21 Apr 2022: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 21 April 2022:-

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
HEALTH
1. Visas for AYUSH therapy
C. GS 3 Related
ENVIRONMENT
1. ‘Sea may inundate many cities by 2050’
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
ECONOMY
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. When the stars came out
F. Prelims Facts
1. Tilting Trains Technology
2. INS Vagsheer
G. Tidbits
1. Navy chief unveils joint navigation chart in Maldives
2. Judges must give reasons for bail decisions, says SC
3. PM launches new plans in Gujarat’s tribal areas
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions


E. Editorials

Syllabus: Government Policies and Interventions and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation.

Mains: Arguments in favour of the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022

Context:

• The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 has received the President’s assent and has become an act.
• While many concerns have been raised with respect to the provisions of the new act being unconstitutional and liable to misuse, this article, authored by R.K. Vij, a former Special DGP of Chhattisgarh, argues in favour of the new act.

Provisions of the new act:

• The new Act authorises the police and prison authorities to take ‘measurements’ of convicts and others for the purpose of identification and investigation in criminal matters and to preserve records.
• The new act seeks to repeal the Identification of Prisoners Act (IPA) of 1920. While the IPA, 1920 was of limited scope and allowed for recording measurements of finger impressions and footprint impressions of certain convicts and non-convict persons, the new act allows for physical measurements such as finger impressions, palm prints, footprint impressions, photographs, iris and retina scans; biological samples (blood, semen, swabs, sputum, sweat, hair samples and fingernail clippings) and their analysis using modern and scientific techniques including DNA profiling and other necessary tests; and behavioural attributes including signatures, handwriting; or any other examination referred to in Sections 53 or 53A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973.

Arguments in favour of the new act:

Utility in investigation:

• The provisions of the new act will help the enforcement agencies in the prevention and detection of crime. It will facilitate the identification and investigation of criminal matters.
• The biological sample of an accused person and fingerprints would establish crucial linkages in the case while signature and handwriting specimens would help identify disputed or forged documents.
• The use of better technology will only help in minimising the probability of errors and in establishing crucial evidence.

No additional powers to the enforcement agencies:

• Notably, the new act does not empower the enforcement agencies additionally. The new act only includes provisions mentioned previously in the IPA and provisions of the CrPC, with the addition of modern techniques of identification such as an iris and retina scan.

Reasonable restrictions on fundamental rights:

• As against the argument that the provisions of the new act are in violation of Article 20(3) of the Constitution, the article argues that these new provisions need to be viewed as permissible restrictions on fundamental rights.
• Testimonial compulsions are prohibited under Article 20(3) of the Constitution. Clause (3) of Article 20 declares that no person accused of an offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. Clause 3 is a protection against such compulsion resulting in his giving evidence against himself.
• The right of an individual will have to be balanced against the interests of society. Hence the data proposed to be collected through the new act does not appear to be disproportionate.

Judicial view on the matter:

• The Supreme Court in the State of Bombay vs Kathi Kalu case of 1961 had noted that a person in custody giving his specimen handwriting or signature or impression of his thumb, finger, palm or foot, to the investigating officer, cannot be included in the expression “to be a witness” under Articles 20(3) of the Constitution.
• Additionally, in other cases too the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of DNA tests of blood, and voice samples noting that they don’t amount to compelling an accused to become a witness against himself.
• Only techniques of narcoanalysis, polygraphy and brain fingerprinting have been held to be testimonial compulsions (if conducted without consent) by the Supreme Court in the Selvi vs State of Karnataka case (2010).

Limitations on power:

• The Act does not mandate the compulsory recording of all measurements for all types of offences. The measurements shall be taken ‘if so required’ and as may be prescribed by governments. Thus, the new act is unlikely to harm an individual’s privacy.

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While serious questions have been raised regarding the provisions of the new act as being unconstitutional and liable to misuse, the provisions of the new act will help the enforcement agencies in the investigation of cases.[/su_box]

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

Prelims: World Economic Outlook report

Mains: Risk factors for the Indian economy

Context:

• International Monetary Fund has released the World Economic Outlook report.

