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Daily Prelims Test – 30_December_2021

1. With respect to Konark Sun Temple, consider the following statements:

1)   It is attributed to king Narasinga Deva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty.

2)   It is a classic illustration of the Odisha style of Architecture or Kalinga Architecture.

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: Added by British for stability, sand inside Konark Sun Temple may be cleared

●      A formal decision on this is yet to be taken. But a recent presentation by ASI (Bhubaneswar circle) head Arun Malik spoke of possible approaches to remove the sand from the temple’s sealed assembly hall, known as Jagamohan.

●      The Archeological Survey of India is working on a preliminary roadmap to safely remove sand from the interiors of Odisha’s Sun Temple, which was filled up by the British 118 years ago to prevent it from collapsing.

●      A formal decision on this is yet to be taken. But a recent presentation by ASI (Bhubaneswar circle) head Arun Malik spoke of possible approaches to remove the sand from the temple’s sealed assembly hall, known as Jagamohan. The presentation was delivered at a three-day workshop organised by the Indian Institute of Technology

Konark Sun Temple:

●      Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century CE Sun temple at Konark about 36 kilometres northeast from Puri on the coastline of Odisha, India.

●      The temple is attributed to king Narasinga Deva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty about 1250 CE. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      Dedicated to the Hindu Sun God Surya, what remains of the temple complex has the appearance of a 100-foot (30 m) high chariot with immense wheels and horses, all carved from stone.

●      Its architecture has all the defining elements of the Kalinga architecture – it includes Shikhara (crown), Jagmohana (audience hall), Natmandir (dance hall), and Vimana (tower).

●      Also called the Surya Devalaya, it is a classic illustration of the Odisha style of Architecture or Kalinga ArchitectureHence statement (2) is correct.

●      Once over 200 feet (61 m) high, much of the temple is now in ruins, in particular the large shikara tower over the sanctuary; at one time this rose much higher than the mandapa that remains.

●      The structures and elements that have survived are famed for their intricate artwork, iconography, and themes, including erotic kama and mithuna scenes.

●      The Jagamohan is the only structure that is fully intact now.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/added-by-british-for-stability-sand-inside-sun-temple-may-be-cleared-7695485/

2. Consider the following statements:

1)   Article 178 of the Indian Constitution states that the Speaker to be elected by the members of the house to preside over the sessions of the Legislative Assembly of an Indian State.

2)   The Constitution neither sets a time limit nor specifies the process for these elections.

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: Explained: The tussle over the election of Maharashtra Assembly Speaker

●      Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government are locked in a tussle over the election of the Speaker of the Assembly.

●      The Winter Session of the Assembly ends on Tuesday (December 28), but the Governor has not given his consent to the election programme recommended by the Cabinet.

Why is the approval of the Governor required to elect the Speaker of the Assembly?

●      Article 178 of the Constitution states: Every Legislative Assembly of a State shall, as soon as may be, choose two members of the Assembly to be respectively Speaker and Deputy Speaker. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      The Constitution does not specify the process of holding these elections; that is left to the state legislatures. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      It also does not set a timeframe other than to say the elections should be held as soon as may be

What amendments were made to the Rules last week?

●      Last week, the government moved a motion in the Assembly seeking amendments to Rules 6 (election of Assembly Speaker) and 7 (election of Deputy Assembly Speaker) by voice vote instead of a secret ballot. The amendments were proposed by the Rules Committee of the legislature.

●      The amendments excluded the words “holding of the election” and included the words “to elect the Speaker on the recommendation of the Chief Minister” in Rule 6 of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Rules.

●      The amendments also replaced the provision of election of the Speaker by “secret ballot” with “voice vote”.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-electing-a-speaker-deputy-speaker-7399970/

3. With respect to Green Term Ahead Market (GTAM), Consider the following statements:

1)   It is a marketplace that will enable electricity generation and distribution companies to buy or sell renewable energy .

2)   Under this market, contracts will be segregated into Solar Renewable Purchase Obligations and Non-Solar Renewable Purchase Obligations.

