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Daily Prelims Test – 05_September_2021

1. Consider the following statements regarding Kambala:

1) It is an annual buffalo race.

2) Traditionally, it is sponsored by local Tuluva landlords and households in the coastal districts of Karnataka.

3) Marshy paddy field track is used for Kambala.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 and 2 only

b) 2 only

c)  1 and 3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Follow SC guidelines on bullock cart races in Maharashtra case

●    The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday directed that the State government will have to ensure that conditions imposed by the Supreme Court in case of allowing bullock/bullock cart races in Maharashtra be followed while permitting such races in Karnataka as per the law amended in 2018.

●    A Division Bench comprising acting Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum issued the directions while disposing of a PIL petition filed by M/s. People for Animals, Mysuru. The petitioner had questioned permission granted for bullock cart race in Mandya in March this year.

●    During the hearing, the Bench noticed that the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, was amended by the State through the PCA (Karnataka Second Amendment) Act, 2017, allowing Kambala or bulls race or bullock cart race with certain conditions.

Kambala:

●    Kambala is an annual buffalo race held in the south western Indian state of Karnataka. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    Traditionally, it is sponsored by local Tuluva landlords and households in the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi of Karnataka and Kasaragod of Kerala, a region collectively known as Tulu Nadu. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    The Kambala season generally starts in November and lasts until March.

●    The Kambalas are organized through Kambala samithis (Kambala Associations), of which there are currently 18.

●    During the race, the racers try to bring the buffaloes under control by holding their reins tight and whipping them.

●    In its traditional form, Kambala was non-competitive and buffalo pairs raced one after another in paddy fields.

●    Slushy/marshy paddy field track is used for Kambala. Hence statement (3) is correct.

●    It was also observed as thanksgiving to gods for protecting the animals from diseases.

●    Animal activists criticize the sport and argue that the Kambala involves acts of cruelty on animals which are not physiologically suited for racing and they run in the race due to fear of being beaten.

●    According to them, it violates the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960. The Act prevents practices which involve unnecessary pain to the animal amounting to cruelty.

●    Earlier, the Supreme Court has banned jallikattu, bullock-cart races, and kambala events in its judgement on May 7, 2014.

●    However, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 approved the organising of kambala event, provided steps are taken to avoid cruelty to the participating bulls.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/follow-sc-guidelines-on-kambala-in-maharashtra-case/article36237423.ece/amp/

2. With respect to Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker, consider the following statements:

1) The Deputy Speaker is subordinate to the Speaker.

2) The date of election of the Deputy Speaker is fixed by the president.

3) He presides over the joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament, in case the Speaker is absent from such a sitting.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 and 2 only

b) 2 only

c)  2 and 3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (c) 2 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Delhi HC’s poser on LS Deputy Speaker election

●    The Delhi High Court on Wednesday gave time to the Centre to give its stand on a petition alleging inaction by Constitutional functionaries in not holding election to the post of the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha

●    Post vacant for more than two years in violation of Article 93

LS Deputy Speaker:

●    Like the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker is also elected by the Lok Sabha itself from amongst its members.

●    He is elected after the election of the Speaker has taken place. The date of election of the Deputy Speaker is fixed by the Speaker. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    Whenever the office of the Deputy Speaker falls vacant, the Lok Sabha elects another member to fill the vacancy.

●    Like the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker remains in office usually during the life of the Lok Sabha.

●    The Deputy Speaker performs the duties of the Speaker’s office when it is vacant. He also acts as the Speaker when the latter is absent from the sitting of the House.

●    In both cases, he assumes all the powers of the Speaker.

●    He also presides over the joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament, in case the Speaker is absent from such a sitting. Hence statement (3) is correct.

●    It should be noted here that the Deputy Speaker is not subordinate to the Speaker. He is directly responsible to the House. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.

●    The Deputy Speaker has one special privilege, that is, whenever he is appointed as a member of a parliamentary committee, he automatically becomes its chairman.

●    Like the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, while presiding over the House, cannot vote in the first instance; he can only exercise a casting vote in the case of a tie.

●    Further, when a resolution for the removal of the Deputy Speaker is under consideration of the House, he cannot preside at the sitting of the House, though he may be present.

●    When the Speaker presides over the House, the Deputy Speaker is like any other ordinary member of the House. He can speak in the House, participate in its proceedings and vote on any question before the House.

●    The Deputy Speaker is entitled to a regular salary and allowance fixed by Parliament, and charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.

●    Upto the 10th Lok Sabha, both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker were usually from the ruling party. Since the 11th Lok Sabha, there has been a consensus that the Speaker comes from the ruling party (or ruling alliance) and the post of Deputy Speaker goes to the main opposition party.

