31 Dec 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 31 Dec 2021:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
GOVERNANCE
1. Foreign funds and the Missionaries of Charity
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Prime Minister puts off UAE visit
C. GS 3 Related
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
HEALTH
1. In NFHS report card, the good, the sober, the future
2. Should vaccination be made mandatory?
F. Prelims Facts
1. New scheme to support the marginalised
2. Sahitya Akademi announces awards in 20 languages
G. Tidbits
1. ‘India-Australia interim FTA talks to close soon’
2. ‘NTPC Renewable Energy to float tender for 3 GW by Feb.’
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Prime Minister puts off UAE visit

Syllabus: Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Mains: India-UAE trade agreement – Significance

Context:

  • Indian Prime Minister’s visit to UAE has been postponed due to the sudden spike in Omicron cases. This would delay the inking of the proposed India-UAE limited free trade agreement.

Free trade agreement negotiations between India and UAE:

  • The highlight of the Prime Minister’s UAE visit was to have been the signing of a partial FTA after formal talks were launched in September 2021.
  • As per available sources, a limited or “early harvest agreement” allowing for trade in goods between the two sides has been finalised currently. This does not include investments and services trade.
  • The two countries would continue to negotiate a larger Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) including investment protection measures as well as special facilities for Indian labour and expatriates. This is expected to be finalized by March 2022.
  • Civil aviation officials have also been working separately on an updated Bilateral Air Services Agreement that would allow more flights from more airports between India and the UAE.

Significance of the agreement:

  • India and UAE are important trading partners. The UAE is India’s third-largest trading partner after the United States and China. The free trade agreement would help further streamline the trade of goods which is bound to bring economic advantages to both countries.
  • The negotiations also aim to add services and investment measures in the further talks. This is bound to help India which could gain by services exports to the UAE and could also benefit from the sustained flow of investment from UAE into the Indian economy.
  • The special facilities for Indian labour and expatriates to be included in the framework will help the large Indian diaspora in the UAE.
    • According to 2020 data tabled by the Ministry of External Affairs, almost 13.6 million Indians live outside of India. The largest portion of this number, 3,41,000 resides in the United Arab Emirates.
  • Also if a CEPA is signed between India and the UAE, it would mark the first Indian FTA in the region. This could provide an impetus for future such bilateral FTAs with other countries in the region. India shares strong economic complementarities with many countries in the region given India’s large appetite for fossil fuels and its services prowess. The CEPA would also provide an impetus to the bilateral trade deals that the current government is negotiating at present with Australia, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Canada, and Israel.
  • The CEPA between India and UAE will also provide the two countries with an opportunity to co-operate and collaborate with respect to the quadrilateral economic cooperation along with U.S. and Israel.
  • A robust economic relationship between the two countries based on a mutually beneficial CEPA will only help strengthen the strategic, security relationship between the two countries.

2. Sahitya Akademi announces awards in 20 languages

Sahitya Akademi Award:

  • The Sahitya Akademi Award is a literary honour in India given out by the Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Letters.
  • The award is annually conferred on writers of the most outstanding books of literary merit published in any of the 24 major Indian languages including the 22 listed languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, English and Rajasthani.

Context:

  • The Sahitya Akademi has announced its awards for 2021.

G. Tidbits

1. ‘India-Australia interim FTA talks to close soon’

  • India and Australia are expected to soon complete negotiations for an interim free trade agreement (FTA). The pact would cover areas such as goods, services, investment, rules of origin, customs facilitation, legal and institutional issues.
  • The final Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
  • The economic agreement would help increase bilateral trade in goods to $100 billion within five years and increase trade in services to $15 billion. Thus the agreement will help boost the economic ties between the two countries.

2. ‘NTPC Renewable Energy to float tender for 3 GW by Feb.’

  • India has a target of having 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, including 100 GW of solar and 60 GW of wind energy.
  • According to a Central Electricity Authority report, as of the end of November 2021, India’s renewable energy capacity — excluding large hydro plants — is 104 GW, including 49 GW solar and 40 GW of wind energy.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Considered as the second-largest religious congregation in India after the Kumbh mela, 
the Ganga Sagar mela is hosted by which of the following states in India?
  1. Bihar
  2. Uttar Pradesh
  3. West Bengal
  4. Uttarakhand
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The Ganga Sagar Mela is a religious festival and the second-biggest fair of India after Kumbha Mela, celebrated on the Ganga Sagar Island, at the mouth of the river Hooghly in West Bengal.
  • It is held in the month of January-February. It is attended by thousands of pilgrims every year. A dip in the water at this place, during Gangasagar Mela, is considered to be sacred.
Q2. Consider the following statements with regards to the Indian Pangolins:
  1. Indian Pangolin is widely distributed in India, except in the arid region, high Himalayas and the North-East.
  2. The Indian Pangolins are listed under Schedule I, Part I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  3. Nandankanan Zoological Park (NZP) is the only conservation breeding centre for Indian pangolins in the world.

