Flash Card

LAKSHYA-75 [Day-60] Static Flash Cards for IAS Prelims 2020

Coal in India; Revolt of raja of Vizianagaram; Calcutta Session 1920; Tenure of Panchayat; Union executive; Shale Gas; Micro-irrigation; Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY); Maharatna, Navratna and Miniratna status of Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs); Geothermal Energy; Indicator species;
By IASToppers
May 08, 2020

What are Indicator Species?

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Answer:

Indicator Species is a species whose status provides information on the overall condition of the ecosystem and of other species in that ecosystem.

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What are Indicator species?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Indicator speciesare species whose status provides information on the overall condition of the ecosystem and of other species in that ecosystem.
  • The information can range from quality and changes in the environmental conditions and community composition.  
  • For example, greasewood indicates saline soil; mosses often indicate acid soil.

 

Which among these statements is incorrect with respect to Geothermal energy? a) Sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulphide are released. b) Not dependent on weather conditions. c) Can cause mini tremors in the area they operate. d) Geothermal energy can be harnessed anywhere on the earth.

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Answer:

Geothermal energy is a location specific energy source. It can be harnessed in some places of the Earth only.

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What is Geothermal Energy?

  • Geothermal energy is the heat that comes from the sub-surface of the earth.It is contained in the rocks and fluids beneath the earth’s crust and can be found as far down to the earth’s hot molten rock, magma.  
  • To produce power from geothermal energy, wells are dug a mile deep into underground reservoirs to access the steam and hot water there, which can then be used to drive turbines connected to electricity generators. 
  • Iceland, El Salvador, New Zealand, Kenya, Philippines, United States etc. use geothermal energy.

What are the advantages?

  • Renewable, sustainable form of energy that provides a continuous, uninterrupted supply of heat.
  • Can be used to heat homes and office buildings or generate electricity.
  • Not dependent on weather conditions

What are the disadvantages?

  • Emissions like Carbon Dioxide (1/6thof CO2 released by Natural gas) sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulphide are associated with geothermal energy.
  • High initial cost
  • Can cause mini tremors in the area they operate.
  • Location specific energy source

What are the criteria for granting Miniratna status to public sector unit?

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Answer:

Criteria for grant of Miniratna status:

  • The CPSEs which have made profits in the last three years continuously and have positive net worth are eligible to be considered for grant of Miniratna status.

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Maharatna, Navratna and Miniratna status of Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs):

  • The government grants the status of Maharatna, Navratna, and Miniratna to Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) based upon the profit made by these enterprises.
  • The Maharatna, Navratna and Miniratna statuses give financial and administrative power to the companies to a certain extent.
  • Currently, there are 10 Maharatna, 14 Navratna and 73 Miniratna CPSEs.

Eligibility:

Criteria for grant of Maharatna status: –

The CPSEs fulfilling the following criteria are eligible to be considered for grant of Maharatna status.

  • Having Navratna status.
  • Listed on Indian stock exchange with minimum prescribed public shareholding under SEBI regulations.
  • Average annual turnover of more than Rs. 25,000 crore, during the last 3 years.
  • Average annual net worth of more than Rs. 15,000 crore, during the last 3 years.
  • Average annual net profit after tax of more than Rs. 5,000 crore, during the last 3 years.
  • Should have significant global presence/international operations.

Criteria for grant of Navratna status: –

The Miniratna Category – I and Schedule ‘A’ CPSEs, which have obtained ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ rating under the Memorandum of Understanding system in three of the last five years, and have composite score of 60 or above in the six selected performance parameters, namely,

  • net profit to net worth,
  • manpower cost to total cost of production/services,
  • profit before depreciation, interest and taxes to capital employed,
  • profit before interest and taxes to turnover,
  • earnings per share and
  • inter-sectoral performance.

In 2018, the Micro Irrigation Fund, with initial corpus of Rs.5, 000 crore, was set up by government under which centrally sponsored scheme?

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Answer:

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in 2018, approved an initial Corpus of Rs.5, 000 crore for setting up of a dedicated “Micro Irrigation Fund” (MIF) with NABARD under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY).

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Micro-irrigation:

  • Micro-irrigation means the application of water at low volume and frequent interval under low pressure to plant root zone.
  • It is also called drip irrigationor low-volume irrigation.
  • It offers users the most value, including better control and water savings.
  • This could be achieved by introducing advanced and sophisticated methods of irrigation viz. drip irrigation, sprinkler, etc.
  • The method is facilitated by releasing water in a slow and steady fashion.
  • These irrigation techniques are highly economical and precise.

