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Weekly Current Affairs Answers FEBRUARY 2020 - WEEK 3

1) Answer: B

  • The office of the United States Trade Representatives (USTR) has removed India from the list of countries that are designated as ‘developing’.
  • Countries under this list are eligible for preferential treatment when it comes to CVD investigations.
  • India will no longer get this benefit.
  • Other countries that were removed from the list include Thailand, Vietnam, Brazil, Indonesia and Malaysia.
  • The USTR has also updated its list of countries that are least-developed under the US Countervailing Duty (CVD) laws.
  • In the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), the US Congress had amended the CVD law in order to confirm US obligations under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM).
  • Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement) is a part of WTO.
  • It addresses two separate topics, Multilateral disciplines regulating the provision of subsidies, and the use of countervailing measures to offset injury caused by subsidized imports.
  • Under this SCM agreement, countries that had not yet reached the status of a developed country were entitled to special treatment for purposes of countervailing measures.

 

2) Answer: C

  • According to a new research, the newly renamed object Arrokoth once called as Ultima Thule, is ultra-red, smooth and covered in Organic complex molecule.
  • And one of the most intriguing discoveries about Arrokoth is that it’s covered in methanol ice and unidentified complex organic molecules, according to the researchers.
  • Arrokoth was discovered June 26, 2014, by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft team using the Hubble Space Telescope.
  • It is the most distant object explored by a spacecraft.
  • Arrokoth is even redder than Pluto. It is, in fact, the reddest outer solar system object visited by a spacecraft thus far.

 

3) Answer: B

  • Some sort of Second World War fortification was recently identified in the Daspalla Hills, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
  • It appears to be fortifications of an anti-aircraft battery or an anti-ship battery.
  • The walls are made of 15-inch thick reinforced steel concrete, and from the appearance and the strategic positioning, it appears to be a gun fortification, with the central structure being the command post.

 

4) Answer: D

  • First consignment of Nagpur oranges was flagged off to Dubai on 13th February 2020 from Vashi, Navi Mumbai. Nagpur Orange was granted G.I tag in 2014.

G.I Tags granted from APRIL 2019 – MARCH 2020:

Kandhamal Haladi                      – Agricultural             – Odisha

Odisha Rasagola             – Food Stuff                – Odisha

Kodaikanal Malai Poondu         – Agricultural             – Tamil Nadu

Pawndum                                    – Handicraft               – Mizoram

Ngotekherh                                 – Handicraft               – Mizoram

Hmaram                           – Handicraft               – Mizoram

Palani Panchamirtham – Food Stuff                – Tamil Nadu

Tawlhlohpuan                 – Handicraft               – Mizoram

Mizo Puanchei                – Handicraft               – Mizoram

Gulbarga Tur Dal                        – Agricultural             – Karnataka

Tirur Betel Leaf (Tirur Vettila) – Agricultural   – Kerala

Irish Whiskey                   – Manufactured         – Ireland

Khola Chilli                                  – Agricultural             – Goa

Idu Mishmi Textiles                    – Handicraft               – Arunachal Pradesh

Dindigul Locks                – Manufactured        – Tamil Nadu

Kandangi Saree               – Handicraft               – Tamil Nadu

Srivilliputtur Palkova     – Food Stuff               – Tamil Nadu

Kaji Nemu                                    – Agricultural             – Assam

 

5) Answer: C

  • The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has recently said that climate change would push 100 million people into the abyss of poverty by 2030.
  • Close to half of these would be due to climate change’s impacts on agriculture.
  • Global development and government representatives from across the world made an appeal to urgently spend more on rural development to avoid a catastrophic situation arising out of the climate emergency during IFAD’s 43rd Governing Council meeting in Rome.

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD):

  • It is an international financial institution and specialized United Nations agency based in Rome, Italy, the UN’s food and agriculture hub.
  • IFAD has 177 Member States comprised of developing, middle- and high-income countries from all regions of the world who are dedicated to eradicating poverty in rural areas.
  • Membership in IFAD is open to any State that is a member of the United Nations, any of its specialized agencies or the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
  • IFAD is the only specialized global development organisation exclusively focused on and dedicated to transforming agriculture, rural economies and food systems.

 

6) Answer: D

  • Recently, Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport (IGI) Airport becomes 1st single-use plastic-free airport of India.
  • Single-use plastics are goods that are made primarily from fossil fuel-based chemicals (petrochemicals) and are meant to be disposed of right after use often, in minutes.
  • Single-use plastics are most commonly used for packaging and service-ware, such as bottles, wrappers, straws, and bags.
  • We produce hundreds of millions of tons of plastic every year, most of which cannot be recycled, while some of it can be recycled.
  • As only around 13% of the plastic items are recyclable, the rest ends up either buried in the land or water bodies, eventually reaching the oceans, leading to polluting of water bodies and killing of marine life.
  • Most of the plastic is not biodegradable and over a period of time the plastic breaks up and releases toxic chemicals into the water bodies, which in turn make their way into food and water supplies.

