Daily Current Affairs 24 March 2019

Special Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam 2019

1. Consider the following statements about Global Warming Potential (GWP)

  1. It is a measure of how much energy the emissions of 1 ton of a gas will absorb over a given period of time, relative to the emissions of 1 ton of carbon Dioxide (CO2)
  2. Gases with higher GWP absorb more energy, per pound than gases with lower GWP.
  3. Sulfur Hexafluoride has lower GWP than Hydro fluorocarbons.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1 and 2

  Only 1

  1 and 3

  1, 2 and 3

The Global Warming Potential (GWP) was developed to allow comparisons of the global warming impacts of different gases. Specifically, it is a measure of how much energy the emissions of 1 ton of a gas will absorb over a given period of time, relative to the emissions of 1 ton of carbon dioxide (CO2). Hence statement 1 is correct.

The larger the GWP, the more that a given gas warms the Earth compared to CO2 over that time period. The time period usually used for GWPs is 100 years. Hence statement 2 is correct.

According to IPCC 5TH Assessment Report, GWP of Sulfur Hexafluoride is 23500 times that of CO2. GWP of Hydro fluorocarbons is around 13000 times that of CO2. Hence statement 3 is incorrect.

2. Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding Biodiversity Hotspots?

  1. There are 5 Biodiversity Hotspots in India.
  2. Contain at least 1,500 species of vascular plants found nowhere else on Earth (known as “endemic” species).
  3. Have lost at least 70 percent of its animal species

Select from the given codes:

  Only 3

  Only 2

  1 and 2

  1, 2 and 3

To qualify as a biodiversity hotspot, an area must meet two strict criteria:

Contain at least 1,500 species of vascular plants found nowhere else on Earth (known as “endemic” species).Have lost at least 70 percent of its primary native vegetation.

Hence Statement 2 is correct and statement 3 is incorrect.

There are currently 36 recognized biodiversity hotspots. Out of these 4 are in India.

Himalaya: Includes the entire Indian Himalayan region (and that falling in Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Myanmar)

Indo-Burma: Includes entire North-eastern India, except Assam and Andaman group of Islands (and Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and southern China)

Sundalands: Includes Nicobar group of Islands (and Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippines)

Western Ghats and Sri Lanka: Includes entire Western Ghats (and Sri Lanka)

3. Consider the following statements regarding Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management& Transboundary Movement) Amendment Rules, 2019

  1. Solid plastic waste has been prohibited from import into the country excluding Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and by Export Oriented Units (EOU).
  2. Exporters of silk waste have now been given exemption from requiring permission from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  Only 1

  Only 2

  Both 1 and 2

  None of the above

In order to strengthen the implementation of environmentally sound management of hazardous waste in the country, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has amended the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016.

Some of the salient features of the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management& Transboundary Movement) Amendment Rules, 2019 are as follows:

Solid plastic waste has been prohibited from import into the country including in Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and by Export Oriented Units (EOU). 

Hence statement 1 is wrong.

Exporters of silk waste have now been given exemption from requiring permission from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

Hence statement 2 is correct.

Electrical and electronic assemblies and components manufactured in and exported from India, if found defective can now be imported back into the country, within a year of export, without obtaining permission from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

Industries which do not require consent under Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981, are now exempted from requiring authorization also under the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016, provided that hazardous and other wastes generated by such industries are handed over to the authorized actual users, waste collectors or disposal facilities.

4. Consider the following statements regarding National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)

  1. The NCAP will be a Five year action plan with 2019 as the first year.
  2. The programme may be further extended to a longer time horizon after a mid-term review of the outcomes.
  3. NCAP is implemented by W.H.O
  4. NCAP is a part of National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).

Which of the statements given above are correct?

  2, 3 and 4

  2 and 3

  1 and 4

  1 and 2

A time bound national level strategy for pan India implementation to tackle the increasing air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner in the form of National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) was launched.

The NCAP will be a mid-term, five-year action plan with 2019 as the first year.

Hence statement 1 is correct.

The programme may be further extended to a longer time horizon after a mid-term review of the outcomes.

Hence statement 2 is correct.

The NCAP will be institutionalized by respective ministries and will be organized through inter-sectoral groups, which include, Ministry of Road Transport and Highway, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Ministry of Heavy Industry, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, NITI Aayog, CPCB, experts from the industry, academia, and civil society.

City specific action plans are being formulated for 102 non-attainment cities identified for implementing mitigation actions under NCAP.

Institutional Framework at Centre and State Level comprising of Apex Committee at the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change in the Centre and at Chief Secretary Level in the States are to be constituted.

