Comprehensive News Analysis - 04 April 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:


1. IISc tops national rankings, IIT-Madras comes second

2. Steps to prevent fireworks accidents


1. PM’s Israel trip may see UAV deal

2. Malaysian PM seeks early FTA

C. GS3 Related:


1. Defence Ministry nod to buy Barak missiles


1. Indonesia’s ‘selfie monkey’ threatened

D. GS4 Related:

1. ‘Operation missing key’ executed in nick of time

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


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Useful News Articles for UPSC Current Affairs

A. GS1 Related
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B. GS2 Related 

Category: POLITY

1. IISc tops national rankings, IIT-Madras comes second

What’s in news?

  • Ranking of institutions, National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), 2017 –Human Resource Development ministry, India.
  • First tried attempt to rank Indian premier institutions.

Key fact

  • The Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru-tops the list.IISc tops national rankings, IIT-Madras comes second
  • IIT-Madras ranks second, while JNU ranks sixth in the all-India list.
  • The seven top IITs, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Benaras Hindu University (BHU) figure in the top 10.
  • Indian Institutes of Management performances not upto the mark- IIM-Ahmedabad, the top business school, standing 17th, and all other IIM’s rank below 20.’
  • There are separate lists within disciplines for engineering, management and pharmacy, and for universities and colleges. Among engineering colleges, the IITs at Chennai, Mumbai, Kharagpur, New Delhi and Kanpur are among the top five. Among universities, the top five are IISc, JNU, BHU, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (Bengaluru) and Jadavpur University, Kolkata.

Parameters used

  • Teaching-learning resources (student strength, faculty-student ratio, faculty qualifications and experience, financial resources and utilisation)
  • Research and professional practice (publications, quality of publications, patents, projects)
  • Graduation outcomes (placement and higher studies, salary, Ph.D degrees awarded)
  • Outreach and inclusivity (diversity in student pool
  • Perception (among peers, employers and the public).

2. Steps to prevent fireworks accidents

What’s in news?

  • Centre issued directives for safe display of fireworks
  • Authorized fireworks approved by the Chief Controller of Explosives shall be used for public display of fireworks.
  • For authorisation of traditional fireworks, including Amittus, Kuzhiminnal, Palm leaf crackers, multishots and gundus, manufacturers shall apply to the Chief Controller of Explosives, Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO), Nagpur, as per Rule of the Explosives Rules 2008, accompanied by particulars, namely nature, composition, percentage of ingredients, dimensions, process of manufacture and performance characteristics of the fireworks.
  • PESO will approve the fireworks within 10 days and after submission of fireworks samples, authorisation will be accorded within 30 days.
  • The District Magistrate shall instruct festival organisers to conduct risk assessment by reputed organisations to identify potential hazards arising out of fireworks display prior to applying for display licence and ensure that relevant provisions of the Explosives Rules, 2008 are complied with.
  • Based on the assessment, a disaster management plan shall be prepared by the district administration before the fireworks display.


1. PM’s Israel trip may see UAV deal

What’s in news?

  • Heron TP armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)
  • India’s first armed drones.
  • UAVs for the Indian Air Force (IAF) are being manufactured in Israel and there is possibility of them being handed over to the IAF in the near future.
  • The deal is expected to cost around $400 million for 10 drones.
  • The discussion for the Heron TP drones has been going on for several years.
  • India currently operates a large number of Israeli-built Heron and Searcher UAVs, which were inducted since the late 1990s.
  • India also procured a small number of Harpy loitering drones in the past which can destroy targets by direct hits.

Need for UAVs

  • Surveillance
  • Armed variants would give decision makers a new and safe option in planning short and swift strikes on terrorist camps.

Basic Information: Heron TP

  • Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) drone which can fly upto an altitude of 45,000 feet.
  • Endurance of over 30 hours and can carry a mission payload of 1,000 kgs.

2. Malaysian PM seeks early FTA 

What’s in news?

  • Malaysian Prime Minister pitched for the conclusion of negotiations on the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)- mega-regional Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between 16 Asia Pacific nations, including Malaysia and India.
  • Malaysia and India to work on ways to boost bilateral trade and investment.
  • Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership  countries include- India, Japan, China, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the 10-member ASEAN bloc, including Malaysia.
C. GS3 Related


1. Defence Ministry nod to buy Barak missiles

What’s in news?

  • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) of the Defence Ministry approved the purchase of Barak surface-to-air missiles (SAM) for the Navy.
  • Barak are now installed on most of the front-line warships, including the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.

