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Vajiram And Ravi Current Affairs April 2017 Download

Vajiram And Ravi Current Affairs April 2017 Download

Content :


1.1.      Ten New Names For 'Swachh Iconic Places' Initiative

·    The Union government has announced the name of 10 new iconic places under the Phase II of Swachh Iconic Places initiative.

·    The new iconic places under Phase II are - Somnath Temple in Gujarat; Gangotri, Yamunotri and  Char  Minar in Hyderabad; Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain; Church and Convent of St Francis of  Assissi in Goa; Adi Shank arachar ya’s   abode Kaladi in Ernakulam; Gomateshwar in Shravanbelgola; Baijnath Dham in Devghar; and Gaya Tirth in Bihar.

·    Swachh Iconic Places (SIP) is an initiative of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation under Swachh  Bharat Mission. The Swachh Bharat Mission covers all rural and urban areas. The urban component of the mission will be implemented by the Ministry of Urban Development, and the rural component by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

·    The aim of Swachch Iconic Places is to make 100 places model Swachch Tourist Destinations that will enhance the experience of visitors.

·    The ten Iconic places that are already under implementation in Phase I are: Ajmer Sharif Dargah, CST Mumbai, Golden Temple (Amritsar), Kamakhya Temple (Assam), Maikarnika Ghat (Varanasi), Meenakshi  Temple  (Madurai)  Shri  Mata  Vaishno  Devi  (Katra,  J&K),     Shree Jagannath Temple (Puri), The Taj Mahal (Agra), Tirupati Temple (Tirumala).

For details on Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Plz refer Sec 1.3 in Part 7 (Nov 2016) of CA Magazine.

1.2.      Conference on Dara Shikoh Held in New Delhi

·    The international conference on "Dara Shikoh: Reclaiming Spiritual Legacy of India" has been organised by Indian Council Of Cultural Relations (ICCR).

·    The objective of  the conference is  to  present Dara  Shikoh's contribution and initiatives in bringing  about spiritual homogenisation of Hinduism and      Islam, and thereby building a cohesive social and cultural edifice of India.

·    The conference saw the participation of eminent scholars, academics and historians from the US, Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan      and India.

Dara Shikoh

·    Dara Shikoh was the eldest son of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. He was also the heir- apparent  of the Mughal Emperor. However, Dara Shikoh was          defeated and killed by his younger brother Aurangzeb in a struggle for the imperial throne.

·    Through his research and study of Vedas and Upanishads, Dara Shikoh concluded that a common spiritual basis existed between Hinduism and Islam        which should be comprehended and celebrated.

·    In his foreword to the monumental work, "Siri-Akbar" (The Great Secret), Dara Shikoh wrote that a great deal of Quranic wisdom existed in                        upanishads.

·    Dara Shikoh documented the Quranic terms and their Sanskrit equivalents from Upanishads. He aspired to build a cultural model for India which, if it            prevailed, would have saved South Asia from many tragedies which it faced in the future.

·    The study of India begins with the translation of the Upanishads and Dara Shikoh had them translated into Persian. The Europeans at that time did not        read Sanskrit and so they read the Upanishads in Persian which were later translated into Latin.

1.3.      Panel Moots UID Numbers For Cows

 Why In News

A unique identification number for animals has been suggested by an expert panel to evolve a mechanism to stop trafficking of cattle across the Indo-Bangla border. The committee was set up in pursuance of the court order.

 Recommendations Of The Committee

·    Each animal should be tagged with proper records of identification details, including age, breed, sex, lactation, height, colour, horn type, tail switch and         special marks.

·    The Chief Secretary of respective States should regularly monitor the performance of various departments of the State governments, including RTO,            state police and animal husbandry department and ensure prevention of cattle smuggling /illegal transportation of cattle by way of periodic reports.

·    At the central level, monitoring could be done by Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC)/Department of Animal                        Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DADF).

·    Union Ministry of Agriculture has devised a method for tamper proof identification of cattle using polyurethane tags with a unique identification number          sequence.

·    The panel recommended strict enforcement of the Export Import Policy by the relevant customs authorities, transport department, police and border             guarding forces as per the law.

·    The panel said even where animals are travelling with a licence across the border, care may be taken to check the manner in which they are being              transported to prevent cruelty to them.

 Need For Tagging

·    The Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act read with Export Import Policy (Exim policy) of India mandates that cattle can only be exported           from the country with a valid licence from the regional licensing authority.

