1. Consider the following statements with reference to the Neonatal Deaths.
1. Bihar has recorded the highest percentage of neonatal deaths against the total admissions to government-run sick newborn care units (SNCUs) in the past three years across the country according to the National Health Mission (NHM).
2. Staff crunch, low community referrals, absence of a special neonatal transport service to health centres, and the non-availability of enough units to cater to increasing institutional deliveries had contributed to the spike in the percentage of deaths.
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
2. S-125 Neva/Pechora / SA-3 Goa sometimes seen in the news, which of the following statement is incorrect regarding this?
(a) It is a surface to air Missile system was developed by USA.
(b) Pechora systems were inducted in Indian Air Force in the seventies for airfields and other vital area protection.
(c) It is a system with a low to medium altitude engagement envelope, thus providing for overlapping all altitude air defence coverage of protected airspace.
(d) None of the above
3. Consider the following statements with respect to Remote voting System.
1. Remote voting may take place in person somewhere other than an assigned polling station or at another time, or votes may be sent by post or cast by an appointed proxy.
2. Election Commission of India recently had used Aadhaar-linked electronic remote voting system in general election.
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 regarding the National Commission for Women (NCW).
1. The NCW was set up as statutory body in January 1992.
2. Five Members to be nominated by the Central Government, provided that at least one Member each shall be from amongst persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes respectively.
3. It looks into complaints, and takes Suo Motto notice of matters relating to deprivation of women’s rights, Non-implementation of the laws and Non-compliance of policy decisions guaranteeing the welfare for women society.
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 World Heritage Convention of 1972.
1. The implementation of the World Heritage Convention is facilitated through the Operational Guidelines, which define the procedures for new inscriptions, site protection, danger-listings, and the provision of international assistance under the World Heritage Fund.
2. The Convention links together the concepts of nature conservation and the preservation of cultural properties.
3. By signing the Convention, each country pledges to conserve not only the World Heritage sites situated on its territory, but also to protect its national heritage.
4. The Convention is governed by the World Heritage Committee supported by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the secretariat for the Convention, and three technical advisory bodies to the Committee: IUCN, ICOMOS, and ICCROM.
Which of the above given statements are correct?
(a) 2, 3, and 4 only
(b) 1, 3 and 4 only
(c) 1, 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
According to the National Health Mission (NHM), Madhya Pradesh has recorded the highest percentage of newborn deaths of 11.5% against the total admissions to government-run sick newborn care units (SNCUs) in the past three years across the country.
The country’s average is 7%. Although admissions of neonates (under 28 days) in the Madhya Pradesh have dropped from April 2017 to December 2019 — remaining lower than West Bengal, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh — the percentage of deaths at 12.2% surpassed Bihar’s last year.
In Bhopal, the capital city of Madhya Pradesh, one in every five children admitted to a unit died in the three years — the highest death percentage of 19.9% in the State, ten times above the NHM’s mandated key performance indicator of below 2%.
Staff crunch, low community referrals, absence of a special neonatal transport service to health centres, and the non-availability of enough units to cater to increasing institutional deliveries had contributed to the spike in the percentage of deaths.
Meanwhile, West Bengal, where 34,344 neonatal deaths occurred in the period, the most in the country, the declining percentage of deaths from 9.2% in 2017 to 8.9% in 2019 coincided with a slump in admissions.
The S-125 Neva/Pechora / SA-3 Goa Surface to Air Missile system were developed to supplement the S-75 Dvina / SA-2 Guideline in Soviet and Warsaw Pact service.
The S-75 Dvina / SA-2 Guideline were designed to provide medium to high altitude air defence coverage, primarily against bomber aircraft. As such it was not well suited to the engagement of low flying targets, especially fighter aircraft and cruise missiles.
The design aim of the S-125 Neva/Pechora / SA-3 Goa was thus to produce a system with a low to medium altitude engagement envelope, thus providing for overlapping all altitude air defence coverage of protected airspace. Specifically, targets travelling at speeds of up to 1500 km/h and at altitudes from 100 m to 5000 m, at ranges of up to 12 km were to be engaged and destroyed. Such performance is today characteristic of a point defence weapon, but during the 1950s it was more typical of area defence weapons.
India’s Ministry of Defence has asked the Indian Air Force (IAF) to modernize its aging Russian Pechora air defense systems by using only domestic defense companies in accordance with the “Make in India” policy.
