12 Oct 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

Oct 12th, 2021, CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. India, China commander talks end in impasse
C. GS 3 Related
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. Delhi govt. starts spraying bio-decomposer in farms
ECONOMY
1. Economics Nobel for research on wages, jobs
2. Industry seeks clarity on space policy
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. Tackling the climate crisis
GEOGRAPHY
1. Protecting India’s natural laboratories
HEALTH
1. The next step is a constitutional right to health
F. Prelims Facts
1. ‘India invited to become full-time IEA member’
G. Tidbits
1. Killing of minorities a threat to democratic fabric of India: NHRC
2. Over 2 lakh RTI pleas pending
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Category: ECONOMY

1. Economics Nobel for research on wages, jobs

Context:

The Nobel prize for economics has been awarded to U.S.-based economist David Card for research on how minimum wage, immigration and education affect the labour market. The prize was shared with two, Guido Imbens and Joshua Angrist for creating a way to study these types of societal issues.

Details:

  • David Card’s pioneering research challenges commonly held ideas.
  • It showed that:
    • an increase in minimum wage does not lead to less hiring
      • One conclusion was that companies are able to pass on the cost of higher wages to customers by raising prices.
      • In other cases, if a company was a major employer in a particular area, it may have been able to keep wages particularly low, so that it could afford to pay a higher minimum without cutting jobs.
    • immigrants do not lower pay for native-born workers
      • It was found that the incomes of those who are native-born workers can benefit from new immigrants, while immigrants who arrived earlier are the ones at risk of being negatively affected.
    • This minimum wage research fundamentally alters economists’ views of such policies.
    • Card’s work on minimum wage is an example of a “natural experiment,” or a study based on observation of real-world data. The problem with such experiments is that it can sometimes be difficult to isolate cause and effect.
      • Imbens and Angrist developed statistical methods to get around these challenges and determine more precisely what can actually be said about the causes and effects of natural experiments.

Note:

Unlike the other Nobel prizes, the economics award wasn’t established in the will of Alfred Nobel but by the Swedish central bank in his memory in 1968, with the first winner selected a year later. It is the last prize announced each year.

2. Industry seeks clarity on space policy

Context:

Inauguration of the Indian Space Association (ISpA).

Indian Space Association:

  • Indian Space Association is an organisation meant to represent the interests of the space sector with government and private sector bodies across the board.
  • It includes the Indian Space Research Organisation, Walchandnagar Industries, TATA Nelco, Pixxel, Mapmy India and Bharti Airtel.
  • It will act as an umbrella for all public and private entities contributing to the development of India’s space sector.
  • It will undertake policy advocacy and engage with all stakeholders in the Indian space domain, including the government and its agencies.
  • The initiative will provide the Indian space sector with four pillars and will promote higher participation of private entities. The four pillars being:
    • The freedom of innovation to the private sector
    • The role of the government as an enabler
    • Preparing youth for the future
    • To see the space sector as a resource for the progress of the common man
  • It would lead to better mapping, imaging and connectivity facilities for the common people.
  • Also, the space sector implies better speed from shipment to delivery for entrepreneurs, this also means better security and income for fishermen and better forecast of the natural calamity.

Details:

  • Ahead of major launches in 2022, India has announced its intent to liberalise the space sector and have more private companies use the facilities of the ISRO for developing as well as launching satellites. While there have been drafts of a new space policy, these are yet to take shape.
  • In this backdrop, the industrialists have sought a clearer picture of the government’s space policy at the earliest.
  • They suggested that, for the space industry to grow, the government should help small and medium sector enterprises (SME) access more capital as well as move faster on finalising its space policy.
  • They have requested flexibility for satellite frequency users to use any frequency range and to be able to freely buy technology from abroad.

Category: GEOGRAPHY

1. Protecting India’s natural laboratories

Background:

India’s geological diversity and heritage:

  • India’s geodiversity is unique. It is home to a variety of geological and physical elements of nature including mountains, valleys, coastlines, hot mineral springs, active volcanoes, diverse soil types, mineralised areas, and globally important fossil-bearing sites.
    • The Kutch region in Gujarat has numerous dinosaur fossils.
    • The Tiruchirappalli region of Tamil Nadu, originally a Mesozoic Ocean, houses Cretaceous (60 million years ago) marine fossils.
  • India’s geological history contributes to its geodiversity. The Indian landmass broke loose from the Gondwana or Gondwanaland supercontinent 150 million years ago and drifted northwards for 100 million years until it settled under the southern margin of the Eurasian plate. The geological features and landscapes in India have evolved over billions of years through numerous cycles of tectonic and climate events.
  • Given this geological diversity and heritage of India, it is long known as the world’s ‘natural laboratory’ for geo-scientific learning.