·    However, in absence of proper data base and identification methods, the implementing authority finds difficulties in preventing smuggling.

·    Cattle  smuggling  has  become  a  “by-product”  of  the  dairy  industry.  Stray,  “retired”  and abandoned cattle face high risk of falling into smugglers’          hand. So, cattle smuggling should be stopped at the source, instead of on the India-Bangladesh border at the cost of the lives of BSF jawans.

·    According to the government, four BSF jawans were killed and 302 injured in skirmishes with cattle smugglers over the past three years.

·    The issue also includes concern over smuggling of cattle to Nepal for being sacrificed at the Gadhimai festival, held once in five years.

1.4.      Child Artists Can Work Only For 5 Hours A Day

 Why In News

The  Labour  Ministry  has  proposed  the  draft  Child  Labour  (Prohibition  and  Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017 to fix the working conditions for child artists and for employing children in family enterprises.

 Key Provisions 

·    While a child artist will not be allowed to work for more than five hours a day, a child “assisting” in  a  family business  can  only  work  for  three  hours          a  day.  The  permission  of  the  district magistrate  would be mandatory for engaging a child artist. Children will be allowed to assist their family in                running       family enterprises “without affecting” their school education. The family would include parents, real siblings, and “real brother and sister of          the parents.

·    Such children will not be allowed to engage in any production, supply or retail chain which is “remunerative for the family and hazardous activities.” At          least 20% of the income earned by the child artist will be required to be deposited in a fixed deposit account “in a nationalised bank”. The money would        be credited to the child after she turns 18.

·    The production unit must nominate a person, who would be held responsible for the safety and security of the child artiste. A child cannot take part in a        “street performance for monetary gain”.


·    The government had brought recently Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016, which put a blanket ban on employment of              children below 14 years of age.

·    However, it had made two exceptions in favour of child labour: children could work as child artistes (in the entertainment sector), and could “help” in their      family enterprises.

·    This act was criticized for tweaking the law in such a way that children are in some form or other available for employment.

·    There were no clarity on different issues such as definition of family, number of hours that a child can actually work. It created problems in                            implementation of act.

·    In this context, the draft rule is laudable and a positive step towards regulating the child labour in India.

·    For details on child labour, plz refer Sec 4.3 in Part 4(Aug 2016) of CA Magazine.

Test Your Self :
1.      Consider  the  following  statements  about Padayani Dance:
1.   It is a traditional folk dance of Andhra Pradesh, India.
2.   It is part of worship of Bhadrakali and is staged  in  temples  dedicated   to   the goddess  from  mid-December  to  mid- May.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
a)  1 only b)  2 only
c)   Both 1 and 2
d)  Neither 1 nor 2


2.      Consider  the  following  statements  about Paika Rebellion:

1.   It   was led by Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar  —  the  military  chief  of  the King of Khurda.

2.   It took place in 1817 in Odisha.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a)  1 only b)  2 only

c)   Both 1 and 2

d)  Neither 1 nor 2

3.      Which of the following is true about “Project Saksham

a)  It is being implemented by Ministry of Social Justice

b)  The project will help in empowering the disabled persons

c)   A New Indirect Tax Network (Systems Integration)  of  the  Central  Board  of Excise and Customs launched for the implementation of Goods and Services Tax.

d)  None of the above


4.      Which  of  the  following  is  true  regarding “STRAND LB”

a)  It   is  a   test   offered  by  Strand   Life Sciences,  which  claims  to  be  able  to detect traces of a tumour “from a simple blood draw”.

b)  It  is  a  newly  developed  method  of genome sequencing.

c)   It is the name of a vaccine developed to fight against TB.

d)  None of the above


5.      Consider  the  following  statements  about National Investigating Agency (NIA):

1.   The  Agency  came  into  existence  with the enactment of the National Investigation Agency Act 2008.

2.   The agency is empowered to deal with terror related crimes across states with special permission from the states. Which  of  the  above  statement(s)  is/are correct?

a)  1 only b)  2 only

c)   Both 1 and 2

d)  Neither 1 nor 2


6.      Consider the following pairs: Military exercise – Participating country

1.   Varuna - France

2.   Nomadic Elephant – Mangolia

3.   Surya Kiran – Nepal

Which  of  the  above  pairs  is/are  correctly matched?

a)  1 only

b)  1 and 2 only

c)   1, 2 and 3

d)  None of the above


7.      The International Energy Agency (IEA) is

a)  An  autonomous intergovernmental organization  established   in   the framework of    the   Organisation  for Economic  Co-operation   and Development (OECD).

b)  Specialized agency of United Nations.

c) A non-governmental organisation for generating awareness regarding energy security.

d)  A special body of European Union for energy cooperation with other nations.


