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Daily Prelims Test – 11 January 2022

1. Consider the following statements regarding Red Sanders:

1)   It is used in cosmetics and medicinal products as well as for making furniture.

2)   It is banned from international trade.

3)   It is scheduled in appendix II of CITES and excluded from the Wildlife Protection Act.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)    1 only

b)   2 and 3 only

c)    1 and 2 only

d)   1, 2 and 3

Answer: (c) 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Red Sanders falls back in IUCN’s ‘endangered’ category

●      The species was classified as ‘near threatened’ in 2018  

●      Red Sanders (Red Sandalwood) has fallen back into the ‘endangered’ category in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List.

●      The species is endemic to a distinct tract of forests in Andhra Pradesh. It was classified as ‘near threatened’ in 2018 and has now joined the ‘endangered’ list once again in 2021.

●      The over-harvest of the species has left the population structure skewed, with trees of harvestable size and maturity being scarce and making up less than 5 percent of the trees remaining in the wild

Red Sanders (Red Sandalwood):

●      The species, Pterocarpus santalinus, is an Indian endemic tree species, with a restricted geographical range in the Eastern Ghats.

●      The species is endemic to a distinct tract of forests in Andhra Pradesh.

●      It has been assessed as an Endangered as per the IUCN criteria and also scheduled in the Wildlife Protection Act. Hence, statement (2) is correct.

●      It is listed under Appendix II of CITES and is banned from international trade. Hence, statement (3) is incorrect.

●      The harvest of the tree is also restricted at the state level, but despite this illegal trade continues.

●      Red Sanders (Pterocarpus santalinus) known for their rich hue and therapeutic properties, are high in demand across Asia, particularly in China and Japan, for use in cosmetics and medicinal products as well as for making furniture, woodcraft and musical instruments. Hence, statement (1) is correct.

IUCN:

●      The IUCN maintains a list — called the Red List — of flora and fauna species and categorises them based on their conservation status.

●      The status ranges from ‘least concern’ for the species that are abundant in numbers to ‘extinct’ for those that have completely disappeared from the planet.

●      Species that come under ‘critically endangered’, ‘endangered’ and ‘vulnerable’ categories are considered threatened, according to the IUCN categorisation.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/red-sanders-falls-back-in-iucn-s-endangered-category-81053

2. Consider the following statements regarding Hailstorm:

1)   It is a thunderstorm that produces ice as precipitation.

2)   In India, hail storms mostly affect the northeast and western Himalayas.

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: Hailstones ‘as big as berries’: Farmers in MP’s Niwari district suffer immense crop losses

●      Cold weather in Madhya Pradesh due to western disturbances expected to last till January 12

●      Farmers in Madhya Pradesh’s smallest district of Niwari, home to the tourist town Orchha, are ruing the complete loss of their standing rabi crop due to a hailstorm

●      The ongoing cold wave in the state is due to western disturbances

Hailstorm:

●      A hailstorm is a thunderstorm that produces ice as precipitation. Hailstorms can cause serious damage to crops and propertyHence, statement (1) is correct.

●      In India, hail storms mostly affect the northeast and western Himalayas, with the maximum strikes in March and April. Hence, statement (2) is correct.

●      Unlike graupel or snow-ice pellets that are smaller and translucent, hailstones consist mostly of water ice and measure between 5 mm and 15 cm in diameter. Any thunderstorm, which produces hail that reaches the ground, is termed a hailstorm.

Hailstorm damage

●      Hail can cause serious damage, notably to aircraft, automobiles, glass-roofed structures, skylights, besides crops, people and livestock.

●      Hailstorms occurring primarily in the months of March and April cause maximum damage to ‘rabi’ crops when it is ripening for harvest and when the mango orchards are flowering.

●      One of the most damaging hail storms hit the north Indian city of Moradabad on April 30, 1988, and resulted in the death of 246 people, in addition to 1,600 livestock fatalities.

Hail forms in the strong updraft region of a thunderstorm. Atmospheric conditions favourable for the formation hail bearing thunderstorm are:

●      High degree of instability,

●      High moisture content,

●      Low freezing level,

●      High vertical wind shear.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/hailstones-as-big-as-berries-farmers-in-mp-s-niwari-district-suffer-immense-crop-losses-81049

3. Consider the following statements:

1)   Real GDP is the GDP after taking away the effect of inflation.

