Daily Current Affairs (MCQ) | Date 10.01.22

Daily Current Affairs (MCQ) | Date 10.01.22

Daily Current Affairs (MCQ) | Date 10.01.22

Q1. The Government launched the “Go Electric” campaign to spread awareness. Consider the following statements in this regard

1. It will spread awareness on benefits of e-mobility and EV Charging Infrastructure
2. It will cover electric cooking in India as well
3. It is expected to boost the confidence of Electric Vehicle manufacturers

Which of the above is/are correct?

a. 1 and 2 only
b. 2 and 3 only
c. 1 and 3 only
d. 1, 2 and 3

Answer : d

Why is the Question ?

The Government launched the “Go Electric” Campaign to spread awareness on the benefits of e-mobility and EV Charging Infrastructure as well as electric cooking in India.
What is the Go Electric Campaign?

The Go Electric Campaign is an initiative aimed at reducing the import dependence of our country in the coming years and has also been projected as an important step towards a cleaner and greener future. The campaign is aimed at creating awareness at the PAN-India level. Furthermore, it is expected to boost the confidence of Electric Vehicle manufacturers.

Q2. Which of the following is/are correctly matched?

Ramsar Wetland Site State
1 Lonar lake Karnataka
2 Kanwar Tal Bihar
3 Beas Conservation Reserve Punjab

Select the correct answer from the codes given below
a. 1 and 2 only
b. 2 and 3 only
c. 1 and 3 only
d. 1, 2 and 3

Answer : b

Why is the Question ?

Lonar lake is in Maharashtra
Lonar Lake on the Deccan Plateau in Maharashtra State is an endorheic or closed basin, almost circular in shape, formed by a meteorite impact onto the basalt bedrock. The Site includes the lake as well as escarpments, which form the crater walls, and forested zones.

The lake is high in salinity and alkalinity, as the lack of an outflow leads to a concentration of minerals as the lake water evaporates. Specialized micro-organisms such as anaerobes, cyanobacteria and phytoplankton survive in this harsh chemical environment. Outside the lake, there is considerable diversity of plant and animal life, like springs which help feed the lake and provide a source of fresh water. Inhabiting the Site are 160 species of birds including the vulnerable Asian woolly neck (Ciconia episcopus) and common pochard (Aythya ferina), 46 species of reptiles, and 12 species of mammals including the iconic grey wolf (Canis lupus).

Bihar(1)
Kabartal Wetland, also known as Kanwar Jheel, covers 2,620 hectares of the Indo-Gangetic plains in the northern Bihar State. The Site is one of 18 wetlands within an extensive floodplain complex; it floods during the monsoon season to a depth of 1.5 metres. This absorption of floodwaters is a vital service in Bihar State where 70% of the land is vulnerable to inundation. During the dry season, areas of marshland dry out and are used for agriculture. Significant biodiversity is present, with 165 plant species and 394 animal species recorded, including 221 bird species. The Wetland is an important stopover along the Central Asian Flyway, with 58 migratory waterbirds using it to rest and refuel. It is also a valuable site for fish biodiversity with over 50 species documented. Five critically endangered species inhabit the site, including three vultures – the red-headed vulture (Sarcogyps calvus), white-rumped vulture (Gyps bengalensis) and Indian vulture (Gyps indicus) – and two waterbirds, the sociable lapwing (Vanellus gregarius) and Baer’s pochard (Aythya baeri). Major threats to the Site include water management activities such as drainage, water abstraction, damming and canalization.

The Beas Conservation Reserve is a 185-kilometre stretch of the Beas River located primarily in the north-west of the State of Punjab. The River meanders down from the Himalayan foothills to the Harike Headworks, where its course is diverted into a number of channels. The River is dotted with islands, sand bars and braided channels creating a complex environment supporting substantial biodiversity. More than 500 species of birds are documented along this stretch, along with more than 90 fish species. The Reserve also hosts the only known population in India of the endangered Indus river dolphin (Platanista gangetica minor). Further threatened species include the endangered mahseer (Tor putitora) and hog deer (Axis porcinus) as well as the vulnerable smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata). In 2017, a programme was initiated to re-introduce the critically endangered gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) with 47 individuals released into the River 30 years after their disappearance. Major threats include urban and domestic pollution as well as impacts of agriculture along most of the River’s course. The Department of Forests and Wildlife Preservation, Punjab, conducts the scientific management of the wetland

Q3. On the occasion of World Wetland Day and as a part of its commitment towards conservation, restoration and management of India’s wetlands, MoEFCC announced the establishment of a Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management (CWCM). Consider the following statements in this regard

1. India has nearly 12.6% of its land as wetlands
2. It has 42 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : a

Why is the Question ?

