70 Days WAR Plan

Day#55 Static Flash Cards Revision [70 Days WAR Plan]

Right to dissent; Jantar Mantar; Article 171; Milkiyat, Mallahzadas, Jajmani; Ethics committee in India; Divine kings in Kushana rulers; ‘Kaniyan Koothu’; Harappans craft production; All India Whips Conference; Prime Minister’s office (PMO);
By IT's Core Team
May 15, 2019




Which departments come under the direct control of Prime Minister’s office (PMO)?

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  • Department of Atomic Energy
  • Department of Space

Enrich Your Learning:

Prime Minister is in-charge of:

  • Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions;
  • Department of Atomic Energy;
  • Department of Space;
  • All important policy issues; and
  • All other portfolios not allocated to any Minister




Which Ministry organises All India Whips conference?

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  • The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs organises All India Whips conference to establish suitable links among the Whips of various political parties at the centre and the states, to discuss matters of common interest and to strengthen the institution of Parliamentary democracy.
  • The two-day 18th All India Whips’ Conference, 2018 was held at Udaipur, Rajasthan.

Enrich Your Learning:

More about All India Whips Conference:

  • The Whips’ Conference usually makes a number of recommendations for smooth and efficient working of Parliament and the State Legislatures in the light of the experience gained by the Whips.

The Central Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs forwards the recommendations to the

  • The State Chief Ministers;
  • Ministers in-charge of Department of Parliamentary Affairs in the State Governments; and
  • Presiding Officers of the State Legislatures and all the invitees to the conference, for information and necessary action.

The recommendations generally fall into three categories, namely,

  • Those requiring action by the Central Government;
  • Those which require action by the State Governments, and
  • Those which are to be implemented by the State Legislatures

Whip of Parliament:

  • Every Political Party, whether ruling or opposition has its own whip in the Parliament. He is appointed by the Parliament to serve as an assistant floor leader.
  • He is charged with the responsibility of ensuring the attendance of his party members in large numbers and securing their support in favour of or against a particular issue.
  • The Whips are responsible for carrying on, efficiently and smoothly, the organisation of the parties inside the Legislatures. The Whips have to keep a vigilant eye on the proceedings of the House and have to be ready to meet any emergency in the House.




How did the Harappans procured materials for craft production?

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Solution & Enrich Your Learning:

  • There is evidence in the Khetri area for what archaeologists call the Ganeshwar -Jodhpura culture, with its distinctive non-Harappan pottery and an unusual wealth of copper objects.
  • It is possible that the inhabitants of this region supplied copper to the Harappans.

How the Harappans procured materials for craft production?

  • The Harappans procured materials for craft production in various ways. For instance, they established settlements such as Nageshwar and Balakot in areas where shell was available.
  • Other such sites were Shortughai, in far-off Afghanistan, near the best source of lapis lazuli, a blue stone that was apparently very highly valued, and Lothal which was near sources of carnelian (from Bharuch in Gujarat), steatite (from south Rajasthan and north Gujarat) and metal (from Rajasthan).
  • Another strategy for procuring raw materials may have been to send expeditions to areas such as the Khetri region of Rajasthan (for copper) and south India (for gold).
  • These expeditions established communication with local communities.
  • Occasional finds of Harappan artefacts such as steatite micro beads in these areas are indications of such contact.




Kaniyan koothu dance is performed by men and women in Tamilnadu during temple festival. True OR False.

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  • False

Right Statement:

  • Kaniyan koothu dance is performed by ONLY men in Tamilnadu during temple festival.

Enrich Your Learning:

What is ‘Kaniyan Koothu’?

  • Kaniyan koothu is a folk art with elements of classical music. It is performed by the Kaniyan community.
  • It is an old ritual art form practiced in Tamil Nadu during Temple festivals.
  • It is an invocation to Sudalai Madan, the Lord of the Graveyards.
  • It is performed by male dancer only.
  • Kaniyans are a Scheduled Tribe whose population is less than 750 and only around 200 persons are currently performing the art.
  • Magudam and mantham are the instruments used by the artists.
  • The main singer of the troupe is called as ‘Annavi’.


  • Two artists play the magudam – one plays the bass and the other the sharper version.
  • Two men, dressed as women, dance to the tune.
  • The art is facing a crisis not because of lack of patronage, but because not many come forward to take up it as a profession.
  • In addition, many dancers of the Kaniyan koothu are from the families of paavai koothu (puppetry) artists who hail from Maharashtra.




Dissent as a right has been recognized by Indian government as one aspect of the right of the freedom of speech as a Fundamental Right by Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution. True OR False.

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  • True

Enrich Your Learning:

Right to dissent:

  • In a democratic society, the need to accept difference of opinion is an essential ingredient of plurality. In that sense, the right of dissent also becomes the duty of dissent since tactics to suppress dissent tend to diminish the democratic essence.
  • Dissent as a right has been recognized by the Supreme Court of India as one aspect of the right of the freedom of speech guaranteed as a Fundamental Right by Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution.
  • Viewing dissent as a utilitarian adjunct to democracy does not do justice to the integral role of dissent in deepening democracy. Dissent should be seen as a defining, constitutive part of democracy, not just a safety valve.
  • Suppose there is no dissent and the view of the head of the government is the view of everyone else in the country. That would be a situation in which progress depends solely on the vision and commitment of the person who occupies the most powerful office of the country.

Sedition Law:

  • Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code, also popularly known as The Sedition Law, was introduced in the year 1870 by the Britishers.
  • Section 124-A in the Indian Penal Code explains that whoever attempts to bring hatred or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government will be punished.
  • The law has been notorious for being used against the growing voices of freedom fighters. Mahatma Gandhi was charged under the same law in the year 1922.
  • After independence, the law was retained in the IPC, although further explanations have been added to it. The three explanations aim at clearing out the way for Freedom of speech and expression. However, the terms used are largely loose ended and uncertain in their precise limits.
  • The law therefore, has been on the receiving end of reproval by many activists who see it as a Draconian law aimed at hampering peaceful dissent and speech.





In context of ancient India, which dynasty’s ruler adopted the title Devaputra, or “son of god”?

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  • Kushana rulers

Enrich Your Learning:

Divine kings in Kushana rulers:

  • The Kushans were one of five branches of the Yuezhi confederation, an Indo-European nomadic people that ruled over most of the northern Indian subcontinent, Afghanistan, and parts of Central Asia during the first three centuries of the Common Era.
  • This strategy is best exemplified by the Kushanas (c. first century BCE first century CE), who ruled over a vast kingdom extending from Central Asia to northwest India.
  • Their history has been reconstructed from inscriptions and textual traditions.
  • The notions of kingship they wished to project are perhaps best evidenced in their coins and sculpture.
  • Colossal statues of Kushana rulers have been found installed in a shrine at Mat near Mathura (Uttar Pradesh). Similar statues have been found in a shrine in Afghanistan as well.
  • By the fourth century there is evidence of larger states, including the Gupta Empire. Many of these depended on samantas, men who maintained themselves through local resources including control over land.
  • They offered homage and provided military support to rulers. Powerful samantas could become kings: conversely, weak rulers might find themselves being reduced to positions of subordination.
  • Many Kushana rulers also adopted the title devaputra, or “son of god”, possibly inspired by Chinese rulers who called themselves sons of heaven.
  • Histories of the Gupta rulers have been reconstructed from literature, coins and inscriptions, including prashastis, composed in praise of kings in particular, and patrons in general, by poets.
  • While historians often attempt to draw factual information from such compositions, those who composed and read them often treasured them as works of poetry rather than as accounts that were literally true.
  • The Prayaga Prashasti (also known as the Allahabad Pillar Inscription) composed in Sanskrit by Harishena, the court poet of Samudragupta, arguably the most powerful of the Gupta rulers (c. fourth century CE), is a case in point.




What do you know about Ethics committee of Rajya Sabha in India?

