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Daily Prelims Test – 05_August_2021

The Genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 virus can help us to determine which of the following?

  • Evolution of Virus
  • Mutation
  • Geographical Spread
  • Lineage
  • Transmissibility

Select the correct answer from the code given below:

  1. a) 3 and 5 only
  2. b) 1, 2 and 5 only
  3. c) 1, 2, 4 and 5 only
  4. d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

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

Explanation:

In NEWS: How one of India’s premier research institutes is tracking new SARS-COV2 variants

  • Vinod Scaria, principal scientist at Delhi-based CSIR-IGIB, and Bani Jolly, a graduate student at the same institution, are among a score of scientists from various laboratories who have been involved in the genome sequencing effort in India.
  • Tracking the rapidly emerging variants of SARS-CoV2 is one of the most important strategies to contain the spread of the pandemic. This is done through proactive genome sequencing of the virus samples obtained from infected people.

How has genome sequencing helped?

  • Genome sequencing helps us understand the evolution and spread of the virus and its variants.
  • It has enabled us to look closely at the mutations that arise in the virus during replication inside the human body after infection.
  • Looking at such mutations helps determine if a different lineage or ‘variant’ of SARS-CoV-2 has emerged in a region.
  • Tracking such mutations can also allow the tracing of the origin and spread of a specific variant of the virus especially as variants spread across geographical areas. For example, we have seen that the Delta variantpredominated during the second wave in India and its prevalence corresponded to the increase in cases seen in the country.
  • Multiple studies subsequently suggested that Delta is more transmissible as compared to other previous lineages of SARS-CoV-2. Hence option (d) is correct.

How are the variants named?

  • PANGO is a system of assigning names to different lineages of SARS-CoV-2 genomes, which was developed by virologists in the UK and Australia early in 2020.
  • It is a hierarchical system of naming lineages.
  • For example, the B.1.1.7 lineage, more commonly known as the Alpha variant, emerged from the lineage B.1.1 which had emerged from the lineage B.1, which is a direct descendant of the lineage B.
  • The suffix can contain a maximum of 3 hierarchical levels, referred to as the primary, secondary and tertiary suffixes.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/how-one-of-indias-premier-research-institutes-is-tracking-new-sars-cov2-variants-7436040/

  • 2. Consider the following statements regarding Voice vote:
  1. If a voice note was taken, the stand of political parties and individual MPs on contentious political issues are not recorded individually.
    1. Voice vote can be challenged by any opposition member.

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: Lok Sabha passes two key bills without debate

The Essential Defence Services Bill, 2021 and The Tribunals Reforms Bill, 2021 were passed separately by voice vote before the House was adjourned for the day as Opposition continued with their sloganeering

What is a voice vote?

  • A voice vote involves the speaker putting a question to the house and then asking the house to put forward its opinion in the forms of ayes (yes) or noes. Based on a rough measure of which side was louder, the speaker decides if the motion was passed or fell through.
  • The advantage of a voice vote is that it is quick. The apparent disadvantage is that it is inaccurate, given that the speakers decides what the opinion of the house is based on which side is louder. A literal shouting match is not the ideal way to conduct any serious business other than in cases where voting is so one sided, it is basically a formality.
  • Due to this, parliamentary procedure requires that if a voice vote is challenged by any member, the speaker must ask for a division. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • This once involved the physical separation of legislators and then a counting of heads– a procedure still followed in the UK. But nowadays in India, this is achieved by getting MPs and MLAs to vote electronically.
  • The advantage of a division, of course, is that it tells the public exactly what the vote count is. Moreover, it lets constituents know how their MP or MLA voted.
  • Considering the volume of decisions taken by Parliament divisions or recorded voting is infrequent in the two houses. For example, between 2004 and 2009, only 20 divisions were called for in Lok Sabha.
  • Being an oral vote, it does not put on parliamentary record the stand of political parties and individual MPs on contentious political issues. On the other hand division of votes is recorded thus bringing more accountability. Hence statement (1) is correct.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/lok-sabha-passes-essential-defence-services-bill-amid-opposition-protests/article35697806.ece

  • 3. Consider the following statements:
  1. The ‘Sabki Yojna Sabka Vikas’ campaign was launched for inclusive and holistic preparation of the Gram Panchayat Development Plan.
    1. The Constitution mandates that the Panchayats have to prepare and implement plans for economic development and social justice.

