25 Sep 2021: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

Sept 25th, 2021, CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
SOCIAL ISSUES
1. Death penalty awarded in T.N. inter-caste couple killing
B. GS 2 Related
HEALTH
1. Centre notifies medical device parks scheme
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Campaign launched for social accountability law
C. GS 3 Related
SECURITY
1. Mizoram fears fresh influx from Myanmar
2. Gujarat drug seizure case likely to go to NIA
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. India is not a bystander in the AUKUS saga
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Complex count
ECONOMY
1. When global firms disengage, employment suffers
F. Prelims Facts
1. MoD strikes ₹22,000 cr. deal with Airbus
G. Tidbits
1. Modi, Biden talk of a new phase in relations
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. Campaign launched for social accountability law

Context:

A State-wide campaign has been launched in Rajasthan for demanding passage of the social accountability law in the next Assembly session.

What is social accountability?

“Social accountability” refers to actions initiated by citizen groups to hold public officials, politicians, and service providers to account for their conduct and performance in terms of delivering services, improving people’s welfare and protecting people’s rights.

Background:

  • The Congress government’s support of the Rajasthan Transparency and Social Accountability Bill goes back to the year 2016.
  • The activists had come up with the draft accountability law following the 100 days Jawabdehi Yatra.
  • The 100-day campaign had witnessed seminars, clinics and workshops on Right to Information (RTI), Right to Education (RTE) and Right to Hearing Act (RTH).
  • It was followed up with camps on RTI application, grievance submission and District Shiksha Sammelans in which ward panch and Panchayati raj representatives, among others, had participated.
  • The yatra touched upon several social issues under government programmes such as MGNREGA, ration, pension, health, social security, etc. while pushing for an accountability law.
  • In 2019, activists under The Suchana Evam Rojgar Adhikar Abhiyaan (SR Abhiyaan) came up with a comprehensive Rajasthan Public Accountability Bill, 2019.

Draft of Rajasthan Social Accountability Bill:

  • The draft 2019 Bill had proposed an independent District Grievance Redressal Officer.
    • This is said to have been opposed by some bureaucrats, who believe that it will undermine the authority of the District Collector.
  • The proposed law touched upon 22 issues, such as job chart, grievance redress architecture, fortnightly hearing, automatic escalation, first/second appeal, online registration, etc.

Objectives of the Bill:

  • To seek the accountability of public functionaries and authorities for timely delivery of goods and services.
  • To create a democratic, decentralized and participative approach to enable wider public participation.
  • To initiate monitoring of programmes and policies through community score cards, citizens report cards and social audits.

Details:

  • In 2019, the Rajasthan government constituted a committee under retired IAS officer Ram Lubhaya to examine the previous draft.
  • Although The Rajasthan Guaranteed Delivery of Public Service Act, 2011 and The Rajasthan Right to Hearing Act (2012) are in existence, the committee found major issues with both the Acts though both the laws had a few provisions among the 22 issues covered in the draft bill.
  • The Lubhaya committee proposed repeal of both the Acts, while comparing their provisions with the proposed accountability law.
  • The Lubhaya committee also proposed the designation of Grievance Redress Officers, from the state, district to the panchayat level.

2. Gujarat drug seizure case likely to go to NIA

Context:

The Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) recently seized almost 3,000 kg of heroin that was originally shipped from Afghanistan at Mundra Port in Gujarat.

Details:

  • Such large-scale smuggling of expensive drugs via sea route in the country has stunned the Union government.
  • The seizure is also said to be one of the largest seizures in the world.
  • The Central government may enlist the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for undertaking a comprehensive probe into the drug seizure.

This issue has been covered in Sep 23rd, 2021 CNA.

Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. Complex count

This topic has been covered in Aug 25th, 2021 CNA.
Category: ECONOMY

1. When global firms disengage, employment suffers

Context:

The most recent labour statistics, for August 2021, released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) shows that the unemployment rate has increased from around 7% in July to 8.3% for August 2021. In absolute terms, 1.9 million jobs were lost in one month.

