14 Oct 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

Oct 14th, 2021, CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. Teen pregnancies pose a challenge in Rajasthan
B. GS 2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Sri Lankan fishermen seek India’s action over disputes
C. GS 3 Related
DEFENCE
1. Punjab unhappy after Centre enhances powers of BSF
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
ECONOMY
1. A portrait of the Nobel masters of ‘metrics’
2. Sowing better to eat better
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. Deconstructing climate finance
F. Prelims Facts
1. ‘Gati Shakti’ will boost infra projects: PM
G. Tidbits
1. India, Iran discuss ways to fight drug trafficking from Afghanistan
2. Sticky edible oil prices lead to duty cuts
3. ‘100 new Sainik Schools will admit students from 2022-23’
4. India’s trade with China set to exceed $100 billion in 2021
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

2. Sowing better to eat better

Context

  • Nutritional indicators of many states have worsened as depicted by the first round of the Fifth National Family Health Survey. The survey had covered 17 States and five Union Territories.
  • Findings from the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (2016-18) have also painted a grim picture about the role of micronutrient malnutrition.

A look at numbers

The agro-food system comprises all those activities related to the production, processing, distribution, sale, preparation and consumption of food.

  • India produces sufficient food, feed and fibre to sustain about 18% of the world’s population (as of 2020).
  • Agriculture contributes about 16.5% to India’s GDP and employs 42.3% of the workforce (2019-20).

Challenges to agri-food systems

  • Reduction of agricultural lands as it is being diverted to commercial activities.
  • Agriculture is prone to disasters and extreme events.

A multi-pronged approach is needed to tackle malnutrition

  • The agri-food systems need to be reoriented to minimise costs on the environment and the climate.
  • It should aim to improve dietary diversity, reduce post-harvest losses, make safety net programmes more nutrition-sensitive, support women’s empowerment, enforce standards and regulations, improve Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, nutrition education, and promote effective use of digital technology.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

  • FAO has been engaged with the Indian government for mainstreaming agrobiodiversity, greening agriculture, promoting nutrition-sensitive agriculture and strengthening national food security.
  • Its principle is based on agro-ecology where the farming practices help in mitigating climate change, reduce emissions, recycle resources and prioritize local supply chains.
  • It emphasizes diversity in agriculture to adapt to shocks.
    • Different combinations of integrated crop-livestock-forestry-fishery systems can help farmers produce a variety of products in the same area, at the same time or in rotation.

Also read: Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

Conclusion

  • Therefore, a sustainable agri-food system is one in which a variety of sufficient, nutritious and safe foods are made available at an affordable price to everyone, and nobody goes hungry or suffers from any form of malnutrition.
  • Sustainable agri-food systems can deliver food security and nutrition for all, without compromising the economic, social and environmental bases.

Category: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. Deconstructing climate finance

Context

  • Media reports have highlighted that developed countries are soon going to meet the target of providing $100 billion annually in climate finance to developing countries by 2025.
  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has also claimed that climate finance provided by developed countries had reached $78.9 billion in 2018.
  • The article evaluates if the claims are genuine or are erroneous.

Flawed claims

  1. Finances from Developed to the Developing Countries
  • Awarding finances from the developed to the developing countries should be from public sources either in the form of grants or as concessional loans.
  • However, the OECD report makes it clear that the public finance component amounted to only $62.2 billion in 2018, with bilateral funding of about $32.7 billion and $29.2 billion through multilateral institutions.
  • Concern
    • Of the public finance component, loans comprise 74%, while grants make up only 20%. The report does not say how much of the total loan component of $46.3 billion is concessional.
    • From 2016 to 2018, 20% of bilateral loans, 76% of loans provided by multilateral development banks and 46% of loans provided by multilateral climate funds were non-concessional.
    • Between 2013 and 2018, the share of loans has continued to rise, while the share of grants decreased.
  • Inference
    • The numbers clearly reveal a higher proportion of finances were conferred as loans and not as grants increasing the debt burden of many low-income countries.
  1. Inflating Climate Finances
  • The OECD reports are also criticized for bloating climate finances.
  • It had included development projects such as health and education that only notionally target climate action.
  1. Biennial Reports
  • The 2018 Biennial Assessment of UNFCCC’s Standing Committee on Finance reports that on average, developed countries provided only $26 billion per year as climate-specific finance between 2011-2016.
  • This rose to an average of $36.2 billion in 2017-18.
  1. Oxfam report
  • The Oxfam report on climate finance takes into picture the estimate of how much climate finance is actually targeting climate action, discounts for grant equivalence and thus takes into perspective the outcome of such investments.
  • In contrast to the OECD report, Oxfam estimates that in 2017-18, out of an average of $59.5 billion of public climate finance reported by developed countries, the climate-specific net assistance ranged only between $19 and $22.5 billion per year.
  1. U.S. climate funding
  • U.S. President Joe Biden has promised to double US international climate finance by 2024.
    • However, it is the US congress that has to decide on the quantum of finances and the US in the past has also broken commitments.
  • Example
    • It had promised $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) under President Barack Obama, but delivered only $1 billion before President Donald Trump withdrew U.S. support from the GCF.
  • Even if the finances are mobilized it will be mostly from the Private sector and such investments from the private sector will be based on benefits they wish to derive and not as per the priorities and needs of the developing countries.
  1. Adaptation and Mitigation
Climate change mitigation means avoiding and reducing emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere to prevent the planet from warming to more extreme temperatures.

Climate change adaptation means altering our behaviour, systems, and—in some cases—ways of life to protect our families, our economies, and the environment in which we live from the impacts of climate change.

  • Climate finance has also remained tilted towards mitigation, despite the repeated calls for maintaining a balance between adaptation and mitigation.
  • Currently available adaptation finance is significantly lower than the needs expressed in the Nationally Determined Contributions submitted by developing countries.

