19 Apr 2022: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 19 April 2022:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Understanding the additional airbags mandate for vehicles
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. The U.K.-Rwanda asylum plan
C. GS 3 Related
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. India can criticise Russia’s Ukraine invasion
ECONOMY
1. Cryptos and a CBDC are not the same thing
EDUCATION
1. Consensus key for education
F. Prelims Facts
1. PM to open a slew of projects in Gujarat
2. Guru Tegh Bahadur’s birth anniversary fete at Red Fort
G. Tidbits
1. Lt. Gen. Manoj Pande is new Army chief
2. Wholesale price inflation climbs to 14.55% in March
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. The U.K.-Rwanda asylum plan

Syllabus: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

Mains: Analysis of Rwanda Deal and migrant issue

Context: This article critically evaluates the Rwanda deal between the governments of the U.K. and Rwanda.

What is the Rwanda Deal?

  • The U.K. and Rwanda Migration and Economic Development Partnership is another name for the Rwanda Deal.
  • It is a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2022 by the UK and Rwandan governments.
  • Under the terms of the agreement, Rwanda will accept asylum seekers who arrive in the United Kingdom through illegally facilitated and unlawful cross-border migration.
  • Rwanda will accept anyone who is not a minor and has never been convicted of a crime.
Rwanda Deal

Image Source: publicnewstime.com

Pros:

  • The agreement will combat “people smugglers,” who frequently charge exorbitant fees from vulnerable migrants, resulting in mass drownings.
  • This is a humane solution to the migrant problem, and it is intended to go after the gangs that operate these illegal crossings.

Cons:

  • Several activists, refugee and human rights organizations have raised concerns about the dangers of transferring refugees and asylum seekers to third-country destinations without adequate safeguards.
  • The agreement is “uncapped,” meaning there is no upper limit on the number of migrants who can be sent to Rwanda during the five-year period of the agreement. This will lead to an unprecedented violation of human rights due to forced transfer.
  • The deal also fails to mention the Rwandan government’s economic right to work, access to healthcare, or any financial assistance provided to relocated persons.
  • People who were already vulnerable when attempting dangerous sea crossings became even more vulnerable while detained.
  • Rwanda also has a less-than-stellar human rights record, with government critics being silenced or imprisoned.
  • Vulnerable child refugees in the UK face a “very significant risk” of being sent to Rwanda inadvertently.

Also read: Rwandan Genocide

Other similar experiences:

  • Australia-Papua New Guinea: A similar off-shore processing agreement between Australia and Papua New Guinea was challenged in a class-action lawsuit.
  • Nauru and Australia: In 2013, there was a riot at the Nauru Regional Processing Centre, with allegations of sexual abuse against women and children as well as self-harm among the inmates.
  • Israel: Deals with third countries were struck by Israel to deal with an influx of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants from Sudan and Eritrea.
Nut Graf

The Rwanda Deal brings into light the serious global issue of illegal and unlawful cross border migration. The deal unloads a British issue onto a less developed nation and shifts asylum responsibilities. It also evades international obligations and threatens the spirit of the Refugee Convention.

Category: ECONOMY

1. Cryptos and a CBDC are not the same thing

Syllabus: Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development and Employment.

Prelims: Blockchain technology

Mains: Arguments in favour of cryptocurrencies as against CBDCs.

Background:

Increasing popularity of Cryptos:

  • The popularity of cryptocurrencies has been increasing. The total valuation of cryptos stands at upward of $2 trillion — more than the value of gold held globally.
  • The price of Bitcoin, the most prominent crypto, has increased since 2009 in spite of fluctuating prices.
  • Today different kinds of cryptos exist; Bitcoin like cryptos, Alt coins and Stable coins.

