04 Aug 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

4 August 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. MGNREGS running out of funds
C. GS 3 Related
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. SpaceX with NASA crew is back home
DEFENCE
1. Govt. issues draft policy to ramp up defence exports
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. Report on leopard sightings soon
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. Toxic brew
GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND INTERVENTIONS
1. Profiteering during a pandemic
F. Prelims Facts
1. Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN)
G. Tidbits
1. Imparting education to tribals in their languages won’t be hard
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Category: DEFENCE

1. Govt. issues draft policy to ramp up defence exports

Context:

Ministry of Defence (MoD) has put out a draft ‘Defence Production & Export Promotion Policy (DPEPP) 2020’ for public feedback.

Details:

DPEPP has been drafted with the vision to make India amongst the leading countries of the world in the defence sector, including aerospace and naval shipbuilding sectors, from design to production, with the active participation of public and private sector and thus fulfilling the twin objectives of self-reliance and exports.

Goals and objectives:

  • To achieve a turnover of Rs 1,75,000 Crores (US$ 25Bn) including export of Rs 35,000 Crore (US$ 5 Billion) in Aerospace and Defence goods and services by 2025.
  • To develop a dynamic, robust and competitive Defence industry, including Aerospace and Naval Shipbuilding industry to cater to the needs of Armed forces with quality products.
  • To reduce dependence on imports and take forward “Make in India” initiatives through domestic design and development.
  • To promote the export of defence products and become part of the global defence value chains.
  • To create an environment that encourages R&D, rewards innovation, creates Indian IP ownership and promotes a robust and self-reliant defence industry.

What are the focus areas?

The Policy brings out multiple strategies under the following focus areas:

  • Procurement Reforms
  • Indigenization & Support to MSMEs/Startups
  • Optimize Resource Allocation
  • Investment Promotion, FDI & Ease of Doing Business
  • Innovation and R&D
  • Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and Ordnance Factory Board (OFB)
  • Quality Assurance & Testing Infrastructure
  • Export Promotion

Category: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. Report on leopard sightings soon

What’s in News?

The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) is set to release a dedicated report on leopard sightings as part of its global tiger census.

Wildlife Institute of India (WII)
  • WII is an autonomous institution under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  • It is based in Chandrabani, Dehradun.
  • Its functions include conducting specialised research in areas of study like Endangered Species, Biodiversity, Wildlife Management, Wildlife Policy, Wildlife Forensics, Habitat Ecology, Spatial Modelling, Eco-development, and Climate Change.
  • Quadrennial tiger survey is the highlight of the WII, conducted in coordination with the Environment Ministry.
  • The population of other animals is also estimated by relying on camera trap images.

Details:

  • In 2014, the last formal census on India’s leopards was conducted.
    • The census estimated the leopard’s population at between 12,000 and 14,000.
    • 8,000 leopards were estimated in the vicinity of tiger habitats.
  • In the latest Tiger Survey, cameras installed across 72,000 sq km of tiger habitat yielded 76,651 and 51,777 images of tigers and leopards respectively.

Issue:

  • Critics have pointed out that conducting a leopard survey, along with the tiger survey is problematic because leopards are adapted to living on the edge of forests and human habitats, unlike the tiger which is an elusive creature.
  • This had led to gross errors in estimating the true numbers of leopards.

Leopard

  • Leopard (Panthera pardus) is the smallest of the big cats and is nocturnal.
  • In India, the leopard (Panthera pardus fusca) is found in all forest types, from tropical rainforests to temperate deciduous and alpine coniferous forests.
  • It is also found in dry scrubs and grasslands, the only exception being desert and the mangroves of Sundarbans.
  • It shares its territory with the tiger in 17 states.

Conservation Status:

  • It is classified under the ‘vulnerable’ category in the IUCN Red List.
  • It is listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • It is included in Appendix I of CITES.

Category: GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND INTERVENTIONS

1. Profiteering during a pandemic

Background:

  • The nationwide lockdown phase witnessed an exponential rise in prices of essential items like masks and sanitizers across the country.
  • With the rise in the number of cases, there have been reports of private hospitals overcharging patients, even after state governments capped COVID-19 treatment charges. In some private hospitals, patients have been asked to pay lakhs even before being allotted beds.
  • The cost of medicines like Remdesivir has also shot up leading to a situation where the poor have been unable to afford the essential medicines.
  • There have been reports of overcharging by the ambulance owners too in these pandemic times.
  • Buses operated by private agencies have charged exorbitant fares from poor migrants looking to go back to their native places.

Details:

Epidemic Diseases Act:

  • The British enacted the Epidemic Diseases Act in 1897 empowering the government to implement any measures that would prevent the outbreak or spread of any disease.
  • According to the law, anyone disobeying the orders of any public servant can be punished under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.
  • However, the provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act in 1897 seem insufficient to effectively curb the economic exploitation of the common man during the pandemic crisis.

