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Daily Prelims Test – 22_September_2021

1. SAMUDRA SHAKTI is a Naval Bilateral Maritime Exercise between India and

a)  Indonesia

b) Malaysia

c)   Singapore

d) Myanmar

Answer: (a) Indonesia

Explanation:

In NEWS: India, Indonesia begin three-day naval exercise in Sunda Strait

·      India and Indonesia began a three-day mega naval wargame on Monday in the Sunda Strait, in reflection of their growing maritime cooperationHence option (a) is correct

·      The exercise aims to strengthen the bilateral relationship, enhance mutual understanding and interoperability in maritime operations between the two navies

·      The exercise will also provide an appropriate platform to share best practices and develop a common understanding of maritime security operations

·      Indian Navy’s long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft P8I is also participating in the exercise.

·      In pursuance of India’s Act East Policy, exercise ‘Samudra Shakti’ was conceived in 2018 as a bilateral exercise.

Source: https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/india-indonesia-begin-three-day-naval-exercise-in-sunda-strait-121092001345_1.html

2. Recently, the Global Innovation Index is published by the ​​:

a)  World Trade Organization

b) Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

c)   World Bank

d) World Intellectual Property Organization

Answer: (d) World Intellectual Property Organization

Explanation:

In NEWS: India jumps to 46th spot in 2021 Global Innovation Index

·      Switzerland topped the league table, followed by Sweden, the US and the UK, said the report by the World Intellectual Property Organization

·      India has seen a rising trajectory over the past several years, improving its rank significantly from 81 in 2015.

·      Switzerland topped the league table, followed by Sweden, the US and the UK, said the report by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Among Asian economies, South Korea jumped to the fifth position, up from 10 last year. China was in the 12th position. Hence option (d) is correct

·      India attributed its improved performance due to the pivotal role played by the Department of Atomic Energy, the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Biotechnology and the Department of Space.

·      Graduates in science and engineering disciplines and global corporate research and development investors are India’s strengths.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-jumps-to-46th-spot-in-2021-global-innovation-index-101632167227888.html

3. Consider the following statements regarding Project Fulwari

1) It aims to address the problem of malnutrition and associated physical and mental development issues of infants.

2) It is launched by the Ministry of Coal

Which of the above statements 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: Project Fulwari under Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav To Strengthen Northern Coalfields’ Limited (NCL)fight against Malnutrition in kids

·      Nothern Coalfields Ltd (NCL),a Singrauli based Coal India arm under the Ministry of Coal is all set to start 75 “FulwariCenters” in the Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh. Currently 25 centers are being run successfully with the strength of around 220 kids of the age between 6 months to 3 years. Hence statement 2 is correct

·      The mission aims to address the problem of malnutrition and associated physical and mental development issues of infants. Hence statement 1 is correct

·      At FulwariCenters, the identified malnourished children are getting special attention to ensure that their weight, physical and mental progress meets the normal standards.

·      The arrangement of regular monitoring of their growth is also ensured. This initiative will give impetus to the Centre’s fight against malnutrition and its commitment towards Sustainable Social Development.

·      Apart from this, age-appropriate safe toys, early child care education training modules and other confidence-building measures are also arranged for the kids to ensure their cognitive, physical, emotional, and social development.

·      ASHA workers of the villages provide Health care services to the kids. Timely vaccination of these targeted children is also arranged with the help of Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) of the village at the Fulwaricenters.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1756471

4. Which of the following options are the Criteria for the declaration of monsoon withdrawal?

1) Rainfall activity ceases over the area for five continuous days

2) An anticyclone establishes in the lower troposphere around 1.5 kilometres above sea level

3) Moisture content reduces

4) Wind patterns over the country change

Select the correct options from the given below codes

a)  2 and 4 only

b) 1 and 3 only

c)   1, 3 and 4 only

d) 1,2,3 and 4

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

Explanation:

In NEWS: September rain in excess in the country

·      The withdrawal of the Southwest monsoon is expected to be delayed with a fresh rain-bearing pressure system forming in the Bay of Bengal.

·      There are no signs of monsoon withdrawal from North India for the next 10 days.

·      The September rainfall in India is 27% more than what’s normal for the month.

·      Until August-end, a crippling rainfall deficit had brought India dangerously close to a drought-like situation with a nearly 9% deficit, but a resurgence of rainfall since September has narrowed the deficit to 3%.

·      Changing climate is one of the reasons for the trend. The timing and length of the monsoon over India could possibly be changing.

·      Year-to-year variations in the monsoon withdrawal can be influenced by modes of climate variability like El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Indian Ocean Dipole.

Monsoon is said to withdraw from a region when the following criteria are met:

·      Rainfall activity ceases over the area for five continuous days; an anticyclone establishes in the lower troposphere around 1.5 kilometres above sea level, and moisture content reduces.

·      Similar criteria are followed for the declaration of monsoon withdrawal from the country. The wind patterns over the country change from a south-westerly direction to a more westerly direction when the monsoon retreats. Hence option (d) is correct

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/september-rain-in-excess-in-the-country/article36571419.ece

5. Consider the following statements regarding COVAX Initiative

1) It is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation and the World Health Organisation

2) It aims to accelerate the development and manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.

