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Daily Prelims Test – 06_June

Kingmakers IAS Academy 06_June 2020

1.Consider the following statements regardingEssential Commodities Act, 1955

  • There is no specific definition of essential commodities in this act.
  • It gives powers to the state government to add or remove a commodity in the schedule.

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: Explained: What is the Essential Commodities Act, and how will amending it help?

  • Sources at the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said that the ordinance has introduced a new subsection (1A) in Section 3 of The Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
  • The amended law provides a mechanism for the “regulation” of agricultural foodstuffs, namely cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, potato, and supplies under extraordinary circumstances, which include extraordinary price rise, war, famine, and natural calamity of a severe nature.

About Essential commodity

  • There is no specific definition of essential commoditiesin The EC Act.
  • Section 2(A) of the act states that an essential commodity means a commodity specified in the schedule of this Act.Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • The Act gives powers to the central government to add or remove a commodity in the schedule. Hence statement 2 is incorrect.
  • The Centre, if it is satisfied that it is necessary to do so in public interest, can notify an item as essential, in consultation with state governments.
  • At present,the Schedule contains 9 commodities — drugs; fertilisers, whether inorganic, organic or mixed; foodstuffs, including edible oils; hank yarn made wholly from cotton; petroleum and petroleum products; raw jute and jute textiles; seeds of food-crops and seeds of fruits and vegetables, seeds of cattle fodder, jute seed, cotton seed; face masks; and hand sanitisers.
  • The latest items added to this schedule are face masks and hand sanitisers,which were declared essential commodities with effect from March 13, 2020 in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak.
  • By declaring a commodity as essential, the government can control the production, supply, and distribution of that commodity, and impose a stock limit.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/essential-commodities-act-amendments-explained-6442362/

2.Consider the following statements regardingMAITREE program

  • It is aimed at accelerating the adoption of cost-effective energy efficiency as a standard practice within buildings, and specifically focuses on cooling.
  • It is a part of the US-India bilateral Partnership between the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and USAID

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: EESL and USAID Announce the “Healthy and Energy Efficient Buildings” Initiative

  • On occasion of World Environment Day, today, Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of PSUs under Ministry of Power, in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) MAITREE program, launched the “Healthy and Energy Efficient Buildings” initiative that will pioneer ways to make workplaces healthier and greener.
  • The Market Integration and Transformation Program for Energy Efficiency (MAITREE), under which this initiative has been launched, is a part of the US-India bilateral Partnership between the Ministry of Power and USAI Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • Market Integration and Transformation Program for Energy Efficiency (MAITREEis aimed at accelerating the adoption of cost-effective energy efficiency as a standard practice within buildings, and specifically focuses on cooling. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • As part of this pilot, “Healthy and Energy Efficient Buildings” Initiative, EESL has taken the leadership by being the first to implement this framework in its own offices
  • This initiative is addressing the challenges of retrofitting existing buildings and air conditioning systems so that they are both healthy and energy efficient. We hope that this pilot will pave the way for other buildings to take appropriate steps to be healthy and energy efficient. As always, our work is for the public and for the benefit of everyone, and our partnership with USAID will help scale it up

Source:https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1629597#:~:text=The%20Market%20Integration%20and%20Transformation,efficiency%20as%20a%20standard%20practice

3.Consider the following statements regarding‘#iCommit’ campaign

  • It is a clarion call to all stakeholders and individuals to continue moving towards energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability to create a robust and resilient energy system in the future
  • It is an initiative of Bureau of Energy Efficiency

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: Power Minister launches the ‘#iCommit’ initiative on World Environment Day

  • Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, today initiated the ‘#iCommit’ campaign, on the occasion of World Environment Day.
  • The initiative is a clarion call to all stakeholders and individuals to continue moving towards energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability to create a robust and resilient energy system in the future. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • The ‘#iCommit’ initiative, driven by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), under the administration of Ministry of Power, Government of India is uniting a diverse set of players such as Governments, Corporates, Multilateral and Bilateral Organisations, Think Tanks and Individuals. Hence statement 2 is incorrect.
  • The #iCommit initiative, especially in the backdrop of World Environment Day can bring together a diverse spectrum of government and private players to build a new energy future for India.”
  • The ‘#iCommit’ initiative is centred around the idea of building an energy resilient future. The pre-requisite for that goal is to create a flexible and agile power system. 

