UPSC Prelims: Daily Current Affairs Quiz – 25-04-2020

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Daily Current Affairs UPSC Prelims Quiz – 25-04-2020

1. Recently the global sugar prices collapsed. What could be the possible reasons for the collapse of sugar price?

  1. The impact of coronavirus-induced lockdowns on out-of-home consumption and institutional demand for sugar has reduced.
  2. Sinking Crude oil prices.

Select the correct answer code:

 a) 1 only

 b) 2 only

 c) Both 1 and 2

 d) Neither 1 nor 2

Solution: c)

All commodities have taken a demand hit from subdued economic activity and lockdowns imposed by many countries to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why has global sugar prices also collapsed?

One reason for this collapse is the closure of restaurants, weddings and other social functions not taking place, and people avoiding ice-creams and sweetened cold beverages that might cause throat infections. The impact of coronavirus-induced lockdowns on out-of-home consumption and institutional (as opposed to direct household) demand for sugar is obvious.

Sinking crude prices appear an even bigger factor. The juice from crushing sugarcane can be crystallised into sugar or fermented into alcohol. When oil prices are high, mills — especially in Brazil — tend to divert cane for making ethanol (alcohol of 99%-plus purity) that is used for blending with petrol. In 2019-20 (April-March), only 34.32% of cane crushed by Brazilian mills went for manufacturing 26.73 mt of sugar. The rest was used to produce 31.62 billion litres of ethanol. But with oil prices tanking — WTI crude was quoting at $53-plus two months ago — mills will not find it attractive to divert cane for ethanol. Brazil’s mills, which have started crushing (the Indian season is from October), are seen to produce up to 36 mt of sugar and hardly 26 billion litres of ethanol this year.

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2. Zamora Reef, recently seen in news is located in

 a) Paracel Islands

 b) Spratly Islands

 c) Scarborough Shoal

 d) Taiping Island

Solution: b

Besides these incidents, there were satellite images showing a Chinese military plane landing on Kagitingan Reef in the West Philippine Sea in late March. There are also reports that China recently opened a research station on Kagitingan and Zamora Reef, also in the West Philippine Sea, to gather data on the ecology, geology, and environment in the Spratlys.

3. Consider the following statements regarding New Development Bank.

  1. The New Development Bank (NDB) is a multilateral development bank established by the BRICS states.
  2. The state governments in India can seek loan assistance from NDB.
  3. India is the second largest shareholder of the NDB.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

 a) 1 only

 b) 1, 3

 c) 1, 2

 d) 1, 2, 3

Solution: c)

The New Development Bank (NDB), formerly referred to as the BRICS Development Bank, is a multilateral development bank established by the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

“The Bank shall support public or private projects through loans, guarantees, equity participation and other financial instruments.” Moreover, the NDB “shall cooperate with international organizations and other financial entities, and provide technical assistance for projects to be supported by the Bank.”

The authorized capital for NDB is $100 Billion while initial subscribed capital is $50 billion. Initial subscribed capital was equally distributed among the founding members {$10 billion each}. Voting power of each member is equal to the number of its subscribed shares in capital stock.

New Development Bank (NDB) has decided to lend Rs 6,000 crores to Andhra Pradesh Government for various projects.

4. Consider the following statements regarding BRAHMOS Supersonic Cruise Missile.

  1. BRAHMOS is the first supersonic cruise missile known to be in service.
  2. The missile has flight range of up to 290-km with supersonic speed only during the initial stage of its flight.
  3. It operates on ‘Fire and Forget Principle’, adopting varieties of flights on its way to the target.
  4. It is fully indigenously developed by India.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

 a) 1, 2, 3

 b) 2, 3, 4

 c) 1, 2, 4

 d) 1, 3

Solution: d)

The missile has flight range of up to 290-km with supersonic speed all through the flight, leading to shorter flight time, consequently ensuring lower dispersion of targets, quicker engagement time and non-interception by any known weapon system in the world.

It operates on ‘Fire and Forget Principle’, adopting varieties of flights on its way to the target.

It carries a conventional warhead weighing 200 to 300 kgs.

