21 July 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 21st July 2021:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. SC annuls parts of co-op amendment
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. ‘India is welcome to join China-South Asia grouping’
C. GS 3 Related
ECONOMY
1. ADB trims FY22 growth forecast to 10%
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
GOVERNANCE
1. Pegasus is India’s Watergate moment
POLITY
1. Sharing during scarcity
F. Prelims Facts
1. Water harvesting structures to be studied in Rajasthan
2. Navy seeks bids to build submarines
G. Tidbits
1. Two-thirds of Indians have antibodies, shows ICMR survey
2. Aquaculture farmers to sell produce on e-Santa
3. Accepting radical otherness
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. ‘India is welcome to join China-South Asia grouping’

Context:

  • Bangladesh Foreign Minister has stated that India is welcome to join the China-led South Asian initiative for COVID-19 vaccines and poverty alleviation and has denied the allegations that the newly launched China-South Asia grouping was meant to exclude India.

Background:

  • Subsequent to a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of China, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, China-South Asian Countries Emergency Supplies Reserve, and a Poverty Alleviation and Cooperative Development Centre were set up in China recently.
    • The poverty alleviation centre was envisioned to deal with economic issues arising in South Asia due to COVID.
  • The China-South Asia centre is also being established in the Southern Chinese city of Chongqing.

Concerns for India:

  • The development had raised concerns in India as the initiative appeared to leave out only India, Bhutan and the Maldives.
  • Some experts have warned that the new initiative could be aimed at diluting India’s role in the SAARC region by increasing China’s strategic influence in the South Asian region through developmental aid.

Category: POLITY

1. Sharing during scarcity

Context:

  • The Union Ministry of Jal Shakti’s gazette notification on the jurisdiction of the Krishna and Godavari River Management Boards over projects and assets in the fields of irrigation and hydropower.

For detailed information regarding this development and its significance refer to the following article:

UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis of 17th July 2021

Background:

  • Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have been involved in a tense stand-off over the sharing of water resources of the inter-state rivers.
  • The two states have been complaining of the other drawing more water than that allocated.
  • Amid escalating tensions, the Police forces were deployed at various hydel power projects in bordering districts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Details:

  • The two river boards would administer, regulate, operate and maintain 36 projects in the Krishna Basin and 71 in the Godavari to ensure judicious water use in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Way forward:

  • The Centre must ensure that the empowered Boards function in a fair manner balancing the interests of both the states.
  • The two States should focus on water and energy conservation and improving the efficiency of irrigation schemes and hydel reservoirs rather than on new projects.
  • The experience of the river boards should serve as valuable policy inputs to the Centre’s much-talked-about concept of river basin organisations, which could serve as a critical approach to deal with other inter-state water disputes.

F. Prelims Facts

1. Water harvesting structures to be studied in Rajasthan

Traditional water harvesting structures in India:

Water Harvesting structure State/UT
Johad, Nadis Rajasthan
Ahar Pynes Bihar
Zing Ladakh
Kuhl Himachal Pradesh
Zabo Nagaland
Bamboo drip irrigation Meghalaya
Eri Tamil Nadu

Context:

  • Rajasthan state government’s proposal to study the contribution of water harvesting structure to the increase in groundwater level.

2. Navy seeks bids to build submarines

Project-75I:

  • Under Project-75I, the Indian Navy intends to acquire six diesel-electric submarines, which will also feature advanced air-independent propulsion systems to enable them to stay submerged for a longer duration and substantially increase their operational range.
  • The six modern conventional submarines will have the latest equipment, weapons and sensors, including advanced torpedoes, modern missiles and state-of-the-art countermeasure systems.
  • All six submarines are expected to be indigenously constructed in Indian shipyards under the strategic partnership model of the procurement procedure.
    • Under this system, Strategic Partners (SPs) or Indian applicant companies for the project will have to tie up with any of the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) for the production process.

Context:

  • The Defence Ministry has issued the Request For Proposal (RFP) for the construction of six advanced conventional submarines for the Navy under Project-75I.

G. Tidbits

1. Two-thirds of Indians have antibodies, shows ICMR survey

Context:

Details:

  • As per the sero-survey, two-thirds of the population aged above six have antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.
  • The survey also found that more than half of the children (6-17 years) were seropositive.
  • Though the survey offered a ray of hope in the fight against the pandemic, there was no room for complacency given that nearly 40 crore people, or a third of the population, are still vulnerable to the COVID-19 infection.

