Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 26 June 2020

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  1. Consider the following statements regarding the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
    1. The Bill amends Indian Institutes of Information Technology Act, 2014 and the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Public-Private Partnership) Act, 2017.
    2. The Bill seeks to declare five Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) set up under the Public Private Partnership mode in Surat, Bhopal, Bhagalpur, Agartala, and Raichur as institutions of national importance.
    3. Currently, these institutes are registered as Societies under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and do not have the power to grant degrees or diplomas.
    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 Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020
    The Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Human Resource Development, Mr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ on March 4, 2020.
    The Bill amends Indian Institutes of Information Technology Act, 2014 and the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Public-Private Partnership) Act, 2017.
    The Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Public-Private Partnership) Act, 2017 declares certain Indian Institutes of Information Technology established under Public-Private Partnership mode as institutions of national importance. Under the Act, 15 institutes are currently incorporated as institutions of national importance.
    The Bill seeks to declare five Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) set up under the Public Private Partnership mode in Surat, Bhopal, Bhagalpur, Agartala, and Raichur as institutions of national importance.
    Currently, these institutes are registered as Societies under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and do not have the power to grant degrees or diplomas. On being declared institutions of national importance, the five institutes will be granted the power to grant degrees.
    https://www.prsindia.org/billtrack/indian-institutes-information-technology-laws-amendment-bill-2020

2. Consider the following statements with respect to the Bara Imambara.
1. This was built in the year 1784 by the fourth Nawab of Awadh known as Asaf-ud-Daula.
2. It is an important place of worship for the Muslims who come here every year to celebrate the religious festival of Muharram.
3. The structure shows the mixture of Rajput and Mughal architectures with Gothic influences.
4. This is known for its incredible maze called Bhulbhulaiya.
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-
The Bara Imambara, Lucknow
Lucknow, the capital of the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh is a modern city that can boast of having magnificent historical monuments. Situated at the banks of river Gomti, tributary of the Ganga, Lucknow is known for its gardens, parks and unique archaeological monuments. Famous as the city of Nawabs, Lucknow has retained its charm as a bastion of culinary and cultural delights.
The people of this city are known for their exquisite charm, courtesy and flair of the Urdu language. Lucknow is also famous for its exclusive ‘chikan’ embroidered dress materials.
The city is home to ‘Bara Imambara’, a historical edifice with such a marvellous architecture that even modern architects seem to be perplexed by its design.
The Imambara was built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula in 1784 and its designer was Kifayat-ullah who is said to be a relative of the architect of the Taj Mahal.
Built by the Nawab in a famine relief programme, this fort like huge and elegant structure is also called Asafai Imambara.
The structure shows the mixture of Rajput and Mughal architectures with Gothic influences. The Bara Imambara is an interesting building. It is neither a mosque, nor a mausoleum, but a huge building having interesting elements within it.
The construction of the halls and the use of vaults show a strong Islamic influence.
The Bara Imambara is, in fact, a great hall built at the end of a spectacular courtyard approached through two magnificent triple-arched gateways. The central hall of the Imambara is almost 50 meters in length and 16-meter wide.
The ceiling of this column less hall is more than 15-meter high.
The hall is one of the largest of its kind in the world without any external support of wood, iron, or stone beams.
The roof has been put together with interlocking bricks without using a beam or a girder. Hence, it is viewed as a unique achievement of architecture. The building, which consists of three huge halls, has an amazing maze of corridors hidden in between its walls that are about 20 feet thick.
This dense, dark maze called the ‘bhul bhulaiya’ is to be explored only if you are strong-hearted. It is a network of more than 1000 labyrinthine passages, some of which have dead-ends, some end at precipitous drops while others lead to entrance or exit points.
Another intriguing structure at the Imambara is the five-storied baoli (step well), which belongs to the pre-Nawabi era. Called the Shahi-Hammam (royal bath), this baoli is connected with the river Gomti. Only the first two stories are above water, the rest being perennially under water.
https://knowindia.gov.in/culture-and-heritage/monuments/the-bara-imambara-lucknow.php
http://www.lucknow.org.uk/tourist-attractions/bara-imambara.html

3. Consider the following statements regarding the Airport Health Organization (APHO).
1. The APHOs work under Indian Aircraft (Public Health) rules 1954 & International Health Regulations, 2005.
2. GOI Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is signatory to the International Health Regulations, 2005 framed by the World Health Organization.
