Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 30 MARCH 2020

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1. Consider the following statement regarding the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
1. This Act are restricted the hunting, killing or overexploitation of species.
2. Protection of wildlife, preservation of natural habitats and environment is main objectives of this act.
3. This Act is not recognized the rights of people to a healthy environment through wildlife Protection.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

2. Consider the following statements the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau.
1. It is a statutory multi-disciplinary body established by the Government of India under the Ministry of Home Affairs, to combat organized wildlife crime in the country.
2. It assists and advises the customs authorities in inspection of the consignments of flora & fauna as per the provisions of Wild Life Protection Act, CITES and EXIM Policy governing such an item.
3. It is mandated to collect and collate intelligence, to disseminate the same to State and other enforcement agencies, to establish a centralized wildlife crime data bank, to assist foreign authorities and international organization in reference to organized wildlife crime activities.
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 regarding the Special Economic Zones (SEZs).
1. The SEZ Act, 2005, provides the legal framework for establishment of SEZs and also for units operating in such zones.
2. SEZs work as an engine for economic growth supported by quality infrastructure complemented by an attractive fiscal package, both at the Centre and the State level, with the minimum possible regulations.
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

4. Consider the following statements regarding the Water Dispute Tribunal.
1. Article 262 of the Indian constitution enables the parliament to pass the Interstate River Water Dispute Act, 1956.
2. The Tribunal will consist of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, three judicial members, and three expert members as according to the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
3. Water is a State subject as per entry 17 of State List and thus states are empowered to enact legislation on water.
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. Consider the following statements regarding the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).
1. It is also referred to as the Bonn Convention; it provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats.
2. In order to protect the migratory species throughout their range countries, a CMS, has been in force, under the aegis of IUCN.
3. CMS is only global and UN-based intergovernmental organization established exclusively for conservation and management of terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory species throughout their range.
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-a
Explanation
Wildlife Protection Act, 1972
This Act provides for the protection of the country’s wild animals, birds and plant species, in order to ensure environmental and ecological security.
Constitutional Provisions for the Wildlife Act
Article 48A of the Constitution of India directs the State to protect and improve the environment and the safeguard wildlife and forests. This article was added to the Constitution by the 42nd Amendment in 1976.
Article 51A imposes certain fundamental duties for the people of India. One of them is to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.
History of wildlife protection legislation in India
The first such law was passed by the British Indian Government in 1887 called the Wild Birds Protection Act, 1887. The law made the possession and sale of wild birds which were either killed or captured illegal.
A second law was enacted in 1912 called the Wild Birds and Animals Protection Act. This was amended in 1935 when the Wild Birds and Animals Protection (Amendment) Act 1935 was passed.
During the British Raj, wildlife protection was not accorded a priority. It was only in 1960 that the issue of protection of wildlife and the prevention of certain species from becoming extinct came into the fore.
Need for the Wildlife Protection Act
Wildlife is a part of ‘forests’ and this was a state subject until the Parliament passed this law in 1972. Reasons for a nationwide law in the domain of environment particularly wildlife includes the following:
1. India is a treasure-trove of varied flora and fauna. Many species were seeing a rapid decline in numbers. For instance, at the turn of the 20th century, India was home to close to 40000 tigers. By the seventies, this number drastically reduced to about 1820.
2. A drastic decrease in the flora and fauna can cause ecological imbalance, which affects many aspects of climate and the ecosystem.
3. The most recent Act passed during the British era in this regard was the Wild Birds and Animals Protection, 1935. This needed to be upgraded as the punishments awarded to poachers and traders of wildlife products were disproportionate to the huge financial benefits that accrue to them.
4. There were only five national parks in India prior to the enactment of this Act.

