25 July 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 25th July 2021:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
C. GS 3 Related
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. ‘Mid-century target for net zero inadequate'
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. Moon-forming region seen around exoplanet for the first time
DEFENCE AND INTERNAL SECURITY
1. No imminent threat of Taliban influx in Kashmir, says official
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
1. HAM radios to aid in cyclone relief
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. What are the surveillance laws in India?
2. Where did the Centre go wrong on cooperatives?
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Brexit in troubles
F. Prelims Facts
1. Villagers clash with police in eastern Assam
2. China braces for Typhoon In-fa
G. Tidbits
1. Open schooling: children of Odisha village cross State border chasing Internet
2. Another elephant electrocuted in Odisha
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. Moon-forming region seen around exoplanet for the first time

Context:

  • Scientists for the first time have spotted a moon-forming region around an exoplanet.

Background:

Exoplanet:

  • An exoplanet is any planet beyond our solar system. More than 4,400 planets have been discovered outside our solar system.
  • Most orbit other stars, but free-floating exoplanets, called rogue planets, orbit the galactic center and are untethered to any star.

Details:

  • The scientists have observed an exoplanet surrounded by a disc of gas and dust.
  • The researchers used the ALMA observatory in Chile’s Atacama desert to detect this disc of swirling material accumulating around one of two newborn planets (PDS 70c) seen orbiting a young star called PDS 70, located 370 light years from Earth.
  • No circumplanetary discs had been found until now because all the known exoplanets resided in “mature” – fully developed – solar systems, except the newly identified infant gas planets orbiting PDS 70.

Formation of planets and Moons:

  • The dominant mechanism thought to underpin planet formation is called “core accretion”.
  • As per this mechanism, material spinning around a newly formed star coalesces into planets. The small dust grains, coated in ice, gradually grow to larger and larger sizes through successive collisions with other grains. This continues until the grains have grown to a size of a planetary core, at which point the young planet has a strong enough gravitational potential to accrete gas which will form its atmosphere.
  • The circumplanetary discs surrounding some planets similarly yield moons.
    • The rings of Saturn represent a relic of a primordial moon-forming disc. Saturn has more than 80 moons orbiting it.

Category: DEFENCE AND INTERNAL SECURITY

1. No imminent threat of Taliban influx in Kashmir, says official

Background:

  • With the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban have made major advances in the past few weeks and gained new ground.
  • This has led to raising apprehensions of the impact this would have on India’s security concerns.

Details:

Indian consulates in Afghanistan:

  • In the backdrop of the rapid advances made by the Taliban in Afghanistan, the intelligence inputs had warned of increased threat to Indian consulates and India-aided infrastructure projects in the country.
  • With intense fighting taking place around Kandahar, India evacuated all Indian staff from its consulate and has also closed some of its consulates in other Afghanistan cities.

Threat for Kashmir:

  • Though the defence experts have stated that there is no immediate threat of the Taliban moving towards Kashmir, there is apprehension that the Afghan situation could embolden Pakistan-based terror groups operating in Kashmir.
  • India’s position along the Line of Control (LoC) continues to be strong given the robust counter insurgency mechanism in place. India has a significant troop presence which is complemented by sensors and drone surveillance along the LoC.

Defence co-operation between India and Afghanistan:

  • In the past few years, India has gifted four Mi-24 attack helicopters and three Cheetah utility helicopters to Afghanistan, apart from training Afghan officers in its training academies.
  • Given the rapid advances being made by the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Afghan Army chief is scheduled to visit India soon. This is being viewed as an attempt by the Afghanistan government to expedite its long standing request for offensive military hardware like tanks and artillery guns from India

Category: DISASTER MANAGEMENT

1. HAM radios to aid in cyclone relief

Context:

  • Training of local youth from the Sunderbans in operating Ham Radio sets.

Background:

  • West Bengal in the past three years has faced four tropical cyclones, Fani (May 2019), Bulbul (November 2019), Amphan ( May 2020) and Yaas ( May 2021).
  • Communication turns out to be a major challenge during the cyclones and particularly for areas with limited accessibility like the Sunderbans. They remain cut off often for days. On some occasions, the administration has had to wait for connectivity to be restored to assess damage and send relief to those affected.

Significance:

  • The district administration’s move to train local youth from the Sunderbans in operating Ham Radio sets is a welcome move in this regard.
    • This will help establish a dedicated wireless communication system for uninterrupted communication even during cyclones.
    • Uninterrupted communication will come handy in rescuing people in times of cyclone.
    • The empowerment of local youth to operate the technology will help augment the community-based disaster preparedness and management.

Ham Radio:

  • Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, is the use of radio frequency spectrum for purposes of non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, private recreation, radiosport, contesting, and emergency communication.
  • The HAM operators employ high frequency signals to connect with other operators. The technology comes handy when mobile connectivity is down.

2. Where did the Centre go wrong on cooperatives?

Context:

  • The Supreme Court recently struck down certain provisions of the 97th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2011.
  • The Ministry of Co-operation has been newly formed under the Government of India in July 2021.

Both these topics have been previously covered in the following articles.

For information on the provisions of the 97th Constitutional amendment and the Supreme Court’s reasoning for the annulment of certain provisions of it refer to the following article:

UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis of 21st July 2021

For information on the challenges in the Co-operative sector in India and the central government’s initiative to introduce a new Ministry of Cooperation refer to the following article:

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

1. Brexit in troubles

Context:

  • In the light of business disruption in the province of Northern Ireland and fears of a repeat of the violence observed in North Ireland during The Troubles, the U.K. has demanded the European Union to renegotiate the Northern Ireland Protocol of the Brexit agreement.
  • The Troubles were an ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland that lasted about 30 years from the late 1960s to 1998.
  • The conflict began in the late 1960s and is usually deemed to have ended with the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.
  • The EU has rejected any such renegotiation and has instead offered to seek solutions, within the framework of the Protocol.

