1) Who is the 16th President of the Indian National Congress?
- Published on 13 Dec 17
a. Priyanka Gandhi
b. Rahul Gandhi
c. Varun Gandhi
d. Sonia Gandhi
ANSWER: Rahul Gandhi
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was elected unopposed as president of the Indian National Congress on December 11, 2017.
Congress party's central election authority chief Mullappally Ramachandran said Mr. Gandhi will formally take over on December 16.
He is the 16th president of the Congress since Independence and sixth from the Nehru-Gandhi clan to take over the party reins. Mr. Gandhi has been vice-president of the party since 2013.
Among other senior politicians, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated him.
Rahul Gandhi: Know More
- Rahul Gandhi (born 19 June 1970) is an Indian politician who currently serves as Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha from Amethi, Uttar Pradesh and is also the President of the Indian National Congress.
- He also currently serves as Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs.
- He also serves as the Chairperson of the Indian Youth Congress and the National Students Union of India. He is the second-highest-ranked member of the Congress Working Committee.
- He also serves as Trustee of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust.
- Gandhi formerly served as a general secretary in the All India Congress Committee.
2) VVPAT has been _______ with EVM to ensure fair electoral practices in India.
- Published on 13 Dec 17
The Election Commission has put in place an elaborate framework of administrative system, security protocols and procedural checks-and-balances in Gujarat, which prevent any possible misuse of EVMs/VVPATs or procedural lapses in the use of EVMs and VVPATs during polls.
These safeguards are being implemented by ECI, in total transparently, with the active and documented involvement of Political Parties, Candidates and their Representatives at every stage, so as to build their confidence on efficacy and reliability of EVMs and VVPATs
All these functions and procedures are implemented through the District Election Officers (DEOs), Returning Officers (ROs), Assistant Returning Officers (AROs) and other election related officers concerned, who are on deemed deputation to the ECI and are under its superintendence, direction and control.
The comprehensive framework of administrative protocols and procedural safeguards comprises the First Level Checking of all EVMs and VVPATs, strict regime of Mock Polls conducted on each and every EVM and VVPAT during the FLC, Candidate Setting and Poll Day (before the beginning of actual polls).
Additionally, there was 2-stage randomization of EVMs and VVPATs, stringent security protocols for storage of EVMs and VVPATs before, during and after the polls, and comprehensive videography and CCTV coverage of all EVM & VVPAT related activities and storage in strong-rooms.
The randomizations were carried out through EVM Tracking Software (ETS) by the DEO in the presence of the representatives of political parties/candidates for complete transparency.
3) Which Congress former MP was suspended from primary membership of the party for remarks on PM Modi?
- Published on 08 Dec 17
a. Kapil Sibal
b. Jairam Ramesh
c. Mani Shankar Aiyar
d. P. Chidambaram
ANSWER: Mani Shankar Aiyar
The Congress on Dec 7, 2017 suspended former Rajya Sabha MP Mani Shankar Aiyar from primary membership of the party and issued a show-cause notice to him for his comments on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Mr. Aiyar had earlier expressed regret for his comments after public censure from Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
The former MP had called Prime Minister Narendra Modi "neech kism ka aadmi" (a low life) in reaction to Mr. Modi's speech at the inauguration of the Ambedkar International Centre, where he accused the Congress of systematically undermining Ambedkar's legacy.
Mr. Aiyar does not hold any post in the party.
After the controversial remark, Mr. Gandhi took to Twitter to publicly censure Mr. Aiyar.
Mani Shankar Aiyar: Know More
- Mani Shankar Aiyar (born 10 April 1941) is a former Indian diplomat turned politician.
- He is a former member of the Indian National Congress party and was a part of first Cabinet (2004-2009) of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.
- He has served as the Union Minister of Panchayati Raj until he lost his seat in the 2009 election. He served as the Union Cabinet Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas from May 2004 through January 2006 and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports till 2009.
- He was also the first Minister of Development of North Eastern Region.
- He represented the Mayiladuthurai constituency of Tamil Nadu in the 14th Lok Sabha.
- He is currently a nominated member of parliament from Rajya Sabha.
4) Which rebel JDU leaders were disqualified from the RS on Dec 4, 2017?
- Published on 05 Dec 17
a. Sharad Yadav and Anwar Ali
b. Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar
c. Sharad Yadav and Tariq Anwar
d. Sharad Yadav and Anwar Khan
ANSWER: Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar
Rebel JDU MPs Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar were disqualified from the Rajya Sabha on Dec 4 night.
