05 Jul 2022: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

Quote for the day Set 5 11

CNA 05 July 2022:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Hotels can’t force customers to pay service charge: Centre
C. GS 3 Related
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. Enforcing the single-use plastic ban
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. The need for space sustainability
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. A chaotic world, the perils of multilateralism
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. Right intent, confusing content
F. Prelims Facts
1. ‘Dhyana Mandir to be built at Alluri birthplace’
G. Tidbits
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. The need for space sustainability

Syllabus: Awareness in the fields of Space

Mains: Sustainability in outer space and India’s contribution

Context: Recently, the U.K. hosted the fourth summit for Space Sustainability in London in collaboration with the Secure World Foundation.

Plan for Space Sustainability

  • The U.K. hosted the fourth summit for Space Sustainability in London and announced a new ‘Plan for Space Sustainability.’ 
  • The U.K. Space Sustainability plan mentions four primary elements: 
    • To review the regulatory framework of the U.K.’s orbital activity; 
    • To emphasize international engagement on space sustainability; 
    • To try and develop safety and quality-related metrics that quantify the sustainability of activities; 
    • To induce additional funding for active debris removal.
  • Aims of the Plan: 
    • To “set a global commercial framework for the insurability, the licensing and the regulation of commercial satellites.” 
    • To reduce the cost for those who comply with the best sustainability standards and thus encourage a thriving ecosystem for the industry.

What does sustainability in outer space mean?

  • In the last decade, the Earth’s orbital environment has more than quadrupled. The intricacy of missions and slot allocation concerns rise as the cost of tasks decreases and the number of participants increases.
  • With the growth of huge constellations and complicated satellites, there is an increased danger of collisions and radio frequency interference.
  • Long-term sustainability focuses on space research and technology development to enable satellite reuse and recycling at every level. The proposal calls for active debris removal and in-orbit servicing. 
  • Because outer space is seen as a common natural resource, the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) issued a set of 21 non-binding rules in 2019 to ensure the long-term viability of space operations.
United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS)

  • In 1958, the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) was founded.
  • The UN General Assembly established it as an ad hoc multinational committee immediately after the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik I, in 1957. India was one of the committee’s 18 founding members.
  • Its primary responsibility is to study and promote international collaboration in the peaceful uses of outer space.

Concerns with sustainability in outer space

  • One of the most pressing concerns of space sustainability is orbital congestion. 
  • It is a direct threat to the mission’s operations and safety, and it is likely to result in legal and insurance-related problems. 
  • Another significant concern is space debris.
  • After completing a mission, the ‘end-of-life protocol’ requires space objects to be transferred to a cemetery orbit or a low altitude. In the long term, neither strategy is viable.
  • Solar and magnetic storms are also possible threats to communication infrastructure.

India’s contribution to space sustainability:

  • India is home to potential start-ups such as Agnikul and Skyroot, who are working on tiny payload launch vehicles, and Dhruva Space, which is working on high-tech solar panels for satellites and satellite deployers.
  • India is well on its way to developing a subsystem that will solve global sustainability concerns.
  • To monitor space debris, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has launched ‘Project NETRA’. 
  • The domestic monitoring system would offer real-time information on the state of debris, which would benefit future planning for space asset protection.
  • At the 2+2 discussion in 2022, India and the United States struck a new accord for monitoring space objects. 
  • Controlled anti-satellite weaponry (ASAT) testing and the possibility of collisions must be handled cooperatively.
  • ISRO is working on a docking experiment termed ‘SPADEX’ to allow in-orbit servicing. It considers docking a satellite on an existing satellite, providing assistance in refuelling and other in-orbit services, and boosting a satellite’s functionality.

Way Forward:

  • Today, any institution (public or private) with the required finances and technology may invest in space. 
  • Sustainable space practices would immediately help to lessen orbital overpopulation and collision risk while also fostering future innovations. 
  • The Plan for Space Sustainability, which involves private enterprises, is a timely move in the natural flow of progress. This might be used as a model for future space programmes.
  • Many of the sustainability strategies are resource-intensive and costly for medium- and small-scale space operations.
    • In this instance, private attempts to improve sustainability standards would make access more difficult, offering an unfair advantage to programmes with steady finances.

