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International Current Affairs Latest Posts

The Alternative Deal between UK and EU on Brexit: Miles to Go

Boris Johnson seems to have secured a new Brexit deal from the European Union. The EU, which was not agreeable to any change in Theresa May’s has at least indicated to replace the controversial Irish border issue (called Irish Backstop)   replacing it with an alternative plan, offered  up by the UK Brexit negotiators on under Boris John. However, However, even if the EU has agreed with the Boris Johnson’s alternative plan, securing the Brexit would still be facing a tough Brexit process. The UK Parliament is sitting on October 19, 2019 for the first time in decades, where lawmakers will approve or disapprove the alternative Brexit plan.The immediate fallout of that vote could have profound consequences for the future of the United Kingdom.

Against the odds and at the last minute, the United Kingdom and the European Union struck a new Brexit deal on On October 17, 2019. Speaking at a joint news conference with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters that the new withdrawal agreement “represents a very good deal for both the EU and UK” and that he hoped UK lawmakers would “come together to get Brexit done, to get this excellent deal over the line.” The latest alternative deal between the U.K and the EU has been possible after continued and hard negotiations,  two weeks before the Brexit deadline of October 31.

What is the new alternative deal?

The EU and the UK made changes to both the withdrawal agreement — the divorce settlement that sets the terms of the breakup and sets up a post-Brexit transition period — and the political declaration, which lays out the prospect of the future relationship between the EU and the UK.

Change in Withdrawal Agreement

The withdrawal agreement was one of the major sticking point in the Brexit deal for the better part of the past year. The changes could be understood if one knows about the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, as it’s technically called, is a safeguard in the Brexit withdrawal agreement to guarantee that, no matter what happens with the future EU-UK relationship, the border between Northern Ireland (which is part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (which is an EU member-state) remains free of infrastructure and physical checks on goods. This commitment was seen as vital to the peace process in Northern Ireland. That’s because that border was heavily militarized during the Troubles, the decades-long conflict in Northern Ireland between “nationalists,” who identified more closely with Ireland and sought a united Ireland, and “unionists,” who identified more closely with Britain and wanted to remain part of the UK.

After the UK voted to leave the EU in June 2016, there was an apprehension once the UK left the Brexit, the Irish border wouldn’t just separate Northern Ireland and Ireland anymore — it would be the dividing line between the EU and the UK. And since the two would have different rules and regulations for trade and commerce, there would have to be some sort of inspection stations or checkpoints established on that border. That led many to fear that a “hard” physical border would have to once again be erected, potentially refueling violence.

How to balance the two positions — the UK’s desire to leave and the need to keep the Irish border open — has been the impossible issue of Brexit. So the two sides came up with a fudge: the “backstop.” Under the plan agreed to by May and the EU last year, the entire United Kingdom would remain part of the EU customs union, which would have kept all of Britain in the same trading scheme as the EU. But this was unacceptable to Brexiteers who wanted to full break with EU rules and institutions, and so they kept voting down the deal.

The New Alternative Replacement Backstop

The New replacement backstop will keep only Northern Ireland closely aligned with the EU rules, specifically on goods. This avoids any checks on the island of Ireland, though they will still have to happen on goods moving to or from the island of Ireland from the rest of Britain. But the whole of the United Kingdom — including Northern Ireland — will get to leave the EU customs union. The arrangements are kind of complicated — for example, the UK will have to apply and collect EU tariffs if any goods going from the rest of Britain are at risk of entering Ireland, otherwise known as EU territory.

So there are clearly some things to be worked out here; but all of the UK leaving the customs union means it can negotiate independent trade deals (something that’s really important to Brexiteers). It also means Johnson can say (and maybe run an election on the fact) that he took all of the UK out of the EU customs union, a big reason many opposed the previous Brexit deal. Another addition to this version of the deal is the ability for the Northern Irish government to have a say. The Assembly in Northern Ireland will be able to vote to continue the arrangements four years after they go into effect. (That’s 2021 or 2023, depending on how long the transition lasts.) It will just need a simple majority, rather than needing the majority of unionists and nationalists, which avoids one group getting a veto.

But both the EU and the UK made concessions. The EU stayed firm on its position that safeguards needed to be in place for the Irish border, and Johnson got the UK out of the EU’s regulatory regime. Despite claims for win-win by the U.K and the EU, it seems that this is an imperfect deal. Everything else in the withdrawal bill is pretty much unchanged, and the same as what May brought back last year.

Changes in Political Declaration

There were some small changes in the Political Declaration as well. It will set the framework for future negotiations on the EU-UK relationship. While there’s still likely something for everyone to hate, the political declaration points to a future relationship built on a much harder Brexit, rather than close alignment with EU rules.

Miles to Go

It doesn’t mean Brexit is a done deal: Johnson must still get the support of UK Parliament. And that remains a tall order. It is a perplexing question whether Boris Johnson would succeeed where Theresa May failed thrice?

There is one sure lesson from his predecessor Theresa May- getting a deal between the UK and the EU isn’t the hard part – getting the British Parliament to back it is. And it is still difficult for Boris Johnson to get the new UK-EU deal approved in the Parliament. There are 650 members of Parliament, but seven of them belong to the Irish nationalist Sinn Fein party. On principle, they never take their seats. The Speaker of the Commons, John Bercow   and his three deputies also don’t vote. That leaves 639 MPs who do vote, which means Johnson needs 320 – a simple majority – to get his Brexit deal through. Or to put it another way, if 320 lawmakers vote against it, it’s dead.The opposition Labour Party says they won’t back it. There are 244 Labour MPs, but a handful of them voted for Theresa May’s deal and might vote for Boris Johnson’s. Let’s figure around 240 Labour MPs will vote against – although Johnson will actually be hoping as many as two dozen will swing to his side. The Democratic Unionist Party, which props up the Conservative government, says they won’t vote for the deal. There are only 10 of them, but they’re a disciplined bunch with very clear views, so if they say they won’t vote for it, they probably won’t. That makes 250 against. The Scottish Nationalist Party, Plaid Cymru, Independent Group for Change and the one Green MP are all likely to vote against the Johnson deal – another 45 against, for a total of about 295. Then there are the Liberal Democrats, who are riding high on being the main national party that unequivocally opposes Brexit. There are 19 of them, one of whom could vote for the deal. If we assume 18 of them won’t, that’s 313 against, leaving Johnson’s deal dangerously close to defeat.

But could he corral all of the remaining lawmakers to back him so he squeaks out a 326-313 victory? Most of the Conservative Party will back the deal, as will many of the independents who were Conservatives until Johnson kicked them out of the party for voting against him in the past. The optimistic estimates put the number of current and former Conservatives in Johnson’s corner around 305. But that leaves between a dozen and two dozen votes that could go either way, even without a significant rebellion from the Conservatives who call themselves the European Research Group and are hardline Brexiteers. Boris Johnson started his premiership with an unprecedented string of seven defeats in a row in Parliamentary votes. Saturday’s vote will arguably be his most important yet. And as it stands, the result is too close to call.

Categories
Business and Economy

India-US Bilateral Defense Trade To Reach $18 Billion By Year End: Pentagon

According to the Pentagon, the bilateral defense trade between the two countries is expected to reach USD 18 billion by the year end. The relationship marks a slow but sure drift in India’s sourcing of defense procurement on one hand and defense partnership on the other. This is expected to get further fillip in the forthcoming ninth India-US Defence Technologies and Trade Initiative or DTTI group in New Delhi next week. This trend is clearly reaffirmed by a recent statement of Ellen M Lord, Undersecretary Of Defense For Acquisition And Sustainment that  the US is committed to strengthen its partnership with India while furthering military-to-military relationships and cooperation.

India –US bilateral defense trade shows a rising trend since 2008, rising from a negligible level to an estimated $18 billion by the end of 2019. This indicates diversification in the source of defense procurement of India. India had been traditionally procuring defense related products mainly from Russia. This is also an evidence to India’s increasing realism in military partnership given fast changing geo-political scenario. This is also an evidence of India’s interest in acquiring state of the art modern technology based defense equipment. In the quest for increased military partnership with India, the US granted the India Strategic Trade Authority Tier 1 designation in  August 2018, providing New Delhi with greater supply-chain efficiency by allowing American companies to export a greater range of dual-use and high-technology items to India under streamlined processes. This is said to have granted India the same authorisation as NATO allies Japan, South Korea and Australia. Earlier the Pentagon in its defense policy related documents substituted “Asia-Pacific” by “Indo-Pacific” clearly Indicating that United States is interested to give more importance to India in its Asia policy and interest in working together in the Indo-Pacific region.

The Indo-US partnership, however, requires a clever balancing its relationship with its traditional partners like Russia. India is the second largest market for the Russian defense industry. In 2017, approximately 68% of the Indian Military’s hardware import came from Russia, making Russia the chief supplier of defense equipment. Russia has stated publicly that it supports India receiving a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. In addition, Russia has expressed interest in joining SAARC with observer status in which India is a founding member. Russia with 68%, USA 14% and Israel 7.2% are the major arms suppliers to India (2012-2016), and India and Russia have deepened their Make in India defense manufacturing cooperation by signing agreements for the construction of naval frigates, KA-226T twin-engine utility helicopters (joint venture (JV) to make 60 in Russia and 140 in India), Brahmos cruise missile (JV with 50.5% India and 49.5% Russia) (Dec 2017 update). Under the leadership of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi  and President Vladimir Putin, the bilateral relationship has seen further growth and development. An informal meeting between them in 2018 at Sochi helped accelerate the partnership, displaying the role of interaction and cooperation between India and Russia.

Categories
Prizes and Awards

Filmfare Awards 2019

  • BEST FILM– RAAZI
  • CRITICS BEST FILM– ANDHADHUN
  • BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE (MALE)– RANBIR KAPOOR- Movie – SANJU
  • CRITICS BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE (MALE)– AYUSHMANN KHURRANA-Movie – ANDHADHUN
  • CRITICS BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE (MALE)– RANVEER SINGH-Movie – PADMAAVAT
  • BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE (FEMALE)– ALIA BHATT-Movie – RAAZI
  • CRITICS BEST ACTOR IN LEADING ROLE (FEMALE)– NEENA GUPTA-Movie – BADHAAI HO
  • BEST DIRECTOR– MEGHNA GULZAR-Movie – RAAZI
  • BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE (MALE)– GAJRAJ RAO-Movie – BADHAAI HO
  • BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE (MALE)– VICKY KAUSHAL-Movie – SANJU
  • BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE (FEMALE)– SUREKHA SIKHRI-Movie – BADHAAI HO
  • BEST MUSIC ALBUM– SANJAY LEELA BHANSALI-Movie – PADMAAVAT
  • BEST LYRICS– GULZAR-Movie – RAAZI-Song – AE WATAN
  • BEST PLAYBACK SINGER (MALE)– ARIJIT SINGH-Movie – RAAZI-Song – AYE WATAN
  • BEST PLAYBACK SINGER (FEMALE)– SHREYA GHOSHAL-Movie – PADMAAVAT-Song – GHOOMAR
  • PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD FOR BEST SHORT FILM– PLUS MINUS
  • BEST SHORT FILM IN FICTION– ROGAN JOSH
  • BEST SHORT FILM IN NON FICTION– THE SOCCER CITY
  • BEST ACTOR FEMALE SHORT FILM– KIRTI KULHARI-Movie – MAYA
  • BEST ACTOR MALE SHORT FILM– HUSSAIN DALAL-Movie – SHAMELESS
  • BEST ORIGINAL STORY– ANUBHAV SINHA-Movie – MULK
  • BEST SCREENPLAY– SRIRAM RAGHAVAN, ARIJIT BISWAS, POOJA LADHA SURTI, YOGESH CHANDEKAR, HEMANTH RAO-Movie – ANDHADHUN
  • BEST DIALOGUE– AKSHAT GHILDIAL-Movie – BADHAAI HO
  • BEST EDITING– POOJA LADHA SURTI-Movie – ANDHADHUN
  • BEST CHOREOGRAPHY– KRUTI MAHESH MIDYA AND JYOTHI D TOMMAAR-Movie –PADMAAVAT-Song – GHOOMAR
  • BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY– PANKAJ KUMAR-Movie – TUMBBAD

Other Winners

  • Rd Burman Award For Upcoming Talent In Film Music-Niladri Kumar (Laila Majnu)
  • 50 Years of Outstanding Contribution to Cinema-Hema Malini
  • Best Debut Director-Amar Kaushik (Stree)
  • Best Debut Female-Sara Ali Khan (Kedarnath)
  • Best Debut Male -Ishaan Khattar (Beyond The Clouds)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award-Sridevi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Readings for Prelims

Civil Services Prelims Solved Paper- Series B

1. Consider the following statements:

1.       Agricultural soils release nitrogen oxides into environment.

2.       Cattle release ammonia into environment.

3.       Poultry industry release reactive nitrogen compounds into environment

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 and 3 only

B.  2 and 3 only

C.  2 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: D

 

2. What is common to the places known as Aliyar, Isapur and Kangsabati?

A. Recently discovered uranium deposits

B.  Tropical rain forests

C.  Underground cave systems

D.   Water reservoirs

ANSWER: D

 

3. In the context of proposals to the use of hydrogen-enriched CNG (H-CNG) as fuel for buses in public transport, consider the following statements:

1.       The main advantage of the use of H-CNG is the elimination of carbon monoxide emissions.

2.       H-CNG as fuel reduces carbon dioxide and hydrocarbon emissions.

3.       Hydrogen up to one-fifth by volume can be blended with CNG as fuel for buses.

4.       H-CNG makes the fuel less expensive than CNG.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 only

B.  2 and 3 only

C.  4 only

D.   1, 2, 3 and 4

ANSWER: D

4. Why are dewdrops not formed on a cloudy night?

A. Clouds absorb the radiation released from the Earth’s surface

B.  Clouds reflect back the Earth’s radiation

C.  The Earth’s surface would have low temperature on cloudy nights.

D.   Clouds deflect the blowing wind to ground level.

ANSWER: A

 

5. Consider the following statements.

1.       The 44th Amendment to the Constitution of India introduced an Article placing the election of the Prime Minister beyond judicial review.