 

7) Answer: C

  • The government to launch ‘Tilhan Mission’ to make the country self-reliant in oilseed production.
  • Recently, there has been major rifts between India and Malaysia over Palm oil.
  • Oilseed crops are the second most important determinant of agricultural economy, next only to cereals within the segment of field crops.
  • The self-sufficiency in oilseeds attained through “Yellow Revolution” during early 1990’s, could not be sustained beyond a short period.
  • Despite being the fifth largest oilseed crop producing country in the world, India is also one of the largest importers of vegetable oils today.
  • There is a spurt in the vegetable oil consumption in recent years in respect of both edible as well as industrial usages.

 

8) Answer: C

  • Seymour Island in the Antarctic Peninsula hits record temperature of 20.75°C.
  • The continent also hit a record last week, with a temperature reading of 18.3°C on the Antarctic Peninsula.
  • According to the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO), temperatures on the Antarctic Peninsula have risen by almost 3°C over the past 50 years, and that about 87% of the glaciers along its west coast have “retreated” in that time.
  • Over the past 12 years, the glaciers have shown an accelerated retreat. Last month was also Antarctica’s warmest January on record.

 

9) Answer: D

  • The Nigerian Academy of Science has recently called for the current outbreak of Lassa fever in Africa’s most populous nation Nigeria to be declared a national health emergency because of its severity.

Lassa Fever:

  • It is a viral haemorrhagic disease caused by the Lassa virus, which naturally infects the widely distributed house rat.
  • It’s transmitted through the urine and droppings of infected rats found in most tropical and subtropical countries in Africa.
  • They are able to contaminate anything they come in contact with.
  • The Lassa virus spreads through human to human contact with tissue, blood, body fluids, secretions or excretions.
  • This includes coughing, sneezing, kissing, sexual intercourse and breastfeeding.
  • In hospitals the disease is spread through contaminated equipment.
  • A drug does exist for the treatment of the disease.
  • But its efficacy is affected by the fact that Nigeria has inefficient laboratory diagnosis and patients are admitted late to hospital.

 

10) Answer: A

  • The Union Cabinet has recently approved 22nd Law Commission of India for a period of three years from the date of publication of the Order of Constitution in the Official Gazette.

The Law Commission of India shall, inter-alia:

  1. Identify laws which are no longer needed or relevant and can be immediately repealed;
  2. examine the existing laws in the light of Directive Principles of State Policy and suggest ways of improvement and reform and also suggest such legislations as might be necessary to implement the Directive Principles and to attain the objectives set out in the Preamble of the Constitution;
  3. consider and convey to the Government its views on any subject relating to law and judicial administration that may be specifically referred to it by the Government through Ministry of Law and Justice (Department of Legal Affairs);
  4. Consider the requests for providing research to any foreign countries as may be referred to it by the Government through Ministry of Law and Justice (Department of Legal Affairs);
  5. Take all such measures as may be necessary to harness law and the legal process in the service of the poor;
  6. revise the Central Acts of general importance so as to simplify them and remove anomalies, ambiguities and inequities;

Background:

  • The Law Commission of India is a non-statutory body constituted by the Government of India from time to time.
  • The Commission was originally constituted in 1955 and is re-constituted every three years.
  • The tenure of twenty-first Law Commission of India was upto 31st August, 2018.
  • The various Law Commission have been able to make important contribution towards the progressive development and codification of Law of the country.
  • The Law Commission has so far submitted 277 reports.

The 22nd Law Commission will be constituted for a period of three years from the date of publication of its Order in the Official Gazette. It will consist of:

  1. a full-time Chairperson;
  2. four full-time Members (including Member-Secretary);
  3. Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs as ex-officio Member;
  4. Secretary, Legislative Department as ex officio Member; and
  5. not more than five part-time Members.

 

11) Answer: D

  • The Hope Mars Mission, also called the Emirates Mars Mission, is the first un-crewed, interplanetary satellite spearheaded by the United Arab Emirates.
  • In fact, the Hope Spacecraft is the first planetary science mission led by an Arab-Islamic country.
  • The Hope spacecraft is in many ways a state-of-the-art weather satellite.
  • It will help answer some outstanding questions about Mars’ climate and atmosphere.

The satellite mission has 4 primary objectives:

  1. Search for the connection between current Martian weather and the ancient climate of Mars.
  2. Study the mechanisms that have driven oxygen and hydrogen out of Mars’ atmosphere.
  3. Study the connections between the lower and upper atmospheres of Mars.
  4. Create a global picture of how the Martian atmosphere varies throughout the day, season and year.

The Beresheet Mission is the first privately funded lunar mission of Israel.

