UPSC 2017-18: PIB Summary and Analysis


Topic: Culture

  1. Dialogue of Civilizations – IV being Organized from 8th – 15th October, 2017

In news:

  • ‘4th Dialogue of Civilizations’ is being jointly organized by the Archaeological Survey of India, Ministry of Culture and National Geographic in New Delhi from 8th to 15th October, 2017.
  • The theme of the Conference is “Technology and Civilization”.

Basic Information:

  • In 2013, the National Geographic Society initiated a five-year annual conference called “The Dialogue of Civilizations,” the mission of which is to encourage scholarly and public discourse about the five ancient, literate civilizations of the world (i.e., Egypt, Mesopotamia, South Asia, China, and Mesoamerica) and how the study of the past can inform our present and future.
  • The first conference of this series was inaugurated in Guatemala in 2013, followed by Turkey in 2014 and in China in 2015.
  • The fourth dialogue in this series was scheduled to be held in October 2016. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, the event was shifted to October 2017.




  1. President Appoints Commission to Examine Sub Categorization of other Backward Classes under Article 340 of the Constitution

In News:

  • The President in the exercise of the powers conferred by article 340 of the Constitution appointed a Commission to examine the sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes.
  • The terms of reference of the Commission are as under:
  • to examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the castes or communities included in the broad category of Other Backward Classes with reference to such classes included in the Central List;
  • to work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters in a scientific approach for sub-categorisation within such Other Backward Classes; and
  • to take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes or communities or sub-castes or synonyms in the Central List of Other Backward Classes and classifying them into their respective sub-categories.
  • On receipt of the Report of the Commission, the Central Government will consider ways and means for equitable distribution of the benefits of the reservation in Central Government jobs and admission in Central Government Institutions amongst all strata of the Other Backward Classes.

Basic Information:

Article 340: Appointment of a Commission to investigate the conditions of backward classes

(1) The President may by order appoint a Commission consisting of such persons as he thinks fit to investigate the conditions of socially and educationally backward classes within the territory of India and the difficulties under which they labour and to make recommendations as to the steps that should be taken by the Union or any State to remove such difficulties and to improve their condition and as to the grants that should be made for the purpose

Indra Sawhney vs Union Of India judgment on 16 November 1992

  • To assuage the anti-reservation protesters, the P V Narasimha Rao government in 1991 introduced a 10% quota for the “economically backward sections” among the forward castes.
  • The Supreme Court struck this down in the Indra Sawhney vs Union of India case, where it held that the Constitution recognised only social and educational — and not economic — backwardness.
  • The apex court, however, held reservation for OBCs as valid and directed that the creamy layer of OBC (those earning over a specified income) should not avail reservation facilities.
  • The overall reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs was capped at 50%. Based on the order, the central government reserved 27% of seats in union civil posts and services, to be filled through direct recruitment, for OBCs. The quotas were subsequently enforced in central government educational institutions.


Cabinet approves the Extradition Treaty between India and Lithuania

Key Points:

  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the signing and ratification of the Extradition Treaty between India and Lithuania
  • The Treaty would provide a legal framework for seeking extradition of terrorists, economic offenders and other criminals from and to Lithuania
  • The Treaty would help in extradition of fugitive criminals including terrorists for criminal prosecutions from Lithuania who may have committed crimes against India

Basic Information:

Extradition Treaty:

  • Through the extradition process, one sovereign jurisdiction typically makes a formal request to another sovereign jurisdiction (“the requested state”) to deliver a person who has been accused of committing a crime in their jurisdiction.
  • If the fugitive is found within the territory of the requested state, then the requested state may arrest the fugitive and subject him or her to its extradition process.
  • The consensus in international law is that a state does not have any obligation to surrender an alleged criminal to a foreign state because one principle of sovereignty is that every state has legal authority over the people within its borders.
  1. India to conduct the First ‘BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2017’ next week beginning 10th October

In news:

  • The First ‘BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2017’ (BIMSTEC DMEx-2017) will be conducted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as the lead agency next week from October 10-13, 2017 in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).
  • At the 17th BIMSTEC Senior Officials Meeting held in Kathmandu, Nepal on February 7, 2017, it was decided that India would organize the first annual Disaster Management Exercise for the region.
  • This Exercise will be a platform for sharing Best Practices on all aspects of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), strengthening regional response and coordination for Disaster Management among the BIMSTEC member countries.
  • The main focus of the BIMSTEC DMEx-2017 will be on testing the region’s preparedness and resilience towards effective activation of inter-Governmental interaction/dialogue/agreements for immediate deployment of regional resources for disaster response.
  • It will help create synergy and synchronize efforts to institutionalize regional cooperation among the member countries.
  • The exercise will help strengthen the effective utilization of the Search & Rescue Teams for Disaster Relief & Emergency Response, including Emergency Rapid Assessment Teams and Management of mass casualties especially in situations involving breakdown of infrastructure and communication.
  • India has been at the forefront of DRR efforts by hosting the South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise (SAADMEx) and the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR).
  • India has also offered its expertise and capabilities in DRR such as the South Asia satellite, GSAT-9, and the Tsunami Early Warning Centre to other countries.
  • Disaster Management was one of the important Agenda items the BIMSTEC leaders deliberated upon during the Goa BRICS Summit in October last year where BIMSTEC leaders were the Special Invitees.


  1. One million children saved, says a new study published in the Lancet

Key Points:

  • India has avoided about 1 million (10 lakh) deaths of children under age five since 2005, owing to the significant reductions in mortality from pneumonia, diarrhea, neonatal infections and birth asphyxia/trauma, measles, and tetanus, according to study published in the latest issue of The Lancet
  • The ‘India’s Million Death Study’, implemented by the Registrar General of India, is the first study to directly quantify changes in cause-specific child deaths in India, nationally and sub-nationally, from 2000-15 among randomly selected homes
  • The study states that mortality rate (per 1000 live births) fell in neonates from 45 in 2000 to 27 in 2015 (3.3% annual decline) and 1-59 month mortality rate fell from 45.2 in 2000 to 19.6 in 2015 (5.4% annual decline)

Topic: Schemes related

  1. All cities and towns in five more States declared Open Defecation Free

Key Points:

  • Five more States viz., Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Haryana have reached the milestone of making all cities and towns ‘Open Defecation Free’.
  • This was announced on the culmination of “Swachhata Hi Seva” campaign that the MDWS had organized in response to the clarion call given by the Prime Minister to citizens of India to contribute to the improvement of sanitation status in the country in the run-up to Gandhi Jayanti.

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