Current affairs play a vital role in UPSC civil service exam preparation. The daily current affairs from the daily news’ are one of this important area. This section gives you a very brief summary of the important topics to be covered. You may use this section for revising your preparation. Nevertheless, we recommend you visit our daily current affairs section that gives a comprehensive analysis of the topics needed to be studied for the UPSC civil service exam.
1. A new variety of Soybean
Indian Scientists have developed a high-yielding and pest-resistant variety of soybean.
- The newly developed variety of soybeans is called MACS 1407.
- It is suitable for cultivation in the states of Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and North-Eastern states and its seeds will be made available to farmers for sowing during the 2022 Kharif season.
- MACS 1407 require an average of 43 days for 50 % flowering and take 104 days to mature from the date of sowing.
1. Pyrolysis and Pyrasol Project.
A Solar Dryer and Pyrolysis pilot plant at Chennai will soon offer an innovative approach for smart cities to transform urban organic waste into biochar and energy. The pilot is part of the Indo-German project ‘Pyrasol’ launched to transform urban organic waste into biochar and energy in smart cities.
- Pyrolysis is the heating of organic material, such as biomass, in the absence of oxygen.
- As no oxygen is present, the material does not combust but the chemical compounds (i.e. cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin) that make up that material thermally decompose into combustible gases and charcoal.
2. Parampargat Krishi Vikas Yojana
Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) is working to identify Traditional Organic Areas to transform them into certified organic production hubs.
- “Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana” is an elaborated component of Soil Health Management (SHM) of the major project National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).
- Under PKVY Organic farming is promoted through the adoption of the organic village by cluster approach and Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) certification.
3. Agriculture Infrastructure Fund
Agriculture Infrastructure Fund has crossed the Rs. 8000 crore mark after receiving 8,665 applications worth Rs. 8,216 crores. The largest share of the pie is contributed by Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) (58%), agri-entrepreneurs (24%), and individual farmers (13%). These investments are useful for a wide range of projects which will unlock value for farmers across the country.
- The Agriculture Infrastructure Fund is a medium – long term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets through interest subvention and credit guarantee.
- The duration of the scheme is from FY2020 to FY2029 (10 years).
1. Exercise VARUNA
The 19th edition of the bilateral exercise ‘VARUNA-2021’ is scheduled to be conducted in the Arabian Sea from 25th to 27th April 2021.
- Indian and French Navy Bilateral exercise VARUNA 2021 is the 19th edition of the bilateral exercise.
- The three-day exercise will see high tempo-naval operations at sea, including advanced air defense and anti-submarine exercises, intense fixed and rotary wing flying operations, tactical maneuvers, surface, and anti-air weapon firings, underway replenishment, and other maritime security operations.
1. Ways and Means Advances scheme
As the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is still prevalent, the existing interim WMA limit of ₹51,560 crores for all States/ UTs shall continue for six months i.e., up to September 30, 2021, said the RBI circular.
- The Ways and Means Advances Schemes were introduced in 1997.
- A temporary loan facility is given by the RBI to central and state governments. This is called Ways and Means Advances scheme.
2. SVAMITVA scheme
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi will launch the distribution of e-property cards under the SWAMITVA scheme on 24th April 2021 (National Panchayati Raj Day) at 12 noon through video conferencing.
- SVAMITVA (Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas) was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 24th April 2020.
- It is a Central Sector Scheme to promote a socio-economically empowered and self-reliant rural India.
1. Indian Navy helps Search and Rescue of missing Indonesian Submarine
Indian Navy dispatched its Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSRV) on Thursday to assist Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Laut (TNI AL – Indonesian Navy) in search and rescue efforts for the Indonesian Submarine KRINanggala which was reported missing on Wednesday 21 Apr 21.
Mains GS2 – International Relations
Supporting hand by India Navy to Indonesia:
- India is amongst the few countries in the world capable of undertaking the Search and Rescue of a disabled submarine through a Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSRV).
- Indian Navy’s DSRV system can locate a submarine upto 1000 meter depth utilizing its state-of-the-art Side Scan Sonar (SSS) and Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV).
In the wake of COVID second wave, Remdesivir is mentioned in the news almost daily.
- Remdesivir injection is used to treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19 infection) caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus in hospitalized adults and children 12 years of age and older who weigh at least 88 pounds (40 kg).
- Remdesivir is in a class of medications called antivirals.
- It works by stopping the virus from spreading in the body.
