1. Prologue
  2. Economy and Yearbook: Compared to Last Year’s prelim
  3. Pillar #1: Banking, Finance, Insurance & Pension
  4. Pillar #2: Budget, Taxation & Black Money
  5. Pillar #3: Balance of Payment (BoP), International Trade & Orgs.
  6. Pillar #4: Sectors of Economy
  7. Pillar #5: Infrastructure & its finance
  8. Pillar #6: Human Resource Development (HRD)


  • Every UPSC prelim paper is an art piece in itself. My analysis for the earlier papers, is available under https://mrunal.org/answerkeys
  • Candidates tend to get very emotional and aggressive on the Prelims Answerkey articles. So, I request all to maintain civility during the comment discussions. Because UPSC’s official answerkey will be the ultimate judge, there is no need to use harsh language for anyone. [except for Team India, because they totally deserve it all the time.]
  • Every teacher will try to justify that maximum number of questions came from his subject only. In my classification, it’d seem 29 questions are related to economy and yearbook. while others websites’ classification may differ depending on whether they put educational schemes under polity-governance and whether they put international funds, reports and bodies under Environment or IR.
  • This time, I’m not putting agriculture schemes under fourth pillar  (i.e. sectors of economy), because the way questions are unfolding in recent years, it’s better to treat agro schemes under Environment subtopic Agriculture, for faster revision.

Economy and Yearbook: Compared to Last Year’s prelim

pillar 2016 2017
Nothing from
  • One MCQ from Finance topic (FSDC)
  • Nothing from micro-economics
  • Nothing from rail budget 2016
  • Nothing from finance, sharemarket.
  • Nothing from microeconomics.
  • Nothing from budget 2017 provisions related to Railway!
Banking, Finance, Insurance, Pension
  • Payment bank asked
  • CBS asked
  • Atal Pension
  • Small finance bank asked
  • NPCi, UPI asked.
  • NPS
  • Fiscal deficit related question continuously asked in 2015 and 2016.
  • BEPS asked (about black money allied topics)
  • Again asked with combination of Tax to GDP ratio.
  • Benami property act asked.
  • WTO subsidies boxes asked
  • Low profile organization asked IMFC
  • WTO’s TFA agreement asked.
  • Low profile organization PREM continues-
  • Stand up India, PM Mudra etc. easier to follow schemes.
  • Tougher and obscure organizations and schemes such as NSQF, BIS, AGMARK, QCI etc.
  • Easy questions about UDAY Bonds and district mineral foundation.
  • Obscure summits and low profile institutes such as APMCHUD, Global infrastructure fund etc.
  • Hunger index report asked.
  • Modi schemes portals related to education – SWAYAM, Digilocker
  • Gender Gap index report (last year, had asked about Global financial stability report and ease of doing biz. report)
  • Modi schemes: Vidhyanjali, Smart Hackathon.
Atleast few MCQs were pure economics theory, such as how to curb fiscal deficit, or the components of capital budget. Pretty much every MCQ was either current or contemporary topics.

  • Other than this, whatever I’ve to say about individual question, I’ve written it along with the answer itself. The question numbers correspond to “D” series question booklet.
  • Bigger picture, overall analysis and strategy for future…that I’ll publish after the individual subjects’ answerkeys are over.

Pillar #1: Banking, Finance, Insurance & Pension

Digital Payment

29. Consider the following statements:
1. National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) helps in promoting the financial inclusion in the country.
2. NPCI has launched RuPay, a card payment scheme.
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

Mrunal’s Lecture on BES171/ Banking Transactions#3, both are correct. NPCi is a not-for-profit company formed by various banks, with primary objective of providing cost-effective payment solutions to the banks (so they don’t have to rely on expensive contracts of Visa, Mastercard, Infosys etc). But, NPCi’s solutions such as IMPS, BHIM, RuPay, AEPS etc. have indeed helped in financial inclusion. So first is correct. And second is correct- NPCi launched Rupay card in 2012, as 7th payment gateway in the world.

Difficulty: ★☆☆ [very easy because explained in the lecture itself.]
Current Affairs Span: 2008 when it was setup, to 2016- because of BHIM.

