10 Aug 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

10 August 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Amid pandemic, India & Pak. spar over Indus water talks
2. Loya jirga approves prisoner release
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. PM launches farm infra scheme
C. GS 3 Related
DEFENCE
1. Defence Ministry to impose import embargo on 101 items
ECONOMY
1. Andaman and Nicobar will be a maritime hub: Modi
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
1. Balancing priorities
INTERNAL SECURITY
1. Bringing nuclear risks back into popular imagination
F. Prelims Facts
1. Scientists find 77 new butterfly species in Matheran
G. Tidbits
1. ‘LAC complicates India’s options’
2. DSLSA organises first online Lok Adalat
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

2. Loya jirga approves prisoner release

Context:

  • The Afghan government and the Taliban are on the verge of peace talks after thousands of prominent Afghans approved the release of about 400 contentious militant prisoners.
  • The resolution was passed at the end of a three-day loya jirga.

Significance:

  • The prisoners’ fate has been a crucial hurdle in launching peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, which had committed to completing a prisoner exchange before negotiations can start.
  • “The decision of the loya jirga has removed the last excuse and obstacles on the way to peace talks. We are on the verge of peace talks,” said Abdullah Abdullah, who is leading the government’s peace process and was appointed head of the loya jirga.
  • Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he would sign a decree to release the prisoners.
  • The decision has raised hopes for talks between the two warring sides.
  • The Afghan government has demanded the Taliban to agree to serious, immediate and lasting ceasefire.

What is Loya Jirga?

  • A loya jirga is a special type of jirga, or legal assembly, in Pashtunwali, the traditional code of laws of the Pashtun people.
  • It is mainly organized for choosing a new head of state in case of sudden death, adopting a new constitution, or to settle national or regional issues such as war.

Read more on the latest developments in the Afghan Peace Process covered in the 1st August 2020 Comprehensive News Analysis.
Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. PM launches farm infra scheme

Context:

A new financing scheme has been launched under the ₹1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund meant for setting up storage and processing facilities, which will help farmers get higher prices for their crops.

Details:

  • The scheme will support farmers, PACS [primary agricultural credit societies], FPOs [farmer producer organisations], agri-entrepreneurs, etc. in building community farming assets and post-harvest agriculture infrastructure.
  • These assets will enable farmers to get greater value for their produce as they will be able to store and sell at higher prices, reduce wastage, and increase processing and value addition.

This topic has been covered in the 8th August 2020 PIB Summary and Analysis.

Category: ECONOMY

1. Andaman and Nicobar will be a maritime hub: Modi

Context:

Prime Minister has said that the Andaman and Nicobar Islands region, owing to its strategic importance, is going to be developed as a maritime and startup hub.

Details:

  • 12 islands of the archipelago have been selected for high-impact projects with an emphasis on boosting trade of sea-based, organic and coconut-based products of the region.

Government initiatives:

  • Proposed transhipment hub in the Andaman will help the group of islands become an important centre of blue economy and a maritime and startup hub.
  • Over 300 km of national highway is expected to be completed in record time.
  • The government is working to improve air connectivity within these islands and between them and the rest of the country.
  • A submarine optical fibre cable between Chennai and the islands has been installed.

Category: INTERNAL SECURITY

1. Bringing nuclear risks back into popular imagination

Context:

  • Commemorating the 75th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the article calls for greater awareness and public discourse on the issue of nuclear weapons.

Details:

  • The article argues that nuclear risks have increased over the years and expresses concerns over the following aspects.

Damage potential:

  • Recent studies have indicated that use of even a fraction of the current stock of nuclear weapons would cause a massive human tragedy and also have long-term repercussions for food and water availability, agricultural output and climate change.
  • Any nuclear use between nuclear adversaries would cause a humanitarian disaster.

Dangers of unintended use:

  • Though it is very unlikely that nations would resort to pre-meditated, deliberate nuclear attacks given the risks posed by nuclear retaliation, there is the underlying risk of inadvertent escalation due to miscalculation or misperceptions.
  • Possibilities of unintended use are increased by the following factors.
    • Stressed inter-state relations have diminished inter-state trust.
      • Growing tensions between North Korea and the U.S.
      • Tensions between Russia and the west
      • Tensions between the U.S. and China
      • Tensions between India and its two nuclear-armed neighbours, China and Pakistan.
    • Unchecked strategic modernisation of nuclear weapons:
      • Russia and the USA have extensive and expensive programmes underway to replace and modernize their nuclear warheads. Similar demands have been observed in countries like the U.K. as well.
      • China has been increasing its nuclear arsenal at a substantial rate.
      • North Korea has been making attempts to produce nuclear weapons.
    • Failure of arms control arrangements:
      • The 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) expires in 2021 and the U.S. administration has expressed its reluctance to renew the treaty. This removes the check on the nuclear weapons programmes of the two nations with the largest nuclear weapons inventory.
        • New START is a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation with the formal name of Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms.
      • The nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 seem to have failed, with Iran vowing to restart its nuclear programme in the wake of increased U.S. sanctions.
    • Adoption of aggressive nuclear postures:
      • Abandonment of no first use policy
      • Support for the idea of ‘limited’ nuclear war
    • Emergent technologies have created anxieties and these new developments threaten to create unknown risks.
      • Advancing capabilities of cyberattacks on nuclear command and control
      • Blurring lines between conventional and nuclear delivery with conventional weapon delivery systems being upgraded to enable the delivery of nuclear weapons as well
      • Induction of hypersonic missiles capable of high speed and manoeuvrability
      • Incorporation of artificial intelligence in nuclear decision making

Complacency:

  • Post the Cold War, the perceived sense of danger of nuclear war has receded, though the nuclear war risk continues to increase.
  • A high level of public apathy and political complacency has led to a situation where the risks remain high but the desire to address them is low.
  • There are no efforts being made for nuclear risk reduction. Led by the principle of nuclear deterrence, there has been an increasing tendency to use strategies of nuclear brinkmanship and ambiguity that actually is adding to the nuclear risks.

