25 Nov 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

25 Nov 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
GEOGRAPHY
1. T.N., Puducherry on edge as Nivar closes in
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Kerala to withdraw amendment
2. Poshan Abhiyaan needs a boost: study
C. GS 3 Related
SECURITY
1. Govt. bans 43 more apps citing threat to security
ECONOMY
1. Govt. orders ‘priority’ for local tenders
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Diplomatic offensive
ECONOMY
1. Dangerous Suggestions
2. Say ‘no’ to corporate houses in Indian banking
F. Prelims Facts
G. Tidbits
1. Jail term, fine for ‘unlawful’ religious conversions in U.P.
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

2. Poshan Abhiyaan needs a boost: study

Context:

According to a report by NITI Aayog, the Poshan Abhiyaan must be stepped up to meet the targets set by the Centre to reduce stunting, wasting and anaemia by 2022.

POSHAN Abhiyaan:

  • POSHAN Abhiyaan is also known as the National Nutrition Mission.
  • The term ‘Poshan’ in the name of the programme stands for ‘Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition’.
  • It is the world’s largest nutrition programme for children and mothers.
  • The mission is a multi-ministerial initiative and aims at removing malnutrition from the country by 2022.
  • It aims to reduce stunting and wasting by 2% a year (total 6% until 2022) among children and anaemia by 3% a year (total 9%) among children, adolescent girls and pregnant women and lactating mothers.

Read more about POSHAN Abhiyaan.

Issues:

  • More than a third of the children under five face stunting and wasting and 40% aged between one and four are anaemic.
  • Over 50% of pregnant and other women were found to be anaemic, said the National Family Health Survey 4 released in 2016.
  • India’s targets are conservative as compared to the global targets defined by the World Health Assembly (WHA), which is a prevalence rate of 5% of stunting as opposed to India’s goal of reducing stunting levels to 13.3% by 2022.
  • The target of reducing prevalence levels of anaemia among pregnant women from 50.3% in 2016 to 34.4% in 2022 and among adolescent girls from 52.9% in 2016 to 39.66%, is also considered conservative.

Way forward:

  • NITI Aayog’s third progress report on the Nutrition Mission highlights the need to graduate to a POSHAN-plus strategy.
  • Its suggests continued strengthening of the four pillars of the Abhiyaan and a renewed focus on other social determinants in addition to addressing the governance challenges of National Health Mission (NHM)/Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) scheme delivery mechanisms.
  • The report calls for a need to lay as much emphasis on complementary feeding as it does on breastfeeding, which it points out can help avert 60% of the total stunting cases in India.

Note:

The review report drafted in March 2020 does not factor worsening poverty and hunger levels owing to COVID-19, which is expected to dent strides made since 2018 to achieve nutritional targets.

Category: ECONOMY

1. Govt. orders ‘priority’ for local tenders

Context:

The government has tightened its procurement norms to make it tougher for ministries to pursue global tenders for contracts worth up to ₹200 crore.

Background:

  • Under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, the government had barred departments from issuing global tenders for contracts worth ₹200 crore or less.
  • The General Financial Rules were amended to disallow global tender enquiries in such procurement of goods and services, with an eye on boosting the prospects of domestic micro, small and medium enterprises.
  • Any ministry seeking an exemption to the norm, in order to call for a global tender enquiry, is required to seek the Cabinet Secretariat’s prior nod.
  • So far, ministries’ requests could be considered if they gave valid justification for the need to issue a global tender and the lack of alternatives within the country.

Details:

  • As per the latest rules issued by the Cabinet Secretariat and the Finance Ministry, ministries can no longer seek a nod for issuing a global tender unless they have first floated a domestic tender for their requirements, and tried to locate domestic producers in coordination with industry bodies.
  • Moreover, departments also cannot submit exemption proposals unless they have first published their procurement plan for the next three and five years on their websites.
    • Publishing a procurement plan was mandated by the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) in September 2020 through a Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) order.

Note:

However, a blanket exemption to allow global tenders was recently granted for procurement of spare parts from foreign original equipment manufacturers after multiple departments and public sector firms raised concerns about the lack of domestic options.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements with respect to tropical cyclones:
  1. More cyclones are formed in the Bay of Bengal than the Arabian Sea.
  2. Cyclones gain their energy from the heat and moisture generated from warm ocean surfaces.
  3. From the centre of a cyclonic storm, pressure increases outwards.

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

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • More cyclones are formed in the Bay of Bengal than the Arabian Sea due to wind patterns (that keep oceans cooler on the western side).
  • Cyclones gain their energy from the heat and moisture generated from warm ocean surfaces.
  • From the centre of a cyclonic storm, pressure increases outwards.
  • The amount of the pressure drop in the centre and the rate at which it increases outwards give the intensity of the cyclones and the strength of winds.
Q2. Consider the following statements with respect to POSHAN Abhiyaan:
  1. The scheme aims at improving the nutritional outcomes of adolescents, children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  2. The programme has specific targets for reducing stunting, anaemia, under-nutrition and low birth weight.
  3. The chairman of NITI Aayog is the chairperson of the National Council on Nutrition set up under the mission.

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

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. None of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Poshan Abhiyaan is India’s flagship scheme to improve the nutritional outcomes of adolescents, children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • The term ‘Poshan’ in the name of the programme stands for ‘Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition’.
  • The programme has specific targets for reducing stunting, anaemia, under-nutrition and low birth weight.
  • The National Council on India’s Nutritional Challenges, which has been set up under the Poshan Abhiyaan, has the Vice Chairperson of NITI Aayog as its Chairperson. The council is also called the National Council on Nutrition or NCN.
Q3. Consider the following statements:
  1. National Stock Exchange is Asia’s first stock exchange.
  2. Sensex is India’s benchmark stock index that represents 30 of the largest and most well-capitalized stocks on the National Stock Exchange.

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

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • The Bombay Stock Exchange was founded on July 9, 1875. It is Asia’s first stock exchange.
  • The National Stock Exchange was founded in 1992. It was recognized as a stock exchange by SEBI under the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 and the operation commenced in 1994.
  • Sensex refers to India’s benchmark stock index, which was created in 1986 and represents 30 of the largest and most well-capitalized stocks on the BSE.
Q4. “Lachit Borphukan” is associated with which of the following?
  1. Battle of Saraighat
  2. Gorkha War
  3. First Anglo-Burmese War
  4. Moplah Rebellion
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • 24th November is observed as Lachit Diwas in Assam in honour of Lachit Borphukan to commemorate his heroism and the victory of the Assamese army at the Battle of Saraighat.
  • Lachit Borphukan was a commander in the Ahom dynasty, located in present-day Assam.
  • He showed exemplary leadership in the Battle of Saraighat (1671).
  • The Battle of Saraighat was a naval battle fought between the Mughal Empire and the Ahom Kingdom.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Is the time ripe for granting bank licenses to corporate houses in India? Substantiate your answer. (GS 3 Economy) (15 Marks, 250 Words).
  2. Discuss the security challenges and the problems faced by India in resisting infiltration or bringing it to a minimum level along the international borders. What are the steps taken by the government in this regard? (GS 2 International Relations) (10 Marks, 150 Words).

Read the previous CNA here.

25 Nov 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

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