Prelims Practices Questions
1.) Ranganath Mishra Commission, was seen in news recently, is related to which of the following ?
A.) To improve the performance of Logistics sector to improve Indiau2019s GDP
B.) To enhance the ground water table using rain water storage
C.) To study status of Scheduled Castes converts to Christianity and Islam
D.) To curb the illicit messages circulating in social media sites
2) With reference the Consumer Price Index (CPI), consider the following statements:
1. It tracks the change in retail prices of goods and services which households purchase for their daily consumption.
2. The change in the price index over a period of time is referred to as CPI-based inflation or retail inflation.CPI is dominated by manufactured goods.
Which of the statements given above are correct?
A.) 1 and 3 only
B.) 2 and 3 only
C.) 1 and 2 only
D.) 1, 2 and 3
3) Consider the following pairs :-
Famous arts/crafts Associated States
Gulabi Meenakari – Uttar Pradesh
Dokra art – Bihar
Kullu Shawl – Arunachal Pradesh
Aranmula Kannadi – Kerala
How many pairs given above are correctly matched?
A.) Only one pair
B.) Only two pairs
C.) Only three pairs
D.) All four pairs
Famous arts/crafts – Associated States
Gulabi Meenakari – Uttar Pradesh
Dokra art – Chhattisgarh
Kullu Shawl – Himachal Pradesh
Aranmula Kannadi – Kerala
Question of the Day
Statements: People who speak too much against dowry are those who had taken it themselves.
Conclusions: I. It is easier said than done,
II. People have double standards.
A.) Only conclusion I follows
B.) Only conclusion II follows
C.) Either I or II follows
D.) Neither I nor II follows
E.) Both I and II follow
Prelims Specific Facts
- The wholesale price index (WPI) based inflation rate and
- The consumer price index (CPI) based inflation rate
- The former is called the wholesale inflation rate and the latter is called the retail inflation rate.
- Both WPI and CPI are price indices. In other words, these are two different baskets of goods and services. The government assigns different weights to different goods and services based on what is relevant for those two types of consumers.
- The CPI-based inflation data is compiled by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (or MoSPI) and the WPI-based inflation data is put together by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (or DPIIT).
- A key difference that must not be missed is that the WPI does not take into account the change in prices of services — say a haircut or a banking transaction. But CPI does. If services such as transport, education, recreation and amusement, personal care etc. get significantly costlier, then retail inflation will rise but there will be no impact on wholesale price inflation.
NEWS – 2
- Swiss Banks
- Why are they secretive :- In 1934, Switzerland passed the Federal Act on Banks and Savings Banks, commonly known as the Banking Law of 1934 or the Swiss Banking Act.
- The best known part of the law, Article 47, made it a crime to reveal details or information of customers to almost anyone — including the government — without their consent and in the absence of a criminal complaint.
- Violators can get five years in prison; Article 47 lies at the heart of some of the most stringent banking secrecy laws anywhere.
NEWS – 3
- What is the PM PRANAM Scheme?
- In order to reduce the use of chemical fertilisers by incentivising states, the Union government plans to introduce a new scheme – PM PRANAM, which stands for PM Promotion of Alternate Nutrients for Agriculture Management Yojana.
- The proposed scheme intends to reduce the subsidy burden on chemical fertilisers.
- This burden if uneased, is expected to increase to Rs 2.25 lakh crore in 2022-2023, which is 39% higher than the previous year’s figure of Rs 1.62 lakh crore.
- The scheme will not have a separate budget and will be financed by the “savings of existing fertiliser subsidy” under schemes run by the Department of fertilisers.
- Subsidies under the PRANAM
- Further, 50% subsidy savings will be passed on as a grant to the state that saves the money and that 70% of the grant provided under the scheme can be used for asset creation related to technological adoption of alternate fertilisers.
- It would create alternate fertiliser production units at village, block and district levels.
- The remaining 30% grant money can be used for incentivising farmers, panchayats, farmer producer organisations and self-help groups that are involved in the reduction of fertiliser use and awareness generation.
- The government will compare a state’s increase or reduction in urea in a year, to its average consumption of urea during the last three years.
