06 Nov 2019: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

6 Nov 2019 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A.GS1 Related
B.GS2 Related
HEALTH
1. ‘Indian lungs under extreme stress’
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Gujarat anti-terror Bill gets President’s nod
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. U.S. begins formal pullout from Paris deal
C.GS3 Related
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. Economic slowdown may lighten India’s carbon burden
D.GS4 Related
E. Editorials
ECONOMY
1. What makes doing business easier
2. Safe, for now
3. A victory for the dairy sector
INTERNAL SECURITY
1. Down, but still a potent terror force
F. Tidbits
1. Ban proposed on sale, ads of junk food in schools
2. Ready to address India’s concerns on RCEP: China
G. Prelims Fact
1. Office of Profit
2. Settle Brus in Tripura, say royals
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

B. GS2 Related

Category: HEALTH

1. ‘Indian lungs under extreme stress’

Context:

National Health Profile 2019 has been released by the ministry of health and family welfare. It is the 14th edition of the National Health Profile.

Key facts:

  • The National Health Profile-2019 points out that Acute respiratory infections (ARI) accounted for 69.47% of morbidity in 2018, which was the highest in the communicable disease category, leading to 27.21% mortality.
  • Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal reported a large number of patients and fatalities due to ARI.

Percentage distribution of morbidity reported in communicable diseases in 2018

Concerns:

  • According to the World Health Organisation, ARI is a serious ailment that prevents normal breathing function and kills an estimated 2.6 million children annually every year worldwide.
  • Indians face the double burden of heavy air pollution in addition to the high rate of ARI which hits children the hardest.
  • When polluted air is inhaled, particles and pollutants penetrate and inflame the linings of your bronchial tubes and lungs leading to respiratory illness such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, heart disease, asthma, wheezing, coughing and difficulty in breathing.
  • When pregnant women are exposed to polluted air, it increases the risk of pre-term delivery and low birth weight, factors that can lead to developmental disabilities later on.
  • Children are particularly susceptible as they breathe through their mouths, bypassing the filtering effects of the nasal passages and allowing pollutants to travel deeper into the lungs.

National Health Profile:

  • The National Health Profile is prepared by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI).
  • It provides a comprehensive framework on the socio-economic health status and the status of demographic, health finance, health infrastructure and health of human resources in the country.
  • The National Health Profile was first published in 2005. Ever since the profile has been released every year.
  • The National Health Profile – 2019 highlights important health information under major indicators such as demographic indicators, socio-economic indicators and health status indicators.

Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. Gujarat anti-terror Bill gets President’s nod

Context:

President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the ‘Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill’, controversial anti-terror legislation passed in March 2015.

Details:

  • The Bill, earlier named as the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime Bill, failed to get the presidential nod thrice since 2004.
  • In 2015, the Gujarat government re-introduced the Bill by renaming it the GCTOC, but retained controversial provisions such as empowering the police to tap telephonic conversations and submit them in court as evidence.
  • Sixteen years after the first version of it was passed by the Gujarat Assembly, the Gujarat GCTOC has finally become law.

What is the bill about?

  • On March 31, 2015, the Gujarat Assembly passed the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Bill (GCTOC) with a view to curbing “organised crime”.
  • It is, essentially, an anti-terrorism law modelled on laws such the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.
  • One of the key features of the new Act is intercepted telephonic conversations would now be considered as legitimate evidence.
  • The new legislation defines ‘terrorist acts’, as including “an act committed with the intention to disturb law and order or public order or threaten the unity, integrity and security of the State”, apart from economic offences.
  • The economic offences the GCTOC covers include Ponzi schemes, multi-level marketing schemes, and organised betting. It also includes extortion, land grabbing, contract killings, cybercrimes, and human trafficking.
  • Anyone conspiring or attempting to commit, as well as advocating and abetting, any offence under it can invite a term of not less than five years going up to life. Offences resulting in death of a person are punishable by death or imprisonment for life.
  • The bill also provides for the creation of a special court as well as the appointment of special public prosecutors.
  • The bill provides for attachment of properties acquired through organised crimes. Transfer of properties can also be cancelled.

