Prelims Practice Questions
Consider the following statements about ‘PM Vishwakarma scheme’
- It is a central sector scheme which aims to provide subsidised loans to traditional artisans and craftsmen
- Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise is the nodal ministry for the implementation of the scheme
- It is available for rural and urban artisans and craftsmen across India
How many of the statement(s) given above are correct
- a) Only one
- b) Only two
- c) All three
- d) None
‘Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures’ a term seen in news is used in the context of
- a) Naxal combing operations
- b) Cyber security
- c) Maritime patrols
- d) Jungle warfare
Consider the following statements about Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF)
- It is a state-owned investment fund comprised of money generated by the government, often derived from a country’s surplus reserves.
- The National Infrastructure and Investment Fund (NIIF) is India’s first-ever sovereign wealth fund.
Choose the correct statements:
- a) 1 only
- b) 2 only
- c) Both 1 and 2
- d) Neither 1 nor 2
Combing operation continues in Anantnag forest area for 6th day
Combing operation is police or militaryraid involves systematic and thorough search of a pre-defined area, without warrant, where suspect thought to be hiding. The operation involves some degree of planning and intelligence gathering to execute.
How Combing Operation works?
Just as when we comb hairs, lice hiding inside come out, in the same way when someone is said to be doing combing operations in an area, means that the area is being thoroughly searched for any unauthorized persons or things.
Understanding the significance of the Parliament ‘special session’ | Explained
Why in news :- A ‘special’ five-day session of Parliament began on Monday
Issues involved :- After announcing the session around two weeks ago, the Centre’s denial to spell out the agenda fuelled speculations in political circles speculating about simultaneous elections or a name change of the country to Bharat.
The announcement without an agenda triggered a war of words, with the Opposition criticising the government for a lack of transparency and “distorting” parliamentary conventions.
The Centre accused Opposition leaders of “politicising” the functioning of Parliament.
Although there is no specific provision in the Constitution that deals with special sessions, a few such sessions have been convened in the past.
When is Parliament convened as per the Constitution?
Article 85 of the Constitution deals with prorogation and dissolution of Parliament. While there is no fixed schedule, the provisions of the Article specify that the President must summon the Houses to meet at least once within six months.
The provision has its roots in the Government of India Act, 1935, according to which not more than 12 months should elapse between two sessions.
When the draft Article 69 (which corresponds to Article 85) was taken into consideration by the Constituent Assembly in 1949, there was a proposal to change the intervening duration between the two sessions of Parliament to three months to ensure that the Houses get more time to look into problems faced by the public.
Is there a fixed timetable?
Although the Constitution doesn’t provide for a fixed number of sessions or days of sitting, three sessions are typically held each calendar year — the Budget, Monsoon, and Winter sessions. Notably, an attempt was made in 1955 to finalise a fixed calendar. The General Purpose Committee of the Lok Sabha at their sitting held on 22 April 1955 recommended that the Budget Session take place between February and May, the Monsoon Session from July to September and the Winter Session from November to December. The Cabinet led by Jawaharlal Nehru also agreed to the recommendation, but it was never implemented.
The Central government has the authority to call for a session, and the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA), which includes several Cabinet ministers, determines the date and number of sittings. After finalising the session schedule, the President calls upon the Members of Parliament to convene for the upcoming session.
When is a ‘special session’ conducted?
The term ‘special session’ is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution or in the rulebooks of the two Houses of Parliament. There are no specific guidelines on how or when such a session can be convened. However, Article 352, which deals with the proclamation of Emergency, refers to a ‘special sitting’ of the House. This clause was added through the 44th Amendment Act in 1978, which included safeguards against the Emergency.
Several special sessions including midnight sessions have been called for a special purpose or agenda, or to mark occasions of national significance.
The first such sitting was held on the eve of Independence in 1947 to mark the transfer of power from the British to India. This was followed by a special session in 1962 during the Indo-China war when the Winter Session was advanced to discuss the Chinese aggression. The Question Hour was suspended during the session.
