08 Mar 2022: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 08 Mar 2022:-Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. China says U.S. is trying to build ‘Indo-Pacific NATO’
2. The complexities for implementing a No-Fly zone
3. The lists of the FATF and Pakistan’s position
C. GS 3 Related
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
SOCIETY
1. Working women too, with a dream of good childcare
2. Reaping the potential of the female workforce
3. Is a more humane society possible?
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Oil, nickel soar on fears of supply chaos
F. Prelims Facts
1. 4 trapped in Telangana’s Singareni coal mine
2. Labour Ministry launches ‘donate a pension’ scheme
G. Tidbits
1. ‘Sealed cover’ jurisprudence is appalling
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

Nut Graf
While China views the Quad grouping as an Asian NATO, in reality, it is much different from NATO. Without a treaty, a structure or a secretariat, the Quad is based on broad-based cooperation on multifarious domains such as vaccines, technology and maritime security. 

2. The complexities for implementing a No-Fly zone

Syllabus: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Prelims: No-fly Zone (NFZ)

Mains: Critical evaluation of No-fly Zone (NFZ) over Ukraine

Context: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) stated that the organisation would not designate the Ukrainian airspace as a ‘No Fly Zone’. 

What is a No-Fly Zone?

  • A No-Fly Zone refers to a particular airspace wherein aircraft, excluding those permitted by an enforcement agency, are barred from flying.
  • Articles under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter dealing with ‘Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression’ are invoked to authorise a potential no-fly zone. 
  • Article 39 dictates the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to determine the probable existence of any threat to peace or an act of aggression.
  • No-fly zones have been implemented without a UN mandate too. 
    • In 1991 after the first Gulf War, the U.S. and its coalition partners imposed two no-fly zones over Iraq.
  • In non-combat situations, No-fly zones can be imposed permanently and temporarily over sensitive installations or for high profile events like the Olympics.

What is the feasibility of a ‘No-fly zone’ over Ukraine?

  • The no-fly zone declarations are essentially a compromise in situations demanding a response to ongoing violence, but full military intervention is politically untenable.
  • NATO has previously imposed No-Fly Zones in non-member states like Libya and Bosnia. 
  • With Russia, it fears a full-fledged war in Europe. It has been demanding that NATO scale back to the pre-1997 arrangements. 
  • Both Russia and Ukraine are not members of NATO.
  • The idea of imposing a ‘no-fly zone’ over Ukraine has been rejected outright.
  • A ‘No-fly zone’ means NATO deploying aircraft and assets which would result in a direct confrontation with Russia as it may require NATO shooting down Russian fighters or taking down its air defense systems.
  • While Russia has an overall superiority over Ukraine’s air space, it has not demonstrated that so far in its offensive in Ukraine.
  • In addition, a ‘No-fly zone’ would achieve very little as a majority of the Russian attacks on Ukraine are coming from ground attacks rather than airstrikes.

What are the broad contours in a No-Fly Zone?

  • The UNSC had banned all flights in the Libyan airspace post-adoption of Resolution 1973 in 2011 in response to the Libyan Civil War. 
  • Member states were asked to deny permission to any Libyan registered aircraft to use the territory without requisite approval. 
  • Further, the member states could bar any entity from flying if they found reasonable grounds to believe the aircraft was ferrying lethal or non-lethal military equipment.
  • Member states were permitted to allow flights whose sole purpose was humanitarian, such as the delivery of medical supplies and food, chauffeur humanitarian workers and related assistance, or evacuating foreign nationals from the territory.
Nut Graf
Fearing a full-scale military confrontation with Russia, NATO has stopped short of declaring Ukrainian airspace a ‘No-fly’ zone. However, seeing as this move might provide Russia with the ‘green light’ to bombard Ukrainian cities and villages further, the world must look for alternative ways of ending the violence and suffering in Ukraine.

3. The lists of the FATF and Pakistan’s position

Syllabus: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Prelims:  FATF; Grey list

Mains: FATF Grey and Black lists; Pakistan on FATF grey list

Context: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in its latest plenary meeting, decided to retain Pakistan on its terror-financing ‘grey list’.

What is the FATF? 

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental organization established to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
  • The FATF was established at the G7 Summit of 1989 in Paris, over concerns of the member countries about growing money laundering activities. 
  • Know more about the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

How does the FATF do its work?

  • The FATF sets standards or recommendations for countries to achieve in order to plug the holes in their financial systems and make them less vulnerable to illegal financial activities.
  • The FATF conducts regular peer-reviewed evaluations called Mutual Evaluations (ME) of countries, starting with member countries, to check their performance on standards prescribed by it. 
  • The reviews are carried out by FATF and FATF-Style Regional Bodies (FSRBs), which then release Mutual Evaluation Reports (MERs). 
  • For the countries that don’t perform well on certain standards, the FATF and FSRBs draw up time-bound action plans to fight financial crimes.

