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Daily Prelims Test – 05_August

Consider the following statements regarding Swadesh Darshan Scheme

  • It aims to develop theme-based tourist circuits in the country
  • It is launched by the Ministry of Culture

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

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Union Minister of State for Tourism Shri Prahlad Singh Patel virtually inaugurates world class “Thenzawl Golf Resort” project implemented in Mizoram under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme

  • The Project was sanctioned under the Integrated Development of New Eco Tourism under Swadesh Darshan – North East Circuit at Thenzawl & South Zote, District Serchhip and Reiek, Mizoram.
  • Today India boasts of more than 230 golf courses in all. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India endeavours to work as a catalyst and active supporter for the development of Golf Tourism in the country. India has several golf courses of international standards and golf events held in India also attract domestic and international tourists.

About Swadesh Darshan Scheme

  • The Government of India, Ministry of Tourism (MoT) launched by the Swadesh Darshan Scheme (Central Sector Scheme)– for integrated development of theme based tourist circuits in the country in 2014-15. Hence statement 1 is correct and Hence statement 2 is incorrect
  • This scheme is envisioned to synergise with other Government of India schemes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Skill India, Make in India etc. with the idea of positioning the tourism sector as a major engine for job creation, driving force for economic growth, building synergy with various sectors to enable tourism to realise its potential.

Features of Swadesh Darshan Scheme:

  1. Centrally funded for the project components undertaken for public funding.
  2. To leverage the voluntary funding available for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of Central Public Sector Undertakings and corporate sector.
  3. Funding of individual projects will vary from state to state and will be finalised on the basis of detailed project reports prepared by PMC (Programme Management Consultant). PMC will be a national level consultant to be appointed by the Mission Directorate.
  4. A National Steering Committee (NSC) will be constituted with the Minister in charge of M/O Tourism as Chairman, to steer the mission objectives and vision of the scheme.
  5. A Mission Directorate headed by the Member Secretary, NSC as a nodal officer will help in identification of projects in consultation with the States/ UTs governments and other stakeholders.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1643290

If the interest rate is increased in an economy, it will

  • tend to moderate economic growth
  • decrease the cost of borrowing
  • limit the growth in consumer spending
  • reduce inflationary pressures

Select the correct options from the given below codes

  • 1,2 and 4 only
  • 2 and 4 only
  • 1 and 3 only
  • 1,3 and 4 only

Answer: (d) 1,3 and 4 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Rising real lending rate roiling RBI rate cuts: report

  • A report suggested that even after the Reserve Bank slashed key interest rates by 135 basis points (bps) the real lending rates have only gone up by 44 bps in spite of the nominal lending rates falling by 105 bps.
  • The low credit demand and high real lending rates are constraining the economic recovery post COVID-19 pandemic.
  • A saving grace is that rising M3 (money supply) growth creates room for lending rate cuts to the tune of 100 bps more before March.
  • The high real lending rates, adjusted for core Wholesale Price Index (WPI) as a proxy for pricing power, still constrains recovery beyond the pandemic shock.

About Effects of Rising Interest Rates

  • The Central Bank usually increases interest rates when inflation is predicted to rise above their inflation target.
  • Higher interest rates tend to moderate economic growth.
  • Higher interest rates increase the cost of borrowing, reduce disposable income and therefore limit the growth in consumer spending.
  • Higher interest rates tend to reduce inflationary pressures and cause an appreciation in the exchange rate. Hence option (d) is correct

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/rising-real-lending-rate-roiling-rbi-rate-cuts-report/article32262156.ece

Which of the following country had recently commissioned Barakah nuclear power plant?

  • United Arab Emirates
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Iran
  • Qatar

Answer: (a) United Arab Emirates

Explanation:

In NEWS: UAE announces launch of Barakah, Arab world’s first nuclear plant

  • The oil-rich United Arab Emirates has announced the start-up of its Barakah nuclear power plant. Hence option (a) is correct
  • It is the Arab world’s first nuclear plant.
  • UAE first nuclear reactor at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant has achieved first criticality and successfully started up.
  • Barakah, which means “blessing” in Arabic, is a regional first.
  • Barakah was built by a consortium led by the Korea Electric Power Corporation at a cost of some $24.4 billion.
  • It is located near the border with Saudi Arabia on the Emirates coast, separated from Iran by troubled Gulf waters.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/arab-worlds-first-nuclear-plant-achieves-criticality/article32249753.ece

