Daily Current Affairs Quiz

1. The Montagu Declaration of 1917:
1. recommended that self-government would be granted to India immediately
after the first world war.
2. led to the introduction of the system of direct elections and universal adult
franchise in India for the first time.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : D

Edwin Montagu was appointed the Secretary of State for India in 1917 and remained in that office till 1922. He was critical of the manner in which India was governed.
• On 20th August 1917, Montagu presented the historic Montagu Declaration (August Declaration) in the British Parliament.
o This declaration advocated for the increasing the association of Indians in every branch of administration.
o He also laid the foundation for ‘gradual development’ of self-governing institutions with a view to the progressive realisation of responsible government in India as an integral part of the British empire in long run. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
• In 1917, Montagu visited India and held talks with the various representatives of Indian polity including Mahatma Gandhi and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He, along with the Governor-General of India Lord Chelmsford, brought out a detailed report titled Constitutional Reforms in India, also called the
Montagu-Chelmsford Report. This report was published on 8th July 1918. This report became the basis for the Government of India Act 1919 (alternatively called the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms or Montford Reforms). The report was rejected by most Indian leaders. Annie Besant (Born on October 1st, 1847) referred to it as ‘unworthy to be offered by England or to be accepted by India’.
• The GOI Act, 1919 though introduced elections but the franchise was partial in nature, not universal. Only certain people who were propertied or had titles, etc. or held office could vote. Hence statement 2 is not correct.

2. With reference to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, consider the following statements:
1. Chaitanya and Shankaradeva were contemporaries.
2. He popularised the Krishna cult in the Bengal region.
3. He denounced the Brahmanical authority and advocated the abolition of the caste system.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 2 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer : B

Chaitanya (1486-1533) was the most prominent Vaishnava saint of Bengal. He popularized Krishna- bhakti in many parts of Eastern India. His popularity as a religious personality was so great that he was looked upon as an avatar (incarnation) of Krishna even in his life.
o Chaitanya’s concern, unlike that of Kabir, was not with bringing people to an understanding of a God, beyond all creeds and formulations; it was to exalt the superiority of Krishna over all other deities.It was, in other words, a revivalist, not a syncretic movement, a return to worship of Vishnu under one of his most appealing forms, the loving ecstatic Krishna. Hence statement 2 is correct.
o Chaitanya disregarded all distinctions of caste, creed, and sex to give a popular base to Krishna bhakti. His followers belonged to all castes and communities. One of his most favorite disciples was Haridas who was a Muslim. He popularized the practice of sankirtan or group devotional singing accompanied by ecstatic dancing.
o However, Chaitanya did not give up traditional Brahmanical values altogether. He did not question the authority of the Brahmans and scriptures. He upheld the caste prejudices of his Brahman disciples against the “lower” caste disciples. However, his disregard for caste distinctions in the sphere of devotional singing promoted a sense of equality in Bengali life. Hence statement 3 is not correct.
• Srimanta Sankardev (1449–1568) was a 15th–16th century Assamese saint-scholar, poet, playwright, and figure of importance in the cultural and religious history of Assam, India.
o He is widely credited with building on past cultural relics and devising new forms of music (Borgeet), theatrical performance (Ankia Naat, Bhaona), dance (Sattriya), literary language (Brajavali).
o He started the Bhagavatic religious movement also called Neo-Vaishnavite movement.
o The assembly of devotees he initiated evolved over time into monastic centers called Sattras, which continue to be important socio-religious institutions in Assam and to a lesser extent in North Bengal.
• Both Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Shankaradevaa were contemporaries. Hence statement 1 is correct.

3. Consider the following statements regarding Sambhar lake in Rajasthan:
1. It is surrounded by Aravalli hills on all sides.
2. No microorganisms are found in this lake because of its high salt content.
3. Nearly half of India’s salt production comes from this lake.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer : A