Mr. Naidu, Chairman of the RS, agreed to the JDU's contention that the two senior leaders had voluntarily given up their membership by defying their party's directives and attending events of Opposition parties.
The JD(U) had sought their disqualification on the grounds that they had attended a rally of opposition parties in Patna in violation of its direction.
Mr. Yadav had joined hands with the opposition after JD(U) president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kuamar dumped the Grand Alliance in Bihar and tied up with the BJP.
Mr. Yadav was elected to the House last year and his term was scheduled to end in 2022. Mr. Anwar's term was to expire early next year.
Sharad Yadav: Know More
- Born: 1 July 1947
- Hoshangabad, Central Provinces and Berar, British India
- Alma mater: Jabalpur Engineering College
- Occupation : Politician
- Website: www.sharadyadavjdu.in
- Sharad Yadav has been elected to Lok Sabha seven times and to Rajya Sabha
5) Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly has unanimously passed Kapu Reservation Bill, 2017 to provide 5% quota for _____________.
- Published on 04 Dec 17
a. Water and Gas Subsidy
b. Education and Employment
c. Education and Higher Education
d. Jobs and Pension
ANSWER: Education and Employment
Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly has unanimously passed Kapu Reservation Bill, 2017 to provide 5% quota in education and employment. The reservation to Kapu community will be given by including them in Backward Classes list. The reservation to existing Backward Castes will not be affected by this decision.
With the quota for Kapus, the total reservation in state goes up to 55%, beyond 50% cap set by Supreme Court for reservations. Andhra Pradesh already has 29% reservation for Backward Castes. Apart from this, 15% and 6% reservations exist for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).
The bill will be sent to Centre for its consent and State government is also going to request Centre to include this reservation in the 9th Schedule, to insulate it from judicial review.
6) NITI Aayog is collaborating with which delegation to release Strategy on Resource Efficiency on 30th Nov, 2017?
- Published on 01 Dec 17
NITI Aayog in collaboration with the European Union delegation to India have released the Strategy on Resource Efficiency at a function in the capital.
The report included in action plan for promoting resource efficiency in India.
It adds that sustainability is a global priority and SDGs commitment and 11th Five year plan clearly enunciate importance of Resource efficiency (RE). Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy are important goals and central principles for achieving sustainable development. Resource efficiency very simply put is making more with fewer materials.
In practice, through a life-cycle approach, it leads to minimizing impact on environment & the associated societal burdens, transforming 'waste' into 'resources' fostering circular economy, and strengthening resource security.
This strategy is the first policy document to emphasize resource productivity in the country.
RE Strategy emphasizes on Sustainable Public Procurement (SSP) as an action agenda which will be the market transformation tool to transform to a resource efficient economy.
The document is developed with the recommendations from the Indian Resource Efficiency Programme (IREP), launched by the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and Indian Resource Panel (InRP) in April 2017.
The work on Resource Efficiency Strategy and proposed plan of action (core and medium term) will be supported for its implementation by the European Union (EU) funded Resource Efficiency Initiative (EU-REI) led by GIZ in the consortium with TERI, CII and Adelphi.
NITI Aayog has provided key support in positioning this document for public consultation, and charting the way forward.
Resource Efficiency in India
- India's large population, rapid urbanization and expanding industrial production have led to exploitation of available limited natural resources with concerns regarding resource depletion and future availability becoming more pronounced.
- Ensuring resource security requires and integrated, concerted and collaborative approach in order to fulfill the needs of a vast and growing population.
- Also, the environmental burdens emanating due to resource extraction, utilization and disposal, including land degradation, biodiversity loss, as well as air and water pollution remain of great concern.
- Enhancing resource efficiency (RE) and promoting the use of secondary raw materials (SRM) is a pertinent strategy to address these challenges and reduce dependence on primary resource.
7) Which bill is targeted to increase public as well as private participation in space programmes?
- Published on 24 Nov 17
a. The Space Affairs Bill, 2017
b. The Space Activities Bill, 2017
c. The Space Programme Bill, 2017
d. The Space Sector Bill, 2017
ANSWER: The Space Activities Bill, 2017
A Bill pending before the Parliament is to encourage both the public and private sectors to participate in the space programme.
The Space Activities Bill 2017 is a proposed Bill to promote and regulate the space activities of India.
The new Bill encourages the participation of non-governmental/private sector agencies in space activities in India under the guidance and authorisation of the government through the Department of Space.
According to the draft, as few start-up companies in India have shown interest in space systems activities and as space activities need participation from private sector agencies, "there is an urgent need for a legal environment for orderly performance and growth of space sector."
