14 Aug 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

14 Aug 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Arunachal groups push for 6th Schedule status
2. ‘Consider more languages in govt.’
3. PM announces taxpayers’ charter
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Australia shares experience on 5G
2. UAE, Israel reach agreement to establish diplomatic ties
3. India announces $500 mn package for the Maldives
C. GS 3 Related
INTERNAL SECURITY
1. Ravi no-show at NSCN-IM informal talks
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Right by birth
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. Historic ratification
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Independent but not alone
F. Prelims Facts
G. Tidbits
1. Amid COVID-19, an ‘infrastructure census’
2. ‘Selling EVs sans battery compromises warranty’
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

2. ‘Consider more languages in govt.’

Context:

Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde suggested that the government should consider amending the Official Languages Act of 1963 to:

  • Include more vernacular languages in governance.
  • Not just confine it to Hindi and English.

Background:

  • The court was hearing an appeal filed by the Union of India challenging the legality of a Delhi High Court judgment to translate the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification of 2020 into all 22 vernacular languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
  • The high court had allowed the plea holding that EIA notification should be translated and published in all the scheduled languages.

Details:

  • Scheduled languages are those languages that are listed in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution and are given official recognition and encouragement by the Central Government.
  • However, all official communication and publication of rules and notifications by the Central Government are in Hindi and English.
    • As per Article 343 of the Constitution, the official language of the Union is Hindi along with English.
  • Further, section 3 of the Official Languages Act states that Hindi and English shall be used for resolutions, general orders, rules, notifications, administrative or other reports made by the Central Government or any of its ministries or departments.
8th Schedule of the Constitution:
  • The Eighth Schedule of the Constitution consists of 22 languages.
  • Of these languages, 14 were initially included in the Constitution.
  • The Sindhi language was added in 1967.
  • Thereafter, three more languages viz., Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were included in 1992.
  • Subsequently, Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Santhali were added in 2004.

3. PM announces taxpayers’ charter

Context:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a “Transparent Taxation — Honouring the Honest” platform that provides faceless assessment, faceless appeal and a taxpayers’ charter.

Details:

  • Some of the reforms are:
    • Reduction in corporate tax from 30% to 22% for existing companies and from 25% to 15% for new manufacturing companies.
    • Abolition of the dividend distribution tax.
  • Steps have been taken to bring in efficiency and transparency in the functioning of the Income Tax Department, including Document Identification Number (DIN) and pre-filling of income tax returns to make compliance more convenient.

How does it work?

  • With the help of technology, the cases of scrutiny will now be allocated randomly to any official in any part of the country.
  • The document identification numbers will be issued from the central database.
  • A review of orders will also be done by another team at some other place, chosen randomly using data analytics and artificial intelligence.
  • The officials in the Directorate General of Income Tax (Investigation) and the Principal Commissioner of I-T/Chief Commissioner of I-T (TDS) will be the only competent authorities for approving survey actions to gather information for scrutiny and assessment.

Benefits:

  • In the new system, the department would escape unnecessary litigation and the officials would get a reprieve from the energy otherwise spent on transfers and postings.
  • It seeks to eliminate corrupt practices by doing away with the territorial jurisdiction of income-tax offices.
  • The platform would instil a sense of fairness and fearlessness in the taxpayers.
  • The efforts are directed at making the tax system seamless, painless and faceless.
  • The new facilities are in consonance with the government’s motto of ‘minimum government, maximum governance’.

Note:

  • While the faceless assessment and taxpayers’ charter has come into force, the faceless appeal system will be available from September 25, 2020, the birth anniversary of Deendayal Upadhyaya.

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Australia shares experience on 5G

Context:

Comments by senior Australian High Commission official on cybersecurity cooperation between India and Australia.

Details:

  • There is a huge increase in cybersecurity cooperation between India and Australia.
  • The countries are sharing experiences on protecting critical infrastructure, including 5G networks.
  • In June 2020 both countries had signed a cyber and cyber-enabled critical technology framework agreement along with the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP).
    • The [cyber] agreement sets out practical actions to enhance digital trade, harness critical technology opportunities and address cybersecurity challenges.
    • As part of this, the two countries have been increasing information sharing and stepping up cooperation.
  • Another area which the two countries were exploring was of regulatory space, including Australia’s encryption legislation, and how that could be used to prevent cyber-enabled crime.
  • The categories of threats that the two countries are looking at are criminal groups, financial gain, sophisticated state-based actors and so on.

