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Daily Prelims Test – 4_April 2021

Which of the following are accounted for in the Current Account of ‘Balance of Payment’ in India?

Foreign Portfolio Investment 

Net earnings on overseas investments

Net transfer of payments

Exports

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

Answer: (c) 2,3 and 4 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: March trade deficit widens to $14.11 billion

  • India’s trade deficit in goods widened to $14.11 billion in March from $9.98 billion in the year-earlier period, preliminary data released by the government
  • India’s merchandise exports in March 2021 were USD 34.0 billion as compared to USD 21.49 billion in March 2020, an increase of 58.23%.
  • For the first time ever in a month, Indian exports crossed USD 34 billion in March 2021.

Main reasons for increase

  • Relaxation in lockdown policy and start of economic activities are the main reasons for increase in demand for the goods and the import.
  • Also the rise in global trade has made the global supply chain active and the commerce is taking place.
  • Oil import has increased due to opening up of the transportation sector.

About Current Account Deficit

  • The balance of payments (BoP) records the transactions in goods, services and assets between residents of a country with the rest of the world. There are two main accounts in the BoP – the current account and the capital account. 
  • The current account records exports and imports in goods and services and transfer payments.
  • There is a deficit in Current Account if the value of the goods and services imported exceeds the value of those exported.

There are 4 components of Current Account-

  • Goods – trade in goods
  • Services  – trade in services 
  • Net earnings on overseas investments (such as interests and dividend) 
  • Net transfer of payments over a period of time, such as remittances. Hence option (c) is the correct answer

Source:https://www.thehindu.com/business/march-trade-deficit-widens-to-1411-billion/article34218180.ece


Consider the following Statements regarding Agriculture Census in India

It is conducted every five years in India

It is a centrally sponsored scheme for a collection of data on structure of operational holdings by different size classes and social groups

The first Agricultural Census was conducted in 1951-52.

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

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

Answer: (a) 1 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: Rise in agricultural operational holdings

  • More than 369 crore person-days have been generated under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) during 2020-21 (as on March 18, 2021), Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Union minister of state for rural development, said in Lok Sabha
  • The total number of operational holdings in India grew 5.86 per cent to 146.45 million in 2015-16 from 138.35 million in 2010-11, according to the latest Agricultural Census of 2015-16, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union minister of agriculture and farmers’ welfare, said in Lok Sabha on March 23.
  • The total number of women operational holders is estimated to be 20.44 million

About Agriculture Census in India

  • Agricultural Census, which is conducted every five years in India. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • It is the largest countrywide statistical operation undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture, for collection of data on structure of operational holdings by different size classes and social groupsHence statement 2 is incorrect
  • Primary ( fresh data) and secondary (already published) data on the structure of Indian agriculture are collected under this operation with the help of State Governments. 
  • The first Agricultural Census in the country was conducted with reference year 1970-71. Hence statement 3 is incorrect
  • Agriculture Census in India has been Conducting following broad guidelines of decennial World Census of Agriculture (WCA) evolved by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United Nations conducted
  • So far, nine Agriculture Censuses since 1970-71 have been conducted in the country. The current Agriculture Census with reference year 2015-16 is tenth in the series.
  • The Agriculture Census Scheme was converted from a Centrally-Sponsored Scheme to a Central Sector Plan Scheme in 2007-08.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/agriculture/as-told-to-parliament-march-23-2021-40-more-mgnregs-person-days-in-2020-21-76113


.Consider the following Statements regarding Use of chemical fertilizers in India

Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Telangana are among the top five States using pesticides.

India consumes mostly nitrogen followed by phosphorus and potassium fertilizers

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: Puducherry, Telangana, Punjab top in fertilizer consumption

  • Notwithstanding its small size and population compared to other States and UTs, Puducherry tops the chart in consumption of major fertilizers from 2015-16 to 2019-20 (in kg/hectare) followed by Telangana and Punjab. Interestingly Bihar is in a neck-to-neck competition with Haryana in the use of fertilizers.

Major Highlights:

