Government Committees, Schemes & Bills - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

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1)   Madhya Pradesh has partnered with which north-eastern states to strengthen cultural ties?
- Published on 20 Nov 17

a. Nagaland and Manipur
b. Nagaland and Tripura
c. Nagaland and Assam
d. Nagaland And Shillong
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Nagaland and Manipur

Explanation:
Madhya Pradesh has partnered with Nagaland and Manipur under Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat Yojana to strengthen cultural relations between them.

MP Government has made its Higher Education Department as nodal department to execute the scheme.

MP will participate in Sangai Mahotsav which is being organized in Manipur.

Likewise, teams from Nagaland and Manipur will take part in Lok Rang and Bal Rang programmes of MP to present their cultural programmes


2)   Ministry of Power launched Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana - 'Saubhagya' Web Portal at which site?
- Published on 20 Nov 17

a. saubhagya.gov.in
b. saubhagya.in
c. saubhagya.org.in
d. saubhagya.com
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: saubhagya.gov.in

Explanation:
Ministry of Power launched Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana - 'Saubhagya' Web Portal. The portal can be accessed at http://saubhagya.gov.in.

The web portal aims to ensure transparency as well as accelerate household electrification in rural as well as urban areas in the country.

Ministry of Power

  • Formed: 2 July 1992
  • Preceding Ministry: Ministry of Energy Sources
  • Jurisdiction: Government of India
  • Headquarters: Shram Shakti Bhawan, Rafi Marg, New Delhi, India
  • Annual budget: र13,881.14 crore (US$2.2 billion) (2017-18 est.)
  • Minister: Rajkumar Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge)


3)   Which company did the Andhra Pradesh government sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to undertake a feasibility study on the introduction of electric vehicles?
- Published on 17 Nov 17

a. Maruti Suzuki
b. Mercedes Benz
c. Hindustan Motors
d. Toyota Kirloskar
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Toyota Kirloskar

Explanation:
Andhra Pradesh government and Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Limited on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to undertake a feasibility study on the introduction of electric vehicles and the necessary systems and infrastructure required for the move.

The MOU aims to work together to solve the grave issue of pollution ensuring smooth introduction of Plug-in Hybrid and Electric Vehicles in the State.

The feasibility study on introduction of Toyota's electrified vehicles "Prius PHEV" and "Small EV Commuter" expands into ambitious smart city project at Amaravati.

This is in line with Toyota's Environment Challenge 2050 to achieve zero CO2 emissions.

Toyota globally believes that the electrification of vehicles is required to reduce CO2 emissions. Toyota has been a pioneer in the electrified vehicle space with the Prius which is the first mass produced electrified car 20 years ago.

Toyota believes that 'PHV' Plug in Hybrid is a realistic solution considering the charging infrastructure available in the country in current status.

Globally Toyota has been a leader in introducing alternate electric mobility solutions to help reduce the CO2 emissions.

Over 85 million tons of CO2 has been reduced by these electrified vehicles globally.


4)   Indian Railways set to launch the country's largest upskilling exercise for government employees called project _______.
- Published on 14 Nov 17

a. Saarthi
b. Sahishnu
c. Saksham
d. Sanskriti
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Saksham

Explanation:
The Indian Railways will launch the country's largest time-bound "upskilling" exercise for government employees to upgrade the skillsets of its 13 lakh-strong workforce with a single drive spanning nine months.

Named Project Saksham, the exercise will start in January 2018 and go on till September, putting through training courses and specially designed skill-upgrade modules.

Employees from the rank of a peon to the Railway Board Members and everyone in between will undergo the training.

The launch date of the project has been tentatively scheduled to coincide with the 155th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, sources said.

The nature of the short-duration training will range from refresher courses, with an eye on evolved global practices in the respective areas, to skills in the existing lining of functioning, sources said.

With growing services, newer benchmarks of service delivery and higher expectations of the clientele, employees need to build skills to rise to the occasion.

Employees can and do deliver only when they have the right skills, knowledge and the mindset to deliver to the new standards of excellence that we hold from them all.

General Managers would identify training modules, divide their workforce into small groups and communicate the entire plan to the ministry by December 31.