What is the need for micro irrigation?

  • Surface irrigation techniques involve covering an entire field with water.
  • Overhead irrigation wets the plantsbut produces runoff. In contrast, micro irrigation is a much more controlled irrigation method and economical.
  • This helps in attaining maximum benefit from the limited water resourcesand hence can lead to food security.
  • The slow flow of water virtually guaranteesthat it will be absorbed into the ground where it will be used more efficiently and where it won’t evaporate.
  • It eliminates the phenomenon of water wastefully running off.

Micro irrigation fund and its benefits:

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in 2018, approved an initial Corpus of Rs.5,000 crore for setting up of a dedicated “Micro Irrigation Fund” (MIF) with NABARD under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana(PMKSY).

Objectives:

  • To facilitate the States in mobilising the resources for expanding coverage of Micro Irrigation by taking up special and innovative projects.
  • To incentivise micro irrigation beyond the provisions available under PMKSY-PDMC to encourage farmers to install micro irrigation systems.
  • To facilitate States to mobilise resources for their initiatives, including additional (top up subsidy) in implementation of PMKSY-PDMC to achieve the annual target of about 2 Million ha/year during the remaining period of 14thFinance Commission under Per Drop More Crop Component of PMKSY.

 

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY):

  • PMKSY has been formulated amalgamating ongoing schemes viz:
  • Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP), Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) and On Farm Water Management (OFWM) component of National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).
  • It is implemented by Ministries of Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Development.

Among the various types of coal, which coal is the most popular coal in commercial use?

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Answer: Bituminous coal is the most popular coal in commercial use.

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Coal in India:

Coal is found in a variety of forms depending on the degrees of compression and the depth and time of burial.

Decaying plants in swamps produce peat. It has a low carbon and high moisture contents and low heating capacity.

Lignite is a low-grade brown coal, which is soft with high moisture content.

The principal lignite reserves are in Neyveli in Tamil Nadu and are used for generation of electricity.

Bituminous coal is the most popular coal in commercial use.

Metallurgical coal is high grade bituminous coal which has a special value for smelting iron in blast furnaces.

In India coal occurs in rock series of two main geological ages;

Gondwana: A little over 200 million years in age and

Tertiary deposits which are only about 55 million years old.

The major resources of Gondwana coal, which are metallurgical coal, are located in Damodar valley (West Bengal-Jharkhand). Jharia, Raniganj, Bokaro are important coalfields.

The Godavari, Mahanadi, Son and Wardha valleys also contain coal deposits.

Tertiary coals occur in the north eastern states of Meghalaya, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.

Recently, Government of India issued guidelines on shale gas extraction. What was the challenge that triggers issuing of guidelines? a) High amount of hazardous spillage of oil during shale gas extraction OR b) High usage of water in extracting shale gas?

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Answer: High usage of water in extracting shale gas.

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Shale Gas:

Shale gas is a natural gas formed from being trapped within shale formations.

It is unconventional source of methane, like coal-bed gas (in coal seams) and tight gas (trapped in rock formations).

It is colourless, odourless gas, lighter than air.

It is cheaper than natural gas, releases 50% less CO2, hence better source for generating electricity.

It also provides feedstock for petrochemicals industry, which is turned into fertilizer, plastics and other useful stuff.

Shale gas in India:

In India, potential shale gas sites are Cambay, Gondwana, Krishna-Godawari and Cauvery Basins.

What does the Union executive consist of?

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Answer:

The Union executive consists of the President, the Vice-President, and the Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as the head to aid and advise the President.

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Union executive:

President:

  • The President is elected by members of an electoral college consisting of elected members of both Houses of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies of the states in accordance with the system of proportional representation, by means of single transferable vote.
  • To secure uniformity among state inter se, as well as parity between the states as a whole, and the Union, suitable weightage is given to each vote.
  • The President must be a citizen of India, not less than 35 years of age, and qualified for election as member of the Lok Sabha.
  • His term of office is fiveyears, and he is eligible for re-election. His removal from office is to be in accordance with procedure prescribed in Article 61 of the Constitution. He may, by writing under his hand addressed to the Vice-President, resign his office.
  • Executive power of the Union is vested in the President, and is exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinate to him in accordance with the Constitution. Supreme command of defence forces of the Union also vests in him.
  • The President summons, prorogues, addresses, sends messages to Parliament and dissolves the Lok Sabha, promulgates Ordinances at any time, except when both Houses of Parliament are in session, makes recommendations for introducing financial and money bills and gives assent to bills, grants pardons, reprieves, respites or remission of punishment or suspends, and remits or commutes sentences in certain cases.
  • When there is a failure of the constitutional machinery in a state, he can assume to himself all, or any of the functions of the government of that state.
  • The President can proclaim emergency in the country if he is satisfied that a grave emergency exists, whereby security of India or any part of its territory is threatened, whether by war or external aggression or armed rebellion.

