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Daily Prelims Test – 14_July 2021

Consider the following statements regarding Retail Direct Scheme:

  • It is a one-stop solution to facilitate investment in government securities by individual investors.
  • It was launched by the National Payment corporation of India.
  • Under the scheme, retail investors will have the facility to open and maintain the Retail Direct Gilt Account with the RBI.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. a) 1 and 2 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) 1 and 3 only
  4. d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (c) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: RBI Retail Direct scheme to woo individual investors for G-secs

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced the ‘RBI Retail Direct’ Scheme. Hence, statement (2) is incorrect.
  • In February 2021 RBI proposed to allow retail investors to open gilt accountswith the central bank to invest in Government securities (G-secs)
  • RBI Retail Direct Scheme is a one-stop solution to facilitate investment in government securities (G-secs) by individual investors. Hence, statement (1) is correct.
  • Under the scheme, retail investors (individuals) will have the facility to open and maintain the ‘Retail Direct Gilt Account’ (RDG Account) with the RBI. Hence, statement (3) is correct.
  • RDG accounts can be opened through an online portal provided for the purpose of the scheme.
  • The online portal will give registered users access to primary issuance of G-secs and access to Negotiated Dealing System-Order Matching system (NDS-OM).
  • It is a one-stop solution to facilitate investment in G-secs by individual investors. RBI seeks to democratize the ownership of government debt securities beyond banks and managers of pooled resources such as mutual funds.

What are Government Securities (G-secs)? 

  • A Government Security(G-Sec) is a tradable instrument issued by the Central Government or the State Governments. It acknowledges the Government’s debt obligation.  
  • 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 an 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). 

What are Retail Investor, Gilt Account and NDS-OM?

  • Retail Investor is a non-professional investor who buys and sells securities or funds that contain a basket of securities such as mutual funds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).
  • A Gilt Account can be compared with a bank account, except that the account is debited or credited with treasury bills or government securities instead of money.
  • The RBI introduced the NDS-OM in August 2005. It is an electronic, screen based, anonymous, order driven trading system for dealing in G-secs.

Source: TH

With respect to Deep Ocean Mission, consider the following statements:

  • It aims to explore the deep ocean for resources and to support the Blue Economy Initiatives of the Government of India.
  • The Prime Minister’s office is the nodal body for implementing this mission.
  • India will be the first country to have technology and expertise needed for this mission.

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

  1. a) 1 and 2 only
  2. b) 1 only
  3. c) 1 and 3 only
  4. d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (b) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: India Aims to Target over 100 Billion “Blue Economy” Through Deep Ocean Mission and Ocean Resources – Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh

  • Deep Ocean Mission:
  • Deep Ocean Mission aims to explore the deep ocean for resources. Also, for sustainable use of ocean resources, it aims to develop deep-sea technologies. Hence, statement (1) is correct.
  • The Ministry of Earth Sciences(MoES) will be the nodal Ministry for implementing this mission. Hence, statement (2) is incorrect.
  • The mission will be implemented over a period of 5 years in a phased manner. Its 1st phase will be of 3 years.
  • Deep Ocean Mission will be a mission mode project to support the Blue Economy Initiatives of the Government of India.
  • The technology and expertise needed in such missions are now available in only five countries – US, Russia, France, Japan, and China. India will be the sixth country to have it. Hence, statement (3) is incorrect.
  • Components of the Mission: The Deep Ocean Mission consists of the following six major components:
  • Development of Ocean Climate Change Advisory Services: Models will be developed to understand and provide future projections of important climate variables on seasonal to decadal time scales.
  • Technological innovations for exploration and conservation of deep-sea biodiversity: Bio-prospecting of deep-sea flora and fauna including microbes and studies on sustainable utilization of deep-sea bio-resources will be the main focus under this component.
  • Deep Ocean Survey and Exploration:This component will explore and identify potential sites of multi-metal Hydrothermal Sulphides mineralization along the Indian Ocean mid-oceanic ridges.
  • Energy and freshwater from the Ocean:Studies and detailed engineering design for offshore Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) powered desalination plants are being planned under this component.
  • Development of Technologies for Deep Sea Mining and Manned Submersible:
  • A manned submersible will be developed to carry three people to a depth of 6000 metres in the ocean with a suite of scientific sensors and tools.
  • For mining Polymetallic Nodulesfrom 6000 m depth in the central Indian Ocean, an Integrated Mining System will also be developed.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1734881

Consider the following statements with respect to Pneumococcal disease:

  • This disease causes many types of illnesses, including pneumonia, which is an infection of the lungs.
  • It is caused by a mix of several viruses.
  • Vaccines have not yet been found to prevent this disease.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Answer:(a) 1 only

Explanation:

In news: T.N. rolls out pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for children

  • It will protect them against pneumonia and meningitis
  • Tamil Nadu rolled out the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine under the Universal Immunisation Programme on Tuesday.

Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine:

  • Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) prevents pneumococcal disease. Hence, statement (3) is incorrect.
  • The vaccine is a mix of several bacteria of the pneumococci family, which are known to cause pneumonia — hence ‘conjugate’ is included in the name of the vaccine. Hence, statement (2) is incorrect.
  • Conjugate vaccines are made using a combination of two different components.

Pneumococcal Disease:

  • Pneumococcal disease refers to any illness caused by pneumococcal bacteria.
  • Symptoms: These bacteria can cause many types of illnesses, including pneumonia, which is an infection of the lungs. Pneumococcal bacteria are one of the most common causes of pneumonia. Hence, statement (1) is correct.
  • Vulnerable Population: Anyone can get pneumococcal disease, but children under 2 years of age, people with certain medical conditions, adults 65 years or older, and cigarette smokers are at the highest risk.
  • Status in India : In 2010, the annual incidence of severe pneumococcal pneumonia in India was estimated to be 4.8 episodes per 1,000 children younger than 5 years.
  • The top five contributors to India’s pneumococcal pneumonia burden in terms of the number of cases and deaths were Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jharkhand.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tn-rolls-out-pneumococcal-conjugate-vaccine-for-children/article35313263.ece

Consider the following statements regarding cryptogams:

  • It is a plant that reproduces with the help of spores.
  • They are found in aquatic areas only.
  • Algae ferns and fungi are the best-known groups of cryptogams.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

  1. a) 1 and 3 only
  2. b) 2 and 3 only
  3. c) 1 and 2 only
  4. d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (a) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Uttarakhand’s Cryptogamic garden of plants from Jurassic era opens to public

  • Uttarakhand Forest department has dedicated a Cryptogamic garden of ancient plants/organisms, existing since the Jurassic era, that grow without seeds and flowers, to the public
  • It was built in the Deoban area of Dehradun district at a height of 2,700 metres
  • Uttarakhand forest department’s research wing developed the Cryptogamic garden over three acres of land with 75 species of such plants and plant-like organisms (in case of fungi) belonging to six different groups.
  • Earlier this year, in its initiative to protect Himalayan flora, Uttarakhand forest department also created a repository of 1,576 plant species including 73 threatened, rare and vulnerable species, aimed at their germplasm conservation, so that these species remain conserved in case they disappear from the wild due to any reason.

About cryptogams

  • The word “Cryptogamae” implies ‘hidden reproduction’, referring to the fact that they do not produce any reproductive structure, seed, or flower. Thus, a cryptogam is a plant that reproduces with the help of spores. Hence, statement (1) is correct.
  • Due to this, they are called “flowerless” or “seedless plants” or ‘lower plants’.
  • They need a moist environment to survive.
  • These are present in aquatic and terrestrial places. Hence, statement (2) is incorrect.
  • Algae, bryophytes, lichens, ferns and fungi are the best-known groups of cryptogams . Hence statement (3) is correct.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/dehradun-news/uttarakhands-cryptogamic-garden-of-plants-from-jurassic-era-opens-to-public-101626076720415.html

Consider the following statements regarding National Archives of India:

  • It functions as an Attached Office of the Department of Culture under the Ministry of Culture.
  • It is a custodian of the non-current records of the enduring value of the Indian Government.

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

  1. a) 1 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) Both 1 and 2
  4. d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Records of freedom fighters to be digitised

  • The Union Culture Minister has said that the National Archives records related to the life, struggle, and strife of our freedom fighters would be digitised within a year as a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
  • Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is an initiative of the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of progressive India and the glorious history of its people, culture, and achievements.

About National Archives of India(NAI): 

  • National Archives of India(NAI) functions as an Attached Office of the Department of Culture under the Ministry of Culture. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • It was originally established as the Imperial Record Department in 1891 in Calcutta(Kolkata). This department was transferred to New Delhi in 1911. Later, it was shifted into the present building in 1926. 
  • NAI is a custodian of the non-current records of the enduring value of the Indian Government. It holds them in trust for the use of administrators and scholarsHence statement (2) is correct.
  • NAI is the nodal agency for the implementation of the Public Records Act, 1993 and Public Record Rules,1997. 

