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Daily Prelims Test – 13_April 2021

Consider the following Statements with respect to Sputnik V

It is the vaccine against Covid-19 developed by Russia

In this vaccine, adenovirus is used as a tool to deliver genes or vaccine antigens to the target host tissue.

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

1 only

2 only

Both 1 and 2

Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: How Sputnik V works against coronavirus, and how effectively

  • Sputnik V, the vaccine against Covid-19 developed by Russia, has been recommended by an expert panel for emergency use in India. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • If accepted, it would be the third coronavirus vaccine to get emergency use approval, after Covishield (Serum Institute of India) and Covaxin (Bharat Biotech).
  • About Sputnik V
  • The Sputnik V vaccine, developed by Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow. Five other Indian companies have partnered with RDIF for Sputnik V
  • In this vaccine, adenovirus is used as a tool to deliver genes or vaccine antigens to the target host tissue. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • The adenoviruses are weakened so they cannot replicate in humans and cannot cause disease. They are also modified so that the vaccine delivers a code for making the coronavirus spike protein. This aims to ensure that when the real virus tries to infect the body, it can mount an immune response in the form of antibodies.
  • Sputnik uses a different vector for each of the two shots in a course of vaccination. This provides immunity with a longer duration than vaccines using the same delivery mechanism for both shots
  • Phase 3 trials conducted in Russia, with the results published in The Lancet, have found it has an efficacy of 91.6%. 
  • About Adenovirus: 
  • Adenoviruses (ADVs) are DNA viruses ranging from 70-90 nanometre in size, which induce many illnesses in humans like cold, respiratory infection etc.
  • Adenoviruses are preferred for vaccines because their DNA is double stranded which makes them genetically more stable and the chances of them changing after injection are lower.
  • Rabies vaccine is an adenovirus vaccine.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/how-sputnik-v-works-against-coronavirus-and-how-effectively-7270877/


With respect to Operation Twist, Consider the following Statements

  1. It is RBI’s simultaneous sales and purchases of government securities through open market operations
  2. This decreases demand for Treasury notes and is a way to manage yields in the market.
  3. Operation twist encourages spending 

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

1 and 2  only

2 and 3 only

1 and 3 only

1,2 and 3

Answer: (c) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Why G-SAP 1.0 is a bold move by RBI

  • The Reserve Bank of India will conduct the open market purchase of government securities of ?1 lakh crore under the G-sec Acquisition Programme (G-SAP 1.0) in FY22.
  • G-SAP will run alongside RBI’s regular operations including Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF), OMOs and operation twist, adding that the programme is built into the central bank’s liquidity planning framework for 2021-22 as a whole.
  • The announcement has already led to the softening of the yield on the benchmark 20 year G-Sec. The government of India, with its massive borrowing programme, can now breathe a sigh of relief as long-term borrowing costs come down.

Open Market Operations

  • It is the sale and purchase of government securities and treasury bills by RBI or the central bank of the country. The objective of OMO is to regulate the money supply in the economy.
  • When the central bank wants to infuse liquidity into the monetary system, it will buy government securities in the open market. This way it provides commercial banks with liquidity.
  • In contrast, when it sells securities, it curbs liquidity. Thus, the central bank indirectly controls the money supply and influences short-term interest rates.

Operation Twist

  • ‘Operation Twist’ is RBI’s simultaneous selling of short-term securities and buying of long term securities through open market operations (OMO). Under this mechanism, the short-term securities are transitioned into long-term securities. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • It is a program of quantitative easing used by the RBI that was first introduced by the Federal Reserves in the US in 1961.
  • It is designed to induce downward pressure on longer-term interest rates by lowering long-term Treasury yields.
  • This increases demand for Treasury notes. Just like any other assets, as demand rises, so does the price. But higher bond prices are offset by a lower yield for investors. Hence statement 2 is incorrect.
  • This also results in a dip in the expected returns from long-term savings which tilts the balance from saving towards spending. Hence, cheaper retail loans can help encourage consumption spending which is the largest GDP component in the economy. Hence statement 3 is correct.
  •  

Source: https://www.financialexpress.com/opinion/why-g-sap-1-0-is-a-bold-move-by-rbi/2231796/


In which Indian state Manakudy bird reserve is located?

