Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 2 July 2020

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1. Consider the following statements regarding the Yakshagana.
1. Yakshagana combines dance, music, dialogue, costume, make-up, and stage techniques with a unique style and form.
2. It is a dance-drama of South India, associated most strongly with the state of Manipur.
3. Its stories are drawn from Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavata and other epics from both Hindu and Jain and other ancient Indic traditions.
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-c
Explanation
Yakshagana
Yakshagana, dance-drama of South India, associated most strongly with the state of Karnataka.
Elaborate and colourful costumes, makeup, and masks constitute some of the most-striking features of the art form.
Traditionally, Yakshagana was performed in the open air by all-male troupes sponsored by various Hindu temples.
Since the mid-20th century, however, many performances have been held on indoor stages, and women began to train in the tradition in the 1970s.
With roots in Sanskrit literature and theatre, Yakshagana emerged as a form of dance-drama in the 16th century.
During the following 500 years, the Yakshagana corpus grew to include hundreds of plays, most written in Telugu or in the Kannada language, but only about five dozen of the works were actively performed in the 21st century.
The narratives are drawn primarily from the great Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata as well as from the tales of the youthful god Krishna as recounted in the Bhagavata-purana.
Historically, the cities of Tanjore (now Thanjavur) and Madura (now Madurai), both in the state of Tamil Nadu, and Mysore, in Karnataka, were centres of Yakshagana composition.
Among the most-notable texts are the Telugu Sugriva vijayam (“Sugriva’s Victory”; c. 1570) by Kandukur Rudra Kavi and the Kannada works of

Parti Subba (fl. c. 1800), who is known for his moving episodes and songs from the Ramayana.
Yakshagana performances use standard character types that are readily identifiable by the colour and design of the actors’ costumes and makeup. Red and black makeup, for example, would signal a demonic figure, while a pinkish yellow face, a prominent mark on the forehead, and a large teardrop-shaped turban would indicate a heroic character. There is, however, some regional variation in such costume codes.
The actors sometimes perform from a script and sometimes improvise their lines, in either case taking their cues from the lead musician, or Bhagavatar, who ultimately directs the production. In Karnataka the Bhagavatar sings and narrates to set the scene for the action, usually while playing a small handheld gong or finger cymbals called tala.
Some ensembles include both the cymbals and a gong, which is played by a second musician. The principal rhythmic component of the music is provided by two drummers, one playing a double-headed maddale, which is struck with the hands, and the other playing a double-headed centa, which is beaten with sticks.
Typically, a harmonium carries a drone to anchor the melodic activity. In some cases, the Bhagavatar may be supported by additional singers. Yakshagana is similar—if not directly related—to various forms of dance-drama in neighbouring states, most notably the kathakali classical form of Kerala and the terukkuttu street theatre of Tamil Nadu.
https://www.britannica.com/topic/yakshagana

2. Consider the following statements regarding the Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.
1. This deals with the acts of disobedience committed against the orders passed by a public servant, lawfully empowered to pass such orders.
2. The term of punishment in the cases of IPC Section 188 differs on the basis of the gravity of the offence committed.
3. There must be evidence that the accused had knowledge of the order with the disobedience of which he is charged.
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
Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code
Section 188 relates to Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant.
It says violators can be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, or with both; and if such disobedience causes or tends to cause danger to human life, health or safety, or causes or tends to cause a riot or affray, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.
What happens if you violate the lockdown orders?
Under Section 188, there two offences:
Disobedience to an order lawfully promulgated by a public servant, if such disobedience causes obstruction, annoyance or injury to persons lawfully employed
Punishment: Simple Imprisonment for 1 month or fine of Rs 200 or both
If such disobedience causes danger to human life, health or safety, etc.
Punishment: Simple Imprisonment for 6 months or fine of Rs 1000 or both
According to the First Schedule of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), 1973, both offences are cognizable, bailable, and can be tried by any magistrate.
These are extraordinary times, but under what circumstances is Sec 188 IPC invoked normally?
To be punishable under S. 188, the order has to be for public purposes by public functionaries. An order made in a civil suit between two parties does not fall under this Section.
There must be evidence that the accused had knowledge of the order with the disobedience of which he is charged. Mere proof of a general notification promulgating the order does not satisfy the requirements of the section. Mere disobedience of the order does not constitute an offence in itself, it must be shown that the disobedience has or tends to a certain consequence.
https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1432790/

