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Daily Prelims Test – 11_July 2021

Consider the following statements regarding Carbon monoxide:

  • Thermal combustion is the most common source of carbon monoxide.
  • It is not a poisonous gas.
  • It is not considered a direct greenhouse gas.

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

a) 1 only

b) 1 and 3 only

c) 1 and 2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (b) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Researchers at IISER Bhopal to study atmospheric CO emissions

  • A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal are attempting to address the climate change challenge by developing and implementing an innovative data-model fusion technique, which aim to dramatically improve air quality over India.
  • This consists of an advanced high-resolution atmospheric CO (carbon monoxide) modelling technique, which is capable of devising strategies to address air quality issues faced by both agricultural sectors and in megacities.
  • The study found that biomass burning plays only a minimal role in both column and surface enhancements of CO.
  • Weather Research and Forecasting model, coupled with chemistry (WRF-Chem) is used to identify and quantify the role of transport mechanisms and emissions on the occurrence of the pollution events.
  • The investigation is based on the use of carbon monoxide observations from the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) on board the Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite and the surface measurement network.

About Carbon monoxide

  • CO indirectly contributes to the buildup of some greenhouse gases in the troposphere.
  • It reacts with certain chemicals that would otherwise destroy methane and ozone, thus helping to elevate the concentrations of methane and ozone.
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless and highly toxic gas that is slightly less dense than air. It is short-lived (stay only a few months) in the atmosphere. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.
  • Thermal combustion is the most common source of carbon monoxide, however there are numerous environmental and biological sources that generate and emit a significant amount of carbon monoxide. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • Incomplete combustion occurs when the supply of air or oxygen is poor. Water is still produced, but carbon monoxide and carbon are produced instead of carbon dioxide. The carbon is released as soot .
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) is not considered a direct greenhouse gas (GHG). Hence statement (3) is correct.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/researchers-at-iiser-bhopal-to-study-atmospheric-co-emissions/article35168857.ece

. With reference to Geographical Indication tag, consider the following statements:

  • The first product in India to be accorded with GI tag was Darjeeling tea.
  • The registration of a geographical indication is valid for a period of 10 years.
  • It is governed by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999.

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

a) 1 only

b) 1 and 3 only

c) 1 and 2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Madurai malli, button rose, lily, chamanthi exported to US, Dubai

  • Consignments of Geographical Indications (GI) certified Madurai malli and other traditional flowers such as button rose, lily, chamanthi and marigold were exported from Tamil Nadu to the US and Dubai.
  • Madurai Malli is a jasmine flower which is known for its powerful, mysteriously attractive fragrance.
  • It is known as Madurai Malli because of its place of origin namely Madurai.
  • Madurai has emerged as a major market for the malligai grown in its neighbourhood, and has evolved into the ‘jasmine capital’ of India.

About Geographical Indication

  • A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
  • It is given primarily for an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.
  • The first product in India to be accorded with GI tag was Darjeeling tea in the year 2004-05. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • The registration of a geographical indication is valid for a period of 10 yearsHence statement (2) is correct.
  • It can be renewed from time to time for a further period of 10 years each.
  • India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999 which came into force with effect from 15th September 2003. Hence statement (3) is correct.
  • The GI tag is given by the Registrar of Geographical indications in India.

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/markets/commodities/madurai-malli-button-rose-lily-chamanthi-exported-to-us-dubai/article35212934.ece

Consider the following statements regarding Permanent Court of Arbitration:

  • It is a part of the United Nations special agencies.
  • It is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to serve the international community in the field of dispute resolution and to facilitate arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution between States.
  • Its headquarters are in the Peace Palace in The Hague.

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

a) 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 2 only

d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: (b) 2 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Cairn claims order to attach 20 India properties in Paris

  • In a recent setback to India, Britain’s Cairn Energy Plc has secured a French court order to seize around 20 government properties in Paris to recover a part of the USD 1.72 billion due from India following an arbitration panel overturning levy of retrospective taxes.
  • In December, the three-member tribunal in the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague ruled unanimously against the retrospective tax levied by India on Cairn in 2015. It ruled that the tax fell afoul of the bilateral investment pact between India and the United Kingdom (UK).

About Permanent Court of Arbitration 

  • It is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to serve the international community in the field of dispute resolution and to facilitate arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution between States. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • Established in: 1899.
  • HQ: Hague, Netherlands. Hence statement (3) is correct.
  • The organization is not a United Nations agency, but is an official United Nations Observer. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.
  • The PCA provides services for the resolution of disputes involving various combinations of states, state entities, intergovernmental organizations, and private parties.
  • The cases conducted by the PCA span a wide range of legal issues, including disputes over territorial and maritime boundaries, sovereignty, human rights, international investment (investor-state arbitrations), and matters concerning international and regional trade.
  • It is constituted through two separate multilateral conventions (1899&1907) with a combined membership of 122 states.
  • India is a party of the PCA according to the Hague Convention of 1899.
  • The PCA has a three-part organizational structure consisting of an Administrative Council that oversees its policies and budgets, a panel of independent potential arbitrators known as the Members of the Court, and its Secretariat, known as the International Bureau, headed by the Secretary- General
  • It has a Financial Assistance Fund which aims at helping developing countries meet part of the costs involved in international arbitration or other means of dispute settlement offered by the PCA.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/business/cairn-energy-secures-french-court-order-to-seize-20-indian-govt-properties/article35206339.ece

Consider the following statements regarding State Legislative Council:

  • The Constitution of India empowers the Parliament of India to create or abolish a State Legislative Council.
  • The tenure of the MLC is six years.
  • The constitution itself provides that the Council cannot have more than a third of the number of MLAs in the state, and not less than 40 members.

