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Daily Prelims Test – 29_October 2020

Consider the following statements regarding IndiGen Project

  1. It is an initiative of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
  2. It aims to undertake whole genome sequencing of a thousand Indian individuals representing diverse ethnic groups from India.

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) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: CSIR’s IndiGen project helps scientists analyse genomes of 1,029 Indians. Hence statement 1 is correct

  • The project aims to help researchers develop therapies for various diseases, including cancer, and with its completion, scientists have now analysed genomes (complete DNA set) of 1,029 healthy Indians.
  • India is the second largest country in terms of population density, with more than 1.3 billion people, encompassing 17 per cent of the world’s population. Despite having such rich genetic diversity, the country has been under-represented in global genome studies, and population-specific variants are not adequately captured and catalogued in global medical literature.

About IndiGen programme

  • IndiGen programme aims to undertake whole genome sequencing of a thousand Indian individuals representing diverse ethnic groups from IndiaHence statement 2 is correct
  • The objective is to create a pilot dataset to enable genetic epidemiology of carrier genetic diseases towards enabling affordable carrier screening approaches in India. We also hope to mine allele frequencies for genetic variants for estimating population scale prevalence for diverse clinical applications.
  • The human genome data sets would also be utilized for prioritizing Pharmaco genomics variants specific for Indian population for optimizing therapy and minimizing adverse events.
  • The objective is to create a pilot dataset to enable genetic epidemiology of carrier genetic diseases towards enabling affordable carrier screening approaches in India.
  • IndiGen is funded by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) India through grant MLP1809

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/csirs-indigen-project-helps-scientists-analyse-genomes-of-1029-indians-6904863/


Consider the following statements regarding International Financial Services Centres Authority

  1. It is a statutory unified regulatory body under the Ministry of Finance
  2. It will consist of nine members appointed by the central government.

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:

The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) approved regulations on bullion exchange

The Board, after detailed deliberations, approved the following regulations:

International Financial Services Centres Authority (Bullion Exchange) Regulations, 2020

  • The Government of India, on the recommendation of IFSCA, notified the bullion spot delivery contract and bullion depository receipt (with bullion as underlying) as Financial Products and related services as Financial Services under the IFSCA Act, 2019 on August 31, 2020.

International Financial Services Centres Authority (Global In-House Centres) Regulations, 2020

  • On October 16, 2020, Government of India, on the recommendation of IFSCA, had notified Global In-House Centres (GIC) as financial service to provide services relating to financial products and financial services.

About International Financial Services Centres Authority

  • The central government has established International Financial Services Centres Authority to regulate all financial services in International Financial Services Centres (IFSCs)
  • IFSCA is a statutory unified regulatory body under the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • It was established by an IFSCA Act, 2019 of Parliament.
  • The body is headquartered in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
  • The IFSCA will consist of nine members, appointed by the central government. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • Include Chairperson, a member each from the RBI, SEBI, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), and the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA)
  • Two members from the Ministry of Finance.
  • Two other members will be appointed on the recommendation of a Selection Committee.
  • All members of the IFSC Authority will have a term of three years, subject to reappointment.
  • The authority will regulate financial products such as securities, deposits or contracts of insurance, financial services, and financial institutions which have been previously approved by any appropriate regulator such as Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) etc., in an IFSC.
  • It will also regulate any other financial products, financial services, or financial institutions in an IFSC, which may be notified by the central government.
  • It also recommends any other financial products, financial services or financial institutions to the central government, which may be permitted in an IFSC.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1668007


Recently, India signed an agreement for Electronic Exchange of Customs data (EAD) related to postal shipments exchanged with which of the following countries?

a) USA

b) China

c) Brazil

d) Japan

Answer: (a) USA

Explanation:

In NEWS: India Post, US Postal Service sign agreement for electronic exchange of customs data

