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22 Nov 2022: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 22 Nov 2022:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. How different is the new data protection Bill?
2. The need to have full disclosure on electoral bonds and political funding
GOVERNANCE
1. Centre sets standard for e-commerce reviews
C. GS 3 Related
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
INDIAN ECONOMY
1. Fireproofing India from global turbulence
INTERNAL SECURITY
1. Signs of trouble
F. Prelims Facts
1. Olive Ridley Turtles
2. Rohini RH-200
3. African Swine Fever
G. Tidbits
1. Union Health Ministry launches India’s first suicide prevention policy
2. Qatar, China sign world’s ‘longest’ gas supply deal
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

2. The need to have full disclosure on electoral bonds and political funding

Syllabus: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability

Prelims: About Electoral Bonds

Mains: Issues surrounding Electoral Bonds and Political Funding and key recommendations

Context

The central government recently amended the electoral bonds scheme to permit additional 15 days for Electoral Bond sales in years that have State elections.

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

UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis dated 16 June 2021
Category: GOVERNANCE

1. Centre sets standard for e-commerce reviews

Syllabus: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors

Mains: Significance of the introduction of standards for regulating e-commerce reviews 

Context

The Department of Consumer Affairs launched a framework for addressing deceptive reviews on e-commerce platforms.

Details

  • The Union government introduced standards named “Indian Standard (IS) 19000:2022 Online Consumer Reviews — Principles and Requirements for their Collection, Moderation and Publication” to regulate product reviews published on e-commerce platforms.
  • These newly introduced standards will be applicable to all online platforms which publish consumer reviews.
  • The framework for the standards was formulated by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
  • It is said that initially these standards would be voluntary, but can become mandatory after observing compliance with the standard by such platforms. 
  • If the standards are made mandatory, the violation of the standard can attract punishments for unfair trade practices or violation of consumer rights. 
  • Once the standards are made mandatory, consumers can submit grievances to the National Consumer Helpline, consumer commission or the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) against misleading and deceptive reviews. 
  • These standards entrust the review author and the review administrator with key responsibilities such as confirming acceptance of terms and conditions, mentioning contact information, protecting personal information and providing training to staff.

Significance of the standards

  • The introduction of the standard framework will help in safeguarding and protecting the interest of the consumer from fake, deceptive and misleading reviews.
  • Integrity, privacy, security, transparency, accuracy, accessibility and responsiveness are said to be the guiding principles of the standards.
  • These standards also mention methods for verification of the review author in order to check the traceability and genuineness of the review author. 
  • This framework is said to be beneficial to all the stakeholders in the e-commerce ecosystem namely the consumers, e-commerce platforms, sellers, etc. 
  • The standards will also play a key role in ushering confidence among consumers to purchase goods online and help them make better decisions.

Nut graf: Acknowledging the impact of fake and misleading reviews in e-commerce platforms on the interest of consumers, the government has come up with a set of standards for publishing product reviews on e-commerce platforms. These standards are expected to mutually benefit all stakeholders in the ecosystem by making sure that the reviews are genuine, authentic and trustworthy.

Category: INTERNAL SECURITY

1. Signs of trouble

Syllabus: Challenges to internal security.

Mains: Internal security issue due to recent blasts.

Context: Mangaluru blast of 19th November 2022.

Details about the blast and investigation: 

  • A blast occurred in Mangaluru, Karnataka on 19 November 2022. According to investigators, a person was carrying an improvised explosive device (IED) in a pressure cooker in an autorickshaw.
  • It is alleged that he might be linked to the Islamic State and it is suggested that there are troubling signs of radicalization among certain sections of Muslims in the region.
  • The police are also searching other locations in Karnataka and trying to investigate his links with a person that was killed in a blast in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu on October 23.
  • The police believe that the accused (suffering from severe burn injuries due to the blast) will survive and reveal more information about the case.
  • There has been some evidence that highlights possible links between the two blasts of Mangaluru and Coimbatore. 
  • The recent events show that coastal Karnataka has been in the grip of competitive communalism
  • There is a considerable decline in terrorism incidents in recent years. And according to government data, incidents of terror have been contained in Jammu and Kashmir, the North East and Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-affected States. 
  • It should be noted that vigilance and the efficiency of investigative agencies can prevent terrorist attacks. However,  maintaining peace and social harmony remains a larger political challenge. 
  • Though the operational links between the blasts in Coimbatore and Mangaluru are still under probe, they certainly point to the underlying security challenges before the country. 
  • Moreover, political rhetoric over the Coimbatore and Mangaluru blasts is doing more harm than good. 

