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Daily Prelims Test – 03 January 2022

1. With respect to National Population Register, Consider the following statements:

1)    It is a register of usual residents of the country.

2)    It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR.

3)    It includes both Indian citizens as well as foreigners.

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: Census first phase, NPR data collection deferred till Sept.

●      The exercise was scheduled to begin in April 2020

●      The first phase of census and the collection of details to update the National Population Register (NPR) have been postponed at least till September.

●      The Registrar-General of India (RGI) had in December informed the States that the freezing of boundaries of districts, sub-districts, tehsils, talukas and police stations had been postponed till June 2022

What is the National Population Register (NPR)?

●      The NPR is a register of usual residents of the country. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      It includes both Indian citizens as well as a foreign citizen. The objective of the NPR is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country. Hence statement (3) is correct.

●      The first National Population Register was prepared in 2010 and updating this data was done during 2015 by conducting door to door surveys.

●      The next update of the NPR will take place next year from April to September with the Houselisting phase of the Census 2021.

●      It is being prepared at the local (Village/sub-Town), sub-District, District, State and National level under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.

What is the meaning of usual resident?

●      According to the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, a usual resident is a person who has resided in a local area for the past 6 months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next 6 months or more.

What is the Census?

●      The Census is the enumeration of the population of the country. It is being conducted at an interval of 10 years.

●      The Census 2021 will be the 16th census in the country since the first census happened in 1872. However, it will be the 8th census after Independence.

●      For the first time, the Census 2021 will use the Mobile App for data collection. It will also provide a facility to the public for self-enumeration.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-what-is-npr-national-population-register-nrc-assam-union-cabinet-6182819/

2. Which of the following committees was formed by the central government to Revisit Criteria for EWS Quota?

a)    Ajay bhushan pandey committee

b)    Ranbir Singh Committee

c)    V K Paul Committee

d)    M B Lal Committee

Answer: (a) Ajay bhushan pandey committee

Explanation:

In NEWS: 8 lakh income ‘reasonable’ cap for EWS quota, Centre tells SC

●      A government committee report in the Supreme Court has said that “income” is a “feasible criterion” for defining the “Economically Weaker Sections” (EWS) in society, and the annual family income of ₹8 lakh is a “reasonable” threshold to determine EWS in order to extend reservation in admissions and jobs.

●      The committee did not agree with the notion that the Union government had “mechanically adopted” ₹8 lakh as a number because it was also used for the OBC creamy layer cut-off.

●      Firstly, EWS’s criteria relates to the financial year prior to the year of application whereas the income criterion for the creamy layer in OBC category is applicable to gross annual income for three consecutive years

●      Secondly, in case of OBC creamy layer, income from salaries, agriculture and traditional artisanal professions are excluded from the consideration whereas the ₹8 lakh criteria for EWS includes all sources, including farming.

●      It found no fault in the uniform application of the ₹8-lakh criteria across the country.

Economically Weaker Sections (EWS):

●      The 10% EWS quota was introduced under the 103rd Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2019 by amending Articles 15 and 16.

●      It was enacted to promote the welfare of the poor not covered by the 50% reservation policy for Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC).

●      It enables both Centre and the states to provide reservation to the EWS of society.

●      The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formed a three-member committee to review the criteria for reservation for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) category in terms of the provisions of the explanation to Article 15 of the Constitution.

●      The committee has been asked to complete its work within three weeks. Former Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey will head the committee. Hence option (a) is correct.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/8-lakh-criterion-to-determine-ews-is-reasonable-govt-panels-report-in-sc/article38091357.ece

3. Other than India, Which of the following countries is the only other country that has a disputed land border with China?

a)    Pakistan

b)    Nepal

c)    Myanmar

d)    Bhutan

Answer: (d) Bhutan

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: China’s border law and India

●      China has renamed several places in Arunachal Pradesh as part of its claim on the Indian state, and when the Chinese Embassy in Delhi has written to Indian MPs, including a minister, who had attended a dinner reception hosted by the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile.

What is the new law?

●      The Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress passed the law for the “protection and exploitation of the country’s land border areas”.

Does it concern India?

●      Although the law is not meant specifically for India, it is bound to have some impact.

●      China and India share a disputed 3,488-km boundary, the third longest among China’s 22,457-km land boundaries with 14 countries, after the borders with Mongolia and Russia.

●      Besides India, Bhutan (477 km) is the only other country with which China has a disputed land borderHence option (d) is correct.

●      There is a growing suspicion that China may have been stalling further negotiations on the standoff in eastern Ladakh for this new law to come into force.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-chinas-border-law-india-7702803/

4. Fimbristylis sunilii and Neanotis prabhuii is related to which of the following options?

a)    Newly found Plant species

b)    Newly found Virus

c)    Newly found Butterfly species

d)    Newly found Insects

Answer: (a) Newly found Plant species

Explanation:

In NEWS: Two plant species discovered in Kerala

●      M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, and the Payyanur College have reported two new plant species from the biodiversity-rich Western Ghats regions in Thiruvananthapuram and Wayanad districts of Kerala.

