28 Jun 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

28 June 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
GEOGRAPHY
1. When the Indian Ocean’s ancient climate patterns return
B. GS 2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Colombo plea for postponing debt repayment hangs fire
2. S. China Sea rights should be rooted in UN treaty: ASEAN
3. On the warpath against terror financing
C. GS 3 Related
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. Novel coronavirus infection might trigger type-1 diabetes
ECONOMY
1. Panel to push farm reforms in States
INTERNAL SECURITY
1. 26.9 crore people used drugs in 2018: UN report
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. How will the U.S. visa ban impact India?
HISTORY
1. 1921 and the Malabar Rebellion
F. Prelims Facts
1. Black hole merges with unusual compact object
G. Tidbits
1. Devise plan to curb harmful effect of pesticides: NGT
2. Why is there a stress on randomised controlled trials?
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

2. S. China Sea rights should be rooted in UN treaty: ASEAN

Context:

  • Statement issued at the end of the ASEAN leaders’ annual summit.

Details:

  • Southeast Asian leaders have called for the 1982 UN oceans treaty to be the basis for determining maritime entitlements and sovereign rights in the South China Sea.
    • The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is a 1982 international agreement that defines the rights of nations to the world’s oceans.
  • The statement calls for adherence to the rule of law in a disputed region that has long been regarded as an Asian flashpoint.
  • This marks one of the strongest remarks of the member nations, opposing China’s claim to the entire disputed South China Sea waters based on historical grounds. While it has criticised aggressive behaviour in the disputed waters, ASEAN has not named China in its post-summit communique.

For more related information, refer to:

CNA dated June 27, 2020

3. On the warpath against terror financing

Context:

  • Mandate and functioning of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Background:

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was established in 1989 after a decision by members of the G-7 and the European Commission. It functions out of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) headquarters in Paris.
  • The 9/11 terror attacks pointed out that if the world were to actually fight global terror, it would need to not only follow the money trail for terror financing but also hold countries that allowed terrorists safe haven and financial assistance to account.
  • In October 2001, in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks in the U.S., the FATF which was up till then working onmoney laundering and white-collar crimes, met in Washington DC to discuss a radical shift in its goals.
  • The FATF plenary then adopted an eight-point amendment to its charter that added Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) to its tasks on Anti-Money Laundering (AML/CFT).

Details:

Functioning of the FATF:

  • FATF has 39 member-countries which regularly review the conduct of nations in stopping terror-related transactions worldwide.
  • FATF is not an enforcement agency itself, but a task force composed of 39 member governments who fund the FATF and agree on its mandate. This means that FATF depends on the voluntary implementation of its reports by member countries. The FATF follows a principle of ostracism against members who don’t comply with its strictures along with collaboration with the global banking system.
  • Decisions are made by the grouping on a consensus basis, as they conduct reviews of countries on AML/CFT parameters (called “Mutual evaluations”), and then either clear them, or use a “colour coded” reference for them, placing countries in the “increased monitoring” category or the “grey list”, or the “high risk jurisdictions” or “call for action” category, as the “blacklist” is formally known.
    • At present, only Iran and North Korea are on the blacklist, while 18 countries, including Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, Iceland, Jamaica and Mauritius, are on the grey list.
  • The decisions are taken by consensus in the 39-member group, which has helped ensure that the FATF doesn’t at present suffer from the polarisation that has virtually paralysed the UNSC. The FATF runs differently from other multilateral agencies, as its primary focus is on reviewing all actions based on technical guidelines and there is very little scope for geopolitics.

India’s stakes:

  • India became an observer in the grouping in 2006, and was inducted as a full member in 2010.
  • India’s long and sometimes lone battle over the past few decades in holding Pakistan to account for cross-border terror activities, including in Jammu and Kashmir, the IC-814 hijacking, 2008 Mumbai attacks, the Pathankot airbase attack in 2015, Uri Army base in 2016, and many others has had limited effect.
  • While Pakistan has clearly disregarded warnings from India, the U.S. and other countries to crack down on a number of cross-border terror groups that exist on its soil, it remains eager to avoid the FATF strictures.
    • Pakistan has been kept on the group’s radar since 2008 and is currently on the grey list. It has to prove that it is making progress on the FATF’s report, that gave it a gruelling 27-point action plan to fulfil, or face a blacklisting, which means severe financial restrictions, a downgrading by credit agencies, and most significantly, possible loan cuts by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
    • Pakistan has taken a few measures owing to pressure by the FATF. It has changed terror laws to include all UN Security Council-designated individuals and organisations, shown progress in the prosecution of leaders of LeT and JeM including the re-arrest of the Mumbai attack’s mastermind Hafiz Saeed, and has tightened all banking mechanisms to show that it has frozen funding to the terror groups.

Conclusion:

  • FATF will have to respond to new-age challenges to the global counter-terror and anti-money laundering regime: including bitcoins and cyber currencies, illegal trafficking of wildlife as a source of funding, use of artificial intelligence in terror attacks and biowarfare as part of the wider challenge of the coronavirus pandemic.

Category: ECONOMY

1. Panel to push farm reforms in States

Context:

  • Finance Commission panel on agricultural sector reforms agenda.

