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Daily Prelims Test – 30_September 2020

Consider the following statements regarding Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020

  1. It amends the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897
  2. It makes harm, injury, hurt or danger to the life of health care service personnel as a cognizable and non-bailable offence

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:Rajya Sabha passes Epidemic Diseases Amendment Bill, 2020 to protect healthcare workers

  • The Centre implemented the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 in order to provide protection to health care service personnel, their living premises as well as their workplaces against any violence during the course of a pandemic.Hence statement 1 is correct

Key provisions of this bill:

  • Penalty under its ambit- The legislation makes harm, injury, hurt or danger to the life of health care service personnel as a cognizable and non-bailable offence.Hence statement 1 is correct
  • It has provisions of imprisonment from three months to five years and a fine between 50 thousand rupees to two lakh rupees. 
  • In case of causing grievous hurt, the imprisonment shall be for a term of six months to seven years and with a fine of Rs 1-5 lakh.
  • Investigating Authority-Cases registered under the Bill will be investigated by a police officer, not below the rank of Inspector.The investigation must be completed within 30 days from the date of registration of the First Information Report.
  • Trial- The inquiry or trial should be concluded within one year.  If it is not concluded within this time period, the Judge must record the reasons for the delay and extend the time period.
  • Powers of the central government-The Act specifies that the central government may regulate:
  • The inspection of any ship or vessel leaving or arriving at any port
  • The detention of any person intending to travel from the port, during an outbreak.
  • The Bill expands the powers of the central government to regulate the inspection of any bus, train, goods vehicle, ship, vessel, or aircraft leaving or arriving at any land port, port, or aerodrome.
  • Further, the government may regulate the detention of any person intending to travel by these means.
  • Compensation- Persons convicted of offences under the Bill will also be liable to pay compensation to the healthcare service personnel whom they have hurt.In the case of damage or loss of property, the compensation payable to the victim will be twice the amount of the fair market value of the damaged or lost property, as determined by the Court.If the convicted person fails to pay the compensation, the amount will be recovered as an arrear of land revenue under the Revenue Recovery Act, 1890.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/rajya-sabha-passes-epidemic-diseases-amendment-bill-2020-to-protect-healthcare-workers/story-mwYPMzODJiG69YljdIwGyO.html


Consider the following statements regarding Hydrogen Compressed Natural Gas

  1. It is a mixture of compressed natural gas and 4-9 per cent hydrogen by energy and can be used as a fuel in an internal combustion engine
  2. As compared to conventional CNG, use of H-CNG can reduce the emission of carbon monoxide (CO) up to 70%, besides enabling up to 5% savings in fuel.

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:Government allows use of H-CNG as alternative fuel

  • Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has allowed the use of H-CNG (18% mix of hydrogen) in CNG engines.
  • The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has also developed specifications (IS 17314:2019) of Hydrogen enriched Compressed Natural Gas (H-CNG) for automotive purposes, as a fuel.
  • A notification for amendments to the Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989, for the inclusion of H-CNG as an automotive fuel, has been published dated 25th Sept 2020 by the Ministry.

About Hydrogen Compressed Natural Gas (H-CNG)

  • The blending of hydrogen with CNG provides a blended gas termed as HCNG. it stands for hydrogen-enriched compressed natural gas and it combines the advantages of both hydrogen and methane.
  • The Hydrogen Compressed Natural Gas (H-CNG) is a mixture of compressed natural gas and 4-9 per cent hydrogen by energy. It can be used as a fuel in an internal combustion engine and also for home appliances.Hence statement 1 is correct
  • As compared to conventional CNG, use of H-CNG can reduce the emission of carbon monoxide (CO) up to 70%, besides enabling up to 5% savings in fuel.
  • Hydrogen has been regarded as a future secondary fuel for power system due to carbon-free operation.Hence statement 2 is correct
  • Hydrogen is an excellent additive to improve the combustion of hydrocarbon fuel due to its low ignition energy, high reactivity, diffusivity and burning velocity.
  • The blending of Hydrogen with CNG is being treated as the first step towards the future hydrogen economy.

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/government-allows-use-of-h-cng-as-alternative-fuel/article32714034.ece


Consider the following statements regarding Vigyan Jyoti Scheme

  1. It is an initiative that will create a level-playing field for the meritorious girls in high school to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in their higher education.
  2. It is launched by theMinistry of Women and Child Development.

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:New Science Policy 2020 to rank educational institutes based on support to women staffers

  • According to the Task Force on Women in Science, set up by the government in 2005 stated that, the government had constituted a Task Force on Women in Science. According to this task force, at the university level, the enrolment of women grew from 10.9% in 1950-51 to 39.4% in 2000-01.
  • There is huge regional differences with women representing over 50% enrolment in Goa, Kerala, Pondicherry and Punjab, and less than 35% in Bihar, Rajasthan, Odisha and Arunachal Pradesh.

