Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 16 June 2020

  1. Consider the following statements regarding the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI).
    1. It came into existence for development and regulation of inland waterways for shipping and navigation.
    2. It is nodal statutory body and grant received from Ministry of Shipping.
    3. It was established in October 1986 and is headquartered in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
    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-d
    Explanation-
    Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI)
    The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) came into existence on 27th October 1986 for development and regulation of inland waterways for shipping and navigation.
    The Authority primarily undertakes projects for development and maintenance of IWT infrastructure on national waterways through grant received from Ministry of Shipping.
    The head office of the Authority is at Noida. The Authority also has its regional offices at Patna, Kolkata, Guwahati and Kochi and sub-offices at Allahabad, Varanasi, Bhaglapur, Farakka, Hemnagar, Dibrugarh (Assam), Kollam, Bhubaneswar (Odisa) and Vijayawada (A.P.).
    India has about 14,500 km of navigable waterways which comprise of rivers, canals, backwaters, creeks, etc.
    National Waterways
    Transportation plays an important role in the development of a country and it is of great significance for a developing country like India. The country is bestowed with a plethora of diverse topography which enables different kinds of transportation. India has about 14500 km of navigable waterways. This includes rivers, backwaters, canals, creeks and so on.
    National Waterways Act came into effect in 2016. It proposed 106 additional National Waterways and merges 5 existing Acts which were declared the 5 National Waterways.
    In 1986, the Government of India created Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) for regulation and development of Inland Waterways for navigation and shipping.
    Out of the 111, National Waterways declared under the National Waterways Act, 2016, 13 are operational for shipping and navigation and cargo/passenger vessels are moving on them.

2. Consider the following statements with respect to the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO).
1. It was established in 1966 following the International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE) in the 1960s.
2. It has a School of Oceanography under the Academy of Scientific & Innovative Research (AcSIR).
3. It is one of the constituent laboratories of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR).
4. It operates two vessels RV Sindhu Sankalp and RV Sindhu Sadhana that are equipped for multidisciplinary oceanographic observations.
Which of the following statements is/are correct?
(a) 1, 2 and 3 only
(b) 2, 3 and 4 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) All of the above
Answer-d
Explanation-
National Institute of Oceanography
National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) is one of the 37 constituent laboratories of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi.
It is headquartered at Dona Paula, Goa with regional centres at Kochi, Mumbai and Visakhapatnam.
NIO was established in 1966 following the International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE) in the 1960s.
The principal focus of research has been on observing and understanding special oceanographic characteristics of the Indian Ocean.
It also operates two research vessels RV Sindhu Sankalp (56 m) and RV Sindhu Sadhana (80 m) that are equipped for multidisciplinary oceanographic observations.
The institute also provides consultancy on a number of issues including marine environmental protection and coastal zone regulations.
CSIR-NIO serves as an advanced centre of education in ocean sciences. It has a School of Oceanography under the Academy of Scientific & Innovative Research (AcSIR).

3. Consider the following statements regarding the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).
1. It is a constituent board of Quality Council of India (QCI) under the Ministry of Heavy Industry
2. It is a full member to International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (ILAC) as well as Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (APLAC).
3. It has launched a voluntary scheme called Quality Assurance Scheme (QAS) for basic composite medical laboratories for sensitizing small laboratories to basic doable quality practices.
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-a
Explanation-
National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL)
NABL, a Constituent Board of Quality Council of India has been established with the objective of providing Government, Industry Associations and Industry in general with a scheme of Conformity Assessment Body’s accreditation which involves third-party assessment of the technical competence of testing including medical and calibration laboratories, proficiency testing providers and reference material producers.
NABL is a full member (MRA signatory) to International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (ILAC) as well as Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (APLAC) since 2000.
NABL is a constituent board of Quality Council of India (QCI) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
NABL is Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) signatory to International bodies like International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (ILAC) and Asia Pacific Accreditation Co-operation (APAC) for accreditation of Testing including Medical and Calibration laboratories.
MRA are based on evaluation by peer Accreditation Bodies and facilitates acceptance of test/ calibration results between countries which MRA partners represent.
Thus NABL accredited laboratory results are accepted across more than 80 economies around the world.
The National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories launched a voluntary scheme called Quality Assurance Scheme (QAS) for basic composite medical laboratories in February 2019 for sensitizing small laboratories to basic doable quality practices.
The scheme is expected to bring transformational change in more than 5000 laboratories over the next 5 years and to transform them into labs providing quality service. To familiarise and encourage more and more small labs, even in the remotest part of the country, to avail the scheme, NABL would be organising awareness programs in various cities of India.
NABL provides accreditation in all major fields of Science and Engineering such as Biological, Chemical, Electrical, Electronics, Mechanical, Fluid-Flow, Non-Destructive, Photometry, Radiological, Thermal & Forensics under testing facilities and Electro-Technical, Mechanical, Fluid Flow, Thermal, Optical, Medical Devices & Radiological under Calibration facilities.
NABL also provides accreditation for medical testing laboratories. In addition, NABL also offers accreditation for Proficiency testing providers & Reference Material producers and is now signatory to APAC MRA for both.
https://nabl-india.org/about-nabl-2/

