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Daily Prelims Test – 29_August_2021

1. What is the aim of the SUJALAM campaign?

a)  It is aimed at providing broadband access in all villages in the country by 2022.

b) It aims to reach out to the new and potential exporters and mentor them to get into international trade and boost exports from India.

c)  It provides a web-based system for redressal of consumers‘ grievances relating to pricing and availability of medicines

d) It aims to create more and more ODF Plus villages by undertaking wastewater management at the village level.

Answer: (d) It aims to create more and more ODF Plus villages by undertaking wastewater management at the village level

Explanation:

In NEWS: Campaign For Making More ODF Plus Villages By Undertaking Waste Water Management At Village Level

●    The Ministry of Jal Shakti began ‘SUJALAM’, a ‘100 days campaign’ as part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations to create more and more ODF Plus villages by undertaking waste water management at village level particularly through creation of 1 million Soak-pits and also other Grey water management activities. Hence option (d) is the correct answer

●    The effort of the campaign would be directed towards achieving the ODF plus status for villages across the country in an accelerated manner in a short time.

●    The campaign will not only build desired infrastructure i.e. soak pit for management of greywater in villages but will also aid in sustainable management of water bodies.

●    The disposal of waste water and clogging of waterbodies in the villages or on the outskirts of the villages remain one of the major problems. The Campaign would help in management of the wastewater and in turn would help to revive the water bodies.

The key activities that will be organised in the villages under this campaign include:

●    Organizing Community consultations, Khuli Baithaks and Gram Sabha meetings to analyze the current situation

●    Pass resolution to maintain ODF sustainability and achieve needed number of soak pits to manage the grey water

●    Develop a 100 days’ plan to undertake sustainability and soak pit construction related activities

●    Construct requisite number of soak pits

●    Retrofit toilets where needed through IEC and community mobilization and

●    Ensure all newly emerging Households in the village have access to toilets.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1748899

2. Recently seen in the news Kilauea Volcano belongs to which of the following regions?

a)  Hawaii Island

b) Sumatra Island

c)  Honshu Island

d) Mindanao Island

Answer: (a) Hawaii Island

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: What’s happening with Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano? Will it erupt again?

●    The ground at the summit of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii has been rumbling and swelling in recent days, prompting scientists to warn that the mountain could once again disgorge lava. But there’s no indication an eruption is imminent.

●    The volcano, which is among the world’s most active, has behaved similarly in the past without any magma breaking the surface.

●    It’s not uncommon for Kilauea to have earthquakes, which could indicate rocks are moving.

●    It’s also not unusual for the ground to swell as the heat from the sun and saturation from rain can cause the ground to expand and contract.

Where is the activity happening?

●    It’s occurring at the summit of Kilauea volcano, an uninhabited area within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. This is about 200 miles southeast of Honolulu, which is on a different island called Oahu.

●    The site is miles from the nearest town. The park has closed off this part of the summit to the public since 2008.

Kilauea Volcano

●        Kilauea is about 200 miles south of Honolulu, on the Big Island of HawaiiHence option (a) is correct.

●        It is one of the world’s most active volcanoes, having erupted 34 times since 1952. In Hawaiian tradition, Kilauea is home to the volcano goddess Pele.

●        From 1983 to 2018, it erupted almost continuously, in some cases sending streams of lava that covered farms and homes.

●        At the end of this decades-long eruption, Kilauea spewed lava from vents in a residential neighborhood on its eastern flank and destroyed more than 700 homes.

●        In December, Kilauea erupted at the crater, creating a lake with enough lava to fill 10 Hoover dams. That eruption ended in May.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/hawaii-kilauea-volcano-earthquakes-7471769/

3. Consider the following statements with respect to the Arctic Council:

1) The Five Arctic states are permanent members of the Arctic Council.

2) It is a high-level intergovernmental body set up in 1996 by the Ottawa declaration to promote cooperation, coordination and interaction with the indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 only

c)  Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Climate change, a catalyst for Arctic cooperation

●    In 2007, Russian explorers planted their flag on the seabed 4,200 m (13,779ft) below the North Pole stating Moscow’s claims in the Arctic. This move was certainly viewed as provocative by other Arctic States.