2)   All Budget calculations start with the real GDP.

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: Explained: Reading GDP early estimates

●      The First Advance Estimates project a GDP growth of 9.2%, after a contraction in the last fiscal.

●      The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) released the First Advance Estimates (FAE) for the current financial year (2021-22 or FY22).

●      According to MoSPI, India’s gross domestic product (GDP) — the total value of all final goods and services produced within the country in one financial year — will grow by 9.2 per cent in 2020-21. Last financial year, FY21, the GDP had contracted by 7.3%.

What are the First Advance Estimates of GDP?

●      The FAE, which were first introduced in 2016-17, are typically published at the end of the first week of January.

●      They are the “first” official estimates of how GDP is expected to grow in that financial year. But they are also the “advance” estimates because they are published long before the financial year (April to March) is over.

●      It is important to note that even though the FAE are published soon after the end of the third quarter (October, November, December), they do not include the formal Q3 GDP data, which is published at the end of February as part of the Second Advance Estimates (SAE).

What is their significance?

●      Since the SAE will be published next month, the main significance of FAE lies in the fact that they are the GDP estimates that the Union Finance Ministry uses to decide the next financial year’s budget allocations.

●      From the Budget-making perspective, it is important to note what has happened to nominal GDP — both absolute level and its growth rate. That’s because nominal GDP is the actual observed variable.

●      Real GDP, which is the GDP after taking away the effect of inflation, is a derived metricHence, statement (1) is correct.

●      All Budget calculations start with the nominal GDP. Hence, statement (2) is incorrect.

●      Real GDP = Nominal GDP — Inflation Rate

●      However, from the perspective of the common people, real GDP is what matters. The difference between the real and nominal GDP shows the levels of inflation in the year.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-main-takeaways-ndia-gdp-estimates-7712076/

4. Some times Darvaza gas crater is seen in news, it is located in

a)    Turkmenistan

b)   Uzbekistan

c)    Tajikistan

d)   Russia

Answer: (a) Turkmenistan

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: Why does Turkmenistan plan to close its ‘Gateway to Hell’?

●      Although, the scientists seemed to have misjudged the amount of gas present in the pit, because the crater has been on fire for five decades now.

●      The Turkmenistan President has ordered experts to find a way to extinguish a fire in a huge natural gas crater, the Darvaza gas crater also known as the ‘Gateway to Hell’. Hence option (a) is correct.

●      Mystery surrounds the Darvaza crater’s creation in the Karakum Desert.

●      Many believe it formed when a Soviet drilling operation went wrong in 1971.

●      According to local Turkmen geologists, the huge crater formed in the 1960s but was only lit in the 1980s.

●      The crater is one of Turkmenistan’s most popular tourist attractions.

●      In 2018, the president officially renamed it the Shining of Karakum.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-why-does-turkmenistan-plan-to-close-its-gateway-to-hell-7715576/

5. Which one of the following statements is not correct regarding Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank?

a)    India is not a founding member of AIIB.

b)   It is headquartered in Beijing.

c)    It is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in the Asia region.

d)   China is the largest shareholder and voting shares in this bank.

Answer: (a) India is not a founding member of AIIB

Explanation:

In NEWS: Former RBI governor Urjit Patel appointed vice president of AIIB

●      Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Urjit Patel has been appointed vice-president of the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

●      Mr. Patel will serve a three-year term as one of the multilateral development bank’s five vice-presidents, and will take the place of former Gujarat Chief Secretary D.J. Pandian who had been, as Vice-President, leading the AIIB’s investment operations and all sovereign and non-sovereign lending in South and Southeast Asia.

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB):

●      It is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia and beyond.

●      It is headquartered in Beijing.

●      India is a founding member. Hence option (a) is incorrect.

●      It commenced operations in January 2016.

●      The bank is headed by a Board of Governors composed of one Governor and one Alternate Governor.

●      All powers of the Bank are vested in our Board of Governors, which is the highest decision-making body under our Articles of Agreement.

