IASbaba Daily Quiz – September to December 2016

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Source: xaam.in




Only 6 Months Left in UPSC Prelims 2017 , it's on 18th June | Subscribe to XAAM's Prelims 2017 Test Series

★★Only 6 Months Left in UPSC Prelims 2017 , on 18th June★★

100 tests | Online Mode | Instant Result | All India Ranking | Explanation

UPSC Prelims 2017 will be on 18th June [6 Months From Now]
XAAM IAS prelims 2017 Online Test Series [English and Hindi]
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2. 24 Modular tests covering total static syllabus
3. 12 Full length Mock Test
4. 11 Current Affair Test Based on VISIONIAS Current Affair Mag
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Source: xaam.in




Ken-Betwa River Linking Project may take longer than expected

Background
Annually, India as a whole receives 117 cm of rainfall, but it is not distributed uniformly. While some regions face floods, the other areas reel under drought spells. Thus, it was believed that if an arrangement could be made via which water from surplus areas could be transferred to deficit areas, India could gain on both ends.
This is where the idea of interlinking the rivers comes into picture. It was first suggested by British Engineer Sir Arthur Cotton when he sought to link the rivers Ganga and Cauvery to aid navigation. Later, in 1982, National Water Development Agency (NWDA) researched over the issue with regard to 30 rivers.
Under former PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, it was planned to connect 14 Himalayan and 16 Peninsular rivers by means of canals and reservoirs, in order to ensure water security for irrigation and energy security via hydroelectric power (HEP) projects.
A task force was formed on the directions of Supreme Court in 2002 which submitted an action plan to submit detailed reports by 2006.
In 2005, the Union Government and states of UP and MP signed an MoU in order to link River Ken with the river Betwa. The project is estimated to cost 10,000 crore INR and is expected to be completed within a decade, if all goes well.
Challenges to the project
  1. Environmental conservation
The project, if implemented, will end up submerging 10% of the Panna Tiger Reserve in MP which is known for its tiger population and thriving wildlife. Other environmental concerns include loss of connectivity, fragmentation and threat to Critical Tiger Habitat of the reserve forest. Also, the project may adversely impact Ken Ghariyal Sanctuary as one of the barrages will be constructed inside it.
  1. Finances
The estimated cost of the project is already pegged at 10,000 crore INR. If the usual delays are taken into account, then it may reach well beyond these estimates. The project may eventually become unfeasible owing to this.
  1. Monsoonal links
Scientists believe that the policy of interlinking rivers would end up modifying the monsoonal pattern of the country. Going by the heavy dependency over rainfall in our agricultural sector, this may open a new front to fight upon.
  1. Experiences elsewhere
Empirical studies have converged on the conclusion that such projects often lead to more problems, than solving some. They end up damaging the delicate ecosystem balance, while simultaneously draining public treasury.
  1. Sharing of expenditure
As per NITI Ayog, the project costs need to be shared between MP government and the central government in the ratio of 40 : 60. However, the Union Ministry of Water Resources, feels that it should be rather 10 : 90, i.e. 90% should come from the Centre.
Way Forward
The project is expected to provide irrigation to the drought-prone Bundelkhand region spread across UP and MP. Nearly, 3.5 lakh hectares and 14000 hectares of area in MP and UP respectively, will benefit from the regular supply of water for irrigational and other purposes.
In 2012, after hearing all sides, the Supreme Court gave green nod to the project and hoped for its speedy implementation.
Recently, the project has got all the necessary clearances from environment and tribal affairs ministries paving its way towards its implementation.
Thus, it would be desirable to devise clarity on the funding procedure between NITI Ayog and MoWR, so as to not delay the project any further.


Source: xaam.in




Should Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act be repealed?

Should Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act be repealed?

The original Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) was passed in the year 1976, during the regime of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. It prohibited electoral candidates, Political Parties, M.Ps, Judges and cartoonists to accept foreign funding. The justification of this act was that there should be a restriction of ‘foreign interference’ in domestic politics.

