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Daily Prelims Test – 15_April 2021

Sometimes the term Monkeydactyl is seen in news, it is related to

The New pterosaur fossil

A viral hemorrhagic fever

An Ape species recently found in Indonesia

None of the above

Answer: (a) The New pterosaur fossil

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: What is Monkeydactyl, the flying reptile with the ‘oldest opposable thumbs’?

  • Researchers have described a pterosaur species with opposable thumbs, which could likely be the earliest-known instance of the limb. Hence option (a) is correct
  • The pterosaur species were reptiles, close cousins of dinosaurs and the first animals after insects to evolve powered flight
  • The new pterosaur fossil was discovered in the Tiaojishan Formation of Liaoning, China, and is thought to be 160 million years old.
  • It has been named Kunpeng Opterus antipollicatus, also dubbed “Monkey Dactyl”.

What has the team of researchers found?

  • “Antipollicatus” in ancient Greek means “opposite thumbs”, and it was attached to the name because the researchers’ findings could be the first discovery of a pterosaur with an opposed thumb.
  • Along with humans, some ancient monkeys and apes also had opposable thumbs. Humans, however, have a relatively longer and distally placed thumb, and larger thumb muscles. 
  • This means that humans’ tip-to-tip precision grip when holding smaller objects is superior to non-human primates. 
  • This is the reason that humans are able to hold a pen, unscrew an earring stopper, or put a thread through a needle hole.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-what-is-monkeydactyl-the-flying-reptile-with-the-oldest-opposable-thumbs-7272513/


With respect to Zoonotic Diseases, Consider the following Statements

  1. They can be bacterial, viral, or parasitic
  2. They can spread to humans through direct contact only
  3. HIV-AIDS, Ebola, Malaria, and Covid-19 disease are examples of zoonotic disease

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

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: WHO urges halt on sale of live wild mammals in markets

  • The World Health Organization called on Tuesday for a halt to the sale of live wild mammals in food markets to prevent the emergence of new diseases such as covid 19 diseases
  • The World Health Organization(WHO), World Organization for Animal Health and United Nations Environment Programme jointly released guidelines to control “Zoonotic Diseases” for governments. Guidelines ask to reduce the risk of transmission of zoonotic pathogens to humans in food production and marketing chains.

Key Guidelines issued by WHO:

  • Countries should suspend the sale of live animals captured from the wild in food markets. This is an emergency measure as they are the leading source of emerging infectious diseases like the coronavirus.
  • Strengthening the regulatory base for improving standards of hygiene and sanitation in traditional food markets. This will reduce the risk of transmission of zoonotic diseases.
  • Adequately training food inspectors to ensure businesses comply with regulations to protect consumers’ health.
  • Strengthening animal health surveillance systems for zoonotic pathogens. This includes both domestic and wild animals. This will provide an early warning for pathogen emergence. Further, it will also help in developing the control measures.
  • Developing and implementing food safety information campaigns. The campaign should create awareness to market traders, stallholders, consumers, and the wide public. These campaigns should communicate the principles of food safety and the risks of transmission of zoonotic pathogens.

About Zoonotic Diseases

  • It is a disease that has passed into the human population from an animal source directly or through an intermediary species.
  • Zoonotic infections can be bacterial, viral, or parasitic in nature, with animals playing a vital role in maintaining such infections. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • They can spread to humans through direct contact or through food, water, and the environment. Hence statement 2 is incorrect
  • Examples of zoonoses include HIV-AIDS, Ebola, Lyme disease, malaria, rabies, West Nile fever, and the current novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) disease. Hence statement 3 is correct

Source:https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/who-urges-halt-on-sale-of-live-wild-mammals-in-markets/article34313443.ece


Consider the following Statements with respect to Algal Bloom

  1. It may occur in freshwater as well as marine environments.
  2. This causes depletion of oxygen level in water.
  3. It occurs due to the nutrients from phosphorus or nitrogen fertilizer run off.

