29 Jun 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

29 June 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. SC dismisses review petitions challenging verdict on adultery
C. GS 3 Related
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. ‘Draft EIA notification fosters non-transparency, encourages environmental 
violations’
2. Centre unveils new rules to regulate exotic animal trade
INTERNAL SECURITY
1. Hackers get data of 80,000 COVID-19 patients in Delhi
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
HISTORY
1. The Mapillah uprising
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Letter and spirit
F. Prelims Facts
1. Thriving in seclusion
2. Rare biological phenomenon spotted in dragonflies
3. Russia agrees to speed up defence deals
G. Tidbits
1. Church moves SC, seeks to intervene in Sabarimala case
2. Russian firm to be probed over Arctic ‘dumping’
3. Proof of planting trees must for availing govt. services in Odisha
4. The mosquito buzz may get louder
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

2. Centre unveils new rules to regulate exotic animal trade

Context:

  • The Environment Ministry’s wildlife division has introduced new rules to regulate the import and export of ‘exotic wildlife species’.

Background:

Concerns of wildlife trading:

  • In its first global report on the illegal wildlife trade, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has described wildlife trafficking as a “global threat”, which also has links with other organised crimes such as modern slavery, drug trafficking and arms trade. The illegal trade is estimated to generate revenues of up to $23 billion a year.
  • According to the World Wildlife Crime Report 2016 of the UN, criminals are illegally trading products derived from over 7,000 species of wild animals and plants across the world.
  • Apart from such activities being illegal, they also threaten the biodiversity of the world.
  • On the domestic front, India continues to battle wildlife crime, with reports suggesting that many species are available for trade on online marketplaces.
    • Currently, it is the Directorate-General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce that oversees the legal trade of wildlife species. The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau is tasked with monitoring illegal trade in India.

Details:

  • Under the new rules, owners and possessors of exotic animals and birds must register their stock with the Chief Wildlife Warden of their respective States.
  • Officials of the Wildlife Department will prepare an inventory of such species and have the right to inspect the facilities of such traders to check if these plants and animals are being housed in appropriate conditions.
  • Exotic live species would mean animals named under Appendices I, II and III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora. It will not include species from the Schedules of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
    • The CITES is part of a multilateral treaty that includes plants, animals and birds under varying categories of threat of extinction and which will be jointly protected by members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. India is a signatory to the CITES.

Category: INTERNAL SECURITY

1. Hackers get data of 80,000 COVID-19 patients in Delhi

Context:

  • Hacking of the Delhi government’s State Health Mission website.

Details:

  • Recently, the website of the Delhi State Health Mission (dshm.delhi.gov.in) was taken down temporarily by a group of hackers.
  • The group has claimed that it merely wanted to highlight the vulnerability of the data system and express its dissatisfaction with the government’s approach towards healthcare personnel.

Concerns:

  • Data of more than 80,000 corona positive patients in Delhi, recovered and active, could potentially be at risk as a result of the hacking. This could lead to privacy concerns for the patients.
  • The hacking incident has brought to light the fact that sensitive data was stored in the servers without sufficient security.
  • Given that the server is used by the Delhi government to investigate, report, and track the COVID-19 situation in Delhi, and the fact that a hacker can edit, manipulate as well as misuse these data to make profits, there are dire consequences to the entire Indian security. For instance, manipulating these data will cause miscalculations and inaccuracy in tracking COVID-19.

2. Rare biological phenomenon spotted in dragonflies

  • The Scarlet Skimmer (Crocothemis servilia), a species of dragonfly spotted in the Kole wetlands, Kerala has exhibited a rare biological phenomenon referred to as ‘gynandromorphism’.
    • Gynandromorphs are chimeric individuals having both male and female tissues and it is viewed by the scientific community as a genetic aberration.
  • Gynandromorphism, though common in some arthropod taxa such as Crustacea and Arachnida, is very rare in odonates and only 30 individuals from seven families have been reported with the condition worldwide.
    • The Odonata is an order of flying insects that includes dragonflies and damselflies.
    • Odonates are aquatic or semi-aquatic as juveniles. Thus, adults are most often seen near bodies of water and are frequently described as aquatic insects. However, many species range far from water. They are carnivorous (or more specifically insectivorous) throughout their life, mostly feeding on smaller insects.
  • Further research has to be undertaken to investigate the influence of environmental factors on this phenomenon of Gynandromorphism.