Sambhar Salt Lake is India’s largest inland salt lake, located 80 km southwest of the city of Jaipur. It surrounds the historical Sambhar Lake Town. The lake receives water from the rivers Medtha, Samaod, Mantha, Rupangarh, Khari, and Khandela.
• The lake is an extensive saline wetland, with water depth fluctuating from as few as 60 centimetres during the dry season to about 3 meters at the end of the monsoon season.
• The lake is elliptically shaped with a length of approximately 35.5 km and a breadth varying between 3 km and 11 km. It is surrounded on all sides by the Aravali hills. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
• Sambhar lake has been designated as a Ramsar site because the lake is a key wintering area for tens of thousands of pink flamingos and other birds that migrate from northern Asia and Siberia. The specialized algae and bacteria growing in the lake provide striking watercolours and support the lake ecology which, in turn, sustains the migrating waterfowl. Algae and bacteria form a crucial component of this lake’s ecosystem. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.
• Gujarat is the largest producer of salt in India with a share of more than 70 per cent of India’s total salt production. Sambhar lake share is around 10 per cent of India’s total salt production. Hence, statement 3 is not correct.
• India is the third-largest producer of salt in the world. The top five salt-producing states in India are Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh.

4. Exfoliation tors are small to big size boulders which are smooth and rounded formed due to
(a) Gravitational forces such as overburden pressure, load and shearing stress.
(b) Removal of overlying rock load because of continued erosion.
(c) Differential heating and resulting expansion and contraction of surface layers.
(d) River’s vertical and lateral corrasion in its mountain course.

Answer : C

Exfoliation tors:
o Exfoliation is a result of weathering but not a process.
o Various minerals in rocks possess their own limits of expansion and contraction.
o With rising in temperature every mineral expands and pushes against its neighbour and as the temperature falls, a corresponding contraction takes places because of diurnal changes in the temperature, this internal movement among the mineral grains of the superficial layers of rocks takes place regularly.
o This process is most effective in dry climates and high elevations where diurnal temperature changes are drastic. However, these movements are very small, they make the rocks weak due to continued fatigue.
o The surface layers of the rocks tend to expand more than the rocks at depth resulting in heaving and fracturing parallel to the surface and their subsequent exfoliation from the surface results in smooth rounded surfaces in rocks.
o In rocks like granites, smooth-surfaced and rounded small to big boulders called tors form due to such exfoliation. Hence option (c) is the correct answer.
• Exfoliation domes:
o It is formed due to unloading and expansion.
o Removal of overlying rock load because of continued erosion causes vertical pressure release with the result that the upper layers of the rock expand producing disintegration of rock masses.
o The fracture will develop roughly parallel to the ground surface. It can be measured hundred or thousands of metres.

5. Consider the following statements with respect to Mauryan rule:
1. Megasthenes visited the Mauryan empire during the reign of Chandragupta Maurya.
2. The second Buddhist Council was held during the reign of Ashoka.
3. The provincial capital ‘Suvarnagiri’ mentioned in the rock edicts, was located in the Northern province of the empire.
4. Sanchi Stupa was built during the reign of Ashoka.
Which of the statements given above are correct?
(a) 2 and 3 only
(b) 1 and 4 only
(c) 1, 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 3 and 4 only

Answer : B

• Megasthenes was an ancient Greek historian, diplomat and Indian ethnographer. Megasthenes was the ambassador who was sent to the court of Chandragupta Maurya by the Greek ruler of West Asia named Seleucus Nicator. He described India in his book Indika, which is now lost, but has been partially reconstructed from literary fragments found in later authors. Hence statement 1 is correct.
• The Second Buddhist Council met at Vaishali a century after Buddha’s death. The Buddhist Order split into two later. One was called the Sthaviravadins or ‘Believers in the Teachings of the Elders’ and the other known as Mahasanghikas or ‘Members of the Great Community’. The Third Buddhist Council was held at Pataliputra. It was convened by Asoka. The Sthaviravadins established themselves strongly and expelled the heretics. The last section called “Kathavatthu” was added to Abhidhamma Pitaka. Hence statement 2 is not correct.
• There were five major political centres in the empire – the capital Pataliputra and the provincial centres of Taxila (North), Ujjayini (West), Tosali (East) and Suvarnagiri (South), all mentioned in the Ashokan inscriptions. These centres were carefully chosen, both Taxila and Ujjayini being situated on important long-distance trade routes, while Suvarnagiri (literally, the golden mountain) was possibly important for tapping the gold mines of Karnataka. Hence statement 3 is not correct.
• The Great Stupa at Sanchi is one of the oldest stone structures in India. It was originally commissioned by the emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE. It was built with bricks during the time of Ashoka and later it was covered with stone. Hence statement 4 is correct.

