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1) Answer: C

  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister has recently approved Elevation of Bhaskaracharya Institute of Space Applications and Geoinformatics (BISAG), Gujarat as Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG(N)) under Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MEITY), Government of India.
  • BISAG is elevated to an autonomous scientific society under Government of India instead of State Government.

Background:

  • At present, BISAG is a state agency of Department of Science and Technology Government of Gujarat, located at Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
  • It is registered as a Society and Trust with the Charity Commissioner of Ahmedabad.
  • Its Governing body is chaired by the Chief Secretary, Government of Gujarat.
  • Its charter is based on the philosophy that modern day planning for a holistic development calls for transparent, efficient and low-cost decision-making systems.

 

2) Answer: D

  • UNESCO declared International Mother Language Day in 1999, to commemorate a 1952 protest against West Pakistan’s imposition of Urdu as the official language of East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh).
  • February 21 is celebrated as International Mother Language Day.
  • Of the world’s 6,000 languages, 43% are estimated as endangered, according to the UN.
  • On the other hand, just 10 languages account for as many as 4.8 billion speakers — over 60% of the world population.
  • Globally, English remains the most widely spoken language with 1.13 billion speakers in 2019, followed by Mandarin with 1.17 billion, Hindi is third with 615 million speakers while Bengali is seventh with 265 million.

In India, Hindi is the most spoken language with over 528 million speakers in 2011, as per the Census, followed by,

  1. Bengali (97.2 million) speakers in 2011, followed by
  2. Marathi (83 million),
  3. While other languages with over 50 million speakers are Telugu (81 million), Tamil (69 million), Gujarati (55.5 million) and Urdu (50.8 million).
  • There are 22 Major languages are specified in the eighth schedule of the constitution.
  • In 2004, the Government of India declared that languages that meet certain requirements would be accorded the status of a Classical Language in India.
  • At present there are 6 Classical Language in India.
  • Tamil was the first Classical Language of India.
  • The government declared Tamil (in 2004) followed by Sanskrit (2005).
  • Followed by, Telugu (2008) Kannada (2008) Malayalam (2013) Odiya (2014).

 

3) Answer: A

  • NASA’s Kepler mission observed a dip in the host star’s light, suggesting that the planet was crossing in front of the star during its orbit.
  • To confirm, researchers turned to an instrument called Habitable-zone Planet Finder (HPF).
  • At 100 light years from Earth, a low-mass star was sending signals in a pattern that suggested that an exoplanet was orbiting the star.
  • It has confirmed that there is indeed an exoplanet.
  • The scientific objective of the Kepler Mission is to explore the structure and diversity of planetary systems.
  • It is an unmanned space observatory dedicated to find planets outside solar system with a particular focus on finding planets that might resemble Earth.
  • The observatory was in commission for just under 9 years, from its launch in March 2009 to it decommission on Nov. 15, 2018.

 

4) Answer: B

  • 3rd High Level Global Conference on Road Safety for Achieving Global Goals 2030 was recently held at Stockholm, Sweden.
  • The objective of the two-day conference is to bring road safety on the global agenda and renew the world community’s commitment to safer roads.
  • Leaders from participating countries will draw up a road-map for reaching the United Nation’s goal set under the UN Decade of Action of reducing road crashes by 2030.
  • The conference, a follow up of the 2nd High Level Global Conference on Traffic Safety-Time of Results in 2015 in Brazil, is being organised in active collaboration with World Bank, World Health Organisation and other agencies who are assisting it by way of strengthening the capabilities of various institutions, enhancing awareness and improving engineering designs for safer roads.

 

5) Answer: D

  • Recently, the Bengaluru Police arrested student activist on charges of Sedition for allegedly raising Pakistan Zindabad slogans at a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
  • The Sedition law, under Section 124A IPC, is a legacy of the British Raj, which used it to stifle dissent and the national movement for freedom.
  • Section 124A IPC – Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the Government established by law in India, a shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.
  • The expression “disaffectionincludes disloyalty and all feelings of enmity.
  • Sedition is a non-bailable offence. Punishment under the Section 124A ranges from imprisonment up to three years to a life term, to which fine may be added.
  • A person charged under this law is barred from a government job.
  • They have to live without their passport and must produce themselves in the court at all times as and when required.
  • In the recent consultation paper on the sedition, the Law Commission has suggested invoking 124A to only criminalize acts committed with the intention to disrupt public order or to overthrow the Government with violence and illegal means.

