KingMakers IAS Academy logo

Daily Prelims Test – 04_October_2021

1. Consider the following statements regarding Bepicolombo

1) It is a joint mission between the ESA and NASA

2) It is the first European mission to Mercury.

Which of the statements given above is/are incorrect?

a)  1 only

b) 2 only

c)   Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: BepiColombo: Europe’s mission to Mercury returns first pictures

·         A joint European-Japanese spacecraft got its first glimpse of Mercury as it swung by the solar system’s innermost planet while on a mission to deliver two probes into orbit in 2025.Hence statement 1 is correct and statement 2 is correct

·         The BepiColombo mission made the first of six flybys of Mercury

·         After swooping past Mercury at altitudes of under 200 kilometers (125 miles), the spacecraft took a low-resolution black-and-white photo with one of its monitoring cameras before zipping off again.

·         The European Space Agency said the captured image shows the Northern Hemisphere and Mercury’s characteristic pock-marked features, among them the 166-kilometer-wide (103-mile-wide) Lermontov crater.

·         It is the first mission by the European and Japanese Space agency to Mercury.

·         The joint mission by the European agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency was launched in 2018, flying once past Earth and twice past Venus on its journey to the solar system’s smallest planet.

·         It is also the first mission to send two spacecraft to make complementary measurements of the planet and its environment at the same time.

·         The ESA-built Mercury Transfer Module (MTM) will carry the orbiters to Mercury using a combination of solar electric propulsion and gravity assisted flybys.

·         The mission is named after Italian scientist Giuseppe “Bepi” Colombo, who is credited with helping develop the gravity assist maneuver that NASA’s Mariner 10 first used when it flew to Mercury in 1974.

·         The two orbiters will also collect data at Venus.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-58754882

2. Consider the following statements regarding Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation

1) It aims to provide basic amenities like water supply, sewerage, urban transport, parks to improve the quality of life for the poor and the disadvantaged.

2) It is regulated by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

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 Modi launches Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0 & AMRUT 2.0

·         The Prime Minister has launched Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0 and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation 2.0 on 1st October 2021 in New Delhi.

·         SBM-U 2.0 and AMRUT 2.0 have been designed to make all cities ‘Garbage Free’ and ‘Water Secure’.

·         It will address the challenges of urbanization and contribute towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

AMRUT 2.0:

·         It aims to provide 100% coverage of water supply to all households in 4,700 urban local bodies by providing 2.68 crore tap connections.

·         Focus on 100% coverage of sewerage and septage in 500 AMRUT cities by providing 2.64 crore sewer septage connections will benefit more than 10.5 crore people in urban areas.

About Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation:

·         The Government of India launched Mission AMRUT in 2015.

·         It aims to provide basic amenities like water supply, sewerage, urban transport, parks to improve the quality of life for the poor and the disadvantaged.Hence statement 1 is correct

·         The focus is on infrastructure creation to provide better services to the citizens.

·         The Mission covers 500 cities including cities and towns with a population of one lakh with notified Municipalities.

·         It is regulated by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.Hence statement 2 is correct

Source: https://newsonair.com/2021/10/01/pm-modi-launches-swachh-bharat-mission-urban-2-0-amrut-2-0/

3. With reference to Report on Best Practices in the Performance of District Hospitals, Consider the following statements

1) It is a study conducted by the government’s top think tank NITI Aayog

2) Puducherry had the highest average beds in the country while Bihar had the lowest average of six beds per 100,000 citizens.

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: District hospitals have avg 24 beds per 1 lakh people, Bihar lowest at 6: NITI Aayog report

·         The NITI Aayog report also shows that in 15 states and UTs, the average number of beds in a district hospital was lower than 22 beds per 1 lakh population as recommended by the IPHS 2012 guidelines.

·         A district hospital in India has on an average 24 beds per 1 lakh population, with Bihar having the lowest average of six beds and Puducherry the highest of 222, a study conducted by the government’s top think tank NITI Aayog has revealed.Hence statement 1 is correct and statement 2 is correct

·         Only 27% of the total 707 districts met the doctor-to-bed ratio of 29 doctors per 100 beds in a hospital.

·         88 hospitals out of 707 had the required ratio of staff nurses.

·         Only 399 hospitals were found to have a ratio of paramedical staff.

·         Madhya Pradesh had the highest proportion (14.8%) such hospitals, followed by Delhi (12.5%) and UP (11.4%).

·         Every district hospital in India had 11 support services, compared to the required 14.

·         Tamil Nadu had the highest proportion (20.2%) followed by Rajasthan (11.2%), UP (10.1%).

·         Only 21 hospitals fulfilled the criteria of having all diagnostic testing services available.

·         Karnataka had the highest proportion (28.6%) followed by Telangana (19%) and Gujarat (9.5%).

·         Uttar Pradesh at (14.8%) had the highest proportion of hospitals with bed occupancy rate followed by Madhya Pradesh (10.9%), Maharashtra (8.2%).

