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Daily Prelims Test – 16_June 2021

Which of the following are the implications of inflation?

  • Increase in the real value of money.
  • May discourage investment and savings.
  • Exports cost more and imports cost less.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (b) 2 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Retail inflation at 6.3%, a 6-month high

  • Rising fuel and edible oil costs sent India’s wholesale prices inflation soaring to a record 12.94% in May, up from 10.5% in April, and nudged retail inflation to a six-month high of 6.3%, going past the central bank’s tolerance threshold of 6%.
  • Consumers experienced an inflation of 11.58% for the ‘fuel and light’ category in May, with urban India bearing a bigger hit of 14.24% on the same account. Food inflation reheated to 5.1% from just 1.96% in April.
  • In India, the index which shows the inflation rate at retail level is known as Consumer Price Index (CPI).

About Inflation

  • Inflation refers to the rise in the prices of most goods and services of daily or common use, such as food, clothing, housing, recreation, transport, consumer staples, etc.
  • Inflation measures the average price change in a basket of commodities and services over time.
  • India used WPI as the measure for inflation but new CPI (Combined) is declared as the new standard for measuring inflation

Adverse impacts of inflation:

  • Inflation causes a decrease in the real value of money and other monetary items over time.
  • Inflation causes uncertainty over the future and this may discourage investment and savings.
  • High inflation may lead to shortages of goods if consumers begin hoarding out of concern that prices will increase in the future.
  • Higher inflation will cause our exports to price more and imports to cost less. Hence, there will be lesser exports and more imports worsening the Balance of payment. Hence option (b) is correct.

Source: TH PG:No: 1

  • 2) With respect to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), consider the following statements:
  • It is a military alliance established by the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations to provide collective security against the Soviet Union.
  • It is headquartered in New York.

Which of the statement(s) given above 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: At NATO meet, Biden vows to defend Europe

  • S. President Joe Biden told fellow NATO leaders on Monday the defence of Europe, Turkey and Canada was a “sacred obligation” for the United States, a marked shift from his predecessor Donald Trump’s threats to withdraw from the military alliance.
  • Arriving in Brussels from the weekend’s G7 summit in England, Mr. Biden again sought to rally Western allies to support a U.S. strategy to contain China’s military rise as well as showing unity in the face of Russian aggression.

About North Atlantic Treaty Organization

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a military alliance established by the North Atlantic Treaty (also called the Washington Treaty) of April 4, 1949, by the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations to provide collective security against the Soviet Union. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • A key provision of the treaty, the so-called Article 5, states that if one member of the alliance is attacked in Europe or North America, it is to be considered an attack on all members. That effectively put Western Europe under the “nuclear umbrella” of the US.
  • Since its founding, the admission of new member states has increased the alliance from the original 12 countries to 30. The most recent member state to be added to NATO was North Macedonia on 27 March 2020.
  • NATO membership is open to “any other European state in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area.”
  • Headquarters — Brussels, Belgium. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.
  • Political – NATO promotes democratic values and enables members to consult and cooperate on defence and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict.
  • Military – NATO is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. If diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military power to undertake crisis-management operations. These are carried out under the collective defence clause of NATO’s founding treaty – Article 5 of the Washington Treaty or under a United Nations mandate, alone or in cooperation with other countries and international organisations

Source: TH Pg:No: 11

Consider the following statements:

  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is a treatment method for patients having breathing problems during sleep.
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar has developed a device ‘Jivan Vayu’ which can be used as a substitute for CPAP machines.

Which of the statement(s) 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: IIT Ropar develops nation’s first power-free CPAP device ‘Jivan Vayu’

  • Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar has developed a device ‘Jivan Vayu’ which can be used as a substitute for CPAP machinesHence statement (2) is correct.
  • This is Nation’s first such device which functions even without electricity and is adapted to both kinds of oxygen generation units like O2 cylinders and oxygen pipelines in hospitals. These provisions are not available in otherwise existing CPAP machines.
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is a treatment method for patients having breathing problems during sleep called sleep apnea. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • The machine uses mild air pressure to keep the airways open for easy breathing. It is also used to treat infants whose lungs have not fully developed.
  • The machine blows air into the baby’s nose to help inflate his or her lungs. The treatment is all the more necessary during early stages of the Covid-19 infection. It reduces lung damage and allow patients to recover from the inflammatory effects.
  • Fulfilling all the medically required parameters, this leak-proof, low-cost CPAP delivery system, “Jivan Vayu’ is designed for a 22mm CPAP closed circuit tube. It can even be customized as per the size of the tube. Since it can run during power failures, this can be used to safely transport a patient.
  • ‘Jivan Vayu’ can deliver high flow oxygen (20–60 LPM) while maintaining a continuous positive pressure of up to 20 cm H2O. The device is designed to maintain an FiO2 of above 40% with a PEEP (positive end-expiratory pressure) of 5-20 cm H2O.

Source: https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1726898

The Festival ‘Raja Parba’ is celebrated at which of the following Indian states?

a) Bihar

b) Madhya Pradesh

c) West Bengal

d) Odisha

Answer: (d) Odisha

Explanation:

In News: PM extends best wishes to people of Odisha on Raja Parba

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has extended his best wishes to the people of Odisha on the auspicious occasion of Raja Parba. Hence option (d) is correct.

About Raja Parba.

  • This is a three-day celebration honouring Mother Earth (Bhuma Devi) and women in general.
  • The celebrations begin a day before Mithuna Sankranti and last for two days.
  • Pahili Raja is the first day of the celebration, Mithuna Sankranti is the second, and Bhu daha or Basi Raja is the third.
  • The preparation, known as Sajabaja, begins one day before Pahili Raja. It is mostly a period for unmarried females to plan for their marriage.

Source: https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1726862

Consider the following statements regarding Bhitarkanika National Park:

  • It has obtained the status of Ramsar site.
  • It hosts many mangrove species, and is the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India.
  • It is located in the state of West Bengal.

Which of the above statements are correct?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (a) 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

In News: Croc kills again: Sixth fatal attack in a year near Bhitarkanika

  • A 45-year-old fisher was killed by a crocodile June 12, 2021 in a creek near her village, Vekta around Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha’s Kendrapara district. Umarani Parida was fishing along with locals when she was dragged away by the reptile. Her half-eaten body was found in River Patasala.
  • This was the sixth fatal crocodile attack near Bhitarkanika in 12 months.  
  • Bhitarkanika, a vast tract of forest and saltwater swamp, is home to around 1,768 saltwater crocodiles, according to this year’s reptile census.

About Bhitarkanika National Park

  • The Bhitarkanika National Park, famous for the endangered saltwater crocodiles, has seen an increase of the rare species to 1,671, an annual census conducted by the Forest Department this year has found.
  • The enumerators also sighted around 12 albino crocodiles and four giant crocodiles more than 20 feet long in the water bodies of Bhitarkanika during the census.
  • In the Bhitarkanika area 1,580 and outside it 91 crocodiles were identified. In the Kanika 1,284, Rajnagar 296, Mahakalapada 69, Gahirmatha 22 were spotted.
  • The peak winter is the ideal time to carry out the census as it exposes more than 50% of mud banks.
  • The second largest mangrove forest in India is Bhitarkanika in Odisha. The forest is created by the two river deltas of River Brahmani and Baitarani. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • Bhitarkanika National Park is located in northeast Kendrapara district in Odisha. Hence statement (3) is incorrect
  • It obtained the status of a Ramsar site in 2002. Hence statement (1) is correct
  • It is surrounded by Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary.  Gahirmatha Beach and Marine Sanctuary is to the east, separating swamp region and mangroves from the Bay of Bengal.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/croc-kills-again-sixth-fatal-attack-in-a-year-near-bhitarkanika-77436

Consider the following Statements regarding International Hydrographic Organization:

  • It is an intergovernmental organization that works to ensure all the world’s seas, oceans and navigable waters are surveyed and charted.
  • India is a member of IHO.

