09 Dec 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 09 Dec 2021:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
SOCIAL JUSTICE
1. Global (and Indian) trends in inequality (World Inequality Report (WIR))
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. The battle for the Trincomalee oil tank farm
C. GS 3 Related
ECONOMY
1. ‘Cybersecurity a key concern with CBDC’ (Central Bank Digital Currency)
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
ECONOMY
1. High LPG prices are scorching the air pollution fight
HEALTH
1. Low Tobacco Tax, Poor Health
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Russia, a Legacy Relationship with Limitations
F. Prelims Facts
1. India Mobile Congress (IMC)
2. Rawat, 12 others killed in T.N. chopper crash
G. Tidbits
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. The battle for the Trincomalee oil tank farm

Topic: India and its neighbourhood relations

Prelims: Location of ports (map-based questions)

Mains: Development of Oil tank farm and its significance for India

Ports in Sri Lanka

Image source: www.sundaytimes.lk

Tricomalee Harbour

Image source: www.vifindia.org

Trincomalee Oil Tank Farm

  • It is the oil tank farm that was initially built by the British during WW2.
    • The main purpose of the oil tank farm was to fuel the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force (RAF), which were used during the East Indian defense against Japanese aggression.
    • The storage complex fell into disuse after the British ceded power in 1948.
  • Trincomalee harbour is the second deepest natural harbour in the world.

The facility has 99 storage tanks.

  • They have a capacity of 12,000 kl each.
  • 84 of those are in the 800-acre Upper Tank Farm (UTF).
    • These tanks have remained unused for many decades.
  • The Lower Tank Farm (LTF) has 16 tanks, spread across 50 acres.
  • Overall 15 are operational and run by the LIOC, while the UTF, for decades, remains neglected.
    • Four of the 15 tanks are used for water storage by the Sri Lanka Air Force and Prima Group.

History of India’s interest in Trincomalee

  • India’s engagement with Sri Lanka for the development of the oil tank storage farm project dates back to the India-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987.
  • In 2003, the Indian Oil Corporation set up Lanka IOC (LIOC), its Sri Lankan subsidiary.
    • In an agreement with the Government of Sri Lanka and the State-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation in 2003, the LIOC obtained – for an annual payment of $1,00,000 – a 35-year lease to develop the oil tank farm spanning 850 acres in the north-eastern tip of the island.
  • However, the agreement remained dormant for years, until the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration tried revisiting it through the 2017 MoU.

Significance

  • From India’s geostrategic viewpoint, Trincomalee is an important counterbalance to the southern Hambantota Port backed by China.
  • India also views the project as a means to participate in Sri Lanka’s development.

Challenges

  • Vagaries of internal politics in Sri Lanka.
  • Workers protesting the “handing over” of a strategic national asset to another country.

How does it help Sri Lanka?

  • Developing the upper tank farm in Trincomalee would help the coastal town become a regional petroleum hub.
  • The region has also emerged as a favoured destination for surfers from around the world, gradually transforming with plush resorts and restaurants dotting its coast. Thus it can be developed as a tourist hub.

Category: HEALTH

1. Low Tobacco Tax, Poor Health

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

Mains: Taxes on Tobacco Products; Health Effects of tobacco

Context:

  • The article discusses the ill effects of Tobacco and low taxation on Tobacco products.

Stats

  • In India, 28.6% of adults above 15 years and 8.5% of students aged 13-15 years use tobacco in some form or the other.
  • This makes the country the second-largest consumer of tobacco in the world.

Health issues

  • Tobacco use is known to be a major risk factor for several non-communicable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and chronic lung diseases.
  • Smokeless tobacco contains many cancer-causing toxins and its use increases the risk of cancers of the head, neck, throat, oesophagus and oral cavity (including cancer of the mouth, tongue, lip and gums) as well as various dental diseases.

India thus bears an annual economic burden of over ₹1,77,340 crore on account of tobacco use. Despite these concerns, India does not tax much to discourage the consumption of tobacco.

India doesn’t tax enough on tobacco

  • The tax structure has not incorporated any added tax on tobacco products except a few minor changes introduced in the 2020-21 Union Budget.
  • In the pre-GST period, State governments used to regularly raise value-added tax (VAT) on tobacco products. This is not the case after the introduction of GST. It effectively means some current smokers smoke more now and some non-smokers have started smoking.

Implications

  • India may not be able to achieve a 30% tobacco use reduction by 2025 as envisaged in the National Health Policy of 2017 by the Government of India.

Conclusion

  • The Union government should raise taxes to reduce tobacco consumption. The upcoming Union Budget gives a perfect opportunity for this.

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Russia, a Legacy Relationship with Limitations

Topic: Russia and India Relations in the context of the Annual Summit.

Prelim: 2+2 meeting, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Indian Ocean Region

Mains: Explore the geo-political changes and challenges in the Indo-Russia relationship

For more on this topic, please check CNA dated Dec 7, 2021.

F. Prelims Facts

1. India Mobile Congress (IMC)

  • It is the largest telecom, media and technology forum in South Asia, jointly organised by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).
  • IMC has established itself as a leading forum for bringing together industry, government, academia and other ecosystem players to discuss, deliberate, demonstrate and display the latest in the world of TMT and ICT.
  • Not only is the India Mobile Congress the biggest technology event in South East Asia, but it is also the biggest networking event in India in the technology space.

