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“Current Affairs Pulse – 20 -12- 2017”

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1) Consider the following with respect to US’s new Strategy and answer.
a. Nation-building or promotion of democracy in Islamic countries is not part of the strategy.
b. China is named as a threat in both South and Central Asia and Indo-Pacific regions.
c. Enhancing India’s global standing from being a ‘balancing power’ to be a ‘leading power’.
Choose the correct code
a) 1,2 only
B) 2,3 ONLY
c) 1,3 only
d) All the Above
Refer “The Hindu”- 20/12/17 (Pg.- 1)

2) With reference to Water Hyacinth, consider the following and answer.
a. Water Hyacinth is known as “Bengal Terror”.
b. Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) has come out with a plan to turn water hyacinth into organic manure.
c. The final product consists of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.
Choose the correct code
a) 1,2 only
B) 2,3 ONLY
c) 1,3 only
d) All the Above
Refer “The Hindu”- 20/12/17 (Pg.- 1)

3) Consider the following with reference to ‘Whip’ and answer.
a. He/She Serve as channel of communication between party and its members.
b. Party whip directs the party members to stick to the party’s stand on certain issues and directs them to vote as per the direction of senior party members.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 20/12/17(Pg.- 5)

4) With reference to Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, consider the following and answer.
a. It is the single largest nuclear power station in India.
b. KKNPP already have six VVER-1000 reactors built in collaboration with Atomstroyexport, the Russian.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 20/12/17(Pg.- 6)

5) With reference to National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), consider the following and answer.
a. NTCA is a statutory body under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change.
b. It was provided statutory status by the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2006 which had amended Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 20/12/17(Pg.- 7)

6) Consider the following with reference to Sakala scheme and answer.
a. Sakala scheme (2011) was implemented to curb corruption and deliver services effectively in some of the key departments.
b. More than 725 services are being provided under the Sakala Act.
c. Government has now proposed to launch Sakala-2 with stringent rules.
Choose the correct code
a) 1,2 only
B) 2,3 ONLY
c) 1,3 only
d) All the Above
Refer “The Hindu”- 20/12/17 (Pg.- 8)

7) With reference to Right of Persons with Disabilities Bill, consider the following and answer.
a. The RPwDB is more aligned to the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
b. 2016 legislation covers 21 categories of disabilities compared to 7 in the 1995 legislation.
c. At least 5% seats in all government institutions of higher education and those getting aid from the government are required to reserve seats for persons with benchmark disabilities.
Choose the correct code
a) 1,2 only
B) 2,3 ONLY
c) 1,3 only
d) All the Above
Refer “The Hindu”- 20/12/17 (Pg.- 9)

8) With reference to National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), consider the following and answer.
a. NABL is an autonomous society providing Accreditation (Recognition) of Technical competence.
b. It has Mutual Recognition Arrangements with Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC), Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA), International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 20/12/17(Pg.- 9)

9) Consider the following with reference to Aadhaar card and answer.
a. The main objective of aadhar is to ensure good governance and for efficient transparent and targeted delivery of subsidies, benefits and services to the Individual.
b. According to the latest rules, ‘explicitly informed consent’ from customers has been made compulsory to mapping Aadhar to a bank account.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 20/12/17(Pg.- 9)

10) With reference to Goods and Service Tax Network (or GSTN), consider the following and answer.
a. It is a non-profit, non-government organization.
b. The GSTN is a trusted National Information Utility (NIU).
c. The user charges will be paid entirely by the Central Government and the State Governments in equal proportion (i.e. 50:50) on behalf of all users.
Choose the correct code
a) 1,2 only
B) 2,3 ONLY
c) 1,3 only
d) All the Above
Refer “The Hindu”- 20/12/17 (Pg.- 10)

11) With reference to e-cigarette, consider the following and answer.
a. It works by heating a liquid to generate an aerosol, commonly called a “vapor”.
b. The Ligiid usually made of nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerine, and flavorings.
c. Thes are likely to be safer than tobacco cigarettes.
Choose the correct code
a) 1,2 only
B) 2,3 ONLY
c) 1,3 only
d) All the Above
Refer “The Hindu”- 20/12/17 (Pg.- 12)

12) Consider the following with reference to Scheme for Capacity Building in Textile Sector (SCBTS)” and answer.
a. scheme will have National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) compliant training courses with funding norms as per Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE).
b. Web-based monitoring will be adopted for steering every aspect of implementation of the programme.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “PIB”

