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Daily Prelims Test – 11_October_2021

1. Consider the following statements regarding High Ambition Coalition

1) It aims to halt the accelerating loss of species, and protect vital ecosystems that are the source of our economic security.

2) It is a global initiative launched under the aegis of the IPBES and IUCN

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:India joins High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People

·      India is the first of the BRICS bloc of major emerging economies to join the HAC, the Union Environment Ministry said in a statement.

·      The High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, a group of more than 70 countries encouraging the adoption of the global goal to protect at least 30 per cent of the world’s land and ocean by 2030. Hence statement 1 is correct

·      It is committed to advancing progressive proposals on climate ambition.

·      It was launched in 2019 by Costa Rica, France and Britain. Hence statement 2 is incorrect

·      It is co-chaired by Costa Rica and France and the Ocean co-chair belongs to the United Kingdom.

·      The HAC was founded by the Republic of the Marshall Islands in 2014 with the aim of ensuring the Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015, was as ambitious as possible.

·      The Republic of the Marshall Islands serves as the convener and secretariat of the HAC.

·      The global 30×30 goal is currently a centerpiece of the treaty.

·      HAC members currently include a mix of countries in the global north and south; European, Latin American, Africa and Asia countries are among the members.

Source: https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2021/oct/07/india-joins-high-ambition-coalition-for-nature-and-people-2368918.html

2. With respect to National Digital Livestock Mission, Consider the following statements

1) It is a digital platform being developed jointly by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying and National Dairy Development Board

2) It aims to create a farmer-centric, technology-enabled ecosystem where the farmers are able to realize better income through livestock activities with the right information.

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:National Digital Livestock Mission to give a digital push to wide range of livestock stakeholders

·      Union Minister of State Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying unveiled the National Digital Livestock Mission Blueprint at NDDB at Anand

·      The livestock sector has a unique combination of being the backbone of rural livelihood. The growth would have been a lot better if there were concerted efforts to harmonise programmes across the country in order to create an ecosystem that is conducive for growth of the sector. This has been the main idea behind the deployment of NDLM, keeping the welfare of the farmer at the core.

·      The livestock sector is poised for a major leap after implementation of NDLM, a digital platform being developed jointly by DAHD and NDDB on the foundation of the existing Information Network for Animal Productivity and Health (INAPH).Hence statement 1 is correct

·      The aim is to create a farmer-centric, technology-enabled ecosystem where the farmers are able to realize better income through livestock activities with the right information.Hence statement 2 is correct

·      The bedrock of NDLM will be the unique identification of all livestock, which will be the foundation for all the state and national level programmes including domestic and international trade.

·      The farmers will be able to effortlessly access the markets, irrespective of their location or holdings through this digital platform as a wide-range of stake-holders will be connected in this ecosystem.

·      This system will also include robust animal breeding systems, nutrition, disease surveillance, disease control programmes and a traceability mechanism for animals and animal products.

Source: https://government.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/digital-india/national-digital-livestock-mission-to-give-a-digital-push-to-wide-range-of-l ivestock-stakeholders/86859451

3. With respect to Government Security (G-Sec) in India, Consider the following statements

1) It is a tradable instrument issued by the Central Government or the State Governments.

2) The State Government issues both treasury bills and bonds or dated securities

3) They are called risk-free gilt-edged instruments.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 and 3 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c)   1 and 2 only

d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: (a) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS:RBI suspends GSAP, holds interest rates

·      Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to halt its bond-buying under the G-Sec Acquisition Programme

·      The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said it was halting its bond buying under the G-Sec Acquisition Programme (GSAP) for now, with Governor Shaktikanta Das stressing that the measure had succeeded in ensuring adequate liquidity and stabilising financial markets.

·      The RBI, however, remained ready to undertake G-SAP as and when warranted by liquidity conditions, and would also continue to flexibly conduct other liquidity management operations including Operation Twist (OT) and regular open market operations (OMOs).

About Government Security (G-Sec)

·      It is a tradeable instrument issued by the Central Government or the State Governments. It acknowledges the Government’s debt obligationHence statement 1 is correct

·      Such securities are short term (usually called treasury bills, with original maturities of less than one year) or long term (usually called Government bonds or dated securities with original maturity of one year or more).

