07 Jul 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

7 July 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
GOVERNANCE
1. 1.4 lakh families reach MGNREGA’s annual work limit
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. U.K. imposes new human rights sanctions
2. PLA pulls back from Galwan clash site
HEALTH
1. Chinese region reports bubonic plague case
C. GS 3 Related
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
1. ‘Negligence to blame for styrene leak’
SECURITY
1. Opium seizures: India in top five list
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
ECONOMY
1. Rolling back the induced livelihood shock
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. Before the next health crisis
F. Prelims Facts
1. Zardozi
G. Tidbits
1. Coronavirus is airborne, 239 experts warn in letter to WHO18
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. U.K. imposes new human rights sanctions

Context:

Under its new powers to punish human rights offenders, Britain has announced economic sanctions against individuals and organisations from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar and North Korea.

Details:

  • Britain had previously imposed sanctions as part of the European Union or under the auspices of the United Nations.
  • Since leaving the EU in January 2020, it has implemented its own version of the U.S.’s Magnitsky Act.
    • This allows authorities to ban or seize assets of individuals guilty of human rights abuses.
  • The U.K. law authorises the British government to prevent sanctioned individuals from entering the country, channeling money through British banks, or profiting from the U.K. economy.

Sanctions:

  • The sanctions include 49 individuals and organizations:
    • Saudi intelligence officials accused of involvement in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
    • Russian authorities implicated in the death of Sergei Magnitsky,  a lawyer who died in a Moscow prison after exposing a tax fraud scheme involving Russian officials.
    • Commander-in-chief of the Myanmar armed forces, and Myanmar army commander – accused of orchestrating systematic violence against Myanmar’s Rohingya minority.
    • North Korean organisations: the Ministry of State Security Bureau and the Ministry of People’s Security Correctional Bureau, sanctioned for running prison camps in the authoritarian state.

2. PLA pulls back from Galwan clash site

Context:

Three weeks after the worst military clashes in decades, India and China have begun the process of disengagement at contentious locations along the disputed Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Details:

  • The disengagement between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) comes after a long and detailed conversation between National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval and Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi.
    • Both are the Special Representatives on the boundary talks, and had last met in December 2019.
  • The two military commanders indicated that at first, the de-escalation would take place at all the friction points — Galwan, Pangong Tso, Hot Springs — and then depth areas such as Depsang plains in the north, where China had amassed troops, would be looked into.
  • In the first signs of de-escalation, Chinese troops moved back some distance and dismantled tents at some locations along the LAC.
  • Pangong Tso is one of the most contentious areas of the current stand-offs, with the PLA moving about 8 km inside up to Finger 4.
    • India’s claim is till Finger 8 as per the alignment of the LAC.

Differing Perspectives:

  • Both presented differing perspectives of the broader strategic relationship.
  • However, the Special Representatives agreed that “both sides should take guidance from the consensus of the leaders that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas was essential for the further development of our bilateral relations and that two sides should not allow differences to become disputes.” “Therefore, they agreed that it was necessary to ensure at the earliest complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC and de-escalation from India-China border areas for full restoration of peace and tranquillity.”

Way forward:

  • According to experts, the government must not agree to de-escalate the situation at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh without an agreement on returning to “status quo ante” or the situation before the stand-off began.
    • This is because, the experts point that, while the disengagement brought an end to hostilities between India and China over China’s attempt to build a road near the India-China-Bhutan tri-junction area, transgressing into Bhutanese territory, it did not stop the PLA’s construction work right across the Doklam plateau.
  • Ashok Kantha, former Ambassador to China and the Director of the Institute of Chinese Studies said, “If the military only agrees on disengagement and de-escalation, it could end up at a disadvantage. As the PLA has constructed major infrastructure and consolidated its position in Doklam.”

Category: HEALTH

1. Chinese region reports bubonic plague case

Context:

A herdsman in China’s northern Inner Mongolia region has been confirmed to have the bubonic plague.

Details:

  • According to China’s National Health Commission, at least five people have died from it since 2014.
  • The highly-contagious plague is rare in China and can be treated.

Bubonic Plague:

  • Bubonic Plague first appeared in the 14th century and surfaced for a second time in London in 1665 and killed about 20% of its population.
  • The outbreak tapered off in 1666.
  • The bubonic plague is caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis. It can spread through contact with infected fleas.

Category: SECURITY

1. Opium seizures: India in top five list

Context:

Findings of the World Drug Report 2020.

