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

1)   Where was UDAN scheme launched from?
- Published on 28 Apr 17

a. Jubbarhatti
b. Shimla
c. Solan
d. Delhi
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Jubbarhatti

Explanation:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme from Jubbarhatti, an airport on the outskirts of Shimla.

‘Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik’ means ‘the common man flies’.

He flagged of the first UDAN flight under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) on Shimla-Delhi sector. UDAN flights on Kadapa–Hyderabad, and Nanded-Hyderabad sectors were also flagged off.

Around 45 unserved and under-served airports are set to be connected under UDAN scheme to make flying more affordable.

The airports to be connected under UDAN include Bhatinda, Bhavnagar, Durgapur, Jaisalmer, Puducherry, and Shimla.

Under this scheme, five operators will operate flights services on 128 routes that will connect 70 airports through 19-78 seater aircrafts. The operators are Air India subsidiary Airline Allied Services, Air Deccan, Air Odisha, Turbo Megha, and Spice Jet.

As per the modalities of the scheme, airfare for a one-hour journey of 500 km has been capped at an all-inclusive charge of Rs. 2,500.

For longer routes and flight duration, the pricing will vary.

The scheme is expected to have positive effects on the economy in terms of employment and investment.

The scheme will also promote tourism and balanced regional growth.

UDAN: Know More

  • The ‘Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik’ RCS (Regional Connectivity Scheme) was launched in October 2016.
    It is considered as a vital component of the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP).
  • The policy was released on June 15, 2016.
    The scheme has been launched to provide connectivity to un-served and under-served airports of the country through revival of existing air-strips and airports.
  • This is first of its kind scheme and will be implemented for a period of 10 years.
  • As of now, 128 routes have been identified and declared in the RCS map of India.


2)   Which Indian Railways special rail service is a double decker AC one?
- Published on 26 Apr 17

a. Utkrisht Double Decker AC Yatri
b. Ujjala
c. UDAY
d. Both a and c are the same
e. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both a and c are the same

Explanation:
The Indian Railways will be launching a special rail service, Utkrisht Double-Decker AC Yatri (Uday) Express in July 2017.

The over-night train would ply only on high-demand routes like Delhi- Lucknow and its fare would be lower than that of the 3AC class in regular express trains.

The aim of the double-decker service is to provide better amenities to passengers in a lesser fare.

The 120- seater AC service would have large automatic vending machines in each coach, which would dispense pre-cooked hot food and tea/ cold drinks.

The train would also be equipped with large LCD screens in every coach along with wi- fi speaker system.

It would also be equipped with bio-toilets. Its interior would sport an aesthetically designed modern look.

The introduction of the service will help the public transporter clear the rush in high demand routes, as the train would have 40 per cent more carrying capacity in comparison to other trains.

However, in spite of being an overnight train, it would not have sleeper berths but it would though have added facilities such as comfortable seats and adequate leg space to ensure travellers a comfortable and smooth journey.

The service, announced in rail budget 2016-17, is slated to run at a speed of 110 km speed per hour on high-density routes.


3)   What does the draft APMC Act define as a single unified market area?
- Published on 26 Apr 17

a. Each state
b. Each UT
c. Each village
d. Both a and b
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both a and b

Explanation:
To give farmers more freedom to sell their produce, the agriculture ministry has unveiled a model Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act which defines each state/UT as a single unified market area.

The move will curb the role of APMC mandis.

The State/UT Agricultural Produce and Livestocks Marketing (promotion and facilitation) Act, 2017, which is being sent to states for adoption.

This allows existing APMC mandis to enforce regulation only in their market yard which would allow private sector players to set up mandis.


4)   Which state's forest department deployed drones for monitoring forest fires?
- Published on 25 Apr 17

a. Uttarakhand
b. Rajasthan
c. Gujarat
d. Madhya Pradesh
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Uttarakhand

Explanation:
In a first, the Uttarakhand Forest Department has deployed three drones for real-time monitoring of the forest fires.

This is the first time that drones are used to monitor forest fires in India.

Besides monitoring of forest fire, drones are already in use for wildlife conservation for nest status, aviation ethology, crocodile and water birds counting and monitoring.

Uttarakhand faces maximum incidents of forest fires. In 2016, about 2,000 incidents of forest fires destroyed 4,500 hectares of forest land in Uttarakhand.

