Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 21 August 2020

1. Consider the following statements with respect to the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
1. It was founded in 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, independent India’s first Education Minister.
2. It is an autonomous organisation of the Government of India, involved in India’s cultural diplomacy.
3. It has been assigned the responsibility of facilitating the celebration of the International Day of Yoga by Indian Missions/Posts abroad since 2015.
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-
Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR)
The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) was founded in 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, independent India’s first Education Minister.
Its objectives are to actively participate in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes pertaining to India’s external cultural relations; to foster and strengthen cultural relations and mutual understanding between India and other countries; to promote cultural exchanges with other countries and people, and to develop relations with nations.
It is an autonomous organisation of the Government of India, involved in India’s external cultural relations (cultural diplomacy), through cultural exchange with other countries and their peoples.
It has been assigned the responsibility of facilitating the celebration of the International Day of Yoga by Indian Missions/Posts abroad since 2015.
It is trying to propagate Hindi in the country as well as abroad. The Council has published regularly Gagananchal bio-Monthly magazine, which is distributed in the Indian Missions abroad, Indian Cultural Centers, various Universities and Libraries, Members of Parliamentary Official Language Committee, Members of LokSabha and Members of RajyaSabha and Contributor etc.
Apart from this, Hindi Pakhwada is organized every year. During this time, different competitions were organized for the officers and employees of the Council. The Council also participates in Hindi conferences in foreign countries.
It has instituted several awards, which are conferred upon the foreign nationals for their contributions in different fields, under its mandate of promoting India’s cultural relations. Such awards include–
Distinguished Indologist Award– The annual “ICCR Distinguished Indologist Award” was instituted in 2015 during the First World Indology Conference hosted in India.
Award is conferred upon a foreign scholar for his contribution in study, teaching and research in any of the fields of Indian Studies.
World Sanskrit Award- The institution of annual “World Sanskrit Award” was announced during the 16th World Sanskrit Conference held in Bangkok in June 2015 recognizing the contribution of foreign scholars in promoting Sanskrit studies.
Distinguished Alumni Award – Citation and Plaque: Recognizing the achievements of foreign students who studied in India. It was instituted in 2015.
Gisela Bonn Award – Annual Gisela Bonn Award was instituted by ICCR in 1996 in the name of famous German journalist, writer, environmental activist and Indologist, Gisela Bonn, to honour her services to bolster Indo-German relations.
https://www.iccr.gov.in/