2.       The Supreme Court of India struck down the 99th Amendment to the constitution of India as being violative of the independence of judiciary.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 only

B.  2 only

C.  Both 1 and 2

D.   Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWER: B

 

6. Consider the following statements:

1.       The motion to impeach a Judge of the Supreme Court of India cannot be rejected by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha as per the Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968

2.       The Constitution of India defines and gives details of what constitutes ‘incapacity and proved misbehavior’ of the Judges of the Supreme Court of IndiA.

3.       The details of the process of impeachment of the Judges of the Supreme Court of India are given in the Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968

4.       If the motion for the impeachment of a Judge is taken pu for voting, the law requires the motion to be backed by each House of the Parliament and supported by a majority of total membership of that House and by not less than two-thirds of total members of that House present and voting.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 and 2

B.  3 only

C.  3 and 4 only

D.   1, 3 and 4

ANSWER: C

 

7. The Ninth Schedule was introduced in the Constitution of India during the prime minister ship of

A. Jawaharlal Nehru

B.  Lal Bahadur Shastri

C.  Indira Gandhi

D.   Morarji Desai

ANSWER: A

 

8. Consider the following statements

1.       Coal sector was nationalized by the Government of India under Indira Gandhi.

2.       Now, coal blocks are allocated on lottery basis.

3.       Till recently, India imported coal to meet the shortages of domestic supply, but now India is self- Sufficient in coal production.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 only

B.  2 and 3 only

C.  3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: A

 

9. Consider the following statements:

1. The Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959 exempts several posts from disqualification on the grounds of ‘Office of Profit’.

2. The above-mentioned Act was amended five times.

3. The term ‘office of Profit’ is well-defined in the Constitution of IndiA.

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

ANSWER: A

 

10. Under which Schedule of the Constitution of India can the transfer of tribal land to private parties for mining be declared null and void?

A. Third Schedule

B.  Fifth Schedule

C.  Ninth Schedule

D.   Twelfth Schedule

ANSWER: B

 

11. Recently, there was a growing awareness in our country about the importance of Himalayan nettle (Girardinia diversifolia) because it is found to be a sustainable source of

A. anti-malarial drug

B.  biodiesel

C.  pulp for paper industry

D.   textile fibre

ANSWER: D

 

12. For the measurement/estimation of which of the following are satellite images/remote sensing data used?

1. Chlorophyll content in the vegetation of a specific location

2. Greenhouse gas emissions from rice paddies of a specific location

3. Land surface temperature of a specific location

Select the correct answer using the code given below

A. 1 only

B.  2 and 3 only

C.  3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: D

 

13. Consider the following States

1.       Chhattisgarh

2.       Madhya Pradesh

3.       Maharashtra

4.       Odisha

With reference to the States mentioned above, in terms of percentage of forest cover to the total area of State, which one of the following is the correct ascending order?

A.  2–3–1–4

B.   2–3–4–1

C.   3–2–4–1

D.    3–2–1–4

ANSWER: C

 

14. Which of the following statements are correct about the deposits of ‘methane hydrate’?

1. Global warming might trigger the release of methane gas from these deposits.

2. Large deposits of ‘methane hydrate’ are found in Arctic Tundra and under the seafloor.

3. Methane in atmosphere oxidizes to carbon dioxide after a decade or two.

Select the correct answer using the code given below

A. 1 and 2 only

B.  2 and 3 only

C.  1 and 3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: D

 

15. Consider the following

1.       Carbon monoxide

2.       Methane

3.       Ozone

4.       Sulphur dioxide

Which of the above are released into atmosphere due to the burning of crop/biomass residue?

A. 1 and 2 only

B.  2, 3 and 4 only

C.  1 and 4 only

D.   1, 2, 3 and 4

ANSWER: D

 

16. Consider the following pairs:

1. Adriatic Sea: Albania

2. Black Sea: Croatia

3. Caspian Sea: Kazakhstan

4. Mediterranean Sea: Morocco

5. Red Sea           : Syria

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

A. 1, 2 and 4 only

B.  1, 3 and 4 only

C.  2 and 5 only

D.   1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

ANSWER: B

 

17. Among the following, which one is the largest exporter of rice in the world in the last five years?

A. China

B.  India

C.  Myanmar

D.   Vietnam

ANSWER: B

 

18. Consider the following pairs:

Glacier         River

1. Bandarpunch : Yamuna

2. Bara Shigri      : Chenab

3. Milam              : Mandakini

4. Siachen           : Nubra

5. Zemu               : Manas

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

A. 1, 2 and 4

B.  1, 3 and 4

C.  2 and 5

D.   3 and 5

ANSWER: A

 

19. In India, the use of carbofuran, methyl parathion, phoratc and triazophos is viewed with apprehension. These chemicals are used as

A. Pesticides in agriculture

B.  Preservatives in processed foods

C.  Fruit-ripening agents

D.   Moisturizing agents in cosmetics

ANSWER: A

 

20. Consider the following statements.

1. Under Ramsar Convention, it is mandatory on the part of the Government of India to protect and conserve all the wetlands in the territory of IndiA.

2. The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 were framed by the Government of India based on the recommendations of Ramsar Convention.

3. The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 also encompass the drainage area or catchment regions of the wetlands as determined by the authority.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 and 2 only

B.  2 and 3 only

C.  3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: B

 

21. Building ‘Kalyaana Mandapas’ was a notable feature in the temple construction in the kingdom of.

A. Chalukya

B.  Chandela

C.  Rashtrakuta

D.   Vijayanagara

ANSWER: D

 

22. Consider the following statements:

1. In the revenue administration of Delhi Sultanate, the in-charge of revenue collection was known as ‘Amil’.

2. The Iqta system of Sultans of Delhi was an ancient indigenous institution.

3. The office of ‘Mir Bakshi’ came into existence during the reign of Khalji Sultans of Delhi

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 only

B.  1 and 2 only

C.  3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: A

 

23. Consider the following statements:

1. Saint Nibarka was a contemporary of Akbar.

2. Saint Kabir was greatly influenced by Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 only

B.  2 only

C.  Both 1 and 2

D.   Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWER: D

 

24. With reference to the British colonial rule in India, consider the following statements:

1. Mahatma Gandhi was instrumental in the abolition of the system of ‘indentured labour’.

2. In Lord Chelmsford’s ‘War Conference’, Mahatma Gandhi did not support the resolution on recruiting Indians for World War.

3. Consequent upon the breaking of Salt Law by Indian people, the   Indian   National   Congress was declared illegal by the colonial rulers.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

A. 1 and 2 only

B.  1 and 3 only

C.  2 and 3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: B

 

25. With reference to Indian National Movement, consider the following pairs

Person                                       Position held

1.       Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru:    President, All India Liberal Federation

2.       K.C. Neogy                    :   Member, The Constituent Assembly

3.       P.C. Joshi                       :  General Secretary, Communist Party of India

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

A. 1 only

B.  1 and 2 only

C.  3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: D

 

26. With reference to Mian Tansen, which one of the following statements is not correct?

A. Tansen was the title given to him by Emperor Akbar.

B.  Tansen composed Dhrupads on Hindu gods and goddesses.

C.  Tansen composed songs on his patrons.

D.   Tansen invented many Ragas.

ANSWER: A

 

27.   Who among the following Mughal Emperors shifted emphasis from illustrated manuscripts to album and individual portrait?

A. Humayun

B.  Akbar

C.  Jahangir

D.   Shah Jahan

ANSWER: C

 

28. Which one of the following National Parks lies completely in the temperate alpine zone?

A. Manas National Park

B.  Namdapha National Park

C.  Neora Valley National Park

D.   Valley of Flowers National park

ANSWER: D

 

29. Atal Innovation Mission is set up under the

A. Department of Science and Technology

B.  Ministry of Labour and Employment

C.  NITI Aayog

D.   Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

ANSWER: C

 

30. On 21st June, The Sun

A. does not set below the horizon at the arctic Circle

B.  does not set below the horizon at Antarctic Circle

C.  shines vertically overhead at noon on the Equator

D.   shines vertically overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn

ANSWER: A

 

31. With reference to Mughal India, what is/are the difference/differences between Jagirdar and Zamindar?

1. Jagirdars were holders of land assignments in lieu of judicial and police duties, whereas Zamindars were holders of revenue rights without obligation to perform any duty other than revenue collection.

2. Land assignments to jagirdars were hereditary and revenue rights of Zamindars were not hereditary.

Select the correct answer using the code given below

A. 1 only

B.  2 only

C.  Both 1 and 2

D.   Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWER: D

 

32. With reference to land reforms in independent India, which one of the following statements is correct?

A. The ceiling laws were aimed at family holdings and not individual holdings.

B.  The major aim of land reforms was providing agricultural land to all the landless.

C.  It resulted in cultivation of cash crops as a predominant form of cultivation.

D.   Land reforms permitted no exemptions to the ceiling limits.

ANSWER: B

 

33. The Global Competitiveness Report is published by the

A. International Monetary Fund

B.  United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

C.  World Economic Forum

D.   World Bank

ANSWER: C

 

34. Consider the following statements about ‘the Charter Act of 1813′:

1. It ended the trade monopoly of the East India Company in India except for trade in tea and trade with ChinA.

2. It asserted the sovereignty of the British Crown over the Indian territories held by the Company.

3. The revenues of India were now controlled by the British Parliament.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

A. 1 and 2 only

B.  2 and 3 only

C.  1 and 3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: C

 

35. With reference to Swadeshi Movement, consider the following statements:

(1) It contributed to the revival of the indigenous artisan crafts and industries

(2) The national council of Education was established as a part of Swadeshi Movement.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 only

B.  2 only

C.  Both 1 and 2

D.   Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWER: C

 

36. Consider the following pairs:

Movement/Organization             Leader

1. All India Anti  Untouchability League:   Mahatma Gandhi

2. All India Kisan Sabha                            : Swami Sahajanand Saraswati

3. Self-Respect Movement                      : E.V. Ramaswami Naicker

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

A. 1 only

B.  1 and 2 only

C.  2 and 3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: D

 

37. Which one of the following is not a Harappan site?

A. Chanhudaro

B.  Kot Diji

C.  Sohgaura

D.   Desalpur

ANSWER: C

 

38. In which of the following relief sculpture inscriptions is ‘Ranyo Ashoka’ (King Ashoka) mentioned along with the stone portrait of Ashoka?

A. Kanganahalli

B.  Sanchi

C.  Shahbazgarhi

D.   Sohgaura

ANSWER: A

 

39. Consider the following

1. Deification of the Buddha

2. Treading the  path of Bodhisattvas

3. Image worship and rituals Which of the above is/are the feature/features of Mahayana Buddhism?

A. 1 only

B.  1 and 2 only

C.  2 and 3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: D

 

40. With reference to forced labour (Vishti) in India during the Gupta period, which one of the following statements is correct?

A. It was considered a source of income for the State, a sort of tax paid by the people.

B.  It was totally absent in the Madhya Pradesh and Kathiawar regions of the Gupta Empire.

C.  The forced laborer was entitled to weekly wages.

D.   The eldest son of the laborer was sent as the forced laborer

ANSWER: A

 

41. Which one of the following groups of plants was domesticated in the ‘New World’ and introduced into the ‘Old World’?

A. Tobacco, cocoa and rubber

B.  Tobacco, cotton and rubber

C.  Cotton, coffee and sugarcane

D.   Rubber, coffee and wheat

ANSWER: C

 

42. Consider the following statements:

1. Asiatic lion is naturally found in India only.

2. Double-humped camel is naturally found in India only.

3. One-horned  rhinoceros is naturally found in India only.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 only

B.  2 only

C.  1 and 3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: A

 

43. Consider the following pairs:

Famous place               River

1. Pandharpur                 : Chandrabhaga

2. Tiruchirappalli               : Cauvery

3. Hampi                            : Malaprabha

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

A. 1 and 2 only

B.  2 and 3 only

C.  1 and 3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: A

 

44. In a given year in India, official poverty lines are higher in some States than in others because

A. Poverty rates vary from State to State

B.  Price levels vary from State to State

C.  Gross State Product varies from State to State

D.   Quality of public distribution varies from State to State

ANSWER: A

 

45. In the context of which of the following do some scientists suggest the use of cirrus cloud thinning technique and the injection of sulphate aerosol into stratosphere?

A. Creating   the   artificial   rains   in some regions

B.  Reducing the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones

C.  Reducing the adverse effects of solar wind on the Earth

D.   Reducing the global warming

ANSWER: D

 

46. In the context of which one of the following are the terms ‘pyrolysis and plasma gasification’ mentioned

A. Extraction of rare earth elements

B.  Natural gas extraction technologies

C.  Hydrogen fuel-based automobiles

D.   Waste-to-energy technologies

ANSWER: D

 

47. Which of the following are in Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve?

A. Neyyar, Peppara and Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Kalakad mundanthurai Tiger Reserve

B.  Mudumalai, Sathyamangalam and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Silent Valley National Park

C.  Kaundinya, Gundla Brahmeswaram and Papikonda Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Mukurthi National park.

