04 Jul 2022: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

Quote for the day Set 5 11

CNA 04 July 2022:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Strains on India-Russia defence cooperation
POLITY
1. The functioning of the National Investigation Agency
C. GS 3 Related
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
POLITY
1. Technology is no panacea for custodial deaths
2. We need an urgent national plan for electrical safety
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
1. Wake-up call: On Manipur landslides
F. Prelims Facts
1. Targeting GI tag, Mayurbhanj’s superfood ‘ant chutney’ to find more tables
G. Tidbits
1. Measuring India’s plastic problem
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

Nut graf: Given that some of the major defence deals with Russia are either pending or under review, this development could strain the otherwise robust defence cooperation between the two countries, which forms a vital aspect of the India- Russia relationship.

Category: POLITY

1. The functioning of the National Investigation Agency

Syllabus: Statutory bodies.

Prelims: National Investigation Agency- Scheduled offences, jurisdiction and powers

Context:

  • The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken over the probe into the killing of tailor Kanhaiyya Lal in Rajasthan’s Udaipur. Also the Union Home Ministry has handed over the investigation of a similarly executed murder of pharmacist Umesh Kolhe at Amravati in Maharashtra to the NIA.

National Investigation Agency:

  • The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is the primary counter-terrorism agency of India, functioning under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
  • It is headquartered in New Delhi and has branches in Hyderabad, Guwahati, Kochi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Kolkata, Raipur, Jammu, Chandigarh, Ranchi, Chennai, Imphal, Bengaluru and Patna.

Establishment of NIA:

  • The 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai revealed the failure of intelligence and ability to track such activities by existing agencies in India and the then government contemplated the need to have a specific body to deal with terror related activities in India.
  • NIA came into existence with the enactment of the National Investigation Agency Act 2008 by the Parliament of India.

Mandate of the NIA:

  • The NIA is mandated to investigate all the offences affecting the sovereignty, security and integrity of India, friendly relations with foreign states, and the offences under the statutory laws enacted to implement international treaties, agreements, conventions and resolutions of the United Nations, its agencies and other international organisations.
  • The agency is empowered to deal with the investigation of terror related crimes and their possible links with crimes like smuggling of arms, drugs and fake Indian currency and infiltration from across the borders.
  • NIA is empowered to deal with the scheduled offences which include the following:
  • Explosive Substances Act
  • Atomic Energy Act
  • Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act
  • Anti-Hijacking Act
  • Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Civil Aviation Act
  • SAARC Convention (Suppression of Terrorism) Act
  • Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act
  • Relevant offences under the Indian Penal Code, Arms Act and the Information Technology Act.
  • Offences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act that are connected to terror cases.

Jurisdiction of NIA:

  • The law under which the agency operates extends to the whole of India and also applies to Indian citizens outside the country. This includes Indians in the service of the government wherever they are posted.
  • Additionally, persons on ships and aircraft registered in India wherever they may be; persons who commit a scheduled offence even outside India against the Indian citizen or affecting the interest of India can be investigated by the NIA.

Taking up of cases by the NIA:

  • State governments can refer the cases pertaining to the scheduled offences to the Central government for NIA investigation. After due assessment, the union government can direct the NIA to take over the case.
  • Also the Union government is empowered to suo motu direct the NIA to take up probe of a scheduled offence.

Powers of the NIA:

  • State governments are required to extend all assistance to the NIA with respect to any investigation being undertaken by the NIA.
  • NIA has the power to search, seize, arrest and prosecute those involved in the scheduled offences.

For more related information on NIA, refer to the following article:

https://byjus.com/free-ias-prep/national-investigation-agency-nia/

Nut graf: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is the primary counter-terrorism agency of India empowered to deal with the investigation of terror related crimes.

 

Nothing here for today!!!

2. We need an urgent national plan for electrical safety

Syllabus: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Prelims: Central Electricity Authority, Achieving net zero emissions by 2070.

Mains: The lack of a National Plan on Electrical Safety may contribute to further accidents related to electricity.

Context:

Electrical accidents are classified as accidents involving the usage, maintenance, and distribution of electricity. Since the development of the power sector at leaps and bounds, in absence of a National Policy regarding the same has led to immense loss of life and property.

