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Daily Prelims Test – 3_April 2021

Consider the following Statements regarding Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin

Its total range is in coastal waters from central China southward throughout Southeast Asia and westward to the Bay of Bengal

It is a Critically endangered species under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

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: Chinese pink dolphin numbers rise in Pearl river estuary

  • Chinese pink dolphins are making a comeback in the Pearl river estuary, one of the most heavily industrialised areas on Earth, according to a story by international wire agency
  • Pink dolphins have seen a decline in their numbers in the past 15 years by 70-80 per cent. Dolphins use echolocation to find their way in water. The estuary is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.
  • Ships often disturb the dolphins in finding their way and even kill them.

About Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin

  • The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) is one of four currently recognized species in the genus Sousa.
  • Its total range is in coastal waters from central China southward throughout Southeast Asia and westward to the Bay of Bengal, with highest densities in and around estuaries. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The distribution is fragmented such that these dolphins are apparently absent from fairly long stretches of coastline. It is not always clear whether the fragmentation is ‘natural’ or caused by human activities.

Threats:

  • Agricultural, industrial, and urban pollution.
  • Overfishing.
  • Marine construction including bridge-building and land creation for airport expansion and residential/office development.
  • Transport including fast ferries.
  • Selling into captivity at marine “entertainment” parks and aquariums worldwide.

Effects:

  • Loss of suitable habitat, the mortality of dolphins from entanglements and vessel strikes, and the possible effects of chemical, sewage and noise pollution on their health.

Protection status:

  • Listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix I. Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances.
  • Listed in the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Appendix II. Migratory species that have an unfavourable conservation status or would benefit significantly from international co-operation are listed in Appendix II.
  • It is a small inshore species of odontocete cetacean listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Hence statement 2 is incorrect

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/global-eco-watch-chinese-pink-dolphin-numbers-rise-in-pearl-river-estuary-73842


Consider the following Statements regarding BIMSTEC

  1. It was founded in 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration.
  2. It comprises more than seven Member States

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: BIMSTEC: India expresses commitment about taking Bay of Bengal community to “new heights”

  • India’s External Affairs Minister attended the 17th ministerial meet of the BIMSTEC. Sri Lanka Chaired the 17th Ministerial Meeting.
  • In meeting External Affairs Minister of India, Dr. S. Jaishankar, reiterated India’s commitment to take BIMSTEC forward.

About BIMSTEC

  • BIMSTEC is a regional organization consisting of members from South Asia and South-East Asia. It was founded in 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The organization aims to harness shared, accelerated growth through mutual cooperation on multiple areas of common interests. The members will achieve this by using regional resources and geographical advantage.
  • BIMSTEC Chairmanship rotates among member countries (alphabetically).
  • Nearly 1.5 billion people or 22% of the global population comes under the BIMSTEC. Together, BIMSTEC has a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.7 trillion.
  • Currently, the BIMSTEC is involved in 15 sectors. This includes sectors such as trade, technology, agriculture, tourism, fisheries, energy, and climate change among others for sectoral cooperation.
  • The First Summit Meeting of the Heads of the BIMSTEC Countries was held in Bangkok, Thailand in 2004.
  • Headquarters: Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • It comprises seven Member States:
  • Five from South Asia including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka
  • Two from Southeast Asia including Myanmar and Thailand. Hence statement 2 is incorrect

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-committed-to-cooperation-under-bimstec-framework-jaishankar/article34215194.ece


With respect to CMEs Identification in Inner Solar Corona, Consider the following Statements

  1. It is an algorithm that will detect and track the accelerating Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) in the lower corona
  2. It will be used in India’s first solar mission Aditya-L1.

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: Novel technique for tracking solar eruptions that disrupt space weather to be used in India’s first solar mission

  • Scientists have developed a new technique to track the huge bubbles of gas threaded with magnetic field lines that are ejected from the Sun, disrupting space weather and causing geomagnetic storms, satellite failures, and power outages.
  • Researchers from the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital and the Royal Observatory of Belgium have developed CMEs Identification in Inner Solar Corona (CIISCO).
  • Computer-Aided CME Tracking Software (CACTus): It is a software, based on a computer vision algorithm that was so far used to detect and characterise such eruptions automatically in the outer corona.