Vice-President:

  • The Vice-President is elected by members of an electoral college consisting of members of both Houses of Parliament in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote.
  • He must be a citizen of India, not less than 35 years of age, and eligible for election as a member of the Rajya Sabha.
  • His term of office is five years, and he is eligible for re-election. His removal from office is to be in accordance with procedure prescribed in Article 67 b.
  • The Vice-President is ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabhaand acts as President when the latter is unable to discharge his functions due to absence, illness or any other cause, or till the election of a new President.
  • While so acting, he ceases to perform the function of the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

Council of Ministers:

  • There is a Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister to aid and advise the President in exercise of his functions.
  • The Prime Minister is appointed by the President, who also appoints other ministers on the advice of Prime Minister.
  • The Council is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha.
  • It is the duty of the Prime Minister to communicate to the President all decisions of Council of Ministers relating to administration of affairs of the Union and proposals for legislation and information relating to them.
  • The Council of Ministers comprises Ministers who are members of Cabinet, Ministers of State (independent charge), Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers.

Which amendment act provides for a five-year term of office to the panchayat at every level?

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Answer:

73rd amendment act of 1992 provides for a five-year term of office to the panchayat at every level.

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Tenure of Panchayat:

  • The tenure of every Panchayat is for five yearsfrom the date of the date appointed for its first meeting. However, it can be dissolved before the completion of its term.
  • Fresh elections to constitute a panchayat shall be completed:

(a) before the expiry of its duration of five years; or

(b) in case of dissolution, before the expiry of a period of six months from the date of its dissolution.

  • Where the remainder of the period (for which the dissolved panchayat would have continued) is less than six months, it shall not be necessary to hold any election for constituting the new panchayat for such period.
  • A panchayat constituted upon the dissolution of a panchayat before the expiration of its duration shall continue only for the remainder of the period for which the dissolved panchayat would have continued had it not been so dissolved.
  • A panchayat reconstituted after premature dissolution does not enjoy the full period of five years but remains in office only for the remainder of the period.

Who presided the Special Calcutta Session (1920) of Indian National Congress in which Mahatma Gandhi moved the Non-cooperation resolution?

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Answer:  Lala Lajpat Rai presided the Special Calcutta Session of Indian National Congress (1920) in which Mahatma Gandhi moved the Non-cooperation resolution.

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Calcutta Session 1920:

  • Congress held a special session in Calcutta in September 1920 under the presidentship of Lala Lajpat Rai.
  • At Calcutta, the Congress resolved infavour of the non-violent, non-cooperation movement, and defined Swaraj as its ultimate aim.  
  • It met to pass the resolution of the Non-Cooperation Movement.
  • Mahatma Gandhi wrongly predicted that if the Non-cooperation movement gets successful, Swaraj could be attained in one year. 
  • In the session, Gandhiji convinced other leaders of the need to start a non-cooperation movement in support of Khilafatas well as for swaraj.

Why did the Raja of Vizianagaram revolted openly against the British in 1794?

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Answer:

The reason was that British reduced the area of his zamindari and increased the revenue payable to the British.

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Revolt of raja of Vizianagaram:

  • The East India Company acted in a very high-handed manner after acquisition of the Northern Sarkars in 1765.
  • It demanded a present of three lakhs from the Raja apart from ordering him to disband his troops.
  • On the Raja ‘s refusal, his estate was annexed. This was a signal for a revolt in which the Raja received full support of his people and his troops. The Raja lost his life in a battle in 1794.
  • Wisdom dawned on the Company’s authorities who offered the estate to the deceased Raja’s son and also reduced the demand for presents.
  • Similarly, the poligars of Dindigul and Malabar took up arms against the evils of the English land revenue system.
  • The poligars of the Ceded Districts and North Arcot revolted against the Company. Sporadic risings of the poligars in the Madras Presidency continued up to 1856.

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Daily Current Flash Cards 2020 Prelims 2020
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