Current based PRELIMS QUESTION 7 April 2020

1 . Consider the following statements regarding the Simon Commission.
1. The Commission was composed entirely of British members with not a single Indian member being included.
2. It recommended the abolition of diarchy and the setting-up of representative governments in the provinces.
3. The arrival of the Commission gave an impetus to the Indian independence movement by galvanizing leaders and masses.
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-d
Explanation-
Simon Commission
The Simon Commission was a group of 7 MPs from Britain who was sent to India in 1928 to study constitutional reforms and make recommendations to the government.
The Commission was originally named the Indian Statutory Commission. It came to be known as the Simon Commission after its chairman Sir John Simon.
Background
It was Government of India Act 1919 that announced that in 10 years from 1919, a royal commission will be set up to report on the working of the act. Read the points below to understand the background of the Simon Commission:
Diarchy was introduced in India by the Government of India Act 1919. The Act also promised that a commission would be appointed after 10 years to review the working and progress made on the measures taken through the Act.
The Indian people and leaders wanted a reform of the diarchy form of government.
The Conservative Party-led government in the UK feared a defeat at the hands of the Labour Party in the elections due, and so hastened the appointment of a commission in 1928 even though it was due only in 1929 as per the 1919 Act.
The Commission was composed entirely of British members with not a single Indian member being included in it. This was seen as an insult to Indians who were right in saying that their destiny could not be determined by a handful of British people.
The Secretary of State for India, Lord Birkenhead had berated Indians on account of their perceived inability to formulate a concrete scheme of reforms through consensus among all sections of the Indian political scene.
Lord Birkenhead was responsible for setting up the Commission.
Clement Atlee was a member of the Commission. He would later become Britain’s Prime Minister during Indian independence and partition in 1947.
Why was Simon Commission boycotted?
Indian Response:
Indians were outraged at their exclusion from the Commission.
The Congress Party decided to boycott the Commission at their session at Madras in 1927.
The Muslim League led by M A Jinnah also boycotted it. A certain section of members led by Muhammad Shafi supported the government.
The Justice Party in the South decided to side with the government on this issue.
When the Commission landed in February 1928, there were mass protests, hartals and black flag demonstrations all over the country.
People were chanting the slogan, ‘Simon Go Back.’
The police resorted to lathi charges to suppress the movement. Even senior leaders like Pandit Nehru were not spared.
In Lahore, Lala Lajpat Rai, who was leading the demonstration against the Simon Commission, was brutally lathi-charged. He died later that year due to injuries sustained then.
Dr B R Ambedkar had submitted a report on behalf of the Bahishkrita Hitakarini Sabha on the education of the depressed classes in the Bombay Presidency.
Impact of the Simon Commission
The Commission’s report was published in 1930. Before the publication, the government assured that henceforth, Indian opinion would be considered and that the natural outcome of constitutional reforms would be dominion status for India.
It recommended the abolition of diarchy and the setting-up of representative governments in the provinces.
It also recommended the retention of separate communal electorates until the communal tensions had died down.
The Simon Commission led to the Government of India Act 1935 which acted as the basis for many parts of the current Indian Constitution.
The first provincial elections were held in 1937 and it saw Congress governments being set up in almost all the provinces.
The arrival of the Commission gave an impetus to the Indian independence movement by galvanizing leaders and masses.

2. Consider the following statements regarding the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
1. Most OECD members are high-income economies with a very high Human Development Index (HDI) and are regarded as developed countries.
2. OECD is an official United Nations observer and is referred to as a think-tank or as a monitoring group.
3. OECD originated in 1948, as the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC).
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
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
OECD is an international, intergovernmental economic organization of 36 countries. OECD was founded in the year 1961 to stimulate world trade and economic progress.
Most OECD members are high-income economies with a very high Human Development Index (HDI) and are regarded as developed countries.
OECD members are democratic countries that support free-market economies.
• It provides a platform for its member countries to compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify and share best practices and coordinate domestic and international policies of its member nations.
• OECD is an official United Nations observer and is referred to as a think-tank or as a monitoring group.
• The OECD’s headquarters are at the Château de la Muette in Paris, France.
• The OECD member states collectively comprised 62.2% of global nominal GDP (US$49.6 trillion) and 42.8% of global GDP (Int$54.2 trillion) at purchasing power parity in 2017.

The international dollar: It is also known as Geary–Khamis dollar. It is a hypothetical unit of currency that has the same Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) that the U.S. dollar had in the United States at a given point in time.