Which of the statement(s) 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: National Geographic recognises ‘Southern Ocean’ as globe’s fifth ocean

  • The National Geographic magazine has recognised the ‘Southern Ocean’ as the world’s fifth ocean
  • The magazine has followed the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) on marine names
  • The magazine says the Southern Ocean is the only ocean ‘to touch three other oceans and to completely embrace a continent rather than being embraced by them’. Its northern limit is a latitude of 60 degrees south. It is also defined by its Antarctic Circumpolar Current that was formed 34 million years ago. The current flows from west to east around Antarctica.
  • The Southern Ocean is home to large populations of whales, penguins and seals. But industrial fishing on species like krill and Patagonian toothfish had been a concern for decades, the magazine said. It hoped to draw attention to these issues, in addition to the rapid warming of the Southern Ocean due to global warming by officially changing the name of the waterbody.
  • The IHO too had recognised ‘Southern Ocean’ as a distinct body of water surrounding Antarctica in 1937 but had repealed the same in 1953, according to the magazine.

About International Hydrographic Organization

  • The International Hydrographic Organization is anintergovernmental consultative and technical organization that was established in 1921 to support the safety of navigation and the protection of the marine environment. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • India is also a member of IHO. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • The objective of the Organization is to bring about:
  • The coordination of the activities of national hydrographic offices
  • The greatest possible uniformity in nautical charts and documents
  • The adoption of reliable and efficient methods of carrying out and exploiting hydrographic surveys
  • The development of the sciences in the field of hydrography and the techniques employed in descriptive oceanography

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/environment/national-geographic-recognises-southern-ocean-as-globe-s-fifth-ocean-77439

Project O2 for India is an initiative of which of the following organization?

a) Office of Principal Scientific Adviser

b) NITI Aayog

c) ISRO

d) Defence Research and Development Organisation

Answer: (aOffice of Principal Scientific Adviser

Explanation:

In NEWS: India records lowest cases in 74 days | ‘Project O2’ for India

  • As the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic subsides, the Centre has launched ‘Project O2 for India’ to step up production of medical oxygen to meet the potential increase in demand due to further waves of the pandemic.
  • Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India (O/o PSA, GoI) initiated ‘Project O2 for India’ to ensure supply of critical raw materials such as zeolites, setting up of small oxygen plants, and manufacturing of compressors. Hence option (a) is correct.
  • ‘Project O2 for India’, an initiative of the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India (GoI), aims to help stakeholders working to augment the country’s ability to meet the rise in demand for medical oxygen.
  • Under the project, a ‘National Consortium of Oxygen’ is enabling supply of critical raw materials such as zeolites, setting up of small oxygen plants, manufacturing compressors, final products such as oxygen plants, concentrators, and ventilators
  • India reported 80,834 fresh COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the lowest after 71 days, while daily positivity rate dropped further to 4.25 per cent

Zeolites

  • They  are crystalline solid structures made of silicon, aluminium and oxygen.
  • They occur naturally and are also produced industrially on a large scale. 
  • They are often also referred to as molecular sieves.

Source: https://www.newindianexpress.com/videos/videos-nation/2021/jun/14/india-records-lowest-cases-in-74-days–project-o2-for-india–covid-19-updates-109880.html

Consider the following Statements regarding Rare earth metals:

  • They are a group of 17 elements and are lustrous silvery-white soft heavy metals.
  • 2 India has the world’s fifth-largest reserves of rare earth elements.

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

 a) 1 only

  1. b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS:

  • At a time of frequent geopolitical friction among those three powers, Washington and Brussels want to avoid this scenario.
  • They are investing in the market for 17 minerals with unique properties that today are largely extracted and refined in China.
  • The expected exponential growth in demand for minerals that are linked to clean energy is putting more pressure on the US and Europe to take a closer look.
  • The total world reserves are estimated at 121 million tonnes of rare earth oxides (REO).
  • China alone accounts for 44 million tonnes followed by Brazil and Vietnam (18% each) and Russia (15%).
  • China holds the leading position among producers of rare earth with 140  thousand tonnes.
  • China accounts for 90% of the world’s rare earth production.
  • The other major producers are Australia, USA, Russia, Malaysia and Vietnam. 

About Rare Earth Elements (REEs)

  • Rare earth metals are a group of 17 elements – lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, lutetium, scandium, yttrium. 
  • They are lustrous silvery-white soft heavy metals. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • These metals have unusual fluorescent, conductive, and magnetic properties, which make them very useful when alloyed, or mixed, in small quantities with more common metals such as iron.
  • However, with the exception of the highly-unstable prometheum, rare earth elements are found in relatively high concentrations in the earth’s crust .
  • The rare earths occur in many other minerals and are recoverable as by-products from phosphate rock and from spent uranium leaching. 

