KingMakers IAS Academy logo

Daily Prelims Test – 18_March 2021

Consider the following Statements with reference to the principle of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations

Consent of the parties. 

Impartiality

Use  of force in self-defence. 

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

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

Answer: (a)1 and 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: China donates vaccine doses to United Nations peacekeeping mission

  • China’s UN ambassador says China is donating 300,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to UN peacekeepers, with priority given to those serving in Africa
  • The mission said China attaches great importance to the safety and security of peacekeepers and the donation is a further step to make China’s vaccines a global public good, and also a demonstration of China’s firm and continuous support to the U.N. and multilateralism.

About United Nations Peacekeeping operations

  • All decisions related to the establishment, maintenance or expansion or ending of the UN peacekeeping operations are taken by the United Nations Security council (UNSC), not UNGA.
  • Since it is the primary responsibility of UNSC under the UN Charter to maintain international peace and security, the Security Council responds to crises around the world on a case-by-case basis. The Security Council establishes a peace operation by adopting a Security Council resolution. The resolution sets out that mission’s mandate and size.
  • The financial resources of UN Peacekeeping operations are the collective responsibility of UN Member States. According to the UN Charter every Member State is legally obligated to pay their respective share for peacekeeping.
  • UN peacekeepers (often referred to as Blue Berets or Blue Helmets because of their light blue berets or helmets) can include soldiers, police officers, and civilian personnel. Peacekeeping forces are contributed by member states on a voluntary basis.
  • UN peacekeeping operations follow three principles –
  • Consent of the parties. Hence, statement 1 is correct
  • Impartiality Hence, statement 2 is correct
  • Non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate. Hence, statement 3 is incorrect

Source:https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/china-donates-vaccine-doses-to-united-nations-peacekeeping-mission-121031600127_1.html


The World Air Quality Report, 2020 is released by: 

  1. United Nations Environment Programme
  2. United Nations Human Settlements Programme
  3. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  4. IQ Air

Answer: (d) IQ Air

Explanation:

In NEWS: Delhi remains most polluted capital: report

  • Delhi remained the most polluted capital city in the world but India, on the whole, had improved its average annual PM2.5 (particulate matter) levels in 2020 than in 2019, according to a report from IQ Air
  • IQ Air, a Swiss air quality technology company released a report titled “World Air Quality Report, 2020” The report, released by IQAir, focusses on the concentrations of particulate matter (PM) with a diameter of 2.5, which is considered extremely harmful for human’s lungs. India is home to 35 of the world’s 50 most polluted cities in the World. Hence option (d) is correct
  • Delhi has gotten listed as the 10th most polluted city and the top polluted capital city in the world in 2020. However, Delhi’s air quality improved by approximately 15% from 2019 to 2020.
  • India ranked as the world’s 3rd most polluted country in 2020 after Bangladesh and Pakistan. However, India has improved its average annual PM2.5 (particulate matter) levels in 2020 than in 2019.
  • Further, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 was particularly severe for stubble burning in India. Farm fires in Punjab have increased by 46.5% over 2019.
  • The topmost polluted city in the world is Xinjiang in China, followed by Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.
  • In 2020, 84% of all monitored countries observed air quality improvements. However, of the 106 monitored countries, only 24 met the World Health Organization annual guidelines for PM 2.5.
  • Whilst the overall quality in India is observing improvement, significant challenges refuse to die. Below are five reasons why India fared badly.
  • Reliance on coal to generate power: Burning of coal for electricity production is a principal contributor to ambient PM2.5 emissions in India. Coal-based power plants continue to dominate India’s electricity scenario.
  • Stubble burning in North India: As many as 13 of the top 15 polluted cities in the world are in North India, where farmers in states like Punjab, Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh and some parts of Rajasthan burn crop residue to clear fields to grow future crops. This agricultural practice commonly affects air quality across borders in the last three months of the year, as well as in January. Delhi turns into a virtual gas chamber during these months every year.
  • NCAP’s slow implementation: The slow implementation of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) is also a reason for India’s poor performance. Launched in 2019, NCAP aims to cut PM2.5 and PM10 levels in 102 Indian cities by 20-30 per cent by 2024, compared to 2017 concentrations.  The efforts to clean the air under NCAP slowed un 2020 due to the ongoing pandemic situation, according to the officials.
  • Vehicle exhaust: Transportation and industry continue to dominate PM2.5 emissions in urban areas. The two sectors are one of the leading contributors to PM2.5 pollution in key Indian cities.
  • Biomass burning for cooking: Biomass cookstoves are the principal source of indoor air pollution in India. While the government promotes access to clean fuels through various schemes, biomass remains the major cooking fuel in rural India, particularly harming women’s health

Source: https://epaper.thehindu.com/Home/ShareArticle?OrgId=G0F8CPS2I.1&imageview=0

https://www.timesnownews.com/mirror-now/in-focus/article/world-air-quality-report-2021-five-reasons-why-india-fared-badly/733821

Consider the following Statements regarding National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development

It will provide finance for social and economic infrastructure projects which was announced in the Budget 2021-22.

