DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS UPSC | 20th October 2020 | RaghukulCS

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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS UPSC | 20th October 2020 | RaghukulCS

Editorial Analysis

20th October 2020 Editorial Analysis

> The NEET challenge As NEET progresses, States must take affirmative action to protect weaker sections

Mains (GS-II : Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health,
Education, Human Resources, Ethics)

[This article focuses on how maintaining the quality of the examination by various means and conducting the examination in pandemic situation is at the disadvantage of poor students.]


  • The decision to conduct the exam, when there was uncertainty about the ability of students to reach the centres, was probably bold, though it had not factored in the lowest common denominator.
  • But then, the NEET is not about catering to the lowest common denominator, it is avowedly about standardising medical education, ensuring the quality of medical graduates who will hopefully go on to serve society.

How inequalities are emerging?

  • Different States have been allowed to offer their own education systems — different streams with varying standards and pedagogies — and NEET brings in an overarching single syllabus not all have access to. Therein begin the inequities.
  • Students in certain circumstances, (poor, living in remote areas and disadvantaged, for instance), and in certain boards of education (State board, for instance) will remain at a disadvantage, as a result of this.

How this issue can be solved?

  • Tamil Nadu’s move to reserve 7.5% of MBBS seats for State government school students who clear
    NEET, running State­-sponsored, free or heavily subsidised coaching programmes, and a reassessment of the regional State syllabus, will all enable a more equitable scenario.
  • If coaching can help bridge the yawning gap, then the State could mandate that private coaching centres do not charge exorbitantly for conducting yearlong coaching programmes and even provide reasonable subsidies for certain groups of students.
  • The overemphasis by parents on medicine as the only career option for their wards has to be changed. State should make other career options accessible, affordable and more importantly Employable.


  • Pandemic ­related challenges notwithstanding, for true positive impact, any welfare state must build systems around the core ideas of equity of access and affordability — especially in education and health care.

> The sorry plight of the Andhra Pradesh higher judiciary – The letter of the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister cannot be brushed aside as interference with judicial independence

Mains (GS-II : Judiciary, Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions)

[This article focuses on the aspect of poor plight of judiciary in Andhra Pradesh and validate some arguments put forward by Andhra Pradesh CM]


  • he High Court of Andhra Pradesh has seen many legal gems and It is unfortunate that today, one of the three organs of the state, the executive, appears to have lost faith in the judiciary and the very same High Court.
  • some could argue that the executive could have a grudge against the judiciary and that the grievance aired by the Chief Minister of the State could be a reflection of this.

What does CM’s say?

  • The Chief Minister’s allegation is that the High Court is being controlled by loyalists of his predecessor in office and political rival, passing orders against his regime and its actions.

What is high court’s point of view?

  • From the High Court’s point of view, the State police is reluctant to take action against those carrying on an online campaign against the court.

How high court damaging its own reputation?

  • The orders passed by the High Court of Andhra Pradesh are disturbing.
  • The order gagging the press and directing the media (print, electronic, and social media) to take down whatever has already been published is quite strange since this protects not only the petitioner, the former Advocate General, but also the others named or not named in the First Information Report (FIR).  
  • Now, this goes against every tenet of freedom of speech, the right of the press to properly report on matters of public importance and our right as citizens to receive such reports, and the tenets of transparency and accountability of high constitutional office-holders in a democracy.
  • In a writ petition filed by the BC, SC, ST and Minority Student Federation seeking certain reliefs in the wake of the unfortunate death of the then Registrar General of the High Court, the court filed a counter affidavit.
  • The statement now made by the Chief Minister that the High Court is being used and manipulated to trample on the democratically elected government has to be seen in the context of the High Court’s own stand in a counter affidavit filed in a writ petition that the State Government is hostile to the court.


  • It is clear that all is not well with the higher judiciary in the State of Andhra Pradesh. The letter of the Chief Minister of the State cannot be seen in isolation and it cannot be brushed aside as interference with the independence of the judiciary.

> Dormant but waiting to strike – Terror outfits like al­Qaeda continue to pose threats to India and its neighbourhood

Mains (GS-III : Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with

[This article focuses on – Though terror activities are on halt still India is under threat in coming days]


  • During the pandemic, we have fortunately been hearing little about terror organisations of the likes of the Taliban, al­Qaeda, Islamic State, Lashkar­e­Taiba (LeT) and Jaishe­Mohammed (JeM).
  • This is partly explained by the fact that open terror attacks have been reducing, presumably because terror outfits lack resources and because of temporary loss of support from those normally hostile to the non-­Islamic world and tolerant Muslims.

Does it mean we are out of threat?

  • There is no ground to conclude that terror outfits have become less vicious or are irrelevant. Given their past resilience, they continue to pose threats to modern society, especially to India and its neighbourhood.
  • Terrorist cells are probably engaged in the quiet process of garnering resources for future lethal assaults against India and other countries in the neighbourhood, which are considered antiIslamic by them.
  • Once the pandemic eases, we may see a resurgence of terror.
  • The aggravation of poverty in developing nations due to COVID­19 could offer a fertile ground for recruitment and intensified religious indoctrination, which are dangerous to peace.

About the Doha deal & its implication for India:

  • The Doha Accord signed on February 29 this year between the Taliban and the U.S., which has brought about an improved relationship between the two.
  • Considered a great victory for the Taliban, and possibly to a smaller extent for Pakistan, the Doha Accord has some serious implications for India. The Taliban’s assurance to the U.S. that, as part of the agreement, it will keep the al­Qaeda under check seems an exercise in deception
  • The Taliban and the al­Qaeda need each other in many areas. Both are friendly towards Pakistan and could pose a problem or two to India in the near future. This is worrying
  • This scenario highlights the fact that India will have no respite from the al­Qaeda and the Islamic State, the two most organised and motivated groups. Many recent raids by the National Investigation Agency point to an al­Qaeda network in India.
  • Also relevant is the training support received from Pakistan. Once the situation gets better, the al Qaeda, in cahoots with other aggressive Islamic outfits in and around Pakistan, is bound to escalate the offensive against India.
  • That makes the al­Qaeda and other terror outfits still relevant to India’s security calculus.

What is the plight of these organisations?

  • There are some observers who are inclined to downplay the al­Qaeda because it has not repeated anything on the scale of 9/11.
  • They also say the outfit’s leadership is ageing. In the past few years, it is true that the alQaeda has lost many of its leaders in encounters with U.S. agencies.
  • Vulnerability is writ large on the al­Qaeda’s face. But operational skill and swiftness can quickly turn peace into disorder.

The way forward: We should keep a particularly close eye on the al­Qaeda and the Islamic State because there is evidence that their recruitment remains undiminished by the problems posed by the pandemic.

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