1) North Korea has fired its first ICBM named _____ into waters near Sea of Japan in July 2017.
North Korea has claimed that it has successfully test-fired its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Hwasong-14 into waters near Sea of Japan.
The claim was confirmed by United States.
The launch appeared to be North Korea’s most successful missile test since its ballistic missile programme gathered pace in the late 1990s.
The successful test also marks North Korea’s the final step in becoming confident and powerful nuclear state that can strike anywhere on Earth.
Based on missile’s height and trajectory path, US scientists claim that missile could potentially be powerful enough to reach Alaska.
The missile had reached an altitude higher and flew longer than any of the North Korea’s previous similar tests.
The missile had landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
The ICBM testing represents a new escalation of the threat to US and its allies and partners, the region and the world.
ICBM: Know More
- An ICBM is a missile launched by a land-based system that is intended to carry nuclear payloads.
To qualify as an ICBM, a missile must have a minimum range of 5,500km.
- The most significant difference between an ICBM and other ballistic missiles is its greater range and speed.
- It enables countries to strike exceptionally distant targets with minimum warning.
2) What does MERIT stand for in the context of energy ministry apps?
a. Merit Order Despatch of Electricity for Rejuvenation of Income and Transparency
b. Merit Order Despatch of Electricity for Reinstigation of Income and Transparency
c. Merit Order Despatch of Electricity for Revitalization of Income and Transparency
d. Merit Order Despatch of Electricity for Rejuvenating of Income and Transparency
ANSWER: Merit Order Despatch of Electricity for Rejuvenation of Income and Transparency
Union Minister of State for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Piyush Goyal has launched the ‘MERIT app (Merit Order Despatch of Electricity for Rejuvenation of Income and Transparency)’.
Also launched was the e-bidding portal for offering an e-Bidding solution to States.
The app and the portal would help the states to select Independent Power Producers (IPPs) for procurement of power by transferring their domestic coal under the scheme of flexibility in utilisation of domestic coal.
The launch of the app and the portal is aimed at promoting the vision of ‘Minimum Government and Maximum Governance’ through ‘Speed, Skill and Scale’.
It would result in optimum utilisation of Coal and would save the consumer around INR 20,000 crores in the next five years.
It would increase the transparency and accountability.
The advantages of MERIT app
- Empowers the consumer.
- Promotes participative governance.
- Transparency in information dissemination relating to marginal variable cost and source wise purchase of electricity.
- Promotes economy and efficiency in operation.
- Optimises the procurement costs. Facilitates renewable integration and handling of the variability and uncertainty of renewables.
Union cabinet in May 2016 permitted flexibility in utilisation of domestic coal amongst power generating stations.
Following which the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has issued the methodology for utilisation of domestic coal within State/Central generating stations on 8th June 2016.
The ministry of power then came up with the methodology for use of transferred coal in Independent Power Producers (IPPs) generating stations in February 2017.
3) Where has the first white tiger in the Nilgiris been spotted?
a. Nilgiri Biosphere Reserves
b. Anamalai hills
c. Cardamom hills
ANSWER: Nilgiri Biosphere Reserves
A photographer named Nilanjan Ray is believed to have spotted a rare ‘white tiger’ with a pale skin colour for the first time in the Nilgiris.
The discovery has aroused interest among conservationists and forest officials.
It is yet to be ascertained whether the white tiger is a true genetic mutant.
The tiger which was spotted in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve does not seem to be albino and was found to be whitish with golden brown patches.
As per the scientists, genetic mutation among tigers changes an amino acid responsible for the normal colour being formed, resulting in “natural polymorphism”.
According to the scientists, white tigers lack pheomelanin, which is responsible for the red-yellow hue in the skin coat.
Such tigers are found in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh.
In 2016, world’s first White Tiger Safari was inaugurated at Mukundpur in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh.
The first white tiger in Madhya Pradesh’s was spotted in Vindhya region in 1915.
However, the rare breed of the big cat spotted for the first time died in 1920.
White tigers have also been reported in the Indian states of Assam, West Bengal, Bihar.
These tigers have white fur because of the lack of the pigment pheomelanin, which is found in Bengal tigers with orange colour fur.