D.   Kawal and Sri Venkateswara Wildlife                Sanctuaries and Nagarjuna–Srisailam Tiger Reserve

ANSWER: A

 

48. Consider the following statements:

1. Some               species of turtles are herbivores.

2. Some               species of fish are herbivores.

3. Some               species of marine mammals are herbivores.

4. Some               species of snakes are viviparous.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

A. 1 and 3 only

B.  2, 3 and 4 only

C.  2 and 4 only

D.   1, 2, 3 and 4

ANSWER: D

 

49. Consider the following pairs:

Wildlife                                   Naturally found in

1. Blue-finned Mahseer: Cauvery River

2. Irrawaddy Dolphin      : Chambal River

3. Rusty-spotted Cat       : Eastern Ghats

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

A. 1 and 2 only

B.  2 and 3 only

C.  1 and 3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: C

 

50. Why is there a great concern about the ‘microbeads’ that are released into environment?

A. They are considered harmful to marine ecosystems.

B.  They are considered to cause skin cancer in children.

C.  They are small enough to be absorbed by crop plants in irrigated fields.

D.   They are often found to be used as food adulterants.

ANSWER: A

 

51. In the context of digital technologies for entertainment, consider the following statements:

1. In Augmented Reality (AR), a simulated environment is created and the physical world is completely shut out.

2. In Virtual Reality (VR), images generated from a computer are projected onto real-life objects or surroundings.

3. AR allows individuals to be present in the world and improves the experience using the camera of smart-phone or PC.

4. VR closes the world, and transposes an individual, providing complete immersion experience.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 and 2 only

B.  3 and 4

C.  1, 2 and 3

D.   4 only

ANSWER: B

 

52. The word ‘Denisovan’ is a sometimes mentioned in media in reference to

A. fossils of a kind of dinosaurs

B.  an early human species

C.  a cave system found in North- East IndiA.

D.   a geological period in the history of Indian subcontinent

ANSWER: B

 

53. With reference to the recent developments in science, which one of the following statements is not correct?

A. Functional chromosomes can be created by joining segments of DNA taken from cells of different species.

B.  Pieces of artificial functional DNA can be created in laboratoreis.

C.  A piece of DNA taken out from an animal cell can be made to replicate outside a living cell in a laboratory.

D.   Cells taken out from plants and animals can be made to undergo cell division in laboratory Petri dishes.

ANSWER: A

 

54. Consider the following statements A Digital signature is

1.       an electronic record that identifies the certifying authority issuing it

2.       used to serve as a proof of identity of an individual to access information or server on Internet

3.       an electronic method of signing an electronic document and ensuring that the original content is unchanged

Which of the statements given above is/are correctly?

A. 1 only

B.  2 and 3 only

C.  3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: B

 

55. In the context of wearable technology. which of the following tasks is/are accomplished by wearable devices?

1.       Location identification of a person.

2.       Sleep monitoring of a person

3.       Assisting the hearing-impaired person

Select the correct answer using the code given below

A. 1 only

B.  2 and 3 only

C.  3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: D

 

56. ‘RNA interference (RNAi)’ technology has gained popularity in the last few years. Why?

1.       It is used in developing gene silencing therapies.

2.       It can be used in developing therapies for the treatment of cancer.

3.       It can be used to develop hormone replacement therapies.

4.       It can be used to produce crop plants that are resistant to viral pathogens.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

A. 1, 2 and 4

B.  2 and 3

C.  1 and 3

D.   1 and 4 only

ANSWER: A

 

57. Recently, scientists observed the merger of giant ‘blackholes’ billions of light years away from the Earth. What is the significance of this observation?

A. ‘Higgs boson particles’ were detected.

B.  ‘Gravitational waves’ were detected.

C.  Possibility of   inter-galactic space travel through ‘wormhole’ was confirmed

D.   It enabled the scientists to understand ‘singularity’.

ANSWER: B

 

58. Which of the following are the reasons for the occurrence of multi-drug resistance in microbial pathogens in India?

1.       Genetic predisposition of some people

2.       Taking incorrect doses of antibiotics to cure diseases.

3.       Using antibiotics in livestock farming

4.       Multiple chronic diseases in some people

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

A. 1 and 2

B.  2 and 3 only

C.  1, 3 and 4

D.   2, 3 and 4

ANSWER: D

 

59. What is Cas9 protein that is often mentioned in news?

A. A molecular scissors used in targeted gene editing

B.  A biosensor used in the accurate detection of pathogens in patients

C.  A gene that makes plants pest resistant

D.   An herbicidal substance synthesized in genetically modified crops.

ANSWER: A

 

60. Which one of the following statements is not correct?

A. Hepatitis B virus is transmitted much like HIV.

B.  Hepatitis B, unlike Hepatitis C, does not have a vaccine

C.  Globally, the number of people infected with Hepatitis B and C viruses are several times more than those infected with HIV.

D.   Some of those infected with Hepatitis B and C viruses do not show the symptoms for many years.

ANSWER: B

 

61. With reference to the Constitution of India, consider the following statements:

1.       No High court shall have the jurisdiction to declare any central law to be constitutionally invalid.

2.       An amendment to the Constitution of India cannot be called into question by the Supreme Court of IndiA.

Which of the statements given above is/are correctly matched?

A. 1 only

B.  2 only

C.  Both 1 and 2

D.   Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWER: D

 

62. Consider the following statements:

1.       Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) exchange rates are calculated by comparing the prices of the same basket of goods and services in different countries.

2.       In terms of PPP dollars, India is the sixth largest economy in the world.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 only

B.  2 only

C.  Both 1 and 2

D.   Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWER: A

 

63. With reference to the cultivation of Karif crops in India in the last five years, consider the following statements.

1.       Area under rice cultivation is the highest.

2.       Area under the cultivation of jowar is more than that of oil seeds.

3.       Area   of   cotton   cultivation   is more than that of sugarcane.

4.       Area under sugarcane cultivation has steadily decreased.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

A. 1 and 3 only

B.  2, 3 and 4 only

C.  2 and 4 only

D.   1, 2, 3 and 4

ANSWER: A

 

64. Among the agricultural commodities imported by India, which one of the following accounts for the highest imports in terms of value in the last five years?

A. Spices

B.  Fresh fruits.

C.  Pulses

D.   Vegetable oils

ANSWER: D

 

65. In the context of polity, which one of the following would you accept as the most appropriate definition of liberty?

A. Protection against the tyranny of political rulers.

B.  Absence of restraint

C.  Opportunity to do whatever one likes

D.   Opportunity to develop oneself fully

ANSWER: B

 

66. Which one of the following is not the most likely measure the government/RBI takes to stop the slide of Indian rupee?

A. Curbing imports of non-essential goods and promoting exports

B.  Encouraging Indian borrowers to issue rupee denominated Masala Bonds

C.  Easing conditions relating to external commercial borrowing

D.   Following an expansionary monetary policy

ANSWER: D

 

67. Consider the following statements:

1.       The Reserve Bank of India’s recent directives relating to ‘Storage of Payment System data’, popularly known as data diktat, command the payment system providers that

2.       They shall ensure that entire data relating to payment systems operated by them are stored in a system only in IndiA.

3.       They shall ensure that the systems are owned and operated by public sector enterprises.

4.       They shall submit the consolidated system audit report to the Comptroller and Auditor general of India by the end of the calendar year.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 only

B.  1 and 2 only

C.  3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: A

 

68. Which of the following adopted a law on data protection and privacy for its citizens known as ‘General Data Protection Regulation’ in April 2016 and started implementation of it from 25th May, 2018?

A. Australia

B.  Canada

C.  The European Union

D.   The United States of America

ANSWER: C

 

69. Recently, India signed a deal known as ‘Action Plan for Prioritization and Implementation of Cooperation Areas in the nuclear Field’ with which of the following countries?

A. Japan

B.  Russia

C.  The United Kingdom

D.   The United States of America

ANSWER: B

 

70. The money multiplier in an economy increases with which one of the following?

A. Increase in the cash reserve ratio

B.  Increase in the banking habit of the population

C.  Increase in the statutory liquidity ratio

D.   Increase in the population of the country

ANSWER: B

 

71. The Service Area Approach was implemented under the purview of

A. Integrated   Rural   Development Programme

B.  Lead Bank Scheme

C.  Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme

D.   National Skill Development Mission

ANSWER: B

 

72. With reference to the management of minor minerals in India, consider the following statements:

1.       Sand is a ‘minor mineral’ according to the prevailing law in the country.

2.       State Governments have the power to grant mining leases of minor minerals, but the powers regarding the formation of rules related to the grant of minor minerals lie with the Central Government.

3.       State Governments have the power to frame rules to prevent illegal mining of minor minerals.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 and 3 only

B.  2 and 3 only

C.  3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: A

 

73. Consider the following statements:

1.       Most of India’s external debt is owed by governmental entities.

2.       All of India’s external debt is denominated in US dollars.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 only

B.  2 only

C.  Both 1 and 2

D.   Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWER: D

 

74. Which of the following is not included in the assets of a commercial bank in India?

A. Advances

B.  Deposits

C.  Investments

D.   Money at call and short notice

ANSWER: B

 

75. In the context of India, which of the following factors is/are contributor/contributors to reducing the risk of a currency crisis?

1.       the foreign currency earnings of India’s IT sector

2.       Increasing the government expenditure

3.       Remittances from Indians abroad

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

A. 1 only

B.  1 and 3 only

C.  2 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: B

 

76. Which one of the following suggested that the Governor should be an eminent person from outside the State and should be a detached figure without intense political links or should not have taken part in politics in the recent past?

A. First  Administrative  Reforms Commission (1966)

B.  Rajamannar committee (1969)

C.  Sarkaria commission (1983)

D.   Natinoal Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (2000)

ANSWER: C

 

77. Which of the following is issued by registered foreign portfolio investors to overseas investors who want to be part of the Indian stock market without registering themselves directly?

A. Certificate of Deposit

B.  Commercial Paper

C.  Promissory Note

D.   Participatory Note

ANSWER: D

 

78. Consider the following statements:

1.       As per law, the Compensatory Afforestation Fun Management and Planning Authority exists at both National and State levels.

2.       People’s participation is mandatory in the compensatory afforestation programmes carried out under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 only

B.  2 only

C.  Both 1 and 2

D.   Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWER: A

 

79. In India, which of the following review the independent regulators in sectors like telecommunications, insurance, electricity, etc?

1.       Ad Hoc Committees set up by the Parliament

2.       Parliamentary Department Related Standing Committees

3.       Finance Commission

4.       Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission

5.       NITI Aayog

Select the correct answer using the code given below

A. 1 and 2

B.  1, 3 and 4

C.  3, 4 and 5

D.   2 and 5

ANSWER: A

 

80. With reference to India’s Five-Year Plans. which of the following statements is/are correct?

1.       From the Second Five-Year Plan, there was a determined thrust towards substitution of basic and capital good industries.

2.       The Fourth Five-Year Plan adopted the objective of correcting the earlier trend of increased concentration of wealth and economic power.

3.       In the Fifth Five-Year Plan, For the first time, the financial sector was included as an integral part of the Plan.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

A. 1 and 2 only

B.  2 only

C.  3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: B

 

81. Consider the following statements about particularly vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in India:

1.       PVTGs reside in 18 States and one Union territory.

2.       A stagnant or declining population is one of the criteria for determining PVTG status.

3.       There are 95 PVTGs officially notified in the country so far.

4.       Irular and Konda Reddi tribes are included in the list of PVTGs.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

A. 1, 2 and 3

B.  2, 3 and 3

C.  1, 2 and 4

D.   1, 3 and 4

ANSWER: C

 

82. With reference to the Constitution of India, prohibitions or limitations or provisions contained in ordinary laws cannot act as prohibitions or limitations on the constitutional powers under Article 142. It could mean which one of the following?

A. The decisions taken by the Election Commission of India while discharging its duties cannot be challenge in any court of law.

B.  The Supreme Court of India is not constrained in the exercise of its powers by laws made by the Parliament.

C.  In the event of grave financial crisis in the country, the President of India can declare Financial Emergency without the counsel from the Cabinet.

D.   State Legislatures cannot make laws on certain matters without the concurrence of Union Legislature.

ANSWER: B

 

83. With reference to the Legislative Assembly of a State in India, consider the following statements:

1.       The Governor makes a customary address to Members of the House at the Commencement of first session of the year.

2.       When a State Legislature does not have a rule on a particular matter it follows the Lok Sabha rule on that matter.

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

ANSWER: C

 

84. Consider the following statements:

1.       The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) has a ‘Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air’.

2.       The UNCAC is the ever-first legally binding global anti- corruption instrument.

3.       A highlight of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized crime (UNTOC) is the inclusion of a specific chapter aimed at returning assets to their rightful owners from whom they had been taken illicitly.

4.       The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is mandated by its member States to assist in the implementation of both UNCAC and UNTOC.

Which of the statement given above are correct?

A. 1 and 3 only

B.  2, 3 and 4 only

C.  2 and 4 only

D.   1, 2, 3 and 4

ANSWER: C

 

85. Consider the following statements.

1.       As per recent amendment to the Indian Forest Act, 1927, forest dwellers have the right to sell the bamboos grown on forest areas.

