Important newspaper articles for UPSC


Still frowning upon intermarriages

Learning/ Relate it to:

One of the important features of the casteism is Endogamy i.e. Marriage is restricted within members of a caste. Endogamy is designed to prevent the mixing of castes and hence preserving the hierarchical set up.

As per recent study, more than 50% respondents find inter-caste marriage objectionable. The finding shows that even many educated people think there should be laws against inter-caste marriage. It  raises serious questions about our education system and whether it is doing enough to reduce caste and religious prejudice. 

Currently on 5% marriages are intercaste. High percentage of objections in urban areas shows that though caste lines have blurred in public spheres like employment in urban setups, private life continues to be dominated by caste rules and norms.

Centre invites comments on new redressal body

Learning/ Relate it to: 
The government is planning to form a single Financial Redressal Agency (FRA) to address the grievances of retail consumers against all financial service providers. This is based on recommendation of the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC). 

Other Articles:
Rajasthan villages to sport a new look

Learning/ Relate it to:  For pre: Classification of cooperatives
State: State Cooperative Banks
District: Central Cooperative banks
Village: Primary agri credit societies (PACS).

Tel Aviv on tenterhooks

Learning/ Relate it to: Israel-Palestine conflict. Read it once done with world history.

2017 may ring curtains on many mines

Learning/ Relate it to: 3 important acts: Forest rights act, The forest conservation act, The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment. One can read about them briefly.

Only Headlines:
CCEA approves road project for Maoist areas: under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)
Banks still a distant dream for Bonda tribals : Financial inclusion 


Tribal development remains poor, says Ministry report

Learning/Relate it to:
As per annual report of Ministry of tribal affairs: Tribal population has 
  • Lower literacy rate (58% as compared to 73% of other social groups), high Dropout ratio,
  • Less access to health, Higher child, infant and maternal mortality rate
  • Large gap in rehabilitation- Out of 85 lakh displaced only 20 lakh have been rehabilated

Antlers could end up in medicines

Learning/Relate it to: For pre: Meaning of wildlife trophy

Don’t use pellet guns indiscriminately: SC

Learning/Relate it to:

Pellet Guns:
‘Non-lethal' pellet guns have resulted in extensive injuries to many citizens, including children as young as 12. It can be lethal when fired from close quarters. 

T.V.S.N Prasad Committee suggestions:
  • No blanket ban on the use of pellet guns. At the most, it should be used in rarest of rare cases.
  • Henceforth, pellets will not be of metal but of soft material like polymer, soft plastic, rubber and even paper.
  • Alternatives: Chilli grenade ,  Nonivamide,  ‘stun lac cells’ and Long Range Acoustic Device (LARD) which create deafening noise to paralyse people.

Inclusion covers more ground

Learning/Relate it to:
Current status: 7-8% person with disabilities but constitute only 1% of workforce
Benefit to companies: 
  • Lesser attrition rate, 
  • More sensitised organisational culture, improves employee morale,
  • Improved brand image for the enterprise.
  • Impacts the bottom line as people prefer to do business with companies that look out for the disabled

India journeys from multilateral to bilateral

Learning/Relate it to: Issues being faced by India at multilateral platforms. 

Other Articles:

Chronicle of a conflict foretold

Learning/Relate it to: Note Goodwill mission,Treaty of Yandaboo, 1826 -can be asked in Pre. 
Understand meaning of inner line permit, conflict within ethnic groups -Meitei, Kuki, and Nagas

Excluded from financial inclusion

Learning/Relate it to: Salient features of Jan dhan Yojna

Under the PMJDY, the mandate is not restricted to opening accounts. But it also includes:
  • Issuing of RuPay cards, with inbuilt accident insurance cover of Rs.1 lakh. 
  • Providing small-value overdrafts based on satisfactory conduct of account, 
  • availability of low-cost life insurance (Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana) and accident insurance (Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana)
  • Pension scheme (Atal Pension Yojana) are also part of the PMJDY.

Afghanistan, India, and Trump

Learning/Relate it to: To take historical perspective to Afghanistan. 

Just Headlines:
Health Ministry, AIIMS to set up National Death Registry
Nepal rejects India’s ‘open sky’ offer
Note IUCN status of cheetah- Vulnerable


Agni-V test-fired again from mobile-launcher

Learning/Relate it to: Ballistic missile, Intercontinental, can carry nuclear warhead, supersonic.

Time to repeal the FCRA

Learning/Relate it to:  NGOs and related issues

FCRA regulates the foreign contribution (money donation) and foreign hospitality given to various NGOs, institutes, judges, journalists, political parties and public servants etc and ensure that such funds are not used for antinational activities.

Apprehension of Govt:
Using foreign funds to 
  • To stall genuine development projects in vested interest
  • To spread communal dishormony
  • Anti national activités under NGOs: front office to terrorism financing and  money laundering

Issues with FCRA :
  • Arbitrary; hence misused by govt to supressthe voice of dissent. Example: Green peace, Amnesty, Teesta Setalvad, Ford foundation
  • Government of India itself is a massive participant in international development aids-as a donors and recipients. 
  • Double standards with respect to political classes.
  • As per UN report, FCRA is being used in ultra vires to international convention on civil and political rights (ICCPR), India is signatories of these conventions.
  • Violation of  right to freedom of association is part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
There is no denying that NGOs should be subjected to restrictions, however those have to be precise, and predictable. A better way to regulate would be to form an autonomous, self-regulatory agency for CSOs.

