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Daily Prelims Test – 30_August_2021

1. Consider the following statements:

1) Animal Discoveries 2020 is a document published recently by the Zoological Survey of India.

2) India is positioned 8th in mega biodiversity countries in the world.

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: India adds 557 new species to its fauna: Zoological Survey of India

●    India has added 557 new species to its fauna, which includes 407 new species and 150 new records, reveals Animal Discoveries 2020, a document published recently by the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI). Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    The number of faunal species in India has climbed to 1,02,718 species with the discovery of the news species.

●    Among the States, the highest number of new species were discovered from Karnataka (66 species), followed by Kerala (51 species). Also in 2020, 46 new species were discovered from Rajasthan and 30 from West Bengal.

●    In terms of new records or species recorded in the country for the first time, Arunachal Pradesh had the highest (20 new records). In the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, 25 new species were discovered and 16 new records documented in 2020.

Among the new species, some interesting species discovered in 2020 are:

●    Trimeresurus salazar, a new species of green pit viper discovered from Arunachal Pradesh;

●    Lycodon deccanensis, the Deccan wolf snake discovered from Karnataka; and

●    Sphaerotheca Bengaluru, a new species of burrowing frog named after the city of Bengaluru.

●    Xyrias anjaalai, a new deep-water species of snake eel from Kerala;

●    Glyptothorax giudikyensis, a new species of catfish from Manipur; and

●    Clyster galateansis, a new species of scarab beetles from the Great Nicobar Biosphere.

Visitor species

●    Myotis cf. frater, a bat species earlier known from China, Taiwan and Russia, has been reported for the first time from Uttarakhand in India

●    Zoothera citrina gibsonhilli, an orange-headed thrush earlier known from southern Myanmar to south Thailand (central Malay peninsula) was reported for the first time from India based on a collection made from the Narcondam island in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Importance:

●    The ZSI publication shows that India is a mega biodiverse country, rich in biodiversity, with 23.39% of its geographical area under forest and tree cover.

●    India is positioned 8th in mega biodiversity countries in the world with 0.46 BioD index which is calculated by its percentage of species in each group relative to the total global number of species in each group. Hence statement (2) is correct.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/india-adds-557-new-species-to-its-fauna-zoological-survey-of-india/article36141615.ece

2. With respect to Deepar Beel, consider the following statements:

1) It is a permanent freshwater lake.

2) It is Assam’s only Ramsar site besides being an Important Bird Area.

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: Assam’s Deepar Beel Wildlife Sanctuary breathes easy after eco-sensitive zone notification

●    The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change notified the eco-sensitive zone of the Deepar Beel Wildlife Sanctuary on the south-western edge of Guwahati.

●    Deepar Beel has long been used as a sponge for Guwahati’s sewage via a couple of streams.

●    The wetland has also suffered from seepage of toxins from a garbage dump at Boragaon adjoining it.

●    It has for decades been threatened by a railway track — set to be doubled and electrified — on its southern rim, a garbage dump, and encroachment from human habitation and commercial units.

●    The water has become toxic and it has lost many of its aquatic plants that elephants would feed on.

Deepar Beel Wildlife Sanctuary:

●    Deepar Beel is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Assam and the State’s only Ramsar site besides being an Important Bird Area. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    It is located to the south-west of Guwahati city, in Kamrup Metropolitan district.

●    It is a permanent freshwater lake, in a former channel of the Brahmaputra River, to the south of the main river. Hence statement (1) is correct

●    It is also called a wetland under the Ramsar Convention which has listed the lake in November 2002, as a Ramsar Site for undertaking conservation measures on the basis of its biological and environmental importance.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/assams-deepar-beel-wildlife-sanctuary-breathes-easy-after-eco-sensitive-zone-notification/article36133229.ece

3. Pantanal Wetland is often seen in news, is located in which of the following regions?

a)  Brazil

b) Panama

c)  India

d) Indonesia

Answer: (a) Brazil

Explanation:

In NEWS: Is climate change killing Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetlands?

●    The Pantanal wetlands are located in the heart of South America and are the world’s largest tropical wetlands.

●    Home to a wealth of biodiversity, they stretch from Brazil into Paraguay and Bolivia.

