30 Oct 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

30 Oct 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Yashvardhan likely to be next CIC
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. What is behind the spat between Turkey and France?
C. GS 3 Related
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. Centre sets up commission to tackle NCR pollution
ECONOMY
1. Centre relaxes Air India sale terms yet again
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. The India-U.S. defence partnership is deepening
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. Less pollution, more soil fertility
F. Prelims Facts
G. Tidbits
1. CM launches app for registration of pollution-related complaints
2. Lowest core sector shrinking since March
3. India upset by Kashmir depiction on Saudi note
4. 3 killed in French church attack
5. Gaps in learning
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. What is behind the spat between Turkey and France?

Context:

Rift between France and Turkey – two NATO members has widened.

Background:

  • Turkey and France have clashed over a number of geopolitical issues in recent years.
  • Recently, a teacher in a suburb of Paris was beheaded by an 18-year-old Chechen after he showed his students caricatures of the Prophet.
  • Following the murder, the French government started an operation to crackdown on Islamist organisations.
  • President of Turkey – Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a personal attack on his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron following the latter’s call for reforming Islam.
  • Turkey’s Erdogan called for a boycott of French goods and questioned Emmanuel Macron’s sanity, after the latter declared that “Islam is a religion that is in crisis today all over the world”.
  • France recalled its Ambassador from Turkey, for the first time.
  • While France (the EU’s most powerful military) is trying to assert itself under Mr. Macron, Mr. Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman foreign policy is ready to pick up fights wherever it sees an opening.

Details:

  • The trigger for the latest clash was the French government’s support for Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine to republish the cartoons.
    • Charlie Hebdo’s office was attacked by al-Qaeda-linked jihadists in January 2015 over its publication of a set of caricatures of Prophet Muhammed.
  • Ankara, under Mr. Erdogan’s AK Party, has projected itself as a defender of (selective) Muslim causes worldwide, and had slammed Mr. Macron earlier over his push to reform Islam in France.
  • It added fuel to the raging tensions between France and Turkey.

Macron’s reform plan?

  • Macron outlined the substance of a long-awaited law which his government is planning to introduce to regulate the practice of Islam in France.
    • While unveiling the essence of the Bill, the President said the law was being brought in to fight “Islamist separatism”, which he opined often results in the creation of a counter-society.
    • He said that it will crackdown on foreign influence in French Muslim communities and allow the government to track funding for mosques from overseas.
    • It was said that the government will create a certificate programme for the imams and ban homeschooling.
  • Also, he had defended blasphemy, saying that the right to caricature is an essential part of being French.

Geopolitical angle:

  • There is a larger geopolitical context to the rising tensions between Turkey and France.
  • As Turkey is trying to expand its influence to the erstwhile Ottoman territories, France has stood in its way.
  • In Libya, where Turkey is backing the Tripoli-based government, France has supported the Tobruk-based parallel government and the military campaign of the renegade General Khalifa Haftar against Tripoli.
  • In the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey has launched a gas exploration mission, clashing with Greece and Cyprus, while France has stood in support of the fellow EU members and even sent French warships to the region.
  • In the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, Turkey offered unconditional support to the Azeri military offensive, while Mr. Macron slammed Ankara’s intervention.
  • In all these cases, France and Turkey emerged as two opposing poles in the West and the East, respectively.

Category: ECONOMY

1. Centre relaxes Air India sale terms yet again

Context:

The Centre has revised the bidding parameters for 100% stake sale in Air India.

Details:

  • The centre has allowed private players to quote an enterprise value (EV) for the airline.
  • According to the latest development, enterprise value shall mean the combined value of debt and equity of AI as assessed by the bidder in its financial bid.
    • The only change is that there is no pre-determined debt.
    • This, however, would not mean that Air India sale will be debt-free. It means that the debt will be determined in the market.
  • The government has extended the deadline multiple times due to lack of interest from prospective buyers.
    • This is the government’s third effort to garner the interest of the buyers.
  • Bidders will be given seven days to pose queries on the new bidding parameters after which they can submit their bids.

Read more about Air India – Beginning, Journey & Current Crisis

2. Lowest core sector shrinking since March

What’s in News?