 

6) Answer: C

  • The Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) is an EU law on the financial regulation of hedge funds, private equity, real estate funds, and other “Alternative Investment Fund Managers” (AIFMs) in the European Union.

Background:

  • In accordance with the requirement of establishing adequate supervisory cooperation arrangements between EU and non-EU authorities under the European Union Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), a bilateral MoU was signed by SEBI with securities regulators of 27 member States of EU / European Economic Area, including Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), United Kingdom on 28th July 2014.
  • In the context of UK’s proposed withdrawal from EU, FCA brought to the notice of SEBI that the existing MoU between SEBI and FCA relating to AIFMD, which is currently anchored on EU law, will no longer apply directly in the UK, and have therefore, suggested signing an updated MoU after amending the AIFMD MoU by suitably modifying it and substituting references to EU legislation with the relevant UK law.

 

7) Answer: D

  • Indonesia’s Mount Merapi erupted recently as fiery red molten lava streamed down from the crater and it belched clouds of grey ash 2,000m into the sky.
  • It is one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
  • It sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, a vast zone of geological instability where the collision of tectonic plates causes frequent quakes and major volcanic activity.

 

8) Answer: D

  • Recently, Pakistan retained on ‘grey list’ and Iran in ‘black list’ of FATF.
  • A country is put on the grey list when it fails to curb terrorism financing and money laundering.
  • A country on a blacklist means shutting all doors to international finance for that country.
  • FATF is an Inter-governmental body established in 1989 during the G7 Summit.
  • Its Secretariat is located at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) headquarters in Paris.
  • The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
  • The FATF is therefore a “policy-making body” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.
  • The FATF’s decision making body, the FATF Plenary, meets three times per year.

 

9) Answer: C

  • Recently, Prime Minister hailed the use of Biofuel in an Indian Air Force transport aircraft, saying such innovations would bring down carbon emissions and lower the nation’s oil import bill.
  • IAF’s An-32 aircraft using a 10% blend of Indian bio-jet fuel took off from Leh’s Kushok Bakula Rimpoche airport on January 31.
  • This was the first time that this mix was used in both engines of an aircraft.
  • Bio-jet fuel is prepared from “non-edible tree borne oil”, and is procured from various tribal areas of India.
  • They have the benefits of reducing import dependency on crude oil, cleaner environment, additional income to farmers and employment generation in rural areas.

 

10) Answer: A

  • Pakistan has test-launched the new Ra’ad II Nuclear-capable, Air- Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) variant.
  • Ra’ad II missile, which is an enhanced version of Ra’ad I missile, was unveiled in 2017.
  • The weapon system is equipped with state-of-the-art guidance and navigation systems ensuring the engagement of targets with high precision.
  • The Ra’ad-II weapon system comprises of world-class navigation systems for better precision.
  • Indian experts believe that Ra’ad II is Pakistan’s answer to Nirbhay cruise missile.

 

11) Answer: D

  • Predatory marketing of junk food, sugary beverages, alcohol and tobacco products preys on children and must be regulated, said A Future for the World’s Children report by a commission of 40 global child and adolescent health experts by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and The Lancet.
  • No single country is adequately protecting children’s health, their environment and their futures.
  • Among 180 countries surveyed, India ranks 131 (Flourishing Index), mainly because of high infant mortality and poor child health.
  • The ranking is based on the ability of a child to survive and thrive, and includes performances on health, education, and nutrition; sustainability, with a proxy for greenhouse gas emissions, and equity, or income gaps, among others.
  • India ranked 77th on sustainability index that takes into account per capita carbon emissions and ability of children in a nation to live healthy lives.

 

12) Answer: D

  • The Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) is an international household survey programme developed by UNICEF in the 1990s.
  • Since then, close to 330 surveys have been implemented in over 115 countries.
  • The sixth round of MICS has about 70 surveys, making it the largest round and includes a range of low, middle and high-income countries and many which are in post-emergency periods.

 

13) Answer: D

  • Israel has claimed to struck bases of the Islamic Jihad militant group near the Syrian capital Damascus.
  • Since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria, mainly targeting government forces as well as allied Iranian forces and Hezbollah fighters.
  • However, it is rare for them to claim such strikes directly.
  • France has recently begun shutting down its oldest nuclear power plant after 43 years in operation.
  • It had disconnected one of two reactors at Fessenheim, along the Rhine River near France’s eastern border with Germany and Switzerland.

