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
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.

Categories
Polity and International Relations (English) Readings for Prelims

Constitutional Amendments in India

The Indian Constitution

The constitution of India is the supreme law of India .at present there are, 448 articles in 25 parts, 12 schedules, 5 appendices and 101 amendments in the Indian Constitution. Initially, i.e in 1949, the Constitution had 395 articles. But many new articles came into play and we total have now 469 articles. Since society and its needs are ever-evolving, constitution needs to keep pace, and therefore amendments to the Indian constitution have been taking place from time to time. As of March 2019, there have been 103 amendments to the Constitution of India since it was first enacted in 1950.

The procedure of amendment

The procedure of amendment in the constitution is laid down in Part XX (Article 368) of the Constitution of India. This procedure ensures the sanctity of the Constitution of India and keeps a check on arbitrary power of the Parliament of India. The amendment of the Indian constitution is done through a well laid out procedure and there is ample provision to avoid conflict between judiciary i.e., the Supreme Court and legislature, i.e., the Parliament of India, The use of discretionary power to amend constitution by parliament is subject to certain rules and doctrines as interpreted by the Supreme Court. There are laid down doctrines or rules in this regard for checking the validity/legality of an amendment undertaken by parliament, One such doctrine, the most important one is about the Basic structure doctrine as laid down by the Supreme Court in the case of Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala.

The original constitution provided for three categories of amendments.

Category 1- by simple majority

The first category of amendments are those contemplated in articles 4 (2), 169, 239A (2), 239AA (7b), 243M (4b), 243ZC (3), 244A (4), 356 (1)c, para 7(2) of Schedule V and para 21(2) of Schedule VI. These amendments can be effected by Parliament by a simple majority such as that required for the passing of any ordinary law. The amendments under this category are specifically excluded from the purview of article 368 which is the specific provision in the Constitution dealing with the power and the procedure for the amendment of the Constitution.

Article 4

Article 4 provides that laws made by Parliament under article 2 (relating to admission or establishment of new States) and article 3 (relating to formation of new States and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing States) effecting amendments in the First Schedule or the Fourth Schedule and supplemental, incidental and consequential matters, shall not be deemed to be amendments of the Constitution for the purposes of article 368.

For example, the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, which brought about the reorganization of the States in India, was passed by Parliament as an ordinary piece of legislation. In Mangal Singh v. Union of India (A.I.R. 1967 S.C. 944), the Supreme Court held that power to reduce the total number of members of Legislative Assembly below the minimum prescribed under article 170 (1) is implicit in the authority to make laws under article 4. Article 169 empowers Parliament to provide by law for the abolition or creation of the Legislative Councils in States and specifies that though such law shall contain such provisions for the amendment of the Constitution as may be necessary, it shall not be deemed to be an amendment of the Constitution for the purposes of article 368.

The Fifth Schedule

The Fifth Schedule contains provisions as to the administration and control of the Schedule Areas and Scheduled Tribes. Para 7 of the Schedule vests Parliament with plenary powers to enact laws amending the Schedule and lays down that no such law shall be deemed to be an amendment of the Constitution for the purposes of article 368. Under Para 21 of the Sixth Schedule, Parliament has full power to enact laws amending the Sixth Schedule which contains provisions for the administration of Tribal Areas in the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. No such law will be deemed to be an amendment of the Constitution for the purposes of article 368.

Category 2- by special majority

The second category includes amendments that can be effected by Parliament by a prescribed ‘special majority’;

Category 3- by special majority plus ratification by at least one half of state legislatures- The third category of amendments includes those that require, in addition to such “special majority”, ratification by at least one-half of the State Legislatures. The last two categories are governed by article 368.

Amendment under article 368

Part-xx Article 368 (1) of the Constitution of India grants constituent power to make formal amendments and empowers Parliament to amend the Constitution by way of addition, variation or repeal of any provision according to the procedure laid down therein, which is different from the procedure for ordinary legislation.

Article 368. Power of Parliament to amend the Constitution and Procedure therefor:

(1) Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, Parliament may in exercise of its constituent power amend by way of addition, variation or repeal any provision of this Constitution in accordance with the procedure laid down in this article.

(2) An amendment of this Constitution may be initiated only by the introduction of a Bill for the purpose in either House of Parliament, and when the Bill is passed in each House by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting, it shall be presented to the President who shall give his assent to the Bill and thereupon the Constitution shall stand amended in accordance with the terms of the Bill:

Provided that if such amendment seeks to make any change in –

(a) article 54, article 55, article 73, article 162, article 241 or article 279A or

(b) Chapter IV of Part V, Chapter V of Part VI, or Chapter I of Part XI, or

(c) any of the Lists in the Seventh Schedule, or

(d) the representation of States in Parliament, or

(e) the provisions of this article,

the amendment shall also require to be ratified by the Legislatures of not less than one-half of the States by resolutions to that effect passed by those Legislatures before the Bill making provision for such amendment is presented to the President for assent.

(3) Nothing in article 13 shall apply to any amendment made under this article.

(4) No amendment of this Constitution (including the provisions of Part III) made or purporting to have been made under this article whether before or after the commencement of section 55 of the Constitution (Forty Second Amendment) Act, 1976 shall be called in question in any court on any ground.

(5) For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that there shall be no limitation whatever on the constituent power of Parliament to amend by way of addition, variation or repeal the provisions of this Constitution under this article.

As per the procedure laid out by article 368 for amendment of the Constitution, an amendment can be initiated only by the introduction of a Bill in either House of Parliament. The Bill must then be passed in each House by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting. There is no provision for a joint sitting in case of disagreement between the two Houses. Total membership in this context has been defined to mean the total number of members comprising the House irrespective of any vacancies or absentees on any account vide Explanation to Rule 159 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha.

