11th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2020

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IASbhai Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2020-21 is an initiative to dilute major articles from leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Hence we choose articles on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC PRELIMS 2021.

Year from now you may wish you had started today.– Karen Lamb

HIGHLIGHT INFO:

ORANGE COLOUR: Important for Prelims.

RED COLOUR: Important for Mains.

BLACK COLOUR: Must Read !

BLUE COLOUR : Important Links/Survey.

PINK COLOUR: Reports/Themes/Summits.

11th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2021

Nagorno-Karabakh peace deal

      HEADLINES:

Armenia, Azerbaijan agree on peace deal : Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia sign Nagorno-Karabakh peace deal

      WHY IN NEWS:

It follows six weeks of fighting between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenians.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : IR

      ISSUE: 

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called the deal “incredibly painful both for me and both for our people”.

  • The region is internationally recognised as Azerbaijani but has been run by ethnic Armenians since 1994.
  • A Russian-brokered truce was signed at the end of the war in the early 1990s but there was no peace deal.
  • Although both sides took steps to reduce tensions last year, fighting erupted at the end of September and several attempts to end the conflict failed.

The new ceasefire agreement prompted anger in Armenia, as protesters stormed the parliament.

RUSSIAN MEDIATION

  • The peace deal, which was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenia’s prime minister.

Under the deal, Azerbaijan will hold on to areas of Nagorno-Karabakh that it has taken during the conflict.

  • Armenia has also agreed to withdraw from several other adjacent areas over the next few weeks.
  • The deal should be read as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia.
  • President Putin said that Russian peacekeepers would be deployed to patrol the front line.

Russia’s defence ministry confirmed that 1,960 personnel would be involved in patrolling Lachin corridor.

  • They will be carrying peacekeepers and armoured personnel carriers to Karabakh.

11th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

Part of their role will be to guard the “Lachin corridor“, which links the Karabakh capital.

SOURCES : THE CONVERSATION

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Turkey will also take part in the peacekeeping process, according to Azerbaijan’s president.

     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | 11th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

Delhi’s air quality : ‘Severe’ 

      HEADLINES:

Delhi’s air quality ‘severe’ for sixth consecutive day

      WHY IN NEWS:

Emergency steps may be put in place to control pollution

MINISTRY? :- MOEFCC
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Air Pollution

      ISSUE: 

The air quality of Delhi and Noida continued to be in the ‘severe’ category for the sixth consecutive day -CPCB data.

EMERGENCY PROTOCOLS

  • The newly formed Commission on Air Quality Management (CAQM), as an interim measure, has given the CPCB powers to operationalise measures under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) on air pollution

The GRAP is a set of emergency measures to be implemented to control air pollution depending upon the air quality.

  • Currently, measures under ‘severe’ category of GRAP are in place, including a ban on diesel generators.
  • Measures under ‘severe+’ category of GRAP include stopping entry of trucks into Delhi, ban on construction etc.

11th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

IMPROVEMENT EXPECTED

  • The necessary conditions for imposition of severe+ measures have been met as on Tuesday evening, as per CPCB data.
  • But a decision was yet to be taken as of 9 p.m. on Tuesday.
  • Tomorrow Air Quality Index is likely to improve to the lower end of ‘severe’ to higher end of ‘very poor’ category owing to wind direction.-SAFAR

Severe air pollution level affects “healthy people” and “seriously impacts” those with existing diseases.

PM2.5 LEVEL

  • The level of PM2.5, a deadly pollutant, in Delhi and NCR has been above 300 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3) on Sunday.

SEVERE+
Measures under ‘severe+’ category of the GRAP can be implemented when the PM2.5 level crosses 300 ug/m3 or PM10 level crosses 500 ug/m3, and persist for 48 hours or more.

