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Daily Prelims Test – 24_October_2021

1. With respect to Bio Enzymes, consider the following statements:

1) They are produced through fermentation of organic waste.

2) They can be used as natural cleansers.

3) They are used against bacterial and fungal diseases.

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: How some Punjab farmers are creating bio-enzymes from kinnow

●    Around a 100 farmers in Punjab, specially in the kinnow belt, have started making BEs from this waste fruit — peel and ‘D’ grade, very small kinnows.

●    The start of kinnow season in Punjab also brings with it the falling fruit, which is considered a total waste by farmers. But this fallen fruit can prove a boon to improve soil, water, air, depleting ground water, water contamination and overall ecology

●    Farmers can collect these dropped fruits from their kinnow fields and prepare bio-enzymes (BEs) at a low cost.

What are bio-enzymes?

●    Bio-enzymes are organic solutions produced through fermentation of organic waste including various fruits, vegetable peels and flowers, by mixing in sugar, jaggery/molasses and water. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    It takes 60-100 days to ferment organic waste.

●    To fasten the fermentation, yeast can be used as culture to prepare it in 45-50 days.

●    BE’s also have a lot of usage in our daily lives. They can be used as natural cleansers. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    The bio enzymes are used against bacterial diseases such as black rot and also against fungal diseases. Hence statement (3) is correct.

●    They have good microbes that help to replenish soil.

●    It helps in better water recharging and also stops the contamination of water by improving the health of soil.

●    In a state like Punjab where the water table is depleting fast and water contamination is also a major issue, BEs can bring the soil back to life.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/how-some-punjab-farmers-are-creating-bio-enzymes-from-kinnow-7582569/

2. Consider the following statements regarding Deputy Speaker:

1) The Deputy Speaker does not have the same powers as the Speaker when presiding over a sitting of the House.

2) While the office of Speaker is vacant, the duties of the office can be performed by the Deputy Speaker.

3) The post of deputy speaker is not available in the State legislature as per the constitution.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 and 3 only

b) 2 only

c)  2 and 3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: Questions around the election of Deputy Speaker

There is an ongoing row in Uttar Pradesh Assembly over the election of Dy Speaker, the post which was lying vacant for two years

What does the Constitution say about the Deputy Speaker?

●    Article 93 says: “The House of the People shall, as soon as may be, choose two members of the House to be respectively Speaker and Deputy Speaker thereof and, so often as the office of Speaker or Deputy Speaker becomes vacant, the House shall choose another member to be Speaker or Deputy Speaker, as the case may be.”

●    Article 178 contains the corresponding position for Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of a stateHence statement (3) is incorrect.

●    Articles 93 and 178 use the words “shall” and “as soon as may be”.

●    This indicates that not only is the election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker mandatory, it must be held at the earliest.

Time-frame and rules for the election of the Deputy Speaker

●    The practice in both Lok Sabha and the state Legislative Assemblies has been to elect the Speaker during the first session of the new House.

●    This usually falls on the third day after oath-taking and affirmations take place over the first two days.

●    The election of the Deputy Speaker usually takes place in the second session, even though there is no bar on having this election too in the first session.

Powers of the Speaker extend to the Deputy Speaker as well

●    Article 95(1) says: “While the office of Speaker is vacant, the duties of the office shall be performed by the Deputy Speaker”. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    After the first Speaker, G V Mavalankar, died in harness, M Ananth Ayyangar officiated as Acting Speaker for the remaining tenure of the House (from March 7, 1956 till May 1957), and was then elected Speaker of the second Lok Sabha.

●    In general, the Deputy Speaker has the same powers as the Speaker when presiding over a sitting of the HouseHence statement (1) is incorrect.

●    All references to the Speaker in the Rules are deemed to be references to the Deputy Speaker when he presides.

●    It has been repeatedly held that no appeal lies to the Speaker against a ruling given by the Deputy Speaker or any person presiding over a sitting of the House in the absence of the Speaker.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/uttar-pradesh-assembly-deputy-speaker-election-nitin-agrawal-7582446/

3. Consider the following statements regarding Non-Transgenic Gene Editing:

1) It helps to create resilient, high-yield rice without inserting foreign DNA into the plant.

2) In India, this technique is allowed by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC).

