All Government Exams - News Headlines and Quizzes - August 2017

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    • August 1

      • Today : News Headlines | Quiz based on current affairs with Answers


        CIVILS TAPASYA - News Headlines - All govt. exams


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        1. Militants despatched in Kashmir by military : The Indian forces continued their strong action against militants, and it was the Lashkar-e-Taiba chief commander Abu Dujana (a resident of Gilgit Baltistan) on the list now. The 26 year old 'Lashkar commander' was one of militant outfit’s most infamous in south Kashmir, and operated in the villages of Pulwama. Earlier, Dujana's accomplice Arif Ahmad was also killed by forces. Dujana came into limelight in 2015 after the killing of Abu Qasim. Dujana was a top recruiter for the militants in south Kashmir. After his elevation as the 'chief commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba', he came on the radar of security agencies, and he kept escaping always. The Army had released a list of the top militant commanders and Dujana’s name figured as an A+++ category militant and carried a bounty of more than Rs 15 lakh on his head. Last year, Abu Dujana, wearing a mask, also attended a few protest gatherings after the killing of Burhan Wani, and even made a brief speech on August 1 at a “martyrs’ cemetery” in Karimabad, Pulwama. Dujana is considered responsible for the attack on a CRPF convoy at Pampore and another at the Entrepreneurship Development Institute in the Sempora area. The focus is now on the new Lashkar commander, Abu Ismail, named by police in the Amarnath yatra attack and Abu Qasim’s brother Abdul Rehman. Read more on terrorism here

        2. Flood situation in some states grim; PM visits Assam : Prime Minister Modi left for Assam to take stock of the flood situation in the state. More than 25 lakh people are affected (and 70 lives lost) in Assam which is going through one of the worst floods due to heavy monsoon showers. An ex-gratia compensation has been announced, of Rs 2 lakh for next of kin of those who died in the Assam and Rajasthan floods, and Rs 50,000 for those who have been seriously injured in the floods. Though the floods have receded in most parts of the state, six districts are still affected. More than 1,000 relief camps and distribution centres have been setup by the government with Air Force, NDRF and Army being summoned for rescue and relief operations. Matters related to management of floods and the damages caused by it are to be taken up. The Governor of Assam Banwarilal Purohit has donated his one month salary to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for the people affected in the floods. Visit the resource page on Rivers of India and the World

        3. A drug route like none other : One of the world’s biggest drug smuggling routes, spread across Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Indian Ocean, with receivers of various nationalities, has been revealed (exposed) with the recent seizure of 1,500 kg of heroin worth over Rs 3,500 crore off the Gujarat coast. Indian intelligence agencies have regularly tracked satellite phones of these syndicates to gain clarity and coordinated on their operation. Drug syndicates have been exploiting the vast open seas off India and Pakistan, which is easily accessible from several countries due to various geopolitical reasons, for running their rackets. The drugs business never seems to face a recession.

        4. Sold Out, but with a caution : Sri Lanka recently signed a USD 1.1 billion deal to sell a 70-per cent stake of the crucial Hambantota port to China, due to the massive debt the island nation incurred in building the port. China has invested millions of dollars in Sri Lanka's infrastructure since 2009. The stake in the loss-making port has been sold to China's state-run China Merchant Port Holdings (CMPort). It is being said that only Sri Lankan Navy would be allowed at the port to secure it waters, and it is expected that China will not make this port a military base. China was close to the ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa who got the project off the ground.

        5. A fight over a Holy site - Qatar versus KSA : Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said that the alleged request of Qatar to internationalize the Hajj site for Muslim pilgrims was an attack against the sovereignty of the Kingdom. Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani clarified that no official request had been made by Qatar. He did however, accuse the Saudis of politicizing Hajj and addressed the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion recently, expressing doubts over the Hajj trip for Qataris. This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy

        6. Lionheart Snapdeal : E-commerce major Snapdeal said  that it is carrying out a major layoff in the company, with an agenda to cut down at least 80 percent of its employee strength. They also said that the merger between Snapdeal and Flipkart has been reversed. The funds obtained from selling online wallet app Freecharge (around USD 100 million) and downsizing its employee base from 1200 to almost 250 will be the way forward for Snapdeal (quite a way!). Flipkart had already offered two consecutive offers worth USD 800 million and USD 950 million, being one of the highest in the industry. Apparently, Snapdeal and its CEO Kunal Bahl value the firm much more. Time will tell.

        7. Brexit woes and final exit : Free movement of EU citizens to Britain will finally end when the country leaves the EU in March 2019. As their was immense confusion over the issue of free movement, PM Theresa May said that the old system will be gradually removed to make Brexit as smooth as possible. Proposals for a new immigration system after Brexit will be brought forward in due course and it cannot be said that they will be as lenient as the earlier migration laws. Read PIB excerpts here

        8. North Korea is the spoilt child, and why waste our time! U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley recently said that there was no reason of having an emergency meeting of the UNSC if it does not produce any relevant results. Yet another imposition or regulation on North Korea is of no value according to her as the Hermit Kingdom is clearly not threatened by the actions taken against it. In fact, it is worse than nothing, because it sends the message to the North Korean dictator that the international community is unwilling to seriously challenge him. China's intervention is this matter is crucial, as it only holds substantial leverage over its North Korean fellows.

        9. DU under the scanner : Funding for 28 Delhi University colleges that are fully or partially funded by the city government has been stopped owing to the delay in appointing governing bodies. The Deputy CM of Delhi, Manish Sisodia, recently directed the Finance Department to stop the funds, which amount to approximately Rs.360 crore annually, over what he termed was a "deliberate and mala fide attempt to delay formation of governing bodies”. Reports of corruption and nepotism in the appointments in the governing bodies of these DU colleges is being taken very seriously by the state government.    [##link## Go to July 2017 content]

        10. Toxic firecracker chemicals banned :  Ahead of the festive seasons of Dussehra and Deepavali, the Supreme Court has prohibited the use of five chemicals, labelled as 'toxic' by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), in the manufacture of firecrackers. The judgement read that no firecrackers manufactured by the respondents shall contain antimony, lithium, mercury, arsenic and lead in any form whatsoever. It is the responsibility of the Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organisation (PESO) to ensure compliance particularly in Sivakasi, which is the hub for producing firecrackers. This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy





        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. Which of these is true about the slain militant Abu Dujana in South Kashmir?
        (Terrorism, Dynamic)
        (1) He was originally a resident of Gilgit-Baltistan who sneaked into India some time ago
        (2) His name featured as an A+++ category militant in the list released by the Army
        (3) He was from the Hizbul Mujahideen, while slain terrorist Burhan Wani was from Lashkar e Taiba
        (4) Both (1) and (2) above

        Q2. Which states in India were affected by floods in July 2017?
        (Environment Ecology and Climate Change, Dynamic)
        (1) Assam, Gujarat, Rajasthan, MP
        (2) Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, MP
        (3) Rajasthan, Gujarat, Assam, Manipur
        (4) Rajasthan, Gujarat, Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram

        Q3. Which of the following statements regarding the recent sale of the stake in Hambantota port by Sri Lanka to China is correct?
        (Regional Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) The port will be used by China for maintaining its navy in the Indian ocean
        (2) The port is purchased by a private company of China with no government interference
        (3) Sri Lankan navy will have full territorial control of the port, with China not interfering in the military side of it all
        (4) None of these

        Q4. Which of the following is true about the European Union and Brexit?  
        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (Treaties and Protocols, Dynamic)
        (1) Britain's EU exit will not effect its travel laws.
        (2) Member states' citizens can freely travel to any country part of the union
        (3) Britain left the EU in 2014
        (4) The new laws after Brexit will be more lenient than the European Union rules

        Q5. Which of the following chemicals is hazardous for health in even very small quantities?
        (Science and Technology, Static)
        (1) Pottasium
        (2) Calcium
        (3) Oxygen
        (4) Arsenic






        Q6. Which of the following statments is true regarding the Delhi University?
        (Governance and Institutions, Static)
        (1) There is only one college under the banner of the Delhi University.
        (2) It is a private institution.
        (3) It receives funding from the state government
        (4) None of these

        Q7. Which of the following companies is not directly related to providing online services?
        (Indian Economy, Dynamic)
        (1) Snapdeal
        (2) Flipkart
        (3) Freecharge
        (4) None of these

        [##link## Go to July 2017 content]

        Q8. When is the International Youth Day celebrated?  This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (United Nations, Static)
        (1) 1st August
        (2) 12th August
        (3) 25th August
        (4) 18th August

        Q9. Which dance form does not orignally belong to India?
        (Art Culture Literature, Static)
        (1) Kuchipudi
        (2) Azonto
        (3) Chhau
        (4) Bihu

        Q10. Which of the following is not a problem for Qatar after the recent Gulf Crisis (2017)?
        (World Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) Inability to travel to Hajj for Qatar citizens
        (2) Major losses faced by Qatar airways due to the ban placed on it
        (3) Reassessing ties with Iran and Turkey so as to maintain a balance between both sides
        (4) None of these






        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(4)  |  Q2.(4)  |  Q3.(3)  |  Q4.(2)  |  Q5.(4)  |  Q6.(3)  |  Q7.(4)  |  Q8.(2)  |  Q9.(2)  |  Q10.(4)

        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)


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        1. Freedom of Religion in Jharkhand : 
        The Jharkhand government cleared a draft anti-conversion bill which aims to ban religious conversion through force or allurement. Anyone found guilty of forced conversion will be liable to a punishment of three years in jail and/or a fine of Rs.50,000. Individuals voluntarily opting to change religion will need to inform local authorities about reasons for the conversion beforehand. Individuals voluntarily opting to switch to another religion would have to inform the local deputy commissioner/collector about the reasons and the place of conversion, failing which he will be liable for prosecution and punishment.

        2. Showing muscle in Djibouti, China-style : China recently formally opened its first overseas military base in Africa's Djibouti. It began constructing a logistics base in Djibouti last year and it will be used to resupply naval ships taking part in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions off the coasts of Yemen and Somalia. Notably, Djibouti also hosts US, Japanese, and French bases. The base will enable China to better support its patrols in waters off Somalia and Yemen and carry out its international humanitarian obligation.Chinese President Xi Jinping is overseeing an ambitious military modernization program, including developing capabilities for China's forces to operate far from home. Indian concerns hover around the home fortress of IOR being breached by such a "string of pearls".

        3. Kim Thai Un - a multicultre cuisine! The number of North Koreans entering Thailand illegally through China has surged in recent months amid increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula. Thailand immigration officials said that an average of 20 to 30 North Koreans are arriving in the country each week. The surge has come despite tighter controls by North Korea on its border with China. On its part, China is worried about the possible fallout of a US-NK skirmish, which could flood its borders with millions of refugees. India faced a similar problem in 1971 when East Pakistani refugees flooded eastern India, escaping the brutal scorched-earth policy of Pakistan.

        4. Dangerous global warming lurks ahead : According to a recently published US-based research, there is only a 5% chance that Earth will avoid warming by at least 2°C by 2100, the threshold set in the Paris climate agreement. The research studied global trends in the economy, emissions and population growth, and stated there is 1% chance that temperatures will rise by less than 1.5°C. It has long been acknowledged that emissions cuts promised under the the Paris agreement would not be sufficient to avoid 2°C warming. However, it is hoped that periodic reviews of commitments will result in more severe reductions.

        5. Prevention of Corruption processes stalled : The Supreme Court's stay orders on 45 appeals had stalled the trials in 138 cases under Prevention of Corruption Act, as per Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, who argued that Supreme Court granted a stay on trials of corruption cases despite a statutory ban and further delays would cause more evidence loss. This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy

        6. No to IIT - we have better options : Vacancies across the IITs have touched a four-year high, as 121 spots went unfilled despite seven rounds of admission process. India's 23 IITs have a total of 10,962 seats and 121 of them remained vacant after completion of the counselling. In 2016, vacant seats were 96, and in 2015 the number was 50. It was a minuscule 3 in 2014. IIT-BHU, Varanasi had the maximum number of empty seats - 32. An IIT Council official said the institutes had been asked to consider discontinuing some of the courses not appealing enough for students.

        7. Maintaining Standards in RTE : The Rajya Sabha unanimously passed the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which aims to provide a two-year window to around 11 lakh private and government teachers to get prescribed minimum qualifications for appointment (or face termination). Human Resource and Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar said the Bill was being amended as despite absence of the required qualifications, they couldn’t have sacked 11 lakh teachers (includeing seven lakh private teachers) that do injustice to children. The Bill gives them an opportunity to acquire professional qualification by enrolling themselves in the Swayam platform, which will be an online medium. Read PIB excerpts here

        8. MRP is mandatory : Medical devices will have to mandatorily carry maximum retail price (MRP) on packages from January 1, 2018. “The rules make printing and labelling of MRP on the package mandatory. The amended rules shall be applicable to e-commerce companies also. In March, drug price regulator NPPA had stated that the 22 medical devices which have been notified as ‘drugs’ must all carry MRP on packs. These devices included heart valves, surgical dressings, stents, disposable hypodermic syringes and orthopaedic implants, among others.

        9. RBI Monetary Policy Committee rate review : The MPC of RBI has cut the repo rates by only 25 bps (basis points), as against the clamour for a 50 bps cut. But it was expected, as RBI noted that 'trajectory of inflation in the baseline projection is expected to rise from current lows'. Hence, the 'policy stance is kept neutral'. The MPC further said that the economy desperately needs a big push to private investment, and for that many steps are necessary. Also, various infrastructure bottlenecks and success of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana for housing needs of all will be very helpful. It said that GoI and RBI are together trying to resolve large stressed corporate borrowers and recapitalise PSBs (Indradhanush plan) without damaging the fiscal deficit targets as per FRBM. Non-transmission of past rate cuts can be seen, and has resulted in a lag in credit takeoff. At the same time, positively speaking the Forex reserves of India are growing. Benefit to India? It will result in a fall in currency premium, and hence foreign capital flowing into the economy at substantially lower rates. Why? Because the global borrowing rates are subdued and currency risks now tapering off.   [##link## Go to July 2017 content]  |  Read more on RBI and related issues

        10. All hail the mighty Chinese Empire, peaceful and calm! Continuing with the high rhetoric of recent past, Chinese president Xi Jinping has warned all other nations that China will never permit the loss of "any piece" of its land to outsiders, and its sovereignty is supreme. Xi's speech was a one-hour event in Beijing marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of the PLA (People's Liberation Army) - the basic pillar of strength of the ruling Communist Party since 1927. He said that the Chinese people treasure peace and absolutely do not engage in invasion and expansion (!). The speech was delivered at the Great Hall of the People, the seat of the legislature beside Tiananmen Square (the site of the 1989 brutal student massacre by the PLA). China has disputed borders high in the Himalayas, a contest with Japan over East China Sea islands, and struggle with five other governments over competing claims to territory in the South China Sea. Beijing also regularly threatens to use force to finally annex Taiwan if peaceful efforts do not work. Hong Kong democracy enthusiasts have similarly been warned of dire consequences. This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy  |  Read more on China's expansionism





        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. Which of these is true in relation to the RBI and MPC announcements regarding policy rates?
        (Indian Economy, Dynamic)
        (1) The RBI is unhappy with the state (speed) of pickup in private investment cycle in India
        (2) The repo rate has been cut by 45 basis points on 02 August, 2017
        (3) The reverse repo rate has been cut by 50 basis points on 02 August, 2017
        (4) The RBI is happy with the monetary policy transmission down the line

        Q2. Which of these is the basic pillar of strength for the Chinese Communist Party?
        (World Politics, Static)
        (1) The People's Liberation Army of China (PLA)
        (2) The People's Parliament of China (PPC)
        (3) Army of the People for Liberation of China (APLC)
        (4) The People's Longstanding Army of China (PLA)

        Q3. Which of the following is true regarding the recent formation of a Chinese naval base in Djibouti?
        (Defence and Military, Dynamic)
        (1) It is only a logistics port, the Djiboutian navy will have full territorial control and no Chinese navy ship will be allowed in the port
        (2) Djibouti does not have any other countries' military bases
        (3) The military ships of China are supposed to take part in peacekeeping and humanitarian mission across the coasts of Yemen and Somalia
        (4) None of these

        Q4. Which of the following reasons best explains the recent student seat vacancies in various IITs? 
        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (Governance and Institutions, Dynamic)
        (1) Loss of interest in pursuing engineering in India
        (2) Disinterest in pursuing some specific branches in some IITs
        (3) Faulty entrance mechanism and slow admission process
        (4) Lack of awareness about the admission process

        Q5. When is the World Teacher's day celebrated?
        (United Nations, Static)
        (1) 2nd August
        (2) 25th October
        (3) 5th October
        (4) 12th December






        Q6. Which of the following statements is correct regarding the recent decision to include MRP on medical devices from January 1, 2018?
        (Constitution and Law, Dynamic)
        (1) It will not result in enhanced transparency about the cost of medical devices
        (2) It does not apply on e-commerce companies
        (3) Heart Valves, surgical dressings are included in 'medical devices'
        (4) None of these

        Q7. The recently enforced Goods and Services Tax falls under which of the following amendments to the Indian Constitution?
        (Constitution and Law, Static)
        (1) 54th Amendment
        (2) 100th Amendment
        (3) 101st Amendment
        (4) 5th Amendment

        [##link## Go to July 2017 content]

        Q8. Which of the following statements is true regarding climate change? This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (Environment Ecology and Climate Change, Dynamic)
        (1) The Paris agreement is a fool-proof plan which will surely result in sustainable development
        (2) The World does not face an immediate climate threat due to global warming
        (3) The breaking of icebergs around the world is proportional to increase in temperatures due to global warming
        (4) Iceberg breakage has nothing to do specifically with global climate change as other dynamic factors are also involved

        Q9. The Indian state to which Barura Sharif, a famous Sufi saint is related to is
        (History, Static)
        (1) West Bengal
        (2) Jharkhand
        (3) Kerela
        (4) Jammu and Kashmir

        Q10. The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is associated with which one of the following cities?
        (Art Culture and Literature, Static)
        (1) Kochi
        (2) Pune
        (3) Mumbai
        (4) Mysore






        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(1)  |  Q2.(1)  |  Q3.(3)  |  Q4.(2)  |  Q5.(3)  |  Q6.(3)  |  Q7.(3)  |  Q8.(3)  |  Q9.(2)  |  Q10.(3)

        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
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        CIVILS TAPASYA - News Headlines - All govt. exams


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        1. Pathankot? Pakistan is my friend, so nothing doing India : 
        China has yet again extended its technical hold on the pronouncement of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist. This story of China blocking India's move in the UN to designate Masood a terrorist simply goes on and on. Earlier three-month hold's validity lapsed on August 2 and Beijing has again extended it by three more months. In 2016, India moved the 1267 committee for the UN ban against Azhar, accusing him of masterminding the Pathankot terror attack. The United States, along with France and UK, had moved the proposal to ban on January 19, but despite all lobbying by India (with China) the result is zero. China has continued to ask India to "talk directly" to Pakistan about it. China must realise that pursuit of terrorism was not a "one-shot affair" for India and that it will continue its efforts. India has been at the receiving end of China much before the BRI was snubbed, and the Dokalam standoff began. In its pursuit of turning Pakistan into an all-weather ally, China has gone overboard with the CPEC, built right through Jammu and Kashmir (an integral part of India). Read more on CPEC here

        2. Right to Education's no-detention policy changed : Government of India has changed one of the key aspects of the RTE Act (Right to Education Act of 2009) by scrapping the "no detention policy" in schools. The policy had earlier had the provision that no student will be held back for failing in any academic part (Tests etc.) from class 1 upto class 8. Academicians had criticised that policy stating children became inefficient at later stages. The competitive spirit was getting destroyed, and inspite of poor performance, when students were getting promoted they lost a sense of true self-assessment. Time for some soul-searching now!   Read more on Education here

        3. The Great digital schism of Bitcoin : Bitcoin, the world's most famous digital currency, has finally split into two at the start of August 2017 - the new online money called Bitcoin Cash (now bought and sold at online exchanges), and the regular Bitcoin whose value so far i is undiminished. Bitcoin Cash doing well will be trouble for Coinbase and others, a popular digital currency exchange, to distribute the new currency to its customers. New crypto-currency began trading at around $600 per unit (which is 20% of the value of a bitcoin). What about market value? All bitcoin cash in circulation = $7.8 billion, Bitcoin = $44.4 billion. Bitcoin had faced the internal struggle for a long time regarding expanding the overall volume of the digitally mined currency.

        4. NOTA by EC is unconstitutional - says Congress : The Congress said the Election Commission (EC) cannot introduce the option of None Of The Above (NOTA) in the Rajya Sabha election polls without a constitutional amendment, as it is in violation of Article 84 of the Constitution of India. The argument is that the election shall be to a proportionate system and a single transferable vote is a proportionate system of election where the preference is given and the vote is single but transferable. NOTA will change all that. On 03 August, the Supreme Court refused to stay the EC's move.

        5. Welcome to the Cabinet, don! At least 22 of the 29 ministers in the newly-appointed Nitish Kumar cabinet in Bihar face significant criminal cases against them. A report by election watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), based on affidavits filed by candidates to the Election Commission of India (ECI), said 76% ministers face criminal cases. Of the 22 'wanted' ministers in the new cabinet, nine mentioned in their affidavits facing serious criminal cases against them. Two of Kumar’s party ministers even face attempt to murder charges under section 307 of the IPC against them. Many other ministers face cases of dacoity, theft, fraud and atrocities against them. This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy  |  Read more on A.D.R. here

        6. Rate Cuts by the RBI MPC : The Reserve Bank of India used the leverage (strength) provided by low inflation to cut its main policy rate - REPO RATE - in the first such easing by any Asian central bank in 2017. The rate cut shows RBI's confidence when India has experienced a surge in foreign investments into debt and shares this year. The rate cut should ease some of the pressure from the government and markets for action to lift the economy, which had annual growth in January-March of 6.1 % - fast by global standards but India's lowest number in over two years, partly due to DeMo pressures. Full analysis available in Premium SRC Topic of the Day - 02 August

        7. Mankind is using resources too fast - Earth Overshoot Day : Humanity will have used up its replenishable allowance of planetary resources such as water, soil, and clean air for all of 2017 by 2nd August. Earth Overshoot Day has already arrived and gone on August 2 this year, according to environmental groups WWF and Global Footprint Network. This is a day earlier than in 2016. It means humanity will be living on "credit" for the rest of the year. By August 2, 2017, humans have used more from Nature than our planet can renew in the whole year. The equivalent of 1.7 planets would be required to produce enough to meet humanity's needs at current consumption rates. Calculated since 1986, the grim milestone has arrived earlier each year. Read PIB excerpts here | Read more on Global Footprint Network here

        8. Trumped Russia? U.S. President Donald Trump has signed a legislation imposing new sanctions on Russia into law. Trump's relations with Russia have been the focus of speculation ever since he assumed power. The U.S. Congress voted by overwhelming margins for sanctions to punish the Russian government over interference in the 2016 presidential election, annexation of Ukraine's Crimea and other perceived violations of international norms. Mr. Trump, who has made clear he wanted to improve relations with Russia, grudgingly accepted the new congressional sanctions, which also included Iran and North Korea. The Bill had enough support in Congress to override a presidential veto. Read more on Trump here

        9. National Mineral Policy : The Judiciary gave the Centre a deadline of December 31, 2017 to announce a  fresh and rigid National Mineral Policy. Hearing a PIL filed by NGO Common Cause on the  illegal mining of iron and manganese ore in Odisha, it was mentioned that of a total of 187 mining leaseholders there, 102 had no forest or environmental clearance. (relevant PIB release 1, PIB release 2) The Supreme Court said that  “very powerful and vested interests” have hampered the objective of the decade-old National Mineral Policy to prevent the theft of precious natural resources of the country. Now, mining companies and leaseholders who have engaged in mining activities without forest or environmental clearance will have to pay the public exchequer compensation equivalent to 100% value of the minerals they extracted illegally!  Click for National Minerals Policy 2008  |  Visit downloads page for more  |  Read more on Supreme Court and related issues

        10. Indian Air Force's tragic accidents record : A total of 37 defence aircraft and helicopters have crashed since May 2014 in which 55 people were killed. The armed forces lost 25 aircraft and 12 helicopters during the period. Out of the total, the Indian Air Force lost 24 aircraft and five helicopters in crashes since 2014-15 and main reasons for the accidents were human error and technical defect. 37 fighters and defence aircraft have crashed during the last three years. Accident prevention programmes have been given support  to identify risk-prone areas specific to aircraft fleets and operational environment.  This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy | Read more on Indian defence here





        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. Which of these is true in relation to India, Pakistan, China and JeM terrorist Masood?
        (Terrorism, Dynamic)
        (1) Since 2013, India has been trying to get a ban on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar through the UN
        (2) Since 2013, China has been blocking India's efforts to get a ban placed on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar through the UN
        (3) Since 2013, Paskistan has successfully convinced China to not let India's efforts to get a ban on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar through the UN succeed
        (4) China is extending its technical hold on the Indian proposal to have a ban placed on Pak-based terrorist and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, at the UN

        Q2. Why would the lawmakers have put the no-detention policy in the RTE law, in the first place?
        (Education, Static)
        (1) As part of a forward-looking child-friendly approach
        (2) As part of an electorate-pleasing and vote-grabbing move
        (3) As part of a desire to copy the high-performance Western models
        (4) None of the above

        Q3. Which of the following is not a cryptocurrency?
        (Science and Technology, Dynamic)
        (1) Bitcoin
        (2) Bitcoin Cash
        (3) Ethereum
        (4) Vega 

        Q4. Which of the following statements regarding the recent decision by the SC against illegal mining in Odisha is correct? 
        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (Constitution and Law, Dynamic)
        (1) The Supreme Court has to follow the constitution word by word
        (2) The Supreme Court cannot punish illegal miners in Odisha with a 100% penalty
        (3) A new National Mineral Policy should be formulated according to the Supreme Court
        (4) None of these

        Q5. When does the World Overshoot Day arrive each year?
        (Environment Ecology and Climate Change, Dynamic)
        (1) 2nd August
        (2) 21st December
        (3) 10th May
        (4) It does not arrive at a fixed day each year






        Q6. Of which of the following ancient Kingdoms was Pushkalavati the capital?
        (History, Static)
        (1) Gandhara
        (2) Kosal  (Kaushal)
        (3) Magadha
        (4) Kashi

        Q7. What could be the best possible explanation for the rampant crashes and deaths due to accidents in the Indian Air Forces?
        (Defence and Military, Dynamic)
        (1) Sabotage of various planes and helicopters by enemies of the State
        (2) Improper and dangerous terrain over which the aircrafts navigate
        (3) Technical defects and human error, a tragic story
        (4) None of these

        [##link## Go to July 2017 content]

        Q8. What was the reason for the Trump administritation to impose restrictions /sanctions on Russia? This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (World Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) It was Trump's personal decision
        (2) The Senate passed a bill which had overwhelming support as to overpower a president's veto
        (3) Russia had threatened to impose restrictions on US
        (4) None of these

        Q9. The state which has the largest number of sugar mills in India is  
        (Agriculture, Static)
        (1) Bihar
        (2) Haryana
        (3) Punjab
        (4) Uttar Pradesh 

        Q10. Who among the following got the Bharat Ratna award before becoming the president of India? 
        (People and Personalities, Static)
        (1) R Venkataraman
        (2) Dr. Rajendra Prasad
        (3) Dr. Zakir Hussian
        (4) V V Giri






        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(4)  |  Q2.(1)  |  Q3.(4)  |  Q4.(3)  |  Q5.(4)  |  Q6.(1)  |  Q7.(3)  |  Q8.(2)  |  Q9.(4)  |  Q10.(3)

        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
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        CIVILS TAPASYA - News Headlines - All govt. exams


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        1. China threatens India, yet again :
        China has reiterated its threat on the Dokalam standoff in the most direct terms so far, stating that the Indian troops must withdraw and China will not wait another hour, or another day. It said that China has exercised "remarkable restraint" in face of Indian transgressions! China also issued a 15 page document (linked here) to "prove" its claims, and India gave a single-line rebuttal rejecting all charges. China says Dokalam is located in Tibet and that the border dispute between China and Bhutan has nothing to do with India. It ignores the fact that the Bhutanese had asked India for help against Chinese aggression. The PLA is now conducting live-fire drills in the Tibet Autonomous Region TAR. Read more on this issue here

        2. It's election time again - 05 August will be VP elections : India will elect, for the next 5 years, a new Vice President. In the Vice President election, a secret ballot is used and only members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha vote. The ruling NDA with a majority in the Lok Sabha, will find it easy to help Mr Naidu win, despite the JD(U) deciding to vote for Mr Gopal Krishna Gandhi. The total strength of the two Houses is 790, and with two vacancies in the Lok Sabha and one in the Rajya Sabha, it comes down. Of the 545-member Lok Sabha, the BJP has 281 members, and the NDA has 338. In the Rajya Sabha, there are 243 members and the BJP has 56 members, while the Congress with 59 is the single largest party (reports suggested a change in pecking order recently). The value of each vote in the Vice-Presidential election is one. The ballot paper used for the election will have two columns - one containing the name of the candidate and the second for marking the order of preference. Read all about Presidential Elections here

        3. Uighur Muslims of Xinjiang crushed, yet again : Continuing its brutal repression of ethnic minorities, China's Communist Party has banned the Uighur Muslim community in the Xinjiang province from using their language in pre-schools and secondary schools. Schools in the  region now should aim to "fully popularise the national common language". This comes amid tighter restrictions on Muslims in the region including a ban on fasting during Ramzan earlier in 2017.  Uighurs have experienced serious human rights violations at the hands of the Chinese government, but the government (Party) is determined to stamp out all opposition. Interestingly, it's the same Chinese State that the Pakistani Islamic Republic is friends with, and who preaches India on how it should behave in Kashmir :)  Read more on China-Xinjiang-Uighur here

        4. Attacking black money from multiple fronts : The Minister of State for Finance Santosh Gangwar has informed that over 11.44 lakh Permanent Account Numbers (PANs) were deleted or de-activated in cases where multiple PANs were allotted to one person. 1,566 fake PANs have been identified which were allotted to either non-existent people or in the names of persons with. The Income Tax Department conducted searches in 900 groups of persons during November 2016 to March 2017, leading to seizure of Rs 900 crore and admission of undisclosed income of Rs 7,961 crore. The government is determined to crack down upon black money. Read more on demonetisation here, on GST here, and on black money here.

