Flash-Cards-for-IAS-Prelims-2018-Revision-Day-13
70 Days WAR Plan

70 Days WAR Plan Static Flash Cards Day#13 [Revision]

Dashavatar theatre form; Cess; Zakat; Article 263; Difference between equinox and solstice; Fundamental duties; Differences between Sultanate and Mughal styles of architecture; Effect of Earth’s Albedo; Nitrogen; Fixation; National Commission for Backward Classes
By IT's Core Team
April 03, 2019

 

 

 

National Commission for Backward Classes is a statutory body. True or False?

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Answer:

  • National Commission for Backward Classes was established in 1993 by an act of Parliament and so it is a statutory body.

National commission for backward classes (NCBC):

  • National Commission for Backward Classes was established in 1993 by an act of Parliament.
  • Pursuant to the direction of the Supreme Court, the Government of India enacted the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 for setting up a Commission at National Level viz. “National Commission for Backward Classes” as a permanent body.
  • It considers inclusions in and exclusions from the lists of castes notified as backward for the purpose of job reservation.
  • It has been established to promote and protect the social, educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the society.
  • It is a statutory body established by acts of the Parliament.
  • It falls under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
  • It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The Act provides that the Commission shall consist of five Members, comprising of a Chairperson who is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court; a social scientist; two persons, who have special knowledge in matters relating to backward classes; and a Member-Secretary, who is or has been an officer of the Central Government in the rank of a Secretary to the Government of India.

Creamy layer:

  • The Government of India has evolved the criteria for exclusion of certain socially advanced persons/sections from the benefits of reservation available to OBCs in civil posts and services under the Government of India and this is called the “Creamy Layer criteria”.

 

 

 

The nitrogen in the atmosphere is fixed by which factors?

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Answer:

  • Nitrogen is fixed in the atmosphere by cosmic radiation, lightning and anaerobic bacteria and fungi.

Enrich Your Learning:

Nitrogen cycle:

  • Nitrogen and its compounds are essential for life processes in the biosphere.
  • There is continuous exchange of nitrogen within the ecosystem operating the nitrogen cycle.
  • Proteins produced by plants and animals in their metabolic processes are organic compounds of nitrogen.
  • The major load of nitrogenous organic residue in soil originates from death and decay of plants and excreta of animals.
  • These organic residues in soil are taken up by various soil micro-organisms who break down soil nitrate into nitrogen by denitrification process while others transform nitrogen into soluble nitrogen compounds.
  • The amount of nitrogen gas in the atmosphere is 78%. The main source of nitrogen are nitrates present in the soil.
  • The principal source of free nitrogen is the action of soil micro-organisms and associated plant roots on atmospheric nitrogen found in pore spaces of the soil.
  • Nitrogen can also be fixed in the atmosphere by lightning and cosmic radiation.
  • In the oceans, some marine animals can fix it.
  • Nitrogen enters into bio components from atmosphere through the biological and industrial processes.
  • Nitrogen compounds from the plants are transferred to the animals through food chain.
  • The process of transformation of nitrogen gas of the atmosphere into nitrogen components is called nitrogen Fixation.
  • Bacteria’s decompose dried plants and dead animals. It produces nitrogen gas which goes back into the atmosphere. In this way the cycle of nitrogen gas is completed.

 

 

 

Based on ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu, which is the most developed theatre form of the Konkan and Goa regions?

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Answer:

  • Dashavatar is the most developed theatre form of the Konkan and Goa regions. The performers refer the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu-the god of preservation and creativity.

Enrich Your Learning:

Dashavatar theatre form:

  • The ten incarnations are:
    • Matsya (fish),
    • Kurma (tortoise),
    • Varaha (boar),
    • Narsimha (lion-man),
    • Vaman (dwarf),
    • Parashuram,
    • Rama,
    • Krishna (or Balram),
    • Buddha and
  • Apart from stylized make-up, the Dashavatar performers wear masks of wood and papier mache.
  • This form is performed by the farmers and agriculturists from the region of Maharashtra and Goa.
  • Dashavatar is a popular form of drama in the rural areas which was initially popularised in the Konkan area by a Brahmin named Gore from Kavthe area in Sindhudurg district.
  • It is performed during the annual festival of the village deity in the temple premises after midnight, without any technical props. Each character enters the stage from behind a curtain held by two persons.
  • The performance is held in two sessions, the ‘poorva-ranga’ (the initial session) and the ‘uttar-ranga’ (the latter session).
  • Poorva-ranga is the story about the killing of the demon Shankhasur, while uttar-ranga is the main performance based in the Hindu mythological tales, highlighting one of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
  • The performance is accompanied by three musical instruments: a paddle harmonium, tabla and zanj (cymbals).

 

 

 

What is the effect of Earth’s Albedo? Has it a cooling effect or warming effect?

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Answer:

  • The Earth’s albedo has a cooling effect.

Enrich Your Learning:

More about albedo of the earth:earth 111

  • The albedo effect when applied to the Earth is a measure of how much of the Sun’s energy is reflected back into space.
  • Since the late 1970s, scientists estimate Earth’s average albedo is about 0.30.
  • The albedo of a surface is measured on a scale from 0 to 1, where 0 is an idealised black surface with no reflection, and 1 represents a white surface that has perfect reflection.
  • If Earth was completely covered in ice, its albedo would be about 0.84, meaning it would reflect most (84 percent) of the sunlight that hit it.
  • On the other hand, if Earth was covered by a dark green forest canopy, the albedo would be about 0.14 (most of the sunlight would get absorbed).
  • Changes in ice cover, cloudiness, airborne pollution, or land cover (from forest to farmland, for instance) all have subtle effects on global albedo.
  • In early 2000s, it was found that albedo was neither increasing nor declining over time. It was fluctuating a lot by year, though.
  • Earth’s albedo fluctuates markedly over short time periods due to natural variations in the climate system.
  • The most significant impact on albedo is through global warming. With the exception of Antarctic sea-ice, recently increasing by 1% a year, nearly all the ice on the planet is melting. As the white surfaces decrease in area, less energy is reflected into space, and the Earth will warm up even more.
  • Increased water vapour also has another effect, which is to increase the amount of cloud that can increase albedo along with global warming.
  • Albedo is a measure of the reflectivity of a surface. It is the measure of the diffused reflection of solar radiation out of the total solar radiation received by the planet Earth.sunnn

 

 

 

What are the differences between Sultanate and Mughal styles of architecture?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

Differences between Sultanate and Mughal styles of architecture:

  • The first major difference between the two is the aesthetics of the buildings, starting from the stone used in construction.
  • Delhi sultanate used the local stones, mostly from nearby Aravalli’s, the Mughals were partial to Red Sandstone, hence the Mughal forts, and buildings look more beautiful (Humayun’ s Tomb, Red Fort both in Delhi and Agra).
  • The Mughal buildings also have more intricate Kalamkari work with influences from central Asia and Persia. Compared to the same the Delhi Sultanate buildings are blander.
  • Mughals also built most of their buildings, (though not all) from ground up, while a lot of Delhi Sultanate buildings were used from rubble of the buildings they destroyed. Hence a lot of earlier stones being used in Qutub Complex, that clearly show the remains of earlier temples in them are seen there.
  • New styles and techniques were introduced by the Turks and Afghans during the Sultanate period. These were fused with the existing Indian styles as a result the Indo-Islamic style of architecture came into being.
  • Mughal buildings had arches and domes. There was no need for pillars to support the roof. In the beginning, half domes were built. Later they started making full domes. Some buildings had minarets. Most of the structures were built with red sandstone. Later they used stone and covered it with plaster. Floral and geometric designs were carved on the walls. Sometimes verses from the Quran were engraved.
  • Along with red sandstone, white marble was used to construct buildings. Walls were decorated with precious and semi-precious stones. This was known as pietra-dura.
  • The walls were decorated with floral motifs and verses from the Quran.

 

 

 

On the basis of which committee’s recommendation were the Fundamental duties added to the constitution?

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Answer:

  • The fundamental duties were added to the constitution by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976, on the recommendation of the Swaran Singh Committee.

Enrich Your Learning:

Swaran Singh Committee:

  • This amendment added Part IVA to the Constitution.
  • The Part IV-A of the Constitution specifies the eleven Fundamental Duties.
  • They are non-justiciable in nature.
  • The Swaran Singh committee formulated an eight-point code of fundamental duties;
    • To respect and abide by the constitution and the laws,
    • Uphold the sovereignty of the nation and function in such a way as to sustain and strengthen its unity and integrity,
    • Respect the democratic institutions enshrined in the constitution and not do anything which may impair their dignity or authority,
    • Defend the country and render national service, including military service, when called upon to do so,
    • Adjure communalism in any form,
    • Render assistance and cooperation in the implementation of the directive principles of state policy, and promote the common good of the people, so as to subserve the interest of social and economic justice,
    • Abjure violence, protect and safeguard public property, and refrain from doing anything which may cause damage and destruction to such property, and
    • Pay taxes according to law.
  • It also recommended that a new directive be included in Article 39 to provide that the state shall direct its policy also to secure population control, through family planning or other suitable measures.
  • The overall purpose of these proposals is to make the citizen responsible for the administration of the state.
  • It keeps on reminding the citizen that every right he exercises is balanced by a duty he has to fulfil.

 

 

 

What is the major difference between Equinox and solstice?

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Answer:

  • The biggest difference between the equinox and the solstice is that a solstice is the point during the Earth’s orbit around the sun at which the sun is at its greatest distance from the equator, while during an equinox, it’s at the closest distance from the equator.solstic 2000

Enrich Your Learning:

Difference between equinox and solstice

  • An equinox represents a day with equal duration of day and night (Mar 21 and September 23) and thus we have a spring and a fall equinox.
  • While solstice refers to a day with either the longest day (June 21, also called summer solstice) or shortest day (Dec 21, also referred to as winter solstice).
  • In summer solstice, the north pole points directly towards the sun and on winter solstice, the north pole points directly away from the sun.
  • On the day of summer solstice, sun is directly above the Tropic of Cancer, and on the day of winter solstice, the sun is directly above the Tropic of Capricorn.
  • On the days of equinox, the axis of rotation of earth is perpendicular to the line joining earth and sun, and the sun is directly overhead on the equator at noon.
  • The movement of earth around the sun is the reason for equinox and solstice, and this motion is the reason for the occurrence of seasons on earth.
  • While a solstice happens in the summer and winter, an equinox takes place at the beginning of spring and the beginning of fall.

 

 

 

Article 263 deals with the establishment of which council and who can establish the same?

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Answer:

  • The provisions of the Article 263 deals with Inter-state council.
  • Article 263 contemplates the establishment of an Inter-State Council to effect coordination between the states and between Centre and states.
  • Thus, the President can establish such a council if at any time it appears to him that the public interest would be served by its establishment.

Enrich Your Learning:

Article 263:

  • The President can define the nature of duties to be performed by such a council and its organisation and procedure.
  • Under Article 263, the president has established the following councils to make recommendations for the better coordination of policy and action in the related subjects:
    • Central Council of Health.
    • Central Council of Local Government and Urban Development.
    • Four Regional Councils for Sales Tax for the Northern, Eastern, Western and Southern Zones.
  • The Central Council of Indian Medicine and the Central Council of Homoeopathy were set up under the Acts of Parliament.
  • In accordance to the recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission, the Janata Dal Government headed by V. P. Singh established the Inter-State Council in 1990. It consists of the following members:
    • Prime minister as the Chairman
    • Chief ministers of all the states
    • Chief ministers of union territories having legislative assemblies
    • Administrators of union territories not having legislative assemblies
    • Governors of States under President’s rule
    • Six Central cabinet ministers, including the home minister, to be nominated by the Prime Minister.
  • Five Ministers of Cabinet rank / Minister of State (independent charge) nominated by the Chairman of the Council (i.e., Prime Minister) are permanent invitees to the Council.
  • The council is a recommendatory body on issues relating to inter-state, Centre–state and Centre–union territories relations. It aims at promoting coordination between them by examining, discussing and deliberating on such issues.
  • The Council is assisted by a secretariat called the Inter-State Council Secretariat. This secretariat was set-up in 1991 and is headed by a secretary to the Government of India. Since 2011, it is also functioning as the secretariat of the Zonal Councils.

