01 Oct 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

Oct 1st, 2021, CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
GEOGRAPHY
1. Monsoon may withdraw from next week
B. GS 2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Hidden debt rising for partners of China’s BRI plan
2. From Afghanistan to AUKUS, a Biden doctrine takes shape
C. GS 3 Related
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Making parties constitutional
2. A State, a ‘clean sweep’ and the art of sanitation
3. Failing on food
F. Prelims Facts
1. Current account surplus slides to $6.5 billion in Q1
2. Urban missions to get big outlay
G. Tidbits
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

2. From Afghanistan to AUKUS, a Biden doctrine takes shape

Background:

U.S. pullout from Afghanistan:

  • The U.S. pulled out its troops from Afghanistan after reaching an agreement with the Taliban despite the global condemnation of the move. The U.S. line of argument has been that its strategic objectives in Afghanistan have been met and it is not its responsibility to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan.

AUKUS alliance:

  • Formation of AUKUS alliance – Under the AUKUS deal, Australia would get nuclear-powered submarines from the U.S. and the U.K. Also, Australia will host American bombers on its territory and get access to advanced missile technology.

For more related information on the AUKUS alliance refer to the following article:

UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis of 16th Sep 2021

Quad partnership:

  • Increasing support to QUAD partnership – The first in-person Quad summit of leaders from India, Australia and Japan was held recently.

For information on the QUAD summit refer to the following article:

UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis of 26th Sep 2021

Details:

  • At the outset, the U.S. decision to withdraw from Afghanistan appears as the U.S.’s strategic reluctance in avoiding taking responsibility to defeat terrorism globally and had also raised credibility questions on America’s power.
  • However, a closer analysis with respect to the recent developments points to a rather strategic framework being adopted by the U.S. based on pragmatic realism.
  • The U.S. would limit its focus on preventing terrorist attacks on the American homeland and would rather focus its attention on dealing with the geopolitical contest with China. This approach would allow the U.S. to retreat from other conflict theatres, and refocus its resources on tackling China’s rise.
    • Tackling China’s rise is vital to America’s interests because an increasingly powerful China could challenge the U.S.’s global pre-eminence.
  • This marks a drastic change given the liberal internationalism policy followed by the U.S previously, which saw it use its military and political power to address humanitarian issues and internal conflicts in some countries.
  • Notably, however, despite the overwhelming signalling being given to China on U.S. intentions in the Indo-Pacific through the AUKUS alliance, the U.S. President ruled out a new Cold War in his UNGA address given recently.

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

UPSC Comprehensive News Analysis of 22nd Sep 2021

2. A State, a ‘clean sweep’ and the art of sanitation

The article talks about the commendable progress made by Madhya Pradesh in implementing the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan.

Swacch Bharat Abhiyan:
  • This campaign was launched by the Prime Minister on 2nd October 2014 to honour Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of a clean country.
  • The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA), or Clean India Mission, aimed to provide every family with sanitation facilities, including toilets, solid and liquid waste disposal systems.
  • The call to achieve the goal by October 2, 2019, and make this an appropriate tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, on his 150th birth anniversary was well-received by all Indian citizens and the international community, too.

Read more on Swachh Bharat Abhiyan – Details on Mission, Action Plan, Implementation

Details:

  • Madhya Pradesh (MP) Government followed a comprehensive and scientific approach in implementing the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
  • Urban Madhya Pradesh received its ODF certification on October 2, 2017.
  • Rural Madhya Pradesh received its ODF certification the following year on October 2, 2018.
  • As of today, Madhya Pradesh ranks third in the country in the cleanliness survey, 2020.
  • Indore has been ranked the cleanest city in the country in Swachh Survekshan (Cleanliness Survey) since 2017. It has become India’s first ‘Water Plus’ city in Swachh Survekshan 2021.
    • It achieved this feat by treating its wastewater to a satisfactory level, before releasing it into rivers.
  • The capital city of Bhopal has bagged the title of the cleanest and the greenest capital of the country in the cleanliness survey of 2020.

