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“Current Affairs Pulse – 21/09/2017”

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1. Which of the following statements about Quantum Computing are correct:
a. It is still largely a theoretical entity and employs the principles of quantum mechanics to store information.
b. Instead of the typical bits of 1 and 0 quantum computers store information in qubits and it works faster because of the way such circuits are designed.
c. To sort a billion numbers, a quantum computer would require 3.5 million fewer steps than a traditional machine, and would find the solution in only 31, 623 steps.
d. The existing systems however use principles of quantum computing to solve very limited problems and true quantum computers are still years away.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 1 of The Hindu Dated September 21, 2017.

2. Which of the following statements regarding Sporting honors in India are correct:
a. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in Sports and Games is the highest sporting honour of the Republic of India.
b. It is awarded annually by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
c. A committee constituted by the Ministry Of Youth Affairs and Sports select sportspersons who are honored for their most outstanding performance in the field of sports over a period of four years at international level.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 1 of The Hindu Dated September 21, 2017.

3. Which of the following statements about Civilian awards in India are in correct:
a. The Bharath Rathna is the highest civilian award of the Republic of India conferred in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order, without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex.
b. The Padma Bhushan is the second-highest civilian award of the Republic of India and the criteria include service in any field including service rendered by Government servants including doctors and scientists, but exclude those working with the public sector undertakings.
c. The Padma Vibhushan is the third-highest civilian award in the Republic of India.
Options:
a)1 and 3 only
b)1 and 2 only
c)2 and 3 only
d)None of the above
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 1 of The Hindu Dated September 21, 2017.

4. Which of the following statements about Transitional Credit Claims are correct:
a. Firms can claim transitional credits for inputs bought and taxes paid before GST rollout.
b. The accumulated transitional credit is more than what could be claimed on manufacturing output.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 1 of The Hindu Dated September 21, 2017.

5. Which of the following statements about Mumbai High fields are correct:
a. Mumbai High is India’s biggest oil field.
b. ONGC has made a significant oil discovery to the west of its prime Mumbai High fields which comes almost 50 years after ONGC began production in Mumbai High.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 16 of The Hindu Dated September 21, 2017.

6. Which of the following statements about P2P Peer To Peer Lending –are correct:
a. P2P lending is a form of crowd-funding used to raise loans which are paid back with interest.
b. It matches lenders with borrowers in order to provide unsecured loans.
c. Peer-to-peer lending (P2P) platforms will be treated as non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and thus regulated by the RBI from hereon.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 16 of The Hindu Dated September 21, 2017.

7. Which of the following statements about Indian Tea exports are correct:
a. The more than 90-day closure of the Darjeeling tea industry by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which is demanding a separate state, has harmed the interests of the premium and specialty teas but has not hampered India’s overall tea exports.
b. Taken with Russia, the CIS region which comprises Ukraine and Kazakhstan is India’s single-largest block for tea exports.
c. Two countries where Indian teas made major inroads were China and Sri Lanka who are among India’s top rivals in the global tea arena.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 16 of The Hindu Dated September 21, 2017.

8. Which of the following statements about the Rohingya Muslims according to Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina are correct:
a. They were excluded from the list of recognized ethnic groups of Myanmar.
b. In 1982, the Rohingyas were denied their right to citizenship.
c. They were sent to IDP camps in their own country, Myanmar.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)1 and 3 only
c)2 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 16 of The Hindu Dated September 21, 2017.

9. Which of the following statements about the Mexican earthquake are correct:
a. The epicenter of the 7.1 magnitude earthquake was Atencingo, about 120 kms from Mexico City.
b. The quake hit the country exactly 32 years since the two quakes in 1985 which resulted in the death of at least 10,000 people.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 16 of The Hindu Dated September 21, 2017.

10. Which one of the following statements regarding the volcano Popocatepetl are correct:
a. It is located in the country of Mexico.
b. As the earthquake shook, Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano had a small eruption.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 14 of The Hindu Dated September 22, 2017.

11. Which of the following statements regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action are
correct:
a. Apart from the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, European Union too is part of the Joint ComprehensivePlan of Action.
b. Under the agreement, Iran agreed to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium papers.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 14 of The Hindu Dated September 22, 2017.

12. Which of the following statements regarding the Chahbahar port are correct:
a. The Indian government was developing facilities in Chahbahar as part of regional connectivity plans.
b. The Chahbahar Port will help India access Central Asia, Russia and Europe through truck.
c. The port of Chahbahar is located in Iran.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 13 of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

13. Which of the following statements about the GM Mustard – DMH 11 are correct:
a. It has been developed by a team of scientists at Delhi University under a government-funded project.
b. The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee, India’s regulator for genetically modified seeds, had cleared GM mustard for environmental release and use in fields.
c. A Parliamentary Standing Committee, last month said that there was a paucity of studies on the impact of GM crops on human health.
d. The final government arbiter on allowing GM Mustard to be made available commercially is not the Minister in charge of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 1
Refer Page No 13 of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

14. Which of the following statements regarding the Gulf Of Oman are correct:
a. It is a strait that connects the Arabian Sea with the Strait of Hormuz, which then runs to the Persian Gulf.
b. The port of Chabahar is located on the Makran coast, next to the Gulf of Oman and at the mouth of Strait of Hormuz.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 13 of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017 and Refer any standard Atlas.

15. Which of the following statements about the Global Slavery Index are correct:
a. It is an annual study of world-wide slavery conditions by country published by the International Labour Organization.
b. The report includes three data points for each country: national estimates of the prevalence of modern slavery, vulnerability measures and an assessment of the strength of government responses.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 2
Refer Page No 13 of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

16. Which of the following statements about the Sustainable Development Goal 8.7 are correct:
a. It involves taking immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking.
b. Activists have urged India to implement labour law protections more effectively to eliminate modern slavery and forced labour in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
c. A multipronged strategy that responds to the needs of all affected constituencies, including bonded labourers, contract workers, domestic workers, intra and interstate as well as international migrant workers and sex workers is necessary in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 8.7.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 13 of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

17. Which of the following statements about the Paris climate accord are correct:
a. It was entered in December 2015 with an aim to prevent an increase in the global average temperature and keep it well below 2 degrees Celsius.
b. There is an uncertainty over the United States role in the climate deal which withdrew arguing that it gave undue advantage to countries like India and China.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 12 of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

18. Which of the following statements about the International Solar Allaince are correct:
a. It is an alliance of more than 121 countries, most of them being sunshine countries, which come either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
b. The alliance’s primary objective is work for efficient exploitation of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
c. The alliance is a treaty-based inter-governmental organization.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 12 of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

19. Which of the following statements about Blockchain technology are correct:
a. It is a digital public ledger that records every transaction.
b. Once a transaction is entered in the blockchain, it cannot be erased or modified.
c. Blockchain removes the need for using a trusted third party such as a bank to make a transaction by directly connecting the customers and suppliers.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 11 of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

20. Which of the following statements regarding the Geographical Indicators are correct:
a. It is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
b. The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights includes protection by offering the Geographical Indicators.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 11 of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

“Daily Current Affairs – 22/09/2017”

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International News:-

1. First ‘BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2017’:-

  • The First ‘BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2017’ (BIMSTEC DMEx-2017) will be conducted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as the lead agency from October 10-13, 2017 in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).
  • This Exercise will be a platform for sharing Best Practices on all aspects of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), strengthening regional response and coordination for Disaster Management among the BIMSTEC member countries.
  • All seven nations of the ‘Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation’ (BIMSTEC) Group Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand are participating in the event.
Points to Remember:-
  • BIMSTEC is an international organisation involving a group of countries in South Asia and South East Asia.
  • Its members are Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.
  • The BIMSTEC states are among the countries dependent on the Bay of Bengal.
    Nepal has current chair of BIMSTEC since 2014.

