Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 17 MARCH 2020

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1. The new species of lizard, zoologically named Cyrtodactylus urbanus, is markedly different in molecular structure has been discovered in:
(a) Karnataka
(b) Assam
(c) Maharashtra
(d) Meghalaya

2.. Consider the following statements with respect to council of ministers in a state.
1. The minimum strength of council of ministers in a state is 12 and maximum is 15 percent of Legislative Assembly.
2. All activities of the ministers are guided and controlled by the Chief Minister.
3. The council comprises ministers appointed by the governor on the recommendation of the CM.
4. The council of ministers can advise the governor to dissolve the legislative assembly on the ground that the House does not represent the views of the electorate faithfully and call for fresh elections.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 1, 3 and 4 only
(b) 3 and 4 only
(c) 2, 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

3.. Consider the following statements regarding Thyroid Gland and related disorder.
1. Chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is gradually destroyed.
2. The primary function of the thyroid gland is to secrete two hormones, namely, Triiodothyronine (T3) hormone and the Thyroxine hormone (T4).
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

4. Consider the following statements with reference to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
1. NTCA is set up under the Chairmanship of the principal secretary of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
2. The powers and functions of the NTCA are prescribed under the Forest Conservation Act, 1980.
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

5.. Consider the following statements regarding the GISAT-1 (Geo Imaging Satellite).
1. It is an Indian earth observing satellite operating from geostationary orbit to facilitate continuous observation of Indian sub-continent.
2. It is built on a modified I-1K (I-1000) Bus, which is to be launched on a GSLV Mk-II launch vehicle.
3. It will provide near real time pictures of large areas of the country, under cloud free conditions, at frequent intervals.
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

 

1.Answer-b
Explanation-
The new species of lizard, zoologically named Cyrtodactylus urbanus, is markedly different in molecular structure, blotch and colour from the Cyrtodactylus guwahatiensis, or the Guwahati bent-toed gecko, that was discovered two years ago has been discovered in Guwahati, Assam. It was also the 12th recorded gecko from the Northeast. All bent-toed geckos in Northeast India were thought to be a single species, the Cyrtodactylus khasiensis found primarily in the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya. Though the urban bent-toed gecko falls within the khasiensis group, it differs from other members of this group in mitochondrial sequence data as well as aspects of morphology.

 

2.Answer-d
Explanation-
Council of Ministers in States (Articles 163-164)
Who is called a Chief Minister?
He is the head of the state government. While the governor is the nominal executive of the state government, the person who becomes the chief minister is the real executive of the government. The real executive is called ‘de facto’ executive that means, ‘in fact, whether by right or not.’
How is a Chief Minister appointed?
Just like the Prime Minister, provisions of whose appointment are not mentioned in the Indian Constitution, Chief Minister’s appointment particulars are not mentioned in the Constitution.
According to Article 164 in the Indian Constitution, Governor appoints Chief Minister. However, the Governor cannot appoint any random person as the Chief Minister but has to follow a provision.
A leader of the party that has got the majority share of votes in the assembly elections is appointed as the Chief Minister of the state.
Note:
When no party gets a majority in the elections, governor exercises his own discretion and appoint a Chief Minister accordingly.
In a case where no party has won the majority votes, Governor appoints the member of the largest party or one from the coalition (if occurs) as the Chief Minister and then he is given 1 month time to prove confidence in the house.
If the incumbent dies in the office, Governor at his own discretion can appoint a Chief Minister however, the ruling party nominates a member and Governor usually appoints that person as the Chief Minister. This person then has to prove confidence within a specified time.
A person not belonging to either house (Legislative Assembly & Council) can also be appointed as the Chief Minister; however, within six months of his tenure as a CM he should be elected to either house without which he ceases to be a CM.
Chief Minister can belong to any house in the State Legislature.
What is the term of Chief Minister’s office?
Aspirants should clearly understand that the term of Chief Minister is not fixed and he holds his office during the pleasure of the governor.
Note:
Governor cannot remove him any time.
Governor cannot even dismiss him till the time he enjoys the support of the majority of the house.
When CM loses his majority support, he has to resign and Governor dismisses him then.
What is the main function of the Chief Minister?
The CM of the state performs functions in relation to the different categories of people:
1. In relation to the Council of Ministers
2. In relation to the Governor
3. In relation to the State Legislature
Other than that, he also performs the following functions:
1. He chairs the State Planning Board
2. He is a vice-chairperson of the concerned zonal council by rotation, holding that office for a period of one year at a time
3. He is a member of Inter-State Council and National Development Council which are headed by the Prime Minister.
In Relation to the Council of Ministers
The Chief Minister is the head of state council of ministers. He performs the following functions:
1. He recommends to the governor on who to appoint as ministers
2. He designates or reshuffles the portfolios of the ministers
3. He can ask a minister to resign
4. Meeting of the council of ministers is headed by him
5. All activities of the ministers are guided and controlled by the Chief Minister
6. If he resigns, the entire council of ministers collapses.
Note: If the CM dies (or resigns), the council automatically dissolves.
In Relation to the Governor
In relation to the governor, the Chief Minister performs the following functions:
1. All the activities, decisions that are taken up by the council of ministers are communicated to the governor by the chief minister
2. To report to the governor, information about the administrative affairs if and when asked by the governor
3. If any minister has decided on any issue, the same has to be reported to the Governor by the Chief Minister when the same has not been considered by the council.
4. He gives his advice to the governor for the appointment of the following persons:
1. Advocate-General
2. Chairman of state public service commission
3. The state election commission, etc.
In Relation to the State Legislature
He is the leader of the house and holding this position, he performs the following functions:
1. Before a governor prorogues and summons the sessions of the state legislature, the Chief Minister’s advice is a must
2. Legislative Assembly can be dissolved at any time on his recommendation to the governor
3. All government policies are announced by him on the floor of the house.
Chief Minister and the Governor
Who is State Council of Ministers?
State Council Of Ministers are similar to Central Council of Ministers. The state council is headed by the Chief Minister. The council comprises ministers appointed by the governor on the recommendation of the CM.
How are the Council of Ministers appointed?
They are appointed by the governor on the advice of the CM. Governor also appoints a tribal affairs minister for the following states:
1. Chhattisgarh
2. Jharkhand
3. Madhya Pradesh
4. Odisha
Collective Responsibility
The provision of collective responsibility is dealt with by Article 164. The Article mentions that the council of ministers are collectively responsible to the state legislature. (To read more about the important articles in the Indian Constitution, refer to the linked article.) This means that all the ministers own joint responsibility to the legislative assembly for all their acts of omission and commission.
Note:
When the legislative assembly passed a no-confidence motion against the council, all the ministers of the council have to resign including those belonging to Legislative Council too.
The council of ministers can advise the governor to dissolve the legislative assembly on the ground that the House does not represent the views of the electorate faithfully and call for fresh elections. The governor may not oblige the council of ministers which has lost the confidence of the legislative assembly.

