Daily Current Affairs MCQ - January 4, 2021


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QUESTION: 1

Regarding the Kochi - Mangaluru Natural Gas Pipeline, consider the following statements:
1. The 450 km long pipeline has been built by GAIL (India) Ltd.
2. Laying of the pipeline was done through a special technique called Horizontal Directional Drilling method.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate the Kochi - Mangaluru Natural Gas Pipeline to the nation on 5th January 2021.

  • GAIL (India) Ltd has built the 450 km long pipeline.
  • It has a transportation capacity of 12 Million Metric Standard Cubic Metres per day.
  • It will carry natural gas from the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Regasification Terminal at Kochi (Kerala) to Mangaluru (Dakshina Kannada district, Karnataka) while passing through Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod districts.
  • Laying of the pipeline was an engineering challenge as the pipeline route necessitated it to cross water bodies at more than 100 locations. This was done through a special technique called Horizontal Directional Drilling method.

Significance:

  • The event marks an important milestone towards the creation of ''One Nation One Gas Grid''.
  • The pipeline will supply environment-friendly and affordable fuel in Piped Natural Gas (PNG) to households and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to the transportation sector.
  • It will also supply Natural Gas to commercial and industrial units across the districts along the pipeline. Consumption of cleaner fuel will help in improving air quality by curbing air pollution.
     
QUESTION: 2

Which of the following is the Nation's first indigenously developed DNA vaccine candidate against COVID-19?

Solution:

The Nation'sNation's first indigenously developed DNA vaccine candidate against COVID-19, ZyCoV-D, by M/s Zydus Cadila has been approved by Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), for the conduct of Phase III clinical trials.

  • The candidate has been supported by the National Biopharma Mission (NBM) under the aegis of BIRAC and the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.
  • Zydus Cadila completed Phase-I/II clinical trials of this DNA Vaccine candidate, in India, in more than 1,000 participants and interim data indicated that the vaccine is safe and immunogenic when three doses were administered intradermally.
  • Based on the Subject Expert Committee's recommendations, which reviewed the interim data, the DCGI has accorded permission for conducting Phase-III clinical trial in 26,000 Indian participants.
     
QUESTION: 3

Gibraltar is located at the southern tip of which of the following Peninsula?

Solution:

Hours before the Brexit transition period ended on New Year'sYear's Eve, Spain announced it had struck a deal with the UK to maintain free movement to and from Gibraltar. Officially remaining a British Overseas Territory, Gibraltar will now be part of the Schengen zone and follow EU rules, thus ensuring that a hard border does not separate it from the rest of Europe.

  • Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory. Under the Gibraltar constitution of 2006, Gibraltar is self-governing, with some responsibilities, such as defence and foreign relations, remaining with the British government.
  • In 1704, Anglo-Dutch forces captured Gibraltar from Spain during the War of the Spanish Succession. The territory was ceded to Great Britain in perpetuity under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.
  • It remains strategically important, with half the world’s seaborne trade passing through the strait. It is also an important Tourist and cargo ship refuelling centre.

Geography:

  • It is located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula.
  • Gibraltar'sGibraltar's territory covers 6.7 square kilometres and shares a 1.2-kilometre land border with Spain. It shares a maritime border with Morocco.
  • Gibraltar'sGibraltar's terrain consists of the 426-metre-high Rock of Gibraltar made of Jurassic limestone and the narrow coastal lowland.
  • Gibraltar is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and has "No Contact With The Atlantic Ocean".
QUESTION: 4

With reference to the tampon tax, consider the following statements:
1. In 2021, the United Kingdom began to abolish a 5% Value Added 
Tax (VAT) on women's sanitary products, often referred to as the 'tampon tax.'

2. In November 2020, Scotland, which is part of the United Kingdom, made history by becoming the first country in the world to make products free of cost for those who need them.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

The UK began 2021 by abolishing a 5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on women's sanitary products, often referred to as the "tampon tax" and which many activists had described as sexist.

  • It now joins the list of countries that have already eliminated this tax, including India, Australia and Canada.
  • The measure is part of a wider UK government effort called ''End Period Poverty''.
  • Scotland, which is a part of the UK, made history in November 2020 by becoming the first country in the world to make period products free of cost to those who need them.
  • Until December 31, the UK was a part of the EU, where period products such as sanitary napkins and tampons are classified as non-essential, and member states are required to levy a 5 per cent tax on them.
  • Now that the UK is out of the 27-member bloc, it is not bound by its directives, under which sanitary products had been subjected to five different VAT rates since 1973– with the lowest 5 per cent slab being applicable since 2001.
     
QUESTION: 5

Consider the following statements:
1. Under the provisions of the Karnataka Shops and Commercial Establishments Act, the Karnataka government has allowed all shops and 
commercial establishments to operate round the clock on all days of the week for the next three years (1961).

2. Only shops and commercial establishments employing ten or more 
people are allowed to operate 24/7 under the rules.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

The Karnataka government has allowed all shops and commercial establishments to operate round the clock all days of the week for the next three years under provisions of the Karnataka Shops and Commercial Establishments Act (1961).

