22 June 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 22nd June 2021:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Centre moots ban on ‘flash sales’ on e-com sites
C. GS 3 Related
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
1. SC seeks govt. decision on ex gratia payment
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Towards a more federal structure
GOVERNANCE
1. A case to decriminalise suicide
F. Prelims Facts
1. ‘Yoga a ray of hope amid COVID’
2. Army to get indigenous LUHs in December 2022
G. Tidbits
1. NHRC panel to probe violence in Bengal
2. ‘Use electronic machines to weigh rations’
3. The state of India’s poor must be acknowledged
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Category: GOVERNANCE

1. A case to decriminalise suicide

Background:

Suicides in India:

  • Suicide is an emerging and serious public health issue in India.
  • The rate of suicides has been increasing in India over the years. According to the World Health Organization, India has the highest suicide rate in the Southeast Asian region.
  • As per the National Crime Records Bureau, around 1,34,516 cases of suicide were reported in 2018 in India.
  • Suicide has been the most common cause of death in the age group of 15–29 years.
    • Depression, chronic ill health, guilt, trauma, substance abuse, failure in exams, and loss of loved ones are some of the leading reasons for suicides in India.

Section 309:

  • 309. Attempt to commit suicide.—Whoever attempts to commit suicide and does any act towards the commission of such offence, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year [or with fine, or with both].

Arguments in favour of penal provisions of Section 309:

  • While the right to life is a natural right embodied in Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, suicide amounts to an unnatural termination or extinction of life and, therefore, incompatible and inconsistent with the concept of the right to life.
  • The judgment in Gian Kaur V. State of Punjab (1996) and the Supreme Court’s Aruna Ramchandra Shanbaug v. Union of India (2011) judgment, has endorsed the above observation.

Arguments against penal provisions of Section 309:

  • The Bombay High Court in the Maruti Shripati Dubal v. State of Maharashtra (1986) case declared Section 309 unconstitutional based on the reasoning that the right to live will also include a right not to live or not to be forced to live.
  • Similar views were expressed in the Chenna Jagadeeswar v. State of Andhra Pradesh and P. Rathinam v. Union of India (1994) cases. These judgments note Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code as being violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution.
  • The purpose of any punishment is to prevent a person from committing any crime. The prescribed punishments under Section 309 seem ineffective in preventing prospective suicides by deterrence.
  • Rather than punishment, the person who made the suicide attempt on account of any possible mental disorders must be provided psychiatric and reformative treatment and not subjected to imprisonment.

Recommendations:

Repealing of Section 309:

  • There is an urgent need to shift from penalizing attempts to suicide to providing psychological or mental treatment and support to the persons affected, given the presumption of severe stress in case of an attempt to die by suicide.
  • Thus the article argues for the repealing of Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code.

Preventing suicides:

  • Reducing social isolation and social disintegration
  • Treating mental disorders
  • Enabling easy access to psychological counselling
  • Improving coping strategies of people who are at risk through the promotion of psychological motivational sessions and stress-reducing techniques like meditation and yoga.
  • Reducing risk factors for suicide, such as poverty and social vulnerability.

Additional information:

Mental Healthcare Act:

  • The Indian Parliament passed the Mental Healthcare Act in 2017.
  • Section 115 (1) of the Act provides, “Notwithstanding anything contained in section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, any person who attempts to commit suicide shall be presumed, unless proved otherwise, to have severe stress and shall not be tried and punished under the said Code.”

F. Prelims Facts

1. ‘Yoga a ray of hope amid COVID’

What’s in News?

7th International Yoga Day was celebrated on the 21st of June 2021.

  • M-Yoga application has been launched in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
  • The app will have videos of yoga training based on a Common Yoga Protocol and will be available in different languages.

Read more on this topic covered in  PIB Summary & Analysis for 21st June 2021.

For more on Yoga and Alternative Systems of Medicine read Gist of Yojana June 2019 for UPSC

2. Army to get indigenous LUHs in December 2022

What’s in News?

The Army will receive the first batch of six indigenous Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) by the end of 2022.

  • With the ageing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters, the Army is facing a huge shortage of light utility helicopters.
  • The LUH is meant to replace the Cheetah and Chetak helicopters along with the Russian Ka-226T helicopters.
  • The LUH is a three-ton class new generation single-engine helicopter.
  • It has been designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL).
  • It can be deployed for reconnaissance, surveillance roles and as a light transport helicopter.

G. Tidbits

1. NHRC panel to probe violence in Bengal

What’s in News?

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has set up a committee to investigate complaints of post-poll violence in West Bengal.

  • The committee has been constituted by the NHRC Chairperson in accordance with a Calcutta High Court order.

Mandate:

  • The committee would examine all cases of post-poll violence for which complaints have already been received by the NHRC or which may be received.
  • It would also look into the complaints to the West Bengal State Legal Services Authority.

Read more on National Human Rights Commission of India – NHRC Functions, Composition, Issues

2. ‘Use electronic machines to weigh rations’

What’s in News?

An amendment in the Food Security (Assistance to State Government) Rules, 2015, has been notified by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.

  • It aims to ensure the right quantity to beneficiaries in the distribution of subsidised foodgrains under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 as per their entitlement.
  • The Centre wants States to start linking the electronic Point of Sale devices (ePoS) used at ration shops to electronic weighing machines.
  • States who are operating their ePoS devices judiciously and are able to generate savings from the additional margin can utilise the savings for purchase, operations and maintenance of electronic weighing scales and their integration with the point-of-sale devices.

Importance:

  • Integration of ePoS devices with electronic weighing scales would ensure that the beneficiary is given the right quantity of foodgrains by the Fair Price Shop dealer as per his entitlement.

Read more on National Food Security Act, 2013 | NFSA Objectives, Significance, Criticism

3. The state of India’s poor must be acknowledged

Poverty line:

  • The Suresh Tendulkar Committee report proposed a poverty line of Rs. 816 per capita per month for rural India and Rs. 1,000 per capita per month for urban India and based on this poverty line estimated the poor constituting 7% of the Indian population.
  • The Rangarajan Committee estimated the number of poor in India to be 29.6%, based on persons spending below Rs. 47 a day in cities and Rs. 32 in villages.
  • The World Bank proposes $2-a-day for the poverty line.

Poverty levels in India:

  • In 2019, the global Multidimensional Poverty Index reported that India lifted 271 million citizens out of poverty between 2006 and 2016. However, since then multiple surveys point towards a fall in this trend.

Impact of the pandemic on poverty levels:

  • The Pew Research Center with the World Bank data estimated that the number of poor in India has more than doubled to 134 million from 60 million due to the pandemic-induced recession.
  • In 2020, India alone contributed 57.3% of the growth of the global poor.

Concerns:

  • The deepening of poverty will have an adverse impact on the nutritional security and health of the people which along with limited avenues for access to quality education will only perpetuate the vicious cycle of poverty.
  • The continuing low per capita income and widening economic inequality do not augur well for India’s growth and development.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements:
  1. The orders of the delimitation commission set up by the Government of India cannot be challenged in any court.
  2. Delimitation of Jammu and Kashmir’s Lok Sabha seats is governed by the Indian Constitution, but the delimitation of Assembly seats is governed by the Jammu and Kashmir Representation of the People Act, 1957.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both
  4. None
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • The Delimitation Commission of India is tasked with redrawing of boundaries of the various assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies based on a recent census.
  • The orders of the delimitation commission set up by the Government of India cannot be challenged in any court. This is done to prevent indefinite delays in elections.
  • The delimitation of Jammu and Kashmir’s Lok Sabha seats is governed by the Indian Constitution.
  • Prior to the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that provided a special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the delimitation of Assembly seats is governed by the Jammu and Kashmir Representation of the People Act, 1957. Currently, the delimitation of Assembly seats is governed by the Indian Constitution itself.
Q2. Which of the following statements is/are correct?
  1. Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) which functions under the Ministry of Science and Technology examines the scientific merits of releasing genetically modified seeds into the environment.
  2. Bt cotton is the only GM crop that has been approved for commercial cultivation.

Options:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both
  4. None
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) functions under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). It is a statutory body.
  • GEAC examines the scientific merits of releasing genetically modified seeds into the environment.
  • The body regulates the use, manufacture, storage, import and export of hazardous microorganisms or genetically-engineered organisms and cells in India.
  • Bt cotton is the only GM crop that has been approved for commercial cultivation in India.

Read more on Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) – Functions, Mandate

Q3. Which of the following differences between Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and Consumer 
Protection Act, 2019 is/are correct?
  1. Under the 1986 Act the complaint could be filed in a consumer court where the seller’s office was located. Under the 2019 Act complaint can be filed in a consumer court where the complainant resides.
  2. There were no mediation cells under the 1986 Act. Under the 2019 Act court can refer settlement through mediation.

Options:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both
  4. None
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

Both the statements are correct.

  • Under the Consumer Protection Act 1986 the complaint could be filed in a consumer court where the seller’s office was located. Under Consumer Protection Act 2019 complaint can be filed in a consumer court where the complainant resides.
  • There were no mediation cells under the 1986 Act. Under the 2019 Act court can refer settlement through mediation.
Q4. Which of the following statements is/are correct?
  1. The Chairman of Legislative Council is nominated by the Governor.
  2. To become a member of a State Legislative Council (MLC), a person must be at least 25 years old.
  3. The tenure of a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) is six years.

Options:

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The Chairman of the Legislative Council is elected by the members of the Legislative Council.
  • To become a member of a State Legislative Council (MLC), a person must be at least 30 years old, whereas to become a Member of a Legislative Assembly (MLA), a person must be at least 25 years old.
  • The tenure of a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) is six years.
Q5. Which one of the following is the best description of ‘INS Astradharini’, that was in the 
news recently? (UPSC-2016)
  1. Amphibious warfare ship
  2. Nuclear-powered submarine
  3. Torpedo launch and recovery vessel
  4. Nuclear-powered aircraft carrier
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

INS Astradharini is an indigenously designed and built torpedo launch and recovery vessel built by Shoft Shipyard for the Indian Navy. She was commissioned to Naval Service in 2015.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. If the economy is to be repaired, the number of poor has to be meticulously counted. In the light of this statement, discuss poverty measurement in India. (250 words; 15 marks) [GS-3, Economy]
  2. Should suicide be decriminalized? Critically evaluate. (250 words; 15 marks) [GS-2, Polity and Governance].

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 22nd June 2021:- Download PDF Here

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