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Daily Prelims Test – 24_July

1. Law Lab initiative is launched by which of the following international organisation?

1.United Nations Children’s Fund

2.World Health Organization

3.International Labour Organization

4.United Nations Economic and Social Council

Answer: (b) World Health Organization

Explanation:

In NEWS: COVID-19: A lab for Covid-related laws

  • In a bid to establish and implement strong legal frameworks to manage the coronavirus pandemic across the globe, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched COVID-19 Law Lab. Hence option (b) is correct
  • The initiative gathered and shared legal documents from over 190 countries across the world. The goal of the law lab is to ensure that laws protect the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities and that they adhere to international human rights standards.
  • The new Lab is a joint project of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), WHO, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University.
  • The covid-19 Law Lab is a database of laws that countries have implemented in response to the pandemic.
  • It includes state of emergency declarations, quarantine measures, disease surveillance, legal measures relating to mask-wearing, social distancing, and access to medication and vaccines. The database will continue to grow as more countries and themes are added.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/health/covid-19-a-lab-for-covid-related-laws-72451

2. Consider the following statements regarding the Contempt of Courts Act 1971

1.It confers upon certain courts power to punish individuals for contempt of themselves as also of subordinate courts.

2.It states that a person shall be guilty of contempt of court for publishing any fair comment on the merits of any case which has been heard and finally decided.

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: Supreme Court to hear contempt proceedings against advocate Prashant Bhushan and Twitter India

  • The Supreme Court has initiated suo motu (on its own) contempt proceedings against lawyer Prashant Bhushan for his alleged derogatory tweets against the judiciary.
  • As per the court if there is any issue with respect to the judgment delivered or procedure followed by the judiciary, then queries must be brought before the courts rather than humiliating the judiciary on social media platforms.

About Contempt of Courts Act 1971

  • Contempt refers to the offence of showing disrespect to the dignity or authority of a court.
  • The Act divides contempt into civil and criminal contempt.
  • Civil contempt refers to the wilful disobedience of an order of any court.
  • Criminal contempt includes any act or publication which: (i) ‘scandalises’ the court, or (ii) prejudices any judicial proceeding, or (iii) interferes with the administration of justice in any other manner. ‘Scandalising the Court’ broadly refers to statements or publications which have the effect of undermining public confidence in the judiciary.
  • The Act confers upon certain courts power to punish individuals for contempt of themselves as also of subordinate courts. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • A person shall not be guilty of contempt of court for publishing any fair comment on the merits of any case which has been heard and finally decidedHence statement 2 is incorrect.
  • A contempt of court may be punished with: Simple imprisonment which may extend to six months or Fine which may extend to two thousand rupees or With both.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sc-initiates-contempt-proceedings-against-advocate-prashant-bhushan-and-twitter-india/article32152711.ece

3. Recently, the first Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region has been published by the

1.Ministry of Earth Sciences

2.Ministry of Science and Technology

3.Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

4.Ministry of New and Renewable Energy

Answer: (a) Ministry of Earth Sciences

Explanation:

In NEWS: Heatwaves, floods, droughts: projections for India in coming decades

The first ‘Assessment of Climate Change over Indian Region’, released by the Ministry of Earth Sciences recently, warns of tropical cyclones, thunderstorms, heat waves, floods and droughts in India unless mitigation measures are adopted soon. The projections are for the decades leading to the end of the 21st century. Hence option (a) is correct

Temperature

  • Surface air temperature over India has risen by 0.6°C per year during 1901-2018.
  • Regions of North India have undergone warming more than the South, where warming has been mainly during winters.
  • Every decade between 1951-2015 had 7.4 warmer days and 3.1 warmer nights than the annual averages for daily maximum and nightly minimum respectively.
  • The frequency of warm days is projected to increase by 55% and that of warm nights by 70%, both relative to 1976- 2005.
  • In coming decades, the average duration of heatwaves during April-June is projected to double, and their frequency to rise by 3 to 4 times compared to 1976-2005.
  • By the end of the 21st century, average temperature over India is projected to rise by 4.4°C, relative to the average temperature during 1976-2005.
  • Sea surface temperatures on the tropical Indian Ocean have been rising by an average 1°C annually over 1951-2015.

