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Daily Prelims Test – 18_June 2021

Consider the following statements regarding Deep ocean mission:

  • The Ministry of Science and Technology will be the nodal Ministry implementing this multi-institutional mission.
  • 2.Under the mission, India will build a research vessel specifically for carrying out deep ocean explorations.
  • The focus of the mission will be on deep-sea mining, ocean climate change advisory services, underwater vehicles and underwater robotics related technologies.

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

a) 1 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (b) 2 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: India to launch deep ocean mission

  • The Ministry of Earth Sciences will be the nodal Ministry implementing this multi-institutional mission. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.
  • The Union Cabinet has approved the long-pending deep ocean mission, which among other things involves developing a submersible vehicle that will allow a crew to plunge 6,000 metres into the ocean and hunt the floor for precious metals.
  • The focus of the mission will be on deep-sea mining, ocean climate change advisory services, underwater vehicles and underwater robotics related technologies. Hence statement (3) is correct.
  • Two key projects planned in the ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ report include a desalination plant powered by tidal energy and a submersible vehicle that can explore depths of at least 6,000 metres.
  • The exploration studies of minerals will pave way for the commercial exploitation in the near future, as and when commercial exploitation code is evolved by the International Seabed Authority, an United Nations organisation
  • The second component involves developing Ocean Climate Change Advisory Services, which entails developing a suite of observations and models to understand and provide future projections of important climate variables on seasonal to decadal time scales.
  • The next component is searching for deep sea flora and fauna, including microbes, and studying ways to sustainably utilise them. The fourth component is to explore and identify potential sources of hydrothermal minerals that are sources of precious metals formed from the earth’s crust along the Indian Ocean mid-oceanic ridges.
  • The fifth component involves studying and preparing detailed engineering design for offshore Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) powered desalination plants.
  • The final component is aimed at grooming experts in the field of ocean biology and engineering. This component aims to translate research into industrial applications and product development through on-site business incubator facilities.
  • India has been allotted a site of 75,000 square kilometres in the Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) by the UN International SeaBed Authority for exploitation of polymetallic nodules (PMN). These are rocks scattered on the seabed containing iron, manganese, nickel and cobalt.
  • Under the mission, India will build aresearch vessel specifically for carrying out deep ocean explorations and it will be built at an Indian shipyard. Hence statement (2) is correct.

Source: TH Pg: No: 8

Consider the following statements regarding United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS):

  • It divides marine areas into five main zones.
  • It is the only international convention which stipulates a framework for state jurisdiction in maritime spaces and provides a different legal status to different maritime zones.
  • The International seabed Authority was created under this convention.

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

a )1 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Rajnath calls for open Indo-Pacific

  • India hoped that the code of conduct for South China Sea (SCS), being negotiated between the Association of SouthEast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China, would lead to outcomes in line with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and did not prejudice the legitimate rights and interests of nations that were not party to these discussions
  • Maritime security challenges are another area of concern to India. The sea lanes of communication are critical for peace, stability, prosperity and development of the Indo-Pacific region.

About United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

  • United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982, also known as Law of the Sea divides marine areas into five main zones namely- Internal Waters, Territorial Sea, Contiguous Zone, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the High Seas. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • UNCLOS is the only international convention which stipulates a framework for state jurisdiction in maritime spaces. It provides a different legal status to different maritime zones. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • It provides the backbone for offshore governance by coastal states and those navigating the oceans. It not only zones coastal states’ offshore areas but also provides specific guidance for states’ rights and responsibilities in the five concentric zones.
  • India played a constructive role in deliberations leading to UNCLOS’s adoption in 1982 and has been a party to the convention since 1995.

Several initiatives were taken after the establishment of the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which are mentioned below:

  • International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS)
  • Established by the UNCLOS, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is an independent judicial body that adjudicates disputes arising out of the convention. ITLOS was signed on December 10, 1982, and entered into force on November 16, 1994. To know more about ITLOS, refer to the linked page.
  • International Seabed Authority
  • It was formed in 1994 for regulating the exploration and exploitation of marine non-living resources of oceans in international waters.
  • To know about the functions of the International Seabed Authority, refer to the linked page. Hence statement (3) is correct.
  • Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS)
  • Established under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, CLCS is responsible for facilitating the implementation of UNCLOS with respect to the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles.

