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Daily Prelims Test – 06_July

1.Consider the following statements with respect to ‘Saiga’

It is the critically endangered antelope of Eurasian steppes

It is mostly found in Kazakhstan region

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) Both1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Kazakhstan’s smallest saiga population records mass calving

  • Saiga, the critically endangered antelope of Asia’s steppes. The smallest and most threatened population of saiga in Kazakhstan, where the speciesis mostly found, has experienced its largest mass calving in recent years.Hence statement 1 is correct and statement 2 is correct
  • 530 calves have been born to the Ustyurt Plateaupopulation of saiga. They represent the largest number of calves recorded in recent years.
  • They are now only found in smaller ranges in Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The saiga is a symbol of the steppe for the nomadic people it shares its habitat 
  • Their large noses filter out dust kicked up by the herd in the warm summers and warms the icy air before it reaches their lungs in the winters.
  • The species is listed under the CMS Appendix II.
Picture2-Jul-18-2020-12-17-33-48-PM

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/global-eco-watch-kazakhstan-s-smallest-saiga-population-records-mass-calving-72131

2.Consider the following statements with respect to Kawasaki disease

  • It is an acute inflammatory disease of the blood vessels
  • It is usually occurring in old age people above the age of sixty

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:Covid’s Kawasaki symptoms

In India and elsewhere, a new illness, with some symptoms common with the rare Kawasaki disease, has been affecting children with Covid-19. A look at the disorder, where it is like Kawasaki, and where it is not.

What is Kawasaki disease?

  • Kawasaki typically affects children aged under five. Hence statement 2 is incorrect
  • Its symptoms include red eyes, rashes, and a swollen tongue with reddened lips — often termed strawberry tongue — and an inflamed blood vessel system all over the body. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • There is constant high fever for at least five days. The disease also affects coronary functions in the heart.
  • The disease derives its name from a Japanese paediatrician, Tomisaku Kawasaki, who reported the first case in 1961 — a four-year-old boy — and later found similar cases in other children
  • What causes Kawasaki disease is not yet known.

Picture1-Jul-18-2020-12-17-28-49-PMSource: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/symptoms-of-kawasaki-disease-in-children-with-covid-19-infection-6491766/

3.Consider the following statements regarding Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme

  • They are issued by Government of India on behalf of the Reserve Bank of India.
  • The tenor of the Bond will be for a period of 8 years with exit option after 5th year to be exercised on the interest payment dates.
  • Resident individuals, Hindu Undivided Family, Trusts, Universities and Charitable Institutions are an eligible to buy this bond.

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

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

Answer: (a) 2 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS:Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme 2020-21 (Series IV) – Issue Price

Sovereign Gold Bonds 2020-21 (Series IV) will be opened for the period July 6-10, 2020 with Settlement date July 14, 2020. The issue price of the Bond during the subscription period shall be Rs `4,852 (Rupees Four thousand Eight hundred Fifty Two only) – per gram, as also published by RBI in their Press Release dated July 03, 2020.                                                              

About Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme

  • Sovereign gold bonds are issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on behalf of the government. The sovereign gold bond scheme was launched in 2015 with an objective to reduce the demand for physical gold and shift a part of the domestic savings into financial savings.Hence statement 1 is incorrect
  • The issue price of sovereign gold bonds is fixed based on recent closing price of gold as published by the India Bullion and Jewellers Association Ltd for gold of 999 purity
  • The minimum permissible investment in gold bonds is one gram of gold.
  • Bonds Sold through: Scheduled Commercial banks (except Small Finance Banks and Payment Banks), Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), designated post offices, and recognised stock exchanges viz., National Stock Exchange of India Limited and Bombay Stock Exchange Limited.
  • Gold bonds have a maturity period of eight years but investors will have the option to exit after the fifth year.Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • The maximum limit of subscribed shall be 4 KG for individual, 4 Kg for HUF and 20 Kg for trusts and similar entities per fiscal (April-March) notified by the Government from time to time.
  • Gold bonds offer an annual interest rate of 2.50% to investors.
  • The Bonds will be restricted for sale to resident individuals, Hindu Undivided Family (HUFs), Trusts, Universities and Charitable Institutions.Hence statement 3 is correct

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1636340

4.Consider the following statements regarding Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

  • It is the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research.
  • It was established after the independence of India.

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: Make haste slowly

  • A day after being called out by medical experts for making unreasonable claims to launch a COVID-19 vaccine by August 15, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) issued a clarification.
  • The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on said it has not set a 15 August deadline for a Made-in-India vaccine for covid-19, seeking to allay a controversy over setting a hurried target for the drug.

About Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

  • ICMR is the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research.Hence statement 1 is correct
  • It was established in 1911 as Indian Research Fund Association (IRFA).Hence statement 2 is incorrect.
  • IRFA was redesignated as the Indian Council of Medical Research in 1949.
  • The ICMR is funded by the Government of India through the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
  • The Governing Body of the Council is presided over by the Union Health Minister.
  • Headquarters: New Delhi

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/make-haste-slowly-6491654/

5.Consider the following statements regarding Bharat Bond-Exchange Traded Fund (ETF)

  • It would be the first corporate Bond ETF in the country
  • It will only hold bonds issued by public sector undertaking
  • It will not have a fixed maturity date

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

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

Answer: (b) 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS:New issue of Bharat Bond ETF starts July 14, government eyes Rs 14,000 crore fund raise

  • In a bid to meet its divestment target this fiscal year, the Centre will launch the second tranche of the Bharat Bond ETF on July 14 with a goal of raising Rs 14,000 crore.
  • The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management has roped in Edelweiss Asset Management for the issue.
  • The exchange traded fund (ETF) will invest in constituents of the Nifty Bharat Bond Indices consisting of AAA-rated public sector companies 

About Bharat Bond ETF

  • Bharat Bond ETF would be the first corporate Bond ETF in the country.Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • It aims to create an additional source of funding for Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs) Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), Central Public Financial Institutions (CPFIs) and other Government organizations.
  • ETF will be a basket of bonds issued by CPSE/CPSU/CPFI/any other Government organization Bonds.Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • Bond ETF will provide safety (underlying bonds are issued by CPSEs and other Government owned entities), liquidity (tradability on exchange) and predictable tax efficient returns (target maturity structure).
  • It will also provide access to retail investors to invest in bonds with smaller amount (as low as Rs. 1,000) thereby providing easy and low-cost access to bond markets.
  • This will increase participation of retail investors who are currently not participating in bond markets due to liquidity and accessibility constraints.
  • Each ETF will have a fixed maturity date. As of now, it will have 2 maturity series – 3 and 10 years. Each series will have a separate index of the same maturity series.Hence statement 3 is incorrect
  • The ETF will track the underlying Index on risk replication basis, i.e. matching Credit Quality and Average Maturity of the Index

Source: https://www.newindianexpress.com/business/2020/jul/04/new-issue-of-bharat-bond-etf-starts-july-14-government-eyes-rs-14000-crore-fund-raise-2165228.html

6.Global Environment Facility is a funding for which of the following major international environmental conventions?

  • Minamata Convention
  • Stockholm Convention
  • United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity 
  • Bonn Convention

Select the correct options from the given below codes

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

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS:China doubles down on claims on eastern Bhutan boundary

  • Days after Bhutan sent China a demarche protesting against Chinese claims to the Sakteng wildlife sanctuaryin eastern Bhutan, Beijing has doubled down, including Bhutan’s “eastern sectors” to the boundary dispute bet­ween the two countries for the first time.
  • China’s attempt last month to stop funding for the Sakteng sanctuary from the UN Development Program’s Global Environment Facility (GEF), on the grounds that it was “disput­ed” territory.

About Global Environment Facility (GEF)

  • Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a multilateral financial mechanism that provides grants to developing countries for projects that benefit global environment and promote sustainable livelihoods in local communities.
  • GEF was established during the Rio Earth Summit of 1992.
  • It is based in Washington DC. United States
  • The GEF is jointly managed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • It is an international partnership of 183 countries, international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector that addresses global environmental issues.
  • The World Bank serves as the GEF Trustee, administering the GEF Trust Fund.
  • It is a funding mechanism for five major international environmental conventions: Hence option (d) is correct
  • The Minamata Convention on Mercury,
  • The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs),
  • The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD),
  • The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and
  • The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/days-after-demarche-china-doubles-down-on-claims-on-eastern-bhutan-boundary/article31993470.ece

7.What is the aim of Central Vista project?

It is a largest global human chain formed to raise awareness on air pollution

It seeks to build a new parliament and other central government offices in Lutyens’ zone in central Delhi

It aims at creation of sustainable livelihoods amongst Self Help Groupmembers through cluster approach

It supports enterprise development programmes for rural poor women and youth

Answer: (b) It seeks to build a new parliament and other central government offices in Lutyens’ zone in central Delhi

Explanation:

In NEWS:Central Vista project:DUAC member quits

The Centre’s proposal to construct a new Parliament building was approved by the Delhi Urban Art Com­mission that a member of the panel put in her papers on “personal grounds”, ac­cording to government officials.

