorials for UPSC IAS Exam Preparation

Editorial Today – Chilcot Report

editorial-today-75What is Chilcot Report It is the result of a seven-year inquiry into Britain’s role in the 2003 Iraq War.

Background The Chilcot inquiry launched in 2009 as British troops withdrew from Iraq.

What did the report actually find? It raises serious question on Tony Blair (PM of Britain at that time).

Counterargument of Tony Blair He argued that he had acted in good faith.

Any lesson learnt from Iraq tragedy? The big powers refused to learn any lesson from the Iraq tragedy.

Effect of such war There is no disputing the ruthlessness of these dictators.

Conclusion

 

What is Chilcot Report

  • Chilcot Report is the result of a seven-year inquiry into Britain’s role in the 2003 Iraq War, which led to the downfall of Saddam Hussein.

 

Background

  • The Chilcot inquiry launched in 2009 as British troops withdrew from Iraq, tasked with investigating the run-up to the 2003 US-led invasion and the subsequent occupation.
  • Tens of thousands of Iraqis died during the conflict and the brutal sectarian war that followed, while 179 British soldiers also lost their lives — many of whose relatives are still searching for answers.
  • The invasion was controversial at the time as it did not have explicit approval from the UN Security Council, while claims that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction proved unfounded.
  • Although he stepped down in 2007, Blair remains reviled by much of Britain for the conflict, which is viewed as at best misguided, and as worst a war crime.

 

What did the report actually find?

It raises serious question on Tony Blair (PM of Britain at that time)

  • Premeditated: It revealed he’d agreed to invade Iraq at least eight months before getting backing from the UK Parliament, when he told US President George W Bush “I will be with you, whatever”.
  • Misguided and misinformed: Sir Chilcot criticised Mr Blair for making his decision based on “flawed intelligence”. Mr Blair famously told Parliament that Saddam Hussein could deploy weapons of mass destruction against the West with the push of a button. However, the report says that was misguided and there was no imminent threat at the time of the invasion.
  • Iraq war was not illegal: Sir Chilcot says Blair didn’t exhaust his diplomatic options before going to war, but he stopped short of saying it was illegal.
  • The legal basis for military action was “far from satisfactory”, the report notes. In taking this action the U.K. “undermined the authority of the United Nations Security Council.”
  • The report is equally critical on military planning, establishing that three military brigades were not properly prepared, and the risks not “properly identified nor fully exposed”
  • Planning and preparations for the post-Saddam period were “wholly inadequate”.The U.K. government “failed to achieve the stated objectives it had set itself in Iraq.” As a consequence of this, more than 200 British citizens died, and by July 2009, 150,000 Iraqis had died and more than one million were displaced, figures that continue to rise till date i.e Sir Chilcot says the chaos in Iraq which followed the invasion should have been foreseen. “UK planning and preparation for the post-conflict phase of operations, which rested on the assumption that the UK would be able quickly to reduce its military presence in Iraq and deploy only a minimal number of civilians, were wholly inadequate.

 

Counterargument of Tony Blair

  • He argued that he had acted in good faith based on intelligence that suggested that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) — intelligence he admitted that “turned out to be wrong”.

 

Any lesson learnt from Iraq tragedy?

  • The big powers refused to learn any lesson from the Iraq tragedy. Even after it was clear that the invasion was disastrous, the West forced another regime change in Libya in 2011, repeating the same mistakes committed in Iraq and creating another haven for extremists.
  • British Prime Minister David Cameron, who voted for the Iraq war in 2003, wanted military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a proposal rejected by the House of Commons in 2013. Though the U.S. and the U.K. shelved the plan to directly attack Syria, they continued supporting anti-regime rebels in the country, worsening its security situation and further helping terrorist groups such as the IS and Jabhat al-Nusra.

 

Effect of such war

  • There is no disputing the ruthlessness of these dictators. But toppling them through wars or weakening their regimes through proxy civil wars is far more dangerous, as these crisis-hit nations would recount.
  • The Iraq war set off the contemporary chaos in West Asia and North Africa, and no one knows where it will all end.

 

Conclusion

  • The Iraq Inquiry is not a court and was not set up to make a legal case against Mr. Blair and individuals in his government who took wrong decisions that led to such disastrous consequences.
  • Mr. Blair has tried to brazen it out, and indeed feels so sure of his actions that he even claims he can look the nation and the families of the British soldiers who died “in the eye”.
  • But the painful reality of life after an unjust war is an experience that Iraq’s people suffer every day. There is no justice that can undo what military action conducted on false premises against their country in 2003 has wrought.
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[Solutions] Friday Science Quiz #15

friday-solution

[Solutions]

Q.1 Rosetta space probe is built by:

a) ISRO

b) NASA

c) European Space Agency

d) Roscosmos

Ans-[C]

Explanation-Rosetta is a space probe built by the European Space Agency launched on 2 March 2004.