About Vigyan Jyoti Scheme:

  • Vigyan Jyoti Scheme is launched by the Department of Science & Technology (DST).Hence statement 2 is incorrect
  • It is an initiative that will create a level-playing field for the meritorious girls in high school to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in their higher education.Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The programme will cover girl students from grade 9 to 12.
  • It also offers exposure for girl students from the rural background to help to plan their journey from school to a job of their choice in the field of science.

Source: https://www.financialexpress.com/lifestyle/science/new-science-policy-2020-to-rank-educational-institutes-based-on-support-to-women-staffers/2093980/


Consider the following statements regarding Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA)

  1. It is established by the Prime Minister’s Office
  2. It aims to provide pragmatic and objective advice to the Prime Minister and cabinet on matters related to science, technology and innovation with a focus on application of science and technology.

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:New Science Policy 2020 to rank educational institutes based on support to women staffers

  • Centre’s New Science Policy to be geared towards creation of women leaders! The Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India are jointly working towards Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, 2020, which they are calling STIP 2020, according to the government’s website.
  • STIP 2020 aims to create women leaders, with the DST working on a framework that would rate as well as rank science institutes based on the proportion of women they have deployed. The new framework would cover both private and government institutions.

About Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser

  • In November 1999, Cabinet Secretariat established the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. Hence statement 1 is incorrect
  • The PSA’s office aims to provide pragmatic and objective advice to the Prime Minister and cabinet on matters related to science, technology and innovation with a focus on application of science and technology in critical infrastructure, economic and social sectors in partnership with Government departments, institutions and industry.Hence statement 2 is correct

PSA’s Role

  • Science and technology fundamentals with applied research in collaboration with multiple stakeholders, both in central and state governments
  • Enabling future preparedness in emerging domains of science and technology
  • Formulating and coordinating major inter-ministerial science and technology missions
  • Providing an enabling ecosystem for technology led innovations and techno-entrepreneurship
  • Driving innovation and technology delivery towards solving socio-economic challenges for sustainable growth
  • Fostering effective public-private linkages for driving research and innovation

Initiatives Undertaken by PSA

  • The Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC)
  • Empowered Technology Group (ETG)
  • Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2020 (STIP 2020)

Source: https://www.financialexpress.com/lifestyle/science/new-science-policy-2020-to-rank-educational-institutes-based-on-support-to-women-staffers/2093980/


Consider the following statements regarding Phthalates

  1. They are a family of chemicals used to improve the plasticity of several consumer products
  2. It is banned in the use of cosmetic products, toys and diapers in 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: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS:Pthalates, linked to hormonal disregulation, found in baby diapers: study

  • A study by environment advocacy group, Toxics Link, has found significant presence of pthalates, an inorganic chemical, in baby diapers. There is research to suggest that pthalates, when in contact with skin, may impede the regulation of hormones.

About Phthalates

  • Phthalates are a family of chemicals used to improve the plasticity of several consumer products, including diapers.Hence statement 1 is correct
  • It is banned in the use of cosmetic products, toys in India, Europe, South Korea and China.Hence statement 2 is correct
  • India has set the standards for five common phthalates (DEHP, DBP, BBP, DIDP, DNOP & DINP) in various children’s products but there is no such regulation in place for baby diapers in India.
  • Phthalates are a family of chemical compounds primarily used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or vinyl, flexible and pliant.
  • The colorless, odorless high phthalates are used in a multitude of products that demand high performance, long-lasting wear and durability.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/pthalates-linked-to-hormonal-disregulation-found-in-baby-diapers-study/article32716939.ece


Consider the following statements regarding World Climate Research Programme

  1. It was established under the joint sponsorship of International Council for Science and the World Meteorological Organization
  2. It aims to facilitate the analysis and prediction of Earth system variability and change for use in an increasing range of practical applications of direct relevance, benefit and value to society

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:Is time ticking for coal

  • The world has been stuck with coal for years. The carbon-spewing fossil is still the biggest source of energy. The transport, manufacturing, construction and power industries are driven majorly by coal. But with 72 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions arising from the energy sector.
  • The average atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) level has crossed the permissible 350 parts per million (ppm) to as much as 415 ppm.
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had stated that staying within 1.5°C would require all coal-powered electricity to zero out by 2050.
  • A 2020 study by Geneva-based World Climate Research Program shows that Earth’s atmosphere is much more sensitive to CO2 than perceived so far. It says the temperature rise caused by doubling of CO2 levels since pre-industrial times (estimated to be 260-290 ppm) would trigger 2.6°C to 4.1°C in average warming, putting the lowest rise more than one degree above scientists’ previous estimated range of 1.5°C to 4.5°C

About World Climate Research Programme (WCRP):

  • The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) was established in 1980, under the joint sponsorship of International Council for Science and the World Meteorological Organization, and has also been sponsored by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO since 1993.Hence statement 1 is correct
  • WCRP’s mission is to facilitate the analysis and prediction of Earth system variability and change for use in an increasing range of practical applications of direct relevance, benefit and value to society.Hence statement 2 is correct
  • WCRP engages productively through these partnerships to inform the development of policies and services and to promote science education

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/is-time-ticking-for-coal-73468


Consider the following statements regarding ASTROSAT

  1. It is India’s first dedicated multi wavelength space observatory.
  2. The scientific objectives of ASTROSAT mission are to understand high energy processes in binary star systems containing neutron stars and black holes

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: India’s AstroSat completes 5 years of mapping stars, galaxies in space

  • AstroSat, India’s first multi-wavelength astronomical observatory, was launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on September 28, 2015. It has carried out 1,166 observations of 800 unique celestial sources proposed by scientists both from India and abroad.

