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Daily Prelims Test – 30_June

1.Consider the following statements regarding El Nino

It is a climate cycle in the Pacific Ocean with a global impact on weather patterns.

During El Nino year, the waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean are colder than normal.

El Nino brings heavy rains to India and Australia regions.

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

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

Answer: (b) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS:When the Indian Ocean’s ancient climate patterns return

  • About 19,000-21,000 years ago, ice-sheets covered North America and Eurasia, and sea-levels were much lower. This period, the peak of ice age conditions, is called the Last Glacial Maximum.
  • The research argues that there was the existence of an ‘Indian Ocean El Niño’ during the Last Glacial Maximum.

Research methodology:

  • The research involved the study of microscopic zooplankton called foraminifera.
  • Foraminifera build a calcium carbonate shell, and studying thesecan reveal the properties of the water. The team measured multiple individual shells of foraminifera from ocean sediment cores and reconstructed the sea surface temperature conditions of the past.
  • Researchers analysed simulations of the past climate and have predicted that the ongoing climate change could reawaken an ancient climate pattern of the Indian Ocean.
  • The researchers have pointed out that the possible climatic pattern could be similar to the El Niño phenomenon of the Pacific Ocean bringing more frequentand devastating floods and drought to several densely-populated countries around the Indian Ocean region.
  • If the hypothesised ‘Indian Ocean El Niño’ emerges in the near future, it will pose a source of uncertainty in rainfall prediction and will likely amplify swings in monsoon rainfal It could bring more frequent droughts to East Africa and southern India and increased rainfall over Indonesia.
  • Changes in the Indian Ocean Dipole and the El Niño–Southern Oscillation strongly affect Indian Monsoon variability from year to year.
  • If current global warming trends continue, the predicted new Indian Ocean El Niño could emerge as early as 2050.

About El Nino:

  • It is a climate cycle in the Pacific Ocean with a global impact on weather patterns.Hence statement 1 is correct
  • El Niño normally occurs around Christmas and usually lasts for a few weeks to a few months.

Normal Conditions

  • Eastern Pacific == Coast of Peru and Ecuador == Cold Ocean Water
  • Western Pacific == Indonesia and Australia == Warm Ocean Water
Picture1-Jul-07-2020-07-17-29-49-AM

El Nino Condition

  • Eastern Pacific == Coast of Peru and Ecuador == Warm Ocean Wat Hence statement 2is incorrect
  • Western Pacific == Indonesia and Australia == Cold Ocean Water
Picture2-Jul-07-2020-07-17-28-18-AM

Effects of El Nino

  • The warmer waters had a devastating effect on marine life existing off the coast of Peru and Ecuador.
  • Fish catches off the coast of South America were lower than in the normal year (Because there is no upwelling).
  • Severe droughts occur in Australia, Indonesia, India and southern Africa.Hence statement 3is incorrect
  • Heavy rains in California, Ecuador, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/when-the-indian-oceans-ancient-climate-patterns-return/article31934556.ece

2.Consider the following statements regarding Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation

  • It is an international organization of seven nations of South Asia and Southeast Asia
  • Indonesia is a newly joined member of this cooperation

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) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS:In border claims, reimagining South Asia’s boundaries

  • One of the major problems of South Asian politics is that it has to flow from within a state-centric paradigm.
  • This state-centrism has given the state structure the propriety to be the sole arbiter of disputes.
  • The term ‘region’ is not respected and understood by the states, their sole focus is on individual interest rather than growing region as a whole.
  • If not solved, then border disputes can endanger the success of other regional initiatives like BIMSTEC( Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) or BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal).
  • South Asia needs to be rethought, not as a region of states, but as a region of regions that needs to be cultivated out of contact zones that exist beyond the limits of territorial boundaries shared by the member-states.
  • Issues need to be looked at from people’s point of view rather than from a statist paradigm which portrays it merely from a spatial point of view.

About Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation:

  • The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional organization comprising seven Member States lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • This sub-regional organization came into being on 6 June 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration.
  • The BIMSTEC region is home to around 1.5 billion people which constitute around 22% of the global population with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.7 trillion economy.
  • It constitutes seven Member States: five deriving from South Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, andtwo from Southeast Asia, including Myanmar and Thailand. Hence statement 2 is incorrect
  • It is headquartered at Dhaka, Bangladesh

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/in-border-claims-reimagining-south-asias-boundaries/article31940545.ece

3.Consider the following statements regarding Kole wetlands

  • It has been recognized as an Important Bird Areas by BirdLife International.
  • It is situated in the Central Asian Flyway of migratory birds
  • It is spread over Thrissur and Malappuram districts of Kerala

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

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

Answer: (d) 1,2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS:Rare biological phenomenon in dragonflies sighted at Kole wetlands

A very rare biological phenomenon has been observed in the Scarlet Skimmer in the Puzhakkal area of the Kole wetlands in Thrissur, Kerala.

