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Daily Prelims Test – 13_September_2021

1. Consider the following statements:

1) Company style is a hybrid Indo-European style of paintings in India.

2) Company style paintings reflect the Indian miniature and portrays the natural history paintings of plants and birds.

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: On display in Delhi, exhibition of 125 paintings of birds from 18th C India

●    IN 18th Century India, while the royal courts continued to support artists, new patronage for art came from the Europeans, several of whom tasked artists to paint the land and its people.

●    Titled ‘Birds of India, Company Paintings c. 1800 to 1835’, the display at DAG, The Claridges Hotel, is curated from the gallery collection and comprises a variety of birds, including game birds, coastal waders, woodland, and forest birds.

What was the company school of painting?

●        ‘Company painting’ is a broad term for a variety of hybrid styles that developed as a result of European (especially British) influence on Indian artists from the early 18th to the 19th centuries. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●        It evolved as a way of providing paintings that would appeal to European patrons who found the purely indigenous styles not to their taste.

●        As many of these patrons worked for the various East India companies, the painting style came to be associated with the name, although it was in fact also used for paintings produced for local rulers and other Indian patrons.

●        The subject matter of company paintings made for western patrons was often documentary rather than imaginative, and as a consequence, the Indian artists were required to adopt a more naturalistic approach to painting than had traditionally been usual.

●        While most of the works were painted on paper, there was also a fashion for images of Mughal monuments and Mughal rulers and their wives painted on small plaques of ivory. This increased use of western approaches to painting coincided with the later phases of local painting styles, as manifested in centres such as Lucknow, Murshidabad and Delhi in North India and Mysore and Thanjavur in the South. As a result, the line between ‘company’ painting and later provincial work for local patrons is often blurred.

Salient Features

●        Company style is a hybrid Indo-European style of paintings.

●        Combination of traditional elements from Rajput and Mughal painting blended with Western treatment.

●        Paintings reflecting the Indian miniature tradition were usually small while those portraying the natural history paintings of plants and birds were significantly large. Hence statement (2) is correct.

Subjects

The subjects included:

●        Landscapes and views of nature

●        Monuments – The Delhi paintings specially had mughal monuments as subject matter.

●        Indian People, dancers, fairs and festivals and costumes.

●        Figures of different castes and trades.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/selected-from-various-company-commissioned-albums-on-display-in-delhi-exhibition-of-125-paintings-of-birds-from-18th-c-india-7503437/

2. Consider the following statements:

1) Article 164 of the Constitution envisages that the Chief Minister shall be appointed by the governor.

2) The Constitution does not contain any specific procedure for the selection and appointment of the Chief Minister.

3) The term of the Chief Minister is fixed as five years in the Constitution.

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: (c) 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani resigns and Bhupendra Patel was selected as Gujarat’s next CM

●    In a sudden but not unexpected move, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani resigned on Saturday after completing five years at the helm, paving the way for a change of guard ahead of crucial Assembly polls next year.

Chief Minister

●    The Governor is the nominal executive authority, but real executive authority rests with the Chief Minister.

●    However, the discretionary powers enjoyed by the governor reduces to some extent the power, authority, influence, prestige and role of the Chief Minister in the state administration.

●    The Constitution does not contain any specific procedure for the selection and appointment of the Chief Minister. Article 164 only says that the Chief Minister shall be appointed by the governor. Hence statements (1) and (2) are correct.

●    According to the Constitution, the Chief Minister may be a member of any of the two Houses of a state legislature. Usually Chief Ministers have been selected from the Lower House (legislative assembly), but, on a number of occasions, a member of the Upper House (legislative council) has also been appointed as Chief Minister.

●    The term of the Chief Minister is not fixed and he holds office during the pleasure of the governor. He cannot be dismissed by the governor as long as he enjoys the majority support in the legislative assembly. Hence statement (3) is incorrect.

●    The State Legislative Assembly can also remove him by passing a vote of no-confidence against him.

●    A person who is not a member of the state legislature can be appointed as Chief Minister for six months, within which time, he should be elected to the state legislature, failing which he ceases to be the Chief Minister.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/gujarat-cm-vijay-rupani-resigns-7502711/

3. Consider the following statements:

1) Myristica swamps are tropical freshwater swamp forests.

2) Myristica swamps have the characteristic traits of a dense evergreen closed forest, soils with high humus content, and are moist or inundated throughout the year.

