Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 28 FEB 2020

 

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1. SuperCam sometimes seen in the news, which of the following statement is incorrect regarding this?
(a) It is a remote-sensing instrument for the Mars-2020 mission.
(b) It uses to determine fine-scale mineralogy, chemistry, and atomic and molecular composition of samples encountered on Mars.
(c) Its laser can be used to “blast off” dust from surfaces at a distance in order to get a better look at solid surfaces on Mars, without having to drive up to samples and perform manipulations with the rover arm or associated tools.
(d) None of the above

2. Consider the following statements regarding Affirmative action in the Constitution of India.
1. Affirmative action programmes are allowed in the Constitution as “enabling provisions” and are not rights as such.
2. Article 16(4) of the Constitution empowers the State to make any provision for the reservation of appointments in favour of any backward class of citizens which is not adequately represented in the services under the State.
3. Under clause (3) of article 15 of the Indian Constitution, special provision for the benefit of women and children may be made by the State.
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

3. Consider the following statements with respect to Fundamental Rights in India.
1. Fundamental rights cannot be amended by the Parliament if the amendment does alter the basic structure of the Constitution.
2. Doctrine of Severability protects fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.
3. Mandamus is among the “prerogative writs”, that means extraordinary writs or orders granted by the sovereign when ordinary legal remedies are inadequate.
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 respect to Ayushman Bharat Scheme.
1. It provides for the implementation of Health and Wellness Centre for providing comprehensive healthcare.
2. It is a central sector scheme where the ration of centre is 100%.
3. This Scheme aims to target over 10 crore families belonging to poor and vulnerable population based on Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 (SECC) database.
4. The scheme covers post-hospitalization expenses only.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 1, 2 and 4 only
(b) 1 and 3 only
(c) 1, 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4


5. Consider the following statements regarding Agricultural Protection Zone (APZ).
1. APZ refers to local zoning codes, which include provisions such as large lot size requirements and use limitations, to separate farming and related activities from other land uses.
2. It helps preserve the availability of agricultural lands for farming and thus the agricultural base of the community, by constraining non-agricultural development and land uses in designated areas.
3. APZ is a practice indigenous to India.
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

 

1.Answer-d
Explanation-
SuperCam is a remote-sensing instrument for the Mars 2020 mission that uses remote optical measurements and laser spectroscopy to determine fine-scale mineralogy, chemistry, and atomic and molecular composition of samples encountered on Mars.
To enable these measurements, SuperCam is, in fact, many instruments in one.
 For measurements of elemental composition, it integrates the remote Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) capabilities of the highly successful ChemCam instrument included in the payload of the Curiosity rover currently exploring Mars. LIBS use a 1064-nm laser to investigate targets up to 7 m distance from the rover.
 In addition, SuperCam also performs Raman spectroscopy (at 532 nm to investigate targets up to 12 m distance from the rover), Time-Resolved Fluorescence (TRF) spectroscopy, Visible and InfraRed (VISIR) reflectance spectroscopy (400 – 900 nm, 1.3 – 2.6 µm) at a distance in order to provide information about the mineralogy and molecular structure of samples under consideration, as well as being able to search directly for organic materials.
 Finally, SuperCam also acquires high-resolution images of samples under study using a color remote micro-imager (RMI). The collection of data provided by this suite of correlated measurements on a sample can be used to determine directly the geochemistry and mineralogy of samples.
 SuperCam measurements can be rapidly acquired without the need to position the rover or rover arm upon the target, facilitating rapid and efficient measurements during Mars operations. As demonstrated by ChemCam, the SuperCam laser can be used to “blast off” dust from surfaces at a distance in order to get a better look at solid surfaces on Mars, without having to drive up to samples and perform manipulations with the rover arm or associated tools.
 SuperCam is a continuing effort between Los Alamos and the IRAP research institution in Toulouse, France, and the French Space Agency (CNES), with additional collaboration from the University of Hawaii and the University of Valladolid (UVA) in Spain.