  • Department of Posts and United States Postal Service, USPS have entered into an agreement for electronic exchange of customs data related to postal shipments exchanged between the two countries. Hence option (a) is correct
  • The agreement will make it possible to transmit and receive electronic data of international postal items prior to their physical arrival at the destination and would enable customs clearance of postal items in advance in line with the evolving global postal framework.
  • This will also improve the performance of postal services in terms of reliability, visibility and security.
  • Exchange of Electronic Advance Data as per the Agreement will be a key driver towards promoting mutual trade with emphasis on the exports from different parts of India to USA through postal channel. USA is a major destination of MSME products, Gems and Jewelery, Pharmaceuticals and other local products from India. This will fulfill a major demand of export industry to expedite customs clearances of export items.
  • The primary objective that will be served by this agreement is to facilitate ease of exports for small and large exporters through postal channels from different parts of the country and will contribute towards making India an Export Hub for the world.
  • USA is the top export destination for India which is also reflected in exchange of goods through postal channel. In 2019, around 20 per cent of outbound EMS and 30 per cent of Letters and Small Packets transmitted by India Post were destined to USA whereas 60 per cent of the Parcels received by India Post were originated from USA

Source: http://www.newsonair.com/News?title=India-Post%2C-US-Postal-Service-sign-agreement-for-electronic-exchange-of-customs-data&id=403156


Maldharis is a traditional pastoral people found in and around the:

a) Gir National Park

b) Kaziranga National Park

c) Jim Corbett National Park

d) Tadoba National Park

Answer: (a) Gir National Park

Explanation:

In NEWS: Project Lion could displace Maldharis within Gir to create ‘inviolate space’

  • The proposal seeks to relocate 2,500 families of the community from the Gir protected area within 10 years
  • Maldharis, a traditional pastoral people found in and around the Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, might end up being uprooted from their homes, if the Project Lion proposal takes shape. Hence option (a) is correct
  • The proposal, created by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and the Gujarat forest department, talks of creating ‘an inviolate space of 1,000 square kilometres’ (sq km).  
  • Inviolate spaces are areas free from anthropomorphic pressures. Resource extraction of forest produce like fuel wood, fodder and minor forest produce as well as human habitation are not allowed in such places.
  • Project Lion was launched by Narendra Modi August 15, 2020.
  • Lions are found in Gujarat across an area of 30,000 sq km called the Asiatic Lion Landscape (ALL). But only 250 sq km of the Gir National Park is the exclusive space for lions while the rest is shared with people, according to the Project Lion proposal.
  • These people are the Maldharis, who have resided in the area for several generations. They live in settlements called ness and make their living by selling milk from their water buffaloes.
  • Presently Maldhari and lions coexist in a win-win state where lions get a considerable part of their food from Maldhari livestock and Maldharis profit substantially by free access to forest resources
  • The proposal for the relocation of Maldharis is also in contravention of the provisions of the Schedule Tribe and Other Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, (FRA) 2006.
  • Under the provisions of the Act, forest dwellers cannot be displaced unless the rights settlement process has been completed.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/project-lion-could-displace-maldharis-within-gir-to-create-inviolate-space–73992


Which of the following documents announced during the 3rd India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue?

  1. MoU for Technical Cooperation in Earth Observations and Earth Sciences.
  2. Agreement for the Electronic Exchange of Customs Data between the Postal Operator
  3. Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement between the Ministry of Defence, Government of India and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), Department of Defence of the United States of America.
  4. Arrangement extending the duration of the Memorandum of Understanding between India and the USA.

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

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

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

Explanation:

In NEWS: Ind -U.S. 2+2 dialogue U.S to support India’s defence of territory

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held the third edition of the 2+2 talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.

Documents announced during the 3rd India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue:

  1. Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement between the Ministry of Defence, Government of India and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), Department of Defence of United States of America.
  2. MoU for Technical Cooperation in Earth Observations and Earth Sciences.
  3. Agreement for the Electronic Exchange of Customs Data between the Postal Operators.
  4. Arrangement extending the duration of the Memorandum of Understanding between India and the USA.
  5. Letter of Intent between the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences, New Delhi and the Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Cancer Institute, Government of the USA for cooperation in the field of Ayurveda and Cancer Research. Hence all the above statements are correct.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-us-22-dialogue-rajnath-singh-raises-chinas-action-in-ladakh/article32955117.ece


Consider the following statements regarding NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) Mission

  1. NISAR will measure Earth’s changing ecosystems, dynamic surfaces, and ice masses providing information about biomass, natural hazards, sea level rise, and groundwater, and will support a host of other applications.
  2. NISAR scheduled to be launched by 2022.

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: ISRO-NASA satellite NISAR scheduled to be launched by 2022.