4) India has signed how many agreements with Israel, following the first visit by an Indian PM to this state?
India and Israel have signed 7 agreements on areas including space, tech and agriculture during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel.
Also, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit marks the 25 years of establishment of diplomatic relationship between India and Israel.
In the joint statement released after talks between India and Israel, both the countries have called for taking strong measures against terror organisations and also against those who encouraged, supported and financed terrorism.
The MOUs were
- MoU for setting up of India-Israel Industrial R&D & Technological Innovation Fund (I4F)
- MoU for conservation of water in India
- MoU on State Water Utility Reform in India India-Israel Development
- Cooperation- 3-year work program in Agriculture (2018-2020) Plan of cooperation regarding cooperation in atomic clocks
- MoU regarding cooperation in GEO-LEO optical link.
- MoU regarding cooperation in electric propulsion for small satellites.
The diplomatic relationship between India and Israel was established in 1992.
- India is Israel’s topmost destination for arms export.
- India is already buying an average of $1 billion per year in military equipment.
- For India, Israel is the third largest source of arms after the US and Russia with a share of 7.2% between 2012 and 2016.
- The earliest India-Israel defence collaboration took place during the 1962 Sino-Indian war when Israel provided military aid to India.
- Israel also helped India during its two wars with Pakistan in 1965 and 1971.
- India reciprocated by helping Israel during the six-day war in 1967 by supplying spare parts for French-made Mystere and Ouragan aircraft as well as AX-13 tanks.
- In April 2017, India and Israel had signed a $2 billion deal for an advanced medium-range surface-to-air missile system which will be helpful for the Indian army to shoot down aircraft, missiles and drones etc.
- Israel is India’s 38th-biggest trading partner with the trade balance standing in India’s favour in 2016-17.
5) FSB, an international global financial body stands for _____________.
a. Financial Severance Board
b. Financial Suitability Board
c. Financial Stability Board
d. Financial Sustainability Board
ANSWER: Financial Stability Board
The Financial Stability Board (FSB), an international body for global financial system, has placed India in the league of countries that are ‘compliant or largely compliant’ on implementation of priority area reforms.
Ahead of the G20 Summit in Germany to be attended by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, among other world leaders, the FSB yesterday submitted its status report on progress in financial regulatory reforms in various jurisdictions, including India.
The report listed India as a ‘compliant’ jurisdiction with regard to Basel III reforms in risk-based capital and as ’largely compliant’ on liquidity coverage ratio.
Other countries that have been found to be ‘compliant or largely compliant’ on these metrics include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey and the US.
At the same time, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK have been found to be ’materially non-compliant’ on at least one parameter.
With regard to the Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR), India figured among the countries where “final rule published but not in force, or draft regulation published“.
On compensation-related reforms, India is among the jurisdictions where “all except a few (three or less) FSB Principles and Standards implemented”, as per the FSB report.
On trade reporting in the over-the-counter derivatives market, India was among the countries where necessary regulatory framework was being implemented.
On shadow banking, the FSB report named India among the jurisdictions where the final implementation measures are in force for valuation, liquidity management and stable net asset for monetary market funds.
The final adoption measures were taken for implementing an incentive alignment regime and disclosing requirements on securitisation
6) LCI has recommended marriage registration as ______ in its report to GoI in July 2017.
The Law commission of India recommended to make marriage registration compulsory in its 270th Report called ‘Compulsory Registration of Marriages’ submitted to the Government.
This commission was under the Chairmanship of Dr. Justice B S Chauhan.
The Report starts by recognizing that notwithstanding endeavors from all divisions, the general public is still tormented with social indecencies, for example, polygamy, child marriage and gender violence.
During the UPA Government’s 2nd term, the Rajya Sabha had passed an amendment to make marriage registration necessary under the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969.
The Bill, notwithstanding, couldn’t be passed by the Lok Sabha, and later, lapsed.
Subsequently, in 2014 the same bill was supported by law minister in this present NDA government.
Even, the Supreme Court recommends that the marriage must be enlisted under either the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 or the Special Marriage Act 1954.
