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Daily Prelims Test – 31_August_2021

1. Consider the following statements:

1) A hurricane is a cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and the northeastern Pacific Ocean.

2) It is a temperate cyclonic storm.

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: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: Ida similar to Katrina, but stronger, smaller

●    Hurricane Ida is looking eerily like a dangerous and perhaps scarier sequel to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, the costliest storm in American history. But there’s a few still-to-come twists that could make Ida nastier in some ways, but not quite as horrific in others.

Hurricane:

●    A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and the northeastern Pacific Ocean. Hence statement (1) is correct and (2) is incorrect.

●    And a typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean; in the south Pacific or the Indian Ocean, comparable storms are referred to simply as “tropical cyclones” or “severe cyclonic storms”.

●    Warm ocean waters provide the energy a storm needs to become a hurricane. Usually, the surface water temperature must be 26 degrees Celsius (79 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher for a hurricane to form.

●    Winds that don’t change much in speed or direction as they go up in the sky. Winds that change a lot with height can rip storms apart.

A hurricane starts out as a tropical disturbance. This is an area over warm ocean waters where rain clouds are building.

●    A tropical disturbance sometimes grows into a tropical depression. This is an area of rotating thunderstorms with winds of 62 km/hr (38 mph) or less.

●    A tropical depression becomes a tropical storm if its winds reach 63 km/hr (39 mph).

●    A tropical storm becomes a hurricane if its winds reach 119 km/hr (74 mph).

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explainer-ida-similar-to-katrina-but-stronger-smaller-7477164/

2. Which one of the following is the correct aim of the Saksham Bitiya initiative?

a)  It is a public-private partnership scheme aimed to harness technology for better learning outcomes in higher education.

b) It aims to train girls in socio-emotional and ethical learning.

c)  It is aimed at attracting the talent pool of the country to doctoral (Ph.D.) programs for carrying out research in cutting edge science and technology domains.

d) It aims to provide internship opportunities to 25,000 fresh graduates in all Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and Smart Cities across the country.

Answer: (b) It aims to train girls in socio-emotional and ethical learning

Explanation:

In NEWS: Making sure that girls don’t drop out of school

●    In the recently held Olympics, Indian women showed their excellent performance. They can also excel in other fields like education. Women can contribute not just to the economy of the nation, but can also be the agents of social transformation.

●    This is evident from the World Bank review, which pointed out that the global average for the private rate of return (the increase in an individual’s earnings) with just one extra year of schooling is about 9 percent.

●    It is estimated that over 2.4 crore girls globally are on the verge of dropping out of schools because of the corona pandemic. The main reasons behind that are pandemic-induced school closure & economic hardship.

●    NITI Aayog, with the help of civil society organisations, had started a community programme led by volunteers called “Saksham Bitiya”. It aims to train girls in socio-emotional and ethical learning. Such initiatives should be replicated to ensure more girls do not drop out of schools during the pandemic. Hence option (b) is correct.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/girls-school-drop-out-indian-education-nep-7474391/

3. Consider the following statements:

1) The genetically programmed mosquitoes could take over wild populations of disease-carrying mosquitoes in just a few generations.

2) These mosquitoes upon mating with wild mosquitoes, produce offspring that are incapable of any further reproduction.

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: Genetically changed mosquitoes could transform Africa’s long fight against malaria

●    Malaria prevention in African countries heavily depends on using insecticide treated bed nets and house spraying. These efforts, together with effective treatment, have greatly reduced the malaria burden across the continent.

●    In nature, there’s a phenomenon called gene drive which operates in the process of reproduction. This is when a genetic element is able to increase the chance that it will be inherited by offspring

●    Unlike traditional genetic modification, gene drives enable extremely rapid spread of the desired characteristics

●    Some countries, in Africa, have been reporting increases in cases because of resistance to insecticides.

