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Daily Prelims Test – 31_July

1.Consider the following statements regarding Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund

  • It is a special fund supported by the World Bank
  • It aims to provide incremental grant resources to developing member countries impacted by a major natural disaster.

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: Asian Development Bank approves three million US dollar grant to India

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a three million US dollar grant to India from its Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund (APDRF).
  • This support will enhance disease surveillance and help in early detection, contact tracing, and treatment.
  • The grant, which is financed by the Japanese government, will be used to procure thermal scanners and essential commodities to strengthen the India’s COVID-19 response, Asian Development Bank

What is the fund?

  • The Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund is a special fund designed to provide incremental grant resources to developing member countries impacted by a major natural disaster. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • It is a special fund supported by ADB. Hence statement 1 is incorrect

Source: http://www.newsonair.com/News?title=Asian-Development-Bank-approves-three-million-US-dollar-grant-to-India&id=396002

2.Consider the following statements regarding Rohtang Pass

  • It is a high mountain pass on the eastern Zanskar Range of the Himalayas
  • It connects the Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys of Himachal Pradesh

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:Rohtang Pass

  • The Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) procured 25 electric buses, following the successful trial of operation of electric buses on the Rohtang stretch. Seven charging points had been provided at Manali, four at Kullu and four at Mandi.
  • At least 50 more electric buses were purchased during 2019-2020 for plying in and around Shimla so as to reduce pollution and promote environment-friendly public transport system in Himachal Pradesh.

About Rohtang Pass

  • It is a high mountain pass (elevation 3,980 m) on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas around 51 km from Manali.Hence statement 1 is incorrect
  • It connects the Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys of Himachal Pradesh, India. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The pass lies on the watershed between the Chenab and Beas basins.
  • On the southern side of this pass, the Beas River emerges from underground and flows southward and on its northern side, the Chandra River, a source stream of the river Chenab, flows westward.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/environment/daily-court-digest-major-environment-orders-july-30-2020–72569

3.Consider the following statements regarding Lead

  • It is widely used in many lead acid batteries, paints, stained glass, pigment, ceramics, ammunitions and jewellery
  • Bureau of Indian Standard drinking water specifications prescribing lead content in water not to exceed 50 parts per billion

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:A third of world’s children are poisoned by lead, says UNICEF report

  • A third of the world’s children — around 800 million — are affected by lead poisoning, with India accounting for 275,561,163 of these cases, said a report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and non-profit Pure Earth July 30, 2020. Nearly half the affected children were from South Asia.
  • Lead exposure during childhood is linked to several issues, including mental health and behavioural problems, including an increase in crime and violence.
  • Middle- and low-income countries were the most affected by the problem of lead exposure. The countries lost almost $1 trillion of economic potential because of this, according to the report.
  • Sindoor (vermillion), a traditional cosmetic powder used by women in the Indian subcontinent, also has traces of lead.

About Lead

  • Lead is one of the common diseases of toxic environmental origin and accounts for about 0.6% global burden of diseases.
  • It is widely used in many lead acid batteries, paints, stained glass, pigment, ceramics, ammunitions, jewellery etc.Hence statement 1 is correct
  • Exposure to lead causes a variety of health effects, and affects children in particular.
  • Drinking water supplied through lead pipes and pipe joined through lead solder may contain lead.
  • Too much lead can damage various systems of the body including the nervous and reproductive systems and the kidneys, and it can cause high blood pressure and anaemia.
  • Lead accumulates in the bones and lead poisoning may be diagnosed from a blue line around the gums.
  • High blood lead levels in children can cause consequences which may be irreversible including learning disabilities, behavioural problems, and mental retardation.
  • At very high levels, lead can cause convulsions, coma and death.
  • Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) Drinking Water Specifications prescribing lead content in water not to exceed 50 parts per billion.Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The World Health Organisation limit for lead in drinking water is 5 ppb.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/health/a-third-of-world-s-children-are-poisoned-by-lead-says-unicef-report-72560

4.Sustainable Ocean Economy for 2050: Approximating Its Benefits and Costs is released by which of the following?

  • Greenpeace International
  • World Wide Fund for Nature
  • TheLonelyPlanet
  • World Resources Institute.

Answer: (d) World Resources Institute.

