NITI Aayog - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

1)   The New Energy Policy prepared by NITI Aayog has indicated which state controlled PSU should be split into 7 units?

a. CIL
b. ONGC
c. BHEL
d. MTNL
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: CIL

Explanation:
A new draft of a New Energy Policy (NEP) prepared by Union Government’s policy think-tank, NITI Aayog, says that India should split the seven units of state-controlled Coal India Limited (CIL) into independent companies.

This action will help the firm to be more competitive.

About 70 percent of India’s power generation is fired by coal.

The country is the world’s third-largest producer and third-biggest importer of coal, which the government wants to change by boosting local coal production.

Fresh coal production should come from private sector mines, the government think-tank NITI Aayog said, adding that the move called for reforms in allocating coal blocks to independent companies specialised in coal mining.

Attempts to break up the world’s biggest coal miner could expect resistance from powerful unions representing the firm’s more than 350000 employees.

The government backed down from a similar proposal in the face of union protests in 2014. One of the unions, which is close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party, is against the move and says it, has the support of about half of Coal India’s workers.

CIL: Know More

  • Coal India, the country’s second-biggest employer, is often criticised for being bloated and inefficient. Its output-per-man shift is estimated at one-eighth of Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private coal producer.
  • The policy states that Coal India Ltd (CIL) is expected to remain the principal vehicle of coal production in the country in the immediate future.
  • But it says that it will have to strive hard to achieve the target of 1 billion tonne production by 2019. However, with subdued demand for coal, we may not require the production level envisaged above.
  • A careful assessment of demand for coal-based power is needed so that the over $1 billion annual investment being made by CIL, in raising its production capacity is not left stranded.


2)   Which city saw the country's first e-vehicle services for a taxi aggregator launched?

a. Solapur
b. Kolhapur
c. Nagpur
d. Jabalpur
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Nagpur

Explanation:
Marking the third anniversary of the Narendra Modi government, Union surface transport minister Nitin Gadkari along with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis flagged off taxi aggregator Ola’s e-vehicle (EV) services in the city.

It will be the first in country to have such a service.

A battery charging station for the vehicles was also inaugurated at the airport where the launch function was held.

State government will come up with measures to promote setting up of charging stations.

This is expected to be a major job provider especially to the technically educated youth.

To begin with, Ola will be having four charging centres in the city.

Its services will include taxis, auto-rickshaws and a couple of buses. Car-maker Mahindra and Mahindra is the major ally of Ola and is supplying 200 taxis.

The company also launched its e-autorickshaws on the occasion. Kinetic Green has provided 100 e-rickshaws to Ola.

This is India’s first multi-modal electric vehicle project at the Nagpur Airport Complex.

The pilot project will have a fleet of 200 electric vehicles including taxis, buses, e-rickshaw and autorickshaws.

All these electric-powered public transport vehicles will be fully owned by cab aggregator Ola. For the project Mahindra & Mahindra has manufactured 100 e2o electric taxis.

Similarly, vehicles have been sourced from other manufacturers like Tata Motors, Kinetic, BYD and TVS, among others.

In addition, four electric charging station has also been built by Ola in various places of Nagpur including the Nagpur airport.

Shared and electric vehicles: Know More

  • As per the NITI Aayog’s recent joint report with Rock Mountain Institute, adoption of electric and shared vehicles could help the country to save $60 billion in fuels while cutting down as much as 1 gigatonne (GT) of carbon emission by 2030
  • According to Mahindra & Mahindra, it has made a total investment to the tune of Rs600 crore in technology, products, and plants of e-vehicles.
  • The company already has manufactured 2,700 e-vehicles which are running across India which are clocking around 14 million kms per day.
  • Ola has stated that it has invested Rs50 crore in the Nagpur initiative and has plans to further scale up its operations by investing $2 billion in e-vehicles across all cities of India.
  • It has set an ambitious target of running one million electricity-powered vehicles on the Ola platform by 2020.


3)   Who chaired the first Niti Aayog Samavesh meeting held in New Delhi on May 17, 2017?

a. Amitabh Kant
b. Ratan P Watal
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

Explanation:
In pursuance of the Prime Minister’s call for a New India 2022, the first meeting of the National Steering Group and other knowledge partners was held in NITI Aayog on 17th May 2017 under the co-chairmanship of Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO and Shri Ratan P Watal, Principal Adviser, NITI Aayog.

The meeting was aimed at bringing together 32 premier educational and policy research institutions to catalyse the development process, enhance institutional capacity development and a field level interface with the community for New India 2022.