Each will be a five-day on-the-job training, or classroom sessions in Railway Training Centres, depending on the nature of the course. According to the directive, the reporting managers of all employees need to be actively involved in the pre-training and post-training process to ensure that the newly learned skills can be easily integrated into the regular jobs.

Groups of railway officers are going to Japan to train in various processes of the Shinkansen bullet train and heavy haul technologies.


5)   Union Cabinet approved restructuring of which programme/yojana on 12th Nov, 2017 for water management?
- Published on 13 Nov 17

a. Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme
b. National Rural Drinking Water Programme
c. Command Area Development and Water Management
d. Farmer's Participatory Action Research
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: National Rural Drinking Water Programme

Explanation:
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has accorded its approval for continuation and restructuring of National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP).

The aim is to make it outcome-based, competitive and better monitored with increased focus on sustainability (functionality) of schemes to ensure good quality service delivery to the rural population.

A sum of INR 23,050 crore has been approved for the programme for the Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC) period 2017-18 to 2019-20.

The programme will cover all the Rural Population across the country. The restructuring will make the programme flexible, result-oriented, competitive, and will enable the Ministry towards to reach the goal of increasing coverage of sustainable Piped Water Supply.

The details of the decision are as follows:

1. National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) is to be continued co-terminus with the 14th Finance Commission cycle till March 2020.

2. With the restructuring of the NRDWP, there will be 2% earmarking of funds for Japanese Encephalitis (JE) /Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) affected areas.

3. A new Sub-programme under NRDWP viz. National Water Quality Sub-Mission (NWQSM) which has been started by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in February 2017 will address the urgent need for providing clean drinking water in about 28000 Arsenic & Fluoride affected habitations (already identified).

4. Pre-financing for the agreed schemes, to the extent of half of the second instalment amount, will be made by the State Governments, which will be reimbursed later on from the central funding.

5. Other half of second instalment of funds will be released to the States based on functionality status of completed piped water supply schemes, which will be evaluated through a third party.

6. The Cabinet has approved INR 23,050 crore for the programme for the FFC period 2017-18 to 2019-20.

The NWQSM aims to cover all rural population in Arsenic/Fluoride affected habitations with clean drinking water on a sustainable basis by March 2021.

States have been given more flexibility in utilization of NRDWP funds by reducing the number of components under the programme.

As per the Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, about 77% of rural habitations in India have achieved a fully covered (FC) status (40 litres per capita per day) and 56% of the rural population have access to tap water through public stand posts within which 16.7% have household connections.

NRDWP: Know More

  • The NRDWP was started in 2009, with a major emphasis on ensuring sustainability (source) of water availability in terms of potability, adequacy, convenience, affordability and equity.
  • NRDWP is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with 50.50 fund sharing between the Centre and the States. Over the years, learning from the success achieved and the deficiencies felt during the implementation of NRDWP, certain modifications are needed in existing guidelines and procedure of release of funds to the States for making the programme more outcome-oriented and competitive.
  • Keeping in view the need to make the NRDWP more result-oriented, incentivise competition amongst States and focused on sustainability, a series of discussions were held with States, various stakeholders / domain experts / international institutions and NITI Aayog, some amendments in the guidelines of the programme have been introduced.
  • These are giving more flexibility to the states in utilization of NRDWP funds by reducing the number of components under the programme.
  • Focus on piped water supply, increase level of service delivery, thrust on coverage of water quality affected habitations (National Water Quality Sub-Mission to tackle Arsenic & Fluoride affected habitations, JE / AES areas), coverage of Open Defecation Free (ODF) declared villages, SAGY GPs, Ganga GPs, Integrated Action Plan (IAP) districts, Border Out Posts (BOP) with piped water supply and Institutional set up for proper O&M of water supply assets etc. have been introduced.


6)   Which portal was launched to make online complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace for women employees?
- Published on 08 Nov 17

a. SHe-Box (http://shebox.nic.in/)
b. Help-Box (http://helpbox.nic.in/)
c. Empower-Box (http://empowerbox.nic.in/)
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: SHe-Box (http://shebox.nic.in/)

Explanation:
WCD Minister Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi on 7th Nov 2017 launched a comprehensive SHe-Box online complaint Management System for women working in both public and private organizations to lodge complaints of sexual harassment at workplace.

The SHe-Box was launched in New Delhi today to ensure the effective implementation of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act (the SH Act), 2013.

