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Daily Prelims Test – 06_October_2021

1. With respect to Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, Consider the following statements

1) Under this Act, prior approval of the Central Government is required for diversion of forestlands for non-forest purposes.

2) The act deals with the four categories of the forests, namely reserved forests, village forests, protected forests and private forests.

Which of the statements 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: Govt proposes changes to Forest Conservation Act

·      The Centre has proposed an amendment to the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, to liberalise forest laws.

·      According to the proposal, deemed forests listed by state governments up to 1996 will continue to be considered forest land. Land that was acquired by the Railways and the road ministries before 1980, but on which forests came up, will no longer be considered forests.

·      The Forest (Conservation) Act (FCA) was promulgated in 1980. Before the 1996 Supreme Court judgement in TN GodavarmanThirumulpad versus Union of India and Others, forest land was only that as was defined by the 1927 Forest Act.

·      But the court included all areas which are recorded as ‘forest’ in any government record, irrespective of ownership, recognition and classification.

·      This is particularly problematic in the case of railways and roads. And these permissions can take anywhere between 2-4 years, thus causing delays

·      The document also proposes removing zoos, safaris, Forest Training infrastructures from the definition of “non-forestry” activities.

About The Forest (Conservation) Act

·      Under the provisions of this Act, prior approval of the Central Government is required for diversion of forestlands for non-forest purposes. Hence statement 1 is correct

·      An Advisory Committee constituted under the Act advises the Centre on these approvals.

·      The Act deals with the four categories of the forests, namely reserved forests, village forests, protected forests and private forests.Hence statement 2 is correct

Section 2 of the act lists four criteria where permission of the Central Government is required for any action of State regarding –

·      Declaring that any reserved forest ceases to be reserved.

·      Use of forestland for non-forest purposes.

·      Leasing forest to any private person.

·      Declaring that any forest land may be cleared of trees that have grown naturally in that land, for the purpose of using it for reforestation.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/govt-proposes-changes-to-forest-conservation-act-7554520/

2. Which of the following activities/works are considered as a non forest purpose under the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980?

1) Cultivation of Coffee Plantation

2) Construction of Dam

3) Cultivation of horticultural crops or medicinal plants

4) Establishment of check-posts

Select the correct options from the given below codes

a)  1,2,3 and 4

b) 2 and 4 only

c)   3 only

d) 1 and 3 only

Answer: (d) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explainer: What are the proposed amendments to the Forest Conservation Act about?

·      The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, came into force to address deforestation. Though the Indian Forest Act has been in force since 1927, it was geared to allow the colonial British administration to control the extraction of timber and not aimed at preserving forests or addressing deforestation.

·      While States had already notified forest land, the FCA made it necessary to get the Centre’s permission for using such forest land for “non forestry purposes” and the creation of an advisory committee to recommend such re-classification.

Section 2 of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980

·      It is about the restriction on the State Government for dereservation of forests or use of forest land for non-forest purpose

As provided in explanation “non-forest purpose” means the breaking up or clearing of any forest land or portion thereof for-

·      the cultivation of tea, coffee, spices, rubber, palms, oil-bearing plants, horticultural crops or medicinal plants;

·      any purpose other than reafforestation;

but does not include any work relating or ancillary to conservation, development and management of forests and wildlife, namely, the establishment of check-posts, fire lines, wireless communications and construction of fencing, bridges and culverts, dams, waterholes, trench marks, boundary marks, pipelines or other like purposes.Hence option (d) is correct

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/explainer-what-are-the-proposed-amendments-to-the-forest-conservation-act-about/article36840926.ece

3. Consider the following statements regarding National Aquifer Mapping and Management Programme

1) It is being implemented by the Central Ground Water Board

2) It aims to identify and map aquifers at the micro level to quantify the available groundwater resources.