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1629635

4.Consider the following statements regardingPayments infrastructure development fund (PIDF)

  • It will be governed through an Advisory Council and managed and administered by RBI
  • It aims to encourage acquirers to deploy Points of Sale infrastructure (both physical and digital modes)

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: RBI creates ₹500 cr. fund to boost payment infrastructure

India’s central bank has created a ₹500 cr. fund to encourage acquirers to deploy Points of Sale (PoS) infrastructure in both physical and digital modes in tier-3 to tier-6 centres and northeastern states

About ‘Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF):

  • RBI will make an initial contribution of ₹250 crore to the PIDF,covering half of the fund.
  • The remaining contribution of the fund will befrom card-issuing banks and card networks operating in the country. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • The fund will be governed through an Advisory Council and managed and administered by RBI. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • The fund will also receive recurring contributions to cover operational expenses from card-issuing banks and card networks. 
  • RBI will also contribute to yearly shortfalls, if necessary. 

Considering the high cost of merchant acquisition and merchant terminalisation, most of the POS terminals in the country are concentrated in tier 1 and 2 cities and towns and other regions have been left out. This move is expected to make the economics more favorable and will significantly increase the merchant base accepting digital payments.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/rbi-creates-500-cr-fund-to-boost-payment-infrastructure/article31761067.ece

5.Consider the following statements regardingAmbarnaya River

  • It is a shallow river in Siberia, Russia which flows in a northerly direction into Lake Pyasino
  • It is part of a network that flows into the environmentally sensitive Arctic Ocean

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: Explained: Why an oil spill in Russia’s Arctic region has become a cause for worry

  • Russia declared a state of emergency , five days after a power plant fuel leak in its Arctic region caused 20,000 tonnes of diesel oil to escape into a local river, turning its surface crimson red.
  • Ambarnaya is a shallow river in Siberia, Russia which flows in a northerly direction into Lake Pyasino.On leaving Lake Pyasino, the waters emerge as the Pyasina River. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • The Ambarnaya river, into which the oil has been discharged, is part of a network that flows into the environmentally sensitive Arctic OceanHence statement 2 is correct
  • The state-owned TASS news agency reported that the emergency measures were announced within Russia’s Krasnoyarsk Region, located in the vast and sparsely populated Siberian peninsula. The power plant is located near the Region’s Norilsk city, around 3000 km northeast of Moscow.

How did the leak happen?

  • The thermoelectric power plant at Norilsk is built on permafrost, which has weakened over the years owing to climate change.
  • This caused the pillars that supported the plant’s fuel tank to sink., leading to a loss of containment on May 29.
  • Reports said that around 20,000 tonnes of diesel oil was released into the Ambarnaya river, which has since drifted 12 km on its surface.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-oil-spill-russias-arctic-region-6442828/

6.What is the purpose of Nagar Van Programme?

  • It aims to provide and promote an effective system of plant variety protection
  • It is to promote and encourage enhancement of safety, quality and hygiene of milk and milk products manufactured by dairy cooperatives.
  • It aims to double the farmers income through providing new employment opportunities generated through cooperatives.
  • It aims to develop 200 Urban Forests across India in next five years with the help of people’s participation and collaboration between Forest Department, Municipal bodies, NGOs, Corporates and local citizens.

