Government Committees, Schemes & Bills - General awareness questions on current affairs

1)   FSSAI has come out with draft regulations for ________ food products.
- Published on 28 Jun 17

a. Grain
b. Inorganic
c. Organic
d. Vegetarian
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Organic

Explanation:
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has come out with draft regulations for organic food products to ensure the authenticity of organic foods.

FSSAI’s guidelines have been prepared in view of rising demand for organic food products.

Organic foods will have to comply with the government’s provisions under the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) or the Participatory Guarantee System for India (PGS-India) run by the Agriculture Ministry or any other standards notified by FSSAI.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has invited comments from the public regarding the provisions of the draft regulations.

At present, the consumers do not have any method to check the authenticity of the organic food products due to the absence of a regulatory framework.

Organic foods are defined as those food products that are produced in accordance with specified standards for organic production.

Organic farm produce means the product obtained from organic agriculture, while organic food means food products that have been produced in accordance with specified standards for organic production.

Other features FSSAI’s regulation mandates that labelling of organic foods should provide full and accurate information regarding the organic status of the organic foods.

Organic food products must carry a certification mark or a quality assurance mark provided by the notified certification bodies. FSSAI’s regulations have exempted organic food marketed by the original producer or producer organisation through a direct sale from verification compliance.

However, this exemption will not be applicable to processed organic products.


2)   The meteogam at web portal launched for the power sector in June 2017 measures information within a ___ km radius.
- Published on 26 Jun 17

a. 8
b. 9
c. 10
d. 11
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 10

Explanation:
Piyush Goyal, the Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines launched a weather portal for Power sector on 23 June 2017 that will help all the electricity distribution companies of India in managing power distribution.

The Ministry launched the portal in association with the Power System Operation Corporation Limited (POSOCO) and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) at the meeting of the Forum of Regulators in New Delhi.

The information available in the Portal regarding weather forecast shall help State Discoms to take pro-active steps regarding short term and medium term management processes and supply planning requirements.

It would also enable better planning for infrastructure availability to ensure cost effective and reliable supply. It will also promote use of green and clean power more transparently and competition for lower costs as information will be available to all stakeholders including generators and utilities for more efficient procurement.

The transparency in the information sharing would also create pressure on utilities for continued efficiency.

Besides this, Power Minister Piyush Goyal also launched another portal called ‘MERIT’ (Merit Order Despatch of Electricity for Rejuvenation of Income and Transparency).

The portal is developed by the Ministry of Power in association with POSOCO and Central Electricity Authority.

It displays extensive array of information regarding the merit order of Electricity procured by states such as daily state-wise marginal variable costs of all generators, daily source-wise power purchases of respective states/UTs with source-wise fixed and variable costs, energy volumes and purchase prices.

Regional Weather Summary

  • This provides Weather Outlook for the Region for the current day and upto next 7 days. Weather stations of Meteorological department have been mapped to the nearest important Power Stations in each State.
  • The Meteogram at Web-Portal provides plots for meteorological variables such as rainfall, cloud cover, temperature, humidity, wind, speed, sea level pressure and indices for thunderstorm for 10 days with a resolution time of three hours.
  • Each Meteogram provides information for 10 km radius. Region Specific Forecast – Fog Forecast, Metar, Bay Bulletin, Coastal Area Bulletin, Cyclone, Port Warning etc.
    Day to day weather variations have an impact on load demand and energy production, transport and distribution management, as well as energy prices.
  • Extreme events such as heat waves or cold waves, wind storms or floods can have dramatic consequences on the production means or the electrical grid of a country including physical damage to the infrastructure.


3)   RBI has expanded the definition of which scheme?
- Published on 26 Jun 17

a. Banking ombudsman scheme
b. Banking internal stakeholders scheme
c. Personalised banking scheme
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Banking ombudsman scheme

Explanation:
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed consumers to lodge complaints against banks for non-adherence to norms related to electronic banking services, including those provided on mobile phones, under the banking ombudsman scheme, its cost-free dispute resolution mechanism.

The central bank has also allowed customers to file complaints against banks for deficiencies arising out of sale of third party products such as insurance policies and mutual fund schemes sold by banks.

