[16 Oct 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

News

NGT seeks report on Ganga clean-up

The National Green Tribunal has directed the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh and the Uttarakhand governments to file affidavits stating what steps they have taken to comply with its directions to clean the Ganga in the stretch between Gomukh and Unnao.

News related to the NGT are generally important for the exam. But this article is on some directions by the NGT, to the centre. These kind of directions are very general, nothing much special about them. No need to go through every direction given by court on the issue. Just try to know the basics of the issues related to the cleaning of the Ganga.

 

7 Lok Sabha byelections soon

Even as the result of the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha by-election in Punjab was declared on Sunday, byelections to seven Lok Sabha seats in various States are expected to be conducted soon.

News related to by-elections are not important. Nothing special about them. But you should go through the basics of by-election, possible reasons behind them. (If you have not went through the basics yet)

 

On dangerous footing

By refusing to certify the Iran nuclear deal, which curbed its nuclear programme in return for lifting global sanctions, U.S. President Donald Trump has put the two-year-old pact on dangerous footing. Under American law, the administration has to certify that Iran is technically in compliance with the deal that was struck between Iran and six other world powers, including the U.S., every 90 days

The op-ed is related to the foreign policy of the US, it will have negligible effect on India. Therefore, the op-ed is not important for the UPSC exam.


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[14 Oct 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Historian Satish Chandra passes away

Veteran historian of medieval India and noted educational administrator Satish Chandra passed away on Friday. He was 95. He will be cremated at the Lodhi Road crematorium on Saturday, after which a prayer meeting will be held at Chinmaya Mission.

The UPSC generally don’t ask personality based questions. Therefore, this news is of very less importance from the exam perspective. But still, if you can remember the particulars of the historians, then it may be fruitful for you at the interview stage.(low benefit-to-cost ratio).

 

4 officials held for diverting govt. funds to NSCN(K)

The National Investigation Agency has arrested four Nagaland officials for allegedly diverting government funds to banned terrorist organisation NSCN (K). “The accused in their official capacity provided substantial amount to NSCN(K) by way of contributing Government funds to the banned outfit, thereby supporting NSCN(K) in furtherance of its unlawful activities,” an NIA statement said.

Corruption is a serious issue. But no need to go after individual corruption cases, because the UPSC don’t ask questions on them.

 

Benefit of doubt

The Allahabad High Court verdict acquitting Rajesh Talwar and Nupur Talwar of the charge of murdering their 14-year-old daughter Aarushi and domestic worker Hemraj in May 2008 is not merely an indictment of the Central Bureau of Investigation Special Court that sentenced them to life in 2013.

The Op-Ed talks about a very popular case. But popularity doesn’t matter for the UPSC exam. Just stick to the syllabus and eliminate unnecessary things(from the UPSC exam perspective). The UPSC don’t ask direct questions on such kind of issues.


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[13 Oct 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Bar on online cracker purchase

The Delhi Police have said the Supreme Court’s ban on sale of firecrackers in Delhi and the NCR region applied to online sale and purchase too. Action will be taken against those who try to sell or purchase firecrackers online, they said.

Important news for general public, but not important for the UPSC exam. We have written many newscards on this, you can go through them for better understanding of the issue.

 

No conclusive evidence against the duo: HC

The Allahabad High Court, in its verdict on Thursday acquitting the dentist-couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in the 2008 murder of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj, dismissed the trial court’s contention that since nobody else but the parents were present in the house on the night of the killings, only they were likely to have committed the crime.

It is a very popular case. But popularity doesn’t matter for the UPSC exam. Just stick to the syllabus and eliminate unnecessary things(from the UPSC exam perspective).

 

The house on Primrose Hill

On October 14, 1956, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar converted to Buddhism during a massive public ceremony held in Nagpur, at a place thereafter named Deeksha Bhoomi . He took Buddhist vows in order to reject his Hindu birth at the very bottom of the caste order, and because, as he declared: “I like the religion that teaches liberty, equality and fraternity.” More than 400,000 people, most of them born Dalit, underwent the conversion, along with him, on that historic day 61 years ago.

The Op-Ed talks about Dr BR Ambedkar. He is a very important personality, of the Indian Modern History. But this article is about the personal point of view of the writer, on Ambedkar. Personal point of views are not important for the exam. So, you can skip this article.


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[12 Oct 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Direct tax collections rise 15.8% in H1 FY’18

Net direct tax collections for the first half of the financial year, at Rs. 3.86 lakh crore, were 15.8% higher than the collections in the same period of the previous year, according to official data released on Wednesday.

Important part of the news is given above. But still, it is of very less importance to write down, every increase or decrease in tax collections.

 

Solar scam: Chandy to face vigilance probe

The government has asked Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (V&ACB) and a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by ADGP, North Zone, Rajesh Diwan, to probe the charges against Mr. Chandy and his personal staff.

Corruption is a serious concern and a important topic for the UPSC exam. But it is not important to go through individual cases of corruption.

 

Anupam Kher is FTII chairman

Veteran actor Anupam Kher was on Wednesday appointed the new chairperson of the premier Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) replacing Gajendra Chauhan.

Important part of the news is given above. No need to go through the complete article.

 

Learning from history

On January 30, 1948, at a time when northern and eastern India continued to be devastated by the horrors unleashed by the Partition, another appalling event rocked the newly independent and still fragile nation, the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

The Op-Ed talks about the historical overview of the Killing of Mahatma Gandhi(from a strictly personal point of view). These kind of articles are not important from the UPSC exam.


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[11 Oct 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Nisha Biswal made USIBC President

Nisha Desai Biswal, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, has been appointed president of the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), a forum of U.S. businesses under the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The UPSC generally don’t ask personality based questions. Therefore, this news is of very less importance from the exam perspective. But still, if you can remember the name of the new President, then it may be fruitful for you at the interview stage.(low benefit-to-cost ratio)

 

Three States cut VAT on petrol, diesel

The governments of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday announced reduction in the value added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel, effective midnight on Tuesday.

No need to note down every numerical value, of the increase or decrease in a particular tax rate. Just try to know its possible effects on the economy.

 

India, U.K. to firm up defence links

India and Britain hope to agree on concrete measures to take forward their defence partnership by next year, ahead of the next meeting of the two Prime Ministers, India’s Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra said during a three-day visit to the U.K. The meeting of the two leaders is widely expected to take place at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London in April 2018.

The article is on an important topic. But this article is full of individual statements of the officials. We can’t fetch anything important from it, for the exam.

 

Measuring judicial merit

Indian judges wield power like no others. For, which other judiciary can boast a free hand in crafting policy on an almost daily basis, setting up booze free zones, mandating theatrical standing for the national anthem and even controlling a circus called cricket.

The Op-Ed talks about the recent decision taken by the Supreme Court on maintaining the transparency in Judicial appointments and transfers. This article has very less relevance from the UPSC perspective. Because it is of very technical type(in law field). No need to go too deep inside any issue.
(If you have Law as your optional, then you should read it)


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[10 Oct 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

ONGC may sell Indian Oil Corp. stake to LIC

State-owned ONGC is likely to sell some of its stake in IOC to institutional investors like LIC to part-fund its more than Rs. 34,000-crore acquisition of refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL). Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) holds 13.77% stake in India’s biggest refiner Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), which was worth over Rs. 27,800 crore as per Monday’s market price. It has another 4.87% stake in GAIL India Ltd. worth Rs. 1,600 crore.

Important part of the news is given above. But still, we will wait for the final decision and then write newscards on it.

 

SC to see CBI’s documents on Karti Chidambaram’s foreign account, property

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would peruse on October 11 the documents provided in a sealed cover by the CBI which has tried to nail Karti Chidambaram, son of former Union Minister P. Chidambaram, about his foreign bank accounts and properties.

Corruption is a serious issue. But no need to go after individual corruption cases, because the UPSC don’t ask questions on them.

 

Problem animals

In June this year, the Bombay High Court quashed an order by the Maharashtra Forest Department to shoot a tigress in the Bramhapuri region after she killed two persons. The death warrant was overturned as a result of a Public Interest Litigation petition by an animal rights activist, which argued that the tigress’s behaviour had been forged by illegal human intrusion into her territory. Forest officials were then forced to capture the problem animal and re-release her in the Bor forest reserve, less than 200 km away, putting another set of villagers in harm’s way.

The Op-Ed talks about an environment related case in the Bombay High Court. It is not important to go through the minuscule details of the case, as given in this article.


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[9 Oct 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

NCLT directs infra firm to file accounts

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Chennaidirected Billiance Infrastructure Private Limited to file with the Registrar of Companies (ROC) Chennaipending financial statements and an affidavit that the company did not involve itself in any unlawful activities and was not used as means to transact tainted money during demonetisation.

Some News related to NCLT are important. But it is not important to go through each and every news of the NCLT which is about the cases related to private companies(as given in this article).

 

Railways move to end decades-old VIP culture

Railway Ministry has virtually asked its senior staff to slug it out — at home and at work — as part of steps to end the VIP culture in India’s national transporter. In an unprecedented move, the Ministry has ended a 36-year-old protocol that made it mandatory for general managers to be present on the arrival and departure of Railway Board chairman and other board members during zonal visits.

Good move taken by the government. But the UPSC generally do not ask direct questions on these kind of developments. Nothing much important can be fetched from this news.

 

The legacy that binds

In January 2013, within minutes of Rahul Gandhi’s anointment as Congress vice president, fireworks lit up the winter evening in Jaipur. The occasion was the party’s chintan shivir , or brainstorming session, and the announcement was seen to be a prelude to his becoming the next president. The air was decidedly celebratory.

The Op-Ed talks about the historical facts(post-independence) of the Indian National Congress(INA). Internal party politics is not important from the UPSC perspective and the UPSC don’t ask direct questions on these topics. But still if you have time, then you can read it to know post-independence party politics in India. Also, the writer of the article is trying to connect historical facts with contemporary situation in Indian Politics. So, read and build your views.


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[7 Oct 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

GST is an additional burden on aviation: SpiceJet’s Singh

SpiceJet chairman and managing director Ajay Singh said on Friday that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) had become an additional burden on the civil aviation sector that needs to become globally competitive in order to boost tourism.

These kind of personal statements or statements from private officials are not important for the UPSC perspective. Why? Because we can’t mention these statements in mains papers. Yes, we can mention them in interview, but the benefit-to-cost ratio of remembering these statements is very low. So, we can avoid them.

 

Poor worst hit by note ban, GST: Kamal Nath

Senior Congress leader and former commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath on Friday said following demonetisation, though the government has been pushing the rhetoric of class war and the narrative it was an exercise to fight corruption, the common people have realised that they are the only ones suffering. He said demonetisation severely affected rural India, traders and farmers.

Political statements are not important from the UPSC perspective.

