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Daily Prelims Test – 22_June

1.Consider the following statements regarding National Test Abhyas

  • It has been developed by the National Testing Agency
  • The objective of the mobile app is to enable candidates to take mock tests for upcoming exams such as JEE (Main), NEET 2020 under the NTA’s purview

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: NTA launches ‘National Abhyas App’ for JEE Main and NEET aspirants

  • An artificial intelligence-powered mobile app ‘National Test Abhyas’ developed by the National Testing Agency (NTA) was launchedHence statement 1 is correct
  • The objective of the mobile app is to enable candidates to take mock tests for upcoming exams such as JEE (Main), NEET 2020 under the NTA’s purviewHence statement 2 is correct
  • The app has been launched to facilitate candidates’ access to high quality mock tests.
  • The app will make available practice tests on smart phones or computers for all students in India irrespective of their level of access to devices and quality of network.
  • The app also has an offline mode where students, on downloading the mock tests, can attempt the test without the internet.
  • The app works on Android-based smart phones and tablets and can be downloaded from Google Play Store. The app will be soon available on iOS.

Source: https://government.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/digital-india/nta-launches-national-abhyas-app-for-jee-main-and-neet-aspirants/75840868

2.Consider the following statements

  • There is no secret ballot in Rajya Sabha elections
  • NOTA system does not apply to the Rajya Sabha polls.

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

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (d) Neither 1 nor 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: How are the Rajya Sabha polls different?

There are several features that distinguish elections to the Council of States, or the Upper House of Parliament, from the general elections. This article discusses the salient aspects of the Rajya Sabha elections.

  • The Legislative Assemblies send a batch of new members to the Upper House every two years for a six-year term.
  • Only elected members of the State Legislative Assemblies can vote in a Rajya Sabha election.
  • The Delhi and Puducherry Assemblies (Union Territories with legislative assembly) elect members to the Rajya Sabha to represent the two Union Territories.
  • The Rajya Sabha polls have a system of open ballot, but it is a limited form of openness.
  • There is no secret ballot in Rajya Sabha elections as a measure tocheck rampant cross-voting owing to corruption. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The Supreme Court has ruled that not voting for the party candidate will not attract disqualification under the anti-defection law and stated that as voters, MLAs retain their freedom to vote for a candidate of their choice.
  • The ‘None of the Above’, or NOTA system does not apply to the Rajya Sabha polls. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) had previously issued two circulars giving Rajya Sabha members the option to press the NOTA button in the Upper House polls.
  • However, in 2018, the Supreme Court of India struck down the provision, holding that the ‘none of the above’ option is only for general elections held on the basis of universal adult suffrage, and cannot be applied to indirect elections based on proportional representation.

Source: TH

3.VG Kannan Committee, recently seen in news, was constituted for

  • To review the ATM charges and fee structure
  • To formulate policies regarding army pay scales
  • To reform the Panchayati Raj institutions
  • To reform the unorganized sector’s pension scheme

Answer: (a) To review the ATM charges and fee structure

Explanation:

In NEWS: RBI panel on ATM transactions recommends levying cash withdrawal charges above Rs 5,000

  • The RBI committee on ATM transactions made a few eyebrow-raising recommendations last year.
  • The panel headed by VG Kannan, then CEO of Indian Banks’ Association, had submitted the report last October, but the central bank hasn’t released the report yet.
  • The panel suggested charging ATM withdrawalsabove Rs 5,000 in order to discourage high cash withdrawals. Between April and June 2019, about 66 per cent of ATM transactions were below Rs 5,000. Hence option (a) is correct
  • The panel also proposed to raise the cap on financial transactions over and above the free transaction limit by 20 per cent to Rs 24 per transaction from Rs 20 per transaction, excluding taxes.
  • For ATM transactions in centres with population of above one million, it recommedned the interchange fee to be increased to Rs 17 from Rs 15 for every financial transaction and to Rs 7 from Rs 5 for every non-financial transaction.
  • Likewise, for ATM transactions in centres with population of below one million, the fee would be increased to Rs 18 from Rs 15 for every financial transaction and to Rs 8 from Rs 5 for non-financial transaction

Source: https://www.newindianexpress.com/business/2020/jun/20/rbi-panel-on-atm-transactions-recommends-levying-cash-withdrawal-charges-above-rs-5000-2158978.html

4.Consider the following statements

  • Anyone who survives an attempted suicide can be booked under Section 309 IPC
  • Under Section 309 of IPC, the person shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year

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: Sec 309 IPC: Questions and issues around an archaic Section of the law

