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Daily Prelims Test – 03_December 2020

Consider the following statements regarding the Peacock Soft Shell Turtle

  • This species is confined to India only
  • It is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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

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

Answer: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Endangered turtle rescued from fish market in Assam by professor

  • Head of the Life Science and Bioinformatics department of Assam University Sarbani Giri had gone to the fish market when she noticed a man putting up an Indian peacock soft-shell turtle (Nilssonia hurum), which was alive, for sale.
  • The Indian peacock soft-shell turtle is found in South Asia and is listed on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red list as a vulnerable species. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The species is confined to India, Bangladesh and Pakistan because it is widespread in the northern and central parts of the Indian subcontinent. Hence statement 1 is incorrect
  • The Indian peacock softshell turtle has a large head, downturned snout with low and oval carapace of dark olive green to nearly black.
  • It is found in rivers, streams, lakes and ponds with mud or sand bottoms.
  • It is omnivorous because juveniles observed feeding on mosquito larvae and fish, while adults consume snails, earthworms, prawns, fish, frogs, carrion, and vegetation.
  • It is protected under Schedule 1 of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • It is also listed under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/it-s-viral/endangered-turtle-rescued-from-fish-market-in-assam-by-professor/story-uP5ts2PInR1QEvwgSQXOGN.html


Consider the following statements regarding the Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System

  • It was developed by Election Commission of India with the help of Centre for Development of Advanced Computing
  • Overseas Voters are not an eligible for ETPBS

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: EC proposes extending postal ballot facility for eligible overseas Indians

  • The Election Commission has proposed to the government to extend the Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) facility, so far available to service voters, to eligible overseas Indian voters.
  • The Commission is technically and administratively ready to extend this facility in general elections to legislative assemblies of Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry
  • The Commission observed that Section 62 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 envisages right to vote for every citizen registered in the electoral roll who is not subject to disqualification for voting.

About Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS):

  • It was developed by Election Commission of India with the help of Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), for the use of the Service Voters. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • Under this system, ballot papers are distributed to the registered eligible voters and they return the votes by post.
  • Under this system a blank postal ballot paper is transmitted to service voters electronically. Then they can download the postal ballot and print the blank postal ballot.
  • After marking his vote in the blank postal ballot, the same would be returned to the concerned Returning Officer by post as in the present system of postal ballot.
  • It is a fully secured system, having two security layers. Secrecy of voting is maintained through the use of OTP and PIN and no duplication of casted ETPB is possible due to the unique QR Code in the portal.
  • It was first used in a by-election in the Nellithope Assembly constituency in Puducherry in 2016 and on pilot basis in the State during the Chengannur bypoll.

Class of Electors who are eligible for ETPBS

  • Service Voters, other than those who opt for proxy voting (Classified Service Voters). The wife of a Service Voter who ordinarily resides with him
  • Overseas Voters. Hence statement 2 is incorrect

Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/ec-proposes-extending-postal-ballot-facility-for-eligible-overseas-indians/articleshow/79510615.cms


Consider the following statements regarding the Development finance institution

  • It is the development finance company that provides funding for social development projects.
  • Food Corporation of India was the first DFI to be set up in India

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: FinMin proposes DFI tag for IIFCL to support long term financial needs

  • The finance ministry has proposed giving the ‘development finance institution’ (DFI) tag to India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL) in a bid to support long-term financial needs of infrastructure projects. “The department of financial services (DFS) has prepared a Cabinet note to give DFI status to IIFCL
  • IIFCL is a government-owned entity, which is registered as a non-deposit accepting loan company with the Reserve Bank of India. The firm, set up in 2006, is the only state-owned financial institution that lends to all the infrastructure sub-sectors.
  • The move to convert IIFCL into a DFI is expected to reduce the cost of borrowings for long-term infrastructure projects, at a time when the government has planned Rs 111 trillion worth of infrastructure investments under the National Infrastructure Pipeline during 2020-25.
  • A DFI is also known as a development bankor a development finance company. It is the company that provides funding for social development projects. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • DFIs fund projects that require capital to offset reduced financial returns on investment as they pursue social development objectives.
  • FCI was the first DFI to be set up in India back in 1948, which is now classified as a systemically important non-banking financial company. Banks began lending to infrastructure firms in the past two decades, edging out DFIs, which became unviable. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • In the past years, ICICI and IDBI, which started as DFIs, were converted into banks, while sector-specific DFIs still exist – Export Import Bank of India, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, and Small Industries Development Bank of India to name a few. But these DFIs focus on non-infrastructure sectors.
  • DFIs play a pivotal role in extending credit and boosting economies, especially in developing countries.