Efforts towards conservation of geological heritage:

  • In 1991 at a UNESCO-sponsored event, ‘First International Symposium on the Conservation of our Geological Heritage’, the Digne declaration was adopted. The declaration endorsed the concept of a shared geological heritage and declared the responsibility of the governments to act as their custodians.
  • Later there was the establishment of geo-parks as sites that commemorate unique geological features and landscapes within their assigned territories; and as spaces that educate the public on geological importance. These sites also helped promote geo-tourism to generate revenue and employment.
  • In the late 1990s, UNESCO facilitated efforts to create a formal programme promoting a Global Geoparks Network. Currently, there are 169 Global Geoparks across 44 countries.
    • India is also a signatory to the establishment of UNESCO Global Geoparks.

Significance of geological literacy:

  • Geo-heritage sites would provide for acquiring of geological literacy.
  • Such geological literacy will not only help one better understand the impact of physical geography on human culture but also provide valuable insights for dealing with some contemporary challenges like global warming.
    • The geological past, like the warmer intervals during the Miocene Epoch (23 to 5 million years ago), could serve as an analogue for future climate events. Geological literacy will make it easy for humans to memorialise past events of climate change and appreciate the adaptive measures to be followed for survival.

Concerns:

  • The unhindered development process is leading to the destruction of India’s geological heritage. Important geological sites like the ones at Anjar, Kutch district and the Lonar impact crater in Buldhana district of Maharashtra are under the grave threat of destruction and damage. Similarly, a national geological monument exhibiting a unique rock called Nepheline Syenite in Ajmer district of Rajasthan was destroyed in a road-widening project.
    • The geological section at Anjar, Kutch district has a high concentration of iridium and could provide evidence for a massive meteoritic impact that caused the extinction of dinosaurs about 65 million years ago.
  • The unplanned and booming real estate business is leading to encroachment of many geological heritage sites.
  • Unregulated stone mining activities have also contributed to the damage and destruction of important geological sites.

Lacunae:

Lack of geological literacy in India:

  • Disciplines like environmental science and geology have not received adequate attention in India.
  • The lack of interest in the government and academic circles towards geological literacy is unfortunate and is contributing by some degree to the lackadaisical approach towards geological sites and their degradation and destruction.

Apathy towards geo-conservation:

  • The concept of geo-conservation has not found much traction in India. Unlike countries like Vietnam and Thailand that have implemented laws to conserve their geological and natural heritage, India does not have any such legislation and policy for conservation. Previous attempts for such legislation have not been fructified.
  • Despite being home to rich and varied geological heritage none of the 32 sites identified as National Geological Monuments by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) is recognised by UNESCO. This in part is reflective of the lack of seriousness on the part of the administration to comply with the guidelines for establishment of UNESCO Global Geoparks.

Recommendations:

  • Preserving geological heritage is as important as safeguarding biodiversity and cultural heritage and requisite measures should be taken in this direction.
    • The government should come out with a national conservation policy and also constitute a national body for the protection of geo-heritage sites backed by suitable geo-conservation legislation.
    • Geo-conservation should be a major guiding factor in land-use planning.

Category: HEALTH

1. The next step is a constitutional right to health

Background:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and aggravated the cracks in India’s healthcare systems and also brought to light the significance of the health sector in a country. The under resourced health sector in India struggled amid the pandemic to cater to the needs of the people.
  • The government has come up with several new initiatives including new and enhanced investment to address the serious drawbacks in the healthcare sector.
  • However, the author, Kailash Satyarthi expresses doubts over the effectiveness of such investments to translate into a sense of health security for the citizens. In this regard the author argues for the declaration of health care as a Fundamental Right.

Details:

  • The constitutional ‘Right to Health for all’ could have many positive impacts.
    • A fundamental right to health approach would provide the much needed medical financial security to the poor sections of the society. This will help reduce out of pocket expenditure for such sections of the society which often pushes them into debt trap and poverty. The implementation of the right to health can provide simple, transparent and quality health care to those who are most in need of such care. The medical financial security will also have a long-term positive impact on the emotional, psychological and social security of such people.
    • Significantly a fundamental right to health approach will ensure better access to medical facilities for vulnerable sections like women by helping address social and economic challenges that prevent them from freely and openly accessing health care facilities. A ‘Right to Health’ would mean that services reach the woman where and when she needs them.
    • A fundamental right to health approach will also help ensure that the large number of children who belong to the poorest and most marginalised communities have access to quality and affordable healthcare facilities.
    • A constitutional ‘Right to Health’ will transform not only the health and well-being of our people but will act as a leap for the economic and developmental progress of the nation. The immediate financial security that will come with the constitutional ‘Right to Health’ will have a measurable impact on family savings, greater investment, and jobs creation.

Conclusion:

  • The vision for Ayushman Bharat will be strengthened with a constitutional ‘Right to Health’ and the government should consider this seriously.

F. Prelims Facts

1. ‘India invited to become full-time IEA member’

What’s in News?

International Energy Agency (IEA) has invited India to become its full-time member.

