General Economics & Indian Economy - GS questions based on daily current affairs

1)   Which of the following is/are true?

1) SEZ India is a mobile app that allows to track bill processing status.
2) SEZ India app will also help start business in SEZs in a quick manner.

- Published on 16 Jan 17

a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Only 1

Explanation:

  • A Mobile app named “SEZ India” has been launched
  • The App would help the SEZ Units and Developers to find information easily and track their transactions on SEZ Online System.
  • Now the SEZ Developers & Units can file all their transactions digitally through SEZ Online system and track the status on the go through the SEZ India mobile app.
  • The app is available on Android Platform for use by SEZ Developers, Units, officials and others.
  • The app has four sections i.e. SEZ Information, SEZ Online Transaction, Trade Information, and Contact details.
  • SEZ INFORMATION - This is a compendium of the SEZ Act, 2005, SEZ Rules, 2006, MOCI Circulars, details of SEZs and Units etc.
  • It gives up to date comprehensive details on all the above aspects.
  • TRADE INFORMATION - This provision gives access to important information / tools such as Foreign Trade Policy, Hand Book of procedure, Duty Calculator, Customs & Excise Notification and MEIS Rates.
  • CONTACT DETAILS - We see that the contact details of all Development Commissioners Office, DGFT, DG System, DGCI & S and SEZ online.
  • SEZ online Transaction - This is a dynamic submenu that tracks the Bill of Entry / Shipping Bill processing status and also does verification.
  • The app also helps the Importers / Exporters to track the status of 'Bill of Entry / Shipping Bill” integration and processing in the EDI system of the ICEGATE.


2)   Which of the following states in India have e-wallets of their own?

1) Maharashtra
2) Assam
3) Tamil nadu
4) Karnataka

- Published on 16 Jan 17

a. 2, 3, 4
b. 1, 2
c. 1, 3, 4
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 1, 2

Explanation:

  • With digital e-wallet Toka Paisa, which also has a smart-card version Assam became the first state in eastern India to have its own e-wallet.
  • Until now (15th January 2017) only Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra have their own e-wallets.
  • The E-wallet has a local language interface, which was developed by techies from the state-owned Assam Electronics Development Corporation Limited (AMTRON).
  • The state has many river islands and riverbanks which are isolated due to poor internet connectivity.
  • The offline smart card which can be used in POS (point of sale) terminals will be able to serve those areas.
  • But young entrepreneurs who have been opening up various hyper-local digital start-ups are sceptical as they feel that it is difficult to convince people to change their old ways in specifically the rural areas.


3)   Which of the following is true?
- Published on 13 Jan 17

a. Minimum wages amounts for labourers are only advisory in nature
b. Minimum wages amounts for labourers are statutory and constitutional in nature
c. Minimum wages for labourers currently are only statutory in nature
d. Minimum wages amounts for labourers are only constitutional in nature
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Minimum wages amounts for labourers are only advisory in nature

Explanation:

  • Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment has said that the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 will be amended to make minimum wages statutory and binding.
  • Minimum wages for unskilled, semiskilled and skilled labourers currently remain only advisory in nature.
  • The Payment of Bonus Amendment Act 2015 has been passed by the Parliament, providing for better coverage of Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees State Insurance Corporation(ESIC) facilities.
  • At present there are 43 central laws related to employees’ welfare, some dating back to the year 1925.
  • All 43 laws will be simplified into four different codes on wages, industrial relations, social security and safe working conditions.
  • The Centre is contemplating on amending Plantations Labour Act, 1951 to enable local bodies and State and Central governments to undertake development works inside private plantations to ensure the welfare of workers.


4)   Which of the following is/are true?

1) Railways had no non-fare revenue policy.
2) Non-fare revenue includes revenue from advertising.

- Published on 11 Jan 17

a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both 1 and 2

Explanation:
Indian Railways launched the non-fare revenue policy, a first in Railways.

This policy will consider different areas ranging from advertising in trains and other areas such as bridges and other assets, setting up of ATMs at platforms to digital content for passengers.

Salient Features of the Policies:

  • The policies are based on feedback from the key players in the industry. Some of the key inputs considered in the policies are:
1. Long Term Contracts - 10 years
2. Single Point of Contact within Indian Railways - Non-Fare Revenue Directorate

3. Credibility of Partner - including a technical and financial capability model

4. Transparent Process - E- Auction

5. Better media planning for Railway assets - Allowing zone/train/station wise packages

Key Policies are -

1. Non-Fare Revenue Policy - allow Indian Railways to consider unsolicited proposals of earnings through Non-Fare sources.

2. Out of Home Advertising Policy - allow monetisation of Railway Assets by means of advertising.

3. Train Branding Policy - augment advertising revenue of Indian Railways by allowing internal and external advertisement.

4. Content on Demand and Rail Radio Policy - allow monetization of entertainment based services on trains and stations. Entertainment services shall be provided through audio (P.A systems) and video systems (personal devices of the passengers) on trains and platforms.

5. ATMs Policy - allow setting up ATMs at major stations of the Indian Railways.


5)   What is Merchant Discount Rate?
- Published on 10 Jan 17

a. Rate charged by a merchant to the customers
b. The rate of discount given by merchant to customers at their discretion
c. Rate charged to a merchant by the bank
d. Discounted interest rates for loans given by banks to merchants
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rate charged to a merchant by the bank

Explanation:
Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) is the charge (rate) charged by the bank to the merchants for letting the merchants collect payments through swiping of credit and debit cards.

