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Daily Prelims Test – 17_September 2020

Consider the following statements regarding Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

  1. It seeks to amend the Essential Commodities Act, 1955
  2. It empowers the central government to designate certain commodities including food items, fertilizers, and petroleum products as essential commodities.

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: Lok Sabha passes Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020

  • The Bill will replace the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance which was promulgated on 5th June this year.
    The Bill seeks to amend the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and empowers the central government in terms of production, supply, distribution, trade, and commerce of certain commodities. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • It also seeks to increase competition in the agriculture sector and enhance farmers’ income. 
  • The bill aims to liberalise the regulatory system while protecting the interests of consumers.
    The bill empowers the central government to designate certain commodities including food items, fertilizers, and petroleum products as essential commoditiesHence statement 2 is correct
  • Supply of certain food items including cereals, pulses, potato, onions, edible oilseeds, and oils, can be regulated by the government under extraordinary circumstances as per the provisions of this bill.  The extraordinary circumstances include war, famine, extraordinary price rise and natural calamity of grave nature.
  • The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 empowers the central government to regulate the stock of an essential commodity that a person can hold. 
  • The provisions of the bill regarding the regulation of food items and the imposition of stock limits will however not apply to any government order relating to the Public Distribution System or the Targeted Public Distribution System.
  • Source: http://newsonair.com/News?title=Lok-Sabha-passes-Essential-Commodities-(Amendment)-Bill%2c-2020&id=399926

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Defence Trade and Technology Initiative is associated with which of the following two countries?

1.India and United States of America

2.India and United Kingdom

3.India and Switzerland

4.India and France

Answer: (a) India and United States of America

Explanation:

In NEWS: India, US sign statement of intent to strengthen dialogue on defence tech cooperation

  • India and the US signed a statement of intent to strengthen the bilateral dialogue on defence technology co-operation and create opportunities for co-production and co-development of military equipment.
  • India and the United States have signed a statement of intent to strengthen the dialogue on defence technology cooperation during the 10th Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) virtual group meeting on September 15, 2020.
  • About Defence Technology and Trade Initiative
  • The Defence Tradeand Technology Initiative (DTTI) was formed in 2012 between the US and India, to enhance the bilateral relations in defence by venturing into the field of advanced defence research and development and manufacturing. Hence option (a) is correct
  • The initiative is led by Undersecretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment from the United States and Secretary for Defence Protection from Indi
  • It is not a treaty or a law. It is a flexible mechanism to ensure that senior leaders from US and India are persistently focused on the opportunities and challenges associated with growing defense partnership.
  • It aims to strengthen India’s defence industrial base, explore new areas of technological development and expand U.S.-India business ties.
  • Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/india-us-sign-statement-of-intent-to-strengthen-dialogue-on-defence-tech-cooperation/articleshow/78132945.cms

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Consider the following statements regarding AICTE-SPICES (Scheme for Promoting Interests, Creativity and Ethics among Students)

1.It provides financial support to institutions for developing students club for well-rounded development of students by promoting their interests, creativity and ethics.

2.Only AICTE approved institutes with minimum 8 years of existence are eligible for this scheme.

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: Union Education Minister presents first ever AICTE – Visvesvaraya Best Teachers Award 2020 to 12 faculty members of AICTE approved institutes

  • SPICES (Scheme for Promoting Interests, Creativity and Ethics among Students) by Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ to promote healthy co-curricular activity amongst the students for their all-round development.
  • The first ever AICTE Visvesvarya Best Teacher Awards 2020 were presented by Union Minister of EducationShri Ramesh Pokhriyal‘Nishank’ to 12 faculty members of AICTE approved institutes on the occasion of Engineers Day.
  • About AICTE-SPICES:
  • The idea behind this scheme is to promote healthy co-curricular activity amongst the students for their all-round development.
  • The Scheme provides financial support to institutions for developing students club for the well-rounded development of students by promoting their interests, creativity and ethics. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • This club should serve as a model for other clubs in the institution and also those in other institutions.
  • Eligibility for financial support:
  • AICTE approved institutes which have been in existence for at least five years. Hence statement 2 is incorrect
  • Only one proposal per institute for a club (with minimum student members 50) will be admissible. The institute may choose its best performing club for applying under the scheme for the grant.
  • Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1654638

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Consider the following statements regarding Global Preparedness Monitoring Board

1.It is an independent monitoring and accountability body to ensure preparedness for global health crises.