  • The PM2.5 level in Delhi was 427.5 ug/m3 at 9 p.m. on Tuesday — seven times above the safe limit of 60 ug/m3.
  • The 24-hour average AQI of Delhi was 476 on Tuesday.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The number of farm fires in Haryana, Punjab, and neighbouring regions of Delhi dipped to 2,247 on Monday.
  • The contribution of stubble burning in neighbouring States to PM2.5 level in Delhi was estimated to be around 22% on Tuesday.
SUGGESTED READING : STUBBLE BURNING 
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | 11th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

World’s largest toy museum

      HEADLINES:

Gujarat govt plans to build world’s largest toy museum

      WHY IN NEWS:

The project has been envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with an aim to give a push to India’s homemade toy industry.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Industry

      ISSUE: 

There will be no guns or toys that promote violence, or even teddy bears, which propagate lethargy in children.

WORLD’S LARGEST TOY MUSEUM

  • At present, the largest toy museum in the world is Toy Complex located in the US state of Missouri, which has over 10 lakh toys on display.
  • The project has been envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with an aim to give a push to India’s homemade toy industry.

11th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

SOURCES : THE HINDU

AIM

  • The Gujarat government plans to build the largest toy museum in the world, showcasing 11 lakh toys from across the country.
  • To come up in Gandhinagar’s Gift City, the museum will be completed over the next three to five years at an estimated cost of Rs 1,500 crore.

The Children’s University in Gandhinagar, under the Gujarat Department of Higher Education, has been made the nodal agency for the project.

  • The varsity has been tasked with developing toys as per “the values and traditions of ancient and modern India”.

FOCUS

  • The museum will focus on the history of India and important landmark moments through toys and tableaus .

EXAMPLE
There will be sections dedicated to ISRO’s Gaganyaan project, EVM machines and the First War of Independence in 1857.

  • With the help of DRDO, replicas of electronically-operated, battery-operated and solar-based rockets, Prithvi Missile, Agni Missile and satellites will also be displayed.

PROJECT DETAILS

  • The state has already granted Children’s University 30 acres at Gift City to expand its campus.

Of which around 8-10 acres is likely to be dedicated to the Toy Bhawan and Museum project.

  • Once complete, the museum would be ticketed at a nominal rate.
  • The project is currently in the primary stage and work will start over the next two to three months.

SIGNIFICANCE

Among the 11 lakh toys, there will be toys based on education, science, astronomy, language, history, culture and social science.

  • Building toys in India to give a boost to Atmanirbhar Bharat, while reducing our dependence of foreign-manufactured toys.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The state will also rope in hundreds of local artisans to build toys showcasing the traditions of India.
  • The state produces traditional toys and will contribute to the PM’s Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission with the largest toy museum in the world.
     SOURCES:  THE IE | 11th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

GST compensation: How states are borrowing?

      HEADLINES:

GST compensation: how some states are borrowing, and which ones aren’t

      WHY IN NEWS:

  • The total GST revenue shortfall for the current fiscal was estimated at Rs 3 lakh crore.
  • The compensation cess collection was estimated at Rs 65,000 crore.
  • This left a compensation deficit of Rs 2.35 lakh crore.
MINISTRY? :- Ministry of finance
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3 : Taxation : GST

      ISSUE: 

Of this Rs 2.35 lakh crore GST shortfall , Rs 1.1 lakh crore has been estimated as shortfall on account of GST implementation.

SPECIAL BORROWING WINDOW

  • After Puducherry , Rajasthan last week became the latest Opposition-ruled state to opt for a special borrowing window for meeting its compensation shortfall under Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • Other dissenting states — Kerala, Punjab, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand — are yet to join any of the borrowing options.

The central government has tried to be as accommodative as possible because states and Centre have to work together.

  • Borrowing has been made very simple.States are not being burdened, interest rate is low.

WHAT IS THE SPECIAL WINDOW FOR BORROWING?

  • The Finance Ministry had said last month that the Centre would borrow from the market and then act as an intermediary .
  • Centre will arrange back-to-back loans to pay the GST compensation shortfall of Rs 1.1 lakh crore to state governments.

This arrangement will not reflect in the fiscal deficit of the Centre, and will appear as capital receipts for state governments.

  • Kerala, Punjab and Chhattisgarh have insisted on further clarification and a no-strings-attached borrowing mechanism.

Inclusion of the balance compensation deficit amount beyond the proposed borrowing of Rs 1.10 lakh crore, too, under the ambit of the back-to-back loan mechanism.

