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Daily Prelims Test – 25_December 2020

Consider the following statements regarding Indian Antarctic Programme

  • It is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional program under the control of the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  • Under the program, atmospheric, biological, earth, chemical, and medical sciences are studied.

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: Explained: Why coronavirus in Antarctica isn’t an Indian worry yet

  • Antarctica is uninhabited except for those manning the nearly 60 permanent stations established by several countries, including India, for carrying out scientific research.
  • At least 36 people at a Chilean research station in Antarctica have been found infected with the novel coronavirus. This is the first instance of the virus on the icy, southernmost continent. Chile’s armed forces revealed the cases on Monday, but some of them could have been infected earlier

How far are the Indian stations?

  • As of now, the Indian contingent in Antarctica is not worried about the virus spreading. The two Indian permanent stations, Maitri and Bharati, are at least 5,000 km away from the Chilean base, according to M Ravichandran, director of the Goa-based National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) which is the nodal agency for India’s scientific expeditions in Antarctica and the Arctic.

About India’s Antarctic Programme/Missions:

  • The Indian Antarctic Programme is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional program under the control of the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, Ministry of Earth Sciences. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • It was initiated in 1981 with the first Indian expedition to Antarctica.
  • The first research station under the program was named Dakshin Gangotri.
  • Under the program, atmospheric, biological, earth, chemical, and medical sciences are studied. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • Currently, Maitri and Bharati are the active research stations under the program:

Maitri:

  • It was created in 1988 near Lake Priyadarshini (in Schirmacher Oasis) for conducting experiments in geology, geography and medicine.

Bharati:

  • It was commissioned in 2012 to facilitate year-round scientific research activity by the Indian Antarctic Programme.
  • It is located between Thala Fjord & Quilty bay.
  • Bharati made India an elite member of the club of 9 nations that have multiple stations in the region.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/antarctica-coronavirus-covid-19-indian-team-7117461/


Consider the following statements regarding Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme for Scheduled Castes

  • The scholarships are available for student’s studying in India only.
  • It allows students to pursue any course from class 11, with the support from the government providing for the cost of education.

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: Scheduled Castes post-matric scholarship plan | Union Cabinet approves changes including new funding pattern

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on December 23 approved changes to the post-matric scholarship scheme for students from the Scheduled Castes, including a new funding pattern of 60-40 for the Centre and States. The changes were aimed at enabling four crore students to access higher education over the next five years
  • Under the scheme, the government provides financial assistance to students from Scheduled Castes, whose household incomes are less than Rs 2.5 lakh annually, for higher education at post-matriculation and post-senior-secondary stages, which means Class XI onwards.

About Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme for Scheduled Castes:

  • It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme, implemented through State Government and UT administration.
  • The Scheme provides:
  • Financial assistance to the Scheduled Caste students studying at post matriculation or post-secondary stage to enable them to complete their education.
  • The scholarships are available for studies in India only and are awarded by the government of the State/Union Territory to which the applicant actually belongs i.e. permanently settled. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • It allows students to pursue any course from class 11, with the government providing for the cost of education. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • To support the parents of SC children for educating their wards, so that the incidence of drop outs at this stage is minimized.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/cabinet-nod-to-revising-post-matric-scholarship-scheme-for-sc-students-7117607/


Consider the following statements regarding UNESCo’s list of intangible cultural heritage

  • It is an annual list which focuses on those forms of performing art which are of outstanding value but are vulnerable due to lack of support.
  • A total of 6 Intangible cultural heritage (ICH) elements from India have been inscribed till date on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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: b) 2 only

Explanation

In News: Singapore’s beloved street hawker culture, now a Unesco ‘Intangible Heritage’

  • Intangible culture is that part of culture which cannot be touched but can only be recorded. It includes performing arts like song, music, drama, skills, crafts etc.
  • Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was adopted in 2003. India ratified it in 2007.
  • It is an annual list which focuses on those forms of performing art which are of outstanding value but are vulnerable due to lack of support. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • Domains: There are five broad ‘domains’ in which intangible cultural heritage is manifested:
    • Oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage;
    • Performing arts;
    • Social practices, rituals and festive events;
    • Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe;
    • Traditional craftsmanship.
  • total of 13 Intangible cultural heritage (ICH) elements from India have been inscribed till date on the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Hence statement 2 is incorrect.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/singapore-street-hawker-culture-unesco-intangible-heritage-7116621/


Shaheen IX is a joint military exercise between which of the following countries?

