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Daily Prelims Test – 14_September_2021

1. Recently seen in the news, Climate Action & Finance Mobilization Dialogue (CAFMD) is related to?

a)  India-Japan

b) Germany-India

c)  China-Russia

d) India-USA

Answer: (d) India – USA

Explanation:

In NEWS: India, U.S. to collaborate on reaching green energy targets

●    The United States is to collaborate with India to work towards installing 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030. Hence option (d) is correct.

●    CAFMD will provide both countries an opportunity to renew collaborations on climate change

●    CAFMD will provide both countries an opportunity to renew collaborations on climate change while addressing the financing aspects and deliver climate finance primarily as grants and concessional finance, as envisaged under Paris Agreement to strengthen climate action

●    The dialogue will not only strengthen India-US bilateral cooperation on climate and environment but will also help to demonstrate how the world can align swift climate action with inclusive and resilient economic development.

●    The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-us-to-collaborate-on-reaching-green-energy-targets/article36433782.ece

2. With respect to International Atomic Energy Agency, consider the following statements:

1) It was created in 1957 in response to the deep fears and expectations generated by the discoveries and diverse uses of nuclear technology.

2) It is not an agency of the United Nations.

3) It is headquartered in Paris, France.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 and 3 only

b) 1 only

c)  1 and 2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (b) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Iran to allow nuclear surveillance

●    Iran agreed on Sunday to allow international inspectors to install new memory cards into surveillance cameras at its sensitive nuclear sites and to continue filming there, potentially averting a diplomatic showdown.

●    Safeguards are activities by which the IAEA can verify that a State is living up to its international commitments not to use nuclear programs for nuclear weapons purposes.

●    Safeguards are based on assessments of the correctness and completeness of a State’s declared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities.

●    Verification measures include on-site inspections, visits, and ongoing monitoring and evaluation.

International Atomic Energy Agency:

●    Widely known as the world’s “Atoms for Peace and Development” organization within the United Nations family, the IAEA is the international centre for cooperation in the nuclear field. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

●    The IAEA was created in 1957 in response to the deep fears and expectations generated by the discoveries and diverse uses of nuclear technology. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    Headquartered in Vienna, Austria, the IAEA is a UN agency. Hence statement (3) is incorrect.

●    The primary mandate of the organisation was and continues to be promoting safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies.

●    The IAEA, along with its former Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

●    The Agency works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.

●    India became a member in 1957 itself.

●    Currently, it has 173 members. The latest member is Samoa which joined the IAEA in 2021.

The functions of the IAEA are:

●    Promoting and assisting the research, development and practical applications of peaceful uses of nuclear technologies.

●    Establishing and administering safety guards to ensure that such research/development, etc., by the IAEA is not used for military purposes.

●    Applying, under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and other international treaties, mandatory comprehensive safeguards in non-nuclear-weapon states (NNWS) parties to such treaties.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/iran-to-allow-nuclear-surveillance/article36419894.ece

3. Consider the following statements regarding NATGRID:

1) It is an online database that collects and collates a host of information from government databases including tax and bank account details.

2) It is not exempted from the Right to Information Act, 2005.

3) Only the National Investigation Agency has been authorised to use this database.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 and 3 only

b) 1 only

c)  1 and 2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (b) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: National Intelligence Grid to finally see light of day

The PM is soon expected to launch the National Intelligence Grid or NATGRID that aims to provide cutting-edge technology to enhance India’s counter-terror capabilities.

What is NATGRID?

●        NATGRID is an online database for collating scattered pieces of information from more than 20 organisations in the field of telecom, tax records, bank, immigration, etc. to enable the generation of intelligence inputs. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●        NATGRID is a post Mumbai 26/11 attack measure.  

●        It aims to mitigate a vital deficiency — lack of real time information, which was considered to be one of the major hurdles in detecting US terror suspect David Headley’s movement across the country during his multiple visits between 2006 and 2009. 

●        NATGRID will utilise technologies like Big Data and analytics to study and analyse the data from various intelligence and enforcement agencies 

●        At least 10 central agencies like IB, R&AW and others will have access to the data for counter-terror investigations. Hence statement (3) is incorrect.

●        It will also have access to the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems, including FIRs, across 14,000 police stations in India.

●        Unlike the NCTC or the NIA which are central agencies, the NATGRID is essentially a tool that enables security agencies to locate and obtain relevant information on terror suspects from pooled data sets of various organizations and services in the country. 

●        The data recovery centre for NATGRID is at Bengaluru.

●        NATGRID is exempted from the Right to Information Act, 2005 under sub-section (2) of Section 24. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/national-intelligence-grid-to-finally-see-light-of-day/article36414741.ece

4. With reference to Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) scheme for Specified Agriculture Products, consider the following statements:

1) It was launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

2) It aims to provide assistance for the international component of freight and marketing of agricultural produce.

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: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Government widens scope of Transport and Marketing Assistance scheme, adds dairy products

●        The government widened the scope of the Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) scheme for specified agriculture products by including dairy products in its purview and increasing the rates of assistance.

