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Daily Prelims Test – 31_March 2021

Consider the following statements regarding Mahendragiri hills

It is a part of the Eastern Ghats and is located in Telangana

It is inhabited by the Soura people and Kandha tribe

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: Odisha government proposes state’s second biosphere reserve at Mahendragiri

  • The Odisha government has proposed a second biosphere reserve in the southern part of the state at Mahendragiri, a hill ecosystem having rich biodiversity.
  • The 5,569-square kilometre Similipal Biosphere Reserve is Odisha’s first such reserve and was notified May 20, 1996.
  • The area of the proposed Mahendragiri Biosphere Reserve is around 470,955 hectares and is spread over Gajapati and Ganjam districts in the Eastern Ghats.
  • The hill ecosystem acts as a transitional zone between the flora and fauna of southern India and the Himalayas, making the region an ecological estuary of genetic diversities.

About Mahendragiri hills

  • Mahendragiri, is a mountain in Rayagada subdivision of the district of Gajapati, Odisha, India. It is situated amongst the Eastern Ghats at an elevation of 1,501 metre. Hence statement 1 is correct  
  • This is the second highest mountain peak of Odisha after Deomali in Koraput district.
  • The Mahendragiri hills host a rich biodiversity of fauna and flora and are part of the Eastern Ghats
  • Mahendragiri is inhabited by the Soura people, a particularly vulnerable tribal group as well as the Kandha tribe. Hence statement 2 is correct  
  • The rich flora in Mahendragiri represents 40 percent of the reported flora of Odisha, with around 1,358 species of plants.
  • Twenty-nine of the 41 species of threatened medicinal plants found in Odisha according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature are found in the biosphere reserve area
  • The faunal diversity of the hills consists of 388 species of animals, including 27 species of mammals, 165 species of birds, 23 species of snakes, 15 species of amphibians, three species of turtles and 19 lizards.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wildlife-biodiversity/odisha-government-proposes-state-s-second-biosphere-reserve-at-mahendragiri-76198


Consider the following statements regarding Rooppur Nuclear power plant

It is being constructed on the bank of Padma River in Bangladesh.

It is the first initiative under the Indo-Russian deal to undertake atomic energy projects in third countries.

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- Bangladesh sign 5 MoUs, announce new train connecting Dhaka to New Jalpaiguri

  • India and Bangladesh signed 5 MoUs in the fields of Disaster Management, trade, NCC, ICT and setting up of sports facilities on the concluding day of the 2-day long official visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The two leaders virtually inaugurated several projects during the visit of the Prime Minister Modi to Bangladesh.
  • Foundation stone was laid for infrastructure development for power evacuation facilities from the Rooppur Nuclear power plant.

About Rooppur Nuclear power plant

  • It is an under-construction 2.4 GWe nuclear power plant in Bangladesh.
  • It is being constructed at Rooppur (Rupppur) in the Pabna District of Bangladesh, on the bank of Padma River. Hence statement 1 is correct  
  • There are two units of plants which are expected to be completed in 2022 and 2024 respectively. Each will produce 1200MW of electricity.
  • It has significance as it will be Bangladesh’s first nuclear power plant.
  • The Rooppur project is the first initiative under the Indo-Russian deal to undertake atomic energy projects in third countries. Hence statement 2 is correct  
  • A tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in March 2018, was signed at Moscow, Russia between Russia, Bangladesh and India for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Project.
  • It is to be built by the Russian Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation.
  • In June 2018, Infrastructure major, Hindustan Construction Company Ltd. (HCC) was given a contract for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.
  • The Russian side is making the project on a “turnkey” basis which says the contractor will be liable for any problems that arise in the plant.
  • It will be for the first time when any Indian company will be involved in any nuclear project out of the country. Since India is not a Nuclear Supplier group (NSG) member, it cannot participate directly in construction of Atomic power reactors.

Source: http://www.newsonair.com/News?title=India–Bangladesh-sign-5-MoUs%2C-announce-new-train-connecting-Dhaka-to-New-Jalpaiguri&id=412972


Consider the following statements regarding PRISM Scheme

It is an initiative of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR).

It is aimed at transforming an individual innovator into a successful technopreneur by promoting, supporting, and funding implementable and commercially viable innovations created for the society.

