21 Feb 2022: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 21 Feb 2022:-Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Allow removal of Governors: Kerala govt.
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Rethink impractical projects, Jaishankar tells Bangladesh FM
C. GS 3 Related
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. Centre moots policy on synthetic biology
ECONOMY
1. CBI examines NSE’s former MD Ravi Narain in ‘co-location’ case
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
AGRICULTURE
1. The Budget spells green shoots for agri-subsectors
SOCIETY
1. Tapping technology for multilingual learning
ECONOMY
1. On an equal footing
F. Prelims Facts
1. ECI restores maximum limit on star campaigners
G. Tidbits
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Rethink impractical projects, Jaishankar tells Bangladesh FM

Syllabus: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

Mains: Debt Trap diplomacy by China and impact on India

Context:

India warned the countries seeking Chinese loans about unsustainable infrastructure projects.

What are the concerns raised by India?

  • The countries are being saddled with large debts and the projects are commercially unsustainable.
  • The debt situation is worse in Sri Lanka, where there have been concerns over the Hambantota port and the Mattala airport, both originally developed with Chinese loans.
    • Sri Lanka struggled to pay back, eventually having to hand over the port on a 99-year lease to a Chinese company.
  • While India had offered Lines of Credit and Japan had also helped with infrastructure financing, incoming loans had been “declining”, and it was China that had “come forward with a basket of money and aggressive, affordable proposals”.

Know more about Checkbook Diplomacy

Nut Graf
In the name of development partnerships, debt trap diplomacy forces nations into dependence partnerships. It gave rise to colonial-imperial rule and global power blocks. India stressed the need for a “mainly human-centric” approach to development marked by respect, diversity, care for the future, and sustainable development.

Category: ECONOMY

1. CBI examines NSE’s former MD Ravi Narain in ‘co-location’ case

Syllabus: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

Prelims: National Stock Exchange (NSE)

Mains: Critical evaluation of National Stock Exchange (NSE) co-location case

Context:

This article examines the NSE co-location case and order issued by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

What is the National Stock Exchange (NSE) co-location case?

  • The NSE is facing allegations that some brokers got preferential access through the co-location facility at the stock exchange, early login, and ‘dark fiber’, which can allow a trader a split-second faster access to the data feed of an exchange.
  • Even this infinitesimally sooner access is considered to result in huge gains for a trader.

What was the SEBI’s order?

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) penalized the former MD chief and chief executive officer of the NSE and a few others for allegedly violating securities contract rules in the appointment of Subramanian as group operating officer.
  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), in its order on governance lapses at the exchange, said an unknown ‘spiritual force’ in 2015 had advised her to reach out to top officials in the country to make “noises” on self-listing.

Know more about National Stock Exchange (NSE)

What are the Concerns raised?

  • The SEBI order spotlights the regulator’s tardiness in adjudicating a sensitive matter involving the manner of appointment of a top-level NSE official.
  • It also points out possible regulatory violations by the then CEO and MD in sharing confidential internal information with an unknown person.
  • The top management and some key directors clearly failed to discharge their duties, largely because they trusted people at an institution that serves as a frontline regulator for the Indian capital market.
  • Issues also encompass much-bigger concerns such as lapses at various levels, including the board, the regulator and the government, including those relating to the controversial co-location facilities and high-frequency trades.
  • Such concerns are also being cast on the “fat finger trade” fiasco of 2012 were allegations that the crash was triggered by something else as a deliberate manipulation.
    • “Fat-finger trade” is a term used for punching error or wrong pressing of orders on the trading terminals.

What does the latest SEBI adjudication order mean for NSE?

  • The latest SEBI order will bring NSE closer to closure of the case which has been ongoing since 2016.
  • The closure of this controversial case may help NSE bring out its Rs 10,000 crore Initial Public Offering (IPO) that has been delayed because of the co-location probe.

Nut Graf
There is a need for a deep-cleansing of NSE institutions and directions have come right from the top to all regulatory, enforcement and investigative agencies to get to the bottom of malpractices including serious cronyism.

E. Editorials

Category: AGRICULTURE

1. The Budget spells green shoots for agri-subsectors

Syllabus: Agricultural produce, issues and related constraints

Mains: Examining the allocations to the Agriculture sector in the Budget 2022-23

Context

Allocation for agriculture and rural development in Budget 2022-23.

Details

  • Considering the backdrop of the Budget, it was expected to contain measures to boost consumption expenditure. But the Government chose to focus more on capital expenditure.
  • There were no major announcements on agriculture or rural development. However, a closer look at the Budget presents a different picture.