●        Enhanced assistance under the revised scheme is expected to help Indian exporters of agricultural products to meet rising freight and logistics costs, the commerce and industry ministry said in a statement.

●        Under the TMA, the government reimburses a certain portion of freight charges and provides assistance for the marketing of agricultural produce. It was launched in 2019 to boost exports of such commodities to certain countries in Europe and North America.

●        Now the Department of Commerce has notified revised TMA for specified agriculture products scheme for exports affected on or after April 1, 2021 up to March 31, 2022. The existing scheme will remain in operation for exports affected up to March 31, 2021. Hence statement (1) is incorrect and (2) is correct.

●        Dairy products, which were not covered under the earlier scheme, will now be eligible for assistance, it said, adding that rates of assistance have been increased, by 50% for exports by sea and 100% through the air.

Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/government-widens-scope-of-transport-and-marketing-assistance-scheme-adds-dairy-products/articleshow/86094097.cms

5. Consider the following statements regarding Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft:

1) It is a fifth-generation indigenous fighter aircraft designed by Aeronautical Development Agency.

2) It is a twin-engine medium multi-role aircraft having a weight of around 25 tonnes.

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: LCA-Mk2 to roll out next year, first flight in 2023, says scientist

●        The configuration for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-Mk2 has been frozen and steel cutting is expected to begin soon while configuration for the fifth-generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) has been frozen and preliminary design completed, a senior scientist from the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) has said.

Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft:

●        The AMCA is an ambitious project of ADA which will be 5th generation indigenous fighter aircraft designed and developed as per the requirements of the Indian Air Force.

●        The Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft(AMCA) is a fifth-generation indigenous fighter aircraft designed by Aeronautical Development Agency. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●        AMCA will be incorporated with features like stealth airframe, internal carriage of smart weapons, and advanced sensors with data fusion among others.

●        It will be a 25-tonne aircraft with a payload capacity of 1,500 kg internally and a 5,500-kg external payload. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●        The aircraft will have stealth and non-stealth configurations. It will be developed in two phases, AMCA Mk1 with an existing GE414 engine and an AMCA Mk2 with an advanced more powerful engine to be developed later along with a foreign partner.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/lca-mk2-to-roll-out-next-year-first-flight-in-2023-says-scientist/article36419325.ece

6. Consider the following statements regarding Yamuna River:

1) It is the largest tributary of the Ganga River.

2) It originates from the Yamunotri glacier on the Bandarpunch Peak in the Garhwal region in Uttarakhand.

3) It merges with Ganga river near Prayagraj.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c)  1 and 2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Cleaning the Yamuna: A story of missed deadlines

●        The draft NCR Regional Plan-2041 prepared by the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) has fixed 2026 as the new deadline to ensure ‘zero discharge of untreated sewage and industrial discharge into the Yamuna’.

●        The first Yamuna Action Plan (YAP), for which a loan agreement was signed in 1992, was for the improvement of water quality conservation in the river, and the hygiene environment in the cities in the river basin.

●        After the first and second plans, YAP-III is currently underway, but the Yamuna is not even fit for bathing in the Delhi stretch, with the exception of Palla (the point where the river enters Delhi).

●        At present, the levels of faecal coliform (microbes from human and animal excreta) is beyond the desirable levels. At a few points, the concentration is 760 times the desirable level.

Yamuna River:

●        The Yamuna River is the largest tributary of the Ganga River. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●        It originates from the Yamunotri glacier, at the Bandarpoonch peak in Uttarakhand. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●        The main tributaries joining the river include the Sin, Hindon, Betwa Ken, and Chambal.

●        The Tons is the largest tributary of the Yamuna.

●        It travels through Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi before its confluence with the Ganga.

●        It unites with the Ganga near Triveni Sangam, Allahabad. Hence statement (3) is correct.

●        The total length of the Yamuna from its origin till Allahabad is 1,376 km.

●        It creates the highly fertile alluvial Yamuna-Ganges Doab region between itself and the Ganges in the Indo-Gangetic plain.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/cleaning-the-yamuna-a-story-of-missed-deadlines/article36422298.ece

7. Consider the following statements:

1) Permafrost is ground that remains completely frozen at 0 degrees Celsius or below for at least two years.

2) In the areas of permafrost there is complete absence of vegetation.

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: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: Can thawing permafrost cause another pandemic?

●        The latest IPCC report has warned that increasing global warming will result in reductions in Arctic permafrost and the thawing of the ground is expected to release greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide.

●        The first impacts that are very rapid will affect countries where roads or buildings were constructed on permafrost. The Russian railways are an example

●        The world currently emits into the atmosphere, approximately 10 billion tonnes of carbon a year. So, if the permafrost thaws and releases even only one per cent of the frozen carbon in any one year, it can nullify anything that we do about industrial emissions.

