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Daily Prelims Test – 28_June

1.Hubballi-Ankola railway line sometimes seen in news, is associated with Which of the following region?

  • Eastern Himalayas
  • Western Ghats
  • Eastern Ghats
  • Vindhyan Range

Answer: (b) Western Ghats

Explanation:

In NEWS: Hubballi-Ankola railway line will augur desertification, water crisis, warn experts

The Hubballi-Ankola railway line, approved by the Karnataka government March 20, 2020, will lead to desertification and a water crisis  

  • The proposed project has already raised fears of massive damage to environment and biodiversityin the ecologically fragile Western GhatsHence option (b) is correct
  • About 80 per cent of the proposed 164-kilometre railway project cuts through the core forest lands.
  • At least 995.64 hectares will be given for the project, of which 64 ha will involve forest land184 ha wetland; and about 190 ha dry land.
  • The proposed railway cuts through the heart of Sahyadri mountains that comprise half of the watershed area. The linear cutting of the hills reaching the coast will be catastrophic
  • Water holding capacity of the area will drop, it will adversely affect percolation of underground water.
  • Farmers and population downstream will suffer from water scarcity and droughts.
  • About 60 rivers originate from the Western Ghats and provide water to peninsular India.

Experts also believe the government ignored a geological impact assessment for the project as well.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/forests/hubballi-ankola-railway-line-will-augur-desertification-water-crisis-warn-experts-71988

2.Consider the following statements regarding World Meteorological Organisation

  • It is the specialized agency of the United Nations for meteorology, operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences
  • It monitors and forecasts the transport of chemical and oil spills, forest fires, volcanic ash, haze and nuclear isotopes.

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: Hottest day in Arctic: WMO official warns of more extreme weather

As Verkhoyansk in Siberia recorded 38°C, governments must remember how a hotter Arctic region can affect the whole world

  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is assessing the veracity of this measurement which would verify the claim.
  • The Arctic region has experienced repeated heat waves in the last few months, with average temperature in Siberia 10°C above normal in May 2020.
  • A major chunk of this warming is a result of heat getting trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere due to increasing emissions of greenhouse gases resulting from human activities.
  • The Arctic region is warming at twice the rate as compared to the rest of the planet due to feedback mechanism known as the Arctic amplification.

About World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 193 Member States and Territories. It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), the roots of which were planted at the 1873 Vienna International Meteorological Congress.
  • Established by the ratification of the WMO Convention on 23 March 1950, WMO became the specialised agency of the United Nations for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciencesa year later. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The Secretariat, headquartered in Geneva, is headed by the Secretary-General.
  • WMO monitors and forecasts the transport of chemical and oil spills, forest fires, volcanic ash, haze and nuclear isotopes. It also draws world attention to the depletion of the ozone layer. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • It is dedicated to international cooperation and coordination on state and behaviour of Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with land and oceans, the weather and climate and distribution of water resources
  • The Climate Centre at Indian Meteorological Department, Pune has recently been recognized as the Regional Climate Centre by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) for providing regional climate services to South Asian countries.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/hottest-day-in-arctic-wmo-official-warns-of-more-extreme-weather-71971

3.Which of the following is/are members of ASEAN?

  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • India

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: S. China Sea Rights Should Be Rooted In Un Treaty: Asean

  • Southeast Asian leaders said a 1982 UN oceans treaty should be the basis of sovereign rights and entitlements in the South China Sea, in one of their strongest remarks opposing China’s claim to virtually the entire disputed waters on historical grounds.
  • ASEAN leaders held their annual summit by video, with the COVID-19 pandemic and the long-raging territorial disputes high on the agenda.
  • Three Southeast Asian diplomats told that it marked a significant strengthening of the regional bloc’s assertion of the rule of law in a disputed region that has long been regarded as an Asian flashpoint. While it has criticised aggressive behaviour in the disputed waters, ASEAN has never castigated China by name in its post-summit communiques.

