Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 10 August 2020

1. Consider the following statements with reference to the Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH).
1. The Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE) has been identified as the implementing Agency of the CAWACH.
2. The CAWACH’s mandate will be to extend timely support to potential startups by way of the requisite financial assistance and fund deployment targeting innovations.
3. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), in a rapid response to combat COVID-19 global pandemic has approved setting up of a CAWACH.
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
Answer-b
Explanation
Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH)
Department of Science & Technology, Government of India in a rapid response to combat COVID-19 global pandemic approved setting up of a Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH) at a total cost of Rs 56 Cr to scout, evaluate and support the innovations and start-ups that address COVID-19 challenges.
The Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), a technology business incubator at IIT Bombay supported by DST has been identified as the Implementing Agency of the CAWACH.
Given the impact of Covid-19 as a pandemic globally that has jolted countries across the world to take immediate actions and scale up responses to detect, treat and reduce transmission to save people’s lives, DST is playing a critical role to pace up India’s efforts to fight the crisis.
DST’s effort at this hour of need is to support R&D initiatives in this direction by boosting innovations offering comprehensive solutions like Ventilators, Diagnostics, Therapeutics, Informatics and other intervention for control and mitigation of Covid-19.
The support will be provided to startups at different stages for fast tracking commercialization process and journey and scale-up across geographies which will have significant impact in the long term.


The CAWACH’s mandate will be to extend timely support to potential startups by way of the requisite financial assistance and fund deployment targeting innovations that are deployable in the market within next 6 months.
CAWACH will identify upto 50 innovations and startups that are in the area of novel, low cost, safe and effective ventilators, respiratory aids, protective gears, novel solutions for sanitizers, disinfectants, diagnostics, therapeutics, informatics and any effective interventions to control COVID-19.
It will provide access to pan India networks for testing, trial and market deployment of these products and solutions in the identified areas of priority COVID-19 solutions. This will help to address various challenges faced by country due to severe impact of Covid-19.
CAWACH program of DST is focused on leveraging the youthful energy, intelligence and extraordinary innovative potential of our technology incubators and startups and empowering them for scale-up to speedily address the multi-dimensional challenges of COVID-19 across respiratory aids, disinfection systems, protective gear and coatings, information and monitoring assists, diagnostics, and plethora of other relevant materials, devices and solutions.
https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1610716

2. Consider the following statements about the Lord Mahavira and Jain philosophy.
1. The concept of God as a creator, protector, and destroyer of the universe does not exist in Jainism.
2. The ultimate objective of his teaching is how one can attain total freedom from the cycle of birth, life, pain, misery, and death, and achieve the permanent blissful state of one’s self.
3. He organized his followers, into a four-fold order, namely monk (Sadhu), nun (Sadhvi), layman (Shravak), and laywoman (Shravika).
4. Lord Mahavira encouraged participation of people from all social standings, rich and poor, men and women, touchable and untouchable.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 1, 2 and 4 only
(b) 2, 3 and 4 only
(c) 1, 2 and 3 only
(d) All of the above
Answer-d
Explanation
Lord Mahavir and his teachings
Lord Mahavir was the twenty fourth and last Tirthankara of the Jain religion of this era. According to Jain philosophy, all Tirthankaras were human beings but they have attained a state of perfection or enlightenment through meditation and self-realization. They are the Gods of Jains. The concept of God as a creator, protector, and destroyer of the universe does not exist in Jainism. Also the idea of God’s reincarnation as a human being to destroy the demons is not accepted in Jainism.
Lord Mahavir was born on the thirteenth day of rising moon of Chaitra month, 599 B.C. in the state of Bihar, India. This day falls in the month of April as per English calendar. His birthday is celebrated as Mahavir Jayanti day.
Mahavir was a prince and was given the name Vardhaman by his parents. Being son of a king, he had many worldly pleasures, comforts, and services at his command. But at the age of thirty, he left his family and royal household, gave up his worldly possessions, and become a monk in search of a solution to eliminate pain, sorrow, and sufferings.
Mahavir spent the next twelve and half years in deep silence and meditation to conquer his desires, feelings, and attachments.
He carefully avoided harming or annoying other living beings including animals, birds, and plants. He also went without food for long periods. He was calm and peaceful against all unbearable hardships that he was given the name Mahavir, meaning very brave and courageous. During this period, his spiritual powers fully developed and at the end he realized perfect perception, knowledge, power, and bliss. This realization is known as keval jnana or the perfect enlightenment.