        5. Government wants to hire talent, courtesy NITI Aayog's push : The Government said that it is always committed to appoint best available talent subject to provisions of rules, recruitment to various posts in Government of India is made through various recruitment agencies established for the purpose such as Union Public Service Commission, Staff Selection Commission etc. Recruitment agencies conduct examinations based on requirements projected by various Ministries/Departments/offices of Government of India. NITI Aayog in the Three Year Action Agenda for 2017-2020 has recommended inducting specialists into the system through lateral entry in policy making areas on fixed term contract. Here is a detailed article/video on NITI Aayog. This recommendation along with suggestions received from other quarters is under consideration. This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy  |  Read about Dr. Arvind Panagariya, NITI Aayog's Vice Chairman who resigned

        6. South Asia and Gangetic plains at great risk of heat waves ahead : By the end of the century, climate change could trigger heatwaves that exceed the threshold of human survivability in India, with the densely populated Gangetic basin at the greatest risk, as per the journal Science Advances. (Report can be viewed in Environment tab at Civils Tapasya download page) The combination of high temperature and humidity which characterises heatwaves increases the risk of human illness and mortality When 'ambient wet-bulb temperature' exceeds 35 degrees Celsius, considered an “upper limit” for human survivability, it could, even in just a few hours, result in death even for the healthiest of humans even under well-ventilated conditions. Read more on Climate Change here

        7.  Push to Renewable Energy : The Union Cabinet chaired by the PM Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Spain on India-Spain Cooperation in renewable energy. The MoU will help in strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries with the exchange of expertise and networking of information. Both sides aim to establish the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable energy issues. The MoU envisions to form a Joint Working Committee to review, monitor and discuss matters relation to areas of cooperation. Read more on related issues here

        8. Our own GPS - the NavIC : Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has deployed an indigenous regional positioning system named as “Navigation with Indian Constellation” (NavIC).  A budget of Rs.1420 Crore has been approved by the Government for the realisation of the system including 7 in-orbit satellites, 2 satellites as ground spare and associated ground segment. ISRO has established the required space segment of the NavIC system for providing signal in space enabling position, navigation and timing information.Indian entrepreneurs are being enabled for providing services through NavIC receiver system and requisite information has been made available in public domain. The demonstrations for vessel tracking, vehicle tracking, messaging services for fishermen, timing applications have been conducted. Read more on ISRO here

        9. Pushing the Textiles sector : Under the Pradhan Mantri Paridhan Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMPRPY), Ministry of Textiles will bear additional 3.6% share of the employer’s contribution of the Employers Provident Fund Scheme in addition to the 8.3% already covered under Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY), for all new employees of apparel and made-up units enrolling in EPFO, for the first three years of their employment. The Government has allotted Rs.30 crores to the Ministry of Labour for FY 2016-17 and has made a provision of Rs. 200 crores for FY 2017-18.

        10. Another 'housing scam' in Maharashtra : Fresh on the heels of the Slum Rehabilitation Agency (SRA) scam, Maharashtra state housing minister Prakash Mehta courted fresh allegations of wrongdoing. He has been accused of intervening in the allotment of Mhada land to favour a real estate firm. The Opposition renewed demands of Mehta’s resignation, alleging that he recently allotted the plot to the same builder using his ministerial powers. Government says there is no proof of the same.





        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. What is China's claim regarding Dokalam?
        (Regional Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) That Dokalam belongs to it, and it lies in Tibet, and Bhutan cannot ask India for help
        (2) That even if Bhutan has asked India for help, Indian troops cannot transgress as the area belong to China (Tibet)
        (3) That Indian military will taste defeat as PLA has started live fire tests in TAR
        (4) That India has violated international covenants by extending help to a third-party that is not a party to the original argument

        Q2. Which of these is true regarding elections for the post of Vice President in India?
        (Elections, Static)
        (1) Only the MPs of the Parliament vote, MLAs across states do not
        (2) A vice-president can be elected any number of times (later)
        (3) Both (1) and (2) above
        (4) None of the above

        Q3. Which of the following is the 'Chinese race', according to the Communist Party of China?
        (Social Issues, Dynamic)
        (1) Uighur
        (2) Han
        (3) Aryans
        (4) Tibetan 

        Q4. What is the name of the new indigenous positioning system developed by ISRO? 
        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (Science and Technology, Dynamic)
        (1) Indian Global Positioning System
        (2) Indian Regional Positioning System
        (3) Navigation with Indian Constellation
        (4) Navigation with World Constellation

        Q5. Which country is to host the 2017 Arctic Energy Summit?
        (Energy, Dynamic)
        (1) Denmark
        (2) Sweden
        (3) Finland
        (4) Norway






        Q6. Which country will host the 2018 FIFA World Cup?
        (Entertainment Games and Sports, Static)
        (1) Qatar
        (2) Brazil
        (3) India
        (4) Russia 

        Q7. When is the International Day for Tolerance celebrated?
        (United Nations, Static)
        (1) 16 November
        (2) 2nd May
        (3) 27th December
        (4) 2nd April

        [##link## Go to July 2017 content]

        Q8. Who is the Prime Minister of Pakistan? (August 04, 2017) This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (Regional Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
        (2) Nawaz Sharif
        (3) Imitaz Khan
        (4) Pervez Musharraf

        Q9. Which of the following cash crops is not grown in Kerala?
        (Agriculture, Dynamic)
        (1) Rubber
        (2) Spices
        (3) Tobacco
        (4) Coffee

        Q10. Who was the first Foreign Minister of free India?
        (People and Personalities, Static)
        (1) Jawaharlal Nehru
        (2) Sardar Patel
        (3) Gulzari Lal Nanda
        (4) Lal Bahadur Shastri






        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(2)  |  Q2.(3)  |  Q3.(2)  |  Q4.(3)  |  Q5.(3)  |  Q6.(4)  |  Q7.(4)  |  Q8.(1)  |  Q9.(3)  |  Q10.(1)

        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
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        1. Govt. launches ETF for disinvestment purpose : 
        The government of India is going strong on its disinvestment plans. Now a new exchange-traded fund (ETF), Bharat-22, is announced which will speed up the disinvestment programme budgeted to raise a record Rs 72,500 crore in 2017-18 (upto March 2018). The ETF is made up of 22 scrips including blue chips such as Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and State Bank of India (SBI) — all state-owned companies — along with partial stakes in Axis Bank, ITC and Larsen & Toubro that it holds through the Specified Undertaking of the Unit Trust of India (SUUTI). Bharat-22 will have a diversified mix of stocks from six sectors — fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), finance, energy, minerals, industrials and utilities. Of the 22 companies, ONGC, IOC, BPCL and Coal India are from the energy sector. SBI, Indian Bank, Bank of Baroda, Axis Bank, PFC and REC belong to the financial sector; Nalco to minerals; ITC to FMCG; and BEL, EIL and NBCC to industrials. Power Grid, NTPC, Gail India, NHPC, NLC and SJVNL make up the utilities. There is a sectoral cap of 20% and a stock cap of 15% in the ETF.

        2. Rotting wheat once again, says CAG : As per the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), a total of 4.72 lakh tonnes of wheat (valued at Rs 700 crore), deteriorated lying in the open with the Punjab government agencies between 2012 and 2016 and had to be declared as non-issuable under the public distribution scheme. Punjab produces an average of 150-160 lakh tonnes of wheat every year out of which about 105-110 lakh tonnes is procured by the central and state government agencies. Wheat stock lying in the open areas increased from 103.36 lakh tonnes in 2011-12 to 132.68 lakh tones in 2012-13 in Punjab. At the same time, the CAG has pointed out that despite huge quantities of wheat lying unprotected in CAP/kutcha plinth, capacity of six lakh tonnes was dehired by FCI in two districts—Sangrur and Faridkot—during the period September 2012 to March 2016. It was found that in both these districts, a significant quantity of wheat was exposed to the vagaries of weather.

        3. Aadhaar breached? No sir, not : A Bengaluru-based software developer was arrested for illegally accessing the Aadhaar database through his own mobile application. Despite that, Abhinav Shrivastav (31), an alumnus of IIT-Kharagpur (from Kanpur) was not able to access the fingerprint and biometric database of Aadhaar. The app used by him in the alleged cybercrime was identified as ‘Aadhaar E-KYC Verification’, downloadable on Google Play (deactivated in July). As per cyber crime police, he developed five mobile phone applications, including the one under investigation. The ‘Aadhaar E-KYC Verification’ app was downloaded 50,000 times, and the accused had made Rs 40,000 only through ad revenue. The privacy & safety debate rages on! Read more on Aadhar here

        4. Jobs in the UAE : Indians seeking jobs in the UAE are advised to not go to the UAE on visit visas and must validate their employment offers before arriving in the country, the Indian Consulate in Dubai said. The advisory follows a high number of calls and visits to the Consulate by Indian workers who have been duped (defrauded) by agents or employers on a regular basis. The Consulate did not have the precise data on the number of such calls . Most calls about duping were related to workers who come for employment or searching for employment on visit visas.

        5. DeMo in NCERT too :  The NCERT has decided to incorporate the contents related to GST and demonetisation in existing chapters of subjects, such as economics, business studies, accountancy, and political science, while bringing out the reprint editions of their textbooks for the academic year 2018-19. Schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) such as Kendriya Vidyalayas and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, among others, follow NCERT curriculum. A number of states such as UP have decided to follow the NCERT curriculum too. Read more on DeMo here, on GST here and on taxation related issues here.

        6. Defence in India : During the last three years and in the current year, 99 contracts with Indian vendors and 61 contracts with foreign vendors have been signed for capital procurement of defence equipment such as aircraft, helicopters, rockets, missiles, artillery gun, frigates, simulators and ammunition. Government is pursuing initiatives to achieve higher levels of indigenisation and self-reliance in the defence sector by harnessing the capabilities of the public and private sector industries in the country. These measures include according priority and preference to procurement from Indian vendors and liberalization of the licensing regime. Read more on defence here.

        7.  Iran Israel - bitter kicks : Iran’s soccer federation condemned two Iranians who play for a Greek club team for participating in a match against an Israeli team. The federation strongly condemned the participation of Masoud Shojaei and Ehsan Hajsafi in a match for Greece’s Panionios against Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv, it said in a statement. Israel and Iran are bitter adversaries and traditionally, Iranian athletes refrain from playing Israelis. The two may now be banned from playing on that team again. Read more on Iran here.

        8. UGC Alert! Senior officials in the UGC said that while they releases an annual list of fake universities to create awareness among students and to warn them against taking admission to these educational institutes, no punitive action is taken against the offenders. UGC has proposed that the current negligible fine of Rs 1000 should be hiked to Rs.50 lakh along with 10 years of rigorous imprisonment. The emphasis is on making it a cognisable offence to run such fake universities. Since 2011 the UGC has been releasing a list of fake universities that has increased every past year and stands at 23 universities according to the list issued in March this year. Apart from these, the All India Council for Technical Education too released a list of 279 fake institutes this year.

        9. India not Making in India : The Parliament’s Standing Committee on Commerce had recently questioned the country’s low manufacturing growth despite various initiatives such as Make In India, Startup India and FDI reforms that are now more than two years old. The committee, led by BJP MP Bhupender Yadav, had expressed concerns about manufacturing growth averaging just 1.6% in the five years till 2015-16 and a 0.5% contraction in the sector in the first 9 months of FY17, in a report tabled in Parliament this March. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), has listed out the several measures taken by the government to promote manufacturing and ease the business environment. Read many related issues across the spectrum, here

        10. No Paris Agreement for US please : The US has submitted its formal communication to the UN indicating that it will withdraw from the 2015 Paris Climate agreement as soon as it can. The communication is in line with the decision announced by President Donald Trump recently, which was one of his key electoral promise. As the President indicated in his June 1 announcement and subsequently, he is open to re-engaging in the Paris Agreement if the US can identify terms that are more favorable to its people, and its industries. Read more on Donald Trump here, on Paris Climate Agreement here, and India's climate change concerns here.





        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. Which of these is not correct regarding the "Bharat 22" ETF?
        (Indian Economy, Dynamic)
        (1) It is an Enterprise Trade Fund (ETF)
        (2) Its target is to help the government achieve a significantly large disinvestment target
        (3) It is made up of 22 distinct stocks, many of them blue chip companies
        (4) It will be listed on the exchanges, and prices will keep fluctuating

        Q2. Which of these is true regarding Indian agriculture?
        (Agriculture, Dynamic)
        (1) Year 2016-17 saw a record foodgrain production exceeding 400 MMT
        (2) Year 2015-16 saw the highest ever foodgrain production of 273 MMT
        (3) The highest ever foodgrain production was 273 MMT in 2016-17
        (4) None of the above

        Q3. Which of the following statements is true about the Aadhar system?
        (Indian Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) Aadhar is a fool proof system and will never be hacked by anyone, as per present configuration
        (2) The biometrics and fingerprint database has an enhanced security database than the other credentials
        (3) Aadhar is a proof of citizenship
        (4) UIDAI is a private body

        Q4. Which of the following is not a reason for the rampant growth of fake colleges and universities in India? 
        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (Education, Dynamic)
        (1) Cut throat competition leading to existence of several unsuccessful candidates (students) which are easy targets for these institutions
        (2) Lenient government policies and lack of action taken against fake colleges
        (3) Clever advertisement campaigns and marketing strategies adopted by these institutions
        (4) None of these

        Q5. Which of the following reasons can be primarily considered a possible cause for 'failure' of the Make in India initiative till now?
        (Governance and Institutions, Dynamic)
        (1) Contradicting schemes like Startup India and FDI reforms
        (2) Lack of demand of goods within the local market
        (3) Difficulty in doing business and competing with foreign manufacturers in India
        (4) Preference towards Service sector by the government






        Q6. Which of the following countries does not have bitter relations with Israel?
        (World Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) Iran
        (2) Saudi Arabia
        (3) Pakistan
        (4) Greece

        Q7.  When is the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer celebrated throughout the world?
        (United Nations, Static)
        (1) 16th September
        (2) 1st March
        (3) 22nd January
        (4) 25th May

        [##link## Go to July 2017 content]

        Q8. Which country amongst the following had not signed the Paris Climate Deal of 2016? This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (Treaties and Protocols, Dynamic)
        (1) United States of America
        (2) India
        (3) Syria
        (4) Yemen

        Q9. Who is the author of the book titled 'Hope in a Challenged Democracy- An Indian Narrative', which released recently?
        (People and Personalities, Static)
        (1) Paranjoy Guha
        (2) Ashwani Kumar
        (3) Arundhati Roy
        (4) Shashi Tharoor

        Q10. Pakistan has leased the Gwadar Port to a company belonging to which country?
        (Regional Politics, Static)
        (1) Iran
        (2) Qatar
        (3) China
        (4) Sri Lanka






        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(1)  |  Q2.(3)  |  Q3.(2)  |  Q4.(4)  |  Q5.(3)  |  Q6.(4)  |  Q7.(1)  |  Q8.(3)  |  Q9.(2)  |  Q10.(3)

        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
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        1. Another enemy for Qatar and the 'vibrant' Al Jazeera :
        The Jewish nation of Israel, among others, now seeks to ban Qatar’s Al-Jazeera news network from operating in their country, thereby joining regional Arab states that already shut the station after accusing the broadcaster of inciting violence. Al Zazeera is the surprisingly modern-minded TV broadcaster based in Qatar that keeps exposing various incidents (other than those related to the Qatari royals), many of which the Arab world would rather not let the world see. The channel and its affiliate sites have been blocked in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain. Israeli officials have long accused Al-Jazeera of bias against the Jewish state, and so have many Indians when it comes to airing footage related to Kashmiri stone-pelters. Read more on Middle East issues here.

        2. Venezuela suppresses its opponents : Venezuelan authorities have said that they have suppressed a military rebellion near the central city of Valencia. This happened in less than two days after President Nicolas Maduro formed a legislative superbody internationally condemned as a coup on democratic principles. The Socialist Party made the announcement shortly after the release of a video showing a group of men in military uniform announcing a rebellion and calling for a broad uprising. Officials said the rebels, whom they described as “terrorists”, were trying to steal weapons and that seven people were detained after the attack on the base. Venezuela is facing a huge recession and sharp drop in per capita incomes and food availability due to failed economic policies. Read about President Nicolas Maduro here

        3. Grameen Marathon Delhi : The Ministry for Youth Affairs and Sports organized a brand new event - the first Grameen Marathon for the youth of rural regions in Delhi. The marathon started from Nizampur village in Delhi with around 11,000 participants. Arjun Awardee and prestigious ace badminton coach Pullela Gopichand was the Chief Guest at the flag off ceremony, and he expressed hope that the marathon will enable us to scout for hidden talent in rural regions and train them for future events. Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel earlier mentioned that such initiatives would go a long way in providing a platform to talented youngsters to represent India on global platforms. Read various PIB excerpts here

        4. Chabhar Port Iran - India's prestige : The Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari said that the government is focused on developing Chabahar Port in Iran and is hopeful of starting operations by 2018. India and Iran have shared special ties historically. The port assumes importance in light of China's control over the Gwadar deep sea port in Pakistan. Civil construction work has already started at the Chabahar Port, and Rs.6 billion have been allocated for development by GoI. The Chabahar Port will boost trade and business economy between India and Iran, and across the region. Iran's Chabahar port located in the Sistan-Baluchistan Province on the south-eastern coast is a port of great strategic utility for India in light of changing dynamics of Indian Ocean region (IOR). Read more about such issues here and here

        5. Water water everywhere, it's the budget that we seek : Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) has been mandated to set up Rail Neer Packaged Drinking Water plants in compliance of the various Budget decisions taken. Currently seven Rail Neer Plants are operational. During the current Financial Year 2017-18, one more Rail Neer Plant at Nagpur under PPP (Public Private Partnership) mode with production capacity of 72000 litres per day, shall start commercial production by October 2017. Rail Neer has proved to be a value-for-money brand. Rail Neer ranked no.1 against other leading brands of the country since it strategically places itself in the Rs.15/litre range as compared to the Rs.20 for most other brands. Water, it seems, never goes out of fashion! Read indepth on various government schemes here

        6. We care about textile workers : Government has reiterated that implementing various policy initiatives and schemes for the welfare of textile workers is its agenda. Initiatives such as Integrated Skill Development Scheme (ISDS), Schemes for Development of Silk and Sericulture sectors, National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP) are on. Government also introduced the Textile Workers Rehabilitation Fund Scheme (TWRFS) to provide relief to workers who became jobless due to permanent closure of many Non-SSI Textile Mills in the private sector. The TWRFS has now been merged with Rajiv Gandhi Shramik Kalyan Yojana (RGSKY) which provides an unemployment allowance for the employees covered under ESI Scheme, who are rendered unemployed involuntarily.  Read various PIB excerpts here

        7.  Port Health under scanner : A committee on Redevelopment of Port Hospitals was constituted in May 2016 that suggested a model for development and modernization of the Port hospitals on Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis. The Committee submitted its report on 14th July 2017 with the key recommendation that augmenting tertiary care and examining the possibility of establishing medical hospital on PPP basis at the Port hospital be done. The decision to develop Port Hospitals further will depend on the policies of the Government and the relevant regulations issued by Medical Council of India.  Read various PIB excerpts here

        8. Non Performing Assets problem : Despite sincere efforts of the government and the series of steps taken to contain non-performing assets (NPAs), PSBs wrote off a record Rs.81,683 crore worth of bad loans in the financial year ended March 2017, a sharp increase of more than 41 % over the previous year’s write-off amount of Rs.57,586 crore. The actual amount of loans written off has been rising steadily in the past five years, and combined profitability deteriorated sharply during the same period due to the failure in controlling and converting NPAs into profits. Read useful material on NPAs of PSBs here.

        9. Unbranded and no GST? No more. Pay up! The government has decided to fix a loophole for food companies which were deregistering their brands to avoid paying 5% goods and services tax (GST). Any brand which was registered on or before May 15, will be deemed to be registered for paying GST, even if it is successfully deregistered. While unbranded, unpackaged cereals, pulses and several other food products do not attract GST, those sold in  sold under a registered brand name attract 5% levy. As a result, several brands had deregistered some of the brands to avoid paying GST. Read all insights on GST here

        10. China won't attack, so relax : In the middle of an intense standoff between the militaries of India and China at Dokalam trijunction, the Indian security establishment in Delhi has affirmed recently that China will not risk a war or even a small-scale military operation despite all its military propaganda and shrill shouting. A viable option on the current Doklam situation was the simultaneous withdrawal of both the countries troops from the region. The delicate situation is being handled carefully by the government and a full scale war is unlikely, unless China thinks otherwise. Read multiple and very useful insights on China, here | Watch our Power of 10 series here





        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. Which country does not seek a ban over Qatar's Al-Jazeera news network?
        (World Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) Saudi Arabia
        (2) United Arab Emirates
        (3) Israel
        (4) Georgia 

        Q2. Which of the following was true about Non Performing Assets (NPAs) in the financial year of 2016-17?
        (Indian Economy, Dynamic)
        (1) The amount of bad loans have been considerably reduced in the financial year of 2016-17
        (2) No steps were taken by the government to resolve the pressing issue
        (3) The amount of loans turning bad (stressed / NPA) has been rising over the last five years
        (4) The creation of a special RBI Task Force to handle the NCLT cases is not helping

        Q3. Which of the following is not a current scheme that is related to the welfare of the textile industry?
        (Governance and Institutions, Dynamic)
        (1) Integrated Skill Development Scheme (ISDS)
        (2) Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme(CHCDS)
        (3) National Handicrafts Development Programme (NHDP)
        (4) None of these

        Q4. Which of the following statements is true regarding the GST rate decided on various food items? 
        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (Indian Economy, Dynamic)
        (1) Unpackaged food products  face a levy of only 5% GST
        (2) Food packets sold in containers attract 18% GST
        (3) Several companies have tried to deregister their brand so as they can sell their products tax free, legally
        (4) A fixed 18% GST will be levied on all types of packaged and unpackaged food products

        Q5. The language spoken by the largest number of people in the Indian subcontinent after Hindi is
        (Art Culture Literature, Static)
        (1) Tamil
        (2) Malyalam
        (3) Bengali
        (4) Telugu






        Q6. The well-known Consumer Protection Act (COPRA) was enacted and implemented in 
        (Constitution and Law, Static)
        (1) 2017
        (2) 1986
        (3) 1978
        (4) 1991

        Q7.  Who is the newly appointed vice-chairperson of NITI Aayog? Whom will he replace? Why is he being appointed?
        (Governance and Institutions, Dynamic)
        (1) Rajiv Kumar, Arvind Panagariya, Earlier one resigned
        (2) Arun Jaitley, Rajiv Kumar, Earlier one was sacked
        (3) Arvind Panagariya, Rajiv Kumar, Earlier one resigned
        (4) Rajiv Shastri, Amitabh Kant, Earlier one resigned

        [##link## Go to July 2017 content]

        Q8. Which of the following countries joined India and France in the International Global Alliance launched during COP 21 in Paris? This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (Treaties and Protocols, Dynamic)
        (1) Russia
        (2) Canada
        (3) Australia
        (4) Romania

        Q9. Which country will host the 2024 Summer Olympics?
        (Entertainment Games and Sports, Static)
        (1) United Kingdom
        (2) Brazil
        (3) China
        (4) France 

        Q10. Which country signed the $1.1 billion Hambantota Port deal with China recently ? What is it about?
        (Regional Politics, Static)
        (1) Sri Lanka; selling out its stake, retaining the security aspects
        (2) Pakistan; selling out its stake, retaining the security aspects
        (3) Bangladesh; selling out its stake, retaining the security aspects
        (4) Sri Lanka; selling out the security aspects, retaining its ownership stake






        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(4)  |  Q2.(3)  |  Q3.(4)  |  Q4.(3)  |  Q5.(3)  |  Q6.(2)  |  Q7.(1)  |  Q8.(3)  |  Q9.(4)  |  Q10.(1)

        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
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        1. Was Demonetisation good?
         According to the government figures, as a result of demonetization, there is a substantial increase in the number of Income Tax Returns (ITRs) filed. The number of  returns filed as on 05.08.2017 stands at 2,82,92,955 as against 2,26,97,843 filed during the corresponding period of F.Y. 2016-2017, increasing  24.7% compared to growth rate of 9.9% in the previous year. This 'clearly shows that' substantial number of new tax payers have been brought into the tax net subsequent to demonetization. Critics would disagree saying it is too early. Read more on DeMo here.

        2. A big day for Ahmad Patel, Congress and the BJP! Voting for the high-stakes Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat took place on July 8 and brought to an end a two-week long political drama involving a series of defections from the Opposition, and mass transport of Congress MLAs to Karnataka. It also witnessed resignation of six legislators of Congress. Mr. Ahmed Patel of Congress needs 45 votes to win, and as the long-time political secretary to Sonia Gandhi, it is the ultimate battle of prestige. He has the support of 44 party MLAs, who have returned to the State after camping in Karnataka. Patel has accused the BJP of using aggressive and foul means to defeat him in an election.

