UPSC Exam: Comprehensive News Analysis - January 21


A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
1. National Urban Policy: Single policy for multiple states
2. Govt plans liveability index of 116 cities
3. ‘Bharat Ke Veer’ anthem unveiled
1. Private unaided schools deserve a better bargain
C. GS3 Related
D. GS4 Related
E. Prelims Fact
F. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
G. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!


B. GS2 Related


1. National Urban Policy: Single policy for multiple states

In news:

India’s first National Urban Policy framework:

  • The Union government is set to come up with India’s first National Urban Policy framework by March this year.
  • The housing and urban affairs ministry has appointed a panel, headed by Smart City Mission Director.
  • There has never been a comprehensive national policy that spells out the country’s plan for urbanization.
  • This is because urban development is a state subject until now.

Habitat III

  • It is a bi-decennial United Nations (UN) conference on housing and sustainable urban development.
  • New Urban Agenda, released at Habitat III defines what nations are expected to do towards the cause of sustainable urban development in the period 2016-30.

UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

  • Goal No. 11 of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals requires world leaders to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • As per UN estimates, urban India will have 583 million people by 2030, with an addition of 65 million to the current urban population base

Effect of India’s urbanization on world

  • India will account for 18-19 percent of the global increase in urban population and therefore its urban development indicators such as water supply, sanitation, garbage management etc will affect global averages.
  • Indian cities currently contribute 63 percent of the country’s GDP.

Tackling urbanization challenges in a different way:

  • Taking urbanization as an opportunity rather than a challenge.
  • Citizen-centric approach to align the development agenda of the cities with people’s priorities and needs.
  • Cooperative federalism: Freedom and resources to states/urban local bodies (ULBs) to design and implement
  • Focus on infrastructure that leads to delivery of services to citizens
  • Renewed focus on integrated planning through convergence and qualitative improvements
  • Commitment to environment sustainability
  • Focus on inclusive growth
  • Technology to enhance efficiency of services delivery

India’s vision of urbanization


  • It lays down 10 broad levers to make cities work towards greater efficiency, inclusion, sustainability, and safety
    • Putting in place integrated urban policies consistent with principle of co-operative federalism
    • Harmonize agglomeration economies
    • Harnessing the rural-urban continuum
    • Promoting inclusive urban development
    • Recognize and actively promote the centrality of sustainability
    • Empowering municipalities and other local level institutions
    • Strengthening housing finance system
    • Provision and financing of urban infrastructure and basic services
    • Access to social justice and gender equity
    • Robust urban information system


2. Govt plans liveability index of 116 cities

In news:

In news:

  • The ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has decided to bring out a liveability index of 116 cities, including the 99 smart cities already identified, state capitals, and cities with 1 million-plus population.
  • The cities, which together account for a total population of 13.4 crore people, will be ranked in order of the quality of life they offer.

Modus Operandi

  • The ministry has decided to involve the Economist Intelligence Unit, which brings out an annual liveability index of cities across the world, for the purpose
  • The programme would be funded by the World Bank.

Global Liveability Ranking

  • Currently, the EIU’s ‘Global Liveability Ranking’ for 140 cities includes only two Indian cities — Mumbai and Delhi
  • As per the 2015 index, both cities fare poorly, with Delhi at 100th spot and Mumbai at 115th.
  • The ranking is based on parameters like stability, healthcare, culture, environment, education and infrastructure.

Liveability Standards’

  • In June last year ministry had launched a set of ‘Liveability Standards’ relevant to Indian cities
  • It included 79 indicators in 15 categories for measuring institutional, social, economic and physical aspects that affect quality of life
  • These included education, healthcare, roads, mobility, jobs, grievance redressal, pollution, emergency response, green open spaces, as well as cultural and entertainment opportunities


3. ‘Bharat Ke Veer’ anthem unveiled

In news:
  • Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched an official anthem for “Bharat Ke Veer”, an initiative with a corpus fund to help the families of paramilitary troopers killed in the line of duty.
  • The anthem is sung and composed by singer Kailash Kher.
  • The initiative, launched by the Home Minister in April last year, seeks to help families of paramilitary personnel killed in combat operations.
  • As part of the initiative, a corpus fund was formed to raise money for the families of martyred soldiers.