Answer: (d) It aims to develop 200 Urban Forests across India in next five years with the help of people’s participation and collaboration between Forest Department, Municipal bodies, NGOs, Corporates and local citizens

Explanation:

In NEWS: Centre launches programme to increase forest cover in urban areas

  • Government of India has launched the “Nagar Van (Urban Forests)” programme with an objective of increasing the forest cover in urban areas.
  • The “Nagar Van (Urban Forests)” programme has been launched with 200 corporations and cities across India.
  • During the launch of the programme, the Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar urged people to actively participate and increase the tree cover in their areas.
  • The “Nagar Van” programme aims to develop 200 Urban Forests across India in next five years with the help of people’s participation and collaboration between Forest Department, Municipal bodies, NGOs, Corporates and local citizens. Hence option (d) is correct.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/world-environment-day-centre-launches-programme-to-increase-forest-cover-in-urban-areas/article31754582.ece

7.Consider the following statements regardingUnited Nations Security Council (UNSC)

  • It has 10 non-permanent members and elected on a regional basis to serve a term of three years.
  • It is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations
  • It is the only body of the UN with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.

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: (b) 2 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Counterterror in focus as India prepares to occupy UNSC seat

  • India, which is set to be elected to a two-year term on the UN Security Council this month after a gap of almost a decade, said it will work at the world body for an effective response to global terrorism and reforming the multilateral system.
  • External affairs ministry S Jaishankar outlined India’s priorities for its campaign to secure the non-permanent seat in the Security Council during the election scheduled for June 17
  • India’s key priorities at the Security Council will be an effective response to international terrorism, reformed multilateralism to reflect contemporary realities, a comprehensive approach to peace and security, a commitment to international law and streamlining of UN peacekeeping, and promoting technology with a human touch.
  • India’s approach will also be guided by the “five Ss” set out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi – samman (respect), samvad (dialogue), sahyog (cooperation) and shanti (peace) in order to create conditions for universal samriddhi (prosperity).

About UN Security Council:

  • It is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN). Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • Like the UN as a whole, it was created following World War II to address the failings of a previous international organization, the League of Nations, in maintaining world peace.
  • The council held its first session in 1946.
  • It is the only body of the UN with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member statesHence statement 3 is correct.

The Security Council consists of fifteen members:

  • The great powers that were the victors of World War II – the Soviet Union (now represented by Russia), the United Kingdom, France, Republic of China (now represented by the People’s Republic of China), and the United States – serve as the body’s five permanent members.
  • These can veto any substantive resolution, including those on the admission of new member states or nominees for the office of Secretary-General.
  • In addition, the council has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve a term of two years. Hence statement 1 is incorrect.
  • The body’s presidency rotates monthly among its members.

Resolutions of the Security Council are typically enforced by UN peacekeepers, military forces voluntarily provided by member states and funded independently of the main UN budget.

Unlike the General Assembly, the Security Council meets year-round. Each Security Council member must have a representative available at UN Headquarters at all times in case an emergency meeting becomes necessary.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/counterterror-in-focus-as-india-prepares-to-occupy-unsc-seat/story-y19wMjjCguo4DOS5497t2K.html

8.With respect to the mangrove forests in India, consider the following statements

  • Mangrove forests are absent eastern coasts of India.
  • Mangroves are confined to only tropical and sub-tropical coastal waters.

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: How this mangrove forest withstood cyclone Amphan, saved a national park

  • The tropical cyclone had triggered damage in coastal parts, but it had spared Bhitarkanika National Park (BNP) and adjoining hamlets in Kendrapara district
  • The rich mangrove forest cover in Bhitarkanika National Park successfully withstood the wind velocity as the cyclone Amphan had barreled through coastal Odisha last fortnight, bringing in its wake trails of devastation
  • The tropical cyclone had triggered damage in coastal parts, but it had spared Bhitarkanika National Park (BNP) and adjoining hamlets in Kendrapara district with lush-green luxuriant mangrove cover acting protective barrier to natures fury.