The draft was posted on the website of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on November 21, 2017.
Provisions of the Act
- The provisions of this Act shall apply to every citizen of India and to all sectors engaged in any space activity in India or outside India
- A non-transferable licence shall be provided by the Central Government to any person carrying out commercial space activity
- The Central Government will formulate the appropriate mechanism for licensing, eligibility criteria, and fees for licence.
- The government will maintain a register of all space objects (any object launched or intended to be launched around the earth) and develop more space activity plans for the country
- It will provide professional and technical support for commercial space activity and regulate the procedures for conduct and operation of space activity
- It will ensure safety requirements and supervise the conduct of every space activity of India and investigate any incident or accident in connection with the operation of a space activity.
- It will share details about the pricing of products created by space activity and technology with any person or any agency in a prescribed manner.
- If any person undertakes any commercial space activity without authorisation they shall be punished with imprisonment up to 3 years or fined more than ?1 crore or both.
8) Union Cabinet has approved ordinance to amend which code?
- Published on 23 Nov 17
a. International and Bankruptcy Code
b. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code
c. Insolvency and Banking Code
d. International and Banking Code
ANSWER: Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code
The Union Cabinet on 22nd Nov 2017 approved a proposal to promulgate an Ordinance to amend the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
Official sources said the move is to strengthen the IBC by explicitly preventing certain persons - including wilful defaulters, disqualified directors, those who have indulged in fraudulent transactions.
It also includes promoters whose account is classified as non-performing assets (NPA) beyond a prescribed duration - from regaining control of the defaulting company through the backdoor in the garb of a resolution applicant.
The IBC provides for an effective and robust legal framework for time-bound insolvency resolution to release assets locked up in NPA and promote maximisation of value of assets, failing which, under-utilised resources of unviable business are released through liquidation.
These amendments have been proposed because in the initial phase of the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) under the IBC, a number of cases are likely to have long pending default requiring deep haircut for the creditors, the sources said.
The ordinance is likely to be tabled during the winter session of Parliament with a view to get its nod soon.
9) Union Cabinet has approved which national judicial pay commission for subordinate judicial officers in country?
- Published on 13 Nov 17
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved appointment of Second National Judicial Pay Commission (SNJPC) for Subordinate Judiciary in the country.
The Commission is to be headed by Shri Justice (Retd.J P.Venkatrama Reddi, former Judge of Supreme Court of India. Shri R. Basant, a former Judge of the Kerala High Court is the Member of the Commission.
The Commission will make its recommendations to the State Governments preferably within a period of 18 months.
It will examine the present structure of emoluments and conditions of service of Judicial Officers in the States and UTs.
The Commission aims to evolve the principles which would govern pay structure and other emoluments of Judicial Officers belonging to the Subordinate Judiciary of the country.
It will examine the work methods and work environment as also the variety of allowance and benefits in kind that are available to Judicial Officers in addition to pay and to suggest rationalization and simplification thereof.
The Commission will devise its own procedures and formulate modalities necessary for accomplishing the task. The Commission also aims at making the pay scales and conditions of service of Judicial Officers uniform throughout the country.
The recommendations of the Commission will help in promoting efficiency in Judicial Administration, optimizing the size of judiciary etc. and to remove anomalies created in implementation of earlier recommendations.
10) Government of India has directed the investigation of which ICIJ expose in Nov 2017?
- Published on 07 Nov 17
a. Paradise Papers
b. Panama Papers
c. Appleby Papers
d. None of the above
ANSWER: Paradise Papers
Revelations made today in the media under the name 'Paradise Papers' [based upon expose done by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)] indicate that out of 180 countries represented in the data of offshore entities held by persons of different nationalities, India ranks 19th in terms of number of names.
714 Indians reportedly appear in the tally.
The Paradise Papers include nearly 7 million loan agreements, financial statements, emails, trust deeds and other paperwork over nearly 50 years from inside Appleby, a prestigious offshore law firm with offices in Bermuda and beyond.
The leaked documents include files from the smaller, family-owned trust company, Asiaciti (Singapore), and from company registries in 19 secrecy jurisdictions.
The Investigation units of the Income Tax Department (ITD) have been alerted to take note of revelations for immediate appropriate action.
It has been reported that many cases of offshore entities are already under investigation on fast track. As soon as further information surfaces, swift action as per law will follow.
Further, the Government has directed that investigations in cases of Paradise Papers will be monitored through a reconstituted Multi Agency Group, headed by the Chairman, CBDT, having representatives from CBDT, ED, RBI & FIU.