08 Apr 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
POLITY
1. Impeachment not always the solution: Justice Chelameswar
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. India, Nepal to reset ties with rail, water links
2. ‘Nepal First’ policy
C. GS3 Related
ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT
1. Concern over disappearing lions
SECURITY
1. Gagan Shakti
2. Sahyog –Hyeoblyeog 
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. RH300 sounding rocket
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
F. Prelims Fact
G. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

B. GS2 Related

Category: POLITY

1. Impeachment not always the solution: Justice Chelameswar

Comment by Justice chelameswar

  • No system created by human beings is perfect. There has always been problems, accidents, failures of assessment, mistakes. Always good to audit the system
  • He agreed with the government’s view that there should be an audit of the judiciary and its collegium system in a democracy.
  • Impeachment is not the solution to deal with an errant judge but efforts should be made first to correct the system or put a “proper, alternative” system in place.

 

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. India, Nepal to reset ties with rail, water links

2. ‘Nepal First’ policy

Background

  • Nepal’s act of “stand up” against India means Nepal’s engagement with China where in the past Oli headed to Beijing, soon after his visit to Delhi
  • In this context standing up against India has unfortunately become an important part of Nepal’s definition of sovereignty

Oli and his Policies

  • During the 2017 campaign, he often targeted India, and by extension, the Madhesis who claimed support from India

What is his politics?

  • At 18, he signed up for the Communist party, and was almost immediately arrested. Now an ultranationalist, he was once a part of ultra left wing plots against Nepal’s elite, inspired by India’s Naxal movement.
  • He balances his communist beliefs with a hearty dose of religiosity, including attending all religious events and frequently quotes Sanskrit slokas. Asked whether he felt he faced more challenges ahead, Mr. Oli said he feared nothing as long as he “had the blessings of Pashupatinath.”
  • Perhaps as an acknowledgement to his earlier motivators Marx and Lenin, however, Mr. Oli took his oath in the name of the Nepali people, not God as is the norm, when he was sworn in as Prime Minister.

Historical Imperialism

  • Delhi inherited from the Raj, the sense of paramountcy over the Subcontinent.
  • The idea of protectorates worked well for both the Raj and the feudal regimes and tribal federations along the Subcontinent’s periphery.
  • The Raj offered economic subsidies and assured non-interference in the internal affairs of these regimes.
  • In return, the feudal and tribal chieftains agreed to assist the Raj in fending off the forays of rival powers into the Subcontinent.

Power shift in the Indian Subcontinent

  • This mutually beneficial arrangement was unsustainable for independent India and the notion of an exclusive sphere of influence for India in the Subcontinent was the casualty.
  • The Raj was more than dominant in the Subcontinent and had the power to prevent rival powers from encroaching the glacis surrounding fortress India.
  • The partition of the Subcontinent, the US-Soviet Cold War and the emergence of a unified and strong China under communists introduced extraordinary constraints on Indian policy.
  • With time Delhi was torn between aligning with the monarchies and responding to the democratic aspirations of the people in the peripheral states.
    • One way or another, India was inevitably sucked into the internal affairs of its neighbors, including Nepal. The most recent case was India’s involvement in Nepal’s constitution-making.

What should Delhi do to avoid backlash and win trust of Nepal?

  • First, is to acknowledge Nepal’s sovereignty and promise to conduct relations on that basis.
    • Delhi needs to shift from underlining “the special relationship” with Nepal to one based on “sovereign equality”.
    • That would inevitably mean that India should stop meddling in Nepal’s internal affairs and focus more on the state-to-state relationship.
  • Second, instead of demanding an “India first policy” Delhi must affirm India’s strong support for a “Nepal first” policy.
    • Situated between the world’s two fastest growing economies, Nepal has every reason to benefit from its location.
  • Third Delhi’s economic policies have prevented the full development of the natural economic complementarity between the two countries.
    • The rotting trade infrastructure on the long and open border, Delhi’s cumbersome procedures for administering economic assistance and the inability to implement infrastructure projects in reasonable time, have all added to India’s woes in Nepal.