  • Maharashtra (leading), Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Telangana are among the top five States using pesticides. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal are other States that use pesticides excessively.
  • According to the Impact Study of Soil Health Card Scheme conducted by the National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management, India consumes about 25.6 million tonnes of fertilizers, mostly nitrogen (17 million tonnes) followed by phosphorus (6 million tonnes) and potassium (2.5 million tonnes). Hence statement 2 is correct
  • India spends about ₹1 lakh crore on fertilizer subsidy.
  • It is estimated that the subsidy amount is about ₹6,500/ha of the net cropped area and about ₹7,000/farmer.
  • As a result of the excessive and imbalanced use of fertilizers, the amount of food grain produced per kg of fertilizer applied declined from 13 kg in the 1970s to just 4 kg by 2010.
  • Imbalanced use of chemical fertilizers, coupled with low addition of organic matter and neglect of micro and secondary nutrients will result inMulti-nutrient deficiencies and deterioration of soil health in intensively cultivated areas.
  • Deficient nutrient may affect plant growth and cause plant physiological disorders.
  • There is the possibility of nitrate contamination in groundwater above the permissible limit of 10 mg NO3-N /L due to excessive/over-use of nitrogenous fertilizers.
  • The use of fertilizer products (Urea, Di-Ammonium Phosphate (DAP), Murate of Potash (MOP), Complexes and Single Super Phosphate) in the country was:
  • 2017-18: 54.38 million tonnes
  • 2018-19: 56.21 million tonnes
  • 2019-2: 59.88 million tonnes
  • 2020-21 (upto kharif 2020): 33.85 million tonnes.

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/puducherry-telangana-punjab-top-in-fertilizer-consumption/article34224656.ece


With respect to Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Consider the following Statements

  1. It is a detailed agreement between Iran and USA only
  2. Under this deal, Iran agreed to significantly cut its stores of centrifuges, enriched uranium and heavy-water.

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: U.S., Iran say they’ll begin indirect talks on nuclear program

  • The U.S. and Iran will soon begin negotiations through intermediaries to try to get both countries back into an accord limiting Iran’s nuclear programme, nearly three years after President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal.
  • Trump pulled the U.S. out of the accord in 2018. Besides, he opted for a “maximum pressure” campaign by imposing sanctions and other tough actions.
  • Iran responded by intensifying its enrichment of uranium and building of centrifuges, while maintaining its insistence that its nuclear development was for civilian and not military purposes.
  • Iran’s moves increased pressure on major world powers over the Trump administration’s sanctions and raised tensions among U.S. allies and strategic partners in West Asia.

About Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA):

  • JCPOA is a detailed agreement between Iran and the P5+1 countries (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) signed on July 14, 2015. Hence statement 1 is incorrect
  • The nuclear deal was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, adopted on July 20, 2015.
  • The deal offered Iran relief on sanctions and investment in exchange for curbing its nuclear program.
  • Iran agreed to significantly cut its stores of centrifuges, enriched uranium and heavy-water, all key components for nuclear weapons. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The JCPOA established the Joint Commission with all the negotiating parties represented, to monitor implementation of the agreement.
  • Iran signed JCPOA after being hit with devastating economic sanctions by the United Nations, US and the European Union that costed it tens of billions of pounds a year in lost oil export revenues, frozen assets and trade loss.
  • Iran announced its full withdrawal from JCPOA following the U.S. targeted strike that killed the country’s Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq on 3rd Jan 2020.
  • Iran has ended its commitment to any limits on the level of uranium enrichment, stockpile of nuclear fuel and also nuclear research and development.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/us-iran-say-theyll-begin-indirect-talks-on-nuclear-program/article34223604.ece


Consider the following Statements regarding World Cities Culture Forum

  1. It is a network of local governments and cultural sector leaders from 40 world cities.
  2. It allows city leaders to share ideas and knowledge about the role of culture as an organising principle for the sustainable city of the future.
  3. The event is by invitation only

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: (c) Both 1 and 2

Explanation:

In NEWS: CM will represent Delhi at World Cities Cultural Forum

  • Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will represent India at the ‘World Cities Culture Forum’. This year’s theme, ‘The Future of Culture’, will play a crucial role in re-imagining the culture of Delhi, especially in the wake of several devastating challenges and the corona crisis faced by the people in the last one year.

About World Cities Culture Forum:

  • The World Cities Culture Forum is a network of local governments and cultural sector leaders from 40 world cities. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • It was established in London in 2012 with eight cities (London, New York City, Tokyo, Shanghai, Paris, Istanbul, Sydney and Johannesburg) convened by the Mayor of London.
  • The World Cities Culture Forum has 40 participating member cities across six geographic regions. South Asia is represented by India. Mumbai is set to be the newest member and the first Indian city on the World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF), a platform for cities to share their culture.
  • The activities of the Forum are organised and delivered by BOP Consulting, a specialist consulting firm, on behalf of the Greater London Authority and the members of the Forum.
  • Each year, members of the World Cities Culture Forum meet at the three-day World Cities Culture Summit.
  • The Summit is an opportunity for members to share best practice.
  • The event is by invitation only. Two delegates from each member city – deputy mayors, senior policymakers or advisors in culture – are invited to attend.Hence statement 3 is correct
  • Its flagship publication is World Cities Culture Report.
  • The World Cities Culture Finance Report is the first comparative analysis of culture financing in world cities. It was first published in 2017 and is updated on an annual basis
  • It allows city leaders to share ideas and knowledge about the role of culture as an organising principle for the sustainable city of the future. Hence statement 2 is correct

Source:https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/cm-will-represent-delhi-at-world-cities-cultural-forum/article34227487.ece


Consider the following Statements regarding UN Women

  1. It is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women
  2. It is headquartered in New York.
  3. It works to place gender equality as a fundamental ideal to the Sustainable Development Goals.

