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Daily Prelims Test – 27_March 2021

Consider the following Statements regarding Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana

It aims to provide relief to the Insured Persons (IPs) who have become unemployed.

It was introduced by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation

It is an annual welfare measure for employees

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

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

Answer: (a) 1 and 2  only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana

  • The scheme Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana was introduced by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) on pilot basis for a period of 2 years 
  • The scheme has been extended for  the period from 01.07.2020 to 30.06.2021. In order to provide benefit to the IPs who have become unemployed during Covid-19 pandemic

About Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana

  • It was introduced by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC). Hence, statement 2 is correct
  • It is a once in a lifetime welfare measure for employees covered under Section 2(9) of the ESI Act, 1948.Hence statement 3 is incorrect
  • It aims to provide relief to the Insured Persons (IPs) who have become unemployed. Hence, statement 1 is correct
  • It was introduced on 1st July 2018 on a pilot basis for two years and has now been extended for another year till 30th June 2021.

Major Provisions

  • Rate of unemployment relief has been enhanced to 50 per cent of wages from an earlier rate of 25 per cent.
  • Insured person should have been in insurable employment for minimum two years immediately before unemployment and should have contributed for not less than 78 days in one of the remaining three contribution periods. Earlier this condition was a minimum contribution of 78 days in four contribution periods.
  • Claim shall become due 30 days after the date of unemployment. Earlier, this period was 90 days.
  • The claim of the IP need not be forwarded by the employer and may be submitted by an IP in the prescribed claim form duly completed online or directly to the branch office.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1707227


Consider the following Statements regarding Digital Services Tax of India

It is a 2% tax levied on revenues generated from digital services offered in India including digital platform services, digital content sales, and data-related services.

It is applicable to both resident and non-resident companies.

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: No digital tax if goods, services sold via Indian arm of foreign e-commerce players

  • In a bid to provide a level-playing field, the government has decided not to levy 2% digital service tax if goods and services are sold through Indian arm of foreign e commerce player
  • The digital tax introduced in April 2020, applies only to non-resident companies with annual revenues in excess of ₹2 crore, and covers online sales of goods and services to Indians.

What is the Digital Services Tax of India?

  • It is a 2% tax that India has charged since April 2020 on revenues from digital services. Hence, statement 1 is correct
  • It is applicable only to non-resident companies. Hence, statement 2 is incorrect
  • The digital services offered in India, including digital platform services, digital content sales, digital sales of a company’s own goods, data-related services, software-as-a-service, and several other categories of digital services.
  • It is aimed at ensuring that non-resident, digital service providers pay their fair share of tax on revenues generated in the Indian digital market.
  • In 2016, India became the first country to implement the equalisation levy, on advertising services at 6%.
  • In 2018, India introduced a test for significant economic presence in the Income Tax Act which says if a company had users in India, it sort of defined its economic connection with India, and therefore gives India the right to tax.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/no-digital-tax-if-goods-services-sold-via-indian-arm-of-foreign-e-commerce-players/article34150725.ece


Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct relating to the United Nations Human Rights Council?

It is an inter-governmental body within the UN system responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe.

It is made up of 47 UN Member States which are elected by the UNSC.

It meets at the UN Office in Washington.

Both (a) and (b) statements are correct

Answer: (a) It is an inter-governmental body within the UN system responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe.

Explanation:

In NEWS: India abstains from voting on Sri Lanka resolution at UNHRC

  • The UN Human Rights Council adopted a strong resolution against Sri Lanka’s rights record, in a setback to Colombo, which described the move as “unwarranted and unjustified” interference in its internal affairs.
  • The resolution titled ‘Promotion of Reconciliation Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka’ was adopted by the 47-member Council after 22 members voted in favour of it at the ongoing UNHRC session here.
  • India and Japan were among 14 countries which abstained from voting. Eleven countries, including Pakistan, China and Russia, voted against the resolution.
  • Sri Lanka described the draft resolution as unwarranted, unjustified and in violations of the relevant articles of the United Nations’ Charter.
  • The resolution was sponsored by a group of countries including the UK, Germany and Canada.
  • It is critical of Sri Lanka’s failure to address human rights violations that occurred during the civil war (ended in 2009) and also contended that rights defenders and ethnic and religious minorities are facing problems.
  • It gives the UNHRC the mandate to collect and preserve evidence of crimes committed by the armed forces and the LTTE.

