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Daily Prelims Test – 01_January 2021

Consider the following statements regarding No Confidence Motion

  • It can be moved by any member of the House.
  • It can be moved only in the Lok Sabha
  • The member need not give a reason for moving the no-confidence motion.

Select the correct answer using the code given below

  1. 1 only
  2. 1 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 2 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Answer: d) 1,2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Hooda says BJP govt in Haryana scared of facing no confidence motion

  • The Leader of Opposition and former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that the ruling BJP-JJP government in Haryana was scared of facing a ‘no confidence motion’ and therefore was not convening a special session of the State Assembly.

About No Confidence Motion:

  •  A no-confidence motion can be moved by any member of the House. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  •  It can be moved only in the Lok Sabha and not Rajya Sabha. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • Rule 198 of the Rules of Procedure and conduct of Lok Sabha specifies the procedure for moving a no-confidence motion.
  •  The member need not give a reason for moving the no-confidence motion. Hence statement 3 is correct.
  • The member has to give a written notice of the motion before 10 am which will be read out by the Speaker in the House.
  • A minimum of 50 members have to accept the motion and accordingly, the Speaker will announce the date for discussion for the motion.
  • If the motion is accepted, then the party in power has to prove its majority in the House.
  • If the government is not able to prove its majority in the House, then the government of the day has to resign.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/hooda-says-bjp-govt-in-haryana-scared-of-facing-no-confidence-motion/article33425116.ece


Consider the following statements regarding Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996

  • It is a law enacted to cover the Scheduled Areas which are not covered in the 73rd Constitutional amendment.
  • It is based on the report of the Laxmi Mall Singhvi Committee

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

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: Why there are protests over an eco-sensitive zone in Narmada district

  • Tribal communities have been protesting since the beginning of November, when the district administration served the first notice to execute the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) order.
  • Land belonging to the eco-sensitive zone should be used for agriculture use only and cannot be used for commercial, industrial and residential purpose.
  • Any land can be transferred only after approval from the state government and process has been initiated to include the state government as the co-owner of the land.
  • Formation of the Statue of Unity has left tribals in a state of mistrust and fear that government could dilute the power vested with villagers under the Panchayat (Extension of Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996, implemented in areas notified under Schedule V of the Constitution.

About Panchayat (Extension of Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA), 1996

  •  In 1995, based on the report of the Bhuria Committee, PESA is a law enacted by Government of India to cover the “Scheduled Areas”, which are not covered in the 73rd Constitutional amendmentHence statement 1 is correct and Hence statement 2 is correct
  • This particular act extends the provisions of Part IX to the Scheduled Areas of the country. PESA brought powers further down to the Gram Sabha level.
  • The Gram Sabha in the Panchayat Act were entrusted with wide ranging powers starting from consultation on land acquisition to that of ownership over minor forest produces and leasing of minor minerals.
  • Article 243M of the Constitution exempts the Fifth Schedule areas from Part IX of the Constitution.
  • It provides that Parliament may by law extend its provisions to the Scheduled and Tribal Areas subject to such exceptions and modifications as may be specified in such law and no such law shall be deemed to be an amendment to the Constitution.
  • The Ministry of Panchayati Raj is the nodal Ministry for implementation of the provisions of PESA in the States.
  • At present Scheduled V areas exist in 10 States.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/gujarat-narmada-district-eco-sensitive-zone-protests-7125774/


Consider the following statements regarding Eco-Sensitive Zone

  • They are the area around protected areas including a wildlife sanctuary, national parks and tiger reserves- up to 10 km.
  • They are notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) under Environment Protection Act, 1986

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

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Centre notifies 0-1 km area around boundary of Kerala”s Mathikettan Shola Park as Eco-sensitive Zone

