Daily Current Affairs (MCQ's) | 11-03-2023

Daily Current Affairs (MCQ's) | 11-03-2023

Daily Current Affairs (MCQ's) | 11-03-2023

Q1. Consider the following statements with regard to use of echolocation in marine animals

1. Marine animals are known to use sound to navigate, find food and protect themselves

2. The recent mass strandings of whales may be linked to noise pollution in oceans

3. The dolphins are “almost blind” and use echolocation in order to locate food and other objects

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 (d)


A new study has found that noise generated by human activity makes it harder for dolphins to communicate and coordinate with each other. As the levels of underwater noise increase, these mammals have to “shout” to each other, it added.

Dolphins are social mammals that communicate through squeaks, whistles and clicks. They also use echolocation in order to locate food and other objects. Therefore, anthropogenic noise coming from large commercial ships, military sonars or offshore drilling can severely impact their well-being.

What Are The Consequences Of Noisy Oceans?

Marine animals are known to use sound to navigate, find food and protect themselves. As sound travels faster in water than air, it makes for an important mode of communication because it can convey a lot of information quickly and over long distances. Scientists believe that fish species rely on sounds during reproductive activities, including mate attraction, courtship and mate choice.

However, several studies and incidents have shown that sounds made by drilling, commercial ships and military operations lead to disruption of marine life.

In 2020, Australia witnessed one of its worst mass stranding of whales when around 200 of them died on Tasmania’s west coast. Researchers suggest that mass strandings are linked to noise pollution in oceans.

A 2018 study by researchers at the University of Maryland found “that when there was more ambient sound, mostly from passing boats and ships, the dolphins switched to higher frequencies and streamlined their whistles”, according to a report published by Mongabay.

Recently, The Guardian reported that the newly launched MV Ganga Vilas cruise, which will “make stops at about 50 tourist and heritage sites along the Ganga and Brahmaputra river systems”, could severely damage the habitat of the Ganges river dolphin, which already face a number of threats, including water pollution and poaching.

Speaking to the newspaper, environmentalists and conservationists pointed out that these dolphins are “almost blind” and an increase in cruise tourism might result in their extinction.

Q2. Which of the following are possible advantages of Bio- Compressed Natural Gas (Bio-CNG) also known as Compressed Biogas (CBG)?

1. It is a cleaner fuel compared to fossil fuel derived Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

2. CBG is a decentralised energy form

3. CBG pollutes more than incineration-based waste to energy plants

4. It can be produced at all hours of the day

5. It can help in mitigation of methane emissions

Select the correct option from codes given below

a. 1 and 4 only

b. 1, 2, 4 and 5 only

c. 2, 3, 4 and 5 only

d. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Answer (b)


Bio-CNG, also known as Compressed Biogas (CBG), is an upgraded version of the humble biogas, the dung-based version of which serves as cooking fuel in many villages in India.

Apart from biodegradable waste, agricultural residue, cow dung and chicken litter and press mud from sugar factories are also used as feedstock in CBG plants.

Stages of Bio-CNG production:

• The first stage of the CBG process is pre-treatment. The waste is passed through a trommel screen to remove hard materials like coconut shells and pieces of wood.

• The screened waste is shredded in a hammer mill and made into a slurry with water. This slurry is kept in the pre-digester tank in aerobic conditions for one-two days to attract microbes — the process is called hydrolysis.

• It is then transferred to an anaerobic digester where it is retained for 20-25 days. It is at this stage — methanogenesis — that biogas is generated.

• This gas contains 65 per cent methane, while the rest is carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and water vapour. The gas is stored in a balloon and then taken to a gas upgradation area.

• It is passed through a wet and dry scrubber to remove hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide, respectively. Methane, purified up to 95 per cent, is obtained here which is then compressed at high pressure in cylinders and sent off to filling stations.

• This highly purified methane is similar in chemical properties to CNG derived from petroleum sources and can thus be used in vehicles.

