P.T. Practice questions 10th Mar

Q. 1 Consider the following statements about Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Nidhi (PMSSN):

  1. It is a non-lapsable reserve fund for Health in the Public Account.
  2. Proceeds of share of health in the Health and Education Cess will be credited into PMSSN.
  3. Administration and maintenance of the PMSSN is entrusted to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

Which of the statement is/are correct:

a. 1 only

b. 1 and 2 Only

c. 2 and 3 Only

d. All of the above

Ans. d (All of the above)

Explanation

Salient features of the PMSSN

  1. A non-lapsable reserve fund for Health in the Public Account;
  2. Proceeds of share of health in the Health and Education Cess will be credited into PMSSN;
  3. Accruals into the PMSSN will be utilized for the flagship schemes of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare namely,
  • Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY)
  • Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs)
  • National Health Mission
  • Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY)
  • Emergency & disaster preparedness and responses during health emergencies
  • Any future programme/scheme that targets to achieve progress towards SDGs and the targets set out in the National Health Policy (NHP) 2017.
  1. Administration and maintenance of the PMSSN is entrusted to Ministry of Health & Family Welfare; and
  2. In any financial year, the expenditure on such schemes of the MoHFW would be initially incurred from the PMSSN and thereafter, from Gross Budgetary Support (GBS).

Benefits:

The major benefit will be: enhanced access to universal & affordable health care through availability of earmarked resources, while ensuring that the amount does not lapse at the end of financial year.

Q. 2 Index of Economic Freedom is published by:

  1. World bank
  2. World Economic Forum
  3. Heritage Foundation
  4. Inspire Foundation

Ans: 3 ( Heritage Foundation)

Explanation

The Heritage Foundation, a US Conservative think-tank, publishes the “Economic Freedom Index”. 

As per Index of Economic Freedom 2021, Singapore has topped the global ranking for the second consecutive year. 

India’s economic freedom score is 56.5, making its economy the 121st freest in the 2021 Index. Its overall score is unchanged, with an improvement in business freedom offset by declines in judicial effectiveness and other scores. India is ranked 26th among 40 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall score is below the regional and world averages.

Q. 3  Consider the following statements about ‘Referendum’:

  1. It is an instrument of ‘Indirect’ form of democracy.
  2. Referendums have been performed in India on more than one occasion.
  3. Indian constitution is silent on the referendum.

Which of the statement is/are correct:

a. 1 only

b. 1 and 2 Only

c. 2 and 3 Only

d. All of the above

Ans. c (2 and 3 Only)

Explanation

Statement 1 is incorrect as the majority of democratic nations across the world follow the system of an indirect democracy, wherein the citizens elect their representatives, who in turn make laws, determine policies and carry on administrative work. On the other hand, in some countries citizens directly take part in the administration of the country, decide on policy issues and make laws as well. This form is called a direct democracy and a referendum is a facet/means of it. In a referendum, the citizens are called to vote in person (rather than through their elected representatives) on a policy decision to be taken by the government (for instance, United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union) or an amendment to their Constitution.

Statement 2 is correct as The Constitution as adopted by the Constituent Assembly, did not have any provisions for a referendum. However, the nation witnessed referendums on five key occasions.

First, during the incorporation of Chandernagore within the territory of India. In 1946, Chandernagore (then a French territory) was declared a free city and the French Government decided that it intended to leave the people of French establishments in India, with a right to decide their future fate and status. Therefore, in the year 1949 a referendum was conducted in Chandernagore in 1949 wherein the citizens voted in favour of merging with the territory of India. 

Similarly, the second instance was of the princely state of Junagadh, wherein the citizens voted to accede to India rather than Pakistan in 1948. The third instance was of Pondicherry (a former French territory) voting to join the Indian Union in the year 1954.

The fourth and the most debated referendum concerned the future of the territories of Goa, Daman and Diu, and whether they would continue as a Union Territory or join the state of Maharashtra or Gujarat, respectively. 

The electors decided in favour of continuing as a Union territory. It should be noted that the government did not call the above exercise a ‘referendum’ but an Opinion Poll. However, in effect it was a referendum.

The last referendum happened in the year 1975, wherein the inhabitants of Sikkim decided on their merger with India. 

It should be noted that while the Constitution does not allow for referendums, the tribal areas in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram, recognised under the Sixth Schedule have incorporated provisions allowing referendums in election matters [For instance, United Khasi Jaintia Hills Autonomous District (Appointment and Succession of Chief and Headman) Act, 1959]. These areas have been given such autonomy so as to protect their distinct culture.

Statement 3 is correct as the Constitution of India is silent on a referendum, therefore theoretically a referendum is neither allowed nor prohibited. In other words, the government can theoretically conduct one so as to ascertain the will of the people towards a policy or a possible amendment. Based on the response, the government can take appropriate decisions, as witnessed in Goa, Daman and Diu. The only caveat with this exercise is that a referendum should not be considered as a formal tool for amending the Constitution, as that would go against the views of the Supreme Court.

Q. 4       Consider the following statements:

1.      The President shall make rules for the more convenient transaction of the business of the Government of India, and for the allocation among Ministers of the said business.

2.      All executive actions of the Government of India shall be expressed to be taken in the name of the Prime Minister.

Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

(A) 1 only

(B) 2 only

(C) Both 1 and 2

(D) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: A (1 Only)

Explanation

All executive actions of the Government of India shall be expressed to be taken in the name of the PRESIDENT (not prime Minister). Therefore, statement 2 is wrong.