15 Jul 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

15 July 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here


A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
1. China making deep inroads into Iran
2. EU, India to meet on resuming FTA negotiations
3. U.S. rejects Beijing’s claims in S. China Sea
4. Britain bans Huawei from future role in 5G network
C. GS 3 Related
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
1. The stand-off and China’s India policy dilemma
2. Lost opportunity
F. Prelims Facts
G. Tidbits
1. Centre limits duration of online school sessions
2. Medical test not needed for trans ID certificate: draft rules
3. ‘Maldives can’t grow without India’
4. More Spike missiles to be ordered
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

2. EU, India to meet on resuming FTA negotiations


India and the European Union (EU) are set to agree on a high-level dialogue on trade and investment to restart negotiations, seven years after talks on a free trade agreement were suspended.


  • During this summit, India and the EU are expected to conclude several agreements including:
    • A roadmap for cooperation.
    • An agreement on research sharing for civil nuclear cooperation.
    • Launch of a maritime security dialogue.
    • Negotiations between Europol and the CBI for cooperation in fighting organized crime and terrorism.
  • EU is one of India’s largest regional trading partners while India was the EU’s 9th-largest trading partner in 2018-19.
  • The EU-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is known as Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA).


  • Trade with India formed under 3% of the EU’s global trade, which is believed to be far below what was expected of the relationship.
  • EU experts believe that negotiators are still quite far apart due to what Europe perceives as India’s protectionist stance.
    • That the Make in India programme was accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis, and recent pronouncements that India wants to go self-reliant, are among the concerns.
    • EU sees India’s “Atmanirbhar Bharat” as protectionist.
  • EU has reservations about the model “Bilateral Investment Treaty” (BIT) that New Delhi has proposed, especially on dispute mechanisms in Indian courts.

3. U.S. rejects Beijing’s claims in S. China Sea


The Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that the United States would treat Beijing’s pursuit of resources in the dispute-rife South China Sea as illegal.


  • Pompeo said, “The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire.”
    • He issued this statement to mark the fourth anniversary of a tribunal decision that sided with the Philippines against the nine-dash line.
    • The statement goes further by explicitly siding with Southeast Asian nations, including the Philippines and Vietnam, after years of the U.S. saying it took no position on individual claims.
  • The United States has long rejected Beijing’s sweeping claims in the South China Sea.
  • The South China Sea is both a home to valuable oil and gas deposits and a vital waterway for the world’s commerce.

South China Sea Dispute:

  • Beijing claims most of the South China Sea through a so-called nine-dash line, a vague delineation based on maps from the 1940s.
  • It has spent years building military bases on artificial islands in the contested areas to cement its claims, while dragging out a diplomatic process to resolve the disputes for nearly two decades.
  • According to the 2016 decision issued by a tribunal under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), China cannot make claims based on the Scarborough Reef or the Spratly Islands, a vast uninhabited archipelago.
    • The United States, as a result, now rejects Beijing’s claims in the waters surrounding Vanguard Bank off Vietnam, Lucania Shoals off Malaysia, waters considered in Brunei’s exclusive economic zone and Natuna Besar off Indonesia.
    • Beijing’s southernmost claim of Malaysian-administered James Shoal, which is 1,800 km from the Chinese mainland, has also been rejected by the US.

Read more about South China Sea Dispute.

4. Britain bans Huawei from future role in 5G network

Britain’s government has backtracked on plans to give the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei, a limited role in the U.K.’s new high-speed mobile phone network.


  • In January 2020, Britain sought to balance economic and security pressures by agreeing to give Huawei a limited role in Britain’s so-called 5G network, excluding the company from core components of the system and restricting its involvement to 35% of the overall project.
  • But the move set up a diplomatic clash with the Americans, who threatened to cut off security cooperation unless Britain dumped Huawei.


  • The U.S. threatened to sever an intelligence-sharing arrangement with the U.K. because of concerns Huawei equipment could allow the Chinese Government to infiltrate U.K. networks.
  • Britain said it imposed the ban after U.S. sanctions made it impossible to ensure the security of Huawei equipment, forcing it to start turning to other suppliers for components.
  • The decision gives British telecom operators until 2027 to remove Huawei equipment already in Britain’s 5G network. The operators must stop buying 5G equipment from Huawei by the end of 2020.
  • This has broad implications for relations between London and Beijing.

