1) Answer: b
According to Himachal Pradesh wildlife officials, more than 750 migratory birds have been found dead under mysterious circumstances at the Pong Dam lake in Kangra in recent days.
Pong Reservoir or Pong Dam Lake is also known as Maharana Pratap Sagar in India. It is named in the honour of Maharana Pratap. The reservoir or the lake is a well-known wildlife sanctuary and one of the international wetland sites declared in India by the Ramsar Convention. It has been constructed on the river Beas in the wetland of Shivalik Hills in Himachal Pradesh. It is located in the trans-Himalayan fly path of various migratory birds.
2) Answer: d
The eight core sector industries include coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, steel, cement and electricity. The eight core industries comprise nearly 40% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP). The eight Core Industries in decreasing order of their weightage: Refinery Products> Electricity> Steel> Coal> Crude Oil> Natural Gas> Cement> Fertilizers.
3) Answer: a
India Ruled To Cap TFA In Fats, Oils At 2 Per Cent By 2022.
Recently, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has capped the amount of Trans Fatty Acids (TFA) or Trans fats in oils and fats to 3% for 2021 and 2% by 2022 from the current permissible limit of 5%. 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 fat is the most harmful type of fats which can have much more adverse effects on the human body than any other dietary constituent. These fats are largely produced artificially but a small amount also occurs naturally. Artificial TFAs are formed when hydrogen is made to react with the oil to produce fats resembling pure ghee/butter (a process called “Hydrogenation.”). FSSAI has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, which consolidates various acts and orders that have hitherto handled food-related issues. It works as an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. FSSAI launched two initiatives for reducing consumption of TFAs viz. Eat Right Movement and Heart Attack Rewind mass media campaign.
4) Answer: a
At the recent annual summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) at Al-Ula (city in Saudi Arabia), Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed a “solidarity and stability” agreement with Qatar.
The GCC was formed in 1981 by an agreement among Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), that was concluded in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It is an economic and political union comprising all the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf except Iraq. The structure of the GCC consists of the Supreme Council (the highest authority), the Ministerial Council and the Secretariat General. The Secretariat is located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It is a political, economic, social, and regional organisation.
5) Answer: d
Global Risk Report is released by the World Economic Forum (WEF)
Global Financial Stability Report is released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
World Economic Outlook is released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
6) Answer: b
Recently the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has conferred 5th National Kayakalp awards to Public and Private Health Facilities for high standards of Sanitation and Hygiene.
“Kayakalp” initiative is the award scheme that helps in encouraging every public health facility in the country to work towards standards of excellence to help the facilities stay clean and hygienic. The objectives of the award scheme are to promote cleanliness, hygiene and infection control practices in public health care facilities, to incentivize and recognize such public healthcare facilities that show exemplary performance in adhering to standard protocols of cleanliness and infection control, to inculcate a culture of ongoing assessment and peer review of performance related to hygiene, cleanliness and sanitation, to create and share sustainable practices related to improved cleanliness in public health facilities linked to positive health outcomes.
7) Answer: c
India’s first indigenous 9mm Machine Pistol has been jointly developed by DRDO and Indian Army.
India’s first indigenous 9mm Machine Pistol has been jointly developed by Infantry School, Mhow and DRDO’s Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune. The Pistol is named “Asmi” meaning “Pride”, “Self-Respect” & “Hard Work”. The Machine Pistol fires the in-service 9mm ammunition. With an overall empty weight of less than 2 Kg, it features an 8-inch barrel and 33 rounds high capacity magazine. It has an upper receiver made from Aircraft grade Aluminium and lower receiver from Carbon Fibre. 3D Printing process has been used in designing and prototyping various parts including trigger components made by metal 3D printing.
8) Answer: c
The third phase of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 3.0 began on January 15 in
600 districts of India.
PMVYK 3.0 is launched by the Minister of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship.
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), launched in 2015, is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) that is implemented by National Skill Development Corporation. The government had revamped the scheme in 2016 to impart skills to one crore persons by 2020 at an allocation of Rs 12,000 crore. On the basis of the learning gained from PMKVY 1.0 and PMKVY 2.0, the Ministry has improved the newer version of the scheme to match the current policy doctrine and energize the skilling ecosystem affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
9) Answer: d
Pakistan tests nuclear-capable Shaheen-III ballistic missile.
Pakistan has successfully conducted a flight test of Shaheen-III surface-to-surface ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads up to 2,750 kilometres.
10) Answer: d
A committee set up by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has recommended the introduction of a cyber insurance policy. In October, 2020, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has set up a committee headed by P Umeshl to explore the possibility of a basic standard product structure to provide insurance cover for individuals and establishments to manage their cyber risks. As, Aaid the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been rising incidences of cyberattacks and a growing number of high-profile data violations.
11) Answer: a
Stardust 1.0 was launched by blueshift Aerospace from Loring Commerce Centre in Maine, the US, a former military base.
Stardust 1.0 is a small sounding rocket powered by a “bio-derived” solid fuel to act as a testbed for future blueshift rockets capable of launching tiny nanosatellites. Stardust 1.0 is a launch vehicle suited for student and budget payloads. It will help to launch small satellites called CubeSats into space in a way that is relatively cheaper than using traditional rocket fuel and is less toxic for the environment.
12) Answer: d
Recently, the USA has stopped the construction of the “border wall” between the USA and Mexico.
• Smart walls are advanced surveillance technology for border security which use sensors, radars, etc. to detect and track border break-ins and technology capable of performing the most difficult tasks dedicated to border security.
13) Answer: c
Recently, the Tamil Nadu state government has given its approval for the creation of a fifth tiger reserve in Tamil Nadu named Srivilliputhur Megamalai Tiger Reserve (SMTR). The Government of India (GoI) has approved the Srivilliputhur-Meghamalai Tiger Reserve (SMTR) in Tamil Nadu (TN), it will be TN’s 5th and Largest Tiger Reserve & 51st Tiger Reserve in India. SMTR is spread over an area of 1 Lakh Hectares and encloses lands which fall under the Meghamalai Wildlife Sanctuary & Srivilliputhur Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS).
14) Answer: b
The Ministry of AYUSH has launched a central sector scheme for promotion of international cooperation in the traditional medicine system.
Traditional Medicine Systems : Origin Place
1. Sowa Rigpa : Trans-Himalayan Region (Tibet)
2. Siddha : South India (The name ‘Siddha’ comes from ‘Siddhar Saints’.)
3. Unani : Greece (Ancient Greece was called Unan in Arabic)
4. Homeopathy : Germany (founded by Samuel Hahnemann)
15) Answer: a
Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) has launched two new technology initiatives: SAKSHAM (Shramik Shakti Manch) and Seaweed Mission.
The SAKSHAM initiative has been launched by the TIFAC to dynamically map the skills of Shramiks and help MSMEs in the recruitment of appropriate personnel.
16) Answer: c
FASTag is mandatory in India from 1st January 2021 for all vehicles.
Statement 1 is correct. FASTag is a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag to be pasted on the windscreen. It is a passive tag which means it does not release its own radio frequency but simply reflects or interacts with the incoming radio waves at the toll plaza gate.
Statement 2 is incorrect. It is a flagship project of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and is operated by the National Highway Authority of India.
Statement 3 is correct. The RFID tag does not require being in direct line of sight because radio waves are used by sensors. Once the car/vehicle is within a certain range (a few feet), the sensors at the toll plaza will automatically detect and deduct the amount from the pre-decided wallet or bank account.
17) Answer: b
A recent massive fire has threatened to cause enormous damage to the Similipal Biosphere Reserve, Odisha. It lies in the eastern end of the eastern ghat and is located in the northern part of Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district. It is one of the largest biospheres in In-dia. It is a national park and a tiger reserve as well.
18) Answer: b
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) releases the Food Waste Index Report. The Food Waste Index presents the most comprehensive food waste data collection, analysis and modelling to date, generating a new estimate of global food waste. It seeks to support efforts to halve food waste by 2030.
19) Answer: b
Hareli is an agrarian festival of Chhattisgarh. It is observed in Shravan month. Farmers celebrate this festival by worshipping farm equipment and livestock. Walking on bamboo known as Gedi is held during the period and children also participate in the gedi race.
20) Answer: c
Recently, the Prime Minister of India has inaugurated the ‘Maitri Setu’ Bridge between India and Bangladesh. The bridge has been built over the Feni river which is a trans-boundary river in Tripura, India. It will give a boost to trade and people to people movement between India and Bangladesh.
21) Answer: b
NTPC is ready to commission India’s largest floating solar power plant at Ramagundam in Telangana by May 2021.Bhadla Solar Park in Jodhpur district of Rajasthan is the world’s biggest solar park in terms of power generation and second largest in terms of area but it is not floating. The largest floating solar park in India is Ramgundam.
22) Answer: a
India and Japan are working on a joint lunar polar exploration (LUPEX) mission that aims to send a lander and rover to the Moon’s south pole around 2024. The Lupex mission is being planned to demonstrate new surface exploration technologies related to vehicular transport and lunar night survival for sustainable lunar exploration in the polar regions — the south pole of the Moon in this case. The mission will use a lunar features-matching algorithm along with navigational equipment from JAXA’s Smart Lander for Investigating the Moon mission, and the rover will carry instruments from both the space agencies.
23) Answer: C
The Indo-Russia S400 deal may face fresh challenges under US CAATSA Rule.
THAAD Air Defence System is of US deployed in South Korea.Iron Dome and Iron Beam both have been developed by Israel.Prithvi Air Defence and Advanced Air Defence are defence systems of India. S400 is from Russia.
24) Answer: a
The “Freedom Pineapple Campaign” has been started by the President of Taiwan to counter China’s ban on the import of Taiwanese pineapples. The objective of the campaign is to attract more consumers to buy and consume the fruit locally as well as globally. Taiwan exports almost 10% of pineapples it grows annually, with most of the exports going to China, which banned their import from Taiwan with the allegation of the risk of pests.
25) Answer: c
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) are collaborating on the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) Satellite.
26) Answer: a
Exercise Vajra Prahar is a Special Forces joint training exercise conducted alternately in India and the US. It aims to share the best practices and experiences in areas such as joint mission planning and operational tactics as also to improve interoperability between the Special Forces of both nations. Its 11th edition was conducted recently at Special Forces Training School, at Bakloh, Himachal Pradesh.
27) Answer: c
Facebook and Google are planning two undersea internet cables named “Echo and Bifrost” to connect the US to Singapore and Indonesia. Echo will run from Eureka, California to Singapore, with a stop-over in Guam, and thereto in Indonesia. Google is only investing in Echo, Facebook is investing in both cables. Need: The current COVID-19 pandemic across the globe has increased the need for reliable Internet access. And, this will provide vital new connections between the Asia-Pacific region and North America and increase the overall transpacific capacity by 70 per cent.
28) Answer: a
Global Gender Gap Report released by World Economic Forum
• It is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.
• The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
29) Answer: a
The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is a groundbreaking global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. It was launched at the end of April 2020.