The new SHe-Box portal offers the facility of making online complaints of sexual harassment at workplace to all women employees in the country including government and private employees.

Those who have already filed a written complaint with the concerned Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) or Local Complaint Committee (LCC) constituted under the SH Act are also eligible to file their complaint through this portal.

Launching the online facility, the WCD Minister, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said that this is a historic step since it is probably the first ever time that the government of any country has launched an online portal to receive complaints of sexual harassment at workplace.

SHe-Box

  • SHe-Box portal is an effort to provide speedier remedy to women facing sexual harassment at workplace.
  • Once a complaint is submitted to the portal, it will be directly sent to the ICC/LCC of the concerned employer.
  • Through this portal, WCD as well as complainant can monitor the progress of inquiry conducted by the ICC/LCC.
  • This is a proactive step taken by MWCD in the wake of the worldwide social media campaign #MeToo, where women have related their experience of facing sexual harassment and abuse.
  • The portal can be accessed at the link given below:
  • Link to the SHe-Box portal: http://shebox.nic.in/
  • Users of SHe-Box also have the option of interacting with Ministry of WCD through this portal, with an assured time-bound response.
  • The portal also provides information on 112 institutions empaneled by MWCD to conduct training/workshops on the issue of sexual harassment at the workplace.
  • It also has the option for resource persons and institutions willing to contribute to training on this subject in various organisations to submit their applications.
  • SHe-Box will provide a platform to these empanelled institutes/organisations to share their capacity building activities with the Ministry which in turn will be able to monitor the activities of these institutes/organizations so empanelled from across the country.
  • The Ministry has published a Handbook and Training Module on the SH Act to provide information about the provisions of the Act in easy to use practical manner.
  • The private organizations are encouraged to customize the Training Module as per their extant service rules and disciplinary procedures prescribed therein.


7)   Which app was launched in Kolkata on CIL Foundation Day to benefit customers of Coal India Limited lifting coal through the road mode?
- Published on 08 Nov 17

a. Grahak Sadak Koyla Vitaran App
b. Gram Sadak Koyla Vitaran App
c. Garib Sadak Koyla Vitaran App
d. Gramin Sadak Koyla Vitaran App
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Grahak Sadak Koyla Vitaran App

Explanation:
Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Railways & Coal has launched 'Grahak Sadak Koyla Vitaran App' benefitting customers of Coal India Limited (CIL) lifting coal through road mode.

The customer friendly app, launched recently in Kolkata on CIL's Foundation Day, helps achieve transparency in despatch operations, as a tool to monitor, whether the despatches are made on the fair principle of 'First in First Out' and keeps track of all the activities from issuance of Sale Order to physical delivery of coal by road.

The main benefits of the App for the customers, against the Sale Orders issued, include easy accessibility of the information at the click of the button, apart from transparency in the system of loading programme and despatch.

The app also helps in logistics planning for lifting of coal in tune with the loading programmes.

It further helps in improved planning of procurement, production and stock management by the customers.

The main features of the app are that it provides date-wise, truck-wise quantity of coal delivered against the Sale Orders and information related to Scheme-wise, Colliery-wise, Grade-wise, customer-wise details of Sale Orders issued during a period.

In terms of loading it provides allotment verses lifting status in details from different sources truck by truck and summary of the despatch.

Coal India is addressing its customer needs in a big way and made 'ease of doing business' a major consumer commitment.

The launching of the app is also one of the initiatives of CIL towards achieving the much cherished goal of 'Digital India' and transparency.

Need for the App

  • It may be recalled that CIL in a move to rush more coal to power stations, coal supplies to plants located in shorter distances have been offered through road mode from available pithead stock.
  • As a result, power plants located within 50 Kms to 60 Kms from the mines may take as much coal from the nearest mines as they can.
  • During 2016-17 despatch of coal through road mode had been about 140 Million Tonnes (MTs) out of the total despatch of 542 MTs by CIL accounting for 26%.
  • The impetus given in the current fiscal has improved movement of coal through road considerably.
  • As of end of October 2017 the movement of coal through road mode at a little over 93 MTs accounted for 29% of the total coal despatch of 317 Mts.
  • The road despatch during the current fiscal till October 2017 went up by 12 MTs compared to same period last fiscal.