●    The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, while assuming their offices, do not make and subscribe any separate oath or affirmation.

However, he may vacate his office earlier in any of the following three cases:

●    if he ceases to be a member of the Lok Sabha;

●    if he resigns by writing to the Speaker; and

●    if he is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of all the members of the Lok Sabha. Such a resolution can be moved only after giving 14 days’ advance notice.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/delhi-hcs-poser-on-ls-deputy-speaker-election/article36238859.ece

3. Consider the following statements regarding Electronic Voting Machines (EVM):

1) It was first used in 1981 in the by-election to North Paravur Assembly Constituency of Kerala.

2) A new section was inserted in the Representation of the People Act, 1951 empowering the Commission to use voting machines.

Which of the above statements 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: Need to release EVMs ‘stuck’ after 2021 polls: Election Commission to Supreme Court

●    The Election Commission of India (ECI) asked the Supreme Court to intervene in releasing its Electronic Voting Machines “stuck” in Delhi and five other States/Union Territory that went to the polls in 2021

EVMs:

●    EVMs are electronic voting machines which enable the voter with a button for each choice of candidate. It is attached by a cable to an electronic ballot box.

●    It comprises two units – control unit and balloting unit. They are connected by a 5-metre cable.

●    The EVM runs on a 6-volt single alkaline battery fixed in the control unit.

●    It can even be used in areas that have no electricity.

●    The control unit is with the Election Commission selected polling officer.

●    The Balloting Unit is in the voting section into which the voter enters to cast their vote in secret by pressing the button against the name and sign of the candidate of their choice.

●    The Commission in December, 1977 mooted the idea of EVM to overcome certain problems associated with use of ballot papers and taking advantage of development of technology so that voters cast their votes correctly without any resultant ambiguity and removing the possibilities of invalid votes totally.

●    MB Haneefa invented the first Indian voting machine in 1980. It was first used in 1981 in the by-election to North Paravur Assembly Constituency of Kerala in 50 polling stations. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    The EVMs were commissioned in 1989 by Election Commission of India in collaboration with Bharat Electronics Limited and Electronics Corporation of India Limited.

●    The law was amended by the Parliament in December, 1988 and a new section 61A was inserted in the Representation of the People Act, 1951 empowering the Commission to use voting machines. The amended provision came into force with effect from 15th March, 1989. Hence statement (2) is correct.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/need-to-release-evms-stuck-after-2021-polls-ec-to-sc/article36220128.ece

4. Consider the following statements:

1) Ladakh has adopted the black-necked crane as its state bird.

2) Black-necked crane is mostly listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list.

Which of the above statements 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: Ladakh adopts State animal and bird

●    Ladakh adopted two endangered species, snow leopard and black-necked crane, as State animal and State bird, two years after it was carved out as a separate Union Territory (UT) from the erstwhile State of J&k. Hence statement (1) is correct.

Black-necked crane:

●    It has a conspicuous red crown that adorns the head.

●    The juveniles have a brownish head and neck and plumage is slightly paler than that of an adult.

●    The bird is revered by the community of Monpas (major Buddhist ethnic group of Arunachal Pradesh) as an embodiment of the sixth Dalai Lama (Tsangyang Gyatso).

●    The high altitude wetlands of the Tibetan plateau , Sichuan (China), and eastern Ladakh (India) 

●    In Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh, it only comes during the winters.

●    Damage to the eggs and chicks; Loss of habitat due to humans Development Projects; Increased grazing pressure on the limited pastures near the wetlands.

●    World Wide Fund for Nature-India (WWF-India) in collaboration with the Department of Wildlife Protection, Jammu & Kashmir, has been working towards conservation of high altitude wetlands, with black-necked cranes as a priority species in Ladakh region. 

●    It is mostly listed as Near Threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

●    Considered loyal couples, they are only found in Ladakh’s Changtang region. They arrive in March for breeding and migrate by October end or early November.

●    It was the State bird of J&K before August 5, 2019.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/ladakh-adopts-state-animal-and-bird/article36239008.ece

5. With reference to Scrub typhus, consider the following statements:

1) It is a disease caused by a virus.

2) It is spread to people through bites of infected chiggers.

Which of the above statements 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: Scrub typhus: All you need to know about mystery infection being reported in UP

●    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), scrub typhus is a disease caused by a bacteria called Orientia tsutsugamushi. Symptoms include fever and chills, headache, body aches, rashes and muscle pain.

●    The medical teams took samples from people in Koh village of Mathura district after reports of infection from the area. These samples were later found to be infected with scrub typhus, according to Livehindustan report.

What is scrub typhus?

●    According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), scrub typhus is a disease caused by a bacteria called Orientia tsutsugamushi. It is also known as bush typhus. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.

