Daily Current Affairs MCQ - March 20, 2021


10 Questions MCQ Test Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly | Daily Current Affairs MCQ - March 20, 2021


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QUESTION: 1

About the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021, consider the following statements:

1. It aims to unite seven castes under the name "Devendrakula Vellalars," with some exceptions for castes in some Tamil Nadu districts.

2. Devendrakulathan, Kadaiyan, Kalladi, Kudumban, Pallan, Pannadi, and Vathiriyan are among the castes.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

The Lok Sabha passed The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021 that seeks to put seven castes under one nomenclature of “Devendrakula Vellalars” with some exceptions for some of the castes in certain districts of Tamil Nadu.

  • The castes include Devendrakulathan, Kadaiyan, Kalladi, Kudumban, Pallan, Pannadi and Vathiriyan.

  • The State government had earlier accepted a recommendation of a committee to reclassify the seven sub sects under the generic name ‘Devendrakula Velalar’ and forwarded it to the Centre.

  • The change in nomenclature was a long pending demand of the community and did not involve either the deletion or addition of any community in its ambit.

  • The reason why a whole new addition was not made to the Scheduled Castes list was to ensure that old caste certificates issued to these communities under the old name not be rejected.

QUESTION: 2

Global Hunger Index (GHI) report, often mentioned in news, was released by:

Solution:

Union Minister for Agriculture questioned in the Rajya Sabha the methodology and data accuracy of the Global Hunger Index (GHI) report, which has placed India at 94th among 107 countries in 2020.

  • The Minister said the government had written to the NGO, Welthungerhilfe, which compiles the report, expressing concerns about their methodology, data accuracy and sample size.

  • India’s ranking had improved from 102 in 2019 to 94 in 2020. But still, India was ranked below countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

NFHS-4 vs CNNS of 2017-18

  • According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4, the percentage of wasted, stunted and malnourished children in 2015-16 stood at 21, 38.4 and 35.7, respectively.

  • Compared to NFHS-4 data, the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS) of 2017-18 showed an improvement of 4%, 3.7% and 2.3% in wasted, stunted and malnourished children respectively.

  • The first-ever CNNS was commissioned by the government in 2016 and was conducted from 2016-18, led by the Union Health Ministry, in collaboration with the UNICEF. The findings were published in 2019.

  • CNNS includes only nutrition data, whereas NFHS encompasses overall health indicators.

QUESTION: 3

Regarding the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2021, consider the following statements:

1. The amendment proposes allowing captive miners of both coal and other minerals to sell up to 50 per cent of their production after meeting the requirements of the end-use plant and paying additional royalty to the state government.

2. The amendment proposes to fix additional royalty payments to states to extend mining leases for central public sector enterprises.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

Lok Sabha passed the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2021 to streamline the renewal of the auction process for minerals and coal mining rights.

  • The amendment proposes to allow captive miners of both coal and other minerals to sell up to 50 per cent of their production after meeting the requirements of the end-use plant and on paying additional royalty to the state government.

  • Operators are currently only allowed to use coal and minerals extracted from captive mines for their own industrial use. This increased flexibility would allow miners to maximize output from captive mines as they would be able to sell output in excess of their own requirements.

  • The amendment also proposes to fix additional royalty payments to states for the extension of mining leases for central public sector enterprises.

  • The Bill also proposes to empower the central government to conduct auctions or re-auction processes for the grant of a mining lease if a state government fails to complete the auction process in a specified period, decided after consultations between the Centre and state.

QUESTION: 4

Regarding a report by Pew Research Center on impact of COVID on poverty, consider the following statements:

1. India’s middle class may have shrunk by a third due to 2020’s pandemic-driven recession.

2. The number of poor people in India (with incomes of $2 or less a day) is estimated to have increased by 7.5 crore because of the COVID-19 recession.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

India’s middle class may have shrunk by a third due to 2020’s pandemic-driven recession, while the number of poor people — earning less than ₹150 per day — more than doubled, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center.

