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Daily Prelims Test – 17_October_2021

1. Which among the following options are main targets in the End TB Strategy?

1) To reduce TB deaths by 95%.

2) To cut new cases of TB by 90% between 2015 and 2035.

3) To ensure that no family is burdened with catastrophic expenses due to TB.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c)  2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: COVID-19 reverses decades of progress in TB elimination, India worst-hit: WHO

●    The world suffered huge reverses in progress towards tuberculosis (TB) elimination in 2020, thanks to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. And, India has been the worst-hit.

●    These are major findings of the Global TB report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) October 14, 2021. The Philippines and Indonesia were also severely impacted.

●    The biggest impact was felt in terms of detection of new cases.

●    The biggest fallout of the decline in notification of new cases is that it has resulted in an increase in TB deaths. The report estimated that people dying with TB, who did not have an HIV co-infection, went up by 0.1 million in 2020 as compared to the previous year

Major milestones missed

●    The ‘End TB Strategy’ milestones for reductions in TB disease burden by 2020 were a 35 per cent reduction in the number of TB deaths. Instead, the global reduction in the corresponding time period has only been 9.2 per cent. However, 33 countries, including Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Vietnam and Russia, proved to be outliers of an otherwise worrying trend.

About End TB Strategy

●    In 2014 the World Health Assembly adopted the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s “Global strategy and targets for tuberculosis prevention, care and control after 2015″1.

●    This twenty year strategy aims to end the global TB epidemic and is unsurprisingly called the End TB Strategy.

●    Ending TB is defined as an incidence rate of less than 10 people per 100,000 population per year. The incidence rate is the number of new cases of active TB disease in a population in a particular time period. Hence option (d) is correct.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/health/covid-19-reverses-decades-of-progress-in-tb-elimination-india-worst-hit-who-79712

2. Consider the following:

Eligible promoters for Setting up Small Finance Banks are

1) Resident Indians

2) Private Companies

3) Non-Banking Finance Companies

4) Local Area Banks

5) Companies and societies

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a)  2, 3 and 5 only

a)  1, 4 and 5 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c)  1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

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

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: What’s the market opportunity for new Unity Small Finance Bank

●    The Reserve Bank of India Tuesday issued a small finance bank (SFB) licence to a consortium of fintech company BharatPe and Centrum Financial Services Ltd. The new business entity Unity Small Finance Bank will see Centrum’s MSME and micro finance businesses merged into itself.

●    The RBI had already given an in-principle approval to Centrum Financial Services to set up a small finance bank, and along with BharatPe, it took over the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank, the assets and liabilities of which will be taken over by the new entity.

Small Finance Bank:

In India an experiment with small banks was taken up following an announcement made by the then Finance Minister in the Union Budget in August 1996 and the RBI issued guidelines for setting up of Local Area Banks (LABs)

The objectives of setting up of small finance banks will be to further financial inclusion by

●    provision of savings vehicles, and

●    supply of credit to small business units, small and marginal farmers, micro and small industries and other unorganised sector entities, through high technology-low cost operations.

Eligible promoters

●    Resident individuals/professionals with 10 years of experience in banking and finance;

●    Companies and societies owned and controlled by residents will be eligible to set up small finance banks.

●    Existing Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs), Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs), and Local Area Banks (LABs) that are owned and controlled by residents can also opt for conversion into small finance banks. Hence option (d) is correct.

Capital Requirement

●    The minimum paid-up voting equity capital / net worth requirement shall be Rs. 200 crores.

●    For Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks (UCBs), desirous of voluntarily transiting into SFBs, initial requirement of net worth shall be at Rs. 100 crores, which will have to be increased to Rs. 200 crores within 5 years from the date of commencement of business.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-whats-the-market-opportunity-for-new-unity-small-finance-bank-7570392/

3. Consider the following statements:

1) In India, ethanol is mainly produced from maize by fermentation process.

2) Currently, India is using emission standards E 12.

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: (d) Neither 1 nor 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Notification of Mass Emission Standards for E12 AND E15 fuels

●    Ministry of Road Transport and Highways vide GSR 728 (E) dated 11th October 2021 has notified mass emission standards for E 12 (12% Ethanol with Gasoline) and E15 (15% Ethanol 12 with gasoline) fuels. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

●    This will enable the Automotive Industry to manufacture E 12 and E 15 compliant motor vehicles.

Ethanol:

●    Ethanol, an anhydrous ethyl alcohol having chemical formula of C2H5OH, can be produced from sugarcane, maize, wheat, etc which are having high starch content.

●    In India, ethanol is mainly produced from sugarcane molasses by fermentation process. Ethanol can be mixed with gasoline to form different blends. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.

