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Note:  The following Current affairs has been selected from AIR, PIB, PRS, BBC, The Hindu, IDSA (Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses), Live mint, Indian Express, Quora.com, Hindustan Times, Telegraph, The Times , WTO, New Indian express , The Guardian and is highly recommended for UPSC Prelims and Mains Examination


News Analysis: 09-06-2018

National News

General Studies-II : Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.


NEET nostrums

●      There was no uncertainty over the medical admission process this year in Tamil Nadu.

●      There were no attempts to get an exemption from the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).

●      And, willy-nilly, as many as 1.14 lakh aspirants took the examination that has been made mandatory by the Supreme Court as the sole admission window for medical colleges.

●      Yet, the poor performance of students from Tamil Nadu in the entrance test has demonstrated that the State is still far from being ‘NEET-ready’.

●      It is true that a well-intentioned beginning has been made to upgrade the syllabus and to make students more competitive.

●      However, only 45,336 candidates, or 39.6% of those who took the test, qualified for admission.

●      Along with Maharashtra, this is the lowest ratio in the country. What is important is that these candidates are merely eligible for admission, and far fewer students are actually likely to get admission.

●      Further, the chances of many of the candidates in the lower percentiles gaining entry into a government medical college are quite low, and many of them may not be able to afford to pay for seats in private colleges.

●      Proponents of NEET may maintain that its objectives — ensuring uniformity in standards of medical education by admitting students on the basis of a common national test and eliminating capitation fee for medical courses in private institutions — are being successfully met.

●      However, it is a moot question whether the commercialisation of education has been really eliminated, and whether the admission policy is sufficiently inclusive for this large and diverse country.

●      Lavish advertisements, as well as interviews with toppers, make it quite obvious that those who can afford expensive coaching classes have a distinct advantage in this system.

●      Like many other competitive examinations, NEET has spawned a coaching industry, with some parts of the country proving to be ideal locales for academic sweatshops.

●      Many of those in the top percentiles have attended long-term coaching classes as well as crash courses, paying exorbitant fees.

●      There is anger in Tamil Nadu against this perceived socio-economic asymmetry built into the medical admission process that keeps medical courses out of bounds for disadvantaged sections.

●      Such feelings intensified as a result of at least two young women committing suicide after they failed to clear NEET.

●      One of them had enough marks in her higher secondary examination to gain admission to a medical college, if the State government had its own admission system.

●      But overall, there is no escaping the fact that the country is committed to having uniform standards in medical education, and that this can play a role in meeting the important objective of maintaining standards in health care.

●      NEET is here to stay and State governments are now best-advised to upgrade academic standards and prepare their students better.

●      This will help in seeing that India’s healthcare infrastructure continues to get a steady inflow of medical manpower drawn from all sections of society.


Source: The Hindu

General Studies-III : Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment Disaster and disaster management.


‘Uranium contamination in Rajasthan groundwater’

●      Many parts of Rajasthan may have high uranium levels in their groundwater, according to a study by researchers at the Duke University in North Carolina, United States, and the Central Groundwater Board of India.

●      The main source of uranium contamination was “natural,” but human factors such as groundwater table decline and nitrate pollution could be worsening the problem.

●      The WHO has set a provisional safe drinking water standard of 30 micrograms of uranium per litre, a level that is consistent with the U.S. EPA standards.

●       Despite this, uranium is not yet included in the list of contaminants monitored under the Bureau of Indian Standards’ Drinking Water Specifications.


General Studies-III : Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.


More than 2.25 lakh shell firms may be struck off from the register of companies

●      More than 2.25 lakh shell firms may be struck off from the register of companies

●      The Centre said it has identified 2,25,910 companies whose names are to be struck off from the register of companies during the current financial year 2018-19.

●      This comes on the top of the removal of 2,26,166 companies from the register during the previous financial year.

●      The Task Force on Shell Companies had so far confirmed a total of 16,537 shell companies on the basis of the information received from the various law enforcement agencies, according to the Centre.

●      It had also narrowed down a list of 16,739 companies identified on the basis of having 100% common directorships with the confirmed shell companies.


