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Daily Prelims Test – 30 August 2020

Consider the following statements regarding Padma Awards Committee

  • Padma Awards Committeeis constituted by the Prime Minister every year.
  • Padma Awards Committee is headed by the Cabinet Secretary.
  • The recommendations of the committee are submitted to the Prime Minister and the President of India for approval.

Which of the statement(s) 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: (d) 1,2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS:Online nominations for Padma Awards 2021 open till September 15

  • Nominations for Padma Awards to be announced on the occasion of Republic Day, 2021 have started from 1st of May.
  • The Padma Awards, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, are amongst the highest civilian awards of the country. Instituted in 1954, these Awards are announced on the occasion of the Republic Day every year.
  • The award seeks to recognize ‘work of distinction’ and is given for distinguished and exceptional achievements and service in all fields and disciplines.

About Padma Awards

  • The Padma Awards are one of the highest civilian honours of India.
  • The total number of awards to be given in a year should not be more than 120.
  • These awards are conferred by the President of India.
  • The award is given for distinguished and exceptional achievements/service in all fields/disciplines, such as, Art, Literature and Education, Sports, Medicine, Social Work, Science and Engineering, Public Affairs, Civil Service, Trade and Industry etc.
  • All persons without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex are eligible for these Awards.
  • Government servants including those working with PSUs, except Doctors and Scientists, are not eligible for Padma Awards.
  • The Padma Awards are conferred on the recommendations made by the Padma Awards Committee, which is constituted by the Prime Minister every year.Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • The Padma Awards Committee is headed by the Cabinet Secretary and includes Home Secretary, Secretary to the President and four to six eminent persons as members.Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The recommendations of the committee are submitted to the Prime Minister and the President of India for approval.Hence statement 3 is correct

Source: http://www.ddinews.gov.in/national/online-nominations-padma-awards-2021-will-remain-open-till-september-15

Consider the following statements regarding CHUNAUTI

  • It is an online Challenge under Next Generation Incubation Scheme
  • It aims to find the products and solutions to address the issues/challenges faced during and post pandemic situation.

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:IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Launches “Chunauti”- Next Generation Start-up Challenge Contest

  • Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology has launched ‘Chunauti’- Next Generation Startup Challenge Contest to further boost startups and software products with special focus on Tier-II towns of India.
  • CHUNAUTI – Challenge Hunt under NGIS for Advanced Uninhibited Technology Intervention
  • It is an online Challenge under Next Generation Incubation Scheme (NGIS) to find the products and solutions to address the issues/challenges faced during and post pandemic situation. Hence statement 1 is correct and Hence statement 2 is correct
  • It aims to identify around 300 startups working in identified areas and provide them seed fund of up to Rs. 25 Lakh and other facilities.
  • Under this challenge the Ministry of Electronics and IT will invite startups in the following areas of work:
  • Edu-Tech, Agri-Tech & Fin-Tech Solutions for masses
  • Supply Chain, Logistics & Transportation Management
  • Infrastructure & Remote monitoring
  • Medical Healthcare, Diagnostic, Preventive & Psychological Care
  • Jobs & Skilling, Linguistic tools & technologies
  • The startups selected through Chunauti will be provided various supports from the Government through Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) centers across India.
  • They will get incubation facilities, mentorship, security testing facilities, access to venture capitalist funding, industry connect as well as advisories in legal, Human Resource (HR), IPR and Patent matters.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1649231

Consider the following statements regarding Next Generation Incubation Scheme

  • It is a scheme launched by the Software Technology Park of India.
  • It is an Incubation Scheme which offers comprehensive support & services to technology start-ups from various STPI incubation facilities pan-India under one common umbrella.

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:Shri Prasad urged the young, talented innovators of India to come forward and avail benefits of Chunauti challenge and create new software products and apps

  • The startups selected through Chunauti will be provided various support from the Government through Software Technology Parks of India centers across India.
  • They will get incubation facilities, mentorship, security testing facilities, access to venture capitalist funding, industry connect as well as advisories in legal, Human Resource (HR), IPR and Patent matters

About Next Generation Incubation Scheme (NGIS):

  • It is a scheme launched by the Software Technology Park of India (STPI).Hence statement 1 is correct
  • NGIS is an Incubation Scheme which offers comprehensive support & services to technology start-ups from various STPI incubation facilities pan-India under one common umbrella.Hence statement 2 is correct
  • To support up to 300 Startups/entrepreneurs with Incubation, Finance/Seed funding, Mentorship support through pan India mentor pool and Entrepreneurs Platforms to enable networking, knowledge-sharing and co-learning& Internship Grants to promising startups.