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

a) 2 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: West Bengal Assembly passes resolution to set up Legislative Council

  • The Chief Minister of West Bengal had announced the setting up of the Council during the run up to the Assembly polls.
  • A Legislative Council existed in West Bengal till 1969 till a resolution was passed in the Assembly for its dissolution.
  • Once it is set up, West Bengal will become the seventh state to have it. The other six States are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka & Maharashtra.

About State Legislative Council:

  • The LC or Vidhan Parishad is the upper house in those states that have a bicameral legislature; the lower house being the State Legislative Assembly.
  • Under Article 169of the constitution, Parliament may by law create or abolish the second chamber in a state if the Legislative Assembly of that state passes a resolution to that effect by a special majority. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • As per article 171of the Indian Constitution, the total number of members in the legislative council of a state shall not exceed one third of the total number of the members in the legislative Assembly of that state and the total number of members in the legislative council of a state shall in no case be less than 40. Hence statement (3) is correct.
  • Q member of LC must be a citizen of India, at least 30 years old, mentally sound, not an insolvent, and must be enrolled on the voters’ list of the state for which he or she is contesting an election.
  • The tenure of the MLCs is six yearsHence statement (2) is correct.
  • One-third of the members of the State Legislative Council retire after every two years
  • The vacant seats are filled up by fresh elections and nominations by the Governor at the beginning of every third year.

Its members are elected by:

  • 1/3rd of members are elected by members of the Assembly.
  • 1/3rd by electorates consisting of members of municipalities, district boards and other local authorities in the state.
  • 1/12th by an electorate consisting of teachers.
  • 1/12th by registered graduates.
  • The remaining members are nominated by the Governor from among those who have distinguished themselves in literature, science, art, the cooperative movement, and social service.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/west-bengal-assembly-passes-resolution-to-set-up-legislative-council/article35178112.ece

With respect to Zika Virus Disease, consider the following statements:

  • It is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by mainly Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.
  • It was first identified in Uganda in 1947.

Which of the statement(s) 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: High alert in Kerala after Zika outbreak, 14 cases confirmed

  • Grappling with a heavy caseload of Covid-19, Kerala has been put on high alert after the Zika virus outbreak.
  • Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram has reported Zika virus cases and the collected samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune.

About Zika Virus Disease

  • ZVD is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes (AM), mainly Aedes aegypti. This is the same mosquito that transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • Zika virus is also transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy, through sexual contact, transfusion of blood and blood products, and organ transplantation.
  • Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys. It was later identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • Symptoms are generally mild and include fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. Most people with Zika virus infection do not develop symptoms.
  • Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause infants to be born with microcephaly (smaller than normal head size) and other congenital malformations, known as congenital Zika syndrome.
  • There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika. Instead, the focus is on relieving symptoms and includes rest, rehydration and acetaminophen for fever and pain.
  • It is also associated with other complications of pregnancy including preterm birth and miscarriage.
  • Infected individuals can also transmit it to their sex partners.
  • It can also lead to Guillain-Barré syndrome, a form of temporary paralysis in adults, that has links to other neurological complications

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/high-alert-in-kerala-after-zika-outbreak-14-cases-confirmed-101625840431851.html

Consider the following statements regarding Gangetic Dolphin:

  • It is found in the rivers of India
  • It is one of four freshwater dolphin species in the world.
  • It has been declared a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

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

a) 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (a) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Work on India’s first dolphin research centre to start in Patna post-monsoon

  • The National Dolphin Research Centre would boost conservation efforts for river dolphins and would provide an opportunity for in-depth research on them
  • The NDRC is coming up on the 4,400 square metre plot of land on the premises of Patna University, near the banks of the Ganga.
  • Bihar urban development department has recently cleared the construction of NDRC’s building about 200 metres from the Ganga.