2.       As per the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, bamboo is a minor forest produce.

3.       The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006 allows ownership of minor forest produce to forest dwellers.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 and 2 only

B.  2 and 3 only

C.  3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: B

 

86. Which Article of the Constitution of India safeguards one’s right to marry the person of one’s choice?

A. Article 19

B.  Article 21

C.  Article 25

D.   Article 29

ANSWER: B

 

87. Consider the following statements:

1.       According to the Indian Patents Act, a biological process to create a seed can be patented in IndiA.

2.       In India, there is no intellectual Property Appellate Board.

3.       Plant varieties are not eligible to be patented in IndiA.

Which of the statement given above is/are correct?

A. 1 and 3 only

B.  2 and 3 only

C.  3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: A

 

88. Consider the following statements

1.       The Environment Protection Act, 1986 empowers the Government of India to

2.       State the requirement of public participation in the process of environmental protection, and the procedure and manner in which it is sought lay down the standards for emission or discharge of environmental pollutants from various sources

Which of the statement given above is/are correct?

A. 1 only

B.  2 only

C.  Both 1 and 2

D.   Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWER: C

 

89. As per the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 in India, which one of the following statements is correct?

A. Waste generator has to segregate waste into five categories

B.  The Rules are applicable to notified urban local bodies, notified towns and all industrial townships only

C.  The Rules provide for exact and elaborate criteria for the identification of sites for landfills and waste processing facilities.

D.   It is mandatory on the part of waste generator that the waste generated in one district cannot be moved to another district

ANSWER: C

 

90. Consider the following statements

As per the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Central (Amendment) Rules, 2018

1.       if rules for fixed-term employment are implemented, it becomes easier for the firms/companies to lay off workers

2.       no notice of termination of employment shall be necessary in the case of temporary workman

Which of the statement given above is/are correct?

A. 1 only

B.  2 only

C.  Both 1 and 2

D.   Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWER: C

 

91. With reference to Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), consider the following statements:

1.       AIIB has more than 80 member nations.

2.       India is the largest shareholder in AIIB.

3.       AIIB does not have any members from outside AsiA.

Which of the statement given above is/are correct?

A. 1 only

B.  2 and 3 only

C.  1 and 3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: A

 

92. What was the purpose of Inter-Creditor Agreement signed by Indian banks and financial institutions recently?

A. To lessen the Government of India’s perennial burden of fiscal deficit and current account deficit

B.  To support the infrastructure projects of Central and State Governments

C.  To act as independent regulator in case of applications for loans of Rs. / 50 crore or more

D.   To aim at faster resolution of stressed assets of Rs. / 50 crore or more which are under consortium lending

ANSWER: D

 

93. The Chairmen of public sector banks are selected by the

A. Banks Board Bureau

B.  Reserve Bank of India

C.  Union Ministry of Finance

D.   Management of concerned bank

ANSWER: A

 

94. Consider the following statements.

1.       Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) is the first regulatory body set up by the Government of IndiA.

2.       One of the tasks of PNGRB is to ensure competitive markets for gas

3.       Appeals against the decisions of PNGRB go before the Appellate Tribunals for Electricity.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

A. 1 and 2 only

B.  2 and 3 only

C.  1 and 3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: B

 

95. With reference to communication technologies, what is/are the difference/differences between LTE (Long-Term Evolution) and Volte (Voice over Long-Term Evolution)?

1.       LTE is commonly marketed as 3G and VoLTE is commonly marketed as advanced 3G.

2.       LTE is data-only technology and VoLTE is voice-only technology.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

A. 1 only

B.  2 only

C.  Both 1 and 2

D.   Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWER: D

 

96. Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding the Maternity benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017?

1.       Pregnant women are entitled for three months pre-delivery and three months post-delivery paid leave.

2.       Enterprises with creches must allow the mother minimum six crèche visits daily

3.       Women with two children get reduced entitlements.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

A. 1 and 2 only

B.  2 only

C.  3 only

D.   1, 2 and 3

ANSWER: C

 

97. Which one of the following is not a sub-index of the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Index?

A. Maintenance of law and order

B.  Paying taxes

C.  Registering property

D.   Dealing with               construction permits

ANSWER: A

 

98. In India, ‘extended producer responsibility’ was introduced as an important feature in which of the following?

A. The   Bio-medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 1998

B.  The  Recycled Plastic (Manufacturing and Usage) Rules, 1999

C.  The E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011

D.   The Food Safety and Standard Regulations, 2011

ANSWER: C

 

99. The economic cost of good grains to the Food Corporation of India is Minimum Support Price and Bonus (if any) paid to the farmers plus

A. transportation cost only

B.  interest cost only

C.  procurement incidentals and distribution cost

D.   Procurement incidentals and charges for godowns

ANSWER: C

 

100. In the context of any country, which one of the following would be considered as part of its social capital?

A. The proportion of literates in the population.

B.  The stock of its buildings, other infrastructure and machines.

C.  The size of population in the working age group.

D.   The level of mutual trust and harmony in the society.

ANSWER: D

Categories
Economy (English)

Some Important Economic Terms

Fiscal Policy

Fiscal policy pertains to public revenue (tax and non-tax sources of revenue) and Public Expenditure (Revenue Expenditure and Capital Expenditure). How and from which sources public revenue would be mobilized is one concern of the fiscal policy. The second concern how public expenditure would be allocated to different heads. Public expenditure of recurring nature is called revenue expenditure. It may be considered governments consumption expenditure whereas capital expenditure is expenditure that creates assets. Fiscal policy is kept expansionary in case economy is facing recession and it is kept contractionary if economy is facing inflation. The two prime objectives of the fiscal policy are: growth and price stability. The secondary goals may include capital formation and equity. Fiscal policy can be distinguished from monetary policy, in that fiscal policy deals with taxation and government spending and is often administered by an executive under laws of a legislature. Monetary policy, on the other hand, deals with the money supply and interest rates and is often administered by a central bank.

Fiscal deficit

The total deficit (which is often called the fiscal deficit or just the ‘deficit’) is the primary deficit plus interest payments on the debt. The difference between total revenue and total expenditure of the government is termed as fiscal deficit. It is an indication of the total borrowings needed by the government. While calculating the total revenue, borrowings are not included. The gross fiscal deficit (GFD) is the excess of total expenditure including loans net of recovery over revenue receipts (including external grants) and non-debt capital receipts. The net fiscal deficit is the gross fiscal deficit less net lending of the Central government. Generally fiscal deficit takes place either due to revenue deficit or a major hike in capital expenditure. Capital expenditure is incurred to create long-term assets such as factories, buildings and other development.

We can also differentiate between Gross Fiscal Deficit and Net Fiscal Deficit. The gross fiscal deficit (GFD) is the excess of total expenditure including loans net of recovery over revenue receipts (including external grants) and non-debt capital receipts. The net fiscal deficit is the gross fiscal deficit less netlending of the Central government.

Dumping

Dumping is a term used in the context of international trade. It’s when a country or company exports a product at a price that is lower in the foreign importing market than the price in the exporter’s domestic market. Because dumping typically involves substantial export volumes of a product, it often endangers the financial viability of the product’s manufacturers or producers in the importing nation.

Depreciation and Devaluation

Both the terms are related to fall in the purchasing capacity of a currency vis-à-vis other currencies. Depreciation occurs when the forces of supply and demand cause the value of their currency to drop. By contrast, devaluation occurs only in countries that do not allow their exchange rates to float. These countries’ governments control the official value of their currency. Thus depreciation takes place due to the invisible market forces- demand and supply of a currency vis-a-cis other currencies. Devaluation is a deliberate decision by the central bank of country to reduce or decrease the value of a currency. Thus depreciation takes place in case of a floating exchange rate under the influence of market forces. Devaluation, however, is administered or regulated exchange rate by the central bank of country. Even in floating exchange rate, the central banks intervene by supplying or absorbing foreign currency to settle the domestic currency’s exchange rate. This is called devaluation.

Basel Committee

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) is the primary global standard setter for the prudential regulation of banks and provides a forum for regular cooperation on banking supervisory matters. Its 45 members comprise central banks and bank supervisors from 28 jurisdictions. BASEL 1 Norms. Introduced in 1988. Started capital measurement system called Basel capital accord also called Basel 1. The minimum capital requirement was fixed at 8% of risk-weighted assets (RWA). Basel II is the second of the Basel Accords, (now extended and partially superseded by Basel III), which are recommendations on banking laws and regulations issued by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. The Basel II Accord was published initially in June 2004 and was intended to amend international banking standards that controlled how much capital banks were required to hold to guard against the financial and operational risks banks face. These regulations aimed to ensure that the more significant the risk a bank is exposed to, the greater the amount of capital the bank needs to hold to safeguard its solvency and overall economic stability. Basel II attempted to accomplish this by establishing risk and capital management requirements to ensure that a bank has adequate capital for the risk the bank exposes itself to through its lending, investment and trading activities. One focus was to maintain sufficient consistency of regulations so to limit competitive inequality amongst internationally active banks. Basel II was implemented in the years prior to 2008, and was only to be implemented in early 2008 in most major economies; that year’s Financial crisis intervened before Basel II could become fully effective. As Basel III was negotiated, the crisis was top of mind and accordingly more stringent standards were contemplated and quickly adopted in some key countries including in Europe and the US. Basel III (or the Third Basel Accord or Basel Standards) is a global, voluntary regulatory framework on bank capital adequacy, stress testing, and market liquidity risk. This third installment of the Basel Accords was developed in response to the deficiencies in financial regulation revealed by the financial crisis of 2007–08. It is intended to strengthen bank capital requirements by increasing bank liquidity and decreasing bank leverage.

Basel III was agreed upon by the members of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision in November 2010, and was scheduled to be introduced from 2013 until 2015; however, implementation was extended repeatedly to 31 March 2019 and then again until 1 January 2022.

Main Features of Basel 3

Capital requirements- The original Basel III rule from 2010 required banks to fund themselves with 4.5% of common equity (up from 2% in Basel II) of risk-weighted assets (RWAs). Since 2015, a minimum Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio of 4.5% must be maintained at all times by the bank. The minimum Tier 1 capital increases from 4% in Basel II to 6%, applicable in 2015, over RWAs. This 6% is composed of 4.5% of CET1, plus an extra 1.5% of Additional Tier 1 (AT1).

Capital Buffers-Furthermore, Basel III introduced two additional capital buffers:

A mandatory “capital conservation buffer”, equivalent to 2.5% of risk-weighted assets. Considering the 4.5% CET1 capital ratio required, banks have to hold a total of 7% CET1 capital ratio, from 2019 onwards. A “discretionary counter-cyclical buffer”, allowing national regulators to require up to an additional 2.5% of capital during periods of high credit growth. The level of this buffer ranges between 0% and 2.5% of RWA and must be met by CET1 capital.

Leverage ratio-Basel III introduced a minimum “leverage ratio”. This is a non-risk-based leverage ratio and is calculated by dividing Tier 1 capital by the bank’s average total consolidated assets (sum of the exposures of all assets and non-balance sheet items). The banks are expected to maintain a leverage ratio in excess of 3% under Basel III.

Liquidity requirements- Basel III introduced two required liquidity ratios.The “Liquidity Coverage Ratio” was supposed to require a bank to hold sufficient high-quality liquid assets to cover its total net outflows over 30 days. The Net Stable Funding Ratio was to require the available amount of stable funding to exceed the required amount of stable funding over a one-year period of extended stress.

Purchasing Power parity

One popular macroeconomic analysis metric to compare economic productivity and standards of living between countries is purchasing power parity (PPP). PPP is an economic theory that compares different countries’ currencies through a “basket of goods” approach. According to this concept, two currencies are in equilibrium—known as the currencies being at par—when a basket of goods is priced the same in both countries, taking into account the exchange rates.

Sanitary and phyto sanitary Standards

The terms pertain to WTO provisions. The Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures is one of the final documents approved at the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of the Multilateral Trade Negotiations. It applies to all sanitary (relating to animals) and phytosanitary (relating to plants) (SPS) measures that may have a direct or indirect impact on international trade. The SPS agreement includes a series of understandings (trade disciplines) on how SPS measures will be established and used by countries when they establish, revise, or apply their domestic laws and regulations. Countries agree to base their SPS standards on science, and as guidance for their actions, the agreement encourages countries to use standards set by international standard setting organizations. The SPS agreement seeks to ensure that SPS measures will not arbitrarily or unjustifiably discriminate against trade of certain other members nor be used to disguise trade restrictions. In this SPS agreement, countries maintain the sovereign right to provide the level of health protection they deem appropriate, but agree that this right will not be misused for protectionist purposes nor result in unnecessary trade barriers. A rule of equivalency rather than equality applies to the use of SPS measures. The 2012 classification of non-tariff measures (NTMs) developed by the Multi-Agency Support Team (MAST), a working group of eight international organisations, classifies SPS measures as one of 16 non-tariff measure (NTM)chapters.

Non –Tariff barriers

A nontariff barrier is a way to restrict trade using trade barriers in a form other than a tariff. Nontariff barriers include quotas, embargoes, sanctions, and levies. As part of their political or economic strategy, large developed countries frequently use nontariff barriers to control the amount of trade they conduct with other countries.

Trade Deficit

A trade deficit is an economic measure of international trade in which a country’s imports exceed its exports. A trade deficit represents an outflow of domestic currency to foreign markets. It is also referred to as a negative balance of trade (BOT).

