KingMakers IAS Academy logo

Daily Prelims Test – 21_December_2021

1. Consider the following statements regarding Beas Conservation Reserve:

1)   It is the first river in the country to be declared as a conservation reserve.

2)   It was named a Ramsar site under the 1971 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.

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: Reintroduced gharials thriving in Beas reserve: experts

●      Wildlife officials expect the endangered reptiles to begin breeding in the riverine system of Punjab in a few years

●      After successfully reintroducing the critically endangered Gharial (Gavialis Gangeticus) in the rivers of Punjab where it had become extinct half a century ago

●      40-50% of the released gharials are sighted during the field survey, and they are healthy and have adapted to the Beas Conservation Reserve.

Beas Conservation Reserve:

●      The gharial reintroduction in the Beas Conservation Reserve is an ambitious programme of the Punjab government.

●      It covers an 185km stretch of the river Beas.

●      In 2017, Beas became the first river in the country to be declared as a conservation reserve. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      In 2019, the state wildlife board decided to declare the river — which spreads across 168 km with a 100-metre buffer zone on each side — as a ‘Heritage River’ and is home to the Indus dolphins, one of the most endangered mammalian species in the world.

●      Also in 2018 gharial, which became extinct locally for more than 40 years, was reintroduced in the river.

●      At the moment, the major challenge facing the Beas Conservation Reserve is dams, which affect water flow into the fragile river ecosystem

●      The efforts were recognised globally when the reserve was named a Ramsar site under the 1971 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. Hence statement (2) is correct.

Beas River:

●      The Beas originates near the Rohtang Pass, at a height of 4,062 m above sea level, on the southern end of the Pir Panjal Range, close to the source of the Ravi.

●      It crosses the Dhaola Dhar range and it takes a south-westerly direction and meets the Satluj river at Harike in Punjab.

●      It is a comparatively small river which is only 460 km long but lies entirely within the Indian territory.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/reintroduced-gharials-thriving-in-beas-reserve-experts/article37986822.ece


2. Consider the following statements regarding the Gharial:

1)   Gharials are the topmost predators in a river.

2)   They are Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Species.

3)   It is native to the Indian subcontinent.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)    1 only

b)   2 and 3 only

c)    1 and 2 only

d)   1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

After successfully reintroducing the Gharial in the rivers of Punjab 50 years ago, wildlife officials are expecting the breeding of the crocodilians to start in the next few years.

Gharial:

●      Gharial derives its name from ghara, an Indian word for pot because of a bulbous knob (narial excrescence) present at the end of their snout.

●      Gharial prefers deep fast flowing rivers, however adult gharial have also been observed in still water branches (jheel) of rivers and in comparatively velocity-free aquatic environments of deep holes (kunds) at river bends and confluences.

●      Gharials were found in the river system of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and southern part of Bhutan and Nepal. Today they survive only in the waters of India and Nepal. Hence statement (3) is correct.

●      It is also found at the rainforest biome of Mahanadi in Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary, Orissa.

●      Gharials are ‘Critically Endangered’ in the IUCN Red List of Species. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      The species is also listed under Schedule I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.

●      Like tigers are the topmost predators in a forest, gharials are the topmost predators in a river. They (gharial) balance the riverine food chain.   Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      Gharial keeps in check their prey (i.e. fish), which keep in check their prey and so on.

●      The presence of gharials indicates a healthy riverine ecosystem

Conservation Issues

●      Dam, barrages, and water abstraction adversely affects gharial by turning suitable river habitats into marginal/ unsuitable lakes, and by altering the quantity and quality of water available to downstream river sections.

●      Gharial, with its long, toothy rostrum is particularly vulnerable to entanglement in fishing nets, where it is frequently trapped underwater and drowns.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/reintroduced-gharials-thriving-in-beas-reserve-experts/article37986822.ece

3. Ashgabat Agreement is related to which of the following areas?

a)    Multimodal transport agreement

b)   Rules of origin

c)    Human Trafficking

d)   Agreement on Trade in Pharmaceutical Products

Answer: (a) Multimodal transport agreement

Explanation:

In NEWS: Central Asia dialogue to begin on December, Afghanistan and connectivity on the agenda

●      The conference, which marks the 3rd edition of the dialogue, is expected to focus on trade and connectivity to the region and developments in Afghanistan.

