21 Feb 2024: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

21 Feb 2024 CNA
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A. GS 1 Related
1. Rules that edge out women from jobs due to marriage illegal: SC
B. GS 2 Related
C. GS 3 Related
1. ‘India to seek $26 bn private investment in nuclear power sector’
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
1. Calm assessment
1. Keep it wholesome
1. U.S. vetoes UN vote on Gaza ceasefire, pushes alternative
F. Prelims Facts
1. ONGC to drill more wells in Bombay High Region
2. ‘Cultural protest’ to mark 151 years of Kolkata tram
3. Lady JPs In Bombay
4. Big Shot
G. Tidbits
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine


1. Keep it wholesome

Syllabus: GS-2, Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Mains: Cervical cancer and vaccination 


  • Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement regarding vaccination against cervical cancer for girls aged nine to 14 is a positive step.
  • Recognizing the multi-dimensional nature of health, government policies must integrate various aspects for effective outcomes.

Understanding Cervical Cancer:

  • Cervical cancer, predominantly caused by HPV infection, is a significant health concern for women.
  • It ranks as the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among Indian women, with over 77,000 deaths annually.
  • Early detection is crucial, as outcomes depend on the stage of detection.

Accessible Screening Methods:

  • VIA (Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid) and VILI (Visual Inspection with Lugol’s Iodine) tests are simple and cost-effective screening methods.
  • These tests can identify precancerous lesions and cancer at early stages, enabling timely intervention.
  • Cryotherapy, a minimally invasive procedure, can be performed to treat abnormal growths.

Call for Comprehensive National Program:

  • While vaccination is a positive step, it alone may not have a significant short-term impact.
  • A comprehensive national cervical cancer control program should integrate vaccination with accessible screening and treatment services.
  • Screening and treatment should be available at primary health centres, ensuring accessibility for all women regardless of age, education, or socio-economic status.


  • To effectively combat cervical cancer and prevent unnecessary deaths, a holistic approach is essential.
  • Government initiatives must focus on integrating vaccination, screening, and treatment services into a comprehensive national program accessible to all women.

Nut Graf: Cervical cancer, a significant health concern for Indian women, demands a comprehensive approach. While vaccination is a positive step, accessible screening and treatment services are essential for effective prevention and management.

1. U.S. vetoes UN vote on Gaza ceasefire, pushes alternative

Syllabus: GS-2, Effect of Policies and Politics of Developed and Developing Countries on India’s Interests

Mains: Ongoing Gaza conflict and its  impact on India – Israel relations


  • The United States blocked a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
  • The resolution, put forth by Algeria over three weeks, aimed at securing a humanitarian ceasefire respected by all parties.

U.S. Concerns and Alternative Proposal:

  • Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield cited jeopardizing sensitive negotiations as the reason for the U.S. veto.
  • Washington proposed an alternate resolution, expressing concerns about the original text’s impact on ongoing diplomatic efforts.

Pressure on Israel and U.S. Influence:

  • Mounting pressure urged Israel, including from its close ally, the United States, to reconsider its military actions.
  • The draft resolution opposed the forced displacement of Palestinian civilians and demanded the release of hostages held by Hamas.

Casualties and Conflict Dynamics:

  • The conflict has resulted in significant casualties, with thousands dead in Gaza, mostly civilians, and hundreds in Israel, predominantly civilians.
  • Israel’s offensive aims to dismantle Hamas, while international efforts focus on achieving a ceasefire and addressing humanitarian concerns.

U.S. Prioritization of Negotiations and Altering Resolution Language:

  • The U.S. prioritizes delicate diplomatic negotiations, citing potential implications for the release of hostages from Gaza.
  • While the alternate U.S. draft includes the term “ceasefire,” it does not require an immediate cessation of hostilities, unlike previous versions.

Nut Graf: The United States vetoed a UN Gaza ceasefire resolution, citing jeopardised negotiations. Pressure mounts on Israel amid casualties. The U.S. proposes an alternate resolution, prioritising diplomatic efforts over an immediate ceasefire.

F. Prelims Facts

1. ONGC to drill more wells in Bombay High Region

Context:  The Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) anticipates expanding drilling operations at Bombay High following a promising oil strike in the initial well, located 160 km off Bombay’s coast. 