4. Consider the following statements regarding the Lord Meston Award.
1. The Meston Settlement made the Provinces responsible for the development of the ‘nation building’ activities.
2. The greatest defect of the Meston Settlement lay in the fact that it created inequalities of tax burdens between different classes of the community.
3. The Meston award was one of the characteristic features of the financial settlement in the reform act of 1919.
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-
The Meston Award
Meston award were a fixed ratio of contributions of the provinces. The fixation was done on the basis of deep enquiry in the economic condition like the taxation capacities, the agricultural and industrial wealth and other relevant facts. The Meston award was one of the characteristic features of the financial settlement in the reform act of 1919.
This solution of the problem regarding deficit in centre was a good one but an obstacle to the path of provincial autonomy.
The contribution was decided to be abolished when the centre’s financial position started improving.
Infact, the financial secfion of the reform act of 1919 was mostly prepared by Sir James Meston. That’s why; the financial settlement that was enforced by the act of 1919 came to be known as Meston settlement. Basically the division of fiscal resources between the central and provincial government were all made by Meston.
The new settlement was no doubt a beginning of new era in the financial development. It was an integral part of the devolution process and laid down the basis for the reforms.
The Finance Relation Committee under the chairmanship of Lord Meston proposed:
(1) A system of initial contributions which were more or less arbitrarily fixed on the basis of the increased spending powers of the Provinces. The argument was that increased revenues had come to the provinces as a windfall which correspondingly reduced the Central finances.
It was, therefore, necessary for the Central government to claim relief from the Provincial Governments in proportion to the gain made by the provinces.
(2) These contributions were to be reduced gradually over a period of seven years to ‘Standard’ contributions based on the principle of capacity to contribute judged by such factors as population, Income Tax receipts, Consumption of Salt, and textiles, agricultural and industrial wealth.
(3) Provinces should be given a share in Income Tax. This marked the beginning of the use of Income Tax as a balancing factor.
These recommendations, with certain modifications, were incorporated in the ‘Devolution Rules’ issued under the Government of India Rules of 1919.
The Meston Award caused much provincial heart burning and discontent owing to the arbitrary nature of the contributions.
In the first place, contrary to expectations, the provinces were faced with a succession of heavy deficits year after year. The contributions, therefore, became a burden to the provinces which pressed for their abolition.
As a result of this pressure, they were first remitted, then suspended, and finally abolished in 1928-29. Secondly, the Meston Settlement made the Provinces responsible for the development of the ‘nation building’ activities but placed only inelastic sources of revenue at their disposal. Thirdly, the contributions fixed by the committee were thought to be highly unfair and inequitable.
It was complained, though unjustifiably, that the Meston Award gave to the Centre a much larger proportion of the total revenue of the industrial Provinces than of the agricultural ones.
Bengal argued that, on account of her wealth, population, trade and industries, the monopoly of jute trade, and the port of Calcutta, her contribution to the Central government in the shape of Income Tax, Super Tax, and Customs alone far exceeded that of most other provin­ces.
Madras felt it was the ‘Milch cow’ and was proportionately contributing a larger share towards the central deficit. The weakness of this argument was that total revenues taken for comparison included Income-tax and Customs collections which obviously could not be assigned to the Provinces of Bengal and Madras.
Fourthly, it was alleged that the Settlement favoured some provinces while adversely affecting others. Land Revenue was the most important source of provincial revenue and the agricultural provinces benefitted by getting the whole of it for them while the industrial provinces like Bombay and Bengal suffered because they lost revenue from Income Tax which became a Central subject.
The greatest defect of the Meston Settlement lay in the fact that it created inequalities of tax burdens between different classes of the community. An average urban citizen, who did not consume country liquor or involve himself in litigation, did not contribute anything towards the provincial finances.
On the other hand, the great majority of people in the cities mainly contributed to the Central revenues although they benefitted by the activities of the Provincial Governments.
It was, as B.R. Misra puts it, “a sad commentary on the distribution of burdens between the various sections of the community.” To sum up. The Act of 1919 and the rules made under it gave the provinces considerable latitude in financial matters. They were now free to adjust the taxes on transferred heads of revenue; they similarly had the right to spend, whatever they liked, on the transferred subjects.
They were also given the freedom to float loans both in India and abroad on the security of their revenues. Despite this liberalisation, there was no separation of cash balances of the Centre and the provinces.
There was a single ‘Public Account’ on which both operated. Besides, the provinces had no control over audit and accounts. It was thus what Thomas call “a half-way house between unitary and federal” or as Chanda puts it, a situation between ‘control and autonomy’.
As regards the allocation of revenues, the system was completely federal because the revenues of the Central and Provincial Governments were completely separated.
Nevertheless, in regard to audit and accounts, borrowing, and allied matters, the provincial governments continued to depend largely on the Centre. This was somewhat anomalous but, as Thomas points out, “This was perhaps inevitable in the transition from a highly centralised to a decentralised system of Government.”
https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/62747/14/14_chapter%206.pdf