What were the controversial provisions?

  • One of the most controversial provisions in the Bill is the interception of oral, wire or electronic conversations and their admissibility as evidence in a court of law. The Centre had sent back the GCTOC Bill to the state government after certain objections were raised by the Ministry of Information and Technology, which said that the Bill was in conflict with the Indian Telegraph Act, a Central law. Gujarat government rejected these objections and went ahead with the Bill.
    • Under the provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act, in case of a public emergency, an officer of secretary rank can give permission to intercept calls.
    • The Gujarat government has entrusted the Home Secretary to authorise such interceptions.
  • The bill has another important and controversial provision: that a statement made before a police officer, not below the rank of Superintendent of Police, is admissible as evidence in court.
    • Civil rights organisations have been opposing this provision, calling it a violation of the fundamental rights of an accused.
  • GUJCTOC Act provides immunity to the state government and its officers from legal action in the form of a suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings for an action that is “done or intended to be done in good faith in pursuance of the Act”.
  • Under the new law, cops get up to 180 days instead of the stipulated 90 days to file a chargesheet. The accused will not be granted bail until the public prosecutor has got a chance to oppose the bail application.

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. U.S. begins formal pullout from Paris deal

Context:

The United States has notified the United Nations of its formal withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.

Paris Agreement:

  • Paris Agreement is an international arrangement to fight against climate change.
  • The governments of 195 nations gathered in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015 and discussed a conceivable fresh global agreement on climate change, intended at decreasing global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • It is a historic international accord that brings almost 200 countries together in setting a common target to reduce global greenhouse emissions in an effort to fight climate change.
  • The deal is considered by many as the most significant international measure to address climate change since the formation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992.
  • Aim of the Paris Agreement are:
    • Retain the global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level.
    • Pursue efforts to limit the temperature upsurge even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
    • Reinforce the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change.

How does a country leave the Agreement?

  • Article 28 of the Paris Agreement allows countries to leave the Paris Agreement and lays down the process for leaving.
  • A country can only give notice for leaving at least three years after the Paris Agreement came into force.

Why does the United States want to leave the deal?

  • President Trump has, in the past, called climate change a hoax created by China and his administration has reversed several Obama-era climate policies — including, now, the decision to be a part of the Paris Agreement.
  • President Donald Trump had said in 2017 that he was taking the U.S. out of the deal.
  • The exit will make the United States the only country in the world that will not participate in the pact.  Syria and Nicaragua, the last remaining countries who were earlier holding out, also became signatories in 2017.

How and why does the US’s leaving matter?

  • The United States is the world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
  • If it does not reduce its emissions befitting its status as the second-largest emitter, it could seriously jeopardise the world’s objective of keeping the global temperature rise to within 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial times.
  • As part of its commitment to the Paris Agreement, the United States had promised to reduce its emissions by 26 per cent to 28 per cent by the year 2025 from 2005 levels.
  • While exiting the Paris Agreement does not automatically mean the abandonment of this target or of any future action by the United States on climate change, it would no longer be committed to these actions.
  • But the biggest impact of the exit of the United States from the Agreement might be on the financial flows to enable climate actions.
  • The United States plays a preeminent role in mobilising financial resources globally, and its absence from the scene could seriously hamper that effort.
  • Under the Paris Agreement, developed countries are under obligation to mobilise at least $100 billion every year from the year 2020 in climate finance meant for the developing world. This amount has to be revised upwards after five years. As it is, countries are struggling to reach this amount.
  • While it is pulling out of the Paris Agreement, it remains part of the UNFCCC, the mother agreement that was finalised in 1994.

C. GS3 Related

Category: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. Economic slowdown may lighten India’s carbon burden

Context:

A study has pointed out that Carbon dioxide emissions are poised to grow at their slowest since 2001 due to a lower demand for coal in the power and manufacturing sectors.

