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Daily Prelims Test – 24_December 2020

Consider the following statements

  • The Blue Whale is found in all the oceans of the earth.
  • The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists Blue Whale as Endangered species

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: New population of blue whales discovered in western Indian ocean

  • Scientists have found evidence of a previously undiscovered population of blue whales living in the western Indian ocean based on an analysis of sound recordings from the region, an advance which sheds light on the global distribution of the largest animals to have ever lived on the Earth.
  • The Whales emit sounds and based on the echo received they track their prey in water. These sounds are usually referred to Whale songs and are low-pitched and recognisable. Every Blue Whale Population has its own song.
  • The scientists recently analysed the recordings from the Arabian Sea coast of Oman till Madagascar. During the analysis, they have discovered a new Blue Whale song that has never been described. Based on this, the scientists have concluded that they have discovered a new population of Blue Whales in the Indian Ocean.

About Blue Whale

  • Blue whales are the largest animals ever known to have lived on Earth.
  • These magnificent marine mammals rule the oceans at up to 100 feet long and upwards of 200 tons.
  • The Blue Whale was once abundant in all the oceans of the earth. However, due to hunting they almost reached to extinction. They are found in all oceans except enclosed seas and the Arctic. Hence statement 1 is incorrect
  • The International Whaling Commission banned Blue Whale hunting in 1967. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists Blue Whale as “Endangered species”. Hence statement 2 is correct
    It is listed under Appendix I of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
  • The blue whale falls in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/new-population-of-blue-whales-discovered-in-western-indian-ocean/article33391337.ece


Bakhshali Manuscript is related to which of the following subject?

  • Rule of Law
  • Astrophysics
  • Ayurveda
  • Mathematics

Answer: (d) Mathematics

Explanation:

In NEWS: NEP will help India regain its love for Mathematics

  • The new National Education Policy (NEP), 2020, has significant provision and provides a platform to build, nurture, foster, encourage and multiply mathematical thinking.
  • The NEP appreciated the necessity of Mathematical thinking and its importance for the country to become a vishwaguru
  • The NEP provides the necessary nourishment by making Mathematics enjoyable and engaging using innovative methods from the foundational step itself.

Masters in Mathematics

  • Srinivasa Ramanujan is one such genius that India has produced.
  • Bharatvarsh has a rich tradition and several contributions to Mathematics since ancient times.
  • Vedanga Jyotisha (500 BC) is testimony to the pedestal on which we keep Mathematics.
  • Shulba Sutras written in 800-500 BCE contain concepts of geometrical shapes like square, rectangle and right triangle and square roots, etc. The Pythagorean triples are also highlights of Shulba Sutras. Acharya Pingala in 300 BCE illustrated the idea of sunyata or zero for the first time. There is also evidence of zero as a placeholder in the Bakhshali manuscript.
  • In the fifth century AD, Aryabhata gave the basis of the decimal system and calculated the value of Pi till four decimal places. Brahmagupta in the seventh century AD clearly defined and used zero and mentioned negative numbers.
  • Sridharacharya in the ninth century was the pioneer in finding the roots of a quadratic equation. Siddhanta Shiromani has written in four volumes, namely Lilavati, Bijaganita, Grahagaṇita and Goladhyaya by legendary Bhaskaracharya.

About Bakhshali Manuscript:

  • Bakhshali Manuscript is estimated having range from 300 C.E. to 400 C.E.
  • It is an oldest Indian mathematical document found in 1881 by a local farmer in the vicinity of the village of Bakhshali, near the city of Peshawar, currently in Pakistan. Hence option (d) is correct
  • It was written in ink on birch bark. Currently, it consists of only 70 pages, large parts of the manuscript are missing
  • It contains an extraordinarily accurate approximation to the square roots of integers that are not perfect squares. It is full of numbers expressed in decimal notation, decimal calculations, and extremely rich in “0”s.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/nep-will-help-india-regain-its-love-for-mathematics/story-Mk50YqCnHcPStVP6o5GkeM.html


Pathalgadi is a tribal custom of erecting stone plaques on the tomb of tribal people in:

  • Kerala
  • Jammu and Kashmir
  • Gujarat
  • Jharkhand

Answer: (d) Jharkhand

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: What is the Pathalgadi movement, and what is JMM govt’s stand on it?

