22 Jul 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

22 July 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. China repeats claim on Bhutan’s east
2. ‘Close to limited trade deal with U.S.’
C. GS 3 Related
ECONOMY
1. Consumer law kicks in, regulator on the anvil
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. IIT-M researchers use artificial materials and ultrasound to detect defects 
in large structures
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. The main planks in a counter-China policy
ECONOMY
1. The COVID-19 fiscal response and India’s standing
F. Prelims Facts
1. Vulnerable groups petition global fund
G. Tidbits
1. Deficient rainfall in three Northeast States
2. ‘Migrants need social security numbers’
3. U.S. sanctions 11 Chinese firms over Uighur rights
4. EU leaders strike deal to rebuild economy
5. ‘23% of Delhiites had antibodies to virus’
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

2. ‘Close to limited trade deal with U.S.’

Context:

The Union Commerce Minister has said that India and the U.S. have almost finalised a limited trade deal.

Details:

  • As an intermediate step between the imminent limited deal and the comprehensive deal, the minister proposed a preferential trade agreement that would cover 50 to 100 goods and services, at a virtual conference organised by the U.S.-India Business Council’s India Ideas Summit.
  • India and the U.S. have apparently been close to finalising a limited trade deal several times over the past year, including when both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump were in New York in 2019 for the United Nations General Assembly session.
  • Again, in February 2020, the two sides scrambled unsuccessfully to finalise a mini deal that was to be announced during Mr Trump’s India visit.

India’s demands:

  • India has wanted Washington to restore its access to the U.S. preferential trading system or Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), an end to the steel and aluminium tariffs, increased market access for some categories of Indian agricultural products among others.

U.S Concerns:

  • U.S. concerns during the negotiations have included market access for American dairy and agricultural products, medical devices and a cut in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) import tariffs.
  • The U.S. also has concerns with India’s digital trade policies.
    • For instance, FDI in commerce, and data localisation.

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. IIT-M researchers use artificial materials and ultrasound to detect defects in large structures

Context:

Researchers in the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and the University of Nairobi have used metamaterials to improve detection of defects in large structures by guided wave ultrasound.

Details:

  • Engineering structures including buildings, pipelines and rails require periodic testing to prevent catastrophic failures occurring due to corrosion, impact, and strain.
  • High-frequency sound waves that travel in the bulk are widely used for non-invasive and non-destructive testing of structural materials.
  • Conventional bulk ultrasonic inspection is tedious and time-consuming as it involves point-by-point assessment of structures.

Guided Wave Testing:

  • In guided wave testing (GWT), the sound waves are sent along the length of the structure rather than into the structure, allowing the waves to travel longer distances.
  • GWT has poorer resolution than conventional ultrasound-based testing due to diffraction limitations.
  • The research team used metamaterials to improve the resolution of guided ultrasound waves.

Meta Materials:

  • Metamaterials are artificially crafted materials with unique internal microstructures that give them properties not found in nature.
  • The constituent artificial units of the metamaterial can be tailored in shape, size, and interatomic interaction, to exhibit unusual properties.

G. Tidbits

1. Deficient rainfall in three Northeast States

  • Floods have ravaged Assam and Meghalaya, but three States in the northeast have received deficient rainfall.
  • The rainfall in Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura has been normal.
  • Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland have been 35.33% rain deficit.

2. ‘Migrants need social security numbers’

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour has recommended that the government introduce a social security number for migrant workers, especially those in unorganised sectors that are beyond the purview of labour laws.

  • The members felt that Aadhaar alone doesn’t work and that a social security number will help in mapping the number of migrant workers and their migration patterns.

Also read about the Social Security Code Bill under the article titled EPFO.

3. U.S. sanctions 11 Chinese firms over Uighur rights

What’s in News?

The U.S. Commerce Department announced that it blacklisted 11 Chinese businesses for involvement in human rights violations against the Uighur minority.

  • The move cuts off the firms’ access to American goods.
  • Washington, together with other western nations and rights groups, has accused Beijing of interning at least a million Muslims from the Uighur ethnic group in the western Xinjiang region. But Beijing denies any wrongdoing.

4. EU leaders strike deal to rebuild economy

What’s in News?

European leaders have agreed on a massive aid package for their pandemic-ravaged economies.

  • They have agreed on a rescue package of €750 billion ($858 billion) to try and pull their bloc out of a deep recession.
  • The package will send tens of billions of euros to countries hit hardest by the virus, most notably heavily indebted Spain and Italy who had lobbied hard for a major gesture from their EU partners.
  • Britain, who left the EU in January 2020 will not benefit from the aid plan.

5. ‘23% of Delhiites had antibodies to virus’

What’s in News?

Results of Delhi’s sero-prevalence study show that on an average, the prevalence of Immunoglobulin (IgG) antibodies for SARS-CoV2, the virus causing COVID-19, is 22.86%.

This topic has been covered in 9th July 2020 CNA.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Arrange the following areas from West to East:
  1. Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary
  2. Doklam Plateau
  3. Jakarlung
  4. Pasamlung

Choose the correct option:

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

These are the areas of dispute between China and Bhutan.

West to East: Doklam Plateau – Jakarlung – Pasamlung – Sakteng Wild Life Sanctuary

Q2. Consider the following statements with respect to “Meta Materials”:
  1. Meta Materials are artificially crafted with unique internal microstructures that give them properties not found in nature.
  2. The constituent artificial units of the Meta Material can be tailored in shape, size, and interatomic interaction.

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.

  • Meta Materials are artificially crafted materials with unique internal microstructures that give them properties not found in nature.
  • The constituent artificial units of the Meta Material can be tailored in shape, size, and interatomic interaction, to exhibit unusual properties.
Q3. The international financing organization, ‘Global Fund’, works towards accelerating 
the end of which of the following diseases?
  1. Tuberculosis
  2. Malaria
  3. Swine Flu
  4. Polio
  5. AIDS

Choose the correct option:

  1. 1, 2 and 4 only
  2. 1, 2 and 5 only
  3. 2, 3 and 5 only
  4. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Founded in 2002, Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM), also known as Global Fund, is an international financing organization.
  • It aims to attract, leverage and invest additional resources to end the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to support attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations.
Q4. Consider the following statements with respect to Trade-Related aspects of 
Intellectual Property rights (TRIPS):
  1. It is an international agreement administered jointly by the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
  2. It was negotiated at the end of the Uruguay Round of GATT in 1994.
  3. TRIPS Agreement applies to all WTO members.

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

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • It is an international agreement administered by the World Trade Organization.
  • It was negotiated at the end of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1994.
  • All the WTO agreements (except for a couple of “plurilateral” agreements) apply to all WTO members. The TRIPS Agreement is part of that package. Therefore it applies to all WTO members.
  • But the agreement allows countries different periods of time to delay applying its provisions. These delays define the transition from before the agreement came into force (before 1 January 1995) until it is applied in member countries.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Discuss the significance of a bilateral trade deal between India and the U.S. for the two countries. Also analyze the challenges in finalizing such a trade deal. (10 marks, 150 words) (GS paper 2/International Relations)
  2. Evaluate India’s COVID-19 fiscal response in comparison to other similar developing countries and discuss the associated concerns. (10 marks, 150 words) (GS paper 3/Economy)

Read the previous CNA here.

22 July 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *