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Daily Prelims Test – 02 January 2022

1. The regression theorem is seen in the news. It is related to:

a)    Theory of the origin of language

b)   Theory of the origin of money

c)    Theory of the origin of life

d)   Theory of the origin of viruses

Answer: (b) Theory of the origin of money

Explanation:

In NEWS: The regression theorem

●      The regression theorem refers to a theory of the origin of money that states that money must have originated as a commodity with intrinsic value in the marketplace. Hence option (b) is correct.

●      The idea was first proposed by Austrian economist Carl Menger in his 1892 work “On the Origins of Money.”

●      The regression theory is offered as an alternative to the state theory of money which states that money can come into existence only when it is backed by the government.

●      The regression theory argues that money comes into existence through a gradual process of evolution in the marketplace, without the need for any government sanction.

●      Economists who try to explain the regression theory generally start with the question of why money, particularly fiat money which is simply just a piece of paper, has any value at all in the marketplace.

●      The most common answer to this question is that fiat money can be used to buy other useful goods such as houses, cars etc.

●      In real life, people accept money in exchange for goods in the present because they are aware that money was accepted as a medium in exchange for other goods in the past.

●      For example, people accept wages in the US dollar today because they are aware that the dollar was used to buy cars, groceries and other goods in the market yesterday.

●      This gives them confidence in the value of their money.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/the-regression-theorem/article38069047.ece

2. Consider the following statements:

1)   Like Li-ion batteries, Solid State batteries use a solid material to act as an electrolyte.

2)   Solid State batteries are likely to be safer and more stable than Li-ion batteries.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)    1 only

b)   2 only

c)    Both 1 and 2

d)   Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: Breakthrough in battery tech

●      Shareholders of California-based QuantumScape Corp, a battery startup backed by Volkswagen AG, have approved a multibillion-dollar pay package for Chief Executive Officer Jagdeep Singh, who could receive stock options potentially valued at $2.3 billion, subject to the company meeting some performance milestones.

●      QuantumScape’s solid-state battery — lithium metal with a solid electrolyte separating the two electrodes — is seen as an exceptionally bright prospect in an increasingly crowded space.

●      Earlier efforts to build a solid-state separator (electrolyte) capable of working with lithium metal had to compromise on aspects such as the cycle life and operating temperature of the battery, and the issue of excess lithium deposits on the anode.

Solid State batteries:

●      A solid-state battery is a battery technology that uses solid electrodes and a solid electrolyte, instead of the liquid or polymer gel electrolytes found in lithium-ion or lithium polymer batteries. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.

●      Solid-state batteries can provide potential solutions for many problems of liquid Li-ion batteries, such as flammability, limited voltage, unstable solid-electrolyte interphase formation, poor cycling performance and strength. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      They are likely to be safer and more stable than liquid li-ion batteries in which the electrolyte is volatile and flammable at high temperatures.

●      This makes electric vehicles that use li-ion batteries more vulnerable to fires and chemical leaks.

The advantages of the solid-state battery technology include

●      higher cell energy density (by eliminating the carbon anode),

●      lower charge time (by eliminating the need to have lithium diffuse into the carbon particles in conventional lithium-ion cells),

●      ability to undertake more charging cycles and thereby a longer life,

●      improved safety

●      Lower cost could be a game-changer, given that at 30 percent of the total cost, battery expenses are a key driver of the vehicle costs.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-breakthrough-in-battery-tech-7700744/

3. Which of the following Supreme Court cases are related to Judicial review in India?

a)    Kesavananda Bharti V. State of Kerala

b)   Minerva Mills V. Union of India

c)    I.R. Coelho V. State of Tamil Nadu

d)   All of the above

Answer: (d) All of the above

Explanation:

In NEWS: CJI flags challenge of ‘non-cooperative executive’

●      Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana said there is a growing tendency to disregard and even disrespect the Court orders by the executive which is supposed to assist and cooperate for the rule of law to prevail in the nation.

●      Explaining how the judiciary played a key role in nation-building, Chief Justice Ramana said that in the Kesavananda Bharti, the Court for the first time expounded on its power to review amendments to the constitution. Hence option (d) is correct.

●      It was only through such an exposition that the 39th Amendment Act was struck down in the Indira Gandhi vs. Raj Narain case. The power of judicial review is often sought to be branded as judicial overreach

Judicial review in India:

●        It is the power of the courts of a country to examine the actions of the legislative, executive, and administrative arms of the government and to determine whether such actions are consistent with the constitution.