It will help raise long-term funds and will have a lending target of Rs. 5 lakh crore in three years.

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: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Cabinet approves Bill to set up development finance institution

  • The Union Cabinet gave its nod to a bill for setting up of a Development Finance Institution (DFI) for funding long-term infrastructure financing. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the capital infusion will be of Rs 20,000 crore, with initial infusion of Rs 5,000 crore.
  • Development Finance Institution (DFI) are organizations that are either owned by the government or by charitable institutions to finance infrastructure projects that are of national importance but may or may not meet commercial return standards.
  • In India, the first DFI was operationalised in 1948 with the setting up of the Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI).

About National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID)

  • It will be a dedicated government-owned infrastructure financier which was announced in the Budget 2021-22. Hence, statement 1 is incorrect
  • It will be set up with a corpus of Rs. 20,000 crore & an initial grant of Rs. 5,000 crore from the government.
  • It will have a professional board and at least 50 per cent of the members will be non-official directors.
  • It will help raise long-term funds and will have a lending target of Rs. 5 lakh crore in three years. Hence, statement 2 is correct
  • It will partly fund the proposed USD 1.5 trillion in infrastructure projects over the next few years.
  • The DFI will initially start with government ownership of 100 per cent and gradually with time it would come down to 26 per cent, but not below it.
  • It will also enjoy some tax benefits for an initial 10-year period and some amendments will be carried out in the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 in this regard.
  • Emoluments will be market-driven to attract the best talent, a higher age limit and longer tenure for managing directors and Deputy Managing Directors.
  • An eminent person will be appointed chairperson.
  • It will start with a clean state and once the board is set up, a decision on mergers and acquisitions will be taken.
  • The Banks Board Bureau (BBB) may select managing director (MD) and deputy managing directors (DMDs) of National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID).

Source:https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cabinet-approves-bill-to-set-up-dfi/article34083167.ece


Consider the following Statements regarding the election expenses

The expenditure limit for the candidates is specified under the Representation of the People Act, 1951

All candidates are required to submit their expenditure statement to the ECI within 30 days of the completion of the elections.

An incorrect account or expenditure beyond the cap can lead to disqualification of the candidate by the ECI for up to three years

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

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

Answer: (b) 2 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: EC panel on poll expenditure limit of candidates likely to submit report by March 31

  • The Election Commission’s panel set up to examine the poll expenditure limit of candidates is expected to submit its report by the end of this month. The Commission had constituted a four member committee in this regard. This was stated by the Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in a written reply in the Lok Sabha .
  • The Committee was set up in view of the consistent demands of many political parties to increase expenditure limit of candidates citing increase in the number of electors and rise in inflation.

About poll expenditure limit

  • The expenditure limit is specified under Rule 90 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, and any change requires the Law Ministry’s approval. Hence, statement 1 is incorrect
  • The Conduct of Elections (Amendment) Rules, 2014, amended Rule 90 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, to increase the limit of the expense for the elections to the Lok Sabha and the State Assembly.
  • At present, under Rule 90 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, a candidate contesting Lok Sabha polls can spend up to Rs 70 lakh and up to Rs 28 lakh in an assembly election depending on the state in which s/he is contesting polls.
  • Under Section 77 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, every candidate shall keep a separate and correct account of all expenditure incurred between the date on which he has been nominated and the date of declaration of the result.
  • All candidates are required to submit their expenditure statement to the ECI within 30 days of the completion of the elections. Hence, statement 2 is correct
  • An incorrect account or expenditure beyond the cap can lead to disqualification of the candidate by the ECI for up to three years, under Section 10A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. Hence, statement 3 is correct
  • It can be noted that there is no cap on a political party’s expenditure, which is often exploited by candidates of the party. However, all registered political parties have to submit a statement of their election expenditure to the ECI within 90 days of the completion of the elections.

