Daily Current Affairs-Prelims

 

Daily Prelims Test - 08_November_2021

Posted by R&D, KingMakers IAS Academy on Nov 9, 2021 2:25:43 PM

 

1. With respect to InvITs, consider the following statements:

 

1) They can be treated as the modified version of real estate investment trusts.

2) InvITs are governed by SEBI.

3) They are like a mutual fund which enables direct investment of small amounts of money from individual or institutional investors in infrastructure.

 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

 

a)  3 only

b) 1 and 3 only

c)  2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

 

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

 

Explanation:

 

In NEWS: NHAI raises over Rs 5,000 crore through InvIT, says Nitin Gadkari

 

●    Under the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP), which is based on 'Creation through Monetisation', the NHAI has launched its InvIT to monetise NH projects and has demonstrated a strong ability to attract a wide variety of sophisticated global investors

 

InvITs:

 

●    InvITs are collective investment vehicles similar to a mutual fund, which enables direct investment of money from individual and institutional investors in infrastructure projects to earn a small portion of the income as return.   Hence statement (3) is correct.

●    InvITs enable developers of infrastructure assets to monetise their assets by pooling multiple assets under a single entity (trust structure).

●    In India, InvITs are governed by SEBI (Infrastructure Investment Trusts) (Amendment) Regulations, 2016. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    They can be treated as the modified version of REITs designed to suit the specific circumstances of the infrastructure sector. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    The InvIT is designed as a tiered structure with a sponsor setting up the InvIT which in turn invests into the eligible infrastructure projects either directly or via special purpose vehicles (SPVs).

●    The key features of InvITs are mandatory distribution of 90% of net distributable cash flows to the unit investors, leverage cap of 70% on the net asset value, and a cap on exposure to assets under construction (for publicly placed InvITs).

●    The minimum subscription limit for REITs was brought down to Rs50,000, from the earlier Rs2 lakh. For InvITs, it was reduced from ₹10 lakh to ₹1 lakh. InvIT invests in infrastructure projects.

●    The projects can be in sectors such as transport (road, bridges, railways), energy (electricity generation, transmission, distribution), communication, etc.

●    Currently, there are 11 InvITs and REITs in India.

 

An InvIT consists of four elements:

 

●    Trustee: He inspects the performance of an InvIT that is certified by Sebi and he cannot be an associate of the sponsor or manager.

●    Sponsor(s): They are people who promote and refer to any organisation or a corporate entity with a capital of Rs 100 crore, which establishes the InvIT and is designated as such at the time of the application made to SEBI, and in case of PPP projects, base developer.

●    Investment Manager: It is an entity or limited liability partnership (LLP) or organisation that supervises assets and investments of the InvIT and guarantees activities of the InvIT.

●    Project Manager: It is the person who acts as the project manager and whose duty is to attain the execution of the project and in case of PPP projects.

Source: https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/nhai-raises-over-rs-5-000-crore-through-invit-says-nitin-gadkari-121110301634_1.html

 

2. Consider the following statements regarding Adi Shankaracharya:

 

1) He was supported by Buddhist philosophers.

2) He established four Mathas in the four corners of India.

3) He composed texts like Shankara Smrithi which seeks to establish the social supremacy of Nambuthiri Brahmins.

 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

 

a)  3 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c)  2 only

d) 1, 2 and 3

 

Answer: (b) 2 and 3 only

 

Explanation:

 

In NEWS: Explained: Life, work and legend of Adi Shankara, Advaita master, philosopher nonpareil

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a 12-foot statue of Adi Shankaracharya at Kedarnath, where the acharya is believed to have attained samadhi at the age of 32 in the ninth century.

 

Adi Shankaracharya:

 

●    Adi Shankara is generally identified as the author of 116 works — among them the celebrated commentaries (bhashyas) on 10 Upanishads, the Brahma Sutra and the Gita, and poetic works including Vivekachudamani, Maneesha Panchakam, and Saundaryalahiri.