The Bill, passed by the required majority, is then presented to the President who shall give his assent to the Bill. If the amendment seeks to make any change in any of the provisions mentioned in the proviso to article 368, it must be ratified by the Legislatures of not less than one-half of the States. These provisions relate to certain matters concerning the federal structure or of common interest to both the Union and the States viz., the election of the President (articles 54 and 55); the extent of the executive power of the Union and the States (articles 73 and 162); the High Courts for Union territories (article 241); The Union Judiciary and the High Courts in the States (Chapter IV of Part V and Chapter V of Part VI); the distribution of legislative powers between the Union and the States (Chapter I of Part XI and Seventh Schedule); the representation of States in Parliament; and the provision for amendment of the Constitution laid down in article 368. Ratification is done by a resolution passed by the State Legislatures. There is no specific time limit for the ratification of an amending Bill by the State Legislatures. However, the resolutions ratifying the proposed amendment must be passed before the amending Bill is presented to the President for his assent.

Article 368 was amended by the 24th and 42nd Amendments in 1971 and 1976 respectively. New clauses 368 (1) and 368 (3) were added by the 24th Amendment in 1971, which also added a new clause (4) in article 13 which reads, “Nothing in this article shall apply to any amendment of this Constitution made under article 368.”The provisions in italics were inserted by the 42nd Amendment but were later declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Minerva Mills v. Union of India in 1980. After the 24th amendment, Article 4(2), etc. of the constitution are superseded/made void by article 368 (1) which is the only procedure for amending the constitution however marginal may be the nature of the amendment. The Supreme court ruled that the constituent power under article 368 must be exercised by the Parliament in the prescribed manner and cannot be exercised under the legislative powers of the Parliament.

Categories
Readings for Prelims Sports

Indian Games: National Champions 2018-19

Santosh Trophy 2019

The 2019 Santosh Trophy Final was a match between Services and Punjab on 21 April 2019 in Ludhiana, Punjab in which the former won. The match was a culmination of the 2018–19 Santosh Trophy, the 73rd edition of the football competition contested by regional state associations and government institutions under the All India Football Federation. Services won their sixth title by defeating Punjab 1–0. Bikash Thapa was declared the Man of the Match.

National Championship Hockey India (Senior Men)

  Punjab has won the 8th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship title at the Padma Shri Mohammad Shahid Synthetic HockeyStadium in Lucknow on March 25, 2018. The Final of the 8th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship 2018 (A Division) . Punjab defeated Petroleum Sports Promotion Board 2-1 in a well-fought encounter. The Defending Champions Railway Sports Promotion Board beat Air India Sports Promotion Board 5-3 in a game decided by penalty shoot out for clinching the Bronze medal.

Women Senior Hockey National 2018

Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) on Sunday lifted the 8th Senior National Women’s Hockey Championship title, thrashing Madhya Pradesh 4-0 in the final to finish the tournament without losing a game. In the bronze medal match, Haryana beat home team Jharkhand 2-0.

National Volleyball Championship 2019

Karnataka men and Kerala women emerged winners in the 67th Senior National Volleyball Championship at Nehru indoor stadium in Chennai. In a clash on January 01, 2019 in  67th National Volleyball Championship at the Nehru Indoor Stadium,  Karnataka defeated Tamil Nadu to win win their maiden national senior (men) crown 3-1 (21-25, 36-34, 25-18, 25-14 In the women’s summit clash, Railways  defeated Kerala.

National Badminton Championship 2019

In the Women’s section, Saina Nehwal displayed a brilliant game in the final as she registered a comfortable win against PV Sindhu to retain title on Februar , 2019. Saina outplayed her opponent in a match that lasted just over 30 minutes. She beat beats PV Sindhu 21-18, 21-15 in straight games to retain women’s singles title. This is now the fourth national title for Saina.

In the men’s section Sourabh Verma completed a hat-trick of titles at the Senior Badminton Nationals, claiming the men’s singles crown after defeating young Lakshya Sen in straight games, in the 83rd edition of the tournament in Guwahati on Saturday.

The 26-year-old, who had won the title in 2011 and 2017, showed great composure and tactical brilliance to outdo the 17-year-old Lakshya, an Asian junior champion, 21-18 21-13 in a lop-sided contest.

National Lawn Tennis Championship 2018 or Fenesta Open national tennis championships

Siddharth Vishwakarma stunned top seed Arjun Kadhe to clinch the men’s singles at the Fenesta Open national tennis championships (Delhi; October 06 , 2018) . Serving with power and hitting ferocious strokes, Siddharth won 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-3 to grab his maiden national title.

In the women’s final, Mahak Jain was too good for Natasha Palha. The 17-year-old raced to a 6-1, 6-2 victory, claiming her second successive national title. Mahak showed the most consistent game all week, chasing every ball and hitting deep to create openings. Playing in junior Grand Slams has raised the confidence of the Indore teenager.

In the boys’ under-18 final, Siddhanth Banthia lived up to the promise, beating Calvin Golmei 7-6, 6-2. The girls’ under-18 title was won by Humera Shaik, who beat Rashmikaa Bhamidipaty 6-2, 6-4.

National Table Tennis Championship 2019

Veteran A. Sharath Kamal and youngster Archana Kamath both scripted history while becoming the singles national champion in men’s and women’s events, respectively, on the concluding day of the 80th 11Sports National Table Tennis Championship. Kamlesh Mehta had won eight national titles.

While Sharath saved a match point before scraping past his arch-rival and Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) team-mate G. Sathiyan in the grand finale that lived up to its reputation at the packed J.N. Indoor Stadium arena to win a record ninth National championship title, Kamath became the second-youngest female National champion after edging past West Bengal’s Krittwika Sinha Roy.

