Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 29 April 2020

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1. Consider the following statements.
1. The Union Government does not have unfettered powers to serve ‘Leave India’ notices to foreigners without furnishing reasons.
2. Article 19 of the Indian constitution is available only to citizens of India and not to foreigners.
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
1. Answer-c
Explanation
Ever since the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests erupted across the country, the Ministry of Home Affairs has been quite active in filtering out foreigners among the protesters and serving them with ‘Leave India’ notices’.
Precedent
In 2019, a Pakistani national was served a leave India notice without specifying the reason behind her facing the action.
The Delhi High Court in that case had reversed the MHA order saying the government does not have unfettered powers to impose such an order without furnishing reasons.
Despite fundamental rights being applicable only to the citizens of the country, with respect to Article 21, they can also be extended to foreigners, the court had ruled.

2. Consider the following statements regarding the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT).
1. ITAT is a quasi judicial institution set up in 1941 and specializes in dealing with appeals under the Direct Taxes Acts.
2. The orders passed by the ITAT are final; an appeal lies to the High Court only if a substantial question of law arises for determination.
3. It is referred to as ‘Mother Tribunal’ being the oldest Tribunal in the country.
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
2. Answer-d
Explanation-
ITAT is a quasi judicial institution set up in January, 1941 and specializes in dealing with appeals under the Direct Taxes Acts.
The orders passed by the ITAT are final; an appeal lies to the High Court only if a substantial question of law arises for determination.
Starting in 1941 with six Members constituting three Benches – one each at Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta) and Mumbai (Bombay), the numbers of Benches have progressively increased and presently ITAT has 63 Benches at 27 different stations covering almost all the cities having a seat of the High Court.
Historically speaking, tax was introduced in India by the Act of 1860, where assessment was made by a Panchayat and a person feeling aggrieved by the order could appeal to the Collector of the District, whose order was final. Subsequently, the successive Acts of 1868, 1869, 1870, 1872, 1886, 1916 and 1917 made improvements providing for an appeal from the order of the Collector of the District to the Commissioner of Revenue of the Division but no reference was available to the High Court under these Acts. “Income Tax Act” in its modern form, as we know, was introduced which legislated advisory jurisdiction to the High Courts.
The Act was revamped in 1922 but did not introduce any changes in the adjudicatory structure.
A strong desire for establishing an independent forum for redressal of assesses aggrieved under the Income Tax Act gathered momentum especially considering that Civil Courts were prohibited from entertaining litigation in the tax matters.
In November 1938 Select Committee was appointed to consider amendments to the Indian Income Tax Act, 1922, which, inter-alia, recommended establishment of a Tribunal as an independent appellate Authority for hearing appeals arising from the decision of the Appellate Assistant Commissioner.
As a consequence, ITAT was constituted on 25/01/1941 by virtue of section 5A of the Income Tax Act, 1922. Since its establishment, ITAT is functioning more or less on similar lines except for necessary consequential changes introduced on account of its expansion and extension of its jurisdiction. There have been no fundamental changes either in the constitution or the functioning of the Tribunal in the Income Tax Act, 1961.
ITAT draws inspiration from its motto ‘Nishpaksh Sulabh Satvar Nyay’, which means impartial, easy and speedy justice.
ITAT stands out for its uniqueness of imparting justice to the litigants, by an inexpensive, easily accessible forum free from technicalities, regarded for its expert knowledge on the subject of Direct Taxes, besides rendering expeditious justice.
More often than not, ITAT is referred to as ‘Mother Tribunal’ being the oldest Tribunal in the country. More importantly, it is the success of the ITAT, which has prompted the Government of India to constitute similar Appellate Tribunals for indirect taxes i.e. Customs, Excise, Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT), Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Railway Claims Tribunal, Foreign Exchange Appellate Board, etc.
Over the years, ITAT has earned accolades, as its Members have adorned high positions in the judiciary and other equally important institutions.
ITAT has been rendering a yeoman service in administration of justice in the field of Direct Taxes, and celebrating its 75th Year of glorious existence in January, 2016.

