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Daily Prelims Test – 29_June_2022

1. The terminologies ‘Daksh, Utkarsh, Uttam, Prachesta, Akanshi’, recently seen in news is related to which of the following?

a) Non canonical Buddhist literatures

b) Navigatory direction concepts mentioned in the Vedas

c) Performance indicators for school education

d) Ancient Indian martial art forms

Answer: (c) Performance indicators for school education

In News: Performance Grading Index for Districts (PGI-D)

Rajasthan’s Sikar highest performing district in school education across India

Explanation:

  • The Ministry of Education’s Performance Grading Index for Districts (PGI-D) for 2019 released on Monday studied 83 indicators grouped in six categories. These categories are outcomes, effective classroom transaction, infrastructure facilities and student’s entitlements, school safety and child protection, digital learning and governance process.
  • PGI-D grades the districts into 10 grades with the highest achievable grade being ‘Daksh’, which is for districts scoring more than 90% of the total points in that category or overall.
  • The three districts have figured in the ‘Utkarsh’ category (scoring 81-90% on a scale of 100) with Junjhunu scoring the maximum (236 out of 290) in learning outcomes.
  • ‘Utkarsh’ category is for districts with scores between 81-90% followed by ‘Ati-Uttam’ (71-80%), ‘Uttam’ (61-70%), ‘Prachesta-I’ (51-60%), ‘Prachesta-II’ (41-50%) and ‘Pracheshta III’ (31-40%).
  • The lowest grade in PGI-D is called ‘Akanshi-3’ which is for scores up to 10% of the total points.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rajasthans-sikar-highest-performing-district-in-school-education-across-india/article65573881.ece

2. Consider the following:

       1. Help the government reduce its reliance on market borrowings.

       2. Further stringent the household budget following the hovering retail inflation.

Which of the above will be the outcome of an increase in the interest rates on Small Savings Fund?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (a) 1 only

In News: Small Savings Scheme – ‘Small savings rates likely to be raised’

Explanation:

Small Saving Schemes/Instruments

  • They are the major source of household savings in India and comprise 12 instruments.
  • The depositors get an assured interest on their money.
  • Collections from all small savings instruments are credited to the National Small Savings Fund (NSSF).
  • Small savings have emerged as a key source of financing the government deficit, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic led to a ballooning of the government deficit, necessitating higher need for borrowings.

Classification: Small savings instruments can be classified under three heads:

  • Postal Deposits (comprising savings account, recurring deposits, time deposits of varying maturities and monthly income scheme).
  • Savings Certificates: National Small Savings Certificate (NSC) and Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP).
  • Social Security Schemes: Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme, Public Provident Fund (PPF) and Senior Citizens‘ Savings Scheme (SCSS).

Households could get some relief this week as economists expect the government to raise the interest rates paid on small savings schemes for the July to September 2022 quarter

Retail inflation too had hovered above 7% in April and May, squeezing household budgets. Raising rates on small savings could also help the government reduce its reliance on market borrowings this year.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/small-savings-rates-likely-to-be-raised/article65573248.ece

3. The nature of the crime, and whether the juvenile should be tried as a minor or a child, was to be determined by which of the following authorities?

a) District Magistrate

b) Juvenile Justice Board

c) Superintend of Police

d) Child Welfare Committee

Answer: (b) Juvenile Justice Board

In News: Child Welfare Committee reconstitution evokes criticism

Explanation:

Key Highlights of the Juvenile Justice (2015 Amendment) Act, 2021:

  • Empowerment of District Magistrate – It authorises  District Magistrate including Additional District Magistrate to issue adoption orders under Section 61 of the JJ Act, in order to ensure speedy disposal of cases and enhance accountability.
  • The DM shall independently evaluate the functioning of District Child Protection Units, Child Welfare Committees(CWC), Juvenile Justice Boards, Specialized Juvenile Police Units, Child care Institutions etc.
  • Child Welfare Committees (CWCs):  The eligibility parameters for the appointment of CWC members have been redefined.Criteria for disqualification of the CWC members have also been introduced to ensure that only the persons capable of rendering quality service with requisite competence and integrity are appointed to CWC.
  • Serious offences: Presently there are three categories (petty, serious and heinous) defined under the Act which are referred to while considering the cases of children in conflict with the law.
  • However, it was observed that some of the offences do not strictly fall under any of these categories. It has been decided that offences where the maximum sentence is more than 7 years imprisonment but no minimum sentence has been prescribed or minimum sentence of fewer than 7 years is provided, shall be treated as serious offences within this Act.

Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children Act) 2015

  • It was introduced and passed in Parliament in 2015 to replace the Juvenile Delinquency Law and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children Act) 2000.
  • The Act seeks to achieve the objectives of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children as ratified by India on December 11, 1992.
  • It allows the trial of juveniles in conflict with the law in the age group of 16-18 years as adults, in cases where the crimes were to be determined.
  • a Juvenile Justice Board.
  • The Act streamlined adoption procedures for orphans abandoned and surrendered children.
  • The act had introduced foster care in India.
  • The existing Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) has been given the status of a statutory body to enable it to perform its function more effectively.
  • The law had also made provision that while adopting a child, priority is given to disabled children and physically and financially incapable children.
  • Special provisions have been made to tackle child offenders committing heinous offences in the age group of 16-18 years.
  • The Juvenile Justice Board is given the option to transfer cases of heinous offences by such children to a Children’s Court (Court of Session) after conducting the preliminary assessment.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/child-welfare-committee-reconstitution-evokes-criticism/article65561666.ece?homepage=true

4.Consider the following statements:

1. National Air Quality Index is prepared by monitoring the levels of 10 pollutants.

2. System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research involves the monitoring of 8 pollutants.

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: (d) Neither 1 nor 2

In News:

National Air Quality Resource Framework of India (NARFI)

Brainstorming Workshop on National Air Quality Resource Framework of India (NARFI)

Explanation:

NARFI has been developed by the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru. 

What is NARFI:

The NARFI is an information mechanism to help decision-makers in government, municipalities, start-ups and in the private sectors to address air pollution issues in different climatic zones of India.

Research-based audited Information and industry-oriented solutions will be shared in an easy-to-understand format.

The short-term basic training modules tailored for different groups such as active ground level staff in government establishments, implementers, media and policymakers, would be an integral part of the framework.

Objectives:

  • To help enrich communication and enhance general awareness, leading to self-mitigation.
  • Modules: The NARFI will evolve around the following five modules:
  • THEME-1: Emission Inventory, Air Shed, and Mitigation
  • THEME-2: Impacts on Human Health and Agriculture
  • THEME-3: Integrated Monitoring, Forecasting and Advisory Framework
  • THEME-4: Outreach, Social Dimension, Transition Strategy and Policy
  • THEME-5: Solutions, Public-Industry Partnership, Stubble Burning & New Technologies.

National Air Quality Index:

Launched in 2014 with outline ‘One Number – One Color -One Description’ for the common man to judge the air quality within his vicinity.

The measurement of air quality is based on eight pollutants, namely: Particulate Matter (PM10), Particulate Matter (PM2.5), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Ozone (O3), Ammonia (NH3), and Lead (Pb).

AQI has six categories of air quality. These are: Good, Satisfactory, Moderately Polluted, Poor, Very Poor and Severe.

It has been developed by the CPCB in consultation with IIT-Kanpur and an expert group comprising medical and air-quality professionals.

  • The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) is a national initiative introduced by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) to measure the air quality of a metropolitan city, by measuring the overall pollution level and the location-specific air quality of the city.
  • The system is indigenously developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and is operationalized by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
  • SAFAR is an integral part of India’s first Air Quality Early Warning System operational in Delhi.
  • It monitors all weather parameters like temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind speed, and wind direction, UV radiation, and solar radiation.
  • Pollutants monitored: PM2.5, PM10, Ozone, Carbon Monoxide (CO), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), Benzene, Toluene, Xylene, and Mercury.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1836725

5.Consider the following statements:

1) Public Accounts committee was established in 1921.

2) The Chairman of Public Accounts committee is appointed by the President.