Basic Information: Barak Missile

  • Barak : Is an Indian-Israeli surface-to-air missile (SAM), designed to defend against any type of airborne threat including aircraft, helicopters, anti-ship missiles, and UAVs as well as cruise missiles and combat jets out to a maximum range of 70 km.
  • Both maritime and land-based versions of the system exist.
  • Barak 8 was jointly developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), India’s Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), Israel’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, Elta Systems, Rafael and other companies.
  • Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) will produce the missiles.


1. Indonesia’s ‘selfie monkey’ threatened

What’s in news?

  • Celebes crested macaque under serious threat cause of habitat loss and hunting.
  • The macaques and some other animals at the market are protected by Indonesian law but trade in exotic creatures is still thriving.
  • It has been classified as critically endangered under IUCN’s Red Data book

Basic Information:

  • PETA: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
  • American animal rights organization based in Norfolk, Virginia.
  • Largest animal rights group in the world.
  • Its slogan is “animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.”
D. GS4 Related

1. ‘Operation missing key’ executed in nick of time


Scenario: Every day, around 8 a.m., the assistant treasury officer in charge of the sub-treasury unlocks the room where the question papers are stored. The papers are loaded into vans and distributed to exam centres. However, on Monday morning, the officer of Sindhanur taluk — the only person to have the key— failed to show up. At first, officials on SSLC exam duty assumed he was running late, but when he did not turn up at all, they began to panic. When they learned that the assistant treasury officer, Amare Gowda Patil, was out of station, several of them rushed to his relative’s house to find out where he was. The relatives directed them to the officer’s house. By then, they had managed to get in touch with Mr. Patil, who said that he was in his hometown.

Following Mr. Patil’s instructions closely, the officials obtained the key from his house, and made it back to the sub-treasury at 8.45 a.m.


  • Dereliction of duty: A service member who is derelict has willfully refused to perform his duties (or follow a given order) or has incapacitated himself in such a way that he cannot perform his duties.
  • Lack of Accountability, negligence, miscommunication.
E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn

 Swadesh Darshan Scheme

Implementing agency: Ministry of Tourism.

  • Completely funded by central government.
  • Swadesh Darshan Scheme is based on some of tourist circuit that will be covered under the PRASAD (Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive) and Swadeshi Darshan.


  • Attract more tourists.
  • Theme based tourism.
  • The tourist or visitor will get an opportunity to visit the specific tourist circuit in a single tour. The tourists can take the pleasure of thematic tourism under this scheme.
  • The scheme promotes the Indian tourism and development of various pilgrimage sites; the scheme also encourages the local inhabitants to be aware of the issue of maintenance of the city. The local amenities like roads, water food and other things should be maintained to attract more tourist.
  • Employment generation in tourism sector.
  • Under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, thirteen thematic circuits have been identified, for development namely: North-East India Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit and Heritage Circuit.
  • Under the PRASAD scheme thirteen sites have been identified for development, namely: Amritsar, Ajmer, Dwaraka, Mathura, Varanasi, Gaya, Puri, Amaravati, Kanchipuram, Vellankanni, Kedarnath, Kamakhya and Patna.

Under the ‘PRASAD’ scheme the focus is on development and beautification of the identified pilgrimage destinations. Whereas, in the ‘Spiritual Circuit’ identified under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, the thrust is on development of particular thematic circuit consisting of various religious/spiritual destination in a State and Union Territory.

G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂

Question 1: Consider the following statement with reference to Swadesh 
Darshan Scheme:
  1. It is completely funded by Central government
  2. Ministry of tourism is the implementing agency
  3. It has two components – PRASAD and Swadeshi Darshan under its ambit.

Choose the correct statement.

  1. Only 1
  2. Only2
  3. 1 and 3
  4. All are correct
Question 2: Choose the correct circuits that comes under thematic tourism 
circuit - Swadesh darshan Scheme.
  1. North-East India Circuit
  2. Buddhist Circuit
  3. Himalayan Circuit
  4. South Indian Circuit

Choose the correct statement

  1. 1,2 and 4
  2. 1 and 3
  3. 1 ,2 and 3
  4. All are correct
Question 3: As per IUCN’s RED DATA book Celebes crested macaque is ______.
  1. Critically endangered species
  2. Vulnerable species
  3. Least concerned species
  4. None of the above
Question 4: Consider the following statements about Vikramshila University:
  1. It was centre of Buddhist learning centre.

  2. It was established by King Dharmapala of Pala dynasty.

 Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None
Question 5: Consider the statements about BS Standards:
  1. The standards, based on European regulations were first introduced in 2000.
  2. Since October 2010, Bharat Stage (BS) III norms have been enforced across the country.
  3. In 13 major cities, Bharat Stage IV emission norms have been in place since April 2010.

Which of the above statements is/are correct ?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. All of the above

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