Trade Deficit = Total Value of Imports – Total Value of Exports

Current Account Deficit

The current account deficit is a measurement of a country’s trade where the value of the goods and services it imports exceeds the value of the products it exports. The current account includes net income, such as interest and dividends, and transfers, such as foreign aid, although these components make up only a small percentage of the total current account. The current account represents a country’s foreign transactions and, like the capital account, is a component of a country’s balance of payments (BOP).

Hellicopter Money

Helicopter money is a theoretical and unorthodoxmonetary policy tool that central banks use to stimulate economies. Economist Milton Friedman introduced the framework for helicopter money in 1969, but former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke popularized it in 2002. Central banks across the globe were struggling to spur economic growth in 2016. They had used nearly all their tools to attempt to spark economic growth, including negative interest rates and stimulus programs that buy bonds every month. The Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank cut their interest rates into negative territory, attempting to stop banks from hoarding money and encouraging lending to consumers to support growth. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned of fragile global macroeconomic growth, which could lead to turbulence in the global financial markets. Consequently, central banks ended up looking for new ways to spark economic growth, such as “helicopter money,” which provided an alternative to quantitative easing (QE). Helicopter money involves the central bank or central government supplying large amounts of money to the public, as if the money was being distributed or scattered from a helicopter. Contrary to the concept of using helicopter money, central banks use quantitative easing to increase the money supply and lower interest rates by purchasing government or other financial securities from the market to spark economic growth. Unlike with helicopter money, which involves the distribution of printed money to the public, central banks use quantitative easing to create money and then purchase assets using the printed money. QE does not have a direct impact on the public, while helicopter money is made directly available to consumers to increase consumer spending.

SDRs

The SDR is an international reserve asset, created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement its member countries’ official reserves. So far SDR 204.2 billion (equivalent to about US$291 billion) have been allocated to members, including SDR 182.6 billion allocated in 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis. The value of the SDR is based on a basket of five currencies—the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Chinese renminbi, the Japanese yen, and the British pound sterling. It is an accounting creation, so it is also called “paper gold.”

The SDR was created as a supplementary international reserve asset in the context of the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system. The collapse of Bretton Woods system in 1973 and the shift of major currencies to floating exchange rate regimes lessened the reliance on the SDR as a global reserve asset. Nonetheless, SDR allocations can play a role in providing liquidity and supplementing member countries’ official reserves, as was the case with the 2009 allocations totaling SDR 182.6 billion to IMF members amid the global financial crisis.

The SDR serves as the unit of account of the IMF and some other international organizations.

The SDR is neither a currency nor a claim on the IMF. Rather, it is a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of IMF members. SDRs can be exchanged for these currencies.

The SDR was initially defined as equivalent to 0.888671 grams of fine gold—which, at the time, was also equivalent to one U.S. dollar. After the collapse of the Bretton Woods system, the SDR was redefined as a basket of currencies.

The SDR basket is reviewed every five years, or earlier if warranted, to ensure that the SDR reflects the relative importance of currencies in the world’s trading and financial systems. The reviews cover the key elements of the SDR method of valuation, including criteria and indicators used in selecting SDR basket currencies and the initial currency weights used in determining the amounts (number of units) of each currency in the SDR basket. These currency amounts remain fixed over the five-year SDR valuation period but the actual weights of currencies in the basket fluctuate as cross-exchange rates among the basket currencies move. The value of the SDR is determined daily based on market exchange rates. The reviews are also used to assess the appropriateness of the financial instruments comprising the SDR interest rate (SDRi) basket.

During the last review concluded in November 2015, the Board decided that the Chinese renminbi (RMB) met the criteria for inclusion in the SDR basket. Following this decision, the Chinese RMB joined the US dollar, euro, Japanese yen, and British pound sterling in the SDR basket, effective October 1, 2016.

Extended Fund Facility

The Extended Fund Facility is lending facility of the Fund of the IMF and it was established in 1974 to help countries address medium- and longer-term balance of payments problems.

Categories
History (English)

Great Chola Temples

Chola dynasty temples are mainly located around the state of Tamilnadu. The Great Chola Temples were constructed by Chola dynasty rulers. These Hindu temples were completed between early 11th and the 12th century CE. The monuments included in the UN Heritage sites are: the Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, the Temple of Gangaikonda Cholapuram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram. The Brihadisvara Temple was recognised in 1987; the Temple of Gangaikondacholapuram and the Airavatesvara Temple were added as extensions to the site in 2004. The criteria on which these were included in the UN Heritage sites are as follows:

Criterion (i): The three Chola temples of Southern India represent an outstanding creative achievement in the architectural conception of the pure form of the Dravidan type of temple.

Criterion (ii): The Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur became the first great example of the Chola temples, followed by a development of which the other two properties also bear witness.

Criterion (iii): The three Great Chola Temples are an exceptional and the most outstanding testimony to the development of the architecture of the Chola Empire and the Tamil civilization in Southern India.

Criterion (iv): The Great Chola temples at Thanjavur, at Gangaikondacholapuram and Darasuram are outstanding examples of the architecture and the representation of the Chola ideology.

Brihadisvara Temple

The Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva. It is one of the largest South Indian temples and an exemplary example of fully realized Tamil architecture. Built by Raja Raja Chola I between 1003 and 1010 AD. The original monuments of this 11th century temple were built around a moat. It included gopura, the main temple, its massive tower, inscriptions, frescoes and sculptures predominantly related to Shaivism, but also of Vaishnvaism and Shaktism traditions of Hinduism. The temple was damaged in its history and some artwork is now missing. Additional mandapam and monuments were added in centuries that followed. The temple now stands amidst fortified walls that were added after the 16th century.

Built out of granite, the vimanam tower above the sanctum is one of the tallest in South India. The temple has a massive colonnaded prakara (corridor) and one of the largest Shiva linga in India. It is also famed for the quality of its sculpture, as well as being the location that commissioned the brass Nataraja – Shiva as the lord of dance, in 11th century. The complex includes shrines for Nandi, Amman, Subrahmanyar, Ganesha, Sabhapati, Dakshinamurti, Chandesrvarar, Varahi and others. The temple is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Tamil Nadu.

Airavatesvara Temple

The Airavatesvara Temple is in the town of Darasuram, near Kumbakonam completed in 1166 CE. It is one among a cluster of eighteen medieval era large Hindu temples in the Kumbakonam area. The temple is dedicated to Shiva. It also reverentially displays Vaishnavism and Shaktism traditions of Hinduism, along with the legends associated with sixty three Nayanars – the Bhakti movement saints of Shaivism. Named after the White Elephant of Indra, this temple is an exquisite testimony to the grand temple architecture of the Cholan Empire. It is the last of the 3 great Cholan temples built by successive generations of Kings starting from Rajaraja I. Airavateswara temple was built by Rajaraja II around 1150 AD. One of the striking features of this temple is Rajagambhira Thirumandapam – Royal Courtyard, with intricately carved pillars, long steps made of granite stones and elegant chariots drawn by horse – again hewn out of stone. You will see finer workmanship in this temple than the earlier temples. Darasuram is literally a stone’s throw away from Kumbakonam.

The stone temple incorporates a chariot structure, and includes major Vedic and Puranic deities such as Indra, Agni, Varuna, Vayu, Brahma, Surya, Vishnu, Saptamtrikas, Durga, Saraswati, Sri Devi (Lakshmi), Ganga, Yamuna, Subrahmanya, Ganesha, Kama, Rati and others. The temple was much larger and once had seven courtyards according to inscriptions. Only one courtyard survives, parts of the temple such as the gopuram is in ruins, and the main temple and associated shrines stand alone. The temple continues to attract large gatherings of Hindu pilgrims every year.

Gangaikondacholapuram Brihadisvara Temple

The Gangaikondacholapuram Brihadisvara Temple is a Hindu temple located at Gangaikondacholapuram about 70 kilometres (43 mi) from Thanjavur Brihadisvara Temple. Completed in 1035 AD by Rajendra Chola I as a part of his new capital, this Chola dynasty era temple is similar in design and has a similar name as the 11th century, and sometimes just called the Gangaikondacholapuram temple.

It is dedicated to Shiva and based on a square plan, but the temple reverentially displays Vaishnavism, Shaktism and syncretic equivalence themes of Hinduism with statues of Vishnu, Durga, Surya, Harihara, Ardhanishvara, and others. In addition to the main shrine with linga, the temple complex has a number of smaller shrines, gopura, and other monuments, with some partially ruined or restored in later centuries. The temple is famed for its bronze sculptures, artwork on its walls, the Nandi and the scale of its curvilinear tower.

Categories
History (English)

Great non-moderate or assertive leaders of Indian National Movement: Lal- Bal- Pal

The Indian National Congress(INC) which was established in 1885 by A.O Hume was divided into two groups(in the year 1907) mainly by extremists and moderates at the Surat Session of the Congress.The period 1885-1905 was known as the period of the moderates as moderates dominated the Indian National Congress. These Moderates used petition, prayers, meetings, leaflets and pamphlets memorandum and delegations to present their demands in front of the British government. Moderates were not able to achieve notable goals other than the expansion of the legislative council by the Indian Council Act of 1892. This created dissatisfaction among the people. In 1907 the INC meeting was to be held in Nagpur and the extremists wanted Lala Lajpat Rai or Bal Gangadhar Tilak as president. But moderates wanted Rash Behari Ghosh to be president. Gopal Krishna Gokhale changed the meeting place from Nagpur to Surat fearing that if Nagpur was to be held as meeting place then Bal Gangadhar Tilak would become President. The partition of Bengal became the rise of extremism in INC. In Surat Congress a great split between the moderate and assertive nationalist leaders was seen. The main moderate leaders of the Indian national movement included among others, Dadabhai Naoroji, R.C.Dutt, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, S.N.Banerjee and.A.O.Hume. On the other hand the main extremist or assertive leaders of the movement included great names like Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal and (Lal, Bal, Pal). Both the groups contributed to the cause of freedom struggle in their own manners.

The Early Nationalists were known as the Moderates. Moderate political leaders in India, who were active between 1885 and 1905, were mostly drawn from educated middle-class professionals including lawyers, teachers and government officials, many of them were educated in England. They have become known as “Early Nationalists” because they believed in demanding reforms while adopting constitutional and peaceful means to achieve their aims. The Early Nationalists had full faith in the British sense of justice, fair play, honesty, and integrity while they believed that British rule was a boon for India. The Early Nationalists were staunch believers in open-minded and moderate politics.

When the method of moderate leaders was not indicating any immediate sign of the British intention of giving right to self determination and freedom to India, a group of people came forward with more assertive and pro-active methods fro winning freedom for India. Their period existed from 1905 to 1919. When Mahatma Gandhi came to India and assumed leadership for freedom movement, both the groups –moderates and extremist or assertive leaders- continued to contribute to freedom movement during the Gandhian era, which existed from 1919 until Indian Independence in 1947.

Although moderates or early nationalists were able to politicize Indian people and highlight the highhandedness and injustices of the British rulers, they failed to achieve any tangible results. This was one of the reasons of frustration and anger among large number of people and political leaders in India. and thus what was born in the ranks of leadership was a lot more assertive group of leaders, traditionally referred to as “extremist” leaders, the words which many think should not be used. They feel that they should be described only as “nationalist leaders” without any derogatory adjective.

The contribution of Moderates

However, the achievements of the moderates or early nationalists cannot be overlooked. They created a national awakening among the people that made Indians conscious of the bonds of common political, economic, and cultural interests that united them, They also trained people in politics by popularising the ideas of democracy, civil liberties, secularism and nationalism .The Early Nationalists did pioneering work by exposing the true nature of British rule in India. They made the people realise the economic content and character of British imperialism. In doing so, they weakened the foundations of British rule in India. Their political and economic programmes established the idea that India must be ruled in the interest of the Indians. The efforts of the Early Nationalists also led to the implementation of various social reforms such as the appointment of a Public Service Commission. A resolution of the House of Commons (1893) allowing for simultaneous examination for the Indian Civil Service in London and India and appointment of the Welby Commission on Indian Expenditure (1895). They also passed The Indian Councils Act of 1892. These achievements served as the basis for nationalist movements in later years by extremist leaders. The differences between the moderates and the extremists became official in the Surat session of the Indian National Congress (INC) in 1907.

Surat Split

The differences between the moderates and the extremists became official in the Surat session of the Indian National Congress (INC) in 1907. The meeting was to take place in Nagpur that year. The extremists wanted Lala Lajpat Rai or Bal Gangadhar Tilak to be the President. But the moderates wanted Rash Behari Ghosh as President. There was a rule that the session’s President could not be from the home province. Tilak’s home province was Bombay Presidency in which Surat was also situated. So, the moderates changed the venue to Surat so that Tilak could be excluded from the presidency. The moderates also wanted to drop the resolutions on swadeshi, boycott movements and national education. Rash Behari Ghosh became the president in the session which was held at Surat. Tilak was not even allowed to speak and this angered the extremists, who wanted to cancel the session. Both sides were firm on their demands and neither was willing to find a common path. The moderates then held a separate meeting in which they reiterated the Congress goal of self-government within the British Empire and to adopt only constitutional methods to achieve their goals.

Lucknow Pact

Lucknow Pact, (December 1916), agreement made by the Indian National Congress headed by Maratha leader Bal Gangadhar Tilak and the All-India Muslim League led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah; it was adopted by the Congress at its Lucknow session on December 29 and by the league on Dec. 31, 1916. The meeting at Lucknow marked the reunion of the moderate and radical wings of the Congress. The pact dealt both with the structure of the government of India and with the relation of the Hindu and Muslim communities.

