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Daily Prelims Test – 11_June 2021

 

Consider the following statements regarding Minimum support price:

  1. 1. It is announced by the Government of India at the beginning of the sowing season.
  2. 2. It is based on a calculation of at least one and a half times the cost of production incurred by farmers.
  3. 3. Government announces minimum support prices for 22 mandated crop

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

a) 1 and 3 only

b) 2 only

c) 1, 2 and 3

d) 2 and 3 only

Answer: (c) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Centre announces hike in MSP for paddy, pulses, oilseeds

  • The Central government has hiked the minimum support price (MSP) for common paddy to ₹1,940 a quintal for the coming kharif season, less than 4% higher than last year’s price of ₹1,868.
  • In a bid to encourage crop diversification, there were slightly higher increases in the MSP for pulses, oilseeds and coarse cereals.
  • This year, the MSP for bajra was set at 85% above the cost of production, while the MSP for urad and tur will ensure 60% returns. The MSPs for the remaining crops were mostly set around the stipulated 50% above the cost of production.

About Minimum support price

  • Minimum Support Price (MSP) is a form of market intervention by the Government of India to insure agricultural producers against any sharp fall in farm prices.
  • The minimum support prices are announced by the Government of India at the beginning of the sowing season for certain crops on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • It is based on a calculation of at least one-and-a-half times the cost of production incurred by the farmers. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • The major objectives are to support the farmers from distress sales and to procure food grains for public distribution. In case the market price for the commodity falls below the announced minimum price due to bumper production and glut in the market, government agencies purchase the entire quantity offered by the farmers at the announced minimum price.
  • Government announces minimum support prices (MSPs) for 22 mandated crops and fair and remunerative price (FRP) for sugarcane. The mandated crops are 14 crops of the kharif season, 6 rabi crops and two other commercial crops. Hence statement (3) is correct.

How is MSP calculated?

  • According to The Commission for Agricultural Cost and Prices (CACP), there are three types of production costs:
  • A2=A2 costs basically cover all paid-out expenses, both in cash and in-kind, incurred by farmers on seeds, fertilisers, chemicals, hired labour, fuel, irrigation, etc.
  • A2+FL= It covers actual paid-out costs plus an imputed value of unpaid family labour.
  • C2=C2 costs are more comprehensive, accounting for the rentals and interest forgone on owned land and fixed capital assets respectively.
  • CACP considers both (A2+FL) and C2 costs while recommending MSPs.
  • CACP reckons only A2+FL cost for return.
  • However, C2 costs are used by CACP primarily as benchmark reference costs (opportunity costs) to see if the MSPs recommended by them at least cover these costs in some of the major producing States.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-announces-hike-in-msp-for-paddy-pulses-oilseeds/article34769896.ece

Consider the following statements:

  1. The Indian Constitution provides the procedure of appointment of Judges of the High Courts in India.
  2. Currently, India has 28 High Courts established in different states of the country.
  3. As per the Constitution adopted in 1950, one High Court can serve for more than one Indian State.

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

a) 1 and 3 only

b) 2 only

c) 1, 2 and 3

d) 2 and 3 only

Answer: (d) 2 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Telangana High Court to get 18 more judges

  • The Telangana High Court will see one of the biggest hikes in judicial strength across the country in a long time after Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana took up with the Prime Minister and the Union Law Minister the High Court’s two-year-long pending request for more judges to tackle an alarming increase in its case pendency.
  • The High Court will witness a 75% increase in its sanctioned Bench strength with immediate effect. This would take the number of judges in the High Court from 24 to 42.

About High Courts

  • The highest judicial court in a state is the High Court. It is termed as the second-highest in the country after the Supreme Court of India. Currently, India has 25 High Courts established in different states of the country. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.
  • It was in 1858 when on the recommendation of the Law Commission, the Parliament passed the Indian High Courts Act 1861 which suggested the establishment of High Courts in place of Supreme Court in three Presidencies: Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay
  • Article 217 of the Indian Constitution deals with the appointment of Judges of the High Courts in India. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • As per Article 141 of the Indian Constitution, all the Indian Courts are bounded by the judgements and orders passed by the Supreme Court of India by precedence
  • As per The Constitution (Seventh Amendment) Act of 1956, one High Court can serve for more than one Indian State. Hence statement (3) is incorrect.
  • For appointment as a judge of a High Court the person must be an Indian citizen who has worked as a judge in any court in India for a period not less than ten years. Advocates with a ten year standing in any High Court are also eligible besides jurists whom the President of India may consider as eminent.
  • No one above the age of 62 years can be appointed as a High Court Judge.

