26 Aug 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

26 Aug 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. ‘Raising age of marriage will pose problems’
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. New Bench to hear 2009 Bhushan case
2. SC satisfied at royal family’s affidavit
3. Arunachal to seek 6th Schedule status
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. China floats BRICS 5G base as India mulls ban
C. GS 3 Related
ECONOMY
1. ‘Govt. open to tweaks in credit guarantee scheme’
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. NGT slams Ministry’s report on clean air programme
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. ICICI to use satellites for farm credit
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. The marginalisation of justice in public discourse
SECURITY
1. Down, but not out
ECONOMY
1. Magnets for manufacturing
F. Prelims Facts
1. Viraat to head to Alang yard
G. Tidbits
1. Two-wheelers neither luxury nor sin goods: FM
2. Wide-ranging reforms must for sustainable growth: RBI
3. India to protest Pak. claims on terror at UN
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Context:

The Indian Prime Minister had stated in his Independence Day speech that the government may take a relook at the age of marriage of women.

Details:

According to activists, raising the age of marriage from 18 to 21 for women will lead to an increase in parental backlash against young adults who marry against the wishes of their parents and will lead to the criminalisation of sexual activity.

This topic has been covered in the 16th August 2020 CNA: Govt. may review the age of marriage – PM.

2. SC satisfied at royal family’s affidavit

This issue has been covered in the 14th July 2020 Comprehensive News Analysis.

Also Read: Padmanabhaswamy Temple Verdict & Implications: RSTV- Big Picture

3. Arunachal to seek 6th Schedule status

This topic has been covered in the 14th August 2020 CNA: Arunachal groups push for 6th Schedule status.

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. China floats BRICS 5G base as India mulls ban

Context:

China has proposed the creation of what it calls a ‘BRICS innovation base’ in China to take forward 5G and Artificial Intelligence (AI) cooperation among the BRICS nations and strengthen practical cooperation with the BRICS.

Details:

  • China’s Minister of Industry and Information Technology urged fellow nations, including India, to boost cooperation in areas including 5G and AI.
  • Russia has said it is open to working with Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei on 5G. Huawei has been largely banned by the United States.
  • In South Africa, Huawei is providing services to three of its telecom operators in the roll-out of their 5G networks.
  • Brazil has allowed participation in trials but is yet to take a final call.

Concerns for India:

  • The move could pose an awkward question for India, which is the only country in the grouping that is leaning towards excluding Chinese participation in the roll-out of its national 5G network.
  • India is unlikely to allow Chinese participation in 5G, particularly in the wake of recent moves to tighten investment from China and to ban 59 Chinese apps, citing national security concerns.
  • Indian intelligence assessments have expressed concerns about the possible direct or indirect links of several Chinese companies, including Huawei, with the Chinese military.

Way forward:

  • The Huawei dilemma is a reminder for India that it needs to skill its engineers better. India has millions but they lack skills.
  • India must start exploring 5G standards and equipment locally.
  • India needs a new team of experts that can build indigenous solutions.

Category: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. NGT slams Ministry’s report on clean air programme

Context:

The National Green Tribunal has condemned the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) over its report on the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).

Details:

  • The NGT has disapproved the submission of the MoEF that a committee, upon further deliberation, has concluded that 20-30% reduction of air pollution by 2024 under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) seems realistic.

Issue:

  • NGT said that the MoEF’s stand that pollution could not be controlled except to the extent of a certain percentage was directly hit by the constitutional and statutory mandate.
    • It argued the MoEF’s view was against the constitutional mandate under Article 21.
    • It argued that the Right to Clean Air stands recognised as part of Right to Life and failure to address air pollution is the denial of Right to Life.
  • It argued that the monitoring mechanism for enforcement was not clear.
  • It also raised concerns that there is no data on how much pollution has been reduced in the last two years.

Way forward:

  • NGT said that the enforcement of ‘Sustainable Development’ principle and ‘Public Trust Doctrine’ requires strict measures to be adopted to give effect to the mandate of international obligations for which the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and other laws have been enacted.
    • The guiding principle of sustainable development is a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
    • The Public Trust Doctrine enjoins upon the government to protect the resources for the enjoyment of the general public rather than to permit their use for private ownership or commercial purposes.
  • Violation of laid down air pollution levels resulting in a large number of deaths and diseases needs to be addressed expeditiously.
  • Targeted time of reduction of pollution loads needs to be reduced and planned steps need to be sternly implemented on the ground.

Read more about National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) covered in 10th January 2019 PIB Summary and Analysis.
Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. ICICI to use satellites for farm credit

Context:

ICICI Bank has announced the introduction of usage of satellite data-imagery from earth observation satellites to assess the creditworthiness of its customers belonging to the farm sector.

Details:

  • The bank is the first in India and among a few globally to do so.
  • It will use the data to measure an array of parameters related to the land, irrigation and crop patterns.
  • The data would be used in combination with demographic and financial parameters to make faster lending decisions for farmers.