Details:

  • The analysis published in Carbon Brief (a site that tracks emission and carbon dioxide trends) states that the Carbon dioxide emissions are poised to grow at their slowest — a 2% rise from 2018 — since 2001.
  • The rise in C02 emissions from India saw wild swings — from 7% in 2014 to 3.5% in 2015 and then back to 7.8% in 2018. This is the first time that emissions are expected to grow below 3% from the previous year.
  • It is opined that coal generation trends are unlikely to change given the lack of demand and the contribution of renewables.
  • Slower growth in coal-based power generation will also benefit the country’s air quality efforts, as essentially all coal-fired power plants lack pollution controls commonly required in the EU and China.

India's CO2 Emissions (2006 - 2018) Graph

Increase in Renewables:

  • Industrial coal use fell dramatically in 2017 because of a slowdown in the construction sector and bounced back in 2018.
  • Wind generation rose by 17% in the first six months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018, with solar up 30% and hydro increasing by 22%.

Key facts:

  • A 2018 report by the International Energy Emissions Agency said India’s per capita emissions were about 40% of the global average and contributed 7% to the global carbon dioxide burden. The U.S., the largest emitter, contributed 14%.
  • As per its commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, India has promised to reduce the emission intensity of its economy by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.
  • India has also committed to having 40% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: ECONOMY

1. What makes doing business easier

Context:

Laudable improvement in India’s ranking in the World Bank’s ‘Ease-of-doing-business’ Index on the one hand while the economic growth in India has been less than expected with the growth rate slowing down.

Details:

India’s rank improved from 142 in 2014 to 77 in the World Bank’s ‘Ease-of-doing-business’ (EODB) report for 2019, and to 63 for 2020. The government has expressed its determination to take India into the top 50 countries of this index.

Concerns:

  • There are doubts that the government’s emphasis on improving the ease of doing business alone might not be the solution to the economic challenges facing India. It would be unwise to judge the state of the economy by observing movements in the ease of doing business index.
  • There are some limitations to the WB’s EODB report. The World Bank’s EODB report focuses mainly on the regulatory regime without adequate attention to infrastructure and is narrow in its coverage as its analysis is confined to Delhi and Mumbai only.
  • The largest number of working Indians are self-employed. The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) of 2017-18 shows that while the percentage of self-employed went up from 49.8 to 52.2 percent in the six-year period, the percentage of salaried went up from 9.6 to 12.7 percent. The massive self-employment is not specifically a result of entrepreneurial efforts which the EODB intends to promote.
  • The state has for long remained impervious to the challenges faced by its smaller businessmen. The EODB also does not cater much to the needs of the small businessmen and the self-employed.
  • India’s rank improved from 142 in 2014 to 77 in the report for 2019, and 63 for 2020. However, this has done little for private investment, which, when measured as a share of GDP, has remained unchanged since 2014. Private investment is very important for the sustained growth of the economy.
  • That the Indian economy is facing an aggregate demand slowdown is indicated by the fact that aggregate investment, as a share of GDP, peaked in 2011. Now, it is about 10% lower.
  • Although the ease of doing business is important, it needs to be emphasized that a business cannot flourish on its own. Its fortunes are tied to the health of the economy within which it is operating. A growing economy with assured demand for their products might give entrepreneurs the confidence to start their businesses. It sets in motion a virtuous cycle. The slowing economic growth is not good for the prospects of business endeavours. The recent surge in India’s ranking on the ease of doing business has come at a time of distinct slowing of growth.

Suggestions:

