30 Jul 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

30 July 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
ART AND CULTURE
1. Natesa of Rajasthan temple returns to India
B. GS 2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. WTO to set up dispute panels against India
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Protesting is a fundamental right: UN
EDUCATION
1. NEP focus: leave no child behind, bridge digital divide
AGRICULTURE
1. Antibiotics in livestock a worry
C. GS 3 Related
DEFENCE
1. Rafales arrive at Ambala airbase
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
INTERNAL SECURITY
1. A quest for order amid cyber insecurity
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. Fewer species, more disease
F. Prelims Facts
G. Tidbits
1. Trust set up to build mosque in Ayodhya
2. When the school goes to the students’ doorstep
3. Iran fires missiles from under ground
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. Protesting is a fundamental right: UN

Context:

A UN committee has reaffirmed that protesting peacefully, online or in person, is a fundamental human right.

Details:

  • The independent experts on the Human Rights Committee published a fresh interpretation of the right of peaceful assembly.
  • It offers comprehensive legal guidance about where and how it applies and also outlines governments’ obligations.
  • The committee is tasked with monitoring how countries implement the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which under Article 21 guarantees the right to peaceful assembly.
  • The experts have opined that the right to protest peacefully is the foundation of a democratic society and that everyone, including children, foreign nationals, women, migrant workers, asylum-seekers and refugees, can exercise the right.

Read more about the “Right to Protest” covered in the 22nd January 2020 Comprehensive News Analysis.

Category: EDUCATION

1. NEP focus: leave no child behind, bridge digital divide

Context:

The Union Cabinet has approved the new National Education Policy.

Details:

  • This is the first new education policy in 34 years.
  • A panel headed by former ISRO chief K. Kasturirangan submitted a draft in December 2018, which was made public and opened for feedback in May 2019.
  • The policy draft has been approved. The Ministry of Human Resource and Development has been renamed as Education Ministry.

Key Highlights:

NEP 2020

Replacing 10+2 structure of school curricula with a 5+3+3+4 format: 

  • The 10+2 system will be divided into 5+3+3+4 format.
  • This means the first five years of school will comprise of the foundation stage. The next three years will be divided into a preparatory stage from classes 3 to 5. Later, there will be three years of middle stage (classes 6 to 8), and four years of secondary stage (classes 9 to 12).
  • Schools will not have any rigid formation of streams of arts, commerce, science, etc. and students can take up whichever courses they want.
  • A new curricular framework is to be introduced, including the pre-school and Anganwadi years.
  • A National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy will ensure basic skills at the Class 3 level by 2025.
  • Students will begin classes on coding as well as vocational activities from Class 6 onwards.
  • Indian knowledge systems, including tribal and indigenous knowledge, will be incorporated into the curriculum in an accurate and scientific manner.

Language issues:

  • Language issues caused the most outrage, as the original draft called for mandatory teaching of Hindi to all school students. That clause was subsequently dropped.
  • There will be greater flexibility in the three-language formula, and no language will be imposed on any State. The three languages learned by children will be the choices of States, regions, and students.
  • Sanskrit will be offered as an option at all levels of school and higher education.
  • Other classical languages will also be available, possibly as online modules, while foreign languages will be offered at the secondary level.
  • The medium of instruction till at least Grade 5, and preferably till Grade 8 and beyond will be in Home Language/Mother tongue/Regional Language.

Inclusive Education:

  • Inclusion is a theme of the Policy beyond technology as well.
  • As per the Ministry, under NEP, efforts will be made to incentivise the merit of students belonging to SC, ST, OBC, and other SEDGs.
  • Private Higher Educational Institutions will be encouraged to offer larger numbers of scholarships to their students.
  • The National Scholarship Portal will be expanded to support, foster, and track the progress of students receiving scholarships.
  • Regions such as aspirational districts, which have large numbers of students facing economic, social or caste barriers will be designated as ‘Special Educational Zones’.
  • Special funds have been earmarked for special education.
  • The NEP emphasises universal access to schools, and aims to bring two crore out-of-school children back into the educational mainstream.
  • It also aims to double the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education, including vocational education, from 26.3% in 2018 to 50% by 2035.

Gender Inclusion Fund

  • The Centre will also set up a ‘Gender-Inclusion Fund’ to build the country’s capacity to provide equitable quality education to all girls and transgender students.
  • The fund will be available to States to implement priorities determined by the Central government critical for assisting female and transgender children in gaining access to education.

Multi-disciplinary approach:

  • Standalone Higher Education Institutes and professional education institutes will be evolved into multi-disciplinary institutes.
  • By 2049, all higher education institutions (HEIs) should aim to become multidisciplinary institutions, each of which will aim to have 3,000 or more students, as per the data shared by MHRD.
  • Further, by 2030, the aim is to set up at least one large multidisciplinary HEI in or near every district.

