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Daily Prelims Test – 31 August 2020

Consider the following statements regarding Caucasus-2020

  • It is a multilateral military exercise.
  • It is to be held in Southern Russia.

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 decides to pull out of Kavkaz 2020 military exercise on Russia due to Chinese participation

  • India has withdrawn its participation in Kavkaz 2020 multinational exercise in Russia in September citing logistics difficulties due to COVID-19 pandemic. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • The invitees to Kavkaz 2020 strategic command-post exercise, also referred to as Caucasus-2020, to be held in Astrakhan in Southern Russia from September 15 to 26 include China, Pakistan and Turkey apart from other member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • Apart worsening COVID-19 situation in the country, other reasons include participation of Chinese troops and the participation of Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the exercise which have only been recognised by Russia and few other countries

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-decides-to-pull-out-of-kavkaz-2020-military-exercise-on-russia-due-to-chinese-participation/article32475212.ece


Consider the following statements regarding Human African Trypanosomiasis

  • It is a vector-borne parasitic disease.
  • It cannot be transmitted through the mother to the child.

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:Togo first in Africa to end sleeping sickness

  • The west African country did not report any cases for the past 10 years, achieving this feat after more than 2 decades of disease surveillance
  • Togo did not report any cases in the past 10 years. The west African country managed to achieve this after more than two decades of sustained political commitment, surveillance and screening of cases, according to the WHO.
  • Togo is a pathfinder in eliminating sleeping sickness, a disease that threatened millions of Africans.
  • WHO and its partners aim to eliminate the disease from all endemic countries by 2030.

About Human African trypanosomiasis

  • Human African trypanosomiasis, also known as sleeping sickness, is a vector-borne parasitic disease. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • It is caused by infection with protozoan parasites belonging to the genus Trypanosoma. Hence statement 2 is incorrect.
  • They are transmitted to humans by tsetse fly (Glossina genus) bites which have acquired their infection from human beings or from animals harbouring human pathogenic parasites.
  • Tsetse flies are found just in sub-Saharan Africa though only certain species transmit the disease
  • The two parasites named Trypanosoma bruciegambiense and Trypanosoma brucie rhodesiense cause this disease.
  • Sleeping sickness is a tropical disease that can prove fatal if not treated properly.
  • The fly bite develops into a red sore and the person soon experiences fever, muscle and joint ache, swelling in the lymph glands, irritation and headache.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/africa/togo-first-in-africa-to-end-sleeping-sickness-73094


Consider the following statements regarding Poshan Maah

  • It seeks to synergise all efforts by leveraging technology and intends to take nutrition awareness to the level of Jan Andolan or People’s Movement.
  • It is an initiative of WCD Ministry and NITI Aayog.

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:

  • The Prime Minister noted that the month of September will be observed as Poshan Maah – Nutrition month.
  • He said that nation and nutrition are very closely interrelated. He recalled the maxim – “Yatha Annam Tatha Mannam,” which means that mental and intellectual development is directly related to the quality of our food intake.
  • He informed that an ‘Agricultural Fund of India’ is being created that will have complete information about the crops that are grown in each district and their related nutritional value. Prime Minister asked the listeners to eat nutritious food and stay healthy during the nutrition month.

About Poshan Maah

  • The primary objective of the celebration of Poshan Maah is to take the messages of POSHAN to the grass root level.
  • The programme focuses on 8 themes – Antenatal Care, Optimal Breastfeeding (Early & Exclusive), Complementary Feeding, Anaemia, Growth Monitoring, Girls-education, diet, right age of Marriage, Hygiene & Sanitation, Food Fortification.
  • The programme- an initiative of WCD Ministry and NITI Aayog is supported by 18 line Ministries/Departments/Government Organizations.Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • It seeks to synergise all efforts by leveraging technology and intends to take nutrition awareness to the level of Jan Andolan or People’s Movement.Hence statement 1 is correct.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1649764


Global Energy Review 2020 report is published by the

  • International Solar Alliance
  • Energy Information Administration
  • International Renewable Energy Agency
  • International Energy Agency

Answer: (d) International Energy Agency

Explanation:

In NEWS:Env min official spoke about fall in global CO2 emissions: Govt clarifies

  • The environment ministry said that in a virtual session organised by the PHD Chamber, one of its senior official had spoken about the predicted fall in global carbon dioxide emission due to the COVID-19 situation.
  • Certain media reports have misquoted a ministry official about falling of India’s carbon emissions for 2020. It is clarified that the statement was in the context of predicted fall in global carbon dioxide emission, not the country’s emission, which was reported a couple of months ago based on the Global Energy Review 2020 report of International Energy Agency.Hence, option (d) is correct.
  • The pandemic has given a lot of challenges but it has given the opportunity to jump-start the economies, rebuild societies through recovery plans and focus on climate change and environment conservation.

