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7 Dec 2022: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 07 Dec 2022:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Europe’s concerns about the U.S. IRA
GOVERNANCE
1. How is TRAI proposing to help callers identify spammers?
C. GS 3 Related
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
ECONOMY
1. Scenarios for the future of India, and the world
ENVIRONMENT
1. Delhi choking, but do not blame stubble burning alone
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Intense engagement
F. Prelims Facts
1. ChatGPT
G. Tidbits
1. Yuan Wang 5, surveillance vessel of China, re-enters Indian Ocean
2. DoT proposes not to monetise Bharatnet infrastructure
3. World Bank raises India’s growth projection to 6.9%
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

Category: GOVERNANCE

1. How is TRAI proposing to help callers identify spammers?

Syllabus: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

Prelims: About TRAI

Mains: Details about the Calling Name Presentation (CNAP) feature of TRAI and its significance

Context

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recently released a consultation paper for comments with respect to the introduction of a Calling Name Presentation (CNAP) feature.

Details

  • The Calling Name Presentation (CNAP) feature would help individuals by providing information about the calling party similar to the applications such as “Truecaller” and “Bharat Caller ID & Anti-Spam”.
  • The main objective of introducing the CNAP feature is to ensure that telephone subscribers would be able to make informed choices about incoming calls and put a check on harassment by spam callers. 

The need for CNAP feature

  • As the subscribers are not provided with the name and identity of the caller, individuals sometimes might not answer such calls believing that it could be commercial calls from unregistered telemarketers. This can lead to various instances where even genuine calls are left unanswered.
  • Further, concerns have been raised about robocalls (automatic calls made using IT-enabled systems), spam calls and fraudulent calls.
  • As per Truecaller’s “2021 Global Spam and Scam Report”, the average number of spam calls per user per month was about 16.8 in India and the total spam volumes received by its users were more than 3.8 billion calls in October alone. 
  • Users currently rely on in-built features or third-party applications that present the number of the calling entity to identify spam calls.
    • However, TRAI believes that the data from such applications cannot be reliable as they are from crowd-sourced data.

Concerns about privacy

  • Experts have raised concerns about how the CNAP feature would balance the caller’s right to remain anonymous which is a key component of the right to privacy.
  • The right to remain anonymous becomes essential as individuals might opt to remain anonymous for various reasons such as whistle-blowers or employees being harassed. 
  • Experts have observed that the customers/users provide their consent only to their operators when completing the prerequisite KYC formalities for a connection and hence it would be ideal that a framework for the feature is developed on similar lines instead of hosting the data on a centralised database operated by a third party which is one of the proposed mechanisms. 

Other concerns

  • Earlier, telemarketers were mandated to register themselves as promotional numbers, which made it easier to identify and block such numbers. However, telemarketers have now started recruiting people who are “at-home workers” and are not part of the entity.
  • These workers are provided SIM cards that are not registered to a particular entity but are registered to the individuals themselves, making it difficult to identify such numbers.
  • Experts feel that the feature of presenting the identity would not mean much and the system would have a significant impact only when the mechanism of identifying and marking is completely developed and hundreds of people utilise the system.

Nut graf: With the number of spam, promotional and fraud calls increasing significantly in the country, TRAI is looking to introduce a Calling Name Presentation feature that displays the name of the caller on mobile phones. However, experts feel that the government must also undertake steps to promote digital literacy and digital skilling of the citizens in order to reduce the harassment of consumers from such unwanted calls.

G. Tidbits

1. Yuan Wang 5, surveillance vessel of China, re-enters Indian Ocean

  • The Chinese research and survey vessel Yuan Wang 5 has re-entered the Indian Ocean as India plans to undertake a long-range missile test.
    • Similarly, Yuan Wang 6 had entered the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) coinciding with a planned Indian missile launch, but the launch was then deferred.
  • Yuan Wang 5 entered the IOR through the Sunda strait close to Indonesia.
  • Previously, the docking of Yuan Wang 5 at Hambantota in Sri Lanka had led to a major diplomatic conflict between India and Sri Lanka.
  • According to reports, there has been an increase in the deployment of Chinese research vessels in the IOR and the deployment has been witnessed near the 90-degree east ridge and southwest Indian ridge.
    • The Chinese presence in the IOR started in 2008 under the pretext of anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.
    • Further, China has since set up its military bases in Djibouti and has developed several dual-use ports in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Pakistan and other countries.

2. DoT proposes not to monetise Bharatnet infrastructure

  • Reports suggest that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has proposed not to monetise rural broadband network infrastructure built under the Bharatnet project.
  • Reports also reveal that DoT plans to replace it with alternative assets to achieve the target fixed under the National Monetisation Pipeline.
  • Earlier, reports had indicated that the attempts to monetise assets under Bharatnet failed to get a satisfactory response from private players.