Uttarakhand has about 71% of the total geographical area under forest cover. Thus, real time monitoring of forest fires will help in preventing the spread of forest fire.

Though, the Forest Department employs both traditional method and modern methods with the help of satellite images, it is difficult to know about the forest fire in the Terai and Bhabar regions.

The Terai region consists of fertile lowlands of the southern Himalayan, Shivalik foothills and north of Indo-Gangetic plains and the Bhabar region runs parallel to the north side of Terai.

Uttarakhand is known for human-induced forest fires since a long time.

In 2016, the pine forests of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh caught fire.

Most of the fires in Uttarakhand happen in the Chir pine (Pinus Rroxburghii) forests because leaves of this conifer tree catch fire easily.

The forest fires in Uttarakhand have been predominantly intentional for the purpose of collection of forest resources such as resin, sal seeds, honey, timber and more.


5)   Cows, calves, oxen, and bulls are set to get which number to stop their smuggling?
- Published on 25 Apr 17

a. PAN
b. PIN
c. TAN
d. UIN
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: UIN

Explanation:
All cows, their calves, oxen and bulls in the country will be tagged with a tamper-proof Unique Identification Number (UIN) to stop their smuggling.

Informing the court about the decision which was in the works since the NDA government took office in 2014, solicitor general Ranjit Kumar informed the bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud

Each animal will be tagged with a UIN with proper records of identification details - age, breed, sex, lactation, height, body colour, horn type, tail switch and special marks."

The ministry of agriculture has devised a method of tamper-proof identification of cattle using polyurethane tags with a UIN sequence. It may be made mandatory for cows and their progeny throughout India.

Already mass tagging of cattle for insurance purpose is being done by livestock development boards and animal husbandry departments in states.

A state-level data bank may be uploaded on website to be linked with the national online database.

Such cattle may be in a dairy, kanji house (shelter home) or dry dairy and a registration card has to be maintained by the owner of the cattle which may be transferred to the next owner, in case legitimate sale/transfer takes place.

In order to prevent smuggling of non-milking/retired cattle, measures may be taken to create sustainable housing models, dry dairies, in every block, which could be self-sustaining by linking its operations to production of manure and bio-gas, which may be sold at a minimum support price to the government.

This will reduce use of chemical fertilisers in agriculture.

Centre also gave details of the causes behind large-scale cattle smuggling to Bangladesh.

It said in West Bengal alone, 1,28,440 cattle were impounded by BSF accounting for 76% of seized cattle in 2016. Assam with 33,619 seized cattle came second in the list.


6)   Which language has MEA made the provision to enable people to apply online for passports in?
- Published on 24 Apr 17

a. Bengali
b. Konkani
c. Hindi
d. Urdu
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Hindi

Explanation:
The Ministry of External Affairs has made a provision enabling people to apply online for passports in Hindi.

The move comes after President Pranab Mukherjee recently accepted recommendations made in this regard by the Committee of Parliament on Official Language via its ninth report.

The report was submitted in 2011.

The panel had suggested that bilingual forms should be made available by all passport offices and forms filled in Hindi should also be accepted.

It had recommended that entries should also be made in Hindi in all passports being issued.

These recommendations have been accepted by the president recently, as per an official order.

People can download the application form available in Hindi, fill it in and upload it while applying for the passport.

The printout of filled-in form will not be accepted by 'Passport Seva Kendra' and Regional Passport Offices.

The panel on the official language had also recommended that information regarding passport and visa should be made available in Hindi on the official website of the ministry.

The recommendation that the facility of working in Hindi is to be ensured on computers being used in passport offices, and that the work on computers should be done mainly in Hindi, has also been accepted.

The president has given approval for creation of posts of Hindi Officer in subordinate offices or embassies abroad.


7)   Which was the first country to release aromatic stamps in 1973?
- Published on 24 Apr 17

a. India
b. Bhutan
c. Maldives
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Bhutan

Explanation:
At an event organised by the India Post, commerce and industry minister Nirmala Seetharaman and telecom minister Manoj Sinha released the coffee scented stamps at the General Post Office in Bengaluru on 23rd April, 2017.

The stamps, which are being printed at the India Security Press, will be priced at INR 100. Already, one lakh stamps have been printed for sale to collectors.

These stamps will be made available at the Philately Bureau, Bangalore General Post Office, and all other head post offices.

Bhutan was the first country to release aromatic stamps in 1973.

