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Daily Prelims Test – 19_September 2020

What is the aim of Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram?

  1. It seeks to provide better socio-economic infrastructure facilities to the minority communities particularly in the field of education, health & skill development.
  2. It is a central sector scheme that guarantees direct income support of Rs 6,000 for farmers.
  3. It aims at providing supplementary nutrition, immunization and pre-school education to the children
  4. Its objective is to provide a reliable weather and climate forecast for betterment of society.

Answer: (a) It seeks to provide better socio-economic infrastructure facilities to the minority communities particularly in the field of education, health & skill development

Explanation:

In NEWS: Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram is being implemented in 1300 identified Minority Concentration Areas in the country

  • The Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) has been restructured in 2018 and is now being implemented in 1300 identified Minority Concentration Areas (MCAs), with an objective of developing socio-economic infrastructure and basic amenities in the said areas.

About Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK):

  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) is a scheme designed to address the development deficits of the identified Minority Concentration Areas.
  • It will be implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
  • Prior to PMJVK, the Ministry implemented Multi-sectoral Development Programme since 2008-09.
  • The areas of implementation, under PMJVK, have been identified on the basis of minority population and socio-economic and basic amenities data of Census 2011 and will be known as Minority Concentration Areas (MCA).
  • The PMJVK aims at improving socio-economic conditions of the minorities and providing basic amenities to them for improving quality of life of the people and reducing imbalances in the identified MCA. Hence option (a) is correct
  • Under PMJVK, 80% of the resources would be utilized for projects related to education, health and skill development of which at least 33-40% will be earmarked for creation of assets/facilities for women/girls.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1655696


Consider the following statements regarding Human Capital Index

  1. It is released by the World Bank.
  2. India ranks 116 in Human Capital Index 2020.

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: India ranks 116 in World Bank’s human capital index

India’s score increased to 0.49 from 0.44 in 2018, as per the Human Capital Index report released by the World Bank. Hence statement 1 is correct

  • The 2020 Human Capital Index update includes health and education data for 174 countries covering 98 per cent of the world’s population.
  • India ranks 116 in Human Capital Index 2020. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The HCI was launched in 2018 as part of the Human Capital Project (HCP), a global effort to accelerate progress towards a world where all children can achieve their full potential.

The HCI has three components:

  • Survival – from birth to school age, measured using under-5 mortality rates.
  • Expected years of learning-adjusted school – combining information on the quantity and quality of education.
  • Health environment – using two proxies of (a) adult survival rates and (b) the rate of stunting for children under age 5.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/india-ranks-116-in-world-banks-human-capital-index/article32627733.ece


Recently, the Global Smart City Index is released by which of the following institute?

  1. Institute for management development
  2. World Trade Organization
  3. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  4. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Answer: (a) Institute for management development

Explanation:

In NEWS: Indian cities witness significant drop in Global Smart City Index; New Delhi slips to 86th position

  • Indian cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru — witnessed a significant drop in their rankings in the global listing of smart cities that was topped by Singapore.
  • In the 2020 Smart City Index, Hyderabad was placed at the 85th position (down from 67 in 2019), New Delhi at 86th rank (down from 68 in 2019), Mumbai was at 93rd place (in 2019 it was at 78) and Bengaluru at 95th (79 in 2019).
  • All four cities highlighted air pollution as one of the key areas that they felt their city needed to prioritise on.
  • The Institute for Management Development (IMD), in collaboration with Singapore University for Technology and Design (SUTD), has released the 2020 Smart City Index. Hence option (a) is correct

Source: https://www.timesnownews.com/business-economy/economy/article/indian-cities-witness-significant-drop-in-global-smart-city-index-new-delhi-slips-to-86th-position/654141


Consider the following statements regarding The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020

  1. It aims to create an ecosystem where farmers and traders will enjoy the freedom to sell and purchase farm produce outside registered ‘mandis’ under the states’ APMCs.
  2. It will provide a framework for electronic trading.

