1) What is a self healing material which can stretch up to 50 times its original size, developed by UCLA researchers, made of?
a. Stretchable polymer
b. Stretchable jute
c. Ionic sat
d. Only a and c
e. All the above
ANSWER: Only a and c
Phones with cracked screens is a common sight these days and scientists at University of California have come up with a method to solve this problem.
They have successfully created a self-healing material which when carved into two parts, can go back together like nothing has happened.
The material is a made up of stretchable polymer and an ionic salt.
It can stretch up to 50 times its original size also capable of conducting electricity.
All these features combined make it a viable material for producing smartphones screen.
The substance has potential applications in the field of soft robotics as well.
The polymer is based on the premise that materials consist of a mix of strong covalent bonds and weaker non-covalent bonds.
When a material gets damaged, non-covalent bonds protect covalent bonds by getting broken first.
As weak as these non-covalent bonds are, however, they’re also reversible, which means after they’re broken, they can also recover. And this cycle can be repeated over and over again.
The properties are attributed to a specific kind of bond called ion dipole interaction, basically force between ions and molecules.
What happens is that when the two ends of the broken material meet, this force causes the ions and molecules to get attracted to each other.
The ion-dipole interaction causes the broken non-covalent bonds to reunite and reform, resulting in the material healing its own damage.
The research team's inspiration for self-healing material was comes from Marvel superhero Wolverine!
2) Where is the Indian Veterinary Research Institute in UP?
The Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh is going to set up a DNA bank for wildlife, first of its kind in North India.
Researchers at the institute are in the process of collecting the DNA of all wild animals. They have up until now collected samples of around 140 species.
Though the bank, the scientists at IVRI’s Centre for Wildlife will be able to tell the name and schedule of the species by studying just a part of the meat, hair, blood, skin or bone of any animal.
The centre would also be collecting serum of animals.
The move is expected to assist in research and help bring down poaching and smuggling of wildlife.
The bank would be only next to Hyderabad’s Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES), which is currently the only such facility in India.
The bank is expected to be fully functional at the end of 2017. The Veterinary Research Institute took almost a year to collect the DNA samples of big animals like tigers, lions, elephants, rhinos, deer and leopards, which are most susceptible to illegal acclivity.
3) Which rank was attained by India in WEF's Travel and Tourism Competitive Index?
There has been an improved rank of India in the Travel and Tourism Competitive Index (TTCI) of World Economic Forum released on 5th April 2017.
India has moved 12 places up in this ranking from 52nd to 40th position.
The tourism sector in the country has been on a growth trajectory since the present government came into power in May, 2014.
India’s ranking in the Travel and Tourism Competitive Index (TTCI) of World Economic Forum moved from 65rd position to 52nd position in 2015.
Now India has moved up by another 12 positions and ranked at 40th position.
In all, in last three years India has cumulatively improved its ranking by 25 places which is a significant achievement.
India continues to attract international tourists with its vast cultural and natural resources with a ranking of 9th and 24th respectively which are the USP’s of Indian Tourism product.
In terms of price competitiveness advantage, India is ranked 10th.
India continues to enrich its cultural resources, protecting more cultural sites and intangible expressions through UNESCO World Heritage lists, and via a greater digital presence.
In terms of International openness, India is ranked 55th, up by 14 places.
This has been possible through stronger visa policies. Implementing both visas on arrival and e-visas, has enabled India to rise through the ranks.
The T&T sector benefited from improvements in the country's ground transport infrastructure, which has traditionally been a challenge (29th).
At a macro level, the primary reasons for India’s jump in the Travel and Tourism Competitive Index 2017 should be attributed to the pro-active steps taken by our Government in terms of development of tourism infrastructure.
Also critical are the easing of entry formalities for tourists by introducing the e-visa facilities in November 2014.
WEF's TTCCI: Know More
Some of the key achievements of the Ministry of Tourism in the last 3 years are as follows:-
- The World Economic Forum has, for the past 11 years, engaged leaders in travel and tourism.
- It also aims to carry out an in-depth analysis of the Travel and Tourism competitiveness of 136 economies across the world i.e.The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index
- The index assesses the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable development of the travel and tourism sector, which in turn, contributes to the development and competitiveness of a country”.
