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Daily Prelims Test – 15_December 2020

With reference to International Financial Services Centres Authority, consider the following statements

  • It is a statutory body established in 2020 works under the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.
  • Its main function is to develop and regulate the financial products, financial services and financial institutions located/performed in the International Financial Services Centres in India.
  • The Authority is empowered to exercise the powers of RBI, SEBI, IRDAI and PFRDA in respect of financial services, financial products and financial institutions performed/located in the international financial services centers in the country.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Answer: d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In News: IFSCA notifies International Financial Services Centres Authority (Bullion Exchange) Regulations, 2020

  •  It is a statutory body established in 2020 works under the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  •  Its main function is to develop and regulate the financial products, financial services and financial institutions located/performed in the International Financial Services Centres in India. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  •  The Authority is empowered to exercise the powers of RBI, SEBI, IRDAI and PFRDA in respect of financial services, financial products and financial institutions performed/located in the international financial services centers in the country. Hence statement 3 is correct.
  •  Subsequently, the Government of India had notified the bullion spot delivery contract and bullion depository receipt (with bullion as underlying) as Financial Products and related services as Financial Services under the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) Act, 2019.
  •  IFSCA has been entrusted with the responsibility of operationalization of this Exchange.
  •  In this regard, International Financial Services Centres Authority (Bullion Exchange) Regulations 2020 were approved by the Authority in its meeting held on October 27,2020. The said regulations have been notified and published in the Gazette of India on December 11, 2020.
  •  The regulations inter alia cover the Bullion Exchange, Clearing Corporation, Depository and Vaults.
  •  The regulations are divided into the 16 chapters. First half of the regulation deals with the Exchange and Clearing Corporations while the second half pertains to the Vaults and Depositories and related provisions.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1680390


Recently, San Isdiro movement was seen in the news, which is started by?

  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • Cuba
  • United States of America

Answer: c) Cuba

Explanation:

In NEWS: What is the San Isidro Movement, posing a stiff challenge to Cuba’s authoritarian regime?

  • In Cuba, a country under an authoritarian communist regime for more than six decades, a campaign by artists and activists demanding greater freedom of expression is fast grabbing the limelight.
  • The Movimiento San Isidro, or the San Isidro Movement (MSI), started two years ago to protest state censorship of artistic works, and has now become a platform for Cuban dissidents both within and outside the Caribbean nation.Hence option (c) is the correct answer
  • To protest against the decree, artists, poets, journalists and activists gathered in San Isidro, a Black-majority locality that is among Havana’s poorest yet most culturally active wards, and which also forms part of the Old Havana UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-what-is-the-san-isidro-movement-cubas-7103555/


Consider the following statements regarding plasmodium ovale

  • It is very common type of malaria
  • It is one of the five kinds of Malaria Parasites
  • It rarely causes severe illness and there is no need for panic because of the case detected in Kerala.

Select the correct answer using the code given below

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

Answer: (c) 2 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Plasmodium ovale and other types of malaria

  •  A not very common type of malaria, Plasmodium ovale, has been identified in a soldier in Kerala. The soldier is believed to have contracted it during his posting in Sudan, from where he returned nearly a year ago, and where Plasmodium ovale is endemic. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
  •  Malaria is caused by the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito, if the mosquito itself is infected with a malarial parasite.
  •  There are five kinds of malarial parasites — Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax (the commonest ones), Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium knowlesi. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  •  P ovale rarely causes severe illness and there is no need for panic because of the case detected in Kerala. Hence statement 3 is correct.
  •  P ovale is very similar to P vivax, which is not a killer form. Symptoms include fever for 48 hours , headache and nausea, and the treatment modality is the same as it is for a person infected with P vivax. P ovale is no more dangerous than getting a viral infection.
  •  It is termed ovale as about 20% of the parasitised cells are oval in shape.
  •  P ovale malaria is endemic to tropical Western Africa. P ovale is relatively unusual outside of Africa.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-plasmodium-ovale-other-types-of-malaria-7101500/


Consider the following statements

  •  Himgiri is the first GRSE-built Project 17A stealth frigate
  •  P17A ships are the first gas turbine propulsion and largest combat platforms ever

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: GRSE-built stealth frigate ‘Himgiri’ launched; Gen BipinRawat says historic moment

  • The first GRSE-built Project 17A stealth frigate ‘Himgiri’, which will add to the might of the Indian Navy, was launched on Monday, with Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General BipinRawat describing it as a historic moment. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  •  The CDS said that the new generation Project 17A ships with advanced stealth features, state-of-the-art weapons and sensor systems will be a major boost to Indian Navy’s mobility to undertake a variety of challenging tasks.
  • Under the Project 17A program, a total of seven ships, four at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) and three ships at GRSE are being built with enhanced stealth features, advanced indigenous weapon and sensor fit along with several other improvements.
  • P17A ships are the first gas turbine propulsion and largest combat platforms ever built at GRSEHence statement 2 is correct.
  •  P17A ships have been indigenously designed by Directorate of Naval Design (Surface Ship Design Group) – DND(SSG), and are being built at indigenous yards namely MDL and GRSE.
  •  P17A ships are the most advanced guided missile frigates, each of which is 149 metres long, with displacement of approximately 6,670 tonnes and a speed of 28 knots