30) Answer: d
Ingenuity Mars Helicopter is a small, autonomous ultra-light aircraft that is carried to the surface of Mars attached to the belly of the Perseverance rover. The 1.8 kg rotorcraft cost NASA around USD 85 million to develop. It is expected to make its first flight attempt no earlier than 11th April 2021 on Mars.
31) Answer: a
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed three variants of a ‘Chaff Rocket’.
The DRDO’s facility Defence Laboratory Jodhpur (DLJ) has indigenously developed three variants of this critical technology: Short Range Chaff Rocket (SRCR), MediumRange Chaff Rocket (MRCR) and Long Range Chaff Rocket (LRCR). The chaff system basically comprises multiple barrel launchers (Port and Starboard configuration), with each launcher possessing a built-in stabilization system against roll, pitch and yaw motions. It will protect naval ships against enemy missile attack. It is primarily a mechanism that when fired acts as a decoy to deflect the guiding mechanism of enemy missiles. The successful development of Advanced Chaff Technology is another step towards Atmanirbhar Bharat.
32) Answer: d
The Narikuravar is an indigenous community from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. They have traditionally been hunters, but now make and sell beads and small beauty products at the margins of roads, often searching for business from place to place in hopes of finding new markets and customers.
33) Answer: d
Anamaya, Tribal Health Collaborative, is a multi-stakeholder initiative launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. It will converge various government efforts to enhance the health and nutrition status of the tribal communities and will play a crucial role in achieving the ultimate goal of ‘Health for All’.
34) Answer: a
NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft was launched 20 years ago on 7th April 2001. Currently, it is the oldest spacecraft still working at the Red Planet, Mars. It was sent to map the composition of the Martian surface, providing a window to the past so scientists could piece together how the planet evolved.
35) Answer: d
Recently, the Students’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement through Quality Education (SARTHAQ) has been released during a high-level meeting on the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
SARTHAQ is an indicative and suggestive implementation plan for school education and delineates the roadmap and way forward for the implementation of NEP 2020 for the next 10 years. It has been developed by the Department of School Education and Literacy under the Ministry of Education through a consultative process with States/UTs and other stakeholders.
36) Answer: d
The Transport 4 All Challenge has been launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in collaboration with The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP). It aims to develop digital solutions that will make public transport safe, affordable, comfortable, and reliable for all and support the cities and start-ups all over the country to move towards digital transformation in urban mobility.
37) Answer: C
‘Blue Nature Alliance’ is a collaboration led by Conservation International, The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Global Environment Facility, Minderoo Foundation and the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation. It was launched on April 20, 2021.
Aim: To protect 5% of the world’s ocean in five years. To protect and conserve the large areas of the ocean from damaging fishing practices, pollution, and climate change. Target areas are Antarctica, Seychelles, Canada, Palau, Western Indian Ocean, Fiji, Tristan da Cunha, an island in the South Atlantic Ocean.
38) Answer: B
The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology announced a #FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge to accelerate the adoption of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in the Government. Open-source software requires no licensing and need not be bought. Its source code is open for everyone to download, examine, and improve upon if they can, with an acknowledgement to the original software coder or the company.
39) Answer: D
The Leaders’ Summit on Climate was hosted by US President Joe Biden recently.
This is seen as a key milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November 2021 in Glasgow. Both India and the United States have set ambitious 2030 targets for climate action and clean energy. It was announced that the U.S. would cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 50%-52% by 2030 relative to 2005 levels. The U.S. would double its annual financing commitments to developing countries by 2024, including a tripling of its adaptation finance by 2024. The emissions targets which are part of the Paris Agreement on climate are non binding.
40) Answer: c
Scientists at the Human Adaption Institute leading the 1.2 million euro (US$1.5 million) “Deep Time” Project.Under the Project, Eight men and seven women lived for 40 days in the dark, damp depths of the Lombrives cave in the Pyrenees southwestern France. There was no sunlight inside, the temperature was 10 degrees Celsius (50 F) and the relative humidity stood at 100 percent. The cave dwellers had no contact with the outside world, no updates on the pandemic nor any communications with friends or family. The project aimed to test how people respond to losing their sense of time and space.
41) Answer: a
Project DANTAK was established on April 24, 1961, as a result of the visionary leadership of His Majesty the Third King and then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru. Identifying the utmost importance of connectivity in spurring the socio-economic development and growth of Bhutan, DANTAK was tasked with constructing the pioneering motorable roads in the Kingdom.
42) Answer: d
Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has released the report titled “Zeroing in on Malaria Elimination”, prior to World Malaria Day (25th April).
The report brings out progress made through the E-2025 Initiative of the WHO, which has identified 25 countries with the potential to eradicate Malaria by 2025. The WHO and its partners will provide specialised support and technical guidance to them to enable them to achieve the target. Countries are expected to participate in elimination forums, conduct surveillance assessments, audit their elimination programmes annually and share malaria case data periodically.
43) Answer: b
The Government of India has certified 14,491 ha of such an area under Car Nicobar and Nancowry group of islands in UT of A&N Islands. This area becomes the first large contiguous territory to be conferred with organic certification under the ‘Large Area Certification’ (LAC) scheme of the PGS-India (Participatory Guarantee System) certification programme. Under LAC, each village in the area is considered as one cluster/group. All farmers with their farmland and livestock need to adhere to the standard requirements and on being verified get certified in mass without the need to go under conversion period. Certification is renewed on an annual basis through verification by a process of peer appraisals as per the process of PGS-India. The LAC is a quick certification programme under the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana.
44) Answer: d
As a part of Indo-German Project ‘Pyrasol’, the foundation stone of the Integrated Solar Dryer and Pyrolysis pilot was laid in Chennai. It aims to transform urban organic waste into biochar and energy in smart cities.
45) Answer: c
MACS 1407 is a newly developed high-yielding, pest-resistant, low water and fertiliser requiring soybean variety. It is resistant to major insects and pests like girdle beetle, leaf miner, white fly and defoliators. It is suitable for rain-fed conditions of north-east India and for Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh as well.
46) Answer: c
Recently, Mumbai-born academician Dr Tahera Qutbuddin, a professor of Arabic Literature, Department of NELC, University of Chicago, has been adjudged the winner of the 15th Sheikh Zayed Book Award.
The award commemorates the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and his pioneering role in promoting national unity and development. The Award, and its associated accolades, are presented annually to outstanding writers, intellectuals, and publishers, as well as a young talent whose writing and translation in humanities objectively enrich Arab intellectual, cultural, literary and social life. It is an independent cultural initiative administered by the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi(UAE).
47) Answer: b
India is not a party to the UN Refugee Conventions, 1951 but is a party to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966.
48) Answer: c
Section 142 of the Social Security Code, 2020 has been notified by the Ministry of Labour & Employment covering the applicability of Aadhar.It aims to establish the identity of an employee or an unorganised worker or any other person through the Aadhaar number for seeking benefits and availing services under the Code. The main purpose is to facilitate database creation, mainly covering people in informal sectors like migrant workers However, the delivery of services under various social security schemes would not be denied due to the non-submission of Aadhaar.
49) Answer: c
The Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in the area of security and defence policy was established by a Council decision on 11 December 2017, with 25 EU Member States. It was introduced by the Lisbon Treaty on European Union. It offers a legal framework to jointly plan, develop and invest in shared capability projects, and enhance the operational readiness and contribution of armed forces.
50) Answer: b
Statement 1 is correct: Black Fungus (also called Mucormycosis) is a rare and fatal fungal infection caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes.
Statement 2 is not correct: These molds live throughout the environment and are transmitted through inhalation, inoculation or ingestion of spores from the environment. It does not spread between people or between people and animals so it is not zoonotic.
51) Answer: c
The Dahla Dam, also known as Arghandab Dam, is located in the Shah Wali Kot District of Kandahar Province in Afghanistan. It was constructed in 1952 by the USA on the Arghandab River.
52) Answer: c
It is a mobile all-weather air defence system developed by Israel (with financial and technical support from the United States) to intercept and destroy short-range rockets (in mid-air) and artillery shells fired from short distances.
53) Answer: c
Recently, the Minister of State for Culture & Tourism discussed various issues under the Cultural Exchange Programme with his Mongolian counterpart. The Indo-Mongolian Joint Military Exercise is termed as Nomadic Elephant. It is a bilateral exercise between two nations .The troops of armies of both countries participate in Nomadic Elephant exercise.
54) Answer: d
Statement 1 is not correct: Covishield vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), is a Viral Vector-based Technology which is also used to manufacture Ebola vaccine.
Statement 2 is not correct: Covaxin vaccine, manufactured by Bharat Biotech, is a whole-virion Inactivated Coronavirus Vaccine which is also used to manufacture vaccines like Influenza, Rabies and Hepatitis-A.
55) Answer: c
Recently, a farmer from Himachal Pradesh has developed an innovative self pollinating apple variety namely, HRMN 99. The variety has been named in the name of the farmer, Hariman Sharma. The farmer is known as the ‘Apple man of India’.
In 2017, he had been conferred with a National award by the President of India Commercial cultivation of this apple variety has been initiated in Manipur, Jammu, low lying areas of Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka Chhattisgarh, and Telangana, and fruit setting has been expanded to 23 states & UTs so far.It can be grown in plain, tropical, and subtropical areas. Does not require chilling hours for flowering and fruit setting.
56) Answer: c
Recently, ‘YUVA- Prime Minister’s Scheme For Mentoring Young Authors’ has been launched. YUVA stands for ‘Young, Upcoming and Versatile Authors’. It is a part of [email protected] Project Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. Implementation by: National Book Trust, Ministry of Education Aim: To encourage young writers to write about India’s freedom struggle It is an author mentorship programme to train young and budding authors below the age of 30.
57) Answer: b
Endosulfan is a highly toxic insecticide that produces tonic-clonic convulsions, headache, dizziness and ataxia. The toxicity of endosulfan is well known on nontarget organisms and has been responsible for many severe poisonings, including several fatal cases. It can also cause life threatening metabolic disturbances. The Supreme Court banned the manufacture, sale, use and export of endosulfan throughout India, citing its harmful health effects.
58) Answer: d
Recently ,Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a pact with the union government for USD 2.5 million (approx Rs 18.23 crore) loan assistance to upgrade road infrastructure in the north-eastern state Sikkim.
Statements 1 and 2 are not correct: It is a regional development bank established on 19th December 1966. It is headquartered in Manila, Philippines. There are 68 Members. Japan holds the largest proportion of shares in ADB followed by the USA, because Japan is one of the largest shareholders of the bank, the president has always been Japanese. ADB assists its members, and partners, by providing loans, technical assistance, grants, and equity investments to promote social and economic development. It is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.
59) Answer: c
Recently, the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) has launched a new global database named “I-Familia” to identify missing persons through family DNA and help the police solve cold cases in member countries.
I-Familia has been launched by the International Criminal Police Organization. I-Familia is the first global database to automatically control for such differences without requiring knowledge of the missing person’s genetic ancestry and provide standardised guidelines on what constitutes a match. It applied cutting-edge scientific research and used the DNA of relatives to identify missing persons or unidentified human remains around the world.
60) Answer: d
The death toll from the worst militant attack in Burkina Faso has risen to 132 in recent years.
● Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in western Africa.
● The country occupies an extensive plateau, and its geography is characterized by a savanna that is grassy in the north and gradually gives way to sparse forests in the south.
● It is bounded by Mali to the north and west, Niger to the northeast, Benin to the southeast, and Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Togo to the south.
● It is situated on an extensive plateau, which is slightly inclined toward the south.
● It is a low-income Sahelian country with limited natural resources.
● Its economy is largely based on agriculture, which employs 80% of the workforce, although gold exports have increased.
61) Answer: b
Recently, Raimona in Kokrajhar district has become Assam’s sixth national park.
The Raimona National Park is located within the Bodoland Territorial Region in Assam. It is an integral part of the Manas Biosphere Reserve and the Chirang-Ripu Elephant Reserve. It is bounded on the west by the Sonkosh river along the Assam-West Bengal border running southward from the India-Bhutan border and the Saralbhanga river on the east till it touched the India-Bhutan border on the north and the southern part of the Ripu Reserve Forest. It also shares contiguous forest patches of the Phipsoo Wildlife Sanctuary and the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park in Bhutan creating a transboundary conservation landscape.
62) Answer: a
Recently, Turkey’s Sea of Marmara has witnessed the largest outbreak of sea snot. The Sea of Marmara connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea. Sea Snot is marine mucilage (thick, gluey substance) or a slimy layer of grey or green sludge, which can cause considerable damage to the marine ecosystem.
63) Answer: c
Recently, the Maharashtra government has decided to make amendments to the Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Protection and Preservation of Trees Act of 1975, to introduce provisions for the protection of ‘heritage trees’.
The most common method of determining the age of the tree is Dendrochronology (or tree-ring dating). Each year, roughly a tree adds to its girth, the new growth is called a tree ring. By counting the rings of a tree, the age can be determined. However, the process is invasive as core samples are extracted using a borer that’s screwed into the tree and pulled out, bringing with it a straw-size sample.
64) Answer: b
Recently, the European Space Agency (ESA) has selected EnVision as its next orbiter that will visit.
● EnVision is an ESA led mission with contributions from NASA. It is likely to be launched sometime in the 2030s.
○ The earliest launch opportunity for EnVision is 2031, followed by 2032 and 2033.
● It will be launched on an Ariane 6 rocket and the spacecraft will take about 15 months to reach Venus and will take 16 more months to achieve orbit circularisation.
● The spacecraft will carry a range of instruments to study the planet’s atmosphere and surface, monitor trace gases in the atmosphere and analyse its surface composition.
● A radar provided by NASA will help to image and map the surface.
65) Answer: c
Recently, the Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar has developed a device called ‘Jivan Vayu’.
Jivan Vayu is India’s first Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device which functions even without electricity and is adapted to both kinds of oxygen generation units like O2 cylinders and oxygen pipelines in hospitals. CPAP is a treatment method for patients having breathing problems during sleep called sleep apnea and to treat infants whose lungs have not fully developed. Jivan Vayu is leak-proof, low-cost, customisable and can run during power failures. It has an inbuilt viral filter at the air entertainment end which has a viral efficacy of 99.99 per cent.
66) Answer: a
“Child Labour: Global estimates 2020, trends and the road forward”, a report by ILO and the UNICEF, has stated that progress to end child labour has stalled for the first time in 20 years.
Statement 1 is correct: ALLIANCE 8.7 is an inclusive global partnership committed to achieving Target 8.7 of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It works for eradicating forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour around the world.
Statement 2 is not correct: The International Labour Organization (ILO) currently serves as Secretariat for Alliance 8.7.
67) Answer: c
Recently, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has closed proceedings against the Mekedatu dam project, which is being constructed by the Karnataka government across the Cauvery River. The project cost is estimated at Rs 9,000 crore. The proposal is aimed at providing drinking water facilities to the Bengaluru Metropolitan region and its surrounding areas (4.75 TMC) and generates 400 MW of power as an additional benefit. As per the plan, Bengaluru and other areas would get regular potable water. It would be able to help the city address its water woes.
68) Answer: a
Recently, 120 Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) teachers and principals from 3 states completed a 40 days’ NISHTHA-National initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement Program.
Statement 1 is not correct: The Department of School Education and Literacy has launched a National Mission to improve learning outcomes at the elementary level through an Integrated Teacher Training Programme called NISHTHA under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Samagra Shiksha.
Statement 2 is correct: NISHTHA is a capacity building programme for “Improving Quality of School Education through Integrated Teacher Training”. It aims to build competencies among all the teachers and school principals at the elementary stage. NISHTHA is the world’s largest teachers’ training programme of its kind. The basic objective of this massive training programme is to motivate and equip teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking in students. The initiative is the first of its kind wherein standardized training modules are developed at the national level for all States and UTs.
69) Answer: b
Recently, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India has signed a USD 484 million loan to improve transport connectivity and facilitate industrial development in the Chennai-Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC) in the state of Tamil Nadu. Strategy 2030 is Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) long-term corporate strategy. It sets the course for the ADB to respond effectively to the region’s changing needs. Under it, ADB will sustain its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty and expand its vision to achieve a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific. ADB’s aspirations are aligned with major global commitments.
70) Answer: c
Recently, Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) has launched its programme in Bhutan. TIWB is a joint initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It was launched in July 2015, with an aim to transfer technical know-how and skills to developing countries’ tax auditors, as well as share general audit practices. It is designed to support developing countries to build tax audit capacity by facilitating well-targeted, specialised tax audit assistance.
71) Answer: C
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is holding public consultations for the preparation of the Master Plan for Delhi 2041, a vision document for the city’s development over the next two decades
The Green-Blue policy is the focus of the Master Plan for Delhi 2041. The draft policy’s focus on water bodies and the land around it, which is referred to as the “Green-Blue policy”, would give the city a new shape. ‘Blue’ infrastructure refers to water bodies like rivers, canals, ponds, wetlands, floodplains, and water treatment facilities; while ‘Green’ stands for trees, lawns, hedgerows, parks, fields, and forests. The concept refers to urban planning where water bodies and land are interdependent, and grow with the help of each other while offering environmental and social benefits.
72) Answer: B
The government recently constituted an expert committee under former CAG Rajiv Mehrishi to look into the much-debated issue of waiver of interest on loans during the moratorium period. The announcement came hours after the government informed the Supreme Court that an expert panel has been set up to look into the issue of interest being charged by banks on instalments deferred during the moratorium. The RBI had announced the loan moratorium to help borrowers combat the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
73) Answer: B
The PM CARES Fund has received an exemption from all provisions of the law meant to regulate foreign donations i.e FCRA 2010.
Statement 1 is correct: The PM CARES Fund is a public charitable trust registered under the Registration Act, 1908. It was not set up through a Central or State Act
Statement 2 is not correct: It is not a public authority under RTI. Earlier, the government refused to provide details about the Fund under the Right to Information Act, stating that PM CARES was not a “public authority” under the definition of the legislation.
Statement 3 is not correct: The Fund is audited by an independent auditor, not by the CAG.
Statement 4 is correct: According to the PM CARES website, the Fund “has received an exemption from the operation of all provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010” or FCRA. Section 50 of the Act allows the Central government to issue orders exempting any organisation (apart from political parties) from the provisions of FCRA if it feels it necessary or expedient in the public interest, subject to conditions specified in order.
74) Answer: B
Recently, the Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs inaugurated the Doorstep Banking Services by PSBs and participated in the awards ceremony to felicitate best performing banks on EASE Banking Reforms Index
PSBs have shown a healthy trajectory in their performance over four quarters since the launch of EASE 2.0 Reforms Agenda. The overall EASE Index improved 37% over March 2019-20 from 49.2 to 67.4 out of 100. Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, and erstwhile Oriental Bank of Commerce were felicitated for being the top three in the ‘Top Performing Banks’ category. Bank of Maharashtra, Central Bank of India and erstwhile Corporation Bank were awarded in the ‘Top Improvers’ category.
75) Answer: B
The Abraham Accord between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain is mediated by the USA. It is the first Arab-Israeli peace deal in 26 years.
Recently, the Israel-United Arab Emirates Peace Agreement or the Abraham Accord was decided by the UAE and Israel. If the agreement is signed then UAE will be the third Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel after Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994). It will also be the first Persian Gulf country to sign an accord with Israel. The deal states that UAE would recognise the state of Israel and establish formal diplomatic relations with it, while Israel would halt its controversial plan to annex swathes of the Palestinian West Bank.
76) Answer: C
The first edition of the Ecological Threat Register (ETR) by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) recently. It is produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) which is a world’s leading think tank headquartered in Sydney, Australia. The think tank also released reports such as the Global Peace Index and the Global Terrorism Index. The ETR measures ecological threats that countries are currently facing and provides projections to 2050. The Ecological Threat Register (ETR) covers around 157 independent states and territories.
77) Answer: C
The Institute for Management Development (IMD) in collaboration with Singapore University for Technology and Design (SUTD) released the 2020 Smart City Index. Smart City Index is prepared by the Institute for Management Development World Competitiveness Centre, Smart City Observatory and Singapore University of Technology and Design. The index offers a balanced focus on the economic and technological aspects of smart cities. It also includes humane dimensions of smart cities including the quality of life, environment and inclusiveness. The 2020 Smart City Index (SCI) was topped by Singapore, followed by Helsinki and Zurich in second and third place respectively.
78) Answer: A
During the Environment Ministerial Meeting (EMM) of the G20 countries, the Global Coral Reef R&D Accelerator Platform was launched recently. It is an innovative action-oriented initiative aimed at creating a global research and development (R&D) program to advance research, innovation and capacity building in all facets of coral reef conservation, restoration, and adaptation, and strengthen ongoing efforts and commitments made to enhance coral reefs conservation and their further degradation.
79) Answer: D
In midst of the pandemic crisis, the Department of Posts/Postal department of India has recently launched the ‘Five Star Villages scheme The scheme is launched by the Department of Posts (Ministry of Communication) that seeks to bridge the gaps in public awareness and reach of postal products and services, especially in interior villages. The scheme has three components I. E 1. Product and Service Availability; 2. Product and Service Publicity; 3. Product and Service Marketing. The Branch offices will function as one-stop shops to cater to all post-office-related needs of the villagers.
80) Answer: B
The 4th edition of India – Japan Maritime bilateral exercise JIMEX will be held in the North Arabian Sea from 26th – 28th September 2020.
It is a bilateral maritime exercise conducted biennially between the Indian Navy and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). JIMEX-20 will showcase a high degree of interoperability and joint operational skills through the conduct of a multitude of advanced exercises, across the spectrum of maritime operations. Multi-faceted tactical exercises involving weapon firing, cross-deck helicopter operations and complex surface, anti-submarine and air warfare drills will consolidate the coordination developed by the two navies.
81) Answer: b
The Defence Minister recently released the New Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) at Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) meeting Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) is headed by the Defence Minister. The objective of the DAC is to ensure expeditious procurement of the approved requirements of the Armed Forces, in terms of capabilities sought, and time frame prescribed, by optimally utilizing the allocated budgetary resources.
