14 Jul 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

14 July 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Iran drops India from Chabahar rail project, cites funding delay
2. Iran, China set to clinch 25-year deal
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. SC gives ex-royals right to manage deity’s property
C. GS 3 Related
ECONOMY
1. Nod for Karnataka-T.N. economic corridor
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Enabling people to govern themselves
GEOGRAPHY
1. Gains from rains
F. Prelims Facts
G. Tidbits
1. Aircraft carriers to get Indian jets by 2032
2. Afghan goods to arrive by Wagah border
3. Will invest $10 billion in India, says Google chief
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

2. Iran, China set to clinch 25-year deal

Context:

Iran and China are close to finalising a 25-year Strategic Partnership deal worth $400 billion.

Details:

  • The Comprehensive Plan for Cooperation between Iran and China is being finalised by officials in Tehran and Beijing.
  • According to the plan, the cooperation will extend from investments in infrastructure, manufacturing and upgrading energy and transport facilities, to refurbishing ports, refineries and other installations, and will commit Iranian oil and gas supplies to China during that period.

This topic has been covered in the 13th July 2020 Comprehensive News Analysis. Click here to read.

Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. SC gives ex-royals right to manage deity’s property

Context:

The Supreme Court has held that the erstwhile Travancore royal family is the “human ministrant” or the shebait (manager) of the properties belonging to Sree Padmanabha, the chief deity of Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala.

Background:

  • The recent judgement is over a dispute of over a decade on whether the temple and its considerable assets should devolve to the Kerala Government following the death of the Travancore ruler Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma in July 1991.
  • Arguments were raised on whether the 26th Constitutional Amendment, which put an end to privy purses enjoyed by erstwhile rulers, would nudge the temple and properties into the hands of the State.
  • The Kerala High Court, in 2011, directed the State to take over the temple and exhibit its treasures for public viewing in a museum.
Privy Purse:
  • The privy purse was a payment made to the ruling families of erstwhile princely states as a part of their agreement to integrate with India in 1947.
  • The 26th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1971 brought an end to this privilege of princely states.

Supreme Court Judgement:

  • The recent judgement was given by a division bench comprising of Justices U.U. Lalit and Indu Malhotra.
  • Justice Lalit, categorically held that the death of a ruler does not affect the royal family’s shebaitship of the temple.
  • “Shebaitship was always in the royal family and the Ruler represented the unbroken line of shebaits,” the judgment said.
  • According to the judgement, shebaitship does not lapse in favour of the State by the principle of escheat (reversion of property to the State).

Details:

  • The court defined ‘shebait’ as the “custodian of the idol, its earthly spokesman, its authorised representative entitled to deal with all its temporal affairs and to manage its property”.
    • The court traced how the shebaitship descended from King Marthanda Varma.
    • King Marthanda Varma rebuilt the temple and installed a new idol after a fire destroyed the temple in 1686.
    • It referred to how the King surrendered his kingdom in January 1750 and assumed the role of ‘Padmanabhadasa’ after realising “the futility of battles as a means to an end and the conscious feeling that the Travancore he created was built on a foundation of sacrifice of the liver and limbs of countless numbers who fell due to him and for him.”
  • Accepting the royals’ submission that the temple is a public temple, the court issued a slew of directions for its transparent administration in the future.
  • It directed the setting up of an administrative committee, with the Thiruvananthapuram district judge as its chairperson. The panel would take care of the daily administration of the temple.

Category: GEOGRAPHY

1. Gains from rains

Context:

  • Monsoon rains in India.

Background:

  • The monsoon sets in India in the month of June and that process can sometimes be delayed by as much as a week.
  • One branch of the monsoon winds starts its journey northwards from Kerala and the other wing, called the Bay of Bengal branch, enters India from the southeast. Both branches eventually converge in the north and usually, this merging and strengthening of the monsoon currents over the mainland take at least until July 15.

Details:

  • This year, two significant aspects mark the monsoon season in India:
    • The monsoon set in at a textbook date of June 1. This was despite the concerns that Cyclone Amphan that had ravaged West Bengal would delay the monsoon’s entry into India from the Andaman Sea. For more information on this topic, refer to CNA dated May 31, 2020.
    • The monsoon has set a record pace at which it covered the country. The monsoon covered the entire country by June 25 as against the normal date of 15 July.

For more information on this topic, refer to:

CNA dated June 27, 2020

  • The net result of the above developments was that India witnessed more rainy days in June and a fairly even distribution across the country.
    • As per the most recent data available from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), rainfall during the season has been 14% more than what is usual for this period.
    • Except for northwest India, which is staring at a 3% deficit, the rainfall in east, south and central India has posted surpluses of 13%-20%.

Significance:

  • A steady, well-spread monsoon spells good news for farmers and the economy.
    • Given the fact that a large portion of Indian agriculture is still dependent on rainfall for irrigation needs, a good rainfall would encourage higher sowing in the Kharif season and higher production.
    • A good produce could entail higher disposable income in the hands of the rural people and hence provide an impetus to the whole Indian economy.