NEWS – 4
The Navy chief noted that China had maintained continuous presence in the IOR since 2008 using antipiracy operations ” as the reason”.
- He said China now had a base in Dijibouti, and was also involved in the development of various ports in the IOR, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Pakistan and many other countries.
NEWS-5 EWS quota does not erode rights of SCs, STs, and OBCs : Centre
“SCs, STs have been loaded with benefits by way of affirmative actions”K.K. Venugopal (Attorney-General of India)
- As if to illustrate, the Attorney-General pointed to several Articles in the Constitution which provide backward classes with reservation in promotions, in panchayats, municipal bodies and legislative bodies.
## Kurmis block railways tracks demanding inclusion on ST list
NEWS – 6 Donations to recognised parties come under EC lens
- Registered Unrecognised Political Parties (RUPP):
- Either newly registered parties or those which have not secured enough percentage of votes in the assembly or general elections to become a state party, or those which have never contested elections since being registered are considered unrecognised parties.
- Such parties don’t enjoy all the benefits extended to the recognised parties.
- While the IT Act allows cash donations of up to ₹2,000 only, the Representation of the People Act, 1951, requires parties to submit details to the EC of donations of above ₹20,000 each.
- The EC proposed that parties should declare each donation over ₹2,000, rather than the existing limit of ₹20,000.
NEWS – 7
The Film Federation of India (FFI) has chosen Pan Nalin’s semi auto biographical Gujarati drama Chhello Show (Last Film Show) as (Last Film Show) as India’s official entry for the 95th Academy Awards in the Best International Feature Film Category.
NEWS – 8
IMD considers September 30 to be the final day of the season over India. The rain after that is categorised as “post monsoon” rainfall.
Editorial of the Day
Positioning India in chaotic world
- The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting (September 15-16) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, was a test case for governments on how to deal with current conflicts and attempt new guidelines for the future.
- New version of non-alignment India’s presence at the meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO was significant, reflecting a desire to be a part of both blocs, without antagonising either. The justification provided is that it represented a ‘new version’ of Non-alignment, viz., steering an independent course, despite open association with rival blocs.
- For instance, after refusing to take sides in the Ukrainian conflict for months, Mr. Modi told Mr. Putin that “this isn’t the era of war”, stressing instead that “it was one of democracy, dialogue and diplomacy”. This has been interpreted as a mild rebuke of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- In his formal opening remarks at the summit, Mr. Modi thanked both Russia and Ukraine for the evacuation of Indian students from Ukraine, highlighting India’s posture of equidistance between the two countries.
- The philosophical underpinning for this seems to be that ‘Nonalignment of the past’ had not succeeded, and a way had to be found for “multiple engagements of the future”.
- A test case is India’s relations with Iran which have been on the backburner for some time, following a U.S. threat to impose sanctions on India if it continued to trade with Iran. Iran’s President appears to have floated a suggestion to hold a summit meeting with India’s Prime Minister, and the ball is apparently in India’s court. The cost to India on account of the freeze in relations with Iran has been high, including having to pay higher prices for crude and the inability to utilise the Chabahar Connectivity Project as an alternate route to Afghanistan.
- China today presents an acute ‘near-term problem’ for India, it is important that India does not fall into the trap that the current adversarial relationship with China is ‘carved in stone’, and can or never will be altered. India’s foreign policy should be creative enough to leave an opening for an improvement in India-China relations over the longer term.
- Attention also needs to be given on how to manage relations in the near term in the context of the growing closeness in China-Russia relations. As their relations become closer, they have the potential of adversely impacting the current warmth in India-Russia relations. Our foreign policy experts need to consider how best to manage the relationship with both Russia and China in the extant circumstances.
- An issue that has remained on the backburner for years may now need consideration in the context of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, viz., the nuclear dimension. Seldom mentioned, but present nevertheless like Banquo’s Ghost, are concerns about the possible use of nuclear weapons that have been raised in the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. India, no doubt, has been a firm adherent of the ‘No First Use Doctrine’, and while nuclear relationships involving India, China and Pakistan have remained remarkably subdued over many years, India’s strategic and foreign policy establishment cannot afford to overlook the nuclear aspect, given that the country is wedged between two active, and hostile, nuclear powers – China and Pakistan.