The problem of Electrical Accidents

  1. The registered cases of fatalities arising from electricity have been steadily increasing over the years. It is recorded that from 0.36 deaths per lakh population in 1990, it has increased to 1.13 deaths per lakh population in 2020. In contrast, the developed countries have seen a reducing trend over the years with the figure at 0.03 or lower per lakh population.
  2. Further, the impact of these accidents is unevenly distributed with 90 percent of the fatalities belonging to the general public. 
  3. The primary cause of death related to electrical accidents is contact with live conductors in the majority of cases and the second major cause is fire due to electrical faults. 
  4. Regional disparities also play a part in the distribution of accidents with the majority of accidents occurring in rural areas. However, considering the pace of rapid urbanization, poor urban localities are also in need of urgent attention. 
  5. It has been observed that most accidents occur in the distribution system and at non-industrial consumer locations. Most fatalities occur at distribution networks i.e.  11 kV and Low-Tension systems at consumer locations, hence these require greater attention.
  6. The present national and State specific policies do not provide targets or specific resource allocation for safety. The majority of the resource allocation is under-utilized or a small portion is spent on staff for safety kits or training.

 

Suggested Checks and Balances

  1. There is an absence of regulations being implemented. There is lack of conducting periodic safety audits in violation of regulations framed by the Central Electricity Authority needs to be rectified.
  2. Appointment of more electrical inspectors in the States is required, these inspectors are required to approve connections, provide licenses to electricians, and conduct inquiries on accidents.
  3. An adequate focus should be made on the non-industrial safety of the rural population with the support of grassroots organizations.
  4. There must be an audit of the snapping or sagging of conductors, exposed switchboards at low heights, and an inquiry into the fires caused due to electrical faults.
  5. The licensing authority must ensure due diligence with reference to poor design, construction, inadequate maintenance, inadequate protection systems, and lack of safety awareness while distributing the license.
  6. There must be a participation of both public and private sector participants. The enactment of a National Policy on the same shall holistically deal with a safety regulatory regime, better data collection, strengthening safety institutions, and developing safety metrics for distribution companies. 

Way Forward

The issue of electrical safety touches every home and hence it is a general public safety issue. With the government’s promise of providing 24×7 electrical supply to all households and achieving net zero emissions by 2070; this issue gains more relevance in today’s time.

The States must aim to reduce electrical accidents in the distribution sector, with a clear scope of work, sufficient resource allocation, and robust monitoring and verification mechanism, and ensure that electricity supply is universal, affordable, of good quality, and safe for all.
Category: DISASTER MANAGEMENT

1. Wake-up call: On Manipur landslides

Syllabus: Disaster and Disaster Management.

Prelims: National Landslide Susceptibility Mapping project.

Mains: Need to pre-empt anthropogenically instigated disasters.

Context:

The unfortunate landslide at Tupul area in Manipur’s Noney district led to the loss of 38 lives, this has been exacerbated by another landslide blocking the Ijei river. There has been an alarming number of landslides occurring in the North Eastern Himalayan states in the past decade.

Need for disaster avoidance over disaster mitigation:

  1. The present disaster’s location indicates that due diligence and proper assessment have not happened. The disaster occurred at a railway construction site in a landslide-prone area. This is a major red flag considering the history of landslides in the area.
  2. The Environment Ministry has issued a notification identifying the causes of landslides in Manipur as “a result of modification of slopes for construction, widening of the road, quarrying for construction materials, fragile lithography, complex geological structures, and heavy rainfall”. This itself indicates the presence of anthropogenic activity inducing disaster. 
  3. The need for Landslide mapping and Zonation of Hazardous areas is further important due to the presence of very high, high, or moderate hazard zones. The National Landslide Susceptibility Mapping project also needs to be utilized in this regard.
  4. Due consideration has to be paid to the various weather-based geographical developments such as the uncertain nature of rains, with the monsoon being more intense this year compared to predictions.
  5. The early warning system for landslides should be developed and refined by the Geological Survey of India across vulnerable States.

Way Forward:

Urgent emphasis needs to be placed on the post-facto exercise by the State governments in the vulnerable areas regarding the sufficient soil and stability tests before undertaking the construction over the sites of infrastructural works.

The developmental demands of the States in the Northeast and improving the connectivity projects to uplift a relatively economically backward region are understandable but the disasters such as the landslide in Tupul indicate that sustainable development is to be pursued otherwise the growth aspect would be deaccelerated including the loss of innocent human lives. 

