KingMakers IAS Academy logo

Daily Prelims Test – 24_February 2021 (Clone)

Consider the following Statements regarding Black-necked crane

It is found in the remote parts of India and Bhutan.

It is protected under Schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and is in the ‘endangered category’ on the IUCN Red list

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) Both1 and 2 

Explanation:

In NEWS: Tawang monks oppose Arunachal govt.’s fresh push for hydropower projects

  • A group of Buddhist monks in Tawang district has opposed the Arunachal Pradesh government’s renewed push for hydropower projects.
  • The monks-led Save Mon Region Federation (SMRF) said the proposed projects would not only affect the nesting grounds of the endangered black-necked crane but also threaten several holy Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the region.
  • Most of these projects are proposed in the Tawangchu and Nyamjangchu river basins, a haunt of the black-necked crane considered a sacred embodiment of the 6th Dalai Lama who was from Tawang.
  • The 780 MW Nyamjangchu project in Zemithang Valley is one of 13 projects with a total capacity of 2,890.10 MW proposed in Tawang district. The valley is the winter home of the black-necked crane.
  • In April 2016, the NGT suspended the environmental clearance given to the Nyamjangchu project promoted by the Bhilwara Group, which subsequently led to a crackdown on anti-dam protesters.

About Black necked crane

  • It is a medium-sized crane of Asia that breeds on the Tibetan Plateau and remote parts of India and Bhutan. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • It is revered in Buddhist traditions and culturally protected across much of its range.
  • A festival in Bhutan celebrates the bird while the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir considers it as the state bird.
  • The black-necked crane is a medium-sized crane in Asia that breeds on the Tibetan Plateau and remote parts of India and Bhutan.
  • Listed in Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 and as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Hence statement 2 is correct

About Nyamjang Chu 

  • Nyamjang Chu is a cross-border perennial river that originates in the Shannan province of Tibet and flows into the Arunachal Pradesh state of India, joining the Tawang Chu river just before it enters Bhutan.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/tawang-monks-oppose-arunachal-govts-fresh-push-for-hydropower-projects/article33910552.ece


Kutia Kondh Tribe is a tribal group from which of the following states/union territories? 

Chhattisgarh

Jharkhand

Uttar Pradesh

Odisha

Answer: (d) Odisha 

Explanation:

In NEWS: Kalahandi’s Kutia Kondhs: Subsistence a struggle for this tribe of nature worshippers

  • The Kutia Kondhs are a particularly vulnerable tribal groups in Kalahandi district, Odisha. They live in Lanjigarh, Thuamul Rampur, Madanpur Rampur and Bhawanipatna blocks. Hence option (d) is correct
  • The Kondhs worship nature like many other tribal groups in the country. Members of the community take turns to protect forests and wildlife that surround their houses.
  • Despite living in abject poverty and depending on natural resources for survival, the Kondhs do not use wood from the forests for fuel and also prevent illegal tree.
  • The families are mostly nuclear and patriarchal in character. 
  • Women, however, play a relatively big role in the collection, processing and sale of non-timber forest produce.
  • Shifting cultivation, or slash-and-burn agriculture, is the primary source of food for the tribal communities in the area. The Kondhs call it dongar chaas or podu chaas.
  • The major crops cultivated in the shifting cultivation system are minor millets like ragi (finger millet), kosala, kangu with arhar as an intercrop.
  • The tribal communities depend critically on natural resources like forest, water and land for their livelihoods. They collect different forest produce such as edible leaves, wild tubers, mushrooms, bamboo shoots and wild fruits and berries for consumption.
  • Landless people sell Siali leaves (Bauhinia vahlii) and sal leaves to buy food.
  • Hidden hunger and starvation-like situations are endemic to Lanjigarh block, where almost a quarter of the district’s Kondhs live.
  • The community diet is primarily carbohydrate-rich mandia pej (ragi gruel) with very little diversity, or rice with salt, tamarind water and green chillies. Only a few households are able to afford pulses and vegetables.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/governance/kalahandi-s-kutia-kondhs-subsistence-a-struggle-for-this-tribe-of-nature-worshippers-75616


