Railways, Vistadome - General awareness questions on current affairs

1)   Which country did India ink a pact with to upgrade railways?

a. Australia
b. Denmark
c. France
d. New Zealand
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: France

Explanation:
The French Minister of State for Transport, Marine Affairs and Fisheries Alain Vidalies signed an agreement with Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.

This is for collaboration in areas such as high-speed and semi-high speed rail, modernisation of current operations and infrastructure, station renovation and operations, suburban trains and safety systems, operations and security.

On semi-high-speed, the parties had decided in 2015 to carry out a technical and execution study for upgrading the speed of passengers trains on the current rail corridor between Delhi and Chandigarh (244 km) up to 200 kmph.

Important Facts: France

  • France PM is Bernard Cazeneuve
  • The capital of France is Paris and its Currency is Euro
  • French Minister of State for Transport is Alain Vidalies.


2)   An independent regulatory agency for ___________ has been approved by cabinet.

a. Railway tariffs
b. Railway safety
c. Railway upgradation
d. Railway security
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Railway tariffs

Explanation:
The Union Cabinet approved a proposal on April 5, 2017 for setting up an independent regulatory agency for railways which will recommend revision of tariffs.

This is intended to depoliticise the revision of passenger fares.

After merging the railway budget with the Union Budget, the move is seen as another step in reforming the state-run transporter.

It also aims at making the process of revision of both passenger and freight fares transparent.

The regulator will have only recommendatory powers, but it could pave the way towards revising passenger fares, which are at present highly subsidised.

Freight rates are likely to come down as the cost is likely to be balanced against higher passenger fares, officials said. S

The regulator will lay down principles and rules for determining tariff in passenger and freight segments in a transparent manner.

The regulator will also ensure fair play and a level playing field for private or foreign players.

Private investment in the railways has been low be cause of uncertainties and frequent policy changes.

The regulator will also lay down standards for efficiency and performance which will lead to customer satisfaction in both passenger and freight services.

The authority will also be mandated to check deviations, if any , from the laid-down performance standards and suggest remedial measures which will empower customers -both passengers and freight operators.

The authority will also suggest guidelines for determining track access charge which will ensure better utilisation of dedicated freight corridors.

Railway Regulatory Agency: Know More

  • The authority, to be set up by August 1 this year, will have a chairman and three members and can engage experts from different areas.
  • The government chose the executive order route to ensure setting up of the regulator at the earliest, said an official.
  • The independence of the regulator will be ensured through a separate budget and a stringent appointment and removal process for the chairman and members.
  • The appointment will be done by the Centre from the panel of names recommended by the search-and-selection committee headed by the cabinet secretary and the rail board chairman, DoPT secretary and chairman of any other regulatory agency nominated by the cabinet secretary as members.
  • The chairman and members will have a tenure of five years and can be removed by the Centre on grounds such as insolvency , conviction, misbehaviour, physical and mental incapability.


3)   In which year was the Rail Budget first merged with the general budget?

a. 1924
b. 1945
c. 2005
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: None of the above

Explanation:
Lok Sabha passed the Railway Appropriation Bills and supplementary demands for grants this year.

The total proposed outlay for 2017-218 is INR 131,000 crore. This marks an 8 percent increase from the 2016-2017 budget estimate of INR 121,000 crore.

Railway revenue for 2017-2018 is estimated at INR 178,350 crore recording a 9 percent increase from revised estimates of 2016-2017.

The total revenue in 2016-2017 undershot budget estimates by INR 6300 crore.

The House also passed Railways supplementary demands for grants 2016-2017 and the demands for excess grants for 2013-2014.

Railway finances were presented along with the Union Budget. This is the first time since 1924 that the Railway Budget was merged with the Union Budget.

Lok Sabha: Know More

  • Speaker: Sumitra Mahajan, BJP (Since 6 June 2014)
  • Deputy Speaker: M. Thambidurai, AIADMK (Since 13 August 2014)
  • Leader of the House: Narendra Modi, BJP (Since 26 May 2014)


4)   Which Indian UT got approval for its first railway line?

a. Daman and Diu
b. Lakshadweep
c. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Explanation:
The Union Railway Ministry has approved a 240-KM broad-gauge railway line project in Andaman and Nicobar islands.

The first railway line on Andaman and Nicobar Islands will connect Port Blair (capital) in the south with Diglipur, the biggest town on the north Andaman Island.

Presently both destinations are linked by a 350-km bus service that takes over 14 hours and a ship that takes around 24 hours and there is no air connectivity.

