29 Nov 2023: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

29 November 2023 CNA
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A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
C. GS 3 Related
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
1. Time for action
1. The challenge of maritime security in Global South
1. A non-starter
F. Prelims Facts
1. Rat-hole Mining
2. Artemis Accords
G. Tidbits
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

FIP Magazine

B. GS 2 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

C. GS 3 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

D. GS 4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials


1. Time for action

Syllabus: GS-3, Conservation, Environmental pollution and degradation

Mains: Outcome of Conference of the Parties (COP)

Context:​ The 28th edition of the Conference of the Parties (COP) is poised to bring together global leaders, industrialists, activists, and indigenous communities in a collective effort to address the pressing issue of climate change. 

Discrepancy between Commitments and Actions

  • Paris Agreement Commitment: In 2015, countries pledged to limit global temperature increases, aiming for a maximum of 1.5°C by the end of the century.
  • Reality Check: Despite unanimous agreement on the potential consequences of breaching these limits, global emissions have increased by 1.2% from 2021-22, putting the world on track to warm by 2.5-3°C by the end of the century.
  • Rising Instances of Breach: The alarming fact that global temperatures breached the 1.5°C threshold 86 times in the current year highlights the urgency of concrete action.

Read more on the COP28 in the link.

Three Principles Agreed Upon

  • Historical Carbon Emissions: Acknowledgment that certain countries, particularly those that rapidly industrialized in the 20th century, have emitted more carbon than their ‘fair share.’
  • Fossil Fuel Consumption and Economic Growth: Recognizing the disastrous consequences of economic growth reliant on fossil fuel consumption, despite being cheaper than renewable energy per unit.
  • Compensation for Clean Development: Consensus on compensating developing countries with minimal industrial infrastructure for adopting cleaner, albeit costlier, non-fossil fuel sources.

Challenges in Implementation

  • Mutual Suspicion and De-Globalisation: The challenge lies in overcoming mutual suspicion among nations, the prevailing spirit of de-globalisation, and the fear of political reprisal faced by leaders within their constituencies.
  • Compensation and Infrastructure Support: While there is agreement on compensating countries facing climate disasters and supporting their infrastructure, translating these principles into concrete actions remains a formidable task.

Key Issues at COP-28

  • Global Stocktake Conclusion: The closure of the Global Stocktake, a crucial evaluation of countries’ climate actions, is anticipated. However, the nature and scale of the commitments made are yet to be clarified.
  • Operationalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund: The establishment of the Loss and Damage Fund is pivotal, but uncertainties persist regarding the fund’s size and individual contributions by countries.


  • Urgency for Definitive Action: The COP-28 must go beyond self-congratulatory agreements and actively compel signatories to take definitive action to address the widening gap between commitments and actual progress.
  • Stakes for Global Climate: The significance of COP-28 lies in its potential to curb emissions, prevent further temperature rise, and honour commitments that safeguard the planet’s future.


  • Transparent Commitments: Encourage nations to make transparent and achievable commitments, aligning with the urgent need to curb emissions and limit global temperature increases.
  • Diplomatic Cooperation: Foster diplomatic cooperation to overcome mutual suspicion, ensuring that nations work collectively towards shared goals.
  • Concrete Plans for Compensation: Develop concrete plans for compensating countries affected by climate disasters and supporting the transition to cleaner energy sources.

Nut Graf: As the world converges at COP-28, the imperative is a clear transition from rhetoric to action. The conference must transcend the patterns of previous COPs, serving as a platform that not only acknowledges the severity of climate change but compels signatories to implement tangible measures. 


1. The challenge of maritime security in Global South

Syllabus: GS-2, Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests.

Mains: The challenge of maritime security in Global South

Context:​ The challenge of maritime security in the Global South presents a multifaceted issue, requiring adaptive strategies in the face of evolving threats. Charles Darwin’s concept of resilient adaptability becomes particularly relevant in addressing the emerging dynamics in the maritime domain, where traditional security challenges intertwine with unconventional threats.