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: Year-end review 2021: Total cleared volume in GREEN Term Ahead market increased from 785.83 MU in 2020-2021 to 2744 MU in 2021-22

●      It is an alternative new model introduced for selling off the power by the renewable developers in the open market without getting into long term PPAs. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      It aims to benefit buyers of RE through competitive prices and transparent and flexible procurement. Sellers will also be benefitted by getting access to Pan India Market.

Features:

●      Transactions through GTAM will be bilateral in nature with clear identification of corresponding buyers and sellers.

●      The GTAM contracts will be segregated into Solar RPO( Renewable purchase obligation) & Non-Solar RPO. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      The market will offer trade in four types of green term-ahead contracts i.e. Green Intra-day contracts, Day-ahead Contingency contracts, Daily Contracts and Weekly contracts.

●      The GTAM platform would lessen the burden on RE-rich States and incentivize them to develop RE capacity beyond their own RPO.

●      GTAM platform will lead to an increase in the number of participants in the renewable energy sector.

●      It would promote Renewable Energy (RE) merchant capacity addition and help in achieving RE capacity addition targets of the country.

●      Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO): It mandates all electricity distribution licensees should purchase or produce a minimum specified quantity of their requirements from Renewable Energy Sources.

Source: PIB

4. Consider the following statements regarding Scheduled banks:

1)   They are banks that are listed in the 2nd schedule of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.

2)   The bank’s paid-up capital and raised funds must be at least Rs.5 lakh to qualify as a scheduled bank.

3)   All commercial banks, including nationalized, international, cooperative, and regional rural banks, fall under scheduled banks.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a)    1 and 3 only

b)   2 and 3 only

c)    3 only

d)   1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Banks’ gross NPAs may rise to 9.5% in Sept 2022: RBI report

●      The gross non-performing asset ratio of scheduled commercial banks is likely to increase to 9.5 per cent in September 2022 from 6.9 per cent in September 2021 in a severe stress scenario

●      The gross non-performing asset (GNPA) ratio of scheduled commercial banks is likely to increase to 9.5 per cent in September 2022 from 6.9 per cent in September 2021 in a severe stress scenario, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said on Wednesday.

●      Macro stress tests for credit risk indicate that the gross non-performing asset (GNPA) ratio of SCBs may increase from 6.9 per cent in September 2021 to 8.1 per cent by September 2022 under the baseline scenario and to 9.5 per cent under a severe stress scenario

Scheduled banks:

●      Scheduled banks are banks that are listed in the 2nd schedule of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      The bank’s paid-up capital and raised funds must be at least Rs5 lakh to qualify as a scheduled bank. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      Scheduled banks are liable for low-interest loans from the Reserve Bank of India and membership in clearinghouses.

●      They must, however, meet certain requirements, such as maintaining an average daily CRR (Cash Reserve Ratio) balance with the central bank at the rates set by it. The RBI allows Scheduled Banks to raise debts and loans at bank rates.

●      All commercial banks, including nationalized, international, cooperative, and regional rural banks, fall under scheduled banks. Scheduled Commercial Banks can be divided into: Scheduled Commercial Public Sector Banks SBI and its associates Scheduled Commercial Private Sector Banks Old Private Banks New Private Sector Banks Scheduled Foreign Banks in India the benefits enjoyed by scheduled banks are often denied to non-scheduled banks. Hence statement (3) is correct.

Source: https://www.business-standard.com/article/finance/banks-gross-npas-may-rise-to-9-5-in-sept-2022-rbi-report-121122901215_1.html

5. Consider the following statements regarding Gram UJALA Programme:

1)   It is an ambitious scheme offering the world’s cheapest LED bulbs in rural areas.

2)   Under the scheme, the Convergence Energy Services Ltd will distribute 7-Watt, and 12-Watt energy-efficient LED bulbs.

