30 July 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 30th July 2021:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
C. GS 3 Related
ECONOMY
1. High fiscal borrowings won’t crowd out private sector: CEA
2. ‘Upturn V-shaped but small firms, urban poor hit harder’
3. LS passes 2 Bills without debate
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Shared values
2. Are the Taliban returning to Kabul?
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. In the interest of the public
VULNERABLE SECTIONS
1. The long road to winning the battle against trafficking
INTERNAL SECURITY
1. The wings of Pegasus, the epoch of cyberweapons
F. Prelims Facts
1. 391 complaints of sexual harassment, says Centre
G. Tidbits
1. Engineering course in 11 languages
2. Kishtwar cloudburst: rescue operation resumes to trace 19
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

2. ‘Upturn V-shaped but small firms, urban poor hit harder’

Context:

  • Economic revival in India in the post-pandemic period.

Details:

  • While India’s overall economic revival remains V-shaped at the macro level, some sectors of the economy may be witnessing a K-shaped recovery.
  • While certain sectors and individuals have recovered quickly—or even thrived—during the pandemic, others either haven’t recovered at all or are recovering far more slowly.
    • While large and listed firms have done well, smaller firms have been hit harder by the pandemic.
    • While the sectors like retail, technology and software services are nearly back to business as usual, some sectors like travel, entertainment, hospitality, and food services haven’t recovered or will take much more time and will need governmental support.
    • While households at the top of the pyramid are likely to have seen their incomes largely protected, households at the bottom are likely to have witnessed permanent hits to jobs and incomes. People at the bottom of the pyramid, especially the urban poor have been impacted most by the pandemic.

V-shaped recovery:
  • A V-shaped recovery is the quickest and one of the most ideal. In this type of recovery, the economy falls quickly but also recovers quickly—it doesn’t remain stagnant for very long.

K-shaped recovery:

  • A K-shaped recovery is when different segments of the economy recover from a recession or an economic shock at starkly different rates or magnitudes.
  • The term refers to the shape this type of recovery makes when plotted on a line graph. The portion of the population that recovers quickly is represented by the upper part of the K, while the lower part represents those groups that recover more slowly.


Concerns:

Deepen existing inequalities:

  • What’s particularly concerning about a K-shaped recovery is the way it splinters the economy, continually widening the gap between those who are doing well and those who are not. A K-shaped recovery essentially splits an economy in two, with the divisions occurring along class, racial, geographic, or industry lines.
  • A K-shaped recovery exposes pre-existing economic inequalities, divisions and disparities in wealth, and can exacerbate them.

Drastic change in structure of economy:

  • A K-shaped recovery leads to changes in the structure of the economy or the broader society as economic outcomes and relations are fundamentally changed before and after the recession.
  • This could have an adverse impact on the associated workers.

Impact on demand in the economy:

  • Given that some sections of the society would have experienced a permanent loss of income in the forms of jobs and wage cuts, this will have an impact on the demand in the economy.
  • The K shaped recovery results in an effective income transfer from the poor to the rich. This will be demand-impeding because the poor have a higher marginal propensity to consume.
    • The poor tend to spend (instead of saving) a much higher proportion of their income.
  • This will invariably impinge on trend growth in developing economies like India.

3. LS passes 2 Bills without debate

Context:

  • Amid continuous Opposition protests, the Lok Sabha passed the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) Amendment Bill, 2021, and the Inland Vessels Bill, 2021, before it was adjourned for the day.

Background:

Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India:

  • With the advent of private players in the airport sector in 2006, there was a risk of monopoly by them. To counter this, the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India was established in 2008 under the AERA Act.
  • AERA is charged with regulating tariffs and other charges for aeronautical services in airports and also monitor the performance standards of airports.
  • Before AERA came into existence, the Airports Authority of India — functioning under the civil aviation ministry — was in charge of monitoring services at airports.

Details:

The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) Amendment Bill, 2021:

Provisions:

  • The bill proposes to amend the definition of “major airport” under the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) Act, 2008. The amendment proposes to replace the phrase “any other airports” with “group of airports”.
    • At present, a “major airport” refers to one that has an annual passenger traffic of more than 35 lakh or any other airport specified by the central government.
  • There is also an enabling provision for AERA to determine tariffs for a group of airports. The amendment will allow AERA to regulate tariff and other charges for aeronautical services for not just major airports with annual passenger traffic of more than 3.5 million, but also a group of airports together.