New Zealand, Thailand and Switzerland joined in later.

In 2006, India introduced its first aromatic stamp, with INR 15 sandalwood-scented stamp where 30 lakh of these sold out within two weeks.

In 2007, rose-scented stamps were released in four varieties of flower namely Jawahar, Neelam, Delhi Princess and Bhim, each priced at INR 5 and a jasmine fragrance in 2008.


8)   Which country has signed an MOU for defence industry cooperation in shipbuilding with India in April 2017?
- Published on 24 Apr 17

a. South Korea
b. North Korea
c. Japan
d. China
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: South Korea

Explanation:
A MoU has been signed between India and South Korea for defence industry cooperation in shipbuilding.

Under the MoU, the two countries would recommend the organisations for collaborating in the implementation of specific projects.

The MoUs signed will be valid for a time period of 5 years and are automatically extendable for further successive five years at a time.

While South Korea is yet to name its recommended organisation, India has nominated Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL), Visakhapatnam for the collaboration.

HSL and the nominated shipyard by South Korea will find and develop indigenous sources for the supply of majority of the material and equipment for the construction of the warship.

HSL has already teamed with Hyundai Heavy Industries to build five fleet support ships and two strategic operating vessels.

In addition to the above project, Kangnam Corporation of South Korea is slated to provide consultancy, design and technological assistance to India’s state-owned Goa Shipyard Limited in building 12 mine countermeasures vessels.

The cooperation is part of the ‘Make in India’ policy.


9)   According to guidelines on charging of service charge by hotels and restaurants, service charge on hotels and restaurant bills is __________.
- Published on 24 Apr 17

a. Mandatory
b. Totally voluntary
c. Involuntary
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Totally voluntary

Explanation:
Ministry of Food and Consumer Affairs has approved the ‘Guidelines on Fair Trade Practices Related to Charging of Service Charge from Consumers by Hotels and Restaurants’.

As a part of the guidelines which has been issued in public interest to protect the rights of consumers, Service charge on hotel and restaurant bills is “totally voluntary”, adding that mandatory levy of service charge amounts to unfair trade practice.

As per the guidelines, Hotels and restaurants cannot decide on service charge and the column of service charge will be left blank in the bill for the customers to fill up before making payment.

The guidelines have also stated that in a case of mandatory levy of service charge, customers can file a complaint in the Consumer Court.

However, at present, stringent action cannot be taken against the erring hotels as the current Consumer Protection Act, 1986 does not empower the ministry to do so.

But, under the new Consumer Protection Bill, an authority is expected to be set up with powers to take such actions.

The Department of Consumer Affairs has justified the guidelines in view of complaints received by it from consumers that some hotels are insisting payment of service charge in the range of 5-20 per cent and many people are paying it believing that it is part of taxes.

As per the guidelines, a component of service is already inherent in the provision of food and beverages ordered by a customer.

Hence, the price of food and beverages is expected to cover both goods and service components. HRAWI’s Response

The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has not welcomed the guidelines by saying that levying of service charge is a global practice and a legitimate tax, adding that it has been in India for more than half a century.


10)   Which initiative under White revolution scheme has been developed to encourage safety, quality and hygiene of milk and milk products?
- Published on 24 Apr 17

a. Quality Mark Award Scheme
b. Quality Mark Award Yojana
c. Agmark Quality Award Scheme
d. Agmark Quality Award Yojana
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Quality Mark Award Scheme

Explanation:
As part of the innovative initiatives under the “White Revolution” umbrella Schemes, the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries has supported the National Dairy Development Board(NDDB) developed initiative of “Quality Mark” Award Scheme.

This is for dairy Cooperatives to promote and encourage enhancement of safety, quality and hygiene of milk and milk products manufactured by dairy cooperatives.

It is aimed at bringing about process improvement in the entire value chain from producer to the consumer to ensure availability of safe and quality of milk and products both for the domestic and foreign market.

The “Quality Mark” Award Scheme for dairy Cooperatives in the country has been initiated to instil confidence in the consumers for the quality of milk being marketed by them by ensuring availability of safe and good quality milk and milk products.

The quality mark scheme was rolled out on 6th January-2016 after deliberating on the process and award mechanism for over a year.

The initiative does not propose any new/ additional system for Food Safety and Quality Management but lays down minimum standards against each link of the processes required for ensuring quality and safety.


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