UPSC 2017: Comprehensive News Analysis - November 15


A. GS1 Related
1. Araku Balloon Festival
B. GS2 Related
1. Post-Doklam, India asserts itself in China’s backyard
1. SC dismisses petition for SIT probe in bribery case
1. Indians add more years to their lives
2. Burden of disease shifts to non-communicable ailments
C. GS3 Related
1. Winged guests flock to Chilika
1. ‘Joint training doctrine’ for armed forces
1. Rashtriya Bal Kalyan Award presented to Super-30 founder
2. Rasogolla hits sweet spot, gets GI tag
D. GS4 Related
E. Prelims Fact
F. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
G. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related


1. Araku Balloon Festival

  • “Araku Balloon Festival”, an international festival organised by Andhra Pradesh Tourism
  • The event is aimed at showcasing the Araku Valley – known for its panoramic views of the Eastern Ghats, the coffee plantations, and the waterfalls – as a tourist destination. It has drawn scores of travellers, photography enthusiasts, and media from across the country.
  • To be held from November 14 till November 16, the festival will lit up the sky throughout the day and night on all the three days and enthusiasts would get to witness balloons of different shapes and sizes adorn the sky in the non-ticketed festival.
  • Sixteen teams from 13 countries, including the US, Malaysia, Taiwan and Switzerland, are participating in the festival.
  • Apart from the colourful and dazzling hot air balloons, para-motoring displays, a hare and hound race and others events will also be a part of the festival itinerary to keep festival-goers hooked on all there days.

B. GS2 Related


1. Post-Doklam, India asserts itself in China’s backyard

Key Points:

  • Displaying convergence of interests with the new quadrilateral grouping with U.S., Japan and Australia, India reached out to China’s backyard, addressing an array of issues ranging from the tension in the Korean peninsula to freedom of navigation and sought a crackdown on chemical weapons during the ASEAN and the East Asia summits.
  • A high-level Indian official told The Hindu that New Delhi has emerged as a more dependable partner for South-East Asia following the Doklam faceoff with China, and indicated that the South-East Asian countries expect New Delhi to be assertive with Beijing.

Issue Area

  • India remains concerned about China’s manmade structures in the South China Sea that are likely to create navigational problems and international friction
  • Southeast Asian region had been facing uncertainties following the exit of President Barack Obama as he took visible interest in the region.
  • However, the latest visits by the leaders of the quadrilateral countries, including by the new U.S. President Donald Trump have once again assured support to these countries as they face China’s commercial and military domination.

Other issues discussed

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared concerns of DPRK’s pursuit of missiles and nuclear weapons and called for complete verification and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
  • He also said that North Korea’s proliferation links must be investigated and the parties who have supported these unlawful programmes must be made accountable

Basic Information:

Quadrilateral grouping

  • The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) was an informal strategic dialogue between the United States, Japan, Australia and India that was maintained by talks between member countries.
  • The dialogue was initiated in 2007 by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, with the support of Vice President Dick Cheney of the US, Prime Minister John Howard of Australia and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India.
  • Japan President Shinzo Abe delivered a speech to the Indian Parliament in August 2007, entitled a “confluence of the two seas”, a phrase he took from the title of a book written by Mughal prince Dara Shikoh.
  • The dialogue was paralleled by joint military exercises of an unprecedented scale, titled Exercise Malabar.
  • The diplomatic and military arrangement was widely viewed as a response to increased Chinese economic and military power, and the Chinese government responded to the Quadrilateral dialogue by issuing formal diplomatic protests to its members.

What was the intention?

  • The initiation of an American, Japanese, Australian and Indian defense arrangement, modeled on the concept of a Democratic Peace
  • The Quadrilateral was supposed to establish an “Asian Arc of Democracy,” envisioned to ultimately include countries in central Asia, Mongolia, the Korean peninsula, and other countries in Southeast Asia: “virtually all the countries on China’s periphery, except for China itself.”

