21 Feb 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

21st FEB 2020 CNA- Download PDF Here


A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
1. SC passes interim order on Mahadayi tribunal’s award
2. CJI alarmed at hasty death warrants
3. ‘Centre won’t dilute Article 371’
C. GS 3 Related
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
1. Gearing up to fight the next big viral outbreak
2. ART of life
F. Prelims Facts
1. Indian Tent Turtle
2. Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA)
G. Tidbits
1. NEET applies to UG courses too, says SC
2. World’s second-biggest control centre for goods trains set to roll
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

2. CJI alarmed at hasty death warrants


Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde expressed alarm about trial courts issuing death warrants in undue haste without offering condemned prisoners a chance to exhaust their efforts for commutation or clemency.


  • Heading a three-judge Bench, the CJI sought to know from Solicitor-General, why “black warrants” were being issued in a hurry despite judgments of the Supreme Court specifying that condemned men ought to be allowed the legal and administrative remedies available to them under the Constitution.
  • The court referred to its May 2015 judgment, which had quoted a saying ascribed to Emperor Ashoka that the ‘state should not punish with vengeance’.
  • It also highlighted the fact that punishment involving death is irreversible.


  • The government has recently asked the court to frame “victim and society centric” guidelines to prevent delays in the execution of condemned prisoners.
  • The plea for new guidelines referred to how the convicts in the Nirbhaya case have “misused” the maze-like legal process in death penalty cases to delay the execution of their death sentences.

Black warrant:

  • Death warrant, also known as a black warrant, identifies the convict who has been sentenced to death, the case, the day of his or her awarded death penalty and the court that confirmed the punishment.
  • The Black Warrant is part of a list of forms in the Code of Criminal Procedure that lays down the procedure for investigating a crime, collecting evidence, determining the innocence or guilt of the accused and handing out punishments.
  • The Black Warrant, titled ‘Warrant of Execution of a Sentence of Death’, is the 42nd form on the list.

For In-depth analysis about the Death Penalty, watch the video below:

3. ‘Centre won’t dilute Article 371’


Union Home Minister has allayed fears in the northeast that Article 371 would meet the same fate as Article 370.

What is Article 371?

  • Article 371 of the Constitution includes “special provisions” for 11 states, including six states of the Northeast.
  • Articles 370 and 371 were part of the Constitution at the time of its commencement on January 26, 1950; Articles 371A through 371J were incorporated subsequently.
  • The Article includes certain provisions for Nagaland, Assam, Manipur, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh besides Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and Karnataka.
  • Most of the states that have been accorded special provisions under Article 371 are in the northeast and the special status aims to preserve their tribal culture.

Article 371:

  • Article 371A confers special status on Nagaland.
    • Under this provision, no law made by Parliament in relation to Naga customary law and procedure, including civil and criminal justice matters, and ownership or transfer of land and resources will apply to Nagaland, unless the Legislative Assembly of Nagaland decides so.
    • The protection of Naga laws and customs was written into the Constitution following the July 1960 agreement between the Centre and the Naga People’s Convention, under which the State was later created.
    • Further, the Governor of Nagaland has a ‘special responsibility’ regarding law and order in the State.
  • Article 371B contains a special provision for Assam under which a committee of legislators from the tribal areas was formed to look after their interest.
    • The tribal areas later became Meghalaya.
  • Under Article 371C, the Hill Areas of Manipur ought to have a committee of legislators.
    • The Governor has a special responsibility to make an annual report to the President on the administration of the Hill Areas.
    • The Centre is empowered to give directions to the State as far as these areas were concerned.
  • Article 371D is a detailed provision under which the President can pass an order to provide equitable opportunities and facilities to people belonging to different parts of Andhra Pradesh in public employment and education.
    • In particular, the President can create local cadres in various classes of employment and allot civil posts to specified local cadres only.
    • The President can specify any part of the State as a ‘local area’ for this purpose.
    • To give effect to this arrangement, an Administrative Tribunal has been set up.
    • No court, other than the Supreme Court, has any power of superintendence over this tribunal.
  • Article 371F incorporates special provisions after the addition of Sikkim to India.
    • One major objective was to grant protection to existing laws in Sikkim so that they are not declared unconstitutional after being brought under the Constitution of India.
  • Article 371G contains special provisions to preserve the religious and social practices of Mizos in Mizoram and their customary law and procedure and administration of criminal and civil justice, besides ownership of land.
  • Article 371H vests a special responsibility on the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh with respect to law and order.
    • It makes clear that the Governor shall discharge this function after consulting the Council of Ministers, but exercise his individual judgment as to the action taken.

