1. Economy in News
  2. Polity in News
  3. Diplomacy & Defense
  4. Sports & Events
  5. Comprehension Passage for CSAT Paper-II

Economy in News

Q. What is Bharat-22?

  1. Sovereign Gold bonds with prices linked to the market price of 22 carat gold.
  2. Exchange traded fund to mobilize BASEL-III capital for the 22 Public sector banks of India under Mission Indradhanush.
  3. Exchange traded fund to disinvest government’s stakes in selected banks and industries.
  4. Both 2 and 3

Hint: 2017-Nov: Government of India launched BHARAT-22 Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) managed by ICICI Prudential. It’s wrong to say that BHARAT-22 ETF will disinvest from 22 “CPSEs” because among those 22- it also includes Government shareholding in BoB (Bank of Baroda), SBI and Axis bank’s parent SUUTI as well. so it’s not just CPSE (Central public sector enterprises) but also PSBs (public sector banks) and Government’s (indirect ownership) in a private bank (Axis). To know more about the Exchange Trade Funds for competitive exams, Watch my lecture.

Q. Find incorrect statements about National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA) for GST?

  1. Chairman of the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) is the ex-officio chief of National Anti-profiteering Authority.
  2. NAA can order a company to refund money with 18% interest to consumers or deposit it in the Consumer Welfare Fund.
  3. Both ‘GST State Compensation Cess’ and NAA will cease to operate after five years from the commencement of GST.

Answer codes

  1. Only 1 and 2
  2. Only 2
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. None of them

Hint: Topic in news because Union Government has appointed Badri Narain Sharma (IAS) as first chief of NAA in 2017-Nov. Tenure: 2 years, can be extended by GST council. 2nd statement is right- but here you’ve to find incorrect statement. To learn GST for competitive exams, Watch my lecture.

Q. Find correct statements about the 15th Finance Commission:

  1. It’ll provide recommendations regarding the fiscal distribution between union and state for the period of 2019-2023.
  2. CEA Arvind Subramanian will be a part-time member of the commission.
  3. The Secretary of NITI Ayog will serve as ex-officio secretary of the commission.

Answer codes

  1. Only 1 and 2
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. All of them

Hint: YV Reddy’s 14th FC’s recommendations are valid till 31/03/2020. 15th FC composition: Chairman NK Singh (Retd. IAS, Ex-Rajya Sabha member, ex- revenue Secretary, ex- chief of FRBM review panel).
Full time Members: 1) Shantikanta Das (Ex-Economic Affairs Secretary) 2) Dr. Anoop Singh (Professor of Georgetown University, USA).
Part-time members: Ashok Lahiri (Chairman of Bandhan Bank), Ramesh Chand (NITI-member). Secretary: Arvind Mehta (IAS).
Topic in news because 15FC notified in 2017-Nov week4.
Current Affairs Bharat-22

Q. Find correct statement(s) about G-20 Sherpa?

  1. A sherpa coordinates his country’s ‘finance track’ as well as ‘development track’ during the G20 negotiations.
  2. Shaktikanta Das is India’s current Sherpa at G20.
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Hint: At G20, India’s finance track is managed by Economic Affairs Secretary from finance ministry, while development track is coordinated by the Sherpa. Shaktikanta’s astronomical stars are bright as he has cleared IAS exam in 1980, and both 15FC fulltime membership and sherpa selection in 2017-Nov.

Q. Find incorrect statements about Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM)?

  1. It has been setup for the first time in the economic history of India, during PM Narendra Modi’s tenure.
  2. CEA Arvind Subramanian has been designated an ex-officio member of this council.
  3. It is an attached body under the aegis NITI Ayog.
  4. None of the above.

Hint: As GuessmastersTM would point outL- first statement has extreme word ‘first time’, hence ought to be wrong. Mohan (UPA-II) had this council under Ex-RBI chief Rangarajan. Modi reconstituted it among the GDP-fall controversy in 2017-Sep. Composition: Dr. Bibek Debroy, Member, NITI Aayog as the Chairman, Shri. Ratan P. Watal, Principal Adviser, NITI Aayog as Member Secretary and Dr. Surjit Bhalla, Dr. Rathin Roy and Dr. Ashima Goyal as part time members. EAC-PM is an independent body-वो किसी की गुलाम नही है.

