UPSC 2017: Comprehensive News Analysis - Aug 22


A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
1. Supreme Court to deliver verdict on triple talaq today  
2. Triple talaq: Will SC verdict end personal laws’ immunity?
3. Agency to fund higher education set to take off
4. Now, passport sans police verification
5. First-past-post: House panel asks parties if election system should change
International Relations
1. China wants to go back to ‘1959 LAC’  
C. GS3 Related
1. Corporate governance: focus on SEBI 
2. The impact of caste on economic mobility in India
Internal Security
1. Navy gets amphibious landing craft 
2. BRO gets more powers for road construction along China border
3. Kovind dedicates Leh trip to jawans
1. No power if you go in the open, SDO tells villagers 
D. GS4 Related
E. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
F. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 


A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for Today!!!


B. GS2 Related

Category: POLITY

1. Supreme Court to deliver verdict on triple talaq today

In news:

  • Today, a five-judge Supreme Court Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, will pronounce its judgment on the legality of the Islamic personal law practice of triple talaq.
  • Court to decide: the law which allows a Muslim man to divorce his wife by saying talaq (divorce) thrice , whether
    • Violates the fundamental rights?
    • Violates the human rights of Muslim women?

2. Triple talaq: Will SC verdict end personal laws’ immunity?

In news

  • The Supreme Court’s judgment on the constitutionality of triple talaq may also decide the age-old debate whether personal laws can be brought under the ambit of Article 13 (laws inconsistent with or in derogation of the fundamental rights) of the Constitution.
  • All India Muslim Personal Law Board ( AIMPLB ) argument: Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction to strike down provisions of personal law.
  • Organisations calling for reform and Muslim women from various walks of life across the country have urged the court to declare triple talaq and polygamy as “un-Islamic”.

What next?

  • A judicial declaration from a Constitution Bench under Article 13 that personal laws are liable to comply with the fundamental rights guaranteed by Constitution would bring religious law, even uncodified practices, under judicial review.

Previous cases

  • State of Bombay versus Narasu Appa Mali, 1951:
    • The Bombay High Court observation: personal law is not ‘law’ under Article 13. The judgment was never challenged in the Supreme Court.
  • Ahmedabad Women Action Group versus Union of India:
    • The Supreme Court was asked to consider that unilateral divorce by talaq and polygamy violated Articles 14 and 15.
    • The court rejected the claim, saying it was for the legislature to determine.

3. Agency to fund higher education set to take off

In News

  • The Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) is set to take off soon.
  • Funding from HEFA is expected to boost infrastructure, especially state-of-the-art laboratories, in key institutions such as IITs, IIMs, and IIITs.
  • As per the funding mechanism, an institution can claim 10 times the sum it escrows in the first year. “If an institution escrows ₹10 crore, it can get approval for a ₹100-crore project
Basic Information

Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA)

  • It will be formed as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) within a PSU Bank or the Government-owned-NBFC (Promoter).
  • HEFA will have an authorised capital of 2,000 crore rupees and the government equity would be 1,000 crore rupees.
  • The HEFA will also mobilise CSR funds from Corporates/PSUs which will in turn be released for promoting research and innovation in these institutions on grant basis.
  • The principal portion of the loan will be repaid through the ‘internal accruals’ of the institutions earned through the fee receipts, research earnings etc.
  • All the Centrally Funded Higher Educational Institutions will be eligible to join as members of the HEFA.
  • For joining as members, the educational institution must agree to escrow a specific amount from their internal accruals for a period of 10 years to the HEFA.

4. Now, passport sans police verification

In news:

  • The physical police verification for getting a passport may soon be dispensed with as the Centre plans to connect the procedure with Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems Project (CCTNS).
  • CCTNS and Passport verification:
  • Police will be given handheld devices to go to an applicant’s address and his or her details will be uploaded on the network.
  • It will minimise contact of an individual with police and reduce time (for getting passport)
Basic Information


  • The Crime and Criminal Tracking Networks and Systems, abbreviated to CCTNS, is a project under Indian government for creating a comprehensive and integrated system for effective policing through e-Governance. The system includes nationwide online tracking system by integrating more than 14,000 police stations across the country. The project is implemented by National Crime Records Bureau.

National Crime Records Bureau

  • The National Crime Records Bureau, abbreviated to NCRB, is an Indian government agency responsible for collecting and analysing crime data as defined by the Indian Penal Code (IPC). NCRB is headquartered in New Delhi and is part of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India.

