18 Aug 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

18 Aug 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. SC to study context of charges against judges
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Indian, Nepalese diplomats discuss bilateral projects
2. U.S. imposes more sanctions targeting Huawei
C. GS 3 Related
ECONOMY
1. Reimagining and reinventing the Indian economy
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Jurisdictional conflict in the running of Delhi
2. Judicial remedies for the J&K net restrictions
F. Prelims Facts
1. Rapid antigen tests
2. National Sports Awards
3. Haryana to conduct e-Lok Adalat on Aug. 29
4. Odisha to give facelift to 11th century temple
5. Japan’s record economic plunge guts Abe era gains
G. Tidbits
1. NGT tells States to monitor Ganga rejuvenation
2. 4G SIM cards disconnect ASHAs
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Indian, Nepalese diplomats discuss bilateral projects

Context:

Indian and Nepalese diplomats met in Kathmandu and reviewed the status of a number of ongoing bilateral projects.

Details:

  • It is the first diplomat-level meeting between the two sides following the Kalapani territorial dispute.
  • The talks marked the eighth meeting of the Nepal-India Oversight Mechanism.
    • The Nepal-India Oversight Mechanism was set up to oversee the implementation of bilateral projects and take necessary steps for their completion on time.
    • It was set up after the state visit to India by the Prime Minister of Nepal in 2016.

Points of discussion:

  • Both sides underlined the need for the expeditious implementation of the bilateral projects.
  • Though the territorial dispute was not taken up for discussion, the officials reviewed the status of the construction of bridges over the Mahakali river (near the disputed region).
  • Among other projects, the teams discussed:
    • Cross-border railways
    • Arun-III hydropower project
    • Pancheshwar multipurpose project
    • Construction of the Nepal Police Academy and
    • Ramayana project

Read more about the Kalapani Dispute covered in the 21st May 2020 Comprehensive News Analysis.

2. U.S. imposes more sanctions targeting Huawei

Context:

The U.S. administration has expanded its sanctions on China’s Huawei, a move aimed at further limiting the tech giant’s access to computer chips and other technology.

Details:

  • The U.S Commerce Department statement added 38 Huawei affiliates around the world to the entity list.
  • It claimed that the company was using international subsidiaries to circumvent the sanctions which prevent the export of U.S.-based technology.
  • It argued that Huawei poses a security risk because of its links to the Beijing government, a claim denied by the company.
  • The toughening of sanctions comes amid heightened U.S.-China tensions and claims by Washington that Chinese firms are being used for spying, despite repeated denials.

Entity List:

  • The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) contain a list of names of certain foreign persons – including businesses, research institutions, government and private organizations, individuals, and other types of legal persons – that are subject to specific license requirements for the export, re-export and/or transfer (in-country) of specified items. These persons comprise the Entity List.
  • On an individual basis, the persons on the Entity List are subject to licensing requirements and policies.
  • The Entity List specifies the license requirements that it imposes on each listed person.

2. Judicial remedies for the J&K net restrictions

This issue has been covered in the following articles:

CNA dated Jan 11, 2020: Eloquently reticent

CNA dated May 22, 2020: A violation of right found, but no remedy given

Additional information:

Special Rapporteur:

  • The Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression is required to submit a report annually to the United Nations Human Rights Council and the General Assembly.
  • It contains recommendations to Member States and other stakeholders on ways and means to better promote and protect the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
  • Special rapporteur is the title given to individuals working on behalf of the United Nations (UN) within the scope of “special procedure” mechanisms who have a specific country or thematic mandate from the United Nations Human Rights Council.
  • The Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression of the United Nations in a joint declaration with representatives of other regional organisations, had pointed out that neither the slowing nor the shutting down of the Internet is justifiable even on national security grounds, given that such Internet shutdowns or slowdowns adversely affects millions of innocent civilians owing to the actions of a few.

Right of judicial review:

  • Judicial review – Power of the courts of a country to examine the actions of the legislative, executive, and administrative arms of the government and to determine whether such actions are consistent with the constitution. Actions judged inconsistent are declared unconstitutional and, therefore, null and void.
  • Article 13 and Article 32 of the Indian Constitution provide for judicial review.

F. Prelims Facts

1. Rapid antigen tests

  • RT-PCR stands for Real-time polymerase chain reaction test.
  • RT-PCR is a laboratory technique combining reverse transcription of RNA into DNA and amplification of specific DNA targets using polymerase chain reaction.
  • It is primarily used to measure the amount of a specific RNA.
  • RT-PCR test detects the virus and the antibody tests, which use blood, detect the body’s response to the virus. A positive result in the antibody test tells that the person was exposed to the virus.

Read more on this topic covered in the 15th May 2020 Comprehensive News Analysis.

2. National Sports Awards

What’s in News?

The selection panel is scheduled to meet in Delhi to decide on various National Sports Awards like Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna award, etc.

National Sports Awards has been covered in 20th August 2019 PIB Summary and Analysis.

3. Haryana to conduct e-Lok Adalat on Aug. 29

What’s in News?

E-Lok Adalats will be conducted across Haryana to decide cases on digital platforms due to the restricted working of courts in view of the COVID-19-induced lockdown.

  • The e-Lok Adalats aim to facilitate the online platform for the litigants to decide their cases during the pandemic situation.
  • A  Lok Adalat is one of the substitute dispute redressal mechanisms.

Read more about Lok Adalats.

4. Odisha to give facelift to 11th century temple

What’s in News?

The Odisha government announced that it will give a facelift to the 11th century Lingaraj Temple, akin to its pre-350-year structural status.

