Current Affairs Analysis

4th April 2017 Current Affairs Analysis – IASToppers

Indian rankings 2017; National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF); The News Integrity Initiative; African Development Bank Group; Barak missiles; DAC; PTG Dakia Yojana; Hindustani classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar; etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
April 04, 2017


Polity & Governance

  • Global initiative launched to fight fake news

Issues related to Health & Education

  • HRD Ministry releases India Rankings 2017

Bilateral & International Relations

  • African Development Bank to hold 52nd annual meet in Gujarat

Defence & Security Issues

  • Centre clears proposal to buy Barak missiles for Indian Navy

Key Facts for Prelims

  • PTG Dakia Yojana
  • Hindustani classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar


Polity & Governance

Global initiative launched to fight fake news

A global alliance of tech industry and academic organisations has unveiled The News Integrity Initiative to work together to combat the spread of “fake news” and improve public understanding of journalism.


Key facts:

  • The initiative’s mission is “to advance news literacy, to increase trust in journalism around the world and to better inform the public conversation.”
  • The founding funders include Facebook and the Craigslist founder Craig Newmark’s philanthropic fund along with the Ford Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Tow Foundation, AppNexus, Mozilla and Betaworks.
  • Helping the public understand the difference between fraudulent news and serious journalism will constitute an important element of the effort.

Menace of Fake news:

Fake news became a serious issue in the U.S. election campaign, when clearly fraudulent stories circulated on social media, potentially swaying some voters.

Concerns have been raised since then about hoaxes and misinformation affecting elections in Europe, with investigations showing how “click farms” generate revenue from online advertising using made-up news stories.

[Ref: The Hindu]


Issues related to Health & Education

HRD Ministry releases India Rankings 2017

Union Human Resource and Development Ministry has released the Indian rankings 2017 with the inclusion of two new categories: Common Overall Rank and the General Degree.


Key features of the Indian rankings 2017:

  • The India rankings 2017 were done under the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) that considered more than 3,300 institutes across 20 parameters.
  • Regional diversity, gender equity, the inclusion of disadvantaged sections were among some of the specific parameters in the India Rankings 2017.
  • India Rankings 2017 would be used to improve the educational institutions of the country. According to the HRD ministry, nearly 705 of the research output in the country came from these institutions, while the top 100 academic institutions of the country accounted for nearly 80% of the output.

Performance of various institutes:

  • According to the India Rankings 2017, the Indian Institute of Technology(IIT) Madras tops the list in the Engineering category while IISC, Bangalore sits at the top of the Common Overall Rankings, followed by IIT Madras, IIT Bombay, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Delhi, JNU, IIT Kanpur, IIT Guwahati, IIT Roorkee respectively.
  • In the list of the best Management institutes in the country, the Indian Institute of Management(IIM) Ahmedabad gets the top spot while being followed by IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Lucknow, IIM Kozhikode respectively.
  • Similarly, IISc Bangalore tops the list of the best universities in the country, followed by JNU, Delhi and the BHU, Varanasi. Meanwhile, in the list of top colleges in the country, Miranda House, Delhi leads the way with Loyola College, Chennai & Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi following it respectively.
  • In the list of the top pharma institutions, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi tops the chart, while being followed by the National Institute of Pharma. Education and Research, Mohali.


  • Although the Central Government funded institutions, in general continue to do well, some of the state-funded universities also are prominent.
  • Some private institutions and universities have also been quietly climbing up to take high positions, thus offering value for money to their students, going by their ranks.
  • Some of these institutions have consistently maintained or improved their positions of last year, clearly indicating that it was not a one-time fluke event. This is clearly a satisfying development in Higher Education.
  • Finally, a very exciting feature of this year’s Rankings is the ranking of General Degree Colleges in Arts and Sciences from across the country.
  • While many of the names appearing in the top-100 list are well known and famous, there are many others who may not be so well known but have fared well. Clearly these need to be watched out for in future.

What is NIRF?

The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) is a methodology adopted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to rank all institutions of higher education in India.


