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Daily Prelims Test – 18_June

1.World Competitiveness Index 2020 is published by the

  • World Intellectual Property Organization
  • Institute for Management Development
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
  • World Trade Organization

Answer: (b) Institute for Management Development

Explanation:

In NEWS: India ranked 43rd on IMD’s World Competitiveness Index; Singapore on top

  • India continues to remain ranked 43rd on an annual World Competitiveness Index compiled by Institute for Management Development (IMD)with some traditional weaknesses like poor infrastructure and insufficient education investment keeping its ranking low. Hence option (b) is correct.
  • India continues to remain ranked 43rd on an annual World Competitiveness Index compiled by Institute for Management Development
  • Singapore has retained its top position on the 63-nation list.
  • Denmark has moved up to the second position (from 8th last year), Switzerland has gained one place to rank 3rd, the Netherlands has retained its 4th place and Hong Kong has slipped to the fifth place (from 2nd in 2019).
  • The reason for the Asian economies’ less stellar performance as a region, this year is partly the result of the trade frictions between China and the US, particularly because these economies are highly dependent on trade with China.
  • In the ASEAN countries included in the survey, only Singapore and Thailand have a positive performance in the effectiveness of the health infrastructure.

Source : https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/india-ranked-43rd-on-imds-world-competitiveness-index-singapore-on-top/articleshow/76404222.cms

2.Consider the following statements regarding Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region

  • It is the first ever report has been published by the Ministry of Earth Sciences
  • It is based on the climate forecasting model developed at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune.

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: Temperatures in India could rise by 4.4°C by 2100, says govt report

  • In a worst-case scenario, average surface air temperatures over India could rise by up to 4.4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century as compared to the period between 1976 and 2005, according to the first Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region published by the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences. Hence Statement 1 is correct.
  • The report is based on the climate forecasting model developed at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM),Pune. Hence Statement 2 is correct.
  • Under an intermediate scenario of Representative Concentration Pathway RCP 4.5, the country’s average temperature could rise by up to 2.4°C.
  • Radiative forcing or climate forcing is the difference between sunlight energy absorbed by the Earth (including its atmosphere) and the energy that it radiates back into space
  • A Representative Concentration Pathway is a greenhouse gas concentration trajectory adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  • Frequencies of future warm days and warm nights are projected to increase by 55% and 70% respectively relative to the reference period of 1976-2005.
  • Summer heat waves over India are also projected to be three to four times higher by the end of the 21st century.
  • Temperatures of the warmest day and the coldest night of the year have risen by around 0.63°C and 0.4°C in the recent 30-year period (1986-2015).
  • Sea surface temperature over the Indian Ocean has risen by 1°C in the 64 years between 1951 and 2015 compared to the global average sea surface warming of 0.7°C.
  • Summer monsoon precipitation (June to September) over India has also declined by around 6% from 1951 to 2015 with notable decreases over the Indo-Gangetic Plains and the Western Ghats.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/temperatures-in-india-could-rise-by-4-4-c-by-2100-says-govt-report-71797

3.Consider the following statements regarding Mental Healthcare Act, 2017

  • It defines mental illness as a substantial disorder of thinking, mood, perception, orientation, or memory that grossly impairs judgment or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life
  • It empowers the government to set-up Central Mental Health Authority at national-level and State Mental Health Authority in every State

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: Supreme Court notices to Centre, IRDA on plea seeking insurance cover for mental illness

  • The Supreme Court issued notices to the central government and Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) on a plea seeking directions to insurance companies to provide medical insurance coverage for treatment of mental illness.
  • A plea, filed by an advocate, stated that insurance companies are refusing to provide such coverage despite a mandate under the section 21(4) of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, insurers are bound to provide medical insurance for mental health illnesses on the same basis as they do for treatment of physical illness.

About Mental Healthcare Act, 2017:

  • The new act defines mental illness as a substantial disorder of thinking, mood, perception, orientation, or memory that grossly impairsjudgment or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life, mental conditions associated with the abuse of alcohol and drugs. Hence Statement 1 is correct.
  • The Act that ensures every person shall have a right to access mental health care and treatment from mental health services run or funded by the appropriate government.
  • It assures free treatment for such persons if they are homeless or belong to Below Poverty Line, even if they do not possess a BPL card.
  • Every person with mental illness shall have a right to live with dignity and there shall be no discrimination on any basis including gender, sex, sexual orientation, religion, culture, caste, social or political beliefs, class or disability.
  • A person with mental illness shall have the right to confidentiality in respect of his mental health, mental healthcare, treatment and physical healthcare.
  • The photograph or any other information pertaining to the person cannot be released to the media without the consent of the person with mental illness.
  • The Act empowers the government to set-up Central Mental Health Authority at national-level and State Mental Health Authority in every State. Hence Statement 2 is correct.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/supreme-court-notices-to-centre-irda-on-plea-seeking-insurance-cover-for-mental-illness/story-HEujUz31458YrsGa2hJyYO.html

4.Consider the following statements regarding United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

  • It is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management
  • Its secretariat at Bonn, Germany