●    The regional tension increased after the Russia-Ukraine conflict in 2014. Consequently, relations between the U.S. and Russia reached their lowest point again

●    Russia’s intention to re-establish the military might of its Northern Fleet also creates the security concerns and features prominently in the Norwegian foreign policy.

●    There are increasing instances of extreme heat in North America, wildfire in Russian Siberia due to environmental transformation in the region

●    According to The World Climate and Security Report 2020, the Expert Group of the International Military Council on Climate and Security, or the IMCCS, ‘the Arctic is warming nearly twice as fast as the rest of the planet with consecutive record-breaking warm years since 2014′

Arctic Council:

●    The Arctic Council is the leading intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States, Arctic Indigenous peoples and other Arctic inhabitants on common Arctic issues, in particular on issues of sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    It was formally established in 1996.

●    The Ottawa Declaration defines these states as Members of the Arctic Council.

●    The Council has the eight circumpolar countries as member states and is mandated to protect the Arctic environment and promote the economies and social and cultural well-being of the indigenous people whose organizations are permanent participants in the council. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.

●    The Arctic Council consists of the eight Arctic States: Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States.

●    In 2013, six Observers joined the Arctic Council, including China, Japan, India, Italy, South Korea, and Singapore, bringing their total number to 13.

●    Permanent Participants are organizations representing Arctic Indigenous peoples in the Council. They are supported by the Indigenous Peoples Secretariat.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/climate-change-a-catalyst-for-arctic-cooperation/article36088202.ece

4. With respect to Lumpy Skin Disease, consider the following statements:

1) It is a viral disease affecting cattle.

2) It spreads through mosquitoes, flies and ticks.

3) It is endemic to India.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 and 2 only

b) 2 only

c)  1 and 2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (c) 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Deadly Lumpy Skin Disease outbreak spreads to cattle in 5 Gujarat districts

●    Gujarat is the latest victim of the emerging viral disease outbreak in cattle, Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD), which has already been reported in at least 12 other States in the country.

●    12 States already affected by the disease, taking toll of hundreds of cattle

Lumpy Skin Disease:

●    Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) has been infecting India’s bovines.

●    The LSD is caused by infection of cattle or water buffalo with the poxvirus Lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV). Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    The virus is one of three closely related species within the genus capripox virus, the other two species being Sheeppox virus and Goatpox virus.

●    It appears as nodules of two to five centimetre diameter all over the body, particularly around the head, neck, limbs, udder (mammary gland of female cattle) and genitals.

●    It spreads through mosquitoes, flies and ticks and also through saliva and contaminated water and food. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    Control and prevention of lumpy skin disease relies on four tactics – movement control (quarantine), vaccination, slaughter campaigns and management strategies.

●    There is no treatment for the virus, so prevention by vaccination is the most effective means of control.

●    Secondary infections in the skin may be treated with Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDs) and also antibiotics when appropriate.

●    LSD is endemic to Africa and parts of West Asia, where it was first discovered in 1929. Hence statement (3) is incorrect.

●    In Southeast Asia the first case of LSD was reported in Bangladesh in July 2019.

●    In India, which has the world’s highest 303 million heads of cattle, the disease has spread to 15 states within just 16 months. In India it was first reported from Mayurbhanj, Odisha in August 2019.

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/deadly-lumpy-skin-disease-outbreak-spreads-to-cattle-in-5-gujarat-districts/article36104938.ece

5. Consider the following statements regarding Fair and Remunerative Price:

1) It is the minimum price that sugar mills have to pay to sugarcane and farmers.

2) It is announced by the state government.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 only

b) 2 only

c)  Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Government approves determination of Fair and Remunerative Price of sugarcane payable by Sugar Mills for sugar season 2021-22

●    Keeping in view interest of sugarcane farmers (GannaKisan), the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane for sugar season 2021-22 (October – September) at Rs. 290/- per quintal for a basic recovery rate of 10%, providing a premium of Rs. 2.90/qtl for each 0.1% increase in recovery over and above.

●    The cost of production of sugarcane for the sugar season 2021-22 is Rs. 155 per quintal. This FRP of Rs. 290 per quintal at a recovery rate of 10% is higher by 87.1% over production cost, thereby giving the farmers a return of much more than 50% over their cost.