About CMEs Identification in Inner Solar Corona 

  • It is an algorithm that will detect and track the accelerating Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) in the lower corona .Hence statement 1 is correct
  • CMEs cause various disturbances to the space environment like disrupting space weather and causing geomagnetic storms, satellite failures and power outages.
  • Therefore, forecasting their arrival time is very important.
  • CIISCO has been successfully tested on several eruptions observed by space observatories, including,
  • Solar Dynamics Observatory and Solar-Terrestrial Relations Observatory by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
  • PROBA2/SWAP launched by the European Space Agency (ESA)
  • An implementation of CIISCO on the large volume of data available from space observatories will be helpful to improve the understanding of eruptions in the inner corona, a region where the properties of such eruptions are less known.
  • It will be used in India’s first solar mission Aditya-L1. Hence statement 2 is correct

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1708735


Exercise Shantir Ogroshena-2021 is a multinational military exercise held in which of the following countries?

  1. Srilanka
  2. Myanmar
  3. Bhutan
  4. Bangladesh

Answer: (d) Bangladesh

Explanation:

In NEWS: Indian Army to participate in Multinational Military Exercise ‘Shantir Ogroshena -2021’ in Bangladesh

  • The Ministry of Defence has announced that the Indian Army will participate in the Exercise Shantir Ogroshena-2021.

About Exercise Shantir Ogroshena

  • The Exercise Shantir Ogroshena (Front Runner of the Peace) is a multinational military exercise.
  • The 2021 edition of Exercise Shantir Ogroshena will be held in Bangladesh to commemorate the birth centenary of Bangladesh ‘Father of the Nation’ Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
  • The theme of the exercise is “Robust Peacekeeping Operations”.
  • The military observers from USA, UK, Turkey, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Singapore will also be in attendance throughout the exercise.
  • The participants of Exercise Shantir Ogroshena -2021 will be the DOGRA Regiment of Indian Army along with a contingent of Royal Bhutan Army, Sri Lankan Army and Bangladesh Army.
  • It is an indication of the highest level of trust and confidence between the member nations.
  • It is a key confidence building measure (CBM) and an indication of the faith reposed by India on another nation or a group of member nations.
  • The military exercises enable militaries to understand each other’s drills and procedures, overcome language barriers, and facilitate familiarisation with equipment capabilities.
  • It facilitates understanding and familiarisation with new technologies that other countries may be utilising and enables on-the-job training of each other’s crews.

Source: http://newsonair.com/Main-News-Details.aspx?id=413360


Consider the following Statements regarding National Commission for Backward Classes

  1. It was set up in 1993 following the Mandal Case Judgement by the Supreme Court.
  2. The 102th Amendment Act of 2018 inserted the Article 338-B and conferred constitutional status to this body.
  3. They are appointed by the President and their tenure of office is determined by parliament.

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: Backward classes panel urges govt to carry out OBC count in Census

  • The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) has urged the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to collect data on the population of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the country “as part of Census of India 2021 exercise”, it is learnt.

About National Commission for Backward Classes:

  • The NCBC was set up in 1993 following the Mandal Case Judgement by the Supreme Court. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The 102nd Amendment Act of 2018 inserted the Article 338-B and conferred constitutional status to the body. Thus, making it on par with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST). Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The Commission consists of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson and three other members.
  • They are appointed by the President who also determines their service and tenure of office.Hence statement 3 is incorrect
  • The Commission presents an annual report to the President, which needs to be placed before the Parliament.

Powers of the commission:

  • The Commission, while investigating any matter or enquiring into any complaint, has all the powers of a civil court.
  • Summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person from any part of India and examining him on oath.
  • Requiring the discovery and production of any document.
  • Receiving evidence on affidavits.
  • Requisitioning any public record from any court or office.
  • Issuing summons for the examination of witnesses and documents.

Members:

  • The Commission consists of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson and three other members.
  • They are appointed by the President who also determines their service and tenure of office.
  • The Commission presents an annual report to the President, which needs to be placed before the Parliament. Also, a memorandum of actions taken should also be placed.

Functions of the commission:

  • To investigate and monitor all matters relating to the constitutional and other legal safeguards for the socially and educationally backward classes.
  • To inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the socially and educationally backward classes.
  • To participate and advise on the socioeconomic development of the socially and educationally backward classes and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union or a state.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/backward-classes-panel-urges-govt-to-carry-out-obc-count-in-census-7254999/


Consider the following Statements regarding Project Frieswal

  1. It was launched by Military Farms in collaboration with the Indian Council for Agricultural Research
  2. Its aim was to develop milch cattle by cross-breeding which would suit the tropical climate of countries like India.