ASEAN meeting

  • Convened around the theme of a “free and open Indo-Pacific,” the first quadrilateral meeting addressed seven core themes: the rules-based order in Asia, freedom of navigation and overflight in the maritime commons, respect for international law, enhancing connectivity, maritime security, the North Korean threat and nonproliferation, and terrorism.
  • The agreements on terror financing, chemical weapons and de-radicalisation adopted at the East Asia Summit will help the region cope with the threat of terrorism effectively in future.


  • The Quadrilateral was viewed as an “Asian NATO;”
  • Daniel Twining of the German Marshall Fund of the United States has written that the arrangement “could lead to military conflict,” or could instead “lay an enduring foundation for peace” if China becomes a democratic leader in Asia.

Category: POLITY

1. SC dismisses petition for SIT probe in bribery case

In news:

  • The Supreme Court dismissed a petition filed by advocate Kamini Jaiswal seeking a Special Investigation Team probe in the medical college bribery case as an effort to “create ripples” within the apex court by throwing scandalous allegations at Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.


  • The case, which the Central Bureau of Investigation is looking into, involves allegations that former members of the higher judiciary took bribes to manipulate court orders in favour of medical colleges that had failed to get official registrations.

Controversy in Supreme Court:

  • Jaiswal’s petition was mentioned before a two-judge bench headed by Justice Chelameswar for urgent hearing. The judge decided to take up the petition.
  • This bench referred the matter to a larger five-judge Constitution bench on November 13.
  • The petitioners had said that the bench should exclude Chief Justice Dipak Misra, who handled cases related to the Medical Council of India earlier this year, as there would be a conflict of interest.


  • However, a Constitution bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, in an unprecedented hearing, nullified Justice Chelameswar’s order
  • The bench had said “the chief justice is the master of the roster” and no other judges of the Supreme Court can constitute benches.
  • Future
  • On November 11, the Supreme Court even issued a circular that from now on, all unassigned or unlisted cases can be mentioned only before the chief justice of India.


1. Indians add more years to their lives

  • ‘India State-Level Disease Burden,’ has revealed severe inequalities in the disease burden in different States.

Life Expectancy

  • Life expectancy at birth in the country improved significantly during 1990 to 2016 — from 59.7 years and 58.3 years for females and males respectively in 1990 to 70.3 years for females and 66.9 years for males in 2016.
  • But in a measure of the continuing inequalities, the life expectancy for females in Uttar Pradesh was 66.8 years — below the national average and 12 years less than in Kerala, where it was 78.7 years.
  • Again, men in Kerala enjoyed a life expectancy of 73.8 years, but the corresponding figure for men in Assam was 63.6 years.

Under five morality

  • The study found that while under-5 mortality was improving in every State, there was a four-fold difference in the rate of improvement among States, which again indicated health inequalities.

Who published the report?

  • The report was prepared under the India State-level Disease Burden Initiative, a joint project between the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • The report’s findings were published in the journal Lancet.

Basic Information:

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

  • ICMR the apex body for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research
  • It is one of the oldest and largest medical research bodies in the world.
  • The ICMR is funded by the Government of India through the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
  • ICMR’s 26 National Institutes address themselves to research on specific health topics like tuberculosis, leprosy, cholera and diarrhoeal diseases, viral diseases
  • The Council’s research priorities coincide with National health priorities
  • The Governing Body of the Council is presided over by the Union Health Minister.

2. Burden of disease shifts to non-communicable ailments

 In news:

  • The ‘India State Level Disease Burden’ report, prepared as part of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study 2016, and published in Lancet, has found that every State in India has a higher burden from non-communicable diseases and injuries than from infectious diseases.
  • The study used multiple data sources to map State-level disease burden from 333 disease conditions and injuries, and 83 risk factors for each State from 1990 to 2016.


