Current Affairs Analysis
(for UPSC IAS Civil Services Examination)

Month-wise News Compilation

Topic-wise Keywords for Prelims 2020

Current Affairs Videos

Oct
16
Fri
2020
Question Bank
Oct 16 @ 2:30 pm
Question Bank

14th OCTOBER 2020

QUESTION BANK

(1 Question)

Answer questions in 150-250 words each. Content of the answer is more important than its length.

Links are provided for reference. You can also use the Internet fruitfully to further enhance and strengthen your answers.

GS II: SOCIAL- HEALTH

Q1. ‘Although much has been achieved in the field of food security, more remains to be done.’ Discuss the statement with special reference to India.

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/the-road-to-zero-hunger-by-2030/article32865528.ece/amp/

Ans.

  • Food is the essence of life and the bedrock of our cultures and communities. It can be a powerful means to bring people together to grow, nourish and sustain the planet. There is much to be done in the field of global food security. While we can all be proud of the progress we have made — for instance, agricultural productivity has improved significantly in recent decades — yet sadly, more than two billion people globally still lack access to sufficient, nutritious and safe food. Projections show that the world is not on track to achieve zero hunger by 2030, or to meet global nutrition targets.
  • India has gone from being a net importer to a net exporter of food grains. This strength has been evident through the pandemic. Central and State governments were able to distribute around 23 million tonnes from India’s large domestic food grain reserves in three months (April to June) through the Public Distribution System, providing much-needed emergency assistance to families around the country. The government also successfully mobilised food rations for 820 million people from April to November 2020, including finding alternate solutions to provide food rations to 90 million schoolchildren. Throughout the national lockdown imposed in March 2020, there were efforts to remove bottlenecks in the food supply chain due to restrictions on movements, and to ensure that agricultural activities weren’t disrupted. Thanks to these measures, agriculture grew at 3.4% during the first quarter this financial year and the area cultivated this kharif exceeded 110 million hectares. This is a major achievement.
  • There is a multi-dimensionality of India’s food challenges — not least those centred around malnutrition and climate change. Even as malnutrition in India has notably declined over the past decade, the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey 2016-18 revealed that over 40 million children are chronically malnourished, and more than half of Indian women aged 15-49 years are anaemic. Initiatives such as the Integrated Child Development Services — which provides cooked meals and take-home rations to 100 million children under the age of six, as well as to pregnant and lactating mothers — and the mid-day meal programme, are however stellar examples of how the government is working to fix these challenges.
  • Climate change continues to be a real and potent threat to agrobiodiversity, which will impact everything from productivity to livelihoods across food and farm systems. Though India is dealing innovatively with climate change — for example, through the development of drought and flood tolerant seed varieties, weather-based agricultural advisories, promotion of millets, and small-scale irrigation — this year, we saw how climate-related shocks made it difficult for farmers to deal with pest and locust attacks, as well as floods and cyclones. Intensified food production systems with excessive use of chemicals and unsustainable farming practices cause soil degradation, fast depletion of groundwater table and rapid loss of agro-biodiversity. These challenges multiply with an increase in fragmentation of landholdings. In India, more than 86% farmers have less than two hectares of land contributing around 60% of the total food grain production and over half the country’s fruits and vegetables.
  • All this points to two undeniable imperatives: the way we produce food must change through agroecology and sustainable production practices in agriculture and allied sectors; and second, we must stop the waste — one-third of the food we produce is wasted. The FAO (The Food and Agriculture Organization), IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) and WFP (The World Food Programme) — are committed to working with government, civil society, farmers’ organisations and the private sector to build sustainable food systems.
  • A food systemis a framework that includes every aspect of feeding and nourishing people: from growing, harvesting and processing to packaging, transporting, marketing and consuming food. To be sustainable, a food system must provide enough nutritious food for all without compromising feeding future generations.
  • Everybody — governments, the private sector, civil society and local communities — has a role to play in transforming our food systems so they can withstand increasing volatility and climate shocks, deliver affordable and sustainable healthy diets for all, and provide decent livelihoods for food chain workers. We must all work in concert to make sure that our food systems nourish a growing population and sustain the planet, together.
Oct
19
Mon
2020
Question Bank
Oct 19 @ 2:30 pm
Question Bank

19th OCTOBER 2020

QUESTION BANK

(1 Question)

Answer questions in 150-250 words each. Content of the answer is more important than its length.

Links are provided for reference. You can also use the Internet fruitfully to further enhance and strengthen your answers.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT

Q1. Discuss the inception and significance of the National Green Tribunal in India.

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/the-hues-in-the-green-tribunals-resilient-journey/article32887

Ans.

