26 May 2022: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

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CNA 26 May 2022:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Understanding the nature of U.S.-Taiwan relations
HEALTH
1. The monkeypox virus: origins and outbreaks
C. GS 3 Related
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. India must shift the discourse on abortion rights
ECONOMY
1. Be wary of growing exports
F. Prelims Facts
G. Tidbits
1. Frame policies to protect LGBTIQ+ workers, says ILO
2. Supreme Court recognises sex work as a ‘profession’
3. India’s palm oil imports said to hit 11-year low
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

Category: HEALTH

1. The monkeypox virus: origins and outbreaks

Syllabus: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

Prelims: Monkeypox disease

Mains: Details about the nature of the Monkeypox virus and the available remedies

Context

The recent outbreak of the Monkeypox virus across the world.

Details

  • The outbreak has seen cases across 19 countries including U.K., Spain and Portugal. 
  • The current outbreak has gained the limelight as a few countries outside Africa (sporadic outbreaks have occurred in Africa) are being affected despite not travelling to regions where the disease is considered prevalent.

Monkeypox disease

  • Monkeypox disease is caused due to the Monkeypox virus.
  • The virus belongs to the poxvirus family and was first identified in monkeys in 1958.
  • The first human case was reported in 1970 from the Democratic Republic of Congo and many sporadic outbreaks of animal to human as well as human to human transmission have been reported in Central and West Africa with significant mortality.
  • Since the eradication of smallpox, monkeypox is said to be one of the dominant poxviruses in humans, with cases increasing over the years. 
  • As the transmission happens only due to close contact, the outbreaks are self-limiting. 
  • The incubation period is found to be between five to 21 days in the majority of affected people and is often mild or self-limiting.
  • The outbreaks in Central Africa are considered to be due to their close contact with animals in the region.
  • While monkeys are said to be the only hosts, the reservoir is not known and it is believed that rodents and non-human primates could be potential reservoirs.

Does the virus mutate?

  • Monkeypox virus is a DNA virus with a large genome of around 2,00,000 nucleotide bases and since it is a DNA virus, the rate of mutations in the monkeypox virus is significantly lower compared to RNA viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. 
  • The low rate of mutation does not require large-scale genomic surveillance to provide details about the transmission of monkeypox.

What does the genome sequence reveal?

  • The genome sequences conducted in Africa and other parts of the world reveal that there are two distinct subfamilies of the virus;
    • The Congo Basin/Central African subfamilies 
    • The West African subfamilies
  • The Central African/Congo basin subfamilies are believed to have a higher transmission and virulence rate as compared to the West African clade.
  • According to recent genome studies, the sequences found across the world are identical and almost all genomes are reported to be of the West African subfamily which has lesser fatality compared to the Central African one.
  • The virus genomes also show similarities with those from the outbreak in Nigeria during the 2017-2019 period suggesting that the present outbreak is not driven by a particular new variant, but possibly related to unique transmission networks.

Presence of vaccine

  • As there is enough data about the virus and its transmission patterns there is enough information about effective means to prevent the spread, including a vaccine. 
  • Smallpox/vaccinia vaccine provides protection. 
    • The vaccine was discontinued in 1980 following the eradication of smallpox, but the emergency stockpiles of the vaccines are maintained by many countries. 
    • Since the younger generation of individuals is unlikely to have received the vaccine, the disease is seen more in younger individuals.
  • Also, there is enough knowledge on the disease from African countries which have effectively managed the outbreaks in the past. 
  • With a vaccine available, efforts are to be focused on bridging the divide in health, knowledge, experience and infrastructure thereby helping in preventing and managing future outbreaks contributing to an equitable and global public health.
Nut Graf
With many countries still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic shock, an outbreak of another disease would be devastating. However, due to the nature of the Monkeypox virus and with effective ways of containing the outbreak such as contact tracing and a vaccine already in place, countries are expected to prevent and manage the current Monkeypox outbreak.

Category: ECONOMY

1. Be wary of growing exports

Syllabus: GS III, Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development and Employment.

Prelims: Trends in India’s exports

Mains: Concerns with export trends from India

Context:

  • Exports from India have risen to record levels in recent years. Also, the evolving geopolitical environment has created export opportunities for countries such as India.
  • In this context, the article argues for a more calibrated approach to exports from India.

Concerns with exports from India:

  • The growing consumption in rich countries and the consequent rise in exports have come at a cost for developing countries such as India.

Emissions-embodied exports from India:

  • India is one of the leading exporters of carbon emissions-embodied products, and concerningly as against the trend observed in other countries, there has been a steady increase in the total carbon emissions embodied in exports. In 1995, net exports were 75.8 million tonnes; it increased to 372 million tonnes in 2018.
    • Due to the stringent environmental measures adopted by developed countries, pollution-intensive industries show a tendency to relocate from developed countries to developing countries with low environmental standards. This is often termed as ‘pollution haven hypothesis’. Developing countries eventually become pollution havens.
  • India is the 4th largest exporter of carbon emissions-embodied products.

Environmental Kuznets curve:

  • There is an inverted U-shape relationship between the income of a country and its environmental degradation. As income increases, environmental quality begins to deteriorate, but improves after some time.

Water intensive agricultural products export:

  • Agricultural and food products like rice and sugar dominate India’s agricultural exports. This amounts to the virtual export of water from India which will have an adverse impact on the long-term sustainability and food security of the country given the water stress already being observed in India.

Environmental issues being raked up by developed countries:

  • Developing countries have begun imposing environmental taxes and are also considering imposing such taxes on imports as well. This will impact exports from developing countries like India.
  • Notably, most developed countries are net importers of polluted goods produced elsewhere, especially in developing countries like India.

