Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 27 May 2020

1. Consider the following statements regarding the National Institute of Health & Family Welfare (NIHFW).
1. The NIHFW is an autonomous organization, under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and acts as an ‘apex technical institute’ as well as a ‘think tank’ for the promotion of health and family welfare programmes in the country.
2. It was established by merging National Institute of Health Administration and Education (NIHAE) and the National Institute of Family Planning (NIFP).
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-
The National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW)
The National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW), was established on 9th March, 1977 by the merger of two national level institutions, viz. the National Institute of Health Administration and Education (NIHAE) and the National Institute of Family Planning (NIFP).
The NIHFW, an autonomous organization, under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, acts as an ‘apex technical institute’ as well as a ‘think tank’ for the promotion of health and family welfare programmes in the country.
The Institute addresses a wide range of issues on health and family welfare from a variety of perspectives through the departments of Communication, Community Health Administration, Education and Training, Epidemiology, Management Sciences, Medical Care and Hospital Administration, Population Genetics and Human Development, Planning and Evaluation, Reproductive Bio-Medicine, Statistics and Demography and Social Sciences.

2. Consider the following statements regarding the Qutb Shahi Architecture.
1. The Qutb Shahi tombs collectively constitute an outstanding example of an Indo-Muslim dynastic necropolis and is the most extensive and best epigraphically documented in all of India.
2. Charminar was the first monument in the world constructed using lime mortar and granite.
3. Golconda is a fortified citadel and an early capital city of the Qutb Shahi dynasty.
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-
Qutb Shahi Architecture
Fort of Golconda, Qutb Shahi Tombs and Charminar, located in Hyderabad, are the landmarks that together symbolize the Qutb Shahi Dynasty (1518 A.D. to 1687 A.D.).
The city of Hyderabad served as the capital of the Qutb Shahis, the Asaf Jahi Nizams and is now the capital of the state of Telangana.
Qutb Shahi Islamic Sultanate was one of the five prominent dynasties that emerged in the Deccan following the downfall of the Bahmani Dynasty in 1518 A.D.
Seven rulers of the Dynasty ruled for 170 years and successfully resisted the Mughal attack till 1687 A.D. It was the last kingdom to be absorbed in the expanding Mughal Empire.
The monuments of the Qutb Shahi period represent different building typologies.
Golconda Fort
Golconda is a fortified citadel and an early capital city of the Qutb Shahi dynasty.
Within its stone fortifications that cover a length of over seven kilometers, the Golconda Fort envelopes a medieval Islamic settlement.
The historic structures range from military and defensive structures, mortuary baths, silos, mosques, gardens, residential quarters, pavilions and royal courts, showcasing the entire range of structures that catered to life in a medieval fortified town in India.
The fort at one point housed precious diamonds such as the Hope diamond, Nassak diamond, and the Koh-i-Noor diamond, one of India’s most precious gems.
Qutb Shahi Tombs
The tombs of Qutb Shahis are a mausoleum complex, a royal necropolis (cemetery) which comprises the tombs of the Royal family and the officials who faithfully served them and also mortuary bath and mosques.
The complex consists of 30 tombs, mosques and a mortuary bath. The Qutb Shahi tombs collectively constitute an outstanding example of an Indo-Muslim dynastic necropolis and are the most extensive and best epigraphically documented in all of India.
The tombs are graceful structures with intricately carved stonework. The tombs display a distinctive style, a mixture of Persian, Pathan and Hindu forms.
The material used for constructing these tombs was grey granite embellished with stucco (durable finish for exterior walls) ornamentation.
The tombs form a large cluster and stand on a raised platform. They are domed structures built on square bases surrounded by pointed arches.
Each tomb stands on a wide quadrangular terrace approached on all sides by flights of steps. The galleries of the smaller tombs are single storied while the larger ones are two storied.
Charminar
Charminar is a ceremonial Gateway built to celebrate the foundation of Hyderabad, a new Millennial City, in 1591 A.D.
Its date of construction that marks the beginning of the second Islamic millennium, an event that was widely celebrated in the Islamic world and therefore suggestive of Hyderabad being deliberately founded as a “Millennial” city.
It was the first monument in the world constructed using lime mortar and granite; it was only after its construction that the architects throughout the world recognised the strength of lime-mortar in raising huge structures.
It stands at the crossing of two arterial axes in the old city of Hyderabad and forms the symbolic fulcrum of the city, with its four gateways oriented towards the cardinal directions.
Charminar provided a point of origin and reference point for the planning grid that determined the layout of the city of Hyderabad.