Explainer of the Day
1. A blow for dignity
- There are many branches on the tree of life. There is no one way to be, and there is room for everyone to be who they are”- the Madras High Court observed in S. Sushma vs Commissioner of Police (2021). This verdict prohibited conversion therapy in Tamil Nadu and the court suggested that action should be initiated against the professionals involving them selves in any form of conversion therapy, including withdrawal of licence to practice.
- The National Medical Commission, the apex regulatory body of medical professionals in India, has recently directed all State Medical Councils to ban conversion therapy under the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002.
- The Supreme Court of India decriminalised homosexuality in its landmark judgment in Navtej Singh Johar & Ors vs. Union of India (2018). It was a hard-earned fruit for the queer community in India. However, their struggle for the right to identify themselves as human beings with equal rights goes on. The struggle now demands to eliminate the barbaric ‘con version therapy’ which consists of diverse methods, ranging from counselling, correctional rape, exorcisms, forceful starying, electrocution, shock therapy, lobotomy, marriage therapy, aversive stimulation and religious counselling etc.
- Civilliabilty can be attracted on the doctors who practice conversion therapy as it amounts to medical negligence.
- The need of the hour is to enact a stringent, effective and devoted piece of legislation that will outlaw the odious practice of conversion therapy. This can be achieved only by bringing forth criminal liability to those who indulge in this inhuman practice.
- Practices like conversion therapy are aspersions on the dignity jurisprudence of the Constitution. Hence, conversion therapy should be duly criminalised and effectively eliminated from our republic.
2. The Lumpy skin disease
- Lumpy skin disease is caused by the lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV), which belongs to the genus capripoxvirus, a part of the poxviridae family (smallpox and monkey pox viruses are also a part of the same family). The LSDV shares antigenic similarities with the sheeppox virus (SPPV) and the goatpox virus (GTPV) or is similar in the immune response to those viruses. It is not a zoonotic virus, meaning the disease cannot spread to humans. It is a contagious vector-borne disease spread by vectors like mosquitoes, some biting flies, and ticks and usually affects host animals like cows and water buffaloes. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), infected animals shed the virus through oral and nasal secretions which may contaminate common feeding and water troughs. Thus, the disease can either spread through direct contact with the vectors or through contaminated fodder and water. Studies have also shown that it can spread through animal semen during artificial insemination.
- LSD affects the lymph nodes of the infected animal, causing the nodes to en large and appear like lumps on the skin.
- The other symptoms include high fever, sharp drop in milk yield, discharge from the eyes and nose, salivation, loss of appetite, depression, damaged hides, emaciation (thinness or weakness) of animals, infertility and abortions. The incubation period or the time between infection and symptoms is about 28 days according to the FAO, and 4 to 14 days according to some other estimates.
- The morbidity of the disease varies bet ween two to 45% and mortality or rate of date is less than 10%, however, the report ed mortality of the current outbreak in India is up to 15%, particularly in cases being reported in the western part (Rajasthan) of the country.
- The disease was first observed in Zambia in 1929, subsequently spreading to most African countries extensively, followed by West Asia, Southeastern Europe, and Central Asia, and more recently spreading to South Asia and China in 2019.
- Studies say that it has not been possible to ascertain the presence of viable and infectious LSDV virus in milk derived from the infected animal. FAO notes, however, that a large portion of the milk in Asia is processed after collection and is either pasteurised or boiled or dried in order to make milk powder. This process ensures that the virus is inactivated or destroyed.
- In a major breakthrough, two institutes of the Indian Council of Agricultural Re search (ICAR) have developed an indigenous vaccine for LSD, which the Centre plans to commercialise and roll out in the next three to four months.
- The spread of the disease can lead to “severe” economic losses according to FAO and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH). The disease leads to reduced milk production as the animal becomes weak and also loses appetite due to mouth ulceration. The income losses can also be due to poor growth, reduced draught power capacity and reproductive problems associated with abortions, infertility and lack of semen for artificial insemination. Movement and trade bans after infection also put an economic strain on the whole value chain.