●    The infection spreads to people through bites of infected chiggers (larval mites). Hence statement (2) is correct.

What are the symptoms?

●    The symptoms of scrub typhus are similar to symptoms of many other vector-borne or rickettsial diseases and usually begin within 10 days of being bitten, according to CDC.

●    These include fever and chills, headache, body aches, rashes and muscle pain.

●    The site where the chigger bites develops a dark, scab-like region, which is also known as eschar. After contracting the infection, a person can experience mental changes, ranging from confusion to coma, according to the CDC.

Is there a vaccine available for scrub typhus?

●    According to the CDC, no vaccine is available to prevent scrub typhus. It suggested the risk of contracting the infection by avoiding contact with infected chiggers.

●    The agency also said that when travelling to regions where scrub typhus is common, people should avoid areas with lots of vegetation and brush where chiggers may be found.

●    Apart from India, cases of scrub typhus have been reported from rural areas of Indonesia, China, Japan and northern Australia.

How to treat the infection?

●    The CDC says that if someone gets infected by scrub typhus, the person should be treated with the antibiotic doxycycline. People who are treated early with doxycycline usually recover quickly

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/scrub-typhus-all-you-need-to-know-about-mystery-infection-being-reported-in-up-101630331864608.html

6. With reference to PISA (Program for International Student Assessment), consider the following statements:

1) It is a competency-based test designed to assess the ability of the 15-year-old candidates.

2) It is an international survey coordinated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

3) This survey is conducted every three years and India is going to participate in its next survey for the first time.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c)  2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (a) 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Field trial of PISA to be held in 38 schools from Sept 15 to 18

●    The field trial of PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) is scheduled to be held from September 15 to 18 in 38 schools.

●    The PHANA expert committee report acknowledged that a large section of children does not have access to online education

PISA:

●    PISA is the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Programme for International Student AssessmentHence statement (2) is correct.

●    It measures 15-year-old students’ ability to use their reading, mathematics and science knowledge and skills to meet real-life challengesHence statement (1) is correct.

●    The survey for PISA is conducted every 3 years and over 90 countries shall participate in the upcoming assessment.

●    It was in 2018 that the Ministry of Human Resource Development decided that India will become a participant in Programme for International Students Assessment for the 2021 programme. 

PISA – A Brief Background

●        The first survey under the Programme for International Student Assessment was conducted in 2000

●        The major domain of study rotates between reading, mathematics, and science in each cycle

●        It assesses students who have attained 15 years of age and emphasizes on functional skills they have acquired as they near the end of compulsory schooling.

●        PISA is conducted after every three years. The last assessment was held in 2018 and the next will take place in 2022.  Hence statement (3) is incorrect.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/field-trial-of-pisa-to-be-held-in-38-schools-from-sept-15-to-18-7481300/

7. Consider the following statements regarding Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA):

1) It is an International Union for Conservation of Nature partnership for sustainable captive management of freshwater turtles and tortoises.

2) It arose in response to the rampant and unsustainable harvest of Asian turtle populations to supply Chinese markets.

Which of the above statements 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: Behler Turtle Conservation Award

●    Indian biologist Shailendra Singh has been awarded the Behler Turtle Conservation Award for bringing three critically endangered turtle conservation species back from the brink of extinction.

●    For some species, such as the Red-crowned Roofed Turtle (Batagur kachuga), Northern River Terrapin (Batagur baska), and Black Softshell Turtle (Nilssonia nigricans) Dr. Singh and his team’s efforts are the last hope for their wild survival in the country.

Behler Turtle Conservation Award

●        The Award is a major annual international award honoring excellence in the field of tortoise and freshwater turtle conservation and biology, and leadership in the chelonian conservation and biology community.

●        It is co-presented by the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA), the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (TFTSG) among others.

●        It is widely considered the “Nobel Prize” of turtle conservation and biology.

Turtle Survival Alliance

●    The Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) was formed in 2001 as an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) partnership for sustainable captive management of freshwater turtles and tortoises, and initially designated a Task Force of the IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    The TSA arose in response to the rampant and unsustainable harvest of Asian turtle populations to supply Chinese markets, a situation known as the Asian Turtle Crisis. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    TSA is an action-oriented global partnership, focusing on species that are at high risk of extinction, and working in turtle diversity hotspots around the world.

●    Widely recognized as a global catalyst for turtle conservation based on its reputation for swift and decisive action, the TSA has made a bold commitment to zero turtle extinctions in the 21st Century. The TSA is a recognized force for turtle conservation globally.