Q. Find incorrect statement(s) about Ease of doing business report 2018:

  1. It’s prepared by World Economic Forum (WEF) located at Davos, Switzerland.
  2. India is given 100th place among 190 countries.
  3. China is hailed as top improver with a jump of 30 ranks compared to last year.

Answer Choices:

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. Only 2

Hint: World bank prepares this report. China is already doing good so can’t expect them to jump 30 ranks. India’s rank was 130 in 2017 and improved by 30 ranks for 2018. AND Mind it: you’ve to find wrong statements, not the right ones!

Polity in News

Q. The Delhi state assembly is empowered to make laws on all subjects enumerated under the state list and concurrent list of the Constitution, except:

  1. Police
  2. Public order
  3. Land

Answer Codes:

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. All three

Hint: Under Article 239-AA, LG has the powers to make laws on those three subjects. Topic in news due to ongoing case at Supreme Court.

Q. Which of the following is wrongly matched against the official definitions by the Government of India?

  1. Crime Rate: No. of reported crime incidents, per 1 lakh population in a particular region
  2. Maternal Mortality Ratio: No. of women dying due to maternal causes, per 1 lakh live births.
  3. Infant Mortality rate: No. of death of children before the age of 1, per 1 lakh live births.
  4. None of the above

Hint: Crime rate is in news because National Crime Records Bureau, an attached office of Ministry of Home Affairs has released annual report in 2017-Nov. IMR measured per thousand, remaining two are measured in per lakh.

Q. Match the following famous cases of 2017, with their subject matter:

List-I (Case in 2017)

  1. Hadiya Jehan
  2. Shayara Bano
  3. KS Puttaswamy
  4. Rajesh Sharma
List-II (Matter)

  1. Misuse of IPC Section 498-A
  2. Right to privacy
  3. Islamic divorce
  4. Inter-faith marriage

Answer codes: A|B|C|D

  1. iii, iv, ii, i
  2. iv, iii, i, ii
  3. iv, iii, ii, i
  4. iii, iv, i, ii

Hint: If Baby ko Bass pasand hai, then what would “P”uttaswamy like? Shayara Bano dislikes Triple Talaq, and Rajesh Sharma says that at best only husband and his parents could be demanding dowry and harassing the bride, so the tendency to arrest all family members on oral testimony of bride is wrong. Eliminate wrong pairs accordingly.

Q. Find incorrect statement(s) about Secretary General of Lok Sabha?

  1. No woman has ever held this position.
  2. The Secretary general of Lok Sabha is ex-officio secretary general of Rajya Sabha as well.
  3. Secretary general enjoys rank of a cabinet Secretary.
  4. In the table of precedence, LS Secretary general is ranked higher than UPSC Chairman but lower than CAG.

Answer codes

  1. Only 1 and 4
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1, 2 and 4
  4. None of the given statements

Hint: As GuessmastersTM would point out: first statement ought to be wrong since it has extreme word ‘ever’. Topic in news because Senior IAS officer Snehlata Shrivastava was appointed the new Secretary-General of the Lok Sabha in 2017-Nov. Both houses have separate Secretary generals. Third statement is right but, in the table of precedents- all three constitutional bodies are ranked at par (CAG, CEC, UPSC) and much higher than Cabinet Secretary. Eliminate accordingly. Mind it, you’ve to find wrong statements, not the right ones.

Q. In India, 26th November is celebrated as

  1. National Law Day
  2. Constitution Day
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Hint: 1949: this day constitution was adopted. 1979: Supreme court bar association decide to celebrate it as national law day. 2017: National Law Day is celebrated jointly by Law Commission and NITI Aayog at Delhi.

Q. Which of the following state government has tabled a bill to award capital punishment to those convicted of raping girls aged 12 and below?

  1. Rajasthan
  2. Gujarat
  3. Haryana
  4. Madhya Pradesh

Hint: It’s the same state where school children are ordered to answer roll calls with ‘Jai Hind Sir’ and whose roads are said to be even better than that of USA.

