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Daily Prelims Test – 14_December 2020

With reference to Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), consider the following statements

  • QKD technology is developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research(CSIR)
  • Quantum based security against eavesdropping was validated for the deployed system at over 12kms range and 10dB attenuation over fiber optic channel.
  • Quantum Communication using time-bin Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) scheme was performed under realistic conditions.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  • 1 and 2 only
  • 2 and 3 only
  • 1 and 3 only
  • 1, 2 and 3

Answer: b) 2 and 3 only

Explanation:

In News: Quantum Communication between two DRDO Laboratories

  •  The technology is developed by CAIR, Bengaluru and DYSL-QT, Mumbai. Hence statement 1 is incorrect.
  •  Quantum Communication using time-bin Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) scheme was performed under realistic conditions. The setup also demonstrated the validation of detection of a third party trying to gain knowledge of the communication. Hence statement 3 is correct.
  •  Quantum based security against eavesdropping was validated for the deployed system at over 12kms range and 10dB attenuation over fiber optic channel. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  •  Continuous wave laser source was used to generate photons without depolarization effect. The timing accuracy employed in the setup was of the order of picoseconds.
  •  The Single photon avalanche detector (SPAD) recorded arrival of photons and key rate was achieved in the range of kbps with low Quantum bit error rate.
  •  The work being done at DRDO will be used to enable start-ups and SMEs in the domain of Quantum information technologies.
  •  It will also serve to define standards and crypto policies that can leverage the QKD system in a unified Cipher Policy Committee (CPC) framework for more secure and pragmatic key management for current and future military cryptographic systems.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1679349


Consider the following statements

  • Mountains are home to 15% of the world´s population and host about half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots.
  • Their conservation is a key factor for sustainable development and is part of Goal 15 of the SDGs.
  • Mountain biodiversity is the theme of this year’s International Mountain Day, which was observed on December 11.

Select the correct answer using the code given below

  • 1 only
  • 1 and 3 only
  • 1 and 2 only
  • 1, 2 and 3

Answer: d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Today is International Mountain Day

  •  Mountain biodiversity is the theme of this year’s International Mountain Day, which was observed on December 11. Hence statement 3 is correct
  •  Mountains are home to 15% of the world´s population and host about half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. They provide freshwater for everyday life to half of humanity. Their conservation is a key factor for sustainable development and is part of Goal 15 of the SDGs. hence statement 1 and statement 2 is correct.
  •  The increasing attention to the importance of mountains led the UN to declare to 2002 the UN International Year of Mountains. The first international day was celebrated for the first time the following year, 2003.
  •  Its roots date back to 1992, when the document “Managing Fragile Ecosystems: Sustainable Mountain Development” (called Chapter 13), was adopted as part of the action plan Agenda 21 of the Conference on Environment and Development.

Source: http://newsonair.com/News?title=Today-is-International-Mountain-Day&id=405906


Consider the following statements

  •  RTGS is meant for large-value instantaneous fund transfers while NEFT is generally used for fund transfers of up to Rs. 2 lakh.
  •  The minimum amount to be remitted through RTGS is Rs. 2, 00,000 with no upper or maximum ceiling.
  •  There is no limit imposed by RBI for funds transfer through NEFT system.

Select the correct answer using the code given below

  • 1 only
  • 1 and 3 only
  • 2 and 3 only
  • 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: RTGS to be available 24×7 from December 14, says RBI

  •  RTGS is meant for large-value instantaneous fund transfers while NEFT is generally used for fund transfers of up to Rs. 2 lakh. Hence statement 1 is correct
  •  The minimum amount to be remitted through RTGS is Rs. 2,00,000 with no upper or maximum ceiling. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  •  There is no limit imposed by RBI for funds transfer through NEFT system. However, banks may place amount limits based on their own risk perception with the approval of its board. Hence statement 3 is correct.
  •  Round the clock availability of RTGS will provide extended flexibility to businesses for effecting payments. The system can also be leveraged to enhance operations of Indian financial markets and cross-border payments.
  •  RTGS, which began its operations on 26th March, 2004 with a soft launch involving four banks, presently handles 6.35 lakh transactions daily for a value of 4.17 lakh crore rupees across 237 participant banks.
  •  RBI has informed that RTGS uses ISO 20022 format which is the best-in-class messaging standard for financial transactions.