 

ED attaches Rs. 8.47 crore in assets in note exchange case

The Enforcement Directorate has attached assets estimated at Rs. 8.47 crore in connection with the alleged conversion of Rs. 40 crore in demonetised notes using accounts of shell companies.

No need to go too deep inside every corruption case. We should go only for those cases which are unique, revealing any special or significant issue, etc. For examples, corruption or money laundering through shell companies.

 

The smoke signals from China

For China watchers, the popular TV series, ‘Game of Thrones’, is but an anaemic trifle when compared to the backroom intrigue and power play expected at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The Congress will begin on October 18, accompanied by platoons of analysts in paroxysms of tea leaf-reading, attempting to decipher which men — no woman has so far been appointed to the Party’s highest body: the Politburo Standing Committee — will control the levers of power in the country that is increasingly shaping global affairs.

The Op-Ed talks about the internal politics of China. Internal politics of any other country have almost no effect on Indian policies. Therefore, this article is not important for the exam.


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[6 Oct 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

India disputes ILO’s slavery report

The report, released on September 19, does not contain any India-specific findings, barring a mention that 17,000 people were interviewed for the survey. The letter follows a missive from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to the government about documentation by multiple international organisations on slavery in India that can hurt India’s image and exports.

We have written a newscard on the same issue, few days ago. That article had more important facts in comparison to this article.

 

NHRC issues notice on fake encounter charge

The National Human Rights Commission issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government and the police on Thursday, after the family of wanted criminal Sumit Gurjar alleged that he was killed in a staged police encounter.

Not every notice issues by the NHRC is important from the UPSC perspective. Only those notices are important which can have any significant affect on government policies.

 

Snow leopard photographed in Arunachal

Scientists have obtained the first evidence of the elusive snow leopard in Arunachal Pradesh. Camera traps have captured images of the big cat at Thembang village’s Community Conserved Area, a community-owned reserve, in West Kameng district.

Important part of the news is given above. No need to go too deep inside the news. Just try to know more about snow leopards.

 

Does India need a bullet train?

The Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train is a vanity project which has little or no justification on the grounds of economic viability or public service. Even the vanity angle — looking to position India among the ranks of developed countries — is a huge overreach. Only a handful of high-income countries with specific demographics have high-speed rail (HSR), while many have failed in their efforts or have abandoned it after studying it. The main problem is viability, given the huge costs involved.

The Op-Ed talks about the viability of Bullet Train in India. We have done many newscards on the same issue. No need to stick to the same topic, if you have done with all the newscards written by us.


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[5 Oct 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

‘GST is hurting used-car business’

The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has turned the used-car business topsy-turvy for organised players. At a time when the pre-owned car business is slowly coming on to the formal sector with more established players (especially carmakers) entering the fray, the applicability of GST on second-hand cars has placed a big question mark on the viability of the business, said sources in the industry.

It is not important to go through the effects of GST on every product. Just try to know its effects on essential products only.

 

Agusta deal middleman held in Italy

Wanted European middleman Carlos Gerosa has been apprehended by authorities in Italy on the basis of an Interpol notice activated by the ED in connection with its money laundering probe in the Rs. 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP choppers deal case.

It is a serious corruption case. But it is not important to note down every improvement in court proceedings. Only the final verdict is important.

 

Economy will recover in 6 months: Gadkari

Former Union Minister Arun Shourie called the demonetisation effected last year the world’s “largest money-laundering scheme” in an interview to NDTV. “I don’t agree with his views. All the money deposited in bank accounts will have to be accounted for. Black money in the economy will be reduced substantially,” Mr. Gadkari said.

The statement by the minister is more like a political statement and a speculation. No need to go through articles which talks about speculations.

 

Gathering clouds over West Asia

West Asia is in a period of heightened uncertainty. In the Levant, regional powers are scrambling to fill the vacuum created by the steady dismantling of the Islamic State’s sham caliphate across Syria and Iraq.

The Op-Ed talks about foreign policies of two foreign nations. Only those articles are important from the UPSC perspective which can have any significant affect on India.


[4 Oct 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

WEF’s India summit starts today

World Economic Forum’s 33rd India Economic Summit will kick off on Wednesday, in partnership with industry body CII. The theme of the conference is ‘Creating Indian Narratives on Global Challenges’.

Important part of the news is given above.

 

Excise duty on petrol, diesel cut by Rs. 2

The government on Tuesday slashed the excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs. 2 per litre, effective from October 4. “This decision has been taken to cushion the impact of rising international prices of crude petroleum oil and petrol and diesel on retail sale prices as well as to protect the interest of common man,” the Finance Ministry said.

It is not important to note down increase or decrease in excise duty and other taxes. Just try to know effects of this increase or decrease, how it effects economy, employment, etc.

 

Can India protect Rohingya, SC asks govt.

Can India protect a large section of humanity comprising Rohingya women, children, the sick and the old who are “really suffering”? This is the question the Supreme Court wants the government to answer. The government, meanwhile, said the crisis over its move to deport 40,000 Rohingya was not “justiciable”, that is, the issue outside the Supreme Court’s domain.

We are waiting for the final judgement on the issue. No need to keep an eye on the court proceedings, if you know the basics of the issue. After the judgement, we will definitely write newscards on it.

 

Carnage in Vegas

The famous Las Vegas Strip became the scene of a bloody gun rampage when a shooter fired high-powered automatic rounds into dense crowds at a music concert, killing at least 59 people and injuring more than 500.

The Op-Ed talks about the reasons that caused the recent mass shooting in the US. No need to stick to this news, just try to know the main reason behind this incident(which was already covered in other newscards written by us). Internal issues of other countries are not part of the UPSC syllabus, unless they effect India’s interests.


[3 Oct 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

‘India GDP to hit $6 trillion by 2027’

India is likely to be the world’s fastest-growing large economy in the next 10 years, driven by digitisation, favourable demographics, globalisation and reforms, predicts a Morgan Stanley report.

There are many prestigious reports out there, on Indian Economy. No need to mug up all of them. UPSC generally do not ask direct questions on these types of news.

 

Justice Rohini to head sub-categorisation panel

President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday appointed a commission to examine the sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) to ensure that the more backward among the communities can access the benefits of reservation.

UPSC generally do not ask personality based questions in prelims and mains. But still, it is important to remember the name for the interview. So, just remember the headline.

 

Tackling the economic slowdown

“All hat and no cattle” goes the Texan description of posturing without economic heft. The government of Narendra Modi should be prepared to receive such a verdict on its economic policy if things continue to go the way they are right now. Economic growth has slowed for five consecutive quarters, that is from late 2015-16 onwards. By now growth is slower than it was in the quarter in which it assumed office. For a government that had promised to turn around the economy through decisive governance, this must serve as a wake-up call.

The Op-Ed talks about the issue of declining growth rate. We have already done many newscards on the issue. No need to stick to the same issue again and again, unless something new is given in the article.


[30 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

‘Surgical strikes a bid to divert attention’

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Thursday alleged that the surgical strikes initiated by the Modi government were aimed at diverting the attention of people from pressing issues.

The article is about some political statements given by a senior political leader. These kind of political statements on important and crucial issues are not important from the UPSC perspective.

 

Govt. studying report on online abuse

The Home Ministry has said it is examining an expert committee report that has recommended measures to contain the growing menace of online abuse, particularly against women.

Online abuse is a serious issue. We will wait for the final official decision of the government, after going through this report. And after this, we will definitely write a newscard on it.

 

Rupee spurts 20 paise against dollar at 65.30

The rupee advanced 20 paise to 65.30 against the dollar in early session today, broadly in line with domestic stocks taking on some muscle with a bright start.

No need to not down such a minuscule data. The up and down of the currency value is not important for the UPSC, only the reason behind it is.

 

Hope in Darjeeling — On end of blockade

With a breakthrough ending the 104-day-long blockade in the Darjeeling hills, the Union and West Bengal governments must move forthwith to consolidate the ‘truce’ and address the setback to livelihoods and the local economy suffered over this period. The announcement on ending the bandh came from Bimal Gurung of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which had led the agitation.

The Op-Ed talks about the Gorkhaland issue. We have written many newscards on it. No need to stick to the same issue, if you have already done enough reading of the issue.


[29 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

VVPAT to be used in Gujarat polls

“This is the first time an entire assembly poll will be conducted using EVMs equipped with VVPAT,” Chief Electoral Officer B.B. Swain told mediapersons in Gandhinagar on Thursday.

Important part of the news is given above. UPSC generally don’t ask direct questions on such types of developments. But still it is important to remember the statement given above as it is happening for the first time.

 

‘Banks may risk losing Rs. 3,800 cr. from cards’

The Centre’s digital payments push, mainly card payments through PoS machines, may leave already capital starved banks bleeding by Rs. 3,800 crore annually, warns a report.

Every report on economy or industry is not important. Only those reports are important which are done by any Governmental organisation or any reputed organisation like World Bank, IMF, etc.

 

The 280-character test

Since its inception in 2009, the tweet as a form of expression has repeatedly proven that there are no limits to what can be unleashed in 140 characters. Just last month, the President of the United States managed to threaten the total nuclear annihilation of another country in one tweet. If he had the 280 characters that Twitter now proposes, it would probably be apocalypse now.

The Op-Ed talks about social media’s culture these days, of having nicknames of politicians and ideologies. Not important from the UPSC perspective.


[28 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Jio thanks TRAI chief Sharma

While incumbent operators sought an urgent intervention by the Telecom Ministry on TRAI’s recent decision to slash charges for cross-network calls, Reliance Jio, which has gained from the move, thanked TRAI chairman R.S. Sharma at the India Mobile Congress here.

Mostly, news related to TRAI are important. But this news talks about a private company’s comment on TRAI. Such types of news are not important from the UPSC perspective.

 

Soon, you will be able to order diesel online

The Minister was referring to a consultative committee meeting that took place in April in Srinagar, where the idea of doorstep delivery of fuel was first mooted as a viable model to increase digital transactions as well as shorten queues at petrol pumps.

The idea is just discussed. We will definitely write newscards on it, if it gets implemented. For now, just remember the headline.

 

CSIR’s biggest global deal stalled

The biggest international deal signed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to transfer technology and training to a company in Ethiopia has stalled, said a person familiar with the development. The CSIR had signed a $7 million (Rs. 45 crore approximately) agreement with the Metal Industries Development Institute (MIDI) on June 13. “There seems to be some red tape and has got to do with the conversion of foreign currency,” said a person familiar with framework of deal on condition of anonymity.

Important part of the news is given above. You can remember it as a latest example of Red-Tapism.

 

The unilateral vote

Referendums are in the news, with tensions mounting in Spain and West Asia over regional votes in Catalonia and Iraqi Kurdistan, respectively. Both in their own ways are a caution on how such instruments of direct democracy need to be used with care.

The Op-Ed talks about the internal politics of Middle-East countries. These types of articles are not important from the UPSC perspective.