Exit options in degree courses: 

  • The undergraduate degree, which is of 3 to 4-year duration will have multiple exit options.
    • After completing one year, if a student decides to drop out, s/he will get a certificate in a discipline or field including vocational and professional areas.
    • On dropping out after two and three years, students will get a diploma and a Bachelor’s degree, respectively.
    • The four-year multidisciplinary Bachelor’s program, however, will be the preferred option and will give a degree with research if a student has pursued a project along with it.
  • M.Phil. degree would be abolished.
  • It would establish a common higher education regulator with fee fixation for both private and public institutions.

Academic Bank of Credit:

  • The ABC will digitally store the academic credits earned from various recognized HEIs so that the degrees from an HEI can be awarded taking into account credits earned.
  • Currently, a similar programme is being run where a student can opt for a course related to their degree on SWAYAM – online portal by the government, and credits associated with that course will be given to the student and help in their assessment for their degree course also.

Teacher Education:

  • By 2030, the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a four-year integrated B.Ed degree.

Technology in Education:

  • The policy has proposed the setting up of a National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration, etc., for both school and higher education.
  • A dedicated unit for the purpose of creating digital infrastructure, digital content and capacity building will be set up in the ministry.

Category: AGRICULTURE

1. Antibiotics in livestock a worry

Context:

In a survey report by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the issue of extensive misuse of antibiotics in the dairy sector has surfaced.

Issues:

  • CSE’s assessment shows that dairy farmers indiscriminately use antibiotics for diseases such as mastitis.
    • Mastitis is an infection/inflammation of the udder, a common ailment in dairy animals.
  • The antibiotics used include critically important antibiotics (CIAs) for humans.
    • The WHO has warned that they should be preserved in view of the growing crisis of antibiotic resistance.
  • Farmers often inject animals based on their own judgment of signs and symptoms of a disease without any veterinary supervision.
  • The residues of antibiotics remain largely untested in milk.
  • There is an inadequate focus on testing for antibiotic residues in the milk collected by some State federations, which process it and sell packaged milk and dairy products under popular brands.
    • While milk sold directly to consumers is not tested, contrary to what one would expect, processed milk sold in packets is also largely unchecked for antibiotic residues.
  • Food being produced in a chemical-intensive manner, consequently fuelling antibiotic resistance, is a matter of concern.

Way Forward:

  • The wise use of antibiotics is not a substitute for, but a complement to, good sanitation and husbandry practices.
  • Extensive use of low-level antibiotics in feeds has brought about concern for potential harmful effects due to the development of resistant strains of organisms in host animals that might compromise animal as well as human health.
  • Veterinary supervision is essential in treating dairy animals. It must be ensured that antibiotics are not available without a prescription.
  • Focus must be laid on routine surveillance and testing for antibiotic residues in the milk collected before being processed and sold.
  • The abused antibiotics, despite a law against it, are easily available without the prescription of a registered veterinarian and stocked at farms. Effective implementation of the laws is the key.
  • It is important to completely stop the use of critically important antibiotics and penalise their use.
  • Stakeholders must work with farmers and the agriculture-dairy sectors to innovate on solutions.

Antibiotic Resistance:
  • Antibiotics are medicines used to prevent and treat bacterial infections.
  • Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in response to the use of these medicines.
  • Bacteria, not humans or animals, become antibiotic-resistant. These bacteria may infect humans and animals, and the infections they cause are harder to treat than those caused by non-resistant bacteria.
  • Antibiotic resistance leads to higher medical costs, prolonged hospital stays, and increased mortality.
  • Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and development today.

Category: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. Fewer species, more disease

Context:

  • The article analyzes the link between the loss of biodiversity and the emergence of zoonotic diseases.

Background:

  • In the recent past, dangerous infectious diseases (Ebola, Bird flu, MERS, SARS, Nipah, etc.) have been transferred from wild animals to humans.
  • Though not confirmed yet, there is a growing acceptance among the experts that SARS-CoV-2 is a zoonotic virus.

Details:

  • There is increasing evidence showing strong linkages between the loss of biodiversity, and wildlife trade, with the emergence of epidemics.
  • The IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services notes that with significant encroachment of natural habitats by humans, biodiversity has been declining significantly. By disturbing the delicate balance of nature, ideal conditions for the spread of viruses from animals to humans have been created.

Loss of biodiversity:

  • The clearing of forest lands for agriculture and developmental activities have destroyed the habitat of several species of flora and fauna. This has added to the extinction of many species and the loss of biodiversity. This has resulted in new conditions that host vectors and/or pathogens.

Wildlife trade:

  • Both legal, as well as the illegal trade of wildlife, is a serious threat to biodiversity. Trafficking in wild plants and animals and wildlife products has become one of the largest and most lucrative forms of organised crime.
  • Body parts of animals including pangolins, Asiatic black bears and rhinos are being traded illegally to countries such as China, Vietnam, and Laos. Species are being wiped out by organised trade networks.

The way forward:

Adopting an environmentally sustainable model:

  • The pandemic is an opportunity for the global community to examine the impact of its unscientific actions on nature and prepare for behavioural change. The mainstreaming of biodiversity is needed in India’s post-COVID-19 development programme.
  • There is a need for an environmentally responsible world. India should work towards realising the 2050 vision for biodiversity, ‘Living in Harmony with Nature’.
  • Ecosystem integrity based on high biodiversity helps restrict the transmission of pathogens from one species to another.