Objectives

India Mobile Congress (IMC) Objectives

Image source: www.indiamobilecongress.com

2. Rawat, 12 others killed in T.N. chopper crash

Context

  • Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and his wife have been killed along with 12 others when the Army chopper they were flying in crashed near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu.
    • The exact reason for the crash is not yet known
    • The helicopter that crashed was MI-17 V5

Mi17V5

  • It is an advanced transport helicopter which is with the Indian Air Force since 2012.
  • It belongs to the MI-8/17 family of military helicopters.
  • These choppers are equipped with the latest night vision. They also have weather radar.
    • Therefore it is capable of operating in any geographical and climatic conditions, day and night, along with adverse weather situations.
  • It has a digital flight data recorder and a cockpit voice recorder onboard to monitor flight parameters and cockpit conversations respectively.
  • Mi-17V-5 military transport helicopter is designed to carry personnel, cargo and equipment inside the cargo cabin or on an external sling, drop tactical air assault forces and reconnaissance and sabotage groups, destroy ground targets and carry the wounded.
  • The MI-17 V5 has a maximum speed of 250 km per hour and a cruise speed of 230 km per hour. It has a service ceiling of 6,000 metres, and the flight range with its main fuel tanks is 675 km. With two auxiliary fuel tanks, it can fly up to 1,180 km. It can carry a maximum payload of 4,000 kg. The maximum take-off weight of the helicopter is 13,000 kg.

Image Source: India Today

G. Tidbits

Nothing here for today!!!

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements with regards to the Ken-Betwa river interlinking 
project:
  1. Ken and Betwa rivers originate in MP and are the tributaries of Yamuna.
  2. The Ken-Betwa Link Project (KBLP) is the river interlinking project that aims to transfer surplus water from the Betwa in UP to Ken River in MP to irrigate the drought-prone Bundelkhand region.
  3. Ken River passes through Panna tiger reserve.

Choose the correct statements:

  1. 1 & 2 only
  2. 2 & 3 only
  3. 1 & 3 only
  4. All of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • It is a project to transfer excess water from the River Ken to the Betwa basin through the use of a concrete canal. The project aims to provide irrigation to the Bundelkhand region, which is one of the worst drought-affected areas in India.
  • Ken Betwa River Linking
Q2. Which amongst the following appliances must have the BEE energy rating label mandatorily 
under Indian law?
  1. Colour TV
  2. Electric Geyser
  3. Tubular fluorescent
  4. Room Air-conditioners

Choose from the codes given below:

  1. 1 & 2 only
  2. 1, 2 & 3 only
  3. 3 & 4 only
  4. All of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • The following products have been notified under mandatory labelling.
    • Frost Free (No-Frost) Refrigerator
    • Tubular Fluorescent Lamps
    • Room Air Conditioners
    • Distribution Transformers
    • Room Air Conditioners (Cassette, Floor Standing Tower, Ceiling, Corner AC)
    • Direct Cool Refrigerator
    • Electric Geysers
    • Colour TV
    • Room Air Conditioners (Inverter type)
    • LED lamps
Q3. Consider the following statements with regards to the recently passed Assisted 
Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2020:
  1. The Bill provides that every ART clinic and bank must be registered under the National Registry of Banks and Clinics of India.
  2. The registration will be valid for five years and can be renewed for a further five years.
  3. A bank can obtain semen from males between 21 and 55 years of age, and oocytes from females between 23 and 35 years of age.
  4. The woman can donate oocyte only once in her life and not more than seven oocytes can be retrieved from her.

Which of these statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 & 2 only
  2. 2 & 4 only
  3. 1, 3 & 4 only
  4. All of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d
Explanation:

  • The Bill provides that every ART clinic and bank must be registered under the National Registry of Banks and Clinics of India.
    • The National Registry will be established under the Bill and will act as a central database with details of all ART clinics and banks in the country
  • The registration will be valid for five years and can be renewed for a further five years.
    • Registration may be cancelled or suspended if the entity contravenes the provisions of the Bill.
  • A bank can obtain semen from males between 21 and 55 years of age, and oocytes from females between 23 and 35 years of age. An oocyte donor should be an ever-married woman having at least one alive child of her own (minimum three years of age).  The woman can donate oocytes only once in her life and not more than seven oocytes can be retrieved from her.
    • A bank cannot supply the gamete of a single donor to more than one commissioning couple (couple seeking services).
Q4. Which of the following is not true with regards to Unified Payments Interface (UPI)?
  1. It is an advanced version of Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) – round-the-clock funds transfer service to make cashless payments faster, easier and smoother.
  2. UPI is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood.
  3. RBI launched UPI with 21 member banks in 2014.
  4. The user doesn’t have to pay any fee for UPI transactions.
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood.
  • National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) conducted a pilot launch with 21 member banks in 2016.
Q5. Under which Schedule of the Constitution of India can the transfer of tribal land to 
private parties for mining be declared null and void?  (PYQ 2019)
  1. Third Schedule
  2. Fifth Schedule
  3. Ninth Schedule
  4. Twelfth Schedule
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • The Fifth Schedule contains provisions in relation to the administration and control of scheduled areas and scheduled tribes.
  • Schedules of Indian Constitution

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

    1. Explain the underlying issues that are inhibiting the growth of India-Russia relations. What steps can be taken to overcome such issues? (250 words; 15 marks) GS II (International Relations)
    2. The path to India’s prosperity can’t be complete unless it includes those who are living on the fringes. In light of this statement, suggest measures to bring inclusive development in the country. (250 words; 15 marks) GS II (Governance)

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 09 Dec 2021:- Download PDF Here

2 Comments

  1. Where can I get answers for mains questions asked at the end of CNA? Can i also see answers posted by peers?

    1. Dear aspirant,

      For Mains questions and answers, you can check the separate platform here where we put daily mains questions.

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