Source: TH Pg:No: 8

Pakke Tiger Reserve is located in which of the following state in India?

a) Arunachal Pradesh

b) Assam

c) Andhra Pradesh

d) Himachal Pradesh

Answer: (a) Arunachal Pradesh

Explanation:

In NEWS: Pakke Tiger Reserve’s contingency workers go on strike

  • More than 200 contingency workers of the Pakke Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh went on an indefinite strike from over non-payment of wages since December 2020
  • The 862 sq.km. Tiger reserve in Pakke-Kessang district has been left unguarded as all the 202 workers, along with their eight elephants, converged at the tiger reserve’s administrative office to demand wages pending for the last six months.

About Pakke Tiger Reserve

  • Pakke Tiger Reserve (declared in 1999 – 2000) lies in the foothills of the eastern Himalaya in the East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. It is also known as Pakhui Tiger Reserve. Hence option (a) is correct.
  • It falls within the Eastern Himalaya Biodiversity Hotspot.
  • It is home to over 2000 species of plants, 300 species of birds, 40 species of mammals, 30 species of amphibians and 36 species of reptiles. Many species of the flora and fauna are globally threatened, and PTR is one of the last remaining strongholds left for these species.
  • It is known for its amazing sightings of four resident hornbill species.
  • This Tiger Reserve has won India Biodiversity Award 2016 in the category of ‘Conservation of threatened species’ for its Hornbill Nest Adoption Programme.

Source: TH Pg:No: 10

Addu atoll, which was recently in news, is a part of

a) Seychelles

b) Mauritius

c) Maldives

d) Sri Lanka

Answer: (c) Maldives

Explanation:

In NEWS: No decision yet on Indian consulate in Addu Atoll: Solih

  • The Maldives has made no decision on opening an Indian consulate in its southern Addu Atoll, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih
  • Apart from its strategic location in the Indian Ocean, Addu is the second largest city in the archipelago, home to over 30,000 people. Indian government sources familiar with the proposal said the rationale for the consulate was to help Addu residents with speedy visa services.

About Addu atoll

  • Addu is one of the most beautiful sites of Maldives’26 coral atolls. It comprises more than two dozens of Maldives’ 1192 islands. Hence option (c) is correct.
  • Addu Atoll, also known as Seenu Atoll, is the southernmost atoll of the Maldives.
  • Addu Atoll is the location of Addu City, one of the two cities of the Maldives. Addu City consists of the inhabited areas of Addu Atoll, namely the natural islands of Hulhudhoo, Meedhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo, and Hithadhoo.
  • Addu Atoll, together with Fuvahmulah, extend the Maldives into the Southern Hemisphere.  About 10% of actual Maldives residents are living here with unique culture and dialect.

Source: TH Pg:No: 13

Consider the following statements regarding the species ‘Sclater’s Monal’:

  1. It is listed as vulnerable by the International Union of Conservation of Nature.
    1. It is an endemic bird of the western ghats.

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: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Two species of monals sighted together in Arunachal

  • Local wildlife enthusiasts have sighted two species of monal, a colour pheasant, together in Upper Siang district of central Arunachal Pradesh.
  • While Himalayan monal (Lophophorus impejanus) is more widely distributed from Afghanistan to northeast India, the rarer Sclater’s (Lophophorus sclateri) monal is found in southern China and northern Myanmar.
  • Sighting the two species of pheasants is a good indicator of the ecology of the area.
  • Sclater’s monal, listed as vulnerable by the International Union of Conservation of Nature. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • Sclater’s monal is an endemic bird of the Eastern Himalaya, mostly recorded from the junction of India, Myanmar, Tibet and Yunnan province of China. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.
  • It is a high-altitude bird and rarely comes down below 1,500 metres.
  • This pheasant is restricted to Arunachal Pradesh on the Indian side.
  • Its total population is only about 10,000 and is thus listed in the vulnerable category of threatened species and is Scheduled I species of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/two-species-of-monals-sighted-together-in-arunachal/article34766620.ece

What is the aim of the RAMP Program,seen recently in the news?

a) It aims to enhance ethanol distillation capacity in the country

b) It aims to ensure universal coverage of flagship postal schemes in rural areas of the country.

c) It is aimed at providing broadband access in all villages in the country by 2022

d) It aims to help boost India’s MSME sector.