- The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index enables all stakeholders to work together to improve the industry’s competitiveness in their national economies.
|Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTA) which were 6.97 million tourists in 2013, increased to 7.68 million in 2014, 8.03 million in 2015 and 8.89 million in 2016. FTA has grown with a CAGR of 8.45% against the international growth rate of 4-5%.|
|The Ministry of Tourism set up a Medical and Wellness Tourism Promotion Board on 5th October 2015 for the promotion of Medical and Wellness tourism in India.|
|The Ministry of Tourism created a task force for Cruise Tourism on 24th November 2015 to formulate a common Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for promotion of Cruise Tour- ism in India.|
|The Indian Culinary Institute (ICI) at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh was set up and commenced its academic session with the 3-year regular B.Sc. course (Culinary Arts) from August 2016. The e-Tourist Visa was introduced in September 2014 for 46 countries. This facility is now called e-Visa. It is now available for nationals of 161 countries and allows visits for business and medical treatment. The process of obtaining the e-Tourist Visa has been simplified significantly by addressing issues like more than one entry and longer lead period for applying for e-Visa.10,79,696 tourists visited India on the e-Tourist Visa in 2016.|
|Incredible India Tourist Helpline was launched on 8th February 2016. The helpline provides assistance and information to tourists in 12 major languages of the world including Hindi & English. The helpline is available 24x7 and can be accessed on the Toll-free Number 1800- 11-1363 or on a short code 1363. The languages covered are Hindi, English, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.|
|Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEE) which were US$18.45 billion tourists in 2013, increased constantly, to US$20.24 billion in 2014, US$21.07 billion in 2015 and US$23.15 billion in 2016. FEE has grown with a CAGR of 7.86% against a contraction of 5% in international tourism receipts. FTA has registered a growth of 16.3% in January 2017 when compared to January 2016.|
|FTA registered a growth of 16.5% in January 2017 compared to January 2016. FTAs during the period January- February 2017 were 19.40 lakh with a growth of 14.7%, as compared to the FTAs of 16.91 over January-February 2016.|
|The Ministry of Tourism has launched a ‘Welcome Card’ for distribution at immigration counters to tourists arriving at international airports. From 15th February 2017 the Ministry has introduced free SIM Cards with pre-loaded talk time and data to all tourists arriving in India on the e-Tourist Vis|
|18 projects worth Rs. 488.45 crores have been sanctioned under the PRASAD Scheme since its launch on 1st January 2015. 25 religious cities have been identified under the scheme for development.|
|56 projects covering 29 States /UT’s worth Rs. 4,823.91 crores have been sanctioned under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme since its launch on 1st January 2015. 13 thematic circuits have been identified under which projects are sanctioned.|
|Two new schemes for development of tourism infrastructure in the country with a holistic coverage of an entire circuit instead of individual tourist spots. PRASAD Scheme is targeted towards the development of tourism infrastructure in and around famous religious and pilgrimage cities. The Swadesh Darshan Scheme aims at the development of a complete circuit on a specific theme.|
4) Which Dialogue's inaugural version was chaired in New Delhi between India and the UK, in April 2017?
a. Energy for Growth
b. Energy for Power
c. Energy for People
d. Energy for Sustenance
ANSWER: Energy for Growth
Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal, and UK’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Mr. Greg Clark, chaired the inaugural India-UK ‘Energy for Growth’ Dialogue.
The dialogue takes forward the commitment of Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of UK, Ms. Theresa May for an enhanced ‘Energy for Growth’ Partnership between the two countries.
Both Shri Goyal and Mr. Clark welcomed UK’s ongoing commitment to India’s energy sector.
On 4th April 2017 the two countries had reaffirmed their commitment to anchor investment up to £120 million each in the joint fund which aims to raise around £500 million, and has the potential to unlock much more in the future.
It was announced that the fund will focus its initial investments on India’s rapidly growing energy and renewables market.
India and UK also recognised the importance of combating climate change and mobilising finance from a variety of sources, instruments and channels to mitigate its effects alongside generating economic opportunities.
They welcomed the work of the G20 Green Finance Study Group promoting green finance encouraged the issuance of green bonds, among other forms of green finance.
Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) has established operations in UK by investing around £7 million in seven energy saving projects after intense technical and financial due diligence.
The projects are in operation for more than two years and have been yielding dividends.
The scheme of (UJALA-Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LED’s for All) of India will also be applied in the UK.
India-UK investment: Know More
The agreed areas include:
- India and UK share a strong investment and financial partnership, wherein UK is the third largest FDI investor in India and India is the third largest source of FDI projects in the UK.
- The India-UK Partnership Fund set up under National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) has made substantial progress.
- The successful issuance of Rupee-denominated bonds in London by Indian entities is encouraging and is reflective of the potential of our financial partnership.
- A Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Energy Sector, was signed during the visit of Prime Minister Modi to the UK in November 2015.