3. Consider the following statements regarding the Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDM).
1. The National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NPNSPE) or the ‘Mid-day Meal’ (MDM) scheme was launched as a centrally sponsored scheme in August 2002.
2. This is a school meal programme of the Government of India designed to improve the nutritional status of school-age children nationwide.
3. MDM scheme provides an excellent platform for integration with complementary inputs like these owing to its extensive coverage and social intervention.
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-a
Explanation-
Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDM)
The National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NPNSPE) was launched as a centrally sponsored scheme on 15th August 1995, in 2,408 blocks in the country as a dry ration scheme with a view to increase enrolment, retention and attendance and simultaneously improving the nutritional levels among primary school students. Under this scheme, food grains at the rate of 3 kgs/month/ student was provided to all the children of Classes I-V in all government, local body and government-aided schools in all the States and Union Territories (UTs) subject to a minimum of 80% attendance of such children. Around 1997- 1998, NP-NSPE or the ‘Mid-day Meal’ (MDM) scheme was extended to all the blocks of the country.
The landmark judgment by the Hon. Supreme Court of India dated 28th November, 2001 mandated the provision of a cooked mid-day meal to every child in every government and government-assisted primary schools with a minimum content of 300 calories and 8-12 grams of protein per day for a minimum of 200 days. The Government of India had the responsibility of providing free supply of food grains at 100 grams per student per school day and subsidised transportation cost of food grains upto a maximum of Rs. 50 per quintal. There was no provision for cooking cost and many states including the likes of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Gujarat etc. provided for the same from their own budgets.
The following years showed significant improvements- inclusion of children studying in Education Guarantee Scheme (EGS) and Alternative and Innovative Education (AIE) centres under the purview of the ‘Mid-day Meal Scheme (2002)’. Central Assistance for cooking cost, transport subsidy, etc. has been revised subsequently. Two decades have passed since the mid-day meal became a part of the daily routine in government schools nationwide. In this long passage of time, procedures have stabilised but accidents continue to occur. Funds from the Centre flow smoothly though procurement of food items faces hurdles of different kinds.
The Midday Meal Scheme is a school meal programme of the Government of India designed to improve the nutritional status of school-age children nationwide.
Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which India is a party, India has committed to provide “adequate nutritious foods” for children. The main objective of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme is to attain the goal of universalization of primary• education. Most countries, advanced as well as developing, have some sort of school meal programme.
Benefits of the scheme
Promote the participation of the child in school especially the disadvantaged sections (especially girls, Dalits and Adivasis). Reduce classroom hunger, promote better learning and facilitate the healthy growth of a child
Lead to better enrolment and retention in schools.
The increase has been more rapid with respect to girls and children belonging to SC/ST categories. Promotes good eating habits like washing ones hands, finishing ones food, etc,
Fosters social and gender equality as all children get the same food and must eat together and boosting female attendance in school.
Provides nutritional support to children in drought affected areas during summer vacation.