[27 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Sale of tobacco only through licensed shops

In a blow to free-ranging sale of tobacco, the Health Ministry is tightening the screws on marketing, which will curb access and shield children. As part of the regulation of sale, the Ministry has asked all the State governments to develop a mechanism through the municipal authority to provide “permission/authorisation” to retail outlets selling tobacco products. Shops authorised to sell tobacco products will not be permitted to sell any non-tobacco products such as biscuits, toffees and chips that are essentially meant for non-tobacco users, especially children.

Important part of the news is given above. No need to go too deep inside the news.

 

NHRC notice to BHU V-C

Taking suo motu cognisance of media reports, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday issued notices to authorities in Uttar Pradesh and the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) over the alleged inaction on a complaint of harassment by a student and the subsequent violence against protesting students.

The UPSC generally don’t ask direct questions on these kind of issues. But still you should remember this news, as you can mention it somewhere. Also, you should go through the powers of the NHRC from any Indian Polity book like M Laxmikanth.

 

The fourth-term challenge

Germany’s election was supposed to be a sedate affair. Angela Merkel would be confirmed as Chancellor. The German people, happy with brisk growth, 4% unemployment, and a high trade surplus, were supposed to rubber stamp their satisfaction with the status quo. Chancellor Merkel’s moment of peril in 2015 — when her open door policy brought more than 900,000 asylum seekers to Germany — had passed.

The Op-Ed talks about the internal politics of Germany. Internal politics of any country, is not important from the UPSC perspective. Only those news are important which can have any effect on Indian Foreign Policy.


[26 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

PM launches household electrification plan

The Prime Minister regretted that these households are yet to get electricity and haven’t seen a light bulb. “It’s been over 125 years when the famous scientist Thomas Alva Edison invented the bulb and who had said: “We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles,” Mr Modi quoted, highlighting that it is unfortunate that yet many households are lit only with the help of candles or lanterns.

We have done a newscard on the same scheme, from the Economic Times. That article has more relevant facts, from the UPSC perspective.

 

Database soon of savings schemes linked with Aadhaar

The Cabinet Secretariat is keen on a central database of government and private sector employees who have subscribed to the general provident fund (GPF), public provident fund (PPF) and employees’ provident fund (EPF) with Aadhaar as the primary identifier.

Cabinet Secretariat is wishing for this. We will wait for the final decision on the implementation of proposal.

 

Telcos want TRAI to defer new call drop rule by six months

Telecom operators have requested the sector regulator TRAI to defer the new call drop rules by six months in order to tune their networks as per the new norms.

Telecos request is not important for UPSC, until it is accepted by any government authority(TRAI in this case).

 

Why was Santanu Bhowmik killed?

Mourn Santanu Bhowmik. A young television journalist in Tripura, he was in his late-20s when he was brutally killed. On his last journey, thousands of grieving citizens walked beside his body.

The Op-Ed talks about the recent killing of a journalist in Tripura. These kind of personality based articles are not important from the UPSC perspective. Also, the article is written by a well known politician and it has some political arguments as well(which are not important).


[25 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Essar invests Rs. 830 cr. in Vizag port facility

Essar Ports has invested Rs. 830 crore to upgrade and almost double the iron ore handling capacity of its Vizag Terminal (outer harbour) in Andhra Pradesh, a top company official said.

No need to write down these type of investment data of a company. It is not important from the UPSC perspective.

 

A rooftop farmer rises with rice

A flourishing paddy crop in 200 grow bags has turned the terrace garden of a government employee in Manguluru into an attraction. Krishnappa Gowda Paddambail, who works at the Government College of Teacher Education here, has been cultivating 30-50 kilos of paddy on the roof of his home in the Maroli area for five years. He does not sell his produce.

The article is encouraging. But UPSC generally don’t ask questions on personal achievements. But still, one can remember it to mention somewhere.

 

Pak. envoy commits a gaffe

Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi’s attempts to put India on the back foot turned out to be an embarrassment for her. A picture she presented as an instance of India’s rights violations in Jammu & Kashmir turned out to be from Gaza.

The news may seem interesting. But it is not important because we can’t prove anything substantial from it. It is only a mistake, due to administrative reasons.

 

The idea that used to be Bangalore

A city is more than a place to live, it embodies a dream and the possibilities of a dream. Sometimes a city acquires the status of a myth, becomes a character in a novel. Many great cities have been characters in novels. Moscow, Paris, London, Delhi have all shared the sense of being novelesque, capturing in their character a sense of hope, a sense of the future. Their decay signals in a sense a death of a world, a paradise lost.

The Op-Ed talks about issues related to Bangalore(in particular) and its history. The article is not relevant from the UPSC perspective.


[23 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Pakistan seeks UN envoy on Kashmir

Terming the conflict in Jammu and Kashmir as the “most intense foreign military occupation in recent history,” Mr. Abbasi sought an international investigation into “India’s crimes in Kashmir.”

No need to go through minor details of every news related to International Relations. Only those news are important, which can have any significant affect on Indian Foreign Policy. And this news related to UN envoy, will have no affect on our policy.

 

Newton is India’s official entry to Oscars 2018

Newton will be India’s official entry to the Best Foreign Film category at the Oscars next year, according to a Film Federation of India official.

Important part of the news is given above. Just remember the name of the film, and the authority ‘Film Federation of India’, announcing the news.

 

Questions of numbers

The key political question that has arisen in Tamil Nadu is whether Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami commands a majority in the State Assembly. There is a remarkable concordance among political and constitutional functionaries concerned in abdicating their core responsibility to find an answer to this question.

The Op-Ed is related to internal politics of the Tamil Nadu. Internal party politics is not important for the exam. So, no need to go through such types of articles.


[22 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Former judge of Orissa HC held for graft

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday arrested retired Orissa High Court judge I.M. Quddusi and five others for allegedly conspiring to get the case of a Lucknow-based medical institute, which had been barred from admitting students, “settled” in the Supreme Court.

It is a serious issue. But UPSC don’t ask questions on these kind of issues. May be, one can mention this case in any mains question, related to the corruption in judiciary. But there is very less chance of this, cost-to-benefit ration is very low.

 

Narayan Rane quits Congress

Congress leader Narayan Rane announced his resignation from the party on Thursday, ending his 12-year association with the party, and months of speculation. He also resigned from his seat in the Maharashtra Legislative Council.

Internal party politics is not important from the UPSC perspective. No need to go through these type of articles.

 

Underpass didn’t weaken canal: NTPC

A day after Bihar Water Resources Department Minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh blamed an underpass constructed by the NTPC for weakening the Bateshwarsthan canal at Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur, the NTPC on Thursday denied that the underpass caused any breach in the canal as it was constructed after procuring a no-objection certificate from the government.

We will wait for the final report on the incident and then, write newscard on it(if find it necessary)

 

Turn the page to a new chapter

In September, Xiamen city of China not only hosted the BRICS Summit, but also witnessed an especially important meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This was the first after the Dong Lang (Doklam) stand-off. As Chinese Ambassador to India, I had the privilege of participating in the meeting. I felt that it sent a critical message of reconciliation and cooperation to the world in a timely manner.

The Op-Ed talks about Sino-India relations and the BRICS summit. We have already done many newscards on the summit. No need to stick to the same topic.


[21 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

ONGC discovers oil in Arabian sea

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) has made a significant oil discovery to the west of its prime Mumbai High fields in the Arabian sea, a senior official said on Wednesday. The discovery in the well WO-24-3 is estimated to hold an in-place reserve of about 20 million tonnes, he said. Mumbai High, India’s biggest oil field, currently produces 205,000 barrels of oil per day (just over 10 million tonnes per annum) and the new find would add to that production in less than two years time.

Important part of the news is given above. No need to note down the particulars of the discovery, for example ‘reserve of about 20 million tonnes’. Just try to remember the location.

 

Will complete Chahbahar port fast, says Gadkari

Indicating a firm commitment, India on Wednesday declared that it would intensify work on the Iranian port of Chahbahar where it was developing facilities as part of regional connectivity plans.

The article talks about the progress of the project. Nothing new is written in the article, we have already covered much information about the project in our previous newscards.

 

GM mustard in for a long wait

Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan has indicated that a decision on releasing genetically modified (GM) mustard commercially was unlikely any time soon.

The article talks about speculations, which are generally not important from the UPSC perspective. Only official decisions are important.

 

Nuclear deal in danger

U.S. President Donald Trump’s opposition to the Iran nuclear deal is not new. But by choosing his first address at the UN General Assembly, in which he listed his administration’s foreign policy priorities, to slam Tehran and the nuclear accord, he has put to rest any hope for improvement in ties with Iran.

The Op-Ed is about the diplomatic relations between the US and Iran. And the diplomatic conditions between other countries are not important from the UPSC perspective, unless there is any possible effect of it on India.


[20 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Split in top posts: PSUs may be first

As a SEBI panel on corporate governance mulls the benefit of splitting the posts of chairman and managing director at listed firms, public sector units may be the first where such a move could be implemented.

We will wait for the final decision. Nothing much important fact is given in this article, from the UPSC perspective.

 

Ivanka, Sushma talk women’s employment

U.S. President Donald Trump’s daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump on Tuesday met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. They discussed women’s entrepreneurship and workforce development in their countries.

The article talks about a general conservation between Indian Foreign Minister and Ivanka Trump. There is nothing in this article, on which the UPSC can ask any question.

 

In Vivekananda’s country?

Unfortunately, that sentiment is not reflected in the government’s affidavit on the Rohingya presented to the Supreme Court on Monday. Instead, it views them as “a very serious threat and potential threat to national security”. It claims “many of the Rohingyas figure in the suspected sinister designs of ISI/ISIS and other extremist groups”. It accuses them of “mobilization of funds through hundi/hawala channels”. Finally, it adds there’s a “serious potential and possibility” of Rohingya violence against Buddhists in India.

The Op-Ed is based on the current Rohingya Crisis. We have already done many newscards on the issue. No need to stick to the same issue again and again, unless any significant improvement comes out.


[19 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Norms eased for fund raising by REITs, InvITs

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has relaxed the guidelines for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) in order to broaden the scope of fund raising by such instruments.

We have already done a newscard on it(from Indianexpress), yesterday. Nothing new in this article.

 

T.N. Speaker disqualifies 18 rebel AIADMK MLAs

Consequently, the Assembly constituencies held by them have fallen vacant under Article 190 (3) (a) of the Constitution. In his order, Speaker Dhanapal reasoned that the actions of the dissident MLAs only showed that they were “making efforts to align themselves with a party other than the party from which they were elected.”

No need to note down this particular incident. Just go through the rules of disqualifications, under the Indian Constitution.

 

A hand from Hamas

Hamas’s decision to dissolve the Gaza administrative committee and hold talks with Fatah is the strongest signal yet from the Islamist group that it is ready to cooperate in finding common ground with its political rival.