- Innovation in smart technology to improve performance and reduce losses in India’s power sector; -Support for increased energy efficiency;
- Enhanced energy access;
- Work to accelerate deployment of renewable energy and its integration with the grid;
- Financing for clean energy; decentralized energy scale up and sustainability; and
- Support to states in renewable energy planning and deployment.
5) Which seminar was inaugurated by the President and organised by the Confederation of the Indian bar on April 8, 2017?
a. All India Seminar on “Economic Reforms With Reference to Electoral Issues”
b. All India Seminar on “Political Reforms with Reference to Electoral Issues”
c. All India Seminar on “Social Reforms With Reference to Electoral Issues”
d. None of the above
ANSWER: All India Seminar on “Economic Reforms With Reference to Electoral Issues”
President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated an All India Seminar on “Economic Reforms With Reference to Electoral Issues” organised by the Confederation of the Indian Bar on April 8, 2017, in New Delhi.
Timely reforms are necessary which not only would give justice to the people but also to the ideals enshrined in the Constitution of India.
Hence it is necessary to undertake a dispassionate analysis of the way in which our electoral process is functioning with a view to address the shortcomings in the system.
Coalition politics was also discussed.
Constitution (Forty Second Amendment) Act 1976 imposed a freeze on the population figure for readjustment at the 1971 census and has been extended by the Constitution (Eighty-fourth Amendment) Act 2001 till 2026.
As a result the House of the People today represents the population figure of 1971 census whereas our population has increased manifold in the recent decades
This gives rise to an anomalous situation wherein today, India has over 800 million voters and 543 Lok Sabha Constituencies represent 1.28 billion people.
The seminar focused on electoral reforms in this context.
6) How many deals were signed on 8th April 2017 between Bangladesh and India, marking a “Golden Era” in bilateral relations?
Bangladesh and India have signed 22 deals, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi heralding a “golden era” in bilateral relations.
22 agreements: Key MoUs
- Under a line of concessional credit for the third time, India will lend Bangladesh $4.5 billion, bringing its funding for Bangladesh to more than $8 billion over the past six years.
- Both countries inked a pact on the defence cooperation framework apart from signing an agreement for extending a $500 million line of credit for military supplies.
- An agreement between Defence Services Staff College in Tamil Nadu and Defence Services Command and Staff College in Dhaka was signed on cooperation in strategic and operational studies.
- A deal between National Defence College in Dhaka and National Defence College in New Delhi was signed for enhancing cooperation in national security, development and strategic studies.
- Both countries agreed on a financing agreement for the construction of 36 community clinics in Bangladesh.
- An agreement between both countries on establishing border markets across the border was signed.
- The countries agreed to cooperate in the judicial sector. The National Judicial Academy in India and the Supreme Court of Bangladesh inked a pact on training and capacity building programme for Bangladeshi judicial officers in India.
- The countries agreed to cooperate for the peaceful use of nuclear energy apart from reaching an arrangement between the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board India and Bangladesh.
- The countries also agreed on an inter-agency agreement between Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership, India and Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission on cooperation in nuclear power plant projects in Bangladesh.
- During the meeting, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team and Bangladesh Government Computer Incident Response Team agreed to cooperate in cyber security.
- India will supply an additional 60 megawatts of power to Bangladesh.
- An MoU on development of fairway from Sirajganj to Daikhowa and Ashuganj to Zakiganj on Indo-Bangladesh protocol route between the Indian Shipping Ministry and Bangladesh Shipping Ministry was signed.
- Both the countries also signed a deal on passenger and cruise services on the coastal and protocol route.
- The Geological Survey of India and the Geological Survey of Bangladesh also agreed on mutual scientific cooperation in the field of earth sciences for research and development among others.
- Other deals include an agreement on cooperation in the mass media and audio-visual co-production.
- Bangladesh and India launched bus services on Kolkata-Khulna-Dhaka route and rail services on Khulna-Kolkata and Radhikapur-Birol route.
- Modi promised an early solution to the contentious Teesta issue.
- Bangladesh wins India’s support for the proposed International Genocide Day to be observed on Mar 25.
- As a mark of India's respect to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Hasina's father, a prominent road in Delhi has been named after him.
- The prime ministers of the two countries jointly launched the Hindi version of ‘The Unfinished Memoirs' of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’.
Twenty-two agreements were therefore signed in the area of defence, nuclear energy, cyber security and media.
The two leaders witnessed the signing of only four pacts – on the judicial sector, a $4.5 billion development assistance line of credit, on outer space and on passenger and cruise services.
