UPSC Current Affairs Analysis 

(for UPSC IAS Civil Services Examination)

Month-wise News Compilation

Topic-wise Keywords for Prelims 2020

Current Affairs Videos

Apr
11
Sun
2021
News (Text)
Apr 11 @ 11:30 AM

NEWS

11 APRIL 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. GS III: ENVIRONMENT – BIODIVERSITY Dolphin boom in Odisha’s Chilika lake
2. GS III: DEFENCE IAF to adopt new process to lease refuelling aircraft
3. GS II: SOCIAL – RIGHTS SC hears plea to decriminalise begging
4. GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA Iran unveils advanced nuclear centrifuges
5. GS III: S&T – PHYSICS Another hint of ‘new physics’, this time from Fermilab
6. GS III: ENVIRONMENT – BIODIVERSITY Indus and Ganges river dolphins are two different species
7. GS II: GOVERNANCE – POLICY The abolition of FCAT
8. GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA China slaps $2.8 bn fine on Ma’s Alibaba
9. GS II: GOVERNANCE – POLICY Rapid growth of e-sports spurs calls for regulatory framework

 

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – BIODIVERSITY

Dolphin boom in Odisha’s Chilika lake

  • The population of dolphins in Chilika, India’s largest brackish water lake, and along the Odisha coast has doubled this year compared with last year.
  • The population estimation exercise for dolphins and other cetacean species covered almost the entire coast of Odisha.
  • Three species were recorded during the census, with 544 Irrawaddy, bottle-nose and humpback dolphins sighted this year, compared with 233 last year.
  • The highest growth has been noticed in the case of humpback dolphins. Only two humpbacks were sighted in the Rajnagar mangrove in 2020. In 2021, however, this population grew astronomically to 281.

 

GS III: DEFENCE

IAF to adopt new process to lease refuelling aircraft

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF), which is looking to lease mid-air refuelling aircraft, will adopt a new methodology for the process based on the number of hours of availability per year as criteria, a senior defence official said.
  • On the number of refuellers that would be leased, the official said it would be decided based on the responses the IAF receives.
  • The IAF presently has six Russian IL-78 tankers and is looking at leasing a few tanker aircraft to meet immediate requirements as the deal for procuring six new tankers has repeatedly failed to fructify.
  • The IAF is also looking to lease Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA) to fill the immediate shortage for training rookie pilots.
  • With the follow-on contract for Pilatus trainers now scrapped, the leased aircraft would plug the gaps in training till the indigenous HTT-40 being developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is inducted.
  • The IAF has 75 PC-7 MK-II BTA procured from Pilatus Aircraft Ltd under a ₹4,000 crore deal in 2012 for which deliveries were completed by 2015-end. However, following allegations of corruption, the follow-on deal for additional aircraft was scraped.
  • With Kiran trainers being obsolete and indigenous HTT-40 in advanced trials, the IAF is looking to plug the gap through leasing of trainers. About 20 aircraft could be leased for four-five years, officials had stated earlier.
  • The option for leasing of military equipment was introduced in the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020. The three services have since listed several platforms for leasing to cater for immediate shortages.

 

GS II: SOCIAL – RIGHTS

SC hears plea to decriminalise begging

  • The Supreme Court has asked the Centre and four States to file their response within three weeks on a plea seeking a direction to repeal the provisions criminalising begging.
  • A Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and R. Subhash Reddy noted in its order that though a notice was issued to Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana and Bihar on the plea on February 10 this year, only Bihar had so far filed its response.
  • The plea filed by Meerut resident Vishal Pathak has referred to the August 2018 verdict of the Delhi High Court which had decriminalised begging in the national capital and said provisions of the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959, which treats begging as an offence cannot sustain constitutional scrutiny.
  • “The provisions of the statutes criminalising the act of begging put people in a situation to make an unreasonable choice between committing a crime or not committing one and starving, which goes against the very spirit of the Constitution and violates Article 21 i.e. Right to Life,” said the plea.