  1. Kerala
  2. Andhra Pradesh
  3. Karnataka
  4. Tamil Nadu

Answer: (d) Tamil Nadu

Explanation:

In NEWS: Two tagged migratory birds spotted in salt pans in Manakudy bird reserve

  • Two tagged migratory birds, a Redshank and a Whiskered tern have been spotted in the salt pans of Swamithoppu in the Manakudy bird reserve in Kanyakumari district, Tamil NaduHence option (d) is correct
  • The reserve provides them with adequate supply of freshwater fish faunacrustaceansbarnacles and freshwater weeds and also a shield from sound pollution.
  • Tagging helps ornithologists and scientists to study the distance of travel, the areas they visit, days of travel to reach the wintering spots, food availability, water quality, climatic factors, habitat area, challenges the birds have to face and human intervention in the wintering spots

Whiskered Tern

  • This is the first time a whiskered tern, marked outside the country, is reported from India.
  • The spotted bird is possibly from European countries.
  • There are terms that breed in India, but those birds do not go to the reserve.

RedShank

  • There are five subspecies of redshank, and they migrate from the Himalayas, China, Mongolia and the Russian Far East.
  • The redshank spotted is possibly from the subarctic region.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/two-tagged-migratory-birds-spotted-in-salt-pans-in-manakudy-bird-reserve/article34298182.ece


Consider the following Statements with respect to Red Mud

  1. It is a solid waste generated during the aluminium production by the Bayer process from bauxite.
  2. It can be used in wastewater treatment.
  3. It can be used for the treatment of soil and retaining certain nutrients.

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

1 and 2 only

2 and 3 only

1 and 3 only

1,2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1,2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Vedanta signs MoU for reuse of bauxite residue

  • Vedanta, one of the largest producers of aluminium and its value-added products, has signed a memorandum of understanding for value-creation from bauxite residue (red mud), which is a by-product generated during processing of bauxite into alumina.

About Red Mud

  • Red mud is a solid waste generated during the aluminium production by the Bayer process from bauxite. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • Red mud is composed of minerals such as hematite, gibbsite, calcite, quartz, goethite, diaspore, rutile,kaolinite, etc.
  • Its high alkalinity and heavy metal content with a pH of 10.5- 12.5 makes it extremely corrosive  and damaging to soil and life forms, and its disposal generates serious environmental problems. 
  • Red Mud may be transformed into useful products, such as adsorbents. -Given its high concentrations of aluminium oxides, iron oxides, titanium oxides, silica oxides, and hydroxides
  • It may be developed as a cheap adsorbent for the removal of various ions from aqueous solution and soils (e.g., metal and non- metal ions, phenolic compounds, and dyes) and waste gas purification (sulfide and carbide). Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • It can be used for the treatment of acidic soils and retaining certain nutrients, such as phosphorus in agriculture. Hence statement 3 is correct.
  • It is composed of a mixture of solid and metallic oxides. The red colour arises from iron oxides, which comprise up to 60% of the mass.

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/vedanta-signs-mou-for-reuse-of-bauxite-residue/article34301801.ece


Consider the following Statements with respect to Annual Survey of Industries

  1. It is conducted by the Central Statistics Office
  2. It is the principal source of industrial statistics covering both organized as well as unorganized sectors.

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

1 only

2 only

Both 1 and 2

Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Heat stress affected worker output in factories in India: Study

  • Manufacturing plants generate about two per cent less revenue for every one degree Celsius rise in annual temperature — the greatest decline being in labour-intensive plants — according to a new research on the effect of heat stress on workers and manufacturing output.
  • The research found that there are two channels through which high temperatures affect factory workers; they may produce less while at work and also be absent more often. The two channels were separately identified in workers in three different manufacturing settings: Cloth-weaving, garment-sewing and steel products.
  • The steel production data was from the rail and structural mill of a large public sector steel plant in Bhilai. The secondary data was used from the Annual Survey of Industries covering the financial years 1998-99 to 2012-13.
  • Climate control in the workplace mitigates productivity losses, absenteeism still remains high, presumably because workers remain exposed to high temperatures at home and outside

About Annual Survey of Industries

  • Annual Survey of Industries (ASI) is the principal source of industrial statistics in India providing information on important characteristics of the registered manufacturing sector.
  • ASI is considered as the most comprehensive and reliable source of organised manufacturing sector data providing disaggregated industry-specific details of production, investment, employment and costs. 
  • It does not cover unorganised or unregistered or informal sector enterprises. Hence statement 2 is incorrect.
  • ASI is the main survey conducted by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) Industrial Statistics (IS) wing. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • It ensures timely dissemination of statistical information to assess and evaluate the dynamics in composition, growth and structure of the organized manufacturing sector.
  • The ASI is conducted under the Collection of Statistics Act, since 1959, to obtain comprehensive and detailed statistics of the industrial sector with the objective of estimating the contribution of registered manufacturing industries as a whole to the national income.
  • ASI data is based on actual books of accounts and other documents maintained by registered factories.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/economy/heat-stress-affected-worker-output-in-factories-in-india-study-76156


Natanz Nuclear Complex is one of the main uranium enrichment plants of which of the following countries?