Rare Earth Metals in India

  • In India, monazite is the principal source of rare earths and thorium.
  • Rare earth elements contribute a total value of nearly $200 billion to the Indian economy.
  • India has the world’s fifth-largest reserves of rare earth elements, nearly twice as much as Australia, but it imports most of its rare earth needs in finished form from its geopolitical rival, China. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • Indian Rare Earths Ltd (IREL), a Government of India Undertaking, and KMML, a Kerala State Government Undertaking, are actively engaged in mining and processing of beach sand minerals from placer deposits.
  • As per the Foreign  Trade Policy, 2015-2020 and the effective policy on export and import,  the  import of ores and concentrates of rare earth metals and of rare earth oxides including rutile sand are permitted ‘freely’. 

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/rare-earth-metals-at-the-heart-of-china-us-rivalry/article34806588.ece

Consider the following Statements regarding Small Island Developing States (SIDS):

  • It is a distinct group of 38 UN Member States and 20 Non-UN Members/Associate Members of UN regional commissions that face unique social, economic, and environmental vulnerabilities.
  • SIDS countries are located in the Caribbean, the Pacific, and the Atlantic, Indian Ocean and South China Sea.

Which of the statement(s) 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: Small island states faced thrice as much fall in GDP in 2020 as other developing countries: UN

  • The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has released a report titled “Development and Globalization: Facts and Figures”. The report highlights the numerous challenges faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
  • Small island developing states (SIDS) faced thrice as much fall in Gross Domestic Product(GDP) in 2020 as other developing countries.
  • SIDS GDP is expected to decline by 9% in 2020 compared to 3.3% for developing countries.
  • The SIDS countries were also 35% more vulnerable to external economic and financial shocks than other developing countries.

About Small Island developing states (SIDS)

  • Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are a distinct group of 38 UN Member States and 20 Non-UN Members/Associate Members of UN regional commissions that face unique social, economic, and environmental vulnerabilities. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • Maldives is one of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
  • They were recognized as a distinct group of developing countries in June 1992 at the UN Conference on Environment and Development.
  • The geographical regions in which SIDS are located are the Caribbean, the Pacific, and the AIS (Atlantic, Indian Ocean and South China Sea). Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • The Barbados Programme of Action was produced in 1994 in order to assist the SIDS in their sustainable development efforts.
  • The United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) represent this group of states.

Why are Small Island Developing States unique?

  • SIDS countries are unique as most of them hardly emit greenhouse emissions but are the first to suffer the impacts of climate change.
  • Many of them are low-lying, situated just five metres above sea level. This makes them vulnerable to sea-level rise, storm surges and coastal destruction.
  • According to the 2020 Environmental Vulnerability Index, 4 of the top 10 most environmentally vulnerable countries in the world are SIDS.
  • According to the United Nations report on World Population Prospects 2019, many SIDS countries would not be able to achieve Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 because of increasing populations and climate risks.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/health/small-island-states-faced-thrice-as-much-fall-in-gdp-in-2020-as-other-developing-countries-un-77408

Which of the following statements are correct regarding the general difference between plant and animal cells?

  • Plant cells have cellulose cell walls whilst animal cells do not.
  • Plant cells do not have plasma membranes unlike animal cells which do.
  • Mature plant cell has one large vacuole whilst an animal cell has many small vacuoles.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (c) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

The most important difference between a plant cell and an animal cell is that the former has a cell wall. A cell wall gives mechanical support to a plant cell. Animal cells do not have cell walls. Plants have both a cell wall that is made up of cell membrane (plasma membrane) and cellulose. The cell wall is a rigid membrane matrix found on the surface of all plant cells whose primary role is to protect the cell and its content. Hence statement (1) is correct and statement (2) is incorrect. Plant cells have a large central vacuole that can occupy up to 90% of the cell’s volume. Animal cells may have many small vacuoles, a lot smaller than the plant cell. Hence statement (3) is correct.