2. Consider the following statements with respect to the DR.B.R.AMBEDKAR.
1. He founded the Independent Labour Party, which contested the 1937 Bombay election to the Central Legislative Assembly.
2. He started magazines like Mooknayak, Equality Janta and Bahishkrit Bharat.
3. He advocated separate electorates for the Depressed Classes or Dalits.
4. He was part of the Bombay Presidency Committee that worked with the Simon Commission in 1925.
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-
DR.B.R.AMBEDKAR
Popularly known as Baba Saheb. He was the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly and is called the ‘Father of the Indian Constitution’.
He was a jurist and an economist. Born into a caste that was considered untouchable, he faced many injustices and discrimination in society. He was born in Mhow in the Central Provinces (modern-day Madhya Pradesh) to a Marathi family with roots in Ambadawe town of Ratnagiri, Maharashtra.
He was a brilliant student and had doctoral degrees in economics from Columbia University and the London School of Economics.
Ambedkar was against the caste-based discriminations in society and advocated the Dalits to organise and demand their rights.
He promoted the education of Dalits and made representations to the government in various capacities in this regard. He was part of the Bombay Presidency Committee that worked with the Simon Commission in 1925.
He established the Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha to promote education and socio-economic improvements among the Dalits. He started magazines like Mooknayak, Equality Janta and Bahishkrit Bharat.
In 1927, he launched active agitation against untouchability. He organised and agitated for the right of Dalits to enter temples and to draw water from public water resources. He condemned Hindu scriptures that he thought propagated caste discrimination.
He advocated separate electorates for the ‘Depressed Classes’, the term with which Dalits were called at that time. He was in disagreement with Mahatma Gandhi at that time since Gandhi was against any sort of reservation in the electorates. When the British government announced the ‘Communal Award’ in 1932, Gandhi went on a fast in Yerwada Jail. An agreement was signed between Gandhi and Ambedkar in the jail whereby it was agreed to give reserved seats to the depressed classes within the general electorate. This was called the Poona Pact.
Ambedkar founded the Independent Labour Party (later transformed into the Scheduled Castes Federation) in 1936 and contested in 1937 from Bombay to the Central Legislative Assembly. He also contested from Bombay (north-central) after independence in the country’s first general elections. But he lost both times.
India became an Independent nation on 15 August, 1947 and Babasaheb Ambedkar was appointed as the Union Law Minister and Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee, which was given the responsibility to write India’s new Constitution.
Babasaheb Ambedkar’s text provided constitutional guarantees and protections for a wide range of civil liberties for individual citizens, including freedom of religion, the abolition of untouchability and the outlawing of all forms of discrimination. Granville Austin described the Indian Constitution as ‘first and foremost a social document’.
He argued for equality and also won wide support for introducing a system of reservations of jobs for members of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in the civil services, schools and colleges. This was aimed at providing a voice to people who had suffered grave injustices through centuries.
The Constituent Assembly formally approved the draft Constitution on 26 November 1949 and Babasaheb’s greatest work, the Indian Constitution, became our way of life on 26 January 1950.
Struggle was a part of Babasaheb’s life as he had to work hard for everything he achieved. While he is remembered for his relentless crusade for a new social order, the Indian nation shall always remain indebted to him for giving us a Constitution that defines our core values as a nation.
He also worked as Minister of Labour in the Viceroy’s Executive Council. After independence, Ambedkar became the first Law Minister in 1947 under the Congress-led government. Later he resigned due to differences with Jawaharlal Nehru on the Hindu Code Bill.
He was appointed to the Rajya Sabha in 1952 and remained a member till his death.
He advocated a free economy with a stable Rupee. He also mooted birth control for economic development. He also emphasised equal rights for women.
A few months before he died, he converted to Buddhism in a public ceremony in Nagpur and with him lakhs of Dalits converted to Buddhism.
He authored several books and essays. Some of them are: The Annihilation of Caste, Pakistan or the Partition of India, The Buddha and his Dhamma, The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India, Administration and Finance of the East India Company, etc.
Ambedkar considered the Right to Constitutional Remedy as the soul of the constitution.
Ambedkar died of ill health in 1956 at Delhi. He was cremated according to Buddhist rites in Dadar and a memorial is constructed there. The place is called Chaitya Bhoomi.
https://www.inc.in/en/our-inspiration/dr-b-r-ambedkar
https://byjus.com/free-ias-prep/ncert-notes-dr-b-r-ambedkar/

3. Consider the following statements regarding the Outer Space Treaty, 1967.
1. It is international treaty binding the parties to use outer space only for peaceful purposes.
2. The treaty only forbids countries from deploying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction in outer space, but not ordinary weapons.
3. India signed the treaty in March 1967; however, it not ratified this treaty till now due to some significant concerns.
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-
Outer Space Treaty, 1967
Outer Space Treaty, formally Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, (1967), international treaty binding the parties to use outer space only for peaceful purposes.
In June 1966 the United States and the Soviet Union submitted draft treaties on the uses of space to the United Nations.
These were reconciled during several months of negotiation in the Legal Subcommittee of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, and the resulting document was endorsed by the UN General Assembly on Dec. 19, 1966, and opened for signature on Jan. 27, 1967.
The treaty came into force on Oct. 10, 1967, after being ratified by the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and several other countries.
Under the terms of the treaty, the parties are prohibited from placing nuclear arms or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit, on the Moon, or on other bodies in space.
Nations cannot claim sovereignty over the Moon or other celestial bodies. Nations are responsible for their activities in space, are liable for any damage caused by objects launched into space from their territory, and are bound to assist astronauts in distress.
Their space installations and vehicles shall be open, on a reciprocal basis, to representatives of other countries, and all parties agree to conduct outer-space activities openly and in accordance with international law.
The term Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) is not defined, but it is commonly understood to include nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.
The treaty, however, does not prohibit the launching of ballistic missiles, which could be armed with WMD warheads, through space.
105 countries are states-parties to the treaty, while another 26 have signed it but have not yet completed ratification.
India signed the treaty in March 1967; however, it took another 15 years for the Indian Parliament to ratify it in 1982.
The Outer Space Treaty provides the basic framework on international space law, including the following principles:
• The exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries and shall be the province of all mankind;
• Outer space shall be free for exploration and use by all States;
• Outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means;
• States shall not place nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on celestial bodies or station them in outer space in any other manner;
• The Moon and other celestial bodies shall be used exclusively for peaceful purposes;
• astronauts shall be regarded as the envoys of mankind;
• States shall be responsible for national space activities whether carried out by governmental or non-governmental entities;
• States shall be liable for damage caused by their space objects; and
• States shall avoid harmful contamination of space and celestial bodies.
https://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/spacelaw/treaties/introouterspacetreaty.html

