17 Jan 2022: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 17 Jan 2022:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
C. GS 3 Related
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. Web3: A vision for the future
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
1. Storm warnings of a megacity collapse
ECONOMY
1. Taxing cryptocurrency transactions
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. A ‘lifeline’, animal farmed
F. Prelims Facts
1. Volcano caused ‘significant damage’
2. Sense and Sensitivity in self-driving cars
G. Tidbits
1. Ukraine says it has ‘evidence’ that Russia is behind cyberattack
2. ‘Govt. talk on marital rape a delaying tactic’
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

Category: ECONOMY

1. Taxing cryptocurrency transactions

Syllabus: Issues relating to mobilization of resources.

Mains: -Possibility and concerns associated with the Process of taxing crypto transactions in India.

Context: –

This article examines the possibility and concerns associated with the Process of taxing crypto transactions in India.

What Are The Available Legal Options To Bring The Cryptocurrencies Under Taxation?

What are the Challenges in the Process of taxing crypto transactions?

  1. Varied interpretations: The absence of explicit tax provisions has led to uncertainty and varied interpretations being adopted in relation to mode of computation, applicable tax head and tax rates.
  2. Ambiguity over Fair Market value: Since there is no consistency in the rates provided by the crypto-exchanges, it is difficult to arrive at a fair market value.
  3. Difficulty in Identifying Tax Jurisdiction: It is often tricky to identify the tax jurisdiction for crypto transactions as taxpayers may have engaged in multiple transfers across various countries and the cryptocurrencies may have been stored in online wallets.
  4. Risk of Tax Evasion:  Crypto does not reveal the person’s real identity, giving tax evaders a cloak of invisibility. The lack of third party information on crypto transactions makes it difficult to scrutinize and identify instances of tax evasion.
  5. Crypto Funding Black Money and Terrorism: There are serious concerns with cryptocurrencies being used to park black money abroad and fund criminal activities, terrorism, etc.
  6. Unregulated intermediates: Crypto-market intermediaries like the exchanges, wallet providers, network operators, miners, administrators are unregulated and collecting information from them is very difficult.
  7. Difficulty in Tracing Transactions: Due to lack of information on crypto transactions , they are hard to trace and only voluntary disclosures from the parties involved or a search/survey operation may reveal the tax evaders.

What Steps can be taken to provide a robust mechanism for taxing crypto transactions?

  1. Clear laws: The income-tax laws pertaining to the crypto transactions need to be made clear by incorporating detailed statutory provisions.
  2. Generating Awareness: This should be followed by extensive awareness generation among the taxpayers regarding the same.
  3. Separate Mandatory Disclosure: The practice of having separate mandatory disclosure requirements in tax returns should be placed on the taxpayers as well as all the intermediaries involved, so that crypto transactions do not go unreported.
  4. Strengthening international legal framework: The existing international legal framework for exchange of information should be strengthened to enable collecting and sharing of information on crypto-transactions.
  5. Linking crypto Identities: This will go a long way in linking the digital profiles of cryptocurrency holders with their real identities.
  6. Impart Training: The Government must impart training to its officers in blockchain technology. In this regard, it may be noted that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s ‘Cybercrime and Anti-Money Laundering’ Section (UNODC CMLS) has developed a unique cryptocurrency training module, which can aid in equipping tax officers with requisite understanding of the underlying technologies.
  7. Use of Latest Technology: Tax authorities should also equip themselves with the latest forensic software (such as Elliptic Forensics Software is being used by the USA Internal Revenue Service and GraphSense used in the European Union) which can analyse a high volume of crypto transactions at a time and raise red flags in cases of suspicious transactions.

 Conclusion: –

It is certain that cryptocurrencies are here to stay. A streamlined tax regime will be essential in the formulation of a clear, constructive and adaptive regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies.

Nut Graf
Increasing use of cryptocurrencies by Indians not only creates an avenue for generation of tax revenue for the nation but also puts forth a Herculean challenge for the tax authorities to track and tax transactions involving cryptocurrencies.
Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. A ‘lifeline’, animal farmed

Syllabus: Developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

Mains: –  Concerns Associated with Xenotransplantation

Prelims:- Xenotransplantation

Context: –

This article discusses Xenotransplantation and the concerns Associated with it in the light of recent transplantation of pig’s heart.

Background: –

  • The ‘xenotransplant’ is the process which involves interspecies transplants and exhibits endless possibilities to treat otherwise untreatable diseases.
  • Both living and dead humans are being sourced as donors but because of scientific, ethical and social challenges, the number of human donors remains restricted.

Know More About the Xenotransplantation

Brief history of Xenotransplant:

  • Early kidney and liver transplants were attempted from baboons and chimpanzees as these primates were considered closest to humans.
  • In the early 1960s, a surgeon called Reemtsma in New Orleans performed 13 chimpanzees to human kidney transplants.

Why have scientists focused on pigs as a source of human organs?

  • Pigs are genetically modifiable to reduce the chances of rejection by the human body.
  • In the western world, it is socially more acceptable to breed pigs for this purpose.
  • There are now companies breeding genetically modified pigs in special farms for the express purpose of transplantation.

What are the concerns Associated with Xenotransplantation?

  1. Transmission of Viruses: There are concerns about the transmission of pig viruses through the transplant but this barrier has also been partly overcome by bio protection and genetic manipulation.
  2. Animal Rights Issue: The animal rights movement is not impressed. Animal rights activities like PETA have decried the pig heart transplant.

Conclusion: –

As the increasingly common cause of death and suffering is end stage failure of critical organs there will be continuous efforts to widen the net for sourcing them. Recent events show that human lives depend not only on other humans but also on other species cohabiting the planet; all creatures big and small.