Currently Indian defense companies do not have the capability to digitize Pechora systems on their own and so they forge technical partnerships with overseas defense companies, according to a senior IAF official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Pechora upgrade program includes the refurbishment of its missile-guidance radar and the integration of its radar with an Integrated Area Command and Control System (IACCS). The upgrade will provide a fresh lease of life for ten years, the IAF official added.
“Indian defense companies have matured enough to build subsystems, and they can procure design and architecture from overseas companies.
IAF Pechora systems were inducted in the seventies for airfields and other vital area protection. Most of the 30 missile units have exceeded their useful lives, however extension to their lives have been accorded to keep them operational.
They are still very potent and capable air defense system.
The IAF had planned to replace Pechora systems with MRSAM systems to be purchased from the selected vendor from Israel after due defense procurement processing. Due to lack of spare support for S-125 Pechora system and gap in air defense protection cover, the IAF has rightly decided to go ahead with upgrade of Pechora system.
The upgrade mainly involves digitization of electronics, better communication networking, and improved engagement envelops deployment and networking.
IAF said domestic companies must carry out digitization for the control cabin, antenna post and launchers of Pechora firing units without any degradation of operational parameters and functionality of the existing system.
In addition, IAF wants digitization of Pechora subsystems, such as the control cabin, target-and-missile tracking system, target-and-missile coordinate system, missile-command generating system, automated launch-computing system, antenna position-and-control system, and launcher positioning-and-control system.
Remote voting System
Remote voting is used in many countries, both old and new democracies, around the world, to broaden participation.
Remote voting may take place in person somewhere other than an assigned polling station or at another time, or votes may be sent by post or cast by an appointed proxy. When the requirements to qualify as a remote voter are minimal, remote voting can make up a significant proportion of the total vote.
In Finland, it has been as high as 37 per cent of all votes cast, and in the 2003 legislative elections in the Marshall Islands it was 58 per cent. In Sweden, where it is commonly about 30 per cent, voters can also change their pre-cast vote if they subsequently travel to their allocated polling station on Election Day. However, its use may have implications for electoral system design, with issues of election integrity being salient.
ECI working on remote voting system
The model of an Aadhaar-linked electronic voting system, which will enable electors to cast their votes from any part of the country — irrespective of where they are registered to vote — or even abroad, is being prepared for the Election Commission of India by the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M), ECI officials said.
The model is likely to be presented before the Commission next month and if approved, a prototype can be readied by the year-end or early next year. If the project is given the go-ahead by the EC, election laws will have to be changed.
The IIT-M is developing a system for two-way remote voting in controlled environment using block chain technology.
It will have to be integrated with our ERO Net so if a person votes remotely, the electoral roll will reflect that.
With the proposed linking of Aadhaar with voter IDs is at an “advanced stage”. The two-way system would be possible only when the linking is complete.
The ECI had used a one-way electronic system for service electors for the first time in the 2019 LokSabha elections.
The postal ballots were transmitted electronically to the service electors, which led to an increased turnout or 60.14%.
National Commission for Women
The NCW was set up as statutory body in January 1992 under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990 (Act No.20 of 1990 of Govt. of India) to review the Constitutional and legal safeguards for women; recommend remedial legislative measures, facilitate redressal of grievances and advise the Government on all policy matters affecting women.
In keeping with its mandate, the Commission initiated various steps to improve the status of women and worked for their economic empowerment during the year under report.
It took up the issue of child marriage, sponsored legal awareness programmes, Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalats and reviewed laws such as Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, PNDT Act 1994, Indian Penal Code 1860 and the National Commission for Women Act, 1990 to make them more stringent and effective.
It organized workshops/consultations, constituted expert committees on economic empowerment of women, conducted workshops/seminars for gender awareness and took up publicity campaign against female foeticide, violence against women etc. in order to generate awareness in the society against these social evils.
Section-3 of National Commission for Women Act, 1990
Act No. 20 of 1990 of Govt. of India)
1. The Central Government shall constitute a body to be known as the National Commission for Women to exercise the powers conferred on and to perform the functions assigned to, it under this Act. The Commission shall consist of:-
A Chairperson, committed to the cause of women, to be nominated by the Central Government.