Significance:

  • The purpose of this amendment is to pair the smaller non-profitable airports with profitable airports as a combination/package to bidders to make it a viable combination for investment under PPP (public-private partnership) mode. The government will be able to club profitable and non-profitable airports as a package for privatisation as envisaged in this year’s Budget. Thus it will provide a fillip to the government’s airport privatisation plan.
  • The move to club smaller loss-making Airport Authority of India (AAI)-run airports with larger ones is being undertaken following criticism of the existing policy which had left the AAI saddled with only small loss-making airports.
  • The airports would be paired in such a way that it brings operational and financial synergies.
  • An extension of the definition will expand the scope of determining tariffs for smaller airports, thereby encouraging further investment in them. It would help encourage the development of smaller airports. The move will provide an impetus to the development of not only the high traffic volume profitable airports, but also the low traffic volume non-profitable airports.
  • This move is also likely to help in expanding the air connectivity to relatively remote areas and as a result, expediting the UDAN regional connectivity scheme.

Inland Vessels Bill, 2021:

  • The Inland Vessels Bill seeks to introduce a uniform regulatory framework for inland waterways navigation across the country and specify safety standards.

For detailed information on this topic refer to the following article:

Inland Vessels Bill, 2021

2. Are the Taliban returning to Kabul?

  • In the light of the rapid territorial gains being made by the Taliban in Afghanistan and the increasing likelihood of Taliban takeover of power, the article discusses the potential challenges for India and evaluates India’s options.

This issue has been covered previously in the following articles:

UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis 27th July 2021
Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. In the interest of the public

Context:

  • Meghalaya High Court ruling in the Registrar General v. State of Meghalaya case.

Background:

  • Meghalaya State government had ordered shopkeepers, local taxi drivers and others to get the COVID-19 vaccines before they resume economic activities

Details:

  • The Meghalaya High Court has held the above government order as being violative of the right to privacy, life, personal liberty, and livelihood enshrined in Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
    • Article 21 states that “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to a procedure established by law.”

Court’s reasoning:

  • The Court held that the government’s order is not maintainable in law as there is no legal mandate for mandatory vaccination.
  • The Court held that the government’s order mandating compulsory vaccination deprives the individual of their bodily autonomy and bodily integrity.

Concerns:

  • As against the Court’s observation, the article argues that Compulsory vaccination is legal and that it does not violate anyone’s fundamental rights based on the following.

Legal provisions:

  • Several State laws empower local authorities to enforce compulsory vaccination schemes.
  • State governments have the authority to mandate vaccines under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, which allows them to prescribe regulations to prevent the spread of an epidemic disease.

Precedents:

  • Previously compulsory vaccination has been mandated in India and abroad. Example during the smallpox pandemic, vaccination among children was mandated in 1880.

Judicial review:

  • Compulsory vaccination has passed the muster of judicial review in several national and international constitutional courts abroad. These courts have validated compulsory vaccination as being consistent with the right to privacy and religion and ruled that it has an overriding public interest.

Reasonable restrictions:

  • It is a well-established principle that no right is absolute including the right to life and privacy which is being claimed as being violated through mandatory vaccinations. All rights are subject to reasonable restrictions.
  • Making vaccination mandatory would help government overcome widespread vaccine hesitancy and bring the pandemic to an end. Thus mandating of vaccination would be in public interest.

Justice Puttaswamy v. Union of India case insights:

  • According to the Supreme Court’s guidelines set in the Justice Puttaswamy v. Union of India case, a restriction on privacy can be justified if it passes the following three-prong test.
    • The restriction must be provided in the law.
    • The restriction must have a legitimate aim.
    • The restriction must be proportional to the object pursued.

For more information on the landmark Justice Puttaswamy v. Union of India case refer to the following article:

Puttaswamy Case

  • Given the existing laws like the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 which provides for powers to the state governments to take any measures to prevent the spread of an epidemic disease, the usefulness of vaccination is controlling the spread of the pandemic and the threat of a looming third wave, mandating vaccination will easily pass the test set in the Justice Puttaswamy v. Union of India case.

Category: VULNERABLE SECTIONS

1. The long road to winning the battle against trafficking

Context:

  • July 30 is United Nations World Day against Trafficking in Persons.

Increased vulnerability to human trafficking:

  • There has been an increase in human trafficking during the pandemic.
  • The pandemic has resulted in the loss of income and economic crisis, causing families to have a reduced capacity to care for children in the long term. In some instances the pandemic has also led to a loss of parental care due to death, illness or separation, thereby resulting in increased vulnerability of children to trafficking and subsequent violence, neglect or exploitation.
  • The prolonged lockdowns have eroded some of the checks against child labour and child marriage provided by law, as well as the scrutiny of schools and society.

