Indian Polity - General awareness questions on current affairs

1)   The National Contact centre has been launched by EC for what purpose?
- Published on 15 May 17

a. Get query or complaint relating to elections registered
b. Enquire on subjects such as elections, voting dates, electoral roll and online registration
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both of the above

Explanation:
The Election Commission of India has launched National Contact Centre with a toll free number- 1800111950.

The move would enable any citizen from any part of the country to call on the toll-free number and get their query or complaint addressed at any time of the day in Hindi or English.

The callers would be able to enquire on subjects such as elections, voting dates, electoral roll and online registration.

They would also be able to register their complaints by simply dialling the toll free number.

The executives at the Contact centre would also be making outbound calls to educate the electors and spread voter awareness.

The National Contact Centre is operated on a National Grievance Redressal System Software.

The Redressal software is a single window platform to manage complaints and feedback received through calls, emails, sms and website access in an integrated and time-bound manner.

Callers may connect with the executives to lodge a complaint and enquire about its status of receipt and disposal as well as to give suggestions and feedback at every step of the way.

The EC through the establishment of the Contact Centre aims to bring about electoral reforms that empower the citizens and officials to monitor and report any irregularity or violation of the ECI’s instructions during, before or post elections.

Soon each state and Union Territory would also be setting up dedicated State Contact Centres (SCC) and District Contact Centres (DCC) in order to ensure smooth flow of information across the contact centres for proper redressal of issues and queries of the citizens.

National Contact Centre would also have IT protocols to ensure that any call landing at NCC is properly redirected to the respective State Contact Centre.


2)   What does ICMIS stand for, in the context of SC?
- Published on 11 May 17

a. Integrated Client Management Information System
b. Integrated Client Management Indepth System
c. Indian Case Management Information System
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: None of the above

Explanation:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated Supreme Court’s Integrated Case Management Information System (ICMIS).

This digital filing system will mark Supreme Court’s first towards becoming a paperless, digital court.

ICMIS is hailed as the biggest and most ambitious leap in judicial system.

Subsequently, all High Courts, District Courts, Sub-Division Courts will be integrated with the new system.

Later on, all the jails in the country will be Integrated by ICMIS software.

ICMIS will help litigants access data and obtain information about the filing, delays etc.

It would pave way for the integration of all courts in the country.

The appellants hereafter is not required to file the records as the records will be picked up electronically from trial courts and high courts.

The digital filing system will also help in ushering transparency as nothing can be manipulated with this paperless system.

Also, the litigants will be able to know the progress of the case on real time basis.


3)   What does RERA stand for, in the context of real estate regulation law?
- Published on 02 May 17

a. Real Estate (Development and Regulation) Act
b. Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act
c. Real Estate (Regulation) Act
d. Real Estate (Development ) Act
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act

Explanation:
Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) is expected to usher in an urban real estate revolution in India.

Flat property prices over the past two years have made the real estate sector a no-go zone for investors.

But RERA, along with demonetisation and goods and service tax (GST), will make sure that the market is largely driven by end users.

While RERA benefits the builders by bringing in more transparency and accountability, which will stand them in good stead by ensuring the flow of institutional funds, the real winner will be the end-user–the home buyers.

The immediate impact would be likely on consolidation, how capital is raised and deployed, and increasing compliance costs for developer. It will also impact transparency, demand uplift and consolidation.

However rules put forward by states have diluted many provisions, keeping most of ongoing projects outside the ambit of the law that would come into effect from May 1.

States such as Odisha and Bihar have notified rules that are completely in sync with the one notified by the Union housing and poverty alleviation ministry.

In contrast, Haryana's draft rules, notified last week, have completely left out disclosures by builders on the sanctioned plan, layout and specifications at the time of booking with all subsequent changes till date.

This omission will give legal colour to all unilateral changes done by builders and will give them an escape route to avoid paying compensation to home buyers.

In Maharashtra, a provision has been included to allow builders to take out or divest from a project after occupancy certificate has been issued.

This means, the builder can pull out its entire investment before completion of common areas, facilities and amenities.

In UP, the norms related to compounding of offences have been diluted as no specific amount has been mentioned. There is provision for 'up to' (a certain amount), which means it may even be zero.

This will encourage corruption as quantum of money to be paid will be at the discretion of the authority.

The urban development ministry has allowed relaxation even in Delhi, where rules specify that promoters need to provide details of only those court cases which have been disposed of during the last five years.

This is despite the housing ministry clearly stating that builders need to provide details of all pending cases.


