02 July 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 02nd July 2021:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
EDUCATION
1. In last academic year, only 22% schools had Internet
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. 9 European nations clear SII jab
2. ‘Talks between Lanka and India are necessary’
3. India seeks Maldivian govt. action on ‘repeated attacks’ in media
C. GS 3 Related
SECURITY
1. ‘Army working to deal with drone threat’
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
1. Oil well blowout: SC stays order on panel
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
ECONOMY
1. What lies ahead for IBC and stressed assets resolution?
GOVERNANCE
1. Envisioning the post-pandemic smart city
F. Prelims Facts
1. Red sanders worth ₹10 cr. seized, 7 held
G. Tidbits
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. 9 European nations clear SII jab

Context:

Nine European countries have given recognition to the Covishield vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII).

Details:

  • The European Union (EU) has started the “Green Pass” facility, which will allow people vaccinated with an authorised set of vaccines to travel within its zone, covering 26 countries.
  • India has raised concerns with the EU for not recognising Indian vaccines Covishield and Covaxin for the Green Pass.
  • The nine countries’ move is a national move by them and not by the EU, headquartered in Brussels.
    • The EU member-states that have recognised Covishield include Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Greece, Iceland, Ireland and Spain.
  • Estonia has authorised all vaccines approved by GoI.
  • Switzerland (Non-EU member) has also approved Covishield.

Read more on this topic covered in July 1st, 2021 CNA.

Note:

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that any COVID-­19 vaccine it has authorised for emergency use should be recognised by countries as they open up their borders to inoculated travellers.

2. ‘Talks between Lanka and India are necessary’

Context:

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister is of the view that talks between India and Sri Lanka are necessary to find a permanent solution to the attacks on Tamil Nadu’s fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy.

This issue has been covered in  May 6th, 2021 CNA.

3. India seeks Maldivian govt. action on ‘repeated attacks’ in media

Context:

India has sought Maldivian government action on persons behind media reports and social media posts attacking the dignity of its resident diplomats.

Background:

  • President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s government is seen to be a close ally of India, with enhanced development and defence cooperation since 2018.
  • However, some government critics are sceptical of greater military ties with India.
  • In May 2021, an announcement made in India, on the Cabinet clearing a proposal to set up a second mission in the Maldives, sparked concern among sections.
  • This prompted a renewed “#Indiaout” campaign on Maldivian social media.

Details:

  • The High Commission of India said the repeated attacks on resident diplomats were motivated, malicious and increasingly personal.
  • It urged the Foreign Ministry to take steps to ensure enhanced protection of the Mission and its officials.
  • It urged the authorities to ensure action, in accordance with International Law and Maldivian Law against the perpetrators for gross violations of the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations.

Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations:

  • Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations is an international treaty that defines a framework for diplomatic relations between independent countries.
  • It was adopted in 1961 by the United Nations Conference on Diplomatic Intercourse and Immunities held in Vienna, Austria.
  • It specifies the privileges of a diplomatic mission that enable diplomats to perform their functions without fear of coercion or harassment by the host country.
    • This forms the legal basis for diplomatic immunity.

Read more on Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations

Category: DISASTER MANAGEMENT

1. Oil well blowout: SC stays order on panel

Background:

  • In May 2020, there was a continuous flow out of gas in Baghjan gas well in the Tinsukia district of Assam, following a blowout.
    • The Baghjan well is a purely gas-producing well in the Tinsukia district.
    • Since 2006, the gas well is being drilled by Oil India Limited (OIL).
  • It underwent a blowout (uncontrolled escape of gas at tremendous velocity) on May 27, 2020.

This issue has been covered in  PIB Summary & Analysis for 10th June 2020.

Dibru-Saikhowa National Park:

  • Dibru-Saikhowa is a National Park as well as a Biosphere Reserve situated on the south bank of the river Brahmaputra in Assam.
  • It is an identified Important Bird Area (IBA) notified by the Bombay Natural History Society.

