Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | Mar 5, 2021

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“Ease of Living Index, 2020” released

What is the news?

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs releases the rankings of the Ease of Living Index (EoLI) 2020.

About Ease of Living Index,2020:

  • Developed by: Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in 2018.
  • It is an assessment tool. By this tool, quality of life and the impact of various initiatives on urban development are assessed.

Parameters: The index evaluates cities based on the following parameters:

  • Quality of Life (35%): It looks at the indicators for decent urban life. These indicators include affordable housing, access to clean water, basic education, healthcare facilities, safety and security and recreation avenues.
  • Economic Ability (15%): It captures the economic well-being of citizens. It is done by evaluating the level of economic development and inequalities in a particular city.
  • Sustainability (20%): It evaluates the availability of green spaces, green buildings, level of energy consumption. Moreover, the quality of natural resources such as air, water, and the city’s ability to withstand natural disasters are also assessed.
  • Citizen Perception Survey (30%): It provides a perception of the city residents. Thus, it allows citizens to evaluate the level and quality of development in their respective cities.

Coverage: The index assessed 111 cities by bifurcating them into two categories:

  • Million+ populated cities (those with a population of more than a million) and
  • Less than A Million populated cities (those with a population of less than a million) along with all the cities under the Smart Cities Program.

Key Findings:

  • Million+ category: Bengaluru has emerged as the top performer. It is followed by Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Surat, Navi Mumbai, Coimbatore, Vadodara, Indore, and Greater Mumbai.
  • Less than Million category: Shimla is at the top in this category. It is followed by Bhubaneswar, Silvassa, Kakinada, Salem, Vellore, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Davangere, and Tiruchirappalli.

Significance of the index:

  • The findings from the index can help guide evidence-based policymaking.
  • It also promotes healthy competition among cities. It encourages cities to learn from each other and advance their development trajectory.

Source: The Hindu

Ranking of Indian Universities in “QS World University Rankings 2021”

What is the News?

The QS World University Rankings 2021 released.

About QS World University Rankings 2021

  • Released by: Global higher education consultancy Quacquarelli Symonds releases annually.
  • Parameters: It calculates the performance of the universities based on the following four parameters:
    1. Academic reputation
    2. Employer reputation
    3. Research impact (citations per paper)
    4. Productivity of an institution’s research faculty
  • Subjects Covered: It covers a total of 51 disciplines grouped into five broad subject areas: 1) Arts & Humanities 2) Engineering and Technology 3) Life Sciences & Medicine 4) Natural Sciences and 5) Social Sciences & Management.

Key Findings Related to India:

  1. Twelve Indian universities and higher education institutions have achieved top-100 positions in their subject. In total, 25 Indian programs have achieved top-100 positions – two fewer than in 2020.
  2. The top-ranked Indian programme globally is the IIT Madras petroleum engineering program. It is followed by mineral and mining engineering at Bombay and Kharagpur IITs.
  3. Engineering and Technology: Only three institutions made it to the top 100 in this category — the Bombay, Delhi, and Madras IITs. In 2020, 5 institutions were ranked in the top 100.
  4. Social Sciences and management: the University of Delhi is the highest-ranked Indian institution in this category. But it fell 48 places at 208.
  5. Life Sciences and Medicine: All India Institute of Medical Sciences remained the only institution in the top 300 in this category.
  6. Natural Sciences: Indian Institute of Science(IISc) has entered into the top 100 in this category.
  7. Arts & Humanities: Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU) anthropology program has been ranked 159th in this category.
  8. Private Institute: OP Jindal Global University is the only Indian private institution in the top 100 list. It entered into the top 100 law schools of the world with a rank of 76.

Source: The Hindu

Clarification on IT Rules, 2021 for OTT Platforms

What is the News?

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting clarifies certain aspects of IT Rules, 2021 for OTT platforms. It clarified that there will be no government nominee in the self-regulatory body.

What is the issue?

The Central government notified Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021. These rules broadly deal with social media and over-the-top(OTT) platforms.

What is the Ministry’s clarification?

  • The over-the-top(OTT) platforms will not have to get themselves registered with the government.
  • There will be no government-appointed member in the self-regulatory body that will address complaints.

Rules for OTT Platforms:

  • Self-Classification of Content: The OTT platforms would self-classify the content into five age-based categories i.e. U (Universal), U/A 7+, U/A 13+, U/A 16+, and A (Adult).
  • Parental Lock: Platforms would implement parental locks for content classified as U/A 13+ or higher. A reliable age verification mechanism for content classified as “A” is required.

Read moreIT Rules 2021 for OTT and Social Media

3- Tier Grievance Redressal Mechanism

  • Grievance Cell: The publisher has to appoint a Grievance Redressal Officer based in India. The officer shall be responsible for the redressal of grievances received by it. He shall take a decision on every grievance it receives within 15 days.
  • Self Regulatory Body: There may be one or more self-regulatory bodies of publishers. Such a body shall be headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court, a High Court, or an independent eminent person. It will not have more than six members.
    • This body will oversee the adherence by the publisher to the Code of Ethics and address grievances that have not been resolved by the publisher within 15 days.
  • Oversight Mechanism by Government: An Inter-ministerial panel will be set up. It will look into the complaints if they are not resolved at the first two levels.