In addition, sectoral working groups, national level Project Monitoring Unit, Project Implementation Unit, state level project monitoring unit, city level review committee under the Municipal Commissioner and DM level Committee in the Districts are to be constituted under NCAP for effective implementation and success of the Programme.

W.H.O is not the implementing agency. Hence statement 3 is incorrect.

NCAP is not a part of NAPCC. So, statement 4 is incorrect.

5. Consider the following statements

  1. The theme for International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer 2018 is “Caring for all life under the Sun”.
  2. This event commemorates the date of the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

Which of the above statements is/are INCORRECT?

  1 only

  2 only

  Both 1 and 2

  Neither 1 nor 2

 “Keep Cool and Carry on” is the theme of this year’s (2018) International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. It celebrates the progress in protecting the ozone layer and moves to phase out ozone depleting chemicals which are also potent greenhouse gases.

The theme for International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer 2018 is “Caring for all life under the Sun”. Hence statement 1 is incorrect.

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer (World Ozone Day) is celebrated on September 16 every year. This event commemorates the date of the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987. Hence statement 2 is correct.

6. Consider the following statements

  1. The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol is legally binding.
  2. Kigali amendment is to phase down the usage of HFC’s.
  3. The Agreement upholds the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR & RC).

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1 and 3

  1 and 2

  2 and 3

  All of the above

The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol is legally binding and will come into force from January 1, 2019. Hence statement 1 is correct.

The Agreement upholds the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR & RC). It recognizes the development imperatives of high-growth economies like India, and provides a realistic and viable roadmap for the implementation of a phase-out schedule for high global warming potential (GWP) HFCs.

Hence statement 2 and 3 are correct.

Additional information: The Agreement upholds the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR & RC). It recognizes the development imperatives of high-growth economies like India, and provides a realistic and viable roadmap for the implementation of a phase-out schedule for high global warming potential (GWP) HFCs.

On October 15, 2016, with the United States’ leadership, 197 countries adopted an amendment to phase down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol in Kigali, Rwanda. Under the amendment, countries committed to cut the production and consumption of HFCs by more than 80 percent over the next 30 years. The ambitious phase down schedule will avoid more than 80 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 2050—avoiding up to 0.5° Celsius warming by the end of the century—while continuing to protect the ozone layer.

7. Which of the following Biosphere Reserves from India are part of UNESCO designated World Network of Biosphere Reserves (W.N.B.R)?

  1. Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve
  2. Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve
  3. Manas Biosphere Reserve
  4. Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve

Select from the given codes:

  1 and 3

  1, 2 and 4

  2 and 4

  1,2 and 3

Thoroughly go through the list of 18 Biosphere Reserves designated by India.

Out of these 11 (which are in bold letters) are a part of UNESCO designated World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR). They are:

Nilgiri, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. (WNBR)

Nanda Devi, Uttarakhand. (WNBR)

Nokrek, Meghalaya. (WNBR)

Manas, Assam.

Sunderban, West Bengal. (WNBR)

Gulf of Mannar, Tamil Nadu. (WNBR)

Great Nicobar, Andaman and Nicobar islands. (WNBR)

Similipal, Odisha. (WNBR)

Dibru-Saikhova, Assam.

Dehang-Dibang , Arunachal Pradesh.

Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh. (WNBR)

Khangchendzonga, Sikkim. (WNBR)

Agasthyamalai, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. (WNBR)

Achanakmar- Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. (WNBR)

Kachchh , Gujarat.

Cold Desert, Himachal Pradesh.

Seshachalam , Andhra Pradesh.

Panna, Madhya Pradesh

8. Consider the following statements regarding WAYU (Wind Augmentation Purifying Unit)

  1. The device has filters for Particulate Matter removal, but lacks filters to remove activated carbon (charcoal).
  2. It has been indigenously developed by TERI – The Energy and Resources Institute

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

WAYU is developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI) as a part of Technology Development Project being funded by Department of Science and Technology. Hence statement 2 is incorrect.

The device works on two principles mainly Wind generation for dilution of air pollutants and Active Pollutants removal.

The device has filters for Particulate Matter removal and activated carbon (charcoal) and UV lamps for poisonous gases removal such as VOCs and Carbon Monoxide. Hence statement 2 is incorrect.

The device has one fan and filter for sucking and removing Particulate Matter. There are two UV lamps and half kg of activated carbon charcoal coated with special chemical Titanium Dioxide.

9. Consider the following statements

  1. Alpha diversity refers to a group of organisms sharing the same habitat.
  2. Beta diversity is the expression of diversity between habitats.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Alpha diversity refers to the average species diversity in a habitat or specific area. It is dependent on species richness and species evenness. Hence statement 1 is correct.

