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Daily PIB Analysis For UPSC/IAS | Download PDF

Date: 15 May 2019

MCQ 1

  1. A QR code consists of black squares arranged in a square grid on a white background, processed using Reed–Solomon error correction until the image can be appropriately interpreted
  2. It needs a scanner and camera cant recognize the info under it
  • Choose correct

(A) Only 1

(B) Only 2

(C) Both

(D) None

  • The Indian government is planning to mandate a quick response (QR) code based payment method option using Unified Payments Interface (UPI) at all shops. The prime idea behind the proposal of mandatory QR code-based payment is to make digital payment more popular and bring a behavioral change in the ecosystem.
  • The GST council approved the proposal. The move will also provide a GST benefit to both shops and consumers. The govt has for the project roped in National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to work on a necessary mechanism to launch it nationally. The QR code payment is reported to have witnessed exponential growth in consumer adoption in ASEAN countries. Advantages of QR code payment: Consumer can buy goods and services without the need to swipe plastic cards
  • Records necessary information related to the transactions
  • Data loss and security breach are minimized
  • Can also be introduced on invoices
  • It is cost effective compared to POS machine. As per an estimate, it costs about $1 to put up a laminated QR code sign at a shop.
  • QR Code: It was first designed in 1994 for the automotive industry in Japan. A barcode is a machine-readable optical label that contains information about the item to which it is attached. QR code is said to store over 4000 alphanumeric characters.
  • A QR code uses four standardized encoding modes (numeric, alphanumeric, byte/binary, and kanji) to store data efficiently, extensions may also be used. It consists of black squares arranged in a square grid on a white background, which can be read by an imaging device and processed using Reed–Solomon error correction until the image can be appropriately interpreted.
  • The required data is then extracted from patterns that are present in both horizontal and vertical components of the image. QR codes often contain data for a locator, identifier, or tracker that points to a website or application.
  • You can store up to 7,089 characters of numerical data or 4,296 alphanumerical characters in a standard QR Code, Micro QR Codes can hold up to 35 numeric characters and iQR Codes a massive 40,000 numerical characters.

MCQ 2

  • Which is not a toxic heavy metal
  1. Arsenic
  2. Lead
  3. Cadmium
  4. All are HMs
  • A toxic heavy metal is any relatively dense metal or metalloid that is noted for its potential toxicity, especially in environmental contexts. The term has particular application to cadmium, mercury, lead and arsenic,all of which appear in the World Health Organization's list of 10 chemicals of major public concern. Other examples include manganese, chromium, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, selenium, silver, antim ony and thallium.
  • Heavy metals are found naturally in the earth. They become concentrated as a result of human caused activities and can enter plant, animal, and human tissues via inhalation, diet, and manual handling. Then, they can bind to and interfere with the functioning of vital cellular components. The toxic effects of arsenic, mercury, and lead were known to the ancients, but methodical studies of the toxicity of some heavy metals appear to date from only 1868. In humans, heavy metal poisoning is generally treated by the administration of chelating agents. Some elements otherwise regarded as toxic heavy metals are essential, in small quantities, for human health.

MCQ 3

  • Bull Strike is a joint exercise between
  1. India & France
  2. India & USA
  3. India & SriLanka
  4. Between Indian Navy, Army & Air Force
  • Indian Armed Forces carried out Exercise Bull Strike at Teressa Island in Andaman and Nicobar.
  • The military drill, called Exercise Bullstrike, was conducted to showcase joint operations capability of the armed forces. During the exercise, the army personnel got the chance to display their prowess by undertaking company level airborne operation at Teressa island.
  • 170 troops from three services carried out para drop operations in a Combat Free Fall and Static Line mode. The Indian Army also shared a video of its personnel skydiving by jumping out of IAF aircraft and subsequently landing on the ground, surrounded by clear blue water.
  • Notably, in December last year, the Indian Air Force's Wing Commander Gajanand Yadava had created a record by jumping from an with twin flags measuring 30x20 feet each in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. Wing Commander Yadava belongs to the IAF's skydiving team 'Akashganga'. He had undertaken the jump from an AN-32 aircraft over Malpura Drop Zone in Agra. The jump was executed from an altitude of 12,000 feet above the ground on December 12, 2008.
  • Meanwhile, US chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Michael Richardson held meetings with top Indian military leadership to strengthen bilateral military ties. He held discussions with Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chairman of COSC and Chief of the Naval Staff and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa.
  • Indian Navy and US Navy regularly participate in maritime exercises such as MALABAR and RIMPAC and have regular interactions at bilateral and multilateral forums. India and US ties have seen significant development in the recent years and India was accorded major defense partner status by the US in 2016.