For more information on the issue of human trafficking and associated concerns and India’s proposed Anti-trafficking bill refer to the following articles:

UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis 19th July 2021
Category: INTERNAL SECURITY

1. The wings of Pegasus, the epoch of cyberweapons

  • In the light of the recent Pegasus spyware scandal, the article warns of the threat posed by new-age cyber weapons and the increasing relevance of cyber as the fifth dimension of warfare — in addition to land, sea, air and space.

For information on recent cyberattacks, challenges associated with such attacks and the measures needed to counter them refer to the following article:

UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis 14th June 2021

F. Prelims Facts

1. 391 complaints of sexual harassment, says Centre

She-Box portal:

  • She-Box is an initiative of the Government of India to provide a single window access to every woman, to facilitate the registration of complaints related to sexual harassment at the workplace.
  • It would enable effective implementation of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.
  • It was launched in 2017.
  • The portal could be used by any woman irrespective of her work status, whether working in the organised or unorganised, private or public sector.

Context:

  • As per the government’s statement in the parliament, a total of 391 complaints have been filed by employees of Central government Ministries about sexual harassment at the workplace.

G. Tidbits

1. Engineering course in 11 languages

  • The All India Council of Technical Education is creating a database of resources to allow colleges to offer more programmes in regional languages and has developed a tool to translate engineering course content into 11 languages.
  • 14 engineering colleges in eight States are planning to start engineering studies in five Indian languages.
  • This will help promote regional languages in technical education. Teaching in regional languages will offer access to higher education for students from rural, low-income families who may not be fluent in English. This would help prevent language-based discrimination.
  • The National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 had placed a strong emphasis on education in the mother tongue. One of the recommendations was to teach all children in their mother tongue or home language until Class 5.

2. Kishtwar cloudburst: rescue operation resumes to trace 19

  • Cloudburst in the Kishtwar area of Jammu has triggered massive flash floods and left seven dead.
  • Rescue operations are on to trace the missing people.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements:
  1. It was designated a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance in 2002.
  2. Its fauna includes Indian python, king cobra, black ibis, darters.
  3. It has one of the largest populations of saltwater crocodile.

The Ramsar Site being talked about is:

  1. Chilka lake
  2. Bhitarkanika Wetland
  3. Bhoj Wetland
  4. Harike Wetland
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Bhitarkanika Wetland was designated a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance in 2002.
  • Its fauna includes Indian python, king cobra, black ibis, darters.
  • It has one of the largest populations of the saltwater crocodile.
  • It is located in the Kendrapara district of Odisha.
Q2. Which of the following can lead to ‘crowding out’ effect?
  1. Overseas issue of sovereign bonds
  2. Government increasing direct public sector expenditure
  3. Government funding infrastructure development projects
  4. Government selling new bonds in the money market

Options:

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The crowding-out effect is a theory that argues increased government spending reduces private spending in the economy. It refers to increased government borrowing and spending causing a reduction in private spending. Because government borrowing increases the cost of private loans and uses up capital that may have been deployed elsewhere, private sector investments go down.
  • Borrowing overseas through the issue of sovereign bonds will not lead to crowding out effect.
  • Government increasing direct public sector expenditure, government funding infrastructure development projects, government selling new bonds in the money market can lead to the crowding out of private investments.
Q3. Arrange the following Tiger Reserves from South to North:
  1. Parambikulam
  2. Dudhwa
  3. Panna
  4. Pench
  5. Bandipur

Options:

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

Parambikulam – Bandipur – Pench – Panna- Dudhwa.

Q4. Which of the given statements with respect to Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan is/are correct?
  1. It is a programme for the school education sector extending from pre-school to class 10.
  2. It has subsumed Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan and Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan.

Options:

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan is a programme for the school education sector extending from pre-school to class 12.
  • It has subsumed Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan and Teachers’ Education.

Read more: Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan – Integrated Scheme for School Education

Q5. What is the purpose of ‘evolved Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (eLISA)’ project?
(UPSC 2017)
  1. To detect neutrinos
  2. To detect gravitational waves
  3. To detect the effectiveness of missile defence system
  4. To study the effect of solar flares on our communication systems
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • ‘evolved Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (eLISA)’ project helps in the detection of gravitational waves that are emitted by super-massive black holes.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Despite laws criminalising human trafficking, child labour and sexual exploitation continue unabated. Discuss the possible reasons and suggest remedial measures. (15 marks, 250 Words) [GS-1, Social Issues]
  2. Should states in India adopt a compulsory vaccination policy for the greater good? Critically examine. (10 marks, 150 Words) [GS-2, Health]

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 30th July 2021:- Download PDF Here

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