3) Myristica swamps are not found in India.

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: (c) 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Myristica swamps exist as small, isolated pockets

●        Myristica swamps — tree ¬covered wetlands within the evergreen forests of the Western Ghats that once formed a large hydrological network all along the Western Ghats — now exist as small, isolated pockets, said a new study. Hence statement (1) is correct and statement (3) is incorrect.

●        Myristica swamps are one of the most threatened ecosystems in India due to increased human pressure.

●        According to the researchers, even with their little-known biota, the swamps harbour several rare relic floristic and faunal taxa comprising many endemic and threatened species, with most plant species highly restricted in their distribution. These swamps are one of the most unique and primeval ecosystems of the Western Ghats.

●        Critical inland swamp habitats of India are the Myristica swamps, the Elaeocarpus swamps and the Hadlus, all of which are forested wetland ecosystems that are invariably freshwater in character.

●        Myristica swamps have the characteristic traits of a dense evergreen closed forest, presence of abundant knee roots protruding from waterlogged soil, soils with high humus content, and are moist or inundated throughout the year. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●        The ancient swamp forests are endemic to the Western Ghats and a smaller distribution exists in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. There are 60¬odd swamps reported from Kerala and there may be many smaller ones, which are either not mapped or reported. An attempt has been made to map the swamps in Karnataka and a few studies have focused on swamps in Goa and Sindhudurga, the northernmost limit of swamps in Maharashtra.

●        In recent years, many Myristica swamps in the central and southern Western Ghats are threatened by the growing agricultural demand and are often converted to paddy fields, or arecanut and teak plantations. This is especially true of those swamps existing outside protected forest tracts in the Western Ghats landscape. While wetlands have been given prioritisation in the past, swamps in India have been relatively ignored by scientists and policymakers.

●        Myristica swamps, like the floral plateaus of the northern Western Ghats and the Shola grassland mosaics, face a higher threat of destruction than other evergreen forest types. The Biodiversity Act of 2002 declares important biodiversity areas, including Myristica swamps, as Biodiversity Heritage Sites.

●        Many swamps are in reserve forests or sacred groves/community conservation landscapes, which do not grant them protection from land use conversion, and are also highly fragmented and isolated.

●        As of February 2021, 58 scientific studies have been conducted on the floristic components and vegetation of Myristica swamp forests and according to them, there are at least 79 tree species, 26 shrubs, 27 climbers, and 44 herb species recorded.

●        Any loss of the swamps will also lead to the extinction of associated species.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/myristica-swamps-exist-as-small-isolated-pockets/article36409363.ece

4. Sometimes Bir Shikargah Wildlife Sanctuary is seen in news, it is famous for

a)  Conservation Centre of Olive Ridley Turtle

b) Breeding and conservation of Indian vultures

c)  Habitat Improvement and Conservation Breeding of Great Indian Bustard

d) National Rhino Conservation Strategy centre

Answer: (b) Breeding and conservation of Indian vultures

Explanation:

In NEWS: 8 critically-endangered Oriental white-backed vultures fly towards survival from Haryana

●    In October 2020, eight critically endangered Oriental white-backed vultures were released into the wild for the first time in India from the Jatayu Conservation and Breeding Centre (JCBC) situated at the Bir Shikargah Wildlife Sanctuary

●    The Jatayu and Sparrow Conservation Breeding Centre, Pinjore (JCBC), is world’s largest facility within BirShikargah Wildlife Sanctuary for the breeding and conservation of Indian vultures and House sparrow in the State of Haryana, India, in Panchkula district in the town of Pinjore. Hence option (b) is correct.

●    It is run by the Forests Department, Haryana and Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) with the help of British charity Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

●    The vulture population in India was estimated at 40 million once. Populations of Oriental white-backed vultures, Long-billed vultures and Slender-billed vultures have declined by over 97% since the 1990s, and that of the Oriental white-backed vultures by a drastic 99.9%.

JCBC houses the following four species, three critically endangered (CR) species and one threatened species for breeding and conservation at the centre:

Critically Endangered species

●    Indian vulture, scientific name: Gyps indicus, formerly known as the long-billed vulture.

●    Slender-billed vultures, scientific name: Gyps tenuirostris, formerly called long billed vultures, 97% have been wiped out by the diclofenac.

●    White-rumped vulture, scientific name: Gyps bengalensis, formerly known as the Oriental White-Backed vulture, 99.9% have been wiped out by the diclofenac.

