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UPSC Online News Analysis



Context: Tourists were back at the shore temple in Mamallapuram on Tuesday, a dayafter monuments were opened after a gap of eight months

Topic in syllabus: Prelims & Mains – Art & culture (GS-1)

About Shore temple:

  • The Shore Temple (built in 700–728 AD) is so named because it overlooks the shore of the Bay of Bengal.
  • It is located near Chennai in Tamil Nadu.
  • It is a structural temple, built with blocks of granite, dating from the 8th century AD.
  • At the time of its creation, the site was a busy port during the reign of Narasimhavarman II of the Pallava dynasty.
  • As one of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, it has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984.
  • the main credit for the architectural elegance of the Shore Temple complex in the category of structural temples goes to the King Rajasimha (700–28 AD), also known as Narasimhavarman II, of the Pallava Dynasty.
  • The architecture of the Shore Temple was continued by the Cholas (in the temples that they built) who ruled Tamil Nadu after defeating the Pallavas.
  • It has been built in Dravidian style architecture.


Context:The U.S. has imposed sanctions on NATO­ ally Turkey for its purchase of Russia’s S­400 missile defence system, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday.

Topic in syllabus:Prelims & Mains – International relations (GS-2) | Defence technology (GS-3)

What is S-400?

  • The S-400 Triumph (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is an air defence missile system developed by Almaz Central Design Bureau of Russia.
  • The new system replaced the S-300P and S-200 air defence systems of the Russian Army.
  • The S-400 Triumph air defence system integrates a multifunction radar, autonomous detection and targeting systems, anti-aircraft missile systems, launchers, and command and control centre.
  • It is capable of firing three types of missiles to create a layered defence.
  • The system can engage all types of aerial targets, including aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), and ballistic and cruise missiles, within the range of 400km at an altitude of up to 30km. The system can simultaneously engage 36 targets.
  • The S-400 is twice as effective as the previous Russian air defence systems and can be deployed within five minutes. It can also be integrated into the existing and future air defence units of the airforce, army and navy.

What is CAATSA?

  • It is a United States federal law that imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia.
  • The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA”) requires the President to sanction targeted Iranian, Russian, and North Korean sectors, and penalize direct or indirect support of them.
  • CAATSA was signed into U.S. federal law on August 2, 2017, and has imposed new economic sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia.

Why sanctions on Turkey?

  • Sanctions were imposedon Turkey’s main defenceprocurement agency, thePresidency of Defense Industries (SSB) for “knowingly engaging in a significanttransaction with Rosoboronexport (ROE), Russia’smain arms export entity”.
  • Last year, the U.S. had removed Turkey from its F­35jet programme over concerns that sensitive information could be accessed byRussia if Turkey used Russian systems along with U.S.jets.
  • The United States madeclear to Turkey at the highest levels and on numerousoccasions that its purchaseof the S­400 system wouldendanger the security of U.S.military technology and personnel and provide substantial funds to Russia’s defensesector, as well as Russian access to the Turkish armedforces and defense industry.

[India is also going to purchase S-400, now it is more concerning for India]


Context: A Himalayan serow has been sighted for the first time in the Himalayan cold desert region.

Topic in syllabus: Prelims – Species in news

About Himalayan serow:

  • A biologist has decribed a Himalayan serow as resembling a cross between a goat, a donkey, a cow, and a pig.
  • It’s a medium-sized mammal with a large head, thick neck, short limbs, long, mule-like ears, and a coat of dark hair.
  • There are several species of serows, and all of them are found in Asia.
  • The Himalayan serow, or Capricornissumatraensisthar, is restricted to the Himalayan region.
  • Taxonomically, it is a subspecies of the mainland serow.
  • Himalayan serows are herbivores, and are typically found at altitudes between 2,000 metres and 4,000 metres (6,500 to 13,000 feet).
  • They are known to be found in eastern, central, and western Himalayas, but not in the Trans Himalayan region.
  • the Himalayan serow is now been categorised as ‘vulnerable’ in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • It is listed under Schedule I of The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which provides absolute protection.

Examples related to Ethics (GS-4)

  • The Supreme Court onTuesday asked the government to consider giving a‘break’ to medical staffers
    in the forefront of the battle against the pandemic,saying working in the COVID­19 wards continuouslyfor months may take a tollon their mental health. (Work life balance, metal health issues, empathy towards serving persons)

Important news in short

  • Hundreds of industrial unitsin Haryana’s Bahadurgarh,the hub for India’s non­leather footwear manufacturers,are bearing the brunt of thefarmers’ agitation at Tikri.
  • In the past four years, nearly twice the number of illegal Bangladeshi migrantswere caught leaving the
    country compared to thosecoming in illegally, according to data available with theBorder Security Force (BSF)and the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB). (Border &Internal security)

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