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Daily Prelims Test – 28 August 2020

Consider the following statements regarding Polio

  • It is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus
  • It is not transmitted by person-to-person

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

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (b) 2 only


In NEWS:Africa eradicates polio, but vaccine-driven outbreaks rise

  • The polio virus, that once paralysed nearly 75,000 children every year in Africa, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) — a public-private partnership to tackle polio — was eradicated August 25, 2020.
  • Increasing outbreaks of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) — a rare form of the virus that mutates from the oral polio vaccine and can then spread to under-immunised communities — in the continent, however, was a worrying trend.
  • The continent may celebrate the eradication of the wild poliovirus, which spreads from person-to-person — usually through contaminated water — usually leading to paralysis by attacking the nervous system.

About Polio

  • It is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus.It invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours.Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The virus is transmitted by person-to-person spread mainly through the faecal-oral route or by a common vehicle (for example contaminated water or food) and multiplies in the intestine.Hence statement 2 is incorrect
  • Fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness of the neck and pain in the limbs.
  • Polio mainly affects children under 5 years of age.
  • There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented. Polio vaccine, given multiple times, can protect a child for life.
  • There are three individual and immunologically distinct wild poliovirus strains: Wild Polio Virus type 1 (WPV1), Wild Polio Virus type 2 (WPV2) and Wild Polio Virus type 3 (WPV3).
  • Two out of three strains of wild poliovirus have been eradicated worldwide.Africa has also been declared free of the last remaining strain of wild poliovirus.The disease is now only found in Afghanistan and Pakistan.


India Component of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)–Transport Initiative for Asia (TIA) is launched by the

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways

Association of Southeast Asian Nations

NITI Aayog

Answer: (d) NITI Aayog


In NEWS:NITI Aayog to Launch Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)–Transport Initiative for Asia(TIA) India Component

  • NITI Aayog will virtually launch the India Component of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)–Transport Initiative for Asia (TIA). Hence option (d) is correct

About NDC Transport Initiative for Asia (NDC-TIA):

  • The initiative aims to promote a comprehensive approach to decarbonize transport in India, Vietnam and China over the period 2020-24.
  • It is supported by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Ministry for the Environment and Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety(BMU).
  • It is implemented by seven organisations namely: Deutsche Gesellschaft fürInternationaleZusammenarbeit(GIZ) , International Council on Clean Transportation(ICCT), World Resources Institute(WRI), International Transport Forum(ITF),Agora Verkehrswende (AGORA), Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport(SLoCaT) and Foundation and Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century(REN21).

India Component:

  • The India Component is implemented by six consortium organisations, all except SLoCaT. On behalf of the Government of India, NITI Aayog, the country’s premier policy think tank, will be the implementing partner.
  • The NDC-TIA programme has a duration of 4 years and will allow India and other partner countries to achieve accountable long-term targets by making a sectoral contribution through various interventions, coordinated with a large number of stakeholders in the domain.
  • This will contribute towards achieving their NDCs and increasing their ambition in the transport sector of 2025 NDCs.
  • The NDC–TIA India Component will focus on establishing a multi-stakeholder dialogue platform for decarbonizing transport in India, strengthening GHG and transport modelling capacities, providing technical support on GHG emission reduction measures, financing climate actions in transport, offering policy recommendations on electric vehicle (EV) demand and supply policies, evaluating business models through cost-benefit analyses and so forth.


Which of the following committee is related to review the charter of duties for all laboratories of the DRDO and to focus on indigenous development of futuristic technologies?

  • Ramagopal Rao committee
  • Deepak Parekh Committee
  • Justice A.K Mathur Commission
  • Kothari Commission

Answer: (a) V. Ramagopal Rao committee


In NEWS:DRDO expert panel to review charter of labs to cut overlap

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has set up an expert panel to review the charter of its laboratories and minimise the overlap of technologies they are working on at a time when self-reliance in the defence sector is a top priority for the government, people familiar with the development
  • DRDO chief G Satheesh Reddy has constituted the five-member committee under the chairmanship of Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi director V Ramagopal Rao and asked the panel to submit its report within 45 days. Hence option (a) is correct
  • The mandate given to the expert panel includes suggesting measures to provide a push to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ (self-reliant India Movement) and cut dependence on imported weapons and systems

The terms of reference of the committee are :

  • to study and review the charter of duties of all DRDO labs
  • to redefine the charter of duties on the basis of current and futuristic defence and battlefield needs
  • to minimise the overlap of technologies between the labs.


Consider the following statements regarding DigiLocker

  • It is a flagship initiative of Ministry of Electronics & IT under Digital India programme.
  • It aims at digital empowerment of citizen by providing access to authentic digital documents to citizen’s digital document wallet.

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


In NEWS:Central Government Civil pensioners can store Electronic PPO in Digi Locker

  • Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare (DoPPW) has decided to integrate the electronic Pension Payment Order (e-PPO) generated through PFMS application of CGA (Controller General of Accounts), with Digi Locker, in order to enhance Ease of Living of Central Government Civil Pensioners.
  • This system will enable any Pensioner to obtain an instant print-out of the latest copy of their PPO, from their Digi Locker account.

