29 May 2022: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

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CNA 29 May 2022:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
SOCIETY
1. Heritage to sustainability, UN-Habitat lays out plan for Pink City
B. GS 2 Related
C. GS 3 Related
SECURITY
1. Twin hurdles hinder India’s maritime role
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
ECONOMY
1. Price rise and GST
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Is the Indo-Pacific bloc limited in scope?
F. Prelims Facts
1. Coccoliths fossils
G. Tidbits
1. Men face sex selection cases in Odisha
2. Bihar to authorise exploration of country’s ‘largest’ gold reserve
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Is the Indo-Pacific bloc limited in scope?

Syllabus: GS II, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, Regional groupings and agreements involving India

Prelims: Indo-Pacific Region, IPEF

Mains: Importance of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework to strengthen the trade relations in the Indo-Pacific. 

Context: The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) for Prosperity was launched as a new trade initiative by the US at the Quad Summit in Tokyo. 

Important highlights:

  • The IPEF was witnessed by 13 participating countries including India. 
  • This culminated in the onset of a new economic bloc in the Indo-Pacific Region
  • The IPEF engages Australia, Brunei, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam. 
  • This group represents 40% of the world’s GDP. 
  • There has been some scepticism associated with the launch of the IPEF that questions the roles, responsibilities and functions of the trade deal. 
  • According to the officials, IPEF is not a traditional trade deal. 

Understanding the IPEF:

  • This trade deal has been an attempt by the Biden administration to bring together the countries in the Indo-Pacific and function with the idea of an alternative trading arrangement. 
  • The framework is based on the conceptual underpinnings of a connected economy, resilient economy, clean economy and a fair economy. These form four pillars of IPEF.
  • The IPEF intends to set standardised norms to facilitate trade without more market access for its members. 
  • It will not negotiate lower tariffs. 
  • It will allow the members to adopt a pick and choose attitude towards joining only the desired pillars of IPEF. 

Read more about IPEF in the linked article.

America’s interests:

  • The IPEF is an excerpt from the decade-old Pivot to Asia programme of the US. 
  • This is a step to re-imagine the Indo-Pacific as a geographical construct that includes America. 
  • It has been perceived as the stepping stone of America’s entry into the trade administration of the Indo-Pacific. 
  • The IPEF will comprise India and the seven countries of the ASEAN along with the major countries of the large trade bloc of Asia, the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership). This exemplifies the growing prominence of the US in the Asian sphere of trade. 
  • The IPEF is a testimony to the Asian vision of the US and its agenda to tackle an aggressive China. 

Way ahead for India:

  • India’s participation in the IPEF retains it in the room on Asian trading arrangements. 
  • By extending its agreement to take part in the IPEF, India has nullified the criticism of being overtly protectionist. 
  • As India’s foreign policy has inculcated the traits of legitimate flexibility, the country has been open to expanding its trading networks by indulging in bilateral trade agreements like the first-ever trade agreement with the United Arab Emirates and its active measures to complete the trade deals with the UK, Canada and Australia. 
  • Joining the IPEF has been another significant initiative by India to express its willingness to expand, explore and innovate trade relations with the spirit of multilateralism. 
  • The IPEF will also broaden the avenues for India to counter China’s virtual control over Asian trade. 
  • Therefore, it is of enormous importance that India is the only country in South Asia which has been invited to the grouping and there is a huge possibility of expansion of its membership in the IPEF. 

Read about the issue in CNA dated 24th May 2022.

Nut Graf
It is imperative to analyse the difference between the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and the major existing trade agreements in Asia along with deep scrutiny of the effectiveness of the new trade deal in keeping alignment with the norms of a free, fair, open and a resilient Indo-Pacific.

F. Prelims Facts

1. Coccoliths fossils

Syllabus: Science and Technology – developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

Prelims: About Coccoliths

Context

A team of scientists has found a remarkable type of fossilization which are microscopic imprints, or ‘ghosts,’ of single-celled plankton called coccolithophores.

Details

  • Declines in the presence of coccolith fossils have been documented from past global warming events, which suggest that these planktons were adversely affected due to climate change and ocean acidification. 
  • However, recent studies found abundant ghost fossils from three Jurassic and Cretaceous warming events (94, 120 and 183 million years ago), proving that coccolithophores were more resilient to climate change than perceived.
  • After the death of coccoliths, their calcareous exoskeletons drop to the seafloor and accumulate in large numbers forming rocks such as chalk. Deposition of mud squashed the coccolith plates and the hard coccoliths were pressed into the surfaces of pollen, spores and other soft organic matter.
  • Later, acidic waters in the rock dissolved away the coccoliths, leaving behind just their imprints which are regarded as the “ghosts”.