 

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

Iran unveils advanced nuclear centrifuges

  • Iran announced it has started up advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges in a breach of its undertakings under a troubled 2015 nuclear deal, days after the start of talks on rescuing the accord.
  • The United States had said that it had offered “very serious” ideas on reviving the accord but was waiting for Tehran to reciprocate.
  • President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated the three cascades of 164 IR-6 centrifuges, 30 IR-5 and another 30 IR-6 devices at Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment plant in a ceremony broadcast by state television.
  • Iran’s latest move to step up uranium enrichment follows an opening round of talks in Vienna with representatives of the remaining parties to the nuclear deal on bringing the U.S. back into it.
  • The Vienna talks are focused not only on lifting crippling economic sanctions Trump reimposed, but also on bringing Iran back into compliance after it responded by suspending several of its own commitments.
  • Iran has demanded that the U.S. first lift all sanctions imposed by Trump, which include a sweeping unilateral ban on its oil exports, before it falls back in line with obligations it suspended.
  • Washington has demanded movement from Tehran in return.

 

GS III: S&T – PHYSICS

Another hint of ‘new physics’, this time from Fermilab

  • Fermilab, which houses the American particle accelerator, has released the first results from its ‘muon g-2’ experiment.
  • These results spotlight the anomalous behaviour of the elementary particle called the muon.
  • The muon, a heavier cousin of the electron, is expected to have a value of 2 for its magnetic moment, labelled ‘g’.
  • However, the muon exists not in isolation but embedded in a sea where particles are popping out and vanishing every instant due to quantum effects. So, its g value is altered by its interactions with these short-lived excitations.

Magnetic moment

  • The Standard Model of particle physics calculates this correction, called the anomalous magnetic moment, very accurately.
  • The muon g-2 experiment measured the extent of the anomaly and on Wednesday, Fermilab announced that the measured ‘g’ deviated from the amount predicted by the Standard Model.
  • That is, while the calculated value in the Standard Model is 2.00233183620 approximately, the experimental results show a value of 2.00233184122.
  • When the results are combined with those from a 20-year-old experiment at Brookhaven National Laboratory in the U.S., they show an accuracy of about 4.2 sigma.
  • This means the possibility that this is due to a statistical fluctuation is about 1 in 40,000. This makes physicists sit up and take note, but it is not significant enough to constitute a discovery, for which a significance of 5 sigma is needed.
  • It is interesting that while the Brookhaven experiment had to be closed down in 2001, the main component of the experimental set up, a large superconducting magnetic storage ring that measures over 15 metres in diameter, was transported a distance of over 5,000 kilometres, in 2013, to be reused in the Fermilab experiment.

The g factor

  • The muon is also known as the ‘fat electron’. It is produced copiously in the Fermilab experiments and occurs naturally in cosmic ray showers.
  • Like the electron, the muon has a magnetic moment because of which, when it is placed in a magnetic field, it spins and precesses, or wobbles slightly, like the axis of a spinning top. Its internal magnetic moment, the g factor, determines the extent of this wobble.
  • As the muon spins, it also interacts with the surrounding environment, which consists of short-lived particles popping in and out of a vacuum.
  • The implications of this difference in the muon’s g factor can be significant.
  • The Standard Model is supposed to contain the effects of all known particles and forces at the particle level.
  • So, a contradiction of the Standard Model would imply that there exist new particles, and their interactions with known particles would enlarge the canvas of particle physics.
  • These new particles could be the dark matter particles which people have been looking out for, in a long time. These interactions make corrections to the g factor, and this affects the precession of the muon.
  • Thus, if the measured g factor differs from the value calculated by the Standard Model, it could signify that there are new particles in the environment that the SM does not account for.

 

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – BIODIVERSITY

Indus and Ganges river dolphins are two different species

  • A new study has once again shown the importance of taxonomic classification. Detailed analysis of South Asian river dolphins has revealed that the Indus and Ganges River dolphins are not one, but two separate species.
  • Currently, they are classified as two subspecies under Platanista gangetica and this needs a revision. The study estimates that Indus and Ganges river dolphins may have diverged around 550,000 years ago.
  • The international team studied body growth, skull morphology, tooth counts, colouration and genetic makeup and published the findings last month in Marine Mammal Science.