Monsoon

  • During 1951-2015, annual rainfall over India showed a declining trend. The reduction ranged between 1-5 mm over central India, Kerala and the far Northeast regions.
  • Contrarily, precipitation increased over J&K and Northwest India.
  • The coming decades are projected to witness a considerable rise in the mean, extreme and inter-annual variability of rainfall associated with monsoon.

Droughts and floods

  • Since the 1950s, the frequency and intensity of both heavy rainfall events and dry days have gone up. These trends are prominent over Central India and South Peninsular regions during the southwest monsoon (June-September) and northeast monsoon (October-December) respectively.
  • Since 1901, India has experienced 22 droughts during monsoon. In addition to an increase in the area under drought, frequency and severity too have increased during 1951-2016.
  • Flood risks are higher over the east coast, West Bengal, eastern Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Konkan and cities like Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.
  • The Himalayan flood basins are projected to greater floods, due to the faster glacial and snow melting. Major flooding events are projected over the Brahmaputra, Ganga and Indus.
  • Central India, Kerala, and some areas in South Peninsular and Eastern India experienced at least two droughts during 1901-2016.
  • Projections suggest an increase by one or two events per decade over Central and Northern India. Eastern India could face two more droughts per decade compared to what was experienced during 1976-2005, while the Southern Peninsula is projected to experience one or two droughts fewer.

Sea level

  • During 1993-2015, the sea level over the North Indian Ocean (Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal) rose by 3.3 mm per year, which is in tune with the Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) rise.
  • In an extreme climate scenario projected by the report, a risk of inundation looms over Andhra Pradesh and Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta basins. By 2030, some 340 million coastal residents of the North Indian Ocean and its islands would be exposed to coastal hazards.

Tropical cyclones

  • Before the 1950s, 94 severe cyclonic storms formed in the Bay of Bengal, a number that jumped to 140 post the 1950s. For those formed in the Arabian Sea, the number has risen from 29 to 44 in the same period.
  • Storms in the Arabian Sea are gaining more strength and the trend is projected to continue. The number of extremely severe cyclonic storms formed in the Arabian Sea has increased in the last 20 years.

Himalaya snow cover

  • During the last seven decades, the Hindukush Himalayas have warmed at an average 0.2°C per decade, leading to a decline in snow cover and glaciers in the last four to five decades. The Karakoram Himalayas have reported an increase in snowfall during winter.
  • By the end of the century, the Hindukush Himalayas are projected to be warmer by 2.6-4.6°C.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/heatwaves-floods-droughts-projections-for-india-in-coming-decades-6518976/

4. Consider the following statements regarding Project Elephant

1.It was launched in 1992 to provide financial and technical support of wildlife management efforts by states for wild Asian Elephants.

2.Presently, the project is being implemented in 22 States/UTs

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: Asian elephant cubs show handedness in trunk behaviour earlier than adult usage of trunks

  • Researchers from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India found that Asian Elephant calves develop handedness (right or left-side bias) in trunk usage quite early. Analogous to human infants showing right-handedness or left-handedness soon after birth.
  • The study was published recently in the International Journal of Developmental Biology.
  • The team of researchers observed 30 unique calves from 11 distinct clans (female social groups) in Kabini Elephant Project in Nagarahole and Bandipur National Parks from December 2015 to December 2017 to look at the development of trunk motor control, laterality in trunk usage, and various social and non-social behaviours.

About Project Elephant (PE):

  • Presently, the project is being implemented in 22 States/UTs. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • It aims to provide financial and technical support of wildlife management efforts by states for their free ranging populations of wild Asian Elephants, and to ensure long-term survival of viable conservation reliant populations of elephants in their natural habitats by protecting the elephants, their habitats and migration corridors. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • Project Elephant has been formally implementing MIKE (Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants) programme of CITES in 10 ERs since January 2004.
  • Project Elephant (PE) was launched by the Government of India in the year 1992 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with following objectives :
  • To protect elephants, their habitat & corridors
  • To address issues of man-animal conflict
  • Welfare of captive elephants

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1640359

5. Consider the following statements regarding about International Union of Railways

1.It is the global platform for railway systems working on interoperability, developing common technical standards for railways across the world

2.It is headquartered in Paris, France.