13) With reference to Counter Nuclear Smuggling Team (CNST), consider the following and answer.
a. It is to check the smuggling of radioactive material.
b. The CNST has representation from all concerned Ministries / Departments/ Agencies and meets periodically.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “PIB”

14) Consider the following with reference to Rooppur Nuclear Power Project (RNPP) and answer.
a. It will be the Bangladesh’s first nuclear power plant.
b. It is to be built by the Russian Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “PIB”

15) With reference to NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR), consider the following and answer.
a. The mission is a joint project between NASA and ISRO to co-develop and launch a dual frequency synthetic aperture radar satellite.
b. The satellite will be the first radar imaging satellite to use dual frequency.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “PIB”

“Brief of Kurukshetra – November 2017 – Irrigation & Water Conservation”

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Brief of Kurukshetra – November,2017

 

 

 

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“EDITORIAL MADE SIMPLE – 18th December 17 – Making triple talaq a criminal offence is unnecessary and possibly counter-productive”

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Making triple talaq a criminal offence is unnecessary and possibly counter-productive

Unnecessary attempt:

• The Centre’s proposal to make instant triple talaq an offence punishable with three-year imprisonment and a fine is an unnecessary attempt to convert a civil wrong into a criminal act.
• Three-two majority, the Supreme Court has already declared, and correctly, that the practice of talaq-e-biddat, or instant divorce of a Muslim woman by uttering the word ‘talaq’ thrice, is illegal and unenforceable.
o Two judges in the majority said the practice was arbitrary and, therefore, unconstitutional.
o The third judge ruled that it was illegal because it was contrary to Islamic tenets
• When Parliament enacts a law to give effect to the judicial invalidation of talaq-e-biddat, it must primarily ensure protection to Muslim women against its use.

Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017:

• Although the details are not yet available, the bill appears to have provisions for maintenance or subsistence allowance to the wife and children in the event of triple talaq being pronounced.
• Yet, it hardly requires iteration that the civil character of these aspects of marital law must be preserved.
• There can be no dispute about the need to protect Muslim women against the practice.
o But it is also well established that criminalising something does not have any deterrent effect on its practice.
• The All-India Majlis-e-Ittehadul-Muslimeen president, Asaduddin Owaisi, has argued in a letter to the Union Law Minister that
o there is no need for a fresh criminal provision when existing laws, under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code or provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic.

The Centre would do well to reconsider its draft and limit its scope to providing relief to women, instead of creating a new offence out of a civil matter. Act, 2005.

“EDITORIAL MADE SIMPLE – 16th December 17 – Rising inequality in India: The Pickety report”

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Rising inequality in India: The Pickety report

Inequality rose substantially since implementation of 80s’ deregulation reforms’

World Inequality Report:

• Income inequality in India rose rapidly since the 1980s to a situation where the top 10% of the earners accounted for 56% of the income earned in 2014.
• The income share of India’s top 1% rose from approximately 6% in 1982-1983 to above 10% a decade after, then to 15% by 2000, and further still to around 23% by 2014
• In 2014, the share of national income captured by India’s top 1% of earners was 22%, while the share of the top 10% of earners was around 56%
• The top 0.1% of earners have continued to capture more growth than all those in the bottom 50% combined.
• By 2014, the national income share of the bottom 50% — approximately 390 million adults — was just two-thirds of the share of the top 1%, consisting of just 7.8 million people.

Since 1991, has the widening of inequality accelerated?:

This rising inequality is in sharp contrast to the trends seen in the 30 years following Independence, when income inequality was widely reduced and the incomes of the bottom 50% grew at a faster rate than the national average.
It was mainly due to the socialist policies followed by the then government, like.
• Strict government control over the economy, with an explicit goal to limit the power of the elite
• Nationalization
• Strong market regulation and
• High tax progressivity

China after 1980:

• Share of national income captured by the bottom half in both India and China after 1980 has been broadly similar.
• Big difference lies in the income captured by middle income group. While middle 40% in India got 23% of the increase in national income since 1980 while the same group in China got 43%.
• It means that Chinese middle has benefited far more than the Indian middle, and the bottom half in both countries has had broadly similar experiences.

Reasons:

• When economy was freed from the government control, it leads to higher growth and provide opportunities to the people.
• This opportunity was exploited by Upper class.
• While excess supply of skilled and unskilled labour keeps wages low for the middle and lower classes.
• Labour unions are useful for collective wage bargaining but since the era of economic liberalization began unions have become weaker even in the organized sector.
• Failure of labour-intensive manufacturing in India compared to its massive success in China.
• The proportion of the labour force in agriculture has come down, but the workers who have left farms have not got jobs in modern factories or offices.
• Majority of this labor force is employed in the informal sector.

