06 July 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 6th July 2021:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. SC aghast that Section 66A of IT Act is still used
2. ‘ONORC scheme in Delhi, Bengal soon’
EDUCATION
1. Survey of Class 3 students to set baseline for literacy goals
C. GS 3 Related
SECURITY
1. Facial recognition used to verify jab beneficiaries: govt.
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. Cities along rivers urged to include conservation plans
ECONOMY
1. Policy black holes spook space investors
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Crafting a unique partnership with Africa
POLITY
1. Will a national judiciary work?
F. Prelims Facts
G. Tidbits
1. CoWin made open source: PM
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

2. ‘ONORC scheme in Delhi, Bengal soon’

Context:

‘One Nation One Ration Card’ (ONORC) scheme.

Details:

  • Delhi and West Bengal are expected to roll out the ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ (ONORC) scheme by the end of July 2021.
  • Chhattisgarh has started the process for procurement of ePOS [electronic Point of Sale].
  • The low penetration of Aadhaar in Assam due to concerns linked to the National Population Register (NPR) is hampering the implementation of ONORC there.
  • ONORC plan aims to empower all National Food Security Act migrant beneficiaries to access foodgrains from any Fair Price Shop [FPS] of their choice anywhere in the country by using their same/existing ration card with biometric authentication.

Read more on the One Nation One Ration Card Scheme (ONORC).

Note:

These are the only four States yet to come on board the ration card portability scheme that the Centre has been pushing as the solution for migrant workers’ difficulty to access subsidised food, especially during the pandemic.
Category: EDUCATION

1. Survey of Class 3 students to set baseline for literacy goals

Context:

The Ministry of Education has launched National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN).

Details:

  • The vision of the NIPUN Bharat Mission is to create an enabling environment to ensure the universal acquisition of foundational literacy and numeracy.
  • It is to ensure that every child achieves the desired learning competencies in reading, writing and numeracy by the end of Class 3, by 2026-27.

This topic has been covered in PIB Summary & Analysis for 5th July 2021.

Category: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. Cities along rivers urged to include conservation plans

Context:

Policy document from the National Mission for Clean Ganga has set out norms for river conservation plans.

Guidelines:

  • The policy spells out provisions in the National Water Policy.
  • It says that the cities situated on river banks will have to incorporate river conservation plans when they prepare their Master Plans.
  • It has been instructed that the “river-sensitive” plans must be practical and consider questions of encroachment and land ownership.
  • A key aspect of conserving and protecting rivers and riverine resources involves increasing green cover in the vicinity of the river by creating green buffers, removing concrete structures and employing green infrastructure.
  • The Master Plan should not mandate specific technologies, but it can create an environment for facilitating the use of state-of-the-art technologies for river management.

Technologies being used across the world successfully for river management:

  • Satellite-based monitoring of water quality
  • Artificial intelligence for riverine biodiversity mapping
  • Big data and citizen science for river-health monitoring
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles for floodplain mapping.

Note:

  • The recommendations are currently for towns that are on the main stem of the Ganga.
  • As per the policy document, there are 97 towns encompassing five States — Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal.

Category: ECONOMY

1. Policy black holes spook space investors

Context:

Concerns of potential foreign investors in India’s space sector.

Issue:

  • The Department of Space is both the sectoral regulator and a service provider by way of its role in overseeing the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • The potential foreign investors in India’s space sector are unsure if their licence applications would get fair consideration.
  • They are concerned about a possible conflict of interest.

Details:

  • In a significant departure from the ‘virtual monopoly’ of the state-controlled ISRO and allied entities in the space sector, reforms were announced in 2020 to open the sector to private investors.
  • Foreign Direct Investment of up to 100% has been allowed under the government route in satellite establishment and operation, subject to the sectoral guidelines of the Department of Space and ISRO.
  • Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), the newly created regulatory body, has received at least 26 applications from Indian and foreign firms that include proposals to set up ground stations and make and launch satellites.

Read more on space sector reforms announced in 2020 and their significance on PIB dated Dec 14, 2020, under the heading ‘PM interacts with industries’.

Way Forward:

  • The Department of Space acts as the regulator, but since it is a major service provider through ISRO, there is scope for a conflict of interest.
  • The regulatory structure needs to be refined and there is a need for more clarity in terms of the processes for authorisation to launch a satellite, the frequency allocation mechanism and even the details of different agencies involved in these clearances.

