24 July 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 24th July 2021:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. ‘Gatekeeper Model’ mooted to prevent suicides in prisons
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Xi visits Tibet, first trip by leader in years
HEALTH 
1. Bird flu suspected in Kozhikode
C. GS 3 Related
SECURITY
1. More time for report on Data Bill
2. Drone with explosives shot down
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. SC dismisses plea challenging NGT ban on sale and use of firecrackers
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. Empowering nature with biocentric jurisprudence
2. The Ganga’s message
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Return to troubles
F. Prelims Facts
1. MVA govt. to join Climate Group’s EV100 drive
2. Ten¬fold rise in NSCS budget: Bhushan
G. Tidbits
1. Rise in extreme rainfall events
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Xi visits Tibet, first trip by leader in years

Context:

In many years, China’s President Xi Jinping became the first Chinese leader to visit Tibet as well as its southeastern border region with India.

Details:

  • It is Mr. Xi’s first visit to the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) since taking over as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China in 2012.
  • The Chinese President’s visit was to inspect a newly opened and strategically important railway line.
    • The first bullet train line in Tibet links Lhasa to Nyingchi near the border with Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Also, China recently completed several major infrastructure projects in Tibet’s southern and south-eastern counties near the Arunachal border.
    • It completed the construction of a strategically significant highway through the Grand Canyon of the Yarlung Zangbo River (as the Brahmaputra is called in Tibet).

Read more on this issue covered in  May 21st, 2021 CNA.

Note:

  • The Seventeen Point Agreement was signed on May 23, 1951.
  • China refers to the agreement as signalling the peaceful liberation of Tibet.
  • The agreement has been rejected by the Dalai Lama.
  • Dalai Lama asserts that the Communist Party had both forced it on Tibet and subsequently violated its commitments, leading him to eventually flee to India in exile in 1959.

Category: HEALTH

1. Bird flu suspected in Kozhikode

Context:

Kozhikode is on high alert after a suspected bird flu outbreak has been reported from a private poultry farm.

Avian Influenza:

  • Avian Influenza (AI) is a highly contagious viral disease, affecting a large variety of birds, including those known for human consumption such as chickens, ducks, turkeys, quails, as well as pet birds and wild birds.

Read more on Avian Influenza/Bird flu, covered in 10th January 2021 Comprehensive News Analysis.

2. Drone with explosives shot down

Context:

A drone (unmanned aerial vehicle) with explosives was shot down in Jammu.

Read more on the threats posed and the concerns associated with drone usage covered in 28th June 2021 CNA.
Category: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. SC dismisses plea challenging NGT ban on sale and use of firecrackers

Context:

The Supreme Court has dismissed a challenge to a National Green Tribunal (NGT) ban on the sale and use of firecrackers during the COVID-19 pandemic in the National Capital Region (NCR) and all cities and towns where the ambient air quality is in the poor or above categories.

Background:

  • In December 2020, the NGT had ordered that only green crackers would be permitted for Christmas and New Year in such areas.

Green Crackers:

  • Firework is a device that contains gunpowder and other combustible chemicals which causes striking effects and when ignited they explode.
  • Green crackers are those crackers that do not contain harmful chemicals that would cause air pollution. They are environmentally friendly.
  • Green crackers are less harmful as compared to conventional firecrackers and less pollution emission will result in reduced air pollution.
  • In green crackers, the commonly used polluting chemicals like aluminium, barium, potassium nitrate and carbon have either been removed or sharply reduced to slow down the emissions by 15 to 30%.

Details:

  • The petitioners against the order, mostly firecracker manufacturers, said that the ban was an impediment to their livelihoods.
  • The Tribunal had reasoned that the “right to business is not absolute. There is no right to violate air quality and noise level norms”.
  • The Supreme Court also dismissed arguments that bursting crackers was a fundamental right and an essential practice during religious festivals like Diwali.
  • It was said that Article 25 (right to religion) is subject to Article 21 (right to life).
    • If a particular religious practice is threatening the health and lives of people, such practice is not to entitled to protection under Article 25.

2. The Ganga’s message

Reference:

UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis of 23rd July 2021
Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Return to troubles

Reference:

UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis of 15th July 2021

F. Prelims Facts

1. MVA govt. to join Climate Group’s EV100 drive

What’s in News?

Maharashtra government has announced its decision to become the first state in the country to join hands with Climate Group’s EV100 campaign.

EV100

  • EV100 is a global initiative led by The Climate Group, bringing together forward-looking companies committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and making electric transport the new normal by 2030. 
  • Climate Group, an international non-profit, will act as a bridge between private companies and the State government to ease the process of shifting their fleets to EVs.

Maharashtra’s EV Policy:

  • Maharashtra recently unveiled its electronic vehicle (EV) policy.
  • It aims to achieve 25% electrification of last-mile delivery vehicles by 2025.
  • Within six months from the day of notification of the policy, e-commerce companies, delivery and logistics players, and mobility aggregators will submit EV transition plans to the Transport Department.

2. Ten¬fold rise in NSCS budget: Bhushan

What’s in News?

A senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan has said that the Budget allocation for the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) increased 10 times from ₹33.17 crore in 2016-17 to ₹333.58 crore in 2017-18.

National Security Council:

  • The National Security Council (NSC) in India is the executive agency responsible for advising the Prime Minister’s Office on issues of national security and strategic interest.
  • The NSC consists of two distinct bodies – the Council Proper and the National Security Council Secretariat.

Read more National Security Council (NSC)

National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS):

  • The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) was re-structured and renamed as the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS).
  • The NSC Secretariat is a permanent body that provides technical support to the Council Proper.
  • It is headed by the Director General / National Security Adviser.
  • The NSCS works under the PMO, has constitutional recognition and legal authority as it was brought into the government’s Allocation of Business (AOB) rules in 2019.

G. Tidbits

1. Rise in extreme rainfall events

What’s in News?

The India Meteorological Department has pointed to significant variations in rainfall across the country.

Uneven Spread of State-wise rainfall

  • Climate scientists have warned that monsoon patterns overall have been changing.
  • The southern peninsula received 29% more rain than normal while there was a huge rainfall deficit in the northeast.
  • The frequency and strength of cyclones over the Arabian Sea have increased in the past two decades.
    • There is a 52% increase in the frequency of cyclones over the Arabian Sea from 2001 to 2019 and an 8% decrease over the Bay of Bengal compared with the period 1982-2002, when historically most cyclones have been in the Bay of Bengal.
  • The duration of cyclones has increased by 80%.
    • More cyclones were bringing in more moisture from the Arabian Sea and contributing to extreme rainfall events.

The ongoing monsoon floods across India is unprecedented. India is seeing a threshold rise in widespread extreme rains that cause floods across the country.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements:
  1. Privilege motion can be moved only against the ministers.
  2. The Speaker/RS chairperson can decide on the privilege motion himself or herself or refer it to the privileges committee of Parliament.

Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • The Members of Parliament are granted certain privileges individually and collectively so as to perform their duties properly. But if any of the members disregards or misuses any of these privileges or rights, it is considered as a breach of the privilege motion and is liable for punishment under the parliamentary laws.
  • Privilege motion can be moved against any member of the parliament.
  • The Speaker/RS chairperson can decide on the privilege motion himself or herself or refer it to the privileges committee of Parliament.

Read more Privilege Motion – Breach of Privilege Motion & Cases

Q2. Consider the following pairs:

Storm Centres                                                   Leaders of the 1857 Revolt

  1. Kanpur                                                                            Nana Sahib
  2. Jhansi                                                                           Rani Laxmibai
  3. Lucknow                                                                  Begum Hazrat Mahal
  4. Faizabad                                                                  Maulvi Ahmadullah
  5. Bihar                                                                             Jaidayal Singh

Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

Storm Centres                                                   Leaders of the 1857 Revolt

  • Kanpur                                                                          Nana Sahib
  • Jhansi                                                                         Rani Laxmibai
  • Lucknow                                                            Begum Hazrat Mahal
  • Faizabad                                                               Maulvi Ahmadullah
  • Rajasthan                                                  Jaidayal Singh/Hardayal Singh
  • Bihar                                                               Kunwar Singh/Amar Singh

Read more: Revolt of 1857 – Causes, Impact, Failure, List of Important Leaders Involved

Q3. With reference to Madhubani Paintings, which of the following statements is/are correct?
  1. It has its origins in the Maithili village of Bihar.
  2. Madhubani paintings bear the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.

Options:

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Madhubani painting has its origins in the Maithili village of Bihar.
  • Madhubani paintings bear the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.

Read more on Madhubani Paintings.

Q4. Which of the following statements is/are correct?
  1. Biosimilars have a simple structure, while chemical drugs have a complex structure relatively.
  2. Biosimilars are sensitive to storage and handling, while chemical drugs are stable.

Options:

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • A biosimilar is a biological medical product highly similar to another already approved biological medicine.
  • Chemical drugs have a simple structure whereas biosimilars have a relatively complex structure.
  • Biosimilars are sensitive to storage and handling, while chemical drugs are stable.

Image source: https://www.jacionline.org/

Q5. Consider the following in respect of ‘National Career Service’: [UPSC 2017]
  1. National Career Service is an initiative of the Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India.
  2. National Career Service has been launched in a Mission Mode to improve the employment opportunities to uneducated youth of the country.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • National Career Service (NCS) project is a Mission Mode Project launched by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India.
  • It was launched for establishing quick and efficient career-related services across the country by revamping the existing nationwide set-up of Employment Exchanges into IT-enabled Career Centers.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. India must take its laws on waste management seriously to stop microplastics pollution. Discuss by highlighting the extent of microplastic pollution in the Ganga river. (250 words; 15 marks) [GS-3, Environment and Ecology]
  2. In a recent ruling, the Supreme Court of India has sought to move away from an anthropocentric basis of law. It upheld the biocentric principles of coexistence which has come as a shot in the arm for nature conservation. Examine. (250 words; 15 marks) [GS-3, Environment and Ecology]

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 24th July 2021:- Download PDF Here

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