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17 DEC CURRENT AFFAIRS (MCQ)

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17 DEC CURRENT AFFAIRS (MCQ)

Q1. Which one of the following is responsible for the preparation and presentation of the Union Budget to the Parliament?
a) Department of Revenue
b) Department of Economic Affairs
c) Department of Financial Services
d) Department of Expenditure

Solution : b)
Explanation :-
The Finance Ministry of India is an important ministry concerned with the economy of India. It comprises five departments one of which is the Department of Economic Affairs. It is the nodal agency of the central government whose principal task is to prepare and present the Union Budget before the Parliament. Hence, option (b) is the correct answer.

Q2. Consider the following statements with respect to the Prime Minister’s Special
Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS)

  1. It aims to build the capacities of the youths of Northeast India by Educating, Enabling and Empowering them to compete in the normal course.
  2. It is being implemented by the All India Council for Technical Education(AICTE), New Delhi.
    Which of the above statement/s is/are correct?
    a) 1 only
    b) 2 only
    c) Both 1 and 2
    d) Neither 1 nor 2

Solution : b)
Explanation :-
About the PMSSS:
• Background: An Expert Group was constituted by the Prime Minister for enhancing employment opportunities among youths of J&K and Ladakh and formulate job opportunities in public and private sectors.
• About: Under the Scheme, the youths of J&K and Ladakh are supported by way of scholarship in two parts namely the academic fee & maintenance allowance. o The academic fee is paid to the institution where the student is provided admission. o The academic fee covers tuition fee and other components as per the ceiling fixed for various professional, medical and other under-graduate courses.
• Implemented by: Subsequently, Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS) is being implemented by the All India Council for Technical Education(AICTE), New
Delhi.
Aim: To build the capacities of the youths of J&K and Ladakh by Educating, Enabling and Empowering them to compete in the normal course.
Hence, option (b) is the correct answer.

Q3. Consider the following statements:

  1. Between 1990 and 2019, India’s HDI value has doubled.
  2. Between 1990 and 2019 India’s life expectancy at birth increased by 11.8 years. Which of the above statements is/are correct?
    a) 1 only
    b) 2 only
    c) Both 1 and 2
    d) Neither 1 nor 2

Solution : b)
Explanation :-
• India has slipped to 131 among 189 countries in the Human Development Index for 2019 compared to 130 the previous year, according to the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Report 2020.
• Trends in India’s HDI rankings: Between 1990 and 2019, India’s HDI value increased from 0.429 to 0.645, an increase of 50.3%.
o Between 1990 and 2019
 India’s life expectancy at birth increased by 11.8 years,  mean years of schooling increased by 3.5 years, and  expected years of schooling increased by 4.5 years.
 India’s GNI per capita increased by about 273.9 Hence, option (b) is the correct answer.

Q4. Consider the following statement:

  1. The WTO clearly defines a developing country.
  2. The “developing country” status allows a member of the WTO to seek temporary exception from the commitments under various multilateral trade agreements ratified by the organization.
    Which of the above statements is/are correct? a) 1 only
    b) 2 only
    c) Both 1 and 2
    d) Neither 1 nor 2

Solution : b)
Explanation :-
There are no WTO definitions of “developed” and “developing” countries. Members announce for themselves whether they are “developed” or “developing” countries. However, other members can challenge the decision of a member to make use of provisions available to developing countries.
• The “developing country” status allows a member of the WTO to seek temporary exception from the commitments under various multilateral trade agreements ratified by the organization.
• These exemptions are called special and differential treatment.
• The way out for India could be to negotiate a longer phase-out period, or an acceptable formula based on development indices, etc.
Hence, option (b) is the correct answer.
Q5. With reference to the spectrum auction, consider the following statements:

  1. Spectrum will be offered for assignment for validity period of 2 years.
  2. In addition to the bid amount, successful bidders will also have to pay 3% of the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) excluding wireline services as spectrum usage charges for the spectrum won through this auction.
    Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
    a) 1 only
    b) 2 only
    c) Both 1 and 2
    d) Neither 1 nor 2

Solution : b)
Explanation :-
The Union Cabinet has approved a proposal of the Department of Telecommunications to conduct spectrum auction through which spectrum will be assigned to the successful bidders for providing commercial mobile services.
• The auction will be for spectrum in 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz frequency bands.
• Spectrum will be offered for assignment for validity period of 20 years. A total of 2251.25 MHz is being offered with total valuation of Rs. 3,92,332.70 crore (at reserve price).
• By winning right to use spectrum through the auction, incumbent telecom service providers will be able to augment their network capacity whereas new players will be able to start their services.
• Successful bidders may pay entire bid amount in one go (upfront) or may exercise an option to pay a certain amount upfront and remaining amount in a maximum up to 16 equated annual instalments, after a moratorium of two years.
• In addition to the bid amount, successful bidders will also have to pay 3% of the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) excluding wireline services as spectrum usage charges for the spectrum won through this auction. Hence only statement 2 is correct

Q6. With reference to the North Eastern Region Power System Improvement Project (NERPSIP), consider the following statements:

  1. The Union Cabinet has approved the Revised Cost Estimate (RCE) of North Eastern Region Power System Improvement Project (NERPSIP) at an estimated cost of Rs. 6,700 crore.
  2. The scheme is being implemented through POWERGRID, a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under Ministry of Power in association with six beneficiary North Eastern States namely, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura.
  3. The scheme is targeted to be commissioned by December 2021.
    Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
    a) 1 and 2 only
    b) 2 and 3 only
    c) 1 and 3 only
    d) 1, 2 and 3

Solution : d)
Explanation :-
The Union Cabinet has approved the Revised Cost Estimate (RCE) of North Eastern Region Power System Improvement Project (NERPSIP) at an estimated cost of Rs. 6,700 crore.
• The scheme is being implemented through POWERGRID, a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under Ministry of Power in association with six beneficiary North Eastern States namely, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura.
• The scheme is targeted to be commissioned by December 2021. After commissioning, the project will be owned and maintained by the respective North Eastern State Utilities.
• The main objective of the project is economic development of North Eastern Region through strengthening of Intra – State Transmission and Distribution systems.
• The Scheme was initially approved in 2014 as a Central Sector Plan Scheme of Ministry of Power.
• It is being funded with the assistance of World Bank fund and by the Government of India (Gol) through the Budget support of Ministry of Power on 50:50 basis (World Bank: Gol) except for the capacity building component for Rs 89 crore, which will be entirely funded by the Gol.
Hence, option (d) is the correct answer.

