Daily Current Affairs MCQ - Feb 11, 2021


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QUESTION: 1

Consider the following statements:

1. SEBI recently imposed a penalty of Rs 1 crore on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) in connection with its three-year investigation in the co-location case.

2. Currently, NSE used to disseminate price information through a unicast system.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) imposed a penalty of Rs 1 crore on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) in connection with its three-year investigation in the co-location case.

  • The NSE is facing allegations that some brokers got preferential access through the co-location facility at the stock exchange, early login, and ‘dark fibre’, which can allow a trader a split-second faster access to the data feed of an exchange.

  • Even this infinitesimally sooner access is considered to result in huge gains for a trader.

  • Few brokers were able to log into the NSE systems with better hardware specifications while engaged in algorithmic trading, which allowed them unfair access and advantages.

  • The unfair access issue pertains to 2012-14 when NSE used to disseminate price information through a unicast system. In such system, information is disseminated to one member after another.

QUESTION: 2

Koch Rajbongshis is a community mainly located in:        

Solution:

Union Home Minister Amit Shah will visit Assam and West Bengal, where he will address a community vital to upcoming Assembly elections in both states — the Koch Rajbongshis.

  • They are a community that traces its roots to the Kamata kingdom, which comprised parts of Assam, West Bengal and adjoining territories.

  • In the medieval period, the community was dominant and ruled their territory of Kamatapur, which comprised a large part of Bangladesh, West Bengal, Bihar and India’s north-east.

  • After Independence, the princely state of Cooch Behar became part of West Bengal.

  • Today, Koch Rajbongshis are found in Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal and Bihar, and in Bangladesh, Nepal and some parts of Bhutan.

  • They are estimated to number over 33 lakh in West Bengal, mostly the northern districts, and have a large presence in Assam.

QUESTION: 3

Concerning the privatization of banks, consider the following statements:
1. The Union Budget has announced the privatization of two public sector banks (in addition to IDBI Bank) and one general insurance company in the upcoming fiscal.
2. In 2019, the government merged ten PSU banks into four.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?       

Solution:

The Union Budget has announced the privatization of two public sector banks (in addition to IDBI Bank) and one general insurance company in the upcoming fiscal.

  • It also announced a strategic sale/disinvestment policy for four strategic sectors — including banking, insurance and financial services — in which it will have a “bare minimum presence”.

  • In 2015, the government had suggested privatization but the then RBI Governor did not favour the idea.

  • Years of capital injections and governance reforms have not significantly improved the financial position of public sector banks.

  • Many of them have higher levels of stressed assets than private banks and lag the latter on profitability, market capitalization and dividend payment records.

  • The government front-loaded Rs 70,000 crore into government-run banks in September 2019, Rs 80,000 crore in FY18, and Rs 1.06 lakh crore in FY19 through recapitalization bonds.

  • In 2019, the government merged ten PSU banks into four.

  • private banks’ market share in loans has risen to 36% in 2020 from 21.26% in 2015, while public sector banks’ share has fallen to 59.8% from 74.28%.

QUESTION: 4

‘Hope Probe’, recently seen in the news, is an initiative of which of the following country?

Solution:

The United Arab Emirates’ first mission to Mars entered the orbit of the red planet, seven months after the Emirati-built ‘Hope Probe’ was launched from Tanegashima in Japan.

  • With this, the UAE has become the fifth country after the US, Russia, China, the EU, and India, to reach the Martian orbit.

  • The unmanned spacecraft is called ‘Al-Amal’ — the Arabic word for hope. The historic event was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the unification of the UAE’s seven emirates.

  • First announced in July 2014, the Emirates Mars Mission was developed and operated by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in collaboration with the University California, Berkeley, Arizona State University and the University of Colorado-Boulder in the United States.

  • In July 2020, it was launched from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan aboard a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ H-II A rocket.

  • Carrying three instruments, including a high-resolution camera and a spectrometer, the spacecraft is on an orbital mission to collect data on Martian climate dynamics and help scientists understand why Mars’s atmosphere is decaying into space.

  • Hope is the UAE’s fourth space mission and first interplanetary one. The previous three were all Earth-observation satellites.

  • Its overall mission life is one Martian year, which is about 687 days on Earth.

QUESTION: 5

With reference to the Koo App, consider the following statements:

1. It won the government’s Atmanirbhar App Innovation Challenge

2. It was launched in 2016.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Days AFTER the Centre asked Twitter to “suspend or block” nearly 1,200 accounts, citing “misinformation and provocative content” on the farmers’ protest, several ministers and departments of the Union government have started flocking on Koo App — a homemade version of the social networking platform.

  • The microblogging site was co-founded by entrepreneurs Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidwatka. Radhakrishna had founded online cab booking service TaxiForSure, which was subsequently sold to Ola Cabs.

  • While the app was launched in early 2020, its participation and the subsequent winning of the government’s Atmanirbhar App Innovation Challenge brought it under the limelight.

  • The app, along with other India-made apps like Zoho and Chingari — the local version of TikTok, won the challenge, which was launched by the Centre close on the heels of banning scores of apps with Chinese links citing national security concerns.

  • Following the outcome of the Atmanirbhar App Innovation Challenge, the app was also mentioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Mann Ki Baat address.

QUESTION: 6

With reference to the Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizers Corporation Limited (BVFCL), consider the following statements:

1. It is a Public Sector Undertaking formed as per Companies Act, under the administrative control of the Department of Fertilizers (DoF), Government of India.

2. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs recently accorded approval to the Department of Fertilizers' proposal for Grant-in-aid of Rs.100 crore to Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizers Corporation Limited (BVFCL), Namrup (Assam).

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs accorded approval to the proposal of the Department of Fertilizers for Grant-in-aid of Rs.100 crore to Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizers Corporation Limited (BVFCL), Namrup (Assam) to sustain operations of it's urea manufacturing units.

  • BVFCL, Namrup is a Public Sector Undertaking formed as per Companies Act, under the administrative control of the Department of Fertilizers (DoF), Government of India.

  • At present, the Company is operating its two vintage plants viz. Namrup-ll and Namrup-lll in the premises of BVFCL in Namrup, Assam.

  • The grant in aid of Rs. 100 crore to BVFCL will restore the urea production capacity of 3.90 Lac MT per annum and ensure timely availability of Urea to Tea Industry & Farming Sector in the entire North-Eastern region especially Assam.

QUESTION: 7

With reference to the World Pulses Day, consider the following statements:

1. The World Pulses Day falls on February 18 every year and recognized Pulses as a global food.

2. World Pulses Day 2021 theme is #LovePulses.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Union Agriculture Minister graces the occasion as chief guest on World Pulses Day.

  • The UN General Assembly in 2019 decided to dedicate a day to Pulses to increase awareness and access to pulses globally known as World Pulses Day.

  • The World Pulses Day falls on February 10 every year and recognized Pulses as a global food.

  • On World Pulses Day, people make efforts in creating awareness about the importance of Pulses in sustainable food production.

  • The UN General Assembly after recognizing the value of pulses in 2013, adopted 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (IYP).

  • World Pulses Day 2021 theme is #LovePulses.

QUESTION: 8

With reference to the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020, consider the following statements:

1. Inter-state Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979 Act has now been subsumed in the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020

2. The relevant provisions of the Code are applicable to every establishment in which 100 or more inter-state migrant workers are employed or were employed on any day of the preceding 12 months.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

NITI Aayog has constituted a sub-group to prepare a National Action Plan for Migrant Workers.

  • The sub-group comprises the members from various Ministries of Govt. of India, subject experts, NGOs and civil society organizations, to prepare a tangible action plan to address issues related to migrant workers.

  • In order to safeguard the interest of the migrant workers, the Central Government had enacted the Inter-state Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979.

  • This Act has now been subsumed in the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020 and the Code has been notified on 29.09.2020.

  • The above-mentioned code, commonly known as OSH Code, provides for decent working conditions, minimum wages, grievances redressal mechanisms, protection from abuse and exploitation, enhancement of the skills and social security to all category of organized and unorganized workers including Migrant workers.

  • The relevant provisions of the Code are applicable to every establishment in which 10 or more inter-state migrant workers are employed or were employed on any day of the preceding 12 months.

QUESTION: 9

With reference to the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020, consider the following statements:

1. The new Bill has proposed a simplified composition of the Board of Port Authority which will comprise of 11 to 13 Members from the present 17 to 19 Members representing various interests.

2. Port Authority has now been given powers to fix tariffs, which will act as a reference tariff for bidding for PPP projects.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Parliament passed the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020. Now the Bill will go to the President of India for his assent.

  • The Bill is more compact in comparison to the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 as the number of sections has been reduced to 76 from 134 by eliminating overlapping and obsolete Sections.

  • The new Bill has proposed a simplified composition of the Board of Port Authority which will comprise of 11 to 13 Members from the present 17 to 19 Members representing various interests.

  • The role of the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) has been redefined. Port Authority has now been given powers to fix tariff which will act as a reference tariff for purposes of bidding for PPP projects. PPP operators will be free to fix tariff- based on market conditions.

  • The Board of Port Authority has been delegated the power to fix the scale of rates for other port services and assets including land.

  • An Adjudicatory Board has been proposed to be created to carry out the residual function of the erstwhile TAMP for Major Ports, to look into disputes between ports and PPP concessionaires

  • The Boards of Port Authority have been delegated full powers to enter into contracts, planning and development, fixing of tariff except in national interest, security and emergency arising out of inaction and default. In the present MPT Act, 1963 prior approval of the Central Government was required in 22 instances.

  • The Board of each Major Port shall be entitled to create a specific master plan in respect of any development or infrastructure.

  • Provisions of CSR & development of infrastructure by Port Authority have been introduced.

  • Provision has been made for safeguarding the pay & allowances and service conditions including pensionary benefits of the employees of major ports

QUESTION: 10

With reference to the Ambedkar Social Innovation and Incubation Mission (ASIIM), consider the following statements:

1. It was launched under the Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes (VCF-SC).

2. The companies/entrepreneurs owned by Scheduled Castes enrolled /registered with Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) are eligible to get maximum capital of Rs.90 lakhs over a period of 3 years.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India has launched Ambedkar Social Innovation and Incubation Mission (ASIIM) under Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes (VCF-SC) on 30th September 2020.

  • The objective is to boost entrepreneurship and innovation among the SC students/SC Divyang youth.

  • The companies/entrepreneurs owned by Scheduled Castes enrolled /registered with Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) are eligible to get maximum capital of Rs.30 lakhs over a period of 3 years i.e. Rs.10 lakhs every year.

  • Financial support of up to Rs.10 lakhs per year for a period of 3 years aggregating to Rs.30 Lakhs shall be provided to eligible applicants as equity funding.