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

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Deadly algae kill 4,200 tonnes of salmon in Chile

  • In Chile, more than 4,200 tonnes of salmon have fallen victim to killer algae. Chile is the world’s second-largest producer of salmon. There are around 18 salmon farms in the south of Chile which produces around 26 per cent of the world’s salmon. They all have been affected due to the deadly algae.
  • The presence of urea and ammonia in the salmon farms led to the algal bloom. Three different types of harmful algae were detected in eighteen farms.
  • Chile is the second largest producer of Salmon in the world after Norway. It exported more than 4.4 billion USD of fish in 2020. Chile produces more than 26% of world Salmon.

About algae bloom

  • Algae are photosynthetic microorganisms that are found in most aquatic habitats. 
  • Algae love runoff nutrients, and an algae bloom occurs when nutrient pollution and lots of sunlight create a rapid increase in the density of the algae. 
  • Algal blooms may occur in freshwater as well as marine environments. When an algae bloom does happen, the stream, river, lake, or ocean becomes covered with algae, creating a thick mat of surface scum. Bright green colored blooms develop from cyanobacteria, which are also known as blue-green algae. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • Freshwater algal blooms are the result of an excess of nutrients, particularly some phosphates. The excess of nutrients may originate from fertilizers, household cleaning products containing phosphorus. These nutrients can then enter watersheds through water runoff. Hence statement 3 is correct
  • Ocean currents drive up nutrients to the surface from the depths, and the abundance of nutrients, combined with sunlight on the ocean surface provides a very favourable environment for the algae to grow. These conditions will lead to the rapid growth of algae.

How does Algal Bloom kill fishes?

  • During the day, the algae produce oxygen through photosynthesis. While at night, in the absence of sunlight, it stops photosynthesis and starts respiring just like other organisms in the water system.
  • Respiration is taking in Oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. Thus, during night the dissolved oxygen drops too low suffocating the fish in the water system. Hence statement 2 is correct

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/watch-deadly-algae-kill-4200-tonnes-of-salmon-in-chile/article34316264.ece


Consider the following Statements with respect to Special Refinance Facility

  1. It is provided by the Reserve Bank of India under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934
  2. It aims to provide short term refinance support to the Solar Parks in India 
  3. This facility is expected to meet the short-term liquidity requirements of the PLIs

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

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Answer: (c) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: NHB launches ₹10,000-crore Special Refinance Facility-SRF 2021

  • National Housing Bank (NHB) has rolled out a ₹10,000-crore ‘Special Refinance Facility-2021’ (SRF-2021) to provide short term refinance support to housing finance companies (HFCs) and other eligible Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs). Hence statement 2 is incorrect
  • This facility is expected to meet the short-term liquidity requirements of the PLIs and will also support them for onward lending to individuals to maintain steady growth in the housing finance sectorHence statement 3 is correct
  • This NHB initiative comes on the heels of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) extending fresh support ( in the recent monetary policy review) under another Special Liquidity Facility-2 (SLF-2) of ₹ 10,000 crore to the NHB for one year to support the housing sector.
  • This short-term liquidity support for a year was part of the Special Liquidity Facility (SLF) granted by the RBI at repo rate to NHB under Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan. 

About Special Refinance Facility

  • The Special Refinance Facility is provided by the Reserve Bank of India under Section 17 (3) of Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934. Basically, Section 17 defines how the apex bank shall conduct its business. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The Section 17 of RBI Act, 1934 allows the RBI to perform the following functions:
  • The Apex Bank shall accept deposit from the state and central governments without interest.
  • It can discount and purchase bills of exchange from commercial banks.
  • It can buy and sell foreign exchanges.
  • It can provide loans to state and central financial institutions.
  • It can buy and sell government securities.
  • It can deal with repo and reverse repo rates.

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/money-and-banking/nhb-launches-10000-crore-special-refinance-facility-srf-2021/article34315763.ece


Consider the following Statements with respect to Active Galactic Nuclei

  1. It is a compact region at the center of a galaxy.
  2. Its emissions are observed in the radio, ultra-violet, X-ray and gamma ray wavebands.

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

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Scientists discover the farthest Gamma-ray emitting active galaxy with narrow emission lines

  • Astronomers have discovered a new active galaxy identified as the farthest gamma-ray emitting galaxy that has so far been stumbled upon. This active galaxy called the Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 (NLS1) galaxy, which is about 31 billion light-years away
  • The researchers from ARIES in collaboration with researchers have been studying around 25,000 Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and were able to devise a new method to find high-z NLS1 galaxies till now unknown by comparing different emission lines in their spectra. 
  • In the process, they found a high-z gamma-ray emitting NLS1 galaxy.
  • The detection of gamma-ray emission from NLS1 challenges the idea of how relativistic jets are formed.

