Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 7 August 2020

1. Consider the following statements with respect to the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection.
1. The theory of evolution was proposed by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace.
2. Natural selection is sometimes summed up as survival of the fittest because the fittest organisms those most suited to their environment.
3. The theory of evolution by natural selection, first formulated in the book On the Origin of Species in 1859.
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-
Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection
The theory of evolution is a shortened form of the term “theory of evolution by natural selection,” which was proposed by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace in the nineteenth century.
Charles Darwin is more famous than his contemporary Alfred Russel Wallace who also developed the theory of evolution by natural selection.
The theory of evolution by natural selection, first formulated in Darwin’s book “On the Origin of Species” in 1859, is the process by which organisms change over time as a result of changes in heritable physical or behavioral traits. Changes that allow an organism to better adapt to its environment will help it survive and have more offspring.
In the theory of natural selection, organisms produce more offspring that are able to survive in their environment. Those that are better physically equipped to survive, grow to maturity, and reproduce. Those that are lacking in such fitness, on the other hand, either do not reach an age when they can reproduce or produce fewer offspring than their counterparts.
Evolution by natural selection is one of the best substantiated theories in the history of science, supported by evidence from a wide variety of scientific disciplines, including paleontology, geology, genetics and developmental biology.
The theory has two main points, “All life on Earth is connected and related to each other,” and this diversity of life is a product of “modifications of populations by natural selection, where some traits were favored in and environment over others.
The theory can be described as “descent with modification”. The theory is sometimes described as “survival of the fittest,” but that can be misleading because “fitness” refers not to an organism’s strength or athletic ability, but rather the ability to survive and reproduce.
Today, it is known to be just one of several mechanisms by which life evolves. For example, a phenomenon known as genetic drift can also cause species to evolve. In genetic drift, some organisms—purely by chance—produce more offspring than would be expected. Those organisms are not necessarily the fittest of their species, but it is their genes that get passed on to the next generation.
https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/theory-evolution/

2. Consider the following statements with respect to the Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY).
1. The programme aims to tap into traditional knowledge & skill sets of tribals by adding technology & IT to upgrade it at each stage and to convert the tribal wisdom into a viable economic activity.
2. The proposition is to set-up tribal community owned Minor Forest Produce centric multi-purpose Van Dhan Vikas Kendras in predominantly tribal districts.
3. A typical Van Dhan Vikas Kendra shall constitute of 15 tribal Van Dhan Self Help Groups, each comprising of up to 20 MFP gatherers.
Which of the following statements 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-
The Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY)
PMVDY is an initiative targeting livelihood generation for tribals by harnessing the wealth of forest i.e. Van Dhan.
The programme aims to tap into traditional knowledge & skill sets of tribals by adding technology & IT to upgrade it at each stage and to convert the tribal wisdom into a viable economic activity.
The initiative shall provide enhanced livelihood to about 45 lakhs tribal gatherers in one year.
The Van Dhan initiative shall promote and leverage the collective strength of tribals to achieve a viable scale to take on the predatory market forces in the areas where these are still prevalent.
Proposition is to set-up tribal community owned Minor Forest Produce (MFP)-centric multi-purpose Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (the Kendra) in predominantly tribal districts.
About 6000 Van Dhan Kendras are proposed to be set up in span of 2 years i.e. 3000 Kendras to be set-up in each year, which will be further continued based on evaluation of their performance and also expanded every year.
Essential Features of the PMVDY
The State Nodal Department will have the flexibility to appoint any State Implementing Agency / District Implementing Unit for implementation of the PMVDY in the State and District levels.
The Kendras would act as common facility centres for procurement cum value addition to locally available MFPs. Value addition of raw produce is expected to increase the share of tribals in the value chain to 70-75% (from the present share of 20-25%).
A typical Van Dhan Vikas Kendra shall constitute of 15 tribal Van Dhan Self Help Groups (SHG), each comprising of up to 20 MFP gatherers i.e. about 300 beneficiaries per Kendra (subject to variability as per local conditions).
The key features of the Van Dhan Kendra would be as follows:
(i) The Van Dhan SHGs would belong to contiguous area, preferably in same or near-by villages
(ii) At least 50% beneficiaries of the SHG shall be tribal and the SHG shall be led by a tribal member
(iii) Preference to be given to convergence with functional SHGs promoted under Aajeevika Mission/JFMCs/ LAMPS/ Other Tribal Collectives with majority tribal members.
(a) The endeavor would be to identify a cluster of 2-3 Aajeevika SHGs/ primary level societies/ collectives (as the case may be) operating preferably in the same or near-by villages as a Van Dhan SHG for the training and equipment supply.
(b) Each Van Dhan SHG would be given a unique name although the Aajeevika SHGs within the Van Dhan SHG will continue to be identified by their respective Aajeevika SHG IDs.
(c) The Aajeevika SHGs will also continue to use their Aajeevika bank accounts for working capital requirements for the purpose of Van Dhan operations. The Van Dhan SHG may also open a new bank account for this purpose in case the need is felt by the SHG members.
(iv) The technology component under the PMVDY will focus on optimization of human capital that will be the touchstone of the technology choice exercised.
(v) It shall also trigger setting-up of standards of quality and benchmarks for replication at each stage of value addition to MFPs.
(vi) Pricing of value added products will be market driven and would be derived based on contextual factors.
(vii) Setting up of Demo Processing Units that will act as showcasing center for all the other VDVKs in the region & across country.
http://trifed.in/trifed/(S(eeqzxfq5a3wkls1xqe5n44a3))/pdf/Annexure_5_Guidelines_Revised-2019.pdf