●      Of particular interest will be plans to intensify discussions on the Chabahar port route between India and Central Asia, which has not been actualised yet.

●      Emphasis was laid on optimum usage of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and Ashgabat Agreement on International Transport and Transit Corridor to enhance connectivity between India and the Central Asian countries.

Ashgabat Agreement:

●      India formally joined in February 2018.

●      The Ashgabat agreement is a multimodal transport agreement between the governments of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, India, Pakistan, and Oman. Hence option (a) is correct.

●      It aims to enhance connectivity within Eurasian region and synchronize it with other transport corridors within that region including the International North–South Transport Corridor.

●      Under the agreement, an international transport and transit corridor facilitating transportation of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf will be constructed

●      Ashgabat in Turkmenistan is the depository state for the agreement.

●      The agreement was originally signed by Iran, Oman, Qatar, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/central-asia-dialogue-to-begin-on-december-19-2021-afghanistan-and-connectivity-on-the-agenda/article37987325.ece

4. Consider the following statements regarding INS Mormugao:

1)   It is the second ship of the Scorpene class stealth guided missile destroyers of the Indian Navy.

2)   It was built under the project P-75.

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: (d) Neither 1 nor 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Mormugao, a stealth destroyer, sails for maiden sea trials on Goa Liberation Day

●      Mormugao, which incorporates several niche indigenous technologies, has been built at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDSL) as part of the P15B destroyers. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      Indian Navy’s indigenous stealth guided-missile destroyer Mormugao went for her maiden sea sortie on the occasion of Goa Liberation day.

●      The second indigenous stealth destroyer of the Project 15B class is planned for commissioning in mid-2022. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      The destroyer is expected to add significantly to the capabilities of the Indian Navy, which got a major booster in the form of INS Visakhapatnam’s and the fourth stealth scorpene class submarine INS Vela’s commissioning.

Visakhapatnam-Class Surface Combatants:

●      The INS Imphal is part of a planned fleet of four Visakhapatnam-class surface

●      The first-of-class Visakhapatnam was launched in April 2015 and is expected to enter service with the Indian Navy in 2021

●      The second ship of the type, Mormugao, was launched in September 2016 and is slated to join the fleet in 2022

●      The third and fourth Visakhapatnam-class guided missile destroyers are expected to enter service in 2023 and 2024 respectively

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/mormugao-a-stealth-destroyer-sails-for-maiden-sea-trials-on-goa-liberation-day-101639906078206.html

5. Consider the following statements regarding Irrecoverable carbon:

1)   It refers to the vast stores of carbon in nature that are vulnerable to release from human activity.

2)   It is stored in mangroves, peatlands, old-growth forests and marshes.

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: What is irrecoverable carbon? How it exacerbates global warming?

●      Researchers have identified and mapped 139 gigatonnes (Gt) carbon in some of the world’s major forests and peatlands — including the Amazon and the Congo — to avoid catastrophic climate change. Those are “irrecoverable carbon”

●      The concept of ‘irrecoverable carbon’ was introduced in 2020. Carbon, once released in air, can be recovered but would take centuries to fully recover or naturally reintegrate

Irrecoverable carbon:

●      “Irrecoverable carbon” refers to the vast stores of carbon in nature that are vulnerable to release from human activity and, if lost, could not be restored by 2050 — when the world must reach net-zero emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      To avoid the catastrophic consequences of climate breakdown, there are certain places that humanity simply cannot afford to destroy. These ecosystems contain more than 139 billion metric tons of “irrecoverable carbon,” most of which is stored in mangroves, peatlands, old-growth forests and marshesHence statement (2) is correct.

●      Conservational International scientists led a team of globally renowned experts to determine where these carbon stocks are, whether they are threatened by human activities and how quickly the stocks could be recovered if lost — creating a global map of irrecoverable carbon in Earth’s ecosystems.

●      The data and found out that the Amazon is the biggest carbon sink on earth, holding 31.5 Gt irrecoverable carbon.

