11 Feb 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis


A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
1. Modi reiterates support for Palestine
2. Grand Collar of the State of Palestine
1. Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) 
C. GS3 Related
1. Clean Air Campaign
1. Solution to Hmar Issue
1. Alzheimer’s gets a biomarker
2. Bio-inspired robots can mimic live fish
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
F. Prelims Fact
G. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

B. GS2 Related


1. Modi reiterates support for Palestine

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India supports the Palestine cause for “sovereign, independent Palestine living in a peaceful environment” as a part of its foreign Policy. This is the first time an Indian PM has visited Palestine


  • India’s support for Palestine is “unbroken and unwavering. That’s why I am here, in Ramallah,” Mr. Modi said at the administrative headquarters of the Palestinian Authority.

Agreements Initiated

After bilateral talks, the two sides signed six agreements worth around $50 million, including one for

  • Setting up a $30 million super speciality hospital in Beit Sahur
  • Agreements were also signed to build schools,
  • A diplomatic training institute and
  • A woman’s empowerment and training centre.

2. Grand Collar of the State of Palestine

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conferred the ‘Grand Collar of the State of Palestine’ by President Mahmoud Abbas, recognizing his key contribution to promote relations between India and Palestine.
  • The Grand Collar is Highest order given to foreign dignitaries — Kings, Heads of State/Government and persons of similar rank.
  • It has in the past been awarded to King Salman of Saudi Arabia, King Hamad of Bahrain, President Xi Jinping of China, amongst others.


1. Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)

  • Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a diverse group of communicable diseases that prevail in tropical and subtropical conditions common in low-income populations in developing regions of Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
  • Populations living in poverty, without adequate sanitation and in close contact with infectious vectors and domestic animals and livestock are those worst affected.
  • They are caused by a variety of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, protozoa and helminths.

Diseases that are most prevalent in India

  • They include lymphatic filariasis, soil transmitted helminthiases, trachoma, visceral leishmaniasis, dengue, rabies, cysticercosis and Japanese encephalitis. India also bears a high burden of intestinal worm infections (hookworms, whipworms and Ascaris worms).

Policy Initiatives

  • National Deworming Day (February 10) children between ages 1 to 19 through schools and Anganwadi centres would have been dewormed in order to improve their nutritional status and well-being
  • Lymphatic Filariasis Programme will reach out to those above two years, by using health workers across select endemic districts to administer anti-filarial drugs.

Both Programmes involve the distribution of drugs free of cost through periodic rounds of mass drug administration (MDA)

What needs to be done to make it Successful?

  • Clear communication strategies need to be evolved as many a time the benefit of such programmes is not understood by many
  • Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) strategies, a critical component of prevention and care for all NTDs needs to be realized
    • Focused efforts on WASH are a must especially in NTD control where transmission is closely linked to poor WASH conditions, examples being soil-transmitted helminthiasis, schistosomiasis, trachoma and lymphatic filariasis.
  • NTD-control Programme can be designed to be community-based then these can act as a gateway to universal health coverage as it reaches marginalised populations through well-trusted health workers who provide quality, free-of-cost drugs to the population.

C. GS3 Related


1. Clean Air Campaign

  • The campaign seeks to sensitise ground-level functionaries and general public to enforce the habit of environmental protection to improve the quality of air
  • It will be a two weeks program, with support from Delhi government, New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and other municipal agencies.
  • The campaign will see the deployment of 70 teams to monitor causes of pollution in the Capital and initiate re- medial measures, including penal action against serious polluters, on the spot.
  • The teams will be provided with checklists so that there is focused activity on mitigation of pollution, including effective measures for dust mitigation, solid waste management and prevention of garbage burning.


1. Solution to Hmar Issue


  • The HPC (D) leaders expressed optimism that the peace parleys would make a headway in bringing amicable solution to the vexed Hmar problem.
  • The proposed political level talks, proposed to be held before Christmas in 2017 was delayed as Mizoram chief minister Lal Thanhawla constituted a three-member committee of legislators to examine the draft legislation on the formation of Sinlung Hills Council (SHC).


  • The talks held during August, 2016 and September, 2017 mainly revolved around giving more autonomy to the existing Sinlung Hills Development Council (SHDC) as also restructuring the Council.
  • The name of the Council was proposed to be changed from Sinlung Hills Development Council to Sinlung Hills Council.