North Korea

Iran

Russia

Pakistan

Answer: (b) Iran

Explanation:

In NEWS: ‘Suspicious’ blackout hits Iran nuclear site 

  • Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) sought to restrict Iran’s nuclear programme, in lieu of relief sanctions. Trump exited the deal, but Biden is now looking to bring it back.
  • Iran’s top nuclear official, Ali Akbar Salehi  called the large-scale blackout and power failure at south Tehran’s Natanz complex, the country’s largest uranium enrichment facility, an act of “nuclear terrorism”.
  • Iran has consistently pointed the finger at Israel for this.
  • Iran’s latest move to step up uranium enrichment follows an opening round of talks in Vienna Tuesday with representatives of the remaining parties to the nuclear deal on bringing the US back into it.
  • The Vienna talks are focused not only on lifting the crippling economic sanctions Trump reimposed, but also on bringing Iran back into compliance.
  • Iran’s nemesis Israel has always been implacably opposed to the 2015 accord
  • About Natanz Nuclear Complex
  • Natanz Fuel Enrichment plant is Iran’s main uranium enrichment site which is mostly underground. Hence option (b) is correct
  • It is one of several Iranian facilities monitored by inspectors of the international atomic energy agency  

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/accident-strikes-irans-natanz-nuclear-facility-says-official/article34294358.ece


Consider the following Statements with respect to Advanced Antiquities Management System

  1. It is a software-driven automated storage to provide information about the age of antiquity, the material it is made of and its brief history.
  2. It is proposed by the Directorate of Archives and Archaeology (DAA) of the Goa government
  3. The system can be remotely accessed

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

1 and 2 only

2 and 3 only

1 and 3 only

1,2 and 3

Answer: (a) 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: Goa’s newly introduced Advanced Antiquities Mgmt System

  • The Directorate of Archives and Archaeology (DAA) of the Goa government inaugurated the Advanced Antiquities Management System, first such system in the country for storage of antiquities. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • The system that catalogues 83 antiquities at present is aimed at providing quick information about an antiquity linked to the software, saving storage space and ensuring improved preservation of the objects of historical significance.
  • What is the Advanced Antiquities Management System?
  • The AAMS is a software-driven automated storage used for the storage of various objects. So far it has been used for storage of industrial equipment.
  • The AAMS will ensure safety of antiquities, clean storage space, access control and data management and also enhance utilisation of space. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • It will provide access to these in one place with the help of a screen on which the preserved antiquities can be searched and accessed within the system for viewing.
  • It will also provide information about the age of the antiquity, the material it is made of and its brief history.
  • The system will mostly benefit researchers and students permitted access by the Directorate of Archives and Archaeology (DAA) in Goa and officials of the department.
  • The screen provides information about the object. System design is completely indigenous and so far, available offline thus, cannot be remotely accessed.Hence statement 3 is incorrect

What are the various antiquities stored in the system?

  • At present, there are 83 antiquities in the system the oldest one being a tenth century Shivlinga.
  • It also includes 12 sculptures found under a waterfall in the Ladfem village in North Goa’s Bicholim, remains of a 13th century temple in South Goa’s Navelim.
  • There are also 18th century artifacts found at the Allorna Fort including glasses made in Germany and Holland.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/goa-advanced-antiquities-management-system-7267608/


Recently the term India Energy Dashboard is seen in news, it is launched by which of the following organizations?

National Environmental Engineering Research Institute

NITI Aayog

Bureau of Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency Services Limited

Answer: (b) NITI Aayog

Explanation:

In NEWS: 

  • With an aim to provide single-window access to the energy data for the country, government think tank Niti Aayog launched India Energy Dashboards (IED) Version 2.0. Hence option (b) is correct
  • IED is an initial step towards building a comprehensive, open and freely accessible energy data portal for India
  • The Niti Aayog recently launched the India Energy Dashboards Version 2.0. It will provide single window access to the data related to utilisation, pricing, production, distribution of energy in the country.
  • It will provide data from Central Electricity Authority, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and from Coal Controller’s Organisation. The India Energy Dashboard Version 1.0 was launched in 2017.
  • The new version of the India Energy Dashboard provides data between the financial years 2005-06 and 2019-20.
  • The new India Energy Dashboard provides data in sub-yearly frequencies. It includes monthly data from portals maintained by Government agencies. The monthly data in India is regularly published for petroleum, electricity, and natural gas sectors.
  • It will provide technical and financial data of electricity utilities.
  • The India Energy Dashboard will also provide data from schemes such as Saubhagya, PRAAPTI, UJALA and Vidyut PRAVAH.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetailm.aspx?PRID=1711204


