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GMT 03-08-2022

1. Exercise AL NAJAH-IV is a military exercise between India and which one of the following country?

  1. Oman
  2. Iran
  3. USA
  4. Russia

Answer: (a) Oman

Explanation:

In NEWS: India and Oman to carry out 13-day military exercise in Rajasthan

  • India and Oman will carry out a nearly two-week military exercise beginning August 1, with a focus on counter-terror cooperation. Hence option (a) is correct
  • The exercise, ‘AL NAJAH-IV’, will take place in the Mahajan field firing ranges in Rajasthan from August 1 to 13.
  • A 60-member team from the Royal Army of Oman has arrived at the site of the exercise.
  • The Indian Army will be represented at the exercise by troops from the 18 Mechanised Infantry Battalion.
  • The joint exercise would focus on counter-terrorism operations, regional security operations and peacekeeping operations under United Nations charter apart from organising joint physical training schedules, tactical drills, techniques and procedures

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-and-oman-to-carry-out-13-day-military-exercise-in-rajasthan/article65706768.ece

2. Consider the following statements regarding Lumpy skin disease (LSD)

  1. It is a viral disease that is spread by mosquitoes
  2. Lumpy skin disease virus has origins in Africa
  3. It affects mostly cows of both indigenous breeds as well as the exotic.

Which of the above statements are correct?

  • 1 and 2 only
  • 2 and 3 only
  • 1 and 3 only
  • 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1,2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Lumpy skin disease spreads to 25,000 bovines in Rajasthan

  • With the lumpy skin disease spreading fast among bovines in western and northern Rajasthan, cattle-rearers in the State are suffering heavy losses.
  • The infection has spread to about 25,000 cattle in the last couple of months and resulted in the death of more than 1,200 animals.

About Lumpy skin disease (LSD)

  • Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a viral disease that affects mostly cows of both indigenous breeds as well as the exotic. Hence statement 3 is correct
  • The exotic breeds of cattle like Jersey and HF are more susceptible due to their low immunity levels as compared to indigenous breeds.
  • The LSD also affects buffaloes but not on the scale it does to cattle as buffalos have higher immunity levels as compared to cattle.

What virus causes LSD? Where did it originate from?

  • LSD is caused by a virus called lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) of capripoxvirus genus in the poxviridae family, where capri means goat.
  • The LSDV has origins in Africa and it has been there in that continent for around 100 years now. The African Cape buffalo is possibly the reservoir of this virus in the wild. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • LSDV has a limited host range and it doen’t infect non-ruminant animals.

How does LSDV spread?

  • This is primarily a vector-borne disease. It is spread by blood-sucking vectors like mosquitos, ticks, houseflies etc. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • When these vectors bite healthy cattle after biting infected cattle, the virus is transmitted from one cattle to the other. Sometimes, the LSD spreads through direct close contact also.
  • The virus attacks the circulatory system of the animal and thus affects all vital organs of the animal. But it attacks the skin of the animal the most.
  • LSD is curable and recovery will be fast if treatment is given at early stages of the infection.

Can an animal survive LSD without treatment?

  • It depends on the immunity levels of an infected animal.
  • Milk produced by an infected animal will be fit for human consumption after boiling or pasteurisation as these processes will kill the viruses, if any, in the milk.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/lumpy-skin-disease-not-endemic-yet-can-be-controlled-via-vaccination-prof-j-b-kathiriya-8060068/

3. Which one of the following statement is correct regarding SWAYAM?

  1. It is an open online courses platform
  2. It is a mentorship programme to train young authors.
  3. It is a Comprehensive pension management system for pensioners
  4. It is a telemedicine service platform

Answer: (a) It is an open online courses platform

Explanation:

In NEWS: Language as barrier

  • The NEP provides for higher educational institutions and programmes in higher education to use the mother tongue or local language as a medium of instruction, besides offering programmes bilingually.
  • Effective 2021-22, the AICTE granted approval to 19 engineering colleges in 10 States for having engineering courses in six Indian languages.
  • The Council has also developed an “AICTE Translation Automation AI Tool” that translates English online courses in 11 Indian languages.
  • SWAYAM, an open online courses platform of the Central government, has been offering some popular courses in Indian languages too.

SWAYAM

  • SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) MOOC Platform was developed indigenously by AICTE in 2016 to facilitate hosting of online courses which could be accessed by anyone, anywhere at any time free of cost to achieve three cardinal principles of Education Policy viz. access, equity and quality. Hence option (a) is correct
  • SWAYAM as one of the World’s biggest Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) integrated platform of free online courses, cover subjects from high school onwards till higher education including Skill based courses to ensure that every student benefit from learning material through ICT.