Category: POLITY

1. Will a national judiciary work?

Background:

  • Many law commissions and the judiciary in many cases have called on the administration to consider and implement All India Judicial Services (AIJS).
    • The idea for an ‘All India Judicial Service (AIJS)’ was first proposed by the 14th Report of the Law Commission of India in 1958, aimed at creating a centralised cadre of District Judges.
    • In the All-India Judges case in 1992 the apex court had opined that the recommendations of the Law Commission on the setting up of AIJS should be examined and implemented. Similar opinions were expressed in the All India Judges Association Vs. Union of India (2002) case as well.
  • In 2019 there had been a consultative process for the creation of the All India Judicial Service (AIJS).
    • While a few states and high courts supported the proposal, most rejected it or are yet to respond.
  • In this context, the article analyzes the feasibility of the All India Judicial Service.

All India Judicial services:

  • The AIJS envisages recruiting officers for subordinate courts through a national entrance test.
  • Those who clear the pan-India test would be appointed by high courts and the State governments.

Constitutional perspective:

  • Article 233(1) of the Constitution states that appointments, posting and promotion of, district judges in any State shall be made by the Governor of the State in consultation with the corresponding High Court.
  • Article 312 (1) empowers Parliament to make laws for the creation of one or more All-India Services, including an AIJS, common to the Union and the States.
  • The 42nd Constitutional amendment in 1976 shifted the domain of administration of justice constitution and organisation of all courts, except the Supreme Court and the High Courts into the concurrent list from the previous state list.

Arguments in favour of AIJS:

  • The AIJS will help remove any scope for judicial or executive intervention in the appointments to the lower judiciary and result in increased transparency in the appointment process.
  • It will help streamline the appointment process of the lower judiciary. This will allow the vacancies to be filled without any unnecessary delay.
  • AIJS will give an opportunity for induction of suitably qualified fresh legal talent selected through a proper all-India merit selection system and will thus help strengthen the overall justice delivery system in India.

Concerns with respect to AIJS:

  • The article expresses concerns over certain aspects of the proposed AIJS:

Against the principle of federalism:

  • Under the envisaged AIJS, the fundamental power of the States to make rules and govern the appointment of district judges would rest with the union government.
  • The AIJS would lead to a scenario where the Union government’s powers would increase at the cost of the state governments.
  • This will go against the principle of federalism and the basic structure doctrine.

Concerns for the subordinate judiciary:

  • Another aspect of concern is that the operationalization of the AIJS could severely curtail the promotional avenues of the subordinate judiciary.
  • Currently, fifty per cent of the posts of district judges are to be filled by promotion from the subordinate judicial service. This will decrease with direct recruitment under the proposed AIJS.

Concerns over language proficiency:

  • Another fundamental concern would be the language barrier.
  • Since cases in lower courts are argued in local languages, there are apprehensions as to how a person from a particular state can hold a hearing in another state that has a completely different language.
  • Judges recruited through a centralized process may not know the local languages of the States in which they are posted. The lack of understanding of the local language and customs could affect the quality of judgments.

Fears over social implications:

  • Most States have a reservation policy in force for marginalised and deprived sections of society in the lower judiciary. The reservation in these states is higher than that envisaged in the AIJS, thus there are fears that such sections may lose by the implementation of the AIJS.
    • Tamil Nadu provides for a roster-based reservation of 69%, of which 30% is for women.

For more related information refer to:

UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis of 4th Jan 2020

F. Prelims Facts

Nothing here for today!!!

G. Tidbits

1. CoWin made open source: PM

What’s in News?

CoWin Global Conclave.

  • India has endeavoured to share the tech-enabled vaccination platform COWIN as a free public good with the world.
  • The Prime Minister has said that the CoWin platform is being made open source and it will be available to all countries.

CoWIN:

  • COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network (CoWIN) system is a digitalised platform to be used to effectively roll out and scale up the mechanism for COVID Vaccine Distribution System, nationally.
  • It is a digital platform launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) to help agencies keep a track of Covid-19 vaccination and allow Indians to apply for the vaccine.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Which of the following differences between Debt and Equity is/are correct?
  1. In Debt the maturity is for a fixed period, whereas in Equity it is mostly undetermined.
  2. In Debt the returns are calculated by Dividend/increase in the price, whereas in Equity it is by Coupon Rate.