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: Explained: Why the Indian Army has shut down its Military Farms Service

  • The Indian Army on Wednesday formally closed the Military Farms Service which administered the 130 military farms all across the country. The flag of the Military Farms Service was lowered for the last time in a solemn ceremony held at Delhi Cantonment.

What is the history of Military Farms and what was their role in the Indian Army?

  • The first Military Farm was established in 1889 at Allahabad by the British. The basic aim with which these farms were subsequently set up across the length and breadth of the country was to ensure nutritious milk supply to the troops deployed in India
  • Gradually, the role of Military Farms had expanded from only milk production to artificial insemination of cows too and the first pioneering steps in this regard were taken as early as in 1925. 
  • At one point of time the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) had found Military Farms to be the largest holders of cattle in the country. 
  • In collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Military Farms undertook ‘Project Frieswal’ one of the largest cross-cattle breeding programmes in the country.

About Project Frieswal

  • It was launched by Military Farms in collaboration with the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR). Hence statement 1 is correct
  • Its aim was to develop milch cattle by cross-breeding which would suit the tropical climate of countries like India. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • Its aim was to produce and rear Holstein Friesian crossbred with Sahiwal breed for high milk productivity.
  • The aim of the project was to develop a milch breed yielding 4000 kgs in 300 days lactation with four percent butterfat.
  • The semen freezing, planned breeding, progeny testing and gene mapping were some of the other areas in which the research for the project was undertaken.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/indian-army-military-farms-service-7254643/


Consider the following Statements regarding Treasury bill

  1. Individuals, trusts, institutions and banks can purchase T-Bills.
  2. They are available at zero interest rate.
  3. They are money market instruments and short term debt instruments issued by the Government of India
  4. The funds collected through Treasury bill are typically used to meet long term requirements of the government.

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

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

Answer: (a) 1,2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Pillars of retail G-Sec market

  • The Government of India, in consultation with Reserve Bank of India, will continue to have the flexibility to modify the notified amount and timing of auction of Treasury Bills, depending upon the requirements of the Government, evolving market conditions and other relevant factors

About Treasury bill

  • The treasury bills are money market instruments issued by the Government of India as a promissory note with guaranteed repayment at a later date. Hence statement 3 is correct
  • They are primarily short-term borrowing tools, having a maximum tenure of 364 days.
  • They are available at zero coupons (interest) rate. Hence statement 2 is correct
    • They are issued at a discount to the published nominal value of government security (G-sec).
  • The funds collected through Treasury bill are typically used to meet short term requirements of the government.Hence statement 4 is incorrect
  • They can be procured by individuals at a discount to the face value of the security and are redeemed at their nominal value, thereby allowing investors to pocket the difference.
  • It helps the government raise funds to meet its current obligations, which are in excess of its annual revenue generation.
  • It is aimed at reducing total fiscal deficit in an economy, and also in regulating the total currency in circulation at any given point of time.
  • Treasury bills were first issued in India in 1917.
  • They are issued via auctions conducted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) at regular intervals.
  • Individuals, trusts, institutions and banks can purchase T-Bills. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • As per the regulations put forward by the RBI, a minimum of Rs. 25,000 has to be invested by individuals willing to procure a short term treasury bill.

Source: PIB


 Consider the following Statements regarding Event Horizon Telescope

It is an international collaboration capturing images of black holes using a virtual Earth-sized telescope.

It is a network of 10 radio telescopes on four continents that collectively operate like a single instrument nearly the size of the Earth.

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: Event Horizon Telescope Images Magnetic Fields at the Edge of M87’s Supermassive Black Hole
  • For the first time, international scientists working on the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) have created an image showing the magnetic field around a black hole. The black hole is located in the M87 galaxy.
  • In 2019, the astronomers working on the EHT captured the first image of the shadow of the same black hole. The shadow of the black hole is a dark region that surrounds the black hole. It is three times the diameter of the black hole. The shadow of the black hole is the point beyond which even light cannot escape.
  • Now the scientists have analyzed the polarization of light in the bright region around the shadow of the black hole. According to the analysis, some matter is sucked into the black hole and the other matter is blasted out in jets. This blasted out matter is hot and violent. It creates large amounts of light as the matter here is accelerated.
  • The conclusion of the analysis is that only the presence of strong magnetic fields shall polarize this huge volume of light energy.
  • The new image will help to understand how powerful jets of radiation are emitted by black holes.

About Event Horizon Telescope

  • The EHT is an international collaboration that has formed to continue the steady long-term progress on improving the capability of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) at short wavelengths in pursuit of this goal.  Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The Event Horizon Telescope is a network of 10 radio telescopes on four continents that collectively operate like a single instrument nearly the size of the Earth. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The EHT project is an international partnership formed in 2012. Its main objective is to directly observe the immediate environment of a black hole.
  • This technique of linking radio dishes across the globe to create an Earth-sized interferometer, has been used to measure the size of the emission regions of the two supermassive black holes with the largest apparent event horizons: SgrA* at the center of the Milky Way and M87 in the center of the Virgo A galaxy. 
  • In both cases, the sizes match that of the predicted silhouette caused by the extreme lensing of light by the black hole.  
  • Addition of key millimeter and submillimeter wavelength facilities at high altitude sites has now opened the possibility of imaging such features and sensing the dynamic evolution of black hole accretion. 
  • The EHT project includes theoretical and simulation studies that are framing questions rooted at the black hole boundary that may soon be answered through observations.

Source: https://scitechdaily.com/event-horizon-telescope-images-magnetic-fields-at-the-edge-of-m87s-supermassive-black-hole/


Consider the following Statements regarding Baikal-GVD

  1. It is one of the three largest neutrino detectors in the world
  2. It will search for dark matter candidates, for neutrinos from the decay of super heavy particles, for magnetic monopoles and other exotic particles

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: Explained: What is a telescope doing inside the world’s deepest lake?

  • The construction of this telescope, which started in 2016, is motivated by the mission to study in detail the elusive fundamental particles called neutrinos and to possibly determine their sources. 
  • Studying this will aid scientists’ understanding of the origins of the universe since some neutrinos were formed during the Big Bang, others continue to be formed as a result of supernova explosions or because of nuclear reactions in the Sun.

What are fundamental particles?

  • So far, the understanding is that the universe is made of some fundamental particles that are indivisible. Broadly, particles of matter that scientists know about as of now can be classified into quarks and leptons. 
  • But this only applies to “normal matter” or the matter that scientists know that five per cent of the universe is made up of. 
  • In their book We Have No Idea, cartoonist Jorge Cham and particle physicist Daniel Whiteson have said that these particles make up matter that accounts for only five per cent of the universe.

About Baikal-GVD

  • The Baikal deep underwater neutrino telescope (or Baikal-GVD – Gigaton Volume Detector) is an international project in the field of astroparticle physics and neutrino astronomy. 
    • The construction of Baikal-GVD is motivated by its discovery potential in astrophysics, cosmology and particle physics. 
    • Its primary goal is the detailed study of the flux of high-energy cosmic neutrinos and the search for their sources.
    • Baikal-GVD  will also search for dark matter candidates, for neutrinos from the decay of super heavy particles, for magnetic monopoles and other exotic particles. It will also be a platform for environmental studies in Lake Baikal. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The Baikal-GVD Collaboration includes 9 institutions and organizations from 4 countries. The telescope is one of the three largest neutrino detectors in the world along with IceCube at the South Pole and ANTARES in the Mediterranean Sea. Hence statement 1 is correct

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-what-is-a-telescope-doing-inside-the-worlds-deepest-lake-7254805/


In the context of the Indian economy, non-financial debt includes which of the following? 

  1. Housing loans owed by households 
  2. Amounts outstanding on credit cards 
  3. Treasury bills 

Select the correct answer using the code given below: 

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

Answer: (d)  1,2 and 3

Explanation:

  • Non-financial debt consists of credit instruments issued by governmental entities, households and businesses that are not included in the financial sector. (The financial sector comprises commercial banks, insurance companies, non banking financial companies, cooperatives, pension funds, mutual funds and other smaller financial entities). Non-financial debt includes household or commercial loans, Treasury bills and credit card balances. They share most of the same characteristics with financial debt, except the issuers are non-financial. Hence correct answer is option (d)

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