08 Nov 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

Nov 8th, 2021, CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Haryana law on local hiring causes concern
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Ban on Italian firm linked to Agusta scam lifted
C. GS 3 Related
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
SECURITY
1. A new jurisprudence for political prisoners
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. AUKUS could rock China’s boat in the Indo-Pacific
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. The long road to timely MGNREGA payments
F. Prelims Facts
1. Does the new oral drug, Molnupiravir, treat COVID-19?
2. World Heritage sites in India:
G. Tidbits
1. Fisherman killed in Pak. firing off Gujarat
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Ban on Italian firm linked to Agusta scam lifted

Context:

  • The Indian government has decided to lift the ban on the Italian defence company involved in the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal. This decision follows the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Rome for the G-20 meet and his meeting with the Italian Prime Minister.

Background:

  • Over the past few years, bilateral relations between India and Italy have been held up over the ban on the Italian Defence Company as well as the case of the Italian marines accused of killing Kerala fishermen.
    • Recently India had formally dropped all charges against Italian marines in the Enrica Lexie case and the Supreme Court agreed to close criminal proceedings on the basis of a decision by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

Significance of the move:

Defence trade:

  • The ban on the Italian defence company had impacted the Navy in particular, as it had curtailed its list of probable suppliers for “heavyweight torpedoes”. The lifting of the ban will open up the avenues for more robust defence trade partnership between the two nations.

Impetus to the bilateral relationship:

  • The decision to lift the ban on Italian Defence Company might signal the relaunch of bilateral partnership between the two countries.
  • With two issues plaguing the India-Italy bilateral relationship being resolved, the two countries can now focus on strengthening and deepening their bilateral cooperation and partnership.

India-Italy relationship:

  • Italy has also expressed its intention to strengthen its otherwise below potential bilateral relations with India. India too is looking to broad base its international relations.
    • The strengthening of the India-Italy partnership can help India consolidate the EU-India strategic relationship further.
  • Both nations had decided to adopt the Action Plan for an enhanced Partnership between India and Italy (2020-2024) to set up priorities, strategic goals and mechanisms of a bilateral partnership at the India-Italy virtual summit held in November 2020.
    • The major sectors identified were enhanced economic engagement, defence cooperation, cooperation against the pandemic and clean energy transition.

For more information on this topic refer to the following article:

UPSC PIB Summary of 6th Nov 2020

  • Recently, Italy too, shedding its historic neglect of the Indo-Pacific region in its foreign policy realm has signalled its intention to enter the Indo-Pacific geography, by seeking to join India and Japan in a trilateral partnership.

For detailed information on this topic refer to the following article:

UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis of 12th July 2021

Major outcomes of the G-20 summit in Rome:

  • Plan to achieve 40% vaccinations of the global population by the end of 2021.
  • G20 Joint Finance-Health Task Force to ensure adequate financing of pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.
  • Agreement on a global minimum tax on corporations as part of an effort to build “a more stable and fairer international tax system”. G-20 also recognised the final political agreement to address the tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy.
  • The G20 leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the full and effective implementation of the United Nations climate convention (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement. The G20 will accelerate their actions in the areas of mitigation, adaptation and finance, acknowledging the key relevance of achieving global net zero greenhouse gas emissions or carbon neutrality by or around mid-century.
  • The G20 leaders committed to strengthening actions to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030. They will strive to ensure that at least 30% of global land and at least 30% of the global ocean and seas are conserved or protected by 2030.

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. AUKUS could rock China’s boat in the Indo-Pacific

Know more about this in the linked article here.
Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. The long road to timely MGNREGA payments

Reference:

UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis of 30th Oct 2021

F. Prelims Facts

1. Does the new oral drug, Molnupiravir, treat COVID-19?

Context:

  • Molnupiravir tablet has been approved by the United Kingdom for use as an antiviral medicine against COVID-19.

