Daily Current Affairs MCQ - January 24, 2021


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QUESTION: 1

With reference to the Union Budget 2021-22, consider the following statements:
1. A customary Halwa ceremony is performed every year before the “lock-in” process of Budget preparation begins.
2. In an unprecedented initiative, Union Budget 2021-22 will be delivered in paperless form for the first time.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?    

Solution:

The Halwa ceremony, marking the final stage of the Budget making process for Union Budget 2021-22, was held in North Block in the presence of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

  • A customary Halwa ceremony is performed every year before the “lock-in” process of Budget preparation begins.
  • The tradition, which goes back several years, involves preparing the ‘halwa’ sweet dish in a big ‘kadhai’ (large frying pot) and serving it to the entire staff in the ministry.
  • After Halwa is served, the officials and support staff, who are directly associated with the Budget making and printing process, are required to stay in the Budget Press (situated inside North Block) and remain cut off from their families until the presentation of the Union Budget in the Lok Sabha.
  • The “lock-in” which follows the ‘halwa ceremony’ is observed to maintain the secrecy of the Budget preparation process.

Union Budget Mobile App:

  • In an unprecedented initiative, Union Budget 2021-22 will be delivered in paperless form for the first time. The Union Budget 2021-22 is to be presented on 1st February, 2021.
  • On the occasion, Finance Minister also launched the “Union Budget Mobile App” for hassle-free access of Budget documents by Members of Parliament (MPs) and the general public using the simplest form of digital convenience.
  • The mobile App facilitates complete access to 14 Union Budget documents, including the Annual Financial Statement (commonly known as Budget), Demand for Grants (DG), Finance Bill etc. as prescribed by the Constitution.
  • The App has been developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) under the guidance of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).
QUESTION: 2

With reference to the Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar 2021, consider the following statements:
1. The award is announced every year on 2nd January, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
2. The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 51 lakh and a certificate in case of an institution and Rs. 5 lakh and a certificate in case of an individual.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?   

Solution:

For the year 2021, (i) Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (in the institutional category) and (ii) Dr. Rajendra Kumar Bhandari (in the Individual category) have been selected for the Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar for their excellent work in Disaster Management.

  • To recognize and honour the invaluable contribution and selfless service rendered by individuals and organizations in India in Disaster Management, the Government of India has instituted an annual award known as Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar.
  • The award is announced every year on 23rd January, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
  • The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 51 lakh and a certificate in case of an institution and Rs. 5 lakh and a certificate in case of an individual.
     
QUESTION: 3

With reference to the ‘Aqua Rejuvenation Plant’, consider the following statements:
1. DRDO recently unveiled the first-ever WasteWater Treatment Technology Model which purifies Waste Water for Irrigation/Farming purposes.
2. Aqua Rejuvenation Plant (ARP) is an Integrated Waste Water Rejuvenation Model which has Six-Stage purification profile for comprehensive treatment of Waste Water, based upon diverse purification parameters.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?        

Solution:

CSIR-CMERI unveils ‘Aqua Rejuvenation Plant’ which facilitates an Organic Farming Model through treated Waste Water.

  • CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, Durgapur unveiled the first-ever WasteWater Treatment Technology Model which purifies Waste Water for Irrigation/Farming purposes.
  • Aqua Rejuvenation Plant (ARP) is an Integrated Waste Water Rejuvenation Model which has Six-Stage purification profile for comprehensive treatment of Waste Water, based upon diverse purification parameters.
  • The approx. 24,000 litres of Water that can be rejuvenated using ARP will be sufficient for almost 4 acres of Agricultural Land (barring seasonal variations in water requirements).
  • The used filtration media have been specially developed to handle Indian Sewage Water Parameters and based upon Geographical Variations they may be modified.
  • The system has dual benefit as while the treated water is being used for irrigation purpose, the filtered sludge generated is also utilized as manure / fertilizer.
  • The bio char prepared from dry leaves falling in autumn season is also used for mixing in soil as it reduces the water requirement for irrigation thus saving precious water.
QUESTION: 4

Ooceraea joshii, a new species of a rare ant genus have been recently discovered in which of the following state?