 

2.Answer-d
Explanation
Preferences in India are of three basic types-
 Firstly, there are reservations. These reservations assign or make possible access to esteemed positions or resources.
 Secondly, there are programmes involving expenditure or the provision of services for e.g. scholarships, grants, loans, land allotments, health care, and legal aid to the beneficiary groups.
 Thirdly, there are special protections.
Specifically, the Constitution of India provides for “reservations” in favour of two disadvantaged groups; namely, the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and the Scheduled Tribes (STs). These reservations exist in the following areas:
(a) in the state legislatures and the union legislature or parliament,
(b) in services under the states, and
(c) in educational institutions
The inclusion of the category of the OBCs widens the principle of affirmative action in education and government employment from the untouchables to “socially and educationally backward classes of citizens”, of assisting “backward” groups, “backwardness” or the “depressed classes” , it should be understood as a comparison rather than a depreciatory or condescending phrase.
In Parliament and in state legislatures political reservation is only for the benefit of the SCs and the STs, but not for the other OBCs. Political reservations are written into the Indian Constitution.
The key aim for providing reservations for SCs and STs in civil posts and the services of the Government is to provide jobs to some persons belonging to these communities and thereby increase their representation in the services; so as to facilitate their social and economic advancement and make due place for them in society. Article 16(4) of the Constitution specifically empowers the State to make any provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which is not adequately represented in the services under the State. With the same end in view, the Constitution envisaged in the Directive Principles of State Policy and elsewhere the economic and educational development of the weaker sections, particularly the SCs and STs.
Another group that receives preferential treatment in India is women and children. Under clause (3) of article 15 of the Indian Constitution, special provision for the benefit of women and children may be made by the State and such special provision will not be open to attack as contravening articles 14 or 15.
Article 38 envisages “The Constitution “which provides that the state shall, in particular, strive to minimise inequalities in income and endeavour to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities, not only amongst individuals but also amongst groups of people residing in different area or engaged in different vocations. The new clause aims at equality in all spheres of life. It would enable the State to have a national policy on wages and eliminate inequalities in various spheres of life”.

 

3.Answer-d
Explanation-
Fundamental Rights in India
Fundamental rights are the basic human rights enshrined in the Constitution of India which are guaranteed to all citizens. They are applied without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, etc. Significantly, fundamental rights are enforceable by the courts, subject to certain conditions. Articles 12-35 of Indian Constitution deal with Fundamental Rights, six fundamental rights are as follows
1. Right to Equality (Article 14-18)
2. Right to Freedom (Article 19-22)
3. Right against Exploitation (Article 23-24)
4. Right to Freedom of Religion (Article 25-28)
5. Cultural and Educational Rights (Article 29-30)
6. Right to Constitutional Remedies (Article 32)
Fundamental rights are not absolute rights, they have reasonable restrictions which mean they are subject to the conditions of state security, public morality and decency and friendly relations with foreign countries.
Fundamental rights can be amended by the Parliament by a constitutional amendment but only if the amendment does not alter the basic structure of the Constitution.
Fundamental rights can be suspended during a national emergency, however the rights guaranteed under Articles 20 and 21 cannot be suspended.
The application of fundamental rights can be restricted in an area, which has been placed under martial law, or military rule.
Famous Cases on Fundamental rights
In 1965 – Sajjan Singh case, the Supreme Court held that the Parliament can amend any part of the Constitution including fundamental rights.
In 1967, the verdict of the Golaknath case said that the fundamental rights cannot be amended.
In 1973, in the Kesavananda Bharati case, SC held that although no part of the Constitution, including Fundamental Rights, was beyond the Parliament’s amending power, the “basic structure of the Constitution could not be abrogated even by a constitutional amendment – Judiciary can strike down any amendment passed by Parliament that is in conflict with the basic structure of the Constitution.
In 1981, the Supreme Court reiterated the Basic Structure doctrine – It also drew a line of demarcation as April 24th, 1973 i.e., the date of the Kesavananda Bharati judgement, and held that it should not be applied retrospectively to reopen the validity of any amendment to the Constitution which took place prior to that date.
In 2020, SC has ruled that reservation in the matter of promotions in public posts is not a fundamental right and a state cannot be compelled to offer the quota, if it chooses not to ( Articles 16(4) and 16(4A) of the Constitution give states the power to make such reservations) and No mandamus can be issued by the court directing state governments to provide reservations.
Doctrine of Severability
It is a doctrine that protects the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.
It is mentioned in Article 13, according to which all laws that were enforced in India before the commencement of the Constitution, inconsistent with the provisions of fundamental rights shall to the extent of that inconsistency be void.
This implies that only the parts of the statute that is inconsistent shall be deemed void and not the whole statue.
Only those provisions, which are inconsistent with fundamental rights, shall be void.
Mandamus
In India, the Supreme Court can issue prerogative writs under Article 32 of the Constitution, and the High Court’s under Article 226. These are habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, and quo warranto.
Mandamus is among the “prerogative writs”, that means extraordinary writs or orders granted by the sovereign when ordinary legal remedies are inadequate. Mandamus literally means ‘we command’. When issued to a person or body, the writ of mandamus demands some activity on their part.
It orders the person or body to perform a public or quasi-public duty, which they have refused to perform, and where no other adequate legal remedy exists to enforce the performance of that duty.
The writ cannot be issued unless the legal duty is of public nature, and to whose performance the applicant of the writ has a legal right.
The remedy is of a discretionary nature — a court can refuse to grant it when an alternative remedy exists. However, for enforcing fundamental rights, the alternative remedy argument does not hold as much weight, since it is the duty of the Supreme Court and the High Courts to enforce fundamental rights.
The writ can also be issued against inferior courts or other judicial bodies when they have refused to exercise their jurisdiction and perform their duty.
Under Article 361, mandamus cannot be granted against the President or Governor of a State, “for the exercise and performance of the powers and duties of his office or for any act done or purporting to be done by him in the exercise and performance of those powers and duties”.
The writ also cannot be issued against a private individual or body, except where the State is in collusion with the private party for contravening a provision of the Constitution or a statute.

