11 Dec 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 11 Dec 2021:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. ‘80% of funds for Beti Bachao was spent on media campaigns’
C. GS 3 Related
ENVIRONMENT
1. President calls for a debate on right to climate justice
2. Center looking to use stubble as biofuel
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
ECONOMY
1. Goods and Services Tax as an unfinished agenda
HEALTH
1. Make the mental well-being of teachers a priority
F. Prelims Facts
1. Summit for Democracy
2. Singareni Mines
3. International Solar Alliance
G. Tidbits
1. Algo trading
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

2. Center looking to use stubble as biofuel

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Mains: Potential of Stubble as biofuel

Context

  • The centre is working on a plan to use stubble as a biofuel and manure to deal with stubble burning.

Stubble burning:

  • Stubble burning is the purposeful burning of straw that remains after crop harvest. 
  • Farmers in Punjab, Haryana, and portions of Uttar Pradesh burn paddy and wheat straws, which has been identified as a major source of air pollution in Delhi NCR.

Potential of Stubble as Biofuel:

  • Cultivation of silage crops (hybrid sorghum, hybrid napier grass, maize): They have a high yield, enabling farmers to meet the feedstock needs of cattle. They can also be used to produce biofuel plants.
  • Biomass Depots: It is essential to undertake on-field baling of stubble, aggregate bales in a depot and enter into “bankable” agreements for supplies to Bio-Energy Plants. There should be fiscal incentives enabling green entrepreneurship.
  • Solid Biofuels: These comprise briquettes and pellets. Briquettes are fired in industrial boilers or combustors but the demand in Punjab and Haryana is not high. Pellets can be co-fired in utility range boilers.
  • Liquid Biofuels: They encompass bioethanol, drop-in fuels, bio-oil, bio-methanol. The current focus is on 2G Ethanol. 
  • Gaseous Biofuels: They include producer gas, biogas and green hydrogen. The current focus is on biogas upgraded to Bio-CNG, with co-product being compost.

Conclusion:

  • Processing agricultural leftovers into bio-CNG and compost will assist many more farmer households, with other collateral advantages accruing from the assured provision of sustainable transportation. It is critical that India have a strategy that is technology-neutral in order to promote advanced biofuels.

Know more about Stubble Burning.

Category: HEALTH

1. Make the mental well-being of teachers a priority

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Mains: Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on the mental health of teachers in India.

Context:

  • This article discusses the impact of Covid-19 on the mental health of teachers.

Background:

  • During the new coronavirus outbreak, India’s school education sector faltered.
  • Learning loss, exhaustion from online learning, and mental stress have all been reported as issues with online learning for youngsters.
  • Teachers were also challenged by relevant pedagogies integrated with digital media.

Pandemic-induced Challenges for Teachers:

  • Significant challenges are:
    • Working in schools under the Union government with better qualifications, working conditions
    • Salaries and systemic protection to those in low-fee private schools with abysmally low salaries
    • Poor working conditions and no systemic protection
  • Those in medium-sized, metropolitan private schools experienced a new sort of “bullying” by being constantly “watched” by parents who pointed out even the smallest flaws.
  • The challenges of COVID-19 duty were deployment and door-to-door operations. COVID-19 surveys, distribution of immunity booster pills, and police inter- and intra-district checkpoints are all part of the job.
  • They had to keep records at COVID-19 care facilities, and managing lineups outside booze stores caused them to feel a ‘loss of identity’ at times.
  • This unusual circumstance, along with media stories claiming that “teachers earned compensation without doing any job,” caused a great deal of emotional anguish.
  • Teachers were also under continual pressure to present documentation of their attempts to keep learning ‘alive.’
  • These attempts could not be adequately validated, nor could their efficacy be assessed.
  • One of the most difficult issues for teachers throughout the pandemic was being completely cut off from touch with children during the Pandemic.

Consequences of the Pandemic on the Mental Health of Teachers:

  • Teaching is not only a career for many instructors, but it is also the most fulfilling occupation since connecting with young children and teenagers provides them enormous pleasure and delight.
  • Teachers’ imaginative answers to mitigating their own stress and strain resulted from mental tension caused by being cut off from children, which was fueled by the public opinion of teachers’ salaries as a big burden.
  • It is becoming increasingly evident that our children are facing a mental health and well-being crisis.
  • The pandemic brings to light the quiet epidemic of mental illness in teenagers and young people throughout the world.
  • Teachers, as one of the main caregivers for children, have an impact on both the emotional environment of the classroom and the emotional and behavioural well-being of individuals in their care.
  • The ability of the teacher to negotiate this obligation is heavily influenced by their own mental health and well-being.

Recommendations:

  • Creating a friendly atmosphere in which teachers may talk about their everyday pressures and well-being with their colleagues.
  • Teachers’ communities of practice and teacher unions can prioritize this issue.
  • Incorporating mental health, well-being, and burnout management into teacher training and refresher training can help to prioritize mental health.
  • Systemic investments in school mental health enable the creation of a well-being-focused environment, which is addressed through clearly defined policies on anti-bullying, redress of harassment and grievances, and the establishment of a support system of psychosocial services that teachers can access.
  • Focusing on teachers’ little successes also contributes significantly to the development of a strengths-based culture.
  • Recognizing and tackling this stigma at a systemic level will assist schools in creating an atmosphere where mental health may be discussed openly.