 

14) Answer: C

  • Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) received bids worth Rs 1.23 trillion for Rs 25,000 crore on offer for its one-year Long-Term Repo Operations (LTRO).
  • RBI also announced the infusion of Rs.1 lakh crore into the system in phases, through the
  • The LTRO is a tool under which the central bank provides one-year to three-year money to banks at the prevailing repo rate, accepting government securities with matching or higher tenure as the collateral.
  • While the RBI’s current windows of liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) and marginal standing facility (MSF) offer banks money for their immediate needs ranging from 1-28 days, the LTRO supplies them with liquidity for their 1- to 3-year needs.
  • LTRO operations are intended to prevent short-term interest rates in the market from drifting a long way away from the policy rate, which is the repo rate.
  • Since January 2019, the repo rate (the rate at which banks borrows quick money from RBI) has been cut by 139 basis points.
  • But only a part of these rate cuts has as yet been passed on to borrowers by banks and other lenders.
  • The LTRO is a move in a direction in which an increase in the proportion of low-cost funds, banks may now be forced to bring down interest rates on loans.
  • The LTRO will also help bring down the yields for shorter-term securities (in the 1-3-year tenor) in the bond market.
  • This measure will prompt increased investment in corporate bonds.
  • These LTROs, together with the RBI’s earlier introduced ‘Operation Twist’, are an attempt by the central bank to manage bond yields and push transmission of already announced interest rate cuts.

 

15) Answer: A

  • The Martian Moon Exploration (MMX) Mission, which aims to haul pieces of the Mars moon Phobos to Earth, has officially become a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) project.
  • The spacecraft will explore 2 moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos and collect a sample from one of the moons to bring back to Earth.
  • The spacecraft will arrive in Martian space and enter into an orbit around Mars.
  • It will then enter a Quasi Satellite Orbit (QSO) around one of the Martian moons to collect scientific data and gather a sample from the moon’s surface.
  • The current schedule is launch data in 2024, Martian orbit insertion in 2025 and return to Earth in 2029.
  • A major scientific goal for the mission is clarifying the origin of the two Martian moons and the evolution process of the Martian Sphere (Mars, Phobos and Deimos).
  • The creation of this system is one of the keys to solving the mysteries of planetary formation in the Solar System.

 

16) Answer: D

  • To accelerate the start-up ecosystem in India, Microsoft launched the 100X100X100 program for B2B SaaS start-ups in India.
  • A first of its kind program in India, this initiative will bring together 100 committed companies and 100 early and growth start-ups that have enterprise-ready solutions to offer.
  • Each participating company will commit to spend $100K over a course of 18 months on solutions provided by the SaaS start-ups.
  • More than 50 start-ups are part of the program at launch.
  • The 100X100X100 program will help enterprises fast track their digital transformation through faster adoption of SaaS solutions.
  • It will aim to create a profitable domestic market for the fast growing Indian B2B SaaS start-up segment by increasing their revenue and customer base.

 

17) Answer: A

  • Recently, the Election Commission announced that elections to 55 Rajya Sabha seats will be held on March 26.
  • Open ballots are used in the Rajya Sabha elections.
  • The Supreme Court in its judgment dated 22 August 2006 in the matter of Kuldip Nayar Vs Union of India and Ors (AIR 2006 SC3127) observed that ‘The contention that the right of expression of the voter at an election for the Council of States is affected by open ballot in not tenable, as an elected MLA would not face any disqualification from the Membership of the House for voting in a particular manner.
  • He may at the most attract action from the political party to which he belongs.
  • Open ballot voting applies in election to Council of States only.
  • The Election Commission withdrew the ‘none of the above’ (NOTA) option from ballot papers of the Rajya Sabha and the Legislative Council polls following a Supreme Court directive.
  • On 21 August 2018, the apex court had said that NOTA will not be applicable as a ballot option in the Rajya Sabha polls.