Mahavir spent the next thirty years travelling on bare foot around India preaching to the people the eternal truth he realized. The ultimate objective of his teaching is how one can attain total freedom from the cycle of birth, life, pain, misery, and death, and achieve the permanent blissful state of one’s self. This is also known as liberation, nirvana, absolute freedom, or Moksha.
Mahavir explained that from eternity, every living being (soul) due to its ignorance is in bondage of karmic atoms. Then these karmic atoms are continuously accumulated by our good or bad deeds.
Under the influence of karma, the soul is habituated to seek pleasures in materialistic belongings and possessions. This is the deep-rooted cause of self-centered violent thoughts, deeds, anger, hatred, greed, and such other vices. These result in further accumulation of karmas.
Mahavir preached that right faith (samyak darshana), right knowledge (samyak jnana), and right conduct (samyak charitra) together is the real path to attain the liberation from karmic matter of one’s self.
At the heart of right conduct for Jains lie the five great vows:
Nonviolence (Ahimsa) – Not to cause harm to any living beings
Truthfulness (Satya) – To speak the harmless truth only
Non-stealing (Asetya) -Not to take anything not properly given
Chastity (Brahmacharya)-Not to indulge in sensual pleasure
Non-possession/Non-attachment (Aparigraha)-Complete detachment from people, places, and material things
Jains hold these vows at the center of their lives. These vows cannot be fully implemented without the acceptance of a philosophy of non absolutism (Anekantvad) and the theory of relativity (Syadvad). Monks and nuns follow these vows strictly and totally, while the common people follow the vows as far as their life styles will permit.
In the matters of spiritual advancement, as envisioned by Mahavir, both men and women are on an equal footing. The lure of renunciation and liberation attracted women as well. Many women followed Mahavir’s path and renounced the world in search of ultimate truth and happiness. Thus, the principles of Jainism, if properly understood in their right perspective and faithfully adhered to, will bring contentment and inner happiness and joy in the present life. This will elevate the soul in future reincarnations to a higher spiritual level, ultimately achieving Perfect Enlightenment, reaching its final destination of Eternal Bliss, ending all cycles of birth & death.
Mahavir attracted people from all walks of life, rich and poor, kings and commoners, men and women, princes and priests, touchable and untouchable. He organized his followers, into a four-fold order, namely monk (Sadhu), nun (Sadhvi), layman (Shravak), and laywoman (Shravika). This order is known as Jain Sangh.
Lord Mahavir’s sermons were orally compiled in Agam Sutras by his immediate disciples. These Agam Sutras were orally passed on to the future generations. In course of time many of the Agam Sutras have been lost, destroyed, and some are modified.
About one thousand years later the Agam Sutras were recorded on Tadpatris (leafy paper that was used in those days to preserve records for future references). Swetambar Jains have accepted these Sutras as authentic versions of His teachings while Digambar Jains did not accepted as authentic.
At the age of 72 (527 B.C.), Lord Mahavir attained nirvan and his purified soul left his body and achieved complete liberation. He became a Siddha, a pure consciousness, a liberated soul, living forever in a state of complete bliss. On the night of his nirvan, people celebrated the Festival of Lights (Dipavali) in his honor. This is the last day of Hindu and Jain calendar year known as Dipavali Day.
Jainism existed before Mahavir, and his teachings were based on those of his predecessors. Thus, unlike Buddha, Mahavir was more of a reformer and propagator of an existing religious order than the founder of a new faith. He followed the well-established creed of his predecessor Tirthankar Parshvanath. However, Mahavir did reorganize the philosophical tenets of Jainism to correspond to his times.
A few centuries after Mahavir’s nirvana, the Jain religious order (Sangha) grew more and more complex. There were schisms on some minor points, although they did not affect the original doctrines as preached by Mahavir. Later generations saw the introduction of ritualistic complexities, which almost placed Mahavir and other Tirthankars on the throne of Hindu deities.
Significant points of Teachings of Lord Mahavir:
Mahavir made religion simple and natural, free from elaborate ritual complexities. His teachings reflected the internal beauty and harmony of the soul.
Mahavir taught the idea of supremacy of human life and stressed the importance of the positive attitude of life.
Mahavir’s message of nonviolence (Ahimsa), truth (Satya), non stealing (Achaurya), celibacy (Brahma charya), and non possession (Aparigraha) is full of universal compassion.
