[Q.1] Agnihotri committee recently seen in the news is related to:

(a) Rajya Sabha Rules

(b) Anti defection law

(c) Article 35 A

(d) Unified Military Command

[ans] a



  • It was in News because recently, A two-member committee (Agnihotri committee) has been appointed to make recommendations for revising the rules of the Upper House.


[Q.2]Which of the following have recommendation for Governor in Case of Hung Assembly?


  1. M M Punchhi Commission
  2. SR Bommai case
  3. Sarkaria Commission

Choose the correct code?


(a) 1 and 2 only


(b) 1 and 3 only


(c) 3 only


(d) All of the above



[ans] d




  • The role of governor came under question in recent Karnataka legislative assembly elections.
  • It came under question that whether Governor should call single largest party to form the government and prove its majority in the House or a post-poll alliance to form a majority that overcomes the single largest party and form the government.
  • Article 164(1) provides for the appointment of chief minister by governor. Supreme Court clarified that there is no qualification mentioned in article 164(1) and reading it with collective responsibility in 164(2), the only condition chief ministerial candidate need to satisfy is that he/she should be commanding majority in the house.
  • But this discretionary power is being misused by governors. It may encourage horse trading of MLAs, defections against the spirit of tenth schedule and decline in public trust in the office of Governor.
  • In case of Goa, Manipur and Mizoram, the single largest party was not given preference to form the government unlike in Karnataka. Thus, raising question mark on the role of Governor and also forcing Supreme Court to take cognizance of the issue.
  • Sarkaria Commission and a constitutional bench judgement in Rameshwar Prasad v Union of India, 2005 held that:


  1. The party or combination of parties with widest support in the Legislative Assembly should be called upon to form the Government.
  2. If there is a pre-poll alliance or coalition, it should be treated as one political party and if such coalition obtains a majority, the leader of such coalition shall be called by the Governor to form the Government.
  3. In case no party or pre-poll coalition has a clear majority, the Governor should select the CM in the order of preference indicated below:


  • The group of parties which had pre- poll alliance commanding the largest number.
  • The largest single party staking a claim to form the government with the support of others.
  • A post-electoral coalition with all partners joining the government.
  • A post-electoral alliance with some parties joining the government and the remaining supporting from outside.
  • M M Punchhi Commission elaborated that the governor should follow “constitutional conventions” in a case of a hung Assembly.
  • While SR Bommai case related to discretion of Governor does not apply to hung assembly but it laid emphasis on floor test in the house within 48 hours (although it can be extended to 15 days) so that legislature should decide the matter and Governor’s discretion should merely be a triggering point. The Governor must be true to the oath of office and must ensure that the person he/she invites to be Chief Minister will be able to form a responsible and reasonably lasting government in the State. Even Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in his speech described how a Governor should use his discretion not as “representative of a party” but as “the representative of the people as a whole of the State”.



[Q.3] Consider the following statements with reference to” Tholu Bommalata”, sometimes seen in news?


  1. It is a shadow puppet theatre tradition of the state of Andhra Pradesh in India.


  1. The puppeteers make up some of the various entertainers who perform all night and usually reenact various stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata.


3.The puppets are large in size and have jointed waist, shoulders, elbows and knees.


Which of the above statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only


(b) 1 and 3 only


(c) 3 only


(d) All of the above



[ans] d




  • It literally means “the dance of leather puppets” (tholu – leather and bommalata – puppet dance).


  • The puppets are large in size and have jointed waist, shoulders, elbows and knees.


  • The puppets are mostly made of skin of antelope, spotted deer and goat. Auspicious characters are made of antelope skin and deer skin.


  • They are coloured on both sides. Hence, these puppets throw coloured shadows on the screen.


  • Puppeteers narrate stories from the twin-epics of Ramanayana and Mahabharata with animated movement of arms and hands to give a three-dimensional effect.


[Q.4] Consider the following statements about Sadharna Bhramo Samaj, recnrtly seen in news:


  1. The Sadharan Brahmo Samaj was formed in a public meeting of Brahmos held in the Town Hall of Calcutta.


  1. It traces back its roots to The Brahmo Samaj.


  1. Ananda Mohan Bose was its first President.


Which of the above statements is/are correct?