Special Features:

Universal for multiple platforms

“Fire and Forget” principle of operation

High supersonic speed all through the flight

Long flight range with varieties of flight trajectories

Low radar signature

Shorter flight times leading to lower target dispersion and quicker engagement

Pin point accuracy with high lethal power aided by large kinetic energy on impact

It is a joint venture between the Russian Federation’s NPO Mashinostroeyenia and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), who together have formed BrahMos Aerospace.

5. Arrange the following from North to South.

  1. Yellow Sea
  2. Sea of Japan
  3. East Timor Sea
  4. South China Sea

Select the correct answer code:

 a) 2-1-4-3

 b) 1-2-4-3

 c) 1-2-3-4

 d) 2-1-3-4

Solution: a)

6) With respect to 73rd Amendment Act of 1992, consider the following statements:

  1. The act has given a practical shape to Article 46 of the Indian Constitution.
  2. Under the Act, a state having a population not exceeding 20 lakh may not constitute panchayats at the village level.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

a. 1 only

b.  2 only

c.  Both 1 and 2

d.  Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : d

73rd Amendment Act of 1992

This act has added a new Part-IX to the Constitution of India.

This part is entitled as ‘The Panchayats’ and consists of provisions from Articles 243 to 243 O.

In addition, the act has also added a new Eleventh Schedule to the Constitution.

This schedule contains 29 functional items of the panchayats. It deals with Article 243-G.

The act has given a practical shape to Article 40 of the Constitution which says that, “The State shall take steps to organise village panchayats and endow them with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as units of self-government.”

This article forms a part of the Directive Principles of State Policy.

The act gives a constitutional status to the panchayati Raj.

Under the Act, a state having a population not exceeding 20 lakh may not constitute panchayats at the intermediate level.

7) Consider the following statements with respect to e-Gram Swaraj Portal

  1. The portal provides for an integrated property validation solution for rural India which demarcates inhabited land in rural areas.
  2. The Demarcation would be done with the collaborated efforts of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, State Panchayati Raj Department, State Revenue Department and Survey of India.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

a.  1 only

b.  2 only

c.  Both 1 and 2

d.  Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : d

Indian Prime Minister has recently launched the e-GramSwaraj portal, a new initiative of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.

It will provide the gram panchayats with a single interface to prepare and implement their Gram Panchayat Development Plans (GPDP).

8) Consider the following statements with respect to Swamitva Scheme

  1. The scheme will provide the Gram Panchayats a single interface to prepare and implement their Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP).
  2. The Unified scheme is an initiative of Ministry of Panchayati Raj and implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

a.  1 only

b.  2 only

c.  Both 1 and 2

d.  Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : d

The Swamitva Scheme provides for an integrated property validation solution for rural India.

The demarcation of inhabited land in rural areas would be done by the use of the latest surveying methods such as drone technology with the collaborated efforts of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, State Panchayati Raj Department, State Revenue Department and Survey of India.

9) “Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve” is located in which of the following states?

a.  Assam

b.  Mizoram

c.  West Bengal

d. None of the above

Answer: a

The National Board for Wildlife’s (NBWL) has recently recommended coal mining in a part of land from the Saleki proposed reserve forest, Assam.

The NBWL’s Standing Committee had on April 7, 2020 discussed a proposal for use of 98.59 hectares of land from the Saleki proposed reserve forest land for a coal mining project by North-Easter Coal Field (NECF), a unit of Coal India Limited.

Saleki is a part of the Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve that includes the Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary covering 111.19 sq km of rainforest and several reserve forests in Sivasagar, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts.

10) Consider the following statements with respect to National Board for Wild Life (NBWL)

It is a statutory organization constituted under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

It is chaired by the Indian Prime Minister and its vice chairman is Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

It serves as apex body to review all wildlife-related matters and approve projects in and around national parks and sanctuaries.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

a.  3 only

b.  1 and 2 only

c.  2 and 3 only

d.  1, 2 and 3

Answer : d

NBWL is a statutory organization constituted under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

It is chaired by the Prime Minister and vice chaired by the Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

It is advisory in nature and advises the Central Government on framing policies and measures for conservation of wildlife in the country.

No alternation of boundaries in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries can be done without approval of the NBWL.

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