Indian Polity - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

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1)   Union Cabinet has approved which national judicial pay commission for subordinate judicial officers in country?
- Published on 13 Nov 17

a. Second
b. Third
c. Fourth
d. Fifth
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Second

Explanation:
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved appointment of Second National Judicial Pay Commission (SNJPC) for Subordinate Judiciary in the country.

The Commission is to be headed by Shri Justice (Retd.J P.Venkatrama Reddi, former Judge of Supreme Court of India. Shri R. Basant, a former Judge of the Kerala High Court is the Member of the Commission.

The Commission will make its recommendations to the State Governments preferably within a period of 18 months.

It will examine the present structure of emoluments and conditions of service of Judicial Officers in the States and UTs.

The Commission aims to evolve the principles which would govern pay structure and other emoluments of Judicial Officers belonging to the Subordinate Judiciary of the country.

It will examine the work methods and work environment as also the variety of allowance and benefits in kind that are available to Judicial Officers in addition to pay and to suggest rationalization and simplification thereof.

The Commission will devise its own procedures and formulate modalities necessary for accomplishing the task. The Commission also aims at making the pay scales and conditions of service of Judicial Officers uniform throughout the country.

The recommendations of the Commission will help in promoting efficiency in Judicial Administration, optimizing the size of judiciary etc. and to remove anomalies created in implementation of earlier recommendations.


2)   Government of India has directed the investigation of which ICIJ expose in Nov 2017?
- Published on 07 Nov 17

a. Paradise Papers
b. Panama Papers
c. Appleby Papers
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Paradise Papers

Explanation:
Revelations made today in the media under the name 'Paradise Papers' [based upon expose done by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)] indicate that out of 180 countries represented in the data of offshore entities held by persons of different nationalities, India ranks 19th in terms of number of names.

714 Indians reportedly appear in the tally.

The Paradise Papers include nearly 7 million loan agreements, financial statements, emails, trust deeds and other paperwork over nearly 50 years from inside Appleby, a prestigious offshore law firm with offices in Bermuda and beyond.

The leaked documents include files from the smaller, family-owned trust company, Asiaciti (Singapore), and from company registries in 19 secrecy jurisdictions.

The Investigation units of the Income Tax Department (ITD) have been alerted to take note of revelations for immediate appropriate action.

It has been reported that many cases of offshore entities are already under investigation on fast track. As soon as further information surfaces, swift action as per law will follow.

Further, the Government has directed that investigations in cases of Paradise Papers will be monitored through a reconstituted Multi Agency Group, headed by the Chairman, CBDT, having representatives from CBDT, ED, RBI & FIU.


3)   Union Cabinet has amended which bill to grant retrospective recognition to central/state universities by conducting teacher education courses?
- Published on 02 Nov 17

a. National Council for Teacher Education Act 1993
b. National Teacher Accreditation Act 1993
c. National Teacher Eligibility Act 1993
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: National Council for Teacher Education Act 1993

Explanation:
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for introduction of a Bill in Parliament to amend the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993, namely the National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Act, 2017 to grant retrospective recognition to the Central/State/Universities who are found to be conducting teacher education courses without NCTE permission.

The amendment seeks to grant retrospective recognition to the Central/State/Union Territory funded Institutions/Universities conducting Teacher Education Courses without NCTE recognition till the academic year 2017-2018.

The retrospective recognition is being given as a onetime measure so as to ensure that the future of the students passed out/enrolled in these institutions are not jeopardized.

The amendment will make students studying in these Institutions/Universities, or already passed out from here, eligible for employment as a teacher.

With a view to achieve above mentioned benefits, Deptt. of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development has brought about this amendment.

All institutions running Teacher Education Courses such as B.Ed. and D.El.Ed. have to obtain recognition from the National Council for Teacher Education under section 14 of the NCTE Act.

Further, the courses of such recognised Institutions/Universities have to be permitted under section 15, of the NCTE Act.