It is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala. It is bounded by the protected area network of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka in the northeast, and on the southeast by Mudumalai of Tamil Nadu. It is part of the Deccan Plateau and the vegetation is predominantly of the south Indian moist deciduous teak forests. The wildlife sanctuary comes under Protect Elephant. It is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.

Which wildlife sanctuary is being described in the above passage?

Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary

Answer: (b) Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

Explanation:

In NEWS: 

  • A recent study on dhole or Asiatic wild dog, an endangered large carnivore, has found that the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WSS), a major habitat of elephants and tigers, is also host to a good number of dholes.
  • Dhole population estimation:
  • The first ever study on the carnivore organised by the Wildlife Conservation Society–India, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, University of Florida, and Stanford University has found that the sanctuary has close to 50 dholes.
  • It is the first attempt to estimate dhole populations through targeted surveys designed specifically for this species.
  • A recent tiger survey showed that the sanctuary also has a relatively large tiger population, with 11 to 13 animals per 100 sq km.
  • The fact that two large carnivores can coexist in such high densities is indicative of an abundant prey base and high quality habitat.
  • For the new study, scientists developed a scientifically robust method to estimate dhole numbers using genetic information and advanced population models.
  • Field surveys were held across 350 sq km of the sanctuary to collect dhole scat (faecal droppings) in 2019 and DNA was extracted from it to identify unique dhole individuals.

About Dhole:

  • It is a native species to Central, South, East Asia, and Southeast Asia.
  • It is also called as Asian wild dog, Asiatic wild dog, Indian wild dog, whistling dog, red-dog, and mountain wolf.
  • It play an important role as apex predators in forest ecosystems.
  • Besides the tiger, the dhole is the only large carnivore in India that is under the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s ‘endangered’ category.

About Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

  • It is an animal sanctuary in Wayanad, Kerala, India. It is the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala. Hence option (b) is correct
  • This wildlife area houses some of the rare and endangered species of both flora and fauna.
  • Established in 1973, the sanctuary is now an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
  • It is bounded by protected area network of Nagarhole and Bandipur of Karnataka in the northeast, and on the southeast by Mudumalai of Tamil Nadu.
  • It is part of the Deccan Plateau and the vegetation is predominantly of the south Indian moist deciduous teak forests.
  • The wildlife sanctuary comes under Protect Elephant.
  • Wayanad has the largest population of Adivasi in Kerala. Scheduled tribes here include Paniyas, Kurumas, Adiyans, Kurichiyas, Ooralis and Kattunaikkans.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/wayanad-sanctuary-a-haven-for-asiatic-wild-dog/article34290432.ece


With reference to Ocean Mean Temperature (OMT), which of the following statements is/are correct? 

  1. OMT is measured up to a depth of 26°C isotherm which is 129 meters in the south -western Indian Ocean during January –March. 
  2. OMT collected during January –March can be used in assessing whether the amount of rainfall in monsoon will be less or more than a certain long -term mean. 

Select the correct using the code given below: 

1 only 

2 only 

Both 1 and 2

Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

  • Ocean heat content (OHC) and Ocean Mean Temperature (OMT) are important climatic parameters required for atmospheric and oceanic studies like cyclone and monsoon predictions and ocean heat transport estimations. Sea surface temperature (SST) is routinely used for predicting whether the total amount of rainfall that India receives during the monsoon season will be less or more than the long -term mean of 887.5 mm. Now, scientists from Pune’s Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) find that ocean mean temperature (OMT) has better ability to predict this than sea surface temperature. Compared with SST which has a 60% success rate of predicting the Indian summer monsoon, OMT has an 80% success rate. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • The SST is restricted to a few millimetres of the top ocean layer and is largely influenced by strong winds, evaporation, or thick clouds. In contrast, OMT, which is measured up to a depth of 26 degree C isotherm, is more stable and consistent, and the spatial spread is also less. The 26 degree C isotherm is seen at depths varying from 50 –100 metres. During January –March, the mean 26 degree C isotherm depth in the Southwestern Indian Ocean is 59 metres. Hence statement 1 is incorrect.

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