About United Nations Human Rights Council

  • It is an inter-governmental body within the UN system responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globeHence option (a) is the correct answer
  • It was created by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on 15th March 2006.
  • It has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year.
  • It meets at the UN Office in Geneva.
  • The Council is made up of 47 UN Member States which are elected by the UNGA.
  • It replaced the former UN Commission on Human Rights.
  • It also works with the UN Special Procedures. These are made up of special rapporteurs, special representatives, independent experts and working groups that monitor, examine, advise and publicly report on thematic issues or human rights situations in specific countries.

Source: https://theprint.in/diplomacy/india-abstains-from-voting-on-sri-lanka-resolution-at-unhrc/627137/


Consider the following Statements regarding National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

  1. It was set up by amending Article 338 and by inserting a new article 338A in the Constitution through the 89th Constitution Amendment Act, 2003.
  2. It consists of a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson and 3 other Members who are appointed by the President of India

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: Functioning of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes
  • The Minister of State for Tribal Affairs has informed the Lok Sabha regarding the functioning of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST).

About National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)

  • It was established by amending Article 338 and inserting a new Article 338A in the Constitution through the Constitution (89th Amendment) Act, 2003. Hence, statement 1 is correct
  • The term of office of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and each member is three years from the date of assumption of charge.
  • The Chairperson has been given the rank of Union Cabinet Minister, and the Vice-Chairperson that of a Minister of State and other Members have the ranks of a Secretary to the Government of India.
  • They are appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal. Hence, statement 2 is correct
  • Their conditions of service and tenure of office are also determined by the President.
  • The amendment has bifurcated erstwhile National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes two separate Commissions namely:
  • The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), and
  • The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)
  • The Sub-clause (5) of the Article 338A of the Constitution of India provides that it shall be the duty of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes as under:-
  • To investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Tribes under this Constitution or under any order of the Government and to evaluate the working of such safeguards;
  • To inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the Scheduled tribes;
  • To participate and advise on the planning process of socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and any State;
  • To present to the President, annually and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards;
  • To make in such reports recommendations as to the measures that should be taken by the Union or any State for the effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the Scheduled tribes; and
  • To discharge such other functions insulation to the protection, welfare and development and advancement of the Scheduled tribes as the President may, subject to the provision of any law made by Parliament by rule specify

Source: https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetailm.aspx?PRID=1707576


Consider the following Statements regarding Adjournment Sine Die

It means terminating a sitting of Parliament for an indefinite period.

The authority of adjournment sine die lies with the president of India

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: Budget session of Parliament concludes; Both Houses adjourn sine die

  • The Budget Session of the Parliament came to an end today with both the Houses being adjourned sine die ahead of their schedule.

About Adjournment sine die

  • Adjournment sine die means dismissing a sitting of Parliament for an unspecified periodHence, statement 1 is correct
  • In other words, when the House is suspended without naming a day for reassembly, it is known as adjournment sine die. 
  • The authority of adjournment sine die lies with the presiding officer of the House. Hence, statement 2 is incorrect 
  • The presiding officer of a House can call a sitting of the House before the date or time to which it has been suspended or at any time after the House has been adjourned sine die.
  • The presiding officer can also call a sitting of the House before the date or time to which it has been adjourned or at any time after the House has been adjourned sine die.
  • The presiding officer (Speaker or Chairman) declares the House adjourned sine die, when the business of a session is completed.

Source: http://newsonair.com/Main-News-Details.aspx?id=412782


Consider the following Statements regarding INSACOG

  1. It is a grouping of 10 National Laboratories and was established by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
  2. It aims to monitor the genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2 on a regular basis through a multi-laboratory network.