  • It has been approved by the MHRD and was launched in September, 2015.
  • This framework outlines a methodology to rank institutions across the country.
  • The methodology draws from the overall recommendations and broad understanding arrived at by a Core Committee set up by MHRD, to identify the broad parameters for ranking various universities and institutions.
  • The parameters broadly cover “Teaching, Learning and Resources”, “Research and Professional Practices”, “Graduation Outcomes”, “Outreach and Inclusivity” and “Perception”.
  • NIRF has been given the responsibility of ranking institutions that have applied and submitted their data.
  • The ranking of the Institutions will be done based on the parameters proposed by NIRF for different disciplines.
[Ref: The Hindu]


Bilateral & International Relations

African Development Bank to hold 52nd annual meet in Gujarat

India is hosting 52nd annual meeting of the African Development Bank in Ahmedabad.

About African Development Bank Group:

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is a multilateral development finance institution established to contribute to the economic development and social progress of African countries.


  • The AfDB was founded in 1964 and comprises three entities:
  1. The African Development Bank,
  2. The African Development Fund and
  3. The Nigeria Trust Fund.
  • The AfDB’s mission is to fight poverty and improve living conditions on the continent through promoting the investment of public and private capital in projects and programs that are likely to contribute to the economic and social development of the region.
  • The AfDB is controlled by a Board of Executive Directors, made up of representatives of its member countries.
  • The voting power on the Board is split according to the size of each member’s share, currently 60%-40% between African (or “regional”) countries and “non-regional” member countries (“donors”). The largest African Development Bank shareholder is Nigeria with nearly 9% of the vote.
  • All member countries of the AfDB are represented on the AfDB Board of Executive Directors. Member governments are officially represented at the AfDB by their Minister of Finance, Planning or Cooperation who sits on the AfDB Board of Governors. The AfDB Governors meet once a year to take major decisions about the institution’s leadership, strategic directions and governing bodies.
  • The African Development Bank is using a Unit of Account which is registered as XUA as ISO 4217 standard currency code. It is not exchanged directly by individuals, it is used for accounting between state members.

India and AfDB:

  • India became member of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in 1983.
  • India is a key member of the institutions 24 Non-Regional Member Countries, which support the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional resource window of the Bank.
  • In 2013, Delhi increased its contribution to the 13th replenishment of the fund by 57.28% to USD 18.5 million, among other investments.
  • The Union Finance Minister and Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance are the Governor and Alternate Governor of the Bank respectively.
[Ref: PIB]


Defence & Security Issues

Centre clears proposal to buy Barak missiles for Indian Navy 

The government has approved procurement of a fresh batch of Barak missiles for Naval warships to enhance India’s maritime capability in view of the changing security dynamics in the Indian Ocean region.

ias toppers proposal to buy Barak missiles

  • The approval in this regard was given by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) of the Defence Ministry.

Key facts:

  • Barak missiles are short range surface-to-air missiles.
  • The missiles will be procured under ‘Buy Global’ category from Rafael Advance Defense Systems Limited of Israel at an approximate cost of around Rs 500 crore.
  • Almost all ships of the navy will be equipped with these missiles.

About DAC:

  • The DAC was set up in 2001 as part of the post-Kargil reforms in defence sector.
  • It approves the long-term integrated perspective plan for the forces, accords acceptance of necessity (AON) to begin acquisition proposals, and has to grant its approval to all major deals through all their important phases.
  • It also has the power to approve any deviations in an acquisition, and recommends all big purchases for approval of the Cabinet committee on security.
[Ref: The Hindu]


Key Facts for Prelims

PTG Dakia Yojana

ias toppers PTG Dakia Yojana

  • Jharkhand state government has launched PTG Dakia Yojana to provide foodgrains at their door-step to nearly 70,000 families of primitive tribal groups (PTG), many of whom are facing prospects of dwindling numbers.
  • Under the scheme, the employees of the Food and Civil Supplies Department would go door-to-door of these families every month with a packet of 35 kg rice.


Hindustani classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar

ias toppers Kishori Amonkar

  • Renowned Hindustani classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar passed away.
  • She was recognised as one of the foremost singers in the Hindustani tradition and as an innovative exponent of the Jaipur gharana.
  • She had learned classical music from her mother Mogubai Kurdikar who was the well-known vocalist.
  • She also had developed her own personal style, which reflected the influence of other gharanas and was generally regarded as an individual variant of the Jaipur tradition.
  • She was primarily known for her skillful singing of classical khayals set in the traditional ragas of Hindustani music, but also performed the lighter classical genres of thumri, bhajans and film music.
  • She was awarded the Padma Bhushan (1987) and Padma Vibhushan (2002) and became fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi (2010).


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