        3. China on North Korea sanctions : Beijing has endorsed tougher United Nations sanctions against North Korea, thereby avoiding a lockdown with Washington over Pyongyang’s repeated nuclear provocations. But it was noted that  the UN Security Council resolution was unlikely to bring Kim Jong-un regime back on track given the obvious compromises made by China. Top diplomats from major powers appreciated the resolution adopted  by the 15-member council as a key step towards halting Pyongyang’s nuclear state. Read more about related issues here.

        4. The terrorists don't give up : Pakistan's ousted terrorist group Jamaat-ud-Dawa is seeking to enter the political scenario by launching a new party. Saifullah Khalid, a religious scholar and official of the group, is president of the newly-formed Milli Muslim League party. He told that his party will work to make Pakistan "a real Islamic and welfare state'' and that he is ready to cooperate with like-minded parties. Read more on terrorism related issues here.

        5. Reforms in the judiciary : A radical judicial reform is on the cards. The government and the Supreme Court are considering a new judicial mechanism, a "Courts of Appeal", that will be set up to help clear the huge backlog of pending cases. The proposal says that post hearings in district courts, appeals in all civil and criminal cases will be heard in the courts of appeal. These new courts will be placed higher than the district courts but below the high courts. High courts will only hear core constitutional matters. After a court of appeal verdict in a civil or criminal matter, a litigant can only appeal before the Supreme Court, not a high court. This is likely to result in a non-filing of avoidable cases. Read more on Judiciary related issues here

        6. Petro profit exempt from GST : The oil and gas exploration business is likely to get a boost following a proposal which will exempt the profit petroleum paid to the Centre from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as a form of royalty. The production sharing contracts (PSCs) signed for exploration and development of oil fields require operators to pay a share of the surplus petroleum output to the Centre. Currently, such profit petroleum is subject to GST as it has been used as a payment made by firms for a service. Read various PIB excerpts here

        7.  NITI Aayog gets new faces : Economist Dr. Rajiv Kumar has been appointed as the new vice-chairman of NITI Aayog a few days ago. Previous vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya had stepped down earlier this month. Dr. Vinod Paul, pediatrician at AIIMS, has also been appointed as a member of the NITI Aayog. Dr. Kumar, who holds a DPhil in economics from Oxford and a Ph.D from Lucknow University, has served as director and chief executive of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), and has earlier worked with the Asian Development Bank. He was also a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research. Read about Dr Panagariya here. Read about NITI Aayog here.

        8. NPAs to be caught at stage 1 itself by SEBI : The Securities and Exchanges Board of India (SEBI) has made it mandatory for companies to reveal any instance of a default on the payment of interest or repayment of principal to banks or financial institutions within a day of the default. While discussing about corporates in India, SEBI said that they are still primarily reliant on loans from the banking sector. Many banks are presently under considerable stress on account of large loans to the corporate sector turning into stressed assets/non performing assets. Some companies have also been taken up for initiation of insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings. The new and tougher norms will be applicable from October 1, 2017. Read all about NPAs here.

        9. Demonetisation ghosts come home again : Cash crunch following demonetisation of high value notes, among other various factors, has led to commercial banks cutting down on the number of automated teller machines (ATMs) and the money stored in them, particularly off-site ATMs. According to Reserve Bank of India (RBI), there were 98,092 off-site ATMs in June 2017, 99,989 in the same month last year. However, on-site (located within a branch) ATMs rose to 110,385 from 101,346 in the same period. Read more on demonetisation here.

        10. Luxury Cess : The GST Council has considered the matter of cess applicable on motor vehicles in its 20th meeting and recommended that Central Government may form legislative amendments required for increasing the maximum limit of cess leviable on luxury motor vehicles including SUVs and sports cars, to 25% instead of present 15% . After introduction of GST, the total tax incidence on motor vehicles (GST + Compensation Cess) has come down.  Watch our Power of 10 series here





        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. Which of the following statements regarding the effects of demonetisation is correct, as per govt. claims?
        (Indian Economy, Dynamic)
        (1) Demonetisation has resulted in the immediate resolving of the problem of black money
        (2) Demonetisation has lead to increased filings in the Income Tax Returns
        (3) Demonetisation has failed to affect the Indian economy
        (4) Demonetisation has kick-started a holistic upgradation of tax machinery in India

        Q2. What could be the reason for failing to control, to an extent, the nuclear proliferation regime of North Korea by the UN?
        (United Nations, Dynamic)
        (1) Vetos on majority of issues by Russia and France
        (2) No real perceived threat from North Korea to major powers
        (3) China's non-cooperation in dealing with North Korea as the UN wishes
        (4) Trump's recent stand on North Korea, which is softer than previous US leaders

        Q3. Which of the following statements is true regarding oil and gas exploration and production industries in India?
        (Indian Economy, Dynamic)
        (1) They are currently exempted from paying any form of tax
        (2) They have to give a pre-determined amount of surplus petroleum to the government as a form of royalty
        (3) New oil and gas exploration industries cannot be opened in India due to ecological concerns
        (4) Clean energy will render these industries useless by 2025

        Q4. Which of the following is not a part of the radical reform suggested by the government to overhaul the judiciary system? 
        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (Governance and Institutions, Dynamic)
        (1) Formation of a 'Court of Appeals'
        (2) 'Court of Appeals' will not have power over the district courts
        (3) The High court will not listen to appeals of cases lost in the Court of Appeals'
        (4) Both (1) and (3)

        Q5. Which one of the following days is observed as the World Environment Day?
        (Environment Ecology and Climate Change, Static)
        (1) 28th February
        (2) 4th March
        (3) 5th June
        (4) 16th September






        Q6. Which of the following is correct regarding the taxes levied on luxury cars and SUVs under GST?
        (Indian Economy, Dynamic)
        (1) The total tax levied on luxury cars has (had) come down after the implementation of GST
        (2) The tax rate on luxury card is fixed on 18% GST
        (3) The tax rate on the luxury cars and SUV's cannot be changed till the next 5 years
        (4) None of these

        Q7.  What is the name of the new political party formed the Pakistani militant group Jamaat-Ud-Dawa?
        (Terrorism, Dynamic)
        (1) Pakistan Muslim Front
        (2) Milli Muslim League
        (3) Jamaat Muslimeen
        (4) People's Party of Pakistan

        [##link## Go to July 2017 content]

        Q8. Which of the following politicians was expected to 'easily' win one of the Rajya Sabha seats of Gujarat, which are up for election? This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (Indian Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) Amit Shah
        (2) Ahmed Patel
        (3) Jairam Ramesh
        (4) Shankersinh Vaghela

        Q9. When was the NITI AAYOG formed?
        (Governance and Institutions, Static)
        (1) 1st January 2015
        (2) 1st January 2016
        (3) 1st April 2015
        (4) 1st April 2016

        Q10. Pushkalavati was the capital of which of the following ancient Kingdoms?
        (History, Static)
        (1) Gandhara
        (2) Maurya
        (3) Magadha
        (4) Kashi






        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(2)  |  Q2.(3)  |  Q3.(2)  |  Q4.(2)  |  Q5.(3)  |  Q6.(1)  |  Q7.(2)  |  Q8.(1)  |  Q9.(1)  |  Q10.(1)

        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
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        CIVILS TAPASYA - News Headlines - All govt. exams


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        1. Gold imports from South Korea :
        There is a huge surge in Gold Imports from South Korea that has GoI alarmed. From July 1 alone, more than 8400 kg gold (coins mostly) has been imported! Till June end, the excise duty on gold and jewellery was 12.5%, but now gold items attract 10% basic customs duty and 3% IGST (Integrated GST). However, imports from SK are extempted from Customs Dury under the IKCEPA, 2009 (India Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, 2009). So what will the government do? Well, what govts do in such scenarios - possibly "impose a safegauard duty" of 10% or so on imports from South Korea. This shocker for the GoI was totally unanticipated! Read various related inputs here  |  Download useful materials here

        2. SEBI cracks on Angel Networks : The Angels, it seems, may need some genuine angels to protect them this time! The Securities and Exchanges Board of Inida (SEBI) is scrutinising their working and has asked many such "Angel Funds" seeking all info on their fundraising business and checking if all securities markets law are being followed or not. Angel Networks are a key connection between funds-starved startups and big-pocket investors. SEBI worries that these Angel Funds may have started behaving like stock exchanges themselves, thereby bypassing the rules of private placements by offering shares to more than 200 investors. However, experts say that Angel Networks are different - they are offline investment platforms and should not be treated as crowdfunding ones. The Startup India programme hasn't been a great success so far, and if SEBI takes such a wide view without respecting nuances, it will be problematic. Investors in Angel networks are knowledgeable people who cannot be equated with retail stock investors needing protection. Read more on regulatory bodies here.

        3. Radical power and coal policy by Gujarat : The government of Gujarat has done something new - it has issued a tender for power developers to receive cheap coal in return for getting cheap power (less than Rs.2.82 per unit). A tender is issued to procure 1000 MW (1 GW) of coal-based power. Private playeres will receive coal supply from the share of Gujarat staet, and the base tariff in auction will be Rs.2.82 per unit. Hence, Gujarat has become the first state to implement a Coal Utilisation Policy. Hence, in the auction, Govt will transfer coal given to GSECL (Guj. State Electricity Corp) to more fuel-efficient private power plants. Reverse auction will be needed to buy power (in Sept.). GSECL gets coal at a landed price of Rs.4812 /tonne, from the Korab coalfiled in Chhattisgarh and Korea-Rewa field in MP. This is possible due to 2016 Union Cabinet decision allowing flexible utilisation of coal. Read many useful insights on Energy and related developments, here

        4. Chinese juggernaut rolls on, abroad : The PRC is on a roll, yet again. China has decided to spend a sum of $ 1500 billion to buy companies abroad in the next 10 years. This will be 70% more than the previous 10 years (a sum of approx $ 880 billion). The government encourages companies to invest abroad in areas like advanced technology and global trade. But nothing is smooth - foreigners have a natural fear of Chinese due to their own national security concerns. China, however, remains very aspirational in spreading its global footprint. Also, Chinese regulators themselves are wary of huge foreign deals, due to the debt that gets created in the process. India and China, meanwhile, remain locked in the Dokalam standoff at the trijunction, and regular war threats continue to emanate from China. Read about Chinese expansionism here, India-China relations here, and US-China issues here.

        5. Next Chief Justice of India : Justice Dipak Misra will be the next CJI after Justice J.S.Khehar retires on August 28, 2017. Justice Misra will get a total tenure of 13 months as the CJI. There are many crucial constitutional matters pending before the Supreme Court - (a) Ayodhya title case, (b) Cauvery waters dispute, (c) SEBI - Sahara row, (d) BCCI reforms, (e) Panama Papers leak, (f) Debate on Privacy laws and (g) Aadhar mandatory issue. His notable decisions so far were in cases like Mumbai blasts accused Yakub Memon, Delhi gangrape-murder case, defamation law etc. Justice Misra came to the SC from the Delhi High Court in 2011, having started his career from Odisha. He is the nephew of late Shri Ranganath Misra who was the 21st Chief Justice of India (1990 to 1991), and first chairman of the National Human Rights Commission of India. Read the full list of Chief Justices on our Static Repository here | Read about many judiciary related inputs here |  This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy

        6. Exporters ready for a stronger rupee : When rupee is strong vis-a-vis the dollar, importers are happy as imports become relatively cheaper. When rupee drops, exporters (including IT companies) cheer, as they earn more per dollar of exports (their exports become more competitive). Now the rupee has been strengthening regularly in 2017, reducing the margins for all Indian exporters. The primary driver has been more inflows of foreign capital. Sectors like engineering exports, textiles and automobiles may suffer. In August, rupee touched a high of Rs.63.84 per dollar. However, imports, foreign trips and education is getting cheaper by the day!  Overall, since India is a net importer nation, strong rupee is fundamentally good for Indian economy. Rupee may finally touch 60 to 62 to the dollar, due to continuous foreign portfolio inflows. Read more on Indian exports here.

        7. 15th Finance Commission is coming : The year end will see the 15th FC (Finance Commission) getting constituted. The Finance Commission is a body that recommends all suggestions pertaining to tax sharing norms and formulae between Centre, States and Local Bodies. The 14th FC was headed by ex-RBI governor Shri Y V Reddy, and suggestions were valid for the period 2015-16 to 2019-20. The radical suggestion of 42% sharing of divisible pool of taxes for States was accepted by the Union government, while it was 32% earlier. Now, the 15th FC is expected to perhaps work on a crucial topic - the Debt to GSDP ratio of Indian states (GSDP = Gross State Domestic Product). While the 14th FC used 1971 population figures, but it used 2011 figures for local bodies financial allotments. What will the 15th FC work with is being discussed at the top levels in the government as of now. Here are more inputs on related matters | Read PIB excerpts here

        8. Indian agriculture imports grow, exports reduce : India is reducing lesser and lesser of agricultural commodities, and the trade surplus has minimized. In 2013, the exports were 150% of our imports, but now, due to government policies exports have dipped and imports risen. As per DGCIS (Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics), in 2016-17 India exported only $ 24.6 billion worth agri-goods. It was $32.9 billion in 2014. Major reasons for collapsing exports are : (a) Droughts and poor production (2014 - sugarcane, dals, edible oils), (b) Growing population and demand, (c) Curb on exports due to fear of poor production. The 2022 target of doubling farmer incomes seems difficult if such trends persists. Read insights on Agriculture here and here

        9. Quit India Movement sees fresh clashes! : The speeches delivered by top leaders in the Parliament of India commemorating the Quit India Movement were reflective of deep divisions across party lines. While PM Modi spoke of "creating a new India, free of poverty, filth, corruption and terrorism etc. by 2022", Mrs Sonia Gandhi spoke about the narrow-minded communal ideologies dominating the national discourse as on date. The Quit India movement started on 09 August, 1942 and it is the 75th anniversary in 2017. Hence, special discussion was held in the Parliament. The Lok Sabha accepted by unanimous vote a  resolution to create an India of Mahatma Gandhi's dream by 2022, and to fulfil one's duty fully to contribute to that. The Rajya Sabha also did the same.  [##link## Go to July 2017 content]  |  Read more on RBI and related issues

        10. Trump's stalled agenda, industries stuck : When Donald Trump came to power, his basic promise was "American will win" in all trade deals. Many industries were optimistic of a turnaround in fortunes, but it has taken time. First, Trump withdrew from the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), but other reworking of deals has not happened due to huge complexities of rules and norms. Steel workers are unhappy as tariffs are yet not placed on Chinese imports. Construction companies are unhappy as a deal with Canada for wood lumber exports hasn't happened yet. Cattle ranchers are waiting for the deal with Japan for beef exports. Threats of retaliation by other nations bogged down all plans. The voters of Trump in the "rust-belt" - the iron and steel industry region - may be very unhappy as they voted en masse for Trump. US has made it claer that vast multinational deals will no longer be done. This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy  |  Read more on Donald Trump





        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. Why did gold imports from South Korea only surge heavily post July 1?
        (Indian Economy, Dynamic)
        (1) India and South Korea have a special Gold treaty, and importers benefitted from it
        (2) India and South Korea have recently entered a special treaty regarding bullion and precious metal
        (3) Gold from South Korea is exceptionally high in quality
        (4) The 2009 India Korea CEPA exempts gold from Customs duty, hence making it a good deal

        Q2. Why has SEBI cracked the while (asked questions) on Angel Networks?
        (Governance and Institutions, Dynamic)
        (1) SEBI feels that large-scale black money laundering has happened
        (2) SEBI's perspective is that basic laws regarding private placement may have been violated
        (3) SEBI is under pressure from the Finance Ministry post GST rollout
        (4) The Angel Networks have been found funding some anti-national ventures

        Q3. Why has the govt of Gujarat allowed private players access to its own coal allocations?
        (Energy, Dynamic)
        (1) Its own power companies (plants) are not as fuel-efficient as private sector one
        (2) It will get cheaper power in return, through reverse auction
        (3) It is part of flexible use policy, as per 2016 Union Cabinet decision
        (4) All of the above

        Q4. Which of these is true regarding the foreign expansion and acquisition plans of the Chinese? 
        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (World Economy, Dynamic)
        (1) The total amounts planned for acquisitions abroad by China in next 10 years are more than $ 5 trillion
        (2) The total amounts planned for acquisitions abroad by China in next 10 years are more than $ 1.5 trillion
        (3) The total amounts planned for acquisitions abroad by China in next 10 years is less than that in the last 10 years
        (4) None of the above

        Q5. Which of these is a not a strategic issue that the next CJI Shri Dipak Misra will handle?
        (Constitution and Law, Dynamic)
        (1) Ayodhya title dispute
        (2) SEBI Sahara payments row
        (3) Privacy law debate and Aadhar tangle
        (4) Chinese intrusion in Dokalam






        Q6.  Which of these is true regarding the 15th Finance Commission?
        (Indian Economy, Dynamic)
        (1) It has already been appointed for considering the period 2020 to 2025
        (2) It has not been consituted yet, and will be, by end of 2018
        (3) It is likely to deal primarily with the issue of Debt to GSDP ratio of Indian states
        (4) It will be using the population figures of 2017 for all calculations

        Q7. What is the impact of a stronger rupee?
        (Indian Economy - Currencies, Static)
        (1) Importers are happier, but exporters are troubled as their exports become more competitive
        (2) Importers are sad, but exporters are happy as their exports become less competitive
        (3) Exporters are sad, but importers are happy as imports become cheaper
        (4) None of the above

        [##link## Go to July 2017 content]

        Q8. Why has Indian agri exports volume dropped significantly? This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (Agriculture, Dynamic)
        (1) It is due to a mix of factors like drought-induced poor production, growing domestic demand etc.
        (2) It is due to an express, blanket ban on agri exports from India, by the GoI
        (3) It is due to factors like curb on some exports by the governments (for fear of domestic price hike)
        (4) Both (1) and (3)

        Q9. What is true regarding the Quit India movement?
        (History, Static)
        (1) It was launched by Mahatma Gandhi in 1942, and was a complete failure as it could not achieve its stated objectives
        (2) It was launched with an objective of forcing the British to leave India, and it succeeded in propelling the mass sentiment
        (3) It was officially shut down by the British government
        (4) The second world war officially was the reason the Quit India movement succeeded

        Q10. What is the status of Donald Trump's trade related promises, as on date? (August 2017)
        (People and Personalities, Dynamic)
        (1) He has delivered on almost all promises made during elections, and voters are elated
        (2) He has not delivered on any one of the promises made substantially, and voters are very edgy
        (3) His commitment is undiluted, as was seen in the case of steel imports into America
        (4) Both (1) and (3)






        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(4)  |  Q2.(2)  |  Q3.(4)  |  Q4.(3)  |  Q5.(4)  |  Q6.(3)  |  Q7.(3)  |  Q8.(4)  |  Q9.(2)  |  Q10.(2)

        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
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        CIVILS TAPASYA - News Headlines - All govt. exams


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        1. Kashmir special status under a cloud :
        A Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice J S Khehar asked the Union government - in response to a petition - to explain whether Article 370 of the Constitution, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, was a temporary provision that is no more valid. The chief justice also questioned the Centre’s decision to delegate matters such as citizenship to the state government and the state’s decision to have a separate Constitution, when it had ratified its accession to India unconditionally. Read all about all the India - Pakistan conflicts, here.

        2. New names for stations, once more : Proposals for changing the names of Hazaribagh Road Railway Station as Saria, Mumbai Central Railway Station as Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and Grand Trunk Railway Station as Nanashankar Sheth have not been received from the respective State Governments by the Ministry of Home Affairs. However, the proposal of the State Government of Uttar Pradesh for changing the name of Mughalsarai Railway Station as Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Nagar has been received and approved by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The resetting of historical "wrongs" is the normal logic proferred for such exercises, which in many cases, seems justified.

        3. New Housing Schemes : Ministry of Labour & Employment has released guidelines for the Revised Integrated Housing Scheme (RIHS), 2016 for workers. The scheme provides housing subsidy of Rs.1,50,000/- per worker for construction of house to be paid in three installments directly into the bank account of the beneficiaries. Ministry provides housing subsidy to the workers for construction of houses. The fund allocated for this purpose in the Financial Year 2017-18 is Rs. 60,95,54,000/- and during current year 8000 houses are proposed to be sanctioned. Read more about various schemes, here.

        4. Start Up India : India’s first private sector missile sub-systems manufacturing facility, a venture between the $2.5 billion Kalyani Group and Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd., was inaugurated near Hyderabad. The Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems (KRAS) plant will make anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) Spike and the production is expected to begin in a few weeks. Besides supplying to the Indian Army, the plan is to export to South East Asian countries. The local is 90% and most of the vendors are in and around Hyderabad. Read many more insights on Indian defence here.

        5. Study NCERT right at home : Students will now get NCERT books delivered to their homes with the National Council of Educational Research and Training launching an online portal for this purpose. Schools can log onto their official website by entering their board's affiliation number and other details to place orders for the 2018-19 session. They are also, not required to make the payment at the time of placing orders. The portal will ensure distribution of NCERT books across the country and will also address the doubts of schools and parents about their availability. This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy

        6. Ahmed Patel against the wave! In an epic Rajya Sabha election, Congress leader Ahmed Patel was declared elected from the Gujarat Assembly. BJP president Amit Shah and Union Minister Smriti Irani were also declared winners at the end of counting of votes. Ahead of the results, the BJP received a setback, with the EC accepting the Congress demand to invalidate the votes of its legislators Raghavji Patel and Bholabhai Gohil, who cross-voted and showed their ballots to the BJP polling agent in violation of the rules. Fine margins require not making mistakes like these. Read about Ahmed Patel in our Personality of the Day here

        7. I will blow Guam out of this Earth : North Korea's dictator and military said they are planning to strike areas around the US territory of Guam with medium-to-long-range strategic ballistic missiles. The base is very close to North Korea and represents the westernmost stretch of US. Guam's governor reassured the island's rattled residents that there was no change in the threat level resulting from North Korea. Guam is home to thousands of American service members and their families. US officials are urging calm, and not reading too much into it, thereby precipitating it into something unnecessarily dangerous. Read insights on North Korea and the dangers it poses to the world

        8. Made in China : The government said anti-dumping duty is in force on 93 products including chemicals and machinery items imported from China. In addition, 40 cases concerning imports from China have been initiated by the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping & Allied Duties. Countries like India impose anti-dumping duties to guard domestic industry from surge in below-cost imports. Anti-dumping steps are taken to ensure fair trade and provide a level-playing field to the domestic industry, which is severely needed in India. Read more on trade here.

        9. Putin, NATO, friction : NATO's jets intercepted three Russian military aircraft near Estonian airspace recently. Finnish jets also scrambled to intercept the Russian aircraft which were identified as two MiG-31 fighter jets and an AN-26 transport plane. NATO's Air Command has explained the incident to the Finnish Air Operations Centre to improve future coordination. Read more on NATO here.

        10. Visa-Free into Qatar, courtesy the Arab ban! Citizens of India can now enter Qatar visa-free. The countries include India, the UK, the US, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Citizens of  80 countries wishing to visit Qatar will not need to apply or pay for a visa. Qatari officials announced in a release said. The waiver will either be valid for 180 days, and allow the visitor to spend a total of 90 days in Qatar (multiple-entry); or it will be valid for 30 days and entitle the visitor to spend up to 30 days in Qatar, a rare moment for Indian passport holders, a very few countries are really visa-free for Indians. This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy





        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. Which of the following countries does not allow visa-free travel to Indian passport holders even for a small period of stay?
        (Treaties and Protocols, Dynamic)
        (1) Indonesia
        (2) Jamaica
        (3) Qatar
        (4) Monaco 

        Q2. Which of the following statements is true about the island of Guam?
        (World Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) It is located in Africa
        (2) It has a number of US military bases
        (3) The people of Guam are not granted US citizenship
        (4) Guam does not have its own flag as it is a colony under US

        Q3. Which of the following old government schemes have not had their names changed, or were not closely related to schemes launched under the Modi government?
        (Indian Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG
        (2) National Optical Fiber Network
        (3) National Manufacturing Policy
        (4) None of these

        Q4. When is the 'International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition' celebrated? 
        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (United Nations, Static)
        (1) 23rd August
        (2) 2nd November
        (3) 4th April
        (4) 22nd September

        Q5. National Rural Development Institute is situated at
        (Governance and Institutions, Static)
        (1) Patna
        (2) Shimla
        (3) Hyderabad
        (4) New Delhi






        Q6.  What is the basic purpose of Article 370 which grants a 'special' status to Jammu and Kashmir?
        (Constitution and Law, Static)
        (1) The powers given to the central government would only be applied with the concurrence of the state's assembly
        (2) Jammu and Kashmir is to be under full control of the president for an indefinite amount of time
        (3) Conducting a plebiscite vote for or against autonomous rule in Kashmir
        (4) None of these

        Q7. Economics of the Third World was written by
        (People and Personalities, Static)
        (1) S.K.Ray
        (2) S.P.Dalvi
        (3) Dr.S.Radhakrishnan
        (4) Dr.Karan Singh

        [##link## Go to July 2017 content]

        Q8. The treaty of Seringapatnam (Srirangapatnam) was between Cornwallis and .. ? This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (History, Static)
        (1) Haider Ali
        (2) Chand Bibi
        (3) Tipu Sultan
        (4) Nizam of Hyderabad

        Q9. Which of the following missile/missile systems was completely locally manufactured by Indian state industries?
        (Science and Technology, Dynamic)
        (1) Brahmos
        (2) Akash
        (3) KS-1
        (4) DH-10

        Q10. The members of the Rajya Sabha are elected for a time period of
        (Constitution and Law, Static)
        (1) 1 years
        (2) 3 years
        (3) 5 years
        (4) 6 years 






        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(4)  |  Q2.(2)  |  Q3.(4)  |  Q4.(1)  |  Q5.(3)  |  Q6.(1)  |  Q7.(1)  |  Q8.(3)  |  Q9.(2)  |  Q10.(4)

        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
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        1. The price of Demonetisation! 
        The government has paid a huge price for demonetisation. The RBI transfer to the government will be only Rs.30,659 crore, less than half the amount- Rs.65,876 crore it transferred to last year, implying lesser non-tax revenues to the government this year. The reduction in the transfer of surplus to the government could be due to a number of factors including higher cost of printing new currency notes and cost of managing the mess out of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes ban. Throughout the year the reverse repo has been high that means that RBI has to pay to banks. Please recall that a theory doing the rounds in Nov-Dec 2016 was that the govt. will reap a windfall as a one-time huge 'dividend' (payout) from RBI as a large part of its liabilities will get erased (due to lot of cash never returning to the system). Exactly the reverse has happened! Read all about all these technical aspects here

        2. Capital import from China, into Egypt : Egypt's newest capital city's project moved a step closer to reality with the announcement that Chinese developers will  fund the mega project. The China Fortune Land Development Company (CFLD) agreed to provide $20 billion for the currently unnamed city. The  city to be constructed in the desert to the East of Cairo would become the residence of government, and it is presented as a far modern vision than the current capital. Proposals for the city include housing for atleast five million people, over 1,000 mosques, smart villages, industrial zones, a 5,000-seat conference center, and the world's largest park. These mega investments by the Chinese are incomparable for most other nations in the world, including India. It remains to be seen how much money they make in the long run, or end up becoming another sophisticated "land-grab". Read about Sri Lanka and Hambantota Port here.

