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Daily Prelims Test – 08_August_2021

sland of Agalega is associated with which of the following island nations in the Indian ocean?

  1. a) Mauritius
  2. b) Seychelles
  3. c) Maldives
  4. d) Madagascar

Answer: (a) Mauritius

Explanation:

In NEWS: No plan to house Indian military base on Agalega island: Mauritius

  • 1Mauritius has denied a report that it has allowed India to build a military base on the remote island of Agalega, with a government official telling AFP that no such agreement exists between the two nations
  • India asserts that these new facilities are part of its Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) policy, which aims to increase maritime cooperation between countries in the region.
  • Mauritius, for its part, has indicated that its coast guard personnel will use the new facilities.
  • But it is clear that the Indian investment of $250m in developing an airfield, port, and communications hub on this remote island is not aimed at helping Mauritius develop its capacity to police its territorial waters.
  • The Agalega area is currently a blind spot for the Indian Navy and by building a military facility in it, New Delhi hopes to expand its maritime domain awareness.
  • In times of conflict, knowing the location of enemy ships and submarines, without being detected in the process, creates a significant advantage.
  • Agalega Island
  • Agaléga are two outer islands of Mauritius located in the Indian Ocean, about 1,000 kilometers north of Mauritius island. Hence option (a) is correct.
  • The islands have a total area of 2,600 ha (6,400 acres).
  • There is an MoU between the governments of Mauritius and India to develop the Agaléga islands and resolve infrastructural problems faced by Agaleans.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/no-plan-to-house-indian-military-base-on-agalega-island-mauritius/article35755505.ece

Consider the following statements regarding Current account:

  • It is a type of deposit account maintained by individuals who carry out a significantly higher number of transactions with banks on a regular basis.
  • It is created by the bank on request of the applicant.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. a) 1 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) Both 1 and 2
  4. d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: RBI extends current account rules implementation deadline to October 31

  • Over the last few days, small businesses have complained about freezing of accounts by their banks, as they implemented several circulars on the issue.
  • In August 2020, the RBI had said banks with little or no loan exposure cannot open a current account for borrowers, and existing non-compliant accounts had to be frozen.
  • The central bank’s directive was aimed at cracking down on attempts by borrowers using current accounts at non-lending banks to siphon off funds. The RBI had said banks with less than 10 percent of the banking system exposure to a particular borrower cannot open a current account.
  • The restriction applies to borrowers in case they avail of cash credit (CC) or overdraft (OD) facility since all operations that can be carried out from a current account can also be carried out from a CC or OD account as banks in a CBS environment follow a one-bank-one-customer model as against a one-branch-one-customer model.
  • In the case of borrowers who have not availed of CC/OD facility from any bank, there is no restriction on opening of current accounts by any bank if exposure of the banking system to such borrowers is less than Rs 5 crore, it said.
  • If borrowers have not availed of CC/OD facility from any bank and the exposure of the banking system is Rs 5 crore or more but less than Rs 50 crore, there is no restriction on lending banks to such borrowers from opening a current account, it said. Even non-lending banks can open current accounts for such borrowers though only for collection purposes, the RBI said.

About current account

  • A current account, also known as a financial account, is a type of deposit account maintained by individuals who carry out a significantly higher number of transactions with banks on a regular basis. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • It is created by the bank on request of the applicant and is made available for frequent or immediate access. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • Current accounts relate to liquid deposits and it offers a broad range of customized options to aid financial dealings.
  • Current accounts also allow payments to creditors through the cheque facility offered by the bank. Generally, current accounts do not provide interests and requires a higher minimum balance when compared to savings account.
  • However, the greatest advantage of current bank account is that, account holders can easily avail overdraft facility up to an agreed limit

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/business/rbi-extends-current-account-rules-implementation-deadline-to-october-31-101628126473103.html

With respect to Long Term Reverse Repo Operation, consider the following statements

  • It is a mechanism to facilitate the transmission of monetary policy actions and the flow of credit to the economy.
  • Under this mechanism, banks can avail one year and three-year loans at the same interest rate of one day repo.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. a) 1 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) Both 1 and 2
  4. d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: RBI’s decision to keep repo rate unchanged to support economic growth: Experts