On the occasion of World Wetland Day and as a part of its commitment towards conservation, restoration and management of India’s wetlands, MoEFCC announced the establishment of a Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management (CWCM).
It has been launched as a part of the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM), Chennai, an institution under the Ministry.
The dedicated Centre would address specific research needs and knowledge gaps and will aid in the application of integrated approaches for conservation, management and wise use of the wetlands.
Wetlands in India Wetlands are land areas that are saturated or flooded with water either permanently or seasonally. Inland wetlands include marshes, ponds, lakes, fens, rivers, floodplains, and swamps. Coastal wetlands include saltwater marshes, estuaries, mangroves, lagoons and even coral reefs. Fishponds, rice paddies, and saltpans are human-made wetlands. India has nearly 4.6% of its land as wetlands, covering an area of 15.26 million hectares. It has 42 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites).

Q4. Beekeeping is an agro-based activity that is undertaken by farmers/ landless labourers in rural areas as a part of the Integrated Farming System (IFS). Consider the following statements about Honey and Beekeeping in India

1. Beekeeping on the farm can increase crop yield
2. Honey is adulterated in India with sugar syrup
3. Pure honey does not crystallise

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a. 1 and 2 only
b. 2 and 3 only
c. 1 and 3 only
d. 1, 2 and 3

Answer : a

Why is the Question ?

The government approved an allocation of Rs. 500 crores for National Beekeeping & Honey Mission (NBHM) for three years (2020-21 to 2022-23). It is a Central Sector Scheme under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. The mission was announced as part of the AtmaNirbhar Bharat scheme to achieve a sweet revolution.

NBHM aims for the overall promotion & development of scientific beekeeping in the country. It is being implemented through National Bee Board (NBB)

The mission focuses on:
1. Awareness & Capacity building in scientific beekeeping,

2. empowerment of Women through beekeeping,
3. technology demonstrations on the impact of Honeybees on yield enhancement
4. quality improvements of agriculture/horticulture produce.
Beekeeping in India
1. Beekeeping is an agro-based activity that is undertaken by farmers/ landless labourers in rural areas as a part of the Integrated Farming System (IFS).
2. Beekeeping is useful in the pollination of crops, thereby, increasing crop yield along with the production of honey and other high-value beehive products.
3. The diversified agro-climatic conditions of India provide great potential and opportunities for beekeeping/ honey production and export of Honey.
Adulteration of honey with sugar syrup most pressing threat:
Beekeepers
Beekeepers from a number of states said they were losing jobs due to honey adulterated with sugar syrups being sold in the market.
It is ironic that honey producers are in a state of crisis even when the popularity and retail price of honey are soaring. Ten times of what is produced by us are being made available on the shelves.

Statement 3 is incorrect

And to top it all, myths are created among consumers about the purity of honey. The big brands have advertised that if honey crystallises, it is not pure. Pure honey does crystallise.
He has been advocating the traceability of honey and testing the honey sold in the domestic market with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance like it is done for honey that is exported.
Adulteration of honey with sugar syrup was the most pressing threat facing beekeepers, they said at a recent webinar Under threat – the beekeeping industry in India organised by Delhibased non-profit Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
Down To Earth released its probe into the fraud that threatens the very existence of India’s beekeeping industry. CSE showed how sugar syrups were being added to honey to pass all the adulteration tests that were listed in the 2020 standards by the Food Safety Standards Authority of India. Such syrups are procured from China and are now also manufactured in India.
Tanzeem Ansari, a beekeeper from Saharanpur, who has been producing honey for 32 years now, said during the webinar that he had “come to experience reduced production, rising production costs and falling prices in all these years.”
Om Prakash Choudhury from the Beekeeper Welfare Association, Bharatpur, Rajasthan confirmed the significant fall in the prices of honey and threat to the livelihood of beekeepers.
The endangered future of the hard-working beekeepers does not bode well for the ecosystem and the ability to grow food. Because bees are important pollinators, the livelihoods of beekeepers have to be sustained to keep the food systems intact.
Productivity is hard-hit due to several factors such as the use of pesticides. The increased use of hybrid seeds has reduced the flowering period. Thus, there has been a fall in nectar. But adulteration of honey with sugar syrup is the most pressing threat.
What hurts beekeepers the most is that their production of nature’s goodness in the form of honey has to compete with cheap, sugar-laden syrups bereft of the medicinal properties that honey has.

