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8 Dec 2022: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 08 Dec 2022:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY
1. The impasse over appointment of judges
GOVERNANCE
1. The debate around conjugal visits for prisoners
C. GS 3 Related
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
SOCIAL JUSTICE
1. The perils of undoing the framework of reservation
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. BIMSTEC for South Asian regional order
INDIAN SOCIETY
1. Tourist police
F. Prelims Facts
1. Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary
G. Tidbits
1. ISRO inks MoU to establish SpaceTech Innovation Network
2. Plan to install 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030 to cost ₹2.44 trillion
3. Pharma, chemicals, iron, steel exports get RoDTEP boost
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

Category: GOVERNANCE

1. The debate around conjugal visits for prisoners

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

Mains: Critical evaluation of the move to provide conjugal visits for prisoners

Context: The State of Punjab has allowed conjugal visits for prison inmates in order to ensure the right to life and personal liberty of prisoners.

Conjugal Rights of Prisoners

  • Conjugal rights broadly refer to the rights created by marriage i.e. the right of the husband or the wife to the company of their spouse.
  • With respect to prisons, conjugal visits refer to the concept of permitting prisoners to spend time privately with their spouses within the prison premises.
  • There have been several arguments about conjugal visits having positive impacts on prisoners in the form of psychological health benefits, preservation of marital ties and, the reduction in the rates of homosexuality and sexual aggression within prisons. 
  • Further, there are arguments that say that conjugal visits are a fundamental right of the spouses of the prisoners. 

Learn more about – Conjugal Rights

Are Conjugal Rights of Prisoners recognised through Law?

  • Conventions, treaties and regulations such as the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, etc. have recognised prisoner rights internationally.
    • These treaties and conventions guarantee prisoners the right to life and inherent dignity. 
    • The right to maintain family relations including conjugal visits is also included in these treaties. 
  • The concept of a conjugal visit has been adopted by various countries such as the U.S., Canada, Germany, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Belgium, Spain, Saudi Arabia and Israel.
  • Further, most of the Laws and Rules related to prisons across India also acknowledge the importance of maintenance of continuity in family and social relations.

Supreme Court’s views on extending conjugal rights to prisoners

  • In Sunil Batra v.s Delhi Administration case, 1979, the Supreme Court held that the visits by family and friends are solace in isolation to prisoners and only a dehumanised system can deprive prisoners of this humane opportunity.
  • In the Jasvir Singh v/s State of Punjab case where a couple convicted of murder and on death row had filed a petition to the court to enforce their right to procreate. 
    • The key contention before the court was to determine whether the right to conjugality and procreation is a part of the right to life. 
    • The High Court in the case had held that the right to conjugality is also available to prisoners under Article 21 which is subjected to reasonable restrictions. 
  • However, in Meharaj v/s State case, 2022, the Madras HC while hearing the argument on whether conjugal rights form part of the right to life and personal liberty (Article 21), said that there should be differential standards in enforcement of Article 21 for law abiders and law violators. 
    • Further, the Court had said that even though conjugal visits could not be held as a fundamental right, the prisoner would still be eligible to avail leave for conjugal visits if there are extraordinary reasons such as infertility treatments.

Punjab government’s stand

  • The State guidelines have clarified that conjugal visits are considered a matter of privilege rather than a right. 
  • According to the guidelines notified, the average time for conjugal visits would be two hours which would be allowed once every two months. 
  • Further, the visiting spouse must have proof of marriage and medical certificates which show that the individual is free from HIV or any other sexually transmitted disease (STDs), COVID-19 or any other infectious disease. 
  • Additionally, such facilities will not be provided to high-risk prisoners such as terrorists, child abuse convicts, death row convicts, sexual offenders, death row convicts, prisoners who suffer from HIV, etc.

Nut graf: A holistic assessment of the possibility of allowing conjugal visits to prisons along with an analysis of its pros and cons should be made considering various psychologists’ view that conjugal visits help preserve the psychological health and family bonds of the prisoners.