Category: GOVERNANCE

1. Envisioning the post-pandemic smart city

Context:

  • The article analyzes the smart cities scheme and suggests necessary changes in approach and implementation in the post-pandemic world.

Background:

Challenges in urban areas:

  • India’s cities have had to face the challenges of infrastructure deficits, inadequate water supply, waste management, sewerage and transport arrangements, high levels of pollution and, with climate change, frequent extremes of floods and drought.

Smart Cities Mission:

Smart City:

  • The traditional understanding of smart cities involves a technocentric vision, with sensors everywhere, smart homes, high levels of connectivity, massive and ubiquitous data collection by various agencies, and a continuous flow of useful information to citizens.
  • These will help governments allocate resources optimally and take timely decisions to raise efficiency and improve standards of living.

Progress of the scheme:

  • Over the years, Smart Cities Mission projects converged with other infrastructure programmes such as AMRUT, the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation and the PMAY (Urban), the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, for housing.
  • The smart cities mission has also got support from international agencies to adopt best practices on mobility and transport, energy and reducing carbon emissions.
  • The latest official count shows that 5,924 mission projects worth ₹1,78,500 crore have been tendered under the Smart Cities Mission.

For detailed information on the smart cities mission, refer to:

Smart Cities Mission

Recommendations for the post-pandemic phase:

  • The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic is a clear indication that the pathway for ‘smart cities’ needs to change and in this direction, the article suggests the following measures.

Focus on health:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the lack of adequate health facilities in urban areas.
  • One component of the smart cities mission scheme, the Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCCs), is a good example worth considering. These centres functioned as “war rooms” for COVID-19, and helped cities in fighting the pandemic through information dissemination, improving communication, predictive analysis and supporting effective management.
  • Such a system should be replicated and expanded further to ensure that citizens have access to useful information like health alerts, vaccinations, hospital beds and topical advice.

Mobility related:

  • The article suggests that pedestrianisation should be encouraged over motorisation where the priority should be to move people rather than vehicles.
  • The available road spaces should be appropriately apportioned for bicycles as they are relatively safe and is capable of complementing public transport for last-mile connectivity.

Environmental sustainability:

  • The development of the cities should appropriately consider the environmental impact (climate change audit) and take remedial measures.
  • Additionally, there should also be an emphasis on preserving existing wetlands, lakes while also creating new urban gardens and water bodies.
  • Such a “green and blue” city would mean less destructive flooding, more water to harvest and lower peak temperatures.

Making it more democratic:

  • Democratising smart cities planning has to ensure every section of society has a voice in the process of selection and monitoring of projects undertaken in the mission.
  • Given the ground-level awareness of the situation, the people will be able to better articulate their needs and this will help ensure better utilization of funds for the scheme.

Social aspects of a smart city:

  • As against the traditional techno-centric vision of a smart city, the article also recommends a social dimension to such smart cities wherein there should be ample common spaces that allow for the people to intermingle.

Conclusion:

  • The pandemic has come as a remarkable opportunity to review the paradigm of smart cities.
  • Going forward the mission will have to frame the plans around people and nature and avoid expensive technological solutionism.

F. Prelims Facts

1. Red sanders worth ₹10 cr. seized, 7 held

Red Sanders:

  • Pterocarpus santalinus or Red Sanders is a tree endemic to South India.
  • They are found in the Tropical Dry Deciduous forest of the Palakonda and Seshachalam hill ranges of Andhra Pradesh and also found in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
  • It is used for various purposes such as immunity medicine; it is used in Ayurveda and Siddha medicine.
  • While red sanders was classified as endangered in 1997, IUCN reclassified red sanders as ‘near threatened’ from the earlier ‘endangered’ in 2018.

G. Tidbits

Nothing here for today!!!

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Which of the following is/are treated as cruelty under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 
Act?
  1. The dehorning of cattle, or the castration or branding or nose-roping of any animal, in the prescribed manner.
  2. If any person without reasonable cause, abandons any animal in circumstances which render it likely that it will suffer pain by reason of starvation or thirst.
  3. If any person promotes or takes part in any shooting match or competition wherein animals are released from captivity for the purpose of such shooting.
  4. The destruction of stray dogs in lethal chambers.

