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UPSC IAS Prelims 2021: Monthly Current Affairs & GK Topics for Preparation | April’21

Sakshi Saroha

UPSC IAS 2021: UPSC will conduct the IAS Civil Services Prelims 2021 exam on 27th June 2021 for the recruitment of candidates in the Civil Services of India. In IAS Prelims Paper 1 General Studies, questions are asked from Current Affairs and events, General Science, History, Geography, Polity, Economy and Environment. As per UPSC IAS Previous Years' Paper of past few years, the current affairs section forms the major part of General Studies Paper 1. Going by this trend, it is highly expected that this year as well, questions might be asked on current events of past one year. Considering this, we have compiled below the important current affairs for the month of April 2021. 

Also check:  Monthly Current Affairs & GK Topics of December 2020 for UPSC

Science & Technology

Topic 1: Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

Recently, Scientists at Large Hadron Collider, Switzerland discovered a brand new force of nature which might violate the standard laws of physics.

The physicists at CERN are under the impression that they have found a situation that the Standard Model would be unable to explain. 

The Standard model predicts a particle known as beauty quark must decay into two particles called muons and electrons at about the same rate. However through the recent experiment conducted it violates the rule as it was seen that it actually decays into electrons more often than muons. Read more

Topic 2: Baikal Gigaton Volume Detector

Trending Now

On March 13, 2021, the Russian scientists launched a deep underwater telescope in Lake Baikal. It is called the Baikal-Gigaton Volume Detector. Purpose of the telescope is to observe neutrinos.

  1. It is known as the Baikal-GVD (Gigaton Volume Detector)
  2. It's construction began in the year 2015
  3. Its objective is to study the neutrinos in detail to find their source or origin
  4. The Baikal- GVD Collaboration includes 9 institutions and organizations from 4 countries namely Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Slovakia.
  5. It is submerged at the depths of 2,500-4,300 feet below Lake Baikal
  6. The instrument has been placed at the southern part of the lake.

Read details

Topic 3: Chaff Technology developed by DRDO

Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has developed Advanced Chaff Technology that would help safeguard Indian Navy ships from enemy missile attacks.  

Chaff is a passive expendable electronic counter measure used for protection of the naval ships from enemy's radar and missile seekers based on radio frequency. 

The importance of the discovery is that a very small amount of the chaff material deployed in the air would act as a decoy to deflect the enemy's missiles from the ships. It would thus provide safety to the ship. At the same time now DRDO has been able to meet futuristic threats from their adversaries. Read more 

Topic 4: The Nambi Effect

Rocketry: The Nambi Effect is a sci-fi biographical movie based on the life of Nambi Narayan. Nambi Narayanan was an ISRO scientist. He was instrumental in development of Vikas engine that was used for the first PSLV that India launched.

In the year 1994, he was falsely charged with espionage and was arrested. Defense officials said that the secrets leaked by him pertained to highly confidential flight test data from experiments with rocket and satellite launches. He was arrested and spent 50 days in jail.  The other suspects in the case included ISRO scientist D. Sasikumaran, Russian space agency official K. Chandrasekhar, and ISRO's contractor S.K. Sharma and two Maldivian women.

However, the charges against him were dismissed by the Central Bureau of Investigation, CBI in April of 1966. Later the Supreme Court declared him not guilty and free of all charges.  

Topic 5: Bihar becomes the first Indian state to have two green energy towns 

Rajgir and Bodh Gaya are set to be India's first fully green energy towns. The towns would begin  getting solar energy through one of its kind renewable energy projects from 2023. 

  1. Bihar is equitable with Delhi, Goa and Odisha to supply 24X7 clean round the year through its renewable energy hybrid model. 
  2. Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a central government PSU has agreed to Bihar's proposal to feed clean power to both the towns. 
  3. It would also supply some power to important government installations in Patna like the Governor's house, chief minister's house, Patna High Court, Gyan Bhawan, Bihar museum and also Vidyut Bhawan. 
  4. The state government wishes to use land available in Lakhisarai and Bhagalpur district to construct solar energy plants.
  5. The project will get started by June 2023.

