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Daily Prelims Test – 21_July 2021

Consider the following statements regarding Social protection floor (SPF):

  • It is a basic set of social rights derived from human rights treaties, including access to essential services and social transfers.
  • The International Labour Organization so far did not recognize the social protection floor.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

  1. a) 1 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) Both 1 and 2
  4. d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Migrant and informal workers must have social security

  • The crisis during the pandemic highlighted the vulnerabilities faced by them, making clear the need for clear policy framework and greater commitment to their welfare
  • The United Nations mooted a social protection floor (SPF) initiative after the global financial crisis. 
  • The social protection floor (SPF) is the first level of social protection in a national social protection system. It is a basic set of social rights derived from human rights treaties, including access to essential services (such as health, education, water and sanitation, etc) and social transfers, in cash or in-kind, to guarantee income security, food security, adequate nutrition security.  Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • The report of the Advisory Committee of the ILO, in which India was also represented provides a strong rationale for instituting a universal SPF during economic crises. 
  • As a result, all constituents of the ILO adopted Recommendation 202 on social protection floors at the International Labour Conference in 2012. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • Source: TH

Consider the following statements regarding Ordnance Factory Board:

  • It is currently a subordinate office of the Ministry of Defence
  • The first Indian ordnance factory was set up in the year 1712 by the Dutch Company
  • It is headquartered at Chennai.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

  1. a) 1 only
  2. b) 2 and 3 only
  3. c) 1 and 2 only
  4. d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (c) 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Corporatisation of OFB

  • In a huge defence reform, the Union Cabinet approved the corporatisation of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).
  • The ‘Reform’ plan was first mooted two decades ago to streamline the functioning of the 41 ordnance factories across the country.
  • In Reform, these 41 ordnance factories will be subsumed into seven fully government owned corporate entities on the lines of Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSU).
  • The decision to transform OFB into one or more government-owned corporate entities was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Security in July 2020. It was done to improve the autonomy, accountability and efficiency in ordnance supplies.

Ordnance Factory Board

  • It is an umbrella body for the ordnance factories and related institutions, and is currently a subordinate office of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • The first Indian ordnance factory was set up in the year 1712 by the Dutch Company as a GunPowder Factory, West Bengal. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • It is a conglomerate of 41 factories, 9 training Institutes, 3 regional marketing centres and 5 regional controllers of safety.
  • OFB is headquartered at KolkataHence statement (3) is incorrect.
  • It is engaged in production, testing, logistics, research, development and marketing of a comprehensive product range in the area of land, sea and air systems.

Source: PIB

Which one of the following committee recommended measures to enhance combat compatibility and rebalance defence expenditure of the armed forces?

  1. a) DB Shekatkar Committee
  2. b) Naresh Chandra Committee
  3. c) Ajai Vikram Singh Committee
  4. d) Dinesh Goswami Committee

Answer: (a) DB Shekatkar Committee

Explanation:

In NEWS: Implementation of CoE Recommendations Related to Defence Reforms

  • The Committee of Experts (CoE) constituted by the Ministry of Defence under the chairmanship of Lt Gen (Retd) DB Shekatkar to recommend measures to enhance combat compatibility and rebalance defence expenditure of the armed forces, submitted its report in December 2016. Hence option (a) is correct.

The Report was taken up by the Ministry of Defence to frame key action points and roadmap for implementation. Measures recommended by the Committee and taken up for the implementation include:

  • Optimisation of Signals Establishments to include Radio Monitoring Companies, Corps Air Support Signal Regiments, Air Formation  Signal Regiments, Composite Signal Regiments and merger for Corps Operating and Engineering Signal Regiments.
  • Restructuring of repair echelons in the Army to include Base Workshops, Advance Base Workshops and Static/Station Workshops in the field Army.
  • Redeployment of Ordnance echelons to include Vehicle Depots, Ordnance Depots and Central Ordnance Depots apart from streamlining inventory control mechanisms.
  • Better utilisation of Supply and Transportation echelons and Animal Transport Units.
  • Closure of Military Farms and Army Postal Establishments in peace locations.
  • Enhancement in standards for recruitment of clerical staff and drivers in the Army.
  • Improving the efficiency of the National Cadet Corps.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1736743

Consider the following statements regarding Indian Institute of Heritage:

