10 Dec 2019: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

December 10th, 2019 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. LS passes Citizenship Bill amidst Opposition outcry
2. Bill on extension of SC, ST quota in LS, Assemblies introduced
C. GS 3 Related
ECONOMY
1. India up one rank in UN development index
2. Aim is to boost private investment, says CEA
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. Centre begins training States on piped water quality standard
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. Climate treaty at a tipping point
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
1. Lethal misgovernance
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Unequal, unsecular
2. A growing blot on the criminal justice system
F. Tidbits
1. Change in visa penalty irks Bangladesh
2. 218 fast-track courts in U.P. for sexual crimes
G. Prelims Facts
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

A. GS 1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

B. GS 2 Related

Category:POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. LS passes Citizenship Bill amidst Opposition outcry

Context:

The Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) that seeks to give citizenship to refugees from the Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh and Zoroastrian communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Details:

LS passes Citizenship Bill amidst Opposition

  • The bill states, “Provided that for the persons belonging to minority communities, namely, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, the aggregate period of residence or service of a Government in India as required under this clause shall be read as not less than five years in place of not less than eleven years”.

Note:

  • As per the Bill, the amendments to the Citizenship Act, 1955, if approved, will not apply to the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and to the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland that are protected by the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system.
  • The Home Minister has told the Lok Sabha that Manipur would be brought under the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system, thus exempting it from the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
  • With Manipur joining the list of ILP-protected north-eastern States, the Bill will apply only to some parts of Tripura and Assam.
  • Nagaland and Mizoram are also protected by the ILP and it will continue to remain protected.
  • Citizens of other States require the ILP to visit the protected areas as per the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873. This means that illegal migrants from the six minority communities who will become Indian citizens as per the proposed amendment will not be able to take up jobs, open businesses or settle down in these areas and will require a permit to enter the States.

Read more about the Citizenship Amendment Bill.

2. Bill on extension of SC, ST quota in LS, Assemblies introduced

Context:

A Bill seeking to extend by 10 years, reservation for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Lok Sabha and the Assemblies, and remove the provision of nominating two members of the Anglo-Indian community to the Lok Sabha has been introduced in the House.

Background:

  • According to Constitution (126th) Amendment Bill, the reservation to SCs, STs and the Anglo-Indian community in Lok Sabha and state assemblies was granted for 70 years, under Article 334 when the Constitution came into being.
  • The reservation given to SCs, STs and the Anglo-Indian community for the past 70 years is to end on January 25, 2020.

Details:

  • As of today, there is a provision to nominate two members of the Anglo-Indian community in the Lok Sabha but they have not yet been nominated, according to the Lok Sabha website.
  • While reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the legislature is carried out through constitutional amendments, similar reservation in jobs for these categories is decided by the respective state governments.

Criticisms:

  • Through the bill, the reservation for only the SC and ST communities — and not the Anglo-Indian community — will be extended till January 25, 2030.
  • The introduction of the Constitution (126th) Amendment Bill has been opposed saying that the Anglo-Indian community would be deprived of representation.

C. GS 3 Related

Category:ECONOMY

1. India up one rank in UN development index

Context:

India has been ranked 129 out of 189 countries on the 2019 Human Development Index (HDI) — up one slot from the 130th position in 2018 — according to the Human Development Report (HDR) released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Human Development Index:

  • The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistical tool used to measure a country’s overall achievement in its social and economic dimensions.
  • The social and economic dimensions of a country are based on the health of people, their level of educational attainment and their standard of living.
  • The HDI measures average achievement in three basic dimensions of human development — life expectancy, education and per capita income.

India’s Performance:

  • India has been ranked 129 out of 189 countries on the 2019 Human Development Index (HDI) — up one slot from the 130th position in 2018.
  • However, for inequality-adjusted HDI (IHDI), India’s position drops by one position to 130, losing nearly half the progress (.647 to .477) made in the past 30 years. The IHDI indicates percentage loss in HDI due to inequalities.
  • The report notes that group-based inequalities persist, especially affecting women and girls, and no place in the world has gender equality. In the Gender Inequality Index (GII), India is at 122 out of 162 countries.