2. India assists upgradation of Thondaman Vocational Training Centre in Hatton:-

  • India and Sri Lanka signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to upgrade Thondaman Vocational Training Centre(TVTC), Hatton located in Nuwara Eliya District of Sri Lanka.
  • The MoU was signed by High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Secretary, Ministry of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development Mrs. R. Nadarasapillai.
  • The upgradation of the center will be done using a grant of SLR 199 million from the Government of India.

National News:-

1. Union Textiles Minister to inaugurate VASTRA 2017:-

  • The 6th Edition of the 4-day international textile and apparel fair, ‘VASTRA’ will be organized in Jaipur during September 21 – 24, 2017 at Jaipur Exhibition and Convention Centre (JECC), Sitapura.
  • The fair will be inaugurated by the Union Minister for Textiles and Information & Broadcasting, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani and Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Smt. Vasundhara Raje, on September 21, 2017.
  • The expo is an all-encompassing trade fair and conference on Textiles and Apparel which will present a fusion of the finest and the latest in textile products – from fiber to fashion, services and technology.

2. Andhra CM releases ‘People First’ mobile app for grievance redressal:-

  • Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu released ‘People First’ mobile application for grievance redressal at the Collectors’ conference in Vijayawada.
  • Chairing a Collectors’ Conference, Chandrababu Naidu said that under this application, people of Andhra Pradesh can dial 1100 to register complaints about government services and schemes.

3. IIM Ahmedabad awarded with the Rajbhasha Keerti Award:-

  • The Indian Institute of Management- Ahmedabad (IIM-A) has been awarded by President of India, Ramnath Kovind with Rajbhasha Keerti Award 2016-17.
  • This honour was awarded on September 14 on the occasion of Hindi Divas Celebration at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi.

4. Pune NGO for women farmers wins UN Equator Prize:-

  • Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP), a Pune-based non-governmental organisation working among women farmers, has won this year’s UN Equator Prize.
  • SSP is the only Indian organisation among the 15 winners that were chosen from 800-odd entries.
  • The award recognises SSP’s initiative to empower over 20,000 women farmers from the impoverished Marathwada region in Maharashtra.

5. Book “Bhartiya Kala Mein Salil Kridayen Evam Sadyahsnata Nayika” released:-

  • Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Culture released the book entitled “Bhartiya Kala Mein Salil Kridayen Evam Sadyahsnata Nayika” authored by Dr. Kshetrapal Gangwar and Shri Sanjib Kumar Singh.
  • This is an Art Book based on original research, written in Hindi and published by National Museum after few decades.

Economic News:-

1. India replaces China as top retail destination in 2017: Study:-

  • India has replaced China as the numero uno retail destination in 2017 as part of the global retail development index, according to industry experts.
  • With increasing global participation in Indian retail, the sector will further evolve and become more organised and competitive in providing better assortment to the consumer.

2. India gets its first high horse power loco from France:-

  • India’s dream for high horse power locomotive moved closer to reality with the arrival of the first bodyshell of 12000 HP loco from Alstom France at Kolkata port.
  • This first-of-its-kind high-power electric locomotive will be used to haul freight trains at twice the existing speed by next year.
  • In November 2015, the public transporter inked a contract with the French company to manufacture 800 such train engines over the next 11 years in a joint venture at the Madhepura locomotive factory in Bihar.
  • This is the first major FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) project in the rail sector.

3. State-run PSUs sign MoU to form Khanij Bidesh India Ltd:-

  • National Aluminium Company (Nalco), Hindustan Copper (HCL)and MECL, three state-run PSUs, have signed an MoU to form a joint venture Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (Kabil).
  • The proposed JV will identify, explore, acquire, develop and process strategic minerals overseas for commercial use and to meet domestic supply needs.
  • The JV will deal in 12 strategic minerals that are either not available in the country or the quantity available is lower than requirement.

“Daily Current Affairs – 21/09/2017”

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International News:-

1. WHO grants $175,000 for Rohingyas’ healthcare:-

  • The WHO has released its first tranche of emergency funding of $175,000 to provide lifesaving healthcare to the ‘vulnerable population’ in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar.
  • Though the World Health Organisation (WHO) did not specifically mention the Rohingya refugees, over 410,000 of them have arrived in Cox’s Bazar since August 25 after escaping Myanmar’s military crackdown.
  • The WHO South-East Asia Regional Health Emergency Fund (SEARHEF) grant of $175,000 will support 20 mobile medical teams to provide essential services for at least two months.

2. India ranks third among countries that faced most natural disasters:-

  • India ranked third among the countries that have faced the most natural disasters in the last half century, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres said pleading for unwavering international action on climate change.
  • The United States, followed by China, India, the Philippines and Indonesia, have experienced the most disasters since 1995.
  • Climate change was among the seven global threats that he listed needing immediate global action.

National News:-

1. Tata Steel, TERI launch ‘Green School Project’ in Odisha:-

  • Tata Steel has in association with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) launched an initiative to create awareness about environment issues in school campuses in Odisha’s Jajpur district.
  • They started the first series of workshops for the students at their Sukinda Chromite Mine (SCM) in Jajpur under the “Green School Project”.
  • The workshop will run till September 23 in all identified schools across raw material locations of Tata Steel.
  • The ‘Green School Project’ was launched in April this year in schools across the operational sites of Tata Steel in Odisha and Jharkhand.

2. Fifth North East Festival to be held in Delhi:-

  • The fifth edition of the North East Festival, which brings together the numerous colours and talents of the region, will begin in New Delhi on November 3.
  • The three-day festival, to be held at IGNCA, Janpath, will present Naga warrior dance, Thang ta of Manipur, Hojagiri of Tripura, Bamboo dance of Mizoram, Wangala dance of Meghalaya, Lion dance of Arunachal Pradesh and much more,.
  • It will also give a platform to around 150 weavers/artisans to show their handloom products and handicrafts.
  • Tourism is the main focus of the festival. Around 30 tour operators are expected to come from the northeast that will exhibit various destinations of the region.

3. Centre to set up inter-ministerial committee on financial cybercrimes:-

  • The government has decided to set up an inter-ministerial committee to monitor implementation of measures to check rise in financial cybercrimes.
  • The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh where he reviewed measures being taken to arrest the growing trend of cybercrime in the financial sector.
  • He expressed concern over the disturbing rise in cyber frauds using cards and e-wallets in particular.

4. Singapore to set up Skill Center in Northeast:-

  • The Government of Singapore will set up a Skill Center at Guwahati which will cater to the entire North-Eastern region.
  • This was stated by Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh.
  • As far as Skill Centre at Guwahati, it was stated that an MoU has already been formalized between Singapore and the State Government of Assam.
  • As a follow-up to this, a Skill Center is proposed to be set up at Guwahati by the year 2019 and the Ministry of DoNER will coordinate in this initiative.

5. Vice President releases Commemorative Coin on Dr. M.S. Subbulakshmi:-

  • The Vice President of India Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu released a Commemorative Coin on Bharat Ratna Dr. M.S. Subbulakshmi and inaugurated an exhibition entitled “Kurai Onrum Illai-MS: Life in Music” on the occasion of Birth Centenary Commemoration of Dr. M.S. Subbulakshmi.
  • Minister of State (Independent charge) for Culture Dr. Mahesh Sharma was the Guest of Honour.
  • Addressing on the occasion, the Vice President said that Dr. M.S. Subbulakshmi was a legendary and iconic figure who mesmerized everyone from Mahatma Gandhi to common man.