Mahavir said that, “A living body is not merely an integration of limbs and flesh but it is the abode of the soul which potentially has perfect perception (Anant darshana), perfect knowledge (Anant jnana), perfect power (Anant virya), and perfect bliss (Anant sukha). Mahavir’s message reflects freedom and spiritual joy of the living being.
Mahavir emphasized that all living beings, irrespective of their size, shape, and form how spiritually developed or undeveloped, are equal and we should love and respect them. This way he preached the gospel of universal love.
Mahavir rejected the concept of God as a creator, a protector, and a destroyer of the universe. He also denounced the worshiping of gods and goddesses as a means of material gains and personal benefits.

3. Consider the following statements regarding the Participatory notes or P-Notes.
1. P-Notes are instruments used by foreign funds and investors not registered with the SEBI to invest in Indian securities.
2. They are generally issued overseas by associates of India based foreign brokerages (FPIs) and domestic institutional investors.
3. New rules on FPIs made exemption for those issuing P-Notes from monthly report for portfolios disclosure.
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
Answer-b
Explanation
P-notes: Offshore derivative instruments
Participatory notes also called P-Notes are offshore derivative instruments with Indian shares as underlying assets.
These instruments are used for making investments in the stock markets. However, they are not used within the country.
They are used outside India for making investments in shares listed in the Indian stock market. That is why they are also called offshore derivative instruments.
Participatory notes are issued by brokers and FIIs registered with SEBI. The investment is made on behalf of these foreign investors by the already registered brokers in India.
Any dividends or capital gains collected from the underlying securities go back to the investors.
The brokers that issue these notes or trades in Indian securities have to mandatorily report their PN issuance status to SEBI for each quarter. These notes allow foreign high net worth individuals, hedge funds and other investors to put money in Indian markets without being registered with SEBI, thus making their participation easy and smooth.
P-Notes also aid in saving time and costs associated with direct registrations.
Advantages of participatory notes
Anonymity: Any entity investing in participatory notes is not required to register with SEBI, whereas all FIIs have to compulsorily get registered. It enables large hedge funds to carry out their operations without disclosing their identity.
Ease of trading: Trading through participatory notes is easy because they are like contract notes transferable by endorsement and delivery.
Tax saving: Some of the entities route their investment through participatory notes to take advantage of the tax laws of certain preferred countries.
Disadvantages of P-notes
Indian regulators are not very happy about participatory notes because they have no way to know who owns the underlying securities. It is alleged that a lot of unaccounted money made its way to the country through the participatory note route.
Recent tighter regulations on P-Notes
SEBI was slowly tightening norms on P-Notes. In May 2016, SEBI has extended the KYC (Know Your Client) norms and anti-money laundering norms to the PN subscribers also. Similarly, back in April 2014, SEBI banned unregulated entities in foreign countries (so called Category III FPIs in India) from subscribing P-Notes.
SEBI issued circular banning FPIs from issuing Participatory Notes for investing in equity derivatives. At the same time, FPIs can issue PNs to overseas investors if the equity derivatives investments are used for hedging the equity shares held by them. This means that a foreign investor can make investment in equity derivatives only if he purchases an equal value of shares in the cash segment. Effectively, this step will help to avoid speculative investment by foreign investors using PN in derivatives.
SEBI also instructed ODI-issuing FPIs to liquidate such ODI instruments prior to the timeline of 2020.
The SEBI’s ban on PNs is on those ones where there is investment in equity derivatives. Investment in the cash segment can be continued.
https://www.indianeconomy.net/splclassroom/what-is-participatory-notes-what-are-the-sebi-regulations-on-them/

4. Consider the following statements with reference to the Food Price Index.
1. It is a measure of the bimonthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities.
2. It consists of the average of five commodity group price indices, weighted with the average export shares of each of the groups for 2002-2004.
3. Food and Agriculture Organisation releases the Food Price Index.
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
Answer-a
Explanation-
FAO Food Price Index
The FAO Food Price Index is a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities.
It consists of the average of five commodity group price indices, weighted with the average export shares of each of the groups for 2002-2004.
» The FAO Food Price Index (FFPI)
» The FAO Cereal Price Index
» The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index
»The FAO Dairy Price Index
»The FAO Meat Price Index
»The FAO Sugar Price Index
Note
Unlike for other commodity groups, most prices utilized in the calculation of the FAO Meat Price Index are not available when the FAO Food Price Index is computed and published; therefore, the value of the Meat Price Index for the most recent months is derived from a mixture of projected and observed prices.