Recommendations:

  • Developed countries that are consuming polluted goods produced elsewhere must take up proportionate responsibility in global climate action.
  • Keeping long term sustainability in mind, stricter environmental measures and implementation should be ensured despite any adverse impact it might have on India’s export potential and trade.
  • The increased GDP as a result of expansion in export revenue should be utilised for improving the environmental quality.
Nut Graf
There is a need to balance the objectives of environmental sustainability and economic growth. This alone can ensure long term sustainable development of India.

F. Prelims Facts

Nothing here for today!!!

G. Tidbits

1. Frame policies to protect LGBTIQ+ workers, says ILO

  • An International Labour Organisation (ILO) document on “Inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) persons in the world of work” urged its member countries and employer organisations to start social protection initiatives to address the barriers that LGBTIQ+ individuals face in society.
  • The ILO held that LGBTIQ+ individuals face harassment, violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, gender expression which has an economic cost not just to the individuals and their families but also to enterprises and national economies at large.
  • The ILO document recommended the review of national policies and labour laws that helps in identifying measures that improve the legal and policy environment and addresses discrimination and exclusions.

2. Supreme Court recognises sex work as a ‘profession’

  • The Supreme Court directed the police not to interfere nor undertake criminal proceedings against adult and consenting sex workers, this has gained significance as the order recognises sex work as a “profession” and ensures that the practitioners are entitled to dignity (right to a dignified life under Article 21) and equal protection under the law.
  • The SC held that sex workers must not be “arrested or penalised or harassed or victimised” whenever there is a raid on any brothel, “since voluntary sex work is not illegal and only running the brothel is unlawful”.
  • The court also said that the media should be careful and not publish or telecast any photos that would result in disclosure of their identities.
  • Further, the court said that if a minor is found living in a brothel or with sex workers, it should not be presumed that the child was trafficked.

3. India’s palm oil imports said to hit 11-year low

  • Curbs on palm oil exports by Indonesia and India’s decision to permit duty-free imports of soy oil will result in a 19% fall in the imports of palm oil to India.
  • India permitted duty-free imports of 2 million tonnes of soy oil and sunflower oil each to control the local edible-oil prices.
  • Soy oil imports are expected to increase by 57% to a record 4.5 million tonnes which might put pressure on Malaysian palm oil prices and boost the soy oil imports thereby supporting U.S. soy oil futures prices.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements: (Level – Medium)
  1. Out of the seven union territories, only two have representation in the Rajya Sabha.
  2. An independent member of a House (elected without being set up as a candidate by any political party) becomes disqualified for being a member of the House if he joins any political party after the expiry of six months from the date on which he takes his seat in the House. This means that he may join any political party within six months of taking his seat in the House without inviting this disqualification.
  3. American Senate has no nominated members.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is not correct, Currently, there are eight UTs in India and three of them namely Delhi, Puducherry and Jammu & Kashmir have representation in the Rajya Sabha.
  • Statement 2 is not correct, According to the 10th Schedule (Anti Defection Law), If any member who is independently elected joins any party, the member can be disqualified on the grounds of defection.
    • The six months timeline is available only for nominated members.
  • Statement 3 is correct, The US Constitution prescribes that the Senate be composed of two senators from each State (therefore, the Senate currently has 100 Members). And the American Senate has no nominated members.
Q2. With respect to Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, which of the 
following statements is/are correct? (Level – Difficult)
  1. It prohibits specific single-use plastic items which have “low utility and high littering potential” by 2030.
  2. The provisions will not apply to commodities made of compostable plastic.

Options:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both
  4. None
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is not correct, It prohibits identified single-use plastic items which have low utility and high littering potential by 2022.
  • Statement 2 is correct, The ban will not apply to commodities made of compostable plastic. 
Q3. Which of the following statements is/are correct with respect to Vermin?
 (Level – Medium)
  1. The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 does not define the term ‘vermin’.
  2. An animal can be declared as vermin only for a period as specified in the Central Government Notification.
  3. Once declared a vermin the species is deemed to be included in Schedule V, opening them up to be hunted.

Options:

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct, The Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 does not define the term ‘vermin’. However, Schedule V of the Act contains a list of animals designated ‘vermin’, which includes rats, crows and foxes.
  • Statement 2 is correct, The Wildlife (Protection) Act empowers the Central government to issue notifications declaring any wild animal, other than those specified in Schedule I and part II of Schedule II, as vermin for any specified area and a specified period. 
  • Statement 3 is correct, Once declared a vermin the species is deemed to be included in Schedule V, opening them up to be hunted.
Q4. Which of the following reports is/are published by International Labour 
Organization (ILO)? (Level – Difficult)
  1. Global Wage Report
  2. World Employment and Social Outlook Report
  3. World of Work Report

Options:

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • The International Labour Organization publishes flagship reports such as Employment and Social Outlook, Global Wage Report, World Social Protection Report, and World of Work Report.
Q5. The money multiplier in an economy increases with which one of the following? 
(Level – Easy) [UPSC 2021]
  1. Increase in the Cash Reserve Ratio in the banks
  2. Increase in the Statutory Liquidity Ratio in the banks
  3. Increase in the banking habit of the people
  4. Increase in the population of the country
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The multiplier effect is the proportional amount of increase or decrease in final income that results from an injection or withdrawal of spending.
    • Hence an increase in the banking habit of the people will increase the money multiplier in an economy.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. A robust GDP is built on the foundations of a healthy youth. Comment. (250 words; 15 marks) (GS II – Governance)
  2. What are ‘pollution havens’? Is it time for the developed nations to be called out for exporting their waste? Discuss. (250 words; 15 marks) (GS III – Environment)

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 26 May 2022:- Download PDF Here

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