  • One of the most archaic laws that punishes attempts to commit suicide, Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, continues to exist in the statute book, contrary to popular perception that it has been repealed.
  • The law, brought in by the British in the 19th century, reflected the thinking of the time when killing or attempting to kill oneself was considered a crime against the state, as well as against religion.
  • Anyone who survives an attempted suicide can be booked under Section 309 IPC, which deals with “Attempt to commit suicide”. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The person shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year (or with fine, or with both). Hence statement 2 is correct
  • Section 309 continues to remain in the IPC. However, The Mental Healthcare Act (MHCA), 2017, which came into force in July 2018, has significantly reduced the scope for the use of Section 309 IPC.
  • The MHCA made the attempt to commit suicide punishable only as an exception.
  • Section 115(1) of The MHCA: “Notwithstanding anything contained in section 309 of the Indian Penal Code any person who attempts to commit suicide shall be presumed, unless proved otherwise, to have severe stress and shall not be tried and punished under the said Code”
  • Section 115(2) of The MHCA: “The appropriate Government shall have a duty to provide care, treatment and rehabilitation to a person, having severe stress and who attempted to commit suicide, to reduce the risk of recurrence of attempt to commit suicide.”

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/sec-309-ipc-questions-and-issues-around-an-archaic-section-of-the-law-6468338/

5.Consider the following statements regarding Global Influenza Data Initiative

  • It is a public platform started by the World Health Organization
  • It aims to promotes the rapid sharing of data from all influenza viruses and the coronavirus causing COVID-19.

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: China shares virus genome data, officials suggest European strain

China has released genome sequencing data for the coronavirus responsible for a recent outbreak in Beijing and had also been shared with the WHO and the Global Influenza Data Initiative (GISAID)

  • The GISAID platform was launched on the occasion of the Sixty-first World Health Assembly in May 2008. World Health Assembly is the forum through which the World Health Organization is governed by its 194 member states. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The GISAID Initiative promotes the rapid sharing of data from all influenza viruses and the coronavirus causing COVID-19.
  • This includes genetic sequence and related clinical and epidemiological data associated with human viruses, and geographical as well as species-specific data associated with avian and other animal viruses, to help researchers understand how viruses evolve and spread during epidemics and pandemics.
  • The Initiative ensures that open access to data in GISAID is provided free-of-charge to all individuals that agreed to identify themselves and agreed to uphold the GISAID sharing mechanism governed through its Database Access Agreement.
  • GISAID actively promotes the development of novel research tools for the analysis of influenza data by helping developers to facilitate the integration orconnection of their tools to analyze GISAID data. Hence statement 2 is correct

Source: https://www.businesstoday.in/current/world/coronavirus-research-china-publishes-beijing-genome-data-suggests-european-strain/story/407418.html

6.Consider the following statements regarding National Institute of Public Finance and Policy

  • It is an autonomous body set up jointly by the Ministry of Finance and RBI
  • It aims to assist the Central, State, and Local governments in formulating and reforming public policies by providing an analytical base.

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: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Urjit Patel is back — as chief of key economic think tank

Patel replaces former bureaucrat Vijay Kelkar, who chaired NIPFP for almost six years. He is scheduled to join June 22 and will have a four-year tenure

  • NIPFP is an autonomous body set up jointly by the Ministry of Finance, the erstwhilePlanning Commission, and several state governments. It was founded in 1976. It is registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. Hence statement 1 is incorrect

Functions:

  • It undertakes research, policy advocacy, and capacity building in areas related to public economics.
  • One of the major mandates of the institute is to assist the Central, State, and Local governments in formulating and reforming public policies by providing an analytical base. Hence statement 2 is correct

Funding:

  • It receives an annual grant from the Ministry of Finance and various State governments. However, it maintains an independent non-government character.

Governing Body:

  • It includes the Revenue Secretary, Economic Affairs Secretary, and the Chief Economic Advisor from the Union Finance Ministry and representatives from NITI Aayog, RBI, and three state governments.
  • It also includes three distinguished economists, members of sponsoring agencies, and other invitees.
  • It is involved in appointing the Chairman and the Director. The usual tenure of a chairman is four years, which can be extended.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/urjit-patel-is-back-as-chief-of-key-economic-think-tank-6467265/

7.Consider the following statements regarding Civil Services Board (CSB)

  • It is responsible for the entry-level recruitment and subsequent job promotions below the rank of Joint Secretary
  • It is headed by the Chief Minister.

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: MP questions Punjab govt.’s move on fixed term for IAS officers

  • Congress Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa questioned the Punjab government’s move to set up a board to ensure a fixed term at a post to IAS officers, saying it will make them less answerable and accountable to legislators.
  • The State government decided to set up the board to provide a fixed two-year tenure to an IAS officer at a posting. Any decision to cut short the term will be examined by the board.

