World Bank - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

1)   A Grant Agreement from the Global Environment Facility of which bank was signed by Ministry of Finance?

a. World Bank
b. New Development Bank
c. Asian Development Bank
d. Standard Chartered
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: World Bank

Explanation:
A Grant Agreement from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) of the World Bank of USD 24.64 million for “Ecosystem Service Improvement Project” was signed on 16th Aug 2017 by the Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India and the World Bank.

The size of Project is USD 24.64 million which entirely will be financed by the World Bank out of its GEF Trust Fund.

The project’s duration is 05 years.

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) will implement the Project in the States of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh through Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education under the National Mission for Green India.

The objective of the Project is to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Departments of Forestry and Community Organisations to enhance forest ecosystem services and improve the livelihoods of forest dependent communities in Central Indian Highlands.


2)   Who has been appointed the World Bank ED to represent the constituency of India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan?

a. S. Aparna
b. Subhash Garg
c. D. Aparna
d. Suhash Garg
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: S. Aparna

Explanation:
S. Aparna, an IAS officer from Gujarat cadre has been appointed as Executive Director, World Bank to represent the constituency of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka for three years.

A 1988-batch IAS, she is currently Principal Secretary to Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. At the World Bank, she will replace Subhash Garg.

Garg was recently appointed Economic Affairs Secretary, Ministry of Finance.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleared

Ms. Aparna’s name for the position.

Her appointment order was issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

Among the top positions she held in Gujarat includes Principal Secretary, Economic Affairs, Surat Municipal Commissioner and Joint Secretary, urban development at centre.

Known for her integrity and focused approach, she was the most influential bureaucrat in the State administration under Mr. Rupani.

Meanwhile, according to sources, a senior Gujarat cadre officer serving the central deputation is likely to return the state as her replacement.


3)   Which country's socialist leader and president declared total independence from IMF and World Bank?

a. Bolivia
b. Venezuela
c. Mexico
d. Spain
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Bolivia

Explanation:
Bolivia’s President Eva Morales declared on twitter that his nation has achieved “total independence” from the IMF and the World Bank

The socialist leader published his comments after meeting with his peers Friday at a gathering in Argentina of the Mercosur, a sub-regional economic bloc.

Bolivia begins its process of becoming a full member of the Mercosur, also called the Southern Common Market, which includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Until now Bolivia has served as an associate member along with Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname.

Also on Friday, President Morales accused world powers of intervening in oil rich nations such as Libya, Iraq, and Venezuela to “appropriate resources”.

Historically, Bolivia has relied heavily on the IMF for loans to fund their socialist government expenditures.

President Morales has even previously quipped that his nations past dependence on the agencies was so great that the IMF had an office in government headquarters and even participated in their meetings.

President Morales become Bolivia’s first indigenous leader in 2006, and gained popularity after the nations popular uprising known as “The Cochabamba Water War”, which occurred in 2000, and was waged against the U.S.-based Bechtel Corporation over water privatization.

The World Bank at the time, which was closely associated with the Bechtel Corporation, shed light on the growing debt issues facing the country through policy publications.

According to a report from teleSUR, some of Bolivia’s largest resistance struggles in the last 60 years have targeted the economic policies carried out by the IMF and the World Bank.


4)   World Bank’s latest edition of Global Economic Prospects says India is ___ fastest growing economy in the world.

a. 2nd
b. 3rd
c. 4th
d. 5th
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 4th

Explanation:
India is the world’s fourth fastest growing economy in the world thus far in 2017.

That’s according to the World Bank’s latest edition of Global Economic Prospects.

For 2017, India’s economy is expected to advance 7.2%.

That’s slightly above the country’s long-term growth.

GDP Annual Growth Rate in India averaged 6.12% from 1951 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 11.40% in the first quarter of 2010 and a record low of -5.20% in the fourth quarter of 1979.

The Indian economy has benefited from a stable macroeconomic environment of low inflation and interest rates.

This has helped shake off a temporary slow-down in consumer spending and a drop in investment that followed the demonetization program back in November 2016 - which took 86% of the country’s currency out of circulation.

India’s economy has also benefited from ongoing market reforms that have improved competitiveness.

For 2016-17, India scored 4.52 points out of 7, according to Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum, slightly above its ten year average of 4.33 points.

That helped the country climb to rise to the position as the 39th most competitive nation in the world out of 138 countries ranked in the report.

The Competitiveness Rank in India averaged 52.73 from 2007 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 71.00 in 2015 and a record low of 39.00 in 2017.

Improved competitiveness, in turn, has helped narrow the country’s current account deficit to 0.70% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product in 2016.

Current Account to GDP in India averaged -1.40 percent from 1980 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 2.28% in 2003 and a record low of -4.80% in 2012.