 

18) Answer: A

  • Somalia is a country in East Africa in the Horn of Africa region.
  • Somali farmers are facing a new devastating threat to their crops, the Desert Locust.
  • Swarms of Desert Locusts are currently swelling and migrating, posing a serious threat to crop production on both sides of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, in countries that are already highly food insecure and facing economic crises.
  • Somalia shares a border with three countries, Kenya, Djibouti, and
  • The country also has a border with the Gulf of Aden which is located to the northern region and the Indian Ocean and Guardafui channel to the east.

 

19) Answer: C

  • Madhya Pradesh is the first State in the country to release Unified Driving License and Unified Registration Card simultaneously.
  • Earlier, the state of Uttar Pradesh had issued only Unified Driving License.
  • This card is uniform and has the same colour throughout the country.
  • The ability to drive in hilly and dangerous areas will also be mentioned in it.
  • In addition to having a specific serial number, it will have an emergency number also and a badge number.
  • Along with the information on both sides of the new card, there will also be information about the Organ Donor, QR code.
  • Various information, including the name, address, blood group, date of birth, the photograph of the holder as well as issuing authority, validity and other details would also be stored in a chip.

 

20) Answer: B

  • The Health Ministry has planned to increase the legal age for smoking tobacco from the present 18 year to 21 years.
  • The ministry is also planning to increase the penalty for smoking at restricted areas which is currently up to Rs 200.
  • This is being done under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) as stringent action to contain tobacco use in the country.
  • Presently, people over 18 years of age can legally smoke tobacco in the country.
  • As per the act, the tobacco products should not be sold to people who are below 18 years of age.
  • The act gives the power to any police officer who is not below the rank of a sub-inspector can search any premises where the tobacco products are produced or sold.

 

21) Answer: B

  • The Government of India (GoI) announced the mega event, RAISE 2020 – ‘Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020,’ to be held from April 11-12 in New Delhi.

About RAISE 2020:

  • RAISE 2020 is a first of its kind, global meeting of minds on Artificial Intelligence to drive India’s vision and roadmap for social empowerment, inclusion and transformation through responsible AI.
  • The event will start with a Start-up Challenge – Pitch-fest followed by the two day summit, organized by Government of India along with Ministry of
  • Electronics and Information Technology will witness robust participation from global industry leaders, key opinion makers, Government representatives and academia.
  • The summit will be a global meeting of minds to exchange ideas and charter a course to use AI for social empowerment, inclusion and transformation in key areas like Healthcare, Agriculture, Education and Smart Mobility amongst other sectors.

 

22) Answer: D

1000 Springs Initiative:

  • The initiative aims at improving access to safe and adequate water for the tribal communities living in difficult and inaccessible part of rural areas in the country.
  • It is an integrated solution around natural springs.
  • It includes provision of infrastructure for piped water supply for drinking; provision of water for irrigation; community-led total sanitation initiatives; and provision for water for backyard nutrition gardens, generating sustainable livelihood opportunities for the tribal people.

Background:

  • Springs are natural sources of groundwater discharge and have been used extensively in the mountainous regions across the world, including India.
  • However, in the central and eastern Indian belt with more than 75% tribal population, it remains largely unrecognized and under-utilized.
  • The initiative will help in harnessing the potential of perennial springs’ water to address natural scarcity of water in tribal areas.
  • Under this initiative, more than 70 young tribal youths from the rural belt of three districts of Odisha namely, Kalahandi, Khandamal and Gajapati have been trained as barefoot hydro geologists by combining traditional and scientific knowledge for identification and mapping of springs, and undertaking rejuvenation and protection measures in their habitations.

 

23) Answer: A

  • The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad has recently launched a trio of products to better cater to its diverse users.
  • One of these new products is the Small Vessel Advisory and Forecast Services System (SVAS), to improve operations on the numerous small marine vessels, particularly fishing vessels that ply the coastal waters of India.
  • The Swell Surge Forecast System was also launched, which will provide forewarnings for the coastal population of India’s vast shoreline, which experiences a slew of damages caused by the swell waves that actually originate from the distant southern Indian Ocean.
  • The final new product in this trio is the Algal Bloom Information Service (ABIS), providing timely information on harmful algal blooms, which are detrimental to coastal fisheries and also tend to induce respiratory problems within the coastal population from time to time.
  • All three products focus on significantly reducing damage and losses for service/product users and the coastal population.

Swell Surge Forecast System:

  • Swell surge forecast system is an innovative system designed for the prediction of Kallakkadal/Swell Surge that occurs along the Indian coast, particularly the west coast.