3. Main purpose for which the organization was created was to contain import/export of serious infectious diseases, Clearance of Dead Human Remains imported from abroad, Aircraft disinsection, etc.
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-
Airport Health Organization (APHO)
The APHOs work under Indian Aircraft (Public Health) rules 1954 & IHR-2005. The Aircraft (Public Health) Rules-1954 was framed by central Govt. of India, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 8A of The Aircraft Act 1934.
Main purpose for which the organization was created was to (i) contain import/export of serious infectious diseases, (ii) Inspect and certify Food establishments at Airports and its vicinity, (iii) maintain Hygiene and Sanitation, (iv) Clearance of Dead Human Remains imported from abroad, (v) Aircraft disinsection, etc.There was a time when Cholera, Plague, Typhoid, Typhus, Small Pox, Anthrax, Glanders, Yellow Fever, Polio etc were the diseases of Public Health importance (in other words emergency). Later only Cholera, Plague and Yellow Fever were the diseases of Public Health importance. Currently, now with passage of time & general improvement in sanitation & hygiene, the diseases that draw the attention of GOI are Glanders, Anthrax, Yellow Fever, Plague – which, all the four are epidemiologically notifiable diseases of Public Health emergency. GOI Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is signatory to the International Health Regulations, 2005 framed by the World Health Organization. Lately since Polio has re-infected certain countries totaling seven therefore travelers travelling between these seven countries and India are required to have Polio Vaccination from a designated and authorized center.
Major Functions of Airport Health Organization (APHO)
Airport Quarantine work: The inspection of documents of international passengers referred by immigration staff for yellow fever disease at International airports and referral of suspect travellers to designated quarantine facility.
Disinfection, disinsection and deratting of aircrafts including inspection and supervision of control measures.
Supervision of sanitation, quality of drinking water supply, anti-mosquito and anti- rodent work inside airports.
Public health clearance of Dead bodies/human remains.
Administration of yellow fever vaccine and issue of yellow fever vaccination certificate.
Arrangements for the quarantine of yellow-fever suspects at designated quarantine facilities.
To attend aircraft medical emergencies.
Food inspection for VVIP.
Inspection of food stuff, catering establishments inside the premises of airport under the FSSAI, 2011.
Assistance in sampling of imported food items and forwarding the lab analysis report, as and when requested by custom authorities.
Inspection and Licensing of eating establishments within the local limits of airports as designated officer under FSSAI, 2006.
Activities during Public Health Emergencies of International Concern (PHEIC) like passenger screening, isolation & quarantine, contact listing, aircraft disinsection, transportation, arranging logistics for various public health measures etc.
To undertake effective surveillance activities on international travellers, aircrafts, cargos, conveyances, goods, postal parcels & human remains so as to prevent the spread of disease of international concern.
To ensure a safe environment for travellers using point of entry facilities, including potable water supplies, eating establishments, flight catering facilities, public washrooms, appropriate solid and liquid waste disposal services and other potential risk areas.
To co-ordinate with all service providers and stake holders to ensure minimum core facilities requirement as per IHR, 2005.
http://www.ihrpoe.co.in/apho.php

4. Consider the following statements regarding the Indian leopard (Panthera pardus-fusca).
1. Melanism is a common occurrence in leopards, wherein the entire skin of the animal is black in colour, including its spots.
2. The Indian leopard is a Schedule-I species, protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and is listed as ‘Endangered’ under the IUCN Red Data List.
3. In India, the leopard is found in all forest types, from tropical rainforests to temperate deciduous and alpine coniferous forests.
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-c
Explanation-
The Indian leopard is one of the big cats occurring on the Indian subcontinent, apart from the Asiatic lion, Bengal tiger, snow leopard and clouded leopard.
The Indian leopard or Common leopard (Panthera pardus-fusca) is a Schedule-I species, protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ under the IUCN Red Data List.
Characteristics:
The leopard is the smallest of the big cats, and is known for its black-spotted coat.
A nocturnal animal, the leopard hunts by night.
An extremely agile creature, it spends most of its resting time on top of trees, using land only to move locations, but rarely to rest or nap.
It is known to carry its prey up on trees. This is especially common in leopards that share their habitat with tiger.
Melanism:
Melanism is a common occurrence in leopards, wherein the entire skin of the animal is black in colour, including its spots.
