Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 13 MARCH 2020

CLICK HERE FOR PREVIOUS UPDATES on MCQs

 

1. Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) sometimes seen in the news, which of the following statement is incorrect regarding this?
(a) He will be the military adviser to the Nuclear Command Authority, which handles India’s nuclear arsenal.
(b) He will not be eligible to hold any government office after demitting (resigning) as the CDS.
(c) The CDS will neither command the three service chiefs nor be the single-point military adviser to the government.
(d) None of the above

2. Consider the following statements regarding the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution of India.
1. Now, all acts placed under the Ninth Schedule post 24th April 1973 are open to judicial review.
2. The Schedule became a part of the Constitution in 1951, when the document was amended for the first time.
3. It was created by the new Article 31B, which along with 31A was brought in by the government to protect laws related to agrarian reform and for abolishing the Zamindari 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

3. Consider the following statements regarding Generic Medicines.
1. This is a medication that has exactly the same active ingredient as the brand name drug and yields the same therapeutic effect.
2. These drugs are developed either by a generic drug company or the original manufacturer after the patent expires for the original product.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

4. Consider the following statements about Nipah virus.
1. Remdesivir is an anti-viral drug which may help fight off this virus.
2. It was first identified in 1998 Malappuram districts of Kerala.
3. This virus infection is a newly emerging zoonosis i.e. a disease transmitted from animals to humans.
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

5. Consider the following statements regarding Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2019.
1. The GHI scores are based on a formula that captures three dimensions of hunger and four component indicators.
2. India is one of the 47 countries that have serious levels of hunger.
3. Around 90 per cent of children aged between 6 and 23 months in the India don’t even get minimum required food.
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

I. India ranked 102 on the index among 117 qualifying countries with a score of 30.3. Even North Korea, Niger, Cameroon fared better than India.
II. Neighboring countries too bagged better spots — Sri Lanka (66), Nepal (73), Pakistan (94) and Bangladesh (88).
III. India bagged the top spot in child wasting rate in the world with an increase of 4.3 percentage points in nine years.
IV. Around 90 per cent of children aged between 6 and 23 months in the country don’t even get minimum required food.
V. When it comes to stunting in children under five, the country saw a dip, but it’s still high — 37.9 per cent in 2019 from 42 per cent in 2010.
VI. Despite the Swachh Bharat campaign, open defecation is still practiced in India. It jeopardises the population’s health and severely impacts children’s growth and their ability to absorb nutrients.

 