Source:

http://www.newsonair.com/News?title=RTGS-to-be-available-24×7-from-December-14%2C-says-RBI&id=405896


Consider the following statements regarding special assistance to states for capital expenditure

  • The scheme was announced by the Finance Minister as a part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package.
  • It is aimed at boosting capital expenditure by the State Governments who are facing a difficult financial environment this year due to the shortfall in tax revenue arising from the COVID 19 pandemic.
  • All the states of India have availed benefits of the newly announced scheme of special assistance to states for capital expenditure.

Select the correct answer using the code given below

  • 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: All states, except TN, availed benefits of “Special Assistance to States for Capital Expenditure” scheme

  •  The scheme was announced by the Finance Minister on 12th October as a part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package. Hence statement 1 is correct
  •  The Scheme is aimed at boosting capital expenditure by the State Governments who are facing a difficult financial environment this year due to the shortfall in tax revenue arising from the COVID 19 pandemic. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  •  Capital Expenditure has a higher multiplier effect, enhancing the future productive capacity of the economy, and results in a higher rate of economic growth.
  •  Therefore, despite the adverse financial position of the Central Government, it was decided to extend a special assistance to the State Governments in respect of capital expenditure in 2020-21.
  •  All the states except Tamil Nadu have availed benefits of the newly announced scheme for “Special Assistance to States for Capital Expenditure”. Hence statement 3 is incorrect.

Source http://newsonair.com/News?title=All-states%2c-except-TN%2c–availed-benefits-of-%e2%80%9cSpecial-Assistance-to-States-for-Capital-Expenditure%e2%80%9d-scheme&id=405961


Consider the following statements

  •  India is not only on track to achieve its Paris Agreement targets, but to exceed them beyond expectations.
  •  India has reduced emission intensity by 21% over 2005 levels.
  •  Solar capacity has grown from 2.63 Gigawatts in 2014 to 36 Gigawatts in 2020.

Select the correct answer using the code given below

  •  1 and 2 only
  •  2 and 3 only
  •  1 and 2 only
  •  1, 2 and 3

Answer: d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In News: UN chief urges global summit to declare climate emergency

  •  The Climate Ambition Summit, held virtually, marked the five years of the adoption of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
  •  PM Modi, while addressing the summit said that India is not only on track to achieve its Paris Agreement targets, but to exceed them beyond expectations. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  •  India has reduced emission intensity by 21% over 2005 levels. Solar capacity has grown from 2.63 Gigawatts in 2014 to 36 Gigawatts in 2020. Renewable energy capacity is the fourth largest in the world. Hence statement 2 and statement 3 is correct.
  •  It will reach 175 Gigawatts before 2022. India has set an even more ambitious target now – 450 Gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030.
  •  And, on the world stage, India has pioneered two major initiatives:
    •  The International Solar Alliance, and
    •  Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/un-chief-urges-global-summit-to-declare-climate-emergency/article33316154.ece


Consider the following statements regarding Myristica swamp tree frog

  •  It is a rare arboreal species endemic to the Eastern Ghats.
  •  It has been recorded for the first time north of the Shencottah gap in the Vazhachal Reserve Forest in Kerala’s Thrissur district.