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. BIMSTEC for South Asian regional order

Syllabus: Bilateral, Regional & Global Groupings & Agreements Involving India and/or Affecting India’s Interests

Mains: Significance of BIMSTEC to India

Context: The failure of  SAARC in recent years has shifted the focus on BIMSTEC for better cooperation in South Asia.

Failure of SAARC:

  • The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), an intergovernmental organisation, was established to promote economic growth in South Asia. 
  • However, SAARC has failed abjectly in accomplishing most of its objectives. 
  • South Asia continues to be an extremely poor and least integrated region in the world. 
  • The intraregional trade and investment in South Asia are very low when compared to other regions such as the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Pakistan has adopted an obstructionist attitude within SAARC by repeatedly blocking several vital initiatives such as the motor vehicles agreement, aimed at bolstering regional connectivity. 
  • Deepening hostility between India and Pakistan has made matters worse. Since 2014, no SAARC summit has taken place leaving the organisation rudderless, and practically dead.
  • A weakened SAARC means heightened instability in other promising regional institutions such as the South Asian University (SAU), which is critical to buttressing India’s soft power in the region.

The BIMSTEC promise:

  • The inability of SAARC to foster regional cooperation and make progress has resulted in a shift of focus from SAARC to the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). 
  • In recent years, India has moved its diplomatic energy away from SAARC to BIMSTEC which resulted in BIMSTEC adopting its Charter in its 5th summit in March 2022.
  • The BIMSTEC Charter is significantly better than the SAARC Charter in various ways.
    • For instance, Article 6 of the BIMSTEC Charter talks about the ‘Admission of new members’ to the group. 
    • This paves the way for the admission of countries such as the Maldives.
  • The BIMSTEC Charter formalises the grouping into an organisation made up of member states that are littoral to and reliant on the Bay of Bengal.
  • The summit also saw the adoption of the ‘Master Plan for Transport Connectivity,’ which lays out a guidance framework for connectivity-related activities in the region in the future.
  • However, the BIMSTEC Charter does not contain a flexible participation scheme similar to the ASEAN Charter. 
    • This flexible scheme, also known as the ‘ASEAN Minus X’ formula, allows two or more ASEAN members to initiate negotiations for economic commitments. 
    • Thus, no country enjoys veto power to thwart economic integration between willing countries. 
  • A flexible ‘BIMSTEC Minus X’ formula will allow India and Bangladesh or India and Thailand to conduct their ongoing bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations under the broader BIMSTEC umbrella. 
  • A high-quality FTA offering deep economic integration would be an ideal step to strengthen BIMSTEC. 

Nut Graf: Considering the advantages and benefits that BIMSTEC can offer, its Charter should be amended to address various gaps to create a new South Asian regional order based on incrementalism and flexibility, ushering in prosperity and peace in the region.

Category: INDIAN SOCIETY

1. Tourist police

Syllabus: Population and Associated Issues

Mains: Impact of Crimes in India on Tourism

Context: Crimes against tourists and other foreign nationals appear to be on the rise in India.

Introduction

  • Various incidents of foreigners falling victim to crimes in India have increased recently.
  • Women are more prone to sexual attacks by criminals on the prowl in tourist destinations. For every crime committed against foreigners, several others go unreported for multifarious reasons, with one of them being the fear instilled in them by the threats of these criminals.

NCRB Data on Crimes against Foreigners in India

  • According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, Delhi recorded 27 cases of crime against foreigners in 2021, a drastic decline from 62 cases reported in 2020 and 123 in 2019. 
  • Rajasthan has shown a sharp reduction in the registration of crimes from 16 in 2019 to just 4 in 2020 and two cases last year, mainly due to the decline in tourist arrivals due to the pandemic.
  • 29 foreigners were murdered in the last three years. While 14 foreigners fell victim to rape in 2021, 16 were raped in 2020 and 12 in 2019. 
  • While 142 cases of theft were lodged by foreigners in 2019, it declined to 52 in 2020 and further dipped to 23 in 2021.