●        Article 372(1) said that Judicial review of the pre-constitutional laws that were in force before the commencement of the Constitution of India.

●        Article 13(2) is about any law made by the parliament after the commencement of the constitution shall be declared null and void by the Court.

●        Article 251 and 254 states that if there is any inconsistency between the union and state law, the law of union shall prevail and the state law shall be deemed void.

●        Under Article 32 or Article 226 of the constitution If any person’s Fundamental right is violated he/she can approach the court.

●      Minerva Mills V. Union of India: In this case, Judicial Review was added to the list of Basic Structure of the constitution.

●      I.R. Coelho V. State of Tamil Nadu: In this case the court held that any act inserted in Schedule 9 can be judicially scrutinized but only those enactments which are inserted after 24th April 1973.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/there-is-a-growing-tendency-to-disregard-and-disrespect-court-orders-among-executive-says-cji-ramana/article38041626.ece

4. Consider the following statements:

1)   Negotiable Warehouse Receipt System is documents issued by warehouses to depositors against the commodities deposited in the warehouses.

2)   The Negotiable Warehouse Receipt System provides farmers with an instrument that allows them to extend the sales period of modestly perishable products well beyond the harvesting season.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)    1 only

b)   2 only

c)    Both 1 and 2

d)   Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Government asks banks to lend only on negotiable warehouse receipts

●      The government may have backtracked on agricultural laws but it has begun taking small steps for formalisation of the sector.

●      It has nudged banks to finance warehouses only against negotiable warehouse receipts (NWRs) and electronic-NWRs, a move aimed at getting more warehouses in the ambit of formal finance.

Negotiable Warehouse Receipt System:

●      They are documents issued by warehouses to depositors against the commodities deposited in the warehouses. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●        Warehouse Receipts may be either non-negotiable or negotiable.

●        The term ‘negotiable warehouse receipt’ is defined in Section 2(m) of the Warehousing (Development and Regulation) Act, 2007.

●        NWRs issued by registered warehouses help farmers to seek loans from banks against NWR.

●      It provides farmers with an instrument that allows them to extend the sales period of modestly perishable products well beyond the harvesting season. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●        It can avoid distress sale of agricultural produce by the farmers in the peak marketing season when there is glut in the market.

●        It allows transfer of ownership of that commodity stored in a warehouse without having to deliver the physical commodity.

●        These receipts is also beneficial to other stakeholders such as, banks, financial Institutions, insurance companies, trade, commodity exchanges as well as consumers.

Source:

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/government-asks-banks-to-lend-only-on-negotiable-warehouse-receipts/articleshow/88552344.cms?from=mdr

5. With respect to Kendu leaf, Consider the following statements:

1)    ​​​​​​​It generally grows in dry mixed deciduous forests.

2)   Only the state government can procure these leaves from the collectors or growers.

3)   It is an important non-timber forest product.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)    1 only

b)   2 and 3 only

c)    1 and 2 only

d)   1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Odisha Kendu leaf workers stage protest against GST

●      Hundreds of kendu leaf pluckers, binders and workers on Tuesday staged a demonstration near the office of Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), North demanding the abolition of GST on kendu leaves.

●      A GST of 18 per cent is imposed on kendu leaves which is against the Forest Rights Act-2006 and the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA) to celebrate the 25th year of PESA Act.

●      Besides, the government has imposed a GST of 28 per cent on bidi which is a finished product made of kendu leaf.

●      This double taxation has hit the profits of kendu leaf organisation and affected the livelihood of around 12 lakh workers. While the profits have reduced drastically, they are now deprived of many social security benefits too.

Kendu leaf:

●      Kendu leaf is an important non-wood forest product.

●      It is called green gold of Odisha.

●      They are the leaves of tree species Diospyros melanoxyion known by different names such as tendu, abnus, kendu, kari, tembru etc in various regions of India.

●      ​​​​​​​It generally grows in dry mixed deciduous forests. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      The species is abundant in Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal.

●      ​​​​​​​Only state government or its authorised agents can procure these leaves from the collectors or growers. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      Tendu leaf is an important non-timber forest product (NTFP). The ash of the off-cuts of leaves is used in tooth powder. Hence statement (3) is correct.

Source:https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/2021/dec/29/odisha-kendu-leaf-workers-stage-protest-against-gst-2400809.html

6. Consider the following statements:

1)   Cropland is defined as land used for annual and perennial herbaceous crops for human consumption, forage and biofuel.