 

 

 

 

Firoz Shah Tughlaq imposed kharja, khams, Jizya and Zakat. Amongst them, what is ‘Zakat’?

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Answer:

  • Zakat is a charitable contribution and the right of the poor to find relief from the rich.

Enrich your learning;

Zakat:

  • Zakat, “that which purifies”, “zakat on wealth”, or Zakah is a form of alms-giving treated in Islam as a religious obligation or tax, which, by Quranic ranking, is next after prayer (salat) in importance.
  • As one of the Five Pillars of Islam, zakat is a religious obligation for all Muslims who meet the necessary criteria of wealth.
  • It is a mandatory charitable contribution, the right of the poor to find relief from the rich, and is considered to be a tax, or obligatory alms.
  • The payment and disputes on zakat have played a major role in the history of Islam, notably during the Ridda wars.
  • Zakat is based on income and the value of all of one’s possessions.
  • It is customarily 2.5% (or 1/40) of a Muslim’s total savings and wealth above a minimum amount known as nisab, but Islamic scholars differ on how much nisab is and other aspects of zakat.
  • The collected amount is paid to the poor, the needy, Zakat collectors, those sympathetic to Islam, to free from slavery, debtors, in the cause of Allah and the stranded traveller. No established order of importance is consented upon amongst Islamic scholars.
  • Presently in most Muslim-majority countries, zakat contributions are voluntary, while in a handful (Libya, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Yemen), zakat is mandated and collected by the state.
  • Shias, unlike Sunnis, traditionally regarded zakat as a private and voluntary decision, and they give zakat to imam-sponsored rather than state-sponsored collectors.

 

 

 

How the Cess is levied in the Parliament? Does it need special majority in the Parliament?

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Answer:

  • Cess is levied through an executive order and doesn’t require majority in the Parliament.

Enrich Your Learning:

Cess:

  • A cess imposed by the central government is a tax on tax, levied by the government for a specific purpose. It is levied only for particular purpose and cannot be used for any other purpose
  • Generally, cess is expected to be levied till the time the government gets enough money for that purpose.
  • For example, a cess for financing primary education – the education cess (which is imposed on all central government taxes) is to be spent only for financing primary education (SSA) and not for any other purposes.
  • A cess is different from the usual taxes like excise duty and personal income tax as it is imposed as an additional tax besides the existing tax (tax on tax).
  • For example, the education cess of 3% on personal income tax of 30% is imposed as a tax on the prevailing 30%. As a result, the total tax rate goes up to 30.9% (30% basic rate + 3% (cess) of the 30%).
  • But some cess like the Swachh Bharat Cess (SBC) is imposed as percentage tax on total value. Here the SBC is 0.5% of the value of the services.
  • Another difference between cess and the usual tax is the way in which tax revenue from cess is kept.
  • But the tax revenue from Cess are first credited to the CFI and the Central Government may, after due appropriation made by Parliament, utilise the money for the specified purposes. For example, the proceeds are kept as Central Road Fund (CRF) in the case of fuel cess (on petrol and diesel).
  • Another major feature of cess like surcharges is that the Centre need not share it with states. But regarding all other major taxes they come under the divisible pool and hence they shall be shared with the states with the recommendations of the Finance Commission.
  • At present, the main cess is: education cess, road cess or (fuel cess), infrastructure cess, clean energy cess, krishi kalyan cess and swachh bharat cess.

 

 

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