India’s eight core industry sectors shrank just 0.8% in September 2020 on a year-on-year basis, recording their lowest contraction since March 2020.

Read more about the Index of Industrial Production.

3. India upset by Kashmir depiction on Saudi note

What’s in News?

India has described the map of Kashmir in a new currency note of Saudi Arabia as a “gross misrepresentation” of sovereign territory.

  • The 20 riyal note was printed by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority to celebrate the Saudi presidency of the G20.
  • The map shows Kashmir as a separate entity between India and Pakistan.
  • Delhi has taken up the issue at the diplomatic level with Riyadh.

4. 3 killed in French church attack

What’s in News?

A knife-wielding attacker shouting “Allahu Akbar” beheaded a woman and killed two other people at a church in the French city of Nice.

  • The attack was similar to the beheading of a teacher in Paris who had used cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in a civics class.
  • The suspected knife attacker was shot by police while being detained.
  • France has raised the security alert for the French territory to the highest level after the knife attack.

5. Gaps in learning

  • The Annual Status of Education Report 2020 notes the severe disruption for schools caused by the COVID-19 pandemic more so for students in rural areas. The ASER 2020 survey has come up with some striking findings.
    • There has been a shift in enrolments from private schools to government institutions, of about five percentage points over 2018, ranging from class one to higher secondary levels.
    • Due to the suspension of physical classes since the lockdown in March, there has been a marked rise in students not being enrolled, either because they dropped out, or because it was not possible to get admitted.
    • The survey highlights a stark digital divide. The survey found 43.6% of students in government schools without access to a smartphone, while 67.3% of those who received learning materials in these institutions got them over WhatsApp, underscoring the role played by gadgets and connectivity.
  • The ASER survey provides data that could facilitate suitable intervention in the education system.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Which of these countries border the Red Sea?
  1. Yemen
  2. Jordan
  3. Saudi Arabia
  4. Egypt
  5. Sudan

Choose the correct options:

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti border the Red Sea.

Q2. Consider the following statements:
  1. The excess of the government’s total expenditure over its total non-borrowed receipts is called the fiscal deficit.
  2. The primary deficit is the fiscal deficit minus interest payments.
  3. The FRBM Act suggests bringing the fiscal deficit down to about 4 percent of the GDP as the ideal target for India.

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

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • When the government’s non-borrowed receipts fall short of its entire expenditure, it has to borrow money from the public to meet the shortfall.
  • The excess of the government’s total expenditure over its total non-borrowed receipts is called the fiscal deficit.
  • The primary deficit is the fiscal deficit minus interest payments. It tells how much of the government’s borrowings are going towards meeting expenses other than interest payments.
  • The FRBM Act suggests that bringing the fiscal deficit down to about 3 percent of the GDP is the ideal target for India.
Q3. Consider the following statements with respect to River Mahanadi:
  1. It originates in Odisha.
  2. It is an east-flowing river draining into the Bay of Bengal.
  3. The Hirakud dam is built across this river.

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

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • The river Mahanadi originates in Chhattisgarh.
  • It is an east-flowing river draining into the Bay of Bengal.
  • The Hirakud dam is built across the river Mahanadi.
Q4. Arrange the eight Core Industries in decreasing order of their weightage in the 
Index of Industrial Production:
  1. Electricity
  2. Fertilizers
  3. Natural Gas
  4. Crude oil
  5. Steel

Choose the correct option:

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • The eight core sector industries include coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilizer, steel, cement and electricity.
  • Eight Core Industries in decreasing order of their weightage in the Index of Industrial Production: Refinery Products> Electricity> Steel> Coal> Crude Oil> Natural Gas> Cement> Fertilizers.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Analyze the deepening bilateral relationship between India and the U.S. over the years, particularly in the domain of defence partnership and discuss the factors which are driving this partnership forward. (15 marks, 250 words)(GS Paper 2/International Relations)
  2. Discuss the factors which have contributed to the problem of stubble burning in North Indian states and the associated concerns. Also suggest what measures can be taken to address the stubble burning challenge in India. (15 marks, 250 words)(GS Paper 3/Environment and Ecology)

Read the previous CNA here.

30 Oct 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

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