●      A carbon sink is a reservoir that absorbs more carbon from the atmosphere than it releases.

●      Brazil has the second-largest irrecoverable carbon reserves, after Russia that holds 23 per cent of the total irrecoverable carbon outlay in the world. Russia’s western Siberia region (as seen in the map) and Canada’s Hudson Bay region together hold 12.4 Gt carbon reserves.

●      Earlier this year, the United States National National Aeronautics and Space Administration had released satellite images of wildfires blazing through the Siberian region.

●      The second-largest reserve of carbon, at 132 Gt, comprise the islands of southeast Asia, with their equatorial rainforests. The Congo basin is the third-largest hotspot of irrecoverable carbon with over 8 Gt of carbon reserves

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/factsheet/what-is-irrecoverable-carbon-how-it-exacerbates-global-warming-80731

6. Consider the following statements:

1)   In Lok Sabha, no more than 20 starred questions can be taken up during Question Hour on any given.

2)   Starred questions can be followed up by the member concerned with supplementary questions.

3)   Starred questions require a written answer.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)    1 only

b)   2 and 3 only

c)    1 and 2 only

d)   1, 2 and 3

Answer: (c) 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

In News: As 9 MPs miss starred question, BJP concerned over absence of members from House

●      The questions listed were related to nine departments, including Finance, Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Tourism, Culture and Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

●      A rare occurrence took place in Lok Sabha — the House could pick up all the starred questions listed for oral answers.

●      The reason: 14 questions were not taken up for supplementary as members against whom the queries had been listed were absent, including nine BJP members.

About Starred questions

●      A member is allowed to specify the question to which she is seeking an oral answer with an asterisk next to it in her notice. Such a question is called a starred question. Hence statement (3) is incorrect.

●      Starred questions can be followed up by the member concerned with supplementary questions. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      In Lok Sabha, no more than 20 starred questions can be taken up during Question Hour on any given day while Rajya Sabha allows 15 such questions daily. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      An unstarred question then is one for which the member has sought a written reply. Answers to such questions are deemed to have been laid on the table of the House and, to that extent, such questions offer no scope for the raising of supplementary questions.

●      In Lok Sabha, 230 questions are picked daily for written answers while Rajya Sabha allows 160 of these in a day.

Other Questions:

●      A member is allowed to specify the question to which she is seeking an oral answer with an asterisk next to it in her notice. Such a question is called a starred question. Starred questions can be followed up by the member concerned with supplementary questions.

●      In Parliament, not all questions need be directed to the government and its ministers only and there is scope for seeking answers from a private member — an MP who is not a minister — as well. However, such questions can only cover a particular Bill or resolution or any matter for which the member from whom the answer is being sought is responsible. The procedure for giving notice for questions to private members is the same as that for other questions asked in the House.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/9-bjp-mps-absent-in-ls-despite-pms-admonition-last-week/article37998286.ece

7. Consider the following statements:

1)   The first hour of every parliamentary sitting is termed as Question hour.

2)   The presiding officers of the both Houses are the final authority with respect to the conduct of Question Hour.

3)   Question Hour is an Indian parliamentary innovation.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)    1 only

b)   2 and 3 only

c)    1 and 2 only

d)   1, 2 and 3

Answer: (c) 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Parliament: At least 15 MPs skip Question Hour despite listing questions

●      At least 15 MPs, mostly from the BJP, were not available during the Question House in Lok Sabha

●      The absence of the BJP MPs prompted the Opposition to draw the Speaker’s attention to the issue

About Question Hour

●      The first hour of every parliamentary sitting is slotted for the Question Hour where Members of Parliament raise questions about any aspect of administrative activity. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      The presiding officers of the both Houses (Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha) are the final authority with respect to the conduct of Question Hour. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      Question Hour is regulated according to parliamentary rules. Hence statement (3) is incorrect.

●      There is no Question Hour on the day the President addresses MPs from both Houses in the Central Hall.

●      Question Hour is not scheduled on the day the Finance Minister presents the Budget.

●      While Question Hour is strictly regulated, Zero Hour is an Indian parliamentary innovation.  The phrase does not find mention in the rules of procedure.