1. Hydrogen based technologies
Experts from India and Japan discussed possibilities of collaboration for the promotion of hydrogen-based technologies as well as related innovations, trends, concerns, and solutions at a webinar on De-carbonisation: Exploring the Hydrogen Prospects and Innovative Technologies.
(Note: In the above context, a newer concept of Hydrogen Fuel cell is being provided here from the exam point of view by us.)
Hydrogen Fuel cell:
- A fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, heat, and water.
- Fuel cells are often compared to batteries.
- Both convert the energy produced by a chemical reaction into usable electric power.
1. DRDO develops Supplemental Oxygen Delivery System
Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation) supplemental Oxygen Delivery System for soldiers.
SpO2 Supplemental Oxygen Delivery System:
- SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation) supplemental Oxygen Delivery System has been developed for soldiers posted at extreme high-altitude areas.
- Developed by Defence Bio-Engineering & Electro Medical Laboratory (DEBEL), Bengaluru of DRDO, the system delivers supplemental oxygen based on the SpO2 levels and prevents.
2. Startup India Seed Fund Scheme
Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, and Food & Public Distribution Shri PiyushGoyal launched the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) on 19.4.2021.
- SISFS refers to the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme.
- It is essential to provide seed funding to startups with an innovative idea to conduct proof of concept trials.
1. Eudiscopus Denticulus bat
Scientists have discovered a new variety of bat species in Meghalaya.
- India’s first bamboo dwelling bat has been found in Meghalaya near Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary.
- This bat has sticky discs and is known as Eudiscopus Denticulus.
- It is a rare species and generally found in Southeast Asian countries like Laos, Myanmar, etc.
1. Indian Ocean Dipole
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) announced that it expects monsoon rainfall to be normal this year. There is a very small probability of Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) negative conditions developing during monsoon. So these conditions are likely to lead to a normal monsoon this year, said IMD.
- The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is defined by the difference in sea surface temperature between two areas (or poles, hence a dipole) – a western pole in the Arabian Sea (western Indian Ocean) and an eastern pole in the eastern Indian Ocean south of Indonesia.
- The IOD affects the climate of Australia and other countries that surround the Indian Ocean Basin and is a significant contributor to rainfall variability in this region.
2. Gender Samvaad
Gender Samvaad event was launched by the Ministry of Rural Development.
- Gender Samvaad event, a joint attempt between DAY-NRLM and the Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy (IWWAGE) to create a common platform to share experiences emerging from this effort, was organized by the Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India.
1. UNFPA report
UNFPA has launched the State of World Population Report 2021 titled ‘My Body is My Own’.
- UNFPA refers to the United Nations Population Fund.
- The organization was created in 1969, the same year the United Nations General Assembly declared “parents have the exclusive right to determine freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children.”
2. DDU GKY
Alumni meets were organized across the country under DDU GKY. As part of the ‘Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations, around 119 ‘Alumni Meets’ were organized across the country between 5th and 11th April 2021, with much fervor by States/UTs commemorating 75 years of Indian Independence.
- The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) announced the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) Antyodaya Diwas, on 25th September 2014.
- DDU-GKY is a nationwide placement-linked skill training program funded by the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India.
1. National Commission for Scheduled Castes launches a new grievance management portal
“Online Grievance Management Portal” for persons from Scheduled Castes was launched by National Commission for Scheduled Castes on the birth anniversary of Hon’ble Dr. B.R.Ambedkar.
- The National Commission for Scheduled Castes is an Indian constitutional body established with a view to providing safeguards against the exploitation of Scheduled Castes in the Constitution.
- Article 338 of the Indian constitution deals with National Commission for Scheduled Castes.
2. MANAS platform launched
The Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India Prof. K VijayRaghavan virtually launched the “MANAS” App to promote wellbeing across age groups.
Mains GS2 – Governance(Health)
Significance of MANAS platform:
- MANAS which stands for Mental Health and Normalcy Augmentation System was endorsed as a national program by the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC).
- MANAS is a comprehensive, scalable, and national digital wellbeing platform and an app developed to augment the mental well-being of Indian citizens.
1. India Rhino Vision 2020
India Rhino Vision 2020 came to an ending on April 13, 2021, with the translocation of 2 rhinos from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary to Assam’s Manas National Park. IRV 2020 is believed to have achieved its target of 3000 rhinos in Assam.
- Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020) program was launched by the Assam Forest Department in partnership with WWF-India, the International Rhino Foundation, and US Fish & Wildlife Service in 2005.
