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Daily Prelims Test – 12_September_2021

1. Consider the following statements are regarding Medium Range Surface to Air Missile:

1) It was developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries.

2) The missile is capable of engaging multiple targets at ranges up to 70 kilometres.

Which of the above statements 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: Air force inducts 70km range surface-to-air missile system

●    India and Israel have jointly developed MRSAM or the Barak 8 air defence system that includes advanced radar, command and control systems, and mobile launchers. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    The missile is powered by a locally-developed rocket motor and control system for high manoeuvrability in the terminal phase.

●    The missile is designed to provide the armed forces with air defence capability against a variety of aerial threats at medium ranges.

●    It is a medium range surface-to-air-missile (MRSAM) system capable of knocking out aerial threats such as enemy fighter jets, missiles, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles at a range of 70 km. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    The missile is powered by a locally-developed rocket motor and control system for high manoeuvrability in the terminal phase.

●    A naval version of MRSAM is already deployed on a few Indian warships to boost their anti-air warfare capabilities.

●    MRSAM is a land-based configuration of the long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) or Barak-8 naval air defence system, which is designed to operate from naval vessels.

●    The weapon is 4.5m-long, weighs approximately 276kg, and is equipped with canards and fins for control and manoeuvrability.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/air-force-inducts-70km-range-surface-to-air-missile-system-101631213276388.html

2. With reference to the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) Scheme, consider the following statements:

1) It is an innovative programme sponsored and managed by the Department of Science & Technology for the attraction of talent to science.

2) It covers only college students.

Which of the above statements 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: Innovation in science, tech will make India self-reliant: Jitendra Singh

●    INSPIRE is the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research scheme, MANAK is Million Minds Augmenting National Aspiration and Knowledge.

●    The INSPIRE scheme is helping create a scientific temper as every year there is an increasing number of aspiring students competing for the awards.

●    The INSPIRE awards MANAK is a flagship programme of the government and is implemented by the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

●    In 2016 the INSPIRE scheme was revamped and aligned with the action plan for the Start-up India initiative launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

●    Through MANAK students are encouraged from all schools, government or private, throughout the country, to send original and creative technological ideas or innovations focusing on common problems and come up with solutions on their own.

About Innovation of Science Pursuit for Inspired Research

●    Innovation of Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) is one such innovative scheme proposed by the Department of Science & Technology for attraction of talent to scienceHence statement (1) is correct.

●    The scheme covers students in the age group of 10-32 years. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

●    The basic objective of INSPIRE would be to communicate to the youth population of the country the excitement of creative pursuit of science and attract talent to the study of science at an early stage and build the required critical human resource pool for strengthening and expanding the Science & Technology system and R&D base.

●    The strength of the innovation infrastructure of a nation has enormous significance in the competition among emerging knowledge economies.The realization of Vision 2020 calls for action and a well designed innovation infrastructure.

●    Generation and nurturing of a human talent pool capable of utilizing and developing first principles in science is both a pre-condition and integral part of such an innovation infrastructure. An India specific model for attracting talent with an aptitude for research and innovation, for a career in Basic & Natural sciences is required.

●    The INSPIRE Scheme has included three programs and five components. They are i) Scheme for Early Attraction of Talents for Science (SEATS), b) Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE) and c) Assured Opportunity for Research Careers (AORC).

Source: https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/innovation-in-science-tech-will-make-india-self-reliant-jitendra-singh-121090801486_1.html

3. Consider the following statements:

1) Open Natural Ecosystems have been classified as wastelands in India.

2) Open Natural Ecosystems are the largest stretches found in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.

Which of the above statements 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: New report suggests how land-use for renewable energy in India can be environmentally sustainable

●    Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has recently released a report titled “Renewable Energy and Land Use in India by Mid-Century“.

●    According to the report, India will use significant stretches of land by 2050 to install renewable energy generation capacities, and the land-use increase may have an impact on the environment.

●    India will use significant stretches of land by 2050 to install renewable energy generation capacities and the land-use increase may have an impact on the environment

●    Around 50,000-75,000 square kilometres of land will be used in 2050 for solar energy generation and for an additional 15,000-20,000 sq km for wind energy projects

Pressure on land, ecosystems

●    In India, electricity generation has to compete with alternative uses for land such as agriculture, urbanisation, human habitation and nature conservation, unlike Europe or the United States of America.

●    A growing body of research illustrates that land use for renewable energy may put a strain on a variety of ecosystems. 

●    Open Natural Ecosystems (ONE), classified as wastelands, covered around 300,000 sq km (10 per cent) of India’s land surface, a study found. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    The largest stretches are found in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    These have the “highest densities and diversity of large mammalian fauna” and also support livelihoods of local populations.

●    Policy makers and planners should exclude these habitats when considering location of renewable energy projects

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/renewable-energy/new-report-suggests-how-land-use-for-renewable-energy-in-india-can-be-environmentally-sustainable-78894

4. With respect to Soil acidity, consider the following statements:

1) Soil acidity increases when metallic minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium are lost from the soil and only hydrogen ions remain.