The merchant discount rate is expressed in percentage of the transaction amount.

The merchant needs to open an account with the bank.

The bank then provides the swipe machine. On swiping the cards, the money gets deposited in the account.

The merchant must agree to the rate before setting up his/her account.

RBI wants to encourage cashless transactions and so it as set upper limits for the MDR.

MDR for debit card transaction has been capped at 0.75% for transaction values up to Rs.2000 and at 1% for transaction values above Rs.2000.


6)   India International Exchange (INX) is located at
- Published on 10 Jan 17

a. Gandhinagar
b. Mumbai
c. Chennai
d. Pune
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Gandhinagar

Explanation:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the India International Exchange (INX) located at the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC), GIFT City (in Gandhinagar), terming it as momentous occasion for the country's financial sector.

The India INX is a wholly owned subsidiary of BSE Ltd is expected to start trading middle of January 2017.

The exchange plans to offer diversified portfolio of products and technology services at more competitive rates to Indian exchanges as well as other global exchanges like those in Dubai, London and Singapore.

The exchange can trade securities and products other than Indian rupees.

The securities and products that could be traded on the India INX are:

i. equity shares of companies incorporated outside India,
ii. depository receipts,
iii. debt securities,
iv. currency and interest rate derivatives,
v. index based derivatives,
vi. commodity derivatives and such other securities that may be allowed.

The exchange will offer the same state of the art T7 trading platform used by BSE with a speed of 6 microseconds - the fastest in the world.

India INX and the India Clearing Corporation (ICC) has already set up a fully functional office with a data centre and IT system at GIFT city.

The facilities in the India INX would enable a comprehensive single segment access for currency, commodities, equities and fixed income derivatives.

The exchange will ensure equitable distribution of market data to all members.


7)   Which of the following are not microeconomic indicators?

1) Forex
2) Unemployment Rate
3) GDP
4) Inflation rate
5) Price Indices

- Published on 06 Jan 17

a. 2, 4
b. 1, 2, 3
c. 3, 5
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

Explanation:
Following are various macro-economic indicators

  • GDP
  • CPI - Consumer Price Index
  • WPI - Wholesale Price Index
  • National Income
  • Forex
  • Inflation rate
  • Currency rate
  • Government Fiscal and Monetary Policy
  • Interest rates
  • Balance of Trade
  • Current Account Deficit, etc.


8)   NICDIT is for
- Published on 04 Jan 17

a. IT Section of Government
b. Semiconductor and IC manufacturing
c. Industrial Corridors
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Industrial Corridors

Explanation:
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the expansion of the mandate of Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project Implementation Trust Fund (DMIC-PITF Trust) and its re-designation as National Industrial Corridor Development & Implementation Trust (NICDIT) for integrated development of Industrial Corridors.

NICDIT would be an apex body under the administrative control of DIPP for coordinated and unified development of all the industrial corridors in the country. It will channelize Gol funds as well as institutional funds while ensuring that the various corridors are properly planned and implemented keeping in view the broad national perspectives regarding industrial and city development, and will support project development activities, appraise, approve and sanction projects. It will coordinate all central efforts for the development of Industrial Corridor projects and will monitor their implementation.

DMICDC will function as a knowledge partner to NICDIT in respect of all the Industrial Corridors in addition to its present DMIC work, till Knowledge Partner(s) for other Industrial Corridors are in place.

An Apex Monitoring Authority under the chairpersonship of the Finance Minister will be constituted to periodically review the activities of NICDIT and progress of the projects.


9)   Which of the following is/are true regarding Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Ordinance, 2016?

1) As per the ordinance even holding old 500 and 100 notes is illegal.
2) Transacting with banned notes will attract fine 5 times the amount of the face value of the notes.

- Published on 02 Jan 17

a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both 1 and 2

Explanation:
The main objectives of the Ordinance are

(i) to provide clarity and finality to the liability of the Reserve Bank of India and the Government of India for the Specified Bank Notes (SBNs);

(ii) to provide an opportunity to those persons who were unable to deposit the SBNs within the time provided; and

(iii) to declare holding, transferring or receiving SBNs as illegal, with provisions for penalty for contravention of any of the provisions of the Ordinance.

Further, to prevent any continued parallel transactions with the SBNs by unscrupulous elements, after this period, holding, transferring and receiving SBNs will attract a fine of Rs.10,000 or five times the amount of the face value of the SBN involved in the contravention, whichever is higher.


10)   Committee to review Institutionalization of Arbitration Mechanism in India will be headed by
- Published on 30 Dec 16

a. Justice R. V. Raveendran
b. Justice S. Ravindra Bhat
c. Justice B N Srikrishna
d. Ms. Indu Malhotra
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Justice B N Srikrishna

Explanation:
Arbitration provides an effective and efficient alternative window for dispute resolution. The Government of India has laid emphasis on making Arbitration a preferred mode for settlement of commercial disputes.

In order to ensure speedy resolution of commercial disputes and to facilitate effective conduct of international and domestic arbitrations raised under various agreements, it has been considered necessary to go into various factors to accelerate arbitration mechanism and strengthen the arbitration ecosystem in the country.

It is also important to examine specific issues and roadmap required to make India a robust centre for international and domestic arbitration.

With the above end in view, the Government has decided to constitute a High Level Committee (HLC) in the Ministry of Law and Justice.

The Committee to review Institutionalization of Arbitration Mechanism in India will be headed by Justice B N Srikrishna.


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