Prelims Objective Practices Questions
(I.) King Cobra is the only snake that makes its own nest. Why does it make its nest? (2010)
(a) It is snake-eater and the nest helps attract other snakes
(b) It is a viviparous snake and needs a nest to give birth to its offspring
(c) It is an oviparous snake and lays its eggs in the nest and guards the nest until they are hatched
(d) It is large, cold blooded animal and needs a nest to hibernate in the cold season
(II.) Which of the following are venomous snakes in India?
A.) Indian Cobra
B.) Common Trinket Snake
C.) Saw scaled Viper
D.) Common Krait
*// The correct options are – Indian Cobra, Saw scaled Viper, Common Krait
*// There are four big snake species in India which are venomous.
They are :- Indian Cobra, Russell’s Viper, Saw scaled Viper, Common Krait
Prelims Specific Facts
NEWS-1 Prestigious J.C. Daniel Award for filmmaker K.P. Kumaran
- Filmmaker K.P. Kumaran has been chosen for the prestigious J.C. Daniel Award for 2021. The award, conferred by the Kerala government annually in recognition of an individual’s contributions to Malayalam cinema, carries a purse of ₹5 lakh, a statuette, and a citation. State Minister for Cultural Affairs V.N. Vasavan announced the award here on Saturday.
NEWS-2 Green Pit Vipers
- The green pit viper may not be more lethal than Russell’s viper, the saw-scaled viper, the spectacled cobra or the common krait. But what it injects from its poison glands often renders the polyvalent antivenom derived from the venom of the other four ineffective.
- The monocled cobra, the banded krait, the lesser black krait, the great black krait, the mountain pit viper and the redneck keelback are among 15 venomous snakes out of 64 recorded so far across Northeast India. Most of the snakebite cases in the region involve different species of the green pit viper, making up the other venomous snakes.
- Internal bleeding The hemotoxic venom a green pit viper injects prevents the blood in the body of a bitten person from clotting, leading to internal bleeding.
- Venoms across these species and subspecies are extremely diverse, citing the example of the monocled cobra from West Bengal whose venom contained mostly neurotoxins while the same species from Arunachal Pradesh had cytotoxins in its venom.
- Neurotoxin is a poison that acts on the nervous system. Cytotoxins kill the Cells in a body.
NEWS-3 The intellectual troika that helped understand heredity
- We are celebrating the 200th birth anniversary of Gregor Johann Mendel and Sir Francis Galton this year. Mendel was born on July 20, 1822; Galton on February 16. Both men sought to understand heredity, transmission of characteristics from parents to children. Galton was Charles Darwin’s half-cousin; they shared a common grandpa rent, Erasmus Darwin.
- Galton was a polymath; an explorer, a geographer, a meteorologist, a psychologist and a statistician. And so was Charles Darwin; a naturalist, a geologist, a tireless walker, a brave adventurer and the originator of the theory of evolution by natural selection. Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859, which as Galton has said “gave me freedom of thought”.
- Darwin had used fancy pigeons to illustrate how natural selection might work. This sparked Galton’s interest in whether humans can be improved through selective breeding.
- Galton then collected and analysed family-trees of well known statesmen, judges, poets, painters, musicians, military commanders, etc. His basic tenet was that if ta lent and character were inherited, the closest male relatives of a distinguished man (say, a son or father) would be more likely to be talented than those farther removed (e.g., an uncle or a nephew).
- He published his findings in the book, Hereditary Genius in 1869. The word ‘genius’ was used to denote high level of talent or ability. Galton propounded the ‘Law of Ancestral Heredity. He suggest ed that hereditary qualities were embedded in the reproductive organs and the germplasm, which were passed on from one generation to the next.
- Mendel propounded that information on “traits” gets passed on from one generation to another as particulate ‘elements’ and traits in the present generation can be traced back to past generations.
- Indeed, it is difficult to conceive that continuous characteristic such as height can be controlled by transmissible particulate elements. It was the genius of Ronald A. Fisher – the father of modern statistical science – that created a synthesis showing, in 1918, that inheritance of continuous variation can be explained by Mendelian particulate inheritance.
NEWS-4 What are the Supreme Court’s directives on grant of bail? Why does it recommend a separate Bail Act ?
- The Supreme Court urged the Centre to bring a new law to simplify and streamline the process of bail, referring to the Bail Act of the U.K. There is a “pressing need” to reform bail laws considering the “abysmally low” conviction rate. Stating that such detentions reflect a colonial mindset and create the impression of a “police state”, the apex court issued directions to courts and investigation agencies to prevent “unnecessary” arrests.
- What is the present law?
- Bail is governed by provisions in the CrPC Offenses are categorised as bailable and non-bailable. Under Section 436, bail is right in bailable offences and the police or court is bound to release the accused following the furnishing of a bail bond, with or without surety. For a non-bailable offence, an accused cannot claim bail as a right. The discretion lies with the courts.