Background:

  • The NCTE Act, 1993 came into force on 1st July, 1995 and is applicable throughout the country, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The main objective of the Act Is to provide for the establishment of a NCTE to achieve planned and coordinated development of the teacher education system, regulation and ensure proper maintenance of norms and standards in the said system.
  • In order to achieve the objectives of the Act, separate provisions have been, made in the Act, for recognising Teacher Education courses and to lay down guidelines for compliance by recognized Institutions/Universities.


4)   MHA is set to take over which MoCA bureau?
- Published on 31 Oct 17

a. Airport Authority of India
b. Pawan Hans
c. Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Udaan Akademi
d. Bureau of Civil Aviation Security
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Bureau of Civil Aviation Security

Explanation:
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is set to move a proposal before the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for taking over the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), currently under the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA).

The move, initially opposed by MoCA, was proposed on the ground that security at airports is provided by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which reports to the MHA.

BCAS is responsible for laying down standards, policies and measures with regard to security of all commercial flights.

Multiple agencies working at airports, including the Intelligence Bureau, immigration officials, security personnel, local police, are bound by regulations passed by BCAS.

The decision is based on a security audit conducted by a team of experts from the MHA, IB, CISF and BCAS, which had recommended the change.

Another reason cited for taking control of BCAS is the issue of security clearances for airlines and airports, granted by the MHA.

The move may result in an increase in passenger security fee since the CISF will be deployed at all the 98 airports across the country,.

Set up as a cell in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in 1978, after an Indian Airlines flight was hijacked in September 1976, BCAS was reorganised as an independent department under the MoCA on April 1, 1987, as a follow-up to the Kanishka bombing in June 1985.

It is currently headed by a commissioner of security.

In 2012, the then UPA government moved a proposal to set up an exclusive Aviation Security Force (ASF), under the control of BCAS, to replace CISF at airports, following the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s recommendation.

However, the proposal was rejected by the NDA government, which decided to strengthen the CISF instead.


5)   The Bureau of Indian Standards Act will help in which of the following?
- Published on 16 Oct 17

a. Provision to bring services and products under a mandatory standard regime
b. Multiple type of simplified conformity assessment scheme including self declaration of conformity
c. Appoint authority besides BIS to verify conformity of products and services to standardisation
d. Both a and c
e. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

Explanation:
The much-awaited Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Act has come into effect from October 12 with a provision to bring more services and products like jewellery under the mandatory standard regime.

Parliament had, in March 2016, passed the law to replace the BIS Act of 1986.

The Consumer Affairs Ministry finalised the rules for the new law only this week.

The new law will further help ease of doing business in the country.

Not only the provisions of the Act will give fillip to ’Make In India’ campaign but also ensure availability of quality products and services to the consumers, he said.

As per the new law, the government can bring under compulsory certification regime any goods and service which it considers necessary in the public interest or for the protection of human, animal or plant health, safety of the environment, or prevention of unfair trade practices or national security.

Enabling provisions have also been made for making hallmarks of the precious metal articles mandatory.

The new Act also allows multiple type of simplified conformity assessment schemes, including self-declaration of conformity against a standard which will give simplified options (to manufacturers) to adhere to the standards and get certificate of conformity.

There is also a provision that enables the Centre to appoint any authority/agency, in addition to the BIS, to verify the conformity of products and services to a standard and issue certificate of conformity.

Further, there is provision for repair or recall, including product liability of the products bearing Standard Mark but not conforming to the relevant Indian Standard.

The current Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) will be known as National Standards Body of India.


6)   In a landmark verdict, SC has held sexual relations with wife under ____ years of age as rape.
- Published on 12 Oct 17

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

ANSWER: 18

Explanation:
In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court (SC) on Oct 11, 2017 ruled that sex with a wife who is under 18 years of age is rape and therefore a crime.

The top court did not rule on 'marital rape', which is sexual intercourse forced upon a spouse no matter what their age.

Before today's SC ruling, there was an exception in Section 375 rape law provisions that protected a man who had sexual relations with his wife even if she was under 18, which is the age of consent.

Exception 2 in Section 375 of IPC (Indian Penal Code) granting protection to husband is violative of constitution and fundamental rights of minor bride.

The top court's verdict upholds the rights of 2.3 crore child brides in the country.

The SC rejected the plea of the Centre which justified the provision on the grounds that child marriage is a reality in the country and such marriage has to be protected.

A bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur had on September 6 asked the Centre how Parliament could create an exception in a law when the age of consent is 18.

Also in September, the apex court had said it did not want to go into the aspect of marital rape, but when the age of consent was 18 years for "all purposes", why was such an exception made in the IPC.

SC Judgment: Know More

  • Responding to the query, the Centre's counsel had said if this exception under the IPC goes, then it would open up the arena of marital rape which does not exist in India.
  • Economic and educational development in the country is still uneven and child marriages are still taking place.
  • It has been therefore decided to retain the age of 15 years under Exception 2 so as to give protection to husband and wife against criminalising the sexual activity between them.
  • It is also estimated that there are 23 million child brides in the country.
  • Hence, criminalising the consummation of a marriage with such a serious offence such as rape would not be appropriate and practical.


7)   Election Commission of India will use VVPAT with EVM at which state for the first time in Dec 2017?
- Published on 03 Oct 17

a. Rajasthan
b. Gujarat
c. Odisha
d. HP
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Gujarat

Explanation:
The Election Commission of India (EC) will use Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) gadgets with Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in all 50,128 voting booths in Gujarat, which goes to the Assembly polls at the end of this year.

This is the first time an entire assembly poll will be conducted using the EVMs equipped with VVPAT.

VVPAT machines, which will be attached to the EVMs, will allow voters to verify if their vote has gone to the intended candidate.

This would ensure transparency in the voting process.

The machine is being put to use in Gujarat following a petition filed by Ms. Reshma Patel, one of the conveners of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti.


8)   Which anti immigration, rightist  party won 13.1 percent of votes in German elections for the first time in more than half a century?
- Published on 26 Sep 17

a. Alternative for Germany
b. Chance for Germany
c. Growth for Germany
d. Opportunity for Germany
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Alternative for Germany

Explanation:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel won a fourth term in office on 24th Sept 2017 but will have to build an uneasy coalition to form a German government after her conservatives haemorrhaged support in the face of a surge by the far-right.

The anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) stunned the establishment by winning 13.1% of the vote, projected results showed, a result that will bring a far-right party into Parliament for the first time in more than half a century.

Ms. Merkel’s conservative bloc emerged as the largest parliamentary party but, with just 33.2% of the vote, saw its support slump to the lowest since 1949 - the first time national elections were held in post-War Germany.

Her main Social Democrat rivals also received their worst result since the 1940s - just 20.8% - after nearly half of voters repudiated the two parties that have dominated Germany since Second World War.

With Parliament now fragmented, Ms. Merkel appears likely to cobble together a tricky three-way coalition with a pro-business group and the Greens.

Success for a far right was a test for Germans. It was important to listen to the concerns of their voters and win them back.

The election was fought on the tense backdrop of surging support for far-left and far-right parties across Europe.

Germany in particular is coping with the arrival of more than one million refugees and other new migrants, with tension with Russia since Moscow’s incursions into Ukraine, and with doubt about Europe’s future since Britain voted to quit the EU.

After shock election results last year, from the Brexit vote to the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, leaders of Europe’s establishment have looked to Ms. Merkel to rally the liberal Western order.

Without the SPD, Ms. Merkel’s only straightforward path to a majority in Parliament would be a three-way tie-up with the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens, known as a “Jamaica” coalition because the black, yellow and green colours of the three parties match the Jamaican flag.

Such an arrangement is untested at the national level in Germany and widely seen as inherently unstable.

Both the FDP and the Greens have played down the prospect of a three-way coalition, but neither won enough seats on 24th Sept 2017 to give Ms. Merkel a majority on its own.

The other parties elected to the Bundestag all refuse to work with the AfD.

Despite losing support, Ms. Merkel, Europe’s longest serving leader, will join the late Helmut Kohl, her mentor who reunified Germany, and Konrad Adenauer, who led Germany’s rebirth after Second World War, as the only post-War Chancellors to win four national elections.


