Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 4 May 2020

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1. Consider the following statement regarding the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
1. Member States of the UNO created OHCHR by a General Assembly Resolution in 1993.
2. It is part of the United Nations Secretariat and its headquarters in Geneva, as well as an office in New York.
3. Its work encompasses three broad areas i.e. human rights standard setting, monitoring and supporting the implementation of human rights obligations by States.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

  1. Answer-d
    Explanation
    The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) OHCHR has made an intervention application for a Supreme Court case regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019.
    Organizationally, it started as a small division at United Nations Headquarters in the 1940s. The division later moved to Geneva and was upgraded to the Centre for Human Rights in the 1980s.
    At the World Conference on Human Rights in 1993, the international community decided to establish a more robust human rights mandate with stronger institutional support. Accordingly, Member States of the United Nations created OHCHR by a General Assembly Resolution in 1993.
    OHCHR (UN Human Rights) is the leading UN entity on human rights. The General Assembly entrusted both the High Commissioner and her Office with a unique mandate to promote and protect all human rights for all people.
    The United Nations human rights programme aims to ensure that the protection and enjoyment of human rights is a reality in the lives of all people.
    UN Human Rights also plays a crucial role in safeguarding the integrity of the three interconnected pillars of the United Nations – peace and security, human rights and development.
    UN Human Rights provides assistance in the form of technical expertise and capacity-development in order to support the implementation of International human rights standards on the ground. It assists governments, which bear the primary responsibility for the protection of human rights, to fulfil their obligations and supports individuals to claim their rights. Moreover, it speaks out objectively on human rights violations. 

Structure
UN Human Rights is part of the United Nations Secretariat, with a staff of some 1300 people and its headquarters in Geneva, as well as an office in New York.
The Geneva-based headquarters has three substantive divisions:
Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division (TESPRDD), which develops policy and provides guidance, tools, advice and capacity-strengthening support on thematic human rights issues, including for human rights mainstreaming purposes; and provides support to the Human Rights Council’s special procedures.
Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Division (CTMD), which provides substantive and technical support to the HRC and the Council’s UPR mechanism, and supports the human rights treaty bodies.
Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division (FOTCD), which is responsible for overseeing and implementing the Office’s work in the field.
Dedicated services and sections, which report directly to the Deputy High Commissioner, handle core management, planning, coordination and outreach functions.
Since Governments have the primary responsibility to protect human rights, the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) provides assistance to Governments, such as expertise and technical trainings in the areas of administration of justice, legislative reform, and electoral process, to help implement international human rights standards on the ground.
Mainstreaming human rights
At the United Nations World Summit in 2005, world leaders reaffirmed the leading role and mandate of OHCHR in responding to the broad range of human rights challenges facing the international community today.
Standard-setting and monitoring
Our method of work focuses on three major dimensions: standard-setting, monitoring, and implementation on the ground.
OHCHR, for example, serves as the Secretariat of the Human Rights Council. The Council, consisting of State representatives, is the key United Nations intergovernmental body responsible for human rights.
Implementation on the ground
Work Method
The work of UN Human Rights encompasses three broad areas: human rights standard setting, monitoring and supporting the implementation of human rights obligations by States.
The work of UN Human Rights is based on the Office’s Management Plan (OMP), which guides implementation of the Human Rights Programme of the Secretary-General’s Strategic Framework.

2. Consider the following statements regarding the National Interlinking of Rivers Authority (NIRA).
1. NIRA is a proposed body which is expected to take up both inter-state and intra-state projects.
2. As of now, six ILR (Interlinking of Rivers) projects have been under examination of the authorities.
3. It will also make arrangements for generating funds, internally and externally.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 3 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

2. Answer-d
Explanation
National Interlinking of Rivers Authority (NIRA) The Central government is working on the establishment of an exclusive body to implement projects for linking rivers- To be called the National Interlinking of Rivers Authority (NIRA).
Functions of NIRA:
It is expected to take up both inter-State and intra-State projects.
It will also make arrangements for generating funds, internally and externally.
National River Linking Project (NRLP):
The NRLP formally known as the National Perspective Plan, envisages the transfer of water from water ‘surplus’ basins where there is flooding to water ‘deficit’ basins where there is drought/scarcity, through inter-basin water transfer projects.
Significance: It is designed to ease water shortages in western and southern India while mitigating the impacts of recurrent floods in the eastern parts of the Ganga basin.
ILR Projects in India:
As of now, six ILR projects — the Ken-Betwa, Damanganga- Pinjal, Par-Tapi-Narmada, Manas-Sankosh-Teesta-Ganga, Mahanadi-Godavari and Godavari-Cauvery (Grand Anicut) — have been under examination of the authorities.
With regard to the peninsular rivers, the Centre has chosen to focus on the Godavari-Cauvery link than the earlier proposal to link the Mahanadi-Godavari-Krishna-Pennar-Cauvery Rivers.
Issues and Concerns:
Interlinking of rivers is a very expensive proposal. It will adversely affect land, forests, biodiversity, rivers and the livelihood of millions of people.
1. Interlinking of rivers will lead to destruction of forests, wetlands and local water bodies, which are major groundwater recharge mechanisms.
2. It causes massive displacement of people. Huge burden on the government to deal with the issue of rehabilitation of displaced people.
3. Due to interlinking of rivers, there will be decrease in the amount of fresh water entering seas and this will cause a serious threat to the marine life.