3. Consider the following statements regarding the Carissa kopilii.
1. It is threatened by a hydroelectric project and acidic water of Kopili River.
2. It is a thorny plant whose berries are greenish and sour when raw and blackish and sweet when ripe.
3. It is distributed sparsely, rooted in rocky crevices along the Kopili riverbed of Tamilnadu.
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-b
Explanation
Carissa kopilii
Carissa kopilii is a wild variety of the more familiar Carissa carandas (also known as karonda in Hindi, kalakkai in Tamil, koromcha in Bengali and karja tenga in Assamese)
Carissa kopilii is distributed sparsely along the Kopili riverbed at altitudes ranging from 85-600 metres above sea level.
Kopili River is an interstate river that flows through the states of Meghalaya and Assam and is the largest south bank tributary of the Brahmaputra in Assam
The plant is threatened by a hydroelectric project on the river and water turned acidic because of coal mining in Meghalaya upstream.
Note-
The Carissa carandas was among several thorny plants the British used for a 1,100-mile barrier – called Great Hedge of India- apparently to enforce taxes and stop the smuggling of salt.
Carissa carandas has been used as a traditional herbal medicine for a number of ailments such as diarrhoea, anaemia, constipation, indigestion, skin infections and urinary disorders.
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/wild-berry-gets-a-new-cousin-in-assam-but-the-great-hedge-of-india-faces-threat/article31136504.ece

4. Consider the following statements with reference to the National Supercomputing Mission.
1. It is implemented by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Pune and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.
2. The Mission also includes development of highly professional High Performance Computing (HPC) aware human resource for meeting challenges of development of these applications.
3. The first supercomputer assembled indigenously, called Param Shivay, was installed in IIT (BHU) and was inaugurated by the Prime Minister.
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-
National Supercomputing Mission (NSM)
The Mission envisages empowering our national academic and R&D institutions spread over the country by installing a vast supercomputing grid comprising of more than 70 high-performance computing facilities.
These supercomputers are also be networked on the National Supercomputing grid over the National Knowledge Network (NKN). The NKN is another programme of the government which connects academic institutions and R&D labs over a high speed network. Academic and R&D institutions as well as key user departments/ministries would participate by using these facilities and develop applications of national relevance.
The Mission also includes development of highly professional High Performance Computing (HPC) aware human resource for meeting challenges of development of these applications.
The Mission implementation are bring supercomputing within the reach of the large Scientific & Technology community in the country; will provide significant qualitative and quantitative improvement in R&D and higher education in the disciplines of Science & Technology; and enable the country with a capacity of solving multi-disciplinary grand challenge problems. Currently, in the top Supercomputing machines in the world, a major share is taken from advanced countries such as the US, Japan, China and the European Union (EU).
This is created requisite expertise to build state-of-the-art next generation supercomputing. The Mission supports the government’s vision of “Digital India” and “Make in India” initiatives.
The 2020-21 is an important year for India’s National Supercomputing Mission (NSM).
The mission was set up to provide the country with supercomputing infrastructure to meet the increasing computational demands of academia, researchers, MSMEs, and startups by creating the capability design, manufacturing, of supercomputers indigenously in India.
A first of its kind attempt to boost the country’s computing power, the National Super Computing Mission is steered jointly by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) and Department of Science and Technology (DST) and implemented by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Pune and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.
The target of the mission was set to establish a network of supercomputers ranging from a few Tera Flops (TF) to Hundreds of Tera Flops (TF) and three systems with greater than or equal to 3 Peta Flops (PF) in academic and research institutions of National importance across the country by 2022. This network of Supercomputers envisaging a total of 15-20 PF was approved in 2015 and was later revised to a total of 45 PF (45000 TFs), a jump of 6 times more compute power within the same cost and capable of solving large and complex computational problems.
With the revised plan in place, the first supercomputer assembled indigenously, called Param Shivay, was installed in IIT (BHU) and was inaugurated by the Prime Minister. Similar systems Param Shakti and Param Brahma were installed at IIT-Kharagpur and IISER, Pune. They are equipped with applications from domains like Weather and Climate, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Bioinformatics, and Material science.
Plans are afoot to install three more supercomputers by April 2020, one each at IIT-Kanpur, JN Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bengaluru, and IIT-Hyderabad. This will ramp up the supercomputing facility to 6 PF.
11 new systems are likely to be set up in different IITs, NITs, National Labs, and IISERs across India by December this year, which will have many sub-systems manufactured and microprocessors designed in India which will bring in a cumulative capacity of 10.4 petaflops.
Spreading out the reach to the North-East region of the country, 8 systems with a total Compute Power of 16 PF are being commissioned. 5 indigenously designed systems with three 3 PF computing power will be installed at IIT-Mumbai, IIT-Chennai and Inter-University Accelerator Centre (IUAC) at Delhi with NKN as its backbone. It also includes an indigenously build 20 PF system at C-DAC, Pune, and a 100 PF Artificial Intelligence supercomputing system. One midlevel 650 TFs system is also to be installed at C-DAC Bengaluru to provide consultancy to Start-ups, SSIs & MSMEs.
Geared to provide Supercomputing facility to about 60-70 institutions Nation-wide and more than thousands of active Researchers, Academicians, and so on, NSM has gathered momentum and is moving fast not only towards creating a computer infrastructure for the country but also to build capacity of the country to develop the next generation of supercomputer experts.
https://pib.gov.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=200608
https://pib.gov.in/newsite/printrelease.aspx?relid=117702

