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Daily Prelims Test – 10_December 2020

Consider the following statements regarding the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

  • It is the regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union of nations in South Asia with 10 member nations.
  • The SAARC Secretariat was established in Kathmandu

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

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

Answer: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Nepalese PM urges SAARC member states to give fresh impetus to stalled regional bloc

  • Nepalese Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli urged the SAARC member states to give fresh impetus to the stalled regional body, saying that time has come to move forward with “concrete action” on the ground with needed political will and commitment.
  • In their messages, both Pakistan Prime Minister and Nepal Prime Minister called for the SAARC summit to be held soon.
  • Nepal is the current chairman of the SAARC, a position which moves by rotation through the eight countries of South Asia, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • It held the SAARC summit last in 2014.
  • SAARC summit postponed: In 2016, Pakistan was due to hold the next summit, but it had to be put off after India refused to attend the event in Islamabad.

About South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

  • The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is the regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union of nations in South Asia founded in 1985 with 7 member nations. Hence Statement 1 is incorrect
  • The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was established with the signing of the SAARC Charter in Dhaka on 8 December 1985.
  • The SAARC Secretariat was established in Kathmandu in 1987. Hence Statement 2 is correct
  • The SAARC Secretariat is supported by following Regional Centres established in the Member States to promote regional cooperation.
  • Its member states include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • States with observer status include Australia, China, the European Union, Iran, Japan, Mauritius, Myanmar, South Korea and the United States.
  • SAARC comprises 3% of the world’s area, 21% of the world’s population and 3.8% (US$2.9 trillion)of the global economy, as of 2015.
  • The organization promotes development of economic and regional integration.
  • SAARC maintains permanent diplomatic relations at the United Nations as an observer and has developed links with multilateral entities, including the European Union.

Source: https://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2020/dec/08/nepalese-pmurges-saarc-member-states-to-give-fresh-impetus-to-stalled-regional-bloc-2233591.html


Emissions Gap Report 2020 was published recently by?

  • Germanwatch
  • Greenpeace
  • Climate Action Network
  • United Nations Environment Programme

Answer: (d) United Nations Environment Programme

Explanation:

In NEWS: Climate change: What the Emissions Gap Report 2020 tells us

  • The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) December 9, 2020, released its annual Emissions Gap Report 2020. The much-awaited report is unequivocal that there is no ebb to human-induced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the year 2020 would be one of the warmest years on record. Hence option (d) is correct
  • The year 2020 is on course to be one of the warmest on record, while wildfires, storms and droughts continue to wreak havoc
  • The annual report from UNEP measures “the gap between anticipated emissions and levels consistent with the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming this century to well below 2°C and pursuing 1.5°C”.
  • It assesses the gap between estimated future global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions if countries implement their climate mitigation pledges and the global emission levels from least-cost pathways that are aligned with achieving the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/climate-change-what-the-emissions-gap-report-2020-tells-us-74578


Consider the following statements regarding the Organochlorines

  • They are a group of chlorinated compounds widely used as pesticides.
  • These chemicals belong to the class of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) with high persistence in the environment

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

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

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Organochlorines may be behind Eluru mystery illness; why is that worrisome

  • These chemicals present in insecticides and pesticides affect human health
  • A ‘mystery disease’ has left 450 patients in Eluru, Andhra Pradesh with seizures, nausea, dizziness and headaches.

What are organochlorines?

  • Organochlorines (OC) are a group of chlorinated compounds that belong to the class of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) with high persistence in the environmentHence Statement 2 is correct
  • They are widely used as pesticides. Hence Statement 1 is correct
  • OC insecticides were earlier used to control malaria and typhus; they were later banned in most countries. They are relatively cheaper; as a result Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), aldrin and dieldrin are among the most widely used pesticides in developing countries of Asia.
  • A review statistics on the use of different pesticides has shown that 40 per cent of all pesticides used belong to the organochlorine class of chemicals.
  • OC can cause several adverse are substances capable of causing adverse effects in the central and peripheral nervous system; as a result, several such chemicals were banned in the United States.