The era of liberalization

In the year 1991, the economy was opened up. Even monetary help could be taken from the World Bank, the IMF, etc. It was the era of liberalization and globalization. In the year 2010, amendment to the original FCRA was done. The new FCRA 2010 regulated the acceptance and the utilization of foreign contributions by individuals or associations. It also prohibited the acceptance and utilization of foreign contributions by organizations which were ‘of political nature’ and conducted activities detrimental to the National Interest.

FCRA 2010

With the new FCRA in place, the registration of any organization under FCRA has to be renewed every 5years, otherwise it gets automatically suspended. Moreover, only 50% of the foreign funds can be used for administrative purposes. Recently the Ministry of Home affairs have cancelled licenses of many NGOs and other Civil Society Organizations under FCRA 2010.

Reasonable Restrictions

The whole issue is that the reasonable restrictions put in the name of ‘national interest’ on these organizations should be precise and well defined. Such vague terms allow the state to exercise its discretionary power on these Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). The article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights speaks about the right to freedom of associations. Clearly, violation of this right is a human rights violation.

Should the FCRA be repealed?

A strong monitoring and regulation of NGOs and CSOs is definitely needed. Quite often it is seen that, these organizations turn into a money laundering business and may also have links with organized crimes and terrorism. Licenses should not only be cancelled due to political dissent. It is because India is a democracy and the opinion of every section must be considered. Rather, wider aspects like a real threat to the integrity and the sovereignty of the nation should be seen.
A self regulatory independent agency should be formed to monitor the activities of the CSOs. In 2009, a 7member taskforce was set up to create a National Accreditation Council of India (NACI) for this purpose which has not yet been formed. It therefore becomes important today to bring an NACI in place instead of repealing FCRA or making it so aggressive.


Source: xaam.in




Centre To Allow Swapping Of Coal

Why in news?
Power Minister has announced schemes to raise liquidity and enable swapping of coal.
What are the measures?
  • Currently, Power Grid has accumulated gross fixed assets worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore. The company has been investing over Rs 20,000 crore as capital expenditure each year in the last few years and is expected to spend Rs 25,000 crore in the current fiscal.
  • Government officials, however, said that the proposal for hiving off Power Grid assets was still at a conceptual stage and any further development would require an extensive study of various options.
  • Now it also announced that the government would allow swapping of coal among government and private firms.
What is Coal Mitra Portal?
  • To facilitate the coal swapping, Goyal launched ‘Coal Mitra’ web portal, which would indicate the most efficient way of utilising coal from by an end-user.
  • The Portal has been designed to bring about flexibility in Utilization of Domestic Coal by transferring the reserves to more cost efficient State/Centre owned or Private sector generating stations, leading to lower generation costs and ultimately lesser cost of electricity for the consumers
  • The portal would be used by the state and central generation companies to display information about normative fixed and variable charges of electricity for the previous month as well as margin available for additional generation to enable the utilities in identifying stations for transfer of coal.
Category: Mains| G.S-II| Government Policies
Source: The Indian Express