On the former count, the proposals were an advance on Gopal Krishna Gokhale’s “political testament.” Four-fifths of the provincial and central legislatures were to be elected on a broad franchise, and half the executive council members, including those of the central executive council, were to be Indians elected by the councils themselves. Except for the provision for the central executive, these proposals were largely embodied in the Government of India Act of 1919. The Congress also agreed to separate electorates for Muslims in provincial council elections and for weightage in their favour (beyond the proportions indicated by population) in all provinces except the Punjab and Bengal, where they gave some ground to the Hindu and Sikh minorities. This pact paved the way for Hindu-Muslim cooperation in the Khilafat movement and Mohandas Gandhi’s noncooperation movement from 1920.

Lal- Bal-Pal- Here is a description of the architects of assertive Indian National Movement

Lala Lajpat Rai

Lala Lajpat Rai (28 January 1865 – 17 November 1928) was a great Indian freedom fighter. He played a pivotal role in the Indian Independence movement. He was popularly known as Punjab Kesari. He was one third of the Lal Bal Pal triumvirate. He was also associated with activities of Punjab National Bank and Lakshmi Insurance Company in their early stages in 1894. Lajpat Rai was born on 28 January 1865 in a Hindu Aggarwal family, as a son of Urdu and Persian government school teacher Munshi Radha Krishan Agrawal and his wife Gulab Devi Agrawal, in Dhudike (now in Moga district, Punjab). In 1877, he was married to Radha Devi Agrawal, with whom had two sons, Amrit Rai Agrawal and Pyarelal Agrawal, and a daughter, Parvati Agrawal. In 1884, his father was transferred to Rohtak and Rai came along after the completion of his studies at Lahore. In 1886, he moved to Hisar where his father was transferred, and started to practice law and became founding member of Bar council of Hisar along with Babu Churamani. Since childhood he also had a desire to serve his country and therefore took a pledge to free it from foreign rule, in the same year he also founded the Hisar district branch of the Indian National Congress and reformist Arya Samaj with other like minded people. After joining the Indian National Congress and taking part in political agitation in Punjab, Lala Lajpat Rai was deported to Mandalay, Burma (now Myanmar), without trial in May 1907. In November, however, he was allowed to return when the viceroy, Lord Minto, decided that there was insufficient evidence to hold him for subversion. Lajpat Rai’s supporters attempted to secure his election to the presidency of the party session at Surat in December 1907, but he did not succeed. Graduates of the National College, which he founded inside the Bradlaugh Hall at Lahore as an alternative to British institutions, included Bhagat Singh. He was elected President of the Indian National Congress in the Calcutta Special Session of 1920. In 1921, he founded Servants of the People Society, a non-profit welfare organisation, in Lahore, which shifted its base to Delhi after partition, and has branches in many parts of India. In 1928, the British government set up the Commission, headed by Sir John Simon, to report on the political situation in India. The Indian political parties boycotted the Commission, because it did not include a single Indian in its membership, and it met with country-wide protests. When the Commission visited Lahore on 30 October 1928, Lajpat Rai led non-violent march in protest against it. The protest was with the words “Simon go back” and black flags. The superintendent of police, James A. Scott, ordered the police to lathi (baton) charge the protesters and personally assaulted Rai. Despite being extremely injured, Rai subsequently addressed the crowd and said, “I declare that the blows struck at me today will be the last nails in the coffin of British rule in India”.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Bal Gangadhar Tilak (or Lokmanya Tilak; 23 July 1856 – 1 August 1920), born as Keshav Gangadhar Tilak, was a great nationalist, teacher, lawyer and an independence activist. He is considered by many as the first leader of the Indian Independence Movement. The British colonial authorities called him “The father of the Indian unrest.” He was also conferred with the title of “Lokmanya”, which means “accepted by the people (as their leader)”. Tilak was one of the first and strongest advocates of Swaraj (“self-rule”) and a strong radical in Indian consciousness. He is known for his quote in Marathi: “Swarajya is my birthright and I shall have it!”. He formed a close alliance with many Indian National Congress leaders including Bipin Chandra Pal, Lala Lajpat Rai, Aurobindo Ghose, V. O. Chidambaram Pillai and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Tilak opposed the moderate views of Gopal Krishna Gokhale, and was supported by fellow Indian nationalists Bipin Chandra Pal in Bengal and Lala Lajpat Rai in Punjab. They were referred to as the “Lal-Bal-Pal triumvirate”. In 1907, the annual session of the Congress Party was held at Surat, Gujarat. Trouble broke out over the selection of the new president of the Congress between the moderate and the radical sections of the party . The party split into the radicals faction, led by Tilak, Pal and Lajpat Rai, and the moderate faction. Nationalists like Aurobindo Ghose, V. O. Chidambaram Pillai were Tilak supporters. During his lifetime among other political cases, Bal Gangadhar Tilak had been tried for Sedition Charges in three times by British India Government—in 1897, 1909,[ and 1916. In 1897, Tilak was sentenced to 18 months in prison for preaching disaffection against the Raj. In 1909, he was again charged with sedition and intensifying racial animosity between Indians and the British. The Bombay lawyer Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Tilak’s defence could not annul the evidence in Tilak’s polemical articles and Tilak was sentenced to six years in prison in Burma. On 30 April 1908, two Bengali youths, Prafulla Chaki and Khudiram Bose, threw a bomb on a carriage at Muzzafarpur, to kill the Chief Presidency Magistrate Douglas Kingsford of Calcutta fame, but erroneously killed two women traveling in it. While Chaki committed suicide when caught, Bose was hanged. Tilak, in his paper Kesari, defended the revolutionaries and called for immediate Swaraj or self-rule. The Government swiftly charged him with sedition. At the conclusion of the trial, a special jury convicted him by 7:2 majority. In passing sentence, the judge indulged in some scathing strictures against Tilak’s conduct. He threw off the judicial restraint which, to some extent, was observable in his charge to the jury. He condemned the articles as “seething with sedition”, as preaching violence, speaking of murders with approval. “You hail the advent of the bomb in India as if something had come to India for its good. I say, such journalism is a curse to the country”. Tilak was sent to Mandalay from 1908 to 1914. Later, Tilak re-united with his fellow nationalists and re-joined the Indian National Congress in 1916. He also helped found the All India Home Rule League in 1916–18, with G. S. Khaparde and Annie Besant. After years of trying to reunite the moderate and radical factions, he gave up and focused on the Home Rule League, which sought self-rule. Tilak travelled from village to village for support from farmers and locals to join the movement towards self-rule. Tilak was impressed by the Russian Revolution, and expressed his admiration for Vladimir Lenin. The league had 1400 members in April 1916, and by 1917 membership had grown to approximately 32,000. Tilak started his Home Rule League in Maharashtra, Central Provinces, and Karnataka and Berar region. Besant’s League was active in the rest part of India. Tilak said, “I regard India as my Motherland and my Goddess, the people in India are my kith and kin, and loyal and steadfast work for their political and social emancipation is my highest religion and duty”. The Deccan Education Society that Tilak founded with others in the 1880s still runs Institutions in Pune like the Fergusson College.

Bipin Chandra Pal

Bipin Chandra Pal (7 November 1858 – 20 May 1932) was a great Indian nationalist, a freedom fighter, writer, orator and social reformer of Sylheti origin. He was one of the main architects of the Swadeshi movement. He stood against the partition of Bengal. Bipin Chandra Pal was born in the village of Poil, Habiganj, Sylhet, Bengal Presidency of British India, in a Hindu Bengali Kayastha Vaishnava family. Pal is known as the ‘Father of Revolutionary Thoughts’ in India and was one of the freedom fighters of India. Pal became a major leader of the Indian National Congress. At the Madras session of congress held in 1887, Bipin Chandra Pal made a strong plea for repeal of the Arms Act which was discriminatory in nature. Along with Lala Lajpat Rai and Bal Gangadhar Tilak he belonged to the Lal, Bal, Pal trio that was associated with revolutionary activity. Aurobindo Ghosh and Pal were recognised as the chief exponents of a new national movement revolving around the ideals of Purna Swaraj, Swadeshi, boycott and national education. His programme consisted of Swadeshi, Boycott and national education. He preached and encouraged the use of Swadeshi and the Boycott of foreign goods to eradicate poverty and unemployment. He wanted to remove social evils from the form and arouse the feelings of nationalism through national criticism. He had no faith in mild protests in the form of Non-Cooperation with the British colonialists. On that one issue, the Assertive nationalist leader had nothing common with Mahatma Gandhi. During last six years of his life he parted company with the Congress and led a secluded life. Sri Aurobindo referred to him as one of mightiest prophets of Nationalism. As a journalist, Pal worked for Bengal Public Opinion, The Tribune and New India, where he propagated his brand of nationalism. He wrote several articles warning India of the changes happening in China and other geopolitical situations. In one of his writings, describing where the future danger for India will come from, Pal wrote under the title “Our Real Danger”. The most prominent books of Pal include Indian Nationalism, Nationality and Empire, Swaraj and the Present Situation, The Basis of Social Reform, The Soul of India.

Categories
Sports

The 2018 Wimbledon Championships

The 2018 Wimbledon Championships, a Grand Slam tennis tournament, took place at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom. The main tournament began on Monday, 2 July 2018 and finished on Sunday, 15 July 2018. Novak Djokovic won the Gentleman’s Singles title and Angelique Kerber won the Ladies Singles title. The 2018 tournament was the 132nd edition of The Championships, the 125th staging of the Ladies’ Singles Championship event, the 51st in the Open Era and the third Grand Slam tournament of the year. It was played on grass courts and was part of the ATP World Tour, the WTA Tour, the ITF Junior tour and the NEC Tour. The tournament was organised by All England Lawn Tennis Club and International Tennis Federation.

Roger Federer and Garbiñe Muguruza were both unsuccessful in defending their 2017 titles. Federer lost in the quarterfinals to eventual finalist Kevin Anderson, while Muguruza lost in the second round to Alison Van Uytvanck.

The list of champions in the main categories is as follows:

Men’s Singles– Novak Djokovic

Women’s Singles– Angelique Kerber

Men’s Doubles– Mike Bryan/ Jack Sock

Women’s Doubles-Barbora Krejčíková /Kateřina Siniaková

Mixed Doubles-Alexander Peya /Nicole Melichar

Boys’ Singles-Tseng Chun-hsin

Girls’ Singles-Iga Świątek

Boys Doubles-Yankı Erel /Otto Virtanen

Girls’ Doubles-Wang Xinyu / /Wang Xiyu

Categories
Readings for Prelims

Leaders of Indian Renaissance and reform movements

Renaissance signifies religious, social and institutional reforms. Following leaders in India led the Indian Renaissance:

Raja Ram Mohan Roy

Raja Ram Mohan Roy (22 May 1772 – 27 September 1833) was a great social and religious reformer of India. In 1829 Rammohan Roy founded a new religious society known as the Atmiya Sabha which later on came to be known as the Brahmo Samaj. He was one of the founders of the Brahmo Sabha, the precursor of the Brahmo Samaj, a socio-religious reform movement. This religious society was based on the twin pillars of rationalism and the philosophy of the Vedas. The Brahmo Samaj emphasised human dignity, criticised idolatry and denounced social evils like sati. He was given the title of Raja by Akbar II, the Mughal emperor. His influence was apparent in the fields of politics, public administration, education and religion. He was known for his efforts to abolish the practices of sati and child marriage. Raja Ram Mohan Roy is considered by many historians as the “Father of the Indian Renaissance.” Rammohan Roy struggled persistently against social evils. He argued that ancient Hindu texts the Vedas and the Upanishads upheld the doctrine of monotheism. To prove his point, he translated the Vedas and five Upanishads into Bengali. In 1849 he wrote Gift to Monotheism in Persian. Rammohan Roy was a staunch believer in the philosophy of Vedanta (Upanishads) and vigorously defended the Hindu religion and Hindu philosophy from the attack of the missionaries. He only wanted to mould Hinduism into a new cast to suit the requirements of the age.

Henry Vivian Derozio

Henry Vivian Derozio, a teacher of the Hindu College was born in 1809. He was of mixed parentage his father was Portuguese and his mother was Indian. In 1826, at the age of 17, he joined the Hindu College as a teacher and taught there till 1831.The movement started by Henry Vivian Derozio was called the Young Bengal Movement and his followers were known as the Derozians. They condemned religious rites and the rituals, and pleaded for eradication of social evils, female education and improvement in the condition of women. Derozio was a poet, teacher, reformer and a fiery journalist. He was perhaps the first nationalist poet of modern India. He was removed from the Hindu College because of his radicalism and died soon after at the age of 22. The establishment of the Hindu College in 1817 was a major event in the history of Bengal. It played an important role in carrying forward the reformist movement that had already emerged in the province. A radical movement for the reform of Hindu Society, known as the Young Bengal Movement, started in the college. Derozio was deeply influenced by the revolutionery ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity. He was a brilliant teacher and within a short period of time, he drew around him a group of intelligent boys in the college. He inspired his students to think rationally and freely, to question authority, to love liberty, equality and freedom and to worship truth. By organising an association for debates and discussions on literature, philosophy, history and science, he spread radical ideas.

Debendranath Tagore

Debendranath Tagore, the father of Rabindranath Tagore, was responsible for revitalising the Brahmo Samaj. Under him the first step was taken to convert the Brahmo Samaj into a separate religious and social community. He represented the best in traditional Indian learning and the new thought of the West. In 1839, he founded the Tatvabodhini Sabha to propagate Rammohan Roy’s ideas. He promoted a magazine to do a systematic study of India’s past in Bengali language. The Samaj actively Debendranath Tagore supported the movements for widow remarriage, the abolition of polygamy, women’s education and the improvement in the condition of the peasantry.

