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Daily Prelims Test – 28_June_2022

1. Global Liveability Index is released by which of the following international organisation?

a) United Nations Environment Programme

b) Economist Intelligence Unit

c) United Nations Human Settlements Programme

d) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Answer: (b) Economist Intelligence Unit

Explanation:

In NEWS: These are the world’s ‘most’ and ‘least’ liveable cities, says a new report

  • In its report, the Economist Intelligence Unit says that the Liveability Index rose sharply in the 2022 survey
  • Denmark’s capital Copenhagen and Switzerland’s Zurich came in second and third place respectively. Another city in Switzerland, Geneva, was in sixth place.
  • Top Five Least Liveable Cities: Tehran (Iran), Douala (Cameroon), Harare (Zimbabwe), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Port Moresby (PNG).

About Global Liveability Index

  • This year the Global Liveability Index surveyed over 173 cities
  • across the globe.
  • Previously, the index ranked 140 global cities.
  • It quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual’s lifestyle in 173 cities worldwide.
  • It assesses which locations provide the best living conditions.
  • The survey rates cities worldwide based on 30 qualitative and quantitative criteria, which fall into five general categories: Stability, Health care, Culture and environment, Education, Infrastructure

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/these-are-the-world-s-most-and-least-liveable-cities-101655959754718.html

2. Consider the following statements regarding the Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile

1) It has been designed and developed jointly by three facilities of the Defence Research and Development Organisation

2) It is a ship borne weapon system including sea-skimming targets.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile successfully flight-tested by DRDO & Indian Navy off Odisha coast

  • Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM) was successfully flight-tested by Defence Research & Development Organisation
  • The VL-SRSAM, a ship borne weapon system, is meant for neutralising various aerial threats at close ranges including sea-skimming targets.

What is VL-SRSAM?

  • VL-SRSAM has been designed and developed jointly by three facilities of the Defence Research and Development Organisation for deployment of Indian Naval warships.
  • The missile has the capability of neutralising various aerial threats at close ranges including sea-skimming targets.
  • The tactic of sea skimming is used by various anti-ship missiles and some fighter jets to avoid being detected by the radars onboard warships.
  • For this, these assets fly as close as possible to sea surface and thus are difficult to detect and neutralise.
  • The missile has been designed to strike at the high-speed airborne targets at the range of 40 to 50 km and at an altitude of around 15 km.
  • DRDO officials have said its design is based on Astra missile which is a Beyond Visual Range Air to Air missile.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/what-is-vertical-launch-short-range-surface-to-air-missile-7667344/

3. Which of the following statement are correct regarding Hermit?

a) It is the latest sophisticated spyware

b) It is a peace-keeping organization of UN

c) It is a newly found ant species

d) It is an initiative to eradicate AIDS

 Answer: (a) It is the latest sophisticated spyware

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: What is Hermit, the Pegasus-like spyware that targeted Android, iOS devices?

  • ‘Hermit’ is the latest sophisticated spyware in the news, and it is believed to have targeted iPhones and Android devices in Italy and Kazakhstan.

What is Hermit and what exactly does it do on a device?

  • Hermit is a spyware on the lines of Pegasus by NSO Group.
  • Once installed on a device, it can record audio on the device, carry out unauthorised calls, and carry out many unauthorised activities
  • The spyware can also upload files from the device, read notifications, and take pictures of the screen.
  • Because it can gain access to the root or the ‘privilege’ access of an Android system, Lookout’s research showed, it can uninstall apps like Telegram and WhatsApp.

How did Hermit get deployed on Android and iOS devices?

  • Sophisticated spyware such as Hermit and Pegasus cost millions of dollars in licensing fees, and these are not simple operations. It’s not like common malware targeting regular users. 

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/everyday-explainers/what-is-hermit-spyware-explained-7995895/

4. Consider the following statements

1) Platform workers are those whose work is based on online software apps or digital platforms

2) Non-platform workers are generally casual wage workers, working part-time or full- time.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Niti Aayog’s report on India’s gig economy: what has the think-tank recommended?

  • In a report titled ‘India’s Booming Gig and Platform Economy’, government think-tank Niti Aayog has made observations on labour force participation of women and persons with disabilities, and made recommendations to companies.
  • Niti Aayog estimates that more than 7.5 million workers were engaged in the gig economy in 2020-21.
  • This could grow to 23.5 million workers in the next eight years, making up for 4.1 per cent of total livelihood in India.
  • According to the report, at present, about 47 per cent of the gig work is in medium skilled jobs, about 22 per cent in high skilled, and about 31 per cent in low skilled jobs.
  • While platform companies have created avenues of employment, it has often been marred by low wages, unequal gender participation, and a lack of possibility for upward mobility within an organisation. This has triggered protests from workers at companies like Swiggy, Zomato, Ola, Uber, and Urban Company, among others.
  • Gig workers are typically hired by companies on a contractual basis and are not considered their employees

Gig workers can be broadly classified into platform and non-platform workers.

  • Platform workers are those whose work is based on online software apps or digital platforms
  • While non-platform gig workers are generally casual wage workers, working part-time or full- time.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/niti-aayog-india-gig-economy-7995223/

5. Consider the following statements regarding Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council

1) It is an autonomous organization set up under the Department of Science & Technology

2) It is embarked upon the major task of formulating a Technology Vision for the country in various emerging technology areas.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: NITI Aayog proposes regulatory framework for electric mobility

  • “At a certain point of time in future there may be an appropriate ecosystem for enforcement of a regulation towards electric mobility or other clean transport options,” NITI Aayog said in its report Forecasting Penetration of Electric Two-Wheelers in India, jointly developed with TIFAC.
  • NITI Aayog has proposed a regulatory framework for electric mobility even as it forecasts electric two-wheelers sales in India to jump to 22.01 million by 2031 as against 0.23 million in 2021 if demand incentives continue beyond 2024 and battery cost reduces while the power goes up due to significant improvement in technology.

About Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council

  • TIFAC is an autonomous organization set up in 1988 under the Department of Science & Technology to look ahead in technology domain, assess the technology trajectories, and support innovation by networked actions in select areas of national importance.
  • TIFAC continues to strive for technology development in the country by leveraging technology innovation through sustained and concerted programmes in close association with industry and academia.
  • TIFAC embarked upon the major task of formulating a Technology Vision for the country in various emerging technology areas.
  • Under the leadership of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the then Chairman of TIFAC, Technology Vision 2020 exercise led to set of 17 documents, including sixteen technology areas and one on services.
  • While inaugurating the 103rd Indian Science Congress in Mysuru, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi released the Technology Vision 2035 prepared by TIFAC

Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/renewables/niti-aayog-proposes-regulatory-framework-for-electric-mobility/articleshow/92516707.cms

6. Consider the following statements regarding Water hyacinth

1) It is an aquatic weed common in water bodies

2) It is not an indigenous species of India

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Satellite imagery detects water hyacinth infestation in Kuttanad

  • A novel study involving researchers in India and the United Kingdom has succeeded in using satellite images to detect water hyacinth, an invasive aquatic weed, in Vembanad Lake in Kuttanad.

About Water hyacinth

  • Water hyacinth, scientifically known as Eichhornia crassipes Mart. (Pontederiaceae), is an aquatic weed common in waterbodies across South Asia, including India.
  • This is not an indigenous species but was introduced to India during the British colonial rule as an ornamental aquatic plant from South America.
  • The plant produces beautiful purple flowers that have high aesthetic value.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/agriculture/how-a-noxious-aquatic-weed-was-used-to-make-eco-friendly-products-generate-employment-in-rural-bengal-83388

7. Consider the following statements regarding Least Developed Countries Fund

1) It has financed the preparation and implementation of National Adaptation Programmes of Action

2) The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) administers the LDCF as a specialised trust fund

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: GEF climate adaptation funds plan more targeted support

  • At the 32nd Council meeting of the Least Developed Country Fund (LDCF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), representatives of vulnerable low-income and oceanic developing states welcomed plans for more targeted assistance from the funds, and two countries – Denmark and Finland – announced new financial pledges to the LDCF.

Least Developed Countries Fund

  • The Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) was established at the 7th Conference of the Parties in 2001 (COP7) to meet the adaptation needs of least developed countries (LDCs).
  • LDCF has financed the preparation and implementation of National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) to identify priority adaptation actions for a country based on existing information.
  • LDCF is active in sectors including water, agriculture and food security, health, disaster risk management and prevention, infrastructure and fragile ecosystems and has the largest portfolio adaptation projects of its kind.
  • The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) administers the LDCF as a specialised trust fund and serves as a basis for programming resources.

Source: https://www.thegef.org/newsroom/news/gef-climate-adaptation-funds-plan-more-targeted-support

8. Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment is closely associated with which of the following international organization?

a) G7 Nation

b) BRICS

c) G20 Nation

d) World Trade Organization

Answer: (a) G7 Nation

Explanation:

In NEWS: G7 leaders unveil $600-bn plan to rival China’s BRI in developing nations

  • The Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment scheme would allow countries to ‘see the concrete benefits of partnering with democracies
  • US President Joe Biden and other G7 leaders have unveiled ambitious plans to mobilise USD 600 billion in funding by 2027 to deliver transparent and game-changing infrastructure projects in developing countries like India, in a move seen as a counter to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
  • The initiative will be geared towards tackling climate change, improving global health, achieving gender equity and building digital infrastructure.
  • Fund seeks to invest in companies that increase food security and promote both climate resilience and climate adaptation in India, as well as improve the profitability and agricultural productivity of smallholder farms

Source: https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/g7-leaders-unveil-600-bn-plan-to-rival-china-s-bri-in-developing-nations-122062700931_1.html

9. Consider the following statements regarding The IUCN Red List

1) It is the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species.

2) It divides species into nine categories

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: Kerala to have its own regional red list of birds

  • The Kerala Bird Monitoring Collective led by Kerala Agricultural University and the Bird Count India will conduct the regional red list assessment.
  • Kerala will be the first State to have a region-specific red list of birds. Assessment will be done on the basis of the International Union for conservation for nature.

About The IUCN Red List

  • Established in 1964, the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global extinction risk status of animal, fungus and plant species.
  • The IUCN Red List is a critical indicator of the health of the world’s biodiversity.
  • Far more than a list of species and their status, it is a powerful tool to inform and catalyse action for biodiversity conservation and policy change, critical to protecting the natural resources we need to survive.
  • It provides information about range, population size, habitat and ecology, use and/or trade, threats, and conservation actions that will help inform necessary conservation decisions.
  • The IUCN Red List is used by government agencies, wildlife departments, conservation-related non-governmental organisations (NGOs), natural resource planners, educational organisations, students, and the business community.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala-to-have-its-own-regional-red-list-of-birds/article65563870.ece

10. Which one of the following is used in preparing a natural mosquito repellent?

a) Congress grass

b) Elephant grass

c) Lemongrass

d) Nut grass

Answer: (c) Lemongrass

Explanation:

  • Citronella the essential oil found in Lemongrass is registered with the FDA.
  • It is the most widely used natural mosquito repellent found in candles, sprays, and lotions. To help deter mosquitoes with its strong fragrance, plant lemongrass along walkways and in locations close to seating areas. Hence, option (c) is the correct answer