The op-ed is related to the Hamas-Israel conflict. The article is not directly related to India, and the issues discuss in it will have almost no effect on Indian Foreign Policy. Therefore, the Op-Ed is not important from the UPSC perspective.


[18 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Airtel bank enables UPI payments

Airtel Payments Bank on Sunday announced the integration of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) with its digital platform.

No need to note down every news related to Banks. Unless, the news is related to some revolutionary development.

 

Railways cut sleep time by an hour

The Railways is reducing the ‘official sleeping hours’ on reserved coaches in trains in an effort to put an end to quarrels that break out if passengers in the middle and lower berths oversleep.

This step will have negligible affect on the working of Indian Railways. Therefore, it is not important for the UPSC exams.

 

We supplied 80% of steel for project: SAIL

The state-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd. said here on Sunday that it had supplied 80% of the steel required for the construction of the Sardar Sarovar Project. In a statement, SAIL said it supplied about 85,000 tonnes of steel to Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. and had partnered in one of the most prestigious and important national projects.

UPSC generally don’t ask direct questions on these kind of news. But still, you can remember it, as an example of the capability of the SAIL in country’s infrastructure development projects.

 

Reading the tea leaves

In history, defining moments like 9/11 that can be identified as markers of change are rare. More often, there are trend lines of slow-moving geopolitical changes which come together at a particular moment in time resulting in an inflexion point. Reading the tea leaves indicates that 2017 may well be the year which marked the reordering of the Asian strategic landscape.

The Op-Ed is written from a historical point of view(from 1962 to 2017). This article is kind of a mixture of our previous newscards, nothing new in it.


[16 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Exports climb 10.3% reversing 5-month slowdown

India’s merchandise exports grew 10.3% year-on-year to $23.8 billion in August, reversing a declining trend witnessed for five straight months, data released by the Commerce Ministry on Friday showed.

No need to note down every data related to Indian Economy. These numerical figures are not important for UPSC.

 

SC notice to Centre on plea to ban Blue Whale game

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the government to respond to a petition for an immediate direction to ban online game ‘Blue Whale Chellenge’, which is suspected to be behind the deaths or attempted suicides of teenagers and young adults hooked to it.

We will wait for the final judgement.

 

ISRO to be back with launches in Nov.-Dec.

The Indian Space Research Organisation expects to resume launch of satellites in a couple of months once its failure analysis committee releases its report. The committee is conducting tests on why the PSLV-C39 mission of August 31 failed to release a back-up navigation satellite into space.

This news is not important for the UPSC, directly. Because the UPSC may not ask direct question on this news. But still one can go through it, if he/she don’t know about the recent failure of a mission of the ISRO

 

The federal manoeuvre

To have served for 60 consecutive years as a legislator is a rare achievement especially if it is in Tamil Nadu, a large and relatively successful State. Few politicians in India can match this record of Muthuvel Karunanidhi, known asKalaignar, or artist, to his admirers. When some do come close to it, they possess none of his achievements.

These kind of Op-Eds are very opinionated. The op-ed presents personal point of view of the writer. These types of controversial articles are not important from the UPSC perspective.


[15 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Abe recalls grandfather’s ties with Nehru

In a display of decades-old personal ties with India, Japan’s visiting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday recounted his family’s links with India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, at a business event that followed summit-level discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

No need to go too deep inside these kinds of news; what he(Japanese PM) said, every statement of his. Also, we have done enough newscards on Japan’s PM visit, if you have gone through them, then sticking to a same topic will not be fruitful.

 

‘Utilities to get Rs. 6,000 cr. relief due to GST on coal’

Changes in the tax structure on coal following the introduction of GST would translate to a Rs. 6,000 crore relief to the power sector, a senior Coal India Ltd. (CIL) official told shareholders on Thursday. Coal, which had earlier attracted 6% excise and 11% VAT, was now taxed 5% GST. However, the inputs that it provided had a tax rate varying between 18% to 28% which would be refunded to CIL.

Important part of the news is given above. No need to go through the complete article.

 

Can India ignore the Rohingya crisis?

Over 379,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh. India should come forward to help the refugees. The reasons are threefold: maintaining a tradition of generosity, and economic and strategic factors.

The Op-Ed talks about Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar. We have done many newscards on this issue. If you have gone through them, then sticking to the same topic will not be fruitful.


[14 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Income limit raised for creamy layer

The ‘creamy layer’ ceiling for OBC reservation has been raised to Rs. 8 lakh per year, according to an official order issued on Wednesday. In 1993, the limit was kept at Rs. 1 lakh. It was raised thrice — to Rs. 2.5 lakh in 2004, Rs. 4.5 lakh in 2008 and Rs. 6 lakh in 2013

Important part of the news is given above. Other part of the article has many official statements by Ministers, which are not important from the UPSC perspective.

 

‘Petrol, diesel should come under GST’

“The government has no business to interfere in day-to-day operations of oil companies… government will interfere only to improve operational efficiency of oil companies,” he said after meeting the heads of state-run firms. He was replying to questions from presspersons on whether the government plans to stall the daily price revision in view of the spike in rates.

These are only speculations. We will wait for the final decision on it.

 

Ban pellet guns in Kashmir: Amnesty

Amnesty International India on Wednesday asked the government “to prohibit firing pellet shotguns immediately in the Kashmir Valley”. Releasing its report, ‘Losing Sight in Kashmir: The Impact of Pellet-Firing Shotguns’ in Srinagar, the human rights organisation highlighted the cases of 88 people “whose eyesight was damaged by metal pellets fired from pump-action shotguns used by the Jammu & Kashmir Police and the Central Reserve Police Force [CRPF] between 2014 and 2017”.

As Amnesty is a famous international NGO. One can mention this statement of amnesty on kashmir’s issue. But it is not important from the UPSC perspective, directly.

 

Towards war’s end in Syria

News comes daily of the Syrian Army’s advance through one village after another towards the besieged eastern city of Deir ez-Zor. Since the summer of 2014, the Islamic State (IS) has surrounded the city and starved its people. An official of the World Food Programme told me last month that if the siege continued, there would be a certain outbreak of cholera.

The Op-ED talks about the Syrian Crisis and middle east politics. Not directly related to Indian Foreign Policy. Therefore, no need to go too deep inside the topic.


[13 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Banks need $65 billion extra capital by FY19, says Fitch

Indian banks will need about $65 billion additional capital to meet the new Basel-III norms that will be fully implemented by end March 2019, rating agency Fitch said on Tuesday.

Important part of the news is given above. Other than this, nothing much important facts are there in the article. But if one doesn’t know about the Basel norms, then he/she must go through them.

 

Rs. 5, Rs. 100 coins to mark MGR centenary

The Finance Ministry has notified the minting of commemorative Rs. 100 and Rs. 5 coins to mark the birth centenary of popular politician and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran.

Important part of the news is given above. No need to go too deep in this news, as the UPSC generally don’t ask personality based questions.

 

CAG appointment opaque, says NGO

The Narendra Modi government has followed the exact same opaque practice and procedures of the UPA government in the appointment of the new Comptroller and Auditor-General of India, says Common Cause. The government appointed Rajiv Mehrishi, a 1978-batch IAS officer, as the CAG at August-end. He will take over from Shashi Kant Sharma by this month-end.

The news shows a valid concern. But this is an opinion of an NGO, therefore it is not important. It could be important if the opinion had came from any government organisation or any Higher Court.

 

Shattered dreams

Nearly 800,000 people in the U.S. now face the possibility of losing their jobs, driver’s licences and university seats and even of being deported to a country that was not their home. The looming legal limbo for this sizeable cohort, which includes around 8,000 Indian nationals

The Op-Ed talks about the recent decision of US’ government against illegal migrants from other countries living in the US. It will have almost no effect on Indo-US relationship. Therefore, the Op-Ed has no relevance from the UPSC perspective.


[12 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Direct tax collections up 17.5%

Net direct tax collections up to August 2017 grew 17.5% over the same period of the previous year to Rs. 2.24 lakh crore, according to official figures released on Monday.

It is not important to note down data related to increase and decrease in Tax Collection. Just go through it, once an annual year. Data is not important, only the reason behind its increase or decrease is important.

 

Bitcoin: Blockchain eyes India

Post-demonetisation, India has become one of the fastest growing markets for digital currencies like bitcoin, according to Nicolas Cary, co-founder and president of Blockchain, the largest software provider for crypto-currencies in the world.

The article talks about some speculations regarding the future of Blockchain Technology in India. It is only a speculation by the President of the Blockchain company itself. Not relevant for the UPSC exams. But you should go through the particulars of the Blockchain and Bitcoin Tech., if you had not gone through it yet.

 

SC to hear Blue Whale ban plea

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a petition for an immediate directive to the government to ban Blue Whale, an online game which may be behind the deaths or attempted suicides of teenagers and young adults hooked to it.

As it is a very notorious topic. We will wait for the final judgment of the SC.

 

India to further aid Afghan troops

India agreed to enhance existing assistance to Afghan security forces, including in capacity building and training of Afghan soldiers in India, during a Partnership Council meeting on Monday, even as Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister suggested a larger role for India in regional diplomacy.

Important part of the news is given above. We have written many articles on the Indo-Afghan relations. For comprehensive Knowledge on the issue, one can check our previous newscards.

 

New strategy, old game

“The core goal of the U.S. must be to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaeda and its safe havens in Pakistan, and to prevent their return to Pakistan or Afghanistan… And after years of mixed results, we will not, and cannot, provide a blank check (to Pakistan)… As President, my greatest responsibility is to protect the American people. We are not in Afghanistan to control that country or to dictate its future,” said the President of the United States, announcing a “regional strategy” for Afghanistan after the worst year of the conflict. The President was Barack Obama and the year was 2009.

The Op-Ed talks about the New Afghan Policy of the US. Again, we have written many newscards on it. The Op-Ed has not much important facts, other than which were not given in our previous newscards on the issue. So, no need to stick to the same topic.


[11 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Indian Americans move out of hurricane’s path

Hundreds of Indian Americans in the path of Hurricane Irma in Florida have moved north to community shelters and homes of friends and family members, mostly in Georgia. The Indian consulate in Atlanta is coordinating efforts to connect those who need shelter and those who are willing to accommodate guests.

Every news related to Indian-Americans is not important. Only those news are important, which can have any significant effect on Indo-US relations. And same is for other countries as well.

 

Global audit firms may face scrutiny

Global auditing firms may come under greater scrutiny for any wrong—doing as regulators mull ways to make them more accountable, with the role of such auditors — especially the Big Four — coming under the lens in various corporate misdoings.

These are only speculations. We will wait until Government takes any concrete step in this direction. After this, we will definitely write newscards on this issue.

 

RBI: new machines counting banned notes

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is not using ‘counting machines’ for tallying the total number of demonetised notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 in any of its offices, the central bank has said in an RTI reply.