Focus on Grey Area

  • First, in Kathmandu, leaders of the Nepali Congress (NC) feel let down by India. NC leaders visited Delhi have met a range of political leaders and officials with broadly the same message – Oli and Maoists are consolidating; they are taking over state institutions and the democratic space is shrinking.
    • They are of the view that by ‘appeasing’ Oli and almost ‘bending over backwards’, India is enabling Oli to become stronger at the cost of its older friends. If this continues they too would be forced to take an ‘ultra nationalist’ position– since criticising India helps domestically and has no cost externally.
  • Second, those who have sounded an alarm bell are senior Madhesis political figures, but more vocally, the civil society.
    • They believe that Delhi’s entire rapprochement with Oli has come at the cost of Madhesi rights.
    • India has dropped the agenda of a constitutional amendment to address issues of federal re-demarcation, which was at the heart of a prolonged India backed agitation in 2015-16. So community leaders and opinion makers have a strong sense of resentment at what they see as Delhi’s betrayal.
  • Few Diplomats of India believe while engaging with Oli is a necessity, India is underestimating the inherent dangers.
    • They argue China has brought Oli and Maoists together; Oli’s primary loyalty will be to the ‘north’; India should not get misled by optics; Oli will sooner or later cross the strategic ‘redlines’;
    • It is important that India has alternatives at that point; the current approach will leave Oli so strong that it will be difficult to dislodge him;
    • Delhi must continue to engage with Maoist leader Prachanda and seek to wean him away from Oli to break their alliance;
    • it must also work to strengthen the NC and Madhesis and create a coalition which can take on the UML eventually; India is currently appearing weak and Nepali political actors will not take Indian power and messages seriously.

Way forward

  • So the two sides must focus on the already committed projects and the ones that promise early returns to the people on both sides of the border is a good one.
  • An emphasis on projects relating to cross-border trade, transport and tourism could be the beginning of a solid economic foundation for a sustainable political partnership with sovereign Nepal.
  • At the same time Oli must be given a chance and it is important to wait and watch how Oli engages with both India and China; that if he wants to indeed develop Nepal and leave a legacy, he cannot antagonise India; and that India does not have much of a choice either – Prachanda is unreliable, the NC is weak, and Madhesi parties are geographically limited to eight districts and backing them publicly invites the wrath of Kathmandu’s political elites and pushes it towards China further.

 

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT

1. Concern over disappearing lions 

Context

  • Gir in Gujarat is the last abode of Asiatic lions in Asia but it has lost an alarmingly large number of the endangered wild cats in two years

Reasons

  • The number of lion attacks on livestock and humans in 2016 and 2017 was pegged at 398, raising serious concerns about a man-lion conflict
  • As many as 32 died of “unnatural causes” like falling into wells or getting run over by trains in the same period at the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary.

Steps taken by Govt

  • Government has promised to build parapet walls “as soon as possible.”
  • Construction of fences along the rail track in Amreli district and building speedhumps on roads in the sanctuary.

Way forward

The Gujarat government, which has always taken pride in showcasing Gujarat as the only habitat of Asiatic lions, refuses to translocate some of them to Madhya Pradesh despite a Supreme Court order.

  • It must make sincere efforts to provide adequate protection to the animals moving out to non-protected areas.
  • It must increase the size of the protected areas to prevent more lions from dying.

 

Category: SECURITY

1. Gagan Shakti

Context

  • To confront the two-front threat posed by China and Pakistan, Indian Air Force (IAF) is planning for Gagan Shakti, a country-wide training exercise

Details

  • The exercise will be conducted in two separate phases for western and northern borders across India and deep over the Indian waters.
    • First phase of Gagan Shakti will see practice by forces deployed along the western border
    • Second phase will be for practice along the northern border.
  • Gagan Shakti, a force level exercise, is conducted every two years, this is the first time indigenously manufactured Tejas LCA fighter jets will participate in the exercise. IAF had raised one squadron of Tejas in 2016
  • The pan India synergised exercise will showcase the multi spectrum capabilities, both offensive and defensive. The IAF will conduct all terrain operations- desert, high altitude, maritime scenarios and special operations- in the real time.
  • Apart from the Defence assets there is participation of the railways and civil aviation manpower and machinery.
  • While it is an IAF centric exercise, it is planned to be executed keeping in mind the “Joint Operational Doctrine”.
    • This exercise is aimed at coordinating operations, maintenance and administrative responses to achieve the stated objectives of the Indian Air Force, in case of any contingency.
    • This exercise will hone the warfighting skills of the air warriors in a real-time scenario thus affirming the IAF’s role as the cutting edge of our nation’s military capability.