5. Consider the following statements regarding the Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA).
1. PISA is coordinated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
2. It is an international assessment that measures 15-year-old students’ reading, mathematics, and science literacy every three years.
3. It was first conducted in 2000, since then India has participated in every assessment of PISA.
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-b
Explanation-
Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA)
Cabinet has already given ex-post facto approval to the Agreement between India and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for participating in the Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA), which will be conducted by the OECD in 2021. The Agreement was signed on 28th January 2019.
India’s participation in PISA
India had taken part in Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2009 and bagged the 72nd rank among 74 participating countries.
Then UPA government had boycotted PISA, blaming “out of context” questions for India’s dismal performance.
Later, the HRD Ministry, under the NDA-II government, revisited this decision in 2016 and the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) had set up a committee to review the matter and submitted its report in December 2016.
The report recommended for participation in test in 2018. However, India missed the application deadline for the 2018 cycle.
About PISA
It is an international assessment that measures 15-year-old students’ reading, mathematics, and science literacy every three years.
First conducted in 2000, the major domain of study rotates between reading, mathematics, and science in each cycle.
PISA also includes measures of general or cross-curricular competencies, such as collaborative problem solving.
PISA is coordinated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental organization of industrialized countries, and is conducted in the United States by NCES.
What makes PISA unique?
PISA is the only international education survey to measure the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds, an age at which students in most countries are nearing the end of their compulsory time in school.
PISA is also unique in the way it looks at:
Public policy issues.
Literacy.
Lifelong learning.
What might have gone wrong for India in 2009?
India performed very poorly – ranking 73rd out of 74 countries that participated in that round, finishing ahead of only Kazakhstan.
The result was so shocking that many people assume that it must have been an aberration.
Some feel that the students may not have been prepared for the test. Others believe that the students may have been tested in English, which they were not proficient in (actually, all students were tested in their medium of instruction.)
Still, others feel that the performance must have been poor because only government schools were tested – our private school students would have done much better.
But a well-publicized study by Education Initiatives (EI) in 2006 and repeated in 2012 established that even students of our top schools would perform well below the international average in grade 4.
Why assessments like the PISA turn out to be difficult for most Indian students?
The mentality that questions can be only from the textbook.
Very poor reading ability.
Process of answering questions – pattern-matching versus problem-solving.
When Indian students encounter PISA-type questions, many of them freeze at the first sign of the unfamiliar and decide that they have not ‘learnt this question type’ and cannot solve it.
Low understanding of processes or concepts and even comprehension skills.
https://www.oecd.org/pisa/aboutpisa/