Beta diversity refers to ratio between local diversity and regional diversity. This is the diversity of species between two habitats or regions. Hence statement 2 is correct.

Gamma diversity is the total diversity of the landscape.

10. Consider the following statements

  1. Keystone species have low functional dependency.
  2. Flagship species play a major role in creating or maintaining a habitat.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1 only

  2 only

  Both 1 and 2

  Neither 1 nor 2

A keystone species is an organism that helps define an entire ecosystem. It plays a critical role in maintaining the structure of an ecological community and whose impact on the community is greater than would be expected based on its relative abundance or total biomass.

Keystone species have low functional redundancy. This means that if the species were to disappear from the ecosystem, no other species would be able to fill its ecological niche. The ecosystem would be forced to radically change, allowing new and possibly invasive species to populate the habitat. Hence statement 1 is correct.

A flagship species is a species selected to act as an ambassador, icon or symbol for a defined habitat, issue, campaign or environmental cause. Hence statement 2 is incorrect.

Flagship species are usually relatively large, and considered to be ‘charismatic’ in western cultures. 

Flagship species may or may not be keystone species and may or may not be good indicators of biological process.

Additional Information: Umbrella species are often conflated with keystone species. Both terms describe a single species on which many other species depend. The key distinction between umbrella species and keystone species is that the value of an umbrella species is tied to its geographic species range.Foundation species play a major role in creating or maintaining a habitat.

Corals are a key example of a foundation species. These tiny animals grow as a colony of thousands and even millions of individual polyps. The rocky exoskeletons of these polyps create enormous structures around islands: coral reefs.

11. Consider the following statements

  1. Ecosystem engineer is a plant or animal that is very sensitive to environmental changes in its ecosystem.
  2. Autogenic engineers modify their environment by modifying their own biology.
  3. Allogenic engineers physically change their environment from one state to another.

Which of the above statements is/are INCORRECT?

  1 only

  2 and 3 only

  3 only

  1, 2 and 3

Like foundation species, ecosystem engineers contribute to the physical geography of their habitat. Ecosystem engineers modify, create, and maintain habitats.

An indicator species describes an organism that is very sensitive to environmental changes in its ecosystem. Hence statement 1 is incorrect.

Autogenic engineers modify their environment by modifying their own biology. Corals and trees are autogenic engineers. As they grow, they are a living part of the environment, providing food and shelter to other organisms. Hence statement 2 is correct.

Allogenic engineers physically change their environment from one state to another. Beavers are a classic example of allogenic engineers. Beavers help maintain woodland ecosystems by thinning out older trees and allowing young saplings to grow. Hence statement 3 is correct.

12. Consider the following statements

  1. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has promulgated Green Highways (Plantation, Transplantation, Beautification & Maintenance) Policy-2015
  2. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) implements National Mission for Green India (GIM) scheme for plantations along the highway sides and on vacant land along railway tracks.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1 only

  2 only

  Both 1 and 2

  Neither 1 nor 2

The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has promulgated Green Highways (Plantation, Transplantation and Beautification & Maintenance) Policy-2015, under which plantations have been initiated in collaboration with Forest Departments and other agencies. Hence statement 1 is incorrect.

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) does not implement any scheme for plantations along the highway sides and on vacant land along railway tracks. Hence statement 2 is incorrect.

Additional Information: MOEF&CC for afforestation and to increase forest cover in the country implements two Centrally Sponsored Schemes namely, National Afforestation Programme (NAP) and National Mission for a Green India (GIM). While NAP is being implemented for afforestation of degraded forest lands, GIM aims at improving the quality of forest/increase in forest cover besides cross-sectoral activities on landscape basis.  These two schemes involve local people through Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMC) at the village level in the afforestation efforts and decision making in their area of implementation.

13. Consider the following statements

  1. The difference between the Community and Conservation reserve is that the former comprises community or private land and the latter comprises government land.
  2. The number of Protected Areas under Wildlife Protection Act (1972) has steadily increased over the years.

Which of the above statements is/are INCORRECT?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Legally protected areas in India fall into four categories –

Reserved/ Designated Forest Areas declared as such under the Indian Forest Act, 1927.

Protected Areas declared under any of the four categories of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972– National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Community Reserves and Conservation Reserves.

The difference between the Community and Conservation reserve is that the former comprises community or private land and the latter comprises government land. Hence statement 1 is correct.

Biodiversity Heritage Sites notified under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002.

Wetlands identified and notified under Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017.

The number of Protected Areas under Wildlife Protection Act (1972) has steadily increased over the years. Hence statement 2 is correct.

