Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 28 May 2020

1. Consider the following statements regarding the Pandemism of COVID-19.
1. According to the WHO, a pandemic is declared when a new disease for which people do not have immunity spreads around the world beyond expectations.
2. The current spread of COVID-19 is a result of human-to-human transmission.
3. An epidemic is a large outbreak, one that spreads among a population or region and it is less severe than pandemic due to a limited area of spread.
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
COVID19 now a pandemic, says WHO
According to the WHO, a pandemic is declared when a new disease for which people do not have immunity spreads around the world beyond expectations.
On the other hand, an epidemic is a large outbreak, one that spreads among a population or region. It is less severe than pandemic due to a limited area of spread.
Key Points
WHO noted with concern that 1, 18,000 positive cases have been reported globally in 114 countries and more than 90% of cases are in just four countries.
81 countries had not reported any cases and 57 countries had reported 10 cases or less.
The current spread of COVID-19 is a result of human-to-human transmission. However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets.
Preventive Measures by India
The Indian government has issued a new travel advisory stating that all existing visas, except diplomatic, official, U.N./International Organisations, employment, project visas, and stand suspended till 15th April, beginning from 13th March.
Visa-free travel facility granted to OCI cardholders is also suspended for the same duration.
Any foreign national who intends to travel to India for compelling reason may contact the nearest Indian Mission.


All incoming travellers, including Indian nationals, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and
Germany after 15th Feb shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days.
International traffic through land borders will be restricted as well.
The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued an advisory to take all necessary steps in public transport vehicles to ensure sanitation of seats, handles and bars.
India will send a team of doctors to Italy for testing its nationals for coronavirus to bring them back, while samples of 529 more people have been brought from Iran.
The Union Home Ministry has transferred some of its power to the Union Health Ministry for tackling the COVID-19 if the outbreak turns out to be a disaster of national proportions.
Disease spread
Outbreak: A sudden rise in cases of a disease in a particular place.
Epidemic: A large outbreak, one that spreads among a population or region. The current outbreak of a flu-like illness caused by a new virus in China is considered an epidemic.
Pandemic: Generally refers to an epidemic that has spread on a more global scale, affecting large numbers of people.
While there are cases of illness outside China, the World Health Organization said it is not a pandemic.
Exactly when enough places have enough infections to declare one isn’t a black-and-white decision.
But generally, the WHO is looking for sustained outbreaks on different continents.

2. Consider the following statements with respect to the Union Territory of Puducherry.
1. The Union Territory legislatures were created under a law such as the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963.
2. The constitutional provisions, the 1963 Act as well as the Rules of Business of the Government of Puducherry lay expect the Lieutenant Governor to act as a bridge between the local government and the Centre.
3. Article 239 AA enabled the Parliament to make rule for UT of Puducherry.
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
Union Territory of Puducherry
The Madras High Court held that the role of Puducherry’s Lieutenant Governor and that of an elected government in the Union Territory were intertwined as per law, and therefore they were expected to act in unison and not in division.
The bench set aside the judgment of a single judge who had delivered a verdict in favour of the elected government and held that the L-G could not interfere with its day-to-day functioning by fostering an incorrect opinion that the legislature of the Union Territory was on a par with that of a State.

