descriptive questions

Current National and International Affairs & Business News [December 2010] for Civil Services exam 2011, Bank PO, Bank Clerk, NDA, CDS, MBA, etc. exams

Current Affairs section has been updated with topics of December 2010.

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Mid-quarter policy review by RBI. India’s U-turn at Cancun Summit. Rs 40,000 cr raised via disinvestment in 2010. Worst Session of Parliament. Visit of Chinese Prime Minister. India-EU Summit. Visit of French President. Visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Germany. Visit of Russian President. TRAI cracks whip on telemarketers.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: US Senate ratifies new arms control treaty with Russia. Lack of risk management exposes BRIC economies. IMF Report on World Economy. Global economy in better shape. More efforts required to slow deforestation. Greenland ice melts set record in 2010. Cancun Climate Summit. China, Pak ink trade deals. Terror to be India’s focus at UNSC.

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Feature for Civil Services, UPSC, IAS, Bank Descriptive Questions | History of India-China relations

India’s relations with China have a long history. The origins of China’s expansionist and aggressive designs can be traced to its full occupation of Tibet, a vast region in Central Asia, often called the “Roof of the World” and the “Forbidden Land”. It brought China to the very edge of our border.

The decades-old cordiality, which marked the “Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai” days and all the impressive talk of Panchsheel (five principles of peaceful co-existence), to which China was also a vocal party during Nehru’s time, were turned into hostility as a result of the sudden invasion of India by China in 1962 and forcible occupation of about 35,000 square km of Indian territory.

Every now and then, the Chinese, officially or unofficially, release maps in a bid to establish their legal right over Indian territory which it seized in 1962 and other areas.

Several rounds of talks have been held, frequent gestures of friendship made, feelers thrown by both countries and false hopes aroused of a settlement of the vital border question. The results of the prolonged discussions, do not mark concrete achievements towards the solution of the boundary question which naturally continues to be the topmost priority from the Indian viewpoint.

Relations with China have also remained soured because of its support to Pakistan in making nuclear weapons. India has often protested about this but the co-operation has continued. China’s hand in the making of the Pakistani nuclear bombs was all too evident but India did not make it into an international issue. Nor has it highlighted the plight of the Tibetan refugees in India. More and more have been crossing the border and settle in India to escape the prosecution in China.

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Article @ – India’s Urban Scenario

Contrary to popular concepts of a predominantly rural India, an increasingly larger percentage of Indian population today lives in the urban areas. India’s urban population is now second largest in the world after China, and is higher than the total urban population of all countries put together barring China, USA and Russia. Over the last fifty years, while the country’s population has grown by 2.5 times, in the urban areas it has grown by five times.

In 1947, only 60 million people (15 per cent of the total population at that time) lived in urban areas. India’s urban population grew from the 290 million reported in the 2001 Census to an estimated 340 million in 2008 (30 percent of the total population) and it could soar to 590 million plus (40 percent of the population) by 2030. This urban expansion will happen at a speed quite unlike anything India has seen before. The steep growth in number of people living is partly due to the skewed development that has led to proliferation of commercial activities, and greater job opportunities in towns and cities. Facilities like health and education, and infrastructure like roadways, telecommunication, airports, railways and ports are also many times better in urban areas.

In spite of its prominent role in Indian economy, urban India faces serious problems due to population pressure, deterioration in the physical environment and quality of life. According to estimates, nearly one third of the urban India lives below poverty line. About 15 percent of the urbanites do not have access to safe drinking water and about 50 percent are not covered by sanitary facilities.

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Civil Services (IAS, IPS, IFS etc) Prelims Exam: Change in Syllabus 2011

UPSC has announced changes in syllabus and pattern of the Civil Services Preliminary Examination from 2011.

The Civil Services Preliminary Examination shall now comprise of two compulsory Papers of 200
marks each and of two hours duration each.

Paper I – (200 marks) Duration: Two hours
• Current events of national and international importance
• History of India and Indian National Movement
• Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic geography
of India and the World.
• Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System,
Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
• Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development,
Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
• General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate
Change – that do not require subject specialization
• General Science.

Paper II- (200 marks) Duration: Two hours
• Comprehension
• Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
• Logical reasoning and analytical ability
• Decision making and problem solving
• General mental ability
• Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude
etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data
sufficiency etc.—Class X level)
• English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).
• Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level
(last item in the Syllabus of Paper-II) will be tested through passages from

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Banks to have common entrance exam

The union government has accepted the recommendation of the A.K. Khandelwal committee and the Indian Banks Association has agreed to a common recruitment programme for public sector banks that would be conducted by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection.

The move is expected to address the issue of manpower shortage in State-owned banks, which are planning to recruit around 34,000 officers and 51,000 clerical staff over the next three years.The IBPS, established in 1984, is an autonomous body engaged in recruitment and internal promotions in banks and financial institutions. During 2009-10, IBPS conducted tests for around six million candidates at 125 centres across the country for recruitment in PSBs.

The Khandelwal committee, in its report presented to the government in June, had recommended, among other issues, that bankers could design the content of testing, methodology for conducting such tests and also review the existing arrangements.

The move was necessitated as banks were facing a huge problem in hiring talent. The common test is expected to bring down recruitment cost and the time taken. The proposed selection process will help jobseekers too as they will not be required to take separate tests for different banks.

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Essay for Civil Services exam; XAT; UPSC, Civil Services Exams: Tradition and Modernity: Friends or Foes?

Jean Baudrillard, a major theoretician of the European present, characterizes the present state of affairs, at least in the Western context, as “after the orgy”: the “orgy”, according to him, was the moment when modernity exploded upon us, the moment of liberation in every sphere.

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Article @ – Education for All

The gains achieved since the Education for All and Millennium Development Goals were adopted in 2000 are undeniable: great strides have been made towards universal primary education, increased participation in secondary and tertiary education and, in many countries, gender equality. More widely, there have been improvements in overcoming hunger, poverty, and child and maternal mortality.

The global financial crisis could radically change all this. Reaching the marginalized demonstrates that declining government revenue and rising unemployment now pose a serious threat to progress in all areas of human development. Government budgets are under even greater pressure and funding for education is especially vulnerable. So are poor households. Rising poverty levels mean that the challenge of meeting basic human needs is a daily struggle. Lessons from the past teach us that children are often the first to suffer—as is their chance to go to school.

Global Monitoring Report, 2010, underscores that there is a long way to travel. There are still at least 72 million children worldwide who are missing out on their right to education because of the simple fact of where they are born or who their family is. Millions of youths leave school without the skills they need to succeed in the workforce and one in six adults is denied the right to literacy.

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