●    As the ethanol molecule contains oxygen, it allows the engine to more completely combust the fuel, resulting in fewer emissions and thereby reducing the occurrence of environmental pollution.

●    Since ethanol is produced from plants that harness the power of the sun, ethanol is also considered as renewable fuel.

Ethanol Blended Petrol:

●    During 2001, pilot projects on Ethanol Blended Petrol started at 3 locations i.e. at Miraj, Manmad (Maharashtra) and Aonla/Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh.

●    The Government of India decided to launch Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme in January, 2003 for supply of 5% ethanol blended Petrol.

●    The programme sought to promote the use of alternative and environment-friendly fuels and to reduce import dependency for energy requirements.

●    At present, this programme has been extended to the whole of India except UTs of Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands with effect from 01st April, 2019 wherein OMCs sell petrol blended with ethanol up to 10%.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1763584

4. Consider the following statements:

1) In anticipatory bail, a person is directed to be released on bail even after arrest is made.

2) One month time limit can be set while granting anticipatory Bail

3) It is issued only by the Sessions Court and High Court.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c)  1 and 2 only

d) 3 only

Answer: (d) 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Liberty of individual sacrosanct, bail pleas must be taken up expeditiously: Supreme Court

●    The liberty of an individual is “sacrosanct” and an application seeking bail must be taken up for hearing as expeditiously as possible, the Supreme Court has said.

●    No time limit can be fixed for applications seeking pre-arrest or post-arrest bail but the minimal which can be expected is that such pleas be heard at the earliest, the apex court said.

Anticipatory bail

●    Anticipatory Bail became part of the CrPC in 1973 after the 41st Law Commission Report (1969) recommended for the inclusion of such provision. It was included to protect the arbitrary violation of the right to personal liberty of the person.

●    As opposed to ordinary bail, which is granted to a person who is under arrest, in anticipatory bail, a person is directed to be released on bail even before arrest is madeHence statement (1) is incorrect.

●    It is issued only by the Sessions Court and High Court. Hence statement (3) is correct.

●    An application for anticipatory Bail can be filed in cases of both bailable and non-bailable offences. While in the former situation, the Bail is granted as a matter of right, the grant of Bail in the latter situation is not a matter of right but a privilege & is at the behest of the discretionary power of the Court.

The Supreme Court (SC) in Sushila Aggarwal v. State of NCT of Delhi (2020) case

●    Delivered a significant verdict, ruling that no time limit can be set while granting anticipatory Bail and it can continue even until the end of the trialHence statement (2) is incorrect.

●    Application for anticipatory Bail could be filed by a person before the FIR (First Information Report) as soon as the facts make clear there is a substantial reason for the arrest.)

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/liberty-of-individual-sacrosanct-bail-pleas-must-be-taken-up-expeditiously-supreme-court/article36958541.ece

5. With respect to Neobanks, consider the following statements:

1) They are digital and operate entirely online.

2) They do not have any physical branches.

3) In India, Neobanks are allowed to hold customer deposits.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c)  2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (a) 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Open raises $100 million from Temasek, Google, SBI Investment

●    Open, a Bengaluru-based SME-focussed neo-banking platform, has raised $100 million in Series C round from Temasek, along with the participation of Google and SBI Investment.

●    Existing investors Tiger Global and 3one4 Capital also participated in the round.

●    The Open platform powers close to 2 million SMEs and processes over $20 billion in annualised transactions.

●    The platform also adds over 90,000 SMEs every month, making it the fastest growing SME-focused neo-banking platform globally.

Neobanks:

●    A neobank is basically a digital bank without any physical branches. It is entirely online without being present at any specific locationHence statements (1) and (2) are correct.

●    It covers within its ambit various financial service providers who cater to present day tech-savvy customers.

●    Neobanks can be understood as fintech firms providing digitised and mobile-first financial payment solutions and money transfers, money lending and so on.

●    Neobanks are highly customer-centric and provide customized services to their customers backed by technology.

●    Neobank entails digital banking services conveniently available at a palm’s touch. It is relatively secure as it uses advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), facial identification and biometrics

●    ICICI Bank took the lead in the segment and partnered with three neo banks: Free, Instant Pay, and Yelo.

●    Currently in India, neobanks are not allowed to hold customer deposits and neither virtual license is being granted by the RBI since it still maintains its stand on the need for physical presence as per its 2014 guidelines. Hence statement (3) is incorrect.

There are two types of neobanks:

●    One is where the Neobank doesn’t have a banking license themselves and instead partner up with a traditional bank to provide their products,

●    While in the second scenario the neobanks obtain banking licenses themselves to operate fully on their own.