●      AIIB staff is headed by the President who is elected by AIIB shareholders for a five-year term and eligible for reelection once.

●      International Advisory Panel: The Bank has established an International Advisory Panel (IAP) to support the President and Senior Management on the Bank’s strategies and policies as well as on general operational issues.

●      China is the largest shareholder of the bank with 26.06 per cent voting rights

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/ex-rbi-governor-urjit-patel-appointed-vice-president-of-aiib/article38201191.ece

6. Consider the following statements regarding Orang National park:

1)   It is located on the Brahmaputra River.

2)   It includes marshes, streams and grasslands.

3)   The parks are inhabited by the Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)    1 only

b)   2 and 3 only

c)    1 and 2 only

d)   1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Expanded tiger reserve may see return of gharials in Assam

●      The Assam government had issued a preliminary notification for adding 200.32 sq. km to the 78.82 sq. km Orang National Park.

●      Much of the area to be added comprises the Brahmaputra river and the sandbars or islands in it.

●      Govt reintroducing the gharial in the area to be added to Orang.

About Orang NP

●      Orang NP is located on the northern bank of the Brahmaputra River in the Darrang and Sonitpur districts of Assam. Hence, statement (1) is correct.

●      It was established as a sanctuary in 1985 and declared a national park in 1999.

●      Also known as the mini Kaziranga National Park (IUCN site) since the two parks have a similar landscape made up of marshes, streams, and grasslands. Hence, statement (2) is correct.

●      The park has a rich flora and fauna, including great Indian one-horned rhinoceros, pygmy hog, elephants, wild buffalo and tigers. Hence, statement 3 is correct

●      Pachanoi River, Belsiri River and Dhansiri River border the park and join the Brahmaputra River.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/expanded-tiger-reserve-may-see-return-of-gharials-in-assam/article38190380.ece

7. Consider the following statement regarding Gas hydrates:

1)   They are a crystalline solid formed of water and gas.

2)   They are existing in shallow sediments of outer continental margins.

3)   It contains huge amounts of methane.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)    1 only

b)   2 and 3 only

c)    1 and 2 only

d)   1,2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Bangladesh discovers huge natural gas hydrate deposits in Bay of Bengal

Bangladesh has discovered huge potential natural gas hydrate deposits of 0.11 to 0.73 trillion cubic feet (TCF) in its exclusive economic zone area. It is equivalent to 17-103 TCF of natural gas reserves. This finding was shared by the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr A K Abdul Momen in Dhaka.

What are gas hydrates?

●      Gas hydrates are a crystalline solid formed of water and gas. Hence, statement (1) is correct.

●      It looks and acts much like ice, but it contains huge amounts of methane; it is known to occur on every continent; and it exists in huge quantities in marine sediments in a layer several hundred meters thick directly below the seafloor and in association with permafrost in the Arctic. Hence, statements (2) and (3) are correct.

●      It is not stable at normal sea-level pressures and temperatures, which is the primary reason that it is a challenge to study.

Gas hydrates are important for three reasons:

●        They may contain a major energy resource

●        It may be a significant hazard because it alters sea floor sediment stability, influencing collapse and landsliding

●        The hydrate reservoir may have a strong influence on the environment and climate, because methane is a significant greenhouse gas.

Availability in India

●        Gas hydrate resources in India are estimated at 1,894 trillion cubic meters

●        Deposits occur in Western, Eastern and Andaman offshore areas

●        Two promising sites of 100 km x 100 km in the Krishna‐Godavari (KG) and the Mahanadi basins have been identified and surveyed.

●        Recently large reserves of highly enriched accumulations of natural gas hydrate an icy form of the fuel are discovered in the Bay of Bengal.

Source: https://newsonair.com/2022/01/06/bangladesh-discovers-huge-natural-gas-hydrate-deposits-in-bay-of-bengal/

8. Consider the following statements:

1)   Tribunals are not originally a part of the Constitution of India.

2)   Tribunals were introduced in the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976 in accordance with the recommendations of the Swaran Singh Committee.