6. Dr Jitendra Singh to inaugurate first ‘Pension Adalat’:-

  • The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh will inaugurate the first ‘Pension Adalat’ on 20th September.
  • He will also award the Pensioners for their outstanding contribution towards ‘Anubhav’ – a platform for retiring employees for sharing their experience of working with Government.
  • Moving ahead from e-governance to m-governance, a Mobile App has been created to avail the services of Pensioners’ Portal which will also be launched by Dr Jitendra Singh.
  • As a measure of welfare to the pensioners of Government of India, a workshop on Pre-Retirement Counseling (PRC) of 300 retiring Central Government employees is also scheduled to be held.
  • The event is being organized by Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India.
  • The objective of this workshop is to create awareness about the post-retirement entitlements as well as an advance planning for life after retirement.

7. 13th Inter-Governmental Commission meeting at Astana, Kazakhstan:-

  • Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan will be visiting Astana, Kazakhstan from 19 – 20 September 2017 to co-chair the 13th Meeting of Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) with Kazakhstan.
  • Mr Kanat Bozumbayev, Minister of Energy of Kazakhstan will co-chair the meeting from Kazakhstan side.
  • The IGC meeting aims to follow up on the agenda set between India and Kazakhstan during the two visits of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to Kazakhstan in July 2015 and June 2017.

Economic News:-

1. Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code to evolve to its full potential: IBBI Chairman:-

  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India Chairman MS Sahoo has said that the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) will evolve gradually to its full potential and one of its main objective is to maximize the value of assets of corporate borrowers.
  • He was addressing a seminar on IBC organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi on day.
  • The IBBI chief also said that the capability of Committee of Creditors is absolutely critical for success of IBC, though the role of insolvency professionals is also important.
  • IBBI was set up last year to regulate the functioning of insolvency professionals and other related entities under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
  • The Code, notified by the government in May last year, has consolidated and amended laws relating to reorganization as well as insolvency resolution of corporate persons, partnership firms and individuals in a time-bound manner.

2. Govt to introduce ‘Food Street’ at global food fair in New Delhi:-

  • Government has said, it will introduce a curated food experience zone ‘Food Street’ at the global food fair in November in New Delhi.
  • Talking to reporters, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that the aim of this food event is to attract more investment in the food processing sector.
  • The experiential platform will bring together culinary practices, flavours, fragrances from cuisines across the world.
  • Chef Sanjeev Kapoor will be the brand ambassador of the event at the global food fair.
  • The Minister said the global food event, which is being held in India for the first time, will provide a platform to investors to taste the food and then take a call on investing in
  • India under the ‘Make in India’ programme.
  • The government had last year allowed 100 per cent FDI for marketing, including through e-commerce, of food products manufactured and produced in India.

3. FM Arun Jaitley reviews state of economy:-

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reviewed the state of economy, including export scenario and infrastructure spendings in New Delhi yesterday, as the government looks to perk up economic activity to boost growth.
  • Sources said the prime focus of the Government is on sectors and industries that create jobs.
  • The focus is also on targeting government spending given the limited fiscal space available particularly on infrastructure, combined with quickly fixing the problems with GST.
  • The Prime Minister’s Office has asked the finance ministry to hold consultations with key ministries to prepare a matrix of government revenues and spending as well as the measures needed to arrest the decline in GDP growth.
  • Government is keen to address structural problems facing the economy as well as transient issues with the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • The GST was touted to boost growth by up to 2 percentage points but technical glitches in the first two months of implementation have only created a scare that revenues may fall way short of expectations.
  • Government sources said, the review meeting, which lasted for over two hours, was also attended by Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar.

“Current Affairs Editorial – The Kurdish Vote”

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The Kurdish Vote

G.S.Paper I: History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries

G.S.Paper II: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora

Context:

  • The Kurdistan Regional Government has decided to go ahead with a proposed independence referendum.
  • Iraqi Kurdistan is located in the north of Iraq and constitutes the country’s only autonomous region.
  • The firm decision to adopt an independence resolution scheduled for September 25, 2017 was taken despite strong opposition both from within and outside Iraq.

Creating A Regional Political Storm:

  • The independence referendum move by the Iraqi Kurds has created a regional political storm in West Asia.
  • The Iraqi Supreme Court has already asked the Kurdistan Regional Government to suspend the vote.
  • Instead of referendum, the Supreme Court has asked the Kurdistan Regional Government to adopt a legal settlement.
  • Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has threatened to use force if the referendum turns violent.
  • The Turkish government has ordered a military drill on the Iraqi border.
  • Iran has also issued a warning to the Kurdistan Regional Government.

The reasons for staunch opposition:

  • Opposition from all quarters is largely driven by fears of an Yes vote.
  • A yes vote in the referendum is almost certain.
  • An overwhelming Yes would enhance the nationalist aspirations of Kurds living in other countries.
  • Another reason is that an Yes Vote by the Kurds would further destabilize the already destabilized region.

Who are the Kurds?:

  • The Kurds are an ethnic group. They are culturally, historically and linguistically classified as belonging to the Iranian peoples.
  • In the middle eastern region the Kurds mostly inhabit a contiguous area.
    They are the fourth largest ethnic group in West Asia but without a state and are scattered in various countries.
  • This area spans adjacent parts of southeastern Turkey (Northern Kurdistan), northwestern Iran (Eastern Kurdistan), northern Iraq (Southern Kurdistan), and northern Syria (Western Kurdistan).
  • In Turkey, Kurdish rebels are involved in a protracted civil war with the Turkish government.
  • While in Syria they have established a regional government.

What an YES vote means to the Kurds:

  • They Kurds, scattered across the Middle East, are all keenly awaiting the outcome of the Iraqi vote.
  • A ‘yes’ vote doesn’t necessarily mean that Iraqi Kurdistan would immediately break away from Iraq.
  • Both the regional government in Erbil and the federal government in Baghdad are not ready for that.

From Brutal Repression to Limited Autonomy:

  • The Iraqi Kurds had been brutally repressed under the regime of Saddam Hussein.
  • This was until the regional government was formed following the first Gulf War of 1991.
    Since then, they have exercised autonomy and built institutions for self-governance.
  • But Kurdistan has remained part of Iraq.

Message from the Kurdish Regional Government:

  • But the Kurdish Regional Government, led by Masoud Barzani, wants to send a message to Baghdad as well as the outside world.
  • The message is loud and clear: The Kurdistan Regional Government aspirations for independence are genuine and have popular resonance.

An opportunity for Baghdad to find a permanent solution:

  • Baghdad should see this as an opportunity to address the Kurdish question.
    In recent years, both Baghdad and Erbil cooperated in the fight against the Islamic State.
  • The Islamic State which posed a greater threat has been largely contained now.
    It’s time for both sides to refocus their energies on settling the dispute between themselves.

The Idea of A Confederation:

  • Though independence remains the proclaimed goal of Iraqi Kurdistan the Kurdistan Regional Government had once proposed a confederation.
  • A united state in which Iraq and Kurdistan could co-exist, sharing resources and a vision on foreign and security policies could be a welcome solution for both the parties rather than outright separation.
  • Such proposal was shot down by Baghdad in the past.
    But now the Kurds are trying to change the status quo by pushing for a referendum.