The government convened a sitting in August 1972 to mark 25 years of Independence. In 1992, a midnight session was called to mark the 50th anniversary of the Quit India Movement. A few years later, in August 1997, a six-day special session was called to commemorate 50 years of Independence.
Aditya L1 TL1I
India’s first space-based observatory to study the Sun, Aditya-L1, is headed to the Lagrangian 1 (L1) point as ISRO carried out the Trans-Lagrangian 1 Insertion (TL1I) manoeuvre in the early hours of September 19.
The TL1I manoeuvre marks the beginning of Aditya-L1’s 110-day journey towards the L1 point which lies between the Sun-Earth line. L1 is about 1.5 million km from the Earth and the distance of L1 from Earth is approximately 1% of the Earth-Sun distance.
Upon arrival at the L1 point in January 2024, another manoeuvre will be performed which will bind Aditya-L1 to an orbit around L1. The satellite will spend its mission life orbiting around L1 in an irregularly shaped orbit in a plane roughly perpendicular to the line joining the Earth and the Sun.
What things will the Aditya L1 Study:-
Aditya-L1 has a mission life of five years during which its payloads are expected to provide the most crucial information to understand the problem of coronal heating; coronal mass ejection; pre-flare and flare activities and their characteristics; dynamics of space weather; and propagation of particles and fields.
Women Reservation Bill might come up in the Special Session
Lets see a bit of history in women reservation
The issue of women’s reservation came up in Constituent Assembly debates as well, but it was rejected as being unnecessary. It was assumed that a democracy would accord representation to all groups.
1971 Committee :- the Committee of the Status of Women in India, set up in 1971, commented on the declining political representation of women in India. Though a majority within the Committee continued to be against reservation for women in legislative bodies, all of them supported reservation for women in local bodies.
1988 National Perspective Plan :- The National Perspective Plan for Women recommended in 1988 that reservation be provided to women right from the level of the panchayat to that of Parliament.
These recommendations paved the way for the historic enactment of the 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution which mandate all State governments to reserve one-third of the seats for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions and one-third of the offices of the chairperson at all levels of the Panchayati Raj Institutions, and in urban local bodies, respectively.
What is the Women’s Reservation Bill?
After local bodies, the next step was to ensure reservation in Parliament, but this has been a difficult fight. The Women’s Reservation Bill proposes to reserve 33% of seats in the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies for women. It was first introduced in the Lok Sabha as the 81st Amendment Bill in September 1996 by the Deve Gowda-led United Front government.
The Bill was reintroduced in 1999, 2002 and 2003. Even though there was support for it within the Congress, the BJP and the Left parties, the Bill failed to receive majority votes.
Arguments in Favour of the Bill :-
Proponents of the Bill argue that affirmative action is imperative to better the condition of women since political parties are inherently patriarchal.
Second, despite the hopes of the leaders of the national movement, women are still under-represented in Parliament. Reservations, proponents believe, will ensure that women form a strong lobby in Parliament to fight for issues that are often ignored.
Third, proponents such as Brinda Karat argue that the discussion is not about a Bill alone, but about changing powerful, entrenched interests in India’s polity.
What are arguments against the Bill?
Professor Nivedita Menon writes that opponents of reservation for women argue that the idea runs counter to the principle of equality enshrined in the Constitution. They say that women will not be competing on merit if there is reservation, which could lower their status in society.
Second, women are unlike, say, a caste group, which means that they are not a homogenous community. Therefore, the same arguments made for caste-based reservation cannot be made for women.
Third, women’s interests cannot be isolated from other social, economic and political strata. Fourth, some argue that reservation of seats in Parliament would restrict the choice of voters to women candidates. This has led to suggestions of alternate methods including reservation for women in political parties and dual member constituencies (where constituencies will have two MPs, one of them being a woman).
How many women are in Parliament?
Only about 14% of the members in Indian Parliament are women, the highest so far. According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, India has a fewer percentage of women in the lower House than its neighbours such as Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh — a dismal record.
The UN warned on September 18 that disease outbreaks could bring “a second devastating crisis” to Libya a week after a huge flash flood shattered the coastal city of Derna, sweeping thousands to their deaths.