The term Tylototriton himalayanus was seen in news, it is a

Non-venomous burrowing snake

Bostami turtle

Stork species

Rare salamander species

Answer: (d) Rare salamander species

Explanation:

In NEWS: Filmmakers catch salamanders in conversation

  • Unusual sounds in footage led documentary makers, scientists to rare behaviour in little known amphibians.
  • In a discovery reminiscent of a crime thriller, an unusual sound in a video soundtrack has led to the discovery that a rare salamander species from the hill district of Darjeeling in West Bengal. Hence option (d) is correct
  • Tylototriton himalayanus, a rare salamander species from the hill district of Darjeeling in West Bengal is capable of vocalising. 
  • T. himalayanus, also known as the Himalayan crocodile newt or the Orange warted Salamander is usually found in temporary water pools, marshes and slow-moving drainage.
  • Lizards are reptiles with dry scaly skins and can only breathe through their lungs. Amphibians, like salamanders and frogs, need to be around moist regions as they also respire through their skin.
  • While there are about 762 salamanders species known globally, only two have been found in the Indian subcontinent. Tylototriton himalayanus — the species caught on camera by the Bedis — was only reported to the scientific world in 2015
  • The species currently face various threats from siltation in ephemeral ponds, destruction of host plants as fodder for domestic animals, household waste leading to eutrophication, increasing traffic on country roads, introduction of invasive species, exploitation for traditional medicine, pesticide pollution and detergent in water bodies.
  • In the footage, the two males were recorded vocalising and producing a “low frequency call” of 656 Hz. The reason for the male’s calls are yet to be deciphered.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/filmmakers-catch-salamanders-in-conversation/article33905421.ece


JB Ekka committee was in news recently. It is related to

  1. Fixing an equal wage of small tea garden workers
  2. Study use and application of artificial intelligence (AI) in military.
  3. Economic Capital Framework for the RBI
  4. Combination drug or a fixed-dose combination

Answer: (a) Fixing an equal wage of small tea garden workers

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: Significance of Assam govt increasing daily wage of tea garden workers

  • The Assam government increased the wages of tea garden workers from Rs 167 to Rs 217, coming on the heels of a long-standing demand of the community for an increase and political promises for the same.
  • The Assam government announced that the wage of tea garden workers will be increased from Rs 167 to Rs 217 per day. Moreover, for equal wages of small tea workers, a one-man committee under Principal Secretary Dr JB Ekka will be formed. Hence option (a) is correct

Why is the announcement important?

  • Increasing wages of tea garden workers has been a major demand of the community and a poll plank as well. Although the tea garden managements pay the wages, the government fixes it.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/assam-govt-increases-daily-wage-of-tea-garden-workers-why-is-the-announcement-important-7198256/


Consider the following Statements regarding RTI Amendment Act of 2019

  1. Chief Information Commission was established under this act
  2. The Central government will notify the term of Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners
  3. The act says salary of the CIC and ICs will be equivalent to the salary paid to Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners respectively

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

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

Answer: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Supreme Court criticises govt for non-reply to Jairam Ramesh’s plea on changes in RTI Act

  • The Supreme Court criticised the Union government for having not filed a reply for over a year to a petition by parliamentarian Jairam Ramesh challenging the amendments made to the Right to Information Act.
  • RTI Amendment Act of 2019 and its Rules cripple the objectivity and independence of the Central Information Commission (CIC), the top adjudicatory body under the Act, by bringing under the yoke of the government.

The original RTI Act 2005

  • Chief Information Commission was established under this act. Hence statement 1 is incorrect
  • It sets the term of the central Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners at five years (or until the age of 65, whichever is earlier)
  • It states that salaries, allowances and other terms of service of “the Chief Information Commissioner shall be the same as that of the Chief Election Commissioner”, and those of an Information Commissioner shall be the same as that of an Election Commissioner. Hence statement 3 is incorrect
  • At the time of appointment of CIC and ICs, if they are receiving pension or any other retirement benefits for previous government service, their salaries will be reduced by an amount equal to pension
  • It deals with state-level Chief Information Commissioners and Information Commissioners.

