26 Jun 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

26 June 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

 
TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Panchayats to get ₹10 lakh cr. till 2026
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Abide by UNSC orders, UN tells members after U.S. report on Pak.
C. GS 3 Related
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. ‘IN-SPACe will be space industry regulator’
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. NGT asks OIL to pay ₹25 crore for well blowout damage
2. Vizag gas leak: panel given time till June 30
3. Student unions seek recall of EIA draft
4. Ozone pollution sees a spike: report
5. FATF report flags wildlife trade
ECONOMY
1. SEBI eases preferential issue pricing norms for companies
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Why China is being aggressive along the LAC
HEALTH
1. Drug abuse amidst pandemic
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Senseless deaths
F. Prelims Facts
1. Vande Bharat mission phase 4
G. Tidbits
1. Industry flags delay in China imports
2. Google to pay for news content
3. North, South Koreas mark 70 years of war
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Abide by UNSC orders, UN tells members after U.S. report on Pak.

Context:

UN Secretary-General expects all member states to live up to their obligations under the relevant Security Council resolutions, his spokesperson said, following a U.S. report that noted that Pakistan remains a safe haven for terrorists as it did not take actions against JeM founder Masood Azhar.

Details:

  • Recently, the U.S. released its 2019 country report for terrorism.
  • In the report, the State Department said Pakistan had continued to serve as a safe haven for regional terrorist groups.

This topic has been covered in 25th June 2020 Comprehensive News Analysis. Click here to read.

Category: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. NGT asks OIL to pay ₹25 crore for well blowout damage

Context:

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered the public sector Oil India Limited (OIL) to deposit ₹25 crore with the administration of eastern Assam’s Tinsukia district for environmental damages due to fire at one of its wells.

Background:

An oil well at Baghjan had caught fire after it experienced a blowout. The well is close to the Maguri-Motapung wetland, which is within the eco-sensitive zone of the fragile Dibru-Saikhowa National Park.

This topic has been covered in 18th June 2020 Comprehensive News Analysis. Click here to read.

2. Vizag gas leak: panel given time till June 30

Context:

The Andhra Pradesh government has extended the time for submission of a report by the high-power committee, probing the styrene monomer vapour leak at the LG Polymers unit in Vizag.

Vizag gas leak has been covered in 8th May 2020 Comprehensive News Analysis. Click here to read.

3. Student unions seek recall of EIA draft

Context:

Student unions from several universities and colleges from across India have petitioned the Union Environment Minister to put the draft of the proposed Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2020 on hold.

Details:

  • The EIA Notification 2020 is to replace and supersede the 2006 notification.
  • The new EIA Notification proposes fundamental changes in the environmental regulatory regime in India.

Key points of dispute:

  • The key points of dispute with the proposed draft are that it shortens the period of public consultation hearings to a maximum of 40 days, and reduces from 30 to 20 days the time provided for the public to submit their responses during a public hearing for any application seeking environmental clearance.
    • This would, in the petitioners’ view, hinder public access in places where information was not easily accessible or areas in which people weren’t familiar with the process.
  • Crucially, the draft also institutionalises violation projects.
    • Under a provision issued in 2017, it allows projects that have come up flouting environmental norms to be reviewed by a committee of experts and, if they so decreed, legalise the project after paying a fine.
    • Several environmentalists have argued that this is seriously contrarian to various established principles of environment law.

This topic has been covered in 13th March 2020 and 10th May 2020 Comprehensive News Analysis.

4. Ozone pollution sees a spike: report

Context:

According to an analysis by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), while particulate matter and nitrous oxide levels fell during the lockdown, ozone (a harmful pollutant) increased in several cities.