Details:

  • A sectoral analysis presents the fact that most of the jobs lost were farm jobs.
  • While employment in agriculture fell by 8.7 million, non-farm jobs increased by 6.8 million, mainly in business and small trade, but the manufacturing sector shed 0.94 million jobs.
  • Much of the labour shed by agriculture has been absorbed in low-end service activities.
  • While non-farm jobs increased to absorb some of these, the quality of new jobs generated is a matter of concern.
  • During normal times, seasonal labour released from agriculture gets accommodated in the construction sector.
  • But, currently, the construction sector itself is shedding jobs, forcing workers to find employment in the household sector and low-end services.
  • This non-availability of sufficient jobs in manufacturing and higher-end services could be the dampener for economic recovery in the subsequent quarters of the current fiscal year.

Raising the level of investments:

  • The economy has been waiting for private investments, but their levels have been very low, accentuating the unemployment situation.
  • According to the elementary economic theory, raising the level of investments is the key to output and employment growth.
  • While public investments are important, there is a dire need to complement them with even more private investments.
  • Turning to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to supplement domestic capital formation is an approach that India has been pursuing by making ‘ease of doing business’ more attractive.

Issues – Employment sustainability:

  • When FDI increases, the sustainability of increased employment is often threatened as it depends on the business avenues that other competing economies open up leading to corporate restructuring at the global level and firm exits from earlier locations.
  • When such firms exit, they create massive disruption in the local economy.
  • The exits of high-profile global firms affect employment generation in the following ways.
    • It creates apprehensions among potential investors about choosing that location for greenfield investments or for scaling up existing facilities.
    • It affects private investments even if an economy claims to have the tag of investor friendliness. A downturn in private investments leads to slower employment growth.
    • The process of the destruction of jobs through exits creates mismatches in the labour market.
    • It leads to a levelling down of wages which occurs when high-end services firms exit.
    • When large assembly firms exit there would be a big influx of low-skilled workers to other sectors as the same sector might not be able to absorb the workforce released.
    • This disruption in the labour market aggravates an existing unemployment problem.

Way Forward:

  • While inward FDI does generate jobs both directly and indirectly through an increase in production activities, the magnitude of employment generated especially in the manufacturing sector needs closer scrutiny.
  • The euphoria on the inflow of FDI and associated benefits must be evaluated in comparison with the reality of the emergence of modern transnational corporations (TNC).
    • When TNCs emerge as key players in an industry, a proliferation of mergers and consolidations across national and international borders might be frequent.
    • These are efforts to open up new opportunities in new markets. Such waves of expansions and contractions are aimed at acquiring new markets and new trade opportunities.
    • This process of internationalisation of production is driven by the big firms by investing in and out of developing economies.
  • Growing scepticism towards more open trade policies and the rise of protectionism have increased the risk and unpredictability of policy environments, leading to deeper reflection on both existing and new investments by global firms.
  • Thereby, the permanency of large foreign firms operating for decades is slowly waning.
  • It is here that domestic capital formation and private investments must be encouraged.

F. Prelims Facts

1. MoD strikes ₹22,000 cr. deal with Airbus

What’s in News?

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed an estimated ₹22,000-crore deal with Airbus Defence and Space S.A., Spain.

C-295MW transport aircraft:

  • The deal is for 56 C-295MW transport aircraft to replace the Indian Air Force’s ageing 56 Avro aircraft that were procured in the 1960s.
  • The C295, having 5­10 tonne capacity, is used for tactical transport of up to 71 troops or 50 paratroopers, and for logistic operations not accessible to current heavier aircraft.
  • It also has a proven capability of operating from short or unprepared airstrips.

Details:

  • This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India under technology transfer by the private sector.
  • Of the 56 aircraft, 16 will be delivered in flyaway condition from Spain within 48 months and the remaining will be manufactured in India by the Tata Group within 10 years from the date of the contract.

G. Tidbits

1. Modi, Biden talk of a new phase in relations

What’s in News?