5. Consider the following statements about Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.
1. He best known for the Aligarh Movement, a systemic movement aimed at reforming the social, political and educational aspects of the Muslim community.
2. He started an influential journal, Tahdhīb al-Akhlāq for the uplift and reform of the Muslim.
3. His greatest achievement was the establishment of the Mohammedan Anglo Oriental College at Aligarh in 1875.
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
Answer-d
Explanation-
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan
Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, (born Oct. 17, 1817, Delhi—died March 27, 1898, Alīgarh, India), Muslim educator, jurist, and author, founder of the Anglo-Mohammedan Oriental College at Alīgarh, Uttar Pradesh, India, and the principal motivating force behind the revival of Indian Islām in the late 19th century.
His works, in Urdu, include Essays on the Life of Mohammed (1870) and commentaries on the Bible and on the Qurʾān. In 1888 he was made a Knight Commander of the Star of India.
Sayyid’s family, though progressive, was highly regarded by the dying Mughal dynasty. His father, who received an allowance from the Mughal administration, became something of a religious recluse; his maternal grandfather had twice served as prime minister of the Mughal emperor of his time and had also held positions of trust under the East India Company.
Sayyid’s brother established one of the first printing presses at Delhi and started one of the earliest newspapers in Urdu, the principal language of the Muslims of northern India.
The death of Sayyid’s father left the family in financial difficulties, and after a limited education Sayyid had to work for his livelihood.
Starting as a clerk with the East India Company in 1838, he qualified three years later as a subjudge and served in the judicial department at various places.
Sayyid Ahmad had a versatile personality, and his position in the judicial department left him time to be active in many fields.
His career as an author (in Urdu) started at the age of 23 with religious tracts. In 1847 he brought out a noteworthy book, Āthār aṣṣanādīd (“Monuments of the Great”), on the antiquities of Delhi.
Even more important was his pamphlet, “The Causes of the Indian Revolt.”
During the Indian Mutiny of 1857 he had taken the side of the British, but in this booklet he ably and fearlessly laid bares the weaknesses and errors of the British administration that had led to dissatisfaction and a countrywide explosion. Widely read by British officials, it had considerable influence on British policy.
His interest in religion was also active and lifelong. He began a sympathetic interpretation of the Bible, wrote Essays on the Life of Mohammed (translated into English by his son), and found time to write several volumes of a modernist commentary on the Qurʾān.
In these works he sought to harmonize the Islamic faith with the scientific and politically progressive ideas of his time.
The supreme interest of Sayyid’s life was, however, education—in its widest sense.
He began by establishing schools, at Moradabad (1858) and Ghāzīpur (1863).
A more ambitious undertaking was the foundation of the Scientific Society, which published translations of many educational texts and issued a bilingual journal—in Urdu and English.
These institutions were for the use of all citizens and were jointly operated by the Hindus and the Muslims.
In the late 1860s there occurred developments that were to alter the course of his activities.
A movement started at Benares to replace Urdu, the language cultivated by the Muslims, with Hindi. This movement and the attempts to substitute Hindi for Urdu in the publications of the Scientific Society convinced Sayyid that the paths of the Hindus and the Muslims must diverge. Thus, when during a visit to England (1869–70) he prepared plans for a great educational institution, they were for “a Muslim Cambridge.”
On his return he set up a committee for the purpose and also started an influential journal, Tahdhīb al-Akhlāq (“Social Reform”), for the “uplift and reform of the Muslim.”
A Muslim school was established at Alīgarh in May 1875, and, after his retirement in 1876, Sayyid devoted himself to enlarging it into a college. In January 1877 the foundation stone of the college was laid by the Viceroy.
In spite of conservative opposition to Sayyid’s projects, the college made rapid progress. In 1886 Sayyid organized the All-India Muhammadan Educational Conference, which met annually at different places to promote education and to provide the Muslims with a common platform. Until the founding of the Muslim League in 1906, it was the principal national centre of Indian Islām.
Sayyid advised the Muslims against joining active politics and to concentrate instead on education. Later, when some Muslims joined the Indian National Congress, he came out strongly against that organization and its objectives, which included the establishment of parliamentary democracy in India.
He argued that, in a country where communal divisions were all-important and education and political organization were confined to a few classes, parliamentary democracy would work only inequitably. Muslims, generally, followed his advice and abstained from politics until several years later when they had established their own political organization.