Source: xaam.in




Indus Water Treaty And World Bank

Why in news?
The India-Pakistan water dispute is set to intensify as New Delhi questioning the World Bank’s neutrality in arbitrating between the two countries.
What is the issue?
  • The World Bank brokered the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) in 1960.
  • It also settles differences arising from sharing of water and setting up projects along the Indus river basin.
  • India is now not happy as the international body accepted Pakistan’s demand to initiate a court of arbitration (CoA) process to resolve a dispute involving the 330-MW Kishenganga and 850-MW Ratle hydroelectric projects.
What is Pakistan’s accusation?
  • The tussle involves two hydroelectric projects that are coming up on the Jhelum and Chenab rivers respectively.
  • Objecting to the design of the 330-MW Kishenganga project, Pakistan claimed it would result in a 40% reduction of water flowing into the country – flouting IWT provisions in the process.
  • As for the 850 MW Ratle power plant, Pakistan wants the planned storage capacity of the project to be reduced from 24 million cubic metres to eight million cubic metres.
What is India’s reaction?
  • India, however, held that the two projects do not violate any provision of the treaty.
  • Government sources said New Delhi accused the World Bank of adopting a “non-neutral” stand that appeared to favour Pakistan.
  • India took a “very hard stand” against the World Bank for not acting on India’s request to have neutral experts look into the dispute as per IWT provisions.
  • An official from the Union water resources ministry alleged that the World Bank did nothing despite having 20 days to work on India’s request. “But they promptly accepted Pakistan’s demand to have a CoA,” he said.
  • The latest row follows the World Bank’s decision to proceed simultaneously with two parallel mechanisms – Pakistan’s demand for a CoA and India’s request for neutral experts.
  • India termed it as a decision that was “legally untenable” and violated the provisions of the IWT.
  • This row has put the IWT under further strain.
Category: Mains | GS-II | Bilateral Relations
Source: hindustantimes

What is the new development?
  • The World Bank recently declared a “pause” to two separate processes initiated by India and Pakistan to resolve a new dispute over the Indus Waters Treaty. The dispute is related to the construction of the Kishanganga and Ratle hydropower projects in Jammu and Kashmir, which according to Pakistan, violates the treaty.
  • While India welcomed the decision and said such disputes could be resolved bilaterally, Pakistan’s initial reaction has not been enthusiastic. It was Pakistan which took the matter to the Bank in August 2016, asking it to set up a Court of Arbitration under the Treaty’s provisions.
  • India argued that a Court of Arbitration was not necessary, and asked the Bank for the appointment of a neutral expert, which is a lower level of dispute resolution mechanism under the treaty.
  • The Bank initially said that it would activate both the processes simultaneously. India objected, saying the matter would get very complicated in case the two processes produced contradictory rulings.
  • World Bank president Jim Yong Kim then wrote to the Finance Ministers of both countries, informing them of the decision to “pause” both processes, and asking them to seek “alternative” resolutions.
Why India and Pakistan opted different mechanisms?
India and Pakistan are insisting on different approaches of dispute resolution because of their past experiences.
On a design dispute on the Baglihar dam on the Chenab, a neutral expert had ruled in favour of India, even though the design of that dam was not strictly in accordance with the parameters prescribed in the Treaty.
However, a similar question in the Kishanganga case — relating to reservoir level going below the dead storage level — was dealt with differently by the Court of Arbitration, which ruled that the design was inconsistent with the Treaty, and asked India to change it.
What is in the future?
  • It’s not immediately clear what “alternative” methods could be employed by the two countries to sort out the issue.
  • After Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that “blood and water cannot flow together”, India suspended routine bi-annual talks between the Indus Commissioners of the two countries. Therefore the regular lines of communication over the implementation of the Treaty are currently unavailable.
  • India, meanwhile, has established a high-level task force on the Treaty — it is headed by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, and has the National Security Adviser, the Foreign Secretary, the Finance Secretary and the Water Resources Secretary among its members.
  • It is clear that any talks with Pakistan on the Treaty are unlikely to be purely technical in nature.
  • It is also possible that the World Bank might nominate a few independent experts to mediate between the countries.
Category: Mains | G.S-II | India and its neighborhood
Source: The Indian Express

UPSC Prelims 2017 Online Test Series By XAAM

100 tests | Online Mode | Instant Result | All India Ranking | Explanation

UPSC Prelims 2017 will be on 18th June [6 Months From Now]
We Have Launched IAS prelims 2017 Online Test Series [English and Hindi]
1. 24 Current Affair Bi monthly tests
2. 24 Modular tests covering total static syllabus
3. 12 Full length Mock Test
4. 11 Current Affair Test Based on VISIONIAS Current Affair Mag
5. 30 Test Based on Previous Year Questions Static Syllabus Subject wise [50 Question Each ]
This is an online test series , you can take the tests from your computer , mobile or tablet . When you press the submit button on the test you will get detailed analysis of the questions along with the correct answer instantaneously .
You will be ranked among the test takers based on your first attempt.



