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Daily Prelims Test – 01_December 2020

Consider the following statements regarding the RT-LAMP technology

  • It is a one-step nucleic acid amplification method to multiply specific sequences of RNA of the coronavirus
  • It is done at 65 degrees C, where the DNA amplification is done at a constant temperature

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

  • 1 only
  • 2 only
  • Both 1 and 2
  • Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS:RT-LAMP: a new technology for detecting COVID-19

  • The current method for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis is the real time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test which detects the presence of viral nucleic acids in nasopharyngeal swab samples. But it has certain shortcomings. The test requires complex and costly equipment. It requires extensive training for potential users.
  • COVID-19 serology tests are also in use to detect antigens that are associated with the virus infection. These tests are easy to use with rapid results, as well as have minimal expenses. However, serology immunoassay lacks the necessary accuracy to be a reliable diagnostic test due to its low sensitivity and high false negative/positive rates.

About RT-LAMP (Reverse Transcriptase loop-mediated isothermal amplification) technology

  • RT-LAMP (Reverse Transcriptase loop-mediated isothermal amplification) technology is a superior technique.
  • It is a one-step nucleic acid amplification method to multiply specific sequences of RNA (Ribonucleic acid) of the coronavirus.Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The RNA is first made into cDNA (copy DNA) by the usual reverse transcription.
  • Then, the DNA is amplified by the LAMP technique.
  • The LAMP technology has many advantages over RT-PCR technology:
  • The RT-PCR test needs different temperatures in one cycle. The temperature of the solution has to be changed from 92 degrees C to 56 degrees C and again to 72 degrees C every two minutes, and this cycle has to be repeated. Thus, the PCR test needs expensive thermal cycler as well as the real time PCR machines.
  • The new RT-LAMP technology is done at 65 degrees C, where the DNA amplification is done at a constant temperature (isothermal), so that expensive thermal cycler is not required.Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The quantity of DNA amplified in the LAMP technology is hundred thousand times more than that in PCR. The final assay is possible with a simple colour reaction, removing the need for very costly real time PCR machines.
  • Results can be obtained within 30 minutes and positive samples are amplified as early as 10 minutes compared with the PCR technique which needs 8–10 hours for completion.
  • The reagents in LAMP technology are to be stored at 4-degree C (ordinary fridge), whereas the PCR-based reagents are to be stored and transported at (minus) –20 degrees C, which needs deep freezers that escalate the cost.
  • LAMP is cost effective and does not need complex expensive equipment and can be performed with minimum skill and minimum infrastructure.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/rt-lamp-a-new-technology-for-detecting-covid-19/article33201609.ece


Which of the following statement is correct regarding Cnemaspisavasabinae?

  • It is a new species of lizard
  • It is a new species of Indian Goose grass
  • It is a new species of the plant group pipeworts
  • It is a new species of freshwater turtle

Answer: (a) It is a new species of lizard

Explanation:

In NEWS:New species of gecko found in the Eastern Ghats

  • A new species of lizard, the smallest known Indian gekkonid, has been discovered in the Eastern Ghats. Studies show that the species belonged to the genus Cnemaspis. In India, 45 diverse species of Cnemaspis have been found, of which 34 are from the Western Ghats.
  • This discovery suggests that the Cnemaspis genus may be even more widely distributed than previously thought.Hence, option (a) is correct

About Cnemaspisavasabinae

  • It is the smallest known Indian gekkonid.
  • The males of the species lacked femoral pores.
  • Generally, most variants of lizards have femoral pores in both the sexes, and the secretions from these pores play a role in communication.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/new-species-of-gecko-found-in-the-eastern-ghats/article33201561.ece


3.Consider the following statements

  • Marine Protected Areas in India are the area defined under IUCN Guidelines
  • Gulf of Mannar is the first National Marine park of India.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

  • 1 only
  • 2 only
  • Both 1 and 2
  • Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS:India inches towards first marine ‘designated area’ off Maharashtra coast

  • The state government has sent its final proposal to the Centre to notify 2,011.43 sq km Angria Bank – located 105km (56.7 nautical miles) off the Konkan coast – as a ‘designated area’ under the Maritime Zones Act, 1976, thereby inching towards India’s first marine protected zone beyond territorial waters.

About Marine protected Areas

  • Marine Protected Areas are created by delineating zones with permitted and non-permitted uses within that zone.
  • Marine Protected Areas in India are the area defined under IUCN Guidelines. They limit anthropogenic activities and exploitation of resources in these areas. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The term Marine Protected Areas include marine reserves, fully protected marine areas, no-take zones, marine sanctuaries, ocean sanctuaries, marine parks, locally managed marine areas, to name a few.
  • These are protected areas within or adjacent to seas, oceans, estuaries, lagoons. In these areas human activities are more strictly regulated than the surrounding waters.
  • Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park is the first National Marine park of India.Hence statement 2 is correct

India’s other marine protected areas are:

  • Gahirmatha Sanctuary
  • Gulf Kutch Sanctuary
  • Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
  • Gulf of Mannar National Park

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/india-inches-towards-first-marine-designated-area-off-maharashtra-coast/story-P8RPgVUfug8tqtLq9spl1I.html


Recently, the term Fusarium is seen in news, what is it?

