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Daily Prelims Test – 05_July 2021

Consider the following statements:

UNICEF’s WASH Strategy has been developed in response to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).

SDG 6 states that ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030.

Which of the statement(s) 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: India responsible for largest drop in open defecation since 2015: WASH report

  • India was responsible for the largest drop in open defecationsince 2015, in terms of absolute numbers, according to a new report by the Wash Institute, a global non-profit organisation July 1, 2021.
  • Besides open defecation, the Joint Monitoring Report also emphasised universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) to achieve the United Nations-mandated Sustainable Development Goal(SDG) 6 in achieving universal access to basic water, sanitation and hygiene services.

About WHO WASH:

  • The WHO WASH Strategy has been developed in response to Member State Resolution WHA64.4 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs). Hence statement (1) is incorrect.
  • It takes on board the need for the progressive realisation of the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, adopted by the UN General Assemblyin July 2010
  • WHO’s 13th General Programme of Work 2019–2023 brings forth two indicators which would accelerate the Organization’s work to increase access to safely managed drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in households

Progress on SDG 6

  • The report also noted some progress towards the achieving SDG 6. Between 2016 and 2020, the global population with access to safely managed drinking water at home increased to 74 per cent, from 70 per cent.
  • SDG 6 states that ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030 entails that water must be accessible at source, available when needed and free from any contamination. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • The report has shown an improvement in at-source water resources including piped water, boreholes or tubewells, protected dug wells, protected springs, rainwater and packaged or delivered water.

Objectives of WASH

WHO has strategised a 2018-2025 plan for the improvement in the condition of sanitation and hygiene for the people across the globe and provide them with sufficient and clean water for the purpose of a healthy life. 

Given below are the key objectives of the WASH initiative:

  • Improving the quality of drinking water to reduce the risk of human health
  • Monitor healthcare facilities is another important aim of WASH
  • Improving the safety of sanitation and wastewater management
  • Monitor the data presented by the Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) 
  • Coordinate with multi-sectoral partners, lead or engage with global and regional platforms, and advocate for WASH
  • Integration of WASH with health and other programmes such as AMR, cholera, climate change, emergencies, IPC, NTDs, nutrition, UHC, water security to increase synergies and impacts

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/rural-water-and-sanitation/india-responsible-for-largest-drop-in-open-defecation-since-2015-wash-report-77762


Consider the following statements regarding Valmiki Tiger Reserve:

  • It forms the easternmost limits of the Himalayan Terai forests in India.
  • It is the only tiger reserve of Uttar Pradesh.

Which of the statement(s) 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: Conservation plan chalked out after 150 vultures spotted in Bihar’s Valmiki Tiger Reserve

  • Authorities in Bihar’s Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) have started planning for conservation of vultures after 150 of the birds were sighted recently in the protected area.
  • About 75-80 vultures, the highest number, were spotted at the Ganauli range, followed by Madanpur and others.
  • A rescue centre for vultures will be set up in the Ganauli range according to the conservation plan. This will help increase the number of vultures.
  • The state government has been planning to create a diclofenac-free zone for conservation of vultures in areas bordering Nepal. Vultures from the Himalayan range visit areas in Bihar bordering Nepal during winters
  • Different species of vultures including Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus), Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), White-rumped vulture (Gyps bengalensis) and Himalayan griffon (Gyps himalayensis) were among the 150 individuals spotted in VTR

About Valmiki Tiger Reserve

  • Valmiki Tiger Reserve forms the easternmost limits of the Himalayan Terai forests in India and is the only tiger reserve of Bihar.  Hence statement (1) is correct and statement (2) is incorrect.
  • Situated in the Gangetic Plains bio-geographic zone of the country, the forest has a combination of bhabar and terai tracts. 
  • Valmiki Tiger Reserve lies in the north-westernmost West Champaran district of Bihar. 
  • Name of the district has been derived from two words Champa and Aranya meaning Forest of Champa trees.
  • Wild mammals found in the forests of Valmiki Tiger Reserve are Tiger, Sloth bear, Leopard, Wild dog, Bison, Wild boar etc. Several species of deer and antelopes viz barking deer, spotted deer, hog deer, sambar and blue bull are also found here. 
  • In Madanpur forest block a large number of Indian flying foxes can be sighted. 
  • The Reserve has rich avifauna diversity. Over 250 species of birds have been reported.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/conservation-plan-chalked-out-after-150-vultures-spotted-in-bihar-s-valmiki-tiger-reserve-77758

Consider the following statements regarding LEAF Coalition plan:

  • It is a collective of the United States, United Kingdom and Indian governments.
  • It is a step towards concretising the aims and objectives of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism.