Source: https://www.timesnownews.com/india/article/grse-built-stealth-frigate-launched-gen-bipin-rawat-says-historic-moment/694722


The Preamble to the Constitution of India, is

  • Part of the Constitution but has no legal effect
  • Not a part of the Constitution and has no legal effect either
  • Part of the Constitution and has the same legal effect as any other part
  • Part of the Constitution but has no legal effect independently of other parts

Answer: (d) part of the Constitution but has no legal effect independently of other parts

Explanation:

  •  The Preamble of the Indian Constitution serves as a brief introductory statement of the Constitution that sets out the guiding purpose, principles, and philosophy of the Indian Constitution. It is the thinking and soul of Constitution makers and the Constituent Assembly. The preamble is based on the Objectives which were drafted and moved in the Constituent Assembly by Jawaharlal Nehru on 13 December The Supreme Court of India originally stated in the Berubari Case (1960) presidential reference that the preamble is not an integral part of the Indian constitution, and therefore it is not enforceable in a court of law. However, the same court, in the 1973 Kesavananda case, overruled earlier decisions and recognized that the preamble may be used to interpret ambiguous areas of the constitution where differing interpretations present themselves. The Supreme Court in the Kesavananda case reiterated that the objectives given in the Preamble form a part of the Basic Structure of the Indian Constitution. In the 1995 case of Union Government vs LIC of India, the Supreme Court once again held that the Preamble is an integral part of the Constitution. The Preamble is not a legally binding document. Hence option (d) is correct

Consider the following statements regarding Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme

  • It was launched as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan Package
  • It is targeted to benefit Medium Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs) as well as Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) borrowers

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: Slowdown in loans sanctioned to struggling businesses, MSMEs

  • The ECLGS scheme is a key stimulus for firms battered by lockdown restrictions due to COVID-19
  • There has been some slowdown in loans sanctioned to struggling businesses and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)

About Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme:

  • It was launched as part of the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan Package’ in May 2020. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • The scheme is targeted to benefit Medium Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs) as well as Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) borrowersHence statement 2 is correct.
  • Eligibility: Borrowers with credit outstanding up to Rs. 50 crores as on 29.2.2020, and with an annual turnover of up to Rs. 250 crores.

Key features of the scheme:

  • 100% guarantee coverage to be provided by National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Limited (NCGTC) for additional funding of up to Rs. 3 lakh crore.
  • A Guaranteed Emergency Credit Line (GECL) facility.
  • Tenor of the loan under Scheme shall be four years.
  • No Guarantee Fee shall be charged by NCGTC.
  • Interest rates under the Scheme shall be capped at 9.25% for banks and FIs, and at 14% for NBFCs.

Objectives of the scheme:

  • To revive the severely impacted manufacturing sector along with other activities in the MSME sector.
  • To provide credit at a low cost.
  • The scheme is also expected to have a positive impact on the economy and support its revival.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/slowdown-in-loans-sanctioned-to-struggling-businesses-msmes/article33322089.ece


Consider the following statements regarding Quality Council of India

  • It is a non-profit autonomous society registered under Societies Registration act of 1860.
  • Ministry of Commerce and Industry appoints the chairman of QCI.

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: Handicraft and GI Toys exempted from Quality Control Order

  • Centre has exempted Handicraft and Geographical Indications toys from Quality Control Order. Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade mentioned this exemption in Toys (Quality Control) Second Amendment Order, 2020.
  • Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry has devised a comprehensive action plan to boost production and sale of indigenous toys across the country.
  • Quality control order was issued by the Department for standardization and quality adherence of Toys and the order will come into effect from 1st January next year. This order aims to bring forward the synergized efforts of the centre, states and the stakeholders to promote ‘Team up for toys’ vision keeping quality standards of the indigenous toys as the priority.

About Quality Council of India:

  • It was set up in 1997 and works under Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • It is a non-profit autonomous society registered under Societies Registration act of 1860. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • Prime minister appoints the chairman of QCI. Hence statement 2 is incorrect.
  • Mandate of QCI is to operate and establish National Accreditation Structure (NAS).
  • It plays a pivotal role in propagating, adoption and adherence to quality standards in education, healthcare, environment protection, governance, social sectors, infrastructure sector and such other areas of organized activities that have significant bearing in improving the quality of life.