Prime Minister of India and the U.S. President kicked off their bilateral talks, with comments on the promise of the India-U.S. relationship in the areas they would work on like COVID-19 and climate, and the importance of the diaspora.

Details:

  • Both leaders suggested that the countries were at an inflexion point in their relationship.
  • The US President said that the two countries were launching a new chapter in bilateral ties, taking on some of the toughest challenges, starting with COVID-19.
  • Modi’s remarks also made reference to the bilateral relationship having a more global positive impact.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements:
  1. This river rises near Sihawa in the Raipur district of Chhattisgarh.
  2. It is one of the most active silt-depositing streams in the Indian subcontinent.
  3. Hirakud Dam is built across this river.

The above statements best describe:

  1. Bedti
  2. Subarnarekha
  3. Mahanadi
  4. Shetrunji
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

The Mahanadi is a major river in East Central India. It rises near Sihawa in the Raipur district of Chhattisgarh. It is one of the most active silt-depositing streams in the Indian subcontinent. Mahanadi is also known for the Hirakud Dam. The river flows through the states of Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

Q2. With respect to the Co-operative Societies, which of the following statements is/are 
correct?
  1. The 97th Constitutional Amendment act made the right to form co-operative societies a fundamental right.
  2. The conduct of elections to a co-operative society is vested with the state election commission.

Options:

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

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • The 97th Constitutional Amendment Act made the right to form co-operative societies a fundamental right as a part of Article 19.
  • State Election Commission is not responsible for conducting elections to a co-operative society.
  • The state government appoints a body for the conduct of elections to a co-operative society.
  • The superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls for, and the conduct of, all elections to a co-operative society shall vest in such an authority or body, as may be provided by the Legislature of a State.
Q3. Which amongst the following States in India shares the longest border with Myanmar?
  1. Arunachal Pradesh
  2. Nagaland
  3. Mizoram
  4. Manipur
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • The total length of the India-Myanmar border is about 1643 km.
  • Arunachal Pradesh (520 km) shares the longest border with Myanmar.
  • Other Indian states that share a border with Myanmar are Mizoram (510 km), Nagaland (215 km), Manipur (510 km).
Q4. Which of the following statements about Foot and Mouth Disease is/are correct?
  1. Humans are not infected by the foot-and-mouth disease virus.
  2. National Animal Disease Control Programme for FMD and Brucellosis (NADCP) is a Central Sector Scheme where 100% of funds shall be provided by the Central Government to the States/UTs.

Options:

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

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) or hoof-and-mouth disease (HMD) is an infectious and sometimes fatal viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals, including domestic and wild bovids. It is a contagious disease.
  • Humans can also be infected by the foot-and-mouth disease virus, however, the cases are very rare.
  • National Animal Disease Control Programme for FMD and Brucellosis (NADCP) is a Central Sector Scheme where 100% of funds shall be provided by the Central Government to the States/UTs.
Q5. With reference to Congress Socialist Party, consider the following statements:
  1. It advocated the boycott of British goods and evasion of taxes.
  2. It wanted to establish the dictatorship of proletariat.
  3. It advocated separate electorate for minorities and oppressed classes.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • The Congress Socialist Party was a socialist entity within the Indian National Congress.
  • It was founded in 1934 by Congress members who rejected what they believed was a pacifist and anti-rational mysticism of Gandhi. They also rejected the sectarian attitude of the Communist Party of India towards the Congress.
  • It was formed with Acharya Narendra Deva as President and Jay Prakash Narayan as General Secretary in 1934.
  • The ideal of this party was decentralized socialism in which a there was substantial share in the economic power of co-operatives, trade unions, independent farmers, and local authorities.

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. Examine how the exit of high-profile global firms affect employment generation in India. (10 Marks, 150 Words)[GS-3, Economy]
  2. Discuss the importance of Social Accountability in Democracy. (10 Marks, 150 Words)[GS-2, Polity and Governance]

Read the previous CNA here.

Sept 25th, 2021, CNA:- Download PDF Here

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