Threatened species

●    Himalayan vulture, scientific name: Gyps himalayensis.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/8-critically-endangered-oriental-white-backed-vultures-fly-towards-survival-from-haryana/article36402117.ece

5. Recently, the term Yukawa was seen in the news related to the following?

a)  Volcanic Mountain

b) Model for network security

c)  Stealth aircraft

d) Fifth force

Answer: (d) Fifth Force

Explanation:

In NEWS: Groundbreaking Technique Yields Extraordinary Results – Limits on Long-Theorized “Fifth Force” of Nature

●    Using a groundbreaking new technique at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an international collaboration led by NIST researchers has revealed previously unrecognized properties of technologically crucial silicon crystals and uncovered new information about an important subatomic particle and a long-theorized fifth force of nature.

●    By aiming subatomic particles known as neutrons at silicon crystals and monitoring the outcome with exquisite sensitivity, the NIST scientists were able to obtain three extraordinary results: the first measurement of a key neutron property in 20 years using a unique method; the highest-precision measurements of the effects of heat-related vibrations in a silicon crystal; and limits on the strength of a possible “fifth force” beyond standard physics theories.

●    That information is critically important for characterizing the electronic, mechanical and magnetic properties of microchip components and various novel nanomaterials for next-generation applications including quantum computing. A great deal is known already, but continued progress requires increasingly detailed knowledge.

Fifth force:

●    The standard model of physics considers four known fundamental forces – weak, strong, electromagnetic and gravitational.

●    A novel experiment has now defined stringent bounds on what is called the fifth force or the Yukawa force – a component that plays a role in some extensions of the standard model beyond the four known fundamental forces. Hence option (d) is correct.

Source: https://scitechdaily.com/groundbreaking-technique-yields-extraordinary-results-limits-on-long-theorized-fifth-force-of-nature/

6. Consider the following statements regarding Orca, recently seen in the news?

1) It is a direct-air carbon capture facility in Iceland.

2) It has been designed to suck carbon dioxide (CO2) from air and turn it into rock.

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: World’s biggest machine capturing carbon from air turned on in Iceland

●    The world’s largest plant designed to suck carbon dioxide out of the air and turn it into rock has started running. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    The plant, named Orca after the Icelandic word “orka” meaning “energy”, consists of four units, each made up of two metal boxes that look like shipping containers.

●    Constructed by Switzerland’s Climeworks and Iceland’s Carbfix, when operating at capacity the plant will draw 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the air every year, according to the companies. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, that equates to the emissions from about 870 cars. The plant cost between US$10 and 15m to build

●    To collect the carbon dioxide, the plant uses fans to draw air into a collector, which has a filter material inside.

●    Once the filter material is filled with CO2, the collector is closed and the temperature is raised to release the CO2 from the material, after which the highly concentrated gas can be collected.

●    The CO2 is then mixed with the water before being injected at a depth of 1,000 metres into the nearby basalt rock where it is mineralised.

●    Proponents of so-called carbon capture and storage believe these technologies can become a major tool in the fight against climate change.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/sep/09/worlds-biggest-plant-to-turn-carbon-dioxide-into-rock-opens-in-iceland-orca

7. Recently, footprints of three species of dinosaurs have been found in the

a)  West Bengal

b) Bihar

c)  Uttar Pradesh

d) Rajasthan

Answer: (d) Rajasthan

Explanation:

In NEWS: Dinosaur footprints found in Rajasthan

●    In a major discovery, footprints of three species of dinosaurs have been found in the Thar desert in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer district, proving the presence of the giant reptiles in the western part of the State. Hence option (d) is correct.

●    The footprints are 200 million years old. The footprints, made in the sediment or silt of the seashore, later become permanently stone-like. They belong to three species of dinosaurs — Eubrontes cf. giganteus, Eubrontes glenrosensis and Grallator tenuis.

●    The dinosaur species are considered to be of the theropod type, with the distinguishing features of hollow bones and feet with three digits (like fingers). Theropod is any member of the dinosaur subgroup Theropoda, which includes all the flesh-eating dinosaurs.

●    All the three species, belonging to the early Jurassic period, were carnivorous.