82) Answer: c
Union Minister for Tribal Affairs virtually launched India’s largest handicraft and organic products marketplace, Tribes India E-Marketplace (market.tribesindia.com) on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. TRIFED under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs showcased the produce and handicrafts of tribal enterprises from across the country and helped them market their produce/ products directly under the Tribes India E-Marketplace initiative. The E-Marketplace will help us in onboarding large numbers of Tribals and Artisans and give them the immediate benefits of online trade. It will also facilitate B2B trade connecting tribals dependent on Minor Forest Produces and Medicinal plants to large buyers /manufacturers.
83) Answer: c
The chairman of a Supreme Court-appointed expert committee has alleged violations of the court orders in the execution of the Chardham road project — a 900 km, ₹12,000 crore enterprise to connect pilgrimage spots in Uttarakhand.
The Supreme Court had ruled that the width of roads constructed under the Chardham project shall be 5.5 metres. This was ruled based on the recommendation of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway (MoRTH) for mountain roads. The project aims to provide connectivity to the four Hindu pilgrimages such as Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri that are collectively known as Chardham.
84) Answer: b
Recently, the 28 Year Old ‘Kihoto Hollohan judgment’ has found its relevance in the case of ousted Rajasthan Dy. CM and some MLAs who were issued a notice under the anti-defection law. The law covering the disqualification of legislators and the powers of the Speaker in deciding such matters became part of the statute book in 1985 when the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution was adopted. The SC under the Judgement said ‘Judicial review cannot be available at a stage prior to the making of a decision by the Speaker/Chairman’ and nor would interference be permissible at an interlocutory stage of the proceedings.
85) Answer: A
Recently, Emmanuelle Charpentier of France and Jennifer Doudna of the U.S. won the Nobel Chemistry Prize for the gene-editing technique known as the CRISPR-Cas9 DNA snipping “scissors”.
The CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats and was developed in the year 2012. It has revolutionised and has made gene editing very easy and has imparted extreme efficiency in gene editing. An RNA molecule is programmed to locate the particular problematic sequence on the DNA strand. A special protein called Cas9, often described in popular literature as ‘genetic scissor’, is used to break and remove the problematic sequence. The CRISPR-Cas9 tool has already contributed to significant gains in crop resilience, altering their genetic code to better withstand drought and pests. The technology has also led to innovative cancer treatments and many experts hope that it may help in curing the inherited diseases. Genes of plants can be edited to make them withstand pests, or improve their tolerance to drought or temperature.
86) Answer: C
The World Bank’s biennial Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report: Reversals of Fortune was released on October 7, 2020. According to the report, the first time in two decades, the global poverty rate would go up due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The pandemic may push another 88 million to 115 million into extreme poverty or having to live on less than $1.50 per day, resulting in a total of 150 million such individuals. Some 9.1% to 9.4% of the world will be affected by extreme poverty in 2020. But, the World Bank couldn’t gauge the real poverty situation in the world because India did not have the latest data. India, along with Nigeria, is considered to have the largest number of the poor in the world. India tops the global list in terms of the absolute number of poor, going by the last national survey of 2012-13. The country accounted for 139 million of the total 689 million people living in poverty in 2017.
87) Answer: D
The Union Cabinet approved the ratification of seven chemicals listed under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants was adopted by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries in 2001 in Stockholm, Sweden. The Convention entered into force in 2004. Over 152 countries ratified the Convention. It is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).POPs are listed in various annexes to the Stockholm Convention after thorough scientific research, deliberations and negotiations among member countries. Hexabromocyclododecane, and Hexachlorobutadiene, which was already listed as POPs under Stockholm Convention.
88) Answer: c
The World Food Programme (WFP) has been praised by world leaders and humanitarian groups after it was awarded 2020’s Nobel Peace Prize. The World Food Programme (WFP) was honoured for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict. The Rome-based organisation has been feeding people in some of the world’s most dangerous places, with the coronavirus pandemic seen pushing millions more into hunger.
89) Answer: A
International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is observed on 13th October every year.
In a new report “The Human Cost of Disasters 2000-2019”, the United Nations pointed out that climate change is largely to blame for a near doubling of natural disasters in the past 20 years. The report is published by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR). The report did not touch on biological hazards and disease-related disasters like the coronavirus pandemic. The UNDRR was established in 1999 as a dedicated secretariat to facilitate the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR). It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
90) Answer: C
Juno is aimed to study Jupiter and its gravitational and magnetic fields, vast magnetosphere, intense aurora and the swirling clouds that form Jupiter’s colorful, trademark atmosphere. OSIRIS-REx is the first mission of the US to retrieve a sample from asteroid Bennu and carry it to Earth for further study. Lucy is scheduled to be launched next year. It will fly past a series of objects known as the Trojan asteroids. Hayabusa 2 is a Japanese mission launched to study the asteroid Ryugu and to collect samples to bring to Earth for analysis.
91) Answer: c
Recently, a giant cat geoglyph was discovered on a hill at the famous Nazca Lines site in Peru.
Peru’s famous Nazca Lines grabbed the spotlight on social media recently after the discovery of a hitherto unknown massive carving –– that of a resting cat on the slope of a steep hill. The Nazca Lines are a group of very large geoglyphs made in the soil of the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. They were created between 500 BCE and 500 CE by people making depressions or shallow incisions in the desert floor, removing pebbles and leaving differently coloured dirt exposed. The Lines were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994.
92) Answer: c
Recently, NASA’s spacecraft OSIRIS-REx spacecraft briefly touched asteroid Bennu.
The spacecraft’s robotic arm called the Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) made an attempt to “TAG” the asteroid at a sample site which was no bigger than a few parking spaces and collected a sample
The following are the space missions launched by the different nation’s:
• Lucy Mission- It is NASA’s space mission that will be launched in 2021, it will be the first space mission to study Jupiter’s Trojan Asteroids and will fly by six Trojans and one Main Belt asteroid.
• Xposat- The X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (or Xposat), is ISRO’s dedicated mission to study polarization. It will be launched in 2020. It will be a five-year mission and will study cosmic radiation.
• Dragon Fly Mission- Dragonfly is a planned spacecraft and mission of NASA, that will send a mobile robotic rotorcraft lander to Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, in order to study prebiotic chemistry and extraterrestrial habitability at various locations where it will perform vertical takeoffs and landings (VTOL).
• OSIRIS-REx Mission – It is NASA’s first sample return mission which aims to bring back samples from the primitive asteroid BENNU and according to NASA, the mission promises to bring the largest amount of extraterrestrial material back to our planet since the Apollo era.
93) Answer: d
October 23 is celebrated as World’s Snow Leopard Day every year to protect and conserve snow leopards and other wildlife of the Himalayas. On 23rd October 2013, at the first Global Snow Leopard Forum at Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan the 23rd of October was proclaimed as the International Snow Leopard Day and the year 2015 was declared as the International year of the snow leopard. These countries also signed the Bishkek Declaration to conserve the snow leopards. The commitments of the Bishkek
- Engage the local communities in conservation, promoting sustainable livelihood and addressing
- Managing habitats and prey in the range areas.
- Control poaching and illegal trade.
- Transboundary management and enforcement.
- Building capacity and enhancing conservation policies and creating awareness.
94) Answer: d
Statement 1 is not correct: Sahyog- Kaijin is the joint exercise being conducted between the Coast Guards of India and Japan. The exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability in communications, search and rescue procedures and sharing of best practices.
Statement 2 is correct: Exercise Pitch Black is a biennial three-week multilateral air combat training exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
Statement 3 is not correct: It is a military exercise between India and Malaysia and it is meant to create greater synergy and interoperability between the two armed forces.
95) Answer: c
Recently, The country’s foreign exchange reserves touched a lifetime high of $555.12 billion after it surged by $3.615 billion in the week ended October 16. The term ‘Reserve Tranche’ is often seen in relation to this. Reserve tranche is a portion of the required quota of currency each member country must provide to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that can be utilized for its purposes.
96) Answer: c
Recently, the Prime Minister inaugurated the Cactus Garden in Gujarat’s Kevadia District. It is located in Gujarat’s Kevadia. It is a grand architectural greenhouse with 450 national and international species from 17 countries. It has around 6 lakh plants including 1.9 lakh cactus plants in an area spread over 25 acres.
97) Answer: c
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (Nasa) Hubble Space Telescope discovered a metal-rich asteroid ’16 Psyche’. It is one of the most massive objects in the solar system’s main asteroid belt. It orbits between Mars and Jupiter, could be made entirely of metal and is worth an estimated $10,000 quadrillion which is more than the entire economy of Earth. It is located roughly 370 million kilometres (230 million miles) from the Earth and measures 226 kilometres across (140 miles). It was first discovered on March 17, 1853, by the Italian astronomer Annibale de Gasparis and was named after the ancient Greek goddess of the soul, Psyche. It is one of the most massive objects in the asteroid belt in our solar system. Psyche is a dense and largely metallic object thought to be the core of an earlier planet that failed in formation.
98) Answer: c
A proposed “Miya museum” reflecting the “culture and heritage of the people living in char-chapouris” has stirred up a controversy in Assam.
Recently, a proposed Miya museum reflecting the culture and heritage of the people living in char-chapouris has stirred up a controversy in Assam. The ‘Miya’ community comprises descendants of Muslim migrants from East Bengal (now Bangladesh) to Assam. They came to be referred to as ‘Miyas’, often in a derogatory manner. The community migrated in several waves — starting with the British annexation of Assam in 1826, and continuing into Partition and the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. Their Migration has resulted in changes in the demographic composition of the region. Years of discontent among the indigenous people led to the six-year-long (1979-85) anti-foreigner Assam Agitation to weed out the “illegal immigrant”, who was perceived as trying to take over jobs, language and culture of the indigenous population.
99) Answer: c
Recently, Iran’s Port and Maritime Organisation (PMO) has conveyed to India a request for locomotives and signalling equipment for the Chabahar-Zahedan railway line. Delays due to US sanctions have taken a toll on the Indian interest in developing the Farzad-B gas field.
Farzad B gas field is an offshore natural gas field located in the Persian Gulf under the control of Iranian sovereignty. It was opened in 2008 and India had been negotiating the rights to oil and gas from the field till the US sanctions on Iran jeopardised India’s plans. The Government of India cited policy changes by the Iranian government, Iran’s precarious finances, and the U.S. sanctions situation as the reasons for the decisions on Indian infrastructure projects in Iran, which would be undertaken through local companies instead.
100) Answer: c
Recently, UAE has approved a ‘golden’ visa grant allowing 10-year residency for certain professions including specialised degree-holders and others. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has approved the issuance of a 10-year golden card visa for more professionals, including PhD holders, physicians, engineers as well as graduates from certain universities. Golden Visa is citizenship by investment or residency by investment program. It is directed to wealthy foreign nationals who want to acquire residency in a certain country by investing a substantial amount of money or by purchasing a property. It is a long-term residency programme announced by the Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in May 2019.
101) Answer: c
Recently, the observers had feared that military operation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia would have ramifications in the Horn of Africa region at large. The North-Eastern region of the African continent including the countries of Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia is known as the Horn of Africa since the group of countries form a horn-like landmass over the peninsula.
