General - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

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1)   The Reserve Bank is expected to formulate standard operating procedure (SOP) for approval of FDI proposals by ministries following the government decision to phase out what board?
- Published on 17 Nov 17

a. FIDB
b. FIDP
c. FIPB
d. FIDC
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: FIPB

Explanation:
The Reserve Bank is expected to formulate standard operating procedure (SOP) for approval of FDI proposals by ministries following the government decision to phase out FIPB.

The proposal for setting up norms for foreign direct investment (FDI) approvals in sensitive sectors, which are currently under government approval of the FDI policy, was discussed at a recent inter-ministerial meeting.

FIPB: Know More

  • The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) was a national agency of Government of India, with the remit to consider and recommend foreign direct investment (FDI) which does not come under the automatic route.
  • It acted as a single window clearance for proposals on foreign direct investment (FDI) in India. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) was housed in the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.
  • FIPB was abolished on 24 May 2017, as announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during 2017-2018 budget speech in Lok Sabha.
  • Members:
    Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs - Chairman
    Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion - Member
    Secretary, Department of Commerce - Member
    Secretary, (Economic Relation), Ministry of External Affairs - Member
  • The Board is empowered to co-opt Secretaries to the Government of India and other top officials of financial institutions, banks and professional experts of industry and commerce, as required.


2)   The Governments of Odisha and neighbouring West Bengal conducted joint security exercise. What was it called ?
- Published on 16 Nov 17

a. Sagar Darshan
b. Karan Kavach
c. Sagar Kavach
d. Sagar Manthan
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Sagar Kavach

Explanation:
The Governments of Odisha and neighbouring West Bengal conducted joint security exercise named 'Sagar Kavach' to further tighten the existing coastal security mechanism along the 630 km long coastline.

It was security exercise to check efficacy of security parameters and preparedness of various security forces like Indian Navy, Marine police force, Indian Coast Guard (ICG), Forest Department, Fisheries and district administration.


3)   Which keystone document has been promulgated for the first time in the history of armed forces in Nov 2017?
- Published on 15 Nov 17

a. Joint Training Doctrine Indian Armed Forces
b. Joint Doctrine Indian Armed Forces-2017
c. Joint Training Doctrine Indian Air Force
d. Joint Doctrine Indian Armed Forces-2018
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Joint Training Doctrine Indian Armed Forces

Explanation:
Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee & Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba released 'Joint Training Doctrine Indian Armed Forces-2017' on 14th Nov, 2017.

It is for the first time in the history of the Armed Forces that such a keystone document has been promulgated. The document has been prepared in a 'collegiate manner' involving all the three Service Headquarters and flowing from its mother and capstone Doctrine namely, Joint Doctrine Indian Armed Forces -2017 released in April last.

The aim of the Doctrine is to promote 'Synergy' and 'Integration' amongst the three Services and other stake-holders leading to an enhanced efficiency and optimum utilisation of resources.

Besides numerous advantages of the Doctrines, this document will also go a long way in 'fostering initiative' and 'stimulating creativity' for promoting 'Integration' between the three Services in times to come.

The Doctrine brings out our approach to Joint training at macro-level, Fundamentals, Objectives, Joint Structures, Planning, Organisation amongst other aspects in existence and in use in the Armed Forces which have matured over 15 years of the existence of Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (HQ IDS).

The concept includes 'Joint Training' as a leverage for promoting 'Diplomacy' and 'Civil-Military interface' issues have also been highlighted in the document.

This key stone Doctrine will basically serve as a 'foundation' and 'knowledge base' from which specific Directives and Strategies will be issued by the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee to the HQ IDS and Service HQs to consolidate proven concepts, structures, mechanisms, capacities, capabilities, etc, from time to time.

Consequent to consolidation of Joint Training, this maiden Doctrine will be further developed in due course as Doctrines are always 'unfinished products' being 'Evolving in nature', for ready reference as 'Distilled wisdom' and a 'Referral document' for the policy makers, armed forces personnel, academia, etc.


4)   India State Level Disease Burden was a report released by which medical body on 14th Nov, 2017?
- Published on 15 Nov 17

a. ICAR
b. ICRISAT
c. ICMR
d. Both a and c
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: ICMR

Explanation:
The Hon'ble Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu released the 'India State Level Disease Burden' report of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Addressing the participants, the Vice President of India stated that achieving good health for all of India's population is an important goal of the Government of India and a foundation for further social and economic development.

The Vice President further stated that the health status of Indians has been improving since Independence.

The life expectancy of a person born in India in 1960 was 40 years, which has increased to about 70 years now. Of every 1000 live children born in India in 1960, about 160 died in the first year, but now this death rate of infants is about a fourth of that level.

The data and results shared by the India State-level Disease Burden Initiative today in its report, scientific paper, and the online visualization tool will serve as a useful guide for fine-tuning data driven health planning specific for health situation of each state of the country," Shri Nadda said.