Coccolithophores

  • Coccolithophores are single-celled, eukaryotic marine plants or phytoplanktons.
  • Coccolithophores surround themselves with a microscopic plating made of limestone (calcite)
  • Despite being microscopic organisms, Coccolithophores can be abundantly present in the ocean, being visible from space as cloud-like blooms.

Know more about Coccolithophores in PIB dated Jun 25, 2020.

G. Tidbits

1. Men face sex selection cases in Odisha

  • 13 individuals were arrested in Odisha on charges of their involvement in the determination of the sex of the foetus.
  • They will be proceeded under the charges of pre-natal sex-determination and female foeticides. 
  • Pre-natal sex determination is banned in India under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act of 1994.

2. Bihar to authorise exploration of country’s ‘largest’ gold reserve

  • The Bihar government has decided to permit the exploration of “India’s largest” gold reserve in the Jamui district.
  • According to the Geological Survey of India (GSI) survey, nearly 222.88 million tonnes of gold reserves (which accounts for about 44% of the total gold reserves in the country), including 37.6 tonnes of the mineral-rich ore, are present in the district.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Which of the following statements is/are correct with respect to Nano urea? 
(Level – Difficult)
  1. Developed indigenously, it is the first such product in the world approved for usage by farmers.
  2. This fertilizer which comes in the form of a powder is broadcasted on the ground near the root zone of the plants.
  3. Similar nano fertilizers are available for the other frequently used phosphate and potash-based fertilizers.

Options:

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct,  Nano urea has been developed indigenously by IFFCO (Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited) and will be the world’s first Nano Urea Liquid approved for usage by farmers.
  • Statement 2 is not correct,  Nano Urea comes in the form of Liquid and is sprayed on leaves, which then enters through stomata and other openings and is assimilated by the plant cells.
  • Statement 3 is not correct, Nano fertilizers are currently made from ammonium humate, ammonia, urea, peat, plant wastes, and other synthetic fertilizers.
Q2. Which of the following personalities first used the slogan “Inquilab Zindabad” 
(Long live revolution)? (Level – Medium)
  1. Ashfaqullah Khan
  2. Bhagat Singh
  3. Hasrat Mohani
  4. Ramprasad Bismil
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • “Inquilab Zindabad” translated as “Long Live Revolution” was coined by Moulana Hasrat Mohani in the year 1921.
  • It was one of the most famous slogans during the Indian freedom struggle.
  • Bhagat Singh and his associate B.K. Dutt raised this popular slogan after bombing the Central legislative Assembly Delhi in April 1929.
Q3. Which of the following Pacific Islands is located closest to India based on the 
longitudinal position? (Level – Difficult)
  1. Samoa
  2. Solomon Islands
  3. Hawaii
  4. Fiji
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

Pacific Islands

Image Source: Encyclopedia Britannica

Q4. Which of the following statements about V.D. Savarkar is/are correct? (Level – Medium)
  1. V.D. Savarkar served as the President of Hindu Mahasabha from 1937 to 1943 and was the founder of the Abhinav Bharat Society and India House in London.
  2. One of the main literary works of V.D. Savarkar is the “The History of the War of Indian Independence”.

Options:

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is not correct,  V.D. Savarkar served as the President of Hindu Mahasabha from 1937 to 1943 and he founded the Abhinav Bharat Society along with his brother Ganesh Damodar Savarkar in 1904.
    • India House in London was founded by Shyamji Krishna Varma
  • Statement 2 is correct, V.D. Savarkar authored the book “The History of the War of Indian Independence”  which described the Indian Revolt of 1857.
Q5. Consider the following: (Level – Difficult) [UPSC 2019]
  1. Carbon monoxide
  2. Methane
  3. Ozone
  4. Sulphur dioxide

Which of the above are released into atmosphere due to the burning of crop/biomass residue?

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

Burning of crop/biomass residue emit gases such as sulphur dioxide (SO2), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), black carbon (BC), organic carbon (OC), methane (CH4), volatile organic compounds (VOC), non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHCs), ozone (O3), aerosols, etc.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Evaluate the success of Goods & Service Tax (GST) and examine if there is a need for the government to restructure India’s Goods and Services Tax? (10 Marks, 150 Words) (GS III – Economy)
  2. With Asia already having major trade agreements in place, how is the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) different? (10 Marks, 150 Words) (GS III – Economy)

CNA 29 May 2022:- Download PDF Here

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