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Daily Prelims Test – 20_December_2021

1. Consider the following statements regarding Indian Desert Cat:

1)   It is found at the Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.

2)   It is found in the Thar desert in Rajasthan.

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: Indian desert cat spotted in M.P.’s Panna Tiger Reserve

●      An Indian desert cat has been spotted for the first time in Madhya Pradesh’s Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR)

●      A tourist has shared the pictures taken by him of an Indian desert cat in the reserve’s Akola buffer zone of the reserve recently during the night safari

Indian Desert Cat:

●      The Asiatic wildcat is an African wildcat subspecies that occurs from the eastern Caspian Sea north to Kazakhstan, into western India, western China and southern Mongolia.

●      It is also known as the Asian steppe wildcat and Indian desert cat.

●      The Indian Desert Cat is usually a creature of the Thar desert in Rajasthan, and inhabits scrub desert areas. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      The desert cats have also been seen at the Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh and in the forests of Mirzapur forests in Uttar Pradesh. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      The Indian Desert Cat is to rest in the daytime and hunt in the night when it roams nearly five to six kilometres in search of prey that include smaller animals and birds.

●      Asiatic Wildcat has on its paws protects it from extreme heat and the biting cold of desert nights.

●      Besides, it also prevents the desert cat from leaving any pug marks on the desert ground that would otherwise make it easy prey for hunters.

●      The Indian Desert Cat is coloured such that it is camouflaged well in the desert sand, making it difficult to be spotted.

●      The desert cat has big ears that are very sensitive and it can pick up the slightest sound, even a kilometre away.

●      The desert cat can survive without too much water.

●      It is included on CITES Appendix II.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/indian-desert-cat-spotted-in-mps-panna-tiger-reserve/article37993332.ece

2. With reference to Algo Trading, consider the following statements:

1)   It automatically monitors live stock prices and executes a trade upon fulfilment of specific criteria.

2)   It reduces the risk of manual errors when placing trades.

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: Algo trading: Sebi proposals and market concerns

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India proposed that all orders emanating from application programming interface (API) of stockbrokers should be treated as algorithmic trading, or algo, raising concern that such restrictions will hamper the growth of algo trading in India.

What is Algo Trading?

●      It refers to orders generated at superfast speed by the use of advanced mathematical models that involve the automated execution of the trade.

●      It automatically monitors live stock prices and executes a trade upon fulfilment of specific criteriaHence statement (1) is correct.

●      This frees the trader from having to monitor live stock prices and initiate manual order placement.

●      It provides profit opportunities for the trader.

What are the concerns?

●      While the services of these third-party applications or algo providers and vendors are being increasingly used by investors (especially retail investors), such algos, based on APIs, are being deployed without taking requisite approvals from the exchanges as per the extant provisions.

●      For the algos deployed by retail investors using APIs, neither exchanges nor brokers are able to identify if the particular trade emanating from API link is an algo or a non-algo trade.

●      This kind of unregulated and unapproved algos pose a risk to the market and can be misused for systematic market manipulation as well as to lure the retail investors by guaranteeing them higher returns. Hence statement (2) is correct.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/algo-trading-sebi-market-7676061/

3. Consider the following statements regarding Agni Prime:

1)   It is a new generation advanced variant of the Agni class of missiles with range capability between 1,000 and 2,000 km.

2)   It is a two-stage canisterised solid propellant ballistic missile with dual redundant navigation and guidance system.

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: India successfully test-fires new generation Agni Prime missile off Odisha coast

●      Agni-P is a new generation advanced variant of the Agni class of missiles.

●      It is a two-stage canisterised missile with range capability between 1,000 and 2,000 km. Hence statement (1) is correct

●      This was the second test of the Agni Prime missile.

●      Canisterisation of missiles reduces the time required to launch the missile while improving the storage and ease of handling.

●      It is a medium-range ballistic missile being developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as a successor for Agni-I and Agni-II missiles in the operational service of Strategic Forces Command with significant upgrades in the form of composite motor casing, maneuverable re-entry vehicle along with improved propellants, navigation and guidance systems. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      Agni-P test also increases the chance of India to be part of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

●      The MaRV carries four delta fins for the terminal phase of the flight to avoid missile defense system

●      This second flight-test has proven the reliable performance of all the advanced technologies integrated into the system

●      The Agni-P missile aims to further strengthen India’s credible deterrence capabilities

What are Agni missiles?