Benefits:

  • Since land verification is done in a contactless manner, credit assessments take only a few days as against the industry practice of up to 15 days.
  • Use of technology helps farmers with existing credit to enhance their eligibility.
  • New-to-credit farmers can get better access to credit.

Earth Observation Satellites
  • An Earth observation satellite or a remote sensing satellite is a satellite used or designed for Earth observation (EO) from orbit.
  • They are intended for uses such as environmental monitoring, meteorology, map making and others.
  • Starting with IRS-1A in 1988, ISRO has launched many operational remote sensing satellites.
  • Currently, 13 operational satellites are in Sun-synchronous orbit and 4 in Geostationary orbit.
  • The data from these satellites are used for several applications covering agriculture, water resources, urban planning, rural development, mineral prospecting, environment, forestry, ocean resources and disaster management.

G. Tidbits

1. Two-wheelers neither luxury nor sin goods: FM

What’s in News?

Quoting that two-wheelers are neither luxury nor sin goods, the Finance Minister has opined that it can be considered for a GST rate revision.

  • It was said that a rate revision proposal for two-wheelers would be taken up by the GST Council.
  • In 2019, the country’s largest two-wheeler maker had urged the government to consider a phase-wise reduction in GST on the segment, starting with bringing bikes up to 150 cc into the 18% slab.
  • Two-wheelers currently attract 28% GST.

2. Wide-ranging reforms must for sustainable growth: RBI

What’s in News?

Cautioning that India’s potential output may undergo a structural downshift following the pandemic, the Reserve Bank made a strong case for deep-seated and wide-ranging reforms.

  • In its ‘assessment and prospects’ that forms part of its Annual Report for the year 2019-20, it said that the reforms are essential to regain losses and return to the path of sustainable economic growth.
  • It said that the reforms are needed in factor and product markets, the financial sector, legal architecture, and international competitiveness would be needed to regain potential output losses and return the economy to a path of strong and sustainable growth with macroeconomic and financial stability.

3. India to protest Pak. claims on terror at UN

What’s in News?

India will approach the UN Security Council President to bring to his notice a series of false claims levelled by Pakistan on terrorism, in one of the strongest responses by the Indian permanent mission so far.

  • The note will include the fact that Pakistan’s UN Permanent Representative claimed to have addressed a UNSC debate on terrorism, which was open only for Ambassadors of the 15 Security Council members, which don’t include Pakistan.
  • This is not the first time Pakistan has tried to make allegations against India on the issue of terrorism.
  • Pakistan, that has been greylisted at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), is also trying to build a case given that India will face its routine scrutiny or “Mutual Evaluation Report” (MER) on terrorism financing and money laundering issues at FATF beginning February 2021, with a plenary discussion in October 2020.
  • Officials say they see a pattern in Pakistan’s recent statements, with a view to targeting India ahead of January 2021, when India will join as a non-permanent member for a two-year term at the UN Security Council.
  • India is lodging its protest formally with the Indonesian Ambassador to the UN, who chaired the UNSC meeting on terrorism, to discuss the latest report on Al Qaeda and ISIL (Islamic State) operations.
    • These reports are provided every six months by the UN Secretary-General.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements with respect to the National Clean Air Programme:
  1. It aims to achieve a national-level target of 20-30% reduction of PM2.5 and PM10 concentration by 2024.
  2. It is a nationwide programme executed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
  3. 2015 is the base year for the National Clean Air Programme.

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

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • National Clean Air Programme is a nationwide programme executed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
  • It aims to achieve a national-level target of 20-30% reduction of PM2.5 and PM10 concentration by 2024.
  • 2017 is the base year for the National Clean Air Programme.
Q2. Consider the following statements with respect to Earth Observation Satellites:
  1. They are intended for uses such as environmental monitoring, meteorology, map making and disaster management.
  2. The Earth-observation satellites include the Resourcesat, RISAT series and the Oceansat series.
  3. They are placed in Geostationary orbit only.

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

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • An Earth observation satellite or a remote sensing satellite is a satellite used or designed for Earth observation (EO) from orbit.
  • They are intended for uses such as environmental monitoring, meteorology, map making and others.
  • Currently, 13 operational Earth Observation satellites are in Sun-synchronous orbit and 4 in Geostationary orbit.
Q3. Which of the following is India’s first aircraft carrier?
  1. INS Vikrant
  2. INS Viraat
  3. INS Shardul
  4. INS Vikramaditya
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

INS Vikrant is India’s first aircraft carrier.

Q4. Consider the followings statements with respect to SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist 
Structure (RATS):
  1. It is a permanent organ of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation formed in 2004.
  2. It is headquartered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
  3. It serves to promote cooperation of member states against terrorism, separatism and extremism.

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

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

All the statements are correct.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Critically analyse the government policies for dealing with and mitigating the hazards of air pollution in India. (GS 3 Environment and Ecology) (15 Marks, 250 Words).
  2. Political instability in parts of West Asia and North Africa is allowing the Islamic State space to operate. Discuss how the re-emergence of the Islamic State could pose a serious challenge. (GS 3 Security) (15 Marks, 250 Words).

Read the previous CNA here.

26 Aug 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

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