Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 6 August 2020

1. Consider the following statements with reference to the Minor Forest Produce (MFP).
1. The Indian Forest Act, 1927 defines MFP and this term imply to those products whether found in, or brought from a forest
2. The Government of India has launched a central sector scheme for marketing of MFP through Minimum Support Price (MSP).
3. TRIFED has introduced the MFPnet portal which is designed to act as an adjunct and a catalyst for implementing the scheme of MSP for MFP.
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-a
Explanation
Minor Forest Produce (MFP)
The Minor Forest Produce has significant economic and social value for the forest dwellers as an estimated 100 Million people derive their source of livelihood from the collection and marketing of Minor Forest Produce (Report of the National Committee on Forest Rights Act, 2011).
Tribals derive 20-40% of their annual income from Minor Forest Produce on which they spend major portion of their time.
This activity has strong linkage to women’s financial empowerment as most of the Minor Forest Produces are collected and used/sold by women. Minor Forest Produce sector has the potential to create about 10 million workdays annually in the country.
Section 2(4) of the Indian Forest Act 1927 defines only “forest-produce” and this term connotes to those products whether found in, or brought from a forest.
Minor Forest Produce (MFP) is a subset of forest produce and got a definition only in 2007 when the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, was enacted. Section 2(i) of the said Act defines a Minor Forest Produce (MFP) as all non-timber forest produce of plant origin and includes bamboo, brushwood, stumps, canes, Tusser, cocoon, honey, waxes, Lac, tendu/kendu leaves, medicinal plants and herbs, roots, tuber and the like. Thus, the definition of “minor forest produce” includes bamboo and cane, thereby

changing the categorization of bamboo and cane as “trees” under the Indian Forest Act 1927.
The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, popularly known as the Forests Rights Act (FRA), was enacted in 2007.
The Act recognizes and vests individual forest-dwellers with forest rights to live in and cultivate forest land that was occupied before 13 December 2005 and grants community forest rights to manage, protect and regenerate the forest under section 3(1)(i), and to own and dispose minor forest products from forests where they had traditional access.
Section 3(1)(c) of the Forest Rights Act 2006 defines forest rights as inclusive of ‘Right of ownership, access to collect, use and dispose of minor forest produce which have traditionally been collected within or outside village boundaries’.
Individuals, communities and GramSabhas having rights under this particular section of the Act will not only have the rights to use but also rights of ownership over MFPs.
This goes beyond the Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA Act) which had authorised states to entrust panchayats and GramSabhas as the owners of MFP.
The Government of India has launched a central sector scheme for marketing of Minor Forest Produce through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and development of value chain to ensure fair monetary returns to MFP gatherers for their efforts in collection, primary processing, storage, packaging, transportation etc.
The scheme envisages fixation and declaration of Minimum Support Price for the selected MFP based on the suggestions /inputs received from Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) which came into existence in 1987, and the States concerned. Procurement and marketing operation at pre- fixed MSP is undertaken by the designated State agencies.
The Scheme has initially being implemented in States having areas under 5th schedule of the Constitution of India.
TRIFED has also introduced the MFPnet portal which is designed to act as an adjunct and a catalyst for implementing the scheme of Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produce (MFP).
http://www.arthapedia.in/index.php?title=Minor_Forest_Produce_(MFP)

2. Consider the following statements regarding the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005.
1. The origin of the Act lies in Article 15 (2) of the Constitution of India and indicates the use of affirmative action to remedy a wrong.
2. Under this Act, women can apply for reliefs in the nature of protection order, residence order, compensation order, monetary relief and custody order.
3. It has certain crossovers from civil to criminal law so when the protection order or Magistrate’s order is violated, criminal law will start
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
Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
The origin of the Act lies in Article 15 (2) of the Constitution of India, which clearly says that “State can make special provisions for women and children” towards realizing the right to equality. This indicates the use of affirmative action to remedy a wrong.
The Act provides the creation of the office of the Protection Officer and recognizing the role of the Service Providers.
Affirmative duties have been imposed on the government to provide legal aid, medical facilities and shelter homes in the hope that women in distress be given all these facilities.
The Act is a statement of commitment by the State that domestic violence will not be tolerated.
The PWDVA is a civil law. While the objective of criminal laws is to punish the offender, a civil law is directed towards providing reliefs to the aggrieved party; in this case, the woman who faces violence at home.
The Act defines “Domestic Violence” for the first time in Indian law.
It is a comprehensive definition and captures women’s experience of abuse and includes not only physical violence but also other forms of violence such as emotional / verbal, sexual, and economic abuse.
It is based on definitions in international law such as the UN Declaration on Violence against Women and a Model Code.
The Act recognizes domestic violence as a human rights violation.
It recognizes a woman’s right to live in a violence-free home. To realize this right, the Act recognizes a woman’s right to residence and her right to obtain protection orders under the law.
The Act does not make any changes in the existing personal law regime on family matters. The reliefs under the Act are in addition to existing laws and have been recognized with the objective of empowering a woman to tide over an emergency situation. Having obtained relief under the law, a woman can still go for relief under other laws later.
Recognizing that a woman requires assistance with legal procedures and other forms of support, the PWDVA allows for the appointment of Protection Officers, and recognizes the role of Service Providers in providing medical, shelter, legal, counselling and other kinds of support services. The Protection Officer is the person in charge to assist women to avail of these facilities as well as assist her in obtaining the appropriate order under the Act.
The Act includes provisions for making Domestic Incident Reports which will serve as important records at the stage of evidence taking.
The manner in which the applications for orders under the Act have also been mentioned in the Act. Finally, the Act provides that the breach of an order obtained is a criminal offence.