About Kole wetlands

  • The Kole wetlands lie between the Chalakudy river in Thrissur district and Bharathapuzha river in Malappuram district, Kerala. Hence statement 3 is correct
  • These wetlands get submerged in the monsoon and cultivation is carried out in the summer months when water levels are low.
  • They are fertile with Alluvium soil which is deposited by the Kechery and Karuvannoor river in the monsoon.
  • It gives 40 % of Kerala’s rice requirement and acts as a natural drainage system for Thrissur city and Thrissur District.
  • The Kole wetlands (a Ramsar site and IBA) are below sea leveland were once a contiguouswetland in central Kerala.Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The Kole Wetlands is one of largest, highly productive and threatened wetlands in Kerala and it comes in Central Asian Flyway of migratory birds.Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The area contains subterranean habitats that are important habitats for some fresh water fish species which are endemic to southern Western Ghats.
  • Mining & quarrying of sand and clay mining, granite quarry and Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources are some of the threats to the Kole wetlands.
Picture3-Jul-07-2020-07-17-34-63-AM
Picture4-Jul-07-2020-07-17-34-51-AM

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/rare-biological-phenomenon-in-dragonflies-sighted-at-kole-wetlands/article31939658.ece

4.Consider the following statements regardingReducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+)

  • It is a mechanism developed by Parties to the International Union for Conservation of Nature
  • It has the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries

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) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Uganda becomes first African country to submit REDD+ results, paves way for payments

  • Uganda has become the first African country to submit results for Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • Uganda claimed it reduced emissions by 8,070,694 tonnes of carbon dioxide for 2015-2017 in a document prepared by its Ministry of Water and Environment, the REDD+ Secretariat and National Forestry Authority.
  • About Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+)
  • REDD+ is a climate change mitigation solution being developed by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Hence statement 1 is incorrect.
  • REDD+ stands for countries’ efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and foster conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • It creates a financial value for the carbon stored in forests by offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development.
  • Developing countries would receive results-based payments for results-based actions.
  • REDD+ goes beyond simply deforestation and forest degradation and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
  • It aims to create incentives for communities so that they stop forest degrading practices.
  • The Green Climate Fund (GCF) established at COP-17 to function as the financial mechanism for the UNFCCC, is currently financing REDD+ programs.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/forests/uganda-becomes-first-african-country-to-submit-redd-results-paves-way-for-payments-72015

5.Consider the following statements regarding Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro Food Enterprises

1.It will be implemented by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

2.It will adopt the One District One Product approach to reap benefits of scale in terms of procurement of inputs, availing common services and marketing of products.

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) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS:Food Processing Ministry launches PM FME scheme to help micro-food processing enterprises

  • In line with the Centre’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ initiative, the Ministry for Food Processing has launched the PM Formalisation of Micro Food ProcessingEnterprises (PM FME) scheme with an outlay of ₹10,000 crore.Hence statement 1 is incorrect
  • The scheme will assist nearly 2 lakh micro-food processing enterprises with credit-linked subsidy and special focus will be on supporting farmer producers organisations, self-help groups and cottage industries in rural and tribal regions, over the next five years.
  • The expenditure under the scheme would to be shared in 60:40 ratio between the Central and State governments and in 90:10 ratio with North Eastern and Himalayan States.
  • The scheme involved adopting one district one product approach to reap benefits of scale in terms of procurement of inputs, availing common services and marketing of products. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The one district one product could be a perishable produce based or cereal based or a food item widely produced in an area
  • The Ministry believes the scheme will generate investments of ₹35,000 crore and help create 9 lakh skilled and semi-skilled jobs.

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/food-processing-ministry-launches-pm-fme-scheme-to-help-micro-food-processing-enterprises/article31945140.ece

6.With respect to Operation Green, consider the following statements

It seeks to stabilize the supply of Tomato, Onion and Potato (TOP) crops and to ensure availability of TOP crops throughout the country round the year without price volatility.

It was launched by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries

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: Operation Greens scheme expanded

  • The Ministry has also formally announced the expansion of Operation Greens scheme from tomato, onion and potato crops to all perishable fruits and vegetables.
  • Under this scheme, 50 per cent subsidy will be provided for six months for transportation of eligible crops from production clusters to consumption centres and for hiring storage for three months.

About Operation Greens scheme

  • In the budget speech of 2018-19, a new Scheme “Operation Greens” was announced on the line of “Operation Flood”, with an outlay of Rs.500 crore to promote Farmer Producers Organizations, agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management.
  • Operation Greens seeks to stabilize the supply of Tomato, Onion and Potato (TOP) crops and to ensure availability of TOP crops throughoutthe country round the year without price volatility.Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The Ministry of Food Processing Industries has launched the scheme.
  • NAFEDwill be the Nodal Agency to implement price stabilisation measures. Hence statement 2 is correct

Objectives

  • Enhancing value realisation of TOP farmers by targeted interventions to strengthen TOP production clusters and their FPOs, and linking/connecting them with the market.
  • Price stabilisation for producers and consumers by proper production planning in the TOP clusters and introduction of dual use varieties.
  • Reduction in post-harvest losses by creation of farm gate infrastructure, development of suitable agro-logistics, creation of appropriate storage capacity linking consumption centres.
  • Increase in food processing capacities and value addition in TOP value chain with firm linkages with production clusters.
  • Setting up of a market intelligence network to collect and collate real time data on demand and supply and price of TOP crops.