Source: TH Pg:No: 8

Consider the following statements regarding Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS):

  • It is a very rare autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the nerves of the patient.
  • It is neither contagious nor hereditary.

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

  1. a) 1 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) Both 1 and 2
  4. d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Guillain-Barré and vaccines: What you need to know

  • US regulators have added that Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine may be associated with a small increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome.
  • One hundred reports of the syndrome after vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson shot have been submitted to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
  • The syndrome was generally reported about two weeks after vaccination, primarily in men, many of whom were 50 or older.

What is Guillain-Barré syndrome?

  • Guillain-Barré is a rare condition in which the body’s immune system attacks nerve cells.
  • It can cause muscle weakness and paralysis. Although the symptoms often pass within weeks, in some cases, the condition can cause permanent nerve damage. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • In the United States, there are typically 3,000 to 6,000 cases of the syndrome per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is most common in adults over 50. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • The precise cause of the syndrome is unknown, but in many cases the condition follows another illness or infection, such as the flu. It has also been reported in people with COVID-19.

What does it have to do with vaccination?

  • This is not the first vaccine that has been linked to Guillain-Barré, although the risk appears to be tiny.
  • A large swine flu vaccination campaign in 1976 led to a small uptick in the incidence of syndrome; the vaccine caused roughly one extra case of Guillain-Barré for every 100,000 people vaccinated.
  • The seasonal flu shot is associated with roughly one to two additional cases for every 1 million vaccines administered.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/world/guillain-barres-what-you-need-to-know-7402225/

Consider the following statements regarding Lok Adalats:

  • It is a statutory body.
  • The decision made by the Lok Adalats is ultimate and binding on all parties.
  • There is no provision for an appeal against the verdict made by Lok Adalat.

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

  1. a) 1 and 3 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) 1 and 2 only
  4. d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Lok Adalat resolves over 7,500 cases in Gurugram

  • More than 7,500 cases were disposed of involving a settlement amount of ₹2.79 crore at the Lok Adalats held in Gurugram on Saturday as part of the second National Lok Adalat this year

About Lok Adalat

  • Lok Adalat is one of the alternative dispute redressal mechanisms, it is a forum where disputes/cases pending in the court of law or at pre-litigation stage are settled/ compromised amicably.
  • The Lok Adalats are formed to fulfil the promise given by the preamble of the Indian Constitution– securing Justice – social, economic and political of every citizen of India.
  • It is a statutory body under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. This system is based on Gandhian principles. Lok Adalats serve very crucial functions in India due to many factors like pending cases, illiteracy, poverty, high vacancy in courts etc. Hence statement (1) is correct
  • The basic features of Lok Adalat are the procedural flexibility and speedy trial of the disputes. There is no strict application of procedural laws like the Civil Procedure Code and the Evidence Act while assessing the claim by Lok Adalat.
  • The decision made by the Lok Adalats is considered to be a verdict of a civil court and is ultimate and binding on all parties. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • There is no provision for an appeal against the verdict made by Lok Adalat. Hence statement (3) is correct.
  • There is no court fee payable when a matter is filed in a Lok Adalat. If a matter pending in the court of law is referred to the Lok Adalat and is settled subsequently, the court fee originally paid in the court on the complaints/petition is also refunded back to the parties.

Nature of Cases to be Referred to Lok Adalat:

  • Any case pending before any court.
  • Any dispute which has not been brought before any court and is likely to be filed before the court.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/lok-adalat-resolves-over-7500-cases-in-gurugram/article35271836.ece

Consider the following statements:

  • Sattras are monastic institutions created as part of the Neo-Vaishnavite reformist movement.
  • It was started by Vaishnavite saint-reformer Sri Ramanujar.

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

  1. a) 1 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) Both 1 and 2
  4. d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Assam Bill bans sale of beef around temples

  • Prior to tabling the Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021, in the 126-member Assembly on July 12, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said its primary objective was to check the smuggling of cows to Bangladesh.
  • It also seeks to restrict the sale of beef in areas dominated by non-beef consuming communities and within a 5-km radius of temples and ‘satras’ (Vaishnav monasteries) formed by the saint-reformer Srimanta Sankaradeva.
  • The Bill seeks to replace the Assam Cattle Preservation Act, 1950, which allows the slaughter of cattle above 14 years of age or those that have become permanently incapacitated due to work, breeding, accident or deformity after local veterinary officers certify that they are fit for slaughter.
  • The Bill retains this provision while intending to regulate the slaughter, consumption and illegal transportation of cattle across Assam.

What are Sattras?