Under this initiative anyone can get the support to file a patent who is part of the Indian university.

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

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

Answer: (a) 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Dr. Harsh Vardhan Inaugurates Alignment And Awareness Event For Publicity Of DSIR-PRISM Scheme

  • Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan today virtually inaugurated Alignment and Awareness Event for Publicity of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research – Promoting Innovations in Individuals, Startups and MSMEs (DSIR-PRISM) scheme at IIT Delhi

About DSIR-PRISM Scheme

  • It is an initiative of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR). Hence statement 1 is correct  
  • It is aimed at transforming an individual innovator into a successful technopreneur by promoting, supporting, and funding implementable and commercially viable innovations created for the society. Hence statement 2 is correct  
  • Under the initiative, an innovator of Indian nationality i.e. student, professional and common citizen, is provided technical, strategic, and financial assistance for idea development, prototype development and pilot scaling, and patenting.Hence statement 3 is incorrect
  • The innovation movement by DSIR-PRISM making synergy with three National Initiatives like Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, Smart India Hackathon and Rural Technology Action Group (RuTAG) is unique.
  • It has been instrumental in supporting individual innovators enabling inclusive development of India.
  • It is interesting to note that PRISM extends its support to any citizen of the country through direct benefit transfer in the core technology.
  • It has been noticed that many innovators have graduated as successful entrepreneurs through this scheme and many of them have made extreme socio-economic or techno commercial impact.
  • It is expected to help in generating rural livelihood, inclusive innovation & socio-economic benefit.
  • It helps the innovators to get acquainted with the fundamentals of patenting as well as technical and strategic assistance in idea development.

Source: https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/vardhan-inaugurates-awareness-event-on-scheme-aimed-at-promoting-innovations/2055991


Vajra Prahar’ is a Special Forces joint training exercise conducted in between the India and  

Myanmar

Maldives

Russia

USA

Answer: (d) USA

Explanation:

In NEWS: Special Forces of India, US carry out military exercise in Himachal Pradesh

  • Special forces of India carried out a joint military exercise with US Special forces at Bakloh in Himachal Pradesh this month to enhance interoperability between the two sides, the defence ministry. Hence option (d) is correct
  • The joint exercise between the special forces of both the countries is held to share the best practices and experiences in areas such as joint mission planning and operational tactics.
  • The 11th edition of Indo-US joint special forces exercise ‘Vajra Prahar 2021’ was conducted at Special Forces Training School located at Bakloh in Himachal Pradesh in March
  • The exercise began in 2010 but there was a gap of three years between 2012 and 2015.
  • Its aim is to promote military relations between the two countries by enhancing interoperability and mutual exchange of tactics between Special Forces.

The objective of the joint training is to:

  • Share the best practices between the two armies;
  • Develop joint strategies by sharing expertise of conducting operations in a counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism environment and
  • Capitalise on the rich repository of experiences of each other armies

Source: https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/special-forces-india-us-military-exercise-himachal-pradesh-1785314-2021-03-31


Which of the following diseases are caused by the Culex Mosquito?

Japanese encephalitis

Lymphatic filariasis

West Nile fever

Chikungunya

Dengue fever

Zika Fever

Select the correct options from the given below codes

  1. 2,5 and 6 only
  2. 1,2 and 3 only
  3. 2,3,4,5 and 6 only
  4. 1, 2, 3 and 4 only

Answer: (b) 1,2 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Explained: What are culex or common house mosquitoes that have resurfaced in Delhi, and how harmful are they?

  • With the change in season and rise in temperature, Culex or common house mosquitoes have made reappearance across the capital.
  • Several resident welfare associations have complained that they are noticing an increase in the number of mosquitoes in their surrounding, leading to the municipal corporations calling high-level meetings and intensifying drive to check their growth.

What are Culex mosquitoes and why is there a need to worry?

  • Warmer temperatures are the main reason for the appearance of these mosquitoes.
  • Their presence is especially felt more in areas around floodplains in East and South Delhi as it is an ideal condition of breeding.
  • Culex mosquitoes are known carriers of some serious diseases. They can fly up to a distance of 1-1.5 km.
  • Culex mosquitoes are known carriers of Japanese encephalitis, a potentially life-threatening but rare viral disease that causes “acute inflammation” of the brain. 
  • They breed in dirty, stagnant water, especially in storm water and other drains, during March-April each year.
  • The preferred oviposition habitats such as rainwater barrels, catch basins, storm drains, and septic tanks are rich in organic material.
  • The species of Culex can be found throughout the globe, except at the extreme northern latitudes.
  • Culex mosquitoes hunt by detecting body heat and the carbon dioxide that humans exhale.

