Prelims Objective Practices Questions
(I.) Consider the following statements regarding Parasitism.
1. Parasitism occurs when two organisms interact, but while one benefits, the other experiences harm.
2. Tapeworm attaching itself to the intestine of a cow is an example of Parasitism.
3. The parasite always kill the host.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
a.) 1, 2
b.) 1, 3
c.) 1 only
d.) 2, 3
(II.) Which of the following were advocated by the Bhakti movement?
1. Annihilation of the age-old caste system.
2. There is God in every human being.
3. Conceptual erudition.
Select the correct answer code:
a.) 1 only
b.) 1, 2
c.) 1, 3
d.) 2, 3
(III.) The ‘Primary Deficit’ in the annual budget documents of the Government of India refer to-
a.) Difference between budgetary deficit and capital deficit of the present financial year
b.) Difference between revenue deficit of the current year and grants for capital creation
c.) Difference between fiscal deficit of the current year and interest payments on the previous borrowings
d.) Difference between revenue deficit of the present financial year and grants to states and local bodies
CSAT Question of the Day :-
1. In the first 10 overs of a cricket game, the run rate was only 3.2. What should be the run rate in the remaining 40 overs to reach the target of 282 runs?
Question of the Day
Ques- What is Human Resource Development ? What should be done in India to tap the benefit of Demographic dividend?.
Prelims Specific Facts
- Government has been linking major tourist destinations with the handicraft clusters and infrastructure supports, as a part of “Linking Textile with Tourism” initiative. With respect to this, 8 craft villages have already been set up for overall development of villages. In these villages craft promotion and tourism are being taken forward.
- Craft villages have been set up in;
- Raghurajpur (Odisha)
- Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh)
- Vadaj (Gujarat)
- Naini (Uttar Pradesh)
- Anegundi (Karnataka)
- Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu)
- Taj Ganj (Uttar Pradesh), and
- Amer (Rajasthan)
- These Craft Village will promote handicrafts as workable and moneymaking livelihood option for artisans in clusters. This will safeguard the rich artisanal heritage of India. Craft village initiative will benefit around 1000 artisans across India. Programme has also increased the inflow of tourist across these Craft Villages.
- On July 29, 2022, Planet Earth made rotation on its axis in less than 24 hours. Reports are suggesting that, it is spinning faster. On July 29, it broke its own record for shortest day, by completing the rotation in less than 1.59 milliseconds. As a result of this, day on earth was shorter by 1.59 milliseconds, than usual 24-hour day.
- Earlier, the shortest day on Earth was recorded on July 19, 2020 since the 1960s. In 2020, Earth’s rotation was shorter by 1.47 milliseconds, than the usual 24-hour day.
- Causes of faster rotation:–
- Answer to why the planet is rotating at a faster speed is not yet known.
- However, as per some scientists less weight on the poles due to melting of glaciers, is the cause of faster spin.
- On the other hand, others suggest that, molten core of earth’s interior is moving over time.
- Seismic activity could also be responsible for faster rotation.
- The 3rd Edition of Ex VINBAX 2022 is set to conducted on August 1 and August 2, 2022. Ex VINBAX is Bilateral Army Exercise between India and Vietnam. It will be conducted Chandimandir. Highlights of EX VINBAX 2022: The exercise is a follow-up to last bilateral exercise, that conducted in Vietnam in 2019.
- Reliance Industries (RIL) has partnered with Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to set up first-ever India House at Paris Olympics 2024. RIL-IOA partnership is directed towards elevation of performances of Indian athletes. They will also extend support to national sports federations.
- U.S. House Speaker and veteran Democratic politician Nancy Pelosi arrived in Tai pei on Tuesday evening, marking the most high-level political visit from the U.S. to Taiwan in 25 years.
- China condemned the vi sit as “a major political pro vocation”, and said it would launch “targeted military operations” as countermeasures, even as Beijing on Tuesday scrambled Su-35 fighters across the median of the Taiwan Strait in a show of force, placed restrictions on several Taiwanese exporters, and announced live-fire drills to be held in six regions near the island of Taiwan.
- Al-Qaeda chief killed in U.S. strike in Kabul.
NEWS-7 Architect of National Flag honoured in A.P.
- Rallies, public meetings and photo exhibitions marked the 146th birth anniversary celebrations of Pingali Venkayya, the architect of the National Flag, across Andhra Pradesh.
- Programmes were lined up for the celebrations organised as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
- Appearing before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana, the petitioners have questioned the legality of amendments made to the Central Vigi lance Commission (CVC) Act by way of promulgation of an Ordinance last November. This Ordinance, which allows extensions up to five years for the ED Director, paved the way for the government to stretch Mr. Mishra’s tenure by a year till November.