Diplomacy & Defense

Q. China signed a free trade agreement with which neighbor of India in 2017 (November)?

  1. Myanmar
  2. Maldives
  3. Sri Lanka
  4. Bangladesh

Hint: China has only two FTAs among Indian neighbors: one of them is labelled as ‘Terroristan’ at UN and second country is where India had conducted Operation Cactus in 1988.

Q. Match the following Operations with their geographical locations

Set-1 (Operation)

  1. Operation Prahar-I & II
  2. Operation All out
  3. Operation Smiling Buddha
Set-2 (Location)

  1. Kashmir
  2. Chhattisgarh
  3. Rajasthan
  4. Arunanchal Pradesh

Answer Codes: A|B|C

  1. i, ii, iii
  2. ii, i, iv
  3. ii, i, iii
  4. i, ii, iv

Hint: 2017, June: CRPF launched Operation Prahar-I against Maoists in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, then in November they again launched Prahar-II against Maoists in Bastar region. 2017: Army launched Operation All in Kashmir to wipe out militants before winter. 1974: Op. Smiling Buddha to test nuclear bomb at Pokhran, Rajasthan- it’s in news because of new movie ‘Pokhran’, which is delayed due to ‘Padmawati’.

Q. Which of the following military exercises are correct?

  1. India-Myanmar Bilateral Army Exercise (IMBAX) 2017: @Meghalaya
  2. Indo-Bangladesh Joint Military Exercise Sampriti 2017: @Mizoram
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Hint: Such factual information is more important in UPSC’s CAPF and CDS exams, than in CSE (Civil services exam). Both right.

Q. In which of the following countries, a public debate is going on to provide for “Vindaloo Visas” to the chefs of Indian subcontinent?

  1. France
  2. UK
  3. Germany
  4. Indonesia

Hint: Vindaloo is a a very hot Indian meat-curry. Those who had enslaved India for 200 years enjoy it, but facing chef shortage, hence proposed 1 year short term visa.

Sports & Events

These are also less relevant for UPSC prelims but more important for lower exams.

Q. Who among the following has won the gold medal in World Weightlifting championship held at Anaheim, USA** in Nov-2017?**

  1. Sanamacha Chanu, Manipur
  2. Kunjarani Devi, Manipur
  3. Mirabai Chanu, Manipur
  4. Karnnam Malleswari, Andhra Pradesh

Hint: Lady with similar first name has served as the speaker of Lok Sabha during UPA rule.

Q. In Nov-2017, Pankaj Advani became World Snooker champion by defeating Iran’s Amir Sarkhosh at

  1. Tehran, Iran
  2. Doha, Qatar
  3. Ankara, Turkey
  4. Hyderabad, India

Hint: Country is famous for its Airlines and Al-Jazeera channel.

Q. Who among the following have become IAAF Athletes of the year in 2017, November?

  1. Usain Bolt of Jamaica
  2. Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar
  3. Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium
  4. Valerie Adams of New Zealand

Answer codes

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 1 and 4
  3. 2 and 3
  4. 2 and 4

Hint: Winners belong to countries whose capital cities’ names start with the letter ‘B’ and ‘D’.

Q. Find correct pairs of Beauty pageant events of 2017

  1. Miss Universe: Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa crowned at even in USA
  2. Miss World: Manushi Chhillar of India, crowned at event in China
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Hint: Both winners announced in 2017, November, and both statements are right.

Q. International Sand Art Festival 2017 is being organized at

  1. Kanyakumari beach, Tamilnadu
  2. Gahirmatha beach, Odisha
  3. Mandvi beach, Gujarat
  4. Chandrabhaga beach, Odisha

Hint: It’s beach near Konark (so guess which state?) Gahirmatha Beach has the world’s largest known rookery of Olive Ridley sea turtle. Government wouldn’t want to disturb it with tourists!

Comprehension Passage for CSAT Paper-II

In UPSC Prelims 2017 CSAT Paper-II, 29 out of total 80 questions had only “1-passage-1-MCQ”. It means paper was lengthy because you had to read more. Maths-Reasoning was also tough and lengthy. Many candidates couldn’t even finish the paper on time, or tick sufficient number of MCQs to cross the 33% passing marks barrier. So, don’t neglect Paper-II.