Issues in Maritime Security

  • New Threat Dimensions
    • Evolution of Threats: Recent years have witnessed a transformation in maritime security challenges, with unconventional tactics such as grey-zone warfare, land attack missiles, and combat drones being deployed.
    • Diverse Challenges: While traditional security threats persist, the bulk of the demand for maritime security arises from unconventional issues like illegal fishing, natural disasters, marine pollution, human and drug trafficking, and climate change impacts.
  • Global South’s Concerns
    • Neglect of Global South: The Global South perceives the Indo-Pacific’s zero-sum competition among powerful nations as detrimental to their interests.
    • Unrealized Sustainable Development Goals: Despite the emphasis on sustainable development goals in littorals, the concerns of Asia, Africa, and the Southern Pacific are often overlooked by developed countries.
  • Inequality among Littoral States
    • Law Enforcement Capabilities: Littoral states in Asia and Africa face unequal law enforcement capabilities, hindering coordinated efforts against maritime threats.
    • Varying Security Priorities: Divergent security priorities and a reluctance to leverage partner capabilities impede joint efforts against piracy, armed robbery, and maritime terrorism.

Significance of Maritime Security

  • Integrated Approach to Security
    • Interconnected Security Goals: Contemporary security goals encompass national, environmental, economic, and human security, requiring an integrated approach.
    • Impact on Global South: The Global South faces challenges in achieving marine governance objectives, exacerbated by rising sea levels, pollution, climate change, and natural disasters.
  • Creative Models for Prosperity
    • Sea Power for Prosperity: Maritime security extends beyond military action; sea power is increasingly about generating prosperity and meeting societal aspirations.
    • India’s Maritime Vision 2030: India’s blueprint focuses on port development, shipping, and inland waterways to spur growth and livelihoods, providing a creative model for the maritime sector.
    • Dhaka’s Indo-Pacific Document: Dhaka emphasizes a developmental approach, focusing on provisioning goods and services and protecting marine resources in the Indo-Pacific.

Solutions for Maritime Security

  • Addressing Illegal Fishing
    • Faulty Policies: Illegal fishing in Asia and Africa is exacerbated by lenient regulations, lax law enforcement, and harmful subsidies promoting destructive fishing methods.
    • India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative: Proposes collective solutions to common problems, emphasizing maritime ecology, marine resources, capacity building, disaster risk reduction, and maritime connectivity.
  • Collaborative Strategies
    • Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative Implementation: Despite support, implementing collaborative strategies requires improved interoperability, intelligence sharing, and agreement on a rules-based order.
    • Overhauling Regulatory Frameworks: States must adapt to an integrated form of maritime security operations and overhaul regulatory frameworks to align with international law, challenging their emphasis on sovereignty.

Nut Graf: The challenge of maritime security in the Global South demands a holistic and adaptive approach. Acknowledging the interconnected nature of security goals, nations must move beyond traditional strategies to address evolving threats. 


1. A non-starter

Syllabus: GS-2, Executive and Judiciary, Structure, Organization and Functioning

Mains: Significance of All-India Judicial Service 

Context:​ President Droupadi Murmu’s proposal for an All-India Judicial Service (AIJS) as a means to diversify the judiciary by recruiting bright individuals from diverse backgrounds raises questions about its feasibility and effectiveness. 

Issues with the All-India Judicial Service (AIJS)

  • Lack of Consensus
    • Historical Discussions: The idea of AIJS has been discussed in the past and has been part of policy discussions in the Union government.
    • Lack of Consensus: Despite its consideration, there is no consensus on the proposal, with only two High Courts supporting the idea and 13 expressing opposition.
  • Diversity and Recruitment Process
    • Current Recruitment System: The existing system, wherein district judges are recruited through High Courts and other judicial officers through public service commissions, is seen as more conducive to ensuring diversity.
    • Reservation Possibility: The current system allows for reservations and a nuanced understanding of local practices and conditions, which may be challenging in a centralized AIJS.
  • Constitutional Hurdles
    • Article 312: The creation of AIJS requires an amendment to Article 312 of the Constitution, with a resolution adopted by the Council of States and a parliamentary law.
    • State Resistance: States may be reluctant to relinquish control over the recruitment process for judges, as it involves a transfer of authority from the state to the centre.
  • Challenges in Legal Education
    • Lack of Uniformity: Legal education lacks uniformity across the country, making it challenging to have a standardized national examination for judicial recruitment.
    • Practical Experience vs. Academic Brilliance: Lawyers often consider practical experience more valuable than academic brilliance when contemplating a career in judicial service.
  • Career Progression and Attractiveness
    • Career Progression Uncertainty: The limited number of district judges elevated to High Courts and uncertainty in career progression may deter candidates from opting for a national judicial service.
    • Attractiveness to Top Law Graduates: Top law graduates may find other career options, such as litigation, law firms, or the corporate sector, more beneficial than pursuing a national judicial service.

