25 May 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 25th May 2021:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. Provide food, rations to stranded workers: SC
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Won’t limit functions till new data law: WhatsApp
C. GS 3 Related
ECONOMY
1. ‘GST Council should prioritise COVID relief, States’ cash woes’
2. FDI flows crossed $81 bn in FY21
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
1. Odisha, Bengal grapple with evacuation ahead of cyclone
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. A September exit, Afghanistan at the crossroads
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Expanding the scope of POCSO
F. Prelims Facts
1. High-powered panel meets to choose next CBI Director
2. Colourful Skies
G. Tidbits
1. ‘90%-95% of mucormycosis patients are diabetics on steroids’
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

2. FDI flows crossed $81 bn in FY21

Context:

  • Data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry relating to foreign investment into India.

Details:

Impressive growth in foreign investment:

  • Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into India grew 10% in 2020-21 to touch a record $81.72 billion. The FDI equity inflows have risen 19% to total almost $60 billion.

Top investors:

  • Singapore has emerged as the top investor followed by the U.S. and Mauritius.
  • FDI equity flows from the U.S., the U.K. and Saudi Arabia have witnessed sharp increases.

Top destination states:

  • Gujarat was the top FDI destination followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka.
  • The other regions have accounted for a disproportionately lower amount of 23% of the remaining foreign equity capital. This is indicative of the skewed pattern of FDI inflows and concerns of unbalanced growth.

Top sectors:

  • Computer software and hardware has emerged as the top sector during 2020-21 with about 44% share of the total FDI equity inflow followed by construction (infrastructure) activities and services sector.
  • Construction (infrastructure) activities, computer software and hardware, rubber goods, retail trading, drugs and pharmaceuticals and electrical equipment have recorded more than a 100% jump in equity during 2020-21.

Category: DISASTER MANAGEMENT

1. Odisha, Bengal grapple with evacuation ahead of cyclone

Context:

  • Evacuation from the coastal districts of Odisha and West Bengal ahead of the landfall of cyclone Yaas.

Details:

  • Cyclone Yaas is likely to make landfall on the north Odisha-West Bengal coast between the Paradip Coast in Odisha and Sagar Island in West Bengal, close to Balasore in Odisha.
  • Along with heavy rain, the Indian Meteorological Department has issued a storm surge warning.
  • Given the likelihood of it being a very severe cyclonic storm with wind speeds at the time of landfall likely to be about 155 to 165 kmph, large scale evacuation from coastal and low lying areas is being undertaken.
  • West Bengal alone is in the process of evacuating about 10 lakh people to cyclone shelters.

For more information on this topic refer to:

UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis of 23rd March 2021

Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. Expanding the scope of POCSO

Context:

  • The article argues for expanding the scope of the POCSO Act to enable prosecution of historical child sexual abuse.

Details:

  • While the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) has been a step in the right direction to protect children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography, the POCSO Act has several deficiencies which need to be addressed to make it truly effective.
  • A fundamental defect of POCSO is its inability to deal with historical cases of child abuse.
    • Historical child sexual abuse refers to incidents that are reported late.

Significance of including historical cases:

  • The step to include prosecution of historical cases of child sexual abuse would be in line with the growing international jurisprudence around this issue.
  • It would also help uphold the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Concerns:

Contrary to established legal principles:

  • The proposal seems to run counter to the established principle of criminal law that requires an act of crime to be reported at the earliest.
  • Any delay in filing the complaint dilutes the efficacy of the prosecution’s case.

Counter arguments:

  • The circumstances around child sexual abuse cannot and must not be viewed in the same manner as other criminal offences.

Lack of understanding at the age:

  • In the case of child sexual abuse, it is difficult for the child to report the offence or offender at the earliest point in time.
  • It requires time and support for the child to recognise and comprehend the gravity of what transpired to report the offence.

Impeding factors:

  • Intra-familial abuse accounts for a large proportion of child abuse cases.
  • The delays in reporting sexual abuse may be due to factors such as threats from the perpetrator, fear of public humiliation, and absence of trustworthy confidant for the child.
  • Sometimes a child keeps the abuse a secret because of the fear that no one will believe the abuse, which leads to accommodative behaviour on the part of the child.

Challenges in implementation:

Legal provisions:

  • Provisions in the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) prohibit judicial magistrates from taking cognisance of cases beyond a specific time period. Reporting of an offence, under Section 354 of the IPC, more than three years after the date of the incident would be barred by the CrPC. Given such provisions, the historical reporting of child sexual offences would be legally implausible.

Availability of evidence:

  • One of the major drawbacks of delayed reporting would be the lack of evidence to advance prosecution. There are very few chances for gathering direct physical and medical evidence in such cases.