This issue has been covered in the following articles:

U.K. wants new trade deal for N. Ireland

Five years later, Brexit continues to divide

F. Prelims Facts

1. Villagers clash with police in eastern Assam

Maguri Motapung wetland:

  • Maguri Motapung Beel is a wetland and lake located near Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and Motapung Village of Tinsukia district in Assam.

Context:

  • People from Baghjan village in Tinsukia district of eastern Assam demanded compensation for damage caused to the Maguri Motapung wetland by a recent natural gas well blowout.
  • Maguri Motapung Beel serves as a natural home to wildlife and provides a source of livelihood to the local communities.

2. China braces for Typhoon In-fa

  • Typhoon In-fa has been moving toward mainland China after dumping rain on Taiwan.
  • In-fa is likely to hit the coast of Zhejiang province, south of Shanghai.
  • Airline flights were cancelled in eastern China and cargo ships were ordered out of the area.

G. Tidbits

1. Open schooling: children of Odisha village cross State border chasing Internet

  • The COVID-19 pandemic induced lockdowns leading to the shutdown of schools has had a major impact on the learning process of millions of children in India. Despite some degree of continuity offered by the digital mode of education, millions of students continue to face major impediments to education access because of the lack of access to the Internet.
  • The report of a teacher from odisha leading a small group of primary school children of her village everyday across the Odisha-Jharkhand border following the mobile signal to access online classes is an example of the challenges posed by complete dependency on digital mode of education in a country like India and more so in a state like Odisha wherein the tele-density and Internet penetration is lower than the national average.
  • There have been innumerable instances of hardship in rural Odisha, especially in tribal pockets.
  • As per Odisha’s School and Mass Education Secretary, only 40% of students in the State were able to access online classes.
  • The lack of connectivity has not only limited access to education, it has also rendered children vulnerable to being forced to work from a very early age.

2. Another elephant electrocuted in Odisha

Elephant deaths in Odisha:

  • As many as 60 elephants have died accidentally by contact with live wires in Odisha alone since 2016-17. Since April 2021 alone, five elephants have died of electrocution.
  • While earlier mostly sagging overhead transmission lines were responsible for electrocution deaths of elephants, more recently, traps to kill wild animals have claimed an increasing number of elephant lives.
  • Despite a large number of elephant deaths in the State due to electrocution, which is completely preventable, no visible step is being taken to prevent them.

Context:

  • An elephant was killed in Odisha’s Dhenkanal district after coming into contact with live electric wire.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. The term “core accretion” seen in News relates to:
  1. Mechanism relating to the formation of a planet
  2. Tectonic earthquake
  3. Inflation trends in the economy
  4. Formation of tropical cyclones
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • The dominant mechanism thought to underpin planet formation is called “core accretion”.
    • As per this mechanism, material spinning around a newly formed star coalesces into planets. The small dust grains, coated in ice, gradually grow to larger and larger sizes through successive collisions with other grains. This continues until the grains have grown to a size of a planetary core, at which point the young planet has a strong enough gravitational potential to accrete gas which will form its atmosphere.
  • The circumplanetary discs surrounding some planets similarly yield moons.

Context:

  • Scientists for the first time have spotted a moon-forming region around an exoplanet.
Q2. In which of these sites can the sculpture of the Reclining Buddha be found?
  1. Ajanta caves
  2. Sittanavasal caves
  3. Kushinagar
  4. Mahabodhi Temple

Choose the correct option:

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Sittanavasal Cave is a 2nd-century Tamil Śramaṇa complex of caves in Sittanavasal village in Pudukottai district of Tamil Nadu, India. It is dedicated mainly to Jainism.
  • The Mahabodhi Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a buddhist temple in Bodh Gaya, marking the location where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. It has no such sculpture of the reclining Buddha.
  • Ajantha caves and Kushinagar have the reclining Buddha sculptures.
Q3. Which of these countries border Peru?
  1. Brazil
  2. Ecuador
  3. Chile
  4. Bolivia
  5. Colombia

Options:

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

Q4. Consider the following statements with respect to Maguri-Motapung wetland:
  1. It is a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
  2. It is located close to the Keibul Lamjao National Park.

Which of the given 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:

  • Maguri Motapung Beel is a wetland and lake located near Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and Motapung Village of Tinsukia district in Assam.
  • It is not a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
  • Keibul Lamjao National Park is located in the state of Manipur.
Q5. With reference to the cultural history of India, the term ‘Panchayatan’ refers to
  1. an assembly of village elders
  2. a religious sect
  3. a style of temple construction
  4. an administrative functionary
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Hindu temples are built in the Panchayatana layout wherein the main shrine is surrounded by four subsidiary shrines.
  • Generally, Hindu temples are built along a west-east axis. So the four subsidiary shrines are at the north-east, south-east, south-west, north-west.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Despite space tourism assuring technological innovation and growth of space sector, the environmental consequences far outweigh the benefits. Do you agree? Justify. (15 Marks, 250 Words)[GS-3, Science and Technology]
  2. Surveillance laws in India are a threat to Privacy. Critically Examine. (15 Marks, 250 Words)[GS-2, Polity and Governance]

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 25th July 2021:- Download PDF Here

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