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

  • 1 only
  • 2 only
  • Both 1 and 2
  • Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Rare Myristica swamp tree frog found in Thrissur

  • The arboreal species, endemic to the Western Ghats, was spotted in the Vazhachal forest in 2018. Hence statement 1 is incorrect.
  •  Myristica swamp tree frog, a rare arboreal species endemic to the Western Ghats that bears the scientific name Mercurana myristicapalustris , has been recorded the first time north of the Shencottah gap in the Vazhachal Reserve Forest in Kerala’s Thrissur district.
  • These frogs are rare and elusive for the reason that they are arboreal and active only for a few weeks during their breeding season.
  • During this season, there is a large aggregation of males that descend from the high canopy of the trees. The males vocalise in groups from the low perches in the swamps.
  •  They exhibit unique breeding behaviour. The breeding season, unlike for other frogs, starts in the pre-monsoon season (May) and ends before the monsoon becomes fully active in June.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/rare-myristica-swamp-treefrog-found-in-thrissur/article33323504.ece


Consider the following statements regarding one-time voluntary disclosure scheme of exotic lives

  • The advisory has defined exotic live species as animals named under the Appendices I, II and III of the CITES.
  •  It does not include species from the Schedules of the Wild Life (Protection) Act 1972.

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: Do you have exotic pet species? Now is the right time to declare it

  •  Recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has rolled out an advisory also known as a one-time voluntary disclosure scheme which will allow the owners of exotic live species to declare it to the government.
  • The scheme applies for those who have illegally acquired exotic pets between June and December 2020 and do not have any documents. With the introduction of this scheme, the government is trying to address the challenge of zoonotic diseases as well as develop an inventory of exotic live species.
  •  This will also enable better compliance under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) along with regulation of their import.
  •  The report citing the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) said that India has seen a rise in demand for exotic birds and animals and noted an increase in smuggling of endangered species.

What kind of exotic wildlife are covered?

  • The advisory has defined exotic live species as animals named under the Appendices I, II and III of the CITES. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • It does not include species from the Schedules of the Wild Life (Protection) Act 1972. So, a plain reading of the advisory excludes exotic birds from the amnesty scheme. Hence statement 1 is correct.

What is the process for disclosure under the scheme?

  • The disclosure has to be done online through MoEFCC’s Parivesh portal. The owner of the animal(s) will have to declare the stock as on January 1, 2020 to the Chief Wildlife Warden (CWLW) of the concerned state or Union Territory. This will be followed by a physical verification of the animals. The CWLW will have to issue an online certificate of possession of exotic live species within six months of the date of the voluntary disclosure. 

Source: https://www.financialexpress.com/lifestyle/do-you-have-exotic-pet-species-now-is-the-right-time-to-declare-it/2149526/


Consider the following statements regarding UNESCO Award for Creative Economy

  •  It is an international prize in the field of ‘creative economy’ in the name of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
  •  It will be given away once in two years for global economic initiatives of the youth.

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: UNESCO to launch international prize in the name of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib

  • The UNESCO has decided to launch an international prize in the field of ‘creative economy’ in the name of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur RahmanHence statement 1 is correct.
  • Starting November 2021, the dollar 50 thousand award will be given away once in two years for global economic initiatives of the youth. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • According to UNESCO, the international award will create a knowledge-sharing mechanism by capturing, celebrating and communicating best practice in the development of creative entrepreneurship.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of Bangladesh in a Facebook release quoted UNESCO that the award will recognise exceptional initiatives taken by cultural workers and organizations in the development of the creative economy.
  • Foreign Minister Dr. A K Abdul Momen told reporters in Dhaka on Sunday that the award will create an opportunity to spread the ideology of Bangabandhu in the world and inspire the cultural workers to develop the creative economy.
  • UNESCO has declared 2021 as ‘International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development’.
  •  Currently, there are 23 UNESCO International Awards in the name of international celebrities and organisations.

Source: http://www.newsonair.com/News?title=UNESCO-to-launch-international-prize-in-the-name-of-Bangabandhu-Sheikh-Mujib&id=406046#:~:text=The%20UNESCO%20has%20decided%20to,of%20Bangabandhu%20Sheikh%20Mujibur%20Rahman.&text=UNESCO%20has%20declared%202021%20as,Creative%20Economy%20for%20Sustainable%20Development‘.