●    Unlike the Amazon rainforest, vegetation in the Pantanal has evolved to coexist with fire — many plant species there require the heat from fires to germinate. Often caused by lightning strikes, those natural fires spring up at the end of the dry season, but the surrounding floodplains prevent them from spreading.

Pantanal Wetlands:

●    The Pantanal is a natural region encompassing the world’s largest tropical wetland area, and the world’s largest flooded grasslands.

●    It is located mostly within Brazil and extends to some portions of Bolivia and ParaguayHence option (a) is correct

●    It sprawls over an area estimated at between 140,000 and 195,000 square kilometers.

●    Roughly 80% of the Pantanal floodplains are submerged during the rainy seasons, nurturing a biologically diverse collection of aquatic plants and helping to support a dense array of animal species.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/video/wildlife-biodiversity/is-climate-change-killing-pantanal-the-world-s-largest-tropical-wetlands–78617

4. Consider the following statements:

1) A new series for vehicle registration ‘BH’ is introduced to avoid re-registration of vehicles while moving to another state.

2) BH-series will be available only for employees of Central Government and state government employees.

3) In India, a person is allowed to keep the vehicle for not more than 12 months in any state other than the state where the vehicle is registered.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 and 3 only

b) 2 only

c)  1 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (a) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Govt introduces new BH number series for vehicles: How will it help people?

●    In order to facilitate seamless transfer of vehicles, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways vide notification dated 26 Aug 2021, has introduced a new registration mark for new vehicles i.e. “Bharat series (BH-series)”.

●    Registration Mark Format: YY BH #### XX

●    A vehicle bearing this registration mark shall not require assignment of a new registration mark when the owner of the vehicle shifts from one State to anotherHence statement (1) is correct.

●    This vehicle registration facility under “Bharat series (BH-series)” will be available on a voluntary basis to Defense personnel, employees of Central Government/ State Government/ Central/ State Public Sector Undertakings and private sector companies/organizations, which have their offices in four or more States/Union territories. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

●    The motor vehicle tax will be levied for two years or in multiple of two.

●    BH-series non-transport vehicle will be 8 per cent in case of vehicles costing up to ₹10 lakh, 10 per cent in case of vehicles costing between ₹10-20 lakh and 12 per cent in case of vehicles costing above 20 lakh.

●    This scheme will facilitate free movement of personal vehicles across States/UTs of India upon relocation to a new State/UT.

●    After completion of the fourteenth year, the motor vehicle tax shall be levied annually which shall be half of the amount which was charged earlier for that vehicle.

●    Under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, a person is allowed to keep the vehicle for not more than 12 months in any state other than the state where the vehicle is registered. Hence statement (3) is correct.

When are the new rules coming into effect?

●    The Central Motor Vehicles (Twentieth Amendment) Rules, 2021, will come into force with effect from September 15, 2021, the government notification said. The registration mark for BH-series vehicles will be generated randomly through the portal.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/govt-introduces-new-bh-number-series-for-vehicles-how-will-it-help-people-101630138918803.html

5. With reference to Sweat Equity, consider the following statements:

1) It is a non-monetary contribution that the individuals or founders of a company make towards the company.

2) Under the Companies Act, 2013 sweat equity shares means such equity shares as are issued by a company to its directors or employees at a discount or for consideration, other than cash.

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: How new SEBI regulations benefit listed company employees

●    The new regulations have widened the scope of employees who can be offered stock options, and brought in other key changes that will benefit the employees and listed companies issuing these options.

●    Securities and Exchange Board of India approved the merger of the SEBI (Share Based Employee Benefits) Regulations, 2014 (SBEB Regulations) and the SEBI (Issue of Sweat Equity) Regulations, 2002 (Sweat Equity Regulations) into the SEBI (Share Based Employee Benefits and Sweat Equity) Regulations, 2021. The new regulations have widened the scope of employees who can be offered stock options, and brought in other key changes that will benefit the employees and listed companies issuing these options.

