27 Sep 2022: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

Quote for the day Set 5 11

CNA 27 Sep 2022:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
C. GS 3 Related
ECONOMY
1. A push for the semiconductor industry
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
1. Landslides in Pettimudi: social inequalities in disasters
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
INDIAN ECONOMY
1. Pitching India as a signature destination
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Samarkand: a miniature of an emerging world
F. Prelims Facts
G. Tidbits
1. Centre’s push for NavIC system lands smartphone giants on unknown road
2. Live-streaming, online RTI portal: SC takes big steps on transparency
3. Rupee drops to a record low of 81.67 against dollar
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

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Category: DISASTER MANAGEMENT

1. Landslides in Pettimudi: social inequalities in disasters

Syllabus: Disaster and disaster management

Mains: The relevance of social inequalities in determining the extent of disaster vulnerability

Context

  • This article is based on S. Mohammed Irshad and S.S. Christin Solaman’s work “Identity, Space and Disaster: A Case Study of Pettimudi Landslide in Kerala”.
  • This article tries to outline the role of space during natural calamities such as landslides, in terms of the disaster vulnerability of a community and State interventions. 

Details

  • There are multiple theories about the relevance of space as a social product and its connection with an individual’s or communities’ understanding of social realities.
  • The authors try to analyse the relevance of the “geographical and sociological space” by studying the incident of landslide that occurred in Pettimudi which is a tea plantation estate in the Idukki district of Kerala on August 6, 2020.
    • This tea estate was first owned by John Danial Manro who was a British official, in 1877.
    • At present, the estate is owned by the Kanan Devan Hills Plantations (KDHP).
  • Consistent rainfall in the region caused a landslide in the Pettimudi estate which led to the death of over 65 workers who lived in a ‘layam’ which is a line of 10 residential spaces in a building provided by the company as accommodation.

Findings of the analysis of the incident

  • Analysis reveals that when slavery was abolished in the State in 1843, estate owners deployed an alternative plan of bringing workers from other regions as bonded labour.
    • Further, the Plantation Labour Act, of 1951 also failed to extend benefits such as social security and socio-economic mobility for the workers.
    • At present, most of the workers in the estate are part of the second or third generations of Tamil migrant workers who were brought as bonded labourers. 
    • These workers lack decent accommodation facilities or land of their own.
    • The accommodation (layams) provided by the estate owners are set up in an ecologically vulnerable landscape and are about 90 years old and are also not well maintained. 
  • Analysis indicates that the response and rehabilitation measures undertaken by the government provided only conventional relief measures and the spatial inequality which was one of the key aspects of the disaster and the vulnerabilities of the community were ignored.
  • The authors also studied how false narratives were portrayed by the media and the government which regarded the landslide incident as a single incident without interrogating the socio-economic complexity behind the situation. 
    • The role of setting up of the layam in landslide-prone areas and their poor maintenance, along with the poor state of socio-political and economic situation of the workers were completely ignored. 
  • The authors also believe that the State showed apathy towards the incident of the landslide when compared to another incident of an air crash that took place the very next day in the state.
    • The analysis clearly indicated that there was a differential treatment of the victims of the landslide as compared to the victims of the air crash.

The concept of space and vulnerability

  • Various social theorists such as Edward Soja and Andrzej Zieleniec have addressed the aspect of individuals’ interactions with space and the role played by space as a social product and a place for practising discrimination. 
  • Various spatial vulnerabilities are caused due to the convergence of social relations such as production, class relations, institutional relations and entitlement relations. 
  • By considering the private estate land as a social space, the authors analyse the role played by the land as a symbol of the economic vulnerability of the labourers which has its roots in the history of slave labour, and how this vulnerability compels the workers to continue living and working in such harsh conditions.
  • The private company claims power over these workers with its ownership of the space.
  • This social exclusion of these workers is not thoroughly addressed by various government policies or schemes. 
  • Further, the victims are not consulted during the rehabilitation process nor have any say in the process and are compelled to accept the government funds.