  • The Hmars belong to the Chin-Kuki-Mizo group of tribes, and are recognised as Scheduled Tribe under the 6th Schedule of the Constitution of India.
  • They are a tribal people living in Assam, Mizoram and Manipur, mainly in the area where these states meet.


  • Hmar People’s Convention- Democracy (HPC-D) is an offshoot of the Hmar People’s Convention (HPC), which came into existence in 1986, as a political party spearheading a movement for self-government in the north and northeast of Mizoram.
  • The purported objective of the outfit over the years has changed from an autonomous district covering the north and northeast Mizoram to an independent Hmar State (Hmar ram) consisting of the Hmar inhabited areas of Mizoram, Manipur and Assam.


1. Alzheimer’s gets a biomarker

  • Loss of dendritic spines from the surface of a nerve cell is recognized as an early feature of Alzheimer’s
  • Projections on the dendrites called spines grow or shrink in response to activity-dependent modification and correlates with normal memory or memory deficit

What is F-actin?

  • Filamentous actin (F-actin) is a cytoskeletal protein which is responsible for maintaining the shape of the spines.
  • While F-actin is formed by polymerisation of monomeric globular-actin (G-actin), depolymerisation leads to loss of F-actin and, in turn, the loss of spines. F-actin is crucial for memory consolidation.

Results as a result of experiments on Animals

  • The change in the ratio of F-actin and G-actin led to loss of spines.
  • The decrease in F-actin level and loss of spine thereof translated into memory deficit
  • Loss in F-actin level leads to early behavioral changes that would eventually lead to Alzheimer’s disease
  • The correlation seen between mouse model and human disease indicates the potential to use F-actin levels as a biomarker.


  • Researchers at Bengaluru’s Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have identified a potential biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for Today!!!

E. Editorials

Nothing here for Today!!!

F. Prelims Fact

Great Egret/ Common Egret / Great White Heron

  • It has four subspecies found in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and southern Europe. Distributed across most of the tropical and warmer temperate regions of the world.
  • It builds tree nests in colonies close to water.
  • IUCN: Least Concern

Rosy Starling

  • They migrate from Eastern Europe across Sothern Asia to the south.
  • The starling is a winter visitor in Sri Lanka and India, including the states of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and the rest of Andhra.
  • They help in eliminating locusts in the fields.
  • IUCN: Least Concern

Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome

  • Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome is a condition characterized by short stature, moderate to severe intellectual disability, distinctive facial features, and broad thumbs and first toes
  • Additional features of the disorder can include eye abnormalities, heart and kidney defects, dental problems, and obesity.
  • People with this condition have an increased risk of developing noncancerous and cancerous tumors, including certain kinds of brain tumors
  • Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome can involve serious complications such as a failure to gain weight and grow at the expected rate (failure to thrive) and life-threatening infections.
  • Rubinstein Taybi Syndrome has a frequency of about one in one lakh people

G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Zinc Fingers and TALENs are related to
  1. Cyber Security
  2. A product by Google to Prevent Plagiarism
  3. An environmental tool to fight water Pollution
  4. Gene editing Technique


Question 2.The Priyadarshini Scheme in news is related to
  1. Promotion of online market for women entrepreneurs
  2. Providing nutritional updates to Pregnant women in Rural and tribal areas
  3. Livelihood enhancement Project in mid gangetic plains
  4. Targeted conditional cash transfer scheme aimed at retaining girls in schools and other educational institutions


Question 3. Consider the following statements regarding Nai Manzil
  1. The scheme will address educational and livelihood needs of minority communities in general and Muslims in particular
  2. The scheme aims at providing educational intervention by giving the bridge courses to the trainees and getting them Certificates for Class XII only from distance medium educational system and at the same time also provide them trade basis skill training in 6 courses
  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2


Question 4. With reference to National Investment Fund (NIF), consider the following statements
  1. Purpose of the fund was to receive disinvestment proceeds of central public sector enterprises and to invest the same to generate earnings
  2. Earnings of the Fund were to be used for selected Central social welfare Schemes
  3. Fund is part of consolidated fund of India
  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. All of the above


Question 5.‘Susu’ lives in which of these regions?
  1. Ganga River System
  2. Western Ghats
  3. Silent Valley
  4. Chilka Lake



G. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

GS Paper III
  1. What are Pressure Mines? Why are the Maoists deploying them? How can the Govt overcome this Problem?
GS Paper III
  1. What are the reasons for continued increase of Acid Attacks? Also explain the Guidelines of Home ministry to curb this Menace.



Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

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