Source: The Hindu


International News:


General Studies-II : Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India's interests, Indian diaspora

A vicious cycle

●      Nobody wants to lose a trade war. The European Commission on Wednesday announced it would impose tariffs as high as 25% on imports worth $3.3 billion from the U.S. beginning July.

●      A whole range of American goods, from motorbikes and jeans to peanut butter and orange juice, will now face higher taxes when sold in the European Union zone.

●      The Commission is also mulling import duties on more American goods if the trade war with the U.S. intensifies.

●      Europe is not alone in waging a battle against imports from the U.S.; China, Mexico and Canada have joined hands in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

●      Last week, the U.S. imposed a 25% tax on steel and a 10% tax on aluminium imports from the EU, Mexico and Canada.

●      The first salvo in this ongoing trade war, however, was fired by Mr. Trump in March this year, when he imposed tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminium to protect American producers.

●      Workers in America’s manufacturing sector have played a key role in Mr. Trump’s electoral success, so his zealousness to be seen to be protecting their interests is unsurprising.

●      However, consumers in America and the rest of the world are likely to suffer as their respective governments make it costlier for them to access foreign goods and services.

●      Judging by their actions, it is now clear that America’s major trading allies would not really want to lose this trade war against the U.S.

●      The sad fact, however, is that at the end of the day nobody actually wins a destructive trade war.

●      Tariffs that seek to disadvantage foreign producers in favour of domestic producers, whether they are imposed by the U.S. or any of its major trading partners such as Europe or China, only increase the burden of taxes.

●      What this leads to eventually is slower global economic growth. The World Bank has warned that the effect of the increased use of tariffs to regulate international trade could be similar to the significant drop in global trade after the financial crisis a decade ago.

●      Countries that are protesting America’s metal tariffs in the name of free trade are also only encouraging further protectionism when they impose retaliatory tariffs.

●      As former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan aptly put it, the ongoing trade war is a “lose-lose situation” for the warring parties.

●      The only winners will be special interest groups and consumers in countries that do not engage in the tit-for-tat tariff war, but their winnings will come at the cost of global growth.

●      It is high time countries worldwide come together to promote the cause of free trade.


‘Harley Davidson tariff to be among issues on table during Indo-U.S. talks’

●      The U.S. demand to reduce import tariffs on American Harley Davidson motorcycles will be among a series of trade disputes on the table and India will respond “appropriately” during the talks between Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu and his counterpart, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, in Washington next week, Mr. Prabhu said here.

●      The talks come on the back of several measures taken by the U.S. on its trade policy that have affected India, including imposing 25% tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, restrictions on H1B visas and the cancellation of spouse visas as well as taking to the WTO disputes over Indian barriers on poultry and pork and price caps on medical devices.


Source: The Hindu

General Studies-II : Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India's interests, Indian diaspora

U.S. wants India out of S-400 deal

●      The United States is trying to discourage India from buying large defence systems from Russia, an action that may attract sanctions, according to a senior official of the State Department.

●      Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanction Act (CAATSA), a 2017 law, requires that countries that have significant defence cooperation with Russia be sanctioned by America.

●      India is planning to buy five S-400 Triumf air defence systems for around $4.5 billion from Russia.


Source: The Hindu



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Thank You


1.Which of the following sectors are included under the service sector of the economy?


a. Healthcare

b. Tourism

c. Farming

d. Both a and b





2. Which of the following activities enhances uranium enrichment?


1.Over exploitation of groundwater

2.Excessive use of nitrate fertilisers


a.Only 1

b.Only 2

c.Both 1 and 2

d.Neither 1 nor 2






3.Which of the following statements are true with respect to the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act(CAATSA)?


1.The CAATSA is a U.S. federal law that imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia.

2.It includes sanctions against countries that engage in significant transactions with Russia’s defence and intelligence sectors


a.Only 1

b.Only 2

c.Both 1 and 2

d.Neither 1 nor 2





4.Which of the following countries do not form part of the European Union?


a. Switzerland

b. Norway

c. Iceland

d. All of the above




5.The S-400 air defense systems , recently seen in news is procured by India from?


a. Israel

b. United States of America

c. Russia

d. Ukraine