68. Which of the following is a most likely consequence of implementing the ‘Unified Payments Interface (UPI)’?
(a) Mobile wallets will not be necessary for online payments.
(b) Digital currency will totally replace the physical currency in about two decades.
(c) FDI inflows will drastically increase.
(d) Direct transfer of subsidies to poor people will become very effective.

Mrunal’s Lecture on BES171/ Banking Transactions#3, “A” is the most appropriate choice. Mobile wallets will not be necessary, because your mobile number is directly linked with the bank account using bank’s ‘customized app’ which is built on the UPI platform.
Another source: Financial Express article

Difficulty: ★☆☆ [very easy because explained in the lecture itself.]
Current Affairs Span: 2015 when it was launched to 2016 because of demonetization.

Monetary Policy

86. Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)?
1. It decides the RBI’s benchmark interest rates.
2. It is a 12-member body including the Governor of RBI and is reconstituted every year.
3. It functions under the chairmanship of the Union Finance Minister.
Select the correct answer using the code given below :
(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 2 and 3 only

Mrunal’s Lecture on  BES171/ Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy review
MPC has 6 members, not 12; and it’s headed by RBI governor and not Finance Minister. So statement 2 and 3 are wrong, hence by elimination, we reach answer (A) only 1 correct.

Difficulty: ★☆☆ [very easy because explained in the lecture itself.]
Current Affairs Span: 2014 when Urjit Patel Committee recommended this, to 2016, August when Government actually amended RBI act to implement this.


14. Which of the following statements best describes the term ‘Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A)’, recently seen in the news?
(a) It is a procedure for considering ecological costs of developmental schemes formulated by the Government.
(b) It is a scheme of RBI for reworking the financial structure of big corporate entities facing genuine difficulties.
(c) It is a disinvestment plan of the Government regarding Central Public Sector Undertakings.
(d) It is an important provision in ‘The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code’ recently implemented by the Government.

Mrunal’s Lecture on BES171/NPA#3 , S4A is RBI’s scheme for restructuring of corporate loans, hence “B” is the most appropriate among the given options.

Difficulty: ★☆☆ [very easy because explained in the lecture itself.]
Current Affairs Span: June 2016 when RBI notified this to Jan 2017 when Economic Survey mentioned this in its timeline under Volume 1, Chapter 4: Twin Balancesheet Problem.

Evolution & Classification of Banks

65. What is the purpose of setting up of Small Finance Banks (SFBs) in India?
1. To supply credit to small business units
2. To supply credit to small and marginal farmers
3. To encourage young entrepreneurs to set up business particularly in rural areas.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Mrunal’s lecture on BES171/ Classification of Differential Banks
While directly, indirectly, all three will be encouraged because of Small Finance banks.
But Rajanbhai’s specific motives were 1 and 2 only, when he invited the applications in 2014.  Hence answer only 1 and 2.

Difficulty: ★★☆ [easy to tough depending on seconds thoughts in the actual examhall, about statement #3]
Current Affairs Span: 2015 when RBI invited applications to April 2016 when first Small Finance Bank started operations.

Insurance & Pension

54. Who among the following can join the National Pension System (NPS)?
(a) Resident Indian citizens only
(b) Persons of age from 21 to 55 only
(c) All State Government employees joining the services after the date of notification by the respective State Governments
(d) All Central Government employees including those of Armed Forces joining the services on or after 1st April, 2004

While I had given the gist of NPS in my BES171/Financial Inclusion#2 lecture, but I did not cover these particular factoids. So, let’s check IYB-2017

  • Chapter 13 Finance: NPS was compulsory for new central govt recruits (except armed forces) WEF 1/1/2004. so “D” is wrong.
  • Chapter 8 Communication: Any Indian between 18 to 55 can join NPS. So “B” is wrong.
  • PFRDA’s FAQ: can NRI open NPS account? Answer is yes, subject to RBI and FEMA norms.
  • So we are left with answer “C”. Although technically, “C” is also wrong because originally it was new pension scheme (NPS), not National pension system- that term was coined only AFTER it was made open for all citizens.

Difficulty: ★★☆
Current Affairs Span: 2003-04 when it was launched as new pension schemes for Government employees to 2009 when it was thrown open for all citizens and hence renamed as national pension system.