Q5. Due to the success of the Mission Organic Value Chain Development for the NorthEast Region, the government has now increased annual allocation from 134 crores per year to Rs. 200 crores per year. Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region (MOVCD-NER) was originally launched in 2015. Consider the following statements in this regard

1. It is a sub-mission under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA)
2. The area under organic cultivation is 12 % of the net sown area in the country
3. Madhya Pradesh is the largest area under organic cultivation

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a. 1 only
b. 2 and 3 only
c. 1 and 3 only
d. 1, 2 and 3

Answer : c

Why is the Question ?

Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCD-NER)
Context
Due to the success of the Mission Organic Value Chain Development for the North East Region, the government has now increased annual allocation from 134 crores per year to Rs. 200 crores per year.
Highlights:
1. Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region (MOVCD-NER) was originally launched in 2015.
2. Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region (MOVCD-NER) is a Central Sector Scheme, a submission under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA), launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in the seven North-eastern States.
3. The scheme aims to the development of certified organic production in a value chain model. Idea is to link growers with consumers and to support the development of the entire value chain starting from inputs, seeds, certification, to the creation of facilities for collection, aggregation, processing, marketing and brand building initiative.

Significance of the initiative
1. The farmer-industry connect facilitated through a professional project management team under the scheme has witnessed a remarkable turnaround in the last 5 years.

2. The scheme has also been expanded to bring in high-value crops under contract farming models apart from traditional crops.
3. MOVCDNER has also played a pivotal role in entrepreneurship development and has supported both Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs) and local entrepreneurs in establishing a food business.

On a tardy trail: State of organic farming in India
The area under organic cultivation is 2% of the net sown area in the country
Organic farming is in a nascent stage in India. About 2.78 million hectares of farmland was under organic cultivation as of March 2020, according to the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. This is two per cent of the 140.1 million ha net sown area in the country.
A few states have taken the lead in improving organic farming coverage, as a major part of this area is concentrated only in a handful of states. Madhya Pradesh tops the list with 0.76 million ha of the area under organic cultivation — that is over 27 per cent of India’s total organic cultivation area.
The top three states — Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra — account for about half the area under organic cultivation. The top 10 states account for about 80 per cent of the total area under organic cultivation.
Only a fraction of the area is converted under organic.
Sikkim is the only Indian state to have become fully organic so far. A majority of the states have only a small part of their net sown area under organic farming. Even the top three states that account for the largest area under organic cultivation — Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra — have only around 4.9, 2.0 and 1.6 per cent of their net sown area under organic farming respectively.

A few states such as Meghalaya, Mizoram, Uttarakhand, Goa and Sikkim have 10 per cent or more of their net sown area under organic cultivation. All these states, except Goa, are in hilly regions.
Union Territories such as Delhi, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep and Chandigarh also have 10 per cent or more of their net sown area under organic cultivation, but their agricultural area is very small. Almost all other states have less than 10% of their net sown area under organic.
Currently, only around 12 states — Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, Sikkim, Bihar, Karnataka, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh — have their own state organic certification agencies accredited by Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).
Some states have either developed or are still in the process of forming organic brands such as MP Organic, Organic Rajasthan, Nasik Organic, Bastar Naturals, Kerala Naturals, Jaivik Jharkhand, Naga Organic, Organic Arunachal, Organic Manipur, Tripura Organic and Five Rivers by Punjab.
Organic coverage largely under NPOP
India introduced the organic farming policy in 2005. The 2.78 million ha was covered under organic farming in India is about two per cent of the 140.1 million ha net sown area in the country.

Of this, 1.94 million ha is under National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP); 0.59 million ha under Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojna (PKVY); 0.07 million ha under Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Regions (MOVCDNER) and 0.17 million ha under state schemes or nonschemes.
This shows that the NPOP scheme covers about 70 per cent of the organic area of the country, of which 30 per cent is under conversion.
NPOP scheme, which started in 2001, covers about 70 per cent of the organic area of the country of which 30 per cent is under conversion. PKVY and MOVCDNER schemes started in 2015-16 and cover 21.5 per cent and 2.6 per cent of the total organic area in the country.
The remaining 6.1% of the area under organic cultivation is either under a state scheme or not related to any scheme. During 2015-16 to 2018-19, around 96 per cent of total certified organic food production was under NPOP certification and the remaining four per cent was under Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) of certification.
India’s top organic state Madhya Pradesh has about 90 per cent of its organic area under NPOP. The top three states — Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan — collectively have over 80 per cent of their organic area under NPOP. Only a few states like Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Telangana and Bihar covered more by PKVY than NPOP.
Even though India has a very small organic area under cultivation, in terms of the number of organic farmers it is being ranked first. India has over 1.9 million farmers as of March 2020, which is 1.3% of 146 million agricultural landholders.

