23 Mar 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 23rd March 2021:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
GEOGRAPHY
1. U.P., M.P. sign agreement on Ken-Betwa interlinking work
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Amid protests, LS passes GNCTD amendment Bill
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. China, Russia look to deepen ‘best’ ties
C. GS 3 Related
ECONOMY
1. ‘Workers in govt. contracts must possess skill certificate’
2. Rajya Sabha passes MMDR Amendment
3. LS nod for Bill to increase FDI in insurance
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Delhi’s administration as the tail wagging the dog
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Free and open
INTERNAL SECURITY
1. An unconscionable act
F. Prelims Facts
G. Tidbits
1. Remission of Duties and Taxes on Export Products (RODTEP) scheme
2. Centre readies draft plan for district-wise export promotion
3. Gandhi Peace Prize for Mujib and Sultan Qaboos
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. China, Russia look to deepen ‘best’ ties

Context:

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is on a key visit to China.

Details:

  • The visit comes shortly after the China-U.S. dialogue in Alaska. It follows the first leaders’ summit of the Quad (India, Australia, Japan and the U.S.) grouping.
  • He asserted that Russia’s relations with China were currently at the best in their entire history.
  • He argued that the formation of a truly multipolar and democratic world is, unfortunately, being hindered by Western countries, particularly the United States as they seek to continue to dominate at any cost on global economy and politics and impose their will and requirements on others.
  • He said, “In response, Russia and China are promoting a constructive and unifying agenda and hope that the international governance system would be fair and democratic, run smoothly and be based on extensive interaction between countries and their integration initiatives,”.

Areas of Discussion:

  • Both countries are expected to discuss deepening coordination against the threat of sanctions from the West.
  • Recently, the EU imposed sanctions on four Chinese officials for human rights violations in Xinjiang, the first sanctions since the 1989 arms embargo.
  • Lavrov called on both countries (permanent members of the UN Security Council) to work under the UN framework on the immediate end to unilateral coercive measures and to take the opportunity to enhance their scientific and technological innovation and improve their national strength in response to the sanctions.
  • Trade ties are also on the agenda.
    • China is Russia’s biggest trade partner.

Note:

  • 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the Treaty of Good-neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation signed in July 2001.
  • This treaty was credited by Russia for deepening strategic relations and creating a model of interaction between Russia and China that is absolutely free from any ideological constraints, not subject to any opportunistic factors nor against any third country.

Strategic Angle:

  • Experts in Russia believe that the China-Russia relationship could counterbalance the Quad.
  • Russia’s continuing close relations with India is a potential destabilising factor for the Quad’s potential.
  • They believe that India would not destroy its relations with Russia just because it wants to seek courtship with the U.S. to deal with China. From this perspective, if Russia-India relations continue in a stable way, they will to some extent restrain India-US ties from further deepening.

Strategic Triangle:

  • As early as December 1998, the then Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov expressed hope that Russia, China and India could establish a ‘strategic triangle’ that would be in the interests of peace and security.
  • Currently, China and India have undergone twists and turns in their relations due to border tensions.
  • Russia has actually played an active role between China and India.
  • Russia has maintained relatively close ties with India, which has thereupon become a counterbalance to the Quad group.

2. Rajya Sabha passes MMDR Amendment

Context:

The Rajya Sabha passed the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) [MMDR] Amendment Bill, 2021.

This topic has been covered in the 20th March 2021 Comprehensive News Analysis.

3. LS nod for Bill to increase FDI in insurance

Context:

The Lok Sabha passed the Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2021 which seeks to raise the limit for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in insurance companies from 49% to 74%.

This topic has been covered in the 19th March 2021 Comprehensive News Analysis.

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Free and open

The issue of India- U.S. Defence co-operation has been dealt with in the following article:

21st  March  2021 UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis
Category: INTERNAL SECURITY

1. An unconscionable act

The issue of Myanmar refugee issue has been dealt with in the following article:

21st March 2021 UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis

F. Prelims Facts

Nothing here for today!!!

G. Tidbits

1. Remission of Duties and Taxes on Export Products (RODTEP) scheme

  • The Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme was announced by the Government of India (GOI) in September 2019.
  • Its aim is to boost exports by allowing reimbursement of taxes and duties, which are not exempted or refunded under any other scheme in accordance with the World Trade Organization (WTO) norms.
  • RoDTEP is a combination of the Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS) and Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL).
  • At present, embedded duties and taxes, which are not refunded under any other scheme, range from 1-3%.
  • Under the scheme, a rebate of these taxes will be given in the form of duty credit/electronic scrip.

