21 Oct 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

Oct 21st, 2021, CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Indian team meets Taliban Dy. PM
2. New air strikes hit Tigray
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Can’t outgoing CBI chief continue, asks court
C. GS 3 Related
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. The carbon markets conundrum at COP26
SECURITY
1. The outlines of a national security policy
ECONOMY
1. Plugging the leak
2. The global tax revolution
3. Is the coal crisis over?
F. Prelims Facts
1. Kushinagar now hub of Buddhist tourist circuit
G. Tidbits
1. PM invites oil majors to partner with India
2. Pandemic fuelled rise in child sexual abuse online: report
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

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Yojana Gist
Kurukshetra Gist    
Current Affairs Magazine

2. New air strikes hit Tigray

Context:

New airstrikes have hit the capital of Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

Read more on the conflict between the Ethiopian government and Tigray rebels, covered in 17th November 2020 Comprehensive News Analysis.
Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. Can’t outgoing CBI chief continue, asks court

Context:

The Supreme Court has asked the Union Government to respond whether it can, under “exceptional circumstances”, continue with the outgoing Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director rather than appointing an Acting chief.

  • The government has failed to appoint the Director of the CBI on the expiry of the term of the last incumbent.

Issue:

  • A petition has been filed by NGO Common Cause about how the law does not permit the Government to issue executive orders on its own, appointing interim CBI Directors.
  • The petition had said that an interim appointment through an executive order was not envisaged in the statutory scheme.
  • It is argued that such manoeuvres would hamper the functional autonomy of the elite probe agency that investigated several sensitive cases in the country.

Appointment of the CBI Director:

  • The CBI draws its legality from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act (DSPE) – 1946. Before the establishment of CBI, there was the Special Police Establishment. It was India’s first agency to investigate corruption, set up in 1946 by the British.
  • In 1963, the Home Ministry changed its name to the Central Bureau of Investigation and expanded its power. But, it is still governed by the 1946 Act.
  • Before the Lokpal Act was legislated, the CBI Director was appointed by the DSPE Act. Now, the Lokpal Act governs the appointment of the CBI director.
  • A search committee comprising of the Prime Minister as the chairperson, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and the Leader of Opposition recommends the names.
  • It begins with the Home Ministry preparing a list of IPS officers, who are eligible for the post on the basis of their seniority and experience in the field of probe.
  • Department of Personnel prepares the final list on the basis of “seniority, integrity and experience in the investigation of anti-corruption cases”.
  • The final list is examined by the search committee and a recommendation is sent to the government for the appointment of the CBI Director.

Category: SECURITY

1. The outlines of a national security policy

Context

  • Humans have innovated multiple tools and systems to protect their countries.
    • From bow and arrow to guns, from jets to nuclear bombs, countries have brought massive changes to their security architecture.
  • One area where smaller countries can hit a larger neighbour is by making use of cyberspace.
    • Geography, population and GDP won’t matter much but expertise does.
  • The article discusses Cyber Warfare and Cyber technology as part of National defence policy.

Tools used in cyber war attacks

  • It includes hacking, denial of service attacks, eavesdropping, identity theft, sabotage, insertion of rogue code.
  • Use of drones, robots, satellites and advanced computers.
  • Expansion can be further seen in the artificial intelligence and nanotechnology domains.

Example

  • Cyber-attack from China.
  • Studies point out that Malware introduced into the Indian electric grid may have hit Mumbai leading to a power crisis in the city for a few hours.

Inference

  • The 21st century is not just about the mobilization of weapons or the size of the armed forces of men or overt and covert operations.
  • It is about electronic operations from a remote centre beyond the front lines of ground forces, it is cyber warfare.
  • Thus tracking the cyber warfare centres of the adversary and preparing for bilateral conflicts in the 21st century, will need a new national security policy.

