05 Mar 2024: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

05 March 2024 CNA
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A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
1. SC ends immunity for legislators taking bribes
2. No positive result from talks with Shah: Ladakh leaders
3. SBI seeks time till June 30 to disclose details of poll bonds
C. GS 3 Related
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
1. What’s in a surname?
1. The quick transformation of Russia-North Korea ties
1. A vaccine that prevents six cancers
F. Prelims Facts
1. 3 degrees to year-long droughts in the Himalayas
2. Big Swedish study hints at link between bowel disease, infant diet
3. Tired of spam or fraud calls? File a plaint on Chakshu
G. Tidbits
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

2. No positive result from talks with Shah: Ladakh leaders

Syllabus: Indian Constitution: Significant Provisions

Mains: Demand of Ladakh for inclusion in the 6th Schedule

Prelims: 6th Schedule


  • Ladakh leaders met with Union Home Minister Amit Shah to demand constitutional safeguards for the region.
  • This meeting marks the first interaction between Ladakh groups and the Home Minister since 2020.

Context and Aftermath:

  • Former Member of Parliament Thupstan Chhewang, also the chief of the Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA), led the talks.
  • The region became a Union Territory without a Legislative Assembly following the abrogation of Article 370, which had granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, on August 5, 2019.

Meeting Details:

  • Civil society leaders from Leh Apex Body (LAB) and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) had two rounds of meetings with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) officials.
  • Despite discussions, no concrete outcomes were achieved.
  • Subsequently, a meeting was held with Home Minister Amit Shah, which also did not yield positive results.

Issues and Demands:

  • Ladakh’s population of 2.74 lakh has expressed concerns over the protection of land, resources, and employment opportunities for locals.
  • Previous protests have highlighted worries about bureaucratic overreach.
  • Specific demands include:
    • Statehood for Ladakh.
    • Inclusion of Ladakh in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, granting tribal status.
    • Job reservation for local residents.
    • Allocation of parliamentary seats for Leh and Kargil.

Nut Graf: Ladakh leaders’ talks with Union Home Minister Amit Shah fail to yield positive results in their demands for constitutional safeguards, including statehood and tribal status, amidst concerns over land, resources, and job reservation for locals.

3. SBI seeks time till June 30 to disclose details of poll bonds

Syllabus: Judiciary

Mains: Electoral bonds


  • The State Bank of India (SBI) has petitioned the Supreme Court for an extension until June 30 to comply with a directive to disclose information on electoral bonds purchased since April 2019.
  • The Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, invalidated the electoral bonds scheme on February 15, citing it as “unconstitutional and manifestly arbitrary.”

Court’s Directive and Disclosure Timeline:

  • The court mandated SBI to reveal details to the Election Commission (EC) of political parties receiving contributions and encashing electoral bonds since April 12, 2019, with a deadline of March 6.
  • The EC was then required to publish this information on its website by March 13, ensuring transparency before the Lok Sabha election.

Practical Difficulties and Decoding Process:

  • SBI cited practical challenges in the decoding process and the allotted timeline, attributing complexities to stringent measures ensuring donor anonymity.
  • The decoding exercise involves matching donors with bond purchases, a process spanning multiple branches across India, each maintaining a designated set of donor information.

Storage and Retrieval Challenges:

  • SBI outlined a detailed standard operating procedure (SoP) across its 29 authorized branches, with no centralized database, and donor details kept in sealed covers.
  • Retrieving donor information requires cross-referencing issuance dates with purchase dates, and subsequent bond redemption details, stored digitally and physically to prevent easy access.

Nut Graf: The State Bank of India sought an extension till June 30 to comply with the Supreme Court’s directive on disclosing electoral bond details. Practical challenges in decoding processes and storage complexities necessitate the delay.

E. Editorials


1. What’s in a surname?

Syllabus: GS-1, Role of Women and Women’s Organization

Mains: Surname as a symbol of prevailing patriarchy in society


  • Ms. Divya Modi Tongya’s petition to the Delhi High Court highlights the struggle women face in reclaiming their maiden names post-divorce.
  • Government notifications requiring documentation from divorced women perpetuate gender bias and restrict their constitutional right to choose their identity.
  • The requirement for divorce papers or a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the husband reflects deep-seated misogyny and control over women’s preferences.

Social Challenges and Discrimination:

  • Women who choose not to adopt their husband’s surname face harassment and unnecessary paperwork in various social and administrative settings.
  • Instances such as opening joint bank accounts, enrolling children in school, or obtaining passports become hurdles, adding to societal discrimination against women’s choices.

Gender Disparities and Societal Norms:

  • India, grappling with gender disparities, continues to uphold patriarchal norms where women bear the brunt of unpaid domestic work and face exclusion from the labour force.
  • Traditional gender roles dictated by men and sometimes accepted by women further entrench inequalities, hindering progress towards gender equality.

The Urgent Need for Change:

  • The United Nations identifies achieving gender equality and empowering women as the paramount human rights challenge globally.
  • Mere rhetoric on gender equality without robust legislative measures and social frameworks undermines the pursuit of true equality, necessitating tangible action for meaningful change.

Nut Graf: In a battle against gender bias, Ms. Divya Modi Tongya’s petition challenges legal and social hurdles hindering women’s rights to reclaim their maiden names post-divorce, highlighting broader societal disparities and the urgent need for substantive change.


1. The quick transformation of Russia-North Korea ties

Syllabus: GS-2, Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Mains: Deeping Russia-North Korea ties and its impact on Geopolitics

Introduction: Rapid Transformation of Russia-North Korea Relations

  • Recent events indicate a swift deepening of ties between Russia and North Korea, particularly since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
  • Notable events include high-level visits between the two countries’ leaders and increased diplomatic engagement.
  • Anticipation is high for further developments, including an upcoming summit between Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un in 2024.

Historical Context and Recent Developments:

  • Historically, Russia and North Korea maintained diplomatic ties during the Cold War due to shared communist ideologies.
  • Relations fluctuated over time but have recently warmed, marked by increased diplomatic exchanges and strategic collaboration.
  • North Korea has emerged as a significant supplier of arms and munitions to Russia during the Ukraine crisis.

Areas of Collaboration and Cooperation:

  • Both countries are exploring cooperation in sensitive areas, including technical support for North Korea’s satellite development.
  • Discussions include potential trilateral naval exercises with Beijing, though unconfirmed.
  • Recent initiatives include the resumption of tourism from Russia to North Korea in February 2024.

Economic Partnerships and Energy Collaboration:

  • Russia offers economic support to North Korea, particularly in the energy and transportation sectors.
  • Infrastructure projects like the Rajin-Khasan railway demonstrate tangible efforts to enhance economic cooperation.
  • Energy collaboration is significant, with Russia being a key fuel supplier to North Korea.

Strategic Implications and Shared Challenges:

  • Russia and North Korea view each other as valuable partners amid strained relations with the West.
  • Both countries seek to shape regional security independently, potentially offsetting U.S.-led efforts in the region.
  • Solidification of bilateral ties holds significant implications for regional stability and global geopolitics.

Nut Graf: Recent years have witnessed a rapid deepening of ties between Russia and North Korea, driven by shared challenges and strategic objectives. This partnership holds significant implications for regional stability and global geopolitics.


1. A vaccine that prevents six cancers

Syllabus: GS-3, Science and Technology – Developments and their Applications and Effects in Everyday Life

Mains: HPV Vaccination

Introduction to Cervical Cancer Awareness and HPV Vaccination:

  • January marks Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, while March 4 is International HPV Awareness Day.
  • Cervical cancer ranks as the fourth most common cancer among women globally, with over 300,000 deaths annually, disproportionately affecting lower- and middle-income countries.
  • In India, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women, posing a significant health risk to around 500 million women above the age of 15.

Strategies for Prevention:

  • Scientist Harald Zur Hausen’s 1983 discovery linking cervical cancer to certain types of papillomaviruses (HPV) paved the way for prevention strategies.
  • Prevention methods include HPV vaccination and screening for precancerous lesions.
  • The World Health Organization has outlined a triple-pillar intervention targeting 90% HPV vaccination coverage for girls by age 15, 70% screening for women by ages 35 and 45, and 90% treatment coverage for detected cervical pre-cancer and cancer lesions by 2030.

Status and Challenges in India:

  • India introduced the HPV vaccine in 2008, with plans for inclusion in the Universal Immunization Programme announced in 2023.
  • However, accessibility remains an issue, with the vaccine primarily available in the private market at a significant cost.
  • Lack of awareness among physicians about the incidence and risks of cervical cancer and HPV infection, as well as concerns about vaccine safety and effectiveness, contribute to hesitancy in recommending the HPV vaccine to eligible adolescents.

Efforts and Recommendations for Improvement:

  • The Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI) and the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) are collaborating to educate member physicians on HPV vaccination and effective communication with parents.
  • Both organizations recommend HPV vaccination starting at age 9 and regular screening for women above 30.
  • FOGSI and IAP aim to train 20,000 HPV physician champions by mid-2024 to promote vaccination and screening within their communities.

The Role of Physicians in Eliminating Cervical Cancer:

  • Physicians are regarded as leaders in society and trusted sources of health information.
  • Their leadership is crucial in eliminating cervical cancer in India through advocating for HPV vaccination and regular screening.

Nut Graf: Cervical cancer is a significant global health concern, especially in lower-income countries like India. Despite preventive measures like HPV vaccination, accessibility and awareness remain challenges. Efforts by medical organizations aim to educate physicians and increase vaccination rates, crucial for combating this disease.

F. Prelims Facts

1. 3 degrees to year-long droughts in the Himalayas


  • Research conducted by the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the U.K. examines the impact of global warming on various countries, including India, Brazil, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Ghana.
  • The study aims to quantify the risks posed to human and natural systems as global temperatures rise, with a focus on the consequences of a 3-degree Celsius increase.


  • The research highlights that a 3-degree Celsius increase in global temperatures could lead to severe and prolonged droughts in about 90% of the Himalayan region.
  • There is a significant risk of increased exposure to heat stress in India, affecting around 80% of the population if global warming reaches 3 degrees Celsius.
  • The study predicts detrimental effects on agriculture, biodiversity, and natural capital, including declines in crop yields, loss of pollination, and increased exposure of agricultural land to severe droughts lasting over a year.
  • Economic damages associated with sea-level rise are also projected to escalate in coastal nations, albeit at a slower pace if warming is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius.


  • Adhering to the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius could mitigate many of these risks, including reducing heat stress exposure in India and minimizing the impact on agricultural productivity and natural capital.
  • The findings underscore the urgent need for global efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and limit the rise in global temperatures. Current policies are insufficient, and without further action, the world is on track to warm by 3 degrees Celsius.
  • The research serves as a wake-up call for policymakers, highlighting the escalating risks associated with climate change and emphasizing the importance of aligning climate policies with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

2. Big Swedish study hints at link between bowel disease, infant diet


  • A study examined the dietary habits of over 80,000 children from Norway and Sweden, focusing on their intake at one and three years of age.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), comprising ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, has multifactorial causes including diet, genetics, and environment.
  • Gut microbiome changes during infancy are implicated in IBD development, influencing dietary effects.


  • High intake of fish and vegetables at one year correlated with lower IBD risk, while sugar-sweetened beverage consumption increased risk.
  • At three years, only fish intake remained a predictor of lower IBD risk, potentially due to polyunsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin D content.
  • The study highlighted the importance of early dietary patterns in IBD development, particularly the role of fish intake.


  • Prospective analysis of early-life diet and subsequent IBD risk is novel, providing insights into preventive measures.
  • The study emphasizes the need for balanced infant diets, including fruits, vegetables, and fish, while minimising sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Findings suggest a potential avenue for intervention to reduce IBD prevalence through dietary modifications in infancy.

3. Tired of spam or fraud calls? File a plaint on Chakshu


  • The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has introduced a new platform called Chakshu for telecom users.
  • Chakshu aims to address the issue of spam and fraud calls.
  • This platform is part of the government’s efforts to enhance cybersecurity and protect citizens from fraudulent activities in the telecom sector.

About Chakshu:

  • Chakshu is a platform launched by the DoT where telecom users can report suspected fraud or spam callers.
  • Users can access Chakshu at sancharsaathi.gov.in/sfc.
  • It enables citizens to proactively report various types of fraud communications, including those related to bank accounts, payment wallets, SIM cards, gas and electricity connections, KYC updates, impersonation, and sextortion.


  • The launch of Chakshu provides a structured mechanism for citizens to report fraudulent activities, thereby contributing to a safer telecom environment.
  • In addition to Chakshu, the DoT has also introduced the Digital Intelligence Platform, a resource for sharing non-public data among various stakeholders such as telecom service providers, law enforcement agencies, banks, and social media platforms.
  • Minister for Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw, has expressed support for Caller Name Presentation (CNAP), a feature that allows users to see the registered name of callers.
  • While some stakeholders have raised concerns about CNAP’s impact on privacy rights, Vaishnaw compared it to the right to know who is knocking at the door, emphasizing the need for a balanced approach that considers both privacy and security concerns.

G. Tidbits

Nothing here for today!!!

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements:
  1. The Ministry of Welfare was renamed the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in 1998.
  2. The NAMASTE Scheme is an initiative jointly launched by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment & the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Which of the above statement(s) is/are true?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 1 & 2
  4. None of the above

Answer: c

Q2. Consider the following statements:
  1. The ‘Five Eyes’ is a multilateral intelligence-sharing network of  Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and the US.
  2. ECHELON refers to the surveillance programme of the Five Eyes.

Which of the above statement(s) is/are true?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 1 & 2
  4. None of the above

Answer: b

Q3. Which bank has introduced the first Micro ATM across India? 
  1. ICICI Bank
  2. Axis Bank
  3. State Bank of India
  4. Kotak Mahindra Bank

Answer: d

Q4. Consider the following statements:
  1. The principal alloying element imparting corrosion resistance to stainless steel is chromium.
  2. Molybdenum can be used to increase the hardenability, toughness, and tensile strength of steel.
  3. It is considered completely recyclable.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 & 2
  2. 3 only
  3. 2 & 3
  4. All of the above

Answer: d

Q5. At the national level, which ministry is the nodal agency to ensure effective 
implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers 
(Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006?
  1. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
  2. Ministry of Panchayati Raj
  3. Ministry of Rural Development
  4. Ministry of Tribal Affairs

Answer: d

Click on the link for the video explanation of the above questions and answers.


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