Source: https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/finmin-proposes-dfi-tag-for-iifcl-to-support-long-term-financial-needs-120120100055_1.html#:~:text=The%20finance%20ministry%20has%20proposed,give%20DFI%20status%20to%20IIFCL.


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

  • Super Computer
  • Crypto currency
  • Common diseases of rice
  • Social humanoid robot

Answer: (b) Crypto currency

Explanation:

In NEWS: World’s second largest cryptocurrency to get upgrade today

  • The world’s second largest cryptocurrency is set for a major transition, which may overcome some of the challenges that its larger counterpart faces. Ethereum 2.0 is set to launch today on a system that is faster, cheaper and more environmentally friendly, than bitcoin which has crossed its all-time high of USD 20,000.
  • Unlike other cryptocurrencies ethereum offers a technological platform on which smart contracts can be built, for instance loan agreements. These contracts can be created by computer code without the intervention of courts or legal authorities and execute themselves
  • Ethereum 2.0 has also hugely increased the number of transactions that can be processed per second. This coupled with the lower cost of transactions positions it to complement rather than supplement bitcoin. Bitcoin will be more seen as a store of value and ethereum, as a medium of transactions

About Ethereum

  • Ethereum is a decentralised and open source blockchain platform, which is a growing list of cryptographic blocks. Ether (ETH) is the cryptocurrency token of the Ethereum platform. Hence option (b) is correct
  • It is the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, only after bitcoin. It is also the world’s most actively used blockchain.
  • Ethereum was first proposed in 2013 by a Russian- Canadian cryptocurrency researcher and programmer Vitalik Buterin.

Source: https://www.livemint.com/money/personal-finance/world-s-second-largest-cryptocurrency-to-get-upgrade-today-11606813346981.html


Which of the following statements is not correct regarding Chief Justice of India?

  • The Chief Justice of India is traditionally appointed by the recommendations of Collegium system.
  • The Constitution of India does not have any provision for criteria and procedure for appointing the CJI.
  • There is one and only Women Chief Justice of India appointed so far
  • Both the statements (b) and (c) are not correct.

Answer: c) There is one and only women Chief Justice of India appointed so far

Explanation:

In News: There has never been a woman CJI, says A-G

  •  The Chief Justice of India is traditionally appointed by the outgoing Chief Justice of India on the day of his (or her) retirement.
  •  The Constitution of India does not have any provision for criteria and procedure for appointing the CJI.
  •  There is no Women Chief Justice of India appointed so far
  •  Supreme court has only 2 women judges as against a sanctioned strength of 34 judges. There has never been a female CJI. hence option (c) is not the correct answer.
  •  There are only 80 women judges out of the sanctioned strength of 113 judges in the High courts and the Supreme court.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/there-has-never-been-a-woman-cji-says-attorney-general/article33233401.ece

  • Consider the following statements
  •  The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has constituted a high-level inter-ministerial Apex Committee for Implementation of Paris Agreement (AIPA)
  •  The purpose of AIPA is to generate a coordinated response on climate change matters that ensures India is on track towards meeting its obligations under the Paris Agreement including its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).
  •  AIPA issues guidelines on carbon pricing, market mechanism, and other similar instruments that have a bearing on climate change and NDCs.

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

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

Answer: d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Govt constitutes High-level Ministerial Committee for implementation of Paris Agreement

  •  The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has constituted a high-level inter-ministerial Apex Committee for Implementation of Paris Agreement (AIPA) under the chairmanship of Secretary, MoEFCC. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  •  The purpose of AIPA is to generate a coordinated response on climate change matters that ensures India is on track towards meeting its obligations under the Paris Agreement including its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). hence statement 2 is correct.
  •  Senior officials from fourteen ministries will serve as Members to AIPA who will oversee the progress in implementation of India’s NDC
  •  Other key functions of AIPA would be to
    •  operate as a National Authority to regulate carbon markets in India under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement,
    •  formulate guidelines for consideration of projects or activities under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement,
    •  issue guidelines on carbon pricing, market mechanism, and other similar instruments that have a bearing on climate change and NDCs. hence statement 3 is correct.