Source: TH Pg: No: 10

Consider the following statements regarding Northern Limit of Monsoon:

  • It is the northernmost boundary of India up to which Monsoon rains have advanced on any given day.
  • It is directly related to the onset and advance of Monsoon.

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: Conditions not favourable for monsoon to cover North: IMD

  • Atmospheric conditions are still not favourable for further advance of monsoon in Rajasthan, remaining parts of Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi, the India Meteorological Department (IMD)
  • These conditions are not favourable for the advance of monsoon.
  • Monsoon has reached Saharanpur in western Uttar Pradesh. The Northern Limit of Monsoon (NLM) continues to pass through Diu, Surat, Nandurbar, Bhopal, Nowgong, Hamirpur, Barabanki, Bareilly, Saharanpur, Ambala and Amritsar

About Northern Limit of Monsoon

  • It is the northernmost boundary of India up to which Monsoon rains have advancedon any given day. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • It is directly relatedto the onset and advance of MonsoonHence statement (2) is correct.
  • The termNLM starts flowing right from the onset to the withdrawal of Monsoon.
  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) adds that the monsoon “advances northwards, usually in surges, and covers the entire country around July 15″.

About Eastern and Western Arms

  • It is the mountains of southern India that split the south-western winds, giving the Indian monsoon its two
  • The western arm of the monsoon is deflected northwards, by the Western Ghats, to (Mumbai) and then on to Pakistan.
  • The eastern arm travels up through the Bay of Bengal to (Kolkata) and Assam and is deflected north-westwards by the Himalayas.

Source: TH Pg:No: 4

Consider the following statements regarding Adi Prashikshan Portal:

  • It has been developed by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in collaboration with UNDP.
  • It is a training programme on Capacity Building Training of Master Trainers for ST Panchayati Raj Institutions Members.

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: Tribal Affairs Minister Shri Arjun Munda launches ‘Adi Prashikshan Portal’ and 3 -Day Online Capacity Building Programme for ST PRI Members

  • The Minister of Tribal Affairs has launched ‘Adi Prashikshan Portal’ and inaugurated a training programme on “Capacity Building Training of Master Trainers for ST PRI Members” as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. Hence statement (2) is correct.

About Adi Prashikshan Portal

  • It would be a repository of all training programmes conducted by the Ministry, TRIs, COEs and EMRS, upcoming NTRI and TRIFED.
  • It will have databaseof trainees, trainers and resource persons.
  • The trainees will have access to course material even after completion of training.
  • The portal has been developed by Ministry of Tribal Affairs in collaboration with UNDP and TRI-Odisha. Hence statement (1) is correct.

Significance of Adi Prashikshan Portal

  • It should be interactive and should also include feedback in the form of actual experiences of the PRIs in implementation which will also help to improve the programme.
  • It is intended to reach remotest areas with ‘knowledge packets’ using information technology (IT).
  • It is an effort to bring Training Institutions/ Organizations, Experts and Trainers together for addressing thematic knowledge gaps among Tribal PRIs, Communities, Officials and various other stakeholders involved in tribal area development.
  • It will transform the various ongoing training initiatives under different units of the Ministry like TRIs, COEs and converge the initiatives for better skill and knowledge building.
  • It will also catalyze and improve the processes of conducting training by making it online and accessible to all.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1727708

Consider the following statements regarding Precision Iodine Value Analyzer:

  • It is an instrument for the measurement of the degree of unsaturation in vegetable oils.
    • This indigenous food testing equipment was recognized by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.

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: FSSAI recognises new precision iodine value analyser

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Central Scientific Instruments Organization (CSIR-CSIO) has developed and transferred the technology of Precision Iodine Value Analyzer (PIVA).

About Precision Iodine Value Analyzer

  • It is an instrument for the measurement of the degree of unsaturation (iodine value) in vegetable oils. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • This indigenous food testing equipment was recognized by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on World Food Safety Day on June 7, 2021. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • It has applications in oil extraction units, quality control and assurance labs, food regulatory authorities, soaps and cosmetics, bakeries, meat industry, paint industry, biodiesel analysis, and charcoal industry.
  • It is also useful in determining adulteration in edible oils and fats.