  • The revision of rules by the Labour Department is expected to help businesses recover from financial difficulties they faced during the coronavirus-induced lockdown which led to a decline in economic activity.
  • The rules permit only shops and commercial establishments employing ten or more persons to operate 24×7. The period of this extension of timings will be in force till January 2, 2024.
  • While the permitted time allowed for each employee to work in a week is fixed at 48 hours per week (eight hours a day), employers can ask them to work overtime.
  • However, the period of work including overtime should not exceed 10 hours a day.
  • The employees are also entitled to get overtime wages, which the employer is directed to credit to their savings bank account as prescribed under the Payments of Wages Act (1963).
     
QUESTION: 6

Which of the following is an earth-fill embankment dam on the Beas River in Himachal Pradesh?

Solution:

More than 1,400 migratory birds were found dead recently due to an unexplained cause in the Pong Dam area of Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh.

  • The Pong Dam is also known as the Beas Dam.
  • It is an earth-fill embankment dam on the Beas River in Himachal Pradesh.
  • The lake created by the dam, Maharana Pratap Sagar, is a renowned bird sanctuary.
  • The purpose of the dam is water storage for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation.
  • Wildlife authorities have sent samples taken from the birds' carcass for testing at the High-Security Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal to ascertain the cause of death.
QUESTION: 7

With reference to the National Metrology Conclave, consider the following statements:
1. The National Metrology Conclave 2021 is being organized by the New 
Delhi National Physical Laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.

2. Indian Standard Time is generated by the National Atomic Timescale with an accuracy of 2.8 nanoseconds.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the inaugural address at the National Metrology Conclave on January 4, 2021, through video conferencing.

  • National Metrology Conclave 2021 is being organised by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi which is entering its 75th year of inception. The theme of the conclave is Metrology for the Inclusive Growth of the Nation.
  • He will also dedicate National Atomic Timescale and Bhartiya Nirdeshak Dravya to the nation and lay the National Environmental Standards Laboratory's foundation stone.
  • The National Atomic Timescale generates Indian Standard Time with an accuracy of 2.8 nanoseconds.
  • Bhartiya Nirdeshak Dravya supports testing and calibration of laboratories for quality assurance, at par with international standards.
  • The National Environmental Standards Laboratory will aid self-reliance in the certification of ambient air and industrial emission monitoring equipment.
QUESTION: 8

Regarding the Kempegowda International Airport halt, consider the following statements:
1. It is an Indian Railways'Railways' Train station near Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore (Karnataka).
2. The station was constructed by the airport operator, Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), and was handed over to the railways upon completion.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Indian Railways'Railways' South Western Railway zone will start operating train services from Bengaluru city station to the newly built KIA, Devanahalli Railway halt station from January 4, 2021.

  • Kempegowda International Airport halt is an Indian Railways'Railways' Train station near Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore (Karnataka).
  • The station has been built by the airport operator, Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) and on its completion was handed over to the railways.
     
QUESTION: 9

With reference to the Trans fats, consider the following statements:
1. They are a form of unsaturated fat.
2. They come only in artificial forms.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has capped the number of trans fatty acids (TFA) in oils and fats to 3% for 2021 and 2% by 2022 from the current permissible limit of 5% through an amendment to the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulations.

  • The FSSAI notified the amendment on December 29, more than a year after issuing a draft on the subject for consultation with stakeholders.
  • The revised regulation applies to edible refined oils, vanaspati (partially hydrogenated oils), margarine, bakery shortenings, and other cooking mediums such as vegetable fat spreads and mixed fat spreads.
  • In 2011, India first passed a regulation that set a TFA limit of 10% in oils and fats, which was further reduced to 5% in 2015.
  • Trans fats, or trans-fatty acids, are a form of unsaturated fat. They come in both natural and artificial forms.
  • Transfats are associated with an increased risk of heart attacks and death from coronary heart disease. Cardiovascular diseases, along with diabetes, are proving fatal for COVID-19 patients.
  • According to the World Health Organization, approximately 5.4 lakh deaths take place each year globally because of the intake of industrially-produced trans-fatty acids.
  • The WHO has also called for the global elimination of trans fats by 2023.
QUESTION: 10

With reference to the banana grit, consider the following statements:
1. It was developed in Pappanamcode, Kerala, by the CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST).
2. The concept was introduced to utilise resistant starch in bananas, which is reported to improve gut health.
3. Changalikodan Nendran Banana got Geographical indication registration from the Geographical Indications Registry, Chennai.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

At the CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST) at Pappanamcode in Kerala, scientists have come up with a new product, banana grit or granules, developed from raw Nendran bananas.

  • The product resembles ''rava'' and broken wheat. Billed as an ideal ingredient for a healthy diet, banana grit can be used for making a wide range of dishes, according to the NIIST.
  • The granules can be used for making upma, or it can be mixed with banana powder for porridge, with milk or coconut milk for use as a health drink.
  • The concept was introduced to utilise resistant starch in bananas, which is reported to improve gut health.
  • Hence, the dishes prepared with banana grit and its by-product, banana powder, are inclined to the new focus on gut health. The scientific community is widely discussing now to maintain health and well-being.
  • Changalikodan Nendran Banana or famously known as Changalikodan is a banana variety originated and cultivated in Chengazhikodu village of Thrissur District in Kerala
  • Changalikodan now is cultivated on the banks of the Bharathapuzha river. Changalikodan got Geographical indication registration from the Geographical Indications Registry, Chennai.
  • Generally consumed ripe, Nendran banana also finds use in typical Kerala dishes such as avial and thoran.