  • The contribution of non-communicable diseases to health loss — fuelled by unhealthy diets, high blood pressure, and blood sugar — has doubled in India over the past two decades
  • Air pollution and tobacco smoking continue to be major contributors to health loss

C. GS3 Related


1. Winged guests flock to Chilika

In news:

  • With winter setting in, migratory birds have started to arrive at Odisha’s Chilika Lake, the largest brackish water lagoon in the country
  • Avian guests from north, central and east Siberia, China, Mongolia, west Asian countries and the Himalayan region of India reach Chilika every year during winter months.
  • The Nalabana island and its adjoining areas, spread over 15 sqkm inside the large lake, is a major perching region for these migratory birds

Delayed arrival

  • This year, the arrival of migratory birds was slightly delayed due to climatic conditions. Usually the birds arrive at the lake in the second fortnight of October, but this year they started flocking in the beginning of November.
  • Fall in atmospheric temperature was slightly late in this part of the country.
  • Added to that, sporadic rainfall that continued till October kept high patches and vegetation of the lake submerged.

 Where are they dispersed?

  • At present, the migratory birds are perching in areas where the water level is comparatively low and mud patches are visible.
  • Birds like waders are mostly seen at mud patches, while ducks are being sighted in areas of shallow water.
  • The other bird varieties that are being sighted in large numbers in the lake include pintails, gadwals, shovellers, rudy shelducks and pratincoles among others.

Bird-protection camps

  • As many as 19 bird-protection camps have been set up by the Forest Department at Nalabana sanctuary and other areas around Chilika Lake.
  • Around 30 former bird poachers, were arrested by the Forest Department in the past, are part of these bird-protection camps.
  • No boats, except for two power boats of the Forest Department, are being allowed to enter the sanctuary area.

Nalbana Bird Sanctuary

  • Nalbana Bird Sanctuary or Nalbana Island is the core area of the Ramsar designated wetlands of Chilika Lake.
  • It was declared a bird sanctuary under the Wildlife Protection Act in 1973
  • In the heart of the park, one can see thousands of birds descending during the migratory season. The island disappears during monsoon season due to inundation only to emerge again in post-monsoon.
  • Nalbana means a weed covered island In the Odia language.
  • Nalbana was notified in 1987 and declared a bird sanctuary in 1973 under the Wildlife Protection Act
  • In 2002, The Bombay Natural History Society survey recorded 540 nests of the Indian river tern at the island, the largest nesting colony in the southeast Asia


1. ‘Joint training doctrine’ for armed forces

In news:

  • In a first, the Indian armed forces released a joint training doctrine meant to facilitate joint training and planning.
  • Titled ‘Joint Training Doctrine Indian Armed Forces – 2017,’ it was released by Admiral Sunil Lanba, Navy Chief and Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, in the presence of other two Service Chiefs.


  • The aim of the doctrine is to promote ‘synergy’ and ‘integration’ among the three Services and other stake-holders leading to an enhanced efficiency and optimum utilisation of resources.
  • It will also go a long way in ‘fostering initiative’ and ‘stimulating creativity’ for promoting ‘integration’ between the three services in times to come

What is the doctrine about?

  • The doctrine brings out our approach to joint training at macro-level, fundamentals, objectives, joint structures, planning and organisation amongst other aspects in existence and in use in the armed forces
  • It will serve as a ‘foundation’ and ‘knowledge base’ from which specific directives and strategies will be derived, from time to time.


1. Rashtriya Bal Kalyan Award presented to Super-30 founder

In news:

  • President Ram Nath Kovind awarded this year’s “Rashtriya Bal Kalyan Award” to Super 30 founder Anand Kumar for his contributions in the field of teaching and education.
  • What is super 30?
  • Kumar’s Super 30 coaching institute has been providing free education, accommodation and food to students coming from the underprivileged section of society to crack the prestigious IIT entrance examination.
  • Over 400 students have cracked IIT-JEE from Super -30 coaching institute since it has started in the year 2002 in Patna. Mr. Kumar now aims to increase the strength of students at Super 30.

