10 Aug 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

August 10th, 2021, PIB:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Govt. delaying Collegium recommendations, says SC
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. PM sets out framework for maritime security
C. GS 3 Related
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. IPCC report forecasts a future of severe weather
ECONOMY
1. Rs. 11,000 crore for self-sufficiency in edible oil production: PM
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. A circular economy for plastic
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. Misinformation through a feminist lens
F. Prelims Facts
1. Tribals in Rajasthan seek more panchayats in scheduled areas
G. Tidbits
1. ‘India mulls sharp cuts in EV levies after Tesla push’
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. PM sets out framework for maritime security

Context:

  • As part of India’s United Nations Security Council (UNSC) presidency, the Indian Prime Minister chaired a debate on maritime security titled, ‘Enhancing Maritime Security — A Case for International Cooperation’.
  • Maritime security is one of the focus areas outlined by India during its month-long presidency of the UNSC.

For more information on this topic, refer to the following article:

UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis of 1st Aug 2021

Details:

  • The Prime Minister outlined a five-principle framework for maritime security.
    • Removing barriers to maritime trade.
    • Peaceful resolution of maritime disputes in accordance with international law. This would be extremely important for promoting mutual trust and confidence, and ensuring global peace and stability.
    • Co-operation in tackling maritime threats from non-state actors and natural disasters.
    • Conservation of maritime environment and marine resources. This gains all the more significance amid reports of pollution from plastic waste and oil spills.
    • Promoting maritime connectivity based on global norms and standards. This would help boost maritime trade.
  • The UNSC also adopted a ‘Presidential [India’s] Statement’ which reaffirmed that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) establishes the legal framework for maritime activities.

Measures taken by India:

  • SAGAR (‘Security and Growth for all in the Region’) is a 2015 Indian framework for regional maritime security.
  • India had resolved its maritime boundary issue with neighbour Bangladesh in line with international norms and laws.

Category: ECONOMY

1. Rs. 11,000 crore for self-sufficiency in edible oil production: PM

Context:

  • The Central Government has allotted an outlay of Rs. 11,000 crore for the National Mission on Edible Oil-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP)
    • The NMEO-OP’s predecessor was the National Mission on Oil Seeds and Oil Palm.

Background:

India’s heavy dependency on edible oil imports:

  • Despite being a major agricultural exporting country, India lacks self-sufficiency in terms of edible oils and continues to be heavily dependent on imports for its edible oil needs. The share of imported palm oil is more than 55%.
  • India’s dependence on expensive imports has driven retail oil prices to new highs.

Details:

  • The new mission will strive to ensure self-sufficiency in edible oil production. Under the NMEO-OP mission, the aim is to reduce import dependence from 60% to 45% by 2024-25, by increasing domestic edible oil production from 10.5 million tonnes to 18 million tonnes, a 70% growth target.
  • The financial outlay will be invested in the edible oil ecosystem to ensure that all needed facilities right from seeds to the processing technology are available to farmers.
    • This financial outlay for NMEO-OP will be over a five-year period.
  • North-eastern India and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been identified as prime locations for oil palm cultivation.
  • Along with promoting the cultivation of oil palm, this mission will also expand the cultivation of other traditional oilseed crops in India.

Significance:

  • The mission with its focus on increasing the production of edible oil will enable a reduction in import dependency to some extent and will enable self-sufficiency in the longer run.
  • The reduction of edible oil imports will also enable the saving of valuable foreign exchange for India.
  • The financial outlay will also incentivize farmers to diversify their agricultural activities into oilseed production and this can help increase the income of the farmers in a substantial way.

Category: SOCIAL ISSUES

1. Misinformation through a feminist lens

Online abuse of women:

  • To add to the gender disparity in access to the internet, women are having to face online abuse.
  • Though even men are targeted online, the attacks faced by both sexes are vastly different. Misinformation/disinformation targets men and women differently. A large number of young women and girls have experienced online abuse and they are more vulnerable to such abuse.

Forms of online abuse:

  • According to a recent report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women for the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, online abuse can involve a variety of activities.
  • It can include actions like bullying, trolling, cyberstalking, defamation and hate speech, public shaming, and identity theft and hacking, sexual harassment and threats of sexual violence, or the sharing of intimate images and videos without permission.