●      Agni class of missiles are the mainstay of India’s nuclear launch capability, which also includes the Prithvi short-range ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and fighter aircraft.

●      Agni-V, an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) with a range of over 5,000 km, had been tested several times and validated for induction.

●      The Agni-P and Agni-5 ballistic missiles trace their origins back to the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), which was spearheaded by former DRDO chief and ex-Indian president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam in the early 1980s.

Ranges of Agni missiles

●      Agni I: Range of 700-800 km.

●      Agni II: Range more than 2000 km.

●      Agni III: Range of more than 2,500 Km

●      Agni IV: Range is more than 3,500 km and can fire from a road mobile launcher.

●      Agni-V: The longest of the Agni series, an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) with a range of over 5,000 km.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-indias-missile-capability-7680821/

4. Consider the following statements regarding Pacific Light Cable Network:

1)   It offers the first direct submarine cable connectivity between Hong Kong and Los Angeles.

2)   It is the first and currently the only submarine cable system in the world to deploy with C+L band optical technology.

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: U.S. recommends approving Google, Meta undersea data cable to Asia

●      The Biden administration on Friday recommended Alphabet’s Google and Facebook parent Meta get permission to use an undersea cable system to handle growing internet traffic with Asia.

●      The administration urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to grant licenses for the companies to send and receive data on the existing 8,000-mile Pacific Light CableNetwork.

Pacific Light CableNetwork:

●      The undersea fiber-optic cable system connects the United States, Taiwan, the Philippines and Hong Kong.

●      Undersea cables transmit nearly all the world’s internet data traffic.

●      Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN) connects Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines and the US.

●      PLCN offers the first direct submarine cable connectivity between Hong Kong and Los Angeles, the US, spanning approximately 13000 km. PLCN offers the shortest RTD between Hong Kong and Los Angeles. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      PLCN is the first and currently the only submarine cable system in the world to deploy with C+L band optical technology. C+L band technology had been technically feasible when the PLCN project was launched at the end of 2015. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      Later in 2018, the Space Division Multiplexing (SDM) technology was available and more popularly selected as an alternative solution to increase system capacity while decreasing cost per bit.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/us-recommends-approving-google-meta-undersea-data-cable-to-asia/article37985354.ece

5. Consider the following statements:

1)   Cold waves usually occur from mid-December to the end of February.

2)   The movement of cold air masses brought about by upper-level winds brings the cold waves into India from West Asia or Europe.

3)   Cold waves can be triggered by strong westerly winds approaching northwest India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)    1 and 3 only

b)   2 and 3 only

c)    3 only

d)   1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: Why IMD has predicted a cold wave in Northwest India

India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted a cold wave in parts of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh over the next few days.

What is a cold wave?

●      The minimum temperature is likely to fall by 2 to 4 degree Celsius in these places over the next few days, going by the forecast.

●      The IMD records a cold wave when the minimum temperature is equal to or less than 10 degree Celsius at a weather station in the plains, and is 4.5 degrees to 6.4 degrees below the normal temperature for that period.

●      A cold wave may also be recorded at a station in the plains when the minimum temperature is less than or equal to 4 degree Celsius.

●      For hilly regions, a cold wave is declared when the minimum temperature is less than or equal to 0 degree Celsius and the minimum temperature is 4.5 degrees to 6.4 degrees below the normal.

●      The ‘normal’ temperature is calculated for every five days by taking the average temperature for these days over the past 30 years.

●      The IMD defines a cold wave qualitatively as “a condition of air temperature which becomes fatal to the human body when exposed.”

●      In ‘severe’ cold wave conditions, where the minimum temperature is less than or equal to 10 degree Celsius, and departs from the normal by 6.5 degrees or more, or if cold wave conditions persist for four days or more

Why do cold waves occur?