 

12) Answer: B

  • The International Platform on Sustainable Finance (IPSF) was launched on 18 October 2019 by public authorities from Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, India, Kenya, Morocco and the European Union, representing almost half of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
  • There are also seven Observers for this International Platform.
  • The International Platform aims to:
  • Exchange and disseminate information to promote best practices in environmentally sustainable finance.
  • Compare the different initiatives and identify barriers and opportunities to help scale up environmentally sustainable finance internationally.
  • While respecting national and regional contexts, enhance international coordination where appropriate on environmentally sustainable finance issues. Where appropriate, some willing members could strive to align initiatives and approaches.

The ultimate objective is to:

  1. Scale up the mobilisation of private capital towards environmentally sustainable finance at global level
  2. Promote integrated markets for environmentally sustainable finance

 

13) Answer: D

  • Recently, using the European Space Organisation’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have noticed the unprecedented dimming of Betelgeuse.
  • It is a red supergiant star (over 20 times bigger than the Sun) in the constellation Orion.
  • Betelgeuse was born as a supermassive star millions of years ago and has been “dramatically” and “mysteriously” dimming for the last six months.
  • According to a report in Sky and Telescope, among the brightest night time stars, Betelgeuse ranks 10th.

 

14) Answer: A

  • A new group of Antibiotics has been discovered by scientists at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, that can be useful in the battle against antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
  • Corbomycin and Complestatin work by prevent the bacterial wall from being broken down, thus stopping the division of bacterial cells.
  • Antibiotics, also known as antibacterial, are medications that destroy or slow down the growth of bacteria.
  • Antibiotics cannot treat viral infections, such as cold, flu, and most coughs.
  • Antimicrobial resistance occurs when microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change in ways that render the medications used to cure the infections they cause ineffective.
  • When the microorganisms become resistant to most antimicrobials they are often referred to as “superbugs”.
  • This is a major concern because a resistant infection may kill, can spread to others, and imposes huge costs to individuals and society.

 

15) Answer: B

Influenza:

  • It is commonly known as the “Flu”.
  • It is a viral infection.
  • There are four types of flu viruses: A, B, C and D.
  • Influenza A viruses are the only influenza viruses known to cause flu pandemics, i.e., global epidemics of flu disease.
  • A pandemic can occur when a new and very different influenza A virus emerges that both infects people and has the ability to spread efficiently between people.
  • Unlike type A flu viruses, type B flu is found only in humans.
  • Influenza type C infections generally cause mild illness and are not thought to cause human flu epidemics.
  • Influenza D viruses primarily affect cattle and are not known to infect or cause illness in people.
  • Gastroenteritis is a nonspecific term for various inflammatory problems in the gastrointestinal tract with the most common symptoms and signs being diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pains.
  • Gastroenteritis is often referred to as the “stomach flu,” however, it is not related to the influenza virus.

 

16) Answer: C

  • The Global Health Security (GHS) Index is the first comprehensive assessment and benchmarking of health security and related capabilities across the 195 countries that make up the States Parties to the International Health Regulations (IHR [2005]).
  • It lists the countries best prepared for an epidemic or pandemic.
  • The GHS Index is a project of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Security (JHU) and was developed with The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
  • It aims to set a high threshold for preparedness against epidemics that can lead to pandemics.

 

17) Answer: C

  • Until now, there is no upper limit for the central subsidy.
  • Recently, the Cabinet decided to cap the Centre’s premium subsidy under these schemes for premium rates up to 30% for unirrigated areas/crops and 25% for irrigated areas/crops.

At present, under PMFBY and RWBCIS, farmers pay a premium of,

  1. 2% of the sum insured for all food-grains and oilseeds crops of Kharif;
  2. 1.5% for all food-grains and oilseeds crops of Rabi; and 3. 5% for all horticultural crops.
  • The difference between actuarial premium rate and the rate of insurance premium payable by farmers, which is called the Rate of Normal Premium Subsidy, is shared equally between the Centre and the states.
  • However, states and Union Territories are free to extend additional subsidy over and above the normal subsidy from their budgets.
  • While PMFBY is based on yield, RWBCIS is based on proxies and farmers are provided insurance protection against adverse weather conditions such as excess rainfall, wind and temperature.
  • The number of insured farmers under RWBCIS is relatively low.

 

18) Answer: C

  • The Indian Navy Hydrographic Survey Ship, INS Jamuna is on a deployment to carry out Joint Hydrographic Survey off the South – West coast of Sri Lanka.
  • A team of Sri Lankan Navy hydrographers including officers and sailors have also been embarked onboard for the duration of the survey.