14. Consider the following statements regarding Acid Rain:

  1. The amount of acid deposition in the form of wet deposition is higher in all the areas across the globe.
  2. Normal Rain water generally has a pH around 7.4 indicating that it is slightly basic in nature.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1 only

  2 only

  Both 1 and 2

  Neither 1 nor 2

The amount of acidity in the atmosphere that deposits to earth through dry deposition depends on the amount of rainfall an area receives.  For example, in desert areas the ratio of dry to wet deposition is higher than an area that receives several inches of rain each year. Hence statement 1 is incorrect.

Normal, clean rain generally has a pH value of between 5.0 and 5.5, which is slightly acidic. Hence statement 2 is incorrect.

Background: Acid rain results when sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) are emitted into the atmosphere and transported by wind and air currents.  The SO2 and NOX react with water, oxygen and other chemicals to form sulfuric and nitric acids. These then mix with water and other materials before falling to the ground.

There are two forms of Acid Deposition

Wet Deposition: Wet deposition is what we most commonly think of as acid rain.  The sulfuric and nitric acids formed in the atmosphere fall to the ground mixed with rain, snow, fog, or hail. 

Dry Deposition: Acidic particles and gases can also deposit from the atmosphere in the absence of moisture as dry deposition.  The acidic particles and gases may deposit to surfaces (water bodies, vegetation, buildings) quickly or may react during atmospheric transport to form larger particles that can be harmful to human health. When the accumulated acids are washed off a surface by the next rain, this acidic water flows over and through the ground, and can harm plants and wildlife, such as insects and fish.

15. Which of the following correctly explains the term Bio-prospecting?

  1. Systematic exploration of biological diversity with the purpose of developing commercially valuable products.
  2. Appropriating a biological resource without obtaining prior informed consent of the country providing these.
  3. Systematic estimation of the biodiversity of a natural landscape.
  4. The method of valuation used in cost benefit analysis and environmental accounting.

Bio prospecting refers to Systematic exploration, extraction and screening  of biological diversity with the purpose of developing commercially valuable products.

Contingent valuation refers to the method of valuation used in cost benefit analysis and environmental accounting.

Bio piracy or misappropriation refers to appropriating a biological resource without obtaining prior informed consent of the country providing these.

16. Consider the following statements

  1. Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESAs) have been notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  2. Notifications declaring areas as ESAs are issued under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1 only

  2 only

  Both 1 and 2

  Neither 1 nor 2

Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESAs) have been identified and notified by the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change since 1989. Hence statement 1 is correct.

Notifications declaring areas as ESAs are issued under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986. Hence statement 2 is correct.

Western Ghats is one of the ESA’s in India.

17. Consider the following statements

  1. All Algal Blooms are harmful.
  2. All Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB’s) are toxic.
  3. Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB’s) are generally referred to as “red tides”

Which of the above statements is/are INCORRECT?

  1 and 2

  2 and 3

  3 only

  1, 2 and 3

Not all algal blooms are harmful. Most blooms, in fact, are beneficial because the tiny plants are food for animals in the ocean. In fact, they are the major source of energy that fuels the ocean food web. Hence statement 1 is incorrect.

A small percentage of algae, however, produce powerful toxins that can kill fish, shellfish, mammals, and birds, and may directly or indirectly cause illness in people. HABs also include blooms of non-toxic species that have harmful effects on marine ecosystems. Hence statement 2 is incorrect.

Harmful Algal Blooms are generally referred to as ‘red tides,’ Hence statement 3 is correct.

Background: Harmful algal blooms, or HABs, occur when colonies of algae—simple plants that live in the sea and freshwater—grow out of control while producing toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, and birds. The human illnesses caused by HABs, though rare, can be debilitating or even fatal.

18. Consider the following statements

  1. Cisgenesis (among plants) is the genetic modification of a recipient plant with a natural gene from a crossable, sexually compatible plant.
  2. Transgenesis is the genetic modification of a recipient plant with genes from any non-plant organism, or from a donor plant that is sexually incompatible with the recipient plant.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1 only

  2 only

  Both 1 and 2

  Neither 1 nor 2

Cisgenesis is the genetic modification of a recipient plant with a natural gene from a crossable, sexually compatible plant. Hence statement 1 is correct.

Transgenesis is the genetic modification of a recipient plant with one or more genes from any non-plant organism, or from a donor plant that is sexually incompatible with the recipient plant. This includes gene sequences of any origin in the anti-sense orientation, any artificial combination of a coding sequence and a regulatory sequence, such as a promoter from another gene, or a synthetic gene. Hence statement 2 is correct.

Transgenesis and Cisgenesis both use the same genetic modification techniques. (Namely the introduction of one or more genes and their promoters into a plant) Cisgenesis involves only genes from the plant itself or from a close relative, and these genes could also be transferred by traditional breeding techniques.

