UPSC 2017: Comprehensive News Analysis - May 24

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:


1. The Three Year Agenda

2. Rajasthan: 600 more health centres to be converted into model units

3. NGO evolves blueprint to end female genital mutilation

C. GS3 Related:


1. Australian scientists create world’s thinnest hologram 


2. Ecological concerns over combustible ice 

D. GS4 Related:
E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
F. Bills/Acts/Schemes/Orgs in News
G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam


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Useful News Articles for UPSC Current Affairs

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!


B. GS2 Related

Category: POLITY

1. The Three Year Agenda


  • The draft “Three Year Action Agenda” of the NITI Aayog has been circulated recently to its governing council
  • This draft will be finalised after considering suggestions from the State Governments

Five-Year Plan

  • After(Union Government) allowing for the 12th five-year plan to phase itself out, the transition is now complete
  • Five-year plans are reminiscent of centrally planned economies; most such countries, like the Soviet Union, China and Romania, had similar planning horizons

Other documents:

  • The seven-year policy strategy
  • The 15-year long-term vision

Objective of Three Year Action Agenda:

  • It seeks to embark on “a path to achieve all-round development of India and its people” through concerted action.

What are the advantages of a three-year timeline?

  • Electoral cycles do not synchronise with (earlier)five-year plans; quite often, this entailed outcome accountability to rest with a successor government.
  • But a “Three Year Action Agenda” makes the government in office more directly accountable for the implementation of its plans
  • Augmenting the “Three Year Action Agenda” with a seven-year implementable policy strategy and a 15-year vision enables us to look into the future, particularly at evolving technology, demography and ecology, and accordingly align our policies
  • The 15-year vision is also somewhat coterminous with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN). The new format thus combines domestic aspiration with global aims.

2. Rajasthan: 600 more health centres to be converted into model units

In news:

  • Six hundred more Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in Rajasthan will shortly be converted into model units
  • Model units:
  • Doctors and para-medical staff at the PHCs will take special care to maintain health and nutritional status of women, children and old age patients.
  • Additional services provided: allopathy and Ayurveda physicians available to patients.
  • They are functioning as “wellness centres” with a significant increase in patient registration and institutional deliveries.
  • Model PHCs would provide free medicines and conduct as many as 15 diagnostic tests free of cost.

3. NGO evolves blueprint to end female genital mutilation

In news:

  • Practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) report compiled by Speak Out on FGM,a group of Dawoodi Bohra woman ( victims of FGM) along with a human rights NGO, Lawyers Collective.
  • Report speaks about psychological trauma and physical scars faced by the victims, and the legal aspects that could be weaved in to stop the practice completely.
  • Practice: Khatna, as practised among Dawoodi Bohras, involves cutting the part of the clitoral hood or the prepuce, of girls as young as seven years.
  • While a large number of countries have banned the practice, India does not have a law on the same.


C. GS3 Related


1. Australian scientists create world’s thinnest hologram

In News:

  • Scientists have created the world’s thinnest hologram that can be seen without 3D goggles and may be integrated into everyday electronics such as smartphones, computers and TVs
  • It is simple to make and is 1,000 times thinner than a human hair
  • Integrating holography into everyday electronics would make screen size irrelevant
  • A pop-up 3D hologram can display a wealth of data that does not neatly fit on a phone or watch


1. Ecological concerns over combustible ice


  • Japan and China successfully extracted the material from the sea floor off their coastlines
  • Commercial development of the globe’s huge reserves of a frozen fossil fuel known as “combustible ice” has moved closer to reality
  • The fuel was successfully mined by a drilling rig operating in the South China Sea

What is combustible ice?

  • Combustible ice is a frozen mixture of water and concentrated natural gas
  • Technically known as methane hydrate, it can be lit on fire in its frozen state
  • It is believed to comprise one of the world’s most abundant fossil fuels


  • Experts suggest large-scale production remains many years away
  • If extraction is not done properly, it could flood the atmosphere with climate-changing greenhouse gases

Advantages of methane hydrate:

  • For Japan, methane hydrate offers the chance to reduce its heavy reliance of imported fuels if it can tap into reserves off its coastline
  • In China, it could serve as a cleaner substitute for coal-burning power plants and steel factories
  • These factories have polluted much of the country with lung-damaging smog

Location of methane hydrate:

  • Methane hydrate has been found beneath seafloors and buried inside Arctic permafrost and beneath Antarctic ice
  • It is present in abundance in the world
  • This means methane hydrate reserves could meet global gas demands for 80 to 800 years at current consumption rates

Environmental concerns:

  • If methane hydrate leaks during the extraction process, it can increase greenhouse gas emissions
  • The fuel also could displace renewables such as solar and wind power.


D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for Today!!!

E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn


F. Bills/Acts/Schemes/Orgs in News
Scheme in News About the Scheme
VAJRA (Visiting Advanced Joint Research) Faculty scheme
  • Implementing agency: The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a Statutory body Department of Science and Technology.
  • Enables NRIs and overseas scientific community to participate and contribute to research and development in India.
  • VAJRA faculty will undertake research in S&T priority areas of nation wherein the capability and capacity are needed to be developed. The VAJRA faculty will engage in collaborative research in public funded institutions.
  • The residency period of the VAJRA Faculty in India would be for a minimum of 1 month and a maximum of 3 months a year.
  • The VAJRA Faculty is provided a lump-sum amount of US$ 15000 in the first month of residency in a year and US$ 10000 p.m. in the other two months to cover their travel and honorarium. While no separate support is provided for e.g. accommodation, medical / personal insurance etc. the host institute may consider providing additional support.
  • Public funded academic institutions and national laboratories are eligible to host the VAJRA Faculty. These institutions should appoint them as Adjunct / Visiting Faculty and involve them in co-guiding and mentoring of students and developing collaborative programs. The Faculty can also be allowed to participate in other academic activities as agreed to by the host institution and the Faculty.


G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam
Question 1: Combustible ice consists of which gas?
  1. Methane hydrate
  2. Methyl hydrate
  3. Methyl hydride
  4. Methane hydride
Question 2: VAJRA (Visiting Advanced Joint Research) Faculty scheme is being implemented
 by which agency?
  1. The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB)
  2. Council of Scientific & Industrial Research
  3. Indian Institute of Science
  4. None of the above
Question 3: Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana is implemented by
  1. Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation.
  2. Ministry of Rural Development
  3. Ministry of Panchayath Raj Insitution
  4. None of the above
Question 4: National Environmental Engineering Research Institute falls under
  1. Ministry of Environment and Forest
  2. Ministry of Science and Technology
  3. Ministry of Human Resource and Development
  4. None of the above

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