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Daily Prelims Test – 27_October 2020

Consider the following statements regarding Central Vigilance Commission

1) It is an independent body which is only responsible to the Parliament

2) It has investigation wing of its own

3) It is a multi-member Commission consisting of a Central Vigilance Commissioner and not more than 2 Vigilance Commissioners

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

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

Answer: (d) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: PM to launch National Conference on Vigilance and Anti-Corruption tomorrow

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation organizes this National Conference coinciding with ‘Vigilance Awareness Week’, which is observed in India every year from 27th October to 2nd November.
  • Observance of Vigilance Awareness Week every year during the last week of October is taken up to encourage all stakeholders to collectively participate in the prevention of corruption.
  • It is driven by the Central Vigilance Commission.

About Central Vigilance Commission

  • The CVC was set up by the Government in February 1964 on the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption, headed by K. Santhanam. The Parliament enacted the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003 (CVC Act) conferring statutory status on the CVC.
  • It is an independent body which is only responsible to the ParliamentHence statement 1 is correct
  • It is a multi-member Commission consisting of a Central Vigilance Commissioner (Chairperson) and not more than 2 Vigilance Commissioners (Member). Hence statement 3 is correct
  • The Central Vigilance Commissioner and the Vigilance Commissioners are appointed by the President on the recommendations of a Committee consisting of the Prime Minister (Chairperson), the Minister of Home Affairs (Member) and the Leader of the Opposition in the House of the People (Member).
  • Tenure: The term of office of the Central Vigilance Commissioner and the Vigilance Commissioners is 4 years from the date on which they enter their office or till they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • Exercise superintendence over the functioning of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (CBI) insofar as it relates to the investigation of offenses under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
  • The CVC receives complaints on corruption or misuse of office and recommends appropriate action. Following institutions, bodies, or a person can approach CVC: Central government, Lokpal and Whistleblowers.
  • CVC has no investigation wing of its own as it depends on the CBI and the Chief Vigilance Officers (CVO) of central organizations, while CBI has its own investigation wing drawing its powers from Delhi Special Police Establishment Act. Hence statement 2 is incorrect

Source: https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/pm-to-launch-national-conference-on-vigilance-and-anti-corruption-tomorrow-120102600636_1.html


Consider the following statements regarding Andes Mountain

  1. It is the longest continental mountain range in the world.
  2. Aconcagua is the highest peak of the Andes Mountains

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: Snow melts as spring arrives in the Andes

  • Snow has started melting in the Andes mountain range in South America as spring arrives in the southern hemisphere, a photo by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has shown.
  • The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiomete on NASA’s Terra satellite captured a natural-colour image of the central Andes October 11, 2020.
  • The snow on the mountains appeared smaller compared to mid-winter, the accompanying report by NASA said.
  • The image is of 700 kilometers of the Andes in Chile and Argentina. The Andes is the longest mountain range in the world and stretches across seven countries of South America.
  • While snow cover has been heaviest in the central Andes during winter, it has reduced in the last three decades during the period from April-November, according to a recent study, the NASA report said. The change is attributed to the weather phenomenon, El Niño.

About Andes Mountain

  • The Andes is the longest continental mountain range in the world. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The Andes is the world’s highest mountain range outside of Asia with an average height of 4000 m.
  • Aconcagua is the highest peak of the Andes Mountains. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The Andes extend from north to south through seven South American countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.
  • The world’s highest volcanoes are in the Andes, including Ojos del Salado on the Chile-Argentina border, which rises to 6,893 m

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/global-eco-watch-people-of-indus-valley-produced-earliest-dairy-products-in-the-subcontinent-73950


Consider the following statements regarding Flash Flood Guidance System

  1. It is a robust system designed by the India Meteorological Department
  2. It aims to provide the necessary products in real-time to support the development of warnings for flash floods about 6-12 hours in advance at the watershed level for the flash flood-prone Asian countries

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: IMD launches flash flood guidance services for country, South Asian neighbours

India has launched first- of-its kind Flash Flood Guidance services for South Asian countries — India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka — to issue impact-based forecasting of floods.