Sweat Equity:

●    Sweat equity is a non-monetary contribution that the individuals or founders of a company make towards the company. Cash-strapped startups and business owners typically use sweat equity to fund their companies. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    As per Section 2(88) of the Companies Act, 2013 sweat equity shares means such equity shares as are issued by a company to its directors or employees at a discount or for consideration, other than cash. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    Issued for: It will be issued for providing the know-how or making available rights in the nature of intellectual property rights or value additions.

●    Maximum Limit:The maximum yearly limit of sweat equity shares that can be issued by a listed company has been prescribed at 15% of the existing paid-up equity share capital within the overall limit, not exceeding 25% of the paid-up capital at any time.

●    Further, in case of companies listed on the Innovators Growth Platform (IGP), the yearly limit will be 15% and overall limit will be 50% of the paid-up capital at any time. It will be applicable for 10 years from the date of the company’s incorporation.

●    SEBI in 2019 launched IGP erstwhile known as ‘Institutional Trading Platform’ for listing of issuers which are in intensive use of technology, information technology, intellectual property, data analytics, biotechnology or nano-technology to provide products, services or business platforms with substantial value addition.

●    This proposal will benefit all new start-up companies seeking listing on the IGP platform.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/how-new-sebi-regulations-benefit-listed-company-employees-7472747/

6. With reference to Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme, consider the following statements:

1) It will be restricted for sale to resident Indian entities, including individuals, HUFs, trusts, universities and charitable institutions.

2) These bonds cannot be used as collateral for loans.

3) It is aimed at changing the habits of Indians from saving in physical form of gold to a paper form with Sovereign backing.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 and 3 only

b) 2 only

c)  1 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (a) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: RBI unveils Series VI Gold Bond Scheme

●    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced the Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme 2021-22 Series VI, which will be open for subscription for the period August 30-September 3, 2021.

Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme:

●    The sovereign gold bond was introduced by the Government in 2015.

●    Government introduced these bonds to help reduce India’s over dependence on gold imports.

●    The move was also aimed at changing the habits of Indians from saving in physical form of gold to a paper form with Sovereign backingHence statement (3) is correct.

●    The bonds will be restricted for sale to resident Indian entities, including individuals, HUFs, trusts, universities and charitable institutionsHence statement (1) is correct.

●    The bonds will be denominated in multiples of gram(s) of gold with a basic unit of 1 gram. The tenor will be for a period of 8 years with exit option from the 5th year to be exercised on the interest payment dates.

●    The minimum permissible investment limit will be 1 gram of gold, while the maximum limit will be 4 kg for individuals, 4 kg for Hindu Undivided Family and 20 kg for trusts and similar entities per fiscal (April-March) notified by the government from time to time.

●    In case of joint holding, the investment limit of 4 kg will be applied to the first applicant only.

●    Bonds can be used as collateral for loansHence statement (2) is incorrect.

●    The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is to be set equal to ordinary gold loans mandated by the Reserve Bank from time to time.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/rbi-unveils-series-vi-gold-bond-scheme/article36142557.ece

7. Consider the following statements:

1) ICGS Vigraha is the seventh Offshore Patrol Vessel and is built indigenously by Larsen & Toubro for the Coast Guard.

2) Offshore Patrol Vessels are long-range surface ships, capable of operation in the maritime zones of India, including island territories with helicopter operation capabilities.

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: India has great scope to become indigenous ship-building hub: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

●    Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the country has “great scope” to become an indigenous ship-building hub, while pointing out that the Centre has introduced policies to help the domestic industry become world class.

●    In his address at an event to mark the commissioning of Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) ‘Vigraha,’ the last of the seven Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), in Chennai, Mr. Singh said that in the next two years, the expenditure on security around the world will reach $2.1 trillion.

ICGS Vigraha:

●    The Indian defence minister commissioned the L&T built Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) ICGS Vigraha into the Indian coast guard.

●    ICGS Vigraha is the last vessel in the series of seven OPVs built by L&T under an MoD contract signed in 2015. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    OPVs are long-range surface ships, capable of operation in the maritime zones of India, including island territories with helicopter operation capabilitiesHence statement (2) is correct.

●    ICGS Vigraha can carry one twin-engine helicopter and four high-speed boats for boarding operation, search and rescue, law enforcement and maritime patrol.