●    A World Health Organisation (WHO) panel in 2016, concluded that even with the best use of current approaches, there would still be 11 million malaria cases in 2050. It called for long term strategies to complement current methods.

Genetically-programmed mosquitoes:

●        The genetically programmed mosquitoes are also called “protector mosquitoes”.

●        Upon mating with wild mosquitoes they produce offspring that are either incapable of any further reproduction or unable to transmit malaria parasites. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●        Researchers are using gene-editing tools to modify what certain mosquitoes are capable of, and make sure these capabilities are passed on to the next generation.

●        The genetically programmed mosquitoes could take over wild populations of disease-carrying mosquitoes in just a few generations. Hence statement (1) is correct.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/africa/genetically-changed-mosquitoes-could-transform-africa-s-long-fight-against-malaria-78703

4. Recently, the term Mareel is seen in news, it is related to

a)  It is a rare form of marine bioluminescence

b) It is an initiative for commercial farming of seaweeds

c)  It is a red rice variety

d) It is a major glacier of the Kumaon Himalaya

Answer: (a) It is a rare form of marine bioluminescence

Explanation:

In NEWS: Scientists are using new satellite tech to find glow-in-the-dark milky seas of maritime lore

●    If scientists want to learn more about milky seas, they need to get to one while it’s happening. Trouble is, milky seas are so elusive that it has been almost impossible to sample them. This is where my research comes into play.

●    Satellites offer a practical way to monitor the vast oceans, but it takes a special instrument able to detect light around 100 million times fainter than daylight.

●    Till now, only one research vessel has encountered a milky sea. That crew collected samples and found a strain of luminous bacteria (called Vibrio harveyi) colonizing algae at the water’s surface.

●    Day/Night Band: These are new constellations of satellites planned for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They are designed to capture low-light emission sources, under a variety of illuminated conditions.

Milky Seas Effect:

●    Milky seas are also called mareel. It is a luminous phenomenon in the ocean, in which large areas of seawater appear to glow translucently (in varying shades of blue). Hence option (a) is correct.

●    Such occurrences glow brightly enough at night to be visible from satellites orbiting Earth.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/science-technology/scientists-are-using-new-satellite-tech-to-find-glow-in-the-dark-milky-seas-of-maritime-lore-78689

5. Consider the following statement regarding Association of Renewable Energy Agencies (AREAS):

1) It is an initiative of the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy.

2) All State Nodal Agencies for renewable energy are members of AREAS.

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: MoUs signed between AREAS and the National Institute of Solar Energy, National Institute of Wind Energy and Sardar Swaran Singh National Institute of Bio Energy

●    The Association of Renewable Energy of States (AREAS) celebrated its 7th Foundation Day.

●    Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) were signed between AREAS and the three institutions, National Institute of Solar Energy, National Institute of Wind Energy and Sardar Swaran Singh National Institute of Bio Energy which function under the administrative control of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy .

●    The MoUs between AREAS and these institutions will further cooperation for promotion of renewable energy technologies in India.

●    Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) is the nodal agency at the central level for promotion of grid-connected and off-grid renewable energy in the country.

●    The Ministry’s programmes are implemented in close coordination with State Nodal Agencies (SNAs) for renewable energy (RE).

Association of Renewable Energy Agencies (AREAS):

●    It came into existence in 2014 on the initiative of the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    It has been formed and registered as a society under Society Registration Act 1860.

●    All State Nodal Agencies for renewable energy are members of AREASHence statement (2) is correct.

●    On this platform, they can learn from each came into existence and other’s experience in promotion of renewable energy in the country.

●    AREAS has been granted exemption from taxation.

Under AREAS the following three Standing Committees are constituted:

●    Standing Committee on Technology and Resource Assessment

●    Standing Committee on Policy and Finance

●    Standing Committee on IT & IMS

Source: https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1749837

6. Consider the following statement regarding the concept of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities:

1) It is a principle within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

2) It is enshrined in the Rio Convention,1992.