Nut Graf:

In line with the U.K. space programme, the Indian space mission hopes to drive the sustainability factor internationally and provide an opportunity for the private sector to develop models that enhance operations’ safety and reduce debris footprint.

Category: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. Right intent, confusing content

Syllabus: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.

Prelims: E-Waste (Management and Handling) rules

Mains: Proposals in the new draft rules and concerns associated with them

Context:

  • Draft E-waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2022 had been released for public comments in May 2022 by the Environment Ministry.

For information on the existing E-waste Management Rules, refer to the following article:

Electronic Waste

Details:

  • The new draft Rules depart significantly from the previous regulations in the following ways.
    • The draft rules state that producers of e-goods have to ensure that at least 60% of their produced e-waste is recycled by 2023. This marks a significant shift from the current collection rate targets to recycling rate targets.
    • The new draft rules also introduce a market for e-waste recycling certificates.
    • The draft rules also propose the setting up of a Steering Committee to oversee the “overall implementation, monitoring, and supervision” of the regulations. This committee would be suitably empowered to ensure smooth implementation of the proposed regulations.
    • The draft e-waste Rules also proposes expanding the definition of e-waste and more clearly specifies the penalties for violation of rules.
    • It also introduces an environmental compensation fund based on the ‘polluter pays’ principle.

Concerns:

Unrealistic targets:

  • The article argues that the proposed e-waste recycling target appears unrealistic due to the following reasons.
    • The e-waste recycling segment in India is still in its infancy and most of the current recycling is carried out by the informal sector using inefficient and unsafe technologies, which may not be able to scale up and meet the targets for recycling.
    • The technical feasibility and commercial viability of different recycling technologies and approaches are still evolving and the lack of a matured technology will act as a major impediment to the growth of the e-recycling segment in India.

Lack of clear guidelines on the regulation of different stakeholders:

  • The new draft rules lack any provisions on regulating registered collectors, dismantlers, and producer responsibility organisations. This can undermine the regulation of these entities to carry out their responsibilities in an environmentally safe manner.
  • Despite the significant share of e-waste processing done by the informal sector in India, the new draft rules seem to be silent on the integration of this informal sector and instead place the responsibility of such integration on the State governments.

Lack of clear-cut provisions with respect to recycling targets:

  • The new draft rules do not provide a clear understanding of whether the recycling target applies to every component of an e-product or the aggregate weight.
  • This is a major loophole as this could be misused by producers who can resort to recycling materials like plastic, copper and glass that are easy and inexpensive to recycle while neglecting the materials like rare earth metals that are costly and technologically more difficult to recycle but perhaps have a greater environmental footprint. This would undermine the underlying objective of having such management rules.

Lack of representation in the Steering Committee:

  • While the proposal for an institutional mechanism such as the steering committee is welcome, the lack of adequate representation from science/academia and civil society organisations in the Committee remains a major concern.

Nut Graf:

The core changes proposed by the Draft E-waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2022 require careful deliberation with all the relevant stakeholders before the Rules are finalised.

F. Prelims Facts

1. ‘Dhyana Mandir to be built at Alluri birthplace’

Syllabus: GS1: History: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

Prelims: Alluri Sitarama Raju, Rampa rebellion

Mains: Contribution of Alluri Sitarama Raju in India’s Freedom struggle.

Context: The Prime Minister virtually unveiled a 30-foot bronze statue of Alluri Sitarama Raju at ASR Nagar, Visakhapatanam, Andhra Pradesh.

Alluri Sitarama Raju:

  • India is celebrating the 125th birth anniversary of Manyam Veerudu Alluri Sitarama Raju.
  • Alluri Dhyana Mandir would be constructed at Mogallu, the birthplace of freedom fighter Alluri Sitarama Raju, in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Alluri Sitarama Raju and other tribal leaders sacrificed their lives in the freedom struggle.  
  • He launched Rampa or Manyam Rebellion in the form of a guerrilla war in 1924.
  • The Rampa Rebellion coincided with Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation Movement. 