For more information on this topic, refer to:

CNA dated March 12, 2020

Way forward:

  • The article argues in favour of incorporating a provision in the Disaster Management Act of 2005 to make overcharging the public a punishable offence.
  • Denying admission in hospitals, refusing to bury the dead in cemeteries, etc. need to be made punishable offences.

F. Prelims Facts

1. Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN)

  • The Health Ministry has announced the use of the Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN).
  • eVIN is an innovative technological solution aimed at strengthening immunisation supply chain systems across the country.
  • This is being implemented under the National Health Mission (NHM), to get real-time information on vaccine stocks and flows, and storage temperatures across all cold chain points in the country.

Note:

This system has been used with the requisite customization during the COVID pandemic for ensuring the continuation of the essential immunisation services and protecting children and pregnant mothers against vaccine-preventable diseases.

Read more about this topic covered in the 3rd August 2020 PIB Summary and Analysis.

G. Tidbits

1. Imparting education to tribals in their languages won’t be hard

What’s in News?

The Draft National Education Policy 2020 lays emphasis on mother tongue-based instructions up to Class 5.

Multilingual Education in Odisha:

  • Odisha has been working on multilingual education (MLE) for more than the past two decades.
  • The state has the most diverse tribal communities. It is home to 62 different tribal communities including 13 particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs).
  • The tribes in Odisha speak 21 languages and 74 dialects. Of the 21 tribal languages, seven have their own scripts.
  • There are a total of 3,500 tribal language teachers under the MLE programme in the State.
  • Santhali, a widely spoken tribal language in Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts, included in Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, is the medium of instruction in more than 500 primary schools.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements with respect to ‘Falcon 9’:
  1. It is a two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by NASA.
  2. The first commercial crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS) was launched aboard Falcon 9.

Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX for the reliable and safe transport of satellites and the Dragon spacecraft into orbit.
  • Falcon 9 delivers payloads to space aboard the Dragon spacecraft or inside a composite fairing. Falcon 9 made history in 2012 when it delivered Dragon into the correct orbit for rendezvous with the International Space Station, making SpaceX the first commercial company ever to visit the station.
  • Falcon 9, along with the Dragon spacecraft, was designed from the outset to deliver humans into space and under an agreement with NASA.
  • The SpaceX Dragon Capsule carrying two astronauts launched aboard Falcon9 has successfully returned to Earth.
Q2. Consider the following statements with respect to Indian Leopard:
  1. It is classified under the endangered category in the IUCN Red List.
  2. It is included in Appendix I of CITES.
  3. A dedicated quadrennial leopard survey is carried out by the Wildlife Institute of India in coordination with the Environment Ministry.

Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • Unlike the tiger census held once in four years, there is no dedicated census for the leopard.
  • In 2014, the last formal census on India’s leopards was conducted. The leopard count accompanying the tiger census of 2014 estimated its population to be 12,000-14,000 with about 8,000 in the vicinity of tiger habitat.
  • Leopard is classified under the ‘vulnerable’ category in the IUCN Red List.
  • It is included in Appendix I of CITES.
Q3. International Space Station program is a joint project of which of the following 
space agencies?
  1. Indian Space Research Organisation
  2. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  3. ROSCOSMOS
  4. European Space Agency
  5. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
  6. Canadian Space Agency
  7. Israel Space Agency

Choose the correct option:

  1. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 only
  2. 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 only
  3. 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 only
  4. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in low Earth orbit.
  • The ISS programme is a joint project between five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada).
  • The ownership and use of the space station are established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements.
Q4. Consider the following statements with respect to Electronic Vaccine Intelligence 
Network (eVIN):
  1. It is an indigenously developed technology system that digitizes vaccine stocks and monitors the temperature of the cold chain through a smartphone application.
  2. It is being implemented under the National Health Mission (NHM).
  3. eVIN was first rolled out in Sikkim.

Which of the given statement/s is/are incorrect?

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) is an indigenously developed technology system that digitizes vaccine stocks and monitors the temperature of the cold chain through a smartphone application.
  • It is being implemented under the National Health Mission (NHM).
  • eVIN is yet to be rolled-out in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Ladakh and Sikkim.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. In the light of repeated instances of large-scale loss of human life due to consumption of illicit liquor in India, discuss the associated concerns and suggest suitable measures to address these concerns. (10 marks, 150 words)(GS Paper 1/Social Issues)
  2. Discuss the salient provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 and analyze its shortcomings in dealing with the current pandemic crisis. (10 marks, 150 words)(GS Paper 2/Government Policies and Interventions)

Read the previous CNA here.

4 August 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

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