The Way Forward:

  • A Federal dialogue is essential to break the prevailing atmosphere.
  • The current tensions if not handled properly will deepen the prevailing sectarian fault lines.
  • It is neither in Baghdad’s nor the Kurds’ interest to jeopardize the relative calm in Iraq’s northeast which was achieved after a lot of bloodshed and sacrifice.

Source: “THE HINDU Editorial for September 20, 2017”

“Current Affairs Pulse – 20/09/2017”

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1. Which one of the following cities is the capital of Myanmar:
a)Nay Pyi Taw
b)Mandalay
c)Rangoon/Yangoon
d)Sittwe
Answer: 1
Refer any standard Geography Atlas.

2. Which of the following statements about Myanmar’s latest stand on the Rohigya issue is correct:
a. Myanmar has pledged to hold rights violators to account over the Rohingya crisis.
b. Myanmar also announced that it stood ready to take back refugees in accordance with a verification process agreed with Bangladesh in the early 1990s.
c. At the same time Myanmar refused to blame the country’s Army which is leading the operations against the Rohingyas.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 1 of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

3. Which of the following statements about Anti Defection Law are correct:
a. Any question regarding the disqualification arising out of defection is to be decided by the presiding officer of the house.
b. The Supreme Court, in Kihoto Holohan Case (1993) has held that the presiding officer, while deciding a question under the Tenth Schedule, function as tribunal.
c. Hence the decision of the presiding officer is not subject to judicial review on the ground of mala fides, perversity etc.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 2
Refer Page No 1 and 5 of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

4. Which of the following statements about Lake Pulicat are correct:
a. Lake Pulicat is the second largest brackish water lake in India.
b. Lake Pulicat spans across two states namely Andhra Pradesh and Telengana and is host to a rich and varied eco system.
c. The heavy siltation in the lake is a cause for worry and if the mouth of Lake Pulicat closes, the growth of sea food and fauna will get reduced drastically.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)None of the above
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 2 and of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

5. Which of the following statements about Lake Pulicat are correct:
a. The major portion of Lake Pulicat falls in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
b. The state of Tamil Nadu organizes an annual flamingo festival to celebrate the migratory birds.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 1
Refer Page No 2 and of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

6. Which of the following statements about the Pradhan Manthri Vaya Vandana Yojana are correct:
a. The scheme is exclusively for the welfare of the senior citizens.
b. The Government of India has announced subsidized and attractive pension scheme for the senior citizens which is administered by the Life Insurance Corporation of India exclusively.
c. The scheme is under the aegis of Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 3 and of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

7. Which of the following statements about the office of Governor are correct:
a. The dismissal of the council of ministers when it cannot prove the confidence of the state legislative assembly falls under express discretion of the Governor.
b. Recommendation for the imposition of the President’s rule in the state falls under the constitutional discretion of the governor.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 3 and of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

8. Which of the following statements regarding Cauvery river are correct:
a. The final award of the The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal was announced in the year 2007 in which the actual release of water by Karnataka to Tamil Nadu was fixed at 192 TMC annually.
b. Central government has not set up the Cauvery Management Board and has not framed any scheme for implementation of the tribunal award despite it having been notified in 2013.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 9 and of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

9. Which of the following statements about Garba dance are correct:
a. It is a form of dance which originated in the state of Maharashtra.
b. Many traditional garbas are performed around a centrally lit lamp and perfomed in circles.
c. Modern garba is also heavily influenced by Dandiya Raas.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 2
Refer Page No 9 and of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

10. Which of the following statements about the U.N. Convention on Refugees are correct:
a. India is a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees.
b. However India has not acceded to the 1967 protocol of the UN Convention on Refugees.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 2
Refer Page No 10 and of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

11. Which of the following statements about TRIPS or the Trade Related Aspects of the Intellectual Property Rights are correct:
a. The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is an international non legal agreement between all the member nations of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
b. The TRIPS agreement sets down minimum standards for the regulation by national governments of many forms of intellectual property (IP) as applied to nationals of other WTO member nations.
c. The Doha declaration is a World Trade Organization statement that clarifies the scope of TRIPS, stating for instance that TRIPS can and should be interpreted in light of the goal to promote access to medicines for all to prevent a narrow reading of the TRIPS agreement by the developed countries.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)None of the above
Answer: 2
Refer Page No 10 and of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

12. The Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights requires WTO members to provide which of the following protections:
a. Copy Rights and Patents
b. Geographical Indications and Trademarks
c. Industrial Designs and Confidential information.
d. Integrated Circuit lay out design
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 10 and of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

13. Which of the following statements about Article 21 of the Constitution of India are correct:
a. Article 21declares that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the due process of law.
b. Article 21 is available only to citizens of India.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 10 and of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

14. Which of the following statements are correct:
a. A referendum is a procedure whereby a proposed legislation is referred to the electorate for settlement by their direct votes.
b. Initiative is a method by means of which the people can propose a bill to the legislature for enactment.
c. Plebiscite is a method by means of which the voters can remove a representative or an officer before the expiry of his term, when he fails to discharge his duties properly
d. Recall is a method of obtaining the opinion of peol eon any issue of public importance which is generally used to solve the territorial disputes.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)None of the above
Answer: 1
Refer Page No 10 and of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017 and Indian Polity by Laxmikanth.

15. Which of the following statements about Kurds are correct:
a. They are an ethnic group in the Middle East, mostly inhabiting a contiguous area spanning adjacent parts of southeastern Turkey (Northern Kurdistan), northwestern Iran (Eastern Kurdistan), northern Iraq (Southern Kurdistan), and northern Syria (Western Kurdistan).
b. The Kurds are culturally, historically and linguistically classified as belonging to the Iranian peoples.
c. Iraqi Kurdistan is located in the north of Iraq and constitutes the country’s only autonomous region.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 10 and of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017

16. Which of the following statements about Face ID are correct:
a. Apple is all set to introduce Face ID in its upcoming iPhone X as a replacement to Touch ID.
b. The technology relies on making a unique facial map by projecting 30,000 invisible dots onto your face which is read by an infrared camera, which then sends the data to a secure part of the chip to make a match.
c. The image never goes out of the device.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 11 and of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

17. Which of the following statements about Chakmas and Hajongs are correct:
a. The two communities came to India in the 1960s from the Chittagong Hill area (in present day Bangladesh) fearing religious persecution.
b. As per the Supreme Court order of 2015, the court has directed the government to grant citizenship to Chakma-Hajongs within three months.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 12 and of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

18. Which of the following statements about the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction are correct:
a. It is a multilateral treaty developed by the United Nations Children’s Fund.
b. The convention which was entered into force on December 1983 provides an expeditious method to return a child internationally abducted by a parent from one member country to another.
c. The primary intention of the Convention is to preserve whatever status quo child custody arrangement existed immediately before an alleged wrongful removal or retention thereby deterring a parent from crossing international boundaries in search of a more sympathetic court.
d. India is a member of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)None of the above
Answer: 2
Refer Page No 12 and of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

19. Which of the following statements regarding India’s stand on reforming the United Nations Security Council are correct:
a. The reforms in the United Nations should include the expansion of the number of permanent and non-permanent members in the Security Council of the world body to keep pace with the changed times.
b. The G4 nations comprising Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan are four countries which support each other’s bids for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 13 and of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

20. Which of the following statements are correct:
a. It is a form of natural gas extracted from coal beds.
b. Due to the new Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) introduced by the Government, there is a renewed investor interest in Coal Bed Methane in India.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 16 and of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017.