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: SC sets aside Calcutta HC order against transfer of Alapan case to Delhi

●      Supreme Court set aside an order of the Calcutta High Court, which quashed a ruling of the Central Administrative Tribunal in Delhi related to a case filed by former West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay,

●      Supreme Court has stated that the HC’s remarks were “wholly unnecessary” and stated that this order was “passed without jurisdiction” and was “ab initio void (legally void from inception)”.

●      A senior IAS officer has been the subject of a tussle between the Centre and the state government over the last few days.

●      The issue is related to disciplinary proceedings against Alapan Bandopadhyay after he skipped a cyclone review meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in West Bengal’s Medinipur district in May 2021

About Tribunal System in India:

●      Tribunals were constituted with the objective of delivering speedy, inexpensive and decentralized adjudication of disputes in various matters.

●      Tribunals are created to avoid the regular courts’ route for dispensation of disputes.

●      Some tribunals are specialized government agencies like boards and they also have decision-making powers conferred upon them by law.

●      Tribunals are not originally a part of the Constitution of India. The 42nd Amendment Act, 1976 introduced these provisions in accordance with the recommendations of the Swaran Singh Committee. Hence, statement (1) is correct and Hence, statement (2) is correct

●      The 42nd Amendment introduced Part XIV-A to the Constitution. This Part is called ‘Tribunals’.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sc-sets-aside-calcutta-hc-order-against-transfer-of-alapan-case-to-delhi/article38161887.ece

9. With respect to INS Vikrant, consider the following statements:

1)   It is the first aircraft carrier built in India.

2)   It has been designed by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design.

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: India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier begins another phase of sea trials.

●      IAC-1, which will be called INS Vikrant once it enters service with the Navy, successfully completed a five-day maiden sea voyage in August and underwent 10-day sea trials in October. Hence, statement (1) is correct.

INS Vikrant:

●      The keel of the 40,000-tonne warship was laid in February 2009, and it was floated out at Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL), which has built it, in December 2011.

●      It has been designed by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design. Hence, statement (2) is correct.

●      The 40,000-tonne aircraft carrier, the largest and most complex warship to be built in India

●      IAC-1 will operate the Russian-built MiG-29K fighter aircraft and Kamov-31 air early warning helicopters; the indigenously manufactured Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH); and the soon-to-be-inducted MH-60R multirole helicopters manufactured by Lockheed Martin.

●      The warship has been built at a cost of around Rs 23,000 crore and its construction propelled India into a select group of countries having capabilities to build state-of-the-art aircraft carriers.

●      The warship will operate MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31 helicopters, and MH-60R multi-role helicopters.

●      It has over 2,300 compartments, designed for a crew of around 1700 people, including specialised cabins to accommodate women officers.

●      Vikrant has a top speed of around 28 knots and a cruising speed of 18 knots with an endurance of about 7,500 nautical miles, officials said.

●      The IAC is 262 metres long, 62 metres wide and it has a height of 59 metres. Its construction began in 2009.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-first-indigenous-aircraft-carrier-ins-vikrant-sea-trails-7714755/

10. Magnetite particles, suspected to cause neurodegenerative problems, are generated as environmental pollutants from which of the following?

1)   Brakes of motor vehicles

2)   Engines of motor vehicles

3)   Microwave stoves within homes

4)   Power plants

5)   Telephone lines

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

a)    1, 2, 3 and 5 only

b)   1, 2 and 4 only

c)    3, 4 and 5 only

d)   1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Answer: (d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Explanation:

●      Magnetite can have potentially large impacts on the brain due to its unique combination of redox activity, surface charge and strongly magnetic behaviour. Airborne magnetite pollution particles < ~200 nm in size can access the brain directly via the olfactory and/or trigeminal nerves, bypassing the blood -brain barrier. Hence option (d) is correct.

●      These tiny particles, each less than a thousandth the width of a human hair, are generated by a wide variety of processes, both natural and fabricated, including forest fires and wood -burning stoves, road traffic pollution, and many high -temperature industrial processes .

●      In addition to occupational settings (including, for example, exposure to printer toner powders), higher concentrations of magnetite pollution nanoparticles may arise in the indoor environment from open fires or poorly-sealed stoves used for cooking and/or heating, and in the outdoor environment from vehicle (tailpipe and brake wear) and/or industrial PM sources. Hence option (a) is correct.