  • Creating demand:
    • The slowing of aggregate demand has been observed to be the major cause of the present slowdown.
    • Aggregate demand needs to be increased since without it neither the eased regulatory environment nor the entrepreneurial capability of businessmen can make much of a difference to their businesses. Assured demand for their products might give entrepreneurs the confidence to start their businesses.
  • Resort to deficit spending:
    • This constitutes the classic Keynesian recommendation in times of an aggregate demand slowdown. A slowing of aggregate demand growth (part of the investment cycle) can be tackled by resorting to deficit spending.
    • Setting aside the government’s adherence to pre-set fiscal deficit targets as per the Fiscal responsibility and budget management Act, 2003.
    • It needs to be noted that the composition of public spending matters for growth. Any increase in the fiscal deficit that takes the form of a rise in public consumption rather than public capital formation can have only a temporary effect of increased growth rate. The government should focus on capital formation as it would result in both increased aggregate demand and raise the potential supply of the economy. Its growth impact would have lasted much longer.
  • Macroeconomic policy:
    • When faced with an aggregate-demand growth slowdown, an active macroeconomic policy is needed.
    • With the RBI reluctant to lower the interest rates, a change in the monetary policy seems less possible. Fiscal policy alone holds some promise but calibration would be necessary for its use.
    • Spending must focus on the rural sector to raise agricultural yields and build the infrastructure needed to support non-farm livelihoods so that pressure on the land can be reduced. This will also expand aggregate demand.
  • Enable the self-employed:
    • Factors that affect small businesses and the self-employed need to be emphasized. The government must focus on boosting the living standards of the self-employed as they account for a large part of the aggregate demand.
  • Focus on improving the state of the Indian agricultural sector:
    • India is witnessing a demand slowing with Indian characteristics. The greater part of the population is located in a very slow-growing agricultural sector, putting a brake on consumption growth.
    • The grimness of the situation is summed up by the dual feature that around 70% of the population is rural and in half the years of the decade since 2008, we have had zero or negative growth in crop agriculture while the non-agricultural economy has grown steadily.
    • The Indian growth story is plagued by the rapid rise in inequality. As inequality rises and the income distribution shifts away from the overwhelming majority of the population, aggregate demand growth slows.
    • Anecdotal evidence that luxury cars fared well during this Deepavali while sales of the most basic items of clothing did not, points to the likelihood of such an income-distributional shift having actually taken place.
    • The recent corporate tax cut could feed a private investment surge but it could also just as well end up adding to the ongoing shift in income distribution, further lowering aggregate demand.

Conclusion:

  • The government needs to be pro-active to help overcome the present economic slowdown.
  • We need to realize that the viability of a business depends on the vitality of the economy in which it operates and the focus should be on improving the economy as a whole rather than limiting the attention on only the ease of doing business.

For more information on EODB report refer:

CNA dated Oct 27, 2019

CNA dated Nov 3, 2019

2. Safe, for now

Context:

India’s decision to pull out from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Background:

The pressure mounted by interest groups, ranging from farmers, small industries and traders, to political parties across the board, surely played a major role in the decision to stay out of the grouping. The country had little choice but to exit after its safeguard requests were not conceded.

Reasons for backing out:

  • The strength of the Chinese economy in the RCEP grouping and its desperate need to find newer markets for its products in the backdrop of its trade dispute with the U.S raised fears of it dumping its products into India. This could be devastating for the local producers.
  • India runs a massive bilateral trade deficit of $53 billion with China and the fact that China has not taken satisfactory efforts to whittle down the deficit.
  • India’s experience with countries with which it has signed free trade agreements till now has not been beneficial for India. Though trade has increased post-FTA with South Korea, ASEAN and Japan, imports have risen faster than exports from India.
  • According to a paper published by NITI Aayog, India has a bilateral trade deficit with most of the member countries of RCEP. More importantly, while exports to RCEP countries account for just 15% of India’s total exports, imports from RCEP countries make up 35% of the country’s total imports. Being a part of RCEP would lead to an adverse current account deficit. The country had more to lose than gain from joining RCEP.
  • The country had little choice but to exit after its safeguard requests were not conceded.
    • India’s request for country-specific tariff schedules was rejected in the negotiations.
    • India’s request for an auto-trigger mechanism to check a sudden surge in imports from particular partner countries was turned down.
    • India also argued for stricter rules of origin, and rightly so too, given the possibility of China trying to dump its products via a third country.
    • Service sector liberalization was not given equal prominence like the trade of goods. The issue of the movement of professionals between grouping members led to an impasse in the negotiations.
  • Since India has active FTAs with most members of the RCEP except China, Australia, and New Zealand, there will be no economic impact by not being part of RCEP.