Background:

Interim report of the Finance Commission:

  • In the framework for the Finance Commission’s interim report for 2020-21, the commission had recommended performance incentives to be given to States on the basis of three measurable indicators of agricultural reforms.
  • If State Legislatures enacted the Centre’s Model Acts on agricultural marketing and contract farming, as well as the Model Agricultural Land Leasing Act, 2016, prepared by NITI Aayog, they would be eligible for financial incentives from the Commission from 2021-22.

Atmanirbhar Bharat package:

  • The Central government has issued ordinances on agricultural marketing reforms and contract farming as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat package.

For more information, refer to:

CNA dated May 17, 2020

Details:

  • In the light of the government efforts of reforms in the agricultural sector, the 15th Finance Commission is considering the promotion of an expanded farm reform agenda for States over the next five years.
  • The Finance Commission has set up a panel to devise a mechanism for incentivization of States in areas of agricultural reforms agenda for the purpose of inclusion in the Commission’s recommendations in its final report.
  • The panel will consider new agricultural reform measures to promote among States, possibly including the Model Land Leasing Act.

Category: INTERNAL SECURITY

1. 26.9 crore people used drugs in 2018: UN report

Context:

  • The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) World Drug Report.

Details:

Increased usage:

  • The report notes that about 26.9 crore people used drugs in 2018, which is 30% more than the 2009 figure, with adolescents and young adults accounting for the largest share of users.
  • Compared with earlier estimates from a survey done in 2004, overall opioid use in India is estimated to have increased fivefold.
  • The stimulant scene is dominated by cocaine and methamphetamine, and the use of both substances is rising in their main markets. Production of heroin and cocaine remains among the highest levels recorded in modern times.

Expanding markets:

  • Rapid market changes are being noticed, with synthetics replacing opiates in Central Asia and the Russian Federation.
    • Crystalline meth market has also grown in opiate dominated areas like Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • A number of indicators suggest that the global market of amphetamines, particularly methamphetamine, is expanding. Traffickers and manufacturers have been using “designer chemicals” as an alternative to synthesise amphetamine, meth and ecstasy.

Lack of control:

  • The report expressed concern about fewer countries taking part in joint drug operations, apparently due to budgetary problems.

For more related information, refer to:

CNA dated June 27, 2020

G. Tidbits

1. Devise plan to curb harmful effect of pesticides: NGT

  • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to devise an action plan to curb the harmful effects of pesticides on human health and soil. The NGT bench has directed the CPCB to evolve an appropriate protocol.
  • The directions came after the Ministry of Agriculture informed the NGT that non-judicious and indiscriminate use of pesticides may adversely affect human health and the environment.

2. Why is there a stress on randomised controlled trials?

  • As per definition, a randomised controlled trial, or RCT, is a study in which people are allocated at random, entirely by chance, to receive one of several clinical interventions. One of these interventions is the standard of comparison or control. The control may be standard practice/treatment options, a placebo (a drug without an active substance, or a ‘sugar pill’), or no intervention at all.
  • The idea is to measure and compare the outcomes against the control after the participants receive the treatment.
  • RCT approach removes the impact of chance in cause and effect relationships and helps ensure the development of safe, efficacious drugs that can be used in the real-world setting.
  • The Solidarity and RECOVERY (or Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 thERapY) trials are examples of large-scale RCTs done with multiple partners at many locations.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Which of the following statements are correct with respect to the United Nations 
Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)?
  1. Exclusive economic zone (EEZ) extends to 100 nautical miles from the baseline set as per the UNCLOS.
  2. It establishes general obligations for protecting freedom of scientific research on the high seas.
  3. It has established a legal regime for controlling mineral resource exploitation in deep seabed areas beyond national jurisdiction.

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 statements are correct with respect to Financial Action 
Task Force (FATF)?
  1. FATF was established in 1989.
  2. India is a founding member of the FATF.
  3. The FATF focuses on Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) and Anti-Money Laundering.

Options:

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3
See
Answer
Q3. Which of the following statement/s is/are correct?
  1. Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) indicates the irregular oscillation of sea surface temperatures between the western Indian Ocean and the eastern Indian Ocean.
  2. A positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) indicates the western Indian Ocean becoming warmer than the eastern Indian Ocean.
  3. A positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is associated with higher monsoon rainfall in India.

Options:

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3
See
Answer
Q4. Which of the following pairs is/are correctly matched?
  1. Human beta cells: Insulin
  2. Human alpha cells: Glucagon

Options:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2
See
Answer

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. The U.S. administration’s recent move to halt the processing and issuance of non-immigrant work visas would have an adverse impact on both the American and Indian companies and the bilateral relation between the two countries. Comment. (10 marks, 150 words)
  2. Discuss the major factors which contributed to the outbreak of the Moplah Rebellion in 1921 and analyze the consequences of the rebellion. (10 marks, 150 words)

Read the previous CNA here.

28 June 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

2 Comments

  1. Rahul kumar yadav

    How to cover the current affairs parts for 2020 prelims exam ??should i watch all the previous month webinar or only download hard copy?

    1. Hi Rahul
      The last one and half years of current affairs are usually suggested to be understood by the aspirants for IAS Exam. You can download the hard copies and wherever stuck, you can refer to videos. For the mains stage, check links below:
      1. Best of PIB
      2. Gist of Yojana
      3. Current Affairs

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