What are Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN)?

  • Most of the galaxies are powered by a supermassive black hole at their center. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • Normal black holes that form from the death of a single star are ten times the mass of the Sun, but the supermassive black holes are millions to billions of times the mass of the Sun.
  • These supermassive black holes found at the center of the galaxies are the reason that the compact region at the center of a galaxy has an extremely high luminosity. 
  • The bright central regions of these galaxies are called Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). The galaxies hosting Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are called active galaxies.
  • Compared to normal galaxies, these active galaxies can emit up to thousands of times of energy.
  • The emissions of active galaxies are non-stellar (non-thermal) that are observed in the form of microwave, radio, infrared, optical, X-ray, ultra-violet, and gamma-ray wavebands. Hence statement 2 is correct

About Relativistic jets

  • Relativistic jets are rays of ionised matter.
  • They travel at the speed of light.
  • They are produced by large black holes, radio galaxies or quasars etc.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1711362


Consider the following Statements with respect to HGCO19 Vaccine

  1. It is India’s ‘first of its kind’ mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine.
  2. It is being funded under the Mission COVID Suraksha

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

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: HGCO19 vaccine candidate: Gennova starts enrolment for Phase 1/2 human clinical trials

  • The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) in the Ministry of Science & Technology has announced that it has approved additional funding towards clinical studies of India’s ‘first of its kind’ mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine – HGCO19. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • This vaccine has been developed by Pune-based biotechnology company Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd.
  • This funding has been awarded under the ‘Mission Covid Suraksha- The Indian Covid-19 Vaccine Development Mission’ by DBT’s dedicated Mission Implementation Unit at Biotechnology Research Assistance Council. Hence statement 2 is correct

About mRNA Vaccine

  • The coronavirus vaccine based on mRNA, once injected into the body, will instruct the body’s cells to create copies of the spike protein.
  • The mRNA is coded to tell the cells to recreate the spike protein of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19.
  • It is the spike protein which appears as spikes on the surface of the coronavirus that initiates the process of infection and it allows the virus to penetrate cells, after which it goes on to replicate.
  • The mRNA vaccines work by using mRNA or messenger RNA, which is the molecule that essentially puts DNA instructions into action.
  • The mRNA vaccines have the advantage that scientists are not growing the virus in the lab, which has been a hindrance sometimes to create enough virus or viral particles to give in a vaccine.
  • mRNA vaccines are considered safe as mRNA is non-infectious, non-integrating in nature, and degraded by standard cellular mechanisms. They are highly efficacious because of their inherent capability of being translatable into the protein structure inside the cell cytoplasm.

Source:https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/hgco19-vaccine-candidate-gennova-starts-enrolment-for-phase-12-human-clinical-trials/article34309383.ece


In context of historical events, Anjengo Revolt happened in which of the following regions in India?

  1. Amritsar
  2. Ranchi
  3. Patna
  4. Travancore.

Answer: (d) Travancore.

Explanation:

In NEWS: Attingal revolt commemorated

  • Three-day event features an expo of historical documents, seminar and recital of patriotic poems. The observance of the 300th anniversary of the Attingal Revolt of 1721, the first organised rebellion against the English East India Company, began at the Vyloppilly Samskrithi Bhavan here.

About Attingal Outbreak or Anjengo Revolt.

  • Also referred as It refers to the massacre of 140 East India Company soldiers by native Indians and the following siege of Fort Anjengo.
  • The Attingal Outbreak is often regarded as the first organized revolt against British authority in Malabar, Cochin and Travancore. Hence option (d) is correct
  • The main reasons behind the resentment was large scale corruption and the manipulation of black pepper prices by the Company.
  • The chief factor at the Anjengo factor, Gyfford refused to hand over the customary gifts meant for the Rani of Attingal to the agents of the local feudal lords (Pillamar) and tried to hand them directly to the Rani at the head of a force of 140 soldiers on 15 April 1721.
  • This show of force had the opposite effect and the local people rebelled, attacked and destroyed the entire force and then laid siege to the fort.
  • Following the turn of events, the Company and the Rani of Attingal entered into an agreement under which;
  • the Company was compensated for all losses sustained during the attack on Anjengo
  • was also given the sole monopoly of trade in pepper
  • the right to erect factories in places of its choice