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: Reverse land use change to prevent zoonoses like COVID-19: UNCCD

  • Land use change, which prepares the ground for zoonoses like the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), should be reversed urgently, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
  • Over 70 per cent of all natural, ice-free land in the world is affected by human use, according to the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
  • June 17 is observed worldwide as the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought and this year’s ‘global observance event’ is being hosted virtually by Korea Forest Service. Theme 2020: Food. Feed. Fibre
  • Investing in the over 4 million square kilometres (sq km) land earmarked for restoration will help to build back better and safeguard our relationship with nature

About The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

  • The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. Hence Statement 1 is correct.
  • The Convention addresses specifically the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found.
  • It is the only convention stemming from a direct recommendation of the Rio Conference’s Agenda 21. To help publicise the Convention, 2006 was declared “International Year of Deserts and Desertification”.
  • Secretariat of UNCCD is at Bonn, GermanyHence Statement 2 is correct.
  • The UNCCD is particularly committed to a bottom-up approach, encouraging the participation of local people in combating desertification and land degradation.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/reverse-land-use-change-to-prevent-zoonoses-like-covid-19-unccd-71793

5.Consider the following statements

  • India is home to three crocodilian species
  • Both the estuarine crocodile and gharial is known to be a relatively harmless and fish-eating species
  • The gharial is found mostly in Himalayan rivers

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

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

Answer: (a) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: World Crocodile Day: Experts call for patience regarding human-croc conflict

  • India is home to three crocodilian species: The mugger or marsh crocodile (Crocodylus palustris), The estuarine or saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) and The gharial (Gavialis gangeticus). Hence Statement 1 is correct.
  • The estuarine crocodile is infamous globally as a known maneater. The mugger is also known to be dangerous. The gharial is knownto be a relatively harmless, fish-eating species. Hence Statement 2 is incorrect.

Saltwater crocodile

  • The estuarine crocodile is found in Odisha’s Bhitarkanika National Park, the Sundarbans in West Bengal and the Andamans and Nicobar Islands.
  • They have the broadest distribution of any modern crocodile, ranging from the eastern coast of India, throughout most of Southeast Asia, and northern Australia.
  • They are apex predators.
  • Least Concern in IUCN Red List.

Mugger Crocodile

  • Medium-sized crocodile that mostly inhabits freshwater lakes, ponds, sluggish rivers, swamps and marshes.
  • Found throughout the Indian subcontinent. It is the most widespread, found in other South Asian countries too
  • Vulnerable in IUCN Red list.

Gharials

  • It is the longest and rarest Crocodile.
  • Their major population remain in three tributaries of the Ganges River, the Chambal and the Girwa Rivers in India, and the Rapti-Naryani River in Nepal.
  • The gharial reserves of India are located in three States of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan . The gharial is found mostly in Himalayan rivers.  Hence Statement 3 is correct.
  • National Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary is in Chambal.
  • Critically endangered in IUCN Red List.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/world-crocodile-day-experts-call-for-patience-regarding-human-croc-conflict-71809

6.Consider the following statements regarding Dexamethasone

  • It is a generic steroid which is used to reduce inflammation in the body.
  • The usage of this steroid is allowed by World Anti-Doping Agency during any sports competition to sportspersons

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: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: A badminton legend, a football star, latest Covid-19 drug: what’s common?

  • Researchers leading a major clinical trial in the UK announced that the drug dexamethasone had been found to cut death rates by around a third in the most severely ill among Covid-19 patients.
  • The low-cost, anti-inflammatory steroid is well known in the world of sport. Dexamethasone has been used for years by sportspersons to hasten their rehabilitation from injuries and recover from infections.

About Dexamethasone:

  • It is a generic steroid widely used in other diseases to reduce inflammationHence Statement 1 is correct.
  • The steroid medicine has been available as a generic for decades.
  • It is used to treat a range of diseases including rheumatism, asthma, allergies and even to help cancer patients better handle the nausea triggered by chemotherapy.  
  • The drug is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) list of prohibitedsubstances, however athletes can use the same before the competition. Athletes are, however, barred from using dexamethasone only during competition. Hence Statement 2 is incorrect.
  • Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid, an easily available medicine that prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation. Its effects are frequently seen within a day, and last for about three days.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/dexamethasone-a-badminton-legend-a-football-star-latest-covid-drug-whats-common-6462382/

7.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 passing through the Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh

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: Monsoon arrives over north-western India, may reach Delhi early

  • Monsoon has advanced into parts of north-western India, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) authorities.
  • The normal date for the onset of monsoon over Delhi is June 27.
  • The Northern Limit of Monsoon (NLM) is the northernmost boundary of India up to which Monsoon rains have advanced on any given Hence Statement 1 is correct.
  • The northern limit of monsoon (northernmost boundary up to which monsoon rains have advanced) is passing through Kandla, and Ahmedabad in Gujarat; Indore, Raisen, and Khajuraho in MP and Fatehpur, and Bahraich in U Hence Statement 2 is correct.
  • Monsoon has reached UP at least four to five days in advance, as compared to its normal track
  • Monsoon has advanced well so far with help from a low-pressure area, which developed over the Bay of Bengal. The low-pressure system had moved inland from the Odisha coast and helped it advance bringing a lot of rain. Another low-pressure system is likely to develop over the north of the Bay of Bengal
  • The northern limit of monsoon is directly related to the onset and advance of Monsoon.
  • The term NLM starts flowing right from the onset to the withdrawal of Monsoon.

