UPSC Current Affairs Analysis 

(for UPSC IAS Civil Services Examination)

Month-wise News Compilation

Topic-wise Keywords for Prelims 2020

Current Affairs Videos

News (Text)
Jan 19 @


19 JANUARY 2021

Daily Current Affairs based on ‘The Hindu’ newspaper as per the syllabus of UPSC Civil Services Examination (Prelims and Mains) compiled by Mrs. Bilquees Khatri.

Sr. No. Topic News
1. SOCIAL – HEALTH Covaxin not to be used in cases of allergy, fever
2. BILATERAL – INDIA – ASIA Aware of construction on LAC : MEA
3.  POLITY – JUDICIARY Only police should decide on tractor rally, says SC
4.  SOCIAL – WOMEN Task force on marriage age submits report to PMO
5.  SOCIAL – MEDIA Whatsapp chat of Arnab, BARC ex-CEO reveal fraud
6.  SECURITY NIA may examine members of Khalsa Aid
7.  GEOGRAPHY New monsoon forecast models on the anvil


Covaxin not to be used in cases of allergy, fever



Aware of construction on LAC : MEA



Only police should decide on tractor rally, says SC



Task force on marriage age submits report to PMO



Whatsapp chat of Arnab, BARC ex-CEO reveal fraud



NIA may examine members of Khalsa Aid



New monsoon forecast models on the anvil

Question Bank
Jan 19 @
Question Bank

19th JANUARY 2021


(1 Question)

Answer questions in 150-250 words each. Content of the answer is more important than its length.

Links are provided for reference. You can also use the Internet fruitfully to further enhance and strengthen your answers


Q1. The COVID-19 pandemic has further strengthened the need to decongest Indian prisons. Comment.


  • A distance of two yards — do ghazh ki duri — we are enjoined to maintain between oneself and anyone else. But there is a category of persons by which the injunction cannot be observed — prisoners. By the very nature of their situation, the physical limits of their confinement, they are obliged to stay in poorly ventilated and over-crowded cells. Being holed up in that condition almost seems to form part of the punishment. A jail and a dungeon are almost interchangeable terms.
  • The Prisons Act of 1894 makes prisons the exclusive responsibility of State governments. Over the years the condition of prison life has moved up on the human civility and dignity scale, with the venues now being called correctional homes and over 60 ‘minimum security’ open prisons having been set up. Of the 4.5 lakh prisoners that our correctional homes hold, according to the National Crime Records Bureau’s report for 2019, about 3.3 lakh are ‘under-trial prisoners’ , against whom investigation or trial is supposed to be ‘in progress’. These 3.3 lakh ‘under-trial prisoners’ have been detained under Section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) which provides for “Procedure when investigation cannot be completed in 24 hours”. The original CrPC of 1898 specified the period of detention as 15 days. This has, by amendments, been extended to periods that can go up to 90 days and, in some exceptional situations, even indefinitely.
  • So, while the plight — to use a cliché — of all prisoners is by definition bad, in terms of exposure to disease, it is 10 times worse for ‘under-trial prisoners’, for the majority of them are and are likely to be found to be innocent. Theirs is a case of innocence in jail and in jeopardy — the jeopardy of a potentially fatal infection contracted while in detention.
  • The virus gives cause for an immediate review of all prisoners’ vulnerability to the epidemic, starting with that of ‘under-trial prisoners’ who are suffering two privations — one, being immobilised, most probably unjustly, and two, being tethered to the risk of infection.
  • This review has to comprise 100% and repeated testing procedures in all prisons, especially sub-jails, which form the biggest category among them and the least ‘equipped’ and an arrangement for the isolating and hospitalisation of those testing positive. No prisoner who has tested positive can be allowed to remain within the crowded confines of that venue without transmitting the disease to a progressively rising concentric circle of inmates.
  • But above all, the population of prisons has to be vigorously bought down.


  • Through a salutary amendment, the Code Of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2005, a much-needed Section 436-A has been introduced in the CrPC. Excluding offences for which capital punishment is envisaged, it provides for an under-trial to be released on a personal bond, with or without sureties if the period spent in detention by the under-trial has been for more than half the maximum period of imprisonment prescribed for that offence. (The public prosecutor can move the court to deviate from this.)
  • The 2005 amendment had two aims : one, de-congestion and two, fairness. Today, in our COVID-19 times, if congestion is per se held to be dangerous, de-congestion in prisons through a prescribed legal procedure becomes not just a desirability but a duty. There should be immediate and massive activation of Section 436-A without sureties so as to benefit all under-trials eligible for it.
  • It is not just desirable but axiomatic that the 2005 amendment to the CrPC be activated on a nation-wide and urgent basis as a penological imperative, a state duty and a human right. And while their release is being actuated, it also follows that even as anyone in a state hospital may rightly expect to be vaccinated on a priority against the virus, so should inmates of the ‘Hospitals of Correction’.
  • While ‘Prisons’ is in the ‘State List’, as is ‘Public Health’, the Constitutional responsibility of handling infectious and contagious diseases figures in the Concurrent List.
Question Bank
Jan 20 @
Question Bank

20th JANUARY 2021


(1 Question)

Answer questions in 150-250 words each. Content of the answer is more important than its length.