Consider the following statements regarding Shola forests of South India

  • It is classified as Southern Montane Wet Temperate Forest
  •  It is found in the upper reaches of the Nilgiris, Anamalais, Palni hills, Kalakadu, Mundanthurai and Kanyakumari in the states of Tamil Nadu only

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: Bringing life back to Western Ghats grasslands

  •  Researchers find sites for restoration in the Nilgiris, Palani Hills and Anamalai, where exotic trees are erasing biodiversity
  • Tropical montane grasslands (TMG) in the Shola Sky Islands of the Western Ghats have suffered big reductions due to invasions by exotic trees such as acacias, pines and eucalyptus.
  •  A study has identified an area of 254 sq km for grassland restoration, 362 sq km of intact montane grasslands for conservation, and 606 sq km of mature exotic tree stands in the Nilgiris, Palani Hills and Anamalai.
  • In India, TMG have even been classified as wastelands in forest management plans since they are unlikely to generate revenue, contrary to the timber (even if exotic) found in forests.
  •  Grasslands are not wastelands. Though they are not being put to use, we are benefiting in other ways – such as serving as pasture. In the Sholas, they are responsible for hydrological recharge.

Researchers have now focus on

  • identifying grassland restoration sites using satellite images with a high spatial resolution (RapidEye), and
  • careful removal of young and isolated exotic trees at the invasion front and restoring grasslands, instead of removing dense stands of mature exotic trees.
  •  prevention and mechanical, chemical and biological control.

About The Shola forests of South India

  • Classified as ‘Southern Montane Wet Temperate Forest’ the Sholas are found in the upper reaches of the Nilgiris, Anamalais, Palni hills, Kalakadu, Mundanthurai and Kanyakumari in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Hence statement 1 is correct and statement 2 is incorrect.
  • These forests are found sheltered in valleys with sufficient moisture and proper drainage, at an altitude of more than 1,500 metres.
  • The upper reaches are covered with grasslands, known as Shola grasslands.
  • The vegetation that grows in Shola forests is evergreen.
  • The trees are stunted and have many branches. Their rounded and dense canopies appear in different colours.
  • Generally, the leaves are small in size and leathery.
  • Red-coloured young leaves turning into different colours on maturity is a prominent characteristic of the Shola forests.
  • Epiphytes like lichens, ferns and bryophytes usually grow on the trees.
  • The climate is often referred to as ‘temperate’ because of the low mean annual temperatures compared to the surrounding plains. The region is characterized by greater diurnal variation of temperature than seasonal variation.
  • TMG are high elevation grasslands forming only 2% of all grasslands in the world.
  •  Among their functions is regulating the global carbon cycle and serving as a source of water to downstream communities.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bringing-life-back-to-western-ghats-grasslands/article33316899.ece


What is the importance of using Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccines in India?

  • These vaccines are effective against pneumonia as well as meningitis and sepsis.
  • Dependence on antibiotics that are not effective against drug resistant bacteria can be reduced.
  • These vaccines have no side effects and cause no allergic reactions.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  • 1 only
  • 1 and 2 only
  • 3 only
  • 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (b) 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

  • A conjugate vaccine is a type of vaccine which combines a weak antigen with a strong antigen as a carrier so that the immune system has a stronger response to the weak antigen. A Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) is a pneumococcal vaccine which gives prevention against pneumococcal diseases, that are infections caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus. Pneumococcal infections can range from ear and sinus infections to pneumonia and bloodstream infections. A pneumococcal vaccine is also commonly called pneumonia vaccine and can prevent septicaemia (a kind of blood poisoning, also called sepsis) and meningitis. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  •  While vaccines are not intended to replace antibiotics, they can contribute to reduce AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance or drug resistance) by preventing (resistant) bacterial diseases and their transmission, and by reducing antibiotic use and misuse. PCVs for pneumococcos can potentially reduce the dependence on antibiotics by nearly 50 fifty percent per year. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  •  Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccines can have side effects ranging from fever, loss of appetite to headache, fussiness. Hence statement 3 is not correct.

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