  • The RBI’s decision to keep the repo rate unchanged for yet another term is in line with the unfinished agenda of supporting India’s economic growth, exacerbated by the COVID-19 second wave, financial market experts
  • The six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank in its latest policy decision kept the key repo rate unchanged for the 7th consecutive time at 4 percent, with an accommodative stance, primarily to support growth in the wake of the pandemic impact
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is understood to have broached the possibility of conducting Long Term Variable Rate Reverse Repo (LTRR) auctions with banks in the run-up to the normalisation of its ultra-accommodative policy
  • About Long Term Reverse Repo Operation (LTRO)
  • LTRR is one of the instruments to manage durable liquidity under the RBI’s revised liquidity management framework. It has a tenor of over 14 days Banks’ prefer investing in treasury bills of 91 days, 182 days and 364 days duration as the bills can be easily liquidated to fund future demand for loans. However, if they invest in LTRR, this flexibility will not be available.
  • Long Term Reverse Repo Operation (LTRO) is a mechanism to facilitate the transmission of monetary policy actions and the flow of credit to the economy. This helps in injecting liquidity in the banking system. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • Funds at LTRO are provided at the repo rate. The banks can avail one year and three-year loans at the same interest rate of one day repo.
  • The loans with higher maturity period (here like 1 year and 3 years) will have a higher interest rate compared to short term (repo) loans. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • LTROs are conducted on Core Banking Solution (E-KUBER) platform. The operations would be conducted at a fixed rate.
  • The minimum bid amount would be Rs 1 crore and multiples thereof. There will be no restriction on the maximum amount of bidding by individual bidders.

Source: https://www.financialexpress.com/economy/rbis-decision-to-keep-repo-rate-unchanged-to-support-economic-growth-experts/2305875/

Recently, the Pensilungpa Glacier is seen in news, it is located in

  1. a) Zanskar Valley
  2. b) Spiti Valley
  3. c) Karakoram Range
  4. d) Purvanchal Range

Answer: (a) Zanskar Valley

Explanation:

In NEWS: Ladakh glacier retreat due to warming, low winter precipitation, finds study

  • The Pensilungpa Glacier located in Ladakh’s Zanskar Valley is retreating due to increase in temperature and decrease in precipitation during winters, a recent study has found. Since 2015, the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology. Hence option (a) is correct.
  • The study is based on the field observations of glacier mass balance collected via stake networking over the glacier surface from 2016-2019.
  • Stake networking is a method where a stake made of bamboo is installed (insert) on the glacier surface using the steam drill for mass balance measurement.
  • Pensilungpa Glacier (PG) located in Zanskar, Ladakh is retreating. The study has attributed the retreat to an increase in the temperature and decrease in precipitation during winters.
  • The study also points to the significant influence of debris cover on the mass balance and retreat of the glacier’s endpoint, especially in summer.
  • It is also possible that the precipitation of summer periods at higher altitudes will change from snow to rain, and that may influence the summer and winter patterns.
  • The study suggests that due to continuous rise in the air temperature in line with the global trend, the melting would increase.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/ladakh-glacier-retreat-due-to-warming-low-winter-precipitation-finds-study/article35788810.ece

Consider the following statements regarding Anaimalai flying frog:

  • It is found in tropical, evergreen forests of the anaimalai Hills and the cardamom Hills in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
  • It has been listed as a critically endangered species under the IUCN Red list of Threatened Species.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. a) 1 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) Both 1 and 2
  4. d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: How the critically endangered Anaimalai flying frog got a new home

  • Frog enthusiasts in Kerala have constructed two ponds at Windermere Estate to restore the habitat for the Anaimalai flying frog.
  • Naturalist Hadlee Renjith’s project to conserve the endangered Anaimalai flying frog at a plantation in Munnar triggers an organic movement to revive its habitat
  • About Anaimalai flying frog:
  • The Anaimalai flying frog (Rhacophorus pseudomalabaricus) is also known as the False Malabar Gliding Frog. The frog is endemic to the southern part of the Western Ghats.
  • The frog is usually larger than bush frogs. Bush Frog is a species of Frog belonging to the family Rhacophoridae.
  • The female can grow up to three inches. Mating takes place usually between June and October during the rainy season.
  • The female creates foam nests on leaves, into which the eggs are laid and the male fertilises them.
  • The outer layer of foam protects the eggs from bacteria, predators and weather changes.
  • When the eggs hatch, the nest disintegrates and tadpoles drop into the water body below.
  • The Anaimalai flying frog has a small range in the Western Ghats of It is found in tropical, evergreen forests of the Anaimalai Hills, also known as the Elephant Hills, and the Cardamom Hills in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • Rhacophorus pseudomalabaricus is a nocturnal, arboreal frog that is typically found in lower canopy and understory levels of tropical, moist, evergreen forests.
  • This species is known from at least two protected areas, Indira Gandhi National Park and Parambikulam Tiger Reserve.
  • IUCN: Critically Endangered Species. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • Possible reasons for amphibian decline
  • General habitat alteration and loss
  • Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
  • Intensified agriculture or grazing
  • Habitat fragmentation
  • Local pesticides, fertilizers, and pollutants
  • Intentional mortality (over-harvesting, pet trade or collecting)