  • It is an anti defection spray used to combat COVID 19
  • It is a root pathogen infection in banana plant
  • It is a new rice variety developed by the International Rice Research Institute
  • It is a herbal plant variety

Answer: (b) It is a root pathogen infection in banana plant

Explanation:

In NEWS:DST INSPIRE Faculty fellow working to develop improved disease-resistant banana plants

  • Genetic approaches to decipher the molecular cross-talk between banana and Fusarium during infection
  • Fusarium, a root pathogen infection in banana plant may soon help develop strategies to prevent the disease that causes wilting of the fruit crop that is grown in at least 5 major states of India.Hence, option (b) is correct
  • India is the leading producer of banana in the world and the present cultivation is vulnerable to this fungal disease which dwells in soil as a saprophyte and shifts to the parasitic mode in presence of host roots. Scientists are trying to understand the disease paradigm for developing innovative management strategies.

Highlights of the study:

  • A molecular combat exists between the two partners at the site of infection where repertoire of virulent factors from Foc and defense molecules from banana are secreted.
  • In the process of recognition of banana roots, Foc activates a series of virulence genes.
  • All these virulence genes are under the control of a few master regulators which are up-regulated during colonization.
  • FocSge1 is a master regulator that acts as a co-activator and triggers the expression of effector genes required for pathogenicity.
  • FocSge1 deletion strain of Fusarium created by scientists showed characteristics that together contributed to the loss of pathogenicity (property of causing disease).

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetailm.aspx?PRID=1677005


Sometimes the Angria Bank often seen in news, it is located in the

  • Uktal Coast
  • Coramandal Coast
  • Malabar Coast
  • Konkan coast

Answer: (d) Konkan coast

Explanation:

In NEWS: India inches towards first marine ‘designated area’ off Maharashtra coast

  • The state government has sent its final proposal to the Centre to notify 2,011.43 sq km Angria Bank – located 105km (56.7 nautical miles) off the Konkan coast – as a ‘designated area’ under the Maritime Zones Act, 1976. It will be the India’s first marine protected zone beyond territorial waters, if approved.Hence, option (d) is correct
  • As Angria Bank lies beyond the Indian territorial waters (12 nautical miles),it is not possible to declare the site as a protected area under the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972.
  • Therefore, being in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ),the only way to provide legal protection is by notifying it as a ‘designated area’ for marine protection under the Maritime Zones Act, 1976, (covering territorial waters, continental shelf, exclusive economic zone, and other maritime zones) of the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • This proposal is a first under the Maritime Zones Act, 1976.
  • Angria Bank is located 105km off the Konkan coast.
  • The Angira bank, named after Maratha Admiral KanhojiAngre, is located in Malvan town of Sindhudurg district

Significance of Angria Bank

  • Angria Bank, located off Malvan in Sindhudurg district, is a submerged plateau with coral reef formation at a depth of 20 to 400 metres, home to 29 genera and 39 species of both hard and soft corals (protected under Schedule I of the WPA) across 650 sq km. The proposed boundary for protection is approximately 61-km long and 50-km wide.
  • Wildlife Institute of India has identified Angria Bank among 106 important coastal and marine biodiversity areas in India.
  • As many as 123 species of fish, 43 species of invertebrates, dolphins and whales among other marine animals protected under India’s wildlife laws were recorded.
  • Threats including overfishing, oil, natural gas and mineral exploration, rising ocean temperatures, and rising marine traffic were identified.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/india-inches-towards-first-marine-designated-area-off-maharashtra-coast/story-P8RPgVUfug8tqtLq9spl1I.html#:~:text=Conservation%20Society%20%2D%20India)-,The%20state%20government%20has%20sent%20its%20final%20proposal%20to%20the,protected%20zone%20beyond%20territorial%20waters.


Which of the following statements with respect to Thai Mangur?

  • It is dance and poetic performance form of Mizoram
  • It is a martial art of Assam
  • It is a lockdown ritual practiced by the Galo tribes.
  • It is a banned catfish

Answer: (d) It is a banned catfish

Explanation:

In NEWS:Maharashtra: Banned catfish Thai Mangur illegally breeding in over 125 artificial ponds in Thane

  • A shocking incident came to light in Maharashtra, where almost thousands of tons of banned catfish, Thai Mangur are illegally being bred in over 125 artificial ponds in rural Thane, according to the survey conducted by the government agencies
  • The main reason why the fish is reared is that locally, it has high demand as it is cheaper as compared to other fishes, seafood, or meat.
  • Thai Mangurhas been banned by National Green Tribunal in 2000 as they destroyed the local ecosystem and were considered harmful for human consumption too.Hence, option (d) is correct

All about Thai Mangur

  • Ranging from Rs 100-150 per kg, Thai Mangur is easy and cheap to rear. The carnivorous species was introduced to India in the 1990s and it is originally from Africa and the Middle East.
  • Artificial tanks are constructed in large farmlands by the local cultivators, rented from unsuspecting tribals. It aggressively devours all organisms in any natural pond, thereby damaging the local ecosystem and biodiversity.
  • The banned catfish species is a low-maintenance investment for cultivators as it can feed on anything and can even survive in hostile conditions, even staying alive outside water for a long time.