Know more about Alluri Sitaram Raju.

G. Tidbits

Nothing here for today!!!

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following pairs of newly launched digital initiatives and their descriptions.
  1. Digital India Bhashini- Artificial Intelligence-based language technology solution for Indian languages.
  2. Digital India GENESIS- National deep-tech startup platform to support startups in tier-II and tier-III cities of India.
  3. Meri Pehchaan- National single sign on for one citizen login.

Which of the above digital initiatives and their descriptions are correct?

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

Answer: d

Explanation: 

  • Digital India Bhashini – The Ministry of State for Electronics and Information Technology has held a brainstorming session with Researchers & Start-ups to shape strategy for Digital India BHASHINI. BHASHINI stands for BHASHa Interface for India, the National Language Translation Mission (NLTM).
  • Digital India GENESIS – GENESIS stands for Gen-Next Support for Innovation Startups in Digital India. It is a project to help companies identify, assist, develop, and succeed in small towns across India.
  • Meri Pehchaan – ‘Meri Pehchaan’ is a National Single Sign On for One Citizen Login. National Single Sign-On (NSSO) is a user authentication service in which a single set of credentials provides access to multiple online applications or services.
  • Hence all the statements are correct.
Q2. Which of the following statements is/are correct with respect to reserves and 
production of lithium and Cobalt?
  1. The “lithium triangle” in Africa is believed to hold the world’s biggest lithium reserves.
  2. Currently, China is the world’s leading lithium-producing country.
  3. India is the world’s largest producer of cobalt.

Options:

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

Answer: d

Explanation: 

  • The Lithium Triangle is an area rich in lithium deposits that straddles Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
  • Chile has the world’s largest known lithium reserves. Hence statement 2 is not correct.
  • The mining industry in the Democratic Republic of Congo accounted for more than two-thirds of global cobalt production in 2021. Hence statement 3 is not correct.
Q3. Which of the following best describes the words- ‘Kurinji’, ‘Mullai’, ‘Marutham’, 
‘Neithal’ and ‘Paalai’ mentioned in the Tamil Sangam literature?
  1. The different ecological regions
  2. The five aspects of warfare
  3. The popular flowers of the region
  4. The five famous kings of the region
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation: 

  • The rich cultural history of the Tamils will be featured in a project relating to the new Parliament being constructed by the Union government in New Delhi.
  • Soil samples from five ecological regions mentioned in ancient Tamil Sangam literature — Kurinji, Mullai, Marutham, Neithal and Paalai — have been collected and sent to the capital recently.
  • Hence option A is correct.
Q4. Which of the following statements is/are correct with respect to windfall tax?
  1. A windfall tax is a tax levied by governments against certain industries/companies when economic conditions allow those industries/companies to experience above-average profits.
  2. Recently, the Union government of India has imposed a windfall tax on domestic oil producers and refiners.

Options:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Windfall taxes are primarily levied on the companies in the targeted industry that have benefited the most from the economic windfall, most often commodity-based businesses. It is a tax levied by governments against certain industries when economic conditions allow those industries to experience above-average profits. 
  • Recently, the Union government of India has imposed a windfall tax on domestic oil producers and refiners.
  • Hence both the statements are correct.
Q5. In which of the following relief sculpture inscriptions is ‘Ranyo Ashoka’ (King Ashoka) 
mentioned along with the stone portrait of Ashoka? PYQ (2019)
  1. Kanganahalli
  2. Sanchi
  3. Shahbazgarhi
  4. Sohgaura
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • Kanaganahalli is a town in Karnataka near Sannati. The emperor, his queen, and attendants are engraved on a slab in this sculptural representation, with Ranyo Ashoka (Raja Ashoka) named alongside the stone picture of Ashoka. It is the first sculpture of Ashoka with his name engraved on it.
  • Hence option A is correct.

CNA 05 July 2022:- Download PDF Here

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