What is Flash Flood Guidance Services?

  • It is a robust system designed by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) to provide the necessary products in real-time to support the development of warnings for flash floods about 6-12 hours in advance at the watershed level with a resolution of 4km x 4km for the flash flood-prone South Asian countries viz. India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Hence statement 1 is correct and Hence statement 2 is correct
  • It will be established in New Delhi, where weather modelling and analysis of rainfall data observations from member countries will be done.
  • The Guidance for flash floods in the form of Threats (6 hours in advance) and Risks (24 hours in advance) will be provided by Regional Centre to National Meteorological & Hydrological Services, National and State Disaster Management Authorities and all other stakeholders for taking necessary mitigation measures to reduce the loss of life and property in the South Asian Region countries.

Source: https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2020/oct/24/imd-launches-flash-flood-guidance-services-for-country-south-asian-neighbours-2214388.html


Consider the following statements regarding Asian giant horne

  1. It is an invasive insect species and mostly targeting wheat and rice crops
  2. It is native to temperate and tropical East Asia, South Asia, Mainland Southeast Asia, and parts of the Russian Far East

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: First-ever Asian giant hornet nest found in US

  • After months of meticulous tracking, authorities in the western US state of said they had uncovered the first ever nest of the deadly Asian giant hornet in the country. A day later, heavily protected crews wearing thick protective suits vacuumed the invasive insects from the cavity of a dead tree into large canisters. Despite their “murder hornet” nickname, the real threat they pose are their devastating attacks on honeybees, which are already under siege from problems like mites, diseases, pesticides and loss of food.

About Asian giant hornet

  • It is an invasive species insects, known as “murder hornets“, have a powerful sting and can spit venom.
  • It is native to temperate and tropical East Asia, South Asia, Mainland Southeast Asia, and parts of the Russian Far East. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • They are target honeybees which pollinate crops and can destroy a colony in just a matter of hours. Hence statement 1 is incorrect
  • When an Asian giant hornet enters a honeybee colony, it begins a “slaughter phase” in which it kills bee after bee and can destroy the colony in a few hours.
  • They prefer to live in low mountains and forests, while almost completely avoiding plains and high-altitude climates.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/photos/world-news/photos-first-ever-asian-giant-hornets-nest-tracked-down-in-the-us/photo-153TrZjxK1KRr7SwvYEXVI.html


Consider the following statements regarding Olive Ridley Turtles

  1. It inhabits warm waters of both the Pacific and Indian oceans.
  2. It is recognized as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red list.

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 1and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Turtles nesting beaches of Goa

  • The NGT has directed removal of unauthorized constructions on the beaches of Goa before the turtle nesting season begins. It asked the state authorities to keep the beach areas fenced in order to them pristine and undisturbed during turtle nesting season that starts in November-December

About Olive Ridley Turtles

  • The Olive ridley turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world.
  • It inhabits warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • These turtles, along with their cousin the Kemps ridley turtle, are best known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs.
  • The coast of Odisha in India is the largest mass nesting site for the Olive-ridley turtles followed by the coasts of Mexico and Costa Rica.
  • Rushikulya rookery is a major nesting site for the Olive Ridleys along the Indian coast.

Conservation Status:

  • Schedule 1 in Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • The Olive ridley turtle is recognized as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red list. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • International trade in these turtles and their products is banned under CITES Appendix I.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/environment/court-digest-major-environment-hearings-of-the-week-october-19-23-2020–73951


Sometimes the term Aenigmachanna Gollum is seen in news, it is related to

a) Haldi Flowering Plant

b) Wild Honey Bee

c) Freshwater Turtle

d) Dragon snakehead Fish

Answer: (d) Dragon Snakehead Fish

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: A 100 million-year-old fish in Kerala, named after a Lord of the Rings character

