27 Jul 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

27 July 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Russian Navy will soon get hypersonic n-weapons, says Putin
EDUCATION
1. Analysing NIRF 2020
HEALTH
1. Imported vaccines may be fast-tracked
C. GS 3 Related
SECURITY
1. 200 proposals from China wait for security clearance by MHA
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. ‘Ramesh’s criticism of EIA notification unfounded’
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. The chilling effect of criminal contempt
F. Prelims Facts
1. Kargil Vijay Diwas
2. The Istanbul Convention
G. Tidbits
1. Industrialisation has reduced Nag River to a cursed lady: HC
2. A revolution in policy mindset
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Category: EDUCATION

1. Analysing NIRF 2020

Context:

Analysis of National Institutional Ranking Framework.

Details:

  • With India witnessing an unprecedented increase in the number of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and the volume of students entering them, the quality of education is bound to be impacted.
  • Various statutory bodies such as UGC, AICTE, and MCI have made periodic prescriptions to improve the quality of education.
  • Apart from the mandatory accreditations, in 2016, the Government of India instituted the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF).

National Institutional Ranking Framework:

  • It is an annual report card on the performance of the HEIs.
  • It assesses parameters such as teaching and learning, student and faculty strength, use of financial resources, research papers and patents, and graduation outcomes.
  • Keeping in mind the social responsibility aspect of education in a developing country, there is a unique provision to judge institutions on inclusivity and outreach measures, including gender, geographical and socioeconomic diversity and the welcoming of differently-abled students.
  • All parameters are normalised to keep them size- and age-independent so as to ensure that larger and older institutions do not get any undue advantage.
  • While 90% of the parameters in NIRF are completely objective and fact-based, only 10% is based on the subjective parameter of perception by academic peers and employers.

For an in-depth understanding of the parameters covered and the importance of NIRF Rankings, read the topic covered on 9th April 2019 CNA.

Category: HEALTH

1. Imported vaccines may be fast-tracked

Context:

According to a guidance document from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Indian companies looking to import or test potential COVID-19 vaccines that have been developed internationally, could get some elbow room, in the number of India-specific tests and trials they would need to conduct.

Details:

  • However, the Secretary of DBT has said that regulatory approvals would be accelerated but no important stages would be skipped. This would include different stages of vaccine tests being conducted in parallel.
  • The application for the clinical trial will be approved subject to ‘No objection certificate’ from RCGM after examination of data of pre-clinical studies.
    • The RCGM is the Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation.
    • It is a DBT body that approves trial procedures on biological products that involve genetic manipulation. These can include modified vaccine candidates or DNA.
  • Normally, a vaccine that has been licensed in another country, would still need to repeat all human safety tests in India.

Category: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. ‘Ramesh’s criticism of EIA notification unfounded’

Context:

Union Environment Minister has dismissed the criticism of the proposed Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2020, by Jairam Ramesh, former Environment Minister and Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment, as unfounded and based on misrepresentation.

This topic has been covered in 26th July 2020 Comprehensive News Analysis. Click here to read.

F. Prelims Facts

1. Kargil Vijay Diwas

The year 2020 marks the 21st anniversary of the successful culmination of Operation Vijay wherein brave soldiers of the Indian Army overcame seemingly insurmountable odds, hostile terrain, weather, and a determined enemy occupying dominating height, to win the Kargil war.

Kargil War:

  • Kargil War was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan.
  • The war ended with a decisive Indian victory.
  • It took place between May-July 1999 in Kargil district.
  • In India, this war is also referred to as Operation Vijay, the name of the Indian operation to clear the Kargil sector.
  • During the Kargil war, the Indian Air Force (IAF) had conducted Operation Safed Sagar as a part of Operation Vijay of the Indian Army.

Read more about Kargil Vijay Diwas.

2. The Istanbul Convention

What’s in News?

Poland is set to take steps to withdraw from a European treaty on violence against women – the Istanbul Convention.