        3. Defence Procurement in India : The NITI Aayog is in discussions with the Defence Ministry to make the procedures for defence procurement more result oriented by Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and fast-tracking it by removing trials and “benchmarking” in certain cases. Niti Aayog has proposed to the MOD to remove benchmarking in competitive bids but letting it remain in nominated acquisitions. When the air force and navy want the same equipment in larger or same numbers, Niti Aayog has proposed that orders can be merged to increase efficiency and give incentive to defence companies.

        4. Home-Grown Defence : The army is in talks with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and other private firms regarding projects which are to be manufactured under the ‘Make’ category of acquisition of the Defence Procurement Procedure-2016. Under this category, an equipment has be developed and manufactured by an Indian vendor. With the aim of indigenisation of defence equipments, the Defence Ministry has approved projects worth crores for the Indian Army, which are to be developed and manufactured by the Indian private industry. These are meant to enhance India’s combat capabilities for war and counter-terrorist operations. Read many more insights on Indian defence here.

        5. India and US toc o-host Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) : The event scheduled at Hyderabad from 28-30 November, 2017 was announced by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi who said:  "India and US will co-host the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Hyderabad from 28-30 November 2017. The Summit is a unique opportunity for bringing together entrepreneurs and start ups with global leaders. Look forward to Ms. Ivanka Trump’s presence at Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017-Hyderabad as the leader of the US delegation." This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy

        6. Casual Taxpayers alert! The GSTN is issuing various clarifications from time to time. Latest is on Casual taxpayers who conduct businesses occasionally can now register for the goods and services tax (GST), which will allow them to execute work that comes their way once in a while. A casual taxpayer is a person who occasionally undertakes business transactions in a state or union territory where she has no place of business. The registration as a ‘casual taxpayer’ will be valid for 90 days. A taxpayer will also have the option to extend the registration duration once for a maximum of 90 days before the expiry of the initial 90-day period for which registration was granted. Rather than registering as a regular taxpayer and being required to file ‘nil’ returns during off-business months, casual taxpayers can enrol for a limited period of time.

        7. National Mission for Clean Ganga : The mission has approved ten projects in Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh to the tune of about Rs 2,033 crore. Eight of the ten projects pertain to sewage infrastructure and treatment, one to river front development and one to Ganga Knowledge Centre. These projects were approved in the 5th meeting of the Executive Committee of National Mission for Clean Ganga.All projects will be funded 100 per cent by the Central Government.

        8. South China Sea getting hotter : A U.S. Navy destroyer carried out a “freedom of navigation operation” on Thursday, coming within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials told Reuters.The operation came as President Donald Trump's administration seeks Chinese cooperation in dealing with North Korea's missile and nuclear programs and could complicate efforts to secure a common stance. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS John S. McCain traveled close to Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals. China has territorial disputes with its neighbors over the area.

        9. Economic Survey Part II : The second part of Economic Survey wastabled in Parliament. It has observed a new optimism on structural reforms in the Indian economy. This is also drafted by the CEA (Chief Economic Advisor) Arvind Subramanian, and says that optimism about the medium-term prospects for the Indian economy has been created by many of the structural reform actions and developments. The biggest of them is the launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). GST will further cooperative federalism, reduce corruption and leakage, simplify complex tax structure and unify tax rates across the country, and create a common market. Enrol in our Online Economic Survey course here

        10. Dokalam issue, continued : The Army’s 33 Corps, responsible for the security of the Sikkim border, has advanced its annual exercises to end August. However, Army sources denied reports of a border village being evacuated.The Indian Army was tight-lipped about the move, even as some reports spoke of China beefing up its military presence in the vicinity of the standoff site in Doklam in recent days. The development comes even as the Chinese side continues to up its rhetoric. State-run China Daily on Wednesday warned: “The countdown to a clash between the two forces has begun, and the clock is ticking away the time to what seems to be an inevitable conclusion This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy





        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. What has been the "price" that the government seems to have paid for the demonetisation exercise, 2016?
        (Indian Economy, Dynamic)
        (1) The RBI has refused to transfer surplus liquidity to the government
        (2) The amount of dividend that the RBI pays the government has almost halved
        (3) The RBI has doubled the dividend it pays the government, thereby harming its own balance sheet
        (4) None of the above

        Q2. What are the Chinese now about to do in Egypt?
        (World Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) They will be creating a whole new capital at a huge cost
        (2) They propose to recreate a copy of Cairo, albeit a modern version, to the West of Nile
        (3) They are redoing the entire capital city of Cairo, with a cost of USD 20 billion
        (4) They are investing in another military base, after the first one in Africa at Djibouti

        Q3. What is the objective of the NITI Aayog's exercise with the Defence Ministry regarding procurements?
        (Defence and Military, Dynamic)
        (1) To help the military rapidly acquire assets from abroad
        (2) To push the Make in India programme
        (3) To make only Indian purchases mandatory
        (4) To make defence procurement procedures result-oriented

        Q4. Which of these is true regarding the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017? 
        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (Entrepreneurship and startups, Dynamic)
        (1) It will be hosted by US and India at Bangalore, in September 2017
        (2) President Donald Trump and Ms Ivanka Trump will grace the event
        (3) The amount of funding expected at the event for startups is more than $ 1 billion
        (4) None of the above

        Q5. As per the GSTN, who is a 'casual taxpayer'?
        (Taxation and revenues, Dynamic)
        (1) A person who occasionally undertakes business transactions in a state or union territory where she has no place of business
        (2) A person who regularly undertakes business transactions in a state or union territory where she has no place of business
        (3) A company of at least 3 Directors that occasionally undertakes business transactions in a state or union territory where she has no place of business
        (4) A casual taxpayer is a person who occasionally undertakes business transactions abroad





        Q6.  What is the objective of the American Navy in challenging Chinese claims in the South China sea, especially near the artificial islands built by China?
        (Defence and Military, Dynamic)
        (1) Freedom of Navigation operations
        (2) Freedom of Commerce operations
        (3) Freedom of World Trade operations
        (4) Freedom of EEZ operations

        Q7. The Economic Survey Part II was presented in the Parliament. Who has authored it?
        (People and Personalities, Static)
        (1) Shri Arvind Panagariya
        (2) Shri Subramanyam Das
        (3) Shri Arvind Subramanian
        (4) Shri Arun Jaitley

        [##link## Go to July 2017 content]

        Q8. Which body has offered to relocate the Babri Masjid a certain distance away from the main site? This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (Religion, Dynamic)
        (1) Shia and Sunni Waqf Board
        (2) Sunni Waqf Board
        (3) Shia Waqf Board
        (4) All India Progressive Muslims Board

        Q9. Which American territory is considered to under imminent danger from another world power? Which power?
        (World Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) Pyongyang, South Korea
        (2) Guam, North Korea
        (3) Okinawa, North Korea
        (4) Guam, DPRV

        Q10. Which of these, among other things, could have resulted in the drastic reduction in dividend paid by the RBI to the government this year?
        (Indian Economy, Static)
        (1) Cost of extra printing of notes
        (2) Cost of emergency transportation of notes across India
        (3) Cost of redesigning of new currency notes
        (4) Both (1) and (2)






        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(2)  |  Q2.(1)  |  Q3.(4)  |  Q4.(4)  |  Q5.(1)  |  Q6.(1)  |  Q7.(3)  |  Q8.(3)  |  Q9.(2)  |  Q10.(4)
        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
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        1. Final verdict on privacy arriving! The Supreme Court has indicated that it may deliver its verdict on whether right to privacy constitutes a fundamental right under the Constitution next week. A nine-judge Constitution bench had reserved its verdict on the issue on August 2 after voicing concern over possible misuse of personal information in public domain. It had observed that protection of  the concept of privacy in the technological era was a "losing battle". The bench, which had favoured "overarching" guidelines to protect private information in public domain, said there was a need to "maintain the core of privacy" as the notion of privacy was fast becoming irrelevant in an all-pervading technological era. This judgement will be a milestone for an India that has suddenly leapfrogged into the "digital age" with little preparation as far as common citizens' understanding of cyber security is concerned.

        2. Beefing it up: The Maharashtra government has moved the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High Court’s verdict which had decriminalised possession of beef in case the animals were slaughtered outside the state. The high court had termed as “unconstitutional” the provisions which held mere possession of beef as crime, but had upheld the ban on slaughter of bulls and bullocks (imposed by the Maharashtra government). It had also decriminalised possession of beef in case the animals were slaughtered outside the state. In 2015, the ban on the slaughter of bulls and bullocks was also included in the Act by an amendment. The beef politics refuses to abate!

        3. Mera beta engineer nahin banega : According to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), over 27 lakh engineering seats have been lying vacant across various engineering colleges in India since the last three years. Almost 9,07,632 seats remained vacant across various colleges in 2016-17, as compared to 8,97,914 in the previous year. These vacancies are caused by many reasons such as increased intake in various colleges, increase in the number of colleges and complicated selection mechanisms and board eligibility norms. Meanwhile, politicians keep highlighting how India's massive demographic dividend is helping it leapfrog into the 21st century!

        4. Now, now, keep calm everybody - he won't nuke us : US Defense Secretary James Mattis said his country still hopes the North Korea crisis can be solved through diplomacy. He said war between the two sides would be "catastrophic" and that diplomacy was providing results. The statement came after North Korea said it was finalizing plans to strike the US Pacific territory of Guam with missiles. As expected, President Trump instantly warned North Korea that it should be "very, very nervous" if it even as much as thinks about attacking the US or its allies. Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull said his country would stand by its ally US and fight North Korea if it attacks America. Things have gone downhill very rapidly in 2017 between US and NK (DPRK).

        5. The Great Dictator of Venezuela : Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro recognized the Socialist Party-dominated constituent assembly as the country's most powerful institution in his first appearance at the highly criticized legislative body. Critics have said the election cast aside any remaining checks on Maduro's power. The protege of the charismatic Hugo Chavez, Nicolas Maduro's grip on power has been firmed by firing his main critic within the ruling socialist coalition, chief prosecutor Luisa Ortega. She has been ordered to stand trial. Ortega accused Maduro of human rights abuses after his loyalist Supreme Court started nullifying laws passed by Congress earlier this year. Read more about Maduro here.

        6. Milkha Singh, a great goodwill Ambassador : Legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh has been appointed WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Physical Activity in South-East Asia Region, An estimated 8.5 million people die due to NCDs every year in WHO South-East Asia Region. Many of these deaths are premature and nearly all are lifestyle related, which means people don't exercise or walk much. An alarming 70 % of boys, 80 % of girls and nearly 33 % adults report insufficient physical activity which is becoming a common feature of modern life. WHO recommends at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity for children and 150 minutes of weekly activity for adults to keep away non-communicable diseases.

        7. The Great Wall of Israel : Israel has revealed the construction of a sensor-equipped underground wall alongside the 60 km border with the Gaza Strip, which it described as a counter-measure to Hamas tunnels leading outside of its coastal territory. Costing $1.1bn and to be completed within two years under an accelerated schedule, the wall will be built using concrete and be fitted with sensors, and is expected to reach dozens of metres deep into the ground and to stand at six metres high from ground level. Israel has described it as a territorial counterpart to its Iron Dome short-range rocket interceptor, capable of blunting Hamas' limited means of challenging its superior armed forces. Peace, meanwhile, eludes everyone in the region. And PM Netanyahu is getting deeper into some alleged corruption scandals.

        8. Aadhar once more. Aadhar till you die! The government may soon make Aadhaar mandatory for buying shares and mutual funds. The move is aimed to tighten the loopholes that some fraudulent investors exploit and make money by converting black income into white through the stock market. The government still thinks that the PAN may not be enough to plug tax leakages in financial sector. Not only in financial markets, the government has also made Aadhaar a mandatory for farmers to get crop insurance policies. The whole idea of Aadhar being mandatory is under scrutiny in the Supreme Court.

        9. Tens of children die due to government negligence : The alleged disruption in the supply of liquid oxygen at Gorakhpur's Baba Raghav Das Medical College's hospital has claimed the lives of more than 60 children. The shortage of oxygen led to the gruesome situation where children died due to lack of it. CM Adityanath Yogi has been a fighter against encephalitis, which is a sudden onset inflammation of the brain, killing many people (especially children) regularly. The families of the children have claimed that the doctors were not treating them well and the hospital was not even providing the medicines which were required for the treatment. It is a human tragedy beyond all normal proportions, but it remains to be seen what action is taken beyond a few suspensions here and there.

        10. Will it be a war? Some sources through Chinese military said that the People’s Liberation Army is increasingly aware of the possibility of war, but will aim to limit any conflict to the level of skirmishes, such as those contested by India and Pakistan in Kashmir. It will deploy aircraft and strategic missiles to paralyse Indian mountain divisions stationed in the Himalayas on the border with China. India in 2010 established a naval base in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, close to the Strait of Malacca with the narrowest channel being just 1.7 kn wide, putting China's trade movement at grave risk. However, diplomatic sources indicate that war at Dokalam may never happen. This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy




        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. Which of the following statements is correct regarding the Right to Privacy in the digital world?
        (Constitution and Law, Dynamic)
        (1) Right to Privacy of the customer is followed by almost all  the software companies around the world
        (2) Internet Privacy is a fickle thing at best, as it can be easily hacked into and personal data can be stolen
        (3) There have been no movements to curb the attackers and violaters of the Right to Privacy of internet users
        (4) Use of proxies and VPNs is illegal in many countries including India

        Q2. Which of the following is not a reason for the enormous number of student vacancies in Indian Engineering colleges?
        (Education, Dynamic)
        (1) Increase in intake of students by many universities
        (2) Difficult and complicated admission mechanisms and the cutoffs for board examinations
        (3) Increase in the number of universities, colleges, which is not need
        (4) None of these

        Q3. How many regions(distributions) are present in the World Health Organisation?
        (United Nations, Static)
        (1) 2
        (2) 5
        (3) 6
        (4) 10

        Q4. When was Hamas, a  Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist organization, founded? 
        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (World Politics, Static)
        (1) 1987
        (2) 1975
        (3) 1947
        (4) 1991

        Q5. When is the 'International Day for Tolerance' celebrated?
        (United Nations, Static)
        (1) 26th November
        (2) 16th November
        (3) 2nd October
        (4) 5th March






        Q6. With which motor cycle firm did Bajaj Auto recently tie up with?
        (Corporates, Dynamic)
        (1) Harley Davidson
        (2) Honda
        (3) Royal Enfield
        (4) Triumph

        Q7. Which city is about to launch India’s first Heli-taxi service?
        (Science and Technology, Dynamic)
        (1) Mumbai
        (2) Bengaluru
        (3) Kolkata
        (4) Delhi

        [##link## Go to July 2017 content]

        Q8. The NGT has banned the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags (less than 50 microns in thickness) in  This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (Environment Ecology and Climate Change, Dynamic)
        (1) Madhya Pradhesh
        (2) Delhi
        (3) Goa
        (4) Karnataka

        Q9. Hamid Ansari was first elected to the post of Vice president in
        (People and Personalities, Static)
        (1) 2005
        (2) 2007
        (3) 2011
        (4) 2013

        Q10. The first Olympic Summer Games took place in the year
        (Entertainment Games Sports, Static)
        (1) 1850
        (2) 1890
        (3) 1896
        (4) 1900








        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(1)  |  Q2.(4)  |  Q3.(3)  |  Q4.(1)  |  Q5.(2)  |  Q6.(4)  |  Q7.(2)  |  Q8.(2)  |  Q9.(2)  |  Q10.(3)
        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
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        1. Hong Kong gives in, Long live the Communists The Chinese state flexes its muscle! After almost 40 years of service in Hong Kong, the BBC World Service radio station will be replaced by China's state run radio channel in an attempt to encourage 'bonding' and 'unity' amongst the mainland and Hong Kong. The change showcases China's policies towards other 'administrative areas' and the censorship that will subsequently affect Hong Kong also. The language of broadcast will be Mandarin, as opposed to the local language of Cantonese. Hong Kong was one of the few portals of authentic information on China, but all is set to change soon. Read more on related issues on China here.

        2. India Russia old friends, war games will be on India and Russia will hold mega war games “Indra” in an attempt to showcase their strengths in an increasingly volatile situation with the neighbouring countries. This will be an attempt to further ramp up military ties between the two countries, which have been historical allies. The exercises are expected to place in three locations in Russia including the remote and obscure Vladivostock region. This is the first time that both the countries will hold a tri-services exercise together. Scheduled dates are October 19 to 29, and primarily focus will be on achieving coordination between forces of the two countries in a tri- services integrated theatre command scenario. It will be for the first time India will participate in a tri-services exercise with a foreign country with such a large scale participation by the Navy, the Army and the Air Force. Read about India's  defence preparedness here, and about India's CAPFs / paramilitary here

        3. Time for a test for test-setters – the NEET tangle In yet another controversy, the National Entrance Cum Eligibilty Test (NEET), India's premier medical entrance examination has been temporarily suspended (subject to state ratification) in Tamil Nadu. The issue is that Tamil Nadu had abolished entrance examinations for eligibility for admission in state colleges and only Class 12 marks were a basis. NEET has also faced huge critisism for linguistic discrepencies on various occasions. Recently, the Supreme Court asked the CBSE about the setting of different questions for students taking NEET in regional languages and wanted a common question paper. It said that identical questions should be asked in all papers – English and other regional languages. The case was about if the questions in vernacular languages in the NEET 2017 examination were identical translations of the questions in English or Hindi. The court had earlier refused to “nullify” the NEET 2017 exam saying it would affect over six lakh candidates (out of a total of 11.35 lakh aspirants) who have cleared it. NEET was conducted in 10 languages including English and Hindi.  This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy

        4. Landslide kills many in the holy land In yet another case of a serious natural disaster in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, heavy rainfall triggered landslides killing at least 45 people, and caused floods in the north eastern states. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was rushed to curb this situation. Most of the forest areas in Kaziranga National Park were under flood waters. HP Chief Minister said the rescue operation would continue till all bodies were recovered. Earlier, Assam and other states faced the fury of floods.

        5. Finally, elections in India to be held together? Continuous elections all through the years causes havoc with governance. This debated topic may be reaching the first step in a long conclusion process. The Union government is discussing the possibility of aligning state polls with the next Lok Sabha election as a way of sharing resources and cutting down costs. Staggered assembly elections are a huge financial burden, so the government is viewing every possible combination which will yield the best results. The change in the election pattern would largely not require any amendment to the constitution, but a wider political consensus, which is not expected, but is needed to make this work. Till 1968, India had synchronous General and Assembly Elections. Read more on elections here

        6. Venezuela may get a mediator – America!  Late President Hugo Chavez was a sworn enemy of USA and Capitalism. Now the nation is in turmoil under his protégé Nicolas Maduro. Speaking during a joint conference with Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, US VP Mike Pence tried to showcase his support to the Latin American countries in the recent light of Venezuelan's democratic disruption. US government may try to restore democracy in Venezuela and stabilize the region. Santos said he had repeatedly told Pence in no uncertain terms that the U.S. must not even consider military action in response to Venezuela’s crisis! Read all about Maduro here, and about US related issues here.

        7. NPA saga rolls on, and on  The Rajya Sabha has passed the Banking Regulation(Amendment) Bill,2017, empowering the RBI to give direct instructions to banks to act against loan defaulters. The central government can authorise the RBI to issue directions to banks under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. The opposition did not have a favourable opinion about this bill, like many others stating that it was already too late for such kind of action and the defaulters have already paved their way out of the hands of the law. The NPA problem has snowballed in a big crisis for Indian economy, with lending to corporate by PSBs in the negative territory. Read all about NPAs here.

        8. You have been 'Whaled'  There are tragic reminders of how technology can overpower man's basic social values. The Blue Whale game, an internet 'game' involving a series of tasks assigned to players during a 50-day period, has as the final task the condition that the player commits suicide. Blue Whale began in Russia, and was invented by Philipp Budeikin, a former psychology student. Motive? To force people to commit suicide those he deemed as having no value. This game has affected many Indians as well, with cases registered in West Bengal, MP, Delhi and so on. The Indian IT firms may have to finally chip in, trying to help the government block the game. Will they be able to?

        9. Single Education Regulator stopped in its track  The government has always had the vision of simplifying the education regulation mechanisms in India. Now, the plan to merge the University Grants Commission and the All India Council for Technical Education with a single education regulator has been apparently halted with the HRD ministry putting the idea on hold. While the HRD Ministry and the NITI Aayog were trying to implement this idea, there has been no work done. The idea to have a single higher education regulator is not a new one, but has been recommended by various committees set up by previous governments. The VC of NITI Aayog, Shri Arvind Panagariya, too has resigned recently. Read more on education related matters here. Read more on NITI Aayog here.

        10. Anomalies in pay scales in PSUs  The government has constituted an Anomalies Committee to look into the issues and problems that may arise in the course of implementation of its decision on revision of pay scales of executives working in central PSUs.The Anomalies Committee will have a tenure of two years with effect from August 1, 2017. It comprises secretaries from the Department of Public Enterprises, Department of Expenditure and the Department of Personnel and Training, according to a memorandum issued by the Department of Public Enterprises.The Cabinet, last month, cleared a 15% hike in salaries of board-level and below board-level executives and non-unionised supervisors working in central public sector enterprises (CPSEs). This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy




        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. Which of the following is true about the recent developments in radio broadcasting in Hong Kong?
        (Regional Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) Chinese state run radio channels have been operating in Hong Kong since its transfer from the UK to China
        (2) The Chinese state radio will be broadcasted in Cantonese
        (3) Hong Kong had a broadcast from the BBC, but it will now be replaced by Chinese radio channels
        (4) None of these

        Q2. 
        Which of the following reasons is 'stopping' the government from conducting various state elections together with the Lok Sabha election?
        (Indian Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) The Constitution disapproves such actions
        (2) The lack of infrastructure and skill needed to pull of this move
        (3) Possible objections and disapprovals from various political parties
        (4) Lack of intent

        Q3. The infamous 'Blue Whale' game was invented in
        (Social Issues, Static)
        (1) France
        (2) Russia
        (3) China
        (4) Spain

        Q4. The the National Entrance Cum Eligibilty Test (NEET), was first held in 
        This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (World Politics, Static)
        (1) 2013
        (2) 2015
        (3) 2017
        (4) 2014

        Q5. When is the 'International Day of Democracy' celebrated?
        (United Nations, Static)
        (1) 15th August
        (2) 4th July
        (3) 15th September
        (4) 25th May






        Q6. The world level weapon production unit "Punj Lyod Defence System" was recently inaugurated in
        (Defence, Dynamic)
        (1) Maharashtra
        (2) Bihar
        (3) Karnataka
        (4) Madhya Pradesh

        Q7. Which of the following tech giants has launched "Express Wifi", an initiative to expand internet connectivity?
        (Science and Technology, Dynamic)
        (1) Google
        (2) Microsoft
        (3) Facebook
        (4) Apple

        Q8. Who among the following was a patriach and a promoter of the Madhyamika Philosophy?  This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (History, Static)
        (1) Bhadrabahu
        (2) Parshwanath
        (3) Sheelbhadra
        (4) Nagarjuna 

        Q9. The sitting of the Lok Sabha may be terminated by
        (Constitution and Law, Static)
        (1) Prorogation
        (2) Dissolution
        (3) Adjournment
        (4) None of the above

        Q10. The famous Integral Coach Factory (ICF) for the manufacture of railway coaches is situated at
        (Infrastructure, Static)
        (1) Kolkata
        (2) Borivilli
        (3) Perambur
        (4) Kharagpur






        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(3)  |  Q2.(3)  |  Q3.(2)  |  Q4.(1)  |  Q5.(3)  |  Q6.(4)  |  Q7.(3)  |  Q8.(4)  |  Q9.(3)  |  Q10.(3)
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        TODAY'S IS INDEPENDENCE DAY SPECIAL

        1.
        PM addresses the nation passionately on 71st Independence Day :
        The Prime Minster Narendra Modi today greeted and addressed the nation from the Red Fort on the 71st Independence Day in his characteristic style. The speech included several sensitive points like Triple Talaq, terror in Kashmir etc. He urged everyone to move forward together for making a New India with the collective strength of 125 crore people without any discrimination of small and big people. He added that good governance is about speed and simplification of processes, and of building together an India, where there will be no place for nepotism and corruption. JAI HIND

        2. Keeping it Short and Simple : Having made a record of delivering the longest Independence Day speech last year (96 minutes), Prime Minister Modi delivered his shortest speech from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort in 2017. He spoke for 56 minutes, his shortest speech in four years. In his radio address 'Mann Ki Baat' in July, he had said he received letters from people complaining that his Independence Day speeches were too long and promised to make a shorter speech. He kept the promise! His record - 2014 : 65 min, 2015 : 86 min, 2016 : 96 min. Before 2015, Pt Nehru's 1947 speech of 72 min had held the record.  VANDE MATARAM

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        3. Moving away from Mediocracy - from Chalta hai to Badal sakta hai : Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address called for an end to the 'Chalta hai' attitude of complacency and mediocrity and asked people to adopt a 'Badal sakta hai' attitude to bring about positive change, discipline and an excellence in various fields of life. He also said that the government is building job creators and not job seekers. This was an apparent reply to the critics who say that NDA and Modi have failed to deliver on a core 2014 election promise - more jobs.  BHARAT MATA KI JAI

        4. Respecting our Soldiers - Boarding Now! Air India has decided that in order to show gratitude towards members of the Armed Forces, serving members of the Armed Forces from Army, Air Force and Navy would be invited to board their flights first. The order is to be implemented Independence Day onwards on all Air India flights. The airline has passed on the instructions to all its ground handling officers and staff at boarding gates and asked to follow this order strictly. JAI JAWAN JAI KISAN

        5. High tension on I-DAY : Amid the ongoing standoff between Indian and Chinese troops on the Dokalam plateau, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was not to attend the ceremonial Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) for India’s Independence Day celebrations. The ceremonial Border Personnel Meeting is usually held along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh every year. This year, the PLA didn’t respond to India’s invitation for the August 15 ceremonial meeting at the BPM points. Indian troops had also not crossed over to the Chinese side for the 90th-anniversary celebrations of the PLA on August 1. The decades-old feud between India and China has Dokalam as the new addition.  VANDE MATARAM





        6. Testing times for Patriotism :  An order by Madhya Pradesh Madrasa Board to its affiliated schools in the state to “compulsorily” observe Independence Day and send pictures of activities organised on the occasion triggered a controversy. Some officers said the madrasas in MP had been celebrating Independence Day and Republic Day and also other occasions of national importance. However, the order to madrasas to take pictures of Independence Day celebrations clearly manifests lack of trust in the authorities of these educational institutions. JAI HIND

        7. Digital India for Brave India : The Prime Minister launched a new website today to honour all the gallantry award winners since Independence. Announcing the launch of the website http://gallantryawards.gov.in/  in a series of tweets, the Prime Minister said the portal will preserve and tell the stories of our bravest men and women, civilians as well as armed forces personnel.  VANDE MATARAM

        8. 
        Patriotism at its best : Surrounded in waist-deep waters, four teachers and two students of a school in flood-hit  Assam hoisted the Tricolour and sung Jana Gana Mana to celebrate India’s 71st Independence Day. Many parts of Assam have been under water for weeks from heavy monsoon rains that also overflooded rivers. The Naskara Lower Primary School, where the six gathered to celebrate India’s freedom, has been submerged since August 13.  LONG LIVE THE TRUE SPIRIT OF PATRIOTISM

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        9. UP Celebrates : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath addressed the state, as the country celebrates its 71st Independence day. He said that we need to emphasise on the development and prosperity of India. The aim is to enlist India among the developed nations. While citing the year 1857 which marks the first freedom struggle of India, he said that UP marks the land of India's first freedom struggle that took place in 1857. The CM is in the middle of the huge crisis post the death of tens of children in a government hospital recently. VANDE MATARAM