21. Which of the following statements about the new Open Acerage Licensing Policy announced by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas are correct:
a. The new policy will allow bidders to carve out areas where they want to drill.
b. OALP offers single license to explore conventional and unconventional oil and gas resources.
c. The selection of oil blocks will be based on seismic and well data provided by Directorate-General of Hydrocarbons.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 16 and of The Hindu Dated September 20, 2017 and Any standard Geography text book.

Source: “THE HINDU – 20/09/2017”

September Month Current Affairs from 01/09/2017 to 15/09/2017

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Click the below image to read & download the August current affairs from 16-08-2017 to 31-08-2017:-

“Current Affairs Pulse – 19/09/2017”

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1. Which of the following statements about Anti Defection Law are correct:
a. Any question regarding disqualification arising out of defection is to be decided by the presiding officer of the House.
b. The presiding officer of the house is not empowered to make rules to give effect to the provision of the Tenth Schedule of the constitution.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 1
Refer Page No 1 of The Hindu Dated September 19, 2017. Refer any standard Indian Polity book.

2. Which of the following statements about Article 191 of the Indian Constitution are correct:
a. A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as and for being a member of the legislative assembly or legislative council of a state if he is so disqualified under any law made by Parliament.
b. He can also be disqualified if he holds any office of profit under the Union or Sate government.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 1 of The Hindu Dated September 19, 2017. Refer any standard Indian Polity book.

3. Which of the following statements in connection with Shell Companies are correct:
a. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has begun making public the lists of disqualified directors across the nation as well as those associated with struck-off shell companies in a name and shame exercise being conducted for the first time.
b. The above exercise for disqualification is being undertaken by the Corporate Affairs Ministry under the relevant provisions of the Companies Act, 2013.
c. The move is part of actions to break the network of ‘shell companies’ and further the fight against black money/money laundering.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)All of the above
c)2 and 3 only
d)1 and 3 only
Answer: 2
Refer Page No 1 of The Hindu Dated September 19, 2017.

4. Which of the following statements regarding Center’s stand on the Rohingyas are correct:
a. The Centre told the Supreme Court that the Rohingya were a serious threat to national security with links to terror outfits, such as the Islamic State, and those in Pakistan.
b. The decision whether or not to deport them fell within the exclusive domain of the Central Government.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 1 of The Hindu Dated September 19, 2017.

5. Which of the following statements about EXIM policy of India are correct:
a. It is a set of guidelines and instructions established by the Director General of Foreign Trade in matters related to the import and export of goods in India.
b. It is prepared and announced by the Ministry of Commerce and it is aimed at developing export potential, improving export performance, encouraging foreign trade and creating favorable balance of payments position.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 3 of The Hindu Dated September 19, 2017.

6. Which of the following statements about the study of Groundwater resources in Chennai by the Center for Climate Change in Anna University are correct:
a. A change in rainfall pattern and rapid urbanization would affect groundwater resources and lead to seawater intrusion.
b. Different methods of rainwater harvesting and Check Dams need to be adopted to conserve maximum rainwater.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 4 of The Hindu Dated September 19, 2017.

7. Which of the following statements about the mineral Magnesite are correct:
a. Magnesite is a carbonate of magnesium.
b. It is an important mineral used in the refractories for the steel industry, in fertilizers, pharma and food processing industries.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 7 of The Hindu Dated September 19, 2017.

8. Which of the following statements about the mineral Dunite are correct:
a. Dunite, along with Magnesite, is another rare mineral occurring largely in Salem.
b. Dunite is used in the iron and steel industry and as a refractory material and is also used in paints and as an abrasive.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 7 of The Hindu Dated September 19, 2017.

9. Which of the following ministries are part of the first ever National Conference on Mission Mode to address Under-Nutrition in the country are correct:
a. Ministry of Women & Child Development.
b. Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
c. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)2 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer the PIB newsletter dated September 18, 2017.

10. Which of the following ministries are part of the first ever National Conference on Mission Mode to address Under-Nutrition in the country are correct:
a. The conference is being held keeping in mind to attain the goal of Malnutrition Free India by 2022.
b. The 113 high burden districts will be monitored through a dashboard and a periodic review of the schemes covering the aspects of nutrition will be covered under the conference.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer the PIB newsletter dated September 18, 2017.

11. Which of the following statements about the problem of malnutrition are correct:
a. The problem of malnutrition is inter-generational.
b. Malnutrition is dependent on multiple factors which inter-alia; include proper Infant & Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices, Immunization, Institutional Delivery, Early Childhood Development, Food Fortification etc.
c. It requires a convergent approach among all the three departments i.e. Health & Family Welfare, ICDS/Social Welfare and Drinking Water and Sanitation to tackle the issue of malnutrition comprehensively.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer the PIB newsletter dated September 18, 2017.

12. Which of the following statements about the Sahasthra Seema Bal are correct:

a. The operations of Sahasthra Seema Bal have an intelligence component so as to prevent criminals and smugglers from taking advantage of the friendly borders with Nepal and Bhutan.
b. Sahashtra Seema Bal has been declared as the Lead Intelligence Agency (LIA) for both the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer the PIB newsletter dated September 18, 2017.

13. What is Swachtha Hi Sewa:
a. It is a nation-wide mass mobilization drive ahead of the 3rd anniversary of Swachh Bharat Mission that falls on 2nd October.
b. People from all walks of life undertake shramdaan for cleanliness and construction of toilets, and cleaning up of public and tourist places under the Swatchtha Hi Sewa campaign.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer the PIB newsletter dated September 18, 2017.

14. Which of the following statements about the Gaza Strip are correct:
a. It is a small self-governing Palestinian territory on the eastern coast of the Black Sea.
b. Gaza, together with the West Bank, constitutes the Palestinian territories claimed by the Palestinians as the State of Palestine.
Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 2
Refer Page No 10 of The Hindu Dated September 19, 2017.

15. Which of the following statements about PETA – People for Ethical Treatment of Animals are correct:
a. It is an American animal rights organization based in Virginia.
b. Its slogan is Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.
c. The group has launched investigations of jallikattu events, circuses that use animals in performances, and filthy horse stables in India.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 10 of The Hindu Dated September 19, 2017.

16. A state wise break up of government ordered Internet shutdowns is topped by which of the following states:
a)Jammu And Kashmir
b)Rajasthan
c)Gujarath
d)Haryana
Answer: 1
Refer Page No 10 of The Hindu Dated September 19, 2017.

17. What is the Naruto case:
a. Naruto, an Indonesian crested black macaque, should be entitled to the rights of a self-portrait which the animal had accidentally clicked with the camera of a nature photographer.
b. This lawsuit was brought by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in the year 2015.
c. Both the parties decided to settle the matter, with Mr. Slater agreeing to donate 25% of any future revenue from Naruto’s images to charities dedicated to the conservation of crested macaques in Indonesia.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 11 of The Hindu Dated September 19, 2017.

18. What is Horse Shoe Theory:
a. This refers to the argument that far-Left and far Right ideologies fall into the same, not opposite, end of the political spectrum.
b. The theory is attributed to French philosopher Jean-Pierre.
c. He argued that both the far-Left and the far-Right rely on big government to impose their own versions of collectivism on the population are essentially more similar to each other.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 11 of The Hindu Dated September 19, 2017.