Which of the statements 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: Survey Under Aquifer Mapping Programme To Be Conducted In Parts Of Rajasthan, Gujarat Haryana, Punjab & HP Covering 3.88 Lac Sq. Km Area

·      The Central Ground Water Board, Ministry of Jal Shakti and CSIR-NGRI (National Geophysical Research Institute), Hyderabad have signed agreement for use of advanced heli-borne geophysical survey and other scientific studies in parts of the States of Rajasthan, Gujarat Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh covering an area of 3.88 lac sq. km under the Aquifer Mapping Programme.

·      The Heli-Borne Survey aims to conduct High resolution aquifer mapping using heliborne geophysical studies, including identification of Sites for artificial recharge, 3D Geophysical model, Geophysical Thematic maps at horizontal and vertical planes, Aquifer Geometry of principal aquifer with demarcation of de-saturated and saturated aquifers,Aquifer system with relatively fresh and saline zones.

·      The survey also aims to map Spatial and depth wise distribution of paleochannel network if any and its linkage with aquifer system. The expected outcome includes selecting suitable sites for groundwater withdrawal and water conservation through artificial or managed aquifer recharge.

About National Aquifer Mapping and Management Programme:

·      National Aquifer Mapping and Management Programme(NAQUIM) was launched in 2012 by the Ministry of Water Resources(now Ministry of Jal Shakti).

·      The programme aims to identify and map aquifers at the micro level to quantify the available groundwater resources. Hence statement 2 is correct

·      It aims to cover more than 25 million km2 that have been delineated as hydrogeologicallymappable.

·      It also aims to promote participatory groundwater management.

·      It was started as a part of the Ground Water Management and Regulation scheme to describe and characterize the aquifers to develop plans for ground water management.

·      The plans related aquifer maps and management are being regularly shared with State Governments through the State Ground Water Coordination Committees which is being chaired by the concerned Principal Secretaries of the respective States.

·      The Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) is the implementing agency of the NAQUIM. Hence statement 1 is correct

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1760784

4. Consider the following statements regarding the Bonn Challenge

1) It is a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested land into restoration by 2020 and 350 million by 2030.

2) It was launched by the Government of India and the International Union for Conservation of Nature

Which of the statements 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:Taproots to help restore India’s fading green cover

·      The State of the World’s Forests report 2020, says that since 1990, around 420 million hectares of forest have been lost through deforestation, conversion and land degradation.

·      Nearly 178 million hectares have decreased globally due to deforestation (1990-2020). India lost 4.69 MHA of its forests for various land uses between 1951 to 1995.

·      Dependence on forests by nearly 18% of the global human population has put immense pressure on ecosystems; in India, this has resulted in the degradation of 41% of its forests. To combat this, India joined the Bonn Challenge

About Bonn Challenge

·      The Bonn Challenge is a global goal to bring 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested landscapes into restoration by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030Hence statement 1 is correct

·      Launched by the Government of Germany and IUCN in 2011, the Challenge surpassed the 150-million-hectare milestone for pledges in 2017.Hence statement 2 is incorrect

·      The Bonn Challenge is an implementation vehicle for national priorities such as water and food security and rural development while simultaneously helping countries contribute to the achievement of international climate change, biodiversity and land degradation commitments.

·      The restoration of 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested lands in biomes around the world – in line with the forest landscape restoration (FLR) approach – will create approximately US$ 84 billion per year in net benefits that could bring direct additional income opportunities for rural communities.

·      The Challenge exhorts the achievement of their stated goals through an approach to restoration called forest landscape restoration (FLR). FLR restores ecological integrity while enhancing human well-being.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/taproots-to-help-restore-indias-fading-green-cover/article36830630.ece

5. Edayur Chilli and Kuttiattoor Mango are the latest to receive the Geographical Indication status from which of the following state in India?

a)  Tamilnadu

b) Odisha

c)   Karnataka

d) Kerala

Answer: (d) Kerala

Explanation:

In NEWS:Edayur Chilli and Kuttiattoor Mango gets G.I. tag

Edayur Chilli and Kuttiattoor Mango are the latest to receive the Geographical Indication status from the Kerala state. Hence option (d) is correct

About Edayur Chilli

·         Edayur chilli (Edayurmulaku in Malayalam) is a local cultivar of Kerala being cultivated for at least the last 150 years.