Salient Features of Wildlife Protection Act
This Act provides for the protection of a listed species of animals, birds and plants, and also for the establishment of a network of ecologically-important protected areas in the country.
The Act provides for the formation of wildlife advisory boards, wildlife wardens, specifies their powers and duties, etc.
It helped India become a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
 CITES is a multilateral treaty with the objective of protecting endangered animals and plants.
 It is also known as the Washington Convention and was adopted as a result of a meeting of IUCN members.
For the first time, a comprehensive list of the endangered wildlife of the country was prepared.
The Act prohibited the hunting of endangered species.
Scheduled animals are prohibited from being traded as per the Act’s provisions.
The Act provides for licenses for the sale, transfer and possession of some wildlife species.
It provides for the establishment of wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, etc.
Its provisions paved the way for the formation of the Central Zoo Authority. This is the central body responsible for the oversight of zoos in India. It was established in 1992.
The Act created six schedules which gave varying degrees of protection to classes of flora and fauna.
 Schedule I and Schedule II (Part II) get absolute protection and offences under these schedules attract the maximum penalties.
 The schedules also include species which may be hunted.
The National Board for Wildlife was constituted as a statutory organisation under the provisions of this Act.
 This is an advisory board that offers advice to the central government on issues of wildlife conservation in India.
 It is also the apex body to review and approve all matters related to wildlife, projects of national parks, sanctuaries, etc.
 The chief function of the Board is to promote the conservation and development of wildlife and forests.
 It is chaired by the Prime Minister.
The Act also provided for the establishment of the National Tiger Conservation Authority.
This Act is recognized the rights of people to a healthy environment through wildlife Protection.
Protected Areas under the Wildlife Protection Act
There are five types of protected areas as provided under the Act. They are described below.
1. Sanctuaries: “Sanctuary is a place of refuge where injured, abandoned and abused wildlife is allowed to live in peace in their natural environment without any human intervention.”
1. They are naturally-occurring areas where endangered species are protected from poaching, hunting and predation.
2. Here, animals are not bred for commercial exploitation.
3. The species are protected from any sort of disturbance.
4. Animals are not allowed to be captured or killed inside the sanctuaries.
5. A wildlife sanctuary is declared by the State government by a Notification. Boundaries can be altered by a Resolution of the State Legislature.
6. Human activities such as timber harvesting, collecting minor forest products and private ownership rights are permitted as long as they do not interfere with the animals’ well-being. Limited human activity is permitted.
7. They are open to the general public. But people are not allowed unescorted. There are restrictions as to who can enter and/or reside within the limits of the sanctuary. Only public servants (and his/her family), persons who own immovable property inside, etc. are allowed. People using the highways which pass through sanctuaries are also allowed inside.
8. Boundaries of sanctuaries are not generally fixed and defined.
9. Biologists and researchers are permitted inside so that they can study the area and its inhabitants.
10. The Chief Wildlife Warden (who is the authority to control, manage and maintain all sanctuaries) may grant permission to persons for entry or residence in the sanctuary for the study of wildlife, scientific research, photography, the transaction of any lawful business with persons residing inside, and tourism.
11. Sanctuaries can be upgraded to the status of a ‘National Park’.
12. Examples: Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary (Rann of Kutch, Gujarat); Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu (oldest bird sanctuary in India); Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary (Karnataka).
2. National Parks: “National Parks are the areas that are set by the government to conserve the natural environment.”
1. A national park has more restrictions as compared to a wildlife sanctuary.
2. National parks can be declared by the State government by Notification. No alteration of the boundaries of a national park shall be made except on a resolution passed by the State Legislature.
3. The main objective of a national park is to protect the natural environment of the area and biodiversity conservation.
4. The landscape, fauna and flora are present in their natural state in national parks.
5. Their boundaries are fixed and defined.
6. Here, no human activity is allowed.
7. Grazing of livestock and private tenurial rights are not permitted here.
8. Species mentioned in the Schedules of the Wildlife Act are not allowed to be hunted or captured.
9. No person shall destroy, remove or exploit any wildlife from a National Park or destroy or damage the habitat of any wild animal or deprive any wild animal of its habitat within a national park.
10. They cannot be downgraded to the status of a ‘sanctuary’.
11. Examples: Bandipur National Park in Karnataka; Hemis National Park in Jammu & Kashmir; Kaziranga National Park in Assam.
3. Conservation Reserves: The State government may declare an area (particularly those adjacent to sanctuaries or parks) as conservation reserves after consulting with local communities.
4. Community Reserves: The State government may declare any private or community land as a community reserve after consultation with the local community or an individual who has volunteered to conserve the wildlife.
5. Tiger Reserves: These areas are reserved for the protection and conservation of tigers in India. They are declared on the recommendations of the National Tiger Conservation Authority.
The amended Wildlife Act doesn’t allow any commercial exploitation of forest produce in both wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, and local communities are allowed to collect forest produce only for their bona fide requirements.

