Today’s Topic: Exam Important Current Affairs MCQ’s-3
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EveryDay Program List
Sunday- Indian and world Geography
Monday-General issues on Environmental Ecology, bio-diversity and Climate Change
Tuesday- General Science
Wednesday- Indian Polity and Governance
Thursday- History of India and Indian National Movement
Friday- Economic and Social Development
Saturday-Exam Important Current Affairs Topics
Q1. The main roles and functions of the National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board (NAEB) include
1. Financing and overseeing the compensatory afforestation work
2. Rehabilitating and resettling communities displaced by deforestation for developmental works 3. Sponsor research and extension of research findings to disseminate new technologies for the regeneration and development of degraded forest
Select the correct answer using the codes below.
a) 1 and 2 only b) 3 only c) 1 and 3 only d) 2 and 3 only
National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board
The National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board (NAEB), set up in August 1992,is responsible for promoting afforestation,tree planting, ecological restoration and eco-development activities in the country, with special attention to the degraded forest areas and lands adjoining the forest areas, national parks, sanctuaries and other protected areas as well as the ecologically fragile areas like the Western Himalayas, Aravallis, Western Ghats, etc. The detailed role and functions of the NAEB are given below.
1. Evolve mechanisms for ecological restoration of degraded forest areas and adjoining lands through systematic planning and implementation, in a cost effective manner;
2. Restore through natural regeneration or appropriate intervention the forest cover in the country for ecological security and to meet the fuelwood, fodder and other needs of the rural communities;
3. Restore fuelwood, fodder, timber and other forest produce on the degraded forest and adjoining lands in order to meet the demands for these items;
4. Sponsor research and extension of research findings to disseminate new and proper technologies for the regeneration and development of degraded forest areas and adjoining lands;
5. Create general awareness and help foster people’s movement for promoting afforestation and eco-development with the assistance of voluntary agencies, non-government organisations, Panchayati Raj institutions and others and promote participatory and sustainable management of degraded forest areas and adjoining lands;
6. Coordinate and monitor the Action Plans for afforestation, tree planting, ecological restoration and eco-development;and
7. Undertake all other measures necessary for promoting afforestation, tree planting, ecological restoration and eco-development activities in the country.
Q2. The main functions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) include
1. To promote exchange rate stability and orderly exchange arrangements
2. To assist member countries by temporarily providing financial resources to correct maladjustment in their balance of payments (BoPs)
3. To serve as the regular of international lending and borrowing from major international financial institutions. Select the correct answer using the codes below.
a) 1 and 2 only b) 2 and 3 only c) 1 and 3 only d) 1, 2, and 3
The IMF, also known as the Fund, was conceived at a UN conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, United States, in July 1944. The 44 countries at that conference sought to build a framework for economic cooperation to avoid a repetition of the competitive devaluations that had contributed to the Great Depression of the 1930s.
The IMF’s responsibilities: The IMF’s primary purpose is to ensure the stability of the international monetary system—the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries (and their citizens) to transact with each other. The Fund’s mandate was updated in 2012 to include all macroeconomic and financial sector issues that bear on global stability.
The IMF’s fundamental mission is to ensure the stability of the international monetary system. It does so in three ways: keeping track of the global economy and the economies of member countries; lending to countries with balance of payments difficulties; and giving practical help to members.
The IMF oversees the international monetary system and monitors the economic and financial policies of its 189 member countries. As part of this process, which takes place both at the global level and in individual countries, the IMF highlights possible risks to stability and advises on needed policy adjustments.
A core responsibility of the IMF is to provide loans to member countries experiencing actual or potential balance of payments problems. This financial assistance enables countries to rebuild their international reserves, stabilize their currencies, continue paying for imports, and restore conditions for strong economic growth, while undertaking policies to correct underlying problems. Unlike development banks, the IMF does not lend for specific projects.
IMF capacity development—technical assistance and training—helps member countries design and implement economic policies that foster stability and growth by strengthening their institutional capacity and skills. The IMF seeks to build on synergies between technical assistance and training to maximize their effectiveness.
Q3. Which of the following regions of India is known as the Tiger Capital of the Country?
a) Gir b) Nagpur c) Bandipur d) Nagarhole
Project Tiger was launched by the Government of India in the year 1973 to save the endangered species of tiger in the country. Starting from nine (9) reserves in 1973-2016 the number is grown up to fifty (50). A total area of 71027.10 km2 is covered by these project tiger areas.
Nagpur called the “Tiger Capital of India” as it connects many tiger reserves in India to the world.
Q4. Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) are nationally identified sites of global significance.
1. Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) sites
2. Important Plant Areas (IPAs)
3. Important Sites for Freshwater Biodiversity (ISFB)
4. Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
Select the correct answer using the codes below.
a) 1 and 3 only b) 2, 3 and 4 only
c) 1 and 4 only d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) are nationally identified sites of global significance. The identification of KBAs is an important approach to address biodiversity conservation at the site scale i.e. at the level of individual protected areas, concessions and land management units. KBAs are identified using globally standardised criteria and thresholds, and have clearly defined boundaries. There is no maximum or minimum size of sites, because appropriate size varies according to the socio-economic criteria, such as land use and tenure.
KBAs are mapped by national conservation organizations using consistent global criteria and present an important approach to national gap analyses and prioritisation to increase effectiveness and establishment of protected areas as mandated by the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. 1 In particular, Aichi Target 11 calls for an increase in the coverage of protected areas “…especially of areas of particular importance for biodiversity”. KBAs can be used to identify and document such areas of biodiversity importance. However further mechanisms are needed to legally protect the KBAs once identified, if the area is to be officially designated as a protected area. They are also of particular importance to the private sector, in providing ‘watch lists’ of sites at which development activities require a particularly high level of scrutiny to avoid negative impacts on biodiversity. Other uses of KBAs include informing safeguards and offsets design and conservation investments.
Q5. India remains the most competitive country in South Asia, appearing at No. 40 in the global competitiveness ranking of 137 countries by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
What is an Eco-sensitive Zone (ESZ) as notified by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) frequently?
a) It is the area around a national park or sanctuary where development activities are regulated
b) It is a zone of high endemism of species
c) It is the “Core zone” inside a protected area where no activities are allowed
d) It is an ecological hotspot which is internationally recognized as a part of protected areas network
Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZs)
In order to preserve certain regions/areas bestowed with unique plants, animals, terrains Government has declared them as national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, etc,. Further, to minimise the impact of urbanisation and other developmental activities, areas adjacent to such protected areas have been declared as Eco-Sensitive Zones.
The National Wildlife Action Plan (NWAP) 2002-2016 endeavours to protect areas outside the protected area network to prevent isolation/destruction of fragments of bio-diversity. However, eco-sensitive zones are delineated to regulate specific activities on site specific basis. The Environment (protection) Rules, 1986 states that the Central Government can prohibit and restrict the location of industries and carrying on certain operations or processes on the basis of considerations like biological diversity of an area, maximum allowable limits of concentration of pollutants in an area, environmentally compatible land use and proximity to protected areas.
The purpose of declaring eco-sensitive zones around protected areas is for creating some kind of ‘Shock Absorber’ to the protected area. They would also act as a transition zone from areas of high protection to areas involving lesser protection. The width of eco-sensitive zone and type of regulation vary from one area to another. However, as a general principle width of eco-sensitive zone could go up to 10 kms around a protected area. In case of places with sensitive corridors, connectivity and ecologically important patches, crucial for landscape linkage, even area beyond 10 kms width can also be included in the eco-sensitive zone.
The State Governments should emphasise the fact to the public that eco-sensitive zones are not meant to hamper their day-to-day activities, but instead, is meant to protect the precious forests/areas in their locality from any negative impact and also to refine the environment around such protected areas. While some of the activities could be allowed in all the eco-sensitive areas, others will be regulated or prohibited. However, which activity can be regulated or prohibited and to what extent will have to be area specific. For instance, activities which fall under the prohibited category include commercial mining, setting up of saw mills, setting up of industries causing pollution, establishment of major hydro electric projects, discharge of effluent and solid waste into natural water bodies or areas, use or production of any hazardous substances,etc.Similarly, activities like felling of tress, establishment of hotels and resorts, widening of roads, protection of river banks and hill slopes,etc comes under regulated category.
A Zonal Master Plan for the eco-sensitive zone has to be prepared by the State Government within a period of one year from the date of approval by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. The zonal master plan should provide for restoration of denuded areas, conservation of existing water bodies, management of catchment areas, soil and moisture conservation, needs of local community, etc,. whichneeds attention. It should also demarcate all the existing and proposed urban settlements, village settlements, types and kinds of forest, agricultural areas, green areas, horticultural areas, lakes, etc,. No change of land use from green uses shall be permitted in the zonal master plan except limited conversion of agricultural lands to meet the residential needs of the existing local residents, improvement of roads and bridges, community buildings, without the prior approval of the state government. Pending preparation of the master plan and approval thereof by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, all new constructions can be allowed only after it is approved by the Monitoring Committee constituted by the Central Government.
The Government today issued the Final Notification for an Eco-Sensitive Zone area of 59.46 sq kms of which 19.25 sq km is forest land and 40.21 sq km is non-forest land in Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai suburb.
