Summits & Meetings - General awareness questions on current affairs

1)   Third Meeting of the National Medical Wellness and Tourism board was held in which city?
- Published on 20 Jun 17

a. Mumbai
b. Chennai
c. Delhi
d. Bangalore
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Delhi

Explanation:
The Third Meeting of the National Medical and Wellness Tourism Board was held today under the chairmanship of Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism and Culture.

In the Second Meeting of the Board held on 28th March, 2017, it was announced that comprehensive framework and roadmap on Medical and Wellness Tourism would be prepared and presented before the nation in time for the International Yoga Day on June 21st 2017.

The Committee presented its report for adoption by the Board in which a standard framework for assessment and accreditation of all AYUSH facilities that cater to Tourism has been created.

The institutions can apply online for self-assessment which would then be reviewed for accreditation.

All organisations that are already accredited and/or qualified and/or certified by NAAC, NABH, ISO-9004, Indian Yoga Association (IYA), Center of Excellence (CoE), Organisations affiliated by Universities, Approved Integrative Hospitals and government AYUSH Institutions and Green Leaf / Olive Leaf organisations approved by Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala would be listed on the Ministry of Tourism website by 21st June 2017.

The Ministry of Tourism is also celebrating the 3rd International Day of Yoga through various initiatives:

  • A 30 second Radio Spot promoting Yoga was developed and is airing on 17 AIR FM stations starting 14th June.
  • A 60 second Television commercial promoting India as a land of Yoga has been developed. A month long TV campaign promoting Yoga is to be launched on Doordarshan network on 21st June.
  • A campaign promoting Yoga is running on all social network channels of Ministry of Tourism from 15th May 2017 to 21st June 2017.
  • IDY 2017 posters and standees developed to be used by India tourism international and domestic offices.
  • The International Day of Yoga was highlighted at the India stand at SATTE, Delhi in Feb 2017 and Yogshala Expo held in Delhi in June 2017.
  • The private sector is also encouraging participation in Yoga Day events with Tour Operators planning special trips to Yoga camps and special Yoga Experiences for groups who are visiting on the Yoga Day.
National Medical and Wellness Tourism Board
  • The National Medical and Wellness Tourism Board was constituted under the Chairmanship of the Minister for Tourism.
  • It was formed in October 2015.
  • It aims to provide dedicated institutional framework to take forward Medical Tourism and position India as competent and credible medical and well tourism destination.


2)   Which state government signed MoU with British Council to improve state education?
- Published on 16 Jun 17

a. Manipur
b. Assam
c. Meghalaya
d. Sikkim
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Sikkim

Explanation:
The Human Resource Development department of Sikkim government signed an MoU with the British Council to enhance quality of education in the state.

The MoU will improve the educational structure of the schools of Sikkim as planned by the Chief Minister and his vision to revolutionise Sikkim's education and help children achieves greater feats in life.

The purpose of the MoU is to support the aims and aspirations of the young people of Sikkim through collaborative projects in the area of English, education and skills by strengthening the capacity of the teachers and other professionals, working with youth in the state and support its cultural economy.

The programme also include capacity building in teaching, learning and research pedagogy of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Social Science teachers from undergraduate colleges and universities in Sikkim by UK higher education experts along with internship of young faculties at relevant UK Universities.


3)   GST Council has constituted how many sectoral groups for smooth roll-out of the indirect tax?
- Published on 12 Jun 17

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

ANSWER: 18

Explanation:
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has constituted 18 sectoral groups like telecom, textiles, gems and jewellery, e-commerce and mining, constituting officers both from the Centre and states to address sector-specific issues and assist in smooth roll-out of the new indirect tax regime from July 1.

The constitution of the 18 sectoral groups was decided in the 14th meeting of the GST Council held on May 18-19 in Srinagar.

These 18 sectoral groups representing various sectors of the economy and containing senior officers of the Centre and the states are being set up to ensure smooth implementation of GST by timely responding to the issues and problems of their respective sectors.

These groups will interact and examine representations received from trade and industry associations/bodies of their respective sector, highlight specific issues for the smooth transition to the GST regime and prepare sector-specific draft guidance.