·      In India, the Central Government issues both, treasury bills and bonds or dated securities while the State Governments issue only bonds or dated securities, which are called the State Development Loans (SDLs). Hence statement 2 is incorrect

·      G-Secs carry practically no risk of default and, hence, are called risk-free gilt-edged instruments.Hence statement 3 is correct

Treasury Bills (T-bills)

·      Treasury bills or T-bills, which are money market instruments, are short term debt instruments issued by the Government of India and are presently issued in three tenors, namely, 91 day, 182 day and 364 day.

·      Treasury bills are zero coupon securities and pay no interest.

About Dated G-Secs

·      Dated G-Secs are securities which carry a fixed or floating coupon (interest rate) which is paid on the face value, on half-yearly basis. Generally, the tenor of dated securities ranges from 5 years to 40 years.

·      The Public Debt Office (PDO) of the Reserve Bank of India acts as the registry / depository of G-Secs and deals with the issue, interest payment and repayment of principal at maturity. Most of the dated securities are fixed coupon securities.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/business/rbi-suspends-gsap-holds-interest-rates/article36905425.ece

4.Consider the following statements

1) Myocarditis causes inflammation of heart muscle which can limit the organ’s ability to pump blood

2) Pericarditis causes inflammation of the outer lining of the heart.

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:Why three countries have paused Moderna vaccine

·      Sweden and Denmark suspended the use of Moderna’s mRNA vaccine for younger age groups after reports pointed to an increase in the number of myocarditis and pericarditis cases.

·      Myocarditis causes inflammation of heart muscle which can limit the organ’s ability to pump blood and can cause changes in heartbeat rhythms. Hence statement 1 is correct

·      While pericarditis causes inflammation of the outer lining of the heart.Hence statement 2 is correct

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/why-three-countries-have-paused-moderna-vaccine/article36918614.ece

5.Consider the following statements regarding Natural gas

1) It is found in the same geological structure where petroleum is found.

2) It is formed when layers of decomposing plant and animal matter are exposed to intense heat and pressureunder the surface of the Earth over millions of years.

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:Explained | Why natural gas prices are soaring

·      Natural gas prices soared over the past few months, especially in Europe. The price of natural gas in Europe is now six times higher than what it was last year. Across the continent, natural gas inventories are falling.

·      As part of Europe’s shift towards cleaner energy, many countries had moved away from coal to gas to produce electricity. This increased Europe’s reliance on gas. On the other side, the continent’s natural gas production has shrunk over the years, as many countries shut down production fields over environmental concerns.

About Natural gas

·         Natural gas is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting of methane and commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, or helium.

·         It is formed when layers of decomposing plant and animal matter are exposed to intense heat and pressure under the surface of the Earth over millions of years.Hence statement 2 is correct

·         The energy that the plants originally obtained from the sun is stored in the form of chemical bonds in the gas.

·         Natural gas is a fossil fuel.Natural gas is a non-renewable hydrocarbon used as a source of energy for heating, cooking, and electricity generation. It is also used as a fuel for vehicles and as a chemical feedstock in the manufacture of plastics and other commercially important organic chemicals.

·         It is found in the same geological structure where petroleum is found.Hence statement 1 is correct

·         Sometimes, the pressure of natural gas forces oils up to the surface. Such natural gas is known as associated gas or wet gas.

·         Natural gas is odorless and colorless. The slightly sour smell that we associate with the gas coming from a stovetop is due to an odorization process (for safety and leak detection) which adds mercaptan compounds to the end-use gas.

·         Some reservoirs contain gas and no oil. This gas is termed non-associated gas or dry gas.

