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Daily Prelims Test – 19_October_2021

1. Consider the following statements:

1) Lucy will be the first space mission to study the Trojans.

2) Trojans are a large group of asteroids that share Saturn’s orbit around the Sun.

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: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Lucy in the sky: Things to know about NASA mission to Jupiter’s Trojans

●    Lucy is in outer space and will go where no one else has before — to the Jupiter Trojan asteroids.

●    Astronomers hope it will look back into the origins and evolution of the solar system formed over 4 billion years ago through these celestial bodies.

What are Jupiter Trojan asteroids?

●    Simply known as Trojans, they are a large group of asteroids that share the Jupiter’s orbit around the Sun. Thousands of such asteroids exist in a gravitationally stable space. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

●    The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration launched Lucy, the spacecraft, October 16, 2021, on a 12-year cruise to the swarms of these Trojans.

●    Lucy will fly by eight asteroids—seven Trojans and one main-belt asteroid — over the next 12 years.

●    It is the agency’s first single spacecraft mission in history to explore so many different asteroids. Hence statement (1) is correct.

Who is Lucy?

●    It is the fossil of a hominin that lived 3.2 million years ago. She is known to be one of the most famous pre-human fossils in history.

●    Nearly 40 per cent of the fossilised skeleton of this hominin was discovered in 1974 by a team of paleoanthropologists led by Donald Johanson.  

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/science-technology/lucy-in-the-sky-things-to-know-about-nasa-mission-to-jupiter-s-trojans-79734

2. Consider the following statements with reference to Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021:

1) Under the Act a pregnancy may be terminated up to 20 weeks by an unmarried woman in the case of failure of contraceptive methods.

2) Opinion of two Registered Medical Practitioners is mandatory for termination of pregnancy up to 20 weeks of gestation.

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: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Centre notifies new rules that allow abortion till 24 weeks of pregnancy for certain categories of women

●    The government has notified new rules under which the upper limit for termination of a pregnancy has been increased from 20 to 24 weeks for certain categories of women.

●    According to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Rules, 2021, these categories include survivors of sexual assault or rape or incest, minors and women whose marital status changes during an ongoing pregnancy (widowhood and divorce) and women with physical disabilities.

●    The new rules also cover mentally ill women, cases of foetal malformation that has a substantial risk of being incompatible with life or if the child is born it may suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities to be seriously handicapped and women with pregnancy in humanitarian settings or disaster or emergency situations as may be declared by the government.

●    The new rules are under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021 passed by the Parliament

Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021:

●    The new Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act 2021 expands the access to safe and legal abortion services on therapeutic, eugenic, humanitarian and social grounds to ensure universal access to comprehensive care.

●    Under the Act, a pregnancy may be terminated up to 20 weeks by a married woman in the case of failure of contraceptive method or device. It allows unmarried women to also terminate a pregnancy for this reasonHence statement (1) is correct.

●    Opinion of one Registered Medical Practitioner (RMP) for termination of pregnancy up to 20 weeks of gestation. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

●    Opinion of two RMPs for termination of pregnancy of 20-24 weeks of gestation.

●    Opinion of the State-level medical board is essential for a pregnancy to be terminated after 24 weeks in case of substantial foetal abnormalities.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/new-rules-allow-abortion-till-24-weeks-of-pregnancy-for-certain-categories-of-women/article36982316.ece

3. Consider the following statements:

1) The informal worker is defined as a worker with no written contract, paid leave, health benefits or social security.

2) In India, Agriculture and allied industries are sectors where all the GVA is produced by the formal workers.

Which of the statements given above is/are incorrect?

a)  1 only

b) 2 only

c)  Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explain Speaking: Why recovery in employment may lag the recovery in GDP

●    It is clear that the bulk of India’s employment is both in the unorganised sector and is of an informal nature.

●    The IMF’s central message was that the global economic recovery momentum had weakened a tad, thanks largely to the pandemic-induced supply disruptions across the planet.

●    But more than just the marginal headline numbers for global growth, it is increasing inequality among nations that the IMF was most concerned about.

●    There are two key reasons for the economic divergences: One, large disparities in vaccine access and, two, the difference in policy support.

●    IMF said about recovery in unemployment lagging output recovery, it matters to understand why we may not know about the unemployment distress in a large part of India.

●    There are sectors such as Agriculture and allied industries where almost all the sector’s GVA is produced by those working in the informal sector. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    Then there are sectors such as Manufacturing where less than 23 per cent of the total GVA comes from the informal sector.

●    The informal worker is defined as “a worker with no written contract, paid leave, health benefits or social security”. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    The organised sector refers to firms that are registered. Typically, it is expected that organised sector firms will provide formal employment.

The below table shows the break-up as of 2017-18.

It is clear that the bulk of India’s employment is both in the unorganised sector and is of an informal nature.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/india-employment-gdp-economy-7577178/

4. Consider the following statements:

1) Tariff values refer to the base on which ad valorem duty is calculated for an imported good.

2) The customs Act 1962 empowers the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs to fix tariff values for any class of imported goods or export goods.