 

3. Answer-c
Explanation
What is Thyroid Gland?
The thyroid gland is a ductless endocrine gland situated in the anterior/front portion of the neck. It roughly resembles the shape of a butterfly. It is also one of the largest endocrine glands, weighing an average of 25 – 30 g. This gland has two lobes on either side of the trachea, with each lobe measuring 4 – 6 cm in length and 1.3 – 1.8 cm in width.
The primary function of the thyroid gland is to secrete two hormones, namely, Triiodothyronine (T3) hormone and the Thyroxine hormone (T4). Both T3 and T4 hormones play a very important role and affect almost every tissue in the body. There are two thyroid hormones:
T4
Thyroxine is a hormone secreted by the thyroid gland in the bloodstream. It then travels to the organs such as kidneys and liver where it gets converted into and gets converted into its active form triiodothyronine.
T3
It is a thyroid hormone that affects physiological processes such as growth, development, metabolism, etc.
Thyroid Symptoms
Some of the common symptoms of the thyroid are:
• Nervousness
• Poor concentration and knowledge retention
• Change in the menstrual cycle
• Increased heart rate
• Muscle aches
• Weight gain
• High level of cholesterol
Common Thyroid Diseases in India
Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism, also called an underactive thyroid or low thyroid, is a disorder of the endocrine system in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. North India recorded the maximum cases of hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism: Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) occurs when your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. Hyperthyroidism can accelerate the body’s metabolism, causing unintentional weight loss and a rapid or irregular heartbeat. South India reported maximum cases of hyperthyroidism.
Goiter and Iodine Deficiency Disorders: Goiter is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland and the most common cause of goiters worldwide is a lack of iodine in the diet.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: Also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis. It is an autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is gradually destroyed and over time the thyroid may enlarge, forming a painless goiter.
Thyroid cancer: Thyroid cancer occurs in the cells of the thyroid. The cause of thyroid cancer is poorly understood, but may involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

 

4.Answer-d
Explanation-
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)
NTCA is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
It is constituted under enabling provisions of the ‘Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972’, as amended in 2006, for strengthening tiger conservation, as per powers and functions assigned to it under the said Act.
Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is the Chairman of the NTCA.
The NTCA was established in December 2005 following a recommendation of the Tiger Task Force.
Tiger Task Force was constituted by the Prime Minister of India for reorganized management of Project Tiger and the Tiger Reserves in India.
The Government of India in co-operation with WWF started ‘Tiger Protection Program’ (popularly known as Project Tiger) in 1973.
The NTCA has been fulfilling its mandate within the ambit of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 for strengthening tiger conservation in the country by retaining an oversight through advisories/normative guidelines, based on appraisal of tiger status, ongoing conservation initiatives and recommendations of specially constituted Committees.
Project Tiger is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the Environment, Forests and Climate Change, providing funding support to tiger range States, for in-situ conservation of tigers in designated tiger reserves, and has put the endangered tiger on an assured path of recovery by saving it from extinction, as revealed by the recent findings of the All India tiger estimation using the refined methodology.
Objective of the NTCA
 Providing statutory authority to Project Tiger so that compliance of its directives become legal.
 Fostering accountability of Center-State in management of Tiger Reserves, by providing a basis for MoU with States within our federal structure.
 Providing for an oversight by Parliament.
 Addressing livelihood interests of local people in areas surrounding Tiger Reserves.