Climate Friendly Bio-CNG:

• Extracting CNG from fossil fuel sources involves sensitive equipment and polluting and costly processes like thermal fracking while CBG makes waste it’s feedstock.

• A 2019 study by the French Institute for Petroleum (IFPEN) compared the carbon footprint of the life cycle of CNG and biomethane-based vehicles to that of diesel, petrol and electric vehicles.

• It concluded that biomethane is the best transportation option to preserve air quality, suggesting that biogas can play an important role in achieving climate neutrality in transportation.

Other Benefits Of Bio-CNG:

• With global crude oil prices going up and shortage of CNG in international market, indigenous production of CBG only makes sense.

• CBG is a decentralised energy form as it is produced closest to the point of consumption and unlike solar and wind energy, can be produced at all hours of the day.

• CBG adds value to the waste, which is otherwise burnt to reduce volumes. CBG is better than incineration-based waste to energy plants that release toxic emissions.

• Fugitive methane emission from openly dumped waste also leads to landfill fires as it happened in Delhi earlier this year.

• The global warming potential of methane is 28 times more than that of carbon dioxide, according to the sixth assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change. Landfill sites are a source of 20 per cent of the methane emission. Thus CBG will help in methane mitigation goals.

• A 2021 study claimed that if harnessed correctly, municipal solid waste (MSW) and wastewater energy can replace 4053.47 tonnes of India’s diesel consumption per day, the highest consumed transportation fuel in India.

Q3. Which of the following pairs is/are correctly matched?

Select the correct option from codes given below

a. 1 and 2 only

b. 2 and 3 only

c. 3 only

d. 1, 2 and 3

Answer (c)


Pair 1 Is Not Correctly Matched:

Environmental path cleared for Great Nicobar mega project:

• A major infrastructure and tourism project planned in Great Nicobar island has received the green signal from the Union Environment Ministry’s Expert Appraisal Committee.

• The Committee has mandated certain conditions and mitigation measures while doing so.

• Maps and satellite data provide an insight into the scale of the topographical changes in the offing. The island is set for irreversible ecological change if the project is implemented.

Pair 2 Is Not Correctly Matched:

Tharu Tribal Women Of Dudhwa Battle For Their Right To The Forest:

• The Dudhwa National Park located in the Terai belt of Uttar Pradesh, wedged between India and Nepal, is home to the Tharu tribe.

• The establishment of the Dudhwa National Park in 1978 resulted in the relocation of 44 of the 46 Tharu villages in the core of the park.

• Since then, the Tharus have faced eviction and harassment from forest officials. To fight for their forest rights, a group of women set up the Tharu Adivasi Mahila Mazdoor Kisan Manch in 2009.

• In 1984-85, rhinos from Assam and Nepal were relocated to Dudhwa, in an attempt to bring the rhino back to this region, which has grassland, swamps and wooded forests, the perfect habitat for rhinos.

Pair 3 Is Correctly Matched:

Twelve cheetahs arrived in Madhya Pradesh from South Africa in Feb 2023 and were released into the quarantine enclosures at the Kuno National Park (KNP) in Sheopur district, five months after the first batch of eight of these fastest land animals were brought there from Namibia, another African nation.

Their inter-continental translocation is part of the Indian government’s ambitious programme to reintroduce these animals in the country seven decades after they became extinct. The country’s last cheetah died in Koriya district of present-day Chhattisgarh in 1947 and the species was declared extinct in 1952.

Q4. Consider the following statements with regard to Dugongs

1. Tamil Nadu notified the country’s first ‘Dugong Conservation Reserve’ in Palk Bay

2. Dugongs are top predators in coastal food chain of the Gulf of Mannar

3. Conserving dugongs will help in protecting seagrass beds and sequestering more atmospheric carbon

Select the correct option from codes given below

a. 1 and 2 only

b. 2 and 3 only

c. 1 and 3 only

d. 1, 2 and 3

Answer (c)


In september 2022, Tamil Nadu notified the country’s first ‘Dugong

Conservation Reserve’ in Palk Bay covering the coastal waters of Thanjavur and Pudukottai districts with an area of 448 square kilometers.