For more information on the issue of deterrence, refer to:

CNA dated August 6, 2020

Lack of public discourse:

  • There is a lack of public participation in the nuclear policy formulation and nuclear strategies are being dictated and driven primarily by security conclaves.
  • Popular participation is important to temper national choices and create the much-needed checks and balances.

Way forward:

  • There is the need to bring nuclear risks back into popular imagination and into the political agenda.
  • The article argues for a public campaign to expose leaders and societies to the full range of physical, economic, social, political, health, environmental, and psychological effects of nuclear weapons.
  • Public pressure in the form of civil society movements can compel leaders to rationalise their weapon requirements; force nations to find ways of reducing nuclear risks, and gradually pave the path towards the elimination of nuclear weapons.

F. Prelims Facts

1. Scientists find 77 new butterfly species in Matheran

What’s in News?

Scientists have found 140 rare species of butterflies, including 77 new ones, in Matheran.

  • The research paper titled ‘Finding the forgotten gems: Revisiting the butterflies of Matheran after 125 years’, provides a glimpse of the rare butterflies in the hill station.
    • Biostatistical techniques were used by the team. The team used a barcode system to denote seasons and the activities of the butterflies.
  • The last time butterflies were codified in this region was in 1894, when a researcher identified 78 species.

Note:

  • Matheran is a hill station in the Raigad district, Maharashtra.
  • It is declared as an eco-sensitive region by the Union Ministry of Environment.

G. Tidbits

1. ‘LAC complicates India’s options’

What’s in News?

Discussion between experts in Delhi and Washington on India’s Foreign Policy.

  • Experts have opined that while threat from China is pushing India into closer ties with the U.S., it is unlikely to yield a military alliance at present.
  • Former National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon said, “We have a problem with China on land and the U.S. is not going to get involved in a continental war here. The [U.S.] is pulling out of Afghanistan. The landmass of Eurasia is being consolidated under China’s Belt and Road Initiative and by various other means, and even the Russians have decided they need to work with China. India needs to find a continental strategy that works for it as the relationship with China gets more and more adversarial”.
  • U.S.-based foreign policy think tank expert, who served as a diplomat to India, said the U.S. would not seek an alliance with India unless both sides were committed to a collective defence of each other in both the continental and maritime spheres.

2. DSLSA organises first online Lok Adalat

  • The Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) under the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) organised the first-ever online Lok Adalat.
  • The pandemic has brought about new and immediate challenges for the justice delivery system and the testing times have resulted in new innovations and creative solutions.

Lok Adalat:

Read more about Lok Adalats.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements with respect to ‘Loya Jirga’:
  1. It is a special type of legal assembly, in the traditional code of laws of the Pashtun people.
  2. It is a mass national gathering that brings together representatives from the various ethnic, religious, and tribal communities in Afghanistan.
  3. It is an official decision-making body and its decisions are legally binding.

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

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • A Loya Jirga (grand council in Pashto) is a mass national gathering that brings together representatives from the various ethnic, religious, and tribal communities in Afghanistan.
  • Loya Jirga is not an official decision-making body.
  • Its decisions are not legally binding and its verdicts must be approved by the two houses of the Afghan Parliament and the president. Unofficially, however, the Loya Jirga’s decision is seen as final, with the president and Parliament expected to rubber-stamp it.
Q2. Consider the following statements:
  1. Teachings of Buddha are known as Dhamma.
  2. Buddha’s birth is called ‘Dharmachakrapravartan’ or ‘Turnin of the wheel of law’.
  3. The First Buddhist Council was held at Vaishali under the patronage of Kalasoka.

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

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Teachings of Buddha are known as Dhamma.
  • The First Buddhist Council was convened at the Sattapanni caves in Rajgriha. It was held under the patronage of King Ajatashatru.
  • Buddha’s first sermon is called ‘Dharmachakrapravartan’ or ‘Turnin of the wheel of law.’
Q3. Consider the following statements with respect to Matheran:
  1. It is located in the Western Ghats in Maharashtra.
  2. It has been notified as an eco-sensitive region.

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: c

Explanation:

  • Matheran is a hill station and a municipal council in the Raigad district of Maharashtra.
  • It is located on the Western Ghats.
  • It has been notified as an eco-sensitive region by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
Q4. Consider the following statements with respect to River Tungabhadra:
  1. It is a right bank tributary of River Krishna.
  2. It originates in the Western Ghats at Gangamula.
  3. The river flows east across the Deccan Plateau.
  4. It joins River Krishna in Andhra Pradesh state and then empties into the Bay of Bengal.

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

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 3 and 4 only
  4. None of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • River Tungabhadra originates in the Western Ghats at Gangamula.
  • It is a right bank tributary of River Krishna.
  • The river Tungabhadra flows east across the Deccan Plateau, joins the Krishna in Andhra Pradesh state and then empties into the Bay of Bengal.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. In the light of the recent landslides in Kerala, discuss the reasons for the high vulnerability of the state to landslides. Suggest appropriate disaster management strategies. (15 marks, 250 words)(GS paper 3/Disaster Management)
  2. As against the popular perception that nuclear risks have reduced since the end of the cold war, the risks of a nuclear war have only increased over the years. Comment. (15 marks, 250 words)(GS paper 3/Internal Security)

Read the previous CNA here.

10 August 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

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