The unregistered weddings are not considered as ill-conceived, but rather the Indians need to obligatorily enlist their marriage.
Therefore, it is being assumed that the present government is in favour of these recommendation, and they may bring and introduce this bill again freshly.
Enlistment of a marriage under any of the predominant marriage Acts, or some other custom or individual law identifying with marriage will be adequate.
A different independent enactment may not be required insofar as a revision is made to the Births and Deaths Registration Act to incorporate Marriages also.
This Bill would supplement the area of family laws that as of now exist and is not gone for evacuating, cancelling or correcting particular religious/social practices and laws that are acknowledged under individual laws prevailing in India.
The subject of individual laws is wide and complex, and this report is gone for making essentially a procedural change to make the marriage registration compulsory.
The Law commission also recommended the penalty for non-compliance of this act.
It proposed that individual may be charged five rupees per day in case of failing.
- Law Commission of India is an official body built up by a request of the Government of India.
- Its main work is to work for reform in law. Its members are essentially includes legitimate specialists. The Commission is set up for a fixed period and fills in as an advisory body to the Ministry of Law and Justice.
- The 1st Law Commission was built up during the British Raj period in 1834.
- The 1st Law Commission of independent India was set up in 1955 for a three-year term. From that point forward, twenty more Commissions have been set up.
- The twentieth Law Commission was set up in 2013 under the Chairmanship of Supreme Court Judge, D.K Jain.
- The present Law Commission was set up in 2015, and has tenure up to 2018.
7) According to the School of Oceanographic Studies, Jadavpur University, which forest(s) has/have depleted considerably over past few years?
b. Rann of Kutch
d. Both a and c
e. All the above
A new study about the forest cover in India’s Sunderbans reveals that the mangrove forest cover in the Indian Sunderbans has been depleting alarmingly over the past few decades.
The data was obtained using Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS).
The study was published in a publication by the School of Oceanographic Studies, Jadavpur University.
The study revealed that from 1986 to 2012, more than 124 sq.km of mangrove forest cover was lost.
The total forest cover of the Indian Sunderbans as assessed by remote sensing studies for the year 1986 was about 2,246.839 sqkm, which gradually declined by 2,201.41 sqkm in 1996.
It then further decreased to 2168.914 sqkm in 2001 and then to 2122.421 sqkm in 2012.
The loss in the mangrove forest in the Indian Sunderbans in percentage terms is about 5.5 %.
The study also points to the mean sea level rise at the Sagar Island Station.
This can be considered as a driving factor for coastal erosion, coastal flooding and an increase in the number of tidal creeks.
The continuation of this process in response to climate change and sea level rise poses a serious threat to the carbon sequestration potential and other ecosystem services of this mangrove forest in future.
The loss in mangrove cover at Gosaba has been about 20 percent, down from 517.47 sqkm in 1986 to 506.691 sqkm in 2012.
In Dulibhasani West, the loss of mangrove cover has been about 9.7 percent from 180.03 sqkm. in 1986 to 163.475 sqkm in 2012.
The mangrove forest cover of Dalhousie, another island, has depleted by 16%, from 76.606 sqkm. in 1986 to 64.241 in 2012.
One of the highest losses has been in Bhangaduni, where the mangrove forest cover has gone down by 37 percent from 40.4 sqkmb in 1986 to 24.9 sqkm in 2012.
Jambudwip, one of the smallest uninhabited islands, also has reduced forest cover by about 10 percent from 6.095 sqkm in 1986 to 5.003 sqkm in 2012.
Other islands like Sajnekhali North, Matla and Bulchery have also suffered significant mangrove loss.
Causes for Erosion
- Because there is less fresh water flow and sediment supply in the western (Indian) part of the delta, because of which there is starvation of sediment and the rate of sea level rise is higher than sediment supply.
- A minimal inflow of water is required for a bountiful growth of mangroves.
- When freshwater inflow is missing, there is a change in mangrove succession and freshwater-loving species of mangroves are replaced by salt-water loving ones, which will in turn impact the fishing community, as then commercially viable fish will be replaced by fish that does not have as much market value.