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: Coronavirus | India reports unique ‘double mutant’ coronavirus variant

  • Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG) has been doing genome sequencing of Covid-19 Variants. It has found a unique “double mutant” virus variant in India. This variant has a unique combination of mutations, not seen anywhere else in the world.
  • When two mutated strains of a virus come together and form a third strain, it is called Double Mutation.
  • The one reported in India is the result of the combination of E484Q and L452R strains. The L452R strain is found in California in the United States and the E484Q strain is indigenous.
  • INSACOG will submit details of this variant to a global repository called GISAID. If it qualifies, it will be classified as a “variant of concern”(VOC).
  • So far, only three global Variants of Concern (VOCs) have been identified: the U.K. variant (B.1.1.7), the South African (B.1.351) and the Brazilian (P.1) lineage.

About INSACOG

  • Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics(INSACOG) is a grouping of 10 National Laboratories. It was established by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoH&FW). Hence, statement 1 is correct
  • The group is coordinated by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) along with MoH&FW, ICMR, and CSIR.
  • The knowledge generated through this vital research consortium assists in developing diagnostics and potential therapeutics and vaccines in the future.

Aim:

  • To monitor the genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2 on a regular basis through a multi-laboratory network. Hence, statement 2 is correct
  • To ascertain the status of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the country.
  • Furthermore, to establish a surveillance system for early detection of genomic variants and determine the genomic variants in the unusual events/trends.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-genome-sequencing-by-insacog-shows-variants-of-concern-and-a-novel-variant-in-india-health-ministry/article34150116.ece


Consider the following Statements regarding Earth Hour

It is an annual initiative of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature

It encourages people from more than 180 countries to switch off the lights from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm as per their local time.

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: Earth Hour 2021: India should embrace clean tech that minimises environmental damage

  • Earth Hour, to be celebrated on March 27, 2021 is one such occasion for people, governments and organisations across the world to come together to speak up about these issues — to speak up for nature.
  • A number of impacts are already being felt in terms of increased frequency and duration of extreme weather events (cyclones, floods, droughts and heat waves), rising sea levels, and impacts on human health and natural ecosystems.
  • India is also home to 21 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities, with 122 non-attainment cities exceeding national ambient air quality standards. Besides affecting the health of the citizens, air pollution also impacts agriculture, climate, buildings and aesthetics, in terms of visibility.
  • Interestingly, climate change and air pollution are closely interlinked. Fossil fuel-based energy usage is the major cause of air pollution and climate change — though air pollution has other contributing sources as well. Many air pollutants that are harmful to human health and ecosystems also contribute to climate change.
  • India, as a nation, has tremendous scope for making renewable energy (RE) its primary energy source, making renewables the new normal.

About Earth Hour

  • Earth Hour is the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF)’s annual initiative that began in 2007. Hence, statement 1 is correct
  • It is held every year on the last Saturday of March.
  • It encourages people from more than 180 countries to switch off the lights from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm as per their local time. Hence, statement 2 is correct
  • The idea is to refrain from the use of non-essential lighting to save energy in a symbolic call for environmental protection.
  • Earth Hour has become a catalyst for positive environmental impact, driving major legislative changes by harnessing the power of the people and collective action.
  • It was famously started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since then it has grown to engage more than 7000 cities and towns worldwide. Today, Earth Hour engages a massive mainstream community on a broad range of environmental issues. The one-hour event continues to remain the key driver of the now larger movement.
  • Earth Hour is more than the symbolic switching off of lights — it is about embracing clean technology innovations that minimise damage to the environment. 
  • In the long run, these will not only help address the challenge of climate change but also bring about tremendous improvements in local air quality.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/pollution/earth-hour-2021-india-should-embrace-clean-tech-that-minimises-environmental-damage-76178


Consider the following Statements

Africa’s forest and savanna elephants are now ‘critically endangered’ and ‘endangered’ species under the IUCN Red List species

Forest elephants are larger than savanna elephants

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: Poaching, habitat loss push Africa’s elephants to the brink

  • Africa’s forest and savanna elephants are now ‘critically endangered’ and ‘endangered’ due to population declines caused primarily by poaching and habitat loss, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said March 25, 2021. Both species were earlier listed as ‘vulnerable’. Hence, statement 1 is correct
  • Poaching and land use changes remain prominent challenges to African elephant populations
  • Forest elephants had stabilised in well-managed conservation areas in Gabon and the Republic of the Congo, the assessment said.
  • The numbers of Savanna elephants had also been stable or growing for decades
  • African Elephant is the largest animal walking the Earth.
  • Poaching for ivory has been the scourge of African elephants over the past several decades. As both males and females possess tusks, the impact of ivory poaching is especially severe
  • The decline of the forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) is especially extremely worrying. While savanna elephant populations can bounce back given sufficient protection, the forest elephant is likely to recover much more slowly.