  • It will be set up at Noida and is a proposed institute to be set up by the Ministry of Education.
  • It will be a world-class university that would focus on the conservation and research in India’s rich tangible heritage.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

  1. a) 1 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) Both 1 and 2
  4. d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Government to set up a world-class ‘Indian Institute of Heritage’ at Noida to focus on conservation and research in India’s rich tangible heritage

  • The government has decided to set up the ‘Indian Institute of Heritage’ at Noida, Gautam Buddha Nagar. This will impact higher education and research in the field related to rich Indian heritage and its conservation leading to Masters and Ph.D courses in History of Arts
  • Indian Institute of Heritage is a proposed institute to be set up by the Ministry of CultureHence statement (1) is correct.
  • The institute would be a world-class university that would focus on the conservation and research in India’s rich tangible heritage. Hence statement (2) is correct.
  • It would also offer research, development, and knowledge associated with a heritage that contributes to the cultural, scientific, and economic life of India.
  • The institute will have the status of a ‘deemed university’. Certificate and diploma courses currently run by various institutions like IGNCA and National Archives of India and others are to be brought under IIH.
  • The institute would be a standalone Institution of its type in the country.
  • It would have a major impact on higher education and research in the field related to rich Indian heritage and its conservation, leading to Masters and Ph.D courses in these fields.

Sourcehttps://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1736840

Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct with respect to the Alps mountain range?

  1. a) They are young fold mountains with rugged relief and high conical peaks.
  2. b) Only Switzerland and Austria can be considered true Alpine countries.
  3. c) Mont Blanc is the highest peak in the Alps.
  4. d) All the above statements (a), (c) and (c) are correct statement

Answer: (d) All the above statements (a), (c) and (c) are correct statement

Explanation:

In NEWS: Climate change has added over 1,000 lakes in Swiss Alps: study

  • According to a study published by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), climate change has dramatically altered the Swiss Alp landscape.
  • Almost 1,200 new lakes have formed in formerly glaciated regions of the Swiss Alps since the end of the Little Ice Age around 1850. About 180 have been added in the last decade alone.
  • Glaciers in the Swiss Alps are in steady decline, losing a full 2% of their volume in 2020 alone.
  • According to a 2019 study, even if the world were to fully implement the 2015 Paris Agreementtwo-thirds of the Alpine glaciers will likely be lost.
  • About Alps:
  • The Alps emerged during the Alpine orogeny (mountain-building event), an event that began about 65 million years ago as the Mesozoic Era was drawing to a close.
  • Alps are young fold mountains with rugged relief and high conical peaks. Hence statement (a) is correct.
  • They are the most prominent of western Europe’s physiographic regions. Some 750 miles long and more than 125 miles wide at their broadest point between Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, and Verona, Italy, the Alps cover more than 80,000 square miles.
  • The Alps extend north from the subtropical Mediterranean coast near Nice, France, to Lake Geneva before trending east-northeast to Vienna, Austria. There they touch the Danube River and meld with the adjacent plain.
  • Because of their arclike shape, the Alps separate the marine west-coast climates of Europe from the Mediterranean areas of France, Italy, and the Balkan region.
  • The Alps form part of France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and Albania.
  • Only Switzerland and Austria can be considered true Alpine countries. Hence statement (b) is correct.
  • Mont Blanc is the highest peak in the Alps and in Europe, reaching a lofty 4,804 meters above sea level. It is located in the Graian Alps and lies within France, Switzerland, and Italy. Hence statement (c) is correct.
  • Source: TH

With reference to the Pegasus Spyware, consider the following statements:

  • It uses exploit links which automatically installs it on the user’s device upon clicking.
  • It can be installed only on devices running on Android operating systems.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. a) 1 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) Both 1 and 2
  4. d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Pegasus spyware row rocks Parliament

The Pegasus snooping controversy led to multiple disruptions in the Lok Sabha

About Pegasus spyware

  • It is a type of malicious software or malware classified as a spyware. It is designed to gain access to devices, without the knowledge of users, and gather personal information and relay it back to whoever it is that is using the software to spy. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • Pegasus has been developed by the Israeli firm NSO Group that was set up in 2010.
  • The earliest version of Pegasus discovered, which was captured by researchers in 2016, infected phones through what is called spear-phishing – text messages or emails that trick a target into clicking on a malicious link.
  • Since then, however, NSO’s attack capabilities have become more advanced. Pegasus infections can be achieved through so-called “zero-click” attacks, which do not require any interaction from the phone’s owner in order to succeed.
  • These will often exploit “zero-day” vulnerabilities, which are flaws or bugs in an operating system that the mobile phone’s manufacturer does not yet know about and so has not been able to fix.
  • The aim is to seize full control of the mobile device’s operating system, either by rooting (on Android devices) or jailbreaking (on Apple iOS devices). Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

How do zero-click attacks work?