(a) 1 and 2 only


(b) 2 and 3 only


(c) 1 and 3 only


(d) All of the above



[ans] d




  • Recently, governing bodies of eight colleges of Sadharan Brahmo Samaj (SBS), has been dissolved by the West Bengal government.
  • The government stated that SBS is not a “separate minority religion”, the related colleges administered by it should be treated as “non-minority Government-aided Colleges.
  • It is a general community of worshipers of one God, formed in May 1878, traces back its roots to The Brahmo Samaj.
  • It was formed by the followers of Keshav Chandra Sen (Brahmo Samaj India) after he violated the Brahmo Marriage Act by marrying his 13 year old daughter with Maharaja of Cooch-Bihar.
  • Anandamohan Bose was its first President.
  • In 1891, it opened the Das Ashram, a welfare institution of untouchables, and the Brahmo Girls School of Calcutta, and also founded small hospitals, orphanages, and a leper asylum.
  • Its basic principles are: It believes in the existence and personality of God. It believes in the immortality of the human soul. It does not believe in any particular book or collections of books as the one infallible revelation of divine truth, love, and final authority. It does not believe in specific incarnation the Deity. It accepts, respects, and uses of scriptures of the world, (not as infallible) as ancient records of the moral and spiritual experiences.




[Q.5] Consider the following statements with reference to WHO Framework convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC):


  1. The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is the first international public health treaty negotiated under the auspices of the WHO.


  1. Article 15 of WHO FCTC envisages elimination of all forms of illicit trade and tobacco products, including smuggling, illicit manufacturing and counterfeiting.


  1. Recently, Indian government has given approval to accede to the Protocol under World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on tobacco control to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products.


Which of the above statements is/are correct?


(a) 1 and 2 only


(b) 2 and 3 only


(c) 1 and 3 only


(d) All of the above



[ans] d








[Q.6] With reference to “Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK)”, consider the following statements


  1. It is under Ministry of Minority Affairs.


2.Funding of the scheme would be from budgetary provision of the Ministry of Minority Affairs.


  1. It seeks to provide better socio economic infrastructure facilities to the minority communities particularly in the field of education, health & skill development.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?


(a) 1 and 2 only


(b) 2 and 3 only


(c) 1 and 3 only


(d) All of the above


[ans] d




Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) seeks to provide better socio economic infrastructure facilities to the minority communities particularly in the field of education, health & skill development which would further lead to lessening of the gap between the national average and the minority communities with regard to backwardness parameters.

The erstwhile Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) has been restructured and renamed as Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram for effective implementation. The restructured scheme is to be implemented during the remaining period of the 14th Finance Commission ie. March 31, 2020.

Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP)

MsDP is a special area development scheme designed to address the ‘development deficits’ seen in Minority Concentration Districts. MsDP has been identified as one of the Core of the Core Schemes under National Development Agenda in the Report of the Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on Rationalization of Centrally Sponsored Schemes, which was constituted by NITI Aayog.

The programme was launched in the year 2008-09 in 90 identified Minority Concentration Districts (MCDs) having at least 25% minority population and below national average with respect to one or both of the backwardness parameters with the objective of developing assets for socio-economic and basic amenities. The MCDs were identified on the basis of census 2001 data. The programme continued during 11th Five Year Plan.

The MsDP was restructured in June 2013 for implementation during 12th Five Year Plan and the area of implementation was replaced by Minority Concentration Blocks (MCB), Minority Concentration Towns (MCT) and Clusters of Villages. Total MCBs – 710, MCTs – 66 in 196 Districts. The MsDP is currently in operation in 27 States/UTs.

MsDP has been designed primarily to address the developmental gaps/deficits in identified backward minority concentration areas by topping up of existing Centrally Sponsored Schemes of various Central ministries/departments without any change in the norms, guidelines and the funding pattern.

The projects considered are additional class rooms, laboratories, school buildings, hostels, toilets, buildings for Polytechnics, ITIs, Community Health Centres, Primary Health Centres / Sub-centres, Anganwadi Centres, Rural Housing etc.

In addition to gap filling projects, MsDP also provides for taking up innovative projects which are not covered by any of the existing CSS of various ministries and these are funded in the ratio of 60:40 and for NE and Hilly States at 90:10 between the Centre and States. This includes Sadbhav Mandap, Market shed etc.

Beneficiaries of PMJVK

As far as PMJVK is concerned, the communities notified as minority communities under Section 2 (c) of the National Com mission for Minorities Act, 1992 would be taken as Minority Communities. At present 6 (six) communities namely Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Zoroastrians (Parsis) and Jains have been notified as Minority Communities under Section 2 (c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.

The Programme aims to address development deficits in the identified minority concentration areas. The identification of minority concentration areas has been done on the basis of presence of substantial population of notified Minority Communities based on Census, 2011. The inclusion of Minority Concentration District Headquarters along with the Minority Concentration Towns having population more than 25,000, Minority Concentration Blocks and Cluster of Villages as per Census, 2011 data, will extend the coverage of population of minority communities.




[Q.7] 2015 BZ509 sometimes seen in the news is:


(a) Human space mission Planed to be launched in 2015 by china but postponed to 2021.


(b) An image showing pollution spots on earth captured by a satellite that was sent by NASA in 2015.


(c) An interstellar body spotted by NASA near to brightest known star.