Financial markets have taken note. The iShares S&P India have gained 20.76 percent over the last twelve months.


5)   World Bank has cleared a loan to aid which Indian mission?

a. Start up India
b. Stand up India
c. Skill India
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Skill India

Explanation:
The World Bank has cleared a USD 250-million loan to aid the Skill India mission.

The loan amount would be used for making Indian youth more employable through reskilling.

The USD 250 million Skill India Mission Operation (SIMO) is set to increase the market relevance of short-term skill development programmes (3-12 months or up to 600 hours) both at the national and state levels.

It will help the government of India to better equip the young workforce with employable skills.

SIMO will be a six- year programme in support of National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (2017-23).

Under the programme, persons in the age group of 15-59 will acquire skill training irrespective of their employment status.

This will benefit 1.2 crore youngsters in the age bracket of 15 and 29 years who are entering the labour market every year.

The programme is expected to benefit approximately 15,000 trainers and 3,000 assessors.

The programme has also a mandate to offer placement and entrepreneurship opportunities to women and increase their exposure to skill training.

Need for Programme: Know More

  • As per the official estimates, India is in need of additional 109 million skilled workers to work in 24 key sectors by 2022.
  • SIMO will support the government’s vision of increasing women’s participation in the labour force and increase greater off-farm employment.
  • Higher skilled labour force will have an improved employment opportunity to raise their earnings.

  • World Bank: Know More

  • World Bank World Bank is one of five institutions created at the Breton Woods Conference in 1944. World Bank is part of the United Nations system, but its governance structure is different.
  • World Bank’s headquarter is situated at Washington DC. World Bank provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.
  • World Bank comprises only two institutions viz. the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA).
  • In contrast, World Bank Group comprises three more viz. International Finance Corporation (IFC), Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).


6)   India signed a loan with World Bank for which project in Assam on June 5, 2017?

a. Citizen Centric Service Delivery Project
b. Social Centric Service Delivery Project
c. Media Centric Service Delivery Project
d. Society Centric Service Delivery Project
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Citizen Centric Service Delivery Project

Explanation:
India on 5 June 2017 signed a USD 39.2 million loan agreement with the World Bank for the Assam Citizen Centric Service Delivery project.

The loan will be provided by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), an international financial institution under the World Bank that offers loans to middle-income developing countries.

The loan agreement was signed by Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary under Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of India and Hisham Abdo, Manager Operations (India) on behalf of the World Bank.

The Implementing Entity Agreement was signed by the Additional Chief Secretary, Assam Government and the Country Director (India) on behalf of the World Bank.

The total estimated cost of the Citizen Centric Service Delivery project is USD 49 million, out of which USD 39.2 million will be financed by the World Bank.

The remaining funds will be utilised from the Assam Budget. The objective of the project is to improve access in the delivery of selected public services in Assam.

The Project seeks to enable citizens to access services under the Assam Right To Public Services Act, 2012 in a timely, efficient, and accountable manner.

The Project adopts an integrated approach to improve access and accountability. The programme duration is of 5 years.


7)   Which country ranked 120th on the Indian Development Report for female participation in the work force?

a. Pakistan
b. Bangladesh
c. China
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: None of the above

Explanation:
world-bank Incentives, safe and conducive environment besides a level playing field were critical to boost women participation in the Indian workforce, the World Bank said.

In its India Development Report released on 29th May 2017, the World Bank said the country had one of the lowest female participation in the workforce, ranking 120th among 131 countries for which data was available.

While overall job creation has been limited, most of the new ones have been grabbed by men given the social norms, the report said.

What is worrisome is the fact that the participation level has been dropping since 2005, despite having 42% women who are graduates.

The report highlighted that India’s potential GDP growth rate can be boosted by a percentage point if women participation increased. Jobs for Indian women remain primarily in the agriculture sector.

The share of women in services and industry is less than 20%.

Amid lower rate of job generation, most regular jobs were being grabbed by men. India created only 0.9% jobs equivalent of the adult population between 2005 and 2012.


8)   World Bank Group approved USD 210 million loan for strengthening gram panchayats in which state?

a. West Bengal
b. Bihar
c. Jharkhand
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: West Bengal

Explanation:
The World Bank Group on March 15, 2017 approved USD 210 million loan to strengthen gram panchayats in West Bengal.

The loan amount will be utilized for implementation of Phase 2 of the West BengalSupport to Institutional Strengthening of Gram Panchayat Program- ISGPP-2

The ISGPP- II will support 3,342 GPs in the state to utilize untied and discretionary funds provided under the inter-governmental fiscal transfer system.

The program seeks to strengthen local community participation in the financial management, planning and budgeting of projects introduced in rural areas.