Performance of Agriculture sector in the recent years

  • Agriculture has seen robust growth during the pandemic and has achieved good growth rates of 4.3% and 3.6% during 2019-20 and 2020-21.
  • Growth is projected to be about 3.9% in 2021-22.
  • The two sub-sectors of Agriculture, livestock and fisheries have seen an average annual growth rate of 8% or more in the last five years.
  • These two sub-sectors contribute about 33% of the gross value added in agriculture.
  • According to the Situation Assessment Survey 2019, more than 15% of income is derived from livestock.

Allocation to Agriculture

  • Sub-sectors or schemes that have seen an increase
  • Livestock health and disease control – Increased from ₹886 crores to ₹2,000 crores.
  • National Livestock Mission – has seen an increase of ₹100 crores.
  • Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana, a flagship programme of fisheries – got an increase of ₹679 crores.
  • The production-linked incentive scheme for food processing – increase, from ₹10 crores to ₹1,022 crores.
  • The allocation for micro food processing – increased by 125% to ₹900 crores.
  • Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana – increased by ₹8,000 crores.
  • Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) – increased by 150% to ₹500 crore.
  • Formation and Promotion of 10,000 Farmer Produce Organisations (FPOs) – received an allocation of ₹500 crores.
  • Sub-sectors or schemes that have seen a decrease
  • Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA), a flagship programme to provide enhanced Minimum Support Price (MSP) – received a meagre allocation of ₹1 crore.
  • The Market Intervention Scheme and Price Support Scheme (MIS-PSS), the price support programme of pulses and oilseeds – decreased by 58% to ₹1,500 crores.
  • Price stabilisation fund – declined by ₹750 crores.
  • The allocations for price support have also declined along with allocation for important subsidies.
    • The allocation for fertilizer subsidy – declined by ₹35,000 crores.
    • The allocation for food subsidy – declined by ₹79,000 crores.

Allocation for other programmes

  • Agriculture is not an isolated activity but it is interlinked to overall rural development.
  • Rural development works contribute about 40% of income through wages to agricultural households.
  • Most of the major rural development programmes received small increases in allocations such as,
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) is an exception, the flagship programme, that has been crucial in addressing distress in the rural economy during the pandemic, has received a lower allocation of about ₹25,000 crores (from ₹98,000 crores in 2021-22).
    • The reason could be the possible reduction in the need for MGNREGS with the decline in the severity of the pandemic.

Other significant measures

  • The announcement of measures to promote Kisan drones and encourage start-ups to improve the value chains of farm produce are welcome steps.
  • The adoption of modern technology in agriculture should help in rejuvenating the rural economy and also encourage the younger generation to take up agriculture.

Nut Graf
Although there are no big-ticket announcements on agriculture and rural development in Budget 2022, the allocations aimed at boosting important sub-sectors like livestock, fisheries and food processing are said to be in the right direction and these along with the adoption of technology will give the much needed thrust to the rural economy.

Category: SOCIETY

1. Tapping technology for multilingual learning

Syllabus: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India

Prelims: Facts about International Mother Language Day

Mains: The need for multilingual education in India and various initiatives undertaken.

Context

International Mother Language Day 2022

International Mother Language Day

  • According to a UN agency, nearly 43% of about 6,000 languages spoken in the world are endangered.
  • In November 1999, the UNESCO General Conference approved the declaration of February 21 as International Mother Language Day, in response to the declining state of many languages.

International Mother Language Day, 2022

  • Theme: Using Technology for Multilingual Learning: Challenges and Opportunities.
  • Objective: To discuss the role of technology to further the cause of multilingual education and use technology to support and enrich the teaching-learning experience on a multilingual level.
  • Aim: To achieve a qualitative, equitable and inclusive educational experience.
  • The Director-General of UNESCO said that the technology can provide new tools for protecting linguistic diversity. Such tools will help us to record and preserve languages that sometimes exist only in oral form.

Linguistic diversity in India

  • India has been home to hundreds of languages and thousands of dialects, making its linguistic and cultural diversity the most unique in the world.
  • India’s linguistic diversity is one of the cornerstones of an ancient civilisation.
  • According to the Language Census findings in 2018,
    • India is home to 19,500 languages or dialects, of which 121 languages are spoken by 10,000 or more people in the country.
    • 196 Indian languages fall under the “endangered” category.