Details:

• The latest World Economic Outlook report downgrades the global economic growth rate to just 3.6%, from 6.1% in 2021.
• The IMF expects India to grow 8.2% in the current year. This estimate is higher than the projections from the World Bank (8%), the ADB (7.5%) and the RBI (7.2%).
• The IMF has flagged multiple risk factors ahead for the Indian economy.
• The Russia-Ukraine conflict has dampened post-COVID recovery prospects due to a sharp rise in commodity prices and supply chain disruptions.
• The higher oil prices and the high inflation would exacerbate the already weak domestic demand. As per the IMF’s estimates, India’s retail inflation would average around 6.1%.
• The larger oil prices will increase India’s current account deficit levels. This does not augur well for India’s long term economic prospects. As per the IMF’s estimates, the current account deficit of India could touch 3.1% this fiscal year.
• The high global economic uncertainty would dampen net exports from India. The World Trade Organisation has lowered its 2022 global merchandise trade growth forecast to just 3% from 4.7% projected earlier.
• The IMF notes that these projections might be more uncertain than usual due to the ‘unprecedented nature of the shock’ to the world economy. It states that growth could slow much more while inflation could turn out higher than expected.

Recommendations:

• The government should work towards spurring consumption to revive economic recovery while also managing fiscal deficit and currency fluctuations amid volatile foreign capital flows.

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While the GDP forecasts for India paint a rosy picture, there continue to remain multiple risk factors for the Indian economy. The COVID-19 pandemic which had caused unprecedented economic disruption in India has been further worsened by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. [/su_box]

1. When the stars came out

Syllabus: Awareness in the field of Space

The article discusses the James Webb Telescope. For detailed information on this topic refer to the following article.

CNA dated Dec 29, 2021: The James Webb Space Telescope

F. Prelims Facts

1. Tilting Trains Technology

Syllabus: GS-3; Science and Technology – developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

Prelims: Tilting trains

Context

Experts have recommended the adoption of tilting train technology for Kerala to develop a speedy mass rapid transport system.

Tilting Trains

• Tilting Train technology helps achieve increased speed on regular rail tracks without disturbing passengers while negotiating a curve.
• As ordinary trains round a curve at speed, objects inside the train experience centrifugal force thereby making the seated passengers feel squashed and standing passengers lose their balance.
• The tilting train technology aims to counter this centrifugal force by tilting the carriages towards the inside of the curve.
• The first tilting car design was developed in the US in 1937.
• This mechanism is currently used in many countries including the US, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Russia, the Czech Republic, the UK, and China.
• These trains can achieve a speed of over 200 km/hr.

Image source: The Hindu

2. INS Vagsheer

Syllabus: GS-3; Science and Technology; Indigenization of technology.

Prelims: INS Vagsheer, Scorpene-class submarines and Project – 75

Context

The sixth and last submarine of the Indian Navy’s Scorpene-class submarines of Project 75 has been launched.