8) Who has been appointed chairman of Tata Global Beverages Limited on July 3, 2017?
a. Dr. RA Mashelkar
b. N Chandrasekaran
c. Ralf Speth
d. Ravindra Pisharody
ANSWER: N Chandrasekaran
Tata Global Beverages Ltd (TGBL) on 3 July 2017 appointed Tata Sons head Natarajan Chandrasekaran as its Chairman with immediate effect.
The TGBL board approved the appointment of N. Chandrasekaran as an additional director and as chairman of the board of the company in place of Harish Bhat who expressed a desire to step down as chairman.
The board also appointed Siraj Azmat Chaudhry as a Non-Executive Independent Director in the company.
Born in 1963, Natarajan Chandrasekaran is the Chairman of Tata Sons.
He took over as the CEO of Tata Consultancy Services on 6 November 2009 prior to which he was COO and Executive Director of TCS.
He is one of the youngest CEOs within the Tata Group.
In January 2017, he was selected to become the next chairman of Tata Sons.
He assumed chairmanship on 21 February 2017 and soon after was announced the chairman of Tata Motors.
9) NASA has built its first mission to work as a planetary defence mechanism against cosmic impacts called DART. What does it stand for?
a. Double Asteroid Reducing Test
b. Double Asteroid Reduction Test
c. Double Asteroid Redirection Test
d. Double Asteroid Redirecting Test
ANSWER: Double Asteroid Redirection Test
NASA is developing the first-ever mission that will work as a planetary defence mechanism against potential cosmic body impacts in the future.
The mission, The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), is being designed, built and managed by the John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.
The mission has moved from concept development to preliminary design phase, following NASA’s approval on 23 June 2017.
It is the first-ever design that will have the capability of deflecting a near-Earth asteroid.
It would demonstrate the kinetic impactor technique by knocking the hazardous object into a different flight path that would not threaten the planetary defence.
The approval by NASA advances the project towards a historic test with a non-threatening small asteroid.
The target for DART would be an asteroid that will have a distant approach to Earth in October 2022 and then again in 2024.
The asteroid called Didymos (Greek for twin) consists of two bodies: Didymos A, which is about 780 metres in size, and Didymos B, which is a smaller asteroid about 160 metres in size.
DART would impact only smaller of the two bodies, Didymos B, the composition of which is unknown.
The size is typical of asteroids that could potentially create regional effects should they impact Earth.
After launch, DART would fly to Didymos and use an APL- developed onboard autonomous targeting system to aim itself at Didymos B.
The spacecraft is expected to strike the smaller body at a speed that would be about nine times faster than a bullet, around six kilometres per second.
Earth-based observatories would be able to see the impact and the resulting change in the orbit of Didymos B around Didymos A, allowing scientists to better determine the capabilities of the kinetic impact as an asteroid mitigation strategy.
The kinetic impact technique works by changing the speed of a threatening asteroid by a small fraction of its total velocity.
By doing it well before the predicted impact, the small nudge will add up over time to a big shift of the asteroid’s path away from Earth.
DART is a critical step in demonstrating we can protect our planet from a future asteroid impact. As we don’t know that much about their internal structure or composition, this experiment needs to be performed on a real asteroid.
10) Reliance Jio on 29th June 2017 launched the longest 100Gbps submarine cable system called _____.
Reliance Jio on 29 June 2017 announced the launch of the Asia-Africa-Europe (AAE-1) submarine cable system.
AAE-1 is claimed to be the world’s longest 100Gbps technology-based submarine system.
The cable will stretch from Marseille in France to Hong Kong, covering 25000 km.
It will have 21 cable landings across Asia and Europe.
The project is a combination of leading telecom service providers from Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
It will feature diversified Points of Presence (PoP) in Asia (Hong Kong and Singapore) with three onward connectivity options in Europe (France, Italy and Greece).
AAE-1 will help cater to the increasing demand for video centric data in India and other regions.
The cable system will pass through critical hubs, serving the demand for video centric data bandwidth.
This supports all types of communications, applications and content within India and beyond.
It will also seamlessly link with other cable systems and fibre networks to deliver direct access to all global markets.