  • India and China
  • China and Pakistan
  • China and Nepal
  • India and Bangladesh

Answer: a) India and China

Explanation:

In NEWS: China justifies its military exercise with Pakistan amid apprehensions about India’s Malabar exercise

  • China has justified its ongoing joint air exercise “Shaheen-IX” with Pakistan, even though it had expressed apprehensions about India’s “Malabar exercise”. Hence option (a) is the correct answer.
  • China defended “Shaheen-IX” exercise with Pakistan air force as a routine arrangement, which experts believe is reflective of a larger strategic posture towards India.

Source: http://newsonair.com/News?title=China-justifies-its-military-exercise-with-Pakistan-amid-apprehensions-about-India%e2%80%99s-Malabar-exercise&id=406490


Consider the following Statements regarding Green National Highways Corridor

  • The Project will construct 783 kilometres of highways in various geographies by integrating safe and green technology designs such as local and marginal materials, industrial by-products and other bioengineering solutions.
  • The project will help reduce GHG emissions in the construction and maintenance of highways.
  • The Centre and the World Bank signed a USD 500 million project to build safe and green national highway corridors in Rajasthan,Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.

Select the correct answer using the code given below

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

Answer: d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: World Bank Signs $500 Million Project to Develop Green, Resilient and Safe Highways in India

  • The Centre and the World Bank signed a USD 500 million project to build safe and green national highway corridors in Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. Hence statement 3 is correct.
  • The Green National Highways Corridors Project will support the Road Transport and Highways Ministry to construct 783 kilometres of highways in various geographies by integrating safe and green technology designs such as local and marginal materials, industrial by-products and other bioengineering solutions. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • The project will help reduce GHG emissions in the construction and maintenance of highways. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • The project will also enhance the capacity of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in mainstreaming safety and green technologies.
  • The $500 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a maturity of 18.5 years including a grace period of five years.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1682770


He founded the Kisan Trust which is a non-political, non-profit making body with the aim of educating India’s rural masses against injustice, and fostering solidarity among them. National Farmer’s day is celebrated across the country on December 23 to honour India’s farmers and mark the birth anniversary of him. Who is he?

  • Charan Singh
  • Jaya Prakash Narayanan
  • Shahjanad Saraswati
  • None of the above

Answer: a) Charan Singh

Explanation:

In NEWS: Significance and history of Kisan Diwas or National Farmers’ Day

  • National Farmers’ Day, or Kisan Diwas, is celebrated across the country on December 23 to honour India’s farmers and mark the birth anniversary of the nation’s fifth prime minister, Choudhary Charan Singh.
  • On 23 December, 1978, he founded the Kisan Trust — a non-political, non-profit making body — with the aim of educating India’s rural masses against injustice, and fostering solidarity among them.
  • In 2001, the government decided to recognise Choudhary Charan Singh’s contribution to the agriculture sector and welfare of farmers by celebrating his birth anniversary as Kisan Diwas. Hence option (a) is the correct answer.

Source https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/kisan-diwas-national-farmers-day-explained-7116543/


It is a high-altitude wetland complex, consisting of two principal waterbodies, Startsapuk Tso, a freshwater lake of about 438 hectares to the south, and Tso Kar itself, a hypersaline lake of 1800 hectares to the north, situated in the Changthang region of Ladakh. It is an A1 Category Important Bird Area (IBA) as per Bird Life International and a key staging site in the Central Asian Flyway. The site is also one of the most important breeding areas of the Black-necked Crane (Grus nigricollis) in India. The site also add a 42nd Ramsar site in India. Which of the following site is mentioned above?