 Scorpene-class submarines The Scorpene-class submarines are one of the most advanced conventional submarines in the world. These are diesel-electric-based attack submarines jointly developed by the French Naval Group and the Spanish company Navantia.  These submarines have superior stealth features, such as low radiated noise levels, advanced acoustic silencing techniques and the ability to attack with precision-guided weapons on board. The attack can be launched with both torpedoes and tube-launched anti-ship missiles, whilst underwater or on the surface. In 2005, India purchased six submarines for US$3 billion, under a technology transfer agreement and the state-owned Mazagon Docks in Mumbai would manufacture these submarines. The Indian Navy plans to deploy these submarines for missions such as intelligence gathering, area surveillance, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and minelaying operations. Project – 75 Project 75 intends to build six diesel-electric attack submarines of the Kalvari class that are based on the Scorpene class. The Kalvari class is an indigenous class of diesel-electric attack submarines based on the Scorpene-class submarine built for the Indian Navy. Kalvari means ‘a deep-sea tiger shark’ in the Malayalam language. The six submarines are namely, INS Kalavari – Commissioned in December 2017 INS Khanderi – September 2019 INS Kharanj – March 2021 INS Vela – November 2021 INS Vagir – November 2020 INS Vagsheer – April 2022 These are being built at Mazagon Docks in Mumbai. The Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) is manufacturing these six Scorpene submarines with technical assistance from the Naval Group of France. Read more about Project – 75 in the link. INS Vagsheer • Vagsheer is named after Sand Fish (a deadly deep-sea predator in the Indian Ocean). • The first Submarine Vagsheer (ex-Russia) was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1974 and was decommissioned in 1997. • INS Vagsheer can reach a top speed of 20 knots when submerged and a top speed of 11 knots when it surfaces. • It can accommodate up to eight officers and 35 men. • It has four diesel engines, 360 battery cells for power, and a silent Permanently Magnetised Propulsion Motor. • It is equipped with a C303 anti-torpedo counter system. • It can carry up to 18 torpedoes or anti-ship missiles, or 30 mines instead of torpedoes. • Vagsheer can perform a wide range of offensive operations of naval warfare including anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying and area surveillance. G. Tidbits 1. Navy chief unveils joint navigation chart in Maldives • The Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), during his visit to the Maldives, unveiled the first navigation chart jointly prepared by the two countries. • He presented a consignment of engineering equipment which includes hydrography equipment for further sustenance of MNDF ships, thereby reaffirming India’s commitment to the capacity-building efforts of the MNDF. • The Maldivian Defence Ministry thanked the Indian Navy for facilitating the transport of medicines during the pandemic and for the continuous support rendered by the Indian Navy in the maintenance and repair of the MNDF Coast Guard Fleet. • INS Sutlej is deployed in the Maldives and it undertakes joint hydrographic surveys under the MoU on hydrographic cooperation. 2. Judges must give reasons for bail decisions, says SC • The Supreme Court held that Judges are duty-bound to indicate reasons for granting or denying bail, particularly in cases involving serious offences. • The Chief Justice of India said that reasoning is the lifeblood of the judicial system and that every order must be reasoned is one of the fundamental principles of our system. An unreasoned order accounts for arbitrariness. 3. PM launches new plans in Gujarat’s tribal areas • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated projects worth ₹20,000 crores in Gujarat’s tribal areas of Dahod and Panchmahal, which include a locomotive manufacturing unit. • Laying the foundation for a project to manufacture 9,000-HP electric locomotives in Dahod district, the PM said the move is in line with the“Make in India” initiative. • According to reports, the refurbished workshop would develop broad gauge electric locomotives for Indian Railways and standard gauge electric locomotives for the export market. • Further, new science and medical colleges would be established in the tribal districts of Gujarat which would facilitate locals to pursue their careers in science and medicine. H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions Q1. Consider the following statements with regards to AYUSH:  1. In 2014, the Department of AYUSH under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare became a ministry on its own – the Ministry of Ayush. 2. The ministry of AYUSH runs an e-AUSHADHI Portal for online licensing of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy drugs and related matters. 3. Practitioners of Ayurveda aren’t allowed to perform any surgery in India. Choose the correct code. (Level – Medium) 1. 1 & 2 only 2. 2 & 3 only 3. 1 & 3 only 4. All of the above CHECK ANSWERS:- Answer: a Explanation: • Statement 1 is correct, In 2014, the Ministry of Ayush was set up which was earlier the Department of AYUSH under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. • Statement 2 is correct, the AYUSH Ministry launched the e-AUSHADHI portal, for online licensing of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy drugs and related matters. • The e-AUSHADHI portal is intended to increase transparency, improve information management facility, improve data usability and increase accountability. • Statement 3 is not correct, The Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM), India’s principal regulatory body for Ayurveda education, released a notification that permits postgraduate Ayurveda practitioners to perform 58 types of surgeries. Q2. Which of the following nation's constitution’s 20th amendment, also known as 20A, has been in the news recently?(Level – Easy) 1. Pakistan 2. Nepal 3. Myanmar 4. Sri Lanka CHECK ANSWERS:- Answer: d Explanation: • Sri Lanka’s 20th constitutional amendment is also known as 20A. • It provides expansive powers and greater immunity for the President. • Hence option d is correct. Q3. Consider the following statements with regards to the P75 project:  1. Project 75 intends to build six diesel-electric attack submarines of the Kalvari class that is based on the Scorpene class, which are being built at MDL (Mazagon Dock Limited). 2. Submarine Vagsheer is the last of the Scorpene-class submarines to be built under P75. 3. MDL has used indigenous technology for all the submarines built under P75. Choose the correct code: (Level – Difficult) 1. 1 & 2 only 2. 2 & 3 only 3. 1 & 3 only 4. All of the above CHECK ANSWERS:- Answer: a Explanation: • Statement 1 is correct, Project 75 intends to build six diesel-electric attack submarines of the Kalvari class that are based on the Scorpene class, which are being built at Mazagon Dock Limited. • Statement 2 is correct, Submarine Vagsheer is the last of the Scorpene-class submarines to be built under Project 75. • Statement 3 is not correct, The Mazagon Dock Limited is manufacturing these submarines with technical assistance from the Naval Group of France. • Scorpene-class submarines are jointly developed by the French Naval Group and the Spanish company Navantia. • In 2005, India purchased six submarines for US$3 billion, under a technology transfer agreement.
Q4. Consider the following statements with regards to the Smart Cities Mission:
1. The mission aims to develop 100 cities into self-sustaining urban developments.
2. The mission includes setting up an Integrated Command and Control Centre for each of the smart cities.
3. During the pandemic, these centres also served as the war rooms for Covid-19 management.

