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Daily Prelims Test – 1_April 2021

Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects is a financial assistance scheme of:

India

Japan

China

Russia

Answer: (b) Japan

Explanation:

In NEWS: India, Japan sign 4 pacts to support healthcare projects under GGP scheme

India and Japan signed four agreements under which Tokyo is to support health care projects funded under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects (GGP) scheme in India.

GGP is provided by Japan for development projects designed to meet the diverse basic human needs of the people in over 100 countries including India. Hence option (b) is correct

The GGP scheme supports projects implemented by non-profit organizations such as NGOs, medical and educational institutions, which are eligible to receive foreign funds under the concerned law of the Government of India.

The organization must be an International, National or Local NGO/Medical Institution/Educational Institution/Community-Based Organization (CBO). The organisation must also be registered under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 1976. Along with this, the organisation must be registered under the relevant registration acts including national and state acts.

Basic Human Needs and Human Security, Primary Education and Adult Illiteracy, Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, Women’s Empowerment, Environment Protection, CSR projects, Poverty Alleviation, etc. are the major areas covered through GGP Scheme

Source: https://www.livemint.com/news/india/india-japan-sign-4-pacts-to-support-healthcare-projects-under-ggp-scheme-11617108481069.html


Consider the following statements regarding Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana- Gramin

  1. It aims to provide a pucca house with basic amenities to all rural families, who are homeless or living in kutcha or dilapidated houses by the end of March 2022.
  2. People belonging to SCs/STs, ex servicemen and retired members of the paramilitary forces and disabled persons and minorities are eligible for this scheme

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: Only 5.4% of houses under Centre’s flagship scheme reached completion so far this year

Due to adverse impact of Covid-19, only 5.4% of the sanctioned houses under the central government’s flagship rural housing scheme, Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin, have reached completion for the year 2020-2021.

About Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin

In pursuance to the goal – Housing for all by 2022, the rural housing scheme Indira Awas Yojana has been revamped to Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin and approved during March 2016. 

Under the scheme, financial assistance is provided for construction of pucca houses to all houseless and households living in dilapidated houses. Hence statement 1 is correct  

The scheme would be implemented in rural areas throughout India except Delhi and Chandigarh. The cost of houses would be shared between Centre and States.

Beneficiaries: People belonging to SCs/STs, freed bonded labourers and non-SC/ST categories, widows or next-of-kin of defence personnel killed in action, ex servicemen and retired members of the paramilitary forces, disabled persons and minorities. Hence statement 2 is correct  

Selection of Beneficiaries: Through a three stage validation – Socio Economic Caste Census 2011, Gram Sabha, and geo-tagging.

The minimum size of the house has been increased to 25 sq.mt (from 20sq.mt) with a hygienic cooking space.

Under PMAY, the cost of unit assistance is to be shared between Central and State Governments in the ratio 60:40 in plain areas and 90:10 for North Eastern and hilly states.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/only-54-of-houses-under-centres-flagship-scheme-reached-completion-so-far-this-year/article34190006.ece


Recently, the term Apophis is heard in news, it is related to 

  1. A near-Earth asteroid
  2. An artificial intelligence-based robotic system
  3. A multi-wavelength space observatory
  4. A capacity building programme on Nanosatellite development

Answer: (a) A near-Earth asteroid

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: Why asteroid Apophis will not hit Earth for at least 100 years

The USA’s NASA space agency has ruled out the possibility of the dreaded asteroid Apophis causing any damage to the Earth for the next 100 years. Hence option (a) is correct

Named after the ancient Egyptian god of chaos and darkness, it was discovered in 2004, after which NASA had said that it was one of the asteroids that posed the greatest threat to Earth.

Apophis measures 340 metres across– comparable to the size of the huge ship that has currently blocked the Suez Canal.

Apophis is categorised as a PHA

What NASA has said about Apophis

Apophis was predicted to come threateningly close to us in the years 2029 and 2036, but NASA later ruled these events out. There were still fears about a possible collision in 2068, however.

Based on these findings, they were able to rule out any impact risk to Earth from Apophis in 2068 and long after.

What are asteroids?

Asteroids are rocky objects that orbit the Sun, much smaller than planets. They are also called minor planets. According to NASA, 994,383 is the count of known asteroids, the remnants from the formation of the solar system over 4.6 billion years ago.

Asteroids are divided into three classes. 

First, those found in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, which is estimated to contain somewhere between 1.1-1.9 million asteroids.

The second group is that of trojans, which are asteroids that share an orbit with a larger planet. NASA reports the presence of Jupiter, Neptune and Mars trojans. In 2011, they reported an Earth trojan as well.

The third classification is Near-Earth Asteroids (NEA), which have orbits that pass close by the Earth. Those that cross the Earth’s orbit are called Earth-crossers. 

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/asteroid-apophis-earth-nasa-7249248/


Recently, Whitsun Reef was in the news. Where is it located?

  1. South China Sea
  2. Indian Ocean
  3. East China sea
  4. Red sea

Answer: (a) South China Sea

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: Why Chinese vessels in Whitsun Reef has Philippines scrambling ‘Sovereignty Patrols’

China’s aggressive expansion in the South China Sea has found a new ground, Whitsun Reef, where 220 Chinese vessels are currently anchored under the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ).