Diseases they transmit:

  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Lymphatic filariasis
  • West Nile fever. Hence option (d) is correct

Disease caused by Aedes mosquito

  • Chikungunya
  • Dengue fever
  • Lymphatic filariasis
  • Rift Valley fever
  • Yellow fever
  • Zika

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/culex-house-mosquitoes-delhi-7251706/


Recently, the pink bollworm is seen in the news, it affects which of the following farming?

Tea Farming

Cotton Farming

Banana Leaf

Mango Tree Farming

Answer: (b) Cotton Farming

Explanation:

In NEWS: Telangana Agricultural Varsity develops single-pick cotton to fight pink bollworm

  • The new variety, coupled with agronomic practices, will not only reduce the crop duration by 35 days but will also not allow the plant to grow taller, making it easier for mechanised harvesting.
  • Being a short duration crop, it is an effective tool to tackle the pink bollworm menace.
  • Besides reducing the spending of resources on vegetation, the high-density planting will make the plants to compete for resources and grow straight instead of branching out.
  • This is the best way forward for India, not just to be able to harvest high yields from a short season, but also more specifically to combat the pink bollworm menace.
  • Cotton in India cannot move forward without being able to tackle pink bollworm

About pink bollworm

  • The pink bollworm is an insect known for being a pest in cotton farming. Hence option (b) is correct
  • The adult is a small, thin, grey moth with fringed wings.
  • The larva is a dull white caterpillar with eight pairs of legs with conspicuous pink banding along its dorsum.
  • The larva reaches one half inch in length.
  • The female moth lays eggs in a cotton boll, and when the larvae emerge from the eggs, they inflict damage through feeding.
  • They chew through the cotton lint to feed on the seeds. Since cotton is used for both fibre and seed oil, the damage is twofold.
  • Their disruption of the protective tissue around the boll is a portal of entry for other insects and fungi.
  • The pink bollworm is native to Asia, but has become an invasive species in most of the world’s cotton-growing regions.

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/telangana-agricultural-varsity-develops-single-pick-cotton-to-fight-pink-bollworm/article34192081.ece


Recently, the Global Wind Report, 2021 is released by which of the following organisation?

International Renewable Energy Agency

World Wind Energy Association

International Energy Agency

Global Wind Energy Council

Answer: (d) Global Wind Energy Council

Explanation:

  • In NEWS: Wind power capacity needs to grow at thrice the current speed to reach net zero: Report
  • The Global Wind Report, 2021 has been released by Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). Hence option (d) is correct
  • The world needs to instal a minimum of 180 GW of new wind energy capacity every year

About Global Wind Report, 2021

  • The world’s capacity to generate electricity from wind jumped 53 per cent in 2020. A total 93 gigawatts (GW) capacity was installed in the year.
  • But this growth is not sufficient for the world to reach a ‘net zero’ emission status by 2050.
  • The world needs to instal a minimum of 180 GW of new wind energy capacity every year. This would need three-times faster growth in the next decade.
  • The record growth in 2020 was driven by a surge of installations in China and the United States — the world’s two largest wind power markets.
  • The two countries accounted for 75 per cent of the new installations and over half the world’s wind power capacity.
  • Onshore generation capacity accounted for 86.9 GW while 6.1 GW is offshore.
  • At present, the world has a total wind energy capacity of 743 GW. This has helped avoid an annual CO2 emission of over 1.1 billion tonnes, which is equivalent to the volume of carbon South America emits in a year.
  • New onshore installations in Africa and ‘the Middle East’ remained the same as in 2019 at 8.2 GW.
  • Africa has the technical wind resource potential of 59,000 GW that can power the continent’s energy demand 250 times over, according to a report published by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group on 30 September, 2020. 
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the wind power projects were hit by delays across the world.
  • New offshore wind installations decreased slightly compared to 2019, which was mainly due to weak activity in the two largest European offshore markets: the United Kingdom and Germany.
  • All of the 32.2 GW year-on-year increase came from onshore wind markets: China (24.6 GW), US (7.8 GW), Latin America (1 GW), Europe (72 MW).
  • For India’s onshore wind market, however, 2020 was a challenging year. The novel pandemic caused delays in project construction apart from existing challenges of land acquisition, grid connection and permitting.
  • GWEC called for coordinated action from private and public sectors to meet the net zero goal by 2050.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/wind-power-plant/wind-power-capacity-needs-to-grow-at-thrice-the-current-speed-to-reach-net-zero-report-76188