Choose the correct code: (Level – Easy)

1. 1 & 2 only
2. 2 & 3 only
3. 1 & 3 only
4. All of the above

Explanation:

• Statement 1 is correct, The mission was launched in 2015 with an aim to develop 100 cities into self-sustaining urban developments.
• Statement 2 is correct, The mission includes setting up Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCCs) for each of the smart cities.
• Statement 3 is correct, During the pandemic, the municipalities used the Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCCs) as war rooms for the Covid-19 response.
Q5. Consider the following statements with regards to the freedom fighter Veer Kunwar Singh:
1. He was the chief organiser of the fight against the British in Uttar Pradesh.
2. He belonged to a family of the Ujjainiya clan of the Parmar Rajputs of Jagdispur.
3. To honour his contribution to India’s freedom movement, the Government of India issued a commemorative stamp on 23 April 1966.

Choose the correct code: (Level – Difficult)

1. 1 & 2 only
2. 2 & 3 only
3. 1 & 3 only
4. All of the above

Explanation:

• Statement 1 is not correct, Veer Kunwar Singh was the chief organiser of the fight against the British in Bihar.
• Statement 2 is correct, Veer Kunwar Singh belonged to a family of the Ujjainiya clan of the Parmar Rajputs of Jagdispur (currently in Bhojpur District, Bihar).
• Statement 3 is correct, In 1966, the Government of India released a commemorative stamp in his honour.
Q6. With reference to Indian elephants, consider the following statements:
1. The leader of an elephant group is a female.
2. The maximum gestation period can be 22 months.
3. An elephant can normally go on calving till the age of 40 years only.
4. Among the States in India, the highest elephant population is in Kerala.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (Level – Difficult)

1. 1 and 2 only
2. 2 and 4 only
3. 3 only
4. 1, 3 and 4 only

Explanation:

• Statement 1 is correct, An elephant herd has mainly females and baby elephants. The oldest female is the leader of the herd.
• Statement 2 is correct, African elephants have a gestation period of up to 22 months, while Asian elephants have a gestation period of 18-22 months.
• This is the longest gestation period of all mammals.
• Statement 3 is not correct, The ability of elephants to produce offspring is constant between the ages of 16 and 40 and then declines slightly. However, females over the age of 60 can still give birth.
• Statement 4 is not correct, According to a report released by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Karnataka has the highest number of elephants followed by Assam and Kerala.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

1. Critically examine the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act. Do the provisions seem disproportionate with the Act’s objectives? (250 words; 15 marks)(GS II – Polity)
2. Discuss the significance of the James Webb Space Telescope(150 words; 10 marks)(GS III – S&T)