5. First-past-post: House panel asks parties if election system should change

In news

Discussions on “different systems of elections”

  • An all-party Parliamentary panel is exploring “different systems of elections”, other than the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system
  • FPTP is currently followed in the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls
  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, has sent a six-page “Questionnaire on Electoral Reforms” to all parties and the Election Commission

What is ‘First Past the Post’ system?

  • A first-past-the-post (abbreviated as FPTP, 1stP, 1PTP or FPP) voting method is one in which voters indicate on a ballot the candidate of their choice, and the candidate who receives most votes wins

First-past-the-post voting is one of several plurality voting methods

  • It is a common, but not universal, feature of electoral systems with single-member electoral divisions; in fact, first-past-the-post voting is widely practiced in close to one third of the world’s countries
  • Some notable examples include the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, India and most of the colonies and protectorates either currently or formerly belonging to these countries

Why is the PSC exploring different systems of elections?

  • According the PSC, in recent years the FPTP system is not the best suited system as is evident from the recent Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh
  • Many Opposition leaders have reminded the BJP that it won the 2014 Lok Sabha polls because of the FPTP system
  • As the party polled only about 31 per cent of the vote share

Other issues discussed by the panel

  • The views of parties and the EC have been sought under five heads: (1) ‘Electoral Funding’, (2) ‘Systems of Elections’, (3) ‘Media/ Free Airtime’, (4) ‘Internal Democracy in Political Parties’, and (5) ‘Miscellaneous’
  • On the issue of electoral funding, the panel has sought views on the electoral bonds and on the proposal regarding state funding of elections


1. China wants to go back to ‘1959 LAC’


  • Last week’s scuffle between troops of the two (India and China) countries along the Pangong lake in Ladakh.

In news:

  • China’s stand: urged India to abide by the Line of Actual Control (LAC) position of 1959.
  • India’s stand: India has rejected the proposal in 1959 and again in1962.
Basic Information

Line of Actual Control:

  • The Line of Actual Control (LAC) is a demarcation line that separates Indian-controlled territory from Chinese-controlled territory.
  • There are two common ways in which the term “Line of Actual Control” is used. In the narrow sense, it refers only to the line of control in the western sector of the borderland between the two countries. In that sense, the LAC forms the effective border between the two countries together with the (also disputed) McMahon Line in the east, and a small undisputed section in between. In the wider sense, it can be used to refer to both the western line of control and the MacMahon Line, in which sense it is the effective border between India and the People’s Republic of China (PRC)
  • The demarcation existed as the informal cease-fire line between India and China after the 1962 conflict until 1993, when its existence was officially accepted as the ‘Line of Actual Control’ in a bilateral agreement.


C. GS3 Related


1. Corporate governance: focus on SEBI

In News:

  • Market Participants are discussing the issue of ‘corporate governance’
  • This issue has become the topic of discussion due to the recent exit of Vishal Sikka from the Infosys
  • Many market participants wants SEBI to intervene in such matters to protect the interest of investors, especially the retail segment
  • Committee on corporate governance
  • SEBI had constituted a committee on corporate governance under the chairmanship of Uday Kotak in June this year
  • The committee is expected to submit its report within four months
Basic Information

Corporate governance

  • Corporate governance is the system of rules, practices and processes by which a company is directed and controlled.
  • Corporate governance essentially involves balancing the interests of a company’s many stakeholders, such as shareholders, management, customers, suppliers, financiers, government and the community.
  • Since corporate governance also provides the framework for attaining a company’s objectives, it encompasses practically every sphere of management, from action plans and internal controls to performance measurement and corporate disclosure.

2. The impact of caste on economic mobility in India


  • The impact of caste in economic mobility in India

Indian society

  • The caste system is the most distinctive feature of Indian society.
  • The Indian population is divided into four hierarchical classes, or varnas, with a large sub-population of untouchables excluded entirely from the system.
  • Within each of these classes, and among the untouchables, are thousands of castes, or jatis.

How caste system supports occupational and spatial mobility?

  • The exploitation, prejudice, and discrimination that are associated with the hierarchical aspect of the caste system have stifled mobility among the lower castes.
  • Lower castes remained locked in unskilled, low-paying occupations for centuries in the traditional economy.
  • There is also evidence of continuing discrimination in the labour market
  • Convergence between upper and lower castes in education and jobs


  • Affirmative action policy : It has been in place since Independence, reserving seats in institutions of higher education and the central government for former untouchables and other disadvantaged groups
  • Caste-based networks: It facilitate economic activity and support the mobility of their members in an economy where markets function imperfectly.
  • Particular castes : They found particular niches in the urban labour market, and once networks in the city were established, they supported the movement of fresh migrants from the hinterland
  • Structural change has created new economic opportunities over the past 25 years
  • There is a movement of castes from agriculture and administrative occupations into business in recent decades.
  • Once caste networks form, they will strengthen relatively rapidly in historically disadvantaged castes.

