Prelims 2020

1st September 2020 Daily Current Flash Cards

International Court of Arbitration (ICC); Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2019; Geothermal Energy; Difference between IPV and OPV; Economic Survey and Agricultural Trade; Economic Survey and Indian shipping;
By IASToppers
September 01, 2020




95% of India’s international trade volume (68% in terms of value) is carried on ______. (a) Sea OR (b) Railways?

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Answer: Sea

  • India’s trade with foreign countries is carried from the ports located along the coast
  • With a long coastline of 7,516.6 km, India is dotted with 12 major and 181 medium and minor ports.
  • These major ports handle 95 per cent of India’s foreign trade. 

Enrich Your Learning:

Survey expresses worry over aging shipping fleet

  • The Economic Survey has expressed concerns over aging Indian shipping fleet and a meagre 0.9 per cent share of the country in total global dead weight tonnage.
  • About 42 percent of India’s 1,419 fleet is 21 years and above.
  • Despite one of the largest merchant shipping fleet among developing countries, India’s share in total world dead weight tonnage (DWT) is only 0.9 per cent as on January 1, 2019.
  • The existing Indian fleet is also aging, with the average age increasing from 15 years in 1999 to 19.71 years as on October 1, 2019 (42.06 per cent of the fleet is 21 years and above and 12.49 per cent is in the 16 to 20 year age group.

Key Facts:

  • Around 95 per cent of India’s trade by volume and 68 per cent in terms of value are transported by sea.
  • India’s shipping tonnage was only 1.92 lakh Gross Tonnage (GT) on the eve of independence but was practically stagnant at around 70 lakh GT till the beginning of 2004-05.
  • However, the tonnage tax regime introduced by the Government of India in that year boosted the growth of the Indian fleet as well as its tonnage.
  • About the ports sector, the Survey said the government has been striving to improve the operational efficiencies through mechanisation, digitisation and process simplification.
  • As a result key efficiency parameters have improved considerably.
  • The Average Turnaround Time in 2018-19 improved to 59.51 Hrs as against 64.43 Hrs in 2017-18.
  • The Average Output per Ship Berth day has increased from 15,333 Tonnes in 2017-18 to 16,541 Tonnes in 2018-19.
  • Major ports in the country have an installed capacity of 1,514.09 million tonne per annum as in March, 2019 and handled traffic of 699.09 MT during 2018-19.




Which state government has announced the first agricultural export policy to double the income of farmers?

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income of farmers.

Enrich Your Learning:

Agricultural Trade

  • India occupies a leading position in global trade of agricultural products.
  • However, its total agricultural export basket accounts for a little over 2.15 per cent of the world agricultural trade.
  • The major export destinations are USA, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nepal and Bangladesh. What is noteworthy is that since the economic reforms began in 1991, India has remained consistently a net exporter of agri-products, touching 2.7 lakh crore exports and imports at 1.37 lakh crore in 2018-19.
  • The export of major agri-allied items for the last 3 years is given in Table.

  • A number of trade policy measures have been undertaken by the Government over the past few years to protect the domestic farmers in the country, which include:
    • Import duty has been raised from 0 to 10 per cent on tur, 0 per cent to 50 per cent on peas, 0 per cent to 60 per cent on gram (chana) and 0 per cent to 30 per cent on lentils.
    • Quantitative restrictions of 4 lakh tonnes per year have also been imposed on import of tur and 1.5 lakh tonnes on import of peas, urad & moong per year.
    • Export of all varieties of pulses has been allowed with effect from 22.11.2017 to ensure the greater choice in marketing as well as the better remuneration for farmers’ produces.
    • Restriction on export of all types of edible oils (except mustard oil) has been lifted on 06.04.2018 to encourage export of indigenous edible oils and their industries.
    • Government has imposed Minimum Import Price (MIP) on pepper and areca nut.
    • MIP of 500/kg was fixed on pepper imports on 6th Dec, 2017 and MIP of 251/kg was fixed on areca nut on 17th Jan, 2017 to protect the domestic growers and their livelihood from cheap import of the commodity as well as to save the domestic industries of pepper and areca nut.
    • Under Foreign Trade Policy 2015- 20, rates of reward under merchandise exports from India (MEIS) were enhanced on export of various agriculture items on 1st November, 2017 to offset high transit cost.
    • Government has recently initiated a comprehensive “Agriculture Export Policy” aimed at doubling the agricultural exports and integrating Indian farmers and agricultural products with the global value chains.
    • Created agri cells in many Indian embassies abroad to take care of agricultural trade related issues.