3. Consider the following statements regarding the National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC).
1. It has been constituted as per Ministry of Power (MOP) notification, New Delhi in 2005.
2. It is the apex body to ensure integrated operation of the national power system.
3. The Power System Operation Corporation Limited (POSOCO) supervises and control all aspect concerning operations and manpower requirement of the NLDC.
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
National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC)
POSOCO
Power System Operation Corporation Limited (POSOCO) is a wholly owned Government of India enterprise under the Ministry of Power. It was earlier a wholly owned subsidiary of Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL). It was formed in 2009.
It is responsible to ensure the integrated operation of the Grid in a reliable, efficient, and secure manner. It consists of 5 Regional Load Despatch Centres and a National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC).
Functions of POSOCO as per directions of Ministry of Power issued from time to time
• To supervise and control all aspect concerning operations and manpower requirement of RLDCs and NLDC.
• To act as the apex organisation for human resources requirement of NLDC and RLDCs.
• To ensure planning and implementation of infrastructure required for smooth operation and development of NLDC and RLDCs.
• To coordinate the functioning of NLDC and all the RLDCs.
• To advise and assist state level Load Despatch Centers, including specialised training etc.
• To perform any other function entrusted to it by the Ministry of Power.
Constitution of National Load Despatch Centre-
There shall be a centre at the national level to be known as National Load Despatch Centre for optimum scheduling and despatch of electricity among the Regional Load Despatch Centres.
The National Load Despatch Centre shall be located at New Delhi with a backup at its centre in Kolkata.
Functions of NLDC (Ministry of Power notification dated 2nd March, 2005):
The National Load Despatch Centre shall be the apex body to ensure integrated operation of the national power system and shall discharge the following functions, namely:-
• Supervision over the Regional Load Despatch Centres;
• Scheduling and despatch of electricity over inter-regional links in accordance with grid standards specified by the Authority and grid code specified by Central Commission in coordination with Regional Load Despatch Centres;
• Coordination with Regional Load Despatch Centres for achieving maximum economy and efficiency in the operation of National Grid;
• Monitoring of operations and grid security of the National Grid;
• Supervision and control over the inter-regional links as may be required for ensuring stability of the power system under its control;
• Coordination with Regional Power Committees for regional outage schedule in the national perspective to ensure optimal utilization of power resources;
• Coordination with Regional Load Despatch Centres for the energy accounting of inter-regional exchange of power;
• Coordination for restoration of synchronous operation of national grid with Regional Load Despatch Centres;
• Coordination for trans-national exchange of power;
• Providing operational feedback for national grid planning to the Authority and the Central Transmission Utility;
• Levy and collection of such fee and charges from the generating companies or licensees involved in the power system, as may be specified by the Central Commission.
• Dissemination of information relating to operations of transmission system in accordance with directions or regulations issued by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission and the Central Government from time to time.
Functions of RLDC (Section 28 of Electricity Act, 2003)
• Be responsible for optimum scheduling and despatch of electricity within the region, in accordance with the contracts entered into with the licensees or the generating companies operating in the region;
• Monitor grid operations;
• Keep accounts of quantity of electricity transmitted through the regional grid;
• Exercise supervision and control over the inter-State transmission system; and
• Be responsible for carrying out real time operations for grid control and despatch of electricity within the region through secure and economic operation of the regional grid in accordance with the Grid Standards and the Grid Code.
• To levy and collect such fees & charges from the generating companies or licensees engaged in inter-state transmission of electricity as may be specified by the Central Commission.
https://posoco.in/about-us/mission-objectives-functions/

