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UPSC Weekly Quiz— November 20 to 26, 2022

Brush up your current affairs knowledge for this week and consolidate your UPSC-CSE preparation. Find answers along with explanations at the end of the quiz.

upsc, upsc quiz, upsc essentials, upsc current affairs, government jobs, sarkari naukri, upsc prelims 2023, upsc mains 2023UPSC weekly quiz to brush up your current affairs. (File image)

UPSC Weekly Quiz is a current affairs-based quiz on some relevant topics from the past week curated for the benefit of aspirants of UPSC and other competitive examinations. Attempt weekly quiz every Saturday and find answers to the MCQs with explanation at the end of the article.

Question 1

With reference to the Constitution of India, consider the following statements

1. Since 1950, Nov 26 is observed as Constitution Day, or ‘Samvidhan Diwas’.

2. The Constitution of India was adopted on January 26, 1950.

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Which of the statements is/are incorrect?

a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 2

With reference to the Election Commission of India, consider the following statements

1. From the beginning, the Election Commission of India was a multi-member body.

2. Article 324(2) of the Constitution fixes the size of the Election Commission.

3. The Chief Election Commissioners and other Election Comissioners enjoy the same status and receive salary and perks as judges of the Supreme Court of India.

How many statements mentioned above are correct?

a) Only one statement is correct

b) Only two statements are correct

c) All three statements are correct

d) None of the statements are correct

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Question 3

With reference to ‘Writing off a loan’, consider the following statements

1. Writing off a loan essentially means it will no longer be counted as an asset.

2. The bank writes off a loan after the borrower has defaulted on the loan repayment and there is a very low chance of recovery.

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3. By writing off loans, a bank can reduce the level of non-performing assets (NPAs) on its books.

4. An additional benefit is that the amount so written off reduces the bank’s tax liability.

How many statements mentioned above are correct?

a) Only two statements are correct

b) Only three statements are correct

c) None of the statements are correct

d) All the statements are correct

Question 4

Recently seen in the news, Purnima Devi Barman is

a) a Guinness world record holding mountaineer

b) a classical dancer

c) a wildlife biologist

d) a world renowned economist

Question 5

With reference to the CITES, consider the following statements

1. India joined Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES)  in 1976.

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2. The ivory trade was banned in 1989 in African continent only when all African elephant populations were put in CITES Appendix I.

3. No trade is allowed in species listed in CITES Appendix I while trade is strictly regulated in those under Appendix II.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 1 and 3 only

c) 2 only

d) 1,2 and 3

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Question 6

With reference to Tipu Sultan, consider the following statements

1. Tipu patronised various temples and Hindu shrines, including the Sri Ranganatha temple at Srirangapatna and the Math in Sringeri.

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2. He introduced new coins, started a new land revenue system in Mysore, as well as introduced sericulture, which continues to employ many Kannadigas to date. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?
a) Only 1

b) Only 2

c) Neither 1 nor 2

d) Both 1 and 2

Question 7

With reference to the Great Nicobar, consider the following statements

1. Great Nicobar is the southernmost of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

2. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a cluster of about 836 islands in the eastern Bay of Bengal, the two groups of which are separated by the 150-km wide 11 Degree Channel. 

3. Great Nicobar islands are home to 2 mongoloid tribes – Shompen and Nicobarese.

4. Galathea National Park and Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park are the national parks situated in Nicobar islands.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 1 and 3 only

c) 1 and 4

d) 1,2,3 and 4

Question 8

Consider the following statements regarding the planet Venus

1. Presently, large fields of solidified volcanic rock cover most of the planet’s total surface area.

2. The discovery of Phosphine gas on Venus is a potential sign of life on the glittering planet 

Which of the following statements are correct?

a) Both 1 and 2

b) 1 only

c) 2 only

d) Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWERS

1 (c)

Both statements are incorrect.

Make sure you have paid attention to the word ‘incorrect’. Know the difference ‘adopted’ and ‘came to effect’.

FYI:

On November 26, 73 years ago, the Constitution of India was adopted, coming into effect on January 26, 1950. Since 2015, the day has been observed as Constitution Day, or ‘Samvidhan Diwas’.

The Constituent Assembly took two years, 11 months and 17 days to draft the Constitution for Independent India. During this period, it held 11 sessions covering 165 days, and its members submitted around 7,600 amendments to the draft Constitution.

2 (a)

Only one (statement 3) is correct.

FYI:

Appointment of Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commissioners

The CEC and ECs are appointed by the President to a tenure of six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. They enjoy the same status and receive salary and perks as judges of the Supreme Court of India.

The Election Commission of India draws its authority from the Constitution itself. Under Article 324, the powers of “superintendence, direction and control of elections” is to be vested in an Election Commission.

Size of the Election Commission

The Constitution does not fix the size of the Election Commission. Article 324(2) says that “the Election Commission shall consist of the Chief Election Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners, if any, as the President may from time to time fix”.

