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Question and Answer

SRIRAM'S IAS

 Q. 52. What is moral support?
Ans.
Moral support is a way of giving support to a person or cause, or to one side in a conflict, without making any contribution beyond the emotional or psychological value of the encouragement.
 
For example, in a war between two countries or alliances, a third nation may give moral support to one side, without actually participating in the conflict. Like India supported the cause of Balochs in Pakistan.
 
Another common example can be found in sports. By coming out to watch one's friend's team play a match, one is likely not directly supporting their team in any significant way (especially if there is no charge to attend), but one's friend may still feel encouraged by the moral support of one's presence.
 
The line between moral support and other forms of help is often hard to draw. For example, some athletes report that they play better when the spectators encourage them.
 
There is also moral support that one can offer someone who is experiencing a difficult situation. One may not be able to offer any concrete assistance except empathy.
 Q. 51. Write on Adam's Bridge and the importance of Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project.
Ans.
Adam's Bridge also known as Rama's Bridge or Rama Setu is a chain of limestone shoals, between Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, off the southeastern coast of Tamil Nadu, India, and Mannar Island, off the northwestern coast of Sri Lanka. Geological evidence suggests that this bridge is a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka.
 
The bridge is 18 miles (30 km) long and separates the Gulf of Mannar (southwest) from the Palk Strait (northeast). Some of the sandbanks are dry and the sea in the area is very shallow, being only 3 ft to 30 ft (1 m to 10 m) deep in places, which hinders navigation.
 
Hindu believers hold it as the structure that Lord Rama and his army of apes and monkeys built to reach demon king Ravana`s Lanka.
 
Today, ships bound for India`s eastern coast have to circle around the entire island of Sri Lanka to reach Tuticorin, Chennai, Vizag, Paradip and other ports.
 
Therefore, a project titled Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project was mooted by the Government of India and a feasibility study ordered in the 1990s.
 
Successful completion of the project would cut travelling by about 350 nautical miles and will save 10 to 30 hours` sailing time. Plans were also drawn up to develop 13 minor ports in India, and fishing harbours and other infrastructure in both India and Sri Lanka.
 
The project involves creating a 83-km-long deepwater channel that will link Mannar with Palk Strait by extensive dredging and removal of the limestone shoals that constitute the Ram Sethu. It will bring down shipping costs and add to India`s exchequer in the form of transit fees.

The project has been condemned and opposed by a wide spectrum of the Indian people. Hindu outfits have come down on the plans to destroy something built by Lord Rama.
 
Some environmentalists opposed it as they hold it would destroy and destabilise the aquatic flora and fauna of the area.
 
With China’s influence in Sri Lanka increasing, India needs to explore alternative shipping routes and the project becomes more attractive for that reason.
 Q. 50. What is a tokamak? Where is it being built in the world today as the biggest scientific project? What role is India playing in it? Focus on cryostat.
Ans.
India and ITER
Tokamak is the machine to produce unlimited supplies of cheap, clean, safe and commercial energy from atomic fusion. The international nuclear fusion project known as ITER is based on the 'tokamak' concept. Indian engineers are fabricating the world's largest high-vacuum cold storage vessel called the cryostat which will be home to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), the largest and the most advanced facility of its kind being built in Cadarache, France. India is part of a seven nation consortium that is building the fusion reactor designed to produce electricity.
 
Apart from the cryostat (Read ahead), India is providing a tenth of the components for the massive nuclear complex unfolding at Cadarache in France.
 
India is also expected to contribute about 9,000 cores over the next decade to the project, thus paying for a little under 10% of the total cost.
 
Participation of India in the ITER project, with its immense scientific talent and industrial competence, has provided an opportunity to India to master cutting edge technologies.
 
Once the proof is established that mankind can harness the power of the Sun, India could well build its own fusion reactors after 2050.
 
India and the cryostat
Welded together from thick stainless steel plates measuring between 40 and 180 millimetres, the cryostat forms the vacuum-tight container surrounding the ITER vacuum vessel and superconducting magnets. Cryostat supports the entire mechanical, thermal and seismic load of the reactor and absorbs all the forces coming from fusion and magnetic forces. It would protect the magnets from unwanted heat loads and help in keeping them in superconducting state.Large bellows are used between the cryostat and the vacuum vessel to allow for thermal contraction and expansion in the structures.
 