Kallakadal/Swell surge:

  • They are flash-flood events that take place without any noticeable advance change in local winds or any other apparent signature in the coastal environment.
  • Hence the local population remains totally unaware of these flooding events until they actually occur. Such events are intermittent throughout the year.
  • Kallakkadal is a colloquial term used by Kerala fishermen to refer to the freaky flooding episodes and in 2012 UNESCO formally accepted this term for scientific use.
  • During Kallakkadal events, the sea surges into the land and inundates vast areas.
  • These events have attracted attention especially after the 2004 Tsunami in the Indian Ocean, since most people mistake Kallakkadal to be Tsunamis.
  • Tsunami and Kallakkadal/Swell surge are two different types of waves with entirely separate causes or mechanisms.
  • Kallakkadal are caused by meteorological conditions in the Southern Ocean, south of 30°S.
  • A study by INCOIS scientists has revealed that specific meteorological conditions in the Southern Indian Ocean support the generation of long period swells.
  • These swells once generated travel northward and reach the Indian coasts in 3-5 days’ time, creating havoc in the coastal areas.
  • The system will now predict Kallakkadal and warnings will be given to concerned authorities at least 2-3 days in advance, which will help the local authorities for contingency plans and to reduce damage.

 

24) Answer: C

Programme for Capacity Building of Scheduled Tribe Representatives in Local Self Governments:

  • The Capacity Building initiative is aimed at empowering tribal PRI representatives by enhancing their decision-making capabilities at local government level.
  • Among other issues concerning tribal development, it also focuses on constitutional and legal provisions that protect and promote the rights and welfare of the tribal population.
  • The programme will ensure greater participation of ST PRIs representatives in planning, execution and monitoring of government policies and programmes.
  • Their better participation in the development process would ensure better prioritization of the tribal development agenda.

 

25) Answer: C

  • India among top suppliers of pharma drugs used in trafficking: UN report.
  • According to the 2019 report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), released by United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), India features prominently among top manufacturers of illicit and licit drugs that are smuggled to other countries and into the hands of addicts.
  • It is an independent, quasi-judicial expert body established by the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 by merging two bodies.
  • It implements UN’s international drug control conventions.
  • INCB has 13 members, each elected by the Economic and Social Council for a period of five years.
  • INCB members may be re-elected. Ten of the members are elected from a list of persons nominated by Governments.
  • The remaining three members are elected from a list of persons nominated by the WHO for their medical, pharmacological or pharmaceutical experience.

 

26) Answer: A

  • Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel along with Japanese Ambassador, meet Chief Minister of Odisha to discuss avenues for Japan, to become a partner country in Mission Purvodaya in the steel sector to script a better future for people of Odisha.

Mission Purvodaya

Aim: The programme is aimed at accelerated development of eastern India through establishment of integrated steel hub in Kolkata, West Bengal.

  • Through this programme, the government aims to transform logistics and utilities infrastructure which would change the socio-economic landscape in the eastern India.
  • The steps, under mission, also include growth of steel industry along with employment opportunities across the entire value chain.

 

27) Answer: C

  • Recently, NASA published a set of six papers, to reveal Mars is alive with quakes, dust devils and strange magnetic pulses.
  • It also showed that Mars is a seismically active world.
  • InSight, short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is a Mars lander designed to give the Red Planet its first thorough check up since it formed 4.5 billion years ago.
  • It is the first outer space robotic explorer to study in-depth the “inner space” of Mars, its crust, mantle, and core.
  • This mission is part of NASA’s Discovery Program for highly focused science missions that ask critical questions in solar system science.
  • It is being supported by a number of European partners, which include France’s Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES), the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and the United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA).

 

28) Answer: A

  • Malai Mahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary would be soon announced as a tiger reserve.
  • The approval from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is expected any time now.
  • Once notified, Chamarajanagar district will have the rare distinction in the country of harbouring three tiger reserves.
  • Also, with this, Karnataka will have six tiger reserves, the others being Nagarahole, Bhadra, and Anshi-Dandeli, apart from Bandipur and BRT Tiger Reserves.

 

29) Answer: C

  • The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad has launched a trio of products to better cater to its diverse users.