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/naturalist-hadlee-renjith-created-a-habitat-for-the-critically-endangered-anaimalai-flying-frog-at-a-private-cardamom-plantation-in-munnar/article35746585.ece

6What is the aim of Project REPLAN?

  1. a) It is a pioneer project to provide strategic development to the horticulture sector.
  2. b) It aims at creation of a New Indirect Tax Network of the Central Board of Excise and Customs.
  3. c) It aims to understand how the knowledge and manipulation of the monsoon winds has shaped interactions across the Indian Ocean.
  4. d) Its primary objective is to remove the existing waste plastic material from nature and use it in a semi-permanent manner.

Answer: (d) Its primary objective is to remove the existing waste plastic material from nature and use it in a semi-permanent manner.

Explanation:

In NEWS: KVIC’s Unique Plastic-Mixed Handmade Paper gets Patent for Invention to Recycle Waste Plastic

  • Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has secured Patent registration for its plastic-mixed handmade paper.
  • The patent certificate wasissued to KVIC’s Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute (KNHPI), Jaipur.
  • The idea of developing plastic-mixed handmade paperwas invented in 2018 and the project was executed by the team of scientists at KNHPI.
  • The plastic-mixed handmade paper was developed under Project REPLAN (REducing PLAstic from Nature).
  • The production of waste-plastic mixed handmade paper is likely to serve the twin objectives of protecting the environment alongside creating sustainable employment.
  • The technologydeveloped by KVIC uses both high & low density waste polythene that not only adds extra strength to the paper but also reduces the cost by up to 34%.
  • The product isrecyclable and eco-friendly.
  • About Project REPLAN (REducing PLAstic from Nature)
  • It is the first of its kind project in India, where plastic waste is de-structured, degraded, diluted and used with paper pulpwhile making handmade paper and thus reduces plastic waste from nature.
  • It was launched in 2018 in line with Prime Minister’s‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’ (Clean India Mission).
  • It is a call for fighting the menace of single-use plastic.
  • Its primary objective is to remove the existing waste plastic material from natureand use it in a semi-permanent manner. Hence option (d) is correct.
  • Under Project REPLAN, the waste plastic from nature is collected, de-structured and de-gradated and then mixed with paper pulp in a ratio of 80 is to 20.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1742710

Karenia brevis was sometimes seen in the news. Which of the following correctly explains it?

  1. a) It is a new bamboo species discovered in Western Ghats.
  2. b) It is a small black holes found near earth.
  3. c) It is a new high-yielding and pest-resistant variety of soybean.
  4. d) It is an algae that causes red tide on the Florida

Answer: (d) It is an algae that cause red tide in Florida coast

Explanation:

In NEWS: An industrial spill might be to blame for an algal bloom ravaging Florida