Options:

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • Funds that a company owes to another party is known as Debt. Funds raised by the company by issuing shares is known as Equity.
  • In Debt, the returns are calculated by the coupon rate or the interest rate (charged against the profit). Whereas the returns on Equity is the dividend (appropriation of profit)/increase in the price of the share.
  • Funds raised through debt financing are to be repaid after the expiry of the specific term. Equity is the source of permanent capital.
  • Term loan, Debentures, Bonds, etc are the examples of Debt.
  • Equity is shares and stocks.
Q2. Consider the following statements about Sir Chettur Sankaran Nair:
  1. He had served as a President of the Indian National Congress.
  2. Sankaran Nair was an advocate who defended Bhagat Singh.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • Sir Chettur Sankaran Nair served as a President of the Indian National Congress in 1897.
  • He was the advocate who fought against the Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab, Michael O’Dwyer for the atrocities at the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
  • He served as a judge of the Madras High Court.
Q3. Consider the following pairs:

          Portal                                           Objective

  1. AMAR                        Online public access catalogue for more than 12000 Indian medical heritage books
  2. E-Medha                 Showcases inscriptions, archeo-botanical information and advanced archeo-genetic studies
  3. SHAI                          Digitized information on rare and hard to find manuscripts and catalogues of Ayurveda

Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?

  1. 2 only
  2. 1 and 3 only
  3. 1, 2 and 3
  4. None
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

Five portals of importance have been launched by the Union Minister of Ayush.

  1. AMAR (Ayush Manuscripts Advanced Repository) Portal: It has digitized information on rare and hard to find manuscripts and catalogues of Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa in libraries or in individual collections across India or in other parts of the world.
  2. E-Medha (electronic Medical Heritage Accession) Portal: Online public access catalogue for more than 12000 Indian medical heritage books through NIC’s e-granthalaya platform.
  3. SHAI (Showcase of Ayurveda Historical Imprints) Portal: It showcases inscriptions, archaeo-botanical information, sculptures, philological sources and advanced archaeo-genetic studies.
  4. CCRAS-Research Management Information System (RMIS): RMIS is a one-stop solution for Research and Development in Ayurveda-based studies. The portal offers free reference material, research tools, and guidance by scientists and clinicians. It was developed jointly by the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
  5. Ayurveda Dataset on Clinical Trial Registry of India (CTRI): CTRI is a primary Register of Clinical Trials under the WHO’s International Clinical Trials Registry Platform. The creation of an Ayurveda Dataset in CTRI facilitates the usage of Ayurveda terminologies to record clinical study based on Ayurveda interventions. This will enhance worldwide visibility for Ayurveda-based clinical trials.
Q4. With reference to Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which of the 
following statements is/are correct?
  1. OPEC has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
  2. Venezuela is the only country from South America which is part of OPEC.

Options:

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • OPEC is an acronym for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. It is a permanent, intergovernmental organization, created at the Baghdad Conference in September 1960 by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
  • OPEC had its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, in the first five years of its existence. Due to Switzerland not extending diplomatic assurances, this was moved to Vienna, Austria, in 1965.
  • Venezuela is the only country from South America which is part of OPEC.

Read more on Organization Of The Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Q5. Consider the following statements: (UPSC 2017)
  1. Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) to Reduce Short Lived Climate Pollutants is a unique initiative of G20 group of countries.
  2. The CCAC focuses on methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • The Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC) was launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and six countries — Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico, Sweden, and the United States in 2012.
  • Short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) are agents that have a relatively short lifetime in the atmosphere – a few days to a few decades – and a warming influence on climate.
  • The CCAC focuses on methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. The continued usage of Section 66A of the Information Technology (IT) Act, even after it was struck down as unconstitutional, is distressing. Examine. (250 words; 15 marks) [GS-2, Polity and Governance]
  2. Evaluate the feasibility of setting up the All-India Judicial Service. (250 words; 15 marks) [GS-2, Polity and Governance]

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 6th July 2021:- Download PDF Here

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