19. Consider the following statements

  1. Noise as a pollutant is recognised as part of air pollution under of Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
  2. Silence zone is referred as areas up to 500 meters around such premises as hospitals, educational institutions and courts.
  3. As per existing rules, noise standards should not exceed 25 decibels (dB) in a Silence zone.
  4. The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 framed by the Central Government under the provisions of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986

Which of the above statements is/are INCORRECT?

  1, 2 and 4

  2 and 3

  1 and 4

  Only 3

Although originally, the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981 was enacted exclusively for the control of air pollution, but by Amendment Act 1987, the problem of noise was also covered within the definition of air pollutants under this Act. In this Act no specific provision for the control of noise pollution has been made. Hence statement 1 is correct

Silence zone is referred as areas up to 100 meters around such premises as hospitals, educational institutions and courts. Hence statement 2 is incorrect.

The noise standards in Silence zones are laid down as per existing rules, and should not exceed 45 decibels (dB) and 40dB during day and night, respectively. Hence statement 3 is incorrect.

The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 is framed by the Central Government under the provisions of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 read with Rule 5 of the Environment (Protection) Rules 1986. Hence statement 4 is correct.

20. Consider the following statements about ‘Ocean Acidification’

  1. It leads to increase in the concentration of hydrogen ions and decreases the concentration of carbonate ions.
  2. Ocean water is naturally slightly acidic in nature.

Which of the above statements is/are INCORRECT?

  1 only

  2 only

  Both 1 and 2

  Neither 1 nor 2

Ocean acidification is the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earth’s oceans, caused by the increased uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. (due to increased CO2 levels because of human activity)

There are two important things that happen when carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater. First, there is an increase in concentration of hydrogen ions (due to chemical reactions), because of which the pH of seawater water gets lower as it becomes more acidic. Second, this process binds up carbonate ions and makes them less abundant. Hence statement 1 is correct.

Carbonate ions that corals, oysters, mussels, and many other shelled organisms need to build shells and skeletons.

Ocean pH has been slightly basic, averaging about 8.2. Today, it is around 8.1, a drop of 0.1 pH units, representing a 25-percent increase in acidity over the past two centuries. Hence statement 2 is incorrect.

21. Consider the following statements with respect to ‘Ramsar Convention’

  1. It is a global inter-governmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
  2. It is the only global treaty to focus on one single ecosystem.

Select the correct statements

  1 Only

  2 Only

  Both 1 and 2

  Neither 1 nor 2

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, also known as the Ramsar Convention, is a global inter-governmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. It is the only global treaty to focus on one single ecosystem.

The Ramsar Convention is the only international treaty focused on wetlands. It provides a platform of 170 Contracting Parties working together for wetland conservation and wise use, and to develop the best available data, advice and policy recommendations to realize the benefits of fully functional wetlands to nature and society. Parties to the Convention have already committed to maintaining the ecological character of over 2,300 Wetlands of International Importance covering nearly 250million hectares, 13-18% of global wetlands.

22. Which of the following is/are correctly matched?

Phumlenpat Lake – Meghalaya

Ameenpur Lake – Odisha

Loktak Lake – Manipur

Select the correct code:

  1 and 2

  1 and 3

  3 Only

  2 and 3

Phumlenpat Lake – Manipur

Ameenpur Lake – Telangana

Loktak Lake – Manipur

23. Which of the following pairs is/are correctly matched?

        Mission to Mars         Space Agency

Hope Mars Mission – European Space Agency (ESA)

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) – Roscosmos

ExoMars (Exobiology on Mars) – NASA

Select the correct code:

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 and 3
  3. All of the above
  4. None of the above

The Hope Mars Mission also called Emirates Mars Mission is a space exploration probe mission to Mars built by the United Arab Emirates and set for launch in 2020.

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission was developed by NASA to study the Martian atmosphere while orbiting Mars. Mission goals include determining how the planet’s atmosphere and water, presumed to have once been substantial, were lost over time.

ExoMars (Exobiology on Mars) is a two-part astrobiology project to search for evidence of life on Mars, a joint mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

24. The term ‘Oort Cloud’ was in news recently. It is associated with

  1. Blockchain Technology
  2. Polar mesospheric clouds
  3. Icy objects that exist in the solar system
  4. Far Side of the Moon

The Oort cloud, named after the Dutch astronomer Jan Oort, sometimes called the Öpik–Oort cloud, is a hypothetical cloud of predominantly icy planetesimals proposed to surround the Sun at distances ranging from 2,000 to 200,000 AU (0.03 to 3.2 light-years). It is divided into two regions: a disc-shaped inner Oort cloud (or Hills cloud) and a spherical outer Oort cloud. Both regions lie beyond the heliosphere and in interstellar space. The Kuiper belt and the scattered disc, the other two reservoirs of trans-Neptunian objects, are less than one thousandth as far from the Sun as the Oort cloud.