Concerns about the response of the state

  • During such instances, the state usually does not take into account the root causes of such calamities. 
  • In case of disasters, the states follow some standard procedures which include alerting the residents of the area based on the weather forecast, providing temporary shelter, and planning rehabilitation efforts.
    • However, the states often fails to acknowledge the relationship between space and vulnerability and the socio-economic impact of such changes.
  • Vulnerability of the community is not always studied with respect to the people’s socioeconomic status at the administrative level.
  • The authors feel that unequal development or overexploitation of resources have increased the disaster vulnerabilities among poorer communities in the disaster-prone areas of the country multifold.

Nut graf: The states while undertaking disaster relief measures must take into account the key aspects such as the analysis of the root causes of such calamities, spatial vulnerability and the socio-economic impact of the government’s relief response.

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Samarkand: a miniature of an emerging world

Syllabus: Bilateral and global groupings and agreements involving India.

Mains: The SCO summit, 2022.

Prelims: SCO summit.

Context: The Shanghai Cooperation Meeting was held on 15th and 16th September 2022  in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

Recent strategies adopted by various countries:

  • Though Russia is clearly in the dock for the Ukrainian invasion, the former Soviet Republics have remained silent. 
  • China has struck a deal with Russia on the issue of Taiwan, in return for its support to the Russian cause in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 
  • The United States of America seems to stay aligned with democratic countries. However, the U.S. has also decided to modernize the Pakistani air force. This is probably to prevent Pakistan from becoming closer to China.
  • India’s stand:
    • Even though both the adversaries of India attended the summit, India was not on talking terms with either of them.
    • However, India came out with a strong message for Russia that it was not the time for war and that the war should stop as it poses immense challenges to the world.
    • India discussed issues like the oil crisis, food scarcity, supply chain disruptions, etc.
  • The Russian president responded to India by saying that Russia understood India’s concerns and would try to end the conflict. But he also blamed Ukraine for the prolonged crisis.

For more information on the SCO summit, read here: Sansad TV Perspective: SCO Summit, 2022

Outcomes of Samarkand Summit:

  • The SCO summit in Samarkand is said to be a dress rehearsal for what may eventually emerge in the world in the future.
  • It was observed that as a chair of the next SCO summit, India does not have the potential to change much because of the domination of the China-Russia-Iran-Pakistan axis.
  • India should instead focus on strengthening bilateral relations with democratic countries to build its own pole in the emerging world order.
  • The ripples of the summit were also felt in the United Nations General Assembly, where for the first time both Russia and the USA favoured the expansion of the UNSC to make it more effective. Russia has outrightly supported India’s permanent membership.

For more information on takeaways of the SCO summit, read here: 17 Sep 2022: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

Nut graf: The recent SCO summit that took place in Samarkand at a time when the global order is going through a complex phase has provided an outlook about the future of the emerging world and has helped countries like India understand their position in the changing geopolitics.

F. Prelims Facts

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G. Tidbits

1. Centre’s push for NavIC system lands smartphone giants on unknown road

  • The Union government is urging the tech giants to make smartphones compatible with NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) which is India’s indigenous regional navigation system. 
  • However, tech giants such as Samsung, Xiaomi and Apple have expressed concerns over the January 1st, 2023 deadline as it would lead to increased costs owing to higher research and production costs and disruptions as the move requires various changes in the hardware and testing clearances.
  • In line with the Prime Minister’s vision of self-reliance, India has over the years expanded the use of  NavIC to reduce the reliance on foreign systems, including the widely used Global Positioning System (GPS) of the U.S.
    • According to the government, NavIC provides more accurate domestic navigation and its use would largely benefit the economy.
  • Countries such as China, the European Union, Japan and Russia already have their own global or regional navigation systems to rival GPS.

2. Live-streaming, online RTI portal: SC takes big steps on transparency

  • Justice U.U. Lalit, the Chief Justice of India said that a dedicated platform is being set up to facilitate live streaming of Supreme Court proceedings.
  • Also, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, a senior judge of the Supreme Court, spoke about the opening up of a Right to Information (RTI) portal for the submission of petitions online.
  • These two initiatives indicate that various efforts are being undertaken to ensure complete transparency in the functioning of the courts in the country.