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/food-processing-ministry-launches-pm-fme-scheme-to-help-micro-food-processing-enterprises/article31945140.ece

7.Kholongchhu hydropower project sometimes seen in news, is associated with which of the following?

Nepal

Myanmar

Bangladesh

Bhutan

Answer: (d) Bhutan

Explanation:

In NEWS:India, Bhutan sign pact for first joint venture hydropower project

  • India and Bhutan took a major step forward for the construction of the 600 MW Kholongchhu project, their first hydropower joint venture project in Bhutan’s less developed eastern region of Trashiyangtse. Hence option (d) is correct
  • It is the first time an India-Bhutan hydropower project will be constructed as a 50:50 joint venture, not as a government-to-government agreement.
  • According to the agreement finalized, the construction for the Kholongchhu Hydro Electric Power (HEP) project will begin soon and be completed in the second half of 2025.
  • Four hydropower projects have been built under the India-Bhutan partnership in the last 30 years totaling a capacity of 2,100 MW, and another two are under construction.
  • Kholongchhu is a continuation of India-Bhutan bilateral cooperation, where Chukha, Kurichhu, Tala, and Mangdechhu [hydropower projects] all stand as proud examples behind this.
  • The Kholongchhu project is one of four additional projects agreed to in 2008, as a part of India’s commitment to help Bhutan create a total 10,000 MW of installed capacity by 2020.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-bhutan-sign-pact-for-first-joint-venture-hydropower-project/article31945878.ece

8.Consider the following statements regarding Covaxin 

  • It is developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR
  • It is the India’s first medicine against COVID 19 and is an activated vaccine

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: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: DCGI nod for India-made COVID-19 vaccine ‘Covaxin’ human trials

  • The country’s ‘first’ indigenous COVID-19 vaccine COVAXIN, developed by city-based Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR and NIV,has got the nod for human clinical trials from the Drug Controller General of India. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • The indigenously developed vaccine has been named as Covaxin and is an inactivated vaccine. It has been developed after National Institute of Virology, Pune isolated a strain of the novel Coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 and transferred it to the company.Hence statement 2 is incorrect
  • The human clinical trials are scheduled to start across India in July, 2020. Results are expected to be out by October 2020, following which larger clinical trials will be conducted.

What is an inactivated vaccine?

  • The process involves growing the virus on a large scale and killing/inactivating the virus with a chemical. Once the vaccine is injected into a human, it has no potential to infect or replicate, since it is a killed virus.
  • It helps the immune system mount an antibody response towards virus.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/business/bharat-biotech-vaccine-gains-edge-on-dcgi-nod/article31948151.ece

9.With respect to Gaganyaan Mission of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), consider the following statements:

It aims to send three astronauts to space for a minimum of seven days by 2022.

India will be fourth nation in the world after USA, Russia and China to launch human spaceflight mission.

GSLV Mk III will be used to launch Gaganyaan.

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

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

Answer: (d) 1,2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS:India’s first manned space mission “Gaganyaan” in 2022 will not be affected by COVID: Dr. Jitendra Singh

  • Briefing about the important achievements of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Department of Space over the last one year, the Minister said that
  • The training of four Indian astronauts in Russia has now been resumed and the launch is scheduled to take place as planned, before the 75th anniversary of India’s independence in 2022.

About Gaganyaan Mission

  • Gaganyaan is the human space flight programme under which Indian astronauts will go into space by 2022.
  • Under the Gaganyaan schedule, three flights will be sent in orbit. Of the three, there will be two unmanned flights and one human spaceflight.
  • The human space flight programme, called the Orbital Module will have three Indian astronauts, including a woman.Hence statement 1 is correct
  • It will circle Earth at a low-earth-orbit at an altitude of 300-400 km from earth for 5-7 days.
  • GSLV-Mk III launch vehicle will lift them to their orbit, which has the necessary payload capability to launch a three-member crew module in low earth orbit. Hence statement 3 is correct.
  • If successful, India would become the fourth nation to conduct a human space flight programme after USSR/Russia, USA and China. It is a ₹10,000-crore Indian human space flight scheduled for 2022. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • India has signed agreements with Russia and France for cooperation on the Gaganyaan mission.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1635154

10.Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) is a standard criterion for

  1. Measuring oxygen levels in blood
  2. Computing oxygen levels in forest ecosystems
  3. Pollution assay in aquatic ecosystems
  4. Assessing oxygen levels in high altitude regions

Answer: (c) Pollution assay in aquatic ecosystems

Explanation:

Biological oxygen demand (BOD) is the amount of dissolved oxygen needed (i. e., demanded) by aerobic micro organisms to break down organic material present in a given water sample. A highly polluted water will have a high levels of biological oxygen demand (BOD). Hence option (c) is correct