  • While the rest is being estimated as the impact of the pandemic.

In August, the Centre gave two options to the states —

  1. Either borrow Rs 97,000 crore from a special window facilitated by the RBI, or
  2. Borrow Rs 2.35 lakh crore from the market.
  • The options have since been revised to Rs 1.10 lakh crore and Rs 1.8 lakh crore, respectively.

WHY COULD STATES NOT BORROW ?

  • A special window is to be facilitated by the RBI and the Centre, but states would have had to tap the window separately.
  • Tapping the market for borrowing separately, leads to differential rates with a wide variance in interest rates between the states with more debt and those with less debt.

For state development loans (SDLs), the tool for market borrowing by states, are generally at a premium rates.

  • They are higher than the yield on the central government’s government securities.
  • So, it would have been costlier for states to borrow rather than the Centre borrowing at a uniform rate .

PROGRESS

  • Under the special window, the Centre has already borrowed Rs 12,000 crore in two equal instalments .
  • Centre has passed it on to 21 states and three Union Territories on October 23 and November 2.

The second round of borrowing was done at an interest of 4.42%, and the first round at 5.19%, lower than the cost of borrowing for states.

  • Out of the Rs 12,000 crore, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat have received Rs 1,872 crore, Rs 1,808 crore and Rs 1,391 crore, respectively.
  • The ministry intends to release Rs 6,000 crore to the states every week.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The Finance Ministry is now engaged in dialogue with the opposing states to join the scheme.
  • Economists say the borrowing issue has only been resolved for the compensation shortfall for this fiscal and it remains to be seen how this issue will be resolved for the next fiscal.
  • Given that tax revenues are expected to grow at a lower rate than the 14% growth guaranteed to states under the compensation mechanism of GST.

Finance Commission should come out with some roadmap such that cess collection is not sufficient for 14% compensation.

  • Rather than waiting for the last moment and doing back and forth, the GST Council should have thrashed out a resolution.
SUGGESTED READING : GST COMPENSATION 
     SOURCES:  THE  IE  | 11th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

Zoom Application

      HEADLINES:

What does FTC settling with Zoom mean for users?

      WHY IN NEWS:

Earlier this year, the FTC instituted a suo moto probe against Zoom alleging that it had violated several provisions laid down by the agency.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3 : Cyber Security : Internet

      ISSUE: 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Monday said it had settled with Zoom, the US-based video calling software solutions provider.

  • Zoom came into sudden limelight after lockdowns in various parts of the world forced people to work from home.
  • The FTC had filed a complaint that Zoom had knowingly misled its users about the level of security it used on the video calls.

WHAT IS THE CASE AGAINST ZOOM?

  • Zoom, a US-based video calling software solution provider came into sudden limelight after lockdowns; opt for video calling solutions to conduct their daily meetings.
  • The company, which had 10 million users in December 2019, saw as many as 300 million users join its platform by April 2020.
  • The FTC instituted a suo moto probe against Zoom alleging that it had violated several provisions laid down by the agency.

SUI MOTO AGAINST ZOOM

  • Zoom’s failure to conduct adequate training programmes on secure software development principles.

Zoom lacked of security audits before updates to the software were released, among others.

  • These meetings remained on unsecured cloud servers for more than 60 days before they were moved on to secure locations.

The FTC also alleged that Zoom had lied about having a better ‘end-to-end’ encryption for its users.

  • Whereas in reality the company stored “cryptographic keys”, which meant that it could access these meeting anytime it wanted.

WHAT WILL ZOOM HAVE TO DO NOW?

  • The company will have to implement a comprehensive information security program for all its employees, and document the same in writing.
  • The data of most of such users were stored on servers based in China.

The company will also document any security incidents that happen within 12 days of the incident happening.

  • It will also keep a documentation on what data was stolen, how did the information get leaked and others.
  • Zoom must also conduct a quarterly security audit review of its networks and systems .

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Ministry of Home Affairs issued a directive that the meeting of the ministries must not be conducted on Zoom due to the various security vulnerabilities.
     SOURCES:  THE IE | 11th Nov Current Affairs News Analysis

 

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