Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 24 June 2020

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1. Consider the following statements with respect to the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
1. Selection Committee of NHRC consists of the PM, Home minister, Leaders of the Opposition in both houses, the Speaker and the Deputy-Chairman.
2. The Commission shall, while inquiring into complaints under this Act, have all the powers of a civil court trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
3. The Act provides for three persons having knowledge of human rights to be appointed as members of the NHRC.
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
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
NHRC, India has been set up by an Act of Parliament under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 for the protection and promotion of human rights.
The functions of the Commission as stated in Section 12 of the Act and apart from enquiry into complaints of violation of human rights or negligence in the prevention of such violation by a public servant, the Commission also studies treaties and international instruments on human rights and make recommendations for their effective implementation to the Government.
The Commission is responsible for spreading of human rights awareness amongst the masses and encouraging the efforts of all stake holders in the field of human rights literacy not only at the national level but at international level too.
NHRC is a unique institution because it is one of the few National Human Rights Institutes (NHRIs) in the world whose Chairperson is the former Chief Justice of the country. The world looks at NHRC of India as a role model in promoting and monitoring effective implementation of promotion and protection of human rights.
Section 2(1) (d) of the PHR Act defines Human Rights as the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants and enforceable by courts in India.
The NHRC, India plays an active role in coordinating with other NHRIs of the world to enhance awareness from the perspective of human rights. It has also hosted delegations from UN Bodies and other National Human Rights Commissions as well as members of civil society, lawyers and political and social activists from many countries.
What are the provisions of the Act?
Composition of NHRC: The chairperson of the NHRC is a person who has been a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
The Act provides for 2 persons having knowledge of human rights to be appointed as members of the NHRC.
Members of the NHRC: The chairpersons of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, and National Commission for Women.
Chairperson of SHRC: A person who has been a Chief Justice of a High Court.
Term of office: The chairperson and members of the NHRC and SHRC will hold office for 5 years or till the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier.
The Act allows for the reappointment of members of the NHRC and SHRCs for a period of 5 years.
Powers of Secretary-General: The Act provides for a Secretary-General of the NHRC and a Secretary of a SHRC, who exercise powers as may be delegated to them.
The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019 What are the amendments made?
Composition of NHRC: The Bill provides that a person who has been Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or a Judge of the Supreme Court can be the chairperson of the NHRC.
The Bill allows 3 members to be appointed, of which at least one will be a woman.
Members of the NHRC: The chairpersons of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, and National Commission for Women, National Commission for Backward Classes, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights, and the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities.
Chairperson of SHRC: The Bill provides for a person who has been Chief Justice or Judge of a High Court can be chairperson of a SHRC.
Term of office: The Bill reduces the term of office to 3 years or till the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier.
The Bill removes the five-year limit for reappointment found in the act.
Powers of Secretary-General: The Bill allows the Secretary-General and Secretary to exercise all administrative and financial powers (except judicial functions), subject to the respective chairperson‘s control.
Union Territories: The Bill provides that the central government may confer on a SHRC human rights functions being discharged by Union Territories. Functions relating to human rights in the case of Delhi will be dealt with by the NHRC.
Facts
It is a statutory autonomous body created under provisions of Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
In 1993, the UN General Assembly adopted the Paris Principles on Human Rights.
This led to the constitution of national human rights institutions in almost every country.
NHRC was established in conformity with the Paris Principles.
It can only make recommendations, without the power to enforce decisions.
Selection Committee – Tasked with appointing the chairperson and the members, the committee is dominated by the ruling party.
It consists of the PM, Home minister, Leaders of the Opposition in both houses, the Speaker and the Deputy-Chairman.
‘President’ appoints the chairperson and members of the NHRC on the recommendation of a committee.
Powers relating to inquiries—
(1) The Commission shall, while inquiring into complaints under this Act, have all the powers of a civil court trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), and in particular in respect of the following matters, namely:—
(a) Summoning and enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath;
(b) Discovery and production of any document;
(c) Receiving evidence on affidavits;
(d) Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office;
(e) Issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents;
(f) Any other matter which may be prescribed.
18(e) the Commission shall send a copy of its inquiry report together with its recommendations to the concerned Government or authority and the concerned Government or authority shall, within a period of one month, or such further time as the Commission may allow, forward its comments on the report, including the action taken or proposed to be taken thereon, to the Commission.