The meeting witnessed signing of Memoranda of Understands (MoUs) between NITI Aayog and major think tanks across the country to create an ecosphere of evidence based policy research.

This network will enable efficient knowledge sharing and information exchange among all partners to fulfil their role in transformative policy reform so as to achieve a sustainable and more inclusive development in line with the National Development Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals as well as the 15 year Vision, 7 year strategy and 3 year action plan.

The meeting was also attended by representatives of four State Governments viz. Kerala, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

This is the first ever initiative taken in the country to bring the large number of institutions cutting across diverse domain themes to deliberate together on the way forward for inclusive development of the country.

As part of Samavesh initiative, a new link on NITI’s website was launched on the occasion which would eventually emerge as a major repository of knowledge based reports and case studies across different sectors of the economy


4)   NITI Aayog has set up a task force to _________.

a. Generate timely employment data
b. Generate reliable employment information
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

Explanation:
The government has set up a task force headed by NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya to come up with a methodology to generate timely and reliable employment data.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has initiated the process and has asked the task force to submit its recommendations at the earliest.

The other members of the task force are labour secretary M. Sathiyavathy, secretary of the statistics department T.C.A. Ananth, NITI Aayog’s Pulak Ghosh and Manish Sabharwal, chairman and co-founder of staffing firm Teamlease Services Ltd.

India lacks reliable data on jobs. The available data is currently outdated.

The data on jobs in the informal sector which employs country’s majority of the workforce is not easily available.

Also, the data released by the Labour Bureau is restricted to the organized sector. National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data which is the most comprehensive data available on jobs is generated with a time lag.

Better data on jobs data will help policy planners assess the impact of policies on jobs and will shed light on the actual size of the informal economy

India’s Labour Market

  • India’s labour market constitutes of over 470 million people.
  • According to CRISIL, around 18 million people enter the workforce every year.
  • As per the data with the NSSO, India had created around 59.9 million jobs between 1999-2000 and 2004-05 and created nearly two million jobs between 2004-05 and 2009-10.
  • Between 2009-10 and 2011-12, 13.9 million jobs were created in the country.


5)   What is part of the Niti Aayog 5 point remedy to tackle air pollution?

a. Higher taxes on petrol/diesel
b. Higher parking fees
c. The shutting of coal based power plants in phased manner
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

Explanation:
Underlining air pollution as a serious problem, the government's think tank Niti Aayog in its latest action agenda has come out with a five-point remedy.

This is including higher taxes on petrol\diesel, higher parking fees and shutting down coal-based power plants in a phased manner, to deal with the menace within three years.

The Aayog suggested has already been in different phases of implementation under the government's plan of action, its emphasis may help states and central ministries to execute the measures on priority.

Listing coal-based power plants, brick kilns, vehicles (especially diesel), cooking and heating fires which burn biomass, waste burning, stubble burning and dust from construction, roads and fallow fields as “major sources of air pollution”, the Aayog noted that the problem is not limited to Delhi.

It wanted the government to take corrective action and strictly enforce various bans and traffic laws across the country.

The Aayog expressed its confidence that air pollution can be considerably reduced within three years through actions on the ground.

Suggesting higher taxes on petrol\diesel in and around polluted cities, the Aayog said the measure would encourage people to share cars and use public transport in bigger numbers.

It noted, the higher parking fees will have similar effect.

As far as stubble burning is concerned, the think-tank indicated that the crop residue burning is a very large contributor to air pollution in early winter in north India.

As productivity of wheat crop depends on early planting after rice is harvested, farmers burn residue in order to prepare the field quickly despite resulting pollution - as seen across farms in Punjab, Haryana and western UP.

The Aayog suggested use of ‘Happy Seeder' — a machine developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia and Punjab Agricultural University.

This allows planting of wheat through the residue.

In a section which elaborated on measures to deal with vehicular pollution in the cities, also proposed was a shift to electric vehicles in the long run.

The Aayog has also suggested regulation of polluting industries and disposal of solid waste and pitched for legislative route so that pollution control boards (PCBs) are empowered to “levy graduated fines” depending on the seriousness of the offence and on repeated offence.


6)   Which committee will be dismantled to improve ease of doing business?

a. Finance Ministry Committee for PPP projects
b. PPCAC
c. PPAC
d. Both a and c
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and c

Explanation:
The Central government has proposed to dismantle the finance ministry committee which gives approval to PPP projects to speed up the procedural delays and fostering ease of doing business.