·         FromEdayur, large quantities of this chilli were sold to nearby markets and districts for making Kondattom (sun-dried-curd-chillies).

·         Edayur chilli has very low pungency. The distinctiveness can be attributed to its genetic make-up, the specific environmental and soil conditions and the traditional methods of cultivation.

About Kuttiattoor Mango

·         Kuttiattoor mango (Kuttiattoor manga in Malayalam) is a popular and tasty traditional mango cultivar of Kuttiattoor and the nearby gram panchayats in Kannur district of North Kerala.

·         Trees with large number of mangoes on them are a visual treat for anyone visiting Kuttiattoor during the monthsof March, April and May.

·         It is famous for its appealing orange-yellow coloured fruits as well as the excellent taste and flavour.

·         Another speciality is that ripened fruits do not show speckles or patches on the skin, making it more appealing in market.

·         The distinctiveness of Kuttiattoor mango is aided by the combination of specific environmental conditions of the area of its cultivation and varietal characters.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/edayur-chilli-and-kuttiattoor-mango-gets-gi-tag/article36790519.ece

6.Consider the following statements

1) Right to Protest is protected under Article 19(1) (a), Article 19(1) (b) and Article 19(1) (c) of the Indian Constitution.

2) Unlike other fundamental rights, right to protest is absolute and not subject to reasonable restrictions

Which of the statements 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:Farm laws have been stayed, what are you protesting against: Supreme Court asks farmers’ body

The Supreme Court asked a farmers’ body what is it protesting against when the three farm laws have already stayed and are not in place.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by a farmers’ body protesting against the three new farm laws and seeking directions to authorities to allow it to stage ‘satyagrah’ at JantarMantar.

About Article 19

·         The right to protest is a fundamental political right of the people that flows directly from a democratic reading of various provisions of Article 19.

Right to Protest is protected under Article 19(1) (a), Article 19(1) (b) and Article 19(1) (c) of the Indian Constitution.Hence statement 1 is correct

·         Article 19(1) (a)guarantees the freedom of speech and expression;

·         Article 19(1) (b)assures citizens the right to assemble peaceably and without arms.

·         Article 19(1) (c) assures right to form associations or trade unions

Reasonable restrictions: However, like other fundamental rights, right to protest is also not absolute and also subject to reasonable restrictions mentioned under Article 19(2) and 19(3) on the following grounds;

·         In the interests of the sovereignty & integrity of India,

·         The security of the State,

·         Friendly relations with foreign States,

·         Violation of Public order,

·         Decency or morality or in relation to Contempt of court, defamation or incitement of an offence. Hence statement 2 is incorrect

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/apex-court-lashes-out-at-farmers-for-continuing-protest-when-the-matter-is-sub-judice/article36821206.ece

7. With respect to Tax Inspectors without Borders, Consider the following statements

1) It is a joint OECD and UNDP initiative

2) It aims to enable sharing of tax audit knowledge and skills with tax administrations in developing countries

Which of the statements 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:Seychelles’ Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) programme launched in partnership with India

·         Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB), a joint initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), launched its programme in Seychelles

·         This programme is expected to be of 12 months duration.

·         It aims to aid Seychelles in strengthening its tax administration by transferring technical know-how and skills to its tax auditors through sharing of best audit practices.

·         The focus of the programme will be on Transfer Pricing cases of tourism and financial services sectors.

·         This programme is the sixth TIWB programme which India has supported by providing Tax Expert.

About TIWB

·         It is a joint initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).Hence statement 1 is correct

·         It was launched in July 2015.

·         The objective of the TIWB Initiative is to enable sharing of tax audit knowledge and skills with tax administrations in developing countries through a targeted, real time “learning by doing” approach. Hence statement 2 is correct

·         TIWB is focused on promoting hands-on assistance by sending Experts to build audit and audit-related skills pertaining to specific international tax matters and the development of general audit skills within developing tax administrations.