And what is Zero Hour?

●      While Question Hour is strictly regulated, Zero Hour is an Indian parliamentary innovation.

●      The phrase does not find mention in the rules of procedure. The concept of Zero Hour started organically in the first decade of Indian Parliament, when MPs felt the need for raising important constituency and national issues.

●      During the initial days, Parliament used to break for lunch at 1 pm. Therefore, the opportunity for MPs to raise national issues without an advance notice became available at 12 pm and could last for an hour until the House adjourned for lunch.

What kinds of questions are asked?

●      Parliamentary rules provide guidelines on the kind of questions that can be asked by MPs.

●      Questions have to be limited to 150 words. They have to be precise and not too general. The question should also be related to an area of responsibility of the Government of India.

●      Questions should not seek information about matters that are secret or are under adjudication before courts.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/9-bjp-mps-absent-in-ls-despite-pms-admonition-last-week/article37998286.ece

8. Consider the following statements regarding PANEX-21:

1)   It is a multinational disaster relief exercise.

2)   It is to be held for the BIMSTEC countries.

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: Pandemic a ‘black swan’ event, says General Naravane

●      The COVID-19 pandemic had been a black swan event that had overwhelmed national capacities, disrupted supply chains and brought people back to the drawing board.

●      PANEX-21, multinational, multi-agency exercise being organised in Pune from December 20 to 22 to foster common capabilities in disaster management aspects among BIMSTEC nations. Hence statement (1) is correct and statement (2) is correct.

●      This is the third in a series of exercises, with the last one conducted in February 2020, which were the early days of the pandemic.

●      The main aim of the exercise is to build regional cooperation in responding to natural disasters.

●      It is to be conducted in Pune from December 20 to December 22.

●      The participants of the exercise will be divided into eight syndicates. One syndicate from the participating countries and two from India.

●      It will analyse the capabilities of member states in responding to natural disasters. The countries will share their best practices.

●      The exercise will review the procedures of preparedness and response. It will then recommend the evolution of organised structure.

●      During the exercise, the countries will discuss military – to – military cooperation protocol.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/army-chief-gen-naravane-calls-for-global-cooperation-to-handle-any-pandemic-like-situation/article37995387.ece

9. Consider the following statements regarding Organisation of Islamic Cooperation:

1)   It is the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states.

2)   India is not a member of the OIC.

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: At OIC summit, countries vow to provide aid to Afghanistan

●      Islamic countries scrambled to find ways to help Afghanistan avert an imminent economic collapse.

●      Islamic countries scrambled on Sunday to find ways to help Afghanistan avert an imminent economic collapse they say would have a “horrendous” global impact.

●      The hastily called meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Islamabad ended with a promise to set up a fund to provide humanitarian aid

Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC):

●        The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●        It is the collective voice of the Muslim world. It endeavors to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various people of the world.

●        It was established upon a decision of the historical summit which took place in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco on the 25th of September 1969.

●        Headquarters: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

●        India is not a member of the OIC. However, India was invited as a guest of honour at the 46th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers in 2019. 2019 is the 50th anniversary of OIC. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●        The OIC has permanent delegations to the United Nations and the European Union.

●        Its official languages are Arabic, English and French.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/at-oic-summit-countries-vow-to-provide-aid-to-afghanistan/article37990355.ece

10. Indigo cultivation in India declined by the beginning of the 20th century because of

a)    peasant resistance to the oppressive conduct of planters

b)   its unprofitability in the world market because of new inventions

c)    national leaders’ opposition to the cultivation of indigo

d)   Government control over the planters

Answer: (b) its unprofitability in the world market because of new inventions

Explanation:

Indigo, the blue dye, was extracted from plants in ancient times, some 5000 -6000 years ago (3000 -4000 BCE), both in the Old (Asia, Africa and Europe) and New (Americas) Worlds. It got its name Indigo, because it reached Europe from Indus Valley, India and later from other parts of India by the Portuguese and other European sailors. It was commercially encouraged and traded by the British, firstly by the cultivation of indigo plant and production of the dye in South Carolina, USA in mid18th century, which was then a British colony. Hence option (b) is correct.