3. Consider the following statements regarding the Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
1. Article 32 of the Constitution gives an extensive original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court in regard to enforcement of Fundamental Rights.
2. The Supreme Court has special advisory jurisdiction in matters which may specifically be referred to it by the President of India under Article 143 of the Constitution.
3. Under Articles 129 and 142 of the Constitution the Supreme Court has been vested with power to punish for contempt of Court including the power to punish for contempt of itself.
4. The Supreme Court has also a very wide appellate jurisdiction over all Courts and Tribunals in India under Article 136 of the Constitution.
Which of the following statements is/are correct?
(a) 1, 2 and 4 only
(b) 2, 3 and 4 only
(c) 1, 2 and 3 only
(d) All of the above
Answer-d
Explanation-
Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has original, appellate and advisory jurisdiction.
Its exclusive original jurisdiction extends to any dispute between the Government of India and one or more States or between the Government of India and any State or States on one side and one or more States on the other or between two or more States, if and insofar as the dispute involves any question (whether of law or of fact) on which the existence or extent of a legal right depends.
In addition, Article 32 of the Constitution gives an extensive original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court in regard to enforcement of Fundamental Rights.
It is empowered to issue directions, orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari to enforce them.
The Supreme Court has been conferred with power to direct transfer of any civil or criminal case from one State High Court to another State High Court or from a Court subordinate to another State High Court.
The Supreme Court, if satisfied that cases involving the same or substantially the same questions of law are pending before it and one or more High Courts or before two or more High Courts and that such questions are substantial questions of general importance, may withdraw a case or cases pending before the High Court or High Courts and dispose of all such cases itself. Under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, International Commercial Arbitration can also be initiated in the Supreme Court.
The appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court can be invoked by a certificate granted by the High Court concerned under Article 132(1), 133(1) or 134 of the Constitution in respect of any judgement, decree or final order of a High Court in both civil and criminal cases, involving substantial questions of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution.
Appeals also lie to the Supreme Court in civil matters if the High Court concerned certifies:
(a) That the case involves a substantial question of law of general importance, and
(b) That, in the opinion of the High Court, the said question needs to be decided by the Supreme Court.
In criminal cases, an appeal lies to the Supreme Court if the High Court
(a) Has on appeal reversed an order of acquittal of an accused person and sentenced him to death or to imprisonment for life or for a period of not less than 10 years, or
(b) has withdrawn for trial before itself any case from any Court subordinate to its authority and has in such trial convicted the accused and sentenced him to death or to imprisonment for life or for a period of not less than 10 years, or
(c) Certified that the case is a fit one for appeal to the Supreme Court.
Parliament is authorised to confer on the Supreme Court any further powers to entertain and hear appeals from any judgement, final order or sentence in a criminal proceeding of a High Court.
The Supreme Court has also a very wide appellate jurisdiction over all Courts and Tribunals in India in as much as it may, in its discretion, grant special leave to appeal under Article 136 of the Constitution from any judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order in any cause or matter passed or made by any Court or Tribunal in the territory of India.
The Supreme Court has special advisory jurisdiction in matters which may specifically be referred to it by the President of India under Article 143 of the Constitution.
There are provisions for reference or appeal to this Court under Article 317(1) of the Constitution, Section 257 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, Section 7(2) of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969, Section 130-A of the Customs Act, 1962, Section 35-H of the Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944 and Section 82C of the Gold (Control) Act, 1968.
Appeals also lie to the Supreme Court under the Representation of the People Act, 1951, Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969, Advocates Act, 1961, Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, Customs Act, 1962, Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944, Enlargement of Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction Act, 1970, Trial of Offences Relating to Transactions in Securities Act, 1992, Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 and Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
Election Petitions under Part III of the Presidential and Vice Presidential Elections Act, 1952 are also filed directly in the Supreme Court.
Under Articles 129 and 142 of the Constitution the Supreme Court has been vested with power to punish for contempt of Court including the power to punish for contempt of itself.
In case of contempt other than the contempt referred to in Rule 2, Part-I of the Rules to Regulate Proceedings for Contempt of the Supreme Court, 1975, the Court may take action (a) Suo motu, or (b) on a petition made by Attorney General, or Solicitor General, or (c) on a petition made by any person, and in the case of a criminal contempt with the consent in writing of the Attorney General or the Solicitor General.
Under Order XL of the Supreme Court Rules the Supreme Court may review its judgment or order but no application for review is to be entertained in a civil proceeding except on the grounds mentioned in Order XLVII, Rule 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure and in a criminal proceeding except on the ground of an error apparent on the face of the record.
https://main.sci.gov.in/jurisdiction

