1. For making National Monetization Pipeline a success, NITI Aayog has proposed few steps:
1. The government should give Income Tax breaks to attract retail investors into instruments such as Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs).
2. NITI Aayog has also called for bringing such trusts within the ambit of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) to provide greater comfort to investors.
Which of the steps given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Explanation: To make the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) a success, the government should give Income Tax breaks to attract retail investors into instruments such as Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs), the NITI Aayog has recommended.
The Centre’s think tank driving the NMP, estimated to raise almost Rs.6 lakh crore for the exchequer over four years, has also called for bringing such trusts within the ambit of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) to provide greater comfort to investors.
Bringing in policy and regulatory changes to scale up monetisation instruments such as InvITs and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and expand their investor base have been identified as a critical element for the NMP. The government plans to use the InvIT and REIT route to monetise public assets such as highways, gas pipelines, railway tracks and power transmission lines.
“More tax-efficient and user-friendly mechanisms like allowing tax benefits in InvITs as eligible security to invest under Section 54EC of the Income Tax Act, 1961, are important starting points for initiating retail participation in the instruments,” the Aayog said in its blueprint, indicating that further taxation-related tweaks may be needed along the way.
Source: https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/niti-aayog-bats-for-tax-breaks-to-achieve-monetisation-goal/article36169829.ece


2. India will sign the, ‘Reciprocal Exchange of Logistics Agreement (RELOS)’ with which country?
(a) Russia
(b) US
(c) Germany
(d) Japan
Explanation: Option (a) is correct
India and Russia are expecting to conclude the bilateral logistics agreement, Reciprocal Exchange of Logistics Agreement (RELOS), and a Navy-to- Navy cooperation memorandum of understanding (MoU) when Russian Defence Minister Gen. Sergei Shoigu visits India later this year. The two sides are also looking at expanding cooperation in Central Asia and the possibility of supplementing bilateral exercises with trilateral and multilateral ones.
Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-russia-to-expand-cooperation-in-central-asia-says-envoy/article36166715.ece

3. Consider the following statements with regard to the Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs):
1. Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvITs) is like a mutual fund, which enables direct investment of small amounts of money from possible individual/institutional investors in infrastructure.
2. InvITs can be treated as the modified version of real estate investment trusts (REITs).
3. An InvIT consists of four elements: 1) Trustee, 2) Sponsor(s), 3) Investment Manager and 4) Project Manager.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 1 and 3 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Explanation: An Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvITs) is like a mutual fund, which enables direct investment of small amounts of money from possible individual/institutional investors in infrastructure to earn a small portion of the income as return. InvITs work like mutual funds or real estate investment trusts (REITs) in features. InvITs can be treated as the modified version of REITs designed to suit the specific circumstances of the infrastructure sector.

Sebi notified the Sebi (Infrastructure Investment Trusts) Regulations, 2014 on September 26, 2014, providing for registration and regulation of InvITs in India. The objective of InvITs is to facilitate investment in the infrastructure sector.

InvITS are like mutual funds in structure. InvITs can be established as a trust and registered with Sebi. An InvIT consists of four elements: 1) Trustee, 2) Sponsor(s), 3) Investment Manager and 4) Project Manager.

Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/definition/infrastructure-investment-trusts

4. Strait of Malacca connects:
(a) Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean
(b) Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean
(c) Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean
(d) None of the above
Explanation: Option (b) is correct
Strait of Malacca, waterway connecting the Andaman Sea (Indian Ocean) and the South China Sea (Pacific Ocean). It runs between the Indonesian island of Sumatra to the west and peninsular (West) Malaysia and extreme southern Thailand to the east and has an area of about 25,000 square miles (65,000 square km). The strait is 500 miles (800 km) long and is funnel-shaped, with a width of only 40 miles (65 km) in the south that broadens northward to some 155 miles (250 km) between We Island off Sumatra and the Isthmus of Kra on the mainland. The strait derived its name from the trading port of Melaka (formerly Malacca)—which was of importance in the 16th and 17th centuries—on the Malay coast.
Source: https://www.britannica.com/place/Strait-of-Malacca
https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/china-to-require-foreign-vessels-to-report-in-territorial-waters/article36170508.ece#:~:text=In%20a%20move%20that%20could,%E2%80%9D%2C%20starting%20from%20September%201.

5. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, comes under which ministry?
(a) Ministry of Social Justice
(b) Ministry of Women and Child Development
(c) Ministry of Minority Affairs
(d) None f the above
Explanation: Option (b) is correct
In order to effectively address the heinous crimes of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children through less ambiguous and more stringent legal provisions, the Ministry of Women and Child Development championed the introduction of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
The Act has been enacted to protect children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography and provide for establishment of Special Courts for trial of such offences and related matters and incidents.

Source: https://vikaspedia.in/education/policies-and-schemes/protection-of-children-from-sexual-offences-act
https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/man-held-under-pocso-act-for-harassing-2-girls/article36172026.ece