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Daily Prelims Test – 14_October_2021

1. Consider the following statements regarding James Webb Space Telescope

1) It is an international collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency

2) It is an orbiting infrared observatory that will complement and extend the discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope, with longer wavelength coverage and greatly improved sensitivity.

Which of the statements given above 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 most powerful space telescope ever built will look back in time to the Dark Ages of the universe

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled to launch into orbit and usher in the next era of astronomy

About James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)

·         It is an orbiting infrared observatory that will complement and extend the discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope, with longer wavelength coverage and greatly improved sensitivity. Hence statement 2 is correct

·         Webb was formerly known as the “Next Generation Space Telescope” (NGST) and it was renamed in 2002 after a former NASA administrator, James Webb.

·         It will be a large infrared telescope with an approximately 6.5 meter primary mirror which will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana in 2021.

·         It is an international collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Hence statement 1 is correct

·         The longer wavelengths enable Webb to look much closer to the beginning of time and to hunt for the unobserved formation of the first galaxies.

·         It will be the premier space observatory for astronomers worldwide, extending the tantalizing discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope.

·         It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bangto the formation of solar systems.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/science-technology/the-most-powerful-space-telescope-ever-built-will-look-back-in-time-to-the-dark-ages-of-the-universe-79671

2. With reference to Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures, Consider the following statements

1) It is a multinational forum for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Africa.

2) India has been a member since its inception in 1999.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 only

c)   Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Peace in South Asia not possible without resolution of Kashmir issue, says Pak Foreign Minister

·      Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi raked up the Kashmir issue at a multilateral meeting in Kazakhstan, saying that sustainable peace in South Asia was not possible without the resolution of the “core dispute” with India.

·      India has repeatedly told Pakistan that Jammu and Kashmir “was, is and shall forever” remain an integral part of the country. It has also advised Pakistan to accept the reality and stop all anti-India propaganda.

·      India has told Pakistan that it desires normal neighbourly relations with Islamabad in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence. India has said the onus is on Pakistan to create an environment free of terror and hostility.

About Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures

·      CICA is a multinational forum for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in AsiaHence statement 1 is incorrect

·      The idea of convening CICA was first proposed by the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan in 1992, at the 47th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

·      To be a member of CICA, a state must have at least a part of its territory in Asia. Presently, CICA has 27 Member States, accounting for nearly ninety percent of the territory and population of Asia. India has been a member since its inception in 1999. Hence statement 2 is correct

·      The CICA Heads of the State Summit is convened every four years in order to conduct consultations, review the progress of, and set priorities for CICA activities. The Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs is required to be held every two years.

·      The CICA Secretariat is located in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

·      The current chairman of CICA is Kazakhstan.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/peace-in-south-asia-not-possible-without-resolution-of-kashmir-issue-says-pak-foreign-minister/article36975652.ece

3. Consider the following statements regarding Cicadas

1) They are hemipteran insects known for their loud, complex and species-specific acoustic signals

2) Most cicadas are canopy dwellers and are found in natural forests with large trees.

3) They act as indicators of a healthy forest ecosystem

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  3 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c)   1 only

d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1,2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: New cicada species in Nagaland underscores need for conservation

·      The main threat to many cicada species is their rapidly diminishing natural habitat

·      Cicadas, with their acoustic signatures, act as indicators of a healthy forest ecosystem. But unfortunately, they do not get much conservation support.

·      The collection site of Platyomia kohimaensis was a semi-disturbed forest patch, with human activities as evident nearby in the form of farming and agriculture land.

·      Some cicadas like Savazana mirabilis and Salvazana imperalis they discovered in Meghalaya prefer only certain tree species found in undisturbed forests

What are cicadas?

·      Cicadas are hemipteran insects known for their loud, complex and species-specific acoustic signals or songs. Hence statement 1 is correct

·      The generic diversity of cicadas in India and Bangladesh ranks the highest in the world, followed by China.