3. Consider the following statements with respect to Wetlands.
1. Wetlands are regulated under the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017.
2. Wetlands International a administrative organisation under RAMSAR convention is  dedicated to the conservation and restoration of wetlands.
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. Answer-A
Explanation
Wetlands are regulated under the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017.
The 2010 version of the Rules provided for a Central Wetland Regulatory Authority; the 2017 Rules replace it with state-level bodies and created a National Wetland Committee, which functions in an advisory role.
The newer regulations removed some items from the definition of “wetlands” including backwaters, lagoon, creeks, and estuaries.
Wetlands International
Wetlands International is a global organisation that works to sustain and restore wetlands and their resources for people and biodiversity. It is an independent, not-for-profit, global organisation, supported by government and NGO membership from around the world.
Wetlands International is the only global not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the conservation and restoration of wetlands. It is deeply concerned about the loss and deterioration of wetlands such as lakes, marshes and rivers. Our vision is a world where wetlands are treasured and nurtured for their beauty, the life they support and the resources they provide.
That 40% of all species either live or breed in wetlands underlines just how vital the safeguarding and restoration of wetlands is to biodiversity conservation.
Wetlands International and its predecessors have worked to protect wetlands since 1937. Back then it was known as the International Wildfowl Inquiry. Its work began as part of the British Section of the International Committee of Bird Preservation, with a focus on protecting waterbirds.

4. Consider the following statements regarding the Mirza Najaf Khan tomb.
1. This tomb lies in close proximity to Safdarjung’s Tomb in Delhi.
2. Najaf Khan was appointed as the Commander in Chief of the Army of the Mughal Empire from 1772 AD up till his demise in April 1782 AD.
3. His Tomb is constructed in a ‘Charbagh’ or ‘Four-square Garden’ style which is typical of a Mughal as well as Persian style of architecture.
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. Answer-d
Explanation-
NAJAF KHAN’S TOMB
The Tomb of Najaf Khan lies opposite Safdarjung Airport which is situated towards the eastern side of the Delhi-Mehrauli Road and in close proximity to Safdarjung’s Tomb.
Mirza Najaf Khan was probably born sometime in the year 1722 AD though there is no conclusive evidence to this fact. A Persian by native, his ancestry lineage traces back to Prince Safavi, a royal Persian dynasty that was overthrown by Nader Shah in 1735 AD.
‘Mirza Najaf Khan came to India with his sister sometime around or before 1740 AD and presented themselves at the courts of Emperor Muhammad Shah.
The Emperor then appointed Najaf Khan as the Deputy Minister of Awadh wherein he married his sister into the noble family of the Nawab of Awadh. Later, Najaf Khan was appointed as the Commander In Chief of the Army of the Mughal Empire from 1772 AD up till his demise in April 1782 AD.
Mirza Najaf Khan was instrumental in implementing a blend of the European model as well as the Traditional methods in the Mughal Cavalry which was penned down by H. G. Keene in his work named ‘The Fall of the Moghul Empire of Hindustan’ where he illustrates that Najaf Khan’s Army were the most indomitable Military Forces to ever exist in India as seen in 1781 AD besides the famous British Cavalry of Bengal.
The method implemented was based on the fundamentals of proper administration and order which were the main qualities that Najaf Khan reinforced within the corrupt Mughal Empire.
Soldiers were paid premium wages on time which did not exist before. Adventurers from France and other places were welcomed to add their expertise that helped to improve knowledge and hence made way for exposure and awareness of new forms of combat. This assisted the Mughal Army to fight better and use the latest combat techniques and methods hence enabling the Soldiers as well as Najaf Khan to serve their Empire and Country to the best of their capabilities.
Mughals did not only face threats from their rivals but also numerous treacheries from their own Ministers. History has that Nawab Majad-ud-Daulah who was the Minister in the Royal Courts of Shah Alam III would get the Sikhs to cause panic for the Mughal Forces which constantly kept Najaf Khan and his Cavalry busy. This never deterred Najaf Khan from being loyal and continuously fighting for his Emperor and hence the years between 1772 AD and 1782 AD saw the best of the Mughal Military Forces.
Mirza Najaf Khan passed away on 26th April 1782 after serving the Country for 42 years and within six years of his demise, the Mughal Empire became feeble when its Military Forces ceased to exist. He never had a son and hence was survived by his adopted son named Najaf Quli Khan, who later, converted to Hinduism and paved his own way and a biological daughter named Fatima.
Najaf Khan was buried in a separate enclosure that lies next to Safdarjung Airport in Delhi. His Tomb is constructed in a ‘Charbagh’ or ‘Four-square Garden’ style which is typical of a Mughal as well as Persian style of architecture.
The Mausoleum of Najaf Khan was constructed at the centre of the enclosed boundary on a raised platform overlaid with red sandstone.
Interestingly, the Tomb reveals the absence of a Dome and hence the roof is covered with a flat base which is a strange yet unique architectural style not seen in that era.
There are two marble cenotaphs next to the Tomb site of Najaf Khan with inscriptions revealing that Najaf Khan is buried in one grave and the other is where his daughter, Fatima, lies buried after she died in 1820 AD. The real graves are situated way below (underground) in the heart of the chamber just underneath the raised platform.
Today, Najaf Khan’s Tomb is survived by a wall enclosing the Garden area where his Tomb sits and an entrance doorway on the eastern side; all in ruins, however, a newly planted and reasonably maintained garden now dresses the enclosure of the Tomb site.