MP’s Course of Action in Implementing SBA:

  • A comprehensive exercise was initiated to identify the sanitation issues people faced through a series of interactions with all identified stakeholders.
  • Consequently, insights were gathered to inform the strategy to make Madhya Pradesh 100% Open Defecation Free (ODF) by 2019.
  • Swachhta (cleanliness) was made an individual’s responsibility, both at a personal and public level.
  • People’s participation was the driving force behind the success of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in Madhya Pradesh.
  • A multi-pronged strategy was designed involving the construction of toilets, implementing tough regulatory steps such as levying fines for open defecation and encouraging behavioural change through innovation.
    • This approach guaranteed the sustenance of changed behaviours and the longevity of the impact of efforts.
  • Good leadership encouraged a sustained change of behaviour. Right from a Collector to a local level leader at the gram panchayat level, they took the message of cleanliness to the people.
  • What followed was a remarkable change in the attitudes of the people as they began to own the movement.

The collective efforts of the citizens of Madhya Pradesh and the State machinery have brought about an irreversible positive transformation in sanitation, right down to the grassroots.

3. Failing on food

Context:

The Cabinet has approved a proposal to rename the 26-year-old national mid-day meal scheme and launch the PM POSHAN (Poshan Shakti Nirman) scheme.

This topic has been covered in Sep 30th, 2021 CNA.

Details:

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved PM POSHAN until 2025-26.
  • The approval of the PM POSHAN scheme comes at a critical time when real income declines and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have affected the ability of families to ensure good nutrition.

Data on Malnutrition:

  • The findings in Phase I of the NFHS-5 for 22 States and Union Territories in December 2020:
    • childhood stunting rose in 13 States
    • there was a high prevalence of anaemia among children and women
    • wasting was a serious concern in 12 States.
  • The shortfall over the previous survey period exposes the worsening status of nutrition, threatening to deprive millions of children of a fully productive adult life.
  • Recent data on child malnutrition highlight the value of good school meals.

PM POSHAN Scheme:

  • The centrally supported hot meal programme in Government and Government-aided schools, covering 11.8 crore children, will be supplemented with nutritional elements in identified aspirational districts and areas with high anaemia.
  • The scheme, which is proposed to be extended to pre-primary children, provides for:
    • social audit
    • creation of school nutritional gardens to source fresh produce
    • involvement of farmer-producer organisations as providers,
    • emphasis on local food traditions

Way Forward:

  • While there are positive features in PM POSHAN Scheme, momentum towards eradicating malnutrition depends upon annual budgetary outlays.
  • The proof of its working will lie in measurable outcomes.
  • This hidden crisis must be addressed effectively, backed by strong budgetary commitment.
  • Support for the PM POSHAN must remain elastic.
  • While some child growth metrics such as stunting require a longer window to measure, problems such as anaemia and low weight lend themselves to speedy amelioration.
  • The Government must demonstrate that Saksham Anganwadi-Mission POSHAN 2.0, which amalgamates the POSHAN Abhiyan and schemes covering anganwadis, crèches and adolescent girls, is fiscally stronger than its erstwhile component parts.
  • There must be a meaningful increase in the current budget estimate over the combined past outlay for the subsumed individual schemes.
  • The renewed nutritional plan should introduce a greater diversity of diets that compensates for micronutrient and protein deficiency.
  • Strong supplementation of nutrition at school, in the community, and at childcare centres is critical at a time when India faces food inflation and pandemic-induced income declines have depressed essential consumption.

F. Prelims Facts

1. Current account surplus slides to $6.5 billion in Q1

Current account balance:

  • The current account balance of payment is defined as the sum of the balance of trade (goods and services exports minus imports), net income from abroad, and net current transfers. A positive current account balance indicates the nation is a net lender to the rest of the world, while a negative current account balance indicates that it is a net borrower from the rest of the world.
  • The current account balance of payments is a record of a country’s international transactions with the rest of the world.
  • The current account is an important indicator of an economy’s health.

Context:

  • Reserve Bank of India data on current account balance.
    • India’s current account balance stands at a surplus of $6.5 billion (0.9% of GDP) in the first quarter, compared with a surplus of $19.1 billion (3.7% of GDP) a year earlier.

2. Urban missions to get big outlay

Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U):

  • SBM-U was launched in 2014. SBM-U focused on the construction of toilets and making cities open defecation-free (ODF).

Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT):

  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) was launched in 2015 with the focus to establish adequate basic infrastructure for urban transformation by implementing urban revival projects.
  • Providing basic services (e.g. water supply, sewerage, urban transport) to households and building amenities in cities that will improve the quality of life for all, especially the poor and the disadvantaged are priorities for the AMRUT scheme.
  • The Mission will focus on the following Thrust Areas:
    • Water Supply
    • Sewerage and septage management
    • Storm Water Drainage to reduce flooding
    • Non-motorized Urban Transport
    • Green space/parks

Context:

  • The revamped versions of the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U) and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) are to be launched soon.

