Daily MCQ
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15 June 2021 MCQs Test

10 Questions 20 Minutes

Current Affairs
June 15, 2021

RARE EARTHS
The U.S. Senate passed a law aimed at boosting American production and processing of rare earths. In 2019, the U.S. imported 80% of its rare earth minerals from China, the U.S. Geological Survey says.
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About:

  • These are a set of 17 chemical elements in the periodic table, specifically the 15 lanthanides plus scandium (Atomic Number 21) and Yttrium (Atomic Number 39).

  • Lanthanide series comprises the 15 metallic chemical elements with atomic numbers 57 through 71, from lanthanum through lutetium.

  • Scandium and yttrium are considered rare-earth elements because they tend to occur in the same ore deposits as the lanthanides and exhibit similar chemical properties, but have different electronic and magnetic properties.

  • Cerium (AN 58) is the most abundant rare earth metal.

  • Why these elements called as RARE? There is no shortage of rare earths. But their extraction is difficult (Requires high skill, Capital intensive, Environmental issues).

  • 2 main ore of extractions are Monazite and Bastansite.

  • Properties: Their colour ranges from Shiny Silver to Iron Gray. They are soft, malleable, ductile and usually reactive, especially at elevated temperatures or when finely divided.

  • Its application ranges from Civilian (smartphones, laptops, petroleum refining catalysts) to military including nuclear applications. Rare minerals that are essential to electric vehicles, wind turbines and drones.

  • China has the largest reserve (37 percent), followed by Brazil and Vietnam (18 percent each), Russia (15 percent), and the remaining countries (12 percent). Deng Xiaoping said once, The Middle East has oil and China has rare earth.

Source : The Hindu
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
June 15, 2021

SPACE TOURISM
Last week, Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos’s space company called Blue Origin concluded the online auction for the first seat on New Shephard, a rocket system meant to take tourists to space. The seat went for a winning bid of $28 million.
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Blue origin

  • Blue Origin is an American privately funded aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company headquartered in Kent, Washington.

  • it was founded in 2000 by Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive officer of Amazon.

New Shephard

  • New Shepard is blue origin’s reusable suborbital rocket system designed to take astronauts and research payloads past the Kármán line – the internationally recognized boundary of space.

  • New Shephard has been named after Mercury astronaut Alan Shephard – the first American to go to space.

Important Info :

Alan Shephard

  • Alan Shepard was an American astronaut.
  • In 1961, he became the second man and the first American to travel into space, and in 1971, he walked on the Moon.
  • Project Mercury was the first human spaceflight program of the United States, running from 1958 through 1963.
Source : Indian Express
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
June 15, 2021

OPEN SOCIETIES STATEMENT
India signed off on a joint statement by G-7 and guest countries on “open societies”.
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About:

  • The ‘Open Societies Statement’ was adopted at the end of an G7 outreach session titled ‘Building Back Together—Open Societies and Economies’, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was invited as a lead speaker.

  • The joint statement was signed by the G-7 countries, and India, South Korea, Australia and South Africa, with host British Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling them “Democracies 11”.

Important Info :

Features

  • This statement reaffirm the values of “freedom of expression, both online and offline, as a freedom that safeguards democracy”.
  • The statement also refers to “politically motivated internet shutdowns” as one of the threats to freedom and democracy.
  • It also affirmed “human rights for all, both online and offline, as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights instruments, and opposition to any form of discrimination, so that everyone can participate fully and equally in society”.
Source : Indian Express
International

Current Affairs
June 15, 2021

NAFTALI BENNETT
Naftali Bennett was sworn-in as the new Prime Minister of Israel.
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About:

  • Former defence minister and high-tech millionaire, Bennett, a 49-year-old leader of the right-wing Yamina party, took oath of office after the Israeli parliament Knesset elected him as the 13th Prime Minister by a 60-59 vote in the 120-member house.

  • An eight-party alliance, ranging from the right-wing Jewish Nationalist Yamina party to Arab lawmakers, was formed early this month by centrist politician Yair Lapid centrist and ultra-nationalist Bennett.

  • Mr Bennett will be prime minister until September 2023 as part of a power-sharing deal. He will then hand power over to Yair Lapid for a further two years.

  • His victory ended the 12-year power of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the country’s longest-serving leader.

Source : All India Radio
International

Current Affairs
June 15, 2021

FOREX RESERVES
India’s foreign exchange reserves crossed the $600 billion mark for the first time after rising by $6.842 billion in the week ended on June 4. Forex reserves rose to a record $605.008 billion in the reporting week, helped by a rise in Foreign Currency Assets (FCA), a major component of the overall reserves.
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Countries with the highest foreign reserves according to IMF (June 13, 2021)

  1. China – $3,330 Billion

  2. Japan – $1,378 Billion

  3. Switzerland – $1,070 Billion

  4. Russia – $605.200 Billion

  5. India – $605.008 Billion

What is it?

  • Foreign-exchange reserves (also called forex reserves or FX reserves) are reserve assets held by a central bank in foreign currencies.

  • They are used to back liabilities on their own issued currency, support the exchange rate and set monetary policy.