●      Cold waves usually occur from mid-December to the end of February. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      He said that the cold waves depend on weather systems and wind patterns from the middle latitudes, that is from Europe or West Asia, since the winds from these regions bring cold weather.

●      According to the IMD, the factors that bring cold waves to India include the movement of cold air masses brought about by upper-level windsHence statement (2) is correct.

●      They can be triggered by strong westerly winds approaching northwest India and transporting cold air towards the southeast directionHence statement (3) is correct.

●      Build up of an extended area of relatively high pressure over northwest Asia can also bring cold waves.

●      Like heat waves, cold waves are hazardous to those who are exposed to the cold

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-why-imd-has-predicted-a-cold-wave-in-northwest-india-7677262/

6. Consider the following statements regarding Kakori Conspiracy:

1)   It was a train robbery organised by Hindustan Republican Association.

2)   It was conceived by Ram Prasad Bismil and Ashfaqullah Khan.

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: PM Modi to lay foundation stone of Ganga Expressway in UP’s Shahjahanpur

●      Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Saturday lay the foundation stone of the Ganga Expressway in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur

●      Upon completion, it will become the longest expressway of Uttar Pradesh, connecting the western and eastern regions of the state

Kakori Conspiracy:

●      Kakori Conspiracy, also called Kakori Conspiracy Case or Kakori Train Robbery, armed robbery on August 9, 1925, of a train in what is now central Uttar Pradesh state, north-central India, and the subsequent court trial instituted by the government of British India against more than two dozen men accused of involvement, directly or otherwise, in the crime.

●      The robbery took place at the town of Kakori, about 10 miles (16 km) northwest of Lucknow, the train’s final destination.

●      On board the train was money that had been collected from various railway stations enroute and that was to be deposited at Lucknow.

●      In a well-planned operation, Ramprasad Bismil led a band of 10 revolutionary activists who stopped the train, subdued the train’s guard and passengers, and forced open the safe in the guard’s quarters before fleeing with the cash found within it. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      The raiders were members of the newly established Hindustan Republican Association (HRA), a militant organization dedicated to freeing India from British rule through revolution, including armed rebellion. To fund their activities, the HRA carried out raids such as the train robbery. Hence statement (1) is correct.

Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/elections/assembly-elections/uttar-pradesh/pm-modi-to-lay-foundation-stone-of-ganga-expressway-in-ups-shahjahanpur/articleshow/88321892.cms

7. Consider the following statements regarding National Disaster Response Fund:

1)   It is placed in the Public Account of Government of India

2)   It is used for disaster preparedness, restoration, reconstruction and mitigation.

3)   Individuals cannot contribute to the NDRF.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)    1 only

b)   2 and 3 only

c)    3 only

d)   1, 2 and 3

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Better coordination needed between NDRF, SDRF: Shah

●      Stressing the need for better coordination between the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Forces (SDRF) in individual States

●      Though the work of SDRF personnel in most States has been satisfactory, they are in need of guidance in terms of training and adaptability with the latest equipment. Hence, the NDRF and SDRF must coordinate and train jointly

National Disaster Response Fund:

●      The National Disaster Response Fund is a fund managed by the Central Government and is used for meeting the expenses incurred during emergency relief, disaster response and rehabilitation in the event of a disaster.

●      It was earlier called the National Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF) which had been operated as per the guidelines laid down by the 11th Finance Commission.

●      In 2005, the Disaster Management Act (DMA) was enacted and this renamed the NCCF as the National Disaster Response Fund

●      The NDRF is placed in the “Public Account” of GOI under “reserve funds not bearing interest”. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      The NDRF supplements the State Disaster Response Fund in case sufficient funds are not available with the state funds to facilitate immediate relief in case of calamities of severe nature.

●      The NDRF is audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General

●      The fund is used for providing immediate relief to the people affected by the above-mentioned disasters when state funds are inadequate. But the NDRF is not used for disaster preparedness, restoration, reconstruction and mitigation. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

●      NDRF is accessible under the Right to Information Act (RTI).

