Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 11 July 2020

1. Mediterranean Sea is a border of which of the following countries?
1. Jordan
2. Iraq
3. Lebanon
4. Syria
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1, 2 and 3 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 3 and 4 only
Answer-c
Explanation-
Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea, an intercontinental sea that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean on the west to Asia on the east and separates Europe from Africa. It has often been called the incubator of Western civilization.
Extent
This ancient “sea between the lands” occupies a deep, elongated, and almost landlocked irregular depression lying between latitudes 30° and 46° N and longitudes 5°50′ W and 36° E.
Its west-east extent—from the Strait of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco to the shores of the Gulf of Iskenderun on the southwestern coast of Turkey—is approximately 4,000 km, and its average north-south extent, between Croatia’s southernmost shores and Libya, is about 800 km.
Strait of Gibraltar- connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Spain from Morocco.
Area
The Mediterranean Sea, including the Sea of Marmara, occupies an area of approximately 2,510,000 square km.
Depth
The Mediterranean Sea has an average depth of 1,500 m and the deepest recorded point is 5,267 m in the Calypso Deep in the Ionian Sea.
Extensions
The Mediterranean Sea is connected to the Atlantic Ocean by the Strait of Gibraltar in the west and to the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, by the Dardanelles and the Bosporus respectively, in the east. The Sea of Marmara (Dardanelles) is often considered a part of the Mediterranean Sea, whereas the Black Sea is generally not. The 163 km long artificial Suez Canal in the southeast connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea.
Important Islands
Large islands in the Mediterranean include Cyprus, Crete, Rhodes, Andros, Sicily, Cres, Malta, Sardinia, Corsica, Balearic, Majorca and Menorca.
Temperature and Salinity
Evaporation greatly exceeds precipitation and river runoff in the Mediterranean. Evaporation is especially high in its eastern half, causing the water level to decrease and salinity to increase eastward. The western basin has a temperature of 12 °C in winter and 23 °C in summer, its salinity is 36‰ , while the eastern basin is warmer and more salty, it temperature is 16 °C in winter and 26-29 °C in summer, its salinity is 39‰ .
Coastal countries

The following countries have a coastline on the Mediterranean Sea:
Northern shore (from west to east): Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece and Turkey.
Eastern shore (from north to south): Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel.
Southern shore (from west to east): Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt.
Island nations: Malta, Cyprus.

Several other territories also border the Mediterranean Sea (from west to east): The British overseas territory of Gibraltar, the Spanish autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla and nearby islands, the Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus, and the Palestinian Gaza Strip.
Important Seas
Alboran Sea- between Spain and Morocco.
Balearic Sea- between mainland Spain and its Balearic Islands.
Ligurian Sea – between Corsica and Liguria (Italy).
Tyrrhenian Sea – enclosed by Sardinia, Italian peninsula and Sicily.
Ionian Sea- between Italy, Albania and Greece.
Adriatic Sea -between Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania.
Aegean Sea – between Greece and Turkey.
Volcanoes
Stromboli Volcano is well known, since ancient times, as the “lighthouse of the Mediterranean” due to its practically continuous activity. It has a characteristic explosive activity. Others- Lipari , island of Vulcano , Marsili, Vavilov , Magnaghi , Etna , Vesuvius , Pantelleria , Linosa , Montagna Grande , Sicily.
https://www.britannica.com/place/Mediterranean-Sea/Physiographic-and-geologic-features

2. Consider the following statements regarding the Nyunatam Aay Yojana (NYAY).
1. It has promised to five crore poorest families covering 25 crore people by assuring them a guaranteeing minimum income of ₹6,000/- month.
2. This scheme had proposed each household in India above to the minimum income threshold of Rs.12000/- month.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer-c
Explanation-
Nyunatam Aay Yojana (NYAY)
https://nvshq.org/scheme/nyuntam-aay-yojana/

3. Consider the following statements regarding the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi.
1. The temple stands on the western bank of the holy river Ganga, and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest of Shiva temples.