Fair and Remunerative Price:

●    FRP is the minimum price at which sugarcane is purchased by sugar mills from farmersHence statement (1) is correct.

●    This price is fixed by the Union government based on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).

●    It is determined under Sugarcane (Control) Order, 1966. FRP is determined by considering various factors like cost of production, domestic & international prices, demand-supply situation, inter-crop price parity etc. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

●    FRP provides margins to farmers irrespective of the fact that sugar mills are generating a profit or not.

●    This price is applicable across the country uniformly. However, some states namely Haryana, Punjab, UP, Uttarakhand, and TN announce a State Advised Price, which is usually higher than the FRP.

Source: https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1748833

6. Consider the following statements regarding Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP):

1) It is an initiative by NITI Aayog.

2) It is a first of its kind, unified access portal which brings together women from different parts of India to realize their entrepreneurial aspirations.

Which of the above statements 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, Cisco launch next phase of Women Entrepreneurship Platform

●    The Niti Aayog and the US-based tech giant Cisco on Thursday launched the next phase of the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP), according to an official statement. Titled ‘WEP Nxt’, this next phase of Niti Aayog’s flagship platform will leverage Cisco’s technology and experience working with India’s start-up ecosystem to enable more women-owned businesses across the country

●    Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that as per the Sixth Economic Census, women only constitute 13.76 per cent of the total entrepreneurs, i.e., 8.05 million out of the 58.5 million entrepreneurs in the country.

●    WEP Nxt will further catalyse women entrepreneur movement and I am confident with Cisco as our partner, this technology platform will soon be the personalised guide for every woman entrepreneur in the country to realise her dreams

Women Entrepreneurship Platform

●    The WEP is a first of its kind, unified access portal that brings together women from different parts of India to realise their entrepreneurial aspirationsHence statement (2) is correct.
WEP, initially launched by the Niti Aayog in 2017, is a unified portal that brings together women from diverse backgrounds and offers them access to a multitude of resources, support, and learning. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    The initiative is aimed at building an ecosystem for women across India to realize their entrepreneurial aspirations, scale-up innovative initiatives and chalk-out sustainable, long-term strategies for their businesses.

●    WEP aims to address the bottlenecks faced by both aspiring and established women entrepreneurs by streamlining information across government and private sector schemes and initiatives

●    The platform aspires to substantially increase the number of women entrepreneurs who will create and empower a dynamic New India.

These aspirations are manifest in the three pillars on which WEP is built:

●    Ichha Shakti (motivating aspiring entrepreneurs to start their enterprise)

●    Gyaan Shakti (providing knowledge and ecosystem support to women entrepreneurs to help them foster entrepreneurship)

●    Karma Shakti (providing hands-on support to entrepreneurs in setting-up and scaling up businesses).

Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-bytes/niti-aayog-cisco-launch-next-phase-of-women-entrepreneurship-platform/articleshow/85655905.cms

7. Consider the following statements regarding UNAMA:

1) It is a UN Special Political Mission established to assist the state and the people of Afghanistan in laying the foundations for sustainable peace and development.

2) Its original mandate was to support the implementation of the Bonn Agreement.

Which of the above statements 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: Explained: Who is Islamic State Khorasan?

●    The Afghan offshoot of the terror organization “Islamic State,” known as ISIS-Khorasan, IS-K or ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The group takes its name from the Khorasan Province, an area that once included wide swaths of Afghanistan, Iran and central Asia in the Middle Ages.

●    According to a July 15 UN report, IS-K has between 500 and 1,500 fighters in Afghanistan and has strengthened its positions in and around the capital, Kabul, where it carries out most of its attacks.

●    The group hopes to broaden its ranks by recruiting disaffected Taliban fighters who reject the recent peace talks with the US

●    IS-K originally emerged in Pakistan as an armed student group belonging to the umbrella organization, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.

●    The long trail of bloody attacks IS-K has been busy on the terror front as of late. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) counted 77 attacks by IS fighters in the first four months of 2021 year alone

United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA):

●    UNAMA is a UN Special Political Mission established to assist the state and the people of Afghanistan in laying the foundations for sustainable peace and development. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    UNAMA was established in 2002 by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1401.

●    Its original mandate was to support the implementation of the Bonn Agreement. Reviewed annually, this mandate has been altered over time to reflect the needs of Afghanistan. Bonn Agreement was the initial series of agreements passed in 2001 and intended to recreate the State of Afghanistan following the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    Headquarters: Kabul, Afghanistan.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/islamic-state-khorasan-kabul-blasts-7473305/

8. Consider the following statements:

1) Vultures have a highly acidic stomach that helps them digest rotting carcasses and kill disease-causing bacteria.

2) India lost more than 95% of its vulture population.

3) The main reason for the decline in the vulture population is the use of the drug diclofenac.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 and 2 only

b) 2 only

c)  1 and 2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: The clean-up crew we need

●        The valour of Jatayu (a demi-god in the form of a vulture) in confronting Ravana is well-described in the Ramayana. The epic also mentions Sampati, Jatayu’s brother, who played an instrumental role in guiding Lord Rama towards lanka

●        India lost more than 95% of its vulture population through the 1990s and by the mid-2000sHence statement (3) is correct

●        Today, the country requires urgent conservation efforts to save vultures from becoming extinct.

Vultures:

●        Vultures belong to the Accipitridae family whose members include eagles, hawks and kites.

●        They have an average lifespan of 10-30 years in the wild.

●        Vultures are slow breeders and so the survival of every individual is very crucial.

●        Vultures don’t have a voice box. They communicate via grunts and hisses. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●        Their powerful bills and long slender necks are designed to help them tear off the meat chunks from inside the carcass. Unlike other raptors, vultures have weak legs and claws.

●        Vultures have a highly acidic stomach that helps them digest rotting carcasses and kill disease-causing bacteria. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●        India is home to nine species of vultures, but most of them face the danger of extinction.

●        It is one of the 22 species of large carrion-eating birds that live predominantly in the tropics and subtropics. 

●        They act an important function as nature’s garbage collectors and help to keep the environment clean of waste.

●        The main reason for the decline in the vulture population is the use of the drug, diclofenac.

●        Diclofenac, which relieves cattle of pain, is toxic to vultures even in small doses and causes kidney failure and death.

●        To study the cause of deaths of vultures in India, a Vulture Care Centre (VCC) was set up at Pinjore, Haryana in 2001.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/the-clean-up-crew-we-need/article36126870.ece

9. The term BBV87 was recently seen in the news and is related to which of the following?

a)  Near-Earth Object

b) New Rice variety

c)  Vaccine for treating chikungunya

d) Delta variant of Covid-19

Answer: (c) Vaccine for treating chikungunya

Explanation:

In NEWS: The world may soon get a vaccine against Chikungunya

●        A new weapon against the debilitating infection of Chikungunya could soon be in the offing. A multi-country Phase II / III clinical trial of a vaccine led by the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) in partnership with Bharat Biotech International Ltd (BBIL) began in Costa Rica August 24, 2021.

●        It is funded by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) with support from the Ind-CEPI mission of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), India.

●        IVI is advancing the clinical development of the vaccine named BBV87 through Phase II / III randomised, controlled trial to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of a 2-dose regimen in healthy adults at nine clinical trial sites across five countries with endemic Chikungunya.

●        The Global Chikungunya Vaccine Clinical Development Programme (GCCDP) seeks to develop and manufacture an affordable Chikungunya vaccine to achieve WHO prequalification to enable its distribution in low- and middle-income countries, consistent with CEPI’s core commitment to equitable access, affordability, and sustainability.

●        BBV87 vaccine is an inactivated whole virion vaccine based on a strain derived from an East, Central and South African genotype. Inactivated virions technology has a safety profile that potentially makes this vaccine accessible to special populations, such as the immunocompromised and pregnant women, that some other technologies cannot reach. Hence option (c) is correct.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/health/the-world-may-soon-get-a-vaccine-against-chikungunya-78672

10. Consider the following activities:

1) Spraying pesticides on a crop field

2) Inspecting the craters of active volcanoes

3) 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?

a)  1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c)  1 and 3 only

d) 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 Telangana) 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 correct.