  • This is significant for India which is the world’s third-largest energy consumer.
  • The country’s reliance on fuel imports makes further improving energy security a key priority for the Indian economy.
  • The proposal, if accepted, will require India to raise strategic oil reserves to 90 days’ requirement.
  • In March 2017, India became an associate member of IEA.

IEA:

  • The IEA was founded in 1974 by industrialised countries – within the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – in response to the oil embargo.
  • It is a Paris based body that advices industrialised nations on energy policies.
  • IEA is made up of 30 member countries and eight associate nations.
  • Four countries are seeking accession to full membership – Chile, Colombia, Israel and Lithuania.
  • The agency is working with major economies around the world to enhance energy security and to help accelerate their clean energy transitions.
  • According to IEA, a member country must maintain crude oil and/or product reserves equivalent to 90 days of the previous year’s net imports, to which the government has immediate access (even if it does not own them directly) and could be used to address disruptions to global oil supply.
    • India’s current strategic oil reserves equal 9.5 days of its requirements.
  • Also, a member of IEA has to show “a demand restraint programme to reduce national oil consumption by up to 10%.”
    • But, India has the fastest-growing energy market in the world.

G. Tidbits

1. Killing of minorities a threat to democratic fabric of India: NHRC

What’s in News?

There has been a spurt in terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir in which several civilians have been killed.

  • The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to the Jammu and Kashmir Government and the police over the recent spate of targeted killings of civilians from minority communities.
  • The notices have been issued after taking suo motu cognisance of media reports.
  • It has condemned the acts calling them a gross violation of the human rights of minority communities in the Valley.

Read more on National Human Rights Commission of India.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements:
  1. The Chief Justice of India may, after consultation with the collegium, transfer a Judge from one High Court to any other High Court.
  2. Only the transferred judge and no one else is entitled to file a case challenging such transfer.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both
  4. None
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Article 222 of the Indian Constitution talks about the transfer of a Judge from one High Court to any other High Court.
  • They may, after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, transfer a Judge from one High Court to any other High Court.
  • Only the transferred judge and no one else is entitled to file a case challenging such transfer.
Q2. With reference to OneWeb, which of the following statements is/are correct?
  1. It is a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) of the Government of India and commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  2. The main objective is to scale up industry participation in Indian space programmes.

Options:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both
  4. None
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • OneWeb is a global communications company building a capability to deliver broadband satellite internet services worldwide by making use of low Earth orbit satellites.
  • Its objective is the provision of internet services from the satellite to the ground stations.
Q3. Which of the following statements is/are correct?
  1. The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) does not have the authority to declare any community as a minority.
  2. In case of admission of the student, minority educational institutions can have a reservation of up to 50 per cent for the student of their own community.

Options:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both
  4. None
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) does not have the authority to declare any community as a minority. However, it can make recommendations to the central government.
  • Only the central government has the authority to declare any community as a minority.
  • In case of admission of the student, minority educational institutions can have a reservation of up to 50 per cent for the student of their own community.
Q4. With respect to International Energy Agency (IEA), which of the following statements 
is/are correct?
  1. India is a founding member of the IEA.
  2. Membership in the IEA is restricted to advanced economy members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
  3. The World Energy Outlook is published by IEA.

Options:

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The IEA was founded in 1974 by industrialised countries – within the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – in response to the oil embargo.
  • It is a Paris based body that advises industrialised nations on energy policies.
  • IEA is made up of 30 member countries and eight associate nations.
  • India is not a member of the IEA. In March 2017, India became an associate member.
  • Membership in the IEA is restricted to advanced economy members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
  • The World Energy Outlook is published by IEA.
Q5. The term ‘Core Banking Solutions’ is sometimes seen in the news. Which of the following 
statements best describes/describe this term?  (UPSC 2016)
  1. It is a networking of a bank’s branches which enables customers to operate their accounts from any branch of the bank on its network regardless of where they open their accounts.
  2. It is an effort to increase RBI’s control over commercial banks through computerization.
  3. It is a detailed procedure by which a bank with huge non-performing assets is taken over by another bank.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

‘Core Banking Solutions’ is a networking of a bank’s branches that enables customers to operate their accounts from any branch of the bank on its network regardless of where they open their accounts.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. India’s geodiversity, or variety of the geological and physical elements of nature, is unique. Preserving this geological heritage is as important as safeguarding biodiversity and cultural heritage. Discuss. (250 words; 15 marks)[GS-I, Geography] & [GS-III, Environment and Ecology]
  2. Evaluate the need for the constitutional ‘Right to Health for all’. (250 words; 15 marks)[GS-II, Polity & Governance]

Read the previous CNA here.

Oct 12th, 2021, CNA:- Download PDF Here

1 Comment

  1. Really impressed with the CNA.
    When combined with WEBINARS,prelims questions, MAINS questions, the preparation for current affairs really becomes a complete .

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