3. Consider the following statements regarding the Central Water Commission (CWC).
1. CWC is headed by a Chairman, with the status of Ex-Officio Secretary to the Government of India.
2. The work of the Commission is divided among 3 wings namely, Designs and Research (D&R) Wing, River Management (RM) Wing and Water Planning and Projects (WP&P) Wing.
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-c
Explanation
Central Water Commission (CWC)
CWC (erstwhile Central Waterways, Irrigation and Navigation Commission) was established in 1945 by the Government on the advice of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Member (Labour) in Viceroy’s Executive Council. The credit for the establishment of CWINC is attributed to Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, under whose able guidance the then Labour Department constituted the Commission.
He not only raised the concept and argued for the necessity of having such a technical body at the Centre but also laid down its objectives, organisational structure and programme.
The final proposal for establishment of CWINC was prepared by the Department with the help of Rai Bahadur A.N. Khosla, the Consulting Engineer for Irrigation. Dr. Khosla was subsequently appointed as founder Chairman of the CWINC.
CWC is a premier Technical Organization of India in the field of Water Resources and is presently functioning as an attached office of the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India.
The Commission is entrusted with the general responsibilities of initiating, coordinating and furthering in consultation of the State Governments concerned, schemes for control, conservation and utilization of water resources throughout the country, for purpose of Flood Control, Irrigation, Navigation, Drinking Water Supply and Water Power Development.
It also undertakes the investigations, construction and execution of any such schemes as required.
CWC is headed by a Chairman, with the status of Ex-Officio Secretary to the Government of India.
The work of the Commission is divided among 3 wings namely, Designs and Research (D&R) Wing, River Management (RM) Wing and Water Planning and Projects (WP&P) Wing.
Each wing is placed under the charge of a full-time Member with the status of Ex-Officio Additional Secretary to the Government of India and comprising of number of Organizations responsible for the disposal of tasks and duties falling within their assigned scope of functions.
A separate Human Resources Management Unit headed by a Chief Engineer, deals with Human Resources Management or Development, Financial Management, Training and Administrative matters of the CWC.
National Water Academy located at Pune is responsible for training of Central and State in-service engineers and it functions directly under the guidance of Chairman. Altogether there are nineteen organizations located at headquarters in New Delhi and thirteen organizations spread over various locations in India.

4. Consider the following statements the National Water Development Agency (NWDA).
1. It was set up in July 1982 as autonomous Society under the society’s registration act 1860.
2. It is entrusted with implementation of ILR (Interlinking of Rivers) projects and completion of water resources projects under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY).
3. National Perspective Plan comprises of two components viz. Himalayan Rivers Development and Peninsular Rivers Development.
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-
National Water Development Agency (NWDA)
NWDA was set up in July 1982 as Autonomous Society under the societies registration act 1860, to carry out the water balance and other studies on a scientific and realistic basis for optimum utilization of water resources of the Peninsular river system for preparation of feasibility reports and thus to give concrete shape to Peninsular river development component of National perspective plan prepared by Central Water Commission and the then Ministry of Irrigation (now Ministry of Jal Shakti, DoWR, RD & GR).
In the year 1990, NWDA was also entrusted with the task of Himalayan Component of National Perspective Plan.
In 2006, it was decided that NWDA will explore the feasibility of intra-states links and to take up the work for preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) of river link proposals under National Perspective Plan (NPP). The functions of NWDA were further modified vide MoWR resolution dated 19.05.2011 to undertake the work of preparation of DPRs of intra-State links.
Recently on 7th Oct, 2016 the functions of NWDA were further modified to undertake implementation of ILR projects and completion of water resources projects under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) and to act as a repository of borrowed fund or loan from Banks / other institutions for the execution of projects.
http://nwda.gov.in/content/innerpage/overview.php


5. Consider the following statements regarding the Red Crowned Roofed Turtle.
1. Currently in India, the National Chambal River Gharial Sanctuary is the only area with substantial population of this species.
2. It is categorised as critically endangered under IUCN and listed in schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Which of the following statements is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

5. Answer-c
Explanation-
Red Crowned Roofed Turtle
Red Crowned Roofed Turtle is one of the 24 species endemic to India, is characterised by the bright colours such as red, yellow, white and blue on the faces and necks of the males.
Common Names: Bengal roof turtle, Red-crowned roofed turtle.
Distribution:
It is a freshwater turtle species found in deep flowing rivers with terrestrial nesting sites.
The Red-crowned roofed turtle is native to India, Bangladesh and Nepal.
Historically, the species was widespread in the Ganga River, both in India and Bangladesh. It also occurs in the Brahmaputra basin.
Currently in India, the National Chambal River Gharial Sanctuary is the only area with substantial population of the species, but even this Protected Area and habitat are under threat.
Major Threats:
Loss or degradation of habitat due to pollution and large scale development activities like water extraction for human consumption and irrigation and irregular flow from the upstream dams and reservoirs.
Sand mining and growing of seasonal crops along Ganga River are majorly affecting the sandbars along the river that are used by the species for nesting.
Drowning by illegal fishing nets.
Poaching and illegal trade.
Conservation Status:
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN): Critically Endangered
Wildlife Protection Act (IWPA): Schedule I
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): Appendix II

REFERENCE: https://wii.gov.in/nmcg/priority-species/reptiles/red-crowned-roofed-turtle