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Daily Prelims Test – 03_August_2021

Consider the following statements regarding e-RUPI:

  • It is a cashless and contactless instrument for digital payment.
  • It has been developed by the National Payments Corporation of India.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. a) 1 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) Both 1 and 2
  4. d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: PM Modi launches digital payment solution e-RUPI

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched digital payment solution e-RUPI, a person and purpose specific cashless digital payment solution, via videoconference.
  • Speaking on the occasion, he said the eRUPI voucher was a symbol of how India was progressing by connecting people’s lives with technology.
  • He expressed happiness that this futuristic reform initiative had come at a time when the country was celebrating the Amrit Mahotsav on the 75th anniversary of Independence.

What is e-RUPI?

  • e-RUPI is a cashless and contactless instrument for digital payment. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • It is a QR code or SMS string-based e-Voucher, which is delivered to the mobile of the beneficiaries.
  • The users of this seamless one-time payment mechanism will be able to redeem the voucher without a card, digital payments app, or internet banking access, at the service provider.
  • It has been developed by the National Payments Corporation of India on its UPI platform, in collaboration with the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, and National Health Authority. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • How does it work?
  • e-RUPI connects the sponsors of the services with the beneficiaries and service providers in a digital manner without any physical interface.
  • It also ensures that the payment to the service provider is made only after the transaction is completed.
  • Being pre-paid in nature, it assures timely payment to the service provider without the involvement of any intermediary.
  • It is expected to be a revolutionary initiative in the direction of ensuring a leak-proof delivery of welfare services.
  • Even the private sector can leverage these digital vouchers as part of their employee welfare and corporate social responsibility programs.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pm-modi-launches-digital-payment-solution-e-rupi/article35681167.ece

Which of the following statements are correct with respect to Montagu-Chelmsford reforms?

  1. a) Provided for partial transfer of power to the electorate through the system of Dyarchy
  2. b) Introduced bicameral central legislature
  3. c) Establishment of a Public Service Commission in India for the first time
  4. d) All the above statements are correct

Answer: (d) All the above statements are correct

Explanation:

In NEWS: Tamil Nadu legislature turns 100

  •  The Assembly chambers at Fort St. George, the 17th-century vestige of the colonial era, and Tamil Nadu’s seat of power have completed 100 years of existence.
  •  President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the centenary celebrations of the Tamil Nadu legislature. The occasion is significant for more than one reason.
  •  The House has passed several epoch-making legislation, beginning with voting rights for women in 1921.
  •  Tamil Nadu witnessed elections in November 1920 when electors (only men), accounting for just 3% of the population, were enrolled, as a result of the Montagu-Chelmsford Report and the Government of India Act of 1919.
  •  The development paved the way for a more representative body than what it was till then. The proportion of elected members increased to over 70%.
  •  The concept of dyarchy came into being with Ministers, who were Indians, gaining limited control over certain subjects, such as local self-government and education.

Montagu-Chelmsford reforms:

  • This report became the basis for the Government of India Act 1919 (alternatively called the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms or Montford Reforms).
  • The report was rejected by most Indian leaders

Main Features:

  • Advocated the need to emancipate the local governments and legislatures from central control; and to advance, by successive stages, in the direction of conferring responsible government on the provinces.
  • Established the framework for devolution of powers and gave credence to the cry for self-governance.
  • Elections to the legislatures were introduced
  • Introduced the idea of Council of Ministers being responsible to the parliament and elucidated the principle of accountable governance by directing that the “Government of India must remain wholly responsible to Parliament.”
  • Provided for partial transfer of power to the electorate through the system of Dyarchy.
  • Prepared the ground for the Indian federalism, as it identified the provinces as units of fiscal and general administration.
  • Made provision for classification of the central and provincial subjects.
  • Introduced bicameral central legislature: Central Legislative Assembly and Council of States.
  • Establishment of a Public Service Commission in India for the first timeHence option (d) is correct.

Source: TH

  • 3. Which one of the following ministries launched the ADIP scheme?
  • a) Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
  • b) Ministry of Corporate Affairs
  • c) Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
  • d) Ministry of External Affairs

Answer: (a) Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment

Explanation:

In NEWS: DEPwD organises Samajik Adhikarita Shivir for distribution of aids & assistive devices to Divyangjan under the ADIP Scheme

  • A ‘Samajik Adhikarita Shivir’ for distribution of aids and assistive devices to ‘Divyangjan’ under the ADIP Scheme and to Senior Citizens under the ‘Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana’ of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India was organized by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) in association with ALIMCO. Hence option (a) is correct.