About DigiLocker:

  • DigiLockeris a flagship initiative of Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) under Digital India programme.Hence statement 1 is correct
  • DigiLocker aims at ‘Digital Empowerment’ of citizen by providing access to authentic digital documents to citizen’s digital document walletHence statement 2 is correct
  • DigiLocker ties into Digital India’s visions areas of providing citizens a shareable private space on a public cloud and making all documents / certificates available on this cloud.
  • Indian citizens who sign up for a DigiLocker account get a dedicated cloud storage space that is linked to their Aadhaar (UIDAI) number.
  • Organizations that are registered with Digital Locker can push electronic copies of documents and certificates (e.g. driving license, Voter ID, School certificates) directly into citizen’s lockers.
  • Citizens can also upload scanned copies of their legacy documents in their accounts. These legacy documents can be electronically signed using the eSign facility.


Consider the following statements regarding Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA)

  • It gives armed forces the power to maintain public order in disturbed areas
  • Under this act, the government will have the authority to prohibit a gathering of five or more persons in an area
  • It is force in Nagaland, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam

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

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

Answer: (c) 1and 2 only


In NEWS:AFSPA extended for six months in Assam

The Assam government on Tuesday said it has extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) in the state for six more months with effect from August 28.

About Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA)

  • Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958 gives armed forces the power to maintain public order in “disturbed areas”.Hence statement 1 is correct
  • A disturbed area is one that is declared by notification under Section 3 of the AFSPA. An area can be disturbed due to differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities.
  • Under the act, the government will have the authority to prohibit a gathering of five or more persons in an area, can use force or even open fire after giving due warning if they feel a person is in contravention of the law.Hence statement 2 is correct
  • If reasonable suspicion exists, the army can also arrest a person without a warrant; enter or search premises without a warrant; and ban the possession of firearms.
  • Any person arrested or taken into custody may be handed over to the officer in charge of the nearest police station along with a report detailing the circumstances that led to the arrest.
  • Apart from Assam, the Act is in force in in Nagaland and Manipur (except the Imphal municipal area) and in Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts of Arunachal Pradesh.Hence statement 3 is incorrect
  • It has been withdrawn from Meghalaya in 2018 and from Tripura in 2015.


Consider the following statements regarding Atal Tunnel

  • It is a strategic tunnel under Rohtang Pass in the Zanskar Ranges of Himachal Pradesh.
  • It will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh

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


In NEWS:Explained: The strategic importance of the Rohtang tunnel

  • The Atal Tunnel at Rohtang, near Manali, is almost complete in all respects with finishing touches being given to it before Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates it late September.
  • The 9-km-long tunnel under the PirPanjal range, named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, will be the world’s longest highway tunnel above the altitude of 10,000 feet (3000 metres). Hence statement 1 is incorrect
  • It will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 kilometres and save crores of rupees in transport costs.Hence statement 2 is correct
  • It will be an all-weather tunnel that will connect remote areas of Lahaul and Spiti valley to the nation even in adverse climate conditions.
  • The construction teams faced fast flowing water from Seri Nullah, which flowed on top of the tunnel route and impeded construction efforts.
  • The unique features of this tunnel begin a fair distance away from it on the approach roads to the north and south portals. Bridges in rivers on the approach to the tunnel from both the portals have also been completed and are now being painted. Snow galleries have also been built at the approach road to the tunnel from Manali side, and this will ensure all-weather connectivity.
  • Other features include an emergency escape tunnel under the main tunnel. This would provide an emergency exit in case of any untoward incident which may render the main tunnel unuseable.
  • The tunnel also provides a telephone every 150 metres, fire hydrant every 60 metres, emergency exit every 500 metres, turning cavern every 2.2 km, air quality monitoring every one km, broadcasting system and automatic incident detection system with CCTV cameras every 250 metres.
  • BRO officials say vehicles will travel at a maximum speed of 80 km per hour. Up to 1,500 trucks and 3,000 cars are expected to use it per day


Consider the following statements regarding Supernova

  • It is a large explosion that takes place at the end of a star’s life cycle.
  • Supernovas are easy to see in our own Milky Way galaxy
  • It burns for only a short period of time

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

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

Answer: (a) 1 and 3 only


In NEWS:Did a supernova trigger the late Devonian extinction?

  • Explosion of a nearby star — occurred at between Devonian and Carboniferous periods — could have caused a mass extinction event that took place 359 million years ago.
  • The Earth suffered an intense loss of species diversity that lasted for at least 300,000 years. The event is thought to have been caused by long-lasting ozone depletion, which would have allowed much more of the Sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation to reach and harm life on Earth. It was called the Hangenberg crisis.