Details:

  • Norway, Switzerland and Ireland occupied the top three positions in that order. Germany is placed fourth along with Hong Kong, and Australia secured the fifth rank on the global ranking.
  • Among India’s neighbours, Sri Lanka (71) and China (85) are higher up the rank scale while Bhutan (134), Bangladesh (135), Myanmar (145), Nepal (147), Pakistan (152) and Afghanistan (170) were ranked lower on the list.
  • As per the report, South Asia was the fastest-growing region in human development progress witnessing a 46% growth over 1990-2018, followed by East Asia and the Pacific at 43%. India’s HDI value increased by 50% (from 0.431 to 0.647), which places it above the average for other South Asian countries (0.642).
  • In the Gender Inequality Index (GII), neighbours China (39), Sri Lanka (86), Bhutan (99) and Myanmar (106) were placed above India.
  • The report notes that the world is not on track to achieve gender equality by 2030 as per the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. It forecasts that it may take 202 years to close the gender gap in economic opportunity — one of the three indicators of the GII.
  • The report presents a new index indicating how prejudices and social beliefs obstruct gender equality, which shows that only 14% of women and 10% of men worldwide have no gender bias.
  • The report notes that this indicates a backlash to women’s empowerment as these biases have shown a growth especially in areas where more power is involved, including in India.
  • The report also highlights that new forms of inequalities will manifest in the future through climate change and technological transformation which have the potential to deepen existing social and economic fault lines.

2. Aim is to boost private investment, says CEA

Context:

Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy Subramanian has said that private investment was the key to economic growth and the recent cut in corporate tax rate was done to boost investments.

Background:

  • India’s GDP growth slowed sharply to 4.5% in July-September, hit by a slump in manufacturing output.
  • The pace had moderated from 5% in April-June and 7% in the July-September quarter of 2018.
  • Subsequently, the Centre slashed the corporate tax rate to 22% from 30%. It also lowered the tax rate for new manufacturing companies to 15% to attract new foreign direct investments.

Details:

  • “Private investment is the driver of economic growth. Steps that we are taking, be it corporate tax rate cut, be it code on wages and industrial relations, is to try and create a more favourable environment for investment,” Mr. Subramanian said.
  • He said investment was required for sustained economic growth.

Category:ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. Centre begins training States on piped water quality standard

Context:

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is preparing the ground for enforcement of piped water quality standards with a workshop for State officials.

Details:

  • “Providing safe drinking water to the common public is a primary requirement for ensuring health”, Consumer Affairs Minister said.
  • However, it is not yet clear whether the Centre’s own flagship mission to provide piped water to all households by 2024 will implement the BIS standard.
  • Unlike the BIS standard for bottled water, which is mostly produced by private companies, the standard for piped water — largely supplied by government agencies — is not yet mandatory.
  • Jal Shakti is the nodal Ministry for the Jal Jeevan Mission to provide functional household tap connections to 14.6 crore rural households by 2024.

Jal Jeevan Mission:

  • The Jal Jeevan Mission was announced in 2019.
  • The chief objective of the Mission is to provide piped water supply (Har Ghar Jal) to all rural and urban households by 2024.
  • It also aims to create local infrastructure for rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and management of household wastewater for reuse in agriculture.

Read more about Jal Jeevan Mission in 11th November 2019 PIB Summary and Analysis.

D. GS 4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category:ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. Climate treaty at a tipping point

Context:

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 25th Conference of Parties being held in Madrid.

Concerns:

Increasing concentration of greenhouse gases:

  • The failure to limit the increasing levels of concentration of greenhouse gases despite the annual Climate Summits raises questions on the efficacy of the current global climate policy.