Source: http://newsonair.com/News?title=Govt-constitutes-High-level-Ministerial-Committee-for-implementation-of-Paris-Agreement&id=405393


Consider the following statements

  •  World Malaria Report which is related by World Health Organisation
  •  India is the only high endemic country which has reported a decline of 17.6% in 2019 as compared to 2018.
  •  India has also contributed to the largest drop in cases region-wide, from approximately 20 million to about 6 million.

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

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

Answer: (c) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: India records largest reductions in malaria cases in south east asia, says WHO

  •  India is the only high endemic country which has reported a decline of 17.6% in 2019 as compared to 2018. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  •  The Annual Parasitic Incidence (API) reduced by 27.6% in 2018 compared to 2017 and by 18.4% in 2019 as compared to 2018. India has sustained API less than one since year 2012.
  •  India has also contributed to the largest drop in cases region-wide, from approximately 20 million to about 6 million. The percentage drop in the malaria cases was 71.8% and deaths was 73.9% between 2000 to 2019. Hence statement 3 is correct.
  •  India achieved a reduction of 83.34% in malaria morbidity and 92% in malaria mortality between the year 2000 and 2019, thereby achieving Goal 6 of the Millennium Development Goals (50-75% decrease in case incidence between 2000 and 2019).
  •  States of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya and Madhya Pradesh disproportionately accounted for nearly 45.47 percent of malaria cases and 70.54 percent of falciparum Malaria cases in 2019. 64% of malaria deaths were also reported from these states.
  •  The World Malaria Report (WMR) 2020 released by WHO indicates that India has made considerable progress in reducing its malaria burden. Hence statement 1 is correct

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/india-records-largest-reductions-in-malaria-cases-in-south-east-asia-says-who/article33219416.ece


Recently, BNT 162b2 is frequently appeared in news,which is related to:

  • Covid Vaccine
  • Newly discovered asteroid
  • New variety of Plant Species
  • None of the above

Answer: (a) Covid Vaccine

Explanation:

In NEWS: UK becomes first country to approve Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for use

  •  Britain became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for use and said that it will be rolled out from early next week.
  •  BNT162b2 is a COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by BioNTech and Pfizer and given by intramuscular injection. Hence option (a) is the correct answer.
  •  It is an RNA vaccine composed of nucleoside-modified mRNA encoding a mutated form of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, and is encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles.

Source http://newsonair.com/News?title=UK-becomes-first-country-to-approve-Pfizer-BioNTech-Covid-19-vaccine-for-use&id=405391


Consider the following statements

  •  India is the world’s biggest rice exporter and China is the biggest importer.
  •  China has begun importing Indian rice for the first time in at least three decades due to tightening supplies

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: China buys first Indian rice in decades amid scarce supply

  •  India is the world’s biggest rice exporter and China is the biggest importer. The rice imports come despite political tensions over a border dispute in the Himalayas which erupted into a clash in June in which 20 indian soldiers were killed. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  •  China has begun importing Indian rice for the first time in at least three decades due to tightening supplies from Thailand, Myanmar and vietnam, and an offer of sharply discounted prices. Hence statement 2 is correct.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/china-buys-indian-rice-for-first-time-in-decades-as-supplies-tighten-india-trade-officials/article33229508.ece


Consider the following statements:

  • Coal ash contains arsenic, lead and mercury.
  • Coal-fired power plants release Sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen into the environment.
  • High ash content is observed in Indian coal.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Answer: (d) 1,2 and 3

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: Coal itself isn’t a particularly toxic material. But after it’s burned, what remains in the ash includes lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, arsenic, and selenium, all in levels that may threaten human health.
  • Statement 2 is correct: Thermal power plants produce large amounts of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide—the pollutants that cause acid rain—when they burn fossil fuels, especially coal, to produce energy.
  • Statement 3 is correct: India’s domestic coal reserves have a high ash content—up to 40 to 45 percent.

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