Categories
History (English) Readings for Prelims

Peasant movements during Indian Freedom Struggle

Peasant movements have a long history that can be traced to the numerous peasant uprisings that occurred in various regions of the world throughout human history. Early peasant movements were usually the result of stresses in the feudal and semi feudal societies, and resulted in violent uprisings. More recent movements, fitting the definitions of social movements, are usually much less violent, and their demands are centered on better prices for agricultural produce, better wages and working conditions for the agricultural laborers, and increasing the agricultural production. The economic policies of British adversely affected the Indian peasants the British Govt. used to protect the landlords and money lenders. They exploited the peasants. The peasants rose in revolt against this injustice on many occasions. Some of the important ones are listed below:

Champaran Satyagraha

The Champaran Satyagraha took place in 1916.Chamaparan Satyagraha was a farmer’s uprising that took place in Champaran district of Bihar, during the British colonial period. This movement was the first popular satyagraha (standing up for truth) in India, although the word Satyagraha was used for the first time in Anti Rowlatt Act agitation.   It was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi. This movement is recognized as the beginning of revolt for   the independence of India after Gandhi’s home coming from South Africa. The farmers were protesting against to grow indigo with barely any payment for it. When Gandhi returned to India from South Africa in 1915, and saw peasants in Northern India oppressed by indigo planters, he tried to use the same methods that he had used in South Africa to organize mass uprisings by people to protest against injustices. Neel (indigo) started being grown commercially in Berar (Today Bihar), Audh (today Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand) and Bengal in 1750 by the British East India company, primarily for export to China, UK and Europe. Being a cash crop which needed high amounts of water and which left the soil infertile, local farmers usually opposed its cultivation, instead preferring to grow daily need crops such as rice and pulses. Hence the British colonialists forced farmers to grow indigo, often by making this the condition for providing loans, and through collusion with local kings, nawabs and landlords.

Kheda Sayagraha

The Kheda Satyagraha of 1918, in the Kheda district of Gujarat,  during the period of the British Raj, was a Satyagraha movement organized by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. It was the third Satyagraha movement after Champaran Satyagraha and Ahmadabad.Gandhi organised this movement to support peasants of the Kheda district. People of Kheda were unable to pay the high taxes levied by the British due to crop failure and a plague epidemic. In Gujarat, Mahatma Gandhi was chiefly the spiritual head of the struggle. His chief lieutenant, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and a close coterie of devoted Gandhians, namely Indulal Yagnik, Shankarlal Banker, Mahadev Desai, Narhari Parikh, Mohanlal Pandya and Ravi Shankar Vyas toured the countryside, organised the villagers and gave them political leadership and direction. Many aroused Gujaratis from the cities of Ahmadabad and Vadodara joined the organizers of the revolt, but Gandhi and Patel resisted the involvement of Indians from other provinces, seeking to keep it a purely Gujarati struggle.

Bardoli Movement

The Bardoli Satyagraha of 1928, in the state of Gujarat,  during the period of the British Raj, was a major episode of civil disobedience and revolt in the Indian Independence Movement. The movement was eventually led by Vallabhbhai Patel, and its success gave rise to Patel becoming one of the main leaders of the independence movement. In 1925, the taluka of Bardoli in Gujarat suffered from floods and famine, causing crop production to suffer and leaving farmers facing great financial troubles. However, the government of the Bombay Presidency had raised the tax rate by 30% that year, and despite petitions from civic groups, refused to cancel the rise in the face of the calamities. The situation for the farmers was grave enough that they barely had enough property and crops to pay off the tax, let alone for feeding themselves afterwards. Patel first wrote to the Governor of Bombay, asking him to reduce the taxes for the year in face of the calamities. But the Governor ignored the letter, and reciprocated by announcing the date of collection.

Sardar Patel instructed all the farmers of Bardoli taluka to refuse payment of their taxes. Aided by Parikh, Vyas and Pandya, he divided Bardoli into several zones – each with a leader and volunteers specifically assigned. Patel also placed some activists close to the government, to act as informers on the movements of government officials. He also instructed the farmers to remain completely non-violent, and not respond physically to any incitements or aggressive actions from officials. He reassured them that the struggle would not end until not only the cancellation of all taxes for the year, but also when all the seized property and lands were returned to their rightful owners. The Government declared that it would crush the revolt. Along with tax inspectors, bands of Pathans were gathered from northwest India to forcibly seize the property of the villagers and terrorize them. The Pathans and the men of the collectors forced themselves into the houses and took all property, including cattle (resisters had begun keeping their cattle inside their locked homes when the collectors were about, in order to prevent them from seizing the animals from the fields). In 1928, an agreement was finally brokered by a Parsi member of the Bombay government. The Government agreed to restore the confiscated lands and properties, as well as cancel revenue payment not only for the year, but cancel the 30% raise until after the succeeding year. Even when farmers were celebrating their success in the movement, but Patel continued to work to ensure that all lands and properties were returned to every farmer, and that no one was left out. When the Government refused to ask the people who had bought some of the lands to return them, wealthy sympathizers from Bombay bought them out, and returned the lands to the rightful owners.