Source: xaam.in




U.S & Israel – UNSC Voting

Why in news?
The Obama administration allowed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to adopt a resolution that condemned Israeli settlement construction.
What is UNSC?
  • The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the UN, charged with the maintenance of international peace and security as well as accepting new members to the United Nations and approving any changes to its United Nations Charter.
  • The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms. The current non-permanent members are Angola, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, Spain, Ukraine, Uruguay and Venezuela.
What was the resolution?
  • Israel for decades has pursued a policy of constructing Jewish settlements on territory captured by Israel in a 1967 war with its Arab neighbours including the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
  • Most countries view Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as illegal and an obstacle to peace.
  • The resolution had been put forward by Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela.
  • In the resolution, the Council reiterated its demand that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard”.
  • The 15-nation Council adopted on Friday the resolution by a vote of 14 in favour.
  • In a rare step the United States abstained, enabling the adoption of the first UN resolution since 1979 to condemn Israel over its settlement policy.
Why did U.S abstain?
  • The action follows growing US frustration over the unrelenting construction of Jewish settlements on land Palestinians want for a future independent state.
  • The US broke with the long-standing American approach of shielding Israel, which receives more than $3 billion in annual US military aid, from such action.
  • The US abstention was a result of failed efforts to forge a peace agreement based on a “two-state” solution of creating a Palestinian state existing peacefully alongside Israel.
  • US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said that US did not veto it because the resolution “reflects the facts on the ground and is consistent with US policy across Republican and Democratic administrations.”
What is the outcome?
  • The resolution formally enshrined the international community’s disapproval of Israeli settlement building.
  • While the resolution contains no sanctions, it could widen the possibility of prosecution at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
  • It could encourage some countries to impose sanctions against Israeli settlers and products produced in the settlements.
What are the shortcomings?
  • The resolution has more symbolic value and is unlikely to change the situation on ground between Israel and Palestine.
  • The PM of Israel called the resolution anti-Israel and will not abide by its terms.
  • The President-elect Trump is likely to be a staunch supporter of Israel’s right-wing policies.
  • The next U.S. ambassador to Israel announced by Israel is also rejects “two nation theory”. Therefore the future is not clear, as of now regarding peace between Israel and Palestine.
Category: Mains| GS-II| International Relations
Source: The Hindu

UPSC Prelims 2017 Online Test Series By XAAM

100 tests | Online Mode | Instant Result | All India Ranking | Explanation

UPSC Prelims 2017 will be on 18th June [6 Months From Now]
We Have Launched IAS prelims 2017 Online Test Series [English and Hindi]
1. 24 Current Affair Bi monthly tests
2. 24 Modular tests covering total static syllabus
3. 12 Full length Mock Test
4. 11 Current Affair Test Based on VISIONIAS Current Affair Mag
5. 30 Test Based on Previous Year Questions Static Syllabus Subject wise [50 Question Each ]
This is an online test series , you can take the tests from your computer , mobile or tablet . When you press the submit button on the test you will get detailed analysis of the questions along with the correct answer instantaneously .
You will be ranked among the test takers based on your first attempt.


There will be extra tests available for the subscribers like , tests based on previous year questions , NCERT Based Tests , Subject Based Tests in addition to the above mentioned 100 tests .
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Source: xaam.in




Google Launches 'Digital Unlocked' And ‘My Business Website’