Q7. With reference to the National Hydrology Project, consider the following statements:

  1. National Hydrology Project (NHP) was started in the year 2016 as a centrally sponsored Scheme.
  2. Under the NHP, a nationwide repository of water resources data – NWIC has been established.
    Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
    a) 1 only
    b) 2 only
    c) Both 1 and 2
    d) Neither 1 nor 2

Solution : b)
Explanation :-
Review of the National Hydrology Project (World Bank supported initiative of Ministry of Jal Shakti) was carried out by Minister of Jal Shakti.
• National Hydrology Project (NHP) was started in the year 2016 as a Central Sector Scheme with 100% grant to Implementing agencies on pan India basis with a budget outlay of Rs 3680 Crore to be spent over a period of 8 years.
• The project aims at improving the extent, reliability and accessibility of water resources information and to strengthen the capacity of targeted water resource management institutions in India.
• Under the NHP, a nationwide repository of water resources data – NWIC has been established. Hence only statement 2 is correct.

Q8. ‘Project Rupee Raftar’ report published by:
a) NITI Aayog
b) World Bank
c) World Economic Forum
d) Union Ministry of Civil Aviation

Solution : d)
Explanation :-
International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has issued consultation paper on proposed Aircraft Leasing Regulations.
• India is poised to become the 3rd largest aviation market in the world by 2022.
• In January 2019, India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation published a report, ‘Project Rupee Raftar’, that provided roadmap to developing an aircraft financing and leasing industry in India.
• The report identified International Financial Services Centre (GIFT city) for developing aircraft leasing and financing eco-system in the country.
Recent developments:
• In October, 2020, Government of India , on the recommendation of IFSCA, had notified ‘Aircraft lease which shall include operating and financial lease of aircraft or helicopter and their engines’ as a financial product under International Financial Services Centres Authority Act, 2019.
• Considering, Aircraft leasing is a relatively new industry in India and Aircraft Leasing related regulations are different across various financial centres, IFSCA has prepared draft regulations for Aircraft Leasing and in order to get inputs from stakeholders as well as public comments.
• Hence, option (d) is the correct answer.

Q9. Consider the following statements:

  1. The Government of India and the World Bank signed a $400 million project to support India’s efforts at providing social assistance to the poor and vulnerable households, severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. The first operation of $750 million was approved in May 2020.
    Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
    a) 1 only
    b) 2 only
    c) Both 1 and 2
    d) Neither 1 nor 2

Solution : c)
Explanation :-
The Government of India and the World Bank signed a $400 million project to support India’s efforts at providing social assistance to the poor and vulnerable households, severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
• This is the second operation in a programmatic series of two. The first operation of $750 million was approved in May 2020.
• The programme will strengthen the capability of state and national governments in India to provide coordinated and adequate social protection to the poor and vulnerable from the shocks triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
• This programme will help further expand and deepen the coverage of India’s social protection systems by helping these vulnerable groups in urban and peri-urban areas across the country.
• The $400 million credit is from the International Development Association (IDA) – the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm.
• Hence both statements are correct.

Q10. With reference to the Human Development Index (HDI), consider the following statements:

  1. India ranked 131 among 189 countries on the Human Development Index (HDI) for 2019.
  2. It is released by the UNESCO.
    Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
    a) 1 only
    b) 2 only
    c) Both 1 and 2
    d) Neither 1 nor 2

Solution : a)
Explanation :-
India ranked 131 among 189 countries on the Human Development Index (HDI) for 2019, slipping two places from the previous year, according to the Human Development Report (HDR) 2020 released by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
• However, if the Index were adjusted to assess the planetary pressures caused by each nation’s development, India would move up eight places in the ranking, according to the report.
• Norway topped the index, followed by Ireland and Switzerland. Hong Kong and Iceland complete the top five.
• India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Cambodia, Kenya, and Pakistan were ranked under countries with medium human development with a rank in between 120 and 156 among the 189-counties.
• In the BRICS grouping, Russia was 52 in the human development index, Brazil 84, and China


  1. • India’s gross national income (GNI) per capita on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP), too, fell from $6,829 in 2018 to $6,681 in 2019, it said.
    • India’s HDI value for 2019 is 0.645, which put the country in the medium human development category, positioning it at 131 out of 189 countries and territories.
    • Between 1990 and 2019, India’s HDI value increased from 0.429 to 0.645, an increase of
    50.3%.
    • Between 1990 and 2019, India’s life expectancy at birth increased by 11.8 years, mean years of schooling increased by 3.5 years, and expected years of schooling increased by 4.5 years.
    India’s GNI per capita increased by about 273.9% between 1990 and 2019. Do you know?
    • HDI measures average achievement on three basic aspects of human development, life expectancy, education, and per capita income.
    • For the first time, the United Nations Development Programme introduced a new metric to reflect the impact caused by each country’s per-capita carbon emissions and its material footprint, which measures the amount of fossil fuels, metals and other resources used to make the goods and services it consumes.
    Hence, option (a) is the correct answer.