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/open-raises-100-million-from-temasek-google-sbi-investment/article36965653.ece

6. Consider the following statements:

1) Net Zero emission means that a country would bring down its emissions to zero.

2) Bhutan and Suriname are the only carbon neutral countries in the world.

3) The Net-Zero Goal does not figure in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c)  2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (b) 2 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Developed nations must enact laws for zero-emission goal by 2030, says India

●    Developed countries must take measures and legislate for net-zero emissions by the current decade itself, India demanded

●    For instance, under its NDC, India has made four commitments, including reducing the greenhouse gas emission intensity of its GDP by 33-35 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

●    India’s developmental imperatives are eradication of poverty, provision of basic needs for all citizens and access to energy for all, in the context of sustainable development

●    The multilateral climate change regime is based on the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibility and respective capacities (CBDR-RC), in the light of national circumstances

●    India’s share of global cumulative emissions (1850-2018) is only 4.37 per cent and its current per capita emissions are at 1.96 tons CO2 per capita. For Europe, the respective numbers are 33 per cent and 7.9 tons CO2 per capita and for the USA, these numbers are 25 per cent and 17.6 tons CO2 per capita

●    India’s NDC envisages 40 per cent of its electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.

Net Zero emission:

●    Net-zero, which is also referred to as carbon-neutrality, does not mean that a country would bring down its emissions to zero. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.

●    Gross-zero means reaching a state where there are no emissions at all.

●    Net zero emissions’ refers to achieving an overall balance between greenhouse gas emissions produced and greenhouse gas emissions taken out of the atmosphere.

●    Net zero or carbon neutrality is when more carbon is sucked out from the atmosphere or prevented from being emitted than what a country emits and is critical to ensuring that the planet does not heat up an additional half a degree by 2100.

●    To reach “zero net emissions” and limit global warming to 1.5°C, it is necessary to remove and permanently store CO₂ from the atmosphere. This is called Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR). As it is the opposite of emissions, these practices or technologies are often described as achieving “negative emissions” or “sinks“.

●    Bhutan and Suriname are the only carbon neutral countries in the world. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    Absorption of the emissions can be increased by creating more carbon sinks such as forests, while removal of gases from the atmosphere requires futuristic technologies such as carbon capture and storage.

●    The net-zero goals do not figure in the 2015 Paris Agreement, the new global architecture to fight climate change. Hence statement (3) is correct.

●    India has been arguing that instead of opening up a parallel discussion on net-zero targets outside of the Paris Agreement framework, countries must focus on delivering on what they have already promised in the Paris Agreement.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/why-india-opposes-net-zero-7263422/

7. Which among the following indicators are used to calculate the Global Hunger Index 2021?

1) Child stunting

2) Child wasting

3) Overweight and Obesity

4) Undernourishment

5) Child mortality

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a)  1, 2 and 5 only

b) 2, 3 and 4 only

c)  1, 2, 4 and 5 only

d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Answer: (c) 1, 2, 4 and 5 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Government slams ‘methodology’ after India’s position tanks in Global Hunger Index

●        India has slipped to the 101st position among 116 countries in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021 from its 2020 ranking (94), to be placed behind Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

●        India was also behind most of the neighbouring countries. Pakistan was placed at 92, Nepal and Bangladesh at 76 and Sri Lanka at 65.

●        The Government has contested the performance of these neighbouring countries on the Index.

●        They have based their assessment on the results of a ‘four question’ opinion poll, which was conducted telephonically by Gallup,” the Ministry of Women and Child Development said

Report

●        The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool designed to measure and track hunger levels on global, national, and regional levels. The aim of the Global Hunger Index is to raise awareness and act against hunger to reduce hunger around the world.

●        The report, prepared jointly by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organisation Welt Hunger Hilfe, mentioned the level of hunger in India as “alarming” with its GHI score decelerating from 38.8 in 2000 to the range of 28.8 – 27.5 between 2012 and 2021.

●        GHI determines hunger on a 100-point scale, where 0 is the best possible score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst. Each country’s GHI score is classified by severity, from low to extremely alarming.

The GHI score is calculated on four indicators —

●    Undernourishment

●    child wasting (the share of children under the age of five who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition)

●    child stunting (children under the age of five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition)

●    Child mortality (the mortality rate of children under the age of five).

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/global-hunger-index-india-slams-methodology-after-countrys-position-tanks/article37007672.ece

8. Consider the following statements regarding Graded Response Action Plan:

1) It is controlled and managed by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority.

2) Under this plan, there would be three types of alert levels.