The need for Technology in Multilingual Learning

  • The role of technology came to the fore during the COVID-19 pandemic when school shutdowns forced educators and learners to adapt themselves to online education.
  • Online education poses the challenges of required skills in distance teaching, Internet access, and adapting materials and content in diverse languages.
  • The central and State governments are formulating measures to promote digital learning and ensuring that there is no digital divide is its responsibility.

Key initiatives undertaken to promote Multilingual Learning

  • The National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 encourages the use of mother tongue as the medium of instruction till Class five but preferably till Class eight and beyond.
    • The use of mother tongue is bound to create a positive impact on learning.
    • There is a need to improve scientific and technical terminology in Indian languages that would help transform the educational experience.
  • In a survey of over 83,000 students conducted by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in 2020, about 44% of students voted in favour of studying engineering in their mother tongue
  • A decision has been taken by the AICTE to permit Tech programmes in 11 native languages, in line with the NEP 2020.

Conclusion

Sir C.V. Raman observed that “we must teach science in our mother tongue. Otherwise, science will become a highbrow activity. It will not be an activity in which all people can participate”.

By looking at his observation and the performance of countries like Japan, China, Korea and European countries, the policymakers, educators, and parents must realise that we have created a large English-based education system including courses such as medicine and engineering that hinders a vast number of learners in the country from accessing higher education.

Nut Graf
Languages play a key role in ensuring cultural and civilisational continuity, but globalisation and westernisation have impacted the growth and survival of many of the dialects. Hence, International Mother Language Day has special significance to the Indian context that is in line with the government’s vision of “sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas”.

Category: ECONOMY

1. On an equal footing

Syllabus: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, growth and development.

Mains: Interstate disparities, the role and solutions for the power sector in addressing interstate disparities.

Background

  • India has a population of about 135 crore people.
  • India is the sixth-largest economy in the world with high growth potential.
  • The growth potential cannot be achieved without giving equal opportunity to every State.

Disparity between States

  • The low-income States (LIS) have low accessibility to credit, investments, power availability, and high energy costs.
  • The high-income States (HIS), on the other hand, have a big share in industry and commerce.
  • The six HIS (Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana) with only 32.3% share in population account for,
    • 4% of factories and 54.3% of the net value added to the country.
    • This is because they have higher credit and financial accessibility i.e. 55% of total institutional credit and 56% of total industrial credit.
  • The six LIS (Bihar, Jharkhand, U.P., M.P., Odisha, and Rajasthan) with a share of 43%, access only 15% of total institutional credit and 5% of total industrial credit.
  • The maximum benefit of the Atma Nirbhar package of ₹20 lakh crore also went to the HIS as they have a higher share in the industry.

The role of Power in interstate disparities

  • The availability of adequate and quality power at low prices attracts investments.
  • Power is an important factor to start electricity-intensive industrial production.
  • Of the total consumption of electricity, Industry and commerce account for about 50%.
  • According to the Energy India Outlook 2021, the prices of Electricity differ not just among end-users, but also between states due to different tax and subsidy regimes.
  • There is a direct link between income and electricity consumption. According to the Central Electricity Authority, in 2020-21,
    • The six HIS with only 32% of the total population consumed 50% of the total installed capacity of power.
    • The six LIS got only 25% of the power, despite their 43% share in the population.

Solutions for the power sector to attain higher economic growth

  • One Nation, One Grid, One Frequency, One Price
    • The power-producing States especially States with hydel power have the advantage of power being available at lower prices.
    • The problem can be addressed by synchronising all the regional grids.
    • Further, this will pave the way for establishing a vibrant electricity market and facilitate the trading of power across regions through the adoption of the ‘one tariff’ policy.
    • Hence the idea is ‘One Nation, One Grid, One Frequency, One Price’, will help eliminate price discrimination in the power sector.
  • Inclusion of electricity duty under the GST Regime
    • The power sector needs uniformity in electricity duty in different States.
    • The substantial proportion of the power cost incurred in HIS is also borne by the LIS which buys those industrial products, as the input cost of power has already been included in the product’s price.
    • Thus, the electricity duty should be redistributed among the States under the ambit of GST equally shared by the CGST and SGST.
    • 100% CGST should be devolved among the States without being shared with the Centre (as electricity duty is a State subject).

Nut Graf
To achieve high economic growth, the States should bat for uniform energy tariff and inclusion of electricity duty under the ambit of GST as this will benefit the whole nation through rational tax devolution and hence, provide the opportunity to attain higher growth.