·         Experts will work together with tax auditors from the Host Administration on actual audit cases.

·         It deploys qualified experts in developing countries across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.

They train the local countries’ personnel in fields of 

·         tax capacity and audits, 

·         criminal tax investigations and 

·         the effective use of automatically exchanged information.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1760883

8. With reference to Antarctic Treaty, Consider the following statements

1) Currently, it has 54 parties.

2) India is a member of this treaty

3) Under this treaty, Antarctica is defined as all of the land and ice shelves south of 60°S latitude

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 and 3 only

b) 2 only

c)   1 and 2 only

d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1,2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: India is committed to curtail carbon emissions in the Antarctic atmosphere

·         India has completed 30 years of adoption of signing and implementation of the Madrid Protocol, which reaffirms its commitment to preserving Antarctic environmental and dependent ecosystems.

·         India is committed to the comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment and dependent and associated ecosystems, and the designation of Antarctica as a natural reserve devoted to peace and science.

·         India has already adopted the green energy initiative by experimenting with the feasibility of wind energy production and installed moderate output of Wind Energy Generators (WEG) on an experimental basis. The choice of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) for Bharati station to reduce carbon emissions in the Antarctic also promotes India’s pledge to protect the environment.

About Antarctic Treaty

·         The Antarctic Treaty was signed in Washington on 1 December 1959 by the twelve countries whose scientists had been active in and around Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year.

·         Currently, it has 54 parties. India became a member of this treaty in 1983.Hence statements 1 and 2 are correct

·         Headquarters: Buenos Aires, Argentina.

·         It entered into force in 1961 and has since been acceded by many other nations.

·         Antarctica is defined as all of the land and ice shelves south of 60°S latitude. Recently, an enormous iceberg ‘A-76’ has calved from the western side of the Ronne Ice Shelf, lying in the Weddell Sea, in Antarctica.Hence statement 3 is correct

·         It is the whole complex of arrangements made for the purpose of regulating relations among states in the Antarctic.

·         Its purpose is to ensure in the interests of all mankind that Antarctica shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord.

·         These agreements are legally binding and purpose-built for the unique geographical, environmental and political characteristics of the Antarctic and form a robust international governance framework for the region.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1760870

9.Consider the following statements

1) OPEC+ is a group of non-OPEC oil-producing countries only.

2) The Vienna Agreement is an agreement between the OPEC and the non-OPEC oil producers, to cut oil production to prevent falling oil prices.

Which of the statements 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:Oil falls ahead of OPEC+ supply policy meeting

Oil prices have risen due to the supply disruptions and a rise in global demand, pushing Brent last week above $80 to a near three-year high.

OPEC+ agreed in July to boost output by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) every month until at least April 2022 to phase out 5.8 million bpd of existing cuts.

About OPEC+

·         OPEC+ is a group of 24 oil-producing nations, made up of the 14 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and 10 other non-OPEC members, including Russia.Hence statement 1 is incorrect

·         Opec+ refers to the alliance of crude producers, who have been undertaking corrections in supply in the oil markets since 2017.

·         OPEC plus countries include Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, South Sudan and Sudan.

·         The Opec and non-Opec producers first formed the alliance at a historic meeting in Algiers in 2016.

·         Under the Vienna Agreement of 2016, the OPEC+ deal was signed between the major oil producers to coordinate the production levels to check the price fluctuation.Hence statement 2 is correct

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/business/commodities/oil-falls-ahead-of-opec-supply-policy-meeting-7550858/

10. Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) is a standard criterion for

a)  Measuring oxygen levels in blood

b) Computing oxygen levels in forest ecosystems

c)   Pollution assay in aquatic ecosystems

d) Assessing oxygen levels in high altitude regions

Answer: (c) Pollution assay in aquatic ecosystems

Explanation:

Biological oxygen demand (BOD) is the amount of dissolved oxygen needed (i. e., demanded) by aerobic micro organisms to break down organic material present in a given water sample. A highly polluted water will have a high levels of biological oxygen demand (BOD).