DNA analysis

  • The paper notes that “comparative studies of animals in the two river systems are complicated by the fact that they occur in neighboring countries separated by an unfriendly international border…Thus, sharing of samples or data between countries is extremely challenging.”
  • The Ganges dolphin is a Schedule I animal under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, and has been included in Annexure – I of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), so you cannot transfer any tissue or sample to foreign countries without getting CITES permission from the Competent Authority of Government of India.
  • Another reason was that finding dead animals were uncommon because they either float downstream or sink, and museum collections worldwide contain only a few specimens and most of them are damaged.

Conservation status

  • The Indus and Ganges River dolphins are both classified as ‘Endangered’ species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  • Physical barriers such as dams and barrages created across the river reduced the gene flow to a great extent making the species vulnerable;
  • River flow is also declining very fast as river water is being diverted through the barrages and this has affected the dolphin habitats.
  • Previously fishermen used to hunt dolphins and use their oil as bait, but though that practice of directed killing has stopped and they are not being hunted intentionally they end up as accidental catches. Also, before the 1990s, we had oar boats and country boats; but now mechanised boats are also causing accidental injury to the dolphins.

 

GS II: GOVERNANCE – POLICY

The abolition of FCAT

  • The story so far:
    • On April 4, the Centre notified the Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Ordinance, 2021, issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice.
    • The Tribunals Reforms Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in February, but was not taken up for consideration in the last session of Parliament.
    • The President later issued the ordinance, which scraps the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT), a statutory body that had been set up to hear appeals of filmmakers against decisions of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), and transfers its function to other existing judicial bodies.
    • Eight other appellate authorities have also been disbanded with immediate effect. The ordinance has amended The Cinematograph Act, 1952, and replaced the word ‘Tribunal’ with ‘High Court’.

When did the FCAT come into being?

  • In 1983, a decision was taken to establish the FCAT, a statutory body under The Cinematograph Act, headed by a member from the legal fraternity. Before the FCAT, filmmakers had no option but to approach the court to seek redressal against CBFC certifications or suggested cuts.
  • So, the FCAT acted like a buffer for filmmakers, and decisions taken by the tribunal were quick, though not always beyond reproach.

How important was the FCAT in the certification process?

  • Films meant for distribution in theatres require to be certified as ‘U’ (unrestricted public exhibition), ‘UA’ (unrestricted public exhibition subject to parental guidance for children below the age of 12), ‘A’ (restricted to adult audiences) or ‘S’ (restricted to specialised audiences such as doctors or scientists) by the CBFC, which has an examining committee and a revising committee.
  • According to observers, the CBFC was increasingly getting stacked with people close to the ruling dispensation, both the Congress and the BJP.
  • Of late, the body has been headed by chairpersons who have ruled with a heavy hand and ordered cuts to films critical of the government.
  • The clash between the film fraternity and the certification body became more pronounced in 2015 with the appointment of Pahlaj Nihalani as the chairman of the CBFC, and the FCAT had to step in often to sort out disputes.

Why has the tribunal been abolished?

  • The move to abolish the FCAT along with other tribunals follows a Supreme Court order in Madras Bar Association vs. Union of India. In November last year, a two-member Bench directed the government to constitute a National Tribunals Commission.
  • It said the Commission would “act as an independent body to supervise the appointments and functioning of Tribunals, as well as to conduct disciplinary proceedings against members of Tribunals and to take care of administrative and infrastructural needs of the Tribunals, in an appropriate manner”.
  • The top court, addressing the issue of dependence of tribunals on the executive for administrative requirements, recommended the creation of an umbrella organisation that would be an independent supervisory body to oversee the working of tribunals.

What happens now?