  • The Centre has notified an area to an extent varying from zero to one km around the boundary of Mathikettan Shola National Park in Kerala”s Idukki district as an Eco-sensitive Zone considering the unique nature of the Shola forest and its importance as an elephant strip.
  • The Eco-sensitive Zone shall be to an extent of 0 (zero) to 1.00 kilometres around the boundary of Mathikettan Shola National Park and the area of the Eco-sensitive Zone is 17.5 square kilometers.
  • It said all new and existing mining (minor and major minerals), stone quarrying and crushing units shall be prohibited with immediate effect except for meeting the domestic needs of bona fide local residents including digging of earth for construction or repair of houses within the Eco- sensitive Zone.
  • The National Park is situated in the high ranges of southern Western Ghats and formed together with the part of the forest areas of Cardamom Hill Reserve.
  • Considering the unique features of the Shola forest in Mathikettan and its importance as an Elephant corridor, the Kerala government in 2003 notified the Mathikettan Shola as Mathikettan Shola National Park.
  • The park is an abode of several endemic flora and fauna, and the habitat is the last remnant of the original forests of the Cardamom Hill Reserve and provides perennial supply of water from Uchinikuthipuzha, Mathikettan Puzha and Njandar, the tributaries of Panniyar, for meeting the agricultural and drinking water requirements of Santhanpara and Pooppara areas of Idukki district.
  • The park is also home to a variety of mammalian species such as Indian giant squirrel, Nilgiri langur, lion-tailed macaque, common palm civet, Asiatic wild dog, leopard, sambar, gaur and Asian elephant.

About Eco-Sensitive Zone

  • The eco-sensitive zones are the area around protected areas including a wildlife sanctuary, national parks and tiger reserves- up to 10 kmHence statement 1 is correct
  • They are envisaged as a cushion or shock absorbers for protected areas and provide transition zones from high protection area to low protection area.
  • They are notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) under Environment Protection Act, 1986. Hence statement 2 is correct

Activities under Eco-sensitive zones are divided into 3 categories:

  • Prohibited such as- Commercial mining, tourism activities, Industries, etc.
  • Restricted with safeguards- tree cutting, the establishment of hotels and resorts, etc.
  • Permissible- organic farming, the use of green and renewable energy sources and technologies, etc.

Source: https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/centre-notifies-01-km-area-around-boundary-of-keralas-mathikettan-shola-park-as-ecosensitive-zone/2002491


Consider the following statements regarding SAHAYAK-NG

  • It is the first indigenously developed air droppable container.
  • It was designed by Defence Research Development Organization

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

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: DRDO hands over indigenous highly mobile bridges to Indian Army, makes SAHAYAK-NG for Navy

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation, DRDO along with Indian Navy conducted the successful maiden test trial of SAHAYAK-NG India’s first indigenously designed and developed Air Dropped Container from IL 38SD aircraft of Indian Navy off the coast of Goa. Hence statement 1 is correct and Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The trial was conducted by Indian Navy to enhance its operational logistics capabilities and provide critical engineering stores to ships which are deployed more than 2000 kilometres from the coast. It reduces the requirement of ships to come close to the coast to collect spares and stores.
  • Two DRDO laboratories, NSTL, Visakhapatnam and ADRDE, Agra were involved in the development of SAHAYAK-NG container along the industry partner M/s Avantel for GPS integration.
  • SAHAYAK-NG is an advanced version of SAHAYAK Mk I.
  • The newly developed GPS aided air dropped container is having the capability to carry a payload that weighs upto 50 kg and can be dropped from heavy aircraft.

Source: http://newsonair.com/Main-News-Details.aspx?id=407001


Dzukou Valley is a valley located at the borders of the states of

  • Nagaland and Manipur
  • West Bengal and Meghalaya
  • Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand
  • Punjab and Himachal Pradesh

Answer: (a) Nagaland and Manipur

Explanation:

In NEWS: Massive forest fire in Dzukou Valley now spreads to Manipur

  • A massive forest fire that has been raging the picturesque Dzukou Valley along the Nagaland-Manipur since Tuesday spread to the hills of Manipur. Hence option (a) is correct
  • The Indian Air Force has engaged an Mi-17V5 helicopter to tame a massive wildfire in Dzukou Valley, a popular trekking destination on the Manipur-Nagaland border.
  • When a forest fire is detected in India by the MODIS and VIIRS instruments (installed on satellites), the information is passed to the Forest Survey of India (FSI). The FSI analyses the data overlaying the digitised boundaries and pinpoints the location to the exact forest department. The Divisional Forest Officer in charge of the forest is then informed about the raging fire.
  • Often caught in a boundary dispute between Manipur and Nagaland, the Dzukou Valley has been prone to wildfires. Members of the Southern Angami Youth Organisation, which runs an adventure-based conservation programme, handle such fires in most cases.
  • The last major incident was in 2006 when a 20-km stretch of the southern part of Dzukou was affected.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/iaf-sends-helicopter-to-tame-wildfire-in-dzukou-valley-on-manipur-nagaland-border/article33460688.ece


Consider the following statements regarding Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority

  • It is a non statutory body
  • It shall consist of a Chairperson and not more than six members
  • Its aim is to regulate, promote and ensure orderly growth of the National Pension System (NPS) and pension schemes to which this Act applies.

Select the correct answer using the code given below

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 2 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Answer: d) 2 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: NPS subscribers can now use online mode to exit the scheme

  • Pension fund regulator Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) said the subscribers can now use online mode to exit the National Pension System (NPS).
  • Currently, NPS subscribers have to physically approach their Points of Presence (POPs) to complete the withdrawal process and the task is done physically. 
  • NPS subscribers will need to submit the NPS withdrawal forms along with other supporting documents for authorization by POPs, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority
  • In the online process, the subscribers of the National Pension system will initiate exit request in the Central Record Keeping Agency system. This is to be done using appropriate login credentials provided. The subscribers will then upload relevant withdrawal documents including Know Your Customer.

About Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA)

  • The Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority Act was passed on 19th September, 2013 and the same was notified on 1st February, 2014. It is the statutory authorityHence statement 1 is incorrect
  • Its aim is to regulate, promote and ensure orderly growth of the National Pension System (NPS) and pension schemes to which this Act appliesHence statement 3 is correct
  • It is regulating NPS which is subscribed by employees of Government of India, State Governments and by employees of private institutions/organizations & unorganized sectors.
  • It is ensuring the orderly growth and development of pension market.
  • The Authority shall consist of a Chairperson and not more than six members, of whom at least three shall be Whole-Time Members, to be appointed by the Central Government. Hence statement 2 is correct

Source: https://www.timesnownews.com/business-economy/personal-finance/article/nps-subscribers-can-now-use-online-mode-to-exit-the-scheme-here-s-how/701166#:~:text=Pension%20fund%20regulator%20Pension%20Fund,National%20Pension%20System%20(NPS).


Consider the following statements regarding Lightning

  • It is a very rapid and massive discharge of electricity in the atmosphere, some of which is directed at the earth’s surface.
  • Cloud to ground (CG) lightning which are visible and are harmless.

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

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: Why lightning still kills so many Indians

  • Although forecasts and warnings are made available through mobile text messages, it is not available in all regions. A large number of deaths occur due to this as not much awareness has been undertaken.
  • Uttar Pradesh with 293 deaths, Madhya Pradesh 248, Bihar 221, Odisha 200 and Jharkhand 172 deaths together accounted for more than 60 per cent of the numbers, which are 33 per cent of total fatalities from all natural disasters during the time period.

How does lightning occur?

  • It is a very rapid — and massive — discharge of electricity in the atmosphere, some of which is directed towards the Earth’s These discharges are generated in giant moisture-bearing clouds that are 10-12 km tall. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • Lightning is the process of occurrence of a natural ‘electrical discharge of very short duration and high voltage between a cloud and the ground or within a cloud’, accompanied by a bright flash and sound, and sometimes thunderstorms.
  • Inter cloud or intra cloud (IC) lightning which are visible and are harmless. Hence statement 2 is incorrect
  • Cloud to ground (CG) lightning, which is harmful as the ‘high electric voltage and electric current’ leads to electrocution.
  • The base of these clouds typically lies within 1-2 km of the Earth’s surface, while their top is 12-13 km away.
  • Temperatures towards the top of these clouds are in the range of minus 35 to minus 45 degrees Celsius.
  • As water vapour moves upward in the cloud, the falling temperature causes it to condense. Heat is generated in the process, which pushes the molecules of water further up.
  • As they move to temperatures below zero degrees celsius, the water droplets change into small ice crystals. They continue to move up, gathering mass — until they are so heavy that they start to fall to Earth.
  • Every lightning strikes around a fixed period and almost similar geographical locations in similar patterns