Assessed, approved but scant attention to compliance

Learning/Relate it to: What is Environment Impact Assessment, purpose, procedures and lacunas

Other Articles:

After Tarun Gogoi, Mahanta loses NSG security cover

Learning/Relate it to: Role and responsibilities of NSG

Govt mulling fine on those found polluting Ganga

Learning/Relate it to: Government steps taken to reduce water pollution

Only Headlines:
  • House panel on IT to review digital security: Important due to increase in digital transactions
  • Centre to invest Rs5 lakh crore under Sagarmala’ : Read about Sagarmala
  • The week Portugal ran on renewables- can be cites as an example of feasibility of renewable energy


1. 2016 saw judiciary-govt. hostility

Learning/Relate to: Judicial activism vs Judicial overreach; Separation of Power.

Note: The articles summarises all the important decisions of SC in last one year. Save it for future reference and refer it.

Judicial Activism vs Judicial Overreach: 
Judicial activism is referred to positive steps taken by judiciary to fill legislative vacuum (Vishakha guidelines), to protect constitution (Basic structure), to bring prompt social justice (PIL)
Judicial overreach: arbitrary, frequented unreasonable interference violating principle of separation of Power. 

There is very thin line between two and one act could be called by some judicial activism and by other judicial overreach.

2. Directors’ independence has been severely compromised

Learning/Relate to: Governance, transparency and accountability in Paper 2

3. 6117 Kuchipudi dancers put A.P. in Guinness book

Learning/Relate to: Kuchipudi important for pre. Note down following
Following personalities belongs to kuchipudi:
  • Vempati China satyam
  • Raja and Radha Reddy
  • Yamini Krishna murthy
Jayamu Jayamu and Ananda Tandavam are two composition of Kuchipudi by Vempati China Satyam

4. Demonetisation, protectionism cause worry to Indian exporters

Learning/Relate to: 
Reason or challenges for exports
International factors:
  • Slow international demand
  • Trade diversion due to regional economical blocs like TPP
  • Changing political scenario in west towards protectionism ex: Brexit
  • Slow progress of Free Trade Agreements
Domestic factors
  • Poor infrastructure at ports, lack of multi modal connectivity
  • Low control of quality and standards of exporting goods ex: Mangoes banned in Europe due to butter flies
  • Cash crunch due to demonetisation
  • Red tapism and corruption

5. ‘Need to link Aadhaar with details of voters’

Learning/Relate to: Use of Aadhaar card, Meaning of absentee voting rights. Its importance and challenges for domestic migrants as well as NRI.

6. A grim outlook for Europe

Learning/Relate to: Changing trends of terrorism; lone wolf attackers- meaning and characteristics; 

Challenges in handling lone wolf attacker:
  • Indoctrination is an invisible and subtle process diicult to detect even by the members of a well-knit family.
  • it is swift and efficient, requiring few resources and no elaborate preparation.
  • Increasing resentment due to growing restrictions of governments  on religious symbols such as the hijab and the hood.

Other articles:

7. Speak up for the Rohingyas

Learning/Relate to: Use these two while answering questions related to refugeesUN universal declaration of human rights and UN high commissioner for refugees.

8. Soft border approach can bring India into CPEC’

Learning/Relate to: Soft border vs hard border, benefits and challanges of soft borders in India’s border management.

The border between two countries called soft border hen there is no structural barriers on the borders and there is ease in movement of people and goods along the border. For example Schengen countries in Europe. Against it, hard borders has walls, fences, restrictive cross border movement. 

9. Russia ofers technology to keep hackers at bay

Learning/Relate to: Note the example of cyber frauds to quote in questions like Yahoo, recent debit card frauds. Quantum cryptography a solution to strengthen Cyber infrastructure of the country.

Only headlines :
  • O​ne man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. 
This is the reason why international communities not able to provide concerted efforts to curb terrorism. Also, cause of UN not able to pass the  draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism. Use it in answers related to terrorism.

  • Varanasi and five other cities along the Ganga to get ferry services​ along National inland waterways 1​
  • Make justice system sympathetic to sexual abuse victims says SC


Myanmar farmers reap rewards from 3D printing

Learning/ Relate it to: What is 3D printing and its application; Use of technology in Agriculture

3D printing or Additive manufacturing(AD):
Refers to manufacturing of 3 dimensional objects under the computer control. Printer in this is a type of industrial robot which prints layer by layer as per the instruction from computer. 

  • Industries: Used by aerospace, architecture , automative, defence and medical  industries for prototyping before mass production or for tools like Airbus has developed a prototype of aircraft, GE uses 3D printer to builds the part of turbines. It will be very useful for luxury cars which are made few in numbers but require large investment in capacity building.
  • It is also very effective for mass customisation.
  • More research underway to print organs like liver, kidney and heart to increase availability of  organs for transplant and increase acceptability of transplanted organ to immune systems.
  • It was further proposed to print medicine.
  • Being used in Myanmar to develop agriculture equipment

Urban planning kept the peace in Harappa

Learning/ Relate it to: Increasing water conflict, Swachh Bharat Mission, Smart City. Use it in answers related to these topics.