During the first phase of the project, performance based block grants were given to 1,000 better performing GPs within 9 districts for investing in priority local infrastructure and service delivery projects.

Till now, 92,000 activities were carried out by GPs under the ISGPP.

Around 54 percent of the activities belonged to the transport sector, and 23 percent in areas concerned with water and sanitation.

The ISGPP-II will accelerate the pace of decentralization to gram panchayats across West Bengal through state wide unified performance based grant allocation system.

To access the PBG, GPs will be assessed on an annual basis through independent Annual Performance Assessment

The APA will be conducted for all 3342 GPs in special performance areas such as project execution, budgeting, planning, service delivery, accounting,financial reporting, auditing, transparency and accountability.

Certain other areas the program focuses on comprise building human resource capacity for enhanced transparency and accountability in local government functioning.

A robust internal audit system will be developed and implemented in gram panchayats.

West Bengal: Know More

  • Area: 88,752 km²Capital: Kolkata
  • Population: 90.32 million (2012)
  • Official animal: Fishing cat


9)   What will be the impact of World Bank approving US$175 for India's Hydrology Project?

a. Strengthening the capacity of existing institutions to assess the water situation
b. Equipping them with real time flood forecast systems across the nation
c. Helping new states to better manage water flows from reservoirs
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

Explanation:
The World Bank has approved USD 175 million for the National Hydrology Project in India.

It will strengthen the capacity of current institutions to assess the water situation and enable them to have real time flood forecast systems across the nation.

Apart from helping states benefiting from earlier projects to fund and upgrade as well as complete monitoring networks, the national project will also assist new states to manage reservoir water flow better.

This will reduce the vulnerability of many regions to recurring floods and droughts as a result of real time ground information for the entire country issuing alerts for difficulties encountered.

The entire project worth INR 3679 crore will be implemented by 2023-24.

World Bank will provide financial assistance for nearly 50 percent of the total cost.

National Hydrology Project approved by the World Bank Board on 15th March 2017 building on the success of earlier India projects- Hydrology Project I and II.

This led to real time flood forecast systems integrated with weather forecast in two large river systems - Krishna and Satluj Beas.

This gives reservoir managers an accurate picture of water situation in their region.

National projects will now scale up successes attained under HP-1 and 2 to cover the whole nation including Ganga and Bramhaputra Barak basins.

In the context of climate change, advanced flood management and enhanced river basin planning are essential for creating livelihood and sustaining economic growth.

Project can help communities to plan in advance to create resilience against uncertainties of climate change.

About the National Hydrology Project

  • This was approved by Union Cabinet in April 2016.
  • It is a CSS with total outlay of INR 3679 crore
  • INR 3640 crore will be spent for the national project while remaining INR 39 crore will be for establishment of the National Water Informatics Centre.
  • Project will help states to monitor all aspects of the hydro-meteorological cycle and adopt procedures laid out in previous projects.
  • This measures how much rain or snow has been received in catchment areas of rivers, the rapidity with which snow will melt, speed with which water is flowing, how much silt has built up and how the water will reach the reservoir and how soon it will work.
  • The Project is aimed at improving the extent, quality, and accessibility of water resources information and decision support


10)   World Bank Group on 13th Dec 2016 halted the processes by India and Pakistan under which treaty?

a. Indus Water Treaty
b. Sutlej Water Treaty
c. Beas Water Treaty
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Indus Water Treaty

Explanation:
The World Bank Group on 13th Dec 2016 halted the two concurrent processes initiated by India and Pakistan under the Indus Water Treaty.

The bank initiated this move to protect the treaty.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim informed the finance ministries of both countries to this effect.

India planned to construct the Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric power plants on Indus River System in J&K.

Pakistan raised objections against these projects claiming they would affect Pakistan by impacting the river flow adversely.

To resolve the differences between India and Pakistan, the two countries asked the World Bank to appoint a neutral expert and a court of arbitration respectively.

Bank in its earlier communication to both countries said that necessary processes will be put in place by Dec 12, 2016.

Bank withdrew this communication and made the announcement that the concurrent process would make the treaty unworkable over time.

These processes were therefore stopped.

Indus Water Treaty

  • Water distribution treaty between India and Pakistan.
  • Brokered by the World Bank.
  • Signed on: 19th Sept 1960.
  • Signatories: PM Jawaharlal Nehru and President Ayub Khan.
  • Control over three western flowing rivers Indus, Chenab and Jhelum vests with Pakistan.
  • Three eastern rivers Ravi, Beas and Sutlej are controlled by India
  • Treaty provides for dispute resolution mechanism at three levels:

  • a. Questions
    b. Differences
    c. Disputes
  • In Sept 2016, following the Pathankot and Uri attacks, PM Modi stopped the Permanent Indus Commission meeting.


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