The other sectoral groups are banking, financial and insurance, exports (including export oriented units and special economic zones), information technology and information technology enabled services, transport and logistics, micro small and medium enterprises (including job work).

Also included are oil and gas (upstream and downstream), services received and provided by government, food processing, big infrastructure (airport and sea ports including maintenance, repair and overhaul, power sector, housing and construction).

Other groups are on travel and tourism, handicrafts, media and entertainment and drugs and pharmaceuticals.

The officials of these sectoral groups will deal with the issues and the problems of the respective sectors they represent.

The concerned industry groups/associations or even individual industry representatives may approach the respective sectoral group officers with their problems, if any, relating to GST implementation who, in turn, will try to guide and help them in resolving the same.

This exercise will help in dealing with most of the sectoral problems and issues at the local/regional level.


4)   The railways ministry has inaugurated the first HR round table conference for railways at which city?
- Published on 12 Jun 17

a. New Delhi
b. Kolkata
c. Chennai
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: New Delhi

Explanation:
Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurated Indian Railways’ 1st HR Round Table Conference. C

Railway is a large organisation & for every big organisation, it is necessary to revisit the basic issues, introspect them and bring a change to be competitive, versatile & efficient.

People in the organisation has to take a decision of change. Organisational change can happen only if the shortcomings are realised.

Railways is a complex organization. It has commercial role, social role and welfare role and has to meet expectations of people which are unique and conflicting. It also has to play a role of national transporter.

Railways is the most important strategic asset of country.

The change should start from the top level so it should be discernible to the people as discussed in the HR Round Table Conference. Railways as an organisation should cater to the larger corporate goals, corporate goals should cater to societal priorities.

The action & attention should be at Divisional level, Railway Divisions as a business unit should be a focal point of the changes.

Chairman Railway Board Shri AK Mital said that In all other organization the cost of employees is around 30% whereas in Indian Railways it is 60% of the operation cost.

The need of the hour is to increase the earning so that the cost of employees will go down which will be possible only when efficiency & output of each & every employees will improve.


5)   Where was the 18th Annual India Russia Summit held in 2017?
- Published on 02 Jun 17

a. Moscow
b. St. Petersburg
c. Mumbai
d. Chennai
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: St. Petersburg

Explanation:
The complete list of MoUs signed by PM Modi with Russia are listed below:

List of MoUs/Agreements exchanged during the visit of Prime Minister to Russia (June 01, 2017)


Sl.No.Title of MoUs/AgreementIndian signatoryRussian Signatory
1.The program of cultural exchanges between the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of India for 2017-2019.Ambassador Pankaj SaranVladimir Medinskyii Minister for Culture
2.The General Framework Agreement for the construction of the third stage of the Kudankulam NPP (KK5 & KK6) along with the Credit ProtocolShri Satish Kumar Sharma, Chairman NPCILMr Alexei Likhachev, CEO ROSATOM
3.Agreement between the Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent) and the Council of India on Scientific and Industrial Research on granting access to Rospatent experts to the Indian Digital Library of Traditional Knowledge (TKDL)Ambassador Pankaj Saran Mr Grigory Ivliev Head of ROSPATENT
4.The contract between JSC «Russian Railways» and the Ministry of Railways of the Republic of India on the preparation of the justification for the implementation of the high-speed service at the Nagpur-Secunderabad sectionAmbassador Pankaj SaranOleg BeloserovPresident of Russian Railways
5.Memorandum of cooperation between ALROSA Joint Stock Company (Public Joint Stock Company) and the Council for the Promotion of the Export of Precious Stones and Jewellery of IndiaShri Praveen Shankar Pandya,Chairman,Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC)Mr Sergei IvanovPresident ALROSA
Source: PIB

The Saint Petersburg Declaration by the Russian Federation and the Republic of India: A vision for the 21st century was also part of the summit.

Ties India and Russia span the spectrum from Culture to Defence (Sanskriti se Suraksha).

70 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries have been marked by a high degree of convergence on various bilateral and global matters.

The Prime Minister mentioned St. Petersburg Declaration, issued today, as a benchmark of stability in a turbulent, interdependent and interconnected world.


6)   India has hosted a Pacific Island conference in ______.
- Published on 31 May 17

a. Fiji
b. Cook Islands
c. Samoa
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Fiji

Explanation:
India has hosted a two-day Pacific Islands Conference in Suva, the capital city of Fiji. The India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Conference held between 25 and 26 May 2017 was hosted by Ministry of External Affairs.

The conference that was inaugurated by the Acting Fijian Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum saw the signing of eight MoUs on the day of inauguration.

These MoUs were signed on 25 May 2017 by five participating nations, namely Fiji, Cook Islands, Nauru, Samoa and Niue. On behalf of India, the inaugural session of the conference was addressed by Gen. (Dr) V.K. Singh (Retd), Minister of State for External Affairs.

List of Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) signed during the Inaugural session of India-Pacific Islands Sustainable Development Conference:



Serial No.CountryMoU
1.FijiMOU for cooperation on broadcasting between Prasar Bharti, New Delhi, India and Fiji Broadcasting Corporation for Exchange of Audio Visual Programmes.
2.FijiMoU between Ministry of New and Renewable Energy of the Government of the Republic of India and Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport of the Government of the Republic of Fiji on Co-operation in the field of Renewable Energy.
3.FijiMoU between the Government of Republic of India and the Government of the Republic of Fiji for establishing India - Fiji Centre of Excellence in IT.
4.FijiMoU between the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Fiji and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of the Republic of India on Cooperation in the field of Youth Development.
5.Cook IslandsMoU between the Government of Republic of India and the Government of Cook Islands for Establishing India - Cook Islands Centre of Excellence in IT.
6.NauruMoU between the Government of Republic of India and the Government of Republic of Nauru for establishing India - Nauru ICT Learning Centre of Excellence in IT.
7.SamoaMoU between the Government of Republic of India and the Government of Independent State of Samoa for Establishing India - Samoa Centre of Excellence in IT.
8.NiueMoU between the Government of Republic of India and the Government of Niue for Establishing India - Niue Centre of Excellence in IT.
India will contribute USD 1 million to Fiji’s Trust Fund for their Presidency of COP-23 to be held in November 2017.

The conference was held under the framework of the Forum for India Pacific Islands Co-operation (FIPIC).

The conference was organised by the Ministry of External Affairs wanted to boost the bilateral relations with the 14 Pacific Island countries.

The event saw Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF). India-Pacific Islands Countries discuss on a wide range of issues including climate change.

FIPIC was formed in November 2014, to strengthen India’s relationship with the Pacific Island Countries.

The first FIPIC summit was held at the level of Heads of Government in November 2014 in Suva, Fiji, which was followed by the FIPIC-II summit held in August 2015, in Jaipur, India.


7)   Which committee has recommended guidelines for de-siltation of River Ganga from Bhimgauda to Farakka?
- Published on 22 May 17

a. Chitale
b. Bobde
c. Shahane
d. Bhadbhade
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Chitale

Explanation:
Chitale committee constituted to prepare guidelines for desiltation of river Ganga from Bhimgauda (Uttarakhand) to Farakka (West Bengal), submitted its report to Ministry of Water Resources on 19 May 2017.

The committee in its report has recommended a slew of measures like a study of reach wise sediment transport processes along with establishing annual sediment budgets to guide de-silting activities.

It also recommended the preparation of annual reports (Sand registry) describing the previous de-silting/dredging activity and a technical institute may be entrusted to conduct the sediment budget, morphological and flood routeing studies.

This would examine and confirm the necessity of the de-silting of the reach under consideration.

In July 2016, the Ministry of Water Resources River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation constituted a committee to prepare guidelines for desiltation of river Ganga from Bhimgauda (Uttarakhand) to Farakka (West Bengal).

It was asked to establish a difference between desilting and sand mining and also to establish the need for desilting for ecology and e-flow of the river Ganga.

Chitale Committee: Know More

  • Madhav Chitale (Expert Member, NGRBA) was appointed as Chairman of the committee.
  • Other members of the committee included Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change and Dr Mukesh Sinha, Director, Central Water and Power Research Station, Pune.