- The Ordinance, which became an Act in December, was promulgated within days of a Supreme Court order bar ring any further extensions to Mr. Mishra, the petitioners contended.
- ‘Piecemeal extensions’ “Piecemeal extensions of tenure like this takes away the fixity of tenure, which is the hallmark of independence,”.
- The Bench about the selection process for the ED Director, he submitted that the selection committee was composed entirely of members of the executive without any “external” authorities like the Chief Justice of India as in the case of the selection of the CBI Director. “
- The Maldives on Tuesday signed a cybersecurity agreement with India as both sides affirmed bilateral will to strengthen ties to take on “transnational crimes and terrorism” in the Indian Oceanegion.
- “The MoU signed today on cybersecurity aims to promote closer cooperation and exchange of information pertaining to cybersecurity in accordance to our domes tic laws, rules and regulation and based on equality, reciprocity and mutual benefit.
- The Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP) that would include a 6.74-km bridge and the causeway linking capital Male with the neighbouring islands. The $500-million project is being financed by India.
- The key thrust of the Bill is to make Indian law compatible with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). There were 50 amendments to the Act proposed in the Bill. CITES was signed in Washington D.C. on March 3, 1973, and later amended in 1979 to trade plant and animal specimens with other governments, without threatening the survival of the species.
- The bill aims to implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and expand the number of species protected by the convention. CITES is a convention that requires countries to regulate the trade of all listed specimens through permits and regulate the possession of live animal specimens so it does not threaten the survival of the species.
- The previous Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 had six schedules for specially protected plants (one), specially protected animals (four), and one vermin species (small animals that carry disease and destroy food). The amended bill reduces the total number of schedules to four by eliminating the schedule for vermin species and reducing the number of schedules for specially protected animals to two. It also inserts a new schedule for specimens listed under CITES.
- The Bill provides for the central government to designate an authority which grants export or import licences for the trading in specimens. Anyone who trades in a scheduled specimen must inform the appropriate authority of the transaction’s specifics.
- The authority may use an identification mark for a specimen which, the bill, prohibits any person from removing or modifying. Additionally, people possessing live specimens of scheduled animals must obtain a registration certificate from the Management Authority. The Bill gives the government the authority to control or outlaw the import, trade, and possession of invasive alien species, or those that are not indigenous to India.
- The bill increases the penalty for violations of the provisions of the bill. Under the 1972 act, the general fine was up to ₹25,000 which has been increased to ₹1,00,000. For violating the provisions meant for specially protected animals, the previous fine was up to ₹10,000 and now has been increased to at least ₹25,000.
- Additionally, the bill provides for any person to voluntarily surrender any captive animals or animal products for which no compensation will be awarded and the items will become the property of the state government.
- The bill will also ensure greater control and regulation of wildlife sanctuaries and empower the government to notify a conservation reserve, an area located next to sanctuaries or national parks to protect the flora and fauna.
- New START is a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation with the formal name of Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. It was signed on 8 April 2010 in Prague, and, after ratification, entered into force on 5 February 2011.
- New START treaty after it expires in 2026.
- Just days before the New START was due to expire in February 2021, Russia and the United States agreed to extend it for another five years.
- The treaty, signed in 2010 by President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear war heads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers, envisage sweeping on-site inspections to verify compliance.
NEWS-12 Fantastic feat by Indian women “First ever lawn bowls gold“
- Matches are played on a Lawn Bowls Green within a ‘rink’ area – there are usually six rinks per green. The match begins with a coin toss, giving one competitor the option to roll a small ball called the ‘jack’ at least 23 meters down the green. Competitors take turns bowling, aiming to ensure they are closer to the jack than any of those of their opponents. Points are awarded for each bowl that is closest to the jack.
- In singles competition, the first to score 21 points will win, whereas in pairs, triples, and fours competitions, the team that has amassed the most points in total will secure the victory.
- FORMAT AND RULES
- Lawn Bowls is played in three formats essentially — singles, doubles and fours, depending on the number of individuals pitted against each other. The player/team which manages to place its balls closer to the stationary target, called ‘The Jack’, are awarded the points.
- The number of points awarded is determined by the number of bowls a team has managed to place closer to the ‘Jack’ compared to its opponent. For example: If team A places two bowls closer to ‘the Jack’ compared to team B’s closest bowls, it will win two points in the end. In case team A had managed to place three bowls closer to the target than team B’s closest bowls, it would have been awarded three points.