Answer: (d) It aims to help boost India’s MSME sector.

Explanation:

In NEWS: World Bank Approves $500 Million Program to Strengthen Performance of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises in India

  • The MSME sector is the backbone of the country’s economy, contributing 30 percent of India’s GDP and 40 percent of exports.
  • Out of some 58 million MSMEs in India, more than 40 percent lack access to formal sources of finance.
  • The MSME sector in India faces several challenges. There is a need to strengthen access to formal sources of financial and non-financial services, including of women headed MSMEs, and strengthen coordination in the national and state MSME support programs.

Raising and Accelerating Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Performance (RAMP) Program:

  • The loan has a maturity of 18.5 years including a 5.5-year grace period.
  • It targets improvements in the performance of 555,000 MSMEs and is expected to mobilise financing of USD 15.5 billion, as part of the government’s USD 3.4 billion MSME Competitiveness – A Post-COVID Resilience and Recovery Programme (MCRRP).
  • The USD 500 million Raising and Accelerating Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Performance (RAMP) Program is the World Bank’s second intervention in this sector, the first being the USD 750 million MSME Emergency Response Program, approved in July 2020 to address the immediate liquidity and credit needs of millions of viable MSMEs severely impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Hence option (d) is correct.
  • Having supported the immediate liquidity and credit needs of viable MSMEs in the first phase, the RAMP Program will support the Government of India’s efforts to increase MSME productivity and financing in the economic recovery phase, crowd in private sector financing in the medium term, and tackle long-standing financial sector issues that are holding back the growth of the MSME sector.
  • The RAMP program will intensify efforts to support firms to return to pre-crisis production and employment levels, while laying the foundations for longer-term productivity-driven growth and generation of much-needed jobs in the MSME sector.”
  • The RAMP program will provide better access to finance and working capital for MSMEs by strengthening the receivable financing markets; and scale up online dispute resolution mechanisms to address the problem of delayed payments.
  • Such efforts are expected to improve the cost-effectiveness, quality, accessibility, impact, and outreach of such schemes.
  • The RAMP program will support the Government’s MCRRP objective of providing a more comprehensive and coordinated Centre-State approach to improve MSME sector productivity, reduce the gender gap, and promote more environmentally sustainable investments.”

Source: https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2021/06/04/world-bank-approves-500-million-program-to-strengthen-performance-of-micro-small-and-medium-enterprises-in-india

Consider the following statements regarding International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development:

  • 1. It is a regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge sharing centre.
  • 2. It is based in Ladakh.
  • 3. It has eight regional member countries of the Hindu Kush Himalaya.

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

a) 1 and 3 only

b) 2 only

c) 1, 2 and 3

d) 2 and 3 only

Answer: (a) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Glacier melting in Hindu Kush: 2 billion people may face food, water shortage by 2100

  • A 2019 assessment by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), a regional intergovernmental body, said the HKH region will continue to warm through the 21st century even if the world was able to limit global warming at the agreed 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • In the future, even if global warming is kept to 1.5 degrees C above the pre-industrialisation levels, warming in the HKH region is likely to be at least 0.3 degrees C higher, and in the northwest Himalaya and Karakoram at least 0.7 degrees C higher the assessment report had said.
  • Another study published in 2019 on the ice thickness of glaciers had estimated that glaciers in the HKH may contain 27 per cent less ice than previously suggested.

About International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development:

  • The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is a regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge sharing centre. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • It has eight regional member countries of the Hindu Kush Himalaya – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan – and is based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Hence statements (3) is correct and statement (2) is incorrect.
  • Globalization and climate change have an increasing influence on the stability of fragile mountain ecosystems and the livelihoods of mountain people.
  • ICIMOD aims to assist mountain people to understand these changes, adapt to them, and make the most of new opportunities, while addressing upstream-downstream issues.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/glacier-melting-in-hindu-kush-2-billion-people-may-face-food-water-shortage-by-2100-77356

Consider the following statements regarding Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) Region:

  • 1. It extends over 12 countries of Asia.
  • 2. It contains the world’s third-largest storage of frozen water.