·         On the market, natural gas is usually bought and sold not by volume but by calorific value.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/explained-why-natural-gas-prices-are-soaring/article36910461.ece

6.Consider the following statementsregarding Finance for Biodiversity

1) It is an initiative to increase the materiality of biodiversity in financial decision-making, and so better align global finance with nature conservation and restoration

2) It is a part of the Convention on Biological Diversity

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: Public banks responsible for $800 billion in damages to nature annually: Report

·      The financial activities of public development banks (PDB) are responsible for annual damages to nature worth $800 billion (Rs 5900,000 crore)

·      450 PDBs across the world are exposed to a ‘dependency risk’ worth $4.6 trillion, due to their investments in nature-based services, the report by Finance for Biodiversity (F4B)

·      The study also found that PDBs focussed on Asia and Africa had a higher dependency risk compared to Europe

·      Lending in Asia also put the largest amount of nature at risk, at $562 billion. This was partly due to the volume of assets held in Asia, F4B said.

·      Another reason was less focused regulation in most Asian countries towards preserving biodiversity as well as reliance on more natural inputs per dollar of economic output.

·      Africa was ranked after Asia. Nature at risk in Africa was estimated at $106 billion.

About Finance for Biodiversity

·      The Finance for Biodiversity Initiative was started in October 2019 by the MAVA Foundation based in Switzerland.Hence statement 2 is incorrect

·      The initiative is a dual purpose platform, both with its own research and implementation capability, as well as a programme for regranting resources to others.

·      It is supported by the MAVA Foundation and its work is guided by a leadership group of experts and practitioners in the field.​

·      F4B aims to achieve its goal through network effects and by engaging key organisations, experts and influencers to align their agendas and establish a common framework for biodiversity and finance.

·      The initiative follows a dynamic learning model that quickly tests, learns and reinforces success, through collaboration, leveraging of existing initiatives, and catalysing new areas of work.

It is an initiative to increase the materiality of biodiversity in financial decision-making, and so better align global finance with nature conservation and restoration, with a focus on five strategic areas:​Hence statement 1 is correct

·      Market efficiency and innovation

·      Biodiversity-related liability

·      Catalysing nature markets

·      Citizen engagement and public campaigns

·      Responses to the COVID crisis

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/public-banks-responsible-for-800-billion-in-damages-to-nature-annually-report-79623

7.Consider the following statements

1) Ecological Threat Report 2021 was released by the Institute of Economics and Peace

2) The main finding from the ETR 2021 is that a cyclic relationship exists between ecological degradation and conflict.

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: Around 1.3 billion people at high risk of conflict and displacement: Report

·      The most vulnerable countries are clustered in the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia

·      Around 1.26 billion people across 30 countries are suffering from both extreme ecological risk and low levels of resilience, according to a new report. These countries are least likely to be able to mitigate and adapt to new ecological threats, leading to mass displacement.

·      The most vulnerable countries are clustered in the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia

·      The report, Ecological Threat Report (ETR) 2021: Understanding ecological threats, resilience and peace, was released by the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP), an international think tank. Hence statement 1 is correct

·      The ETR analyses a broad range of indicators associated with ecological risk including food and water availability, population growth and societal resilience, to better understand the countries most at risk of experiencing significant deteriorations in peace.

·      The main finding from the ETR 2021 is that a cyclic relationship exists between ecological degradation and conflict. It is a vicious cycle, whereby degradation of resources leads to conflict, leading to further resource degradation.Hence statement 2 is correct

·      Since 2014, the number of people without access to adequate food globally has risen every year, increasing by 44%. Increases in food insecurity are associated with deteriorations in peace.

·      The ETR reveals that by 2040 over 5.4 billion people will live in countries facing extreme water stress. Lebanon and Jordan are the countries most at risk.

About the Ecological Threat Report (ETR)

·      This is the second edition of the Ecological Threat Report (ETR), which covers 178 independent states and territories.

·      The ETR is unique in that it combines measures of resilience with the most comprehensive ecological data available to shed light on the countries least likely to cope with extreme ecological shocks, now and into the future.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/governance/around-1-3-billion-people-at-high-risk-of-conflict-and-displacement-report-79613

8.Consider the following statements

1) Enriched uranium is produced by feeding uranium hexafluoride gas into centrifuges to separate out the most suitable isotope for nuclear fission

2) Enriched uranium above 90% can be used in a nuclear weapon

3) Enriched uranium up to 3-5% canbe used in research reactors.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 and 3 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:Iran makes more 20% enriched uranium than watchdog reported

·      Iran has amassed more than 120kg of 20% enriched uranium, well above the level agreed to in the 2015 deal with world powers

·      The Tehran reactor was originally supplied to Iran by the US in the 1960s to produce radioisotopes for use in medical treatments and agriculture, and has since been modified to run on 20% enriched uranium, which the country began producing in 2012.