Source: https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/env-min-official-spoke-about-fall-in-global-co2-emissions-govt-clarifies-120082801665_1.html


Consider the following statements regarding Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana

  • It is National Mission for Financial Inclusion to ensure access to financial services.
  • It has provided a platform for the social security schemes of Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana.

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:Over 400 million poor now have access to banks due to Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana: Finance ministry

  • The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana has become the basis of direct transfer of cash subsidy to the poor and was launched in August 2014
  • The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), the country’s financial inclusion initiative that was launched six years ago, has more than 403.5 million accounts with total deposits in excess of Rs 1.30 lakh crore.
  • The PMJDY account holders can also take help of ‘Jan Dhan Darshak App’, a mobile application, for locating banking touchpoints such as bank branches, automated teller machines (ATMs), Bank Mitras and post offices.

About Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana

  • PMJDY is National Mission for Financial Inclusion to ensure access to financial services, namely, Banking/ Savings & Deposit Accounts, Remittance, Credit, Insurance, Pension in an affordable manner.Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • It provides platform for social security schemes Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), Atal Pension Yojana (APY) and Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY).Hence statement 2 is correct.

Basic tenets of the scheme:

  • Banking the unbanked – Opening of basic savings bank deposit (BSBD) account with minimal paperwork, relaxed KYC, e-KYC, account opening in camp mode, zero balance & zero charges.
  • Securing the unsecured – Issuance of Indigenous Debit cards for cash withdrawals & payments at merchant locations, with free accident insurance coverage of Rs. 2 lakh.
  • Funding the unfunded – Other financial products like micro-insurance, overdraft for consumption, micro-pension & micro-credit.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/over-400-million-poor-now-have-access-to-banks-due-to-pradhan-mantri-jan-dhan-yojana-finance-ministry/story-V7ZTGA4VES6PqUIbG8kAOJ.html


Consider the following statements regarding Baobab Tree

  • It is native to the Asian continent
  • It has high medicinal and nutritional value

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:Scientists advance genetic understanding of African baobab tree

  • The African baobab tree has 168 chromosomes — critical knowledge for further genetic studies, conservation, and improvement for agricultural purposes.
  • Previous studies estimated that the tree has between 96 and 166 chromosomes.
  • These genetic findings are foundational and will make genetic conservation of the African baobab tree more efficient and effective

About African baobab tree

  • The African baobab tree (Adansoniadigitata) is called the tree of life.
  • Baobab trees can live for more than a thousand years and is native to the African continent.Hence statement 1 is incorrect.
  • The tree has adapted to the dry and arid climate and uses its bulbous trunk to store the water it absorbs during the rainy season.
  • Baobabs have been used by humans and animals for centuries, probably more.
  • The tree provides shelter, food and water in the testing climate, which gives it its nickname, the Tree of Life.
  • The bark can be used to make clothes and ropes, and the seed (jam-packed full of nutrients, like six times more vitamin C than oranges) are used to make cosmetics and medicinal supplements.Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • People in many African countries use the Baobab to treat malaria and infertility.

Source: TH


Consider the following statements regarding T cells

  • They are the white blood cells of the immune system that are responsible for adaptive immune response in an organism.
  • They are originate in the bone marrow and mature in the thymus.

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:Pre-existing memory T cells may only reduce COVID-19 severity, do not prevent infection.

