Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 20 August 2020

1. Consider the following statements with reference to the Advisory Board for Banking Frauds (ABBF).
1. It has been constituted by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in consultation with the RBI.
2. It functions as the first level of examination of all large fraud cases before recommendations are made to the investigative agencies by the respective public sector banks (PSBs).
3. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) may also refer any case or matter to the board where it has any issue or difficulty or in technical matters with the PSB concerned.
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
Advisory Board for Banking Frauds (ABBF)
The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has constituted Advisory Board for Banking Frauds (ABBF) to examine bank fraud over Rs 50 crore and recommend action.
The panel in its previous avatar called the Advisory Board on Bank, Commercial and Financial Frauds.
The ABBF, formed in consultation with the RBI, would function as the first level of examination of all large fraud cases before recommendations or references are made to the investigative agencies by the respective public sector banks (PSBs).
The four-member board’s jurisdiction would be confined to those cases involving the level of officers of General Manager and above in the PSB in respect of an allegation of a fraud in a borrowal account.
Lenders would refer all large fraud cases above Rs 50 crore to the board and on receipt of its recommendation or advice; the bank concerned would take further action in such matter.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) may also refer any case or matter to the board where it has any issue or difficulty or in technical matters with the PSB concerned.
The tenure of the Chairman and members would be for a period of two years.
It further said the board will also periodically carry out frauds analysis in the financial system and give inputs for policy formulation related to the fraud to the RBI.


Headquartered in Delhi, the Reserve Bank of India will provide required secretarial services, logistic and analytical support along with the necessary funding to the board.
In a bid to check such incidences, the government has already issued the ‘framework for timely detection, reporting, and investigation relating to large-value bank frauds’ to PSBs, which makes it clear that all accounts exceeding Rs 50 crore, if classified as an NPA, should be examined by banks from the angle of possible fraud, and a report be placed before the bank’s Committee for Review of NPAs based on the findings of the investigation.
Besides, the PSBs have been advised to obtain a certified copy of the passport of promoters/directors and other authorised signatories of companies taking loan facilities of more than Rs 50 crore.
https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/cvc-rejigs-advisory-board-will-first-examine-all-large-fraud-cases-in-psbs/article29236214.ece#

2. Consider the following statements regarding the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL).
1. It is a statutory Board constituted officially in 2003 under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. 2. It is chaired by the Minister of Environment Forest and Climate Change and is responsible for promotion of conservation and development of wildlife and forests.
3. The board is advisory in nature and can only advise the Government on policy making for conservation of wildlife.
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
National Board for Wildlife (NBWL)
National Board for Wildlife is a statutory Board constituted officially in 2003 under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
The NBWL is chaired by the Prime Minister and is responsible for promotion of conservation and development of wildlife and forests.
The board is advisory in nature and can only advise the Government on policy making for conservation of wildlife.
It is an important body because it serves as an apex body for the review of all wildlife-related matters and for the approval of projects in and around national parks and sanctuaries.
The standing committee of NBWL is chaired by the Minister of Environment Forest and Climate Change.
The standing committee approves all the projects falling within protected wildlife areas or within 10 km of them.
Functions
This is an advisory board that offers advice to the central government on issues of wildlife conservation in India.
It is also the apex body to review and approve all matters related to wildlife, projects of national parks, sanctuaries, etc.
The chief function of the Board is to promote the conservation and development of wildlife and forests.
https://pib.gov.in/newsite/erelcontent.aspx?relid=18417