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Solution & Enrich Your Learning:

Ethics committee in India:

  • This committee was constituted in Rajya Sabha in 1997 and in Lok Sabha in 2000. It enforces the code of conduct of members of Parliament.
  • It examines the cases of misconduct and recommends appropriate action.
  • Thus, it is engaged in maintaining discipline and decorum in Parliament.
  • Ethics Committee of Rajya Sabha consists of ten members, including its Chairman, who are nominated by the Chairman, Rajya Sabha. Chairman of the Committee is from the largest party in the House.
  • Rules relating to the Committee on Ethics came into force from July 2004. Rules relating to Declaration of the Assets and Liabilities under the Representation of the People (Third Amendment) Act, 2002 came into force from August 2004.  Rule 292 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States provides the link between the two above mentioned Rules.

Functions of the Committee:

Under Rule 290, the Committee has the following functions:

  • To oversee the moral and ethical conduct of members;
  • To prepare a Code of Conduct for members and to suggest amendments or additions to the Code from time to time in the form of reports to the Council;
  • To examine cases concerning the alleged breach of the Code of Conduct by members as also cases concerning allegations of any other ethical misconduct of members; and
  • To tender advice to members from time to time on questions involving ethical standards either suo motu or on receiving specific requests.




During the period of Mughal empire, what is the term Milkiyat, Mallahzadas, Jajmani refers?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:


  • The zamindars held extensive personal lands termed Milkiyat meaning property.
  • Milkiyat lands were cultivated for the private use of zamindars, often with the help of hired or servile labour.
  • The zamindars could sell, bequeath or mortgage these lands at will.


  • The Mallahzadas, meaning sons of boatmen, in Bihar were comparable to slaves.

Jajmani system:

  • In eighteenth-century records tell us of zamindars in Bengal who remunerated blacksmiths, carpenters, even goldsmiths for their work by paying them “a small daily allowance and diet money”. This later came to be described as the jajmani system, though the term was not in vogue in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
  • Such evidence is interesting because it indicates the intricate ways in which exchange networks operated at the micro-level of the village.
  • Cash remuneration was not entirely unknown either.




Which Article of the Constitution of India lays down the maximum and minimum number of seats in the Legislative Council of a State?

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Article 171:

  • Article 171 of the Constitution of India lays down the maximum and minimum number of seats in the Legislative Council of a State, and also specify the various methods in which the seats shall be filled, but the actual number of seats to be filled by each such method has been left to be provided by law.
  • President of India nominates one-sixth of the members of the state legislative council from amongst persons having special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science, art, cooperative movement and social service.




What is the purpose of the ‘Jantar Mantar structures’ built between 1724 -1735?

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  • The primary purpose of the Jantar Mantar observatory was to compile astronomical tables, and to predict the times and movements of the sun, moon and planets and astronomy.

Enrich Your Learning:

Jantar Mantar:

  • The Jantar Mantar is an equinoctial sundial, consisting of a gigantic triangular gnomon with the hypotenuse parallel to the Earth’s axis.
  • On either side of the gnomon is a quadrant of a circle, parallel to the plane of the equator.
  • The instrument is intended to measure the time of day, correct to half a second and declination of the Sun and the other heavenly bodies.
  • There are five Jantar Mantars in India, of which the largest is in Jaipur which features many instruments along with the world’s largest stone sundial.
  • The Vrihat Samrat yantra is a sundial that can give the local time to an accuracy of 2 seconds.
  • It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Who built Jantar Mantar?

  • In the early 18th century Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur constructed five Jantar Mantar in total in New Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain, Mathura and Varanasi.
  • They were completed between 1724 -1735. The Jantar Mantar observatory was constructed between 1728 -1734.
  • Jaipur’s Jantar Mantar is the largest observatories among five and best preserved and still running. It is a collection of 19 architectural astronomical instruments.
  • It features the world’s biggest stone sundial “Smarat Yantra”, and is UNESCO World heritage site. The one observatory in Mathura has almost disappeared today.

List of Instruments:

  • Samrat Yantra
  • Jai Prakash Yantra
  • Disha Yantra
  • Rama Yantra
  • Chakra Yantra
  • Rashiwalay Yantra
  • Dingash Yantra
  • Utaansh Yantra
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