Software Technology Park of India (STPI):

  • STPI is an autonomous society under union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
  • It has been set up with distinct focus to boost up Software export from the country.
  • STPI is constantly working with an objective to implement Software Technology Parks (STP)/ Electronics and Hardware Technology Parks (EHTP) scheme formulated by Govt. of India, set up and manages infrastructural facilities.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1649231

  • Association of Renewable Energy Agencies of the States is an initiative of
  • Ministry of New & Renewable Energy
  • International Solar Alliance
  • Bureau of Energy Efficiency
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Answer: (a) Ministry of New & Renewable Energy

Explanation:

In NEWS: Power Min proposes RPO for round the clock renewable energy

  • Speaking at the 6th Foundation Day of Association of Renewable Energy Agencies of States (AREAS) Singh said, “Renewable energy is economically viable today. The only rider is storage. Prices of storage will come down over time.”
  • The Power Minister has proposed a renewable purchase obligation (RPO) mechanism for round the clock (RTC) renewable energy, which will promote storage of electricity in the country.
  • AREAS should organize brainstorming sessions at least once in a quarter to discuss issues of renewable energy sector and come out with possible innovative solutions
  • AREAS has been set up following an MNRE initiative to provide a knowledge sharing platform for the renewable energy sector. Hence, Statement (a) is correct.
  • The MNRE minister is the Patron of the association, while Secretary, MNRE is the ex-officio president.
  • All State Nodal Agencies are members of the association.
  • Association of Renewable Energy Agencies of States (abbreviated as “AREAS) has been formed and registered as a society on 27 August 2014 under Society Registration Act 1860.
  • AREAS as a mission should take activities like launching communication plan including hoardings, radio/tv spots encouraging the consumption of electricity through renewables.

About Round-the-clock (RTC) power draft policy

  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has proposed a draft policy for the supply of round-the-clock (RTC) power to distributors through a mix of renewable energy and electricity generated in coal-based plants.
  • The main objective of the scheme is to provide RTC power to the discoms through bundling of RE power with thermal power and to scale up renewable capacity additions. 
  • It will also facilitate fulfilment of renewable purchase obligation (RPO) requirement of the obligated entities
  • Addressing the issues of intermittency, limited hours of supply and low capacity utilisation of transmission infrastructure, the draft policy provides for reverse bundling, wherein high-cost thermal power is being allowed to be bundled with cheaper renewable energy.

Source: https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/renewable/power-min-proposes-rpo-for-round-the-clock-renewable-energy/77815431

Recently, the term Metallolophia taleensis is seen in news, it is related to

a new moth species

a new snake species

a new fresh water fish species

a new virus strains

Answer: (a) a new moth species

Explanation:

In NEWS:New moth species found, another rediscovered after 100 years in Arunachal

  • The new moth species that we discovered belongs to the rare genus ‘Metallolophia’, of which only 16 species are known globally and three in India. Hence, Statement (a) is correct.
  • A group of five butterfly and moth researchers have found a new moth species and rediscovered another not seen in India in over a century at the Tale Wildlife Sanctuary (TWS) in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • ‘Metallolophia taleensis’ can be distinguished from other species in the same genus by the presence of prominent oval black-edged oval green spot on upperside forewing and smaller spot on hindwing.
  • The new species, of which the researchers collected two specimens, has been recorded at the Tale wildlife sanctuary only in the month of August so far. It has not been seen at any other location in any other month. Nothing is known about its life history yet.
  • The researchers also collected three specimens of ‘Metallolophiaopalina’, another species of the same genus, from the Tale wildlife sanctuary in August last year. Two specimens of the species were last seen in Sikkim in 1886 and 1889. The species was also seen in Nepal in 1893.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/new-moth-species-found-another-rediscovered-after-100-years-in-arunachal/story-RlAAWa6qhWWYUxgGDaamnJ.html

Consider the following statements regarding Wolbachia

It is a tiny virus that is present in up to 60% of all species of insects including several mosquito species

It is not safe for the humans, animals and the environment.

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: (d) Neither 1 nor 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: How mosquitoes stopped mosquitoes from spreading dengue in an Indonesian city? Two years ago, researchers infected mosquitoes with bacteria and released them into parts of an Indonesian city.