An equal music, a beautiful society

Learning/ Relate it to: Ethics/GS2/essay: Why manual scavenging is wrong; attitude of people, its relation with caste and approach to change the attitude. Various regulation and civil society efforts to eliminate the same.

NITI Aayog rolls out health index

Learning/ Relate it to: Important for pre and can be used in steps taken by government in social sectors. Note that the index will see only incremental progress and ignore the current scenario.

China open to India joining economic corridor

Learning/ Relate to: India’s concerns related to CPEC.

Red notice likely against Sanjay Bhandari

Learning/ Relate to: For prelims
Interpol notices
ColourInformation sought
RedFor arrest and extraditions
BlueTo collect additional info
GreenTo provide warning
BlackInfo on unidentified person
PurpleInfo on methods used by criminals
OrangeTo warn against imminent public threat
SpecialFor group targets issued by UNSC
YellowHelp locate missing persons


Japan drags India to WTO on steel imports issue

Learning/Relate to: Dispute redressal Mechanism of WTO.

Now, CBSE to hold a test for school principals

Learning/Relate to: Can be mentioned as steps take by government to improve teacher and administrative quality.

Prices of HIV, diabetes, angina drugs slashed

Learning/Relate to: For pre. Check ministry of National pharmaceutical Pricing authority.

New Ebola vaccine provides 100 per cent protection: Study
Learning/Relate to: Just note the headline.

Pranab against ordinance route to amend Enemy Property Act

Learning/Relate to: Provision related to ordinance, brief note (2-3 lines) about Enemy property act


1. Doing the right thing

​Learning/Relate it to: Ethical perspective to international relations.
Note following: Example of Hungary (where India failed to interfere) and Somalia and Suez crisis (Where India took the stand).

Why should interfere:
1. Article 51 constitution- To promote international peace
2. Vasudev Kutumbakam: The world is one family and India should upheld this by promoting peace in Syria
3. India's historical moral stand to support where peace was threatened and justice was denied.

1. To promote stability in the region where India has large stakes (Diaspora and Trade)
2. India as a contender to UN permanent seat should show concern for other countries.

Why not:
1. Panchsheel: Civil war is internal affairs and India should not interfere in that.
2. Strategic consequences to support between two rival stand of USA and Russia.
3. Possibility of militia group targeting India in case stand is taken against them.

India should initiate a resolution in the UN Security Council, against human crisis in Syria, without supporting or criticising any of the parties involved in the conflict.

2. NGT notice to MoEF on use of plastic flags, banners in polls

​Learning/Relate it to: Plastic Management rule and E-waste management rule​

3. Forbes-India-GDP-data-sparks-debate
Learning/Relate it to: pre: World economic forum report by IMF


1. Pardon, the gender wage gap is showing

Learning/Relate to: Pre: Global Wage report issued by ILO; Mains/Essay: Data related to Wage gap (37%), only 15% women in high wage earning and around 20% of Labour participation of women

2. Too hot to handle — alarming rise in forest fires this year

Learning/Relate to: Forest fires: Vulnerabilities, causes, ecological and economical impacts and preventive measures

3. Finding the missing children:

Learning/Relate to: Draft trafficking bill- important features; few data points of missing children, and Bachpan bachao Andolan to quote in answer


4. SC criticises poor implementation of SC/ST Act

Learning/Relate to: Can be quoted in the questions related to the plight of SC and ST

5. Ending the Manipur blockade

Learning/Relate to: Extremism in North east, Demand for Great Nagaland and Naga accord; Hill vs Plain conflict in Manipur

6. Nepal to hold military exercise with China
Learning/Relate to:
​ Fodder for India-Nepal relation​

7. On Aadhaar system, the dead live on
Learning/Relate to:
​ Fodder as disadvantage of Current Aadhaar Act

8. Nirbhay missile test “an utter failure”

Learning/Relate to:
​ Difference between Brahmos and Nirbhaya​

9. Robot provides rare glimpse of world under Antarctic sea ice

Learning/Relate to:
​ Static portion on Ocean acidification​


Very Important:

1. Time for a policy shift 

Learning/Relate it to: Importance, problem of unorganised and small industries and suggestions to improve them.

2. Leopards in a spot

Learning/Relate it to: Wildlife protection Act, its schedule 1, SC ruling on Rights of animals. Important for prelims.

3. Credit costs hinder cashless economy

Learning/Relate it to: What is Merchant discount rate for prelims.

4.India, Kyrgyzstan seek a global pact against terror

Learning/Relate it to: India-central Asia relations. Joint excercise- Khanjar for prelims.

5. Railway passengers should pay for services

Learning/Relate it to: Problems of Railways, Power sector and Bibek Debroy committee suggestions and UDAY schemes


6. Jet stream in Earth’s core discovered

  Posted on Thursday, December 29th, 2016 at 12:49 PM under   UPSC