Lingaraj Temple:

  • Lingaraj temple at Bhubaneswar, Odisha is an 11th-century temple.
  • It is a symbol of Kalinga style architecture.
  • Lingaraj Temple was built by the King Jajati Keshari, who belonged to Soma Vansh.
  • The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

5. Japan’s record economic plunge guts Abe era gains

What’s in News?

  • Japan has been hit by its biggest economic slump on record, bolstering the case for bolder policy action to prevent a deeper recession.
    • The world’s third-largest economy shrank an annualised 27.8% in April-June.
    • It marks the biggest decline in GDP since comparable data became available in 1980.
  • The third straight quarter of declines has wiped out the benefits brought by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ‘Abenomics’ stimulus policies deployed in late 2012.

Abenomics:

  • Abenomics is a blend of words, “Abe” and “Economics.
  • It refers to the economic policies advocated by Shinzo Abe, the Japanese Prime Minister since his election as the Prime Minister of Japan for the second term in 2012.

Read more about Abenomics.

G. Tidbits

1. NGT tells States to monitor Ganga rejuvenation

What’s in News?

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed Chief Secretaries of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and West Bengal to periodically monitor the rejuvenation of the Ganga.

  • NGT observed that pollutants were still being discharged into the river despite several directions of various courts.
  • The Bench remarked, “It is a pity that even after constant monitoring by the Supreme Court for 34 years and by NGT for six years, 46 years after enactment of the Water Act, pollutants continue to be discharged in the most holy river.”
    • Water Act makes discharge of pollutants in water bodies a criminal offence.
  • It asserted that a pollution-free environment is the constitutional right of every citizen and the constitutional obligation of States.
  • It opined that a holistic approach for rejuvenation of the river is the need of the hour.
  • Earlier, NGT had constituted a Central Monitoring Committee to prepare and enforce a national plan to make over 350 river stretches in the country pollution-free.

2. 4G SIM cards disconnect ASHAs

  • Accredited Social Health Activists, or ASHAs are at the frontline of India’s battle against COVID-19.
  • The Community Health Worker programmes can improve the health status of communities, states research by ORB Media.

ASHAs

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements with respect to the Teesta River:
  1. It is a tributary of the River Brahmaputra.
  2. The river flows through the states of Sikkim and West Bengal.
  3. The Teesta River dispute is one of the most contentious issues between India, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

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

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • River Teesta is a tributary of the River Brahmaputra.
  • The Teesta River originates in the Himalayas and flows through the Indian States of Sikkim and West Bengal before entering Bangladesh, where it flows into the Brahmaputra. Flowing through the length of Sikkim, the Teesta River is considered to be the lifeline of the state.
  • The Teesta River dispute is one of the most contentious issues between India and Bangladesh.
Q2. Consider the following statements with respect to the International Solar 
Alliance (ISA):
  1. The Paris Declaration established ISA as an alliance dedicated to promoting solar energy among its member countries.
  2. It is headquartered at Gurugram in India.
  3. Countries that do not fall within the Tropics can join the ISA and enjoy all benefits as other members, along with voting rights.

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

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an alliance of countries, which lie either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
  • The alliance was formed with the intent to reduce the dependence on non-renewable sources of energy like fossil fuels.
  • It is headquartered at Gurugram in India.
  • Countries that do not fall within the Tropics can join the ISA and enjoy all benefits as other members, with the exception of voting rights.
Q3. Consider the following statements:
  1. Both DNA and RNA are made up of nucleotides.
  2. DNA is double-stranded and RNA is single-stranded.
  3. Both DNA and RNA contain Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine and Thymine.

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

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • In cells, Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the nucleic acid that functions as the original blueprint for the synthesis of proteins.
  • Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a nucleic acid that is directly involved in protein synthesis. Ribonucleic acid is an important nucleotide with long chains of nucleic acid present in all living cells. Its main role is to act as a messenger conveying instructions from DNA for controlling protein synthesis.
  • Both DNA and RNA are made up of nucleotides.
  • DNA is double-stranded and RNA is single-stranded.
  • Both DNA and RNA contain Adenine, Guanine and Cytosine. The fourth base is Thymine in DNA and Uracil in RNA.
Q4. Rekhapida, Pidhadeul, Khakra are the features of which of the following 
temple architecture?
  1. Odisha
  2. West Bengal
  3. Assam
  4. Tamil Nadu
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • Three orders of architectural features of the temples of Odisha are:
    • Rekhapida (Rekha Deula): Tall straight building (looking like a shikhara) covering the garbhagriha.
    • Pidhadeul: It is the mandapa, a square building where worshippers are present and also where dancing takes place.
    • Khakra (Khakra Deula): Rectangular building with a truncated pyramid-shaped roof. Temples of Shakti are usually in this type.
  • Location: Ancient Kalinga – that includes modern Puri District including Bhubaneswar (ancient Tribhuvanesvara, Puri and Konark).
  • Odisha temples are a distinct sub-style of the Nagara style called Kalinga Style.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. With increasing references to the doctrine of constitutional morality in the Judgments by the higher judiciary, discuss what is meant by constitutional morality. Also discuss the significance and the associated concerns with the doctrine of constitutional morality. (15 marks, 250 words)(GS Paper 2/Polity and Governance)
  2. What is meant by judicial review? What are the constitutional articles which provide for the provision of judicial review? Discuss the evolution of the concept of judicial review in the constitutional history of India. (15 marks, 250 words)(GS paper 2/Polity and Governance)

Read the previous CNA here.

18 Aug 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

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