Five Members to be nominated by the Central Government from amongst persons of ability, integrity and standing who have had experience in law or legislation, trade unionism, management of an industry potential of women, women’s voluntary organisations ( including women activist ), administration, economic development, health, education or social welfare;
Provided that at least one Member each shall be from amongst persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes respectively;
a Member-Secretary to be nominated by the Central Government who shall be :-
an expert in the field of management, organizational structure or sociological movement, or
an officer who is a member of a civil service of the Union or of an all-India service or holds a civil post under the Union with appropriate experience
Functions of National Commission for Women
Inquiry and Investigation
The National Commission of Women enjoys the powers of a civil court. It investigates and examines the matters related to the safeguards ensured for feminine society under the Constitution of India. It took complaints suo moto notice of issues related to the non- implementation of laws and non- enforcement of laws and non -compliance of policy decisions, guidelines enacted and aimed at mitigating hardships ensuring the welfare and then take up issues arising out of matter with the concerned authorities.
NCW members take part in the planning process of socio-economic development of women, propose measures to encourage their representation in all spheres and review their advancement. It also examines the safeguards provided for women in the Constitution and other laws study their working, recommend amendments to meet any inadequacies or deficiencies, and advocate measures for effective implementation.
The Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalat, (PMLA) is an innovative component with its roots in the traditional Nyaya Panchayats. It is created by NCW for the redressal and speedy disposal of cases. It has taken up 7500 cases so far. The essential feature of PMLA is cordial mutual settlement and flexibility in implementation, aiming to empower women in the justice delivery mechanism.
The Commission shall perform all or any of the following functions:
1. Investigation and Examination: Investigate and examine all the matters relating to the safeguards provided for the women under the Constitution and other laws
2. Presentation of Reports: Table reports to the Central Government, every year and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards
3. Recommendations: Make in such reports and recommendations for the effective accomplishment of those safeguards for enhancing the conditions of the women by the Union or any State.
4. Review, every now and then, the current provisions of the Constitution and other laws distressing the women and prescribe alterations and suggest curative legislative measures meet any break, inadequacies and incapacity in such legislation.
5. Cases of Violation: Take up cases of infringement of the provisions of the Constitution and of other laws relating to the women with the relevant authorities
6. Suo Motu Notice: It looks into complaints, and takes Suo Motto notice of matters relating to – deprivation of women’s rights, Non-implementation of the laws and Non-compliance of policy decisions guaranteeing the welfare for women society.
7. Special Studies and Investigation: It conducts special studies or investigation on the concerning issues or circumstances emerging out of segregation and outrages against ladies and recognizes the limitations in order to suggest techniques for their expulsion
8. Research: Undertake the promotional and educational research so as to propose ways of ensuring due representation of women in all fields and identifies the factors responsible for impeding the support services and technologies for reducing drudgery and professional health hazards and for escalating their efficiency.
9. Participation in all spheres particularly in Planning: take part and advice on the planning process of socio-economic development of women
10. Evaluation: assess the progress of the development of women society under the Union and State.
11. Inspection: investigate or cause to be inspected a jail, remand home women’s establishment or other places of guardianship where ladies are kept as detainees.
12. Funding: fund litigation, relating issues affecting a large body of women.
13. Reporting: make periodical reports on any issue pertaining to women and in particular various difficulties under which women toil.
World Heritage Convention
The World Heritage Convention is one of the most important global conservation instruments
Created in 1972, the primary mission of the Convention is to identify and protect the world’s natural and cultural heritage considered to be of Outstanding Universal Value.
It embodies a visionary idea – that some places are so important that their protection is not only the responsibility of a single nation, but is also the duty of the international community as a whole; and not only for this generation, but for all those to come.
The implementation of the World Heritage Convention is facilitated through the Operational Guidelines, which define the procedures for new inscriptions, site protection, danger-listings, and the provision of international assistance under the World Heritage Fund.
The Convention stipulates the obligation of States Parties to report regularly to the World Heritage Committee on the state of conservation of their World Heritage properties. These reports are crucial to the work of the Committee as they enable it to assess the conditions of the sites, decide on specific programme needs and resolve recurrent problems.
A key benefit of ratification, particularly for developing countries, is access to the World Heritage Fund. Annually, about US$4 million is made available to assist States Parties in identifying, preserving and promoting World Heritage sites. Emergency assistance may also be made available for urgent action to repair damage caused by human-made or natural disasters. In the case of sites included on the List of World Heritage in Danger, the attention and the funds of both the national and the international community are focused on the conservation needs of these particularly threatened sites.
The Convention is governed by the World Heritage Committee supported by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the secretariat for the Convention, and three technical advisory bodies to the Committee: IUCN, ICOMOS, and ICCROM.
IUCN is the Advisory Body on natural heritage. It monitors listed sites and evaluates sites nominated to the World Heritage List, in accordance with the relevant natural criteria for selection (vii) – (x):
(vii) To contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;
(viii) To be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;
(ix) to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;
(x) To contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.