Prelims Objective Practices Questions
(I.) Consider the following statements regarding Prehistoric painting.
1. There are evidences of Lower Paleolithic people producing art.
2. Symbols do not form part of Prehistoric paintings.
3. Hunting scenes predominate in Mesolithic paintings.
Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?
A.) 2 only
B.) 1, 2
C.) 3 only
D.) 1, 3
(II.) The terms ramanas, padas and sabdas are related to:-
A.) Various ragas of Carnatic music
B.) Musical instruments
C.) Literary forms
D.) Form of Folk music
(III.) Kathi Samu is an ancient Indian martial art originated in the state of
D.) Andhra Pradesh
Question of the Day
Que.- What were the different types of art and crafts of Harappan civilization? Also, examine their significance. (250 words)
Prelims Specific Facts
NEWS-1 Centre releases guidelines for Mission Vatsalya:-
- In order to access Central funds and benefits under Mission Vatsalya (an umbrella scheme for child protection services in the country), the centre has issued certain guidelines.
- What is Mission Vatsalya?
Mission Vatsalya promotes family-based non-institutional care of children in difficult circumstances based on the principle of institutionalization of children as a measure of last resort.
It is one of the new triad of schemes along with Mission Shakti, and Poshan 2.0, that aims at securing a healthy and happy childhood for every child.
- Components under the mission include:
*. Improve the functioning of statutory bodies;
*. Strengthen service delivery structures;
*. Upscale institutional care/services;
*. Encourage non-institutional community-based care;
*. Emergency outreach services;
*. Training and capacity building.
- It will be implemented as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme in partnership with state governments and UT administrations, with a fund-sharing pattern in a 60:40 ratio.
- However, for the eight states in the Northeast — as well as Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and the UT of J&K — the Centre and state/UT’s share will be 90:10.
- The Centre will cover the whole cost in UTs without a legislature.
- What are the new guidelines?
- Official changes
- States will have to retain the official name, as given by the Centre. Only a correct translation to local language is permissible.
- The centre detailed the process by which funds will be disbursed to states under various heads by defining institutionalised arrangements.
- Funds to states will be approved through the Mission Vatsalya Project Approval Board (PAB), which will be chaired by the Secretary of the Ministry of WCD.
- The Secretary will scrutinise and approve annual plans and financial proposals received from states and UTs for release of grants.
- Special arrangements
- States/UTs have also been directed to focus on special needs children with physical or mental disabilities.
- Institutions now have to provide special educators, therapists and nurses to impart occupational therapy, speech therapy, verbal therapy and other remedial classes.
- The staff in these special units will have to know sign language, Braille, etc, according to the new guidelines.
- Newly shouldered tasks
- The guidelines state that Mission Vatsalya will support State Adoption Resource Agencies (SARA), which will support the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA).
- This move aims at promoting in-country adoption and regulating inter-country adoption.
- Mission Vatsalya, in partnership with states and districts, will execute a 24×7 helpline service for children, as defined under JJ Act, 2015.
NEWS-2National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) :-
Two new Internet Exchange points (IXP) of NIXI were inaugurated at Durgapur and Bardhman.
- What is NIXI?
- NIXI is a not for profit Organization under section 8 of the Companies Act 2013 and was registered on 19th June 2003.
- It’s an initiative under Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) vision 1000 days.
- It aims for spreading the internet infrastructure to the citizens of India through the following activities:
- Internet Exchanges through which the internet data is exchanged amongst Internet Service Protocols (ISPs), Data Centers and CDNs.
- .IN Registry, managing and operation of .IN country-code domain and .भारत IDN domain for India.
- Indian Registry for Internet Names and Numbers (IRINN), managing and operating Internet protocol (IPv4/IPv6).
- Why NIXI?
- NIXI was set up for peering of Internet Service Protocols (ISPs) among themselves for the purpose of routing the domestic traffic within the country, instead of taking it all the way to US/Abroad.
- It is thereby resulting in better quality of service (reduced latency) and reduced bandwidth charges for ISPs by saving on International Bandwidth.
- NIXI is managed and operated on a Neutral basis, in line with the best practices for such initiatives globally.
- Utility of NIXI
- The launch of these new NIXI internet exchanges will contribute to the enhancement and improvement of Internet and Broadband services at local level and in neighbouring regions.
NEWS-3 The Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) law of European Parliament is the first comprehensive regulation for cryptos, and some expect it to become a trendsetter for crypto regulation globally.
- What is MiCA Legislation?
- The MiCA law seeks to address concerns like money-laundering, protection of consumers and investors, accountability of crypto firms, stablecoins and the environmental footprint of crypto mining.
- It would regulate the “wild west” of crypto assets and provide legal certainty for those issuing crypto assets, while ensuring high standards for investors and consumers.
