Daily Current Affairs MCQ - January 17, 2021


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QUESTION: 1

With reference to the SWITCH UAV, consider the following statements:
1. SWITCH UAV is an indigenous system built to cater to the most demanding surveillance operations of the Indian forces.
2. The Indian Army has recently signed a $20-million contract with ideaForge, a player in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology, to procure unknown quantities of a high-altitude variant of SWITCH UAV.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

Solution:

The Indian Army has signed a $20-million contract with ideaForge, a player in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology, to procure undisclosed quantities of a high-altitude variant of SWITCH UAV.

  • SWITCH UAV is an indigenous system built to cater to the most demanding surveillance operations of the Indian forces.
  • This fixed-wing vertical take-off and landing UAV can be deployed at high altitudes and under harsh environments for day and night surveillance, ideaForge said in a statement.
QUESTION: 2

With reference to India's culture and tradition, what is 'Kalaripayattu'?

Solution:

Kalaripayattu, considered the oldest surviving martial art of the country, with a legacy of more than 3,000 years, is set to see a surge in popularity with the establishment of an academy in the Kerala capital.

  • Lessons in one of the most famous combat styles in the world will now be taught at Kerala Tourism’s Vellar Crafts Village en route to Kovalam.
  • The 3,500 sq ft academy in the village is scheduled to be completed in two months.
  • Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan released the syllabus of the Kalaripayattu Academy on January 16 during the inauguration of the renovated Crafts Village.
  • Kalaripayattu also known as Kalari, is an Indian martial art and fighting style that originated in Kerala.
  • It is considered to be among the oldest martial arts still in existence, with its origin dating back to at least the 3rd century BC.
  • Kalaripayattu includes strikes, kicks, grappling, preset forms, weaponry and healing methods. Practitioners of Kalaripayattu also possess intricate knowledge of pressure points on the human body and healing techniques that incorporate the knowledge of Ayurveda and Yoga.
  • Unlike other parts of India, warriors in Kerala belonged to all castes. Women in Keralite society also underwent training in Kalaripayattu, and still do so to this day.
QUESTION: 3

What is Mukundpura CM2?        

Solution:

A new study by Geological Survey of India, Kolkata has shed light on the mineralogy of the meteorite which fell in 2017 in Mukundpur village near Jaipur.

  • The meteorite named Mukundpura CM2 was classified to be a carbonaceous chondrite. The composition of carbonaceous chondrites are also similar to the Sun.
  • This is a type of stony meteorite, considered the most primitive meteorite and a remnant of the first solid bodies to accrete in the solar system.
  • Meteorites are broadly classified into three groups – stony (silicate-rich), iron (Fe–Ni alloy), and stony-iron (mixed silicate–iron alloy). Chondrites are silicate-droplet-bearing meteorites, and this Mukundpura chondrite is the fifth carbonaceous meteorite known to fall in India.
  • the results of the Mukundpura CM2 study are relevant to the surface composition of near-Earth asteroids Ryugu and Bennu.
QUESTION: 4

Consider the following statements:
1. In India, government procurement is estimated to constitute about 30% of GDP with the central government accounting for a major chunk.
2. The Finance Ministry (Expenditure Department) has recently drafted a model tender document for public procurement by all central government departments.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?   

Solution:

The Finance Ministry (Expenditure Department) has drafted a model tender document for public procurement by all central government departments, in a bid to standardise the language and clauses included, and avoid contractual disputes.

  1. Public procurement refers to the purchase of goods and services by the public sector or the government, accounting for an average 15% of GDP globally.
  2. In India, government procurement is estimated to constitute about 30% of GDP with the central government accounting for a major chunk.
  3. There is no standardised nomenclature in public procurement in India and a mix of American, European and Indian nomenclature has become common. E.g. participants in the Tender are called tenderers and bidders.
  4. The standard bidding document developed now, seeks to ease out this duality by mooting that
    • the ‘Tender’ should refer to the tender document and process, while the term ‘Bid’ shall refer to the bidders’ pitches;
    • ‘Bidder’ is to be used instead of ‘Tenderer’ to refer to potential suppliers and the usage ‘Bid document’ be done away with, as per the proposed model.
QUESTION: 5

 With reference to the Startup India seed fund, consider the following statements:
1. The corpus of the fund is 10000 crore.
2. It was announced during the ‘Prarambh: Startup India International Summit’.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?       

Solution:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced launching of Startup India seed fund with 1,000 crore rupees so that there is no shortage of seed money for startups.

  • This was announced during the ‘Prarambh: Startup India International Summit’.
  • This will help in starting and growing new startups.
  • Fund of funds scheme is already helping startups raising equity capital. The Government will also help the startups in raising capital through guarantees.
QUESTION: 6

 ‘SAKSHAM’, a month long campaign, highlighting the adverse health and environmental impacts of increasing carbon footprints, was recently launched by:       

Solution:

With a view to create awareness among the consumers of fossil fuels, Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas launched ‘SAKSHAM’, a month long campaign, highlighting the adverse health and environmental impacts of increasing carbon footprints.