●    Adi Shankara composed texts like Shankara Smrithi, which seeks to establish the social supremacy of Nambuthiri Brahmins. Hence statement (3) is correct.

●    He wrote copious commentaries on the Vedic canon (Brahma Sutras, Principal Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita) in support of his thesis

●    He also explained the key difference between Hinduism and Buddhism, stating that Hinduism asserts “Ātman (Soul, Self) exists”, while Buddhism asserts that there is “no Soul, no Self”

●    He toured all the Indian Subcontinent to propagate his philosophy through discourses and debates with other thinkers.

●    He established the importance of monastic life as sanctioned in the Upanishads and Brahma Sutra, in a time when the Mīmāsā school established strict ritualism and ridiculed monasticism.

●    He is reputed to have founded four mathas (“monasteries”), which helped in the historical development, revival and spread of Advaita Vedanta of which he is known as the greatest revivalist. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    Adi Shankara is believed to be the organiser of the Dashanami monastic order and unified the Shanmata tradition of worship.

●    He was a devotee of Shiva.

●    He was opposed to Buddhist philosophers. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.

 

Advaita Vedanta:

 

●    Advaita Vedanta articulates a philosophical position of radical nondualism, a revisionary worldview which it derives from the ancient Upanishadic texts.

●    According to this, the Upanishads reveal a fundamental principle of nonduality termed ‘brahman’, which is the reality of all things.

●    Advaitins understand brahman as transcending individuality and empirical plurality.

●    They seek to establish that the essential core of one’s self (atman) is brahman. It is pure non-intentional consciousness.

●    It is one without a second, nondual, infinite existence, and numerically identical with brahman.

●    This effort entails tying a metaphysics of brahman to a philosophy of consciousness.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/life-work-and-legend-of-adi-shankara-advaita-master-philosopher-nonpareil-7609385/

 

3. Consider the following statements regarding Climate TRACE:

 

1) It is the world’s first comprehensive accounting of GHG emissions based primarily on direct, independent observation.

2) It is an initiative of UNEP.

 

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: (a) 1 only

 

Explanation:

 

In NEWS: Satellites could help track if nations keep their carbon pledges

 

●    The researchers said that by plugging satellite measurements of CO2 into an Earth-systems model, they were able to detect small reductions in atmospheric concentration of the gas over the US

 

Climate Trace:

 

●    Climate TRACE (Tracking Real-Time Atmospheric Carbon Emissions) was launched in 2021 before COP26. It is a global coalition of nonprofits, tech companies, and universities. Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

●    It was created to collect and share greenhouse gas emissions from anthropogenic (human) activities to facilitate climate action.

●    It uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning to analyze data from satellite imagery and sensor data to come up with accurate emissions estimates in near-real-time.

●    Climate TRACE is the world’s first comprehensive accounting of GHG emissions based primarily on direct, independent observation. Hence statement (1) is correct.

 

Source: https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/satellites-could-help-track-if-nations-keep-their-carbon-pledges-121110401032_1.html

 

4. Which one of the following pairs of animals are in highest risks of extinction due to road kills as per a recent study published in Global Ecology and Biogeography journal?

 

a)  Elephant and Bengal Tiger

b) Cheetah and Wild Buffalo

c)  Deer and Leopard

d) Leopard and lion-tailed macaque

 

Answer: (d) Leopard and lion-tailed macaque

 

Explanation:

 

The study, published in the Global Ecology and Biogeography journal, quantifies the threat that roads posed to the survival of animal populations across the globe.

●    Roadkill could lead to leopard population getting extinct in north India, study finds

●    The leopard population in north India faces an 83% increased risk of extinction due to road kill, a new international study has found.

●    The study identified the north Indian leopard population as the most vulnerable to extinction in 50 years if the current roadkill levels persisted. The researchers estimate that at an 83% increased risk, the north Indian leopard population would become extinct in 33 years.