How do these pesticides reach people?

  • People can be exposed to organochlorines through accidental inhalation if they are in an area where such pesticides were used or sprayed. The chemicals can also be ingested through fish, dairy products and other fatty foods, which can get contaminated.
  • Organochlorine pesticides accumulate in the environment. They are persistent and move long distances in surface runoff or groundwater. OCs, in the mid-1970s in India, resulted in widespread reproductive failure among birds; they laid eggs with thin shells that cracked before hatching.

How can these pesticides affect human health?

  • Exposure to organochlorine pesticides over a short period may result in convulsions, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, tremors, confusion, muscle weakness, slurred speech, salivation and sweating.
  • Long-term exposure to organochlorine pesticides may damage the liver, kidney, central nervous system, thyroid and bladder.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/health/organochlorines-may-be-behind-eluru-mystery-illness-why-is-that-worrisome-74556


Consider the following statements regarding the Narmada River

  • It rises from Maikala range near Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh.
  • It flows through a rift valley between the Vindhya Range on the north and the Satpura Range on the south.

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

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

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: NTPC signs MoU with IIFM for Narmada Landscape Restoration project

  • NTPC Ltd, the country’s largest power generator, announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal, to implement the Narmada Landscape Restoration Project.
  • The program is being implemented in partnership with a grant-in-aid from NTPC and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in equal proportions.
  • The company said the four-year project will be implemented in Khargone District of Madhya Pradesh in the catchment of selected tributaries of River Narmada between Omkareshwar and Maheshwar dams.

About Narmada River

  • Narmada is the largest west flowing river of the peninsular region.
  • It rises from Maikala range near Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh. Hence Statement 1 is correct
  • It flows through a rift valley between the Vindhya Range on the north and the Satpura Range on the south. Hence Statement 2 is correct
  • It drains a large area in Madhya Pradesh and some areas in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
  • It forms DhuanDhar Falls near Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh).
  • There are several islands in the estuary of the Narmada of which Aliabet is the largest.
  • Major Tributaries: Hiran, Orsang, the Barna and the Kolar.
  • Major Hydro Power Projects: Indira Sagar, Sardar Sarovar etc.

Source: https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/ntpc-signs-mou-with-iifm-for-narmada-landscape-restoration-project/79617581


Operation backfire recently seen in the news, which is?

  • Annexation of goa
  • Campaign against Child Sexual abuse material
  • Part of monetary policy operation
  • Crackdown on the smuggling of mongoose hair in the country

Answer: b) Campaign against Child Sexual abuse material

Explanation:

In News: Maharashtra police interpol child porn software

  •  Operation Blackface’ is part of the larger action taken against Child Sexual Abuse Material across the country. Hence option (b) is the correct answer.
  •  Acting on the tip off provided by NCRB, Maharashtra Cyber cops started forwarding complaints to the districts where FIR’s were registered against accused persons.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/maharashtra-police-interpol-child-porn-software-7096513/


Consider the following statements regarding Negative Yield Bonds

  •  These are debt instruments that offer to pay the investor a maturity amount lower than the purchase price of the bond
  •  These are generally issued by central banks or government
  •  It attracts investments during times of stress and uncertainty as investors look to protect their capital from significant erosion.

Select the correct answer using the code given below

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

Answer: d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: why chinas negative yield bonds are in demand?

  •  Recently China sold negative-yield debt for the first time, and this saw a high demand from investors across Europe. As yields in Europe are even lower, there was a huge demand for the 4-billion-euro bonds issued by China. China’s 5-year bond was priced with a yield of –0.152%, and the 10-year and 15-year securities with positive yields of 0.318% and 0.664%.
  •  Negative Yield debt:These are debt instruments that offer to pay the investor a maturity amount lower than the purchase price of the bond. These are generally issued by central banks or government. It attracts investments during times of stress and uncertainty as investors look to protect their capital from significant erosion.hence all the above statements are correct.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-why-chinas-negative-yield-bonds-are-in-demand-7063061/


Consider the following statements regarding Black Carbon

  •  It is a component of fine particulate matter, formed through the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuel, and biomass.
  •  It increases the albedo when deposited on snow and ice.
  •  It stays in the atmosphere for only several days to weeks, whereas carbon dioxide has an atmospheric lifetime of more than 100 years.