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: Agriculture bills passed in Lok Sabha, farmers protest: All you need to know

  • The Lok Sabha, through voice vote, passed two controversial legislations on Thursday– The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.
  •  

About Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020

  • This Bill replaces the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020 .
  • The bill aims to create an ecosystem where farmers and traders will enjoy the freedom to sell and purchase farm produce outside registered ‘mandis’ under the states’ APMCs. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The bill’s provisions promote barrier-free inter-state/ intra-state trad e of farmers’ produce.
  • It will reduce marketing and transportation costs and help farmers in getting better prices.
  • It will also provide a framework for electronic trading. Hence statement 2 is correct

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/agriculture-bills-passed-in-lok-sabha-all-you-need-to-know/story-n7SikWEpLhJCcN8ZiJMZlI.html


Consider the following statements regarding Indian National Space, Promotion &Authorization Centre (INSPACe)

  1. It is an independent nodal agency under the Department of Space.
  2. It is part of reforms aimed at giving a boost to private sector participation in the entire range of space activities.

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: Private Sector Participation in Space Sector

  • Private players will also be able to use ISRO infrastructure through INSPACe. The decision of Government was conveyed to the Members of the scientific community elaborately, and scientific community welcomed the Government decision.

About INSPACe

  • It is an independent nodal agency under the Department of SpaceHence statement 1 is correct
  • IN-SPACe is to be established as a single-window nodal agency, with its own cadre, which will permit and oversee the activities of private companies.
    This is part of reforms aimed at giving a boost to the private sector participating in space-related activities or using India’s space resources. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The decision of IN-SPACe shall be final and binding on all stakeholders including ISRO and private players will not be required to seek separate permission from ISRO.
  • IN-SPACe will draw up an integrated launch manifest considering the requirements for ISRO, NSIL and NGPEs based on priorities and readiness level.
  • IN-SPACe will work out a suitable mechanism for promotion & hand holding, sharing of technology and expertise to encourage participation of NGPEs in space activities.
  • IN-SPACe will work out a suitable mechanism to offer sharing of technology, expertise and facilities on free of cost wherever feasible or at reasonable cost basis to promote NGPEs.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1655664#:~:text=Government%20has%20created%20Indian%20National,their%20participation%20in%20Space%20Sector.


Consider the following statements regarding National Educational Alliance for Technology scheme

  1. It aims to provide wider access to adaptive learning technologies using artificial intelligence
  2. It is implemented by the All India Council for Technical Education

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: In order to enhance multidisciplinary approach in teaching and to sensitize the new generation, CBSE has introduced Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a subject in class IX from the session 2019-20 – Education Minister

  • CBSE has collaborated with several organizations such as Intel, IBM, Microsoft, Private Schools, etc for designing the curriculum and textbook material of the Subject. Also 41 training programmes on Artificial Intelligence have been conducted in schools affiliated with CBSE at various parts of the country in which 1690 participants (principals and teachers) have been trained. Artificial Intelligence has been introduced in classes VIII, IX, X& XI in schools affiliated with CBSE.
  • All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) which is a regulatory body for technical education under Ministry of Education,under its scheme, National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT) selected Ed-Tech companies who are providing AI based personalized adaptive learning solutions in various disciplines.  AICTE has introduced AI and Data Science as a discipline in Engineering programs in many Institutes. Various IITs and IIITs are running courses on AI.

About National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT) Scheme

  • The scheme was launched by the Ministry of Education (MoE).
  • Public-private partnership (PPP) with EdTech companies will be adopted.
  • It aims to provide wider access to adaptive learning technologiesusing artificial intelligence (AI). As well as make learning more personalised and customised as per the learner’s requirements. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The technology will be used for better learning outcomes in Higher Education.
  • NEAT will be administered by an apex committeeconstituted by the Ministry, with independent expert panels being set up to evaluate and select the best EdTech solutions. All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) would be the implementing agency. Hence statement 2 is correct

Source: https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetailm.aspx?PRID=1655700#:~:text=All%20India%20Council%20for%20Technical,learning%20solutions%20in%20various%20disciplines.


Consider the following statements regarding Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020

  1. The Bill to reduce the salaries of parliamentarians by 30% for one year to meet the exigencies arising out of the COVID­19 pandemic
  2. These amendments have been made for a period of one year effective from April 1, 2020.

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: RS passes Bill to slash salaries of MPs

  • The Bill to reduce the salar­ies of parliamentarians by 30% for one year to meet the exigencies arising out of the COVID­19 pandemic was cleared by Rajya Sabha
  • As the economy was affected due to the Covid-19 outbreak and funds are needed to fight with the COVID-19 pandemic so this will provide more funds to government kitty for other schemes and welfare of the people.
  • Earlier this year, the government has suspended the MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme for two years (2020-2021 and 2021-2022)
  • The consolidated amount of MPLAD Funds for 2 years will go to the consolidated Fund of India.
  • About Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • The Bill will replace the Salary, Allowances And Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 which was earlier passed by the Union Cabinet in April 2020.
  • It reduces the basic salary of MPs by 30% for one year to meet the exigencies arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • Under this, the government also amended certain Rules under the 1954 Act to reduce constituency allowance and office expenses allowance of MPs.
  • These amendments have been made for a period of one year effective from April 1, 2020. Hence statement 2 is correct

Source: TH


Consider the following statements regarding sloth bear

  1. It is currently listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature
  2. It is an insectivorous bear species native to the Indian subcontinent.

