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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC – 10 December 2022

 

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC 2022

Q) Recently seen in news, the term ‘Meizotropis pellita’ is best related to which one of the following:

  1. A new species of butterfly discovered in the Western Ghats.
  2. A perennial shrub that that is endemic to Uttarakhand.
  3. A rare fish with luminescence capabilities, discovered in the Indian Ocean.
  4. An endangered species of mangroves found in the Sunderbans.

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC – 9 December 2022

Explanation:

  • Option (2) is correct: Meizotropis pellita, commonly known as Patwa, is a perennial shrub of Fabaceae (Papilionaceae) family occurs at an altitude of 5000 feet in Patwadangar of Nainital and Kali Kumaun in eastern Almora in the state of Uttarakhand also reported in Doti district of Nepal., is a perennial shrub with restricted distribution that is endemic to Uttarakhand. Plant has woody perennial rootstock with several erect shoots about 2 m in height. It becomes dormant in winter season and new shoots reappear in April-May. M. pellita has very small population and grows in very specialized and sensitive habitats; therefore any further change and ecological disturbance are bound to cause their total extinction from this region. Population of this rare, endemic and endangered plant is on decline due to deforestation, habitat fragmentation, forest fire, human interference and ignorance of people. Root system of this plant is very complex can be used in eroded and slip areas plantation for soil binding and minimizing soil run off in hill slopes. Recently many studies have been done on invitro propagation, antioxidant activities and Pharmacognostic evaluation of leaves. M. pellita leaves stem and root have been reported antioxidant properties. It is on the edge of extinction in the absence of sufficient natural regeneration and protection measures. It has been listed as critically endangered by IUCN.

Q) With reference to freedom of religion in India, consider the following statements:

  1. The Constitution of India provides that the state cannot levy a fee for the promotion of a religion.
  2. No religious instruction shall be provided in an educational institution administered by the State.
  3. As per article 25, the right to propagate religion also includes the right to convert others.

Which of the statements given above are not correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 1 and 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect: Article 27 provides that no person shall be compelled to pay any taxes for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion or religious denomination. In other words, the State should not spend the public money collected by way of tax for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion. This provision prohibits only levy of a tax and not a fee. This is because the purpose of a fee is to control secular administration of religious institutions and not to promote or maintain religion. Thus, a fee can be levied on pilgrims to provide them some special service or safety measures. Similarly, a fee can be levied on religious endowments for meeting the regulation expenditure.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: Under Article 28, no religious instruction shall be provided in any educational institution wholly maintained out of State funds. However, this provision shall not apply to an educational institution administered by the State but established under any endowment or trust, requiring imparting of religious instruction in such institution. Further, no person attending any educational institution recognised by the State or receiving aid out of State funds shall be required to attend any religious instruction or worship in that institution without his consent. In case of a minor, the consent of his guardian is needed.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect:Article 25 provides for right to propagate, transmit and disseminate one’s religious beliefs to others or exposition of the tenets of one’s religion. But, it does not include a right to convert another person to one’s own religion. Forcible conversions impinge on the ‘freedom of conscience’ guaranteed to all the persons alike. From the above, it is clear that Article 25 covers not only religious beliefs (doctrines) but also religious practices (rituals). Moreover, these rights are available to all persons–citizens as well as noncitizens. However, these rights are subject to public order, morality, health and other provisions relating to fundamental rights.

Q) Consider the following statements about the Aichi Biodiversity Targets:

  1. These were a set of 20 targets to safeguard biodiversity adopted at COP 10 of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.
  2. The targets were met by the developing and small island countries, whereas the developed countries lagged behind.
  3. The Nagoya Protocol is an extension to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets for the year 2030.

Which of the statements given above are not correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 1 and 2 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: Aichi Biodiversity Targets aims to improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity. At the 10th COP (Conference of Parties) of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, in Nagoya, Japan, in 2010, the countries have adopted ‘Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020’, which included a set of twenty global actions known as Aichi biodiversity targets. The 20 targets were further divided into five strategic goals. These targets are about increasing awareness about the importance of biodiversity, incorporation of biodiversity values into local and national development and poverty reduction strategies, removal of incentives and subsidies which are harmful to biodiversity, sustainable production and consumption etc.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: At a global level, none of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets were met or achieved. In the end, Aichi was deemed a failure by the United Nations and the CBD secretariat called on parties to come up with another guiding document to direct conservation efforts through 2030 and beyond. No single country met all 20 Aichi Targets within its borders, according to the Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 report published in 2020. The WWF’s Living Planet Report 2022 finds wildlife populations have declined by an average 69% in the past 50 years.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect: The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) to the Convention on Biological Diversityis a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity. It provides a transparent legal framework for the effective implementation of one of the three objectives of the CBD: the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. The Nagoya Protocol applies to genetic resources that are covered by the CBD, and to the benefits arising from their utilization. The Nagoya Protocol also covers traditional knowledge (TK) associated with genetic resources that are covered by the CBD and the benefits arising from its utilization.

Q) With reference to share buyback, consider the following statements:

  1. It reduces the number of outstanding shares of the company on the open market.
  2. The maximum limit of a buyback is 20 percent of the total paid-up capital of a company.
  3. The shareholders are exempt from paying tax on the income generated by the buyback.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 1 and 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 3 only

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: When a listed company buys its own shares from the existing shareholders, it’s known as a share buyback, which is also called as share repurchase. The process reduces the number of outstanding shares in the open market over a period of time. A company can buy back its shares from shareholders on a proportionate basis through a tender offer, or from the open market via book-building process, stock exchanges, or from the odd-lot holders.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: The maximum limit of any buy-back is 25 per cent or less of the aggregate of paid-up capital and free reserves of a company. A shareholder needs to hold the shares of the company, which has announced the buyback, before the record date declared in the announcement. The share also needs to be held in the demat form.
  • Statement 3 is correct: Through buyback, a company can reward its shareholders in a tax-effective manner. The dividend that a company pays is taxed at the company level and also at the shareholder level. While in share buyback, the company pays the tax and shareholders are exempted from paying tax on the income generated in the process. As many as 56 companies, including Infosys, TCS, Bajaj Auto and ACC, had opted for share buybacks in 2022.

Q) With reference to the reservation for women, which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. Special provisions for women made under Article 15 are part of horizontal reservation.
  2. As per the 74th constitutional amendment act, one-third of the total number of offices of chairpersons in municipalities is reserved for women.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: Under article 15(3) the state is permitted to make any special provision for women and children. This provision contemplates horizontal reservation. It refers to the equal opportunity provided to other categories of beneficiaries such as women, veterans, the transgender community, and individuals with disabilities, cutting through the vertical categories. The horizontal quota is applied separately to each vertical category, and not across the board. For example, if women have 50% horizontal quota, then half of the selected candidates will have to necessarily be women in each vertical quota category i.e., half of all selected Scheduled Caste candidates will have to be women, half of the unreserved or general category will have to be women, and so on.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: The 74th constitutional amendment act, 1992 provides for the reservation of seats for the scheduled castes and the scheduled tribes in every municipality in proportion of their population to the total population in the municipal area. Further, it provides for the reservation of not less than one-third of the total number of seats for women (including the number of seats reserved for woman belonging to the SCs and the STs). The state legislature may provide for the manner of reservation of offices of chairpersons in the municipalities for SCs, STs and women. It may also make any provision for the reservation of seats in any municipality or offices of chairpersons in municipalities in favor of backward classes. The reservation of seats as well as the reservation of offices of chairpersons in the municipalities for the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes shall cease to have effect after the expiration of the period specified in Article 334.

UPSC Mains Result 2022

 

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