Solution:

Two new species of a rare ant genus have been discovered in India. The species of the ant genus Ooceraea found in Kerala, and Tamil Nadu add to the diversity of this rare genus.

  • One of them found in the Periyar Tiger Reserve of Kerala, has been named Ooceraea joshii, in honour of Prof. Amitabh Joshi, a distinguished evolutionary biologist from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India.
  • The newly discovered ant species with ten segmented antennae discovered an old world lineage containing a species emerging as the only model organism among the ant subfamily.
QUESTION: 5

With reference to the Fund for Improvement of S&T infrastructure in universities, consider the following statements:
1. The FIST programme of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India was launched in the year 2015.
2. The Scheme is intended to provide basic infrastructure and enabling facilities for promoting R&D activities in new and emerging areas and attracting fresh talents in universities & other educational institutions. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?     

Solution:

The Fund for Improvement of S&T Advisory Board (FISTAB) Meeting was held on January 22, 2021.

  • During the meeting, a logo of FIST was launched designed by Ms. Nikita Malhotra of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, to represent the face of FIST in a new avatar.
  • Besides, the National Report on FIST Impact Evaluation Study and Report on Activities of FIST Program was released.
  • Different experts discussed the FIST Program's impact and its associated benefits under the aegis of the Centre for Human and Organizational Resource Development (CHORD Division) of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
  • The FIST programme of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India was launched in the year 2000.
  • The Scheme is intended to provide basic infrastructure and enabling facilities for promoting R&D activities in new and emerging areas and attracting fresh talents in universities & other educational institutions. 
     
QUESTION: 6

Who among the following is set to become the first woman fighter pilot to take part in the Republic Day parade? 

Solution:

Flight lieutenant Bhawana Kanth is set to become the first woman fighter pilot to take part in the Republic Day parade.

  • She will be a part of the Indian Air Force's (IAF's) tableau that will showcase mock-ups of the light combat aircraft, light combat helicopter and the Sukhoi-30 fighter plane.
  • She is currently posted at an airbase in Rajasthan where she flies the MiG-21 Bison fighter plane.
  • Kanth is also one of the first women fighter pilots in the IAF.
QUESTION: 7

With reference to the regulatory framework for the non-banking finance companies’ (NBFC) by RBI, consider the following statements:
1. The regulatory and supervisory framework of NBFCs will be based on a four-layered structure — the base layer (NBFC-BL), middle layer (NBFC-ML), upper layer (NBFC-UL) and the top layer.
2. The current threshold for systemic importance, which is ₹500 crore now, is proposed to be revised to ₹1,000 crore.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?     

Solution:

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has suggested a tougher regulatory framework for the non-banking finance companies’ (NBFC) sector to prevent recurrence of any systemic risk to the country’s financial system.

  • RBI released a discussion paper on the revised regulatory framework which is formulated on a scale-based approach, and sought comments within a month.
  • The regulatory and supervisory framework of NBFCs will be based on a four-layered structure — the base layer (NBFC-BL), middle layer (NBFC-ML), upper layer (NBFC-UL) and the top layer.
  • If the framework is visualised as a pyramid, the bottom of the pyramid, where least regulatory intervention is warranted, can consist of NBFCs currently classified as non-systemically important NBFCs (NBFC-ND), NBFCP2P lending platforms, NBFCAA, NOFHC and Type I NBFCs.
  • Moving up, the next layer may comprise NBFCs currently classified as systemically important NBFCs (NBFC-ND-SI), deposit-taking NBFCs (NBFC-D), HFCs, IFCs, IDFs, SPDs and CICs.
  • The extant regulatory framework for NBFC-NDs will now be applicable to base layer NBFCs, while the extant regulatory framework applicable for NBFC-NDSI will be applicable to middle layer NBFCs. NBFCs residing in the upper layer will constitute a new category.
  • The revisions applicable to lower layers of NBFCs will automatically be applicable to NBFCs in the higher layers, unless there is a conflict or otherwise stated.
  • The current threshold for systemic importance, which is ₹500 crore now, is proposed to be revised to ₹1,000 crore.
  • As per the proposals, the extant NPA classification norm of 180 days will be reduced to 90 days.
QUESTION: 8

With reference to the India- Indonesia relations, consider the following statements:
1. In 1950, President Sukarno was the chief guest at India’s first Republic Day.
2. In 2005, India and Indonesia signed a Strategic Partner- ship agreement.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?     

