06 Aug 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

August 6th, 2021, PIB:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Jaishankar’s Tehran trip holds key amid Afghan developments
2. ‘Britain will not recognise a Taliban govt. that takes power by force’
C. GS 3 Related
ECONOMY
1. Centre moves to redact retrospective tax law
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
1. India-Nepal flood management needs course correction
EDUCATION
1. Why are government schools not the first choice?
F. Prelims Facts
1. Earth observation satellite to be launched on Aug. 12
2. No plan to house Indian military base on Agalega island: Mauritius
G. Tidbits
1. HC seeks Centre’s response on petition on manual scavenging
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

2. ‘Britain will not recognise a Taliban govt. that takes power by force’

Context:

  • Excerpts from the interview of U.K.’s Permanent Representative to the UN.

India-U.K. relations:

  • India in recognition of the deepening relationship with the U.K. has awarded it the status of ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’. 

Read more on India – UK relations in the link.

U.K. India 2030 Roadmap:

  • Roadmap 2030 for India-UK future relations was launched during India-UK Virtual Summit in May 2021.
  • The 2030 vision is for revitalized and dynamic connections between the people of the two countries; re-energised trade, investment and technological collaboration; enhanced defence and security cooperation that brings a more secure Indian Ocean Region and Indo-Pacific and India-UK leadership in climate, clean energy and health.

Co-operation at UN:

  • The U.K. has been working closely with India in the United Nations Security Council on the issues of counterterrorism, maritime security, and peacekeeping.
  • The U.K. supports a permanent seat for India on the Security Council.

On Climate Change:

  • Climate action remains a top priority in the U.K.-India relationship.
  • The U.K. is a partner in the Indian-led International Solar Alliance.

Indo-pacific strategy:

  • The U.K.’s Integrative Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy has indicated a strong Indo-Pacific ‘tilt’.

Category: EDUCATION

1. Why are government schools not the first choice?

Context:

  • In the light of the Patna High Court asking for data on how many IAS and IPS officers have enrolled their wards in government schools, the article analyzes the state of government schools in India and its impact on education in India.

Background:

Government schools in India:

  • There are different kinds of government schools in India.
    • The Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs), Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas and some residential schools run by different State governments are well-resourced, with good infrastructure and good teachers.
    • However, the municipal schools and the government schools run by the different Zilla Panchayats are not always as well resourced.

Poor state of government schools:

  • Apart from the elite government-run schools, most government schools in India are mainly characterized by poor infrastructure, lack of well-functioning toilets, drinking water and proper compound walls.
  • Low Teacher to Pupil Ratio is a big concern in government schools. Almost half the regular teacher vacancies are filled by guest or ad hoc teachers.
  • The learning outcomes of children studying in government schools have been generally low.

Contributing factors:

  • Low public expenditure in the educational sector.
  • Lack of accountability on the part of teachers has been a major impediment to the development of government schools in India. That there is no pressure from parents on the quality of education in government schools has led to a severe slide in its quality.
  • Teachers’ professional development is a very weak area in government schools. There is a severe lack of investment in terms of resources or in the planning of institutes.

Impact on education:

Impact on the children from poor households:

  • The public education system is the primary option for millions of students in India especially for children coming from poor families.
    • About 51% of students are in government schools and nearly 10% in aided schools.
  • Also, government schools have become more important as the pandemic takes a toll on the economy, putting fee-charging schools beyond the reach of many and forcing thousands to move to government schools.
  • The poor children who don’t have tuition, parents to support them at home, or books are most affected by the poor state of government-run schools. This leads to ‘learning loss’ and poor ‘learning outcomes’.

Gender aspect:

  • The lack of adequate capacity at the secondary and higher secondary levels in government schools is a major factor for the sharp fall in enrolment beyond the primary level, especially in girls.
  • The lack of transportation, location, lack of toilet facilities, etc., may be preventing teenagers, especially girls, from accessing secondary education.

Recommendations:

Enhancing public investment in the educational sector:

  • Government investment in the educational sector needs to be increased.

Decentralized approach:

  • Instead of the traditional centralized approach, there should be a micro plan for every school, a larger plan for schools at the district level, and then at the State level. The local bodies should take the lead in this direction.

Ensuring basic facilities:

  • Basic facilities like drinking water, toilet facilities and playgrounds need to be ensured.
  • Improving the infrastructure of government schools will make them more attractive.

Teacher development:

  • There is a need to create better professional networks for teachers because the best teachers continuously learn from each other. Sufficient attention needs to be given to the professional development of teachers as this will be a critical input to improve learning outcomes in children.

F. Prelims Facts

1. Earth observation satellite to be launched on Aug. 12

Context:

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will soon launch an Earth Observation Satellite from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, at Sriharikota.

