Daily Current Affairs (MCQ) From The Hindu | Date 27.08.21

Daily Current Affairs (MCQ) From The Hindu | Date 27.08.21

Daily Current Affairs (MCQ) From The Hindu | Date 27.08.21

Q1. Consider the following statements about the first-pastthe-post system (FPTP)
1. The FPTP system tends to magnify the seat share of the party with the largest vote share
2. A candidate requires more than 50 % of all valid votes to win election in the FPTP system

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer (a)

Explanation:

Politicising social divides and failings of the p arliamentary system have led to this situation
The first-past-the-post system (FPTP)
1. In terms of numbers, a dominant party gets a disproportionately larger share in seats in legislatures compared to its vote share. It has the ability to remain dominant by fragmenting the Opposition and so we see the recent discussions on Opposition unity
2. The BJP’s dominance in both 2014 and 2019 was based on a plurality of votes (31% and 37%) converting into a majority of seats and is similar to the Congress’s dominance from 1952 to 1984 which was also based on vote share pluralities  converting to seat majorities (sometimes two-thirds to the three-fourths majority).
3. The FPTP system tends to magnify the seat share of the party with the largest vote share, while parties receiving a lower vote share tend to get a much lower seat share.
The proportional representation (PR) option: Polarization
1. At the national level, 2014 marked the end of a 25-year period of a coalition/minority government. And post-2014, there was the emergence of a second dominant party system.
2. FPTP does not necessarily produce polarisation. If you look at the proportional representation (PR) system in Europe and elsewhere, where seats are allocated roughly in accordance with the vote share, that also produces distinct polarisations.
3. Look at the 1978 Sri Lankan Constitution which instituted the PR system. Since then, there have been ethnic polarisation despite the small parties getting seat shares higher than what they would have received in an FPTP system.
4. Similarly in Israel, which also enjoys a thoroughgoing PR system, there is severe polarisation in ethnic, religious and political terms.
5. The FPTP system can’t be blamed for polarisation. Polarisation is linked to the politicisation of certain social cleavages. These cleavages are sometimes dormant in society and can become active or can be activated through mobilisations. When certain social cleavages are activated, that is when they get magnified by the electoral system.
6. The confrontational situation in Parliament and other legislatures has heightened in the last couple of years. This is due to the sharpening of the ideological level in politics, which reflects the cleavages in the society, and to the suspicion that the fundamentals of the system are being sought to be changed.

Q2. Consider the following statements about the E-Waste management in India
1. India is the third-largest producer of e-waste
2. More than 95 per cent of e-waste in India is handled by the formal sector
3. E-waste releases harmful chemicals, such as lead, on burning

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a. 1 and 2 only
b. 2 and 3 only
c. 1 and 3 only
d. 1, 2 and 3

Answer (c)

Explanation:

Dealing with the discarded: E-Waste management in India
India is the third-largest producer of e-waste after China and the United States. More than 95% of this waste is handled by the informal sector
E-Waste
1. The unprecedented generation of e-waste is a cause of concern. This waste is classified into six categories: Cooling and freezing equipment like refrigerators, freezers other equipment such as televisions, monitors, laptops, notebooks and tablets.
2. It also comprises fluorescent lamps and other large and small equipment like washing machines, clothes dryers, dishwashing machines, vacuum cleaners and microwaves.
3. Ventilation equipment, small IT and telecommunication equipment like positioning systems (GPS), pocket calculators, routers, personal computers, printers and telephones are also included in the broad definition of e-waste.
India third largest producer:
1. India has become the largest producer of e-waste after China and the United States. More than 95 per cent of this waste is handled by the informal sector, which only adds to the problem.
2. According to a Central Pollution Control Board report, in the financial year 2019-2020, India generated 1,014,961.2 tonnes of e-waste.
3. Another problem lies with the nature of the material. The ewaste stream contains diverse materials — most prominently hazardous substances such as lead, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs),  mercury, polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDEs), brominated flame retardants (BFRs), and valuable substances such as iron, steel, copper, aluminium and plastics. These require special treatment and cannot be dumped in landfill
sites.
4. E-waste releases harmful chemicals, such as lead, on burning, which adversely impacts human blood, kidney and the peripheral nervous system.
5. When it is thrown in landfills, the chemicals seep into the groundwater affecting both land and sea animals. Decomposing e-waste is an expensive process and only a few
developed countries can afford to do so.
The way ahead
1. We need to efficiently use our electronic devices by regularly maintaining them. By getting devices serviced timely, we can extend the average life of these electronic devices.
2. There is a need to break consumerist patterns. We need to revaluate our choices and use one multi-purpose device. One can also extend the life of electronics by buying a case,
keeping the device clean and avoiding overcharging.
3. Another unique solution to the problem can be offered by tech giants through conditional selling. All tech companies should mandate their customers to buy new technology only after exchanging old electronic products for new ones.
4. Hardware stores and companies should offer incentives such as exchange offers and discounts to customers who give away their old electronic devices. Tech companies and sellers should collaborate with e-waste disposing companies for their proper disposal.
5. They should also adopt smart ways to recycle their old products to produce new ones by outsourcing contracts to ewaste disposal companies. These activities can be sanctioned by government laws wherein they can provide companies tax benefits for recycling e-waste.
There are various legislations to regulate the disposal and management of e-waste in India, but their implementation is lax. These legislations include Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Amendment Rules, 2003, Guidelines for Environmentally Sound Management of E-waste, 2008 and E-waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011.
The states have notified a set of hazardous waste laws and built waste disposal facilities in the last 10 years. However, a Comptroller and Auditor General of India report found that over 75 per cent of state bodies were not implementing these laws.

