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Daily Prelims Test – 05 January 2022

1. With respect to South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Consider the following statements:

1)    It aims to promote economic growth, social progress and cultural development within South Asia.

2)    India joined as the last member of SAARC.

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: Pakistan ready to host SAARC Summit, India can join virtually: Foreign Minister

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation:

  • statement (1) is correct.
  • It was established in 1985 when the Heads of State of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka formally adopted the charter. Afghanistan joined as the 8th member of SAARC in 2007Hence statement (2) is incorrect.
  • SAARC – a regional grouping comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
  • It has not been very effective since 2016 and its biennial summits have not taken place since the last one in Kathmandu in 2014.
  • SAARC aims to promote economic growth, social progress and cultural development within the South Asia region.
  • The SAARC comprises 3% of the world’s area, 21% of the world’s population and 4.21% (US$3.67 trillion) of the global economy, as of 2019.

The objectives of SAARC, as defined in its charter, are as follows:

  • Promote the welfare of the peoples of South Asia and improve their quality of life
  • Accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region by providing all individuals the opportunity to live in dignity and realise their full potential
  • Promote and strengthen collective self-reliance among the countries of South Asia
  • Contribute to mutual trust, understanding and appreciation of one another’s problems
  • Promote active collaboration and mutual assistance in the economic, social, cultural, technical and scientific fields
  • Strengthen cooperation with other developing countries
  • Strengthen cooperation among themselves in international forms on matters of common interest; and
  • Cooperate with international and regional organisations with similar aims and purposes.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/pakistan-ready-to-host-saarc-summit-india-can-join-virtually-foreign-minister/article38099853.ece

2. Which of the following are bioenergy crops?

1)    Eucalyptus

2)    Poplar

3)    Willow

4)    Miscanthus

5)    Switchgrass

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a)    2 only

b)    3, 4 and 5 only

c)    1 and 5 only

d)    1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Answer: (d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Explanation:

In NEWS: Bioenergy crops create cooling effect on cultivated areas: Study

  • Global air temperature decreases by 0.03~0.08 °C, after 50 years of large-scale bio-energy crop cultivation
  • Converting annual crops to perennial bioenergy crops can induce a cooling effect on the areas where they are cultivated, according to a new study.
  • Cultivation area under bioenergy crops occupies 3.8 percent ± 0.5 per cent of the global total land area, but they exert strong regional biophysical effects, leading to a global net change in air temperature of −0.08 ~ +0.05 degrees Celsius.
  • Researchers found that global air temperature decreases by 0.03~0.08 °C, with strong regional contrasts and inter-annual variability, after 50 years of large-scale bio energy crop cultivation.
  • The researchers simulated the biophysical climate impact of a range of future bioenergy crop cultivation scenarios. Eucalyptus, poplar, willow, miscanthus and switchgrass were the bioenergy crops used in the study. Hence option (d) is correct.
  • The study warned that temperature changes in the bioenergy crop scenarios may have very large spatial variations and important climate teleconnections to other areas of the globe.
  • Warming effects in Alaska and northwestern Canada may cause greenhouse gas release from thawing permafrost, from the four idealised bioenergy crop scenarios based on the composited cultivation map.
  • Strong cooling effects in Eurasia, between 60°N and 80°N, may protect permafrost from thawing or reduce methane emissions from wetlands.
  • The study also demonstrated the importance of the crop type choice, the original land use type upon which bioenergy crops are expanded, the total cultivation area and its spatial distribution patterns.
  • Cultivating eucalypt shows generally cooling effects that are more robust than if switchgrass is used as the main bioenergy crop, implying that eucalypt is superior to switchgrass in cooling the lands biophysically.
  • Replacing forests with switchgrass not only results in biophysical warming effects but could also release more carbon through deforestation than converting other short vegetation to bioenergy crops.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/energy/bioenergy-crops-create-cooling-effect-on-cultivated-areas-study-80938

3. Consider the following statements with reference to Bioenergy crops:

1)    They are emerging as a reliable alternative to fossil fuels.

2)    They increase soil carbon and fix atmospheric carbon.

3)    They could also be used for the phytoremediation of heavy metal-contaminated soils.

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: Bioenergy crops create cooling effect on cultivated areas: Study

  • Large-scale bioenergy crop cultivation induces a biophysical cooling effect at the global scale, but the air temperature change has strong spatial variations and inter-annual variability.
  • Compared to the herbaceous crops, changes in the energy fluxes induced by woody crops in the cultivation regions are larger, and the cooling effect is stronger and healthier across different cultivation maps

Bioenergy crops:

  • Bioenergy crops are one such energy source that could positively impact the environment to reduce the level of carbon dioxide, emission of greenhouse gases and soil erosion.
  • statement (1) is correct.
  • statement (2) is correct.
  • In addition, bioenergy crops (miscanthus, sorghum and poplar) could also be used for the phytoremediation of heavy metal-contaminated soils. The bioenergy crops include specific plants that are grown and maintained at lower costs for biofuel production. Hence statement (3) is correct.
  • The bioenergy crops are classified into five types namely, first-, second- and third-generation bioenergy crops, dedicated energy crops and halophytes.
  • Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/energy/bioenergy-crops-create-cooling-effect-on-cultivated-areas-study-80938

4Consider the following statements:

1)    Double deflation is the technique used to estimate real value added to an industry.