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: CESL achieves 50 lakhs LED bulb distribution milestone under flagship Gram Ujala

●      Targets to distribute 10 million LED bulbs under Project Crore in 2 million households till March 31, 2022

●      Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), has achieved a remarkable milestone of distributing 50 lakhs LED bulbs under Project Crore of their Gram Ujala programme. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      Gram Ujala scheme is being implemented in rural households in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana.

●      CESL is providing high quality 7-Watt and 12-Watt LED bulbs with 3 years guarantee at a cost of INR 10 per bulb in exchange of working incandescent bulbs. Every household can exchange a maximum of 5 bulbs. The distribution has resulted in energy savings of 71,99,68,373.28 units per year with cost savings of 250 crores per year in the rural areas of aforementioned states. The programme is active till March 31, 2022. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      CESL is supported by C-Quest Capital in the entire distribution journey under the SHINE programme.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1785737

6. Which of the following statements is/are mandatory provisions under 74th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992?

1)   Reservation of seats for SCs and STs in every Municipality.

2)   Reservation of seats for backward classes in urban local bodies.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a)    1 only

b)   2 only

c)    Both 1 and 2

d)   Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Recall directive on MP local body poll, Centre urges Supreme Court

●      The Centre has moved the Supreme Court seeking recall of its December 17 order directing the Madhya Pradesh State Election Commission (SEC) to stay the poll process on seats reserved for Other Backward Classes in the local body there and re-notify those seats for the general category.

●      The government has argued that upliftment of the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the OBCs has been the utmost priority of the government and inadequate representation of OBCs in local self-government defeats the “very object, intent and purpose of the very idea” of the de-centralization of power and taking governance to the grass-root level.

●      The Supreme Court had referred to the Constitution Bench verdict of 2010 which had mentioned the “triple test” condition.

Article 243D:

●      Article 243D provides for reservation of seats of Panchayats along with that of Chairpersons for SC, STs in proportion to their population.

●      It also provides for reservation of 1/3rd seats along with that of Chairpersons for women.

●      It empowers State Legislatures to make provisions regarding reservation of seats for backward classes.

●      In K. Krishnamurthy & others vs. Union of India 2010 case, SC examined constitutional validity of provisions providing for reservation in local bodies that were challenged for violating equality and democracy

●      The SC opined that Articles 243D(6) and 243T(6) of the Constitution were merely enabling provisions and it would be improper to strike them down as violative of the equality clause

The bench laid down three conditions for State Legislatures before reserving seats in local bodies

●      To set up a dedicated Commission to conduct contemporaneous rigorous empirical inquiry into the nature and implications of the backwardness qua local bodies, within the State

●      To specify the proportion of reservation required to be provisioned local body wise in light of recommendations of the Commission, so as not to fall foul of over breadth

●      In any case such reservation shall not exceed an aggregate of 50% of the total seats reserved in favor of SCs/STs/OBCs taken together.

Compulsory provisions of the act

●      Constitution of Gram Sabha in a village or a group of villages

●      Establishment of panchayat at village, intermediate and district

●      Direct elections to all the above

●      Indirect election to the post of the chairperson of the panchayats at the intermediate and district level

●      21 years to be the minimum age for contesting

●      Reservation of seats for SC and STs in panchayats at all levels. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      Reservation of 1/3rd seats for women in panchayats

●      Fixing of tenure of 5 years and holding elections within six months in any event of supersession of any panchayat

●      Establishment of state election commission

●      Constitution of state finance commission after every 5 years to review the financial position of the panchayats

Voluntary provisions of the act

●      Giving representation to members of the Parliament and state legislature at various levels of the panchayats

●      Providing reservation of seats for backward classes. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

●      Granting powers an authority to PRI

●      Devolutions of powers and representation

●      Granting financial powers to the panchayats.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/obc-reservation-centre-moves-sc-seeks-recall-of-dec-17-order-passed-in-madhya-pradesh-matter/article38047099.ece

7. Consider the following statements regarding Electronic Gold Receipt:

1)   It is an electronic receipt issued on the basis of deposit of underlying physical gold regulated by SEBI.

2)   It falls as ‘securities’ under the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act 1956.