MCQ 4

  • _____to become the world's first country to measure its success based on the well-being of its citizens.
  1. Australia
  2. New Zealand
  3. Norway
  4. Sweden
  • New Zealand's world-first ‘wellbeing’ budget to focus on poverty and mental health
  • Country claims to be the first to measure success by people’s wellbeing
  • Child poverty, domestic violence and mental health will be the priorities in New Zealand’s “wellbeing budget”, the finance minister has announced, with the nation declaring itself the first in the world to measure success by its people’s wellbeing.
  • On Tuesday Grant Robertson said that despite New Zealand’s “rockstar” economy many New Zealanders were being left behind, with home ownership at a 60-year low, the suicide rate climbing and homelessness and food aid grants on the rise.
  • According to predictions by the International Monetary Fund, the New Zealand economy is expected to grow at around 2.5 % in 2019 and 2.9% in 2020. But Robertson emphasised many New Zealanders were not benefitting in their daily lives.
  • Although comparable countries such as the UK have begun to measure the national rate of wellbeing, New Zealand is the first western country to design its entire budget around wellbeing priorities and instruct its ministries to design policies to improve wellbeing.
  • The Kingdom of Bhutan kickstarted the global wellbeing focus with the introduction of the Gross National Happiness Index in 2008, measuring things such as psychological health, living standards, community vitality and environmental and cultural resilience to inform government policy making. But despite the index, the country remains a “least developed country” and the unemployment rate is rising. Bhutan also ranks 96 spots below the world’s happiest country, Finland, as defined by the UN in its annual World Happiness Report.

MCQ 5

  1. The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Second Ordinance, 2019 was promulgated on February 21, 2019. The Ordinance amends the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 which sets up the Medical Council of India (MCI) which regulates medical education and practice.
  2. The Ordinance provides for the Board of Governors to be assisted by a Secretary General appointed by the central government.
  • Choose correct

(A) Only 1

(B) Only 2

(C) Both

(D) None

The Indian Medical Council (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2019

  • The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Second Ordinance, 2019 was promulgated on February 21, 2019. The Ordinance amends the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 which sets up the Medical Council of India (MCI) which regulates medical education and practice. Note that, two similar Ordinance had been promulgated in September 2018 and January 2019. This Ordinance is effective from the date of the first Ordinance, i.e., September 26, 2018.
  • Supersession of the MCI: The 1956 Act provides for supersession of the MCI and its reconstitution within a period of three years. The Ordinance amends this provision to provide for the supersession of the MCI for a period of one year. In the interim period, the central government will constitute a Board of Governors, which will exercise the powers of the MCI.
  • The Act provides for the Board of Governors to consist of up to seven members including persons of eminence in medical education, appointed by the central government. The Ordinance amends this provision to increase the strength of the Board from seven members to 12 members. Further, it allows for persons with proven administrative capacity an experience to be selected in the Board. The Ordinance provides for the Board of Governors to be assisted by a Secretary General appointed by the central government.

MCQ 6

  • The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Amendment) Bill, 2019 amends the schedule
  1. 5th
  2. 10th
  3. 6th
  4. 11th
  • The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced in Rajya Sabha by the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Rajnath Singh on February 6, 2019. The Bill amends provisions related to the Finance Commission and the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. The Sixth Schedule relates to the administration of tribal areas in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
  • Village and Municipal Councils: The Sixth Schedule states that tribal areas in certain regions of these four states will be ‘autonomous districts’, each consisting of a District Council. Further, the Governor may divide an autonomous district into autonomous regions, each consisting of a Regional Council. The administration of autonomous districts and regions will be carried out by District and Regional Councils, respectively.
  • The Bill amends this to provide for Village and Municipal Councils in addition to the District and Regional Councils. Village Councils will be established for villages or groups of villages in rural areas, and Municipal Councils will be established in urban areas of each district. Further, the District Councils may make laws on various issues, including: (i) number of Village and Municipal Councils to be formed, and their composition, (ii) delimitation of constituencies for election to the Village and Municipal Councils, (iii) powers and functions of Village and Municipal Councils.
  • Further, the Bill states that the Governor may make rules for devolution of powers and responsibilities to the Village and Municipal Councils. Such rules may be framed in relation to: (i) preparation of plans for economic development, (ii) implementation of land reforms, (iii) urban and town planning, and (iv) regulation of land-use, among other functions.
  • State Finance Commission: The Bill provides the appointment of a Finance Commission for these states, to review the financial position of District, Village, and Municipal Councils. The Commission will make recommendations regarding: (i) distribution of taxes between states and District Councils, (ii) grants-in-aid to District, Village, and Municipal Councils from the Consolidated Fund of the state, (iii) and measures to improve the financial position of District, Village, and Municipal Councils.
  • Finance Commission: Under the Constitution, the functions of the Finance Commission include making recommendations to the President on: (i) distribution of taxes between the Union and states, and the (ii) provision of grants-in-aid to states. The Bill states that in addition to these functions, the Commission will make recommendations on measures to augment the Consolidated Fund of a state to provide resources to District Councils, Village Councils, and Municipal Councils in tribal areas in the four Sixth Schedule states.
  • Elections to councils: The Bill states that all elections to the District Councils, Regional Councils, Village Councils, and Municipal Councils will be conducted by the State Election Commission appointed by the Governor, for these four states.
  • Disqualification of members of councils: The Sixth Schedule provides that the Governor may make rules for the constitution of District and Regional Councils, including qualifications for being elected as members of these councils. The Bill adds that the Governor may make rules for the disqualification of such members on the grounds of defection.