Every news related to the RBI is not important. The article talks about an RTI reply. It is of very less importance from the UPSC perspective.

 

The disaster next door

In a span of two weeks, almost 300,000 Rohingya have crossed over to Bangladesh from the northern Rakhine state in Myanmar, putting Bangladesh under immense strain and compelling the refugees to find shelter in squalid, unsanitary camps scattered along the Myanmar-Bangladesh border.

The Op-Ed talks about the current Rohingya issue. We have done enough news cards on the issue. If you have gone through them, then no need to stick to the same topic, until any further significant development.


[9 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

GST Council meet to discuss pending issues

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council will meet for the 21st time, on Saturday to discuss pending issues in the implementation of the new indirect tax regime, including the quantum of cess to be levied on luxury cars and the problems businesses are facing while logging onto the GST Network portal to file returns.

GST is an important topic. But no need to go after every meeting of the GST Council. If anything related to exam comes out, we will definitely write newscards on it.

 

Bali action puts India on other side of debate

India’s decision to reject a joint statement by the World Parliamentary Forum in Indonesia, that included references to human rights in Myanmar in its ‘Bali declaration’, was a major show of support for the Suu Kyi government just hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi ended his bilateral visit there. The move, however, has put India on the other side of the Rohingya refugee debate from Myanmar’s other neighbours and countries in the region.

We have already done a newscard on the same topic. Important things were covered in it.

 

Karnataka sends report to Centre

In what appears to be points to a desperate move to nab the killers of Gauri Lankesh, the Karnataka government on Friday announced a reward of Rs. 10 lakh to anyone providing credible information on the killers.

If you have knowledge of the incident, then no need to go after every related article. As, UPSC generally don’t ask direct questions on such kind of incidents.

 

Marriage most foul

Noorjahan (name changed) was like any other 15-year-old Muslim girl from the old city of Hyderabad — bound by tradition, and coy, but as impetuous as the average teenager. She wore a burqa to the government school where she studied and the garment helped hide her torn school bag, a mark of poverty. Noorjahan and her friends were pranksters and the one kilometre walk to school was never short on adventure.

The Op-Ed touches an important Social Issue. It talks about the minor girls marriage in the Muslim community. But it talks about a single incident only, which was in news recently. Therefore, it doesn’t have much data from the UPSC perspective.

[8 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

SEBI slaps Rs. 2,423 crore fine on PACL

Regulator SEBI on Thursday imposed Rs. 2,423 crore fine on PACL Ltd. and its four directors for illegal fund mobilisation through various schemes that were used by the group to garner over Rs. 49,000 crore from the public.

Normally, news related to SEBI is important. But this news is not important because it is a company specific news. Not relevant from the UPSC perspective.

 

Nirmala Sitharaman sets sights on ‘Make in India’

Nirmala Sitharaman who took charge as the Defence Minister on Thursday said her priorities were military preparedness, ‘Make in India’ and welfare of soldiers and their families.

Not important. Article talks about future plans of the new Defence Minister. We will closely watch upcoming new strategies of Defence Ministry, and will definitely write newscards on it. So, please wait.

 

Demonetisation: now a proven failure?

Demonetisation as a means of tackling the black economy was destined to fail. It was carried out on the incorrect premise that black money means cash. It was thought that if cash was squeezed out, the black economy would be eliminated. But cash is only one component of black wealth: about 1% of it.

We have already wrote many Op-Ed on the same issue. No need to stick to the same issue, if you had already went through it. Focus on new issues, one after another.

 

[7 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

India, Japan to diversify defence ties

India and Japan on Wednesday agreed on a range of initiatives to diversify and deepen their defence cooperation. These include anti-submarine warfare, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and technological cooperation.

The agreement shows positive relationship between India and Japan. But the article don’t have any fact which can be mentioned in the Mains Paper.

 

What data do you share, court asks WhatsApp, FB

A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed instant messaging platform WhatsApp and social media giant Facebook to file affidavits stating what user data they shared with “third parties.”

We have written a newscard on the same issue but from another newspaper.

 

Testing times in the Korean peninsula

The sixth nuclear test by North Korea on Sunday has provoked a predictable chorus of condemnation and hand wringing in capitals around the world. The test was anticipated, given the shrill rhetoric accompanying North Korea’s missile tests. Yet there is little to indicate if the key countries (the U.S., China, South and North Koreas and Japan) are ready to acknowledge that old policies no longer work and a new approach is needed to de-escalate tensions.

The Op-Ed talks about the history of ‘Nuclear Program’ in the North Korea. It has no relevance from the UPSC perspective.

[6 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Journalist Gauri Lankesh shot dead

Nationally renowned journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh, 55, known for her firebrand writing on social issues, was shot dead by unidentified assailants, right outside her residence in Rajarajeshwari Nagar in west Bengaluru on Tuesday evening.

The news may seem important for the exam but the UPSC do not ask questions on these kind of incidents, directly. No need to go too deep inside the incident. Just try to know the basics of the issue.

 

Trump ends amnesty scheme protecting young immigrants

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday ended an amnesty protecting 8,00,000 people brought to the United States illegally as minors from deportation, prompting a political firestorm.

Around 1% of these illegal immigrants are Indians. Not a significant number. It may not have any effect on Indo-US relations. Therefore, it is not important from the UPSC perspective.

 

NCLT dismisses plea against McDonald’s

The National Company Law Tribunal on Tuesday dismissed a plea by Vikram Bakshi challenging termination of the franchise agreement by McDonald’s, and, at the same time issued a show-cause notice to McDonald’s Corporation over a contempt petition by its estranged partner.

These kind of pleas are normal. Every plea against a private company is not important for exam. Try to know the particulars of the NCLT.

 

Staring down censorship

Last month, the China Quarterly (CQ), the most reputed academic journal of China studies in the world, published by the Cambridge University Press (CUP), was asked by the Chinese government to block hundreds of articles in China. The censorship was sought with retrospective effect going back to the first issue in 1960. Most of the articles were on Tibet, the Cultural Revolution, Tiananmen Square protests, Taiwan independence, Falun Gong, Xinjiang, democracy and human rights.

The Op-Ed is not related to India. It talks about the internal politics of China and Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Not relevant from the UPSC perspective.

[5 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

DBS Bank gets RBI nod for India subsidiary

Singapore-based DBS Bank received in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to convert its India operations into a locally incorporated, wholly-owned subsidiary (WOS).

News related to RBI are generally important. But these types of news related to ‘approval’ of something(in private sector) are not important from the UPSC perspective.

 

Centre refuses to offer assurance on Rohingya

The Centre refused, in the Supreme Court, to give 40,000 Rohingya Muslim immigrants an assurance that it will not move for their deportation back to Myanmar.

Centre’s view is given above(the important part). We will wait until the final judgement.

 

BRICS declares Lashkar, Jaish as global terror groups

The Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) grouping unequivocally named Pakistan-based groups — Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) — as terror organisations, removing a key irritant in ties between New Delhi and Beijing and stepping up the fight against global extremism.

Important part of the news is given above. No need to go too deep inside the article.

 

Who were the first settlers of India?

When did our species, Homo sapiens, first set foot in India? There are two competing versions of the answer: let’s call them the ‘early version’ and the ‘late version’. The ‘early version’ says they arrived 74,000 to 120,000 years ago from Africa through the Arabian peninsula with Middle Stone Age tools such as scrapers and points that helped them hunt their prey, gather food, or make clothes.

The Op-Ed is very ‘Technical Type.’ It talks about some DNA and migration theory of humans, 1 lakh years ago, in India. The article is not directly related to the UPSC Syllabus.

[4 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Nirmala will have to hit the ground running

Nirmala Sitharaman will take over as the first full-time woman Defence Minister on Wednesday, once Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who currently holds additional charge, is back from Japan. “She will take charge on Wednesday. Time will be known in due course,” a defence source said on Sunday.

The news of Nirmala Sitharaman becoming full time Defense Minister, is a significant example of Women Empower in India and one can use this news in essays. But, most of the articles related to this news are not important from the UPSC perspective, as the UPSC do not ask questions on person specific news in prelims and mains.

 

No separate labour rights for transgenders

The NDA government has dropped its plan to recognise transgender persons as the ‘third gender’ in the country’s labour law framework. In 2014, the Supreme Court had for the first time recognised transgender persons as a ‘third gender’ and asked the Centre and States to give them equal opportunities in education and employment. But now this reform, which was part of the Labour Ministry’s draft law to codify wages, and aimed to protect transgender workers from discrimination, has been shelved following reservations expressed by the Law Ministry.

Important part of the news is given above. No need to go through the complete article.

 

‘More jobs, FDI, exports to be in focus’

Suresh Prabhu said on Sunday that his priorities as the new commerce and industry minister will include backing measures to generate more jobs, particularly in the manufacturing sector, helping India attract more Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), and increasing India’s share in global exports.

Not important. Article talks about future plans of the new commerce minister. We will closely watch upcoming new policies of Commerce Ministry, and will definitely write newscards on it. So, please wait.

 

Verification is a pre-publication process

It is common knowledge that a Readers’ Editor (RE) comes into the picture only at the post-publication stage. Some have argued that the new initiatives taken by technology companies to flag fake news stories show that their role is similar to the role of the RE. This argument is flawed. Newspapers have a fairly robust verification process before publication. Each copy is scrutinised by at least four pairs of eyes before it reaches readers.

The Op-Ed talks about the current Social Media issues and compares it with some historical incidents of Ireland. No need to go too deep inside these kind of topics. Just try to understand the basics.

[2 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

SC to hear Rohingya plea for help

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear an urgent plea made by two Rohingya Muslim immigrants against the government’s proposed move to deport their 40,000-strong refugee community back to their native Myanmar, where discrimination and possibly summary executions await them.

Important part of the news is given above. No need to go through the complete article. And we will wait for the final judgement on this plea.

 

Govt to take steps to promote use of NavIC

Some Rs. 1.30 lakh crore investments in the sector were in the pipeline with 300 applications awaiting various clearances.

Some future ambitions of the defence sector are given in the article. Nothing special in it. Interestingly, there is nothing in article, related to the NavIC.

 

India to sign 4 pacts during BRICS summit

A week after the end of Doklam standoff, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Xiamen, China, to address the BRICS summit, where he is likely to take up regional and global issues. The External Affairs Ministry has said India will sign four BRICS-level agreements during the summit which will be followed by Mr. Modi’s three-day visit to Myanmar.

Wait for few days. We will write some comprehensive newscards on the BRICS Summit.

 

Among the believers

It is four days after mayhem brought Haryana to a grinding halt. After facing flak for being unable to prevent the violence that caused damage to property and claimed more than 30 lives, the constables in Sirsa are taking no chances. All the three roads leading to the old Dera are blocked.

The Op-Ed talks about the recent conviction of an infamous accused. These kind of news may seem interesting, but these news are not important from the UPSC perspective.