ADIP Scheme:

  • The main objective of the Assistance to Disabled persons for purchasing / fitting of aids/appliances (ADIP) scheme is to assist the needy disabled persons in procuring durable, sophisticated and scientifically manufactured, modern, standard aids and appliances that can promote their physical, social and psychological rehabilitation, by reducing the effects of disabilities and enhance their economic potential.
  • The aids and appliances supplied under the Scheme shall conform to BIS specifications to the extent possible
  • Implemented by: NGOs, National Institutes under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, and ALIMCO (a PSU that manufactures artificial limbs).
  • Eligibility:
  • Indian citizen of any age
  • Has 40% disability or more
  • Monthly income not more than Rs.20,000.
  • In the case of dependents, the income of parents/guardians should not exceed Rs. 20,000/- per month
  • Must not have received assistance during the last 3 years, and for children, it’s the last 1 year.

Source: https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1741275

Consider the following statements regarding Artificial Intelligence For All initiative:

  • It has been launched by the Central Board of Secondary Education in collaboration with Intel.
  • It aims to create a basic understanding of artificial intelligence for every citizen in the country.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. a) 1 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) Both 1 and 2
  4. d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Intel launches ‘AI For All’ initiative in partnership with CBSE

  • Based on Intel’s ‘AI For Citizens’ programme, ‘AI For All’ is a 4-hour, self-paced learning programme that demystifies AI in an inclusive manner.
  • Chipmaker Intel said it has collaborated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to launch the ‘AI For All’ initiative, aimed at creating a basic understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) for people in India

AI For All Initiative:

  • The AI For All Initiative has been launched by the Central Board of Secondary Education(CBSE) in collaboration with Intel. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • Aim: To create a basic understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) for every citizen in the country. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • Under the Initiative, a 4-hour, self-paced learning program has been prepared that demystifies AI in an inclusive manner.
  • The program can be used by a student, a stay-at-home parent, professional in any field or even a senior citizen.
  • With this, the initiative aims to introduce AI to 1 million citizens in its first year.
  • Moreover, to ensure inclusive access, the program is available in 11 vernacular languages for anyone with digital access.
  • The content is also compatiblewith various talkback applications to make it accessible for visually impaired people.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/intel-launches-ai-for-all-initiative-in-partnership-with-cbse/article35623492.ece

Kailadevi Wildlife sanctuary recently in the news is located in which of the following states?

  1. a) Rajasthan
  2. b) Uttar Pradesh
  3. c) Haryana
  4. d) Goa

Answer: (a) Rajasthan

Explanation:

In NEWS: Not even 5% of India’s grasslands protected’

  • Open grasslands are most often associated with African savannahs. But new research shows that such open natural habitats are widespread in India — and poorly protected.
  • Grasslands, scrub, and desert ecosystems make up 10% of the country’s total land area — or 319,674 sq km — but less than 5% of this habitat is under protection, a new study shows.
  • A major portion of that protected area lies in just five parks, found the analysis by ecologists MD Madhusudanand AT Vanak.
  • These are Rajasthan’s Desert National Parkand Kailadevi Wildlife Sanctuary, the Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat, the Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve in Andhra Pradesh, and Bihar’s Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary. 

Kailadevi Wildlife Sanctuary:

  • The Kailadevi Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS) is the northern extension of the RanthamboreNational Park and falls within the buffer zone of the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve. The sanctuary is located in the Karauli district of Rajasthan and falls within the Karauli and Sapotra blocks. Hence option (a) is correct.
  • The sanctuary is bounded on the west by the river Banas and on the south by the river Chambal. 
  • Kailadevi Wildlife Sanctuary has become a popular reference among environmentalists and conservationists for the community-initiated forest protection committees (referred to as kulhadi bandh panchayats) that are operational in the area. These forest protection committees prevent the carrying of axes into the forests, a symbol of protecting the forests. 