Which of the above statements 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 resumes export of vaccine doses.

·      India so far has exported 66.36 million doses of vaccines while administering 800 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to its own citizens.

·      India supplied vaccines to 95 nations before the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic struck, according to the Union ministry of external affairs. India supplied 10.75 million Covid-19 vaccine doses as a grant to 46 countries out of which 200,000 vaccine doses were also given to UN Peacekeeping Forces.

About COVAX Initiative

·      It is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Hence statement 1 is correct

·      It aims to accelerate the development and manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the worldHence statement 2 is correct

·      COVAX is the vaccines pillar of the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.

·      The ACT Accelerator is a global collaboration to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to Covid-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.

·      It will reduce the loss of life and help to get the pandemic under control.

·      Global equitable access to a vaccine, mainly protecting health care workers and those most at risk is the only way to mitigate the public health and economic impacts.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-resumes-export-of-vaccine-doses-know-which-nation-received-most-doses-101632148104022.html

6. Recently, the term Vishnuonyxneptuni is seen in news, it is related to

a)  An herbal medicinal plant

b) A fossil fuel of flying dinosaur

c)   A member of a genus of otters

d) An Exoplanets near Neptune

Answer: (c) A member of a genus of otters

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: What is Vishnuonyx?

·      Between 12.5 million and 14 million years ago, members of a genus of otters called Vishnuonyx lived in the major rivers of southern Asia. Hence option (c) is correct

·      Fossils of these now extinct otters were first discovered in sediments found in the foothills of the Himalayas. Now, a newly found fossil indicates it had travelled as far as Germany. The discovery has been described in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology

·      Researchers from the Universities of Tübingen and Zaragoza have discovered the fossil of a previously unknown species, which they have named Vishnuonyx neptuni, meaning ‘Neptune’s Vishnu’.

·      The species was discovered from a 11.4-million-year-old strata in the area of Hammerschmiede, which is a fossil site in Bavaria, Germany that has been studied for about 50 years

·      Vishnuonyx were mid-sized predators that weighed, on average, 10-15 kg. Before this, the genus was known only in Asia and Africa (recent findings show that Vishnuonyx reached East Africa about 12 million years ago, according to the release).

·      According to the researchers, its travels over 6,000 km were probably made possible by the geography of 12 million years ago, when the Alps were recently formed. These Alps and the Iranian Elbrus Mountains were separated by a large ocean basin, which would have made it easier for the otters to cross it.

·      Researchers believe ‘Neptune’s Vishnu’ first reached southern Germany

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/vishnuonyx-extinct-otter-fossil-discovery-explained-7523724/

7. Consider the following statements regarding International Fund for Agricultural Development

1) It is a specialised agency of the World Bank that works to address poverty and hunger in rural areas of developing countries.

2) It is the only multilateral development organization that focuses solely on rural economies and food security.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 only

c)   Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Dramatic changes needed in global food systems to address nutrition disparity, poverty: IFAD

·      Global food systems need a revolution so dramatic that previous versions of food systems are unrecognisable, said United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

·      Transforming global food systems to become more inclusive, fair and sustainable may seem an insurmountable challenge, but there are concrete actions policymakers can take, IFAD noted during the release of its Transforming Food Systems for Rural Prosperity report. 

·      The report stressed on the importance of government investment in rural farms and local small- and medium-size enterprises that support activities after the farm gate, such as storing, processing, marketing and food distribution.

·      Small-scale family farmers are still the foundation of food supply across all low- and middle-income countries, the report highlighted. “They play a critical role in reducing rural poverty and ensuring national food and nutrition security.”

·      It called for investing in and creating conditions for productive, economically viable and environmentally sustainable small-scale family farming.

·      The rural development report called for making food markets accessible to villagers and on fair terms by rethinking the present concentration of power within food systems.

·      Over the past 70 years, a focus on industrial farming and producing more calories at low cost has been accompanied by growing malnutrition, increased food waste and a high environmental cost, the authors of the report observed.

·      Food systems are responsible for 37 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions and are also highly vulnerable to a changing climate

About International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) 

·      It is an international financial institution and a specialised agency of the United Nations that works to address poverty and hunger in rural areas of developing countriesHence statement 1 is incorrect

·      It is the only multilateral development organization that focuses solely on rural economies and food security. Hence statement 2 is correct

·      Headquartered in Rome, Italy, IFAD is involved in over 200 projects across nearly 100 countries.

·      It funds and sponsors initiatives that improve land and water management, develop rural infrastructure, train and educate farmers in more efficient technologies, build up resilience against climate change, enhancing market accessibility, and more.

·      IFAD has 177 member states and works in partnership with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/agriculture/dramatic-changes-needed-in-global-food-systems-to-address-nutrition-disparity-poverty-ifad-79120

8. Consider the following statements regarding Securities transaction tax

1) It is a indirect tax levied at the time of purchase and sale of securities listed on stock exchanges in India.