India’s stand on cryptos:

  • Noting the threat posed by private cryptocurrencies to financial and macroeconomic stability and the lack of any underlying asset and speculation associated with cryptocurrencies, they are being discouraged in India via taxation and capital gains provisions.
    • Given the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies, it would be difficult to track their use for illegal transactions and also difficult to regulate them.
  • The Reserve Bank of India has announced that it will float a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

Recommendation:

  • The article recommends that India should be more receptive to cryptocurrencies rather than adopting a very defensive approach to them based on the following arguments.

Difficulty in curtailing the use of cryptos:

  • Cryptos which operate via the net can be banned only if all nations come together which is very unlikely to happen.

Limitations of using CBDCs:

  • A CBDC can only function as a fiat currency and not crypto. However, cryptos can function as money.
  • A centralised CBDC will require the RBI to validate each transaction which seems difficult under the current circumstances. Keeping track will be very complex which could make crypto such as the CBDC unusable unless new secure protocols are designed. So, CBDCs at present cannot be a substitute for cryptos.

Advantages of cryptocurrencies:

  • The main advantages associated with cryptocurrency include higher transaction speed, lower transaction costs, increased accessibility, security, privacy and transparency.
  • The underlying technology of cryptocurrencies like Blockchain and encryption allows one to tackle issues like forgery of currency.
Nut Graf

Given the advantages associated with cryptocurrencies and the limitations associated with Central Bank Digital Currency, India is well advised to be more receptive to the idea of cryptocurrencies rather than adopting a very defensive approach to it.

Category: EDUCATION

1. Consensus key for education

Syllabus: Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education

Mains: Arguments in favour of having state specific education policies.

Context:

  • Tamil Nadu state government is constituting a committee to draft its own State education policy.

Arguments in favour of state education policies:

  • Rather than construing this move by the Tamil Nadu government as a challenge to the national education policy, the article argues in favour of having state education policies, based on the following arguments.

Giving the states a voice:

  • The separate state education policies will help them give effect to the national educational policy in a considered, well thought out manner. This would help address some of the concerns raised by the states with regard to the formulation of the National Education Policy wherein the states have complained of their views being overlooked during the formulation of the NEP.
  • This would also allow for building context-led policies, and deeper policy engagement, and thus ensure alignment from the grassroots to the national levels.

More effectiveness of a decentralized approach:

  • State, district, block and even village level policies could enable a more meaningful implementation of the national policy as it may lead to a policy stack that serves the goals of national growth grounded in the local contexts.
  • A more decentralized approach will be able to focus on the regional priorities and constraints.

Education in the concurrent list:

  • Education, being on the concurrent list since 1976, is a joint and shared responsibility of the Union and the State governments.
  • This necessitates coordination and collaboration between the states and the centre in the domain of formulating education policy.

Concerns associated with centralization:

  • Many a change in the education system aligned with the ‘one nation, one system’ principle, particularly in higher education, have led to some adverse impacts.
  • The common university entrance test (CUET), and undergraduate national eligibility test (NEET UG) have caused a monetary burden and inconvenience for students. Such national level tests favour students coming from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) placing other students at a disadvantage primarily due to the differences in the syllabus and examination methods of the State boards and the CBSE.
Nut Graf

State education policies should be promoted to supplement and complement the National Education Policy given their potential in addressing the regional priorities and constraints in a more effective manner.

F. Prelims Facts

1. PM to open a slew of projects in Gujarat

Syllabus: GS2: International Relations: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting  India’s interests.

Prelims: WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine

Context: The Prime Minister of India will lay the foundation stone for an international centre of traditional medicine in Jamnagar.

WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine:

  • A new centre of the World Health Organization (WHO) for traditional medicine is being set up in Jamnagar, Gujarat. 
  • The WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine aims to channel the potential of traditional medicine, by integrating it with technological advancements and evidence-based research.
  • Know more about WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine.