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: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Higher tariff value on edible oils to lower benefit of cut in import levies

●    After lowering import levies, the Finance Ministry has upped the tariff value for edible oils. This means the benefit of lowering duty for retail prices will be less than expected.

●    Immediately after import duty reduction, the retail prices of refined oil were expected to come down by ₹6-8 a kg, but it could be less now.

●    One of the reasons for changing the tariff value is to align it to changes in market prices of the underlying commodity.

●    For example, the price of locally delivered crude palm oil in Malaysia has increased by about 18 per cent from July to October. The World Bank index too shows an increase in the Malaysian palm oil prices

●    Tariff values refer to the base on which ad valorem (percentage of value) duty is calculated for an imported good. Change or no change in the value is notified every fortnight keeping in mind the prices in the international market. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    Subsection (2) of Section 14 of the Customs Act 1962 empowers the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) to fix tariff values for any class of imported goods or export goods and the duty shall be chargeable with reference to such tariff value. Hence statement (2) is correct.

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/higher-tariff-value-on-edible-oils-to-lower-benefit-of-cut-in-import-levies/article37043015.ece

5. Which among the following Indian states come under the Major Oilseeds Producing areas?

1) Rajasthan

2) Bihar

3) Tamil Nadu

4) Madhya Pradesh

5) Andhra Pradesh

6) Assam

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a)  2, 4, 5 and 6 only

b) 3, 4 and 6 only

c)  1, 3, 4 and 5 only

d) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

Answer: (c) 1, 3, 4 and 5 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Oilseeds take the lead in early rabi sowing; pulses, paddy trails at last year’s levels

●    Oilseeds have taken the lead in the early Rabi sowing till the first fortnight of October, while pulses and paddy are trailing last year’s levels.

●    According to the preliminary data released by the Agriculture Ministry, total rabi crop planting has taken place in 4.31 lakh hectares till October 14, marginally up over the 4.21 lakh ha in the same period last year.

Oilseeds:

●    Oilseed crops are the second most important determinant of the agricultural economy, next only to cereals within the segment of field crops.

●    Oilseed crops are primarily grown for the purpose of obtaining vegetable oils from them. Oil content in them varies from 20% in soybeans to 40% in sunflowers and canola (rapeseed).

●    India is able to produce a huge amount of oilseeds because of the favourable environmental conditions.

●    Castor seed, sesamum, rapeseed, groundnut, mustard, soyabean, linseed, niger seed, sunflower and safflower are some of the important oilseeds India is known to produce.

●    India buys more than two-thirds of its total edible oil imports as palm oil.

●    India has a marked position in the world in the production of a large amount of oilseeds.

●    After China, India is the second largest producer of groundnut and is third in position in the production of Rapeseed after China and Canada.

●    Major Oilseeds Producing Areas in India are: Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra PradeshHence option (c) is correct.

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/oilseeds-take-the-lead-in-early-rabi-sowing-pulses-paddy-trails-at-last-years-levels/article37037793.ece

6. With respect to Yellow Revolution, Consider the following statements:

1) The revolution launched to increase the production of edible oil, especially mustard and sesame seeds to achieve self-reliance.

2) Sam Pitroda is known as the father of the Yellow Revolution in India.

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: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Oilseeds take the lead in early rabi sowing; pulses, paddy trails at last year’s levels

●    The self-sufficiency in oilseeds attained through the “Yellow Revolution” during early 1990’s, could not be sustained beyond a short period.

Yellow Revolution:

●    The Yellow Revolution was launched to increase the production of Edible oilseeds in the country to meet the domestic demand.

●    The revolution launched in 1986- 1987 to increase the production of edible oil, especially mustard and sesame seeds to achieve self-reliance is known as the Yellow Revolution. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    Sam Pitroda is known as the father of the Yellow Revolution in India. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    Yellow Revolution targets nine oilseeds that are groundnut, mustard, soybean, safflower, sesame, sunflower, niger, linseed, and castor.

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/oilseeds-take-the-lead-in-early-rabi-sowing-pulses-paddy-trails-at-last-years-levels/article37037793.ece

7. Consider the following statements regarding Bomdila Monastery:

1) It is a Buddhist monastery in Ladakh.

2) The monastery follows the Mahayana school of Buddhism. 

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: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Indian Army initiates Tibetology course for its officers amid LAC standoff

●    As the Army shifts focus from the western borders with Pakistan to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, it has initiated a course in Tibetology for its young officers and men to enable them to have a better understanding of Tibetan history, culture, language and topography.

●    The course has been started as a pilot project on a voluntary basis, and the Army hopes to scale it up in the coming months to ensure that future decision-makers have an understanding of Tibetan culture and people.

●    The Army has also tied up with the Monastery in Bomdila to ensure that Lamas proficient in Tibetan issues are also part of the teaching schedule.

Bomdila Monastery:

●    It is a Buddhist monastery in Arunachal Pradesh, northeastern IndiaHence statement (1) is incorrect.

●    The Bomdila Monastery also known as the Gentse Gaden Rabgyel Lling monastery in Arunachal Pradesh was built in the year 1965 by the twelfth reincarnation of the TsonaGontse Rinpoche, while the thirteenth reincarnation, TsonaGontseRinponche renovated the monastery by building a larger prayer hall, blessed by His Highness the 14th Holi Dalai Lama in the year 1997.