        10. The Freedom Run : Hundreds of members of the Indian diaspora in the UK took part in the first-ever Freedom Run to mark India’s 70th Independence Day with the one-mile journey beginning from the historic Parliament Square. The runners, sporting India@70 T-shirts and waving tricolour glow sticks, kick-started a one-mile journey from the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the historic square in the heart of the British capital to India Place at the Indian High Commission in London. This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy




        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. What is the objective of the Gallantry Awards site launched by the government of India?
        (Indian History, Dynamic)
        (1) To bring at one place, the consolidated record of gallantry awards
        (2) To help citizens discover the stories of the brave, in an easy manner
        (3) To ensure that more citizens are motivated to join the armed forces in the coming years, in light of challenges from China and Pakistan
        (4) Both (1) and (2) above

        Q2. 
        Which of these is true about the speeches being given from the ramparts of the Red Fort by Indian PM?
        (Indian Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) The longest so far was by Pandit Nehru in 1947, which was 96 min long
        (2) The second longest so far was by PM Modi in 2014 - 65 min long
        (3) The third longest so far was by PM Modi in 2015 - 85 min long
        (4) None of the above 

        Q3. The call from the PM for citizens to strive for "Chalta hai to Badal Sakta hai" indicates that
        (People and Personalities, Dynamic)
        (1) We citizens must realise that our excellent habits will make an excellent corporate India
        (2) We citizens must strive for excellence in our daily tasks and not allow filth and mediocrity to be our guiding dictum
        (3) Advanced nations became rich due to the right habits of their citizens, including paying taxes on the right time
        (4) We citizens must accept our duty towards the nation, and contribute to nation-building through participating in elections frequently

        Q4. Why was UP special in the history of Indian independence struggle?
        (Indian History, Static)
        (1) It was the land of the first major organised revolt against the British; in 1857 - though it failed
        (2) It was the land where the first British defeats were registered in India
        (3) It was here that 1857 showed the coming generations that British Raj can be overthrown, which later motivated Gandhi to strive for more
        (4) None of the above

        Q5. Which of these themes was not covered by PM Modi in his independence day speech 2017?
        (People and Personalities, Dynamic)
        (1) Triple Talaq
        (2) Terror in Kashmir
        (3) UN Security Council permanent membership
        (4) Lord Shri Krishna and Gowardhan Parvat






        Q6. Which of these themes was covered by PM Modi in his independence day speech 2017?
        (People and Personalities, Dynamic)
        (1) Benami Property
        (2) MUDRA Yojana
        (3) GST and cooperative federalism
        (4) All of the above

        Q7. What is the overarching theme of New India being propagated by PM Modi?
        (Indian Politics, Static)
        (1) An India that is a net exporter
        (2) An India that is free of casteism and nepotism
        (3) An India that is free of nepotism and unscientific temper
        (4) An India that is free of casteism and unscientific temper

        Q8. What is the significance of the Red Fort in the 15 August celebrations?  This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (History, Static)
        (1) The INA trials (1945-1946) brought the Red Fort into public focus, and upon gaining independence, it was the natural choice for the celebrations
        (2) The Red Fort is centrally located and is cost effective for the celebrations
        (3) The Red Fort is a symbol of Mughal exploitation of India, and celebrating 15th August there indicates how we have moved ahead
        (4) None of the above

        Q9. Who were the three INA officers put on trial at the historic Red Fort?
        (History, Static)
        (1) Colonel Laxmi Sahgal, Colonel Prem Kumar Sahgal and Colonel Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon
        (2) Colonel Shah Nawaz Khan, Colonel Prem Kumar Sahgal and Colonel Gurbaksh Sodhi
        (3) Colonel Shah Nawaz Khan, Colonel Prem Kumar Sahgal and Colonel Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon
        (4) Colonel Shah Adil Ali Khan, Colonel Prem Kumar Sahgal and Colonel Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon

        Q10. What was the special mention in President Kovind's speech on 14th August that marked a big change from the established precedent?
        (People and Personalities, Dynamic)
        (1) The mention of "wiping out terror"
        (2) The mention of "integral humanism"
        (3) The mention of "global diplomatic pressures"
        (4) The mention of "humanistic integration of society"






        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(4)  |  Q2.(4)  |  Q3.(2)  |  Q4.(1)  |  Q5.(3)  |  Q6.(4)  |  Q7.(2)  |  Q8.(1)  |  Q9.(3)  |  Q10.(2)
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        1. 
        Thrust on Rail Network expansion :
        The Union Cabinet has approved a new metro rail policy for expanding the metro network across various cities in the country. The metro policy will talk about standardising norms and developing a procurement mechanism for implementation of the projects. It will also talk about funding and financing. At present, metro projects with a total length of more than 350 km are operational in eight cities - Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai, Kochi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Gurugram. Metro projects are also under way in Hyderabad, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Pune and Lucknow. For more on rail/road infrastructure related issues, welcome here

        2. Technology, mobile phones, China, India and risks! The government of India has asked all smartphone companies (majority Chinese manufacturers) to outline the procedures and processes adopted by them to ensure security and privacy of users' data. The directive comes in the middle of a heated (but not violent, so far) standoff between India and China over Dokalam. In parallel, there are rising concerns over imports of Chinese IT and telecom products. The IT ministry has given time till August 28 to all companies to furnish their responses. There are many international and domestic reports about data leaks from mobile phones and in the first phase, devices and preloaded software and apps will be under scrutiny. Based on the response of the companies, the ministry will initiate verification and audit of devices where required. Warnings of penalties under provisions of IT Act 43 (A) in case stipulated processes are not being followed, have also been hinted. Read more on Cyber-security issues here, on China related issues here, and Telecom related issues here. Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

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        3. Israel’s UN bid : The Jewish state of Israel is trying very hard to win a spot on the United Nations Security Council in 2018. Israel is regularly criticised by world powers for its West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements, by which the Palestinians have been marginalised in "their own land". Israel won’t get much support from the 57 Organization of Islamic Cooperation countries. The PM Benjamin Netanyahu has toned down his criticism of what he says is anti-Israeli bias, and he has a powerful ally in Trump. It will be interesting to watch how the UN game plays out. Read about Israel India relations here, and Israel Palestine issues hereCompilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        4. Huge push to irrigation : The Cabinet has approved extra resources upto Rs. 9020 crore for Long Term Irrigation Fund during the year 2017-18. This is as per requirement during 2017-18 by NABARD. This will be done through issuance of Bonds for ensuring lending rate of 6% per annum (pa) in respect of borrowings for implementation of Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) works of 99 ongoing prioritized irrigation projects along with their command area development (CAD) works under PMKSY. Poor funding had led to many medium and large projects under AIBP not getting completed. In the Budget speech 2016-17, the creation of dedicated Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF) in NABARD with an initial corpus of Rs. 20,000 crore for funding of Central and State share for the identified ongoing projects under PMKSY (AIBP and CAD) had been announced. During the year 2016-17, NABARD disbursed aggregate amount of Rs.9086.02 crore under LTIF, out of which Rs. 2414.16 crore was released for Polavaram project (without EBR component) and balance Rs. 6671.86 crore was released to identified projects using EBR. Further, an amount of Rs. 924.9 crore was disbursed as Central Assistance (CA) through budgetary provision. During 2016-17, overall an amount of Rs 2187 crore was raised by NABARD in the form of Government of India fully serviced bond as EBR. Read more on irrigation related issues hereCompilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        5. Currency problems for India, weaker Yuan a headache : The weaker yuan is bringing a flood of cheap Chinese goods into India, putting at risk various struggling factories and deeply harming the bilateral trade deficit, already the biggest. There are demands that government must take steps to support domestic companies as well as curb gains in the rupee. India must "reduce dependence on such frivolous Chinese imports". Otherwise, we will erode competitiveness of the Indian companies and put at risk Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship ‘Make in India’ campaign. Already, U.S. has issued multiple threats to brand China a currency manipulator. In parallel, Indian and Chinese soldiers are facing off in the Dokalam plateau of the Himalayas! The risks to India’s economy are sadly compounded due to the GST rollout. Factory output already contracted in June 2017 for the first time in four years, helping Chinese imports. India imports electronic products, engineering goods and chemicals from China, which is India's biggest trading partner. Trade deficit has grown nine-times over the past decade to $49 billion in 2016. This figure was about $51 billion for the fiscal year through March 31, on imports of $61.3 billion. Read more on issues related to Currencies here, and India and global trade here.

        6. NAFTA and Donald Trump : Trade negotiators for U.S. President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto are meeting from Aug. 16-20 in Washington, regarding the future of NAFTA. They will renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, which came into being in 1994 and is 23 years old now. NAFTA tripled U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico to $1.2 trillion of goods and services in 2016, from about $350 billion in 1993. Predient Trump has stopped talking about killing NAFTA altogether and slapping tariffs on Mexico and Canada. The U.S.’s small goods-and-services trade surplus with Mexico prior to 1994 turned into a deficit of $63 billion in 2016, which Trump presented as evidence that NAFTA is a bad deal. Ultimately, the President wants a lower trade deficit with Mexico. Read more on trade blocs here. This compilation by Civils Tapasya portal, PT's IAS Academy

        7. Status report on UDAY scheme of Power sector : Due to the terribly bad financial situation of the core power sector in India, the Modi government had decided to overhaul the entire working of it. Hence, the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) was launched in November, 2015. By today, the participating States of UDAY have taken over the targeted debt of Rs.2.09 lakh crores of their DISCOMs under borrowing exemption from the FRBM Act given in UDAY for the years 2015-16 and 2016-17. The process of States taking over the targeted debts and issuing them as SDL Bonds has now been completed. The participating DISCOMs have to issue Bonds worth approximately Rs.37,000 crores. Rest of the debt with DISCOMs is mostly in the nature of CAPEX debt, which pays for itself, or Scheme based debt, which converts into grants fully or partially. Thus, they are not required to be taken over by the States. As per the provisions of UDAY Scheme, the States would start taking over losses of DISCOMs in a graded manner from now on, starting with taking over 5% of the losses of FY17 from the current financial year. Continued, concerted and coordinated efforts by the Centre, States and DISCOMs, in the spirit of cooperative and competitive federalism, would help turn around the Distribution Sector by FY19. Read about many government schemes, here

        8. I
        PR agreements between India and Sweden : The government has approved an MoU between India and Sweden on IPRs for establishing a wide ranging and flexible mechanism through which best practices exchange will happen. The MoU will help India exchange experiences in the innovation and IP ecosystems that will substantially benefit entrepreneurs, investors and businesses on both sides. It will be a landmark step forward in India's journey towards becoming a major player in global Innovation and will further the objectives of National IPR Policy, 2016. A Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) will decide cooperation activities to be taken under the MoU in areas like exchange of best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP awareness among the public, businesses and educational institutions of both countries etc. Also, cooperation to understand how Traditional Knowledge is protected; and the exchange of best practices, including traditional knowledge related databases and awareness raising of existing IP systems will happen. Read more on IPR related issues here |  Read about TKDL and Bio Piracy here

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        9. Nepal ties up with China : Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang was present in Kathmandu to sign some deals with Nepal recently, including an agreement to undertake a feasibility study to explore natural gas and petroleum resources. China was ready to help Nepal increase its self-sufficiency on energy and as per the aid package, China agreed to provide Nepal with a grant to help it restore border bridges and facilities at Tatopani port – a joint venture development project between the two countries – that were damaged in the earthquake in April 2015. Both China and India are attempting to boost their links with South Asian nations. Before heading to Kathmandu, Wang had attended Pakistan’s Independence Day celebrations and promised to push for the development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The dispute between China and India has created a dilemma for Nepal, and it wants to remain neutral. Read more on South Asia here

        10. Disinvestment is on the cards for sure : The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the procedure and mechanism for Strategic Disinvestment as per the proposal by Department of Investment and public Asset Management (DIPAM) : (a) For setting up an Alternative Mechanism (AM) consisting of the Finance Minister, Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Minister of Administrative Department, to decide on the matters relating to terms and conditions of the sale from the stage of inviting of Express of Interests (Eols) till inviting of financial bid; and (a) For empowering the Core Group of Secretaries (CGD) to take policy decisions with regard to procedural issues and to consider deviations as necessary from time to time for effective implementation of decisions of CCEA. The approval will help in speedy completion of strategic disinvestment transactions. Read more on disinvestment here




        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. The Metro Rail Policy approved by the Union Cabinet will
        (Indian Economy, Dynamic)
        (1) strive to rapidly connect remote areas with urban metro networks
        (2) focus on expansion of metro rail network in Indian cities
        (3) focus on funding, financing, procurement norms
        (4) Both (2) and (3) above

        Q2. 
        The government of India has instructed the smartphone maker companies regarding explaining their processes to protect users' data. Why?
        (Science and Technology, Dynamic)
        (1) There are serious concerns that users' data may be compromised, pertinent in light of Chinese threats on the border, and majority handset companies in Indian market being Chinese
        (2) There are concerns that users' data may be sold to various agencies, in breach of confidentiality clauses signed
        (3) The concern pertains to cyber security in light of evolving techno-global commercial challenges of the new millennium
        (4) There are reports that Chinese PLA has infiltrated India through these handset makers, and can launch a big cyber-attack any day it wants to

        Q3. Which of these is true regarding Israel (August 2017)?
        (World Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) The PM Mr. Netanyahu is under severe attack on various corruption charges
        (2) It is currently being run by a right-wing government that adopts aggressive tactics in dealing with enemies
        (3) President Trump is not inimical towards Israel as of now
        (4) All of the above

        Q4. With reference to irrigation in India, what do these terms stand for - AIBP, CAD, PMKSY, LTIF ?
        (Government schemes, Dynamic)
        (1) Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme, Current Account Deficit, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, Long Term Irrigation Fund
        (2) Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme, Command Area Development, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, Long Term Irrigation Fund
        (3) Advanced Irrigation Benefits Programme, Command Area Development, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, Long Term Irrigation Fund
        (4) Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme, Command Area Development, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, Lower Term Rate Irrigation Fund

        Q5. Which of these is the reason for the surge in Chinese imports into India recently?
        (Indian Economy, Dynamic)
        (1) The appreciation in rupee, making yuan cheaper for importers
        (2) The depreciation in rupee, making yuan expensive for imports
        (3) The appreciation in rupee, making yuan cheaper and aided further by currency manipulation by the Chinese
        (4) The depreciation in rupee, making yuan cheaper and aided further by currency manipulation by the Chinese






        Q6. The stark fact about NAFTA is that
        (Trade blocs, Dynamic)
        (1) America's trade with Canada and Mexico grew by nearly 3.5 times in the 23 years of NAFTA's existence
        (2) America's trade with Canada and New Mexico grew by nearly 3.5 times in the 23 years of NAFTA's existence
        (3) America's trade with Japan and Mexico grew by nearly 3.5 times in the 23 years of NAFTA's existence
        (4) America's trade with Canada and Panama grew by nearly 3.5 times in the 23 years of NAFTA's existence

        Q7. Which of these is not true regarding the UDAY scheme in the power sector?
        (Infrastructure, Dynamic)
        (1) It was a scheme to help the nearly bankrupt and sinking power sector utilities to stand on their feet again
        (2) It was compulsory for all states to participate in it from the start
        (3) It was a scheme to ultimately bring back on track, by 2019, the financial status of the state level power companies
        (4) It was a centrally designed and managed scheme, run by participation from the participating states


        Q8. The IPR agreements between India and Sweden are intended to  This compilation & quiz prepared by Team Civils Tapasya - PT's IAS Academy)
        (IPR, Dynamic)
        (1) bring in higher investments from Sweden in times to come
        (2) create a global behemoth in IPR in south Asia for the first time
        (3) ensure that best practices get exchanged and mutual knowledge sharing happens
        (4) None of the above

        Q9. What is Nepal's stand towards China, and India?
        (Regional Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) Nepal has aligned itself with the Chinese, and is opening up its businesses and economy to large scale investments from China
        (2) Nepal has assumed a neutral stand, and has indicated that if India keeps supporting it financially, it may vote against China at the UN
        (3) Just like Bhutan, Nepal has come out openly in support of India on matters related to China
        (4) Nepal has assumed a neutral stand, and is not averse to taking Chinese financial help for projects

        Q10. What is the DIPAM, in context of disinvestment in India?
        (Institutions and bodies, Dynamic)
        (1) The Department of International and Private Asset Management
        (2) The Department of Investment and Private Asset Management
        (3) The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management
        (4) The Department of Investigation of Public Asset Management






        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(4)  |  Q2.(1)  |  Q3.(4)  |  Q4.(2)  |  Q5.(1)  |  Q6.(1)  |  Q7.(2)  |  Q8.(3)  |  Q9.(4)  |  Q10.(3)
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        1. Farming woes turn to BJP's seat loss 
        :
        BJP won 26 of the 43 local bodies that went to polls in Madhya Pradesh but the impact of the recent farmers' agitation that led to the death of five people in police firing was visible with the saffron party's tally falling by three since the last election while the Congress won three seats in Mandsaur, the epicentre of the protests. The farmers agitation in July over low prices for their produce had come as a surprise for the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government. That BJP lost three seats- two wards of Shamgar Nagar Panchayat and one ward of Garoth Panchayat- in Mandsaur district should be a matter of concern for the party as the farmers' agitation had taken place here. The CM denies any major electoral loss. Read more on agricultural problems here, and about BJP related issues here.

        2. LEDs for all, now at your nearest petrol pump : In a bid to offer easy access to LED bulbs, LED tubelights and energy efficient fans, the government has decided to distribute them from select petroleum retail outlets across the country. Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), under the Ministry of Power, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) for distribution of energy efficient appliances under the flagship Unnat Jeevan by Affordable LEDs and appliances for All (UJALA) scheme. Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

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        3. Militants on the run in Kashmir valley : A Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant was killed by security forces in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Ayoub Lelhari, the Pulwama district commander of the LeT, was killed in an encounter at Bandarpora in Pulwama. The Jammu and Kashmir police confirmed the death on Twitter, and congratulated its men (a sign of supreme confidence). Police said Lelhari’s death was yet another success in fight against militancy. Read more about Kashmir hereCompilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        4. All Show No Fire - India's assessment : The PLA is unlikely to try anything near the already restive Sikkim-Bhutan tri-junction because Indian troops are militarily much better-placed there and can easily threaten China's narrow Chumbi Valley in the region, if required, the according to India's assessment. The PLA could try something in eastern Ladakh or eastern Arunachal Pradesh. India is sticking to its belief that China will not risk a full-fledged war despite its major build-up of troops, artillery, air defence, armoured and other units in the southern part of the Tibet Military District. Read more on Dokalam issue here.  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        5. CBI in the Bofors case : Despite the approval of the UPA-1 government, the CBI chose to tread cautiously when it came to taking a stance on the appeal filed by BJP leader Ajay Aggarwal against the discharge of the Hindujas in the Rs 64-crore Bofors payback case. CBI had decided not to oppose the appeal before the SC in 2005 but adopt a wait-and-watch policy instead. Top officials felt that opposing the appeal would invite criticism for the agency.

        6. Relief to Qatari pilgrims : Saudi Arabia said that would welcome Qatari pilgrims to Saudi Arabia to perform the haj this season, amidst a feud that has triggered tensions between the two nations since June. A statement on the official Saudi Press Agency said the Salwa border point would be open for Qatari citizens who wish to perform the annual pilgrimage to pass through with no electronic permissions needed.Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates imposed sanctions on fellow U.S. ally Qatar in June and cut all transport links with the country. The four boycotting Arab states accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism. Read more on Middle East issues here This compilation by Civils Tapasya portal, PT's IAS Academy

        7. AFSPA under the scanner : The Union Home Ministry is set to give up its power to impose the ‘disturbed areas’ on Assam and Manipur, both ruled by the BJP. The move effectively means it will be the States’ decision to either continue the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) or revoke it. As per Section 3 of the AFSPA, it can be invoked in places where the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary. It is effective in the whole of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur (excluding seven Assembly constituencies of Imphal).Tripura withdrew the AFSPA in 2015. Read more on this topic here.

        8.
        All Jolly : Bitcoin and gold can happily coexist and the cryptocurrency would not rival the yellow metal, according to experts. While the Bitcoin market was small and growing, the gold market was deep and enjoyed unrivalled stability. Observing that about $1.5 billion changed hands daily over the Bitcoin network,While gold offered no annual income, the bitcoin market remained vibrant. Read all about Bitcoin here.

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        9. Time's Up for the Maharaja! The government plans to wrap up the disinvestment in state-run carrier Air India before end of the year and the preference is towards a “domestic buyer" for the debt-laden airline. The Union Cabinet gave an in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment in Air India in June and a panel of ministers headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley is now devising the strategy for executing the sale. There is no choice but to privatise it. While no final decision has been taken. Some foreign companies including airlines have informally expressed interest in buying Air India. Read more on disinvestment here

        10. Influencing the region : India is set to host Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba in August as part of efforts to step up engagement with the nation at a time when China is seeking to increase its influence in the region, including Bhutan. Deuba is expected to begin his five-day visit to India on August 23, his first foreign trip after being elected the prime minister for the fourth time two months ago, according to people aware of the matter. That Deuba chose India as a destination for his maiden trip abroad reflects close nature of Indo-Nepal ties, they said, amid China's relentless efforts to expand its sphere of political and economic influence in the landlocked Himalayan state, including extension of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). According to reports Deuba is also likely to take up the issue of demonetisation. Read more on South Asia here




        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. Which crucial district was lost by BJP in the local body elections in Madhya Pradesh (2017)? Why was it crucial?
        (Indian Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) Indore, biggest commercial city of the state
        (2) Mandsaur, epicentre of farmers agitation in the state
        (3) Jabalpur, the centre of many medium scale enterprises
        (4) Gwalior, bastion of the Congress

        Q2. 
        What is the full form of the UJALA scheme, launched by the government to help spread better lighting equipments?
        (Government Schemes, Dynamic)
        (1) Ujjwal Jan Affordable LEDs for all
        (2) Unnati Jal Aakash Land by affordable LEDs
        (3) Unnat Jeevan by Affordable LEDs and appliances for All
        (4) Ujjwal Jal Alav Scheme by affordable appliances

        Q3. Which Saudi border point would be open for Qatari citizens for undergoing the Hajj Travel?
        (World Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) Salwa border point
        (2) Arar border point
        (3) Durra border point
        (4) King Fahd Causeway

        Q4. 
        Which of the following is true regarding the sale of Air India?
        (Governance and Institutions, Dynamic)
        (1) The government has changed its mind and will now not sell Air India
        (2) The government wishes to sell Air India to a foreign airline firm
        (3) The government is eagerly waiting to sell Air India but as of now, no interest is being showed by any major firms
        (4) The new disinvestment scheme and the ETF 22 format is all set to be rolled out


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        Q5. Which of the following states does not current fall under the jurisdiction of AFSPA (as of August 2017) ?
        (Consitution and Law, Static)
        (1) Jammu and Kashmir
        (2) Manipur
        (3) Assam
        (4) Tripura 






        Q6. What could be the reason for the imminent rivalry between gold and bitcoin as a reliable investment?
        (World Economy, Dynamic)
        (1) Gold has historically been considered a safe investment with good returns, Bitcoin appears as an solid alternative
        (2) There are no risks while storing bitcoin, as opposed to gold
        (3) No tax has to be paid when converting bitcoin to currency.(unlike gold)
        (4) Little to no practical purpose of gold

        Q7. When is the Human  Rights Day celebrated?
        (United Nations, Static)
        (1) 2nd May
        (2) 2nd October
        (3) 15th September
        (4) 10th December


        (Treaties and Protocols, Static)
        (1) Russia
        (2) China
        (3) Rwanda
        (4) Ghana

        Q9. Which country hosted the 14th edition of United Nations International Day of Vesak - 2017?
        (United Nations, Static)
        (1) India
        (2) Thailand
        (3) Malaysia
        (4) Sri Lanka 

        Q10. The treaty of Mangalore was signed between
        (History, Static)
        (1) The English East India Company and Haidar Ali
        (2) The English East India Company and Tipu Sultan
        (3) Haidar Ali and the Zamorin of Calicut
        (4) The French East India Company and Tipu Sultan






        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(2)  |  Q2.(3)  |  Q3.(1)  |  Q4.(4)  |  Q5.(4)  |  Q6.(1)  |  Q7.(4)  |  Q8.(1)  |  Q9.(4)  |  Q10.(2)
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        1.Indians m
        aking it big on Fortune's list :
        Five Indian-origin persons, including Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, have featured in Fortune’s annual list of 40 young and influential people in the field of business. The list has been topped by 39-year-old French President Emmanuel Macron, also including the likes of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Airbnb CEO and co-founders. The Indian-origin persons on the list are 26-year-old Divya Nag, who oversees Apple’s ambitious ResearchKit and CareKit programmes, Rishi Shah, and Shradha Agarwal of Outcome Health and CEO and founder of non-profit Samasource 31-year-old Leila Janah. Read more on People and Personalities here

        2. TRAI - serve properly else pay heavily : Telecom regulator TRAI recently issued stringent guidelines to curb call drops along with a penalty of upto Rs.10 lakh on service providers if they fail to meet the benchmark for three consecutive quarters. TRAI also fixed benchmark for radio-link time out technology(RLT), used by telecom operators for masking call drops. RLT is used for continuation of a call in case a subscriber is moving or is in base network area for short period, which is used to game the system and not register call drops. Very useful insights on Telecom sector, here  |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

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        3. Indians, here is another new note - enjoy! The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will issue Rs.50 denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi Series, bearing the signature of Governor Urjit R. Patel. The new note has a motif of Hampi with Chariot on the reverse, depicting the country's rich ancient heritage. The colour of the note is fluorescent blue. It is said to have enhanced security features and it follows a design largely similar to the new Rs.500 and Rs.2000 notes. Old Rs.50 notes will still be legal tender, so no need to rush to the bank yet! Read comprehensive inputs on various aspects of demonetisation here |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        4. Infosys goes the Tata way, only in the reverse : Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka resigned from his post on 18th August amidst 'pressure being put on him by founder-shareholders', as per his own statement. He said he was caught in a vicious cycle of negativity and could not deliver results due to that. Founder Narayan Murthy had a problem with the executive pay packages being provided to people in Infosys. According to media reports, Mr Murthy in a recent email quoted some Infosys independent directors as saying that Mr Sikka was "not a CEO material but CTO material". Sikka was brought in by Murthy few years ago to turn around a company facing huge digital disruptions, but despite good financial performance in few quarters, various allegations regarding impropriety in acquisitions, excessive pay packages etc. led to the huge rift, and final separation. Here are excellent inputs on the struggle at Infosys  |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        5. Brahmos to Vietnam? Yes or No? India has rejected various reports of it supplying BrahMos anti-ship cruise missiles to Vietnam even as the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two nations has been growing in many fields including security and defence. However, there was no clear denial of the report by Vietnam's foreign ministry in the public domain. The Vietnam foreign ministry said the Vietnam-India comprehensive strategic partnership has been actively developing in many fields including security and defence. China's persistent pressure on South China sea (regarding maritime territorial claims) has put ASEAN at a crossroads, and most other except Vietnam seem to have meekly surrendered in a recent ministerial meet. Read indepth inputs on India's defence preparedness here  |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        6. GST issues : Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has urged state chief ministers to reduce sales tax or value-added tax (VAT) on fuels. These are out of the purview of the GST but used as input for products that come under GST. Crude oil, petrol, diesel, natural gas and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) are not covered under GST. States have turned down the Centre's request to bring natural gas within GST. The problem is that in the post-GST scenario, manufactured goods attract GST while the inputs of petroleum products used in the manufacturing attract VAT and, therefore, it would lead to cascading of taxes. Comprehensive inputs on GST, here  |  This compilation by Civils Tapasya portal, PT's IAS Academy

        7. 
        Incidents did happen in Ladakh :
        Amid reports of a brief tussle between Indian and Chinese troops near Pangong Lake in Ladakh, the government has accepted that an "incident" indeed did take place in Pangong Tso on August 15, 2017. The Chinese soldiers are said to have attempted to cross the Line of Actual Control (:LAC) near Pangong lake, but were stopped by Indian soldiers. There were heated exchange of words and a standoff between the troops of both sides continued for more than an hour, during which stone-pelting was also reported. 