·      Most cicadas are canopy dwellers and are found in natural forests with large trees. Hence statement 2 is correct

·      The emergence of this cicada occurs more in areas around undisturbed bamboo groves

·      They act as indicators of a healthy forest ecosystem. Hence statement 3 is correct

·      Loss of natural habitat because of clearing of forest land, wildfires, agricultural land and other similar activities.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/new-cicada-species-in-nagaland-underscores-need-for-conservation-79655

4. Which of the following items are covered under the Geographical Indication (GI) Tag?

1) Agricultural products

2) Foodstuffs

3) Wine and spirit drinks

4) Handicrafts

5) Industrial products

Select the correct options from the given below codes

a)  1, 3 and 5 only

b) 2, 3, 4 and 5 only

c)   1, 2, 3 and 4 only

d) 1,2,3,4 and 5

Answer: (d) 1,2,3,4 and 5

Explanation:

In NEWS: Karuppur kalamkari paintings, Kallakurichi wood carvings get geographical indication (GI) tags

·      GI is a tag used on products, which have a specific geographical origin, and ones that possess a reputation due to that origin

·      In Tamil Nadu, the Karuppur kalamkari paintings and the Kallakurichi wood carvings recently received the geographical indication (GI) tags. Both of these art forms are traditional in nature.

·      While the paintings are intricately made on a cotton cloth using pens or brushes made out of bamboo tree and coconut tree stems, the wood carving is essentially one wherein the craftsmen are specialised in carving temple-related items and also furniture, using traditional designs.

About Kalamkari:

·      The Karuppur Kalamkari Paintings are done in Thanjavur region.

·      These are traditional dye-painted figurative and patterned clothes.

·      They are made for temples like ceiling cloth, cylindrical hangings, umbrella covers and chariot covers.

·      Thanjavur tradition of Kalamkari had canopies, umbrella covers, thombai (cylindrical hangings), and ‘thoranams’ (door hangings) comprising of motifs of yazhi, peacock, swan, flowers, and images of deities. They are used in temples and mutts.

About Kallakurichi Wood Carvings:

·      These carvings are done for designs and ornaments. These are indigenous to Madurai region.

·      It is done using pens, palm stems, date trees, brushes made of bamboo sticks and coconut tree stems.

·      This certificate was issued the Geographical Indications Registry on the basis of an application filed by Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation (Poompuhar).

Kanyakumari Clove:

·      Known for its rich aromatic content, with a volatile oil content of 21%(normal 18%)resulting in 86% of Eugenol.

·      India has a total of 1100 tonnes of clove, Tamil Nadu accounts for 1000 tonnes with 65% coming from Kanyakumari.

·      The hilly regions of western ghats rich in Black soil are known for the unique nature of cloves.

About Geographical Indication (GI) Tag

·      GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.

·      It is a part of the intellectual property rights that comes under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.

·      In India, Geographical Indications registration is administered by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act of 1999.

·      The Geographical Indications Registry is located in Chennai.

·      Items Covered: Agricultural products, foodstuffs, wine and spirit drinks, handicrafts, and industrial products. Hence option (d) is correct

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/art-and-culture/karuppur-kalamkari-paintings-kallakurichi-wood-carvings-get-the-geographical-indication-gi-tags-7568428/

5. Consider the following statements regarding Border Security Force

1) It is deployed along the China and Bangladesh borders

2) It contributes dedicated services to the UN peacekeeping Mission

3) This paramilitary force is one of the five Central Armed Police Forces in India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  3 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c)   1 only

d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: (b) 2 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Centre enhances powers of BSF; Punjab slams move

·      The Union Home Ministry has enhanced the powers of the Border Security Force (BSF) to “arrest, search and seize” within 50 km from the international boundary in Assam, West Bengal and Punjab.

·      BSF’s limit was fixed up to 80 km from the international boundary in Gujarat and 15 km in Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.

·      The October 11 notification replaces a 2014 order under the BSF Act, 1968, which also covered the States of Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya.

About Border Security Force

·      The BSF was raised in 1965 after the India-Pakistan war.

·      It is one of the five Central Armed Police Forces of Union of India under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Hence statement 3 is correct

·      The 2.65-lakh force is deployed along the Pakistan and Bangladesh borders. Hence statement 1 is incorrect

·      It is deployed on Indo-Pakistan International Border, Indo-Bangladesh International Border, Line of Control (LoC) along with Indian Army and in Anti-Naxal Operations.

·      It has an air wing, marine wing, an artillery regiment, and commando units.