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: Glacier melting in Hindu Kush: 2 billion people may face food, water shortage by 2100

  • Up to two billion people in southeast Asia can face food and water shortages even as the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) mountain ranges lose up to two-thirds of its ice by 2100, a United Nations-backed research flagged.
  • The UNDP report added that the melting is driven by larger anthropogenic modifications of the atmosphere. The HKH region lies downwind from some of the most heavily polluted places on Earth. This threatens agriculture, climate as well as monsoon patterns.
  • The report recommended shifting away from fossil fuel use in energy, transport, and other sectors, while changing diets and agricultural practices to move to net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases. The countries in the region need to reduce emissions of black carbon and other air pollutants as well, it said. 
  • The report said in the best-case scenarios, High Mountain Asia (the Asian mountain ranges surrounding the Tibetan Plateau) will lose a substantial part of its cryosphere in the next decades and thus a substantial part of its water storage abilities. This will lead to increased water stress in high mountain areas.

About Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) Region

  •  It extends 3,500 km over all or part of eight countries from Afghanistan in the west to Myanmar in the east. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.
  •  The HKH region, often referred to as the ‘Third Pole’
  •  It contains the world’s third-largest storage of frozen water after Antarctica and the Hence statement (2) is correct.
  •  The HKH region spans fully or partly the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
  •  It is the source of ten large Asian river systems -the Amu Darya, Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Irrawaddy, Salween (Nu), Mekong, Yangtze, Yellow River and Tarim.
  •  It provides water, ecosystem services, and the basis for livelihoods to a population of around 240 million people in the region.
  •  A considerable volume of water resources is stored as snow and glacier ice in the HKH.
  •  Cryosphere components including permafrost and glacial lakes provide various ecosystem services for mountain as well as downstream communities.
  •  Since time immemorial, the people of the Himalaya have maintained their rich cultural traditions and identity and have conserved agro biodiversity within the parameters of their own traditional knowledge.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/glacier-melting-in-hindu-kush-2-billion-people-may-face-food-water-shortage-by-2100-77356

With respect to the Global Economic Prospects Report, consider the following statements:

  • 1. It is a flagship report of the International Monetary Fund.
  • 2. It aims to examine global economic developments and prospects with a special focus on emerging markets and developing economies.

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: World Bank slashes India’s FY22 GDP growth forecast to 8.3%

  • The World Bank on Tuesday has slashed India’s GDP forecast to 8.3 per cent for FY22, the fiscal year starting April 2021, as against its earlier estimate of 10.1 per cent.
  • It has further projected India’s growth to be 7.5 per cent in 2022, even as its recovery is being hampered by an unprecedented second wave of the Covid-19, the largest outbreak in the world since the beginning of the deadly pandemic.
  • Moreover, the report has said that the economic activity in India would likely follow a similar but less pronounced ‘collapse and recovery’ trend seen during the first wave.
  • The global economy is expected to expand 5.6% in 2021. This is the fastest post-recession pace in 80 years, largely due to strong rebounds from a few major economies.
  • Among major economies, the growth of the US is projected to reach 6.8% this year. This is due to large-scale fiscal support and the easing of pandemic restrictions.
  • Among emerging markets and developing economies, China is anticipated to rebound to 8.5% this year, reflecting an increase in demand.

About the Global Economic Prospects Report:

  • Global Economic Prospects is a World Bank Group flagship report.
  • It is issued twice a year, in January and June. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.
  • Aim: To examine global economic developments and prospects with a special focus on emerging markets and developing economies. Hence statement (2) is correct

Source:https://epaper.thehindu.com/Home/ShareArticle?OrgId=GJC8LDCI9.1&imageview=0

Rajya Sabha has equal powers with Lok Sabha in

a) the matter of creating new All India Services

b) amending the Constitution

c) the removal of the government

d) making cut motions

 Answer: (b) amending the Constitution

 Explanation:

The powers and status of the Rajya Sabha are equal to that of the Lok Sabha in the following matters: Introduction and passage of ordinary bills. Introduction and passage of Constitutional amendment bills. Introduction and passage of financial bills involving expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India. Election and impeachment of the president. Hence option (b) is correct.

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