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: Government launched ‘Sabki Yojna Sabka Vikas’ campaign for inclusive and holistic preparation of Gram Panchayat Development Plan. Hence statement (1) is correct.

  • Under Article 243 G of Constitution, Panchayats have been mandated for preparation and implementation of plans for economic development and social justice. Thus, Panchayats have a significant role to play in the effective and efficient implementation of flagship schemes/programmes on subjects of national importance for transforming rural India. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • The objectives of ‘Sabki Yojna Sabka Vikas’ broadly include strengthening of elected representatives and Self Help Groups, evidence based assessment of progress made in 2020-21 and proposals for 2021-22 in all 29 subjects of XI Schedule, public disclosure on Schemes, finances etc. and the preparation of inclusive, participatory and evidence based GPDP for 2021-22 through structured Gram Sabha involving front line workers/ supervisors of all 29 sectors of XI schedule.
  • The campaign aimed to help Gram Panchayats (GPs) in preparation of convergent and holistic GPDP through identification of sectoral infrastructural gaps in respective areas. The approval of GPDP for the year 2021-22, well in advance, will provide GPs a full year for implementation and effective monitoring of works. The States will, thus, be in full readiness for effectively utilising the resources available with them and other schematic interventions under GPDP during 2021-22.
  • Sabki Yojana Sabka Vikas is an effective strategy for ensuring the preparation of GPDP in a campaign mode by endeavouring to converge all resources available at Panchayat level related to 29 subjects listed in the Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution. 

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1741910

  • 4. Consider the following statements regarding Net-zero carbon emissions:
  1. It is also referred to as carbon-neutrality which means reaching a state where there are no emissions at all.
    1. It was an outcome of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

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: (d) Neither 1 nor 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: Why ‘net zero’ carbon targets may not be enough to tackle climate change

  • Independent charitable organisation Oxfam has said that ‘net zero’ carbon targets that many countries have announced may be a “dangerous distraction” from the priority of cutting carbon emissions.
  • “Land-hungry ‘net zero’ schemes could force an 80 per cent rise in global food prices and more hunger while allowing rich nations and corporates to continue “dirty business-as-usual,” Oxfam has said in a new report titled “Tightening the Net” that has been released just a few months ahead of the UN climate talks in Glasgow.
  • What does Net-Zero mean?
  • Net-zero, which is also referred to as carbon-neutrality, does not mean that a country would bring down its emissions to zero. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • The net-zero goals do not figure in the 2015 Paris Agreement, the new global architecture to fight climate change. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • That would be gross-zero, which means reaching a state where there are no emissions at all, a scenario hard to comprehend.
  • Therefore, net-zero is a state in which a country’s emissions are compensated by absorption and removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
  • One way by which carbon can be absorbed is by creating carbon sinks.
  • Until recently, the Amazon rainforests in South America, which are the largest tropical forests in the world, were carbon sinks. But eastern parts of these forests have started emitting CO2 instead of absorbing carbon emissions as a result of significant deforestation.
  • Bhutan has negative emissions, because it absorbs more than it emits.
  • Which countries have recently announced net-zero targets?
  • In 2019, the New Zealand government passed the Zero Carbon Act, which committed the country to zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner, as part of the country’s attempts to meet its Paris climate accord commitments.
  • In the same year, the UK’s parliament passed legislation requiring the government to reduce the UK’s net emissions of greenhouse gases by 100 percent relative to 1990 levels by the year 2050.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/net-zero-carbon-emissions-climate-change-7436649/

Consider the following statements regarding INS Vikrant:

  1. It is India’s first indegenous aircraft carrier built at Cochin Shipyard Limited.
    1. India has no aircraft carrier as of now.

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: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: The importance of IAC-1, the Made-in-India aircraft carrier

The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) 1, which will be called INS Vikrant once it enters service with the Indian Navy about a year from now, started sea trials

Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1

  • IAC is the first aircraft carrier designed and built in India.
  • It has been designed by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design (DND), and is being built at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), a public sector shipyard under the Ministry of Shipping. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • An aircraft carrier is one of the most potent marine assets for a nation, which enhances a Navy’s capability to travel far from its home shores to carry out air domination operations.
  • The IAC-1, the biggest warship made indigenously, has an overall length of 263 m and a breadth of 63 m.
  • It is capable of carrying 30 assorted aircraft including combat jets and helicopters.
  • Propelled by four gas turbines, it can attain a top speed of 30 knots (about 55 kmph).
  • The vessel will have a complement of 1,500 personnel.
  • An aircraft carrier generally leads as the capital ship of a carrier strike/battle group.
  • As the carrier is a valuable and sometimes vulnerable target, it is usually escorted in the group by destroyers, missile cruisers, frigates, submarines, and supply ships.
  • Why does it matter that this is a Made-in-India warship?
  • Only five or six nations currently have the capability of manufacturing an aircraft carrier — India joins this elite club now.
  • According to the Navy, over 76 per cent of the material and equipment on board IAC-1 is indigenous.
  • India’s earlier aircraft carriers were either built by the British or the Russians.
  • The INS Vikramaditya, currently the Navy’s only aircraft carrier that was commissioned in 2013, started out as the Soviet-Russian Admiral Gorshkov. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

Why will this warship be named INS Vikrant?

  • INS Vikrant, a Majestic-class 19,500-tonne warship, was the name of India’s much-loved first aircraft carrier, a source of immense national pride over several decades of service before it was decommissioned in 1997.
  • India acquired the Vikrant from the United Kingdom in 1961, and the carrier played a stellar role in the 1971 war with Pakistan that led to the birth of Bangladesh.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/the-importance-of-iac-1-the-made-in-india-aircraft-carrier-7438715/

Consider the following statements regarding MPLAD scheme:

  1. It was aimed towards providing funds for developmental works recommended by individual MPs.
    1. The MPLADS funds are not merged with other central welfare schemes.
    1. Under this scheme, every MP is entitled to spend Rs 5 crore annually.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

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

Answer: (a) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: 50% funds allotted for ongoing MPLADS projects lapse

Virtually half of a belated ₹2,200 crore allotted for completing ongoing MPLADS projects in 2020-21 simply lapsed, as the Finance Ministry granted “barely a week” to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) to release the fund

About MPLAD scheme

  • The MPLAD scheme was formulated in 1993 to enable Members of Parliament (MPs) to recommend development works in their constituencies with emphasis on the creation of durable community assets based on the locally felt needHence statement (1) is correct.
  • Initially, the Scheme was under the control of the Ministry of Rural Development and Planning. In October, 1994, the scheme was transferred to the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation.
  • The MPs then were entitled to recommend works to the tune of Rs 1 crore annually between 1994-95 and 1997-98, after which the annual entitlement was enhanced to Rs 2 crore.
  • The UPA government in 2011-12 raised the annual entitlement to Rs 5 crore per MP. Hence statement (3) is correct.
  • The District Authorities then identify Implementing Agencies that execute the projects.
  • The respective District Authority is supposed to oversee the implementation and has to submit monthly reports, audit reports, and work completion reports to the Nodal District Authority.
  • The MPLADS funds can be merged with other schemes such as MGNREGA and Khelo India. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.
  • Guidelines for MPLADS implementation
  • The document ‘Guidelines on MPLADS’ was published by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation in June 2016 in this regard.
  • It stated the objective of the scheme to enable MPs to recommend works of developmental nature with emphasis on the creation of durable community assets based on the locally felt needs in their Constituencies.
  • Right from the inception of the Scheme, durable assets of national priorities viz. drinking water, primary education, public health, sanitation, and roads, etc. should be created.
  • It recommended MPs to work costing at least 15 percent of their entitlement for the year for areas inhabited by Scheduled Caste population and 7.5 percent for areas inhabited by ST population.
  • It lays down a number of development works including construction of railway halt stations, providing financial assistance to recognized bodies, cooperative societies, installing CCTV cameras etc.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/50-funds-allotted-for-ongoing-mplads-projects-lapse/article35731768.ece

Consider the following statements regarding Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP):

  1. It is an international organization and political association of Lusophone nations across four continents where Portuguese is an official language.
    1. India has joined the CPLP as Associate Observer this

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 joined Community of Portuguese Language Countries as Associate Observer in July this year: Meenakshi Lekhi

  • Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi said that India has joined the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, CPLP as Associate Observer in July this Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • Minister said that this sets a new platform for strengthening India’s historic bonds of friendship with Lusophone countries and pursuing cooperation in areas of mutual interest. The move will further enrich and strengthen India’s ties with the Portuguese speaking world.
  • About CPLP: 
  • The Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) is also known as the Lusophone Commonwealth. 
  • It is an international organization and political association of Lusophone nations across four continents, where Portuguese is an official language.  Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • The CPLP consists of 9 member states and 32 associate observers, located in Europe, South America, Asia, Africa and Oceania, totaling 37 countries and 4 organizations. 
  • It was founded in 1996, in Lisbon. 