·      The BSF is under the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India.

·      It is at present the world’s largest border guarding force.

·      It contributes dedicated services to the UN peacekeeping Mission by sending a large contingent of its trained manpower every year. Hence statement 2 is correct

·      BSF has been termed as the First Line of Defence of Indian Territories.

·      BSF has been defending Sir Creak in Arabian Sea and Sundarban delta in the Bay of Bengal with its state of art fleet of Water Crafts.

·      BSF has an instrumental role in helping state administration in maintaining Law and Order and conduct of peaceful election.

Source: TH

6. Consider the following statements regarding Green Climate Fund

1) It was established by 194 countries party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2010

2) It allocates its resources to low-emission and climate-resilient projects and programmes in developing countries.

Which of the statements given above 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: Deconstructing climate finance

·      In the run-up to the 26th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), media reports have claimed that developed countries are inching closer to the target of providing $100 billion annually in climate finance to developing countries by 2025 (the original target was 2020).

·      The U.S. also has a history of broken commitments, having promised $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) under President Barack Obama, but delivering only $1 billion before President Donald Trump withdrew U.S. support from the GCF.

About Green Climate Fund’s

·      The Green Climate Fund’s (GCF) aim is to expand collective human action to respond to climate change. 

·      The Fund aims to mobilize funding at scale to invest in low-emission and climate-resilient development on our home planet. Hence statement 2 is correct

·      The Green Climate Fund was established by 194 countries party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2010. Hence statement 1 is correct

·      It is designed as an operating entity of the Convention’s financial mechanism and is headquartered in the Republic of Korea.

·      It is governed by a 24 Board member Board, representing countries, and receives guidance from the Conference of the Parties to the Convention (COP). Created by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Fund aims to support a paradigm shift in the global response to climate change.

·      It allocates its resources to low-emission and climate-resilient projects and programmes in developing countries.

·      The Fund pays particular attention to the needs of societies that are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, in particular Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and African States.

Source: TH

7. Which among the following options are come under the river syndromes?

1) Salinization

2) Mineralization

3) Desalinization

4) Acidification

5) Hardening

Select the correct options from the given below codes

a)  1, 3 and 5 only

b) 2, 3, 4 and 5 only

c)   1, 2, 3 and 4 only

d) 1,2,3,4 and 5

Answer: (d) 1,2,3,4 and 5

Explanation:

In NEWS: Human activity is slowly killing the world’s rivers, study illustrates

·      The chemical composition of major rivers such as Yangtze, Amazon, Mississippi and Congo have been altered

·      The rivers criss-crossing Earth are choking up and anthropogenic factors were found to be one of the prominent reasons, according to a new report. Agriculture, mining and dam construction emerged as some of the biggest contributors to this degradation.

·      The chemical composition of major rivers such as Yangtze, Amazon, Mississippi and Congo have been altered by natural and human activities, the study found.

·      The rivers observed included the Colorado and Mississippi (USA), the Amazon (South America), the Congo (Africa), the Rhine (Europe), the Yellow and Yangtse rivers (China) and the Murray (Australia).

·      The polar and tropical regions were the worst-affected because most of the urbanisation and agriculture were concentrated there. Weathering of rocks are also contributing factors.

·      These human activities, along with natural factors, cause seven river syndromes — salinisation, mineralisation, desalinisation, acidification, alkalisation, hardening and softening — that damage ecosystems. Hence option (d) is correct

·      Historical data analysis of runoff and solute concentration of 149 large rivers pointed out that higher volumes of calcium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonates are flowing through river basins and estuaries.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/environment/human-activity-is-slowly-killing-the-world-s-rivers-study-illustrates-79683

8. Consider the following statements regarding Agriculture Infrastructure Development Cess.

1) It will be levied on 29 products

2) It is deposit in the Consolidated Fund of India.

3) It will raise the tax incidence for consumers.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  3 only

b) 1 and 2 only

c)   1 only

d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: (b) 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Sticky edible oil prices prompt fresh import duty cuts

·      In a bid to curb the persistently high inflation in edible oils, the government has decided to exempt crude palm, soya-bean and sunflower seed oils from customs duty, and slash the Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) levied on their imports from October 14 till March 31, 2022.