  • Pangong Tso Lake
  • Tso Moriri Lake
  • Dal Lake
  • Tso kar

Answer: b) Tso Moriri Lake

Explanation:

In News: Ladakh’s Startsapuk Tso, Tso Kar lake complex added to list of Ramsar site

  • India has added Tso Kar Wetland Complex in Ladakh as its 42nd Ramsar site, which is a second one in the Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh.
  • The Tso Kar Basin is a high-altitude wetland complex, consisting of two principal waterbodies, Startsapuk Tso, a freshwater lake of about 438 hectares to the south, and Tso Kar itself, a hypersaline lake of 1800 hectares to the north, situated in the Changthang region of Ladakh, India.
  • It is called Tso Kar, meaning white lake, because of the white salt efflorescence found on the margins due to the evaporation of highly saline water.
  • The Tso Kar Basin is an A1 Category Important Bird Area (IBA) as per Bird Life International and a key staging site in the Central Asian Flyway.
  • The site is also one of the most important breeding areas of the Black-necked Crane (Grus nigricollis) in India.
  • This IBA is also the major breeding area for Great Crested Grebe (Podicepscristatus), Bar-headed Geese (Anserindicus), Ruddy Shelduck (Tadornaferruginea), Brown-headed Gull (Larusbrunnicephalus), Lesser Sand-Plover (Charadriusmongolus) and many other species. Hence option (b) is the correct answer.

Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/ladakhs-startsapuk-tso-tso-kar-lake-complex-added-to-list-of-ramsar-site/articleshow/79937932.cms


Consider the following statements regarding Medium Range Surface to Air Missile

  • It is jointly developed by the Defense Research and Development Organization and Israel Aerospace Industries
  • It is a nuclear-capable ballistic missile system

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: India successfully test-fires Army version of medium-range surface-to-air missile

  • India successfully conducted the first Army version test of state-of-the-art Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) from a defence facility off Odisha coast
  • This most advanced sleek missile has been developed by India in a joint collaboration with Israel. The missile achieved a ‘direct hit’.
  • Jointly developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • Having a strike range of nearly 100 km, the 4.5-meter long nuclear-capable ballistic missile weighs around 2.7 tonne and can carry a payload of 60 kg. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The new generation MRSAM has been developed to neutralise airborne threats like jets, missiles and rockets, including projectiles launched simultaneously. The missile has a speed of Mach 2 and possesses high degrees of maneuverability at the target interception range.
  • Currently, MRSAM is already operational with the Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and Israel Defense Forces.

Source: https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2020/dec/23/india-successfully-test-fires-army-version-of-medium-range-surface-to-air-missile-2240165.html


Consider the following statements regarding Naegleria fowleri

  • It is a new, scary brain-eating amoeba has potential to damage the human brain and cause large scale inflammation.
  • It is usually found in warm fresh water

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: After UK COVID strain, new brain-eating amoeba ‘rapidly’ spreading in the US: Here’s all you need to know

  • A new scare has emerged in the form of an illness-causing amoeba, which could be much more infectious and deadly than COVID-19.
  • The news comes after a mysterious disease, ‘Eluru’ was discovered in districts of Andhra Pradesh, sending hundreds of patients to hospitals and raising an alarm.
  • A new, scary brain-eating amoeba could be one of the biggest things to worry about right now, since scientists feel that the infectious germ has the ability to cause rapid inflammation, swelling in the brain and much deadlier complications. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • First traced in Southern parts of the USA, the strain is rapidly making way to the Northern districts of the USA, because of the climatic changes.
  • The amoeba, as the name suggests has the potential to cause heavy damage to the vital parts of your body and cause large-scale inflammation.
  • Usually found in warm freshwater, the climatic changes have helped the amoeba spread to other parts of the USA, and as experts fear, to other countries across the globe as well since they have the ability to thrive in warm temperatures upto 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The amoeba, which is called naegleria fowleri is a single-cell amoeba, which is usually found in freshwater sources like rivers, ponds and lakes and causes an infection called PAM, or ‘primary amebic meningoencephalitis’, which can be fatal.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health-news/after-uk-covid-strain-new-brain-eating-amoeba-rapidly-spreading-in-the-us-heres-all-you-need-to-know/articleshow/79916832.cms


Which of the following is/are unique characteristic/characteristics of equatorial forests?

  • Presence of tall, closely set trees with crowns forming a continuous canopy
  • Coexistence of a large number of species
  • Presence of numerous varieties of epiphytes

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

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

Answer: (d) 1,2 and 3


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