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: Guidelines for non-transgenic gene editing techniques pending since January 2020

●    Centre investigates allegations that unauthorised genetically modified (GM) rice was exported to Europe

●    It is yet to decide on a research proposal from its own scientists which would allow plants to be genetically modified without the need for conventional transgenic technology.

●    The IARI has previously worked on golden rice, a traditional GM variety which inserted genes from other organisms into the rice plant, but ended trials over five years ago due to agronomic issues

●    The Institute has now moved to newer technologies such as Site Directed Nuclease (SDN) 1 and 2. They aim to bring precision and efficiency into the breeding process using gene editing tools such as CRISPR

●    IARI is using these techniques to develop rice varieties which are drought-tolerant, salinity-tolerant and high-yielding.

●    The U.S., Canada, Australia and Japan are among the countries which have already approved the SDN 1 and 2 technologies as not akin to GM, so such varieties of rice can be exported without any problem.

●    The US, Canada, Australia and Japan are among the countries which have already approved the SDN 1 and 2 technologies as not akin to GM.

●    So, such varieties of rice can be exported without any problem.

●    The European Food Safety Authority has also submitted its opinion that these technologies do not need the same level of safety assessment as conventional GM.

What is Non-Transgenic Gene Editing?

●    Unlike the older GM technology which involves the introduction of foreign DNA, the new proposal involves the use of gene editing tools to directly tweak the plant’s own genes instead.

●    It does not involve inserting any foreign DNAHence statement (1) is correct

●    Scientists at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) are in the process of developing resilient and high-yield rice varieties using such gene editing techniques.

●    They hope to have such rice varieties in the hands of the Indian farmers by 2024.

●    However, this proposal has been pending with the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) for almost two years. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/agriculture/guidelines-for-non-transgenic-gene-editing-techniques-pending-since-january-2020/article37113370.ece

4. Which of the following commonly known beach sand minerals that are found along the coastal regions of peninsular India?

1) Bauxite

2) Garnet

3) Ilmenite

4) Zircon

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a)  2, 3 and 4 only

b) 1 and 2 only

c)  3 and 4 only

d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer: (a) 2, 3 and 4 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Five years of curbs later, Govt keen to open beach sand minerals mining

●    The proposal in the Prime Minister’s action plan to open two restricted sectors — beach sand minerals and offshore mining — for exploration by the private sector seeks to reverse a series of measures taken by the Centre over the last five years

●    The proposal to set up a panel to reopen the sector to private participation could have strategic implications, given that monazite and other minerals such as garnet, ilmenite and zircon — commonly known as beach sand minerals as they are found along the coastal regions of peninsular India — are refined and used in stages of the country’s nuclear power programme and hi-tech defence electronics applications. Hence option (a) is correct.

●    At 13 percent of the world reserves, India has the third-largest stash of beach sand minerals and meets 6-7 percent of global demand.

●    Two Sectors are currently restricted – Beach sand minerals (only the Department of Atomic Energy can do mining) and Offshore mining (currently only through PSUs). A High level Committee may be set up for opening up these two sectors for exploration and production by the private sector.

●    The NDA government had issued a detailed notification in July 2019 for reserving the prospecting and mining rights of offshore minerals under Offshore Areas Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 2002, exclusively to government-owned companies and entities, after specifically citing the need to “safeguard” strategic interest of the country and curbing illegal mining of atomic.

Bauxite Distribution in India

●     Odisha alone accounts for 52 per cent

●     Andhra Pradesh 18 per cent

●     Gujarat 7 per cent

●     Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra 5 per cent each

●     Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand 4 per cent.

●     Major bauxite resources are in the east coast in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.

●     India manages to export small quantities of bauxite.

●     Major importers are Italy (60%), U.K. (25%), Germany (9%) and Japan (4%).

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/sand-minerals-mining-modi-govt-private-sector-7585816/

5. Consider the following statements:

1) The largest concentration of monazite sand is found on the Odisha coast.

2) Ilmenite is the mineral from which thorium is extracted.

3) Thorium is a key ingredient of India’s three-stage nuclear programme that can be turned into nuclear fuel.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 and 3 only

b) 1,2 and 3

c)  2 and 3 only

d) 3 only

Answer: (d) 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Five years of curbs later, Govt keen to open beach sand minerals mining

●    Among these beach sand minerals is monazite, the mineral from which thorium is extracted. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

●    Thorium is a key ingredient of India’s three-stage nuclear programme that can be turned into nuclear fuel after being combined with a fissile material such as plutonium. Hence statement (3) is correct.