Editorial of the Day
Making sense of the ‘freebies’ issue
- The discussion on the demerits of ‘freebies’ distributed to the public as a result of election promises is not new in India. However, there is often confusion on what constitutes ‘freebies’, with a number of services that the Government provides to meet its constitutional obligations towards citizens also being clubbed in this category.
- In such discussions, ‘freebies’ not only include the free distribution of what may be considered ‘club goods’ such as televisions and gold chains but also welfare schemes such as free or subsidised rations under the Public Distribution System (PDS), cooked meals under the mid-day meal scheme, supplementary nutrition through anganwadis, and work provided through the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
- Foodgrain distribution
- But can these expenditures by the Government be considered ‘freebies’, as many commentators seem to do? For instance, is the distribution of free foodgrain during a pandemic that devastated lives and livelihoods at a time when godowns of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) had over 100 million tonnes of rice and wheat a ‘freebie’?
- A number of other schemes such as old age, single women and disabled pensions, community kitchens in urban areas, free uniforms and textbooks for children in government schools, and free health-care services play a critical role in providing social security and access to basic entitlements in our country.
- In any case, how does one de fine a ‘freebie’? Around 1 lakh crore is the revenue forgone annually as a result of ‘major tax incentives for corporate tax payers’. Putting together all tax exemptions and concessions, including on foreign trade and personal in come taxes, the revenue forgone each year is over 5 lakh crore. Corporate tax rates have been reducing and Budget documents show that in 2019-20, the effective tax rate (tax-to-profit ratio) declined as profits increased. However, one does not see much pressure for a justification for these concessions in mainstream discussions. The fact that small amounts given to the poor by a system that has mostly failed them are called ‘freebies’, while the freebies that the rich get all the time through low tax rates and exemptions are ‘incentives’ is nothing but a reflection of the nature of democracy in our country.
A turning point in crypto regulation, led by Europe
- This June, amid all the attention over inflation and the related capital market turmoil, the European Parliament and Council, the legislative arms of the European Union, came to a provisional agreement on long-awaited regulations on crypto, namely, the Regulation of Markets in Crypto-Assets, or MICA.
- The European market is second to the United States economically and behind Asia in terms of the number of Internet users. Yet, Europe is the global yardstick on technology regulations. The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, first published in 2016 and implemented in 2018, marked a turning point on consumer data protection and privacy not just in Europe but the world over.
- The GDPR introduced a frame work for seeking user consent and introduced several progressive rules such as the right to forget. The Supreme Court of India has al so held that the right to privacy is a fundamental right and an integral part of the right to life and liberty.
- It proposes to regulate crypto as set services and crypto asset issuers. By regulating these entities, Europe intends to provide consumer protection, transparency, and governance standards, regardless of the decentralised nature of the technology.
- For instance, under MICA, crypto asset service providers will be liable in case they lose investors’ assets, and will be subject to European market-abuse regulations, including those on market manipulation and insider trading.
- Then, MICA goes further to put forth specific regulations for stablecoins, rightly demarcating them from other crypto assets. Under the proposed rules, issuers of stablecoins – asset-referenced to kens is the term it uses – are subject to a greater degree of compliance and declaration. MICA, stable coin issuers must maintain reserves to cover all claims of the coins, and should implement a process for immediate redemption if and when holders seek one.
- This is significant. The recent col lapse of TerraUSD, an algorithmic stablecoin that had no adequate reserve and relied mainly on the demand-and-supply balance with its sister coin, Luna, had caused significant losses to retail and institutional investors. If the laws Europe proposes were in effect, TerraUSD issuers would have had to maintain 1:1 reserve, which would have prevented the bank run that roiled the crypto market.
- To be clear, Europe still has some distance to cover to implement these proposed rules. But like the GDPR did for data protection, Europe has shown the way forward to regulate crypto in a manner that enables responsible businesses and protects users. It would not be too long for other nations to follow suit.
Explainer of the Day
Recalling India’s Antarctica activities
- It is an important step forward in our engagement with the continent which began way back in February 1956. It was then, at the instance of Jawaharlal Nehru and V.K. Krishna Menon, that India be came the first country in the world to request for an item on the agenda of the eleventh United Nations General Assembly entitled “The Question of Antarctica” to ‘ensure that the vast areas and its resources were used entirely for peaceful purposes and for general welfare’.
- Twelve countries who believed that they had a direct stake in Antarctica started discussions among themselves and on December 1, 1959 the Antarctica Treaty was signed in Washington DC.
- Not surprisingly, since its moves at the UN had irked a number of countries including the USSR, India was neither involved nor invited.