  • October 18, 2020 marked the 10th anniversary of the National Green Tribunal, or NGT. Few ministries can boast of as varied, diverse, and challenging a mandate as the Ministry of Environment and Forests. It has an all-encompassing scope, which covers forests, wildlife, environment, climate change and coastal protection.
  • The sheer number and complexity of cases on environment related subjects, with several more being added every week, led the Supreme Court of India to designate a special Bench to handle these matters. This Bench, which met every Friday to deliberate on these and many other matters, came to be known fittingly as the ‘Forest Bench’. And this was to say nothing of the numerous matters that were filed and pending hearings in the various High Courts. Given the time constraints of the top court and the High Courts, some cases had been pending for decades and in turn, spawning other linked matters which further delayed the process.
  • Parliament had passed laws related to the establishment of a National Environment Tribunal (1995) and a National Environment Appellate Authority (1997). The Authority was intended to act primarily as a forum for challenges to environmental clearances while the Tribunal could award limited amounts of compensation in cases of environmental damage to life or property.
  • It was clear that the enforcement, protection, and adjudication of environmental laws required a specialised and dedicated body. A tribunal, staffed with judges and environmental experts, would need to be empowered to hear these issues so that the burden on the High Courts and the Supreme Court could be reduced. The quality of time spent on these issues could also be increased as, unlike the Supreme Court, the tribunal could have benches in various States, thereby increasing access to all citizens. Thus, the idea for the ‘NGT’ was born.
  • This was not the first time that the idea had been mooted. In judgments such as M.C. Mehta & Anr. Etc vs Union Of India & Ors. Etc (1986), the then Chief Justice of India, Justice P.N. Bhagwati, had suggested “to the Government of India that since cases involving issues of environmental pollution, ecological destructions and conflicts over national resources are increasingly coming up for adjudication and these cases involve assessment and evolution of scientific and technical data, it might be desirable to set up Environmental Courts on the regional basis with one professional Judge and two experts drawn from the Ecological Sciences Research Group keeping in view the nature of the case and the expertise required for its adjudication. There would of course be a right of appeal to this Court from the decision of the Environment Court”.
  • These observations were recalled in 1999 by the Supreme Court in the landmark case of A.P. Pollution Control Board vs Prof. M.V. Nayudu (Retd.) which added its own emphasis on the need for a court that was “a combination of a Judge and Technical Experts” with an appeal to the Supreme Court from the Environmental Court.
  • Since its inception, the NGT has, apart from creating a new breed of legal practitioners, protected vast acres of forest land, halted polluting construction activities in metros and smaller towns. It has penalised errant officials who have turned a blind eye towards enforcing the laws, and held large corporate entities to account. It has protected the rights of tribal communities and ensured the enforcement of the “polluter pays” principle in letter and spirit. In this endeavour it has been assisted by brilliant practitioners, many of whom are young counsels, passionate and dedicated towards protecting the environment.
  • The rules (though not the Rule making power) were ultimately suspended by the Supreme Court. But key challenges remain: the NGT must focus less on governance issues and more on adjudication. Benches have to expand manifold. Vacancies have to be filled quickly. In its next decade, the NGT must continue to remain a proactive ‘inconvenience’ to all those who, while pontificating grandiloquently on the need for environmental protection, take actions that make economic growth ecologically unsustainable.
 

The importance of the role of A A Shah’s IAS Institute in UPSC exam preparation is proved from the fact that since last three consecutive years,

Out of 100 questions in Preliminary Examinations conducted by UPSC;

35 Questions in 2017  (click here)

51 Questions in 2018 (click here)

58 Questions in 2019 (click here)

are from the Current Affairs and Class Notes of A A Shah’s IAS Institute.

Note: Admission for Online Course (Full GS including Current Affairs) is open

 

The Daily Current Affairs News Analysis section for UPSC Current Affairs Preparation is an initiative by A A Shah’s IAS Institute to prepare IAS aspirants in making easy and effective current affairs notes available online FREE for all.

Current Affairs is an integral part of study for IAS UPSC- Civil Services Examinations, not only for Prelims but for Mains as well. UPSC syllabus for General Studies Paper I of Preliminary (Prelims) Examination starts with Current Events of national and international importance.

The important keyword here is “National and international importance”. Thus candidates are required to understand which news is important and relevant for UPSC CSE point of view.

It may further be noted that UPSC doesn’t ask any factual questions, as such candidates are not required to learn or remember factual data.

The issues or news covered is categorized into four general studies papers (GS Paper I, GS Paper II, GS Paper III and GS Paper IV) as per the UPSC Mains syllabus.

Our Daily Current Affairs Analysis is prepared by Mrs. Bilquees Khatri based on The Hindu newspaper and articles and covers every day significant events or issues in the news that is important from UPSC Exam perspective.

IMPORTANCE OF CURRENT AFFAIRS IN UPSC IAS EXAM

Importance of Current-Affairs in UPSC IAS

For UPSC current affairs, the most important thing is to segregate the topics in news as per the IAS Syllabus for Prelims and Mains. For UPSC current affairs related to IAS Prelims, it is still somewhat easier as there is just one GS paper. However, arranging UPSC current affairs notes for IAS Mains is rather challenging because of the comprehensive syllabus and descriptive-essay type questions.

For this reason we have segregated the daily news topic-wise according to GS mains subject papers.

In this section find links to

  • Daily News Headlines from The Hindu newspaper (Videos)
  • Daily News Analysis with proper heading and topics in downloadable PDF format
  • Daily ‘The Hindu’ editorials in downloadable PDF format
  • Daily Question Bank – Subjective questions with suggested links and answers.
  • Monthly compilation of Topic-wise News in downloadable PDF format. This is monthly Current Affairs Notes available free online, which can be downloaded and saved. It is UPSC study material free for all.

IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS TOPICS FOR UPSC IAS

Among others, news related to following topics are important and relevant:

  • Economic issues
  • Social issues
  • International / Bilateral / Multilateral Relations
  • Legislature / Bill / Act
  • Judiciary
  • Elections
  • Centre – State Relations
  • Inter–state Relations
  • Governance
  • Government schemes
  • Agriculture
  • Environment
  • Science & Technology
  • Internal security
  • Art & culture

UPSC Prelims 2019 Keywords. Culture & History

 

IAS Current Affairs Important Headlines by Mrs Bilquees Khatri

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