30 Apr 2022: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

880560142 Apr28 Quote for the day Banner 1

CNA 30 April 2022:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
C. GS 3 Related
ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY
1. ‘Mother Nature’ a ‘living being’ with legal entity: Madras HC
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
INDIAN SOCIETY
1. A step that would trigger language phonocide
POLITY
1. Fuelling friction
F. Prelims Facts
1. Centre pushes for Corbevax recognition in other countries
G. Tidbits
1. ‘Heatwaves linked to man-made climate change’
2. Core sector growth dips to 4.3% in March
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

E. Editorials

Category: INDIAN SOCIETY

1. A step that would trigger language phonocide

Syllabus: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

Mains: Critical analysis of the proposals to declare Hindi as the sole official language of India.

Context

The Union Home Minister in a recent meeting urged the people of India to use Hindi rather than English, in inter-State communication.

Details

  • The Union Minister had suggested that the citizens should use a “language of India” as the lingua franca (a bridge language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different).
  • Also in the past, leaders like V.D. Savarkar and R.V. Dhulekar had advocated the idea of declaring Hindi as the national language.
  • However, various other experts believe that “India has a harmonious symphony of linguistic pluralism”.

Linguistic Pluralism in India

  • The Linguistic Survey of India between 1903 and 1923 recognised over 179 languages and 544 dialects in India. 
  • The 1961 Census identified about 1,652 ‘mother tongues’, out of which 184 ‘mother tongues’ had more than 10,000 speakers, and out of which 400 ‘mother tongues’ were not mentioned in the Linguistic Survey of India of the past. 
  • In the 1971 Census, the linguistic data registered was classified into two categories,
    • The official languages mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution
    • Other languages with at least 10,000 speakers each
    • All other languages with less than 10,000 speakers were combined together as ‘Others’.

Arguments against the data about Hindi speaking population

  • Critics have opposed the narratives that project Hindi as a pan-Indian language.
  • Critics point out that the 2011 Census data on languages present Hindi as the ‘mother tongue’ of about 52 crore people which includes,
    • Over 5 crore people with Bhojpuri as ‘mother tongue’.
    • Over 9 crore speakers of about 61 other languages which include speech communities from Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
  • Hindi is estimated to be spoken by around 30% of the population, but it is not the mother tongue for the remaining 70%.
  • Critics opine that Hindi is not a lingua franca for Indians or a dominant language, it is just primus inter pares (first among equals) among various other Indian languages.

Read more about – Arguments against making Hindi the link language.

A Case study on the imposition of one language in Pakistan and Sri Lanka

  • The imposition of one language by neglecting others in a multilingual state has been catastrophic in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • Pakistan was a multi-ethnic and multi-linguistic state after the partition, but in 1948, the Government of Pakistan prescribed Urdu as the sole national language. 
    • This move led to a violent Bengali language protest or Bhasha Andolan in East Pakistan (current Bangladesh), demanding the recognition of the Bengali language as an official language. 
    • This movement further strengthened Bengali nationalism which eventually led to the liberation of Bangladesh from Pakistan.
  • Sri Lanka promulgated the Sinhala Only Act (the Official Language Act) in 1956 which resulted in a severe distrust between the Sinhalese and the Tamils of the country.
    • Sinhalese was the language of about 70% of the population and Tamil was spoken by Indian and Sri Lankan Tamils (and most Muslims) who together accounted for about 29% of the country’s total population. 
    • The Sinhala Only Act was discriminatory and alienated the Tamil community from the mainstream which has ignited several civil wars in the island nation.

A Case study on the accommodated linguistic diversity in Singapore and South Africa

  • Singapore has a multi-ethnic population that includes the likes of Chinese, Malay and Indians.
    • Lee Kuan Yew, who is regarded as the architect of modern Singapore, quelled the demand to declare Chinese as the national language and opted for English. 
    • The expertise in English helped the country become a global business hub.
    • This helped the country to trade better and provided a platform to access knowledge from other countries.
  • South Africa is an emerging leader in Africa and its accommodative linguistic policy has helped them significantly in this regard.
    • The national anthem of South Africa is a five-language lyrical composition, with languages such as Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans and English.

[su_box title=”Nut Graf” box_color=”#7960a0″ title_color=”#ffffff”]
Since imposing one language as a lingua franca would result in the phonocide of other Indian languages, India should look at emulating the multi-linguistic accommodative policy of Singapore and South Africa which attracts a high degree of acceptance from all the sections of the country.[/su_box]

Category: POLITY

1. Fuelling friction

Syllabus: Issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure

Mains: Impact of the rising fuel prices on the economy and the concerns of the states about reducing their tax rates on fuel.