From the beginning, the Election Commission of India consisted of just the Chief Election Commissioner. However, on October 16, 1989, the Congress government of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi appointed two more Election Commissioners, making the Election Commission a multi-member body.

The appointments were done just before the commencement of the Ninth General Election, and were criticized as being an attempt to compromise the independence of the Election Commission and of CEC RVS Peri Sastri.

On January 2, 1990, the National Front government of Prime Minister VP Singh amended the rules, making the EC a single-member body again.

However, on October 1, 1993, the government of Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao promulgated an Ordinance to provide for the appointment of two more Election Commissioners.

The EC has had three members ever since. The Ordinance was subsequently replaced by The Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Conditions of Service) Amendment Act, 1993, which came into effect on January 4, 1994.

All three ECs have equal say in the decision making of the Commission.

3 (d)

All three statements are correct.

FYI:

Banks wrote off more than Rs 10 lakh crore in loans over the last five years, according to RBI data obtained by The Indian Express under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. They have been able to recover only 13% (Rs 1,32,036 crore) of the Rs 10,09,510 crore ($123.86 billion) they wrote off, according to the reply.

While public sector banks reported the lion’s share of write-offs at Rs 734,738 crore, private sector banks were not far behind in bringing down their non-performing assets (NPAs). Private banks accounted for 27.28 per cent of the total banking sector write-offs over the last five years, the RBI’s reply shows.

What is a loan write-off?

Writing off a loan essentially means it will no longer be counted as an asset. By writing off loans, a bank can reduce the level of non-performing assets (NPAs) on its books. An additional benefit is that the amount so written off reduces the bank’s tax liability.

Why do banks resort to write-offs?

The bank writes off a loan after the borrower has defaulted on the loan repayment and there is a very low chance of recovery. The lender then moves the defaulted loan, or NPA, out of the assets side and reports the amount as a loss.
After the write-off, banks are supposed to continue their efforts to recover the loan using various options. They have to make provisioning as well. The tax liability will also come down as the written-off amount is reduced from the profit.

However, the chances of recovery from written-off loans are very low — as the RTI reply shows — which raises questions about the assets or collateral against which the banks lent funds to these defaulters.

4 (c)

FYI:

Indian wildlife biologist Dr Purnima Devi Barman was recently awarded with Champions of the Earth award in the Entrepreneurial vision category , UN’s highest environmental honour. She is the founder of the Hargila Army and senior project manager of the Avifauna Research and Conservation Division, Aaranyak.

The Champions of the Earth is an appreciation for innovative ways implemented by the awardees across the world to support nature’s extraordinary capacity for renewal.

5 (b)

Read the second statement carefully. It just requires your presence of mind.

FYI:

For the first time since joining the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) in 1976, India did not vote against a proposal seeking to re-open the ivory trade.

The ivory trade was globally banned in 1989 when all African elephant populations were put in CITES Appendix I.

No trade is allowed in species listed in CITES Appendix I while trade is strictly regulated in those under Appendix II.

6 (d)

FYI:

Tipu was adept in the art of warfare, having been involved in his first battle at the age of 15.

Tipu also patronised various temples and Hindu shrines, including the Sri Ranganatha temple at Srirangapatna and the Math in Sringeri.

He introduced new coins, started a new land revenue system in Mysore, as well as introduced sericulture, which continues to employ many Kannadigas to date.

7 (b)

Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is a national park of India on the Andaman Islands.

FYI:

Great Nicobar, the southernmost of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, has an area of 910 sq km.

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a cluster of about 836 islands in the eastern Bay of Bengal, the two groups of which are separated by the 150-km wide Ten Degree Channel.

Great Nicobar is home to two national parks, a biosphere reserve, and the Shompen and Nicobarese tribal peoples, along with ex-servicemen from Punjab, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh who were settled on the island in the 1970s.

The project site is outside the eco-sensitive zones of Campbell Bay and Galathea National Park.

8 (a)

Both statements are correct.

FYI:

Volcanism may be responsible for changing ancient Venus’ wet and temperate climate to the acidic planet that we know today, according to a research paper by NASA. The paper notes that large-scale volcanism usually lasts tens or hundreds of thousands of years. Over time, they spew somewhere around 100,000 cubic miles of volcanic rock on the surface. For a quick reference, this amount of molten rock is enough to cover the whole of Texas half a mile deep. Presently, large fields of solidified volcanic rock cover more than 80 per cent of the planet’s total surface area.

The discovery of Phosphine gas on Venus as a potential sign of life on the glittering planet has made many scientists and astronomers ecstatic, but on the contrary to it, a significant question arises whether we are alone in this solar system or is there any form of life substantially existing elsewhere.

Phosphine gas is generally toxic with a garlic-like smell and is found in the bodies of living beings on earth. It is quite impossible to produce artificially. Its hazardous ramifications are such that, it’s used by terrorists as a chemical agent in warfare.

First published on: 26-11-2022 at 18:08 IST
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