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Daily Prelims Test – 23_December_2021

1. Which of the following option(s) is/are objectives of the Seed Village Programme?

1)   Increasing the seed production

2)   Increasing the seed replacement rate

3)   Organizing seed production in cluster/compact areas, replacing existing local varieties with new high yielding varieties

4)   Self-sufficiency and self-reliance of the village in terms of quality seed production.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

a)    1, 2 and 4 only

b)   3 and 4 only

c)    2 and 3 only

d)   1, 2, 3 and 4

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

Explanation:

In NEWS: Beej Gram Yojana

●      Govt. of India is implementing Seed Village Programme (Beej Gram Yojana) since 2014-15 to upgrade the quality of farmer’s saved seeds.

●      Under this programme financial assistance for distribution of foundation/certified seeds at 50% of seed cost for cereal crops and 60% for pulses, oilseeds, fodder and green manure crops is available for up to one acre per farmer.

Seed Village Program:

●      Seed Village Program (Beej Gram Yojana) has been implemented by the government since 2014-15 to upgrade the quality of farmers’ saved seeds.

●      Key Objective: To upgrade the quality of farmer-saved seed, which is about 80-85% of the total seed used for crop production.

Key Objectives of the Seed Village Program are-

●      Increasing the seed production,

●      Increasing the seed replacement rate,

●      Organizing seed production in cluster/compact areas, replacing existing local varieties with new high yielding varieties,

●      Self-sufficiency and self-reliance of the village in terms of quality seed production. Hence option (d) is correct.

●      To meet the local demand and timely supply of quality seeds.

Funding:

●      Under Seed Village Program, financial assistance for distribution of foundation/certified seeds at 50% of seed cost for cereal crops and 60% for pulses, oilseeds, fodder and green manure crops is available for up to one acre per farmer.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1783875

2. Consider the following statements:

1)   Economically Weaker Section is a section of the society in India that belongs to the un-reserved category.

2)   The Economically Weaker Section has an annual family income of less than 8 lakh rupees.

3)   EWS reservation was granted based on the recommendations of a commission headed by S R Sinho in 2005.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)    3 only

b)   2 and 3 only

c)    1 and 2 only

d)   1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: Revisiting definition of EWS

A three member-committee set up to examine the income criteria for determining the economically weaker sections (EWS) is expected to submit its report to the Centre within the next few days.

Why was the committee set up?

It was set up after the Supreme Court questioned the income criteria for defining EWS, and termed it “arbitrary”, noting that the ceiling for determining EWS (Rs 8 lakh) is the same as the limit for determining the other backward classes (OBC) “creamy layer” for reservation for the children of people outside of government.

When were the income criteria fixed?

The criteria for EWS and OBC quotas, as notified for NEET admissions in September, are the same as criteria notified for employment and admission on January 31, 2019 by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) based on the 103rd Amendment to the Constitution

About Economically Weaker Section 

●        Economically Weaker Section is a section of the society in India that belongs to the un-reserved category and has an annual family income of less than 8 lakh rupeesHence statement (1) is correct and statement (2) is correct

●        The government of India introduced a 10% reservation to this category of people.

●        EWS reservation was granted based on the recommendations of a commission headed by S R Sinho in 2005. Hence statement (3) is correct

●        The Sinho Commission recommended that:

o    all below poverty line (BPL) families within the general category as notified from time to time,

o    all families whose annual family income from all sources is below the taxable limit, should be identified as EBCs

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/economically-weaker-sections-supreme-court-7682649/

3. GloBE Rules are related to which one of the following areas?

a)    Coordinated system of taxation

b)   Plastic Usage

c)    Ease humanitarian aid to people

d)   International water Dispute

Answer: (a) Coordinated system of taxation

Explanation:

In NEWS: OECD releases Pillar-II model rules for domestic implementation of 15% global minimum tax

●      The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on Monday published detailed rules to assist in the implementation of a new international tax system, which will ensure multinational enterprises (MNEs) will be subject to a minimum 15 per cent tax rate from 2023. Hence option (a) is correct

●      India is one among 137 countries that are signatory to the new global tax regime. These rules have come at a time when preparations are underway for the Budget for the next fiscal.

●      The rules define the scope and set out the mechanism for the Global Anti-Base Erosion (GloBE) Rules under Pillar Two. These will assist countries to bring the GloBE rules into domestic legislation in 2022.

●      The minimum tax will apply to MNEs with revenue above €750 million and is estimated to generate around $150 billion in additional global tax revenues annually.

●      The term ‘Permanent establishment’ has been defined as well under the model rules. It has surely added more compliance for MNEs in terms of GloBE Information Return to be furnished with the tax administration in order to provide information on the tax calculations made by the MNE under the GloBE Rules no later than 15 months after the last day of the Reporting Fiscal Year.

●      GloBE return can be filed no later than 18 months after the last day of the reporting fiscal year. Additionally, the manner prescribed for the calculation of effective tax rate, Top-up tax etc. would certainly increase the calculations of MNEs from a tax standpoint

●      India hopes to make gains from Pillar Two over Pillar 1 and have informally expressed preference to apply STTR on base erosion payments; we expect the Budget 2022 to provide the heavy lifting on India’s position to jump start the practical application of the template and give life to these rules.