2)    In this method, real value added is measured as the difference between real gross output and real intermediate inputs.

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: Is GDP data a reliable way to measure the health of the economy?

  • The NSO released the current GDP series in 2015, using 2011-12 as its base year. Since then, the new series has been embroiled in controversy.
  • Scholars have pointed to measurement problems, both in the nominal and real GDP growth rates.
  • The growth rate of real GDP is contaminated by the “double deflation problem”. The new series entailed a shift from a volume-based measurement system to one based on nominal values, thereby making the deflator problem more critical.

Double deflation:

  • It is the technique used to estimate real value added to an industry. In the double deflation method, real value added is measured as the difference between real gross output and real intermediate inputs. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • Double deflation is the conceptually preferred method of computing real value added because it requires fewer assumptions about the relationships among gross output and intermediate inputs. Hence statement (2) is correct.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/gdp-data-indian-economic-recovery-7704719/

5. Consider the following statements regarding Domestic systemically important banks (D-SIBs) in India:

1)    As of now, only three banks have been identified as Domestic Systemically Important Banks in India.

2)    It is based on size, interconnectedness, substitutability and complexity.

3)    It classifies the banks under five buckets depending on order of importance.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)    1 and 3 only

b)    2 only

c)    1 only

d)    1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: SBI, ICICI, HDFC Bank remain as Domestic Systemically Important Banks, says RBI

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank continue to be identified as Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs), under the same bucketing structure as in the 2020 list of D-SIBs. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • RBI places D-SIBs in appropriate buckets depending upon their Systemic Importance Scores (SISs).
  • The central bank’s current update on D-SIBs is based on the data collected from banks as on March 31, 2021.
  • Based on the bucket in which a D-SIB is placed, an additional common equity requirement is applied to it.

Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs):

  • Some banks become systemically important due to their size, cross-jurisdictional activities, complexity and lack of substitute and interconnection. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • Banks whose assets exceed 2% of GDP are considered part of this group.
  • Such a bank fail, could lead to disruption of essential services they provide to the banking system and the overall economy.
  • The too-big-to-fail tag also indicates that in case of distress, the government is expected to support these banks.
  • Due to this perception, these banks enjoy certain advantages in funding.
  • It also means that these banks have a different set of policy measures regarding systemic risks and moral hazard issues.
  • As per the framework, from 2015, every August, the central bank has to disclose names of banks designated as D-SIB.
  • It classifies the banks under five buckets depending on order of importance. ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank are in bucket one while SBI falls in bucket three. Hence statement (3) is correct.
  • Based on the bucket in which a D-SIB is, an additional common equity requirement applies.
  • Banks in bucket one need to maintain a 0.15% incremental tier-I capital from April 2018.
  • Banks in bucket three have to maintain an additional 0.45%.
  • With bucket three being higher than bucket one, SBI has a higher additional requirement than ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank.
  • All the banks under D-SIB are required to maintain a higher share of risk-weighted assets as tier-I equity.

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/money-and-banking/sbi-icici-hdfc-bank-remain-as-domestic-systemically-important-banks-says-rbi/article38111773.ece

6. The term Crypto Wire, which was recently seen in news, is related to which of the following?

a)    Cryptocurrency

b)    India’s first Cryptocurrency index

c)    Ransomware

d)    None of the above

Answer: (b) India’s first Cryptocurrency index

Explanation:

  • IC15 is a rule-based broad market index by market capitalization, which tracks and measures the performance of top 15 widely traded liquid cryptocurrencies, in terms of market capitalization, listed on leading crypto exchanges of the world.
  • Over the past years, cryptocurrencies have emerged as an asset class, gaining wider acceptance and attracting people. This index captures over 80 per cent of market movement and is, thus, a fundamental market tracking and assessing tool
  • CryptoWire’s Index Governance Committee, comprising domain experts, industry practitioners and academicians, will maintain, monitor and administer the index while rebalancing it every quarter.
  • The base value of the index is set at 10,000 and the base date is April 1, 2018. Among the tokens, Bitcoin has the highest weight on the index, with 51.57, whereas Ethereum holds 25.79 weightage on the index.
  • Barring Binance Coin (5.03 weightage), no other altcoin holds more than 5 weightage on the index. It does not include stablecoins coins such as Tether and USD coins.
  • With the launch of India’s first index of crypto IC15, we intend to complete the knowledge circle for the entire crypto and blockchain ecosystem

Source:

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/cryptocurrency/cryptowire-launches-indias-first-global-index-of-cryptocurrencies/articleshow/88666931.cms

7. Consider the following statements regarding Multi Agency Centre:

1)    It is a common counter-terrorism grid under the Intelligence Bureau.