19. Which of the following statements regarding the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting 2017 are correct:
a. The President of America opined that United Nations must hold every level of management accountable, protect whistleblowers and focus on results rather than on process.
b. A U.S. drafted 10-point political declaration backing efforts by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to initiate effective, meaningful reform was presented.
c. The Human Rights Watch called for targeted sanctions and an arms embargo against the Myanmar military.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 11 of The Hindu Dated September 19, 2017.

20. Which of the following statements about the Nansen Refugee Awards are correct:
a. It is awarded annually by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to an individual, group, or organization in recognition of outstanding service to the cause of refugees, displaced or stateless people.
b. Established in the year 1954, the award is named after the intrepid Norwegian polar explorer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Fridtjof Nansen.
c. Zannah Mustapha who helped secure the release of more than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram was awarded the Nansen Refugee Awards this year.
Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 14 of The Hindu Dated September 19, 2017.

 

Source: “THE HINDU – 19/09/2017”

“Daily Current Affairs – 19/09/2017 & 20/09/2017”

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International News:-

1. Tunisia lifts ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslims:-

  • The Tunisian government has lifted a ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslims on the recommendation of the president, who says Tunisia needs to modernise.
  • Muslim men were allowed to marry non-Muslim women, but not the other way around.
    A government official said such marriages can now be freely registered.

2. India Ranks 128th In Meeting UN’s 2030 Health Target:-

  • India ranks 128th in terms of meeting the UN’s health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, with low scores on air pollution, sanitation, hepatitis B and child wasting, according to a global health review published in The Lancet.
  • The Global Burden of Disease study provides new estimates on where the world currently stands in terms of meeting health goals.
  • Singapore, Iceland and Sweden were the highest performing countries in terms of the overall health- related SDGs.
  • Somalia, Central African Republic, and Afghanistan ranked lowest.

3. Japan releases postage stamps on Indian yoga experts:-

  • Acknowledging the role played by yoga legend Bishnu Charan Ghosh and his family members in spreading Indian postural yoga in Japan, the Japanese postal department has released postage stamps on four of Bengal’s famous exponents of the ancient Indian practice.
  • The stamps on Bishnu Charan Ghosh, his son Biswanath Ghosh, daughter Karuna Ghosh and Karuna’s father in law Asutosh Ghosh, that were released recently in Japan, were official showcased here by the Japanese Consul General in Kolkata, Masayuki Taga.

National News:-

1. Scheme to provide meal to labourers launched in C’garh:-

  • Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh launched ‘Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Shram Anna Sahayata Yojna’ under which nutritious meal for Rs 5 will be provided to labourers in the state.
  • Under the scheme, first Shram Anna Sahayata centre was inaugurated in Telibandha area where around 1,000 labourers will be served meal daily between 8 am to 10 am.
  • The centre has been constructed at a cost of Rs 20 lakh.
  • Meanwhile, a skill development centre set up in the same premises was also dedicated by the chief minister on the occasion.
  • Girls and women from the families engaged in rag picking will be given skill development training in varied disciplines including stitching, cooking and others there.

2. Amit Shah launches ‘Shaheed Gram Vikas Yojana’ in Jharkhand:-

  • BJP president Amit Shah launched the ‘Shaheed Gram Vikas Yojana’ during a programme at Ulihatu in Khunti district of Jharkhand.
  • Ulihatu is the birthplace of Jharkhand’s tribal icon Birsa Munda.
  • The programme launched by Shah would provide 136 pucca houses to the dwellers of Ulihatu and a couple of other hamlets around it.

3. Maharashtra to be the first state to have DNA databank in India:-

  • A major IT firm along with Maharashtra Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) is building a tool for storage of DNA profile of criminals to help police investigations dealing serious crimes against women and children.
  • Maharashtra will be the first Indian state to start DNA database which will also help law enforcement agencies in tracking maoists as well as terrorists besides repeat offenders.
  • Almost all developed countries including the USA, Canada, Australia, UK, NZ as well as majority of the European countries have DNA database.

4. Bandhan Tod: An Android app to fight child marriage in Bihar:-

  • In a unique initiative, Gender Alliance Bihar, a collective effort of over 270 civil society organisations backed by the UN Population Fund, has come up with a mobile application to fight the rampant social evil of child marriage in the state.
  • Launched by Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, the ‘Bandhan Tod’ app will try to create awareness on resisting child marriage and will also provide round-the-clock help to adolescent girls saying no to the practice in the form of an SOS button.
  • The Gender Alliance is an initiative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and was started to bring together civil societies, activists, academicians, researchers, media, and others on a common platform to advocate gender equality.
  • Bandhan Tod is part of Gender Alliance’s strategy to support the state government’s efforts to end child marriage and dowry.

5. National Conference on ‘Mission Mode to address Under-Nutrition’:-

  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development will hold the first ever National Conference in New Delhi tomorrow on Mission Mode to address Under-Nutrition in the country.
  • Secretary WCD, Shri Rakesh Srivastava said that this conference is being organized by the Ministry of Women & Child Development in collaboration with Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, keeping in mind the goal of “Malnutrition Free India-2022”.

6. Tripura is first state to set up district family welfare committees:-

  • Tripura has became the first state in the country to set up family welfare district committees to deal with the issue of fake and biased complaints by women against their husbands, in-laws and husband’s relatives.
  • State Governor Tathagata Roy in the presence of Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and other high dignitaries formally launched the family welfare committees in all eight districts in Tripura at a function in Tripura High Court.
  • Tripura is the first state to have formed such committees, Tripura High Court Chief Justice T. Vaiphei said.

7. International Yoga Festival starts in Kashmir:-

  • Jammu and Kashmir governor N N Vohra inaugurated the second International Yoga Festival and International Yoga Sports Championship 2017 in which about 300 people from across the world are participating.
  • The festival is being organized by the Yoga Society of Kashmir at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre.
  • About 300 participants from various parts of India, Vietnam, Taiwan, Canada, Bulgaria, USA and Nepal are participating in the festival.

Economic News:-

1. India likely to be 3rd largest economy by 2028: HSBC report:-

  • India is likely to overtake Japan and Germany to become the third largest economy in the next 10 years but needs to be consistent in reforms and focus more on the social sector, British brokerage HSBC.
  • Social capital is insufficient in the country and spending on aspects like health and education is not just desirable for its own sake, but is also central to economic growth and political stability.
  • India also needs a lot of focus on ease of doing business and related aspects like contract enforcements.

“Current Affairs Editorial – The Emerging India Japan Alignment and its ability to reorder the Asian strategic landscape”

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The Emerging India Japan Alignment and its ability to reorder the Asian strategic landscape

Paper II: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora, Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Context:

• If you look at the world from a geostrategic perspective, there are trend lines of slow-moving geopolitical changes which come together at a particular moment in time resulting in an inflexion point.
• And many signs suggest that 2017 may well be the year which marked the re ordering of the Asian strategic landscape.
• In this context, one must look at the emerging India-Japan alignment and its potential to sets the stage for the reordering of the Asian strategic landscape.

The Two slow moving Trends now visible:

• The two slow moving trend lines clearly discernible since the Cold War ended a quarter century ago are:
• The shift of the geopolitical centre of gravity from the Euro-Atlantic to the Indo-Pacific region.
• The Rise of China.

The Belated recognition of the trends by the U.S.A.:

• The U.S. ‘re balancing’ announced in 2011 was a belated recognition of the above changes.
• The impact of the Sub Prime Mortgage Loan crisis in 2008 hastened the process and drove home the message.

The new center of gravity called the Indo Pacific:

• Most of the rivalries are being played out in the crowded geopolitical space of the Indo-Pacific.
• Asian economies now account for more than half of global GDP and becoming larger in coming years.