Note: M-STrIPES (Monitoring System for Tigers – Intensive Protection and Ecological Status) is an app based monitoring system, launched across Indian tiger reserves by the NTCA in 2010. The system would enable field managers to assist intensity and spatial coverage of patrols in a geographic information system (GIS) domain.
Tiger Census Report
The Prime Minister of India had released the results of the fourth cycle of All India Tiger Estimation – 2018 on the occasion of Global Tiger Day-2019.
According to results of the Tiger census, the total count of tigers has risen to 2,967 from 2,226 in 2014 — an increase of 741 individuals (aged more than one year), or 33%, in four years.
India has achieved the target of doubling the tiger count four years ahead of the deadline of 2022.
This is by far the biggest increase in Tiger count in terms of both numbers and percentage (since the four-yearly census using camera traps and the capture-mark-recapture method began in 2006).
Need for Tiger Conservation
Tigers are at the top of the food chain and are sometimes referred to as “umbrella species” that is their conservation also conserve many other species in the same area.
The Tiger estimation exercise that includes habitat assessment and prey estimation reflects the success or failure of Tiger conservation efforts.
More than 80% of the world’s wild tigers are in India, and it’s crucial to keep track of their numbers.
Tigers in India
India accounts for majority of the 3,500-odd tigers that are scattered among Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russian Federation, Thailand and Vietnam.
India’s five tiger landscapes are: Shivalik Hills and Gangetic Plains, Central Indian Landscape and Eastern Ghats, Western Ghats, North-East Hills and Brahmaputra Plains, and the Sundarbans.


Key Findings
Top Performers: Madhya Pradesh saw the highest number of tigers (526) followed by Karnataka (524) and Uttarakhand (442).
Increase in Tiger population: Madhya Pradesh (71%) > Maharashtra (64%) > Karnataka (29%).
Worst Performers: Chhattisgarh and Mizoram saw a decline in tiger population. Chhattisgarh is the only state out of the 20 tiger-bearing states where the 2018- census counted 19 tigers, significantly fewer than the 46 of 2014.
Decline in Tiger numbers in Chhattisgarh can be attributed to the law and order problem as large parts of the state are hit by the Maoist insurgency.
Greater conservation efforts are needed in the “critically vulnerable” Northeast hills and Odisha.
Tiger Sanctuaries: An evaluation of India’s 50 tiger sanctuaries was also released along with the 4th National Tiger Estimation (Tiger census).
Madhya Pradesh’s Pench Sanctuary and Kerala’s Periyar sanctuary emerged as the best-managed tiger reserves in the country.
Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu registered the “maximum improvement” since 2014.
The Dampa and Rajaji reserves, in Mizoram and Uttarakhand respectively are at the bottom of the list in terms of Tiger count.
No tiger has been found in the Buxa (West Bengal), Palamau (Jharkhand) and Dampa (Mizoram) reserves.
Global Tiger Day
Global Tiger Day was observed for the first time in 2010 at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia when all 13 tiger range countries came together for the first time with the commitment of doubling the number of wild tigers by 2022.
It is celebrated annually on July 29th.
Global Tiger Recovery Plan which outlines how each country can contribute to the ambitious goal, known as TX2

 

5. Answer-d
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is preparing to launch GISAT-1, a new earth observation (EO) satellite.
GISAT-1 — Geo Imaging Satellite — will be the first of two planned Indian EO spacecraft to be placed in a geostationary orbit of around 36,000 km. It will apparently be in a fixed spot looking over the Indian continent at all times.
All Indian EOs have been placed so far in 600-odd-km orbits and circle the earth pole to pole.
GISAT-1 will be launched from the Sriharikota satellite launch centre.
It is an Indian earth observing satellite operating from geostationary orbit to facilitate continuous observation of Indian sub-continent, quick monitoring of natural hazards, disaster, Indian borders; monitor any changes in the geographical condition of the country, etc
GISAT-1 carries an imaging payload consisting of multi-spectral (visible, near infra-red and thermal), multi-resolution from 50 m to 1.5 km. It will provide pictures of the area of interest on near real time basis including border areas.
It will provide near real time pictures of large areas of the country, under cloud free conditions, at frequent intervals. That is, selected Sector-wise image every 5 minutes and entire Indian landmass image every 30 minutes at 50 m spatial resolution.
The GISAT payload consists of:
700 mm Ritchey-Chretien telescope based on the Cartosat-2 design
Array detectors in VNIR, SWIR and LWIR bands
o High-resolution multi-spectral VNIR (HRMX – VNIR): 50 m resolution
o High-resolution multi-spectral (HRMX – LWIR): 1.5 km resolution
o Hyper-spectral VNIR: 320 m and 192 m resolution
o Hyper-spectral SWIR: 320 m and 192 m resolution
Camera electronics and data handling system
Electronically steerable transmit antenna system
High agility platform to enable large payload steering requirements
GISAT is built on a modified I-1K (I-1000) Bus, which is to be launched on a GSLV Mk.2 launch vehicle.