  • Almost a year later, the Soren government is still to send a requisition to the court to withdraw the cases, many of which involved charges of sedition, filed by the BJP government led by Raghubar Das. Pathalgadi was Soren’s major poll plank.
  • Soon after taking charge on December 29, 2019, the Hemant Soren-led government in Jharkhand had decided to drop “all cases” related to the Pathalgadi movement of 2017-2018.

What is Pathalgadi?

  • Pathalgadi is a tribal custom of erecting stone plaques on the tomb of tribal people in Hence option (d) is correct
  • It consists of 32 tribal communities.
  • It is done in honor of their ancestors, to announce important decisions to mark the boundary of their villages.
  • With the force of Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) the practice of erecting stone plaques in villages with provisions of the Act inscribed on it started.
  • This was done to empower people belonging to the 5th Schedule area on their legal and constitutional safeguards.
  • According to Chotanagpur Land Tenancy Act, 1908 and the Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act, 1949, a tribal can buy or sell their land only to another tribal.
  • Through passing an ordinance amending Land Acquisition Act (Jharkhand Amendment) in 2017 and awaited Governor’s approval.
  • However, the bill never got the go ahead as tribals started erecting stones in their villages with PESA provisions highlighting their rights which came to be known as Pathalgadi movement.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-what-is-pathalgadi-movement-and-what-is-the-jmm-govts-stand-on-this-7114979/


Consider the following statements regarding Biodiversity Management Committees

  • It will be constituted at the local level in every state under the Biological Biodiversity Act 2002.
  • It prepares and maintain Peoples Biodiversity Register

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: NGT extends time for constitution of biodiversity management committees

  • The National Green Tribunal has extended the time limit for the constitution of biodiversity management committees (BMCs) and preparation of people’s biodiversity registers (PBRs) on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The green panel noted that it has already monitored the matter for the last more than four years and there is substantial progress in compliance with the requirements of setting up BMCs and maintaining PBRs.
  • The NGT noted that India is one of the recognised mega-diverse countries of the world, harbouring nearly seven to eight per cent of the recorded species of the world, and representing four of the 34 globally identified biodiversity hotspots.
  • So far, over 91,200 species of animals and 45,500 species of plants have been documented in the 10 biogeographic regions of the country.

About Biodiversity Management Committees (BMC):

  •  BMCs will be constituted at the local level in every state under the Biological Biodiversity Act 2002. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • They are created for the purpose of promoting conservation, sustainable use and documentation of biological diversity.
  • It prepares and maintain Peoples Biodiversity Register (PBR). Peoples Biodiversity Register (PBR) is a document which records diversity of flora and fauna. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • Analysis reveals that only near 7% of BMCs have prepared their PBRs. This implies that more than 90% have failed to perform their mandatory responsibility of preparing comprehensive biodiversity registers

What are People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBR)?

  • People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBR) consists of a complete documentation of biodiversity in the area plants, food sources, wildlife, medicinal sources, etc.
  • Hence, PBRs help in tracing how the habitats are changing, and to understand and estimate parts of our forests.
  • PBR is also a bottom-up exercise – hence, it is a means of understanding the overlap of cultural and natural biodiversity.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/ngt-extends-time-for-constitution-of-biodiversity-management-committees/story-kayvufd6tXY8PK99cGJuWL.html


Consider the following statements

  •  The ‘India Workplace Equality Index’, touted as the country’s first comprehensive benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on LGBT+ inclusion at the workplace.
  •  The index measures nine areas are policies and benefits, employee lifecycle, employee network group, allies and role models, senior leadership, monitoring, procurement, community engagement and additional work.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  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: India’s 1st LGBT+ workplace equality index launched

  •  The ‘India Workplace Equality Index’, touted as the country’s first comprehensive benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on LGBT+ inclusion at the workplace, was launched. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  •  Hotelier-activist Keshav Suri through his non-profit Keshav Suri Foundation, partnered with Pride Circle, Stonewall UK and FICCI, to bring the IWEI to India Inc.
  •  It’s first report announced winners from among 65 companies which shared data on their diversity and inclusion practices. 21 firms won under the gold category, while 18 were placed under silver and 13 got bronze.
  •  The index measures nine areas: policies and benefits, employee lifecycle, employee network group, allies and role models, senior leadership, monitoring, procurement, community engagement and additional work. Hence statement 2 is correct.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/indias-1st-lgbt-workplace-equality-index-launched-7100163/


