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Daily Prelims Test – 22 August 2020

Science and Technology Indicators is prepared by the:

  1. NITI Aayog
  2. National Science and Technology Management Information System
  3. Science and Engineering Research Board
  4. National Innovation Foundation – India

Answer: (b) National Science and Technology Management Information System

Explanation:

In NEWS: Private firms employ more women in R&D: Study

  • India’s non-public sector analysis corporations seem to employ a bigger proportion of women in core analysis and growth actions than government-funded main scientific businesses do, in response to information in the Science and Technology Indicators (STI), 2018, a periodic compendium of the state of scientific analysis in India.
  • Of the 20,351 women employed in non-public R&D corporations, 15,011 — or about three in 4 — had been concerned in “R&D activities” and the remaining in “auxiliary or administrative activities”.
  • The STI is ready by a division of the Department of Science Technology, the National Science and Technology Management Information System, and is predicated on information supplied by a spread of scientific institutions throughout the nation. Hence option (b) is correct

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/private-firms-employ-more-women-in-rd/article32406949.ece

Recently the term Supply Chain Resilience Initiative is seen in news, is related to which three countries?

  1. India, Japan and Australia
  2. China, Pakistan and Russia
  3. USA, UK and France
  4. Bangladesh, Myanmar and India

Answer: (a) India, Japan and Australia

Explanation:

In NEWS: India, Japan, Australia working on a supply chain pact to counter China

  • India, Australia, and Japan have started the discussions for the launch of a trilateral Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) in order to reduce the dependency on China. The initiative which was first proposed by Japan might be executed. Hence option (a) is correct
  • The officials have been working on the dates to hold the first meeting of the commerce and trade ministers of the three countries. Earlier, Japan through its Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry had approached India and had pressed on the urgency of taking the initiative forward.
  • Supply Chain Resilience Initiative can be assumed that the objective of the Japanese proposal is two-fold, one is to attract foreign direct investment to turn the Indo-Pacific into an ‘economic powerhouse’ and second to build a mutually complementary relationship between the partner countries.
  • The idea has also been to throw open the initiative to the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) after India-Japan-Australia builds an understanding of the matter.

About Supply Chain Resilience Initiative:

  • Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) is a direct response to the individual economies and companies who are concerned about the Chinese political behavior and the disruption which may lead to supply chains.
  • The purpose of creating the supply chain will be to improve its resilience across the Indo-Pacific, which through such an effort will be able to develop a sound economic profile to its security logic.

Source: https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/india-japan-australia-working-on-a-supply-chain-pact-to-counter-china-120082101704_1.html

Consider the following statements regarding Bioethanol

  1. 1G bioethanol plants utilise sugarcane juice and molasses
  2. 2G plants utilise surplus biomass and agricultural waste to produce bioethanol
  3. Under the ethanol blending programme, the government has set targets of 10 per cent bioethanol blending of petrol by 2022 and to raise it to 20 per cent by 2030

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

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

Answer: (d) 1,2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: What does the govt’s move to increase bioethanol in petrol mean?

  • We examine key challenges to raising the ethanol blending level for petrol from around 5 per cent currently to the targets set by the central government.
  • The government has set targets of 10 per cent bioethanol blending of petrol by 2022 and to raise it to 20 per cent by 2030 under the ethanol blending programme to curb carbon emissions and reduce India’s dependence on imported crude oil. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • 1G and 2G bioethanol plants are set to play a key role in making bio-ethanol available for blending but face challenges in attracting investments from the private sector.

What are 1G and 2G biofuel plants?

  • 1G bioethanol plants utilise sugarcane juice and molasses, byproducts in the production of sugar, as raw material, while 2G plants utilise surplus biomass and agricultural waste to produce bioethanol. Hence statement 1 and 2 is correct
  • Currently, domestic production of bioethanol is not sufficient to meet the demand for bio-ethanol for blending with petrol at Indian Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs). 
  • Sugar mills, which are the key domestic suppliers of bio-ethanol to OMCs, were only able to supply 1.9 billion litres of bio-ethanol to OMCs equating to 57.6 per cent of the total demand of 3.3 billion litres.

Why are Indian plants not able to meet the demand for bio-ethanol?

  • Experts point out that many sugar mills which are best placed to produce bioethanol do not have the financial stability to invest in biofuel plants and there and there are also concerns among investors on the uncertainty of the price of bio-ethanol in the future.

What can be done to boost investment in bioethanol production?