  • Now that the FCAT has been disbanded, it will be left to the already overburdened courts to adjudicate.
  • With the government tightening its control on over-the-top (OTT) content and ordering players in this area to set up a grievance redressal body to address the concerns of the viewers, many observers point out that the courts will have to play a greater role as an avenue of appeal.
  • With cases pending for years, it is anybody’s guess how long the same courts will take to adjudicate on matters of film certification.
  • The role played by the FCAT, which used to handle at least 20 cases a month, will now have to be performed by courts. That includes watching and reviewing films in their entirety to understand the process of certification.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

China slaps $2.8 bn fine on Ma’s Alibaba

  • China’s regulators have imposed a record $2.78 billion fine on the Alibaba Group, capping a months-long probe into the e-commerce giant’s dealings and troubles with the government that had raised questions about the future of its billionaire founder Jack Ma.
  • The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) in December announced an antitrust probe weeks after a record $37 billion IPO from the Ant Group, the group’s financial payments arm, was suspended at the last minute.
  • The suspension followed sharp comments from Mr. Ma criticising China’s financial system, and a broader tug-of-war with the authorities over Alibaba’s amassing of consumer data, which regulators felt gave it an unfair advantage over its rivals.
  • The notice from the SAMR “ordered the group to stop illegal activities and imposed a fine of 4% on its 2019 domestic sales of 455.71 billion yuan ($69.57 billion), totalling 18.23 billion yuan ($2.78 billion)”, CGTN reported, adding that the regulator “concluded from a four-month investigation that Alibaba has been abusing its market dominance since 2015 by prohibiting merchants from opening stores or participating in promotional activities on other competitive platforms.
  • Alibaba’s “one out of two” requirement, which required users of the platform to not use rival merchants’ services, had “hurt consumers’ interests”, the SAMR said, adding that the policy “hinders competition in China’s services market involving online retail platforms, impedes the free flow of goods, services and resources, and infringes the legitimate rights and interests of merchants on the platform as well as the interests of consumers.”
  • Alibaba in a statement said it “accepts the penalty with sincerity and will ensure its compliance with determination.”

GS II: GOVERNANCE – POLICY

Rapid growth of e-sports spurs calls for regulatory framework

  • The electronic sports (e-sports) segment needs a governing framework for harnessing its full potential, say industry officials.
  • The demand comes in the backdrop of the segment recording rapid growth in recent years with the sports headed to the Asian Games and probably, the Olympics.
  • As per a KPMG report, the revenue of the online gaming market, of which e-sports is a part, may touch ₹11,880 crore in FY23 with hundreds of firms, content developers and millions of players fuelling its growth.
  • “The proliferation of affordable smartphones, high-speed Internet and falling data prices are the primary catalysts for this rapid growth,” KPMG said.
  • The biggest challenge is how to regulate different federations because their memorandum deeds must be different and it will take time to streamline and bring in transparency.
Apr
12
Mon
2021
News (Text)
Apr 12 @ 11:30 AM

NEWS

12 APRIL 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. GS III: ECONOMY – INDICATORS Investment projects bounce back in Q4
2. GS III: ECONOMY – POLICY Centre to certify shrimp farms
3. GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH ‘Tika Utsav’ is start of second big war against virus: Modi
4. GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH Centre bans export of Remdesivir
5. GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA ‘Suspicious’ blackout hits Iran nuclear site

 

GS III: ECONOMY – INDICATORS

Investment projects bounce back in Q4

  • Fresh investments rebounded strongly in the last quarter of 2020-21, with both private sector and government-backed capital spending taking off sharply for the first time in the pandemic-hit year, even as the project execution ratio, which denotes actual ground-level action, hit a five-year high.
  • The Q4 surge drove up the overall fresh investments in 2020-21 to ₹10.72 lakh crore, just 1.2% below the 2019-20 levels, although investments had plummeted sharply that year from ₹16.87 lakh crore in 2018-19.
  • New project investments in the January to March 2021 quarter hit almost ₹4 lakh crore, nearly ₹1 lakh crore or 33.4% higher than the previous quarter, according to the latest Projects Investment Survey by Projects Today.
  • The government’s push for capital expansion finally translated into new projects getting off the ground rising 21.8% during the quarter, after an 11.3% dip in the Centre and States’ investment announcements in the third quarter.
  • Over 1,700 new government projects were announced in Q4, with the Centre accounting for projects worth ₹76,185 crore and State agencies pushing projects worth ₹91,067 crore.

