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Daily Prelims Test – 31_January_2022

1. Consider the following statements regarding Global Education Monitoring Report:

1)   It was launched by the United Nations Children’s Fund.

2)   It tries to track the Sustainable Development Goal-4 (SDG) of ‘Quality Education’ for all by 2030.

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: Nearly 90 pc Indians aged 10-16 lack maths skills: Unesco report

●      Only 12.3 per cent of India’s lower secondary school students (aged 10–16) are proficient in basic mathematics, according to the Unesco’s SDG 4 report. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.

●      The report says that while India projects that 65 per cent of its lower secondary graduates will have minimum mathematics proficiency by 2025 and 75 percent by 2030, its current figure is far lower than that of many of its neighbours, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal

●      The Unesco report noted that most countries will not achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDG) — quality education is one of them — by 2030. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      GMR calls on all actors, state and non-state alike, to play #RightbytheRules in the field of education.

There is need for the government-led inclusive approach for improving the education system.

●      For quality education and equitable opportunities to learners.

●      For education policy-making and implementation

●      To monitor and safeguard against lobbying by investors in the education field.

●      For increased finance mobilisation in education

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/data-stories/data-focus/data-focus-almost-90-per-cent-of-indias-viii-graders-are-not-proficient-in-mathematics-unesco-report/article64940386.ece

2. Consider the following statements:

1)   India’s drug regulations do not have provisions for Emergency Use Authorisation

2)   Under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, CDSCO is responsible for approval of Drugs, Conduct of Clinical Trials.

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: DCGI approves “Conditional Market Authorization” of Covaxin and Covishield

●      The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), India’s national regulator, has approved the marketing of two COVID19 vaccines, Covaxin and Covishield, subject to specific limitations.

What is Conditional Market Authorization?

●      “Conditional Market Authorization” is a new category of market authorization that has emerged during the current global pandemic of COVID19.

●      The approval pathways via this route are fast-tracked with certain conditions in order to enhance the access to certain pharmaceuticals for meeting the emerging needs of drugs or vaccines.

What is the process of getting an emergency use authorization in India?

●      Experts and activists say India’s drug regulations do not have provisions for an EUA, and the process for receiving one is not clearly defined or consistent. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      Despite this, CDSCO has been granting emergency or restricted emergency approvals to Covid-19 drugs during this pandemic — for remdesivir and favipiravir in June, and itolizumab in July. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      Through the EUA route, the vaccines are available only in emergency situations (i.e., public health emergency like the pandemic).

●      Since the two vaccines now meet the high standards of safety, effectiveness, quality of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, they have been now upgraded to conditional market authorization.

There are 4 criteria for granting conditional marketing authorization:

●      The benefit-risk balance of the vaccine is positive.

●      It is likely that the applicant will be able to provide comprehensive data post-authorization.

●      The vaccine fulfils an unmet medical need.

●      The benefit of the immediate availability of the vaccine to patients is greater than the risk inherent in non-availability of additional data.

Source: https://newsonair.com/2022/01/28/dcgi-approves-conditional-market-authorization-of-covaxin-and-covishield/

3. Consider the following statements regarding Fly Ash Management and Utilisation Mission:

1)   The secretary of MoEF&CC will be the nodal agency for this mission.

2)   It will be to coordinate and monitor issues relating to the handling and disposal of fly ash and associated issues.

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: Fly Ash Management and Utilisation Mission: Will it boost handling, disposal of by-product

●      The National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the constitution of a ‘Fly Ash Management and Utilisation Mission’

●      The Mission’s primary goal will be to ‘coordinate and monitor issues relating to the handling and disposal of fly ash and associated issues.’ Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      The Mission is to be jointly headed by the secretaries of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Union Ministry of Coal and Power and the chief secretaries of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

●      The secretary of MoEF&CC will be the nodal agency for coordination and compliance. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      The Mission may also monitor scientific management and utilisation of fly ash by power projects outside Singrauli and Sonbhadra, in coordination with chief secretaries of concerned states.