3. Consider the following statements with reference to the Fall Armyworm (FAW).
1. The IUCN has launched a Global Action for FAW Control as a response to the international threat posed by the armyworms.
2. It is a dangerous transboundary insect with a high potential to spread rapidly due to its natural distribution capacity.
3. It is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas.
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-a
Explanation
Fall Armyworm (FAW)
The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, is a lepidopteran pest that feeds in large numbers on the leaves, stems and reproductive parts of more than 350 plant species, causing major damage to economically important cultivated grasses such as maize, rice, sorghum, sugarcane and wheat but also other vegetable crops and cotton.
Native to the Americas, it has been repeatedly intercepted at quarantine in Europe and was first reported from Africa in 2016 where it caused significant damage to maize crops.
In 2018, S. frugiperda was first reported from the Indian subcontinent.
It has since invaded Bangladesh, Thailand, Myanmar, China and Sri Lanka.
The ideal climatic conditions for fall armyworm present in many parts of Africa and Asia, and the abundance of suitable host plants suggests the pest can produce several generations in a single season, and is likely to lead to the pest becoming endemic.
S. frugiperda is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas.
The moth lives year-round from as far south as Argentina, to as far north as southern Florida and Texas.
S. frugiperda is a tropical species adapted to the warmer parts of the New World; the optimum temperature for larval development is reported to be 28°C, but it is lower for both oviposition and pupation.
In the tropics, breeding can be continuous with four to six generations per year, but in northern regions only one or two generations develop; at lower temperatures, activity and development cease, and when freezing occurs all stages are usually killed.
Fall armyworm occurs in two races: a ‘rice strain’ (R strain) and a ‘corn strain’ (C strain).
Control and Elimination:
Farmers need significant support to manage FAW sustainably in their cropping systems through Integrated Pest Management (IPM) activities.
FAW cannot be eliminated.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has launched a Global Action for FAW Control as a response to the international threat posed by the armyworms.
A live tracking tool for fall armyworm in India has been developed by PEAT, CABI and ICRISAT.
FAW represents a real threat to food security and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers by spreading across all of sub-Saharan Africa, the Near East and Asia.
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/armyworm-attack-adds-to-covid-19-woes-of-assam-farmers/article31288116.ece