Sourcehttps://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/monsoon-arrives-over-nw-india-may-reach-delhi-early/story-Apc5VonimxegoMSJheUZEK.html

8.Consider the following statements regarding Forest Fire Prevention and Management Scheme

  • It is the only centrally funded program specifically dedicated to assist the states in dealing with forest fires.
  • It provides the states to have the flexibility to direct a portion of the National Afforestation Programme and Mission for Green India funding toward forest fire work.

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: NGT gives Kerala 1 month to report on forest fire prevention steps

  • Recently, the National Green Tribunal has directed the Kerala Forest Department to submit its report in one month, on the steps taken to prevent forest fires and implement the National Action Plan on Forest Fire in the State.
  • Fire can play a vital role in keeping the forests healthy, recycling nutrients, helping tree species regenerate, removing invasive weeds and pathogens, and maintaining habitat for some wildlife.
  • As populations and demands on forest resources have grown, the cycle of the fire has spun out of balance.
  • Forest fires have become an issue of global concern. In many countries, wildfires are burning larger areas, and fire seasons are growing longer due to global warming.
  • Globally, forest fires release billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, while hundreds of thousands of people are believed to die due to illnesses caused by exposure to smoke from forest fires and other landscape fires.

Forest Fire Prevention and Management Scheme:

  • The Forest Fire Prevention and Management Scheme (FPM) is the only centrally funded program specifically dedicated to assisting the states in dealing with forest fires. Hence Statement 1 is correct.
  • The FPM replaced the Intensification of Forest Management Scheme (IFMS) in 2017.
  • Funds allocated under the FPM are according to a center-state cost-sharing formula, with a 90:10 ratio of central to state funding in the Northeast and Western Himalayan regions and a 60:40 ratio for all other states.
  • It also provides the states to have the flexibility to direct a portion of the National Afforestation Programme (NAP) and Mission for Green India (GIM) funding toward forest firework. Hence Statement 2 is correct.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/ngt-gives-kerala-1-month-to-report-on-forest-fire-prevention-steps/article31822783.ece

9.Consider the following statements regarding the anti-defection law

  • It is contained in the 10th Schedule of the Constitution in 1985 by the 52nd Amendment Act
  • This law applies to both Parliament and state assemblies.

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: The Supreme Court has asked the Goa Assembly Speaker to respond to a plea filed by the opposition Congress party to decide on the disqualification proceedings against 10 legislators who joined the ruling BJP in July last year

  • In July last year 10 MLAs, purportedly claiming to form a two-third of Indian National Congress (INC), decided to merge the said legislative party with the BJP and accordingly addressed a communication to that effect to the Speaker.
  • Based on the communication, the Speaker took note of the “alleged merger of INC’s legislative party in the Goa Legislative Assembly, and allotted the 10 seats in the Assembly along with the members of the BJP”.
  • However, petitioners contended that the legislators in question have incurred disqualification under Article 191(2) of the Constitution, read with para 2 of the Tenth Schedule (defection), and are liable to be disqualified as members of the Legislative Assembly.

What is the anti-defection law?

  • The Tenth Schedule was inserted in the Constitution in 1985 by the 52nd Amendment Ac Hence Statement 1 is correct.
  • It lays down the process by which legislators may be disqualified on grounds of defection by the Presiding Officer of a legislature based on a petition by any other member of the House.
  • The decision on the question as to disqualification on ground of defection is referred to as the Chairman or the Speaker of such House, and his decision is final.
  • The law applies to both Parliament and state assembliesHence Statement 2 is correct.

Disqualification: If a member of a house belonging to a political party:

  • Voluntarily gives up the membership of his political party, or
  • Votes, or does not vote in the legislature, contrary to the directions of his political party. However, if the member has taken prior permission, or is condoned by the party within 15 days from such voting or abstention, the member shall not be disqualified.
  • If an independent candidate joins a political party after the election.
  • If a nominated member joins a party six months after he becomes a member of the legislature.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sc-issues-notice-to-goa-assembly-speaker-on-mla-disqualification-proceedings/article31846875.ece

10.With reference to forced labour (Vishti) in India during the Gupta period, which one of the following statements is correct?

(a) It was considered a source of income for the State, a sort of tax paid by the people.

(b) It was totally absent in the Madhya Pradesh and Kathiawar regions of the Gupta Empire.

(c) The forced labourer was entitled to weekly wages.

(d) The eldest son of the labourer was sent as the forced labourer.

Answer: (a) It was considered a source of income for the State, a sort of tax paid by the people.

Explanation:

  • Vishti was considered as a source of income for the state, a sort of tax by the people. Hence option (a) is correct.