Accreditation boards of QCI :

  • National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB)
  • National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL)

Source: http://www.newsonair.com/News?title=Handicraft-and-GI-Toys-exempted-from-Quality-Control-Order&id=406004


Consider the following statements regarding Enigma

  • It is an encryption device that was used by the German Nazis during the 2nd World War to encode secret messages
  • It was recently discovered by divers in the Baltic Sea.

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

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

Answer: (c) Both1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: From the bottom of the sea rose a piece of ‘encrypted’ history. What were the Nazi Enigmas?

  • Divers scouring the depths of the Baltic Sea, the arm of the North Atlantic Ocean between the Scandinavian peninsula and the countries of mainland northern and central Europe, have discovered an ‘Enigma’ encryption machine that was used by Nazi Germany to encode secret messages during World War II. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • The divers made the discovery while searching the seabed using a sonar device for abandoned fishing nets that can be harmful for sea life.

Significance of Enigma

  • The Enigma machine was invented by the German engineer Arthur Scherbius towards the end of World War I. While several different Enigma models were produced, the German military models that had a plugboard are believed to have been the most complex. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • During World War II, the military of Nazi Germany used the encryption machine to transmit messages in code. The machine allowed for billions of ways to encode a message, and the Allied militaries and intelligence services found it extremely challenging to break the code of intercepted messages.

How did the machines work?

  • The plugboard was similar to a telephone switchboard, with wires with two ends that could be plugged into a slot. Each letter from the plaintext would be substituted for another at regular intervals to create a ciphertext, which was decrypted by the receiver who was aware of the pairings.
  • Every time a letter was pressed, the movable parts of the machine would change position, so that the next time the same letter was pressed, it would be enciphered as something different.

How was the Enigma cipher ultimately cracked?

  •  By 1932, Polish cryptanalysts were able to decode German ciphers that had been written with an earlier version of Enigma. The Poles shared the information with the French and British intelligence services before World War II. The Germans were subsequently able to produce more sophisticated machines, which made it difficult to crack the code.
  •  The Poles also built electro-mechanical machines to search for solutions by simulating the workings of an Enigma machine. These calculated the numerous possibilities through different settings.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/from-the-bottom-of-the-sea-rose-a-piece-of-encrypted-history-what-were-the-nazi-enigmas-7102039/


Consider the following statements regarding Himalayan serow

  • They are herbivores and are typically found at altitudes between 2,000 metres and 4,000 metres in the Trans Himalayan region
  • It is categorized as ‘vulnerable’ in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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

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

Answer: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: It’s a goat, it’s a pig, it’s a serow: Explaining an unusual sighting in the Spiti cold desert

First, what kind of an animal is the Himalayan serow?

  • A biologist has decribed a Himalayan serow as resembling a cross between a goat, a donkey, a cow, and a pig. It’s a medium-sized mammal with a large head, thick neck, short limbs, long, mule-like ears, and a coat of dark hair.
  • There are several species of serows, and all of them are found in Asia. The Himalayan serow, or Capricornissumatraensisthar, is restricted to the Himalayan region. Taxonomically, it is a subspecies of the mainland serow (Capricornissumatraensis).
  • Himalayan serows are herbivores, and are typically found at altitudes between 2,000 metres and 4,000 metres (6,500 to 13,000 feet). They are known to be found in eastern, central, and western Himalayas, but not in the Trans Himalayan regionHence statement 1 is incorrect.

So where has this serow been sighted?

  • The animal was spotted by locals and wildlife officials at a riverside rocky wall near Hurling village in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, on Friday (December 11). It was again sighted in the area on Sunday (December 13).
  • This is the first recorded human sighting of the serow in Himachal Pradesh. The animal has been spotted a few times earlier in the state, but that has always been through camera traps.

Why is the sighting of the serow unusual?

  • Spiti lies in the cold mountain desert region of the western Himalaya, and its valley floor has an average elevation of 4,270 metres above sea level.
  • Serows are generally not found at this altitude, and never before has a serow been seen in the Himalayan cold desert. Wildlife officials believe this particular animal may have strayed into the Spiti valley from the RupiBhaba Wildlife Sanctuary in adjoining Kinnaur.

Is the serow a threatened or endangered species?

  • According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Himalayan serows have experienced significant declines in population size, range size and habitat in the last decade, and this is expected to continue due to intensive human impact.
  • Previously assessed as ‘near threatened’, the Himalayan serow is now been categorised as ‘vulnerable’ in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • It is listed under Schedule I of The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which provides absolute protection.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/its-a-goat-its-a-pig-its-a-serow-explaining-an-unusual-sighting-in-the-spiti-cold-desert-7105007/


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

  • Automobile exhaust
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Wood burning
  • Using varnished wooden furniture
  • Using products made of polyurethane

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

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