Measures to be taken

  1. Objectives:
  • Indian companies, including critical infrastructure providers such as power grids, ports and radar systems, lack the IT infrastructure to prevent hacking from hostile state and non-state actors.
  • India has to prioritize its assets to be protected and should be in a position to identify the culprits.
  1. Priorities:
  • National security priorities will require new departments for supporting several frontiers of innovation and technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells, desalination of seawater, thorium for nuclear technology, anti-computer viruses, and new immunity-creating medicines.
  • This focus on new priorities requires a change in analytical thinking. Reforms will have to be introduced in the education system making science and mathematics education compulsory.
  • Every citizen will have to be alerted to new remote-controlled military technology and be ready for it.
  1. Strategy:
  • The strategy required for this new national security policy will be to anticipate our enemies in many dimensions.
  • India should develop and practise offensive cyber capabilities when needed as part of the strategy to secure its interests in cyberspace.
  • China continues to pose cyber security threats to India. It is time we devise a new strategy.

Conclusion

  • India should thus enhance its cyberspace capabilities, not delay the formulation of its cyber strategy as it is a serious national security risk.
  • Deterrence in cyberspace, like in other domains, is based on the projection of an image. India’s image as a cyber-power is in need of an urgent makeover.

Category: ECONOMY

1. Plugging the leak

Reference

UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis of 20th Oct 2021

2. The global tax revolution

Reference:

Global Minimum Corporate Tax

3. Is the coal crisis over?

Reference:

UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis of 17th Oct 2021

F. Prelims Facts

1. Kushinagar now hub of Buddhist tourist circuit

What’s in News?

The Prime Minister has inaugurated the Kushinagar International Airport in Uttar Pradesh, which will help connect key Buddhist pilgrimage sites. Diplomats from 12 countries where Buddhism is practised, including Mongolia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Bhutan, Republic of Korea, Nepal and Japan, were also present.

  • Kushinagar is the centre of the Buddhist circuit, which consists of pilgrimage sites at Lumbini, Sarnath and Gaya.
  • Buddhist pilgrims consider Kushinagar a sacred site where, they believe, Gautama Buddha delivered his last sermon and attained ‘Mahaparinirvana’ or salvation.
    • It is believed to be the final resting place of Gautam Buddha.

Buddhist Circuit:

  • The Buddhist circuit is a route that follows in the footsteps of the Buddha from Lumbini in Nepal where he was born, through Bihar in India where he attained enlightenment, to Sarnath and Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh in India, where he gave his first teachings and his final resting place.

Buddhist Sites:

  • Lumbini, Nepal – Siddhartha Gautama’s (Buddha) birthplace.
  • Kapilavastu, Uttar Pradesh – The place where Gautama Buddha spent his early years as Siddhartha.
  • Bodh Gaya, Bihar – It is the place where Gautama Buddha attained Enlightenment.
  • Sarnath, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh – It is the place where Buddha gave his first sermon. This was his first teaching after having attained enlightenment.
  • Rajgir, Bihar – This is where Buddha lived and taught. He preached his two most famous sermons here.
  • Kausambi, Uttar Pradesh – Kausambi is the place where Lord Buddha stayed and preached in the sixth and ninth years of his attaining enlightenment.
  • Shravasti, Uttar Pradesh – Buddha spent 24 Chaturmasas/rainy seasons here.
  • Vaishali, Bihar – The place where Gautama Buddha held his last sermon.
  • Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh – The place where Gautama Buddha attained Parinirvana. Parinirvana is commonly used to refer to nirvana-after-death, which occurs upon the death of someone who has attained nirvana during his or her lifetime.

G. Tidbits

1. PM invites oil majors to partner with India

What’s in News?

The Prime Minister of India interacted with chief executives of global and Indian oil majors.

  • Oil majors across the globe have been invited to partner with India in the exploration and development of the oil & gas sector in the country.
  • He said that India’s focus has shifted from ‘revenue’ to ‘production’ maximization.
  • He touched upon the need to enhance storage facilities for crude oil and talked about the rapidly growing natural gas demand in the country.

2. Pandemic fuelled rise in child sexual abuse online: report

What’s in News?

The Global Threat Assessment report 2021 has been launched by WeProtect Global Alliance.