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/oecd-releases-pillar-ii-model-rules-for-domestic-implementation-of-15-global-minimum-tax/article37998184.ece

4. With respect to Parliamentary Committees, Consider the following statements:

1)   It means a Committee which is appointed or elected by the House or nominated by the Speaker.

2)   They are formed under some provisions mentioned in the constitution.

3)   Parliament is bound by the recommendations of these committees.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)    3 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: Bill to raise marriage age of women seeks to override laws across faith, sent to panel

●      The Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which seeks to raise the age of legal marriage for women from 18 to 21, will apply to all communities in the country and, once enacted, will supersede existing marriage and personal laws.

●      Union Minister for Women and Child Development, the Bill which proposes amendments to the 2006 law was sent to a Parliamentary Standing Committee for further discussion.

Parliamentary Committees:

●        Parliamentary Committee means a Committee which is appointed or elected by the House or nominated by the Speaker and which works under the direction of the Speaker and presents its report to the House or to the Speaker and the Secretariat for which is provided by the Lok Sabha Secretariat. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      By their nature, Parliamentary Committees are of two kinds: Standing Committees and Ad hoc Committees.

●      Until the 13th Lok Sabha, each DRSC comprised 45 members — 30 nominated from Lok Sabha and 15 from the Rajya Sabha.

●      However, with their restructuring in July 2004, each DRSC now has 31 members — 21 from Lok Sabha and 10 from Rajya Sabha, to be nominated by Lok Sabha Speaker and Rajya Sabha chairman, respectively.

●        Parliamentary committees draw their authority from Article 118 (on Parliament’s authority to make rules for regulating its procedure and conduct of business). Hence statement (2) is correct.

●        Parliament is not bound by the recommendations of committees. Hence statement (3) is incorrect.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/bill-to-increase-marriage-age-of-women-to-21-yrs-to-be-sent-to-house-panel-smriti-irani-7684161/

5. With respect to Election Commission of India, Consider the following statements:

1)   It is a constitutional authority whose responsibilities and powers are prescribed in the Constitution of India under Article 324.

2)   The decisions of the Commission cannot be challenged in the High Court and the Supreme Court of India.

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: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS:

●      Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sushil Chandra met with the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, P. K. Mishra

●      The “informal interaction” of the CEC and two other Election Commissioners with the Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary has raised questions about the neutrality of the Commission, especially when elections to crucial States are around the corner.

Election Commission of India:

●        The ECI is a constitutional authority whose responsibilities and powers are prescribed in the Constitution of India under Article 324Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      In the performance of its functions, the Election Commission is insulated from executive interference.

●      It is the Commission that decides the election schedules for the conduct of elections, whether general elections or by-elections.

●      ECI decides on the location of polling stations, assignment of voters to the polling stations, location of counting centers, arrangements to be made in and around polling stations and counting centres and all allied matters.

●        The decisions of the Commission can be challenged in the High Court and the Supreme Court of India by appropriate petitions. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/explained-questioning-the-impartiality-of-the-election-commission/article37995269.ece

6. Consider the following statements with regarding UDAN scheme:

1)   It will be jointly funded by the central government and state governments.

2)   It is aimed at enhancing connectivity to remote and regional areas of the country

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:

●      MoS declined to provide the exact number of the discontinued routes, he provided three reasons why this was happening.

●      These included failure to set up airports or heliports due to lack of availability of land, airlines unable to start flights on routes awarded to them or finding the routes difficult to sustain, and adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is the UDAN scheme?

●      The Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme is a low-cost flying scheme launched with the aim of taking flying to the masses. The first flight under UDAN was launched in April 2017.

●        It is also known as the regional connectivity scheme (RCS) as it seeks to improve air connectivity to tier-2 and tier-3 cities through revival of unused and underused airportsHence statement (2) is correct.

●      Airlines are awarded routes under the programme through a bidding process and are required to offer airfares at the rate of ₹2,500 per hour of flight. At least 50% of the total seats on an aircraft have to be offered at cheaper rates.

●      In order to enable airlines to offer affordable fares they are given a subsidy from the Government for a period of three years.

●      The Government had also earmarked ₹4,500 crore for revival of 50 airports in the first three years.

●        The scheme will be jointly funded by the central government and state governments. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      The scheme will run for 10 years and can be extended thereafter.

Source: PIB

7. Consider the following statements:

1)   The Webb space telescope will primarily study the universe in the infrared, while Hubble looks mainly at optical and ultraviolet wavelengths.

2)   James Webb Space Telescope is a joint venture between the NASA, ESA and Canadian space agencies.

3)   Hubble will not orbit the Earth while Webb will orbit the Earth.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)    3 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: Explained: NASA’s flagship telescope, and its successor

●        Webb, the world’s premier space science observatory, will succeed the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA’s flagship telescope that has been in service for more than three decades now.