What is the difference between oral polio vaccine and inactivated polio vaccine (IPV)?

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  • Oral Polio vaccine consists of attenuated, (not able to cause a disease) lives Polio virus strains and is administered orally.
  • Inactivated Polio vaccine consists of inactivated Polio viruses created by exposing to heat or harsh chemicals such as formaldehyde or formalin. IPV is given as an injection.

Enrich Your Learning:

Difference between IPV and OPV




What are the types of geothermal energy resources?

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  • There are four major types of geothermal energy resources:
  • Hydrothermal
  • Geopressurised brines
  • Hot dry rocks
  • Magma

Enrich Your Learning:

Geothermal Energy

  • Geothermal energy is the natural heat of the earth.
  • Earth’s interior heat originated from its fiery consolidation of dust and gas over 4 billion years ago.
  • It is continually regenerated by the decay of radioactive elements that occur in all rocks.
  • From the surface down through the crust, the normal temperature gradient – the increase of temperature with the increase of depth – in the Earth’s crust is 17 °C — 30 °C per kilometer of depth (50 °F – 87 °F per mile).
  • Below the crust is the mantle, made of highly viscous, partially molten rocks with temperatures between 650 °C — 1250 °C (1200 °F — 2280 °F). At the Earth’s core, which consists of a liquid outer core and a solid inner core, temperatures vary from 4000 °C — 7000 °C (7200 °F– 12600 °F).
  • There are four major types of geothermal energy resources:
  • Hydrothermal
  • Geopressurised brines
  • Hot dry rocks
  • Magma

Technology for electricity generation:

There are two types of the plants:

  1. Flash steam plants
  • When the geothermal energy is available at 150 °C and above temperature, the fluids can be used directly to generate electricity.
  • In some cases, direct steam is available from the geothermal reservoir; otherwise the steam is separated and turbines are used for power generation.
  1. Binary plant
  • These plants are used when geothermal temperature is between 100 °C and 150 °C.
  • The fluid is extracted and circulated through a heat exchanger where the heat is transferred to the low boiling point organic liquid. This gets converted into high pressure vapour, which drives organic fluid turbines




The recent Arbitration (Amendment) Bill, 2019 increased the time restriction of 12 months to 24 months for arbitration proceedings for international commercial arbitrations. True OR False.

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Answer: False

Correct statement:

  • The Bill remove the time restriction of 12 months for arbitration proceedings for international commercial arbitrations.

Enrich Your Learning:

International Court of Arbitration

  • The International Court of Arbitration (ICC) is an institution for the resolution of international commercial disputes.
  • It operates under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce and consists of more than 100 arbitrators from roughly 90 countries.
  • The Court was founded in 1923 under the leadership of the ICC’s first president Etienne Clementel, a former French Minister of Finance.

Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act:

  • The Act contains provisions to deal with domestic and international arbitrationand defines the law for conducting conciliation proceedings.
  • The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced in Rajya Sabha by the Minister for Law and Justice which seeks to amend the above act.

Key Features of the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2019

  • It seeks to establish an independent body called the Arbitration Council of India (ACI)for the promotion of arbitration, mediation, conciliation and other alternative dispute redressal mechanisms.
  • The Arbitration Council of India will consist of a Chairpersonwho is either:
    • a Judge of the Supreme Court; or
    • a Judge of a High Court; or
    • Chief Justice of a High Court; or
    • An eminent person with expert knowledge in the conduct of the arbitration.
  • Under the Bill, the Supreme Court and High Courts may now designate arbitral institutions.
  • For international commercial arbitration, the appointments will be made by the institution designated by the Supreme Court and for domestic arbitration; appointments will be made by the institution designated by the concerned High Court.
  • In case there are no arbitral institutions available, the Chief Justice of the concerned High Court may maintain a panel of arbitrators to perform the functions of the arbitral institutions. 
  • The Bill seeks to remove the time restriction of 12 months for arbitration proceedings for international commercial arbitrations.
  • The Bill requires that the written claim and the defence to the claim in an arbitration proceeding should be completed within six months of the appointment of the arbitrators.
  • The Bill provides that all details of arbitration proceedings will be kept confidential except for the details of the arbitral award in certain circumstances.
Daily Current Flash Cards 2020 Prelims 2020

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