Gendered disinformation:

  • Women are more prone to gendered disinformation.
  • Misinformation and sexism have a symbiotic relationship. Misinformation piggybacks on sexism to discredit vocal women and sexism uses misinformation to reinforce patriarchal norms.

Inter-sectional challenges:

  • Misinformation like other forms of abuse and discrimination has inter-sectional challenges.
  • Organised disinformation and sexism intersect with Islamophobia, casteism, religious bigotry and other forms of discrimination. This only increases the impact on women from such vulnerable sections.

Vulnerability of women even in high positions:

  • Even women in high positions are not spared from online abuse.
    • A 2020 report by Amnesty International noted a considerable number of female politicians receiving hateful mentions on social media platforms like Twitter. A substantial proportion of them was either sexist or misogynistic.
    • Women journalists are at great risk of being under such attacks on their social media platforms. A recent report by UNESCO on online harassment faced by women journalists says that political actors instigate and fuel online violence campaigns against women journalists.
  • This is indicative of the extent of online abuse against women and girls and their vulnerability to it.

Concerns:

Impact on the girls and women:

  • Online abuse can have a devastating impact on the girl or woman who faces such abuse.
  • It causes tremendous distress. It affects their emotional or physical wellbeing. It results in physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm, and erodes self-esteem among the girls and women who face such abuse.
  • It can potentially silence women and force women — including journalists and politicians — out of jobs.

Impact on society:

  • While organised misinformation and trolling affect women on a personal level, it also has a significant impact on society.
    • A healthy democracy is participatory and promotes gender inclusiveness. Sexism and misinformation intimidate women from taking vocal stands and silences them. As a result of this increasingly hostile online environment, many women self-censor or are driven offline entirely, out of fears for their safety. This would deprive society of any progressive ideas coming from such women. This would be antithetical to a progressive society.
    • With the advent of a virtual society, offline violence against women has extended to online, which makes it easier for people to commit violence without consequences. Online abuse is a part of gender-based violence (GBV).
    • The online crisis facing women and girls threatens global progress on gender equality.

Lack of measures to address the challenge:

  • Rather than addressing such behaviour, often women are asked to either ignore the abusers or block such handles.
  • The author also criticizes the social media platforms of not doing enough to stop such incidents.

Conclusion:

  • Online gender-based violence is just as destructive as offline violence.
  • Online violence against women and girls should be accorded necessary attention and addressing online abuse should become a part of the feminist discourse.

F. Prelims Facts

1. Tribals in Rajasthan seek more panchayats in scheduled areas

Fifth Schedule areas:

  • The Fifth Schedule of the Constitution deals with the administration and control of Scheduled Areas as well as of Scheduled Tribes residing in any State other than the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
  • At present, 10 States namely Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana have Fifth Schedule Areas.
  • Tribal habitations in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir have not been brought under the Fifth or Sixth Schedule.
  • As per Article 244(1) of the Indian Constitution, Scheduled Areas means such areas as the President may by order declare to be Scheduled Areas.

Criteria:

  • The criteria followed for declaring an area as Scheduled Area are:
    • Preponderance of tribal population;
    • Compactness and reasonable size of the area;
    • Under-developed nature of the area; and
    • Marked disparity in economic standard of the people.

Special Provisions for Fifth Schedule Areas:

  • The Governor of each State having Scheduled Areas shall annually, or whenever so required by the President, make a report to the President regarding the administration of Scheduled Areas in that State.
  • The Union Government shall have executive powers to give directions to the States as to the administration of the Scheduled Areas.
  • The Constitution provides for the establishment of a Tribes Advisory Council (TAC) in any State having Scheduled Areas. The TAC would consist of not more than twenty members of whom, three-fourths shall be the representatives of the Scheduled Tribes in the Legislative Assembly of the State. The TAC shall advise on such matters pertaining to the welfare and the advancement of the STs in the State as may be referred to them by the Governor.
  • The Governor may direct that any particular Act of Parliament or of the Legislature of the State shall or shall not apply to a Scheduled Area or any part thereof in the State, subject to such exceptions and modifications, as specified.
  • The Governor may make regulations like –
    • prohibit or restrict the transfer of land by or among members of the Scheduled Tribes in such area;
    • regulate the allotment of land to members of the STs in such area;
    • regulate the carrying on of business as money-lender by persons who lend money to members of the STs in such area.