The recent verdict by Madras High Court bench said the State legislatures were a creation of the Constitution, whereas the Union Territory legislatures were created under a law such as the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963.
The constitutional provisions, the 1963 Act as well as the Rules of Business of the Government of Puducherry lay expect the Lieutenant Governor to act as a bridge between the local government and the Centre and the latter to play the role of an umpire whenever there was a disagreement between the Lieutenant Governor and the Council of Ministers.
The territory of (Puducherry) comprises the former French establishment Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam, which lie scattered in South India. Puducherry, the capital of the territory was once the original headquarters of the French in India. It was under the French rule for 138 years and merged with the Indian Union on 1st November 1954. It is bounded on the east by the Bay of Bengal and on the three sides by Tamil Nadu. About 150 kms south of Puducherry on the East Coast lies Karaikal. Mahe is situated on the Malabar coast on the Western Ghats surrounded by Kerala. It can be reached from Calicut Airport, which is 70 kms from Mahe. Yanam is situated adjoining the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh and is about 200 kms from Visakhapatnam airport.
Legal basis for the powers of LG
Puducherry is a union territory which is governed by Article 239A of the Constitution.
NCT of Delhi, meanwhile, is governed by Article 239AA of the Constitution which imposes restrictions on the law-making power of the elected legislature of Delhi.
According to Article 239AA, the elected legislature of NCT of Delhi cannot enact laws relating to entries 1, 2 and 18 of the state list.
It means that Delhi’s elected government cannot make laws concerning public order, police and land rights. This is not the case with Puducherry.
According to 239A which governs the administration of Puducherry, the administrator (LG) does not have power to promulgate any ordinance in Puducherry.
Even if LG does it, it will not stand if the Legislative Assembly decides to disapprove it. This emphasizes the supremacy of the legislature over the administrator in Puducherry, unlike the restrictions on the government of NCT Delhi.
According to Article 240, even the rights of the President of India are curtailed to the point that he/she cannot issue ordinances to suit their whims and fancies.
What are the powers and sources of LG of Puducherry?
1. The Government of Union Territories Act, 1963 provides for a Legislative Assembly of Pondicherry (as Puducherry was then called), with a Council of Ministers to govern the “Union Territory of Pondicherry”. The same Act says that the UT will be administered by the President of India through an Administrator (LG).
2. Section 44 of the Act, which deals with the Council of Ministers and its working, says the Council of Ministers headed by a Chief Minister will “aid and advise the Administrator in the exercise of his functions in relation to matters with respect to which the Legislative Assembly of the Union Territory has power to make laws”.
3. The same clause also allows the LG to “act in his discretion” in the matter of lawmaking, even though the Council of Ministers has the task of aiding and advising him. In case of a difference of opinion between the LG and his Ministers on any matter, the Administrator is bound to refer it to the President for a decision and act according to the decision given by the President. However, the Administrator can also claim that the matter is urgent, and take immediate action as he deems necessary.
4. Under Section 22 of the Act, prior sanction of the Administrator is required for certain legislative proposals. These include Bills or amendments that the Council of Ministers intends to move in the Legislative Assembly, and which deal with the “constitution and organisation of the court of the Judicial Commissioner”, and “jurisdiction and powers of the court of the Judicial Commissioner with respect to any of the matters in the State List or the Concurrent List”.
5. Section 23 of the Act also makes it obligatory on the part of the UT government to seek the “recommendation” of the LG before moving a Bill or an amendment to provide for “the imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax”, “the amendment of the law with respect to any financial obligations undertaken or to be undertaken”, and anything that has to do with the Consolidated Fund of the UT.
6. Once the Assembly has passed a Bill, the LG can either grant or withhold his assent; or reserve it for the consideration of the President. He can also send it back to the Assembly for reconsideration.
7. The manner in which the LG functions vis-à-vis the elected government (Council of Ministers) is also spelt out in the Rules of Business of the Government of Pondicherry, 1963, issued on June 22, 1963.
8. Under Rule 47, which deals with persons serving in the UT government, the Administrator exercises powers regulating the conditions of service of such persons in consultation with the Chief Minister. In case the LG has a difference of opinion with the Chief Minister, he can refer the matter to the central government for the decision of the President.
Difference in status between Delhi and Puducherry
The Puducherry legislature is the creation of a parliamentary law, based on an enabling provision in Article 239A of the Constitution, whereas the NCT legislature has been created by the Constitution itself under Article 239AA.
The Supreme Court had described the NCT as sui generis. At the same time, the NCT Assembly is limited in the extent of its legislative powers, as it is barred from dealing with the subjects of public order, police and land.
However, looking at the Business Rules as well as other statutory provisions on Puducherry, it has sought to give greater credence to the concept of a representative government.
In view of the Constitution Bench judgment on Delhi, court has differed with another Madras High Court decision of 2018 in which the LG’s power to act irrespective of the Cabinet’s advice was upheld.
However, since the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963, does not specify the ‘special responsibilities’ in relation to which the L-G could apply his/her discretion.
It is the bounden duty of the Administrator and the Council of Ministers to avoid logjam and facilitate the smooth functioning of the government in public interest, leaving the political differences apart.

3. Consider the following statements with respect to the Yuva VIgyani KAryakram (YUVIKA) programme.
1. This Program is primarily aimed at imparting basic knowledge on Space Technology, Space Science and Space Applications to the younger ones with the intent of arousing their interest in the emerging areas of Space activities.
2. It is proposed to select 3 students each from each State/ Union Territory to participate in this programme covering CBSE, ICSE and State syllabus.
3. The selection of the students is based on the 8th Standard academic performance and extracurricular activities.
4. Students who are studying in India including OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) are eligible for the programme.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 1, 2 and 4 only
(b) 2, 3 and 4 only
(c) 1, 3 and 4 only
(d) All of the above
Answer-d
Explanation
YUva VIgyani KAryakram (YUVIKA) programme
This is launched by Indian Space Research Organisation.
It is a special programme for School Children, in tune with the Government’s vision “Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan”.
Aim: The Program is primarily aimed at imparting basic knowledge on Space Technology, Space Science and Space Applications to the younger ones with the intent of arousing their interest in the emerging areas of Space activities.
Participants: It is proposed to select 3 students each from each State/ Union Territory to participate in this programme covering CBSE, ICSE and State syllabus.
Eligibility: Those who have just completed 9th standard will be eligible for the online registration. The selection is based on the 8th Standard academic performance and extracurricular activities. Students belonging to the rural area have been given special weightage in the selection criteria. In case there is tie between the selected candidates, the younger candidates will be given priority.
Students who are studying in India including OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) are eligible for the programme.
Five additional seats will be reserved for OCI candidates across the country.
The selected students will be accommodated in ISRO guest houses or hostels. Expenditure towards the travel of student, course material, lodging and boarding etc., during the entire course will be borne by ISRO.
https://www.isro.gov.in/update/22-jan-2020/young-scientist-programme-2020