Significance of the All-India Judicial Service (AIJS)

  • Intent for Diversity: The proposal is aimed at diversifying the judiciary by attracting candidates from varied backgrounds.
  • Merit-Based System: The focus on merit-based recruitment is an attempt to ensure a high standard of judges in the judiciary.

Solutions and Considerations

  • Strengthening the Current System
    • Enhanced Diversity in Existing System: Consider measures to enhance diversity within the current system of district judge recruitment through High Courts and public service commissions.
    • Training and Sensitization: Introduce training and sensitization programs for judges to foster a better understanding of diverse local conditions.
  • Addressing Constitutional and State Concerns
    • Constitutional Amendments with Consensus: Seek consensus among states for constitutional amendments required for the creation of AIJS.
    • State Involvement: Ensure meaningful involvement of states in the AIJS framework to address concerns related to centralization.
  • Reassessing Legal Education
    • Standardized Legal Education: Work towards standardized legal education to facilitate a more uniform approach to judicial recruitment examinations.
    • Practical Training Integration: Integrate practical training components in legal education to align academic brilliance with practical experience.
  • Career Progression Certainty
    • Clear Career Path: Establish a clear career progression path within the AIJS to address concerns about uncertainty and attractiveness.
    • Appealing Incentives: Introduce appealing incentives to make the national judicial service an attractive option for top law graduates.

Nut Graf: While the intention behind an All-India Judicial Service (AIJS) is commendable for aiming to diversify the judiciary and ensure a merit-based system, the proposal faces significant challenges and opposition. 

F. Prelims Facts

1. Rat-hole Mining

Context: Rat-hole mining, though deemed illegal by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in 2014, has unexpectedly proven its value in a recent rescue operation in the Silkyara tunnel. 


  • Rat-Hole Mining: An illegal yet skilled practice.
  • Definition and Ban: Rat-hole mining involves the digging of narrow tunnels, typically three or four feet high, for extracting coal. In 2014, the NGT imposed a ban on this technique for coal mining in Meghalaya, citing environmental concerns.
  • Modus Operandi: The method includes creating horizontal tunnels termed “rat holes,” each just about fitting one person, allowing entry for workers to extract coal.

Role of Rat-Hole Miners in Rescue Operation

  • Skill and Experience: Despite its legal prohibition, the expertise and experience of rat-hole miners became instrumental in the rescue operation in the Silkyara tunnel.
  • Phenomenal Achievement: Lieutenant-General Syed Ata Hasnain (retired) commended the rat-hole miners for their exceptional achievement of digging 10 meters within a remarkably short timeframe.

Legal Context and Special Situation

  • NGT’s Prohibition: The NGT’s ban specifically targeted coal mining through rat-hole techniques, emphasizing the environmental hazards associated with this practice.
  • Exceptional Circumstances: Vishal Chauhan, an NHAI member, highlighted that while rat-hole mining is generally illegal, the current scenario in the Silkyara tunnel is deemed a life-saving situation. The deployment of rat-hole mining is justified as a necessary technical intervention by experts.

Deployment of Rat-Hole Mining Technique

  • Experts’ Involvement: Trenchless Engineering Services and Navayuga Engineers have called upon at least 12 experts from various parts of the country to deploy the rat-hole mining technique horizontally in the collapsed part of the Silkyara tunnel.
  • Geographical Diversity: Experts have arrived from locations such as Delhi and Jhansi, showcasing the nationwide utilization of rat-hole miners’ skills in critical situations.


  • Policy Reassessment: Reevaluate the existing legal framework regarding rat-hole mining, considering its potential applications in life-saving scenarios.
  • Regulation and Training: Implement regulations for the ethical use of rat-hole mining techniques in emergencies, accompanied by proper training to ensure safety and efficiency.

2. Artemis Accords

Context: NASA Administrator Bill Nelson’s recent meeting with Union Minister for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh holds significance in the context of the joint mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2024. 