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: Electronic gold receipts are now ‘securities’, says Finance Ministry

●      The Finance Ministry has specified ‘Electronic Gold Receipt’ (EGR) as ‘securities’ under the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act 1956, paving the way for trading of such instruments on any new gold exchanges that may come up in the countryHence statement (2) is correct.

●      Like shares, EGRs will be held in demat form and can be converted into physical gold when needed.

●      With this move, EGR will have trading, clearing and settlement features akin to any other securities. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      To lower the costs associated with withdrawal of gold from the vaults, EGRs will be made “ fungible” and “interoperability between vault managers” will be allowed.

●      EGI is a way of getting people to not hoard gold, by creating an exchange that provides transparent pricing and liquidity

●      EGR holders, at their discretion, could withdraw the underlying gold from the vaults after surrendering the EGRs.

●      SEBI-accredited vault managers would be responsible for the storage and safekeeping of gold deposits, creation of EGRs, withdrawal of gold, grievance redressal and periodic reconciliation of physical gold with the records of depository. The vault manager would have to have a net worth of at least ₹50 crore.

●      Exchanges would enable transparent price discovery, investment liquidity and assurance in the quality of gold.

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/markets/gold/electronic-gold-receipts-are-now-securities-says-finance-ministry/article38043968.ece

8. Sometime Deocha-Pachami Mines are seen in news, it is located in

a)    West Bengal

b)   Punjab

c)    Assam

d)   Uttar Pradesh

Answer: (a) West Bengal

Explanation:

In NEWS: Deocha Pachami: Mining India’s largest coal block will displace 21,000 in Bengal

●      Thousands will be displaced from their land following the implementation of the project to mine coals and basalts from Deucha-Pachami-Dewanganj-Harinsinga (DPDH) coal block in West Bengal’s Birbhum district. Hence (a) is correct.

Deucha-Pachami-Dewanganj-Harinsinga coal block:

●      It is the second-largest coal block in the world; it is the largest in India.

●      The block has a thick coal seam trapped between equally thick layers of rocks, mostly basalt. It has a great economic value.

●      The existence of these thick basalt layers, however, makes mining of coal difficult; foreign investment and technology will be hence needed for mining.

●      An estimated 1,198 million tons of coal and 1,400 million tons of basalt are in the block.

●      The block is spread over 13.7 square kilometers.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/mining/deucha-pachami-mining-india-s-largest-coal-block-will-displace-21-000-in-bengal-80905

9. The SMILE scheme has been formulated by which one of the following ministries?

a)    Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

b)   Ministry of Tribal Affairs

c)    Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

d)   Ministry of Power

Answer: (a) Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

Explanation:

In NEWS: SMILE-Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise.

●      The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated an umbrella scheme “SMILE – Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise”, which includes two sub-schemes – ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation for Welfare of Transgender Persons’ and ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of persons engaged in the act of Begging’. Hence option (a) is correct.

●      This umbrella scheme covers several comprehensive measures including welfare measures for both transgender persons and persons who are engaged in the act of begging with focus extensively on rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, education, skill development, economic linkages etc with the support of State Governments/UTs/Local Urban Bodies, Voluntary Organizations, Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and institutions and others. The Scheme is expected to be launched soon.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1786263

10. Which among the following steps is most likely to be taken at the time of an economic recession?

a)    Cut in tax rates accompanied by increase in interest rate

b)   Increase in expenditure on public projects

c)    Increase in tax rates accompanied by reduction of interest rate.

d)   Reduction of expenditure on public projects

Answer: (b) Increase in expenditure on public projects

Explanation:

Reduction of expenditure on public projects- It is not desirable at the time of recession as it will lead to less government expenditure thereby not contributing much to output. Hence option (b) is correct.

●      Recession is a situation which is characterized by a negative growth rate of GDP in two successive quarters.

●      Some of the indicators of a recession include slowdown in the economy, fall in investments, fall in the output of the economy etc. If an economy experiences a recession and GDP falls, tax revenues fall because firms and households pay lower taxes when they earn less.