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: BRICS Environment Ministers adopt the New Delhi Statement on Environment.

●    India gives great importance to BRICS;2021 a crucial year not only for the BRICS but for the whole world

●    At the 7thmeeting of the BRICS Environment Ministers 2021, India stressed on the need for taking concrete collective global actions against global environment and climate challenge, guided by equity, national priorities and circumstances, and the principles of “Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC)”.

●    The New Delhi Statement on Environment was adopted, which is aimed at furthering the spirit of Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus in Environment among the BRICS Nations.

Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities:

●    Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR–RC) is a principle within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that acknowledges the different capabilities and differing responsibilities of individual countries in addressing climate change. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    The principle of CBDR–RC is enshrined in the 1992 UNFCCC treaty, which was ratified by all participating countries. The text of the convention reads: “… the global nature of climate change calls for the widest possible cooperation by all countries and their participation in an effective and appropriate international response, in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and their social and economic conditions.” Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    CBDR-RC has served as a guiding principle as well as a source of contention in the UN climate negotiations.

●    Reflecting CBDR-RC, the Convention divided countries into “Annex I” and “non-Annex I,” the former generally referring to developed countries and the latter to developing countries.

●    Under the Convention Annex I countries have a greater mitigation role than non Annex-I countries.

●    Since 1992 countries like China have gained new capabilities while maintaining relatively low per capita emissions, and tensions about the defined lines of the Annex I and non-Annex I countries have arisen.

●    CBDR-RC and the annex classifications were codified in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, and Annex I country emissions reductions were legally bound.

●    A primary driver for the failure of the U.S. to ratify the Kyoto Protocol was the domestic concern that middle-income developing countries were not required to take action to address their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions despite their growing capability.

Source: https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1749687

7. Consider the following statement regarding Central Pollution Control Board:

1) It was constituted under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

2) It aims to collect, compile, and publish technical and statistical data relating to water and air pollution.

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: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: New rules put larger onus on small, medium poultry farms

●    Small and marginal poultry farmers in India will now have to take measures similar to their bigger counterparts to prevent environmental pollution, according to new guidelines issued recently.

●    Farmers will have to obtain a certificate of Consent to Establishment to establish and operate a medium-sized poultry farm of 25,000-100,000 birds.

●    The permission will be granted from the State Pollution Control Board or Committee under the Water Act, 1974 and the Air Act, 1981. Permission will be valid for 15 years.

●    Poultry farms should have a ventilated room to reduce the gaseous pollution from the birds.

●    Farmers of small- and medium-sized poultry farms will have to arrange for manure.

●    After use, the water from a poultry farm must be collected in a tank.

●    A farm should be set up 500 metres away from a residential area, 100 metres from rivers, lakes, canals and drinking water sources, 100 metres from national highways and 10-15 metres from village footpaths and rural roads.

Central Pollution Control Board

●    Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is a statutory organisation.

●    It was constituted in September, 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.

●    It provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests of the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

Functions:

●    Advise the Central Government on any matter concerning prevention and control of water and air pollution and improvement of the quality of air.

●    Plan and cause to be executed a nation-wide program for the prevention, of water and air pollution.

●    Coordinate the activities of the State Board and resolve disputes among them.

●    Provide technical assistance and guidance to the State Boards, carry out and sponsor investigation and research relating to problems of water and air pollution.

●    Organises through mass media, a comprehensive mass awareness programme on the prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution.

●    Collect, compile, and publish technical and statistical data relating to water and air pollution and the measures devised for their effective preventionHence statement (2) is correct.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/pollution/new-rules-put-larger-onus-on-small-medium-poultry-farms-78699

8. Consider the following statement regarding Universal Postal Union:

1) It is the second oldest international organization worldwide after the International Telecommunication Union.

2) It is not one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations.