Read the following passages carefully and answer the questions given below it:

Passage #1: Badminton Coaching

Prakash Padukone says, “Indian players need to strike the right balance between training and the number of tournaments they play. Look at PV Sindhu’s run to the silver medal at the Rio Games! She had taken a six-week break before the event because she wasn’t doing too well and took some time off before Rio, but peaked at the right time and ended up becoming only the second shuttler from the country to stand on the Olympic podium. Although, there’s no guarantee that if you skip tournaments, you will win. But it’ll give you the best chance of playing to your potential in the big events. Now look at Kidambi Srikanth- he won four Super Series titles, but the shuttler is now struggling to be fit for at the World Super Series Finals in Dubai next month.” (~150 words)

Q. According to Prakash Padukone, what is the crucial factor undermining the medal potential of Indian badminton players?

  1. Improper attention to training before big tournaments.
  2. Injuries and inadequate attention to physiotherapy after tournaments.
  3. Overexertion resulting from frequent tournaments.
  4. All of the above.

Hint: Padukone doesn’t say Sindhu or Srikanth were suffering from injuries He doesn’t say they lacked training. Padukone’s attention is on ‘lack of peak physical condition’ before big tournaments- which is resulting from Overexertion i.e. Overuse of physical or mental energy that results into discomfort or injury. Observe how he narrates Rio: ‘Sindhu….becoming only the second shuttler from India’: Meaning our medal potential was higher, had more Indian players were careful in pacing their tournaments as she did. Hence answer is not forth option but third option.

Passage #2: NEET Coaching

Tamil Nadu government would set up coaching centres to help students face the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET). Secretary of Department of Health and Family Welfare J Radhakrishnan informed the Madras court that the state will identify teachers in every district to impart training to provide coaching to NEET aspirants. Exclusive training centres for competitive exam aspirants will be opened in all districts at a cost of Rs 72 lakh.
Educationist Dr.Anil Sadagopal said, “The very idea of coaching centres was detrimental to the education system and similar to training horses for a race. Coaching centres are places to teach tricks. How will they help a doctor or engineer? Moreover, the idea of coaching centres by the state is contrary to the two Bills related to MBBS and MD which were passed in the Assembly and are awaiting the President’s approval.”
Prince Gajendrababu of State Platform for Common School System, is enraged, “NEET and this idea of coaching centres comes from minds that have no clue about how the majority live in the country. Imagine if I am a student and my father is a fruit seller or farmer. Should I not go and help my father after class hours?… Aren’t you giving me enough lessons in the school syllabus and asking me to attend coaching classes in addition after my class hours? Why should I pass the higher secondary exam then? Aren’t you insisting that I excel in a memory testing game called NEET?” (~250 words : Ref-IE)

Q. Central theme of the passage is:

  1. Against the idea of NEET.
  2. Against the idea of coaching.
  3. Against the idea of government encouraging coaching.

Answer Choices:

  1. Only 1 and 2
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. 1, 2 and 3.

Hint: only last sentence of passage is devoted to “anti-NEET”. Hence can’t taken as ‘central theme.’ on the other hand, theme #2 and #3 are recurring multiple times. Sadagopal is slamming both #2 and #3. Prince’s statement “this idea of coaching centres comes from minds “….this idea means ‘Government giving coaching’.

Q. Which of the following can be inferred conclusively from the passage:

  1. Government of Tamilnadu is starting NEET coaching classes to ensure their students don’t lag behind some other states where respective governments have begun NEET coaching.
  2. Government of Tamilnadu believes that with training, some of government school teachers can be made as sharp as the instructors in private coaching institutes.
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2.

Hint: #1 is a possibility but can’t be inferred conclusively, as no information is given about what other states are doing. Health Secretary informed court that state will identify teachers in every district to impart training to provide coaching to NEET aspirants. He wouldn’t have done so, if Government didnot believe in #2. so, answer is only #2.

Q. “NEET is not a comprehensive test to judge a candidates’ ability.” Who among the following will agree with this statement?

  1. Anil Sadagopal
  2. Prince Gajendrababu
  3. J. Radhakrishnan
  4. Only 1 and 2.

Hint: Read last line of passage, Prince believes it’s a memory testing game. So, he’ll agree. Anil and Radhakrishnan are silent on that issue.