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-why-lightning-still-kills-so-many-indians-7128058/


Consider the following statements regarding Climate Resilient Observing Systems Promotion Council 

  • It is a non-profit organization that works closely with India Meteorological Department to disseminate early lightning forecasts.
  • It comes under the regulatory framework of Ministry of Science and Technology.

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

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: Why lightning still kills so many Indians

  • Lightning strikes have caused 1,771 deaths between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020, according to a report published on December 31 on lightning incidents in India.
  • The report has been prepared by Climate Resilient Observing Systems Promotion Council (CROPC), a non-profit organization that works closely with India Meteorological Department (IMD) along with Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), India Meteorological Society (IMS) and World Vision India to disseminate early lightning forecasts. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • Climate Resilient Observing-Systems Promotion Council (CROPC) has been formed as non-profit organization under section 8 of Company Act 2013 to act as an interface between Central Early warning agencies, line departments, state, Community, NGOs and other stakeholders.
  • CROPC has a MOU with the India Met Department (IMD), Ministry of Earth Science (MoES), Government of India to disseminate early lightning forecasts which uses satellite observations, inputs from ‘network of Doppler and other radars’, ‘lightning detection Sensors’ among others. Hence statement 2 is incorrect
  • CROPC under the regulatory framework of Indian Meteorological Department will function as Center for promotion of Climate Resilient Observing Systems and public notification system for various hazards due to Climate Change extremities.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-why-lightning-still-kills-so-many-indians-7128058/


Consider the following statements regarding fiscal deficit

  • It is the difference between the government’s total income and expenditure after excluding interest earnings and payments.
  • The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003 provides that the Centre should take appropriate measures to limit the fiscal deficit upto 3% of the GDP by 31st March, 2021.

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

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Fiscal deficit shoots up to 135% of target

  • India’s fiscal deficit shot up to 135.1% of the Budget target of nearly ₹8 lakh crore for 2020­21, in the 8 months from April  to November 2020, as per data released by the Controller General of Accounts 

About Fiscal deficit 

  • The government describes fiscal deficit of India as “the excess of total disbursements from the Consolidated Fund of India, excluding repayment of the debt, over total receipts into the Fund (excluding the debt receipts) during a financial year”. Hence statement 1 is incorrect
  • It is calculated as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or simply as total money spent in excess of income.
  • It is different from revenue deficit which is only related to revenue expenditure and revenue receipts of the government.
  • The government meets the fiscal deficit by borrowing money. In a way, the total borrowing requirements of the government in a financial year is equal to the fiscal deficit in that year.
  • A high fiscal deficit can also be good for the economy if the money spent goes into the creation of productive assets like highways, roads, ports and airports that boost economic growth and result in job creation.
  • The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003 provides that the Centre should take appropriate measures to limit the fiscal deficit upto 3% of the GDP by 31st March, 2021. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The NK Singh committee (set up in 2016) recommended that the government should target a fiscal deficit of 3% of the GDP in years up to March 31, 2020 cut it to 2.8% in 2020-21 and to 2.5% by 2023.

Source: TH


Which of the following is/are the characteristic/characteristics of Indian coal?

  • High ash content
  • Low sulphur content
  • Low ash fusion temperature

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (a) 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

  • THE most significant characteristic of Indian coal is its high ash content, which varies from 35 to 45 per cent, compared with that of coal in other parts of the world, which is around 15 per cent. Besides high ash content, another reason for entrained gasifiers (that operate at higher temperatures than fluidised bed gasifiers), commonly used in IGCC plants abroad, being not suitable for Indian coal is its high ash fusion temperature of about 1,500 However, Indian coal’s sulphur content is low, about 0.5 per cent.

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