Details:

  • The global area under opium poppy cultivation declined for the second year in a row in 2019.
    • Despite the decline in cultivation, opium production remained stable in 2019, with higher yields reported in the main opium production areas.
  • Globally, 47 countries reported opium seizures, 30 countries reported morphine seizures and 103 countries reported heroin seizures in 2018.
    • It suggests that trafficking in heroin continues to be more widespread in geographical terms than trafficking in opium or morphine.
  • Quantities of seized opiates remained concentrated in Asia, notably in south-west Asia (70%).
    • Most opiates seized were reported in or close to the main opium production areas.
    • Asia, which is host to more than 90% of global illicit opium production and the world’s largest consumption market for opiates, accounted for almost 80% of all opiates seized worldwide in 2018.
  • Outside Asia, the largest total quantity of heroin and morphine was seized in Europe.

Opium Seizure:

  • Opium is illicitly produced in about 50 countries.
  • The fourth highest seizure of opium in 2018 was reported from India, after Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • Close to 97% of the total global production of opium in the past five years came from only three countries.
  • About 84% of the total opium was produced in Afghanistan, from where it is supplied to neighbouring countries, Europe, West Asia, South Asia and Africa. A small percentage also reaches North America and the Oceania region.

Heroin Seizure:

  • In terms of heroin seizure (1.3 tonnes), India was at the 12th position in the world.
  • Iran reported the highest seizure of heroin (25 tonnes), followed by Turkey, the United States, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • Heroin is manufactured from the morphine extracted from the seed pod of opium poppy plants.

Note:

G. Tidbits

1. Coronavirus is airborne, 239 experts warn in letter to WHO18

While the WHO has long held that the coronavirus is spread primarily by large respiratory droplets that, once expelled by infected people in coughs and sneezes, fall quickly to the floor, in an open letter to the World Health Organization (WHO), 239 scientists in 32 countries have outlined the evidence showing that smaller particles can infect people, and are suggesting a revision of its recommendations.

  • If the airborne transmission is a significant factor, especially in crowded spaces with poor ventilation, the consequences for containment will be significant.
  • Masks may be needed indoors, even in socially distant settings.
  • Health care workers may need N95 masks that filter out even the smallest respiratory droplets as they care for coronavirus patients.
  • Ultraviolet lights may be needed to kill viral particles floating in tiny droplets indoors.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements:
  1. Golden Triangle is located in the area where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet at the confluence of the Ruak and Mekong Rivers.
  2. Golden Crescent overlaps between the mountain ranges of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  3. Golden Crescent is much older than the Golden Triangle.

Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The Golden Crescent overlaps between the mountain ranges of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan whose mountainous peripheries give the network its eponymous name.
  • The Golden Triangle is located in the area where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet at the confluence of the Ruak and Mekong Rivers.
  • The Golden Crescent is much older than its counterpart in Southeast Asia. While the Golden Triangle began as an opium-producing entity during the 1980s, the Golden Crescent has been doing the same since the 1950s.
Q2. Consider the following statements:
  1. Zardozi is an art patronised by the Mughals that involves weaving metallic threads on fabric to create intricate patterns.
  2. Bhopal Zardozi has a Geographical Indication tag.

Which of the given statement/s is/are incorrect?

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Zardozi is an art patronised by the Mughals that involves weaving metallic threads on fabric to create intricate patterns.
  • It flourished during the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar.
  • Lucknow Zardozi has a Geographical Indication tag.
Q3. Consider the following statements with respect to Humayun’s tomb:
  1. Humayun’s garden-tomb is an example of the charbagh.
  2. It is the first garden-tomb built in India.
  3. It is included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in India.

Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • Humayun’s tomb, built in 1570, is of particular cultural significance as it was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent.
  • Humayun’s garden-tomb is an example of the charbagh (a four quadrant garden with the four rivers of Quranic paradise represented), with pools joined by channels.
Q4. Which of the following is/are Green House Gas/es:
  1. Ozone
  2. Carbon dioxide
  3. Nitrous oxide

Choose the correct option:

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

Atmospheric gases like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide (N2O), water vapour, and chlorofluorocarbons are capable of trapping the out-going infrared radiation from the earth’s surface thereby causing the greenhouse effect. Hence, these are known as greenhouse gases. Ozone is also a greenhouse gas.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Given that the stringently implemented lockdown has led to a livelihood shock and has had a devastating impact on the poor, suggest suitable measures to address this challenge. (10 marks, 150 words)
  2. Apart from the current pandemic, there are two impending dangers to people’s health — air pollution and greenhouse gases — and a weak public health system. Comment. (15 marks, 250 words)

Read the previous CNA here.

7 July 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

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