102) Answer: b
The “patient zero” is a term used to describe the first human infected by a viral or bacterial disease in an outbreak. Herd immunity is when a large number of people are vaccinated against a disease, lowering the chances of others being infected by it. When a sufficient percentage of a population is vaccinated, it slows the spread of disease. It is also referred to as community immunity or herd protection.
103) Answer: c
Param Siddhi bags 63rd rank in the list of most powerful supercomputers in the world. Param Siddhi, the supercomputer established under the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM), has achieved 63rd rank in the list of 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world. India has one of the largest supercomputer nfrastructures in the world.
104) Answer: b
Recently, the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar addressed at the International Energy Agency’s Energy Technology Perspectives 2020 about India’s contribution in ompliant in keeping with the Nationally Determined Contributions presented in Paris. Global Energy Review 2020 report is released by the International Energy Agency.
105) Answer: c
An Internal Working Group (IWG) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has submitted its report. The committee was constituted which was headed by Prasanna Kumar Mohanty, Director Central Board of RBI.
The committee was constituted to:
○ To examine the preferred corporate structure for banks and harmonisation of norms.
○ To review the norms of long-term shareholding in banks by the promoters and other shareholders.
○ To review the eligibility criteria for individuals/ entities to apply for a banking license.
106) Answer: d
The Indian Navy has leased a pair of MQ-9B Sea Guardian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from the United States.
The Indian Navy has inducted two MQ-9B Sea Guardian unarmed drones procured from the U.S. on lease. The drones are on lease for one year. This will boost India’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, in the midst of a border row with China in the Ladakh theatre and increased Chinese activity in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The Defence Acquisition Procedure-2020, which came into effect on October 1, permits the leasing of military hardware to cut down on costs associated with buying equipment.
107) Answer: c
Recently, the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare digitally addressed the Ministerial meeting of the Global Prevention Coalition (GPC) for Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) Prevention.
In order to fight the war against HIV Aids, the government has launched this ‘90:90:90 Strategy’. It is a new HIV treatment that lays the groundwork to end the AIDS epidemic. 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status (90% diagnosed). 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy (90% on HIV treatment). 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression (90% suppressed).
108) Answer: b
Japan’s Hayabusa-2 capsule returns to Earth with pristine asteroid samples. Recently, Japan’s Hayabusa-2 has returned to Earth with samples taken from the Ryugu asteroid that revolves around the Sun. The Hayabasu2 mission was launched in December 2014. The spacecraft was sent on a six-year-long voyage to study the asteroid Ryugu and collect samples. NASA’s OSIRIS-REX mission also brought back samples from asteroid Bennu late in October 2020. According to the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), this is the first time that a probe has visited a celestial body that is less than 100 metres in diameter.
109) Answer: b
After Sikkim, Lakshadweep is the first Union Territory to become 100 percent organic as all farming is carried out without the use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, providing access to safer food choices and making agriculture a more environment-friendly activity.
110) Answer: c
‘Operation Blackface’ is part of the larger action taken against Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) across the country. Acting on the tip-off provided by NCRB, Maharashtra Cyber cops forward complaints to the districts where FIR’s were registered against accused persons.
111) Answer: d
Recently, Israel launched the Beresheet 2 project aimed at landing an unmanned craft on the moon in 2024. moon in 2024, after a previous such mission had crashed into the lunar surface. The original Beresheet, Hebrew for “Genesis”, was a tall, oddly shaped 585-kilogram spacecraft built by Israeli NGO SpaceIL and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries. It had reached the moon in April 2019 but suffered an engine failure as it prepared to land.
112) Answer: b
UNESCO has decided to launch an international prize in the field of ‘creative economy’ in the name of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman The UNESCO has decided to launch an international prize in the field of ‘creative economy’ in the name of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. In this regard, the UN declares 2021 as the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development.
113) Answer: b
The Submarine Day is celebrated annually on the 08th Dec to mark the birth of the Indian Navy’s Submarine Arm with the commissioning of its first submarine, erstwhile INS Kalvari. Project 75 is a programme of the Indian Navy to induct six Scorpene-Class attack submarines in their fleet.
It involves the transfer of technology from the French company Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS) and the submarines are to be built at the Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL), Mumbai. The submarines are powered by the conventional diesel-electric propulsion system with AirIndependent Propulsion technology. INS Kalvari and INS Khanderi are two scorpene class submarines in service.
114) Answer: a
Too many cattle are robbing the one-horned rhinos of Assam’s Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, referred to as ‘Mini Kaziranga’ for similar features, of their nutritious food. Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is also known as ‘Mini Kaziranga’ because of its similar landscape and a sizable population of the one-horned rhino. Pobitora WLS is located on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra in Morigaon district in Assam. It was declared in 1987 and covers 38.85 km2 (15.00 sq mi), providing grassland and wetland habitat for the Indian rhinoceros. It provides a habitat and food resource for the Indian rhinoceros, hosting Assam’s second-largest population.
115) Answer: c
India and Afghanistan soon likely to sign an agreement on building the Shahtoot dam across the Maidan river, a tributary of River Kabul in Afghanistan. Shahtoot dam is to be built on the Maidan river, a tributary of River Kabul in Afghanistan which originates from Sanglakh Range of Hindu Kush mountain. The river flows through Kabul, Surobi and Jalalabad in Afghanistan before flowing into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan. The Shahtoot dam is proposed to be built on a tributary of Kabul river in Chahar Asyab district near the capital of Afghanistan.
Uses- The dam will provide irrigation, drinking water for the Kabul province of the country.
116) Answer: d
Recently, the Union Home Minister inaugurated several development projects in Manipur. He inaugurated the e-office and Thoubal Multipurpose Project (Thoubal Dam) in Imphal through virtual mode which will irrigate 35,104 hectares. The Thoubal Multipurpose Project on river Thoubal, a tributary of Manipur river, is located near the village Phayang at 35 km from Imphal town in Manipur.
117) Answer: a
Astronomers running the world’s largest initiative to look for alien life have recently picked up an “intriguing” radio wave emission from the direction of Proxima Centauri. Proxima Centauri is 4.2 light-years away from the Sun – considered a close distance in cosmic terms. Its mass is about an eighth of the Sun’s, and it is too dim to be seen with the naked eye from Earth.
118) Answer: D
The India-Italy-Japan Trilateral partnership was launched on 17th June 2021 to establish stability in the Indo-Pacific region. This is the second trilateral dialogue involving a European country, the first one being the India-France-Australia trilateral, which took place on 4 May 2021, on the sidelines of the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.
119) Answer: D
Indian Naval Ship Trikand, a mission deployed for Anti-Piracy Operations, participated in the maiden IN – EUNAVFOR Joint Naval Exercise in the Gulf of Aden.
Coordinated by: European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR).
Along with the Indian Navy, other naval forces are from Italy, Spain and France.The naval exercise included advanced air defence and anti-submarine exercises, tactical manoeuvres, Search & Rescue, and other maritime security operations. The two navies also have regular interaction through SHADE (Shared Awareness and Deconfliction) meetings held annually at Bahrain.
About Gulf of Aden
- The Gulf of Aden is also known as the Gulf of Berbera.
- It is a deepwater gulf between Yemen to the north, the Arabian Sea to the east, Djibouti to the west, and the Guardafui Channel, Socotra (Yemen), and Somalia to the south. (See the map)
- In the northwest, it connects with the Red Sea through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, and it connects with the Arabian Sea to the east.
- To the west, it narrows into the Gulf of Tadjoura in Djibouti.
- The waterway is part of the important Suez Canal shipping route between the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Sea in the Indian Ocean.
120) Answer: D
Cheraw dance is performed in the north eastern state of Mizoram. This dance includes four people. It is the most notable dance of Mizoram and a center for attraction during festive season in Mizoram. Cheraw dance could be recognized by the use of bamboo staves. These are kept in cross and horizontal positions on the ground. While the male dancers follow rhythm while moving on these bamboos, the females dance by stepping in and out of the bamboo blocks
121) Answer: A
- is a global survey. It has interviewed more than 1.6 million people since 2009. It conducts surveys by asking three questions: have they helped a stranger, given money, or volunteered for a good cause in recent months. This report is released by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).
- 2021 survey highlights the impact of lockdowns on charitable giving.
- India’s rank has improved from its earlier 10-year global rank of 82. This improvement in India was observed across all age groups and both the genders.
- According to the report, 61 percent of Indians helped strangers, 34 per cent volunteered for a good cause while 36 percent donated money.
122) Answer: C
The recent meeting of G7 countries resulted in the adoption of a 15% Global Minimum Corporate Tax(GMCT). The GMCT would enable the countries to add a top-up tax on companies who try to avoid taxes by showing their incomes in low tax jurisdictions. A Global Minimum Corporate Tax will also encourage the countries to compete on other factors like the better regulatory regime, ease of doing business, access to global talent etc. rather than merely offering a negligible taxation regime.
123) Answer: A
Foreign Minister of Maldives, Abdulla Shahid, was elected as new President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
124) Answer: D El Salvador
125) Answer: B
It was established by the UN Charter in 1945. It is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations. Its primary responsibility is to work to maintain international peace and security. The council has 15 members: the five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members elected for two-year terms. The five permanent members are the United States, the Russian Federation, France, China and the United Kingdom.
Each member of the Security Council has one vote. Decisions of the Security Council on matters are made by an affirmative vote of nine members including the concurring votes of the permanent members. A “No” vote from one of the five permanent members blocks the passage of the resolution. Any member of the United Nations which is not a member of the Security Council may participate, without vote, in the discussion of any question brought before the Security Council whenever the latter considers that the interests of that member are specially affected. The council’s presidency is a capacity that rotates every month among its 15 members. The council is headquartered at NewYork.
126) Answer: C
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi called His Excellency Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Prime Minister of Mauritius, to convey condolences for the demise of his father Sir Anerood Jugnauth. Prime Minister recalled Sir Anerood’s long public life in Mauritius, during which he served as both Prime Minister and President for many years. Calling him a ‘proud Pravasi Bharatiya’, Prime Minister said that India had been privileged to honour Sir Anerood with both the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman and the Padma Vibhushan.
127) Answer: C
NHRC is a statutory body, setup in 1993. The commission is the watchdog of human rights in the country. It works to protect the right to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the international covenants and enforceable by courts in India.
Structure: NHRC consists of a chairperson and other members as follows:
- Chairperson: A retired Chief Justice of India.
- One member: Either a working or a retired judge of the Supreme Court.
- One member: Either a working or a retired Chief Justice of a High Court.
- Two persons: Having knowledge or practical experience in matters relating to Human Rights.
- Four ex-officio members: Chairpersons of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, National Commission for Minorities and National Commission for Women
128) Answer: B
The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana was launched at Ranchi, Jharkhand by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This a Central Sector Scheme which is administered by the Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, and the Government of India in partnership with Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).
LIC is the Pension Fund Manager for PM Kisan Maan-Dhan Yojana that provides an assured monthly pension of Rs. 3000/- to all the small and marginal farmers (who own cultivable land up to 2 hectares) after the age of 60 years. This scheme was introduced with an aim to secure the lives of small and marginal farmers in India.