What are FATF’s ‘grey’ and ‘black’ lists?

  • The words ‘grey’ and ‘black’ list do not exist in the official FATF lexicon.
  • They designate countries that need to work on complying with FATF directives and those who are non-compliant, respectively.
  • Grey countries are those that are “actively working” with the FATF to counter criminal financial activities. 
  • In their case, the watchdog does not tell other members to carry out due-diligence measures vis-a-vis the listed country but does tell them to take into account the risks such countries possess.

Countries in Gery List and Black List:

  • Grey list:
    • Currently, there are 23 countries on the grey list, with one new addition and one removal. 
    • The United Arab Emirates was added to the list while Zimbabwe was taken off it. 
    • Besides, some of the other countries on the list are Pakistan, Myanmar, Morocco, the Philippines, Panama, Senegal, Albania, Jamaica and Turkey.
  • Black list:
    • It means countries designated by the FATF as ‘high-risk jurisdictions subject to call for action’. 
    • In this case, the countries have considerable deficiencies in their AML/CFT regimens. 
    • For such countries, the body calls on members and non-members to apply enhanced due diligence and in the most serious cases, apply counter-measures such as sanctions. 
    • Currently, two countries – North Korea and Iran are on the black list.

Why is Pakistan on the grey list?

  • The case of Pakistan is significant as it has found itself on the grey list frequently since 2008, for weaknesses in fighting terror financing and money laundering. 
  • Through 2009, the FATF reaffirmed its designation of Pakistan in the grey list, as the country began to cooperate with the FATF-like regional body, Asia Pacific Group (APG), for a Mutual Evaluation (ME) process.
  • In 2010, Pakistan made a “high level political commitment” to the FATF and APG to address its strategic AML/CFT deficiencies. 
  • Due to significant progress made by the country, by early 2015, Pakistan was no longer on the grey list.
  • However, it came back to the list in 2018, and was given an action plan to restrict terror financing activities and monitor the actions of UN-designated terrorists in the country.
  • In October 2019, Pakistan was warned by FATF for addressing only five out of the 27 tasks given to it in controlling funding to terror groups.
  • In 2021, however, Pakistan was given another seven-point action plan by the APG, focused specifically on combating money laundering. 
Nut Graf
Being listed under the FATF’s two lists makes it difficult for countries to get aid from organizations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Union. It may also affect capital inflows, foreign direct investments and portfolio flows in the country.

2. Labour Ministry launches ‘donate a pension’ scheme

Syllabus: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. 

Prelims: ‘Donate a pension’ scheme

Context: The Union Labour and Employment Ministry launched the “donate a pension” scheme.

About ‘Donate a pension’ scheme:

  • The ‘donate a pension’ scheme was launched by the Union Labour and Employment Ministry in 2019.
  • It allows any citizen to pay the premium amount on behalf of an unorganized worker under the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan Scheme.
  • The scheme allows unorganised sector workers between the age of 18 and 40, who earn up to ₹15,000 a month, to enrol by paying a premium amount between ₹55 and ₹200, depending on the age, that would be matched by the government.
  • The “Donate a pension” scheme allows a citizen to “donate the premium contribution of their immediate support staff such as domestic workers, drivers, helpers, care givers, nurses, in their household or establishment.”

G. Tidbits

1. ‘Sealed cover’ jurisprudence is appalling

Context: A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court has dismissed the appeal filed by MediaOne whose license the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has refused to renew. 

‘Sealed Cover’ Jurisprudence 

  • ‘Sealed Cover’ Jurisprudence is a practice used by the Supreme Court and sometimes lower courts, of asking for or accepting information from government agencies in sealed envelopes that can only be accessed by judges.
  • There is no specific law that defines the doctrine of sealed cover.
  • The Supreme Court derives its power to use it from Rule 7 of Order XIII of the Supreme Court Rules and Section 123 of the Indian Evidence Act of 1872.
  • It is stated under the said rule that if the Chief Justice or court directs certain information to be kept under sealed cover or considers it of confidential nature, no party would be allowed access to the contents of such information, except if the Chief Justice himself orders that the opposite party be allowed to access it.
  • It also mentions that information can be kept confidential if its publication is not considered to be in the interest of the public.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements with regards to the PM Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan 
Yojana:
  1. The scheme covers unorganised workers whose monthly income is Rs 15,000/per month or less.
  2. The Subscriber should belong to the entry age group of 18-40 years.
  3. They should not be covered under New Pension Scheme (NPS), Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) scheme or Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).
  4. He/She should be an income taxpayer.

