Current Affairs MCQs for UPSC & State PSC Exams (20 September 2023)

Current Affairs MCQs Quiz for UPSC, IAS, UPPSC/UPPCS, MPPSC. BPSC, RPSC & All State PSC Exams

Date: 20 September 2023

1. Consider the following Committees:

1. Ashok Mehta Committee
2. JVP Committee
3. Balwant Rai Mehta Committee
4. Gadgil Committee

How many of the above committees had the mandate to discuss the Panchyati Raj System in India?

(A) Only one
(B) Only two
(C) Only three
(D) All four

Answer: (C)


  • The Panchayati Raj system in India represents rural local self-government, aimed at building grassroots democracy and rural development.
  • It was constitutionally established through the 73rd constitutional amendment act of 1992.

Evolution of Panchayati Raj:

  • Balwant Rai Mehta Committee, 1957:
  • Formed in 1957 to address democratic decentralization issues in independent India.
  • Recommended the scheme of 'Democratic decentralization,' which later became Panchayati Raj.
  • Its recommendations were accepted by the National Development Council in January 1958. Hence (3) is correct.
  • Ashok Mehta Committee, 1977:
  • Established in December 1977 during the Janata Government.
  • Chaired by Ashoka Mehta.
  • Submitted a report in August 1978 with 132 recommendations to revitalize and strengthen the declining Panchayati Raj system.
  • Led to the passage of new legislation in states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal. Hence (1) is correct.
  • GVK Rao Committee, 1985:
  • Appointed by the Planning Commission to examine various aspects of PRIs.
  • Recommended an essential role for Panchayati Raj in local planning and development.
  • L. M. Singhvi Committee, 1986:
  • Established in 1986 by the Rajiv Gandhi government.
  • Chaired by Indian jurist L. M. Singhvi.
  • Recommended constitutional recognition for Panchayati Raj institutions.
  • P.K. Thungon Committee, 1988:
  • In 1989, recommended constitutional recognition for local government bodies.
  • Proposed a constitutional amendment for periodic elections to local government institutions and the delegation of appropriate functions and funds to them.
  • Gadgil Committee, 1988:
  • Constituted in 1988 by the Congress Party.
  • Chaired by V.N. Gadgil.
  • Tasked with determining how Panchayati Raj institutions could be made more effective.
  • The recommendations of this committee served as the foundation for drafting an amendment bill to confer constitutional status and protection on Panchayati Raj institutions. Hence (4) is correct.

The "JVP committee" was established by the Congress during its Jaipur session. This committee, comprising Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel, and Pattabhi Sitaramayya, was tasked with examining the recommendations of the Linguistic Provinces Commission, also known as the Dhar Commission. In its report dated April 1, 1949, the committee concluded that the prevailing circumstances were not conducive to the creation of new provinces. Hence (2) is incorrect.

2. Consider the following statements about Planetary Boundaries:

1. Climate change and ocean acidification is, but biogeochemical flows are not a component of Planet Boundaries.
2. The world had breached 5 boundaries back in 2009.

Which of the following statements are correct?

(A) 1 only
(B) 2 only
(C) Both 1 and 2
(D) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (D)

Explanation: The following 9 are the Planet Boundaries:

  1. Climate change: Maintaining atmospheric CO2 concentration below 350 ppm and limiting radiative forcing to a maximum increase of +1 W/m2.
  2. Ocean acidification: Ensuring that mean surface seawater saturation state with respect to aragonite remains at or above 80% of pre-industrial levels.
  3. Stratospheric ozone depletion: Restricting the reduction in total atmospheric O3 to less than 5% from a pre-industrial level of 290 Dobson Units.
  4. Biogeochemical flows in the nitrogen (N) cycle: Limiting industrial and agricultural fixation of N2 to 35 Tg N/yr.
  5. Biogeochemical flows in the phosphorus (P) cycle: Keeping annual P inflow to oceans below 10 times the natural background weathering of P. Hence statement 1 is incorrect.
  6. Global freshwater use: Keeping consumptive use of runoff resources below 4000 km3/yr.
  7. Land system change: Ensuring that less than 15% of the ice-free land surface is under cropland.
  8. The erosion of biosphere integrity: Limiting the annual rate of loss of biological diversity to less than 10 extinctions per million species.
  9. Chemical pollution: Managing the introduction of novel entities into the environment.