Source: https://newsonair.com/2021/08/04/india-joined-community-of-portuguese-language-countries-as-associate-observer-in-july-this-year-meenakshi-lekhi/

  • 8. Consider the following statements regarding Gramin Krishi Mausam Sewa Scheme:
  1. It is an initiative of the Ministry of Earth Science.
    1. Under the scheme, the India Meteorological Department is issuing crop and location-specific weather based agro advisories to the farmers.

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: Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh says, Agro-Automatic Weather Stations provide exact weather forecast to the people, especially the farmers

  • Dr Jitendra Singh today said that India Meteorological Department (IMD) has undertaken installation of Agro-Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) to provide exact weather forecasts to the people, especially the farmers.

Gramin Krishi Mausam Sewa (GKMS):

  • Ministry: Ministry of Earth Science. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • Collaboration:Under GKMS project, India Meteorological Department, Ministry of Earth Science in collaboration with State Agricultural Universities /Indian Council of Agricultural Research etc. is issuing crop and location specific weather based agro advisories for the benefit of farming community on every Tuesday and Friday and occurrence of extreme weather. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • Weather forecast : Under this  district level weather forecast for next 5-days in respect of Rainfall, maximum temperature, minimum temperature, wind speed, wind direction, relative humidity and clouds, weekly cumulative rainfall forecast and Crop specific advisories are provided to farmers.
  • Means of advisories to farmers:GKMS of IMD has been successful in providing crop specific advisories to farmers through different print/visual/Radio/ IT based media including short message service (SMS) and Interactive Voice Response Service (IVRS) facilitating appropriate field level actions.
  • Under the GKMS scheme, a district level weather forecast including rainfall for the next five days for all the districts is generated. 
  • Agromet Advisories: Based on the weather forecast, Agromet Advisories are prepared in collaboration with 130 Agromet Field Units (AMFUs) and communicated to the farming community. 
  • AAS rendered by IMD is a step to weather-based crop and livestock management strategies and operations dedicated to enhancing crop production besides reducing crop damage and loss due to extreme weather events.
  • The GKMS of IMD has been successful in providing the crop specific agro meteorological advisories in vernacular languages to about 22 million farmers in the country.

Source: https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1741806

Consider the following statements regarding Hunger Hotspots Report:

  1. It is an early-warning analysis of countries and situations called hotspots where acute food insecurity is likely to deteriorate over the coming months.
    1. It was released by the Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Food Program.

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: UN warns hunger is expected to rise in 23 global hotspots

  • Hunger is expected to rise in 23 global hotspots in the next three months with the highest alerts for “catastrophic” situations in Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region, southern Madagascar, Yemen, South Sudan and northern Nigeria
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Program said in a new report on “Hunger Hotspots” between August and November that “acute food insecurity is likely to further deteriorate.” Hence statement (2) is correct.

Hunger Hotspots Report:

  • The Hunger Hotspots Report is an early-warning analysis of countries and situations called hotspots where acute food insecurity is likely to deteriorate over the coming months. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • Hunger is expected to rise in 23 global hotspot countries in the next three months.
  • The highest alerts for “catastrophic” situations are in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, southern Madagascar, Yemen, South Sudan and northern Nigeria.
  • Overall, over 41 million people worldwide are at risk of falling into famine or famine-like conditions unless they receive immediate life and livelihood-saving assistance.
  • The primary reasons for an increase in hunger are conflict dynamics, economic shocks, the socio-economic impacts of COVID- 19, weather extremes and the diffusion of plant pests and animal diseases.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/un-warns-hunger-is-expected-to-rise-in-23-global-hotspots/article35657912.ece

Which of the following statements best describes “carbon fertilization”?

  1. Increased plant growth due to increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
    1. Increased temperature of Earth due to increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
    1. Increased acidity of oceans as a result of increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
    1. Adaptation of all living beings on Earth to the climate change brought about by the increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

Answer: (a) Increased plant growth due to increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

Explanation:

  • Carbon fertilization is also known as Carbon Dioxide Fertilisation. It is the phenomenon that the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases the rate of photosynthesis in plants. Hence statement (a) is correct.
  • The carbon dioxide fertilization or carbon fertilisation is not only the cause of plant growth but also contributes to the greening effect.