- The program aims at increasing the number and range of rhinos in Assam through wild-to-wild translocations from Kaziranga National Park and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary to potential Protected Areas including Manas National Park, Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuary, Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary, and Dibru-Saikhowa National Park.
Union Commerce and Industry Minister Shri Piyush Goyal virtually inaugurated e-SANTA, an electronic marketplace providing a platform to connect aqua farmers and buyers.
- e-SANTA refers to the Electronic Solution for Augmenting NaCSA farmers’ Trade-in Aquaculture.
- National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture (NaCSA) is an extension arm of Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), Govt. of India, Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
1. India-Denmark collaborates through Atal Innovation Mission
As part of the Indo-Danish bilateral Green strategic partnership, India is all set to take a giant leap towards building a world-class innovation ecosystem as Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) of India’s premier policy think tank NITI Aayog and Embassy of Denmark to India officially announced their collaboration.
- Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is the Government of India’s flagship initiative to create and promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across the length and breadth of our country.
- AIM’s objective is to develop new programs and policies for fostering innovation in different sectors of the economy, provide platforms and collaboration opportunities for different stakeholders, and create an umbrella structure to oversee the innovation & entrepreneurship ecosystem of the country.
2. Shri. Sushil Chandra – new Chief Election Commissioner of India
The President appointed Shri Sushil Chandra the senior-most Election Commissioner, as the Chief Election Commissioner in the Election Commission of India.
- The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India.
- The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country.
1. Jyotiba Phule’s birth anniversary
The Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid tribute to the great social reformer, thinker, philosopher, and writer Mahatma Jyotiba Phule on his birth anniversary.
- Mahatma Jyotiba Phule was born in 1827.
- Mahatma Jyotiba Phule remained committed to the education of women and their empowerment throughout his life.
2. Tika Utsav
India has launched ‘Tika Utsav’ on 11th April, which is the birth anniversary of Jyotiba Phule. The ‘Tika Utsav’ will continue till 14th April, i.e., the birth anniversary of Baba Saheb Ambedkar.
- ‘Tika Utsav’, the festival is, in a way, the beginning of another major war against Corona.
- “Teeka(Tika) Utsav” is a movement for facilitating vaccination among those who require it and who are entitled to receive the jab in the current phase of the vaccination drive.
A piece of news related to Ansal Housing Company facing ransomware attacks from February 26 was reported.
- Ransomware is malicious software that infects your computer and displays messages demanding a fee to be paid in order for your system to work again.
- This class of malware is a criminal moneymaking scheme that can be installed through deceptive links in an email message, instant message, or website.
2. Article 25.
Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has said that People are free to choose their religion under the Fundamental Rights of the Indian Constitution. Religious faith is a part of the Fundamental Right to Privacy.
- Article 25 comes under the Fundamental Rights of the Indian Constitution. (Right to Freedom of Religion)
- Article 25 deals with the Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion.—
- (1) Subject to public order, morality, and health and to the other provisions of this Part, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice, and propagate religion.
1. Payments bank and doubling of balance limit
It has been decided by RBI to enhance the limit of maximum balance at the end of the day from ₹1 lakh to ₹2 lakh per individual customer of Payments Banks with immediate effect.
- The objectives of setting up Payments banks will be to further financial inclusion by providing
- (i) small savings accounts and
- (ii) payments/remittance services to migrant labor workforce, low-income households, small businesses, other unorganized sector entities, and other users.
- The payments bank cannot undertake lending activities.
2. G-Sec Acquistion Program 1.0
The first purchase of government securities for an aggregate amount of ₹25,000 crores under G-SAP 1.0 will be conducted on April 15, 2021.
G-SAP 1.0 and OMO:
- The Reserve Bank will conduct the open market purchase of government securities of ₹1 lakh crore under the G-sec Acquisition Programme (G-SAP 1.0) in Q1 2021-22 with a view to enabling a stable and orderly evolution of the yield curve.
- This will reduce volatility in bond prices.
1. PLI scheme for White goods approved by the Union Cabinet
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, approved the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for White Goods (Air Conditioners and LED Lights) with a budgetary outlay of Rs. 6,238 crore.
Production Linked Incentive(PLI) Scheme:
- The prime objective of the PLI scheme is to make manufacturing in India globally competitive by removing sectoral disabilities, creating economies of scale, and ensuring efficiencies.
- It is designed to create a complete component ecosystem in India and make India an integral part of the global supply chains.
