UPSC IAS Prelims 2021: Monthly Current Affairs & GK Topics for Preparation | December 2020

Know about Brain Fingerprinting, China's Artificial Sun, Pardon Bribery Scheme among other important current affairs of the month of December 2020. Questions based on any of these topics can be asked in the UPSC IAS Prelims 2021 exam. 

Created On: Mar 18, 2021 18:30 IST
UPSC IAS Prelims Monthly Current Affairs GK Topics December 2020
UPSC IAS Prelims Monthly Current Affairs GK Topics December 2020

UPSC IAS 2021: UPSC IAS Prelims 2021 exam is scheduled for 27th June 2021 for the recruitment of candidates in the Civil Services of India. In IAS Prelims GS 1 questions are asked from Current Affairs and events related to General Science, History, Geography, Polity, Economy and Environment. Analyzing the UPSC IAS Previous Years' Paper of the past few years, it is evident that 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 December 2020. 

Also Check: Monthly Current Affairs & GK Topics of February 2021 for UPSC

Monthly Current Affairs & GK Topics of January 2021 for UPSC

Science & Technology

Topic 1: Cryogenic Technology

Cryogenic means low temperature. The word itself refers to the technology of sub-zero temperatures. Cryogenic engines use liquid oxygen as the oxidizer and liquid hydrogen as the fuel. As it is known Oxygen can be kept in the liquid state below – 183 degrees Celcius, while hydrogen requires temperature below – 253 degree Celcius to be in liquid form. Since liquid oxygen is extremely reactive and combustible it can be used as a propellant to carry heavy loads.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has delivered the biggest cryogenic propellant tank (C32 LH2) made by it to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) recently. Read more

Topic 2: Brain Fingerprinting

Brain Electrical Oscillation Signature Profiling (BEOSP) is a method of interrogation where the suspect’s participation in the crime is investigated by studying the brain’s response. The suspect is then shown visuals or audio clips related to the case to check if there is any triggering of neurons (P300-MERMER) in the suspect's brain which then generate brainwaves. The test results are then studied to determine the participation of the accused in a crime. Check details

Topic 3: Hayabusa 2 Mission

Hayabusa 2 is a Japanese spacecraft that is bringing back a lot of samples from Ryugu. The impactor hit the asteroid's surface and make a small crater several metres in diameter allowing fresh material to be exposed. After collecting samples, Hayabusa 2 then headed home in November 2019, releasing the capsule from an altitude of about 200 km on 5 November 2020 when it returned to Earth via parachute. Check details

Topic 4: Loon Internet Balloon

Loon’s internet-beaming balloon has recently set a new flight duration record. It made the longest balloon flight in the Stratosphere for 312 days. 

Loons are high altitude balloons that provide internet to remote areas. It is the third layer of connectivity ecosystem to help places with minimum reach receive connectivity with the rest of the world. These balloons that reach the stratosphere and provide internet connections to regions that were once thought unservable. Check details

Topic 5: China's Artificial Sun

China successfully activated its “artificial sun,” which is a nuclear fusion reactor that grants the country with fuel for years to come. China’s Atomic Energy Authority tested its HL-2M Tokamak reactor for the first time on Friday, December 4, 2020. The development of nuclear fusion energy would lead to solving China’s energy requirements. Read details

Topic 6: Public Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI)

The Union Cabinet led by PM Modi has approved the setting up of public Wi-Fi networks across the length and breadth of the country on December 9, 2020. Know more about it below

The public Wi-Fi network service is to be called as PM Wi-Fi Access Network Interface or WANI scheme. It would be set up by the public data office aggregators or PDOAs and would provide Wi-Fi service through the public data offices or PDO's. No license fee will be charged for providing broadband internet services. Read more

Topic 7: Solar Wind Hack

A large chunk of US government emails has been targeted in a hack thought to have been carried out by Russia as reported by the American media. This has been the biggest ever targeted cyber attacks in the United States of America. Read details


History & Heritage 

Topic 1: World Heritage Irrigation Sites (WHIS)

International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage, ICID is a global network of irrigation, drainage, and flood management experts. This year four sites in India have received the World Heritage Irrigation Structure (WHIS) tag. 