Links are provided for reference. You can also use the Internet fruitfully to further enhance and strengthen your answers


Q1. What steps must be taken by India to improve its ties with Nepal, in the current geopolitical scenario?


  • There are many factors which shape Nepal’s foreign policy choices, such as its internal politics. The year 2020 marked China’s unprecedented aggression, with an aim to counter India’s conventional edge in Nepal and South Asia at large. Accordingly, China’s geo-strategic, economic and infrastructural drives were made tempting to a precarious Nepal with its fragile democracy and the adulterated ideological standing of the ruling Communist Party of Nepal (CPN). Amidst the domestic political chaos, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal visited New Delhi for the sixth meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Commission on January 15, 2021, that was co-chaired by the External Affairs Minister of India.
  • In the changed scenario India should now focus on confidence-building measures such as close cooperation between the two sides in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. An early provision of vaccines to Nepal was positively considered by India. Another area of focus can be the development partnership front, for example, the expansion of the Motihari-Amlekhganj petroleum products pipeline to Chitwan and the establishment of a new pipeline on the eastern side connecting Siliguri to Jhapa in Nepal formed a part of the discussions. For the upgraded first passenger railway line between India and Nepal from Jaynagar to Kurtha via Janakpur.
  • It is also important to lay emphasis on the need for facilitating cross-border movement of people and goods, thus giving the sub-regional cooperation, its actual due. The recently inaugurated Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) at Birgunj and Biratnagar have helped in the seamless movement of people and trade between the two countries. The construction of a third integrated check post at Nepalgunj has already commenced, while the new integrated check post at Bhairahwa would begin shortly. Since Nepal relies on India’s seaports in a big way for trading, and goods are transported by road, the integrated check posts are expected to ease trade and transit.
  • The joint hydropower projects, including the proposed Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project, should get positive momentum following this round of meeting. India’s support to two more cultural heritage projects in Nepal, namely, the Pashupatinath Riverfront Development and the Bhandarkhal Garden Restoration in Patan Durbar is significant in the times when China is exploring all avenues to disrupt Nepal’s natural choice in policy-making. Moving away from the recent hiatus, Nepal expressed support for India’s permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council (UNSC) to reflect the changed balance of power. The next meeting of the Joint Commission in Nepal should be crucial in giving a new direction to the bilateral ties, keeping a balance between change and continuity.
  • Notwithstanding the Nepali side’s demand to include the boundary in the Joint Commission Meeting, India made it clear to find a fresh mechanism to resolve any such crucial long-pending issue. While the unusual developments are taking place in Nepal, there are many who still think that India is comfortable with some changes as its Nepal policy is heading very clearly towards deeper engagement with all sections.

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Out of 100 questions in Preliminary Examinations conducted by UPSC;

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are from the Current Affairs and Class Notes of A A Shah’s IAS Institute.

Note: Admission for Online Course (Full GS including Current Affairs) is open


The Daily Current Affairs News Analysis section for UPSC Current Affairs Preparation is an initiative by A A Shah’s IAS Institute to prepare IAS aspirants in making easy and effective current affairs notes available online FREE for all.

Current Affairs for UPSC is an integral part of study for IAS UPSC- Civil Services Examinations, not only for Prelims but for Mains as well. UPSC syllabus for General Studies Paper I of Preliminary (Prelims) Examination starts with Current Events of national and international importance.

The important keyword here is “National and international importance”. Thus candidates are required to understand which news is important and relevant for UPSC CSE point of view.

It may further be noted that UPSC doesn’t ask any factual questions, as such candidates are not required to learn or remember factual data.

The issues or news covered is categorized into four general studies papers (GS Paper I, GS Paper II, GS Paper III and GS Paper IV) as per the UPSC Mains syllabus.

Our Daily Current Affairs Analysis is prepared by Mrs. Bilquees Khatri based on The Hindu newspaper and articles and covers every day significant events or issues in the news that is important from UPSC Exam perspective.


Importance of Current-Affairs in UPSC IAS

For UPSC current affairs, the most important thing is to segregate the topics in news as per the IAS Syllabus for Prelims and Mains. For UPSC current affairs related to IAS Prelims, it is still somewhat easier as there is just one GS paper. However, arranging UPSC current affairs notes for IAS Mains is rather challenging because of the comprehensive syllabus and descriptive-essay type questions.

For this reason we have segregated the daily news topic-wise according to GS mains subject papers.

In this section find links to

  • Daily News Headlines from The Hindu newspaper (Videos)
  • Daily News Analysis with proper heading and topics in downloadable PDF format
  • Daily ‘The Hindu’ editorials in downloadable PDF format
  • Daily Question Bank – Subjective questions with suggested links and answers.
  • Monthly compilation of Topic-wise News in downloadable PDF format. This is monthly Current Affairs Notes available free online, which can be downloaded and saved. It is UPSC study material free for all.


Among others, news related to following topics are important and relevant:

  • Economic issues
  • Social issues
  • International / Bilateral / Multilateral Relations
  • Legislature / Bill / Act
  • Judiciary
  • Elections
  • Centre – State Relations
  • Inter–state Relations
  • Governance
  • Government schemes
  • Agriculture
  • Environment
  • Science & Technology
  • Internal security
  • Art & culture

UPSC Prelims 2019 Keywords. Culture & History


IAS Current Affairs Important Headlines by Mrs Bilquees Khatri

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