India is building the ITER's cryostat. Scientists and engineers at the Institute of Plasma Research (IPR), Gandhinagar will manufacture the mammoth cryostat in segments at a cost of 100 million euros and ship it to France for being assembled at the site.
 
The supply of components is expected to take place between 2014 and 2017 and onsite fabrication and installation at Cadarache is scheduled to be completed by 2019.
 Q. 49. What do you know of Suryanamaskar and its benefits?
Ans.
Without the sun, there will be no life on earth. Surya Namaskar or 'Sun Salutation' is a very ancient technique of paying respect or expressing gratitude to the sun that is the source of all forms of life on the planet. Symbolically, the sun becomes our source of energy as well. About the history of this technique, it has been said by the ancient rishis of India that the different parts of the body are governed by different devas (divine impulses or divine light).

Literally translated to sun salutation, these postures are a good way to keep the body in shape and the mind calm and healthy.Surya Namaskar is best done early morning on an empty stomach.
The solar plexus (located behind the navel, which is the central point of the human body), also known as the second brain, is said to be connected to the sun. This is the main reason why the ancient rishis recommended the practice of Surya Namaskar, because the regular practice of this technique enhances the solar plexus, which increases one's creativity and intuitive abilities.A set of 12 powerful yoga asanas (postures) that provide a good cardiovascular workout in the form of Surya Namaskar. 
 Q. 48. What is Kuznet's curve?
Ans.
In economics, a Kuznets curve represents graphically the hypothesis advanced by Simon Kuznets in the 1950s and 1960s that as an economy develops, a natural cycle of economic inequality occurs, driven by market forces which at first increase inequality, and then decrease it after a certain average income is attained.
 
One explanation of such a progress suggests that early in development investment opportunities for those who have money multiply, while an influx of cheap rural labor to the cities holds down wages.
 
The Kuznets curve implies that as a nation undergoes industrialization – and especially the mechanization of agriculture – the center of the nation’s economy will shift to the cities. As capitalism causes a significant rural-urban inequality gap , rural populations are expected to decrease as urban populations increase, due to people migrating to cities in search of income. Inequality is then expected to decrease when a certain level of average income is reached and the processes of industrialization – democratization and the rise of the welfare state – allow for the trickle-down of the benefits from rapid growth, and increase the per-capita income. Kuznets believed that inequality would follow an inverted “U” shape as it rises and then falls again with the increase of income per-capita.
 Q. 47. Do you believe there are "Asian values"?
Ans.
Various definitions of Asian values have been put forth. Generally, the phrase refers to loyalty towards the family, corporation, and nation; the forgoing of personal freedom for the sake of society's stability and prosperity; and, a strong work ethic together with thrift.
 
Proponents of "Asian values" claim these values are more appropriate for the region than Western democracy with its emphasis on individual freedoms.
 
"Asian values" include:
  • Preference for social harmony
  • Concern with socio-economic prosperity and the collective well-being of the community
  • Loyalty and respect towards figures of authority
  • Preference for collectivism rather than individualism
 Amartya Sen argues these so-called Asian values cannot operate because of the overriding cultural diversity found in Asia. Others say that Asian values is a concept that covers up for suppressing universal values such as freedom of speech and human rights.
 Q. 46. What do you understand by family values?
Ans.
Family values are traditional or cultural values (that is, values passed on from generation to generation within families) that pertain to the family’s beliefs, attitudes, and ideals.  They are the moral and ethical principles traditionally upheld and transmitted within a family, as honesty, loyalty, industry, and faith. They are values especially of a traditional or conservative kind which are held to promote the sound functioning of the family and to strengthen the fabric of society. "Family values" are values held to be traditionally learned or reinforced within a family, such as those of high moral standards and discipline. This "traditional family" involves a middle-class family with a breadwinner father and a homemaker mother, raising their children.
 Q. 45. Elaborate on moral relativism
Ans.
It is the position that moral or ethical positions do not reflect objective and/or universal moral truths, but instead make claims relative to social, cultural, historical or personal circumstances. It does not deny outright the truth-value or justification of moral statements but affirms relative forms of them. It may be described by the common saying: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”.