3. Russia agrees to speed up defence deals

  • Russia has agreed to quickly address some urgent defence requirements sought by India.
  • The long-pending deals for AK-203 assault rifles and Ka-226T light utility helicopters were discussed in a review of the India-Russia defence cooperation.
  • In 2016, India and Russia signed an Inter-governmental Agreement (IGA) for the supply of five S-400 regiments. The S-400 Triumf is an anti-aircraft weapon system developed by Russia.

G. Tidbits

1. Church moves SC, seeks to intervene in Sabarimala case

  • Members of the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church in Kerala have approached the Supreme Court for permission to intervene in the Sabarimala review case before a nine-judge Constitution Bench.
    • The nine-judge Bench is poised to decide “larger questions” of what constitutes religious freedom under Article 25 of the Constitution. The Bench will also determine whether the court can examine religious practices across multiple faiths and decide if they are really essential or not.
  • The applicants claim that the extent of judicial review with regard to religious practices under Article 25 is very limited and therefore, the religious denomination should have the right to determine whether a particular practice is an integral part of a religion.

Also read: Right to Freedom of Religion

2. Russian firm to be probed over Arctic ‘dumping’

  • Increased developmental activity in the Arctic region threatens to disturb the fragile ecosystem and affect the biodiversity of the region.
  • There have been recent reports of unauthorised dumping of liquid waste into the tundra by a mining company operating in the region. Liquids used to process minerals were discharged from a holding reservoir into the surrounding areas.
    • There are concerns that the discharge of toxic substances could pose a threat to the nearby Kharayelakh river.
  • Previously an unprecedented fuel leak in the region had sparked a state of emergency. More than 21,000 tonnes of diesel leaked into soil and rivers after a fuel reservoir collapsed at a power plant also near Norilsk.

3. Proof of planting trees must for availing govt. services in Odisha

  • The Jajpur district administration in Odisha has made planting trees a precondition for granting approval to licenses and government tenders.
  • Plantation, which has to be self-certified through photographic or video evidence, has been made mandatory for eight services including society registration, license for minor mineral, setting up crusher units, purchase of new vehicles and issuance of solvency certificate.
  • People have been asked to choose any government land, school premises, temples, mutt or their own backyards to do the plantation before submission of applications.
  • The Jajpur administration has stumbled upon the novel idea to popularise plantation drive by assigning specific number of trees to be planted against each license or service. The move aims to inculcate a practice whose outcome will be beneficial for the future generations.

4. The mosquito buzz may get louder

  • Every year, domestic breeding checkers, employed by the municipal corporations in Delhi, check whether their surroundings are conducive for mosquito breeding, slap fines if violations are observed and spray insecticides to limit mosquitoes which act as carriers of a host of diseases.
  • This year, however, as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has diverted public health resources and made certain interventions more difficult, such screening and preventive measures are lagging compared to previous years. Experts warn that the lack of attention and surveillance measures could lead to an outbreak of vector-borne diseases in the coming season.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Which of the following statement/s is/are correct?
  1. Narcondam hornbill is classified as endangered under the IUCN Red List.
  2. Narcondam hornbill is endemic to the Narcondam Island in the Lakshwadeep Islands.

Options:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2
See
Answer
Q2. Which of the following correctly describes the term ‘gynandromorphism’?
  1. Condition in which a species individual has alternating male and female characteristics over its lifetime.
  2. Condition in which a species individual has both male and female tissues at the same time.
  3. Condition in which a species exhibits multi-habitat adaptation capabilities by morphological changes.
  4. Condition in which a species exhibits adaptability to drastic changes in climatic conditions.
See
Answer
Q3. The Kole wetland is situated in which of the following states?
  1. Tamil Nadu
  2. Andhra Pradesh
  3. Kerala
  4. Karnataka
See
Answer
Q4. Which of the following is the correct description of the S-400 Triumf?
  1. Anti-submarine warfare helicopter
  2. Naval surveillance system
  3. Third generation Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle
  4. Anti-aircraft weapon system
See
Answer

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. In the light of the draft environmental impact assessment (EIA) notification, discuss the major concerns associated with the environmental clearance (EC) process propounded by it. Also, analyze the Environment Ministry’s arguments for the changes. (15 marks, 250 words)
  2. Increased developmental activity in the Arctic region threatens to disturb the fragile ecosystem and affect the biodiversity of the region. Examine. (10 marks, 150 words)

Read the previous CNA here.

29 June 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

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