Dugongs are the largest herbivorous marine mammals in the world thriving primarily on seagrass beds, a major carbon sink of the oceans. Dugongs are protected under Schedule 1 of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. However, their population is on the decline due to habitat loss.

There are only about 240 individuals estimated to be present in the country and the majority is found in Tamil Nadu coast (Palk Bay). Hence, there is an imminent need to protect Dugongs and their habitat from degradation.

Conserving dugongs will help to protect and improve seagrass beds and sequestering more atmospheric carbon. Seagrass beds are also the breeding and feeding grounds for many commercially valuable fishes and marine fauna. Hence, thousands of fisher families directly depend on dugong habitats for their income.

The coastal communities along Palk Bay understand the need to conserve dugongs and they have been cooperating with forest department in the conservation efforts ever since. The notification of a Conservation Reserve will not cause any new restrictions or regulations to the fishing communities, rather it focuses on their participation and cooperation for the conservation efforts. To realise these objectives the government has notified the ‘Dugong Conservation Reserve’ in Palk Bay, after holding extensive consultations with coastal communities, especially with the local fishermen.

While a lot of work has already happened for forest conservation, marine species conservation has not got the attention it deserves. Tamil Nadu is blessed to have rich marine biodiversity and is home to several rare and endangered fishes and turtle species. With a long coastline of 1076 km and 14 coastal districts TN is well poised to lead in marine species conservation.

Sea cows

Dugongs (Dugong dugon) – thought to have inspired myths of mermaids among seafarers of yore – are marine mammals that live in small groups in shallow waters. They’re also called sea cows: a term that reflects the ecological role they play, being oceanic herbivores that chomp on seagrass in underwater meadows. They can grow up to 3.5 meters long, and weigh around 300 kg.

But though the animals are distributed across many parts of the Indo- Pacific, they are listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species due to their decreasing population worldwide. The species is already extinct in China. India’s dugong population too is declining: there are just around 200 dugongs left, as per some estimates. In Indian waters, you can spot dugongs near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and off the coast of Tamil Nadu in the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay.

Q5. Recently seen in news, Safe harbour rules are related to

a. Harbours considered safe for oil and gas transportation

b. River ports at harbours safe for large cargos

c. Orbit in space safe for communication satellites

d. The legal immunity that online intermediaries

Answer (d)


Govt rethinking ‘safe harbour’ in Digital India Bill: How this could change internet landscape

Currently, the Information Technology Act, 2000 is the core framework that regulates entities on the Internet. However, the law needs an update since it was framed for an Internet era that looked very different from the Internet of today. Given its limitations, the government has also on occasion found it difficult to promulgate rules since the parent Act is limited in its scope.

The minister said that the core objectives of the new Digital India Bill are to ensure an open and safe Internet in the country to ensure users’ rights and reduce risks for them online; accelerate the growth of technology innovation. The Bill is a key pillar of an overarching framework of technology regulations the Centre is building, including the draft Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022; Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022; and a policy for non-personal data governance.

What is ‘safe harbour’?

Safe harbour – as prescribed under Section 79 of the IT Act, 2000 – is legal immunity that online intermediaries enjoy against content posted by users on their platforms. This is available as long as these platforms abide by certain due diligence requirements, such as censoring content when asked by the government or courts. The concept originally came from Section 230 of the United States’ Communications Decency Act, which has been termed “one of the foundational laws behind the modern Internet”.

It is one of the main reasons behind the meteoric rise of Internet giants such as Facebook that have defined the Web 2.0 era where users can post content on the internet. Tech experts believe that safe harbour is a crucial tenet for ensuring free speech on the Internet since platforms only have to act on speech that is deemed illegal.