The flash flood that has killed nearly 3,300 people and left thousands more missing came after the war-scarred North African country.
Simply put, Edge Computing is an agglomeration of technologies like IoT, Networking and Data Analytics to help bring applications closer to data sources like connected devices and sensors. Edge Computing looks to shift data processing and decision making to the network edge to enable faster processing of data.
This is particularly useful for data-intensive computing, which requires a near real-time response. Apart from reducing response times, Edge Computing can also help significantly reduce network costs leading to greater efficiency
As Edge Computing covers everything from hardware to cloud, the skills required are quite diverse.
Over 75% of European Bumblebee species threatened
The bumblebee (Bombus) is a genus of bees considered to be especially important for the pollination of crops in the cold and temperate regions of the northern hemisphere.
More than 75% of European bumblebee species may be threatened in the next 40-60 years according to worst-case-scenario projections of bumblebee populations, according to a paper published in Nature.
Degradation of habitats and alterations of climate due to human activity are identified as key drivers of these estimated population declines.
Human-generated transformations of natural habitats and increases in temperature are implicated as key drivers of wildlife collapse; understanding the trajectory of insect populations is important for devising conservation efforts.
Sacred Ensembles of Hoysalas in UNESCO World Heritage List
Sacred Ensembles of Hoysala at Belur
Located in the Hassan district of Karnataka, the Hoysala temples of Belur are renowned for their exquisite architecture and intricate stone carvings. The temples depict the architectural prowess of the Hoysala dynasty, which ruled over the region between the 10th and 14th centuries. Chennakesava Temple which is one of the most significant temples was constructed by King Vishnuvardhana of the Hoysala dynasty in the 12th century to commemorate his victory over the Cholas.
The other temples part of the Sacred Ensembles of Hoysala at Belur are Kappe Chennigaraya Temple, Veeranarayana Temple, and Ranganayaki Temple which are relatively smaller in size than Chennakesava Temple but are famous for their architectural marvel.
Sacred Ensembles of Hoysala at Halebid
Intricate carvings, finely detailed sculptures, and star-shaped architectural plans are the prime features of Sacred Ensembles of Hoysala at Halebid. The main Hoysaleswara temple was built in the 12th century during the reign of King Vishnuvardhana and is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the second Kedareshwara Temple showcases remarkable Hoysala architecture and stone carvings.
- Mandate: SFIO is a multi-disciplinary organization consisting of experts in the field of accountancy, forensic auditing, law, information technology, investigation, company law, capital market and taxation for detecting and prosecuting or recommending for prosecution white-collar crimes/frauds.
- Parent Organization: Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
- Location: SFIO has head office in New Delhi and regional offices in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
- History: It was setup in 2003 on the basis of recommendations of Naresh Chandra Committee and in the backdrop of stock market scams.
- Status: It is a statutory body under the Section 211 of the Companies Act, 2013.
‘Operation Sajag’, a drill involving all stakeholders of the coastal security construct, was conducted by the Indian Coast Guard along the west coast on September 18, 2023. The drill facilitates revalidation of the coastal security mechanism and bring awareness among the fishermen at sea.
During the drill, extensive checking and verification of documents and crew passes of all fishing boats, barges and craft at sea was undertaken.
Ministry of education has launched the “Scheme for Higher Education Youth in Apprenticeship and Skills (SHREYAS)”.
- The objective of scheme is to provide industry apprenticeship opportunities to the general graduates exiting in April 2019 through the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS)
- It aims to enhance the employability of Indian youthby providing ‘on the job work exposure’ and earning of stipend.
- The scheme is for students in degree courses, primarily non-technical, to introduce employable skills into their learning, promote apprenticeship as integral to education.
- SHREYAS portal will enable educational institutions and industry to log in and provide their respective demand and supply of apprenticeship. The matching of students with apprenticeship avenues will take place as per pre-specified eligibility criteria.
- These courses will be available to them from Academic year April-May, 2019. More than 40 higher educational institutions have already been tied up for taking up embedded apprenticeship courses.
- The scheme would be operationalised by coordination of Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and the Ministry of Labour.