A Rising China abiding by the Two Guides Policy:

• China’s rise is reflected in a more assertive China.
• President Xi Jinping’s announced the two guides’ policy in February 2017.
• According to the Two Guides Policy China should guide ‘the shaping of the new world order’ and safeguarding ‘international security’.

China’s eagerness to assume leadership:

• During the last quarter century Deng Xiaoping advised China ‘to observe calmly, secure its position, hide its capability, bide its time and not claim leadership’ since it suited the Chinese back then in the 20th century.
• Much water has flown under the bridge and the times have clearly changed for China.
• Today’s China is not just willing but eager to assume leadership and expects other countries to yield space.

The New Great Power Relations Followed by China:

• China has suggested ‘a new type of great power relations’ to the U.S.
• China’s assertiveness in the East China Sea with Japan and in the South China Sea with its Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) neighbours sends signals of the above mentioned Great Power Relationship.

Multipolarity across the world and Chinese Dominance in Asia:

• The message that while multipolarity may be desirable in a global order, in Asia, China is the predominant power and must be treated as such is loud and clear.
• Until now, China has been one of the beneficiaries of the U.S.-led global order.

China’s impatience and the creation of an Alternative Financial Mechanism:

• It is impatient that it does not enjoy a position that it feels it deserves, especially in the Bretton Woods institutions.
• During the last five years, China has set about creating a new set of institutions (the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank) and launched the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Aiming to create a new trading infrastructure:

• China aims to create a new trading infrastructure that reflects China’s centrality as the largest trading nation.
Chinese Assertions in the Indian Ocean:
• The BRI is also complemented by a growing Chinese naval presence in the Indian Ocean.
• In 2009, the PLA Navy started rotating three ship task forces through the Indian Ocean as part of the anti-piracy task force off the Somalia coast.
• Visits by nuclear attack submarines to littoral ports began to take place.

The Full Fledged Military Base at Djibouti:

• In addition, China is now converting the supply facility at Djibouti into a full-fledged military base.
Events accelerating the ascent of China recently.
• Recent developments have accelerated these geopolitical trends.
• The first was the outcome of the U.S. elections last year.

Donald Trump’s America first and absolving responsibility in the Western Pacific:

• By invoking ‘America first’ repeatedly, President Donald Trump has made it clear that the U.S. considers the burden of leading the global order too onerous.
• American allies, particularly in the Asia-Pacific, are nervous about Mr. Trump’s harangues that they are enjoying the benefits of the U.S. security umbrella on the cheap.

The growing anxiety of South Korea and Japan and their waning confidence on America:

• Recent nuclear and long-range missile tests by North Korea have added to South Korean and Japanese anxieties.
• Japan has been particularly rattled by the two missiles fired across Hokkaido.
• The U.S’s push for more sanctions that depend on China for implementation, is been seen by most Japanese that it is unlikely to be dismantle North Korea’s nuclear and missile capability any time soon.

China playing by their rule book in Doklam:

• The Doklam stand-off between India and China that lasted from June to August 2017.
• The Chinese playbook followed the established pattern creating a physical presence followed by sharpened rhetoric, together becoming an exercise in coercive diplomacy.
• This worked in pushing the nine-dash line in the South China Sea with the Philippines and Vietnam even as China built additional facilities on reclaimed land in the area.
• India, however, chose to block China and a few hundred soldiers on the plateau maintained their hostile postures.

The differences between India and China:

• Differences with China did not begin with Doklam.
• It was preceded by the stapled visa issue for Indians belonging to Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
• Growing incidents of incursions along the disputed boundary.

Protecting Pakistan and Frustrating India:

• Blocking of India’s bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group last year.
• Ensuring that no language relating to Pakistan-based terrorist groups found mention in the BRICS summit in Goa.
• And preventing the inclusion of Masood Azhar from being designated as a terrorist by the UN Security Council.

India’s consistent policy on China since 1988:

• Since 1988, India has followed a consistent China policy based on putting aside the boundary dispute and developing other aspects of the relationship in the expectation that this would create mutual trust and enable a boundary settlement.

The Growing Gap between India and China and the futility of a shared future:

• However, the gap between India and China has grown, both in economic and military terms, and with it has emerged a more assertive China.
• The shared vision of an Asian century with a rising India and rising China is long past.
• After Doklam, there is finally a consensus that the old China policy does not serve our national interests and a review is long overdue.

The India – Japan Angle and the scope for a new relationship adding critical dimension:

• It is against this backdrop that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s visit to India took place last week.
• The contours of a new relationship were defined during Mr. Abe’s earlier tenure, in 2006-07, when annual summits were introduced; the relationship became a ‘Special Strategic and Global Partnership’.

Growing synergy from Naval exercises and peaceful use of Nuclear Energy:

• Japan was invited to join in the Malabar naval exercises and a Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation was concluded.
• A singular achievement was the conclusion of the agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy last year.

Deepening strategic dialogue:

• To deepen strategic understanding, the two sides initiated a 2+2 Dialogue involving the Foreign and Defence Ministries in 2010.
• A memorandum on enhancing defence and technology/security cooperation was signed and talks on acquiring the amphibious maritime surveillance ShinMaywa US-2i began in 2013.

The India, China, U.S.A. trilateral dialogue:

• Trilateral dialogue involving both the U.S. and Japan and covering strategic issues was elevated to ministerial level in 2014.
• Once the agreement for the 12 US-2i aircraft is concluded with a follow-up acquisition as part of Make in India, the strategic relationship will begin to acquire critical mass.

Languishing India Japan Trade ties:

• Today, India-Japan trade languishes at around $15 billion, a quarter of trade with China while Japan-China trade is around $300 billion.
• Therefore, the primary focus during the recent visit has been on economic aspects.
• The Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail corridor is more than symbolism, in demonstrating that high-cost Japanese technology is viable in developing countries and that India has the absorption capacity to master it.

Far Bigger challenge than completion: Transferring the know how:

• Completing it in five years is a management challenge but the bigger challenge will be to transfer the know-how of best practices to other sectors of the economy.

One more major initiative: The Asia – Africa growth corridor:

• Another major initiative is the recently launched Asia-Africa Growth Corridor to build connectivity for which Japan has committed $30 billion and India $10 billion.
• This adds a critical dimension to the ‘global partnership’ between the two countries.

The way ahead for India to benefit from the synergy with Japan:

• However, to make this productive, India needs to change its style of implementing projects abroad, most of which have been plagued by cost and time over-runs.
• Ensuring effective implementation and setting up mechanisms for delivery will align Mr. Modi’s Act East policy with Mr. Abe’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy.
• This alignment sets the stage for the reordering of the Asian strategic landscape.

“Current Affairs Pulse – 18/09/2017”

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1. Which of the following statements about the Sardar Sarovar Dam Project are correct:
a. The foundation for the project was laid by the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in the year 1961.
b. The Sardar Sarovar dam was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 17, 2017.
c. It took 56 years since the launch of the project by Jawahar Lal Nehru for the completion of the behemoth of a project, with inter state disputes and environmental and rehabilitation issues posing hurdles.

Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 1and 11 of The Hindu Dated September 18, 2017.

2. Which of the following statements about the Sardar Sarovar Dam Project are correct:
a. It is the second biggest concrete gravity dam by volume after the Grand Coulee Dam in the U.S. and has the world’s third largest spillway discharging capacity.
b. It is the third highest concrete dam in India.

Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 11 of The Hindu Dated September 18, 2017.

