Daily MCQ
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18 March 2019 MCQs Test

10 Questions 20 Minutes

Current Affairs
March 18, 2019

TWIN-PIT SYSTEM
A government-commissioned survey under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan shows that only 26% of rural toilets use twin-pit system.
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Findings of recent study:

  • Analysis of data from the National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey 2018-19, shows that just 26% of rural households use the twin-pit system to dispose of excreta from their toilets.
    • Uttar Pradesh, which tops the list with 64% of toilets with twin pits, had made the technology mandatory for anyone who wanted government’s ₹12,000 subsidy to build toilets.

    • Jharkhand, second on the list, has almost 58% of its toilets connected to twin pits.



  • Septic tanks are the most popular option, with 28% of toilets connected to a septic tank with a soak pit and 6% to a tank without a soak pit.

  • The waste from the remainder of rural toilets will be harmful to health and the environment, and even push a new generation into manual scavenging.

  • A 2018 survey of 30 cities and towns in Uttar Pradesh by the Centre for Science and Environment found that 87% of toilet waste is dumped into water bodies and farm lands.

 

Important Info :

Twin-pit systems?  

  • Under the twin-pit system, two pits are dug with honeycombed walls and earthen floors which allow liquid to percolate into the surrounding soil.  
  • When one pit is filled and closed off, waste flow is transferred to the second pit, allowing waste in the first pit to be converted into manure after a year or two.  
  • The twin pit has been promoted by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation as well as the World Health Organisation as an in-situ sanitation system which claims to bypass thorny issues such as caste purity, as owners will be dealing with manure, not excreta.  
Source : The Hindu
Social Issues

Current Affairs
March 18, 2019

DELTAS, VULNERABILITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE: MIGRATION AND ADAPTATION (DECMA)
According to an international study titled Deltas, Vulnerability and Climate Change: Migration and Adaptation (DECMA), Economic reasons are the precipitating factor for migration in the Indian Bengal Delta that comprises the Sunderbans.
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About: 

  • Coverage: The study, held between 2014 and 2018 focusing on three deltas Ganga Brahmaputra Meghna Delta (India and Bangladesh) Volta (Ghana) and Mahanadi (India) looks into the aspect of climate change, adaptation and migration in these deltas. In India, the study covered 51 blocks of districts of South and North 24 Parganas. 

  • Migration in Indian Bengal Delta: 
    • 64% of people migrate because of economic reasons, unsustainable agriculture, lack of economic opportunities and debt; 28 % of the migration from the region is for social reasons and about 7% for environmental reasons like cyclones and flooding. 

    • There is huge gender disparity among those migrating from the region. Of the people migrating, 83% are men and only 17 % are women. Most of the men migrate due to economic reasons, women do so, driven by mostly social factors. 

    • Most migrants are young, in the age group of 20-30 years. 

    • 51% of migration from the Indian Bengal Delta is to other areas of the State particularly to Kolkata, 10% to Maharashtra, 9% to Tamil Nadu, 7% Kerala and 6% to Gujarat. 

    • 57% of migration is seasonal, where people move once or twice a year; 19% is circular where those migrating move thrice a year irrespective of reasons and 24% permanent where people intend to stay for at least six months in the place they are migrating to. 

    • One of the reasons for migration is failed adaptation in the areas which are under stress due to climate change. 



  • Vulnerable areas: The areas of Gosaba, Basanti, Kultali, Sagar, Kakdwip, Namkhana, Canning and Mathurapur (all in South 24 Parganas) have high levels of agriculture dependency and so are sensitive to climate hazards such as flood and salinity. 

Source : The Hindu
Social Issues

Current Affairs
March 18, 2019

PINAKI CHANDRA GHOSE
Former Supreme Court judge and current member of the NHRC, Pinaki Chandra Ghose, is likely to be India’s first Lokpal, after his name was recommended by the high-level selection committee chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The government was prompted to make the selection after the Supreme Court set the February-end deadline.
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The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013: 

  • The Act allows for setting up of anti-corruption ombudsman called Lokpal at the Centre. A Lokayukta is to be appointed in every state within one year of the passing of the Act (but several states are yet to appoint such an institution). 

  • Composition: The Lokpal will consist of a chairperson and a maximum of eight members. 
    • Chairperson should have been a Chief Justice of India, or is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court, or an eminent person who fulfils eligibility criteria as specified. 

    • 50% of the members are to be judicial members, provided that not less than 50% of the members belong to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBCs, minorities, and women. 