Source: http://www.newsonair.com/Text-Bulletin-Details.aspx?id=36101


Consider the following Statements regarding ACT-Accelerator

  1. It is the world’s most comprehensive end-to-end solution to ending the acute phase of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. It is an initiative of World Bank 
  3. India is an active donor in this alliance.

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

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

Answer: (a) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, ACT Accelerator face cash crunch

  • ACT-Accelerator, a global coalition formed in April 2020 to fight the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic with new vaccines, tests and treatments, is facing a severe fund crunch to meet its goals for 2020-21, according to the ACT-Accelerator Prioritised Strategy and Budget for 2021.

What is the ACT-Accelerator?

  • The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator is the world’s most comprehensive end-to-end solution to ending the acute phase of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, statement 1 is correct
  • The ACT Accelerator is a framework for collaboration. It is not a decision-making body or a new organization.
  • It was set up in response to a call from G20 Leaders in March 2020 and launched by the WHO, European Commission, France and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in April 2020. Hence, statement 2 is incorrect

What is the goal of the ACT-Accelerator?

  • The goal of the ACT Accelerator is to end the COVID-19 pandemic as quickly as possible by reducing COVID-19 mortality and severe disease through the accelerated development, equitable allocation, and scaled-up delivery of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics to reduce mortality and severe disease.

How is it organized?

  • The ACT Accelerator comprises four pillars: Diagnostics, Therapeutics and Vaccines (also known as COVAX), with the Health Systems Connector pillar working across the other three.
  • India is an active donor in this alliance. Hence, statement 3 is correct

Source:https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/health/covid-19-solidarity-response-fund-act-accelerator-face-cash-crunch-75959


Consider the following Statements regarding Stop TB Partnership

  1. It is a unique international body with the power to align actors all over the world in the fight against Tuberculosis.
  2. It is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
  3. The organisation called for collaborative action from ministerial delegations through the Amsterdam Declaration.

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

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

Answer: (d) 1 , 2 and 3 

Explanation:

In NEWS: Vardhan appointed chairman of Stop TB Partnership Board

  • Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan has been appointed as the Chairman of the international body Stop TB Partnership Board. 
  • He was appointed in recognition of  his outstanding contribution to the movement to eradicate Tuberculosis from India by 2025. Dr Harsh Vardhan will serve a three year term, commencing from July this year.
  • India’s deadline is five years ahead of the global deadline of 2030. The Government has also out forward the National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination for the year 2017-2025

About Stop TB Partnership

  • It is an international body which is having the power to align the nations to fight against TB. The body observes the participation of a wide range of constituencies which provides credibility to this body. The body works with the vision of a “TB-free world”. Hence, statement 1 is correct
  • Founded in 2001, the Partnership’s mission is to serve every person who is vulnerable to TB and ensure that high-quality diagnosis , treatment and care is available to all who need it.
  • The body has 1500 partner organizations including the international, non-governmental and governmental organizations. It is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Hence, statement 2 is correct
  • The organization was established after the meeting of the First Session of Ad Hoc Committee on Tuberculosis Epidemic which was held in London in 1998. The organisation called for collaborative action from ministerial delegations through the Amsterdam Declaration.Hence statement 3 is correct 

Source: http://www.newsonair.com/Text-Bulletin-Details.aspx?id=36104


Consider the following Statements regarding Inter-Parliamentary Union

It aims to promote democratic governance, accountability, and cooperation among its members.

India is not a member of this union

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: No parliament should discuss laws passed by other parliaments: Om Birla

  • Lok Sabha Speaker made these remarks in the Central Hall of Parliament while hosting the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) president Duarte Pacheco
  • No parliament should discuss laws passed in other parliaments and issues that are internal to sovereign countries, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla

About Inter-Parliamentary Union

  • IPU is an international organisation of national parliaments. It was established in 1889 in Paris.
  • It was founded by statesmen Frédéric Passy of France and William Randal Cremer of the United Kingdom.
  • It works with close co-operation with the United Nation (UN), regional parliamentary organisations, international intergovernmental organisations and non-governmental organisations for the arbitration of conflict.
  • It is a unique platform for observing political opinions and trends around the world.
  • In 1889 as a small group of parliamentarians, dedicated to promoting peace through parliamentary diplomacy and dialogue, has since grown into a truly global organization of national parliaments
  • It has a four fold structure namely Governing Council, Assembly, Executive Committee, IPU President, Secretariat.
  • Members: 179 countries are members of the IPU, 13 regional parliamentary assemblies are associate members and India is a member. Hence, statement 2 is incorrect
  • Headquarter:  Geneva, Switzerland

Aim:

  • To promote parliamentary dialogue world-wide and works for peace and cooperation among the peoples.
  • To promote democratic governance, accountability, and cooperation among its members. Hence, statement 1 is correct

Promoting parliamentary action by addressing international concerns in six main areas:

  • Representative democracy.
  • Peace and security.
  • Sustainable development.
  • Human rights and humanitarian law.
  • Women in politics.
  • Education, science, and culture.