·      The customs duty on edible grade palm, sunflower and soya-bean oils is being virtually halved as well, from 32.5% to 17.5% for the same period, with no cess levied on their imports.

·      Imports of crude palm, soya-bean and sunflower seed oils attract a basic customs duty of 2.5% and an AIDC of 20%. The customs duty has been dropped to zero till the end of March next year, while the cess has been reduced to 5% for crude soya-bean and sunflower seed oil

About Agriculture Infrastructure Development Cess

·      Cess is a kind of special-purpose tax which is levied over and above basic tax rates.

·      The AIDC is proposed to be used to improve agricultural infrastructure aimed at not only boosting production but also in helping conserve and process farm output efficiently.

·      The purpose of the new AIDC is to raise funds to finance spending on developing agriculture infrastructure.

·      The new cess will be levied on 29 products, prominent among which are gold, silver, imported apple, imported alcohol (excluding beer), imported pulses, imported palm oil, imported urea, and petrol/diesel including branded ones. Hence statement 1 is correct

·      The new cess will only offset the reduction in customs or excise duty and thus will not raise the tax incidence for consumers. Hence statement 3 is incorrect

·      Drawing power from Articles 270 and 271 of the Constitution, the Centre collects cess and deposits it in the Consolidated Fund of India. However, the money is then supposed to be transferred to a segregated fund to be used for specific purpose. Hence statement 2 is correct

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/sticky-edible-oil-prices-prompt-fresh-import-duty-cuts/article36992388.ece

9. Consider the following statements regarding the Soil Health Card Scheme

1) It is provided to all farmers in the country at an interval of 3 years.

2) It will cover all the parts of the country.

3) It is a printed report which contains nutrient status of soil with respect to 12 nutrients

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  3 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c)   1 only

d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1,2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Training Program For Farmers Held At Village Paryote Of Doda District

·      A training program for farmers was today organised by the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare here at village Paryote of Doda district under Soil Health card scheme

About Soil Health card scheme

·      The authorities will monitor the soil on a regular basis. One in every 3 years, they will provide a report to farmers. So, farmers need not worry if the nature of the soil changes due to certain factors.

·      The government is planning to cover as many as all farmers under the scheme. Hence statement 1 is correct

·      The scheme will cover all the parts of the country. Hence statement 2 is correct

·      In the form of soil card, the farmers will get a report and this report will contain all the details about the soil of their particular farm.

·      SHC is a printed report that a farmer will be handed over for each of his holdings. It will contain the status of his soil with respect to 12 parameters, namely N,P,K (Macro-nutrients); S (Secondary- nutrient); Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn, Bo (Micro – nutrients); and pH, EC, OC (Physical parameters). Hence statement 3 is correct

·      Based on this, the SHC will also indicate fertilizer recommendations and soil amendment required for the farm.

·      The card will contain an advisory based on the soil nutrient status of a farmer’s holding. It will show recommendations on dosage of different nutrients needed.

Source: PIB

10. Which of the following are the reasons/factors for exposure to benzene pollution?

1) Automobile exhaust

2) Tobacco smoke

3) Wood burning

4) Using varnished wooden furniture

5) Using products made of polyurethane

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a)  1, 2 and 3 only

b) 2 and 4 only

c)   1, 3 and 4 only

d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Answer: (d) 1,2,3,4 and 5

Explanation:

·      Sources of exposure to benzene Human exposure to benzene has been associated with a range of acute and long -term adverse health effects and diseases, including cancer and aplastic anaemia. Active and passive exposure to tobacco smoke is also a significant source of exposure. Benzene is highly volatile, and most exposure is through inhalation.

·      Natural sources of benzene include volcanoes and forest fires. Benzene is also a natural part of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke. Industrial processes As benzene occurs naturally in crude petroleum at levels up to 4 g/l, human activities using petroleum lead to exposure.

·      These activities include processing of petroleum products, coking of coal, production of toluene, xylene and other aromatic compounds, and use in industrial and consumer products, as a chemical intermediate and as a component of petrol (gasoline) and heating oils.

·      The presence of benzene in petrol and as a widely used industrial solvent can result in significant occupational exposure and widespread emissions to the environment. Automobile exhaust accounts for the largest source of benzene in the general environment.