The scope of the scheme, introduced in 1995, has been expanded.
The banking ombudsman has now been powered to pass an award of INR 20 lakh, as against the earlier threshold of INR 10 lakh.

The ombudsman can also give a consumer up to INR 1 lakh as compensation for loss of time, expenses incurred and mental anguish suffered during fighting the case.

According to the annual report on the banking ombudsman scheme for 2015-16 (July-June), 15 offices of banking ombudsman received 102,894 cases, a jump of 21% over the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Currently, there are 20 offices of banking ombudsman, according to the information available on central bank’s website.


4)   Which girls empowerment scheme from India won the UN Public Service Award for Asia Pacific on 23rd June 2017?
- Published on 26 Jun 17

a. Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao
b. Kiran
c. Kanyashree Prakalpa
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Kanyashree Prakalpa

Explanation:
The West Bengal Government’s Kanyashree Prakalpa on 23 June 2017 was awarded the first prize in United Nations Public Service Award for Asia Pacific.

Out of 552 initiatives from 62 different countries, West Bengal Government’s initiative was chosen the best. The award was presented at The Hague, Netherlands.

Kanyashree Prakalpa is a targeted conditional cash transfer scheme aimed at retaining girls in schools and other educational and skill development institutions and preventing child marriage.

The scheme has already enrolled more than four million adolescent girls and the State Government has till date transferred about USD 500 million directly to the beneficiaries’ bank account.

The scheme is being implemented through 16000 institutes and schools.

UN Public Service Awards

  • The United Nations Public Service Awards are given by the world body to institutions from across the world for their innovation and excellence in providing public services.
  • It is the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service.
  • The overall purpose of the award is to recognize the institutional contribution made by public servants to enhance the role, professionalism, image and visibility of the public service.
  • The award highlights the pivotal role of public services in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.


5)   Under SBM-G, which two states have been declared ODF on 22nd June 2017?
- Published on 23 Jun 17

a. Uttarakhand
b. Haryana
c. Both of the above
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

Explanation:
Under the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G), rural Uttarakhand and rural Haryana have declared themselves as the 4th and 5th Open Defecation Free (ODF) States of India.

The two on 22nd June 2017 joined the league of Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala, which were the first three states to be declared ODF.

Nationally, the sanitation coverage has increased from 42% to over 64% in just two and a half years since the launch of SBM.

Uttarakhand has 13 districts, 95 blocks, 7256 gram panchayats and 15751 villages while Haryana has 21 districts, 124 blocks, and 6083 gram panchayats - all of which have declared themselves as ODF.

With the total number of ODF States now rising to 5, more than 2 Lakh villages and 147 districts have also been declared ODF across the country.


6)   Which state has offered 12 percent reservation for poor Muslim communities?
- Published on 21 Jun 17

a. Telangana
b. Karnataka
c. Kerala
d. TN
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Telangana

Explanation:
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced that the state will shield the proposed 12 percent reservation for poor Muslim communities even in the highest office of the Central Government.

The Minister made the announcement during a government-sponsored Iftar that was held in Hyderabad on 18 June 2017.

The Minister stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been apprised of the reservation bill during his last visit and Modi had assured that he will study the bill.

The Minister also added that he had conveyed to the Prime Minister that the reservation bill was in keeping with the election promise that his Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) party had made in 2014.

The reservation bill, which has been passed by the Telangana Legislature, proposes to increase reservations in jobs and education for backward sections of the poor Muslim community from 4 percent to 12 percent.

Besides this, the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone of Anees-ul-Gurbha Complex in Nampally area, a shelter house that aims to provide education and shelter to Muslim orphan children.

The total estimated cost of the complex is about INR 20 Cr.

Till now, the state government has set up 204 residential schools for underprivileged children from the Muslim community, which is expected to benefit almost 1.33 lakh students.


7)   Which mobile app was launched by DST, Ministry of Science and Technology on occasion of International Yoga Day 2017?
- Published on 20 Jun 17

a. Celebrating Yoga
b. Celebrating Patanjali
c. Joining Yoga
d. Creating Yoga
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Celebrating Yoga

Explanation:
Minister for Science & Technology Dr. Harshvardhan launched a Mobile App "Celebrating Yoga" developed by Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology in New Delhi on 19th June 2017.