Failure of the current global climate policy:

  • The world’s major emitter, the US has rejected multilateralism, premised on burden-sharing and has pulled out of the Paris climate deal.
  • The planned emission cuts fall short of what needs to be done to contain global warming. The existing Nationally Determined Contributions filed under the Paris Agreement fall short. There is a yawning gap between planned emissions cuts, and what needs to be done by 2030 to contain global temperature rise at 1.5°C.

Divergent resource use:

  • Excessive resource use by the West which constitutes 20% of the world’s population consumes half of the global material use and is the major cause of climate change.
  • Asia with half the world’s population is responsible for less than half of the material use.
  • The contribution of the United States to resource use or cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide peaked at 40% in 1950, declined to 26% and is likely to remain at this level.
  • By 2015, the global population had doubled when emissions in China began to stabilise and accounted for 12% of the total cumulative emissions. Asia and Africa will peak at per-capita levels that are a third of those of the West.
  • The developed world by failing to acknowledge its historical contribution to the issue of climate change is shifting the burden of controlling climate change onto developing countries.

Failure to address the core of the problem:

  • The policy problem is that the Climate Treaty considers symptoms (emissions of greenhouse gases), rather than the causes (use of natural resources).
  • The European Union’s ambition of ‘net’ zero emissions by 2050 neglects the needed societal change by ignoring the embedded carbon in its imports which accounts for a third of their emissions of carbon dioxide.

Shifts in natural resource usage:

  • Three shifts in natural resource use have taken place in the last 400 years:
    • From agriculture to industry: Colonialism and its aftermath of multinational corporations was the driver of this shift.
    • From rural to urban: Infrastructure development in urban areas was the driver of this shift. More than half of the natural resource use and global emissions occurred after 1950, driven by the gradual shift of three-quarters of the global population to cities.
    • From the aspect of livelihood to that of well-being: Societal notions of progress led to this shift.
  • The first two global trends show limited convergence and stabilization. This trend is being observed throughout the world though at different times.
  • The third trend diverges sharply between material abundance in the West and societal well-being in the developing countries represented by India and China.

Factors affecting natural resource usage:

  • Consumption patterns of primary material use for the provision of major services are driven by diverse values that include both global trends transforming human societies like urbanisation, economic globalisation and digitisation, as well as national pathways to achieve prosperity.
  • At the national-level, resource use is primarily construction material and energy use in buildings, mobility and manufacturing as well as food, which together lead to human well-being.

Differing trends of natural resource usage:

  • National natural resource-use accelerated in two distinct phases with very different origins and impacts. In North America and Europe, resource use accelerated after 1950, and not with industrial resource use from 1850. By 1970, three-quarters of their population had moved to cities, characterised as “unprecedented prosperity”, leading to the trajectory towards climate change.
  • China’s acceleration of natural resource use from 2000, also driven by urbanisation, is characterised as “unprecedented growth”. Different values and the objective of increasing well-being, rather than wealth, led to China, in 2016, having the same per-capita emissions of carbon dioxide as the West had in 1885.
  • The shares of material use of the different activities in cities in China have remained constant since 1995 as an increase in wealth does not modify the structural, economic and social changes, energy and material uses in civilizational states.
  • Clearly, there will be no convergence in global material use as values, along with digital service economies in cities, will continue to shape the future.

Different views of prosperity:

  • India and China, civilizational states with a population nearly eight times that of the U.S., have re-defined progress.
  • Measures for global sustainability should draw lessons from India and China.
  • India, which is responsible for just 3% of cumulative emissions, is the most carbon-efficient and sustainable major economy.
  • The pathway adopted by China can now be compared and contrasted with the West, as it has come up to that level of urbanisation and well-being.
  • In China, electricity consumption per capita is a third of the European Union (EU) and a sixth of the U.S. Residential energy consumption has increased at a rate less than half the increase in GDP, and corresponds to the increase in urban population, showing a limited increase with more disposable household income.
  • China also has less than a sixth of the number of cars with respect to population, than the EU, while the U.S. has nearly two times that number. In China, nearly 40% of the distance travelled is by public transport, which is two times that of the EU. While the number of cars in China is projected to double by 2040, half the new cars are expected to be electric vehicles.
  • China has the world’s most extensive electric high-speed rail system. In Beijing, three-quarters of public transport buses are already electric. Asian household savings as a per cent of GDP are two times that of the U.S.
  • India and China are global leaders in sustainability not only because of their low per-capita resource use but also because of their commitment to peak oil consumption around 2035 as they adopt electric vehicles supported by solar and wind renewable energy. By then, India and China are expected to have half the global renewable capacity and electric vehicles.

Conclusion:

  • By 2040 more than half of the global wealth is again going to be in Asia; the low carbon social development model adopted by India and China will become the world system, ensuring global sustainability.
  • The alternative strategies led by India and China should now move centre stage and replace the ineffective Climate Treaty.

For more on this issue: Click Here

Category:DISASTER MANAGEMENT

1. Lethal misgovernance

Context:

  • At least 43 people, including minors, died and over 16 were injured after a major fire broke out in a residential building being used as a manufacturing unit in the Anaj Mandi area of Central Delhi.

Concerns:

Poor working conditions:

  • The episode brings to light the condition of workers toiling under crushing and dangerous conditions.
  • The poorly paid labourers live and work in several residential buildings turned into unregistered factories.

Lax enforcement by government agencies:

  • Though the area is residential in nature, with time, illegal manufacturing workshops have mushroomed.
  • The building did not have a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Fire Department, and no fire safety equipment was found to have been installed. The building was notified as residential and did not need an NOC.
  • The building’s owner and the manager have been arrested to mollify public anger, but administrative agencies cannot escape responsibility for allowing the factory and other such units to function illegally, without safety audits.
  • Lax enforcement is a bad policy as it costs lives and harms the economy.

Irresponsible wrangling:

  • Neither the Delhi government which is responsible for civic services and labour issues nor the Centre, which has control of law and order in the national capital is ready to accept the responsibility and have been blaming each other.

Way forward:

Chart a new course:

  • Public safety cannot be allowed to fall victim to the blame game and irresponsible wrangling between the centre and the state.
  • Political parties, civil society and the government must chart a new course, with a plan to make the older, built-up areas safe.
  • Initial financial relief has been announced for the victims in the Anaj Mandi fire, and some people will face the law, but the real test lies in whether this is treated as a watershed.

Addressing the root problem:

  • At the root of chaotic urban development is the deplorable compact arrived at between governments and violators that allows rezoning to accommodate illegal commercial establishments in residential zones, weak enforcement of regulations and post facto regularisation of illegalities. There is a need to come up with clear cut guidelines to avoid future misuse of this provision.
  • The culpability of building owners has to be dealt with sternly as held by the Supreme Court of India in the Uphaar Cinema case.
  • Rules under the new occupational safety code must be strong enough to protect workers.

For more information on this issue: Click Here

Category:POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. Unequal, unsecular

Context:

The passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (CAB) in the Lok Sabha.

Concerns:

Against the norms of the Constitution:

  • The CAB creates a category of people on the basis of their religion and renders them eligible for its beneficial effects. Citizenship law amendment goes against non-discriminatory norms in the Constitution.
  • The central feature of the equal protection of the law envisaged in Article 14 is that the basis for classifying a group for a particular kind of treatment should bear a rational nexus with the overall objective.
  • If protecting persecuted neighbourhood minorities is the objective, the classification may fail the test of constitutionality because of the exclusion of some countries and communities using religion.
  • The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (CAB) appears discriminatory and it is only a matter of time before its constitutionality is subjected to judicial scrutiny.