Source: TH

4. Consider the following statements regarding One-Health project

  1. It is an initiative of Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying
  2. It is aimed at bringing stakeholders from animal, human and environment health on a common platform

Which of the statements 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: Working towards animal health

  • Collaboration is needed between veterinary science and human health experts to forge effective tools
  • In India, we see that annual outbreak of zoonotic diseases translates into an estimated annual loss of $12 billion to the economy.
  • Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD) has set up a dedicated ‘One Health Unit’ in collaboration with the Gates Foundation. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • One of the primary focus areas of the unit has been on coming up with an “animal pandemic preparedness” model by creating a mechanism for storage and seamless exchange of data and information on livestock health — this will be implemented through the National Digital Livestock Mission (NDLM).

About One-Health approach

  • The One Health Framework follows a multi-stakeholder approach bringing together stakeholders and institutions from both the public as well as the private sector to address the communication gap.
  • It engages with human health and animal health professionals along with other related stakeholders working across animal, human, and environmental health sectors to improve the health of people and animals, including pets, farm animals, and wildlife. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying (DAHD), Ministry of Fisheries, Animal husbandry and Dairying, Government of India has taken an initiative to bring stakeholders from animal, human and environment health on a common platform to address the challenges through One-Health approach.
  • DAHD in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) as implementation partner is implementing the One-Health Framework undertaking project in the states of Karnataka and Uttarakhand.

Source: TH

5. Which of the following entities will be eligible under Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund?

  1. Farmer Producer Organization
  2. Private companies
  3. Individual entrepreneurs
  4. Micro Small and Medium Enterprises

Select the correct option from the codes given below

  1. 1 and 4 only
  2. 2, 3 and 4 only
  3. 1 and 2 only
  4. All of the above

Answer: (d) All of the above

Explanation:

In NEWS: Working towards animal health

To incentivise the growth of the animal health industry in India, companies can now avail incentives for setting up or expansion of animal vaccine and related infrastructure under the Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Fund.

About Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund

  • Prime Minister’s AtmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan stimulus package mentioned about setting up of Rs. 15000 crore Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF).
  • The Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development (AHIDF) has been approved for incentivizing investments by individual entrepreneurs, private companies, MSME, Farmers Producers Organizations (FPOs) and Section 8 companies. Hence option (d) is correct
  • It aims to establish (1) the dairy processing and value addition infrastructure, (ii) meat processing and value addition infrastructure and (iii) Animal Feed Plant.

OBJECTIVES

  • To help increasing of milk and meat processing capacity and product diversification thereby providing greater access for unorganized rural milk and meat producers to organized milk and meat market
  • To make available increased price realization for the producer
  • To make available quality milk and meat products for the domestic consumer
  • To fulfill the objective of protein enriched quality food requirement of the growing population of the country and prevent malnutrition in one of the highest malnourished children population in the world
  • Develop entrepreneurship and generate employment
  • To promote exports and increase the export contnbution in the milk and mea sector.
  • To make available quality concentrated animals feed to the cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat, pig and poultry to provice balanced ration at affordable prices.

Source: TH

6. Consider the following statements regarding AlphaFold

  1. It is an AI-based protein structure prediction tool.
  2. It is developed by Google’s DeepMind

Which of the statements 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: AlphaFold: A tour de force in science

DeepMind, a company based in London and owned by Google, announced this week that it had predicted the three-dimensional structures of more than 200 million proteins using AlphaFold. Hence statement 2 is correct

What is AlphaFold?

  • AlphaFold is an AI-based protein structure prediction tool. It is based on a computer system called deep neural network. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • Inspired by the human brain, neural networks use a large amount of input data and provides the desired output exactly like how a human brain would.
  • It uses processes based on “training, learning, retraining and relearning.” The first step uses the available structures of 1,70,000 proteins in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) to train the computer model. Then, it uses the results of that training to learn the structural predictions of proteins not in the PDB.
  • AlphaFold has now predicted the structures of the entire 214 million unique protein sequences deposited in the Universal Protein Resource (UniProt) database.
  • Proteins are the business ends of biology, meaning proteins carry out all the functions inside a living cell. Therefore, knowing protein structure and function is essential to understanding human diseases.
  • The Indian community of structural biology is strong and skilled. It needs to quickly take advantage of the AlphaFold database and learn how to use the structures to design better vaccines and drugs.

Source: TH

7. Consider the following statements regarding Lingaraj Temple

  1. It is a classic example of the Kalinga School of Temple Architecture.
  2. It is constructed of sandstone and laterite
  3. The Bindusagar Lake is located in the north side of the temple.

Which of the above statements are correct?

  • 1 and 2 only
  • 2 and 3 only
  • 1 and 3 only
  • 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1,2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Devotees were seen queuing up inside the Lingaraj temple to offer holy water.