The Mobile App has been developed by DST on the occasion of International Yoga Day 2017. The purpose of the APP is to popularise Yoga and encourage people to participate in it for a scientifically healthy living.

Healthy life of citizens improves productivity and economy of the country as a whole. Practicing Yoga is a means of maintaining a healthy society in harmony with nature and fulfil developmental aspirations.

This aspect of quality of life is aligned with the National Mission "Swasth Bharat" of the Government of India.

The Department of Science & Technology has launched a research programme "Science and Technology of Yoga and Meditation (SATYAM)" under its Cognitive Science Research Initiative (CSRI).

As Yoga and Meditation are interdisciplinary endeavors that interface with Neuroscience, Medicine, Psychology, Engineering, Philosophy etc., yoga can contribute in a holistic way to derive integrated benefits.

Celebrating Yoga provides a platform to share information and insights about peoples’ participation in Yoga activities on the occasion of the International Yoga Day 2017; create awareness and encourage a scientifically healthy living.

The App will enable in capturing both mass events being organized in public places, schools and office complexes across the country and individual enthusiasts who are performing yoga to promote the celebration of the day and yoga performances.

The App will be connected with Google Map where shared information can been seen by the users. Subsequently the information posted will also be visible on DST website through a social wall.

The App Celebrating Yoga (DST) can be downloaded from Google Play Store

The information gathered through this app will be shared subsequently with the Ministry of AYUSH to complement their efforts.


8)   Which ministry developed the Energy Conservation Building Code 2017?
- Published on 20 Jun 17

a. Ministry of Power
b. Ministry of Environment and Forests
c. Ministry of Culture
d. Ministry of Commerce
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Ministry of Power

Explanation:
Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines launched the Energy Conservation Building Code 2017 (ECBC 2017) on 19th June 2017.

Developed by Ministry of Power and Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), ECBC 2017 prescribes the energy performance standards for new commercial buildings to be constructed across India.

The updated version of ECBC provides current as well as futuristic advancements in building technology to further reduce building energy consumption and promote low-carbon growth.

ECBC 2017 sets parameters for builders, designers and architects to integrate renewable energy sources in building design with the inclusion of passive design strategies.

The code aims to optimise energy savings with the comfort levels for occupants, and prefers life-cycle cost effectiveness to achieve energy neutrality in commercial buildings.

ECBC 2017 will give clear direction and have criteria for new buildings to be Super ECBC

In order for a building to be considered ECBC-compliant, it would need to demonstrate minimum energy savings of 25%.

Additional improvements in energy efficiency performance would enable the new buildings to achieve higher grades like ECBC Plus or Super ECBC status leading to further energy savings of 35% and 50%, respectively.

With the adoption of ECBC 2017 for new commercial building construction throughout the country, it is estimated to achieve a 50% reduction in energy use by 2030.

This will translate to energy savings of about 300 Billion Units by 2030 and peak demand reduction of over 15 GW in a year.

This will be equivalent to expenditure savings of Rs 35,000 crore and 250 million tonnes of CO2 reduction.

ECBC 2017 was developed by BEE with technical support from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the U.S.-India bilateral Partnership to Advance Clean Energy – Deployment Technical Assistance (PACE-D TA) Program.


9)   For whom has the Startup India Virtual Hub been started?
- Published on 20 Jun 17

a. Stakeholders of the entrepreneurial ecosystem
b. Existing and potential startups
c. Entrepreneurs in India
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

Explanation:
The Commerce & Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman on 19th June 2017 launched theStartup India Virtual Hub, an online platform for all stakeholders of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in India to discover, connect and engage with each other.

Startup India Virtual Hub is an effort to create a marketplace where all the stakeholders can interact, exchange knowledge, and enable each other to grow.

It will streamline the lifecycle of existing and potential startups, helping them access the right resources at the right time.

All entrepreneurs in India will utilize this portal and all enabling stakeholders will contribute to the platform as much as possible.