Moplah Rebellion

There is controversy among historians whether Mopala rebellion was propelled by religious   reasons or agricultural crisis or both. Contemporary British administrators and modern historians differ markedly in their assessment of the incident, debating whether the revolts were triggered off by religious fanaticism or agrarian grievances. The Moplah rebellion or Malabar rebellion was an armed uprising in 1921 against British authority in the Malabar region of Southern India by Mappilas and the culmination of a series of Mappila revoltsthat recurred throughout the 19th century and early 20th century. The 1921 rebellion began as a reaction against a heavy-handed crackdown on the Khilafat Movement, a campaign in defense of the Ottoman Caliphate, by the British authorities in the Eranad and Valluvanad taluks of Malabar. The Mappilas attacked and took control of police stations, British government offices, courts and government treasuries. The British Government put down the rebellion with an iron fist, British and Gurkha regiments were sent to the area and Martial Law imposed. One of the most noteworthy events during the suppression later came to be known as the “Wagon tragedy”, in which 67 out of a total of 90 Mappila prisoners destined for the Central Prison in Podanur suffocated to death in a closed railway goods wagon. For six months from August 1921, the rebellion extended over 2,000 square miles (5,200 km2) – some 40% of the South Malabar region of the Madras Presidency. An estimated 10,000 people lost their lives, although official figures put the numbers at 2337 rebels killed, 1652 injured and 45,404 imprisoned.The most prominent leaders of the rebellion were Variankunnath Kunjahammad Haji, Sithi Koya Thangal and Ali Musliyar.

Telangana Rebellion

The Telangana Rebellion, started in 1946 was a peasant rebellion against the feudal lords of the Telangana region and, later, the princely state of Hyderabad, between 1946 and 1951. The communists led a series of successful attempts at organising the rebellion and distribution of land. With the Nizam holding on, even after the proclamation of Indian independence, the communists stepped up their campaign, stating that the flag of the Indian union was also the flag of the people of Hyderabad, much against the wishes of the ruling Asaf Jah dynasty. The farmers started the revolt in 1946 against the oppressive feudal lords and quickly spread to the Warangal and Bidar districts in around 4000 villages. Peasant farmers and labourers revolted against local feudal landlords (jagirdars and deshmukhs), who were ruling the villages known as samsthans. These samsthans were ruled mostly by Deshasthas, Reddys and Velama, known as doralu. They ruled over the communities in the village and managed the tax collections (revenues) and owned almost all the land in that area. The Nizam had little control over these regions except the capital, Hyderabad. Chakali Ilamma, belonging to the Rajaka caste, had revolted against ‘zamindar’ Ramachandra Reddy, during the struggle when he tried to take her 4 acres of land. Her revolt inspired many to join the movement. The agitation led by communists was successful in taking over 3000 villages from the feudal lords and 10,00,000 acres of agriculture land was distributed to landless peasants. Around 4000 peasants lost their lives in the struggle fighting feudal private armies. It later became a fight against Nizam Osman Ali Khan, Asif Jah VII. The initial modest aims were to do away with the illegal and excessive exploitation meted out by these feudal lords in the name of bonded labour. The most strident demand was for the writing off of all debts of the peasants that were manipulated by the feudal lords.

Tebhaga Movement

The Tebhaga movement was significant peasant agitation, initiated in Bengal by the Kisan Sabha (peasant front of the Communist Party of India) in 1946–47. At that time sharecroppers had contracted to give half of their harvest to the landlords. The demand of the Tebhaga (sharing by thirds) movement was to reduce the landlord share to one third. In many areas the agitations turned violent, and landlords fled, leaving parts of the countryside in the hands of Kisan Sabha. In 1946, sharecroppers began to assert that they would pay only one-third and that before division the crop would stay in their godowns and not that of the Jotedars. The sharecroppers were encouraged by the fact that the Bengal Land Revenue Commission had already made this recommendation in its report to the government. The movement resulted in clashes between Jotedars and Bargadars(sharecroppers). As a response to the agitation, the Muslim League ministry in the province launched the Bargadari Act, which provided that the share of the harvest given to the landlords would be limited to one third of the total. However, the law was not fully implemented. The Bengal Land Revenue Commission popularly known as Floud Commission had made recommendation in favour of the share-croppers. The leaders of the movement were too many and some of them are Ila Mitra, Kansari Halder, Moni Singh, Bishnu Chattopadhyay, M.A. Rasul, Moni Guha, Charu Majumdar, Abani Lahiri, Gurudas Talukdar, Samar Ganguly, Bimola Mandal, Sudher Mukherjee, Sudipa Sen, Moni Krishna Sen, Subodh Roy, Budi ma etc.

The Kisan Sabha movement

The Kisan Sabha movement started in Bihar under the leadership of Swami Sahajanand Saraswati who had formed in 1929 the Bihar Provincial Kisan Sabha (BPKS) in order to mobilise peasant grievances against the zamindari attacks on their occupancy rights. Gradually the peasant movement intensified and spread across the rest of India.  All these radical developments on the peasant front culminated in the formation of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) at the Lucknow session of the Indian National Congress in April 1936 with Swami Sahajanand Saraswati elected as its first President. Although born in North-Western Provinces (present-day Uttar Pradesh), his social and political activities focussed mostly on Bihar in the initial days, and gradually spread to the rest of India with the formation of the All India Kisan Sabha. He had set up an ashram at Bihta, near Patna and carried out most of his work in the later part of his life from there. He was an intellectual, prolific writer, social reformerand revolutionary. The Kisan Sabha movement started in Bihar under the leadership of Saraswati who had formed in 1929 the Bihar Provincial Kisan Sabha (BPKS) in order to mobilise peasant grievances against the zamindari attacks on their occupancy rights, and thus sparking the farmers’ movements in India.