  • The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) satellite is expected to be launched by 2022 as India and the US have decided to share Space Situational Awareness Information, which will catalyse efforts to create the conditions for a safe and sustainable space environment. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • NISAR will measure Earth’s changing ecosystems, dynamic surfaces, and ice masses providing information about biomass, natural hazards, sea level rise, and groundwater, and will support a host of other applications. Hence statement 2 is correct.

Source: https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/isro-nasa-satellite-nisar-scheduled-to-be-launched-by-2022-2316628


Electricity Access in India and Benchmarking Distribution Utilities’ report which was launched by?

a) NITI Aayog

b) Ministry of Power

c) Ministry of New and Renewable resource

d) Both (a) and (b)

Answer: (d) Both (a) and (b)

Explanation:

In NEWS: NITI Aayog, Rockefeller Foundation & Smart Power India Launch Electricity Access & Utility Benchmarking Report

  • NITI Aayog, Ministry of Power, Rockefeller Foundation, and Smart Power India launched the ‘Electricity Access in India and Benchmarking Distribution Utilities’ report. Hence option (d) is the correct answer.
  • As much as 92% of customers reported the overall availability of electricity infrastructure within 50 metres of their premises; however, not all have connections, the primary reason being the distance of households from the nearest pole.
  • Overall, 87% of the surveyed customers have access to grid-based electricity. The remaining 13% either use non-grid sources or don’t use any electricity at all.
  • A satisfaction index was created to assess the overall satisfaction level of customers with utility services. The study suggested that a total of 66% of those surveyed were satisfied––74% of customers in urban areas and 60% in rural areas.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1668185


India signed which of the following foundational pacts of India-US military cooperation?

a) Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement

b) Communication Compatibility and Security Agreement

c) Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement

d) All the above

Answer: (d) All the above

Explanation:

In NEWS: BECA — and importance of three foundational pacts of India-US military cooperation

  • BECA, along with the two agreements signed earlier — the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) and the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) — completes a troika of “foundational pacts” for deep military cooperation between the two countries. Hence option (d) is the correct answer.
  • BECA will help India get real-time access to American geospatial intelligence that will enhance the accuracy of automated systems and weapons like missiles and armed drones.
  • Through the sharing of information on maps and satellite images, it will help India access topographical and aeronautical data, and advanced products that will aid in navigation and targeting.
  • This could be key to Air Force-to-Air Force cooperation between India and the US. BECA will provide Indian military systems with a high-quality GPS to navigate missiles with real-time intelligence to precisely target the adversary.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/beca-india-us-trade-agreements-rajnath-singh-mike-pompeo-6906637/


With reference to the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), consider the following statements:

  1. It was founded in 1950 by Jawaharlal Nehru, independent India’s first Prime Minister.
  2. Its objectives are to actively participate in the formulation and implementation of policies and programs pertaining to India’s external cultural relations.
  3. It is an autonomous organization of the Government of India.

Which of the statements 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: (b) 2 and 3 only

Explanation:

  • A six year old Bangladeshi boy Anzar Mustaeen Ali won a special prize of USD 1000 for his artwork in the global art competition organised by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR).
  • The ICCR had launched a global painting competition named ‘United Against CORONA- Express through Art’ which attracted 8000 artwork entries from around the world.
  • The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) was founded in 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, independent India’s first Education Minister. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
  • Its objectives are to actively participate in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes pertaining to India’s external cultural relations. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • It is an autonomous organisation of the Government of India. Hence statement 3 is correct.

Source: AIR


With reference to the election of the President of India, consider the following statements:

  1. The value of the vote of each MLA varies from State to State.
  2. The value of the vote of MPs of the Lok Sabha is more than the value of the vote of MPs of the Rajya Sabha.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

The President is elected not directly by the people but by members of electoral college consisting of:

  • the elected members of both the Houses of Parliament;
  • the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the states; and
  • the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry.

Value of th vote is determined in the following manner:

  • Every elected member of the legislative assembly of a state shall have as many votes as there are multiples of one thousand in the quotient obtained by dividing the population of the state by the total number of the elected members of the assembly. (Hence, it varies according to population of state.) Hence statement 1 is correct
  • Every elected member of either House of Parliament shall have such number of votes as may be obtained by dividing the total number of votes assigned to members of the legislative assemblies of the states by the total number of the elected members of both the Houses of Parliament. Hence statement 2 is incorrect