In addition, India has offered a new $500 million line of credit specifically for defence purchases.
PM Modi announced that both countries will jointly produce a biopic on Sheikh Mujib, which will be released in 2020 on his birth centenary.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee then joined the two prime ministers to launch three new transport links from West Bengal to Bangladesh.
7) MHA minister Shri Rajnath Singh launched which web portal and mobile app for donors to contribute to the family of Indian soldiers?
a. Bharat Ke Veer
b. Bharat Ke Rakshak
c. Bharat Ke Sena
d. Bharat Ki Roshni
ANSWER: Bharat Ke Veer
Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh launched the web portal and mobile application named “Bharat ke Veer”.
The portal is an IT based platform, with an objective to enable willing donors to contribute towards the family of a braveheart who sacrificed his/her life in line of duty.
The Minister of State for Home Affairs Shri Kiren Rijiju and actor Akshay Kumar also participated.
The site “Bharat ke Veer” will be available on web portal as well as mobile application.
The amount so donated will be credited to the account of ‘Next of Kin’ of those Central Armed Police Force/Central Para Military Force soldiers.
This domain allows anyone to financially support the bravehearts of his/her choice or towards the “Bharat Ke Veer” corpus.
This website is technically supported by National Informatics Centre (NIC) and powered by SBI.
To ensure maximum coverage, a cap of 15 lakh rupees is imposed and the donors would be alerted if the amount exceeds, so that they can choose to divert part of the donation to another braveheart account or to the “Bharat Ke Veer” corpus.
“Bharat Ke Veer” corpus would be managed by a committee made up of eminent persons of repute and senior Government officials, who would decide to disburse the fund equitably to the braveheart’s family on need basis.
8) What is the leading industrial body of Bangladesh, with which FICCI launched a 6 point trade agenda on April 8, 2017?
The leading industrial bodies of India and Bangladesh, FICCI and FBCCI on April 8, 2017 came up with a 6-point agenda to boost trade and investment between the SE Asian neighbours.
This agenda includes setting up joint task forces on tariff and non-tariff barriers and promoting Indian investments in Bangladesh in areas of:
The agenda also included connectivity initiatives for expansion of sub-regional cooperation among BBIN (Bhutan-Bangladesh- India-Nepal) countries to cover links through road, rail, rivers, sea, transmission lines, petroleum pipelines and digital.
In addition, it included pursuing joint investments and a road-map for cooperation in the Bay of Bengal in exploration of hydrocarbons, marine resources, deep sea fishing, preservation of marine ecology and disaster management.
It also included collaboration in knowledge sharing to facilitate innovation and research and forming a partnership on skill development.
The agenda was released on the occasion of the visit of Ms. Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is on a sound economic footing with forex reserves of USD 32 billion, adding that the government has decided to retain USD 25 billion and release the rest for investments overseas with India emerging as a favoured destination.
9) For what purpose have Ministry of Agriculture (under RKVY Yojana) and NRSC(ISRO) signed an MoU in April 2017?
a. Geological analysis of soil
b. Geological analysis of crops
c. Geo tagging agricultural assets
d. None of the above
ANSWER: Geo tagging agricultural assets
Union Agricultural Ministry has partnered the National Remote Sensing Centre, ISRO for geotagging agricultural assets.
Agriculture Ministry under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana and NRSC/ISRO have signed an MoU to this effect.
It will improve governance due to real-time monitoring and effective utilisation of agricultural assets such as ponds, crop area, warehouses and laboratories etc.
Currently, officials provide information on the assets manually, so there is no transparency.
Geo-tag will provide realistic status of assets.
It will not only help in monitoring and utilising assets but will be useful in formulating schemes for development in the agricultural sector.
It will also help in avoiding duplication of data.
Utilisation of space technology will help farmers to further get access to pesticide testing labs, storage infrastructure, and market-related information.
What is RKVY?
- RKVY is a special Additional Central Assistance Scheme.
- It was launched in August 2007 as a part of the 11th Five Year Plan.
- It was aimed to orient agricultural development strategies, to reaffirm its commitment to achieve 4% annual growth in the agricultural sector during the 11th plan (2007–11).
- It was also launched to incentivise the States to provide additional resources in their State Plans over and above their baseline expenditure to bridge critical gaps.
- It is the process of adding geographical identification like latitude and longitude to various media such as a photo or video.
- It helps user to find a wide variety of location-specific information from a device.
- It provides users the pinpoint location of the content of a given picture.
- Geomapping is a visual representation of the geographical location of geotagged assets layered on top of map or satellite imagery.