Keshab Chandra Sen

Keshab Chandra Sen (19 November 1838 – 8 January 1884) was an Indian Bengali philosopher and social reformer. Born a Hindu, he became a member of the Brahmo Samaj in 1856 but founded his own breakaway “Brahmo Samaj of India” in 1866 while the Brahmo Samaj remained under the leadership of Debendranath Tagore (who headed the Brahmo Samaj till his death in 1905). In 1878 his followers abandoned him after the underage child marriage of his daughter which exposed his campaign against child marriage as hollow. Later in his life he came under the influence of Ramakrishna and founded a syncretic “New Dispensation” or Nôbobidhan inspired by Christianity, and Vaishnav bhakti, and Hindu practices.He carried on an intensive programme of social reform. He set up schools, organised famine relief and propagated widow remarriage. In 1872 the Government passed the Native (Civil) Marriages Act legalising marriages performed according to Brahmo Samaj rites.

Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar

Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, a towering personality of the mid- nineteenth century, was born in a poor Brahmin family of Bengal in 1820. He was a renowned Sanskrit scholar and became the Principal of the Sanskrit College in 1851. The Sanskrit College conferred on him the title of ‘Vidyasagar’ because of his profound knowledge of Sanskrit. Pandit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar was both a scholar and a reformer. He was a great humanist and had deep sympathy for the poor and the oppressed. He dedicated his entire life to the cause of social reform which he thought was necessary for modernising India. By admitting non-Brahmin students to the Sanskrit College, he dealt a severe blow to the prevalent caste system. Vidyasagar was a staunch supporter of women’s education and helped Drinkwater Bethune to establish the Bethune School, the first Indian school for girls, in 1849. As Inspector of Schools, Vidyasagar opened a number of schools for girls in the districts under his charge. Vidyasagar’s greatest contribution lies in the improvement of the condition of widows. Despite opposition, Vidyasagar openly advocated widow remarriage. Soon a powerful movement in favour of widow remarriage was started. At last, after prolonged struggle the Widow Remarriage Act was passed in 1856. Through his efforts, twenty-five widow remarriages took place. He also spoke vehemently against child marriage and polygamy. Vidyasagar contributed enormously to the growth of the Bengali language and contributed to the evolution of the modern prose style in Bengali. He wrote a Bengali primer, ‘Varna Parichay’, which is used even today. Through his writings, Vidyasagar made the people aware of the social problems and thus helped the growth of nationalism in India.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa

Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa was one of the greatest saints of modern India. Ramakrishna was born in a poor Brahmin family of Bengal. He showed a religious bent of mind from his childhood. He had no formal education but his discourses were full of wisdom. He was the chief priest of the Kali temple at Dakshineswar near Calcutta. People from all walks of life visited Dakshineswar to listen to his discourses. Ramakrishna Paramhamsa was a man with a liberal outlook. He firmly believed that there was an underlying unity among all religions and that only the methods of worship were different. God could be approached by any form of worship as long as it was done with single- minded devotion. Different religions were all different roads to reach the same God. He believed that service to man was service to God, for man was the embodiment of God on earth. As man was the creation of God, man-made divisions made no sense to him.

Swami Vivekananda

Narendra Nath Dutta, better known as Swami Vivekananda, was the most illustrious disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. He was born in Calcutta in January, 1863. He graduated from the Scottish Church College and was well-versed in Western philosophy. Vivekananda was a man of great intellect and possessed a critical and analytical mind. At the age of eighteen, Vivekananda met Sri Ramakrishna. This meeting transformed his life completely. After the death of Sri Ramakrishna, he became a ‘sanyasi’ and devoted his life to preaching and spreading Ramakrishna’s message to the people. His religious message was put in a form that would suit the needs of contemporary Indian society. Vivekananda proclaimed the essential oneness of all religions. He condemned the caste- system, religious rituals, ceremonies and superstitions. He had a deep understanding of Hindu philosophy and travelled far and wide to spread its message. At the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago (1893), Vivekananda spoke about Hindu religion at length. His brilliant speech on Hindu philosophy at Chicago was well received and “dear brothers and sisters” became a hallmark of beginning any address. American newspapers described him as an ‘Orator by Divine Right’. He delivered a series of lectures in the U.S.A., England and in several other countries of Europe. Through his speeches, Vivekananda explained Hindu philosophy and clarified the wrong notions that prevailed in Western countries about the Hindu religion and Indian culture. In India, however, Vivekananda’s main role was that of a social reformer rather than a religious leader. He propagated Ramakrishna’s message of peace and brotherhood and emphasized the need for religious tolerance which would lead to the establishment of peace and harmony in the country. He believed that it was the social responsibility of the better placed people to take care of the downtrodden, or the ‘daridra narayan’. With his clarity of thought, deep understanding of the social problems of India, Vivekananda undoubtedly left a deep mark on the Indian intelligentsia as well as on the masses. At a time when the nation was in despair, he preached the gospel of strength and self-reliance. Vivekananda died at the age of 39. In 1896, Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Mission to propagate social welfare. It laid emphasis not on personal salvation but on social good and social service. The Ramakrishna Mission stood for religious and social reform based on the ancient culture of India. Emphasis was put on the essential spirit of Hinduism and not on rituals.

Dayanand Saraswati and the Arya Samaj

Another organisation in northern India which aimed to strengthen Hinduism through reform was the Arya Samaj. Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of the Arya Samaj in Rajkot, was born into a Brahmin family in Kathiawar, Gujarat, in 1824. At the early age of 14, he rebelled against the practice of idol worship. He ran away from home at the age of twenty. For the next fifteen years, he wandered all over India meditating and studying the ancient Hindu scriptures. In 1863 Swami Dayanand started preaching his doctrine of one God. He questioned the meaningless rituals, decried polytheism and image worship and denounced the caste system. He wanted to purify Hinduism and attacked the evils that had crept into Hindu society. Dayanand Saraswati believed that the Vedas contained the knowledge imparted to men by God, and hence its study alone could solve all social problems. So he propagated the motto “Back to the Vedas.” Asserting that the Vedas made no mention of untouchability, child marriage and the subjugation of women, Swami Dayanand attacked these practices vehemently. Dayanand began the suddhi movement which enabled the Hindus who had accepted Islam or Christianity to return to Hinduism, their original faith. Dayanand published his religious commentaries in Hindi so as to make the common people understand his preachings. The Satyarth Prakash was his most important work.

The Swami worked actively for the regeneration of India. In 1875, Swami Dayanand founded the Arya Samaj in Bombay. The Arya Samaj made significant contributions to the fields of education and social and religious reforms. After his death, his followers had established the Dayanand Anglo Vedic Schools first in Lahore and then in other parts of India. Gurukuls were also established to propagate traditional ideals of education. A network of schools and colleges both for boys and girls were also established by the Arya Samaj. The Arya Samaj influenced mostly the people of northern India, specially Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Punjab. Although it was not a political organisation, the Arya Samaj played a positive role in creating a nationalist pride in Indian tradition and culture.

Jyotirao Govindrao Phule

Jyotirao Govindrao Phule prominent role in bringing about, reforms in Maharashtra. He fought for improving the condition of women, the poor and the untouchables. He started a school for the education of girls of the lower castes and founded an association called the Satyasodhak Samaj. People from all castes and religions were allowed to join the association. He was opposed to the domination of the Brahmins and started the practice of conducting marriages without Brahmin priests.

The Prarthana Samaj

In 1867, the Prarthana Samaj was started in Maharashtra with the aim of reforming Hinduism and preaching the worship of one God. Mahadev Govind Ranade and R.G. Bhandarkar were the two great leaders of the Samaj. The Prarthana Samaj did in Maharashtra what the Brahmo Samaj did in Bengal. It attacked the caste system and the predominance of the Brahmins, campaigned against child marriage and the purdah system, preached widow remarriage and emphasised female education. In order to reform Hinduism, Ranade started the Widow Remarriage Association and the Deccan Education Society. In 1887, Ranade founded the National Social Conference with the aim of introducing social reforms throughout the country. Ranade was also one of the founders of the Indian National Congress.

Annie Besant

She was a British socialist, theosophist, women’s rights activist, writer, orator, and supporter of both Irish and Indian self-rule. She was a champion of human freedom, an educationist, philanthropist, and a prolific author who had written over three hundred books and pamphlets. In 1886 they founded the Theosophical Society at Adyar near Madras. In 1890 Besant met Helena Blavatsky, and over the next few years her interest in theosophy grew, whilst her interest in secular matters waned. She became a member of the Theosophical Society and a prominent lecturer on the subject. As part of her theosophy-related work, she travelled to India. In 1898 she helped establish the Central Hindu School, and in 1922 she helped establish the Hyderabad (Sind) National Collegiate Board in Mumbai, India.Annie Besant, an Irish woman who came to India in 1893, helped the Theosophist movement to gain strength. She propagated Vedic philosophy and urged Indians to take pride in their culture. The Theosophists stood for the revival of the ancient Indian religion and universal brotherhood. The uniqueness of the movement lay in the fact that it was spearheaded by foreigners who glorified Indian religious and philosophical traditions. Annie Besant was the founder of the Central Hindu College in Banaras, which later developed into the Banaras Hindu University. Annie Besant herself made India her permanent home and played a prominent role in Indian politics. In 1917, she was elected President of the Indian National Congress.

Syed Ahmad Khan

The most important socio-religious movement among the Muslims came to be known as the Aligarh Movement. It was organised by Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-1899), a man described as the most outstanding figure among the Muslims. Syed Ahmad Khan was born in 1817 into a Muslim noble family and had joined the service of the Company as a judicial officer. He realised that the Muslims had to adapt themselves to British rule. So Syed Ahmad advised Muslims to embrace Western education and take up government service. In 1862, he founded the Scientific Society to translate English books on science and other subjects into Urdu. He also started an English- Urdu journal through which he spread the ideas of social reform. Through his initiative was established the Mohammedan Oriental College which later developed into the Aligarh Muslim University. It helped to develop a modern outlook among its students. This intellectual movement is called the Aligarh Movement. As a social reformer, Syed Ahmad Khan campaigned against the purdah system, polygamy and the Muslim system of divorce. He emphasised the need for removing irrational social customs while retaining the essence of Islam and encouraging a rational interpretation of the Koran. Syed Ahmad Khan believed that the interest of the Muslims would be best served through cooperation with the British Government. It was only through the guidance of the British that India could mature into a full-fledged nation. So he opposed the participation of the Muslims in the activities of the Indian National Congress.

Sir Syed Ahmad Taqvi bin Syed Muhammad Muttaqi (17 October 1817 – 27 March 1898), commonly known as Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, was a Muslim pragmatist and Islamic reformist.He was born into a family with strong ties to the Mughal court, Syed studied the Quran and Sciences within the court. He was awarded honorary LLD from the University of Edinburgh.

In 1838, Syed Ahmad entered the service of East India Company and went on to become a judge at a Small Causes Court in 1867, and retired from service in 1876. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, he remained, loyal to the British Empire and was noted for his actions in saving European lives. After the rebellion, he penned the booklet The Causes of the Indian Mutiny – a daring critique, at the time, of British policies that he blamed for causing the revolt. Believing that the future of Muslims was threatened by the rigidity of their orthodox outlook, Sir Syed began promoting Western–style scientific education by founding modern schools and journals and organising Muslim entrepreneurs.

In 1859, Syed established Gulshan School at Muradabad, Victoria School at Ghazipur in 1863, and a scientific society for Muslims in 1864. In 1875, founded the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College, the first Muslim university in South Asia. During his career, Syed repeatedly called upon Muslims to loyally serve the British Empire and promoted the adoption of Urdu as the lingua franca of all Indian Muslims. Syed heavily critiqued the Indian National Congress. Syed maintains a strong legacy in Pakistan and among Indian Muslims. He strongly influenced other Muslim leaders including Allama Iqbal and Jinnah. His advocacy of Islam’s rationalist (Muʿtazila) tradition, and at broader, radical reinterpretation of the Quran to make it compatible with science and modernity, continues to influence the global Islamic reformation. Many universities and public buildings in Pakistan bear Sir Syed’s name.

Baba Dayal Das

Baba Dayal Das propagated the nirankar (formless) idea of God. By the end of the 19th century a new reform movement called the Akali Movement was launched to reform the corrupt management of Gurdwaras. Baba Dayal Singh (1783-1855) was a Sahajdhari Sikh whose main mission was to bring Sikhs back to the Adi Granth and simran. His successor Baba Darbara Singh established many centres beyond Rawalpindi and wrote about the essential teachings of Baba Dayal. The sect had grown considerably and the third successor, Sahib Rattaji (1870-1909) kept the Nirankaris in order via strict adherence to their rahit (Khalsa code of conduct). At this time they numbered in the thousands and some had taken interest in the Singh Sabha movements, under the fourth successor Baba Gurdit Singh. The Nirankaris helped to bring the Anand Marriage Bill in 1908-9 to the attention of the Sikh populace. Their fifth Guru Sahib Hara Singh (1877-1971) started to reorganise the sangat and was succeeded by his eldest son Baba Gurbakhsh Singh. However because their emphasis was largely upon Guru Nanak’s message, and the times were dominated by Singh Sabha Sikhs emphasising Guru Gobind Singh’s Khalsa, their voices went unheard. This was exacerbated by the shift from Sahajdhari (shaven) to Keshdhari (unshaven) Sikhs. Finally with their inability to keep in step with the tumultuous social changes of the British Raj they were soon marginalised.