        8. Spain's terror attack :
        Spain saw one of its most violent days in recent memory as a spate of incidents throughout the country appeared to be connected to a terror attack Thursday in Barcelona that left 13 people dead and more than 100 injured.Authorities said they are working under the assumption that two other deadly events, a terrorist incident in the seaside city of Cambrils and a house explosion farther down the coast in Alcanar, were linked to the van attack in Barcelona that had ISIS taking credit. Read more on terror related issues here

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        9. 
        Not just Dokalam: India is tightening the rules for businesses entering its power transmission sector and making stringent checks on both power and telecoms equipment for malware — moves that government and industry officials say aim to check China's advance into sensitive sectors. Local firms have long lobbied against Chinese involvement in the power sector, raising security concerns and saying they get no reciprocal access to Chinese markets. The Indian government is considering a report prepared by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) that sets new conditions for firms bidding for power transmission contracts, tipping the scales in favour of local companies.

        10. Elite and now with power too : Indian Institutes of Management are to be given "freedom and autonomy", Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said emphasising the need to do away with government interference at these premier institutions. The IIMs till now could award only certificates, diplomas and fellowships.The Indian Institutes of Management Bill, 2017, declared certain IIMs as "institutes of national importance" with a view to empower them to attain standards of global excellence in management-related areas. 20 IIMs joined the 'elite' institutions of India.




        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. Who is/was the youngest President of France, as of 2017?
        (World Politics, Static)
        (1) Napoleon Bonaparte
        (2) Emmaneul Macron
        (3) Jean Perriere
        (4) Francois Hollande

        Q2. 
        Which of the following statements correctly describes the danger of having Chinese firms in critical sectors like electricity and health care in India?
        (Social Issues, Dynamic)
        (1) Lack of quality and product assurance given by said Chinese companies
        (2) Favour of the government towards Chinese companies
        (3) Said companies can fracture the Indian backbone during times of conflict with China
        (4) None of these

        Q3. What could be the reason between deepening ties of India and Vietnam?
        (Regional Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) The recent sale of the BrahMos Missile to Vietnam
        (2) Culturally common background of India and Vietnam
        (3) Vietnam's disputes with China making India its obvious ally
        (4) Urgent food imports needed by Vietnam from India

        Q4. 
        Which of the following statements is true regarding the telephone service providers in India?
        (Infrastructure, Dynamic)
        (1) There is a lack of demand of high quality service in the field
        (2) There is virtually no competition in the telephone service providers in India
        (3) A lack of government policies and lethargic government moves have resulted in inflation of the cost of said services
        (4) Indian service providers need to improve their connectivity in remote locations and improve service



        Q5. Which of the following statements is true regarding the new Rs.50 note announced by the RBI?
        (Governance and Institutions, Dynamic)
        (1) Previous Rs.50 notes will cease to be legal tender
        (2) The new note is similar in design with the previous generation Rs 50 note
        (3) The colour of the new note is not yet decided
        (4) None of these






        Q6. When is the International Anti-Corruption day celebrated?
        (United Nations, Static)
        (1) 2nd May
        (2) 15th December
        (3) 25th March
        (4) 9th December

        Q7. India’s first museum on the Partition of the Indian sub-continent will open in which state?
        (History, Static)
        (1) Uttar Pradesh
        (2) Bihar
        (3) Punjab
        (4) Goa


        Q8. Which country will host 2017 G7 Interior Ministers summit on security issues?
        (Treaties and Protocols, Static)
        (1) Italy
        (2) France
        (3) USA
        (4) China  

        Q9. The Maharashtra government has constituted a committee on safety measures for women in IT sector. Which committee is that?
        (Social Issues, Dynamic)
        (1) Nirmala Patil committee
        (2) Rashmi Shukla committee
        (3) Lakshmi Narayana committee
        (4) Vedihi Sangam committee 

        Q10. Which Indian scientist was famous for his research in Cosmic rays and Quantum theory?
        (People and Personalities, Static)
        (1) Abdul Kalam
        (2) J.C. Bose
        (3) S.N. Bose
        (4) Dr. Homi Bhabha






        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(2)  |  Q2.(3)  |  Q3.(3)  |  Q4.(4)  |  Q5.(4)  |  Q6.(4)  |  Q7.(3)  |  Q8.(1)  |  Q9.(2)  |  Q10.(4)
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        1.
        GST Returns filing cycle starts - acid-test and great opportunity :
        The government has further delayed the last day for filling for GST to 25th August, due to several reasons including floods in many states, this being the first time, and technical limitations and glitches. Finance Ministry said the GST Implementation Committee has taken a decision to extend the last date for payment of the GST for the month of July 2017 to 25th August, 2017. The State of Jammu & Kashmir has also requested for extension of time because of late passing of their GST Ordinance. The deadlines are : Aug 25 - GSTR-3B, Aug 28 - GSTR-3B + TRANS-1, Sept 5 - GSTR-1, Sept 10 - GSTR - 2, and 6 more. In all, 10 returns are to be filed before 15 Oct, though for some of them, data will be automatically fetched by the system. The larger picture is that GSTN now has all India data - a transformational change compared to earlier. Its impact will soon become visible on tax compliance, provided the GSTN works without collapsing/hitches, and big data magic works on the crores of invoices generated. Read more on GST, here.

        2. NPAs will call for more capital provisioning for PSBs : The government and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are in talks to chalk up public sector bank capital due to the higher provisioning burden on these lenders. These measures could include a combination of capital raising from the market, dilution of government holding, additional capital infusion by the government, mergers based on strategic decision and sale of non-core assets. Public sector banks require capital mainly because of a sharp rise in non performing assets (NPAs) in the last decade. The gross NPA figures at July beginning 2017 touched Rs.8.29 lakh crores, and net reached Rs.4.67 lakh crores (of which private was only Rs.47,571 crores). Read more on NPA related issues here Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

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        3. Another big rail tragedy in UP : At least 23 people have died and over 72 injured after 14 coaches of the Utkal Express ran off the tracks in Uttar Pradesh on the 19th of August. The accident took place near Muzaffarnagar, about 100 kilometres from New Delhi. The train was headed from Puri to Haridwar in Uttarakhand. Coaches got piled up on each other while one carriage crashed into a house on the side of the tracks. A team of the anti-terror squad or ATS of the police was sent to the accident site to conduct a preliminary inquiry. Some staff have been suspended by the Indian Railways, with charges of carrying out "unscheduled repairs". Inefficiencies in systems keep claiming human lives regularly.  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        4. Only US on our target, says North Korea : Kim's regime has claimed that its nuclear weapons will pose a threat only to the US, and not the rest of the world. With reference to Guam, the North Korean regime stated that it has no quarrels with other countries and will only aim its nuclear missiles at America. The current tensions in the Korean peninsula started increasing following multiple missile tests by North Korea, with some failing while two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests of July raising concerns about the possibility of Pyongyang striking a US target, most likely in South Korea or Guam. The deployment of THAAD in South Korea has further raised the temperature in the peninsula. Read more on THAAD here  |  Read on Trump here  |   Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        5. NPAs hit SBI hard : India's largest lender SBI accounted for over 27% of the total amount owed to public sector banks by wilfull defaulters (entities taking loans and not repaying it despite having the means to). As many as 1,762 wilfull defaulters owed Rs.25,104 crore to State Bank of India as on 31 March. The total outstanding loans by such defaulters rose to more than Rs. 90 k crores, at end FY 2016-17, from Rs.76 k crores at end FY 2015-16. There has been close to 10% increase in the number of wilfull defaulters on annual basis. It increased to 8,915 at the end of March as against 8,167 in the previous fiscal. The gross NPA figures at July beginning 2017 touched Rs.8.29 lakh crores, and net reached Rs.4.67 lakh crores (of which private was only Rs.47,571 crores). Read more on NPA related issues here  |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        6. IIT JEE Advanced to be fully online : The entrance examination for the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) will go completely online from 2018. The JAB, which is the policy-making body on IIT admissions, decided this. The JEE-Mains is the entrance examination for admission to engineering courses offered across the country and a qualifying exam for JEE-Advanced which is required for admission to the prestigious IITs and NITs. JAB has decided that the IIT Advanced examination will be held on the online format. One can only hope that results will be error-free, unlike in 2017 when a gross mistake led to 18 grace marks for all students in Advanced exam, disrupting the entire results tally, and the matter reaching the Supreme Court. Read more on education related inputs, here |  This compilation by Civils Tapasya portal, PT's IAS Academy

        7. 
        Lighting up the Roads by LEDs :
        Government's Street Lighting National programme (SLNP) has lit up 50,000 kms of Indian roads with installation of 30 lakh LED street lights across India. With this milestone, the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (a government company under the administration of Ministry of Power) has become the world’s largest street light management company. The installation of 30 lakh LED street lights has resulted in 39 crore kWh of annual energy savings, and avoided capacity of over 104.19 MW to the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). Read more on power sector related inputs here

        8.
        Printing in 3D in space : NASA Technology Demonstration Mission (TDM) project is developing cutting-edge technology to build and assemble complex hardware and structures on demand in space via 3D printing. The team conducted hundreds of hours of tests to complete the series, printing large beam segments, similar to those used to construct a variety of space structures and subjected printing equipment and printed hardware resistant to the pressures, temperatures and other rigors of deep space. 3D printing is a special system where entire real objects get printed by "printers", layer by layer. It is the ultimate manufacturing disruption, as costly dies will not longer be needed and any amount of intricate complexity that can be modeled into a programme, will be made by the printers! Read more on space technology related issues here | Read more on science and technology here

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        9. 
        Shaking up the private schools, and about time too : The Delhi government will take over around 449 private schools blamed for over-charging extra fee, if they do not roll back their decision (and refund the monies). The schools are among the ones identified by a committee headed by Justice Anil Dev Singh as having overcharged parents on the pretext of implementing recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission. Deputy CM Sisodia said the show cause notices were served four days ago with a deadline to respond within two weeks. This is the first, and the biggest, such action against the private schools in India. Parents usually are helpless and have to dish out whatever is asked. Read more on education related issues hereThis compilation by Civils Tapasya portal, PT's IAS Academy

        10. Hitting terror hard, the Bangladeshi way : Ten militants were sentenced to death and nine others jailed for 20 years each by a court in Bangladesh  for attempting to assassinate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2000. The convicts had hatched the plot to kill Hasina in 2000 by planting a high-powered explosive device at an open ground at her village home in southwestern Gopalganj where she was scheduled to address a public rally. The bomb was detected ahead of the rally. Bangladesh has gone hammer and tongs against the Islamists, jailing and hanging many of them regularly. Read more on Bangladesh related issues, here.




        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. What could be the reason for the frequent extensions allowed in GST filings and applications?
        (Indian Economy, Dynamic)
        (1) Floods in many states creating problems with business operations
        (2) Technical glitches
        (3) This being the first time, hence more time!
        (4) All of the above

        Q2. 
        Which of the following Bangladeshi presidents were not incumbent during the tenure of Sheik Hasina as the Prime Minister (2009 - ) ?
        (Regional Politics, Static)
        (1) Shahabuddin Ahmed
        (2) Iajuddin Ahmed
        (3) Zillur Rahman
        (4) Abdul Hamid

        Q3. Which of the following countries/regions is not under direct threat by the nuclear missile policies set by the Kim Jong-un regime in North Korea?
        (Defence and Military, Dynamic)
        (1) South Korea
        (2) Guam
        (3) Japan
        (4) China 

        Q4. 
        Which city hosted the 2017 meeting of BRICS Trade Ministers?
        (World Politics, Static)
        (1) Shanghai
        (2) Brasília
        (3) Cape Town
        (4) Moscow


        Q5. Which state government has launched “Namo Yuva Rojgar Kendra” for unemployed youth?
        (Indian Politics, Static)
        (1) Tamil Nadu
        (2) Gujarat
        (3) Maharashtra
        (4) Rajasthan






        Q6. Which mobile app has been launched by the Union Government for road maintenance?
        (Infrastructure, Static)
        (1) BHIMInfra
        (2) Kartavya
        (3) Aarambh
        (4) Roadmap

        Q7. When is the World Suicide Prevention Day celebrated?
        (United Nations, Static)
        (1) 21st August
        (2) 10th September
        (3) 4th April
        (4) 2nd May


        Q8. Who has been given additional charge of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ?
        (Governance and Institutions, Dynamic)
        (1) Narendra Singh Tomar
        (2) Smriti Irani
        (3) Arun Jaitley
        (4) Prakash Javadekar

        Q9. Who has won the 2017 women’s singles Wimbledon tennis tournament?
        (Entertainment Games and Sports, Static)
        (1) Serena Williams
        (2) Venus Williams
        (3) Garbine Muguruza
        (4) Angelique Kerber 

        Q10. Which state government has recently launched Livelihood Intervention and Facilitation of Entrepreneurship (LIFE)?
        (Governance and Institutions, Dynamic)
        (1) Mizoram
        (2) Meghalaya
        (3) Sikkim
        (4) Jammu and Kashmir






        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(4)  |  Q2.(1)  |  Q3.(4)  |  Q4.(1)  |  Q5.(3)  |  Q6.(3)  |  Q7.(2)  |  Q8.(2)  |  Q9.(3)  |  Q10.(2)
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        1. 
        India's reply on Ladakh movement :
        In the aftermath of the Dokalam incident, a stone-pelting incident took place in Ladakh's Pangong lake region between troops of Indian and Chinese armies. Now, a few days after that incident, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has approved the construction of a standalone road project from Marsimik La to Hot Spring. The area called Marsimik La in Ladakh is about 20 km from the northwest tip of Pangong lake, a lake that's divided between India and China. The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has taken over the project after it was cleared by the ministry. The BRO comes under the Ministry of Defence (MoD), and has started “mobilisation” for the construction of the 32-km road. Read more on India's defence preparedness here, and India-China issues here.

        2. Difficulties in India - China trade : India has finally imposed anti-dumping duty on imported tempered glass, used for protecting mobile phone screens, from China for five years to protect the domestic industry from below-cost imports. Dumping is the act of a foreign country pushing its products into India at below-own-domestic-prices, harming local industry in target nation, as volumes are usually huge. The Revenue Department has issued a notification imposing anti-dumping duty in the range of $52.85 - 136.21 per tonne on tempered glass imports from China. The Minister of Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman said that “anti-dumping duty is in force on 93 products concerning imports from China”. Domestic industry surely has suffered material injury caused by goods from China. Read more on trade related topics - a vast range - here |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

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        3. Attention Students - NEET is on! A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra directed the state government to initiate the admission process after the Centre told the court it was not in favour of the recent ordinance passed by Tamil Nadu to exempt it from the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) this year. The apex court was hearing a plea filed by six students seeking a direction to the state government to conduct counselling for the medical seats solely on the basis of the merit list prepared on NEET marks. The saga rolls on and on, and no policymaker has any reply for the immense stress millions of citizens (students and parents) are put through, almost each year, due to faulty test papers, or faulty marking, or plain simple faulty planning. Read more on education related issues here | |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        4. Law Commission swings into action post Triple Talaq : The Supreme Court had, on 22 August, banned (outlawed) the practice of instant talaq, or talaq-e-bidat commongly called Triple Talak. It had ruled that arbitrary personal laws cannot seek refuge under the ‘Freedom of Religion’ right and that ‘Equality before Law’ is supreme. In the aftermath of that decision, a valuable touchstone for the Law Commission has been created while handling contentious issues under the Uniform Civil Code (UCC). The issue of gender justice for Christian and Hindu women will now surface prominently, as the "Waiting Period" issue shows. The Commission is considering if the two-year period of wait for finalising a divorce for Christian women violates their Right to Equality, and that logically brings the next question - if the waiting period should be made uniform across all marriages, or, if the period is sufficient and in keeping with the religious sentiments. Another aspect is whether all religious denominations should have common grounds for divorce. The Law Commission will look into Hindu women's ability to exercise their right to property, often 'bequeathed' to sons customarily. The issue of compulsory registration of marriages, and protecting couples who enter into inter-religious and inter-caste marriages are next on the agenda. The battle for gender justice never was easy, not short and sweet. Read a comprehensive article on Triple Talaq and SC ruling, here | Watch detailed video here  |   Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        5. Come one, come all. A new Currency Note for you, again! The Reserve Bank of India appears to be giving highest emphasis on how to avoid the possibility of an illegal trade of currency notes as it prepares to introduce Rs.200 denominated bank notes for the first time in history. The proposed Rs 200 bank notes may come into circulation by the end of August, or in September 2017. Reports of illegal hoarding of the Rs.2000 bank notes and black marketing have been frequently heard. The plan to introduce the Rs.200 currency notes is in tandem with the broader exercise to stop counterfeiting and curbing untaxed cash in Asia's third-biggest economy. Experts have also recommended that this could be the highest denomination and all others (higher ones) can be withdrawn, if black money really is to be tackled. Read more on Demonetisation here  |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        6. Enough of games Pakistan, your time's up - Trump : US President Donald Trump has firmly warned Pakistan that Washington will no longer tolerate Pakistan offering “safe havens” to extremists. Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with American effort in Afghanistan, and it has much to lose by continuing to harbour criminals and terrorists. Trump said that it was time for Pakistan to dedicate to civilization and order and peace. This puts Indian assertions firmly in the centrestage, and puts Pakistani army, and their Chinese backers in a spot. US wants India to step up commercial help to Afghanistan's rebuilding. Pakistani politicians including Imran Khan have gone ballistic saying "they were fighting America's wars for the past one decade". Read more on Pakistan related issues, here |  This compilation by Civils Tapasya portal, PT's IAS Academy

        7. 
        Killer A.I. machines not done, not done :
        Some of the world’s leading robotics and artificial intelligence (A.I.) pioneers - including Elon Musk of Tesla - are calling on the United Nations to ban the development and use of killer robots. Musk is leading a group of 116 specialists from across 26 countries who are calling for the ban on autonomous weapons, which can act independently of human controllers. The UN recently voted to begin formal discussions on such weapons which include drones, tanks and automated machine guns. Ahead of this, the group of founders of AI and robotics companies have sent an open letter to the UN calling for it to prevent the arms race that is currently under way for killer robots. Movies like the Terminator series and Matrix trilogy have vividly highlighted the existential risks mankind will push itself into by creating standalone, independent-thinking and conscious A.I. machinery. Read more on related topics, here

        8. 
        Tinker, tinker, ye young of the nation : NITI Aayog is launching the Mentor India Campaign, a strategic nation building initiative to engage leaders who can guide and mentor students at more than 900 Atal Tinkering Labs, established across the country as a part of the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM). CEO NITI Aayog, Shri Amitabh Kant unveiled the online nationwide initiative in Delhi. Mentor India is aimed at maximizing the impact of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL), possibly the biggest disruption in formal education globally. The idea is to engage leaders who will nurture and guide students in the Atal Tinkering Labs. Read more on startups and entrepreneurship, here

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        9. 
        A new Sports Museum in India : The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports will establish a National Sports Museum, first of its kind, at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. The decision was taken three months back and after a series of meetings, the current venue for museum was finalized by the Sports Minister Vijay Goel. It is proposed that the Museum will have audio-visual display of rules and legacy events pertaining to various sports as part of education for the budding sportspersons, a well-equipped library of sports and physical fitness, painting gallery and amphitheater for screening of legacy matches/ contests/games is also planned. This compilation by Civils Tapasya portal, PT's IAS Academy

        10. America hits, collateral damage happens : At least 42 civilians were killed on Monday in a barrage of US-led air strikes on Islamic State (IS) group territory in the Syrian city of Raqqa, a monitor said. Nineteen children and 12 women were among those killed in the raids, which hit several neighbourhoods in the northern city. The death toll marked the second consecutive day of ferocious bombardment on Raqqa, more than half of which has been captured by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces battling the IS, which refuses to surrender. Read more on terror related issues, here.




        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. What is the purpose of imposing an Anti-Dumping duty on foreign import products?
        (Indian Economy, Dynamic)
        (1) Discouraging any economic ties with a specific country and making the import products practically impossible to sell
        (2) Encouraging foreign imports from friendly countries
        (3) To increase the price of low-cost imports as to make the competition fair for local manufacturers
        (4) To decrease the price of high-cost imports as to make the competition fair for local manufacturers

        Q2. 
        Which of the following reasons best describes the reason for introducing the new Rs.200 Note in India by the RBI?
        (Governance and Institutions, Dynamic)
        (1) Certain demonetization of Rs.2000 notes in the future
        (2) Demonetising old Rs.100 notes
        (3) Security breaches in new Rs.500 notes
        (4) Filling the urgent need for low denomination currencies

        Q3. Why did major robotics and technological pioneers like Elon Musk openly oppose development of intelligent weapon bearing machines?
        (Science and Technology, Dynamic)
        (1) A lack of proper infrastrucutre and A.I. systems to manage these machines
        (2) Total privatisation of weaponery machinery
        (3) It will result in armed conflicts greater than human capacity to control, and will be irreversible, leading to existential threats to humanity
        (4) It will result in armed conflicts greater than machines' capacity to control, but will be reversible, anyway leading to existential threats to humanity

        Q4.  Which union ministry has launched a nation-wide training programme for Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) of Panchayats?
        (Governance and Institution, Static)
        (1) Ministry of Home Affairs
        (2) Ministry of Human Resource Development
        (3) Ministry of Women and Child Development
        (4) Ministry of Tribal Affairs


        Q5. The first ever Agricultural Marketing & Farm Friendly Reforms Index was launched by
        (Indian Politics, Static)
        (1) Planning Commission
        (2) Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare
        (3) NITI Aayog
        (4) Ministry of Home Affairs






        Q6.  Which city becomes India's cleanest city as per the results of Swachh Bharat survey 2017?
        (Social Issues, Static)
        (1) Bhopal
        (2) Indore
        (3) Tiruchirapally
        (4) Navi Mumbai

        Q7. The first National Sports Museum of India will be located at
        (Entertainment Games and Sports, Static)
        (1) Pune
        (2) Hyderabad
        (3) New Delhi
        (4) Lucknow


        Q8. The first Municipal Corporation of India was established at
        (History, Static)
        (1) Delhi
        (2) Chennai
        (3) Mumbai
        (4) Kolkata 

        Q9.  Which country will host the first-ever World Ocean Festival?
        (United Nations, Static)
        (1) USA
        (2) UK
        (3) Japan
        (4) The Netherlands

        Q10. In India, the Anti-Child Labour Day is observed on
        (Trivia and Misc., Static)
        (1) April 29
        (2) April 30
        (3) May 1
        (4) May 3






        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(3)  |  Q2.(4)  |  Q3.(3)  |  Q4.(3)  |  Q5.(3)  |  Q6.(2)  |  Q7.(3)  |  Q8.(4)  |  Q9.(1)  |  Q10.(2)
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        1. 
        US in Afghanistan. Again?
        The complex Afghan saga never ends. Now, US President Trump has committed troops into Afghanistan for an open-ended period of time, as opposed to his election promise to wind down the presence. This will set the stage for a strategic takedown of the radical Islamist forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan by the US, which may be bad news for Pakistan's deep state. President Trump described India as a ‘key security and economic partner of the United States’ and said that America would like to ‘develop its strategic partnership with India – the world’s largest democracy’. India is urged to step forward and help to ease the situation in war-torn Afghanistan. Trump also spoke about Pakistan’s policy of harbouring terrorists and asserted that it would not be tolerated anymore. India has in the past contributed over $2 billion in the reconstruction of Afghanistan since 2002. Besides that, an additional commitment of $1 billion was made last year. The Parliament complex of Afghanistan has also been made by India. But China's constant meddling in the affairs, and links with Taliban, have complicated matters. Read more on Russia - China - Pakistan - Afghanistan here and here.

        2. Fuel cells which can turn sweat into power! Scientists have developed stretchable biofuel cells that can generate energy from sweat and power wearable devices like LEDs, Bluetooth radios, etc. These cells are equipped with an enzyme that oxidizes the lactic acid present in human sweat to generate current. The techniques used to develop these cells include lithography and screen-printing to make 3D carbon  nanotube-based cathode and anode rays. These epidermal biofuel cells mark a major breakthrough as they are 10 times more powerful than any existing wearable biofuel cells. The news is bound to make fossil fuel companies sweat, while humans will be fuelling up to sweat more! Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

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        3. Privacy is a fundamental right, rules Supreme Court : The 9-judge constitution bench of Indian Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that right to privacy is indeed part of the fundamental rights guaranteed by our Constitution, and has overturned two earlier decisions of the same court, delivered in 1950s and 60s. This brings into sharp relief major issues pertaining to the government's relentless drive to make Aadhar mandatory for citizens in various services, and complicated issues like LGBT rights. Though nothing explicitly is mentioned regarding Aadhar, days to come will witness many major pronoucements as a followup to this historic judgement. A comprehensive Bodhi on this topic will be released soon on Bodhi Booster |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        4. India-Nepal ink MoU on sensitive issue of drugs trafficking : The Union Cabinet has approved an MoU between India and Nepal on Drug Demand Reduction and Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and precursor chemicals and related matters. The MoU provides that the Parties shall endeavour to –  (i) develop mutual cooperation with a view to effectively resolving the issue of illicit traffic in narcotic drugs, and cooperate in drug demand reduction through prevention, awareness, education and community based programmes. (ii) exchange information of operational, technical and general nature in drug matters and methods of curbing illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs.   Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        5. Indian Railways in a churn : Indian Railways has hit a rough patch lately, with some major train accidents, and derailments. These have derailed the big claims of 'Bullet Trains' and other mega-schemes, as citizens question the basic safety of regular train travel. Now, there is a new Railway Board Chairman. Air India Chairman and MD (CMD) Mr. AshwaniLohani has replaced Mr AK Mital as Chairman of the Railway Board in wake of the recent unfortunate incidents. Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has offered his resignation but it has been put on hold by the PMO hinting at a possible cabinet reshuffle in the offing.  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        6. Sexual exploitation case verdict on Guru brings states to a temporary halt: Haryana and Punjab went on 'High Alert' after prohibitory orders along with Sec.144 of CrPC were imposed in ‘sensitive’ areas as the special CBI Court was about to announce its verdict in a sexual exploitation case on the popular Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in Panchkula (Haryana) on Friday 25th August. All educational institutions have been shut down and 115 companies of paramilitary have been deployed across the states as a precautionary measure to prevent rioting by followers of the Baba. An estimated 2.5 lac ‘followers’ have gathered around the site of the court in Panchkula. A similar number have gathered in Sirsa (Haryana) – Baba’s stronghold. Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) of 1973 empowers a magistrate to prohibit an assembly of more than four people in an area  This compilation by Civils Tapasya portal, PT's IAS Academy

        7. Tamil Nadu politics in a churn, again! Ms. 
        Sasikala’s review petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court on 23rd August 2017, in the Jayalalitha assets case. The petition sought to overturn their conviction. Meanwhile, TTV Dinakaran (Sasikala’s nephew) has rebelled along with 18 MLAs against the AIADMK accusing them of ‘forfeiting’ the confidence of the public. This will further aggravate the already chaotic situation going on in Tamil Nadu. Key Figures in Tamil Nadu Politics - (i) Governor – Ch. Vidyasagar Ra, (ii) Chief Minister – E Palaniswamy (AIADMK), (iii) Deputy Chief Minister – O Panneerselvam (AIADMK), (iv) Leader of Opposition – MK Stalin (DMK). 