129) Answer: C
On 25 May 2021, the Government of India appointed Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, a 1985-batch IPS officer from Maharashtra cadre, as the new Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
130) Answer: D
The United Nations Development Program- UNDP has launched a campaign named ‘Sahi Disha’ in order to celebrate women’s livelihoods and entrepreneurship in the rural part of India. According to a statement by UNDP, the launched campaign highlights issues and the hurdles that impact the opportunities of women living in rural India to access livelihoods and jobs. The campaign also talks about the problems in establishing enterprises that will help women in becoming more self-reliant. The Disha initiative is a five years collaboration between the IKEA Foundation and the United Nations Development Program. It enabled around 1 million women through counselling and skilling services for accessing livelihood and job opportunities in rural India.The initiative benefitted women living across five states of India-
- Delhi NCR
- Karnataka and
131) Answer: A
The Culture Ministry has announced that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the late Sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Said Al Said, would be awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize for 2020 and 2019 respectively.
Gandhi Peace Prize- The International Gandhi Peace Prize, named after Mahatma Gandhi, is awarded annually by the Government of India. As a tribute to the ideals espoused by Gandhi, the GoI launched the International Gandhi Peace Prize in 1995 on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. This is an annual award given to individuals and institutions for their contributions towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violence and other Gandhian methods.
132) Answer: B
Norway has planned to construct a Ship tunnel underneath the mountains in Stadhavet peninsula of Norway. The tunnel will be 37 meters high, 1,700 metres long and 26.5 metres wide. A total of $315 million would be spent in constructing a ship tunnel. Tunnel will burrow through the narrowest point of Stadhavet peninsula. Conventional blasting will be employed to build tunnels. It will also use underground drilling rigs and pallet rigs. Tunnel was included in the National Transport Plan for the first time in 2013. The Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications approved preparations to start in March 2021.
133) Answer: C
Renowned Hindi writer Professor Sharad Pagare has been selected for the prestigious Vyas Samman-2020 for his novel ‘Patliputra ki Samragi’.
134) Answer: D
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB) but can also affect other parts (extrapulmonary TB).
Revised National TB Control Programme was renamed as the National TB Elimination Programme (NTEP). The change in name is in line with the larger goal of eliminating the disease by 2025, five years ahead of the Sustainable Development Goals target of 2030.
135) Answer: A
Saurabh Garg (IAS) appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) at the rank of Additional Secretary. Garg is a 1991-batch IAS officer of Odisha cadre. He is currently posted as Principal Secretary to the government of Odisha.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is a statutory authority established under the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (“Aadhaar Act 2016”) on 12 July 2016 by the Government of India, under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
136) Answer: D
The Dadasaheb Phalke Awards is the highest award in cinema. It is annually presented at the National Film Awards ceremony by the Directorate of Film Festivals.
The award is named after Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, popularly known as Dadasaheb Phalke. Dadasaheb Phalke is regarded as the ‘father of Indian cinema’.
On February 2021, Deepika Padukone received the Dadasaheb Phalke award for best actress award for her film Chhapaak while Akshay Kumar got the awards for his performance in the film Laxmi.
The prestigious 51st Dadasaheb Phalke Award will be honoured to superstar Rajinikanth, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar announced on April 1st, 2021.
137) Answer: C
Noted Marathi writer Dr Sharankumar Limbale will receive Saraswati Samman, 2020 for his book Sanatan. The award carries fifteen lakh rupees, a citation and a plaque. Saraswati Samman, instituted by KK Birla Foundation in 1991, is recognised as the most prestigious and highest literary award in the country.
138) Answer: A
Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk experiments with form and translates The Lost Soul, from Polish to English and merged with illustrations to produce a picture book to attract readers of various ages and backgrounds. Tokarczuk received her Nobel Prize in Literature from Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf at a ceremony in Stockholm in 2019, with a year-long delay.
139) Answer: C
Severe Tropical Cyclone Seroja was a deadly tropical cyclone that brought historic flooding and landslides in portions of southern Indonesia and East Timor and later went on to impact Western Australia’s Midwest region, becoming one of the first to do so since Cyclone Elaine in 1999. The name Seroja means lotus in Indonesian.
140) Answer: B
Recently, the Chief Minister of Rajasthan announced the implementation of the Rajasthan Model of Public Health that would include a Right to Health as well as measures for preventive, primary and curative care as envisioned by the WHO. The Mukhya Mantri Chiranjeevi Yojana will also be launched as a Universal Health Care scheme as part of measures to reinforce health infrastructure and ensure accessibility to all citizens.
141) Answer: D
- The Financial Inclusion Index will be used to capture the extent of financial inclusion in India.
- This index was part of the announcements made in first bi-monthly monetary policy of April 2021.
- Financial Inclusion Index has been conceptualised as a comprehensive index comprising the details of banking, insurance, investments, postal and pension sector in consultation with government and sectoral regulators.
- It captures information on different aspects of financial inclusion in a single value in the range of 0 and 100.
- 0 indicates complete financial exclusion while 100 indicates complete financial inclusion.
- It comprises of three broad parameters such as Access, Usage, and Quality. Each of these parameters comprises of various dimensions, that are computed on the basis of different indicators.
142) Answer: D
The Government of India recently appointed S Ramann as the Chairman and Managing Director of Small Industries and Development Bank of India. The appointment is for a period of three years. S Ramann is currently the CEO of National E-Governance Services Limited. The National E-Governance is the first Information Utility of India. He is a 1991 batch Indian Audit and Accounts Service Officer.
143) Answer: C
On April 6, 2021, the Supreme Court of India launched the first AI driven research portal, Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Court’s Efficiency (SUPACE). It was launched by Justice SA Bobde in presence of Justice Nageswara Rao.
It is a portal through which the Supreme Court intends to leverage machine learning to deal with the amount of data received in the filing of cases. SA Bobde described it as a ‘hybrid system’ and ‘a perfect blend of human intelligence and machine learning’ that does wonders when paired with human intelligence.
Justice L Nageswara Rao is the current chairman of SC’s Artificial Intelligence Committee
CJI SA Bobde was the first chairman of the Artificial Intelligence Committee.
The AI-driven tool is designed to only process information and make it available to the Judges to make a decision. It will not take any part in the decision making.
Only the Judges of Delhi and Bombay High Courts dealing with criminal cases would use it on an experimental basis.
144) Answer: D
Britain’s Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh passed away at the age of 99 years on April 9, 2021. Prince Philip had married Queen Elizabeth II in 1947 when she was known as Princess Elizabeth. She became the Queen of England five years later. Prince Philip was the longest-serving royal consort in British history, being by his wife’s side throughout her 69-year reign.
145) Answer: C
The President has appointed Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra to take over as Chief Election Commissioner.
- The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India heads the Election Commission of India.
- The ECI is a body constitutionally empowered to conduct free and fair elections to the national and state legislatures and of President and Vice-President.
- This power of the Election Commission of India is derived from Article 324 of the Constitution of India.
- CEC of India is usually a member of the Indian Civil Service and mostly (not necessarily) from the Indian Administrative Service.
146) Answer: D
Union Commerce and Industry Ministry has inaugurated E-SANTA, an electronic marketplace providing a platform to connect aqua farmers and buyers.
- The term e-SANTA was coined for the web portal, meaning Electronic Solution for Augmenting NaCSA farmers’ Trade-in Aquaculture.
- It will enable the farmers to get a better price and the exporters to directly purchase quality products from the farmers enhancing traceability, a key factor in international trade.
- National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture (NaCSA) is an extension arm of Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
- It will raise income, lifestyle, self-reliance, quality levels, traceability, and provide new options for our aqua farmers.
- The platform will change the traditional way of carrying out business from a word of mouth basis to become more formalized & legally binding.
147) Answer: B
The NCSC is a constitutional body that works to safeguard the interests of the scheduled castes in India. Article 338 of the constitution of India deals with this commission.
It seeks to offer the SC community protection from discrimination and exploitation, as well as providing facilities to uplift the SC community.
148) Answer: D
· The Reserve Bank of India recently established the Regulations Review Authority (RRA) 2.0. The authority is to function for a period of one year. The RRA will review the regulatory prescriptions internally.
· It will also review the regulatory prescriptions by seeking suggestions from regulated entities and stakeholders.
· It will work towards easing the implementations of the regulatory prescriptions.
· Deputy Governor Rajeshwar Rao has been appointed as the head of RRA.
· It will work in reducing the compliance burden on regulated entities. This is to be done by streamlining the reporting mechanism, removing paper-based submission of returns wherever possible and revoking obsolete instructions.
· The RRA will also obtain feedback from regulated entities on simplification of procedures and enhancing the ease of compliance.
· The RRA will also examine and suggest the changes required in the dissemination process of RBI instructions and circulars.
149) Answer: C
It was launched by the Union Housing & Urban Affairs Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri and Minister of Electronics & IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad.
While launching the mission, the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry (MoHUA) stated that, this mission will institutionalise the citizen-centric and ecosystem-driven approach for the urban governance and service delivery in cities by the year 2022. It will also be providing these service deliveries in all cities and towns by 2024.
150) Answer: B
Uttar Pradesh has become the first state in the country to table a paperless budget. The state’s first paperless budget was presented in the state assembly at 11 am on February 22, 2021 by UP State Finance Minister Suresh Khanna.
All members of the State Legislature were provided iPads to view the budget highlights, which were also displayed on two big screens put up in the House.
The 2021-2022 state was also made available on an App that could be downloaded from Google Play Store with the name ‘Uttar Pradesh Sarkar Ka Budget’.
151) Answer: C
Unfinished is a 2021 memoir by Indian actress Priyanka Chopra. Described as a “collection of personal essays, stories and observations”, the book chronicles important moments in Chopra’s life and her twenty-year-long career.
152) Answer: B
President Ram Nath Kovind on February 24, 2021, inaugurated the world’s largest Stadium at Motera, in Gujarat. The Motera stadium has been renamed Narendra Modi Stadium and it will surpass Melbourne Cricket Ground to become the largest stadium in the world.
The world’s largest cricket stadium made history by hosting the second home pink-ball test match between India and England on February 24.
153) Answer: C
Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards were introduced by the Government of India in 1969 to commemorate the Father of Indian Cinema Dadasaheb Phalke. The Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards 2021 were announced on February 20, 2021, for honouring the best in television, film, and music. This year’s awards also included the OTT category keeping in view its rising popularity and immense talent showcased on the platform.
154) Answer: A
Australian PM Morrison has launched a global diplomatic offensive to drum up support for Australia’s proposed law (News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code Bill 2020).
The bill mandates a bargaining code that aims to force Google and Facebook to compensate media companies for using their content
The Australian PM has reached out to Indian and Canadian PMs to discuss such type of regulations.
155) Answer: A
The Indian Government has targeted to replace all level crossings on National Highways with road over bridges or under bridges under the Setu Bharatam scheme before the end of the year 2020.