ESSO-INCOIS:

  • ESSO-INCOIS is an autonomous institute under the administrative control of Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Government of India and a member of the Earth System Science Organization (ESSO).
  • ESSO-INCOIS was registered as a society under the Andhra Pradesh (Telangana) Public Societies Registration Act (1350, Falsi), at Hyderabad on 3 February 1999.
  • The affairs of the society are managed, administered, directed and controlled by the Governing Council, subject to the Bye Laws of the Society.
  • Its mission is to provide ocean data, information and advisory services to society, industry, the government and the scientific community through sustained ocean observations and constant improvements through systematic and focused research in information management and ocean modelling.

 

30) Answer: D

  • Government soon to launch 3rd phase of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).
  • The government has decided to link the scheme with the school education to bring a revolutionary change in the field of skill development.
  • It is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) implemented by National Skill Development Corporation.
  • The objective of this Skill Certification Scheme is to enable a large number of Indian youths to take up industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood.
  • Individuals with prior learning experience or skills will also be assessed and certified under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).
  • Under this Scheme, Training and Assessment fees are completely paid by the Government.

 

31) Answer: A

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has recently given its approval to set up a National Technical Textiles Mission with a total outlay of Rs 1480 Crore, with a view to position the country as a global leader in Technical Textiles.

The Mission would have a four-year implementation period from FY 2020-21 to 2023-24.

Four components of National Technical Textiles Mission:

  1. Research, Innovation and Development
  2. Promotion and Market Development
  3. Export Promotion
  4. Education, Training and Skill Development

Background of Technical Textiles:

  • Technical textiles are textiles materials and products manufactured primarily for technical performance and functional properties rather than aesthetic characteristics.
  • Technical Textiles products are divided into 12 broad categories (Agrotech, Buildtech, Clothtech, Geotech, Hometech, Indutech, Mobiltech, Meditech, Protech, Sportstech, Oekotech, Packtech) depending upon their application areas.
  • India shares nearly 6% of world market size of 250 Billion USD.
  • However, the annual average growth of the segment is 12%, as compared to 4% world average growth.
  • Penetration level of technical textiles is low in India at 5-10%, against 30-70% in advanced countries.
  • The Mission aims at improving penetration level of technical textiles in the country.

 

32) Answer: A

  • Kerala will become the first State to totally digitise the general education sector in March in the wake of the General Education Rejuvenation Mission, Nava Kerala Mission coordinator has recently said.
  • Classrooms in State schools are going high-tech. As many as 44,705 classrooms from Classes 8 to 12 in 4,752 schools have been provided with laptop, multimedia projector, DSLR camera, speaker, television, and so on.
  • An amount of Rs. 1 lakh is being spent on each smart classroom. Classrooms for Classes 1 to 7 in 9,941 schools would become high-tech soon, a statement from Mr. Philip said.

 

33) Answer: D

  • The US First Lady Melania Trump to visit a Delhi government school, where she will attend a happiness curriculum class.
  • The Happiness curriculum is one of the flagship schemes of the Delhi government in the education sector launched in July 2018 in all government schools.

The objectives of this curriculum include,

  1. To instil self-awareness.
  2. To stimulate good mental health, character, and resilience.
  3. To improve cognitive ability of the students.
  4. This would reduce anxiety, depression, and intolerance among students.
  5. The curriculum also prepares the students to face challenges and find solution to the social problems.
  • The curriculum is designed for students of classes nursery through the eighth standard.

 

34) Answer: C

  • National Science Day (NSD) will be celebrated at Vigyan Bhawan on February 28 with “women in science” as the focal theme of the programme.
  • A total of 21 awards will be given which will include National Science and Technology and Communication Awards, Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research (AWSAR) awards, SERB Women Excellence Awards and National Award for Young Woman Showing Excellence Through Application Of Technology For Societal Benefits.

Background of NSD:

  • National Science Day (NSD) is celebrated every year on 28 February to commemorate the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’.
  • Government of India designated 28 February as National Science Day (NSD) in 1986.
  • On this day, Sir C.V. Raman announced the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’ for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1930.
  • On this occasion, theme-based science communication activities are carried out all over the country.
  • National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC), Department of Science and Technology (DST) acts as a nodal agency to support, catalyse and coordinate celebration of the National Science Day throughout the country.