Recommendations:

Changes in POCSO law:

  • With growing research and empirical evidence pointing to behaviour justifying delayed reporting, there is a need to amend the law to allow delayed reporting and prosecution with regard to incidents of child sexual offences.
  • India must revise its legal and procedural methods to deal with historical child sexual abuse.

For cases before 2012:

  • The Union Ministry of Law and Justice’s clarification that no time limit shall apply for POCSO cases is a welcome step and would help strengthen the POCSO jurisprudence, however, it does not help in cases that deal with incidents before 2012.
  • Hence the Union government must also frame guidelines to direct effective and purposeful prosecution in cases that are not covered by the POCSO.

F. Prelims Facts

1. High-powered panel meets to choose next CBI Director

  • The CBI director is selected by a committee comprising the Chief Justice of India, the Prime Minister of India and the leader of the largest Opposition Party in the Lok Sabha.

2. Colourful Skies

Sun halo:

  • It is basically a rainbow around the Sun.
  • This occurs due to the dispersion of light, as white light passes through ice crystals found in upper-level cirrus clouds, causing the halo to have colours.
  • Light undergoes two refractions as it passes through the ice crystals and the bending that occurs depends on the ice crystal’s diameter.

Context:

  • Bengaluru witnessed a rare phenomenon known as sun halo.
  • The halo that appeared around the Sun is a 22-degree ring. The 22-degree sun halo belongs to the family of ice-crystal halos.

G. Tidbits

1. ‘90%-95% of mucormycosis patients are diabetics on steroids’

  • In the light of the increasing number of Mucormycosis cases being reported, the Director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences speaking at the Health Ministry press conference has stated that Mucormycosis is not a communicable disease and 90%-95% of patients are mostly diabetics who were on steroids.
  • In general, there are various types of fungal infections such as candida, aspergillosis, cryptococcus, histoplasmosis and coccidioidomycosis. Mucormycosis, candida and aspergillosis are the ones observed more in those with low immunity.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Which of the given statements is/are correct w.r.t the GST Council?
  1. The Chairperson of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) is a permanent invitee to all proceedings of the GST Council and has one vote.
  2. Each state has one vote, irrespective of its size or population.
  3. Half of the total number of Members of the Council constitutes the quorum at its meetings.

Options:

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • Chairperson of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) is a non-voting permanent invitee to all proceedings of the GST Council.
  • Each state has one vote, irrespective of its size or population.
  • In the GST Council meetings, half of the total number of Members of the Council constitutes the quorum.
Q2. Which of the following can help in Carbon Sequestration?
  1. Dumping of Iron in the upper ocean
  2. Crop Rotation
  3. Deep sea fishing

Options:

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Dumping of Iron in the upper ocean leads to phytoplankton bloom which is known as Iron Fertilization. The phytoplankton uses carbon dioxide in the air and converts it to carbohydrates. This helps in carbon sequestration.
  • The organic content in the soil increases due to crop rotation fostering carbon sequestration.
  • The animal and plant material are deposited in deep sea are a part of the ocean food web. The carbon thus sequestered in the deep sea is removed during deep sea fishing. This does not facilitate carbon sequestration.
Q3. The search committee involved in making recommendation for the appointment of the Central
Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director comprises:
  1. Chief Justice of India
  2. Leader of Opposition/Leader of the largest opposition party
  3. Central Vigilance Commissioner
  4. Home Secretary
  5. Prime Minister

Options:

  1. 2, 3 and 5 only
  2. 3, 4 and 5 only
  3. 1, 2 and 5 only
  4. 1, 2, 3 and 4 only
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • CBI Director is appointed as per the Lokpal Act.
  • The search committee that recommends the name of CBI director to be appointed, to the centre comprises the Prime Minister as the chairperson, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of Opposition.
    • In the absence of the Leader of Opposition, the Leader of the largest opposition party.
Q4. Which of the following is/are fungal infections?
  1. Mucormycosis
  2. Cryptococcus
  3. Histoplasmosis
  4. Candida

Options:

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

Mucormycosis, candida, aspergillosis, cryptococcus, histoplasmosis and coccidioidomycosis are all fungal infections.

Read more on Mucormycosis.

Q5. Consider the following statements:  (UPSC 2017)
  1. In tropical regions, Zika virus disease is transmitted by the same mosquito that transmits dengue.
  2. Sexual transmission of Zika virus disease is possible.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2.  2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • In tropical regions, Zika virus disease is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito – the same mosquito that transmits dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya.
  • Zika virus is also transmitted through sexual contact, transfusion of blood, during organ transplantation and from mother to foetus during pregnancy.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act has to be suitably expanded to account for the reporting of historical child sexual abuse. Analyse.  (10 Marks, 150 Words) [GS-2, Governance]
  2. The unconditional withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan could push China to the centre stage and negatively impact the future of Afghanistan. Discuss. (15 Marks, 250 Words) [GS-2, International Relations]

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 25th May 2021:- Download PDF Here

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