OECD History
• OECD originated in 1948, as the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC).
• The Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC) was founded to govern the predominantly US-funded Marshall Plan for post-war reconstruction on the continent.
• The OEEC was instrumental in helping the European Economic Community (EEC). The EEC has evolved into the European Union (EU) to establish a European Free Trade Area.
• OEEC was renamed as the OECD in 1961 when the USA and Canada joined to reflect a broader membership.
OECD Objectives
The objectives of the OECD include fostering economic development and cooperation and fighting poverty through the promotion of economic stability.
• It also ensures that the environmental impact of growth and social development is always considered.
• Over the years, OECD has raised the standards of living in multiple countries.
• It has also contributed to the expansion of world trade.
OECD Functions and Responsibilities
The OECD plays an integral role in promoting economic stability on a global scale. The OECD publishes and updates a model tax convention that serves as a template for allocating taxation rights between countries.
• The OECD is responsible for publishing economic reports, statistical databases, analyses, and forecasts on the outlook for economic growth worldwide.
• The group analyzes the impact of social issues on economic growth and makes recommendations to foster economic growth globally. These recommendations extend forethoughts to the environmental concerns associated with economic development too.
• The organization endeavors to eliminate bribery and other forms of financial crimes worldwide.
• The OECD also maintains a “blacklist” of nations that are considered uncooperative tax havens.
• It also took efforts to eradicate tax avoidance by profitable corporations and in the G-20 countries. It also encourages the G-20 countries to promote tax reforms.
Significance of OECD
The OECD provides its members with a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems.
OECD Composition
• The OECD is composed of Member Countries, Substantive Committees, and the OECD Secretariat.
• The OECD Secretariat is led by the Secretary-General and provides support to Standing and Substantive Committees. It is organized into Directorates.
• OECD currently has 36 member nations and the Member Countries are each represented by a delegation which is led by their ambassadors.
• The 36 Member Countries consist of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
• The European Commission participates in the work of the OECD alongside the EU member states.
• Colombia has been invited to join while six other countries’ (Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Peru, and Romania) request to join is under the consideration of the OECD.

India is not a member, but a key economic partner.
Reports and Indices by OECD
• Government at a Glance 2017 report.
• International Migration Outlook.
• OECD Better Life Index.

3. Consider the following statements with respect to the Crocodile.
1. The mugger/marsh crocodile is a species native to freshwater habitats from southern Iran and Pakistan to the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka.
2. In India, Mugger is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 mainly to prevent their trade.
3. There are only two species of crocodilians—Mugger and Gharial.
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. Answer-b
Explanation-
There are three species of crocodilians—saltwater, Mugger and Gharial.
Mugger:
The mugger crocodile, also called the Indian crocodile, or marsh crocodile, is found throughout the Indian subcontinent. It is listed as vulnerable by IUCN. The mugger is mainly a freshwater species, and found in lakes, rivers and marshes.
It is already extinct in Bhutan and Myanmar.
Gharial:
The Gharial or fish eating crocodile is native to the Indian subcontinent. It is listed as a Critically Endangered by IUCN. Small released populations are present and increasing in the rivers of the National Chambal Sanctuary, Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, Son River Sanctuary and the rainforest biome of Mahanadi in Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary, Orissa.
Saltwater Crocodile:
It is the largest of all living reptiles. It listed as least concern by IUCN. It is found throughout the east coast of India.
Crocodile conservation programmes in India:
The Gharial and Saltwater crocodile conservation programme was first implemented in Odisha in early 1975 and subsequently the Mugger conservation programme was initiated, since Odisha is having distinction for existence of all the three species of Indian crocodilians. The funds and technical support for the project came from UNDP/ FAO through the Government of India.
‘BAULA’ PROJECT AT DANGAMAL: ‘Baula’ is the Oriya term for Saltwater Crocodile. Dangmal is in Bhitarkanika sanctuary.
MUGGER PROJECT AT RAMATIRTHA: The Ramatirtha center, in Odisha, is meant for Mugger crocodiles.
GHARIAL PROJECT AT TIKARPADA, Odisha.
CAPTIVE BREEDING OF CROCODILES AT NANDANKANAN, Odisha.