About ASEAN

  • In 1967, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by its founding fathers.
  • Founding Fathers of ASEAN are: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
  • The motto of ASEAN is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.
  • It is a regional grouping that promotes economic, political, and security cooperation among its ten members: Brunei , Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and VietnamHence option (d) is correct
  • The body is headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • Chairmanship of ASEAN rotates annually, based on the alphabetical order of the English names of Member States.
  • ASEAN countries have a total population of 650 million people and a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $2.8 trillion.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/s-china-sea-rights-should-be-rooted-in-un-treaty-asean/article31934953.ece

4.Consider the following statements regarding United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

  • It is a member of the United Nations Development Group
  • It publishes the World Drug Report.

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: Drug abuse amidst pandemic

In the recently released World Drug Report 2020, the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on illegal drug production, supply and consumption have been discussed. 

The report is published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). 

Highlights of the report: 

  • The adverse impact of the economic hardship caused by the pandemic which could lead to an increase in the number of people resorting to illicit activities linked to drugs to make a living.
  • The risks and consequences of drug use are worsened by poverty, limited opportunities for education and jobs, stigma and social exclusion. The most harmed by drug abuse include vulnerable and marginalised groups, youth, women and the poor. 
  • It warns about a probable future condition, same as seen during the global recession of 2008 where drug users sought out cheaper synthetic substances and patterns of use shifted towards injecting drugs, while governments reduced budgets to deal with drug-related problems.
  • The need for international cooperation to increase access to controlled drugs for medical purposes and  preventing diversion and abuse and to strengthen law enforcement action to dismantle the transnational organised crime networks.
  • The drug trafficking will see a complete disruption due to the restrictions on air travel which will increase the use of the maritime route for trafficking. 
  • India is one of the major hubs of illicit drug trade ranging from age-old cannabis to newer prescription drugs like tramadol, and designer drugs like methamphetamine.
  • India lies in the middle of two major illicit opium production regions in the world, the Golden Crescent in the west and the Golden Triangle in the east which makes it a viable hub of the illicit drug trade. 

About United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

  • It was established in 1997 as the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention by combining the United Nations International Drug Control Program (UNDCP) and the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division in the United Nations Office at Vienna.
  • It was established to support the UN in better addressing a coordinated, comprehensive response to the interlinked issues of illicit trafficking in and abuse of drugs, crime prevention and criminal justice, international terrorism, and political corruption.
  • It is a member of the United Nations Development Group and was renamed the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2002. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • UNODC publishes the World Drug Report.Hence statement 1 is correct

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/drug-abuse-amidst-pandemic/article31917900.ece

5.Consider the following statements regarding the Five Eyes (FVEY)

  • It is an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Japan, India, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • It is planning to create a trusted supply chain among its member nations to end reliance on China.

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: U.N.-75 declaration delayed

  • A commemorative declaration marking the 75th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations (UN) Charter was delayed as member states could not reach an agreement on phraseology.
  • Member states could not reach an agreement on phraseology. They have objected to the use of a phrase “shared vision of a common future”.
  • Because, the phrase, “community with a shared future for mankind” is closely associated with the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) and especially Chinese President Xi Jinping as an articulation of the country’s vision for the world.
  • The Five Eyes (FVEY)- The U.S., the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Canada — along with India, objected to the use of a phrase “shared vision of a common future”, associated with China.
  • However, the document still stands a chance of passing on the June 26th anniversary.
  • The ‘silence’ process (a procedure by which a resolution passes if no formal objections are raised within a stipulated time) was broken at the request of the U.K.’s UN Ambassador who wrote a letter on behalf of the six countries to the President of the 74th General Assembly.