 

Q.2 India’s first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory is known as:

a) SARAL

b) Astrosat

c) RISAT

d) MoM

Ans-[B]

Explanation-ASTROSAT is India’s first dedicated multi wavelength space observatory. This scientific satellite mission endeavours for a more detailed understanding of our universe.  One of the unique features of ASTROSAT mission is that it enables the simultaneous multi-wavelength observations of various astronomical objects with a single satellite.

ASTROSAT will observe universe in the optical, Ultraviolet, low and high energy X-ray regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, whereas most other scientific satellites are capable of observing a narrow range of wavelength band. Multi-wavelength observations of ASTROSAT can be further extended with co-ordinated observations using other spacecraft and ground based observations. All major astronomy Institutions and some Universities in India will participate in these observations.

 

Q.3 LIGO, which was recently in news is used to study:

a) Solar waves

b) Dark matter

c) Gravitational waves

d) Wormholes

Ans-[C]

Explanation-The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is designed to open the field of gravitational-wave astrophysics through the direct detection of gravitational waves predicted by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. LIGO’s multi-kilometer-scale gravitational wave detectors use laser interferometry to measure the minute ripples in space-time caused by passing gravitational waves from cataclysmic cosmic sources such as the mergers of pairs of neutron stars or black holes, or by supernovae. LIGO consists of two widely separated interferometers within the United States—one in Hanford, Washington and the other in Livingston, Louisiana—operated in unison to detect gravitational waves.

LIGO is a national facility for gravitational-wave research, providing opportunities for the broader scientific community to participate in detector development, observation, and data analysis. The capabilities of the LIGO detectors were greatly improved with the completion of the Advanced LIGO project in late 2014. The Advanced LIGO detectors will increase the sensitivity and observational range of LIGO by a factor of 10 over its predecessor, bringing 1000 times more galaxies into LIGO’s observational range.

 

Q.4 Meldonium is used to treat:

a) Malaria

b) Tuberculosis

c) Heart Disease

d) Cerebral Palsy

Ans-[C]

Explanation- Meldonium is used to treat ischaemia. Ischemia is the medical term for what happens when your heart muscle doesn’t get enough oxygen. Ischemia usually happens because of a shortage of blood and oxygen to the heart muscle. It is usually caused by a narrowing or blockage of one or more of the coronary arteries (which supply blood to the heart muscle)

 

Q.5 Which of the following plants is used to extract blue dye?

a) Trifolium

b) Indigofera

c) Lupin

d) Kessia

Ans-[B]

Explanation This is NCERT based question. Several species, especially Indigofera tinctoria and Indigofera suffruticosa, are used to produce the dye indigo.

 

Q.6 Kelp is a type of:

a) Sea Grass

b) Sea Weed

c) Coral

d) None of these

Ans-[B]

Explanation- Kelps are large seaweeds belonging to brown algae.It is rich in iodine content.

 

Q.7 Recently, the which substance has been banned by Govt. of India which was used as an additive in breads and found to cause cancer?

a) Pottasium Flouride

b) Potassium Bromate

c) Calcium Silicate

d) None of these

Ans-[B]

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[Solution] – The 10 PM Daily Quiz – 7 July, 2016

solution

We posted 6 questions in 10 PM Daily Quiz on 7 July, 2016. Thanks for the amazing response. These questions will help you polish concepts based on current affairs. In case you have not attempted them, please attempt them by clicking below.


Q.1) The committee constituted by the government to examine the feasibility and desirability of having a new financial year is headed by

a) Dr. Rajiv Kumar
b) PV Rajaraman
c) KM Chandrasekhar
d) Dr. Shankar Acharya

Answer-d

Explanation:-

  • The Union Finance Ministry has constituted four members committee to examine the feasibility and desirability of having a new financial year.
  • The committee has been tasked to examine the merits and demerits of various dates for the commencement of the financial year including the existing date (April to March) by taking into account the various relevant factors.
  • The committee will be headed by Dr. Shankar Acharya (former Chief Economic Adviser). Besides it will consist of PV Rajaraman (former Finance Secretary, Tamil Nadu), KM Chandrasekhar (former Cabinet Secretary) and Dr. Rajiv Kumar (Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research) as its members.

Q.2) Which of the following state has become the first state in the country to introduce minimum wages for part time workers?
a) Gujarat
b) Haryana
c) Rajasthan
d) Punjab

Answer-c

Explanation:-

  • Rajasthan has become the first state in the country to introduce minimum wages for part time workers.
  • In this regard, the Labour Department has issued a notification. With this, part time workers in the state now come under the Minimum Wages Act 1948.
  • As per the new rule, it is now mandatory for employer to pay 50% of the prescribed a day minimum wage to a person who works for less than four hours in a day.
  • Besides, in another decision state government also has decided to increase the minimum wages in all categories of scheduled employments by 104 Rupees per month.

Q.3) Consider the following statements regarding Attorney General of India

  1. He is appointed by the President of India.
  2. He has right of audience in all courts in the territory of India .
  3. Provisions regarding his remunerations are decided by Parliament by law.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 1 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer-a

Explanation:-

Article 76.

“Attorney-General for India.- (1) The President shall appoint a person who is qualified to be appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court to be Attorney-General for India .