Solution:

The Indonesian Embassy in New Delhi has built a special room in recognition of the nation’s freedom struggle from Dutch colonialism 74 years ago, and named it after Biju Patnaik to honour his role in the nation’s freedom struggle.

  • The former Chief Minister of Odisha, who was a skilled pilot, flew several missions in 1947 to transport Indonesian leaders, including the nation’s tallest leader, President Sukarno, Vice-President Hatta and Prime Minister Sutan Sjahrir out of Indonesia, at grave risk to himself.
  • Eventually, Indonesia won back its freedom. In 1950, President Sukarno was the chief guest at India’s first Republic Day, and India-Indonesia ties remained strong for the next decade.
  • Relations between the two countries soured after Indonesia didn’t support India in the 1962 war with China.
  • Relations were revived only decades later, when in 2005, India and Indonesia signed a Strategic Partner- ship agreement; military exchanges and trade ties have grown since.
  • The newly-inaugurated Patnaik room, is a reminder not only of the historical bonds between the two countries, but the imperative of keeping ties strong in the present as well.
     
QUESTION: 9

With reference to the Paris Climate Agreement, consider the following statements:
1. U.S decided to restore its participation in the United Nations Paris Agreement on climate change.
2. U.S pledged to achieve an economy-wide reduction of its GHG emissions by 50% below the 2005 level in 2025.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?        

Solution:

Joe Biden assumed office as President of the United States on January 20, 2021, and among the first orders he signed was one to restore America’s participation in the United Nations Paris Agreement on climate change.

  • His decision on America’s return will take effect on February 19, which would be 107 days after its withdrawal under the Donald Trump administration became formal on November 4, 2020.
  • In the past, the U.S., under George W. Bush, had pulled out of the previous pact, the Kyoto Protocol, in 2001.
  • The Paris Agreement's withdrawal meant that the U.S. was no longer bound by its national pledge made under the pact: to achieve an economy-wide reduction of its GHG emissions by 26%-28% below the 2005 level in 2025.
  • America also stopped its contribution to the UN’s Green Climate Fund, to which it had pledged $3 billion, after transferring an estimated $1 billion.
  • He has promised an “enforcement mechanism to achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2050”, including a target no later than the end of his term in 2025, aided by a planned federal investment that will total $1.7 trillion over ten years, besides private investments.
  • The plan revolves around 10 million well-paying clean energy jobs with a focus on solar and wind power.
  • This year’s UN climate conference in Glasgow will see the new administration engaging UNFCCC member-nations to raise global ambition.
QUESTION: 10

Which of the following is India's first permanent Arctic research station located at Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway?

Solution:

India has unveiled a new draft ‘Arctic’ policy that, among other things, commits to expanding scientific research, “sustainable tourism” and mineral oil and gas exploration in the Arctic region.

  • India expects the Goa-based National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research to lead scientific research and act as a nodal body to coordinate activities under it.
  • The policy aims to put Arctic related programmes for mineral/oil and gas exploration in petroleum research institutes and encourage tourism and hospitality sectors to build specialised capacities and awareness to engage with Arctic enterprises.
  • Arctic research will help India’s scientific community to study melting rates of the third pole — the Himalayan glaciers, which are endowed with the largest freshwater reserves in the world outside the geographic poles.
  • India launched its first scientific expedition to the Arctic in 2007.
  • Himadri is India's first permanent Arctic research station located at Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway. It was set up during India's second Arctic expedition in 2008.