3. Which of the following statements about the Narmada Bachao Andolan are correct:
a. It is a social movement consisting of adivasis, farmers, environmentalists and human rights activists against the number of large dams being built across the Narmada River.
b. The Narmada Bachao Andolan was led by social activist Anna Hazare.
c. The Narmada Bachao Andolan opposed the Sardar Sarovar dam on the ground that it displaced thousands of families in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra where thousands of hectares of forest land was submerged.

Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)1 and 3 only
c)2 and 3 only
d)None of the above
Answer: 2
Refer Page No 11 of The Hindu Dated September 18, 2017.

4. Which of the following statements about Greenpeace are correct:
a. Greenpeace started in 1971 with a small group of volunteers protest against US militarism and the testing of nuclear weapons.
b. The core values of Greenpeace include non-violence, bearing witness, personal action, internationalism and independence.
c. The Greenpeace does not accept funding from governments or corporations.

Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)All of the above
d)1 and 3 only
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 11 of The Hindu Dated September 18, 2017 and the website of Greenpeace.

5. Which of the following statements about the end to end digitization of the Public Distribution System are correct:
a. The project was launched in 2012 at a cost of ₹884 crore to ensure that, at every step from field to fork, the government would be able to track the movement of food grains so that they reached the right beneficiaries.
b. The project also calls for automation of the supply chain – online monitoring of stock positions in godowns, tracking the movement of the food grains from the godowns to the fair price shops, SMS alerts to beneficiaries, etc.
c. The North Eastern States cited connectivity issues for their inability to commence the process of digitization.

Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 11 of The Hindu Dated September 18, 2017 and the website of Greenpeace.

6. Which of the following statements about Hamas are correct:
a. It is a Palestinian Sunni -Islamic fundamentalist organization founded in the year 1987.
b. It is regarded, either in whole or in part, as a terrorist organization by several countries and international organizations, most notably by Israel, the United States.

Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 12 of The Hindu Dated September 18, 2017 and any standard World History text book.

7. Which of the following statements about Fatah are correct:
a. It is a Palestinian nationalist political party founded by Yasser Arafat in 1959.
b. Fatah for now continues to run a de facto separate administration in the Gaza strip and is in charge of the security forces there.

Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 1
Refer Page No 12 of The Hindu Dated September 18, 2017 and any standard World History text book.

8. Which of the following statements about the Human Rights Watch are correct:
a. Human Rights Watch is an independent, international organization, established in the year 1978, which works as part of a vibrant movement to uphold human dignity and advance the cause of human rights for all.
b. Human Rights Watch do not embrace political causes, are non-partisan, and maintain neutrality in armed conflict.

Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 12 of The Hindu Dated September 18, 2017 and the official website of Human Rights Watch.

9. Which of the following statements about Turkey are correct:
a. It is a transcontinental country in Eurasia, with one portion mainly in Anatolia in Western Asia and a smaller portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe.
b. Turkey is not bordered by eight countries.

Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 1
Refer any standard Atlas.

10. Which of the following statements about Mustafa Kemal Ataturk are correct:
a. He is the founder of the Turkish Republic.
b. It was the progressive Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who instituted the separation of state and religion in Turkey.

Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 12 of The Hindu Dated September 18, 2017

11. Which of the statements about South Korea are correct:
a. South Korea is not among the world’s leading producers or exporters of gold and related items.
b. A recent sudden surge in imports of gold and related articles is reported from South Korea though.

Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 13 of The Hindu Dated September 18, 2017

12. Which of the following statements regarding Shell Companies in India are correct:
a. Shell companies are typically corporate entities which do not have any active business operations or significant assets in their possession.
b. As per Section 455 of the Companies Act, 2013, a company that does not have significant financial activity or has been inactive can apply to the Registrar of Companies and obtain the status of a shell company.
c. The Companies Act, 2013 has not defined what a ‘shell company’ is and as to what kind of activities would lead to a company being termed a ‘shell’.

Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)1 and 3 only
c)2 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 2
Refer Page No 14 of The Hindu Dated September 18, 2017.

13. Which of the following statements regarding Gold imports into India are correct:
a. India is the world’s second-biggest gold consumer after China.
b. The imports are expected to increase on account of the forthcoming festival season, which will start from the end of September 2017.
c. Gold imports, which has a bearing on the country’s current account deficit (CAD) and a surge in gold imports will lead to widening of Trade Deficit.

Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 14 of The Hindu Dated September 18, 2017.

14. Which of the following statements about Birsa Munda are correct:
a. Birsa Munda was an Indian tribal, freedom fighter, religious leader, and folk hero of the 19th century who belonged to the Munda tribe.
b. He spearheaded an Indian indigenous tribal religious millenarian movement that arose in the tribal belt of modern-day Bihar and Jharkhand.

Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 10 of The Hindu Dated September 18, 2017 and Refer any standard history text book.

15. Which of the following statements about Sulabh International Social Service Organization are correct:
a. It is a non-profit voluntary social organization founded in 1970 by Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak dedicated to the Gandhian ideology of emancipation of scavengers.
b. Sulabh has been working for the removal of untouchability and social discrimination against human scavengers.
c. Sulabh is noted for achieving success in the field of cost-effective sanitation, liberation of scavengers, social transformation of society.

Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 10 of The Hindu Dated September 18, 2017

16. Which of the following statements regarding India’s stand on North Korea are correct:
a. India joined Japan in describing North Korea as a common threat in the India – Japan joint statement asking North Korea to roll back its nuclear programmes.
b. India played a key role in the resolution of the Korean war during the early 1950s and has maintained diplomatic ties with Pyongyang.
c. The United States of America has insisted that India reduce ties with North Korea.

Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 10 of The Hindu Dated September 18, 2017.

17. Which of the following statements about the Marshal of the Indian Air force Arjan Singh are correct:
a. He was the first four-star general of the Air Force and its only five-star general in its history.
b. He was part of the Burma campaign in the World War II as well as the 1965 India Pakistan War.

Options:
a)1 only
b02 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 3
Refer Page No 7 of The Hindu Dated September 18, 2017.

18. Which of the following statements about the Bandipur National Park area correct:
a. It is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere reserve.
b. It is a national park located in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Options:
a)1 only
b)2 only
c)Both 1 and 2
d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 1
Refer Page No 6 of The Hindu Dated September 18, 2017.

19. Which of the following statements about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are correct:
a. It involves stimulating the brain with magnetic fields which can help people overcome anxiety disorder and irrational phobias such as fear of heights or spiders.
b. As part of the study, scientists stimulated the frontal lobe of some of the anxiety patients for about 20 minutes and the findings demonstrate that all participants benefit from the therapy.
c. The study found that a specific region in the frontal lobe of the human brain is important for unlearning anxiety.

Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)1 and 3 only
c)2 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 6 of The Hindu Dated September 18, 2017.

20. Which of the following statements about Thirdhand Smoke are correct:
a. Thirdhand-smoke results when exhaled smoke and smoke emanating from the tip of burning cigarettes gets on surfaces such as clothing, hair, homes, and cars.
b. Exposure to thirdhandsmoke (THS) can significantly harm your liver and brain tissues within a month with the effect worsening over time.
c. Researchers investigated the effects of THS exposure on biological molecular markers or biomarkers found in serum and in liver and brain tissues and found that thirdhandsmoke affects them adversely.

Options:
a)1 and 2 only
b)2 and 3 only
c)1 and 3 only
d)All of the above
Answer: 4
Refer Page No 18 of The Hindu Dated September 18, 2017.