In addition, there are farmers who are not certified and hence not counted, especially by-default organic farmers in hilly, tribal and rain-fed regions.

Q6. In 2019, President of India, Ram Nath Kovind visited two out of the three ‘Lithium Triangle’ nations focussing on joint manufacturing and facilitating the process of acquiring Lithium as India plans to meet the target of having Electric Vehicles by the year 2030. Lithium Triangle is located in

a. Bolivia, Chile and Peru
b. Chile, Argentina and Bolivia
c. Ecuador, Brazil and Argentina
d. Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia

Answer : b

Why is the Question ?

In 2019, President of India, Ram Nath Kovind visited two out of the three ‘Lithium Triangle’ nations focussing on joint manufacturing and facilitating the process of acquiring Lithium as India plans to meet the target of having Electric Vehicles by the year 2030.
In light of this vision, the Government of India formed a 'KABIL’ consortium of three state-owned companies-- National Aluminum Company (NALCO), Hindustan Copper (HCL) and Mineral Exploration Corp Ltd., (MECL).

India to manufacture Li-ion batteries
Amid the ongoing standoff between India and China, the Government of India is planning to manufacture Li-ion batteries and cells in the country. Earlier, India 100% imported Li-ion batteries and cells due to their huge demand. In light of this, India and Bolivia are in talks about having a joint manufacturing base for the batteries, while Chile and Argentina are in talks about exploration and exports of Lithium.

Why is there a need for Li-ion batteries? Lithium-ion batteries have a longer life and higher energy as compared to traditional acid-lead batteries. This will improve the endurance at higher speeds thereby facilitating the submarine commander with a wider range of tactical options and integration of the submarine into a network-centric force deployment over a larger area of the ocean. Thus, there's a need for Li-ion batteries.

What is 'Lithium Triangle'?

The 'Lithium Triangle' is a region of the Andes which is rich in lithium reserves around the borders of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. This area is thought to hold around 54% of the world's lithium reserves.

Why did the 'KABIL' consortium form?

'KABIL' consortium was set up by the Government of India to acquire the most strategic mineral globally. The said mineral is not only required for electric vehicles but is also used in space launchers, solar panels, mobile phones and laptops and hi-tech military platforms.
Deposits of Lithium in Karnataka
As per the preliminary surveys on the surface and limited subsurface by the Department of Atomic Energy, there is a presence of Lithium resources of 1,600 tonnes in the pegmatites of Marlagalla – Allapatna area, Mandya district, Karnataka.

What is Lithium?

Lithium is a key element for new technologies and finds its use in ceramics, glass, telecommunication and aerospace industries. The well-known uses of Lithium are Lithium-ion batteries, lubricating grease, high energy additives to rocket propellants, optical modulators for mobile phones and as a converter to tritium used as a raw material for thermonuclear reactions i.e. fusion. Due to the continuously increasing demand for Lithium-ion batteries, the requirement for Lithium has increased over the last few years.

Important facts

The growing demand for Lithium in India is driven by the goal of the Indian government to become one of the largest electric vehicle markets world over.
NITI Ayog has set an ambitious target to increase the number of electric vehicles by 30 % by 2030.

The projected market While electric cars in India remain a small segment, with an estimated 3,000 sold in 2018 compared with the 3.4 million fossil fuel-powered cars in the same year, the nation is forecast to become the fourth-largest market for EVs by 2040 when the segment will comprise nearly a third of all vehicles Sales.

India’s first Lithium plant was set up in Gujarat in 2021, where Manikaran Power Limited will invest Rs 1000 crore to set up this refinery.

Bolivia is the leading producer with 2.10 crore tonnes of lithium reserves, and Argentina has 1.70 crore tonnes of Lithium. Chile has around 8.6 Mn tonnes, Australia has 2.8 Mn tonnes, and even Portugal has around 60K tonnes of lithium deposits. In 2020, India signed an agreement with an Argentinian firm to jointly prospect lithium in the South American country that has the third-largest reserves of metal in the world.