F. Prelims Facts

1. ECI restores maximum limit on star campaigners

Syllabus: GS-2: Polity and Governance: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

Prelims: Election Commission of India(ECI); Star Campaigners

Context:

The Election Commission of India (ECI) restored the maximum limit on the number of star campaigners a party can field in the ongoing Assembly elections in five States.

Description:

  • The ECI had in October 2020 reduced the number of star campaigners for recognised national and State parties from 40 to 30 and unrecognized parties from 20 to 15, in order to prevent large crowds from gathering during campaigning.
  • In a letter to recognised national and State parties, the commission said it had decided to restore the maximum limit of star campaigners.

Know more about Star campaigners

G. Tidbits

Nothing here for today!!!

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is known to perform 
which of the following functions?
  1. Arms control
  2. Promotion of human rights
  3. Conflict prevention and post-conflict rehabilitation 
  4. Crisis management
  5. Counter-terrorism

Options:

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • It is the world’s largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization with observer status at the United Nations.
  • It has its origins in the mid 1975 Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) held in Helsinki, Finland.
  • It was created during the Cold War era as an East–West forum.
  • Its secretariat is located in Vienna, Austria.
  • The OSCE is concerned with arms control, promotion of human rights, conflict prevention & post-conflict rehabilitation, crisis management and counter-terrorism.
  • Most of its 57 participating countries are in Europe, but there are a few members present in Asia and North America.
  • The participating states cover much of the land area of the Northern Hemisphere.
  • Hence Option D is correct
Q2. The Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) between India and Pakistan was brokered by –
  1. USA
  2. World Bank
  3. UNSC
  4. UK and France
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • The IWT was signed by the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the then Pakistani President Ayub Khan. 
  • The Indus Waters Treaty is a water-sharing agreement between India and Pakistan signed in 1960. It was brokered by the World Bank
  • Hence Option B is correct
Q3. Which of the following statements are incorrect?
  1. Pashmina wool and shawls are made from animal-hair fibre forming the downy undercoat of the Changthangi goat.
  2. It is a special breed of goat indigenous to the high altitude regions of Ladakh.
  3. These goats are domesticated and reared by nomadic communities called the Changpa.

Options: 

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • Pashmina comes from a wide range of goats. The Pashmina goat is a type of goat found on the Tibetan Plateau, Nepal, and the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, India. Changthangi goats are another name for them.
  • Because the fibre cannot bear high strain, pure pashmina has a slightly gauzy, open weave. 
  • Changpa is a traditional pashmina wool producer in the Himalayan area of Ladakh. In these severe climates, they raise sheep for meat and Pashmina goats for fibre.
  • Shahmina is a shawl produced from Pashmina fibres with a fibre range of 13 micrometres or less that is made in Kashmir.
  • Hence All the statements are correct
Q4. It is an emerging science that deals with engineering life forms for a wide range of 
applications from making designer medicines to foods. It is seen as one of the top 10 
breakthrough technologies as part of the “new industrial revolution” that is most likely to 
change the world. Instances of its application include the use of gene editing systems such 
as CRISPR that allow defective genes in animals, plants and even people to be silenced, or 
changed, and control biological outcomes. This field of science & technology is known as -
  1. Synthetic Biology
  2. Artificial Bioscience
  3. Modified Biology
  4. Engineered Biology
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • Synthetic biology is an emerging science that deals with engineering life forms for a wide range of applications from making designer medicines to foods.
  • The potential benefits from synthetic biotechnology are seen in biofuels, bioremediation, biosensors, food and health.
  • Use of gene editing systems such as CRISPR that allow defective genes in animals, plants and even people to be silenced, or changed, and control biological outcomes.
  • Hence Option A is correct.
Q.5 Which of the following is not included in the assets of a commercial bank in India?
  1. Advances
  2. Deposits
  3. Investments
  4. Money at call and short notice
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • When it comes to deposits with banks, the assets and liabilities are defined as follows:
  • In the case of depositor: 
    • It is an asset – amount to be received from the bank. It means that the amount to be received from the bank is either on demand or a maturity of the deposit.
  • In the case of bank: 
    • It is a liability – amount to be payable to the depositor . It means that the bank has to repay the amount to the depositor on demand or on maturity of the deposit.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Globalization and Westernization have impacted not just the growth but also the survival of many Indian languages and dialects. Discuss the measures undertaken to protect the linguistic and cultural identity of India. (10 Marks, 150 Words)[GS-1, Indian society]
  2. Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) takes away an individual’s liberty depriving them of constitutional guarantees. Elaborate. (10 Marks, 150 Words)[GS-2, Polity and Governance]

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 21 Feb 2022:-Download PDF Here

Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*