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: DG RPF Arun Kumar nominated as Vice-Chairman of International Union of Railways

  • Arun Kumar, Director General of the Railway Protection Force (RPF), has been nominated to be the vice-chairman of the Security Platform of the Union Internationale Des Chemins/International Union of Railways (UIC).
  • His tenure as the Vice-Chairman of the Security platform will last from July 2020 to July 2022. And then take over as Chairman of the Security Platform from July 2022 to July 2024.

About International Union of Railways

  • The UIC is the global platform for railway systems working on interoperability, developing common technical standards for railways across the world. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • Established in 1922 and headquartered in Paris, FranceHence statement 2 is correct.

Overall objectives for UIC
To enable UIC to effectively fulfil its mission, 3 levels have been defined for international cooperation activities:

  • Strategic level: coordination with and bet­ween the 6 UIC Regions created as part of the new Governance (activities steered by the UIC Regional Assemblies for Africa, Asia, North America, South America, Europe and Middle-East).
  • Technical/professional cooperation level (structured around the following railway activities): Passenger, Freight, Rail System –
    including infrastructure, rolling stock, opera­tions – and Fundamental Values including cross-sector activities such as Sustainable Development, Research Coordination, Safety, Security, Expertise Development). Strategic priorities for technical cooperation activities are set out by forums and platforms composed of member representatives.
  • Support services level: (Finance, Human Resources, Legal, Communications and Institutional Relations).

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/dg-rpf-arun-kumar-nominated-as-vice-chairman-of-international-union-of-railways-6518722/

6. Consider the following statements about Sacred Groves

Sacred groves are exclusively protected under Wildlife Protection Act, 1972

It refers to a piece of natural vegetation that is protected by a certain community due to religious reasons.

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: Sacred groove of Kerela is now online

Under the online exhibition series of Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS), today “Kavu”- a sacred grove from Kerala Exhibition of IGRMS has been presented online with its basic information and photographs and videos.

‘Kaavu’ are numerous throughout the length and breadth of Kerala. These sacred groves perform a unique role in bio-diversity management in Kerala.

About Sacred Groves

  • It is referred to a piece of natural vegetationthat is protected by a certain community due to religious reasons. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • Hunting and deforestation in these areas are banned but other activities with a more sustainable process such as honey and deadwood collection are allowed.
  • The Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2002, provides government protectionto these lands. Hence statement 1 is incorrect.
  • The groves are treasure houses of rare species, and medicinal and economically important plants.
  • A strong concentration of these groves is found in Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Bihar, Meghalaya and Maharashtra.
  • They go by different names like ‘koyil kaadu’ in Tamil, ‘orans’ in Rajasthan‘devara kaadu’ in Karnataka, and ‘sernas’ in Madhya Pradesh.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/events/bhopal/sacred-groove-of-kerela-is-now-online/articleshow/77133315.cms

7. Consider the following statements regarding Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA)

It is led by the Forestry Department of the World Food Programme

According to this, India has ranked third among the top 10 countries that have gained in forest areas in the last decade

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: India among top 10 countries gaining forest area in the world: FAO

  • India has ranked third among the top 10 countries that have gained in forest areas in the last decade, the latest Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) brought out by the Food and Agriculture Organization. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • The top 10 countries that have recorded the maximum average annual net gains in forest area during 2010-2020 are China, Australia, India, Chile, Vietnam, Turkey, the United States, France, Italy and Romania, according to the FRA 2020. India accounts for two per cent of total global forest area.
  • The Asian continent reported the highest net gain in forest area in 2010-2020, according to the report. It recorded 1.17 million hectares (ha) per year net increase in forests in the last decade.
  • However, the South Asia sub-region reported net forest losses during 1990-2020. But, this decline would have been much higher without the net gain in India’s forest during this period, according to FRA 2020.
  • During the decade under assessment, India reported 0.38 per cent annual gain in forest, or 266,000 ha of forest increase every year at an average. The FRA 2020 has credited the government’s Joint Forest Management programme for the significant increase in community-managed forest areas in the Asian continent.
  • The forest area managed by local, tribal and indigenous communities in India increased from zero in 1990 to about 25 million ha in 2015
  • India reported the maximum employment in the forestry sector in the world.
  • Globally, 12.5 million people were employed in the forestry sector. Out of this, India accounted for 6.23 million, or nearly 50 per cent.