  • The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence is better known as the Istanbul Convention.
  • It is the first legally-binding instrument which “creates a comprehensive legal framework and approach to combat violence against women” and is focussed on preventing domestic violence, protecting victims and prosecuting accused offenders.
  • Only European countries have signed this convention. It has been signed by 45 countries and the European Union (EU).
  • In 2012, Turkey became the first country to ratify the Convention.
  • The Convention came into force on 1st August 2014.

G. Tidbits

1. Industrialisation has reduced Nag River to a cursed lady: HC

What’s in News?

  • The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court recently noted that the Nag river has turned into a stinking channel of sewage, filth and industrial waste.

Details:

  • It is a part of the Kanhan-Pench river system.
  • Nagpur derives its name from the river.
  • The river serves as drainage for Nagpur and as a result, its ecosystem is heavily polluted by urban waste from the city.

2. A revolution in policy mindset

  • The pandemic has adversely impacted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
    • The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a collection of 17 global goals are a commitment to achieve sustainable development, globally, by 2030.
  • Several countries in Asia and the Pacific are developing ambitious new strategies for green recovery and inclusive approaches to development in the post-pandemic world.
    • South Korea has announced a New Deal based on the two pillars of digitisation and decarbonisation.
    • Countries in the Pacific are focusing on “blue recovery,” to promote more sustainable approaches to fisheries management.
    • Recently, India announced the largest solar power plant in the region.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements with respect to Istanbul Convention:
  1. It is a Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
  2. India has signed and ratified the Convention.
  3. Turkey was the first country to ratify the Convention.

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

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence is better known as the Istanbul Convention.
  • Only European countries have signed this convention. It has been signed by 45 countries and the European Union (EU).
  • In 2012, Turkey became the first country to ratify the Convention.
Q2. Consider the following statements with respect to River Gandak:
  1. It is a right-bank tributary of the Ganga.
  2. Kali Gandak and the Trishuli are its tributaries.
  3. The Burhi Gandak flows parallel to and east of the Gandak River.

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

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • River Gandak is a left-bank tributary of the Ganga.
  • Kali Gandak and the Trishuli are its tributaries.
  • The Burhi (“Old”) Gandak flows parallel to and east of the Gandak River in an old channel. It joins the Ganges northeast of Munger.
Q3. “Operation Safed Sagar” refers to:
  1. The world’s largest dairy development program and a landmark project of India’s National Dairy Development Board.
  2. The codename assigned to the Indian Air Force’s strike to support the ground troops during the Kargil War of 1999.
  3. Campaign launched for popularising Blue Revolution in India.
  4. Indian military’s capture of the majority of Siachen Glacier.
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

During the Kargil war in 1999, the Indian Air Force (IAF) had conducted Operation Safed Sagar as a part of Operation Vijay of the Indian Army.

Q4. Consider the following statements with respect to the National Institutional 
Ranking Framework (NIRF):
  1. It ranks higher educational institutions across India.
  2. 90% of the parameters in NIRF are completely objective and fact-based, while only 10% is based on the subjective parameter of perception by academic peers and employers.

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: d

Explanation:

  • National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) ranks higher educational institutions in India based on 9 categories: Overall Ranking (1), Category-Specific Rankings (2 – Universities and Colleges) and Domain-Specific Rankings (6- Engineering, Management, Law, Pharmacy, Architecture and Medical).
  • 90% of the parameters in NIRF are completely objective and fact-based, while only 10% is based on the subjective parameter of perception by academic peers and employers.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Analyze the concerns associated with the criminal contempt law in India. Suggest suitable remedial measures to address these concerns. (15 marks, 250 words) (GS paper 2/Polity and Governance)
  2. Enumerate the major goals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and evaluate India’s progress in meeting the set targets. (10 marks, 150 words) (GS paper 2/Polity and Governance)

Read the previous CNA here.

27 July 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

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