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/district-hospitals-have-avg-24-beds-per-1-lakh-people-niti-aayog-report-7544405/

4.Consider the following statements

1) The retrospective tax clauses were introduced in 2012 to bring past indirect transfer of Indian assets under the ambit of taxation.

2) The Taxation Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021, aims to withdraw tax demands made using a 2012 retrospective legislation to tax the indirect transfer of Indian assets.

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 notifies new rules to clear retro tax mess

·         Firms such as Cairn and Vodafone disputing retrospective tax demands in India will not only have to withdraw all legal proceedings and waive all rights to claim costs or attach Indian assets but also indemnify the government on costs and liabilities from any action pursued by other interested parties in future.

·         The Income-Tax (31st Amendment) Rules, 2021, introduce a new portion pertaining to ‘indirect transfer prior to 28th May, 2012 of assets situated in India’, and lay out the conditions and formats for undertakings to be submitted by all ‘interested parties’ to the tax department in order to settle their tax disputes.

·         The Union government has notified new rules under the Income Tax Act for specifying the process to be followed by affected taxpayers to settle the retrospective tax disputes.

·         Union Finance Minister had recently introduced the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha to nullify the retrospective tax clauses that were introduced in 2012 and had issued draft rules to resolve the pending tax disputes.Hence statement 1 is correct and statement 2 is correct

·         Affected companies like Cairn Energy had envisaged interest to settle their dispute with the Indian government.

·         As per the conditions laid down under this new rules, firms disputing retrospective tax demands will have to withdraw all legal proceedings including arbitration, mediation efforts and waive all rights to claim costs or attach Indian assets and also indemnify the government on costs and liabilities from any action pursued by other interested parties (including shareholders) in future. They would also have to give an undertaking that such initiatives will not be reopened.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/government-notifies-new-rules-to-clear-retro-tax-mess/article36788953.ece

5. With reference to Uronema africanum Borge, Consider the following statements

1) It is a species of microalgae found only in India

2) It is an agent of biodegradation of plastic sheets.

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:A tiny plant that can ‘digest’ low density plastic sheets

·         Researchers from University of Madras and Presidency College, Chennai, have isolated an alga species that shows promise as an agent of biodegradation of plastic sheets.

·         According to the Central Pollution Control Board’s annual report for the year 2011-12, the plastic waste generated in a year amounted to 5.6 million metric tonnes.

·         Only 60% of the plastic used in India was collected and recycled. The metros alone contributed some 21.2% of the total waste, led by Delhi, followed by Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai.

·         In earlier studies, species of bacteria that degrade plastic have been studied. In the present study, this role is played by the microalga UronemaafricanumBorge.

·         This is a species of microalgae that is commonly found in Africa, Asia and Europe.Hence statement 1 is incorrect

·         The microalga was found to produce enzymes, hormones, toxins such as cyanotoxins and some polysaccharides which were able to slowly degrade polyethylene into monomers which will not have harmful effect in the atmosphere. Low-density polyethylene is highly resistant to degradation. Hence statement 2 is correct

·         The researchers are planning to collaborate with industry to take up this technology in to a pilot scale and finally large-scale study.

·         The development gains significance given that the identified algae could be used as an agent of biodegradation of plastic sheets and thus it offers a solution to Plastic pollution in India.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/a-tiny-plant-that-can-digest-low-density-plastic-sheets/article36794827.ece

6. Consider the following statements regarding Langas and Manganiyars

1) They are communities of Muslim folk musicians

2) They are residing mostly in the Assam districts

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: Future-proofing the Langa-Manganiyar heritage

·         Considered the repository of the Thar region’s rich history and traditional knowledge, the ballads, folklore and songs of the Langa-Manganiyar artistes are being preserved through an initiative for documentation and digitisation.

·         The project is aimed at saving the rapidly disappearing narrative traditions of these communities.

·         The Langasand Manganiyars are hereditary communities of Muslim musicians residing mostly in western Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer and Barmer districts and in Pakistan’s Tharparkar and Sanghar districts in Sindh.Hence statement 1 is correct and statement 2 is incorrect

·         The performances are in multiple languages and dialects including Marwari, Sindhi, Saraiki, Dhatti and Thareli.

·         The music of the two marginalised communities, who were supported by wealthy landlords and merchants before Independence, forms a vital part of Thar desert’s cultural landscape.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/future-proofing-the-langa-manganiyar-heritage/article36794789.ece

7.Consider the following statements regardingIndian Astronomical Observatory

1) It is located at Hanle near Leh in Ladakh

2) It has one of the world’s highest located sites for optical, infrared and gamma-ray telescopes.

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: IAO Hanle: A promising astronomical observatory

·         The Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) located at Hanle near Leh in Ladakh is becoming one of the globally promising observatory sites, according to a recent study.Hence statement 1 is correct

·         It has one of the world’s highest located sites for optical, infrared and gamma-ray telescopes.Hence statement 2 is correct

·         It is operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore.

·         It is currently the ninth highest optical telescope in the world, situated at an elevation of 4,500 meters (14,764 ft).

·         This is due to its advantages of more clear nights, minimal light pollution, background aerosol concentration, extremely dry atmospheric condition and uninterrupted monsoon, the Department of Science and Technology said.

