Prelims Objective Practices Questions
(I.) The Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946 included
1. A nominated Constituent Assembly
2. Partition of India
3. Provinces were to have full autonomy and residual powers.
Select the correct answer code:-
a) 1, 2
b) 3 only
c) 1, 3
d) 2, 3
(II.) Which of the following pairs is not correctly matched?
a) Dalhousie – Wood’s Despatch
b) William Bentinck – Kol Rebellion
c) Lord Wellesley – Fort William College
d) Metcalfe – Vellore Mutiny
Question of the Day
Que:- What do you mean by the tem Constitutionalism. Why do you think its essential to limit the powers of the Government.
Prelims Specific Facts
1) The latest IMF press release maintains it would consider an extension of the current Extended Fund Facility (EFF) to end June 2023 and augment the fund amount to $7 billion for Pakistan.
- Pakistan seeks IMF bailout
- Surprisingly, it took five months to reach the staff-level agreement.
- The total disbursement under the current EFF to Pakistan has now been $4.2 billion.
- The talks were originally aimed at releasing a tranche of $900 million.
- What is Extended Fund Facility (EFF)?
- The EFF was established by the IMF to provide assistance to countries experiencing serious payment imbalances because of structural impediments or slow growth and an inherently weak balance-of-payments position.
- An EFF provides support for comprehensive programs including the policies needed to correct structural imbalances over an extended period.
- Ques;- “Rapid Financing Instrument” and “Rapid Credit Facility” are related to the provisions of lending by which one of the following?
- (a) Asian Development Bank
- (b) International Monetary fund
- (c) United National Environment Programme Finance initiative
- (d) Word bank
2) A strange radio signal (called Fast Radio Bursts) has been detected in a galaxy several billion light-years from Earth, a recent study claimed.
- What is an FRB?
- The first FRB was discovered in 2007, since when scientists have been working towards finding the source of their origin.
- Essentially, FRBs are bright bursts of radio waves (radio waves can be produced by astronomical objects with changing magnetic fields).
- Its durations lie in the millisecond scale, because of which it is difficult to detect them and determine their position in the sky.
- Who discovered it?
- The X-ray portion of the simultaneous bursts was detected by several satellites, including NASA’s Wind mission.
- Further, a NASA-funded project called Survey for Transient Astronomical Radio Emission 2 (STARE2) also detected the radio burst.
3. Over 1.6 lakh Indians gave up citizenship last year Number highest in last years
- Number highest in last years
- Over 78,000 Indians acquired the U.S. citizenship.
- Australia who relinquished their citizenship stood at 23,533, Canada-21,597, the U.K.-14,637, Italy-5,986, Netherlands 2187, New Zealand-2643, Singapore- 2516, the U.S.-78284, Pakistan-41 and Nepal-10.
4. English gets a push in Chhattisgarh schools
- One of the recurring themes added to the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel’s “Bhent Mulaqat (meet and greet)” programme recently is a brief interaction during which he asks a few questions to a school student in Chhattisgarhi language and the latter replies in English.
- Under Bhent Mulaqat, the Chief Minister has been touring all the 90 Assembly constituencies in phases to assess governance at the grass root level through public feedback.
- Apart from access to quality education, this will also talk about representation as these schools bring down the invisible barrier for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes when it comes to private English medium schools in the big cities.
Editorial of the Day
Chile marks a notch in global constitutionalism
- In 2019, a wave of protests engulfed the country of Chile. These protests were triggered by familiar themes: social inequality, the cost of living, and probity in governance. But at the heart of the protests was also the fact that Chile’s Constitution was no longer fit for purpose. Drafted in 1980, under the military regime of General Augusto Pinochet, the Chilean Constitution embodied what is popularly known as Chicago School economics: market deregulation was not just a policy choice, but encoded into the Constitution, with one of its most notorious elements being the privatisation of water as a constitutional imperative. Over the years, this led to Chile becoming one of the most unequal countries in the world.