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: Death of two sloth bears worries Nandankanan zoo authorities

Authorities at the Nandan­kanan Zoological Park (NZP) are concerned over the back­ to ­back deaths of two sloth bears at the park.

About sloth bear

  • The sloth bear also known as the labiated bear, is an insectivorous bear species native to the Indian subcontinent.
  • The Indian Sloth Bear (Melursus Ursinus) can easily be recognized by his shaggy black coat, long muzzle, protruding lip and by a white V-shaped patch on the chest.
  • His diet consists of fruits, berries, grasses, flowers, honey, insect larvae and other insects. He has a particular proclivity to “vacuum” up termites and ants using his long snout.
  • For over 400 years, the Sloth Bear had been a target for human exploitation. A nomadic tribe known as the Kalandars began ‘dancing’ sloth bears for the emperors during the Mughal era.
  • IUCN Status: VulnerableHence statement 1 is incorrect
  • Sloth bears breed during spring and early summer and give birth near the beginning of winter.
  • The sloth bear is listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which provides for their legal protection. International trade of the sloth bear is prohibited as it is listed in Appendix I of the
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
  • They are threatened by habitat loss and are sometimes captured for use in performances or hunted because of their aggressive behaviour and destruction of crops

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/death-of-two-sloth-bears-worries-nandankanan-authorities/article32642562.ece#:~:text=Authorities%20of%20the%20Nandankanan%20Zoological,Nandankanan%20Zoo%20since%20August%2030.&text=It%20probably%20died%20due%20to,Acharya%20in%20Bhubaneswar.


Consider the following statements regarding Blue Flag certification

  1. It is an international award presented to well manage beaches with excellent water quality and environmental education programmes.
  2. It is operated under the auspices of the Foundation for Environmental Education

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: Eight Indian beaches recommended for coveted Blue Flag international eco-label

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has said that eight beaches of the country have been recommended for the coveted ‘Blue Flag’ international eco-label.

Speaking on the eve of ‘International Coastal Clean-Up Day’ celebrated across 100 countries since 1986, Mr Javadekar said, for the first time, eight beaches of India have been recommended for the Blue Flag certification.

Blue Flag certification

  • Blue Flag is an international award presented to well manage beaches with excellent water quality and environmental education programmesHence statement 1 is correct
  • Blue Flag programme is operated under the auspices of the Foundation for Environmental Education(FEE) and is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The certification is accorded with 33 stringent criteria under four major heads for the beaches, that is,
    • Environmental Education and Information
    • Bathing Water Quality
    • Environment Management and Conservation and
    • Safety and Services.
  • If approved, beaches are given the qualification for a year and must apply annually to continue meriting the right to fly the flag at their locations.
  • The Blue Flag Programme started in France in 1985 and has been implemented in Europe since 1987 and in areas outside Europe since 2001, when South Africa joined.

Source: http://www.newsonair.com/News?title=Eight-Indian-beaches-recommended-for-coveted-Blue-Flag-international-eco-label&id=400196


With reference to the provisions made under the National Food Security Act, 2013 consider the following statements:

  1. The families coming under the category of ‘below poverty line (BPL)’ only are eligible to receive subsidised grains.
  2. The eldest woman in a household, of age 18 years or above, shall be the head of the household for the purpose of issuance of a ration card.
  3. Pregnant women and lactating mothers are entitled to a take-home ration’ of 1600 calories per day during pregnancy and for six months thereafter.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 3
(d) 3 only

Answer: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

Statement 1 is not correct: The Act provides for coverage of upto 75% of the rural population and upto 50% of the urban population for receiving subsidized foodgrains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), thus covering about two-thirds of the population. Statement 2 is correct: It provides that eldest woman of the household of age 18 years or above is to be the head of the household for the purpose of issuing of ration cards. Statement 3 is not correct: Besides meal to pregnant women and lactating mothers during pregnancy and six months after the child birth, such women will also be entitled to receive maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000.