2) Metallic minerals get removed from soils due to heavy rainfall and flooding.

3) Land in the North East is naturally acidic .

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 and 3 only

b) 2 only

c)  1 and 2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Climate crisis in North East India: What is behind water scarcity in the region

●    In the third part of the series tracking climate change in North East India reported on the many factors causing changes in rainfall patterns in the region. These included drying of the land and increased snowfall in the Eurasian region — which point to increasing concern of the impact of climate change on the region.

●    The climate of North East India is changing: Rainfall patterns over the region in the last century have considerably changed, resulting in its overall drying up.

●    Land in the northeastern states has become degraded to a great extent, according to a draft report on land degradation prepared by the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) that came out in November 2018.

●    Five states — Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram and Nagaland — suffered from minor to major floods in 2018. More than water erosion, which worsens floods, the report found that the most common cause of land degradation in these states is acidification.

Soil acidity:

●    Only in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam the degradation caused by water erosion is greater than that caused by acidification.

●    Acidity is measured in terms of the concentration of hydrogen ions (pH) in the soil as they are essential for the formation of all acids. Acidification of soil or land takes place when the pH balance of the soil shifts towards acidic nature due to an excessive presence of hydrogen ions. 

●    Soil acidity increases when metallic minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium are lost from the soil and only hydrogen ions remainHence statement (1) is correct.

●    These minerals get removed from soils due to heavy rainfall and flooding. They also get removed with crop residue or harvest hayHence statement (2) is correct.

●    Land in the North East is naturally acidic because it receives heavy rainfall every year. Hence statement (3) is correct.

●    Climate change-induced high frequency of heavy rainfall events will further exacerbate the acidification, which will decrease the quality of soil. 

5. With reference to the Porunai civilization, consider the following statements:

1) It belongs to 1155 BCE and flourished in the modern day Karnataka.

2) It is developed around the Vaigai river.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 only

c)  Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (d) Neither 1 nor 2

Explanation:

NEWS: Porunai civilization is 3,200 years old, says M.K. Stalin

●    A carbon dating analysis of rice with soil, found in a burial urn at Sivakalai in Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu, by the Miami-based Beta Analytic Testing Laboratory has yielded the date of 1155 BC, indicating that the Thamirabarani

●    The study was carried out by the US-based Beta Analytic Testing Laboratory.

●    The laboratory has conducted the carbon dating analysis of rice with soil found in a burial urn in Sivakalai in southern Tamil Nadu during an archaeological excavation.

●    The analysis has revealed that the Porunai river [Thamirabarani] civilization belongs to 1155 BCE which is 3,200 years ago. Hence statement (1) is incorrect and Hence statement (2) is correct

●    Encouraged by this finding, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has announced the establishment of the Porunai Museum in Tirunelveli at a cost of ₹15 crores.

●    The state government has said it will set up an archaeological museum in Tirunelveli for ₹ 15 crore and expand its archaeological excavations and research in other countries like Egypt, Oman, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam with whom ancient Tamils have had trade and cultural ties.

●    Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department would also conduct research at Quseir al-Qadim and Pernica Anekke in Egypt as well as in Khor Rori in Oman to establish the Tamils trade relations with these countries.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/carbon-dating-establishes-that-thamirabarani-civilization-is-3200-years-old-says-tn-cm-stalin/article36375882.ece

6. With respect to coronal mass ejection, consider the following statements:

1) It is a giant cloud of solar plasma drenched with magnetic field lines that is blown away from the Sun.

2) It can occur only at the centre of the Sun.

3) It cannot damage the electronics in satellites and disrupt radio communication networks on Earth.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 and 3 only

b) 1 only

c)  1 and 2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (b) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Scientists peek into the Sun by estimating magnetic fields using radio observations

●    Indian Scientists, along with international collaborators, have measured the magnetic field of an eruption from the Sun’s atmosphere (by observing the weak thermal radio emission associated with the erupted plasma for the first time), offering a rare peek to the interior of the Sun.

●    The study of the phenomenon happening in the Sun’s atmosphere or the solar corona provides insights into the inner workings of the Sun.

Coronal Mass Ejection:

●    The Sun is an extremely active object, spewing out vast quantities of gas in many violent events and the corona is a region of very high temperatures, strong magnetic fields, and violent plasma eruptions. A class of such eruptions are Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    CMEs can occur anywhere on the Sun, it is primarily those which originate from regions near the centre of the visible solar surface (called the photosphere)  Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

●    CMEs are the most powerful explosions happening in our solar system. When a really strong CME blows past the Earth, it can damage the electronics in our satellites and disrupt radio communication networks on Earth.

●    When a really strong CME blows past the Earth, it can damage the electronics in satellites and disrupt radio communication networks on Earth. Hence statement (3) is incorrect.

●    When the plasma cloud hits our planet, a geomagnetic storm follows.

●    A geomagnetic storm is a major disturbance of Earth’s magnetosphere (space controlled by earth’s magnetic field) that occurs when there is a very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth.

●    They can trigger intense light in the sky on Earth, called auroras.

●    Some of the energy and small particles travel down the magnetic field lines at the north and south poles into Earth’s atmosphere.

