Current Affairs Current Affairs - 22 April 2015 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 22 April 2015

India has 988 species on IUCN ‘Red List’
  • India has added 15 more species to the “Red List” of threatened species published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2014, but the country has climbed down a spot to the seventh position.

    By the year-end, India had 988 threatened species on the list, which lists critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable species. In 2013, the number was 973. With 659 species in 2008, the increase over seven years is 50 per cent, in part due to better research identifying more threatened species and deforestation.

    By adding 37 species, China seemed to have helped India improve its rank.

    “Apart from habitat loss, it is research and surveys that add species to the ‘Red List’. Studies for some endemic species are yet to be conducted in India, to give a better picture of their status,” said P.O. Nameer, South Asian coordinator, in situ, Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, Species Survival Commission, IUCN.

    “This is definitely a concern … There is a tendency of decision-makers to focus on ‘charismatic’ mammals for conservation, while others are left out of programmes … A more holistic approach is needed to conservation in India.”

    A recent World Bank mapping of endangered mammals shows India as having the fourth largest number of threatened species in the world, 31 of them endemic to the region.

Dear PM, if you want the next Google from India, save Net Neutrality: Tech startups in Open letter
  • The online push for Net Neutrality in India continues with tech startups writing an open letter to the Prime Minister, asking him to come out and support them on the issue.
    The letter which has been put up on the ‘’ website has been signed by start-ups like, Goibibo, Medinama, Scrollback to name a few.
    The letter reads,
    Dear Sir,
    We are writing to you as founders and stakeholders of Indian internet-enabled start-ups.
    Each of us set out on this entrepreneurial journey dreaming of creating world-leadingcompanies from India. There is no reason why an Indian company cannot be the nextGoogle, Facebook or Amazon. We know that you share our dream; you put it into words: Make in India.
    We share another dream with you, the dream of a Digital India. We dream of this as Indians, and also as businesses that wish to serve a fast-growing Indian market. TheInternet gives us all the potential to do that.
    But for these dreams to come true, we need an open Internet.”
    They also make a strong pitch against licensing saying, “If internet-enabled start-ups oronline service providers had to first obtain a government license, or pay each InternetService Provider (ISP) in the world—there are tens of thousands of them—this globalmarket and competition, and the innovation and progress, would all disappear.” 
    The letter also slams the zero-rating app and points out that it isn’t really about providing access to the poor but rather about capturing more consumers.
    The letter by tech start-ups in support of Net Neutrality reads on zero-rating, “The handful of sites that they (zero-ratings) offer in their packages—a few dozen at most—is a mere sliver of the over 100 crore websites that the Internet currently offers. As to including the poor, the sites in these “free” offerings are primarily aimed at luring away the primarily middle-class customers of their competitors rather than the poor or those who currently lack access.” 
    The letter ends by saying,

New report debunks anti-H-1B myths
  • A new report debunks arguments long touted by H-1B critics to say foreign workers don’t cost less, don’t replace natives and the US is actually short of STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) workers, and needs help.

    The report by Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a respected DC think-tank, makes standard, but timely, arguments in support of H-1B.

    It will be widely welcomed by India IT companies that are the largest recipients of H-1Bs and have been thus under fire in recent years accused of taking away native jobs.

    “Good report,” said a representative of those of companies, “this is the argument we and other tech companies (US, Indian and others) have been making for some time.”

    There has been a move to expand the H-1B programme, which allows US firms to hire high-skilled foreign workers, but some lawmakers and unions have opposed it strenuously.

    They have argued, including in congressional hearings, that the US doesn’t actually need STEM workers form abroad, that foreign workers displace native workers as they cost less.

    ITIF says in its report released Monday most H-1B critics are “more interested in protecting the salaries of high-wage professionals than in helping the broad base of American consumers and workers”.

New LED technology boosts Wi-Fi bandwidth
  • A  new technology that can increase the bandwidth of WiFisystems by 10 times, using LED lights to transmitinformation, has been developed.

    The technology could be integrated with existing WiFisystems to reduce bandwidth problems in crowded locations, such as airport terminals or coffee shops, and in homes where several people have multiple WiFi devices.

    Experts say that recent advances in LED technology have made it possible to modulate the LED light more rapidly, opening the possibility of using light forwireless transmission in a “free space” optical communication system.

    “In addition to improving the experience for users, the two big advantages of thissystem are that it uses inexpensive components, and it integrates with existing WiFi systems,” said Thinh Nguyen, an Oregon State University associate professorof electrical and computer engineering.

    Nguyen worked with Alan Wang, an assistant professor of electrical and computerengineering, to build the first prototype.

    The prototype, called WiFO, uses LEDs that are beyond the visual spectrum for humans and creates an invisible cone of light about one meter square in which the data can be received.

    To address the issue of a small area of usability, the researchers created a hybridsystem that can switch between several LED transmitters installed on a ceiling, and the existing WiFi system.

After CEO, 30 GoAir pilots quit
  • NEW DELHI: Wadia Group's GoAir seems to be passing through a turbulent phase. Within weeks of GoAir CEO Giorgio De Roni quitting, 30 pilots of the low cost carrier (LCC) have now put in their papers. With a total strength of 200 pilots in the 19-aircraft- airline, this exodus means a 15% reduction in GoAir's pilot strength.

    While the airline's spokesman declined to comment on this issue, sources say the pilots quit due to "training issues and possibly not getting adequate flying hours". The airline industry's pay structure for a pilot has two parts — a relatively low fixed component and flying allowances that form a lion's share of the package. Flying less could mean getting a truncated pay cheque.