Choose the correct code:

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • The Indian Pangolin is widely distributed in India, except in the arid region, high Himalayas and the North-East. It can be found at elevations up to 2500 m. The species also occurs in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
  • Pangolins are listed in Schedule I of India’s Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, implying the highest degree of protection.
  • Nandankanan Zoological Park is the only conservation breeding centre of Indian Pangolins in the world.
Q3. Consider the following statements with regards to India-UAE negotiations on the 
Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA):
  1. The UAE is currently India’s third-largest trading partner after the US and China.
  2. The UAE is also India’s second-largest export destination after the US.
  3. India has signed CEPAs with South Korea and Japan.

Choose the correct code:

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • India and UAE share a robust trade relationship.
  • UAE is India’s third-largest trading partner for the year 2019-20 after China and US.
  • UAE is the second-largest export destination of India (after the US) with an amount of nearly US$ 29 billion for the year 2019-20.
  • India is currently negotiating a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with UAE.
  • Notably, India has a working CEPA with ASEAN, Japan and South Korea.
Q4. Which of the following statements is not correct with regards to the GST compensation 
to be given to the states?
  1. Under the GST (Compensation to States) Act, 2017, states are guaranteed compensation for loss of revenue on account of implementation of GST for a transition period of five years between 2017 and 2022.
  2. The compensation is calculated based on the difference between the states’ current GST revenue and the protected revenue after estimating an annualised 10% growth rate from the base year of 2015-16.
  3. The amount would be paid every two months based on provisional accounts, and adjusted every year after the State’s accounts were audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General.

Options:

  1. 1 & 2 only
  2. 1 & 3 only
  3. 2 only
  4. None of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Under the GST law, states are compensated for any loss of revenue arising on account of the implementation of GST for five years till June 2022.
  • The compensation is calculated based on the difference between the states’ current GST revenue and the protected revenue after estimating an annualised 14% growth rate from the base year of 2015-16.
  • The amount would be paid every two months based on provisional accounts, and adjusted every year after the State’s accounts are audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General.
Q5. Consider the following statements with regards to Bamboo in India:
  1. The restructured National Bamboo Mission was launched in 2018-19 for the holistic development of the complete value chain of the bamboo sector and is being implemented in a hub (industry) and spoke model.
  2. The Indian Forest Act 1927 was amended in 2017 to include bamboo for the category of trees.
  3. The bamboo’s calorific value is equal to that of coal.

Choose the correct code:

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • The Indian Forest (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 was promulgated on November 23, 2017. It amends the Indian Forest Act, 1927. Under the Act, the definition of tree includes palms, bamboos, stumps, brush-wood and canes. The Ordinance amends this definition to remove the word bamboos.
Q6. In India, 'extended producer responsibility' was introduced as an important feature in 
which of the following? (UPSC-2019)
  1. The Bio-medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998
  2. The Recycled Plastic (Manufacturing and Usage) Rules, 1999
  3. The e-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011
  4. The Food Safety and Standard Regulations, 2011
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a policy approach under which producers are given a significant responsibility – financial and/or physical – for the treatment or disposal of post-consumer products.
  • It is a commitment on the producer to facilitate a reverse collection mechanism and recycling of end of life, post-consumer waste. The objective is to circle it back into the system to recover resources embedded in the waste.
  • In the last few years, India has framed laws that have introduced the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility for plastic packaging waste and e-waste.
  • The e-waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011 introduced ‘extended producer responsibility’.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. How does the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act regulate donations? Critically examine the issues related to foreign donations received by NGOs. (250 words; 15 marks)(GS Paper 2/Governance)
  2. The recently released 5th edition of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-­5) has encouraging news but addressing discriminatory social norms must remain our top priority. Critically evaluate. (250 words; 15 marks)(GS Paper 2/Governance)

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 31 Dec 2021:- Download PDF Here

1 Comment

  1. it is very useful that the topic and expected questions from each articles are given

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