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Sep 25, 2023 Daily Prelims CA Quiz

For Previous Daily Quiz (ARCHIVES) - CLICK HERE The Current Affairs questions are based on sources like ‘The Hindu’, ‘Indian Express’ and ‘PIB’, which are very important sources for UPSC Prelims Exam. The questions are focused on both the concepts and facts. The topics covered here are generally different from what is being covered under ‘Daily Current Affairs/Daily News Analysis (DNA) and Daily Static Quiz’ to avoid duplication. The questions would be published from Monday to Saturday before 2 PM. One should not spend more than 10 minutes on this initiative. Gear up and Make the Best Use of this initiative. Do remember that, “the difference between Ordinary and EXTRA-Ordinary is PRACTICE!!” Important Note: Don't forget to post your marks in the comment section. Also, let us know if you enjoyed today's test :)After completing the 5 questions, click on 'View Questions' to check your score, time taken, and solutions.To take the Test Click Here

Sep 23, 2023 IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs

Archives (PRELIMS & MAINS Focus) Adi Shankaracharya statue Syllabus Prelims – Art and Culture Context: Recently Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister unveiled the 108-foot-tall ‘Statue of Oneness’ of Adi Shankaracharya at Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh. About Adi Shankaracharya: Birth: 11th May 788 AD, at Kaladi, Kerala. Samadhi: at Kedar Tirth. Philosophy: Propounded the Doctrine of Advaita (Monism) and He was opposed to Buddhist philosophers. Established four Mathas in the four corners of India at Sringeri, Puri, Dwaraka and Badrinath– for propagation of Sanathana Dharma. Major books: Brahmasutrabhasya (Bhashya or commentary on the Brahma Sutra), Bhajagovinda Stotra, Nirvana Shatakam and Prakaran Granths Advocation of Advaita Vedanta: It articulates a philosophical position of radical nondualism, a revisionary worldview which it derives from the ancient Upanishadic texts. According to Advaita Vedantins, the Upanishads reveal a fundamental principle of nonduality termed ‘brahman’, which is the reality of all things. Advaitins understand brahman as transcending individuality and empirical plurality. They seek to establish that the essential core of one’s self (atman) is brahman. The fundamental thrust of Advaita Vedanta is that the atman is pure non-intentional consciousness. It is one without a second, nondual, infinite existence, and numerically identical with brahman. Source:  Indian Express National Higher Education Qualifications Framework (NHEQF) Syllabus Prelims – Governance Context: The University Grants Commission (UGC) recently finalised the National Higher Educational Qualification Framework (NHEQF), a regulatory reform proposed by National Education Policy 2020. About National Higher Education Qualifications Framework (NHEQF): Development: The Ministry of Labour and Employment developed the National Vocational Qualifications Framework (NVQF) and the Ministry of Education developed the Vocational Education Qualifications Framework (NVEQF). The NHEQF has divided parameters into levels 5 to 10. Levels 1 to 4 cover the school education. The NHEQF level 5 represents learning outcomes appropriate to the first year (first two semesters) of the undergraduate programme of study; While Level 10 represents learning outcomes appropriate to the doctoral-level programme of study. According to the NHEQF, students must possess and display the desired graduate profile/attributes after completing a programme of study. It also establishes the amount of credits required to complete the four-year undergraduate programme, postgraduate degrees, and doctoral degrees at various levels. About University Grants Commission (UGC): EST: 28th December, 1953 It is a statutory organization by the UGC Act, 1956 Ministry: Ministry of Education. The UGC’s mandate includes: Promoting and coordinating university education. Determining and maintaining standards of teaching, examination and research in universities. Framing regulations on minimum standards of education. Monitoring developments in the field of collegiate and university education; disbursing grants to the universities and colleges etc Source: The Hindu G4 countries Syllabus Prelims – International Relations Context: Recently the G4 countries have reiterated that expansion of UN Security Council in both permanent and non-permanent categories is essential to make the body more representative, legitimate, effective and efficient. About G4 countries: The G4 is a grouping of Brazil, Germany, India and Japan which are aspiring to become permanent members of the UNSC. They are supporting each other’s bids for permanent membership of the UNSC. The G4 nations traditionally meet on the sidelines of the annual high-level UN General Assembly session. Opposition to G4: the Coffee Club The Uniting for Consensus (UfC), or the Coffee Club, emerged in the 1990s in opposition to the potential extension of permanent seats on the UN Security Council. Italy along with Pakistan, Mexico and Egypt founded the Coffee Club in 1995 to reject the proposal to increase the number of permanent seats in the UNSC. About UN Security Council: EST: United Nations charter in 1945 HQ: New York City, USA. Members: 15 members Permanent members with veto power (P5 members): the United States, the Russian Federation, France, China and the United Kingdom. Non-permanent members: The non-permanent members of the Security Council are elected for a term of two years. The 10 non-permanent seats are distributed on a regional basis as follows: Five for African and Asian States. One for the Eastern