●    The teachings imparted here include those on tradition, prayers,practices of tantrayana and different subjects by the senior Lamas of the monastery.

●    The monastery follows the Mahayana school of Buddhism. It celebrates several festivals of importance, such as Losar, a 15 day festival that according to the Monapa calendar signifies the beginning of the New Year. Hence statement (2) is correct.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/army-trains-officers-along-lac-in-tibetology/article37057105.ece

8. Consider the following statements:

1) Kushinagar is a sacred site where Gautama Buddha delivered his last sermon and attained Mahaparinirvana or salvation.

2) Kushinagar is the centre of the Buddhist circuit which consists of pilgrimage sites at Lumbini, Sarnath and Gaya.

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: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Kushinagar connect to Sri Lanka

●    Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa, nephew of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and son of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, will travel to Uttar Pradesh, along with ministerial colleagues and a group of 100 Buddhist monks to attend the event

●    The airport is expected to provide seamless connectivity to tourists from Sri Lanka, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, etc.

●    India regularly invokes the Buddha and Buddhist history in its messaging in Sri Lanka, especially on social media.

●    Sri Lanka will present to India photographs of two murals painted by renowned Sri Lankan artist Solias Mendis at the Kelaniya Rajamaha Vihara, a popular Buddhist temple near Colombo, officials at the Sri Lankan High Commission in New Delhi

●    One of the murals depicts ‘Arahat Bhikkhu’ Mahinda, son of Emperor Ashoka delivering the message of the Buddha to King Devanampiyatissa of Sri Lanka.

●    The other shows the arrival of ‘Theri Bhikkhuni’ Sanghamitta, the daughter of the Emperor, in Sri Lanka, bearing a sapling of the ‘sacred Bodhi tree’ under which Siddhārtha Gautama is believed to have attained enlightenment.

Kushinagar:

●    Kushinagar is the centre of the Buddhist circuit, which consists of pilgrimage sites at Lumbini, Sarnath and GayaHence statement (1) is correct.

●    Buddhist pilgrims consider Kushinagar a sacred site where, they believe, Gautama Buddha delivered his last sermon and attained ‘Mahaparinirvana’ or salvationHence statement (2) is correct.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/large-sri-lankan-contingent-to-attend-kushinagar-airport-opening/article37056069.ece

9. With reference to Western Disturbance, consider the following statements:

1) It is an extra-tropical storm that originates in the pacific region.

2) It brings rainfall, snowfall, and fog to northern India.

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: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Heavy rain across Uttar Pradesh; more likely, says weatherman

●    Several districts across Uttar Pradesh, including Lucknow, recorded heavy flash rain accompanied by strong winds on Sunday afternoon. The adverse weather was caused by western disturbances and cyclonic circulations

●    Similar weather conditions would prevail across Uttar Pradesh leading to more rain

●    The state recorded an average of 4mm rainfall due to low pressure zone caused by western disturbance and lower cyclonic circulations

Western Disturbance:

●    western disturbance (WD) is an extra-tropical storm which originates in the Mediterranean region. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.

●    The disturbance travels from the western to the eastern direction. Disturbance means an area of “disturbed” or reduced air pressure. Equilibrium exists in nature due to which the air in a region tries to normalise its pressure.

●    In the term extra-tropical storm, storm refers to low pressure. Extra-tropical means outside the tropics. As the WD originates outside the tropical region, the word extra-tropical has been associated with them.

●    A WD is associated with rainfall, snowfall and fog in northern India. Upon its arrival in Pakistan and northern India, clouds along with rain and snow also arrive. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    The moisture which WDs carry with them comes from the Mediterranean Sea and/or from the Atlantic Ocean.

●    WD brings winter and pre-monsoon rain and is important for the development of the Rabi crop in the Northern subcontinent.

●    The WDs are not always the harbingers of good weather. Sometimes WDs can cause extreme weather events like floods, flash floodslandslides, dust storms, hail storms and cold waves killing people, destroying infrastructure and impacting livelihoods.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/western-disturbance-to-impact-many-parts-of-india-47787

10. Which among the following steps is most likely to be taken at the time of an economic recession? (UPSC 2021)

a)  Cut in tax rates accompanied by increase in interest rate

b) Increase in expenditure on public projects

c)  Increase in tax rates accompanied by reduction of interest rate

d) Reduction of expenditure on public projects

Answer: (b) Increase in expenditure on public projects

Explanation:

Recession

●    It is a situation which is characterized by a negative growth rate of GDP in two successive quarters. Some of the indicators of a recession include slowdown in the economy, fall in investments, fall in the output of the economy etc.

●    If an economy experiences a recession and GDP falls, tax revenues fall because firms and households pay lower taxes when they earn less.

●    It is prudent for the government as well as the central bank to follow Expansionary fiscal and monetary policy respectively to stimulate the economy, but keeping in mind the inflationary pressure.

●    Reduction of expenditure on public projects- It is not desirable at the time of recession as it will lead to less government expenditure thereby not contributing much to output. Hence option (b) is correct.