About Five Eyes (FVEY)

  • It is an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries are parties to the multilateral UKUSA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • It began in 1946 when the United States and the United Kingdom agreed to an open exchange of intelligence on the communications of foreign nations. It was expanded when Canada joined the alliance in 1948, followed by Australia and New Zealand in 1956.
  • The Five Eyes alliance is planning to create a trusted supply chain among its member nations to end reliance on China. Hence statement 2 is correct

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/un-75-declaration-delayed/article31927129.ece

6.Consider the following statements regarding Black hole

  • The event horizon of a black hole represents a boundary from which nothing can escape.
  • The force of gravity from black hole is very strong
  • Black holes are not invisible

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

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

Answer: (a) 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Black hole merges with unusual compact object 

  • The LIGO Scientific and VIR­ GO Collaborations (LSC) have detected an unusual compact object whose mass falls in between that of a typ­ical black hole and a neutron star.
  • The absence of accom­panying electromagnetic sig­ natures such as flashes of light are compatible with both. This puzzling event was registered by the LIGO and VIRGO detectors on Au­ gust 14, 2019.
  • This could be the lightest black hole or heaviest neutron star

About Black Hole:

  • A black hole is a region in space where the pulling force of gravity is so strong that light is not able to escape. Hence statements 2 is correct
  • The strong gravity occurs because matter has been pressed into a tiny space. This compression can take place at the end of a star’s life. Some black holes are a result of dying stars.
  • Because no light can escape, black holes are invisible. However, space telescopes with special instruments can help find black holes. They can observe the behavior of material and stars that are very close to black holes. Hence statements 3 is incorrect
  • Black holes can be detected by x-rays, light, or other forms of electromagnetic radiation.
  • For anything approaching a black hole, the point of no return is called the event horizon – anything that comes within the event horizon will be consumed foreverHence statements 1 is correct
  • They were predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass can deform spacetime to form a black hole.
  • Due to high density, Black holes are small in size. According to NASA, a black hole 20 times the mass of the sun could fit inside a ball 16 kilometres wide.
  • There are four types of black holes: stellar, intermediate, supermassive, and miniature. The most commonly known way a black hole forms is stellar.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1633390

7.Consider the following statements regarding Kuiper belt

  • It is a region of the solar system beyond the planets, extending from the orbit of pluto.
  • It consists mainly small bodies or remnants from the solar system’s formation.

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:  Warm beginning

A new study published in Nature Geoscience suggests that dwarf planet Pluto and other large objects in the Kuiper belt may have started off with liquid oceans which slowly froze over time.

The plate tectonics of Pluto and hence its surface features would be different if it initially had a “cold start” or a “hot start”. Images of Pluto’s surface will help decide between these scenarios.

About Kuiper belt

  • Kuiper belt is a region of the solar system beyond the planets, extending from the orbit of Neptune. Hence statement 1 is incorrect
  • It consists mainly small bodies or remnants from the solar system’s formationHence statement 2 is correct
  • It is similar to the asteroid belt, although it is far larger — 20 times as wide and 200 times as massive.
  • The Kuiper belt objects (KBO) are composed largely of frozen volatiles (termed ‘ices’), such as methane, ammonia and water.
  • Kuiper belt is home to at least three dwarf planets — Pluto, Haumea and Makemake. Pluto, discovered in 1930, is considered its largest member.
  • International Astronomical Union and Minor Planets Centre names the objects that lie in the Kuiper Belt.
  • It is known as the third zone of the solar system, after the zone hosting the gas planets in our solar system.
  • It contains hundreds of millions of small icy bodies that are thought to be left over material from the formation of the outer planets.
  • At least three dwarf planets are located in the Kuiper belt: Pluto, Haumea and Makemake.
  • Also, some of the solar system’s moons are thought to have originated there, such as Neptune’s Triton and Saturn’s Phoebe.

Source: TH

8.Consider the following statements regarding Dexamethasone

  • It is a corti­costeroid drug used in a wide range of conditions for its anti-­inflammatory and immunosuppressant effects
  • It reduces the production of the chemicals that cause inflammation and also reduces the activity of the immune system by affecting the way white blood cells function.

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: Govt. approves use of dexamethasone

  • The Union Health Ministry on Saturday released an up­ dated clinical management protocol for COVID­19 cases. This includes the advice to use dexamethasone as an al­ternative to methylpredniso­lone for managing moderate to severe cases.
  • The drug was tested in hos­pitalised patients with CO­ VID­19 in the ‘RECOVERY’ clinical trial in the United Kingdom and was found to have benefits for critically ill patients and reduce mortali­ty by one­ third for patients on ventilators and one­ fifth for patients on oxygen thera­py. The drug is also a part of the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) and is widely available.