 

2. Answer-a
Explanation
Wildlife Crime Control Bureau
Wildlife Crime Control Bureau is a statutory multi-disciplinary body established by the Government of India under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, to combat organized wildlife crime in the country.
The Bureau has it’s headquarter in New Delhi and five regional offices at Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Jabalpur; three sub-regional offices at Guwahati, Amritsar and Cochin; and five border units at Ramanathapuram, Gorakhpur, Motihari, Nathula and Moreh.
Under Section 38 (Z) of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, it is mandated to collect and collate intelligence related to organized wildlife crime activities and to disseminate the same to State and other enforcement agencies for immediate action so as to apprehend the criminals; to establish a centralized wildlife crime data bank; co-ordinate actions by various agencies in connection with the enforcement of the provisions of the Act; assist foreign authorities and international organization concerned to facilitate co-ordination and universal action for wildlife crime control; capacity building of the wildlife crime enforcement agencies for scientific and professional investigation into wildlife crimes and assist State Governments to ensure success in prosecutions related to wildlife crimes; and advise the Government of India on issues relating to wildlife crimes having national and international ramifications, relevant policy and laws.
It also assists and advises the Customs authorities in inspection of the consignments of flora & fauna as per the provisions of Wild Life Protection Act, CITES and EXIM Policy governing such an item.
Vision
It envisages attaining excellence as intelligence and enforcement agency, matching international standards in the field of wildlife crime intelligence in its core capabilities, functioning as one team integrated into the intelligence community.
It aims to conserve the wildlife wealth by proper and effective intervention into matters related to capacity building of enforcement agencies in the field of wildlife crime enforcement and by providing professional assistance to create deterrence to the organized wildlife crime nexus.
Mission
1. To develop mechanism for gathering of intelligence related to wildlife crime and illegal wildlife trade in the country.
2. To disseminate intelligence to the concerned agencies for timely and result oriented action.
3. To develop wildlife crime database management system for better analysis and record generation to effectively implement wildlife policy in the country.
4. To co-ordinate the efforts and actions of various state and central enforcement agencies towards better enforcement of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
5. To develop infrastructure and capacity building of the enforcement officials into wildlife crime and illegal trade and equip them with latest know how of trends and methods to counter the actions of organized wildlife crime networks.
6. To implement obligations under various international conventions and protocols in force at present and to assist the efforts of various international law enforcement agencies towards enforcement of legal provisions.
8. To advice Government of India on issues relating to wildlife crimes having national and international ramifications and suggest changes in relevant policy related to wildlife crimes.

 

3. Answer-c
Explanation
Special Economic Zones (SEZs)
The Union Cabinet has approved promulgation of an Ordinance to amend the definition of “person”, as defined in sub-section (v) of section 2 of the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005:
 To include a trust.
 To enable the setting up of a unit in a Special Economic Zone by a trust.
 To provide flexibility to the Central Government to include in this definition of a person, any entity that the Central Government may notify from time to time.
What are SEZs?
SEZs are geographically delineated ‘enclaves’ in which regulations and practices related to business and trade differ from the rest of the country and therefore all the units therein enjoy special privileges.
The basic idea of SEZs emerges from the fact that, while it might be very difficult to dramatically improve infrastructure and business environment of the overall economy ‘overnight’, SEZs can be built in a much shorter time, and they can work as efficient enclaves to solve these problems.
The SEZ Act, 2005, provides the legal framework for establishment of SEZs and also for units operating in such zones.
Facilities and incentives for SEZs:
1. Duty-free import/domestic procurement of goods for development, operation and maintenance of SEZ units.
2. Income tax exemption on export income for SEZ units under the Income Tax Act for first 5 years, 50% for next 5 years thereafter and 50% of the ploughed back export profit for next 5 years.
3. Exemption from Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT).
4. Single window clearance for Central and State level approvals.
Concerns with present SEZ:
1. SEZs in India have not been as successful as their counterparts in many other countries. Several Asian economies, particularly China, Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore, have greatly benefitted from these zones.
2. Most of India’s new generation SEZs came up not for exporting, but for avoiding taxes. Large fiscal sops, in the form of a bunch of reliefs from central and state taxes, lured developers into building SEZs.
3. Most manufacturing SEZs in India have performed below par due to their poor linkages with the rest of the economy. Weak connections of coastal SEZs with their hinterlands inhibited these zones from utilizing their full potential.
4. States did not match the central SEZ Act with State-level legislation, which rendered the single window system ineffective.
5. Lack of a robust policy design, efficient implementation and effective monitoring have seriously jeopardized India’s effort to industrialize through SEZs.