5. Consider the following statements regarding the National Security Guard (NSG).
1. It was raised in 1991, following  the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.
2. According to Ministry of Home Affairs, it is one of the 7 Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).
3. It has been given the specific role to handle all facets of terrorism in any part of the country as a Federal Contingency Force.
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. Answer-A
Explanation-
National Security Guard (NSG)
Union Home Minister inaugurated the NSG Regional Hub campus at Kolkata. This latest NSG complex has become a model regional hub of the NSG, which will help in honing the professional acumen of the NSG commandos and also contribute significantly in capacity building of the first responders, the Police forces of the States.
The area of responsibility of this Hub comprises of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand & the entire North East. The Kolkata hub is the fourth to have permanent infrastructure after Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad.
NSG which comprises of Indian Army and CAPFs has multi-dimensional responsibility of countering terrorist attacks/hijack attempts and also providing proximate security.
Parent agency is Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
It was raised in 1984, following Operation Blue Star and the assassination of Indira Gandhi.
It has been formed under the National Security Guard Act, 1986. According to MHA website, it is one of the 7 Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). Headquarters is at New Delhi.
It operates under the Ministry of Home Affairs and is a task-oriented force that has two complementary elements in the form of:
Special Action Group (SAG) comprising of the Army personnel- is the main offensive or the strike wing of the NSG, and Special Ranger Groups (SRG) comprising of personnel drawn from the CAPFs /State Police Forces. They generally handle VIP securities.
The head of NSG- designated as Director General (DG), is selected and appointed by the Minister of Home Affairs.
The motto of ‘Sarvatra, Sarvottam, Suraksha’ has always been upheld by it with a focus on its basic philosophy of swift and speedy strike and immediate withdrawal from the theatre of action.
National Security Guard has been given the specific role to handle all facets of terrorism in any part of the country as a Federal Contingency Force.
The NSG is trained to conduct counter-terrorist task including counter hijacking tasks on land, sea, and air; Bomb disposal (search, detection, and neutralization of IEDs), Post Blast Investigation (PBI), and Hostage Rescue missions.
The NSG personnel are often referred to in the media as Black Cat Commandos because of the black outfit and black cat insignia worn on their uniform.
Operations undertaken:
Operation Black Thunder (Golden Temple, Amritsar, 1986 & 1988)
Operation Ashwamedh (Indian Airlines Flight-IC427 hijacking, India, 1993)
Operation Thunderbolt or Vajra Shakti (Akshardham Temple attack, Gujarat, 2002)
Operation Black Tornado (Mumbai Blasts, 2008)

 

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