Government rejects demands from MPs to dilute black money bill
  • NEW DELHI: The government has spurned pressure from industry lobby groups as well as some lawmakers who had approached it to dilute two key moves - mandatory use of PAN for transaction above Rs 1 lakh and the Black Money Bill - announced in the budget to crack down on flow of illicit funds in the economy.

    Representatives from several sectors - which see large volumes of cash transactions - have approached ministers seeking watering down of the proposal to make it mandatory to produce permanent account number (PAN) for all transactions of Rs 1 lakh or above. In several sectors, which are known for accumulation of black money, cash transactions are dominant. The presence of illicit cash in the economy also impacts other sectors, including purchase of durables and luxury items in cash.

    As part of the crackdown on black money in local economy, finance minister Arun Jaitley has also proposed banning advance payment beyond Rs 20,000 for real estate deals.

Have come back with lot of positives from Hawke's Bay: Ritu Rani
  • "We have come back with many positives along with the loopholes or the weaknesses. We will go back to the drawing board and chalk out a plan on how to build on our strengths, which will help take care of the weak areas. I think we need to work on converting those half chances through better ball possession," Rani said after landing here with the rest of the team.
    During the tournament, the team held a higher-ranked Australia to a 0-0 draw and beat Japan 3-2 leaving everyone stunned. Speaking on the performance, Roelant Oltmans, Director High Performance, Hockey India said, "While the team had to settle for the 7th position, we have drawn some very encouraging moments, which are the strengths of the girls as a team and which we have to work upon before the Hockey World League in June


    • 1. UNIVAC stands for?
      A) Universal Automatic Computer
      B) Universal Array Computer
      C) Unique Automatic Computer
      D) Unvalued Automatic Computer
      E) None of these
    • 2. The basic operation performed by a computer is ____
      A) Arithmetic operation
      B) Logical operation
      C) Storage and relative
      D) All the above
      E) None of these
    • 3. The two major types of computer chips are:
      A) External memory chip
      B) Primary memory chip
      C) Microprocessor chip
      D) Both b and c
      E) Both a and b
    • 4. Microprocessors as switching devices are for which generation computers?
      A) First Generation
      B) Second Generation
      C) Third Generation
      D) Fourth Generation
      E) None of the above
    • 5. What is the main difference between a mainframe and a super computer?
      A) Super computer is much larger than mainframe computers
      B) Super computers are much smaller than mainframe computers
      C) Super computers are focused to execute few programs as fast as possible while mainframe
      uses its power to execute as many programs concurrently
      D) Super computers are focused to execute as many programs as possible while mainframe
      uses its power to execute few programs as fast as possible
      E) None of the above
    • 6. ASCII and EBCDIC are the popular character coding systems. What does EBCDIC stand for?
      A) Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code
      B) Extended Bit Code Decimal Interchange Code
      C) Extended Bit Case Decimal Interchange Code
      D) Extended Binary Case Decimal Interchange Code
      E) None of the above
    • 7. The brain of any computer system is ___
      A) ALU
      B) Memory
      C) CPU
      D) Control unit
      E) Keyboard
    • 8. Storage capacity of magnetic disk depends on ___
      A) tracks per inch of surface
      B) bits per inch of tracks
      C) disk pack in disk surface
      D) All of the above
      E) Only A and B
    • 9. The two kinds of main memory are:
      A) Primary and Secondary
      B) Random and Sequential
      C) ROM and RAM
      D) All of the above
      E) None of these
    • 10. A storage area used to store data to compensate for the difference in speed at which the different units can handle data is ___
      A) Memory
      B) Buffer
      C) Accumulator
      D) Address
      E) None of these
    • 11. Computer is free from tiresome and boardroom. We call it ___
      A) accuracy
      B) reliability
      C) diligence
      D) versatility
      E) programmability
    • 12. Integrated Circuits (ICs) are related to which generation of computers?
      A) First generation
      B) Second generation
      C) Third generation
      D) Fourth generation
      E) Fifth generation
    • 13. CD-ROM is a ___
      A) Semiconductor memory
      B) Memory register
      C) Magnetic memory
      D) All of the above
      E) None of the above
    • 14. A hybrid computer:
      A) Resembles digital computer
      B) Resembles analogue computer
      C) Resembles both a digital and analogue computer
      D) Converts digital to analog
      E) None of the above
    • 15. Which type of computers uses the 8-bit code called EBCDIC?
      A) Mini computers
      B) Micro computers
      C) Mainframe computers
      D) Super computer
      E) None of these
    • 16. The ALU of a computer responds to the commands coming from:
      A) Primary memory
      B) Control section
      C) External memory
      D) Cache memory
      E) None of these
    • 17. Chief component of first generation computer was ___
      A) Transistors
      B) Vacuum Tubes and Valves
      C) Integrated Circuits
      D) All of the above
      E) None of the above
    • 18. To produce high quality graphics (hardcopy) in color, you would want to use a/an ___
      A) RGB monitors
      B) Plotter
      C) Ink-jet printer
      D) Laser printer
      E) None of these
    • 19. What are the stages in the compilation process?
      A) Feasibility study, system design and testing
      B) Implementation and documentation
      C) Lexical Analysis, syntax analysis, and code generation
      D) Both A and B
      E) None of the above
    • 20. Which of the following IC was used in third generation of computers?
      A) SSI
      B) MSI
      C) LSI
      D) Both a and b
      E) None of these
    • ANSWERS:
      1) A 2) D 3) D 4) D 5) C 6) A 7) C 8) D 9) C 10) B
      11) C 12) C 13) E 14) C 15) C 16) B 17) B 18) B 19) C 20) D

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