●    Among the four identified animal populations found to be most vulnerable, the north Indian leopard is followed by the maned wolf and the little spotted cat in Brazil, and the brown hyena in southern Africa. Other highly-vulnerable animal populations are the lion-tailed macaque and the sloth bear in south India. Hence option (d) is correct.

●    The researchers used existing roadkill data on six continents for 392 mammal species for calculations based on roadkill rates, population density, age of sexual maturity, and litter size. The study site covered Rajaji National Park and the Haridwar Conservation area in Uttarakhand for the north Indian leopard population.

●    The researchers said the risk of local extinction could go up 10% if at least 20% of the population were killed by roadkill.

●    The Indian leopard is also found in Bhutan, Nepal, and parts of Pakistan. It inhabits dry deciduous forests, tropical rainforests, northern coniferous forests, and temperate forests.

●    The species features in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List because of population decline following habitat loss, poaching, and persecution due to conflict situations.

●    Roadkill is recognised as a threat to 10 species of mammals by the IUCN. The researchers, however, noted that these were not among those they found most vulnerable.

 

Source: https://www.financialexpress.com/lifestyle/science/roadkill-could-lead-to-leopard-population-getting-extinct-in-north-india-study-finds/2363474/

 

5. Consider the following statements regarding SVEP:

 

1) It is one of the components of the National Rural Livelihoods Mission.

2) It aims to support entrepreneurs in rural areas to set up local enterprises.

 

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: (c) Both 1 and 2

 

Explanation:

 

In NEWS: CFTRI to help set up workable food processing units in villages

 

●    The Mysuru-based CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) has drawn up a plan to support SHGs and rural entrepreneurs who are interested in taking up food processing, and establish enterprises in their villages.

●    CSIR Integrated Skill Initiative, aims to enable poor households in rural areas access gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities, thus improving their livelihoods.

●    In this regard, it is holding an online training programme on Sustainable Rural Food Processing Enterprises for Livelihood generation

●    The National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) was launched by the Ministry of Rural Development which aims at building strong grassroots institutions for the poor.

 

Start up Village Entrepreneurship Program:

 

●    The Start up Village Entrepreneurship Program is a sub component of Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) of the Ministry of Rural Development. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    SVEP aims to support entrepreneurs in rural areas to set up local enterprises. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    The long term vision of the SVEP is to provide support for start-up to 1 crore village enterprises and provide direct employment to 2 crore people.

●    The SVEP shall help the rural poor come out of poverty by helping them set up enterprises and provide support till the enterprises stabilize.

●    The programmatic intervention will address all three missing ecosystems – Knowledge, advisory and finance ecosystems.

●    The overall objective of SVEP is to implement the Government's efforts to stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty and unemployment in the villages by helping start and support rural enterprises.

●    Any Rural poor who is willing to be entrepreneurial and self reliant is eligible to be part of this programme. Highly vulnerable beneficiaries under MGNREGA, marginalized sections, women, SC and ST communities and rural artisans will be given specific preference in selection, as part of this programme.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/cftri-to-help-set-up-workable-food-processing-units-in-villages/article37325645.ece

 

6. Consider the following statements regarding India Cooling Action Plan:

 

1) It aims to provide sustainable cooling and thermal comfort for all while securing environmental and socio-economic benefits for the society.

2) It was launched by the Ministry of Power.

 

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: (a) 1 only

 

Explanation:

 

In NEWS: Cities will be too hot to live in future, says new UNEP report

 

●    Depending on the climate zone, the urban heat island effect can raise urban temperatures as much as 5 degrees Celsius, compared with surrounding rural areas.

●    The urban population exposed to high temperatures — that is average summertime temperature highs above 35˚C (95°F) — is expected to increase by 800 per cent to reach 1.6 billion by 2050. According to the World Health Organization, the number of people exposed to heat waves has already jumped by 125 million between 2000 and 2016.

●    Cities will be the hotspots as global warming continues unabated, according to a new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) titled Sustainable Urban Cooling Handbook.