The submarine cable system will come with 100Gbps transmission technology and a minimum design capacity of 40 Tbps.
Its advanced design and route will offer one of the lowest latency routes between Hong Kong, India, Middle East and Europe.
Using it, Reliance Jio will provide the Network Operations & Management for AAE-1 Cable System.
Its Network Operations Center (NOC) will use a state of the art facility in Navi Mumbai.
The new terabit capacity and 100Gbps direct connectivity to global content hubs and interconnection points ensure that Jio will continue to offer its customers the most exceptional high-speed internet and digital service experience.
11) UN secretary general Antonio Guterras has appointed whom as a panel head for evaluating Syrian law violations?
a. Catherine Marchi-Uhel
b. Vijay Nambiar
c. Iqbal Riza
d. Jeffrey Sachs
ANSWER: Catherine Marchi-Uhel
The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on 3 July 2017 appointed a French legal expert and former judge Catherine Marchi-Uhel as the head of the independent panel.
The panel aims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for most serious violations of international law in Syria.
Marchi-Uhel is the first Head of the Mechanism.
The former judge has been serving as the ombudsperson for the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS) group and al-Qaeda.
Catherine Marchi-Uhel previously served as a judge in France.
Catherine Marchi-Uhel also served as an international judge with the UN mission in Kosovo and at the Cambodia court prosecuting leaders of the Khmer Rouge.
She worked as a senior legal officer at the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and worked in legal positions at the French foreign ministry.
The panel was established by the UN General Assembly in December 2016.
It was formally known as the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Those Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011.
In close cooperation with the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, the investigative body will collect, consolidate, preserve and analyse evidence pertaining to violations and abuses of human rights and humanitarian law.
It will also prepare files in order to facilitate and expedite fair and independent criminal proceedings, in accordance with international law standards, in national, regional or international courts or tribunals.
These would be courts that have or may in the future have jurisdiction over these crimes, in accordance with international law.
It will initially be funded by voluntary contributions.
Crimes against humanity during the Syrian civil war have been numerous and serious.
The United Nations reports state that the war has been characterized by a complete lack of adherence to the norms of international law by the warring parties who have caused civilians immeasurable suffering.
The war has been marked by “devastation and extreme suffering among civilians” and international aid groups “have long denounced the indiscriminate brutality” that has characterized the conflict.
War Crimes in Syria
- In March 2017, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that 465000 people had died in the conflict.
- Of this there were 96000 civilians, and an additional 145000 civilians were missing.
- According to various human rights organizations and the United Nations, human rights violations have been committed by both the government and the rebels.
- The Assad regime has been blamed for using chemical weapons against civilians and conducted torture and extrajudicial killings.
- War crimes reported being committed by the Free Syrian Army and other rebel groups include recruiting child soldiers, shelling civilian-populated areas.
- They were taking hostages and murdering members of religious minorities, and use of poison gas.
12) PM Modi will be authoring a book on which subject, in a first-of-its-kind initiative?
a. Dedicated to youth
b. Coping with exam stress
c. Environmental issues
d. Only a and b
e. All the above
ANSWER: Only a and b
In a first-of-its-kind initiative by a serving Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has planned to write a book dedicated to the youth.
Through the book, Prime Minister Modi will try to address core issues like overcoming examination stress, keeping one’s composure and even what to do after the exams are over.
Publishers Penguin Random House (PRH) India on 3 July 2017 said the book will be in multiple languages and will be out in bookstores later this year (2017).
The book will cover many aspects that students can relate to, especially with regard to the crucial class X and XII examinations.
Through the book, the prime minister hopes to become a friend of the students and support them as they prepare for the examinations.
The tone and tenor of the book, which states why it is important to prioritise knowledge over marks, and how to take responsibility for the future, is informal and conversational.
The idea for the book came from Modi himself. In the wake of the good response to his ‘Mann Ki Baat’, the prime minister decided to compile those thoughts, complementing them with some unique new insights and anecdotes, in the form of a book.
Mann ki Baat is a radio programme hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Bluekraft Digital Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, will be the technology and knowledge partner for the book.
In a rare and unique initiative, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to directly address the state of the students through this book.