  • Experts say the government could provide greater visibility on the price of bioethanol that sugar mills can expect by announcing a mechanism by which the price of bio-ethanol would be decided

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/1g-2g-bioethanol-plants-blending-petrol-6558162/

Consider the following statements regarding Mission Innovation (MI)

  1. It is a global initiative of 24 countries and the European Union to accelerate global clean energy innovation.
  2. It works to accelerate global clean energy innovation with the objective to make clean energy widely affordable.

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: DST invites proposals from Indians for research in area of c arbon capture, utilisation and storage

  • The Department of Science & Technology (DST) has invited proposals from Indian researchers in the area of CO2 Capture, Utilisation, and Storage (CCUS) under Accelerating CCUS Technologies (ACT) in collaboration with other ACT member countries.
  • CCUS is one of the identified innovation challenges in the Mission Innovation (MI) Programme
  • Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), also referred to as carbon capture, utilization and sequestration, is a process that captures carbon dioxide emissions from sources like coal-fired power plants and either reuses or stores it so it will not enter the atmosphere.

About Mission Innovation (MI)

  • It is a global initiative of 23 countries and the European Commission (on behalf of the European Union).  Hence statement 1 is correct
  • India is a founding member of Mission Innovation and part of the Steering Committee.  
  • It was announced at COP21 of UNFCCC on November 30, 2015, as world leaders came together in Paris to commit to ambitious efforts to combat climate change.  
  • It works to accelerate global clean energy innovation with the objective to make clean energy widely affordableHence statement 2 is correct
  • It is committed to seeking double public investment in clean energy RD&D and is engaging with the private sector, fostering international collaboration and celebrating innovators.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/dst-invites-proposals-from-indians-for-research-in-area-of-carbon-capture-utilisation-and-storage/articleshow/77654625.cms

Nai Udaan scheme is implemented by which of the following ministry?

  1. Ministry of minority affairs
  2. Ministry of Home Affairs
  3. Ministry of External Affairs
  4. Ministry of Civil Aviation

Answer: (a) Ministry of minority affairs

Explanation:

In NEWS: Over 140 youth from minority communities selected in civil services exam: Naqvi

  • “Nai Udaan” scheme will help youths from minority communities to prepare for the civil services examination.
  • Ministry of Minority Affairs is implementing the scheme Nai Udaan- Scheme for Support to Minority Students for preparation of Main Examination, who clear Prelims conducted by Union Public Service Commission, Staff Selection Commission, State Public Service Commissions. Hence option (a) is correct
  • The objective of the Scheme is to provide financial support to the minority candidates clearing Prelims conducted by Union Public Service Commission, Staff Selection Commission and State Public Service Commissions to adequately equip them to compete for appointment to Civil Services in the Union and the State Governments and to increase the representation of the minority in the Civil Services.

Source: https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/over-140-youth-from-minority-communities-selected-in-civil-services-exam-naqvi/1918155

Consider the following statements regarding Flavonoids

  1. They are a group of plant metabolites that provide health benefits through cell signalling pathways and antioxidant effects.
  2. They are mostly found in vegetables only

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: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: First synthethic path for tuberculosis & chikungunya inhibiting flavonoid molecules deciphered

  • Scientists from Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India, have come up with the first synthetic route for producing flavonoids molecules related to the treatment of tuberculosis and chikungunya.
  • This paves the path for ensuring their availability at all seasons without overexploiting the medicinal plants that contain them.

Flavonoids:

  • Flavonoids are a group of plant metabolites that provide health benefits through cell signalling pathways and antioxidant effects. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • These molecules are found in a variety of fruits and vegetables. Hence statement 2 is incorrect
  • Flavonoids are mostly present in tomato, onion, lettuce, grape, apple, strawberry, peach, and other vegetables.
  • A diet rich in flavonoids protects us from diseases related to heart, liver, kidney, brain, and other infectious diseases.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1647247

Consider the following statements regarding Competition Commission of India (CCI)

  1. It is a statutory body, responsible for enforcing the Competition Act, 2002 throughout India.
  2. It is consisting of a Chairperson and maximum 6 Members appointed by the Central Government.

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: CCI approves proposed acquisition of C&S Electric Limited by Siemens Limited

  • The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approves proposed acquisition of C&S Electric Limited by Siemens Limited. The proposed combination envisages acquisition of 100% of the share capital of C&S Electric Limited (C&S) by Siemens Limited (Siemens India).

About Competition Commission of India (CCI)

  • Competition Commission of India is a statutory body, responsible for enforcing the Competition Act, 2002 throughout India. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • Its duties are to eliminate practices having adverse effect on competition, promote and sustain competition, protect the interests of consumers and ensure freedom of trade in the markets of India.
  • The Commission is also required to give opinion on competition issues on a reference received from a statutory authority established under any law and to undertake competition advocacy, create public awareness and impart training on competition issues.
  • The commission is a quasi-judicial body which gives opinions to statutory authorities and also deals with other cases
  • CCI consists of a Chairperson and maximum 6 Members appointed by the Central Government. Hence statement 2 is correct

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1647335

Consider the following statements regarding Harit Path

  1. It has developed by the National Highways Authority of India
  2. It aims to monitor location, growth, species details, maintenance activities, targets and achievements of each of its field units for each and every plant under all plantation projects

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: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari launches app ‘Harit Path’ to monitor plantation along national highways

  • Union minister Nitin Gadkari stressed the need for utilising modern and green technologies in highways construction besides reducing the cost of road building by at least 25 per cent.
  • The road transport minister also launched a mobile app ‘Harit Path’ to monitor the plantation along the national highways.
  • ‘Harit Path’, a mobile app to monitor the plantations through geo-tagging and web-based GIS enabled monitoring tools.
  • The app has been developed by NHAI to monitor location, growth, species details, maintenance activities, targets and achievements of each of its field units for each and every plant under all plantation projects. Hence statement 1 is correct and Hence statement 2 is correct
  • To commemorate 25 years of its service to the nation, NHAI has also recently undertaken ‘Harit Bharat Sankalp’, a nation-wide plantation drive which is in line with its commitment to promote environment protection and sustainability.
  • Under this initiative, NHAI planted over 25 lakh plants in 25 days along the stretches of the National Highways between 21st July to 15th August 2020.

Source: https://www.newindianexpress.com/business/2020/aug/21/union-minister-nitin-gadkari-launches-app-harit-path-to-monitor-plantation-along-national-highways-2186572.html

Consider the following statements regarding Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY)

  1. The district Collector will be the nodal officer for implementing the SAGY
  2. It is an ambitious village development project under which each Member of Parliament will take the responsibility of developing physical and institutional infrastructure in three villages by 2019.

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: 63% work under model village scheme over, Tamil Nadu tops the list

  • The Narendra Modi government’s flagship Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY), for targeted development of select villages, has seen 63% of its work completed
  • Tamil Nadu has clocked the best usage, completed 96% of the projects, followed by Uttar Pradesh which finished 88% of works. On the other hand, West Bengal has not completed a single project, the data shows.
  • With 38% incomplete work and 17% plans not available, the progress of the scheme will be reviewed later this month by officials and experts.
  • Adding to problems, official records also say that in 2014, the first phase of the programme saw adoption of 1,493 Gram Panchayats, but in the second phase with 2019, MPs adopted 348 Gram Panchayats, showing a sharp decline in the rate of adopting a village.
  • The rural development ministry has also identified that only 30% of utilization certificates or statement of expenditure have been shared by States/UTs till July 2020.

About Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana

  • Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) is a village development project launched by Government of India in 2014, under which each Member of Parliament will take the responsibility of developing physical and institutional infrastructure in three villages by 2019. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The district Collector will be the nodal officer for implementing the SAGY. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The goal is to develop three Adarsh Grams by March 2019, of which one would be achieved by 2016. Thereafter, five such Adarsh Grams (one per year) will be selected and developed by 2024.

The main objectives of SAGY are:

  • To trigger processes which lead to holistic development of the identified Gram Panchayats
  • To generate models of local level development and effective local governance which can motivate and inspire neighbouring Gram Panchayats to learn and adapt
  • To nurture the identified Adarsh Grams as schools of local development to train other Gram Panchayats.
  • To substantially improve the standard of living and quality of life of all sections of the population through
  • Improved basic amenities
  • Higher productivity
  • Enhanced human development
  • Better livelihood opportunities
  • Reduced disparities
  • Access to rights and entitlements
  • Wider social mobilization
  • Enriched social capital

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/63-work-under-model-village-scheme-over-tn-tops-the-list/story-ktqk91Tsl7BWZ68x3fwdmO.html

What was the main reason for the split in the Indian National Congress at Surat in 1907? 

  1. Introduction of communalism into Indian politics by Lord Minto 
  2. Extremists’ lack of faith in the capacity of the moderates to negotiate with the British Government
  3. Foundation of Muslim League 
  4. Aurobindo Ghosh’s inability to the elected as the President of the Indian National Congress

Answer: (b) Extremists’ lack of faith in the capacity of the moderates to negotiate with the British Government

Explanation:

  • In 1907, the extremists wanted either Tilak or Lajpat Rai to be president, so when Rasbehari Ghose was announced as president, the extremist resorted to violence. Hence Surat Split happened. Hence option (b) is correct