Source: The Hindu

Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Releases “Municipal Performance Index (MPI)”

What is the news?

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs releases the rankings of the Municipal Performance Index(MPI) 2020.

About Municipal Performance Index(MPI), 2020:

  • It is a framework to assess and analyze the performance of Indian Municipalities. Performance is evaluated based on their defined set of functions.
  • It provides citizens with a better understanding of their local government administration.
  • The MPI has been undertaken for the first time in the country.

Note: Both Ease of Living Index and Municipal Performance Index(MPI) released together. Both indexes provide a holistic view of the performance of cities across India.

Parameters: The index ranks municipalities based on five parameters which are:

  1. Services: It includes an assessment of all functions that citizens experience on a daily basis.
  2. Finance: It measures municipalities based on how they manage public funds and how their agency is accessing financial resources.
  3. Planning: It examines the level of preparation, implementation, and enforcement of urban planning.
  4. Technology: It measures the digital coverage of municipality services and the extent to which it empowers its citizens to access such services.
  5. Governance: It deals with aspects of municipal bodies and their governance mechanism.


  • The index examined the sectoral performance of 111 municipalities (with Delhi being assessed separately for NDMC and the three Municipal Corporations).
  • Classification: It has classified municipalities based on their population:
    • Million+ (municipalities having over a million population) and
    • Less than Million Population.

Key Findings:

  • Million+ category: Indore has emerged as the highest-ranked municipality followed by Surat and Bhopal.
  • Less than Million category: New Delhi Municipal Council has emerged as the leader followed by Tirupati and Gandhinagar.

Significance of the index:

  • MPI provides a detailed understanding of municipalities’ functionalities and the extent of their development and capabilities.
  • It also seeks to raise awareness among citizens and key stakeholders regarding their local government bodies and build greater transparency and accountability.

Source: Business Standard

IAF will participate in Multinational “Exercise Desert Flag”

What is the News?

Indian Air Force(IAF) is all set to take part in the multinational Exercise Desert Flag in the UAE.

Exercise Desert Flag:

  • Exercise Desert Flag is an annual multinational large force employment warfare exercise. United Arab Emirates Air Force hosts this exercise.
  • Aim: It provides operational exposure to the participating forces. Further, Exercise Desert Flag also trains them to undertake simulated air combat operations in a controlled environment. It involves diverse fighter aircraft from across the globe.
  • Participating Countries: Ten countries including India, the United Arab Emirates, the USA, France, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Bahrain are participating in the exercise.
  • Observer Countries: Greece, Jordan, Kuwait and Egypt.
  • Significance of the Exercise Desert Flag: The exercise gives an opportunity to participating countries to:
    • Enhance their operational capabilities along with the mutual exchange of best practices.
    • Contribute towards the strengthening of their international relations.

Importance for India:

  • This is the first time India will participate in Exercise Desert Flag. Further, It is also the first time India is taking part in a multinational air combat exercise in the strategically located Persian Gulf region.
  • It is for the fourth time when IAF is participating in such a multilateral exercise in the last five years. The other three were,
    1. American “Red Flag” in 2016.
    2. Israeli “Blue Flag” in 2017
    3. Australian “Pitch Black” war games in 2018

Source: PIB

“India Telecom 2021” Event Inaugurated

What is the News?

Union Minister for Communications inaugurated India Telecom 2021 Event.

About India Telecom 2021:

  • Organised by: Telecom Equipment Export Promotion Council(TEPC) under Market Access Initiative Scheme (MAI) of the Department of Commerce.
  • The event has the support of the Department of Telecommunications & Ministry of External Affairs.
  • Purpose: It is an exclusive international business expo. It aims to provide opportunities to the Indian telecom stakeholders to meet qualified overseas buyers.
  • 40 Indian telecom companies and 200 foreign delegates from more than 45 countries are attending the event.

About TEPC:

  • Setup by: Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Ministry of Communications
  • Aim: To promote and develop Export of Telecom Equipment and Services.
  • Functions: The council undertakes several activities aimed at exports promotion such as;
    • Commissioning of Studies to find potential markets
    • Recommending to the Government for making necessary changes in various policies and procedures for promotion of Exports and Services.
    • Holding of National/International Seminars
    • Facilitating the participation of exporters in various overseas exhibitions
    • Dissemination of trade-related data to its members.

Market Access Initiative (MAI) Scheme

  • Nodal Ministry: Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry
  • Objective: It is an Export Promotion Scheme. The scheme aims to act as a catalyst to promote India’s exports on a sustained basis.
  • Product and Country Focus Approach: The scheme is formulated on the basis of the product and country focus approach. It will evolve specific markets and specific products through market studies/surveys.

Source: PIB

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