The movement also involved prominent leaders such as N. G. Ranga and E. M. S. Namboodiripad. The Kisan Manifesto, which was released in August 1936, demanded abolition of the zamindari system and cancellation of rural debts. In October 1937, the AIKS adopted the red flag as its banner. Soon, its leaders became increasingly distant with Congress, and repeatedly came in confrontation with Congress governments in Bihar and United Province. Saraswati organised the Bakasht Movement in Bihar in 1937–1938. “Bakasht” means self-cultivated. The movement was against the eviction of tenants from Bakasht lands by zamindars and led to the passing of the Bihar Tenancy Act and the Bakasht Land Tax. He also led the successful struggle in the Dalmia Sugar Mill at Bihta, where peasant-worker unity was the most important characteristic. On hearing of Saraswati’s arrest during the Quit India Movement, Subhash Chandra Bose and All India Forward Bloc decided to observe 28 April as All-India Swami Sahajanand Day in protest of his incarceration by the British Raj. Saraswati died on 26 June 1950. At the time Subhash Chandra Bose, leader of the Forward Bloc, said, “Swami Sahajanand Saraswati is, in the land of ours, a name to conjure with. The undisputed leader of the peasant movement in India, he is today the idol of the masses and the hero of millions.”

Munda Rebellion

Munda Rebellion is one of the prominent 19th century tribal rebellions in the subcontinent. Birsa Munda led this movement in the region south of Ranchi in 1899-1900. the ulgulan, meaning ‘Great Tumult’, sought to establish Munda Raj and independence. The Mundas traditionally enjoyed a preferential rent rate as the khuntkattidar or the original clearer of the forest. But in course of the 19th century they had seen this khuntkatti land system being eroded by the jagirdars and thikadars coming as merchants and moneylenders.

This process of land alienation had begun long before the advent of the British. But the establishment and consolidation of British rule accelerated the mobility of the non-tribal people into the tribal regions. The incidence of forced labour or beth begari also increased dramatically. Unscrupulous contractors, moreover, had turned the region, into a recruiting ground for indentured labour. Yet another change associated with British rule was the appearance of a number of Lutheran, Anglican and Catholic missions. The spread of education through missionary activities made the tribals more organised and conscious of their rights. Tribal solidarity was undermined as the social cleavage between the Christian and non-Christian Mundas deepened. The agrarian discontent and the advent of Christianity, therefore, helped the revitalisation of the movement, which sought to reconstruct the tribal society disintegrating under the stresses and strains of colonial rule.

Birsa Munda was a folk hero and a tribal freedom fighter hailing from the Munda tribe. He was a spearhead behind the Millenarian movement that arose in the Biharand Jharkhand belt in the early 19th century under the British colonisation. Birsa Munda’s slogan threatening the British Raj—Abua raj seter jana, maharani raj tundu jana (“Let the kingdom of the queen be ended and our kingdom be established”)—is remembered today in areas of Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh.

The British colonial system intensified the transformation of the tribal agrarian system into a feudal state. As the tribals with their primitive technology could not generate a surplus, non-tribal peasantry were invited by the chiefs in Chhotanagpur to settle on and cultivate the land. This led to the alienation of the lands held by the tribals. The new class of Thikadars was of a more rapacious kind and eager to make the most of their possessions.In 1856 Jagirs stood at about 600, and they held from a village to 150 villages. But by 1874, the authority of the old Munda or Oraon chiefs had been almost entirely annulled by that of the farmers, introduced by the landlords. In some villages they had completely lost their proprietary rights, and had been reduced to the position of farm labourers.

To the twin challenges of agrarian breakdown and culture change, Birsa along with the Munda responded through a series of revolts and uprisings under his leadership. In 1895, in Chalkad village of Tamar, Birsa Munda renounced Christianity, took sacred thread, became a Vaishnav asked his fellow tribesmen to worship only one God and give up worship of bongas. He advice people to follow the path of purity, austerity and prohibited cow- slaughters. He declared himself a prophet who had come to get back the lost kingdom of their people. He told that the reign of the Queen Victoria was over and the Munda Raj had begun. He gave orders to the raiyats to pay no rents. The mundas called him Dharati Aba, the father of earth.

Categories
History (English) Readings for Prelims

Indian Temple Architecture

In ancient India, temples played a very important role in life by acting as acting as Religious institutions, administrative and educational centres and centres for pursuing classical arts. etc. Hindu temple architecture reflects a synthesis of arts, the ideals of dharma, beliefs, values and the way of life cherished under Hinduism. The architectural principles of Hindu temples in India are described in Shilpa Shastras and Vastu Sastras. The Hindu culture has encouraged aesthetic independence to its temple builders, and its architects have sometimes exercised considerable flexibility in creative expression by adopting other perfect geometries and mathematical principles in Mandir construction to express the Hindu way of life. The temple architecture of ancient India was marked by variety and high standards of architecture and excellence in creativity. Nevertheless, the ancient Indian temples evolved with distinct architectural styles due mainly to geographical, climatic, ethnic, racial, historical and linguistic diversities.

Main Architectural features of Hindu Temples

Hindu temple architecture as the main form of Hindu architecture has many varieties of style, though the basic nature of the Hindu temple remains the same, with the essential feature an inner sanctum, the garbha griha or womb-chamber, where the primary Murti or the image of a deity is housed in a simple bare cell. Around this chamber there are often other structures and buildings, in the largest cases covering several acres. On the exterior, the garbhagriha is crowned by a tower-like shikhara, also called the vimana in the south and Meru tower in Balinese temple. The shrine building often includes an ambulatory for parikrama (circumambulation), a mandapa or congregation hall, and sometimes an antarala or antechamber and porch between garbhagriha and mandapa. There may further mandapas or other buildings, connected or detached, in large temples, together with other small temples in the compound.

Terms related to Hindu Temple Architecture:

Garbhagriha: It literally means ‘womb-house’ and is a cave like sanctum. It is the house of main deity.

 

Mandapa: It is the entrance to the temple. It may be a portico or colonnaded (series of columns placed at regular intervals) hall that incorporate space for a large number of worshippers.