Way Forward:

• Job creation in the modern sectors of the economy rather than redistribution through fiscal spending.
• Focus more on economic growth rather than populist policies
• Strong labour rights in a country help young people secure a fair wage.
• Government spending on infrastructure is important in rural areas
• The government’s spending on quality of primary education remains a problem and needs improvement.
• Government expenditure on health must be increased.
• A social safety net for the informal sector workers like life insurance and pension policies is important.

“Current Affairs Pulse – 18 -12- 2017”

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1) Which among the following can be attributed to cause of wildfire in California?
a. Mediterranean climate zone.
b. Climate change.
c. Anthropogenic activity.
Choose the correct code
a) 1,2 only
B) 2,3 ONLY
c) 1,3 only
d) All the Above
Refer “The Hindu”- 18/12/17 (Pg.- 1)

2) Consider the following with reference to US’s new policy on Afghan and South Asia and answer.
a. US will continue to support the Afghan government and it’s military.
b. India is viewed as a “critical part of the South Asia strategy”.
c. Baloch leaders have welcomed Trump’s new Afghanistan and South Asia policy.
Choose the correct code
a) 1,2 only
B) 2,3 ONLY
c) 1,3 only
d) All the Above
Refer “The Hindu”- 18/12/17 (Pg.- 1)

3) With reference to Section 126 of the Representation of the People, 1951, consider the following and answer.
a. It prohibits displaying any election matter by means, inter alia, of television or similar apparatus, during the period of 48 hours before the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in a constituency.
b. Election matter” has been defined in that Section as any matter intended or calculated to influence or affect the result of an election.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 18/12/17(Pg.- 1)

4) Consider the following with reference to Udangudi Power Corporation, and answer.
a. It is a proposed 1600-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Tamil Nadu, India.
b. 80% Imported Coal from Indonesia, South Africa, Australia, China, etc
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 18/12/17(Pg.- 7)

5) Consider the following with reference to Fly ash and answer.
a. All fly ash includes substantial amounts of silicon dioxide (SiO2), aluminium oxide (Al2O3) and calcium oxide.
b. It serves as a soil modifier and also enhance the water retaining capacity and fertility of the soil.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 18/12/17(Pg.- 2)

6) Consider the following with reference to Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park, and answer.
a. It has the distinction of being the first Marine Biosphere Reserve in Southeast Asia.
b. The park includes the rare and endangered Sea Cow (Dugong dugong), Olive ridley nesting sites etc.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 18/12/17(Pg.- 7)

7) With reference to Raorchestes chalazodes (Bush Frog), consider the following and answer.
a. It is endemic to the Western Ghats of India.
b. This secretive frog is found in the wet evergreen forests in and around Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve.
c. IUCN has placed it under Critically Endangered Category.
Choose the correct code
a) 1,2 only
B) 2,3 ONLY
c) 1,3 only
d) All the Above
Refer “The Hindu”- 18/12/17 (Pg.- 8)

8) With reference to the TB tracking efforts, consider the following and answer.
a. To keep a track of the TB patients across the country, the Government of India has introduced a system called NIKSHAY, an web enabled application.
b. NIKSHAY has been developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC).
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 18/12/17(Pg.- 8)

9) With reference to Russian-made Mi-8, Consider the following and answer.
a. Mi-8 is replaced with new inductions in the same category such as the Mi-17, Mi-1v and more recently the Mi-v5.
b. Mi-8 helicopters were part of Operation Meghdoot of 1989 in the Siachen Glacier and Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka.
Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 18/12/17(Pg.- 9)

10) Consider the following with reference to Yodong and answer.
a. Yodong is a town in Tibet’s Chumbi valley (near to the border crossing of Nathu La).
b. China is to build airport and railway station at Yadong County [in Tibet].
Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 18/12/17(Pg.- 12)

11) With reference to National Medical Commission (NMC), consider the following and answer.
a. It can dictate guidelines for fees up to 40% of seats in private medical colleges.
b. The bill has a provision for a common entrance exam and licentiate (exit) exam that medical graduates have to pass before practising or pursuing PG courses.
c. Recognised medical institutions don’t need the regulator’s permission to add more seats or start PG course.
Choose the correct code
a) 1,2 only
B) 2,3 ONLY
c) 1,3 only
d) All the Above
Refer “The Hindu”- 18/12/17 (Pg.- 13)