Options:

  1. 1, 2 & 3 only
  2. 2, 3 & 4 only
  3. 1 & 4 only
  4. All of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan (PM-SYM) was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi under the Ministry of Labour and Employment in February 2019. 
  • To be eligible under the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan Dhan, the candidate should fulfil the below-mentioned criteria:  
    • He/she should have a monthly income of Rs. 15,000 or below. Hence Statement 1 is correct.
    • He/she should be an unorganized worker (UW) aged between 18 years to 40 years. Hence Statement 2 is correct.
    • He/she should possess an Aadhar card along with a Savings Bank Account/Jan Dhan account number with IFSC.
  • Any individual who is engaged in the Organised Sector (membership of EPF/NPS/ESIC) will not be eligible to apply for the PM-SYM Scheme. Hence Statement 3 is correct.
  • Any individual who is an income taxpayer will not be eligible to apply for the PM-SYM Scheme. Hence Statement 4 is not correct.
Q2. Consider the following statements with regards to ‘Equalisation Levy’:
  1. It is aimed at taxing foreign companies which have a significant local client base in India but are billing them through their offshore units, effectively escaping the country’s tax system.
  2. For EL to be imposed, the annual payment which is made to a service provider should be more than 10 Lakh rupees in one financial year.
  3. The amendments to the Finance Act, 2020 had expanded the ambit of the equalisation levy for non-resident e-commerce operators involved in the supply of services, including the online sale of goods and provision of services, with the levy at the rate of 2% effective April 1, 2020.

Choose the correct code:

  1. 1 & 2 only
  2. 2 & 3 only
  3. 1 & 3 only
  4. All of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Equalization levy is an extremely vital tax system that enables enterprises to regulate their business models following the existing conventions. 
  • Equalization levy is aimed at taxing foreign companies which have a significant local client base in India but are billing them through their offshore units, effectively escaping the country’s tax system. Hence Statement 1 is correct.
  • According to this upgraded form of EL, any non-resident digital operator who is providing e-commerce services is liable to be taxed at the rate of 2 per cent. 
  • The payment should be made to a non-resident service provider; the annual payment which is made to a service provider should be more than 1 Lakh (Not 10 Lakh) in one financial year. Hence Statement 2 is not correct.
  • India’s Finance Act 2020 (FA 2020) expanded the scope of the digital tax levy known as the Equalization Levy (EL) to cover “e-commerce supplies or services.” With effect from 1 April 2020, EL is chargeable at the rate of 2% on consideration received or receivable by nonresidents who operate digital businesses targeting, among others, the Indian market. Hence Statement 3 is correct.
Q3. Consider the following statements with regards to the Rajya Sabha elections:
  1. The elections take place through Proportional Representation with the Single Transferable Vote methodology.
  2. Out of the 8 union territories, only Delhi, Puducherry and Jammu and Kashmir have representation in Rajya Sabha.
  3. All states have at least some representation in the Rajya Sabha.

Choose the correct code:

  1. 1 & 2 only
  2. 2 & 3 only
  3. 1 & 3 only
  4. All of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • Voting in Rajya Sabha is done by a single transferable vote, as the election is held on the principle of proportional representation. In other words, a bloc of MPs belonging to one or more parties can elect a member of their choice if they have the requisite numbers. Hence Statement 1 is correct.
  • In total eight members are elected to Rajya Sabha from the Union territories (3 from Delhi, 1 from Puducherry and 4 from Jammu & Kashmir). Other Union territories are not represented in the Rajya Sabha. Hence Statement 2 is correct.
  • The Fourth Schedule to the Constitution provides for the allocation of seats to the States and Union Territories in Rajya Sabha. The allocation of seats is made on the basis of the population of each State. All states have at least some representation in the Rajya Sabha. Hence Statement 3 is correct.
Q4. A situation of slow economic growth and relatively high unemployment is 
best defined as
  1. Stagflation
  2. Inflation
  3. Deflation
  4. Galloping inflation
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

Stagflation refers to an economy that is experiencing a simultaneous increase in inflation and stagnation of economic output. Stagflation was first recognized during the 1970s when many developed economies experienced rapid inflation and high unemployment as a result of an oil shock. The prevailing economic theory at the time could not easily explain how stagflation could occur. Hence Option ‘a’ is correct.

Q5. With reference to the book "Desher Katha” written by Sakharam Ganesh Deuskar 
during the freedom struggle, consider the following statements:
  1. It warned against the Colonial State’s hypnotic conquest of the mind.
  2. It inspired the performance of swadeshi street plays and folk songs.
  3. The use of ‘desh’ by Deuskar was in the specific context of the region of Bengal.

Which of the statements given above are correct? [UPSC 2020]

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

Only statements 1 and 2 are correct. Hence Option ‘a’ is correct.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Examine the challenges and opportunities surrounding the participation of women in our workforce. (250 words; 15 marks) [GS I (Social Issues)]
  2. What is ‘Sealed Cover’ Jurisprudence? Examine its rationale and the criticism against this judicial practice. (250 words; 15 marks) [GS II (Polity)]

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 08 Mar 2022:-Download PDF Here

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