Q6. The Hindu Kush Himalayan Monitoring and Assessment Programme (HIMAP) is being initiated and coordinated by
a) United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
b) World Economic Forum and IUCN Jointly
c) Global Conservation Fund – Conservation International
d) International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
The Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region is one of the greatest mountain systems in the world, encompassing an area of over 4.3 million km2. Outside of the North and South Poles, the region contains the largest area of permanent ice cover in the world, which is why it is sometimes referred to as the ‘Third Pole’ of the earth. Its terrain encompasses the source of 10 major river systems, 4 global biodiversity spots, 330 important bird areas, and hundreds of mountain peaks over 6,000 masl. The region provides water, ecosystem services, food, energy, and livelihood to 210 million people directly. An additional 1.3 billion people living downstream benefit from its resources indirectly and more than 3 billion people rely on energy produced in the basin catchment area of the Himalayan river systems. The region is also home to some of the most diverse cultures, languages, religions, and traditional knowledge systems in the world. For these reasons, the HKH region is clearly a major global asset, critical to the planet as a whole.
In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report-4 announced that climate change will be the most prominent force of global change in the modern era and that the HKH region is seen as ‘a data gap’ area, lacking consistent long-term monitoring. The report calls for national, regional and global attention towards filling this data gap. Unfortunately, not much progress has been reported in IPCC 2014 AR-5 on the HKH region in this regard. While initial progress has been made by universities, NGOs, and science organizations in the region, in assembling and consolidating existing data, the information remains too fragmented and incomplete to derive any meaningful conclusions about trends and scenarios. The need for an evidence-based assessment which brings together hundreds of scientists and policy experts persists. A comprehensive assessment could greatly assist in addressing threats, acting on opportunities, and scaling cutting edge approaches. At the same time, looking to the success of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), a regularized system of monitoring which can generate powerful data about the key trends and scenarios in the region is needed.
Q7. Often seen in news, Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) is
a) A form of direct tax
b) Imposed on High Net worth Individuals (HNIs)
c) Applied on goods for import and export in foreign trade
d) All of the above
The existing provisions of section 115JB of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (‘the Act’), inter alia, provide, that, for the purposes of levy of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) in case of a company, the amount of loss brought forward or unabsorbed depreciation, whichever is less as per books of account shall be reduced from the book profit.
In this regard, representations have been received from various stakeholders that the companies against whom an application for corporate insolvency resolution process has been admitted by the Adjudicating Authority under section 7 or section 9 or section 10 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (‘the IBC’), are facing hardship due to restriction in allowance of brought forward loss for computation of book profit under section 115JB of the Act.
With a view to minimize the genuine hardship faced by such companies, it has been decided, that, with effect from Assessment Year 2018-19 (i.e. Financial Year 2017-18), in case of a company, against whom an application for corporate insolvency resolution process has been admitted by the Adjudicating Authority under section 7 or section 9 or section 10 of the IBC, the amount of total loss brought forward (including unabsorbed depreciation) shall be allowed to be reduced from the book profit for the purposes of levy of MAT under section 115JB of the Act.
Q8. The United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) was established as a result of the mandate in
a) Rio+20 Conference, 2012
b) UN Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm1972)
c) Paris Conference, 2014
The establishment of the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) was mandated in 2012 by the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), “The Future We Want”.
The Forum meets annually under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council for eight days, including a three-day ministerial segment and every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government under the auspices of the General Assembly for two days.
The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level. General Assembly resolution 70/299 provides further guidance on the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
The Forum adopts intergovernmentally negotiated political declarations.
As part of its follow-up and review mechanisms, the 2030 Agenda encourages member states to “conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven” (paragraph 79). These national reviews are expected to serve as a basis for the regular reviews by the HLPF. As stipulated in paragraph 84 of the 2030 Agenda, regular reviews by the HLPF are to be voluntary, state-led, undertaken by both developed and developing countries, and shall provide a platform for partnerships, including through the participation of major groups and other relevant stakeholders.
Q9. Special safeguard mechanism (SSM) as under WTO relates to
a) Governments recognizing other countries measures as acceptable even if they are different from their own, so long as an equivalent level of protection is provided
b) Support for farmers that is not linked to prices or production
c) Licensing companies or individuals other than the patent owner to use the rights of the patent
d) Allowing developing countries to raise tariffs temporarily to deal with import surges or price falls
The objective of the ‘Saubhagya’ is to provide energy access to all by last mile connectivity and electricity connections to all remaining un-electrified households in rural as well as urban areas to achieve universal household
The electricity connection to households include release of electricity connections by drawing a service cable from the nearest electricity pole to the household premise, installation of energy meter, wiring for a single light point with LED bulb and a mobile charging point. In case the electricity pole is not available nearby from household for drawing service cable, the erection of additional pole along with conductor and associated accessories shall also be covered under the scheme.