3. World Bank raises India’s growth projection to 6.9%

World Bank raises Indias growth projection to 6.9

Image source: The Hindu

  • The World Bank raised its growth forecast of India’s economy to 6.9%, after having reduced it to 6.5% in October on account of the resilience in economic activity despite a deteriorating external environment.
  • The World Bank’s country director in India has said that India’s economy has been resilient to the deteriorating external environment, and strong macroeconomic fundamentals have ensured that the economy in India is in good stead as compared to other emerging market economies.
  • The recent report of the World Bank also noted that a one percentage point decline in growth in the U.S. is associated with a 0.4 percentage point decline in India’s growth.
    • This effect is about 1.5 times more for other emerging economies, and the result is also similar for growth spillovers from the EU and China.
  • Economic experts believe that a well-crafted and prudent policy response to global spillovers is helping India to navigate global and domestic challenges.
  • However, the widening of the goods trade deficit due to an increase in imports and a decline in exports which have widened the current account deficit continue to be key challenges.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. With respect to Kangaroo courts, which of the following statements is/are correct?
  1. It is an unauthorized court not sanctioned by law.
  2. Kangaroo courts are inequitable.

Options:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both
  4. None
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct, Kangaroo courts are unauthorized courts that are not sanctioned by any law.
  • Statement 2 is correct, Kangaroo courts are courts that ignore the standards of law or justice and are inequitable.
Q2. Shantilal Shah Committee is related to which of the following?
  1. RBI appointed committee on digital payments.
  2. Committee appointed to examine the functioning of banks.
  3. Committee constituted by India’s Ministry of Environment to review India’s major environment laws.
  4. The Committee proposed comprehensive abortion care for women.
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • In the 1960s, a high number of induced abortions were reported in the country and the union government then constituted a Shantilal Shah Committee in 1964 to look into the issue of abortions and find out if there was a need to formulate a law on abortions.
    • The Committee conducted a detailed study on the medical, legal, and sociocultural aspects of abortion in the country. 
    • The Committee recommended the legalisation of abortion and comprehensive law on abortions to address the issues of unsafe abortions and maternal mortality rates.
Q3. Which of the following statements is/are incorrect with respect to BharatNet 
Project?
  1. The objective is to provide internet connectivity in rural and remote areas.
  2. The entire project is being funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
  3. The project is a Centre-State collaborative project, with the States contributing free Rights of Way for establishing the Optical Fibre Network.

Options:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 3 only
  4. None
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct, BharatNet project envisages digitally connecting all the Gram Panchayats (GPs) and Villages of India and providing internet connectivity to rural and remote areas.
  • Statement 2 is correct, The project is being executed by BSNL, RailTel, and Power Grid and is being funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
  • Statement 3 is correct, The project is a Centre-State collaborative project, with the States contributing free Rights of Way for establishing the Optical Fibre Network.
Q4. Consider the following pairs:

            Battle                                                      Fought between

  1. Battle of Hydaspes                               Alexander the Great and King Porus
  2. Battle of Baligram                                Humayun and Sher Shah
  3. Battle of Venni                                      Chola King Karikala & Pandya & Chera kings
  4. Battle of Khanwa                                 Babur and Sultan Mahmud Lodi

How many pairs given above are correctly matched?

  1. Only one pair
  2. Only two pairs
  3. Only three pairs
  4. All four pairs
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Pair 1 is correct, The Battle of Hydaspes was a decisive battle fought between the armies of Alexander the Great and King Porus (also known as Poru, Paurava) in 326 BC.
  • Pair 2 is correct, The Battle of Baligram (Battle of Kannauj) was fought between Sher Shah Suri and Mughal Emperor Humayun on 17 May 1540. 
  • Pair 3 is correct, The Battle of Venni was fought between Karikala Chola with a confederacy of the two crowned kings of Pandya and Chera.
  • Pair 4 is not correct, The Battle of Khanwa was a decisive engagement between the Mughal forces under Babur and the Rajput alliance under Rana Sanga of Mewar in 1527.
    • In the Battle of Ghaghra (1529), the forces of Mughal Emperor Babur fought the Afghan king Sultan Mahmud Lodi.
Q5. Consider the following statements: PYQ (2022)
  1. Tight monetary policy of the US Federal Reserve could lead to capital flight.
  2. Capital flight may increase the interest cost of firms with existing External Commercial Borrowings (ECBs).
  3. Devaluation of domestic currency decreases the currency risk associated with ECBS.

Which of the statements given above 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:

  • Statement 1 is correct, Tight (contractionary) monetary policy is usually undertaken by a central bank such as the Federal Reserve to slow down overheated economic growth and to constrain spending in an economy. 
    • However, tight monetary policy discourages investments and could lead to capital flight. 
  • Statement 2 is correct, As there is a reduced money supply in the system, capital flight can increase the interest cost of firms with existing External Commercial Borrowings (ECBs).
  • Statement 3 is not correct, Devaluation of domestic currency does not impact the ECBs as it is denominated in the foreign currency and not in the domestic currency.

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 07 Dec 2022:- Download PDF Here

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