Context

The Prime Minister (PM) urged the States to cut their duties on petroleum products in the spirit of cooperative federalism.

Background

  • At a meeting with Chief Ministers of States, the PM suggested that the states reduce the tax on petrol and diesel as the Centre had done in November 2021.
  • The PM pointed out that the Centre’s requests at that time to back these cuts by paring their VAT levies on petroleum products were not heeded by the opposition-ruled States.
  • The PM’s remarks have been criticised by various states.

Impact of rising fuel prices

  • The rising fuel prices have aggravated the problems of the middle and lower-income classes who are already struggling with the successive setbacks on the job, health and income fronts due to the COVID pandemic.
  • Household budgets are severely squeezed due to the inflation in fuel prices.
  • Even the industry is requesting fuel tax cuts to sustain its weak consumption recovery.

State’s apprehensions on reducing tax on fuel

  • State governments say that despite being burdened with the pending dues from the Centre and other resource constraints some of the states had slashed the VAT on fuel products and other states have not increased the rates for years now. 
  • States claim that the Centre had increased the fuel taxes even amidst the COVID-19 lockdowns with a preference for cess levies that do not have to be shared with States.
  • The Centre levies additional excise duties and cesses on petroleum products. 
    • FY 21, the total central excise duty collected from petrol and diesel was Rs 3.72 lakh crore. But the amount of tax devolved to state governments from the amount collected under the central excise duty was just Rs 19,972 crore.
  • States are also concerned about their depleting revenue sources as the assured GST compensation would come to an end in July 2022.
  • Also, as per the Budget 2022-23, the States are expected to increase their capital expenditure to revive the economy.

[su_box title=”Nut Graf” box_color=”#7960a0″ title_color=”#ffffff”]
Since the rising inflation will affect the economic recovery, it is crucial for the Centre and States to coordinate better to stimulate growth in the economy amid the global crisis.[/su_box]

F. Prelims Facts

1. Centre pushes for Corbevax recognition in other countries

Syllabus: GS2: International Relations: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate. 

Prelims: WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL)

Context: The government plans to expedite the process of recognition of COVID-19 vaccine Corbevax by other countries while its manufacturer Biological E pursues WHO’s emergency use listing.

What is Emergency Use Listing (EUL)?

  • The WHO Emergency Use Listing Procedure (EUL) is a risk-based procedure for evaluating and listing unlicensed vaccines, therapeutics, and in-vitro diagnostics.
  • The EUL has the goal of ensuring that these products are available to people affected by a public health emergency as quickly as possible. 
  • This will help interested UN procurement agencies and Member States decide whether or not to use specific products based on a critical set of quality, safety, efficacy, and performance data.

Eligibility of candidate products

The EUL is divided into three product streams (vaccines, therapeutics, and in vitro diagnostics), each with its own set of requirements for products to be considered for EUL evaluation. The following requirements must be fulfilled:

  • A disease is serious or immediately life-threatening, has the potential of causing an outbreak, epidemic or pandemic and it is reasonable to consider the product for an EUL assessment, e.g., there are no licensed products for the indication or for a critical subpopulation (e.g., children);
  • Existing products have not been successful in eradicating the disease or preventing outbreaks; 
  • The product is manufactured in compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in the case of medicines and vaccines and under a functional Quality Management System (QMS) in the case of IVDs; and
  • The applicant undertakes to complete the development of the product (validation and verification of the product in the case of IVDs) and apply for WHO prequalification once the product is licensed.

G. Tidbits

1. ‘Heatwaves linked to man-made climate change’

  • According to scientists, there is compelling evidence that human-induced climate change is responsible for a significant portion of heatwaves.
  • The accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere exacerbated temperatures in the oceans and on land, causing increased glacier melt, accelerated sea-level rise, and biosphere changes, according to scientists.
  • By providing clean cooking fuel to rural households in the Indo-Gangetic plains, India could reduce pollution by half. To combat climate change, societal transformation, carbon dioxide emission reduction, and adoption were all required.

2. Core sector growth dips to 4.3% in March

  • Output from India’s eight core sectors is still reflecting the second-highest growth rate over five months.   
  • The pace of core sector growth slowed to a sedate 4.3% in March 2022 with a slowdown in five of the eight constituents amid an encouraging pickup in fertilizers, cement and electricity.
  • Going forward, the rebound in economic activity would have provided a fillip to the core sector. 
  • However, the overall outlook has been subdued by the soaring raw material prices in international markets that could pressurize profit margins for domestic producers and constrain private sector investment.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements with regards to Pawan Hans Ltd.: 
(Level – Difficult)
  1. DRDO owns a 49% stake in Pawan Hans.
  2. It is recognized as a ‘Miniratna’ by the Government of India.
  3. The organization has been granted Air Operators Permit for Scheduled Operations under the UDAN II scheme.