[1 September 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

PSLV mission fails, ends dream run

A PSLV flight lasts 19 minutes. Normally the heat shield separates three minutes into launch but ISRO officials apparently waited through the entire flight period before conceding the failure.

We have done an another Newscard on the same news, which is more relevant from the UPSC perspective and is more easy to understand.

 

India thanks Switzerland for support in global fora

India on Thursday thanked Switzerland for its support in global multilateral organisations. Welcoming the visiting Swiss President Doris Leuthard, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought greater cooperation to ensure bilateral financial transparency and thanked the Swiss government for its support to India’s membership bid for the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

 

Article talks about good relationship between India and Switzerland. Not much important facts are given.

 

Fiscal deficit in July: 92.4% of estimate

India’s fiscal deficit at July-end touched 92.4% of the budget mainly because of front loading of expenditure by various government departments.

Important fact is given above. No need to go through the complete article.

 

After demonetisation

Has demonetisation achieved its original objectives? On November 8, 2016, these were tackling corruption, counterfeit currency, and terror funding. Thereafter the Prime Minister added reducing dependence on cash. Now that we know that 99% of demonetised money has come back, the government’s estimates of how much black money would be extinguished have been proven horribly wrong. The Attorney General told the Supreme Court that he expected Rs. 4-5 lakh crore to be “neutralised”. In the end, just Rs. 16,000 crore didn’t come back.

We have done many newscards on the same topic. No need to go through the Op-Ed on the same issue, again and again. Also, It is full of numerical figures, which are difficult to remember. If any important Op-Ed is published(on this issue), then we will definitely write a newscard on it.

 

[31 August 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Higher GST cess on luxury cars, SUVs gets Cabinet nod

Luxury cars and SUVs may become more expensive with the Union Cabinet approving an ordinance to raise the maximum compensation cess that can be levied over and above the 28% GST on such cars, from 15 % to 25%.

It is not important to note down increase or decrease in the GST rates for individual items. But it might be important for essential items like medicines, from the UPSC perspective.

 

Raghavan is envoy to Cyprus

Dr. Raghavan, a retired IPS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre, holds a Ph.D. in political science from Karnatak University. His specialisation is cybersecurity. He had been CBI Director from January 1999 to April 2001.

The transfer or appointment of senior officials is not important. No need to go through news like these.

 

‘Chinese products are vulnerable’

Mr. Mehrishi said separatists should not be referred to as leaders as they treat Kashmir as a “business proposition.” “If the separatists contest elections today, none of them will win. Their credibility has taken a hit (after NIA raids). Their children study in the best of schools and they have bought palatial properties. While they deprive the Kashmiris of a better future, they treat it as a business proposition,” he said.

Article talks about an PIL filed in the SC, regarding Article 35A of the Indian Constitution. Article 35A is an important and crucial issue, but every PIL on this matter is not important. We will wait for the final verdict on it.

 

Pragmatic in London

The Labour Party’s surprise announcement that Britain should continue in the European single market, at least for some time after the March 2019 Brexit deadline, reflects the late dawning of realism over disengaging with the European Union. It implies an acceptance of the principle of free movement of people from the bloc, a contentious issue that had alienated the opposition party’s core support base during the 2016 referendum.

The Op-Ed is not related to India, and therefore it has very less relevance from the UPSC perspective. The article is related to the internal politics of the UK.

[30 August 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Centre to unveil ‘future-ready’ industrial policy in October

The government on Tuesday said it would announce the new ‘future-ready’ Industrial Policy in October, by suitably incorporating measures to facilitate the use of smart technologies such as the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics for advanced manufacturing.

Article talks about some possibilities and consultations. We will wait for the final ‘Policy.’ Until then, no need to go through every news related to this. We will definitely publish newscards on this policy in October.

 

R.N. Ravi gets a year’s extension

The government has given a year’s extension to Joint Intelligence Chief R.N. Ravi, who signed a framework agreement on behalf of the Centre with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) group to end the decades-old Naga insurgency in 2015.

It is not important from the UPSC perspective, to note down such kind of news related to Senior Officials. Yes, these officers are leading important Govt. Agencies, but we should only focus on the policies of the agency and not on its administration.

 

Vacancies of judges in SC rise to six

As Justice Prafulla Chandra Pant retired on Tuesday, the strength of the Supreme Court has come down to 25 judges from 31. One of the top-most priorities before newly appointed Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra will be to fill the vacancies. The total strength of 31 judges includes the Chief Justice.

Important part of the news is given above. No need to go through the complete article.

 

Dera through the Punjab lens

It was a decade ago that the shroud of banality ‘Saint Dr. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insaan’ spun fell on Punjab, in particular the Sikh community. I saw it first-hand in the summer of 2007 when my mother lay dying from stage IV cancer in Mandi Dabwali, south Punjab, 40 km from Sirsa where he is the head of a Dera. Soon after Baisakhi that year, Gurmeet Singh.

The Op-Ed talks about the recent conviction of a famous accused. These kind of news may seem interesting, but these news are not important from the UPSC perspective.

[29 August 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

NHRC issues notice over infant deaths

Taking suo motu cognisance of reports of 52 infants dying at a Jamshedpur hospital in a span of 30 days, the National Human Rights Commission issued a notice to the Jharkhand government on Monday.

No need to note down every incident, of NHRC issuing notices to governments/authorities. Just go through the powers of the NHRC, and how they can help to counter such kind of incidents.

 

Plea for early Aadhaar hearing

The petitioners in the Aadhaar case is expected to make an urgent mentioning before a Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, on August 29 for an early decision on the validity of the scheme.

We will wait for the final verdict. Until then, no need of reading news related to ‘who is doing what’ for the case.

 

TRAI starts process for next round of spectrum auction

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Monday kick-started the process for the next round of spectrum auctions by issuing a consultation paper on key issues for sale of airwaves, including for offering 5G services.

Important part of the news is given above. No need to go through the complete article.

 

The stories rocks tell

Travelling from Bengaluru International Airport to the city’s downtown, you cannot escape the ugly sight of a billion-year-old granite hillock being vandalised in the name of quarrying. Once a hillock with a panoramic view, it has now been reduced to half its size. This is just one of several cases of regular destruction of India’s geological heritage. The fact that the country accounts for more than 30% of stone production in the world speaks volumes about the magnitude of quarrying and excavation.

The Op-Ed is ‘technical type’. It is written from the ‘Geological Heritage’ perspective. No need to go too deep inside a topic, as given in this op-ed.

 

 

[28 August 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

New tax regime to give manufacturing a boost

After seventeen years, the journey for the economic unification of India that started with the government led by Atal Behari Vajpayee setting up an empowered committee headed by Shri Asim Dasgupta, the then Finance Minister of West Bengal, finally concluded with the roll out of the Goods and Services Tax — the ‘One nation, one tax” on July 1, 2017.

We have done many newscards on the same issue. No need to go through the same kind of articles again and again, also there is nothing much important in the article, other than, which was given in the newscards, earlier.

 

NC to defend Article 35A as private party

The opposition National Conference (NC) in Jammu and Kashmir is in talks with top legal luminaries of the country to defend the Article 35A in the Supreme Court as a private party, its working president Omar Abdullah has said.

The issue related to Article 35A is very important. But which political party is doing what, is not important from the UPSC perspective.

 

Many high-profile cases await new CJI

“Every case has a human face,” Justice Dipak Misra once said, conveying his guiding philosophy as a judge. When Justice Dipak Misra takes office as the 45th Chief Justice of India on Monday, his 13-month tenure may see the resolution of knotty and high-magnitude issues spanning a wide spectrum, from the validity of Aadhaar to the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title disputes. With Justice Khehar’s exit, the Aadhaar Constitution Bench has lost its lead judge.

We will wait for the particular judgement. The list of the high-profile cases is not important from the UPSC perspective.

 

The lure of the Dera

The Dera Sacha Sauda sect headed by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh is a fascinating phenomenon which cannot be analysed through the standard upper middle-class lens that dismisses it as a criminal or law and order problem.

The Op-Ed talks about the recent conviction of a famous accused. These kind of news may seem interesting, but these news are not important from the UPSC perspective.

[25 August 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Several hurdles in India’s growth path, says Subbarao

Former Reserve Bank of India governor Duvvuri Subbarao has said that there are several challenges that need to be addressed before Indian economy could take off. “India’s growth story is not inevitable,” he said.

Personal comments of the former officials are not important from the UPSC perspective, because there statements are not official. No need to go these statements. But you can still read there statements to understand the basics of Economics.

 

GJM gives Mamata a fresh list of demands

Without withdrawing its core demand of Gorkha homeland, in a letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee — first time since the strike began 70 days ago — the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has put forward half a dozen fresh demands which indicate the GJM’s willingness to start a dialogue.

We have covered GJM issue many times in our previous newscards. No need to go through every normal development, regarding this issue.

 

NHRC notice to Chhattisgarh govt.

Taking suo motu cognisance of media reports, the National Human Rights Commission on Thursday issued a notice to the Chhattisgarh government over the deaths of four babies at a government-run hospital in Raipur allegedly due to the oxygen supply getting cut on Sunday night.

Important part of the news is given above. No need to go through the complete article.

 

Is Prasar Bharati its master’s voice?

While episodic outbursts when the public broadcaster commits some sin of omission or commission are natural, they usually peter away after some self-righteous indignation. Such transient interest can hardly achieve anything beyond a few column centimetres, as we need to look at what heavy chains bind Prasar Bharati before calling it a poodle.

The Op-Ed talks about the administrative working of the Prasar Bharti and historical facts related to it. These things are not much important from the UPSC perspective.

[24 August 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

No division of Scheduled Castes, says Paswan

There would be no sub-categorisation among the Scheduled Castes, Union Minister Ramvilas Paswan clarified hours after the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to set up a committee to examine the sub-categorisation of the Other Backward Castes (OBC).

Important part of the news is given above. No need to go through the complete article.

 

‘GST may hit natural rubber prices hard’

With lack of demand from micro and small industries due to ambiguity on Goods and Services Tax (GST), prices of natural rubber are likely to decline in the coming months.

It is important to know post-GST condition of the industry. But the news talks about speculations, only. Speculations are not much important from the UPSC perspective.

 

India, Pak. hold flag meeting

Armies of India and Pakistan held a battalion-level flag meeting in Poonch sector on Wednesday in the backdrop of numerous ceasefire violations and civilian casualties along the Line of Control (LoC).

These flag meetings are very normal. So, nothing special about them. Just try to know, what the flag meetings are.

 

And the war goes on

U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to deepen the country’s military engagement in war-torn Afghanistan signals a significant shift in the position he has held for years. Mr. Trump had campaigned to end American involvement in foreign conflicts and was particularly critical of the Afghan war, which he said was “wasting” American money.

The Op-Ed talks about the US Military Strategy in Afghanistan. Not important from the UPSC perspective.