Consider the following statements regarding Groundnut production in India

  • It is raised mostly as a rainfed rabi crop
  • India is the second largest producer of groundnuts in the world

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

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: How Covid-19 has helped the groundnut stage a comeback

  • According to the Union Agriculture Ministry, production of this oilseed in 2019-20, at 93.47 lakh tonnes (lt), was more than the previous year’s 67.27 lt and the highest since the record 97.14 lt of 2013-14.
  • Groundnut oil prices had been rallying since early this year in line with other vegetable oils.
  • In Gujarat especially, people had to switch entirely to eating at home and they chose groundnut oil, which is their traditional cooking medium

About Groundnut

  • Groundnut is raised mostly as a rainfed kharif crop, being sown from May to June, depending on the monsoon rains. It is sown as late as August or early September. Hence statement 1 is incorrect
  • The crop can be grown successfully in places receiving a minimum rainfall of 500mm and a maximum rainfall of 1,250mm.
  • The crop does best on sandy loam and loamy soils and in black soils with good drainage.
  • India is the second largest producer of groundnuts in the Hence statement 2 is correct
  • Major Growing States: Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra ,Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, and Uttar Pradesh.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/how-covid-19-has-helped-the-groundnut-stage-a-comeback-6539602/

What is common to the crop variety known as Girnar 4 and Girnar 5 ?

  • Groundnut crop
  • Sugar crop
  • Maize crop
  • Millet crop

Answer: (a) Groundnut crop

Explanation:

In NEWS: New ICRISAT groundnut varieties to be available from yasangi

  • Two new groundnut varieties with high oleic acid content developed by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in association with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) would be made available to the farming community in Telangana from the next yasangi season.
  • The Minister stated that the new varieties known as Girnar 4 (ICGV-15083) and Girnar 5 (ICGV-15090) would be most suitable for cultivation in the erstwhile Mahabubnagar, Rangareddy and Nalgonda districts. Hence option (a) is correct
  • Stating that the two varieties had proven to be having high content of oleic acid, about 80% against the 40% to 50% in regular varieties
  • The quality of oil from the two varieties of groundnut would be like that of olive oil as they reduce the bad cholesterol and would maintain good cholesterol reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases among those who consume the oil.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/new-icrisat-groundnut-varieties-to-be-available-from-yasangi/article32269420.ece

Consider the following statements regarding Bharat Air Fibre service

  • It is introduced by BSNL as part of digital India
  • It is completely wireless and offers broadband up to 10Mbps up to a distance of 5 Kms.

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

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: BSNL Bharat Air Fibre services launched in Maharashtra

  • The Bharat Air Fibre Services will enable residents of Akola and Washim districts to avail of wireless internet connections on-demand.
  • The Bharat Air Fibre Services also aims at giving a push to the PM Modi’s call for a ‘self-reliant India’ or ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ as the state-run telco said will provide monthly income of Rs 1 lakh to the local residents who enroll as Telecom Infrastructure Partners.

About Bharat Air Fibre services

  • It has been launched by the state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) as part of Digital India initiatives and aims at providing wireless connectivity in the range of 20KMs from BSNL locations, which will benefit citizens residing in remote areas. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • BSNL will provide the Bharat Air Fibre Services through local business partners.
  • The state-run telco will also offer free voice calling along with Bharat Air Fibre connectivity with data speeds of upto 100 Mbps.
  • It is completely wireless and offers broadband up to 10Mbps up to a distance of 5 Kms. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • These services are special and different from other operators as BSNL is providing unlimited free voice calling.

Source: https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/bsnl-bharat-air-fibre-services-launched-in-maharashtra/77313289

In the context of which one of the following are the terms ‘pyrolysis’ mentioned?

  • Extraction of rare earth elements
  • Natural gas extraction technologies
  • Hydrogen fuel-based automobiles
  • Waste-to-energy technologies

Answer: (d) Waste-to-energy technologies

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: A method proposed for converting PPE into biofuels

  • Plastic from used personal protective equipment (PPE) can be transformed into renewable liquid fuels, according to a new study in the journal Biofuels, published by the Taylor & Francis Group.
  • The research describes a strategy for converting billions of items of disposable PPE from its plastic state into biofuels.
  • The transformation into biocrude, a type of synthetic fuel, will not just prevent the severe after-effects to humankind and the environment but also produce a source of energy, the researchers from The University of Petroleum and Energy Studies