  • The Lingaraj Temple is an ancient temple situated in the city of Bhubaneswar and is the largest one situated in the city. Dedicated to Lord Shiva
  • Lingaraj Temple is a spectacular specimen of Orissa style of temples with a hint of Kalinga style of architecture. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • The temple can broadly be divided into four main halls.
  • The Garba Griha (Sanctum Sanctorum), the Yajana Mandapa (the hall for prayers) the Natya Mandapa (dance and music hall) and the Bhoga Mandapa (where devotees can have the Prasad (offering) of the Lord).
  • Lingaraja temple is made of sandstone and laterite and faces east. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The exquisite carvings depicting chores of daily life, the activity centres, apart from being a place of worship makes the temple a place for social and cultural gathering, somewhat like what a modern community center.
  • Lingaraj is referred to as ‘Swayambhu” – (self-originated Shivling).
  • Perhaps the rising cult of Lord Jagannath which coincided with the completion of the Lingaraja Temple had a role to play.
  • The temple is out of bounds for non-Hindus. However, one can get a view of the entire temple complex and take photographs from a raised platform erected specially for the tourists just outside the temple complex.
  • The Bindusagar Lake, located in the north side of the templeHence statement 3 is correct

Source: TH

8. Consider the following statements regarding Electoral bonds

  1. They are issued by SBI in denominations of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore.
  2. A citizen of India or a body incorporated in India will be eligible to purchase this bond.
  3. The donor’s name is not mentioned on the bond

Which of the above statements are correct?

  • 1 and 2 only
  • 2 and 3 only
  • 1 and 3 only
  • 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1,2 and 3

Explanation:

In NEWS: Electoral bonds: Parties mop up over Rs 10,000 crore since 2018

  • Donations to political parties through electoral bonds (EBs) have crossed the Rs 10,000-crore mark, with parties getting another Rs 389.5 crore through such bonds in the 21st sale of EBs conducted between July 1 and 10
  • As per the provisions of the EB Scheme, only the political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and have secured not less than 1 per cent of the votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly, as the case may be, are eligible to receive electoral bonds.

About Electoral bonds

  • Electoral bonds are an instrument through which anyone can donate money to political parties.
  • Such bonds, which are sold in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh, and Rs 1 crore, can be bought from authorised branches of the State Bank of India. Hence statement 1 is correct
  • Electoral bonds are purchased anonymously by donors and are valid for 15 days from the date of issue.
  • A citizen of India or a body incorporated in India will be eligible to purchase this bond. Hence statement 3 is correct
  • There is no limit on the number of bonds an individual or company can purchase.
  • A bearer instrument does not carry any information about the buyer or payee and the holder of the instrument. Hence statement 3 is correct
  • A debt instrument, these can be bought by donors from a bank, and the political party can then encash them.
  • The donations would be tax deductible.

Why have electoral bonds attracted criticism?

  • The central criticism of the electoral bonds scheme is that it does the exact opposite of what it was meant to do: bring transparency to election funding.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/business/banking-and-finance/electoral-bonds-parties-mop-up-over-rs-10000-crore-since-2018-8062883/

9. Consider the following statements regarding African Swine Fever

  1. Unlike Swine Flu, it does not transmit to humans
  2. It is a highly contagious and fatal animal disease affects both domestic and wild pigs

Which of the statements 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: African swine fever confirmed in Kannur; Pigs to be culled through electrical stunning

After Wayanad, African swine fever has been confirmed at a private pig farm in Kanichar Panchayat in Kannur district, after more than 15 pigs on the farm had died due to the disease in the last ten days.

About African Swine Fever

  • African swine fever is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease affecting both domestic and feral swine of all ages. Hence statement 2 is correct
  • The disease was first detected in Africa in the 1920s and slowly spread into other parts of the world.
  • There is no vaccine for the disease and the mortality rate is almost 100%.
  • The disease is deadly once contracted. Symptoms of the disease include high fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, haemorrhages in the skin, difficulty in breathing, diarrhoea, and weakness.
  • Unlike Swine Flu, African Swine Fever does not transmit to humans. In other words, humans cannot contract the disease. But, they can be the carriers of the disease and spread it to perfectly healthy livestock. Hence statement 1 is correct

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/african-swine-fever-confirmed-in-kannur-pigs-to-be-culled-through-electrical-stunning/article65710122.ece

10. The Service Area Approach was implemented under the purview of

  • Integrated Rural Development Programme
  • Lead Bank Scheme
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
  • National Skill Development Mission

Answer: (b) Lead Bank Scheme

Explanation:

  • The Service Area Approach (SAA) introduced in April 1989, in order to bring about an orderly and planned development of rural and semi – urban areas of the country, was extended to all Indian scheduled commercial banks including Regional Rural Banks (RRBs). Hence option (b) is correct
  • Service area approach is an alternative and improved method of Lead Bank Scheme for deployment of bank credit for rural development. Under SAA, each bank branch in rural and semi -urban area was designated to serve an area of 15 to 25 villages and the branch was responsible for meeting the needs of bank credit of its service area.
  • The primary objective of SAA was to increase productive lending and forge effective linkages between bank credit, production, productivity and increase in income levels