4. Consider the following statements regarding the SAFE PLUS Scheme.
1. It will provide emergency working capital of up to one crore rupees to small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) against their confirmed government orders.
2. The scheme is launched to provide financial assistance to MSMEs engaged in manufacturing of hand sanitizers, masks, gloves, head gear, bodysuits, shoe-covers, ventilators and goggles used in dealing with COVID-19.
3. The scheme is launched by the Ministry of Finance.
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-
SAFE PLUS Scheme
The Small Industries Development Bank of India – SIDBI will provide emergency working capital of up to one crore rupees to small and medium enterprises(MSMEs) against their confirmed government orders.
The Small Industries Development Bank of India – SIDBI announced that the SIDBI Assistance to Facilitate Emergency response against Corona virus (SAFE PLUS) will be offered collateral free and disbursed within 48 hours.
The loans will be offered at an interest rate of five per cent.
In a press release, SIDBI informed that the loans will be offered at an interest rate of five per cent. Meanwhile, the bank further informed that the limit of SAFE loans, announced a few days back has been enhanced from 50 lakh rupees to two crore rupees.
The scheme was launched to provide financial assistance to MSMEs engaged in manufacturing of hand sanitizers, masks, gloves, head gear, bodysuits, shoe-covers, ventilators and goggles used in dealing with COVID-19.
http://newsonair.com/News?title=SIDBI-to-provide-emergency-working-capital-of-up-to-Rs-1-crore-to-MSMEs&id=384998

5. Consider the following statements with reference to the Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).
1. It is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease, which means that immune system attacks healthy, cells in patient body by mistake, causing inflammation in the affected parts of the body.
2. It can affect joints and other tissues throughout the body and cause problems in organs such as the lungs, heart, and eyes.
3. Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is a DMARD used to treat arthritis, such as rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis.
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
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease, which means that your immune system attacks healthy, cells in your body by mistake, causing inflammation (painful swelling) in the affected parts of the body.
RA mainly attacks the joints, usually many joints at once. RA commonly affects joints in the hands, wrists, and knees. In a joint with RA, the lining of the joint becomes inflamed, causing damage to joint tissue. This tissue damage can cause long-lasting or chronic pain, unsteadiness (lack of balance), and deformity (misshapenness).
RA can also affect other tissues throughout the body and cause problems in organs such as the lungs, heart, and eyes.
Signs and symptoms of RA include:
• Pain or aching in more than one joint.
• Stiffness in more than one joint.
• Tenderness and swelling in more than one joint.
• The same symptoms on both sides of the body (such as in both hands and both knees).
• Weight loss.
• Fever.
• Fatigue or tiredness.
• Weakness.
What causes RA?
RA is the result of an immune response in which the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy cells. The specific causes of RA are unknown, but some factors can increase the risk of developing the disease.
What are the risk factors for RA?
Researchers have studied a number of genetic and environmental factors to determine if they change person’s risk of developing RA.
How is RA diagnosed?
RA is diagnosed by reviewing symptoms, conducting a physical examination, and doing X-rays and lab tests.
It’s best to diagnose RA early—within 6 months of the onset of symptoms—so that people with the disease can begin treatment to slow or stop disease progression (for example, damage to joints).
Diagnosis and effective treatments, particularly treatment to suppress or control inflammation, can help reduce the damaging effects of RA.
Who should diagnose and treat RA?
A doctor or a team of doctors who specialize in care of RA patients should diagnose and treat RA. This is especially important because the signs and symptoms of RA are not specific and can look like signs and symptoms of other inflammatory joint diseases. Doctors who specialize in arthritis are called rheumatologists, and they can make the correct diagnosis.
How is RA treated?
RA can be effectively treated and managed with medication(s) and self-management strategies. Treatment for RA usually includes the use of medications which slow disease and prevent joint deformity, called disease-modifying anti rheumatic drugs (DMARDs); biological response modifiers (Biologicals) are medications that are an effective second-line treatment.
Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is a DMARD used to treat inflammatory types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis.
What are the complications of RA?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has many physical and social consequences and can lower quality of life. It can cause pain, disability, and premature death.
https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/rheumatoid-arthritis.html