4)   What does VVPAT stand for, in voting?
- Published on 21 Apr 17

a. Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail
b. Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail
c. Voter Verified Paper Auditing Trail
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail

Explanation:
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for procurement of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) Units for use in the General Elections, 2019.

The decision of the Government would enable the Election Commission of India to deploy VVPAT Units in all polling booths in the General Elections, 2019.

This will act as an additional layer of transparency for the satisfaction of voters, allaying any apprehension in the minds of the voters as to the fidelity and integrity of the EVMs.

VVPAT: Know More

  • Voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) or verifiable paper record (VPR) is a method of providing feedback to voters.
  • It is using a ballotless voting system.
  • A VVPAT is intended as an independent verification system for voting machines designed to allow voters to verify that their vote was cast correctly.
  • It is used to detect possible election fraud or malfunction, and to provide a means to audit the stored electronic results.
  • It contains name of the candidate (for whom vote has been casted) and symbol of the party/ individual candidate.


5)   Which of the following recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee was accepted by President?
- Published on 19 Apr 17

a. Speeches of dignitaries including President should be delivered in Hindi alone
b. National carrier Air India should have Hindi inflight journals
c. All PSU communications should be in Hindi
d. Both a and b
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and b

Explanation:
President Pranab Mukherjee has accepted the recommendations of a parliamentary committee that says speeches of dignitaries, including the President and Union Ministers, should be delivered in Hindi alone if they can.

To promote Hindi, the President has directed the Aviation Ministry to ensure that national carrier Air India have Hindi in-flight journals.

However, the president has rejected the idea of mandatory use of Hindi in all official communication of public share holding companies or forcing private companies to bring out a Hindi catalogue of their products.

He has also turned down the proposal of a minimum knowledge of Hindi as a prerequisite for a government job.

The Committee of Parliament on Official Languages made over 100 recommendations in 2011 to promote Hindi and interestingly, even then the Committee was headed by a non-Hindi speaking politician, former Home Minister P Chidambaram.


6)   Which state government prohibited names of government functionaries on foundation stones and plaques?
- Published on 17 Apr 17

a. Punjab
b. Haryana
c. MP
d. HP
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Punjab

Explanation:
Punjab government has prohibited the inclusion of names of the government functionaries, including ministers and MLAs, on foundation stones and inaugural plaques.

This is to build a stronger connect with the people by shedding the VIP culture.

The state government has clarified that though there is no bar on government functionaries and leaders attending or laying the foundation stone of any project, the practice of inscribing their names on foundation stones or plaques would be discarded with immediate effect.

Further, the order has clarified that henceforth all projects and programmes, including those inaugurated by the CM, would be “dedicated to the people of Punjab”.

The order comes at the backdrop of cabinet minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot threatening a government school principal over his name not being at the top of the inauguration plaque went viral on social media.

The chief minister of Punjab has been seen taking various initiatives to shed VIP culture in the state.

Singh and his cabinet ministers gave up the symbolic red beacon light on their vehicles, fulfilling a promise on the party’s election manifesto.

Punjab Government: Know More

  • Seat of Government : Chandigarh
  • Governor: Vijayendrapal Singh
  • Chief Minister: Amarinder Singh
  • LegislatureAssembly: Punjab Vidhan Sabha
  • Members in Assembly: 117
  • Judiciary
  • High Court: Punjab & Haryana High Court
  • Chief Justice: Justice Shiavax Jal Vazifdar (Acting Chief Justice)


7)   Which state government has signed an MoU for 24/7 power supply by 2018?
- Published on 17 Apr 17

a. Uttar Pradesh
b. Himachal Pradesh
c. Uttarakhand
d. Kerala
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Uttar Pradesh

Explanation:
The Uttar Pradesh government has signed an MoU with the Centre to ensure 24/7 power supply by Oct, 2018.

The surcharge waiver would cost the state exchequer around INR 3,500 crore.

Also, in a first, the UP government has decided to purchase potatoes directly from farmers to cut wastage of the crop due to shortage of cold storages.

Centre approved procurement of 1 lakh metric tonne (MT) of potatoes+ in the state under the Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) during 2016-17 crop year (July-June).

The approval is in tune with the UP cabinet's decision to procure potatoes so that the farmers are not forced to sell it at throwaway prices in summer.

The purchase will be made at Rs 4,870 per MT. The agriculture ministry will provide an additional Rs 1,217.50 per MT for overhead expenses.

This follows loan waiver for farmers and speed up wheat procurement drive at MSP in the state.

With this, Uttar Pradesh which was the only state in the country which had not signed the agreement has finally come on board the central government scheme.