Moral Relativists point out that humans are not omniscient, and history is replete with examples of individuals and societies acting in the name of an infallible truth later demonstrated to be more than fallible, so we should be very wary of basing important ethical decisions on a supposed absolute claim. Absolutes also tend to inhibit experimentation and foreclose possible fields of inquiry which might lead to progress in many fields, as well as stifling the human spirit and quest for meaning. In addition, the short term proves itself vastly superior in the ethical decision-making process than the relatively unknown long-term.

Relativistic positions may specifically see moral values as applicable only within certain cultural boundaries (Cultural Relativism) or in the context of individual preferences. A related but slightly different concept is that of Moral Pluralism (or Value Pluralism), the idea that there are several values which may be equally correct and fundamental, and yet in conflict with each other (e.g. the moral life of a nun is incompatible with that of a mother, yet there is no purely rational measure of which is preferable).

An extreme relativist position might suggest that judging the moral or ethical judgments or acts of another person or group has no meaning at all, though most relativists propound a more limited version of the theory.

Moral Relativism generally stands in contrast to Moral Absolutism, Moral Universalism.
 Q. 44. What is the importance of India Afghanistan Friendship Dam in the bilateral relations?
Ans.
Salma Dam, officially the Afghan-India Friendship Dam, is a hydroelectric and irrigation dam project located on the Hari River in Chishti Sharif District of Herat Province in western Afghanistan. The Afghan cabinet renamed the Salma Dam to the Afghan-India Friendship Dam in a move to strengthen relations between the two countries. The hydroelectric plant produces 42 MW of power in addition to providing irrigation for 75,000 hectares of farmland (stabilising the existing irrigation of 35,000 hectares and development of irrigation facilities to an additional 40,000 hectares of land). The dam was opened in June 2016 by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. It is a part of our India's soft power. It strengthens India's economic relation with Afghanistan. 

India seeks to expand its economic presence in Afghanistan as the international coalition fighting the Taliban withdraws combat forces. Especially, it wants to improve transport connectivity and economic collaboration with countries in Central and South Asia.  India and Iran inked a transit agreement on transporting goods to landlocked Afghanistan. The Indian government is investing more than US$100 million in the expansion of the Chabahar port in south-eastern Iran which will serve as a hub for the transportation of transit goods. Besides as a goodwill gesture, India i constructed a new Parliament complex for the Afghan government which was inaugurated on 25 December 2015 by Indian PM  Narendra Modi.
 Q. 43. Elaborate on moral relativism
Ans.
It is the position that moral or ethical positions do not reflect objective and/or universal moral truths, but instead make claims relative to social, cultural, historical or personal circumstances. It does not deny outright the truth-value or justification of moral statements but affirms relative forms of them. It may be described by the common saying: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”.

Moral Relativists point out that humans are not omniscient, and history is replete with examples of individuals and societies acting in the name of an infallible truth later demonstrated to be more than fallible, so we should be very wary of basing important ethical decisions on a supposed absolute claim. Absolutes also tend to inhibit experimentation and foreclose possible fields of inquiry which might lead to progress in many fields, as well as stifling the human spirit and quest for meaning. In addition, the short term proves itself vastly superior in the ethical decision-making process than the relatively unknown long-term.

Relativistic positions may specifically see moral values as applicable only within certain cultural boundaries (Cultural Relativism) or in the context of individual preferences. A related but slightly different concept is that of Moral Pluralism (or Value Pluralism), the idea that there are several values which may be equally correct and fundamental, and yet in conflict with each other (e.g. the moral life of a nun is incompatible with that of a mother, yet there is no purely rational measure of which is preferable).

An extreme relativist position might suggest that judging the moral or ethical judgments or acts of another person or group has no meaning at all, though most relativists propound a more limited version of the theory.

Moral Relativism generally stands in contrast to Moral Absolutism, Moral Universalism.
 Q. 42. Are there any "traditional values" that have observed? Describe your observations.
Ans.
.Traditional values refer to those beliefs, moral codes, and mores that are passed down from generation to generation within a culture, subculture or community. "Traditional values" means the values coming from tradition rather than any specific philosopher, moralist, or writer.

