Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 18 August 2020

1. Consider the following statements with respect to the Caterpillar fungus (Ophiocordyceps sinensis).
1. It is endemic to the Tibetan Plateau, including the adjoining high Himalaya.
2. In the Indian Himalayas, the species has been documented in the region from the alpine meadows of protected areas such as Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, Askot Wildlife Sanctuary, Kanchendzonga Biosphere Reserve and Dehan-Debang Biosphere Reserve.
3. It has seemingly been used in traditional Tibetan and Chinese medicine as a tonic, as a therapeutic medicine for lung, liver and kidney problems.
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-
Caterpillar fungus or Himalayan Viagra
Caterpillar fungus (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) is a fungal parasite of larvae (caterpillars) that belongs to the ghost moth. It is endemic to the Tibetan Plateau, including the adjoining high Himalaya (3,200-4,500 metres above sea level).
It is locally known as Kira Jari (in India), Yartsagunbu (in Tibet), Yarso Gumbub (Bhutan), Dong Chong Xia Cao (China) and Yarsagumba (in Nepal).
In the Indian Himalayas, the species has been documented in the region from the alpine meadows of protected areas such as Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, Askot Wildlife Sanctuary, Kanchendzonga Biosphere Reserve and Dehan-Debang Biosphere Reserve.
For centuries, caterpillar fungus has seemingly been used in traditional Tibetan and Chinese medicine as a tonic, as a therapeutic medicine for lung, liver and kidney problems.
In recent time the species has been widely traded as an aphrodisiac and a powerful tonic, often called the ‘Himalayan Viagra’.
Harvesting of caterpillar fungus starts at the beginning of May and lasts till the end of June. The collection period, however, depends on factors such as weather, snow cover on the pasture and elevation of collection sites.
Due to the scarcity of resource and high publicity, both demand and price of caterpillar fungus have increased sharply, causing competition among harvesters and traders who have become astute to the commercial potential of the species.

The mean annual buying price by local traders in villages of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve has increased steadily from approximately $4,700 (Rs 3.3 lakh) per kilogramme in 2006 to more than $13,000 per kg in 2015.
The illegal nature of the trade, coupled with rampant overexploitation, severely threatens the survival and sustenance of this unique resource, and its habitat — also home to the elusive Snow Leopard and rare high-altitude fauna.
Illegal trade of caterpillar fungus from the Indian Himalayas is a significant issue.
https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/wildlife-biodiversity/himalayan-gold-rush-growing-livelihood-reliance-on-lucrative-and-vulnerable-trade-68453

2. Consider the following statements with respect to the Marginal Cost of fund based Lending Rate (MCLR).
1. It refers to the minimum interest rate of a bank below which it cannot lend, except in some cases allowed by the RBI.
2. The MCLR methodology for fixing interest rates for advances was introduced by the Reserve Bank of India with effect from April 1, 2016.
3. It is a tenor-linked internal benchmark, which means the rate is determined internally by the bank depending on the period left for the repayment of a loan.
4. It is calculated based on four components i.e. the marginal cost of funds, negative carry on account of cash reserve ratio, operating costs and tenor premium.
Which of the following statements is/are correct?
(a) 1, 2 and 3 only
(b) 2, 3 and 4 only
(c) 1, 3 and 4 only
(d) All of the above
Answer-d
Explanation-
Marginal Cost of fund based Lending Rate (MCLR)
MCLR is a tenor-linked internal benchmark, which means the rate is determined internally by the bank depending on the period left for the repayment of a loan
The RBI introduced the MCLR methodology for fixing interest rates from 1 April 2016
It is the minimum interest rate that a bank can lend at. MCLR is a tenor-linked internal benchmark, which means the rate is determined internally by the bank depending on the period left for the repayment of a loan.
MCLR is closely linked to the actual deposit rates and is calculated based on four components: the marginal cost of funds, negative carry on account of cash reserve ratio, operating costs and tenor premium.
The Reserve Bank of India introduced the MCLR methodology for fixing interest rates from 1 April 2016. It replaced the base rate structure, which had been in place since July 2010.
Under the MCLR regime, banks are free to offer all categories of loans on fixed or floating interest rates. The actual lending rates for loans of different categories and tenors are determined by adding the components of spread to MCLR. Therefore, the bank cannot lend at a rate lower than MCLR of a particular maturity, for all loans linked to that benchmark.
Fixed-rate loans with tenors of up to three years are also priced according to MCLR. Banks review and publish MCLR of different maturities, every month. Certain loan rates, like that of fixed-rate loans with tenors above three years and special loan schemes offered by the government, are not linked to MCLR.
https://www.livemint.com/money/personal-finance/what-is-marginal-cost-of-funds-based-lending-rate-or-mclr-1562780995072.html