European States. Two for the Latin American and Caribbean States; Two for Western European and other States Source:  AIR National Medical Commission (NMC) Syllabus Prelims – Governance Context: The National Medical Commission (NMC) of India has been awarded the coveted World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) Recognition Status for a tenure of 10 years. About NMC: Statutory body under National Medical Commission Act, 2019. HQ: New Delhi It has replaced the Medical Council of India (MCI) constituted under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956. Ministry: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Functions: NMC regulates medical education and medical professionals. The Commission grants recognition of medical qualifications gives accreditation to medical schools, grants registration to medical practitioners, monitors medical practice and assesses the medical infrastructure in India. Members: It consists of 33 members including Chairman (medical professionals only), 10 ex-officio members and 22 parttime members. Four autonomous boards under NMC: Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (sets norms for undergraduate (UG) courses), Post-Graduate Medical Education Board (sets norms for post-graduate courses), Medical Assessment and Rating Board (inspects and rates the medical education institutes), and Ethics and Medical Registration Board (regulates professional conduct of the doctors and registers them). About World Federation for Medical Education (WFME): EST: In 1972 HQ: Ferney-Voltaire, France. Aim: WFME is a global organisation concerned with the education and training of medical doctors. Objective: It is the organisation that officially and globally represents medical teachers and medical teaching institutions before the World Health Organization(WHO). WFME’s accreditation program plays a pivotal role in ensuring that medical institutes meet and uphold the highest international standards of education and training Source:   AIR State of Working India Report 2023 Syllabus Prelims – Economy Context: Recently the ‘State of Working India 2023’ report, released by Azim Premji University’s Centre for Sustainable Employment. Major Findings of the ‘State of Working India 2023’ Report: Faster structural change: Between 2004 and 2017, around 3 million regular wage jobs were created annually. Between 2017 and 2019 this jumped to 5 million per year. Since 2019, the pace of regular wage job creation has decreased due to the growth slowdown and the pandemic. Upward mobility has increased: In 2004 over 80% of sons of casual wage workers were themselves in casual employment. This was the case for both SC/ST workers and other castes. For non-SC/ST castes, this fell from 83% to 53% by 2018 and incidence of better quality work such as regular salaried jobs increased. It fell for SC/ST castes as well, but to a lesser extent (86% to 76%). Caste-based segregation has reduced: Between 1983 and 2021, the proportion of regular wage workers belonging to the SC category has increased. In 2021, 32% of general caste workers were in regular wage employment as compared to 22% of SC workers. The report also looks at firm ownership data to conclude that general castes are over-represented to a greater degree in larger enterprises. Gender-based earnings disparities have reduced: In 2004, salaried women workers earned 70% of what men earned. By 2017 the gap had reduced and women earned 76% of what men did. Since then, the gap has remained constant till 2021-22. Women in job: Between 1983 and 2021, the degree of women’s representation in industries like tobacco, education, health and social work, and textiles has increased whereas in waste management and sewerage, it has decreased. Still, in all these sectors, women are over-represented in comparison to men. Unemployment is falling but remains high: Post-Covid the unemployment rate is lower than it was pre-Covid, for all education levels. But it remains above 15% for graduates and more worryingly it touches a huge 42% for graduates under 25 years. The connection between growth and good jobs remains weak: Since the 1990s year-on-year non-farm GDP growth and non-farm employment growth are uncorrelated with each other suggesting that policies promoting faster growth need not promote faster job creation. However, between 2004 and 2019, on average growth translated to decent employment. Male Breadwinner Norm: Due to the “male breadwinner” norm, as the husband’s income increases the probability of the wife being employed also reduces. In rural areas, the fall in probability slows down as the husband’s income increases. Source: Indian Express SIMBEX 23 Syllabus Prelims – Science and Technology (Defence) Context: Indian Navy recently participated in the 30th edition of Singapore India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX), 2023 held in Singapore. About SIMBEX 23: An annual bilateral Naval exercise between the Indian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) is being conducted since 1994. It is the longest continuous naval exercise that Indian Navy conducts with any other country. It would enhance war-fighting skills and capability to undertake multi-discipline operations jointly in maritime domain. Phases of SIMBEX 2023: Harbour Phase: Professional interactions, cross-deck visits, Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEE) and sports fixtures to enhance interoperability and mutual understanding between the two navies. Sea Phase: Complex and advanced air defence exercises, gunnery firings, tactical manoeuvres, anti-submarine exercises and other maritime operations. Source: PIB The Mediation Act, 2023 Syllabus Mains – GS 2 (Governance) Context: Recently, the Parliament has passed the Mediation Bill 2023. About Mediation: Mediation is a voluntary process in which parties try to settle disputes with the assistance of an independent third person (the mediator). A mediator does not impose a solution on the parties but creates a conducive environment in which they can resolve their dispute. The mediation process depends on the choice of parties, and there are no strict or binding rules of procedure. Types of Mediation: Court Referred Mediation: Salem Advocate Bar Association, Tamil Nadu v. Union of India: In the case, Supreme Court held in reference to the matter of mediation that conciliation and arbitration are mandatory for court matters. This judgment has granted legal and social recognition to mediation as a dispute resolution in India. Private Mediation : In private mediation, a qualified mediator is appointed by the parties on a fixed-fee basis. Both the parties come together to resolve the issue amicably. The decision of the mediator is not ultimate and hence not binding on the parties. Key Features of the Bill Pre-litigation mediation: Parties must attempt to settle civil or commercial disputes by mediation before approaching any court or certain tribunals. Even if they fail to reach a settlement through pre-litigation mediation, the court or tribunal may at any stage refer the parties to mediation if they request for the same. Disputes not fit for mediation: The Bill contains a list of disputes which are not fit for mediation. These include disputes relating to claims against minors or persons of unsound mind, involving criminal prosecution, and affecting the rights of third parties. The central government may amend this list. Applicability: The Bill will apply to mediations conducted in India: involving only domestic parties involving at least one foreign party and relating to a commercial dispute (i.e., international mediation) if the mediation agreement states that mediation will be as per this Bill. If the central or state government is a party, the Bill will apply to commercial disputes, and other disputes as notified. Mediation process: Mediation proceedings will be confidential, and must be completed within 180 days (may be extended by 180 days by the parties). A party may withdraw from mediation after two sessions. Court annexed mediation must be conducted as per the rules framed by the Supreme Court or High Courts. Mediators: Mediators may be appointed by the parties by agreement, a mediation service provider (an institution administering mediation). They must disclose any conflict of interest that may raise doubts on their independence. Parties may then choose to replace the mediator. Significance of Bill: India as a centre of Mediation: This legislation will help ensure that institutional mediation becomes mainstream in resolving commercial (and other) disputes between the parties, putting India on the global map as a dispute friendly jurisdiction. There exists a strong correlation between Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) and the promotion of mediation, and Singapore serves as a prime example of how a robust mediation ecosystem can attract greater foreign investments. Reduce pendency of Cases: According to the Minister for Law and Justice, there are 4.43 lakh cases pending in district subordinate courts, 60.63 lakh cases in high courts and around 70,000 cases in the Supreme Court. Mandating participation in pre-litigation mediation may help reduce pendency and the slow disposal rate in courts. Cost-effective: Mediation is a cost-effective dispute resolution process that also helps reduce the burden on courts by enabling out-of-court settlements. Greater Control: Mediation increases the control the parties have over the resolution. Each party is directly involved in negotiating their own agreement and no settlement can be imposed upon. Confidential: Unlike the potential publicity of court proceedings, everything said at the mediation is entirely confidential to the parties (unless specifically agreed otherwise). Faster outcomes: Because mediation can be used early in a dispute, an agreement can usually be reached quicker than if pursued through the courts. Challenges of Mediation in India: Absence of Uniform Legislation: In 2020, the Supreme Court highlighted the pressing need for a unified mediation legislation in India, emphasizing the lack of a standardized legal framework for mediation. Infrastructural and Quality Control Issues: An increased focus on mediation can strain existing mediation centers, which may lack the necessary administrative capacity to handle higher caseloads efficiently. Societal Stigma: Concerns about public perception sometimes deter parties from choosing mediation, as they fear it might be viewed as a sign of weakness or compromise. Resistance from Legal Professionals: Traditional legal practitioners may exhibit resistance to adopting mediation, viewing it as a potential threat to their practice or income. Institutional Support: While legislative reforms have been made to promote mediation in India, the infrastructure for supporting mediation at the grassroots level, including the establishment of mediation centers and training programs, is still in the developmental stage. Lack of Mediation Education: The absence of mediation education within law school curricula poses a significant obstacle to the widespread adoption of mediation as a dispute resolution method. Shortage of Professional Mediators: India currently has a limited pool of trained and experienced mediators, which presents challenges in offering mediation services across all regions and for various types