22 Jun 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

22 June 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

 
TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Secrecy of ballot is key to free and fair elections: SC
2. MP questions Punjab govt.’s move on fixed term for IAS officers
3. Additional funds sought for Jal Jeevan Mission
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. ‘For minor tactical gains on the ground, China has strategically lost India’
C. GS 3 Related
INTERNAL SECURITY
1. Police claim inroads into Maoist stronghold of Swabhiman Anchal
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
INTERNAL SECURITY
1. India’s continuing two-front conundrum
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. Fighting a double pandemic
F. Prelims Facts
1. Even Golden Langurs suffer forced abortion, infanticide
G. Tidbits
1. Quake rocks Northeast
2. Armed forces ‘given free hand’ to respond to situation at LAC
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

2. MP questions Punjab govt.’s move on fixed term for IAS officers

Context:

  • Concerns expressed by a Rajya Sabha MP against the Punjab government’s move on fixed terms for IAS officers.

Background:

Punjab government’s proposal:

  • The Punjab State government has proposed the setting up of a board to ensure a fixed term at a post to IAS officers.
  • The State government proposes a fixed two-year tenure to an IAS officer at a posting. Any decision to cut short the term will be examined by the board.

Concerns:

  • This move has been questioned based on the argument that a fixed tenure would make the IAS officers less answerable and accountable to legislators.
  • The Rajya Sabha MP has argued that the move of assuring IAS officers of fixed tenure of postings and other immunities under the umbrella of the civil services board has tilted the scale decisively against the elected representatives.
  • The Rajya Sabha MP further argues that this move renders the Ministers and MLAs helpless in raking up neglected issues of public importance and timely planning and execution of development works.

Counter-arguments:

  • A fixed tenure for the bureaucracy could help insulate the bureaucracy from political pulls and pressures and help restrict arbitrary transfers and postings by the elected representatives.
  • Arbitrary transfer is also a major bugbear of the bureaucracy, with politicians wielding it as a weapon against inconvenient officials.
  • The Supreme Court has also previously ordered setting minimum tenure for bureaucrats.

Conclusion:

  • A healthy working relationship between Ministers, MPs, MLAs and civil servants is critical for good governance and there is a need for the balancing of the rights of both the elected representatives and the bureaucracy.

3. Additional funds sought for Jal Jeevan Mission

Context:

Background:

  • Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) envisages providing drinking water tap connections to every rural household by 2024. Only 18% of households are currently covered.
  • Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) envisages supply of 55 litres of water per person per day to every rural household through Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) by 2024.
  • JJM focuses on integrated demand and supply-side management of water at the local level.

Resource constraints:

  • In a presentation made to the 15th Finance Commission, the Jal Shakti Ministry has shown that there had been a 45% shortfall in financing the JJM by both the Centre and the States in its first year of 2019-20 owing to the post- COVID-19 resource constraints both at Centre and States.

Details:

  • Faced with a financing shortfall for the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), the Jal Shakti Ministry is pitching for additional funding of Rs. 82,000 crore from the 15th Finance Commission for the project.
    • This additional funding would help meet the need for capital intensive projects in water scarce areas, and areas where the water has been contaminated by arsenic or flouride, or has high-salinity levels.
  • The Ministry also proposed more direct control of the flow of the Commission’s funds to panchayats for water and sanitation.
    • In its interim report for 2020-21, the Commission had allocated Rs. 30,375 crore as tied grants to rural local bodies for drinking water and sanitation in order to ensure additional funds to the local bodies over and above the funds allocated under the Centrally sponsored schemes, Swachh Bharat and Jal Jeevan missions.
    • The Jal Shakti Ministry has complained that given the lack of identification of projects by the panchayats, lack of criteria and indicators to assess the performance of panchayati raj institutions and the lack of pressure on gram panchayats to dovetail FC grants with JJM, there has been inefficient usage of available funds.
    • The Ministry has proposed that the money be placed with the Jal Shakti Ministry instead, which would in turn release it to the panchayats, to ensure that they follow the JJM’s five-year village action plans.

Counter arguments:

  • The proposal by the Ministry amounts to a kind of centralisation of powers and finances which would be a regression from the 14th Finance Commission’s move to empower panchayati raj institutions.
  • Though there are issues at the panchayat level, with some having huge unused funds, there must be other ways to deal with such governance issues rather than going back to centralization of power.

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. ‘For minor tactical gains on the ground, China has strategically lost India’

Context:

  • Views expressed by Gautam Bambawale, former Indian Ambassador to China on the evolving situation along the LAC.

Details:

  • Gautam Bambawale has stated that the June 15 clash at Galwan Valley, which claimed 20 Indian soldiers has caused irreparable damage to the border architecture, carefully built by India and China to maintain peace.

