Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 19 July 2020

In Today’s News:

  1. Mobile app KURMA helps save turtles in India.
  2. Solar Orbiter and the first closest images of the sun.
  3. CERT-In has issued a notice to Twitter after recent hacking.

1. Mobile app KURMA helps save turtles in India

News Summary

On the occasion of World Turtle Day on May 23rd, 2020, the Indian Turtle Conservation Action Network (ITCAN) in collaboration with the Turtle Survival Alliance-India and Wildlife Conservation Society-India launched an app called KURMA. This KURMA app aims at turtle conservation.

Mini Insights

Mains GS3 – Environment/Science and Technology

KURMA and turtle conservation:
  • KURMA is a mobile-based application and a collaborative citizen science initiative.
  • It provides users a digital database covering 29 species of freshwater turtles and tortoises of India, and information on turtle identification, distribution, vernacular names, and threats to help users in identifying the species.
  • It also provides the location of the nearest rescue center for turtles across the country.
  • KURMA app can be downloaded at free of cost.
  • Tortoise and turtles are the most trafficked animals in the country. A report released by TRAFFIC clearly depicts that at least 200 tortoises per week are falling prey to illegal poaching and smuggling and accounts for nearly 11,000 each year.
  • The major challenge for freshwater turtle conservation in the country:
    • Wildlife crime prevention agencies are not sufficiently equipped to know how to distinguish one species from the other, or their protection status in accordance with CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) and the Wildlife Protection Act.
  • Within a few weeks of the operations of KURMA app, 90 assistance facilities have been provided.
  • Different rescue centers for turtles and a number of experts who can provide information on species are also available in the app which makes the app a noteworthy for turtle conservation.
  • If anyone reports a turtle from any part of the country using KURMA, he or she receives advice about the species and the methods of conservation.

(Note: These points can be used in Mains when any question is asked regarding Turtle conservation/Role of science and technology in wildlife conservation)

Click here for the Prelims content of TRAFFIC on our Daily current affairs 0n 7th June 2020 and click here for the Prelims content of CITES on our Daily current affairs 0n 11th June 2020.

2. Solar Orbiter and the first closest images of the sun

News Summary

The Solar Orbiter has sent down the first images of the Sun from a distance of about half the Earth-Sun distance. This has been the closest observation of the sun so far and it shows campfire like structures that could be a manifestation of the miniature solar flares. These formations may explain the Sun’s coronal heating.

Prelims  GS – Science and Technology

Solar Orbiter:
  • The Solar Orbiter is a sun observing mission.
  • It is jointly organized by NASA and ESA(European Space Agency) and was launched on February 10, 2020.
  • Solar Orbiter will address big questions in Solar System science to help us understand how our star creates and controls the giant bubble of plasma that surrounds the whole Solar System and influences the planets within it.
  • Significance of Solar Orbiter:
    • Studying the Sun up close,
    • taking high-resolution images of the Sun’s poles for the first time, and
    • understanding the Sun-Earth connection

Click here for more information on Solar Orbiter.

Video courtesy: ESA

3. CERT-In has issued a notice to Twitter after hacking

News Summary

Cyber attackers have hacked Twitter accounts of famous celebrities of the World like former U.S. President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden, Bill Gates, etc. India’s cybersecurity nodal agency CERT-In has issued a notice to Twitter asking for full details of the recent global hack targeting high-profile users and also asked for the details of Indian users who have been exploited by this hack and the measures taken by Twitter to resolve the same.

Mini Insights

Mains GS3 – Science and Technology/Internal Security


(Notes: These points can be added when any question is asked regarding India’s response to cybersecurity incidents. You can mention CERT-In as the dedicated agency focussing on cybersecurity incidents and the following points.)

  • CERT-In refers to Indian Computer Emergency Response Team.
  • CERT-In is in operations since 2004.
  • It is the national nodal agency for responding to computer security incidents as and when they occur.
  • CERT-In has been designated to serve as the national agency to perform the following functions in the area of cybersecurity:
    • Collection, analysis, and dissemination of information on cyber incidents.
    • Forecast and alerts of cybersecurity incidents
    • Emergency measures for handling cybersecurity incidents
    • Coordination of cyber incident response activities.
    • Issue guidelines, advisories, vulnerability notes, and whitepapers relating to information security practices, procedures, prevention, response, and reporting of cyber incidents.
    • Such other functions relating to cybersecurity as may be prescribed.
  • It is under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

For further information on CERT-In, refer to the official website.


Click here for Daily current affairs for the UPSC exams on other dates.

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