About Savanna elephants

  • Savanna elephants are the largest subspecies of elephant. They are easily distinguished by their very large ears and their tusks curve outwards.
  • They are found throughout the grassy plains and bushlands of Africa. Savanna elephants live in eastern and southern Africa, where the highest densities are found in Botswana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa.
  • Due to their habitat, savanna elephants are often found grazing on grasses, but they also browse on a wide variety of plants and fruits.

About Forest elephants

  • Forest elephants are an elusive subspecies of African elephants and inhabit the densely wooded rainforests of west and central Africa.
  • Forest elephants are smaller than savanna elephants, the other African elephant subspecies. Their ears are more oval-shaped ears and their tusks are straighter and point downward (the tusks of savanna elephants curve outwards). Hence, statement 2 is incorrect
  • Forest elephants are found most commonly in countries with relatively large blocks of dense forest such as Gabon, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Cameroon and Central African Republic in central Africa and Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Ghana in west Africa.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/poaching-habitat-loss-push-africa-s-elephants-to-the-brink-76162


Consider the following Statements regarding  National Clean Air Programme

It aims to have a feasible plan for the prevention, management and control of air pollution.

It targets to achieve 20% to 30% reduction in carbon Dioxide concentrations by 2024

The implementation of the programme will be done by an apex committee at the Environment Ministry level

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

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. Neither 1 ,2 and 3

Answer: (c) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: MoU signed towards execution of planned actions in time bound manner in 132 cities under National Clean Air Programme(NCAP)

  • In the presence of Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today by representatives of State Pollution Control Boards, Urban Local Bodies and Institutes of Repute for 132 identified cities for implementation of city specific action plans under National Clean Air Programme

About National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)

  • Goal of NCAP is to meet the prescribed annual average ambient air quality standards at all locations in the country in a stipulated time frame. Hence, statement 1 is correct
  • The tentative national level target of 20%–30% reduction of PM2.5 and PM10 concentration by 2024 is proposed under the NCAP taking 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration. Hence, statement 2 is incorrect
  • At the national level, the implementation of the programme will be done by an apex committee at the Environment Ministry level. At the state level, committees at the Chief Secretary level will oversee the implementation of the scheme.Hence statement 3 is correct

Objectives

  • To augment and evolve effective and proficient ambient air quality monitoring network across the country for ensuring comprehensive and reliable database
  • To have efficient data dissemination and public outreach mechanism for timely measures for prevention and mitigation of air pollution and for inclusive public participation in both planning and implementation of the programmes and policies of government on air pollution
  • To have a feasible management plan for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1707867


Consider the following activities: 

Spraying pesticides on a crop field

Inspecting the craters of active volcanoes 

Collecting breath samples from spouting whales for DNA analysis.

 At the present level of technology, which of the above activities can be successfully carried out by using drones? 

  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:

  • Drone technology has been used by defense organizations for quite some time. However, the benefits of this technology extends well beyond just these sectors e.g. emergency response, humanitarian relief, healthcare, disease control, weather forecasting etc. Recently, Australian scientists used drones (that flew 200 metres above the blowholes of whales) to collect the mucus of whales from their water sprays to examine their health.The whale spray collected by a drone contains DNA, proteins, lipids and types of bacteria. Hence option 3 is correct.
  • Drones have also been used to study the craters of active volcanoes to know about their recent activities, a place which human beings cannot directly access. Hence option 2 is correct.
  • Recently, the use of drones to spray pesticides (in Telengana) was in the news. It is considered illegal in India. But in the US it is legally practised in many states. Hence option 1 is correct. Hence option (d) is the correct answer