Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 6 July 2020

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1. Dr. V K Paul Committee frequently seen in news, this is related with which of the following?
(a) A high level experts committee for restructuring of NITI Aayog
(b) A high level technical committee of Public Health Experts for COVID-19
(c) A high level experts committee for Civil liberties
(d) A high level technical committee for development plan of new Parliament
Answer-b
Explanation
The Empowered Committee for COVID-19 Response
The government has constituted a high level technical committee of Public Health Experts for COVID-19 to guide the prevention and control activities in the country.
The 21 member committee will be headed by NITI Aayog member Dr V K Paul. Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan and Director General Indian Council of Medical Research is the Co-Chair.
In addition, Director, AIIMS, Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director of National Center for Disease Control, Delhi Dr Sujeet Singh, Director of Institute of Infectious Diseases, Pune Dr Sanjay Pujari and Additional Chief Secretary of Kerala Dr Rajan Khobragade are among the individuals from the Task Force.
http://www.newsonair.com/Main-News-Details.aspx?id=383564

2. Consider the following statements with reference to the Olympics Games
1. The honour of holding the Olympic Games is entrusted to a city, not to a country.
2. It was Baron de Coubertin’s determination and organizational genius; however that gave impetus to the modern Olympic movement.
3. Application to hold the Games is made by the chief authority of the city, with the support of the national government.
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
Japanese PM and IOC chief agree to postpone 2020 Olympics until 2021

The Olympic Games are an international sports festival that began in ancient Greece. The original Greek games were staged every fourth year for several hundred years, until they were abolished in the early Christian era.
The revival of the Olympic Games took place in 1896, and since then they have been staged every fourth year, except during World War I and World War II (1916, 1940, 1944).
Perhaps the basic difference between the ancient and modern Olympics is that the former was the ancient Greeks’ way of saluting their gods, whereas the modern Games are a manner of saluting the athletic talents of citizens of all nations.
The original Olympics featured competition in music, oratory, and theatre performances as well. The modern Games have a more expansive athletic agenda, and for 2 and half weeks they are supposed to replace the rancour of international conflict with friendly competition. In recent times, however, that lofty ideal has not always been attained.
The Ancient Olympics
It is certain that during the mid summer of 776 B.C. a festival was held at Olympia on the highly civilized eastern coast of the Peloponnesian peninsula.
As a testimony to the religious nature of the Games (which were held in honour of Zeus, the most important god in the ancient Greek pantheon), all wars would cease during the contests.
According to the earliest records, only one athletic event was held in the ancient Olympics — a footrace of about 183 m (200 yd), or the length of the stadium. A cook, Coroibus of Elis, was the first recorded winner.
The first few Olympics had only local appeal and were limited to one race on one day; only men were allowed to compete or attend. A second race — twice the length of the stadium — was added in the 14th Olympics, and a still longer race was added to the next competition, four years later.
When the powerful, warlike Spartans began to compete, they influenced the agenda. The 18th Olympiad included wrestling and a pentathlon consisting of running, jumping, spear throwing (the javelin), discus throwing, and wrestling. Boxing was added at the 23rd Olympiad, and the Games continued to expand, with the addition of chariot racing and other sports. In the 37th Olympiad (632 B.C.) the format was extended to five days of competition.
Human beings were being glorified as well as the gods; many winners erected statues to deify themselves.
In A.D. 394 the Games were officially ended by the Roman emperor Theodosius I, who felt that they had pagan connotations.
The Modern Olympics
The revival of the Olympic Games in 1896, unlike the original Games, has a clear, concise history. Pierre de Coubertin (1863–1937), a young French nobleman, felt that he could institute an educational program in France that approximated the ancient Greek notion of a balanced development of mind and body.
The Greeks themselves had tried to revive the Olympics by holding local athletic games in Athens during the 1800s, but without lasting success.
It was Baron de Coubertin’s determination and organizational genius; however that gave impetus to the modern Olympic movement.
In 1892 he addressed a meeting of the Union des Sports in Paris. Despite meager response he persisted, and an international sports congress eventually convened on June 16, 1894.
He found ready and unanimous support from the nine countries. De Coubertin had initially planned to hold the Olympic Games in France, but the representatives convinced him that Greece was the appropriate country to host the first modern Olympics.
The council did agree that the Olympics would move every four years to other great cities of the world.
Thirteen countries competed at the Athens Games in 1896. Nine sports were on the agenda: cycling, fencing, gymnastics, lawn tennis, shooting, swimming, track and field, weight lifting, and wrestling.
The 14-man U.S. team dominated the track and field events, taking first place in 9 of the 12 events. The Games were a success, and a second Olympiad, to be held in France, was scheduled.
Beginning in 1924, a Winter Olympics was included — to be held at a separate cold-weather sports site in the same year as the Summer Games the first held at Chamonix, France.
But the Summer Games, with its wide array of events, are still the focal point of the modern Olympics.
The Games are governed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), whose headquarters is in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The Summer and Winter Games were traditionally held in the same year, but because of the increasing size of both Olympics, the Winter Games were shifted to a different schedule after 1992. They were held in Lillehammer, Norway in 1994, in Nagano, Japan in 1998, in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002, in Turin, Italy in 2006, and in 2010, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The awarding of the Olympic Games
The honour of holding the Olympic Games is entrusted to a city, not to a country.
The choice of the city lies solely with the IOC. Application to hold the Games is made by the chief authority of the city, with the support of the national government.
Applications must state that no political meetings or demonstrations will be held in the stadium or other sports grounds or in the Olympic Village. Applicants also promise that every competitor shall be given free entry without any discrimination on grounds of religion, colour, or political affiliation. This involves the assurance that the national government will not refuse visas to any of the competitors.
https://www.britannica.com/sports/Olympic-Games/Programs-and-participation

3. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has the power to hear all civil cases relating to environmental issues and questions that are linked to
1. The Indian Forest Act, 1927.
2. The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
3. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
4. The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.
5. The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
6. The Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6
(b) 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
(c) 3, 4, 5 and 6
(d) All of the above
Answer-c
Explanation-
National Green Tribunal (NGT)
The NGT has been established on 18.10.2010 under the NGT, 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. It is a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues.
The Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 or the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice. However, the Tribunal is vested with the powers of a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure for discharging its functions.
The Tribunal’s dedicated jurisdiction in environmental matters shall provide speedy environmental justice and help reduce the burden of litigation in the higher courts. The Tribunal is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same. Decisions of the Tribunal are binding.
The Tribunal has a presence in five zones- North, Central, East, South and West. The Principal Bench is situated in the North Zone, headquartered in Delhi. The Central zone bench is situated in Bhopal, East zone in Kolkata, South zone in Chennai and West zone in Pune.
The Tribunal is headed by the Chairperson who sits in the Principal Bench and has at least ten but not more than twenty judicial members and at least ten but not more than twenty expert members.
Any person seeking relief and compensation for environmental damage involving subjects in the legislations mentioned in Schedule I of the NGT, 2010 may approach the Tribunal. The statutes in Schedule-I are:
1. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974;
2. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977;
3. The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980;
4. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981;
5. The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986;
6. The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991;
7. The Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
The Tribunal has jurisdiction over all civil cases involving a substantial question relating to environment and the question. Additionally, any person aggrieved by an order/direction of any of the Appellate Authorities under the legislations mentioned above can also challenge them before the NGT.
The Tribunal comprises of the Chairperson, the Judicial Members and Expert Members. They shall hold office for term of five years and are not eligible for reappointment. The Chairperson of the NGT is a retired Judge of the Supreme Court, Head Quartered in Delhi.
Other Judicial members are retired Judges of High Courts. Each bench of the NGT will comprise of at least one Judicial Member and one Expert Member.
Expert members should have a professional qualification and a minimum of 15 years experience in the field of environment/forest conservation and related subjects.
https://greentribunal.gov.in/

4. Consider the following statements regarding the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).
1. Under this scheme, each MP has the choice to recommend to the District Magistrate for works to the tune of Rs.50 Crores annually to be taken up in her/his constituency.
2. The Members of Parliament for Council of State can recommend works in one or more districts in the State from where he/she has been elected.
3. The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) issues the guidelines for this Scheme including implementation and monitoring of the scheme.
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-
MPLADS funds may be utilized for COVID-19
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) has issued a circular granting one-time dispensation for utilizing funds under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) to address the challenges in the fight against COVID-19.
This will facilitate Members of Parliament to recommend funds for purchase of equipments for Government Hospitals / Dispensaries for medical testing and screening of patients and also facilitate in setting up other related facilities in their respective constituencies.
As per the amendments to MPLADS Guidelines, Members of Parliament can now utilize funds under MPLADS for the following:-
 Infra-Red thermometers (Non-contact) to enable doctors and medical personnel to record and track a person’s temperature.
 Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Kits to keep the medical personnel well-protected and enable them to function efficiently by minimizing the risk of transmission.
 Thermal imaging scanners or cameras for railway stations, airports and other points of entry which allow detecting of temperature from a safe distance.
 CORONA testing kits approved by M/o Health and Family Welfare.
 ICU Ventilator and Isolation/ Quarantine Wards within their approved facilities.
 Face masks, gloves and Sanitizers for medical personnel.
 Any other medical equipment recommended by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19.
Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS)
Under the scheme, each MP has the choice to suggest to the District Collector for works to the tune of Rs.5 Crores per annum to be taken up in his/her constituency.
The RajyaSabha Members of Parliament can recommend works in one or more districts in the State from where he/she has been elected.
The Nominated Members of the Lok Sabha and RajyaSabha may select any one or more Districts from any one State in the Country for implementation of their choice of work under the scheme. https://pib.gov.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=200650
https://www.mplads.gov.in/mplads/Default.aspx

5. Consider the following statements regarding the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT).
1. It is member owned cooperative that provides safe and secure financial transactions for its members.
2. It works by assigning each member institution a unique ID code that identifies not only the bank name but country, city, and branch.
3. It was established in 1937 which uses a standardized proprietary communications platform to facilitate the transmission of information about financial transactions.
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-b 
Explanation-
Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT)
It is member-owned cooperative that provides safe and secure financial transactions for its members.
This payments network allows individuals and businesses to take electronic or card payments even if the customer or vendor uses a different bank that the payee.
For money transfers, SWIFT assigns each participating financial organization a unique code with either eight or eleven characters. The code has three interchangeable names: the bank identifier code (BIC), SWIFT code, SWIFT ID, or ISO 9362 code.
Established in 1973, it uses a standardized proprietary communications platform to facilitate the transmission of information about financial transactions.
Financial institutions securely exchange this information, including payment instructions, among themselves.
The cooperative began operating in 15 countries in 1973 and now operates in 210 countries, linking more than 10,000 financial institutions.
It is headquartered in Belgium and has offices in the United States, Brazil, Australia, India, Japan, Korea, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, UAE and Russian Federation.
https://www.swift.com/about-us
https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/050515/how-swift-system-works.asp