Measuring iodine value

  • Iodine value is conventionally determined using manual titration and a few analytical instruments based on automated titration.
  • However, these methods take a longer time to analyze, are costly, and use toxic chemicals.
  • Researchers at CSIR-CSIO developed a rapid analysis technique that takes just three minutes to carry out the same analysis.
  • Currently, PIVA has been calibrated and tested for coconut, sunflower, mustard, palm, rice bran, soybean, groundnut, olive oil, and ghee.
  • This new development is a part of the ongoing effort to strengthen the food testing capabilities by introducing quick and advanced food testing kits.


Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/science-technology/fssai-recognises-new-precision-iodine-value-analyser-77458#:~:text=In%20one%20of%20its%20initiatives,measurement%20of%20the%20degree%20of

Dagmara multipurpose hydropower project is built over which of the following rivers in India?

a) Koshi River

b) Ghaghara River

c) Dihang River

d) Gomti River

Answer: (a) Koshi River

Explanation:

In NEWS: Bihar signs MoU for mega hydropower project with NHPCL:

  • A MoU for the Bihar’s mega Dagmara hydroelectric project, initiated with an aim to herald a new era of growth in power sector, was signed between the Bihar State Power Holding Corporation and the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited (NHPC)
  • The MoU was signed for setting up Bihar’s biggest hydroelectric power generation plant called the ‘Dagmara multipurpose hydropower project over the Kosi River in Supaul districtHence option (a) is correct.
  • The cost of Project is presently considered as Rs 2435.91 crore to be actualized as appraised by CEA during Detailed Project Report (DPR) clearance.
  • The total generation capacity of the ‘Run-of-River’ project will be 130.1 MW, which will comprise two power houses, while the barrage length would be 753 metre and it would have 36 gates on river Kosi River.
  • The Government of Bihar shall purchase the entire power to be generated from the Project for its complete life .
  • It is the largest hydropower project of Bihar to be implemented by NHPC on ownership basis. 

Significance 

  • The project would contribute immensely in India’s mission for energy transition for lesser use of fossil fuel. 
  • It will create immense opportunities for generating both direct and indirect employment in Bihar.
  • It will also uplift the socio-economic condition in the project area.

Source: https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2021/jun/14/bihar-signsmou-for-mega-hydropower-project-with-nhpcl-2316256.html

Consider the following statements regarding Forex Reserve:

  • India’s Forex reserves include Foreign Currency Assets, Gold reserves, Special Drawing Rights, Reserve Tranche Position with the International Monetary Fund.
    • Currently, China has the largest foreign reserves followed by India as per International Monetary Fund.

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: India’s Forex reserves cross record $600 billion-mark, soon to become 4th largest forex reserves holder globally

  • India’s foreign exchange reserves crossed the $600 billion mark for the first time after rising by $6.842 billion in the week ended on June 4, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data showed on Friday. According to weekly data from the RBI, forex reserves rose to a record $605.008 billion in the reporting week, helped by a rise in Foreign Currency Assets (FCA), a major component of the overall reserves.

About Foreign exchange reserves

  • Foreign exchange reserves are important assets held by the central bank in foreign currencies as reserves.
  • They are commonly used to support the exchange rate and set monetary policy.
  • In India’s case, foreign reserves include Gold, Dollars, and the IMF’s quota for Special Drawing Rights. Most of the reserves are usually held in US dollars given the currency’s importance in the international financial and trading system. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • Some central banks keep reserves in Euros, British pounds, Japanese yen or Chinese yuan in addition to their US dollar reserves.
  • It also limits external vulnerability by maintaining foreign currency liquidity to absorb shocks during times of crisis or when access to borrowing is curtailed
  • The reserve facilitates external trade and payment and promotes orderly development and maintenance of foreign exchange market in India.
  • Currently, China has the largest reserves followed by Japan, Switzerland, Russia and India on the International Monetary Fund tableHence statement (2) is incorrect.

Initiatives taken by the government to increase forex

  • Atma Nirbhar Bharat, in which India has to be made a self-reliant nation so that India does not have to import things that India can produce. 
  • The government has started schemes like Duty Exemption Scheme, Remission of Duty or Taxes on Export Product (RoDTEP), Nirvik (Niryat Rin Vikas Yojana) scheme etc. 
  • Apart from these schemes, India is one of the top countries that attracted the highest amount of Foreign Direct Investment, thereby improving India’s foreign exchange reserves

Source: https://www.business-standard.com/article/finance/foreign-exchange-reserves-cross-600-billion-mark-for-first-time-121061100990_1.html

Consider the following statements regarding New Shephard:

  • It is a rocket system meant to take tourists to space over 100 km above the Earth and accommodation for payloads.
    • It is a part of Blue Origin suborbital spaceflight services

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: Explained: What is New Shephard, the rocket system designed to provide cost-effective access to space?

  • Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos’s space company called Blue Origin concluded the online auction for the first seat on New Shephard, a rocket system meant to take tourists to space. Over 7,600 people registered from 159 countries to bid for this seat, which ultimately went for a winning bid of $28 million. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • Blue Origin is an American privately funded aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company founded by Jeff Bezos, who is also the founder of the multinational e-commerce giant Amazon.

About New Shephard

  • It is a rocket system meant to take tourists to spaceover 100 km above the Earth and accommodation for payloads. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • It completed its seventh test launch successfully in October 2020when it took off from Texas.
  • It has been named after astronaut Alan Shephard, who was the first American to go to space.
  • It will take astronauts and research payloads past the Karman line, which is the internationally recognized boundary of space.
  • The rocket system consists of two parts, the cabin/capsule and the rocket/booster.
  • The cabin can accommodate experiments from small Mini Payloads up to 100 kg, which provide easier and cheaper space access to students of educational institutions developing their own space programs.
  • The cabin is designed for six people and sits atop a 60 feet tall rocket. It is fully autonomous and does not require a pilot.
  • It separates from it before crossing the Karman line, after which both vehicles fall back to the Earth.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-what-is-new-shephard-the-rocket-system-designed-to-provide-cost-effective-access-to-space-7358063/

With respect to Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, consider the following statement:

  • Under UAPA, both Indian and foreign nationals can be charged.
    • It will not apply to the offenders who commit crime on a foreign land, outside India.

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: Delhi HC calls out misuse of UAPA, raises bar for State to slap terror tag

  • The Delhi High Court ruled that there is a need to redefine “terrorist activity” strictly to avoid misuse of UAPA in cases of ordinary penal offences.
  • The Delhi High Court granted bail to three student activists accused in a Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act related to the Delhi riots case.
  • The recent data provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs indicates a sharp rise in cases registered under UAPA (from 897 in 2015 to 1126 in 2019).

About Unlawful Activities Prevention Act

  • It was passed in 1967. It aims at effective prevention of unlawful activities associations in India.
  • Unlawful activity refers to any action taken by an individual or association intended to disrupt the territorial integrity and sovereignty of India.
  • The Act assigns absolute power to the central government, by way of which if the Centre deems an activity as unlawful then it may, by way of an Official Gazette, declare it so.
  • It has death penalty and life imprisonment as highest punishments.
  • Under UAPA, both Indian and foreign nationals can be charged. It will be applicable to the offenders in the same manner, even if crime is committed on a foreign land, outside India. Hence statement (1) is correct and (2) is incorrect.
  • Under the UAPA, the investigating agency can file a charge sheet in maximum 180 days after the arrests and the duration can be extended further after intimating the court.

Parliament cleared the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 to designate individuals as terrorists on certain grounds provided in the Act.

  • The Act empowers the Director General of National Investigation Agency(NIA) to grant approval of seizure or attachment of property when the case is investigated by the said agency.
  • The Act empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases of terrorism in addition to those conducted by the DSP or ACP or above rank officer in the state.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/delhi-high-court-calls-out-misuse-of-uapa-raises-bar-for-state-to-slap-terror-tag-7360779/

rom the ecological point of view, which one of the following assumes importance in being a good link between the Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats?

a) Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve

b) Nallamala Forest

c) Nagarhole National Park

d) Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve

Answer: (a) Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve

Explanation:

Sathyamangalam forest range is a significant wildlife corridor in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve between the Western Ghats and the rest of the Eastern Ghats Located in the Erode district of Tamil Nadu, the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve is the largest wildlife sanctuary in the state. With a forest area of 1,411.6 square kilometres, the reserve is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and lies between the Western Ghats and the rest of the Eastern Ghats. Hence option (a) is correct

Situated in a key position between the Western and Eastern Ghats, the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve boasts of a wide variety of fauna. The reserve also adjoins four other protected areas — Biligiriranga Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, Sigur Plateau, Mudumalai National Park and Bandipur National Park.