  • Aenigmachanna gollum, a dragon snakehead fish that lives in underground aquifers, and which first announced its surfacing in social media posts in 2018
  • It looks like a dragon, swims like an eel, and has remained hidden for a hundred million years
  • ‘Aenigmachanna gollum’ belongs to an old family of fish, called dragon snakeheads, which retains its primitive characteristics after all these millennia. Hence option (d) is correct

A rare sighting

  • The discovery of a new family of fish is very rare. The dragon snakeheads have evaded scientists till now because they live in subterranean aquifers and come to the surface only after heavy flooding from rain.
  • This may indicate that Aenigmachanna is a Gondwanan lineage, which has survived break-up of the supercontinent, with India separating from Africa at around 120 million years ago

Relic from another time

  • The lack of evolution can be seen in the shortened swim bladder of the dragon snakeheads as well as fewer vertebrae with ribs
  • The researchers say that the area where Aenigmachanna was collected is part of the Western Ghats – Sri Lanka Hotspot — which is among the richest biodiversity hotspots in the world.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/aenigmachanna-gollum-kerala-fish-lord-of-the-rings-6883999/


Consider the following statements regarding Asan Conservation Reserve

  1. It has become Uttarakhand’s first Ramsar site and identified as a Wetland of International Importance
  2. The Reserve is located on the banks of Yamuna River.

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 1and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Asan Conservation Reserve becomes Uttarakhand’s first Ramsar site

  • Asan Conservation Reserve has become Uttarakhand’s first Ramsar site, making it a ‘Wetland of International Importance’, announced the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The Reserve is located on the banks of Yamuna River near Dehradun district in Garhwal region of the Himalayan state. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • With this, the number of Ramsar sites in India goes up to 38, the highest in South Asia and Uttarakhand gets its first Ramsar site. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • Asan Conservation Reserve cleared five out of the nine criteria needed to be declared as a Ramsar site and get identified as a Wetland of International Importance
  • Asan is home to many rare and endangered species like the Ruddy Shelduck, Red Crested Pochard, among others. Many endangered birds are found here and some even migrate to the Reserve, making it an ecologically important site
  • Spread across 4.44 sq km area in Dehradun district on the banks of Yamuna river, Asan receives about 40 migratory species, including Rudy Shelduck, Common coot, Gadwall, Kingfisher, Indian cormorant, Baer’s pochard, Northern pintail, Bar-headed goose.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/asan-conservation-reserve-becomes-uttarakhand-s-first-ramsar-site/story-cDnNE6eCzPYTLvbGr3zk7N.html


Which of the following criteria is correct regarding for identifying Wetlands of International Importance?

  1. If it supports vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered species or threatened ecological communities.
  2. If it supports populations of plant and/or animal species important for maintaining the biological diversity of a particular biogeographic region.
  3. If it supports plant and/or animal species at a critical stage in their life cycles, or provides refuge during adverse conditions.
  4. If it is an important source of food for fishes, spawning ground, nursery and/or migration path on which fish stocks, either within the wetland or elsewhere, depend.
  5. If it regularly supports 20,000 or more water birds.

Select the correct option from the given below codes

  1. 1, 3 and 5 only
  2. 2 and 4 only
  3. 1,2,3 and 5 only
  4. 1,2,3,4 and 5

Answer: (d) 1,2,3,4 and 5

Explanation:

In NEWS: Asan Conservation Reserve has become Uttarakhand’s first Ramsar site, making it a ‘Wetland of International Importance’, announced the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

  • Asan Conservation Reserve cleared five out of the nine criteria needed to be declared as a Ramsar site and get identified as a Wetland of International Importance
  • It cleared the category on species and ecological communities, one on water-birds and another on fish.

About Criteria for identifying Wetlands of International Importance

  • Under the Ramsar Criteria, wetlands should be selected for the Ramsar List on account of their international significance in terms of the biodiversity and uniqueness of their ecology, botany, zoology, limnology or hydrology. In addition, the Criteria indicates that in the first instance, wetlands of international importance to waterbirds at any season should be included on the Ramsar List.

