28 Nov 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 28 Nov 2021:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. ‘Jaitapur would be the world’s most powerful nuclear plant’
2. India-U.K. FTA talks could be delayed to January 2022
JUDICIARY
1. ‘Judges should maintain discretion’
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. ‘One in two deliveries in private hospitals through C-section’
2. ‘Haryana job quota impossible to implement’
C. GS 3 Related
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. 1,000 held in 20 countries in financial crime crackdown
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
ECONOMY
1. What will a legal guarantee of MSP involve?
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Does the data protection Bill have safeguards on privacy?
2. EWS criteria rethink
F. Prelims Facts
1. Covaxin elicits immune memory to virus, study finds
2. Were there domestic horses in ancient India?
3. City’s air quality remains ‘severe’
G. Tidbits
1. ‘Lawmakers do not assess impact of laws’
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

2. India-U.K. FTA talks could be delayed to January 2022

Context:

Due to a change in the UK Cabinet, negotiations on a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the United Kingdom may be postponed.

Details:

What do you understand about the Early Harvest Agreement?

  • Early harvest agreements are used to reduce tariffs on the trade of certain items between two nations or trading blocs prior to the conclusion of a full Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
  • An Early Harvest plan acts as a predecessor to a free trade agreement (FTA) between two nations, assisting them in identifying certain items and services for tariff liberalisation in order to boost mutual confidence.
  • In five years, the goal is to increase bilateral product trade to above $100 billion and services trade to $15 billion.

Significance for India

  • India is hopeful that it would be able to reach an Early Harvest trade agreement with nations to liberalise tariffs on a limited number of items, followed by a broader FTA.
  • The planned free trade agreement between India and the United Kingdom is intended to open up new economic possibilities and create employment on both sides.
  • The talks with the UK and the West are an important component of India’s economic policy to establish fair and balanced trade deals with key economies in order to expand trade, particularly given India’s withdrawal from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in 2019.

Concerns with Regards to FTA:

  • India’s main worry with FTAs has been a large trade imbalance with its trading partners, owing to the fact that Indian exports are scarcely penetrated in Southeast Asian markets.
  • Over the last decade, the Ministry of Commerce has voiced worry about the stagnation in the value of exports.
  • India’s apprehension regarding an FTA stems from its assessment of existing agreements, which show that overall export growth remains modest and that India’s trade imbalance with ASEAN, South Korea, and Japan has expanded post-FTAs, with imports exceeding exports.

Conclusion:

India should concentrate on improving its export capacity to the United Kingdom. Against the backdrop of India’s forthcoming G20 presidency in 2030, the India–UK FTA presents a chance for both countries to extend their current connections by converging in important progressive sectors such as sustainable and green technology, intellectual property, data rules, and privacy.

Also read: India – UK relations

Category: JUDICIARY

1. ‘Judges should maintain discretion’

Context:

Recently, the President made remarks on the working of the Judiciary and highlighted the issues with the same.

Details:

Ancient Tradition and Role of Judges

  • According to Indian tradition,Judges were viewed as an example of rectitude and detachment, analogous to sthitpragya [a person of steady insight].
  • A rich history of legions of such justices famed for their sagacious remarks and impeccable behaviour, which have become trademarks for future generations.
  • The President referenced Justice Frankfurter of the United States Supreme Court, who said in the 1951 case Dennis versus United States, “Courts are not representational entities.” They are not intended to accurately depict a democratic society. Their main characteristic is separation, which is based on independence.”

Significant Aspects of Indian Judiciary:

Aspects of Indian Judiciary

Issues with the Indian Judiciary:

  1. Appointment of Judges
  • The disadvantages of the Collegium method for appointing judges have been well-documented.
  • The Collegium system’s appointment of judges is completely opaque, and there was no method for verifying the appointment’s reasonableness. There is a complete absence of responsibility on the part of the Judiciary.
  1. Social Media Platforms and Judiciary
  • It is necessary to evaluate the contemporary phenomena of the judiciary being attacked on social media sites.
  • There have been instances of people making derogatory statements against the judges on social media sites. Some criminals take advantage of the anonymity provided by such platforms.
  1. Pendency of Cases:
  • There are currently 3.9 crore cases pending in district and subordinate courts, 58.5 lakh cases in different high courts, and more than 69,000 cases in the Supreme Court, according to reports citing statistics from the National Judicial Data Grid and the Supreme Court.
  • Inadequate facilities and vacancies in several courts have also been mentioned by jurists.