Nut Graf
Given organ shortage, Xenotransplantation is significant as it could provide an alternative supply of organs to those with life-threatening diseases. It also overcomes another hurdle in human to human transplant; one does not have to seek consent from an animal which can be sacrificed for the organ.

F. Prelims Facts

1. Volcano caused ‘significant damage’

  • A massive volcanic eruption in Tonga has triggered a tsunami around the Pacific coastline from Japan to the United States.
  • The capital city of Nuku’alofa has suffered significant damage.

2. Sense and Sensitivity in self-driving cars

Doppler shift:

When a body that is emitting radiation or reflecting a radiation, has a non-zero velocity relative to an observer, the wavelength of the observed emission will be shortened or lengthened, depending upon whether the body is moving towards or away from an observer. This change in observed wavelength, or frequency, is known as the Doppler shift.

G. Tidbits

1. Ukraine says it has ‘evidence’ that Russia is behind cyberattack

  • Amid the all-time high tensions between Ukraine and Russia in the backdrop of Russia amassing troops on its border ahead of a possible invasion, Ukraine has claimed that it has evidence of Russia being behind a massive cyberattack that knocked out its key government websites in the past week. Microsoft has warned that the malware under question could render government digital infrastructure inoperable.
  • Russia is being alleged of waging a hybrid war against Ukraine
  • This development brings to light the increasing impact of cross-border cyber-attacks on a country’s internal security.

2. ‘Govt. talk on marital rape a delaying tactic’

  • The Delhi High Court is hearing multiple petitions challenging the exception to Section 375 of the IPC, which exempts forcible sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife from the offence of rape, provided the wife is above 15 years of age. This has brought to the forefront the issue of marital rape.
  • At least two big committees in the past decade have recommended criminalising marital rape.
    • The J.S. Verma committee had proposed removal of the exception for marital rape. It had held that that the law must “specify that a marital or other relationship between the perpetrator and victim is not a valid defence against the crimes of rape or sexual violation”.
    • The Pam Rajput committee (2015) had also suggested that “marital rape should be made an offence”.
  • Around 50 countries have made marital rape an offence.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements:
  1. He was a social and religious reformer who gave the universal message, “One caste, one religion, one God.”
  2. He lent his support to the Vaikkom Satyagraha which was aimed at temple entry in Travancore for the lower castes.
  3. He built a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva at Aruvippuram which was against the caste-based restrictions of the time.

The above statements describe:

  1. Nataraja Guru
  2. Ramaswami Naicker
  3. Sahodaran Ayyappan
  4. Sree Narayana Guru
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • Sree Narayana Guru was a pioneer reformer who rejected the caste system and stressed the equality of man. He also gave the universal message, “One caste, one religion, one God.”
  • Guru built many Hindu temples which were open to people from all castes and religions.
  • In 1888, he built a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva at Aruvippuram which was against the caste-based restrictions of the time. When questioned by Brahmins on this deed, Guru replied that the Shiva he had consecrated was not a Brahmin.
  • In one temple he consecrated at Kalavancode, he kept mirrors instead of idols. This symbolised his message that the divine was within each individual.
  • He also founded an Advaita Ashram in Kalady.
  • He was also a keen educator and stressed on the importance of education for all. He taught Sanskrit and the Upanishads to students from all castes, including the ‘low caste’ students who were not permitted to study the scriptures.
  • He also lent his support to the Vaikkom Satyagraha which was aimed at temple entry in Travancore for the lower castes. Mahatma Gandhi met Guru during this time.
Q2. Which of the following statements about Matangini Hazra is/are correct?
  1. She was arrested for taking part in the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930 and the Salt March led by Gandhi.
  2. She became the President of Indian national Congress in 1932.

Options:

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • Matangini Hazra was an Indian revolutionary who participated in the Indian independence movement until she was shot dead by the British Indian police in front of the Tamluk Police Station on 29 September 1942.
  • She was affectionately known as Gandhi buri, Bengali for old lady Gandhi
Q3. Kohima War Cemetery is a memorial dedicated to the
  1. Soldiers who were killed while fighting insurgency in the Nagaland
  2. People who sacrificed their lives during the conflict between the British India and Burma
  3. Soldiers of the 2nd British Division of the Allied Forces who died in World War II
  4. Troops of British India who died in wars fought between 1914 and 1919
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Kohima War Cemetery is a memorial dedicated to soldiers of the 2nd British Division of the Allied Forces who died in the Second World War at Kohima, the capital of Nagaland
Q4. As a tsunami leaves the deep water of the open ocean and travels into the shallower water 
near the coast, which of the following events may take place?
  1. The tsunami’s speed diminishes as it travels into shallower water
  2. It may grow to be several meters or more in height near the coast.

Options

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • As a tsunami leaves the deep water of the open ocean and travels into the shallower water near the coast, the tsunami’s speed diminishes and it may grow to be several meters or more in height near the coast

Q5. Which of the following gives ‘Global Gender Gap Index’ ranking to the countries of the 
world?
  1. World Economic Forum
  2. UN Human Rights Council
  3. UN Women
  4. World Health Organization
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • The Global Gender Gap Report was first published in 2006 by the World Economic Forum. The Global Gender Gap Index is an index designed to measure gender equality.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. India is in need of sound, functional metropolitan cities that can handle floods, heat waves, pollution and mass mobility to keep the engines of the economy running and not flashy retrofitted ‘smart’ urban enclaves. Substantiate. (10 Marks, 150 Words)[GS-1, Social Issues]
  2. Predatory pricing and abuse of pricing power by startups and big corporates through preferential access may help the customers but can also eliminate the competition. In the light of the statement, critically examine if existing laws are able to regulate this practice. (10 Marks, 150 Words)[GS-3, Economy]

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 17 Jan 2022:- Download PDF Here

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