        8. 
        The currency notes experimentation continues with Rs.200 note : Brand new currency notes of Rs.200 denomination will hit the street soon. The gazette notice allowing distribution of Rs.200 notes has been issued by the Centre. The twin objectives are (a) addressing the persistent liquidity issue in the markets, and (b) reducing the burden on Rs.100 notes. The process will be coordinated by the RBI and the notes are expected to come into circulation by September end. The RBI is also expected to finally lift the veil on the exact numbers in the demonetisation exercise, in its next Report. Read more on demonetisation here

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        9. 
        Rooftop Solar Project : Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched a grid-connected rooftop solar programme through net-metering system on 23rd August 2017. He said that grid-connected solar systems are the best option for adding renewable solar capacity through people’s participation and these centralised systems also have the ability to strengthen the grid. The rooftop solar project is expected to reduce power losses and benefit the public. India's dramatic commitment to renewable energy has energised the world debate on climate change, but a long distance is yet to be covered. This compilation by Civils Tapasya portal, PT's IAS Academy

        10. National Sports Awards 2017 : These were announced by Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs on 22nd August 2017. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (highest) for the spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four years, were conferred to - (a) Devendra Jhajharia (Para Athletics - Javelin), (b) Sardar Singh (Hockey). Inputs on awards : The Arjuna Award is given for consistency and outstanding performance for four years, while the Dronacharya Award is for coaches for producing medal winners at prestigious International sports events. The Dhyan Chand Award is for life time contribution to sports development.




        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. How much aid has India recently promised to grant to Afghanistan?
        (Regional Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) $10 billion
        (2) $10 million
        (3) $1 billion
        (4) $1 million

        Q2. 
        Who is the current Chief Minister of Manipur?
        (People and Personalities, Dynamic)
        (1) Okram Ibobi Singh
        (2) N. Biren Singh
        (3) T.R. Zeliang
        (4) Manik Sarkar

        Q3. On which of the following have India and Nepal recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)?
        (Regional Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) Rights for Seabed Mining
        (2) Border dispute resolution
        (3) Import of electricity from Nepal
        (4) Curbing Drug Trafficking

        Q4.
        Who is the Railway Minister of India? (August 24, 2017)
        (People and Personalities, Dynamic)
        (1) Prakash Prabhu
        (2) DV Sadananda Prabhu
        (3) Suresh Gadkari
        (4) Suresh Prabhu


        Q5. Who is the Chief of Dera Sacha Sauda? What is the controversy about?
        (People and Personalities, Dynamic)
        (1) Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh; CBI Court's verdict
        (2) Gurmeet Rajinder Ram Singh; CBI Court's grant of bail
        (3) Gurdeep Ram Rahim Singh; CBI Court's non-registering a cognizable offence
        (4) Baba Messenger of God Ram Singh; There is no controversy






        Q6.  ..... is the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and ..... is the Deputy CM. (August 24)
        (People and Personalities, Dynamic)
        (1) O Panneerselvam; E Palaniswamy
        (2) O Panneerselvam; TTV Dinakaran
        (3) E Palaniswamy; TTV Dinakaran
        (4) E Palaniswamy; O Pannerselvam

        Q7. Which of the following is true about a biofuel cell?
        (Science and Technology)
        (1) It converts physical energy into electricity
        (2) No chemical reaction takes place, it is a purely biological concept
        (3) It uses living organisms to produce electricity
        (4) All of the above


        Q8. Which of the following is likely to encourage the spread of black economy?
        (Indian Economy, Dynamic)
        (1) Notes of higher denomination as "more bang per buck"
        (2) Notes of lower denomination as exchange is very easy
        (3) Notes of medium denomination turned into higher denomination
        (4) The denomination of notes in circulation does not affect the black economy 

        Q9. Which of the following is not a renewable source of energy?
        (Energy, Static)
        (1) Tidal Power
        (2) Hydroelectricity
        (3) Biofuel
        (4) None of these

        Q10. Which of the following women of the Indian Cricket Team have been honoured with the Arjuna Award this year?
        (Entertainment Games and Sports, Dynamic)
        (1) Mithali Raj
        (2) Poonam Raut
        (3) Harmanpreet Kaur
        (4) Smriti Mandhana






        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(3)  |  Q2.(2)  |  Q3.(4)  |  Q4.(4)  |  Q5.(1)  |  Q6.(4)  |  Q7.(3)  |  Q8.(1)  |  Q9.(4)  |  Q10.(3)
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        1. 
        A grave situation in North India as Dera Chief convicted :
        Extremely tense situation prevailed in Punjab and Haryana as violence broke out immediately after Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim was convicted by a CBI court in a rape case. The Panchkula district court witnessed huge police deployment, and violence all across, with many deaths reported. Thousands (maybe even lacs) of Dera followers are camping all over, including Panchkula. More than 100 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed, and even Army columns have been made available for contingencies. A complete ban has been issued on carrying of firearms, internet mobile services in the area, with orders to shut down private gun houses selling arms and ammunition to license holders. Huge disruption to business happened as internet was completely shut down.

        2. The Rs.200 notes bring in a new hope : The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will start pumping the fresh new, brightly coloured Rs.200 notes into the system in a bid to ease cash transactions and make the currency system more efficient. There was a gap between Rs.100 and Rs.500 as felt in daily transactions by citizens, making circulation difficult. A logical need was felt to introduce the missing denomination. ATMs may need to be re-calibrated to accommodate the new note, though thankfully no major disruption is expected like December 2016! The base colour of the Rs.200 note will be bright yellow, a welcome change from bland, staid government-type colours! Read more on currencies here |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

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        3. Supreme Court does it again - keeps the flame burning bright :  Most Legal luminaries and experts hailed the Supreme Court for treating the 'Right to Privacy' as a fundamental right for common citizens. This would have a far-reaching impact on almost all aspects of life. There is no scope for debae too, as all nine judges were on same page with regard to right to privacy as integral fundamental right. However not everyone believed that the judgement was significant. Former Supreme Court Judge K T Thomas said the judgement had merely made an interpretation. Exact laws and implications are to be seen in the coming days and months. A comprehensive Bodhi on this topic will be released soon on Bodhi Booster  |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        4. Fresh Aadhar for Infosys as founders make a comeback : Nandan Nilekani, who conceptualised and executed the idea of a unique identification number for every Indian (through the UIDAI), stated the need for good corporate governance in his first conference call after his comeback to Infosys. The task is to get the right person for the job (One only wonders how they failed to do so with the team they are now replacing!). Nilekani’s return, one of the most dramatic comebacks in recent corporate history, marks the second instance of a retired co-founder being handed the reins to steer the marquee corporation out of trouble. The Tata saga and now the Infosys one, brings into focus the failures at top corporates to chart a proper succession plan. Read more on Tata saga here, and on Infosys hereCompilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        5. The Privacy Whammy could hit companies hard : The Supreme Court verdict holding privacy to be a fundamental right could impact how internet companies collect and use personal data. Big companies use data as oil, running their giant data machines to throw relevant commercial advts etc., using consumer data, and make tonnes of money. The nine-judge SC bench has referred to big data analytics by companies such as Uber, Airbnb and Facebook, but left it to a recently formed committee under former Supreme Court judge BN Srikrishna to lay down a data protection framework. It cited an unprecedented need for regulation regarding the extent to which such information can be stored, processed and used by private individuals as well as protection of such information from the state. Read more on such topics here |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        6. No need for Engineering NEET : The Human Resource Development Ministry has decided to junk plans to introduce a common engineering entrance exam from next year. The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), the country’s technical education regulator, had announced in March that a national-level common entrance examination for engineering colleges would be conducted from the next academic year in 2018. This compilation by Civils Tapasya portal, PT's IAS Academy

        7. The 
        Aadhar will live on : There is sufficient leeway for the government to pursue digitalisation programmes, many of which are centred around Aadhaar, with the Supreme Court setting out legitimate state aims that can allow linkage of UID with social welfare schemes. This would mean initiatives like linking Aadhaar to tax returns can be justified on the grounds that this will help check fraud through use of multiple PAN cards commonly used to duck tax. The court itself has asked for Aadhaar linkage to mobile telephone connections and its use for verification of identities does not seem likely to be affected. A full Bodhi on this topic is available on Bodhi Booster knowledge portal.

        8. Chinese rants continue, this time bordering on the not-so-serious :
         Flustered with the unfavourable Dokalam fallout, China  issued the latest safety advisory to its citizens living in India. This is the second such notice amid the border row dispute between the two countries. The advisory has asked them to be alert and its validity is till December 31. It said all Chinese in India must carry personal identification and be cautious and strictly comply with Indian laws and regulations and respect local religious practices and customs. Read more on China here

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        9. UIDAI's father on Data Protection Law : 
        Former UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani - a digital visionary - has said that India needed a data protection law as soon as possible as it is a fundamental thing. Crores of users should be in a position to demand from the domestic or foreign companies to share their data when needed. The need for the law was felt after online messaging service WhatsApp changed its policy of non-sharing of data for its users after acquisition by Facebook in 2016 to permit sharing of the attributes of its users for advertisement targeting. This compilation by Civils Tapasya portal, PT's IAS Academy

        10. Demonetisation final data expected, finally! The Reserve Bank of India's annual report likely to be released soon would throw light on the amount of counterfeit currency notes that have found their way into the banking system. While past data indicates small amounts, the flood of currency due to demonetisation may make it into hundreds of crores of rupees though few hazard a guess on it.  A recent study by Indian Statistical Institute pegged value of fake notes at Rs 400 crore. If amount of counterfeit is huge then the government, banks and RBI may have to decide on how to share liability. Read all about DeMo here




        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. Which of the following statements is true regarding the historic decision that states the Right to Privacy is a fundamental right?
        (Constitution and Law, Dynamic)
        (1) This does not spell trouble for most social media companies that collect personal data like Facebook, Uber etc.
        (2) Various government schemes like Aadhar, which collects personal data will be stopped immediately.
        (3) Data protection laws are needed to complement this decision
        (4) The government's rejection of this decision will spell doom for the Judiciary-Executive relationship

        Q2. Which of the following developments is true regarding a single national engineering entrance test proposed by the AICTE?
        (Education, Dynamic)
        (1) A single engineering entrance examination will be conducted from the year 2019
        (2) The HRD department has decided not to create a single examination for entrance to all engineering colleges
        (3) A 'NEET' structure base examination will be conducted for engineering aspirants
        (4) Yearly review of the NEET examination (for medical entrance) and the new single national engineering entrance test will be done

        Q3. Which of the following statements is true regarding the recent developments in Infosys?
        (Corporates, Dynamic)
        (1) Nandan Nilekani will be appointed as the permanent CEO of Infosys
        (2) Infosys' stocks crashed on the day Vishal Sikka resigned as CEO
        (3) Founder N Murthy has ideological differences with the new interim CEO Nilekani
        (4) The reputation of Infosys is tarnished beyond repair now

        Q4. Which of the following is true regarding how the RBI manages counterfeit currency notes that are in the banking system?
        (Governance and Institutions, Dynamic)
        (1) It states the currency void
        (2) No counterfeit currency notes have yet entered the banking system
        (3) After demonetization, RBI has decided to scrap its previous policies regarding counterfeit currency management
        (4) The RBI bears the cost, often minuscule, and sometimes decides to share liability with banks and the government


        Q5. Which major government scheme / decision was initiated by Nandan Nilekani?
        (People and Personalities, Static)
        (1) OROP and UIDAI
        (2) Demonetization and UIDAI
        (3) AADHAR database
        (4) Implementation of GST






        Q6. Which of the following power utility is the first to introduce a QR code based bill payments system in India?
        (Science and Technology, Static)
        (1) Tata Power
        (2) Adani Power
        (3) Reliance Power
        (4) Jindal India Thermal Power 

        Q7. Which state government has launched “Indira Canteen” for urban poor?
        (Social Issues, Static)
        (1) Karnataka
        (2) Himachal Pradesh
        (3) Puducherry
        (4) Punjab


        Q8. The World Photography Day (WPD) is observed on
        (Trivia and Misc., Static)
        (1) 15th July
        (2) 2nd November
        (3) 19th August
        (4) 4th January

        Q9. The governance crisis at Infosys indicates
        (People and Personalities, Static)
        (1) the difficulty in putting into practice what one preaches
        (2) the difficulty of handing over the baton to the next generation
        (3) the ease with which huge plans can come apart
        (4) All of the above
        Q10. Which of the following statements is correct?
        (Regional Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) Bhutan has allowed China to construct OBOR in its territory
        (2) Bhutan has almost no relations with China
        (3) Bhutan and China do not have any territorial disputes
        (4) None of these





        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(3)  |  Q2.(2)  |  Q3.(2)  |  Q4.(4)  |  Q5.(3)  |  Q6.(1)  |  Q7.(1)  |  Q8.(3)  |  Q9.(4)  |  Q10.(2)
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        1. 
        Kidney disorder sensors developed by IIT researchers :
        (Science and Technology)
        IIT researchers from Indore and Mumbai (Powai) have developed biosensors to detect kidney disorder in less than 8 minutes. The biosensor can accurately determine both urea concentration and pH with a single drop of urine. Most kidney disorders are characterised by reduced pH, high concentration of urea. Currently patients need to undergo 2 tests for accurate detection. This development will help to make rapid and accurate point-of-care diagnostic tests for kidney disorders, leading to quicker and correct treatments.

        2. DRDO to bring MRSAM from Israel's IAI :
        (Defence and Military)
        DRDO has signed a mega Rs.17,000 crore deal with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for producing advanced MRSAM (Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile) system for the Indian Army by 2020. It includes 40 firing units and 200 missiles. Why? The Indian Army has been consistently pushing its case for developing a superior aerial attack capability given the evolving security challenges it faces (Pak-China). The Army deployed the BrahMos in 2007, and the indigenously developed supersonic Akash surface-to-air missile in 2015. Successful completion of this deal with Israel will mark a paradigm shift in the army's strike capability. A recent CAG report had indicted the DRDO on poor missile firing rates during testing. Read more on defence forces here |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

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        3. Artificial Intelligence for India's transformation :
        (Government Schemes, Science and Technology)
        The Commerce and Industry Ministry has constituted a task force on Artificial Intelligence for India's economic transformation. It will be an 18 member panel comprising experts, academics, researchers and industry leaders headed by Dr V Kamakoti of IIT Madras. Objective: To explore the possibilities of leveraging AI for development across various fields. Significance - This task force is constituted given the rapid development in the fields of IT and hardware so that potential avenues are explored. Indian IT industry is facing the prospects of rapid extinguishing of low-end and repetitive jobs to automation and AI in near future. |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        4. GM Crops debate reaches the next level :
        (Agriculture)

        The 
        Parliamentary Standing Committee's report on "GM crop and its impact on environment" (download here) has recommended that genetically modified crops should not be introduced unless the biosafety and socio-economic desirability is evaluated in a transparent process. It has also recommended placing an accountable regime in this regard and suggested that the MoEFCC (Ministry of Forests and Climate Change) should examine the impact of the crops on the environment thoroughly, in consultation with all stakeholders so that all its probable effects are very clear. Pulling up the GM crop regulator GEAC (Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee) over its approval for commercialisation of GM Mustard despite the matter pending before the Supreme Court, it said that since GM Mustard is a herbicide-tolerant organism, there are evidences of adverse impacts of such genetically modified organisms elsewhere in the world. Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        5. UP government reaches out through its helpline plan :
        (Indian Politics)
        UP Government has proposed to operationalise a 1,000 seater grievance cell in Lucknow called the Chief Minister's Helpline which will be capable of handling around 80,000 calls per day from distressed citizens across the state. Complainants will receive a commitment through text message on their mobile phone, specifying the “minimum time” required to resolve the problem. A key feature of the system will also be capturing suggestions and feedback from citizens. A objective of this programme is “not only to run a call centre but also to collect information for the government so that it can achieve better quality of service for the residents”. If executed well, then to be able to connect to the Chief Minister's Office and get an assured timeline for their grievance redressal will go a long way in promoting citizens' welfare if it can be executed in letter and in spirit. |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        6. The neocolonialism of China with a blank chequebook :
        (World Economy)
        China has been assiduously trying to buy its way to power wherever the opportunity presents itself. The latest instance is its love affair with Greece, where after years of economic struggle, Greece has finally decided to embrace China. The Chinese financial muscle seems to be paying off, and gaining it an edge in that region. Last year, Greece helped stop the EU from issuing a unified statement against Chinese aggression in the South China Sea. IT has also prevented the bloc (EU) from condemning China's human rights record - Liu Xiaobo being a test case! This puts onus on India, as a responsible nation, to take cognizance and put all diplomacy to practice, raising such issues on international fora to prevent colonisation of vulnerable nations. This compilation by Civils Tapasya portal, PT's IAS Academy

        7.
        Banking Regulation (Amendment) Act, 2017 :
        (Constitution and Law : New laws and amendments)

        The Union Government has notified the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Act, 2017 which amends the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 by provisioning for cases related to handling of stressed assets or NPAs of banks. This act empowers the Central Govt. to authorise the RBI to to direct banking companies to resolve specific stressed assets by initiating insolvency resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. The RBI can specify authorities or committees to advise banks on resolution of stressed assets. This is one step towards solving the NPA problem in our financial sector wherein there are NPAs of over 8 lac crore out of which over 6 lac crore belong to Public Sector Banks. Read more on NPAs here.

        8.
        Nature's own pollution monitor :
        (Environment Ecology and Climate Change)

        Japanese scientists have discovered a cheap pollution indicator in the form of mosses that grow on trees and rocks. Mosses are known to change shape, density, population, depending upon atmospheric conditions, allowing scientists to monitor atmospheric alterations. Scientists will be able to use mosses as cheap bioindicators and accurately study atmospheric changes in the environment. Significance : Mosses can easily be found to grow in a variety of climates so this method can be used in many countries Mosses are cheaper than any other methods of environmental evaluation. About Mosses : They are flowerless plants which do not have seeds. After fertilisation they develop sporophytes with unbranched stalks topped with single capsules containing spores.

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        9.
        Project Brainwave from Microsoft :
        (Corporates)

        Microsoft has announced Project Brainwave, a deep learning acceleration platform for real-time artificial intelligence (AI). It will use the massive field-programmable gate array (FPGA) infrastructure that Microsoft has been working on over the past few years. With the help of ultra-low latency, the system will process requests as fast as it receives them. The system architecture reduces latency, since the CPU does not need to process incoming requests, and allows very high throughput, with the FPGA processing requests as fast as the network can stream them. The system has been designed to yield high actual performance across a wide range of complex models Significance : The importance of Real-time AI in the future cannot be overstated. It is becoming increasingly relevant with the advent of Internet of Things (IoT) and big data processing. This compilation by Civils Tapasya portal, PT's IAS Academy

        10. “Small Temporary Exhibitions” at the National Museum :
        (Society and Culture)

        The National Museum took a new initiative in the form of “Small Temporary Exhibitions” from its reserve collection. The exhibitions will be based on several themes, so that it will attract large number of visitors to view new artefacts every fortnight. Through such a programme, the National Museum is trying to draw the visitors' attention and allowing them to experience collections on many significant art pieces of reserve storage, which generally remain out of focus. The exhibitions themes are : (1) ‘Kushan’s Stuccos Figures from Taxila’, (2) Exploring Seals: Silver, copper, stone seals with bilingual and trilingual inscriptions from the Epigraphy, (3) Ornamental Arms and Armour - September, 2017, (4) Shoes and sandals from Central Asia, (5) Folk objects of Bengal : With special reference to the wooden dolls and sholapitha objects, (6) Man : the creator, the development of tool making by Early man. It will deal with early man and the tools they have used during different time span of evolution, (7) Calligraphy in the Holy Quran, (8) Spouted Vessels in Pre-Columbian Art.




        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. Which of the following is an estimated figure at which NPAs stand in India? Who is monitoring it?
        (Banking-credit-finance, Dynamic)
        (1) Rs 8 lac cr, the RBI and FinMin
        (2) Rs 12 lac cr, the RBI and FinMin, and the BBB
        (3) Rs 18 lac cr, the RBI and FinMin
        (4) Rs 22 lac cr, the RBI and PMO

        Q2. India and Israel have recently signed a defence deal concerning MRSAMs worth .....
        (Defence and Military, Dynamic)
        (1) Rs 7,000 cr
        (2) Rs 11,000 cr
        (3) Rs 17,000 cr
        (4) Rs 27,000 cr

        Q3. Which of the following is true regarding pH?
        (Science and Technology, Static)
        (1) High pH indicates a basic solution
        (2) A solution with pH = 7 is neither acidic nor basic
        (3) Some solutions may have pH values beyond 0 and 14
        (4) All of the above

        Q4. 
        Which of the following cannot be found on the logo of MoEFCC? What is MoEFCC?
        (Environment Ecology and Climate Change, Static)
        (1) Dolphin, Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change
        (2) Tiger, Ministry of Environment Forestry and Climate Consultation
        (3) Dove, Ministry of Environment Forestry and Continuous Change
        (4) Gharial, Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change


        Q5. Which of the following is not a classical dance of India?
        (Art Culture Literature, Static)
        (1) Sattriya
        (2) Mohiniyattam
        (3) Manipuri
        (4) Bhangra






        Q6. Which of these countries is allowing China significant political leeway in the EU? Why?
        (World Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) Greece, due to its own financial exigencies
        (2) United Kingdom, due to Brexit related problems
        (3) France, due to severe political turmoil
        (4) Greece, due to its anti-European-Union stance

        Q7. Which of the following was recently in the news for warning about the potential dangers of Artificial Intelligence and the need for a legislation regarding the same? Why?
        (People and Personalities, Dynamic)
        (1) Elon Musk, his fear of "terminator" type machines
        (2) Bill Gates, his fear of "Skynet" type machines
        (3) Mark Zuckerberg, his fear of "Tesla" type machines
        (4) Jeff Bezos, his fear of "Flipkart" like competitors


        Q8. Which of the following is a recent project launched by Microsoft in the context of AI?
        (Corporates, Dynamic)
        (1) Brainwave
        (2) Blue Brain Project
        (3) NuPIC
        (4) Melomics

        Q9. Which of the following helplines have been recently started by the UP Govt.?
        (Government schemes, Dynamic)
        (1) Women’s helpline
        (2) Children’s Helpline
        (3) Chief Minister’s Helpline
        (4) Emergency Helpline
        Q10. Who is the head of the Task Force on AI, recently set up by the Commerce and Industry Ministry?
        (Government schemes, Dynamic)
        (1) Mr Anuj Kapuria
        (2) Dr V Kamakoti
        (3) Dr Anurag Agarwal
        (4) Dr Ashish Dutta





        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(1)  |  Q2.(3)  |  Q3.(4)  |  Q4.(4)  |  Q5.(4)  |  Q6.(1)  |  Q7.(1)  |  Q8.(1)  |  Q9.(3)  |  Q10.(2)
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        1. The 45th Chief Justice of India CJI Dipak Misra takes charge

        (Constitution and Law)
        Justice Dipak Misra took oath as the 45th Chief Justice of India, succeeding Chief Justice J S Khehar. Justice Misra was administered the oath of office by President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Justice Misra is the seniormost judge in the top court, and will have a tenure of 14 months, and will quit office in October 2018. Originally from the Odisha High Court, in his long career he has delivered various strong verdicts. He headed the bench that dismissed Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon’s plea seeking a stay on his execution, as well as upholding the death sentence given to Nirbhaya’s killers. Deep Dive? (1) View the list of all CJIs of India here, (2) Read more on Judiciary here, (3) Read more on Justice Mishra in personality of the day here  |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        2. GST returns filing process
        (Taxation and revenues)
        Over 36 lakh businesses have so far filed their first tax returns under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, as per revenue officials. GST was implemented on July 01, 2017, and tax collected in the maiden (first) filings under took a lot of time to compile as the last date for filings under different rules is not yet over. The deadline for filing first monthly return and payment of taxes under GST bended on August 25. However, businesses that availed transitional credit were allowed to file returns till August 28 after paying taxes on self-assessment basis by August 25. However, on 29th August, the Finance Minister announced all the figures. Read more on GST here |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

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        3. GST first month numbers are out, and the news is good :)
        (Taxation and revenues)
        As per Finance Minister Jaitley, India’s first GST collection was Rs.92,283 crore in July, 2017, exceeding the target of Rs.91,000 crore. Of this, Rs.14,894 crore was Central GST, Rs.22,722 crore was State GST and Rs.47,469 crore was Integrated GST, levied on inter-state movement of goods and imports. Of the IGST collection, Rs.20,964 crore is on account of imports, and Rs.7,198 crore came in from cess imposed on demerit goods. A total of 38.3 lakh out of 59.57 lakh registered taxpayers have so far filed GST returns. 72.33 lakh taxpayers have migrated to the new system. Of these 58.53 lakh have completed all the formalities. The Centre’s target for July was about Rs.48,000 crore and the overall target for States, assuming a 14% annual growth from their 2015-16 revenues, was about Rs.43,000 crore, making a Total Target of Rs.91,000 crore, which stands surpassed! Congrats to the Govt of India. Read more on GST here |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        4. North Korea fires missile over Japan in a grave provocation
        (Defence and Military)
        After what seemed to be a subdued backing off, the Kim regime of North Korea, without warning, fired a missile that flew over Japan's Mainland and landed in waters off the northern region of Hokkaido. This marks a sharp escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula. North Korea has conducted dozens of ballistic missile tests under Kim Jong-Un, but firing projectiles over mainland Japan is rare. The Japanese military did not attempt to shoot down the missile. The threat to "missile" Guam (US) was met with Trump's stern warning, and both sides had backed off. This provocation is almost immediately after it, indicating that Kim wants to maintain a certain tempo, post UN sanctions. Read more on North Korea issue here and hereCompilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        5. Secure email service for government officials, finally!

        (Governance and Institutions)
        Digital security and access of foreign parties to confidential government data has finally, positively, catalysed the government to act. As part of the mandate under the Digital India program, now the government will provide a secure eMail service to all its officials for secure communication. Initially, the service will be offered to 5 million users. The primary reason behind implementing this was the threat faced by storing sensitive government data into foreign servers whose ownership is of course, foreign. India does not any world-class social media, emailing or internet web asset of its own. Data residency and data privacy laws are yet to be enacted. Read more on this issue here. |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        6. A New Industrial Policy to turbocharge 'Make in India'

        (Government Schemes)
        The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry initiated the process of formulation of a New Industrial Policy (NIP) in May 2017. Since the last 'New Industrial Policy - NIP' was announced in 1991 by the Narasimha Rao government,  India has transformed into one of the fastest growing economies in thworld. It is proposed that the new Industrial Policy will aim at making India a manufacturing hub by promoting ‘Make in India’. The flagship manufacturing programme is struggling due to multiple challenges including global political upheavals, Chinese exports prowess, poor ease of doing business, slowdown in global demand etc. This compilation by Civils Tapasya portal, PT's IAS Academy

        7. 
        Sports Talent Search Portal by MYAS 
        (Entertainment Games and Sports)
        The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has launched a Sports Talent Search Portal to spot the best talent from among the young population of the country. The portal was launched by the Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu at a function at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi. He expressed hope that the platform of National Sports Talent Search Portal will be a game changer and enable the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and Sports Authority of India select the best. India has struggled to win medals at the Olympics and other global competitions, in proportion to its population size.