12) Consider the following with reference to Quetta, and answer.
a. It is the capital and largest city of Balochistan, Pakistan.
b. The city lies on the Bolan Pass route.
c. like more easterly parts of Pakistan, Quetta have a monsoon season of heavy rainfall.
Choose the correct code
a) 1,2 only
B) 2,3 ONLY
c) 1,3 only
d) All the Above
Refer “The Hindu”- 18/12/17 (Pg.- 14)

13) With reference to Uighurs, consider the following and answer.
a. They are Indigenous ethnic minority of China’s western Xinjiang region.
b. Xinjiang is officially designated an autonomous region within China, like Tibet to its south.
c. The Uighurs are Buddhist.
Choose the correct code
a) 1,2 only
B) 2,3 ONLY
c) 1,3 only
d) All the Above
Refer “The Hindu”- 18/12/17 (Pg.- 14)

14) With reference to ‘Hot Money’, consider the following and answer.
a. It refers to funds that are controlled by investors who actively seek short-term returns.
b. The net investment position in equities in 2017 is the highest in three years.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 18/12/17(Pg.- 15)

15) With reference to UDAN scheme, consider the following and answer.
a. UDAN, a flagship regional flying scheme to attract more airlines and helicopter operators to participate in regional connectivity scheme (RCS).
b. It is applicable on flights which cover between 200 km and 800 km.
c. Operators of such flights will be extended viability gap funding (VGF) for which money is partly raised through a levy imposed on flights operating in Major routes.
Choose the correct code
a) 1,2 only
B) 2,3 ONLY
c) 1,3 only
d) All the Above
Refer “The Hindu”- 18/12/17 (Pg.- 14)

16) Consider the following with reference to Odisha, with respect to a recent Assocham report and answer.
a. Odisha has been ranked third with a more than 7% share in total live investments.
b. Odisha clocked a CAGR of about 9% in the industry sector between FY12 and FY17 which was ahead of all-India’s growth rate of 6%.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 18/12/17(Pg.- 15)

17) With reference to horticultural crops, consider the following and answer.
a. After China, India is the second largest producer of horticultural crops and fruits.
b. National Horticulture Board (NHB) was set up by the Government of India in 1984 as an autonomous society under the Societies Registration Act 1860.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “PIB”

18) With reference to ESSO-INCOIS (ESSO-Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services), consider the following and answer.
a. The International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography, hosted at the ESSO-INCOIS campus in Hyderabad will be established as a Category-2 Centre (C2C).
b. It will be established through an agreement to be signed with UNESCO.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “PIB”

19) With reference to Disaster Management efforts of Haryana, consider the following and answer.
a. Haryana is all set for conduting earthquake mock exercise on December 21, 2017 across the State.
b. This is the first State-level Mock Exercise on earthquake covering all districts of the State.
c. Haryana falls in the seismic zone IV, III, & II.
Choose the correct code
a) 1,2 only
B) 2,3 ONLY
c) 1,3 only
d) All the Above
Refer “PIB”

20) Consider the following with reference to Disaster Risk Reduction efforts and answer.
a. The first national-level Training of Trainers programme to sensitise various Central Ministries and Departments are to conduted.
b. It is to be organised by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction-Global Education and Training Institute (UNISDR-GETI) from December 18-20, 2017.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “PIB”

“EDITORIAL MADE SIMPLE – 15th December 17 – Looking for balance in power”

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Looking for balance in power

The Russia-India-China trilateral meet is New Delhi’s attempt to overcome challenges in ties with Moscow and Beijing:

• A month after India was part of the ‘Quad’ discussion on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Manila involving Japan, Australia and the U.S.,
o New Delhi hosted foreign ministers of Russia and China this week.
• The Russia-India-China trilateral held its 15th meeting in what can be construed as New Delhi’s attempt to get a semblance of balance.

Scope of talks:

• 15th meeting, “took place in the backdrop
o political scenario in West Asia and North Africa
o numerous challenges in putting the world economy back on the growth track
o Concerns relating to terrorism
o transnational organised crime
o illicit drug trafficking
o food security
o climate change.

Russia and China’s view:

• Russia and China’s continued attempts to frame global and regional politics through their own lens.
• Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made it clear that he believes that India can benefit by joining China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
• Targeting India’s participation in the ‘Quad’, he also underlined that a sustainable security architecture cannot be achieved in the Asia-Pacific region with “closed bloc arrangements.”
• Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi also cautioned against “spheres of influence” and “cliques”
• Mr. Wang said in a speech before his Delhi visit:
o We have handled the issue of cross-border incursions by the Indian border troops into China’s Donglang (Doklam) area through diplomatic measures.”
• He maintained that “through diplomatic means, the Indian side withdrew its equipment and personnel which reflected the value and importance of China-India relations.