  • An algal bloom currently ravaging Florida’s Gulf of Mexico coast may have been aggravated due to the release of 215 million gallons of contaminated water into Tampa Bay earlier this year
  • Karenia brevis, a type of algae commonly known as ‘Red Tide’, has swept Florida’s Gulf of Mexico Coast, killing 1,400 tonnes of fish in and around Tampa alone, according to Texas A&M University. Hence option (d) is correct.
  • The bloom might have used nutrients from the contaminated water to grow and release toxins, killing marine life in the area. Its origins have been traced back to another red tide
  • About Karenia brevis
  • Karenia Brevis is a type of algae commonly known as ‘Red Tide’ and Harmful Algal Bloom(HABs).
  • It occurs when colonies of algae simple plants that live in the sea and freshwater grow out of control while producing toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, and birds. 
  • The human illnesses caused by HABs, though rare, can be debilitating or even fatal.
  • Harmful Algal Blooms, or HABs, occur when colonies of algae grow out of control and produce toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals and birds.
  • One of the best known HABs in the US occurs nearly every summer along Florida’s Gulf Coast. This type of bloom is caused by a species of dinoflagellate known as Karenia brevis.
  • Algal Blooms
  • Algal blooms are dense layers of tiny green plants that occur on the surface of lakes and other bodies of water when there is an overabundance of nutrients (primarily phosphorus) on which algae depend.
  • Benefits 
  • Not all algal blooms are harmful. Most blooms, in fact, are beneficial because the tiny plants are food for animals in the ocean.
  • They are the major source of energy that fuels the ocean food web.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/pollution/an-industrial-spill-might-be-to-blame-for-an-algal-bloom-ravaging-florida-78240

Consider the following statements regarding ReCAAP:

  • It is the first regional Government-to-Government agreement to deal with piracy and armed robbery at sea in Asia.
  • India is not a part of this agreement.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. a) 1 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) Both 1 and 2
  4. d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: India defeats China for ReCAAP elections with Quad on its side

  • India gave a major defeat to China when the director general of Coast Guard, K Natarajan, was elected as the next executive director of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia
  • About ReCAAP:
  • ReCAAPis the first regional government-to-government agreement to promote and enhance cooperation against piracy and armed robbery against ships in AsiaHence statement (1) is correct.
  • Launched in: ReCAAP Agreement was launched in 2006 with 14 Asian Contracting Parties including North, Southeast, and South Asian countries.
  • Members: Currently, it has 20 Contracting Parties including Europe (Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, and the United Kingdom), Australia, and the United States.
  • Other Members include India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand. Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam. Cambodia and Singapore. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.
  • Pillars: Information sharing, capacity building and mutual legal assistance are the three pillars of cooperation under the ReCAAP agreement.
  • Headquarters: Singapore
  • The government of India has designated Indian Coast Guard(ICG)as the focal point within India for ReCAAP

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-defeats-china-for-recaap-elections-with-quad-on-its-side-101628177963037.html

With respect to Computer Emergency Response Team – India, consider the following statements:

  • It is an organisation of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology with the objective of securing Indian cyberspace.
  • According to the provisions of the Information Technology Amendment Act 2008, CERT-In is responsible for overseeing administration of the Act.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. a) 1 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) Both 1 and 2
  4. d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: More than 6.07 lakh cyber security incidents observed till June 2021: Government

The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) observed over 6.07 lakh cyber security incidents in the first six months of 2021, of which about 12,000 incidents were related to government organisations

About CERT-In

  • It is an organisation of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, with the objective of securing Indian cyberspaceHence statement (1) is correct.
  • It is the nodal agency which deals with cybersecurity threats like hacking and phishing.
  • It collects, analyses and disseminates information on cyber incidents, and also issues alerts on cybersecurity incidents.
  • CERT-IN provides Incident Prevention and Response Services as well as Security Quality Management Services.
  • According to the provisions of the Information Technology Amendment Act 2008, CERT-In is responsible for overseeing administration of the ActHence statement (2) is correct.
  • CERT-In has been designated to serve as the national agency to perform the following functions in the area of cyber security:
  • Collection, analysis and dissemination of information on cyber incidents.
  • Forecast and alerts of cyber security incidents
  • Emergency measures for handling cyber security incidents
  • Coordination of cyber incident response activities.
  • Issue guidelines, advisories, vulnerability notes and whitepapers relating to information security practices, procedures, prevention, response and reporting of cyber incidents.
  • Such other functions relating to cyber security as may be prescribed.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/business/cert-in-observed-more-than-607-lakh-cyber-security-incidents-till-june-2021-government/article35726974.ece

. With reference to forced labour (Vishti) in India during the Gupta period, which one of the following statements is correct?

  • It was considered a source of income for the State, a sort of tax paid by the people.
  • It was totally absent in the Madhya Pradesh and Kathiawar regions of the Gupta Empire.
  • The forced labourer was entitled to weekly wages.
  • The eldest son of the labourer was sent as the forced labourer.

Answer: (a) It was considered a source of income for the State, a sort of tax paid by the people.

Explanation:

Vishti was considered as a source of income for the state, a sort of tax by the people. Hence option (a) is correct.