Fallouts of the decision:

  • India’s decision has burnished its image as a protectionist nation with high tariff walls, at a time when India itself is demanding greater globalization in international forums.
  • India is focusing too much on the harm that could arise out of the deal and neglecting the possible opportunities it provides.

Way forward:

  • India cannot miss out on being a part of global supply chains, recognizing the need for sustainable growth. Globalization seems a good path to take and for this tariff barriers are to be reduced. The best way to balance the effect of rising imports is by promoting exports.
  • Instituting structural reforms at home and empowering the domestic manufacturers can help them compete with the other RCEP members should India decide on joining RCEP in the future.
  • There is a need to initiate reforms on the export front, bring down logistic costs in the economy and, simultaneously, increase efficiencies to decrease the cost of production to make Indian products competitive in the international markets.

For more information on RCEP refer:

CNA dated Nov 4, 2019

CNA dated Nov 5, 2019

3. A victory for the dairy sector

Context:

Farmers protest in India against RCEP. India’s decision to pull out from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Details:

  • The tariff clauses for agriculture in the RCEP are much more severe compared to the existing World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement.
  • While the WTO allows a country to fix tariffs up to a certain maximum, or bound tariff, for a given commodity line, the RCEP binds countries to reduce that level to zero within the next 15 years. Currently, India’s average bound tariff for dairy products is about 63.8% while its average applied tariff is 34.8%.

Dairy sector Facts:

Indian Scenario:

  • India’s dairy sector provides a livelihood to about 70 million households.
  • A key feature of India’s dairy sector is the predominance of small producers. In 2017, if the average herd size in a dairy farm was 191 in the U.S., 355 in Oceania, 148 in the U.K. and 160 in Denmark, it was just 2 in India.
  • Consequent to Operation Flood of the 1960s, India’s contribution to world milk production rose from 5% in 1970 to 20% in 2018. Today, India is largely self-sufficient in milk production. It does not import or export milk in any significant quantity.
  • NITI Aayog report states that in 2033, India’s milk production would rise to 330 MMT while its milk demand would be 292 MMT. Thus, India is likely to be a milk-surplus country in spite of increasing demand from the large population.
  • The last 25 years have seen the growth of private milk companies. The policy has also favoured the entry of multinational dairy corporations into the Indian dairy sector, through joint ventures, mergers, and acquisitions.

Global scenario:

  • In the global milk trade, developed countries account for 79% of the total world export of milk. Major players are the U.S., the EU, Australia and New Zealand. On the other hand, developing countries account for 80% of the world’s total milk imports.
  • Some of the major players in the global milk trade are in the RCEP region. About 51% of the global trade of milk takes place in the RCEP region.
  • Australia and New Zealand, deprived of the lucrative markets in the U.S. after the demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), have had a deep interest in the RCEP agreement.

New Zealand’s strength in the Dairy sector:

  • The climatic and geographic conditions of the region have led to the availability of extensive grazing lands which helps reduce feed costs. Feed costs constitute a major proportion of the input costs in the dairy sector.
  • Implementation of mechanized operations leads to lower labour costs and allows for higher average herd size leading to the advantages of economies of large-scale production.
  • The productivity of milch animals of the native breeds is high – about 30 L/day. Planned breeding has played an important role in enhancing the productivity of the animals.
  • New Zealand government policy has consciously helped its major company, Fonterra, to become the dairy giant that it is. Fonterra controls 90% of the New Zealand milk market and one-third of world trade in milk. This gives it a dominant role in the global dairy sector.
  • All the above factors have led to the relatively low unit cost of milk production in New Zealand.