4. Consider the following statements regarding the Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
1. It is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application, merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood.
2. It also caters to the Peer to Peer collect request which can be scheduled and paid as per requirement and convenience.
3. It is an instant real-time payment system developed by RBI.
4. Virtual address of the customer for Pull & Push provides for incremental security with the customer not required to enter the details such as Card no, Account number; IFSC etc.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 1, 2 and 4 only
(b) 2, 3 and 4 only
(c) 1 and 4 only
(d) All of the above
Answer-a
Explanation-
Unified Payments Interface (UPI)
Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood. It also caters to the “Peer to Peer” collect request which can be scheduled and paid as per requirement and convenience.
How is it unique?
Immediate money transfer through mobile device round the clock 24*7 and 365 days.
Single mobile application for accessing different bank accounts.
Single Click 2 Factor Authentication – Aligned with the Regulatory guidelines, yet provides for a very strong feature of seamless single click payment.
Virtual address of the customer for Pull & Push provides for incremental security with the customer not required to enter the details such as Card no, Account number; IFSC etc.
Bill Sharing with friends.
Best answer to Cash on Delivery hassle, running to an ATM or rendering exact amount.
Merchant Payment with Single Application or In-App Payments.
Utility Bill Payments, Over the Counter Payments, Barcode (Scan and Pay) based payments.
Donations, Collections, Disbursements Scalable.
Raising Complaint from Mobile App directly.
Participants in UPI:
Payer PSP.
Payee PSP.
Remitter Bank.
Beneficiary Bank.
NPCI
Bank Account holders.
Merchants
UPI – Benefits to the Ecosystem participants:
Benefits for banks:
Single click Two Factor authentication.
Universal Application for transaction.
Leveraging existing infrastructure.
Safer, Secured and Innovative.
Payment basis Single/ Unique Identifier.
Enable seamless merchant transactions.
Benefits for end Customers:
Round the clock availability.
Single Application for accessing different bank accounts.
Use of Virtual ID is more secure, no credential sharing.
Single click authentication.
Raise Complaint from Mobile App directly.
Benefits for Merchants:
Seamless fund collection from customers – single identifiers.
No risk of storing customer’s virtual address like in Cards.
Tap customers not having credit/debit cards.
Suitable for e-Com & m-Com transaction.
Resolves the COD collection problem.
Single click 2FA facility to the customer – seamless Pull.
In-App Payments (IAP).

5. Consider the following statements regarding the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897.
1. Section 2 of this act empowers the state government to take special measures and prescribe regulations as to dangerous epidemic disease.
2. Any person disobeying any regulation or order made under this Act shall be deemed to have committed an offence punishable under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.
3. The Epidemic Act is meant to provide for the better prevention of the spread of dangerous epidemic diseases.
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-
A High level Group of Ministers has decided that all States/UTs should be advised by Health Ministry to invoke provisions of Section 2 of Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 so that all advisories being issued from time to time by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare/State/UTs are enforceable.
The Epidemic Act is meant “to provide for the better prevention of the spread of dangerous epidemic diseases”.
Section 2 of the act empowers the state government to take special measures and prescribe regulations as to dangerous epidemic disease. Section 2A of the Act empowers the central government to take steps to prevent the spread of an epidemic.
According to section 3 of the act, any person disobeying any regulation or order made under this Act shall be deemed to have committed an offence punishable under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.
Epidemic Disease Act, 1897
Power to take special measures and prescribe regulations as to dangerous epidemic disease
(1) When at any time the State Government is satisfied that the State or any part thereof is visited by, or threatened with, an outbreak of any dangerous epidemic disease, the State Government, if it thinks that the ordinary provisions of the law for the time being in force are insufficient for the purpose, may take, or require or empower any person to take, such measures and, by public notice, prescribe such temporary regulations to be observed by the public or by any person or class of persons as it shall deem necessary to prevent the outbreak of such disease or the spread thereof, and may determine in what manner and by whom any expenses incurred (including compensation if any) shall be defrayed.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions, the State Government may take measures and prescribe regulations for
(b) The inspection of persons travelling by railway or otherwise, and the segregation, in hospital, temporary accommodation or otherwise, of persons suspected by the inspecting officer of being infected with any such disease.
Powers of Central Government
When the Central Government is satisfied that India or any part thereof is visited by, or threatened with, an outbreak of any dangerous epidemic disease and that the ordinary provisions of the law for the time being in force are insufficient to prevent the outbreak of such disease or the spread thereof, the
Central Government may take measures and prescribe regulations for the inspection of any ship or vessel leaving or arriving at any port in the territories to which this Act extends and for such detention thereof, or of any person intending to sail therein, or arriving thereby, as may be necessary.