9)   President of India has appointed whom as India’s first full time woman defence minister?
- Published on 04 Sep 17

a. Nirmala Sitharaman
b. Najma Heptullah
c. Smriti Irani
d. Sushma Swaraj
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Nirmala Sitharaman

Explanation:
The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, has directed the allocation of portfolios among the following members of the Union Council of Ministers:-

Shri Narendra ModiPrime Minister and also in-charge of: Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; Department of Atomic Energy; Department of Space; and All important policy issues; and All other portfolios not allocated to any Minister.

CABINET MINISTERS
1. Shri Raj Nath SinghMinister of Home Affairs.
2. Smt. Sushma SwarajMinister of External Affairs.
3.Shri Arun JaitleyMinister of Finance; and Minister of Corporate Affairs.
4.Shri Nitin Jairam GadkariMinister of Road Transport and Highways; Minister of Shipping; and Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
5. Shri Suresh PrabhuMinister of Commerce and Industry.
6. Shri D.V. Sadananda GowdaMinister of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
7. Sushri Uma BharatiMinister of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
8.Shri Ramvilas PaswanMinister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
9. Smt. Maneka Sanjay GandhiMinister of Women and Child Development.
10.Shri AnanthkumarMinister of Chemicals and Fertilizers; and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs.
11.Shri Ravi Shankar PrasadMinister of Law and Justice; and Minister of Electronics and Information Technology.
12.Shri Jagat Prakash NaddaMinister of Health and Family Welfare.
13.Shri Ashok Gajapathi Raju PusapatiMinister of Civil Aviation.
14.Shri Anant GeeteMinister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.
15.Smt. Harsimrat Kaur BadalMinister of Food Processing Industries.
16.Shri Narendra Singh TomarMinister of Rural Development; Minister of Panchayati Raj; and Minister of Mines.
17.Shri Chaudhary Birender SinghMinister of Steel.
18.Shri Jual OramMinister of Tribal Affairs.
19.Shri Radha Mohan SinghMinister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
20.Shri Thaawar Chand GehlotMinister of Social Justice and Empowerment.
21.Smt. Smriti Zubin IraniMinister of Textiles; and Minister of Information and Broadcasting.
22.Dr. Harsh VardhanMinister of Science and Technology; Minister of Earth Sciences; and
Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
23.Shri Prakash JavadekarMinister of Human Resource Development.
24.Shri Dharmendra PradhanMinister of Petroleum and Natural Gas; and Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
25.Shri Piyush GoyalMinister of Railways; and Minister of Coal.
26.Smt. Nirmala SitharamanMinister of Defence.
27.Shri Mukhtar Abbas NaqviMinister of Minority Affairs.


10)   Which of the following countries signed an MoU on cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration with ECI?
- Published on 31 Aug 17

a. Ecuador
b. Tanzania
c. Bhutan
d. Both a and c
e. All the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both a and c

Explanation:
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal of the Election Commission of India to enter into Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration.

This is with the Election Management Bodies of other countries/International Agencies.

These are as follows:

i. The National Electoral Council of Ecuador;

ii. The Central Election Commission of Albania;

iii. The Election Commission of Bhutan;

iv. The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan;

v. The National Independent Electoral Commission of Guinea;

vi. The Union Election Commission of Myanmar; and

vii. The India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM) and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA).

These MoUs contain standard articles/clauses which broadly express promotion of cooperation in exchange of knowledge and experience in the field of organizational and technical development of electoral process.

Also important is support in exchanging information, institutional strengthening and capacity building, training of personnel, holding regular consultations etc.

These MoUs would promote bilateral cooperation, aimed at building technical assistance / capacity support for the said Election Management Bodies.

Cooperation with ECI: Background

  • The Election Commission has been participating in promoting cooperation in the field of election matters and electoral processes across the world with certain foreign countries and agencies.
  • This is by adopting the mode of MoU signed by the concerned parties.
  • The Election Commission, a constitutional body, conducts the largest electoral exercise in the world.
  • It is the responsibility of the Election Commission to organize free and fair election in the country of about 85 crore voters with diverse socio-political and economic backgrounds.
  • In recently years, the role being played by the Election Commission ensures greater participation of people in political affairs.
    India, today, is considered as the world’s largest democratic country.
  • The success of democracy in India has attracted the attention of almost every political system around the world.


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