Surge operations

The IAF is struggling with a shortfall of fighter aircraft, with only 31 fighter squadrons in its fleet against an authorization of 42 squadrons. To overcome the shortfall, while dealing with both China and Pakistan, IAF is practising the concept of ‘surge operations’ during the exercise.

  • In surge operations, the IAF will be able to generate more sorties with the same number of aircraft by improving their maintenance and serviceability.
  • This will be the first time when surge operations will be practiced at the level of the IAF.

2. Sahyog –Hyeoblyeog

      

  • It is a joint search and rescue exercise between Korea Coast Guard and India Coast Guard to strengthen the bilateral ties.
  • The joint exercise is a part of the ongoing cooperative arrangements between the two coast guards since the past 12 years and as a part of the memorandum on cooperation signed by Indian and Korean Coast Guard in 2004.
  • The exercise will include scenarios of the hijacking of a merchant vessel and its subsequent rescue, interdiction of a pirate vessel, cross boarding, external fire fighting and the SAR (search and rescue) demonstration.

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. RH300 sounding rocket

Context

  • The RH300 sounding rocket, developed by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) as part of a study to enrich available atmospheric data, would be launched from Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS)

Sounding Rockets

  • ISRO started launching indigenously made sounding rockets from 1965
  • Sounding rockets are one or two stage solid propellant rockets used for probing the upper atmospheric regions and for space research.
  • They also serve as easily affordable platforms to test or prove prototypes of new components or subsystems intended for use in launch vehicles and satellites.

Details

  • It is part of a study undertaken by VSSC under the Sounding Rocket Experiment (SOUREX) Programme, which utilises the RH-300 MKII sounding rocket to study the Equatorial E and lower ionosphere regions of the atmosphere
  • The study will enrich available atmospheric data and refine the models used for tropical weather prediction
  • The objective of the experiment is to measure neutral wind in the dynamo region (80-120 km) of equatorial ionosphere using the indigenously developed Electron Density and Neutral Wind Probe (ENWi) and perform cross-validation using an independent Tri Methyl Aluminium (TMA) release technique

TMA experiment

  • Atmospheric studies with TMA were done in the 60’s utilizing sounding rockets of foreign countries and the first launch was on May 2, 1965 using a Centaure rocket.
  • After a long gap, the TMA experiment is now being attempted with indigenously made payload and rocket.

 

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

F. Prelims Fact

Nothing here for today!!!

G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Van Dhan Vikas Kendra is an initiative of Ministry of 
  1. Women
  2. Tribal Ministry
  3. Finance
  4. Health

See

Answer
 
Question 2. Consider the following statements with respect to tribals
    1. Lambadas include Gonds, Thotis and other Scheduled Tribe groups
    1. Adivasis and Lambadas are same in context to tribes in Telangana

Which of the above statements are correct?

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

See

Answer
 
Question 3. Nyatapola Temple is in 

 

  1. Nepal
  2. Japan
  3. South Korea
  4. China

See

Answer
 
Question 4. Consider the following about Domestic Systemically Important Banks
  1. Currently only two banks have DSIB

  2. They are too big to fail

Which of the above statements are incorrect?

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

See

Answer

 

 
Question 5. CLOUD Act is related to

 

  1. S. government will enter into agreements with like-minded states for cross-border data sharing
  2. It is an agreement within EU for Data Protection
  3. The US law to prevent sharing of Private information on online forums
  4. Agreement between India and UK for sharing of critical Information

See

Answer

 

H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

General Studies II
 
  1. From “India first policy” Delhi must affirm India’s strong support for a “Nepal first” policy. Critically Analyze.

General Studies III
  1. The pride of India Asiatic lions have been reducing in number. What are the causes and what steps have been taken ? Also suggest future course of action.

Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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