Origin of the framework:

• The proposal for a Moscow-Beijing-Delhi ‘strategic triangle’ had originally come from former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov during his visit to India in 1998.
• This did not elicit as enthusiastic a response from China and India as Russia had perhaps hoped for.
• But, the idea of a ‘strategic triangle’ took a tangible form when former Foreign Ministers of Russia, China, and India — Igor Ivanov, Tang Jiaxuan and Yashwant Sinha — met on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2002.
o and since then has become a regular feature of interactions among the three states.

Different expectations:

• Russia’s role was key as its loss of power and influence on the world scene was a major cause of concern for its leadership.
• It is against this backdrop that Russia tried to establish itself as the hub of two bilateral security partnerships that could be used to counteract U.S. power and influence.
• While Russia witnessed a downward slide in its status as a superpower since the end of the Cold War, China emerged as a rising power that saw the U.S. as the greatest obstacle.
• China recognised the importance of cooperating with Russia to check U.S. expansionism.
• In fact, American policies towards Russia and China moved the two states closer to each other.

India’s stance:

• India, on the other hand, had different considerations
• India saw in the trilateral a mechanism to bring greater balance in the global order as it believed that a unipolar U.S.-dominated world was not in the best interests, even as strategic convergence deepened between Washington and Delhi

China for Russia & India:

• An arrangement that had started with an attempt to manage American unipolarity is now being affected fundamentally by Chinese resurgence.
• Both Russia and India are having to deal with the externalities being generated by China’s rise.
• While Russia is getting closer to China, India is trying to leverage its partnership with other like-minded states in the wider Indo-Pacific region.

Way Forward:

• China’s Global Times, commenting on the recent trilateral, suggested that “the leaders of the three only meet with each other on international occasions,”
o adding, “this indicates it does not have high status in diplomacy and cannot bear more functions.”
• While this may be true, New Delhi’s continued engagement with the duo suggests that India is today confident of setting its own agenda in various platforms.
• A rising India is quite capable of managing its ties with Washington, Beijing and Moscow simultaneously.
• It will not always be easy, but in an age when the certitudes of the past are fast vanishing, diplomacy will have to tread a complex path.

“EDITORIAL MADE SIMPLE – 14th December 17 – SC’s petition to drop adultery as a criminal offence”

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SC’s petition to drop adultery as a criminal offence

• There has been a long dispute over the constitutional validity of Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, under which men can be prosecuted for adultery.
• The Supreme Court has recently admitted a petition to drop adultery as a criminal offence from the statute book.

Indian law:

• According to Indian jurisdiction, the adultery law comes under Section 497 of the Indian penal code.
• There are two laws pertaining to adultery:

Section-497: Adultery:

• “Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case, the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor.”

Section-498: Enticing or taking away or detaining with criminal intent a married woman:

• “Whoever takes or entices any woman who is and whom he knows or has reasons to believe to be the wife of any other man, from that man, or from any person having the care of her on behalf of that man, with intent that she may have illicit intercourse with any person or conceals or detains with that intent any such woman, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both”.

Need For the change:

• There has been a long debate over the constitutional validity of Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, under which men can be prosecuted for adultery.
• The Supreme Court has observed that the provision is outdated.
• It has further noted that in a case of adultery, one person is liable for the offence but the other is absolved.
• Thus, the concept of gender neutrality, is absent.
• It has also noted that once the consent or connivance of the husband is established, there is no offence of adultery at all.

Section 198(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure:

• In the past, the Supreme Court has emphasized that a married woman is a “victim” and the man is “the author of the crime”.
• It has treated the exemption given to women as a special provision that has the protection of Article 15(3).
• It has rejected the argument that it is discriminatory by pointing out that neither a man nor a woman can prosecute their disloyal spouses.
• It is only the ‘outsider’ to the matrimonial relationship who can be prosecuted, and that too by the aggrieved husband alone.
• This is made clear in Section 198(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, a provision also under challenge.

Way Forward:

• The real problem in the Indian adultery law is the very fact that adultery remains a crime in the form of an archaic colonial era provision.
• The debate should not be maintained over the limited boundaries of gender discrimination.
• The correct course will be to dispense with this archaic provision altogether.
• It serves no real purpose in the criminal statute.

