20 May 2024 CNA
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A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
International Relations
1. Search on for Iran President after helicopter ‘accident’
Social Issues
1. Why is the European Union probing Facebook and Instagram?
C. GS 3 Related
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
International Relations
1. Renew the generalised system of preferences
2. Talking peace
Social Issues
1. A minor girl victim support scheme that loses its way
F. Prelims Facts
1. No violence against Indians in Kyrgyz Republic: officials
2. Nucleosynthesis: the element factory
3. Three-day elephant census in southern States from May 23
G. Tidbits
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

Category:Social Issues

1. Why is the European Union probing Facebook and Instagram?


Syllabus: Mechanisms, Laws, Institutions and Bodies constituted for the Protection and Betterment of these Vulnerable Sections


Mains: Impact of Social Media on Child and Need for Regulation in this regard


Context: EU Investigation into Meta Platforms


  • The European Union (EU) has initiated investigations into Meta’s Facebook and Instagram due to concerns regarding child protection.
  • Specifically, the EU is worried about the platforms’ recommendation engines potentially exploiting children’s vulnerabilities and promoting addictive behaviour.
  • The investigation aims to assess Meta’s compliance with the Digital Service Act (DSA), which mandates stringent measures to protect minors online.


Mandates of the Digital Service Act (DSA):


  • The DSA, effective since February, imposes obligations on very large online platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.
  • These platforms must provide recommendation options not based on user profiling, share data with authorities for compliance assessment, and protect minors from harmful content.
  • Measures such as age verification tools and parental control features are required to ensure minors’ safety and well-being.


Meta’s Efforts and Ongoing Scrutiny:


  • Meta has introduced AI-driven tools like nudity protection and tightened content restrictions to safeguard minors.
  • Despite these efforts, Meta faces multiple investigations, including accusations of facilitating deceptive advertising and disinformation.
  • Outside the EU, Meta’s Instagram also encountered criticism in the U.S. for its role in promoting inappropriate content involving minors.


General Practices for Online Child Protection:


  • Given the challenges of navigating the digital landscape, parents are advised to stay informed about online risks and implement safeguards.
  • These precautions include setting up age-appropriate profiles, monitoring online activities, and fostering open communication with children about online safety.
  • Minors are encouraged to report and block offensive content and seek adult support when encountering suspicious or harmful online behaviour.


Nut Graf: The European Union probes Meta’s Facebook and Instagram over child protection concerns, examining compliance with the Digital Service Act. Meta faces scrutiny for potential exploitation of minors, prompting calls for stricter safeguards and parental vigilance in the digital realm.


2. Talking peace

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


Mains: Need for a peace deal on the Russia- Ukraine conflict




  • Two years after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Switzerland is organising a peace conference to broaden global consensus on the war.
  • Switzerland aims to involve countries that have not yet joined the Western coalition.
  • India, a close partner of Russia, BRICS and SCO member, and Global South leader, is a key invitee.


Swiss Diplomatic Efforts:


  • Swiss Foreign Secretary Alexandre Fasel visited Delhi, following visits by two Swiss Ministers and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
  • The conference will be held in Bürgenstock on June 15-16, with about 50 confirmed attendees, primarily from the EU, NATO, G-7, and U.S. allies.
  • Russia has not been invited; Swiss diplomacy aims to involve BRICS leaders (excluding Russia) to later engage Russia in future talks.


Challenges and Criticisms:


  • Convincing non-Western countries to join a seemingly pro-Ukraine platform is challenging.
  • Switzerland’s neutrality is questioned due to its sanctions on Russia, suggesting another venue might appear more impartial.
  • The conference agenda includes building a peace framework, food security, navigation freedom, nuclear safety, and humanitarian issues.
  • Progress is unlikely without both Russia and Ukraine participating, as both believe they can gain more on the battlefield.


India’s Position:


  • If the conference aims to pressure Russia into a ceasefire or territorial concessions, it is unlikely to succeed, similar to the UN General Assembly’s resolutions.
  • India has not joined any statements overtly critical of Russia and maintains strong ties with Moscow.
  • India may prefer to wait for a more balanced and inclusive peace effort before committing to a definitive stance.


Nut Graf: Switzerland’s peace conference on Ukraine seeks global consensus but faces challenges due to perceived biases and the absence of Russia. India, balancing its diplomatic ties, is cautious about committing until a truly inclusive peace effort emerges.