The Setu Bharatam Scheme is being implemented by the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry to ensure a smooth flow of traffic on the national highways and reduce road accidents by at least 50 percent by 2020.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had signed an MoU with the Railways Ministry to replace all level crossings with road over bridges or road under bridges.
156) Answer: C
Nomadland won the best picture, best director, best actress and best cinematography. The film maker Chloe Zhao became the first woman of colour and the second woman to win BAFTA for best director. It has also won Golden Globe and Oscar.
157) Answer: B
The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has announced the release of the final rankings of the Ease of Living Index (EoLI) 2020 and the Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2020.
· Bengaluru emerged as the top performer in the Million+ categories, followed by Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Surat, Navi Mumbai, Coimbatore, Vadodara, Indore, and Greater Mumbai.
· In the Less than Million category, Shimla was ranked the highest in ease of living, followed by Bhubaneshwar, Silvassa, Kakinada, Salem, Vellore, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Davangere, and Tiruchirappalli.
158) Answer: D
Social housing architects Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal, founders of French studio Lacaton & Vassal, have been named the 2021 winners of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. French architects Lacaton and Vassal were named the winners of the award for their body of work that “reflects architecture’s democratic spirit” and their “commitment to a restorative architecture”.
Pritzker Architecture Prize:
o The Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually to honor a living architect
o Founded in 1979 by Jay A. Pritzker and his wife Cindy, the award is funded by the Pritzker family and sponsored by the Hyatt Foundation.
o It is considered to be one of the world’s premier architecture prizes and is often referred to as the Nobel Prize of architecture.
159) Answer: C
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has declared the year 2023 as “International Year of Millets”. The resolution to declare the year was sponsored by India. The resolution was adopted by consensus and the support of over 70 nations out of 193.
160) Answer: D
Google has launched a new web platform ‘Women Will’ on March 8, 2021, on the occasion of “International Women’s Day”. This platform will provide its support to 1 million rural women in India in order for them to become entrepreneurs with the help of accelerator programmes, business tutorials and mentorship.
· This web portal can be accessed in English and Hindi languages. It will offer guidance to the aspiring women in villages to turn their interest or a hobby like beauty services, tailoring, home tuition, food processing, etc. into the business.
· It will also be providing guidance to manage and promote the business. The Women Will platform is designed for women aspiring to explore entrepreneurship.
· To begin with, Google will work with 2,000 ‘Internet Saathis’ to help other women with this resource to start their entrepreneurial journey.
Google also announced a $500,000 Google.org grant to Nasscom Foundation to train 100,000 women Agri workers in Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh on digital and financial literacy. The Foundation will set up a helpline where the women can get counselling on their entrepreneurship-related queries.
161) Answer: D
Chess player Koneru Humpy won the BBC India Sportswoman of the Year award for 2020. The award was based on a public vote in which Humpy beat sprinter Dutee Chand, shooter Manu Bhaker, wrestler Vinesh Phogat and hockey captain Rani Rampal.
162) Answer: A
- The first forest healing centre of India has been inaugurated at Ranikhet in Kalika Uttarakhand.
- Developed by the Research Wing of Uttarakhand Forest Department.
- It is spread over an area of around 13 acres.
- This healing centre has been established in a pine-dominated forest as it has been found in various studies that coniferous like Pine trees emit certain oil compounds to safeguard themselves from various microbes and pathogens, which are called phytoncides.
- Inspired from Japanese technique of forest bathing (shinrin-yoku) and ancient Indian traditions and that basic theme is, “be silent, go slow, think less and feel more.”
- It involves many activities like forest walking, tree-hugging, forest meditation and sky gazing.
- Shinrin-Yoku, translated into English as ‘forest bathing’, means taking in the forest atmosphere during a leisurely walk. It is a therapy that was developed in Japan during the 1980s, becoming a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.
- Healing properties of the forests and its revitalizing impact on overall health and well being
163) Answer: B
This programme was launched on the occasion of International Women’s Day. Under this programme, the senior women leaders from the HDFC Bank with the expertise will mentor the women entrepreneurs so as to help them in achieving their goals in next one year. This programme is available for the existing customers of the bank. The programme will initially target more than 3,000 women entrepreneurs who are associated with the SmartUp programme of the bank. Under the programme, the senior women executive leaders’ will be acting as the sounding board for women entrepreneurs. Thus, it is a programme for women by women.
164) Answer: A
France has launched its first military exercises in space in order to test its ability to defend its satellites as well as other defence equipment from attack amid the growing competition between the world powers in Earth’s orbit. The exercise, which has been codenamed ‘AsterX’ in the memory of the first French satellite from the year 1965, will be based on 18 simulated events in an operations room.
165) Answer: C
The Union government on March 10 appointed Dr GP Samanta as the new Chief Statistician of India (CSI).
Samanta would be replacing Dr Kshatrapati Shivaji, the 1986-batch IAS officer who was holding the additional charge of CSI since September 2020 after the post fell vacant.
Samanta, as part of the new deputation, would also hold the post of Secretary in the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. His tenure would initially be of two years. Samanta was earlier deputed as an advisor in the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) department of statistics and information management.
166) Answer: C
The app was developed by the government in association with the National Informatics Centre (NIC). It was developed in order to facilitate several “one nation-one ration card” system related services among the National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiaries. It will facilitate several services to migrant beneficiaries, FPS dealers and other relevant stakeholders. The app will also help in identifying the nearest fair price shop. It will benefit those ration card holders who will move to new areas for livelihoods. Mobile application will be launched in 14 languages. Currently it is available in English and Hindi. The languages are identified on the basis of places where most migrant people move. With the help of the app the beneficiaries can easily check details of food grain entitlement, recent transactions and Status of their Aadhaar seeding. The migrant beneficiaries can also register their migration details with the help of application. Beneficiaries can also enter their suggestions or feedback.
167) Answer: C
Prime Minister Narendra Modi constituted the National Implementation Committee (NIC) under the Chairmanship of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in the country and abroad in the year 2018. It has been tasked for the implementation of the celebrations of 75 Years of Independace, Azaadi ka Amritotsav.
168) Answer: D
Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru now has India’s first dedicated Express Cargo Terminal exclusively for export and import of international couriers.
It has a dedicated space for customs offices with direct access to both Landside and Airside wings of the airport.
The exclusive Terminal for express couriers at south India’s busiest Cargo Airport in Bengaluru will enable ease of doing business and reduce transaction time and cost for the shipper.
The new facility will enable Bengaluru Airport to process 150,000 Metric Tonnes annually, taking the Airport’s overall annual cargo capacity to 720,000 MT, from the existing 570,000 MT.
169) Answer: A
About the Perseverance rover:
· Launched in July of 2020.
· It is expected to touch down on Mars at the Jezero Crater.
· The primary task of Perseverance is to seek signs of ancient life and collect samples of rock and reglolith to possibly return these to Earth.
· Perseverance is fueled by electrical power by using the heat of plutonium’s radioactive decay.
· NASA Perseverance gets shape memory alloys to remain steady on the surface of Mars.
· Armed with drills, cameras and lasers, Perseverance is set to explore Mars.
170) Answer: D
The National Informatics Centre (NIC) has launched an instant messaging platform called Sandes on the lines of WhatsApp. Open initially only to government officers, it has now been released for the common public as well.
Features of Sandes Platform
· The instant messaging app, called Sandes, has an interface similar to many other apps currently available in the market.
· Like WhatsApp, the new NIC platform can be used for all kinds of communications by anyone with a mobile number or email id.
· Although there is no option to transfer the chat history between two platforms, the chats on government instant messaging systems or GIMS can be backed up to a users’ email.
· It also offers features such as group making, broadcast message, message forwarding and emojis.
· Further, as an additional safety feature, it allows a user to mark a message as confidential, which will allow the recipient to be made aware the message should not be shared with others.
171) Answer: A
· States and UTs have started the implementation of the Intensified Mission Indradhanush 3.0, a campaign aimed to reach those children and pregnant women who have been missed out or been left out of routine immunisation. Mission Indradhanush seeks to drive towards 90% full immunisation coverage of India and sustain the same by the year 2020. It was launched in December 2014.
Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 3.0
· IMI 3.0 is aimed to accelerate the full immunization of children and pregnant women through a mission mode intervention.
· The campaign is scheduled to have two rounds of immunisation lasting 15 days (excluding routine immunisation and holidays).
· It is being conducted in pre-identified 250 districts/urban areas across 29 States/UTs in the country.
· Beneficiaries from migration areas and hard to reach areas will be targeted as they may have missed their vaccine doses during the pandemic.
172) Answer: C
Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. is the 46th President of the United States. He defeated incumbent President Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential Election. 78-year-old Biden took oath as the 46th President of the United States on 20 January 2021 along with Kamala Harris as the 49th Vice-President of the United States.
173) Answer: D
Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju inaugurated the first-ever Khelo India Zanskar Winter Sports Festival on January 21, 2021 at Padum in Zanskar of Kargil district.
The 13-day festival has been organised by the Ladakh UT Administration to promote Zanskar as a winter tourists destination. The Union Sports Minister said that Zanskar used to remain cut off from the rest of the world for 5-6 months due to heavy
174) Answer: B
On October 20 2020 the Union Minister Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stone of the first multi modal Logistic Park of India in Assam. The park is being developed under the ambitious bharatmala pariyojana.
The park is to be constructed at Rs 690 3.97 crores. It will provide direct connectivity through rail, road, air and water ways to the people.
These parks are being developed by the ministry of road transport and highways in selected locations of the country under the Logistic efficiency enhancement programme. This was launched to lower the overall bright cost, reduce vehicular pollution and congestion and cut warehousing cost.
175) Answer: C
The Election Commission of India launched the Electronic Electoral Photo Identity Card (e-EPIC) on January 25, 2021 during the National Voters’ Day celebrations.
The e-electoral photo identity card will be a non-editable digital version of the voter ID card, which can be printed in PDF format and saved in facilities like Digi locker.
The main objective behind the launch of the e-EPIC programme is to provide faster delivery and easy accessibility to the document, as the physical card takes time to print and reach the voter
176) Answer: D
The Transparency International (TI)’s corruption perception index (CPI) was recently released for 2020.
· The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption.
· Denmark and New Zealand top the index, with 88 points. Syria, Somalia and South Sudan come last, with 14, 12 and 12 points, respectively.
· The CPI score for India is constant this year as well as the previous year’s score.
· India’s rank is 86 out of 180 nations with a score of 40.
· It was ranked at 80th position out of 180 countries in 2019 with a score of 41.
177) Answer: D
Himachal became the first state in the country to have a paperless e-Cabinet meeting here today.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur inaugurated the first e-Cabinet, making the end-to-end processing of the Cabinet paperless by implementing the e-cabinet application. The entire process from initiation of a Cabinet memo, approval of the Cabinet memo through concerned Secretary, Chief Secretary, concerned Minister and finally by Chief Minister to place in the Cabinet has been made online
178) Answer: B
India is going to get its first geothermal power project in Ladakh. On February 7, 2021, an agreement for establishing the first geothermal Power Project was announced. It would help it tap the potential of natural geysers touching the Puga area which happens to be 170 km east of Leh. The project would be undertaken by ONGC.