●      There are some overlaps and distinctions in the responsibilities allocated to the committees under the Fly Ash Notification, 2021 and the Fly Ash Management and Utilisation Mission as directed by the NGT.

●      The new fly ash notification of December 2021, has made provision for the ‘enforcement, monitoring, audit and reporting’ of the progress of fly ash utilisation and implementation of the clauses of the notification by coal thermal power plants and user agencies.

●      The Notification holds the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and State Pollution Control Boards (SPCB) / Pollution Control Committees (PCC) responsible for monitoring the effective implementation of mandates under it.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/pollution/fly-ash-management-and-utilisation-mission-will-it-boost-handling-disposal-of-bye-product-81296

4. Consider the following statements regarding the functions of Green Climate Fund:

1)   De-risking investment to mobilise finance at scale

2)   Mainstreaming climate risks and opportunities

3)   Transformational planning and programming

4)   Catalysing climate innovation

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

a)    2 and 4 only

b)   1 and 3 only

c)    1, 2 and 3 only

d)   1, 2, 3 and 4

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

Explanation:

In NEWS: Most vulnerable countries unable to access Green Climate Fund for adaptation

●      Countries with the highest vulnerability to climate change have missed out on finance for adaptation through the Green Climate Fund

●      As per GFC, there should be 50% investment in resources to mitigation and 50% to adaptation in grant equivalent.

●      This makes 154 countries eligible for funding, of which 84 received $2.5 billion GCF adaptation funding between 2015 and 2019.

●      16 of the 37 countries most vulnerable to climate change did not receive GCF funding.

●      Most of them are from the Africa region.

●      The annual adaptation costs in developing countries to reach $140 to 300 billion per year by 2030, and $280-500 billion by 2050.

●      Only a fifth (20.5%) of all climate financing went to least developed countries (LDCs) in 2017-18, and 3% to small island developing states (SIDS).

About Green Climate Fund

●      The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a fund established within the framework of the UNFCCC as an operating entity of the Financial Mechanism to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practises to counter climate change.

●      The GCF is based in Incheon, South Korea.

●      It is governed by a Board of 24 members and supported by a Secretariat.

We achieve our goal by investing across four transitions – built environment; energy & industry; human security, livelihoods and wellbeing; and land-use, forests and ecosystems – and employing a four-pronged approach:  

●      Transformational planning and programming: by promoting integrated strategies, planning and policymaking to maximise the co-benefits between mitigation, adaptation and sustainable development.

●      Catalysing climate innovation: by investing in new technologies, business models, and practises to establish a proof of concept.

●      De-risking investment to mobilise finance at scale: by using scarce public resources to improve the risk-reward profile of low emission climate resilient investment and crowd-in private finance, notably for adaptation, nature-based solutions, least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS).

●      Mainstreaming climate risks and opportunities into investment decision-making to align finance with sustainable development: by promoting methodologies, standards and practises that foster new norms and values. Hence option (d) is correct.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/most-vulnerable-countries-unable-to-access-green-climate-fund-for-adaptation-81314

5. Consider the following statements regarding Article 19 of Indian constitution:

1)   All citizens shall have the right to move freely throughout the territory of India.

2)   The state has no power to make any law imposing reasonable restrictions on the territory of India.

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: Use externment orders with caution: SC

●      The Supreme Court has held that a person cannot be barred by authorities from entering a place on mere suspicion.

●      The court said authorities can pass an order of externment against a person only under extraordinary circumstances.

●      The discretion should be used very sparingly as it deprives a person of his or her right of free movement in the country. An external person may not even be able to stay with his family or home.

●      There cannot be any manner of doubt that an order of externment is an extraordinary measure.