●    Since the other beach sand minerals and monazite generally occur together

Monazite:

●    Monazite is a reddish-brown phosphate mineral containing rare earth metals.

●    Rare earths are a series of chemical elements found in the Earth’s crust that are vital to many modern technologies, including consumer electronics, computers and networks, communications, clean energy, advanced transportation, health care, environmental mitigation, national defense, and many others.

●    There are 17 elements that are considered to be rare earth elements, specifically the fifteen lanthanides plus scandium and yttrium.

●    Although monazite sands occur on east and west coasts and in some places in Bihar, the largest concentration of monazite sand is on the Kerala coast. Over 15,200 tonnes of uranium is estimated to be contained in monazite. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/sand-minerals-mining-modi-govt-private-sector-7585816/

6. Consider the following statements regarding Furlough:

1) It is not a matter of right for a prisoner.

2) It is given in cases of short-term imprisonment.

3) It is covered under The Prisons Act of 1894.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 and 3 only

b) 3 only

c)  2 and 3 only

d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: (b) 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: SC sets aside Gujarat HC order granting furlough to Asaram Bapu’s son

●    The Supreme Court set aside the order of the Gujarat High Court granting 14-day furlough to rape convict Narayan Sai, son of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu.

●    Rule 3(2) of the Bombay Furlough and Parole Rules 1959, provides that a prisoner sentenced to life imprisonment may be released on furlough every year after he completes seven years actual imprisonment.

Furlough:

●    Furlough is given in cases of long-term imprisonment.   The period of furlough granted to a prisoner is treated as remission of his sentence. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

●    Unlike parole, furlough is seen as a matter of right for a prisoner, to be granted periodically irrespective of any reason, and merely to enable the prisoner to retain family and social ties, and to counter the ill-effects of prolonged time spent in prison. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.

●    Furlough can be obtained thrice a year.

●    Furlough is covered under The Prisons Act of 1894. Hence statement (3) is correct.

Source: https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/sc-sets-aside-gujarat-hc-order-granting-furlough-to-asaram-bapu-s-son-121102000328_1.html

7. With reference to Aborichthys, consider the following statements:

1) It is an elongate and slender-bodied bottom dwelling freshwater stone loach fish.

2) These fishes are endemic to the eastern Himalayas.

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:

In NEWS: Arunachal college spots 3 new fish species

●    Department of Zoology of Dera Natung Government College of Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh has discovered three new species of fish of genus Aborichthys of family Nemachelidae.

●    The three fish species discovered have been named as Aborichthys uniobarensis, Aborichthys barapensis and Aborichthys palinensis.

●    These fish species are distributed in streams like Senki, Barap and Palin, which are the tributaries of Brahmaputra river system.

●    Arunachal Pradesh, a land of rivers, is known for its rich biodiversity. The Eastern Himalaya is one of the four major biodiversity hotspots of India. It is endemic to more than 20 per cent fauna of India, including the fish species.

Aborichthys

●    Aborichthys is an elongate and slender-bodied bottom-dwelling freshwater stone loach fish that inhabits the moderate-to-fast flowing water of mountain rivers, streams and drainages of the Brahmaputra river basin. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    These fishes are endemic to the eastern HimalayasHence statement (2) is correct.

●    The fishes of this species are characterised by narrow oblique bars on the body, with a black ocellus at the upper extremity of the caudal-fin base and a rounded or truncated caudal fin.

Sourcehttps://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/arunachal-college-spots-3-new-fish-species-79814

8. Consider the following statements regarding Sandbox construction technique:

1) It flourished under the rule of Rudradeva Maharaja of satavahana dynasty.

2) It acts as a cushion in case of earthquakes.

3) It can also be an efficient earthquake proof technique in tall buildings like skyscrapers.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 and 3 only

b) 2 only

c)  2 and 3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy Unveils The UNESCO World Heritage Listing Plaque At Ramappa – Kakatiya Rudreshwar Temple In Telangana

●    The Union Minister unveiled the plaque of the World Heritage Site Inscription of the Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple of Mulugu, Telangana

●    Several ministers and public representatives of the Government of Telangana and officials of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and officials from the Ministry of Tourism and relevant officers in the Telangana state government were also present.

