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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 08 September 2017

Insights Daily Current Affairs, 08 September 2017


Paper 2:


Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.


International Literacy Day – 2017


The 51st International Literacy Day is being celebrated on 8th September, 2017 and the theme announced by UNESCO is `Literacy in a digital world.



The International Literacy Day is celebrated on 8th September every year throughout the world.  On this day, in the year 1965 the World Congress of Ministers of Education met in Tehran for the first time to discuss the programme of education at the international level

  • The UNESCO in its 14th Session in November, 1966, declared 8th September as the International Literacy Day. Since then, ILD is celebrated on 8th September every year by most of the member countries.
  • The key aspect of the observance of ILD is to mobilize public opinion in favour of struggle against illiteracy. ILD is a forum to disseminate information on literacy and raise the public awareness and the significance of literacy for individual and national development.


Literacy rate in India:

As per Educational Statistics for 2015-16, the literacy rate in India increased to 69.3% in 2011. In comparison to 2001, when the literacy rate was 61.0%, the improvement is decent.

  • A dramatic improvement is seen in the literacy rate of female population which improved from 47.8% in 2001 to 59.3% in 2011. Among males, the literacy rate has improved from 73.4% in 2001 to 78.8% in 2011.
  • Though the literacy rate has been on a upward trajectory in the past decade, the overall literacy rate in India is still lower than the global rate. Compared to the global youth literacy rate of 91%, India lags far behind with 69.3%.


Way ahead:

The international community already has its eyes on 2030 with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and has aimed to “ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning” within its goals.


Sources: pib.


Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.


Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018


The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 of top 1,000 universities in the world has been released.


Key facts:

  • UK led the rankings with University of Oxford retaining first position. The University of Cambridge climbed two places to second, overtaking California Institute of Technology and Stanford University, both joint third. The United States continued to dominate the rankings.
  • China is the only BRICS nation that has advanced dramatically; it is now the fourth most-represented nation in the table, with 60 universities, including seven in the top 200, up from four last year.


Performance of Indian institutions:

  • Some of the premier Indian institutes such as IIT Delhi and IISc Bangalore have slide down in the rankings to lower bands. Not a single Indian institute was able to made it to the top 100 list.
  • This year, India’s representation has also declined, from 31 institutions to 30, while eight of its universities have slipped to a lower band.
  • Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has been placed in 251-300 category. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay has been listed 351-400 category.
  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee have been listed in 501-600 category.
  • Aligarh Muslim University, Banaras Hindu University, University of Delhi and Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati made it to the 601-800 list.


Sources: the hindu.


Topic: India and its neighbourhood- relations.


India refuses to join declaration of international meet against Myanmar




A delegation of Indian MPs, led by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, to the World Parliamentary Forum in Indonesia has disassociated itself from the adoption of the Bali Declaration as it referred to the violence in the Rakhine state of Myanmar and emphasised that any mention of country-specific issues was not appropriate.


Bali declaration:

The Bali Declaration, adopted at the World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development in Indonesia, called on all parties to contribute to restoring stability and security in the region. It urged everyone to “exercise maximum self-restraint from using violent means, respect the human rights of all people in Rakhine state regardless of their faith and ethnicity, as well as facilitate and guarantee safe access for humanitarian assistance”.


Why India refused to sign the declaration?

  • India has maintained that the Bali Declaration was not in line with the agreed principles of sustainable development. India also maintained that it continues to support achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Forum’s mandate was to discuss global issues and the overarching principles relating to SDGs.
  • India argued that specifying a particular country is unjustified as this Forum is focused on SDGs and inclusive development for all countries based on cooperative and collaborative approach to achieve the 2030 Agenda for the world.


India’s stand:

India has reiterated its stance that the purpose of convening the Parliamentary Forum is to arrive at mutual consensus for implementation of SDGs which requires inclusive and broad-based development processes. The proposed reference to the violence in Rakhine state in the Declaration was considered as not consensus-based and inappropriate.


Sources: et.


Paper 3:


Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.


DIPP to move cabinet note on guarantee fund for startups


Keen to ease the flow of loans to startups, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) will move a cabinet note on a credit guarantee fund for budding entrepreneurs.


Credit guarantee fund:

The fund was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as part of the Startup India action plan in January 2016.

  • The fund managed by the DIPP has a corpus of Rs 2,000 crore and will enable greater financial support to startups.
  • The government will use the fund to stand guarantee for loans given to startups.
  • A credit guarantee mechanism will help startups raise debt funding through the formal banking system.