4. Consider the following statements regarding the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
1. Its provisions include mandatory reporting of offences, having child-friendly procedures, and punishment according to the gravity of the offence etc.
2. National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and State Commissions for the Protection of Child Rights (SCPCRs) are the designated body to monitor the implementation of this Act.
3. The Act is a comprehensive law to provide for the protection of children from the offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography.
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-
https://pib.gov.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=113750

5. “Shared economy”, often seen in the news, which of the following best describes this?
(a) It is an economic model defined as a peer-to-peer based activity of acquiring, providing, or sharing access to goods and services that is often facilitated by a community-based on-line platform.
(b) It describes to the sharing of intelligence services between any two countries for strategic reasons.
(c) It describes to the economic activity in the services sector that includes sharing the digital data to a cloud server.
(d) It describes to the sharing of forest community resources by the local governments with the tribal communities in order to promote sustainable life.
Answer-a
Explanation-
Sharing Economy
The sharing economy is an economic model defined as a peer-to-peer (P2P) based activity of acquiring, providing, or sharing access to goods and services that is often facilitated by a community-based on-line platform.
KEY TAKEAWAYS
The sharing economy involves short-term peer-to-peer transactions to share use of idle assets and services or to facilitate collaboration.
The sharing economy often involves some type of online platform that connects buyers and seller.
The sharing economy is rapidly growing and evolving but faces significant challenges in the form of regulatory uncertainty and concerns about abuses.
Understanding the Sharing Economy
Communities of people have shared the use of assets for thousands of years, but the advent of the Internet—and its use of big data—has made it easier for asset owners and those seeking to use those assets to find each other. This sort of dynamic can also be referred to as the share economy, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, or peer economy.
Sharing economies allow individuals and groups to make money from underused assets. In a sharing economy, idle assets such as parked cars and spare bedrooms can be rented out when not in use. In this way, physical assets are shared as services.
For examples, car sharing services like Zipcar can help illustrate this idea. According to data provided by the Brookings Institute, private vehicles go unused for 95% of their lifetime. The same report detailed the lodging sharing service Airbnb’s cost advantage over hotel space as homeowners make use of spare bedrooms. Airbnb rates were reported to be between 30-60% cheaper than hotel rates around the world.
The Sharing Economy is Evolving
The sharing economy has evolved over the past few years where it now serves as an all-encompassing term that refers to a host of on-line economic transactions that may even include business to business (B2B) interactions. Other platforms that have joined the sharing economy include:
• Co-working Platforms: Companies that provide shared open work spaces for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and work-from-home employees in major metropolitan areas.
• Peer-to-Peer Lending Platforms: Companies that allow for individuals to lend money to other individuals at rates cheaper than those offered through traditional credit lending entities.
• Fashion Platforms: Sites that allow for individuals to sell or rent their clothes.
• Freelancing Platforms: Sites that offer to match freelance workers across a wide spectrum ranging from traditional freelance work to services traditionally reserved to handymen.
Spurred primarily with the growth of Uber and Airbnb, it is expected that the sharing economy will grow from $14 billion in 2014 to a forecasted $335 billion by 2025.
Current Criticisms of the Sharing Economy
Criticism of the sharing economy often involves regulatory uncertainty. Businesses offering rental services are often regulated by federal, state or local authorities; unlicensed individuals offering rental services may not be following these regulations or paying the associated costs. This could mean giving them an advantage that enables them to charge lower prices.
Another concern is that lack of government oversight will lead to serious abuses of both buyers and sellers in the sharing economy. This has been highlighted by numerous highly publicized cases of things like hidden cameras in rented rooms, lawsuits over unfair treatment of ridesharing contractors by the platforms that employ them and even murders of customers by real or fraudulent rental and rideshare providers.
There is also a fear that the greater amount of information shared on an online platform can create racial and/or gender bias among users. This can happen when users are allowed to choose who they will share their homes or vehicles with, or because of implicit statistical discrimination by algorithms that select users with characteristics such as poor credit history or criminal records.
For example, Airbnb had to face racial discrimination complaints from African-American and Latino would-be renters due to widespread user preference not to rent to these customers. As more data is presented and the sharing economy evolves, companies within this economy have pledged to combat bias in both their users and algorithms often by deliberately limiting the availability of information to and about buyers and sellers.