8)   Majuli is the world's _________ river island.
- Published on 06 Nov 17

a. Smallest
b. Greenest
c. Biggest
d. Most pollution-free
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Biggest

Explanation:
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal rolled out a carbon free tourism project in the world's largest river island Majuli.

The project 'Majuli Sustainable Tourism Development Project' is aimed at encouraging a carbon free tourism experience in the island along with creating an environment protocol for the tourism industry, an official release said.

The project also envisages different levels of interventions, starting from promoting carbon free travel to capacity building programmes and creating environment protocol for tourism industry to act as catalyst in funding for women and indigenous communities.

The project is a joint initiative between Assam Tourism Development Corporation and the NGO Root Bridge Foundation.


9)   Which tool is being launched at the World Food India 2017 Expo?
- Published on 02 Nov 17

a. Food Regulatory Portal
b. Food Regulatory Index
c. Food Regulatory Percentage
d. Both a and c
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Food Regulatory Portal

Explanation:
World Food India 2017 Expo is India’s biggest food event aiming to transform the food economy and double farmers’ income.

World Food India is a mega event which would showcase the entire value chain in the food sector. 160 Global CEOs will come under one roof.

Globally & Nationally it is one of the biggest event.

This event is expected to generate INR 65000 Crore worth of investment and 10 lakh jobs.

As global and Indian food companies prepare to explore business opportunities in India at World Food India 2017, MoFPI and FSSAI, the apex Regulatory body for Food Safety in India announced a powerful new tool called ‘the Food Regulatory Portal.’

Planned as a single interface for food businesses to cater to both domestic operations and food imports, this portal would be a game changer for effective and transparent implementation of the food safety laws in the country.

Aiming to create an enabling environment for businesses to operate, the portal is strategically aligned with Government’s mission of One Nation, One Food Law.

Fssai’s Food Regulatory portal will be a step forward in that direction.

Investor Facilitation Portal “Nivesh Bandhu” will be launched to assist investors to make informed investment decisions.

The portal would provide information on Central and State Governments’ investor friendly policies, agro-producing clusters, infrastructure, and potential areas of investment in the food processing sector.

Smt. Badal also appealed to each individual to take a pledge - ‘NO WASTE ON MY PLATE’- to make India Food Secure.


10)   EESL has partnered with which global body to create a low emission economy?
- Published on 02 Nov 17

a. GEF
b. IAEA
c. World Energy Council
d. International Renewable Energy Agency
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: GEF

Explanation:
Recognizing India’s efforts towards a low emission-economy and focusing on energy efficiency programmes, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has now partnered with Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), under Ministry of Power, for the project ‘Creating and Sustaining Markets for Energy Efficiency’.

The project will receive a composite funding of $454 million comprised of the GEF grant of $20 million and co-financing of $434 million in the form of loans and equity, including a $200 million loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

EESL further proposes Energy Efficiency Revolving Fund (EERF) for sustainable funding mechanism of energy efficiency projects in the country.

The EERF mechanism will support the ‘proof of concept’ investments for the new technologies of super-efficient ceiling fans, tri-generation technologies & smart grid-applications and ultimately scaling up energy efficiency financing and programme development.

This will help cover initial investment costs of identified energy efficiency programmes like street lighting, domestic lighting, five-star rated ceiling fans and agricultural pumps, in the country.

This unique model will help in addressing the upfront risks of new technologies. Further, the accrued savings from these technologies can then be used to finance additional projects, which would allow capital to revolve as a sustainable funding mechanism.

GEF: Know More

  • The GEF project further brings together many technical and financing partners including United Nations Environment (UN Environment), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW).
  • This aims to mitigate 60 million tons of CO2 eq (carbon dioxide equivalent), that will enable a total direct energy savings of 38.3 million GJ by 2022 and 137.5 million GJ by 2032 (1 GJ = 277.778 kWh).
  • EESL also has its sights set on district cooling systems which can reduce energy demand for cooling by up to 50 percent. EESL has partnered with UN Environment’s District Energy in Cities Initiative, which has already identified $600 million of projects across five cities in India.
  • GEF is an international partnership of 183 countries, international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector that addresses global environmental issues.
  • The funding announcement was made at the launch of the GEF-6 fund which supports two projects - ‘Creating Markets for Energy Efficiency’ and ‘District Energy in Cities’.


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