 

Shikhara or Vimana: They are mountain like spire of a free standing temple. Shikhara is found in North Indian temples and Vimana is found in South Indian temples. Shikhara has a curving shape while vimana has a pyramidal like structure.

 

Amalaka: It is a stone disc like structure at the top of the temple and they are common in North Indian temples.

 Kalasha: It is the topmost point of the temple and commonly seen in North Indian temples.

 Antarala (vestibule): Antarala is a transition area between the Garbhagriha and the temple’s main hall

 

Jagati: It is a raised platform for sitting and praying and is common in North Indian temples.

 

Vahana: It is the mount or vehicle of the temple’s main deity along with a standard pillar or Dhvaj which is placed axially before the sanctum.

Site and Design of Hindu Temples

A Hindu temple is a symmetry-driven structure, with many variations, on a square grid of padas, depicting perfect geometric shapes such as circles and squares. The appropriate site for a Mandir, suggest ancient Sanskrit texts, is near water and gardens, where lotus and flowers bloom, where swans, ducks and other birds are heard, where animals rest without fear of injury or harm. While major Hindu Mandirs are recommended at sangams (confluence of rivers), river banks, lakes and seashore, the Brhat Samhitaand Puranas suggest temples may also be built where a natural source of water is not present. Here too, they recommend that a pond be built preferably in front or to the left of the temple with water gardens. Temples may also be built, suggests Visnudharmottara in Part III of Chapter 93, inside caves and carved stones, on hill tops affording peaceful views, mountain slopes overlooking beautiful valleys, inside forests and hermitages, next to gardens, or at the head of a town street.

The design, especially the floor plan, of the part of a Hindu temple around the sanctum or shrine follows a geometrical design called vastu-purusha-mandala. The name is a composite Sanskrit word with three of the most important components of the plan. Mandala means circle, Purusha is universal essence at the core of Hindu tradition, while Vastumeans the dwelling structure. Vastupurushamandala is a yantra. The design lays out a Hindu temple in a symmetrical, self-repeating structure derived from central beliefs, myths, cardinality and mathematical principles. The four cardinal directions help create the axis of a Hindu temple, around which is formed a perfect square in the space available. The circle of mandala circumscribes the square. The square is considered divine for its perfection and as a symbolic product of knowledge and human thought, while circle is considered earthly, human and observed in everyday life (moon, sun, horizon, water drop, rainbow). Each supports the other. The square is divided into perfect square grids. In large temples, this is often a 8×8 or 64 grid structure. In ceremonial temple superstructures, this is an 81 sub-square grid. The squares are called ‘‘padas’’ The square is symbolic and has Vedic origins from fire altar, Agni. Beneath the mandala’s central square(s) is the space for the formless shapeless all pervasive all connecting Universal Spirit, the Purusha. This space is sometimes referred to as garbha-griya (literally womb house) – a small, perfect square, windowless, enclosed space without ornamentation that represents universal essence. Above the vastu-purusha-mandala is a high superstructure called the shikhara in north India, and vimana in south India, that stretches towards the sky. Sometimes, in makeshift temples, the superstructure may be replaced with symbolic bamboo with few leaves at the top. The vertical dimension’s cupola or dome is designed as a pyramid, conical or other mountain-like shape, once again using principle of concentric circles and squares Predominant number of Hindu temples exhibit the perfect square grid principle. However, there are some exceptions. For example, the Teli ka Mandir in Gwalior, built in the 8th century CE is not a square but is a rectangle consisting of stacked squares.

Three Styles of Hindu Temples

There are three main distinct styles of ancient Indian temples: the Nagara or the Northern style, the Dravida or the Southern style and the Vesara or Mixed style. Prominent Nagara style temples include the Khajuraho Group of temples, Sun temple, Konark, Sun temple at Modhera, Gujarat and Ossian temple, Gujarat while the remarkable examples of Dravidian style (south Indian style) temples include Tanjore, Madurai, Mahabalipuram, Badami, Pattadakal and Kanchipuram. The temple of Lingaraja at Bhubaneswar (11th century) built by Anantavarman Choda Ganga represents the Orissa (Nagara) style in its maturity. The Jagannatha Temple of Puri (late 12th century), the Sun-temple at Konark (built by Narasimha I, (1236-64 A.D.) are the other well-known Nagara Style temples. The earliest examples of Dravida Style temples include 7th century rock-cut shrines at Mahabalipuram and a developed structuraltemple, the Shore Temple at the same site. Finest examples are Brihadeshwara temple at Thanjavur, built about 1010 by Rajaraja 1, & temple at Gangaikondacolapuram, built about 1025 by his son Rajendra Chola. The Hoysala temples at Belur, Halebidu and Somnathpura are leading examples of the Vesara style.

These temples had different styles of architecture and construction and arrangement of different temple parts. Their decoration styles, viz sculpture and architecture as well as iconography and art and architecture such as positioning of different parts of temple, viz, surrounding of the temple and open spaces inside, temple courtyard, temple roofs, prayer halls, meeting halls and garbhagriha were different. For example, sikhara and gateways had different emphasis in Nagara and Dravida styles. In the north Indian temples, the sikhara remained the most prominent component while the gateway was generally given a lesser prominence. On the other hand in the Dravidian temples, the enclosures around the temples and the gateways or Gopurams (entrance) were given remarkable prominence. The Gopurams led the devotees into the sacred courtyard. It is not that temples architecture in North and South India were in total contrast in all respects. There were similarities as well. For instance, their ground plans, positioning of stone-carved deities on the outside walls and the interior, and the range of decorative elements had lot of similarities, despite not being a true copy of each other.