A new species named Nacaduba sinhala ramaswamii Sadasivan is found. Which family of animals it is related to?

  1. Ant
  2. Spider
  3. Lizard
  4. Butterfly

Answer: (d) Butterfly

Explanation:

In NEWS: Researchers find new butterfly species

  • The discovery of the species Nacaduba sinhala ramaswamii Sadasivan, 2021 in the Agasthyamalais in the Western Ghats a decade ago has now found place in the Journal of Threatened Taxa.
  • The new taxon of Lycaenid butterflies belongs to the Nacaduba genus.
  • Line Blues are small butterflies belonging to the subfamily Lycaenidae and their distribution ranges from India and Sri Lanka to the whole of south-eastern Asia, Australia and Samoa. Hence option (d) is correct
  • It is the first time that a butterfly species was discovered by an all-Indian research team from the Western Ghats.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/researchers-find-new-butterfly-species/article34200792.ece


Consider the following statements regarding T Cells

They are produced in the liver 

The severity of disease can depend on the strength of these T cell responses

They are responsible for removing the pathogens from the body.

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

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

Answer: (b) 2 and 3 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: New research: T cells of earlier Covid-19 patients recognise all 3 major new variants

  • Since new variants of SARS-CoV-emerged in late 2020, there have been concerns about whether these might elude immune responses generated by prior infection or vaccination, potentially making re-infection more likely or vaccination less effective.
  • They found that one key player in the immune response to SARS-CoV-2—the CD8+ T cell—remained active against the virus.
  • The scientists investigated whether CD8+ T cells in the blood of recovered Covid-19 patients, infected with the initial virus, could still recognise three SARS-CoV-2 variants — B.1.1.7 (which was first detected in the United Kingdom); B.1.351 (originally found in the Republic of South Africa); and B.1.1.248 (first seen in Brazil).
  • Mutations in this spike protein region could make it less recognisable to T cells and neutralising antibodies, which are made by the immune system’s B cells following infection or vaccination.

About T Cells

  • T cells originate in the bone marrow and mature in the thymus. Hence statement 1 is incorrect  
    • These can be further divided into T helper cells and T cytotoxic cells.
      • They are responsible for removing the pathogens from the body. Hence statement 3 is correct  
    • 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
    • They recognise foreign particles (antigen) by a surface expressed, highly variable, T cell receptor (TCR).
    • As the names suggest, helper T cells ‘help’ other cells of the immune system, whilst cytotoxic T cells kill virally infected cells and tumours.
  • The severity of disease can depend on the strength of these T cell responses. Hence statement 2 is correct  

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/t-cells-of-earlier-covid-patients-recognise-all-3-major-new-variants-7251962/


The Vital-Vidhvansak, the first monthly journal to have the untouchable people as its target audience was published by 

Gopal Baba Walangkar 

Jyotiba Phule 

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedka

Answer: (a) Gopal Baba Walangkar 

Explanation:

  • Gopal Baba Walangkar, also known as Gopal Krishna, (ca. 1840-1900) is an early example of an activist working to release the untouchable people of India from their historic socio-economic oppression, and is generally considered to be the pioneer of that movement. Hence option (a) is correct
  • He developed a racial theory to explain the oppression and also published the first journal targeted at the untouchable people. Walangkar claimed that “high-caste people from the south were ‘Australian–Semitic non-Aryans’ and African negroes, that Chitpavan Brahmans were ‘Barbary Jews’, and that the high-caste Marathas’ forebears were ‘Turks'”. 
  • In 1888, Walangkar began publishing the monthly journal titled Vital-Vidhvansak (Destroyer of Brahmanical or Ceremonial Pollution), which was the first to have the untouchable people as its target audience.