EOS-03:

  • The EOS-03 is a state-of-the-art agile satellite that will enable real-time monitoring of natural disasters, water bodies, crops, forest cover changes, among others.
  • The satellite will be carried onboard the GSLV-F10, and it will be initially placed in a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. The satellite will then reach its final geostationary orbit using its onboard propulsion system.

2. No plan to house Indian military base on Agalega island: Mauritius

Agalega island:

  • It is a remote Mauritian island in the south-western Indian Ocean.
  • Agalega, some 12 kilometres long and 1.5 kilometres wide island, is located about 1,100-km from Mauritius’ main island.

Chagos island:

  • The Chagos Archipelago or Chagos Islands is a group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 islands in the Indian Ocean.
  • The UK had purchased the Chagos Islands from Mauritius. In 1965 however, U.K. separated the Chagos Islands from Mauritius and set up a joint military base with the United States on Diego Garcia, the largest of the isles.

Context:

  • Amid reports of an upcoming Indian military base on Agalega, Mauritius has denied any such agreement between India and Mauritius for a military base.

G. Tidbits

1. HC seeks Centre’s response on petition on manual scavenging

  • The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, prohibits construction or maintenance of insanitary latrines, and employment of any person for manual scavenging or hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks which could lead to loss of lives due to manual cleaning of sewers and septic tanks.
  • As per the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment’s own report submitted in February 2021, more than 340 deaths have been caused due to manual scavenging during the last five years.

Context:

  • The Delhi High Court has sought response of the Central government on an application seeking to ensure strict compliance with the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. With reference to EOS-03 satellite, which of the following statements is/are correct?
  1. It is the first military communication satellite developed by the ISRO for the Indian defense forces.
  2. It provides real-time inputs to naval warships, submarines and maritime aircraft and networking capabilities to its naval assets on the high seas.

Options:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both
  4. None
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • The EOS-03 is a state-of-the-art agile satellite that will enable real-time monitoring of natural disasters, water bodies, crops, forest cover changes, among others.

Context:

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will soon launch an Earth Observation Satellite from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, at Sriharikota.
Q2. Which of the following is/are correctly matched? 

Islands                                                                  Country

  1. Assumption Island                                           Seychelles
  2. Agalega Islands                                                 Maldives
  3. Gaadhoo Island                                                Mauritius

Options:

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • Agalega Island is a remote Mauritian island in the south-western Indian Ocean.
  • Gaadhoo is one of the inhabited islands of Laamu Atoll in the Maldives.
Q3. Consider the following statements about Surendranath Banerji: 
  1. Banerji was the founder of one of India’s first political organizations, the Indian National Association.
  2. Banerji published the newspaper ‘The Bengalee’.
  3. Banerji supported the Morley-Minto reforms (1909) but was a critic of the proposed method of civil disobedience advocated by Mahatma Gandhi.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1, 2 and 3
  4. None
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Banerji was the founder of one of India’s first political organizations, the Indian National Association in 1876 in association with Anandmohan Bose.
  • Banerji published the newspaper ‘The Bengalee’.
  • Banerji supported the Morley-Minto reforms in 1909 but was a critic of the proposed method of civil disobedience advocated by Mahatma Gandhi.
Q4. Consider the following pairs:

Festivals in News                                                             State

  1. Sangai Festival                                                            Manipur
  2. Behdienkhlam Festival                                              Mizoram
  3. Hornbill Festival                                                         Nagaland

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The most popular festival of the Jaintia tribe, Behdienkhlam is celebrated in the month of July for good health, property and bumper harvest in Meghalaya. Although Behdienkhlam is celebrated all over the Jaintia hills, the main spectacle happens in the town of Jowai.
Q5. There has been a persistent deficit budget year after year. Which action/actions of the 
following can be taken by the Government to reduce the deficit? (UPSC-2015)
  1. Reducing revenue expenditure
  2. Introducing new welfare schemes
  3. Rationalizing subsidies
  4. Reducing import duty

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Introducing new welfare schemes will entail additional expenditure for the government.
  • Reducing import duty will result in the reduction of revenue inflow for the government.
  • Hence these two measures will only increase the deficit for the government and not decrease it.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Attempts to curb the growth of ‘Games of skill’, by making it illegal or classifying it as gambling are misdirected. Do you agree? Substantiate. (10 Marks, 250 Words) [GS-2, Polity]
  2. Floods in Bihar have caused extensive damage. Discuss the possible reasons and suggest structural, non-structural and cooperative measures with Nepal to deal with floods. (15 Marks, 150 Words) [GS-3, Disaster management]

Read the previous CNA here.

August 6th, 2021, PIB:- Download PDF Here

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