2. Consider the following statements about Jayaprakash Narayan.
1. In 1948, he left the Congress Party and in 1952 formed the Praja Socialist Party.
2. He devoted his life exclusively to the Bhoodan Yajna Movement, founded by Vinoba Bhave, which demanded that land be distributed among the landless.
3. He argued for a reconstruction of Indian polity by means of a four-tier hierarchy of village, district, state, and union councils.
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-
Jayaprakash Narayan
Jayaprakash Narayan, also spelled Jai Prakash Narain, also called Jaya Prakash Narayan, (born October 11, 1902, Sitab Diyara, India—died October 8, 1979, Patna), Indian political leader and theorist.
Narayan was educated at universities in the United States, where he became a Marxist. Upon his return to India in 1929, he joined the Indian National Congress (Congress Party).
In 1932 he was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment for his participation in the civil disobedience movement against British rule in India.
Upon release he took a leading part in the formation of the Congress Socialist Party, a left-wing group within the Congress Party, the organization that led the campaign for Indian independence.
He was imprisoned by the British again in 1939 for his opposition to Indian participation in World War II on the side of Britain, but he subsequently made a dramatic escape and for a short time tried to organize violent resistance to the government before his recapture in 1943.
After his release in 1946 he tried to persuade the Congress leaders to adopt a more militant policy against British rule.
In 1948 he, together with most of the Congress Socialists, left the Congress Party and in 1952 formed the Praja Socialist Party.
Soon becoming dissatisfied with party politics, he announced in 1954 that he would thenceforth devote his life exclusively to the Bhoodan Yajna Movement, founded by Vinoba Bhave, which demanded that land be distributed among the landless.
His continuing interest in political problems, however, was revealed when in 1959 he argued for a “reconstruction of Indian polity” by means of a four-tier hierarchy of village, district, state, and union councils.
In 1974 Narayan suddenly burst on the Indian political scene as a severe critic of what he saw as the corrupt and increasingly undemocratic government of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Although he gained a following from students and opposition politicians, there was less enthusiasm from the masses.
The next year a lower court convicted Gandhi of corrupt election practices, and Narayan called for her resignation. Instead, she declared a national emergency and jailed Narayan and other opposition leaders.
In prison his health broke down. He was released after five months but never regained his health. When Gandhi and her party were defeated in elections in 1977, Narayan advised the victorious Janata party in its choice of leaders to head the new administration.
Jayaprakash Narayan was posthumously conferred with India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, for his “invaluable contribution to the freedom struggle and upliftment of the poor and downtrodden”.
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Jayaprakash-Narayan

3. Consider the following statements regarding the Furlough.
1. The period of furlough granted to a prisoner is treated as remission of his sentence.
2. It is seen as a matter of right for a prisoner, to be granted periodically irrespective of any reason, and merely to enable the prisoner to retain family and social ties, and to counter the ill-effects of prolonged time spent in prison.
3. Furlough is given in cases of long-term imprisonment.
Which of the statements given above 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-
Furlough
This is a concept broadly similar to parole, but with some significant differences.
Furlough is given in cases of long-term imprisonment. The period of furlough granted to a prisoner is treated as remission of his sentence.
Furlough is seen as a matter of right for a prisoner, to be granted periodically irrespective of any reason, and merely to enable the prisoner to retain family and social ties, and to counter the ill-effects of prolonged time spent in prison.
Parole, by contrast, is not seen as a matter of right, and is given to a prisoner for a specific reason, such as a death in the family or a wedding of a blood relative.
Parole may be denied to a prisoner even when he makes out a sufficient case, if the competent authority is satisfied that releasing the convict would not be in the interest of society.
Parole is often not granted to convicts sentenced to death, or to those who, in the opinion of jail authorities, are likely to flee when released from prison.

4. Consider the following statements regarding the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).
1. It is a public private initiative that has collaboratively evolved through consultations with multiple constituencies including Indian and international academia, state and central governments, multi & bi-lateral agencies and civil society groups.
2. It is a response to redress the limited institutional capacity in India for strengthening training, research and policy development in the area of Public Health.
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
Answer-c
Explanation-
Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI)
The Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) is a public private initiative that has collaboratively evolved through consultations with multiple constituencies including Indian and international academia, state and central governments, multi & bi-lateral agencies and civil society groups. PHFI is a response to redress the limited institutional capacity in India for strengthening training, research and policy development in the area of Public Health.
Structured as an independent foundation, PHFI adopts a broad, integrative approach to public health, tailoring its endeavours to Indian conditions and bearing relevance to countries facing similar challenges and concerns. The PHFI focuses on broad dimensions of public health that encompass promotive, preventive and therapeutic services, many of which are frequently lost sight of in policy planning as well as in popular understanding.
The Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, launched PHFI on March 28, 2006 at New Delhi. PHFI recognizes the fact that meeting the shortfall of health professionals is imperative to a sustained and holistic response to the public health concerns in the country which in turn requires health care to be addressed not only from the scientific perspective of what works, but also from the social perspective of, who needs it the most.
https://phfi.org/about/phfi-a-think-tank-academic-and-research-institution/
https://www.who.int/workforcealliance/members_partners/member_list/phfi/en/

5. Consider the following statements regarding the House Sparrow.
1. The common bird that lived in the cavities of houses and polished off leftover food, today sits on the red list of the Critically endangered species of IUCN.
2. The male and female are easily distinguishable, not in size but in coloration.
3. Fossil evidence from a cave in Bethlehem dating back 4, 00,000 years suggests that the house sparrow shared its space with early humans.
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-
https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1607296
https://www.wwfindia.org/about_wwf/priority_species/threatened_species/house_sparrow/