2. Poppy straw to boost the yield of alkaloids
The Union Government has decided to bring in the private sector to begin production of concentrated poppy straw from India’s opium crop which will, in turn, boost the yield of alkaloids.
(Note: Different and important article for the exam. The following points give multiple dimensions on the probable aspects in exam point of view.)
Poppy straw facts:
- The term “poppy straw” as used internationally refers to the whole dried poppy plant.
- Only a few countries have been permitted to cultivate opium poppy crops for the export and extraction of alkaloids.
1. Central Vigilance Commission and transfers
The Central Vigilance Commission has modified the guidelines such that Vigilance officers will be transferred every 3 years from one place.
- The Central Vigilance Commission was set up by the Government in February 1964 on the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption, headed by Shri K. Santhanam, to advise and guide Central Government agencies in the field of vigilance.
- CVC is conceived to be the apex vigilance institution, free of control from any executive authority, monitoring all vigilance activity under the Central Government and advising various authorities in Central Government organizations in planning, executing, reviewing, and reforming their vigilant work.
2. Supernova explosion traced to WR stars
Indian astronomers have tracked a rare supernova explosion and traced it to one of the hottest kinds of stars called Wolf–Rayet stars or WR stars.
- A supernova is the explosion of a star.
- It is the largest explosion that takes place in space.
- A supernova happens where there is a change in the core, or center, of a star.
- The first type of supernova happens in binary star systems. Binary stars are two stars that orbit the same point.
1. Railways complete the arch closure of the Chenab bridge
Indian Railways completed the Arch closure of the iconic Chenab Bridge.
- Chenab Bridge, the world’s highest railway bridge, part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project (USBRL), set an important construction milestone today with the completion of the steel arch of the iconic Chenab Bridge.
- This was one of the most difficult parts of the bridge over Chenab.
2. Sadabahar – a new Mango variety
Shrikishan Suman (55 years), a farmer from Kota, Rajasthan, has developed an innovative mango variety called Sadabahar.
- Sadabahar is an innovative mango variety which is a regular and round-the-year dwarf variety of mango.
- It is resistant to most major diseases and common mango disorders.
1. Standup India Scheme
More than Rs 25,586 crore has been sanctioned to over 1,14,322 accounts by the Banks under Stand-Up India Scheme in 5 years. 5th April is the 5th anniversary of the Standup India scheme.
- Stand up India Scheme was launched on 5th April 2016 to promote entrepreneurship at the grassroots level focusing on economic empowerment and job creation. This scheme has been extended up to the year 2025.
- The objective of Stand-Up India is to promote entrepreneurship amongst women, Scheduled Castes (SC) & Scheduled Tribes (ST) categories, to help them in starting a greenfield enterprise in the trading, manufacturing, and services sector, by both ready and trainee borrowers.
2. Police personnel martyred in encounter with Naxalites in Chattisgarh
Hon’ble Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah paid tributes to the police personnel martyred in the encounter with Naxalites that took place in Chhattisgarh on 3rd April. Shri Amit Shah said that I want to assure the martyrs’ families and the country that the sacrifices the police personnel has made for the country will not go in vain.
Mains GS3 – Internal Security
Left-Wing Extremism and measures are taken to tackle them:
- To combat the Left Wing Extremism(LWE) menace, the Government of India has formulated the National Policy and Action Plan in 2015, which consists of a multi-pronged approach comprising security measures, development initiatives, and ensuring rights & entitlements of local communities.
- Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) is supporting the State Governments extensively by way of deployment of CAPF Battalions, provision of helicopters and UAVs, and sanction of India Reserve Battalions (IRBs)/ Special India Reserve Battalions (SIRBs), etc.
1. Exercise Shantir Ogroshena 2021
Multinational Military Exercise SHANTIR OGROSHENA 2021 (Front Runner of the Peace) will be held in Bangladesh.
Exercise Shantir Ogroshena:
- Exercise Shantir Ogroshena will be held in Bangladesh to commemorate the birth centenary of Bangladesh Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and mark glorious 50 years of liberation.
- Indian Army contingent comprising of 30 personnel including Officers, JCOs, and Jawans of a Battalion from The DOGRA Regiment will participate in the exercise along with the contingent of Royal Bhutan Army, Sri Lankan Army, and Bangladesh Army from 04 Apr to 12 Apr 2021.
2. BIMSTEC meet
The 17th BIMSTEC Ministerial meeting chaired by Sri Lanka was held on April 1, 2021.
- The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional organization comprising seven Member States lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity.
- This sub-regional organization came into being on 6 June 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration.