16 June 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 16th June 2021:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Delhi riots: 3 student activists get bail
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. SC closes trial against Italian marines
HEALTH
1. Research must follow protocol, says Ministry
C. GS 3 Related
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. FCI rice to be used for ethanol production
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Needed: full disclosure on electoral bonds
ECONOMY
1. Embracing cryptocurrency
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. America’s mistakes in the ‘forever war’
F. Prelims Facts
1. IICT inks pact with pharma firm for 2-DG
G. Tidbits
1. Taiwan reports ‘largest’ incursion by Chinese forces
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. SC closes trial against Italian marines

Context:

The Supreme Court ordered the closure of court proceedings in India against the two Italian marines who in 2012 allegedly killed two fishermen off the Kerala coast after mistaking them for pirates.

This topic has been covered in  June 12th, 2021 CNA.
Category: HEALTH

1. Research must follow protocol, says Ministry

Context:

To a question on a probe into a filovirus study of bats in Nagaland undertaken by the Bengaluru-based NCBS and TIFR, the Health Ministry said that all research work has to follow a process and action will be taken if protocols are not followed.

This issue has been covered in June 15th, 2021 CNA.

Category: ECONOMY

1. Embracing cryptocurrency

Context:

  • Recently, El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender.

For information on this topic refer to:

UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis of 13th June 2021

  • In this context, the article argues for a more favourable approach towards cryptocurrency in India.

Background:

India’s stand on Cryptocurrency:

  • Post-2010, the cryptocurrency market in India developed in a largely laissez-faire regulatory space and this has established a substantial trading market for cryptocurrencies in India.
  • The RBI had banned cryptocurrency trading in 2018, based on concerns over the potential impact the cryptocurrencies could have on the financial stability in the economy.
    • These fears were based on cryptocurrencies’ volatility, their susceptibility to hacking, and the fear that they could potentially facilitate criminal activities such as money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion.
  • The Supreme Court had asked the Centre in 2019 to frame policies for cryptocurrencies, and in 2020, struck down the curbs imposed by the RBI while stopping short of commenting on the legal nature of cryptocurrencies.
    • The court reasoned that there were alternative regulatory measures short of an outright ban through which the RBI could have achieved its objective of curbing the risks associated with cryptocurrency trading.
  • A high-level inter-ministerial committee (IMC) was constituted under the chairmanship of the economic affairs secretary on digital currencies. The government had expressed its openness to evaluate and explore new technologies, including cryptocurrencies, for improving governance.

For related information refer to:

UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis of 31st Jan 2021

  • The draft Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 proposes to criminalize all private cryptocurrencies while also laying down the regulatory framework for an RBI-backed digital currency.
    • The purported reason for the prohibition of private cryptocurrencies is the imprecise legal nature of cryptocurrencies in India and the lack of legal framework for the regulatory bodies to directly regulate private cryptocurrencies.

Way forward:

Need for legal definition of crytocurrency and a regulatory framework:

  • The fact that cryptocurrency has no legal classification should not be the impetus to prohibit its use in India rather the RBI should come up with an appropriate regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.
  • The methodology adopted in countries like the U.K., Singapore and the U.S could offer valuable lessons for India in this regard.
    • The U.K. has classified cryptocurrency as property and this has helped pave the way for cryptocurrencies to be covered within a regulated legal framework of the economy.
    • The amenability of cryptocurrency transactions to the contract law framework in Singapore has helped establish a legal framework for cryptocurrency trading.
    • The trade in cryptocurrency is taxed in the U.S. which has helped in the oversight and regulation of cryptocurrency trading.

Balanced regulation:

  • There is a need for a balanced regulation of the cryptocurrency which could allow private individuals the freedom to harness a powerful new technology like blockchain technology-based digital currency with appropriate regulatory standards.
  • Such permissive regulation recognises the freedom of choice given to people for using a medium of exchange other than a central bank-backed fiat currency.
  • Such an approach would be in line with the rising global trend of embracing cryptocurrencies that permit the growth of the cryptocurrency market subject to certain safeguards.

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. America’s mistakes in the ‘forever war’

  • In the light of the scheduled withdrawal of the U.S. armed forces from Afghanistan, the article analyzes the possible consequences of this ill-timed move of the U.S. for Afghanistan and the adjoining region as well as the world at large.

For related information on this issue refer to:

UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis of 25th May 2021

UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis of 11th March 2021

F. Prelims Facts

1. IICT inks pact with pharma firm for 2-DG

What’s in News?

CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology Hyderabad (IICT) and a Bengaluru-based integrated biopharmaceutical company, signed an agreement for technology transfer and manufacture of the anti-COVID drug 2-DG or 2-Deoxy-D-Glucose.

  • Studies have shown that the oral drug 2-DG has demonstrated quick recovery and reduction in oxygen dependence among moderately and severely affected patients.

2-Deoxy-D-Glucose:

  • The 2 DG drug, like glucose, spreads through the body, reaches the virus-infected cells and prevents virus growth by stopping viral synthesis and destroys the protein’s energy production.
  • The drug also works on virus infection spread into lungs which help us to decrease patients’ dependability on oxygen.
  • The drug is known for selective accumulation in virally infected cells. 

G. Tidbits

1. Taiwan reports ‘largest’ incursion by Chinese forces

What’s in News?

According to the Government of Taiwan, as many as 28 Chinese air force aircraft, including fighters and nuclear-capable bombers, entered Taiwan’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ).

  • It is the largest reported incursion to date.
  • Taiwan has complained of repeated missions by China’s air force concentrated in the southwestern part of its air defence zone near the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands.
  • The news comes after the Group of Seven leaders issued a joint statement scolding China and underscored the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

One China Policy:

  • The One China policy recognizes the long-held position in Beijing that there is only one China, and that Taiwan is a part of that.
  • According to the One-China policy: Any country wishing to establish diplomatic relations with Beijing must acknowledge there is only “One China” and sever all formal ties with Taiwan.

Also read: China Vs Taiwan: RSTV Big Picture

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q.1 Which of the following cities are located in the Brahmaputra Valley?
  1. Guwahati
  2. Dibrugarh
  3. Aizwal
  4. Tezpur

Options:-

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Nagaon, Bongaigaon, Tinsukia, Tezpur are the cities are located in the Brahmaputra Valley.

Q.2 Which of the following statements is/are correct w.r.t Humayun's tomb?
  1. The construction of Humayun’s tomb was commissioned by Humayun’s son Akbar.
  2. The tomb has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  3. The last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar took refuge here, during the Mutiny of 1857, before being exiled to Rangoon.

Options:-

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • The construction of Humayun’s tomb was commissioned by Bega Begum, Humayun’s Persian wife and chief consort in 1565 AD, nine years after the Emperor’s death.
  • It was completed in 1572 AD under the patronage of the Mughal Emperor Akbar.
  • The tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
  • The last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar took refuge here, during the Mutiny of 1857, before being exiled to Rangoon.
Q.3 ‘Christchurch Call to Action Summit’ is related to -
  1. Tackling GHG emissions linked to cryptocurrency mining
  2. Curbing online dissemination of extremist content
  3. Preventing oil spills and marine disasters
  4. Promoting climate-resilient agricultural practices
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • The Christchurch Call to Action Summit was a political summit started by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in Paris, France, after the Christchurch mosque shootings of 15 March 2019.
  • The summit brings together leaders from signatory governments, tech companies, and civil society to discuss efforts to address terrorist and violent extremist content online.
  • The Christchurch Call to Action Summit is related to curbing online dissemination of extremist content.
Q.4 Mayun island/Perim island, recently seen in news, is located near which crucial maritime 
chokepoint?
  1. Strait of Malacca
  2. Suez Canal
  3. Bab-el-Mandeb Strait
  4. Strait of Hormuz
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Mayun island/Perim island, recently seen in news, is located near Bab-el-Mandeb Strait near Yemen.
  • It is a volcanic island in the Strait of Mandeb at the south entrance into the Red Sea, off the southwest coast of Yemen.
  • The location of the island is extremely strategic from the point of view of cargo shipments and war ammunition.  It is a crucial maritime chokepoint.
Q5. Consider the following in respect of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS): (UPSC 2017)
  1. Inaugural IONS was held in India in 2015 under the chairmanship of the Indian Navy.
  2. IONS is a voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime cooperation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • The ‘Indian Ocean Naval Symposium’ (IONS) is a voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region and enhance regional security.
  • Inaugural IONS was held in India in 2008 under the chairmanship of the Indian Navy.

Indian Ocean Naval Synopsium

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967 is India’s primary legal weapon against terrorism. But its application has run into controversies on the grounds of violation of fundamental rights. Critically discuss.  (250 words; 15 marks) [GS-2, Polity and Governance].
  2. The U.S. misread the situation in Afghanistan with the long war, now leaving the Taliban at the height of their influence. Examine. (250 words; 15 marks) [GS-2, International Relations].

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 16th June 2021:- Download PDF Here

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