Group A of the Criteria. Sites containing representative, rare or unique wetland types

  • Criterion 1: A wetland should be considered internationally important if it contains a representative, rare, or unique example of a natural or near-natural wetland type found within the appropriate biogeographic region.
  • Group B of the Criteria. Sites of international importance for conserving biological diversity

Criteria based on species and ecological communities

  • Criterion 2: A wetland should be considered internationally important if it supports vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered species or threatened ecological communities.
  • Criterion 3: A wetland should be considered internationally important if it supports populations of plant and/or animal species important for maintaining the biological diversity of a particular biogeographic region.
  • Criterion 4: A wetland should be considered internationally important if it supports plant and/or animal species at a critical stage in their life cycles, or provides refuge during adverse conditions.

Specific criteria based on water birds

  • Criterion 5: A wetland should be considered internationally important if it regularly supports 20,000 or more water birds.
  • Criterion 6: A wetland should be considered internationally important if it regularly supports 1% of the individuals in a population of one species or subspecies of waterbird.

Specific criteria based on fish

  • Criterion 7: A wetland should be considered internationally important if it supports a significant proportion of indigenous fish subspecies, species or families, life-history stages, species interactions and/or populations that are representative of wetland benefits and/or values and thereby contributes to global biological diversity.
  • Criterion 8: A wetland should be considered internationally important if it is an important source of food for fishes, spawning ground, nursery and/or migration path on which fish stocks, either within the wetland or elsewhere, depend.
  • Specific criteria based on other taxa
  • Criterion 9: A wetland should be considered internationally important if it regularly supports 1% of the individuals in a population of one species or subspecies of wetland-dependent non-avian animal species. Hence option (d) is correct

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/asan-conservation-reserve-becomes-uttarakhand-s-first-ramsar-site/story-cDnNE6eCzPYTLvbGr3zk7N.html


Consider the following statements regarding Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

  1. It is a joint project of India and United States
  2. It helps astronomers to study about the solar system that are not possible with ground telescopes.

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: NASA confirms water on sunlit surface of Moon for first time

  • Water on Moon could be more easily accessible than previously thought as NASA on Monday said it found traces of water on a sunlit surface of the Moon for the first time. The results published in the journal Nature Astronomy suggests that the water may be delivered by tiny meteorite impact, or formed by the interaction of energetic particles ejected from the Sun.
  • The finding furthers the case that water is not limited to Moon’s cold shadowed regions and may be distributed across the lunar surface.
  • Previous observations of the Moon’s surface detected some form of hydrogen, but were unable to distinguish between water and its close chemical relative, hydroxyl (OH)
  • The discovery was made using Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace CentreHence statement 1 is incorrect
  • It helps astronomers to study about the solar system that are not possible with ground telescopes. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The spacecraft detected water in clavius crater. The clavius crater is one of the largest craters of the Moon. It is located in the southern hemisphere of the Moon.
  • According to the findings of Sofia, the concentration of water in the creator is around hundred to 412 parts per million. Simply this is 12 ounce bottle of water and dust trapped in 1 cubic metre of soil.

Source: https://www.timesnownews.com/technology-science/article/nasa-confirms-water-on-sunlit-surface-of-moon-for-first-time/673239


The term ‘Domestic Content Requirement’ is sometimes seen in the news with reference to-

a) Developing solar power production in our country

b) Granting licenses to foreign T.V. channels in our country

c) Exporting our food products to other countries

d) Permitting foreign educational institutions to set up their campuses in our country

Answer: (a) Developing solar power production in our country

Explanation:

  • Domestic content requirement of India’s solar mission on 10 February 2014 was challenged by the United States, which it alleged as discriminatory and against international norms including the laws of WTO. It has badly affected the American domestic solar panel manufacturing industry. Hence option (c ) is correct