  • At least five papers published in reputable journals — Cell, Nature, Science, and Science Immunology — have found that 20-50% people who have not been infected with novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) still harbour memory T cells derived from previous exposures to common cold coronaviruses.
  • The memory T cells were found to cross-react with SARS-CoV-2.
  • Pre-existing T cell immunity to SARS-CoV-2 could be relevant because it could influence COVID-19 disease severity.
  • It is plausible that people with a high level of pre-existing memory CD4+ T cells that recognise novel coronavirus could mount a faster and stronger immune response upon exposure to the virus and thereby limit disease severity
  • A few researchers have also been mistaking pre-existing cross-reactive memory T cells to be playing a part in achieving herd immunity even when only a small percentage of the population is infected

About T cells

  • T cells are the white blood cells of the immune system that are responsible for adaptive immune response in an organism.Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • T cells originate in the bone marrow and mature in the thymus. These can be further divided into T helper cells and T cytotoxic cells. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • They are responsible for removing the pathogens from the body.
  • As soon as the foreign antigen enters the cells, T cells trigger the B cells to develop plasma cells and activates T killer cells that kill the cells affected by the invaders.
  • There is a possibility that pre-existing T cell memory might influence vaccination outcomes.
  • Pre-existing immunity could help elicit better immune responses against novel coronavirus, and these responses can manifest faster.
  • Meanwhile, pre-existing immunity could be mistaken as an enhanced efficacy of the vaccine in eliciting immune responses.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/pre-existing-memory-t-cells-may-only-reduce-covid-19-severity-do-not-prevent-infection/article32475102.ece


Recently the term Andromeda is seen in news, it refers to

  • a barred spiral galaxy
  • a quasi-stellar object
  • an affordable, lightweight solution for removing space debris froman orbit
  • a satellite to track global air pollution

Answer: (a) a barred spiral galaxy

Explanation:

In NEWS: colliding Haloes

  • NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has mapped out a massive halo around Andromeda galaxy that is bumping up against that of our Milky Way much in advance of the cosmic collision.
  • The nearly invisible halo of diffused plasma, observed by a team of researchers, extends 1.3 million light-years from the galaxy — about halfway to our Milky Way — and as far as 2 million light-years in some directions.
  • Andromeda and Milky Way are on a collision course that will cause them to merge four billion years from now into one giant elliptical galaxy.
  • The new landmark study, published in the Astrophysical journal, has suggested that Andromeda’s halo is already beginning to press up against that of out own galaxy.
  • The researchers found that the halo has a layered structure, with two main nested and distinct shells of gas.
  • The Andromeda galaxy, also known as M31, is a barred spiral galaxy approximately 5 million light-years from the Earth. With an apparent magnitude of 3.4, the galaxy is among the brightest of the Messier objects, making it visible from Earth on moonless nights.Hence, option (a) is correct.

Source: TH


Kandhamal Haladi is a variety of turmeric indigenous to which of the following state in india?

1.Odisha

2.Jammu and Kashmir

3.Punjab

4.Tamilnadu

Answer: (a) Odisha

Explanation:

In NEWS:‘Haladi’ loses its flavour amid pandemic

  • A year after the famed organic turmeric of Odisha’s Kandhamal district received the geographical indication (GI) tag, thousands of farmers who hoped to make a profit out of the crop are cursing themselves. 
  • ‘The golden yellow spice, named after the district where it is produced, has been cultivated since time immemorial and is known for its medicinal value.
  • Turmeric is the main cash crop of tribal people in Kandhamal. Apart from domestic use, turmeric is also used for cosmetic and medicinal purposes.
  • More than 60,000 families (nearly 50% of Kandhamal population) are engaged in growing the variety. The crop is sustainable in adverse climatic conditions.

Source: TH

With reference to the recent developments in science, which one of the following statements is not correct?

  • Functional chromosomes can be created by joining segments of DNA taken from cells of different species.
  • Pieces of artificial functional DNA can be created in laboratories.
  • A piece of DNA taken out from an animal cell can be made to replicate outside a living cell in a laboratory.
  • Cells taken out from plasma and animals can be made to undergo cell division in laboratory petri dishes.
  • Answer: (a) Functional chromosomes can be created by joining segments of DNA taken from cells of different species.

Explanation:

  • In a major step toward creating artificial life, US researchers have developed a living organism that incorporates both natural and artificial DNA and is capable of creating entirely new, synthetic proteins.
  • A wide variety of double-stranded DNA templates are replicated extensively in an in vitro DNA replication system containing the purified proteins specified by seven T4 bacteriophage DNA replication genes (32, 41, 43, 44, 62, 45, and 61).Through micropropagation plant can be developed in laboratory and chlamydomnas cells can be replicated in culture through light variations.Hence option (a) is the correct answer.