  • Sattras are monastic institutions created as part of the 16th-century Neo-Vaishnavite reformist movement started by Vaishnavite saint-reformer Srimanta Sankaradeva (1449-1596). Hence statement (1) is correct and statement (2) is incorrect.
  • As the saint travelled across Assam, spreading his teachings and propagating an egalitarian society, these Sattras/Thans were established as centres of religious, social and cultural reforms in the 16th century.
  • These institutions are of paramount importance and lie at the heart of Assamese culture.
  • Sattras are spread across the state, promulgating Sankardeva’s unique “worship through art” approach with music (borgeet), dance (sattriya) and theatre (bhauna).

What is Sankardeva’s philosophy?

  •  Sankardeva propagated a form of Bhakti called eka-sharana-naam-drama, and espoused a society based on equality and fraternity, free from caste differences, orthodox Brahmanical rituals and sacrifices.
  •  His teaching focused on prayer and chanting (naam) instead of idol worship. His dharma was based on the four components of deva (god), naam (prayers), bhakats (devotees), and guru (teacher).

Source: TH Pg:No: 9

With reference to Pradhan mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin, consider the following statements:

The scheme aims to provide a pucca house with basic amenities to all rural families, who are homeless by the end of March 2022.

The selection of beneficiaries are done through Socio Economic Caste Census 2011, Gram Sabha and geo-tagging.

It is fully funded by the Union government.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Answer: (c) 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

In news: Funding gap may stump ‘Housing for All’ goal

₹1.24 lakh cr. needed in 1.5 years: ICRA

  • The government‘s promise to provide ‘Housing for All’ by 2022 faces a severe funding crunch even as implementation is running behind schedule.
  • The Centre had promised to build 50 million houses by 2022 under the PM Awas Yojana (PMAY) unveiled in 2015, but even a subsequently scaled down target of 32.6 million may be difficult to meet by next year, as there is a ‘large’ ₹1.24 lakh crore funding gap to be bridged in the next eighteen months, ratings agency ICRA said.
  • “With 1.5 years to go, against the revised targets, 19.55 million houses have been sanctioned and 14.16 million have been completed through PMAY-Rural till April 2021, implying completion of 67% of the revised target and 72% of the sanctioned houses,” said Kapil Banga, assistant vice-president and sector head, ICRA, adding that only 43% of the 11.2 million urban housing units had been built so far.
  • Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana- Gramin (PMAY-G):
  • Launch: To achieve the objective of “Housing for All” by 2022, the erstwhile rural housing scheme Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) was restructured to Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) with effect from 1st April, 2016.
  • Ministry Involved: Ministry of Rural development.
  • Aim: To provide a pucca house with basic amenities to all rural families, who are homeless or living in kutcha or dilapidated houses by the end of March 2022. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • To help rural people Below the Poverty Line (BPL) in construction of dwelling units and upgradation of existing unserviceable kutcha houses by providing assistance in the form of a full grant.
  • Beneficiaries: People belonging to SCs/STs, freed bonded labourers and non-SC/ST categories, widows or next-of-kin of defence personnel killed in action, ex servicemen and retired members of the paramilitary forces, disabled persons and minorities.
  • Selection of Beneficiaries: Through a three stage validation – Socio Economic Caste Census 2011, Gram Sabha, and geo-tagging. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • Cost Sharing: The cost of unit assistance is shared between Central and State Governments in the ratio 60:40 in plain areas and 90:10 for North Eastern and hilly states. Hence statement (3) is incorrect.
  • Features:
  • The minimum size of the house has been increased to 25 sq.mt (from 20sq.mt) with a hygienic cooking space.
  • The unit assistance has been increased from Rs. 70,000 to Rs. 1.20 lakh in plain and from Rs. 75,000 to Rs. 1.30 lakh in hilly states.
  • The assistance for construction of toilets shall be leveraged through convergence with Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G), MGNREGS or any other dedicated source of funding.
  • Convergence for piped drinking water, electricity connection, LPG gas connection etc. different Government programmers are also to be attempted.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/business/funding-gap-may-stump-housing-for-all-goal/article35310794.ece

With reference to the cultural history of India, the memorizing of chronicles, dynastic histories and epic tales was the profession of who of the following?

  1. a) Shramana
  2. b) Parivraajaka
  3. c) Agrahaarika
  4. d) Maagadha

Answer: (d) Maagadha

Explanation:

During Gupta period, the memorizing of chronicles, dynastic histories or epic tales was the work of a different group of people, the sutas and magadhas. Hence option (d) is correct.