Daily Current Affairs (MCQ) | Date 18.04.22

Daily Current Affairs (MCQ) | Date 18.04.22

Daily Current Affairs (MCQ) | Date 18.04.22

Q1. Consider the following statements with regard to the Monsoon forecast in India

1. The Long Period Average (LPA) of rainfall calculated by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) considers average rainfall of last 50 years
2. Both the El nino and the Indian Ocean Dipole affect monsoon rainfall in India

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : c

Why is the Question ?

Time for change
The IMD must update some processes and stress on shorter forecasts
A ‘normal’ monsoon:
1. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast a ‘normal’ monsoon for this year or 99% of the Long Period Average (LPA) of 87 cm.

2. The IMD has a multi-stage monsoon forecast system. The April forecast usually has little detail on how much rain is expected during each of the monsoon months, and whether the rain will be lopsided or evenly distributed geographically.
3. The IMD usually shares this detail in late May or early June, just around the time the monsoon is imminent over Kerala.
4. The forecast in April is thus only a general indicator and of little public utility.
Global weather phenomenon:
1. A normal monsoon forecast this year is also predicated on the absence of an El Niño, a warming of the Central Pacific linked to the drying up of monsoon rains.
2. However, another ocean parameter called the Indian Ocean Dipole, the positive phase of which is associated with good rains, has also been forecast to be ‘neutral’ or unhelpful for the monsoon.
The Long Period Average (LPA)
1. There has also been another significant bit of information made public. The IMD has changed its definition of the LPA, which is an indication of the average rainfall over a 50-year interval and, as per the norms of the World Meteorological Organization to which India is a signatory, should be updated every 10 years.
2. For myriad reasons, the IMD stuck with an LPA number of 89 cm (the average monsoon rain from 1951-2000) until 2018, when it was updated to 88 cm (to reflect the average from 1961-2010).

Cause of Concern:
1. To count for the 1971-2020 interval, the number is 87 cm. While on the surface, it might look like India is losing just a centimetre of rainfall every decade, it must be remembered that this conceals wide shifts in rainfall when computed at the State and district levels as the monsoon rain is highly uneven.
2. The IMD explains the loss of a centimetre every decade as part of a natural cycle of the monsoon where 30 years of less rain, or a ‘dry’ epoch, is followed by 30 years of a ‘wet epoch’.
3. India began a dry epoch in the 1970-80 decade, the IMD says; it is now in a neutral phase and will enter a wet epoch in the decade, 2030-2040.
4. The IMD has presented research over the years documenting the changes in the weather and rainfall in recent years down to sub-district levels and has said that global warming, in its tendency to heat the oceans, has certainly had a role to play.
5. Much like the update to the average, the IMD must update some processes and lay stress on shorter forecasts, a month or a fortnight ahead, rather than maintain anachronistic traditions of long-range forecasts that are neither accurate nor useful.

Q2. Which of the following states of India is most targeted by cyber attacks?

a. Gujarat
b. Punjab
c. Maharashtra
d. Kerala

Answer : c

Why is the Question ?

The status of India’s National Cyber Security Strategy
Urgent Need for Cyber Security Strategy:
1. As per American cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks’ 2021 report, Maharashtra was the most targeted State in India — facing 42% of all ransomware attacks.
2. The report stated that India is among the more economically profitable regions for hacker groups and hence these hackers ask Indian firms to pay a ransom, usually using cryptocurrencies, in order to regain access to the data.
3. One in four Indian organisations suffered a ransomware attack in 2021. Indian organisations witnessed a 218% increase in ransomware — higher than the global average of 21%.
4. Software and services (26%), capital goods (14%) and the public sector (9%) were among the most targeted sectors. An increase in such attacks has brought to light the urgent need for strengthening India’s cybersecurity.

Q3. Which of the following agencies is responsible for investigation of Money laundering related offences?

a. The Securities and Exchange Board of India
b. Reserve Bank of India
c. Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO)
d. Enforcement Directorate

Answer : d

Why is the Question ?