Also read: 10 Nov 2022: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

Nut Graf: The real extent of the capacity, intent, and connections of the two blast incidents are yet to be ascertained through investigation, but they are a cause for worry for India’s internal security. It is important that the investigative agencies and political leadership deal with the matter in an efficient and effective way.

F. Prelims Facts

1. Olive Ridley Turtles

Syllabus: GS-3; Environment and Biodiversity

Prelims: Olive Ridley Turtles

Context

  • Pairs of Olive Ridley sea Turtles have been spotted at the sea waters off Gahirmatha beach along the Odisha coast which mark the onset of the annual mass nesting of these turtles.
  • Gahirmatha beach is the world’s largest rookery for Olive Ridley Turtles. 

Olive Ridley Turtles

  • These species of sea turtles are named so because of the olive-green colour of their heart-shaped shells.
  • The olive ridley turtles are among the smallest and most abundant sea turtles found in the world.
  • Geographical range: These turtles are found in the warm waters across the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
Olive Ridley Turtles Range

Image Source: IUCN

  • Arribada is a unique phenomenon where the Olive Ridley turtles try to increase the chances of survival of their offspring. 
  • IUCN Status: Vulnerable
  • Wildlife Protection Act 1972: Schedule 1 Protection
  • CITES: Appendix 1
  • Also listed in the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)

Read more about Olive Ridley Turtles in the linked article.

2. Rohini RH-200

Syllabus: GS-3; Science and Technology; Achievements of Indians 

Prelims: About Rohini RH-200 Rocket and Sounding rockets

Context

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be attempting the 200th consecutive successful launch of the Rohini RH-200 sounding rocket.

Rohini RH-200 Rocket

  • RH-200 is a 3.5-metre-tall rocket that is a part of Rohini sounding rockets.
    • According to NASA, sounding rockets derive their name from the nautical term “to sound” which refers to “taking measurements”.
    • Sounding rockets are used to test instruments used on satellites and spacecraft and these rockets have been used for various experiments to provide information about the Sun, stars, galaxies and Earth’s atmosphere and radiation.
  • The term “200” in the name represents the diameter of the rocket in mm and other key Rohini variants in operation include RH-300 Mk-II and RH-560 Mk-III.
    • The first sounding rocket launched by India was the American Nike-Apache in 1963.
    • Later, two-stage rockets imported from Russia (M-100) and France (Centaure) were launched. 
    • However, ISRO launched its own sounding rocket in 1967 which was called “Rohini RH-75”.
  • RH-200 is a two-stage rocket with the ability to reach a height of 70 km with scientific payloads. 
  • The first and second stages of RH-200 are powered by solid motors. 
  • The RH-200 rocket has traditionally used a polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-based propellant. However, the RH-200 rocket was launched with the hydroxyl-terminated Polybutadiene (HTPB) propellant for the first time in September 2020.
  • ISRO has launched over 1,600 RH-200 rockets so far and will attempt the 200th consecutive successful launch of the rocket from Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thumba, Thiruvananthapuram.

3. African Swine Fever

Syllabus: GS-3; Science and Technology

Prelims: African Swine Fever

Context

About 50 pigs were culled in the Idukki district (Kerala) as an African swine fever (ASF) outbreak was detected.

African swine fever (ASF)

  • ASF is a highly infectious viral disease found in pigs caused due to the African swine fever virus (ASFV) of the Asfarviridae family.
  • ASF is a different disease compared to the swine flu as ASF does not affect people and there is no impact on human health.
  • The virus causes a hemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates (sometimes up to 100%) in domestic pigs.
  • It also affects wild boars, warthogs and bushpigs.
  • ASF spreads through direct contact with infected pigs, faeces or body fluids.
  • Soft ticks can act as a vector.

G. Tidbits

1. Union Health Ministry launches India’s first suicide prevention policy

  • The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched a National Suicide Prevention Strategy which is said to be the first of its kind initiative in the country and is in line with the WHO’s South East-Asia Region Strategy for suicide prevention.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Strategy aims to achieve a reduction in suicide mortality by 10% by 2030 with time-bound action plans and multi-sectoral collaborations.
  • In India, over one lakh lives are lost annually due to suicides, and it is the top killer in the 15-29 years category.
    • The suicide rate has increased from 10.2 to 11.3 per 1,00,000 population in the last three years and the most common reasons for suicide are family problems and illnesses.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Strategy aims to: 
    • Set up effective surveillance mechanisms for suicide within the next three years.
    • Set up psychiatric outpatient departments to provide suicide prevention services through the District Mental Health Programme in all districts within the next five years.
    • Integrate mental well-being curriculum in all educational institutions within the next eight years. 
    • Formulate guidelines for responsible media reporting of suicides, and restricting access to means of suicide.