The estimates released which are based on utilization of all available epidemiological data, show that the per person burden due to major infectious disease, that is, diarrhoeal diseases, lower respiratory infections, and tuberculosis is 7 to 9 times higher in the states like Bihar, Odisha, U.P, Assam, Rajasthan, M.P. and Jharkhand than in other states.

Likewise, the burden due to the leading non-communicable diseases, that is, ischemic heart disease, stroke, diabetes, chronic obstructive lung disease is 4-9 times higher in some states than in other states.

India State Level Disease Burden Initiative

  • The India State-level Disease Burden Initiative is a joint initiative between the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
  • Additionally, the partnership is along with experts and stakeholders associated with over 100 Indian institutions, released the first comprehensive set of state-level disease burden, risk factors estimates and trends for each state in India to inform health planning to reduce health inequalities amongst states in India.
  • These estimates are based on analysis of all identifiable epidemiological data from India over quarter of a century.


5)   What is the objective of the India Youth Development Index 2017?
- Published on 14 Nov 17

a. Track trends in youth development across states
b. Identify high and low performing states and weak domains
c. Inform policy makers about the priority of intervention for state youth development
d. Both a and c
e. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

Explanation:
Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports (Independent Charge) Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore released the India Youth Development Index and Report 2017.

The objective of constructing the India Youth Development Index (YDI) 2017 is to track the trends in Youth Development across the States.

The Index enables recognizing the high and low performing states, identifies the weak domains and informs the policy makers the priority areas of intervention for youth development in the states.

The Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD), Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, an Institute of National Importance has come out with Youth Development Index and Report 2017.

This is a pioneering attempt made by the Institute in 2010 which it followed up with the India Youth Development Index in 2017.

Constructing Youth Development Index for the year 2017 was done using the latest definition of youth as used in National Youth Policy-2014 (India) and World Youth Development Report of Commonwealth (15-29 years) as well as using the Commonwealth Indicators in order to facilitate Global comparison.

India Youth Development Index 2017: Know More

  • In the India Youth Development Index 2017, the first five dimensions are retained same as that of Global YDI.
  • The indicators and weights have been modified based on the availability of data at sub-national level and the importance of the indicators in explaining Youth Development with the aim of capturing the multidimensional properties that indicate progress in youth development at the sub-national level i.e., state level.
  • Global YDI is different from YDI constructed for India in one unique way; YDI for India adds a new domain, social inclusion, to assess the inclusiveness of societal progress as structural inequalities persist in Indian society.
  • This construction helps to identify the gaps that require intensification of policy intervention.
  • This report is of immense value to enable comparisons across geographical areas and categories, as human development index has done in comparing the development situation across regions, nations and localities.
  • The index also measures the achievements made besides serving as an advocacy tool for youth development and facilitates to identify priority areas for development of Policy and Interventions.
  • YDI-2017 will enable the policy makers track the national and the regional progress as well setbacks in youth development policies, planning, priority identification and implementation strategies.
  • Besides providing insights to suggest alternatives and options, it also aids in judicious allocation of resources.


6)   Which state has declared Urdu as its second official language in Nov 2017?
- Published on 14 Nov 17

a. Andhra Pradesh
b. Telangana
c. Kerala
d. Karnataka
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Telangana

Explanation:
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao in the state assembly recently declared Urdu as the state's second official language.

Now all government offices from the Chief Minister's office to District Collectorate will receive all petitions in Urdu also

Every office in Telangana will have an Urdu-speaking officer

All competitive examinations in the state will also be conducted in Urdu

Article 345 of the constitution speaks about the official language of the state. According to the Article 345 "Official language or languages of a State- subject to the provisions of articles 346 and 347, the legislature of a State may by law adopt any one or more of the languages in use in the State or Hindi as the Language or Languages to be used for all or any of the official purposes of that State.

Provided that, until the Legislature of the State otherwise provides by law, the English language shall continue to be used for those official purposes within the State for which it was being used immediately before the commencement of this Constitution.


7)   When was the Guinness word record first published?
- Published on 13 Nov 17

a. 1954
b. 1955
c. 1956
d. 1957
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 1955

Explanation:
A 12-year-old girl, who can sing songs in 80 languages, is trying to break the Guinness world record in singing in most languages in one concert.

Suchetha Satish, a grade seven student of The Indian High School in Dubai, will attempt to sing songs in 85 languages during the attempt scheduled for December 29.

The Dubai prodigy said she knows to sing songs in 80 languages, a skill she acquired in just over a year.

Her plan is to learn at least five more songs in five different languages before she attempts to break the record, the report said.

Hailing from Kerala, Suchetha already knew to sing in some Indian languages like Hindi, Malayalam and Tamil.