A melanistic leopard is often called Black Panther or jaguar, and mistakenly thought to be a different species.
Habitat: In India, the leopard is found in all forest types, from tropical rainforests to temperate deciduous and alpine coniferous forests. It is also found in dry scrubs and grasslands, the only exception being desert and the mangroves of Sundarbans.
Distribution: It shares its territory with the tiger in 17 states. Its range stretches from the Indus river in the west, the Himalayas in the north, and all the way to the lower course of the Brahmaputra in the east.
Population: In 2014, a national census of leopards around tiger habitats was carried out in India except the northeast. 7,910 individuals were estimated in surveyed areas and a national total of 12,000-14,000 was speculated.
Status:
Listed on a par with Tigers under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972.
Listed in Appendix I of CITES.
Listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
Conservation Issues: Major threats are man-animal conflicts, availability of prey base and road/train accidents.
https://www.worldlandtrust.org/species/mammals/indian-leopard/

5. Justice J.S. Verma Committee is recently seen in news, which of the following statement is incorrect regarding this?
(a) It was constituted to recommend amendments to the Criminal Law so as to provide for quicker trial and enhanced punishment for criminals accused of committing sexual assault against women.
(b) It made recommendations on laws related to rape, sexual harassment, trafficking, and child sexual abuse, medical examination of victims, police, electoral and educational reforms.
(c) The Committee recommended that the gradation of sexual offences should be retained in the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC).
(d) None of the above
Answer-d
Explanation-
Justice J.S. Verma Committee
Justice Verma Committee was constituted to recommend amendments to the Criminal Law so as to provide for quicker trial and enhanced punishment for criminals accused of committing sexual assault against women. The Committee submitted its report on January 23, 2013.
Background: On December 23, 2012 a three member Committee headed by Justice J.S. Verma, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was constituted to recommend amendments to the Criminal Law so as to provide for quicker trial and enhanced punishment for criminals accused of committing sexual assault against women. The other members on the Committee were Justice Leila Seth, former judge of the High Court and Gopal Subramanium, former Solicitor General of India.
The Committee submitted its report on January 23, 2013. It made recommendations on laws related to rape, sexual harassment, trafficking, and child sexual abuse, medical examination of victims, police, electoral and educational reforms. We summarise the key recommendations of the Committee.
Rape: The Committee recommended that the gradation of sexual offences should be retained in the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC).
The Committee was of the view that rape and sexual assault are not merely crimes of passion but an expression of power. Rape should be retained as a separate offence and it should not be limited to penetration of the vagina, mouth or anus. Any non-consensual penetration of a sexual nature should be included in the definition of rape.
The IPC differentiates between rape within marriage and outside marriage. Under the IPC sexual intercourse without consent is prohibited. However, an exception to the offence of rape exists in relation to un-consented sexual intercourse by a husband upon a wife. The Committee recommended that the exception to marital rape should be removed. Marriage should not be considered as an irrevocable consent to sexual acts. Therefore, with regard to an inquiry about whether the complainant consented to the sexual activity, the relationship between the victim and the accused should not be relevant.
Sexual assault: Currently, “assault or use of criminal force to a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty” is punishable under Section 354 of the IPC with 2 years imprisonment. The term outraging the modesty of a woman is not defined in the IPC. Thus, where penetration cannot be proved, the offence is categorized as defined under Section 354 of the IPC.
The Committee recommended that non-penetrative forms of sexual contact should be regarded as sexual assault. The offence of sexual assault should be defined so as to include all forms of non-consensual non-penetrative touching of a sexual nature. The sexual nature of an act should be determined on the basis of the circumstances. Sexual gratification as a motive for the act should not be prerequisite for proving the offence. The offence should be punishable with 5 years of imprisonment, or fine, or both.
Use of criminal force to disrobe a woman should be punishable with 3 to 7 years of imprisonment.
Verbal sexual assault: At present, use of words or gestures to “insult a woman’s modesty” is punishable with 1 year of imprisonment or fine or both under Section 509 of the IPC. This section should be repealed. The Committee has suggested that use of words, acts or gestures that create an unwelcome threat of a sexual nature should be termed as sexual assault and be punishable for 1 year imprisonment or fine or both.
Sexual harassment: Some of the key recommendations made by the Committee on the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill, 2012 that is pending in Parliament are provided below:
Domestic workers should be included within the purview of the Bill.