Neglecting the interests of the persecuted minors in the immediate neighbourhood:

  • A key argument against the CAB is that it will not extend to those persecuted in Myanmar and Sri Lanka, from where Rohingya Muslims and Tamils are staying in the country as refugees.
  • Further, it fails to allow Shia and Ahmadiyya Muslims, who also face persecution, to apply for citizenship.

Lack of categorization:

  • The exemption from the application of the CAB’s provisions in tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura, and the Inner Line Permit areas in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram, with Manipur to be added soon, is clearly based on political expediency, even if it is in line with the constitutional guarantees given to indigenous populations and statutory protection given to ILP areas.
  • It demonstrates the need for careful and meaningful categorisation, something that the main provisions fail to do.

For more on this issue: Click Here

2. A growing blot on the criminal justice system

To read about the topic: Click Here

F. Tidbits

1. Change in visa penalty irks Bangladesh

What’s in News?

A visa regulation, introduced by India about a year ago, has deeply irked Bangladesh.

  • Following the regulation, members of the majority community of Bangladesh, Muslims, are now paying a penalty which is at least 200 times higher compared to the minorities, mainly Hindus, if they overstay in India.
  • Bangladesh Foreign Ministry officials described the penalty structure as “discrimination on religious lines”. The officials said that they will raise the issue in the upcoming bilateral talks.
  • The Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) rules, posted on its website, noted that the “penalty of overstay” for “minority communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan” is Rs. 500 for more than two years, Rs. 200 for 91 days to two years and Rs. 100 for up to 90 days.
  • On the other hand, if the person who overstayed does not belong to a minority community, then the charges are in dollars — $500 (35,000), $400 (Rs.28,000) and $300 (Rs. 21,000) — for the same duration of overstay.
  • Bangladesh is even more hurt as India’s new rule is equally applicable to Bangladesh and Pakistan.

2. 218 fast-track courts in U.P. for sexual crimes

  • Amid the outrage over the death of the Unnao rape victim, the Uttar Pradesh government has announced that it would set up 218 fast-track courts for speedy disposal of cases of sexual crimes against women and children.
  • The State at present has 42,389 pending cases of sexual offences against children and 25,749 pending cases of rape and sexual crimes against women.
  • Given the high number of pending cases and to ensure their speedy disposal, 218 new fast-track courts would be set up, including 144 for sexual crimes against women. For crimes against children, under POCSO [Protection of Children from Sexual Offences], 74 new courts will be opened.

G. Prelims Facts

Nothing here for today!!!

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements:
  1. Citizenship signifies the relationship between an individual and the government.
  2. The provisions relating to citizenship are dealt with in Articles 5 to 11 in Part II of the Constitution of India.
  3. The Constitution of India provides for a single citizenship for the entire country.

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
See
Answer
Q2. Which of the following is/are active volcano/es?
  1. White Island in New Zealand.
  2. Island of Santa Maria along the Atlantic coast.
  3. Barren Island of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Choose the correct option:

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1, 2 and 3
  4. 3 only
See
Answer
Q3. The basic dimensions of human development as measured by the Human Development Index are:
  1. Life expectancy
  2. Education
  3. Per capita income (PCI)
  4. Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Choose the correct option:

  1. 1, 2 and 4 only
  2. 1, 2 and 3 only
  3. 1, 3 and 4 only
  4. 1, 2, 3 and 4
See
Answer
Q4. Consider the following statements with respect to Jal Jeevan Mission:
  1. The mission aims to create local infrastructure for rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and management of household wastewater for reuse in agriculture.
  2. One of the chief objectives of the Mission is the cleaning of river Ganga and its tributaries.

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

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2
See
Answer

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Given the lack of efficacy of the current global climate policy, the alternative strategy of the low carbon social development model adopted by India and China needs more deliberation. Comment. (15 marks, 250 words)
  2. In the backdrop of the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (CAB), in the Lok Sabha, discuss the concerns being raised against the Bill. (10 marks, 150 words)

December 10th, 2019 CNA:- Download PDF Here

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