 

19) Answer: D

  • India will host the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS COP13).
  • It is a major United Nations wildlife conference with the theme of “Migratory species connect the planet and together we welcome them home”.
  • The CMS is an environmental treaty of the UN that provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats.
  • It is the only global convention specialising in the conservation of migratory species, their habitats and migration routes.
  • The pact was signed in 1979 in Germany and is known as the Bonn Convention.
  • “Migratory species” means the entire population or any geographically separate part of the population of any species or lower taxon of wild animals, a significant proportion of whose members cyclically and predictably cross one or more national jurisdictional boundaries.
  • Appendix I of the Convention lists ‘Threatened Migratory Species’.
  • Appendix II lists ‘Migratory Species requiring international cooperation’.
  • The Indian sub-continent is also part of the major bird flyway network, i.e. the Central Asian Flyway (CAF) that covers areas between the Arctic and Indian Oceans, and covers at least 279 populations of 182 migratory water-bird species, including 29 globally threatened species.
  • India has also launched the National Action Plan for the conservation of migratory species under the Central Asian Flyway.

 

20) Answer: B

  • Radio aids revival of dying tribal language.
  • Asur, a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) in Jharkhand, may not have access to good road or means of transportation to the outside world, but that has not deterred them from saving their language.
  • Using mobile radio, the Asur community has been spreading the popularity of the language within their geographical limits.
  • The Asur language figures in the list of UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger.
  • Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) are categorized by Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • Among the 75 listed PVTG’s the highest number are found in Odisha.
  • The state governments or UT governments submit proposals to the Central Ministry of Tribal Welfare for identification of PVTGs.
  • After ensuring the criteria is fulfilled, the Home Ministry selects those groups as PVTGs.
  • In 1973, the Dhebar Commission created Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs) as a separate category.

 

21) Answer: B

  • Asur is among the nine Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) found in Jharkhand.
  • Of the 32 different tribes recorded in the State, only four to five tribes, including Santhali, Ho and Kuruk, have recorded language scripts.
  • As per the 2011 census, the tribe has a population of around 23,000 in Latehar and Gumla districts.
  • In the community, 50% of population could barely speak in Asur language; they are not fluent in the language.
  • The Asur language figures in the list of UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger.
  • Only 7,000 to 8,000 Asur tribal’s are left in the community who are well conversant in the language.
  • With help from tribal rights activists, Asur Tribal Wisdom Centre, an organization involving Asur tribal’s, was established at Jobhipat village near Netarhat to protect the language and culture of Asur tribal’s.
  • Using mobile radio, the Asur community has been spreading the popularity of the language within their geographical limits.

 

22) Answer: D

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is aligning its July-June accounting year with the government’s April-March fiscal year in order to ensure more effective management of the country’s finances.
  • When it commenced operations on April 1, 1935, with Sir Osborne Smith as its first Governor, the RBI followed a January-December accounting year.
  • On March 11, 1940, however, the bank changed its accounting year to July-June.
  • Now, after nearly eight decades, the RBI is making another switch: the next accounting year will be a nine-month period from July 2020 to March 31, 2021 and thereafter, all financial years will start from April, as it happens with the central and state governments.
  • The Bimal Jalan Committee on Economic Capital Framework (ECF) of the RBI had proposed a more transparent presentation of the RBI’s annual accounts, and a change in its accounting year to April-March from the financial year 2020-21.
  • It said the RBI would be able to provide better estimates of projected surplus transfers to the government for the financial year for budgeting purposes.

 

23) Answer: B

  • Indian doctors have cautioned against the use of “Lorcaserin” (brand name Belviq or Belviq XR), a weight-loss drug that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently said is linked to a “possible increased risk of cancer.”
  • Lorcaserin has been withdrawn from the U.S. market after caution by the FDA because of cancer risk.
  • The FDA requested the drug manufacturer to voluntarily withdraw lorcaserin, after a post-marketing trial with more than 12,000 subjects revealed an increased occurrence of cancer.

 

24) Answer: D

  • An inter-Ministerial funding program “Scientific Utilization through Research Augmentation Prime Products from Indigenous Cows” (SUTRA-PIC India) has been planned with the support of Ministry of Science & Technology through Department of Science and Technology (DST), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR)- Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR); Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha & Homoeopathy); Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

SUTRA PIC has five themes:

  1. Uniqueness of Indigenous Cows
  2. Prime-products from indigenous cows-based utility items
  3. Prime-products from Indigenous Cows for Food and Nutrition
  4. Prime-products from Indigenous Cows for Medicine and Health
  5. Prime-products from Indigenous Cows for Agricultural Applications

Objective:

The proposals under this theme should aim to perform scientific research on complete characterisation of milk and milk products derived from Indian indigenous cows;

scientific research on nutritional and therapeutic properties of curd and ghee prepared from indigenous breeds of cows by traditional methods;

development of standards for traditionally processed dairy products of Indian-origin cow.

 

25) Answer: B

  • Madhya Pradesh has recorded the highest percentage of new-born deaths of 11.5% against the total admissions to government-run sick new-born care units (SNCUs) in the past three years across the country, a rate ominously spiralling since 2017, according to the National Health Mission (NHM). The country’s average is 7%.
  • A Neonatal death is defined as a death during the first 28 days of life (0-27 days).
  • Under the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), each country, including India, has aimed to bring down neonatal mortality to at least 12 per 1,000 live births.
  • In 2018, it stood at 23 for India.