8.      Which  of  the  statement/s  is/are  correct regarding Harare Declaration?

1.   The Harare Declaration was adopted on

21     August 1989, by the OAU (Organisation of African Unity) sub- committee  on  Southern  Africa  in  its summit in Harare, Zimbabwe.

2.   The Declaration urged the countries for taking measures to end apartheid and to define a new constitutional order based on a set of democratic principles.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a)  1 only

b)  2 only

c)   Both 1 and 2

d)  Neither 1 nor 2


9.   Which  of  the statements    are    correct regarding International Organisation    for Migration?

1.   IOM is an   inter-governmental organization in the field of migration.

2.   IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration and to promote international cooperation on migration issues.

      Select the  correct answer using the code given below:

a)  1 only b)  2 only

c)   Both 1 and 2

d)  Neither 1 nor 2


10.      Which  of  the  statement/s  is/are  correct regarding Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons?

1.   The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is the implementing body  of  the Chemical   Weapons Convention  (CWC)  which  entered         into force in 1997.

2.   India  is  a  signatory of  the  convention and has ratified it.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a)  1 only b)  2 only

c)   Both 1 and 2

d)  Neither 1 nor 2


11.      Which of the statements    are    correct regarding “Mother Of All Bombs”?

1.  The "Mother of All Bombs" - Massive Ordnance Air Blast, is the most powerful non-nuclear  weapon  in   America's arsenal.

2.   The bomb was used for the first time in combat against terrorist organisation, Islamic State in Afghanistan.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a)  1 only b)  2 only

c)   Both 1 and 2

d)  Neither 1 nor 2


12.      Consider the following statements regarding Dara Shikoh:

1.   He   was   the   eldest   son   of   Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.

2.   He documented the Quranic terms and their Sanskrit equivalents from Upanishads.

      Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 only b)  2 only

c)   Both 1 and 2

d)  Neither 1 nor 2


13.      Consider the following statements regarding the draft Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017:

1.   A child artiste will not be allowed to work for more than five hours a day.

2. A child cannot take part in a “street performance for monetary gain”.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 only b)  2 only

c)   Both 1 and 2

d)  Neither 1 nor 2


14.      Consider the following statements regarding two fundamental conventions of ILO on Prohibition Of Child Labour:

1.   The  Convention  concerning  Minimum Age    for   Admission    to   Employment specifies minimum age for labour as 15 years.

2.   The   minimum   age   of   16   years   is specified for work, which “is likely to jeopardise the health, safety or morals of young persons.” Which of the             statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b)  2 only

c)   Both 1 and 2

d)  Neither 1 nor 2

15.      Consider the following statements regarding National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF):

1.   This framework outlines a methodology to rank institutions across the country.

2.   The   parameters  broadly cover “Teaching, Learning and Resources,” “Research and Professional Practices,” “Graduation Outcomes,” “Outreach and Inclusivity,” and “Perception”

3.   It  covers  six  categories  of  institutions including universities, engineering, management, pharmacy,  architecture and colleges. Which of the                       statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1, 2 and 3

b)  2 and 3 only

c)   1 and 3 only

d)  1 and 2 only

16.      Consider the following statements regarding the National Trust:

1.   The  National  Trust  is  a  non-statutory body  of  the  Ministry  of  Social  Justice and Empowerment.

2.   It  aims  to  create  an  inclusive  society which values  human  diversity and enables and empowers full participation of  Persons  with  Disability to  live independently with dignity, equal rights and opportunities.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 only b)  2 only

c)   Both 1 and 2

d)  Neither 1 nor 2

17.      Gwadar Port is located

a)   Near Bay of Bengal.

b)  At the Western Ghats of India.

c)   In  southeastern  Iran  on  the  Gulf  of Oman.

d)  In Pakistan at the mouth of the Persian Gulf just outside the Strait of Hormuz.


18.      Barak is a

a)  Torpedo launch recovery vehicle.

b)   Anti tank missile.

c)   Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.

d)  Surface to air missile.