F. Prelims Facts

1. Targeting GI tag, Mayurbhanj’s superfood ‘ant chutney’ to find more tables

Syllabus: GI products of India

Prelims: Kai chutney

Context:

  • In Odisha, research is underway to make a presentation for the Geographical Indications (GI) registry of Kai chutney under the food category.

Kai chutney:

  • The Kai chutney is made mostly by the tribes of Mayurbhanj district in Odisha using the weaver ants.
  • Weaver ants, Oecophylla smaragdina, are abundantly found in Mayurbhanj throughout the year. They make nests with leaves of host trees. Kais feed on small insects and other invertebrates, their prey being mainly beetles, flies and hymenopterans.
  • This dish is a rich source of essential nutrients and is known to boost the immune system and is also used a remedial cure to many diseases.

G. Tidbits

1. Measuring India’s plastic problem

  • While India’s move to ban certain single-use plastics from July 1st is welcome, there continue to remain some challenges in India’s efforts to meet the plastic challenge.
    • According to the State of India’s Environment 2022 report, 35% of India’s plastic waste is in the form of multi-layered packaging which are non-recyclable.
    • Also according to this report, a substantial share of plastic waste in India ends up in dumpsites and landfills (around 68%). Only 12% is recycled and around 20% of the 3.5 million tonnes of plastic waste generated in 2019-20 was burnt.
    • In 2019, India produced an estimated 5 kg of mismanaged waste per person.
      • Mismanaged waste is material which is at high risk of entering the ocean or coastlines from inland waterways.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. With respect to Saharia tribe, which of the following statements is/are incorrect? (Medium)
  1. They are classified as Particularly vulnerable tribal group.
  2. The categorization is done by the Ministry of Tribal affairs.
  3. 3) They speak Munda language that belongs to the Dravidian Language Family

Options:

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

    • The categorization of a tribe as a Particularly vulnerable tribal group is done by the Ministry of Home Affairs and not by the Ministry of Tribal affairs.
    • The people of Saharia tribe speak Munda language that belongs to the Austro-Asiatic language family.
Q2. Consider the following statements with respect to 'Ant chutney (Kai Chutney)': (Difficult)
  1. It is a much sought after food in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district.
  2. It has got the Geographical Indication (GI) tag

Options:

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • The Kai chutney is made mostly by the tribes of Mayurbhanj district in Odisha using the weaver ants.
    • Weaver ants, Oecophylla smaragdina, are abundantly found in Mayurbhanj throughout the year. They make nests with leaves of host trees. Kais feed on small insects and other invertebrates, their prey being mainly beetles, flies and hymenopterans.
  • This dish is a rich source of essential nutrients and is known to boost the immune system and is also used a remedial cure to many diseases.
  • In Odisha, research is underway to make a presentation for the Geographical Indications (GI) registry of Kai chutney under the food category. Currently, it does not have a GI tag.
Q3. Which amongst the following is the best description of Yogyakarta Principles? (Medium)

Options:

  1. It directs companies to undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility
  2. It is a document about human rights in the areas of sexual orientation and gender identity
  3. It seeks to eliminate all forms of forced and compulsory labour
  4. It is an academic, non-binding study on how international law applies to cyber conflicts and cyber warfare
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

The Yogyakarta Principles is a document about human rights in the areas of sexual orientation and gender identity, published as the outcome of an international meeting of human rights groups in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in November 2006.

Q4. Varroa destructor (Varroa mite) is an external parasitic mite that attacks and feeds on (Difficult)

Options:

  1. Cotton
  2. Earth Worms
  3. Honey bees
  4. Maize
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

Varroa destructor is an external parasitic mite that attacks and feeds on the honey bees Apis cerana and Apis mellifera. This mite can reproduce only in a honey bee colony. It attaches to the body of the bee and weakens the bee by sucking fat bodies.

Q5. Consider the following:(Level - Medium)
  1. Carbon monoxide
  2. Nitrogen oxide
  3. Ozone
  4. Sulphur dioxide

Options:

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Acid rain, or acid deposition, is a broad term that includes any form of precipitation with acidic components, such as sulphuric or nitric acid that fall to the ground from the atmosphere in wet or dry forms.  This can include rain, snow, fog, hail or even dust that is acidic.
  • Acid rain results when sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) are emitted into the atmosphere and transported by wind and air currents. The SO2 and NOX react with water, oxygen and other chemicals to form sulphuric and nitric acids.  These then mix with water and other materials before falling to the ground.

CNA 04 July 2022:- Download PDF Here

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