●    Overheated cities will face climate change costs that are more than twice those of the rest of the world because of the urban heat island effect. The study also suggests that higher temperatures can lead to greater energy use for cooling, increased air pollution, worsening water quality and loss in worker productivity.

 

India Cooling Action Plan:

 

●    India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) is launched by the Ozone Cell of the Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change(MoEFCC). Hence statement (2) is incorrect.

●    ICAP aims to provide sustainable cooling while keeping in mind, at the same time, the need to protect the ozone layer. Hence statement (1) is correct.

●    It provides a 20-year perspective, with projections for cooling needs in 2037-38

The Thematic Areas identified are as follows.

●    Space Cooling in Buildings

●    Cold-chain and Refrigeration

●    Transport Air-conditioning

●    Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Servicing Sector

●    Refrigerant Demand and Indigenous Production

●    R&D and Production sector – Alternative Refrigerants

The following benefits would accrue to the society over and above the environmental benefits:

●    Thermal comfort for all - provision for cooling for EWS and LIG housing

●    Sustainable cooling – low GHG emissions related to cooling

●    Doubling Farmers Income – better cold chain infrastructure – better value of produce to farmers, less wastage of produce

●    Skilled workforce for better livelihoods and environmental protection

●    Make in India – domestic manufacturing of air-conditioning and related cooling equipments

●    Robust R&D on alternative cooling technologies – to provide push to innovation in the cooling sector.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/urbanisation/cities-will-be-too-hot-to-live-in-future-says-new-unep-report-80046

 

7. Arrange the following coal types in ascending order based on its carbon content:

 

1) Peat

2) Lignite

3) Bituminous

4) Anthracite

 

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

 

a)  1-2-3-4

b) 1-2-4-3

c)  2-1-3-4

d) 3-4-1-2

 

Answer: (a) 1-2-3-4

 

Explanation:

 

In NEWS: October saw highest power shortage in over 5 years

 

●    India recorded a power supply shortage of 1,201 million units in October 2021 — the highest in 5.5 years — due to a crunch in coal stocks available with thermal plants.

●    The shortage was mostly restricted to Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Punjab and Rajasthan.

●    The power shortage was primarily due to a supply crunch of coal to 135 thermal plants. As on November 5, the average coal inventory held by the plants would last only seven days.

 

Coal:

 

●    It Contains carbon, volatile matter, moisture and ash [in some cases Sulphur and phosphorous]

●    Mostly used for power generation and metallurgy.

●    Coal formed millions of years ago when the earth was covered with huge swampy [marshy] forests where plants – giant ferns and mosses – grew.

●    As the plants grew, some died and fell into the swamp waters. New plants grew up to take their places and when these died still more grew.

●    In time, there was a thick layer of dead plants rotting in the swamp. The surface of the earth changed and water and dirt washed in, stopping the decaying process.

●    More plants grew up, but they too died and fell, forming separate layers. After millions of years many layers had formed, one on top of the other.

●    Coal accounts for 70% of the country’s electricity generation.

●    The ash level in Indian coal is high while the sulphur concentration is low.

It may be categorised into four varieties based on its carbon content: Hence option (a) is correct.

 

Anthracite

●    Anthracite, also known as hard coal, is a hard, compact variety of coal that has a submetallic luster.

●    It has the highest carbon content, the fewest impurities, and the highest energy density of all types of coal and is the highest ranking of coals.

●    It is the coal with 80 to 95% carbon content found in small quantities in Jammu and Kashmir.

Bituminous: 

●    Bituminous coal, or black coal, is a relatively soft coal containing a tar-like substance called bitumen or asphalt. Its quality is ranked higher than lignite and sub-bituminous coal, but poorer than anthracite. Formation is usually the result of high pressure being exerted on lignite

●    It has a 60 to 80% carbon content and is found in Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

Lignite 

●    Lignite, often referred to as brown coal, is a soft, brown, combustible, sedimentary rock formed from naturally compressed peat.

●    It carries 40 to 55% carbon content and is found in Rajasthan, Lakhimpur (Assam) and Tamil Nadu.