Category:Social Issues

1. A minor girl victim support scheme that loses its way


Syllabus: Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections of the population by the Centre and States and the Performance of these Schemes


Mains: Need to strengthen the POCSO Act




  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development introduced the “Scheme for Care and Support to Victims under Sections 4 & 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012” on November 30, 2023.
  • The scheme aims to provide comprehensive support to minor pregnant girl victims under one roof but suffers from oversights and inconsistencies.


Oversights and Inconsistencies:


  • Misleading Nomenclature:
      • The scheme’s name does not reflect its inclusiveness, causing confusion regarding its target demographic.
      • It fails to address the comprehensive needs of pregnant girls under 18, especially concerning sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services.
  • Lack of Clarity on Eligibility and Benefits:
      • The scheme only addresses pregnant girls who continue with their pregnancies or are denied medical termination of pregnancy (MTP).
      • It remains silent on support for girls opting for MTP or experiencing miscarriage, or those whose circumstances change after turning 18.
  • Oversights Regarding Legislation:
      • The scheme misinterprets Section 27 of the POCSO Act regarding medical examinations and the role of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC).
      • Its provisions regarding MTP do not align with the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, causing unnecessary delays.
  • Contradiction with Existing Rules:
    • All pregnant girls are treated as Children in Need of Care and Protection (CNCP), contrary to POCSO rules and the Juvenile Justice Act.
    • The scheme fails to clarify entitlements for girls in non-institutional care compared to those in institutional care.


Monetary Implications:


  • The scheme’s financial burden, with an initial payment of ₹6,000 and monthly payments of ₹4,000, could be substantial given the prevalence of child marriages and teenage pregnancies.
  • The exponential increase in reported cases necessitates thorough analysis and budgeting to ensure sustainable support.




  • Rectifying the scheme’s inconsistencies and aligning it with existing legislation is essential to avoid confusion and ensure effective support for minor pregnant girl victims.
  • Data-backed adjustments will provide the necessary evidence to substantiate these changes.

Nut Graf: The Ministry of Women and Child Development’s scheme for minor pregnant girl victims under POCSO lacks clarity and consistency, necessitating alignment with legislation and thorough budgetary planning to address its monetary implications effectively.

F. Prelims Facts

1. No violence against Indians in Kyrgyz Republic: officials



  • The Kyrgyz Republic hosts a significant number of Indian students and businessmen, totalling around 17,000 individuals.
  • Recent videos circulating online depicted alleged attacks on Pakistani students in Bishkek, the capital city.




  • Despite the circulated videos, there have been no reported incidents of violence against Indian students by locals in the Kyrgyz Republic over the past three days.
  • Kyrgyz authorities denounced the dissemination of the videos, attributing them to “destructive forces” and asserting that measures had been taken to ensure security and stability.




  • Clarification from official sources reassured the safety of Indian students and businessmen in the Kyrgyz Republic, indicating a return to normalcy in Bishkek.
  • Concerns regarding the safety of Indian students prompted appeals from political representatives, including Srikakulam MP Kinjarapu Ram Mohan Naidu, urging the External Affairs Minister to ensure their protection.
  • The response from External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar emphasised the importance of maintaining contact with the Indian Embassy in Bishkek for monitoring the welfare of Indian nationals and ensuring their safety amidst reported calmness in the situation.

2. Nucleosynthesis: the element factory



  • Stellar nucleosynthesis is the process through which stars produce elements within their cores.
  • Hydrogen, the most abundant element, was formed in the aftermath of the Big Bang and is not synthesized within stars.


Processes of Nucleosynthesis:


  • Proton-Proton (p-p) Process:
      • In stars like the Sun, hydrogen nuclei combine to form helium nuclei through nuclear fusion.
      • The core temperature, around 15 million degrees Celsius, facilitates this process.
  • Carbon-Nitrogen-Oxygen (CNO) Cycle:
    • Found in more massive stars, this cycle involves the fusion of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen nuclei to produce heavier elements.
    • Higher core temperatures in massive stars enable this alternative nucleosynthesis pathway.