●      Individuals can contribute to the NDRFHence statement (3) is incorrect.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/amit-shah-calls-for-better-coordination-between-ndrf-sdrf/article37991842.ece#:~:text=Stressing%20the%20need%20for%20 better,in%20rescue%20 efforts%20during%20 major

8. Consider the following statements regarding Gram Sabha:

1)   It must meet at least two to four times in a year.

2)   It is defined in the Constitution of India under the eleventh schedule..

3)   The decisions taken by the Gram Sabha cannot be annulled by any other body.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)    1 and 2 only

b)   2 and 3 only

c)    3 only

d)   1,2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: 47% turnout in Gujarat panchayat elections

Gujarat saw polling for 8,690 gram panchayats with an average voter turnout of 47%.

Gram Sabha:

●      The term Gram Sabha is defined in the Constitution of India under Article 243(b) in the eleventh schedule. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      Gram Sabha is the primary body of the Panchayati Raj system and by far the largest.

●      It is a permanent body.

●      Gram Sabha is the Sabha of the electorate. All other institutions of the Panchayati Raj like the Gram Panchayat, Block Panchayat and Zilla Parishad are constituted by elected representatives.

●      The decisions taken by the Gram Sabha cannot be annulled by any other body. The power to annul a decision of the Gram Sabha rests with the Gram Sabha only. Hence statement (3) is correct.

●      According to the State Panchayat Raj Acts, the Gram Sabha must meet at least two to four times in a yearHence statement (1) is correct.

●      The Panchayat Secretary after obtaining approval of the Sarpanch should organize the Gram Sabha.

●      Gram Panchayat Sarpanch has to convene a Gram Sabha meeting when either 10% members of Gram Sabha or 50 persons of Gram Sabha (whichever is more) submits their requisition for holding a Gram Sabha. However, those members have to inform the purpose for the meeting.

Who are the members of Gram Sabha?

●      Persons, those who are above 18 years of age and

●      living in the village and

●      Whose names are included in the electoral rolls for the Panchayat at the village level.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/47-turnout-in-village-panchayat-elections-in-gujarat/article37991847.ece

9. Justice Raveendran Committee is related to which of the following areas?

a)    Unauthorised surveillance

b)   Bad Bank

c)    Mob lynching

d)   Action plan for Forest Conservation

Answer: (a) Unauthorised surveillance

Explanation:

In NEWS: Mixed record for SC’s expert panels

●      Justice R.V. Raveendran, to examine allegations that the Centre used Israeli software Pegasus to spy on citizensHence option (a) is correct.

●      The Justice Raveendran Committee was formed by the court in October to ensure “absolute transparency and efficiency”. The court had asked the committee to submit its report “expeditiously” and posted the next hearing after eight weeks.

●      But committees formed by the court in the past in an earnest effort to uncover the truth or to broker peace have had mixed results.

●      The Supreme Court appointed retired apex court judge Justice RV Raveendran to supervise a three-member expert committee that will investigate whether the Centre or any state government acquired and used Israeli spyware Pegasus for surveillance of Indian citizens.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/pegasus-row-author-of-key-verdicts-to-supervise-committee-101635366926968.html

10. Which of the following are the reasons/factors for exposure to benzene pollution?

1)   Automobile exhaust

2)   Tobacco smoke

3)   Wood burning

4)   Using varnished wooden furniture

5)   Using products made of polyurethane

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a)    1, 2 and 3 only

b)   2 and 4 only

c)    1, 3 and 4 only

d)   1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Answer: (d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Explanation:

●      Active and passive exposure to tobacco smoke is also a significant source of exposure. Benzene is highly volatile, and most exposure is through inhalation. Natural sources of benzene include volcanoes and forest fires. Benzene is also a natural part of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke. Hence option (d) is correct.

●      As benzene occurs naturally in crude petroleum at levels up to 4 g/l, human activities using petroleum lead to exposure. These activities include processing of petroleum products, coking of coal, production of toluene, xylene and other aromatic compounds, and use in industrial and consumer products, as a chemical intermediate and as a component of petrol (gasoline) and heating oils.

●      The presence of benzene in petrol and as a widely used industrial solvent can result in significant occupational exposure and widespread emissions to the environment. Automobile exhaust accounts for the largest source of benzene in the general environment.