[23 August 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Share price under watch, says SEBI

Markets regulator SEBI said on Tuesday it is keeping a close watch on the share price movement of Infosys, which saw CEO Vishal Sikka quitting last week.

Normally, news related to SEBI is important. But this news is not important because it is a company specific news. If you know the basics of the current issue related to infosys, then this article will not give you any UPSC specific fact.

 

Trump links India’s Afghan role to trade surplus

President Donald Trump, who announced his new Afghan strategy on Monday night, linked a proposal for India playing a bigger role in the war-torn country to its trade surplus with the United States.

The article is full of political(international) statements(of Trump). No need to read such kind of articles, which are full of statements. Just try to know what the other country thinks on the issue(especially related to India).

 

Centre to send advisory to States

The Centre is all set to send an advisory to thr States, asking them to ensure compliance with the Supreme Court order declaring triple talaq void, illegal and unconstitutional.

Important part of the article is given above.

 

Fusion and fission

New fault lines have formed in the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu. When the factions led by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam agreed on the merger, they must have hoped it would lead to a period of political stability and an unrivalled claim to power.

The Op-Ed talks about Political Scenario of the Tamil Nadu. No need to go through such kind of political articles.

 

[22 August 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Trump set to announce new Afghan policy

President Donald Trump will announce his new strategy for Afghanistan — which his administration now calls a South Asia strategy — on Monday night during an address to the nation, the White House has announced.

Although the issue is not related to India but it is important, as Afghanistan is strategically important for India. But this article has not much relevant material from UPSC perspective. We will wait for the future announcements from the US government on this issue.

 

China to relaunch one of world’s fastest bullet trains

After cutting back the speed of the Beijing to Shanghai bullet train following a deadly crash, China is set to again make it one of the world’s fastest. New generation trains will service the route starting next month, making the 1,250-km journey from the capital to Shanghai in just 4 hours, 30 minutes.

UPSC don’t ask questions on such facts. But yes, they can ask about the technology behind the bullet trains. Try to know about it, if possible.

 

Centre takes Railway Board by surprise

The Railway Ministry’s decision to send Railway Board Member (Engineering) Aditya Mittal on leave after finding lapses in the maintenance procedures that led to the derailment of the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express has come as a surprise to the Board.

The article talks about some faults in the working of administration. No need to go too deep inside the administrative work of any department. We will wait for the final report from the government, on the incident.

 

Diversity in Delhi Police

With a strength of 76,348 personnel, as of January 2016, Delhi Police is one of the largest metropolitan police forces in the world. As it is responsible for a diverse population of 1.68 crore (2011 census), it too needs to be diverse, inclusive, and sensitive to the people it serves.

The Op-Ed talks about the representation of every caste, community, etc. in the Delhi Police. Too much numerical data is given in the article, which is very difficult to remember and has very less relevance from the UPSC perspective.

[21 August 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

SC bats for personal liberty

Personal liberty cannot be compromised at the altar of what the state may perceive as justice, the Supreme Court has said while granting bail to former Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) chairman Rakesh Kumar Paul in a case of alleged corruption.

No need to go through each and every judgement of the SC. These kind of cases have very less relevance from the UPSC perspective. But if your optional is law, then you should go through it.

 

Army to get only six Apaches

The Army’s request for 11 Apache attack helicopters was cut down to six by the Defence Ministry after objections from the Finance Division, sources say. “The MoD Finance had red-flagged the proposal for 11 [helicopters]. They said if these helicopters go to the Army, it will be a duplication of assets as the Indian Air Force is already in the process of acquiring 22 of them,” a senior defence source said.

Just go through the reason behind it, which is given above. No need to go through complete article.

 

‘SBI, PNB account for 40% of bad loans’

The country’s largest lender State Bank of India accounts for over 27% of the total amount owed to public sector banks by wilful defaulters. As many as 1,762 wilful defaulters owed Rs. 25,104 crore to SBI as on March 31, putting pressure on its balance sheet.

It is important to know the level of NPA in country’s Banking Sector. But going through the NPA data of an individual bank, separately, is not very much important.

 

Patriot games at Attari-Wagah

“Louder,” the tough-looking Border Security Force (BSF) guard gesticulated to the cheering, flag-waving Indian audience at Attari on the India-Pakistan border as the shouts of “Jio jio Pakistan” from the Wagah side of the border, barely 100 metres away, briefly dominated the air. The hyper-charged crowds were only too happy to comply and shouted back, “Bharat Mata ki Jai”, drowning out the Pakistani “attack”.

Not important. The Op-Ed is talking about the ceremony at Wagah Border and some historical facts related to the ceremony.

[19 August 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

GST grounds four IndiGo planes

Low-cost airline IndiGo said on Friday that four of its Airbus A320 planes are grounded as these are stuck at the customs authority over implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

UPSC will not ask any direct question on issues like these. But you can remember the lines above to quote ‘effects of GST on airlines’ or ‘problems related to implementation of the GST.’

 

Vishal Sikka quits as Infosys CEO

The Stanford-educated Mr. Sikka would continue to focus on strategic initiatives, key customer relationships and technology development and Mr. Rao had been appointed interim CEO and MD reporting to Mr. Sikka under the overall supervision and control of the board, Infosys said.

The news is about the internal conflict of a company. It will have almost no effect on Indian Economy. It may seems interesting but it is not important.

 

Tamil to head Sri Lanka Navy, first since 1970

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday appointed an officer from the island’s Tamil minority to head the Navy for the first time since a separatist war erupted 45 years ago.

It is not important from UPSC perspective, directly. But the news shows improvement in the condition of Sri Lanka after decades of Tamil Conflict.

 

Barcelona horror

A vehicular attack to maximise casualties and spread panic is now a well-tested terrorist strategy in European cities. Barcelona became the latest urban centre to be so hit when a van ploughed into pedestrians on a busy street, leaving at least 14 dead and more than 100 injured.

The Op-Ed talks about the terrorist attack, very deeply. Not important from UPSC perspective.

 

 

[18 August 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Rights groups urge India to honour duty to Rohingyas

Days after the United Nations expressed concern over the government’s plans to deport about 40,000 Rohingya immigrants from Myanmar, international human rights agencies Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called upon India to “abide by international legal obligations” and not force them to return, which they termed an “outrageous” move.

Important things are given above. No need to go through the complete article.

 

HDFC Bank cuts savings a/c interest rate

HDFC Bank has reduced its savings account interest rate by 50 basis points to 3.5% for balances up to Rs. 50 lakh. The new rate will come into effect from Saturday. For balances more than Rs. 50 lakh, the rate is kept unchanged.

Many banks are cutting their interest rates. But we do not need to note the interest rates of every bank, separately. Just try to find out, why they are doing so.

 

Mars rover to use X-ray to find signs of life

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission, which aims look for signs of past life on the Red Planet, will use smart X-ray techniques originally developed to find the oldest life on Earth.

Mars missions are important. But it is not important to go too deep inside the mission, technically.

 

 

[17 August 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

SC orders NIA to probe ‘love jihad’ case

At one point, Chief Justice Khehar told Mr. Giri that the court had asked the NIA for inputs because it was an agency from outside the State. “We thought you [Kerala police] may take sides. So we asked the NIA,” Chief Justice Khehar said.

It is a controversial issue. We will wait for the final judgement. Just go through the headline. No need to go through the complete article.

 

SpaceX ‘Dragon’ docks in ISS

A SpaceX shipment arrived at the International Space Station on Wednesday, delivering a bonanza of science experiments. The SpaceX Dragon capsule pulled up following a two-day flight from Cape Canaveral. NASA astronaut Jack Fischer used the space station’s hefty robot arm to grab the Dragon 400 km above the Pacific, near New Zealand.

Not every mission of a foreign space agency is important, unless it is about any breakthrough technology(first-of-its-kind).

 

SEBI struggles to find Sahara investors

Almost five years after the Supreme Court ordered the SEBI to refund more than Rs. 40,000 crore to individuals that had invested money in two Sahara Group entities, the capital markets regulator has been able to refund only Rs. 85.02 crore.

Generally, any news related to SEBI is important but this article is about a particular company. Therefore, it is of very less importance from UPSC perspective.

 

Trump’s misstep

White nationalist rallies are not new in the United States. But the demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Friday and Saturday were unprecedented in recent American history in terms of the number of participants and the scale of violence that followed. Those who turned up in Charlottesville, barely 200 km from Washington DC, have sent a clear message that the far right in the U.S. is ready for a long battle on a white supremacist agenda.

The op-ed is related to internal politics of the US, it will have negligible effect on India. Therefore, the op-ed is not important for UPSC.

[16 August 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Stem cell therapy may help hair growth

Scientists have discovered a new way to activate the stem cells in the hair follicle, an advance that may pave the way for novel drugs to promote hair growth.

These kind of researches are not important for UPSC. But you can go through the basics of Stem Cells, from any other source.

 

Aeroplanes may be affecting ozone, monsoon

Aeroplanes may be ejecting significant amounts of black carbon (BC) — a pollutant known to aggravate breathing disorders, upset the monsoon and quicken glacier melt — and may be depleting the ozone layer, according to a study by climate researchers from multiple institutions in the country.

These are only speculations. Only concrete researches are important for UPSC.

 

ONGC to double gas output

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) on Tuesday said it planned to double gas production to more than 100 million standard cubic meters per day in the next 5-6 years. The government is targeting an increase in the share of gas in the energy basket from 6.5% to 15% in the next few years.

Important facts are given above. No need to go through the complete article.

[14 August 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

ISRO chief Nair met Antrix CEO twice

Former ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair, had met alleged U.S.-based mastermind in the Antrix-Devas deal Ramachandra Vishwanathan twice before the agreement got the final government approval, the CBI said.

Normally, ISRO related news are important for UPSC. But this article is related to some corruption charges against some ex-ISRO officials. Not much important, unless the final verdict.

 

How low can interest rates go?

The interest rate on the one-year term deposit in India’s largest bank has nosedived from 9% in July 2014 to 6.5% now. Interest rates on the three-year term deposit have dropped from 8.75% to 6.25%.

The article talks about some speculations regarding ‘low interest rates.’ These speculation are not important. We should only go after the reasons behind low interest rates(and not speculations).

 

Exploring Bhutan

With the Doklam stand-off entering a third month, the spotlight remains on a country that has traditionally shied from it: Bhutan. How does a nation described by its leaders as “one of the world’s smallest countries, sandwiched between two of the world’s biggest powers” keep its identity and sovereignty intact? And given that it does not have ties with too many other countries, how has it managed to make no enemies?

The Op-Ed is written from historical point of view(of Bhutan). No need to go deeply inside the history of every country, just(always) try to know some important historical facts.

[13 August 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Mehbooba discusses Article 35A with Modi

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday to discuss the position of political parties in the Valley on the legal challenge to Article 35A that prevents “outsiders” from owning property in the State.