of disputes. Way Forward: Suggestive measures Legal Reforms: Continuously updating laws and regulations to support and encourage mediation, while also ensuring the enforceability of mediated settlements, is crucial. Online Mediation: Leveraging technology for online mediation platforms can make the process more accessible, especially for those in remote areas, and provide a convenient alternative to in-person sessions. Institutional Support: Establishing well-equipped and accessible mediation centers at various levels, from local communities to national levels, can provide people with convenient access to mediation services. More Opening of Mediation and Arbitration Centre: Government should facilitate opening of mediation centers. Recently, Uttar Pradesh got its first mediation and arbitration centre in the form of ‘Centre for Excellence in Mediation and Arbitration or CEMA. Training and Certification: Developing comprehensive training programs for mediators, lawyers, and judges can ensure that there is a pool of skilled professionals proficient in mediation techniques, ethical considerations, and cultural sensitivity. Integration with Legal Curriculum: Incorporating mediation education within law school curricula can prepare future legal professionals to consider mediation as a primary or complementary method for dispute resolution. Source:  The Hindu The India’s Urbanization Paradox: Opportunities and Obstacles Syllabus Mains – GS 1 (Geography) and GS 2 (Governance) Context: According to the recent report of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, about 74% of Smart City Mission projects completed, but urban challenges stay unaddressed. About Urbanization: It refers to the process by which a growing proportion of a population comes to live in cities and other urban areas and the ways in which this affects society and the environment. It is a global phenomenon that has been driven by a variety of factors, including economic development, technological change, and population growth. Different types of urban settlements in India: Census Town: Population of at least 5,000, a population density of at least 400 per sq km, where at least 75% of the male working population is engaged in non-agricultural pursuits. Statutory Town: A town officially designated as such by the relevant state government. These towns typically have a corporation or municipality in charge of local government. Satellite Town: A town that is located in close proximity to a larger urban centre and is dependent on it for economic and social activities. Urban Agglomeration: A continuous urban area of the city/town and also the suburban fringe/rural areas lying within the administrative boundaries of a nearby town/city. Suburbanization: refers to the process of urbanization where the urban areas are growing outwards, and the rural areas are becoming urbanized. Counter urbanization: refers to the movement of people and businesses from urban to rural areas. Status of Urbanisation in India: According to the 2011 Census, India’s urbanization rate stood at 31.2%, a significant increase from 8% in 2001. Projections indicate that around 590 million people will reside in cities by 2030, underscoring the urgency of comprehending the growth patterns and their impact on the population. Causes of Rapid Urbanization: Natural Population Growth: Urbanization is driven by the high rate of natural population increase, where cities experience a greater growth rate compared to rural areas. This can be attributed to improved healthcare services, better access to medical facilities, safe drinking water, and enhanced sanitation infrastructure, which contribute to higher survival rates in urban settings. Industrial and Agricultural Development: The substantial public investments in industries, mining, and sustainable agricultural practices have fueled urbanization. The growth of industries, including their associated ancillary units, contributes to the development of urban centers. Likewise, the expansion of business and trade, accompanied by the establishment of vibrant markets, fosters urbanization in regions closely linked to industrial and trade growth. Rural-Urban Migration: Rural-to-urban migration is a significant driver of rapid urbanization in India. The emergence of manufacturing and trade activities due to industrial development creates job opportunities and the promise of higher incomes, attracting rural residents to urban areas. This migration is often motivated by the prospects of employment and economic advancement. Push and Pull Factors: Rural-to-urban migration is influenced by both pull and push factors. Pull factors include the allure of urban opportunities, while push factors encompass economic constraints, lack of essential facilities, and even political unrest in rural areas, prompting individuals to seek better prospects in urban settings. Consequences of Rapid Urbanization: Positive Aspects: Driver of rapid economic growth: Rapid industrialization leads to the establishment of numerous industrial cities. These urban areas witness the growth of manufacturing units, ancillary industries, and the service sector, contributing to economic development. Increased employment opportunities: Urbanization creates new job opportunities in expanding sectors like manufacturing and services. This results in rural-urban migration as people seek employment in these urban centers, further promoting industrialization and urbanization. Modernization and attitudinal changes: Urbanization brings about changes in the mindset and behaviors of urban residents, fostering modernization and a progressive outlook. This shift indirectly contributes to accelerated economic