Significance of Dairy sector to India:

  • Livestock is the lifeline of the Indian Agro-based economy. India is an agro-based country and animal agriculture is the main side-line sector that contributes more than 28% to agro GDP including poultry. The livestock sector contributes to more than 4% of India’s GDP and the dairy sector comprises the majority of this share.
  • The dairy sector in India grew at a rate of 6.4 percent annually in the last four years (2015-2019) against the global growth rate of 1.7 per cent.
  • India is an agricultural country and the livestock sector is an integral part of agriculture. They supplement each other. There exists a symbiotic relationship between agriculture and livestock farming. The agricultural by-products provide feed and fodder for the cattle, whereas cattle provide manure, draught power for various agricultural operations.
  • It is the backbone of India’s economy in the form of income and employment. The livestock sector contributes to national income from various industries such as Dairy, Poultry, Leather, Feed, Wool and Fur, Organic fertilizers, Bio-fuel sector and Bioresearch, etc. Livestock is an important source of several value-added by-products, which have immense future business potential.
  • In India, the dairy sector plays an important role in the country’s socio-economic development and constitutes an important segment of the rural economy. Milk contributes close to 1/3rd of the gross income of rural households. It is a source of stability even during crisis situation that the agricultural sector finds itself in.
  • For small farmers, landless and agriculture labourers, the livestock sector is giving sustainability to their lives. It is providing a livelihood to the people living in drought areas like Rajasthan, Gujarat, etc.
  • The dairy sector is a rich source of high-quality foods such as milk, meat and eggs rich in proteins. This is significant in the Indian scenario since India is home to the largest number of vegetarians and suffers from protein deficiency.
  • Livestock plays an important role in the socio-economic life of India. It is the most important sector of the Indian economy, particularly in poverty alleviation and employment generation. In India, livestock provides regular, supplementary income to producers engaged in secondary and tertiary forms related to livestock business.

Indian Dairy sector concerns regarding RCEP:

  • Multinational dairy firms had been building a strong presence in India even prior to the RCEP talks. Presently these firms are forced to buy milk from Indian farmers. The reason is that the applied tariff for dairy products in India is about 35%.
  • The bound tariff would have fallen to zero if the RCEP had come into effect. It would have then been far more profitable for firms to import milk from New Zealand or Australia rather than buy it from Indian farmers. The sale price of milk received by Indian farmers would have fallen sharply.

Way forward:

  • Any future negotiations must keep in mind the significance of the dairy sector to India not just in the economic context but also in its unique role in the social transformation of the rural landscape.

Category: INTERNAL SECURITY

1. Down, but still a potent terror force

Context:

The death of the Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in northwest Syria in an operation by the U.S. special forces.

What lies ahead?

  • Post the death of Baghdadi there is now a big question mark over the future of the IS. There was a swift appointment of a virtually unknown person, Abu Ibrahim Hashimi al-Quraishi as the new leader of the IS.
  • Baghdadi’s death does not mean that the group is defeated because the IS, like its peers in global jihadism such as al-Qaeda, is not a completely leader-dependent organization. It is fundamentally an insurgency comprising ideologically linked autonomous cells that are loyal to one leadership. So Baghdadi’s death, while a blow to the organization and its propaganda, does not mean that IS operations are over.
  • The short audio clipping that was released by IS has warned the U.S. of severe reprisal for Baghdadi’s killing. It is, therefore, reasonable to believe that Iraq and Syria are in for a turbulent time.
  • The partial withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria has already complicated the situation, leading to the escape from custody of a number of IS prisoners and their families.
  • The organization would undergo a change but the basic structure would continue to comprise what is known as Wilayats headquartered in a number of provinces in each country.

Indian scenario:

  • India has enough reason to be apprehensive about the developments in West Asia. The alert by the Home Ministry to the States of the possibility of ‘lone wolf’ IS attacks across the nation is worrying.
  • The recent raids by the National Investigation Agency in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere suggest an IS presence in the country.
  • A few misguided Indian youths crossed into Iraq in the early days of the IS to fight for jihad. Though most were disillusioned in a quick time and a few returned home, there are reasons to believe that others who have stayed back, could have become part of IS’s core team.
  • The returnees from formerly IS-controlled territories could lapse into mischief and allow themselves to be used as ‘sleeper cells’ in India.

Way forward:

  • Security agencies might have to monitor the returnees from formerly IS-controlled territories so that they do not lapse into mischief.
  • The authorities must focus on de-radicalization as well as checking new recruitment to the IS.
  • This would require enormous community alertness and swift communication with security agencies of any suspicious behavior.