19.      Which    of   the    statements    are    correct regarding Defence Acquisition Council?

1.   The DAC is Defence Ministry’s highest decision    making     body    for    capital acquisition proposals forwarded by the Indian armed forces.

2.   It was set up in 2001 as part of the post- Kargil reforms in defence sector. Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a)  1 only

b)  2 only

c)   Both 1 and 2

d)  Neither 1 nor 2



1.   B

2.   C

3.   C

4.   A

5.   A

6.   C

7.   A

8.   C

9.   C

10. C

11.  C

12. C

13.  C

14. A

15. A

16. B

17.  D

18. D

19. C



Feature Article:

NITI Aayog: Performance At 2


Niti Aayog has turned two years old in January 2017. It is meant to serve as a state-of-the-art resource centre for research on policy innovations, propagate a culture of high-quality monitoring and  evaluation  as  well  as  promote  collaboration  between  policymakers  and researchers.  The anniversary offers an opportunity to reflect on how the new institution differs from its predecessor, the Planning Commission, and what functions it performs. Also, how it has performed so far and what are the challenges ahead for it to fulfil its mandates.


The Planning Commission has a distinguished past.  Planning was seen as deliverance, and India was primed for planning. The PC grew into a power centre within independent India’s government. Its prestige  owed much to the significance Nehru attached to its work. During these years, it became the institutional face of the Indian development story. Its successes in the 1950s, especially in industrial production, drew the attention of developing nations such as Ghana, Egypt, Yugoslavia and Indonesia. It became so powerful that in the summer of 1950, the govt was forced to accept the resignation of its FM John Matthai, who had only recently formally introduced the PC to the nation in  Parliament.  Matthai  later  revealed  that  his  resignation  was  precipitated  by  the  disquieting escalation of the commission’s powers which had begun encroaching on ministerial prerogatives by participating in cabinet meetings and involving itself in day-to-day administration. In effect, it was becoming a “parallel cabinet.” The erstwhile PC used to perform three functions:

1.  First and foremost, it used to draw a blueprint for the country’s economic development over a five-year period as well as outlining a detailed strategy for achieving the goals and objectives enshrined  in  the  blueprint  which  we  call  the  Plan.  After  approval  of  the  FYP,  the  PC  in consultation with the FM also determined the annual plan. The determination of the “size” of the annual plan of each State was a major exercise and had been a cause of much irritation.

2.  Second, flowing from its function of determining the size of plans for States, the PC allocated funds to States, distribution of which had again been a contentious issue.

3.  Third, the PC had a key role in the formulation of various policies and programmes. It critically assessed the individual programmes of Ministries. Major projects were also assessed and approved  by it. It was this function which resulted in a parallel unit corresponding to every Ministry being  established in the PC. The Ministries regard the implementation of projects as their prime responsibility and very often considered the PC as a hindrance.


Planning was perceived in the 1950s as the most appropriate tool for ushering in faster economic growth. This was consistent with the thinking at that time that the state must have control over the “commanding  heights”. Due to recently acquired independence and infant democratic political establishment, State was required to act as regulator as well as provider of goods and services. So, State’s interference was indispensable for planned balanced growth.

But, the planned development of State gradually started to show its pitfalls. It actually began from1960s, when successive droughts and poor harvests led the government to abandon planning for an interregnum of three years, which we know as  plan holiday. It was embarrassed when, in the mid-1980s, the then PM, Rajiv Gandhi, referred to its members (including former PM Manmohan Singh) as a “bunch of jokers”. The BJP election manifesto of 1998 declared that it “opposed senseless central planning”.

In addition to inefficiency, times have changed in the post-liberalisation period. We have moved, at best, to an era of indicative planning. The blend of public and private investment has tilted in favour of the private sector. The State now was required to act as a facilitator, rather than acting as a big brother.

Thus, the scepticism about the utility of a PC started to show off and reflected how far opinion has shifted over the last six decades. In an altered polity and economy, centralised planning — an idea that had once  gripped the minds of many nation-builders — has lost traction. Once capable of dethroning ministers, it has now seen its demise. Clearly, its demise is atrributable only in part to the ideological belief that planning is passe in this age of markets and globalisation. The demise is also significantly attributable to its poor performance and growing irrelevance.


Click here to Download Feature Article April -2017

Courtesy: Vajiram And Ravi