  1. ‘SAKSHAM’s idea is to convince consumers to switch to cleaner fuels and bring in behavioral change to use fossil fuel intelligently.
  2. The campaign will also spread awareness about 7 key drivers that Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently mentioned, saying that collectively these would help India move towards cleaner energy.
    • The key drivers include
    • moving towards a gas-based economy,
    • cleaner use of fossil fuels,
    • greater reliance on domestic sources to drive biofuels,
    • achieving renewable targets with the set deadlines,
    • increased use of electric vehicles to decarbonize mobility,
    • increased use of cleaner fuels like Hydrogen, and
    • digital innovation across all energy systems.
QUESTION: 7

With reference to the iron-ore, consider the following statements:
1. The Ministry of Railways has approved a new iron-ore policy governing the allocation of rakes and transportation of iron-ore.
2. Iron ore is the second most important stream of traffic of Railways.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?        

Solution:

The Ministry of Railways has approved a new iron-ore policy governing the allocation of rakes and transportation of iron-ore.

  • This new policy has been named as Iron-ore Policy 2021 and shall come into effect from February 10, 2021.
  • The provisions of the new policy will be updated in the rake allotment system module by the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS).
  • Scrutiny of documentation by Railways has been removed.
  • Executive Director Rake Movement of Railway Board (EDRM) office, Kolkata which has been sanctioning programmes for movement of iron-ore traffic will have no regulatory role in the new policy.
  • Customers now desirous of moving their traffic under any priority will have to give (an) undertaking that they have procured, transported and utilized materials as per rules and regulations of Central and State Governments.
  • Higher priority will be given to the movement of iron-ore traffic for domestic manufacturing activity. Within the domestic movement of iron-ore traffic, priority preference will be given to steel, pig iron, sponge iron, pellet, or sinter plant owning customers having their own private sidings at both the loading as well as unloading ends.
  • The categorization of priority of movement of iron ore has now been based on the availability of railway infrastructure developed by the customer, for loading or unloading, and the nature of movement between various types of sidings with a view to maximize iron-ore movement by rail.
  • Old and new plants will be treated similarly as far as allotment and loading of rakes is concerned.
  • Iron ore is the second most important stream of traffic of Railways and along with steel accounts for nearly 17 per cent (53.81 million tonne of steel and 153.35 million tonne of iron ore) of total 1210 million tonne freight loading of Indian Railways in 2019-2020.
QUESTION: 8

Which of the following pairs is/are correctly matched?

Select the correct answer using the code given below:        

Solution:

With Assembly polls round the corner in Tamil Nadu, Jallikattu, the traditional bull-taming sport, has caught the attention of the BJP and Congress.

  • The bull-taming sport is popular in Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Theni, Pudukkottai and Dindigul districts — known as the Jallikattu belt.
  • Jallikattu is celebrated in the second week of January, during the Tamil harvest festival, Pongal.
  • A tradition over 2,000 years old, Jallikattu is a competitive sport as well as an event to honour bull owners who rear them for mating. It is a violent sport in which contestants try to tame a bull for a prize; if they fail, the bull owner wins the prize.
  • Jallikattu is considered a traditional way for the peasant community to preserve their pure-breed native bulls. Kangayam, Pulikulam, Umbalachery, Bargur and Malai Maadu are among the popular native cattle breeds used for Jallikattu.

Kambala is an annual buffalo race held in the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka. Maramadi, is an agricultural sport conducted in Kakkoor Kaalayayal, Kerala.

QUESTION: 9

Consider the following statements:
1. According to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies 2020 was the hottest year on record tying with 2016.
2. According to NASA carbon dioxide levels have increased by over 50 percent since the Industrial Revolution began 250 years ago, while the level of methane has more than doubled.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?    

Solution:

2020 has been recorded as one of the hottest years by various agencies.

  • NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies says that 2020 was the hottest year on record tying with 2016 (which held the previous record for the hottest year).
  • The US NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information has said that 2020 was the second warmest year on record since 1880, when it started maintaining records.
  • According to NOAA, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces for 2020 was 0.98 degree Celsius above the average for the 20th century and just 0.02 degree Celsius less than the average temperature for 2016.
  • NASA has said that human-produced greenhouse gas emissions are largely responsible for warming the Earth.
  • These activities include burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, which release greenhouse gases forming an insulating blanket, which traps heat near the Earth’s surface.
  • Significantly, NASA notes that carbon dioxide levels have increased by over 50 percent since the Industrial Revolution began 250 years ago, while the level of methane has more than doubled. This has warmed the Earth by about 1 degree Celsius since this period.
QUESTION: 10

With reference to the Section 230 of the US’ Communications Decency Act, consider the following statements:
1. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act was passed in 1996 and provides legal immunity to internet companies for content that is shared on their websites.
2. Section 230 is an amendment to the act, which holds users responsible for their comments and posts online.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?  

Solution:

Soon after a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol last week, his social media accounts were suspended by Big Tech companies like Twitter and Facebook for his alleged role in inciting violence and spreading misinformation.

  • The incident spurred a renewed debate about Section 230 of the US’ Communications Decency Act — the controversial piece of internet legislation that permitted these tech companies to flex their powers and ban the president in the first place.
  • Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act was passed in 1996 and provides legal immunity to internet companies for content that is shared on their websites. The act was first introduced to regulate pornography online. Section 230 is an amendment to the act, which holds users responsible for their comments and posts online.
  • According to the regulation, “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”
  • This means that online companies, including social media platforms, are not liable for the content shared on their website by its users. So if a user posts something illegal on the website, the company is protected from lawsuits.
  • It was passed before social media existed in its present form. Political leaders and internet activists have long called for the law to be updated.
  • Republican lawmakers, including Trump, have alleged that platforms like Twitter and Facebook exhibit a clear bias against conservative voices and often abuse Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to censor right-leaning users.