2. Aquaculture farmers to sell produce on e-Santa

e-Santa:

  • The term eSaNta depicts Electronic Solution for Augmenting NaCSA Farmers Trade in Aquaculture.
    • National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture (NaCSA) is an extension arm of the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), Ministry of Commerce & Industry. The objectives of NaCSA are to encourage and uplift the small and marginal farmers through the organization of clusters and maintaining of best management practices.
  • It basically functions as an electronic marketplace for marine products. It enables widely dispersed buyers and farmers to interact and execute purchase transactions digitally.
  • This initiative by building a bridge between Aqua farmers and buyers to interact directly and buy the produce directly from farmers helps eliminate the middlemen completely.

Context:

  • Many aquaculture farmers in Andhra Pradesh are planning to update the details of their produce online and market their stocks through e-Santa.

3. Accepting radical otherness

  • The U.S.-based Pew Research Center’s survey on religious tolerance in India has noted that Indians of all faiths, paradoxically, support both religious tolerance and religious segregation.
    • Most Indians (84%) surveyed said that respecting all religions is very important to them and all religious groups must be allowed to practise their faith freely. Yet, a considerable number of them also said they preferred to have religious groups segregated and live and marry within their own community.
  • The article claims that though India is committed to religious diversity, it is mostly exclusionary and segmented in religious toleration. This the article claims is a feature of the distinctly Asian cosmopolitanism which has developed in regions that have to accommodate “radical diversities” that may prove to be dangerous if they are brought together in the same space.
  • In this regard, the article metaphorically argues that India is neither a melting pot (diverse cultures blending into one common national identity) nor a salad bowl (different cultures retaining their specific characteristics while assimilating into one national identity) but a thali (an Indian meal comprising separate dishes on a platter where they are combined in specific ways).

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Which of the given statements with respect to Asian Development Bank (ADB) is/are correct?
  1. Asian Development Outlook is an annual publication of ADB.
  2. Under its voting system, each member nation has a single vote irrespective of its capital subscriptions.
  3. The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and non-regional developed countries.

Options:

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Asian Development Outlook is annually published by the Asian Development Bank.
  • In ADB, the votes are distributed among the member nations in proportion to their capital subscriptions.
  • The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and non-regional developed countries.
Q2. e-SANTA is an electronic marketplace providing a platform:
  1. Connecting the farmers, traders and buyers of GI tagged agricultural produce across the country.
  2. Connecting aqua farmers and buyers across the country.
  3. Facilitating grading, packing, providing logistic support to organic farmers to sell their agriculture produce directly to end customers.
  4. Connecting all the existing Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandis to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities.
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

e-SANTA is an electronic marketplace providing a platform connecting aqua farmers and buyers across the country.

Read more on e-SANTA – Electronic Marketplace Platform for Aqua-Farmers.

Q3. Which of the given statements is/are incorrect?
  1. Varkari is a religious movement within the Bhakti tradition geographically associated with the Mathura region.
  2. Gnanadeva, Namadeva and Tukaram of the Varkari tradition were contemporaries.

Options:

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Varkari is a religious movement within the Bhakti tradition geographically associated with Maharashtra and North Karnataka.
  • Gnanadeva was the founder of the Bhakti Movement in Maharashtra in the 13th century.
  • Namadeva belonged to the 13th century. He opposed idol worship and the dominance of priests. He criticized the caste system.
  • Tukaram was another Bhakti saint of Maharashtra and said to be a contemporary of Shivaji. He was a 17th-century poet-saint of the Bhakti movement.
Q4. Johads and Khadins refer to: 
  1. Rainfed storage structures built in Rajasthan.
  2. Inundation channels developed by people in the flood plains of Bengal to irrigate their fields.
  3. Traditional floodwater harvesting systems indigenous to South Bihar.
  4. Community-managed irrigation systems unique to Maharashtra.
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

Johads and Khadins refer to rainfed storage structures built in Rajasthan.

Q5. With reference to an initiative called ‘The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity 
(TEEB)’, which of the following statements is/are correct? (UPSC 2016)
  1. It is an initiative hosted by UNEP, IMF and World Economic Forum.
  2. It is a global initiative that focuses on drawing attention to the economic benefits of biodiversity.
  3. It presents an approach that can help decision-makers recognize, demonstrate and capture the value of ecosystems and biodiversity.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) was launched at the G8 meeting of environment ministers in Potsdam, Germany, in 2007.
  • It is a global initiative that focuses on drawing attention to the economic benefits of biodiversity.
  • It presents an approach that can help decision-makers recognize, demonstrate and capture the value of ecosystems and biodiversity.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Examine the need for legislative accountability and parliamentary oversight over Indian intelligence agencies. (250 words; 15 marks) [GS-2, Governance].
  2. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana must focus on water and energy efficiency rather than on new projects. Analyse in the context of the recent inter-state water dispute that has emerged between the two states. (250 words; 15 marks) [GS-2, Polity].

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 21st July 2021:- Download PDF Here

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