Poor households would be provided electricity connections free of cost. Other households would also be provided electricity connections under the scheme on payment of Rs.500 only which shall be recovered by the DISCOMs/Power Departments in ten (10) instalments along with electricity bills.
There is no provision in the scheme to provide free power to any category of consumers. The cost of electricity consumption shall have to be paid by the respective consumers as per prevailing tariff of the DISCOM/Power Deptt.
‘24×7 Power for All’ is a joint initiative with the states covering all segments of power sector i.e. Power generation, transmission and distribution, energy efficiency, health of Discom etc. to finalise State/UT specific roadmap and action plan to ensure 24×7 power for all in consultation with States/UTs. The Power for All documents contain details of various interventions required across the value chain of power sector.
Providing connectivity to all households is a prerequisite to ensure 24×7 power supply. Saubhagya is a schematic support to address the issue of energy access.
Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) envisage creation of basic electricity infrastructure in villages / habitations, strengthening & augmentation of existing infrastructure, metering of existing feeders / distribution transformers / consumers to improve quality and reliability of power supply in rural areas. Besides this, last mile connectivity and free electricity connections are also provided to BPL households only identified by the States as per their list. However, in villages which are electrified in past for a long period, many households do not have electricity connections for many reasons. Some of the really poor households do not have BPL cards but these households are not capable of paying applicable initial connection charges. There is also lack of awareness as to how to get connection or taking connection is not an easy task for illiterate people. There may not be electricity pole nearby and the cost of erection of additional pole, conductor is also chargeable from the households for obtaining a connection.
Similarly in urban areas, Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) provides for creation of necessary infrastructure to provide electricity access but some households are not yet connected mainly on account of their economic condition as they are not capable of paying the initial connection charges.
Therefore, Soubhagya has been launched to plug such gaps and comprehensively address the issues of entry barrier, last mile connectivity and release of electricity connections to all un-electrified households in rural and urban areas.
The cost of Saubhagya scheme i.e. Rs. 16,320 crore is over and above the investment being made under DDUGJY.
Projects under the scheme would be sanctioned based on the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) to be submitted by the States. There is no upfront allocation of fund under the scheme.
Project proposals shall be prepared by the State DISCOMs / Power Deptt. and sanctioned by an inter-ministerial Monitoring Committee headed by Secretary (Power), GOI. The electrification works under the sanctioned projects shall be executed by respective DISCOMs/Power Deptt. through turnkey contractors or departmentally or through other suitable agencies capable of doing this work as per norms.
Q10. ICESCAPE Mission, is a
a) Multi-year NASA shipborne project
b) Himalayan mineral excavation programme
c) Extension of the Maitri mission of India in Arctic
d) Joint expedition of DRDO and ISRO into understanding satellite launched from remote and cold locations
Impacts of Climate on the Eco-Systems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment (ICESCAPE) is a multi-year NASA shipborne project. The bulk of the research will take place in the Beaufort and Chukchi Sea.
The Arctic sea ice cover is in decline. The retreat of the summer ice cover, a general thinning, and a transition to a younger, a more vulnerable ice pack have been well documented. Melt seasons are starting earlier and lasting longer. These changes can profoundly impact the physical, biological, and geochemical state of the Arctic Ocean region. Climate models project that changes in the ice cover may accelerate in the future, with a possible transition to ice free summers later this century. These changes are quite pronounced in the Chukchi and Beaufort Sea and have consequences for the Arctic Ocean ecosystem, potentially affecting everything from sea ice algae to polar bears.
The central science question of this program is, “What is the impact of climate change (natural and anthropogenic) on the biogeochemistry and ecology of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas?” While both of these regions are experiencing significant changes in the ice cover, their biogeochemical response will likely be quite different due to their distinct physical, chemical, and biological differences.
ICESCAPE will pursue the above central science question and associated issues through an interdisciplinary, cross cutting approach integrating field expeditions, modeling, and satellite remote sensing. Central to the success of this program is a quantitative and reliable determination of chemical and biological fluxes to and from open water, ice and snow surfaces, as a function of relevant environmental conditions such as the nature of the surfaces. This will be pursued in ways that couple remotely sensed information to that obtained via state-of-the-art chemical, physical and biological sensors located in water, on or under ice, and in the atmosphere. Assimilation and synthesis of data will benefit from coupled atmosphere, biology/ecology, ocean, and sea ice linked modeling.
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