The world had breached 3 boundaries in 2009, 5 in 2015 and 6 in 2023. Hence statement 2 is incorrect.

3. Consider the following statements about Elephant Corridors:

1. An elephant corridor is a forested area that links larger habitats containing elephant populations.
2. It acts as a pathway for the movement of animals between these habitats.
3. Plan Bee is a plan to avoid the Man and human conflict mainly near the agricultural farms.

How many of the above statements are incorrect?

(A) Only one
(B) Only two
(C) All three
(D) None

Answer: (A)

Explanation: Elephant corridors, characterized as slender strips of land, serve as vital connections between two expansive elephant habitats. These corridors play a pivotal role in mitigating casualties among these animals resulting from accidents and other factors. Consequently, in the face of forest fragmentation, preserving these migratory pathways becomes even more imperative. The identification of these elephant corridors has been a collaborative effort, involving The Elephant Task Force Report of 2010, known as "Gajah," and the State Forest Departments of states within the elephant range. To date, a total of 100 elephant corridors have been pinpointed across the country. In recognition of their importance, the Government of India has implemented numerous measures aimed at safeguarding these vital passages for elephants. Hence statements 1 and 2 are correct.

Plan Bee, an innovative initiative introduced by the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) to deter wild elephants from approaching railway tracks, has earned recognition as the best innovation award from Indian Railways. The Plan Bee strategy involves the installation of devices along the tracks, which produce a buzzing sound that mimics a swarm of honey bees. This sound serves as a natural repellent for elephants, as they naturally fear the potential stings of bees. The first such device was set up in the vicinity of the Guwahati railway station. Notably, the buzzing noise can be heard by elephants from a distance of 600-700 meters, effectively discouraging them from venturing close to the railway tracks. Hence statement 3 is incorrect.

4. Consider the following statement, with reference to to Fifteenth Finance Commission of India

1. Its recommendations will cover a period of five years from the year 2022-23 to 2026-27.
2. The recommended limits for states as a percentage of GSDP were 4% in 2021-22, 3.5% in 2022-23, and 3% during 2023-26, with an additional 0.5% allowed for power sector reforms.

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: (B)


15th Finance Commission of India –

  • The Finance Commission (FC) is a constitutional body, that determines the method and formula for distributing the tax proceeds between the Centre and states, and among the states as per the constitutional arrangement and present requirements.
  • Under Article 280 of the Constitution, the President of India is required to constitute a Finance Commission at an interval of five years or earlier.
  • The 15th Finance Commission was constituted by the President of India in November 2017, under the chairmanship of NK Singh. Its recommendations will cover a period of five years from the year 2021-22 to 2025-26.
    Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • The Fifteenth Finance Commission proposed a glide path to reduce the fiscal deficit for both Central and state governments. The recommended limits for states as a percentage of GSDP were 4% in 2021-22, 3.5% in 2022-23, and 3% during 2023-26, with an additional 0.5% allowed for power sector reforms. Hence, statement 2 is correct.

Hence, option (b) is correct.

5. Which of the following statements are correct regarding China’s China’s Thousand Talents Plan

(a) It's a plan of the Communist Party of China to promote the idea of communism at a global level through Chinese scholars.
(b) It's an initiative of the Chinese government to promote indigenous products in China.
(c) It's an initiative of the Chinese Communist Party that aims to attract global scientific talent to make China a leader in science and technology.
(d) It's an initiative headed by China in collaboration with ASEAN to promote regional talent and boost innovation in the region.

Answer: (C)


About China’s Thousand Talents Plan

The Thousand Talents Plan, initiated by the Chinese Communist Party, aims to attract global scientific talent to make China a leader in science and technology by 2050. It has raised concerns due to allegations of acquiring foreign technologies and intellectual property through non-transparent means.

A US Senate report cited it as a threat to American interests, citing cases of technology theft. Many in Australian and US academia are suspected of participating without disclosure. Human rights concerns also arise as technologies acquired have been used for surveillance and in the oppression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

Hence,option (c) is correct.