 

26) Answer: B

  • Sanjay Kothari, the Secretary to the President, has been selected as the new Chief Vigilance Commissioner by a high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister.
  • The Central Vigilance Commission was set up by the Government in February,1964 on the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption, headed by Shri K. Santhanam, to advise and guide Central Government agencies in the field of vigilance.
  • The CVC is not controlled by any Ministry/Department. It is an independent body which is only responsible to the Parliament.
  • It exercises superintendence over the functioning of the Delhi Special Police Establishment insofar as it relates to the investigation of offences alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

 

27) Answer: B

  • Recently, 47 new papers were published in a special supplement of The Astrophysical Journal, analysing data from the first three flybys of the Parker Solar Probe, NASA’s historic mission to the Sun.
  • Alongside, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is also preparing to send its first scientific expedition to study the Sun.
  • Named Aditya-L1, the mission, expected to be launched early next year, will observe the Sun from a close distance, and try to obtain information about its atmosphere and magnetic field.
  • Aditya L1 will be ISRO’s 2nd Space-based astronomy mission after AstroSat, which was launched in September 2015.
  • Aditya L1 will perform continuous observations looking directly at the Sun.
  • NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has already gone far closer but it will be looking away from the Sun.
  • The L1 point is about 1.5 million km from Earth, or about one-hundredth of the way to the Sun.

 

28) Answer: B

  • The new species of lizard, zoologically named Cyrtodactylus urbanus, is discovered in Guwahati, Assam.
  • It is markedly different in molecular structure, blotch and colour from the Cyrtodactylus guwahatiensis, or the Guwahati bent-toed gecko, that was discovered two years ago.
  • The bent-toed gecko, named Cyrtodactylus urbanus, was earlier thought to be same as the Khasi Hills lizard.
  • All bent-toed geckos in Northeast India were thought to be a single species, the Cyrtodactylus khasiensis found primarily in the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya.
  • The study on the urban bent-toed gecko provided additional information on the Guwahati bent-toed gecko, the first of the two Cyrtodactylus endemic to the areas covered by the city and the fourth from Assam.
  • It was also the 12th recorded gecko from the Northeast.

 

29) Answer: A

  • India will switch to the world’s cleanest petrol and diesel from April 1 as it leapfrogs straight to BS VI emission compliant fuels.
  • India will join the select league of nations using petrol and diesel containing just 10 parts per million of sulphur as it looks to cut vehicular emissions that are said to be one of the reasons for the choking pollution in major cities.
  • The Sulphur content of BS-VI fuel, which is 5 times lower than that in BS-IV fuel, is one of the major differences between the two.
  • With BS-VI fuel, for every one kilometre, a car will emit 80% less particulate matter and nearly 70% less nitrogen oxide.

 

30) Answer: A

  • The Madhav National Park has claimed denotified land is unavailable for allotment to 39 tribal families displaced 20-years ago to make way for a tiger corridor, even though hundreds of others compensated for to vacate the Park continue to farm and encroach upon the corridor unchecked.
  • Moreover, tigers are yet to be reintroduced in the park, let alone the corridor’s development.
  • Displaced families for tiger corridor await land allotment.
  • The park that is situated in Shivpuri District of Gwalior division in Madhya Pradesh.
  • It is a part of the upper Vindhyan hills.
  • Madhav National Park is an unusual terrain of hills, dry, mixed forests, grasslands, and lakes which makes it a perfect destination for sighting a variety of wildlife.
  • The Sakhya and Madhav Sagar Lake, located in the centre of the forest, support a rich variety of migratory birds including geese, pochard, pintail, teal, mallard, and gadwall.
  • These lakes are the great nesting ground for birds and marsh crocodiles, that can be spotted here in abundance.
  • It is a combination of dry deciduous & dry thorn forests that make home for different variety of antelopes like Nilgai, Chinkara, and Deer, and carnivores such as leopard, wolf, jackal, fox, wild pig, etc.

 

31) Answer: C

  • With an objective to promote Geographical Indication (GI) crafts and heritage of India the Ministry of Textiles is organising Kala Kumbha Handicrafts Thematic Exhibition in various parts of the country through the Office of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts).
  • The exhibitions are planned in various major cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
  • The exhibitions sponsored by Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) started recently.
  • In Bengaluru exhibition, GI crafts like Mysore rosewood inlay, Channapatna lacquerware, Dharwad kasuti embroidery, Kolhapur chappal, Bidriware, Molakalmur hand-block printing, Ananthapur leather puppet, Thrissur screwpine, Vishakhapatnam lacquerware, Sandur lambani embroidery, Jodhpur terracotta, Jaipur handprinted textile, bronze casting, Medinipur mat weaving, Birbhum artistic leather and Khurdah palm leaf engraving are being displayed.
  • In Mumbai exhibition GI crafts like Chittoor kalamkari painting, Thrissur screwpine crafts, Pokharan terracotta crafts, Kutch embroidery & crochet crafts, Pingla patachitra, Birbhum kantha embroidery, Jaipur patachitra painting, Madhubani Mithila painting, Kolhapur chappal, Palghar Worli painting, Kondagaon wrought iron craft, Agate stone crafts and Krishna hand-block printing are being displayed.