Source: https://www.timesnownews.com/mumbai/article/maharashtra-banned-catfish-thai-mangur-illegally-breeding-in-over-125-artificial-ponds-in-thane/688545


Which of the following statements is not correct regarding the pardoning power of the President?

  • The President while exercising this power, does not sit as a court of appeal.
  • The Pardoning power of the President is independent of the Judiciary
  • It is not an executive power of the President
  • The President can pardon sentences inflicted by court martial

Answer: c) It is not an executive power of the President

Explanation:

In News: President’s power to pardon- in Us, India

  •  Article 72 of the Constitution empowers the President to grant pardons to persons who have been tried and convicted of any offence in all cases.
  •  The President while exercising this power, does not sit as a court of appeal.
  •  The Pardoning power of the President is independent of the Judiciary. It is an executive power of the President. Hence statement (c) is not the correct answer.
  •  The President can pardon sentences inflicted by court martial

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/presidents-powers-to-pardon-in-us-india-7069712/


Which of the following country’s national assembly has taken the first steps towards approving a law that would ban discrimination against people with pronounced regional accents across the country?

  • India
  • France
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany

Answer: (b) France

Explanation:

In NEWS: Why France may soon pass a law banning discrimination on the basis of the accents

  •  France’s national assembly has taken the first steps towards approving a law that would ban discrimination against people with pronounced regional accents across the country. Hence option (b) is the correct answer
  •  A new bill banning accent-based discrimination, or ‘la glottophobie’, was approved with 98 votes against three, and spurred a lively debate in the lower house of the French parliament.
  •  If passed, the new law will make linguistic discrimination a criminal offence along with sexism, racism and other forms of outlawed bigotry.
  •  A person found guilty of discrimination on the basis of regional accents could face a maximum of three years in prison and a fine of up to €45,000 (INR 39.8 lakh).
  •  Discrimination against people with strong regional accents was rampant in society, particularly at the workplace, and is a “form of racism”.
  •  According to Ouest-France, a poll conducted in January 2020 showed that around 16 per cent of the French population claim to have been discriminated against during hiring because of their accent.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-why-france-may-soon-pass-a-law-banning-discrimination-on-the-basis-of-accents-7071787/


With reference to Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA), consider the following statements

  •  It is a not for Profit Company
  •  It is promoted jointly by the Technology Development Board (TDB), Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Select the correct answer using the code given below

  •  1 only
  •  2 only
  •  Both 1 and 2
  •  Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In News: GITA is a catalyst for nurturing innovation & industrial R&D by fostering bilateral academic-industry & government collaborations: Dr. Harsh Vardhan

  •  Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA) is a “not–for–profit” Section-8 Public Private Partnership (PPP) company. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  •  It is promoted jointly by the Technology Development Board (TDB), Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). hence statement 2 is correct.
  •  The Prime Minister’s Council on Trade & Industry had, in 2010, recommended incorporation of a Government’s arm’s length entity under PPP mode to professionally manage the Government’s funds for providing flexibility to industry for undertaking R&D along with global partners.
  •  The GITA platform encourages industrial investments in innovative technology solutions by
    •  Mapping technology gaps,
    •  Undertaking expert evaluation of technologies available across the globe,
    •  Facilitating techno–strategic collaborative partnerships appropriate for Indian economy,
    •  Connecting industrial and institutional partners for synergistic matchmaking and
    •  Providing soft funding for technology development / acquisition / deployment.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1676706


Steel slag can be the material for which of the following?

  • Construction of base road
  • Improvement of agricultural soil
  • Production of cement

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  • 1 and 2 only
  • 2 and 3 only
  • 1 and 3 only
  • 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

  • Option 1 is correct: Steel slag, a by – product of steel making, is produced during the separation of the molten steel from impurities in steel -making furnaces. One of the ingredients of asphalt is steel slag, a by -product of the steel and iron production processes. Asphalt roads are made of a mixture of aggregates, binders and fillers. The aggregates are typically iron and/or steel slag, sand, gravel or crushed rock, and they are bound together with asphalt itself, which is a bitumen.
  • Option 2 is correct: Steel slags can be used in several activities, such as construction and paving, and also in the agricultural sector due to its ability to correct soil acidity, as it contains some nutrients for the plants and also as silicate fertilizer that is capable of providing silicon to the plants.
  • Option 3 is correct: Steel slag, another waste from Iron & Steel Industry, has shown potential for use as a raw mix component up to 10% in the manufacture of cement clinker. Steel slag can also replace granulated blast furnace slag up to 10% in the manufacture of Portland Slag Cement. Steel slag has been used successfully to treat acidic water discharges from abandoned mines.