Which of the statement(s) 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: LEAF Coalition’s proposal is a step forward in saving forests, indigenous peoples

  • The implementation of the coalition’s plan will help pump in fresh rigour among developing countries like India, that are reluctant to recognise the contributions of their forest dwelling populations in mitigating climate change
  • At the recently concluded Leaders’ Summit on Climate in April 2021, Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest Finance (LEAF) Coalition, a collective of the United States, United Kingdom and Norway governments, came up with a $1 billion fund plan that shall be offered to countries committed to arrest the decline of their tropical forests by 2030.

About LEAF Coalition plan:

  • LEAF Coalition’s proposal is a step forward in saving forests, indigenous peoples.
  • It is a collective of the United States, United Kingdom and Norway governmentsHence statement (1) is incorrect.
  • LEAF was supported by transnational corporations (TNCs) like Unilever plc, Amazon.com, Inc, Nestle, Airbnb, Inc as well as Emergent, a US-based non-profit.
  • It is a step towards concretising the aims and objectives of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • REDD+ was created by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • REDD+ monetised the value of carbon locked up in the tropical forests of most developing countries, thereby propelling these countries to help mitigate climate change.
  • Such a financial impetus is crucial as it incentivises developing countries to capture extensive deforestation and provide livelihood opportunities to forest-dependent populations.
  • A country willing to participate would need to fulfil certain predetermined conditions laid down by the Coalition.
  • It seeks to help developing countries in battling the double-edged sword of development versus ecological commitment.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/forests/leaf-coalition-s-proposal-is-a-step-forward-in-saving-forests-indigenous-peoples-77745

Consider the following statements regarding Nirbhaya Fund:

 

It provides for a non-lapsable corpus fund for the safety and security of women to be administered by the Department of Economic Affairs

It was to be utilised for upholding safety and dignity of women.

Which of the statement(s) 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: Four years on, delay derails Railways’ CCTV project

  • Investigation reveals irregularities in tendering process of project envisaged under the Nirbhaya Fund
  • More than four years after a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Indian Railways and RailTel for the installation of surveillance cameras at 983 stations across the country, the project envisaged under the “Nirbhaya Fund” to enhance safety of women passengers has derailed.

About Nirbhaya Fund

  • The Nirbhaya Fund was created by the Union government after the brutal gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi in 2012.
  • The dedicated fund was meant for projects specifically designed for the safety and security of women. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • Under the Nirbhaya Fund, the Centre gives money to the states, which in turn spend it on programmes meant for ensuring women’s safety.
  • Nodal agency:  The Women and Child Development Ministry is the nodal agency for expenditure from the Nirbhaya Fund. Earlier, it was the one releasing the funds but now it examines the programmes submitted to it by the states under the Nirbhaya scheme, approves them and recommends to the Department of Economic affairs for allocating funds. 
  • The Nirbhaya Fund Framework provides for a non-lapsable corpus fund for the safety and security of women to be administered by the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) of the Government of India. Hence statement (1) is correct.

The below standard funding pattern will be followed:

  • 60:40 for all States o 90:10 for States with difficult terrains
  • 100% for UTs
  • Few initiatives are 100% funded

Source: TH Pg: No: 8

Consider the following statements regarding Essential Defence Services Ordinance, 2021:

  • It allows the central government to prohibit strikes, lock-outs, and lay-offs in units engaged in essential defence services.
  • All offences punishable under the Ordinance will be cognisable and non-bailable.

Which of the statement(s) 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: OFB workers slam ‘draconian’ Ordinance

  • Five federations of employees of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) have issued a resolution condemning the government’s promulgation of the “draconian” Essential Defence Services Ordinance (EDSO), 2021, which bans civilian defence employees from going on strike, and urged its withdrawal
  • The Essential Defence Services Ordinance, 2021 was promulgated on June 30, 2021. The Ordinance allows the central government to prohibit strikes, lock-outs, and lay-offs in units engaged in essential defence services. Hence statement (1) is correct.