About Civil Services Board (CSB)

  • Civil Services Board is responsible for the entry-level recruitment and subsequent job promotions below the rank of Joint SecretaryHence statement 1 is correct
  • As per a state government notification dated June 2, CSB will be headed by Chief Secretary, with Personnel Secretary, and either Financial Commissioner (Revenue) or Home Secretary (who so ever is senior in the pecking order) as its members. Hence statement 2 is incorrect
  • The board provides for the state to follow the Centre’s guidelines on giving a fixed tenure of at least two years for cadre officers.
  • They cannot be transferred before that and if anyone recommends their transfer then the board will examine and affect it.
  • The final authority is the Chief Minister.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/mp-questions-punjab-govts-move-on-fixed-term-for-ias-officers/article31884891.ece

8.Consider the following statements regarding Gee’s Golden Langur

  • It is endemic to western Assam
  • It is listed as critically endangered by IUCN and in CITES Appendix I.

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: Even Golden Langurs suffer forced abortion, infanticide

Primatologists have observed that the Gee’s golden langur (Trachypithecus geei), endemic to the semi-evergreen and mixed-deciduous forests straddling India and Bhutan, induce stillbirth of babies killed inside the womb of females, besides practising infanticide.

About Gee’s Golden Langur

  • It is an Old World monkey found in a small region of western Assam, and in the neighbouring foothills of the Black Mountains of Bhutan.
  • Golden langurs can be most easily recognized by the color of their fur, after which they are named. The color of the young also differs from adults in that they are almost pure white.
  • The golden langurs (endemic) in Assam are hemmed in by threerivers — Brahmaputra in the south, Manas in east and Sonkosh in west. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • Chakrashila WLS in Assam is India’s first wildlife sanctuary with golden langur as the primary species.
  • statement 2 is incorrect: They are listed in Appendix I of CITES and Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. IUCN : Endangered species.
  • Gee’s Golden Langur is a diurnal folivore.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/even-golden-langurs-suffer-forced-abortion-infanticide/article31883455.ece

9.Consider the following statements regarding

  • Jal Jeevan Mission envisages providing drinking water tap connections to every rural household by 2024.
  • Jal Jeevan Mission focuses on both demand and supply-side management of water at the local level.

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: Additional funds sought for Jal Jeevan Mission

Faced with a financing shortfall for the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), the Jal Shakti Ministry is pitching for additional funding of ₹82,000 crore from the 15th Finance Commission for the project to provide drinking water tap connections to every rural household by 2024. Only 18% of households are currently covered.

In a presentation made to the 15th Finance Commission, the Jal Shakti Ministry has shown that there had been a 45% shortfall in financing the JJM by both the Centre and the States in its first year of 2019-20 owing to the post- COVID-19 resource constraints both at Centre and States.

  • Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) envisages providing drinking water tap connections to every rural household by 2024. Only 18% of households are currently covered. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) envisages supply of 55 litres of water per person per day to every rural household through Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) by 2024.
  • JJM focuses on integrated demand and supply-side management of water at the local level. Hence statement 2 is correct

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/additional-funds-sought-for-jal-jeevan-mission/article31884021.ece#:~:text=Faced%20with%20a%20financing%20shortfall,of%20households%20are%20currently%20covered.

10.Regarding Money Bill, which of the following statements is not correct?

A bill shall be deemed to be a Money Bill if it contains only provisions relating to imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax.

A Money Bill has provisions for the custody of the Consolidated Fund of India or the Contingency Fund of India.

A Money Bill is concerned with the appropriation of moneys out of the Contingency Fund of India.

A Money Bill deals with the regulation of borrowing of money or giving of any guarantee by the Government of India.

Answer: (c) A Money Bill is concerned with the appropriation of moneys out of the Contingency Fund of India

Explanation:

Article 110 of the Constitution deals with the definition of money bills. It states that a bill is deemed to be a money bill if it contains ‘only’ provisions dealing with all or any of the following matters:

  1. The imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax ;
  2. The regulation of the borrowing of money or the giving of any guarantee by the Government of India ;
  3. The custody of the Consolidated Fund of India or the contingency fund of India, the payment of moneys into or the withdrawal of money from any such fund ;
  4. The appropriation of money out of the Consolidated Fund of India; Hence option (c) is correct
  5. Declaration of any expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund of India or increasing the amount of any such expenditure
  6. The receipt of money on account of the Consolidated Fund of India or the public account of India or the custody or issue of such money, or the audit of the accounts of the Union or of a state;
  7. Any matter incidental to any of the matters specified above.