Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 16 April 2020

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1. Consider the following statement regarding the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020.
1. The Bill allows a willing woman to be a surrogate mother and would benefit widows and divorced women besides infertile Indian couples.
2. It also specifies that no sex selection can be done when it comes to surrogacy.
3. This Bill bans commercial surrogacy and allows altruistic surrogacy.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 3 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

  1. Answer-d
    Explanation
    The Union Cabinet has approved the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020
    The Cabinet incorporated all the recommendations of the RajyaSabha Select Committee before approving the Bill.
    The latest Bill is a reformed version of the draft legislation, which was passed by the LokSabha in August 2019. The 2019 Bill was referred to the Select Committee.
    Key Points
    The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020 aims at banning commercial surrogacy and allowing altruistic surrogacy.
    While commercial surrogacy will be prohibited including sale and purchase of human embryo and gametes, ethical surrogacy to Indian married couples, Indian-origin married couples and Indian single woman will be allowed on fulfillment of certain conditions. The Bill allows a willing woman to be a surrogate mother and would benefit widows and divorced women besides infertile Indian couples.
    Recommendations of the Committee
    Definition of “infertility” as the inability to conceive after five years of unprotected intercourse should be deleted. It is too long a period for a couple to wait for a child.
    It was recommended that a surrogate mother need not be a “close relative”.
    Requiring the surrogate mother to be a “close relative” potentially restricts the availability of surrogate mothers, affecting people in genuine need.
    Single women (widow or a divorcee) should be allowed to avail of surrogacy.

The insurance cover for a surrogate mother should be increased to 36 months from 16 months.
Features of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020
It provides for the constitution of surrogacy boards at the national as well as state levels to ensure effective regulation.
It seeks to allow ethical altruistic surrogacy to the intending infertile Indian married couple between the age of 23-50 years for females and 26-55 years for males.
Only Indian couples can opt for surrogacy in the country.
It makes it mandatory for the couple to obtain a certificate of essentiality and also a certificate of eligibility before going ahead with surrogacy.
It also provides that intending couples should not abandon the child born out of surrogacy under any condition. The newborn child shall be entitled to all rights and privileges that are available to a natural child.
The Bill also seeks to regulate the functioning of surrogacy clinics. All surrogacy clinics in the country need to be registered by the appropriate authority in order to undertake surrogacy or its related procedures.
The Bill provides for various safeguards for surrogate mothers. One of them is insurance coverage.
It also specifies that no sex selection can be done when it comes to surrogacy.

2. Consider the following statements.
1. NGT has directed the constitution of a joint committee to take samples of water from Ulsoor Lake which is situated in Andhra Pradesh.
2. Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) is often used to estimate BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand) as a strong correlation exists between COD and BOD, however COD is a much faster, more accurate test.
3. BOD is used, often in waste water-treatment plants, as an index of the degree of organic pollution in water.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 2 and 3 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

2. Answer-a
Explanation
Analysis of Water in Ulsoor lake
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the constitution of a joint committee to take samples of water from Bengaluru Ulsoor Lake and neighbouring areas.
It has been reported that the water quality has come down due to illegal activities being carried out while discharging untreated sewage, effluents and the dumping of garbage into the water body.
Such activities affect the quality of the water and the ecology and aquatic life, much required for ecological sustenance.
Components of Water Analysis
Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)
BOD represents the amount of oxygen consumed by bacteria and other microorganisms while they decompose organic matter under aerobic (oxygen is present) conditions at a specified temperature.
Water is the opposite of air, but the common lake or stream does contain small amounts of oxygen, in the form of dissolved oxygen. Although the amount of dissolved oxygen is small, up to about ten molecules of oxygen per million of water, it is a crucial component of natural water bodies; the presence of a sufficient concentration of dissolved oxygen is critical to maintaining the aquatic life and aesthetic quality of streams and lakes.
Determining how organic matter affects the concentration of dissolved oxygen (DO) in a stream or lake is integral to water- quality management. The decay of organic matter in water is measured as biochemical or chemical oxygen demand. Oxygen demand is a measure of the amount of oxidizable substances in a water sample that can lower DO concentrations.
Certain environmental stresses (hot summer temperatures) and other human-induced factors (introduction of excess fertilizers to a water body) can lessen the amount of dissolved oxygen in a water body, resulting in stresses on the local aquatic life.
One water analysis that is utilized in order to better understand the effect of bacteria and other microorganisms on the amount of oxygen they consume as they decompose organic matter under aerobic (oxygen is present) is the measure of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD).
BOD is a measure of the amount of oxygen required to remove waste organic matter from water in the process of decomposition by aerobic bacteria (those bacteria that live only in an environment containing oxygen). The waste organic matter is stabilized or made unobjectionable through its decomposition by living bacterial organisms which need oxygen to do their work. BOD is used, often in wastewater-treatment plants, as an index of the degree of organic pollution in water.
Chemical Oxygen Demand
COD is a method of estimating how much oxygen would be depleted from a body of receiving water as a result of bacterial action.
Why Measure COD?
COD is used as a general indicator of water quality and is an integral part of all water quality management programs. Additionally, COD is often used to estimate BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand) as a strong correlation exists between COD and BOD, however COD is a much faster, more accurate test.
Coliforms
Water pollution caused by fecal contamination is a serious problem due to the potential for contracting diseases from pathogens (disease causing organisms).
The presence of pathogens in the water is determined with indirect evidence by testing for an “indicator” organism such as coliform bacteria.
Coliforms are bacteria that are always present in the digestive tracts of animals, including humans, and are found in their wastes. They are also found in plant and soil material.
Presence of any heavy metals like Arsenic, Phosphorus, etc.
Heavy metals are known to induce cardiovascular diseases, developmental abnormalities, neurologic and neurobehavioral disorders, diabetes, hearing loss, hematologic and immunologic disorders.
Studies have shown that toxic heavy metals can interfere with absorption and use of nutritionally essential metals such as iron, calcium, copper, and zinc.