GS III: ECONOMY – POLICY

Centre to certify shrimp farms

  • To bolster confidence in India’s frozen shrimp produce, the country’s biggest seafood export item, the Centre has kicked off a new scheme to certify hatcheries and farms that adopt good aquaculture practices.
  • India exported frozen shrimp worth almost $5 billion in 2019-20 to the U.S. and China — its biggest buyers.
  • But a combination of factors had hurt export volumes in recent months, including container shortages and incidents of seafood consignments being rejected because of food safety concerns.
  • The Marine Products Exports Development Authority (MPEDA) has developed a certification scheme for aquaculture products called Shaphari, a Sanksrit word that means superior quality of fishery products suitable for human consumption.
  • Frozen shrimp is India’s largest exported seafood item. It constituted 50.58% in quantity and 73.2% in terms of total U.S. dollar earnings from the sector during 2019-20.
  • Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are the major shrimp producing States, and around 95% of the cultured shrimp produce is exported.
  • The Shaphari scheme is based on the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization’s technical guidelines on aquaculture certification and will have two components — certifying hatcheries for the quality of their seeds and, separately, approving shrimp farms that adopt the requisite good practices.
  • The certification of hatcheries will help farmers easily identify good quality seed producers. Those who successfully clear multiple audits of their operations shall be granted a certificate for a period of two years.

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

‘Tika Utsav’ is start of second big war against virus: Modi

  • Calling the ‘Tika Utsav’ (vaccination festival) the beginning of the second big war against COVID-19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid stress on social and personal hygiene.
  • The festival started on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and will continue till the birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar on April 14.
  • The Prime Minister stressed four points with regard to the drive.
    • First, “Each one, vaccinate”, meaning those who can’t go themselves for vaccination, such as the unlettered and the aged, should be assisted.
    • Second, “Each one, treat one”, which involves helping people in getting treatment, if they do not have resources or knowledge to get it.
    • Third, “Each one, save one”, meaning one should wear a mask and save herself and others. This should be stressed, Mr. Modi said in his statement.
    • Finally, society and people should lead in creating “micro containment zones”.

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

Centre bans export of Remdesivir

  • The Centre has prohibited the exports of Remdesivir injection and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) in an order stating there was a sudden spike in the demand for the drug used in COVID-19 treatment.
  • Seven Indian companies are producing injection Remdesivir under a voluntary licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences of the U.S. They have an installed capacity of 38.8 lakh units a month.
  • It added that the Department of Pharmaceuticals was in contact with the domestic manufacturers to ramp up the production of Remdesivir.
  • As per the National Clinical Management Protocol for COVID-19 of the Central government, Remdesivir is listed as an Investigational Therapy (i.e. where informed and shared decision-making is essential).

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

‘Suspicious’ blackout hits Iran nuclear site

  • Iran’s underground Natanz nuclear facility lost power on 11th April 2021 just hours after starting up new advanced centrifuges capable of enriching uranium faster, the latest incident to strike the site amid negotiations over the tattered atomic accord with world powers.
  • Iran described a blackout at its Natanz atomic facility an act of “nuclear terrorism,” raising regional tensions.
  • If Israel caused the blackout, it further heightens tensions between the two nations, already engaged in a shadow conflict across the wider West Asia.
  • Natanz was built largely underground to withstand enemy airstrikes. It became a flashpoint for Western fears about Iran’s nuclear plan in 2002, when satellite photos showed Iran building its underground centrifuges facility at the site.
Apr
13
Tue
2021
News (Text)
Apr 13 @ 11:30 AM

NEWS

13 APRIL 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. GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH As cases surge, panel approves Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine
2. GS III: ECONOMY – POLICY Sensex, rupee slip on fear of pandemic; inflation surges
3. GS II: MULTILATERAL Military exercise in Bangladesh ends
4. GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA Iran blames Israel for nuclear plant outage, pledges revenge
5. GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA China extends $500 mn loan to Lanka