 

32) Answer: C

  • The Swachh Iconic Places (SIP) is an initiative under the Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • It is a special clean-up initiative focused on select iconic heritage, spiritual and cultural places in the country.
  • The initiative is being coordinated by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Ministry of Jal Shakti in association with the Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and the concerned State governments.

Phase I Iconic sites:

  1. Ajmer Sharif Dargah;
  2. CST Mumbai;
  3. Golden Temple, Amritsar;
  4. Kamakhya Temple, Assam;
  5. Maikarnika Ghat, Varanasi;
  6. Meenakshi Temple, Madurai;
  7. Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, Katra, J&K;
  8. Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri;
  9. The Taj Mahal, Agra;
  10. Tirupati Temple, Tirumala

Phase II Iconic sites:

  1. Gangotri;
  2. Yamunotri;
  3. Mahakaleshwar Temple, Ujjain;
  4. Char Minar, Hyderabad;
  5. Church and Convent of St. Francis of Assissi, Goa;
  6. Adi Shankaracharya’s abode Kaladi in Ernakulam;
  7. Gomateshwar in Shravanbelgola;
  8. Baijnath Dham, Devghar;
  9. Gaya Tirth in Bihar;
  10. Somnath Temple in Gujarat.

Phase III Iconic sites:

  1. Sree Dharma Sastha Temple;
  2. Mana Village, Uttarakhand;
  3. Vidur Kuti Temple, Uttar Pradesh;
  4. Shri Sarveshwar Mahadev Temple;
  5. Shri Nag Vasuki Temple;
  6. Kanvashram, Uttar Pradesh;
  7. Ema Keithel, Manipur;
  8. Hazarduari Palace, West Bengal;
  9. Pangong Tso;
  10. Sri Raghvendra Swamy Mutt Mantralayam

 

33) Answer: B

  • India’s Minister for Earth Sciences and Norway’s Minister for Climate and Environment have recently opened the India-Norway Task Force on Blue Economy for Sustainable Development.
  • The India-Norway Task Force on Blue Economy for Sustainable Development was launched in January 2019.
  • The purpose of the task force is to develop and follow up joint initiatives between the two countries.
  • The two countries also commenced a new collaboration on Integrated Ocean Management & Research.

 

34) Answer: B

GI Products and its State:

  • Kolhapuri Chappal – Handicraft – India (Karnataka & Maharashtra)
  • Madur kathi – Handicraft – West Bengal

 

35) Answer: B

  • In line with the recommendations of the Rangarajan Commission, on 1st June 2005, the Government of India resolved the setting up of a National Statistical Commission (NSC).
  • As per the notification, the Commission comprised a part-time Chairperson, four part-time Members and Secretary, Planning Commission as the ex-officio Member.
  • In 2015, the NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) came in to existence and as a result, the Chief Executive Officer of the NITI Aayog has been made ex-officio Member of the NSC.

 

36) Answer: C

  • 74 years ago, on February 18, 1946, some 1,100 Indian sailors or “ratings” of the HMIS Talwar and the Royal Indian Navy (RIN) Signal School in Bombay declared a hunger strike, triggered by the conditions and treatment of Indians in the Navy.
  • A “slow down” the strike was also called, which meant that the ratings would carry out their duties slowly.
  • Somewhere between 10,000-20,000 sailors joined the strike, as did shore establishments in Karachi, Madras, Calcutta, Mandapam, Visakhapatnam, and the Andaman Islands.
  • While the immediate trigger was the demand for better food and working conditions, the agitation soon turned into a wider demand for independence from British rule.
  • The protesting sailors demanded the release of all political prisoners including those from Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army (INA).
  • One of the triggers for the RIN strike was the arrest of a rating, BC Dutt, who had scrawled “Quit India” on the HMIS Talwar.
  • The day after the strike began, the ratings went around Bombay in lorries, waving the Congress flag, and getting into scraps with Europeans and policemen who tried to confront them.
  • The revolt, however, failed to see support from the Indian leadership who perhaps saw a mutiny, so close to independence, as a danger.
  • Only the Communist Party of India and the INC’s Aruna Asaf Ali openly supported the sailors.

 

37) Answer: D

  • The Uttar Pradesh government in its Budget 2020-21 set aside a fund of Rs 2,000 crore for the upcoming Jewar or the Noida International Greenfield Airport in Gautam Buddha Nagar.
  • This will be the third in the National Capital Region after Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport and Ghaziabad’s Hindon airport.
  • The word Green is also synonymous with the word new, which may allude to new construction projects by companies.
  • With Greenfield investing, a company will build its own, brand new facilities from the ground up.
  • The term Greenfield refers to buildings constructed on fields that were, literally, green.
  • Brownfield investment happens when a company purchases or leases an existing facility.
  • Brownfields can be an investment in abandoned, underutilized or contaminated properties, redeveloping these properties into productive projects.