- It also excludes non-fungible tokens, but the EU may make a horizontal legislation for NFTs in 18 months, after a separate assessment.
NEWS-4 Set Abu Salem free after 25 years in Jail:SC
- Section 432 and 433 of the Code of Criminal Procedure
- Section 432. Power to suspend or remit sentences.
- When any person has been sentenced to punishment for an offence, the appropriate Government may, at any time, without Conditions or upon any conditions which the person sentenced accepts, suspend the execution of his sentence or remit the whole or any part of the punishment to which he has been sentenced.
- Section 433. Power to commute sentence.
- Article 72 Indian Constitution :-
- The President shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence —
- (a) in all cases where the punishment or sentence is by a Court Martial;
- (b) in all cases where the punishment or sentence is for an offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the Union extends;
- (c) in all cases where the sentence is a sentence of death.
- The President shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence —
- Article 72 Indian Constitution :-
NEWS-5 SALIENT FEATURES OF THE MEDIATION BILL, 2021 & its criticism
1. Definition and Applicability: Section 2 of the Mediation Bill defines ‘domestic mediation’ as one conducted in India, where:
- All or both parties habitually reside in or are incorporated in or have their business in India.
The Mediation Agreement provides that the Mediation Act, 2021 would apply to the mediation.
The mediation is international mediation.
‘International mediation’ as per Section 3(f) of the Bill is defined as mediation that relates to commercial disputes arising out of legal relationships, contractual or otherwise, under the law in force in India and where at least one of the parties, at the time of conclusion of that agreement, is:
- An individual who is a national of, or habitually resides in, any country other than India. Body corporate including limited liability partnership of any nature, with its place of business outside India.
- An association or body of individuals whose place of business is outside India. The government of a foreign country.
2. Mandatory pre-litigation mediation and settlement: Section 6 (1) of the Bill makes it mandatory for the party to take steps to settle the disputes by pre-litigation mediation in accordance with the provisions of the Bill before filing any suit or proceeding in any Court or Tribunal, and the same may be carried out irrespective of the existence of any Mediation Agreement. This section thus makes pre-litigation mediation mandatory.
3. Disputes not fit for mediation: Section 7 of the Bill states that mediation under this Bill shall not be conducted for the resolution of any dispute or matter contained in the indicative list under the First Schedule. The matters contained in First Schedule includes (i) disputes relating to claims against minors or persons of unsound mind, (ii) disputes involving prosecution for criminal offences, (iii) disputes affecting the rights of third parties, (iv) disputes relating to levy or collection of taxes, etc. The First Schedule also provides that the central government may amend this list of disputes that are not fit for mediation.
4. Mediation process and Time-limit for completion of mediation: Mediation proceedings will be confidential. A party may withdraw from mediation after the first two mediation sessions. A period of 180 days from the commencement of mediation has been stipulated for its completion, with a further extension for an additional period of 180 days with the consent of parties as per Section 21 of the Mediation Bill. In case of court annexed mediation (i.e., mediation conducted at a mediation center established by any court or tribunal), the process must be conducted in accordance with directions or rules framed by the Supreme Court or High Courts as per Section 26 of the Bill.
5. Recognition and enforcement of domestic and international Mediation Settlement Agreements: A ‘Mediated Settlement Agreement’ has been defined under Section 22 to mean and include an agreement or interim agreement in writing between some or all parties resulting from mediation which settles some or all the disputes between such parties and which is authenticated by the mediator.
The Bill has incorporated Section 28 to recognize domestic mediation as final and binding between the parties and the person claiming thereunder. The Bill provides that a Mediated Settlement Agreement can be enforced in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
6. Grounds to challenge a Mediated Settlement Agreement: The Bill provides certain grounds to challenge the Mediated Settlement Agreement. Section 29(2) of the Bill lays down four grounds of challenges for a domestic Mediated Settlement Agreement:
c) Impersonation and
d) relating to disputes not fit for mediation.
7. Recognition of institutional mediation: Section 3(l) of the Draft Bill defines a ‘Mediation Service Provider’ as a body or organization that provides for the conduct of mediation and has in place procedures and rules to govern the conduct of the mediation in conformity with the Bill. Lok Adalats constituted under the National Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 and mediation centres annexed to courts are also included in the term ‘Mediation Service Provider’.
As per Sections 41 and 42 of the Bill, Mediation Service Providers shall be graded by the Mediation Council of India and shall be required to maintain a panel of mediators, provide infrastructure and facilities for the efficient conduct of mediations, register and file Settlement Agreements, amongst other functions.