The functioning of the Enforcement Directorate
1. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is in the news now and often. It goes back to May 1, 1956, when an ‘Enforcement Unit’ was formed in the Department of Economic Affairs, for handling Exchange Control Laws violations under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA).
2. The ED today is a multi-dimensional organisation investigating economic offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, Foreign Exchange Management Act and FERA.
From where does the ED get its powers?
1. When proceeds of crime (property/money) are generated, the best way to save that money is by parking it somewhere, so one is not answerable to anyone in the country. Therefore, there was a need to control and prevent the laundering of money.
2. The PMLA was brought in for this exact reason in 2002, but was enacted only in 2005. The objective was to prevent parking of the money outside India and to trace out the layering and the trail of money.
3. So as per the Act, the ED got its power to investigate under Sections 48 (authorities under act) and 49 (appointment and powers of authorities and other officers).
4. If money has been laundered abroad, the PMLA court (constituted as per the Act) has the right to send a letter of rogatory under Section 105 (reciprocal arrangements regarding processes) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

5. The said government can then share the documents and evidence needed by the agency.
At what stage does the ED step in when a crime is committed?
1. Whenever any offence is registered by a local police station, which has generated proceeds of crime over and above ₹1 crore, the investigating police officer forwards the details to the ED.
2. Alternately, if the offence comes under the knowledge of the Central agency, they can then call for the First Information Report (FIR) or the charge sheet if it has been filed directly by police officials. This will be done to find out if any laundering has taken place.
What differentiates the probe between the local police and officers of the ED?
1. Consider the following scenario: If a theft has been committed in a nationalised bank, the local police station will first investigate the crime. If it is learnt that the founder of the bank took all the money and kept it in his house, without being spent or used, then the crime is only theft and the ED won’t interfere because the amount has already been seized.
2. But if the amount which has been stolen is used after four years to purchase some properties, then the ill-gotten money is brought back in the market; or if the money is given to someone else to buy properties in different parts of the country, then there is ‘laundering’ of money and the ED will need to step in and look into the layering and attachment of properties to recover the money.

Q4. Consider the following statements with regard to the working paper of the World Bank titled Poverty in India Has Declined over the Last Decade But Not As Much As Previously Thought

1. Extreme poverty in India was 12.3 percentage points lower in 2019 compared with 2011
2. Poverty reduction was higher in rural areas compared with urban India during the period 2011-2019
3. These observations are based on the National Sample Survey (NSS) consumer expenditure of 2017-2018

Which of the above is/are correct?

a. 1 and 2 only
b. 2 and 3 only
c. 1 and 3 only
d. 1, 2 and 3

Answer : a

Why is the Question ?

India’s Extreme Poverty Down To 10.2%: World Bank Research

1. Extreme poverty in India was 12.3 percentage points lower in 2019 compared with 2011, as poverty headcount rate declined from 22.5% in 2011 to 10.2% in 2019, with acomparatively sharper decline in rural areas, a working paper of the World Bank policy research said
2. The findings came close on the heels of a working paper published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) saying India has almost eradicate extreme poverty and brought down consumption inequality to its lowest levels in 40 years through state-funded food handouts.
3. Poverty reduction was higher in rural areas compared with urban India as rural poverty declined from 26.3% in 2011 to 11.6% in 2019, while in urban areas the decline was from 14.2% to 6.3% in the corresponding period, the World Bank paper said.
4. Rural and urban poverty dropped by 14.7 and 7.9 percentage points during 2011-2019, said the working paper titled Poverty in India Has Declined over the Last Decade But Not As Much As Previously Thought.
5. Smallholder farmers have experienced higher income growth, according to the study. Real incomes for farmers with the smallest landholdings have grown by 10 percent in annualised terms between the two survey rounds (2013 and 2019) compared to a 2 percent growth for farmers with the largest landholding, it said.
Significance:
1. The World Bank’s paper is significant as India has no official estimation of recent periods. The last expenditure survey was released in 2011 by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), when the country had also released official estimates of poverty and inequality.