The Minister also announced a new initiative, wherein a Startup exchange program amongst the SAARC nations would be organized.

The portal will host startups, investors, funds, mentors, academia, incubators, accelerators, corporates, Government bodies and more.

The Hub attempts to solve the problem of information asymmetry and lack of access to knowledge, tools, &experts, especially in the nascent ecosystems across Tier II and III towns.

The Virtual Hub is a dynamic & interactive platform that will facilitate learning & development, networking, mentorship, funding, etc. for startups.

The basic principle behind developing this platform is to aggregate different offerings of the ecosystem and enable discovery by the right audience.

Startup India Hub has partnered with various organizations to on-board entrepreneurs & investors, as well as build knowledge modules.

To ensure accessibility across various platforms, dedicated Apps are also available on both Android and iOS.

India is the third largest startup ecosystem around the globe, with 3-4 startups commencing every day.

Startup Hub: Know More

  • The Hub will act as a nodal platform and will enable users to connect with ecosystem stakeholders, access free learning resources, tools & templates on legal, HR, accounting & regulatory issues and discussion forums.
  • The Hub has also aggregated over 50 relevant Govt schemes/programs.
  • In the next phase, the platform will also aggregate schemes available across various state governments. To provide a better user experience, the platform has been enabled to build smart intelligence along with Chatbots to automatically collate, update information and respond to queries.
  • The launch event of the Hub was kick-started by a panel discussion on ‘Navigating the Startup Landscape’ with a representative from each of the startup, investor, incubator, accelerator, and mentor communities.


10)   When was the national mission on cultural mapping of India launched?
- Published on 20 Jun 17

a. June 16 2017
b. June 17 2017
c. June 18 2017
d. June 19 2017
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: June 17 2017

Explanation:
Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Culture & Tourism on 17 June 2017 launched the implementation of the National Mission on Cultural Mapping of India at Goverdhan Block, Mathura District of Uttar Pradesh.

The national mission on cultural mapping was launched in a day long, Block level mega talent hunt programme (Sanskritik Pratibha Khoj Samaroh).

This Mission is part of the ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ umbrella.

Ministry of Culture launched it in the year of commemoration of the birth centenary of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay, who hailed from Mathura.

After launching the National Mission on Cultural Mapping of India, the cultural minister informed that his ministry will be organising similar Block level events in other States.

The exercise will help the government to kick start the process of scaling up the efforts to cover all the Blocks of the Country. The current round includes Shimoga Block in Shimoga District, Karnataka, Thanesar Block in Kurukshetra District, Haryana, Chauri - Chaura Block in Gorakhpur District in Uttar Pradesh & Saraikela Block in Saraikela - Kharsawan District in Jharkhand.

Ministry of Culture has planned to hold talent hunt competitions with various rounds from Block level to National level. The scheme is set to cover all the Blocks of the Country, involving a total of 6.40 Lakh villages over the span of next 3 years.

National cultural mapping mission: Know More

  • The mission aims at converting the vast and widespread cultural canvas of India into an objective cultural map, designing a mechanism to fulfil the aspirations of the whole artist community of the nation and preserving the rich cultural heritage of this country in the form of a cultural repository of artists and art forms.
  • This Mission encompasses data mapping, demography building formalising the processes and bringing all the cultural activities under one web-based umbrella for better results.
  • The Mission also seeks to open a direct channel of communication for artists with the Government and peer to peer communication among artists for talent honing and handholding of each other.
  • The Cultural Mapping of India portal will serve as a repository/consolidated database of information about cultural assets and resources i.e. a cultural inventory at one place for essential planning, sustainable economic development and for preserving the scattered and near extinct art forms. Artist/Organisations also may register online at www.culturalmapping.nic.in.
Academy to Promote Braj Bhasha
  • Also on the anvil is an academy to promote Braj Bhasha, a dialect of Hindi which is spoken by people primarily in Braj region including Agra, Mathura, Etah and Aligarh.
  • Braj Sahitya Academy most likely will be set up in Mathura.
  • Braj language descended from Shauraseni Prakrit and commonly viewed as a western dialect of Hindi. It is spoken by some 575000 people, primarily in India.


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