Which of the following Wildlife sanctuary is referred to as Mini Kaziranga

  • Dabang wildlife sanctuary
  • Pabotiora wildlife sanctuary
  • Khawanglung wildlife sanctuary
  • None of the above

Answer: b) Pabotiora wildlife sanctuary

Explanation:

In NEWS: Too many cattle robbing rhinos of nutrition in ‘Mini Kaziranga’

  •  Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the flood plains of River Brahmaputra in the district of Morigaon and about 45 kms from Guwahati, the capital of Assam.
  •  In 1987, Pobitora was declared a wildlife sanctuary.
  •  Pobitora wildlife sanctuary harbors the highest density of Rhinoceros in the world and second highest concentration of Rhinoceros in Assam after Kaziranga National Park.
  •  It is an Important Bird Area and home for more than 2000 migratory birds and various reptiles.
  •  Too many cattle are robbing the one-horned rhinos of Assam’s Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, referred to as ‘Mini Kaziranga’ for similar features, of their nutritious food. Hence option (b) is the correct answer.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-miscellaneous/tp-others/too-many-cattle-robbing-rhinos-of-nutrition-in-mini-kaziranga/article33294709.ece


Consider the following Statements

  •  The Green National Highways Corridor Project (NGHM) was launched by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
  •  The objective of the NGHM project is to establish a corridor on national highways for the safe transmission of electricity.

Select the incorrect answer using the code given below

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

Answer: b) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Govt, World Bank ink $500 million pact to develop highway corridors

  • The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) had launched a National Green Highways Mission (NGHM) following the promulgation of ‘Green Highways Policy’ in September 2015. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • The Green National Highways Corridor Projects (GNHCP) supports the implementation of the NGHM and the provision of green and safe transport.
  • The objective of the Project is to demonstrate safe and green National Highway corridors in selected States and enhance the institutional capacity of the MoRTH in mainstreaming safety and green technologies. Hence statement 2 is incorrect.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/business/govt-world-bank-ink-500-million-pact-to-develop-highway-corridors-7115829/


Consider the following statements

  •  A volcano is an opening on the surface that allows material warmer than its surroundings to escape from its interior.
  •  The Kilauea volcano is located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
  •  The Barren Island is the only active volcano in India.

Select the correct answer using the code given below

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

Answer: d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: As Kilauea volcano erupts in Hawaii, social media flooded with pictures, videos of spectacle

  •  A volcano is an opening on the surface that allows material warmer than its surroundings to escape from its interior. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  •  When this material escapes, it causes an eruption. An eruption can be explosive, sending material high into the sky. Or it can be calmer, with gentle flows of material.
  •  On Earth, the erupted material can be liquid rock (“lava” when it’s on the surface, “magma” when it’s underground), ash, cinders, and/or gas.
  •  Kilauea, also called Mount Kilauea (“Much Spreading” in Hawaiian), is located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the southeastern part of the island of Hawaii, U.S.A. hence statement 2 is correct.
  •  India’s only active volcano is Barren Island. Hence statement 3 is correct

Source https://indianexpress.com/article/trending/trending-globally/kilauea-volcano-eruption-hawaii-big-island-7115417/


Consider the following statements regarding District Mineral Foundation Funds (DMF)

  •  The Central Government retains the power to prescribe the rates of contribution, though DMF’s operation is under state governments.
  •  DMF funds are treated as extra-budgetary resources for the States.
  •  Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana is meant to provide for the welfare of areas and people affected by mining related operations, using the funds generated by District Mineral Foundations

Select the correct answer using the code given below

  •  1 and 2 only
  •  2 and 3 only
  •  1 and 3 only
  •  1, 2 and 3

Answer: d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

  •  The Central Government retains the power to prescribe the rates of contribution, though DMF’s operation is under state governments.
  •  DMF funds are treated as extra-budgetary resources for the States.
  •  Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana is meant to provide for the welfare of areas and people affected by mining related operations, using the funds generated by District Mineral Foundations. Hence all the above statements are correct.

Source: http://www.arthapedia.in/index.php?title=District_Mineral_Foundation_(DMF)


The most important fishing grounds of the world are found in the regions where

  • Warm and cold atmospheric currents meet
  • Rivers drain out large amounts of freshwater into the sea
  • Warm and cold oceanic currents meet
  • Continental shelf is undulating

Answer: (c) Warm and cold oceanic currents meet

Explanation:

Planktons are abundant where warm and cold currents meet. That make these areas important fishing grounds of the wolrd. Hence option (c) is correct


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