Explanation:

In NEWS: Offshore wind can yield twin benefits of GHG reduction, return on investments: Report

  • A report named Sustainable Ocean Economy for 2050: Approximating Its Benefits and Costsby the World Resources Institute. Hence option (d) is correct
  • Offshore wind energy generation estimated to increase between 650 and 3,500 terawatt hours every year by 2050
  • Offshore wind energy generation cannot just reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but also increase return on investment (RoI) made to scale up these technologies.
  • It pointed out a reduction of 0.3-1.61 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide every year by 2050 if offshore wind energy generation is scaled up.
  • Most offshore installations are currently in Europe, but a significant increase was expected in Asia, especially in China.
  • The total discounted health benefits by transitioning to offshore renewable energy were pegged between $0.15 trillion and $4.4 trillion by 2020–50.
  • The benefits of water savings can be between $1.3 billion and $1.4 trillion over 2020-50.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/offshore-wind-can-yield-twin-benefits-of-ghg-reduction-return-on-investments-report-72537

5.Consider the following statements regarding International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Organization

  • It is an experimental fusion reactor facility being constructed in France to prove the feasibility of nuclear fusion for future source of energy.
  • It is funded and run by seven member entities
  • India is not a member of this organization

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

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

Answer: (a) 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS:Message from Hon’ble Prime Minister of India at International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) at the Start of ITER Assembly

  • The ITER Organization is celebrating the Start of Assembly of the ITER Tokamak with a ceremony today on 28th July 2020 at Saint-Paul-Lez-Durance, France. 
  • Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi congratulated the ITER organization for their hard work and success so far.
  • India`s contributions to the project include the cryostat, in-vessel shields, contributions to the cooling waterand among others.
  • A tokamak is an experimental machinedesigned to harness the energy of fusion. Inside a tokamak, the energy produced through the fusion of atoms is absorbed as heat in the walls of the vessel.

About International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor organization

  • ITER is an experimental fusion reactor facility being constructed in France to prove the feasibility of nuclear fusion for future source of energy.Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The project is funded and run by seven member entities. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • ITER partners are the European Union, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States of America.
  • India formally joined the ITER Project in 2005and the ITER Agreement between the partners was signed in 2006Hence statement 3 is incorrect
  • ITER’s First Plasma is scheduled for December 2025.
  • The goal of ITER is to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion energy for peaceful use.
  • The machine aims to demonstrate, for the first time in a fusion reactor, the principle of producing more thermal power than is used to heat the plasma.
  •  

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1642139

6.Consider the following statements regarding Bilirubin

  • It is a yellowish substance in your blood.
  • It forms after red blood cells break down and it travels through the liver, gallbladder, and digestive tract before being excreted.

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: SNBNCBS develops a “No-touch” & “Painless” device for non-invasive screening of bilirubin level in new-borns

  • The device called “AJO-Neo” is developed by Professor Samir K. Pal & his group at S.N. Bose National Centre For Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS), Kolkata
  • AJO-Neo is a No-touch & Painless device for non-invasive screening of bilirubin level in new-borns.
  • The device operates on non-contact and non-invasive spectrometry-based techniques.
  • It is reliable in measuring bilirubin levels in preterm, and term neonates irrespective of gestational or postnatal age, sex, risk factors, feeding behaviour or skin colour.
  • The device is found to deliver an almost instantaneous report (about 10 seconds) to a concerned doctor.
  • Careful screening of bilirubin level in new-borns is mandatory as per American Academy of Paediatrics (2004), to reduce incidents of a type of brain damage called kernicterus that can result from high levels of bilirubin in a baby’s blood.

About Bilirubin

  • Bilirubin is a yellowish substance in your blood.Hence statement 1 is correct
  • It forms after red blood cells break down, and it travels through the liver, gallbladder, and digestive tract before being excreted.Hence statement 2 is correct
  • Typically, bilirubin levels fall somewhere between 0.3 and 1.2 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
  • Many babies are also born with high bilirubin, causing a condition called newborn jaundice. This causes yellow-tinted skin and eyes. It happens because, at birth, the liver often isn’t yet fully able to process bilirubin.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1641983

7.Consider the following statements regarding “iCREST” initiative

  • It aims at focused on creating high performing Startups
  • It has launched by the NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission

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:Startup booster: NITI Aayog, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launch AIM iCREST incubator program