5. Consider the following statements regarding the P-8I Anti-Submarine Warfare Aircraft.
1. The P-8I is a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.
2. The P-8I is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon that is being developed by French Company
3. It is equipped with the sophisticated Harpoon missiles, lightweight torpedoes and rockets.
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-c
Explanation-
P-8I long range maritime reconnaissance Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft
P-8I is a long-range, multimission maritime patrol aircraft manufactured by Boeing, for the Indian Navy.
It is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon operated by the US Navy. P-8I is intended to replace the ageing fleet of Tupolev Tu-142 aircraft that are in service with the Indian Navy.
The P-8I aircraft was designed to protect the vast coastline and territorial waters of India. It can conduct anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (AsuW), intelligence, maritime patrol, and surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
The P-8I aircraft is equipped for long range anti submarine warfare, anti -surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of broad area, maritime and littoral operations.
Its communication and sensor suite includes indigenous equipment developed by defence PSUs and private manufacturers.
With its high speed and high endurance of about 10 hours, the aircraft is capable of thrusting a punitive response and maintaining a watch over India’s immediate and extended areas of interest.
The aircraft are based at INS Rajali, and are operated by Indian Naval Air Squadron 312A.
It is equipped with the sophisticated Harpoon missiles, lightweight torpedoes and rockets. The Indian Navy is the first international customer for this.
The aircraft has a length of 39.47m, wing span of 37.64m and a height of 12.83m. The maximum take-off gross weight of the P-8I is 85,139kg.
The P-8I aircraft is manned by nine crew members. The cockpit is integrated with primary flight display, multifunction displays, identification friend or foe (IFF), flight management system and stores management system.
The aircraft is equipped with a CAE AN/ASQ-508A magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) system, APS-143C (V) 3 multimode radar and a global version of the Raytheon APY-10 surveillance radar.
The APY-10 radar provides precise information in all-weather, day and night missions. The P-8I also integrates BEL Data Link II communications system, Avantel mobile satellite system and a speech secrecy system from Electronics Corporation of India (ECIL).
The internal weapons bay can house Mark 54 torpedoes, depth charges and free-fall bombs. The under-wing hard points can be armed with air-to-surface missiles.
In December 2010, India requested a sale of AGM-84L Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles and associated equipment to equip its P-8I aircraft. The Harpoon Block II carries a 226kg blast / fragmentation warhead. It can be fired against land and sea targets.
The P-8I aircraft can fly at a maximum speed of 789km/h and can reach a maximum altitude of 12,496m. The aircraft has a maximum range of 2,222km with four hours on station.
https://www.naval-technology.com/projects/p-8i-maritime-patrol-aircraft-india/