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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.

“Dream big and dare to fail.” – Norman Vaughan

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.

Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 4th Dec 2020

Today's Must Read Articles : Today's Must Read Articles :

IIT 2020 GLOBAL SUMMIT

Speak for all religions, India tells UN

      HEADLINES:

Speak for all religions, India tells UN

      WHY IN NEWS:

Condemn bigotry against non-Abrahamic faiths too, it says

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : International Organisations

      ISSUE: 

India has asked the United Nations to expand its criticism of hatred and violence against religions beyond the three Abrahamic religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

  • The remarks were made at a ‘Culture of Peace’ session organised by the UN General Assembly.

INDIA’S STAND

  • At the outset, let me state that we fully agree that anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and anti-Christian acts need to be condemned.-Ashish Sharma.
  • India firmly condemns such acts.
  • Ashish Sharma is the First Secretary at India’s Permanent Mission to the UN.
  • However, UN resolutions on such important issues speak only of these three Abrahamic religions together.

He remarked – The august body fails to acknowledge the rise of hatred and violence against Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism also.

CULTURE OF PEACE

  • Culture of Peace” sessions are organised by the UN General Assembly.
  • The UN has organised such sessions each year since 1997.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The UN, however, has condemned such acts.
  • The General Assembly adopted a resolution without a vote condemning the Taliban for destroying cultural artefacts, including the Buddhist sculptures in Bamiyan.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 4th Dec 2020

Not using masks flouts fundamental rights: SC

      HEADLINES:

Not using masks flouts fundamental rights: SC

      WHY IN NEWS:

Bench also flags neglect of physical distancing norms

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : Judiciary

      ISSUE: 

People who do not wear masks in public and follow physical distancing norms violate the fundamental rights – Supreme Court 

  • The bench noted that the COVID-19 arrangements are well-intentioned but disproportionate and harsh.
  • SC noted – Gujarat HC went to extent of directing people who do not wear masks to be sent for community service at COVID-19 care centres in the State.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Lack of will on the part of the authorities to enforce COVID-19 norms was stark.-Justices Shah and R. Subhash Reddy
SUGGESTED READING : MASK DIPLOMACY(US VS CHINA) 
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 4th Dec 2020

U.S. tightens visa rules for CCP members

      HEADLINES:

U.S. tightens visa rules for CCP members

      WHY IN NEWS:

Fresh curbs: Travel visas for party members will also be limited to a single entry under the new law.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : IR

      ISSUE: 

The Trump administration on Wednesday issued new rules to curtail travel to the U.S. by members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and their immediate families

TIGHTENING VISA RULES FOR CCP MEMBERS

  • The new policy, which took immediate effect, limits the maximum duration of travel visas for party members.
  • It limits their families to one month.

Previously, party members, like other Chinese citizens, could obtain visitor visas for the U.S. that were valid for 10 years.

  • Travel visas for party members will also be limited to a single entry rather than multiple entries as was possible before.

The new measures do not affect party members’ eligibility for other kinds of visas, such as immigration or employment.

  • No current visas would be revoked as a result of the policy changes.

‘TO PROTECT THE NATION’

  • The new visa policy could affect the travel of roughly 270 million people.
  • According to U.S. government estimates based on a Communist Party membership of 92 million.
  • In practice, it might be difficult to determine who, apart from high-level officials, belongs to the party.

Ongoing policy, regulatory, and law-enforcement action across the U.S. government to protect our nation from the CCP’s malign influence.-U.S.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • This is a move certain to further exacerbate tensions between the two countries.
  • The new visa rules add to the conflict, now years long, between the two countries on trade, technology and much else.
SUGGESTED READING : USA AND WEST ASIA POLICY  
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 4th Dec 2020

India’s first homes for transgender children

      HEADLINES:

Two homes for trans children in Bengaluru

      WHY IN NEWS:

Govt.-run facilities, the first in country, will accommodate 50 children each

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Women and Child Development 
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1 : Society

      ISSUE: 

Exclusive homes for trans children will help them escape bullying, say members of the community.

SAFE SPACE

  • India’s first homes for transgender children in need of care and protection will soon be established in Bengaluru.
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development gave its nod for the project last week.
  • The two government-run homes for transgender children will be established in Bengaluru Urban.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Children in need of care and protection include orphans, abandoned children, street children, child labourers and child victims of abuse.
SUGGESTED READING : NATIONAL PORTAL FOR TRANSGENDERS 
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU  | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 4th Dec 2020

U.S. Senate clears Bill on immigrant visas

      HEADLINES:

U.S. Senate clears Bill on immigrant visas

      WHY IN NEWS:

The Act will benefit a large number of Indian IT professionals in the U.S.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : Indian Diaspora : IR

      ISSUE: 

The legislation eliminates per-country cap for employment-based green cards

NEW LEGISLATIONS

  • The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a Bill that eliminates the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrant visas .
  • It has also raises it for family-based visas.
  • This legislation will hugely benefit hundreds of thousands of Indian professionals in America who have been waiting for years to get their green cards.

