31 Oct 2020: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

31 Oct 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. New wage code bars bonus for those facing sex abuse charges
2. Fifteenth Finance Commission to hand in report on Nov. 9
3. Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Goa best governed States: report
4. EC revokes Kamal Nath’s status as star campaigner
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. China gears up for ‘strategic period’
C. GS 3 Related
ECONOMY
1. ‘Import barriers will not be perpetual’
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
URBANISATION
1. Time for a ‘sponge cities’ mission in India
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS/SECURITY
1. Terror in Nice
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
1. Science of monsoons
F. Prelims Facts
1. WII to conduct study on Olive Ridley turtles
G. Tidbits
1. Govt. seeks comments on draft IR Code rules
2. SC issues ‘mirror order’ in child custody case
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

2. Fifteenth Finance Commission to hand in report on Nov. 9

Context:

The Fifteenth Finance Commission has finalised its report for fund devolution from the Centre to States for the five years from 2021-22 to 2025-26.

Fifteenth Finance Commission
  • Finance Commission is a constitutional body for the purpose of allocation of certain revenue resources between the Union and the State Governments.
  • The Finance Commission is constituted by the President under article 280 of the Constitution.
  • The Fifteenth Finance Commission was constituted in November 2017, by a Presidential Order against the backdrop of:
    • The abolition of the Planning Commission.
    • Abolition of the distinction between Plan and non-Plan expenditure.
    • Introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • It is chaired by N.K. Singh.

Read more about Finance Commission.

Details:

  • The panel also had to determine the viability of a separate defence and national security fund.
  • It also had to deliberate on the issue of GST compensation.
  • Although its original remit was to recommend the fund-sharing formula between the Centre and States from 2020-21 to 2024-25, the commission’s term was extended by 11 months.

Note: 

  • In the initial report that the commission had submitted just for the year 2020-21, it pared the States’ share of the divisible tax pool from 42%, as recommended by the Fourteenth Finance Commission, to 41%, citing the creation of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

3. Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Goa best governed States: report

Context:

Public Affairs Index-2020 has been released by the Public Affairs Centre.

  • The States are ranked on governance performance based on a composite index in the context of sustainable development defined by the three pillars of equity, growth and sustainability.
Public Affairs Centre (PAC)
  • The Public Affairs Centre (PAC) is a not-for-profit research think tank situated in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
  • It works at improving the quality of governance in India.
  • The institute conducts research activities in two major fields, public policy and participatory governance.

Key findings:

  • Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka stood in the first four ranks in the large State category in terms of governance.
  • Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Bihar were at the bottom of the ranking.
  • In the small State category, Goa ranked first, followed by Meghalaya and Himachal Pradesh.
  • The worst performers in the index with negative points were Manipur, Delhi and Uttarakhand.
  • Chandigarh emerged at the top in the category of Union Territories followed by Puducherry and Lakshadweep.
  • Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Andaman, Jammu and Kashmir and Nicobar were the worst performers.

4. EC revokes Kamal Nath’s status as star campaigner

Context:

The Election Commission (EC) revoked the status of a Congress leader as a star campaigner for the party in the ongoing State Assembly by-polls.

Details:

  • The reason for revocation was repeated violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and completely disregarding the advisory issued to him.
  • The expenditure of star campaigners’ events, travel and stay is borne by the party and is not added to the candidate’s spending, which is limited.
    • The EC said that the entire expenditure on any campaigning by him for the by-election would be borne by the candidate in whose constituency he campaigns.

Star campaigner:

  • They are people who are nominated by parties to campaign in a given set of constituencies. These persons are, in almost all cases, prominent and popular faces within the party.
  • There is no specific definition of a “star campaigner” according to law or the Election Commission of India.
  • A recognised political party can have 40 star campaigners and an unrecognised (but registered) political party can have 20.
  • The list of star campaigners has to be communicated to the Chief Electoral Officer and Election Commission within a week from the date of notification of an election.
  • If a candidate or her election agent shares the stage with a star campaigner at a rally, then the entire expenditure on that rally other than the travel expenses of the star campaigner is added to the candidate’s expenses. Even if the candidate is not present at the star campaigner’s rally, but there are posters with her photographs or her name on display, then too, the entire expenditure will be added to the candidate’s account.
  • The same applies when the star campaigner even mentions the candidate’s name during the event. When more than one candidate shares the stage, or there are posters with their photographs, then the expenses on such rally/meeting are to be equally divided among the expenditure account of all such candidates.

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. China gears up for ‘strategic period’

Context:

A key annual conclave was conducted by China’s ruling Communist Party.