3. Rupee drops to a record low of 81.67 against dollar

  • The Rupee reached another record low against the dollar due to the further strengthening of the U.S. currency against other major currencies.
  • The Rupee’s downward trend is expected to negatively impact importers, students studying abroad and outbound travellers. 
  • Further, the Indian stocks also recorded a steep fall as the U.S. Federal Reserve adopted an aggressive stance to control the increasing inflation.
    • The fear of recession in the U.S. and Europe, the consequence of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the political uncertainty in China have further caused uncertainty in the global economy.
  • Experts feel that the fall in the value of the Rupee could have been more if the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had not intervened by selling dollars in the interbank forex market via public sector banks.
    • The RBI has clarified that it would deploy its forex reserves to prevent excess volatility in the forex market.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements about the Double Asteroid Redirection Test 
(DART) Mission. (Level – Medium)
  1. It is a project headed by the European Space Agency.
  2. The mission involves crashing the spacecraft into the Didymos asteroid.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

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

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is not correct, Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is a space mission of NASA which is aimed at testing a method of planetary defense against near-Earth objects (NEOs).
    • DART is a joint project between NASA and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL).
  • Statement 2 is not correct, The mission involves crashing the spacecraft into the Dimorphos asteroid.
    • Dimorphos is a moon of a slightly larger asteroid called Didymos. 
    • Didymos is about 780 m at its widest, whereas Dimorphos is about 160 metres.
    • Scientists chose the Dimorphos as the target because of its relatively shorter orbit around Didymos. The deviation in this orbit would be more noticeable and easier to measure.
Q2. The recently unveiled ‘Dharamshala Declaration’ is associated with which of the 
following aspects?  (Level – Difficult)
  1. Disaster Management
  2. Climate Change
  3. Tourism
  4. Sports
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • The “Dharamshala Declaration” aims to recognise India’s role in contributing towards global tourism as well as focusing on recovery by also promoting domestic tourism.
  • The “Dharamshala Declaration” was adopted during the National Conference of State Tourism Ministers, which affirms commitment toward developing “sustainable and responsible tourism” and positions India as a “global leader in the tourism sector by 2047”.
Q3. Consider the following statements about La Nina. (Level – Medium)
  1. La Nina refers to the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phase in which sea-surface temperatures are warmer than normal.
  2. In the Indian context, La Nina is associated with good rainfall during the monsoon season.
  3. The ‘triple dip’ La Nina being witnessed currently is the first such instance in recorded history and could be attributable to global warming and climate change.

How many of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. One statement only
  2. Two statements only
  3. All three statements
  4. None of the statements
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is not correct, La Nina refers to the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phase in which sea-surface temperatures are cooler than normal.
  • Statement 2 is correct, In the Indian context, La Nina is associated with good rainfall during the monsoon season. Hence, La Nina is considered beneficial for Indian Monsoons.
  • Statement 3 is not correct, India is currently experiencing an extended spell of the La Nina, called a ‘triple dip’ La Nina which is a phenomenon lasting across three winter seasons in the northern hemisphere. 
    • This is said to be the first “triple dip” La Nina of the century and the third since 1950.
Q4. Which of the following statements about Organization for Economic Cooperation and 
Development (OECD) is/are correct? (Level – Medium)
  1. It is an intergovernmental organization of which India is a founding member and with an objective to stimulate economic progress and world trade.
  2. The World Economic Outlook is a flagship publication of the organization.

Options:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both the statements
  4. Neither of the statements 
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is not correct, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international, intergovernmental economic organization of 38 countries and most of its members are high-income economies with a very high Human Development Index (HDI) and are regarded as developed countries. 
    • India is still not a member of OECD. However, India is one of the non-member economies with which the OECD has working relationships.
    • OECD has been cooperating with India since 1995.
  • Statement 2 is not correct, The World Economic Outlook is a flagship report published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Q5. Which one of the following National Parks lies completely in the temperate alpine 
zone? (Level – Difficult) PYQ (2019)
  1. Manas National Park
  2. Namdapha National Park
  3. Neora Valley National Park
  4. Valley of Flowers National Park
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • The Valley of Flowers National Park is situated at an altitude of about 3352 to 3658 metres above sea level and so lies completely in the temperate alpine zone.
  • The Valley of Flowers National Park is situated in the state of Uttarakhand.

CNA 27 Sep 2022:- Download PDF Here

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