It can mean the actual values that are claimed or perceived to have remained relatively unchanged for centuries like festivals, beliefs about marriage and family, cuisine etc.

The term can also refer to an intention to preserve ancient or traditional customs and values against anything deemed "innovation." It is generally fair to say that usually traditional values tend, by definition, toward conservatism.

The usage of "traditional values" can in some cases imply that said values, in being traditional, are better than values that are non-traditional as they have survived for so long.
 Q. 41. In the context of intellectual property, what are moral rights?
Ans.
Moral rights are rights of creators of copyrighted works which are generally recognized in law. Moral rights are personal rights that connect the creator of a work to their work. They are about being properly named or credited when artiste’s work is used. Moral rights require that artiste’s name is always shown with his work. This is called right of attribution. For example:
  • artiste’s name should always appear next to artwork in an exhibition
  • artiste’s name should always appear in the credits of a film he performed in
  • artiste’s name should always appear with any writing he have published
Anyone who creates artistic works, dramatic works, musical works, literary works or films have morals rights in relation to their work. Performers in live performances or in recorded performance also have moral rights relating to their performance. Moral rights also require that artiste’s work is not treated in any way that hurts his reputation. No one can change artiste’s work without his permission.
 Q. 40. From the experience with implementing MGNREGA for about a decade in the country, describe the preconditions for its success.
Ans.
One, availability of strong technical support to the main implementing agency, the gram panchayat; two, capacities to undertake decentralised planning exercises and creation of a robust shelf of works; three, awareness among MGNREGA work-seekers of their entitlements and procedures under the programme; four, active and vibrant gram sabhas, which debate and decide the works to be undertaken and all procedures related to the programme; five, open and effective social audits that check corruption; six, accountable gram panchayats, where the leadership responds to the legitimate demands and grievances of the people; and seven, a system that ensures timely payment of wages.
 Q. 39. What is Art.370? What are the main provisions of the Article ?
Ans.
Article 370 of the Indian Constitution is a 'temporary provision' which grants special autonomous status to Jammu & Kashmir.  J&K can have a separate Constitution under it. Under Part XXI of the Constitution of India, which deals with "Temporary, Transitional and Special provisions", the state of Jammu & Kashmir has been accorded special status under Article 370. All the provisions of the Constitution which are applicable to other states are not applicable to J&K. For example, till 1965, J&K had a Sadr-e-Riyasat for governor and prime minister in place of chief minister.
  
According to this article, except for defence, foreign affairs, finance and communications, Parliament needs the state government's concurrence for applying all other laws. Thus the state's residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians. As a result of this provision, Indian citizens from other states cannot purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir. Under Article 370, the Centre has no power to declare financial emergency under Article 360 in the state. It can declare emergency in the state only in case of war or external aggression. The Union government can therefore not declare emergency on grounds of internal disturbance unless it is made at the request or with the concurrence of the state government. Name and boundaries of the State cannot be altered without the consent of its legislature. Right to property is still a Fundamental Right.
 Q. 38. What is Gaia and why is it useful?
Ans.
Gaia is a space observatory of the European Space Agency (ESA) designed  to construct the largest and most precise 3D space catalog ever made  totalling approximately 1 billion astronomical objects, mainly stars but also planets, comets, asteroids and quasars among others. The spacecraft will monitor each of its target stars about 70 times over a period of five years to study the precise motion of each star relative to theMilky Way galaxy. This will involve approximately 1% of the Milky Way population .

This massive stellar census will provide the  data to tackle a wide range of important questions related to the origin, structure, and evolutionary history of our galaxy.
 Q. 37. What is a DNA microchip? How does it work? What are the benefits?
Ans.
Scientists know that a mutation - or alteration - in a particular gene's DNA often results in a certain disease. However, it can be very difficult to develop a test to detect these mutations, because most large genes have many regions where mutations can occur. For example, researchers believe that mutations in the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 cause as many as 60 percent of all cases of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. But there is not one specific mutation responsible for all of these cases. Researchers have already discovered over 800 different mutations in BRCA1 alone.

