01 July 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 01st July 2021:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. Two arrested in Dwarka honour killing incident
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Google removed 59,350 posts in April
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. India flags ‘green pass’ issue
C. GS 3 Related
ECONOMY
1. ‘Centre’s digital agri proposals raise concern’
2. Cabinet clears viability gap funds for BharatNet
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
ECONOMY
1. India’s 1991 liberalisation leap and lessons for today
2. Small doses
F. Prelims Facts
G. Tidbits
1. Core sector output rose 16.8% in May
2. How the Chinese Communist Party endures
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. India flags ‘green pass’ issue

Context:

The EU is about to launch a Digital Green Pass that will allow its holders to move about freely in the Schengen territory, with COVID travel restrictions.

What is ‘Green pass’?

  • The EU Digital Covid Certificate, or the “green pass” has been created to restore freedom of travel for the public and remove the barriers on entry placed due to the pandemic.
  • The new vaccine passport system would come into effect across the EU from July 1, 2021.
  • The document is valid across all EU countries.
  • Before the pandemic, Schengen visa allowed the holders to move around freely. As part of the Schengen agreement, 26 European countries had abolished border control of any type, beginning in 1985.
  • There are three ways to obtain a green pass:
    • Get fully vaccinated with one of the EMA approved vaccines
    • Show a recovery report less than 11 days after testing positive for COVID-19.
    • Show a negative test report, or an antibodies test.

Issue:

  • The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has not approved the India-produced Astrazeneca vaccine Covishield for the green pass despite approving its United Kingdom-made counterpart Vaxzevria.
  • None of the three vaccines which have been approved for use in India till date — Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V — feature on the list.
  • Currently, Covishield is the only WHO-approved vaccine available to Indians.
  • The EMA’s decision to exclude Covishield from the list has enraged many who have availed of the vaccine as it was WHO approved.

EMA’s response:

  • European Medicines Agency (EMA) has said that application has not been made for both Covishield and Covaxin to be included in the EMA list.
  • It has made it clear that even if the vaccine is the same, different manufacturers of the same product need to submit separate applications for approval from EMA. This is because the EMA takes into consideration local manufacturing facilities.

India’s stand on ‘vaccine passports’:

  • Vaccine passport has given rise to larger concerns over intrusion, privacy and a curb on the right to free movement.
  • Though the EU has made it clear that the green pass will not be compulsory, the issue has given rise to a larger debate on concerns around privacy and ethics.
  • In a recent development, government sources have warned that India will introduce a reciprocal policy only allowing ease of travel for those European countries that recognise Indian vaccines Covishield and Covaxin.

Note:

The African Union had also issued a letter of protest over the EU proposal saying that it promoted inequality for those from lower-income countries for whom the Covishield vaccine was the backbone of the international COVAX alliance programme.

2. Cabinet clears viability gap funds for BharatNet

Context:

The Union Cabinet has approved a viability gap funding support of up to ₹19,041 crore for the implementation of the BharatNet project through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model in 16 States.

Details:

  • The project will be extended to all inhabited villages beyond the gram panchayats in 16 States — Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The private sector partner is expected to bring an equity investment, raise resources towards capital expenditure and for operation and maintenance of the network.
  • It is expected to enable better access to e-services offered by the government, online education, telemedicine, skill development, e-commerce and other applications of broadband.

This topic has been covered in PIB Summary & Analysis for 30th June 2021

2. Small doses

Context:

  • Recently announced financial stimulus package to tackle the disruptions caused by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on this topic refer to the following article:

UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis of 29th June 2021

Significance:

  • The package will help ease the pressure on sectors hit hard by the pandemic like the MSME sector and tourism by extending loan guarantees and concessional credit. Enhancing loan guarantees will perhaps give risk-averse lenders more confidence in extending loans when the credit:deposit ratio has hit a multi-year low.
  • Additional spending of ₹15,000 crore to ramp up paediatric healthcare, with guarantees for 50,000 crore low-interest loans for health projects in the hinterland, is critical to cope with future pandemic waves as they will allow the ramping up of available healthcare capacities.

Concerns:

  • The article argues that the relief package for the second COVID-19 wave falls short of expectations.
    • The direct expenditure from the government is minimal. Of the total ₹29 lakh crore, nearly ₹2.68 lakh crore of this is in the form of credit guarantees.
    • As the direct stimulus to demand is abysmal, the package will do little to help raise demand for goods and services in the economy which is a necessity for economic revival under current circumstances.
      • Weak demand is a bigger concern for the industry this year as high inflation and an uncertain job market have led to reluctance among the consumers to spend.
    • The provision of free visas is unlikely to gain traction till India has a firmer grip on the pandemic by providing vaccines for all, including for those under 18.