3) It works only as an emergency measure.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 and 2 only

b) 1 and 3 only

c)  2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (b) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Delhi’s Grap curbs may kick in even if air not poor

●        The weather will see some improvement in the air quality this week

●        Curbs like bans on diesel generators and the use of coal-fired ovens, and activities such as routine mechanised sweeping should begin in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) on October 15 irrespective of the air quality at the time, suggested the members of an air quality commission , recommending that all ‘poor’ and some ‘very poor’ protocols of the Graded Response Action Plan (Grap) be activated.

●        Pollution control authorities will begin night patrolling to check for dust, industrial emissions, and burning of waste. Focus will be on mechanised sweeping and sprinkling of water on roads.

●        The recommendations were by a subcommittee of the Commission for Air Quality Management in Delhi-NCR and adjoining areas (CAQM). The panel will take a final call on what restrictions and activities to finally activate in a meeting 

About Graded response action Plan

●        Graded response action Plan was approved by the Supreme Court in 2016 and notified in 2017 by the Central Government.

●        It was formulated after several meetings of the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) held with state government representatives and experts.

●    GRAP is controlled and managed by EPCA. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●        The plan requires action and coordination among 13 different agencies in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Rajasthan (NCR areas).

●    It works only as an emergency measure. When the air quality shifts from poor to very poor, the measures listed have to be followed since the plan is incremental in nature. Hence statement (3) is correct.

●    Under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), there would be four types of alert levels, depending on the seriousness of the situation. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

●        Night curfew will be imposed in a Level-1 alert. In addition to night curfew, weekend curfew will be applied on Level-2 and Level-3 alerts. There will be a complete curfew during a Level-4 alert.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/delhi-news/grap-anti-pollution-curbs-may-hit-delhi-from-friday-even-if-air-is-not-poor-101634151165479.html

9. Consider the following statements regarding Activated carbon:

1) It is a crude form of graphite.

2) It has a great surface area and pore volume.

3) It can be used in solution purification.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 and 2 only

b) 1 and 3 only

c)  2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Tea & banana waste used to develop non-toxic activated carbon

●        A team of scientists have used tea and banana waste to prepare non-toxic activated carbon, which is useful for several purposes like industrial pollution control, water purification, food and beverage processing, and odour removal.

●        The processing of tea generates a lot of waste, generally in the form of tea dust. This could be converted to useful substances.

●        The structure of tea was favourable for conversion to high-quality activated carbon.

●        The banana plant extract used in the process was prepared by traditional way and is known as Khar, which is an alkaline extract from the ashes of burnt dried banana peels.

●        The ash is made into a fine powder. Then using a clean cotton cloth, water is filtered through the ash powder, and the final solution that we get is called khar.

Activated carbon:

●    Activated carbon, also known as activated charcoal, is a crude form of graphiteHence statement (1) is correct.

●        It differs from graphite by having a random, imperfect structure which is highly porous over a broad range of pore sizes from visible cracks and crevices to molecular dimensions.

●        The graphite structure gives the carbon its very large surface area which allows the carbon to adsorb a wide range of compounds.

●        Activated carbon can be made from many substances containing a high carbon content such as coal, coconut shells and wood.

●        The raw material has a very large influence on the characteristics and performance of the activated carbon.

●    Activated carbon has the strongest physical adsorption forces, or the highest volume of adsorbing porosity, of any material known to mankind. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●        Granular Activated Carbons have capability for selectively adsorbing thousands of organic, and certain in- organic, materials.

●    It can be used as a decolorant. It can be used in solution purificationHence statement (3) is correct.

●        It can remove the taste and odors from water, vegetable oils, alcoholic beverages, chemicals and pharmaceuticals

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1763581

10. Consider the following statements: (UPSC P-2021)

1) The Governor of the Reserve bank of India (RBI) is appointed by the Central Government.

2) Certain provisions in the Constitution of India give the Central Government the right to issue directions to the RBI in public interest.

3) The Governor of the RBI draws his power from the RBI Act.

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: (b) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

●        According to Section 8 of RBI ACT 1934- A Governor and (not more than four) Deputy Governors to be appointed by the Central Government. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●        According to Section 7 of RBI ACT 1934- The Central Government may from time to time give such directions to the Bank as it may, after consultation with the Governor of the Bank, consider it necessary in the public interest. There is no such provision in the constitution of India. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

●        According to Section 7 of RBI Act 1934- The Governor and in his absence the Deputy Governor nominated by him in this behalf, shall also have powers of general superintendence and direction of the affairs and the business of the Bank, and may exercise all powers and do all acts and things which may be exercised or done by the Bank. Hence statement (3) is correct.