  • In comparison, Chinese incomes remained relatively unshaken, with just a 2% drop in the middle class population, it found.

  • The report uses World Bank projections of economic growth to estimate the impact of COVID-19 on Indian incomes. The lockdown triggered by the pandemic resulted in shut businesses, lost jobs and falling incomes, plunging the Indian economy into a deep recession.

  • The middle class in India is estimated to have shrunk by 3.2 crore in 2020 as a consequence of the downturn, compared with the number it may have reached absent the pandemic, defining the middle class as people with incomes of approximately ₹700-1,500 or $10-20 per day.

  • Meanwhile, the number of people who are poor in India (with incomes of $2 or less a day) is estimated to have increased by 7.5 crore because of the COVID-19 recession. This accounts for nearly 60% of the global increase in poverty

  • It also noted the record spike in MGNREGA participants as proof that the poor were struggling to find work.

QUESTION: 5

Which of the following Vedic literature is the source of Gāyatrī Mantra?

Solution:

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has funded a clinical trial at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Rishikesh, to determine if the chanting of the Gayatri Mantra, a religious hymn, and performing the Yoga practice of pranayama, can aid the quality of recovery as well as cure COVID-19 quicker in a subset of patients.

  • The latest study, however, will not test the effect of the intervention on severely ill patients. It will evaluate whether there are differences in the groups on the time taken to test negative, and the length of hospital stay.

  • They will also be evaluated on whether they have reduced fatigue and anxiety disorder.

  • The Gāyatrī Mantra is also known as the Sāvitri Mantra.

  • It is a highly revered mantra from the Rig Veda, dedicated to Savitr also known as Vedmata.

  • Maharshi Vishvamitra had created the Gayatri mantra.

  • The mantra is an important part of the upanayana ceremony for young males in Hinduism, and has long been recited by dvija men as part of their daily rituals.

  • Modern Hindu reform movements spread the practice of the mantra to include women and all castes and its use is now very widespread.

QUESTION: 6

Ranthambore tiger sanctuary, recently seen in news, is located in:

Solution:

Six tigers — four adults and two sub-adults — have been unaccounted for since March 2020 in the Ranthambore tiger sanctuary, Rajasthan. However, State forest officials are not willing to label them “missing” and denied reports that they may have been poached.

  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority, a wing of the Union Environment Ministry, has constituted a committee to ascertain the disappearance of the tigers.

  • The Ranthambore Reserve is the only source of tigers in the territory with about 53 tigers constituting over 90% of the population in this block, as per the latest census made public last year.

  • India has 2,967 tigers, a third more than in 2014, according to results of a census made public on July 29 last year. Ranthambore, according to this exercise, had 55 tigers.

  • Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of tigers at 526, closely followed by Karnataka (524) and Uttarakhand (442).

  • Chhattisgarh and Mizoram saw a decline in tiger population and all other States saw an increase.

QUESTION: 7

The Sarawat Mountains, also known as the Sarat, is a mountain range in the following Peninsulas?

Solution:

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have made major advances on Marib city after seizing Mount Hilan, a strategic mountain in clashes that caused dozens of casualties on both sides.

About:

  • The Houthis and the internationally recognized government have been locked in a power struggle since 2014, when the rebels seized control of the Yemeni capital Sanaa.

  • Since last month, the rebels have been pushing to seize Marib, the government’s last northern stronghold and the capital of an oil-rich region.

  • Maʼrib is the capital city of Maʼrib Governorate, Yemen.

  • It is located in the region of the Sarawat Mountains.

  • The Sarawat Mountains, also known as the Sarat, is a mountain range in the western part of the Arabian Peninsula.

QUESTION: 8

Regarding the diatom tests, consider the following statements:

1. Diatoms are photosynthesizing algae found in almost every aquatic environment, including fresh and marine waters, soils, in fact, nearly anywhere moist.