●      The effect of the order of externment is of depriving a citizen of his fundamental right of free movement throughout the territory of India

Order of Externment

●      A system of preventing people from entering into a particular place for a certain period, due to their ability to affect that place’s conditions by criminal activity, as exhibited by their prior conduct, is known as externment.

●      An order of externment imposes a restraint on the person against whom the order is made from entering a particular area.

●      Clause (5) of Article 19, the State is empowered to make a law enabling the imposition of reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by clause (d). Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

Article 19(1): All citizens shall have the right—

●      to freedom of speech and expression;

●      to assemble peaceably and without arms;

●      to form associations or unions;

●      to move freely throughout the territory of India;

●      to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India;

●      to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business. Hence statement (1) is correct.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/use-externment-orders-with-caution-sc/article38346617.ece#:~:text=The%20Supreme%20Court%20has%20 held,person%20only%20under%20extraordinary%20circumstances.

6. Genus Septemeranthus recently seen in the news is related to:

a)    Parasitic flowering plant.

b)   Fungus in plant soil

c)    Wild rose plant

d)   Sea grass plant

Answer: (a) Parasitic flowering plant

Explanation:

In NEWS: New genus of parasitic flowering plant discovered from Nicobar Islands

●      A new genus of a parasitic flowering plant has recently been discovered from the Nicobar group of islandsHence option (a) is correct.

●      The genus Septemeranthus grows on the plant species Horsfieldiaglabra (Blume) Warb.

●      The parasitic flowering plants have a modified root structure spread on the stem of the tree and are anchored inside the bark of the host tree.

●      The plant was found on the periphery of the tropical forest in one of the biodiversity hotspots referred to as the Nicobar group of islands separated from the Andaman group of Islands by a wide gap of 160 km with heavy tidal flows.

●      Septemeranthus partially depends on its host but also has leaves capable of photosynthesis.

●      It is endemic only to the Nicobar group of islands.

●      In addition to Septemeranthus, four other genera on non-parasitic plants, Nicobariodendron (Hippocrateaceae), Pseudodiplospora (Rubiaceae), Pubistylis  (Rubiaceae),  Sphyranthera  , (Euphorbiaceae) have also been discovered earlier from Nicobar group of islands, highlighting the ecological significance of the region.

●      Recently a new species in the hemiparasitic family Loranthaceae, Dendrophthoelaljii have also been discovered from the Nicobar group of islands.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/new-genus-of-parasitic-flowering-plant-discovered-from-nicobar-islands/article38345955.ece

7. Consider the following statements regarding Bomb cyclone:

1)   It occurs when a mid-latitude cyclone rapidly intensifies, dropping at least 24 millibars over 24 hours.

2)   It is fairly common in the Pacific Ocean region.

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: ‘Bomb cyclone’ hits eastern U.S., triggers transport chaos, outages

What is Bomb Cyclone?

●      A bomb cyclone is a large, intense midlatitude storm that has low pressure at its center, weather fronts and an array of associated weather, from blizzards to severe thunderstorms to heavy precipitation.

●      It becomes a bomb when its central pressure decreases very quickly – by at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      It is a massive winter storm hammering the coast, bringing strong winds, flooding, ice and snow.

●      The word “bombogenesis” is a combination of cyclogenesis, which describes the formation of a cyclone or storm, and bomb.

●      It is a combination of rapidly declining pressure and extreme cold. This particular storm is the most explosive ever, observed on the east coast.

●      Deep drops in barometric pressure occur when a region of warm air meets one of cold air.

●      The air starts to move and the rotation of the earth creates a cyclonic effect.

●      The direction is counterclockwise in the Northern hemisphere leading to winds that come out of the northeast.