8. Online mediation: Chapter VII of the Bill recognizes online mediation setup including pre-litigation mediation conducted by using applications and computer networks, resorted to either wholly or in part, at any stage of the mediation process, with the written consent of the parties. The process of conduct of all such online mediations shall be in such manner as may be specified.
9. Establishment of the Mediation Council of India: Chapter VIII of the Mediation Bill envisages the establishment and incorporation of the Mediation Council of India by the Central Government and lays down its broad duties, powers, and functions.
10. Community mediation: The Mediation Bill under Chapter X provides for the kind of disputes wherein community mediation may be resorted to i.e., any dispute likely to affect peace, harmony and tranquility amongst the residents or families of any area or locality. It also lists out the kind of persons which may be included in the mediation panel by the concerned authorities, i.e., persons of standing and integrity who are respected in the community, representative of area/resident welfare associations etc. Further, Section 45 of the Bill spells out the procedure for community mediation.
ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSION
- There was no separate legislation in India up until now that was enacted solely for the purpose of mediation. Therefore, the initiative to have a codified law on mediation is a positive step as it will have a beneficial effect in reducing the backlog of cases in the Indian judicial system to a great extent and shall also provide justice to the people in a timely manner.
- However, there are some areas of the Bill that may require clarity. Firstly, it is not clear in the Bill as to which entities will be recognized by the Council as mediation service providers, hence clarity on the same is required. Secondly, the Bill does not provide any details pertaining to the qualifications or capacities of a trained mediator. Thirdly, the provision of a mandatory pre-litigation mediation mechanism could pose a challenge and would defeat the essence of mediation where the parties are unwilling to mediate and would rather prefer to litigate. To avoid this, a choice may be given in the Bill with respect to the consent of the parties to participate in the pre-litigation mediation. Lastly, the requirement in Section 18 of the Bill that the mediator shall communicate ‘the view of each party to the other to the extent agreed to by them’ could give rise to a possible conflict of interest, besides conflicting with the requirement of confidentiality of the mediation process.
NEWS-6 AI-based Mandarin translation devices for Army
- AI in defence :- “It is an offline hand held language translation system which works based on AI. It has been tested in the forward areas and Army has given lot of assistance”.
- It is bidirectional with a range of 5-10 feet and gives converts Mandarin to English.
NEWS-7 PM unveils National Emblem atop new Parliament building
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday unveiled a 6.5-metre-tall National Emblem on the roof of the un der-construction Parliament building here.
- The emblem, which is made of bronze, weighs 9,500 kg. A steel structure of 6,500 kg was made to sup port the weight of the em blem, the Prime Minister’s.
- The emblem was created by Sunil Deore from Auran gabad and Laxman Vyas from Jaipur.
NEWS-8 India set to beat China in population :UN report
- India is set to surpass China as the world’s most popu lous country in 2023, with each counting more than 1.4 billion residents this year, a United Nations report said on Monday, warning that high fertility would chal lenge economic growth.
- The world’s population, estimated to reach 8 billion by November 15 this year, could grow to 8.5 billion in 2030, and 10.4 billion in 2100, as the pace of mortali ty slows, said the report re leased on World Population Day.
- The world’s population was growing at its slowest pace since 1950, having fal len below 1% in 2020, UN es timates showed.
NEWS-9 RBI sets up system to settle international trade in rupees
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has put in place a me chanism to facilitate interna tional trade in rupees (INR), with immediate effect.
- The RBI’s move… would facilitate trade with countries under sanction like Iran and Russia.
- Amid ongoing rupee weakness, the RBI announced steps which appear to be aimed at reducing demand for foreign exchange, by promoting rupee settlement of trade flows.
- According to the new system, banks will need to seek prior approval to use. The new order takes immediate effect, RBI said. “In order to promote growth of global trade with emphasis on exports from India and to support the increasing interest of global trading community in INR (Indian rupee), it has been decided to put in place an additional arrangement for invoicing, payment, and settlement of exports/imports in INR,”
Editorial of the Day
The Scam fault line is damaging Indian Banking
- Over time, bad loans lead to high er NPAs. So, banks have to exercise due diligence and caution while offering funds. The regulation and the control of chartered accountants is a very important step to reduce non-performing assets of banks. Banks should be cautious while lending to Indian companies that have taken huge loans abroad. There is also an urgent need to tighten the internal and external audit systems of banks.
- The fast rotation of employees of a bank’s loan department is very important. Public sector banks should set up an internal rating agency for rigorous evaluation of large projects before sanctioning loans. Further, there is a need to implement an effective Management Information System (MIS) to monitor early warning signals about business projects.
- The CIBIL score of the borrower (formerly the Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited) should be evaluated by the bank concerned and RBI officials. This must also include the classification and responsibilities of the lending and recovery departments.
- Financial fraud can be reduced to a great extent by the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor financial transactions.