  • Inquiry Wing: Lokpal will have an Inquiry Wing for conducting preliminary inquiry into any offence alleged to have been committed by a public servant punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. 

  • Prosecution Wing: It will also have a Prosecution Wing for the prosecution of public servants in relation to any complaint by the Lokpal under this Act. 

  • Jurisdiction of Lokpal: It covers a wide range of public servants — from the Prime Minister (PM), ministers and MP, to groups A – D officers of the central government including the chairperson and members of the Lokpal. However, there are some exceptions for PM: 
    • Lokpal cannot inquire allegations against the PM relating to international relations, external and internal security, public order, atomic energy and space. 

    • Also, complaints against the PM are not to be probed unless the full Lokpal bench considers the initiation of inquiry and at least 2/3rds of the members approve it. 



Important Info :

Selection procedure of Lokpal: 

  • In 2014, the search committee rules were notified, but appointments to the committee were not made. In September 2018, the search committee was constituted which is chaired by retired SC Justice Ranjana Desai. 
  • Once the search committee submits its recommendation for the Lokpal and its members, a selection committee will consider those names and forward them to the President for his consideration. 
  • The five-member selection committee comprises the following – 
    • Prime Minister (chairperson), 
    • Lok Sabha Speaker, 
    • Leader of the Opposition, 
    • Chief Justice of India and 
    • An Eminent jurist nominated by the President. 
Source : The Hindu
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
March 18, 2019

NUMBER OF POLITICAL PARTIES
The Election Commission of India’s latest data on political parties, registered till March 9, reveal that the country is having a total of 2,293 political parties. They include seven “recognised national” and 59 “recognised state” parties.
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About: 

  • In fact, 149 political parties were registered with the poll panel between February and March on the eve of the announcement of the poll schedule. 

  • These registered but unrecognised political parties do not have the privilege of contesting elections on a fixed symbol of their own. They have to choose from a list of ‘free symbols’ issued by the poll panel. 

  • To become a recognised political party either at the state or national level, a party has to secure certain minimum percentage of polled valid votes or certain number of seats in the state legislative assembly or the Lok Sabha during the last election. 

Steps taken: 

  • There have been fears that most of such registered but unrecognised political parties are used to ‘round trip’ the black money into white by misusing the provisions for financial contributions to political parties. 

  • Thus the Election Commission had in 2016 asked the Central Board of Direct Taxes to look into the finances of 255 registered but unrecognised political parties it had “unlisted” that year for not contesting polls in the last one decade between 2005 and 2015. 

  • While the poll watchdog has the mandate to register a political party, the electoral laws denies it the power to deregister any party. 

  • Thus, the Commission had used its powers under Article 324 of the Constitution to “unlist” parties for being dormant and not contesting elections for a long time. 

Important Info :

Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, allows for small groups of people to form political parties by making only a simple declaration. 

Source : The Hindu
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
March 18, 2019

TROPEX 19
Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff will be in Kochi on 18 March 2019 to preside over the debrief of TROPEX 19.
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About: 

  • Full form: Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise (TROPEX 19). 

  • Features: This is the largest War Game of the Indian Navy. About 60 ships of the Indian Navy, 12 ships of the Indian Coast Guard and 60 aircraft were part of TROPEX 19. 

  • Objective: The lessons learnt from the exercise will provide the planners accurate assessments to fine tune force structuring requirements, operational logistics and training imperatives. 

  • Timeline: 
    • The exercise had commenced 07 January 2019 with Tri-services Amphibious Exercise in the A & N islands with participation of Army and Air Force. 

    • This was followed by the largest Coastal Defence Exercise code named SEA VIGIL' on 22-23 January 2019 with participation of all 13 Coastal States and UTs. 

    • TROPEX 19 was planned to be terminated by 10 March 2019. However, the JEM sponsored terrorist attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama on 14 February led to the rapid redeployment of the Indian Navy for Operations in North Arabian sea. 



Source : PIB
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
March 18, 2019

SCORPENE SUBMARINES
The Indian Navy is set to induct the second Scorpene submarine Khanderi by early May 2019.
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Project 75: 

  • Six Scorpene class submarines are being built under Project 75. 

  • The submarines are designed by French naval defence and energy group DCNS and manufactured by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDSL), Mumbai under a 2005 contract worth $3.75 billion. 

  • Status of submarines: 
    • INS Kalvari: It was commissioned in December 2017 by PM Narendra Modi. 