About Pyrolysis

  • Pyrolysis is the thermal decomposition of materials at elevated temperatures in an inert atmosphere.
  • It involves a change in chemical composition. The word is coined from the Greek-derived elements pyro “fire” and lysis “separating”.
  • It is most commonly used in the treatment of organic materials. It is one of the processes involved in charring wood.
  • It is considered as the first step in the processes of gasification or combustion.
  • Aspirational applications of pyrolysis would convert biomass into syngas and biochar, waste plastics back into usable oil, or waste into safely disposable substances. Hence option (d) is correct

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/a-method-proposed-for-converting-ppe-into-biofuels-6539576/

Consider the following statements regarding Indian Peafowl

  • Only the males of the species are peacocks.
  • It has been protected under Appendix III of the CITES.
  • They are listed under the ‘Least Concern’ (LC) category of the IUCN Red Data List.

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

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 2 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1,2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Should we celebrate the spread of peafowl in India

  • The Indian peafowl is a native of India and some parts of Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The Arakan hills prevented their spread further east while the Himalayas and the Karakoram did so northwards.
  • As our national bird, the peacock has the utmost level of legal protection. It comes under Section 51 (1-A) of Schedule I of the Wild (Life) (Protection) Act, 1972, with imprisonment that may be extended up to seven years, along with a fine that shall not be less than Rs 10,000.
  • The primary cause of their decline was poaching
  • Peafowl have been mercilessly killed all over Rajasthan, Haryana and the peripheries of Delhi — once a rich peacock belt. Peacocks were killed in higher number than peahens, giving rise to skewed populations.
  • Only the males of the species are peacocks. The females are properly called peahens, while young birds less than a year old are known as peachicks. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • Collectively they are known as peafowl, regardless of age or gender. Peacocks are male Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus) belonging to the Phasianidae family
  • It comes under Section 51 (1-A) of Schedule I of the Wild (Life) (Protection) Act, 1972, with imprisonment that may be extended up to seven years, along with a fine that shall not be less than Rs 10,000.
  • Since 2014, Indian Peafowl has been protected under Appendix III of the CITES. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • They are listed under the ‘Least Concern’ (LC) category of the IUCN Red Data List. Hence statement 3 is correct

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/wildlife-biodiversity/should-we-celebrate-the-spread-of-peafowl-in-india-72643

Consider the following statements regarding Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA)

  • It is a joint venture company of Canara Bank and Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • It provides financial assistance for the creation of educational infrastructure and R&D in India’s premier educational institutions.

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

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: JNU gets over Rs 450 crore aid from Higher Education Funding Agency

The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has secured a financial assistance of Rs 455.02 crore from the Centre’s Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) for construction of new academic buildings, hostels and research centres

About HEFA

  • HEFA is a joint venture company of Canara Bank and Ministry of Human Resource Development. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • It provides financial assistance for the creation of educational infrastructure and R&D in India’s premier educational institutions. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • All the Centrally Funded Higher Educational Institutions will be eligible to join as members of the HEFA.
  • For joining as members, the educational institution must agree to escrow a specific amount from their internal accruals for a period of 10 years to the HEFA.

Funding pattern of HEFA

  • HEFA will have an authorized capital of 2,000 crore rupees and the government equity would be 1,000 crore
  • It also mobilizes CSR funds from Corporates/PSUs which will, in turn, be released for promoting research and innovation in these institutions on a grant basis.
  • The principal portion of the loan will be repaid through the ‘internal accruals’ of the institutions earned through the fee receipts, research earnings etc.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/education/jnu-gets-over-rs-450-crore-aid-from-higher-education-funding-agency/story-KTxdFT918k3X3ExC7gHtKM.html

Consider the following statements:

  • Saint Nimbarka was a contemporary of Akbar.
  • Saint Kabir was greatly influenced by Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Answer: (d) Neither 1 nor 2

Explanation:

  • Nimbarka, a Telugu Brahmin, is believed to have been a younger contemporary of Ramanuja (11th Century). He spent most of his time in Vrindavan near Mathura in North India. He believed in total devotion to Krishna and Rama. The Mughal emperor Akbar lived from 1542 -1605. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
  • Naqshbandi Sufi Saint Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi was in Haryana in the peiod of 1624.Whereas Kabir Das, is a 15th century mystical poet and great Bhakti Saint of India. He is the most important Nirguna Bhakti saint. The nirguna bhaktas were devotees of a formless God even while calling him variously as Rama, Govinda, Hari or Raghunatha. Hence statement 2 is not correct.