- But the morning of January 9, 1982, transformed the international dis course when news of India’s first Antarctic expedition reaching its destination not only electrified India but stunned the world. Operation Gangotri,.
- The Prime Minister was well aware of the political impact a successful Indian expedition would have since India was not a member of the Antarctic Treaty and no other Asian country, including China, had a presence there. Rather tellingly and reflective of the mindset of members of the Treaty, the well-known British science magazine New Scientist, some days later, reported India’s expedition under the headline ‘Indians quietly invade Antarctica’.
- India finally become a member of the Antarctic Treaty in August 1983 and China followed in 1985. Today the Treaty has 46 member and has a Convention on Marine Living Resources and a Protocol on Environmental Protection as well.
- 1984 saw two more striking Indian achievements: its first Antarctic team started wintering there from March 1, 1984 and a few months afterwards an unmanned Antarctic research base – named by the Prime Minister a few months before her assassination as Dakshin Gangotri – was established.
- Maitri in 1988 and Bharati in 2012. Forty expeditions to the continent have taken place.
- The Bill passed by Parliament has been under discussion in the government for over five years at least. It is largely administrative in nature but nonetheless is a milestone. It provides a detailed legal framework for India’s Antarctic activities that is consistent with its international treaty obligations.
- The issue of a polar research vessel, however, still needs to be ad dressed immediately. So far, India has been chartering such ships from countries like Russia and Norway while China has two of its own. Of late, chartering has been presenting its own difficulties. A decision was in deed taken in October 2014 for India to have its own research ship with ice-breaking and other advanced technological capabilities but it re mains unimplemented.
- The acquisition of a vessel on a permanent basis is a logical next step to the passage of the Bill as also the revamp of the quite old Maitri research station.
- Its re search station there called Himadri was inaugurated in July 2008 and five years later India got observer status at the eight-country Arctic Council.
- The Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, also known as the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, and CCA MLR, is part of the Antarctic Treaty System.
- The convention was opened for signature on 1 August 1980 and entered into force on 7 April 1982 by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, headquartered in Tasmania, Australia. The goal is to preserve marine life and environmental integrity in and near Antarctica.
- It was established in large part to concerns that an increase in krill catches in the Southern Ocean could have a serious impact on populations of other marine life which are dependent upon krill for food.
- In 1989, CCAMLR set up the Ecosystem Monitoring Program (CEMP) to further monitor the effects of fishing and harvesting of species in the area.
Has bail under PMLA become near impossible?
- The Supreme Court in the case of Vijay Madanlal Chaudhary vs Union of India gave the judicial stamp of approval to the twin conditions of bail under Section 45(1) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA). The conditions were contested as being arbitrary and draconian in as much as they reverse the presumption of innocence at the stage of bail. The judgment is of immense importance given that delay or denial in grant of bail was recently identified by the Supreme Court in the case of Satender Kumar Antil vs CBI as being a leading factor in the perpetration of injustice in our criminal justice system.
- Section 45(1) of the PMLA requires that before a person is released on bail or bond, the public prosecutor must initially be given an opportunity to oppose the application and secondly, when the application is opposed, the court must be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty of the offence and is not likely to commit any crime while out on bail.
- A similar provision is provided for in Section 43D(5) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 which requires the court to provide an opportunity to the public prosecutor to oppose the bail application and to not release the accused on bail if there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accusation is prima facie true. Section 37(1) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 too is in parimateria with Section 45(1) of the PMLA. Previously, Section 20(8) of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act, 1987 (TADA) also carried similar conditions for grant of bail.
- Section 45(1) was amended vide Act 13 of 2018 and the revised section made the twin conditions for grant of bail applicable to all offences under the PMLA. This amended section was again challenged before the Supreme Court in the recent Vijay Madanlal case.
- Tokenism is the act of doing something in order to show that a person/company is including people from minority or marginalised groups, but without sincerity and without showing an intent to increase diversity and promote inclusivity.
- Tokenistic acts can be dangerous and counter-productive for the tokens. One, they do not change prejudices about the community and secondly they don’t contribute to diversity, for diversity is more than just mere representation.
- Tokenism can be felt at the individual level, the institutional level and at the systemic level. Unless there are efforts, at all three levels, true diversity and inclusivity will remain a myth.
- One, they do not change prejudices about the community in question; on the contrary, they may, in fact, only reaffirm them – for example, if a black man in a film dominated by white men and women is depicted as brutish and hypersexual. Two, they don’t contribute to diversity, for diversity is more than just mere representation. For instance, if a woman is hired at a male-dominated workplace but her ideas or inputs are not considered, this defeats the purpose of hiring her so that the company can have views.