Permafrost:

●        Permafrost is ground that remains completely frozen at 0 degrees Celsius or below for at least two years. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●        The permanently frozen ground, consisting of soil, sand, and rock held together by ice, is believed to have formed during glacial periods dating several millennia.

●        While permafrost itself is always frozen, the surface layer that covers it (active layer) need not be. In Canada and Russia, for example, colourful tundra vegetation carpet over permafrost for thousands of kilometers. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

●        Its thickness reduces progressively towards the south, and is affected by a number of other factors, including the Earth’s interior heat, snow and vegetation cover, presence of water bodies, and topography.

●        These grounds are known to be below 22 per cent of the land surface on Earth, mostly in polar zones and regions with high mountains.

●        They are spread across 55 per cent of the landmass in Russia and Canada, 85 per cent in the US state of Alaska, and possibly the entirety of Antarctica.

●        At lower latitudes, permafrost is found at high altitude locations such as the Alps and the Tibetan plateau.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/permafrost-pandemic-arctic-global-warming-7506557/

8. Consider the following statements regarding National Financial Reporting AuthorityL

1) It is an audit regulator constituted under the Companies Act, 2013.

2) It consists of a chairperson who will be appointed by the Union Government.

3) It can probe listed companies and those unlisted public companies having paid-up capital of no less than Rs 500 crore.

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: (a) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: NFRA to set up single stakeholders’ advisory group, research cell

As it seeks to enhance engagement with stakeholders, the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) will set up a single stakeholders’ advisory group as well as a research cell to support the group while on-site inspection is not a priority for the nearly three-year-old watchdog at this stage.

The paper was on the basis of recommendations of NFRA’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on the regulator’s engagement with the stakeholders.

National Financial Reporting Authority:

●        National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) was constituted on 1st October, 2018 under section 132 (1) of the Companies Act, 2013. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●        The decision to constitute the NFRA was taken after the role of auditors and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India came under the scanner for alleged lapses in various corporate scams including that at the Punjab National Bank.

●        It consists of a chairperson, who shall be a person of eminence and having expertise in accountancy, auditing, finance or law, appointed by the Central Government and such other members not exceeding 15. Hence statement (2) is correct.

Powers:

It can undertake investigation related to the following class of companies and bodies corporate called Public Interest Entities:

●        Companies whose securities are listed on any stock exchange in India or outside India.

●        Unlisted public companies having paid-up capital of not less than Rs. 500 crores or having annual turnover of not less than Rs. 1,000 crores or having, in aggregate, outstanding loans, debentures and deposits of not less than Rs. 500 crores as on the 31st March of immediately preceding financial year. Hence statement (3) is correct.

●        Insurance companies, banking companies, companies engaged in the generation or supply of electricity.

Where professional or other misconduct is proved, it has the power to make order for imposing penalty of—

●        not less than one lakh rupees, but which may extend to five times of the fees received, in case of individuals; and

●        not less than ten lakh rupees, but which may extend to ten times of the fees received, in case of firms.

Source: https://www.business-standard.com/article/finance/nfra-to-set-up-single-stakeholders-advisory-group-research-cell-121091301359_1.html

9. It is one of the major ports in India; located in the east coast of India; Is a natural deep-water port; Recently installed a X-Ray container scanning system. Which of the following ports suits the above description?

(a)                     Visakhapatnam port

(b)                    Ennore port

(c)                     Tuticorin port

(d)                    Paradip port

Answer:(d) Paradip port

Explanation:

In news: Paradeep Port Trust aims to boost EXIM trade with installation of New Container Scanner

Under Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) initiative, a Mobile X-Ray Container Scanning System (MXCS) has been installed by Paradeep Port near the PICT Terminal at a cost of Rs 30 crore for the purpose of reducing physical examination and dwell time of containers at the Port. After a successful Trial Run of the MXCS, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has issued a license on 27th August, 2021 to Paradeep Customs for its regular operation. The Scanner can scan up to 25 containers per hour, enabling the Trade to directly move out their containers with upgrade security and zero hassle.

Paradip Port:

●    It is a natural, deep-water port on the East coast of India, situated at the confluence of the Mahanadi river and the Bay of Bengal, in Odisha. Hence option (d) is correct.

●    Located 210 nautical miles south of Kolkata and 260 nautical miles north of Visakhapatnam.

●    It is administered by the Paradip Port Trust (PPT), administering under the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 functioning under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.

●    PPT was commissioned in 1966 as a mono commodity port for export of iron ore.

Source:

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1754434

10. With reference to the Neem tree, consider the following statements:

1) Neem oil can be used as a pesticide to control the proliferation of some species of insects and mites.

2) Neem seeds are used in the manufacture of biofuels and hospital detergents.

3) Neem oil has applications in the pharmaceutical industry.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 and 2 only

b) 3 only

c)  1 and 3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

●        Neem oil can be used as a pesticide to control the proliferation of some species of insects and mites.

●        Neem seeds are used in the manufacture of biofuels and hospital detergents.

●        Neem oil has applications in the pharmaceutical industry. Hence option (d) is correct.