One health approach:

  • There is a need to accept the ‘one health’ approach which considers the health of people, wild and domesticated animals, and the environment.

Enforcement of existing laws and strategies:

  • India should strictly enforce the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972 and the Biological Diversity Act of 2002.
  • There is also a need to fulfil the strategies and action plans including the National Biodiversity Targets and the National Biodiversity Mission.
    • National Biodiversity Mission involves the following:
      • Comprehensive documentation of India’s biodiversity. Assessment of the distribution and conservation status of India’s biodiversity.
      • Expansion of knowledge in ecosystem functioning that will inform restoration efforts.
      • Establishment of a vibrant biodiversity-based economy.
      • Enhanced engagement with the public.
    • There are 12 National Biodiversity Targets. These NBTs would be in line with the Strategic Plan (SP) for Biodiversity (2011-2020) and 20 Aichi Targets.

F. Prelims Facts

Nothing here for today!!!

G. Tidbits

1. Trust set up to build mosque in Ayodhya

What’s in News?

The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board has announced the setting up of a Trust to build a mosque in Ayodhya, following the verdict of the Supreme Court in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title suit.

  • The Trust will be called the Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation.
  • In February 2020, the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board decided to accept the five acres of land allotted to it by the State government for building a mosque in Dhannipur village in Ayodhya, around 25 km from the site where the Babri Masjid stood.

Read more about the Ayodhya Verdict.

2. When the school goes to the students’ doorstep

What’s in News?

In Andhra Pradesh, mobile classrooms are being used to impart lessons to those with no access to computers and the Internet.

  • Called ‘Vidya Varadhi’, the mobile classrooms equipped with audio-visual gadgets will reach pockets where students have no access to computers and Internet connectivity.
  • These mobile classrooms will focus on bridge courses and other key points highlighted in classroom teaching.
  • Teachers have been directed to stay in touch with the ‘No Tech’ (no TV sets, computers or radios) category students and parents and record their progress.

3. Iran fires missiles from under ground

What’s in News?

  • Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards has fired ballistic missiles from underground for the first time as part of an annual military drill.
  • This follows a recent development where the Guards struck a mock-up of a U.S. aircraft carrier with volleys of missiles near the Strait of Hormuz.

Note:

  • The military drill in the Gulf comes at a time of high tension between Tehran and Washington.
  • There have been periodic confrontations in the Gulf in recent years between the Guards and the U.S. military.
  • The U.S has accused the Guards’ navy of sending fast-attack boats to harass the U.S. warships as they pass the Strait of Hormuz.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Which of the following temples is built in the Pratihara style?
  1. Ghateshwara Temple in Baroli, Rajasthan
  2. Sun Temple in Konark, Odisha
  3. Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati, Assam
  4. Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

The Ghateshwara Temple in Baroli is one of the nine temples near the river Chambal in Rajasthan. The Ghateshwara temple is dedicated to the god Shiva and is constructed in the Pratihara style.

Q2. Consider the following statements with respect to the International Thermonuclear 
Experimental Reactor (ITER):
  1. It is located in France.
  2. It is the largest plasma-based fusion reactor.
  3. Both India and China are members of ITER.

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

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

All the statements are correct.

Q3. Consider the following questions with respect to the Budapest Convention:
  1. It is the first international treaty seeking to address internet and computer crime.
  2. It is open for ratification only to the members of the Council of Europe.
  3. India has acceded to the Budapest Convention.

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

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • The Convention on Cybercrime, also known as the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime or the Budapest Convention, is the first international treaty seeking to address Internet and computer crime by harmonizing national laws, improving investigative techniques, and increasing cooperation among nations.
  • It is open for ratification even to states that are not members of the Council of Europe.
  • India has not acceded to the Convention.
Q4. Consider the following statements:
  1. The Aichi Targets were adopted by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at its Nagoya conference.
  2. There are 20 Aichi Targets divided into 5 sections with a ten-year framework for action.
  3. India has 12 National Biodiversity Targets in Line with the Aichi Targets.

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

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The Aichi Targets were adopted by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at its Nagoya conference.
  • It is a ten-year framework for action by all countries to save biodiversity. This short term plan provides a set of 20 ambitious yet achievable targets divided into 5 sections, collectively known as the Aichi Targets.
  • India has 12 National Biodiversity Targets in line with the Strategic Plan (SP) for Biodiversity (2011-2020) and 20 Aichi Targets.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. In light of the growing sophistication, intensity and frequency of cyberattacks, evaluate the need for global collaboration in the cyberspace domain and India’s stakes in such collaboration. (15 marks, 250 words)(GS paper 3/ Internal Security)
  2. Given the increasing scientific evidence showing strong linkages between the loss of biodiversity, and wildlife trade, with the emergence of epidemics, analyze the need for a more environmentally sustainable development model. (10 marks, 150 words)(GS paper 3/ Environment and Ecology)

Read the previous CNA here.

30 July 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

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