Read more about Article 370.


F. Prelims Facts


1. Indian Tent Turtle

  • Indian Tent Turtle (kachuga tecta tecta) is a species of turtle that gets its name from its tent-like appearance.
  • Kachuga tecta is found in parts of northern India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, along the plains of Ganga, Indus, and Brahmaputra rivers.
  • It is listed in schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • This omnivorous species inhabits slow-running rivers and stagnant water bodies such as ponds, puddles, tanks, roadside ditches.
  • Possession of this species of turtles is strictly prohibited as it is a scheduled species as per the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.


2. Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA)

What’s in News?

The Union government has granted the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licence this year to more than 20 non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

  • In 2014, the FCRA licences of more than 16,000 NGOs were cancelled on account of various violations.
  • In 2017, 2018 and 2019, the number of new FCRA registrations stood at 1012, 521 and 683, respectively.


  • Any NGO or association that intends to receive foreign funds has to compulsorily register under the FCRA, monitored by the Union Home Ministry.
  • Under the 2010 Act, registered NGOs can receive foreign contributions for five purposes — social, educational, religious, economic and cultural.

Read more about Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA)


G. Tidbits

1. NEET applies to UG courses too, says SC

What’s in News?

The Supreme Court upheld the validity of applying the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to under-graduate courses under the Union Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homoeopathy (AYUSH).

  • The Court agreed with the government that admissions to BAMS, BUMS, BSMS and BHMS would require candidates to score minimum qualifying marks for NEET.
  • The court declared this in a judgment challenging notifications issued by the Central Council of Indian Medicine and Central Council of Homoeopathy prescribing an-all India NEET for admission to the under-graduate courses (BAMS, BUMS, BSMS and BHMS) and minimum qualifying marks in the examination from the academic year 2019-2020.
  • However, as a one-time measure and in view of the admission of a large number of students to the AYUSH, the court has permitted them to continue provided they were admitted prior to the last date of admission. The same direction is applicable to students admitted to the post-graduate courses.

2. World’s second-biggest control centre for goods trains set to roll

What’s in News?

The world’s second-biggest Operation Control Centre for goods trains, built in India by the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL) is ready to begin operations, and is likely to be inaugurated soon.

  • The centre, built at Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh, will be the ‘nerve-centre’ of the over 1,800 km-long eastern dedicated freight corridor.
  • The control centre has a theater that measures 1560 sq.m, with a video wall of more than 90 m and will be used as a one-stop-shop for controlling and monitoring rail systems, including train operations and the power supply system.
  • The Dedicated Freight Corridor, touted as one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the country, is a 3,360 km stretch consisting of the Eastern and Western corridors.
  • The Eastern corridor, which is being funded by the World Bank, will run from Ludhiana in Punjab to Dankuni near Kolkata, traversing Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand.


H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements with respect to Kalasa-Banduri Nala project:
  1. It is a canal project undertaken by Karnataka to divert water from the Malaprabha river to the Mahadayi river.
  2. Kalasa and Banduri are two tributaries of River Malaprabha.

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

a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2

Q2. Consider the following statements with respect to Foreign Contribution Regulation
 Act (FCRA), 2010:
  1. All the NGOs or associations intending to receive foreign funds have to compulsorily register under the FCRA.
  2. FCRA is monitored by the Ministry of Finance.
  3. The registered NGOs are barred from receiving contributions for religious and economic purposes.

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

a. 1 and 2 only
b. 1 only
c. 2 and 3 only
d. 1, 2 and 3



Q3. Consider the following statements with respect to Indian Tent Turtle:
  1. Indian Tent Turtle is endemic to India.
  2. It is listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  3. It is a herbivorous species and inhabits slow-running rivers and stagnant water bodies.

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

a. 1 and 2 only
b. 1 and 3 only
c. 2 only
d. 1, 2 and 3 only



Q4. Article 371 of the Indian Constitution includes special provisions for which of
 the following states?
  1. Maharashtra
  2. Karnataka
  3. Tripura
  4. Assam
  5. Manipur

a. 3, 4 and 5 only
b. 1, 2 and 3 only
c. 1, 2, 4 and 5 only
d. 1, 2, 4 and 5 only



I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Is India prepared to deal with the new strain of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that is causing worldwide panic? Comment on the preparedness of the Indian States in dealing with health emergencies. (15 Marks, 250 Words).
  2. The Assisted Reproductive Techniques Bill is a much-needed complement to Surrogacy Bill. Discuss. (10 Marks, 150 Words)

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21st FEB 2020 CNA- Download PDF Here

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