Start-ups and entrepreneurship are critical to India’s efforts to restart private investment into the economy, in the face of risk aversion, stalled or slow investments from corporate India. Start-up India’ initiative was launched in January 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a move to help start-ups and catalyse entrepreneurship.

  • The Start-up India Action Plan lists out a comprehensive set of structural and regulatory reforms – Income tax exemption, easing compliance through reduction of regulations and having fixed qualifications as to what a ‘start-up’ is.
  • The action plan also provided an 80% waiver on patent filing fees by start-ups and advisory services, It also created a Rs.10,000 crore fund-of-funds which is to be managed by professionals drawn from the private sector.


Sources: et.


Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


Andhra Pradesh to get India’s first Hyperloop


The government of Andhra Pradesh has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with California-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) to develop India’s first Hyperloop route in the state.


Key facts:

  • The proposed route for the Hyperloop between the city centers of Vijaywada and Amaravati could potentially turn a trip of more than one hour into a 6 minute ride.
  • The project will use a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model with funding primarily from private investors.



Amaravati is a state-of-the-art city being developed in Andhra Pradesh as its de facto capital. In order to boost its image and emerge as the frontier city in future technology, Amaravati is looking forward to collaborating with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. Hyperloop is a cutting-edge technological disruption in the transportation industry.

The Hyperloop is expected to give rise to development of various state-of-the-art technology parks and software clusters in Amaravati, helping to fortify the city’s image as a world class leader in science and technology.


What is hyperloop transportation system?

It is a transportation system where a pod-like vehicle is propelled through a near-vacuum tube connecting cities at speeds matching that of an aircraft.


How it operates?

In hyperloop transporation, custom-designed capsules or pods are expected to zip smoothly through continuous steel tubes which are held at partial vacuum. The pod which sandwiches the passenger compartment between an air compressor upfront and a battery compartment in the rear is supported by air caster skis at the bottom.

  • The skis float on a thin layer of air provided under high pressure, eliminating rolling resistance and allowing for movement of the pods at high speeds. These capsules are expected to be driverless with estimated speeds of 1,000 km/h.
  • Linear induction motors that are placed along the tube control the speed of the pod. Electronically-assisted acceleration and braking determines the speed of the capsule.



Sources: et.


Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.


Considering to extend FAME-India scheme


The centre is considering the extension of FAME- India scheme to promote electric and hybrid vehicles by another six months.



The scheme’s phase-I was introduced from April 1, 2015, to March 31, 2017. The phase was subsequently extended by six months till September end.


About FAME India scheme:

FAME India – Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles in India – is a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan.

  • The scheme has four focus areas, technology development, demand creation, pilot projects and charging infrastructure.
  • The scheme envisages Rs 795 crore support in the first two fiscals starting with the current year.
  • It is being administered by the Heavy Industries Ministry.


Sources: the hindu.


Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


Uninhabited Lakshadweep island Parali I vanishes, 4 others shrinking fast: study


A new study has revealed that one of Lakshadweep’s bio-diversity rich islands Parali I has vanished. Parali I island, part of Bangaram atoll, which was 0.032 km2 in 1968 has been eroded to an extent of 100%, resulting in its inundation. Additionally, four other territories in the sea are also shrinking.


Key facts:

A general trend in erosion has been noticed in almost all islands he studied. The magnitude of such events was higher in Parali group, evidenced by the complete erosion and inundation of the island Parali I. The magnitude of net erosion was higher in Parali I island (100%), which resulted in its inundation. Apart from Parali I, net erosion was higher in Parali II (80%), followed by Thinnakara (14.38%), Parali III (11.42%) and Bangaram (9.968%). The complete erosion and inundation of Parali I was pointing to the gravity of issues associated with coastal erosion within the atoll.


What needs to be done now?

The study said the complete erosion and inundation of Parali I was pointing to the gravity of issues associated with coastal erosion within the atoll. Therefore, the results are indicative of the urgent measures to be implemented on each islet of the atoll to check further erosion. It is recommended to check the feasibility of a bio protection strategy using mangroves, in addition to the conventional physical protection measures.


Way ahead:

It is now widely recognised that islands and coastal areas are going to get eroded and inundated due to rising sea levels because of increasing global temperature. India’s coasts and islands, which are densely populated, are highly vulnerable. With the sea levels predicted to rise further, we should start preparing for building defenses to protect our coastlines and islands.


Sources: the hindu.