IAS Prelims GS Questions and Answers - Jan 08 & 09, 2017

1)   India International Exchange (INX) is located at

a. Gandhinagar
b. Mumbai
c. Chennai
d. Pune
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Gandhinagar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the India International Exchange (INX) located at the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC), GIFT City (in Gandhinagar), terming it as momentous occasion for the country's financial sector.

The India INX is a wholly owned subsidiary of BSE Ltd is expected to start trading middle of January 2017.

The exchange plans to offer diversified portfolio of products and technology services at more competitive rates to Indian exchanges as well as other global exchanges like those in Dubai, London and Singapore.

The exchange can trade securities and products other than Indian rupees.

The securities and products that could be traded on the India INX are:

i. equity shares of companies incorporated outside India,
ii. depository receipts,
iii. debt securities,
iv. currency and interest rate derivatives,
v. index based derivatives,
vi. commodity derivatives and such other securities that may be allowed.

The exchange will offer the same state of the art T7 trading platform used by BSE with a speed of 6 microseconds - the fastest in the world.

India INX and the India Clearing Corporation (ICC) has already set up a fully functional office with a data centre and IT system at GIFT city.

The facilities in the India INX would enable a comprehensive single segment access for currency, commodities, equities and fixed income derivatives.

The exchange will ensure equitable distribution of market data to all members.

2)   Which of the following is amongst the 10-point agenda of the DRR?

1) Invest in risk mapping globally
2) Develop a network of universities to work on disaster issues
3) Encourage greater involvement and leadership of women in disaster risk management

a. 2, 3
b. 1, 2
c. 1, 3
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All of the above

The Prime Minister had listed the 10-point agenda for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) during his inaugural speech at the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016, which was held in New Delhi in November 2016.

The all-inclusive agenda presents a holistic approach to disaster risk management and addresses a whole range of issues, from community preparedness to use of technology and international cooperation.

The Prime Minister’s 10-point agenda on DRR is -

1. All development sectors must imbibe the principles of disaster risk management.
2. Work towards risk coverage for all-starting from poor households to SMEs to multi-national corporations to nation states.
3. Encourage greater involvement and leadership of women in disaster risk management.
4. Invest in risk mapping globally. For mapping risks related to hazards like earthquakes we have accepted standards and parameters.
5. Leverage technology to enhance the efficiency of our disaster risk management efforts.
6. Develop a network of universities to work on disaster issues.
7. Utilise the opportunities provided by social media and mobile technologies.
8. Build on local capacity and initiative.
9. Opportunity to learn from a disaster must not be wasted. After every disaster, there are papers on lessons that are rarely applied.
10. Bring about greater cohesion in international response to disasters.

3)   What is Merchant Discount Rate?

a. Rate charged by a merchant to the customers
b. The rate of discount given by merchant to customers at their discretion
c. Rate charged to a merchant by the bank
d. Discounted interest rates for loans given by banks to merchants
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Rate charged to a merchant by the bank

Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) is the charge (rate) charged by the bank to the merchants for letting the merchants collect payments through swiping of credit and debit cards.

The merchant discount rate is expressed in percentage of the transaction amount.

The merchant needs to open an account with the bank.

The bank then provides the swipe machine. On swiping the cards, the money gets deposited in the account.

The merchant must agree to the rate before setting up his/her account.

RBI wants to encourage cashless transactions and so it as set upper limits for the MDR.

MDR for debit card transaction has been capped at 0.75% for transaction values up to Rs.2000 and at 1% for transaction values above Rs.2000.

4)   Which of the following are uses of Ginger?

1) Tranquilizer
2) Bee repellant
3) As a spice

a. 2, 3
b. 1
c. 1, 3
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All of the above

Ginger (Zingibers) is used in cooking food. It is a spice.

It also has medicinal value. Some tribes use it for treating abdominal pain and as anti-helminthic troubles.

As per scientific information available, there are 141 species of genus Zingiber are distributed throughout tropical Asia, including China, Japan and tropical Australia.

Of these, 20 are reported from India, which include seven from Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Most of the species of these Gingers are endemic to India.

The tribes of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have interesting usage of other species of Zingibers.

For instance, Shompen and Nicobari tribes use various plant parts of another species of Zingiber (Hornstedia fenzlii) as bee repellent and, tranquiliser.

Rhizome extracts and leaf pest are applied on body during extracting honey from honeycomb.

Ginger has a sialagogue action, stimulating the production of saliva, which makes swallowing easier.

5)   Banasura laughingthrush is endemic to

a. Western Ghats
b. Eastern Himalayas
c. Western Himalayas
d. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Western Ghats

Montane laughingthrushes are endemic to the Western Ghats.

BirdLife International, an organisation which assesses the conservation status of birds globally, has split the group of montane laughingthrushes and recognised them as two new species.

As a result, Kerala now has four mountain laughingthrushes in place of two.

The newly accepted species are Banasura laughingthrush (Trochalopteron jerdoni), which has a very restricted distribution in Wayanad district and Travancore laughingthrush (Trochalopteron merdionale) found in Thiruvananthapuram district.

The conservation status of the Banasura species was assessed as endangered.

The Travancore variety was considered vulnerable, considering the risk both the species were facing.

The two original species of the family were Nilgiri laughingthrush and Palani laughingthrush.

The Nilgiri species, assessed as an endangered one, is found in Silent Valley National Park and Siruvani hills of Kerala.

The near-threatened Palani laughingthrush is found mainly in Munnar hills and the mountains of Periyar Tiger Reserve apart from Grass Hills and Palani hills in Tamil Nadu.

Laughingthrushes are found only in the peaks of Western Ghats, popularly known as sky islands.

These mountain peaks are separated from the others so well that the birds from one sky island find difficult to move to the next sky island.

This has resulted in the creation of four closely related species, each of them occupying a series of mountain tops across the entire range of southern Western Ghats.