2)   Perennial woody crops, permanent pastures and shifting cultivation are excluded from the Cropland.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)    1 only

b)   2 only

c)    Both 1 and 2

d)   Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Half of global cropland expansion replaced natural vegetation and tree cover: Study

●      Cropland area across the world increased 9 percent and cropland net primary production (NPP) by 25 per cent from 2003-2019.

●      But 49 per cent of the new cropland area replaced natural vegetation and tree covers, indicating a conflict with the sustainability goal of protecting terrestrial ecosystems. In 2019, the cropland area was 1,244 million hectares (mha).

●      The largest cropland expansion (34 per cent) was observed in Africa. The largest proportions of natural vegetation conversion to croplands (excluding dryland irrigation) were found in Africa (79 per cent of all gross cropland gain area), southeast Asia (61 per cent) and South America (39 per cent), found the study.

●      In Africa, cropland expansion accelerated from 2004-2007 to 2016-2019, with a more than two-fold increase in annual expansion rates.

●      The report defined cropland as ‘land used for annual and perennial herbaceous crops for human consumption, forage (including hay) and biofuel’Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      Perennial woody crops, permanent pastures and shifting cultivation are excluded from the definitionHence statement (2) is correct.

●      The global population increased by 21 per cent from 6.4-7.7 billion, from 2003-2019. Global per capita cropland area, as a result, decreased by 10 per cent to 0.16 ha per person in 2019 from 0.18 ha per person in 2003. 

●      Changes in total and per capita mapped cropland area from 2003 to 2019 demonstrate the variability of national responses to the need for increased food production to feed a growing population. 

●      Cropland expansion is a major factor in forest loss, which comes in conflict with United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 15 (SDG 15) that aims to stop deforestation and degradation of natural habitats.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/environment/half-of-global-cropland-expansion-replaced-natural-vegetation-and-tree-cover-study-80924

7. Atal Rankings of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) is an initiative of which of the following?

a)    Ministry of Education

b)   All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)

c)    University Grants Commission (UGC)

d)   NITI Aayog

Answer: (a) Ministry of Education

Explanation:

In NEWS: Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) 2021

●      ARIIA ranking will inspire Indian institutions to reorient their mindset and build ecosystems to encourage high-quality research, innovation and entrepreneurship.

●      ARIIA will focus on the quality of innovations and will try to measure the real impact created by these innovations nationally and internationally.

●      Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) is an initiative of the Ministry of Education to systematically rank all major higher educational institutions and universities in India. Hence option (a) is correct.

●      ARIIA ranks institutions on indicators related to “Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development” amongst students and faculties.

●      Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) classifies participating institutions into five major categories- Technical and

●      Non-technical.

The overall score can take a maximum value of 100. ARIIA uses the following indicators to prepare to the rank of institutions-

●      Budget & Funding Support.

●      Infrastructure & Facilities.

●      Awareness, Promotions & support for Idea Generation & Innovation.

●      Promotion & Support for Entrepreneurship Development.

●      Innovative Learning Methods & Courses.

●      Intellectual Property Generation, Technology Transfer & Commercialization.

●      Innovation in Governance of the Institution.

Highlights

●      Top position was achieved by IIT Madras. It topped the ranking as the most innovative educational institute in India in technical category.

●      IIT Madras won this recognition for the third consecutive time.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/education/news/atal-ranking-of-institutions-on-innovation-achievements-ariia-2021-tomorrow-101640694921614.html

8. Consider the following statements regarding Perovskite:

1)  It is a material that has the same crystal structure as the mineral calcium titanium oxide.

2)  It offers excellent light absorption, charge-carrier mobilities and lifetimes, resulting in high device efficiencies.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)    1 only

b)   2 only

c)    Both 1 and 2

d)   Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Making solar cells efficient, cheaper, recyclable: IIT-Guwahati finds a way

●      Scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, have found a way to make solar panels more efficient, cheaper and recyclable — by stabilising hybrid perovskite-based solar or photovoltaic devices to produce electricity.

●      Perovskite-based devices are considered heavily used semiconductor materials as they are affordable and easy to manufacture.

●      The perovskite materials are extremely unstable towards ambient (humidity and oxygen) conditions that restrict their commercialisation

Perovskite Solar Cells

●      A perovskite is a material that has the same crystal structure as the mineral calcium titanium oxide, the first-discovered perovskite crystal. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      When used to create solar cells, they have shown potential for high performance and low production costs.