●    Their roles include coastal and offshore patrolling, policing maritime zones of India, control and surveillance, anti-smuggling and anti-piracy operations with limited wartime roles.

●    The ICGS Vigraha is about 98 metres long, 15 metres wide, has 3.6 metres draught, with 2,140 tonnes displacement and a range of 5,000 nautical miles

●    It can attain a sustained speed of up to 26 knots.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-has-great-scope-to-become-indigenous-ship-building-hub-defence-minister-rajnath-singh/article36149432.ece

8. Recently, Oodaaq Island is seen in news, is part of

a)  Afghanistan

b) Qatar

c)  Australia

d) Greenland

Answer: (d) Green land

Explanation:

In NEWS: Researchers discover world’s ‘northernmost’ island

●    Scientists have discovered what is believed to be the world’s northernmost landmass – a yet-to-be-named island north of Greenland that could soon be swallowed up by seawaters.

●    Researchers came upon the landmass on an expedition in July, and initially thought they had reached Oodaaq, up until now the northernmost island on the planet.

●    Scientists have recently discovered what is believed to be the world’s northernmost landmass — a yet-to-be-named island north of Greenland that could soon be swallowed up by seawaters. The new island is 780 m north of Oodaaq.

●    The autonomous Danish territory of Greenland has grabbed headlines in recent years, most notably in 2019 when former U.S. president Donald Trump said he wanted to buy the Arctic territory.

Oodaaq

●    Oodaaq is some 700 kilometres (435 miles) south of the North Pole, while the new island is 780 metres (2,560 feet) north of Oodaaq.

●    Oodaaq or Oodap Qeqertaa is a bank of gravel and silt northeast of Greenland that has been considered by some to be the most northerly point of land on Earth, though a number of other places have also been given that title since its discovery. Hence option (d) is correct.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/researchers-discover-worlds-northernmost-island/article36157675.ece

9. Yakshagana is the traditional theatre art form of

a)  Karnataka

b) Andhra Pradesh

c)  Maharashtra

d) Chhattisgarh

Answer: (a) Karnataka

Explanation:

In NEWS: Yakshagana play with artist performing all roles to be released on OTT platform

●    A Yakshagana play with an artist performing all the roles of a ‘prasanga’ (episode) is on the verge of making it to the over-the-top (OTT) platform for the first time.

Yakshagana

●    Yakshagana is a traditional theatre form of Karnataka. Hence option (a) is correct.

●    It is a temple artform that depicts mythological stories and Puranas.

●    It is performed with massive headgears, elaborate facial make-up and vibrant costumes and ornaments.

●    Usually recited in Kannada, it is also performed in Malayalamas well as Tulu (the dialect of south Karnataka).

●    It is performed with percussion instruments like chenda, maddalam, jagatta or chengila (cymbals) and chakratala or elathalam (small cymbals).

●    The most popular episodes are from the Mahabharata. Draupadi swayamvar, Subhadra vivah, etc. and from Ramayanai.e. Rajyabhishek, Lav-Kush yuddh, etc.

●    Yakshagana is performed in open-air theatres.

●    It is usually performed in the village paddy fields after the winter crop has been harvested.

●    Yakshagana is traditionally presented from dusk to dawn.

●    Earlier days, the Yakshagana theatre was known as Bhagavatara attar, which revolved round the stories of Lord Krishna and Vishnu

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/yakshagana-play-with-artist-performing-all-roles-to-be-released-on-ott-platform/article36159424.ece

10. Why are dewdrops not formed on a cloudy night?

a)  Clouds absorb the radiation released from the Earth’s surface.

b) Clouds reflect back the Earth’s radiation.

c)  The Earth’s surface would have low temperatures on cloudy nights.

d) Clouds deflect the blowing wind to ground level

Answer: (b) Clouds reflect back the Earth’s radiation

Explanation:

Dew is not formed:

●    on cloudy nights because cloudy nights are warmer than clear nights

●    in shady places because air cannot move there freely

●    on windy nights because wind carries away the moist air

●    The atmosphere, heated by the absorption of Earth radiation, in turn radiates heat back to the Earth’s surface increasing the Earth’s surface temperature . Hence option (b) is correct.