About Wolbachia

  • It is a tiny bacterium that is present in up to 60% of all species of insects, including several mosquito speciesbut it does not occur naturally in Aedes aegypti.Hence statement 1 is incorrect
  • Wolbachia live inside insect cells and are passed from one generation to the next through an insect’s eggs.
  • Wolbachia is safe for humans, animals and the environment.Hence statement 2 is incorrect.
  • How can mosquitoes bring down dengue, which is spread by mosquitoes?
  • In 2008, the Australian-based research group World Mosquito Program (WMP) discovered that Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can no longer spread dengue when they are carrying Wolbachia.
  • This is because the dengue virus struggles to replicate inside the mosquito when these bacteria are present.
  • The reasoning is that once you release mosquitoes carrying the Wolbachia bacteria, they will interbreed with the local wild mosquitoes. Over time, several generations of mosquitoes will be carrying Wolbachia naturally.
  • A stage will eventually be reached when those carrying Wolbachia represent a large proportion of the local mosquito population, so that a bite is less likely to transmit the virus to humans.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/mosquitoes-dengue-indonesia-experiment-6572699/

Consider the following statements regarding National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language

  • It is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Education
  • It aims to collect and evolve technical terms relating to various disciplines of knowledge in order to enrich the Urdu language.

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: Union Education Minister virtually addresses inaugural session of World Urdu Conference organised by National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language ( NCPUL )

  • Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ virtually addressed the inaugural session of the two days World Urdu Conference organised by National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language
  • The two days World Urdu Conference was organised by the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) in New Delhi.

About National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL):

  • It was set up in 1996 to promote, develop and propagate the Urdu language.
  • It is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Education (formerly Ministry of Human Resource Development).Hence statement 1 is correct
  • It is the principal coordinating and monitoring authority for promotion of Urdu language and Urdu education in India.

Functions:

  • To undertake the production of literature in the Urdu language
  • To collect and evolve technical terms relating to various disciplines of knowledge in order to enrich the Urdu language. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • To undertake and provide for publication, sale and exhibition of journals.
  • To help in development of computerization with a view to develop the Urdu language to meet the advanced technological requirements of the age.
  • To formulate/implement schemes for the teaching of Urdu language through mediums of English and Hindi and other Modern Indian Languages.
  • To provide financial assistance to NGOs for propagation of Urdu language.

Source: https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetailm.aspx?PRID=1649090

The ‘Doing Business report’ is brought out by

World Trade Organization

International Monetary Fund

World Economic Forum

World Bank

Answer: (d) World Bank

Explanation:

In NEWS: World Bank suspends ‘ease of doing business’ report

  • The World Bank Group has ‘paused’ the publication of the Doing Business report after irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data used in the report.Hence, Statement (d) is correct.
  • A number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology
  • India has recorded a jump of 14 positions against its rank of 77 in 2019 to be placed now at 63rd rank among 190 countries assessed by the World Bank. India’s leap of 14 ranks in the Ease of Doing Business ranking is significant, considering that there has been continuous improvement since 2015 and for the third consecutive year India is amongst the top 10 improvers.
  • The rankings were based on a country’s performance on 10 indicators.
  • The indicators are: Starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/world-bank-suspends-ease-of-doing-business-report/article32462039.ece

In the context of India, which of the following factors is/are contributor/contributors to reducing the risk of a currency crisis?

The foreign currency earnings of India’s IT sector

Increasing the government expenditure

Remittances from Indians abroad

Select the correct answerusing the code given below.

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

Answer: (b) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

  • Currency crisis is brought on by a decline in the value of a country’s currency. This decline in value negatively affects an economy by creating instabilities in exchange rates, meaning that one unit of a certain currency no longer buys as much as it used to in another currency.
  • A substantial amount of foreign exchange reserves can help to cushion against any risks of currency crisis.
  • The foreign current earnings of India’s IT sector and remittances from abroad would lead more inflow of foreign currencies in the economy and boost the foreign exchange reserves. Hence, Statements 1 and 3 are correct.
  • Statement 2 is not correct as increasing the government expenditure is not related to change in foreign exchange reserves or any currency fluctuations.
  1. Which one of the following suggested that the Governor should be an imminent person from outside the State and should be a detached figure without intense political links or should not have taken part in politics in the recent past?
  2. First Administrative Reforms Commission (1966)
  3. Rajamannar Committee (1969)
  4. Sarkaria Commission (1983)
  5. National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (2000)

Answer: (c) Sarkaria Commission (1983)

Explanation:

Sarkaria Commission Report (1988)

Recommendation on appointment of Governor:

  • Governor should be an eminent person and not belong to the state where he is to be posted. o State chief minister should have a say in the appointment of governor
  • Governor should be a detached figure without intense political links or should not have taken part in politics in recent past. Hence, Statement (c) is correct.
  • Governor should not be a member of the ruling party.