22 Jul 2022: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

Quote for the day Set 5 11

CNA 22 July 2022:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
GOVERNANCE
1. One year since the Pegasus spyware revelations
C. GS 3 Related
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
POLITY
1. Madam President
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
2. ‘Advantage New Delhi’ in Sri Lanka’s India lifeline. What can the world do to help 
Sri Lanka?
F. Prelims Facts
1. Karnataka tops NITI Aayog innovation index list
G. Tidbits
1. Women have right to safe abortion: SC
2. Russia resumes gas supplies to Europe via Nord Stream
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. ‘Advantage New Delhi’ in Sri Lanka’s India lifeline. What can the world do to help Sri Lanka?

Category: GS2- International relations

Syllabus: India and its neighbourhood – International relations

Mains: India-Sri Lanka bilateral relationship

Context: Recent election of Ranil Wickremesinghe as the President of Sri Lanka gives India an opportunity to take the front in the foreign aid game in its neighbourhood.

Read more on Sri Lankan Economic crisis

Opportunity for India: Why Supporting Sri Lanka could be in India’s best interest

  • Motivated by the humanitarian crisis affecting the Sri Lankan people and the political pressure from South India, India was the first to support Sri Lanka with foreign aid to fight its economic crisis. 
  • India gave aid on time for Sri Lanka to get some breathing space in order to reach an agreement with the IMF.
  • In this year only, India has given aid worth $3.8 billion in the form of grants, loans and currency swaps to Sri Lanka.
  • Helping Sri Lanka to address the crisis could prove to be a major win for India’s ‘neighbourhood-first’ policy.
  • As one of the largest trading partners in SAARC countries, the total trade between the two stands at US$ 6.2 billion in 2018-19, out of which India’s exports to Sri Lanka were US$ 4.7 billion and imports were US$ 1.5 billion. 
    • So, a stable economy in Sri Lanka will help India deepen its trade and investment linkages which could prompt regional integration and prosperity. 
  • Economic and security factors are interlinked, an unstable Sri Lankan economy could pose security risks to India and lead to a flood of refugees across the Palk Strait. 
  • Also, it can become a fertile ground for extremist ideologies which will impact India’s maritime security with drugs and arms smuggling.

Dimensions to Chinese aid 

  • China faces a predicament in bailing out Sri Lanka as it worries that unilateral restructuring of Sri Lanka’s debt would encourage similarly distressed nations to seek debt relief from China. 
  • India should use this opportunity to cement its advantage over China by working with other partnering countries/organizations like the United States, Japan and the European Union as well as the International Monetary Fund in bailing out Sri Lanka.

What can other countries/organizations do to help Sri Lanka?

  • Sri Lanka followed nationalist economic policies and kept borrowing from the commercial market instead of seeking assistance from the IMF.
  • The Indian Government by itself cannot solve Sri Lanka’s problem. Sri Lanka needs everybody to who it owes debts to come together and give it some breathing space.
  • As a bilateral partner, China is accountable for loading on debt, irresponsible lending, and now not coming soon enough to Sri Lanka’s aid.
  • A deep crisis like this needs IMF assistance along with the support of other countries to the IMF programme.
  • If a country is under the IMF Programme then it will boost the confidence of external investors, and external creditors to invest back in the country.
  • A limited version of the rupee regionalisation will help enhance regional and bilateral trade through reduced transaction costs and exchange rate risk.

Issues with IMF Assistance:

  • The conditionality of an IMF agreement is too harsh and does not result in long-term structural solutions. 
  • Request for Sri Lanka to be classified temporarily as a low-income country to get emergency assistance from the IMF on the lines of Ukraine is not processed.
  • Given the political crisis, even the fundamental assessment of debt sustainability has not been reached with the IMF. 

The road ahead for the new administration:

Immediate measures:

  • It has to restore the rule of law and public order to bring normality.
  • The government must finalize talks on an IMF programme with national consensus which will raise taxes and utility prices to raise revenue and increase interest rates to control inflation while preserving social welfare expenditures to protect the poor.

Long-term measures: 

  • It should focus on structural reforms to make the economy more open to trade and investment by reducing trade barriers and allowing market forces to determine resource allocation. 
  • Privatizing loss-making state-owned companies such as Sri Lankan Airlines and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and reducing red-tapism will boost business.
  • The executive presidency should be abolished.
  • It should implement strong anti-corruption policies. 
  • It should focus on neutral foreign policy away from the pro-China stance of the previous administration.

Nut Graf: With political will, timely and right set of policies, Sri Lanka can go back to some economic normalcy within the next 3 years. And, India stands to gain by helping Sri Lanka in its hour of crisis. A friend in need is a friend indeed.

F. Prelims Facts

1. Karnataka tops NITI Aayog innovation index list

Syllabus: GS-3; Economy; Issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, and development.