About dexamethasone

  • It is a low cost, anti-inflammatory drug, commonly used to treat conditions in which the body’s immune system does not function properly, and causes inflammation and tissue damage. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • Dexamethasone reduces the production of the chemicals that cause inflammationand also reduces the activity of the immune system by affecting the way white blood cells function. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • Dexamethasone falls in a category called corticosteroids, which closely mimic cortisol, the hormone naturally produced by the adrenal glands in humans.
  • It is commonly used in treatment for rheumatological inflammatory conditions: inflammations of muscles, inflammation of blood vessels, chronic arthritis, and lupus.
  • It is used in lung diseases, kidney inflammation and eye inflammation, and to reduce swelling associated with tumours of the brain and spine.
  • In cancer patients, it is used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy drugs.

Source: TH

9.Consider the following statements regarding Moplah Rebellion

  • This rebellion coincided with the countrywide Non-cooperation movement
  • The immediate cause of Moplah agitation was the renewal of fee at an exorbitant rate fixed by the Jenmis.

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: 1921 and the Malabar Rebellion

Malayalam film director Aashiq Abu, on June 22, announced a new film project, ‘Variyamkunnan’, on Variyamkunnath Kunhamed Haji, the main protagonist of the Malabar Rebellion of 1921 who was executed by the British. Soon, three more directors, Ibrahim Vengara, P.T. Kunju Muhammed and Ali Akbar, announced their own films on the same historic figure

About Moplah Rebellion

  • The Moplahs are a band of fanatic Muslims who have descended from the Arabs who settled in the Malabar Coast in about the 8th or 9th century A.D.
  • The Mopla revolt refers to the British-Muslim and Hindu-Muslim conflict in Kerala that occurred in 1921.
  • The immediate cause of Moplah agitation was the renewal of fee at an exorbitant rate fixed by the Jenmis. This was unbearable for the Moplahs. The land tenure system in Malabar was quite unfavourable to the Moplah tenants. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The Moplahs were organised by the Congress and the Khilafat supporters during the Non-cooperation Movement. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The leaders of the Khilafat and Non-cooperation Movement like Gandhi, Shaukat Ali and Maulana Azad addressed Moplah meetings.
  • After the arrest of national leaders, the leadership passed into the hands of local Mappila leaders.

About Variankunnathu Kunjahammed Haji

  • Variankunnathu Kunjahammed Haji was a leader of the 1921 Malabar rebellion who was executed by the British regime.
  • A section in Kerala hail Haji as a leader who laid down his life for the nation fighting British colonialism.
  • Hindu rightwing groups claim he was a leader of fanatics who targeted Hindus in Eranadu and Valluvanadu taluks in south Malabar in 1921.
  • Left historians in the state have argued that the Malabar rebellion should be seen as a peasant struggle against the Hindu feudal landlords in the region.

Source: TH

10.Regarding Wood’s Dispatch, which of the following statements are true?

  • Grants-in-Aid system was introduced.
  • Establishment of universities was recommended.
  • English as a medium of instruction at all levels of education was recommended

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Answer: (a) 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

In 1854, Charles Wood prepared a despatch on an educational system for India. Considered the “Magna Carta of English Education in. India”, this document was the first comprehensive plan for the spread of education in India.

  • It asked the Government of India to assume responsibility for education of the masses, thus repudiating the ‘downward filtration theory’, at least on paper.
  • It systematised the hierarchy from vernacular primary schools in villages at bottom, followed by Anglo –Vernacular High Schools and an affiliated college at the district level, and affiliating universities in the presidency towns of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. Statement 3 is not correct.
  • It recommended English as the medium of instruction for higher studies and vernaculars at school level.
  • It laid stress on female and vocational, education, and on teachers’ training.
  • It laid down that the education imparted in government institutions should be secular. Statement 1 is correct.
  • It recommended a system of grants – in -aid to encourage private enterprise. Statement 2 is correct