Comprehensive News Analysis - 02 November 2016

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

1. Fourteen centuries later, Xuan Zang to build another bridge to India

2. Why diversity needs secularism

C. GS3 Related:

1. Lack of inclusion linked to the allure of jihadism

D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials : A Quick Glance

The Indian Express:

1. The overrated urban spinoff


1. Kerala declared Open Defecation Free

F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
H. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
H. Archives



Useful News Articles

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here today folks!

B. GS2 Related
  1. Fourteen centuries later, Xuan Zang to build another bridge to India

Category: International Relations

Topic: India-China

Key Points:

  • Seventh century Chinese pilgrim and scholar-monk Xuan Zang, also known as Huan-Tsang, is a traveller-historian familiar to Indians
  • The Chinese Consulate General in Kolkata has decided to use his work at a public event here to explain the depth of China’s relationship with India over the last 1400 years and focus on “cooperation.”
  • Ties between the neighbours have dipped in recent months over differences on India’s entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group, UN terror listing of Masood Azhar and campaign against Chinese goods. But the effort is to focus on “cooperation” rather than “competition.”
  • In the decade that began in 630 AD, Xuan Zang came to India through Kashmir after visiting Central Asia, Iran and Afghanistan
  • He travelled from north to east during his 14-year stay and lived in Bihar for a couple of years
  • At Nalanda University, Xuan Zang interacted with students and scholars, mastered local languages and discovered Buddhist stupas


  1. Why diversity needs secularism

Category: Indian Democracy

Topic: Secularism

Key Points:

  • These two words — secular and socialist — entered the Constitution when most leaders of the Opposition were under arrest for their resistance to the Emergency
  • Since these words were retained during the 44nd amendment under the Janata Party regime, it is suggestive of a broad consensus among India’s political leadership for their insertion in the Constitution
  • Why did our founding fathers not include them in the Constitution in the first place?
  • Scholars have tried to explain this. In his presidential address to the Indian History Congress, Malda, in 2015, historian Sabyasachi Bhattacharya argued that it was Jawaharlal Nehru’s and Ambedkar’s larger belief in the values of equality and justice that encouraged them not to introduce these words
  • One wonders how one could speak of equality and justice in a multi-religious society without secularism
  • Diversity as a political project can only be effective with secularism as a working foundational value
C. GS3 Related
  1. Lack of inclusion linked to the allure of jihadism

Category: Internal Security

Topic: Terrorism

Key Points:

  • A new World Bank analysis has found the factors most strongly associated with foreign individuals’ joining the organisation have to do with lack of economic and social inclusion in their country of residence
  • The analysis finds that terrorism cannot be associated with poverty or low levels of education
  • It found strong association between a country’s male unemployment rate and the propensity of that country to supply the IS recruits, but could not detect any robust correlation between the propensity to be a supplier of recruits and the measures of socio-economic diversity such as the Gini coefficient (measures income inequality) and measures of fractionalisation that capture ethnic, linguistic, or religious diversity
  • Wealthier countries (as measured by their per capita GDP) are more likely to supply foreign recruits. The researchers found similar patterns on using the Human Development Index as a proxy for economic development
  • “We find that Daesh [IS] did not recruit its foreign workforce among the poor and less educated, but rather the opposite,” the researchers wrote
  • “Policies that promote job creation, therefore, not only benefit young people seeking jobs, but may help thwart the spread of violent extremism….”


D. GS4 Related

Nothing here today folks!

E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
The Indian Express:
  1. The overrated urban spinoff

Category: Indian Economy

Topic: Development

Key Points:

  • Speaking at the third BRICS Urbanisation Forum in Visakhapatnam on September 14, Deputy Chairman of the Niti Ayog, Arvind Panagariya, announced that “Without cities we can’t grow rapidly”. He added, “urbanisation plays an important role in poverty alleviation”
  • A recent report prepared for the UN points out that, over the last two decades, India’s urban population increased from 217 million to 377 million, and this is expected to reach 600 million by 2031 — 40 per cent of the country’s population
  • The current pattern of urbanisation is largely taking place on the fringe of cities, much of it is unplanned and outside the purview of city codes and bylaws
  • It is already imposing high costs
  • A recent IMF study measured the impact of urbanisation on rural poverty in India
  • It distinguished between the location and the economic linkage effects
  • Location – entails reduction in rural poverty due to the change in residence — from rural areas to cities
  • Economic – focuses on the impact of growth of the urban population on the rural poverty rate
  • There are several channels through which urban population growth affects poverty in surrounding areas: Consumption linkages, rural non-agricultural employment, remittances, rural land/labour ratios, rural land prices and consumer prices
  • Urbanisation has a significant poverty-reducing effect on the surrounding rural areas
  • Over the entire period in question, poverty reduced between 13 per cent and 25 per cent as a result of urbanisatio
  • But this reduction is not as substantial when compared to the reduction in rural poverty brought about by state-led rural bank branch expansion, which explains approximately half of the overall reduction of rural poverty between 1961 and 2000
  • So, without comparison of direct and multiplier effects of rural transformation and urbanisation, an isolated analysis of either sector is likely to be misleading


  1. Kerala declared Open Defecation Free

Category: Social Justice

Topic: Health

Key Points:

  • The State of Kerala today became the third State overall and the largest State so far to be declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) (Gramin)
  • Freedom from open defecation has been proven to lead to significant health benefits in terms of incidences of water-borne diseases, especially in children, and provide safety and dignity for all, especially women and senior citizens
  • Kerala, with a rural population of approximately 3.5 crores, is also the largest State so far to have achieved the ODF Status, after Sikkim (~6 lakhs) and Himachal Pradesh (~70 lakhs)
  • Importance of behaviour change communication by the state, effective solid and liquid waste management and the role of local governance in sustaining the ODF Status of the State cannot be ignored
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
  1. Swacchh Bharat Abhiyan
  2. India-China
  3. Urbanisation
  4. Poverty
  5. Terrorism



International Monetary Fund

G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1:Which of the following is true? 
  1. The Yellow river in China falls in the gulf of Pohai
  2. The city of Shanghai is situated at the mouth of the river Yangtze

a) Only 2 b) Only 1 c) Both 1 and 2 d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 2: Which of the following is/are enshrined by Article 25 of the constitution?
  1. All persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion
  2. Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion

a) Only 2 b) Only 1 c) Both 1 and 2 d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 3: Which of the following is not true?

a) Established in 1835, Assam Rifles is the oldest of all paramilitary forces b) AR’s job is to counter insurgency and hold border security operations along Indo-Myanmar border c) BSF came into being in the wake of the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war, to ensure the security of the borders of India and is also called the ‘First Wall of Defence of Indian Territories’ d) None of the above

Question 4: Which of the following is true regarding travelers in Ancient India?
  1. Megasthenes was a Greek traveler who wrote the book ‘Indica’
  2. Hsuan Tsang was a Chinese traveler who stayed for more than a decade in India and was followed by another Chinese traveler called Fahien

a) Only 1 b) Only 2 c) Both 1 and 2 d) Neither 1 nor 2

Question 5: Which of the following is true?
  1. The level of urbanisation is measured in terms of percentage of urban population to total population
  2. An urban agglomeration may consist of any one of the three combinations: (i) a town and its adjoining urban outgrowths, (ii) two or more contiguous towns with or without their outgrowths, and (iii) a city and one or more adjoining towns with their outgrowths together forming a contiguous spread

a) Only 1 b) Only 2 c) Both 1 and 2 d) Neither 1 nor 2

Check Your Answers

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I. Archives:

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