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Daily Prelims Test – 10_March 2021

Consider the following Statements regarding World Heritage site

These sites are officially recognized by the UN

It is classified as a natural or man-made area or a structure that is of international importance, and a space which requires special protection.

At present, India has 38 World Heritage Properties

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: (d) 1, 2 and 3


In NEWS: Declaration Of World Heritage Sites By UNESCO

At present, India has 42 sites listed under the Tentative List which is a prerequisite condition for inscription as a World Heritage Site. At present, India has 38 World Heritage Properties.  Hence statement 3 is correct

  • The Ministry of Culture revealed that, ‘Dholavira: A Harappan City’ has been submitted for nomination of a World Heritage Site in 2019-2020.
  • The Nomination dossiers of ‘Santiniketan, India’ and ‘Sacred Ensemble of Hoysalas’ have been submitted to UNESCO for the year 2021-22 cycle.

What is the World Heritage List?

  • A World Heritage site is classified as a natural or man-made area or a structure that is of international importance, and a space which requires special protection. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • These sites are officially recognised by the UN and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation, also known as UNESCO. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • UNESCO believes that the sites classified as World Heritage are important for humanity, and they hold cultural and physical significance.
  • Selection criteria to be included on the World Heritage List
  • To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria.
  • To represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
  • To exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;
  • To bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
  • To be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;
  • To be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
  • To be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria);


Consider the following Statements regarding Sattras

  1. These are monastic institutions in Assam
  2. They were created as part of the 16th century Neo-Vaishnavite reformist movement  started by the Srimanta Sankaradeva

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


In NEWS: Explained: The political significance of Assam’s Sattras

It is common to see politicians often going to different Sattras to seek blessings or extolling the virtues of Sankardeva, especially in the run-up to Assam Assembly elections.

What are Sattras?

  • Sattras are monastic institutions created as part of the 16th century Neo-Vaishnavite reformist movement started by Vaishnavite saint-reformer Srimanta Sankaradeva (1449-1596). Hence statement 1 is correct and Hence statement 2 is correct
  • They were established to spread the Sankardeva’s unique “worship through art” approach. They are doing it presently with music (borgeet), dance (sattriya), and theatre (bhauna).
  • Each Satra has a naamghar (worship hall) as its nucleus and is headed by an influential “Satradhikar”.
  • Monks known as bhakats are inducted into Sattras at a young age. They may or may not be celibate depending on the kind of Sattra they are inducted into.
  • There are about 900 Sattras across Assam, but the main centers are Bordowa (Nagaon), Majuli and Barpeta. These institutions are of paramount importance and lie at the heart of Assamese culture.

What is Sankardeva’s philosophy?

  • Srimanta Sankardev (1449–1568) was a 15th–16th century Assamese saint, scholar, poet, and social-religious reformer.
  • He propagated a form of Bhakti philosophy called Eka Sarana naam Dharma. The philosophy had an influence on two medieval kingdoms—Koch and the Ahom kingdoms


Consider the following Statements regarding AIP technology

  1. It is a marine propulsion technology which allows the nuclear submarine to operate without providing access to the atmospheric oxygen
  2. This technology is based on the Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell.

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


In NEWS: DRDO develops AIP technology, Indian subs to be more silent and lethal

  • A day before INS Karanj attack submarine is inducted into Indian Navy, the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) conducted the final development test of Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) in Mumbai
  • The Indian Navy now plans to retrofit all its Kalvari class non-nuclear attack with AIP during their first upgrade, expected around 2023.
  • The development of AIP technology is a major boost for the Atma Nirbhar Bharat campaign since only the US, France, China, UK and Russia have this key technology.

What is AIP?

  • Submarines have, in recent decades, become the principal weapon in naval warfare. The challenge then for submarine designers lies primarily in increasing their underwater endurance and improving their stealth. 
  • There are two kinds of submarines – nuclear submarines and diesel-electric submarines. While nuclear submarines can remain underwater for much longer than their diesel-electric counterparts, they are also hugely more expensive to build.
  • A traditional diesel-electric submarine is required to frequently surface in order to recharge its batteries giving it an underwater endurance of just a handful of days – usually 4 to 5 days and, at maximum, about a week. 
  • Since these submarines run on diesel and electricity, they require a network of batteries charged by a diesel generator. In order for them to charge, the submarine needs to snorkel i.e. travel just under the surface of the water so that the diesel generator can be turned on and exhaust generated and released via a pipe that breaches the surface. 
  • During this period, the submarine becomes extremely vulnerable to enemy radars and hostile submarine assets. In fact, some submarines are even equipped with ‘diesel sniffers’ which can detect the emissions released by snorkelling submarines
  • This is where AIP comes in. A fuel-cell based AIP, like the ones, reportedly, to be fitted on the Indian Navy’s Kalvari-class submarines, create energy by combining hydrogen and oxygen, with only water created as a by-product.
  • Fuel-cell based AIPs enable submarines to stay underwater for vastly longer periods of time than conventional diesel-electric submarines, increasing their range and turning them into a far more potent and lethal adversary. A submarine enabled with AIP can remain submerged for weeks sometimes without surfacing. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The DRDO’s AIP technology is based on a Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell. Hence statement 2 is correct


Consider the following Statements regarding Very Large Telescope

It is the flagship facility for European ground-based astronomy at the beginning of the third Millennium.