Pandita Ramabai

Pandita Ramabai Sarasvati (23 April 1858 – 5 April 1922) was an Indian social reformer, a pioneer in the education and emancipation of women in India. She was the first woman to be accorded the titles of Pandita as a Sanskrit scholar and Sarasvati after being examined by the faculty of the University of Calcutta. She participated in the freedom movement and was one of the 10 women delegates of the Congress session of 1889. She founded the Arya Mahila Sabha in Pune and opened the Sarda Sadan for helping destitute widows. The purpose of the Arya Mahila Sabha was to promote the cause of women’s education and deliverance from the oppression of child marriage. When in 1882 a commission was appointed by Government of India to look into education, Ramabai gave evidence before it.

Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu (13 February 1879 – 2 March 1949) was an Indian independence activist and poet who earned the sobriquet of Nightingale of India. She was born in a Bengali Hindu family in Hyderabad. She was educated in Chennai , London and Cambridge. She married Dr. Govindarajulu Naidu and settled down in Hyderabad. She took part in the Indian nationalist movement, became a follower of Mahatma Gandhi and fought for the attainment of Swaraj or independence. She became the President of Indian National Congress and was later appointed as Governor of the United Provinces, now Uttar Pradesh. She was the first woman Governor of the Republic of India. Known as the ‘Nightingale of India’, she was also a noted poet. Her poetry includes children’s poems, nature poems, patriotic poems and poems of love and death. She also wrote poetry in praise of Muslim figures like Imam Hussain, in a time where Muslim-Hindu tensions ran high in pre-independence era. Issues regarding the split of India into a Muslim country and a Hindu country have already begun, and as she had got an inter-caste and inter-regional marriage in a time where this was uncommon, her goal was to bring all of India together regardless of any caste or religion. She stood for voting rights for women, and took an active interest in the political situation in the country. She also helped to set up the All India Women’s Conference. In 1915–18, she travelled to different regions in India delivering lectures on social welfare, women’s empowerment and nationalism. She also helped to establish the Women’s Indian Association (WIA) in 1917. She was sent to London along with Annie Besant, President of home rule league and Women’s Indian Association, to present the case for the women’s vote to the Joint Select Committee. In 1925, Naidu presided over the annual session of Indian National Congress at Cawnpore (now Kanpur).

Categories
Readings for Prelims

Scientific Institution making in Independent India

The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre

The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is India’s premier nuclear research facility, headquartered in Trombay, Mumbai, Maharashtra. BARC is a multi-disciplinary research centre with extensive infrastructure for advanced research and development covering the entire spectrum of nuclear science, engineering and related areas. BARC’s core mandate is to sustain peaceful applications of nuclear energy, primarily for power generation. The Government of India created the Atomic Energy Establishment, Trombay (AEET) on 3 January 1954. It was established to consolidate all the research and development activity for nuclear reactors and technology under the Atomic Energy Commission. All scientists and engineers engaged in the fields of reactor designing and development, instrumentation, metallurgy and material science etc., were transferred with their respective programmes from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) to AEET, with TIFR retaining its original focus for fundamental research in the sciences. After Homi Jahangir Bhabha’s death in 1966, the centre was renamed as the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre on 22 January 1967. The first reactors at BARC and its affiliated power generation centres were imported from the west. India’s first power reactors, installed at the Tarapur Atomic Power Station were from the United States. The primary importance of BARC is as a research centre. The BARC and the Indian government has consistently maintained that the reactors are used for this purpose only: Apsara (1956; named by the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru when he likened the blue Cerenkov radiation to the beauty of the Apsaras), CIRUS (1960; the “Canada-India Reactor” with assistance from the US), the now-defunct ZERLINA (1961; Zero Energy Reactor for Lattice Investigations and Neutron Assay), Purnima I (1972), Purnima II (1984), Dhruva (1985), Purnima III (1990), and KAMINI. The plutonium used in India’s 1974 Smiling Buddha nuclear test came from CIRUS. The 1974 test (and the 1998 tests that followed) gave Indian scientists the technological know-how and confidence not only to develop nuclear fuel for future reactors to be used in power generation and research, but also the capacity to refine the same fuel into weapons-grade fuel to be used in the development of nuclear weapons.

The Indian Space Research Organisation

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is the space agency of the Government of India headquartered in the city of Bengaluru. Its vision is to “harness space technology for national development while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration.” Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) was established by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of the Indian Government under the DAE in 1962, with the urging of scientist Vikram Sarabhai recognizing the need in space research. INCOSPAR grew into ISRO in 1969 also under the DAE. In 1972 Government of India setup a Space Commission and the Department of Space (DOS), bringing ISRO under the DOS. The establishment of ISRO thus institutionalized space research activities in India. It is managed by the Department of Space, which reports to the Prime Minister of India.

ISRO built India’s first satellite, Aryabhata, which was launched by the Soviet Union on 19 April 1975. It was named after the mathematician Aryabhata. In 1980, Rohini became the first satellite to be placed in orbit by an Indian-made launch vehicle, SLV-3. ISRO subsequently developed two other rockets: the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) for launching satellites into polar orbits and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) for placing satellites into geostationary orbits. These rockets have launched numerous communications satellites and earth observation satellites. Satellite navigation systems like GAGAN and IRNSS have been deployed. In January 2014, ISRO used an indigenous cryogenic engine in a GSLV-D5 launch of the GSAT-14.

ISRO sent a lunar orbiter, Chandrayaan-1, on 22 October 2008 and a Mars orbiter, Mars Orbiter Mission, on 5 November 2013, which entered Mars orbit on 24 September 2014, making India the first nation to succeed on its first attempt to Mars, and ISRO the fourth space agency in the world as well as the first space agency in Asia to reach Mars orbit. On 18 June 2016, ISRO set a record with a launch of twenty satellites in a single payload, one being a satellite from Google. On 15 February 2017, ISRO launched one hundred and four satellites in a single rocket (PSLV-C37) and created a world record. ISRO launched its heaviest rocket, Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III), on 5 June 2017 and placed a communications satellite GSAT-19 in orbit. With this launch, ISRO became capable of launching 4-ton heavy satellites into GTO. Future plans include the development of Unified Launch Vehicle, Small Satellite Launch Vehicle, development of a reusable launch vehicle, human spaceflight, controlled soft lunar landing, interplanetary probes, and a solar spacecraft mission.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is an agency of the Government of India, charged with the military’s research and development, headquartered in New Delhi, India. It was formed in 1958 by the merger of the Technical Development Establishment and the Directorate of Technical Development and Production with the Defence Science Organisation. It is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence, Government of India. The DRDO was established in 1958 by amalgamating the Defence Science Organisation and some of the technical development establishments. A separate Department of Defence Research and Development was formed in 1980 which later on administered DRDO and its 50 laboratories/establishments. Most of the time the Defence Research Development Organisation was treated as if it was a vendor and the Army Headquarters or the Air Headquarters were the customers. Because the Army and the Air Force themselves did not have any design or construction responsibility, they tended to treat the designer or Indian industry at par with their corresponding designer in the world market. If they could get a MiG-21 from the world market, they wanted a MiG-21 from DRDO. DRDO started its first major project in surface-to-air missiles (SAM) known as Project Indigo in 1960s. Indigo was discontinued in later years without achieving full success. Project Indigo led to Project Devil, along with Project Valiant, to develop short-range SAM and ICBM in the 1970s. Project Devil itself led to the later development of the Prithvi missile under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme(IGMDP) in the 1980s. IGMDP was an Indian Ministry of Defence programme between the early 1980s and 2007 for the development of a comprehensive range of missiles, including the Agni missile, Prithvi ballistic missile, Akash missile, Trishul missile and Nag Missile. With a network of 52 laboratories, which are engaged in developing defence technologies covering various fields, like aeronautics, armaments, electronics, land combat engineering, life sciences, materials, missiles, and naval systems, DRDO is India’s largest and most diverse research organisation. The organisation includes around 5,000 scientists belonging to the Defence Research & Development Service (DRDS) and about 25,000 other scientific, technical and supporting personnel.

The University Grants Commission

The UGC was first formed in 1945 to oversee the work of the three Central Universities of Aligarh, Banaras and Delhi. Its responsibility was extended in 1947 to cover all Indian universities. In August 1949 a recommendation was made to reconstitute the UGC along similar lines to the University Grants Committee of the United kingdom. This recommendation was made by the University Education Commission of 1948-1949 which was set up under the chairmanship of S. Radhakrishnan “to report on Indian university education and suggest improvements and extensions”. In 1952 the government decided that all grants to universities and higher learning institutions should be handled by the UGC. Subsequently, an inauguration was held on 28 December 1953 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the Minister of Education, Natural Resources and Scientific Research.

In November 1956 the UGC became a statutory body upon the passing of the “University Grants Commission Act, 1956” by the Indian Parliament. In 1994 and 1995 the UGC decentralised its operations by setting up six regional centres at Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bhopal, Guwahati and Bangalore. The head office of the UGC is located at Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in New Delhi, with two additional bureaus operating from 35, Feroze Shah Road and the South Campus of University of Delhi as well. In December 2015 the Indian government set a National Institutional of Ranking Framework under UGC which will rank all educational institutes by April 2016.

In December 2017 D.P. Singh, former director of National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), was appointed chairman for a period of five years, replacing UGC member Virander Singh Chauhan, who officiated the position since the retirement of Ved Prakash in April 2017. The University Grants Commission of India (UGC India) is a statutory body set up by the Indian Union government in accordance to the UGC Act 1956 under Ministry of Human Resource Development, and is charged with coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of higher education. It provides recognition to universities in India, and disbursements of funds to such recognised universities and colleges. Its headquarters is in New Delhi, and has six regional centres in Pune, Bhopal, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Guwahati and Bangalore. UGC is modelled after University Grants Committee of UK which was an advisory committee of the British government and advised on the distribution of grant funding amongst the British universities. The committee was in existence from 1919 until 1989.

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) was established by the Government of India in September of 1942 as an autonomous body that has emerged as the largest research and development organisation in India. As of 2013, it runs 38 laboratories/institutes, 39 outreach centers, 3 Innovation Centers and 5 units throughout the nation, with a collective staff of over 14,000, including a total of 3987 scientists and 6454 technical and support personnel. Although it is mainly funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, it operates as an autonomous body through the Societies Registration Act, 1860. The research and development activities of CSIR include aerospace engineering, structural engineering, ocean sciences, life sciences, metallurgy, chemicals, mining, food, petroleum, leather, and environmental science. In terms of Intellectual property, CSIR has 2971 patents in force internationally and 1592 patents in force in India. CSIR is granted more than 14000 patents worldwide since its inception. CSIR is awarded the National Intellectual Property (IP) Award 2018 in the category “Top R&D Institution / Organization for Patents and Commercialization” by Indian Patent Office.

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an autonomous body responsible for co-ordinating agricultural education and research in India. It reports to the Department of Agricultural Research and Education, Ministry of Agriculture. The Union Minister of Agriculture serves as its president.

In 1911, the Government of India set up the Indian Research Fund Association (IRFA) with the specific objective of sponsoring and coordinating medical research in the country. After independence, several important changes were made in the organisation and the activities of the IRFA. It was redesignated the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in 1949, with considerably expanded scope of functions. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, is one of the oldest and largest medical research bodies in the world. The ICMR is funded by the Government of India through the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It is the largest network of agricultural research and education institutes in the world. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an autonomous organisation under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare , Government of India. Formerly known as Imperial Council of Agricultural Research, it was established on 16 July 1929 as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in pursuance of the report of the Royal Commission on Agriculture. The ICAR has its headquarters at New Delhi. The Council is the apex body for co-ordinating, guiding and managing research and education in agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences in the entire country. With 101 ICAR institutes and 71 agricultural universities spread across the country this is one of the largest national agricultural systems in the world. The ICAR has played a pioneering role in ushering Green Revolution and subsequent developments in agriculture in India through its research and technology development that has enabled the country to increase the production of foodgrains by 5.4 times, horticultural crops by 10.1 times, fish by 15.2 times, milk 9.7 times and eggs 48.1 times since 1951 to 2017, thus making a visible impact on the national food and nutritional security. It has played a major role in promoting excellence in higher education in agriculture. It is engaged in cutting edge areas of science and technology development and its scientists are internationally acknowledged in their fields.

The Sports Authority of India

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) is the apex national sports body of India, established in 1984 by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of Government of India for the development of sport in India. SAI has 2 Sports Academic institutions, 10 “SAI Regional Centres” (SRC), 14 “Centre of Excellence” (COE/COX), 56 “Sports Training Centres” (STC) and 20 “Special Area Games” (SAG). In addition, SAI also manages Netaji Subhash High Altitude Training Centre (Shilaroo, Himachal Pradesh) as well as 5 stadiums in the national capital of Delhi, such as Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (also serves as national head office of SAI), Indira Gandhi Arena, Dhyan Chand National Stadium, SPM Swimming Pool Complex and Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range. Two “SAI Sports Academic” institutions are Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports (at Patiala in Punjab) and Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education (at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala), conducting research and running certificate to PhD level courses in physical education and sports medicine. Ten “SAI Regional Centres” (SRC) are located at (clockwise from north) Chandigarh, Sonipat, Lucknow, Guwahati, Imphal, Kolkata, Bhopal, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Gandhinagar.