3) It has members from both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Which of the above statements are correct?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (c) 1 and 3 only

In News: Mukul Roy resigns as chairman of Bengal’s Public Accounts Committee

Explanation:

  • PAC is one of the three Financial Parliamentary committees, the other two are the Estimates Committee and the Committee on Public Undertakings.
  • Parliamentary committees draw their authority from Article 105 (on privileges of Parliament members) and Article 118 (on Parliament’s authority to make rules for regulating its procedure and conduct of business).

Establishment:

  • The Public Accounts Committee was introduced in 1921 after its first mention in the Government of India Act, 1919 also called Montford Reforms.
  • The Public Accounts Committee is now constituted every year under Rule 308 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha.

Appointment:

  • The Chairman of the Committee is appointed by the Speaker of Lok Sabha.
  • It is to be noted that the Committee, not being an executive body, can only make decisions that are advisory by nature.
  • Members:
  • It presently comprises 22 members (15 members elected by the Lok Sabha Speaker, and 7 members elected by the Rajya Sabha Chairman) with a term of one year only.

Purpose:

  • It was framed with the purpose of ascertaining whether money granted to the Government by the Parliament has been spent by the former within the “scope of demand” or not, the PAC restricts any Minister from being elected as a member of it.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/mukul-roy-resigns-as-chairman-of-bengal-s-public-accounts-committee-101656328845966.html

6. Consider the following statements regarding Bharat NCAP

1) It is a new car safety assessment program which proposes a mechanism of awarding ‘Star Ratings’ to automobiles based upon their performance in crash tests

2) It will be applicable on type approved motor vehicles of category M1 with gross vehicle weight less than 3.5 tonnes

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: Shri Nitin Gadkari approves Draft GSR Notification to introduce Bharat NCAP (New Car Assessment Program)

  • Union minister for Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari has  approved the Draft GSR Notification to introduce Bharat NCAP (New Car Assessment Program), wherein automobiles in India shall be accorded Star Ratings based upon their performance in Crash Tests.

About Bharat NCAP

  • NCAP will be rolled out from 1st April 2023 and will mean auto manufacturers in India as well as importers will have the option of getting cars star rated within country.
  • The USA was the first country to introduce a programme for testing the safety standards of a car through crash tests.
  • Bharat NCAP is a new car safety assessment program which proposes a mechanism of awarding ‘Star Ratings’ to automobiles based upon their performance in crash tests.
  • Bharat NCAP standard is aligned with global benchmarks and it is beyond minimum regulatory requirements.
  • The proposed Bharat NCAP assessment will allocate Star Ratings from 1 to 5 stars.
  • The testing of vehicles for this programme will be carried out at testing agencies, with the necessary infrastructure.
  • It will be applicable on type approved motor vehicles of category M1 with gross vehicle weight less than 3.5 tonnes, manufactured or imported in the country.
  • M1 category motor vehicles are used for the carriage of passengers, comprising eight seats, in addition to driver’s seat.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1836729

7. Consider the following statements regarding Renewable Energy Certificate

1) It is a market-based instrument to promote renewable energy and facilitate compliance of renewable purchase obligations

2) It is regulated by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission

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: Few takers for renewable energy certificates despite push policy

Despite a massive policy push for renewable energy, there is negligible participation of voluntary buyers for renewable energy certificates

  • An Intellecap report shows that almost all the demand for renewable energy certificates comes from obligated entities such as discoms (60%) and captive power plants or open access consumers (nearly 40%), with negligible participation from voluntary buyers.
  • Non-solar RECs constitute 83% of the issuances, of which wind energy (38%) and biomass (15%) are the leading sectors, while share of solar PV is 17%, it said.
  • The report showed that in FY2020, only 5.3 million RECs were bought against an expected demand of 72.5 million RECs from 27 non-compliant discoms that did not meet their RPO targets. There was a shortfall in demand amounting to 67.2 million RECs.