    • INS Khanderi: It was launched in January 2017, is currently undergoing series of trials and is expected to be commissioned by May 2019. 

    • INS Karanj: It was launched on 31st January 2018. 

    • Vela, Vagir and Vagsheer: The remaining three submarines are in the series are in advanced stages of manufacturing and trials. 

    • The entire project is expected to be completed by 2020. 



  • Significance: 
    • Scorpene submarines can undertake various types of missions i.e Anti-Surface warfare, Anti-Submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying, area surveillance etc. 

    • The Scorpene class is the Navy’s first modern conventional diesel-electric submarine series in almost two decades, since INS Sindhushastra was procured from Russia in July 2000. 

    • The project was required because of the declining number of submarines in the Indian Navy and to replace the older Sindhughosh (Kilo) and Shishumar (U209) class of submarines. 



Important Info :

The fifth submarine Vagir, is in the final stages of being booted together. The ‘Boot Together’ is where the five separate sections are welded together to form the submarine. 

Source : The Hindu
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
March 18, 2019

TRANSCATHETER AORTIC VALVE REPLACEMENT (TAVR)
A multicenter clinical trial has found that transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) performed better than open-heart surgery in low-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis.
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About: 

  • Names: Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is also known as transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). 

  • What is a TAVR? This minimally invasive surgical procedure repairs the valve without removing the old, damaged valve. Instead, it wedges a replacement valve into the aortic valve's place. 

  • Working: 
    • Somewhat similar to a stent placed in an artery, the TAVR approach delivers a fully collapsible replacement valve to the valve site through a catheter. 

    • Once the new valve is expanded, it pushes the old valve leaflets out of the way and the tissue in the replacement valve takes over the job of regulating blood flow. 



  • How is TAVR different from the standard valve replacement? 
    • Usually valve replacement requires an open heart procedure with a “sternotomy.”, in which the chest is surgically separated (open) for the procedure. 

    • The TAVR or TAVI procedures can be done through very small openings that leave all the chest bones in place. 



Source : The Hindu
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
March 18, 2019

CYCLONE IDAI
According to the UN and government officials, Cyclone Idai has affected more than 1.5 million people in the three southern African countries of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
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About: 

  • Cyclones are known as typhoons in the China Sea and Pacific Ocean; hurricanes in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean; tornados in the Guinea lands of West Africa and southern USA; willy-willies in north-western Australia and tropical cyclones in the Indian Ocean.  

  • Cyclones are caused by atmospheric disturbances around a low-pressure area distinguished by swift and often destructive air circulation. Cyclones are usually accompanied by violent storms and bad weather. 

  • The air circulates inward in an anticlockwise direction in the Northern hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern hemisphere. 

Types: 

  • Cyclones are classified as: (i) extra tropical cyclones; and (ii) tropical cyclones. 

  • According to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), ‘Tropical Cyclone’ covers weather systems in which winds exceed ‘Gale Force’ (minimum of 34 knots or 63 kph). 

  • Extra tropical cyclones (also called temperate cyclones) occur in temperate zones and high latitude regions, though they are known to originate in the Polar Regions. 

Source : All India Radio
Geography

Current Affairs
March 18, 2019

MAIN BHI CHOWKIDAR CAMPAIGN
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today urged people to take ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar' pledge, saying he is not alone in the fight against graft and social evils.
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About: 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked people to join 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' campaign on the 31st of this month. 

  • The Prime Minister has termed himself nation’s chowkidar who never allows corruption. This campaign is an apparent attack on Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who has been taking potshots at the Prime Minister for calling himself a chowkidar. 

Important Info :

The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2018? 

  • It amends the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The amendment Bill was passed by both the houses of parliament in July, 2018. 
  • The 1988 Act defines taking a bribe by a public servant as accepting any reward other than a salary for performing one’s official act.  The amendments replace this to cover acts where a public servant accepts any undue advantage other than legal remuneration.  
  • Under the 1988 Act, a bribe giver is charged with abetment. The amendments make giving a bribe to a public servant a direct offence.It adds that if a person gives a bribe to assist law enforcement authorities, he will not be punished. 
  • The 1988 Act defines criminal misconduct to covers six types of offences including: (i) abuse of position; (ii) use of illegal means; (iii) disregard to public interest.  The amendments retain only two offences: (i) misappropriating property; and (ii) amassing disproportionate assets.  
  • The amendments also add that prior sanction from the Lokpal or Lokayukta must be obtained before investigating a public servant. 
Source : All India Radio
Polity & Governance
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