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Daily Prelims Test – 25_July

1.Consider the following statements regarding the COVAX alliance.

  • It is a facility that aims to guarantee rapid, fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for every country in the world
  • It is co-led by Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and WHO.

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: Securing access to Covid vaccine

  • More than 75 countries have expressed interest in joining the COVAX financing scheme designed to guarantee fast and equitable access globally to COVID-19 vaccines, the GAVI vaccines alliance
  • The 75 countries, which would finance the vaccines from public budgets, will partner with up to 90 poorer countries supported through voluntary donations to GAVI’s COVAX Advance Market Commitment
  • COVAX alliance is a facility that aims to guarantee rapid, fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for every country in the world.Hence statement 1 is correct
  • COVAX is co-led by GAVI, the World Health Organization and the CEPI Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation Its aim is to deliver 2 billion doses of effective, approved COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The alliance also forms a key part of the Access to COVID-19 Tools(ACT) Accelerator.

Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/blogs/et-editorials/securing-access-to-covid-vaccine/

2.The well -known painting Madhubani art belongs to the

  • Andhra Pradesh region
  • Bihar region
  • Karnataka region
  • Kerala region

Answer: (b) Bihar region

Explanation:

In NEWS:Meet Remant Kumar Mishra, the Madhubani artist also known as the ‘mask man’ of Bihar

When the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic hit India in March, noted Madhubani artist Remant Kumar Mishra, 37, decided to turn adversity into an opportunity. Now going by a new sobriquet of Bihar’s “mask man”, Mr. Mishra despatches masks with hand-painted Madhubani motifs all over India.

About Madhubani art

  • Madhubani painting (Mithila painting) was traditionally created by the women of various communities in the Mithila region of the Indian subcontinent, though today men are also involved to meet the demand.
  • It originated from Madhubani district of the Mithila region of Bihar. Hence option (b) is correct
  • Initially, women from village drew paintings on freshly plastered mud walls of their home as illustration of their thoughts, hopes and dreams using fingers and twigs forming two-dimensional imagery using paste of powdered rice.
  • With time, it became part of festivities and special events like marriage. It was made from paste of powdered rice. Now art is also painted on cloth, handmade paper and canvas.
  • The colours used in paintings are usually derived from plants and other natural sources.
  • The central themes of Mithila paintings are based on Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
  • Its main theme is supported by traditional geometric patterns.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/meet-remant-kumar-mishra-the-madhubani-artist-also-known-as-the-mask-man-of-bihar/article32163974.ece

3.Consider the following statements regarding the Haloarchaea or Halophilic archaea

  • It is a fungus which produces pink pigment in lonar lake.
  • It require high salt concentrations to grow.

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:Lonar lake in Maharashtra’s Buldhana district turned pink due to ‘Haloarchaea’ microbes: probe

  • The colour of Lonar lake water in Maharashtra’s Buldhana district turned pink due to a large presence of the salt-loving ‘Haloarchaea’ microbes, a probe carried out by a Pune-based institute has concluded.
  • Haloarchaea or halophilic archaea is a bacteria culture which produces pink pigment and is found in water saturated with salt, Agharkar Research Institute Director Dr. Prashant Dhakephalkar. Hence statement 1 is incorrect
  • The increased salinity and pH facilitated the growth of halophilic microbes, mainly Haloarchae
  • This bacteriais ingested by these birds and they get carotenoid-rich food, because of that their plumage is pink in colour. So before we noticed it, these flamingos might have noticed the red colour at the lake and landed there
  • These microorganisms require high salt concentrations to grow.Hence statement 2 is correct
  • Haloarchaea can grow aerobically or anaerobically.
  • These bacteria can be used in growing vegetation in hypersaline regions.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/lonar-lake-turned-pink-due-to-haloarchaea-microbes-probe/article32161619.ece

4.Consider the following statements regarding the Indian Scholastic Assessment (Ind-SAT) 

  • It is an exam conducted for grant of scholarships and admissions to foreign students for studying in select Indian universities under the Study in India programme
  • It is an initiative launched by the Ministry of HRD

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:MHRD conducts first-ever IND-SAT 2020 in online mode, 5000 appeared

  • The first-ever Indian Scholastic Assessment Test, IND-SAT 2020 was conducted under MHRD’s ‘Study in India’ programme.
  • Ind-SAT is held for granting scholarships and admissions to foreign students for studying in select Indian universities under the Study in India programme. The exam is designed to gauge the scholastic capability of students applying to study in India. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The Ind-SAT scores will serve as a criterion to shortlist the meritorious students for the allocation of scholarships for undergraduate as well as postgraduate programmes under ‘Study in India’ programme.
  • It is implemented by EdCIL (Educational Consultants of India), a Central Public Sector Enterprises(CPSE) under the Ministry of Human Resource Development(MHRD).Hence statement 2 is correct
  • Study in India is a flagship programme of MHRD under which foreign students come to study in 116 select higher education institutions in the country for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/education/hrd-conducts-first-ever-online-ind-sat-2020-5000-appeared-studyinindia-gov-in-6521240/

5.Consider the following statements regarding Gram Sabha

  • It is not defined in the Constitution of India
  • It is a permanent body
  • It is a body consisting of persons above the age of 21 years in that area of gram panchayat.