1.Answer-d
Explanation-
General Bipin Rawat took over as the first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), a post created in the Defence Ministry.
A ‘dual-hatted role
The dual-hatted role refers to the two hats the CDS wears:
 The permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee which has the three service chiefs as members
 The head of the newly created Department of Military Affairs (DMA) in the Defence ministry
Background
Its creation was recommended in 2001 by a Group of Ministers (GoM) that was tasked with studying the Kargil Review Committee (1999) report.
After the GoM recommendations, in preparation for the post of CDS, the government created the Integrated Defence Staff in 2002, which was to eventually serve as the CDS’s Secretariat.
In 2012, the Naresh Chandra Committee recommended the appointment of a Permanent Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee as a midway to eliminate apprehensions over the CDS.
The post of CDS was also recommended by the Lt. General D.B. Shekatkar (retd.) Committee (December 2016).
Role of CDS
The Department of Military Affairs will also be headed by the CDS who will ensure the jointness in training, logistics and procurement of the three services. He will have the salary and perquisites equivalent to a service chief.
The three services, the Headquarter of Integrated Defence Staff, the Territorial Army, works relating to the Army, Air Force and Navy, and procurements exclusive to the services (except capital acquisitions), all will operate under this Department.
The CDS will be the permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC). However, CDS will not exercise any military command over the three service chiefs, CDS will ensure coordination in joint operations.
As the Permanent Chairman of COSC, he will be a member of the DAC headed by the Defence Minister and the Defence Planning Committee headed by the National Security Adviser.
He will be the military adviser to the Nuclear Command Authority (chaired by the Prime Minister), which handles India’s nuclear arsenal.
Service Conditions
The Defence Ministry had recently amended the Army, Air Force, and Navy rules by allowing the Chief of Defence Staff to serve up to a maximum age of 65 years.
According to the existing rules, an Army Chief has a tenure of three years or up to the retirement age of 62 years, whichever is earlier.
He will not be eligible to hold any government office after demitting (resigning) as the CDS.
Mandate of CDS
Need: With the increasing complexity of security challenges in the modern warfare arena, there was a need for an integrated approach towards defence strategy. There are communication issues, budgetary overruns by individual commands, inter-alia which demanded joint working of Army, Navy and Air Force.
Jointness: CDS will ensure and promote the jointness (functioning together of the three services independently) through joint planning of command operations, logistics, transport, training, communications, repairs and maintenance of the three services within three years of operation. This will ensure close cooperation and collaboration amongst the defence forces.
Integration: There is a need for inducing integration (putting together the three Services at different levels and placing them under one commander) in different services. However, there is a difference between integration and jointness of command.
Lack of Resources: CDS as ‘first among equals’ will act as a single point advisor and could be held accountable for his actions and decisions taken. Restructured military commands for optimal utilization of resources will avoid unnecessary duplication and wasteful expenditure.
Expertise: Being into the services for so long, the expertise and knowledge of CDS to deal with the adverse situations could be appropriately utilized in order to achieve the desired aims, creating architecture for joint commands.
Responsibility of CDS
CDS will administer the tri-services organisations/agencies related to Cyber and Space.
CDS will look into monitoring of contracts, promoting the use of indigenous equipment, leveraging of current systems and transforming them, and prioritising the procurement of defence equipment in a better way.
He will also assign inter-services prioritisation to capital acquisition proposals based on the anticipated budget.
CDS will bring reforms to augment the combat capabilities of the forces and is expected to evaluate plans for ‘out of area contingencies’ for countries in India’s neighbourhood.

 

2.Answer-d
Explanation
Recently, a LJP leader Chirag Paswan said that reservation should be put under the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution. His comments came days after the Supreme Court ruled that reservation in the matter of promotions in public posts was not a fundamental right, and that a state cannot be compelled to offer quota if it chooses not to.
The Ninth Schedule contains a list of central and state laws which cannot be challenged in courts. Currently, 284 such laws are shielded from judicial review.
The Schedule became a part of the Constitution in 1951, when the document was amended for the first time. It was created by the new Article 31B, which along with 31A was brought in by the government to protect laws related to agrarian reform and for abolishing the Zamindari system. While Article 31A extends protection to ‘classes’ of laws, Article 31B shields specific laws or enactments.
Now, all acts placed under the Ninth Schedule post 24th April 1973 are open to judicial review.

 

3.Answer-c
Explanation-
Recently, in parliament, a Congress MP seeks domestic production of Generic Medicines to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB).
A Generic Medicines is a medication that has exactly the same active ingredient as the brand name drug and yields the same therapeutic effect. It is the same in dosing, safety, strength, quality, the way it works, the way it is taken, and the way it should be used.
Generic Medicines do not need to contain the same inactive ingredients as the brand name product.
Generic Medicines are cheaper because the manufacturers have not had the expenses of developing and marketing a new drug. When a company brings a new drug onto the market, the firm has already spent substantial money on research, development, marketing and promotion of the drug.
A patent is granted that gives the company that developed the drug an exclusive right to sell the drug as long as the patent is in effect.
As the patent nears expiration, manufacturers can apply to the FDA for permission to make and sell generic versions of the drug; and without the startup costs for development of the drug. Branded Generics are generic drugs that have a brand name.
These drugs are developed either by a generic drug company or the original manufacturer “after” the patent expires for the original product. The branded generic name is proprietary to (owned by) the company.