As of 2016, the reef was unclaimed, the reports to the contrary (Chinese control) were based on confusion.

However, due to the reef’s strategic importance, it was expected that the reef would be occupied “soon”.

On 21 March 2021, about 220 Chinese fishing ships were moored at the reef, ostensibly taking shelter due to the sea conditions.

China and the Philippines, along with other Southeast Asian countries, have long been part of disputes over sovereign claims over the region’s islands, reefs and seabeds.

About Whitsun Reef

Whitsun Reef is a reef at the northeast extreme limit of the Union Banks in the Spratly Islands of the West Philippine Sea. Hence option (a) is correct

It is the largest reef of the Union Banks.

The reef is V-shaped with an area of about 10 sq. km.

Until at least the 1990s it was submerged most of the time and was visible above the water only during the low tide, at other times the reef could be detected due to the pattern of breaking waves.

At the end of the 20th-century small sand dunes had developed on the reef making a territorial claim possible (an International Court of Justice judgment in 2012 stated that “low-tide elevations cannot be appropriated”).

The development of the dunes could have occurred naturally, but the rumours had it that the island was being built up by Vietnam and China.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/china-philippines-south-china-sea-dispute-explained-7252250/


Consider the following statements regarding Fully Accessible Routes

It is a new channel of investment for the Non-Residents of India in specified government securities

Under this scheme, the eligible investors are not subject to any ceilings for investing in specified government securities

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: FTSE may include Indian govt bonds

The FTSE Russell is a subsidiary of London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG).

The development is an acknowledgment of India’s efforts to liberalize the sovereign bond market as rising government borrowing has necessitated opening up the domestic bond market to a broader investor base.

Global index users showed an interest in Indian sovereign securities issued via the fully accessibility route (FAR).

FTSE will also start a version of its FTSE Indian Government Bond Index that tracks these securities.

About Fully Accessible Routes

FAR is a new category of debt sales introduced by the Indian government in 2020 for investment by non-residents in securities issued by the government of India.

The Reserve Bank of India in consultation with the Government of India has introduced a new channel of investment for the Non-Residents of India in specified government securities, called the Fully Accessible Routes (FAR). Hence statement 1 is correct  

Under this scheme, the eligible investors are not subject to any ceilings for investing in specified government securities (G-secs). Hence statement 2 is correct  

No foreign portfolio limits shall be applicable to the special securities till the time of their maturity under this scheme.

The scheme shall operate with the two existing schemes – Voluntary Retention Route and the Medium-Term Framework.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/business/ftse-may-include-indian-govt-bonds-101617156321393-amp.html


Partnership to Advance Clean Energy is the flagship program on clean energy between India and Which of the following Countries?

Australia

Israel

Canada

United state of America

Answer: (d) United state of America

Explanation:

In NEWS: India, U.S. to revamp energy ties

India and the United States have agreed to revamp their strategic energy partnership with a greater focus on cleaner energy sectors

The nations have agreed to revamp their strategic energy partnership with a greater focus on Cleaner energy sectors with low-carbon pathways and Accelerating green energy cooperation.

This would be done through technology exchange and joint R&D through Partnership to Advance Clean Energy Research

They agreed to prioritise greater collaboration in the cleaner energy sectors of:

Biofuels

CCUS (carbon capture, utilisation and storage)

Hydrogen production

Carbon sequestration

About Partnership to Advance Clean Energy

Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE) is the flagship program on clean energy between the U.S. and India to jointly work on a range of issues related to energy security, clean energy and climate change. Hence option (d) is correct

PACE seeks to accelerate inclusive, low-carbon growth by supporting research and deployment of clean energy technologies and policies. 

PACE combines the efforts of several government and nongovernment stakeholders on both the U.S. and Indian sides

It includes a USD 20 million five-year technical assistance (TA) program which is led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Power (MOP) and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

It includes three key components:

Research (PACE-R)

Deployment (PACE-D)

Off-Grid Energy Access (PEACE)

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/india-us-to-revamp-energy-ties/article34198566.ece


With respect to the New Development Bank, which of the following statements is correct?

It was proposed at the fourth BRICS Summit in New Delhi by the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Its headquarters is in Shanghai, China

Select the correct options from the given below codes

  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: Work with India on funding infra, Sitharaman urges NDB

Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman urged the New Development Bank (NDB) to consider working closely with India’s new development financing institution for funding infrastructure

The NDB has so far approved 18 projects in India, including emergency loans of $2 billion to support health spending and economic recovery.

India had supplied 63.9 million doses of the COVID19 vaccine to 80 countries, including 10.4 million doses of the vaccine as a grant.

The Union Finance Minister advised the NDB to effectively meet the evolving development needs of member countries.

The NDB is encouraged to develop a synergistic relationship with various other multilateral development banks and DFIs, including the new DFI being set up by India.

About New Development Bank (NDB)

It was proposed at the fourth BRICS Summit in New Delhi (2012) by the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Hence statement 1 is correct  

It is established to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies, as well as in developing countries.

During the sixth BRICS Summit in Fortaleza (2014), the leaders signed the Agreement establishing the New Development Bank (NDB).

It also provides technical assistance for projects to be supported by the NDB and engage in information, cultural and personnel exchanges with the purpose of contributing to the achievement of environmental and social sustainability.

In 2018, the New Development Bank received observer status in the UN General Assembly, establishing a firm basis for active and fruitful cooperation with the United Nations.

It was formerly referred to as BRICS Development Bank and is a multilateral development bank.

Its headquarters is in Shanghai, China and the first regional office of the NDB is in Johannesburg, South Africa. Hence statement 2 is correct 

The Bank shall have an initial authorized capital of US$ 100 billion and the initial subscribed capital shall be US$ 50 billion, equally shared among founding members.

The main objectives of NDB operations are:

Fostering development of member countries

Supporting economic growth

Promoting competitiveness and facilitating job creation

Building a knowledge sharing platform among developing countries

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/work-with-india-on-funding-infra-sitharaman-urges-ndb/article34200898.ece


Which of the following statements is correct regarding AIM-PRIME?

  1. It is an initiative to promote and support science-based deep-tech startups & ventures across India.
  2. It is a programme managed by the CSIR for a free mapping of whole genomes of a person.
  3. It is to enhance the employability of Indian youth by providing on-job work exposure‘ and stipend
  4. It is a public-private partnership scheme aimed to harness technology for better learning outcomes in higher education.

Answer: (a) It is an initiative to promote and support science-based deep-tech startups & ventures across India.

Explanation:

In NEWS: Atal Innovation Mission launches ‘AIM-PRIME’, in partnership with BMGF &Venture Center

In a major push towards deep technology and driving the country to become a digitally transformed nation, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog today launched AIM-PRIME (Program for Researchers on Innovations, Market-Readiness & Entrepreneurship), an initiative to promote and support science-based deep-tech startups & ventures across India. Hence option (a) is correct

In this regard, AIM has joined hands with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to launch this nationwide program which will be implemented by Venture Center – a non-profit technology business incubator.

The program is also open to CEOs and Senior incubation managers of AIM Funded Atal Incubation Centers that are supporting deep tech entrepreneurs.

The benefits of this program are aimed at addressing specific issues through training and guidance over a period of 12 months.

The AIM-PRIME program is specifically tailored for the rapid scaling up of deep-tech science ventures in India, providing not just the necessary intellect and support but also the exposure they rightly deserve.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1708798


Consider the following statements

Economic Participation and Opportunity

Educational Attainment

Health and Survival

Political Empowerment

From the above option, what are the benchmarks to calculate the Global Gender Gap Index?

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

Answer: (d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Explanation:

In NEWS: WEF’s gender gap index: India slips 28 places, ranks 140 among 156 countries

The country had ranked 112th among 153 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index 2020.

India has slipped 28 places to rank 140th among 156 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021, becoming the third-worst performer in South Asia.

According to the report, India has closed 62.5 percent of its gender gap till date.

Among India’s neighbours, Bangladesh ranked 65, Nepal 106, Pakistan 153, Afghanistan 156, Bhutan 130 and Sri Lanka 116.

Among regions, South Asia is the second-lowest performer on the index, with 62.3 percent of its overall gender gap closed.

India is the third-worst performer in the region, having closed 62.5 percent of its gap. Because of its large population, India’s performance has a substantial impact on the region’s overall performance

In South Asia, only Pakistan and Afghanistan ranked below India.

The report stated that India, home to 0.65 billion women, has widened its gender gap from almost 66.8 per cent one year ago to 62.5 per cent this year.

About Global Gender Gap Index

The WEF published its first gender gap index in 2006.

The Index aims to serve as a compass to track progress on relative gaps between women and men on health, education, economy and politics. Through this annual yardstick, the stakeholders within each country are able to set priorities relevant in each specific economic, political and cultural context.

Over the Index, the highest possible score is 1 (equality) and the lowest possible score is 0 (inequality).

The Global Gender Gap Index benchmarks 153 countries on their progress towards gender parity in four dimensions:

Economic Participation and Opportunity,

Educational Attainment,

Health and Survival and

Political Empowerment

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/ranked-140-of-156-countries-india-slips-28-spots-in-wefs-global-gender-gap-report-7253575/


With reference to the history of India, the terms “kulyavapa” and “dronavapa” denote

  1. Measurement of land
  2. Coins of different monetary value 
  3. Classification of urban land 
  4. Religious rituals

Answer: (a) Measurement of land

Explanation:

The agricultural crops constituted the main resources which the society produced and the major part of the revenue of the state came from agriculture. Various types of land are mentioned in the inscriptions; land under cultivation was usually called Kshetra, Khila was the uncultivable land, Aprahata was the jungle or forest land, Gopata Sarah was the pasture land and Vasti was the habitable land. Different land measures were known in different regions such as Nivartana, Kulyavapa and Dronavapa.

In the inscriptions of Bengal terms like Kulyavapa and Dronavapa are used.Hence option (a) is correct