The chief minister chose Ambedkar Jayanti as the occasion to sign the ambitious 24×7 Power For All scheme of the Centre, as he said it was a tribute to Ambedkar, who stood for equality for all, irrespective of caste.


8)   Which state government has decided on April 11, 2017 to waive surcharge on electricity dues?
- Published on 12 Apr 17

a. AP
b. MP
c. HP
d. UP
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: UP

Explanation:
Taking its second biggest decision since coming to power, the Uttar Pradesh government on April 11, 2017 decided to waive surcharge on electricity dues.

It also gave nod to an agreement with the Centre to ensure 24X7 power supply by October 2018.

The MoU between UP and the Centre would be signed in the presence of Yogi and Union power minister Piyush Goyal.

The surcharge waiver would cost the state exchequer around INR 3,500 crore.

Also, in a first, the UP government has decided to purchase potatoes directly from farmers to cut wastage of the crop due to shortage of cold storages.

Coming in support of the UP government, the Centre approved procurement of 1 lakh metric tonne (MT) of potatoes in the state under the Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) during 2016-17 crop year (July-June).

The approval is in tune with the UP cabinet's decision to procure potatoes so that the farmers are not forced to sell it at throwaway prices in summer.

The purchase will be made at Rs 4,870 per MT. The agriculture ministry will provide an additional Rs 1,217.50 per MT for overhead expenses.

In another decision, the government gave nod to short-term mining policy, allowing district magistrates to give permits for mining for a limited period to plug the shortfall of sand and building material.

The permit, to be given in 10 days, will be issued through e-tendering.

Yogi Adityanath: Know More

  • Born: 5 June 1972 Pauri Garhwal district
  • Education: Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University
  • Party: Bharatiya Janata Party
  • Deputy: Keshav Prasad Maurya, Dinesh Sharma


9)   Which of the following is not among the 4 supporting legislations of the Goods and Services Tax?
- Published on 10 Apr 17

a. CGST
b. IGST
c. Compensation
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: None of the above

Explanation:
Rajya Sabha on 6 April 2017 passed all four supporting legislations of the Goods and Services Tax Bill, GST rollout 2017.

The four bills were passed by the Rajya Sabha by a voice vote as all parties were on board.

The four legislations are:

i. The Central Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017 (The CGST Bill).
ii. The Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017. (The IGST Bill).
iii. The Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017 (The UTGST Bill).
iv. The Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to the States) Bill, 2017 (The Compensation Bill).

The passage in the upper house of the Parliament has cleared the decks for the rollout of the historic GST Bill from 1 July 2017 and usher the one-nation-one-tax regime.

With this passage in Rajya Sabha, the Bill will be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for the final nod. The bills will become the law after the President gives his assent to them.

The Bill was earlier passed by the Lok Sabha on 29 March 2017.

Now, the States can pass the State GST Bill in their assemblies.

Parliament passed all the four bills related to GST rollout unanimously.

The agricultural produce will not be taxed under the new indirect tax regime. All those items which are exempted as of now will continue to be so.


10)   Which district became the 22nd addition to West Bengal's existing ones?
- Published on 06 Apr 17

a. Midnapore
b. Jhargram
c. Alipore
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Jhargram

Explanation:
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on April 4, 2017 announced Jhargram as a new district of the State.

Carved out of four Assembly seats of Paschim Medinipur district, Jhargram was once a hotbed of Maoist activity.

Lalgarh, which comes under the new district, had become a “liberated zone” after the Left Front government reclaimed the area through a joint operation with Central forces in June 2009.

Also on the anvil are a university at Jhargram, along with an archery academy, nine colleges and six hospitals.

Jhargram is the State’s 22nd district.

In February, the Mamata Banerjee government had made Kalimpong a separate district after carving it out of Darjeeling district.

In June 2014, Alipurduar, of Jalpaiguri district, became the 20th district of the State.

The State government has plans to bifurcate Bardhaman district into a rural and an industrial belt, and also make Sunderbans, spread over North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas, into a separate district.

According to the State government, creating new districts helps in administrative convenience and brings services closer to the people.

Jhargram: Know More

  • The new district comprises eight blocks, nine police stations and one municipality.
  • It has a population of around 11,37,000 and four Assembly constituencies - Jhargram, Gopiballavpur, Nayagram and Binpur.
  • While R Arjun was appointed as Jhargram district magistrate, Abhishek Gupta was named the SP.
  • CM announced that a budget Rs 200 crore has been sanctioned for development projects to be undertaken in the area.
  • Around 35,000 people have been recruited in the police from Jangalmahal.


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