Comparison between Nagara and Dravidian style of temple architecture

 

  • In north Indian temples we can see images such as Mithunas (erotic) and the river goddesses, Ganga and Yamuna guarding the temple. But in the Dravida style of temple architecture, instead of these sculptures, we can see the sculptures of fierce dvarapalas or door keepers guarding the temple.
  • A large water reservoir or a temple tank enclosed in the complex is general in south Indian temples.
  • Subsidiary shrines are either incorporated within the main temple tower, or located as a distinct, separate small shrine besides the main temple.
  • The north Indian idea of multiple shikharas rising together as a cluster was not popular in dravida style.
  • At some of the most sacred temples in south India, the main temple in which the garbhagriha is situated has, in fact, one of the smallest towers.
  • Just as the nagara architecture has subdivisions, dravida temples also have subdivisions. These are basically of five different shapes:
  • Kuta or caturasra – square
  • Shala or ayatasra – rectangular
  • Gaja-prishta or vrittayata (elephant backed) –elliptic
  • Vritta – circular
  • Ashtasra – octagonal

History of Indian Temples

There are hardly any remains of Hindu temples before the Gupta dynasty in the 4th century CE; no doubt there were earlier structures in timber-based architecture. The rock-cut Udayagiri Caves are among the most important early sites. The earliest preserved Hindu temples are simple cell-like stone temples, some rock-cut and others structural, as at Sanchi. By the 6th or 7th century, these evolved into high shikhara stone superstructures. However, there is inscriptional evidence such as the ancient Gangadhara inscription from about 424 CE, states Meister, that towering temples existed before this time and these were possibly made from more perishable material. These temples have not survived. Examples of early major North Indian temples that have survived after the Udayagiri Caves in Madhya Pradesh include Deogarh, Parvati Temple, Nachna (465 CE), Lalitpur District (c. 525 CE), Lakshman Brick Temple, Sirpur (600-625 CE); Rajiv Lochan temple, Rajim (7th-century CE).

No pre-7th century CE South Indian style stone temples have survived. Examples of early major South Indian temples that have survived, some in ruins, include the diverse styles at Mahabalipuram. However, according to Meister, the Mahabalipuram temples are “monolithic models of a variety of formal structures all of which already can be said to typify a developed “Dravida” (South Indian) order”. They suggest a tradition and a knowledge base existed in South India by the time of the early Chalukya and Pallava era when these were built. Other examples are found in Aihole and Pattadakal.

By about the 7th century most main features of the Hindu temple were established along with theoretical texts on temple architecture and building methods. From between about the 7th and 13th centuries a large number of temples and their ruins have survived (though far fewer than once existed). Many regional styles developed, very often following political divisions, as large temples were typically built with royal patronage. In the north, Muslim invasions from the 11th century onwards reduced the building of temples, and saw the loss of many existing ones. The south also witnessed Hindu-Muslim conflict that affected the temples, but the region was relatively less affected than the north.In late 14th century, the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire came to power and controlled much of South India. During this period, the distinctive very tall gopuram gate house actually a late development, from the 12th century or later, typically added to older large temples.

Categories
Readings for Prelims Sports

Winners of latest major cricketing events

Ranji Trophy 2019

Vidarbha won the trophy second time. They were defending champions. The final took place between Vidarbha and Saurashtra, starting on 3 February 2019. Vidarbha defeated Saurashtra by 78 runs in the final, to become the sixth team in the tournament’s history to retain their title.

Irani Cup

It was played as a one-off match between the Vidarbha (the winner of the 2018–19 Ranji Trophy) and Rest of India cricket team, from 12 February 2019 to 16 February 2019.Player of the Match was Akshay Karnewar (Vidarbha).

IPL 2018

Chennai Super Kings were crowned as winners by defeating SunRisers Hyderabad. Shane Watson remained unbeaten on 117 helping Chennai Super Kings clinch their third IPL title after an 8-wicket win over SunRisers Hyderabad.

2017 ICC Champions Trophy 

In an outstanding performance Pakistan beat India comfortably to win their maiden ICC Champions Trophy, outclassing them across all departments to win by 180 runs, which was the largest margin of victory in the final of an ICC ODI tournament. The final of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy was played on 18 June at The Oval in London, to determine the winner of the eighth edition of the ICC Champions Trophy. Pakistan qualified for the final by defeating the hosts England convincingly by 8 wickets in the first semi-final at Cardiff in Wales on 14 June, and reached their maiden Champions Trophy final. India, the defending champions and favourites, came into the final by defeating Bangladesh comfortably by 9 wickets in the second semi-final at Birmingham on 15 June, to reach their fourth Champions Trophy final, a record. Pakistan, who were massive underdogs entering as the lowest-ranked team in the competition, became the seventh nation to win the Champions Trophy, and it was their first ICC ODI tournament title since 1992. Fakhar Zaman of Pakistan received the Man of the Match award for scoring a sublime 114. Shikhar Dhawan of India received the Golden Bat award for scoring 338 runs in the tournament while Hasan Ali of Pakistan received the Golden Ball award for taking 13 wickets; he was also adjudged the Man of the Series for his outstanding contribution towards Pakistan’s first ICC tournament title since 2009.

The ICC Champions Trophy was a one day international (ODI) cricket tournament organised by the International Cricket Council(ICC), second in importance only to the Cricket World Cup. It was inaugurated as the ICC KnockOut Tournament in 1998 and has been played approximately every four years since. Its name was changed to the Champions Trophy in 2002.