  1. Cumbum Tank, Andhra Pradesh
  2. Kurnool-Cuddapah Canal, Andhra Pradesh
  3. Porumamilla Tank (Anantharaja Sagaram), Andhra Pradesh
  4. Dhampur Lake in Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg

Read more

Topic 2: “Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar Apni Pehchan” Project

Adopt a Heritage, Apni Dharohar Apni Pehchan scheme was launched 27th September 2017, which also was World Tourism Day. 

The ministries involved in the project are:

  1. Ministry of Tourism
  2. Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India, ASI 
  3. State/UTs Governments

Under the project, 27 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) has been awarded to 12 Monument Mitras for 25 sites and 2 technological interventions across India.


Environment & Ecology

Topic 1: India’s first Moss Garden

The first moss garden of India has been set up in Lingadhar village, Khurpatal area of Nainital, Uttarakhand. It is built in the area of around half a hectare. Just as grass garden consists of grass, a moss garden has mosses instead of grass. The mosses are squishy and they can compress without facing any damages. These gardens can thus be easily walked on without being damaged and also do not require annual replacement. More details

Topic 2: Hydroponics

Hydroponics is a type of horticulture or better we can say it’s a type of hydroculture where plants are grown without the use of soil in mineral-rich water (aqueous solvent). There are various sources from which nutrients can be extracted and provided to the plants. These are fish excreta, duck manure, and many other animal-based nutrient sources. Read details



Topic 1: Municipal Bond

A Municipal Bond is a debt instrument issued by municipal corporations or associated bodies in India. The funds raised through these bonds are utilized by the local government bodies to finance socio-economic development projects. 

Why in news?

On 2 December 2020, Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) bonds became the first Municipal Bonds from North India to be listed on Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). The listing ceremony was attended by Uttar Pradesh's Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Read more details


Political & International News

Topic 1: Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

India hosted the SCO Heads of Government Summit on 30 November 2020 for the first time since it joined the grouping in the year 2017. 

1- The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a permanent international intergovernmental organization which is headquartered in Beijing, China. 2- It is a Eurasian political, economic and security organisation aiming to maintain peace, security and stability in the region. 7- The organization has two permanent members-- the SCO Secretariat (Beijing) and the Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) (Tashkent). Read details

Topic 2: Pardon Bribery Scheme

Why in News?

The US Justice Department has been investigating a bribery scheme directing money to officials in the White House, Washington DC, in exchange for the presidential pardon or commutation. The court has released a few documents supporting the same alleged bribes. 

As per the documents released by the US District Court, they are investigating a “bribery conspiracy scheme in which [redacted] would offer a substantial political contribution in exchange for a presidential pardon or reprieve of sentence for [redacted]”.

Topic 3: SIPRI Report 2020

SIPRI stands for Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. It is situated in the capital of Sweden, Stockholm. It provides the data analysis and recommendations regarding armed conflict, military expenditure and arms trade. It also makes suggestions for disarmament and arms control. Read more


Important Dates of December 2020

Topic 1: World AIDS Day 2020

World AIDS Day 2020: It is observed on 1 December to spread awareness about HIV epidemic, speak out against HIV stigma, and call for an increased response to move toward ending HIV. - The theme for 2020 is "Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilience and Impact”. Read more

Topic 2: Indian Navy Day

ndian Navy played a crucial role during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971 and started Operation Trident. To commemorate the attack and to accomplish the role of Naval force every year, Navy Day is celebrated on 4 December. The Indian Navy is a well balanced three-dimensional force, capable of operating above, on and under the surface of the oceans and safeguard our national interests. Its objective is also to improve its circumstances in the Indian Ocean Zone. The theme of Navy Day 2020 is "Indian Navy Combat Ready, Credible & Cohesive".

Topic 3: Armed Forces Flag Day 

Armed Forces Flag Day is celebrated on 7 December to honour the martyrs and the men in uniform and also dedicated to collecting funds from people for the welfare of the Armed Forces personnel. The fund collection is managed by the local arms of the Kendriya Sainik Board in India, which is a part of the Ministry of Defense. It is controlled by the managing committee and monitored by both the official and non-official voluntary organizations.

Topic 4: International Civil Aviation Day

It is observed on 7 December to raise awareness about the importance of the role played by the organisation of the International Civil Aviation in air transport. Let us tell you that the International Civil Aviation Organisation is a UN body that takes care of international standards for aviation safety. This day marked as a global observance and not a public holiday. Read details

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. 

GK Quiz on Daily Static and Current Events

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