Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 24 MARCH 2020 – The Core IAS

Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 24 MARCH 2020


1. MH60R Multi Role Helicopters (MRH) sometimes seen in the news, which of the following statement is incorrect regarding this?
(a) These helicopters are being procured as replacement for 15 Sea King Anti Submarine Warfare helicopters and Sea King 42B MRH.
(b) The deal for these Helicopters for the Indian Navy, which is likely to be signed with France.
(c) These Helicopters are capable of airborne low frequency sonar, electronic support measures and tactical communications.
(d) None of the above

2. Consider the following statements regarding the Estimation of Agriculture production of 2019-20.
1. Sugarcane is the only major crop where this year’s estimated production significantly lower than last year’s output.
2. Total food grain production is projected to scale an all time high of almost 392 million tonnes in 2019-20.
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. Consider the following statements with respect to The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).
1. IRDAI was constituted as an autonomous body under the IRDAI Act, 1999.
2. IRDAI is headquartered in New Delhi. Prior to 2001, it was headquartered in Hyderabad in Telangana.
3. Following the recommendations of the Malhotra Committee report, it was incorporated as a statutory body in April, 2000.
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

4. Consider the following statements with regarding Investment.
1. Investment is the act of putting money to work to start or expand a business with the goal of capital appreciation.
2. Green Field investments refer to a clean investment with sustainable practices and products/services.
3. The investment-savings and liquidity preference-money supply (IS-LM model) is a Keynesian model that shows how increases in investment at a national level translate to increases in economic demand, and vice-versa.
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

5. Consider the following statements regarding the Secularism in India.
1. The term ‘Secular’ was added to the preamble by the 42nd constitution Amendment Act of 1976.
2. The western concept of secularism requires complete separation of religion and state, however, in India, neither in law nor in practice any wall of separation between religion and the State exists.
3. The competitive politicisation of groups is resulting in inter-religious harmony.
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




Total food grain production is projected to scale an all time high of almost 292 million tonnes in 2019-20, propelled by record production of both rice and wheat, according to the Agriculture Ministry’s second advance estimates released.
Production of several crops, including rice and major pulses, was lower than targeted in the kharif or the monsoon season. However, the abundance of late monsoon rains resulted in cumulative rainfall that was 10% higher than the long period average for the season.

Despite the government’s drive to encourage millets and nutricereals, production failed to match targets this year, with the estimate pegged at 45.24 million tonnes.
It was a similar story with oil seeds. Production was estimated at almost 342 million tonnes, higher than last year but still lower than the target for this year.
Sugarcane is the only major crop where this year’s estimated production of 3,538 million tonnes was significantly lower than last year’s output of 4,054 million tonnes.


1991: Government of India begins the economic reforms programme and financial sector reforms
1993: Committee on Reforms in the Insurance Sector, headed by Mr. R. N. Malhotra, (Retired Governor, Reserve Bank of India) set up to recommend reforms.
1994: The Malhotra Committee recommends certain reforms having studied the sector and hearing out the stakeholders
Birth of IRDAI
Following the recommendations of the Malhotra Committee report, in 1999, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) was constituted as an autonomous body to regulate and develop the insurance industry. The IRDA was incorporated as a statutory body in April, 2000.
The key objectives of the IRDA include promotion of competition so as to enhance customer satisfaction through increased consumer choice and lower premiums, while ensuring the financial security of the insurance market.
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) set up as autonomous body under the IRDA Act, 1999
IRDAI’s Mission: To protect the interests of policyholders, to regulate, promote and ensure orderly growth of the insurance industry and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
IRDAI’s Activities
Frames regulations for insurance industry in terms of Section 114A of the Insurance Act 1938
From the year 2000 has registered new insurance companies in accordance with regulations
Monitors insurance sector activities for healthy development of the industry and protection of policyholders’ interests
IRDAI is headquartered in Hyderabad in Telangana. Prior to 2001, it was headquartered in New Delhi.
Composition of Authority
As per the section 4 of IRDAI Act’ 1999, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI, which was constituted by an act of parliament) specify the composition of Authority
The Authority is a ten member team consisting of
(a) A Chairman;
(b) Five whole-time members;
(c) Four part-time members,
(All appointed by the Government of India)