4. Consider the following statements regarding the Rapid Antibody Testing.
1. It is most suitable to detect whether the disease is spreading in the hotspots.
2. It uses blood samples of suspected patients and normally takes around 15-30 minutes to give the result.
3. Rapid Antibody Test for COVID-19 is used to qualitatively detect IgG and IgM antibodies of the novel coronavirus in human serum, plasma or whole blood in vitro.
Which of the following statements 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-
Rapid Antibody Testing
As ICMR has allowed rapid antibody testing in India, experts believe that it will help the agencies to enhance screening and identifying capabilities. Presently the government uses the PCR tests to detect Covid-19 from samples of throat or nasal swab of people with symptoms.
The rapid testing kits are quicker to get early results. They use blood samples of suspected patients and normally take around 15-30 minutes to give the result. Under this, one has to clean their finger with an alcohol swab and use the lancet provided for finger-pricks.
These rapid antibody tests are most suitable to detect whether the disease is spreading in the hotspots.
Experts say that antibody test doesn’t always pick up early viral infection but they can indicate if someone has any particular virus even if they are asymptomatic. This type of test is important for community surveillance and investigation purpose.
These new testing kits are priced between Rs 2,000-3,000 depending on their availability and supply.
This test detects early marker and late marker, IgM/IgG antibodies in human finger-prick (capillary) or venous whole blood, serum, and plasma samples.
It can be used for rapid screening of carriers of the virus that are symptomatic or asymptomatic. Recent studies suggest that a high percentage of patients show no clinical symptoms of the virus, thus screening patients are vitally important. The test is ideally suited for hospitals, clinics and test laboratories.
The test can also be effectively deployed in businesses, schools, airports, seaports and train stations, etc., giving it the potential to become a compelling force in the fight against this global threat.
Rapid IgM-IgG Combined Antibody Test for COVID-19 is a lateral flow immunoassay used to qualitatively detect IgG and IgM antibodies of the novel coronavirus in human serum, plasma or whole blood in vitro.
This test should not be used with heat inactivated or other inactivated human specimen (blood, serum, plasma). Fresh samples should be collected and tested immediately.
https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/how-rapid-antibody-tests-are-different-from-existing-pcr-tests-for-covid-19-explained-1663441-2020-04-05
https://www.biomedomics.com/products/infectious-disease/covid-19-rt/

5. Consider the following statements with reference to the Air Pollution.
1. Higher wind speed and higher mixing height of pollutants lead to lower level of air pollution.
2. The Particulate Matter (PM) and NOx emissions are the prominent pollutants in Delhi NCR.
3. Surface temperature inversions play a major role in air quality, especially during the summer when these inversions are the strongest.
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-b
Explanation
Air Pollution
Lockdown lifts Delhi’s air quality to 5-year high. The major contributing sources to particulate matter and NOx emissions [prominent pollutants in Delhi NCR] have been restricted. The AQI improved to ‘good’ in Delhi, Ghaziabad and Noida due to higher wind speed and increase in mixing height [height at which pollutants are spread out in the atmosphere. Higher mixing height leads to lower pollution].
How do inversions impact air quality?
Surface temperature inversions play a major role in air quality, especially during the winter when these inversions are the strongest.
The warm air above cooler air acts like a lid, suppressing vertical mixing and trapping the cooler air at the surface.
As pollutants from vehicles, fireplaces, and industry are emitted into the air, the inversion traps these pollutants near the ground, leading to poor air quality.
The strength and duration of the inversion will control AQI levels near the ground.
A strong inversion will confine pollutants to a shallow vertical layer, leading to high AQI levels, while a weak inversion will lead to lower AQI levels.
A large contributor to poor air quality during the winter is residential wood burning. Wood smoke contains much higher amounts of particulate pollution than smoke from oil- or gas-fired furnaces.
In some areas of the country, local governments issue burn bans to curtail the use of woodstoves and fireplaces under certain weather and pollution conditions during the winter.
https://www.pmfias.com/air-pollution-major-air-pollutants/
https://legacy.azdeq.gov/environ/air/ozone/Inversion%20Info.pdf