·         Researchers from India and their collaborators carried out a detailed study of the night time cloud cover fraction over eight high altitude observatories, including three in India

·         The researchers used reanalysis data combined from assimilation and observation extending over 41 years, along with 21 years of data from satellites.

·         The team found that the Hanle site which is as dry as Atacama Desert in Chile and much drier than Devasthal and has around 270 clear nights in a year and is also one of the emerging sites for infrared and submillimetre optical astronomy. This is because water vapour absorbs electromagnetic signals and reduces their strength, the DST said

·         They found that Devasthal has a slightly larger number of clear nights compared to the other sites in the subcontinent but are affected by monsoons for about three months in a year. However, night observations at IAO Hanle from 2m-Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) are possible throughout the year without any interruption due to monsoon.

·         Due to the advantages of more clear nights, minimal light pollution, background aerosol concentration, extremely dry atmospheric conditions, and uninterrupted monsoon, this region is becoming one of the promising sites globally for the next generation of astronomical observatories

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/iao-hanle-a-promising-astronomical-observatory/article36794893.ece

8. Consider the following statements regarding Molnupiravir

1) It is an investigational anti-viral drug for COVID-19

2) It alters critical enzymes that are necessary for the virus to begin replicating in the body’s host cells.

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:Explained | Molnupiravir, Merck’s new drug to treat COVID-19

·         Pharmaceutical major Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics announced the early results from Phase-3 trials that its anti-viral drug molnupiravir halved the chances of hospitalisation in COVID-19 patients with mild or moderate disease.Hence statement 1 is correct

·         Antiviral drugs, and this includes the much-in-demand Remdesivir, work by inhibiting the process by which the virus replicates.

·         In the case of molnupiravir, when tested on cultured cells, it works by altering critical enzymes that are necessary for the virus to begin replicating in the body’s host cells.Hence statement 2 is correct

·         A key challenge has been that many such antivirals, following a similar mechanism, are not effective as oral pills.

·         Molnupiravir is a pill and hence will not be required to be administered

·         It would also be cheaper than the monoclonal antibody therapy.

·         The drug has shown ‘consistent efficacy’ across viral variants Gamma, Delta and Mu in those with mild or moderate disease

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/explained-molnupiravir-mercks-new-drug-to-treat-covid-19/article36788711.ece

9. Consider the following statements regarding Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act

1) As per the NDPS Act, narcotic drugs include coca leaf, cannabis, opium and poppy straw.

2) As per the NDPS Act, the minimum sentence for dealing with drugs is 10 years rigorous imprisonment coupled with a fine of Rs. 1 lakh.

3) No bail is granted for those persons booked under this act.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 and 3 only

b) 2 only

c)   1 and 2 only

d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1,2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: Sections of NDPS Act invoked against Aryan Khan in drugs bust case

·         Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan and seven others, booked by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), are charged with various sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. The NCB had claimed that the eight persons were part of an alleged drug bust on a cruise ship.

About Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act 1985

·         The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act is an Act of the Parliament of India that prohibits a person to produce/manufacture/cultivate, possess, sell, purchase, transport, store, and/or consume any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.

·         As per the NDPS Act, narcotic drugs include coca leaf, cannabis (hemp), opium and poppy straw.Hence statement 1 is correct

·         Psychotropic substance means any natural or synthetic material or any salt or preparation covered under the 1971 convention on Psychotropic substances.

·         India is a signatory to all these three.

·         NDPS Act has made stringent provisions for the control and regulation of operations relating to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

·         As per the NDPS Act, the minimum sentence for dealing with drugs is 10 years rigorous imprisonment coupled with a fine of Rs. 1 lakh.Hence statement 2 is correct

·         No bail is granted for those persons booked under this act.Hence statement 3 is correct

·         In addition, no relief can be obtained by the drug convicts through suspension, remission and commutation of sentences passed.

·         NDPS Act prescribes  even though the offence cannot be called as a heinous crime.

·         The following conventions various forms of control to limit the use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances

o    The UN Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs 1961

o    The Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971

o    The Convention on Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/aryan-khan-drugs-case-sections-of-ndps-act-7550870/

10. He wrote biographies of Mazzini, Garibaldi, Shivaji and Shrikrishna; stayed in America for some time; and was also elected to the Central Assembly. He was

a)  Aurobindo Ghosh

b) Bipin Chandra Pal

c)   LalaLajpat Rai

d) Motilal Nehru

Answer: (c) LalaLajpat Rai

Explanation:

LalaLajpat Rai was gifted with a perceptive mind, he was a prolific writer and authored several works like – “Unhappy India”, “Young India: An Interpretation”, “History of Arya Samaj”, “England’s Debt to India” and a series of popular biographies His biographies of Mazzini, Garibaldi and. Shivaji were published in 1896 and those of Dayanand and. Shri Krishna in 1898. His purpose in selecting Mazzini and Garibladi was to infuse patriotic sentiment in the youth of Punjab, who had no access to books in English. Hence option (c) is correct