6. With reference to Landholders’ Society founded in 1837-38, consider the following statements:
1. It was a political association prominent in the Bengal region.
2. It aimed to strengthen the vested interests of Zamindars.
3. It was later merged with the British Indian Association of Bengal.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer : D

The landholders’ society the first political association of modern India was founded in 1837-38 at Calcutta. The basic purpose was to promote and protect the class interests of landlords and zamindars. Its zone of influence was limited to erstwhile Bengal province only. Hence statements 1 and 2 are correct.
• The British Indian Association was founded on October 29, 1851, at Calcutta. The Landholders’ society of 1837 and Bengal British India society of 1843 later merged with the British Indian association in 1851. Raja Radhakant Deb who was associated with erstwhile Bengal landholders society assigned the position of president in the merged body of British Indian association with Debendra Nath Tagore as its secretary. Hence statement 3 is correct.

7. Consider the following statements with reference to mica in India:
1. Mica is categorised as a minor mineral.
2. Rajasthan has the highest reserves of mica in India.
3. Most of the mica deposits in India produce the muscovite variety or potash mica.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 2 and 3 only

Answer : C

Mica is a mineral of strategic importance because of its perfect cleavage, flexibility, infusibility, high heat and electrical insulation and high dielectric strength, a combination of qualities not possessed by any other natural material.
• The chief demand for mica comes from the electrical industry, while in powder form after grinding to a suitable size, it is also used as a ‘filler in various industries.
• In 2015 mica has been declared as a minor mineral. Hence statement 1 is correct.
• India is one of the important sources of sheet (block) mica producing between 70 and 80% of the total block mica output of the world.
• The splitting of mica is done by hand.
• The mica industry of the country depends largely on the export market, the domestic consumption being small.
• Commercially, two varieties of mica are important—
o Muscovite or potash mica and phlogopite or magnesian mica.
o Granitic pegmatites are the source of the muscovite sheet.
o Phlogopite is found in areas of metamorphosed sedimentary rocks into which pegmatite rich granite rocks have been intruded.
o Most of the deposits in India produce the muscovite variety, phlogopite is available in comparatively small quantities from a few places mainly in Travancore. Hence statement 3 is correct.
o Both the varieties are used for electrical insulation, the best qualities being used for high tension electrical work.
• The most important mica-bearing pegmatites occur in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana.
• Occurrences of mica pegmatites are also reported from Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
• Andhra Pradesh has the highest reserve of mica and it is also the largest mica producing state of India. Hence statement 2 is not correct.

8. Which of the following is/are the components of External Debt of India?
1. External Commercial Borrowings
2. FII investment in Government Securities
3. Borrowing through Masala Bonds
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer : D

External debt (or foreign debt) is the total debt which the residents of a country owe to foreign creditors.The debtors can be the government, corporations or citizens of that country. The debt includes money owed to private commercial banks, foreign governments, or international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.
• Gross External Debt, is defined as the outstanding amount of those actual current liabilities, that require payment(s) of principal and/or interest by the debtor, in the future as per the terms laid out in the contract between the debtor and the creditor and that are owed to non-residents by the residents of the economy.
• In India, (Gross) External Debt is classified primarily into the following heads:
o Long and Short Term Debt: Long Term Debt is defined as debt with an ‘Original Maturity’ of more than one year while Short Term Debt is defined as debt repayments on-demand or with an ‘Original Maturity’ of one year or less.
Long-Term debt is further classified into (a) Multilateral Debt (b) Bilateral Debt (c) Export Credit
(d) (External) Commercial Borrowings (e) NRI Deposits and (d) Rupee Debt.
Short Term Debt is classified into (a) Trade Credits (of up to 6 months and above 6 months and up to 1 year) (b) Foreign Institutional Investors’ (FII) Investment in Government Treasury- Bills and Corporate Securities (c) Investment in Treasury-bills by foreign Central Banks and International Institutions etc. and (iv) External Debt liabilities of the Central Bank and Commercial Banks.
o Sovereign (Government) and Non-Sovereign Debt;
Sovereign Debt includes (a) External Debt outstanding on account of loans received by the Government of India (GoI) under the ‘External Assistance’ programme and the civilian component of Rupee Debt (b) Other Government debt comprising borrowings from the IMF, defence debt component of Rupee Debt and foreign currency defence debt and (c) FII investment in Government Securities. All remaining components of External Debt get categorized as Non-Sovereign External Debt.