4. Consider the following statements with reference to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
1. It works to create and sustain an environment conducive to the development of India, partnering industry, Government, and civil society, through advisory and consultative processes.
2. It is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry-led and industry-managed organization.
3. It is focusing on five priority i.e. employment generation, rural-urban connect, energy security, environmental sustainability and governance for economic growth of 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
Answer-d
Explanation-
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) works to create and sustain an environment conducive to the development of India, partnering industry, Government, and civil society, through advisory and consultative processes.
CII is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry-led and industry-managed organization, playing a proactive role in India’s development process. Founded in 1895 and celebrating 125 years in 2020, India’s premier business association has more than 9100 members, from the private as well as public sectors, including SMEs and MNCs, and an indirect membership of over 300,000 enterprises from 291 national and regional sectoral industry bodies.
CII charts change by working closely with Government on policy issues, interfacing with thought leaders, and enhancing efficiency, competitiveness and business opportunities for industry through a range of specialized services and strategic global linkages.
It also provides a platform for consensus-building and networking on key issues.
Extending its agenda beyond business, CII assists industry to identify and execute corporate citizenship programmes.
Partnerships with civil society organizations carry forward corporate initiatives for integrated and inclusive development across diverse domains including affirmative action, healthcare, education, livelihood, diversity management, skill development, empowerment of women, and water, to name a few.
With the theme for 2019-20 as ‘Competitiveness of India Inc – India@75: Forging Ahead’, CII will focus on five priority areas which would enable the country to stay on a solid growth track. These are – employment generation, rural-urban connect, energy security, environmental sustainability and governance.
With 68 offices, including 9 Centres of Excellence, in India, and 11 overseas offices in Australia, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Indonesia, Singapore, South Africa, UAE, UK, and USA, as well as institutional partnerships with 394 counterpart organizations in 133 countries, CII serves as a reference point for Indian industry and the international business community.
https://www.cii.in/About_Us.aspx?enc=ns9fJzmNKJnsoQCyKqUmaQ==

5. Consider the following statements regarding the Code on Wages, 2019.
1. The new wage code removes the multiplicity of wage definitions, which can significantly reduce litigation as well as compliance cost for employers.
2. It subsumes four existing central labour legislations The Minimum Wages Act, 1948, The Payment of Wages Act, 1936, The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 and The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.
3. A National Floor Level Minimum Wage will be set by the Centre and will be revised every five years, while states will fix minimum wages for their regions, which cannot be lower than the floor wage.
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-
The Code on Wages, 2019
It seeks to regulate wage and bonus payments in all employments where any industry, trade, business, or manufacture is carried out.
The Code replaces the following four laws: (i) the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, (ii) the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, (iii) the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, and (iv)The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.
Coverage:
The Code will apply to all employees. The central government will make wage-related decisions for employments such as railways, mines, and oil fields, among others.
State governments will make decisions for all other employments.
Wages include salary, allowance, or any other component expressed in monetary terms. This does not include bonus payable to employees or any travelling allowance, among others.
Floor wage:
According to the Code, the central government will fix a floor wage, taking into account living standards of workers. Further, it may set different floor wages for different geographical areas. Before fixing the floor wage, the central government may obtain the advice of the Central Advisory Board and may consult with state governments.
The minimum wages decided by the central or state governments must be higher than the floor wage.
In case the existing minimum wages fixed by the central or state governments are higher than the floor wage, they cannot reduce the minimum wages.
Fixing the minimum wage:
The Code prohibits employers from paying wages less than the minimum wages.
Minimum wages will be notified by the central or state governments. This will be based on time, or number of pieces produced.
The minimum wages will be revised and reviewed by the central or state governments at an interval of not more than five years.
While fixing minimum wages, the central or state governments may take into account factors such as: (i) skill of workers, and (ii) difficulty of work.

Overtime:
The central or state government may fix the number of hours that constitute a normal working day.
In case employees work in excess of a normal working day, they will be entitled to overtime wage, which must be at least twice the normal rate of wages.
Payment of wages:
Wages will be paid in (i) coins, (ii) currency notes, (iii) by cheque, (iv) by crediting to the bank account, or (v) through electronic mode. The wage period will be fixed by the employer as either: (i) daily, (ii) weekly, (iii) fortnightly, or (iv) monthly.
Deductions:
Under the Code, an employee’s wages may be deducted on certain grounds including: (i) fines, (ii) absence from duty, (iii) accommodation given by the employer, or (iv) recovery of advances given to the employee, among others.
These deductions should not exceed 50% of the employee’s total wage.
Determination of bonus:
All employees whose wages do not exceed a specific monthly amount, notified by the central or state government, will be entitled to an annual bonus.
The bonus will be at least: (i) 8.33% of his wages, or (ii) Rs 100, whichever is higher. In addition, the employer will distribute a part of the gross profits amongst the employees.
This will be distributed in proportion to the annual wages of an employee. An employee can receive a maximum bonus of 20% of his annual wages.
Gender discrimination:
The Code prohibits gender discrimination in matters related to wages and recruitment of employees for the same work or work of similar nature.
Work of similar nature is defined as work for which the skill, effort, experience, and responsibility required are the same.
Advisory boards:
The central and state governments will constitute advisory boards.
The Central Advisory Board will consist of: (i) employers, (ii) employees (in equal number as employers), (iii) independent persons, and (iv) five representatives of state governments.
State Advisory Boards will consist of employers, employees, and independent persons. Further, one-third of the total members on both the central and state Boards will be women.
The Boards will advise the respective governments on various issues including: (i) fixation of minimum wages, and (ii) increasing employment opportunities for women.
Offences:
The Code specifies penalties for offences committed by an employer, such as (i) paying less than the due wages, or (ii) for contravening any provision of the Code.
Penalties vary depending on the nature of offence, with the maximum penalty being imprisonment for three months along with a fine of up to one lakh rupees.
https://www.prsindia.org/billtrack/code-wages-2019