Implications:

  • Travel and tourism play an important role in India’s economy. Compared with other nations, India ranks 14th in the world in terms of its tourism sector’s contribution to the GDP.
  • Crime against foreigners ruins India’s reputation globally and also adversely affects the inflow of foreign tourists, which is a vital source of income for our country. 
  • Tourism is one of the biggest foreign exchange earners for India.
    • India’s earnings through tourism were $30.06 billion in 2019 which declined to $6.958 billion in 2020 due to the pandemic.
    • India recorded a slight increase of $8.797 billion in 2021.
  • Tourism as a form of soft power helps in promoting cultural diplomacy, and people-to-people connect and thereby promotes friendship and cooperation between India and other countries.

The Tourist Police Scheme:

  • In order to provide a safe environment for tourists, the Union Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD), organised a national conference on a ‘tourist police scheme’ in New Delhi in October 2022. 
  • It was organised with a view to “sensitise the specific requirements of the tourists for effective implementation of Uniform Tourist Police Scheme at pan-India level”.
    • Several states such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Goa, Rajasthan and Kerala have tourist police.

Way Forward:

  • The BPRD has brought out a booklet on the tourist police scheme detailing the mode of setting up of tourist police stations and control rooms, outposts, uniforms, recruitment, qualifications, training and logistics requirements for tourist police stations. 
  • 25 popular tourist spots have been identified in India for the necessary deployment of the tourist police.
  • As an incentive, a 30% deputation allowance has been recommended for the police personnel who join the tourist police on deputation.
  • All criminals in and around tourist spots need to be identified and kept under constant surveillance.
  • Fast-track courts should be set up immediately to try cases of crime against foreigners. 

Nut Graf: 13.34 million foreign tourists are expected to arrive in India by 2024, also the forthcoming G20 Summit will result in a huge influx of foreigners. This necessitates an urgent need to upgrade our security systems especially to provide a security blanket cover to foreign tourists as safety assumes utmost importance to draw tourists in hordes. 

F. Prelims Facts

1. Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary

Syllabus: GS-3; Environment and Biodiversity

Prelims: Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary and Project Elephant

Context: An 18-member herd of female elephants from the forests of Gudiyattam and Pernambattu of Tamil Nadu are currently moving through the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary zone.

Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary and the only elephant reserve present in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the Palamaner and Kuppam forest ranges of the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary is a part of Project Elephant.
  • The sanctuary is known for its southern tropical dry deciduous forest vegetation, with patches of thorn, scrub and grassy plains.
  • The habitat of the sanctuary is rugged with high hills and deep valleys.
  • Kaundinya and Kaigal which are tributaries of River Palar flow through the sanctuary.

G. Tidbits

1. ISRO inks MoU to establish SpaceTech Innovation Network

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Social Alpha which is a multistage innovation venture development platform for science and technology start-ups.
  • The MoU is to launch the SpaceTech Innovation Network (SpIN).
    • The SpIN is the first-ever dedicated platform in the country for innovation, curation, and venture development for the expanding space entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • According to ISRO, this tie-up is a one-of-a-kind public-private collaboration for start-ups and SMEs in the space industry and is a significant step towards providing stimulus to India’s space reform policies. 
  • The SpIN will mainly focus on facilitating space tech entrepreneurs in three innovation categories namely, 
    • Geospatial Technologies and Downstream Applications
    • Enabling Technologies for Space & Mobility
    • Aerospace Materials, Sensors, and Avionics
  • These innovative technologies are expected to induce a paradigm shift in utilising space applications and maximising their economic, social, and environmental potential for the larger benefit of society.

2. Plan to install 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030 to cost ₹2.44 trillion

  • As per a committee set up by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), India’s plan to install about 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030 will involve investments of close to ₹2.44 lakh crores.
    • The committee is headed by the Chairman of the Central Electricity Authority and has representatives from the Solar Energy Corporation of India, Central Transmission Utility of India Ltd, Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd, National Institute of Solar Energy, and National Institute of Wind Energy. 
  • India’s renewable energy plans are in line with India’s commitments at various global forums and they will also pave the way for adding the required generation capacity
  • As part of its international climate commitments, India has assured that it will source about 50% of its energy needs from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030 and financing this energy transition has been one of the major geo-political issues at present for developing countries like India.
  • The committee is tasked with devising a plan for the transmission system required for having 500 GW of non-fossil fuel-based installed capacity by 2030.