25. Consider the following statements with respect to ‘HAL Tejas’

  1. It is a delta wing multirole fighter jet
  2. It is integrated with a fly-by-wire flight control system
  3. It is powered with a General Electric F404 afterburning turbofan engine

Select the correct statements

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 and 3
  3. 1 and 3
  4. All of the above

The HAL Tejas is an Indian single-engine, multirole light fighter designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy. It came from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme, which began in the 1980s to replace India’s ageing MiG-21 fighters. In 2003, the LCA was officially named “Tejas”.

Tejas has a tail-less compound delta-wing configuration with a single dorsal fin. This provides better high-alpha performance characteristics than conventional wing designs. Its wing root leading edge has a sweep of 50 degrees, the outer wing leading edge has a sweep of 62.5 degrees, and trailing edge has a forward sweep of four degrees. It integrates technologies such as relaxed static stability, fly-by-wire flight control system, multi-mode radar, integrated digital avionics system and composite material structures. It is the smallest and lightest in its class of contemporary supersonic combat aircraft.

It was intended to be powered by the GTRE GTX-35VS Kaveri, but had to be replaced with an off-the-shelf “foreign” engine, the General Electric F404.

26. The exercise ‘IOWave18’ recently in news was conducted by:

  1. Indian Ocean Commission
  2. Indian Ocean Rim Association
  3. Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
  4. United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea

India, along with 23 other Indian Ocean Nations, participated in a major Indian ocean-wide tsunami mock exercise (drill) on 4th & 5th September, 2018.

The Exercise, known as IOWave18, was organized by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, which coordinated the setting up of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWMS) in the aftermath of the 26 December 2004 tsunami.

27. Consider the following

  1. Medhar is a bamboo basket-making community in Karnataka.
  2. Chola Naikar is a tribal community of Kerala.

Which of the given statement is/are correct?

  1 only

  2 only

  Both 1 and 2

  Neither 1 nor 2

Both are correct.

28. The project launch of the Green Agriculture project jointly organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoAFW) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) deals with:

  1. Addressing Biodiversity Conservation
  2. Renewable Energy Use
  3. Climate Change Mitigation
  4. Sustainable Forest Management

Select the correct code:

  1. 1 and 4 only
  2. 2, 3 and 4
  3. 1, 3 and 4
  4. 1, 2, 3 and 4

The project aims to transform agricultural production to generate global environmental benefits by addressing biodiversity conservation, land degradation, climate change mitigation and sustainable forest management.

29. Germany launched World’s first hydrogen-powered train recently. Consider the following statements in this regard:

  1. It uses fuel cells that produce electricity through a combination of hydrogen and oxygen, leaving behind only water and steam as residue.
  2. It produces zero-emission unlike other fossil based fuels.

Which of the given statements is/are correct?

  1 only

  2 only

  Both 1 and 2

  Neither 1 nor 2

It uses fuel cells that produce electricity through a combination of hydrogen and oxygen, leaving behind water and steam.

Hydrogen produced via electrolysis commonly costs roughly the same as natural gas and almost double that of diesel fuel; however, unlike either of these fossil-based fuels, hydrogen propulsion produces zero emissions.

30. International Sea power Symposium (ISS) which was held recently is organized by:

  1. Indian Ocean Naval Symposium
  2. RIM Association
  3. US Navy
  4. UNCLOS

Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Chief of the Naval Staff visited Rhode Island, USA on a bilateral visit from 18 to 22 September 2018 for attending the 23rd edition of the International Sea power Symposium (ISS) organised by the US Navy.

The biennial ISS was first held in 1969 in Newport and was designed to allow naval leaders from around the world to meet and discuss common issues they faced, how to address these issues, and ultimately find solutions for them.

Source:iasbaba

Important Current Affairs Quiz 23rd March 2019

Que. 1 Which state government’s transport department suspended app-based Ola Cabs’s aggregator license for 6 months in March 2019?

1. Tamil Nadu

2. Kerala

3. Karnataka

4. Andhra Pradesh

5. Telangana

Answer: The Karnataka government’s transport department suspended app-based Ola Cabs’s aggregator license for 6 months.

    The Ola is charged with running bike taxis in violation of license conditions and violated government rules.

    Aggregator means a person who is an aggregator or operator or an intermediary/market place who canvasses or solicits or facilitates passengers for travel by taxi.