  • Despite oil flowing at 962 meters, the “Sagar Samrat” drill ship will continue operations until it reaches the projected 2,000-meter depth before relocating to another site 40 km away. 
  • Experts laud the discovery’s high-quality oil with an API gravity of 43.6, indicating potentially low sulfur content and facilitating extraction processes.
  • Significance:
    • Due to the site’s distance from the coast, steel pipelines must be laid under the seabed to connect the oil wells, signalling potential growth in India’s oil exploration and production sector.

2. ‘Cultural protest’ to mark 151 years of Kolkata tram


Tram aficionados in Kolkata are gearing up to commemorate the 151st anniversary of the city’s beloved tram system, signalling both celebration and concern.


  • Organized by the Calcutta Tram Users’ Association (CTUA), the event aims to honour the tram’s legacy while advocating against its decline. 
  • With only three operational routes remaining, enthusiasts express dismay over the neglect and call for governmental intervention. 
  • A protest slated for March 15 at Esplanade underscores the urgency of preserving this iconic mode of transportation. 

Significance: As Kolkata’s tram system, dating back to 1873, faces challenges, the anniversary events serve as poignant reminders of its enduring cultural and historical value.

3. Lady JPs In Bombay

  • 100 years ago on February 21, 1924, in Bombay, four women were appointed as justices of peace for the first time that year. 
  • Among them are Lady Jagmohandas Varjivandas, Dilshad Begum, Mrs Harry Hodgkinson, and Lady Cowasji Jehangir.

4. Big Shot

Context: Skywalker hoolock gibbon


  • The Skywalker gibbon, a species of arboreal primate first identified in China in 2017, has now been confirmed in Myanmar. 
  • With a population size previously less than 200 individuals, new research, including acoustic monitoring and DNA sampling techniques, has revealed the presence of 44 new groups in Myanmar’s forested areas.

G. Tidbits

Nothing here for today!!!

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1) Consider the following statements regarding Reserve Forests in India:
  1. Reserve Forests are declared under the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  2. The primary objective of a Reserve Forest is the conservation of biodiversity and the protection of the ecosystem, including flora and fauna.
  3. Local communities are not allowed any rights or privileges in Reserve Forests, ensuring strict conservation.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. All of the above

Answer: b

Explanation: Statements 1 and 3 are incorrect. Reserve Forests are declared under the provisions of the Indian Forest Act. Local communities are given certain rights in the reserve forest areas.

Q2) Consider the following statements regarding the El Niño and La Niña phenomena:
  1. El Niño is characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific, whereas La Niña is characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the same region.
  2. El Niño events lead to increased rainfall in the Indian subcontinent, while La Niña events are associated with drought conditions in the same region.
  3. Both El Niño and La Niña significantly impact global weather patterns, affecting monsoons, hurricanes, and droughts across different parts of the world.
  4. El Niño events occur more frequently than La Niña events.

How many of the statements given above are correct?

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Only 3
  4. All of the above

Answer: b

Explanation: Read more about El Nino and La Nina in the linked article.

Q3) Which of the following statements about the relics of Buddha is/are correct?
  1. After the Buddha’s cremation, his ashes were divided and distributed among eight royal families and his disciples.
  2. The relics of Buddha were enshrined in stupas, which are sacred mounds often visited for pilgrimage.
  3. The distribution of Buddha’s relics significantly led to the spread of Buddhism outside India.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2, and 3

Answer: a

Explanation: Read more about Buddhism in the linked article.

Q4) Consider the following statements about coal gasification:
  1. Coal gasification is a process that converts coal from a solid to a gaseous state.
  2. The main product of coal gasification is syngas, which is primarily composed of hydrogen and ammonia.
  3. Coal gasification can significantly reduce the environmental impact of coal utilization.
  4. It is a technology that supports the clean coal technology initiative.

How many of the statements given above are correct?

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Only 3
  4. All of the above

Answer: c

Explanation: The second statement is incorrect. The main product of coal gasification is syngas, but it is primarily composed of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2), not ammonia.

Q5) Consider the following freedom fighters:
  1. Barindra Kumar Ghosh
  2. Jogesh Chandra Chatterjee
  3. Rash Behari Bose

Who of the above was/were actively associated with the Ghadar Party?

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 only
  3. 1 and 3
  4. 3 only

Answer: d

Explanation: Rash Behari Bose was actively associated with the Ghadar Party, a revolutionary organization aimed at overthrowing British rule in India.


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