“EDITORIAL MADE SIMPLE – 13th December 17 – India and Australia’s 2+2 dialogue”

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India and Australia’s 2+2 dialogue

Australia and India recently discussed the need to maintain the Asia-Pacific region as a “free” and “open” zone under the ‘2+2’ dialogue model which includes the foreign and defence secretaries of both sides.

2 + 2 dialogue:

• Apart from India, Japan is also India’s 2+2 dialogue partner.
• Japan is India’s first 2+2 dialogue partner with any country.
• India and Japan held discussions to enhance cooperation key bilateral areas, including maritime, cyber, outer space security and also deliberated on regional and international security situation.
• Both the nations reviewed bilateral security and defence cooperation and discussed ways to expand these ties further.

New strategic partnership:

• The discussion between India and Australia was the first meeting of this level since the two sides participated in the quadrilateral discussion for a new strategic partnership targeting the Asia-Pacific region.

Inclusive Indo-Pacific region:

• Both sides agreed that a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region serves the long-term interests of all countries in the region and of the world at large.
Strategic and defence relations:
• Also, all aspects of bilateral relations with a focus on strategic and defence relations between the two countries were reviewed.

Economic Relations:

• India is fastest growing major economy today and it presents Australia a rare opportunity be a part of the growth story.
• From Mumbai to Melbourne, from Bengaluru to Brisbane, India will be in the market to buy some of the best things Australia has to offer.
• Trade between our countries is a little less than $20 billion but there is huge potential to even quadruple it.

Education Partnership:

• Australia is the second-most popular study destination for Indian students — 60,000 students went to Australia to learn.
• Australian Government launched New Colombo Plan, to send more and younger Australians to India as a place to study and boost their own qualifications and experience.
• Skill India Mission which Indian Government is aiming to train 400 million people by 2022, Australia can help us in this regard.
• Collaboration between our institutes on high-end research, innovation, science and technology are central to developing our knowledge partnership.
• Australia’s minister for education and training, senator Simon Birmingham, is bringing one of the largest Australian delegations of skills providers and higher education representatives to visit India to celebrate Australia’s knowledge partnership with India.

Strategic Relations:

• The security and stability of the Indo-Pacific is fundamental to both of the countries
• Australia has recently adopted the terminology – “Indo-Pacific” moving away from the Asia-Pacific bringing India into the strategic frame of the region reflecting India’s greater involvement in East Asian affairs, both directly and also institutionally through the East Asian Summit.
• Last year both the countries saw new or expanded maritime, cyber, terrorism and transnational crime dialogues.
• First bilateral maritime exercise – AUSINDEX has been introduced which will occur biennially now.
• Civil nuclear cooperation agreement entered into force, enabling the export of uranium to India.

Challenges:

• Adani Group is facing opposition to its plans to invest $16.5 billion in a coal mine in Queensland.
• Australia’s largest coal project—which could fuel power generation for 100 million Indians and create 10,000 jobs in Queensland has ignited protests from environment groups.
• They are concerned that the development will increase carbon pollution and endanger the health of the Great Barrier Reef marine park in northern Queensland.
• Environmental opposition to the mine, which could begin production in 2020, has delayed the first phase of the project and prompted the company to cut underground capacity by 38%.

Way Forward:

• These quadrilateral ‘2+2’ discussions usher in an array of socio-economic potentials for both the countries.
• It will also enhance the strategic interests in Asia, our economies are highly complementary, and the values are closely aligned.

“EDITORIAL MADE SIMPLE-12th December 17 – DNA investigation: where does India lags?”

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DNA investigation: where does India lags?

• The law machinery world over is increasingly relying on DNA forensics to solve crime, whereas India is lagging behind in adoption.
• It is time to take a serious look at how this technology, that has become crucial in establishing both guilt and innocence.

About DNA:

• DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms.
• Most DNA is located in the cell nucleus (where it is called nuclear DNA), but a small amount of DNA can also be found in the mitochondria (where it is called mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA).
• DNA can typically be extracted from blood and semen stains on clothes or on the body, from hair and teeth (with roots), and even from bones and flesh if they are not completely charred.
• DNA is a long, double stranded molecule that consists of two single molecular chains wrapped around each other.
• Each strand consists of a series of bases connected to each other through a backbone of sugar molecules.

Bases of DNA:

• There are four different bases: adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine.
• They are very frequently referred to simply by their first initials: A, G, C and T.
• The order of those bases on a strand of DNA is called the
• The sequence on one strand of DNA is matched by a complementary sequence on its opposite, matched strand.