A total of thirteen teams competed in the eight editions of the tournament, with eight competing in the last edition in 2017. ICC Champions Trophy was scrapped keeping in line with ICC’s goal of having only one pinnacle tournament for each of the three formats of international cricket. Australia and India have won the tournament twice each (India’s 2002 win was shared with Sri Lanka), while South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka (shared with India), West Indies and Pakistan have won it once each. No non-full member team has ever crossed the first round of the Champions Trophy.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Australia defeated New Zealand by 7 wickets to win their fifth ICC Cricket World Cup. Fourteen teams played 49 matches in 14 venues. The hosting rights were awarded at the same time as those of the 2011 Cricket World Cup, which Australia and New Zealand had originally bid to host, and the 2019 Cricket World Cup, which was awarded to England. The ICC Cricket World Cup is the international championship of One Day International (ODI) cricket. The event is organised by the sport’s governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), every four years, with preliminary qualification rounds leading up to a finals tournament. The tournament is one of the world’s most viewed sporting events and is considered the “flagship event of the international cricket calendar” by the ICC. The first World Cup was organised in England in June 1975, with the first ODI cricket match having been played only four years earlier. From the 1987 tournament onwards, hosting has been shared between countries under an unofficial rotation system, with fourteen ICC members having hosted at least one match in the tournament. The World Cup is open to all members of the International Cricket Council (ICC), although the highest-ranking teams receive automatic qualification. The remaining teams are determined via the World Cricket League and the ICC World Cup Qualifier.

2018 Under-19 Cricket World Cup

The 2018 Under-19 Cricket World Cup was held in New Zealand. India and Australia played in the finals at Mount Maunganui on Feb 3 2018. It was the 12th Edition of the Under-19 World Cup. India defeated Australia by 8 wickets, with Manjot Kalra scoring a match-winning 101.

2017 ICC Women’s World Cup

The 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup Final was a one-day international cricket match played between England and India to decide the winner of the 2017 Women’s World Cup. England won the game by nine runs to secure their fourth World Cup title, with Anya Shrubsole named player of the match.

Categories
Prizes and Awards Readings for Prelims

2019 Oscar Awards

The Oscar Awards 2019 or 91st Academy Awards ceremony honored the best films of 2018, and took place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California on February 24, 2019.  It was the first ceremony in three decades, since the 61st Academy Awards in 1989, to be conducted with no host. Green Book won three awards, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali’s portrayal of Don Shirley, and Bohemian Rhapsody led the ceremony with four awards, including Best Actor for Rami Malek’s portrayal of Freddie Mercury. Roma and Black Panther also received three awards apiece, with the former winning Best Director for Alfonso Cuarón and becoming the first Mexican submission to win Best Foreign Language Film. Olivia Colman was awarded Best Actress for portraying Anne, Queen of Great Britain in The Favourite. With a U.S. viewership of 29.6 million, it marked a 12% increase over the 2018 ceremony.

The Academy Award 2019 winners in different categories are as follows

  1. Best Picture · Green Book-Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie etc.
  2. Best Actor · Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody
  3. Best Actress · Olivia Colman- The Favourite
  4. Best Supporting Actor- Mahershala Ali-  · Green Book
  5. Best Original Song · Shallow- -Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Andrew Wyatt,etc.
  6. Best Sound Mixing · John Casali -ohemian Rhapsody
  7. Best Sound Mixing · Tim Cavagin – Bohemian Rhapsody
  8. Best Sound Mixing · Paul Massey- Bohemian Rhapsody
  9. Best Original Music Score · Black Panther- – Ludwig Göransson
  10. Best Supporting Actress · Regina King-  If Beale Street Could Talk
  11. Best Director · Alfonso Cuarón – Roma
  12. Best Animated Feature · Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – Peter Ramsey, Chris Miller, Bob Persichetti, etc.
  13. Best Documentary Feature · Free Solo –  Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Shannon Dill, etc.
  14. Foreign Language Film · Roma –  Alfonso Cuarón
  15. Best Original Screenplay · Peter Farrelly –  Green Book
  16. Best Original Screenplay · Nick Vallelonga – Green Book
  17. Best Original Screenplay · Brian Currie –  Green Book
Categories
Readings for Prelims

Oscars 2018

Oscars or The 90th Academy Awards ceremony took place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California on March 4, 2018. The Shape of Water won a leading four awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Guillermo del Toro. Dunkirk won three awards; Blade Runner 2049, Coco, Darkest Hour, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri won two awards each. Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell won Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor awards for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouriwhile Gary Oldman won Best Actor for Darkest Hour. Allison Janney won Best Supporting Actress honor for I, Tonya. With a U.S. viewership of 26.5 million, it was the least-watched show in Oscar history.

The winners of Academy Award 2018 in different important categories are as follows:

  1. Best PictureThe Shape of Water- Guillermo del Toro, J. Miles Dale
  2. Best Actor · Darkest Hour- Gary Oldman
  3. Best Actress· Frances McDormand-Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  4. Best Supporting Actor· Sam Rockwell- -Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  5. Best Supporting Actress· Allison Janney- – I, Tonya
  6. Best Director· Guillermo del Toro-The Shape of Water
  7. Best Animated Feature· Coco- Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson
  8. Best Original Music Score· The Shape of Water- Alexandre Desplat
  9. Best Documentary Feature· Icarus-Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan
  10. Foreign Language Film· A Fantastic Woman-Sebastián Lelio
  11. Best Original Screenplay· Jordan Peele-Get Out
  12. Best Original Song· Remember Me (Ernesto de la Cruz)- Robert Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez
  13. Best Adapted Screenplay· James Ivory- Call Me by Your Name
  14. Best Cinematography· Roger Deakins- Blade Runner 2049
  15. Best Sound Mixing· Mark Weingarten- Dunkirk
  16. Best Sound Mixing· Gary Rizzo- Dunkirk