Prelims: India Innovation Index, 2021

Context

NITI Aayog’s India Innovation Index, 2021

India Innovation Index, 2021

  • NITI Aayog’s India Innovation Index aims to determine innovation capacities and ecosystems at the sub-national level.
  • Karnataka secured the top rank in NITI Aayog’s India Innovation Index, 2021.
    • Karnataka has held the top rank under the Major States category, in all three editions of the Index so far.
  • Manipur bagged the top rank in the Northeast and Hill States category.
  • Chandigarh is the top performer in the Union Territories and the City States category.
  • Acknowledging that India’s average innovation score is not up to the mark, considering India’s ambitions of being one of the top 25 nations in the Global Innovation Index, the latest report by NITI Aayog has recommended measures such as: 
    • Increasing Gross Domestic Expenditure on R&D (GDERD)
    • Promoting private sector participation in R&D and closing the gap between industry demand and what the country produces through its education systems
  • The report said that the countries that spend less on GDERD fail to retain their human capital in the long run and the ability to innovate is dependent on the quality of human capital.
    • India’s GDERD as a percentage of GDP is about 0.7%.
Innovation index

Image source: The Hindu

Read more about NITI Aayog’s India Innovation Index

G. Tidbits

1. Women have right to safe abortion: SC

  • The Supreme Court said that “a woman’s right to reproductive choice is an inseparable part of her personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution and she has a sacrosanct right to bodily integrity.” 
    • The court further added that forcing a woman to continue with her pregnancy would not only be a violation of her bodily integrity but also aggravate her mental trauma.
  • The court while hearing the appeal of a woman who wanted to abort her 24-week pregnancy after a failed relationship with her partner noted that, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act 2021 had replaced the term ‘husband’ with ‘partner’ which includes unmarried women within its ambit.

2. Russia resumes gas supplies to Europe via Nord Stream

  • Russia resumed its critical gas supplies to Europe through Germany via the Nord Stream pipeline after 10 days of maintenance.
  • Germany, which is highly reliant on Russian gas, had feared that Russia would not reopen the pipeline and use energy as a “weapon”.
  • Germany feels that Russia is reducing its gas supplies as a countermeasure against the Western sanctions imposed on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.
  • The shutdown of imports or a sharp reduction in the flow of gas from east to west will severely impact Germany as it results in the closing down of factories and creates shortages for household requirements.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) noted that a shutdown in supplies could result in a drop of 1.5% of Germany’s gross domestic product.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements with respect to Kalbelia: (Level - Medium)
  1. The Kalbelia are a snake charming tribe in Rajasthan.
  2. Kalbelia dance and songs are now on UNESCO’s representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both
  4. None
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct, The Kalbelia are a snake charming tribe from the Thar Desert in Rajasthan.
  • Statement 2 is correct, Kalbelia folk songs and dances of Rajasthan were recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage in 2010.
    • India has been elected to the Intergovernmental Committee of UNESCO’s 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) for the 2022-2026 cycle.
    • India has served as a member of the ICH Committee twice – from 2006 to 2010 and from 2014 to 2018.
    • With 14 inscriptions on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, India also ranks high in the listing of intangible cultural heritage. 
Q2. With respect to Kathak, which of the following statements is/are correct?
(Level - Difficult)
  1. Kathak is the only form of classical dance wedded to Hindustani or North Indian music.
  2. It is the only classical dance of India having links with Muslim culture, it represents a unique synthesis of Hindu and Muslim genius in art.
  3. The nineteenth century saw the golden age of Kathak under the patronage of Saadat Ali Khan.

Options:

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct, Kathak is the only form of classical dance wedded to Hindustani or North Indian music.
  • Statement 2 is correct, Kathak is the only classical dance of India having links with Muslim culture, it represents a unique synthesis of Hindu and Muslim genius in art. 
  • Statement 3 is not correct, The nineteenth century saw the golden age of Kathak under the patronage of Wajid Ali Shah who was the last Nawab of Oudh.
Q3. Which amongst the following are examples of Tata Vadya? (Level - Medium)
  1. Ektara
  2. Jhanj
  3. Kamaicha
  4. Sarod
  5. Shehnai

Options:

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Tata Vadya or Chordophones are Stringed instruments. The tata vadya is a group of musical instruments in which sound is made by the vibration of a chord or a string. 
  • The examples for Tata Vadya include Veena, Ektara, Kamaicha, Sitar, Sarangi, Sarod, Santoor, Tamboori, etc.
  • Jhanj are a pair of hand cymbals made from bronze.
  • Shehnai is a wind instrument made of wood and metal.
Q4. With respect to Thanjavur Maratha kingdom, which of the following statements is/are
Correct? (Level - Difficult)
  1. Venkoji was the founder of the dynasty.
  2. Serfoji II was the last Maratha ruler of Thanjavur.
  3. Serfoji II authored famous works like “Kumarasambhava Champu”, “Mudrarakshaschaya” and “Devendra Kuruvanji” and introduced western musical instruments like clarinet and violin in Carnatic Music.
  4. Thanjavur was annexed by the British as per the provisions of the Doctrine of Lapse.

Options:

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct, Venkoji was the founder of the Thanjavur Maratha kingdom.
  • Statement 2 is not correct, Shivaji, the son of Raja Serfoji was the last Maratha ruler of Thanjavur and reigned from 1832 to 1855.
  • Statement 3 is correct, Serfoji was a patron of traditional Indian arts like dance and music. He authored famous works like “Kumarasambhava Champu”, “Mudrarakshaschaya” and “Devendra Kuruvanji”. 
    • He also introduced western musical instruments like clarinet and violin in Carnatic Music. 
  • Statement 4 is correct, After the reign of Sivaji until 1855, Thanjavur was annexed under Dalhousie’s ‘Doctrine of Lapse’ as Shivaji had no male successor.
Q5. In India, which one of the following Compiles information on industrial disputes, 
closures, retrenchments and lay-offs in factories employing workers? (Level - Medium)
 PYQ (2022)
  1. Central Statistics Office
  2. Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade
  3. Labour Bureau
  4. National Technical Manpower Information System
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c
Explanation:

The Labour Bureau has been bringing out Statistics on Industrial Disputes, Closures, Retrenchments and Lay-offs in factories employing workers in India based on the voluntary returns received every month from the Labour Departments of the States and Union Territories and the Regional Labour Commissioners (Central).

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