Directions(1-10): In each of the following questions a passage is given in which there is a blank. Choose the most logical and appropriate option from the five options given that can be filled in the blank.
- . _____________India ranks lower than countries such as Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in fixed broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in ESCAP countries in 2015, according to the report ‘State of ICT in Asia and the Pacific 2016: Uncovering the Widening Broadband Divide’ released. Hong Kong, New Zealand, Japan, Macao, Australia and Singapore topped the list of 53 countries covered in the report.
India ranks a low 39th in terms of fixed broadband adoption among Asia Pacific countries, with just 1.3 per cent of its citizens subscribing to such a service in 2015, according to a study by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).This is followed by Europe (21.9 per cent) and North America (14.1 per cent).The report pointed out that this was a dramatic increase from 2005 when subscriptions in the ESCAP region merely constituted 38.1% of the global total fixed broadband subscriptions, followed by Europe (28.6 per cent) and North America (26.5 per cent).However, the subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in the ESCAP region is behind Latin America and the Caribbean, and far lower than Europe and North America.Fixed broadband penetration in Asia and the Pacific is even below the world’s average of 11.2 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in 2015, it said.Option A
- This beginning is an imperative to make the densely populated villages along the banks of the Ganga Swachh in true sense, to make our rivers pollution free, and to maintain the ecological balance in this area. For all-round development of the nation, it is critically important that our health is sound, our mothers and sisters live with safety and dignity, and our environment is clean, safe and attuned to community-wide health. ___________________.
Becoming Open Defecation Free – ODF – is the first step in this direction. Keeping the river Ganga clean and pure is our collective responsibility.Ms. Uma Bharti explained the concept of Namami Ganga and appealed to all the Pradhans to clean up Ganga ji.She mentioned that besides ODF, solid and liquid waste management was also important and villages must be made swachh in a comprehensive sense.The Minister, Drinking Water and Sanitation, mentioned that Swachh Bharat has to be achieved by the Centre and the States working hand in hand.He also underlined the importance of freedom from open defecation in making the villages clean and brought out the convergence between Swachh Bharat and Namami GangaOption A
- Hindi scholar and writer Sunita Jain was today awarded the prestigious 25th Vyas Samman 2015 for her poetry collection “Kshama”.__________________. The award instituted by the K K Birla Foundation carries a cash prize of Rs 2.50 lakh.
Tripathi commended the author for portraying through poetry the fine emotions between poet Tulsidas and his wife Ratnavalli.“The author has managed to aptly convey the sentiment of forgiveness between Tulsidas and his wife using very fine language,” he said.Eminent litterateur Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari who presided over the selection committee for the award said Jain’s work aptly brought out the emotions of forgiveness and repentance.The author who was awarded the Padma Shri in 2004 writes in both English and Hindi and has over 100 books to her credit.West Bengal Governor K N Tripathi conferred the award on the scholar.Option E
- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a message on World Humanitarian Day that a record 130 million people depend on assistance to survive, a staggering number that would comprise the tenth most populous nation on earth. At an event in the UN General Assembly on Friday night to mark the day “Arab Idol” winner Mohammed Assaf, Actress Natalie Dormer of “Game of Thrones” fame, “The Voice” winner Alisan Porter and former “Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr. joined hundreds of diplomats and guests to support stepped up global efforts to alleviate global suffering. ______________.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a message on World Humanitarian Day that a record 130 million people depend on assistance to survive, a staggering number that would comprise the tenth most populous nation on earth.The General Assembly established World Humanitarian Day in 2008 to honor humanitarian aid workers who have been killed or injured in the course of their work.Last year, Eliason said, 109 aid workers were killed, 110 were wounded and 68 were kidnapped, most in Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien said “in crises around the world, from Syria to South Sudan, people are forced to make impossible choices risking violence for food or risking drowning in search of a safe haven choices that most of us can barely imagine.He urged people around the world “to show solidarity, use their voice and demand that world leaders take action.”Option B
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for development of 1120 kms of National Highways in the States of Karnataka, Odisha, Bihar, Rajasthan and West Bengal. The work for development to two lane standards are under Phase-I of the National Highways Interconnectivity Improvement Project (NHIIP) with World Bank assistance. _______________________
The proposal was initially approved for Rs.5,193 crore.The cost has increased due to higher bid prices, and increase in cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities.The projects are already taken up for implementation and 429 kms has been completed.The civil works are expected to be completed by July, 2019 and maintenance works are expected to be completed by July, 2024.The revised estimated cost is Rs. 6,461 crore including cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities.Option E
- Odisha government on Tuesday approved a new policy with a target of making the state home to at least 1,000 start-ups over the next five years.The Odisha Start-up Policy (OSP), 2016, will be unveiled by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at an investors meet in Bengaluru next month.___________________.
OSP envisages Odisha being among the top three start-up hubs in the country by 2020 through strategic partnerships, conducive ecosystem, investments and policy intervention.“The policy will be implemented within five years and comprises of three i.e. – Institutions, Industry and Incubation,” Chief Secretary A P Padhi told reporters here.The implementation of the policy would be monitored by a Start-up Council headed by the Chief Secretary and a Review Committee headed by Principal Secretary MSME, he said.The policy envisages usher in an innovative start-up ecosystem through creation of world class incubation centres, funding and supporting incentives structure at par with other states.He said a Start-up Capital Infrastructure Fund (up to Rs 25 crore) would be provided by the state government to the Department of MSME through budgetary provision.Option A
- The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for introduction of the “Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016”. ______________________________________________The legislation will ensure effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy and allow ethical surrogacy to the needy infertile couples.
The Bill will regulate surrogacy in India by establishing National Surrogacy Board at the central level and State Surrogacy Boards and Appropriate Authorities in the State and Union Territories.India has emerged as a surrogacy hub for couples from different countries and there have been reported incidents concerning unethical practices, exploitation of surrogate mothers, abandonment of children born out of surrogacy and rackets of intermediaries importing human embryos and gametes.Widespread condemnation of commercial surrogacy prevalent in India has also been regularly published in different print-and electronic media since last few years highlighting the need to prohibit commercial surrogacy and allow ethical altruistic surrogacy.The 228th report of the Law Commission of India has also recommended for prohibiting commercial surrogacy and allowing ethical altruistic surrogacy to the needy Indian citizens by enacting a suitable legislation.No permanent structure is proposed to be created in the Draft Bill. Neither there are proposals for creating new posts.Option A
- India, today took another major step in the fight against tax evasion, “round tripping” and “base erosion/profit shifting”. _________________________This step follows the recent amendment of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement with Mauritius.
As in the case of Mauritius, the treaty with Cyprus had provided for residence- based taxation of capital gains.With the revision of the treaty now approved by the Cabinet, capital gains will be taxed in India for entities resident in Cyprus, subject to double tax relief.In other words, India will have the right to tax capital gains arising in India.The provisions in the earlier treaty for residence-based taxation were leading to distortion of financial and real investment flows by artificial diversion of various investments from their true countries of origin, for the sake of avoiding tax.The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of an Agreement and the Protocol between the India and Cyprus for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income.Option E
- _____________________________IOC will be the second state-owned oil company after Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) to consider issuing bonus shares following a government directive. HPCL board had last month approved issuing two bonus shares of Rs 10 each for every existing one.
IOC is India’s largest commercial enterprise, with a sales turnover of Rs 3,99,601 crore (USD 61 billion) and profits of Rs 10,399 crore (USD 1.58 billion) for the year 2015-16.It is ranked 161st among the world’s largest corporates (and first among Indian companies) in the prestigious Fortune ‘Global 500’ listing for the year 2016.The government owns 58.28 per cent stake in IOC, which controls nearly half of India’s fuel market, 35 per cent national oil refining capacity and 71 per cent of downstream sector pipelines.IOC owns and operates 11 of India’s 23 refineries with a combined refining capacity of 80.7 million tonnes per annum as well as a pipeline network spanning about 11,750-km.The board of IOC will meet on August 29, “to consider issue of Bonus Shares,” the company said in a regulatory filing.Option E
- ____________________. Select members of the public will be able to hail a free ride through their smartphones in taxis operated by nuTonomy, an autonomous vehicle software startup. While multiple companies, including Google and Volvo, have been testing self-driving cars on public roads for several years, nuTonomy says it will be the first to offer rides to the public.
The world’s first self-driving taxis will be picking up passengers in Singapore starting 25th of August.Earlier this year, the company was the first to win approval from Singapore’s government to test self-driving cars in one-north. NuTonomy announced a research partnership with Singapore’s Land Transport Authority earlier this month.Singapore is ideal because it has good weather, great infrastructure and drivers who tend to obey traffic rules, Iagnemma says.Auto supplier Delphi Corp., which is also working on autonomous vehicle software, was recently selected to test autonomous vehicles on the island and plans to start next year.The technology is supposed to reduce the number of Taxi’s from 9,00,000 to 3,00,000 in Singapore.Option A