 

35) Answer: C

  • Sampriti – Bangladesh
  • Indradhanush – U.K

 

36) Answer: D

  • Scientists discovered the first animal that doesn’t need oxygen to live.
  • According to the researchers, as the organism evolved, it gave up breathing and stopped the consumption of oxygen for the production of energy, which means it relies on anaerobic respiration (through which cells extract energy without using oxygen).
  • It is a relative of jellyfish and corals.

 

37) Answer: A

  • The first-ever 2 days long Bharat-Bangla Paryatan Utsav was recently begins in Agartala, Tripura.
  • The aim of the festival is to promote tourism in Tripura and apprise the people of the state and neighbouring Bangladesh of the tourist destinations in this state.
  • The State Tourism Department has organized the festival in memories of the contribution of Tripura in 1971 Bangladesh liberation war as well as giving a fillip to the Tripura tourism sector.
  • The states through cultural tourism, health tourism particularly tightening the relationship between two nations.

 

38) Answer: C

  • The 15th Finance Commission has recently constituted a High-Level Expert Group on Agriculture Exports.
  • The expert group will be chaired by Sanjiv Puri, Chairman and Managing Director, ITC.
  • It is mandated to recommend measurable performance incentives for States to encourage agriculture exports as well as to promote crops to enable high import substitution.

 

39) Answer: D

  • The Union Ministry for Human Resource Development has recently launched Higher Education Leadership Development Programme for
  • Administrator’– a joint initiative of UGC and British Council under the auspices of UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI), which aims to deliver a leadership development programme for middle and senior level administrative functionaries in Indian Universities. Implementation
  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) will conduct this programme in collaboration with Advance HE as the training partner with globally recognized institutional expertise and leadership excellence from the UK, which is being enabled by the British Council in India.

 

40) Answer: A

  • Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) has recently launched the – Market Intelligence and Early Warning System (MIEWS) Web Portal.
  • The MIEWS Dashboard and Portal is a ‘first-of-its-kind’ platform for ‘real time monitoring’ of prices of tomato, onion and potato (TOP) and for simultaneously generating alerts for intervention under the terms of the Operation Greens (OG) scheme.
  • The portal would disseminate all relevant information related to TOP crops such as Prices and Arrivals, Area, Yield and Production, Imports and Exports, Crop Calendars, Crop Agronomy, etc in an easy to use visual format.
  • This portal is a novel initiative of Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) leveraging IT tools and furthering the goals of Digital India.
  • The portal was developed by National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED).

 

41) Answer: C

  • Recently, Ashok Dalwai said that Government on track to doubling farmers’ income.
  • The DFI (doubling farmers’ income) strategy timeframe is from 2016 to 2022.
  • The committee is headed by Ashok Dalwai, Additional secretary, Union Agriculture Ministry.
  • Its members will include officials from Agriculture and Food Ministries, experts from the Delhi-based National Council of Applied Economic Research and National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research.
  • The Report on Doubling Farmers’ Income (DFI) is documented in fourteen volumes.
  • The Committee focuses on seven major sources of growth, operating within and outside the agriculture sector.

 

42) Answer: D

  • North East Sustainable Development Goals Conclave 2020 commenced on 24th February 2020, at the Assam Administrative Staff College, Guwahati with the goal of identifying solutions as well as accelerators for the implementation of SDGs in the North Eastern Region (NER).
  • The 3-day Conclave is being organized by NITI Aayog, in partnership with the North Eastern Council, of Assam and Tata Trust, the conclave is supported by UNDP and RIS.

 

43) Answer: A

  • Bhratiya Adim Jati Sevak Sangh is a National Level Voluntary Organisation constituted on 24th October, 1948 by Pujya Thakkar Bapa, well known dedicated social worker of the Servants of India Society.
  • Being close associate, Mahatma Gandhi inspired him to work for removal of deep-rooted poverty of tribal’s while giving service to untouchables.
  • In formulation of the Sangh, he got active participation of other eminent national level social workers and leaders.
  • The first President of the Sangh was Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India who continued as President till he is alive.

 

44) Answer: A

  • The State of India’s Birds (SoIB) Report 2020, a new scientific report on bird species was released recently.