NITI Aayog may be given charge of these projects.

The move follows the planned dismantling of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board.

As per the current rules, PPP projects above 1000-Cores are sent to PPPAC and then to the Cabinet for approval.

PPPAC was created in 2006 under the Department of Economic Affairs in the Finance Ministry.

It is comprised of the secretaries of economic affairs, expenditure and legal affairs along with the department sponsoring the project and the NITI Aayog CEO.


7)   A “Performance on Health Outcomes” index was spearheaded by Ministry of Health and Family welfare along with which organisation?

a. NITI Aayog
b. Planning Commission
c. RBI
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: NITI Aayog

Explanation:
A Performance on Health Outcomes index was launched by NITI Aayog in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, to move states towards transformative action in the health sector.

The index has been developed over several months, with inputs from domestic and international experts, including academicians and development partners, seeking feedback from States through multiple iterations and pre-testing the indicators in two States prior to its finalisation.

It aims to capture the annual incremental improvements by States, rather than focus on historical achievements.

It includes index covering domains of health outcomes governance and information and a few key inputs and processes.

This initiative is envisioned to bring about the much required improvements in social sector outcomes, which have not kept pace with the economic growth in this country.

It will be used to propel action in the States to improve health outcomes and improve data collection systems.

The health index will assist in State level monitoring of performance, serve as an input for providing performance based incentives and improvement in health outcomes, thereby also meeting the citizens’ expectations.

A similar exercise has also been launched for the Education and Water sectors.

NITI Aayog: Know More

  • Full Form: National Institution for Transforming India
  • Formed: Jan 1, 2015.
  • Preceding: Planning Commission
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Chairman: Narendra Modi
  • Vice Chairman: Arvind Panagriya
  • Members: Bibek Debroy, VK Saraswat, Ramesh Chand.
  • CEO: Amitabh Kant
  • Website: www.niti.gov.in


8)   Who is heading the Committee of Officers to ensure 100 percent conversion of government citizen transactions to digital platform?

a. Amitabh Kant
b. CEO of Niti Aayog
c. Both a and b are the same
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and b are the same

Explanation:
To weed out black money and corruption from public life, GoI has constituted a committee of officers to ensure 100 percent conversion of Gov-Citizen transactions to the digital platform.

Committee is headed by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and will identify and operationalise the time frame for user friendly digital options for payment across India.

Aim of the committee is to identify numerous digital payment systems appropriate to different sectors of the economy. It will also coordinate these to make them accessible and user friendly.

The committee will also identify digital payment system economies across all states and sectors.

It will be engaging regularly with Central ministries, regulators, state governments, district administration, local bodies and trade and industry associations

Members of the Committee of Officers for driving a digital payments economy in India include: -

  • Secretary, Department of Financial Services,
  • Ministry of Finance;
  • Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology;
  • Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion;
  • Secretary, Department of Investment and public Asset Management;
  • MD & CEO, National Payments Corporation of India,
  • Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development,
  • Chairman, National Highways Authority of India,
  • Adviser, NITI Aayog.


9)   Niti Aayog is aiming for India to exploit its long coastline to become what kind of an economy?

a. Marine
b. Sea
c. Ocean
d. Blue
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Blue

Explanation:
Niti Aayog has started a consultation process for the integration of defence and internal security with a 15 year vision.

  • The planning body has initiated a discussion to leverage India’s status as a major maritime nation with a long coastline and a potential to become a key blue economy
  • BJP government, for the first time, has taken the decision to include these subjects in the plan process to create long term planning element for better preparation
  • India has a naturally maritime strength with:
  • coastline of 7500 km
  • Above 2 million square km of EEZ
  • More than 1300 islands and networks of the river
  • India has a natural and strategic benefit
  • Maritime trade accounts for 75 percent of the value of total trade and more than 90 percent of the volume of Indian trade
  • Indian ship building industry is 17th in the world with South Korea, Japan and China way ahead
  • It currently faces constraints such as inefficient tax structure and access related restrictions
  • Deep sea fishing is another area where growth is possible.


10)   Niti Aayog will be working on mapping food requirements of the nation within the next how many years?

a. 10
b. 12
c. 15
d. 16
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 15

Explanation:
Niti Aayog will form a committee to establish the demand for food items in the next 15 years and chart a road map meeting the requirements.

  • Aayog will constitute a working group of experts to assess food requirements in the country within the coming 15 years.
  • Aayog will adjust food production targets based on public consumption trends to prioritise what would be required in the future.


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