Topic 6: Praapti Portal

  1. It is a web portal launched in 2018 by the Ministry of Power. 
  2. ‘Praapti’ stands for Payment ratification and analysis in power procurement for bringing transparency in invoicing of generators.
  3. The power distribution companies are able to clear the invoices and reply to claims raised by the generators on this portal
  4. To rein in errant distribution companies (discoms) that delay payments to power generation companies, the Power Ministry launched this portal
  5. Also as informed by the ministry, the portal will also compare and rank State discoms on outstanding bills and the frequency of clearing them.
  6. The portal is updated as and when an invoice is raised by the power generator.

Topic 7: Sankalp se Siddhi

The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) under the aegis of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, GOI has launched the 'Sankalp se Siddhi'- Village and Digital Connect drive to transform the tribal ecosystem across the country. The main purpose of the drive is to activate the Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKs) located in the tribal villages.

Earlier in 2021, TRIFED under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs launched the Village and Digital Connect initiative. During the course of the initiative, the regional officials of the TRIFED went to the identified villages having a significant tribal population and supervised the implementation of various programmes and initiatives. As quoted by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, the initiative was successful. Read more

Topic 8: SUPACE Portal

On April 6, 2021, the Supreme Court of India launched the first AI driven research portal, Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Court's Efficiency (SUPACE). It was launched by Justice SA Bobde in presence of Justice Nageswara Rao. 

  1. It is a portal through which the Supreme Court intends to leverage machine learning to deal with the amount of data received in the filing of cases. 
  2. SA Bobde described it as a ‘hybrid system’ and ‘a perfect blend of human intelligence and machine learning’ that does wonder when paired with human intelligence.
  3. Justice L Nageswara Rao is the current chairman of SC's Artificial Intelligence Committee
  4. CJI SA Bobde was the first chairman of the Artificial Intelligence Committee.
  5. The AI-driven tool is designed to only process information and make it available to the Judges to take a decision. It will not take any part in the decision making.
  6. Only the Judges of Delhi and Bombay High Courts dealing with criminal cases would use it on an experimental basis. Read more

 

Environment & Ecology

Topic 1: Bio-bubble

A bio-bubble is an invisible shield that is used to host sporting events during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In simple words, it is a safe and secure environment that can only be accessed by a certain set of people who have tested negative for COVID-19 to minimise the risk of transmission of the coronavirus from one person to another during the course of the event. The bio-bubbles were initiated for sporting events such as India's tour of Australia, IPL, US Open and so on. 

The bio-secure environment can be parts of a hotel or stadium and the players are allowed to access only those parts to prevent any physical interaction with the outside world. For instance, at the US Open, the players could only travel from the hotel to the stadium and vice-versa. Read more

Topic 2: India's first disk-footed bat

A team of scientists have discovered India's first bat species with disk-shaped sticky feet in Meghalaya. With this discovery, the number of flying mammal in India rose to 130, out of which 66 are found in the Indian state of Meghalaya. 

The breakthrough discovery was made by a team of scientists led by Dr. Uttam Saika from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Shillong and scientists from a few  European natural history museums while sampling a bamboo patch in July 2020. The specialized bamboo dwelling bat species, Eudiscopus denticulus, was recorded in Meghalaya's Lailad village adjacent to Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary, about 1000 km westwards of its known habitat in Myanmar.   

 

Polity and Governance 

Topic 1: Aahaar Kranti' Mission

On 13 April 2021, Union Minister for Science and Technology, Earth Sciences and Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched 'Aahaar Kranti' Mission, a join-initiative of Vijnana Bharati (Vibha), ‘Global Indian Scientists and Technocrats’ Forum (GIST), Vigyan Prasar, and Pravasi Bharatiya Academic and Scientific Sampark (PRABHASS). Also, a monthly newsletter 'Aahaar Kranti', both in Hindi and English has also been launched and will be published by Vigyan Prasar. 