About Central Vista project

  • Central Vista project seeks to build a new parliament and other central government offices in Lutyens’ zone in central Delhi.Hence option (b) is correct
  • The Parliament House was designed by Lutyens and Baker. The Rashtrapati Bhavan was designed by Edwin Lutyens and the secretariat that includes both north and south block was designed by Herbert Baker.
  • The Centre is proposing to redevelop the region by constructing a new Parliament house, a new residential complex, which would house the Prime Minister and the Vice President besides several new office buildings including the North and South Block buildings. It will cover a 3-km stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate in Lutyens’ Delhi.
  • The new complex is likely to have a triangular shape. The plan is to be completed by 2022.
  • The present building, an 85-year-old structure suffers from inadequacy of space to house members and their staff and is thought to suffer from structural issues and the building also needs to be protected because of its heritage.
  • Central Vista is an essential ingredient of sovereignty and pride, and also where recreational spaces are available for enjoyment by the citizens. It is a major attraction for the tourists who visit the country.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/duac-member-quit-on-personal-grounds-on-the-day-parliament-project-was-cleared/article31995221.ece

8.Consider the following statements regarding ITER Project

  • It is an international nuclear fusion research and engineering mega project which will be the world’s largest magnetic confinement plasma physics experiment.
  • European Union , China, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States of America are the members of this project.

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: 50% of India’s contribution to ITER in France complete: Project’s India head

  • India which is one of the partner countries that is building an experimental fusion reactor at Cadarachein France —- to prove the feasibility of nuclear fusion as future source of energy —- has competed 50 per cent of the work assigned, said project director of ITER-India, headquartered at Gandhinagar in Gujarat.
  • About ITER Project
  • ITER (originally the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) is an international nuclear fusion research and engineering megaproject, which will be the world’s largest magnetic confinement plasma physics expHence statement 1 is correct
  • The project is funded and run by seven member entities—the European Union, India, Japan, China, Russia, South Korea and the United States. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • European Union being the host party contributes 45% while the rest of the parties contribute 9% each.
  • Most of these contributions are through ‘in-kind’ procurement of ITER components.
  • India formally joined the ITER Project in 2005 and the ITER Agreement between the partners was signed in 2006.
  • Thermal-to-electric conversion is not included in the design because ITER will not produce sufficient power for net electrical production.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/50-of-indias-contribution-to-iter-in-france-complete-projects-india-head-6487688/

9.Artemis mission is a project of :

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Canadian Space Agency
  • European Space Agency
  • Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Answer: (a) National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Explanation:

In NEWS:With Artemis mission, NASA aims to put first woman on the moon soon

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) aims to put the first woman on the Moon or next man by 2024.
  • The mission is under NASA’s Artemis program which willhelp in exploring Moon’s surface as much as possible and create sustainable missions to the Moon by 2028. Hence option (a) is correct
  • The research attained from the Moon will work as a building block to explore Mars in the future.
  • The program is an attempt to put human presence on the moon and revive the American space program. The Artemis mission is named after the twin sister (goddess of the Moon) of Apollo,the mission that put Neil Armstrong on the moon
  • The Artemis program will be carried out in two parts. First, Artemis I will be launched without a crew. This will be done to test the Space Rocket and Orion spacecraft together.Artemis II will be a test flight with a crew ahead of the final launch Artemis III which will put the first woman or the next man on the Moon by 2024.
  • During the program, scientists will use the Moon’s surface as an engineering field of study and practice living in space before taking one step closer to Mars

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/science/artemis-nasa-first-woman-on-moon-2024-6490898/

10.With reference to the Constitution of India, consider the following statements:

No High Court shall have the jurisdiction to declare any central law to be constitutionally invalid.

An amendment to the Constitution of India cannot be called into question by the Supreme Court of India.

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: 

  • The 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 curtailed the judicial review power of high court. It debarred the high court’s from considering the constitutional validity of any central law. However, the 43rd Amendment Act of 1977 restored the original position. Hence statement 1 is incorrect
  • High Court has the power to invalidate any central law which goes against the ethos of the constitution. Similar is the case with Supreme Court.
  • If any constitutional amendment goes against the basic structure of the constitution, Supreme Court has the power to call it into question. Hence statement 2 is incorrect.
  • In 2015, the Supreme Court declared both the 99th Constitutional Amendment, 2014 and the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, 2014 as unconstitutional and null and void.