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

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

Answer: (a) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS:Punjab: Sekhowal panchayat does a U-turn, says won’t give land for industrial park

  • Months after giving consent to Punjab government for using panchayat land for industrial park close to the Mattewara forest, the gram sabha of Sekhowal village passed resolution Wednesday saying that they don’t want to give 407 acres of land of their village for this project.
  • The industrial park has to come up on 1,000 acres of area near Mattewara forest range and green activists are protesting against this move.

About Gram Sabha

  • The Gram Sabha is the fulcrum of the Panchayati Raj and village development. People use the forum of the Gram Sabha to discuss local governance and development, and make need- based plans for the village.
  • The Panchayat implements development programs under the overarching mandate, supervision and monitoring of the Gram Sabha. All decisions of the Panchayat are taken through the Gram Sabha and no decision is official and valid without the consent of the Gram Sabha.

What is Gram Sabha

  • The term Gram Sabha is defined in the Constitution of India under Article 243(b).Hence statement 1 is incorrect
  • Gram Sabha is the primary body of the Panchayati Raj system and by far the largest.
  • It is a permanent body.Hence statement 2 is correct
  • Gram Sabha is the Sabha of the electorate. All other institutions of the Panchayati Raj like the Gram Panchayat, Block Panchayat and Zilla Parishad are constituted by elected representatives.
  • The decisions taken by the Gram Sabha cannot be annulled by any other body. The power to annul a decision of the Gram Sabha rests with the Gram Sabha only.
  • Who are the members of Gram Sabha : Hence statement 3 is incorrect
  • Persons, those who are above 18 years of age and
  • living in the village and
  • whose names are included in the electoral rolls for the Panchayat at the village level.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/punjab-sekhowal-panchayat-does-a-u-turn-says-wont-give-land-for-industrial-park-6518821/

6.Consider the following statements regarding the concept of creamy layer

  • It was introduced by the Supreme Court in 1993 through the judgement of the Indira Sawhney case.
  • The term creamy layer was used in the recommendation of the Sattanathan Commission.

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:Taxable income may define ‘creamy layer’

  • Amid the ruckus over its controversial proposal to include“salary” in determining “creamy layer” for OBC the government may change the income ceiling to exclude backwards from quota from “gross income” to net taxable income.
  • The creamy layer is determined using the income criterion and is periodically revised. In 2013, it was revised from Rs 4.5 lakh to Rs 6 lakh. In 2017 it was revised to Rs 8 lakh. Meaning any family in the Other Backward Sections (OBCs) whose gross annual income is over Rs 8 lakh cannot avail of reservations in higher educational institutions and public sector employment.
  • The ministry’s proposal is a big departure from the 1993 official memorandum of the DoPT which lays down that “creamy layer” be decided on the basis of “income from other sources” while leaving out “salary” and “agricultural income”.
  • Social justice and empowerment ministry proposal to increase the “creamy layer” ceiling to Rs 12 lakh might just address some of the objections raised by the NCBC.

About Creamy Layer

  • The Creamy Layer was introduced by the Supreme Court in 1993 through the judgement it delivered in the Indira Sawhney case.Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The judgment had upheld the government’s move, based on the Mandal Commission report, to give 27% reservation to Other Backward Classes. But it held that the creamy layer must be excluded from backward classes.
  • The term creamy layer and the non-creamy layer was also used in the recommendation of the Sattanathan Commission in 1971. The Sattanathan commission came to a conclusion that creamy layer candidates of the Other Backward Classes (OBC) should not get any benefits from the central government pointing towards the reservation or quota in the government jobs.Hence statement 2 is correct

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/taxable-income-may-define-creamy-layer/articleshow/77137548.cms

7.National Report on Safe and Secure School Environment was recently released by

  • National Commission for Protection of Child Rights
  • National Human Rights Commission of India
  • National Commission for Women
  • National Commission for Backward Classes

Answer: (a) National Commission for Protection of Child Rights

Explanation:

In NEWS:22 per cent of school buildings old or dilapidated: NCPCR report

The report on ‘Safe and Secure School Environment’ was based on a survey of 26,071 schools across 12 states carried out by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to examine the safety and security of children in schools in terms different indicators.Hence option (a) is correct