(d) An asteroid which is supposed to be the first interstellar body to stay in our solar system.


[ans] c




  • Scientist found an asteroid known as 2015 BZ509 which is supposed to be the first interstellar body to stay in our solar system. Hence option (c) is correct.
  • 2015 BZ509 was discovered in 2014, by Pan-STARRS (Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System) in Hawaii but at that time it was thought of as part of our solar system and not regarded as interstellar object.
  • Now Researchers argue that it is supposed to be captured from other star system in the early phase of formation of our solar system approximately 4.5 billion years ago.
  • Its orbit is “retrograde,” i.e. 2015 BZ509 moves around the sun in the opposite direction (clockwise if seen from Sun’s imaginary North Pole) of Jupiter, Earth and most other bodies in the solar system.
  • The orbit of the asteroid almost coincides with the Jupiter.




[Q.8] Recently, Indian scientists have developed a ‘Biosensor Technique’ to detect a disease name__


(a) Chikungunya


(b) Dengue


(c) Malaria


(d) Japanese Encephalitis


[ans] a




  • There has been rapid increase (around 300-400 per cent) of Chikungunya cases in India during the period of 2014 to 2016.
  • Chikungunya is detected through RT- PCR (Real-time polymerase chain reaction) from serum samples and by determination of serum anti-bodies which are time consuming and cumbersome.

About the Biosensor technology

Scientist made a Molybdenum disulphide nanosheet which is absorbed onto the screen-printed gold electrodes and then used in the detection of chikungunya virus DNA using electrochemical voltammetric techniques.


  • Advantages: Used to develop a point of care device for rapid identification of disease. It is suitable for mass production, has low cost, higher disposability and design flexibility as compared to traditional electrode materials.

[Q.9] Term “GravityRAT” sometimes seen in news is:


(a) A robot


(b) A Satellite


(c) Brazilian mouse living in deep ground


(d) A malware


[ans] d



Malware allegedly designed by Pakistani hackers has become stronger: experts

GravityRAT, a malware allegedly designed by Pakistani hackers, has recently been updated further and equipped with anti-malware evasion capabilites,.


The RAT was first detected by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, CERT-In, on various computers in 2017. It is designed to infliltrate computers and steal the data of users, and relay the stolen data to Command and Control centres in other countries. The ‘RAT’ in its name stands for Remote Access Trojan, which is a program capable of being controlled remotely and thus difficult to trace.


Mask presence


L atest update to the program by its developers is part of GravityRAT’s function as an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT), which, once it infiltrates a system, silently evolves and does long-term damage.


“GravityRAT is unlike most malware, which are designed to inflict short term damage. It lies hidden in the system that it takes over and keeps penetrating deeper. According to latest inputs, GravityRAT has now become self aware and is capable of evading several commonly used malware detection techniques,” an officer of the cybercrime unit said.


One such technique is ‘sandboxing’, to isolate malware from critical programs on infected devices and provide an extra layer of security.


“The problem, however, is that malware needs to be detected before it can be sandboxed, and GravityRAT now has the ability to mask its presence. Typically, malware activity is detected by the ‘noise’ it causes inside the Central Processing Unit, but GravityRAT is able to work silently. It can also gauge the temperature of the CPU and ascertain if the device is carrying out high intensity activity, like a malware search, and act to evade detection,” another officer said.


Email attachment


Officials said that GravityRAT infiltrates a system in the form of an innocuous looking email attachment, which can be in any format, including MS Word, MS Excel, MS Powerpoint, Adobe Acrobat or even audio and video files.


“The hackers first identify the interests of their targets and then send emails with suitable attachments. Thus a document with ‘share prices’ in the file is sent to those interested in the stock market. Once it is downloaded, it prompts the user to enter a message in a dialogue box, purportedly to prove that the user is not a bot. While the users take this to be a sign of extra security, the action actually initiates the process for the malware to infiltrate the system, triggering several steps that end with GravityRAT sending data to the Command and Control server regularly,” an officer said.


The other concern is that the Command and Control servers are based in several countries. The data is sent in an encrypted format, making it difficult to detect exactly what is leaked.


Special Inspector General of Police (Cyber) Brijesh Singh of Maharashtra Police said, “We urge people to follow basic cyberhygiene like watching what they download, updating their anti-virus software and conducting cyber security reviews regularly.” CERT-In had issued an alert for it last year, with an advisory asking users to review cybersecurity measures and update anti-malware tools.




[Q.10]“Academik Lomonosov”, recently seen in news, it is?


(a) A joint venture between India and Russian in research and development.


(b) A climate change related programme launched by Russia, china and Japan in arctic region.


(c) Russia’s world’s first floating nuclear power plant (FNPP) has become operational.


(d) Joint venture between India and France for oil exploration in Arctic region.



[ans] c






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