Key features of the Ordinance include:

  • Essential defence services include any service in: (i) any establishment or undertaking dealing with production of goods or equipment required for defence related purposes, or (ii) any establishment of the armed forces or connected with them or defence.
  • Under the Ordinance, strike is defined as cessation of work by a body of persons acting together. It includes: (i) mass casual leave, (ii) coordinated refusal of any number of persons to continue to work or accept employment, (iii) refusal to work overtime, where such work is necessary for maintenance of essential defence services, and (iv) any other conduct which results in, or is likely to result in, disruption of work in essential defence services.
  • Under the Ordinance, the central government may prohibit strikes, lock-outs, and lay-offs in units engaged in essential defence services. The government may issue such an order if necessary in the interest of: (i) sovereignty and integrity of India, (ii) security of any state, (iii) public order, (iv) public, (v) decency, or (vi) morality. The prohibition order will remain in force for six months, and may be extended by six months
  • Employers violating the prohibition order through illegal lock-outs or lay-offs will be punished with up to one year imprisonment or Rs 10,000 fine, or both.
  • Persons commencing or participating in illegal strikes will be punished with up to one year imprisonment or Rs 10,000 fine, or both.
  • All offences punishable under the Ordinance will be cognisable and non-bailable. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • The Ordinance amends the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 to include essential defence services under public utility services. Under the Act, in case of public utility services, a six-week notice must be given before: (i) persons employed in such services go on strike in breach of contract or (ii) employers carrying on such services do lock-outs.

Source: TH Pg: No: 8

Panchmukhi lake is recently seen in news, it is located at

a) Assam

b) West Bengal

c) Tamil Nadu

d) Gujarat

Answer: (d) Gujarat

Explanation:

In NEWS: Crocs relocated from Gujarat lake

  • As many as 194 crocodiles have been relocated from a lake near the Statue of Unity in Narmada district, Gujarat, in the last two years for the safety of tourists who come to enjoy boat rides there, officials said on Sunday.
  • The Panchmuli lake, situated near the 182-metre tall statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Kevadia, a major tourist attraction, had a large number of crocodiles that posed a threat to visitors. Hence option (d) is correct.

About Panchmuli lake

  • This lake is also known as ‘Dyke-3’ of Sardar Sarovar Dam. It was developed for tourists visiting the Statue of Unity.
  • Lake is located about 5 km away from the Statue of Unity. It offers a clear view of Vindhyachal mountain range and Sardar Sarovar Dam.

About Statue of Unity

  • It is a colossal statue of Indian statesman, independence activist, first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of independent India; Sardar Vallabhbhai Bhai Patel.
  • Statue is located in Gujarat. It is dubbed as the world’s tallest statue having a height of 182 metres. It is located on Narmada River in Kevadiya colony.
  • It faces the Sardar Sarovar Dam 100 kilometres southeast of Vadodara city in Gujarat and 150 kilometres from Surat. Kevadia railway station is located at a distance of 5 kilometres from the Statue of Unity. This project was first announced in 2010. 
  • Source: TH Pg: No: 9

Consider the following statements regarding NIPUN Bharat Mission:

  • It will ensure that every child achieves desired learning competencies in reading, writing, and numeracy by the end of Grade 3 by the year 2026-27.
  • It will be implemented by the Department of School Education and Literacy.

Which of the statement(s) 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: Literacy, numeracy mission deadline pushed to 2027

  • The Centre’s new mission to ensure that every Class 3 child has foundational literacy and numeracy within five years will be rolled out.
  • The School Education Department says no additional funding is being allocated for the National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN Bharat). Instead, money is being allocated from the flagship Samagra Shiksha scheme, which actually saw a 20% drop in its budget this year.