Evolution of Stellar Cores and Element Production:


  • As a star consumes available nuclei through fusion, its core contracts, leading to increased temperature and further fusion reactions.
  • This cycle continues until the star begins producing iron in its core, as fusion of iron consumes more energy than it releases.


Synthesis of Heavy Elements and Supernovae:


  • Elements heavier than iron are synthesized during supernova events, occurring when massive stars exhaust their nuclear fuel.
  • The extreme conditions of a supernova allow for the fusion of heavier elements, including those beyond iron in the periodic table

3. Three-day elephant census in southern States from May 23



  • A synchronized elephant population estimation will take place across South India for three days starting from May 23.
  • This initiative is a result of resolutions by the inter-State Coordination Committee, comprising Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka, aimed at addressing human-wildlife conflict through joint action and intelligence sharing.
  • Andhra Pradesh will also participate in this collaborative exercise.


Methods of Estimation:


  • The census will employ three methods over the course of three days:
    • Day 1: Block count sampling (or direct count) method, where forest divisions will be divided into sample blocks ranging from four to six sq. km.
    • Day 2: Indirect ‘dung count’ (or line transect) method, estimating elephant numbers based on dung density and its distance from transects.
    • Day 3: Waterhole count method, identifying waterbodies frequented by elephants.


Focus Areas and Timeline:


  • In Kerala, the estimation will cover approximately 610 sample blocks across the Anamudi, Nilambur, Periyar, and Wayanad elephant reserves, with special attention to areas bordering Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
  • The assessment will observe elephant movement towards various waterholes, considering the varying degrees of animal concentration in different regions.
  • A preliminary report is expected by June 23, with the final report to be submitted to the State government by July 9.


Comparison and Analysis of Previous Data:


  • Last year’s estimation using block count and dung count methods recorded 1,920 and 2,386 elephants, respectively, which was significantly lower than the counts in 2017 (3,322 and 5,706 respectively).
  • The Forest Department attributed this decline to migration patterns influenced by climate and the extensive shared borders among Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka, maintaining that the 2023 findings were more precise than those of previous surveys.

G. Tidbits

Nothing here for today!!!

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1.Consider the following statements with respect to Stellar Nucleosynthesis:
  1. Stellar Nucleosynthesis is the process by which stars forge elements inside their cores.
  2. Hydrogen is abundantly formed during Stellar Nucleosynthesis.Which of these statements is/are correct?(a) 1 only(b) 2 only(c) Both 1 and 2

    (d) Neither 1 nor 2


Answer: a

Explanation: The only element not formed in this way (during stellar nucleosynthesis) is hydrogen, the most abundant and lightest element in the universe.

Q2.Consider the following statements with respect to Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR):
  1. AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites no longer respond to antimicrobial medicines.
  2. AMR is a natural process that happens over time through genetic changes in pathogens.

Which of these statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

Explanation:Both the statements are correct.

Q3. Elephant is the state animal of how many of the following states?
  1. Karnataka
  2. Kerala
  3. Andhra Pradesh
  4. Jharkhand(a) One only(b) ⁠Two only (c) Three only(d) ⁠All four states

Answer: c

Explanation:  Jharkhand, Karnataka and Kerala are the three states whose State animal is the Elephant.

Q4.Consider the following statements with respect to Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal
  1. It is the principle policymaking body of the United Nations in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice.
  2. The Commission was created in 1992 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime as one of its functional commissions. 
  3. The Commission acts as the governing body of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. 

How many of these statements is/are correct?

  1. One only
  2. ⁠Two only 
  3. ⁠All three
  4. ⁠None of the above 

Answer: b

Explanation: Statement 2 is incorrect. The Commission was created in 1992 by the Economic and Social Council as one of its functional commissions

Q5.Consider the following statements with respect to Scheme for Care and Support to Victims 
under Section 4 & 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012,
 recently seen in news:
  1. It was notified by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2023.
  2. Its objective is to provide integrated support and assistance to minor pregnant girl child victims under one roof.
  3. It is applicable to abandoned or orphaned pregnant girls only.How many of these statements is/are incorrect? (a) One only(b) ⁠Two only (c) ⁠All three

    (d) ⁠None of the above


Answer: a

Explanation:Statement 3 is incorrect. While it was for only abandoned or orphaned pregnant girls, initially, the scheme has now been expanded to include all pregnant girl victims under the mentioned sections of the POCSO Act.


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