Que. 2 Read the following statements carefully:

1. The European Union has agreed to postpone Brexit from 29 March 2019.

2. EU leaders agreed to delay Brexit after the UK Parliament twice overwhelmingly rejected the deal that was agreed with the EU on how to withdraw from the bloc and voted against a no-deal exit.

3. More than 17 million Britons voted against leaving the EU in a 2016 referendum.

Which of the above statements is/are true?

1. Only 1

2. Only 1 and 2

3. Only 1 and 3

4. Only 2 and 3

5. All of the above

Answer: The European Union has agreed to postpone Brexit from 29 March 2019.

    EU leaders agreed to delay Brexit after the UK Parliament twice overwhelmingly rejected the deal that was agreed with the EU on how to withdraw from the bloc and voted against a no-deal exit.

    More than 17 million Britons voted in favor of leaving the EU in a 2016 referendum.

Que. 3 Who has been appointed as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tata Coffee in March 2019?

1. Martin Pieters

2. Shinzo Nakanishi

3. Parmit Jhaveri

4. Chacko Purackal Thomas

5. BD Park

Answer:

    Tata Coffee appointed Chacko Purackal Thomas as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.

    He will replace Sanjiv Sarin, who retires on 31 March 2019.

    He will assume the charge from 1 April 2019.

    He currently works as the executive director and deputy CEO of the Tata Group firm.

Que. 4 Which of the following countries will be funding Pakistan over US$ 2 billion loans to provide a boost to its ailing economy, in March 2019?

1. USA

2. China

3. Russia

4. North Korea

5. Israel

Answer:

    Pakistan will receive over US$ 2 billion loans from China by 25 March 2019 to provide a boost to its ailing economy.

    The funds will be deposited in the State Bank of Pakistan.

    The loan facility will further strengthen foreign exchange reserves and ensure the balance of payment stability.

    Pakistan has received USD 1 billion each from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Que. 5 Which of the following sports organizations of India launched its ambitious coaching education pathway in March 2019?

1. Board of Control for Cricket in India

2. Hockey India

3. All India Football Federation

4. Indian Olympic Association

5. Badminton Association of India

Answer: Hockey India launched its ambitious ‘Hockey India Coaching Education Pathway’ on 22 March 2019.

    It aims to provide certification to those candidates who are already coaches or wish to pursue coaching as a career option.

    The program consists of a combination of web-based modules and face-to-face interactive courses.

Que. 6 Where will Facebook organise ‘AI for India Summit’ in March 2019?

1. New Delhi

2. Mumbai

3. Bengaluru

4. Hyderabad

5. Chennai

Answer:

    Facebook will organise ‘AI for India Summit’ on 26 March 2019 in Bengaluru.

    The summit will focus on discussing inclusive growth and solutions to the most enduring social challenges.

    The Summit will bring together key representatives from the AI (Artificial Intelligence) community in India such as policymakers, start-ups, and the developer community.

Que. 7 Which bank launched an issuance of 5-year senior unsecured bonds to the extent of US$ 400 million under Medium Term Note programme, through its London branch in March 2019?

1. Canara

2. Axis

3. PNB

4. HDFC

5. Bank of India

Answer:

Canara Bank launched an issuance of 5-year senior unsecured bonds (Medium Term Notes) to the extent of US$ 400 million under Medium Term Note (MTN) programme, through its London branch on 21 March 2019.

Que. 8 The RBI rejected IDBI Bank’s proposal to change its name following the transfer of controlling 51% stake to ________ from the government of India.

1. SBI

2. LIC

3. NABARD

4. SIDBI

5. EXIM

Answer: The RBI rejected IDBI Bank’s proposal to change its name following the transfer of controlling 51% stake to LIC from the government of India.

Que. 9 Which of the following branches of AIIMS launched mobile methadone vans in March 2019?

1. Delhi

2. Bhopal

3. Patna

4. Bhubaneswar

5. Jodhpur

Answer:  All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi launched mobile methadone vans on 22 March 2019.

    The vans will provide treatment to Opioid addicts in Delhi.

    The National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre of AIIMS has initiated the new mobile van service.

    Methadone is a drug given in a syrup form to patients as it helps in controlling the craving and withdrawals due to Opioid addiction.

Que. 10 Which IPL team has announced that the entire ticket proceeds of the inaugural match of IPL 2019 will be given to the families of CRPF personnel killed in the terror attack in Pulwama?

1. RCB

2. MI

3. KKR

4. CSK

5. SRH

Answer: According to the Chennai Super Kings’ director, the entire ticket proceeds of the inaugural match will be given to the families of CRPF personnel killed in the February 14 terror attack in Pulwama.