Way forward:

  1. Need to Exercise Discretion: It is the responsibility of judges to speak in courtrooms with the utmost discretion. Even if offered with the best of intentions, indiscreet statements should be avoided.
  2. Need to Increase Access to Justice: Stakeholders must work together to find a way to decrease pendency and improve access to justice. Only a small percentage of the population can afford to approach the court of justice.
  3. Justice to strengthen Pillars of Democracy: The “critical fulcrum” around which democracy revolves is justice. It was reinforced even more if the three pillars of democracy — the judiciary, the legislature, and the executive — coexisted peacefully.

Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. ‘One in two deliveries in private hospitals through C-section’

Context:

One in two women who go to a private hospital undergoes a Caesarean section (C-section), according to the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data.

Details:

  1. Recent Trends:
  • Rise in C-section operations from 40.9% to 47.4% in private medical facilities.
  • one in five women who go to any medical facility, private or public, undergoes a C-section.
  1. Significance of C-section:
  • Maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity can be effectively avoided with a C-section.
  • The optimal rate is between 10% to 15%, according to the World Health Organization.
  • The number of maternal and newborn fatalities falls as rates increase approaching 10% throughout a region.
  1. Concerns of C-section:
  • There is no indication that death rates improve as the rate exceeds 10%.
  • Public hospital births have also increased, though this might be partially owing to an increase in institutional deliveries.
  1. Different factors for the rise in the operations
  • Some of the reasons for increased C-Section include women having children later in life, increased in-vitro fertility, and moms’ sedentary lifestyles.
  • Doctors who work alone and deliver 20-25 infants each month find it difficult to stay awake at night, so they prefer to arrange an operation.
  • In corporate hospitals, there is a focus on increasing numbers, and doctors who spend 20-30 days on 10 births are looked upon.
  1. Way Forward:
  • Public and private hospitals, as well as various sections of the country, require distinct treatments.
  • In public hospitals, C-section audits must be severely enforced, whilst in the private sector, medical procedures and expenses must be regulated to prevent extensive commercialisation.
  • States with an unmet demand for C-sections require a broader health-care system overhaul, including additional anaesthetists, specialists, and blood banks.

2. ‘Haryana job quota impossible to implement’

Context:

Recently, The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020 was challenged in court by a Gurugram-based industry body.

Details:

Concerns Raised Over The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020

  • Activists and business leaders have expressed worry over Haryana’s 75 percent reservation policy for locals working in private sector employment that pay less than 30,000 rupees per month.
  • The government has been chastised for failing to pay locals their MGNREGA salaries on schedule and for failing to provide reservations to socially disadvantaged groups in the private sector.
  • As a result, it appears that reserving 75% of private sector positions is unachievable.
  • The decision was criticized as a “well-thought-out attempt to divide people.”

For detailed information on the above topics refer to the following article:

UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis of 09 Mar 2021:

Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. Does the data protection Bill have safeguards on privacy?

Context

Recently, The Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Personal Data Protection Bill submitted its report.

Background:

  • The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, is based on the Supreme Court’s 2017 decision in the Puttaswamy vs. Union of India case, which recognised privacy as a constitutionally protected right.
  • In its report, the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill 2019 defended the contentious exemption clause that permits the government to keep any of its agencies out of the law’s reach.

Concerns with the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) Recommendations

  • The committee grants the government the authority to authorise any of its agencies to evade the law’s terms If it seems essential.
  • It is being construed as basically giving the Union Government carte Blanche to access data on citizens as it sees fit.
  • The proposed Bill gives the government the authority to set the standards for data access monitoring and security. This clause is not to be changed as per the final JPC report.
  • The JPC also preserves the state’s authority to process personal data without consent, which is permitted under Section 12.
  • The JPC has also largely ignored the draft Bill’s data localization provisions.
  • The bill mandates the storage of any user data created in India, which opponents argue is superfluous and may permit spying.

Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) Recommendations On social media

  • Any social media platform that isn’t an intermediary, according to the JPC, should be considered as a publisher. A publisher is held legally responsible for the content it hosts.
  • JPC believes that “in many cases, these authorised intermediaries may be operating as publishers of the content,” making decisions about what content is exposed to whom.
  • The JPC has also proposed a social media regulation agency similar to the Press Council India.

Conclusion:

The Bill, according to the JPC, should encompass both personal and non-personal data. Non-personal data would include traffic data collected by Google Maps and other similar data. The JPC has even suggested renaming the bill the Data Protection Bill, 2021, and removing the term “personal.”

For detailed information on the above topics refer to the following article:

UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis of 23 Nov 2021

2. EWS criteria rethink

Context:

Recently, The Union Government has decided to revisit the criteria set out for eligibility for its 10% reservation under the economically weaker sections (EWS).