 

4.Answer-c
Explanation-
Nipah virus and Fruit bats
Fruit Bat
Fruit bats, as opposed to insectivorous bats, survive largely on a diet of fruit, which they locate with their sense of smell (insectivorous bats locate their prey through echolocation, i.e. locating the source of the echoes of their own sound).
Fruit bats belong to the Pteropodidae family; those in the Pteropus genus within this family are natural hosts for the Nipah virus.
Fruit bats are widely found in South and Southeast Asia and are also known as flying foxes.
Nipah virus and Fruit bat connection
The virus survives in the bat’s body without causing disease, allowing it to jump to susceptible mammals like humans or pigs when bats come in contact with them.
The National Institute of Virology had found that the virus was first transmitted from fruit bats identified as Pteropus spp.
In the world’s first Nipah outbreak, which occurred in 1998 in Malaysia, virologists isolated the virus from the urine of the Island Flying Fox, a fruit bat species.
In Bangladeshi outbreaks, researchers found antibodies to Nipah in the Indian flying fox.
All bats can carry viruses, some of them deadly.
The Marburg virus, a relative of Ebola, was isolated in 2009 from the Egyptian Rousette, a fruit bat, in Uganda’s Kitaka Cave. After the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in China, researchers found antibodies to the SARS Coronavirus in cave-dwelling insectivorous bats.
With around 1,200 species, bats comprise 20% of the earth’s mammalian diversity. So, it is not a surprise that they host many viruses and also not all of these viruses are threats to humans.
Even if the outbreak in Kerala is eventually linked to these mammals, the transfer of bat viruses to humans is a rare event.
Nipah Virus
According to WHO, the Nipah virus infection is a newly emerging zoonosis, that is, a disease transmitted from animals to humans. The virus belongs to a new genus termed Henipavirus (subfamily Paramyxovirinae).
The natural hosts of the virus are fruit bats belonging to the family Pteropodidae. In 2004, humans were affected after eating the date palm contaminated by infected fruit bats. Pigs can also act as intermediate hosts.
What are the symptoms in humans?
The symptoms of Nipah are similar to that of influenza: fever, muscle pain, and respiratory problems. Inflammation of the brain can also cause disorientation. Late onset of Encephalitis can also occur. Sometimes a person can have an asymptomatic infection, and be a carrier of Nipah and not show any symptoms.
Are there any vaccines?
Currently, there are no vaccines for both humans and animals. Intensive supportive care is given to humans infected by Nipah virus.
According to WHO, ribavarin can reduce the symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and convulsions associated with the disease. Individuals infected need to be hospitalised and isolated. Special care should be taken to prevent human-to-human transmission. Surveillance systems should be established to detect the virus quickly and to initiate appropriate control measures.
In a significant development, an experimental antiviral drug Remdesivir designed to treat Ebola virus disease can effectively help fight off Nipah virus. Though Ebola and Nipah belong to different viral families, Remdesivir appears effective against both. Remdesivir has also shown to be effective against two other pandemic threats: Lassa fever and MERS coronavirus, and also against respiratory syncytial virus.

 

5.Answer-d
Explanation-
Global Hunger Index
The GHI ranks countries on a 100-point scale, with 0 being the best score (no hunger) and 100 being the worst. Values less than 10 reflect low hunger, values from 20 to 34.9 indicate serious hunger; values from 35 to 49.9 are alarming; and values of 50 or more are extremely alarming.
The report is a peer-reviewed publication released annually by Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide.
The GHI scores are based on a formula that captures three dimensions of hunger—insufficient caloric intake, child undernutrition, and child mortality—using four component indicators:
1. UNDERNOURISHMENT: the share of the population that is under-nourished, reflecting insufficient caloric intake
2. CHILD WASTING: the share of children under the age of five who are wasted (low weight-for-height), reflecting acute undernutrition.
3. CHILD STUNTING: the share of children under the age of five who are stunted (low height-for-age), reflecting chronic undernutrition.
4. CHILD MORTALITY: the mortality rate of children under the age of five.
Key findings:
Global scenario:
I. The report is topped by Central African Republic.
II. It is becoming difficult to feed the world due to climate change.
III. While there has been progress in reducing hunger, but the gains are now being threatened and severe hunger persists in many regions across the world.
IV. Multiple countries have higher hunger levels now than in 2010, and approximately 45 countries are set to fail to achieve low levels of hunger by 2030.
V. Among the 117 countries, 43 have “serious” levels of hunger. The Central African Republic is in the “extremely alarming” level in the hunger index.
VI. The Global Hunger Index recommends various steps the countries could take to tackle this serious problem: Prioritizing resilience among the most vulnerable groups, better response to disasters, addressing inequalities, action to mitigate climate change are among measures suggested in the report.
India and its neighbours: