17 Oct 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

17 Oct 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Putin wants New START treaty extended
2. Knesset backs Israel-UAE deal
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Any stay on proceedings is valid only for 6 months: SC
2. India fares poorly in hunger index
C. GS 3 Related
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. New research sheds light on declining star formation in Milky Way
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. Stubble burning: Justice Lokur, students to save NCR
ECONOMY
1. MSP is key to India’s food security, says PM
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. China’s rise and fall at the UN
ECONOMY
1. Hope amid uncertainty
F. Prelims Facts
1. Channapatna Toys
G. Tidbits
1. ‘Policy delay hurting edible oil security’
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

2. Knesset backs Israel-UAE deal

Context:

Israel’s Parliament – Knesset voted in favour of normalisation of ties with the United Arab Emirates. A total of 80 lawmakers voted to approve the U.S.-brokered agreement.

Details:

  • The UAE in August became the first Arab state to establish relations with Israel since Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.
  • It was quickly followed by Bahrain.
  • The U.S.-brokered deals were formalised at the White House.
  • The agreements were condemned by the Palestinians as a betrayal.

Read more about the topic covered in 14th August 2020 and 22nd September 2020 Comprehensive News Analysis.
Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. Any stay on proceedings is valid only for 6 months: SC

Context:

In an order, the Supreme Court has held that any stay on civil or criminal proceedings is valid for a period of six months, beyond which the trial will resume.

Details:

  • A stay that has been granted by any court, including the High Court, automatically expires within a period of six months.
  • It was made clear that an extension of the stay has to be granted only for a “good reason”, adding that, in such a case, it must be shown that the case was of such exceptional nature that continuing the stay was more important than having the trial finalised.

2. India fares poorly in hunger index

Context:

Global Hunger Index 2020 has been published.

Global Hunger Index
  • The Index is a peer-reviewed report released annually by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe.
  • It uses four parameters to determine its scores namely, undernourishment, child stunting, child wasting, and child mortality.
  • GHI score is classified by severity – low, moderate and serious.

Key Findings – India:

  • India has the highest prevalence of wasted children under five years in the world, which reflects acute undernutrition.
  • By severity, it falls in the “serious” category.
  • The prevalence of child wasting was 17.3% in 2015-19 period, in comparison to 15.1% in 2010-14.
  • India ranks 94 out of 107 countries in the Index, lower than neighbours such as Bangladesh (75) and Pakistan (88).
  • In the region of south, east and south-eastern Asia, the only countries which fare worse than India are Timor-Leste, Afghanistan and North Korea.
  • India fares worst in child wasting (low weight for height, reflecting acute undernutrition) and child stunting (low height for age, reflecting chronic undernutrition), which together make up a third of the total score.
    • Child stunting has actually improved significantly, from 54% in 2000 to less than 35% in 2020.
    • Child wasting has not improved in the last two decades and is worse than it was a decade ago.
  • India has improved in child mortality rates now at 3.7%).
  • It has also shown improvement in terms of undernourishment, with about 14% of the total population getting an insufficient caloric intake.

Read more about “The road to zero hunger by 2030” covered in the 16th October 2020 Comprehensive News Analysis.

Category: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. Stubble burning: Justice Lokur, students to save NCR

Context:

A Supreme Court Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad A. Bobde has appointed Justice Lokur as a one-man committee to monitor and prevent instances of stubble burning by farmers in the three states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

  • Justice Lokur was monitoring stubble burning for two years before his retirement.

Mandate of the committee:

  • Former Supreme Court judge Madan B. Lokur will be assisted by student volunteer forces deployed from the National Cadet Corps, the National Service Scheme and the Bharat Scouts and Guides, to protect Delhi-NCR from pollution caused by stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Student forces will patrol highways and fields in the three states and ensure that no fires are started in the fields.
  • Existing mobile teams and nodal officers of the states will report to the committee.
  • The Supreme Court’s own Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA) would consult with the committee on issues related to stubble burning.
  • The committee will file status reports with the Court at least every fortnight.

Category: ECONOMY

1. MSP is key to India’s food security, says PM

Context:

The Prime Minister of India has reiterated his support for minimum support prices and government procurement of crops.

Details:

  • PM was speaking at a virtual event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organisation.
  • “MSP and government procurement are an important part of the country’s food security. Therefore, it is important that it should continue to function with better facilities and scientific management. We are committed to this,” he said.
  • PM’s assurance comes amidst protests against the recently introduced Agri-reforms.
  • Protesters opine that the three recent laws passed by Parliament would weaken the APMC system and ultimately lead to the phasing out of government procurement at MSP rates while encouraging corporate buyers who will purchase the produce at lower rates.
  • However, the government asserts that the reforms would increase farmers’ incomes.

Read more about Minimum Support Price.

Read about the Agricultural Reforms covered in 27th September 2020 Comprehensive News Analysis.

G. Tidbits

1. ‘Policy delay hurting edible oil security’

What’s in News?

According to Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), the delay in the roll-out of the National Oilseed Mission was hurting India’s edible oil security.

Details:

  • The delay in the announcement is a cause of concern as raw material supply is reducing and the dependence on import of edible oil is rising year after year.
  • To curb imports, the SEA had been advocating cultivation of soybean, sunflower, maize and mustard in Punjab and Haryana via a shift in crop pattern from rice in Kharif and wheat in Rabi season.

Note:

Solvent Extractors’ Association of India is the apex body of the Indian vegetable oil industry.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements with respect to the Giant Metrewave Radio 
Telescope (GMRT):
  1. It is an array of three hundred fully steerable parabolic radio telescopes.
  2. It is located in Narayangaon, near Pune in India.
  3. It is operated by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.

Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) is an array of thirty fully steerable parabolic radio telescopes.
  • It is located in Narayangaon, near Pune in India.
  • It is operated by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
Q2. Which of the following statements best describes “Knesset”?
  1. It is the unicameral national legislature of Israel.
  2. It is a special type of legal assembly, in the traditional code of laws of the Pashtun people.
  3. It is the federal authority of the United Arab Emirates formed to represent the general Emirati people.
  4. It is a mass national gathering that brings together representatives from the various ethnic, religious, and tribal communities in Afghanistan.
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • The Knesset is the unicameral national legislature of Israel.
  • As the legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister (although the latter is ceremonially appointed by the President), approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government.
Q3. Consider the following statements with respect to the New START Treaty:
  1. It is a treaty for cooperation in the field of nuclear energy.
  2. The treaty was signed between the United States, the Russian Federation and China.
  3. New START replaced the Treaty of Moscow (SORT).

Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • New START is a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation with the formal name of Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms.
  • It is the last major nuclear arms reduction accord between Russia and the U.S.
  • The New START deal was signed in April 2010 but went into force in February 2011.
  • New START replaced the Treaty of Moscow (SORT), which was due to expire in December 2012.
Q4. Consider the following statements with respect to ‘Reed Bank’ island:
  1. It is an oil-rich and gas-rich island located in the Caspian Sea.
  2. The disputed island is claimed by Turkey and Greece.

Which of the given statement/s is/are INCORRECT?

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

The oil-rich and gas-rich Reed Bank Island is located in the South China Sea. The disputed island is claimed by the People’s Republic of China and the Philippines.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. With the pandemic posing a hurdle to China in its march to global hegemony, the time is opportune for India to push for institutional changes and reformed multilateralism in the global system. Discuss. (GS 2 International Relations) (15 Marks, 250 Words)
  2. Is increasing the Minimum Support Price (MSP) the best measure to address farmers’ distress? Critically examine. Discuss the role of MSP as a tool to ensure food security in India. (GS 3 Economy) (15 Marks, 250 Words).

Read the previous CNA here.

17 Oct 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

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