Source:https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/no-parliament-should-discuss-laws-passed-by-other-parliaments-om-birla/article34083314.ece


Consider the following Statements regarding TraceBioMe Project

  1. It has launched by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Institute of Oceanography
  2. It is a project for mapping the genetic diversity of organisms and the effect of micronutrients and trace metals on them in the Indian Ocean
  3. The data generated through this project would help in achieving the SDG 14 goals.

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

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

Answer: (d)1,2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: NIO launches project for mapping genetic diversity in Indian ocean

  • The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Institute of Oceanography (CSIR-NIO), Goa, has initiated a project for mapping the genetic diversity of organisms and the effect of micronutrients and trace metals on them in the Indian Ocean supported by the CSIR, under one of its flagship projects TraceBioMe. Hence, statement 1 is correct and Hence, statement 2 is correct

About TraceBioMe Project

  • It would also help in mapping the effect of micronutrients apart from tracing the metals deposited on them in the Indian Ocean.
  • It will also forecast the extensive sampling of water, planktons, sediments and several organisms in different parts of Indian Ocean. 
  • This in turn will help in studying the presence of different types of organisms, trace metals and micronutrients found therein. 
  • The project would be using the modern state-of-the-art molecular techniques and the classical techniques to map the genetic diversity. In the first phase of the project, microscopic organisms will be investigated
  • The project would be carried for 90-day. The expedition will be done onboard the research vessel RV Sindhu Sadhana
  • They will be covering over 9,000 nautical miles from Visakhapatnam to Goa
  • The data generated through this project would help in achieving the SDG 14 goals.Hence statement 3 is correct

Source:https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/nio-launches-project-for-mapping-genetic-diversity-in-indian-ocean/article34084790.ece


Consider the following Statements regarding LIBOR

It is a benchmark interest rate at which major global banks lend to one another in the international interbank market for long-term loans.

It is calculated and published each day by the Intercontinental Exchange

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: SBI, IOCL ink India’s first Libor alternative rate deal

  • State Bank of India (SBI) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) will be inking the first SOFR (Secured Overnight Financing Rate) linked external commercial borrowing (ECB) deal as the world moves away from London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), the de facto international benchmark reference rate.
  • In a statement, SBI said it will be arranging $100 million for 5 years linked to SOFR.
  • The LIBOR will no longer remain the benchmark after December this year. Due to recent scandals and questions around its validity as a benchmark rate, it is being phased out.

About LIBOR

  • LIBOR is a benchmark interest rate at which major global banks lend to one another in the international interbank market for short-term loans. Hence, statement 1 is incorrect
  • LIBOR, which stands for London Interbank Offered Rate, serves as a globally accepted key benchmark interest rate that indicates borrowing costs between banks.
  • The rate is calculated and published each day by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). Hence, statement 2 is correct
  • LIBOR is the average interest rate at which major global banks borrow from one another.
  • It is based on five currencies including the US dollar, the euro, the British pound, the Japanese yen, and the Swiss franc, and serves seven different maturities—overnight/spot next, one week, and one, two, three, six, and 12 months.
  • The combination of five currencies and seven maturities leads to a total of 35 different LIBOR rates calculated and reported each business day. 
  • The most commonly quoted rate is the three-month U.S. dollar rate, usually referred to as the current LIBOR rate.

Source:https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/sbi-iocl-ink-country-s-first-libor-alternative-rate-deal-121031601049_1.html


Which one of the following suggested that the Governor should be an imminent person from outside the State and should be a detached figure without intense political links or should not have taken part in politics in the recent past?

First Administrative Reforms Commission (1966) 

Rajamannar Committee (1969) 

Sarkaria Commission (1983) 

National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (2000)

Answer: (c) Sarkaria Commission (1983) 

Explanation:

Sarkaria Commission Report (1988) 

  • Recommendation on appointment of Governor: o Governor should be an eminent person and not belong to the state where he is to be posted. o State chief minister should have a say in the appointment of governor or Governor should be a detached figure without intense political links or should not have taken part in politics in recent past. Hence, Statement (c) is correct. o Governor should not be a member of the ruling party. Hence option (c) is correct