●        Webb will primarily study the universe in the infrared, while Hubble looks at it mainly at optical and ultraviolet wavelengths. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●        Webb’s mirror is much larger than Hubble’s; it can, therefore, look farther back into time than Hubble.

●        James Webb Space Telescope is a joint venture between the NASA, ESA and Canadian space agencies. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●        Also, Hubble is in a much closer orbit around Earth than Webb will be.

●        Wavelength: Webb’s four instruments to capture images and spectra of astronomical objects will provide wavelength coverage from 0.6 to 28 microns (the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum is from about 0.75 microns to a few hundred microns); the instruments on Hubble can observe mainly in the ultraviolet and visible parts of the spectrum from 0.1 to 0.8 microns. Infrared observations are important because light at this wavelength can penetrate the dust that shrouds newly formed stars and planets, and make them visible.

●        Size: Webb’s primary mirror is approximately 6.5 metres in diameter, giving it a significantly larger collecting area than the mirrors of the current generation of space telescopes. Hubble’s mirror has a diameter of 2.4 metres, which means Webb’s collecting area is around 6.25 times that of Hubble’s. Webb will cover more than ~15 times the field of view covered by Hubble’s NICMOS camera. Webb’s sunshield is about 22 m by 12 m, a little less than the size of a tennis court

●        Orbit : Hubble orbits the Earth at an altitude of ~570 km. Webb will not orbit the Earth, instead it will sit at the Earth-Sun L2 Lagrange point, 1.5 million km away. This means that Webb will orbit the Sun along with the Earth, but will stay fixed at the same spot in relation to the Earth and the Sun. At the L2 point, Webb’s solar shield will block the light from the Sun, Earth, and Moon, which will help it stay cool — important for an infrared telescope. Hence statement (3) is incorrect.

●        How Far : Because light takes time to travel, the farther away an object is, the farther back in time we are looking. Thus, while Hubble can see the equivalent of “toddler galaxies”, Webb will be able to see “baby galaxies”. This is also because Webb is an infrared telescope, and can see distant objects which are very dim at visible wavelengths of light.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-nasa-james-webb-space-telescope-explained-7684313/

8. Consider the following statements:

1)   Compassionate employment is a vested right to the relative of the deceased.

2)    Dependent family member are eligible to get Compassionate employment when a Government servant dies while in service .

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: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Compassionate job not a vested right, says Supreme Court

●        The Supreme Court on hearing the appeal filed by the Union government said that compassionate employment is not a vested right.

●        Earlier, the Madras High Court held to provide compassionate employment to the widow of the sergeant in IAF.

●        Compassionate appointment is not a matter of right, but is to enable the family to tide over an immediate crisis which may result from the death of the employee. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.

●        Compassionate Appointment is a social security scheme launched by the Government of India to grant appointment to a dependent family member on a compassionate basis when a Government servant dies while in service or retires on medical groundsHence statement (2) is correct.

●        The Objective of the scheme is to provide immediate financial assistance to the family who is left in poverty and without any means to sustain their livelihood.

●        The Welfare Officer in every Office/Department/Ministry shall meet the family of the government servant immediately after his death and assist them in getting a compassionate appointment.

●        The applicant i.e. the person appointed on compassionate grounds under the scheme should furnish an undertaking stating that she/he will maintain the other family members who were dependent on the income of the member of Armed forces/Government servant.

●        The appointment of the applicant will be terminated if there is a failure to comply with the above condition.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/compassionate-job-not-a-vested-right-says-supreme-court/article38007168.ece

9. Thangka is closely associated with which of the following options?

a)    Metal craft

b)   Wood craft

c)    Kind of Music

d)   Scroll painting

Answer: (d) Scroll Painting

Explanation:

In NEWS: ‘Enchanting Ladakh’ showcases region’s art, craft in Delhi

●        Eighty-one artisans from the Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh are part of the third edition of ‘Enchanting Ladakh’, an opportunity to exhibit handicrafts and handloom products from the region in New Delhi.

●        Many of the traditional Ladakhi crafts, including stone carving, wood carving, thangka (scroll painting), metal craft, wood craft etc. are also on display. Hence option (d) is correct

●        The artisans will also attend industrial visits and training during the period. The exhibition is on at Dilli Haat

About Thangkas

●        Thangka serve as important teaching tools depicting the life of the Buddha, various influential lamas and other deities and bodhisattvas. One subject is The Wheel of Life (Bhavachakra), which is a visual representation of the Abhidharma teachings (Art of Enlightenment).

●        Thangkas are traditionally kept unframed and rolled up when not on display, mounted on a textile backing somewhat in the style of Chinese scroll paintings, with a further silk cover on the front

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/enchanting-ladakh-showcases-regions-art-craft-in-delhi/article38005776.ece

10. Which part of the Constitution of India declares the ideal of a Welfare State?

(a) Directive Principles of State Policy

(b) Fundamental Rights

(c) Preamble

(d) Seventh Schedule

Answer: (a) Directive Principles of State Policy

Explanation:

A welfare state is a concept of government where the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well -being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those unable to avail themselves of the minimal provisions for a good life. The Directive Principles of State Policy embody the concept of a ‘welfare state’. Hence option (d) is correct.