What’s the news?
  • What is ‘Digital Unlocked’?
  • to empower thousands of Indian SMBs with essential digital skills that would enable them to get online and start using the power of the internet to grow their businesses.
  • The programme would be certified by Google, FICCI and Indian School of Business. It would offer online and mobile courses to SMBs across the country.
  • which would help make a website in 10 minutes.
  • It will first start in India, later this year, and then will be launched in other countries.
  • What are the statistics?
  • There are around 51 million small and medium scale businesses in India.
  • Profits grow twice as fast for those SMBs who have digital business. The micro small and medium entreprises contribute 37 per cent to the Indian GDP.
Additional Info: Further, Google also launched Primer, a free mobile app uniquely designed to teach digital marketing skills in a quick, easy and interactive way. Primer also works offline and is currently available in English and Hindi. Tamil, Telugu and Marathi versions are coming up shortly.
Source: The New Indian Express

UPSC Prelims 2017 Online Test Series By XAAM

100 tests | Online Mode | Instant Result | All India Ranking | Explanation

UPSC Prelims 2017 will be on 18th June [6 Months From Now]
We Have Launched IAS prelims 2017 Online Test Series [English and Hindi]
1. 24 Current Affair Bi monthly tests
2. 24 Modular tests covering total static syllabus
3. 12 Full length Mock Test
4. 11 Current Affair Test Based on VISIONIAS Current Affair Mag
5. 30 Test Based on Previous Year Questions Static Syllabus Subject wise [50 Question Each ]
This is an online test series , you can take the tests from your computer , mobile or tablet . When you press the submit button on the test you will get detailed analysis of the questions along with the correct answer instantaneously .
You will be ranked among the test takers based on your first attempt.


There will be extra tests available for the subscribers like , tests based on previous year questions , NCERT Based Tests , Subject Based Tests in addition to the above mentioned 100 tests .
Click Below To Subscribe @ Rs 990
Start Now Subscribe : http://imojo.in/test_series_2017


Source: xaam.in




OLD NCERT Geography Class 6 7 8 [ Bad Print Warning ]

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UPSC Prelims 2017 Online Test Series By XAAM

100 tests | Online Mode | Instant Result | All India Ranking | Explanation

UPSC Prelims 2017 will be on 18th June [6 Months From Now]
We Have Launched IAS prelims 2017 Online Test Series [English and Hindi]
1. 24 Current Affair Bi monthly tests
2. 24 Modular tests covering total static syllabus
3. 12 Full length Mock Test
4. 11 Current Affair Test Based on VISIONIAS Current Affair Mag
5. 30 Test Based on Previous Year Questions Static Syllabus Subject wise [50 Question Each ]
This is an online test series , you can take the tests from your computer , mobile or tablet . When you press the submit button on the test you will get detailed analysis of the questions along with the correct answer instantaneously .
You will be ranked among the test takers based on your first attempt.


There will be extra tests available for the subscribers like , tests based on previous year questions , NCERT Based Tests , Subject Based Tests in addition to the above mentioned 100 tests .
Click Below To Subscribe @ Rs 990
Start Now Subscribe : http://imojo.in/test_series_2017


Source: xaam.in




ETHICS Complete Notes – BALYAN Sir –

ETHICS Complete Notes – BALYAN Sir –

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UPSC Prelims 2017 Online Test Series By XAAM

100 tests | Online Mode | Instant Result | All India Ranking | Explanation

UPSC Prelims 2017 will be on 18th June [6 Months From Now]
We Have Launched IAS prelims 2017 Online Test Series [English and Hindi]
1. 24 Current Affair Bi monthly tests
2. 24 Modular tests covering total static syllabus
3. 12 Full length Mock Test
4. 11 Current Affair Test Based on VISIONIAS Current Affair Mag
5. 30 Test Based on Previous Year Questions Static Syllabus Subject wise [50 Question Each ]
This is an online test series , you can take the tests from your computer , mobile or tablet . When you press the submit button on the test you will get detailed analysis of the questions along with the correct answer instantaneously .
You will be ranked among the test takers based on your first attempt.


There will be extra tests available for the subscribers like , tests based on previous year questions , NCERT Based Tests , Subject Based Tests in addition to the above mentioned 100 tests .
Click Below To Subscribe @ Rs 990
Start Now Subscribe : http://imojo.in/test_series_2017


Source: xaam.in