●      They have been christened Fimbristylis sunilii and Neanotis prabhuii, and the findings by the research teams have been detailed in the plant taxonomy journal Phytotaxa. Hence option (a) is correct.

●      Discovered in the Chembra Peak grasslands of Wayanad, it hails from the family Rubiaceae and grows on high-altitude grasslands.

●      Neanotis prabhuii grows up to 70 cm in length and is many-flowered with the petals pale pink in colour

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/two-new-plant-species-discovered-in-ghats/article38092341.ece#:~:text=They%20have%20been%20christened%20Fimbristylis,the%20plant%20 taxonomy%20journal%20 Phytotaxa.

5. Consider the following statements regarding Draft national air sports policy 2022:

1)    It will cover activities aerobatics, ballooning, paragliding and microlighting.

2)    The policy proposes that Bir Billing in Himachal Pradesh, Gangtok in Sikkim, Hadapsar in Maharashtra and Vagamon in Kerala can be declared as a “control zone” for air sports.

3)    It will establish an Air Sports Federation of India (ASFI) as the apex governing body.

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: Draft national air sports policy pushes for safety standards

●      The government on Sunday released a draft national policy for air sports in the country that will require entities providing these services and their equipment to be registered, as well as be liable for penalties.

●      The policy proposes a two-tier governance structure for air sports in the country, which will include an apex governing body called the Air Sports Federation of India (ASFI) and associations for each air sport.

●      It will cover activities like aerobatics, aeromodelling, amateur-built and experimental aircraft, ballooning, drones, gliding, hang gliding, paragliding, microlighting, paramotoring, skydiving, and vintage aircraft. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      The ASFI will be an autonomous body under the Ministry of Civil Aviation and will represent India at the Lausanne-headquartered Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) and other global platforms related to air sports. Hence statement (3) is correct.

●      It will provide governance over various aspects of air sports, including regulation, certification, competitions, awards and penalties.

●      Each air sports association will lay down its safety standards for equipment, infrastructure, personnel and training, and specify the disciplinary actions to be taken in case of non-compliance.

●      It is proposed that popular air sports attractions in the country such as Bir Billing in Himachal Pradesh, Gangtok in Sikkim, Hadapsar in Maharashtra and Vagamon in Kerala can be declared as a “control zone” for air sports in order to ensure the safety of other manned aircraft. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      Schools and colleges will be encouraged to include air sports in their curriculum and their students will have the opportunity to participate in the FAI’s international competitions.

●      The draft policy also aims to promote domestic design, development and manufacturing of air sports equipment under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/government-releases-draft-national-air-sports-policy/article38093910.ece

6. Consider the following statements:

1)    Genome sequencing is the process that involves deciphering the exact order of base pairs in an individual.

2)    The purpose of genome sequencing is to understand the role of certain mutations in increasing the virus’s infectivity.

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: The functioning of INSACOG

Why is genome sequencing useful?

●      The purpose of genome sequencing is to understand the role of certain mutations in increasing the virus’s infectivity. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      Some mutations have also been linked to immune escape, or the virus’s ability to evade antibodies, and this has consequences for vaccines.

●      Labs across the world, including many in India, have been studying if the vaccines developed so far are effective against such mutant strains of the virus.

●      They do this by extracting viruses from coronavirus positive samples and growing enough of them

Genome sequencing

●      Genome sequencing is the process that involves deciphering the exact order of base pairs in an individualHence statement (1) is correct.

●      This “deciphering” or reading of the genome is what sequencing is all about.

●     

●      In this particular piece of DNA, an adenine (A) is followed by a guanine (G), which is followed by a thymine (T), which in turn is followed by a cytosine (C), another cytosine (C), and so on.

●      Genomic sequencing is done by isolating the genetic material (RNA) of the coronavirus samples.

Source: TH

7. Consider the following statements regarding Rani Velu Nachiyar:

1)    She was the first queen to fight against the British colonial power in India.

2)    She is also called as Veeramangai.

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: PM remembers Rani Velu Nachiyar on her birth anniversary

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid tributes to Rani Velu Nachiyar on her birth anniversary.

Rani Velu Nachiyar:

●      Rani Velu Nachiyar was the first queen to fight against the British colonial power in India. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      She is known by Tamils as VeeramangaiHence statement (2) is correct.

●      She was the princess of Ramanathapuram and the only child of Raja Chellamuthu vijayaragunatha Sethupathy and Rani Sakandhimuthal of the Ramnad kingdom.

●      Rani Velu Nachiyar was trained in war match weapons usage, martial arts like Valari, Silambam (fighting using stick), horse riding and archery. She was a scholar in many languages and she had proficiency with languages like French, English and Urdu.

●      She married the king of Sivagangai, with whom she had a daughter. When her husband, Muthuvaduganathaperiya Udaiyathevar, was killed by British soldiers and the son of the Nawab of Arcot, she was drawn into battle.

●      She escaped with her daughter and lived under the protection of Palayakaarar Kopaala Naayakkar at Virupachi near Dindigul for eight years.

●      Frustrated by the joining of forces against him, the Nawab ordered that Velu Nachiar and Marudhu Brothers were permitted to return to Sivaganga and rule the country subject to payment of Kist to the Nawab. Abiding by this Order, Rani Velu Nachiar accompanied by Marudu brothers and Vellachi Nachiar entered Sivaganga.

●      An agreement was reached whereby Rani Velu Nachiar was permitted to govern the Sivaganga Country and Chinna Marudu, the younger was appointed her minister and the elder Vellai Marudu as the Commander-in-chief. Thus the widow Queen Velu Nachiar succeeded her husband in 1780.

●      Queen Velu Nachiar granted powers to the Marudhu Brothers to administer the country in 1780.

●      Rani Velu Nachiyar was the first queen to fight for freedom from the British in India. She granted powers to the Marudu brothers to administer the country in 1780. Velu Nachiyar died a few years later,on 25 December 1796.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1787061

8. Consider the following statements regarding PM-Kisan scheme:

1)    It covers all farmer families in the country irrespective of the size of their land holdings.

2)    It aims to supplement the financial needs of the farmers in procuring various inputs to ensure proper crop health and appropriate yields.

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: Modi releases 10th instalment of aid under PM-KISAN scheme

●      Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday released over ₹20,900 crore to more than 10.09 crore farmers across India as the 10th instalment of financial aid under the PM-KISAN scheme.

Objective

●      With a view to provide income support to all land holding eligible farmer families, the Government has launched PM-KISAN. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      The scheme aims to supplement the financial needs of the farmers in procuring various inputs to ensure proper crop health and appropriate yields, commensurate with the anticipated farm incomeHence statement (2) is correct.

●      Earlier, under the scheme, financial benefit has been provided to all Small and Marginal landholder farmer families with total cultivable holding upto 2 hectares with a benefit of Rs.6000 per annum per family payable in three equal installments, every four months.

●      The entire responsibility of identification of beneficiary farmer families rests with the State / UT Governments

●      Affluent farmers have been excluded from the scheme such as Income Taxpayers in the last assessment year, professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Chartered Accountants etc and pensioners drawing at least Rs.10,000/- per month (excluding MTS/Class IV/Group D employees).

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pm-releases-20900-crore-to-farmers-under-pm-kisan-scheme/article38085842.ece

9. Consider the following statements:

1)    There is no specific legal definition of ‘hate speech’.

2)    Hate speech is a right protected under Article 19 of the constitution.

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: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Punishing hate speech

A recent religious conclave held in Haridwar witnessed inflammatory and provocative speeches by proponents of Hindutva, many of them leaders of religious organisations.

What is ‘hate speech’?

●      There is no specific legal definition of ‘hate speech’. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      Provisions in law criminalise speeches, writings, actions, signs and representations that foment violence and spread disharmony between communities and groups and these are understood to refer to ‘hate speech’.

●      The Law Commission of India, in its 267th Report, says: “Hate speech generally is an incitement to hatred primarily against a group of persons defined in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief and the like. This, hate speech is any word written or spoken, signs, visible representations within the hearing or sight of a person with the intention to cause fear or alarm, or incitement to violence.”

●      Sections 153A and 505 of the Indian Penal Code are generally taken to be the main penal provisions that deal with inflammatory speeches and expressions that seek to punish ‘hate speech’Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

What has the Law Commission proposed?

●      The Law Commission has proposed that separate offences be added to the IPC to criminalise hate speech quite specifically instead of being subsumed in the existing sections concerning inflammatory acts and speeches.

●      It has proposed that two new sections, Section 153C and Section 505A, be added.

Source: https://www.google.com/search?q=Punishing+hate+speech&oq=Punishing+hate+speech&aqs=chrome..69i57j0i3i10l2j0i22i30l5j0i390l2.1379j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

10. Among the following, which one is the least water efficient crop?

a)    Sugarcane

b)    Sunflower

c)    Pearl millet

d)    Red gram

Answer: (a) Sugarcane

Explanation:

●      It takes about 210 litres of water to produce 1 kg of sugar cane. Water footprint of sunflowers is 7– 9 litre per kg. Millets are sown in dry areas with minimal irrigation. Red gram requires 35 to 40 cm water, during its entire growth period. Optimum moisture is required during budding, flowering, and pod formation stages. As Red gram is a rain-fed crop grown in assured rainfall areas, usually it does not need any irrigation. Hence option (a) is correct.