2. Qatar, China sign world’s ‘longest’ gas supply deal

  • QatarEnergy made announcements about its 27-year-long natural gas supply deal with China making it the longest-ever gas supply deal.
  • As per the deal, QatarEnergy, which is a state energy company, will send about 4 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas every year to China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) from its new North Field East project.
  • Asian countries such as China, Japan and South Korea have been the major market for Qatar’s gas, which is now being sought by European countries ever since the onset of the Russia-Ukraine war.
  • The deal has gained a lot of significance as it will help solidify the bilateral relations between China and Qatar at a time when European countries are struggling to find alternative sources.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements: (Level – Medium)
  1. In case of a difference of opinion between the Election Commissioners and/or the Chief Election Commissioner, the matter is decided by the Chief Election Commissioner.
  2. The Chief Election Commissioner is appointed by the president and holds the office during the pleasure of the President.
  3. The Constitution has debarred the retiring Election Commissioners from any further appointment by the government.

How many of the given statements is/are INCORRECT?

  1. One statement only
  2. Two statements only
  3. All three statements
  4. None of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is not correct, In case of a difference of opinion amongst the Chief Election Commissioner and/or two other election commissioners, the matter is decided by the Commission by a majority.
  • Statement 2 is not correct, The Chief Election Commissioner is provided with security of tenure. He cannot be removed from his office except in the same manner and on the same grounds as a judge of the Supreme Court.
  • Statement 3 is not correct, The Constitution has NOT debarred the retiring election commissioners from any further appointment by the government.
Q2. Which of the following is/are zoonotic diseases? (Level – Difficult)
  1. Swine Flu
  2. Salmonellosis
  3. Brucellosis
  4. African Swine Fever
  5. Yellow Fever

Options:

  1. 1, 2, 3 and 4 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1, 2, 3 and 5 only
  4. 1 and 5 only
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • African Swine Fever is not a zoonotic disease meaning that it is a disease of animals which does not spread/infect humans. 
  • Swine Flu, Brucellosis, Yellow Fever and Salmonellosis are all examples of zoonotic diseases. 
Q3. Consider the following statements with respect to PM KISAN Scheme: 
(Level – Medium)
  1. It is a central sector scheme implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.
  2. The scheme is meant for Small and Marginal Farmers (SMFs) having landholding upto 2 hectares.
  3. The beneficiaries receive a lump sum of Rs 6000/- per year, transferred into the bank accounts through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode.

How many of the given statements is/are INCORRECT?

  1. One statement only
  2. Two statements only 
  3. All three statements
  4. None of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct, PM KISAN is a central sector scheme implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.
  • Statement 2 is not correct, The scheme was initially meant for small and marginal farmers (SMFs) having landholding upto 2 hectares but the scope of the scheme was extended to cover all landholding farmers with effect from June 2019.
  • Statement 3 is not correct, Under this scheme, small and marginal farmers will be provided with income support of Rs.6,000 per year in three instalments which will be deposited directly to their bank accounts through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).
Q4. Which of the given statements best describes the Total Fertility Rate? 
(Level – Medium)
  1. It is the number of live births per 1000 persons in a population in a given year. 
  2. It is the average number of children expected to be born per woman during her entire span of the reproductive period. 
  3. It is the rate at which women are replaced by daughters who will have children.
  4. It is the total number of children born in a country in a given year divided by its population in that year.
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is the average number of children that a woman will have during her lifetime. It is measured in terms of children per woman. 
Q5. In India, if a species of tortoise is declared protected under Schedule I of the 
Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, what does it imply? (Level – Medium) PYQ-2017
  1. It enjoys the same level of protection as the tiger.
  2. It no longer exists in the wild, a few individuals are under captive protection; and now it is impossible to prevent its extinction.
  3. It is endemic to a particular region of India.
  4. Both (b) and (c) stated above are correct in this context.
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • In India, if a species of tortoise is declared protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, it enjoys the same level of protection as the tiger.
  • Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 includes Endangered species.

CNA 22 Nov 2022:- Download PDF Here

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