G. Tidbits

Nothing here for today!!!

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. The recently launched DigiSaksham is:
  1. A digital skills programme to enhance the employability of youth by imparting digital skills.
  2. A Scheme aimed at providing encouragement and support to specially-abled children to pursue Technical Education.
  3. A scheme aimed at making people in rural areas, across States/UTs, digitally literate.
  4. A digital wallet that enables storage and access to educational documents, health records, certificates electronically.
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • Under the DigiSaksham initiative, free of cost training will be provided to more than 3 lakh youth, in digital skills including basic skills & advance computing, in the first year. This training programme can be accessed through the National Career Service (NCS) Portal.
  • This digital skills programme was launched with the objective of enhancing the employability of youth by improving their digital skills which have become an essential thing in an increasingly technology-driven era.
  • Digi Saksham is a joint initiative of Microsoft India and the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

Context:

  • On September 30, 2021, Digi Saksham Programme was launched by the Union Labour and Employment Minister Bhupender Yadav.
Q2. Consider the following statements with respect to Account Aggregator (AA) framework:
  1. It is a consent-based financial data sharing that would allow individuals and small businesses to access, control, and share personal data with third-party institutions.
  2. AAs were created through an inter-regulatory decision by RBI, SEBI, IRDAI, PFRDA and FSDC.
  3. RBI licenses and governs rules for AAs.

Which of the given statements is/are correct?

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The account aggregator framework will allow financial data to be exchanged between the holders of data and its users.
  • Account aggregators will act as intermediaries who will collect data from one financial entity and exchange it with another.
    • Under the framework, a number of fin-tech entities have been granted the licence to operate as account aggregators.
  • AAs were created through an inter-regulatory decision by RBI, SEBI, IRDAI, PFRDA and FSDC.
  • RBI licenses and governs rules for AAs.
Q3. It is the largest Nuclear Power station in India and is operated by Nuclear Power 
Corporation of India Limited. It is the result of an inter-governmental agreement between 
India and Russia. 

The Nuclear Power generation facility being talked about is:

  1. Kalpakkam Nuclear Power Plant
  2. Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant
  3. Kaiga Nuclear Power Plant
  4. Kakrapar Atomic Power Station
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is the largest nuclear power station in India, situated in Kudankulam in the Tirunelveli district of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
  • The plant is scheduled to have VVER-1000 reactors built in collaboration with Atomstroyexport, the Russian state company and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). Know more about the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in the link.
Q4. Which of the following is/are NOT among the eligibility criteria to become a Supreme 
Court judge as envisaged in the Article 124 of the Indian Constitution?
  1. Only an Indian Citizen not exceeding 65 years of age is eligible.
  2. The person should serve as a judge of one high court or more continuously, for at least 10 years or the person should be an advocate in the High court for at least 10 years or a distinguished jurist.

Options:

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Article 124(3) provides for the qualifications required for appointment as a Judge of the Supreme Court. The qualifications are:
    • The person should be a citizen of India; and
    • He/She should have been for at least five years a Judge of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession; or
    • He/She has been for at least ten years an advocate of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession; or
    • He/She is, in the opinion of the President, a distinguished jurist.
  • Supreme Court Judges retire upon attaining the age of 65 years.
Q5. With reference to the history of India, consider the following pairs:
  1. Aurang: In-charge of treasury of the State
  2. Banian: Indian agent of the East India Company
  3. Mirasidar: Designated revenue payer to the State

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched? [UPSC 2020]

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Aurang is a Persian term for a warehouse – a place where goods are collected before being sold. The word also refers to a workshop for finished goods.
  • The term banian is the Anglicised form of the Sanskrit and Bangla word banik (merchant). In Anglo-Indian society and among the natives too, a banian was one who was engaged by an individual western merchant or a firm to work for them as a broker, interpreter and agent.
  • Mirasidar is a designated revenue payer to the State.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Making Political Parties constitutional will ensure in-party democracy by bringing transparency in its functioning. Substantiate. (10 Marks, 150 Words)[GS-2, Polity]
  2. Sanitation is not just about building toilets, it is much more. Discuss. (15 Marks, 250 Words)[GS-1, Social Issues]

Read the previous CNA here.

Oct 1st, 2021, CNA:- Download PDF Here

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