Details:

  • Eyeing what it called “an important strategic period” for fulfilling its ambitions at home and abroad, it outlined long-term targets for boosting innovation and military strength.
  • It announced three goals to be achieved by 2025, 2027 and 2035 — a 14th five-year plan (2021-2025) that emphasises:
    • Boosting domestic consumption and innovation.
    • A national security and defence modernisation plan ahead of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) centennial in 2027.
    • A ‘Vision 2035’ longer-term economic blueprint that calls for big leaps in economic strength and technological prowess.
  • The communique said China’s GDP would cross 100 trillion yuan (around $15 trillion) in 2020-21. The new economic blueprint would push for China to double its GDP and current per capita GDP of $10,000 by 2035.
    • This would require a real GDP growth of around 3.5% annually.
  • The communique mainly focused on economic issues. However, it also outlined China’s national security plans and a goal to establish the PLA as a modern force by 2027.

G. Tidbits

1. Govt. seeks comments on draft IR Code rules

What’s in News?

  • The Union Labour and Employment Ministry published the draft rules framed under the Industrial Relations Code, 2020, that would require firms with 300 or more workers to seek government approval for lay­offs 15 days prior to the intended action.
  • For retrenchment and closure, the establishments would have to apply for permission 60 days and 90 days ahead of the actions respectively.

Read more about the Industrial Relations Code 2020.

2. SC issues ‘mirror order’ in child custody case

What’s in News?

The Supreme Court has applied the principle of mirror order in a child custody case where one of the estranged parents is living abroad, in Kenya.

Mirror Order:

  • An order made in one country which reflects the original order made in another country is known as Mirror Order.
  • Mirror orders are often made in circumstances where contact arrangements have been agreed and the child will then be living in another country.
  • When a competent court in India passes a series of conditions for the transfer of custody of a child to a parent living abroad, an identical or mirror order is passed by an equally competent court to ensure that the conditions are met.
  • It ensures that contradictory judicial orders are not passed and is considered a remedy against transnational parental abduction of children.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Which of the following is/are known for its/their unique mass nesting called Arribada?
  1. Olive Ridley Turtle
  2. Indian Star Tortoise
  3. Kemp’s Ridley Turtle

Choose the correct option:

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Arribada is a Spanish word meaning “arrival by sea” and refers to the mass nesting behaviour exhibited by Kemp’s Ridley and Olive Ridley sea turtles.
  • It is the unique mass nesting of female olive ridley turtles and Kemps ridley turtles.
Q2. Consider the following statements with respect to star campaigners:
  1. Any recognised political party can have only 20 star campaigners.
  2. An unrecognised (but registered) political party cannot have any star campaigners.
  3. If a candidate or her election agent shares the stage with a star campaigner at a rally, then the entire expenditure on that rally other than the travel expenses of the star campaigner is added to the political party’s expenses.

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

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

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • A recognised political party can have 40 star campaigners and an unrecognised (but registered) political party can have 20.
  • The list of star campaigners has to be communicated to the Chief Electoral Officer and Election Commission within a week from the date of notification of an election.
  • If a candidate or her election agent shares the stage with a star campaigner at a rally, then the entire expenditure on that rally other than the travel expenses of the star campaigner is added to the candidate’s expenses. Even if the candidate is not present at the star campaigner’s rally, but there are posters with her photographs or her name on display, then too, the entire expenditure will be added to the candidate’s account.
Q3. Consider the following statements:
  1. The Finance Commission is constituted by the Prime Minister under Article 280 of the Constitution.
  2. The 15th Finance Commission was constituted in the backdrop of the abolition of the Planning Commission.

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

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Finance Commission is a constitutional body for the purpose of allocation of certain revenue resources between the Union and the State Governments.
  • The Finance Commission is constituted by the President under article 280 of the Constitution.
  • The Fifteenth Finance Commission was constituted in November 2017, by a Presidential Order against the backdrop of:
    • The abolition of the Planning Commission.
    • Abolition of the distinction between Plan and non-Plan expenditure.
    • Introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Q4. Arrange the following from West to East:
  1. Alboran Sea
  2. Ionian Sea
  3. Aegean Sea
  4. Tyrrhenian Sea

Choose the correct option:

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

West to East: Alboran Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea, Ionian Sea, Aegean Sea.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. With monsoons causing flooding and enormous damages in cities across India, it is time to focus on smart urbanisation. Discuss. (15 Marks, 250 Words) (GS 1 Urbanisation).
  2. In light of two consecutive years of generous monsoons, India needs better science to prepare more effective disaster management plans. Comment. (10 Marks, 150 Words) (GS 3 Disaster Management).

Read the previous CNA here.

31 Oct 2020 CNA:- Download PDF Here

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