2. Medical test not needed for trans ID certificate: draft rules

What’s in News?

The Union Government has done away with the requirement of a medical examination for trans persons applying for a certificate of identity in its latest draft rules framed under the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.

  • An earlier draft of the rules mandated a report from a psychologist along with the affidavit for the application. The trans rights movement had opposed this, as it was seen as going against a trans person’s right to self-identification.
  • The draft of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020, published in the gazette, stated that a District Magistrate would issue a transgender identity certificate and card based on an affidavit by the applicant, but without any medical examination.
  • In case of change of gender, the application for a new identification certificate would require a certificate from the medical superintendent or chief medical officer of the medical institution where the applicant underwent the intervention.

3. ‘Maldives can’t grow without India’

  • Speaker and former President of Maldives Mohamed Nashid has said that the Maldives cannot grow or develop further if the country abandons its ties with India.
  • The bilateral relationship between the Maldives and India has been strengthened and deepened since November 2018.
  • As a part of India’s initiative, where nearly 200 million MVR-worth cash grant and development projects are being executed with Male, apart from the $800 million line of credit, India recently handed over outdoor fitness equipment for 61 islands across the Maldives.

4. More Spike missiles to be ordered

  • The Army is set to place a repeat order for Spike-LR (long-range) Anti-Tank Guided Missiles from Israel as part of emergency procurement.
    • The emergency procurements come in the backdrop of continuing tensions on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.
  • The decision comes days after the Army’s decision to place a repeat order for 72,400 Sig Sauer assault rifles from the U.S.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements:
  1. Cytokine storm is an overproduction of immune cells and their activating compounds.
  2. Cytokines can be pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory.

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

Answer: d


Cytokines are small proteins secreted by immune cells to communicate and alter the actions of other immune cells. They can be pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory, thus promoting or inhibiting the proliferation and functions of other immune cells. Cytokine storm is an overproduction of immune cells and their activating compounds.

Q2. Consider the following statements:
  1. The lake is located in the Zabarwan mountain valley.
  2. It is surrounded by Shankaracharya hills on three sides.

The lake being talked about is:

  1. Tso Moriri Lake
  2. Dal Lake
  3. Loktak Lake
  4. Chilika Lake

Answer: b



Q3. Which of the following statement/s is/are incorrect about Kaziranga National Park:
  1. It is a “Mixed World Heritage Site” on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  2. It is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for the conservation of avifaunal species.
  3. It has been declared a tiger reserve.

Choose the correct option:

  1. 1 only
  2. 1 and 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 2 only

Answer: a


  • Khangchendzonga National Park in Sikkim is the only “Mixed World Heritage Site” in India to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • Kaziranga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site (Natural site).
  • It is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for the conservation of avifaunal species.
  • It was declared a tiger reserve in 2006.
Q4. "PRAGYATA Guidelines" refer to the recently released:
  1. Guidelines for obtaining collateral-free MSME loans, as a part of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
  2. Guidelines on digital education.
  3. Set of procedural guidelines for use in India in cases of sexual harassment.
  4. Guidelines regarding the preparation of coal blocks before bidding.

Answer: b


  • The PRAGYATA guidelines include eight steps of online/digital education that is, Plan- Review- Arrange- Guide- Yak(talk)- Assign- Track- Appreciate.
  • The guidelines on Digital/Online Education provide a roadmap or pointers for carrying forward online education to enhance the quality of education.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Apart from the economic dimension, India-Iran relation holds immense significance for the political and strategic interests of both countries. Comment. (10 marks, 150 words)
  2. Despite the immense potential of a free trade agreement between India and the EU, there has been minimal progress on this front. Comment. (10 marks, 150 words)

Read the previous CNA here.

15 July 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here


  1. In UPSC Mains Practice Questions Section, please mention the type of question (Paper I, II, III or IV)
    so that it will be better to segregate.

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