development. Negative Aspects: Congestion: Rapid urbanization leads to increased congestion in urban areas, causing problems such as traffic jams and high population density. Managing these issues becomes challenging and costly. Poor Quality of Life: The surge in urban population can result in various urban problems, including housing shortages, inadequate access to education and healthcare, the growth of slums, unemployment, violence, and overcrowding. These factors collectively lead to a decline in the overall quality of life in urban areas. Loss of Rural Productivity: Large-scale rural-to-urban migration diminishes productivity in rural regions. This trend negatively impacts the rural economy, contributing to unfavourable conditions in villages. Over time, excessive urbanization can have detrimental consequences. Issues associated with Urbanization: Population Pressure: Rapid rural-to-urban migration leads to an overwhelming increase in urban population, straining existing public infrastructure. This surge in population contributes to challenges like slums, crime, unemployment, urban poverty, pollution, congestion, and public health problems. Proliferation of Slums: Across the country, there are approximately 13.7 million slum households, accommodating about 65.49 million people. Approximately 65% of Indian cities have adjacent slums where people live in cramped and substandard housing conditions. Housing Shortages: One of the most distressing issues associated with urbanization is inadequate housing. In India, more than half of urban households live in single rooms, with an average of 4.4 persons per room. Unplanned development: Urbanization often leads to unplanned development, exacerbating the socio-economic divide between the affluent and the underprivileged. The lack of proper planning perpetuates inequality within urban areas. Pandemic-Induced problems: The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the challenges faced by the urban poor and slum dwellers. Lockdown measures severely affected their livelihoods, highlighting their vulnerability. Government initiatives related to urban development in India: Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM): Aims to reduce poverty and vulnerability of urban poor households by providing them with opportunities for skill development and self-employment. Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY): Aims to conserve and revitalize the cultural heritage and tourism potential of 12 identified cities in India. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: Aims to improve sanitation and cleanliness in urban areas, including the construction of toilets and solid waste management. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY): Aims to provide affordable housing to urban residents, particularly for low-income groups and economically weaker sections. Smart Cities Mission: Aims to promote the development of 100 smart cities in India, focusing on sustainable and inclusive urban development. Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT): Aims to improve basic services and infrastructure in urban areas, including water supply and sewerage systems. Aspirational District Programme: Aims to transform the overall development landscape in 112 of India’s most backward districts. It includes urban development components and seeks to improve various aspects of life in these districts, including urban areas. Source:  The Hindu Practice MCQs Daily Practice MCQs Q.1) Consider the following statements regarding the University Grants Commission (UGC): It is a statutory organization by the UGC Act, 1956 It works under the Ministry of Science and Technology Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 1 only 2 only Both 1 and 2 Neither 1 nor 2 Q.2) Which of the following countries is not a part of the G4 group of countries which are aspiring to become permanent members of the UNSC? India Germany South Africa Japan Q.3) SIMBEX 23 is an annual bilateral Naval exercise held between which of the following countries? India and Srilanka India and Indonesia India and Myanmar India and Singapore Mains Practice Questions Q.1) Explain the significance of the Mediation Act, 2023, in India’s legal framework and its role in reducing court congestion. Highlight the potential advantages and challenges associated with mandatory pre-litigation mediation. Suggest measures to overcome these challenges. (250 words) Comment the answers to the above questions in the comment section below!! ANSWERS FOR ’  23rd September 2023 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.st ANSWERS FOR 22nd September – Daily Practice MCQs Answers- Daily Practice MCQs Q.1) – b Q.2) – b Q.3) – c

Sep 23, 2023 Daily Prelims CA Quiz

For Previous Daily Quiz (ARCHIVES) - CLICK HERE The Current Affairs questions are based on sources like ‘The Hindu’, ‘Indian Express’ and ‘PIB’, which are very important sources for UPSC Prelims Exam. The questions are focused on both the concepts and facts. The topics covered here are generally different from what is being covered under ‘Daily Current Affairs/Daily News Analysis (DNA) and Daily Static Quiz’ to avoid duplication. The questions would be published from Monday to Saturday before 2 PM. One should not spend more than 10 minutes on this initiative. Gear up and Make the Best Use of this initiative. Do remember that, “the difference between Ordinary and EXTRA-Ordinary is PRACTICE!!” Important Note: Don't forget to post your marks in the comment section. Also, let us know if you enjoyed today's test :)After completing the 5 questions, click on 'View Questions' to check your score, time taken, and solutions.To take the Test Click Here