Conclusion

  • Developing countries should continue to put pressure on developed countries to live up to their promises and commitments as the history of climate negotiations has not been in their favor.

F. Prelims Facts

1. ‘Gati Shakti’ will boost infra projects: PM

What’s in News?

Prime Minister launched ‘PM Gati Shakti’, a national master plan for synchronising connectivity infrastructure projects across modes of transport.

This topic has been covered in Oct 13th, 2021 CNA.

G. Tidbits

1. India, Iran discuss ways to fight drug trafficking from Afghanistan

What’s in News?

Indian and Iranian officials held a virtual meeting following the largest seizure of heroin at the Mundra port in Gujarat, to discuss ways to fight drug trafficking from Afghanistan.

  • For many decades narcotic drugs production and organised drug trafficking from Afghanistan has posed a major threat to the world.
  • As immediate neighbours to Afghanistan, Iran and India have also been significantly impacted by other developments in that country.
  • Analysts have pointed out that a large number of narcotic substances that were with various narcotic producing groups in Afghanistan were made to disappear from the country as the Taliban took control of Kabul.

2. Sticky edible oil prices lead to duty cuts

What’s in News?

Recent steps taken by the government to curb the persistently high inflation in edible oils.

  • The government has decided to exempt crude palm, soya bean and sunflower seed oils from customs duty, and slash the Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) is levied on their imports from October 14 till March 31, 2022.
    • Imports of crude palm, soya bean and sunflower seed oils attract a basic customs duty of 2.5% and an AIDC of 20%.
  • The customs duty on edible grade palm, sunflower and soya bean oils is being halved as well, with no cess levied on their imports.

The decision would help in reducing price burden on ultimate consumers amid the surging edible oil prices.

3. ‘100 new Sainik Schools will admit students from 2022-23’

What’s in News?

100 new Sainik Schools will be set up under public-private partnership.

  • These schools will function in an exclusive vertical, distinct from the existing schools under the Defence Ministry.
  • The Cabinet had approved the proposal for launching 100 schools to be affiliated with the Sainik Schools Society.
  • In terms of support from the Ministry, the society would provide affiliation to private and government schools that qualify a certain objective criterion related to academics and infrastructure.
  • The scheme envisages to provide an annual fee support.

4. India’s trade with China set to exceed $100 billion in 2021

What’s in News?

India’s trade with China is set to cross the $100 billion mark for the first time in 2021.

  • The shipments have hit $90 billion after three quarters, an almost 30% jump from pre-pandemic levels.
  • Two-way trade jumped 49% for the first time in nine months.
  • India’s biggest exports to China are iron ore, cotton, and other raw material-based commodities.
  • India imports mechanical and electrical machinery in large quantities, while imports of medical supplies have increased in the past two years owing to the pandemic.
  • Chinese exports of mechanical and electrical products, as well as medicinal materials, grew robustly. Medicine and medicinal material exports more than doubled.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q.1 Which of the following military exercises involve India and USA?
  1. Malabar
  2. Yudh Abhyas
  3. Vajra Prahar

Options:

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • Exercise Malabar is a naval exercise involving the United States, Japan and India as permanent partners.
  • Yudh Abhyas is a joint military exercise, bilaterally occurring between India and the US.
  • Vajra Prahar is the joint military exercise between the special forces of India and the United States (US).
Q.2 Which of the following statements is/are correct?
  1. The Border Security Force (BSF) is the designated border guarding force for all the international borders of India.
  2. It falls under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence.
  3. Recently, its jurisdiction has been set up to 10kms from the international border.

Options:

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • The Border Security Force (BSF) is one of the five Central Armed Police Forces of the Union of India.
  • It is India’s border guarding organisation on its border with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • It falls under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • In 2021, amendments have been made on the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) to exercise its powers in states where it guards the international border. It outlines the new jurisdiction as “whole of the area comprised in the States of Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya and Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and so much of the area comprised within a belt of 50 kilometers in the States of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal and Assam, running along the borders of India”.
Q.3 The "One Sun, One World, One Grid" (OSOWOG) is an initiative of which country?
  1. USA
  2. Japan
  3. Germany
  4. India
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • One Sun, One World, One Grid (OSOWOG) is a transnational electricity grid supplying solar power across the globe.
  • It is an initiative of India.
  • The Prime Minister of India first presented the idea in 2018 during the first assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
Q.4 The strategic Bandar Abbas port is located in which country? 
  1. Pakistan
  2. Iran
  3. Afghanistan
  4. Oman
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

Bandar Abbas is a port city and capital of Hormozgān Province on the southern coast of Iran, on the Persian Gulf.

Q5. Consider the following pairs:

         Tradition                                        State

  1. Chapchar kut festival                    Mizoram
  2. Khongiom parba ballad                Manipur
  3. Thang-Ta dance                              Sikkim

Which of them is/are correctly matched?

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • The Chapchar Kut is a festival of Mizoram.
  • Khongjom Parba is a style of ballad singing from Manipur using Dholak (drum) which depicts stories of heroic battles fought by Manipuris against the British Empire in 1891.
  • The Thang Ta dance form has originated in Manipur. This dance is an Indian martial art form that involves the use of weapons for the performance. The Meiteis are the pioneers in Thang Ta.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Without concrete financial commitments, global climate change summits have turned into fancy talk shops. Suggest ways to change this unfortunate reality. (250 words; 15 marks)[GS-3, Environment and Ecology]
  2. As a nation, it is time to focus on our quality of food, rather than quantity. Suggest measures to achieve this goal. (250 words; 15 marks)[GS-3, Agriculture]

Read the previous CNA here.

Oct 14th, 2021, CNA:- Download PDF Here

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