Context:

  • On the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, tribal outfits in Rajasthan have demanded the inclusion of over 165 village panchayats of seven districts in the scheduled areas under the Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP).
  • The demand is based on the fact that the population of Scheduled Tribes in these panchayats had crossed 50%, making them eligible to be declared as scheduled areas.
  • This they claim would facilitate the control of local communities over minor minerals and minor forest produce as well as development activities in the region while also ensuring statutory protection of the tribal population.

G. Tidbits

1. ‘India mulls sharp cuts in EV levies after Tesla push’

  • As per senior government officials, India is considering reducing import duties on electric cars based on the value of the imported EVs.
  • The slashing of import duties would be done balancing the concerns of the domestic players and it would be dependent upon global EV companies providing some benefit to the domestic economy in the form of commitments to take up local manufacturing in the times to come.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. The grouping “extended troika” is seen in news in which of the following contexts?
  1. Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations.
  2. Afghanistan peace process.
  3. The Israeli–Palestinian peace process.
  4. Abraham Accords.
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Extended troika consisting of Russia, China, the United States and Pakistan is scheduled to meet soon in Doha on the Afghanistan peace process.
Q2. Consider the following statements:
  1. The territorial sea extends seaward up to 12 nautical miles from its baselines and includes not only the surface but also the airspace.
  2. Only civilian foreign ships are allowed innocent passage through the territorial waters.
  3. The U.S. has not ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Which of the given statements is/are correct?

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • As per the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the sovereignty of a coastal State extends beyond its land territory and internal waters to an adjacent belt of sea, described as the territorial sea.
  • The territorial sea extends seaward up to 12 nautical miles from its baselines and includes not only the surface but also the airspace over the territorial sea as well as to its bed and subsoil.
  • As per the UNCLOS, all ships, including warships, regardless of cargo, armament or means of propulsion, enjoy the right of innocent passage through the territorial sea.
  • Foreign ships exercising the right of innocent passage through the territorial sea shall comply with all such laws and regulations and all generally accepted international regulations relating to the prevention of collisions at sea and in a manner not prejudicial to its peace, good order, or security.
  • The U.S. has not ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Q3. Marburg virus belongs to which of the following categories?
  1. Coronaviruses
  2. Togaviruses
  3. Paramyxoviruses
  4. Filoviruses
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • Marburg virus is a hemorrhagic fever virus of the Filoviridae family of viruses.
  • Marburg virus causes Marburg virus disease in humans and other primates, a form of viral hemorrhagic fever.
Q4. Consider the following statements with respect to ISHAAN UDAY Scheme:
  1. It is a scheme launched for the financial turnaround of the Power Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) owned by the North-Eastern states.
  2. The scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region.

Which of the given statements is/are correct?

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • The Ministry of Human Resource Development and the University Grants Commission has taken special interest with regard to the promotion of higher education in the NER.
  • For improving the GER, promoting higher education and encouraging children belonging to the economically weaker sections of the NE region, the UGC has launched the “Ishaan Uday” Special Scholarship Scheme for North Eastern Region.
  • Only first-year undergraduate students are eligible to apply for the scholarship.
Q5. Consider the following statements in respect of Trade Related Analysis of Fauna and Flora 
in Commerce (TRAFFIC):
  1. TRAFFIC is a bureau under United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  2. The mission of TRAFFIC is to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature.

Which of the above statements is/are correct? [UPSC 2017]

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • TRAFFIC is a leading NGO working globally on trade in wild animals and plants in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
  • Established in 1976 by IUCN and WWF to respond to the growing threats posed by unsustainable and illegal wildlife trade, TRAFFIC plays a leading role as a global wildlife trade specialist.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. The IPCC’s new findings provide powerful evidence and potential indicators of climate change that are inevitable and irreversible. Discuss the strategies for mitigation of climate change. (15 Marks, 250 Words)[GS-3, Environment and Ecology]
  2. Sexism and misinformation intimidate women from taking vocal stands and are antithetical to a progressive society. Elaborate. (10 Marks, 150 Words)[GS-1, Social issues]

Read the previous CNA here.

August 10th, 2021, PIB:- Download PDF Here

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