        8. 
        Keeping E-Commerce in check
        (Internet commerce)
        The government has clarified in the FDI consolidated policy circular that an e-commerce entity will not permit more than 25% of the sales value on financial year basis affected through its marketplace from one vendor or their group companies. This is meant to push e-commerce firms to sell goods from many vendors, and spread the opportunities around. There have been debates on this issue earlier also, as in some cases, the main company itself formed another front to act as a key seller.

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        9. 
        The Doklam truce - a victory for India. Maybe only temporary
        (Regional conflicts)
        It seems that China may suspend the construction of the road to give it an access to higher altitudes on the Dokalam plateau, while India has initiated the pullback of troops, to end the three-month old standoff in the Doklam plateau. This happened at the start of the week from 28 August, 2017, ending the standoff which started June 16, 2017. The end of the standoff has also sent positive vibes in sections of the business community, with a growing engagement with India. However, Chinese mobile handset makers saw a sharp drop in business this season. Also, the upcoming BRICS summit will see Modi and Xi shake hands immediately after the Dokalam standoff which saw China warning India of a war all along the LAC. This compilation by Civils Tapasya portal, PT's IAS Academy

        10. 
        Right to Privacy verdict and the Aadhar tangle

        (Constitution and Law)
        The Supreme Court has said it will first go through the crucial judgement on privacy before taking a call on Congress leader Jairam Ramesh's challenge to the Lok Sabha Speaker's decision to certify a bill to amend the Aadhaar law as a money bill. Ramesh had earlier claimed in the top court that the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016 was certified as a money bill to avoid its scrutiny by the Rajya Sabha which does not have any say on such legislations. If the 5-judge bench overrules the mandatory nature of Aadhar in govt. schemes, it will be a big setback to the government as the idea has been made omni-present now.




        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. Which of the following is true regarding the recent North Korean missile launch over the Japanese mainland?
        (World Politics, Dynamic)
        (1) Such instances are not uncommon under Kim Jong's regime
        (2) Japanese military shot down the missile as it was about to hit a sensitive target
        (3) No harm has been done to the Japanese, and hence, the matter is dead
        (4) American has warned North Korea it will retaliate and make them pay a price

        Q2. Which of the following statements is true regarding FDI policy regarding e-commerce vendors?
        (Internet Commerce, Dynamic)
        (1) Not more than 50% of the revenues should be generated from one vendor
        (2) Only major vendors will be allowed to sell their products according to this policy
        (3) Not more than 25% of overall revenue should be generated from one vendor
        (4) All of the above

        Q3. The recent plan to provide secure email service for government officials addresses which of the following issues?
        (Governance and Institutions, Dynamic)
        (1) Recent glitches found in third party services
        (2) Make in India initiative and cost saving measure
        (3) Eliminating threat of data leaks from foreign servers
        (4) Promoting start-up culture in India

        Q4. Which country emerged as one of the top ODA (Official Development Assistance) donors (2016) to Nepal?
        (World Politics, Dynamic)

        Q5. Which country hosted the first-ever World Ocean Festival in June 2017?
        (Environment Ecology and Climate Change, Dynamic)
        (1) USA
        (2) UK
        (3) Japan
        (4) Netherlands





        Q6. India’s first legislative assembly (Vidhan Sabha) to have become paperless is from
        (Governance and Institutions, Dynamic)
        (1) Karnataka
        (2) Himachal Pradesh
        (3) Madhya Pradesh
        (4) Tripura 

        Q7. Which one of the following is NOT an objective embodied in the Preamble to the Constitution of India?
        (Constitution and Law, Static)
        (1) Liberty of faith
        (2) Economic justice
        (3) To promote fraternity among all citizens
        (4) Ensure privacy protection


        Q8. When is the International Human Solidarity Day celebrated?
        (United Nations, Static)
        (1) October 02
        (2) March 25
        (3) December 20
        (4) May 05

        Q9. Which of these is true regarding the GST collections for July 2017?
        (Taxation and revenues, Dynamic)
        (1) The targetted indirect tax revenue figures stand exceeded
        (2) The collections have steeply plummeted
        (3) The collections have exceeded the target by a huge margin, and that is a big surprise
        (4) None of the above

        Q10. 
        The Central Statistical Organisation, which is responsible for the preparation of national accounts, is an organisation under
        (Governance and Institutions, Static)
        (1) Reserve Bank of India
        (2) Ministry of Finance
        (3) Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation
        (4) Ministry of Information and Broadcasting





        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(1)  |  Q2.(3)  |  Q3.(3)  |  Q4.(3)  |  Q5.(1)  |  Q6.(4)  |  Q7.(4)  |  Q8.(3)  |  Q9.(1)  |  Q10.(3)
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        1. Rural Games to take place in Delhi

        (Entertainment Games and Sports)
        The first edition of Rural Games or Grameen Khel Mahotsav began in New Delhi. Dates for the tournament: 28th August to 3rd September 2017. The objectives are : Popularising the indigenous games like wrestling and athletics, and also have fun games like Matka Race, Tug of War for senior citizens to add the fun element in the games and boost viewership and participation. This festival will help participation of rural youth in large numbers in popular sports and encourage them to achieve excellence and adopt healthy life style. These games are intended to act as a catalyst to promote sports in rural areas across the country and deepen the sports culture among the rural youth. Such initiatives along with others such as celebrating the culture of Yoga are aimed at harnessing the maximum out of the human capital available in our country and reduce the burden on health infrastructure as well since a fit body allows an individual to become more productive and remain disease free.  |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        2. Simultaneous LS polls from 2024 - the debate gets stronger
        (Indian Politics - Elections)
        The NITI Aayog in a recent report favoured the idea of conducting synchronised two-phase Lok Sabha and assembly elections from 2024 in “national interest”. It said that all elections in India should happen in a free, fair and synchronised manner to ensure minimum “campaign mode” disruption to governance. The benefits will be substantial, including : (a) No Unnecessary expenditures : Elections are held all the time and continuous polls lead to a lot of expenditure. More than Rs1,100 crore was spent on the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and the expenditure had shot up to Rs 4,000 crore in 2014. Such a move will save a lot of public money which could be put to better use, (b) Freeing up Human Capital: Also, over a crore government employees, including a large number of teachers, security personnel, etc. are involved in the electoral process. Thus, the continuous exercise causes maximum harm to the education sector. Human capital made available could be put to better uses in the interest of the economy, (c) It will allow political parties to focus more on policy and governance rather than always being in campaign mode. Read more on Elections here |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

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        3. Bioethanol from Cotton stalks
        (Science and Technology)
        Scientists from CSIR’s National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (CSIR-NIIST), Thiruvananthapuram have developed new technique to produce bioethanol from discarded cotton-stalks. CSIR is the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. The technique uses combination of chemical and biological techniques.The new technique will help to produce bioethanol, a clean fuel from cotton stalk wastes. Converting the agro-residues such as cotton stalks and wheat and rice husks to ethanol reduces the food vs fuel competition. India has about 9.4 million hectares under cotton cultivation and every hectare generates 2 million tonnes of cotton stalk wastes. The technique : In the new technique, cotton stalks first are treated with acid, alkali and different enzymes to breakdown its complex organic polymers. The acid treatment remove hemicellulose, a polymer of cell wall and alkali makes easier to extract lignin, a binding matrix in cell wall, made of complex phenolics. These treatments exposes cellulose of cotton stalks made of glucose to the action of enzymes. It converts glucose into final product bioethanol by the process of fermentation using a novel yeast strain. The novel yeast strain used was Saccharomycescerevisiae-RRP-03N, obtained from a rotting wild fruit we found in the Silent Valley National Park, Kerala. Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        4. Apache Helicopters for IAF to be made locally by Boeing
        (Defence and Military)
        The Boeing Co. of America will start manufacturing and handing over made in India Apache AH-64E multi-role attack helicopter fuselages from next year. India bought 22 Apaches and 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters worth $3 billion for the Indian Air Force (IAF) under a government-to-government deal with the US in 2015. This month it ordered six additional Apache AH-64E helicopters valued at Rs.4,168 crore for the Indian Army.Boeing will make the helicopter fuselage at Tata Advanced Systems’ Hyderabad facility which will be ready by end of the year and the fuselage will then be taken to the US for fitting before being sent to customers. While the first Apaches for Indian Air Force will be delivered in 2019 and are being built in the US and other places, the Indian Army Apache will be made locally. Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        5. Import of Gold, Silver banned from South Korea!

        (Markets)
        The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in the Union Commerce Ministry has finally banned duty free imports of gold, silver items from South Korea. Importers will now have to obtain a license from the DGFT for importing gold and silver from South Korea. Why? There was a sudden surge in imports of precious metals from South Korea, with which India has a free trade agreement (FTA) since January 2010. Why was there a sudden surge? Under the India-South Korea FTA, India has allowed duty free import of gold and silver items. However, 12.5% countervailing duty was imposed to offset equal level of excise duty on gold and silver jewellery items produced domestically. After GST regime was implemented from 1 July 2017, countervailing duty was abolished as it subsumed excise duty and only 3% GST was imposed on gold. This created a situation where importing gold via South Korea became profitable due to its duty free status with India even as government continued to impose 10% basic customs duty on gold imports from other countries. Between 1 July and 3 August 2017, gold imports from South Korea surged to $339 million against import of only $70.5 million in 2016-17.  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        6. 
        North Korea targets Japan, via Guam
        (World Politics)
        While everyone was relaxed over the easing of the "Guam tensions", suddenly without any warning, North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan in a major escalation that triggered global alarm and a furious response from the government in Tokyo. US analysts have said that it might have been an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM). An emergency meeting of the UN Security Council was called at the request of Japan and the USA. This comes after the US President, Donald Trump had warned North Korea of facing "fire and fury" if it did not accede to the demands of de-nuclearisation. Shinzo Abe called the event "an unprecedented, serious and grave threat". All it takes to start the end of the world is an irresponsible leader in control of a nuclear device. North Korea offers exactly that. Donald Trump has only made matters worse. This event must be serve as a wakeup call to leaders of all nations to address the issue before it gets too late. This compilation by Civils Tapasya portal, PT's IAS Academy

        7. 
        West Bengal's Gobindobhog Rice gets geographical indication status 
        (Agriculture)
        Gobindobhog rice, a speciality from Burdwan district of West Bengal, has got the geographical indication (GI) status. About Gobindobhog rice: Gobindobhog is a rice cultivar from West Bengal. It is a short grain, white, aromatic, sticky rice having a sweet buttery flavor. (a) It derives its name from its usage as the principal ingredient in the preparation of the offerings to Govindajiu, the family deity of the Setts of Kolkata, (b) The rice has several advantages. It is cultivated late and therefore not much affected by rains. It is less prone to pests as well. The productivity per area is high and farmers get better prices for Gobindobhog rice, (c) About GI tag: GI is covered under the Intellectual Property Rights and the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), (d) A GI tag certifies the origin of a product or produce from a particular region as the quality or other features of the product is attributable only to the place of its origin, (e) The tag helps farmers or manufacturers, as the case may be, to get a better price in the market. Read more on Agriculture related issues here and here

        8. 
        ICEX launches first diamond futures contract
        (Markets)
        The Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX) as launched world’s first diamond futures contracts to provide exporters with a hedging tool. India is a global diamond polishing hub where 14 out of every 15 rough diamonds in the world are polished. The futures contracts will enable companies involving in cut and polished gems business to better hedge price risks. ICEX has received approval from market regulator Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regarding the same. Key Facts : The ICEX has started trading in 1 carat/100 cent contracts and eventually in future will add 50 cent and 30 cent contracts. It has put in place necessary infrastructure to handle deposits, grading and sealing, vaulting and delivery of diamonds for the diamond futures contracts.To avail futures contracts sellers will need to get the diamond certified by De Beers-promoted International Institute of Diamond Grading and Research. The certification will allow getting credit in electronic form equivalent to the carat deposited. The Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX) is deemed recognized Stock exchange providing a nation-wide on-line trading platform in commodity derivative. It is a public-private partnership with Reliance Capital, MMTC Ltd, Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd, Indian Potash Ltd, KRIBHCO and IDFC Bank as major shareholders. It was established under the SCRA, 1956 in terms of Section 131(B) of Finance Act, 2015 pursuant to central Government notification issued in August 2015.  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

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        9. 
        BRICS Summit it is - all aboard please!
        (Treaties and Protocoals - Global treaties)
        The 9th BRICS Summit, 2017 will be held in Xiamen, Fujian Province, China from 3rd to 5th September 2017. The motto for this year is - "Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future". The participating leaders are - Michel Temer, President, Brazil; Vladimir Putin, President, Russia; Narendra Modi, Prime Minister, India; Xi Jinping, President, China and Jacob Zuma, President, South Africa. The 8th edition of the BRICS Summit was held in Goa, India. China considers BRICS as a big bulwark against similar Western models, and hence, it cannot treat India as a pushover any more. The urgent resolution of Dokalam crisis is a clear indication of that.  This compilation by Civils Tapasya portal, PT's IAS Academy

        10. 
        August 29: International Day Against Nuclear Tests

        (History)
        The International Day Against Nuclear Tests was observed across the world on 29 August with an aim to raise awareness about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions. Why observed? Observance of the day seeks to promote peace and security world-wide and calls for urgent need to prevent nuclear catastrophes to avert devastating effects on humankind, environment and the planet. It also highlights urgent need for cessation of nuclear weapons as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world. History: The International Day against Nuclear Tests was instituted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by unanimously adopting resolution 64/35 in December 2009. The resolution was initiated by Kazakhstan with support of large number of sponsors and cosponsors with a view to commemorate closure of Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site on 29 August 1991. The Day was first observed in 2010 and since then observed annually to galvanize the necessity of banning nuclear weapon tests. Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site: The Site (also known as The Polygon) was the primary testing venue for the Soviet Union's nuclear weapons. It is located on the steppe in northeast Kazakhstan (then the Kazakh SSR part of USSR), south of the valley of the Irtysh River. The Soviet Union conducted 456 nuclear tests on this site from 1949 until 1989 including 340 underground and 116 atmospheric explosions (roughly the equivalent of 2500 Hiroshima atomic bombs) with little regard for their effect on the local people or environment.




        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. Where is the Grameen Khel Mahotsav taking place this year?
        (Entertainment Games and Sports, Dynamic)
        (1) Odisha
        (2) Madhya Pradesh
        (3) New Delhi
        (4) Jharkhand

        Q2. When did the first major disruption in simultaneous polling cycle happen in India? Why?
        (Elections, Dynamic)
        (1) Late 1960s, dissolution of some State Governments
        (2) Early 1950s, poor fiscal situation
        (3) Early 1990s, emergency like situation
        (4) It has always been this way

        Q3. Approximately how much area is under cotton cultivation in India?
        (Agriculture, Dynamic)
        (1) 1 million ha
        (2) 5 million ha
        (3) 10 million ha
        (4) 30 million ha

        Q4. 
        Which if these is the manufacturer of Apache Attack Helicopters?
        (Defence and Military, Dynamic)
        (1) Lockheed Martin
        (2) Dassault
        (3) Bombardier
        (4) Boeing


        Q5. Which duty was abolished as it subsumed excise duty under the new GST regime leading to a spike in imports of Gold and Silver from S Korea?
        (Taxation and revenues, Dynamic)
        (1) Anti-dumping
        (2) Countervailing
        (3) Import
        (4) Customs





        Q6. What is the name of China’s ICBMs?
        (Defence and Military, Dynamic)
        (1) Dong Hai
        (2) Dong Feng
        (3) Chang Jian
        (4) Hong Niao

        Q7. Which of the following does not have a GI status?
        (World Trade, Dynamic)
        (1) Muga Silk
        (2) Darjeeling Tea
        (3) Basmati Rice
        (4) Fenni (Goa)


        Q8. Who is the President of South Africa? Why has he been in news?
        (People and Personalities, Dynamic)
        (1) Dilma Rouseff, corruption allegations and slush money in oil business
        (2) Jacob Zuma, corruption allegations and closeness to an Indian business family
        (3) Michel Temer, corruption allegations in constructions contracts
        (4) Nicolás Maduro, allegations of murder of pro-democracy protestors

        Q9. When is the International Day against Nuclear Tests observed?
        (History, Static)
        (1) April 2nd
        (2) September 15th
        (3) August 29th
        (4) December 31st


        Q10. Who is the Union Minister of Commerce and Industries in India?
        (People and Personalities, Dynamic)
        (1) Mrs Smriti Irani
        (2) Mrs Sushma Swaraj
        (3) Mrs Uma Bharti
        (4) Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman





        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(3)  |  Q2.(1)  |  Q3.(3)  |  Q4.(4)  |  Q5.(2)  |  Q6.(2)  |  Q7.(3)  |  Q8.(2)  |  Q9.(3)  |  Q10.(4)
    •   31  

      • Today : News Headlines | Quiz based on current affairs with Answers


        CIVILS TAPASYA - News Headlines - All govt. exams


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        1. India-Brazil ink MoU for Cattle Genomics 
        (Agriculture)
        The Government has approved an MoU between India and Brazil for "Cooperation in the fields of Zebu Cattle Genomics and Assisted Reproductive Technologies". What will this do? The MoU is expected to promote friendly relations between the two BRICS countries through development in scientific cooperation. It will promote the development of Genomics and ARTs in cattle through joint activities and setting up of an implementation committee. This move is expected to give a boost agriculture in both countries. What is Zebu Cattle? It is called Indicine Cattle/Humped Cattle, and is a species of domestic cattle of Indian origin. Characteristics : (1) fatty hump on shoulders, (2) large dewlap, (3) drooping ears, (4) can withstand high temperature, and (5) used as dairy cattle, draught oxen and beef cattle.  |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        2. Conservation of Earthquake-Damaged Pagodas at Bagan, Myanmar
        (Indian Politics - India's international relations)
        The Cabinet approved an MoU to be signed with Myanmar for the Conservation of Earthquake-Damaged Pagodas at Bagan which will be signed during the PM's upcoming visit to Myanmar from September 6-7, 2017 (post the BRICS summit 2017). This project is expected to strengthening India's ties with Myanmar and give a improve goodwill for Indians among people in Myanmar due the the religious and tourist significance of this project. Bagan is one of Myanmar's chief tourist attractions. Pagodas are traditional places of worship, commonly related with Buddhism, similar to stupas in India. |  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

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        3. A Soft Brexit it is going to be!
        (Treaties and Protocols - Political treaties)
        Both camps in Britain - The Labour Party (opposition) and the Conservative Party (ruling) - were seen as mellowing their stance on Brexit. While the Labour Party has always been on the softer side, in recent developments, the Conservative Party has suddenly accepted the relevance of the role of the European Court of Justice or ECJ  (at Luxembourg) even after Britain's departure. Independence from this court had always been equated with the assertion of national sovereignty by Theresa May's party. Background : Three issues need to be resolved before Britain leaves the EU 1. Status of British and EU migrants resident in their respective territories, 2. Britain's financial dues amounting to 70-80 billion euros, 3. Settlement of border dispute between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        4. The GST ordinance 2017
        (Taxation and revenues)
        The Cabinet has approved the promulgation of the GST (Compensation to States Ordinance), 2017 What will this do? Schedule of Section 8 of GST (Compensation to States) Act, 2017 will be amended. The GST Council will be able to increase the maximum compensation cess which it levies from 15% to 20%. This Ordinance will only be 'enabling' in nature. The final decision to increase the cess will be taken by the all-powerful GST Council. Why is this being done? This is done to create a corpus for providing compensation to the states which are experiencing revenue losses as a result of the GST. The rollout of the biggest tax "reform" was met with much resistance, but the government hasn't buckled under any pressure. Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        5. The NDRF at Mumbai - helping in the floods

        (Markets)
        Finally after a spell of massive rainfall and floods, 10 teams of the NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) has been deployed in Mumbai to tackle the water-logging problem created by incessant rains over the past 2 days. The weather forecasts by the IMD have not been very comforting with heavy and very heavy rains expected in various parts of Mumbai over the next 24 hours. The NDRF is specialised "for the purpose of specialist response to a threatening disaster situation or disaster", and was set up under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. The apex body for disaster management in India is the NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority), with the Prime Minister as the Chairman. The subject of disaster management in India's federal structure lies with the state Governments but the Centre is responsible for providing aid and assistance when calamities are of 'severe nature'.  Compilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

        6. 
        2016 Saraswati Samman for Konkani / Marathi writer
        (People and Personalities)
        Renowned Konkani and Marathi writer Mahabaleshwar Sail has been awarded the prestigious Saraswati Samman 2016 along with a cash prize of Rs.15 lakh for his novel "Hawthan". This novel depicts the cultural lives of traditional potters in Goa. He is best known for his work "Paltadcho Munis". He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1993 for "Taranga". The Sarawati Samman is given for 'outstanding literary work' in any of the 22 languages mentioned in the Constitution's VIII Schedule. This award was started in 1991 with Harivansh Rai Bachchan being its first recipient. This compilation by Civils Tapasya portal, PT's IAS Academy

        7. 
        IIT innovation a possibility to cure Type I diabetes
        (Science and Technology)
        The researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati have created an implantable bioartificial pancreas model grown within 3D silk scaffold. This bioartificial pancreas contains insulin producing beta cells which can naturally produce insulin in a sustained manner. Significance : India is the diabetes capital of the world. This achievement, if successfully implemented in humans, can cure Type-1 diabetes forever. In Type-1 diabetes, the body's immune system triggers an inflammatory response which kill the insulin-producing beta cells. In Type 2 diabetes, cells do not respond to insulin properly - it is mostly related to a sedentary lifestyle.

        8. 
        Chinese equipments and cyber-threats - real and present danger
        (Modern technologies)
        Outgoing Home Secretary of India Rajiv Mehrishi has warned about the dangers of using Chinese made equipment, especially in the telecom sector. The Government has been taking initiatives to sensitise telecom companies in India about the vulnerability caused due to imports from China. With the Chinese taking giant leaps in quantum cryptography, and their products flooding the Indian markets, India must take a step back and re-assess the situation. This is an area where Indians - the consumers of Chinese products -can directly make a difference and take a step towards strengthening the security. The fourth front of warfare is definitely cyber space (land, air and water being the other three) and if we are not ready for it, we may simply be wiped off. Mr Mehrishi is being replaced by incoming Home Secretary Mr Rajiv GaubaCompilation by PT's IAS Academy, Civils Tapasya Portal

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        9. 
        No more strict on immediate Aadhar linkage - deadline relaxed
        (Government schemes)
        The Central Government has extended the deadline to link Aadhar with various social welfare schemes and benefits from 30th September to 31st December. The deadline for linking bank accounts with Aadhar is also 31st December. This decision was conveyed by Attorney General KK Venugopal to a Supreme Court bench led by CJI Dipak Misra. The bench is reviewing petitions which are questioning the validity of Government notifications which make it mandatory to have an Aadhar card to get access to welfare programme such as the Midday Meal Scheme, disability pension and other benefits. One of the petitioners is Magsaysay Award winner Shanta Sinha. The SC will hear all petitions later this year, and it is likely that mandatory linking of Aadhar will be ruled out in light of the Privacy verdict.  This compilation by Civils Tapasya portal, PT's IAS Academy

        10. 
        E-Way bill norms notified by Govt under new GST regime

        (Taxation and revenues)
        The finance ministry has notified the rules for e-way bill which requires online pre-registration of goods before transportation, and will kickstart most likely from October 1. What is it? Under the e-way mechanism, all goods worth over Rs.50,000 will have to be pre-registered online before they are moved for sale beyond 10 km. GST-exempted goods are out of the purview of the e-way bill, which is a minor relaxation. The GST Council, chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, approved it in the last meeting on August 5. Details : The permits issued would be valid for one day for movement of goods for 100 km and in the same proportion for following days. The GST Network (GSTN) would generate e-way bills that will be valid for 1-20 days, depending on distance to be travelled — one day for 100 km, 3 days (100 to less than 300 km), 5 days (300-less than 500 km) and 10 days (500-less than 1,000 km). Not applicable : The e-way provisions would not be applicable where the goods are being transported from the port, airport, air cargo complex and land customs station to an inland container depot or a container freight station for clearance by Customs. Also exempted are where specified goods like animals, vegetable, fruits, currency, used household items are being transported or where the goods are being transported by a non-motorised conveyance. Critics say that these rules are applicable to composition suppliers, and will put huge compliance burden.




        CIVILS TAPASYA - Quizzes - All govt. exams

        Q1. With which of the following countries has India planned to signan MoU for "Cooperation in the fields of Zebu Cattle Genomics and Assisted Reproductive Technologies"? Why?
        (India's international relations, Dynamic)
        (1) Brazil, to give a boost to agriculture and allied sectors
        (2) Germany, to give a boost to import of technology
        (3) Brazil, to give a boost to cattle exports
        (4) Israel, to give a boost to water conservation

        Q2. With which of the following countries has India planned to sign an MoU for “Conservation of Earthquake-Damaged Pagodas”?
        (India's international relations, Dynamic)
        (1) Myanmar
        (2) Japan
        (3) Vietnam
        (4) Thailand

        Q3. Where is the European Court of Justice located?
        (Trivia and Miscellaneous, Static)
        (1) The Hague
        (2) Brussels
        (3) Luxembourg
        (4) Bern

        Q4. 
        Who is the Chairman of the GST Council?
        (People and Personalities, Dynamic)
        (1) Narendra Modi
        (2) Arun Jaitley
        (3) Santosh Gangwar
        (4) Ashok Lavasa


        Q5. Which ministry is responsible for the functioning of the NDRF? Who is its minister in-charge?
        (Governance and Institutions, Dynamic)
        (1) Home Ministry; Dr. Harsh Vardhan
        (2) Ministry of Earth Sciences; Rajnath Singh
        (3) Home Ministry; Rajnath Singh
        (4) Ministry of Earth Sciences; Dr. Harsh Vardhan





        Q6. When was the Saraswati Samman started?
        (Art Culture Literature, Static)
        (1) 1989
        (2) 1991
        (3) 1993
        (4) 2001

        Q7. Which of the following types of diabetes is associated with a sedentary lifestyle?
        (Trivia and Miscellaneous, Static)
        (1) Type 1
        (2) Type 2
        (3) Both (a) & (b)
        (4) None


        Q8. Who is the new Home Secretary of India? Whom did he replace?
        (People and Personalities, Dynamic)
        (1) Ashok Lavasa, Rajiv Mehrishi
        (2) Rajiv Mehrishi, Rajiv Gauba
        (3) Rajiv Gauba, Rajiv Mehrishi
        (4) Rajiv Gauba, Hasmukh Adhia

        Q9. Who is the Attorney General of India? Who was his predecessor?
        (People and Personalities, Dynamic)
        (1) Mukul Rohatgi, KK Venugopal
        (2) Rohinton Nariman, Mukul Rohatgi
        (3) KK Venugopal, Mukul Rohatgi
        (4) Ranjit Kumar, KK Venugopal


        Q10. What is the amount of specified bank notes (SBNs) that came back into the banking channels post demonetisation, as per RBI Annual Report 2016-17?
        (Government schemes, Dynamic)
        (1) 96.1%
        (2) 99%
        (3) 100%
        (4) 95.3%





        ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

        Q1.(1)  |  Q2.(1)  |  Q3.(3)  |  Q4.(2)  |  Q5.(3)  |  Q6.(2)  |  Q7.(2)  |  Q8.(3)  |  Q9.(3)  |  Q10.(2)
    • July 2017


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Civils Tapasya portal - by PT's IAS Academy: All Government Exams - News Headlines and Quizzes - August 2017
All Government Exams - News Headlines and Quizzes - August 2017
The complete current affairs compilation for August 2017 - in one glance, yet in-depth! Quizzes included :)
Civils Tapasya portal - by PT's IAS Academy
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