Investment is the act of putting money to work to start or expand a business or project or the purchase of an asset, with the goal of earning income or capital appreciation.
Investment is oriented toward future returns, and thus entails some degree of risk.
Common forms of investment include financial markets (e.g. stocks and bonds), credit (e.g. loans or bonds), assets (e.g. commodities or artwork), and real estate.
Investment and Economic Growth
Economic growth can be encouraged through the use of sound investments at the business level. When a company constructs or acquires a new piece of production equipment in order to raise the total output of goods within the facility, the increased production can cause the nation’s GDP to rise. This allows the economy to grow through increased production based on the previous equipment investment.
The (IS-LM model), which stands for “investment-savings” (IS) and “liquidity preference-money supply” (LM) is a Keynesian macroeconomic model that shows how increases in investment at a national level translate to increases in economic demand, and vice-versa.
The Uttar Pradesh government in its Budget 2020-21 set aside a fund of Rs 2,000 crore for the upcoming Jewar or the Noida International Greenfield Airport in Gautam Buddh Nagar.
This will be the third in the National Capital Region after Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport and Ghaziabad’s Hindon airport.
The word Green is also synonymous with the word new, which may allude to new construction projects by companies.
With Greenfield investing, a company will build its own, brand new facilities from the ground up.
The term Greenfield refers to buildings constructed on fields that were, literally, green.
Brownfield investment happens when a company purchases or leases an existing facility.
Brownfield’s can be an investment in abandoned, underutilized or contaminated properties, redeveloping these properties into productive projects.