Options:

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act was enacted in 1960 and was authored by acclaimed dancer and animal lover, Rukmini Devi Arundale.
  • It was enacted to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain and suffering on animals.
  • As per the provisions of the law, the Government of India formed the Animal Welfare Board of India in 1962.
  • The Animal Welfare Board of India was started under the stewardship of Rukmini Devi Arundale.
  • It falls under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.

Intentional infliction of pain and suffering to animals is termed cruelty under the act. Under the law, cruelty is:

  • If any person without reasonable cause, abandons any animal in circumstances which render it likely that it will suffer pain by reason of starvation or thirst.
  • If any person promotes or takes part in any shooting match or competition wherein animals are released from captivity for the purpose of such shooting.
Q2. Which of the following is/are the right bank tributaries of Krishna?
  1. Musi
  2. Koyna
  3. Ghataprabha
  4. Tungabhadra
  5. Munneru

Options:

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • River Krishna originates in Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra.
  • It flows through Sangli and drains the sea in the Bay of Bengal.
  • The river flows through the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Tungabhadra River is the main tributary which itself is formed by the Tunga and Bhadra rivers that originate in the Western Ghats.
  • Its Right bank tributaries are: Koyna, Doodhganga, Ghataprabha, Malaprabha and Tungabhadra.
  • Its Left bank tributaries are: Bheema, Peddavagu, Musi, Paleru, Munneru.
Q3. Consider the following statements with respect to Public Interest Litigation (PIL):
  1. The concept of PIL originated and developed in the USA.
  2. Locus standi is not a necessity for PIL.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Public Interest Litigation (PIL) implies litigation for the protection of public interests.
  • Any matter where the interest of the public at large is affected can be redressed by filing a Public Interest Litigation in a court of law such as Pollution, Terrorism, Road safety, Constructional hazards, etc.
  • The expression ‘Public Interest Litigation’ has been borrowed from American jurisprudence, where it was designed to provide legal representation to previously unrepresented groups like the poor, the racial minorities, unorganized consumers, citizens who were passionate about the environmental issues, etc.
  • Locus standi implies that only the person/party whose rights have been infringed upon can file petitions.
  • Locus standi is not a necessity for PIL.
Q4. Which of the following methods can be employed to reduce the ill-effects of Non-Performing
 Assets (NPA)?
  1. Sell the NPAs
  2. Compromise Settlement
  3. Pumping money into the banking system

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:

  • A nonperforming asset (NPA) refers to a classification for loans or advances that are in default.
  • Selling the NPAs to Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC) or the bad banks is a method of removal of NPAs from the bank’s balance sheet.
  • Compromise settlement is executed by the banks in order to recover non-performing assets (NPAs). Eg: A one-time settlement or OTS is a type of compromise settlement. Under this method, the borrower (the one who has defaulted) proposes to settle all the dues at once, and banks agree to accept an amount lesser than what was originally due.
Q5. How does the National Rural Livelihood Mission seek to improve livelihood options of rural
 poor? (2012)
  1. By setting up a large number of new manufacturing industries and agribusiness centres in rural areas
  2. By strengthening ‘self-help groups’ and providing skill development
  3. By supplying seeds, fertilizers, diesel pump-sets and micro-irrigation equipment free of cost to farmers

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) is a poverty alleviation project implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. This scheme is focused on promoting self-employment and organization of rural poor by strengthening ‘self-help groups’ and providing skill development.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. The pandemic has come as a remarkable opportunity to review the paradigm of smart cities. Examine. (250 words; 15 marks) [GS-2, Governance].
  2. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), notified in 2016, has been the key mechanism for addressing corporate distress and the accumulation of bad loans in the financial sector since its implementation. Discuss its effectiveness and the way forward. (250 words; 15 marks) [GS-3, Economy].

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 02nd July 2021:- Download PDF Here

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