2) This tax was introduced in the 2004 Union Budget and rates are decided by the central government.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 only

c)   Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: STT collection in the first five-and-a-half months close to ₹11,000 crore

·      Collection from Securities Transaction Tax (STT) and Equalisation Levy (EL) has crossed ₹10,000 crore and ₹1,300 crore, respectively, in just the first five-and-a-half months of the current fiscal. The rate of STT varies between 0.001 to 0.2 per cent while for EL the rate is between 6 and 2 per cent.

·      Meanwhile, as on September 18, the net direct tax collection for the current fiscal (2021-22) has surged 73 per cent in comparison with the corresponding period of the last fiscal (2020-21) and almost half of the budget estimate.

About Securities transaction tax

·         Securities transaction tax (STT) is a direct tax levied at the time of purchase and sale of securities listed on stock exchanges in India. Hence statement 1 is incorrect

·         Securities are tradable investment instruments such as shares, bonds, debentures, equity-oriented mutual funds (MFs) and so on and are issued either by companies or by the Indian government.

·         This tax was introduced in the 2004 Union Budget and came into effect from 1 October 2004. Hence statement 2 is correct

·         STT is governed by Securities Transaction Tax Act (STT Act) and STT Act has specifically listed down various taxable securities transaction i.e., transaction on which STT is leviable. While the term ‘securities’ is not defined under STT Act, STT Act specifically allows borrowing of definition of such terms not defined in STT Act but defined in Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 or Income-tax Act, 1961.

·         The rate of STT differs based on the type of security traded and whether the transaction is a purchase or a sale.

·         These rates are decided by the central government.

·         The initiative behind introducing STT was to curb evading of capital gains tax on profits earned by transecting in securities.

·         Taxable securities include equity, derivatives, unit of equity oriented mutual fund. It also includes unlisted shares sold under an offer for sale to the public included in IPO and where such shares are subsequently listed in stock exchanges. STT is an amount to be paid over and above transaction value and hence, increases transaction value.

·         STT is required to be collected by a recognised stock exchange or by the prescribed person in the case of every Mutual Fund or the lead merchant banker in the case of an initial public offer, as the case may be, and subsequently payable to the Government on or before the 7th of the following month.

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/stt-collection-in-the-first-five-and-a-half-months-close-to-11000-crore/article36565021.ece

9. Consider the following statements regarding Small Island Developing States

1) They are islands of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans

2) It is a group of 38 UN member states are vulnerable to the increased risk of storm surges, sea-level rise and altered rainfall patterns.

Which of the above statements 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: Climate finance for Small Island Developing States slumped to 2017 levels in 2019: OECD

·      Small Island Developing States are vulnerable to increased risk of storm surges, sea-level rise and altered rainfall patterns

·      Climate finance from developed countries to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) fell back to 2017 levels in 2019 — from $2.1 billion in 2018 to $1.5 billion, according to new figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

·      Asia was the main recipient of climate finance in the period between 2016 and 2019, with 43 per cent of the total on average. It was followed by Africa (26 per cent of the total) and the Americas (17 per cent).

·      Climate finance for Least Developed Countries continued to increase in 2019 by 27 per cent compared to that in 2017.

·      The OECD data confirmed that SIDS face specific challenges in accessing climate finance and the international community needs to consider it. Financing for climate must take into consideration the challenges that SIDS face and it should be less fragmented, easier to access, predictable and long-term.

About Small Island Developing States

·      Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are a distinct group of 38 UN Member States and 20 Non-UN Members/Associate Members of United Nations regional commissions that face unique social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities. Hence statement 2 is correct

·      The three geographical regions in which SIDS are located are: the Caribbean, the Pacific, and the Atlantic, Indian Ocean and South China Sea (AIS). Hence statement 1 is correct

·      SIDS were recognized as a special case both for their environment and development at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

·      The aggregate population of all the SIDS is 65 million, slightly less than 1% of the world’s population, yet this group faces unique social, economic, and environmental challenges. 

·      SIDS face a host of challenges including for many, their remote geography. As a result, many SIDS face high import and export costs for goods as well as irregular international traffic volumes. Yet, they must rely on external markets for many goods due to the narrow resource base.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/climate-finance-for-small-island-developing-states-slumped-to-2017-levels-in-2019-oecd-79125

10. Increase is absolute and per capita real GNP do not connote a higher level of economic development, if

a)  Industrial output fails to keep pace with agricultural output.

b) Agricultural output fails to keep pace with industrial output.

c)   Poverty and unemployment increase.

d) Imports grow faster than exports.

Answer: (c) poverty and unemployment increase.

Explanation:

·      An essential aspect of development is to enable the maximum number to experience the fruits of development. Concepts of per capita income (per capita GDP or per capita NSDP) are not able to capture this aspect of development. There may be a case wherein increase in absolute and per capita GNP is reflective of growth in income of a small section of society and that majority of the population is poverty stricken and unemployed. Multi -dimensional non -monetary social indicators are better reflectors of overall economic development in the society. Hence option (c) is correct