TSA’s conservation actions utilize a three-pronged approach:

●    Restoring populations in the wild where possible;

●    Securing species in captivity through assurance colonies; and

●    Building the capacity to restore, secure and conserve species within their range country.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/indian-biologist-wins-global-award-in-turtle-conservation/article36250625.ece#:~:text=Indian%20biology%20 Shailendra%20Singh%20has,from%20the%20brink%20of%20extinction.

8. Consider the following statements:

1) The Durand Line is the international border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

2) This Durand line also borders India’s territory.

Which of the above statements 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: Durand Line: Friction point between Afghanistan, Pakistan

●        The issue has sowed distrust between Afghans and Pakistan for decades, and is a potential flashpoint in relations between the Taliban and Pakistan.

●        The issue has sowed distrust between Afghans and Pakistan for decades, and is a potential flashpoint in relations between the Taliban and Pakistan.

●        In reality, the line cut through Pashtun tribal areas, leaving villages, families, and land divided between the two “spheres of influence”.

●        It has been described as a “line of hatred”, arbitrary, illogical, cruel and a trickery on the Pashtuns.

●        Some historians believe it was a ploy to divide the Pashtuns so that the British could keep control over them easily.

●        It also put on the British side the strategic Khyber Pass.

Durand Line

●        The Durand Line is a legacy of the 19th century Great Game between the Russian and British empires in which Afghanistan was used as a buffer by the British against a feared Russian expansionism to its east. Hence statement (1) is correct

●        The agreement demarcating what became known as the Durand Line was signed on November 12, 1893 between the British civil servant Henry Mortimer Durand and Amir Abdur Rahman, then the Afghan ruler.

●        Abdur Rahman became king in 1880, two years after the end of the Second Afghan War in which the British took control of several areas that were part of the Afghan kingdom.

●        He was essentially a British puppet.

●        His agreement with Durand demarcated the limits of his and British India’s “spheres of influence” on the Afghan “frontier” with India.

●        The line stretches from the border with China to Afghanistan’s border with Iran.

●        The modern state of Afghanistan does not accept the Durand Line.

●        However, it is internationally recognised as the western border of Pakistan.

●        India also has a small claim to the borderline, through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Hence statement (2) is correct.

Sourcehttps://indianexpress.com/article/explained/durand-line-friction-point-between-afghanistan-pakistan-7485631/

9. World Social Protection Report 2020-22 is released by which of the following international organisations?

a)  International Labour Organisation

b) Food and Agriculture Organization

c)  World Health Organization

d) World Trade Organization

Answer: (a) International Labour Organisation

Explanation:

In NEWS: Over half the world’s population, four billion, doesn’t have any social security, says ILO. Hence option (a) is correct.

●        More than four billion people or 53% of the global population do not have any kind of social security despite the unprecedented worldwide expansion of social protection during the COVID-19 crisis, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said, suggesting countries should enhance their expenditure on social protection to guarantee at least basic social protection coverage.

●        Social protection includes access to health care and income security, particularly in relation to old age, unemployment, sickness, disability, work injury, maternity or loss of a main income earner, as well as for families with children. Currently, only 47% of the global population are effectively covered by at least one social protection benefit.

World Social Protection Report 2020-22

●        It gives a global overview of recent developments in social protection systems, including social protection floors, and covers the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

●        Based on new data, it offers a broad range of global, regional and country data on social protection coverage, benefits and public expenditures.

●        The report identifies protection gaps and sets out key policy recommendations, including in relation to the targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Sourcehttps://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/over-half-the-worlds-population-four-billion-doesnt-have-any-social-security-says-ilo/articleshow/85835470.cms

10. In the context of any country, which one of the following would be considered as part of its social capital?

(a)                     The proportion of literates in the population

(b)                    The stock of its buildings, other infrastructure and machines

(c)                     The size of population in the working age group

(d)                    The level of mutual trust and harmony in the society

Answer: (d) The level of mutual trust and harmony in the society

Explanation:

●    Social capital is a sociological concept that refers to the intangible relational assets that emerge from social interactions. These assets are generated through give and take and activate the “norm of reciprocity,” creating social obligations that connect and bind people and groups. The more social capital is used, the greater the benefitsHence option (d) is correct.

●    The concept of social capital is composed of three distinct but interrelated structural, emotional and behavioral components. They are, respectively, networks, trust and collaborative cultural norms.

●    In every society, some people have a greater share of valued resources – money, property, education, health, and power – than others. These social resources can be divided into three forms of capital – economic capital in the form of material assets and income; cultural capital such as educational qualifications and status; and social capital in the form of networks of contacts and social associations (Bourdieu 1986). Often, these three forms of capital overlap and one can be converted into the other. For example, a person from a well -off family (economic capital) can afford expensive higher education, and so can acquire cultural or educational capital. Someone with influential relatives and friends (social capital) may – through access to good advice, recommendations or information – manage to get a well -paid job.