Que. 11 Which of the following things has/have been allowed for the players of the test playing nations to sport on their jerseys by the International Cricket Council?

1. National Flag

2. Player Name

3. Squad Number

1. Only 1

2. Only 1 and 2

3. Only 1 and 3

4. Only 2 and 3

5. All of the above

Answer: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has allowed Test-playing nations to have the players sport their names and numbers on their jerseys.

Que. 12 Which country announced in March 2019 that it will recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights?

1. China

2. UK

3. France

4. USA

5. Russia

Answer:  US President Donald Trump announced that the US will recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

    Golan Heights was captured by Israel from Syria in 1967.

    Previous US administrations have treated Golan Heights as occupied Syrian territory, in line with UN Security Council resolutions.

Que. 13 Who has become the longest-living president in United States history by March 2019?

1. Ronald Reagan

2. George W. Bush

3. Jimmy Carter

4. Bill Clinton

5. George H. W. Bush

Answer: Former President Jimmy Carter became the longest-living president in United States history on 22 March 2019.

    Jimmy Carter was the USA’s 39th President.

    He has broken the previous record held by the late President George H.W. Bush, who died in November 2018.

Que. 14 Who has been appointed as the Ambassador of Karnataka Lok Sabha Elections 2019?

1. Devendra Jhajharia

2. Muhammed Anas Yahiya

3. Jinson Johnson

4. Girish N Gowda

5. Manish Singh Rawat

Answer: Paralympic high jumper Girish N Gowda has been appointed as Karnataka Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Ambassador.

Que. 15 Who has been appointed as the brand ambassador of PhonePe in March 2019?

1. Shahrukh Khan

2. Kareena Kapoor

3. Aamir Khan

4. Hrithik Roshan

5. Salman Khan

Answer: PhonePe, the payments and financial services arm of Flipkart, appointed Bollywood actor Aamir Khan as its brand ambassador.

Que. 16 Which of the following has been acquired by NSEIT, the IT-services subsidiary of the National Stock Exchange, in March 2019?

1. Alphabetz Network Pvt. Ltd.

2. Phronesis Corporate Intelligence Services Pvt Ltd

3. Jetair Private Limited

4. Aujas Networks Ltd.

5. netCORE Solutions Pvt Ltd

Answer: NSEIT, the IT-services subsidiary of the National Stock Exchange, acquired Aujas Networks Ltd.

    Aujas Networks Ltd. is a company which provides information security consulting and IT risk management services.

    N Muralidharan is the CEO & MD of NSEIT.

    NSEIT currently provides technology solutions across industries such as capital markets, financial markets, banking, and insurance

Que. 17 How many Indians are among the individuals who have been named in the ‘World’s 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy for 2019’?

1. 5

2. 7

3. 11

4. 15

5. 23

Answer: Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Dr. Harsh Vardhan are among the seven Indians who have been named in the ‘World’s 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy for 2019’ for taking steps in order to combat climate change.

    The list was released by Apolitical, a global network for government helping public servants find the ideas, people and partners they need to solve the hardest challenges.

Que. 18 The RBI informed the Bombay High Court that it constituted a ________ member committee to look into the issue of currency notes, which will be helpful to blind people.

1. 3

2. 4

3. 5

4. 6

5. 7

Answer: The RBI informed the Bombay High Court that it constituted a 4 member committee to look into the issue of currency notes, which will be helpful to blind people.

    Bombay HC was hearing a petition filed by the National Association of the Blind.

    RBI said that it was in the process of developing a mobile application to help the visually impaired identify the denomination of currency notes. 

Que. 19 Read the following statements carefully:

1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has postponed the rollout of the new accounting standards (IndAS) for the second time.

2. It is awaiting amendments to the banking laws before adopting the norms.

3. The loan-loss provision under the IndAS is recognised based on the expected credit loss (ECL) model.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

1. Only 2

2. Only 1 and 2

3. Only 1 and 3

4. Only 2 and 3

5. All are correct

Answer: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has postponed the rollout of the new accounting standards (IndAS) for the second time.

    It is awaiting amendments to the banking laws before adopting the norms.

    The loan-loss provision under the IndAS is recognised based on the expected credit loss (ECL) model.

    The IndAS will further add to banks’ compliance burden, especially for loan-loss provisions.

Que. 20 Recently, Goldie Small, the oldest person in Broome County in ________ passed away.

1. Los Angeles

2. New York

3. Chicago

4. Brooklyn

5. London

Answer: Goldie Small, the oldest person in Broome County in New York passed away on 22 March 2019.

(Source: The Hindu + PIB + Yojana + Indian Express)

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