3. Consider the following statements regarding the Overdraft Rules of RBI for States.
1. A state or UT can now avail of overdraft facility for 21 working days, compared with the current 14 days.
2. Any amount drawn by a State in excess of Ways and Means Advances (WMA) is an overdraft.
3. In case an overdraft appeared in the State’s account and remained beyond prescribed continuous working days, the RBI and its agencies stopped payments on behalf of the State.
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-
Overdraft Rules of RBI for States
Any amount drawn by a State in excess of WMA is an overdraft.
As per the Overdraft Regulation Scheme, in force from October 2, 1985, no State was allowed to run an overdraft with the RBI for more than seven continuous working days.
In case an overdraft appeared in the State’s account and remained beyond seven continuous working days, the RBI and its agencies stopped payments on behalf of the State.
On a further review of the Overdraft Regulation Scheme in 1993, the time limit for clearance of overdraft was increased from seven consecutive working days to ten consecutive working days with effect from November 1, 1993. This position continues.
https://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/PublicationReportDetails.aspx?ID=6

4. Consider the following statements regarding the Human Migration in India.
1. According to the International Migrant Stock 2019 report, India with 17.5 million international migrants has emerged as the top source of international migrants.
2. As per Census 2011, 45 million Indians moved outside their district of birth for economic opportunities.
3. In India, internal migration fueled by an increasing rate of urbanization and rural-urban wage difference is far greater than an external migration.
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

5. Consider the following statements with reference to the Orientalist-Anglicist Controversy.
1. The Anglicists led by Charles Trevelyan, Elphinstone advocated the imparting of western education through the medium of English.
2. The Orientalists led by Wilson and Princep advocated in favour of Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian as the medium of education.
3. The General Committee of Public Instruction had two groups viz. Orientalists and Anglicists on the issue of the Development of Education of India.
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
Orientalist-Anglicist Controversy:
During the first quarter of nineteenth century a great controversy was going on regarding the nature of education and medium of instruction in schools and colleges.
The Orientalists led by Dr. H.H.Wilson and H.T. Princep advocated in favour of Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian as the medium of education.
The Anglicists led by Charles Trevelyan, Elphinstone advocated the imparting of western education through the medium of English.
The Anglicists were supported by most advanced Indians of the time, like Raja Ram Mohan Roy who advocated for the study of western education as the “key to the treasures of scientific and democratic thought of the modern west.” Lord Macauley, the Law member to the Supreme Council of Calcutta was appointed Chairman of the Committee of Public Instruction.
In his famous Minute of 2nd February 1835, Macauley fired the final shot of the battle between the Orientalists and Anglicists.
He gave his verdict in favour of English as the medium of instruction and western education, literatures and sciences as the subjects of study for the Indians.
Lord Macauley showed his hatred towards Oriental Literatures when he said that, “a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia.”
Lord William Bentick, the then Governor-General of India, approved Macauley’s Minute and on 7th March 1835 passed a resolution declaring that, “His Lordship in Council is of opinion that, the great object of the British Government ought to be the promotion of European literature and science among the natives of India and that all the fund appropriated for the purpose of education would be best employed on English education alone.”
Through the Macaulayian system the British Government intended to educate the upper and middle classes who were likely to take up the task of educating and spreading modern ideas among them. Macauley had faith in the “infiltration theory”.
He wrote in his minute, “We must do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions, whom we govern, a class of persons, Indian in “blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellect. To that class we may leave it to refine the vernacular dialects of the country.”
Hereafter, 1835-39, the Government had established twenty- three schools. In 1842 a Council of Education was established in place of the Committee of Public Instruction. During 1843-53, Mr. James Thomason, the Lieutenant Governor of North Western Provinces had introduced a comprehensive scheme of village education.
Under this scheme some villages were grouped in one unit and every Zamindar of the unit had to pay one percent cess on the revenue for the maintenance of the schools in his jurisdiction. In 1835 Bentick had established a Medical College at Calcutta.
Gradually similar colleges were founded in different parts of the country. The introduction of English education led to the growth of the English literature and civilization and marked the dawn of a new epoch in the intellectual life of India.
The social and religious outlook of the Indians also underwent a great change. With the spread of western philosophy and science the ground for Indian Renaissance was prepared. The educated Indians spread the ideas of democracy, nationalism, social and economic quality among the common people.
https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/156444/21/21_chapter%2017.pdf