About Renewable Energy Certificate

  • Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) mechanism is a market-based instrument to promote renewable energy and facilitate compliance of renewable purchase obligations (RPO).
  • RECs are traded in the India Energy Exchange (IEX) and Power Exchange India Ltd (PXIL) at a price within the forbearance and floor price determined by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC).
  • One REC is treated as equivalent to 1 MWh.
  • There are 2 categories of RECs i.e., Solar RECs and Non-solar RECs.

Source:

8. Gulabi Minakari is the rarest crafts in india that is practised in which one of the following state in India?

a) Uttar Pradesh

b) Gujarat

c) Andhra Pradesh

d) Karnataka

Answer: (a) Uttar Pradesh

Explanation:

In NEWS: Gulabi meenakari brooch to ittar bottles: PM Modi’s gifts to G7 leaders a slice of Indian crafts

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has often chosen gifts that showcase India’s rich cultural and artistic traditions, and it was no different this time as he picked a variety of products for the heads of governments at the G7 Summit
  • To US president Joe Biden, Modi gifted a pair of cufflinks of gulabi meenakari work with a matching brooch in the GI-tagged art form from Modi’s constituency Varanasi
  • UK PM Boris Johnson was given a tea set from UP’s Bulandshahr hand-painted with platinum metal paint to celebrate the platinum jubilee of the Queen.
  • France President Emmanuel Macron was gifted bottles of ittar in a zardozi box from Lucknow made of hand-embroidered khadi silk and satin tissue in the colours of the French National Flag.
  • Italian PM Mario Draghi was gifted a marble Inlay table top from Agra. To Senegal President Macky Sall, Modi gifted Moonj baskets and cotton durries from Sitapur
  • Indonesia President Joko Widodo was gifted lacquerware sculpture from Varanasi of Lord Ram in his court durbar made on goolar wood.

About Gulabi Minakari

  • Gulabi Minakari is one of the rarest crafts in India that is practiced in the bylanes of Varanasi, near Gai Ghat. Hence option (a) is correct
  • Minakari is an art form from Persia and involves colouring the surface of metals by fusing different colours.
  • This art was brought to the city of Varanasi by Persian enamellists during the Mughal era around the early 17th century.
  • The word ‘mina’ is the feminine form of the Persian word ‘Minoo’ and means ‘heaven’. It refers to the azure colour of heaven.

Source: TH

9. Which of the following countries is/are part of the Horn of Africa?

1) Djibouti

2) Eritrea

3) Ethiopia

4) Somalia

Select the correct answer using the codes given below

a) 2 and 3 only

b) 1 and 4 only

c) 1,2 and 3 only

d) 1,2,3 and 4

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

Explanation:

In NEWS: China’s interventions in the Horn of Africa

  • China has been investing across the African continent throughout the last decade
  • The conference held in Ethiopia witnessed the participation of foreign Ministries from the following countries of the Horn: Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, South Sudan, and Uganda.
  • Its coasts are washed by the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Indian Ocean.

About Horn of Africa 

  • Horn of Africa is a peninsula on the eastern coast of Africa that juts into the Arabian Sea and curves around the southern portion of the Arabian Peninsula. 
  • It is located to the east of the continent of Africa and south-west of the red sea and consists of four countries; Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and SomaliaHence option (d) is correct

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/explained-chinas-interventions-in-the-horn-of-africa/article65575747.ece

10. The Service Area Approach was implemented under the purview of

a) Integrated Rural Development Programme

b) Lead Bank Scheme

c) Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme

d) National Skill Development Mission

Answer: (b) Lead Bank Scheme

Explanation:

  • The Service Area Approach (SAA) introduced in April 1989, in order to bring about an orderly and planned development of rural and semi – urban areas of the country, was extended to all Indian scheduled commercial banks including Regional Rural Banks (RRBs). Hence option (b) is correct
  • Service area approach is an alternative and improved method of Lead Bank Scheme for deployment of bank credit for rural development. Under SAA, each bank branch in rural and semi -urban area was designated to serve an area of 15 to 25 villages and the branch was responsible for meeting the needs of bank credit of its service area.
  • The primary objective of SAA was to increase productive lending and forge effective linkages between bank credit, production, productivity and increase in income levels