This report was produced as a partnership between the 10 organisations shown here:

  1. Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE)
  2. Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS)
  3. Foundation for ecological Security (FES)
  4. Nature Conservation Foundation
  5. National Biodiversity Authority (NBA)
  6. National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS)
  7. Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON)
  8. Wetlands International
  9. Wildlife Institute of India (WII)
  10. World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

 

45) Answer: A

  • With US President on his maiden visit to India, the two countries are expected to have discussed the Blue Dot Network, a proposal that will certify infrastructure and development projects.
  • Led by the US’s International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the Blue Dot network was jointly launched by the US, Japan (Japanese Bank for International Cooperation) and Australia (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) in November 2019 on the side-lines of the 35th ASEAN Summit in Thailand.
  • It is meant to be a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to bring governments, the private sector and civil society together to promote “high quality, trusted standards for global infrastructure development”.
  • The projects that are approved will get a “Blue Dot”, thereby setting universal standards of excellence, which will attract private capital to projects in developing and emerging economies.
  • The proposal for the Blue Dot network is part of the US’s Indo-Pacific strategy, which is aimed at countering Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambitious BRI.

 

46) Answer: D

  • A humanitarian crisis is unfolding in northern Syria after the government’s attempt to take back the opposition-held city of Idlib.
  • Idlib is a city in north-western
  • The area is the country’s last rebel-controlled stronghold and the Syrian government’s military campaign there, backed by Russia, has created a humanitarian catastrophe with nearly 1 million people displaced.
  • Most of them are now crowding areas close to the border with Turkey, living in camps, shelters, abandoned homes and in open fields.
  • It is the largest single displacement of Syria’s war, now in its ninth year.
  • Tensions have been running high between Turkey and Russia, which support opposing sides of the war in Syria.

 

47) Answer: C

  • India accounts for two-thirds of the world’s most polluted cities, 21 of the most polluted 30 cities; 14 of the highest 20; and 6 of the highest 10, in the 2019 World Air Quality Report released by the pollution tracker IQAir and
  • The ranking is based on a comparison of 5 levels.
  • Among countries, when population is taken into account, average PM2.5 pollution is highest in Bangladesh, followed by Pakistan, while India is at number 5.
  • While cities in India, on average, exceed the WHO target for annual PM2.5 exposure by 500%, national air pollution decreased by 20% from 2018 to 2019, with 98% of cities experiencing improvements.
  • These improvements are believed to be largely a result of economic slowdown, according to IQAir.

 

48) Answer: D

  • The National Institute of Technology (NIT), Trichy, Tamil Nadu has developed Thirumathikart – a mobile app for SHG (Self Help Group) products.
  • The application was developed in coordination with the Union Department of Science and Technology.
  • The main objective of the app is to empower women and help them access market opportunities in a seamless manner.

 

49) Answer: C

  • Recently, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution announced that, Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) will be established by the first week of April.
  • The authority is being constituted under Section 10(1) of The Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
  • The new Act recognises offences such as providing false information regarding the quality or quantity of a good or service, and misleading advertisement.
  • It also specifies action to be taken if goods and services are found “dangerous, hazardous or unsafe”.
  • The CCPA, introduced in the new Act, aims to protect the rights of the consumer by cracking down on unfair trade practices, and false and misleading advertisements that are detrimental to the interests of the public and consumers.
  • The CCPA will have the powers to inquire or investigate into matters relating to violations of consumer rights or unfair trade practices suo motu, or on a complaint received, or on a direction from the central government.

 

50) Answer: A

  • Six Indian Supreme Court judges have reportedly fallen ill with the Influenza A(H1N1).
  • Swine flu is a respiratory disease caused by a new strain of influenza virus.
  • It a communicable viral disease which is common in pigs.
  • Sometimes, people who are closely associated with pigs or in the proximity of pigs have developed swine flu.
  • The influenza viruses are classified into types A, B and C on the basis of their core proteins.
  • Only types A and B cause human disease of any concern.
  • Humans are generally infected by viruses of the subtypes H1, H2 or H3, and N1 or N2. Answer: A
  • Six Indian Supreme Court judges have reportedly fallen ill with the Influenza A(H1N1).
  • Swine flu is a respiratory disease caused by a new strain of influenza virus.
  • It a communicable viral disease which is common in pigs.
  • Sometimes, people who are closely associated with pigs or in the proximity of pigs have developed swine flu.
  • The influenza viruses are classified into types A, B and C on the basis of their core proteins.
  • Only types A and B cause human disease of any concern.
  • Humans are generally infected by viruses of the subtypes H1, H2 or H3, and N1 or N2.