Details:

Introduction to EWS reservation:

  1. Economic backwardness: The term “economic backwardness” was used to describe a new category of affirmative action programmes for those who aren’t covered by or eligible for community-based quotas.
  2. EWS reserve: The 10% reservation was implemented in January 2019 as part of the 103rd Constitution Amendment. It enables up to 10% reservation in public and private educational institutions, whether aided or unassisted, with the exception of minority-run institutions.
  3. New Clauses: It added Clause (6) to Article 15 to provide the government the authority to make special arrangements for the EWS among individuals who are not currently eligible for reservation. It also inserted Clause (6) to Article 16 to make employment reservations easier. The new conditions make it clear that the EWS reservation will be in addition to any other reservations already in place.
  4. Criteria:
  • Above an annual income limit of ₹8 lakh are excluded.
  • Possession of any of following assets can take a person outside the EWS pool:
    • five or more acres of agricultural land,
    • a residential flat of 1,000 sq.ft. and above,
    • a residential plot of 100 square yards and above in notified municipalities,
    • a residential plot of 200 square yards and above in other areas.

Concerns Over the EWS Reservation:

  • Supreme Court Question the criteria:-
    • The income restriction of 8 lakh per year has caught the court’s interest because it is the same amount used to exclude the ‘creamy layer’ from OBC reservation privileges.
    • The court has asked if it is unreasonable to apply the same income restriction to both the OBC and EWS categories given the OBC group is socially and educationally inferior.
  • Lack of Research: Any reservation or exclusionary rules should be based on meaningful facts, and the Bench criticised that the EWS criteria were developed without any research.
  • Concerns of Flat criterion: There are other questions why the flat criterion does not differentiate between metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas.
  • Low Cut-off: Recruitment test results reveal that the category has a lower cut-off mark than the OBC. Because only a limited number of people apply under the EWS category at this time, the cut-off is low.
  • Breach of Supreme Court Judgement: The EWS quota has sparked debate, with critics claiming that it reduces the size of the open category while also violating the court-mandated 50 percent overall reservation limit set in the Indira Sawhney case.

Conclusion:

Reservation is a constitutional provision that ensures the backward classes are included in the nation-building process. Its purpose is to guarantee that the poor are adequately represented. The EWS quota is a violation of the constitutional reservation mechanism.

F. Prelims Facts

1. Covaxin elicits immune memory to virus, study finds

Context:

Recent study found that the vaccine generates antibodies and easily detectable memory B cell and T cell responses in many recipients.

Details:

  • Most vaccinated persons have cellular immunological responses in the form of memory B cells and memory T cells, indicating that the immune system can respond quickly.
  • The RBD-specific memory B cells were assessed in the research, but not the spike-specific memory B cells.

What are Memory B cells?

  • The adaptive immune system’s memory B cell (MBC) is a kind of B lymphocyte.
  • Long-lived plasma cells and memory B cells carry B cell memory, which is created after a first pathogen exposure. When confronted with fresh antigens, memory B cells can trigger better and increased responses.

What are Memory T cells?

  • Memory T cells are antigen-specific T cells that survive long after an infection has passed.
  • When memory T cells are re-exposed to the exact invading antigen, they swiftly transform into high numbers of effector T cells, allowing for a speedy response to previous infections.

2. Were there domestic horses in ancient India?

Context:

A recent report in Nature has been able to collect bones and teeth samples from regions from where domestic horses could have originated.

Details:

Background:

  • The horses with the modern domestic DNA profile lived in the Western Eurasian Steppes, particularly the Volga-Don River region.
  • These horses spread out to Bohemia (the Czech Republic of today and Ukraine), and Central Asia and Mongolia.

Indian story

  1. Which Animals are Native to India?
  • The Report by “World Atlas” says that the only animals native to India are the Asian elephant, snow leopard, rhinoceros, Bengal tiger, Sloth bear, Himalayan wolf, Gaur bison, red panda, crocodile, and the birds peacock and flamingo.
  • The website ThoughtCo lists the antelope, Nilgiri tahr, elephant, langur, Macaque monkey, rhinoceros, dolphin, Gharial crocodile, leopard, bear, tiger, bustard (heaviest flying bird), squirrel, cobra, and peacock.
  • Thus, it seems clear from these sources that horses are not native to India.
  1. How did horses come to India?
  • Horses must have come into India through inter-regional trading between countries. Indians might have traded their elephants, tigers, monkeys, birds to their neighbours and imported horses for our use.

When did India get its horses?