4. Consider the following statements with reference to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
1. It is a New York based international NGO whose mission is to save wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature.
2. It has its global mission in India since 1988, beginning with a detailed study of tiger ecology.
3. Its goal is to conserve the world’s largest wild places in 14 priority regions, home to more than 50% of the world’s biodiversity.
4. WCS has developed advanced statistical models for wildlife population assessments as also many wildlife study techniques that are now finding application globally.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 1, 2 and 4 only
(b) 2, 3 and 4 only
(c) 1, 2 and 3 only
(d) All of the above
Answer-d
Explanation-
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is a New York City-based organization that currently works to conserve more than two million square miles of wild places around the world. It was founded in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society (NYZS).
The Wildlife Conservation Society is committed to saving wildlife and wild places worldwide.
It does so through science, conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo.
WCS is committed to this mission which believes is essential to the integrity of life on earth.
WCS’s goal is to conserve the world’s largest wild places in 14 priority regions, home to more than 50% of the world’s biodiversity.
This is outlined in our 2020 strategy, which positions WCS to maintain its historic focus on the protection of species while developing an ambitious plan to engage with a rapidly changing world.
Mission
WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature.
Vision
WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth.
The WCS-India mission
Wildlife Conservation Society has furthered its global mission in India since 1988, beginning with a detailed study of tiger ecology.
The WCS-India mission combines research on wildlife with conservation practices and national capacity-building through constructive collaborations with governmental and non-governmental partners.
Its work has helped tiger recovery efforts in a big way. WCS has developed advanced statistical models for wildlife population assessments as also many wildlife study techniques that are now finding application globally.
The India program can be traced back to 1963, to the first-ever scientific study of wild tigers by Dr. George Schaller.
Two decades later, WCS scientist Dr. Ullas Karanth initiated the first detailed ecological study of tigers in India employing radio telemetry at Nagarahole in Karnataka.
This research project went on to become a successful country-wide effort to study and save India’s national animal.
India ranks among the 17 mega-diverse nations of the world and is host to 52 of the 226 carnivores on earth. Lions, tigers, snow leopards, leopards, hyenas, dholes and three species of bears are some of these.
India has a rich vertebrate fauna that is a spectacular combination of Indo-Malayan, Afro-tropical and Palaearctic elements.
There are over 600 nature reserves in the country, which cover about five per cent of the land. However, human population growth and increasing consumption and aspirations pose serious conservation challenges.
WCS – India addresses these challenges by employing research that informs conservation decisions, and works with local groups to enable interventions to reduce conflicts.
WCS partner with India’s Central and State governments, local and international NGOs in the task of securing wildlife and wild places.
http://wcsindia.org/home/about-us/
https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/poaching-not-coronavirus-is-the-bigger-threat-says-tiger-expert/article31292709.ece
5. Consider the following statements with respect to MAULANA ABUL KALAM AZAD.
1. He started a weekly journal in Urdu called Al-Hilal which played an important role in forging Hindu-Muslim unity.
2. In the field of education, He had been an uncompromising exponent of universalism, a truly liberal and humanitarian educational system.
3. He became the first education minister of free India and remained at this post until his death.
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-
MAULANA ABUL KALAM AZAD
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, originally named Muhiyuddin Ahmad, was born on 11th November 1888 in Mecca, Saudi-Arabia who was an Islamic theologian and was one of the leaders of the Indian independence movement against British rule in the first half of the 20th century.
He was highly respected throughout his life as a man of high moral integrity.
Azad was the son of an Indian Muslim scholar living in Mecca and his Arabic wife.
The family moved back to India, when he was young, and he received a traditional Islamic education at home from his father and other Islamic scholars rather than at a madrasah. However, he was also influenced by the emphasis that Indian educator Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan placed on getting a well-rounded education, and he learned English without his father’s knowledge.
Azad became active in journalism when he was in his late teens, and in 1912 he began publishing a weekly Urdu-language newspaper in Calcutta, Al-Hilal (“The Crescent”).
The paper quickly became highly influential in the Muslim community for its anti-British stance, notably for its criticism of Indian Muslims who were loyal to the British.
Al-Hilal was soon banned by British authorities, as was a second weekly newspaper that he had started.
By 1916 he had been banished to Ranchi, where he remained until the beginning of 1920. Back in Calcutta, he joined the Indian National Congress (Congress Party) and galvanized India’s Muslim community through an appeal to pan-Islamic ideals.
He was particularly active in the short-lived Khilafat movement (1920–24), which defended the Ottoman sultan as the caliph (the head of the worldwide Muslim community) and even briefly enlisted the support of Mohandas K. Gandhi.
Azad and Gandhi became close, and Azad was involved in Gandhi’s various civil-disobedience (Satyagraha) campaigns, including the Salt March (1930).
He was imprisoned several times between 1920 and 1945, including for his participation in the anti-British Quit India campaign during World War II.
Azad was president of the Congress Party in 1923 and again in 1940–46—though the party was largely inactive during much of his second term, since nearly all of its leadership was in prison.
After the war Azad was one of the Indian leaders who negotiated for Indian independence with the British.
He tirelessly advocated for a single India that would embrace both Hindus and Muslims while strongly opposing the partition of British India into independent India and Pakistan.
He later blamed both Congress Party leaders and Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, for the ultimate division of the subcontinent.
After the two separate countries were established, he served as minister of education in the Indian government of Jawaharlal Nehru from 1947 until his death.
In the field of education, He had been an uncompromising exponent of universalism, a truly liberal and humanitarian educational system.
Azad’s ideal was a fusion of the Eastern and Western concepts of man, to create a fully integrated personality. Whereas the Eastern concept dwelt on spiritual excellence and individual salvation, the Western concept laid stress on worldly achievements and social progress.
His Works: Basic Concept of Quran, Ghubar-eKhatir, Dars-e-Wafa, India Wins Freedom, etc.
Indian Council for Cultural Relations
The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) was founded in 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
His autobiography, India Wins Freedom, was published posthumously in 1959.
In 1992, decades after his death, Azad was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award.
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Abul-Kalam-Azad