Concerns:

  • While good rains in June signal farmers to prepare the soil and sow Kharif crop, the most important months are July and August. These two months account for two-thirds of the monsoon rain while the month of June only accounts for about 17% of the monsoon rainfall spanning June-September. Below-normal rainfall in the coming months would be bad for India.
  • The coming months would also be the time the monsoon goes into ‘break’ conditions. Prolonged breaks, or an absence of rainfall, can even lead to drought.
  • The current figures consider the average for the whole country. The forecast of ‘normal rains’ obscure the possibility of heavy rains or severe droughts in districts or over larger areas.

Steps to be taken:

  • Short and medium-range forecasts for both the national level and the regional level need to be strengthened and effectively communicated to the people.

For related information, refer to:

CNA dated June 3, 2020

F. Prelims Facts

Nothing here for today!!!

G. Tidbits

1. Aircraft carriers to get Indian jets by 2032

What’s in News?

The Navy is expected to start receiving new twin-engine aircraft carrier-based fighter aircraft being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) by 2032 and it will be a replacement for the Russian MiG-29K carrier jets in service.

  • The Navy is expected to get the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL)-built twin-engine carrier aircraft by 2032.
  • It will replace the MiG-29Ks in service which are scheduled to start going out by 2034.
  • The Navy currently operates Russian-origin carrier INS Vikramaditya and expects to have the first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-I) Vikrant operational by 2022.

2. Afghan goods to arrive by Wagah border

What’s in News?

Pakistan will allow Afghanistan to send goods to India via the Wagah border.

  • The decision is a part of Islamabad’s commitment under the Pakistan-Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement.
  • It is expected to boost Afghanistan’s exports to India.

Wagah border:

  • Wagah is a village situated on the Grand Trunk Road between Amritsar of India and Lahore in Pakistan.
  • The Wagah border is known as the Attari border on the Indian side.

3. Will invest $10 billion in India, says Google chief

What’s in News?

Technology giant Google will invest $10 billion (₹75,000 crore) in India over the next five to seven years with a focus on digitising the economy and building India-first products and services.

  • It would be done through a mix of equity investments, partnerships and operational, infrastructure and ecosystem investments.
  • According to its CEO, this is a reflection of Google’s confidence in the future of India and its digital economy.
  • Investments will focus on four areas key to digitisation:
    • Enabling affordable access and information for every Indian in their own language,
    • Building products and services that are deeply relevant to India’s unique needs,
    • Empowering businesses on their digital transformation journey,
    • Leveraging technology and AI for social good in areas such as health, education and agriculture.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements:
  1. INS Vikrant is an Indigenous Aircraft Carrier.
  2. INS Vikramaditya was bought from Russia.
  3. The Indian Navy currently operates one aircraft carrier only.

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

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • India bought INS Vikramaditya from Russia. It is a former USSR carrier vessel and entered into service with the Indian Navy in 2013.
  • INS Vikrant is an Indigenous Aircraft Carrier under construction by Cochin Shipyard in Kochi, Kerala for the Indian Navy. It is the first aircraft carrier to be built in India.
  • The Indian Navy currently operates one aircraft carrier only – INS Vikramaditya.
Q2. Consider the following statements with respect to the 73rd Constitutional Amendment 
Act:
  1. The Seventh Schedule was inserted in the Constitution of India by the 73rd Amendment.
  2. Constitutional status was accorded to Panchayati Raj Institutions through the 73rd Amendment Act.
  3. It provided that one-third of the seats in all Panchayat councils, as well as one-third of the Pradhan (chairperson) positions, be reserved for women.
  4. It fixed the minimum age for contesting in elections to Panchayat at 25 years.

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

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • The Eleventh Schedule was inserted in the Constitution of India by the 73rd Amendment.
  • Constitutional status was accorded to Panchayati Raj Institutions through the 73rd Amendment Act.
  • It provided that one-third of the seats in all Panchayat councils, as well as one-third of the Pradhan (chairperson) positions be reserved for women.
  • It fixed the minimum age for contesting in elections to Panchayat at 21 years.
Q3. Consider the following statements with respect to Bandar-e-Jask port:
  1. Bandar-e-Jask port lies to the west of Chabahar.
  2. It is located in the Hormozgan province of Iran.

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

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

Both statements are correct.

Q4. Consider the following statements:
  1. RBI purchases G-Secs under its Open Market Operations to reduce excess liquidity in the system.
  2. G-Secs are risk-free gilt-edged instruments.
  3. G-Secs are issued by both the Central as well as the State Governments.

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

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • A Government Security (G-Sec) is a tradable instrument issued by the Central Government or the State Governments.
  • The purchase of government securities by the RBI under its Open Market Operations will infuse liquidity into the system.
  • G-Secs practically carry no risk of default and, hence, are called risk-free gilt-edged instruments. Gilt-edged securities are high-grade investment bonds offered by governments and large corporations as a means of borrowing funds.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Discuss the arguments in favour of a decentralized form of governance. Also analyze what are the challenges in the implementation of such a governance model in the Indian context. (15 marks, 250 words)
  2. Describe the mechanism of the monsoon rains in India with appropriate diagrams. Discuss the significance of a steady, well-spread monsoon rain for the agricultural sector and the Indian economy. (15 marks, 250 words)

Read the previous CNA here.

14 July 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

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