  • AIM iCREST has been designed to enable the incubation ecosystem and act as a growth hack for AIM’s Atal and established incubators across the country.
  • In a major initiative to encourage and enable holistic progress in the incubator ecosystem across the country, NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), has launched AIM iCREST – an Incubator capabilities enhancement program for an ecosystem focused on creating high performing startupsHence statement 1 is correct and Hence statement 2 is correct
  • This is a first of its kind initiative for advancing innovation at scale in India.
  • AIM has joined hands with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wadhwani Foundation – organizations that can lend credible support and expertise in the entrepreneurship and innovation space.
  • These partnerships will provide global expertise and showcase proven best practices to the AIM’s incubator network

Source: https://www.timesnownews.com/business-economy/economy/article/startup-booster-niti-aayog-bill-melinda-gates-foundation-launch-aim-icrest-incubator-program/629777

8.Nasa’s Perseverance mission is associated with

  • Discovery of new Exo-planets
  • First mission to study the Sun
  • Unravelling the mystery of black hole
  • Long-range project to bring the first Martian rock samples

Answer: (d) long-range project to bring the first Martian rock samples

Explanation:

In NEWS:Nasa Perseverance mission to leave Indian footprint on Mars

  • Nasa’s Perseverance mission to Mars, which launched on Thursday at 5.21pm (IST), will leave an Indian footprint on the Red Planet when it touches down at the Jezero crater on February 18, 2021.Hence option (d) is correct
  • Bengaluru-born scientist Swati Mohan of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has played a major part in designing and developing a new landing technology called Terrain Relative Navigation, which will make the touchdown less hazardous.

About Perseverance mission

  • It is the biggest, most sophisticated Mars rover ever built.
  • It is a car-size vehicle bristling with cameras, microphones, drills and lasers.
  • It is an ambitious, long-range project to bring the first Martian rock samples back to Earth to be analysed for evidence of ancient life.
  • It rode a mighty Atlas V rocket into a clear morning sky in the world’s third and final Mars launch of the summer.
  • The plutonium-powered, six-wheeled rover will drill down and collect tiny geological specimens that will be brought home in about 2031.
  • It will also release a mini helicopter that will attempt the first powered flight on another planet, and test out other technology to prepare the way for future astronauts.
  • It will carry a unique instrument, MOXIE or Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment which for the first time will manufacture molecular oxygen on Mars using carbon dioxide from the carbon-dioxide-rich atmosphere.
  • The plan is for NASA and the European Space Agency to launch a dune buggy in 2026 to fetch the rock samples, along with a rocket ship that will put the specimens into orbit around Mars.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/nasa-perseverance-mission-to-leave-indian-footprint-on-mars/articleshow/77269428.cms

9.In which state Ramnagar Wildlife Sanctuary is located?

1.Jammu and Kashmir

2.Uttarakhand

3.Uttar pradesh

4.Andhra pradesh

Answer: (a) Jammu and Kashmir

Explanation:

In NEWS:Green J&K Drive-2020 begins in Ramnagar Wildlife Sanctuary of Jammu

  • Wildlife Protection Wing of Forest Department has kick-started Green Jammu & Kashmir Drive-2020 at Ramnagar Wildlife Sanctuary.Hence option (a) is correct
  • It is located on the outskirts of Jammu city.
  • With the promulgation of the J&K Wildlife Protection Act 1978, the area was declared as Wildlife sanctuary in 1987.
  • It is named after Ramnagar Bridge the Maharaja of the state established in the area on a private Rakh.
  • It harbors 8 mammal species which includes nilgai, and barking deer, wild boar, rhesus monkey etc.
  • It is located in the catchment zone of Kar Nalla of the Tawi River.
  • The area is covered by dense mixed scrub forest with occasional Chir (Pinus roxburghii) trees.

Source: http://newsonair.com/Main-News-Details.aspx?id=396077

10.With reference to the Constitution of India, consider the following statements:

  • No High Court shall have the jurisdiction to declare any central law to be constitutionally invalid.
  • An amendment to the Constitution of India cannot be called into question by the Supreme Court of India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (d) Neither 1 nor 2

Explanation: 

  • The 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 curtailed the judicial review power of high court. It debarred the high court’s from considering the constitutional validity of any central law. However, the 43rd Amendment Act of 1977 restored the original position. Hence statement 1 is incorrect
  • High Court has the power to invalidate any central law which goes against the ethos of the constitution. Similar is the case with Supreme Court.
  • If any constitutional amendment goes against the basic structure of the constitution, Supreme Court has the power to call it into question. Hence statement 2 is incorrect.
  • In 2015, the Supreme Court declared both the 99th Constitutional Amendment, 2014 and the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, 2014 as unconstitutional and null and void.