Expected Questions in Polity & Governance 2019 – IAS/NET (Part-1) (Set-3)

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Please find below the most important expected topics for the upcoming UPSC Prelims exam 2019. Subscribe@Examrace YouTube Channel to get the complete series of expected questions. For practice and solutions visit - doorsteptutor. com. You can download the pdf by clicking the option “Download PDF” .

Expected Questions on Governance and Polity 2019 Set 1 (UPSC CSE/SSC/IBPS)

Drug Menace

Punjab govt. recently recommended to Union govt. death penalty for 1st time offenders convicted for drug trafficking & smuggling.

Below article tries to assess - whether such harsher punishments can help States to deal with drug problem?

Law on drugs is covered by Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act) .

About Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act)

  • Act՚s primary objective is to deter drug trafficking. Law contains every trick in book to meet above objective - strict liability offences, mandatory min. sentences, even death penalty for certain repeat offences, to name a few.
  • System has responded to law by maintaining a high rate of conviction & imprisonment.
  • In 2015,41.7 % of all prisoners in Punjab were in jail for various offences related to this law. Conviction rate recorded for NDPS cases in Patiala for same year was 90.7 % .
  • Death penalty was introduced in NDPS Act in 1989, to deter narco-terrorism. Legislators even at that time believed that only way to tackle growing drug menace was to incorporate harshest possible punishments in law.

AISHE - All India Survey on Higher Education report 2017 - 18

MHRD Minister released AISHE report on 27th July, 2018.

Highlights of AISHE Report 2017 - 18:

As per AISHE report 2017 - 18, female enrolment in institutes of national importance is lower than other universities. Govt. deemed universities, state, pvt. & open universities have enrolled fewer female students in 2017 - 18. Report revealed that total enrolment in higher education in 2017 - 18 was 36.6 million w/17.4 million girls & 19.2 million boys. Enrolment of girls during academic year 2017 - 18 stood at 47.6 % .

GER (Gross Enrollment Ratio) in 2017 - 18 has gone up to 25.8 % . AISHE has calculated GER for age group of 18 - 23 years. GER for female population is 25.4 % while GER for male population is 26.3 % .

Report revealed that more males received Ph. D. degrees in 2017 in science stream. Overall, 34,000 students awarded Ph. D. degree in 2017. Number of Ph. D. degree awarded in 2017 was 20,179 to males & 14,221 to females. Highest number of Ph. D. degrees awarded were in Science stream followed by Engineering & Technology. Max. students enrolled in social sciences followed by management stream.

UP bagged top spot in terms of student enrolment followed by Maharashtra & Tamil Nadu. Total international students enrolled in Indian institutes during academic session 2017 - 18 was 46,114.

Public Affairs Index 2018

According to PAI 2018, Kerala tops list as best-governed state in country followed by Tamil Nadu. Index was released by think tank Public Affairs Centre (PAC) . Kerala has topped PAI as best-governed state for 3rd consecutive year since 2016 among large states

Key Facts

  • Large States: Kerala has topped list, followed by Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka & Gujarat. MP, Jharkhand & Bihar ranked lowest, indicating higher social & economic inequalities in states.
  • Smaller states: Himachal Pradesh topped list followed by Goa, Mizoram, Sikkim & Tripura. Nagaland, Manipur & Meghalaya were ranked at bottom of index among small states.
  • 2018 PAI included separate index on children of India, giving measure of how child-friendly each of states are. In this category of providing better living conditions for all children, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh & Mizoram topped index

Article 371A of Indian Constitution

Article 371 (A) is special provision granted to state of Nagaland as partial fulfillment of 1960 agreement that later created State in 1963.

Customary law, social practice & belief of people of Nagaland & resources of state is verdantly remain safeguarded from intervention of union govt. & its various policies unless State Assembly so decides by resolution.