RTI Amendment Act of 2019

  • The appointment will be “for such term as may be prescribed by the Central Government”.
  • The salaries, allowances and other terms of service of the Chief Information Commissioner and the Information Commissioners “shall be such as may be prescribed by the Central Government”. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • It allows the Central government to control through rules, the terms and conditions of appointment of Commissioners in the States.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sc-criticises-govt-for-non-reply-to-jairams-plea-on-changes-in-rti-act/article33903604.ece#:~:text=Share%20Article-,Court%2C%20in%20Jan.%202020%2C%20asked%20Centre%20to%20file%20reply,Rules%20cripple%20CIC’s%20objectivity%2C%20independence.&text=The%20vires%20of%20the%20RTI,Shah%20asked%20the%20government%20lawyers.


The report ‘Making Peace with Nature’ is released by which of the following international organization?

United Nations Environment Programme

UN-Habitat

United Nations Development Programme

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Answer: (a) United Nations Environment Programme

Explanation:

In NEWS: Time to reset our relationship with nature: UN ahead of 5th Environment Assembly

  • Climate change, biodiversity loss and land degradation should be tackled together by transforming the world’s relationship with nature, said a new report released by United Nations ahead of its fifth Environment Assembly.
  • The new 168-page report called ‘Making Peace with Nature’ presents a strong case for innovation and investment to tackle climate, biodiversity and pollution —the three environmental emergencies within the framework of sustainable development goals. Hence option (a) is correct

Reports Highlights

  • Inequity in economic growth has left 1.3 billion people poor. At the same time, extraction of natural resources has multiplied three times creating a planetary emergency.
  • More than one million of the estimated 8 million plant and animal species are increasingly at risk of extinction.  Every year, nine million people die prematurely due to pollution.
  • Three sustainable development goals — poverty alleviation, food and water security and good health for all — will also be reached by addressing environmental crisis, said the report.
  • It advocates for advancements in science and bold policymaking for a carbon neutral world by 2050, while bending the curve on biodiversity loss and curbing pollution and waste.
  • Wetlands (remaining only 15%) are the most transformed and degraded ecosystem type. 60% of fish stocks are fished at maximum sustainable yield and only 7% are underexploited. Marine plastics pollution has increased tenfold since 1980, constituting 60–80% of marine debris

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/environment/time-to-reset-our-relationship-with-nature-un-ahead-of-5th-environment-assembly-75613


Which of the following statement are correct with respect to Kala Namak ?

It is a non-basmati scented rice variety grown primarily in tarai region of UP

It is a bacterial disease which only affects rice crop.

It is an herbivorous marine animal.

It is a Japanese technique of growing dense plantations

Answer: (a) It is a non-basmati scented rice variety grown primarily in tarai region of UP

Explanation:

  • In NEWS: UP to export 20 tonnes of ‘Kala Namak’ rice to Singapore by March end
  • A major boost to farm exports from Uttar Pradesh, the state is set to send a consignment of 20 tonnes of Buddha Rice, popularly known as “Kala Namak” Rice, one of the finest varieties of aromatic rice in India to Singapore

About ‘Kala Namak’ rice

  • It is a non-basmati scented rice variety grown primarily in tarai region of UP, is so named because its husk is black. Hence option (a) is correct
  • It is highly resistant to rice diseases such as panicle blast, stem rot and brown spot. Water requirement is also low compared to Basmati
  • Historically, Kalanamak rice was grown at Bajaha village in Siddharth Nagar district during the period of Lord Buddha. It is said that Lord Buddha broke his fast on the Hiranyavati bank with pudding made of the same rice and had distributed it as offering among devotees.
  • Also known as ‘Buddha ka Mahaprasad’ (an offering to Lord Buddha), the Kala Namak Rice has been rebranded as ‘Buddha Rice’, presenting it as an offering made to the Buddhist monks, in order to promote it in Buddhist countries.
  • The rice also finds mention in Chinese traveller Fa-hien’s account.
  • This rice is not only highly aromatic but also healthy and delicious. Birdpur block of Siddharth Nagar is specially known for the cultivation of this rice.
  • Meanwhile, a Kalanamak rice festival on the pattern of strawberry festival will be held in the state in near future. There is also a plan to set up a Kalanamak Rice Research Centre at Siddharth Nagar in cooperation with the International Rice Research Centre

Source: https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/up-to-export-20-tonnes-of-kala-namak-rice-to-singapore-by-march-end-121022200073_1.html


Consider the following Statements regarding Kalyani M4

It is a multi-role platform, designed to meet the requirements of the armed forces for quick mobility in rough terrain and in areas affected by mine and IED threats.