About Gangetic Dolphin: 

  • The Gangetic river dolphin is India’s national aquatic animal.  
  • It is a Schedule I animal under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.  
  • It has been declared an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Hence statement (3) is incorrect.
  • The Gangetic river dolphin is one of four freshwater dolphin species in the world.  
  • The other three are found in the Yangtze River in China (now extinct), the Indus river in Pakistan and the Amazon river in South America. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • The dolphin is found in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. It is blind and finds its way and prey in river waters through echolocation.Hence statement (1) is incorrect.
  • Dolphins prefer water that is at least five to eight feet deep. They are usually found in turbulent waters, where there are enough fish for them to feed on. 
  • Gangetic dolphins live in a zone where there is little or no current, helping them save energy. If they sense danger, they can dive into deep waters. The dolphins swim from the no-current zone to the edges to hunt for fish and return.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/work-on-india-s-first-dolphin-research-centre-to-start-in-patna-post-monsoon-77862

Consider the following statements regarding Enceladus:

  • It is the largest moon of Mars.
  • It is a small, icy moon and it is one of the most reflective bodies of the Solar System.

Which of the statement(s) 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: Explained: What plumes on Enceladus tell us about possibility of life on Saturn’s Moon

  • NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has detectedan unusually high concentration of methane, along with carbon dioxide and dihydrogen, in the moons of Saturn by flying through their plumes. The spacecraft has found that Titan has methane in its atmosphere and Enceladus has a liquid ocean with erupting plumes of gas and water.

Are there methane-producing organisms on Earth?

  • Most of the methane on Earth has a biological origin. Microorganisms called methanogens are capable of generating methane as a metabolic byproduct.
  • They do not require oxygen to live and are widely distributed in nature.
  • They are found in swamps, dead organic matter, and even in the human gut.
  • They are known to survive in high temperatures and simulation studies have shown that they can live in Martian conditions.
  • Methanogens have been widely studied to understand if they can be a contributor to global warming.

About Enceladus

  • Enceladus is the sixth-largest moon of Saturn. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.
  • It is about 500 kilometers (310 mi) in diameter, about a tenth of that of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.
  • Enceladus is mostly covered by fresh, clean ice, making it one of the most reflective bodies of the Solar System. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • Enceladus is a small, icy moon which has an abundance of hydrogen molecules in water plumes. 98% of the gas in the plumes was found to be water and 1% is hydrogen and the remaining is a mixture of molecules of carbon dioxide, methane, and ammonia.
  • Underwater vents present on Enceladus resemble the vents present on Earth’s ocean floors, where microbes and other sea life congregate.
  • Enceladus is an active moon that hides a global ocean of liquid salty water beneath its crust. What’s more, jets of icy particles from that ocean, laced with a brew of water and simple organic chemicals, gush out into space continuously from this fascinating ocean world.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/plumes-on-enceladus-possibility-of-life-on-saturns-moon-explained-7395434/

Consider the following statements regarding Inclusive Cities Center:

  • It aims to develop tools and frameworks for institutional strengthening of city authorities to promote inclusivity.
  • It is an initiative of the National Institute of Urban Affairs.

Which of the statement(s) 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: National Institute of Urban Affairs conducts Webinar to Commemorate the Launch of the Inclusive Cities Centre

  • The Inclusive Cities Center (ICC), set up at NIUA, aims to develop tools and frameworks for institutional strengthening of city authorities to promote inclusivityHence statement (1) is correct and statement (2) is correct.
  • ICC will facilitate cities in evidence-based planning and investments to improve quality of life and productivity for all.
  • It will focus on the most vulnerable of the city residents including the urban poor, persons with disabilities, women, children, youth and elderly.
  • The centre will implement activities to address challenges related to spatial, social, economic and digital inclusion in cities.

About NIUA

  • Established in 1976, NIUA has been supporting the Government of India in policy formulation, research, and capacity building for the successful implementation of urban development projects such as the Smart Cities Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission, Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY), Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1734202

Consider the following statements regarding Wild Yak:

  • It is endemic to the Tibetan Plateau.
  • The National Research Centre on Yak (NRCY) is located in Leh.
  • It is in the vulnerable category of the IUCN red list.

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

a) 2 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: Himalayan yaks to be insured

  • The high-altitude yak, feeling the climate change heat across the Himalayan belt, will now be insured.
  • The National Research Centre on Yak (NRCY) at Dirang in West Kameng district, Arunachal Pradesh, has tied up with the National Insurance Company Ltd. for insuring their livestock.
  • A four-year-old report said the number of yaks across the country declined by almost 24.7% between 2012 and 2019. Hence statement (3) is incorrect.
  • The total yak population in India is about 58,000. The Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir have some 26,000, followed by 24,000 in Arunachal Pradesh, 5,000 in Sikkim, 2,000 in Himachal Pradesh and about 1,000 in West Bengal and Uttarakhand.
  • A four-year-old report said the number of yaks across the country declined by almost 24.7% between 2012 and 2019.

About Wild Yak

  • The Yak (Bos grunniens) is endemic to the Tibetan Plateau and the adjacent high-altitude regions. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • Yaks belong to the Bovine tribe, which also includes bison, buffaloes, and cattle.
  • It can tolerate temperatures as low as -40 degrees Celsius
  • IUCN Red list status: Vulnerable. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • Listed under Appendix I of CITES

Source: TH

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

a) Federalism

b) Democratic decentralization

c) Administrative delegation

d) Direct democracy

Answer: (b) Democratic decentralization

Explanation:

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. Hence option (d) is correct.