Conclusions:

There is no other option than to prioritize our instructors’ mental health. It is a critical first step in addressing our children’s mental health and well-being. Recognizing the structural obstacles that have been created for teachers, as well as focusing on teachers’ well-being and mental health, may help to ensure a safe and secure ‘future of our future.’

F. Prelims Facts

1. Summit for Democracy

Context

  • Indian PM at the Summit for Democracy highlighted the significance of India as the largest democracy.

Summit for Democracy

  • The summit was convened by the US President.
  • Aim: To strengthen democracies around the world.
  • Presidential Initiative for Democratic Renewal:
    • It was established by the US President.
    • It plans to provide funds for supporting free and independent media, fighting corruption, strengthening democratic reforms, advancing technology for democracy, and defending free and fair elections.

2. Singareni Mines

Context

  • Coal production at Singareni coal mines has been affected due to workers’ strikes.

Singareni Mines:

  • Singareni is a village in the district of Khammam, Telangana, India.
  • Singareni was the first place in Telangana where coal deposits were discovered.

Reference:

Coal Mines in India

3. International Solar Alliance

Context

  • The International Solar Alliance (ISA) has been granted Observer Status by the UN.

Reference:

International Solar Alliance (ISA)

G. Tidbits

Nothing here for today!!!

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Which of the following statements is/are correct with respect to the Soil Health Card 
Scheme?
  1. The card will contain an advisory based on the soil nutrient status of a farmer’s holdings.
  2. It will provide insurance coverage and financial support to the non-loanee small and marginal farmers in case of Soil erosion.
  3. It aims to expand cultivable area under assured irrigation to maintain soil fertility.

Options:

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

Answer: a

Explanation

  • A Soil Health Card is used to assess the current state of soil health and, over time, to detect changes in soil health caused by land management. The card will provide an advisory based on a farmer’s holding’s soil nutrient level. Hence Statement 1 is correct.
  • The scheme will monitor the soil of the farmers well and will give them a formatted report. 
  • The soil card will give the farmers a proper idea of which nutrients their soil is lacking. 
  • The main aim behind the scheme was to find out the type of particular soil. And then provide ways in which we can improve it. 
  • The Soil Health Card does not provide insurance coverage and it does not aim to expand the cultivable area under irrigation. Hence Statements 2 and 3 are incorrect.
Q2. With reference to Atmanirbhar Hastshilpkar Scheme, which of the following statements 
is/are correct?
  1. It is an initiative of the Ministry of Culture to promote development of new talents in the field of music and dance, folk and tribal art forms.
  2. Under this scheme artisans are provided with a credit facility that is collateral-free and carries a subsidized interest rate of 6% p.a., which is repayable in 24 months.

Options:

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

Answer: b

Explanation

  • The North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd (NEDFi) has launched the ‘Atmanirbhar Hastshilpkar’ initiative to help artisans in the Northeast.  Hence Statement 1 is incorrect.
  • The scheme’s goal is to give financial support in the form of a term loan for revenue-generating activities.
  • The scheme provides a credit facility that is collateral-free and has a subsidized interest rate of 6% p.a., with a repayment term of 24 months. Hence Statement 2 is correct.
Q3. Which amongst the following ministries is/are associated with the Beti Bachao, Beti 
Padhao scheme?
  1. Ministry of Women and Child Development
  2. Ministry of Law and Justice
  3. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
  4. Ministry of Education
  5. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

Options:

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

Answer: c

Explanation

  • The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Yojana  is a national initiative jointly run by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Education. 
  • Each body is accountable for different aspects of the scheme. 
  • Budgetary control and administration of the BBBP falls under the MoWCD’s purview. However, capacity building and quality control are responsibilities of the MoH&FW. 
  •  Hence Option C is correct.
Q4. Royal Gold Medal is an award given to individuals who have made significant contributions 
to the field of
  1. Architecture
  2. Medicine
  3. Mathematics
  4. Journalism
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation

  • The Royal Gold Medal for Architecture is presented yearly on behalf of the British monarch by the Royal Institute of British Architects in appreciation of an individual’s or group’s significant contribution to world architecture.
Q5. What is/are the most likely advantages of implementing ‘Goods and Services Tax (GST)’?
  1. It will replace multiple taxes collected by multiple authorities and will thus create a single market in India.
  2. It will drastically reduce the ‘Current Account Deficit’ of India and will enable it to increase its foreign exchange reserves.
  3. It will enormously increase the growth and size of economy of India and will enable it to overtake China in the near future.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Answer: a

Explanation

  • The Goods & Services Tax (GST) is a value-added tax applied on the majority of goods and services. GST is a destination-based tax which aims to create a single market in India. Hence Statement 1 is correct. 
  • The GST Bill was initially proposed in India as the 122nd Constitutional Amendment Bill in 2014. Because of crude oil imports and the OPEC cartel that manipulates its pricing, GST is unlikely to ‘dramatically’ lower the current account deficit. As a result, statement 2 is erroneous. India will not be able to overcome China in the foreseeable future since it will need currency depreciation and labour exploitation. Hence Statements 2 and 3 are incorrect.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. What steps are being taken by the Government of India to realize the complete potential of biofuels in the country? Also discuss the potential of such policy measures. (250 words; 15 marks) [GS3, Environment]
  2. We must give as much importance to the mental health of an individual as we do to physical health. In light of this statement, bring out the initiatives taken by the government to support the mental well-being of Indian citizens. (250 words; 15 marks) [GS2, Health]

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 11 Dec 2021:- Download PDF Here

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