- India has to improve its loan recovery processes and establish an early warning system in the post-disbursement phase. Banks need to carry out fraud risk assessments every quarter.
- Only establishment of National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd. (NARCL) or the ‘bad bank’ is not a real solution. These measures can help only after a loan is bad but not the process of a loan going bad.
Explainer of the Day
1. The search of dark matter
- Many physicists strongly believe that the entire visible part of the universe forms only 5% of all matter in it. They believe the rest is made up of dark matter and dark energy. Once this was convincingly demonstrated through various indirect observations and calculations, experiments started being set up to hunt for these elusive particles. The latest to hit the news in the field of dark matter is a dark matter detector experiment named LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) in South Dakota in the U.S. As of today this is the most sensitive dark matter detector in the world.
All interactions in the universe are a result of four fundamental forces acting on particles – strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force, electromagnetic force and gravitation. Dark matter is made up of particles that do not have a charge – which means they do not interact through electromagnetic interactions. So, these are particles that are “dark”, namely because they do not emit light, which is an electromagnetic phenomenon, and “matter” because they possess mass like normal matter and hence interact through gravity.
If you look at stars all the way from the centre of any galaxy to its rim, the way the velocities of the observed stars change may be plotted. In the lab this same function may be plotted on a graph by assuming the visible matter is all that exists. There is a marked difference between the observed plot of star speeds and the calculated value as you move from the inner part of the galaxy towards its rim.
- In this context, the second evidence came from observations of the so-called Bullet cluster of galaxies. The Bullet cluster is formed through the merging of two galaxy clusters. Physicists found from their calculations that the way these mergers took place could not be fully explained if we believed that the visible universe were all that existed.
2. The new guidelines to prevent unfair trade practices
- On July 4, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) announced five guidelines to prevent unfair trade practices and to protect consumer interests regarding the levy of service charges in hotels and restaurants. The guidelines are in addition to the Centre’s 2017 guidelines which prohibit the levy of service charges on consumers by hotels and restaurants, and terms the charging for anything other than “the prices displayed on the menu card along with the applicable taxes” without “express consent” of the customer as “unfair trade practices”.
- What are the powers of the CCPA?
The CCPA has been established to regulate matters related to the violation of the rights of consumers. Under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), 2019, the authority was established to regulate violations of consumer rights, unfair trade practices, and false or misleading advertisements that are prejudicial to the interest of the public.
The CCPA has authority under section 18 of the CPA, 2019 to protect, promote and most importantly enforce the rights of the consumers and prevent violation of their rights under the Act. It also seeks to ensure that no person engages in unfair trade practices. It is also empowered to issue guidelines to enforce the rights of the consumers laid down in the Act. The authority has issued a letter to the Chief Secretaries of the States on service charge imposition, asking them to ensure compliance with the new guidelines on service charges. It has also been said that the State should instruct all the district magistrates to take appropriate action against violations of the guideline.
- What is a service charge?
A service charge is a tip or a direct transaction between the customer and the restaurant staff, specifically the wait staff. It is a fee collected to pay for services associated with the purchase of a primary product or service. It is collected by hospitality sectors and food and beverage industries as a fee for serving customers.
t is a fee collected to pay for services associated with the purchase of a primary product or service. It is collected by hospitality sectors and food and beverage industries as a fee for serving customers.
- What do the new guidelines specify ?
As per the new guidelines, hotels or restaurants are prohibited from levying extra charges automatically or by default in the bill or by any other name. Also, they are not allowed to force service charges, and must clearly inform the consumers that service charges are voluntary, optional, and at their discretion. Most importantly, hotels and restaurants are no longer allowed to restrict entry or services based on the collection of service charges. Furthermore, hotels cannot add service charges to their bills and charge GST on the total.
The point here is that any tip, donation, token, gratuity, etc., is no longer permitted to be charged and shall be considered as a separate transaction between the consumer and the staff of the hotel and restaurant. Therefore, consumers cannot be forced to pay a service charge without having the choice to decide whether they want to do so.
- Why were new guidelines issued ?
The said guidelines now consider charging a customer other than the price of food items displayed on the menu along with applicable taxes, as an ‘unfair trade practice’ under the CPA. In general, the price of any product covers both the cost of the product and the cost of the service.
What are the redressal mechanisms ?
If any consumer finds that a hotel or restaurant is levying a service charge in violation of these guidelines, they may request the concerned hotel or restaurant to remove the service charge from the bill or may lodge a complaint on the NCH, which works as an alternate dispute redressal mechanism at the pre-litigation level by calling 1915 or through the NCH mobile app. A complaint may also be filed against unfair trade practice with the Consumer Commission electronically through edaakhil.nic.in for its speedy and effective redressal.