Pillar #2: Budget, Taxation & Black Money

31. What is/are the most likely advantages of implementing ‘Goods and Services Tax (GST)’?
1. It will replace multiple taxes collected by multiple authorities and will thus create a single market in India.
2. It will drastically reduce the ‘Current Account Deficit’ of India and will enable it to increase its foreign exchange reserves.
3. It will enormously increase the growth and size of economy of India and will enable it to overtake China in the near future.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Mrunal’s Lecture BES172/ GST simplified for Competitive Exams
Exports will become ZERO RATED under GST, so statements 2 and 3 would have been correct If examiner had used moderate words “GST will help”. But he has used ‘extreme’ words.

  • GST is unlikely to ‘drastically’ reduce CAD Because of crude oil import and OPEC cartel that manipulates its prices.
  • Similarly, GST is unlikely to enormously increase size of our economy (IMF projection ~1-1.5% addition in growth rate.) and we can’t overtake China in near future, because it’ll require currency undervaluation and labour exploitation which requires ‘Daringbaaz’ leader like 11th JingPing (नाम तो सुना होगा!)
  • Hence statement 2 and 3 are wrong. We are left with Answer A.

Difficulty: ★☆☆
Current Affairs Span: 2007, when it was first proposed in the budget to 2016 when it was passed.

95. With reference to the ‘Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988 (PBPT Act)’, consider the following statements:
1. A property transaction is not treated as a benami transaction if the owner of the property is not aware of the transaction.
2. Properties held benami are liable for confiscation by the Government.
3. The Act provides for three authorities for investigations but does not provide for any appellate mechanism.
Which of the statements .given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 2 and 3 only

Mrunal’s Lecture BES172/Black Money #1
Well, there is an appellate tribunal, and they’re required to finish case within one year. So #3 is wrong, by elimination, we are left with A and B. So, B is most appropriate because IT dept (=therefore Government) can seize the benami properties.

Difficulty: ★☆☆ [easy through elimination]
Current Affairs Span: 2016, when the original act of 1988 was amended.

44. Consider the following statements :
1. Tax revenue as a percent of GDP of India has steadily increased in the last decade.
2. Fiscal deficit as a percent of GDP of India has steadily increased in the last decade.
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

I’ve taken data from Table 2.1, page 46, Volume-1, Economic Survey 2014-15, and plotted it on this line graph.

Now, what did the examiner mean by decade?

Parameters Decade 2001-2011 Decade 2006-2016 Conclusion
(Gross) Tax : GDP Steady fall after sub-prime crisis (2007-2010) and then recovery. Except the fall in 2008 to 2010, there is steady growth. First statement is (mostly) right, except the slight fall during the GFC phase.
Fiscal Deficit to GDP Decline between 2009-11. so statement #2 is wrong. Steadily declining from 2011 to 2016. so, statement #2 is wrong. Second statement wrong.

Conclusion: statement #1 is either right or wrong depending on how much brain did the examiner apply over the word “steadily” vs how much hairsplitting did the candidate do over the word “steadily”? If we go only by the strict interpretation of above graph then answer should be “D”, but ultimate judge is UPSC’s official answerkey. Update: Official UPSC Answer – D Neither tax revenue nor fiscal deficit steadily increased.

Difficulty: ★★☆
Current Affairs Span: as such a ‘decade’, but mostly 2016-17 because of

  1. CEA Subramanian’s constant Chetan-bhagat giri about fiscal capacity in the last two surveys,
  2. Jaitley’s budget 2017 statements that we are basically a tax non-compliant society
  3. Setting up of FRBM reform panel in 2016 and its report in 2017.

Pillar #3: Balance of Payment (BoP), International Trade & Orgs.

52. The term ‘Domestic Content Requirement’ is sometimes seen in the news with reference to
(a) Developing solar power production in our country
(b) Granting licenses to foreign T.V. channels in our country
(c) Exporting our food products to other countries
(d) Permitting foreign educational institutions to set up their campuses in our country

American companies contend that India’s JN Solar Mission gives preference to procurement of solar panels with Indian content. This is one type of non-tariff barrier. WTO ruled in their favour. As such case had been going on since 2014, but in 2016, September when we lost the final appeal.

Ref: IndianExpress

Difficulty: ★★☆ [easy to tough depending on how to regularly you follow newspaper]
Current Affairs Span: 2014 to 2016, September.