- Consequently, one of the demands of the Chilean protesters was to re place Pinochet’s Constitution with a democratic Constitution, written by the People of Chile, for them selves. The Chilean government eventually conceded to this demand. This led to the formation of a directly-elected Constituent Assembly, which was strikingly representative: 51% of the Constituent Assembly members were women, and there were 17 re served seats for indigenous peoples. Constituent Assembly members also included people from across the socio-economic and geographical spectrum of Chile, sexual minorities too.
- It was believed that the purpose of a Constitution was to constrain state pow er. To this end, Constitutions set out enforceable bills of rights, and divided power between the three wings of State – the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary.
- In the latter half of the 20th century, it came to be understood that this vision of constitutionalism was necessary, but inadequate, to address the many problems faced by countries across the world. For one thing, Constitutions tended to ignore the “social question”, and issues around equitable access to material resources. In response, starting in the 1980s, Constitutions began to include “socio-economic rights” – such as the rights to housing, to education, and to health, among others within their bills of rights.
- It was recognised that the complexities of governance re quire a set of institutions that are independent of the legislature and the executive, and can hold them to account. Some familiar examples include information commissions, human rights commissions, and electoral commissions. In constitutional parlance, these are sometimes referred to as “integrity institutions”.
- Drawing upon wisdom
- It was recognised that mere periodic elections constitute only a thin and attenuated version of democracy. This is exacerbated by the fact that elections require money, and – often – the backing of established political parties. Thus, to have a rich and thriving democracy, there needs to be a deeper and more substantive involvement of the people, in between election cycles. This has come to be known as the requirement of “public participation”. Once again, the 2010 Constitution of Kenya is instructive here: it mandates public participation in the process of law-making, and also envisions popular initiatives – alongside civic education and widespread consultation – as one way of bringing about constitutional change.
- The Chilean draft Constitution draws upon this past wisdom, and decades of trial and error across the world, to craft a document that can serve as the framework for an enduring and egalitarian democracy.
- Some of the striking features of the draft Constitution, thus, are a catalogue of basic socio-economic rights (such as the right to education, workers’ rights, gender identity rights, and the decom modification of water); the existence of autonomous institutions, independent of the government; and the guarantee of citizen initiatives – including Indigenous initiatives – for introducing or changing laws in Parliament. As experience has shown, these are all integral elements for sustaining a culture of constitutionalism.
- However, what is even more striking is that the Chilean draft Constitution not only draws upon past wisdom; it is a future-facing document as well.
- The Constitution grapples with the pervasive role of technology in our lives by stipulating the existence of a National Data Protection Author ity, as well as guaranteeing a right to digital connectivity. The need for an independent data protection body is being felt in countries across the world, and the draft Constitution’s move to enshrine it within the constitutional text is, therefore, important.
Similarly, the draft Constitution acknowledges the gravity of the climate crisis, and constitutional ises important principles of inter national environmental law, such as inter-generational equity. It also guarantees a right to nature, which is something that courts in different countries, from India to New Zealand, have recently explored.
The planned revision to Section 20 of the ‘Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains’ Act is ruinous
- Consider a current law. Section 20 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act of 1958, last amended in 2010, prohibits construction within a 100 metre radius of all Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protected monuments and regulates activities within another 300 metre radius. The new Bill proposes to revise this section. Hence forth, expert committees will decide on the extent of the prohibited and regulated areas around each monument and activities permitted herein.
- The ASI protects around 3,700 archaeological sites and ancient monuments. Taken together, they mark milestones in India’s history.
- The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment) Bill, 2022, listed for passage during the monsoon session of Parliament, aims to rationalise prohibited areas around protected monuments, address blanket ban on construction around them and give more powers to the Archaeological Survey of India to decide on encroachments.
- The bill is aimed at rationalising the prohibited area and other amendments.
- Most significant aspect of the bill is that it will replace the provision which allows a 100-metre prohibited area for construction activity around Centrally-protected monuments with site-specific limits to be decided by an expert committee.