●    The ‘Age of Dinosaurs’ (the Mesozoic Era – 252-66 Million Years Ago – MYA) included three consecutive geologic time periods (the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous Periods). Different dinosaur species lived during each of these three periods.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/watch-dinosaur-footprints-found-in-rajasthan/article36354224.ece#:~:text=The%20 footprints%20are%20200%20million,Eubrontes%20glenrosensis%20and%20Grallator%20 tenuis.

8. With respect to precision-guided sterile insect technique, consider the following statements:

1) It created a system that restrains populations of mosquitoes.

2) It uses CRISPR to sterilise male mosquitoes and render female mosquitoes which spread disease flightless.

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 tech based on CRISPR to control growth of mosquitoes

●    Leveraging advancements in CRISPR-based genetic engineering, researchers have created a system that restrains populations of mosquitoes that infect millions each year with debilitating diseases.

●    The “precision-guided sterile insect technique” (pgSIT), alters genes linked to male fertility—creating sterile offspring—and female flight in Aedes aegypti, the mosquito species responsible for spreading diseases including dengue fever, chikungunya and Zika

●    The pgSIT uses CRISPR to sterilise male mosquitoes and render female mosquitoes (which spread disease) flightless. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    The system is self-limiting and is not predicted to persist or spread in the environment, two safety features that should enable acceptance for this technology

●    pgSIT eggs can be shipped to a location threatened by mosquito-borne disease or developed at an on-site facility that could produce the eggs for nearby deployment.

●    Once the pgSIT eggs are released in the wild, sterile pgSIT males will emerge and eventually mate with females, driving down the wild population as needed.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/new-tech-based-on-crispr-to-control-growth-of-mosquitoes-7504710/

9. Battle of Saragarhi was a last-stand battle fought between the British Raj and

a)  Indian tribesmen

b) Afghan tribesmen

c)  Burmese people

d) Turkic peoples

Answer: (b) Afghan Tribes

Explanation:

In NEWS: Battle of Saragarhi explained: When 21 men fought thousands

●    September 12 marks the 124th anniversary of the Battle of Saragarhi

●    The Battle of Saragarhi was a last-stand battle fought before the Tirah Campaign between the British Raj and Afghan tribesmen. On 12 September 1897, an estimated 12,000 – 24,000 Orakzai and Afridi tribesmen were seen near Gogra, at Samana Suk, and around Saragarhi, cutting off Fort Gulistan from Fort Lockhart. Hence option (b) is correct.

What is the Battle of Saragarhi?

●    The Battle of Saragarhi is considered one of the finest last stands in the military history of the world. Twenty-one soldiers were pitted against over 8,000 Afridi and Orakzai tribals but they managed to hold the fort for seven hours.

●    Though heavily outnumbered, the soldiers of 36th Sikhs (now 4 Sikh), led by Havildar Ishar Singh, fought till their last breath, killing 200 tribals and injuring 600.

What was Saragarhi, and why was it important?

●    Saragarhi was the communication tower between Fort Lockhart and Fort Gulistan.

●    The two forts in the rugged North West Frontier Province (NWFP), now in Pakistan. were built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh but renamed by the British. Though Saragarhi was usually manned by a platoon of 40 soldiers, on that fateful day, it was being held by only 21 soldiers from 36th Sikh (now 4 Sikh) and a non-combatant called Daad, a Pashtun who did odd jobs for the troops.

●    Saragarhi helped to link up the two important forts which housed a large number of British troops in the rugged terrain of NWFP.

●    Fort Lockhart was also home to families of British officers. The wife of the commanding officer of 36th Sikh, Lt Col John Haughton, was at the fort till May 1897 when she went home to deliver a baby.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/battle-of-saragarhi-explained-when-21-men-fought-thousands-7503623/

10. With reference to communication technologies, what is/are the difference / differences between LTE (Long-Term Evolution) and VoLTE (Voice over Long-Term Evolution)?

1) LTE is commonly marketed as 3G and VoLTE is commonly marketed as advanced 3G.

2) LTE is data-only technology and VoLTE is voice-only technology.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a)  1 only

b) 2 only

c)  Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (d) Neither 1 nor 2

Explanation:

LTE stands for ‘Long Term Evolution’ and VoLTE stands for ‘Voice over Long Term Evolution’. LTE is a mobile network and transmits only data; while VoLTE is software and transmits both voice and data. LTE is a term used for the particular type of 4G network that delivers the fastest mobile Internet experience. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.

VoLTE enables one to make calls over the LTE network, it allows the phone’s dialer to place calls through the internet and sends voice and data over the network. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.