Choose the correct code:

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Pawan Hans is a 51:49 joint-venture between the government and state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corp Ltd. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
  • Pawan Hans, a Mini Ratna CPSE of the Government of India is under the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • It has been playing a pivotal role in the growth of General Civil Aviation and helicopter services in areas of national importance by connecting remote and inaccessible areas of North East, Islands of A&N and Lakshadweep providing strategic off-shore transport services to the Oil & Gas Sector since 1985. 
  •  PHL has been granted an Air Operators Permit for Scheduled Operations. Scheduled Flights under RCS UDAN II have commenced in the state of Himachal Pradesh and services are planned to be extended in the states of Uttarakhand, Assam and Manipur shortly. Hence statement 3 is correct.
Q2. Consider the following statements with regards to Section 124A of the IPC: 
(Level – Easy)
  1. It defines sedition as an offence committed when “any person by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government established by law in India”.
  2. A person charged under this law is barred from a government job.
  3. Sedition is a non-bailable offence.

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:

  • IPC Section 124 A says, “Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government estab­lished by law in India shall be punished with [im­prisonment for life], to which fine may be added, or with impris­onment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.”
  • Punishment for the Sedition Offence
    • It is a non-bailable offence.
    • Imprisonment up to three years to a life term, to which fine may be added.
    • The person found guilty of this offence is not eligible for any government job.
  • Hence all the statements are correct.
Q3. Consider the following statements with regards to the corporatisation of the Ordnance 
Factory Board (OFB): (Level – Medium)
  1. The assets of the OFB including its 41 ordnance factories were transferred to seven new firms.
  2. The Union government owns a 51% stake in all the seven new firms.
  3. Ordnance Factory Board’s headquarters is in Kolkata.

Choose the correct code:

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) was set up in 1801.
  • It ceased to exist on October 1 2021, and the assets, staff, and operations of its 41 ordnance factories will be transferred to seven defence public sector units (DPSUs). Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • The 41 factories, assets, employees and management of the OFB were transferred to the seven new 100% government-owned companies, which are now supposed to be the main suppliers of arms, ammunition and clothing to the 15-lakh strong armed forces. Hence statement 2 is not correct.
  • Ordnance Factory Board’s headquarters is in Kolkata. Hence statement 3 is correct.
Q4. With reference to the Index of Eight Core Industries, which amongst the following has 
the lowest weightage? (Level – Easy)
  1. Cement
  2. Coal
  3. Natural Gas
  4. Fertilizers
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

The eight-core sectors of the Indian economy are:

  1. Electricity
  2. Steel
  3. Refinery products
  4. Crude oil
  5. Coal
  6. Cement
  7. Natural gas
  8. Fertilizers
Q5. Consider the following pairs: (Level – Difficult)

    International agreement   :   Set-up Subject

  1. Alma-Ata Declaration — Healthcare of the people
  2. Hague Convention — Biological and chemical weapons
  3. Talanoa Dialogue — Global climate change
  4. Under2 Coalition — Child rights

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched? [UPSC 2020]

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 4 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 2, 3 and 4 only
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation: 

  • The Alma Ata declaration on “Health for All” in 1978 set out a broad set of principles called the Primary Health Care (PHC) approach. It focused on multi-dimensional, intersectoral healthcare, which was to be made available “closest to home”. It required technology to be simple and low cost, while being effective and safe. Pair 1 is correct.
  • In 2016, the then Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi had said that India will not ratify the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction in the interest of women fleeing bad marriage and had set up the panel headed by Punjab and Haryana High Court judge Rajesh Bindal for a detailed report and the panel in its 2018 report has not recommended signing the treaty. Pair 2 is not correct.
  • The Talanoa Dialogue of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, that began in January 2018, will facilitate the parties to take stock of progress post-Paris. Pair 3 is correct.
  • The Under2 Coalition, a Memorandum of Understanding by subnational governments to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions towards net-zero by 2050, is generating a unique precedent for bold climate leadership, with its member states and regions surpassing 200 in number. Pair 4 is not correct.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Elaborate on the constitutional status of the Hindi language in India. Have these constitutional provisions been misinterpreted as a ‘special preference’ for the Hindi language? (250 words; 15 marks) [GS-2, Polity]
  2. How far would the idea of naming rivers and lakes as ‘living entity’ go in preserving them? Discuss with suitable examples. (250 words; 15 marks) [GS-2, Governance]

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 30 April 2022:- Download PDF Here

Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published.

*

*