33. Consider the following statements:
1. India has ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of WTO.
2. TFA is a part of WTO’s Bali Ministerial Package of 2013.
3. TFA came into force in January 2016.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 1 and 3 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Mrunal’s Lecture BES173/ BoP#3: WTO and other international organization.
TFA came into force from February 2017. So, third statement is wrong, by elimination, we are left with answer “A”.

Difficulty: ★☆☆ [Very easy through elimination.]
Current Affairs Span: 2013 when this agreement was proposed in the Bali Summit to 2017, February when it became effective in India.

32. ‘Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA)’ is sometimes seen in the news in the context of negotiations held between India and
(a) European Union
(b) Gulf Cooperation Council
(c) Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
(d) Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Mrunal’s Lecture L6/P3- Foreign Trade Policy 2015
India-EU BTIA negotiation has been going on for years, because of differences over data security, child labour and IPR. BUT I don’t claim this MCQ for my bogus marketing propaganda, because I have ‘officially’ demonetized the “L” series of lectures with the conclusion of BES17. So, I’ll give credit of this MCQ to India Yearbook 2017– Chapter 19, subtopic Bilateral Negotiations and IPR.

Difficulty: ★★☆ [Easy to Medium depending on how regularly you follow newspaper]
Current Affairs Span: 2007 when this agreement was proposed, to 2016-17 when it was again in news because of BREXIT etc.

93. The term ‘Digital Single Market Strategy’ seen in the news refers to
(c) EU
(d) G20

Term was coined by EU in 2015, and was in news again in March-2016 because of Brussel Summit.
Source: TheHindu
Difficulty: ★★☆ [Medium to tough depending on how regularly you follow newspaper]
Current Affairs Span: 2015 to 2016.

Pillar #4: Sectors of Economy

LPG reforms

27. Which of the following has/have occurred in India after its liberalization of economic policies in 1991?
1. Share of agriculture in GDP increased enormously.
2. Share of India’s exports in world trade increased.
3. FDI inflows increased.
4. India’s foreign exchange reserves increased enormously.
Select the correct answer using the codes given below :
(a) 1 and 4 only
(b) 2, 3 and 4 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

While it’s possible to solve through guestimation and elimination, but to prevent fierce debates in the comment section, I’ll use the statistical appendix given in the economic survey 2015-16 as my data source. (because in survey 2016-17, CEA had not released the volume 2 before Prelims-2017, so we’ve to go one year back.)

  • First statement is wrong as per Page A6. This eliminates A and D.
  • Fourth statement will be debatable to some people because it has an extreme word “enormously” But, as per Page A85: In 1991, our Forex reserve was Rs.23,850 crores and in 2015, it rose to Rs. 21.37 lakh crores. So, I would take it as an ‘enormous rise’. Hence 4th is right. This eliminates C. [meaning, extreme words are not always wrong!]
  • So we are left with answer B- 2,3 and 4 correct.
  • While it’s possible that in some years, FDI and world share in exports would have declined than previous years but by and large compared to Pre-LPG and Post-LPG, there is definitely an increase.

Difficulty: ★★☆ [Easy to medium to impossible depending on how much hairsplitting you do, over the word “enormously”]
Current Affairs Span: 2016, because it marked 25th anniversary of LPG reforms of 1991, hence it was in news.

Skilling related

13. Consider the following in respect of ‘National Career Service’:
1. National Career Service is an initiative of the Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India.
2. National Career Service has been launched in a Mission Mode to improve the employment opportunities to uneducated youth of the country.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

  • First statement is wrong, as per India Yearbook (IYB) 2017- Chapter 21 Labour & Skill development. Labour Ministry launched this portal in 2015..
  • Second statement is correct, by the same source- it’s a ‘mission mode’ project. But in statement#2: people were not paying close attention to the keyword ‘uneducated’. So, most had ticked B as the answer but, this portal doesn’t help uneducated or illiterate person, it helps only diploma / degree holders. So, option D: neither 1 nor 2 is correct, which is also confirmed by the official UPSC answerkey.

Difficulty: ★☆☆  [easy or impossible, depending on whether candidate refers IYB or not.]
Current Affairs Span: 2015 when this portal was launched.