Phases of the Power Plant
· First Phase:
ONGC would drill upto 500 metres to tap the steam and hot sulphur water that spews out of the geysers. It would help in running the power plant with a capacity of one megawatt.
· Second Phase:
Drilling would be a bit deeper to explore the potential of the thermal reservoir.
· Third Phase:
A commercial plant would be set up in this phase. The estimated power supply would be of 250 MW.
MoUs signed between:
· Union Territory of Ladakh
· Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council- Leh
· Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Energy Centre
What is Geothermal Energy?
1. Thermal Energy is the energy that determines the temperature of the matter.
2. Geothermal energy is present in the rocks and fluids beneath the earth.
3. It is also found in the shallow ground to several miles below the surface of the Earth reaching upto Magma.
Geothermal energy’s largest producer is the United States.
179) Answer: C Mallikarjun Kharge
180) Answer: C
Sir David Attenborough is appointed as the People’s Advocate of the COP26 for the UK’s Presidency of the UN Climate Change summit to be held in Glasgow in November 2021.
Sir David Attenborough is a nature documentary film-maker, broadcaster, writer, naturalist for his pioneer work in producing innovative educational series around natural history, animals, exploration of Earth’s habitats, and environmental issues such as global warming, climate change, etc. Attenborough has worked on documentaries notably Life series, The Blue Planet, Are We Changing Planet Earth, Blue Planet II, Our Planet, Climate Change – The Facts, A Life on Our Planet, and many more. Attenborough is the only person to be awarded BAFTAs for programs produced in black and white, colour, HD, 3D, 4K, and VR. He has been awarded a Peabody Award in 2014 and an Emmy Award in 2018.
COP, which stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’, is the UN Climate Change Conference that is held annually to deliberate on the issue of climate change and what climate action plan the countries will adopt. The UK, in partnership with Italy, will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from November 1 – 12, 2021.
181) Answer: C
A bridge loan is short-term with high-interest rates and is backed by some collateral or security. The collateral can be either real estate or inventory. It is often helpful to the user to be able to meet current liabilities till the person is able to arrange a permanent financing obligation. It is also known as gap financing, interim loan, swing loan etc. It is thus able to bridge the gap between the amount of finance needed and the amount of finance at hand. Many corporations and persons can make use of bridge loans when needed.
182) Answer: C
- Zhurong is on board Tianwen-1 Space probe.
- It arrived at Mars orbit in February 2021 and is due to land on the planet in May 2021.
- With Zhurong, China will become the third country after the Soviet Union and USA to achieve soft landing on Mars. Also, it will become the second country to put a rover on Mars after the US.
- Zhurong weighs 240 kilograms and is solar powered.
- Zhurong carries multispectral cameras and instruments to analyse the composition of the rocks. It will investigate subsurface characteristics with ground penetrating radar.
183) Answer: A
Paytm has launched the Paytm Wealth Community to revolutionize how Indians learn, discuss, and trade in the capital markets. Paytm Wealth Community is India’s first investing community based on Video and will enable users to attend live sessions from subject matter experts across an array of wealth topics like Stocks, F&O, IPO, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Gold, Fixed Income, Personal Finance etc. Users will be able to learn from experts, interact with them to clarify doubts, and also chat with other users on the platform to discuss various wealth-related topics.
184) Answer: C
Mumbai has become the first city in India to design a plan for development of designated spaces for women’s needs. The city has designed an urban plan with gender-focus on reserving physical and social infrastructure for women, The Times of India reported.
The plan provides about 90 land reservations to address women’s needs including education, health, housing and safety. It has been designed under the Revised Draft Development Plan 2034, the report said.
185) Answer: A
Deepak Das took charge as the new Controller General of Accounts (CGA) on Sunday.
Das is the 25th officer to hold the position of CGA.
“Deepak Das, a 1986-batch Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) officer, is appointed by the Government of India as the Controller General of Accounts (CGA), Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, with effect from August 1, 2021,” said an official statement.
186) Answer: A
The Nigerian economist Ngozi Okonjo Iweala has been appointed as the head the World Trade Organization. She has become the first woman to take this position. She has also become the first African to hold this charge amid rising protectionism.
187) Answer: C
Hima is a Judge of the Supreme Court of India. She is the former Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court, and the first woman judge to hold that office.
188) Answer: D
Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha was appointed as the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC). Before the appointment, he has been serving as an Information Commissioner (IC) in the Central Information Commission since January 1, 2019.
189) Answer: A
Germany became the 5th country to sign the International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement after amendments to it entered into force on 8th January 2021, opening its Membership to all Member States of the United Nations.
- Membership to the ISA was earlier limited to 121 countries, which were partially or entirely located within the tropics. This didn’t allow major solar energy economies such as Germany to join the alliance that is being increasingly seen as a foreign policy tool.
- The initiative was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the India Africa Summit, and a meeting of member countries ahead of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in November 2015. The framework agreement of the International Solar Alliance opened for signatures in Marrakech, Morocco in November 2016.
- The ISA is headquartered in Gurugram, Haryana.
190) Answer: C
Mexico has become the first country in the world to issue a sovereign bond linked to the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations. It has raised EUR 750 million ($890 million) by such bonds. The SDG bond will mature in September 2027 and offers a yield to maturity rate of 1.603% and a coupon rate of 1.350%. This new bond was issued under Mexico’s new “SDG Sovereign Bond Framework,” which was released in February in partnership with French investment bank Natixis.
191) Answer: B
The State of India’s Environment Report 2021 on June 6, 2021, released by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) revealed that India’s rank slipped two places from last year to rank 117th on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted as a part of the 2030 agenda by 193 United Nations Member States in 2015.
Last year, India ranked 115th and slipped by two places this year owing to major SDGs that remain unfulfilled in the country such as SDG 2: Ending hunger and achieving food security, SDG 5: Achieving gender equality, and SDG 9: Building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation.
The report further stated that India’s overall SDG score is 61.9 out of 100, and it ranks below four South Asian countries, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
192) Answer: D
Ecosystem loss is depriving the world of carbon sinks, like forests and peatlands, at a time humanity can least afford it. Global greenhouse gas emissions have grown for three consecutive years and the planet is one pace for potentially catastrophic climate change.
The emergence of COVID-19 has also shown just how disastrous the consequences of ecosystem loss can be. By shrinking the area of natural habitat for animals, we have created ideal conditions for pathogens – including coronaviruses – to spread.
With this big and challenging picture, the World Environment Day focuses on ecosystem restoration and its theme is “Reimagine. Recreate.Restore.”
193) Answer: A
India has moved up by two positions from its ranking last year’s ranking. It has become 135th most peaceful country while, 5th in South Asia region.
Bhutan and Nepal are first and second most peaceful in this region.
· 15th edition of Global Peace Index (GPI) was announced by Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) Sydney. GPI is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness.
· Index ranks 163 independent states and territories as per the level of their peacefulness.
· Report provides a comprehensive data-driven analysis on trends in peace, its economic value and recommendations on how to develop peaceful societies.
194) Answer: C
- According to the World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY), India maintained 43rd rank on the annual World Competitiveness Index.
- The World Competitiveness Index is a comprehensive annual report on the competitiveness of countries.
- Top countries: Switzerland (1st), Sweden (2nd), Denmark (3rd), the Netherlands (4th).
- Compiled by: Institute for Management Development (IMD).
- It examined the impact of COVID-19 on economies around the world this year.
- It measures the prosperity and competitiveness of countries by examining four factors (334 competitiveness criteria):
- Economic performance
- Government efficiency
- Business efficiency
195) Answer: B
The Defence Research and Development Organisation recently test fired a series of missile trials. It included the Derby missiles and the Python missiles. The missiles were test fired in Goa and achieved 100% hits.
With this the DRDO announced that the Python 5 Air to Air Missile has been successfully added to the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas.
· It is the fifth generation Python missile.
· It is an air to air missile built by the Israeli weapon manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defence Systems.
· The Israeli Government began manufacturing missiles in the name of “Shafir”. Later as it started exporting missiles it selected a western name “Python” or “Derby”.
· The Python-5 is currently the most capable Air to air missile in the inventory of Israel.
· It is beyond visual range i.e. missiles that are capable of engaging at ranges beyond 37 km.
· It features an advanced seeker that includes Electro-Optical and Image Infrared Homing.
· The Python 5 is capable of scanning the target area for the hostile aircraft and then locks on for terminal chase.
· It was first used in the 2006 Lebanon war. It destroyed two Iran-made UAVs.
· Speed of the missile is Mach 4.
· It weighs 11 kilograms
196) Answer: B
A Space Mining Startup of China recently launched NEO-01. It is a robotic platform launched into low earth orbit. It will conduct experiments on space debris removal techniques.
· The NEO-01 robot was launched on a Long March 6 rocket.
· It was launched to observe the small celestial bodies in deep space.
· The robot will now conduct experiments to clear space debris.
· It is to use a large net to capture space debris. After capturing, it will burn the debris using an electric propulsion system.
197) Answer: A
The COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference, hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy, will take place from 31 October to 12 November 2021 in the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow, UK.
In light of the worldwide effects of COVID-19, the COP Bureau of the UNFCCC, with the UK and its Italian partners, had decided to re-schedule the conference initially slated for November 2020.
198) Answer: B
Dubbed as the largest iceberg in the world, A-76 measures around 4,320 sq km in size, three times the size of New Delhi, which is 1,484 sq km. The iceberg was spotted by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission of the agency and has successfully taken over the ranks from the A-23A iceberg approximately 3880 sq km in size, also afloat in Weddell Sea in Antarctica.
199) Answer: C
Foreign direct investments (FDI) into the country grew 19% to $59.64 billion during 2020-21 on account of measures taken by the government on the fronts of policy reforms, investment facilitation and ease of doing business, the commerce and industry ministry said on Monday.
India has attracted the highest ever total FDI inflow of $ 81.72 billion during the financial year 2020-21 and it is 10% higher as compared to the last financial year 2019-20 (US$ 74.39 billion).
FDI equity inflow grew by 19% in the F.Y. 2020-21 (US$ 59.64 billion) compared to the previous year F.Y. 2019-20 (US$ 49.98 billion).
In terms of top investor countries, ‘Singapore’ is at the apex with 29%, followed by the U.S.A (23%) and Mauritius (9%) for the F.Y. 2020-21.
‘Computer Software & Hardware’ has emerged as the top sector during F.Y. 2020-21 with around 44% share of the total FDI Equity inflow followed by Construction (Infrastructure) Activities (13%) and Services Sector (8%) respectively.
200) Answer: C
India has slipped 28 places to rank 140th among 156 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021, becoming the third-worst performer in South Asia.
For the 12th time, Iceland is the most gender-equal country in the world. The top 10 most gender-equal countries include Finland, Norway, New Zealand, Rwanda, Sweden, Ireland and Switzerland.
Global Gender Gap Index
· The report is annually published by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
· It benchmarks countries on their progress towards gender parity in four dimensions: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival and Political Empowerment.
· The report aims to serve “as a compass to track progress on relative gaps between women and men on health, education, economy and politics”.