Inflection point in relations:

  • Unlike previously, where despite the instances of border skirmishes along the LAC, relationship between India and China continued in some sense, the current situation would act as an inflection point in the broader bilateral relation because of the following reasons.
  • The Chinese have fundamentally violated all previous agreements.
    • In 1993, India and China signed the Border Peace and Tranquillity Agreement (BPTA), and there have been many agreements following that which have put in place certain tenets, certain operating procedures, which were aimed at maintaining peace and tranquillity on the border. These procedures have not been adhered to by the Chinese.
  • The Chinese have been trying to unilaterally define the LAC.
    • The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has moved their ground position towards what they believe is their LAC and have built embankments, gun placements, observation towers. And by doing so, they have tried to unilaterally define the LAC. This amounts to a major change in the status quo.
  • Human lives have been lost on both sides during the current stand-off.
    • Both India and China agree that there are differences in the opinion of where the line of actual control (LAC) lies and the importance of ensuring peace and tranquillity along the LAC. The June 15 clash at Galwan Valley, claimed 20 Indian soldiers making it the worst violence since 1967 along the LAC.

India’s options:

  • To address the immediate needs on the ground, India has to have a very strong military posture while maintaining some room for talks and negotiations.
  • India’s bottom line has to be restoration of the status quo ante.
  • India must also make a fundamental reassessment of its China policy.
    • Since 1988, the model has been to separate differences on LAC from other areas such as trade. Though a complete break in relations might not be advisable it cannot be business as usual. Normal trade and investment can continue. Chinese firms must be kept out of the 5G trials and roll-out in India.

G. Tidbits

1. Quake rocks Northeast

  • The Regional Seismic Centre has stated that a medium intensity earthquake has rocked Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur and the other northeastern States.
  • The 5.1 magnitude quake was tracked at a depth of 35 km from the earth’s surface at a place near Aizawl in Mizoram, an official at the Regional Seismic Centre here said.

2. Armed forces ‘given free hand’ to respond to situation at LAC

  • The armed forces are said to have been given a free hand to assess the situation on the ground along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and take appropriate action as required in case of any escalation from the other side.
  • The armed forces have gone on full alert along the LAC following the clash.
    • The IAF has forward deployed its front-line fighters, including Su-30 MKIs and Mig-29 UPG, and its latest acquisition, the AH-64E Apache heavy attack helicopter meant to neutralise armoured formations has been deployed in Leh. The CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopters, too, have been deployed in this region.
    • The Army has moved additional units for acclimatisation to prepare for high-altitude operations. Use of firearms on the LAC is strictly regulated as per the border agreements of 1993, 1996 and 2005. Following the Galwan incident, the Army has revised its Rules of Engagement (RoE) for its ground commanders on the LAC.
    • The Navy has also stepped up its operational alert and is closely monitoring Chinese movements in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The Indian Navy has over the years increased its engagement and interoperability with countries in the region, including Australia, Japan and the U.S., and has also signed maritime cooperation agreements and logistics support agreements. The Navy has deployed at least one ship at all critical choke points in the IOR, including the Malacca Strait, at all times as part of its Mission Based Deployment.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Which of the following statement/s is/are correct?
  1. Jal Jeevan Mission envisages providing drinking water tap connections to every rural household by 2024.
  2. Jal Jeevan Mission envisages supply of 55 litres of water per person per day to every rural household.
  3. Jal Jeevan Mission focuses on both demand and supply-side management of water at the local level.

Options:

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3
See
Answer
Q2. Which of the following statement/s is/are correct with respect to Gee's golden 
langur?
  1. It is endemic to Assam and Bhutan.
  2. It is classified as endangered under the IUCN classification.
  3. Chakrashila is India’s first wildlife sanctuary with golden langur as the primary species.

Options:

  1. 1, 2 and 3
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1 and 2 only
See
Answer
Q3. Which of the following pair/s is/are correctly matched?
  1. CH-47 Chinook: Heavy lift helicopters
  2. AH-64 Apache: Attack helicopter
  3. MH-60 Romeo: Anti submarine warfare helicopters

Options:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1, 2 and 3
  4. 2 only
See
Answer
Q4. The SAMADHAN doctrine is directed at
  1. Indian Ocean domain awareness
  2. Left wing extremism
  3. North East insurgency
  4. Developmental work in Jammu and Kashmir
See
Answer

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. In the light of the increasing trend of gender based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, discuss the specific challenges victims face during the pandemic crisis and suggest suitable policy measures to mitigate such challenges. (10 marks, 150 words)
  2. China’s current aim may not be primarily to acquire territory, but to force on India a political settlement which will involve India re-orienting its policies to suit the pattern of Chinese global policies. Comment in the light of the evolving situation along the LAC. Discuss what should be India’s response to such Chinese objectives. (15 marks, 250 words)

Read the previous CNA here.

22 June 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

 

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