11. With reference to ‘National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF)’, which of the statements given below is/are correct?
1. Under NSQF, a learner can acquire the certification for competency only through formal learning.
2. An outcome expected from the implementation of NSQF is the mobility between vocational and general education.
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

India Yearbook (IYB) 2017- Chapter 10 Education. If you read and interpret the objectives of NSQF under the subtopic “Bachelor of Vocational Studies”, then first statement is wrong, second is right.
PIB briefing in 2013, also confirms the same

Difficulty: ★★☆  [easy to medium. Even in ‘tukkebaazi’ one can arrive at the answer, by eliminating the statement with extreme word “only”. But it’s a risky strategy in UPSC after the examiner’s Backbreaking moveTM against the 90+ walla guessmasters in Prelim 2017, if you observe the overall nature of questions.]
Current Affairs Span: 2013 when this framework was approved.

78. Recognition of Prior Learning Scheme’ is sometimes mentioned in the news with reference to
(a) Certifying the skills acquired by construction workers through traditional channels.
(b) Enrolling the persons in Universities for distance learning programmes.
(c) Reserving some skilled jobs to rural and urban poor in some public sector undertakings.
(d) Certifying the skills acquired by trainees under the National Skill Development Programme.

Mrunal’s revision Lecture series for Mains 2015, L3/ HRD. (Powerpoint is available video is not) anyways, I don’t claim it under my bogus marketing propaganda, because video is not there to prove it.
Another source: Indianexpress article in early-2016.  Too bad India Yearbook 2017 did not cover this.

Difficulty: ★☆☆  [easy if ever you’ve heard the concept. Because out of the given only “A” would fit properly. Otherwise, difficult]
Current Affairs Span: this was part of 2015’s national policy on skill and entrepreneurship. It was again in news during October 2016, when Government expanded it beyond construction sector.

Yearbook Type Orgs.

57. Consider the following statements:
1. The Standard Mark of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is mandatory for automotive tyres and tubes.
2. AGMARK is a quality Certification Mark issued by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
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

  • First is correct as per BIS website
  • Second is wrong as per Mrunal’s economic survey summary 4 years ago. AGMARK is issued under Indian Act. Besides, it’s an ‘extreme statement’, FAO would not bother with small things.

Difficulty: ★★☆ [Medium to tough, because even after elimination of FAO through guestimation, it still leaves with 2 options A and D.]

59. With reference to the ‘National Intellectual Property Rights Policy’, consider the following statements:
1. It reiterates India’s commitment to the Doha Development Agenda and the TRIPS Agreement.
2. Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion is the nodal agency for regulating intellectual property rights 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

Difficulty: ★★☆
Current Affairs Span: May 2016.

64. With reference to ‘Quality Council of India (QCI)’, consider the following statements:
1. QCI was set up jointly by the Government of India and the Indian Industry.
2. Chairman of QCI is appointed by the Prime Minister on the recommendations of the industry to the Government.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Both statements are correct, as per their organization’s about us page

Difficulty: ★★★ [who has time to prepare the origin and selection process of all such tucchi organization in verbatim manner from their ‘about us’ page… यानी की साला इतना डिटेल में कोन प्रिपेर करता है?]

Current Affairs Span: as such QCI officials provide accreditation to the smart city, swatcch bharat etc. things. So it’s in the “Misc.” news round the year.

Pillar #5: Infrastructure & its finance

39. What is the aim of the programme ‘Unnat Bharat Abhiyan’?
(a) Achieving 100% literacy by promoting collaboration between voluntary organizations and government’s education system and local communities.
(b) Connecting institutions of higher education with local communities to address development challenges through appropriate technologies.
(c) Strengthening India’s scientific research institutions in order to make India a scientific and technological power.
(d) Developing human capital by allocating special funds for health care and education of rural and urban poor, and organizing skill development programmes and vocational training for them.

Mrunal’s Lecture BES175/ Infra #2: Rural Development, Answer is “B”. Another source: India Yearbook 2017, Chapter 10- Education, subtopic Unnat Bharat Abhiyan.

Difficulty: ★☆☆ [easy or impossible, depending on whether candidate referred IYB or BES15, or not.]
Current Affairs Span: 2014 when this project was launched.

