28 Oct 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

Oct 28th, 2021, CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. Centre wants to keep birth, death database
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. SC sets up committee to examine Pegasus allegations
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Don’t use new law to justify LAC moves, India tells China
2. ‘India respects UNCLOS rights’
C. GS 3 Related
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Energy cooperation as the backbone of India-Russia ties
GOVERNANCE
1. The need to move away from clientelism
HEALTH
1. Strengthening healthcare
F. Prelims Facts
1. National Tribal Dance Festival
G. Tidbits
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

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Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Don’t use new law to justify LAC moves, India tells China

Context

  • China has passed the Land Border Law which will come into effect from January 1.

Details

  • The law deals with the country’s patrolling activities on its land border.
  • The new law gives more powers to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army to counter any invasion, encroachment, infiltration or provocation on any of the country’s borders with 14 nations and is not meant specifically for the border with India.
  • According to the new law, “the state shall take effective measures to strengthen border defence construction, support the economic and social development of the border and open up to the outside world, promote the action of strengthening the border and enriching the people of the border, improve the level of border public services and infrastructure construction, improve the production and living conditions of the border, and encourage and support border residents in border production and life, and promote the coordinated development of border defence construction and border economy and society”.

Concerns

  • The India-China relationship has deteriorated since 2020. The announcement that China’s borders are “sacred and inviolable” signals that China wants to hold to current positions along the LAC without resolving the dispute and is indicative of a “tougher stance”.
  • The law ensures that the Chinese negotiating stance will become more rigid and may make negotiations a little more difficult.

India’s Response

  • Expressing concern India has said China must not use its new “Land Boundary Law” to justify any actions that alter the situation at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
  • It was called a unilateral move by the Government, having an impact on existing border disputes as they are yet to be resolved.
  • It also reaffirmed India’s rejection of the China-Pakistan 1963 agreement.
    • The Shaksgam Valley was ceded to China by Pakistan in 1963 when both countries signed a boundary agreement to settle their border differences.
    • India claims all of Jammu and Kashmir, which includes Aksai Chin, and has maintained that the agreement is “illegal and invalid”.

2. ‘India respects UNCLOS rights’

Context

  • Defence Minister while addressing the Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue which was jointly organized by the Navy and National maritime Foundation, has reiterated that India will protect its legitimate maritime rights and interests, and also respect the rights of all nations as laid down in the UN Convention on the Law of Seas (UNCLOS)

UNCLOS:

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue (IPRD)

  • It is the apex international annual conference of the Indian Navy.
  • It was first conducted in 2018.
  • Through this annual dialogue, the Indian Navy and the National Maritime Foundation, continue to provide a platform for incisive discussions pertaining to the geopolitical developments affecting the maritime domain of the Indo-Pacific.
  • The National Maritime Foundation (NMF) is the Indian Navy’s Knowledge Partner and the chief organizer of the event.

Know more about IPRD in PIB dated Oct 26, 2021.

National Maritime Foundation (NMF)

  • It was established in 2005 as the nation’s first maritime think-tank for conducting independent and policy-relevant research on ‘matters maritime’.
  • It is an autonomous think-tank but its intellectual and organizational development is supported by the Ministry of Defence and the Indian Navy.

Category: GOVERNANCE

1. The need to move away from clientelism

Background:

  • There has been a growing culture of freebies among the political parties in different states of India over the years particularly during the election season.
  • This is directed towards focussing on electoral gains with such initiatives being primarily targeted at the party’s core supporters and swing voters who could be influenced easily.
  • The line between welfarism and populism has blurred.

Difference between welfare initiatives and freebies:

  • While welfare initiatives include measures such as targeted Public Distribution System, providing social security for labourers, quality education, fair employment, affordable healthcare, decent housing, and protection from exploitation and violence, freebies could include offers such as free rations, TV sets, laptops to students, free rides for women in buses, free gas cylinders and stoves and so on.
  • Freebies are provided to attract voters to cast their vote in a particular election and unlike the welfare initiatives, they create only limited private benefit for the receiver and do not contribute towards strengthening public goods/facilities.