2. UAE, Israel reach agreement to establish diplomatic ties

Context:

The United Arab Emirates has become the first Gulf Arab country to reach a deal on normalising relations with Israel.

Details:

  • The United Arab Emirates and Israel have agreed to establish full diplomatic ties as part of a deal to halt the annexation of occupied land sought by the Palestinians for their future state.
  • The development caps years of discreet contacts between the two countries in commerce and technology.
  • The so-called “Abraham Agreement”, announced by United States President Donald Trump, secures an Israeli commitment to halt further annexation of Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sought to build settlements on lands sought by the Palestinians and embraced a Trump proposal that would allow him to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank while granting Palestinians limited autonomy in other areas.
  • For the UAE, it further polishes its international campaign to be seen as a beacon of tolerance in West Asia despite being governed by autocratic rulers.
  • Delegations would meet to sign deals on direct flights, security, telecommunications, energy, tourism and health care. The two countries also will partner on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • It is believed that opening direct ties between two of the Middle East’s most dynamic societies and advanced economics will transform the region by spurring economic growth, enhancing technological innovation and forging closer people-to-people relations.

3. India announces $500 mn package for the Maldives

Context:

Responding to a request from the Government of Maldives, India has announced its support in the implementation of the Greater Male Connectivity project (GMCP in the Maldives).

Details:

  • The financial package comprises of a new Line of Credit (LoC) of USD 400 million and a grant of USD 100 million.
  • New connectivity measures for the Maldives, including air, sea, intra-island and telecommunications, have been announced by India.
    • It is an effort to help Maldives deal with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Among the initiatives announced are an air connectivity bubble for travel, a direct ferry service, a submarine cable for telecom connectivity and assistance for GMCP.
  • GMCP would be the largest civilian infrastructure project in the Maldives.
    • GMCP will consist of a number of bridges and causeways to connect Male to Villingili, Thilafushi and Gulhifahu islands.
    • It will take much of the pressure off the main capital island of Male for commercial and residential purposes.

Significance:

  • The President of Maldives, thanking India, termed the assistance, a landmark moment in Maldives-India cooperation.
  • When completed, the project would render the Chinese-built Sinemale Friendship bridge connecting Male to two other islands insignificant in comparison.

2. ‘Selling EVs sans battery compromises warranty’

What’s in News?

Mahindra Electric, a market leader in battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs), has questioned the Centre’s decision to allow the sale and registration of EVs without batteries.

  • It has said that the move would end up compromising the warranty that EV manufacturers provide.
  • The Centre’s move is aimed at cutting the cost of electric two- and three-wheelers.
    • Batteries account for about 30-40% of the vehicle’s cost.
  • Concerns have been raised stating that the move has not been thought through and the industry has not been consulted.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. ‘Island of Crete’ is located in:
  1. Eastern Mediterranean Sea
  2. South China Sea
  3. Indian Ocean
  4. Black Sea
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands. It is located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Q2. Consider the following statements with respect to African Swine Fever:
  1. It is a respiratory disease of pigs.
  2. It is caused by type A influenza virus.
  3. It does not affect humans and spreads from animals to other animals only.

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

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • African Swine Fever (ASF) is different from swine flu. The virus does not affect people and there is no impact on human health.
  • Swine influenza or swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs, which is caused by type A influenza virus.
  • ASF is a severe viral disease that affects wild and domestic pigs typically resulting in an acute haemorrhagic fever.
  • ASF is caused by a large DNA virus of the Asfarviridae family.
Q3. Nyishi tribes belong to which state?
  1. Madhya Pradesh
  2. Assam
  3. Arunachal Pradesh
  4. Manipur
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Nyishi Tribes (also called Bangni) are the tribal people of eastern Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Nyishi is a Scheduled Tribe.
Q4. 6th Schedule of Indian Constitution consists of provisions for the administration 
of tribal areas in which of the following states?
  1. Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura
  2. Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura
  3. Assam, Mizoram, Manipur and Tripura
  4. Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Manipur
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

The Sixth Schedule consists of provisions for the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. The recent Supreme Court decision on the coparcenary rights of women with respect to inheritance is in line with the spirit of gender equality as espoused in the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act of 2005. Comment. (10 marks, 150 words)(GS paper 2/Polity and Governance)
  2. Discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to undo the recent gains made in reducing child labour in India. Also suggest necessary measures to address this threat. (10 marks, 150 words)(GS paper2/ Social issues)

Read the previous CNA here.

14 Aug 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

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