·      In September the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran had boosted its stocks of uranium that had been enriched above the percentage allowed in the 2015 deal with world powers.

·      It estimated that Iran had 84.3kg of uranium enriched to 20%, up from 62.8kg when the IAEA last reported in May.

·      Under the deal, Iran was not meant to enrich uranium above 3.67%, well below the 90% threshold needed for use in nuclear weapons.

·      Under the 2015 agreement China, France, Germany, the UK and the US had agreed to lift some sanctions against Iran if Tehran cut back its nuclear programme.

·      Iran’s decision to begin enriching to 20% purity a decade ago nearly triggered an Israeli strike targeting its nuclear facilities, tensions that only abated with the 2015 nuclear deal.

·      A resumption of 20% enrichment (at fordow facility) could see that brinkmanship return as that level of purity is only a technical step away from weapons grade levels of 90%.

About Enriched uranium

·      Enriched uranium is produced by feeding uranium hexafluoride gas into centrifuges to separate out the most suitable isotope for nuclear fission, called U-235.Hence statement 1 is correct

·      Low-enriched uranium, which typically has a 3-5% purity of U-235, can be used to produce fuel for commercial nuclear power plants. Hence statement 3 is incorrect

·      Highly enriched uranium has a concentration of 20% or more and is used in research reactors.

·      Enriched uranium above 90% can be used in a nuclear weapon. Hence statement 2 is correct

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/iran-makes-more-20-enriched-uranium-than-watchdog-reported/article36927125.ece

9.Consider the following statementsregardingConsumer Confidence Survey

1) It is conducted in all over the India

2) The main variables of the survey are economic situation, employment, price Level, income and spending.

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: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Consumer confidence improves marginally

·      The consumers reflected lower pessimism on the prevailing general economic situation, employment scenario as well as household income and expenditure as per the latest consumer confidence survey released by Reserve Bank of India

·      With the worst of the second wave behind us and substantial pick-up in Covid-19 vaccination giving greater confidence to open up and normalise economic activity, the recovery of the Indian economy is gaining traction

About Consumer Confidence Index

·      The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) is a survey that is conducted every two months to measure how optimistic or pessimistic the consumers are regarding their financial situation.

·      The survey was conducted through physical interviews by RBI in 13 cities. The cities include Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumba, Patna and Thiruvananthapuram. Hence statement 1 is incorrect

·      Based on these specific responses, the RBI constructs two indices: the Current Situation Index (CSI) and the Future Expectations Index (FEI).

·      The current index measures the change in consumer perception on the financial situation in the last year and the future expectations index measures what the consumer thinks about his financial situation in the coming one year.

·      The main variables of the survey are– Economic situation, Employment, Price Level, Income and Spending.Hence statement 2 is correct

Source: TH Data point

10. When reference to carbon nanotubes, consider the following statements:

1) They can be used as carriers of drugs and antigens in the human body.

2) They can be made into artificial blood capillaries for an injured part of human body.

3) They can be used in biochemical sensors.

4) Carbon nanotubes are biodegradable.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

a)  1 and 2 only

b) 2, 3 and 4 only

c)   1, 3 and 4 only

d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

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

Explanation:

·      Carbon nanotubes were once considered to be resistant to chemical damage due to their rigid and perfect chemical structure, which rendered them immune to biodegradation. However, enzymes like peroxidase were found to play an important role in the process of biodegradation of carbon nanotubes. Hence option 4 is correct.

·      NASA has demonstrated the use of carbon nanotube arrays as biosensors. Hence option 3 is correct.

·      CNTs are able to penetrate through cell membranes, capillaries, and accumulated in cells and tissues. It is expected that enabling technology would facilitate the making of nanodevices using these blood -compatible nanomaterials as building blocks for biomedical applications such as artificial implants, including structural tissue replacements, that is, artificial blood vessels, or functional devices such as drug delivery matrixes. Hence statements 1 and 2 are correct