It is the world’s most advanced optical instrument and allows astronomers to see details up to 25 times finer than with the individual telescopes.

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


In NEWS: Most distant source of radio emission discovered, holds clues about ancient universe

A team of astronomers have recently discovered the most distant ‘radio-loud’ quasar with the help of European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (ESO’s VLT).

About Very Large Telescope (VLT):

  • The VLT is the flagship facility for European ground-based astronomy at the beginning of the third Millennium. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • It is the world’s most advanced optical instrument, consisting of four Unit Telescopes with main mirrors of 8.2m diameter and four movable 1.8m diameter Auxiliary Telescopes. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The 8.2m diameter Unit Telescopes can also be used individually. 
  • With one such telescope, images of celestial objects as faint as magnitude 30 can be obtained in a one-hour exposure.
  • This corresponds to seeing objects that are four billion (four thousand million) times fainter than what can be seen with the unaided eye.


  • The telescopes can work together, to form a giant ‘interferometer’, the ESO Very Large Telescope Interferometer, allowing astronomers to see details up to 25 times finer than with the individual telescopes.
  • The light beams are combined in the VLTI using a complex system of mirrors in underground tunnels.
  • With this kind of precision, the VLTI can reconstruct images with an angular resolution of milliarcseconds, equivalent to distinguishing the two headlights of a car at the distance of the Moon.


The term Pre-pack framework is recently seen in the news, related to which of the following?

Double the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education

Prohibiting violence against doctors and other healthcare professionals.

A tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at the global, regional, and country levels.

Resolution of the debt of a distressed company

Answer: (d) Resolution of the debt of a distressed company


In NEWS: Govt likely to finalise a pre-pack framework of resolution for MSMEs under IBC by this week

  • The government plans to introduce the concept of a Pre-Packaged resolution framework for Small enterprises; wherein a restructuring plan is mutually agreed on by the distressing companies, Investors and creditors before going to court and that means also before any public bidding of assets. 
  • A pre-packaged resolution is one where a company prepares a restructuring plan in cooperation with its creditors before initiating insolvency proceedings. The terms of such a resolution framework would have to be confidential until statutory proceedings begin, and the process would be more likely outside the court. Hence option (d) is correct
  • A pre-packaged resolution through a corporate rescue is a famous legal framework in the US, UK and Canada
  • It is striking a balance to safeguard the interests and opinion of creditors and to maintain the business and assets of debtors
  • There are numerous challenges to pre-packs in India. Since the resolution plan under a set up like pre-pack is not final, the further scope of negotiation could add a burden to the process.


Consider the following Statements

Andesite is a type of rock are found on Earth in subduction zones

Most of the meteorites discovered on Earth are made of andesite rock

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


In NEWS: Found in the Sahara, a meteorite older than Earth itself

  • A meteorite that landed in the Sahara Desert last year has been dated as being 4.56 billion years old, which makes the volcanic rock older than Earth, which is approximately 4.54 billion years old. 
  • Named Erg Chech 002 (EC 002), after the Algerian site where it was discovered, the rock is a rare artefact from a protoplanet — a large body of matter in orbit around the Sun or another star, and believed to be developing into a planet — that was likely forming when the solar system was a young 2 million years old.
  • The meteorite was part of a group that was recovered in May 2020 near Bir Ben Takoul, southern Algeria, within the Erg Chech sand sea.
  • A rock like EC 002 is a relic from the very early days of the solar system, and most of the material from the time has since become a part of other bodies that have evolved to form planets or asteroids, from which we have plenty of meteorites today. 
  • No known asteroid or meteorite looks like EC 002, indicating how rare the finding is, and how these rocks likely do not exist anymore.

About the meteorite

  • The rock that makes up the meteorite is of a type called andesite, which is made of solidified magma or lava. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • These are found on Earth in subduction zones, where tectonic plates slide below each other and rock from the crust enters into the mantle of the Earth. 
  • Meteorites have rarely been found to be andesites.
  • Most of the meteorites discovered on Earth are made of another kind of volcanic rock called basalt. Hence statement 2 is incorrect
  • EC 002 is classified as an achondrite, a type of meteorite that originates from a parent body that had a differentiated crust and core, like the rocky planets. 
  • Achondrites lack ‘chondrules’, which are round bubble-like grains of partially molten droplets that form in space when smaller bits of rock merge together. 


Consider the following Statements regarding Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act

It seeks to designate an individual as a terrorist

Under this act, only Indian can be charged.

Under the UAPA, the investigating agency can file a charge sheet in maximum 180 days after the arrests

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: (a) 1 and 3 only


In NEWS: Over 72% rise in UAPA cases registered in 2019

  • There has been over 72% increase in the number of persons arrested under the UAPA (Unlawful Activities [Prevention] Act) in 2019 compared to year 2015, data provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in the Lok Sabha show.
  • In 2019, the highest number of such cases were registered in Manipur (306), followed by Tamil Nadu (270), Jammu & Kashmir (255), Jharkhand (105) and Assam (87) cases. The highest number of arrests in the same year were made in Uttar Pradesh (498), followed by Manipur (386), Tamil Nadu (308), Jammu & Kashmir (227) and Jharkhand (202).

About Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act

  • It was first promulgated in 1967 to target secessionist organisations and is considered to be the predecessor of laws such as the (now repealed) Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) and Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).
  • The Act assigns absolute power to the central government, by way of which if the Centre deems an activity as unlawful then it may, by way of an Official Gazette, declare it so.
  • It is aimed at “more effective prevention of certain unlawful activities of individuals and associations for dealing with terrorist activities”. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • It has death penalty and life imprisonment as highest punishments.
  • Any Indian or foreign national charged under UAPA is liable for punishment under this Act, irrespective of the location of crime/offence committed. Hence statement 2 is incorrect
  • Under the UAPA, the investigating agency can file a charge sheet in maximum 180 days after the arrests and the duration can be extended further after intimating the court. Hence statement 3 is correct
  • The 2004 amendment, added “terrorist act” to the list of offences to ban organisations for terrorist activities, under which 34 outfits were banned.

As per amendments of 2019

  • The Act empowers the Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA) to grant approval of seizure or attachment of property when the case is investigated by the said agency.
  • The Act empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases of terrorism in addition to those conducted by the DSP or ACP or above rank officer in the state.
  • It also has the provision of designating an individual as a terrorist. Prior to this amendment, only organizations could be designated as terrorist organizations.

Source: TH

National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) is a welfare programme being administered by which of the following ministry?

  1. Ministry of Rural Development
  2. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
  3. Ministry of Women and Child Development
  4. Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

Answer: (a) Ministry of Rural Development


  • In NEWS: Panel flags Centre’s meagre pensions
  • The Centre must increase the “meagre” pensions provided for poor senior citizens, widows and disabled people
  • The relevance of a marquee Scheme like National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) in reaching out to the poor and downtrodden section of society does not go amiss in the eyes of the Committee
  • The Committee is baffled to observe the meagre amount of assistance ranging from ₹200 to ₹500 per month under the different components of this Scheme

About National Social Assistance Programme

  • NSAP stands for National Social Assistance Programme. NSAP was launched on 15th August, 1995.
  • The National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) represents a significant step towards the fulfillment of the Directive Principles in Article 41 and 42 of the Constitution recognizing the concurrent responsibility of the Central and the State Governments in the matter.
  • National Social Assistance Programme is a social security and welfare programme to provide support to aged persons, widows, disabled persons and bereaved families on death of primary breadwinner, belonging to below poverty line households.
  • National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) is a welfare programme administered by the Ministry of Rural Development. Hence option (a) is correct
  • This programme is being implemented in rural as well as urban areas.

Presently NSAP comprises of five schemes, namely –

  • Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS),
  • Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS),
  • Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme (IGNDPS),
  • National Family Benefit Scheme NFBS) and
  • Annapurna.

Source: TH

Consider the following Statements regarding Udupi Ramachandra Rao

  1. He is remembered as the India’s Satellite Man
  2. He lead the 1975 launch of India’s first satellite called Aryabhata

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 1and 2


In NEWS: Google Doodle honours ‘India’s Satellite Man’ Udupi Ramachandra Rao

  • Udupi Ramachandra Rao Google Doodle: The doodle features a sketch of Professor Rao with a background of the Earth and shooting stars. “Your stellar technological advancements continue to be felt across the galaxy,” Google wrote in its description.
  • Udupi Ramachandra Rao was an Indian space scientist. He also worked as the chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation. 
  • The scientist was also the Chairman of Governing Council of Indian Institute for Space Science and Technology (IIST) at Thiruvananthapuram, Physical Research Laboratory at Ahmedabad and Nehru Planetarium at Bengaluru. 
  • He is remembered as the “India’s Satellite Man”. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • He started his career as a cosmic-ray physicist and as a protege of Dr Vikram Sarabhai who is regarded as the father of India’s space program.
  • He then worked as a professor and conducted experiments on Pioneer and Explorer space probes of NASA. 
  • He returned to India in 1966 and led the 1975 launch of India’s first satellite called “Aryabhata”. This satellite is one among 20 satellites the professor developed. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The satellite transformed rural India by providing advanced communication and meteorological services.
  • He developed rocket technology such as the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), which has launched over 250 satellites.
  • Professor Rao was awarded with the Padma Bhushan by Government of India in the year 1976, and he was conferred with the Padma Vibhushan in the 2017


.Local self-government can be best explained as an exercise in 


Democratic decentralization 

Administrative delegation 

Direct democracy

Answer: (b) Democratic decentralization 


In January 1957, the Government of India appointed a committee to examine the working of the Community Development Programme (1952) and the National Extension Service (1953) and to suggest measures for their better working. The chairman of this committee was Balwant Rai G Mehta. The committee submitted its report in November 1957 and recommended the establishment of the scheme of ‘democratic decentralisation’, which ultimately came to be known as Panchayati Raj.