2.It is a joint arm of the WHO and the UNICEF

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: Pandemic preparedness: Global spending needs 500 years to match COVID-19 rout

  • The world will take 500 years to spend on preparing for pandemics as much as the loss being driven by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
  • Releasing the report, titled A World in Disorder, GPMB called the response to the COVID-19 pandemic “a collective failure to take pandemic prevention, preparedness and response seriously and prioritise it accordingly.”
  • It has recommended five urgent actions to be taken in order to prevent the next pandemic: a) responsible leadership b) engaged citizenship, c) strong and agile systems for health security d) sustained investment and e) robust global governance for preparedness.
  • About Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB)
  • The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB) is an independent monitoring and accountability body to ensure preparedness for global health crisesHence statement 1 is correct
  • The Board provides an independent and comprehensive appraisal for policy makers and the world about progress towards increased preparedness and response capacity for disease outbreaks and other emergencies with health consequences. 
  • GPMB was co-convened by the World Health Organization and the World Bank Group and formally launched in May 2018. Hence statement 2 is incorrect
  • Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/health/pandemic-preparedness-global-spending-needs-500-years-to-match-covid-19-rout-73366

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Sometimes the term i-ATS technology is seen in news, it is associated with

1.5G Spectrum

2.Corona Virus Testing

3.Desalination of Seawater

4.Train Operation

Answer: (d) Train Operation

Explanation:

In NEWS: Delhi Metro launches first indigenous signal system

  • The ATS (or Automatic Train Supervision) is a computer-based system, which manages train operations, including basic functioning such as running and halting. The i-ATS will significantly reduce the dependence of Indian Metros on foreign vendors dealing with such technologiesHence option (d) is correct
  • The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) took a major step towards development of an indigenously-built communication-based train control with the launch of i-ATS — the first Made-in-India signalling system.

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What is/are unique about ‘Kharai Camel’, a breed found in India?

1.Odisha is the only home to Kharai camel.

2.It can swim upto three kilometres into the sea

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: National Research Centre on Camels

  • For setting up of a branch in Gujarat of National Research Centre on Camel (NRCC), Bikaner, an appropriate size of land and other resources on nominal cost/lease basis is desired from the Government of Gujarat.
  • National Research Centre on Camels works under aegis of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) which was upgraded to National Research Center on Camel (NRCC) in 1995.
  • NRCC is focusing on basic and applied research on one humped camel (Camelus dromedarius) and double humped camel (Camelus bactrianus).
  • About Kharai camels
  • Kharai camels or Swimming Camels are a breed of camel found exclusively in the state of Gujarat (Kutch), India. Hence statement 1 is incorrect
  • It grazes on saline/mangrove trees and is tolerant to high saline water.
  • They are the only swimmer camels of the world and can swim upto three kilometres into the sea in search of mangroves, their primary food. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • IUCN status: Endangered.
  • Given the breed’s ability to survive both on land and sea, the Kharai camel is one of the most preferred choices of graziers in the arid coastal region of Kachchh.
  • People consume its milk, while male calves are sold for economic returns (females are not sold because they are considered sacred). So, clearly they are domesticated and don’t live in the wild
  • Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1654490

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Consider the following statements regarding Interest Rate Derivatives

1.It is a financial derivative contract whose value is derived from one or more interest rates

2.They are often used by institutional investors, banks, companies, and individuals to protect themselves against changes in market interest rates.