Impact of freebie culture and populism in India:

Neglect of welfare measures and its impacts:

  • Given the electoral effectiveness of the freebies culture, states seem to accord lesser importance to welfare initiatives and hence welfare measures have taken a back seat in terms of governance. There seems to be a withdrawal of the state in providing welfare measures such as social security, access to quality education and health, etc.
  • The governments have not been taking concrete and constructive efforts to fulfil the aspirations of the people.
  • The impact has been all the more severe on the poor and marginalised communities due to denial of access to their rightful share of state resources. Freebies drastically widen the gap between the rich and the poor.

Violative of the constitutional mandate:

  • Freebies violate the constitutional mandate of extending benefits for public purposes and instead create private benefits.
    • Example: The distribution of free laptops does not serve the purpose of increasing the quality of education.

Depoliticising the poor:

  • Populism encourages mediocre political critics and affects critical and rational thinking, which are important to hold the people in power accountable.
  • Freebies thus depoliticise the poor and marginalised communities.

Impact on democratic polity:

  • Unsolicited freebies cultivate a patron-client syndrome and encourage personality cults in a democratic polity. This does not augur well for a democratic polity.
  • The culture of freebies results in the treating of people like subjects whereas the democratic polity visualizes the citizens as being entitled to civil rights as constitutional guarantees.

Recommendations:

  • There is an urgent need to tackle the freebie culture in India, given its negative impacts. Also, there needs to be a reorientation of public policy in a healthy direction.
  • The political party manifestos should offer programmatic policy interventions towards better public services than narrow private benefits in the form of freebies. They should focus on enhancing budgetary allocation for the maintenance of public infrastructures like schools, colleges, hostels and hospitals.
  • The Election Commission and the Higher Judiciary intervention can help in this regard. An informed and aware citizenry is a must to bring about this change.

Category: HEALTH

1. Strengthening healthcare

Context:

  • The government has recently launched the Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (ABHIM).

Background:

  • India’s healthcare sector is plagued by many issues. It remains grossly underfunded and faces shortages of staff, equipment, drugs and infrastructure in many parts of the country. There seems to be a growing importance of the private sector in India’s healthcare system which is not capable of catering to the health needs of the poor and marginalized communities.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic exposed these weaknesses in India’s health system.

Details:

  • Following the budget proposal for great investment in the health system and the Fifteenth Finance Commission recommendations for the strengthening of urban and rural primary care, stronger surveillance systems and laboratory capacity, the government has launched the Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (ABHIM).

For detailed information on the provisions of this scheme refer to the following article:

PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission

Significance:

  • ABHIM can fix the weaknesses in India’s health system by addressing critical gaps in the health infrastructure with a focus on most backward regions. The various measures of this scheme will extend primary healthcare services across India thus addressing the most basic aspect of the healthcare system in India. The inclusion of areas like hypertension, diabetes and mental health brings much-needed relief given the increasing prevalence of these diseases.
  • The measures will also help build a trained public health workforce that can perform routine public health functions while responding to a public health emergency.
  • The measures like National Platform for One Health will help enhance the capabilities for microbial surveillance. Also, the hub-and-spoke model of the block, district, regional and national public health laboratories will enable effective microbial surveillance.
  • The establishment of critical care hospital blocks planned to be established in 602 districts will enable care for those with serious infectious diseases without disrupting other services. In non-pandemic situations, this capacity could be utilised for providing critical care for other disease conditions. The 15 health emergency operation centres and two container-based mobile hospitals will enhance the level of disaster response readiness.
  • ABHIM, if financed and implemented efficiently, can strengthen India’s health system by augmenting capacity and creating a framework for coordinated functioning at district, state and national levels. It can help deliver universal healthcare.

F. Prelims Facts

1. National Tribal Dance Festival

Context

  • National Tribal Dance Festival will take place in Raipur, Chhattisgarh.

Details

  • It is being organized under the tourism development plan of the Chhattisgarh government.
  • The event will witness the participation of tribal dance groups from various states and union territories along with international participation from several countries portraying and celebrating their respective tribal folk culture.
  • The dance performances will be held in two categories – ‘wedding ceremonies’ and ‘other prominent rituals’.
  • 2019 was the first edition of the National Tribal Dance Festival.