For more information on ISIS refer:

CNA dated Oct 29, 2019

F. Tidbits

1. Ban proposed on sale, ads of junk food in schools

  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has released draft regulations titled Food Safety and Standards (Safe Food and healthy diets for School Children) Regulations, 2019.
  • One of the important regulations proposed is that foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) cannot be sold to children in school canteens/mess premises/hostel kitchens or within 50 m of the school campus.
  • FSSAI has also proposed that children have to be encouraged to consume balanced diet in the school as per the guidelines issued by the National Institute of Nutrition.
  • The FSSAI has invited suggestions and objections from stakeholders.

2. Ready to address India’s concerns on RCEP: China

  • A statement posted by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that during the RCEP summit in Bangkok, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had conveyed India’s decision not to join the RCEP agreement based on the current global economic situation as well as on grounds of fairness and balance.
  • China has said that the door on India’s participation in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade deal has not been closed, and that Beijing was ready to address New Delhi’s concerns through further negotiations.

This topic has been covered in 4th November and 5th November Comprehensive News Analysis. Click on the links to read.

G. Prelims Facts

1. Office of Profit

What’s in News?

President Ram Nath Kovind has rejected a petition demanding disqualification of 11 party MLAs for allegedly holding office of profit. The decision of the President rejecting the plea is based on an opinion rendered by the Election Commission.

What is ‘office of profit’?

  • The term is used in Article 102 (1)(A) of the Indian Constitution which bars a member of the Indian Parliament from holding an office that would give its occupant the opportunity to gain a financial advantage or benefit.
  • It refers to a post under central/state government which yields salaries, perks and other benefits.
  • The actual amount of profit gained during the violation has no bearing on its classification.
  • The word ‘office’ has not been defined in the Constitution or the Representation of the People Act of 1951.
  • But different courts have interpreted it to mean a position with certain duties that are more or less of public character.
  • The essence of disqualification under the office of profit law is if legislators hold an ‘office of profit’ under the government, they might be susceptible to government influence, and may not discharge their constitutional mandate fairly.
  • The intent is that there should be no conflict between the duties and interests of an elected member.

2. Settle Brus in Tripura, say royals

What’s in News?

The Tripura royalty has asked the State government to consider settling the displaced Bru people in the State instead of sending them back to “uncertainty” in Mizoram.

This topic has been covered in 4th October Comprehensive News Analysis. Click Here to read.

H. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Q1. The annual National Health Profile is prepared by:

a. Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI)
b. NITI Aayog
c. Ministry of AYUSH
d. None of the above

See
Answer
Q2. Acute Respiratory Infections can be caused by:
  1. Adenoviruses
  2. Pneumococcus
  3. Rhinoviruses

Choose the correct options:

a. 1 only
b. 1 and 3 only
c. 2 only
d. 1, 2 and 3

See
Answer
Q3. Consider the following statements with respect to Office of Profit:
  1. The word “office” has clearly been defined in both the Indian Constitution and the Representation of People’s Act.
  2. Holding of Office of Profit is a ground for disqualification under the Representation of People’s Act.
  3. The Constitution bars an MLA or an MP from holding the Office of Profit.

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

a. 2 and 3 only
b. 1 only
c. 2 only
d. 1, 2 and 3

See
Answer
Q4. Which of the following Convention/s was/were adopted at the “Rio Earth Summit” in 1992:
  1. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
  2. United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity
  3. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

Choose the correct option:

a. 1 only
b. 1, 2 and 3
c. 2 and 3 only
d. None of the above

See
Answer

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Examine the role of the livestock sector in the economic and social development of India.   (150 words, 10 marks).
  2. Are the states competent enough to make laws on National Security? Comment. Also, discuss the controversial provisions of the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill that may render the legislation vulnerable to legal challenges. (10 Marks, 250 Words).

Read previous CNA.

6 Nov 2019 CNA:- Download PDF Here

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