Details:

  • The pandemic-led change in air quality has helped researchers understand summer pollution.
  • The characteristics of summer pollution are different: there are high winds, intermittent rains and thunderstorms, and high temperature and heat waves.
  • The analysis was based on Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data from 22 cities in 15 States in lockdown days.
Surface level Ozone/Bad Ozone:
  • Surface level Ozone is a harmful pollutant. In the Earth’s lower atmosphere (troposphere) near ground level, ozone is formed when pollutants emitted by cars, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, chemical plants, and other sources react chemically in the presence of sunlight.
  • Ozone gas is not emitted directly into the air, but is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the presence of sunlight.
  • Emissions from industrial facilities and electric utilities, motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapours, and chemical solvents are some of the major sources of NOx and VOC.
  • Ozone pollution can be curtailed only if gases from all sources are controlled.
  • Ozone pollution is a concern during the summer months because strong sunlight and hot weather result in harmful ozone concentrations in the air we breathe.
  • Ozone is a highly reactive gas. Even short-term exposure of an hour is dangerous for those with respiratory conditions and asthma. Repeated exposure may permanently scar lung tissue.
  • That’s why an eight-hour average is considered for ozone instead of the 24-hour average for other pollutants.
  • It damages crops, trees and other vegetation.
  • It is a main ingredient of urban smog.

Note:

  • Ozone occurs naturally in the Earth’s upper atmosphere (Stratosphere) where it forms a protective layer that shields us from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. This is known as Good Ozone.
  • Good Ozone is gradually being destroyed by man-made chemicals referred to as ozone-depleting substances (ODS), including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), halons, methyl bromide, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform.
  • Ozone depletion can cause increased amounts of UV radiation to reach the Earth which can lead to more cases of skin cancer, cataracts, and impaired immune systems. Overexposure to UV is believed to be contributing to the increase in melanoma, the most fatal of all skin cancers.

Also read: Ozone layer

5. FATF report flags wildlife trade

Context:

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), in its first global report on the illegal wildlife trade called “Money Laundering and the Illegal Wildlife Trade” report, has described it as a global threat, which also has links with other organised crimes such as modern slavery, drug trafficking and arms trade.

Findings of the report:

  • The illegal wildlife trade is estimated to generate revenues of up to $23 billion a year.
  • Criminals are frequently misusing the legitimate wildlife trade, as well as other import-export type businesses, as a front to move and hide illegal proceeds from wildlife crimes.
  • Criminals rely regularly on corruption, complex fraud and tax evasion.
  • The findings of the study expressed concern over the lack of focus on the financial aspects of the crime.
  • The study has highlighted the growing role of online marketplaces and mobile and social media-based payments to facilitate movement of proceeds.
  • The findings are based on inputs from some 50 jurisdictions across the FATF global network, as well as expertise from the private sector and civil society.

Concerns:

  • The FATF found that jurisdictions often did not have the required knowledge, legislative basis and resources to assess and combat the threat posed by the funds generated through the trade.
  • The report noted that in 2012, India amended the Prevention of Money Laundering Act removing a value threshold — of ₹30 lakh and above — that was earlier applicable to the wildlife trade predicates.
  • There is an increasing international concern that the crime could lead to more zoonotic diseases in the future.

Way forward:

  • The report says a financial investigation is the key to dismantling the syndicates involved, which can in turn significantly impact the associated criminal activities.
  • Spread of zoonotic diseases in the recent years underlines the importance of ensuring that wildlife is traded in a legal, safe and sustainable manner, and that countries remove the profitability of illegal markets.
  • Growth of online marketplaces for such illegal wildlife trade warrants a coordinated response from government bodies, the private sector and the civil society.

Category: ECONOMY

1. SEBI eases preferential issue pricing norms for companies

Context:

Due to serious challenges faced by the corporate sector in the wake of developments related to COVID-19, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), has liberalised a few regulations relating to raising of capital from the securities market.

Details:

  • It has provided an additional, temporary option to price shares in a preferential allotment in the light of COVID-19’s impact on the markets.
  • SEBI has relaxed the preferential allotment pricing norms for companies while tightening the insider trading regulations as part of its attempts to minimise instances of unpublished, price-sensitive information getting leaked.
    • Companies with frequently traded shares can take into account the average of the weekly high and low over the past 12 weeks or two weeks, whichever is higher, and price the preferential allotment above that mark.
    • While the existing pricing mechanism will continue, the relaxed pricing option will be available for all preferential allotments made between July 1 and December 31, 2020.
  • It also amended the settlement proceeding norms to enable a faster disposal of cases while tweaking the Takeover Regulations as well.
  • The regulator has also amended the SEBI (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations making it mandatory for companies to maintain a structured, digital database containing the nature of unpublished price-sensitive information (UPSI) and the names of persons who have shared the information.
    • This assumes significance as the SEBI has been probing various matters wherein UPSI was shared by company officials with outsiders through applications like WhatsApp.
  • SEBI (Settlement Proceedings) Regulations that allow for an entity facing regulatory proceedings to file for settling the case (popularly known as consent route) by paying a monetary penalty has also been amended.
    • In order to save time, instead of issuing a settlement notice under Regulation 18, a paragraph shall be included in the show cause notice, informing the noticee about the option to file a settlement application.
    • SEBI has also tweaked the manner in which the base penalty amount is calculated.

