29 Aug 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

29 Aug 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Police, public order, Central cadre under J&K L-G
2. Punjab House passes resolution against Centre’s agri ordinances
C. GS 3 Related
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
GOVERNANCE
1. National well-being and the counts that matter
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. In ‘act of god’, coercive not cooperative federalism
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Targeting Hezbollah
F. Prelims Facts
1. Domestic transfer pricing cases to also be covered under the faceless assessment 
mechanism
2. Lakshadweep Islands to have more Kerala barn owls to kill rats
G. Tidbits
1. Govt to divest up to 15% stake in HAL
2. Chinese buyers help lift Indian steel exports
3. ‘India’s business climate has been continuously improving’
4. UN Secy.-Gen. Guterres flays India’s coal subsidy
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

2. Punjab House passes resolution against Centre’s agri ordinances

Context:

The Punjab Assembly has passed a resolution rejecting the Centre’s recent farm ordinances and the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill.

Background:

  • In June 2020, the Union Cabinet approved an amendment to the 65-year-old Essential Commodities Act.
  • Cabinet also approved ordinances to remove restrictions on farmers selling their produce outside notified market yards, as well as to facilitate contract farming and allow farmers to engage in direct marketing.

Read more about this topic covered in the 4th June 2020 Comprehensive News Analysis.

Details:

  • The Punjab CM said “Entry 14 of List II of the Constitution comprises agriculture as the subject of the States, therefore these ordinances are a direct encroachment upon the functions of the States and against the spirit of cooperative federalism enshrined in the Constitution and will promote distress sale.”
  • It has been demanded that the Union government withdraw these ordinances and the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020, and instead, a fresh ordinance be promulgated making the procurement of foodgrains and other agricultural produce at the Minimum Support Price.

2. Lakshadweep Islands to have more Kerala barn owls to kill rats

What’s in News?

The Lakshadweep Administration had embarked on the ‘Pilot project on Biological Control of Rodents (Rats) by using Barn Owls (Tyto alba) in Kavaratti Island’.

This topic has been covered in the 10th May 2019 Comprehensive News Analysis.

G. Tidbits

1. Govt to divest up to 15% stake in HAL

What’s in News?

The government is looking to raise around ₹5,000 crore by divesting up to 15% stake in state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL).

Background:

  • In February 2020, the government set an ambitious disinvestment target of ₹2.1 lakh crore for 2020-21.
  • Also, as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package, the government had announced opening up of all sectors for private participation.

Read: Centre to proceed with divestment of 23 PSUs: FM

Details:

  • The government currently holds an 89.97% stake in HAL after selling a 10% stake through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 2018 that raised around ₹4,229 crore.
  • HAL is the only aircraft manufacturer in the country and assembles and builds a range of military helicopters and aircraft.
  • It has several deals and products in the pipeline on offer for the armed forces.

2. Chinese buyers help lift Indian steel exports

What’s in News?

India’s steel exports more than doubled between April and July 2020 to hit their highest level in at least six years, boosted by Chinese buying.

  • Vietnam and China bought 1.37 and 1.3 million tonnes of steel respectively.
  • The Chinese purchases are by far the largest since data was first collated in the current form beginning with the fiscal year 2015-2016.
  • Vietnam has been a regular buyer of Indian steel, but China has emerged as a leading buyer, replacing New Delhi’s traditional markets, such as Italy and Belgium.
  • Although China, the world’s leading steelmaker produces vast quantities, it needs imports as it ramps up infrastructure spending.

3. ‘India’s business climate has been continuously improving’

What’s in News?

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has said that India’s business climate has been continuously improving and the government will work tirelessly to make India one of the easiest countries to invest in and create wealth.

  • India jumped 14 places to the 63rd position in the World Bank’s latest ease-of-doing-business ranking.
  • India has improved its ranking by 79 positions in five years (2014-19).

Note:

Recently, World Bank announced the decision to pause publication of its global ‘Doing Business Report’ due to irregularities in reporting of data.

4. UN Secy.-Gen. Guterres flays India’s coal subsidy

What’s in News?

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres criticised India for subsidising fossil fuels and promoting coal auctions.

  • “Clean energy and closing the energy access gap are good business. They are the ticket to growth and prosperity. Yet, here in India, subsidies for fossil fuels are still some seven times more than subsidies for clean energy. Continued support for fossil fuels in so many places around the world is deeply troubling,” Mr. Guterres said.
  • He raised concerns that the recent research on G20 recovery packages shows that twice as much recovery money has been spent on fossil fuels as clean energy. In some cases, there are countries doubling down on domestic coal and opening up coal auctions.
  • The UN Secretary-General, however, commended several of India’s commitments to clean energy, including the initiative on the International Solar Alliance, plans for a World Solar Bank that would mobilise ₹70 trillion of investments in solar projects over the coming decade and, commitment to installing 500,000 MW of renewable energy by 2030.
  • Mr Guterres’ criticism of coal auctions is significant in the backdrop of Prime Minister’s launching of the auction of 41 coal blocks for commercial mining as part of India’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan.
  • The government decided to spend ₹50,000 crore on creating the infrastructure for coal extraction and transport, which would also create job opportunities for locals.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements:
  1. The first hour of every parliamentary sitting is termed as Question Hour and is mentioned in the Rules of Procedure of the House.
  2. Zero Hour is an informal device, not mentioned in any rules of the Parliament.
  3. The time immediately following the Question Hour is known as “Zero Hour”.

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

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • The first hour of every parliamentary sitting is termed as Question Hour. It is mentioned in the Rules of Procedure of the House.
  • The time immediately following the Question Hour has come to be known as “Zero Hour”. Members can, with prior notice to the Speaker, raise issues of importance during this time.
  • Unlike the Question Hour, the Zero Hour is not mentioned in the Rules of Procedure. Thus it is an informal device available to the members of the Parliament to raise matters without any prior notice.
Q2. Which of the following are the tributaries of River Mahanadi?
  1. Mand
  2. Ong
  3. Parry
  4. Musi
  5. Hasdeo

Choose the correct option:

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

Tributaries of River Mahanadi are Seonath (Shivnath), the Hasdeo, the Mand, the Ib, the Ong, the Tel, the Parry and the Jonk.

Q3. Which of these islands are part of the Lakshadweep Islands group?
  1. Kavaratti
  2. Agatti
  3. Minicoy
  4. Amini
  5. Kalpeni

Options:

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

Self-explanatory.

Q4. Which of the following are NOT constitutional bodies?
  1. Central Board of Direct Taxes
  2. GST Council
  3. National Human Rights Commission
  4. Finance Commission
  5. National Commission for Backward Classes

Options:

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Central Board of Direct Taxes and the National Human Rights Commission are statutory bodies.
  • The GST Council, Finance Commission and National Commission for Backward Classes are Constitutional bodies.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. In the backdrop of Centre-State friction over pending compensation payments under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, the Central Government should act in the spirit of cooperative federalism. Discuss. (15 Marks, 250 Words) (GS 2 Polity and Governance).
  2. Considering the varying economic, social and political factors in different states, critically comment on the impact of the agricultural marketing reforms announced as a part of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan. (15 Marks, 250 Words) (GS 2 Polity and Governance).

Read the previous CNA here.

29 Aug 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

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