Select the correct answer using the code given below

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

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Building bridges in the forest to help wildlife

  •  Black carbon (BC) is a component of fine particulate matter. Black carbon consists of pure carbon in several linked forms. It is formed through the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuel, and biomass, and is emitted in both anthropogenic and naturally occurring soot. Black carbon causes human morbidity and premature mortality. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  •  In climatology, black carbon is a climate forcing agent. Black carbon warms the Earth by absorbing sunlight and heating the atmosphere and by reducing albedo when deposited on snow and ice. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  •  Black carbon stays in the atmosphere for only several days to weeks, whereas carbon dioxide (CO2) has an atmospheric lifetime of more than 100 years. Hence statement 3 is correct.
  •  The term black carbon is also used in soil sciences and geology. Especially in the tropics, black carbon in soils significantly contributes to fertility as it is able to absorb important plant nutrients.

Source


Consider the following statements regarding European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA)

  •  It is the intergovernmental organization of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
  •  EFTA countries are not part of the European Union

Select the correct answer using the code given below

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

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In News: Meeting of piyush goyal with swizz trade minister

  •  The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is the intergovernmental organisation of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  •  These countries are not part of the European Union (EU) with which India is negotiating a separate trade agreement called the India-EU Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  •  Both the Ministers of India and Swizterland reiterated the desire to move forward on the India-EFTA Trade & Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) negotiations.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1679195


Consider the following statements regarding Molnupiravir

  •  It is an antiviral drug
  •  It is the first demonstration of an orally available drug to rapidly block SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

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

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

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: What is Molnupiravir, a drug shown to stop Covid-19 spread in 24 hours?

  •  ndian researchers plan to apply to the drug regulator to conduct human trials with the drug.
  • A new drug called Molnupiravir has been shown to stop the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in 24 hours. Results of the research by scientists at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences
  • The antiviral drug Molnupiravir, or MK-4482/EIDD-2801, is taken orally. Molnupiravir is being developed by the biotechnology firm Ridgeback Biotherapeutics in collaboration with pharmaceutical firm Merck.
  • This is the first demonstration of an orally available drug to rapidly block SARS-CoV-2 transmission
  • In ferrets, the drug was shown to completely suppress transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in 24 hours. Researchers infected ferrets with SARS-CoV-2 and initiated treatment with MK-4482/EIDD-2801 when the animals started to shed the virus from the nose
  • Ferrets are a popular model for influenza and other respiratory infections because their lung physiology is similar to humans and researchers hope they will mimic aspects of Covid-19 in people such as its spread

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/molnupiravir-drug-coronavirus-spread-india-human-trials-7097511/


What is/are the advantage/ advantages of zero tillage in agriculture?

  • Sowing of wheat is possible without burning the residue of previous crop.
  • Without the need for nursery of rice saplings, direct planting of paddy seeds in the wet soil is possible.
  • Carbon sequestration in the soil is possible.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Answer: (d) 1,2 and 3

Explanation:

  • Hence Statement 1 is correct: Zero -till farming is a way of growing wheat crops without tillage or disturbing the soil in harvested fields. Happy Seeder is one of the unique techniques which is used for sowing seed without any burning of Crop residue.
  • Statement 2 is correct: Direct seeded rice (DSR) has received much attention because of its low – input demand. It involves sowing pre -germinated seed into a puddled soil surface (wet seeding), standing water (water seeding) or dry seeding into a prepared seedbed (dry seeding).
  • Statement 3 is correct: Adopting no -tillage in agro -ecosystems has been widely recommended as a means of enhancing carbon (C) sequestration in soils

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