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: (d) 1,2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: India contributes $300,000 to UN body for gender equality and women empowerment

  • India has contributed USD 300,000 to the United Nations agency for gender equality and women empowerment, a contribution lauded by the UN entity.
  • India made a contribution to UN Women, the world organisation’s entity for gender equality and women’s empowerment.

About UN Women

  • UN Women is the wing of the United Nations that engages in the field of women empowerment and gender equality. The entity was formed to accelerate the progress of achieving the needs of women and girls all over the world. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • UN Women works with the members of the UN in their march towards achieving gender equality.
  • It works with governments and civil society to come up with policies, laws, programmes and services required to ensure that global standards set to achieve gender equality are effectively implemented, and women and girls worldwide are actually benefited.
  • UN Women works on four strategic priorities, namely,
  • Governance systems facilitate women to lead, participate in and actually benefit them.
  • Women have economic autonomy, income security and decent work.
  • Women and girls are not affected by any form of violence against them.
  • Women and girls contribute to and have greater influence in building sustainable peace and resilience, and benefit equally from the prevention of natural disasters and conflicts and humanitarian action.
  • UN Women works to place gender equality as a fundamental ideal to the Sustainable Development Goals. It works for a more inclusive world. Hence statement 3 is correct
  • The governing body of UN Women is its Executive Board. It governs the operational activities and provides operational policy guidelines to UN Women.
  • UN Women is headquartered in New York. Hence statement 2 is correct

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-contributes-300-000-to-un-body-for-gender-equality-and-women-empowerment-101617342715688.html


Consider the following Statements regarding Butea monosperma tree

It is a small-sized dry-season deciduous tree native to tropical and subtropical parts of the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia

It is used for timber, resin, fodder, medicine, and dye.

The leaves are usually very leathery and eaten by cattle.

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

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

Answer: (c) 1 and 2 only

Explanation:

In NEWS: ‘Flame of the forest’ blooms bright in Telangana’s Adilabad district this summer

  • The value of certain trees like the modugu, also known as flame of the forest (Butea Monosperma) or palash, come into focus during the summer season. 
  • Most trees lose their leaves in the summer, but this particular tree goes into full bloom – a sight to behold.
  • The flowers, which usually start appearing in February and last till the end of April, are a source of food for birds in their lean season

About Butea monosperma tree :

  • The flowers are bright orange with a unique petal shape, hence called ‘flame of the forest.’
  • The trees are distinct as they wear more flowers than leaves.
  • It is a small-sized dry-season deciduous tree, native to tropical and subtropical parts of the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia, ranging across Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and western Indonesia. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • It is used for timber, resin, fodder, medicine, and dyeHence statement 2 is correct
  • The wood is dirty white and soft. Being durable underwater, it is used for well-curbs and water scoops.
  • Spoons and ladles made of this tree are used in various Hindu rituals to pour ghee into the fire.
  • Good charcoal can be obtained from it.
  • The leaves are usually very leathery and not eaten by cattle. The leaves were used by earlier generations of people to serve food where plastic plates would be used today.hence statement 3 is incorrect
  • The gum is known as Bengal Kino and is considered valuable by druggists because of its astringent qualities and by leather workers because of its tannin.

Source: https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/telangana/2021/mar/27/flame-of-the-forest-blooms-bright-in-telanganasadilabad-district-this-summer-2282109.html


Consider the following Statements

  1. Dust swarms from the desert when lifted by strong winds can absorb solar radiation and become hot.
  2. Dust swarms can cause heating of the atmosphere, change the air pressure, wind circulation patterns, influence moisture transport and increase precipitation and rainfall.

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: How Asian desert dust enhances Indian summer monsoon