 

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

As cases surge, panel approves Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine

  • Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine — Sputnik V — has been recommended for emergency use authorisation in India following a meeting of the Subject Expert Committee (SEC).
  • If approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), Sputnik V would be the third vaccine to be made available in India after the Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
  • Sputnik V, developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, claims to be one of the three vaccines in the world with efficacy of over 90%.
  • It adds that the vaccine supplies for the global market will be produced by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) international partners in India, Brazil, China, South Korea and other countries.
  • While Dr. Reddy’s will market the vaccine in India, RDIF has tied up with other Indian companies — Hetero Biopharma, Gland Pharma, Stelis Biopharma and Virchow Biotech — to produce 850 million doses of Sputnik V in the country every year.

GS III: ECONOMY – POLICY

Sensex, rupee slip on fear of pandemic; inflation surges

  • The BSE Sensex tanked 1,708 points, or 3.44%, driven by the fear of fresh pandemic effects, taking the rupee past the ₹75 mark against the dollar, even as inflation surged further in March and industrial output collapsed sharply in February as per official data.
  • India’s retail inflation accelerated to 5.52% in March 2021 from 5.03% in February, with urban areas recording a high 6.52% inflation. The Consumer Food Price Index hardened to 4.94% from 3.87% in February, with urban India seeing a much higher surge of 6.64% in food inflation.
  • Industrial output, meanwhile, fell for the second successive month in February, contracting by 3.6%, suggesting that the recovery is still shaky, economists said.

GS II: MULTILATERAL

Military exercise in Bangladesh ends

  • Multinational military exercise Shantir Ogrosena, under way in Bangladesh for the past 10 days, concluded on 12th April 2021.
  • Army chief General Manoj Naravane, who is on a visit to the neighbouring country, witnessed the validation phase of the exercise.
  • The exercise, which started on April 4 at Bangabandhu Senanibas, saw participation by four countries, along with observers from the U.S., the U.K., Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Singapore.
  • The aim of the exercise was to strengthen defence ties and enhance interoperability among neighbourhood countries to ensure effective peace keeping operations, the Army said.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

Iran blames Israel for nuclear plant outage, pledges revenge

  • Iran blamed Israel for a sabotage attack on its underground Natanz nuclear facility that damaged its centrifuges and vowed it would take “revenge”.
  • Israel has not claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • It rarely does for operations carried out by its secret military units or its Mossad intelligence agency.
  • The attack also further strains relations between the U.S., which under President Joe Biden is now negotiating in Vienna to re-enter the nuclear accord, and Israel, whose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to stop the deal at all costs.
  • Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, meanwhile, warned Natanz would be reconstructed with more advanced machines. That would allow Iran to more quickly enrich uranium, complicating the nuclear talks.

 

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

China extends $500 mn loan to Lanka

  • China signed a $500 million loan agreement with Sri Lanka, in a move that Colombo hopes would boost its foreign reserves that are under severe strain since the pandemic struck last year.
  • This is the second instalment of the $1 billion loan sought by Sri Lanka last year.
  • The first was released in March 2020, just as the pandemic hit Sri Lanka. The approval comes a month after Sri Lanka obtained a currency swap facility from China for $1.5 billion.
  • Meanwhile, the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) also sanctioned Sri Lanka’s request for a $180 million loan in February.
  • Sri Lanka already owes more than $ 5 billion to China from past loans.
  • India extended a $400 million swap facility through the Reserve Bank of India, and provided a three-month rollover, but the facility was not further extended. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka settled the swap in February this year.
  • Meanwhile, Colombo is awaiting New Delhi’s response on two requests made last year by the government.
  • While PM Mahinda Rajapaksa sought a debt moratorium on the debt Sri Lanka owes India, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa requested Prime Minister Modi for a $ 1 billion currency swap last year. Neither request has been cleared by New Delhi as yet.

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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 EXAM

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.

IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS TOPICS FOR UPSC IAS

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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