Recommendations:

  • The administration should consider providing some form of income support for the vulnerable sections in rural and urban areas. This will not only help ease the pressure off such families and prevent them from falling into poverty but will also help generate demand in the economy for the revival of growth.
  • The article also suggests that the government must take adequate measures to bring down the high fuel prices. Such a move will help dampen inflation, empower RBI to lend greater support to growth and leave a little more money in people’s hands to spend.

F. Prelims Facts

Nothing here for today!!!

G. Tidbits

1. Core sector output rose 16.8% in May

What’s in News?

Output from India’s eight core industries grew 16.8% in May 2021.

  • The eight core sectors of the Indian economy are electricity, steel, refinery products, crude oil, coal, cement, natural gas, fertilisers.
  • These industries have a major impact on the general economic activities and also industrial activities. 

Read more on Core Sectors.

2. How the Chinese Communist Party endures

The Tiananmen Square protests:

  • The Tiananmen Square protests in China were student-led demonstrations held in Tiananmen Square, Beijing in 1989.
    • The student-led demonstrations called for democracy, free speech and a free press in China.
  • This was brutally suppressed by the Chinese administration.

Context:

  • Celebrations at Tiananmen Square, Beijing to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of China’s ruling Communist Party.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements:
  1. The ‘Nodal Ministry’ in the central government for the management of natural disasters is the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
  2. Disaster Management Act, 2005 calls for the establishment of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) with the Home Minister as chairperson.

Which of the above statements is/are INCORRECT?

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • The ‘Nodal Ministry’ in the central government for the management of natural disasters is the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
  • Disaster Management Act, 2005 calls for the establishment of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) with the Prime Minister as chairperson.

Read more on the Disaster Management Act.

Q2. With reference to Kalbeliya dance, which of the following statements is/are correct?
  1. It is a folk dance of Madhya Pradesh.
  2. This dance performance is accredited by UNESCO as an Intangible Heritage.
  3. The Kalbelia is almost exclusively performed by females.

Options:

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Kalbeliya dance is a folk dance of Rajasthan.
  • This dance performance is accredited by UNESCO as an Intangible Heritage.
  • The Kalbelia is almost exclusively performed by females.
  • The traditional occupation of the Kalbelia tribes is catching snakes and trading snake venom. Hence, the dance movements and the costumes of their community bear a resemblance to serpents.
Q3. Which of the following has/have been accorded 'Geographical Indication' status?
  1. Jardalu mango
  2. Hapus mango
  3. Laxmanbhog mango
  4. Banaganapalle mango
  5. Appemidi mango

Options:

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

All the mangoes mentioned above have been accorded the Geographical Indication tag.

            Mango             State

  1. Jardalu mango – Bihar
  2. Hapus mango – Maharashtra
  3. Laxmanbhog mango – West Bengal
  4. Banaganapalle mango – Andhra Pradesh
  5. Appemidi mango – Karnataka
Q4. Which of the following statements is/are correct?
  1. Current account deficit may cause depreciation.
  2. Current account deficit may be a sign the economy is uncompetitive.

Options:

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • A current account deficit indicates that a country is importing more than it is exporting.
  • Current account deficit may cause depreciation as there is greater demand for imports and foreign currency.
    • When the current account deficit increases, it leads to an increased supply of a nation’s currency in the foreign exchange markets. Therefore, in the currency market, there will be an outward shift of supply. This might lead to the external value of the currency falling causing depreciation.
  • Current account deficit is an indication of an uncompetitive economy. It may imply the economy is becoming uncompetitive and the exchange rate relatively overvalued.
Q5. Consider the following Bhakti Saints: (2013)
  1. Dadu Dayal
  2. Guru Nanak
  3. Tyagaraja

Who among the above was/were preaching when the Lodi dynasty fell and Babur took over?

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

The Bhakti saint who witnessed the fall of the Lodi dynasty was Guru Nanak (1469 – 1539).

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Examine the role of the Communist Party of China in the rise of China towards global dominance. (250 words; 15 marks)[GS-2, International Relations]
  2. Evaluate India’s 1991 liberalisation reforms and the lessons it offers for today. (250 words; 15 marks) [GS-3, Economy].

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 01st July 2021:- Download PDF Here

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