Mission to the International Space Station

  • Purpose of Meeting: The meeting aimed to discuss India’s research interests and contributions to the joint mission to the ISS scheduled for the end of 2024.
  • Training of Indian Astronaut: The U.S. commitment to train an Indian astronaut for the mission highlights the collaborative nature of space exploration between the two nations.
  • Focus on Scientific Research: NASA Administrator Bill Nelson emphasized discussions on the specific scientific research areas that would be of importance to India during the mission.

Background and Bilateral Agreements

  • Announcement by President Biden: The collaboration was officially announced by U.S. President Joe Biden during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit in June, further solidifying the partnership.
  • Artemis Accords Signing: India’s signing of the Artemis Accords, a non-binding set of principles for civil space exploration, underscores the shared commitment to responsible and collaborative space activities.

Administrator’s Visit to India

  • Purpose of Visit: Bill Nelson’s visit to India from November 27 involves a series of meetings, including discussions with Indian space companies in Mumbai and a meeting with astronaut Rakesh Sharma in Bengaluru.
  • Focus on NISAR Mission: The visit also includes inspections of facilities in Bengaluru where the NISAR spacecraft, a joint mission between NASA and ISRO, is undergoing testing and integration for its scheduled launch in 2024.

NISAR Mission Details

  • NISAR Overview: The NASA ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) is part of the Great Observatories, aiming to precisely monitor Earth’s surface and climate changes.
  • Launch Schedule: The NISAR spacecraft is set to launch in the first quarter of 2024, equipped with technology capable of detecting changes on Earth’s surface caused by seismic activities, water disturbances, or movement of ice.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements regarding rat-hole mining prevalent in certain 
parts of India:
  1. It is a largely unregulated and hazardous form of coal mining.
  2. It involves digging very small tunnels in which children and adults can pass through.
  3. It has been banned in Meghalaya after the National Green Tribunal’s order.

How many of the statements given above are correct?

  1. Only one  
  2. Only two  
  3. All three  
  4. None

Answer: c
Explanation: All three statements are correct.

Q2. With reference to Maritime India Vision 2030, which of the following 
statements is/are incorrect?
  1. It is a ten-year blueprint for the maritime sector launched at the Maritime India Summit in November 2020.
  2. The vision aims to boost waterways, give a fillip to the shipbuilding industry, and encourage cruise tourism in India.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: d

Explanation: Maritime India Vision 2030, launched at the Maritime India Summit, aims to enhance waterways, shipbuilding, and cruise tourism in India.


Q3. Which constitutional amendment provided for creation of an All India 
Judicial Service (AIJS)?
  1. 44th Amendment
  2. 42nd Amendment
  3. 46th Amendment
  4. 40th Amendment

Answer: b

Explanation: Article 312 of the Constitution, as amended by the 42nd Amendment, provides for the creation of an All India Judicial Service (AIJS).

Q4. Consider the following statements regarding the Artemis Accords:
  1. Artemis Accords were established in 2020 by the U.S. State Department and NASA with seven founding members.
  2. These accords set common principles for civil exploration of outer space, including the moon, Mars, comets, and asteroids, for peaceful purposes.
  3. India has not signed the binding Artemis Accords.

How many of the statements given above are correct?

  1. Only one  
  2. Only two  
  3. All three  
  4. None

Answer: b

Explanation: The Artemis Accords, initiated in 2020, outline principles for space exploration, and India joined the non-binding Artemis Accords as the 27th signatory.

Q5.Consider the following statements regarding the COP28 in Dubai:
  1. Its primary objective is to review and calibrate the implementation of UNFCCC terms, the Paris Agreement, and the Kyoto Protocol.
  2. This year, member states will face their first Global Stocktake (GST) to analyze progress towards the Paris Agreement and adopt climate action plans due in 2025.
  3. Four themes for COP28 include fast-tracking the energy transition, fixing climate finance, addressing nature, people, lives, and livelihoods, and promoting inclusivity in climate management.

How many of the statements given above are correct?

    1. Only one  
    2. Only two
    3. All three
    4. None

Answer: c

Explanation: All three statements are correct. COP28 aims to review climate agreements, conduct a Global Stocktake, and focuses on four key themes for the summit.


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