Source:https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/attingal-revolt-commemorated/article34312514.ece


Consider the following Statements with respect to Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S)

  1. It is a poisonous, corrosive, and flammable gas produced from swamps and sewers.
  2. It is the primary gas produced from the microbial breakdown of organic matter in the Presence of oxygen
  3. It is used to produce heavy water for nuclear power plants

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

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1,2 and 3

Answer: (a) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: New electronic nose with biodegradable polymer and monomer can detect hydrogen sulphide from sewers

  • Scientists from the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS), Bangalore, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, in collaboration with their counterparts from Saudi Arabia, have developed an exceptionally sensitive and selective H2S Gas sensor developed by impersonating the neuron responsible for identification of airborne molecules or olfactory receptor neuron

The fabricated sensor consists of a heterostructure consisting of two layers –

  • the top layer a monomer and is realized with a novel chemical tris (keto-hydrazone), which is both porous and contains H2S specific functional groups, and
  • the bottom layer is the active channel layer which plays a key role in altering the current and mobility of charge carriers.

About Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S)

  • Scientists have developed an electronic nose with biodegradable polymer and monomer that can detect hydrogen sulphide (H2S), a poisonous, corrosive, and flammable gas produced from swamps and sewers. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • H2S is the primary gas produced from the microbial breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen, and this necessitates easy detection of its emission from sewers and swamps. Hence statement 2 is incorrect
  • The gas is colorless with the repellant odor of rotten eggs.
  • Hydrogen sulfide is highly explosive and flammable gas and is capable of causing life-threatening conditions if handled without care.
  • It occurs in volcanic gases, natural gas, and in some sources of well water

Uses

  • Hydrogen sulfide is used primarily to produce sulfuric acid and sulfur. 
  • It is also used to create a variety of inorganic sulfides used to create pesticides, leather, dyes, and pharmaceuticals. 
  • Hydrogen sulfide is used to produce heavy water for nuclear power plants. Hence statement 3 is correct

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1711851


Consider the following Statements with respect to MANAS

  1. It is a comprehensive, scalable, and national digital wellbeing platform and an app developed to augment mental well-being of Indian citizens.
  2. It is a national program by the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council

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

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Community Mental-Health Digital platform MANAS launched by the Principal Scientific Adviser

  • The Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India Prof. K VijayRaghavan virtually launched the “MANAS” App to promote wellbeing across age groups. 
  • MANAS which stands for Mental Health and Normalcy Augmentation System was endorsed as a national program by the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council
  • MANAS is a comprehensive, scalable, and national digital wellbeing platform and an app   developed to augment mental well-being of Indian citizensHence statement 1 is correct
  • MANAS   App integrates the health and wellness efforts of various government ministries, scientifically validated indigenous tools with gamified interfaces developed/researched by various national bodies and research institutions.
  • MANAS was initiated by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. Hence statement 2 is correct

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1711860


Consider the following statements: 

  1. Jet streams occur in the Northern Hemisphere only. 
  2. Only some cyclones develop an eye. 
  3. The temperature inside the eye of a cyclone is nearly 10°C lesser than that of the surroundings. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

  1. 1 only 
  2. 2 and 3 only 
  3. 2 only 
  4. 1 and 3 only

Answer: (c) 2 only

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is not correct: Jet streams occur in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The actual appearance of jet streams result from the complex interaction between many variables – such as the location of high and low pressure systems, warm and cold air, and seasonal changes. 
  • Statement 2 is correct: The hurricane’s center is a relatively calm, generally clear area of sinking air and light winds that usually do not exceed 15 mph (24 km/h) and is typically 20-40 miles (32-64 km) across. An eye will usually develop when the maximum sustained wind speeds go above 74 mph (119 km/h) and is the calmest part of the storm. 
  • Statement 3 is not correct: The eye is the region of lowest surface pressure and warmest temperatures aloft – the eye temperature may be 10°C warmer or more at an altitude of 12 km than the surrounding environment, but only 0-2°C warmer at the surface in the tropical cyclone.

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