 

4.Answer-b
Explanation-
Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme having central sector component under Ayushman Bharat Mission anchored in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). It is an umbrella of two major health initiatives:
Health and Wellness Centres
Under this 1.5 lakh existing sub centres will bring health care system closer to the homes of people in the form of Health and wellness centres. These centres will provide comprehensive health care, including for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health services.
List of Services to be provided at Health & Wellness Centre
 Pregnancy care and maternal health services
 Neonatal and infant health services
 Child health
 Chronic communicable diseases
 Non-communicable diseases
 Management of mental illness
 Dental care
 Eye care
 Geriatric care Emergency medicine
National Health Protection Mission (AB-PMJAY)
Benefits
 AB-PMJAY provides a defined benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year. This cover will take care of almost all secondary care and most of tertiary care procedures.
 To ensure that nobody is left out (especially women, children and elderly) there will be no cap on family size and age in the scheme.
 The benefit cover will also include pre and post-hospitalization expenses. All pre-existing conditions will be covered from day one of the policy. A defined transport allowance per hospitalization will also be paid to the beneficiary.
 Benefits of the scheme are portable across the country and a beneficiary covered under the scheme will be allowed to take cashless benefits from any public/private empanelled hospitals across the country.
 The beneficiaries can avail benefits in both public and empanelled private facilities. All public hospitals in the States implementing AB-PMJAY will be deemed empanelled for the Scheme. Hospitals belonging to Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) may also be empanelled based on the bed occupancy ratio parameter. As for private hospitals, they will be empanelled online based on defined criteria.
 To control costs, the payments for treatment will be done on package rate (to be defined by the Government in advance) basis. The package rates will include all the costs associated with treatment.
 For beneficiaries, it will be a cashless, paper less transaction. Keeping in view the State specific requirements, States/ UTs will have the flexibility to modify these rates within a limited bandwidth.
Eligibility criteria
AB-PMJAY is an entitlement based scheme with entitlement decided on the basis of deprivation criteria in the SECC database. The different categories in rural and urban areas include
 families having only one room with kucha walls and kucha roof;
 families having no adult member between age 16 to 59;
 female headed households with no adult male member between age 16 to 59;
 disabled member and no able bodied adult member in the family;
 SC/ST households;
 landless households deriving major part of their income from manual casual labour,
 Families in rural areas having any one of the following: households without shelter, destitute, living on alms, manual scavenger families, primitive tribal groups, legally released bonded labour.
 For urban areas, 11 defined occupational categories are entitled under the
As per the SECC 2011, the following beneficiaries are automatically excluded:
 Households having motorized 2/3/4 wheeler/fishing boat
 Households having mechanized 3/4 wheeler agricultural equipment
 Households having Kisan Credit Card with credit limit above Rs. 50,000/ –
 Household member is a government employee
 Households with non – agricultural enterprises registered with government
 Any member of household earning more than Rs. 10,000/ – per month
 Households paying income tax
 Households paying professional tax
 House with three or more rooms with pucca walls and roof
 Owns a refrigerator
 Owns a landline phone
 Owns more than 2.5 acres of irrigated land with 1 irrigation equipment
 Owns 5 acres or more of irrigated land for two or more crop season
 Owning at least 7.5 acres of land or more with a t least one irrigation equipment