Details about award

  • The award, launched by the Department of Women and Child Development, carries a citation and Rs. 1 lakh.
  • The awardees are selected after shortlisting the entries from all over the country.

2. Rasogolla hits sweet spot, gets GI tag

In news:

  • The Geographical Indication (GI) Registry and Intellectual Property India presented the Geographical Indication Tag status to Banglar Rasogolla of West Bengal and
  • Mamallapuram stone sculptures of Tamil Nadu.
  • Tamil Nadu in its application stated that the sculptures from Mamallapuram were known to be carved in stone with characteristics of intricate designing chiselled finely, keeping with the spirit of the surrounding Pallava art and architecture.
  • The description includes cave architecture, rock architecture, structural temples, open sculptures, relief sculptures and painting/portrait sculptures.
  • West Bengal was involved in a lengthy battle with Odisha, which too had claimed Rasogolla as its invention.


  • West Bengal believes that the Rasogolla was invented in Calcutta by confectioner Nabin Chandra Das. West Bengal in its application had provided proof of origin — historical records dating back to 1896.
  • Odisha says it was invented in the holy city of Puri in the 13th century.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for Today!!!


Nothing here for Today!!!

F. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Consider the following statements:
  1. The Guitar fish is native to coastal waters of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
  2. The Ganges Shark is native to Arabian Sea.
  3. Both Guitar fish and Ganges shark falls under Critically Endangered species category.

Choose the correct options

  1. 1 only
  2. 1 and 2 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. All are correct


Question 2. The Arabian Seas Region covers the waters of
  1. Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Sea of Oman, and the Persian Gulf
  2. Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and Sea of Oman
  3. Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Sea of Oman, and the Persian Gulf
  4. None of the above


Question 3. Consider the following statements
  1. Carbon nanotubes have been used in planes for their strength – they are stronger than steel and their ability to conduct heat
  2. Carbon nanotubes can stay stable at temperatures up to 400 degrees Celsius.
  3. Boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) are also able to handle high amounts of stress and are extremely lightweight, which can also be made use of in planes.

Choose the correct options

  1. 1 only
  2. 1 and 2 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. All are correct


Question 4. Consider the following statements with reference to The marginal cost of 
funds based lending rate (MCLR)
  1. It refers to the minimum interest rate of a bank below which it cannot lend, except in some cases allowed by the RBI.
  2. It refers to the maximum interest rate of a bank above which it cannot lend, except in some cases allowed by the RBI.
  3. MCLR describes the method by which the minimum interest rate for loans is determined by a bank.
  4. MCLR actually describes the method by which the maximum interest rate for loans is determined by a bank.

Choose the correct statements from the options given below

  1. 1 and 4
  2. 1 and 3
  3. 2 and 4
  4. 1 and 4


Question 5. Consider the following statements with reference to Faster 
Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India 
  1. The scheme is formulated by Department of Heavy Industry
  2. The scheme is one of the green initiatives of the Government of India
  3. The scheme is intended to support the hybrid/electric vehicles market development and its manufacturing eco-system to achieve self-sustenance

Choose the correct statements from the options given below

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 1 and 3
  3. 2 and 3
  4. All are correct


Question 6. Which among the following temples of India is known as Black Pagoda? 
  1. Sun Temple, Konark
  2. Brihadeeswara Temple, Tanjore
  3. Lord Jagannath Temple, Puri
  4. Meenakshi Temple, Madurai



G. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

GS Paper I
  • “A child bride is more than doubly prone to health problems than a grown-up woman,” Discuss.
  • The effective management of land and water resources will drastically reduce the human miseries. Explain
GS Paper II
  • Under the Indian Constitutional and Legal framework, what constitutes Hate speech? How does it violate Fundamental Right to Equality enshrined under Article 14?
Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

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