17 Nov 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

17 Nov 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Judge recuses himself from Jagan case
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. What’s behind the conflict between Ethiopian govt. and Tigray rebels?
C. GS 3 Related
ECONOMY
1. GAIL completes Kochi-Mangaluru pipeline
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
GOVERNANCE
1. Andhra Pradesh’s capital conundrums
2. Unabating attacks on journalists
3. Needed, a policy framework in step with technology
F. Prelims Facts
G. Tidbits
1. Winter session of Parliament unlikely amid rising COVID cases
2. ‘Stimulus 3.0 supportive for growth, fiscal impact unclear’
3. Comply with FDI ceiling, govt. tells digital news firms
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. What’s behind the conflict between Ethiopian govt. and Tigray rebels?

Context:

In November 2020, Ethiopia’s Nobel Prize-winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed started a military operation in the rebellious Tigray region.

Ethiopia Map

Details:

  • Abiy has said it would be a limited campaign focusing on the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF): the militia-cum-political party that runs the northern region.
  • However, almost two weeks into the conflict, Ethiopia risks falling into an ethnic civil war with regional implications.

This topic has been covered in the 10th November 2020 Comprehensive News Analysis.

Tigray People’s Liberation Front:

  • The TPLF was founded in 1975 as a resistance army of the Tigrayan people against the military dictatorship, which was called the Derg.
  • The leftist Derg, which was established in 1974, would change its title in 1987 but practically remained in power till it was ousted by the armed rebels in 1991. The TPLF played a crucial role in ousting the junta and they were welcomed as national heroes in 1991.
  • TPLF leader Meles Zenawi took over as the interim President in 1991 and became the first elected Prime Minister in 1995. He is largely seen as the architect of the country’s ethno-federal system and remained in power till 2012.

Issue:

  • Over the years, the government led by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), was accused of being increasingly authoritarian and there were frequent mass protests in the regions.
  • Though the EPRDF contains regional political parties, the TPLF remained the dominant political force.
  • In 2018, the EPRDF chose Mr. Abiy (a former military intelligence officer), to lead the government amid growing protests and a political deadlock.
  • Though the EPRDF provided a stable rule with high economic growth for 17 years, there was mounting criticism against the country’s ethno-federal arrangement.
    • Abiy reached out to Eritrea, a sworn enemy of the TPLF, which shares a long border with the Tigray region.
    • He purged TPLF functionaries from key government posts, released political prisoners (jailed by the TPLF-led government) and promised freer media.
  • The TPLF saw the formation of a new party as an attempt by Mr. Abiy to consolidate more power in his hands. The party’s leadership shifted from Addis Ababa to Mekele, the Tigray regional capital.
  • TPLF saw his moves as hostile.

Geopolitical angle:

  • Abiy’s outreach to Eritrea had outraged the TPLF, which had fought a prolonged war with the Eritrean government along the Tigray border.
  • The TPLF accuses Eritrea of backing Mr. Abiy’s offensive.
  • The rebels have fired rockets into Eritrea from Tigray, threatening a wider regional war in the Horn of Africa.
  • Tigray rebels also fired rockets into the neighbouring Amhara region.
  • The operation by Mr. Abiy could spill out of control, given the underlying complexities of the conflict.
  • Sudan has a border dispute with Ethiopia. If Sudan’s new rulers keep the old links with the TPLF active and the border open for the rebels, the conflict could go on. If it does, it could derail Mr. Abiy’s reform agenda at home as well as the diplomatic agenda abroad.
    • The Tigray region shares a border with Sudan.
    • The TPLF enjoyed good relations with Sudan’s ousted dictator Omar Bashir.

2. ‘Stimulus 3.0 supportive for growth, fiscal impact unclear’

What’s in News?

Recently, the Finance Minister announced a fresh set of relief and stimulus measures for the economy – worth ₹1.19 lakh crore.

This topic has been covered in the 13th November 2020 Comprehensive News Analysis.

Details:

  • Fitch Solutions has said that while the third tranche of stimulus measures should support an economic rebound over the coming quarters, the actual fiscal impact is difficult to ascertain.
  • It said “estimating using the outright fiscal outlays from this announcement, ‘Stimulus 3.0’ appears to suggest additional expenditure of ₹1 lakh crore (0.44% of FY2019/20 GDP).

3. Comply with FDI ceiling, govt. tells digital news firms

What’s in News?

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued a detailed notification asking digital news portals to comply with the 26% cap on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) sanctioned in 2019.

Background:

Recently, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting brought video-streaming platforms such as Netflix under its jurisdiction.

Details:

  • The notification reiterates the Cabinet’s decision of imposing a 26% cap on FDI under government route for uploading/streaming of news and current affairs through digital media.
  • The companies with investment below the 26% cap must also intimate the Ministry about the shareholding pattern.
  • The firms which have more than 26% of FDI have been instructed to take steps to bring down the figure before October 15, 2021.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Which of the following are the possible causes of deflation? 
  1. High Supply and Low Demand.
  2. High Demand and Low Supply.
  3. A decrease in the money supply in the economy.
  4. Net capital outflow.

Choose the correct option:

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • Deflation is a decrease in the general price level of goods and services.
  • High Supply and Low Demand is a major cause of Deflation.
  • Other factors include a decrease in money supply, net capital outflow from the economy.
Q2. Consider the following statements:
  1. The Global Gender Gap Report is an annual report published by the United Nations Development Programme.
  2. The Global Gender Gap Index ranks countries according to the calculated gender gap between women and men in health, education, economy and politics.

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

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • The Global Gender Gap Report is an annual report published by the World Economic Forum.
  • The Global Gender Gap Index ranks countries according to the calculated gender gap between women and men in health, education, economy and politics.
Q3. Wholesale Price Index is released by:
  1.  Office of Economic Advisor
  2. National Statistical Office
  3. Reserve Bank of India
  4. National Sample Survey Office
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

The Wholesale Price Index is released by the Office of Economic Advisor under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Q4. Which of the following is/are the mandate(s) of the Department of Investment and Public 
Asset Management (DIPAM)?
  1. Advise the government in matters of financial restructuring of Central Public Sector Undertakings.
  2. Advise on matters relating to the sale of Central Government equity through private placement.
  3. Decisions in matters relating to Central Public Sector Undertakings for purposes of Government investment in equity-like capital restructuring, bonus, dividends.

Choose the correct option:

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

Mandates of the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management or ‘DIPAM’ include:

  • Advise the government in matters of financial restructuring of Central Public Sector Undertakings.
  • Decisions in matters relating to Central Public Sector Undertakings for purposes of Government investment in equity-like capital restructuring, bonus, dividends.
  • All matters relating to the management of Central Government investments in equity including disinvestment of equity in Central Public Sector Undertakings.
  • All matters relating to the sale of Central Government equity through an offer for sale or private placement or any other mode in the erstwhile Central Public Sector Undertakings.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. With journalists facing various kinds of harassment and false cases across the country, there is an urgent need to enact comprehensive legislations that protect media persons. Discuss. (15 Marks, 250 Words) (GS 2 Governance)
  2. Judicial recusals have the potential to turn into a tool to manoeuvre justice. Critically comment. (15 Marks, 250 Words) (GS 2 Polity)

Read the previous CNA here.

17 Nov 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

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