 

4. Consider the following statements regarding the Public Service Commission.
1. Article-315 of the Indian constitution provides Public Service Commissions for the Union and for the States.
2. The expenses of the Union or a State Public Service Commission shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund of India or, as the case may be, the Consolidated Fund of the State.
3. The Government of India Act, 1935 provided for the establishment of the Public Service Commission at the Provincial level.
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-
Public Service Commission
The Government of India Act, 1935 provided for the establishment of the Public Service Commission at the Provincial level known as the State Public Service Commission and the constitution of India gave it a constitutional status as autonomous bodies.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/12KrV5-UlcVg6uR77z8dIK1_BK3beF8IJ/view?usp=sharing

5. Consider the following statements regarding the Andhra Pradesh’s Disha Act.
1. It mandates probe of a case of violence against a woman in seven days and trial in fourteen working days.
2. It reduces the total judgement time to twenty one days from the existing four months.
3. The Disha Act 2019 has prescribed the death penalty for rape crimes where there is adequate conclusive evidence.
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-d
Explanation-
Demands have been raised in Maharashtra to enact a law on similar lines.
Who is Disha?
Disha is the name given to a veterinarian who was raped and murdered in Hyderabad on November 27. She was allegedly abducted by four men who offered to help her fix her bike’s flat tyre. The body of the woman was found burnt around 30 km away at an underpass near Shadnagar on the NH-44.
What are the highlights of the Disha Act?
Introducing women and children offenders registry
The government of India has launched a National Registry of Sexual offenders but the database is not digitized and is not accessible to the public. In the Andhra Pradesh Disha Act, 2019, the Andhra Pradesh government will establish, operate and maintain a register in electronic form, to be called the ‘Women & Children Offenders Registry’.
This registry will be made public and will be available to law enforcement agencies.
Exclusive punishment of death penalty for rape crimes
At present, provision for punishing an offender in a rape case is a fixed jail term leading to life imprisonment or the death sentence.
The Disha Act 2019 has prescribed the death penalty for rape crimes where there is adequate conclusive evidence. Provision is given by amending Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Reducing the judgment period to 21 days
The existing judgment period as per the Nirbhaya Act, 2013 and Criminal Amendment Act, 2018 is 4 months (two months of investigation period and two months of trial period)
As per the Andhra Pradesh Disha Act 2019, the judgment will now have to be pronounced in 21 working days from date of offence in cases of rape crimes with substantial conclusive evidence.
The investigation shall be completed in seven working days and trial shall be completed in 14 working days. For this, amendments have been made to Section 173 and Section 309 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, 1973 and via the introduction of additional clauses in the act.
The same has been done in cases involving minors.
Stringent punishment for sexual offences against children
In cases of molestation/sexual assault on children under the POCSO Act, 2012, punishment ranges from a minimum of three years to maximum of seven years of imprisonment.
In the Andhra Pradesh Disha Act 2019, apart from rape, the Government of Andhra Pradesh prescribes life imprisonment for other sexual offences against children.
New Sections 354F and Section 354G ‘Sexual Assault on Children’ is being inserted in the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Punishment for harassment of women through social media
At present, no such provision exists in the Indian Penal Code. In the AP Disha Act, 2019, in cases of harassment of women through email, social media, digital mode or any other form, the guilty shall be punishable with imprisonment.
The imprisonment will be for a term which may extend to two years on first conviction and with imprisonment for a term which may extend to four years on second and subsequent conviction.
A new Section 354E ‘Harassment of Women’ is being added in Indian Penal Code, 1860
Establishment of exclusive special courts in every district of Andhra Pradesh
In the AP Disha Act, 2019, the government will establish exclusive special courts in each district to ensure speedy trial. These courts will exclusively deal with cases of offences against women and children including rape, acid attacks, stalking, voyeurism, social media harassment of women, sexual harassment and all cases under the POCSO Act. The state government has introduced the ‘Andhra Pradesh Special Courts for Specified Offences against Women & Children Act, 2019′.
Reducing appeal to 3 months for disposal of rape cases
At present, the period for disposal of appeal cases related to rape cases against women and children is six months. In the Andhra Pradesh Disha Act, 2019, the period for disposal of appeal cases has been reduced to three months. Amendments are being made in Section 374 and 377 of Code of Criminal Procedure Act, 1973.
Constitution of special police teams and appointment of the special public prosecutor in special courts
There is no such provision in existing laws. In the Andhra Pradesh Disha Act, 2019, the government will constitute special police teams at the district level to be called District Special Police Team to be headed by DSP for investigation of offences related to women and children.
The government will also appoint a special public prosecutor for each exclusive special court.