1. Private unaided schools deserve a better bargain

In news:

Highlights of Annual Survey of Education Report (Aser) 2017: “Beyond Basics”

  • The survey finds that while 86% of adolescents are enrolled in schools, they are under-equipped to contribute to the economy in any meaningful way
  • Twenty-five per cent of the students cannot read a basic text in their own language fluently
  • Forty per cent of 18-year-olds cannot read a simple sentence in English
  • And they lack basic arithmetic skills; only 43% of them could perform a simple division

Elementary level

  • India has achieved universal enrolment at the elementary level
  • This is a great achievement, but getting students to school is only the beginning of human capital formation
  • The drop in the enrolment rate in secondary education (78.5%), shows that something is wrong in our quality of instruction

Private unaided schools versus government schools

  • Private unaided schools have much better learning outcomes per unit of expenditure
  • Contrary to popular opinion, most private unaided schools are inexpensive
  • 80% of them charge a fee that is lower than the government’s per-pupil expenditure (PPE)
  • In terms of learning outcomes, both private and government schools performed poorly, but private schools perform better
  • Thus, the data shows that private unaided schools are delivering the same, if not better, despite resource constraints

Private School

  • Despite qualified teachers, mid-day meals and free admissions, 13 million students left government schools between 2011 and 2016
  • While private school enrolment increased by 17 million in that duration
  • Clearly, people are choosing private schools for their better service

Corrective measures:

  • The government should support children education by giving school vouchers to all underprivileged students
  • The students can choose to spend the voucher in their government school, or give it to a private school
  • This will increase the purchasing power of all parents and allow them to send their child to school for more years, or send them to a better school

Higher dropout among girls:

  • The ASER report points to another important problem: more girls than boys drop out of school between ages 14-18.

Policy measures:

  • Policies such as free bicycles to girls in Bihar have been successful in increasing enrolment by improving mobility.
  • Building gender-specific toilets in schools is another measure that helps in improving girls’ enrolment.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for Today!!!

E. Prelims Fact

Nothing here for Today!!!

F. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Consider the following statements with reference to Habitat III
    1. It is a bi-decennial United Nations (UN) conference on housing and sustainable urban development
    2. The Habitat III Conference reinvigorates the global commitment to sustainable urbanization, to focus on the implementation of a “New Urban Agenda.
      1. 1 only
      2. 2 only
      3. Both 1 and 2
      4. Neither 1 nor 2




Question 2.Consider the following statements : 
      1. The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) has developed a set of ‘Liveability Standards in Cities’ to generate a Liveability Index and rate cities.
      2. ‘Liveability Standards in Cities’ includes various parameters like education, healthcare, roads, mobility, jobs, grievance redressal, pollution, emergency response, green open spaces, as well as cultural and entertainment opportunities

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

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




Question 3. Consider the following statement with reference to a device Genexpert which was in news recently
  1. Genexpert can run molecular test
  2. It can diagnose TB and HIV infections
  3. The device size is equivalent to that of a microwave oven

Which of the above statements are correct?

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




Question 4. Consider the following statement with reference to CERT-In which was in news recently
    1. The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) is an office within the Ministry of defense.
    2. It is the nodal agency to deal with cyber security threats like hacking and phishing.
      1. 1 only
      2. 2 only
      3. Both 1 and 2
      4. Neither 1 nor 2




Question 5. Consider the following statement with reference to Global Entry Programme which was in news recently:
          1. India recently signed to join this programme
          2. This scheme will allow expedited entry into the US to all travellers from India

Which of the above is/are correct?

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




G. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

GS Paper IV
  1. What is ’emotional intelligence’ and how can it be developed in people? How does it help an individual in taking ethical decisions? (2013 mains)
  2. Given below are three quotations of great moral thinkers/philosophers. For each of these quotations, bring out what it means to you in the present context: (2013 mains)
    1. “There is enough on this earth for every one’s need but for no one’s greed.” Mahatma Gandhi.
    2. “Nearly all men can withstand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”—Abraham Lincoln
    3. “I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who overcomes his enemies.”—Aristotle
Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

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