About NIPUN Bharat Mission

  • NIPUN stands for “National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy”.
  • This scheme would provide an enabling environment in a bid to ensure universal acquisition of foundational literacy and numeracy.
  • It will ensure that every child achieves desired learning competencies in reading, writing, and numeracy by the end of Grade 3, by the year 2026-27Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • This initiative will be a part of the school education programme, Samagra Shiksha.
  • NIPUN Bharat initiative will be implemented by the school education department of the Union In order to implement it, a five-tier implementation mechanism will be set up at national, state, district, block, and school levels across all states and Union territories. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • Foundational learning has been a drawback in Indian schools. As per Annual Status of Education Report (Aser) findings, for successive years bulk of Indian students pursuing elementary education in schools cannot even read, understand or do basic arithmetic.

Source: TH Pg: No: 10

What is the aim of PM-WANI?

a) It is a scheme meant to increase Wi-fi access throughout the country

b) It is a direct market intervention scheme of the Department of Pharmaceuticals

c) It aims to ensure universal coverage of flagship postal schemes in rural areas of the country

d) It aims to provide financial assistance to BPL patients

Answer: (a) It is a scheme meant to increase Wi-fi access throughout the country

Explanation:

In NEWS: Baidebettu to get Wi-Fi connectivity under PM-WANI

  • It is expected to cater to connectivity requirements of about 9,000 residents in and around the village in Brahmavar taluk
  • Baidebettu village in Brahmavar taluk of Udupi district will soon get high-speed Wi-Fi Internet services under the Prime Minister Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI) scheme to be executed by HFCL
  •  Recently, Pradhan Mantri in the speech on Digital India mentioned that Through PM WANI, access points are being created so that rural youth can connect with high speed internet for better services and education.

About the PM-WANI

  • The PM-WANI scheme, announced by the Department of Telecommunications last month, aims to increase internet connectivity across the country by implementing a decentralized system of public access points.
  •  PM WANI (Wi-Fi Access Network Interface) is a scheme meant to increase Wi-fi access throughout the country. Hence option (a) is correct.
  • It is contemplated that the proliferation of public Wi-Fi networks throughout the country will greatly increase internet access at cheap prices.
  • Increased Wi-Fi access will bring with it an improved quality of life, especially in an increasingly digital economy. The deregulated operating requirement is meant to help improve the ease of doing business, and thus potentially provide both employment opportunities and increased disposable income.
  • Furthermore, the decentralised nature of the WANI ecosystem is meant to address last mile connectivity and allow access points to grow organically in places that need them the most.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/baidebettu-to-get-wi-fi-connectivity-under-pm-wani/article35047497.ece

Consider the following statements regarding Bamboo Oasis on Lands in Drought:

  • It has been initiated by the APEDA.
  • It aims to create bamboo-based green patches in arid and semi-arid land zones.

Which of the statement(s) 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: KVIC’s Unique Project BOLD to Boost Tribals’ Income and Bamboo-based Economy in Rajasthan

  • A unique scientific exercise serving the combined national objectives of reducing desertification and providing livelihood and multi-disciplinary rural industry support has been initiated by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).
  • The Khadi and Village Industries Commission launched a project named ‘Bamboo Oasis on Lands in Drought’ to support the local bamboo-based industries in rural India. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.
  • To reduce land desertification and provide livelihood, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) initiated a project by planting 5,000 saplings of special bamboo species in Rajasthan.
  • The KVIC said that Project BOLD, which seeks to create bamboo-based green patches in arid and semi-arid land zones, is aligned with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for reducing land degradation and preventing desertification in the country. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • The initiative has been launched as part of KVIC’s ‘Khadi Bamboo Festival’ to celebrate 75 years of independence Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav .
  • Bamboo species Bambusa Tulda and Bambusa Plymorpha brought from Assam are used for making Agarbatti sticks and making furniture/ handicraft items, respectively.

Source: https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1732621

Satya Shodhak Samaj organized

a) a movement for upliftment of tribals in Bihar

b) a temple-entry movement in Gujarat

c) an anti-caste movement in Maharashtra

d) a peasant movement in Punjab

Answer: (c) an anti-caste movement in Maharashtra

Explanation:

In Poona, Jotirao Phule, though a Mali by caste and of comparatively little education, started the association called the Satyashodhak Samaj in 1873 for asserting the worth of man irrespective of caste. He demanded representation of all classes of the Hindus in all the local bodies, in services and institutions and also established a primary school for the so-called untouchables in Poona. Hence option (c) is correct.