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need for a nutritionally balanced diet as a healthy body will be able to fight the novel virus with greater resilience. The initiative aims at spreading awareness about a nutritious diet to every citizen of the country. It has been launched with the motto of ‘Uttam Aahaar- Uttam Vichaar’ or `Good Diet-Good Cognition’. It is designed to address the particular problem being faced by India and the world-- hunger and diseases in abundance. 

Topic 2: Gyanvapi Mosque Dispute and Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991

On 8 April 2021, a civil court in Uttar Pradesh directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a survey at the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi to find out whether it was built on the ruins of the temple or not. 

The court also directed the UP Government to bear the cost of the survey, having two members of the minority community. The petition was opposed by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid (AIM), the Gyanvapi Mosque Management Committee. 

Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991

It is an Act to prohibit the conversion of any place of worship and provide for the maintenance of the religious character of any place of worship as it existed on the 15th August 1947. 

Topic 3: ROPAX Jetty Project

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) has given the approval for the sanction of Rs. 50.30 crores for the development of an all-weather ROPAX Jetty Project on river Dhamra in the Indian state of Odisha under the Sagarmala initiative on 16 April 2021. 

1- The ROPAX (Roll-on/Roll-off Passenger) Jetty and allied infrastructure will connect Kaninali in Bhadrak district & Talachua in Kendrapara district, Odisha. 

2- The project will include construction of the ROPAX Jetty at Kaninali and Talachua, utility infrastructures such as parking area development, navigational aids and dredging.

 

Economics

Topic 1: Dogecoin

  1. Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency that was started in 2013 as an internet parody. Bitcoin and Ethereum have surged in value in the previous week. 
  2. The Dogecoin is based on the Doge meme and was started as a fun alternative to Bitcoin. 
  3. Its value has risen phenomenally this week too. 
  4. It's value has reached 48 million dollars this week
  5. The digital currency was created in the year 2013 by Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer who were software engineers. They said that dogecoins were faster and a fun alternative to Bitcoin. 

International News

Topic 1: International Intellectual Property Index 2021

IPR are the rights that are given to persons over the creations of their minds. They give the creator an exclusive right over the use of their creation for a defined time period. The rights of the authors of literary and artistic works like books and paintings are protected through copyrights. These are valid for 50 years only. 

India has been ranked 40 among the 53 economies on the 9th IP Index. 

Types of Intellectual Properties:

Copyright

Patent

Trademark

Trade Secret

Read more

Topic 2: World's First Ship Tunnel in Norway

  1. Norway would be building the world's first ship tunnel. The construction would begin in 2022. 
  2. It is a 1.06 mile long and 118 feet wide tunnel
  3. It would pass through the mountainous Stadhavet Peninsula in Northwestern Norway.
  4. The ship tunnels cost would be around 2.8 billion Norweigian Kroner or 330 million dollars.
  5. The depth of the water in the tunnel would be across 12 metres.
  6. This tunnel can house bi ships unlike any other tunnel in the world. No other underpass has been built to serve large ships.
  7. The tunnel entry would be controlled by traffic light system

Topic 3: Prarambh

The Prarambh Startup International Summit involved the participation of BIMSTEC (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri lanka, Thailand) nations in the first ever conclave. 

The two day summit marked the fifth anniversary of Startup India Initiative. 

It also comes as a follow-up of the announcement made by Prime Minister Modi at the fourth BIMSTEC Summit held in Kathmandu.

The two-day summit marked the fifth anniversary of the Startup India initiative 

More than 25 countries participated in the summit. The largest confluence organized by the government since the launch of the Startup India initiative. Read more

We sincerely hope that the given topics would have helped you in your Prelims preparation. You can also check the below link to keep yourself updated on the latest GK quiz and events. 

Also Check: Month-wise Current Affairs Quiz for Preparation (May 2020-April 2021)

 

 

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