●    There, the particles interact with gases in the atmosphere resulting in beautiful displays of light in the sky.

Source: https://dst.gov.in/scientists-peek-sun-estimating-magnetic-fields-using-radio-observations

7. Consider the following statements are regarding Status of Coral Reefs of the World 2020:

1) Status of Coral Reefs of the World 2020 was prepared by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.

2) Most declines in global coral cover were associated with rapid increase in sea surface temperature anomaly.

Which of the above statements 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: The world’s coral reefs have suffered terribly in 30 years, but are resilient:

Study

●    Coral reefs have suffered terribly in the past three decades. Yet, they are resilient and would be able to withstand challenges posed by a warming world, a recent study by the Government of Australia

●    Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2020 was prepared by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, along with the Australian government. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    There were many shocking aspects noted in the report as well.

●    For instance, the 1998 coral bleaching event killed eight per cent of the world’s coral.

●    Subsequent events between 2009 and 2018 killed 14 percent of the world’s coral.

●    Since 2010, almost all regions have exhibited a decline in average coral cover.

●    Most declines in global coral cover were associated with either rapid increase in sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly or sustained high SST anomalyHence statement (2) is correct.

●    There were 20 per cent more algae on the world’s coral reefs in 2019 than in 2010.

●    The increase in the number of algae was associated with declines in the amount of hard coral.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/the-world-s-coral-reefs-have-suffered-terribly-in-30-years-but-are-resilient-study-78936

8. Niranjanpur wetland is located in which one of the following states in India?

a)  Uttarakhand

b) Uttar Pradesh

c)  West Bengal

d) Punjab

Answer: (a) Uttarakhand

Explanation:

In NEWS: What is killing Uttarakhand’s small wetlands? Degraded Niranjanpur pond carves a live example

●    Nearly 70 percent of Uttarakhand’s wetlands have been destroyed over the years due to delayed conservation action. A majority of them (816 of 994) are small wetlands of less than 2.25-hectare area.

●    They are undervalued for their small size despite their substantial numbers and environmental benefits. Many of these wetlands disappear even before being recognised or documented as they are least protected under most environmental regulations.

●    Wetlands are land areas, which are seasonally or permanently flooded with water. The Ramsar Convention’s definition for wetlands includes “areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which, at low tides, does not exceed six meters”.

●    India has nearly 4.6% of its land as wetlands, covering an area of 15.26 million hectares and has 42 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites).

●    Wetlands are regulated under the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017.

About Niranjanpur wetland 

●    Niranjanpur wetland lies in a coveted real estate area of Dehradun city. Hence option (a) is correct.

●    It is home to flocks of birds, insects, tadpoles, small fishes and mammals.

●    It attracts tiny local birds to big migratory birds in winters.

●    Common moorhen (jal murgi) swims in its water-pools, while the black kite preys across its waters.

●    It also helps in groundwater recharge. 

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/water/what-is-killing-uttarakhand-s-small-wetlands-degraded-niranjanpur-pond-carves-a-live-example-78931

9. Nuakhai is an agricultural festival mainly observed by people of:

a)  Kerala

b) Tripura

c)  Gujarat

d) Odisha

Answer: (d) Odisha

Explanation:

In NEWS: Odisha Gears up to Celebrate Mass Festival Nuakhai After 2 Years

Western Odisha gears up to celebrate the Agricultural-based festival “Nuakhai”. More

than one crore people of 10 Districts in Western Odisha celebrate Nuakhai. As per rituals, Navanna (Prasad made from New crop) will be offered to deities.

About Nuakhai

●        Nuakhai is an agricultural festival mainly observed by people of Western Odisha and Southern Chhattisgarh in India. Hence option (d) is correct

●        It is observed to welcome the new rice of the season.

●        As per the customary practice, people offer the new grains of crops to the deities before their own consumption.

●        According to the calendar it is observed on Panchami tithi (the fifth day) of the lunar fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada or Bhadrabad (August–September), the day after the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.

●        This is the most important social festival of Western Odisha and adjoining areas of Simdega in Jharkhand, where the culture of Western Odisha is much predominant.

●        It is also a festival of social cohesion as all the members of the family come together to celebrate Nuakhai.

Source: https://newsonair.com/2021/09/11/odisha-agrarian-festival-nuakhai-being-celebrated-in-the-state-today/

10. Wellesley established the Fort William College at Calcutta because

a)  he was asked by the Board of Directors at London to do so

b) he wanted to revive interest in oriental learning in India

c)  he wanted to provide William Carey and his associates with employment

d) he wanted to train British civilians for administrative purpose in India

Answer: (d) he wanted to train British civilians for administrative purpose in India

Explanation:

Fort William College was established on 18 August 1800 by Lord Richard Wellesley (d. 1837), Governor General of Bengal, in order to provide instruction in the vernacular languages of India to the civil and military officials of the East India Company. It was named after King William III of England. The purposes were multi-fold: fostering of Indian languages and making the British officials familiar with the local languages, etc. so that their administrative work would become easier as it involved interaction with the Indian natives. Hence option (a) is correct.