  • WeProtect Global Alliance is a global movement of more than 200 governments, private sector companies and civil society organisations working together to transform the global response to child sexual exploitation and abuse online.

Key Findings:

  • COVID-19 created a perfect storm of conditions that fuelled a rise in child sexual exploitation and abuse across the globe.
  • COVID-19 had contributed to a significant spike in child sexual exploitation and abuse online.
  • In the past two years, the reporting of child sexual exploitation and online abuse has reached its highest level.
  • The rise in child ‘self-generated’ sexual material is another trend that challenges the existing response.
    • The Internet Watch Foundation observed a 77% increase in child ‘self-generated’ sexual material from 2019 to 2020.

The report calls for prioritising prevention activities against abuse, creating safe online environments for children, besides calling on all with a role to protect children to work together to improve the response.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q.1 Kushinagar is a significant place in Buddhism since
  1. It is Gautam Buddha’s final resting place
  2. Gautam Buddha spent 24 rainy seasons here
  3. Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon here
  4. Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment here
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

Buddhist pilgrims consider Kushinagar a sacred site where, they believe, Gautama Buddha delivered his last sermon and attained ‘Mahaparinirvana’ or salvation. It is believed to be the final resting place of Gautama Buddha.

Q.2 Which of the following nations share a boundary with the Black Sea?
  1. Russia
  2. Romania
  3. Greece
  4. Turkey
  5. Bulgaria

Options:-

  1. 1 & 2 only
  2. 2, 3 & 5 only
  3. 1, 2, 4 & 5 only
  4. 1 & 3 only
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

Black Sea is bordered by Bulgaria, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Romania, Turkey.

Black Sea

Q.3 Under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS), resident individuals are permitted to 
remit up to which of the following amounts in a financial year?
  1. $1,00,000
  2. $2,50,000
  3. $5,00,000
  4. $10,00,000
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme, all resident individuals, including minors, are allowed to freely remit up to USD 2,50,000 per financial year (April – March) for any permissible current or capital account transaction or a combination of both.
  • Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) is a measure to facilitate Resident Individuals (including minors) to remit funds outside India.
  • There can be multiple remittances under LRS but the cumulative amount of all the transactions should be within the limit prescribed under LRS i.e. USD 250,000. Once a remittance is made for an amount up to USD 2,50,000 during the financial year, a resident individual would not be eligible to make any further remittances under this scheme, even if the proceeds of the investments have been brought back into the country.
Q.4 Consider the following statements with regards to the impact of increased temperatures.
  1. Rising temperatures shorten the time in which the plants reach maturity.
  2. Rising temperatures result into smaller yields.
  3. The WHO European region is the most affected when it comes to deaths due to heat exposure.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 & 2 only
  2. 2 & 3 only
  3. 1 & 3 only
  4. All of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • Exposure to excessive heat has wide-ranging impacts for all plants and humans, often amplifying existing conditions and resulting in premature death and disability.
  • Rising temperatures shorten the time in which the plants reach maturity.
  • Rising temperatures result into smaller yields.
  • The WHO European region is the most affected when it comes to deaths due to heat exposure.
Q.5 Consider the following statements: (UPSC 2019)
  1. Agricultural soils release nitrogen oxides into environment.
  2. Cattle release ammonia into environment.
  3. Poultry industry releases reactive nitrogen compounds into environment.

Which of the statements given above is/ are correct?

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • Agricultural soils represent a very large, and growing, global source of nitrous oxide.
  • Cattle release ammonia into the environment.
  • The poultry industry releases reactive nitrogen compounds into the environment.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. The recent export of about 500 tonnes of rice from India has triggered an uproar in several European countries on the grounds that it was genetically modified (GM) rice. Examine the implications and why India must assuage importers that its produce is compliant with trade demands on GM foods. (250 words; 15 marks)[GS-3, Environment and Ecology)
  2. With regard to climate change negotiations, explain the significance of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. (250 words; 15 marks)[GS-3, Environment and Ecology]

Read the previous CNA here.

Oct 21st, 2021, CNA:- Download PDF Here

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