 

4. Answer-d
Explanation-
Water in the Constitution of India
Water is a State subject as per entry 17 of State List and thus states are empowered to enact legislation on water.
1. Entry 17 of State List deals with water i.e. water supply, irrigation, canal, drainage, embankments, and water storage and water power.
2. Entry 56 of Union List gives power to the Union Government for the regulation and development of inter-state rivers and river valleys to the extent declared by Parliament to be expedient in the public interest.
Article 262 of the Indian Constitution:
Constituent Assembly anticipated the emergence of water disputes in future. A specific provision of Article 262 is mentioned in the constitution itself due to the sensitivity of such disputes.
In the case of disputes relating to waters, Article 262 provides:
1. Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution or control of the waters of, or in, any inter-State river or river valley.
2. Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, Parliament may, by law provide that neither the Supreme Court nor any other court shall exercise jurisdiction in respect of any such dispute or complaint.
Parliament has enacted two laws according to Article 262:
1) River Board Act, 1956
The purpose of this Act was to enable the Union Government to create Boards for Interstate Rivers and river valleys in consultation with State Governments. The objective of Boards is to advise on the inter-state basin to prepare development scheme and to prevent the emergence of conflicts.
Note: Till date, no river board as per above Act has been created.
2) Inter-State Water Dispute Act, 1956
Provisions of the Act: In case, if a particular state or states approach to Union Government for the constitution of the tribunal:
1. Central Government should try to resolve the matter by consultation among the aggrieved states.
2. In case, if it does not work, then it may constitute the tribunal.
Note: Supreme Court shall not question the Award or formula given by tribunal but it can question the working of the tribunal.
The composition of the River Water Tribunal: Tribunal is constituted by the Chief Justice of India and it consists of the sitting judge of Supreme Court and the other two judges who can be from Supreme Court or High Court.
The Present Mechanism to resolve the inter-state river water disputes in India
Thus it can be seen that – the resolution of water dispute is governed by the Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956. According to its provisions, a state government can approach the Centre to refer the dispute to a tribunal, whose decision is considered final.
Active River Water sharing Tribunals in India
1. Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal II (2004) – Karnataka, Telengana,Andra Pradesh, Maharashtra
2. Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal (2018) – Odisha& Chattisgarh
3. Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal (2010)- Goa,Karnataka, Maharashtra
4. Ravi& Beas Water Tribunal (1986)- Punjab, Haryana,Rajasthan
5. Vansdhara Water Disputes Tribunal (2010)- Andra Pradesh & Odisha.

The Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019
https://www.prsindia.org/billtrack/inter-state-river-water-disputes-amendment-bill-2019

 

5. Answer-c
Explanation-
CMS COP-13
India is hosting the 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) from 17th to 22nd February, 2020 at Gandhinagar in Gujarat.
The theme of CMS COP-13 is ‘Migratory species connect the planet and we welcome them home’.
The mascot for CMS COP-13 is ‘Gibi – The Great Indian Bustard’. It is a critically endangered species (according to the IUCN) and has been accorded the highest protection status (listed in Schedule I) under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals
In order to protect the migratory species throughout their range countries, a Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS), has been in force since 1983, under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme.
Also referred to as the Bonn Convention, it provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats and brings together the States through which migratory animals pass, the Range States, and lays the legal foundation for internationally coordinated conservation measures throughout a migratory range.
Under this convention, migratory species threatened with extinction are listed on Appendix I and Parties strive towards strictly protecting these animals, conserving or restoring the places where they live, mitigating obstacles to migration and controlling other factors that might endanger them.
Migratory species that need conservation and management or would significantly benefit from international co-operation are listed in Appendix II of the Convention.
India has signed a non legally binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with CMS on the conservation and management of Siberian Cranes (1998), Marine Turtles (2007), Dugongs (2008) and Raptors (2016).
India is a temporary home to several migratory animals and birds. The important among these include Amur Falcons, Bar headed Geese, Black necked cranes, Marine turtles, Dugongs, Humpback Whales, etc.