DNA is the blueprint of life:

• DNA is called the “blueprint of life” because it contains the instructions needed for an organism to grow, develop, survive and reproduce.
• Every organism that we know of depends upon proteins to live and DNA is the macromolecule that stores the information needed to create all the proteins needed for life.
• The proteins that DNA enables the encoding of come together to forms cells, tissues, and organs.
• Whatever it is that organizes those proteins together could be thought of as the blueprint for those structures.

DNA fingerprinting:

• DNA fingerprinting is a method used to identify an individual from a sample of DNA.
• It simultaneously detects lots of minisatellites in the genome to produce a pattern unique to an individual.
• The probability of having two people with the same DNA fingerprint that are not identical twins is very small.

Uses Of Fingerprinting:

• DNA fingerprinting as a tool of investigation is very accurate.
• It extends to the way it can separate through crime scene evidence.
• Advanced DNA fingerprinting can make separate prints of various individuals even from a sample mixture found at the crime scene.
• For example: In a gangrape case, DNA fingerprinting can identify each of the individuals involved in the act through one sample.
• In such cases, it becomes the clinching evidence against the accused, and also helps vindicate those whose samples do not match.

Challenges:

• The state police forces are yet to be trained in conducting such scientific investigations.
• There is also a serious scarcity of capacity for DNA fingerprinting in the country.
• Advanced practices in the technology are limited to the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) in Hyderabad.
• There are also several private labs that offer DNA testing, but all work under an unregulated environment.
• Though DNA testing is done in criminal cases in India, the instances were very low compared to other countries.
• It breaches the Right to Privacy, personal information if leaked, could potentially complicate insurance processes, health care and job prospects for an individual.

Way Forward:

• Government and police should increase the use of DNA testing in solving crimes.
• There should be adequate and high-level training sessions for DNA investigation.
• They should set up a board which will lay down procedures and standards.
• There are recommendations for amendments in Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, and Indian Evidence Act, 1872, to include scientific investigation in crimes.

“Current Affairs Pulse – 16 -12- 2017”

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1) With reference to Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017, consider the following and answer.
a. It aims to make ‘Talaq-e-Biddat’ or instant triple talaq illegal and a punishable offence.
b. This is not a constitutional bill, thus requires the backing of a simple majority.
c. The husband could also be fined and the quantum of fine would be decided by the magistrate hearing the case.
Choose the correct code
a) 1,2 only
B) 2,3 ONLY
c) 1,3 only
d) All the Above
Refer “The Hindu”- 16/12/17 (Pg.- 1)

2) With reference to All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), consider the following and answer.
a. It is a non-government organisation constituted in 1973 to adopt suitable strategies for the protection and continued applicability of Muslim Personal Law in India.
b. The AIMPLB focuses primarily to defend the Sharia laws.
c. The board has a working committee of 51 ulama representing various schools of thought.
Choose the correct code
a) 1,2 only
B) 2,3 ONLY
c) 1,3 only
d) All the Above
Refer “The Hindu”- 16/12/17 (Pg.- 1)

3) Consider the following with reference to EVM and answer.
a. An EVM can record a maximum of 3840 votes and can cater to a maximum of 64 candidates.
b. EVMs are powered by an ordinary 6 volt alkaline battery manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited, Bangalore and Electronics Corporation of India Limited, Hyderabad.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 16/12/17(Pg.- 1)

4) With reference to National Health Mission (NHM), consider the following and answer.
a. NHM encompasses only two Sub-Missions, National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and National Urban Health Mission (NUHM).
b. Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) to address the major causes of mortality among women and children, is one among the focus area of NHM.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 16/12/17(Pg.- 2)

5) Consider the following with reference to ‘Plastic usage ban’, consider the following and answer.
a. National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a complete ban on plastic in Haridwar and Rishikesh.
b. Green Tribunal also imposed ₹ 5,000 fine on those violating the order.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 16/12/17(Pg.- 9)

6) With reference Ken-Betwa inter-linking of rivers (ILR) project, consider the following and answer.
a. The key projects are Makodia and Dhaudhan dams.
b. 8,650 hectares of forest land including part of Panna National Park in Madhya Pradesh will be submerged.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 16/12/17(Pg.- 9)

7) Consider the following with reference to Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan and answer.
a. Accessible India Campaign (AIC) is the nationwide flagship campaign of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
b. To create mass awareness on Accessibility, a Motorcycle Rally ‘Ride4Accessibility’ was organised on July 2016 at India Gate, Lodhi Garden.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 16/12/17(Pg.- 9)