Peat

●    Peat is the surface organic layer of a soil that consists of partially decomposed organic matter, derived mostly from plant material, which has accumulated under conditions of waterlogging, oxygen deficiency, high acidity and nutrient deficiency.

●    It is a coal with low calorific value and less than 40% carbon content.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/october-2021-saw-highest-power-shortage-in-over-5-years/article37361732.ece

 

8. Consider the following statements:

 

1) According to the Juvenile Justice Act of 2015, any person who is less than sixteen years of age is considered a Juvenile.

2) The Juvenile Justice Board must resolve cases within a four month period.

 

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: (b) 2 only

 

Explanation:

 

In NEWS: Age determination of juvenile offenders shall be completed within 15 days: HC

 

●    The Delhi High Court has directed that the process of age determination of a juvenile in conflict with law shall be completed within 15 days of filing of documents and ossification test by the Investigating Officer (IO) of a case.

●    The High Court said the IO shall ensure that the ossification test in relation to the juvenile is completed, a report is obtained and filed before the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) within 15 days from the date the test is ordered by the board

 

Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015:

 

●    The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 addresses children in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection.

●    According to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act of 2015, any person who is less than eighteen years of age is considered a Juvenile. Hence statement (1) is incorrect.

 

Juvenile Justice Board:

 

●    The JJB consists of a judicial magistrate of the first class and two social workers, at least one of whom should be a woman.

●    JJB are meant to resolve cases within a four month period. Most circumstances the juvenile can be released on bail by the JJB. Hence statement (2) is correct.

●    This is a judiciary body before which children detained or accused of a crime are brought.

●    This acts as a separate court for juveniles since they are not to be taken to a regular criminal court.

●    The Board comprises a judicial magistrate of the first class and two social workers, one of whom at least should be a woman.

●    The Board is meant to be a child-friendly place and not intimidating for the child.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/age-determination-of-juvenile-offenders-shall-be-completed-in-15-days-hc/article37363325.ece

 

9. Meyor Community belongs to which one of the following states in India?

 

a)  Tripura

b) Goa

c)  Uttar Pradesh

d) Arunachal Pradesh

 

Answer: (d) Arunachal Pradesh

 

Explanation:

 

In NEWS: Arunachal to showcase ‘heroic village’ near the China border

 

●    Arunachal Pradesh is planning to serve the country one of its most patriotic destinations on the 75th year of Independence — Kaho, a village on the China border.

●    One of seven villages in the Kibithoo block bisected by the Lohit river, Kaho had weathered the Chinese attack in 1962. Its people had assisted the Indian soldiers who had been outnumbered.

●    Kaho is the first village from the China border. We plan to make a documentary on Kaho and its people who belong to the Meyor community. Very few people know about this village and its significance. Hence option (d) is correct.

●    The documentary, sanctioned by the State BJP Government, is a part of the celebrations of Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav, the nation-wide celebrations of the 75th year of Independence.

●    Anjaw is one of the 11 districts of Arunachal Pradesh that share their border with China.

●    According to the 2011 census, Kaho has only 65 residents and a literacy rate of 64.15%.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/arunachal-to-showcase-heroic-village-near-the-china-border/article37358696.ece

 

10. Which one of the following statements is correct?

 

a)  Ajanta Caves lie in the gorge of Waghora river

b) Sanchi Stupa lies in the gorge of Chambal river

c)  Pandu-lena Cave Shrines lie in the gorge of Narmada river

d) Amaravati Stupa lies in the gorge of Godavari river

 

Answer: (a) Ajanta Caves lie in the gorge of Waghora river

 

Explanation:

 

The most prominent examples of the rock-cut architecture of this period are found at Ajanta and Bagh (Huntington, 1985: 239–74).

The spectacular Buddhist site of Ajanta consists of several caves nestled in a curving section of the Sahyadri hills, overlooking the Waghora river. There are 28 caves at Ajanta. Hence option (a) is correct.

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