The legislation increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from 7% of the total number of such visas available that year to 15%.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act comes as a big relief to Indian IT professionals who come to the U.S. on H-1B work visas.
  • Their current waiting period for the Green Card or permanent residency is running into decades.
  • The provision will facilitate removal of the massive backlog of Indian IT professionals in the US. 

Currently, there is a backlog of almost one million foreign nationals waiting to receive, employment-based Green Cards.

SUGGESTED READING : H1B VISA BAN AND INDIA 
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU  | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 4th Dec 2020

‘Carefully monitoring’ Brahmaputra : India

      HEADLINES:

‘Carefully monitoring’ Brahmaputra developments: India

      WHY IN NEWS:

Beijing had said it was its ‘legitimate right’ to develop hydropower projects on the lower reaches of the river

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1 : 2 : Rivers : IR

      ISSUE: 

India on Thursday said it “carefully monitors all developments on the Brahmaputra” river

NEW DAM BY POWERCHINA

  • The river Brahmaputra is known as Yarlung Zangbo in Tibet.

A State-run Chinese hydropower firm, POWERCHINA, is planning to build the first downstream dam on the Brahmaputra.

  • Officials from the company were eyeing the enormous potential of the river’s “Great Bend” just across the border from Arunachal Pradesh in Tibet’s Medog county.

Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 4th Dec 2020

SOURCES : BBC

GREAT BEND
Great Bend is where the river falls over a 2,000-metre drop before turning to flow into India.

China is constructing three other dams at Dagu, Jiexu and Jiacha, these are run-of-the-river dams on the upper and middle reaches.

  • The proposed new dam is also likely to be a run-of-the-river hydropower project that will not divert water, but will be the first on the lower reaches.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • It remains unclear whether technical feasibility studies will allow construction to go ahead.
  • As POWERCHINA is not the first company to propose a downstream dam and previous projects did not take off.
SUGGESTED READING : LESSONS FROM SINO INDIA WAR 
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 4th Dec 2020

‘Convicted legislators can’t be barred for life from polls’

      HEADLINES:

‘Convicted legislators can’t be barred for life from polls’

      WHY IN NEWS:

Centre responds in affidavit to Supreme Court

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Law and Justice
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : Election : RPA

      ISSUE: 

The Central government has told the Supreme Court that it rejected the idea of barring convicted legislators for life from contesting elections, forming or becoming an office-bearer of a political party.

BARRING CONVICTED LEGISLATORS FOR LIFE

An elected representative of the people cannot be equated with public servants who are banned for a lifetime on conviction.-Ministry of Law

  • The government said disqualification under the Representation of the People Act of 1951 for the period of the prison sentence and six years thereafter was enough for legislators.
  • The Centre’s stand differs from that taken by the Election Commission, which endorsed a life ban as necessary to “champion the cause of decriminalisation of politics”.

THE CASE 

  • The case is a plea by Supreme Court advocate Ashwini Upadhyay.

He  argued that a life ban on conviction should uniformly apply for members of the judiciary, executive and the legislature.

  • There should not be any discrimination of one from the other.

MP or MLA convicted for offences enumerated in Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act should be banned for life.

  • While a public servant or a government employee is debarred for life on conviction for offences under the Indian Penal Code, money laundering law etc.
  • A legislator is “only disqualified for the same offences for a specified period.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

REPLY FROM THE MINISTRY

  • The Ministry however countered that legislators are not bound by specificservice conditions”.

They are bound by their oath to serve citizens and country.

  • They are bound by propriety, good conscience and interest of the nation.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 4th Dec 2020

Iran moves to step up nuclear enrichment

      HEADLINES:

Iran moves to step up nuclear enrichment

      WHY IN NEWS:

New law halts UN inspections, gives a month to countries to ease sanctions

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 :IR

      ISSUE: 

Iran’s watchdog body approved a law on Wednesday that obliges the government to halt U.N. inspections of its nuclear sites.

IRAN’S NEW LAW-ENRICHMENT OF NUCLEAR FACILITIES

  • Under the new law, Tehran gives one month to the deal’s European parties to ease sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors.

Iran’s hardline-dominated Parliament on Tuesday approved the Bill with a strong majority, hardening Iran’s nuclear stance.

  • Iran has step up uranium enrichment beyond the limit set under Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal, if sanctions are not eased in a month.

It also says the government should resume uranium enrichment to 20% and install advanced centrifuges at its Natanz and Fordow nuclear facilities.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The law pushed by hardline lawmakers would make it harder for U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, who will take office on January 20, to rejoin the agreement.
  • Mr. Biden has said he would return to the pact and would lift sanctions if Tehran returned to “strict compliance with the nuclear deal”.
  • This came in retaliation for the killing last week of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, which Tehran has blamed on Israel.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 4th Dec 2020

Court upholds levy of GST on lottery, gambling

      HEADLINES:

Court upholds levy of GST on lottery, gambling

      WHY IN NEWS:

“The inclusion of actionable claim in definition “goods” as given in Section 2(52) of CGST Act, 2017 is not contrary to the legal meaning of goods and is neither illegal nor unconstitutional,” the apex court held.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS  2 : Judiciary

      ISSUE: 

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the levy of Goods and Service Tax (GST) on sale of lotteries and gambling across the country.

facebook vp ajit mohan, delhi assembly, supreme court fb case, latest news, indian expressSUNRISE ASSOCIATES VS. GOVERNMENT OF NCT OF DELHI

  • SC judgment (Sunrise Associates Vs. Government of NCT of Delhi) that held that lotteries were merely actionable claims and cannot be defined as ‘goods’.
  • It said that the GST Council wrongly viewed lotteries as “goods” while they were only “actionable claims”.

PETITIONER
Skill Lotto Solutions Challenged Section 2(52) of the 2017 GST Act and notifications levying tax on lottery.

  • An authorized dealer for sale and distribution of lotteries organised by State of Punjab, contended that the law was violative of the fundamental rights.

THE VERDICT

  • SC ruled that the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 and the notifications issued there under bringing lottery and gambling under the GST net are valid.

The top court said that “while determining the taxable value of supply the prize money is not to be excluded for the purpose of levy of GST”

  • “The inclusion of actionable claim in definition “goods” as given in Section 2(52) of CGST Act, 2017 is not contrary to the legal meaning of goods and is neither illegal nor unconstitutional.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • According to judges, it is well settled that the courts have very limited role to play with regard to taxing policy of the legislature.
     SOURCES:   IE | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 4th Dec 2020

UN decides cannabis not a dangerous narcotic

      HEADLINES:

UN decides cannabis not a dangerous narcotic, India too votes to reclassify

      WHY IN NEWS:

The decision taken by the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) on Wednesday at its ongoing 63rd session will lead to changes in the way cannabis is regulated internationally.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 :3 :International Organisation : Narcotics : Health

      ISSUE: 

For 59 years, cannabis had been subject to the strictest control schedules, which even discouraged its use for medical purposes-UN .

DECRIMINALISING MARIJUANA

India has voted with the majority at the United Nations to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from the list of most dangerous substances in the flagship international Convention on narcotic drugs.

  • The decision taken by the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) on Wednesday at its ongoing 63rd session will lead to changes in the way cannabis is regulated internationally.

UN COMMISSION ON NARCOTICS AND DRUGS

  • “The CND zeroed-in on the decision to remove cannabis from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.
  • Earlier it was listed alongside deadly, addictive opioids, including heroin.
  • Twenty-seven of the CND’s 53 Member States — including India, the United States and most European nations — voted “Yes” on the motion to delete cannabis.
  • Twenty-five countries, including China, Pakistan, and Russia, voted “No”, and there was one abstention – Ukraine.

India’s Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985, the production, manufacture, possession, sale, purchase, transport, and use of cannabis is a punishable offence. 
 

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • CND has opened the door to recognizing the medicinal and therapeutic potential of the commonly-used but still largely illegal recreational drug.
  • Currently, over 50 countries allow medicinal cannabis programmes, and its recreational use has been legalised in Canada, Uruguay and 15 US states.

The WHO says that cannabis is by far the most widely cultivated, trafficked and abused illicit drug in the world.

  • The Vienna-based CND, founded in 1946, is the UN agency mandated to decide on the scope of control of substances by placing them in the schedules of global drug control conventions.
     SOURCES:   IE | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 4th Dec 2020

Army reforms: Deputy Chief of Strategy post

      HEADLINES:

Army reforms: Govt approves Deputy Chief of Strategy post

      WHY IN NEWS:

Current DGMO Lt Gen Paramjit Singh is likely to be appointed the first Deputy Chief (Strategy).

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Defence

      ISSUE: 

The government has given its nod to create the position of a third Deputy Chief of Army, who will act as a “single-point advice” person to the Vice Chief of Army on operational issues.

THIRD DEPUTY CHIEF OF ARMY

  • The new Deputy Chief (Strategy) will head operations, intelligence, perspective and information warfare.

The Directorate General of Military Operations and the Directorate General of Military Intelligence, both headed by Lieutenant General-rank officers, will be under him.

  • Two new offices, for Perspective Planning and Strategic Communication, which will also be headed by director generals of Lt Gen-rank, will also come under the new Deputy Chief.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The need for the creation of the single-point advice person for the Vice Chief was felt during the standoff with China in Doklam in 2017.
     SOURCES:    IE   | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 4th Dec 2020

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