2)    It was made operational in 2001 following the Kargil War.

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: Home Ministry push to Intelligence Bureau’s counter-terrorism grid

  • The Centre wants the States to share more intelligence inputs through the Multi Agency Centre (MAC), a common counter-terrorism grid under the Intelligence Bureau (IB) that was made operational in 2001 post-Kargil war. Hence statement (1) is correct and statement (2) is correct.
  • As many as 28 organisations, including the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), armed forces and State police are part of the platform and various security agencies share real-time intelligence inputs on the MAC.
  • Plans are afoot for more than a decade to link the system up to the district level.
  • There are around 400 secured sites connected with the MAC headquarters.
  • The reluctance on the part of the States was also stated in a parliamentary standing committee report in 2020.
  • Plans are afoot for more than a decade to link the system up to the district level. A senior government official said that though the system existed to share information among various agencies, it was not being implemented effectively.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/home-ministry-push-to-intelligence-bureaus-counter-terrorism-grid/article38113950.ece

8. Consider the following statements regarding TRISHNA Mission:

1)    It is a future high-resolution space-time mission in the thermal infrared (TIR).

2)    It is led jointly by the French (CNES) and the Indian (ISRO).

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: There is a feeling that very little happened in ISRO in 2021, acknowledges its chairman K Sivan

  • Last year, ISRO had only two successful PSLV missions, including the one dedicated commercial mission by its commercial arm New Space India Limited (NSIL NSE 0.88 %).
  • He said three new space science missions are in the pipeline — ‘DISHA’, a twin aeronomy satellite mission, Venus mission and ISRO-CNES joint science mission ‘TRISHNA’.

TRISHNA mission:

  • TRISHNA (Thermal infraRed Imaging Satellite for High-resolution Natural resource Assessment) is a future high-resolution space-time mission in the thermal infrared (TIR) led jointly by the French (CNES) and the Indian (ISRO) space agencies for a launch planned in 2025Hence statement (1) is correct and statement (2) is correct.
  • The scientific objectives guiding the definition of the mission are, in order of priority, the monitoring of the water status and of the stress of continental ecosystems, the monitoring of coastal and inland waters, the urban environment, and applications to the solid Earth, the cryosphere and the atmosphere.
  • TRISHNA will be positioned on a polar orbit at an altitude of 761 km, providing a revisit of 3 passages over 8 days with global coverage.
  • TRISHNA will have a large field of view of 35° to ensure global coverage, generating directional effects whose magnitude has been measured in situ up to 5°C (forests) and 10°C (vineyards, urban). 

Source: https://www.theia-land.fr/en/trishna-a-franco-indian-mission-to-monitor-the-water-status-of-continental-ecosystems/

9. Nai Talim is an education principle promoted by

a)    Mahatma Gandhi

b)    Jawaharlal Nehru

c)    Subhas Chandra Bose

d)    B. R. Ambedkar

Answer: (a) Mahatma Gandhi

Explanation:

In NEWS: New Education Policy follows Mahatma Gandhi’s Nai Talim in terms of mother tongue: Vice President

  • Nai Talim is a principle promoted by Mahatma Gandhi which states that knowledge and work are not separate. Rather experiential learning or learning by doing is one the most effective methods.
  • To him, it is a holistic approach of developing body, mind and soul (hand, head and heart), by making a productive art, craft or community engagement activity as the centre of learning.

It is based on four principles namely:

  • Education or learning in mother tongue along with handicraft work,
  • Work should be linked with most useful vocational needs of the locality,
  • Learning should be linked with vocational work, and
  • Work should be socially useful and productive.

Source: PIB

10. The vegetation of savannah consists of grassland with scattered small trees, but extensive areas have no trees. The forest development in such areas is generally kept in check by one or more or a combination of some conditions. Which of the following are such conditions?

1)    Burrowing animals and termites

2)    Fire

3)    Grazing herbivores

4)    Seasonal rainfall

5)    Soil properties

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

a)    1 and 2

b)    4 and 5

c)    2, 3 and 4

d)    1, 3 and 5

Answer: (c) 2, 3 and 4

Explanation:

  • Savanna ecosystems are heterogeneous environments characterized by the presence of trees, bushes, and grasses. Nutrient and soil moisture availability are usually the limiting factors affecting the biomass growth in savannas, and overall biomass is impacted by competition, fire, grazing, and harvesting. Savanna grassland soils are not very fertile.
  • Dirt mounds the insects build sustain significantly more shrubs, fruit -bearing trees, bugs, and animals, such as elephants, cheetahs, and zebras, than do surrounding areasHence option (c) is correct.