Caste networks can also be a hindrance to mobility? How? The same networks that can be so effective in supporting the movement of groups of individuals across space and occupations can also restrict the mobility of individual members once they are established

  • Schooling choice is a strong predictor of future occupations.
  • Particular castes historically occupied niches in Mumbai’s mills and factories with the support of their networks.
  • When the Indian economy restructured in the early 1990s, shifted economic activity in Mumbai from manufacturing to services
  • But in the schooling choices of the children, that these blue-collar networks turned out to be a hindrance in this economy, keeping their members in the traditional (now less remunerative) occupations and preventing them from taking advantage of the new opportunities that became available.
  • Rural mutual insurance networks, which have smoothed consumption within castes for centuries, can restrict the migration of individual members to the city.
  • When a household suffers a negative income shock, it receives monetary transfers from caste members
  • In the future, it is expected to provide transfers to other households when they receive a negative shock. But a household with migrants will be less insured by its rural network
  • The restriction on mobility which leads to inefficiency in the labour market, arises because formal substitutes for the rural insurance network, such as private credit or government safety nets, are unavailable

Community based networks-Features

  • It is active in all developing countries where markets are functioning imperfectly.
  • These networks are exceptional with respect to their size and scope in India, because of the special caste-based structure of its society.
  • Caste networks thus play an unusually important role in shaping economic mobility in the Indian economy
  • Whether these networks support or hinder mobility will depend on the circumstances
  • Networks are effective in supporting the movement of groups, but they can restrict the mobility of individuals trying to follow a path of their own.
  • The caste networks will disappear when the market economy starts to function efficiently.

Way forward

Policies aimed at fostering growth would be more effective if they took account of the underlying caste networks that continue to shape educational, occupational, and locational choices in the Indian economy.


1. Navy gets amphibious landing craft

2. BRO gets more powers for road construction along China border

Efforts to improve the functioning of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO)

  • The Defence Ministry has delegated administrative and financial powers right up to the level of Chief Engineer and task force commander, of the BRO
  • Why: To bring in transformational changes in the BRO

Enhanced Powers

  • Now, a Chief Engineer of BRO can accord administrative approval up to Rs. 50 crore
  • Additional Director-General (ADG) up to Rs. 75 crore
  • Director-General (DG) up to Rs. 100 crore
  • Earlier, a Chief Engineer in the BRO could give administrative approval of works up to Rs. 10 crore and ADG up to Rs. 20 crore for departmental works
Basic Information
  • The BRO is engaged in road construction to provide connectivity to difficult and inaccessible regions.
  • It was brought under the control of the Defence Ministry in 2015.

3. Kovind dedicates Leh trip to jawans

Efforts to improve the functioning of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO)

  • The Defence Ministry has delegated administrative and financial powers right up to the level of Chief Engineer and task force commander, of the BRO
  • Why: To bring in transformational changes in the BRO


1. No power if you go in the open, SDO tells villagers

Best administrative innovative strategy to combat open defecation:

  • Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara district: issued an order to snap electricity connections to all households that failed to build toilets within 15 days.
  • A strategy to meet the Open Defecation Free (ODF) targets under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA).


D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for Today!!!


E. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. The Mrugavani National Park (MNP) is located in which state?
  1. Chattisgarh
  2. Karnataka
  3. Tamil Nadu
  4. Telangana
Question 2. Consider the following statements:
  1. The objective of the National Food Security Mission is to increase production of rice, wheat and pulses only
  2. Production of horticulture crops have outpaced the production of food-grains consistently since 2012-13

Which of the statements above is/are correct?

  1. 1 Only
  2. 2 Only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2


Question 3. Consider the statements about Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical 
Weapons (OPCW):
  1. It is an intergovernmental organization based in The Hague, Netherlands.
  2. The organisation was awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.

Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None


Question 4. 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. Only 2
  3. 1 and 3
  4. All are correct
Question 5. 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


F. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

GS Paper I
  1. Critically analyze “The impact of caste on economic mobility in India”.
GS Paper II
  1. Discuss the essentials of the 69th Constitutional Amendment Act and anomalies, if any, that have led to recent reported conflicts between the elected representatives and the institution of the Lieutenant Governor in the administration of Delhi. Do you think that this will give rise to a new trend in the functioning of the Indian federal politics?
GS Paper III
  1. How globalization has led to the reduction of employment in the formal sector of the Indian economy? Is increased informalization detrimental to the development of the country?


Also, check previous Daily News Analysis 


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