About Mangrove Forest

  • Mangroves represent a characteristic littoral (near the seashore) forest ecosystem.
  • These are mostly evergreen forests that grow in sheltered low lying coasts, estuaries, mudflats, tidal creeks backwaters (coastal waters held back on land), marshes and lagoons of tropical and subtropical regions.
  • Mangroves grow below the high water level of spring tides.
  • The best locations are where abundant silt is brought down by rivers or on the backshore of accreting sandy beaches.
  • Mangroves are highly productive ecosystems, and the trees may vary in height from 8 to 20 m. They protect the shoreline from the effect of cyclones and tsunamis.
  • Mangroves are salt tolerant trees, also called halophytes, and are adapted harsh coastal conditions.
  • Mangrove vegetation facilitates more water loss. Leaves are thick and contain salt-secreting glands. Some block absorption of salt at their roots itself.
  • They contain a complex salt filtration system and complex root system to cope with salt water immersion and wave action.
  • They are adapted to the low oxygen (anoxic) conditions of waterlogged mud.
  • They produce pneumatophores (blind roots)to overcome the respiration problem in the anaerobic soil
  • Mangroves occur worldwide in the tropics and subtropics, mainly between latitudes 25° N and 25° S. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • They require high solar radiationto filter saline water through their roots. This explains why mangroves are confined to only tropical and sub-tropical coastal waters.
  • Mangroves occur in a variety of configurations. Some species (e.g. Rhizophora) send arching prop roots down into the water. While other (e.g. Avicennia) send vertical “Pneumatophores” or air roots up from the mud.
  • Mangroves exhibit Viviparity mode of reproduction. i.e. seeds germinate in the tree itself(before falling to the ground).
  • They are found in the following states and Union Territories in India: West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtraand Gujarat. Hence statement 1 is incorrect.

Source: https://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/how-this-mangrove-forest-withstood-cyclone-amphan-saved-a-national-park-120060600255_1.html

9.With respect to Sundarbans, consider the following statements

  • It is vast contiguous mangrove forest ecosystem in the coastal region of Bay of Bengal spread across India and Bangladesh.
  • It was recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987

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: Solar power lights up Sundarbans island

  • As a major part of Sundarbans remained mired in darkness even two weeks after Cyclone Amphan hit the deltamarshy island territory, a part of Satjelia island within Gosaba block managed to get some ‘light’— through solar micro-grids.
  • Solar micro-grids are small, localised grids that supply electricity in the range of 10 to 100 kilowatt using solar power. The micro-grids are not connected to the main grid and can cater to only the local population

About Sundarbans island

  • Sundarbans is vast contiguous mangrove forest ecosystem in the coastal region of Bay of Bengal spread across India and BangladeshHence statement 1 is correct.
  • It covers approximately 10,000 square kilometres of area of which 60% is in Bangladesh and remaining in India.
  • It is located in delta region of Padma, Meghna and Brahmaputra river basins.
  • It is the largest tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world.
  • It was recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • Sundarbans forests are known for Royal Bengal Tiger and other numerous species of animals, including Chital Deer, Crocodile and Snakes.
  • It is facing threat from climate change and rise in sea level.
  • It also faces threat from widespread construction and clearing of mangrove forests for fisheries.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/energy/solar-power-lights-up-sundarbans-island-71585

10.Consider the following statements:

  • The quantity of imported edible oils is more than the domestic production of edible oils in the last five years.
  • The Government does not impose any customs duty on all the imported edible oils as a special case.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

Statement 1 is correct. India occupies a prominent position in the world oilseeds industry with contribution of around 10% in worldwide production. But the demand of edible oils (extracted from oilseeds in addition to palm oil) is significantly higher than the domestic production, leading to dependence on imports (60% of requirement).

 Statement 2 is not correct. Government imposes customs duty on edible oils to safeguard the interests of domestic oil crushing industry. The duty on two major edible oils, namely crude sunflower seed oil and crude canola/rapeseed/mustard is 25 per cent, while crude soyabean oil attracts 30 per cent duty.