  • The survey showed that 22 per cent of schools are operating from old or dilapidated buildings, while 31 per cent schools reported cracks in structures. Nineteen per cent of the schools were located near rail tracks, whereas only one per cent has speed breakers with zebra crossing sign for safety and security of children.
  • only 74 per cent schools have in-built water facilities in toilets and in the rest students have to carry water from outside.
  • only 49 per cent schools have disabled-friendly toilets
  • On mid-day meals (MDM), the report said only 57 per cent of children are satisfied with the quality of food.
  • only 40 per cent schools had facilities like classrooms, play areas, toilets accessible by wheelchair.
  • It was also found that in only in about 47 per cent schools CWSN were being assisted in the form of being accompanied by a teacher or attendant while using toilets
  • Sixty-one per cent of schools have obstruction free corridors and staircases
  • only 32 per cent of schools have provision for blind students.
  • Seven per cent schools having electrical connection face problem of shocks while nine per cent have faced problem of short circuit/shock a week before the survey
  • 63 per cent schools have fire extinguisher, 43 per cent schools have emergency steps in place in the school to meet any fire emergency
  • On transportation facilities, the report found that there is a transportation facility available in 28 per cent schools — 30 per cent of them are government schools and 70 per cent private schools
  • Only 60 percent schools said that they have platform for children to discuss and share their concerns related to safety and protection as against 75 per cent schools that said to have a policy against child abuse and 68 per cent schools that said to have a clearly laid out procedure in case of child abuse

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/education/22-per-cent-of-school-buildings-old-or-dilapidated-ncpcr-report/story-19ikrdtamgDHmWOpdbeKGI.html

8.Consider the following statements regarding Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

  • It is a permanent intergovernmental international organization
  • It is comprisingof eight member states

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 has one of lowest cases, deaths per million population due to COVID19: Health Minister

  • Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare digitally participated in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Health Minister’s Digital Meet.
  • Dr Harsh Vardhan emphasized on the Indian traditional system of medicine that has contributed substantially in boosting the immunity of population during COVID-19. He proposed the setting up of a new sub group on traditional medicine under the existing institutional meetings of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s Health Ministers. He congratulated all the frontline staff dealing with the pandemics and called them no less than God for humanity.

About Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

  • It is a permanent intergovernmental international organization and was created in 2001.Hence statement 1 is correct
  • It’s a Eurasian political, economic and military organization aiming to maintain peace, security and stability in the region.
  • It was preceded by the Shanghai Five mechanism.The organization has expanded its membership to eight countries when India and Pakistan joined SCO as full members in 2017 Astana summit, Kazakhstan.
  • The SCO Charter was signed in 2002, and entered into force in 2003.
  • Its official languages are Russian and Chinese.
  • The SCO has been an observer in the UN General Assembly since 2005.
  • SCO comprises eight member states: India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan. Hence statement 2 is correct

Source: http://www.newsonair.com/News?title=India-has-one-of-lowest-cases%2C-deaths-per-million-population-due-to-COVID19%3A-Health-Minister&id=395614

9.Consider the following statements regarding Defence Institute of High Altitude Research

  • It is screening and identifying the medicinal and aromatic plants to exploit them for use for defence purposes and also on greenhouse technologies for high altitude and cold desert areas.
  • It is constituent laboratory of DRDO

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:DRDO sets up Covid testing facility in Leh

  • The facility has been established at the Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) in Leh.
  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has set up a Covid-19 testing facility in Leh to increase the rate of testing to identify corona cases in Ladakh
  • The testing facility at DIHAR is capable of screening 50 samples per day. The facility can also be utilised for training manpower for Covid testing and will be of great help to address future bio-threats and carrying out R&D activities pertinent to agro-animal diseases
  • DIHAR is one of the life sciences laboratories of DRDO working on cold arid agro-animal technologies.
  • It is constituent laboratory of DRDO. It was established in 1960 to meet fresh food requirement of soldiers deployed in the harsh terrain of Ladakh.Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The laboratory is screening and identifying the medicinal and aromatic plants to exploit them for use for defence purposes and also on greenhouse technologies for high altitude and cold desert areas.Hence statement 1 is correct

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/drdo-sets-up-covid-testing-facility-in-leh/story-L1UNnlgYn90LyYLUB3QgnN.html

10.Consider the following statements:

  • Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) to Reduce Short Lived Climate Pollutants is a unique initiative of G2O group of countries.
  • The CCAC focuses on methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

  • The Climate & Clean Air Coalition is the only global effort that unites governments, civil society and private sector, committed to improving air quality and protecting the climate in next few decades by reducing short-lived climate pollutants across sectors.
  • The Coalition’s initial focus is on methane, black carbon, and Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The governments of Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico, Sweden and the United States, along with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), came together to initiate the first effort to treat these pollutants as a collective challenge.Hence statement 1 is incorrect
  • The coalition has 53 country partners and 17 International Governmental Organizations and 45 Non governmental organization partners. India is not a partner country however The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI ) is a partner NGO since 2015.