3. Pharma, chemicals, iron, steel exports get RoDTEP boost

  • As India’s export momentum has been affected by declining global demand, the government has decided to extend the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) Scheme to the pharmaceuticals, chemicals and iron & steel sectors.
  • The RoDTEP scheme which was introduced in 2021 replaced the Merchandise Export Incentive Scheme and it provides a “zero rating” of exports or ensures that no domestic taxes are added to goods meant for export.
  • India’s goods exports dropped over 16% in October 2021 with engineering goods, which also include steel products, dropping by more than 21%, drugs and pharma exports dropping by over 9% and chemical exports declining by about 16.4%.
  • The sectors which are getting the RoDTRP boost had been excluded from the scheme so far due to fiscal constraints and the fact that their export performance was good even without such benefits. The extension of RoDTEP to these uncovered sectors is expected to improve the export competitiveness of these sectors.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. The Constitution Amendment Act which granted citizens a fundamental right to form
cooperative societies is:
  1. 88th amendment
  2. 89th amendment
  3. 92nd amendment
  4. 97th amendment
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • The Ninety-Seventh Amendment Act of 2011 gave constitutional status and protection to cooperative societies and introduced the following three changes in the Constitution:
    • It made the right to form cooperative societies a fundamental right (Article 19). 
    • It included a new Directive Principle of State Policy on the promotion of cooperative societies (Article 43B). 
    • It added a new Part IX-B in the Constitution, which is entitled “The Cooperative Societies” (Article 243-ZH to 243-ZT). 
Q2. Consider the following statements:
  1. Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary and an elephant reserve situated in Andhra Pradesh.
  2. The Indian elephant is the state animal of Andhra Pradesh.
  3. ‘Operation Shikkar’ was undertaken to stop the illegal trade in ivory.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct, Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary and an elephant reserve situated in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Statement 2 is not correct, Black Buck (Antilope cervicapra) is the state animal of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Statement 3 is correct, Operation Shikkar was undertaken to stop the illegal trade in ivory. Operation Shikar was initiated soon after the discovery of organized elephant poaching in Kerala.
Q3. Which amongst the following statements is the best description of Brandt line?
  1. It is a line on the map that marks the border between North Korea and South Korea.
  2. It is an imaginary division that divides the world into the rich north and the poor south.
  3. It forms the maritime border between India and the Maldives.
  4. Finland built this as a defensive line against the Soviet Union for the Winter War during World War II.
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • The Brandt Line was proposed by Willy Brandt in the 1980s.
  • The Brandt Line is a way of visualising the world that highlights the disparities and inequalities between the wealthy North and the poorer global South.
Q4. Which of the following statements is/are correct?
  1. Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) are massive but extremely bright, high-energy short gamma radiations which get released when massive stars collapse or die in the Universe.
  2. Energy associated with GRBs is many folds larger than what our Sun can emit in its entire lifetime.

Options:

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct, Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) are massive but extremely bright, high-energy short gamma radiations which get released when massive stars collapse or die in the Universe.
  • Statement 2 is correct, The energy associated with GRBs is many folds larger than what our Sun can emit in its entire lifetime, making its study key to understanding the life and death of stars in our Universe.
Q5. Consider the following statements: PYQ (2022)
  1. A bill amending the Constitution requires a prior recommendation of the President of India.
  2. When a Constitution Amendment Bill is presented to the President of India, it is obligatory for the President of India to give his/her assent.
  3. A Constitution Amendment Bill must be passed by both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha by a special majority and there is no provision for joint sitting.

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: b

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is not correct, According to Article 368 of the Constitution, A bill amending the Constitution does not require a prior recommendation of the President.
  • Statement 2 is correct, The President cannot exercise his/her veto powers w.r.t. Constitution amendment bill i.e. when a Constitution Amendment Bill is presented to the President of India, it is obligatory for the President to give his/her assent.
  • Statement 3 is correct, A Constitution Amendment Bill must be passed by both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha by a special majority and there is no provision for a joint sitting

CNA 08 Dec 2022:- Download PDF Here

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