Molnupiravir:

  • Molnupiravir is the first antiviral medicine that can be taken as a pill rather than being injected or administered intravenously for the treatment of the COVID-19 disease.
  • Molnupiravir was originally developed to treat influenza and works by inhibiting the replication of certain RNA viruses.
  • Molnupiravir is a nucleoside analogue, which means it mimics some of the building blocks of RNA. It exerts its antiviral action through introduction of copying errors during viral RNA replication.
    • Molnupiravir gets incorporated into the growing RNA strands. Such RNA strands become faulty blueprints for the next round of viral genomes and when enough mutations occur, the viral population collapses. Thus the drug prevents the SARS-CoV-2 virus RNA replication process through “error catastrophe”.
  • Molnupiravir is a pro-drug, which means that it needs to undergo processing in the body to become active.
  • Some experts have raised safety concerns over the compound’s mutagenic potential in human cells — the possibility that it could incorporate itself into human DNA.

2. World Heritage sites in India:

  • World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for having cultural, historical, scientific or other forms of significance.
  • Of the over 1,150 such sites globally (as of July 2021), India has 40 of them, the second-most in the continent and sixth overall. This includes 32 cultural, 7 natural and 1 mixed heritage site.
  • The walled city of Ahmedabad has the distinction of being the first city in India to be accorded the status of a UNESCO world heritage site.
    • The city was founded by Sultan Ahmad Shah in the 15th century, on the eastern bank of the Sabarmati River. It presents a rich architectural heritage from the sultanate period, notably the Bhadra citadel, the walls and gates of the Fort city and numerous mosques and tombs as well as important Hindu and Jain temples of later periods. The urban fabric is made up of densely-packed traditional houses (pols) in gated traditional streets (puras) with characteristic features such as bird feeders, public wells and religious institutions.
  • Of the 40 inscribed sites located in India, Khangchendzonga National Park is the only ‘Mixed World Heritage Site’ in India having fulfilled the nomination criteria under both natural and cultural heritage.
    • Located at the heart of the Himalayan range in northern India (State of Sikkim), the Khangchendzonga National Park includes a unique diversity of plains, valleys, lakes, glaciers and spectacular snow-capped mountains covered with ancient forests, including the world’s third highest peak, Mount Khangchendzonga.
  • As far as antiquity is concerned, the rock shelters of Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh are the oldest inscribed site and are said to be 30,000 years old.
    • The Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka are in the foothills of the Vindhyan Mountains on the southern edge of the central Indian plateau. Within massive sandstone outcrops, above comparatively dense forests, are five clusters of natural rock shelters, displaying paintings that appear to date from the Mesolithic Period right through to the historical period.

 Know more about UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India in the linked article.

G. Tidbits

1. Fisherman killed in Pak. firing off Gujarat

  • India–Pakistan maritime trespassing has been a constant source of friction between the two countries.
  • Such trespassing is common to Pakistani and Indian fishermen operating along the coastline of the Indian state of Gujarat and the Pakistani province of Sindh. Most violations occur due to the absence of a physical boundary and lack of navigational tools for small fishermen.
  • The Gujarat coast in particular has seen several incidents of fishermen caught by the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) for transgressing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL). There are more than 350 fishermen from Gujarat currently in Pakistani jails after having been intercepted by the agency along the IMBL.

Context:

  • An Indian fisherman was killed recently in firing by the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) on an Indian fishing boat off the Gujarat coast.

Also read: Sir Creek Issue

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q.1 Consider the following statements with regards to the UAPA law:
  1. The law was originally enacted in 1967.
  2. As per the Act, an investigating officer is required to obtain the prior approval of the Director-General of Police to seize properties that may be connected with terrorism.
  3. UAPA has life imprisonment as the highest punishment.

Choose the correct ones from the given codes:

  1. 1 & 2 only
  2. 2 & 3 only
  3. 1 & 3 only
  4. All of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act is an Indian law aimed at the prevention of unlawful activities associations in India. Its main objective was to make powers available for dealing with activities directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India.
  • The law was originally enacted in 1967.
  • Subsequent to the 2019 amendment to the Act, an investigating officer is required to obtain the prior approval of the Director-General of Police to seize properties that may be connected with terrorism.
  • The death sentence is the highest punishment under the Act.
Q.2 Consider the following statements with regards to Molnupiravir:
  1. It is the world’s first antiviral medicine which can be taken as a pill for the treatment of Covid-19.
  2. It was originally developed to treat influenza.
  3. The drug has been codenamed ‘EIDD-2081’.

Which of these statements is/are incorrect?

  1. 1 & 2 only
  2. 2 & 3 only
  3. 1 & 3 only
  4. None of these
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

Context:

  • Molnupiravir tablet has been approved by the United Kingdom for use as an antiviral medicine against COVID-19.

Molnupiravir:

  • Molnupiravir is the first antiviral medicine that can be taken as a pill rather than being injected or administered intravenously for the treatment of the COVID-19 disease.
  • The drug has been codenamed ‘EIDD-2081’.
  • Molnupiravir was originally developed to treat influenza and works by inhibiting the replication of certain RNA viruses. Molnupiravir gets incorporated into the growing RNA strands. Such RNA strands become faulty blueprints for the next round of viral genomes and when enough mutations occur, the viral population collapses. Thus the drug prevents the SARS-CoV-2 virus RNA replication process through “error catastrophe”.
Q.3 Which of the following was not amongst the climate change targets announced by India at 
the recently held climate conference at Glasgow?
  1. India will achieve net-zero target by 2070
  2. India will ensure 50% of its energy will be sourced from renewable energy sources latest by 2040
  3. India will also reduce its emissions intensity per unit of GDP by less than 45% latest by 2030
  4. India would also install 500 Gigawatt of renewable energy by 2030
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

India’s new climate actions announced at the ongoing 26th CoP of UNFCCC:

  • India will achieve net zero emissions latest by 2070. This is notable given that so far India was the only major emitter that had not committed to a timeline to achieve net zero carbon dioxide emissions and has also argued against the concept of net zero carbon targets.
  • Renewable energy would be tapped in a big way in India. By 2030, India will ensure 50% of its energy will be sourced from renewable sources. India plans to generate 500 GW of renewable energy by 2030. This marks a 50 GW increase from its current target of 450 GW.
  • India also committed to reducing its carbon emissions until 2030 by a billion tonnes. By 2030, India will reduce the carbon intensity of its economy to less than 45 per cent. India is largely on track to meet, and even exceed, its Paris Agreement targets: reduce emissions’ intensity of its gross domestic product (GDP) by 33 to 35 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.
Q.4 Consider the following statements with regards to the Indian Government’s plan to list 
India’s G-secs in the international bond indices:
  1. The RBI had earlier notified a fully accessible route for investment by non-residents for investment in government securities without any ceiling.
  2. The move is expected to increase foreign inflow into India’s debt market.
  3. It will help the government in managing its market borrowing programme.

Choose the correct code from the following:

  1. 1 & 2 only
  2. 2 & 3 only
  3. 1 & 3 only
  4. All of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • The Budget 2020-21 had proposed to remove limit on foreign investment in some government securities, as a first step towards their inclusion in global bond indices.
  • Following the announcement made in the Union Budget 2020-21 that certain specified categories of Central Government securities would be opened fully for non-resident investors without any restrictions, apart from being available to domestic investors as well, the Reserve Bank of India had notified the Fully Accessible Route (FAR) for investment by non-residents in securities issued by the Government of India.
  • In order to further mainstream government securities, the Indian Government plans to list India’s G-secs in the international bond indices.
  • The move is expected to attract foreign inflows in the debt market, help the government in its market borrowing programme by increasing liquidity in domestic bond markets and also keep a check on yields.
Q.5 In which of the following relief sculpture inscriptions is 'Ranyo Ashoka' (King Ashoka) 
mentioned along with the stone portrait of Ashoka? (UPSC-2019)
  1. Kanaganahalli
  2. Sanchi
  3. Shahbazgarhi
  4. Sohgaura
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • Kanaganahalli, situated about 3 km from Sannati, Karnataka, is an important excavation site for Buddhist monuments. The most important finding of the excavation from this site includes a stone sculptured slab bearing the name Ranyo Ashoko.
  • Kanaganahalli inscription also includes a portrait of Ashoka (surrounded by female attendants and queens).

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. The judgment of the Supreme Court of India in the Thwaha Faisal vs Union of India case has immense potential to reclaim the idea of personal liberty and human dignity. The Court has acted in its introspective jurisdiction and deconstructed the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) with a great sense of legal realism. This paves the way for a formidable judicial authority against blatant misuse of this law. Critically evaluate. (15 marks, 250 words)[GS-2, Polity]
  2. AUKUS could rock China’s boat in the Indo­-Pacific. Examine. (15 marks, 250 words)[GS-2, International Relations]

Read the previous CNA here.

Nov 8th, 2021, CNA:- Download PDF Here

1 Comment

  1. It’s Very helpful

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