8) Consider the following with reference to VVPAT and answer.
a. VVPATs are a second line of verification.
b. VVPAT prints a slip containing name of the candidate and the election symbol and drops it automatically into a sealed box.
c. Only the voter can see the VVPAT slip.
Choose the correct code
a) 1,2 only
B) 2,3 ONLY
c) 1,3 only
d) All the Above
Refer “The Hindu”- 16/12/17 (Pg.- 12)

9) Consider the following with reference to Methaqualone , and answer.
a. Methaqualone was first synthesized in India in the 1950s as an anti-malaria drug.
b. UNDER SECTION 26A OF DRUGS & COSMETICS ACT 1940, Methaqualone is banned in India.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 16/12/17(Pg.- 13)

10) Consider the following with reference to THE JUDGES (INQUIRY) ACT, 1968, and answer.
a. It enables an Investigation into misbehaviour or incapacity of Judge by Committee.
b. The Central Government may, if required by the Speaker or the Chairman, or both, as the case may be, appoint an advocate to conduct the case against the Judge.
Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 16/12/17(Pg.- 13)

11) With reference to National Medical Commission Bill, consider the following and answer.
a. The bill does away with the Medical Council of India (MCI).
b. The Bill proposes a government-nominated chairman and members, who will be selected by a committee under the Cabinet Secretary.
c. The new commission will also have the power to frame guidelines for fees for up to 40% seats in private colleges and deemed universities.
Choose the correct code
a) 1,2 only
B) 2,3 ONLY
c) 1,3 only
d) All the Above
Refer “The Hindu”- 16/12/17 (Pg.- 13)

12) With reference to Rohingya issue, consider the following and answer.
a. Bangladesh distributes Indian aid, sent under Operation Insaniyat, to Rohingya refugees
b. India has sent 53 tonnes of relief materials to Bangladesh for Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar.
Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 16/12/17(Pg.- 14)

13) Consider the following with reference to Net neutrality and answer.
a. It’s a Principle that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet the same.
b. The term “dumb network” refers to a network which is set up but has little or no control or management of the way users make use of the network.
Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 16/12/17(Pg.- 14)

14) With reference to leather and footwear sector, consider the following and answer.
a. Appreciation in the value of the rupee against major currencies, weak consumer sentiment in the European Union (EU) and a significant drop in the value of the British pound (GBP) had hit footwear exporters hard.
b. The country ranks second in terms of footwear and leather garments production in the world.
c. Union Cabinet has approved a Rs 2,600 crore special package for the leather and footwear sector.
Choose the correct code
a) 1,2 only
B) 2,3 ONLY
c) 1,3 only
d) All the Above
Refer “The Hindu”- 16/12/17 (Pg.- 15)

15) With reference to BHIM app, consider the following and answer.
a. BHIM is a digital payments solution app based on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
b. BHIM will let you send and receive money to other UPI accounts or addresses.
c. Here, not all the payee needs is a bank account.
Choose the correct code
a) 1,2 only
B) 2,3 ONLY
c) 1,3 only
d) All the Above
Refer “The Hindu”- 16/12/17 (Pg.- 15)

16) Consider the following with reference to economic slowdown and answer.
a. An economic slowdown occurs when the rate of economic growth slows in an economy.
b. the economic slowdown may have bottomed out in the second quarter 2017-2018.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 16/12/17(Pg.- 15)

17) With reference to Tea Board of India, consider the following and answer.
a. It was established by the enactment of the Tea Act in 1953 with its headquarters in Kolkata.
b. Offices of Tea Board are located in Kolkata, London, Moscow and Dubai.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “The Hindu”- 16/12/17(Pg.- 16)

18) Consider the following and answer.
a. Bharatmala Project, is the second largest highways construction project in the country since NHDP.
b. Northeastern states have been given special focus in the project
c. International trade is a key aspect as well.
Choose the correct code
a) 1,2 only
B) 2,3 ONLY
c) 1,3 only
d) All the Above
Refer “PIB”- 16/12/17

19) Consider the following and answer.
a. Sovereign Gold Bonds Scheme will help in maintaining the country’s Current Account Deficit within sustainable limits.
b. The actual amount of issuance will be determined by RBI, in consultation with the Ministry of Finance.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “PIB”- 16/12/17

20) Consider the following with reference to Atal Tinkering Lab’s Community Day and answer.
a. NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission launched the Atal Tinkering Lab’s Community Day.
b. The day marks Community Drive Initiative in which 25 young Mentors engaged with more than 200 students who are not enrolled in formal education system.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
[A] 1 Only
[B] 2 Only
[C] Both 1 & 2
[D] Neither 1 nor 2
Refer “PIB”- 16/12/17