The DNA microchip is a new tool used to identify mutations in genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2. The chip, which consists of a small glass plate encased in plastic, is manufactured somewhat like a computer microchip. On the surface, each chip contains thousands of short, synthetic, single-stranded DNA sequences, which together add up to the normal gene in question.

Microchips are being developed that speed up DNA analysis which could help treat bacterial infections in future. It was used to identify the rare strain of E. coli that infected more than 3,000 people in Germany - the first time "genomics" have been used to identify the characteristics of a bug during an outbreak.
 
If  a person has a particular kind of bacterial infection, we can find the DNA sequence of the bacteria and then choose an antibiotic which specifically  targets  that kind of bacteria, rather than giving a broad spectrum antibiotic.

Genetic tests are increasingly used to help doctors target medicines more accurately, but analysing them remains a long and expensive process.A new kind of DNA machine that uses a microchip can analyse DNA in just hours. DNA analysis in lab still takes about two weeks, but we can see a future where that time will be cut dramatically and DNA tests will be far more common.
One of the objectives is to make DNA sequencing much cheaper than it is today. If it becomes cheaper its use will become more widespread.It heralds a future where faster, cheaper DNA sequencers could be common in surgeries and clinics.

The power of these genetic tests are going to be in determining which drugs we will be treated with and at what dosage, determined by our genetics and how well we metabolise drugs.
 Q. 36. What are real estate investment trusts (REIT)? How do they benefit investors and the market?
Ans.
A real estate investment trust (REIT) is a company that owns, and in most cases, operates income-producing real estate. REITs own commercial real estate. Some REITs also engage in financing real estate. The REITs are similar to mutual funds. REITs can be publicly or privately held. Public REITs may be listed on public stock exchanges.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) recently announced guidelines for the creation of real estate investment trusts (REITs) in India. REITs are expected to be operational in 2015. Essentially, REITs will pool money from investors and invest them in income-generating real estate offering them a way to diversify their portfolios by investing in property. After collecting money, REITs will issue units to investors, which will then be listed on exchange for buying and selling. This will help establish a new asset class. For developers, it would improve property market transparency, smoothen volatile property cycles, and potentially lower the cost of capital.
 Q. 35. What are autoimmune diseases? What is their effect?
Ans.
Autoimmune diseases arise from an abnormal immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body (autoimmunity). This may be restricted to certain organs or involve a particular tissue in different places.

A large number of autoimmune diseases are recognized.

It has been estimated that autoimmune diseases are among the top ten leading causes of death among women in all age groups up to 65 years. A substantial minority of the population suffers from these diseases, which are often chronic, debilitating, and life-threatening. There are more than 80 illnesses caused by autoimmunity.

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years.

In lupus, something goes wrong with the immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs ("foreign invaders," like the flu). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means our immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and our body’s healthy tissues ("auto" means "self") and creates auto-antibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These auto-antibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.
The treatment of autoimmune diseases is typically with immunosuppression—medication that decreases the immune response.
 Q. 34. One of the technologies that the USA is said to have offered to India is
Ans.
One such technology is the magnetic catapult- makes it possible for larger planes to take off from smaller ships. The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) is a system under development by the United States Navy. The main advantage is that this system allows for a more graded acceleration, inducing less stress on the aircraft's airframe. Other advantages include lower system weight, lower cost, and decreased maintenance requirements. It also will provide the ability to launch aircraft that are both heavier or lighter than the conventional system can accommodate. In addition the system has limited requirements for fresh water, reducing the need for energy-intensive desalination.
 Q. 33. "Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (ISEER) has benefits at the individual and macro levels." Substantiate.
Ans.
Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) introduced a new star rating methodology called Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (ISEER) for air conditioners. This evolved rating methodology factors in variance in higher temperature in India and rates air conditioners accordingly. Consumers can now purchase air conditioners with higher efficiency leading to lower electricity bills. Keeping the performance of air conditioners during higher temperature in mind, ISEER will address the different climatic zones in India and higher temperature. ISEER measures energy efficiency of air conditioners based on a weighted average of the performance at outside temperatures between 24 and 43 degree C based on Indian weather data. 






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