(2) It shall be the duty of the Attorney-General to give advice to the Government of India upon such legal matters, and to perform such other duties of a legal character, as may from time to time be referred or assigned to him by the President, and to discharge the functions conferred on him by or under this Constitution or any other law for the time being in force.

(3) In the performance of his duties the Attorney-General shall have right of audience in all courts in the territory of India .

(4) The Attorney-General shall hold office during the pleasure of the President, and shall receive such remuneration as the President may determine.”


Q.4) Consider the following statements regarding United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

  1. It is the only convention stemming from a direct recommendation of the Rio Conference’s Agenda 21.
  2.  It is the only internationally legally binding framework set up to address the problem of desertification.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both are correct
d) Neither is true

Answer-c

Explanation:-

  • The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (UNCCD) is a Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.
  • The Convention, the only convention stemming from a direct recommendation of the Rio Conference’s Agenda 21, was adopted in Paris, France on 17 June 1994 and entered into force in December 1996. It is the only internationally legally binding framework set up to address the problem of desertification.
  • The Convention is based on the principles of participation, partnership and decentralization—the backbone of Good Governance and Sustainable Development. It has 195 parties, making it near universal in reach.
  • On 28 March 2013, Canada became the first country to withdraw from the convention.

Q.5) Consider the following statements regarding Breakwaters

  1. It increases coastal erosion.
  2. Breakwaters are structures constructed on coasts as part of coastal defense.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both are correct
d) Neither is true

Answer-b

Explanation:-

What are Breakwaters?

  • Breakwaters are structures constructed on coasts as part of coastal defense or to protect an anchorage from the effects of both weather and longshore drift.
  • Breakwaters reduce the intensity of wave action in inshore waters and thereby reduce coastal erosion or provide safe harbourage.

Q.6) Consider the following statements regarding pulses

  1. India is the largest producer of pulses.
  2. India is the largest consumer of pulses.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both are correct
d) Neither is true

Answer-c

Explanation:-

  • Even after tapping markets of 46 countries, we are able to arrange only around five million tonne of pulses because unlike edible oil, pulses are not easily available for import from other countries, especially with the preference for pulse intake rising in most of the developed countries.
  • India, being the largest producer as well as consumer of pulses, thus needs to tap the domestic potential of raising the production.
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Newspaper

Newspaper Must Read Articles of the Day – 8 July, 2016

8th-july

Newspaper articles bearing relevance to Civil Services preparation 

The Hindu 


National

DRI unearths Rs. 2,240 cr. banking-hawala scam {Economy – Paper III}

‘Clean Ganga’ project launched at 100 places {Environment – Paper III}

Railways set to make revenue out of garbage {Governance – Paper II]



Opinions & Editorials 

What we must learn from Africa {Foreign Policy – Paper II}

Grim lessons from the Iraq invasion {International – Paper II}

Fixing the pulses deficit {Agriculture – Paper III}

Why the Chilcot report is vital {International – Paper II}



International

Putin signs controversial ‘Big Brother’ law {International – Paper II}

Germany enacts landmark sexual assault law {International – Paper II}



Business & Economy

Airlines, Centre lock horns over ‘passenger-centric’ rules {Economy – Paper III}

Centre mulling raising FDI cap in newspapers, periodicals {Economy – Paper III}

RBI board flags risk of conflict of interest in MPC appointments {Economy – Paper III}

India’s widening gender gap a concern, says ILO {Economy – Paper III}

Utensil makers oppose quality norms on steel {Economy – Paper III}

Sri Lanka to seal trade pact with India by mid-2017 {Economy – Paper III}


Indian Express – Opinion & Editorial

Economic deform {Economy – Paper III}

Getting serious {Foreign Policy – Paper II}


 Livemint

Divesting in RBI to recapitalize banks {Economy – Paper III}

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Friday Science Quiz #15

friday

Hello Everyone,

These are some questions on Science and Technology. Answer them to gauge your preparation for Prelims. Solutions will be posted at 5:00 pm.

[Questions]

 

Q.1 Rosetta space probe is built by:

a) ISRO

b) NASA

c) European Space Agency

d) Roscosmos

 

Q.2 India’s first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory is known as:

a) SARAL

b) Astrosat

c) RISAT

d) MoM

 

Q.3 LIGO, which was recently in news is used to study:

a) Solar waves

b) Dark matter

c) Gravitational waves

d) Wormholes

 

Q.4 Meldonium is used to treat:

a) Malaria

b) Tuberculosis

c) Heart Disease

d) Cerebral Palsy

 

Q.5 Which of the following plants is used to extract blue dye?

a) Trifolium

b) Indigofera

c) Lupin

d) Kessia

 

Q.6 Kelp is a type of:

a) Sea Grass

b) Sea Weed

c) Coral

d) None of these

 

Q.7 Recently, the which substance has been banned by Govt. of India which was used as an additive in breads and found to cause cancer?

a) Pottasium Flouride

b) Potassium Bromate

c) Calcium Silicate

d) None of these