  • A zero-click attack helps spyware like Pegasus gain control over a device without human interaction or human error.
  • Zero-click attacks are hard to detect given their nature and hence even harder to prevent.
  • Detection becomes even harder in encrypted environments where there is no visibility on the data packets being sent or received.
  • Most of these attacks exploit software that receive data even before it can determine whether what is coming in is trustworthy or not, like an email client.
  • Source: TH

Consider the following statements:

  • The 97th constitutional amendment dealt with issues related to effective management of co-operative societies in the country.
  • This amendment includes a new schedule in the Indian constitution.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. a) 1 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) Both 1 and 2
  4. d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: SC annuls parts of co-op amendment

  • In a major boost for federalism, the Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down parts of a Constitution amendment which shrank the exclusive authority of States over its cooperative societies.
  • However, the three-judge bench of the top court by a 2:1 majority held that the Constitution (97th Amendment) Act 2011 will be valid and operational with regard to multistate cooperative societies which relate to cooperative societies existing across many states or union territories.
  • The majority view of Justices RF Nariman and BR Gavai said, “We declare that Part IXB of the Constitution of India is operative insofar as multi-state co-operative societies are concerned…. Part IXB, insofar as it applies to co-operative societies which operate within a State, would therefore require ratification under Article 368(2) of the Constitution of India.
  • In his dissent, Justice K.M. Joseph said the doctrine of severability would not operate to distinguish between single-State cooperatives and MSCS. The judge said the entire Part IXB should be struck down on the grounds of absence of ratification.

Constitution (97th Amendment) Act 2011:

  • The 97th constitutional amendment, which dealt with issues related to effective management of co-operative societies in the country, was passed by Parliament in December 2011 and had come into effect from February 15, 2012. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • The change in the constitution has amended Article 19(1)(c) to give protection to the cooperatives and inserted Article 43 B and Part IX B, relating to them.
  • While Article 19(1)(c) guarantees freedom to form associations or unions or cooperative societies subject to certain restrictions, Article 43 B says that states shall endeavour to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control and professional management of cooperative societies. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.
  • The Part IX B of the constitution inserted by the 97th amendment deals with incorporation, terms of members of the board and its office bearers and effective management of cooperative societies.
  • Part IX B, which consists of Articles 243ZH to 243ZT, has “significantly and substantially impacted” State legislatures’ “exclusive legislative power” over its cooperative sector under Entry 32 of the State List.
  • In fact, the court pointed out how Article 243ZI makes it clear that a State may only make law on the incorporation, regulation and winding up of a society subject to the provisions of Part IXB of the 97th Constitution Amendment.
  • Source: TH

Consider the following statements:

  • Article 368 of the Constitution deals with the power of the parliament to amend the constitution and its procedures.
  • Article 368 provides only one type of amendment that is by a special majority of parliament along with the ratification of half of the states legislatures by a simple majority.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. a) 1 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) Both 1 and 2
  4. d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: SC quashes part of UPA-era constitutional amendment

Procedure for Amendment of Constitution:

  • Article 368 in Part XX of the Constitution deals with the power of parliament to amend the constitution and its procedures. Hence statement (1) is correct.
  • Article 368 provides for two types of amendments, that is, by a special majority of Parliament and the special majority of parliament along with the ratification of half of the states legislatures by a simple majority. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.
  • Amendment of certain provisions of the constitution requires amendment by a simple majority of each house present and voting. These amendments are not deemed to be amendments under Article 368.
  • Simple Majority
  • A number of provisions in the Constitution can be amended by a simple majority of the two Houses of Parliament outside the scope of Article 368.
  • These provisions include
  • formation of new states and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing states,
  • abolition or creation of legislative councils in states,
  • use of official language,
  • citizenship – acquisition, and termination,
  • elections to Parliament and state legislatures,
  • fifth Schedule – administration of scheduled areas and scheduled tribes,
  • sixth Schedule – administration of tribal areas.
  • Special Majority
  • Under Article 368(2), Parliament can amend the Constitution by passing a Bill with a special majority.
  • Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles are the two most important provisions that can be amended by the special majority. All provisions that do not require ratification by states, and those that come directly under the purview of Article 368, can be amended by the special majority.
  • Special Majority with the consent of half of States
  • Those provisions of the Constitution which are related to the federal structure of the polity can be amended by a special majority of the Parliament and also with the consent of half of the state legislatures by a simple majority.
  • Provisions related to the federal structure enshrined in the Constitution can be amended only by a special majority and with the consent of the states.
  • Other important provisions that require ratification by the states include the election of President; Supreme Court and High Courts; representation of states in Parliament; distribution of legislative powers between the Union and the states; and the extent of executive power of the Union and the states.
  • Most importantly, an amendment to Article 368 itself, requires ratification by the states.

Sourcehttps://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/sc-quashes-part-of-upa-era-constitutional-amendment-101626804819445.html

Consider the following statements regarding Asian Development Bank (ADB):

  • It has more than 100 members including countries outside Asia and the Pacific.
  • It aims to promote social and economic development in Asia and the Pacific.
  • It is headquartered in Manila, Philippines.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

  1. a) 1 and 3 only
  2. b) 2 and 3 only
  3. c) 1 and 2 only
  4. d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: (b) 2 and 3 only

Explanation:

  • In NEWS: ADB trims FY22 growth forecast to 10%
  • It expects most of the country’s population to be vaccinated by 2022-23, suggesting global observers are doubtful that India can meet its target of vaccinating all adults by December 2021.
  • A faster-than-expected spurt in fuel and food prices also nudged the ADB to raise its average inflation projection for 2021-22 to 5.5%, from 5.2% anticipated earlier. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has projected retail inflation at 5.1% for this period.
  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has pared its forecast for India’s growth this year to 10%, from 11% projected in April, citing the curbs imposed across States during the second wave
  • India is expected to record a growth of 7.5% in the financial year 2022-23, the ADB said, an increase from the 7% it had projected earlier. 

Asian Development Bank:

  • ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.
  • ADB assists its members, and partners, by providing loans, technical assistance, grants, and equity investments to promote social and economic developmentHence statement (2) is correct.
  • ADB maximizes the development impact of its assistance by facilitating policy dialogues, providing advisory services, and mobilizing financial resources through cofinancing operations that tap official, commercial, and export credit sources.
  • The Philippines capital of Manila was chosen to host the new institution, which opened on 19 December 1966, with 31 members. Hence statement (3) is correct.
  • As of 31st December 2019, ADB’s five largest shareholders are Japan and the United States (each with 15.6% of total shares), the People’s Republic of China (6.4%), India (6.3%), and Australia (5.8%).
  • It is headquartered in Manila, Philippines.
  • It is modeled closely on the World Bank, and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with members’ capital subscriptions.
  • Dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.
  • This is carried out through investments – in the form of loans, grants and information sharing – in infrastructure, health care services, financial and public administration systems, helping nations prepare for the impact of climate change or better manage their natural resources, as well as other areas.

Source: TH

Which of the following statements are correct regarding the general difference between plant and animal cells?

  • Plant cells have cellulose cell walls whilst animal cells do not.
  • Plant cells do not have plasma membranes unlike animal cells which do.
  • Mature plant cell has one large vacuole whilst an animal cell has many small vacuoles.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. a) 1 and 2 only
  2. b) 2 and 3 only
  3. c) 1 and 3 only
  4. d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (c) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

The most important difference between a plant cell and an animal cell is that the former has a cell wall. A cell wall gives mechanical support to a plant cell. Animal cells do not have cell walls. Plants have both a cell wall that is made up of cell membrane (plasma membrane) and cellulose. The cell wall is a rigid membrane matrix found on the surface of all plant cells whose primary role is to protect the cell and its content. Hence statement (1) is correct and statement (2) is incorrect. Plant cells have a large central vacuole that can occupy up to 90% of the cell’s volume. Animal cells may have many small vacuoles, a lot smaller than the plant cell. Hence statement (3) is correct.