- Section 437 sets out the circumstances in which courts can grant bail for non-bailable offences. Provision mandates the court to consider granting bail to an accused below 16 years, someone who is sick, or is a woman.
- What are some of the guidelines from the Court?
- Stressing the need to ensure due procedure for arrests and a time limit for disposal of bail pleas, the Court asked the Centre to consider introducing a “Bail Act”. Bail pleas have to be disposed of within two weeks except when provisions mandate otherwise. A plea for anticipatory bail has to be decided within six weeks.
- Investigating agencies and officers have to comply with Sections 41 and 41A, it said, adding that action will follow any dereliction of duty. It ruled that non-compliance with Sections 41 and 41A at the time of arrest will entitle the accused to bail. Section 41 deals with arrest in a cognisable offence where punishment is imprisonment for a term which may be less than seven years. Section 41A relates to a notice of appearance before a policeman in cases where the arrest is not required. Notably, a police officer is required to record reasons for arresting or not arresting the person.
- The Bench directed State Governments and Union Territories to facilitate standing orders for the procedure to be followed under Sections 41 and 41A to avoid unwarranted arrests. It directed high courts to identify undertrials who are unable to comply with bail conditions and take action to facilitate their release.
- Whats is the U.K. law on bail?
- In the United Kingdom, the Bail Act of 1976 governs the procedure for granting or denying bail. It recognises a “general right” to bail and aims to reduce the number of inmates to prevent clogging of jails. It says an accused should be granted bail unless there is a justified reason to refuse it. Bail can be rejected if the court finds substantial grounds for believing that the defendant will fail to surrender, commit an offence, or interfere with witnesses if released on bail. The court has to give reasons in case it withholds or alters bail conditions.
- Coinciding with the World Population Day on July 11, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, released the World Population Prospects 2022, an estimate on likely trends in global population. The global population, which stood at almost 7.9 billion in 2021, is projected to reach 8 billion on November 15, 2022, the report underlines, with India expected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country in 2023.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday issued a circular that detailed ‘additional arrangement’ for invoicing, payment, and settlement of exports and imports in Indian rupees. Under this mechanism, Indian importers could make payment in rupees to the Special Vostro account of the correspondent bank of the partner country, against invoices for the supply of goods or services from the overseas seller. Indian exporters shall be paid proceeds in rupees from the balances in the designated vostro account of the correspondent bank of the partner country.
- Vostro accounts have been around for a while. They were likely not widely used because exporters typically prefer settlements in a strong and stable currency.
- The euro and the U.S. dollar reached parity on Tuesday, meaning one dollar could buy one euro in the foreign exchange market. For over two decades, it took more than one U.S. dollar to purchase one euro. Just a year ago it took about 1.2 U.S. dollars to purchase one euro. Since the beginning of the year the euro has lost about 12% against the U.S. dollar and it is expected to lose more value going forward.
- What determines a currency’s exchange rate?
- The price of any currency in a market economy is deter mined by supply and demand.
- The supply of a country’s currency in the foreign ex change market is determined by various factors such as central bank policy and the local demand for imports and foreign assets.
- The demand for a country’s currency, on the other hand, is determined by factors such as central bank policy and the foreign demand for exports and domestic assets.
- Why has the euro fallen against the U.S. Dollar?
- Analysts believe that the divergence in the monetary policies of the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank is the primary reason behind the euro’s significant depreciation against the U.S. dollar. In response to the economic crisis caused by lockdowns imposed to fight the coronavirus pandemic, both the Federal Reserve and the ECB expanded their balance sheets to boost spending. But this soon led to a rise in prices. Inflation in the U.S. hit a four-decade high of 9.1% in June while inflation in the Eurozone reached its highest-ever level of 8.6% during the same month. The U.S. Federal Reserve responded to the rising prices by raising the interest rates this year in order to slow down U.S. money supply growth. The ECB, however, has been far less aggressive in tightening policy even though the inflation rate is as high as 22% in some European countries. This has caused the value of the euro to slide against the dollar as currency traders witness, or at least expect, the supply of euros in the market rising relative to the supply of dollars.
- The value of euro has been affected by the uncertainty in energy supplies in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing actions against Russia. Europe now has to shell out more euros to import limited energy sup plies, which in turn has adversely affected the value of the euro against the U.S. dollar.
- As the U.S. Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates, this is likely to exert further downward pressure on the euro. The ECB may be forced to raise interest rates to slow down money supply growth in the Eurozone in order to prop up the value of the euro. But this is likely to lead to a slowdown in growth in the Eurozone – 19 countries use the currency – as its economy will have to readjust to tight er monetary conditions.