About supernova

  • supernova is the explosion of a star. It is the largest explosion that takes place in space.Hence statement 1 is correct
  • Supernovas are often seen in other galaxies. But supernovas are difficult to see in our own Milky Way galaxy because dust blocks our view.Hence statement 2 is incorrect
  • Supernovae are more energetic than new bright star.
  • supernova burns for only a short period of time, but it can tell scientists a lot about the universe.Hence statement 3 is correct
  • The word supernova was coined by Walter Baade and Fritz Zwicky in 1931.
  • The explosion may expel much, if not all, of the material away from a star at velocities up to 30,000 km/s or 10% of the speed of light.
  • This drives an expanding and fast-moving shock wave into the surrounding interstellar medium, and in turn, sweeping up an expanding shell of gas and dust, which is observed as a supernova remnant.
  • The expanding shock waves from supernovae can trigger the formation of new stars.

What Causes a Supernova?

  • A supernova happens where there is a change in the core, or center, of a star. A change can occur in two different ways, with both resulting in a supernova.
  • The first type of supernova happens in binary star systems. Binary stars are two stars that orbit the same point. One of the stars, a carbon-oxygen white dwarf, steals matter from its companion star. Eventually, the white dwarf accumulates too much matter. Having too much matter causes the star to explode, resulting in a supernova.
  • The second type of supernova occurs at the end of a single star’s lifetime. As the star runs out of nuclear fuel, some of its mass flows into its core. Eventually, the core is so heavy that it cannot withstand its own gravitational force. The core collapses, which results in the giant explosion of a supernova. The sun is a single star, but it does not have enough mass to become a supernova.


Consider the following

  • Pre-agricultural level of technology
  • Low level of literacy
  • Economic backwardness such as such as dependency on hunting, gathering for food
  • A declining or stagnant population

Which of the above options are the Criteria for identification for the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups?

  • 1,3 and 4 only
  • 1,2 and 3 only
  • 3 and 4 only
  • 1,2,3 and 4

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


In NEWS:5 members of Great Andaman tribe test positive

  • Five members of the GreatAndamanese tribe, a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal group(PVTG),have tested positivefor COVID­19.
  • The Great Andamanese are one of five PVTGs.Their population is just 74 individuals, speak Jeru among themselves.
  • The five PVTGS residing in Andamans are Great Andamanese, Jarawas, Onges, Shompens and North Sentinelese.
  • The Shompen and NorthSentinelese, who live in isolation, are difficult to reachout to and contact.

About Particularly Vulnerable Tribal group (PVTG)

  • These groups are among the most vulnerable section of our society as they are few in numbers, have not attained any significant level of social and economic development.
  • 75 groups have been identified and categorized as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
  • In 1973, the Dhebar Commission created Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs) as a separate category, who are less developed among the tribal groups.
  • PVTGs have some basic characteristics -they are mostly homogenous, with a small population, relatively physically isolated, social institutes cast in a simple mould, absence of written language, relatively simple technology and a slower rate of change etc
  • The state governments or UT governments submit proposals to the Central Ministry of Tribal Welfare for identification of PVTGs.

Criteria for identification :Hence option (d) is correct

  • Pre-agricultural level of technology
  • Low level of literacy,
  • Economic backwardness such as such as dependency on hunting, gathering for food
  • A declining or stagnant population.

Source: TH

Consider the following statements regarding Sin Tax

  • It is an excise tax specifically levied on certain goods deemed harmful to society and individuals.
  • Tobacco products, alcohol, and gambling ventures are come under the sin tax.

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


In NEWS:‘Neither luxury nor sin good’: GST tax rate on 2-wheelers may witness a cut

  • FM Sitharaman told the industry body that this matter will be taken up with the GST Council, which is the apex federal body on matters related to the indirect tax
  • The government may consider bringing down Goods and Services Tax (GST) on two-wheelers from the highest slab of 28%

About sin tax

  • A sin tax is an excise tax specifically levied on certain goods deemed harmful to society and individuals, for example alcohol and tobacco, candies, drugs, soft drinks, fast foods, coffee, sugar, gambling, and pornography.Hence statement 1 is correct and Hence statement 2 is correct
  • Sin Tax is thus a subtle way to discourage people from participating in such activities without implementing as complete ban on them. The tax forms a huge source of revenue to the government.
  • The tax leads to a win-win situation for the state government as it contributes to the revenue and also promotes healthy living among the people. Many countries levy such taxes to finance specific projects. Some countries impose very heavy sin taxes while some Muslim nations have put a complete ban on alcoholic products.


What explains the eastward flow of the equatorial countercurrent?

  • The Earth’s rotation on its axis
  • Convergence of the two equatorial currents
  • Difference in salinity of water
  • Occurrence of the belt of calm near the equator

Answer: (d) Occurrence of the belt of calm near the equator


  • The easterly Equatorial Counter-Current between about 40 and 100 N may be explained as follows, The overall effect of the Trade Winds is to drive water towards the west, hut the flow is blocked by the land masses along the western boundaries. Hence option (d) is correct
  • As a result, in equatorial regions the sea-surface slopes up towards the west, causing an eastward horizontal pressure gradient force.
  • Because winds are light in the Doldrums, water is able to flow down the horizontal pressure gradient in a current that is contrary (i.e. ‘counter’) to the prevailing wind direction. The zone of calm is the necessary and dominant factor here, though other factors play their role as well.