Following completion, it will give fillip to tourism from the current 4.5 lakh visitors a year to around 6 lakh a year.

About A & N Islands:

  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a group of islands at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea.
  • It is one of the seven UTs of India.
  • It comprises two island groups, the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands, separated by the 10°N parallel.
  • The islands host the Andaman and Nicobar Command, the only tri-service geographical command of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • The islands are home to the only known Paleolithic people, the Sentinelese people.


5)   Indian Railways has inked a pact with which EU nation to run high speed trains in the country?

a. Germany
b. France
c. Spain
d. Italy
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Germany

Explanation:
Reducing travel time significantly, the Indian Railways will form a pact with Germany for running high-speed trains in the nation

  • Pact will strengthen ties between the two countries for bilateral cooperation in the rail sector
  • German Minister Alexander Dobrindt will visit the capital city from Oct 12-15 thereby sealing the deal
  • Both rail ministers will hold talks at Rail Bhavan and the ministers will focus on deepening collaboration and strengthening ties in railways and high speed trains


6)   Which NE state will have the country’s longest rail tunnel along with the world’s tallest girder rail bridge?

a. Assam
b. Manipur
c. Mizoram
d. Meghalaya
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Manipur

Explanation:
Indian Railways took another step towards connecting the NE with the rest of India through good rail network by laying the foundation for Imphal station and announced commencement of country’s longest rail tunnel and world’s tallest girder rail bridge.

  • Tunnel will be built on Jiribam- Tupul- Imphal new broad gauge railway line in Manipur- the 111 km log line has 37 tunnels on it.
  • New tunnel will be 11.55 km long more than famous Pir Panjal railway tunnel in J&K.
  • The world’s tallest girder rail bridge over Iring river will be equal to two Qutub Minars stacked atop each other.
  • Currently, the Malarijeka via duct on Montenegro Europe with a height of 139m is the highest rail bridge.


7)   Who has been appointed Railway Chairman Board for another two years?

a. AK Mittal
b. AK Bansal
c. AK Aggarwal
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: AK Mittal

Explanation:
Term of the present Railway Board Chairman AK Mittal has been extended for another two years.

  • Mittal was appointed on December 31, 2014, and his tenure was supposed to end on July 30 this year.
  • Before this, he was Member Staff in the Railway Board.
  • Current chairman Railway Board Shri AK Mittal has been reappointed as the new Chairman Railway Board for the period of 2 years till he attains the age of 62 years w.e.f 1.08.2016.
  • AK Mittal was earlier GM of South Western Railway and was looking after the additional charge of General Lanager, South Central Railway, SCR (HQ Secunderabad).
  • Mittal is a Bachelor of Engineering and an officer of 1976 batch of Indian Railways Services of Stores.


8)   Railway passengers booking tickets through IRCTC website can avail travel accident cover of how much?

a. INR 5 lakhs
b. INR 10 lakhs
c. INR 15 lakhs
d. INR 20 Lakhs
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: INR 10 lakhs

Explanation:
Railway passengers booking tickets through the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation can avail travel accident cover of INR 10 lakh at a premium of one rupee.

  • IRCTC CMD AK Manocha indicated the insurance cover is besides the compensation provided by the railways in cases of accidents to valid ticket holders.
  • Insurance will offer coverage against death, injury and disabilities caused due to accidents.


9)   MoU was signed between Ministry of Railways and which industry/trade body to evaluate green initiatives and rate the performance of industrial units of Indian Railways?

a. ASSOCHAM
b. FICCI
c. CII
d. FLO
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: CII

Explanation:
An MoU was signed between Ministry of Railways and Confederation of Indian Industry to evaluate the green initiatives and rate the performance of industrial units of Indian Railways which are pursuing environmentally sustainable practices.


  • Final Report on Passenger Feedback Survey at major Railway Stations for Cleanliness Ranking was e-released on 26th July, 2016.
  • MoU was signed amidst the announcement of the Rail Minister’s Budget news.


10)   Women can serve in which sections of the Territorial Army, according to the Centre?

a. Railway engineer regiment
b. Honorary Commissions
c. Both of the above
d. Neither a nor b
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

Explanation:
Women can join and serve in the Territorial Army in the railway engine regiments and also considered for honorary commissions, the Centre told Delhi HC.

  • Government had submitted this in an affidavit filed before the Bench seeking a hearing of the PIL seeking recruitment of women in TA.
  • TA is an organisation of volunteers who receive military training to be mobilised for the country’s defence in the event of an emergency.
  • No discrimination was indicated during the selection procedure, eligibility criteria and terms of service, said the Centre.


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