3) It now has 192 member countries.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a)  1 and 3 only

b) 2 only

c)  1 and 2 only

d) 1,2 and 3

Answer: (a) 1 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: UN bans British stamps in Chagos island

●    Mauritius has welcomed the UN postal agency’s decision to ban British stamps from being used on the Chagos archipelago, calling it a victory for the island nation in its dispute with London.

●    The vote by the Universal Postal Union (UPU), a United Nations agency focusing on the mail sector, follows a longstanding spat between Mauritius and Britain over the Chagos Islands, where London and Washington operate a joint military base.

●    UPU will stop registering, distributing and transmitting stamps bearing the words British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), the name given by Britain to the archipelago.

●    In 2019, the International Court of Justice ruled that Britain should give up control of the islands.

Universal Postal Union:

●    Universal Postal Union is the specialized agency of the United Nations. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

●    UPU is the primary forum for cooperation between postal sector players. It helps to ensure a truly universal network of up-to-date products and services.

●    It was established in 1874 and is the second oldest international organization worldwide after the International Telecommunication Union (1865). Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    Its headquarter is located in Bern, Switzerland.

●    Any member country of the United Nations may become a member of the UPU.

●    Any non-member country of the United Nations may become a UPU member provided that its request is approved by at least two-thirds of the member countries of the UPU. The UPU has now 192 member countriesHence statement (3) is correct.

●    It frames rules for international mail exchange and fixes rates for international postal services.

The UPU consists of 4 bodies:

●    The Congress

●    The Council of Administration

●    The Postal Operations Council

●    The International Bureau

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/un-bans-british-stamps-in-chagos-island/article36127741.ece

9. Consider the following statement regarding West Nile virus:

1) It is primarily transmitted through mosquitoes and mostly by species of Culex.

2) It can cause a deadly neurological condition in humans and most affected persons show no symptoms.

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: Russia Warns of West Nile Virus: Know All About the Mosquito-borne Disease that Can Cause Deadly Nervous Condition

●    Russia issued a warning on Monday about the possibility of a rise in West Nile Virus (WNV) infections this autumn, citing mild temperatures and heavy precipitation as favourable circumstances for mosquitos that carry the virus.

West Nile virus:

●    It is a single-stranded RNA virus causing West Nile fever. Virus is the member of the family Flaviviridae, which also comprises the Zika virus, dengue virus, as well as yellow fever virus.

●    This virus is primarily transmitted through mosquitoes and mostly by species of Culex. Primary hosts of the virus are birds. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    Genetically, the virus is related to the Japanese encephalitis family. Humans and horses both exhibit disease symptoms from this virus.

●    First human case of the disease was reported in 1937 in Uganda and now it is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in continental United States.

●    West Nile virus originated in Africa. It has now spread to Europe, Asia, and North America. Virus is mostly transmitted by mosquito bites, causing a deadly neurological condition in humans. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    Most of the West Nile virus cases occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and lasts until the fall.

Source: https://www.news18.com/news/world/russia-warns-of-west-nile-virus-know-all-about-the-mosquito-borne-disease-that-can-cause-deadly-nervous-condition-4145234.html

10. With reference to the ‘Gram Nyayalaya Act’, which of the following statements is/are correct?

1) As per the Act, Gram Nyayalayas can hear only civil cases and not criminal cases.

2) The Act allows local social activists as mediators/reconciliators.

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: (b) 2 only

Explanation:

The Gram Nyayalaya Act, which was enacted by Parliament in 2008 and came into effect in October 2009, mandates setting up of village courts.

●    The Act aims at making justice easily accessible to the rural population and dealing with the backlog of cases.

●    The Act also makes the judicial process participatory and decentralised because it allows appointment of local social activists and lawyers as mediators/reconciliators. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    To make the judiciary responsive to the local socio-economic situation, it prescribes representation from scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.

●    There is also a provision of setting up mobile courts at the panchayat level.

●    As per the Act, Gram Nyayalayas can hear both criminal and civil cases and appeals in civil cases will have to be disposed of in six months. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.