About ASTROSAT

  • ASTROSAT is India’s first dedicated multi wavelength space observatory. This scientific satellite mission endeavours for a more detailed understanding of our universe. One of the unique features of ASTROSAT mission is that enables the simultaneous multi-wavelength observations of various astronomical objects with a single satellite.Hence statement 1 is correct
  • AstroSat was launched on September 28, 2015, by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • The minimum useful life of the AstroSat mission is expected to be 5 years.
  • ASTROSAT observes universe in the optical, Ultraviolet, low and high energy X-ray regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, whereas most other scientific satellites are capable of observing a narrow range of wavelength band.

The scientific objectives of ASTROSAT mission are:

  • To understand high energy processes in binary star systems containing neutron stars and black holes. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • Estimate magnetic fields of neutron stars
  • Study star birth regions and high energy processes in star systems lying beyond our galaxy
  • Detect new briefly bright X-ray sources in the sky
  • Perform a limited deep field survey of the Universe in the Ultraviolet region

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-s-astrosat-completes-5-years-of-mapping-stars-galaxies-in-space/story-N0cUUDVVcFpFNcUgdLpRON.html


Consider the following statements regarding Ultra-Violet Imaging Telescope

  1. It is a remarkable 3-in-1 imaging telescope simultaneously observing the visible, the near-ultraviolet (NUV), and the far-ultraviolet (FUV) spectrum.
  2. It is one of the five payloads on board Cartosat-3.

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:India’s AstroSat completes 5 years of mapping stars, galaxies in space

  • AstroSat has explored stars, star clusters, mapping of large and small satellite galaxies of the Milky Way called ‘Magellanic Clouds’, an energetic phenomenon in the Universe such as the ultra-violet counterparts to gamma-ray bursts, supernovae, active galactic nuclei.
  • Observations from UVIT has recently led to the discovery of a galaxy located at a distance of about 10 billion light-years from Earth and emitting extreme ultraviolet radiation that can ionize the intergalactic medium

About Ultra-Violet Imaging Telescope

  • The Ultra-Violet Imaging Telescope, or the UVIT, is a remarkable 3-in-1 imaging telescope simultaneously observing the visible, the near-ultraviolet (NUV), and the far-ultraviolet (FUV) spectrum. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • It is one of the five payloads on board AstroSat. Hence statement 2 is incorrect
  • Weighing a total of of 230 kilograms, the UVIT comprises two separate telescopes. One of them works in the visible (320-550 nm) and the NUV (200-300 nm).
  • The second works only in the FUV (130-180 nm). The UVIT project was led by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), an institute of the DST in collaboration with the Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, several centres of ISRO and the Canadian Space Agency.
  • It has carried out 1166 observations of 800 unique celestial sources proposed by scientists both from India and abroad.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-s-astrosat-completes-5-years-of-mapping-stars-galaxies-in-space/story-N0cUUDVVcFpFNcUgdLpRON.html


According to international laws, what constitutes Global Commons?

  1. The High Seas
  2. The Atmosphere
  3. Antarctica
  4. Outer Space
  5. Arctic

Select the correct option from the given below codes

  1. 1,2,3 and 5 only
  2. 2,4 and 5 only
  3. 3 and 4 only
  4. 1,2,3 and 4 only

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

Explanation:

In NEWS:Managing the global commons

  • We need to facilitate the self­governance of localcommons, but provide safeguards at various levels
  • This year is defined by a pandemic, record­breaking forest fires, floodsand droughts in various places, and the rapid melting of Arctic ice.
  • Global commons refer to shared resources that cannot be managed within national jurisdictions. The spread of zoonotic diseases like COVID­19; greenhouse gas emissions; biodiversity reduction;  overfishing; and the accumulation of plastic waste are some of the problems within the scope of global commons
  • To manage our global commons, we need to facilitate and accommodate the self­governance of local commons, but provide safeguards at different levels to avoid exploitation and manage risks

About Global commons 

Global commons is a term typically used to describe international, supranational, and global resource domains in which common-pool resources are found. International law identifies four global commons as follows:

  • The High Seas
  • The Atmosphere
  • Antarctica
  • Outer Space
  • Cyberspace may also meet the definition of a global commons.Hence option (d) is correct

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/managing-the-global-commons/article32726262.ece


With reference to the food chains in ecosystems, which of the following kinds of organism is/are known as decomposer organism/organisms?

  1. Virus
  2. Fungi
  3. Bacteria

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

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

Answer: (b) 2 and 3only

Explanation:

  • Decomposers: Also called saprotrophs.  These are mostly bacteria and fungi that feed on dead decomposed. Hence 2 and 3 correct.
  • Viruses aren’t decomposers.