Sandbox construction technique:

●    The ‘sandbox’ technique was quite unique to the Kakatiya dynasty and was used by Kakatiya rulers for construction of the famous Ramappa Temple and the Thousand Pillar Temple in Warangal. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.

●    The technique involved filling the pit — dug up for laying foundation — with a mixture of sand lime, jaggery (for binding) and karakkaya (black myrobalan fruit), before the buildings were constructed on these ‘sandboxes’.

●    The sandbox in the foundation acts as a cushion in case of earthquakes. Most of the vibrations caused by earthquakes lose their strength while passing through the sand by the time they reach the actual foundation of the building. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    For making concrete buildings earthquake-resistant and that sandbox technique is even long-lasting and more beneficial than the modern techniques

●    Elastomeric Base Isolation technique is used in making a building earthquake-resistant as part of which rubber is used in the foundation which gets worn out in a span of 30 to 40 years and needs more maintenance.

●    The sandbox technique has its limitation that it cannot be used in construction of tall buildings like skyscrapers though it can be easily used in shear-predominant structures, which are the most common form of buildings in India. Hence statement (3) is incorrect.

Source: PIB

9. The term Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed is seen in news, it is associated with

a)  India

b) United State of America

c)  United Kingdom

d) Europe Union

Answer: (d) Europe Union

Explanation:

●    The EU flagged 500 tonnes of rice converted to flour for GM content, and claimed it was from India. Now, anti-GM groups have written to the government alleging ‘contamination or leaks’.

●    The controversy started in June 2021 when the European Commission’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) flagged 500 tonnes of rice converted to rice flour by France’s Westhove.

●    The consignment of rice, claimed to have originated from India, was flagged for GM content. GM food is a matter of great debate within Europe, with various countries expressing opposition to it.

●    After the RASFF’s alert, France notified various countries which were possible destinations of products made with that particular rice flour. This also led to various food products being recalled by big companies across the globe.

Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed:

●    The EU has one of the highest food safety standards in the world – largely thanks to the solid set of EU legislation in place, which ensures that food is safe for consumers. Hence option (d) is correct.

●    A key tool to ensure the flow of information to enable swift reaction when risks to public health are detected in the food chain is RASFF – the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed.

●    Created in 1979, RASFF enables information to be shared efficiently between its members (EU Member State national food safety authorities, Commission, EFSA, ESA, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland) and provides a round-the-clock service to ensure that urgent notifications are sent, received and responded to collectively and efficiently.

Source: TH

10. With reference to ‘Urban Cooperative banks’ in India consider the following statements:

1) They are supervised and regulated by local boards set up by the State Governments.

2) They can issue equity shares and preference shares.

3) They were brought under the purview of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 through an Amendment in 1966.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c)  1 and 3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (b) 2 and 3 only

Explanation:

●    Large cooperative banks with paid-up share capital and reserves of Rs.1 lakh were brought under the preview of the Banking Regulation Act 1949 with effect from 1st March, 1966 and within the ambit of the Reserve Bank’s supervision. This marked the beginning of an era of duality of control over these banks.

●    Banking related functions (viz. licensing, area of operations, interest rates etc.) were to be governed by RBI and registration, management, audit and liquidation, etc. governed by State Governments as per the provisions of respective State Acts. So the control of the RBI was partial and it shared the control with the registrar of cooperative societies of States, giving rise to the much-discussed dual control and the difficulties it posed to the central bank. Hence statement (3) is correct.

●    The recent Banking Regulation (Amendment) Act 2020 enables the RBI to get all the powers, including those hitherto exclusively with the registrar of cooperative societies. However, powers of registrar continue to be with him but the powers of RBI override those of registrar. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.

●    While the amendment gives the required powers to the RBI to take timely action and steps to prevent UCBs from failing so that depositors’ monies are protected, which was the main purpose of the amendment, it also enjoins upon the central bank to make regulations under BR Act without compromising on the cooperative nature and cooperative principles of the banks.

●    The Reserve Bank has given new guidelines allowing primary urban cooperative banks (UCBs) to augment capital through issuance of equity shares, preference shares and debt instruments. The UCBs, it said, could raise share capital by issue of equity to persons within their area of operation enrolled as members and also through additional equity shares to the existing members. Hence statement (2) is correct.