About Global Forest Resources Assessment

  • The Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) reports on the status and trends of the world’s forest resources.
  • It is led by the Forestry Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Hence statement 1 is incorrect.
  • The FRA reports the extent of the world’s forest area as well as other variables, including land tenure and access rights, sustainable forest management (SFM), legal and institutional frameworks for forest conservation, and sustainable use.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/forests/india-among-top-10-countries-gaining-forest-area-in-the-world-fao-72454

8. Consider the following statements regarding Lonar Lake

It is one of the four known hyper-velocity impact craters in basaltic rock anywhere on Earth.

This water in the lake is both saline and alkaline

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: Conservation, preservation key to Lonar lake development: HC

The development of Lonar lake, which recently turned pink, also includes conserva­tion and preservation of the water body, the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court

About Lonar Lake:

  • The oval­shaped Lonar lake, believed to have formed after a meteorite hit the earth some 50,000 years ago, is a popular tourist hub in Buldhana district of Maha­rashtra
  • It is one of the four known, hyper-velocity, impact craters in basaltic rock anywhere on Earth. The other three are located in Brazil. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • The meteor crater rim is about 1.8 kilometres in diameter.
  • The water in the lake is both saline and alkaline. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • It is a notified National Geo-heritage Monument. NGMs are geographical areas of national importance and heritage, as notified by Geological Survey of India (GSI), for their maintenance, protection, promotion and enhancement of geotourism.

Source: TH

9. Tianwen-1 mission is associated with

South Korean’s communication satellite

Indonesia’s earth observation satellite

Japan’s moon mission

China’s Mars mission

Answer: (c) China’s Mars mission

Explanation:

In NEWS: China launches ambitious Mars mission

  • China launched its most am­bitious Mars mission yet on Thursday in a bold attempt to join the U.S. in successful­ ly landing a spacecraft on the red planet.
  • China’s first Mars probe is called Tianwen-1 (formerly Huoxing 1), which means “Questions to Heaven”. The spacecraft consists of an orbiter, a lander and a rover, and the mission aims to study the thickness and sub-layer distribution of the Martian soil. Hence option (d) is correct
  • The scientific goals of the mission include studying Martian topography and geology and determining the composition of the surface material, climate and environment.
  • Tianwen-1 will reach the Red Planet’s orbit in February 2021. The rover will land on Mars in May.
  • The orbiter will use high-resolution cameras to search for a suitable landing site somewhere in the Utopia Planitia region. It weighs around 240 kg and will carry cameras, a subsurface radar, a spectrometer, a magnetometer, and atmospheric sensors.

Source: TH

10. Consider the following in respect of ‘National Career Services’:

National Career Service is an initiative of the Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India.

National Career Service has been launched in a Mission Mode to improve the employment opportunities to uneducated youth of the country.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  • 1 only
  • 2 only
  • Both 1 and 2
  • Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

National Career Service (NCS) project is an initiative launched by the Ministry of Labour and Employment (India) Government of India as a Mission Mode Project for establishing quick and efficient career related services. Hence statement 1 is incorrect.

The main stakeholders for the NCS would include:

– Unemployed candidates seeking jobs

– Students seeking career counseling

– Candidates seeking vocational / occupational guidance

– Illiterate, under-privileged sections of society, blue-collar workers seeking placements and guidance

– Person with different abilities (PWDs), ex-servicemen, veterans / senior citizens, etc.

– Employers seeking suitable candidates Thus statement 2 is correct