●      Perovskite materials offer excellent light absorption, charge-carrier mobilities, and lifetimes, resulting in high device efficiencies with opportunities to realize a low-cost, industry-scalable technology. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      Perovskite solar cells have shown remarkable progress in recent years with higher conversion efficiency, from about 3% in 2006 to over 25% today.

●      Recycling perovskite cells is essential as most current structures contain lead, a toxic material.

●      Researchers have found that effective recycling can significantly reduce energy consumption in the panel production process. 

●      However, it is unlikely that a shift to perovskite cells will lead to a decrease in solar waste generation. A bulk of the panel’s weight comes from glass and the aluminium frame.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/renewable-energy/making-solar-cells-efficient-cheaper-recyclable-iit-guwahati-finds-a-way-80925

9. What are the objectives of the National Tiger Conservation Authority?

1)   Providing statutory authority to Project Tiger so that compliance of its directives becomes legal.

2)   Fostering accountability of Center-State in management of Tiger Reserves, by providing a basis for MoU with States within our federal structure.

3)   Providing for an oversight by Parliament.

4)   Addressing livelihood interests of local people in areas surrounding Tiger Reserves.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

a)    1 and 3 only

b)   2 and 4 only

c)    3 and 4 only

d)   1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer: (d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Explanation:

In NEWS: 126 Tiger Deaths Recorded In India 2021: NTCA

Madhya Pradesh at maximum tiger deaths is followed by 26 in Maharashtra and 14 in Karnataka.

●      The National Tiger Conservation Authority recorded 126 tiger deaths this year, the highest since it began collecting the data for the same a decade ago.

●      An official from the NCTA said that there can be numerous causes for deaths as the population of tigers is huge and a standard operating procedure (SoP) is followed to ascertain the reasons. Tiger deaths are under scrutiny of the state as well as the NCTA.

●      Madhya Pradesh at maximum tiger deaths is followed by 26 in Maharashtra and 14 in Karnataka.

●      Tigers are now globally listed as “endangered” on the International Union for the conversion of Nature (IUCN) Red list of threatened species.

National Tiger Conservation Authority:

●      The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change constituted under enabling provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as amended in 2006, for strengthening tiger conservation, as per powers and functions assigned to it under the said Act.

●      NTCA has been fulfilling its mandate within the ambit of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 for strengthening tiger conservation in the country by retaining an oversight through advisories/normative guidelines, based on appraisal of tiger status, ongoing conservation initiatives and recommendations of specially constituted Committees.

The objectives of NTCA are:

●      Providing statutory authority to Project Tiger so that compliance of its directives becomes legal.

●      Fostering accountability of Center-State in management of Tiger Reserves, by providing a basis for MoU with States within our federal structure.

●      Providing for an oversight by Parliament.

●      Addressing livelihood interests of local people in areas surrounding Tiger Reserves. Hence option (d) is correct.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/tiger-deaths-india-2021-ntca-7698214/

10. Consider the following kinds of organisms:

1)   Copepods

2)   Cyanobacteria

3)   Diatoms

4)   Foraminifera

Which of the above are primary producers in the food chains of oceans?

a)    1 and 2

b)   2 and 3

c)    3 and 4

d)   1 and 4

Answer: (b) 2 and 3

Explanation:

●      Autotrophs or primary producers are organisms that acquire their energy from sunlight and materials from nonliving sources.

●      Copepods are a group of small crustaceans found in nearly every freshwater and saltwater habitat.

●      Copepods are major secondary producers in the World Ocean. They represent an important link between phytoplankton, microzooplankton and higher trophic levels such as fish.

●      They are an important source of food for many fish species but also a significant producer of detritus. Hence, option 1 is not correct.

●      Cyanobacteria, also called blue green algae, are microscopic organisms found naturally in all types of water. Cyanobacteria are important primary producers and form a part of the phytoplankton. They may also form biofilms and mats (benthic cyanobacteria). Hence option 2 is correct.

●      Diatoms are photosynthesising algae, they have a siliceous skeleton (frustule) and are found in almost every aquatic environment including fresh and marine waters. Diatoms are one of the major primary producers in the ocean, responsible annually for ~20% of photosynthetically fixed CO2 on Earth. Hence option 3 is correct.

●      Foraminifera are single-celled organisms, members of a phylum or class of amoeboid protists characterized by streaming granular ectoplasm for catching food and other uses. Hence, option 4 is not correct.