Under the Bill the complainant and the respondent are first required to attempt conciliation. This is contrary to the Supreme Court judgment in Vishakha vs. State of Rajasthan which aimed to secure a safe workplace to women.
The employer should pay compensation to the woman who has suffered sexual harassment.
The Bill requires the employer to institute an internal complaints committee to which complaints must be filed. Such an internal committee defeats the purpose of the Bill and instead, there should be an Employment Tribunal to receive and adjudicate all complaints.
Acid attack: The Committee opined that the offence should not be clubbed under the provisions of grievous hurt which is punishable with 7 years imprisonment under the IPC. It noted that the offence was addressed in the Criminal Laws Amendment Bill, 2012 which is currently pending in Parliament. The Bill prescribes a punishment of imprisonment for 10 years or life. It recommended that the central and state government create a corpus to compensate victims of crimes against women.
Offences against women in conflict areas: The continuance of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in conflict areas needs to be revisited. At present, the AFSPA requires a sanction by the central government for initiating prosecution against armed forces personnel. The Committee has recommended that the requirement of sanction for prosecution of armed forces personnel should be specifically excluded when a sexual offence is alleged. Complainants of sexual violence must be afforded witness protection. Special commissioners should be appointed in conflict areas to monitor and prosecute for sexual offences. Training of armed personnel should be reoriented to emphasise strict observance of orders in this regard by armed personnel.
Trafficking: The Committee noted that the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act, 1956 did not define trafficking comprehensively since it only criminalised trafficking for the purpose of prostitution. It recommended that the provisions of the IPC on slavery be amended to criminalise trafficking by threat, force or inducement. It also recommended criminalising employment of a trafficked person. The juvenile and women protective homes should be placed under the legal guardianship of High Courts and steps should be taken to reintegrate the victims into society.
Child sexual abuse: The Committee has recommended that the terms ‘harm’ and ‘health’ be defined under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 to include mental and physical harm and health, respectively, of the juvenile.
Punishment for crimes against women: The Committee rejected the proposal for chemical castration as it fails to treat the social foundations of rape. It opined that death penalty should not be awarded for the offence of rape as there was considerable evidence that death penalty was not deterrence to serious crimes. It recommended life imprisonment for rape.
Medical examination of a rape victim: The Committee has recommended the discontinuation of the two-finger test which is conducted to determine the laxity of the vaginal muscles. The Supreme Court has through various judgments held that the two-finger test must not be conducted and that the previous sexual experience of the victim should not be relied upon for determining the consent or quality of consent given by the victim.
Police reforms: The Committee has recommended certain steps to reform the police. These include establishment of State Security Commissions to ensure that state governments do not exercise influence on the state police. Such Commissions should be headed by the Chief Minister or the Home Minister of the state. The Commission would lay down broad policy guidelines so that the Police act according to the law. A Police Establishment Board should be established to decide all transfers, postings and promotions of officers. Director General of Police and Inspector General of Police should have a minimum tenure of 2 years.
Reforms in management of cases related to crime against women:
A Rape Crisis Cell should be set up. The Cell should be immediately notified when an FIR in relation to sexual assault is made. The Cell must provide legal assistance to the victim.
All police stations should have CCTVs at the entrance and in the questioning room.
A complainant should be able to file FIRs online.
Police officers should be duty bound to assist victims of sexual offences irrespective of the crime’s jurisdiction.
Members of the public who help the victims should not be treated as wrong doers.
The police should be trained to deal with sexual offences appropriately.
Number of police personnel should be increased. Community policing should be developed by providing training to volunteers.
Electoral reforms: The Committee recommended the amendment of the Representation of People Act, 1951. Currently, the Act provides for disqualification of candidates for crimes related to terrorism, untouchability, and secularism, fairness of elections, sati and dowry. The Committee was of the opinion that filing of charge sheet and cognizance by the Court was sufficient for disqualification of a candidate under the Act. It further recommended that candidates should be disqualified for committing sexual offences.
Education reforms: The Committee has recommended that children’s experiences should not be gendered. It has recommended that sexuality education should be imparted to children. Adult literacy programs are necessary for gender empowerment.
https://www.prsindia.org/report-summaries/justice-verma-committee-report-summary
https://www.prsindia.org/uploads/media/Justice%20verma%20committee/js%20verma%20committe%20report.pdf