- The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act, 1958, was amended in 2010 to declare the 100-metre radius of protected monuments as prohibited areas and the next 300-metre radius as regulated areas that protects monuments and sites over 100 years old. It is also slated to give powers to expert committees to examine cases. At present, 3,691 monuments nationwide are protected by ASI, with the highest, 745, in Uttar Pradesh.
- Officials said the proposed amendment would change Section 20A of the Act, which refers to the prohibited area, to rationalise the prohibited and regulated areas.
- Expert monument committees would decide the prohibited area around a particular monument.
- The ASI would be given enforcement powers like in the Forest Act which would empower it to act against those encroaching at protested sites.
- The bill would also seek to review the list of protected sites under the ASI.
- Another bill which will be listed during this session is the Kalakshetra Foundation (Amendment) Bill, 2022.
- The Bill seeks to amend the Kalakshetra Foundation Act, 1993 to empower the Kalakshetra Foundation to award certificates; diplomas; post graduate diplomas; degrees to graduate and post-graduate; doctoral and post-doctoral courses; and conduct research in the areas of dance, traditional theatre, drama, Carnatic and traditional music, visual arts, craft education and art education.
- The amendment will change Section 20A, which refers to the prohibited area, to ‘rationalise’ the prohibited and regulated areas. Many critics and urban planners have objected to the suggestions in the past, saying it will pave the way for more people seeking concessions around a protected monument. ASI too is expected to get powers similar to those mentioned in the Forest Act. Right now, ASI has to depend on law enforcement authorities to remove encroachments.
- For a well-trained historian, the earth around an archaeological site or ancient monument is like a text. If construction machines disturb it, then artefacts long buried in layers of soil risk being broken and their contexts destroyed.
- Who will determine the make-up of committees empowered to decide land use around each protect ed monument? What criteria will these committees use? How will different points of view be accommodated and what mechanisms will be present for redress?
Explainer of the Day
A new legislation that mirrors the old
- The Union Health Ministry recently published a new draft Bill to replace the antiquated Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
- New Drugs, Medical Devices and Cosmetics Bill 2022: Key Highlights:-
- The draft bill seeks to replace the existing Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1940, to accommodate the changed requirements and adaptation of new technology.
- Why was there a need to replace the existing 1940 Act?
- The ministry said that “The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 is pre-Independence legislation enacted by the Central Legislative Assembly. The review of obsolete laws and updating of the existing laws is a continuing process to accommodate changed requirements and adapt to new technology.”
- What are the important definitions mentioned in the draft bill?
- The bill proposes new definitions for clinical trials, over-the-counter drugs, manufacturers, cosmetics, medical devices, new drugs, bioavailability studies, bioequivalence studies, investigational new drugs, proprietary medicine and imported spurious drugs, among others.
- The bill introduces a separate definition for medical devices that includes all types of diagnostic equipment and its software. It will also include implants, devices for assistance with disabilities, a life support system, instruments used for disinfection, and any reagents or kits. The previous 1940 Act regulated medical devices on par with drugs.
- What will change for medical devices?
- In Chapter II of the draft, the ministry made a provision for the creation of a ‘medical devices technical advisory board’. This board will include medical professionals and people with technical knowledge of the devices. Officials from the Health Ministry, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Electronics, DRDO, and experts in the field of biomedical technology, biomaterials, and polymer technology will be part of the board. At present, the decisions regarding medical devices are taken by the ‘drugs technical advisory board’.
- The bill also proposes medical device testing centres on the lines of drug laboratories in states and at the central level.
- What will change in the import of drugs and cosmetics?
- Chapter III of the draft, states that the centre can regulate or restrict the import of drugs, in the public interest if the drug is essential to meet the requirements of an emergency due to epidemic or natural calamities. If the use of any drug or cosmetic is likely to involve any risk to human beings or animals or that any drug does not have the therapeutic value claimed for it, the government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, prohibit the import of such drugs and cosmetics in the public interest. It also mentions the penalty for the import of drugs or cosmetics in breach of the proposed regulation
- What will change for clinical trials or clinical investigations?
- For the first time, regulations for conducting clinical trials for new drugs and medical devices have been highlighted.
