Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 19 FEB 2020

1. Consider the following statements regarding India-Central Asia Business Council.
1. The central government and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) together launched India-Central Asia Business Council recently.
2. This council will bring together Indian businessmen and diplomats from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
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. Consider the following statements with respect to Palestine.
1. Palestine referred to the geographic area situated between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
2. None of UNO member states recognize Palestine as an independent state.
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

3. “Operation Twist” seen in the news recently is associated with:
(a) Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy
(b) DRDO and ISRO
(c) Reserve Bank of India
(d) None

4. Consider the following statements regarding RajyaSabha.
1. It has the same power as that of LokSabha with respect to constitutional amendment.
2. NOTA is used in both LokSabha and RajyaSabha election in India.
3. No type of Financial Bill can originate from RajyaSabha.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

15. Which of the following Port and Country is correctly matched?
Port Country
1. Chabahar port Iran
2. Sabang port Seychelles
3. Duqm port UAE
4. Sittwe port Myanmar
Choose the correct option.
(a) 1 and 4 only
(b) 1, 2 and 4 only
(c) 2, 3 and 4 only
(d) 2 and 4 only

 

1.Answer-c
Explanation
In yet another initiative to boost business amid an economic slowdown, the central government and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) together on Thursday launched India-Central Asia Business Council. India Central Asia Business Council will bring together Indian businessmen and diplomats from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The Council will also share its recommendations on how to promote business in the region and with each other.
External Affairs minister S. Jaishankar who was present at the launch called it a “significant step” especially in view of the fact that “despite excellent bilateral relations, it is a matter of concern that India’s combined annual trade with the five Central Asian countries remains well below two billion US dollars.” He recommended the Council to examine the viability of establishing air corridors between and Central Asia to boost trade in perishable goods, agricultural and food products.
Though energy sector is a top priority but the lack of land route connectivity between India and Central Asia due to hostile relationship with Pakistan and instability in Afghanistan, remains a major hurdle. It has delayed the much-awaited Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline.
Jaishankar acknowledged that there is a challenge of lack of efficient overland connectivity, which he said, will be overcome through the Chabahar port in Iran. It will be the “fulcrum of connectivity for Indian goods to reach Afghanistan and further north and for the landlocked Central Asia to find access to the ocean,” he said.
In the Union Budget, the government has allocated Rs 100 crore for the port this year. India will also continue working on International North South Transport Corridor (NSTC) and the Ashgabat Agreement, he said.

 

2. Answer-a
Explanation
Recently, the US President released the Middle East plan, ‘Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People’. The plan says Jerusalem will not be divided, and it will remain “the sovereign capital of the State of Israel”. The capital of Palestine can occupy far-flung eastern neighborhoods lying beyond “the existing security barrier”, which can be renamed Al Quds, the Arabic name for Jerusalem.
According to the plan, Jerusalem’s holy sites should be subject to the same governance regimes that exist today, and should remain open and available for peaceful worshippers of all faiths.
Palestine referred to the geographic region located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.
United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3236, adopted by the General Assembly on November 22, 1974 recognizes the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, officializes UN contact with the Palestine Liberation Organization. More than 135 United Nations member countries recognize Palestine as an independent state. Israel and some other countries, including the United States, don’t make this distinction as an independent state.

The Territorial Puzzle
West Bank: The West Bank is sandwiched between Israel and Jordan. One of its major cities is Ramallah, the de facto administrative capital of Palestine. Israel took control of it in the 1967 war and has over the years established settlements there.
Gaza: The Gaza Strip located between Israel and Egypt. Israel occupied the strip after 1967, but relinquished control of Gaza City and day-to-day administration in most of the territory during the Oslo peace process. In 2005, Israel unilaterally removed Jewish settlements from the territory, though it continues to control international access to it.
Golan Heights: The Golan Heights is a strategic plateau that Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 war. Israel effectively annexed the territory in 1981. Recently, the USA has officially recognized Jerusalem and Golan Heights a part of Israel.
Palestinian Authority- Created by the 1993 Olso Accords, it is the official governing body of the Palestinian people, led by President Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah faction. Hobbled by corruption and by political infighting, the PA has failed to become the stable negotiating partner its creators had hoped.
Fatah- Founded by the late Yasir Arafat in the 1950s, Fatah is the largest Palestinian political faction. Unlike Hamas, Fatah is a secular movement, has nominally recognized Israel, and has actively participated in the peace process.
Hamas- Hamas is regarded as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. In 2006, Hamas won the Palestinian Authority’s legislative elections. It ejected Fatah from Gaza in 2007, splitting the Palestinian movement geographically, as well.
Two-State Solution
The “two state solution” is based on a UN resolution of 1947 which proposed two states – one would be a state where Zionist Jews constituted a majority, the other where the Palestinian Arabs would be a majority of the population. The idea was however rejected by the Arabs.
For decades, it has been held by the international community as the only realistic deal to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Why is the solution so difficult to achieve?
Borders: There is no consensus about precisely where to draw the line – with Israel building settlements and constructing barriers in areas like the West Bank that creates a de facto border. This makes it difficult to establish that land as part of an independent Palestine, breaking it up into non-contiguous pieces.
Jerusalem: Both sides claim Jerusalem as their capital and consider it a center of religious worship and cultural heritage making its division difficult. In December 2017, Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital and the step found support from the USA, intensifying the situation in the region.
Refugees: Large numbers of Palestinians who fled their homes in what is now Israel, during the preceding wars as well as their descendants believe they deserve the right to return but Israel is against it.
Divided Political Leadership on Both sides: The Palestinian leadership is divided – two-state solution is supported by Palestinian nationalists in West Bank but the leadership in Gaza does not even recognize Israel. Further, while successive Israeli Prime Ministers – Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert and Benjamin Netanyahu – have all accepted the idea of a Palestinian state, they have differed in terms of what it should actually comprise.

 

3.Answer-c
Explanation
In a first, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced a simultaneous sale and purchase of government bonds under the Open Market Operations mechanism, on lines of the “Operation Twist” that was last adopted by the US Federal Reserve in 2013. Operation Twist is a move taken by U.S. Federal Reserve to make long-term borrowing cheaper.
What is Operation Twist?
Operation Twist is the name given to a US Federal Reserve monetary policy operation. It involves the purchase and sale of government securities to boost the economy by bringing down long-term interest rates. It normally leads to lower longer-term yields, which will help boost the economy by making loans less expensive for those looking to buy homes, cars and finance projects. But saving becomes less desirable because it doesn’t pay as much interest.

4.Answer-a
Explanation-
NOTA is used only in direct elections and hence it is not used in elections to Rajya Sabha. It was incorporated in elections after the Supeme Court verdict in 2013.
A financial bill of category-II is one which has provisions involving expenditure from Consolidated Fund of India but does not have anything mentioned in article 110. Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha can introduce such a bill and share equal power. However recommendation of the President is essential for consideration and passing of these Bills by either House.

 

5.Answer-a
Explanation-
Port Country
Chabahar port Iran
Sabang port Indonesia
Duqm port Oman
Sittwe port Myanmar