2. If a person is dead when is thrown in the water, then there is no circulation and there is no transport of diatom cells to various organs.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

The Maharashtra (ATS) relied on a forensic test known as diatom tests for leads in the alleged murder case of Mansukh Hiran.

  • Diagnosis of death by drowning is deemed as a difficult task in forensic pathology.

  • A number of tests have been developed to confirm the cause of such deaths with the diatom test emerging as one of the most important tests.

  • The test entails findings if there are diatoms in the body being tested. Diatoms are photosynthesizing algae which are found in almost every aquatic environment including fresh and marine waters, soils, in fact, almost anywhere moist.

Science behind the diatom test

  • A body recovered from a water body does not necessarily imply that the death was due to drowning.

  • If the person is alive when he enters the water, the diatoms will enter the lungs when the person inhales water while drowning. These diatoms then get carried to various parts of the body, including the brain, kidneys, lungs and bone marrow by blood circulation.

  • If a person is dead when is thrown in the water, then there is no circulation and there is no transport of diatom cells to various organs.

QUESTION: 9

Which of the following state government announced the launch of SAAMAR (Strategic Action for Alleviation of Malnutrition and Anemia Reduction) campaign to tackle malnutrition in the state?

Solution:

The Jharkhand government announced the launch of SAAMAR (Strategic Action for Alleviation of Malnutrition and Anemia Reduction) campaign to tackle malnutrition in the state.

  • The campaign aims to identify anaemic women and malnourished children and converge various departments to effectively deal with the problem in a state where malnutrition has been a major problem.

  • AAMAR has been launched with a 1000 days target, under which annual surveys will be conducted to track the progress.

  • To tackle severe acute malnutrition children, every Anganwadi Centres will be engaged to identify these children and subsequently will be treated at the Malnutrition Treatment Centres.

  • In the same process the anaemic women will also be listed and will be referred to health centres in serious cases.

  • All of these will be done through measuring Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) of women and children through MUAC tapes and Edema levels, swelling in a small area or the entire body—malnutrition is one of the reasons attributed to this disease.

  • Angawadi’s Sahayia and Sevika will take them to the nearest Health Centre where they will be checked again and then registered on the portal of State Nutrition Mission.

QUESTION: 10

Regarding the Aluminium-air battery, consider the following statements:

1. Aluminium-air battery-based electric vehicles offer a range of 150-200 kilometres per full charge.

2. Aluminium-air batteries utilize oxygen in the air which reacts with an aluminium hydroxide solution to oxidize the aluminium and produce electricity.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution:

State-owned Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. has entered into a joint venture with Israel-based battery technology startup Phinergy to develop aluminium-air technology based battery systems for electric vehicles and stationary storage, as well as hydrogen storage solutions.

  • Top automakers, including Maruti Suzuki and Ashok Leyland, have already signed letters of intent with the newly formed joint venture to commercially deploy the battery solutions produced by IOC Phinergy.

  • Aluminium-air batteries are said to be a lower cost and more energy-dense alternative to lithium-ion batteries which are currently in widespread use for electric vehicles in India.

  • Aluminium-air batteries utilize oxygen in the air which reacts with an aluminium hydroxide solution to oxidize the aluminium and produce electricity.

Benefits

  • Aluminium-air battery-based electric vehicles are expected to offer much greater range of 400 km or more per battery compared to lithium-ion batteries which currently offer a range of 150-200 kilometres per full charge.

  • The aluminium plate in an aluminium-air battery is converted into aluminium trihydroxide over time and that aluminium can be reclaimed from aluminium trihydroxide or even traded directly for industrial uses.

  • Aluminium-air based batteries are also expected to be significantly cheaper than lithium-ion batteries, thereby reducing the cost of electric vehicle.

Concerns

  • One of the key downsides of aluminium-air batteries is that they cannot be recharged like lithium-ion batteries.

  • Therefore, large scale use of aluminium-air battery based vehicles would require the wide availability of battery swapping stations.