  1. Evidence During Harappan Age: Wikipedia points out that horse-related remains and artefacts have been found in Late Harappan sites (1900-1300 BCE), and that horses did not seem to have played an essential role in the Harappan civilisation.
  2. Evidence During Vedic Period: This is in contrast to the Vedic Period, which is a little later (1500-500 BCE). The Sanskrit word for horse is Ashwa, which is mentioned in the Vedas and Hindu Scriptures. These are roughly towards the end of the late Bronze Age.
  3. Debate in literature: ‘Early Indians: The Story of our Ancestors and Where We Came From’ by Tony Joseph And ‘The Tale of the Horse’. Dr. Joseph’s recent article in December 2018 by Yashaswini Chandra examines the evidence of the ‘Aryan’ migrations to India. This would suggest that the horses found in India came from the ‘Stans’ mentioned above. It suggests that Indian native horses disappeared by 8000 BCE.

Conclusion:

Given this background, it will be interesting to check whether in the Harappan sites, there are any remnant bones, teeth or skulls of horses, and perform DNA sequencing on them.

3. City’s air quality remains ‘severe’

Context:

According to the SAFAR agency, the air quality of the city continued to be in the ‘severe’ category and is expected to remain.

Details:

SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research)

For detailed information on the above topics refer to the following article:

SAFAR – System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research

G. Tidbits

1. ‘Lawmakers do not assess impact of laws’

  • The Chief Justice of India recently criticized legislators who fail to consider the social consequences of their legislation.
  • It’s also been noted that the Legislature doesn’t undertake research or evaluate the impact of the legislation it approves. This can occasionally result in major problems.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q.1 Which nuclear power plant in India is being built in partnership with France?
  1. Kaiga
  2. Kudankulam
  3. Kalpakkam
  4. Jaitapur 
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • Recently, the French company EDF and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) are working together to take the Jaitapur project off the ground.
  • EDF, a French corporation, recently submitted a binding offer for the Jaitapur project to NPCIL. 
  • Hence Option D is correct.
Q.2 ‘Operation HAECHI-­II’, recently seen in news, refers to -
  1. A global anti-drug operation launched by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
  2. EU mission to rescue migrants stranded in the Mediterranean Sea
  3. Deployment of UN Peacekeeping Forces in Afghanistan
  4. Interpol’s global operation to crackdown on cyber­-enabled financial crime.
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • The operation codenamed ‘HAECHI-II’ was conducted by INTERPOL  underlining the global threat of cyber-enabled financial crime.
  • It is the second such operation in a three-year project launched to tackle cyber-enabled financial crime.
  • Hence Option D is correct.
Q.3 Which of the following statements are incorrect?
  1. The Communist Party of India (Maoist) is a violent, extremist organization.
  2. It was formed in 1967, following the armed-Maoist uprising at Naxalbari.
  3. It has been designated as a terrorist organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Options:-

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • According to a study provided by the US State Department, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) is the world’s sixth deadliest terrorist organisation. Hence Statement 1 is correct.
  • It was founded on 21 September 2004, through the merger of the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) and the Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCCI). Hence Statement 2 is incorrect.
  • Since 2009, India’s Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act has branded the CPI (Maoist) as a terrorist organisation. Hence Statement 3 is correct.
Q.4 Which of the following are seen as features of the Indian Judiciary?
  1. Independent from the executive and legislature
  2. President appoints judges to the higher judiciary
  3. Transparent and accountable appointment process

Options:-

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • The Indian Constitution establishes a unified, integrated judicial system.The Indian Constitution establishes a separation of powers between the judiciary and the other two branches of government, i.e. executive and legislative. Hence Statement 1 is correct.
  • The President has the ability to nominate the Chief Justice of India (C.J.I.) and Supreme Court Judges under Article 124. Hence Statement 2 is correct.
  • The appointment of judges by the Collegium system is criticised for being opaque, and there was no method for verifying the appointment’s reasonableness. There is a complete absence of responsibility on the part of the Judiciary. Hence Statement 3 is incorrect.
Q.5 Consider the following statements:
  1. Agricultural soils release nitrogen oxides into the environment.
  2. Cattle release ammonia into the environment.
  3. Poultry industry releases reactive nitrogen compounds into the environment.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • According to a Indian Nitrogen Assessment study:
    • Agricultural soils contributed to over 70% of N2O emissions from India in 2010, followed by waste water (12%) and residential and commercial activities (6%).
    • Cattle produce 80% of the ammonia, despite the fact that their yearly growth rate is only 1% due to a constant population.
    • The poultry business, on the other hand, had an annual growth rate of 6%  and excreted 0.415 tonnes of reactive nitrogen compounds in 2016.
  • Hence All Statements are correct.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Essay Practice Topics

  1. Men Have Become the Tools of Their Tools (1000-1200 Words)
  2. Corruption is like a ball of snow, once it’s set a rolling it must increase (1000-1200 Words)

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 28 Nov 2021:- Download PDF Here

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