Traditional Medicine:

  • The WHO describes traditional medicine as the total sum of the “knowledge, skills and practices indigenous and different cultures have used over time to maintain health and prevent, diagnose and treat physical and mental illness”.
  • Traditional medicine in India is often defined as including practices and therapies — such as Yoga, Ayurveda, Siddha, etc.
    • Ayurveda and Yoga are practised widely across the country.
    • The Siddha system is followed predominantly in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
    • The Sowa-Rigpa system is practised mainly in Leh-Ladakh and Himalayan regions such as Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling, Lahaul & Spiti.

2. Guru Tegh Bahadur’s birth anniversary fete at Red Fort

Syllabus: GS1: Art and Culture: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Prelims: About Guru Tegh Bahadur

Context: The government will celebrate the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur.

Guru Tegh Bahadur:

  • Guru Tegh Bahadur was the ninth of the Sikh religion’s ten gurus.
  • Guru Hargobind bestowed upon him the name Guru Tegh Bahadur.
  • Many hymns, including the Saloks, or couplets, were written by him for the Guru Granth Sahib. Adi Granth has a collection of his works.
  • Guru Tegh Bahadur is known for travelling widely to preach Guru Nanak’s teachings.
  • Guru Tegh Bahadur was assassinated in Delhi in 1675 on the orders of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

Know more about Guru Tegh Bahadur.

G. Tidbits

1. Lt. Gen. Manoj Pande is new Army chief

  • The Vice Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Manoj Pande has been appointed the 29th Chief of the Army Staff.
  • The Service chiefs can continue in office till 62 years of age or for three years, whichever is earlier, while the age limit for the CDS is 65 with no fixed tenure defined.

2. Wholesale price inflation climbs to 14.55% in March

  • Inflation in India’s wholesale prices hit a four-month high of 14.55% in March 2022.
  • The rise in inflation is driven by accelerating price rise across all categories of goods, with fuel and power as well as primary articles driving most of the gains.
  • The high inflation is attributed to a disruption in the global supply chain caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. In India, the wholesale price index is published by: (Level – Easy)
  1. Reserve Bank of India
  2. National Statistical Office (NSO)
  3. Economic Advisor, Ministry of Commerce and Industry
  4. Labour Bureau
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The Wholesale Price Index represents the price of a basket of wholesale goods. WPI focuses on the price of goods that are traded between corporations. It does not concentrate on goods purchased by the consumers.
  • WPI data is published by the Office of Economic Adviser, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • Hence option C is correct.
Q2. Consider the following statements with regards to the Sixth Schedule of the 
Indian Constitution: (Level – Medium)
  1. The Sixth Schedule to the Constitution includes 10 autonomous district councils in 4 states.
  2. The acts of Parliament or the state legislature do not apply to autonomous districts and autonomous regions or apply with specified modifications and exceptions.
  3. The President of India is empowered to increase or decrease the areas or change the names of the autonomous districts.

Choose the correct statement/s.

  1. 1 & 2 only
  2. 2 & 3 only
  3. 1 & 3 only
  4. All of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • The 6th Schedule of the Indian Constitution protects tribal populations and provides autonomy to the communities through the creation of autonomous development councils that can frame laws on land, public health, agriculture and others.
  • As of now, 10 autonomous councils exist in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. Hence Statement 1 is correct.
  • Acts of Parliament or state legislatures do not apply to autonomous districts and autonomous regions or only apply with specific modifications and exceptions. Hence Statement 2 is correct.
  • The governor (NOT President) has the authority to reorganize and organize autonomous districts. The Governor has the authority to increase or decrease the size of the autonomous districts, as well as change their names. Hence Statement 3 is not correct.
Q3. Consider the following statements with regards to the Khelo India programme: 
(Level – Difficult)
  1. ‘Sports’ is a state subject as per the Seventh Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  2. Khelo India Athletes under the scheme are provided annual financial assistance of ₹ 6.28 lakh per athlete per annum which includes ₹ 1.20 lakh per annum as Out of Pocket Allowance and ₹ 5.08 lakh for other facilities like coaching, sports science support, diet, etc.
  3. Khelo India Centres notified under the Scheme at district levels in various States/Union Territories are eligible to receive ₹ 5 lakh per discipline as a one-time grant and ₹ 5 lakh per discipline as a recurring grant.

Choose the correct code:

  1. 1 & 2 only
  2. 2 & 3 only
  3. 1 & 3 only
  4. All of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • The Constitution of India’s Seventh Schedule deals with the distribution of legislative powers between the Union and the States, as defined by several articles. The subject of sports is included in the Indian Constitution’s State List. 
  • Under the ‘Talent Search and Development’ vertical of the Khelo India Scheme, Khelo India Athletes identified and selected under the scheme are provided annual financial assistance of ₹ 6.28 lakh per athlete per annum which includes ₹ 1.20 lakh per annum as Out of Pocket Allowance and ₹ 5.08 lakh for other facilities like coaching, sports science support, diet, equipment, consumables, insurance charges, etc.
  • Further, each Khelo India Centre notified under the Scheme at district levels in various States/Union Territories is eligible to receive ₹ 5 lakh per discipline as a one-time grant and ₹ 5 lakh per discipline as a recurring grant.
  • Hence all the statements are correct.
Q4. Consider the following statements with regards to the Chief of the Army Staff in 
India: (Level – Medium)
  1. Appointments to the office are made by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).
  2. The COAS reaches superannuation upon three years in the office or at the age of 62, whichever is earlier.
  3. General Maharaj Shri Rajendrasinhji Jadeja was the first Chief of the Army Staff of the  Indian army.

Choose the correct code:

  1. 1 & 2 only
  2. 2 & 3 only
  3. 1 & 3 only
  4. All of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • The COAS (also called the Army Chief) is the head of the Indian Army Headquarters and the highest-ranking officer of the Indian Army. 
  • The COAS is the principal advisor to the Defence Minister on matters exclusively relating to the army and is also a key military adviser to the president, the supreme commander of the armed forces.
  • The appointments to the office of the army chief are made by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). The central government committee comprises the Prime Minister, the Minister of Home Affairs and the Defence Ministry.
  • The COAS reaches superannuation upon three years in the office or at the age of 62, whichever is earlier.
  • General Maharaj Shri Rajendrasinhji Jadeja was the first Chief of Army Staff of the Indian army, and the second Indian, after Field Marshal K. M. Cariappa, to become Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army.
  • Hence all the statements are correct.
Q5. In the context of recent advances in human reproductive technology, "Pronuclear Transfer" 
is used for (Level – Difficult) [UPSC 2020]
  1. fertilization of egg in vitro by the donor sperm
  2. genetic modification of sperm producing cells
  3. development of stem cells into functional embryos
  4. prevention of mitochondrial diseases in offspring
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • The mother’s egg is fertilized with the father’s sperm first, resulting in a zygote in pronuclear transfer. The egg and sperm pronuclei are then removed from the zygote and inserted into a fertilized donor egg that has had its own nucleus removed. The mother’s uterus is then implanted with the zygote derived from the donor egg.
  • Human offspring produced through the use of assisted reproductive technologies, specifically mitochondrial manipulation (or replacement) technologies and three-person in vitro fertilization, from the genetic material of one man and two women (IVF). 
  • In general, the reproductive technologies used to produce three-parent babies aim to replace or mitigate the effects of mutations in the DNA of cellular organelles known as mitochondria, which are found in the cell cytoplasm. The various approaches could aid women in overcoming infertility and preventing the transmission of potentially debilitating mitochondrial diseases to their offspring.
  • Hence option D is correct.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Illustrate the differences between cryptocurrency and Central Bank Digital Currency. (250 words; 15 marks) [GS-3, Economy]
  2. What is the U.K. and Rwanda Migration and Economic Development Partnership and what does it mean for refugees and asylum seekers?. (250 words; 15 marks) [GS-2, IR]

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 19 April 2022:- Download PDF Here

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