Q3. Consider the following statements about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in India

1. It is a voluntary exercise in India for all the companies
2. According to law, a company shall give preference to local areas and areas around which it operates, in its CSR spending
3. Any donation to the PM CARES Fund will qualify as CSR

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a. 1 and 2 only
b. 2 and 3 only
c. 1 and 3 only
d. 1, 2 and 3

Answer (b)

Explanation:

‘National priorities also key in CSR’
1. Businesses need not restrict their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) expenditure to local projects and must balance local area preferences specified in the law with ‘national priorities’, the Corporate Affairs Ministry said.
2. Paying for the overseas training of Indian sports personnel representing any State or Union Territory at a national or international level is the only instance where activities undertaken by firms outside India will be permitted as a CSR project.
3. The first proviso to Section 135(5) of the Companies Act says a company shall give preference to local areas and areas around which it operates, in its mandatory CSR spending.
Corporate Social Responsibility
1. The term "Corporate Social Responsibility" in general can be referred to as a corporate initiative to assess and take responsibility for the company's effects on the environment and impact on social welfare.
2. In India, the concept of CSR is governed by clause 135 of the Companies Act, 2013.
3. India is the first country in the world to mandate CSR spending along with a framework to identify potential CSR activities.
4. The CSR provisions within the Act is applicable to companies with an annual turnover of 1,000 crores and more, or a net worth of Rs. 500 crore and more, or a net profit of Rs. 5 crores and more.
5. The Act requires companies to set up a CSR committee that shall recommend a Corporate Social Responsibility Policy to the Board of Directors and also monitor the same from time to time.
6. The Act encourages companies to spend 2% of their average net profit in the previous three years on CSR activities.
7. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has clarified that the contributions to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund or the State relief fund will not qualify as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) expenditure, while any donation to the PM CARES Fund will.

Q4. Vultures health and survival is widely affected by the drug

a. Aspirin
b. Oxytocin
c. Melatonin
d. Diclofenac

Answer (a)

Explanation:

The clean-up crew we need
Vultures are very important scavengers in our ecosystem, yet India lost more than 95% of its vulture population through the 1990s and by the mid-2000s. Today, the country requires urgent conservation efforts to save vultures from becoming extinct.
Myths and facts
1. Vultures are often misunderstood as a source of diseases. Although they feast on carrion almost exclusively, they are sometimes capable of preying on extremely sick, wounded, or
infirm creatures if there is no food around. As a result, they are demonised.
2. Some consider vultures ugly, unlovable and even a bad omen. Given the lack of understanding and knowledge about them, let’s first understand what vultures do and why they are important.
3. Vultures belong to the Accipitridae family whose members include eagles, hawks and kites. They are relatively social birds with an average lifespan of 10-30 years in the wild. Being bulky, they nest on tall trees or rocky cliffs.
4. Vultures are slow breeders and so the survival of every individual is very crucial. With their excellent eyesight and a strong sense of smell, vultures can detect the presence of dead animals from great distances. Vultures don’t have a voice box and so they cannot sing. They communicate via grunts and hisses.
5. Generally, vultures rely on other carnivores to open carcasses. Their powerful bills and long slender necks are designed to help them tear off the meat chunks from inside the carcass.
6. Unlike other raptors, vultures have weak legs and claws (talons). They do not carry food; instead, they regurgitate food and feed their young ones. Vultures have a highly acidic stomach that helps them digest rotting carcasses and kill disease-causing bacteria.
Vultures in India:
1. India has nine species of vultures. Many are critically endangered. The main reason for the decline in the vulture population is the use of the drug, diclofenac.
2. Diclofenac, which relieves cattle of pain, is toxic to vultures even in small doses and causes kidney failure and death. Myths about the medicinal healing powers of vultures’ body
parts have led to the hunting of vultures.
3. Quarrying and blasting of stones where vultures nest have also caused their decline. Interestingly, studies show that while the vulture population has declined, the feral dog population has increased. The health hazards associated with feral dogs are well known.
4. Removing vultures from the ecosystem leads to inefficient clearing of carcasses and contaminates water systems. If dead animals are left to rot for long durations, it may give rise to disease-causing pathogens.
5. The animals that consume such flesh become further carriers of disease. Very few animals/birds can ingest rotting carcasses. Thanks to their acidic stomach, vultures can. Thus, they play a crucial role in maintaining the health of the ecosystem.
Steps to increase numbers
1. To tackle this problem, India banned diclofenac for veterinary use in 2006. Five States are to get vulture breeding centres under the Action Plan for Vulture Conservation for 2020-2025, approved in October 2020.
2. There are no rescue centres for treating vultures as of now, so this too has been mooted under the Plan. Vulture ‘restaurants’, which exist in some countries, are also a way of preserving the population.
3. In these ‘restaurants’, diclofenac-free carcasses of cattle are dumped in designated areas where vultures gather to feed. These measures have slowly started making a positive impact, but there is still a long way to go.
4. Awareness and action must go hand in hand. With International Vulture Awareness Day coming up on September 4, it is important for us to spread awareness about the importance of vultures in our ecosystem.