3. Consider the following statements regarding the Padmanabhaswamy Temple.
1. It is location in Thiruvanthanpuram of Kerala.
2. The principal deity Vishnu is enshrined in the AnanthaShayana posture, the eternal yogic sleep on the serpent Adi Shesha.
3. It was in the year 1729 that the great ruler Marthanda Varma, the king of Travancore who took the steps to renovate the Temple.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 2 and 3 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

3. Answer-d
Explanation
Padmanabhaswamy Temple
The origin of the Temple of Sree Padmanabhaswamy is lost in antiquity. It is not possible to determine with any exactitude, from any reliable historical documents or other sources as to when and by whom the original idol of Sree Padmanabhaswamy was consecrated.
The Temple has references in Epics and Puranas. Srimad Bhagavatha says that Balarama visited this Temple, bathed in Padmatheertham and made several offerings.
Nammalwar, 9th century poet and one among the 12 Vaishnavite saints of the Alvar tradition, has composed ten hymns in praise of Lord Padmanabha.
Some well known scholars, writers and historians, like the late Dr. L.A.Ravi Varma of Travancore, have expressed the view that this Temple was established on the first day of Kali Yuga (which is over 5000 years ago).
The legends of the Temple are handed down through the centuries. One such legend which finds a place in the old palm leaf records of the Temple, as also in the famous grantha entitled “Ananthasayana Mahatmya”, mentions that it was consecrated by a Tulu Brahmin hermit named Divakara Muni.
On the 950th year of Kali Yuga a reinstallation of the idol was done. In the 960th Kali year King Kotha Marthandan built the Abhisravana Mandapam.
According to legend the Sree Narasimhaswamy and Sree Sastha shrines were established after the installation of the idol of Lord Sree Padmanabhaswamy. There is mention in the ‘Bhagavatha Purana’ (canto 10, chapter 79) that Sree Balarama visited “Syanandoorapuram” or “Ananthasayam” (Thiruvananthapuram) in the course of His pilgrimage. Similarly in the ‘Brahmanda Purana’ also there is a reference to “Syanandoorapura”. These references show that this Temple is of great antiquity and has been held in veneration over the centuries as an important seat of Sree Maha Vishnu.
The compositions of Nammalvar, the great Vaishnavite saint, in praise of Sree Maha Vishnu of this city, prove beyond doubt that this Temple existed in the ninth century of this era. In the year 1050A.D.(225ME), the Temple was reconstructed and the management re-organized by the then ruler.
The next important recorded events relate to the period between 1335 A.D. and 1384 A.D. when Venad was ruled by a powerful and wise king named Veera Marthanda Varma. He gradually established his authority completely over the management and administration of the Temple. There are records to indicate that in the year 1375 A.D. the Alpasi Utsavam (ten days festival held in October-November) was conducted in the Temple. Some of the important events relating to the Temple which took place after the demise of this ruler until 1729 A.D. are given below.
• Between 1459 A.D. and 1460 A.D. the idol of Sree Padmanabhaswamy was removed to a ‘Balalaya’ for the purpose of re-construction of the roof of the sanctum sanctorum.
• In 1461 A.D. the idol was re installed and an Ottakkal Mandapam (Single granite stone slab abutting the sanctum sanctorum) was put up.
• In 1566 A.D. the foundation was laid for the Gopuram (pagoda) over the main eastern entrance.
• In 1686 A.D. the Temple was almost fully destroyed in a major fire accident. Work on the re- construction of the Temple was started only in 1724.
• In 1728 A.D. propitiatory ceremonies, connected with the serious fire of 1686, were conducted.
It was in the year 1729 that the great ruler Marthanda Varma became the king of Travancore. He took the steps to renovate the Temple.
In 1730 the idol was again moved to ‘Balalaya’ prior to the renovation and reconstruction of the sanctum sanctorum. It took two years for completion.
The old wooden idol was replaced by the one that we see today. Made of highly complex amalgam known as Katusarkarayogam, it contains 12008 Salagrams within it.
The gopuram for which the foundation had been laid in 1566, was built during this period. The renovation of the Temple tank, the Padmatheertham, including the flight steps and its completion in the form we see it today was also undertaken during this great ruler’s time.