- Chapter IV of the draft, states that clinical trials or clinical investigations of drugs and medical devices will need compulsory permission from the central licensing authority. At present also the companies have to seek permission from the apex drug regulator to conduct trials but it was not mentioned in the previous law.
- It also mentions that medical management and compensation have to be provided to persons who are injured while participating in clinical trials. In case of death, the legal heir of the participant should be awarded compensation. The one who fails to provide the same will be punishable with imprisonment or a fine.
- What are the provisions relating to Ayurveda, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa, Unani and Homoeopathy drugs?
- Chapter V of the draft proposes to establish a scientific research board to support the regulatory authority on the advances used for developing innovative drugs of Ayurveda, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa, Unani, and Homoeopathy, their safety and efficacy, making devices and other related matters.
- For the first time, there is a separate segment which proposes to regulate Sowa Rigpa and Homeopathy, under AYUSH, encouraging the use of modern science and technology to develop innovative drugs and devices across the AYUSH branch of medicines. The current bill only regulates Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani drugs and cosmetics.
- What does the draft mention about the manufacture, sale, distribution and clinical trial of medical devices?
- In Chapter VI of the draft, regulations for medical devices, investigational medical devices, clinical trials of investigational medical devices etc have been mentioned. In the interest of public health or extreme emergency of medical devices, the central government is empowered to waive the requirement of conducting a clinical investigation for the manufacture or import of a new medical device in the country. Similar to drug clinical trials, medical management and compensation has to be provided to persons who are injured while participating in such an investigation.
- What does the draft mention about online pharmacies?
- The draft recognises the issue of e-pharmacies and states that the Union government would come up with rules and regulations to regulate the online sale of drugs. It mentions that “no person shall himself or by any other person on his behalf sell, or stock or exhibit or offer for sale, or distribute, any drug by online mode except under and in accordance with a license or permission issued in such manner as may be prescribed.” It also prohibits such sales for the category of medical devices.
The outrage over the new ‘National Emblem’
- The first look at the national emblem atop the New Parliament House disappointed many with its alleged inaccuracies in depiction. The Congress Party has called it a “deviation” from the original.
- Four Asiatic Lions are part of the national emblem with three lions being visible to the naked eye and the fourth one always hidden from general view. They are taken from the Sarnath Lion Capital of the Mauryan emperor Asoka. The seven feet tall sculpture represented courage, power and pride.
- The lions in the latest replica many alleged, looked “too aggressive”, which amounted to tampering with the original in a hurry to meet the deadline of the Central Vista Project.
- They are taken from the Sarnath Lion Capital of the Mauryan emperor Asoka. The seven feet tall sculpture made of polished sandstone represented courage, power and pride. Built in 250 BC to commemorate the first sermon of Gautama Buddha, where he is said to have shared the Four Noble Truths of life, it was mounted on a base of a frieze of smaller sculptures, including a horse (under fire in the new replica for its tail supposedly resembling that of a dog), a lion, a bull and an elephant moving in a clockwise direction. The four animals are said to be guardians of the four directions – north, south, east and west. They are separated by a wheel, representing the Dharmachakra of Buddhism, on all four sides. Each chakra or wheel has 24 spokes. The chakra was later adopted as part of the national flag. This abacus was mounted on an inverted lotus which is a symbol of Buddhism. Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang has left a detailed account of Asoka’s lion pillar in his writings.
- The pillar was part of Asoka’s plan to spread Buddha’s teachings. After the large-scale massacre in the Battle of Kalinga, Asoka was shaken and embraced Buddhism with its emphasis on ahimsa. He decided to propagate his principles throughout his empire through the Major and Minor Edicts.
- As India won independence, the Constituent Assembly decided on the Sarnath pillar as the national emblem. It was felt that the pillar epitomised the power, courage and confidence of the free nation. The emblem depicts a two-dimensional sculpture with the words Satyameva Jayate (truth alone triumphs) written below it, taken from the Mundaka Upanishad, written in Devanagari script.