Note:

  • Recently, SEBI provided a similar relaxation in the norms for preferential allotment to companies with stressed assets.

This topic has been covered in 24th June 2020 Comprehensive News Analysis.

G. Tidbits

1. Industry flags delay in China imports

What’s in News?

Import consignments from China are facing hurdles in getting clearance at domestic ports amid continuing border tensions between India and China.

  • Various industry associations have written to the Centre seeking clarification on the “unannounced and opaque” move.
  • They also have raised concerns of acute shortage of components and finished products in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, automobiles, electronics and electrical machinery.
  • The industry representatives also pointed out that in response, Hong Kong and Chinese Customs were now holding back export consignments from India. The disruption, they added, sends a chilling signal to foreign investors, who look for predictability and transparency.
  • Industry representatives highlight that industries cannot afford such disruption at a time when they have just begun to limp back to normal.
  • The President of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said that restricting imports of Chinese items will not serve any purpose until India has the capacity to produce those items or can import them from other countries at comparable prices.

2. Google to pay for news content

What’s in News?

Google will pay partnered media publishers in three countries (Germany, Australia and Brazil) and offer some users free access to paywalled news sites.

  • The announcement comes after legal battles in France and Australia over Google’s refusal to pay news organizations for content.
  • The program will help publishers monetize their content through an enhanced storytelling experience.

3. North, South Koreas mark 70 years of war

What’s in News?

North and South Korea separately marked the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War, a conflict that killed millions of people and is technically yet to end.

  • Communist North Korea invaded the U.S.-backed South on June 25, 1950, as it sought to reunify by force the peninsula Moscow and Washington had divided at the end of the Second World War.
  • The fighting ended with an armistice that was never replaced by a peace treaty.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements:
  1. Ozone is produced naturally in the stratosphere.
  2. Ground level Ozone damages crops, trees and other vegetation.
  3. Ground Level Ozone is one of the pollutants tracked by the Air Quality Index.

Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 1, 2 and 3
  4. 1 only
See
Answer
Q2. Consider the following statements with respect to IN-SPACe:
  1. It is the only commercial arm of the Department of Space.
  2. It is tasked with regulating and promoting building of routine satellites, rockets and commercial launch services through Indian industry and start-ups.

Which of the given statement/s is/are incorrect?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2
See
Answer
Q3. Consider the following statements:
  1. International Criminal Court (ICC) is an independent entity governed by the Rome Statute.
  2. ICC is the world’s first permanent international criminal court.
  3. ICC settles disputes between states and gives advisory opinions on international legal issues referred to it by the UN.
  4. India is a party to the Rome Statute.

Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?

  1. 1, 3 and 4 only
  2. 1, 2 and 4 only
  3. 1, 2, 3 and 4
  4. 1 and 2 only
See
Answer
Q4. Consider the following statements with respect to Financial Action Task 
Force (FATF):
  1. FATF is a policy-making body with no investigative authority.
  2. It was established in 1989 during the G7 Summit in Paris.
  3. It works towards combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
  4. It is headquartered in Paris.

Which of the given statement/s is/are incorrect?

  1. 1 and 4 only
  2. 1 and 2 only
  3. 3 only
  4. None of the above
See
Answer

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. The recent incident of custodial deaths highlights the need to protect the rights of prisoners and calls for strict measures to prevent torture of prisoners at the hand of the police. Discuss. (15 Marks, 250 Words).
  2. Examine the dangers posed by illicit drugs to public health and safety. Also, discuss the economic and social consequences of drug abuse. (15 Marks, 250 Words).

Read the previous CNA here.

26 June 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

 

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