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: RBI issues draft rupee interest rate derivatives

The Reserve Bank proposed allowing foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) to undertake exchange-traded rupee interest rate derivatives transaction subject to an overall ceiling of Rs 5,000 crore.

The proposed Rupee Interest Rate Derivatives (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2020 are aimed at higher non-resident participation, enhance the role of domestic market makers in the offshore market, improve transparency and achieve better regulatory oversight

About Interest Rate Derivatives (IRDs)

·        


Consider the following statements regarding the solar cycle

1.It is the amount of magnetic flux that rises up to the Sun’s surface

2.This cycle lasts 110 years on average.

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: Explained: What is Solar Cycle 25, recently announced by NASA and NOAA scientists?

Scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced their predictions about the new solar cycle, called Solar Cycle 25, which they believe has begun.

What is a solar cycle?

  • Since the Sun’s surface is a very active space, electrically charged gases on its surface generate areas of powerful magnetic forces, which are called magnetic fields.
  • Since the gases on the Sun’s surface are constantly moving, these magnetic fields can get stretched, twisted and tangled creating motion on the surface, which is referred to as solar activity.
  • The amount of magnetic flux that rises up to the Sun’s surface varies with time in a cycle called the solar cycle. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • This cycle lasts 11 years on average. This cycle is sometimes referred to as the sunspot cycle. Hence statement 2 is incorrect
  • Near the minimum of the solar cycle, it is rare to see sunspots on the Sun, and the spots that do appear are very small and short-lived. During “solar maximum”, there will be sunspots visible on the Sun almost all the time, and some of those spots will be very large and last several weeks. 
  • So far, astronomers have documented 24 such cycles, the last one ended in 2019.

How do scientists track solar activity?

  •  Scientists track a solar cycle by using sunspots, which are the dark blotches on the Sun that are associated with solar activity.
  •  Sunspots are associated as the origins for giant explosions such as solar flares that can spew light, energy and solar material into space.
  •  Experts announced that the solar minimum for Solar Cycle 25 occurred in December 2019. It took time for them to announce this because of the variability of the Sun.
  •  Scientists predict a solar maximum (middle of the solar cycle) will be reached by July 2025 and that this solar cycle will be as strong as the last solar cycle, which was a “below-average cycle” but not without risks.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-solar-cycle-25-nasa-noaa-scientists-6598367/


Which the following statements is/are correct with reference to Impacts of Solar Cycle?

  1. Impact radio communications
  2. Affect satellite electronics and limit their lifetime.
  3. Radiation can be dangerous for astronauts who do work on the outside of the International Space Station.
  4. Affect electricity grids on Earth.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

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

Explanation:

In NEWS: A new solar cycle has begun. What does this mean?

  • The Sun has entered a new solar cycle, officially known as Solar Cycle 25, Nasa has confirmed.
  • Following a weakening trend in activity over the last few cycles, there were predictions that the Sun would go silent into a grand minimum in activity, with the disappearance of cycles.

Impacts of Solar Cycle

  • This activity has effects on Earth. For example, eruptions can cause lights in the sky, called aurora, or impact radio communications. Extreme eruptions can even affect electricity grids on Earth.
  • Solar activity can affect satellite electronics and limit their lifetime.
  • Radiation can be dangerous for astronauts who do work on the outside of the International Space Station.
  • Forecasting of the solar cycle can help scientists protect our radio communications on Earth, and help keep satellites and astronauts safe. Hence option (d) is correct

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-solar-cycle-25-nasa-noaa-scientists-6598367/


Which of the following is/are famous for Sun temples?

  1. Arasavalli
  2. Amarakantak
  3. Omkareshwar

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

The Sun Temple is situated in Arasavalli Village in Andhra Pradesh. Sun temples are not located in Amarkantak and Omkareshwar. Hence option (a) is correct