Implementation Strategy
At the national level to manage, a National Health Agency has been set up. States/ UTs are advised to implement the scheme by a dedicated entity called State Health Agency (SHA).
Major Impact
Out of pocket (OOP) expenditure in India is over 60% which leads to nearly 6 million families getting into poverty due to catastrophic health expenditures. AB-PMJAY will have major impact on reduction of Out Of Pocket (OOP) expenditure on ground of:
 Increased benefit cover to nearly 40% of the population, (the poorest&the vulnerable).
 Covering almost all secondary and many tertiary hospitalizations. (Except a negative list).
 Coverage of 5 lakh for each family, (no restriction of family size)
States/Districts covered
AB-PMJAY will be rolled out across all States/UTs in all districts with an objective to cover all the targeted beneficiaries.
 It is a centrally- sponsored scheme where the ration of centre: state is 60:40.
 Health is a state subject. 

 

5.Answer-b
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister stating the government’s intention to declare the Cauvery Delta region as a Protected Special Agriculture Zone.
Background:
The Central government had stated in 2017 that two areas, Karaikal located in Puducherry and Neduvasal located in Tamil Nadu awarded under DSF (Discovered Small Field) bidding round have an in-place volume of 4,30,000 metric tonnes of oil and oil equivalent gas. Subsequently, more than 700 wells have been drilled for extraction of oil and gas in Tamil Nadu. Given the possibility of more reserves in the region, there have been exploratory drilling activities in the surrounding regions.
Amendment of the Environment Impact Assessment Notification of 2006:
Recently, the Environment Ministry had issued a notification, amending the EIA rules. It dealt with granting exemption to oil and gas firms involved in exploratory drilling, from seeking environmental clearance. The notification would allow companies to carry out hydrocarbon exploration activities without applying for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and holding public consultations. Amid fears that the exploratory drilling would lead to the destruction of agricultural fields in the Cauvery delta, affect the fragile ecosystem of the region and have health hazards, there have been protests from environmentalists and farmers in the region.
Agricultural Protection Zoning:
Agricultural Protection Zoning (APZ) is a practice followed in the United States. APZ refers to local zoning codes, which include provisions such as large lot size requirements and use limitations, to separate farming and related activities from other land uses. It helps preserve the availability of agricultural lands for farming and thus the agricultural base of the community, by constraining non-agricultural development and land uses in designated areas. The Cauvery delta region is an important agricultural region in Tamil Nadu and considered the rice bowl of the state. Also given the fact that the delta region is close to the sea, there is a need to safeguard the region.
Details:
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has announced that the Cauvery delta region comprising of eight districts would be declared as a Protected Special Agriculture Zone. The eight districts include Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, Cuddalore, Ariyalur, Karur and Tiruchirapalli. The move is aimed towards preventing the implementation of oil exploration projects and other hydrocarbon projects in the Cauvery delta region and will help not only ensure food security of the State but also livelihood opportunities of the farmers and other agriculture-based labourers. The state government is also considering allowing only agro-based industries in the river Cauvery fed regions. The State government would hold consultations with legal experts, and steps would be taken to enact special legislation to implement the government’s intention.