Part XXI of Indian Constitution Article 371 (A) - Special provision w/respect to Nagaland states that

  • Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution
  • No Act of Parliament in respect of
  1. Religious or social practices of Nagas
  2. Naga customary law & procedure
  3. Administration of civil & criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary law,
  4. Ownership & transfer of land & its resources shall apply to Nagaland unless Legislative Assembly of Nagaland by a resolution so decides

Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2018

Amendment Bill proposes to give Centre power to set tenure & salaries of State & Central Information Commissioners.

Opposition parties opposed amendments - it will dilute RTI law & compromise independence of Information Commissions.

Govt. intend to amend RTI - for Introduction, Consideration & Passing.

Proposed amendments are kept secret & there has not even been hint of public consultation or pre legislative consultation.

Current law gives Information Commissioners a tenure of 5 years & salaries which match those of Election Commissioners.

Proposed RTI amendment Bill seeks to amend that.

Argument given by govt. -

Election Commission is a constitutional body, Information Commissions are statutory bodies.

They both have differing mandates & their status & service conditions need to be rationalised accordingly.

Institutions of Eminence

MHRD has granted Institution of Eminence (IoE) status to 6 educational institutions. It includes 3 Institutions from Public Sector & 3 from Private Sector. They were selected by Empowered Expert Committee headed by former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) N Gopalaswami.

Institutions of Eminence (IoE)

Scheme of IoE was rolled out by UGC. Aims to help 20 higher education (10 public & 10 private) institutions from country break into top 500 global rankings in 10 years & then eventually break into top 100 over time.

Benefits: Selected institutions will have greater autonomy compared to other higher education institutions. They will be free to decide their fee for domestic & foreign students & have flexible course duration & structure. They will be exempted from approvals of govt. or UGC for academic collaborations w/foreign institutions, except institutions in MEA & MHA՚s list of negative countries. 10 govt. institutions selected will get ₹ 1,000 cr. each from HRD Ministry to achieve world-class status. There will be no financial assistance to pvt. institutions.

Eligibility: Higher education institutions placed in top 500 of global rankings or top 50 of National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) are eligible to apply for eminence tag. Private IoE can come up as greenfield ventures provided sponsoring organisation submits convincing perspective plan for 15 years.

Ancient rock carving of Buddha: Swat Valley, Pakistan

Ancient rock carving of Buddha that was blown up by Taliban as militants overran Pakistan՚s Swat valley a decade ago is restored after international effort.

Carving was half destroyed when Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan swept into Swat in 2007, imposing its brutal Islamist rule.

Key pointers:

  • 7th -century Buddha of Swat valley, Pakistan
  • Seated serenely in the lotus position (meditative posture)
  • Considered one of largest rock sculptures in South Asia
  • Foothills of Himalayas
  • Italian govt. helped to preserve cultural heritage & restore 6 metretall Buddha of Swat
  • Swat, a picturesque valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan

Thanjavur painting and application of Raman spectroscopy

It was very tough to know whether gold & gems used in Tanjavur painting were authentic or fake w/o ruining painting.

But w/Raman spectroscopy, there is easy way to tell w/o taking it apart.

About Thanjavur painting

  • Thanjavur painting is a classical South Indian painting style (especially Thanjavur city of Tamil Nadu)
  • It is characterised by rich, flat & vivid colors, simple iconic composition, glittering gold foils overlaid on delicate but extensive gesso work & inlay of glass beads & pieces or very rarely precious & semi-precious gems.
  • Tanjore Painting of India devised during 16th century, under sovereignty of Cholas.
  • In Thanjavur paintings one can see influence of Deccani, Vijayanagar, Maratha & even European or Company styles of painting.
  • Locally known as ‘Palagai Padam’ as it is mainly done on solid wood planks. It got GI tag by GoI in 2007 - 08.
  • Theme of Tanjore Painting of Hindu Gods & Goddesses, along with saints.
  • Distinctive features were aristocratic or religious figures adorned w/jewellery & surrounded by elaborate architectural arches & doorways.

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