2. “This paper sheds light on how poverty and inequality have evolved since 2011 using a new household panel survey, the Consumer Pyramids Household Survey conducted by a private data company,” the authors said.
3. In view of the data quality issues, in November 2019, the ministry of statistics and programme implementation (MOSPI) had decided to hold the release of the consumer expenditure survey results of 2017-18.
Economic Slowdowns and Poverty
1. Urban poverty in India rose by 2 percentage points in 2016, coinciding with the demonetisation, and rural poverty rose by 10 basis points in 2019, coinciding with a slowdown in the economy, according to the World Bank’s research paper.
2. The paper also talked about consumption inequality. “We observe a slight moderation in consumption inequality since 2011, but by a margin smaller than what is reported in the unreleased NSS-2017 survey,” the authors said.
3. “Finally, the extent of poverty reduction during 2015-2019 is estimated to be notably lower than earlier projections based on growth in private final consumption expenditure reported in national account statistics.”

Q5. Consider the following statements with regard to the Telemedicine services

1. Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres across India have started offering telemedicine services
2. E-sanjeevani facilitates doctor to doctor and Doctor to patient services

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : c

Why is the Question ?

Telemedicine services get a boost as govt looks to strengthen online consultation
1. Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres across India have started offering telemedicine services, as the health ministry is focusing on strengthening online medical consultation services with specialists especially for patients in remote areas after the demand for online medical consultation seeing a rise during pandemic.
2. These AB-HWCs are being revolutionised by connecting them with E-Sanjeevani Teleconsultation services, which is providing free and affordable health care to all.
3. The government seeks to establish 150,000 such health centres, out of which 117,440 have been made operational by March 2022.
Teleconsultation services
1. All these centres (AB-HWCs) have started offering online consultations. Although private hospitals had been offering online health care services for some time, the huge response to the central government’s e-Sanjeevani initiative has led to the Centre’s focus on strengthening online consultations
2. Apart from providing patients in rural and remote areas access to a specialist advice without travelling long distances,the move also led to decreased load in hospitals, especially tertiary care hospitals, which is a huge problem for super speciality hospitals in the country as many end up seeing in their outpatient departments (OPDs) patients needing primary care, according to a government official.
3. People in many states have been quick to recognise the benefits of e-Sanjeevani and this has led to an encouraging trend of widespread rapid adoption of this digital modality of seeking health services.
Increased demand for online consultations
1. That the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in increased demand for online consultations has been established through surveys conducted by providers of tele-consultation services.
2. Practo reported transactions by 120 million users in the three waves of Covid-19, and analysed the trends with regard to specialities, demographics and outlined their consequent impact on the healthcare ecosystem of the country. Practo is a medical website that helps connect to medical specialists.
3. Demand in the public sector seems to be no different, with the health ministry announcing last month that its eSanjeevani platform set a record of sorts by offering close to 200,000 consultations in a day, and around 50 million consultations since it was started.
About
1. e-Sanjeevani was conceptualised by the Mohali branch of the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) in 2019 as a Doctor-to-Doctor telemedicine platform.
2. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in March 2020 conceptualised another version of e-Sanjeevani for Patient-to-Doctor telemedicine.

3. Also called the National Teleconsultation Service, it aims to provide healthcare services to patients in their homes.
4. On 13th April 2020, e-Sanjeevani OPD was launched to facilitate health services for patients in the confines of their homes.

Q6. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigates offences under following acts

1. The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)
2. Fugitive Economic Offenders Act
3. The Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA)
4. The Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA)

Select the correct answer from the codes given below

a. 1, 2 and 3
b. 2, 3 and 4
c. 1, 2 and 4
d. 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer : d

Why is the Question ?

The functioning of the Enforcement Directorate
1. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is in the news now and often. It goes back to May 1, 1956, when an ‘Enforcement Unit’ was formed in the Department of Economic Affairs, for handling Exchange Control Laws violations under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA).
2. The ED today is a multi-dimensional organisation investigating economic offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, Foreign Exchange Management Act and FERA