 

38) Answer: B

  • Recently, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) gets green light to operate the Arab world’s first nuclear power plant.
  • The Barakah nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi, the project involved collaboration with external bodies including the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the South Korean government.
  • Once operation of the plant begins, the UAE will become the newest member of an exclusive club of currently just 30 countries running nuclear power operations.
  • The program aims for a total of 4 reactors, which officials say will amount to 25% of the country’s energy needs.

 

39) Answer: D

  • India’s proposal to include Great Indian Bustard, Asian Elephant and Bengal Florican in Appendix I of UN Convention on migratory species was unanimously accepted recently at the ongoing 13th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India.

 

40) Answer: D

  • Flamingos were foraging in the backwaters near Dhanushkodi in Rameswaram.
  • Hundreds of flamingos fly in from the Rann of Kutch, Gujarat every year in December and leave by the end of March.

Kachchh furnishes 4 diverse geomorphic type of terrain namely;

(i) the Rann,

(ii) the low lying Banni plains,

(iii) the hilly region,

(iv) the coastal plains.

  • It is connected to the Arabian Sea through Kori Creek in the west and the Gulf of Kachchh in the east, and is very close to sea level.
  • The Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary, is spread across the little Rann of Kutch where small grass-covered areas, known as baits, forms the flora and is an important source to support the fauna of the region.
  • The Asia’s largest oil refinery is located at Jamnagar owned by Reliance Industries in the Gulf of Kutch.

 

41) Answer: B

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister, has recently given its approval for upward revision of interest subvention from “up to 2%” to “up to 2.5% p.a.” under the scheme Dairy processing and Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) with the revised outlay of 11184 Cr.

Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund:

  • To ensure that Dairy Cooperatives remain competitive for the sustained benefit of farmers, the Government of India had announced creation of Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund under National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) with a total corpus of Rs. 8000 crores over a period of 3 years (i.e. 2017-18 to 2019-20), in the Union Budget of 2017-18.
  • The funding period (2017-18 to 2019-20) of the scheme is revised to 2018-19 to 2022-23 and the repayment period to be extended up to 2030-31 with spill over to first quarter of the FY 2031-32.
  • Funding will be in the form of interest-bearing loan, which will flow from NABARD to National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) / National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) and in turn to eligible End Borrowers.

Objectives of the scheme:

  1. To modernize the milk processing plants and machinery and to create additional infrastructure for processing more milk.
  2. To create additional milk processing capacity for increased value addition by producing more dairy products.
  3. To bring efficiency in dairy processing plants/producer owned and controlled dairy institutions, thereby enabling optimum value of milk to milk producer farmers and supply of quality milk to consumers.
  4. To help the producer owned and controlled institutions to increase their share of milk, thereby providing greater opportunities of ownership, management and market access to rural milk producers in the organized milk market.
  5. To help the producer owned and controlled institutions to consolidate their position as dominant player in the organised liquid milk market and to make increased price realisation to milk producers.

 

42) Answer: A

  • India is in no rush to sign a trade deal with the US and is focussed on a mutually beneficial pact.
  • India enjoys a trade surplus with the United States.
  • In 2018-19, India’s exports to the US were $52.4 billion, while imports were $ 35.5 billion.
  • Trade deficit dipped from $21.3 billion in 2017-18 to $16.9 billion in 2018-19.
  • India pulled out of RCEP recently, to protect service workers and farmers and US is not a part of RCEP.

 

43) Answer: C

  • Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) is a method of care of pre-term infants.
  • The method involves infants being carried, usually by the mother, with skin-to-skin contact.
  • WHO recommends that it be continued till baby attains a weight of 2.5 kg or till babies wriggle out.
  • This guide is intended for health professionals responsible for the care of low-birth-weight and preterm infants.
  • Designed to be adapted to local conditions, it provides guidance on how to organize services at the referral level and on what is needed to provide effective kangaroo mother care.
  • The guide includes practical advice on when and how the kangaroo-Mothercare method can best be applied.
  • As 20 million low birth weight (LBW) infants are born each year worldwide, KMC has become a very important way of caring for these high-risk infants.

 

44) Answer: D

  • International Mother Language Day (IMLD) is a worldwide annual observance forming a part of UNESCO’s calendar of events, held on 21st February to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
  • It was first announced by UNESCO on 17th November, 1999.
  • It was formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in
  • The latter called upon its member states “to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by people of the world”.

INDIA:

  • India has unparallel linguistic and cultural diversity and fittingly, it is proposed to observe in India 21st February, 2020 for events that promote our languages and the associated diversity of usage and literature.