66. With reference to ‘Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD)’, consider the following statements:
1. The first APMCHUD was held in India in 2006 on the theme ‘Emerging Urban Forms — Policy Responses and Governance Structure’.
2. India hosts all the Annual Ministerial Conferences in partnership with ADB, APEC and ASEAN.
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

  • First statement is wrong because Official website says 2006’s theme was “A Vision for Sustainable Urbanization in the Asia-Pacific by 2020”. Besides, since 2016’s summit’s theme was emerging urban forms… as per PTI, so it couldn’t have been 2006’s theme. So both statements are wrong.
  • India Yearbook 2017, Chapter 17 Housing- it mentions that APMCHUD’s ministerial conference is a biennial event so second statement is also wrong.

Difficulty: ★★★  [difficult to memorize and recollect the inception years and themes of dozens of such faaltu summits conducted throughout the year.]
Current Affairs Span: 2016, December when the 6th edition of this conference was held at New Delhi.

10. With reference to the role of UN-Habitat in the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future, which of the statements is/are correct?
1. UN-Habitat has been mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities to provide adequate shelter for all.
2. Its partners are either governments or local urban authorities only.
3. UN-Habitat contributes to the overall objective of the United Nations system to reduce poverty and to promote access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1, 2 and 3
(b) 1 and 3 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1 only

Statement 2 is wrong by the common sense that it contains ‘extreme’ word “ONLY”. However, just to be sure let’s cross check from their website– yes UN-Habitat also partners with private organizations and civil society also.
Statement 1 and 3 are correct because of their “about us” page.
Hence answer “B” only 1 and 3.

Difficulty: ★☆☆  [easy to medium, depending on the risk taking power of the candidate during exam.]
Current Affairs Span: In the recent years, UPSC examiner has acquired this habit of asking “about us” page of random international organizations, particularly those related to SDG, environment etc. difficult to place a date on such tucchi organizations.

6. The Global Infrastructure Facility is a/an
(a) ASEAN initiative to upgrade infrastructure in Asia and financed by credit from the Asian Development Bank.
(b) World Bank collaboration that facilitates the preparation and structuring of complex infrastructure Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) to enable mobilization of private sector and institutional investor capital.
(c) Collaboration among the major banks of the world working with the OECD and focused on expanding the set of infrastructure projects that have the potential to mobilize private investment.
(d) UNCTAD funded initiative that seeks to finance and facilitate infrastructure development in the world.

World Bank had launched it in 2014. Source: Indianexpress

Difficulty: ★★★  [It’s already difficult to memorize and recollect the fifty dozen international funds and organizations associated with environment, let alone Infrastructure.]
Current Affairs Span: 2014 when it was launched.

5. With reference to ‘National Investment and Infrastructure Fund’, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. It is an organ of NITI Aayog.
2. It has a corpus of Rs. 4, 00,000 crore at present.
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

Mrunal’s Lecture BES175/ Infrastructure
NIIF is under Department of Economic Affairs. So first statement is wrong.
It was setup in Budget 2015, with Rs.40k crores, but even if counting the recent allotments till Budget 2017, 4 lakh is beyond its aukaat. So, second statement is also wrong.

Difficulty: ★☆☆ [Easy because verbatim covered in the lecture.]
Current Affairs Span: Launched with Budget 2015 and was in news during March 2017, because of Indianexpress report on how this fund has yet failed to achieve anything.

Pillar #6: Human Resource Development (HRD)

While I put skilling schemes under fourth pillar (Because fits well with make in India and skill India revision) but I put educational schemes under six pillar HRD, because that fits well with computation of HDI index.

Women Development & Education

84. Which of the following gives ‘Global Gender Gap Index’ ranking to the countries of the world?
(a) World Economic Forum
(b) UN Human Rights Council
(c) UN Women
(d) World Health Organization

It’s compiled by World Economic Forum and India in its usual patheticness, scored rank 87 in this, says IndianExpress October 2016

Difficulty: ★★☆  [easy or medium depending on how regularly you follow newspapers. Tough by tukkebaazi because then most likely choice would be UN women!]
Current Affairs Span: 2016, October when latest report came out.