  • Dust has incredible power: it is known to influence monsoons, hurricanes and even fertilize rainforests. A new study now details how dust coming from the deserts in the West, Central and East Asia plays an important role in the Indian Summer Monsoon.
  • The researchers also explain how the Indian Summer Monsoon has a reverse effect and can increase the winds in West Asia to produce yet more dust.
  • Dust swarms from the desert when lifted by strong winds can absorb solar radiation and become hot. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • This can cause heating of the atmosphere, change the air pressure, wind circulation patterns, influence moisture transport and increase precipitation and rainfall. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • A strong monsoon can also transport air to West Asia and again pick up a lot of dust.
  • Iranian Plateau also influences the Indian Summer Monsoon. The hot air over the Iranian Plateau can heat the atmosphere over the plateau, strengthen the circulation over the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula and increase dust emission from the Middle East
  • The dust aerosols from deserts in West China such as the Taklamakan desert and the Gobi Desert can be transported eastward to eastern China and can influence the East Asia summer monsoon
  • Some studies have found that the anthropogenic aerosols emitted from the Indian subcontinent can decrease summer monsoon precipitation, while others found that absorbing aerosols such as dust can strengthen the monsoon circulation.
  • The team has now planned to study the minor components of desert dust aerosols.
  • Dust from deserts across the globe will have the same components, but we now know that different deserts have different chemical compositions and this can influence the dust’s properties.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/how-asian-desert-dust-enhances-indian-summer-monsoon/article34232324.ece#:~:text=The%20researchers%20also%20explain%20how,to%20produce%20yet%20more%20dust.&text=This%20can%20cause%20heating%20of,and%20increase%20precipitation%20and%20rainfall.


Consider the following Statements regarding National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2021

The policy categorizes rare diseases into three groups

The government will provide financial support of up to Rs. 20 lakh under the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi for treatment of those rare diseases listed under all three groups

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: National Policy for Rare Diseases approved by health minister: 7 points

  • Union health and family welfare minister Harsh Vardhan has approved the National Policy for Rare Diseases 2021, according to a statement issued by the health ministry 
  • The policy aims to bring down the high cost of treatment for rare diseases and was brought about after multiple consultations with different stakeholders and experts in the area
  • Around 40 per cent of the population covered under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana will benefit from the policy and financial assistance will not be limited to just the BPL families

About National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2021

  • A national hospital-based registry of rare diseases will be created to ensure adequate data and comprehensive definitions of such diseases are available for those interested in research and development. 
  • Through the help of Health and Wellness Centres, District Early Intervention Centres and counselling, the policy aims to screen and detect rare diseases early at early stages, which will in turn help in their prevention.
  • Categorization: The policy categorizes rare diseases into three groupsHence statement 1 is correct
  • Group 1: Disorders amenable to one-time curative treatment;
  • Group 2: Diseases requiring long term or lifelong treatment; and
  • Group 3: Diseases for which definitive treatment is available, but challenges are to make an optimal patient selection for benefit.

Government Support:

  • The government will provide Financial support of up to Rs. 20 lakh under the Umbrella Scheme of Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi for treatment of those rare diseases listed under Group 1. Hence statement 2 is incorrect
  • Moreover, Beneficiaries for such financial assistance would not be limited to BPL families. About 40% of the population, eligible under Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, will also be eligible for assistance.
  • Further, for group 2, the State Governments can consider supporting specific patients. It includes a rare disease that can be managed with special diets or hormonal supplements or other relatively low-cost interventions (Diseases listed under Group 2).

Voluntary Crowdfunding: 

  • The government has said that it will assist in voluntary crowd-funding for the treatment of Group 3. It is because it will be difficult to fully finance the treatment of high-cost rare diseases of Group 3.

Concerns:

  • The policy offers no support to patients awaiting treatment since the earlier National Policy for Treatment of Rare Diseases 2017 was kept on hold.
  • The policy has left patients with Group 3 rare diseases to fend for themselves. It has absolutely no consideration for Group 3 patients who require lifelong treatment support.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/national-policy-for-rare-diseases-approved-by-health-minister-7-points-101617512536250.html


In the context of recent advances in human reproductive technology. “Pronuclear Transfer” is used for 

  1. Fertilization of egg in vitro by the donor sperm
  2. Genetic modification of sperm producing cells
  3. Development of stem cells into functional embryos 
  4. Prevention of mitochondrial diseases in offspring

Answer: (d) Prevention of mitochondrial diseases in offspring

Explanation:

A pronucleus (plural: pronuclei) is the nucleus of a sperm or an egg cell during the process of fertilization. Pronuclear Transfer is used in mitochondrial transfer techniques. Pronuclear transfer is the transfer of pronuclei from one zygote to another. This technique first requires fertilisation of a healthy donated egg (provided by the mitochondrial donor) with the intending male parent sperm. Simultaneously, the intending mother’s affected oocytes (an immature egg cell) are fertilised with the intending father’s sperm. Both sets of fertilised oocytes (that of the mother and the donor) are allowed to develop to the early zygote stage where the pronuclei are visible. Using micromanipulation equipment, the pronuclei of zygotes formed from donated oocytes are removed within a karyoplast (A cellular nucleus together with a plasma membrane containing a small amount of cytoplasm) and discarded. Therapeutic pronuclear transfer involves the movement of two pronuclei from the affected zygotes (also in the form of a karyoplast), into the enucleated (without a nucleus) healthy zygotes. The resulting zygotes contain nuclear DNA from each of the intending parents and a donor’s mtDNA. Hence option (d) is the correct answer