4. Consider the following statements regarding Inner Line Permit system (ILP).
1. The concept comes under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act, 1873, the British framed regulations restricting the entry and regulating the stay of outsiders in designated areas.
2. An ILP is issued by the state government concerned and it can be obtained after applying either online or physically.
3. ILP is a document that allows an Indian citizen to visit or stay in a state that is protected under the ILP system.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 2 and 3 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

4. Answer-d
Explanation-
Inner Line Permit
Inner Line Permit is a document that allows an Indian citizen to visit or stay in a state that is protected under the ILP system.
The system is in force today in three North-Eastern states, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram and no Indian citizen can visit any of these states unless he or she does not belong to that state, nor can he or she overstay beyond the period specified in the ILP.
The three states that have seen the highest migration, but don’t require an ILP are Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya.
The concept comes from the colonial area, Under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act, 1873, the British framed regulations restricting the entry and regulating the stay of outsiders in designated areas.
This was to protect the Crown’s own commercial interests by preventing “British subjects” (Indians) from trading within these regions.
In 1950, the Indian government replaced “British subjects” with “Citizen of India”.
This was to address local concerns about protecting the interests of the indigenous people from outsiders belonging to other Indian states.
An ILP is issued by the state government concerned and it can be obtained after applying either online or physically.
It states the dates of travel and also specifies the particular areas in the state which the ILP holder can travel to.
The ILP is obligatory for all those who reside outside the protected states.
Currently, the Inner Line Permit is operational in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.

5. Consider the following statements regarding the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
1. This deals with the administration of the tribal areas in the four northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram as per Article 244.
2. The governor is empowered to organise and re-organise the autonomous districts.
3. The District Council and the Regional Council under the 6th Schedule have real power to make laws, possibility on the various legislative subjects, receiving grants-in-aid from the Consolidated Fund of India to meet the costs of schemes.
Which of the following statements is/are correct?
(a) 2 and 3 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

5. Answer-d
Explanation-
Sixth Schedule of the Constitution
The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution deals with the administration of the tribal areas in the four northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram as per Article 244.
The governor is empowered to organise and re-organise the autonomous districts.
If there are different tribes in an autonomous district, the governor can divide the district into several autonomous regions.
Composition: Each autonomous district has a district council consisting of 30 members, of whom four are nominated by the governor and the remaining 26 are elected on the basis of adult franchise.
Term: The elected members hold office for a term of five years (unless the council is dissolved earlier) and nominated members hold office during the pleasure of the governor.
Each autonomous region also has a separate regional council.
Powers of councils: The district and regional councils administer the areas under their jurisdiction. They can make laws on certain specified matters like land, forests, canal water, shifting cultivation, village administration, and inheritance of property, marriage and divorce, social customs and so on. But all such laws require the assent of the governor.
Village councils: The district and regional councils within their territorial jurisdictions can constitute village councils or courts for trial of suits and cases between the tribes. They hear appeals from them. The jurisdiction of high court over these suits and cases is specified by the governor.
Powers and functions: The district council can establish, construct or manage primary schools, dispensaries, markets, ferries, fisheries, roads and so on in the district. It can also make regulations for the control of money lending and trading by non-tribal. But, such regulations require the assent of the governor. The district and regional councils are empowered to assess and collect land revenue and to impose certain specified taxes.
Exceptions: The acts of Parliament or the state legislature do not apply to autonomous districts and autonomous regions or apply with specified modifications and exceptions.
The governor can appoint a commission to examine and report on any matter relating to the administration of the autonomous districts or regions. He may dissolve a district or regional council on the recommendation of the commission.
The Councils have also been endowed with wide civil and criminal judicial powers, for example establishing village courts etc. However, the jurisdiction of these councils is subject to the jurisdiction of the concerned High Court.
The sixth schedule to the Constitution includes 10 autonomous district councils in 4 states. These are:
Assam: Bodoland Territorial Council, Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council and Dima Hasao Autonomous District Council.
Meghalaya:Garo Hills Autonomous District Council, Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council and Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council.
Tripura: Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council.
Mizoram: Chakma Autonomous District Council, Lai Autonomous District Council, Mara Autonomous District Council.