She has also been singing English songs in school competitions. But it was only last year that she started singing in other foreign languages. Her first foreign song was in Japanese.

German, French and Hungarian songs were most difficult to learn.


8)   FB Inc rolled out disaster maps for India at which NDMA summit?
- Published on 13 Nov 17

a. Disaster Resolution Summit
b. Disaster Response Summit
c. Disaster Relief Summit
d. Disaster Management Summit
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Disaster Response Summit

Explanation:
Facebook Inc. rolled out Disaster Maps for India to help communities across the country recover and rebuild from natural disasters faster by sharing critical pieces of data sets with humanitarian agencies in a timely manner.

The new product was launched at the company's first Disaster Response Summit in India along with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to improve disaster response and disaster management in India.

According to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) data, India is the third-worst affected country by natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, landslides, cyclones and drought.

Moreover, the response time during and after these crises is often slow and it takes significant time and resources to understand where help is needed most.

Disaster Maps, powered by Facebook's technology and intensive research, will address this critical gap in data that government organizations face when responding to a crisis.

Disaster Maps, which was introduced globally in June, uses aggregated, de-identified Facebook data to help organizations address the critical gap in information they often face when responding to natural disasters.

Facebook provides multiple types of maps during disaster response efforts, which include aggregated location information people have chosen to share with Facebook.

This helps NGOs and relief agencies get a clearer picture of where affected people are located so they can determine where resources-like food, water and medical supplies-are needed.

Types of Facebook Maps

Facebook researchers have built three kinds of maps:

  • Location density maps: These show where people are located before, during and after a disaster. We can compare this information to historical records, like population estimates based on satellite images.
    Comparing these data sets can help response organizations understand areas impacted by a natural disaster.
  • Movement maps: These illustrate patterns of movement between different neighbourhoods or cities over a period of several hours.
    By understanding these patterns, response organizations can better predict where resources will be needed, gain insight into patterns of evacuation, or predict where traffic will be most congested.
  • Safety Check: These maps are based on locations where our community uses Safety Check to notify their friends and family that they are safe during a disaster.
    We are using this de-identified data in aggregate to show where more or fewer people check in safe, which may help organizations understand where people are most vulnerable and where help is needed.
Facebook's Role in Disaster Management
  • While globally Facebook has partnered with organizations like the Red Cross, in India, initially it will join hands with two organizations: the NDMA and SEEDS (Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society).
  • Facebook has 2 billion-plus users globally and according to a media report, its users in India have crossed the 240 million mark, making it the largest audience country for the social media company.
  • Facebook has developed a number of crisis response tools.
  • It activated the Safety Check feature in 2014 and launched Community Help in 2015, which allows the Facebook community to find and give help such as food, shelter and transportation.


9)   What is a Cobot?
- Published on 13 Nov 17

a. A partial robot designed to support and relieve human operators of excess work
b. A semi robot designed to work hand in hand with humans in a shared workspace.
c. Full fledged robots that work autonomously
d. Robots that work with limited guidance
e. Both a and b
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and b

Explanation:
A cobot is intended to work hand-in-hand with humans in a shared workspace.

This is in contrast with full-fledged robots that are designed to operate autonomously or with limited guidance.

They support and relieve the human operator of his excess work.

The automotive sector is a large adopter of cobots. The global electronics industry is also an adopter. Industry watchers felt that manufacturing cannot be competitive without the extensive use of industrial robots.

Manufacturing is a capital-intensive sector and the idea that it can be used to create a lot of low- or medium-skilled but well-paid jobs, as it did in past centuries, is obsolete.

Benefits of cobots were compactness, low payback period, flexibility, lightweight nature, cost-effectiveness, accuracy and safety.

Other benefits include zero annual maintenance costs, reduced power consumption and retention of IP within the company.

Cosmetics firm L'Oreal has also deployed cobots.

It is estimated that a little less than 40,000 cobots have been deployed all over the world.

Big names that have entered into this field include Epson and ABB. There are about 30-40 players in this market.

The adoption has been low in India compared with China and the developed world. For every cobot sold in India, 30 are sold in China.


10)   Which number needs to be linked with insurance policies w.e.f Nov 9, 2017?
- Published on 09 Nov 17

a. UID
b. PAN
c. PIN
d. TIN
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: UID

Explanation:
Insurance regulator IRDAI (The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) on Nov 8, 2017 said linkage of the unique identity number (UID) or Aadhaar with insurance policies is mandatory and asked insurers to comply with the statutory norms.

The government in June had notified the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017 making Aaadhar and PAN/Form 60 mandatory for availing financial services including insurance and also for linking the existing policies with the same.

In a communication to all life and general insurance companies, IRDAI said the rules have "statutory force" and as such they have to implement them without awaiting further instructions.

There are 24 life insurance companies and 33 general insurers (including standalone health insurers) operating in the country.


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