2. It was constructed in the year 1780 by the Maratha monarch, Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar of the Indore.
3. The shrines of the wrathful protectors Mahakala and Dandapani, and the lingam of Avimukteshvara are also situated within the temple complex.
Which of the statements given above are correct?
(a) 2 and 3 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Answer-d
Explanation-
Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi
Varanasi, also known as Benaras and Kashi, is a major city in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Situated on the banks of the holy river Ganga, the city has great religious significance for the Hindus.
Varanasi is home to Kashi Vishwanath Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It enshrines one of the twelve Jyotirlingams of Shiva.
It is said that this temple was rebuilt several times. The latest structure standing here dates back to the 18th century.
Thousands of Pilgrims converge here to perform an abhishekam to the sacred Jyotirlingam, with water from the Ganga.
Beside its religious significance, the temple is also an architectural marvel. The magnificent edifice offers a breathtaking view to the onlooker. It is said that once Lord Shiva came in the dream of Rani Ahalya Bai Holkar of Indore. She, being a devotee of Lord Shiva, got the current temple built in 1777.
Vishwanath Khanda, also referred to as the Old City is located at the heart of Varanasi, between Dashashwamedha Ghat and Godaulia to the south and west and Manikarnika Ghat on the river to the north. The whole area rewards exploration, with numerous shrines and lingams tucked into every corner, and is buzzing with the activity of pilgrims, pandas and stalls selling offerings to the devotees.
Approached through a maze of narrow alleys and the Vishwanath Gali (or Lane), the temple complex of Vishwanath or Visheshwara, the “Lord of All”, is popularly known as the Golden Temple, due to the massive gold plating on its shikhara (spire). Inside the compound, which is hidden behind a wall, and entered through an unassuming doorway, is one of India’s most important shivalingams, made of smooth black stone and seated in a solid silver plinth. The shrines of the wrathful protectors Mahakala and Dandapani, and the lingam of Avimukteshvara are also situated within the temple complex.
Pilgrims offer their sankalpa or statement of intent here, before commencing the Panchatirthi Yatra. Slightly north, across the main road, the thirteenth-century Razia’s Mosque stands atop the ruins of a still earlier Vishwanatha temple.
Varanasi is said to be the point at which the first jyotirlinga, the fiery pillar of light by which Shiva manifested his supremacy over other gods, broke through the earth’s crust and flared towards the heavens. More than the Ghats and even the Ganga, the Shivalinga installed in the temple remain the devotional focus of Varanasi.
https://knowindia.gov.in/culture-and-heritage/monuments/kashi-vishwanath-temple-varanasi.php

4. Consider the following statements regarding the Mata Amritanandamayi Math.
1. It was founded by spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi in 1981 at Kollam district of Kerala.
2. It conducts charitable work including disaster relief, healthcare for the poor, environmental programs, fighting hunger and scholarships for impoverished students, amongst others.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer-c
Explanation-
Mata Amritanandamayi Math
The Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM) is an international charitable organization aimed at the spiritual and material upliftment of humankind. It was founded by spiritual leader and humanitarian Mata Amritanandamayi in 1981, with its headquarters in Paryakadavu, Alappad Panchayat, Kollam district, Kerala.
Along with its sister organization, the Mata Amritanandamayi Mission Trust, MAM conducts charitable work including disaster relief, healthcare for the poor, environmental programs, fighting hunger and scholarships for impoverished students, amongst others.
It also runs the five-campus university known as Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, and conducts classes in yoga, meditation and Sanskrit.
MAM is a volunteer organization, basing its activities on the principle of karma yoga [work as an offering to the divine]. Its headquarters are home to more than 3,000 people, a mix of householders, monastics and monastic students. People make the pilgrimage to MAM every day in order to receive the blessings of Mata Amritanandamayi.
MAM, along with Amritanandamayi’s other centers and organizations throughout the world function collectively under the umbrella title of Embracing the World.
On July 24, 2005, in recognition of MAM’s outstanding disaster-relief work and other humanitarian activities, the United Nations conferred Special Consultative Status to MAM, with its Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), thus enabling collaboration with UN agencies.
In December 2008, the UN’s Department of Public Information approved MAM as an associated nongovernmental organization to help its work of disseminating information and research into humanitarian issues

5. Consider the following statements about Bats (Chiroptera).
1. Bats are mammal to which carry many viruses without getting sick.
2. The bats rely heavily on echolocation to navigate through their environment and to find food.
3. Bats are found throughout the world in tropical and temperate habitats.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 2 and 3 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Answer-d
Explanation-
Bats (Chiroptera)
https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Chiroptera/