The term “Secular” means being “separate” from religion, or having no religious basis. A secular person is one who does not owe his moral values to any religion. His values are the product of his rational and scientific thinking.
Secularism means separation of religion from political, economic, social and cultural aspects of life, religion being treated as a purely personal matter. It emphasized dissociation of the state from religion and full freedom to all religions and tolerance of all religions. It also stands for equal opportunities for followers of all religions, and no discrimination and partiality on grounds of religion.
Secularism in the History of India
Secular traditions are very deep rooted in the history of India. Indian culture is based on the blending of various spiritual traditions and social movements. In ancient India, the Santam Dharma (Hinduism) was basically allowed to develop as a holistic religion by welcoming different spiritual traditions and trying to integrate them into a common mainstream. The development of four Vedas and the various interpretations of the Upanishads and the Puranas clearly highlight the religious plurality of Hinduism. Emperor Ashoka was the first great emperor to announce, as early as third century B.C. that, the state would not prosecute any religious sect. In his 12th Rock Edict, Ashoka made an appeal not only for the toleration of all religion sects but also to develop a spirit of great respect toward them. Even after the advent of Jainism, Buddhism and later Islam and Christianity on the Indian soil, the quest for religious toleration and coexistence of different faiths continued.
In medieval India, the Sufi and Bhakti movements bond the people of various communities together with love and peace. The leading lights of these movements were Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, Baba Farid, Sant Kabir Das, Guru Nanak Dev, Saint Tukaram and Mira Bai etc. In medieval India, religious toleration and freedom of worship marked the State under Akbar. He had a number of Hindus as his ministers, forbade forcible conversions and abolished Jizya. The most prominent evidence of his tolerance policy was his promulgation of ‘Din-i-Ilahi’ or the Divine Faith, which had elements of both Hindu and Muslim faith. That this was not imposed upon the subjects is obvious from the fact that there were few adherents to it. Along with this he emphasized the concept of ‘sulh-i-kul’ or peace and harmony among religions. He even sponsored a series of religious debates which were held in the ‘Ibadat Khana’ of the Hall of Worship, and the participants in these debates included theologians from amongst Brahmins, Jains and Zoroastrians. Even before Akbar, Babar had advised Humayun to “shed religious prejudice, protect temples, preserve cows, and administer justice properly in this tradition.”
The spirit of secularism was strengthened and enriched through the Indian freedom movement too, though the British have pursued the policy of divide and rule.
In accordance with this policy, the British partitioned Bengal in 1905. Separate electorates were provided for Muslims through the Indian Councils Act of 1909, a provision which was extended to Sikhs, Indian Christians, Europeans and Anglo-Indians in certain provinces by the Government of India Act, 1919. Ramsay MacDonald Communal Award of 1932, provided for separate electorates as well as reservation of seats for minorities, even for the depressed classes became the basis for representation under the Government of India Act, 1935. However, Indian freedom movement was characterized by secular tradition and ethos right from the start. In the initial part of the Indian freedom movement, the liberals like Sir Feroz Shah Mehta, Govind Ranade, Gopal Krishna Gokhale by and large pursued a secular approach to politics. The constitution drafted by Pandit Moti Lal Nehru as the chairman of the historic Nehru Committee in 1928, had many provision on secularism as: ‘There shall be no state religion for the commonwealth of India or for any province in the commonwealth, nor shall the state, either directly or indirectly, endow any religion any preference or impose any disability on account of religious beliefs or religious status’. Gandhiji’s secularism was based on a commitment to the brotherhood of religious communities based on their respect for and pursuit of truth, whereas, J. L. Nehru’s secularism was based on a commitment to scientific humanism tinged with a progressive view of historical change. At present scenario, in the context of Indian, the separation of religion from the state constitutes the core of the philosophy of secularism.
Philosophy of Indian Secularism
The term ‘secularism’ is akin to the Vedic concept of ‘Dharma nirapekshata’ i.e. the indifference of state to religion. This model of secularism is adopted by western societies where the government is totally separate from religion (i.e. separation of church and state). Indian philosophy of secularism is related to “Sarva Dharma Sambhava” (literally it means that destination of the paths followed by all religions is the same, though the paths themselves may be different) which means equal respect to all religions. This concept, embraced and promoted by personalities like Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi is called ‘Positive secularism’ that reflects the dominant ethos of Indian culture.
India does not have an official state religion. However, different personal laws – on matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, alimony varies with an individual’s religion. Indian secularism is not an end in itself but a means to address religious plurality and sought to achieve peaceful coexistence of different religions.
Secularism and the Indian Constitution
There is a clear incorporation of all the basic principles of secularism into various provisions of constitution. The term ‘Secular’ was added to the preamble by the forty-second constitution Amendment Act of 1976, (India is a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic, republic). It emphasise the fact that constitutionally, India is a secular country which has no State religion. And that the state shall recognise and accept all religions, not favour or patronize any particular religion.
While Article 14 grants equality before the law and equal protection of the laws to all, Article 15 enlarges the concept of secularism to the widest possible extent by prohibiting discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
Article 16 (1) guarantees equality of opportunity to all citizens in matters of public employment and reiterates that there would be no discrimination on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth and residence.
Article 25 provides ‘Freedom of Conscience’, that is, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practise and propagate religion.
As per Article 26, every religious group or individual has the right to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes and to manage its own affairs in matters of religion.
As per Article 27, the state shall not compel any citizen to pay any taxes for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion or religious institution.
Article 28 allows educational institutions maintained by different religious groups to impart religious instruction.
Article 29 and Article 30 provides cultural and educational rights to the minorities.
Article 51A i.e. Fundamental Duties obliges all the citizens to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood and to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture.
Indian vs. Western Model of Secularism
Over the years, India has developed its own unique concept of secularism that is fundamentally different from the parallel western concept of secularism in the following ways:
As per the western model of secularism, the “State” and the “religion” have their own separate spheres and neither the state nor the religion shall intervene in each other’s affairs. Thus, the western concept of secularism requires complete separation of religion and state.
However, in India, neither in law nor in practice any ‘wall of separation’ between religion and the State exists. In India, both state and religion can, and often do, interact and intervene in each other’s affairs within the legally prescribed and judicially settled parameters. In other words, Indian secularism does not require a total banishment of religion from the State affairs.
As per the western model, the state cannot give any financial support to educational institutions run by religious communities. On the other hand, Indian model has chosen a positive mode of engagement. In India, the state provides all religious minorities the right to establish and maintain their own educational institutions which may receive assistance from state.
In the western model, State does not intervene in the affairs of religion till the time religion is working within the limits of the law. On the other hand, in Indian secularism, state shall interfere in religion so as to remove evils in it. India has intervened by enforcing legislation against the practices of sati or widow-burning, dowry, animal and bird sacrifice, child marriage, and preventing Dalits from entering temples.
In western concept of secularism, religion is relegated entirely to the private sphere and has no place in public life whatsoever. The western model prohibits any public policy to be drafted on the basis of religion therefore; state is absolutely distanced from the religious activities and practices of its citizens. In India, state has the policy of setting up Departments of Religious Endowments, Wakf Boards, etc. It is also involved in appointing Trustees of these boards.
Threats to Secularism
While, the Indian Constitution declares the state being absolutely neutral to all religion, our society has steeped in religion. Mingling of Religion and Politics that is mobilisation of votes on grounds of primordial identities like religion, caste and ethnicity, have put Indian secularism in danger.
Communal politics operates through communalization of social space, by spreading myths and stereotypes against minorities, through attack on rational values and by practicing a divisive ideological propaganda and politics.
Politicisation of any one religious group leads to the competitive politicisation of other groups, thereby resulting in inter-religious conflict.
One of the manifestations of communalism is communal riots. In recent past also, communalism has proved to be a great threat to the secular fabric of Indian polity.
Rise of Hindu Nationalism in recent years have resulted into mob lynching on mere suspicion of slaughtering cows and consuming beef.
In addition with this, forced closure of slaughterhouses, campaigns against ‘love jihad’, reconversion or ghar- wapsi (Muslims being forced to convert to Hinduism), etc. reinforces communal tendencies in society.
Islamic fundamentalism or revivalism pushes for establishing Islamic State based on sharia law which directly comes into conflict with conceptions of the secular and democratic state.
In recent years there have been stray incidences of Muslim youth being inspired and radicalized by groups like ISIS which is very unfortunate for both India and world.
Way Forward
In a pluralistic society, the best approach to nurture secularism is to expand religious freedom rather than strictly practicing state neutrality.
It is incumbent on us to ensure value-education that makes the younger generation understands and appreciates not only its own religious traditions but also those of the other religions in the country.
There is also a need to identify a common framework or a shared set of values which allows the diverse groups to live together.
The prerequisites to implement the social reform initiative like Uniform Civil Code are to create a conducive environment and forging socio-political consensus.

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