It has been decided to celebrate Matribhasha Diwas on 21st February every year, to promote the use of mother tongues and to achieve the following objectives: –

  1. To highlight the linguistic diversity of our country
  2. To encourage usage, not only of the respective mother tongue but other Indian languages as well,
  3. To understand and draw attention to the diversity of cultures in India and the consequent forums of literature, craft, performing arts, scripts and other forms of creative expression
  4. To encourage the learning of languages other than one’s own mother tongue.

 

45) Answer: D

  • The Union government has recently decided to rename well-known think-tank Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) as ‘Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses’.
  • Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA):
  • It is a non-partisan, autonomous body under the Ministry of Defence.
  • It was established as a registered society in New Delhi in 1965.
  • It is dedicated to objective research and policy relevant studies on all aspects of defence and security.
  • IDSA is governed by an Executive Council, whose members are distinguished personalities from various walks of life. The Council is headed by a President.
  • Members of the Council are elected for two-year terms at the Annual General Body meeting.

 

46) Answer: A

  • No country in the world is currently positioned to provide a healthy childhood coupled with a healthy environment fit for the future, according to a new report.
  • “A Future Fit for Children Report” is a landmark report released by a commission convened by WHO, UNICEF and The Lancet.
  • The first 33 positions are occupied by high-income countries starting with Norway, South Korea, the Netherlands, France, Ireland, Denmark, Japan, Belgium, Iceland and the UK.
  • No low-middle-income (LMIC) country figures in the first 50 positions.
  • Moldova is the first LMIC to figure in the list at 51st rank.
  • India’s rank is 131st among 180 countries.
  • ‘Healthy childhood’ has been measured by the ‘Flourishing Index’ which includes measures for child survival and well-being such as health, education, and nutrition.
  • The healthy environment has been measured by ‘Sustainability Index’, including a proxy for greenhouse gas emissions.

 

47) Answer: A

  • A Generic Medicines is a medication that has exactly the same active ingredient as the brand name drug and yields the same therapeutic effect.
  • It is the same in dosing, safety, strength, quality, the way it works, the way it is taken, and the way it should be used.
  • Generic drugs do not need to contain the same inactive ingredients as the brand name product.
  • A Generic drug are cheaper because the manufacturers have not had the expenses of developing and marketing a new drug.
  • When a company brings a new drug onto the market, the firm has already spent substantial money on research, development, marketing and promotion of the drug.
  • A patent is granted that gives the company that developed the drug an exclusive right to sell the drug as long as the patent is in effect.
  • As the patent nears expiration, manufacturers can apply to the FDA for permission to make and sell generic versions of the drug; and without the start-up costs for development of the drug.
  • “Branded Generics” are generic drugs that have a brand name. These drugs are developed either by a generic drug company or the original manufacturer “after” the patent expires for the original product.
  • The branded generic name is proprietary to (owned by) the company.

 

48) Answer: C

  • A new group of antibiotics has been discovered by scientists at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, that can be useful in the battle against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).
  • Corbomycin and Complestatin work by prevent the bacterial wall from being broken down, thus stopping the division of bacterial cells.
  • This, the scientists said, was in contrast to older antibiotics like penicillin that kill bacteria by preventing the wall from being built in the first place.

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR):

  • AMR is a global public health threat, according to the World Health Organization.
  • Misuse of antibiotics in humans, animals, and aquaculture contributes to AMR.
  • Also, poor management of waste from farms, factories, healthcare settings and households add to the problem.

 

49) Answer: D

  • Union Minister for Tribal Affairs has recently inaugurated the function to celebrate “16th Foundation of Day of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)” organised by National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST).

National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST):

  • It was established by amending Article 338 and inserting a new Article 338A in the Constitution through the Constitution (89th Amendment) Act, 2003.
  • By this amendment, the erstwhile National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was replaced by two separate Commissions namely –
  • the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC),
  • the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST).
  • The Commission comprise a Chairperson, a Vice Chairperson and three full time members (including one lady member).
  • The term of office of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and each member is three years from the date of assumption of charge.
  • The Chairperson has been given the rank of Union Cabinet Minister, and the Vice-Chairperson that of a Minister of State and other Members have the ranks of a Secretary to the Government of India.

 

50) Answer: C

  • Recently, Government unveils plan for research on Indigenous Cows.
  • It is to be funded by multiple institutions, the initiative, SUTRA PIC, is led by Department of Science and Technology.

The proposals under this theme aims to:

  1. Scientific research on complete characterisation of milk and milk products derived from indigenous cows;
  2. Scientific research on nutritional and therapeutic properties of curd and ghee prepared from indigenous breeds of cows by traditional methods;
  3. Development of standards for traditionally processed dairy products of Indian-origin cow.
  • Gir, Hallikar, Red Sindhi, Sahiwal, Deoni, Amritmahal, Khillari, Kangayam, Bargur, Kankrej, Ongole, Krishna valley are some of the Indigenous Cattle Varieties of India.
  • Ayrshire is from Scotland, and is considered as most beautiful dairy breed.