2. Centre readies draft plan for district-wise export promotion

What’s in News?

The government has readied a draft district-wise export promotion plan for 451 districts in the country after identifying products and services with export potential in 725 districts.

  • Aiming for double-digit export growth from 500 districts over 3-5 years, the Commerce Ministry has asked States to prepare an annual ‘export ranking index’ of districts on export competitiveness with the assistance of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).
  • The district-specific approach involves the States in identifying potential export sectors and the logistics bottlenecks to be fixed.
  • In the initial phase, products and services with export potential in each district have been identified and an institutional mechanism of State and District Export Promotion Committees (SEPC) is being created, with an action plan to grow exports from each district.
  • District Export Promotion Committees have been notified in the districts of all the States except West Bengal.

Note:

  • While foreign trade constitutes 45% of India’s GDP, most export promotion efforts are driven by the Centre.

3. Gandhi Peace Prize for Mujib and Sultan Qaboos

What’s in News?

The Culture Ministry has announced that the father of the nation of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the former Sultan of Oman, the late Qaboos bin Said Al Said, will be awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize for 2020 and 2019, respectively.

This topic has been covered in the 22nd March PIB Summary and Analysis.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements with respect to Gandhi Peace Prize:
  1. It is an annual award given to individuals only, regardless of nationality, race, language, caste, creed or sex.
  2. The jury for Gandhi Peace Prize comprises of the Prime Minister of India, the chief justice of India and leader of the single largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha.
  3. The Award is given for Social, Economic and Political transformation through Non-violence.

Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The Gandhi Peace Prize is an annual award instituted by the Government of India since 1995, the 125th Birth Anniversary commemoration year of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • The Award is given for Social, Economic and Political transformation through Non-violence.
  • This annual award will be given to individuals, associations, institutions or organizations who have worked selflessly for peace, non-violence and amelioration of human sufferings particularly for the less-privileged sections of society contributing towards social justice and harmony.
  • The award is open to all persons regardless of nationality, race, language, caste, creed or sex.
Q2. Consider the following statements with respect to Places of Worship (Special Provisions) 
Act, 1991:
  1. The Act freezes the status of places of worship as it was on January 01, 1991.
  2.  The Act does not apply to Ram Janma Bhumi-Babri Masjid situated in Ayodhya in the State of Uttar Pradesh.

Which of the given statement/s 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 law was passed in 1991 by the P V Narasimha Rao-led government, the law seeks to maintain the “religious character” of places of worship as it was in 1947.
  • The Act freezes the status of places of worship as it was on August 15, 1947.
  • Nothing contained in this Act shall apply to the place or place of worship commonly known as Ram Janma Bhumi-Babri Masjid situated in Ayodhya in the State of Uttar Pradesh and to any suit, appeal or other proceeding relating to the said place or place of worship.
Q3. Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) is a permanent organ of which of the 
following groupings?
  1. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
  2. Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)
  3. South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
  4. BRICS
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

The Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), headquartered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is a permanent organ of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) which serves to promote cooperation of member states against the three evils of terrorism, separatism and extremism.

Q4. Consider the following statements:
  1. Display of National Flag is governed by the provisions of Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 and Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.
  2. The Flag Code of India serves as a single reference point about how to properly hoist flag of India with due honour.
  3. Flag Code of India is an act of parliament.

Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. None of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • The display of National Flag is governed by the provisions of two acts viz. Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 and Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.
  • Further, the government issues non-statutory instructions from time to time.
  • The Flag Code of India serves as a single reference point about how to properly hoist flag of India with due honour.
  • The Flag Code of India itself is not an act of parliament. It is a set of laws, practices and conventions that apply to the display of the national flag of India.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 goes against the principle of representative and parliamentary democracy. Elucidate. (10 marks, 150 words) [GS-2, Polity and Governance]
  2. The visit of the U.S. Defence Secretary indicates the importance the new U.S. administration places on its defence relationship with India. Comment. (10 marks, 150 words) [GS-2, International Relations]

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 23rd March 2021:- Download PDF Here

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