It offers best in-class levels of ballistic and blast protection.

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) Both1 and 2 

Explanation:

In NEWS: Army places emergency procurement order for Kalyani M4 armoured vehicles tested in Ladakh

  • The Army has ordered an emergency procurement of M4 armoured vehicles, which were tested in Ladakh during the standoff with China, from the Pune-based defence company Bharat Forge of the Kalyani group.
  • The Army is in need of wheeled armoured vehicles that can transport troops faster and capable of operating in high altitude regions.
  • Bharat Forge announced that it has received a ₹117.95-crore order from the Defence Ministry under emergency procurement to supply its Kalyani M4 Kalyani M4 armoured vehicles to the Army.

Features of Kalyani M4

  • The Kalyani M4, which will be built at the company’s Pune plant, is a multi-role platform, designed to meet the requirements of the armed forces for quick mobility in rough terrain and in areas affected by mine and IED threats. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • It has ballistic and blast protection from up to 50 kg TNT side blast, or IED or roadside bombs due to its design that is built on a flat-floor monocoque hull. With a thrust speed of 140 km per hour, the vehicle has a payload of 2.3 tonnes and an operating range of about 800 km. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The M4 is an original product of the South African arms firm Paramount Group but has been fine-tuned for Indian conditions by Bharat Forge.
  • All these acquisition proposals will be indigenously designed, developed and manufactured. 

Source: https://theprint.in/defence/army-places-emergency-procurement-order-for-kalyani-m4-armoured-vehicles-tested-in-ladakh/610278/


Consider the following Statements regarding India Urban Data Exchange (IUDX)

  1. It has been developed by the Smart Cities Mission in partnership with the NITI Aayog
  2. It is an open-source software platform facilitating a secure and authenticated exchange of data across several data platforms, data producers, 3rd party applications and consumers

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) Both1 and 2 

Explanation:

In NEWS: Govt launches National Urban Digital Mission for creating digital infra

  • The Central government launched National Urban Digital Mission’ to create a digital infrastructure for cities in the country
  • The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry (MoHUA) said the move will institutionalise a citizen-centric and ecosystem-driven approach to urban governance and service delivery in cities by 2022, and across all cities and towns by 2024.
  • Minister of Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad launched the National Urban Digital Mission’ (NUDM) at a virtual event.
  • The NUDM will create a shared digital infrastructure that can consolidate and cross-leverage the various digital initiatives of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, enabling cities and towns across India to benefit from holistic and diverse forms of support, in keeping with their needs and local challenges
  • ‘India Urban Data Exchange (IUDX)’ has been developed in partnership between the Smart Cities Mission and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • IUDX serves as a seamless interface for data providers and data users, including ULBs, to share, request, and access datasets related to cities, urban governance, and urban service delivery
  • IUDX is an open-source software platform which facilitates secure, authenticated, and managed exchange of data amongst various data platforms, third party authenticated and authorised applications, and other sources. Hence statement 2 is correct

Source: https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/govt-launches-national-urban-digital-mission-for-creating-digital-infra-121022301534_1.html


What is the application of Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Technology? 

  1. Production of biolarvicides 
  2. Manufacture of biodegradable plastics 
  3. Reproductive cloning of animals 
  4. Production of organisms free of diseases

Answer: (c) Reproductive cloning of animals 

Explanation:

  • Somatic-cell nuclear transfer involves removing the nucleus, which contains the DNA, and implanting it into an unfertilised eggwhose nucleus has been removed. It is used in reproductive cloning of organisms.