8)   Who chaired the first Niti Aayog Samavesh meeting held in New Delhi on May 17, 2017?
- Published on 19 May 17

a. Amitabh Kant
b. Ratan P Watal
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both of the above

Explanation:
In pursuance of the Prime Minister’s call for a New India 2022, the first meeting of the National Steering Group and other knowledge partners was held in NITI Aayog on 17th May 2017 under the co-chairmanship of Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO and Shri Ratan P Watal, Principal Adviser, NITI Aayog.

The meeting was aimed at bringing together 32 premier educational and policy research institutions to catalyse the development process, enhance institutional capacity development and a field level interface with the community for New India 2022.

The meeting witnessed signing of Memoranda of Understands (MoUs) between NITI Aayog and major think tanks across the country to create an ecosphere of evidence based policy research.

This network will enable efficient knowledge sharing and information exchange among all partners to fulfil their role in transformative policy reform so as to achieve a sustainable and more inclusive development in line with the National Development Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals as well as the 15 year Vision, 7 year strategy and 3 year action plan.

The meeting was also attended by representatives of four State Governments viz. Kerala, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

This is the first ever initiative taken in the country to bring the large number of institutions cutting across diverse domain themes to deliberate together on the way forward for inclusive development of the country.

As part of Samavesh initiative, a new link on NITI’s website was launched on the occasion which would eventually emerge as a major repository of knowledge based reports and case studies across different sectors of the economy


9)   How many nations launched an anti terrorism forum to protect archaeological sites?
- Published on 27 Apr 17

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

ANSWER: 10

Explanation:
Ten nations from across the world came together on 24 April 2017 to form a group with the aim of protecting ancient heritage from extremism like that of the Islamic State, which led to the destruction of Syria’s ancient city, Palmyra.

The forum was launched in Athens, the capital city of Greece, by ministers and ambassadors from all the ten nations.

The list includes India, Greece, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Bolivia, Peru, Italy, China and Mexico, all of which are home to some of the world’s greatest archaeological sites.

The group would mainly run joint projects to promote dialogue and culture in the face of fanaticism and terrorism.

The project will be headed by the Greek government along with China.

Extremists from the Islamic State groups gained control over the ancient heritage monumental ruins of Palmyra in May 2015.

The occupation of the city was followed by destruction of many of its monuments.

Though Syrian and Russian forces reclaimed the city from the extremist group in March 2016, they lost it again in December 2016

Other UNESCO recognised sites that suffered destruction at the hands of terrorists include Bamiyan in Afghanistan where the Taliban blew up the Buddha statues and the ancient city of Timbuktu in Mali where extremists destroyed mausoleums and shrines.

The 10-nation group is due to meet again in 2018 in Bolivia.


10)   Who heads the committee to prepare the draft Ganga Act, and submitted its report on April 12, 2017?
- Published on 14 Apr 17

a. Justice Girdhar Malviya
b. Justice CP Thakur
c. Justice Bobde
d. Justice Kanan
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Justice Girdhar Malviya

Explanation:
The Justice Malviya Committee, constituted to prepare draft Ganga Act, submitted its report to the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation on 12 April 2017.

The Chairman of the committee is Justice Girdhar Malviya (Retd), who is linked with Ganga conservation movement.

The committee recognized the enormous challenges being faced to maintain the wholesomeness of National River Ganga that was perpetuated due to over stressed water demand from agricultural, domestic and industrial sectors.

About the Act

The draft Ganga Act addresses the critical issues pertaining to National River Gaga on its Cleanliness (Nirmalta) and uninterrupted e-flow (Aviralta) and provides corresponding provisions thereof.

It introduces certain stricter provision to increase accountability and responsibility for use of resources made available by National River Ganga.

The option and provision made in suggestive bills available with National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) were also considered and discussed by the committee.

About the Committee: Know More

  • The Committee was constituted in July 2016 by the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
  • The members of the committee are V.K.Bhasin, Ex-Secretary of Legislative Department, A.K. Gosain, IIT Delhi and Nayan Sharma, IIT Roorkee.
  • The Member Secretary of the Committee is Sundeep, Director, National Mission for Clean Ganga.


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