Source: TOI

Consider the following statements regarding Kendu Leaf:

  • It is native to India and Sri Lanka.
  • Madhya Pradesh is the largest producer of Kendu leaves in India.
  • These are used to treat malaria, diarrhoea, and dysentery.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. a) 1 and 3 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) 2 and 3 only
  4. d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Kendu leaf trade: Stringent laws needed to keep children out

  • The news of children working at kendu leaf collection centres often trickles in during April-May every year. Children are mostly engaged in plucking, drying, collecting, etc
  • Several children were seen collecting kendu leaves in the Joradobra Phadi (kendu leaf collection center) in Odisha’s Kalahandi district. This was a clear violation of child rights and also a reflection of the shoddy state of affairs across the state.

About Kendu leaf

  • Kendu leaf is called the green gold of Odisha. It is a nationalised product like bamboo and sal seed. It is one of the most important non-wood forest products in Odisha.
  • The leaves are used to wrap bidis, a popular smoke among the locals.
  • It is native to India and Sri Lanka. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • The states producing bidi leaves in India comprises mainly Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
  • Odisha is the third-largest producer of kendu leaf, after Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • The districts where kendu leaves are grown the most are Sundergarh, Angul, Deogarh, Kalahandi, Keonjhar, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Malkanagri, Nabarangpur, Koraput, Dhenkanal, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Baragarh, Bolangir, Sonepur, Boudh and Nuapada.
  • Tribals living in remote forests, pluck the Kendu leaves and sell them in the market to earn their livelihood. 
  • Traditional medical practitioners use Kendu Leaves to treat malaria, diarrhoea, and dysenter Due to their antimicrobial properties, the leaves are applied to cuts and bruises as well. Hence statement (3) is correct.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/economy/kendu-leaf-trade-stringent-laws-needed-to-keep-children-out-78183

Consider the following statements regarding Ashwagandha (Indian winter cherry):

  • It is widely grown in dry parts of subtropical regions.
  • It has shown clinical success in treating both acute and chronic rheumatoid arthritis.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. a) 1 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) Both 1 and 2
  4. d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: India, U.K. to conduct clinical trials of ‘Ashwagandha’ for promoting recovery from COVID-19

  • The Ministry of Ayush has collaborated with the U.K.’s London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) to conduct a study on ‘Ashwagandha’ for promoting recovery from COVID-19.
  • After the trial’s success, Ashwagandha will be a proven medicinal treatment to prevent infectionand be recognized by the scientific community worldwide.
  • Successful completion of the clinical trials can provide a major breakthrough and provide scientific validity to the traditional medicinal systemof India.

Ashwagandha

  • Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is commonly known asIndian winter cherry.
  • Ashwagandha is widely grown in dry parts of subtropical regions.Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh are major ashwagandha growing states in India. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • Being a hardy and drought-tolerant crop, ashwagandha requires a relatively dry seasonthroughout its growing period. Areas with 60-75 cm rainfall are suitable for its cultivation.
  • Temperature between 20°C to 35°C is most suitable.
  • Black or heavy soilshaving good drainage are also suitable for ashwagandha cultivation.
  • It is a traditional herb that boosts energy, reduces stressand makes the immune system stronger.
  • It is an easily accessible, over-the-counter nutritional supplement in the UKand has a proven safety profile.
  • Ashwagandha has shown clinical success in treating both acute and chronic rheumatoid arthritis. Hence statement (2) is correct.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-uk-to-conduct-clinical-trials-of-ashwagandha-for-promoting-recovery-from-covid-19/article35662451.ece

. Consider the following statements regarding Monetary Policy Committee:

  • It is constituted by the Central Government under RBI Act to determine the policy interest rate required to achieve the inflation target.
  • Urjit Patel committee in 2014 recommended the establishment of the Monetary Policy Committee.
  • The Governor of RBI is ex-officio Chairman of the committee.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. a) 1 and 3 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) 2 and 3 only
  4. d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Monetary Policy Committee seen continuing status quo on repo rate

  • The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is seen unanimously voting to continue the status quo on the policy repo rate as a solid increase in aggregate demand is yet to take shape even as the retail inflation print in May and June was above its upper tolerance level.
  • Overall, since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020 in India, the repo rate has been cut by 115 basis points to mitigate its impact on the economy.
  • The Committee is also expected to persist with its accommodative stance to support growth till it gains traction on a durable basis while ensuring inflation remains within the target of 4 per cent with the lower and the upper tolerance band of 2 per cent and 6 per cent, respectively.

