21 Aug 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

21 Aug 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. ‘Private firms employ more women in R&D’
B. GS 2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. India, Bangladesh to monitor projects
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Arunachal groups differ on autonomous zones
C. GS 3 Related
ECONOMY
1. ‘Slowdown to extend as virus goes rural’
2. Monetary arsenal must be kept dry for use: Das
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
EDUCATION
1. Technology as an enabler
REGIONALISM
1. A losing proposition
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. The marriage age misconception
F. Prelims Facts
1. ‘Sputnik V will be made available to Indians’
G. Tidbits
1. Indore wins cleanest city title again
2. ‘Namath Basai’, a big hit among Kerala tribal children
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. Arunachal groups differ on autonomous zones

Context:

  • The first meeting of the consultative committee in Arunachal Pradesh.

Background:

CNA dated Aug 16, 2020: Arunachal forms panel for autonomy demands

Details:

  • The community-based organisations (CBOs) taking part in the consultative committee have differed on the issue of the creation of two autonomous councils but agreed that Arunachal Pradesh needs to be brought under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
  • Currently, Arunachal Pradesh is in the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution.

For more information on this issue, refer to:

CNA dated Aug 14, 2020: Arunachal groups push for 6th Schedule status

2. Monetary arsenal must be kept dry for use: Das

Context:

  • Review of the monetary policy by the Monetary Policy Committee.

For more information, refer to:

CNA dated Aug 7, 2020: RBI keeps key policy rates unchanged

Background:

  • There has been a cumulative 250 basis points reduction in policy rate since February 2019 in an effort to support the economic recovery process.

Details:

  • The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has opted for status quo and left interest rates unchanged in the current review.

Arguments for status quo:

Wait for stabilization of the economy:

  • Though there was room for further rate cuts, the MPC decided against it so as to wait for a better assessment of the outlook for growth and inflation as the economy has been opening in a staggered manner.
  • There are high uncertainties regarding the macroeconomic environment and making policy decisions in such volatile situations might become counter-productive.
  • The economy is expected to exhibit a slow recovery with the economic situation likely to worsen before it gets better. It would be prudent to wait for the economy to stabilize before employing stimulus measures.

Inflationary concerns:

  • Inflation is currently above the upper band of 6%. Further rate cuts could only stoke higher inflation rates in the economy.
    • The primary mandate given to MPC for inflation targeting is 4% (with +/- 2%).

Stagflation concerns:

  • Despite the large rate cuts to spur growth, growth has steadily declined.
  • Generalised inflationary pressures, in a situation where growth is expected to contract sharply, lead to stagflation concerns.
    • Stagflation is a condition where persistently high inflation is combined with high unemployment and stagnant demand in a country’s economy.

To wait for monetary rate transmission:

  • Given the general lag between the policy rate cuts and the decrease in loan rate from the banks, one line of argument has been that there is the need to wait for the monetary rate transmission to occur.
    • The monetary transmission mechanism is the process by which general economic conditions are affected as a result of monetary policy decisions.

Conclusion:

  • As suggested by the RBI Governor, it would be wise to keep some room for further rate cuts to use them judiciously for promoting growth.

G. Tidbits

1. Indore wins cleanest city title again

  • For the fourth year in a row, Indore has been ranked the cleanest city in the country, according to the Swachh Survekshan 2020 report released by the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry.

Know more about Swachh Survekshan 2020 in PIB dated Aug 18, 2020.

2. ‘Namath Basai’, a big hit among Kerala tribal children

  • Namath Basai’ is the name of the Kerala government’s programme involving the teaching of tribal children in their mother tongue.
    • The languages include Irula, Muduka and Kurumba.
  • The programme has succeeded in retaining hundreds of tribal children in their online classes and is also helping preserve the ethnic culture and language of the tribal people.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. The Swachh Survekshan is commissioned by which of the following ministries?
  1. Ministry of Urban Development
  2. Ministry of Rural Development
  3. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
  4. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • Swachh Survekshan is meant to monitor the performance of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
  • The extensive sanitation survey is commissioned by the Ministry of Urban Development and carried out annually by the Quality Council of India.
  • The survey was introduced by the government with the objective of generating large-scale participation in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Q2. Which of the following are autonomous councils listed under the Sixth Schedule 
of the Indian Constitution?
  1. Karbi Anglong
  2. Chakma
  3. Lai
  4. Mara
  5. Bodoland
  6. Dima Hasao

Options:

  1. 1, 5 and 6 only
  2. 1, 2 and 5 only
  3. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
  4. 3, 5 and 6 only
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India allows for the formation of autonomous administrative divisions which have been given autonomy within their respective states.
  • The list contains 10 Autonomous Councils in Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura.
  • Karbi Anglong, Dima Hasao and Bodoland are from Assam.
  • Chakma, Lai and Mara are from Mizoram.
Q3. The Maitree Super Thermal Power Project is a collaborative project between 
India and which of the following countries?
  1. Germany
  2. Bangladesh
  3. Sri Lanka
  4. France
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • The Maitree super thermal power project is a 1,320MW coal-fired power station under construction in Rampal, Bangladesh.
  • The power plant is being developed by Bangladesh India Friendship Power Company (BIFPCL), a 50:50 joint venture between India’s state-run National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB).
Q4. Which of the following best describes Stagflation?
  1. It is a condition where the inflation rate remains stagnate over an extended time period.
  2. It represents a decrease in the rate of inflation.
  3. It is a decrease in the general price level of goods and services.
  4. It represents a situation in which the inflation rate is high and the economic growth rate slows.
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • Stagflation or recession-inflation is a situation in which the inflation rate is high, the economic growth rate slows, and unemployment remains steadily high.
  • Deflation is a decrease in the general price level of goods and services.
  • Disinflation is a decrease in the rate of inflation – a slowdown in the rate of increase of the general price level of goods and services in a nation’s gross domestic product over time.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. The integration of technology in the teaching-learning process can lead to significant advantages in the Indian educational system. Examine. (10 marks, 150 words)(GS Paper 2/Education)
  2. The mainstreaming of nativism in India is a cause of concern. Comment. (10 marks, 150 words)(GS Paper 1/Regionalism)

Read the previous CNA here.

21 Aug 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

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