98. Which of the following are the objectives of ‘National Nutrition Mission’?
1. To create awareness relating to malnutrition among pregnant women and lactating mothers.
2. To reduce the incidence of anemia among young children, adolescent girls and women.
3. To promote the consumption of millets, coarse cereals and unpolished rice.
4. To promote the consumption of poultry eggs.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 1, 2 and 3 only
(c) 1, 2 and 4 only
(d) 3 and 4 only

  • First and second statement are correct as per this PIB document, 2014
  • Fourth Statement is right as per its guidelines on Ministry of Women and Child Development, Appendix 4. But, within that guideline, I’m unable to find reference to promotion of unpolished rice and millet.
  • People were divided between A and B and C- because in the 2016’s UN-REDD+ question, UPSC official even kept ‘indirect benefit’ of poverty removal as one of the benefit. But in official answekey of 2017, they have gone only by literal interpretation of explicitly mentioned ‘direct benefits’, and they chose ‘A’ as the official answer. Official UPSC Answer – A: only 1 and 2

Difficulty: ★★★  [while 1 and 2 are right even by common-sense but real challenge is in identifying correct between 3 and 4, because even 3 uses “unpolished rice” vs. 4 mentions “eggs” which Modi Government cannot be encouraging if we go by tukkebaazi.]

Current Affairs Span: 2010 it was launched, to 2017’s Budget when child activists congratulated Government for increasing its funding.

38. What is the purpose of Vidyanjali Yojana’?
1. To enable the famous foreign educational institutions to open their campuses in India.
2. To increase the quality of education provided in government schools by taking help from the private sector and the community.
3. To encourage voluntary monetary contributions from private individuals and organizations so as to improve the infrastructure facilities for primary and secondary schools.
Select the correct answer using the code given below :
(a) 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 1 and 2 only
(d) 2 and 3 only
As such India Yearbook 2017 has covered dozens of Modi schemes with Sanskritized names, only this one is left :-(

  • Indianexpress June 2016: HRD Ministry has launched an initiative called ‘Vidyanjali’ to encourage youngsters to volunteer their services at any neighborhood government school. So accordingly “A” is the most appropriate choice.
  • What about statement “3”? While the mygov.in portal guidelines mention that Vidyanjali will cover initiatives under CSR, PPP, PSU. But mobilization of voluntary monetary contribution is not the primary and explicit ‘purpose’ of the scheme.
  • And the scheme is targeted at primary (Class 1 to 5) and upper primary classes (Class 6 to 8) so ‘secondary schools’ infrastructure facilities’ are beyond its scope of work. HRD ministry’s other schemes specifically count class 9 onwards as ‘secondary education’

Hence 3 is wrong. Therefore, Answer is “A”.
Difficulty: ★★★  [Difficult for three reasons:

  1. if a candidate had prepared IYB chapter on Education, then he’d feel he is covered all tucchi schemes with sanskritized names comprehensively but this one is not given there.
  2. Modi is a free man to launch daily new campaign on mygov.in with Sanskritized names but without budgetary provisions- Adarsh gram, Gram uday se bharat uday and so on… it’s already very challenging for an aspirant to memorize all of their salient features.
  3. Hairsplitting over the third statement (otherwise easy MCQ if you’ve prepared it]

Current Affairs Span: June 2016, when this scheme was launched.

85. Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding Smart India Hackathon 2017?
1. It is a centrally sponsored scheme for developing every city of our country into Smart Cities in a decade.
2. It is an initiative to identify new digital technology innovations for solving the many problems faced by our country.
3. It is a programme aimed at making all the financial transactions in our country completely digital in a decade.
Select the correct answer using the code given below :
(a) 1 and 3 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 2 and 3 only

HRD Ministry’s Smart India Hackathon is a 36 hours non-stop digital programming competition during which student teams will compete to offer innovative solutions for any given problem said Indianexpress. Hence I put this question under the 6th  pillar (Since HRD ministry organized it)

Difficulty: ★☆☆  [easy to impossible depending on whether you’ve read or not. Because in tukkebazi even third statement will appear right.]

Current Affairs Span: In October 2016, newspapers had reported that it’ll be conducted in January or February 2017. It was finally launched in 1st April 2017. so, this is the ‘most latest’ question asked within Economy, Yearbook, Scheme segment of Prelims 2017.  therefore, one should keep habit of reading newspapers, because even if you missed it in October 2016, still there was again chance you could have spotted it in April 2017.

Remaining parts of the Answerkey will be uploaded as I finish analyzing them.
Any corrections, do post in the comments but with authentic source reference.