●      It is fairly common in the Pacific Ocean region. Hence statement (2) is correct.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/bomb-cyclone-hits-eastern-us-triggers-transport-chaos-outages/article38350533.ece

8. Which of the following statements is correct about the privileges committee?

a)    It is the largest committee of the parliament

b)   The Rajya sabha has no representation in this committee

c)    The Speaker of Lok sabha nominates a committee of privileges

d)   All of the above statements are correct

Answer: (c) The Speaker of Lok sabha nominates a committee of privileges

Explanation:

In NEWS: Plea to disqualify two MPs with House panel

●      Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has referred petitions submitted by the Trinamool Congress and the YSR Congress under the anti-defection law against Sisir Adhikari and K Raghu Rama Krishna Raju respectively to the Privileges Committee.

Privileges committee

●      In the Lok Sabha, the Speaker nominates a committee of privileges consisting of 15 members as per respective party strengths. Hence option © is correct

●      In the Rajya Sabha, the deputy chairperson heads the committee of privileges, which consists of 10 members.

●      Its function is to examine every question involving breach of privilege of the House or of the members of any Committee therefore referred to it by the House or by the Speaker.

●      The Speaker/ Chairman may refer to the Committee any petition regarding disqualification of a member on ground of defection for making a preliminary inquiry and submitting a report to him.

Note:

●      The Estimates Committee is the largest Committee of the Parliament.

●      The Estimates Committee has 30 members and all these members are from Lok Sabha.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/plea-to-disqualify-two-mps-with-house-panel/article38344714.ece

9. With respect to TX2 Tiger Conservation Award, consider the following statements:

1.    It is given away by Conservation Assured|Tiger Standards (CA|TS) and Global Tiger Forum

2.    It goes to one site that has achieved remarkable and measurable increase in its tiger population since 2010.

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: Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve wins TX2 award for doubling tiger population

●      The Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu has won the TX2 award for doubling the tiger population since 2010. Bardia National Park, Nepal, was also jointly conferred the award, for doubling its population of wild tigers.

●      Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit Tiger Reserve in 2020 was awarded the first TX2 Award for having doubled its tiger population from 25 tigers to 65 in 2018.

TX2 Tiger Conservation Award

●      The TX2 Tiger Conservation Award is given away by Conservation Assured | Tiger Standards (CA|TS), Fauna & Flora International, Global Tiger Forum, IUCN Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme, Panthera, UNDP Lion’s Share, Wildlife Conservation Society, and World Wide Fund For Nature’s (WWF’s) Tigers Alive Initiative. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●      It was launched with the objective to recognize and celebrate significant progress made towards tiger recovery since 2010.

●      Set in 2010 by the 13 tiger range countries, the goal known as TX2 aims at reversing the downward decline of tigers and recognizes the efforts of the government bodies, NGOs, and local communities towards tiger conservation. Hence statement (2) is correct.

This award recognises one site that has achieved excellence in two or more of these five themes:

●      Tiger and prey population monitoring and research (tiger translocation/prey augmentation),

●      Effective site management,

●      Enhanced law enforcement & protection & ranger welfare improvement,

●      Community based conservation, benefits and human-wildlife conflict mitigation and

●      Habitat and prey management.

Source: https://newsonair.com/2022/01/27/sathyamangalam-tiger-reserve-wins-tx2-award-for-doubling-tiger-population/

10. Consider the following statements:

1)   Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) is the first regulatory body set up by the Government of India.

2)   One of the tasks of PNGRB is to ensure competitive markets for gas.

3)   Appeals against the decisions of PNGRB go before the Appellate Tribunals for Electricity.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

a)    1 and 2 only

b)   2 and 3 only

c)    1 and 3 only

d)   1, 2 and 3

Answer: (b) 2 and 3 only

Explanation:

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) was constituted under the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006.

●      PNGRB is not the first regulatory body set up by the Government of India. Hence statement (1) is not correct.

PNGRB Objectives:

●      To protect the interests of consumers and entities engaged in specified activities relating to petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas.

●      To promote competitive markets and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●      Currently, the electricity sector has state-level regulatory commissions:

●      The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) is the first level of appeal for regulatory disputes.

Appeals against the PNGRB order go to the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity.

Hence statement (3) is correct.