Significance

  • It will be an occasion for the people to get to know about the costumes, jewellery, crafts, designs, and food of the tribals.
  • It will provide an opportunity to the tribal communities to share their experiences in various fields, including arts, music, film, health, tourism and food.
  • Through this platform, they will also be able to share their thoughts about the developments in their community and plans.
  • The works of tribes will be showcased and people will be able to get detailed information about their arts and crafts.

G. Tidbits

Nothing here for today!!!

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. With reference to Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which of the following 
statements is/are correct?
  1. AIIB is a multilateral development bank headquartered in Shanghai.
  2. It began its operations in 2009 after the Global Financial Crisis.
  3. India is the second-largest shareholder after China.

Options:

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank that aims to improve economic and social outcomes in Asia. It is headquartered in Beijing, China.
  • The bank started operations in December 2015, after ratifications were received from 10 member states holding a total number of 50% of the initial subscriptions of the Authorized Capital Stock.
  • India is the second-largest shareholder after China.
Q2. Consider the following statements:
  1. The Solicitor General of India is allowed to represent private clients.
  2. The remuneration of the Solicitor General of India is not fixed by the Constitution.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The Solicitor General of India is subordinate to the Attorney General of India. He/she is the second law officer of the country, assists the Attorney General, and is assisted by Additional Solicitors General for India.
  • The Solicitor General is not a government servant and is not debarred from private legal practice i.e, he/she is allowed to represent private clients.
  • The remuneration of the Solicitor General of India is not fixed by the Constitution. He/she receives such remuneration as the President may so determine.
Q3. Which of the following statements is/are correct?
  1. China is the world’s largest aluminium producer.
  2. Bauxite is the main source of alumina production.
  3. Bauxite has been found in all continents except Antarctica.

Options:

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • China is the world’s largest aluminium producer by far, accounting for around 50% of the world’s aluminium production.
  • Bauxite ore is the world’s primary source of aluminium. The ore must first be chemically processed to produce alumina (aluminium oxide). Alumina is then smelted using an electrolysis process to produce pure aluminium metal. Bauxite is typically found in topsoil located in various tropical and subtropical regions.
  • Aluminium is the third most abundant element on Earth’s surface. Bauxite has been found in all the world’s continents except Antarctica.
Q4. With respect to National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID), 
which of the following statements is/are correct?
  1. No investigation can be initiated against employees of NaBFID without the prior sanction of the central government in the case of the chairperson or other directors.
  2. Appointments Committee of the Cabinet will recommend candidates for the post of the Managing Director and Deputy Managing Directors.

Options:

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • The Indian Parliament had in March 2021 cleared the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID) Bill 2021 to support the development of long-term non-recourse infrastructure financing in India, including the development of the bonds and derivatives markets necessary for infrastructure financing.
  • As per the 2021 NaBFID bill, a body constituted by the central government will recommend candidates for the post of Managing Director and Deputy Managing Directors.
  • No investigation can be initiated against employees of NaBFID without the prior sanction of the central government in case of the chairperson or other directors

Context:

  • The government has announced the appointment of veteran banker K. V. Kamath as chairperson of the newly set up ₹20,000-crore National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID).
Q5. With reference to ‘Agenda 21’, sometimes seen in the news, consider the following 
statements:
  1. It is a global action plan for sustainable development.
  2. It originated in the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg in 2002.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • Agenda 21 is a non-binding action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development. It is a product of the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. The Supreme Court recently ruled that the power of the state to snoop into people’s ‘sacred private space’ is not absolute. Critically examine the statement in the light of the Pegasus scandal. (15 marks, 250 words)[GS-2, Polity]
  2. Russian companies have the potential to be long-term partners with India in aiding its energy transformation. Illustrate. (15 marks, 250 words)[GS-2, International Relations]

Read the previous CNA here.

Oct 28th, 2021, CNA:- Download PDF Here

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