  • Components: India’s foreign exchange reserves comprise
    • Foreign currency assets (FCAs). These are maintained in currencies like US dollar, euro, pound sterling, Australian dollar and Japanese yen.

    • Gold

    • SDR (special drawing rights) in IMF: This is the reserve CURRENCY with IMF

    • RTP (reserve tranche position) in IMF: This is the reserve CAPITAL with IMF



Source : All India Radio
Economy

Current Affairs
June 15, 2021

INTEGRATED FOOD SECURITY PHASE CLASSIFICATION (IPC)
UN emergency relief coordinator Mark Lowcock said Tigray region of Ethiopia is witnessing widespread famine. According to an Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, famine conditions in Tigray are in phase 5 with 350,000 people out of Tigray’s 6 million population are experiencing famine.
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IPC scale

  • The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), also known as IPC scale, is a tool for improving food security analysis and decision-making.

  • It is a standardised scale that integrates food security, nutrition and livelihood information into a statement about the nature and severity of a crisis and implications for strategic response.

  • The IPC was originally developed for use in Somalia by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's Food Security Analysis Unit (FSAU).

IPC scale: The following table includes a summary of the IPC scale -

  1. Phase 1: Generally Food Secure (More than 80% of households can meet basic food needs without atypical coping strategies)

  2. Phase 2: Borderline Food Insecure (For at least 20 percent of households, food consumption is reduced but is minimally adequate)

  3. Phase 3: Acute Food and Livelihood Crisis (At least 20 percent of households have significant food consumption gaps. Levels of acute malnutrition are high and above normal)

  4. Phase 4: Humanitarian Emergency (At least 20 percent of households face extreme food consumption gaps, resulting in very high levels of acute malnutrition and excess mortality)

  5. Phase 5: Famine/Humanitarian Catastrophe (At least 20 percent of households face a complete lack of food and/or other basic needs and starvation, death, and destitution are evident; and acute malnutrition prevalence exceeds 30%; and mortality rates exceed 2/10000/day)

Source : Indian Express
International

Current Affairs
June 15, 2021

IDEX - DIO
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved the budgetary support of ₹498.8 crore to Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) - Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO) for the next five years.
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About:

  • Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) was launched by the Government of India in 2018.

  • iDEX will be funded and managed by a ‘Defence Innovation Organization (DIO)’ which has been formed as a ‘not for profit’ company as per Section 8 of the Companies Act 2013 by the two founder members i.e. Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) - HAL & BEL alongwith the Department of Defence Production (DDP).

  • iDEX will function as the executive arm of DIO, carrying out all the required activities while DIO will provide high level policy guidance to iDEX.

  • The iDEX framework and establishment of the DIO is aimed at promoting innovation and indigenisation in the aerospace and defence sector at the start-up level. The scheme is aimed at providing financial support to nearly 300 start-ups, MSME, individual innovators and 20 partner incubators.

Source : The Hindu
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
June 15, 2021

EXPORTS OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has said, India has registered tremendous growth in agriculture exports during the last financial year.
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About:

  • Exports of agriculture and allied products including marine and plantation products jumped to 41.25 billion US dollars and registered an increase of 17.34 per cent during the fiscal year 2020-21.

  • Products: Huge growth has been witnessed in export of cereals like non-basmati rice, wheat, millets, maize and other agricultural products.

  • Export destinations
    • The products were exported to 58 destinations around the world.

    • Largest markets for country’s agricultural products are the USA, China, Bangladesh, UAE, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Nepal, Iran and Malaysia.

    • Highest growth in export has been recorded for Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nepal.



Important Info :

Organic products

  • Organic exports registered a whopping growth of nearly 51 per cent during the 2020-21 fiscal year. Exports of organic products registered a surge of $1,040 million in the last fiscal as compared to $689 million a year ago, leading to an increase in overall agricultural exports.
  • In quantitative terms, the exports of organic products grew by 39 per cent, from 6,38,998 to 8,88,179 tonnes in the last fiscal year.
Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
June 15, 2021

PYROSTRIA LALJII
A 15-metre-tall tree that belongs to the genus of the coffee family has recently been discovered from the Andaman Islands.
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About:

  • Regions in India: The new species, Pyrostria laljii was first reported from the Wandoor forest in South Andaman. The other places in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands where the tree could be located are the Tirur forest near the Jarawa Rerserve Forest and the Chidia Tapu (Munda Pahar) forest.

  • Global distribution: The new species is also the first record of the genus Pyrostria in India. Plants belonging to genus Pyrostria are usually found in Madagascar.

  • Features: The tree is distinguished by a long stem with a whitish coating on the trunk and oblong-obovate leaves with a cuneate base. Other physical features that distinguish the tree from other species of the genus is its umbellate inflorescence with eight to 12 flowers.

  • IUCN status: Pyrostria laljii has been assessed as ‘Critically Endangered’ based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List criteria.

  • Name: The species has been named Pyrostria laljii after Lal Ji Singh, Joint Director and Head of Office, Andaman and Nicobar Regional Centre, Botanical Survey of India.

Source : The Hindu
Environment
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