Article 35A is a very important topic. We already did a newscard on the same topic, earlier. Important things were covered in the same newscard regarding the issue. No need to go through again and again on the same topic, as no important thing is given in the article, which was not covered earlier.

 

System lighter by Rs. 3.5 lakh crore of cash: Survey

Demonetisation has reduced Rs. 3.5 lakh crore of cash from the amounts available in the system before, and digitisation has increased across the board, even among the poor, says Volume II of the Economic Survey .

Important fact is given above. No need to go through the complete article.

 

BOB net slides 52% on bad debts

Bank of Baroda’s (BOB) net profit slid almost 52% to Rs. 203.39 crore in the first quarter ended June as slippages stayed elevated.

It is important to know the level of NPA in country’s Banking Sector. But going through the data of individual bank, separately, is not important.

 

Risks to growth

Five months after the Economic Survey 2016-17 was released, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian has presented the second volume of the annual economic review-cum-prognosticatory report

The Op-Ed is full of statements. Initially, some complex observation is given and then some general things about Government policies are given, like loan waiver, farm incomes,etc.(very general things).

[11 August 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Govt. panel to probe Kingfisher dues to AAI

The Civil Aviation Ministry has set up an internal committee to fix the responsibility for accumulation of dues worth about Rs. 300 crore payable by defunct Kingfisher Airlines to Airports Authority of India (AAI).

These kind of company specific news are not important for UPSC. Only Industry specific news are important, like Aviation sector, banking sector, etc.

 

The Hindu Playwright Award 2017 presented

The Hindu Playwright Award 2017 went to Gerish Khemani and Akshat Nigam for their play ‘In Search of Dariya Sagar’. The Rs. 2 lakh award, instituted in 2008 to reward the best new unpublished and unperformed play-script in English, was presented during the launch of the 13th edition of The Hindu Theatre Fest at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Thursday.

UPSC generally don’t ask award specific questions, like who get which award. Just try to know about the background of the award.

 

Confusion in the case of cross-voting

The Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat highlighted the procedural matrix of the ‘open ballot’ system under Rule 39AA of the Conduct of Election Rules of 1961. This says that a voter may show his/her marked ballot paper to the authorised representative of his/her political party before dropping it into the ballot box.

Very comprehensive information is given in the article, regarding the process of Rajya Sabha Election. We don’t need to go through such articles. Just know about the process of RS election from M Laxmikanth or any other book.

[9 August 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Start-up funding may come under SEBI lens

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is concerned with the manner in which start-ups are being funded through unregulated entities and is examining the manner in which alternative fund-raising platforms and crowd-funding ventures can be regulated to bring in transparency and regulatory oversight in such deals.

We will wait till the proposal will get implemented. Other than this there is nothing much important in the article. But still the topic is important. Try to know more about the issue from other sources.

 

‘100% monsoon quota this year’

Reiterating its forecast from June, the India Meteorological Department has said India will get ‘normal’ rain during the remaining months of the monsoon season. India is likely to get 100% of its annual monsoon quota of 89 cm, a slight increase over the 98% forecast by the agency in June.

Good news for Agricultural Economy of India. But there is nothing important in the article from UPSC perspective.

 

Shia board for mosque at a ‘reasonable distance’

“It is submitted that the Sunni Central Waqf Board U.P. is under the dominant control of Sunni hardliners, the fanatics and non-believers in peaceful co-existence, who have no stake in the present case… since Babri Masjid was a Shia waqf, it is the Shia Central Waqf Board U.P. alone which is entitled to negotiate and arrive at a peaceful settlement with the other remaining stakeholders,” the affidavit, filed by Shia Waqf Board chairman Syed Waseem Rizvi, said.

Babri Masjid is a serious matter. The suggestion given by Shia Waqf board is an important development. Just remember the headline, and para written above which shows Shia Waqf board point of view on the matter.

 

Terror on the tarmac

When a reporter was at the right place at the right time

Op-Ed has nothing important from UPSC point of view. It just talks about some incidents of a terrorist attack.

[7 August 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

After SC order, focus on chemicals in firecrackers

Court barred manufacturers from using five specified chemicals ‘in any form whatsoever’ to prevent air pollution.

We already did a newscard on the same topic, earlier. Important things were covered in the same newscard regarding the issue. No need to go through again and again on the same topic, as no important thing is given in the article, which was not covered earlier.

 

Rare ant species found in China

Opamyrma hungvuong , an ancient ant species, was spotted for the first time in Guangxi by experts on an ant survey at a national reserve near Guangxi’s tourist city of Guilin.

UPSC generally don’t ask questions on species specific information, as asked in other competitive exams. You can remember the name.

 

China’s RCEP push veils grand plan

Community social media platform ‘LocalCircles’ recently did a survey on the Indian consumer’s perception about items imported from China. The results gave a peek into the minds of Indian consumers. It showed 52% of participants were of the opinion that for the same product, the quality of a ‘Made in India’ version was superior to the one from China.

The article is about a survey done by a private agency. Every survey is not important, until it is carried out by Government agencies or reputed International Organisations. We can’t mention these kind of surveys in Mains Paper.

 

Vice-President Naidu

He has to rely on his tact and temperamentin his new role as an apolitical elder

The Op-Ed is written from a political point of view. Political Articles are generally not important for UPSC.

[4 August 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

NOTA option will stay for RS polls, says SC

Petition said the 2014 circular to introduce NOTA was ex facie illegal, arbitrary and tainted with mala fides. An executive instruction cannot override express statutory provisions, the petition said.

Only the headline is important. Rest of the article is discussing a petition on the issue. No need to go through every petition, thoroughly.

 

Services PMI drops to lowest since Sept. 2013

Service sector activity in July slowed to its lowest level since September 2013, due in large part to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, according to a private sector survey.

It is a private sector survey. These kind of surveys are not important for UPSC. Only those surveys are important which are released by Government or reputed organisations around the world.

 

India’s first private missile production facility unveiled

India’s first private sector missile sub-systems manufacturing facility, a joint venture between the $2.5 billion Kalyani Group and Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd., was inaugurated near Hyderabad on Thursday. The Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems (KRAS) plant will make anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) Spike.  Formed in line with the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Centre and the policy to encourage private sector participation in defence production, the 51:49 joint venture will develop a wide range of advanced capabilities.

Important facts are given above. No need to go through the complete article. Also, we did a newscard on the same topic, earlier.

 

The NOTA principle

The Congress and the BJP protest too much about its introduction in Rajya Sabha polls

It is a political Op-Ed. In the article, writer is discussing political strategy of BJP and Congress. These kind of political articles are not important from UPSC Perspective.

[3 August 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

RBI cuts repo rate by 25 bps to 6%, lowest in over 6 years

As some of the upside risks to inflation have not materialised, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday decided to cut the key policy rate or repo rate by 25 basis points (bps) to 6%, taking it to its lowest in six-and-a-half years.

It is of not much importance how RBI increases or decreases its policy rates. The only important thing is its effect on the Indian Economy.

 

MRPL project overshot cost and deadline: CAG

A Comptroller and Auditor General audit report on the expansion project carried out by Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals found that the total expenditure incurred by the company on the project was Rs. 14,832 crore as of March 2016, almost double the planned amount.

The CAG does audits of many PSUs. Not all reports of CAG on these PSUs are important.

 

Banks should reduce rates for existing borrowers too: RBI

With commercial banks having a tendency to reduce interest rates only for prospective customers in order to push new business, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Urjit Patel said he expected lenders to pass on lower loan costs to borrowers who had not received the full benefit of the reductions in the policy rate.

The article is based on an advise by RBI. Banks are not bound to follow these advises. We should only go through the effects of these advises on economy, if followed. Other things are not important for UPSC.

 

A judgment for the ages

The Supreme Court must define the contours of the right to privacy in a way that doesn’t undo it

We have done many newscards on the issue. No need to go through again and again on the same topic. If you are aware of the issue, then no need to read this Op-Ed.

 

[2 August 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Decontrol will now be faster: ICRA

The government’s recent decision to allow public sector oil marketing companies (OMC) to increase the price of subsidised LPG by Rs. 4 per month instead of two rupees a month earlier will hasten the price deregulation process, rating agency ICRA said on Tuesday.

Every comment from rating agencies is not important. Only those comments are important, which shows some kind of significant effects on Economy.

 

Panel to draft data protection Bill, SC told

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology will work with the panel and hand over all necessary information to it within the next eight weeks, after which the latter will start its deliberations. The Committee is expected to submit its report expeditiously.

Not much important facts or points are given in the article, we will wait for the final report.

 

Modi announces Rs. 2,350 cr. for NE

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a total package of Rs. 2,350 crore for the north eastern States hit by floods and an immediate release of Rs. 250 crore for flood-hit Assam, as he undertook a visit here to assess the situation. The Prime Minister also announced a Rs. 100 crore corpus for a research project to study the Brahmaputra river and its role in creating devastating flood.

Important points are given above. Other data given in the article is not much important.

 

The empire strikes back

Had Nawaz Sharif continued as Prime Minister till 2018, he would have created history by becoming the first Prime Minister to have completed a full five-year term in Pakistan’s 70-year history. As it happens, he still created history, though of a different sort.

The Op-Ed is not important from UPSC perspective because it is on internal politics of Pakistan.

[1 August 2017 | Low Priority News Items of the Day]

Low Priority Items of the Day:

Roll-out of GM mustard will be challenged, says SC

The Supreme Court on Monday said a government decision favouring a commercial roll-out of genetically modified (GM) mustard seeds will not go unchallenged.

Important point is given above, no need to go through the complete article if you have basic knowledge of the issue. We will wait for the final judgement.

 

Chemical from turmeric helps treat cancer in children

Scientists in the U.S. have found yet another use for curcumin, the bioactive component of turmeric that is widely used in Indian cuisine, this time to treat cancer in children. Researchers at Nemours Children’s Hospital and the University of Central Florida (UCF) have found that nanoparticles loaded with curcumin can target and destroy neuroblastoma tumour cells.

These kinds of studies are not important for UPSC. Unless, study is done by any influential organisation like WTO. Just remember the headline.

 

SBI cuts savings deposit rate by 50 bps to 3.5%

For the first time since savings account interest rates were deregulated in 2011, State Bank of India has decided to revise the rate downward by 50 basis points to 3.5%, for deposits of less than Rs. 1 crore. Deposits of Rs. 1 crore and above will continue to earn 4%. The new rate has been made effective from Monday.

Important facts are given above. No need to go through the complete article. Just try to figure out the possible effect of this decision on Economy.

 

Dangerous escalation

Russia’s expulsion of U.S. mission staff could lock the two countries into a retaliatory spiral

The Op-Ed is on World Politics between US and Russia. Not important from UPSC perspective.



:( We are working on most probable questions. Do check back this section.







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