Monetary Policy Committee

  • Monetary policy refers to the use of monetary instruments under the control of the central bank to regulate magnitudes such as interest rates, money supply and availability of credit with a view to achieving the ultimate objective of economic policy
  • The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) constituted by the Central Government under Section 45ZB of RBI Act determines the policy interest rate required to achieve the inflation target. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • Accordingly, the Central Government in September 2016 constituted the MPC as under Governor of the Reserve Bank of India – Chairperson, ex officioHence statement (2) is correct.
  • The primary objective of monetary policy is to maintain price stability while keeping in mind the objective of growth. Price stability is a necessary precondition to sustainable growth.
  • An RBI-appointed committee led by the then deputy governor Urjit Patel in 2014 recommended the establishment of the Monetary Policy CommitteeHence statement (3) is correct.
  • Decisions are taken by majority with the Governor having the casting vote in case of a tie.
  • The MPC determines the policy interest rate (repo rate) required to achieve the inflation target (4%).
  • The committee comprises six members (including the Chairman) – three officials of the RBI and three external members nominated by the Government of India.

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/money-and-banking/monetary-policy-committee-may-opt-for-a-status-quo-on-repo-rate/article35664381.ece

Consider the following statements regarding Question Hour:

  • It is the first hour of every parliamentary sitting.
  • There is no Question Hour when the President addresses MPs from both Houses.
  • The presiding officers of the both Houses are the final authority with respect to the conduct of Question Hour.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. a) 1 and 3 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) 2 and 3 only
  4. d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Opposition protests continue to disrupt Lok Sabha proceedings

  • The opposition protest over the Pegasus snooping controversy and the contentious farm laws disrupted Lok Sabha proceedings leading to two subsequent adjournments on Tuesday.
  • As soon as the House assembled at 11 am, the opposition members came to the well and started sloganeering over the alleged snooping through the Pegasus software and demanding scrapping of the three farm laws enacted last year.
  • When questions relating to agriculture and farmers” welfare came for discussion during the Question Hour, Speaker Om Birla asked the protesting members to raise farmers-related queries in the House

Question Hour:

  • The first hour of every parliamentary sitting is slotted for the Question Hour. However, in 2014, the Question Hour was shifted in the Rajya Sabha from 11 am to 12 noon. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • During this one hour, Members of Parliament (MPs) ask questions to ministers and hold them accountable for the functioning of their ministries.
  • The questions can also be asked to the private members (MPs who are not ministers).

Regulation: 

  • It is regulated according to parliamentary rules.
  • The presiding officers of the both Houses (Rajya Sabhaand Lok Sabha) are the final authority with respect to the conduct of Question HourHence statement (3) is correct.
  • Question Hour in both Houses is held on all days of the session.
  • But there are two days when an exception is made:
  • There is no Question Hour on the day the President addresses MPs from both Houses in the Central Hall. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • Question Hour is not scheduled on the day the Finance Minister presents the Budget.
  • Types of Questions: There are three kinds of questions asked:
  • Starred question(distinguished by an asterisk): This requires an oral answer and hence supplementary questions can follow.
  • Unstarred question:This requires a written answer and hence, supplementary questions cannot follow.
  • Short notice question:It is one that is asked by giving a notice of less than ten days. It is answered orally.
  • Source: TH

Which of the following leaf modifications occur(s) in the desert areas to inhibit water loss?

  • Hard and waxy leaves
  • Tiny leaves
  • Thorns instead of leaves

Select the correct answer using the code given below :

2 and 3 only

2 only

3 only

1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d)1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

Leaf modifications of Desert Plant to inhibit water loss for adaptations and survival of Desert Plant-

  1. Wax coatings on leaves prevent water loss through evaporation, which in the hot desert can cause loss of water from both the surface and the inside of leaves. Leaves are also smaller on desert plants, further reducing the possibility for water loss.
  • Deciduous plants in desert ecosystems have adapted through the activity of their leaves. Leaves on these plants are typically smaller and coated with wax to prevent evaporation.
  • Plants such as aloes are equipped with fleshy leaves that contain much of their water supply. Because of their moist inner bodies, these plants are called succulents. They typically feel spongy and when cut open are filled with a pulpy flesh, protected by a waxy outer layer.
  • Many plants in the desert conserve water by not having any leaves at all. Cacti are the most prolific of this plant type. Many cacti have spines in place of leaves, which conduct photosynthesis and catch dew when the climate is right. These small structures also reflect light, further reducing water loss. During heavy rains, cacti will grow temporary root systems and absorb water. They will then shed the roots when the ground has dried. Hence option (d) is correct.