• Masala Bonds are rupee-denominated bonds issued outside India by Indian entities. They are debt instruments which help to raise money in local currency from foreign investors. Both the government and private entities can issue these bonds.
• Hence, option (d) is the correct answer.

9. Which of the following statements is/are correct with reference to the Martial law under the Article 34 of Indian Constitution?
1. It empowers the Parliament to indemnify any person for any act done by him in connection with the maintenance of order in any area where martial law was in force.
2. All constitutional writs are suspended in the area where martial law is declared.
3. Martial Law has never been imposed in post-independent India.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 and 3 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 1, 2 and 3
(d) 2 and 3 only

Answer : A

Martial law is mentioned (but not defined) under the Article 34 of Indian constitution. It is borrowed in India from the English common law.
• Article 34 empowers the Parliament to indemnify any government servant or any other person for any act done by him in connection with the maintenance or restoration of order in any area where martial law was in force. Hence statement 1 is correct.
• The Act of Indemnity made by the Parliament cannot be challenged in any court on the ground of contravention of any of the fundamental rights.
• During the operation of martial law, the military authorities are vested with abnormal powers to take all necessary steps, however The Supreme Court held that the declaration of martial law does not ipso facto (by that particular happening) result in the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. Hence statement 2 is not correct.
• Martial law has been imposed several times in India during its pre-independence period. Moreover, the martial laws where enforced rightly at the time when there was a fight for freedom. The first such martial law was imposed in 1817 in Cuttack, Odisha. After the above war, again the martial law was imposed in 1857, during Sepoy Mutiny, ought to be called the First War of Independence. Martial law has never been imposed in India, post-independence till date. Hence statement 3 is correct.

10. With reference to ‘Laurentian type of climate’, which of the following is not correct?
(a) It has features of both the maritime and the continental climates.
(b) It is some times referred to as the Gulf type of climate.
(c) It has cold, dry winters and warm, wet summers.
(d) In the Southern Hemisphere, this climatic type is absent.

Answer : B

The Cool Temperate Eastern Margin (Laurentian) Climate:
o It is an intermediate type of climate between the British and the Siberian type of climate.
o It has features of both the maritime and the continental climates.
o The Laurentian type of climate is found only in two regions.
North American region: North-eastern North America, including eastern Canada, north-east U.S.A., (i.e. Maritime Provinces and the New England states), and Newfoundland.
Asiatic region: Eastern coastlands of Asia, including eastern Siberia, North China, Manchuria, Korea and northern Japan.
o In the southern hemisphere, this climatic type is absent because only a small section of the southern continents extends south of the latitude of 40° S.
• Climatic Conditions:
o The Laurentian type of climate has cold, dry winters and warm, wet summers.
o Winter temperatures may be well below freezing-point and snowfalls to quite a depth.

o Summers are as warm as the tropics (21° – 27°C) and if it were not for the cooling effects of the off- shore cold currents from the Arctic, the summer might be even hotter.

o Rain falls throughout the year, there is a distinct summer maximum from the easterly winds from the oceans. Of the annual precipitation of 30 to 60 inches, two-thirds come in the summer.
o Winter is dry and cold because the winds are dry Westerlies that blowout from the continental interiors.
o Hence, options (a), (c) and (d) are the characteristics of the Laurentian type of climate.
Moreover, the Warm Temperate Eastern Margin (China Type) climate is sometimes referred to as the Gulf type of climate. Hence, option (b) is the correct answer.
• Natural Vegetation:
o The predominant vegetation of the Laurentian type of climate is cool temperate forest.
o The heavy rainfall, the warm summers and the damp air from fogs, all favour the growth of trees.
o The forest tends to be coniferous north of the 50° N. parallel of latitude. The increase in the length and severity of the winter excludes forests that are not adaptable to cold conditions.
o Oak, beech, maple and birch are the principal trees.
• Economy
o Lumbering and its associated timber, paper and pulp industries are the most important economic undertaking.
o Agriculture is less important in view of the severity of the winter and its long duration.
o The fertile Annapolis valley in Nova Scotia is the world’s most renowned region for apples.
o Fishing is the most outstanding economic activity of the Laurentian climatic regions.

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