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

NASA's Dragonfly Mission, Square Kilometre Array (SKA),  India's first Geothermal Energy Power Plant Project, and other important current events of February 2021, check the most important monthly current affairs for UPSC IAS Prelims exam 2021.

Created On: Mar 17, 2021 17:49 IST
UPSC IAS Prelims Monthly Important Topics for Preparation February 2021
UPSC IAS Prelims Monthly Important Topics for Preparation February 2021

UPSC IAS Prelims Exam 2021 is supposed to be conducted on June 27. The Prelims syllabus is divided into multiple subjects however, each subject includes relatable topics from the current events. In the past few years, UPSC has often asked more than two dozen questions from the Current affairs. This makes it important that the aspirants are well versed with all the current events happening in India and around the world. To help the aspirants in their revision process, in this article we have consolidated important monthly current affairs topics from the month of February 2021. 

Also Check:  Complete List of NCERT Textbooks & State Board Books Required for Preparation - Download PDF

Topic 1: Bare Necessities Index (BNI)

Bare Necessities Index (BNI) based on the large annual household survey data can be constructed using suitable indicators and methodology at the district level for all/targeted districts to assess the progress on access to bare necessities. The BNI summarises 26 indicators on five dimensions viz., water, sanitation, housing, micro-environment, and other facilities. Read More

Topic 2: Smellicopter Drone

It is an autonomous drone that uses a live antenna from a moth to navigate towards smells. Additionally, it can also sense and avoid obstacles in its way while flying. Researchers have also attached two plastic wings on the back of the drone, to help it fly continuously in the air. Read More

Topic 3: NASA's Dragonfly Mission

NASA would be sending its rotorcraft Dragonfly to Saturn's moon Titan in search of the earliest signs of life on Earth. Dragonfly would be going to Titan in search of the origins of life on Earth. It will be launched in 2026 and it would reach Saturn’s moon in 2034. Read More

Topic 4: Blue Jet Lightning

The International Space Station's Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor- ASIM observatory recently caught a single blue ‘jet’. It is upward-shooting lightning from a thunderstorm cell, along with four elves, (optical and ultraviolet emissions from the bottom of the ionosphere). Read More

Topic 5: Metro-Neo Project

It is a Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) that aims to provide a comfortable, rapid, energy-efficient and less noisy transport medium in the city of Nashik. The scheme is introduced to boost the automobile sector, provide stimulus to economic growth, create employment opportunities for the youth and enhance ease of mobility for urban residents. Read More

Topic 6: Vasuki Freight Train: Indian Railways' longest freight train

South East Central Railway (SECR) zone in Chattisgarh created a record of successfully operating the longest freight train on the Indian Railways network by amalgamating five rakes of goods trains as one unit. 

Highlights:

1- The total length of the freight train was around 3.5 kilometres. 

2- The freight train was named 'Vasuki'.

3- The train covered a distance of 224 kilometres from Bhilai D Cabin till Korba which falls under the Bilaspur division in seven hours.

4- The Vasuki train comprised of 300 wagons of long haul rake of five goods trains and was operated by one pilot, one assistant loco pilot and a guard.

Read more

Topic 7: Kashmir Resolution

The New York State Assembly has passed a resolution calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to declare February 5 as Kashmir American Day. India has sharply reacted to the same. 

Why February 5th?

February 5th is celebrated as Kashmir Solidarity Day or Kashmir Day in Pakistan and a national holiday is observed on the same. The day is observed to show Pakistan's support towards the people residing in the Indian administered part of Jammu and Kashmir and the efforts of separatists of Kashmir. They also try to show that they pay homage to those who died in such conflicts inflicted upon the area. Read more

Topic 8: Square Kilometre Array (SKA)

Square Kilometre Array observatory is an intergovernmental organisation which is new and dedicated to radio astronomy. It is headquartered in the UK. Currently, organisations from ten countries are a part of the SKAO. These include 

  1. Australia
  2. Canada
  3. China
  4. India
  5. Italy
  6. New Zealand
  7. South Africa
  8. Sweden
  9. Netherlands
  10. UK

Read more

Topic 9: Brookeisa nana - World's Smallest Reptile found in Madagascar

The smallest species of Reptiles have been discovered by scientists in Madagascar. It is a species of chameleon. "The new chameleon is only known from a degraded montane rainforest in northern Madagascar and might be threatened by extinction," as per the Scientific Reports journal. The length of the chameleon is 22 mm that is 0.86 inches in all. Read More

Topic 10: India's first Geothermal Energy Power Plant Project 

India is going to get its first geothermal power project in Ladakh. On February 7, 2021, an agreement for establishing the first geothermal Power Project was announced.  It would help it tap the potential of natural geysers touching the Puga area which happens to be 170 km east of Leh.  The project would be undertaken by ONGC. 

Potential Geothermal Reservoirs in India:
  1. Puga- Ladakh
  2. Tatapani- Chhattisgarh
  3. Godavari 
  4. Manikaran- Himachal Pradesh
  5. Bakreshwar- West Bengal
  6. Tuwa- Gujarat
  7. Unai- Maharashtra
  8. Jalgaon- Maharashtra
  9. Rajgor and Munger- Bihar

Read more

Topic 11: E-Yuva Scheme by BIRAC

Empowering Youth for Undertaking Value Added Innovative Translational Research (E-Yuva) is a scheme by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) to promote applied research and need-oriented entrepreneurial innovation among young students and researchers.

E-Yuva provides funding support, technical and business mentoring, orientation to an entrepreneurial culture and so forth to students at various levels. Read more

Topic 12: Tianwen-1 - China's first successful Mars mission

China's first ever mission to another planet has been successful this year. The Tianwen-1 spacecraft has made a close approach to Mars and sent back pictures from the red planet. It would be soon landing in the Red Planet and studying its surface and climate. 

  1. Tianwen-1 arrived at Mars on Wednesday, February 10, 2021
  2. The mission was launched on July 23, 2020
  3. The rover is not expected to land until May or June, 2021

Read more

Topic 13: SteroStet - India's first stethoscope sterilizer

SteroStet is a device that effectively sterilizes a stethoscope diaphragm without using any chemicals or liquids and preserves the longevity of the expensive medical apparatus.

XECH is India’s emerging innovator brand which has launched Xech Sterostet. This is one of its kind, India’s first Stethoscope Sterilizer. The machine which uses a special UV-C GI Technology to sterilize stethoscopes diaphragms of all sizes. The purity level is 99.99%. 

Read more

Topic 14: Development Finance Institution (DFI)

India will set up a new Development Finance Institution (DFI) called the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development to cater to the wholesale and long-term financing needs of India and possibly fill the gap in long-term financing. The DFI will be set up on a capital base of Rs. 20,000 crores and will have a lending target of Rs. 5 lakh crore in three years. Debt financing through the infrastructure investment trust (InvIT) and real estate investment trust (REIT) routes will be enabled through necessary amendments in the rules.

Read more

Topic 15: National Marine Turtle Action Plan

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has released the Marine MegaFauna Stranding Guidelines and National Marine Turtle Action Plan. India is rich in Marine Biodiversity spread across a vast coastline of 7500 kilometres. Read more

Topic 16: Digital Intelligence Unit (DIU)

The government is planning to set up a nodal agency called Digital Intelligence Unit (DIU) to work with law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, and telecom service providers for investigating fraudulent activities involving telecom resources. The government is planning to set up a nodal agency called Digital Intelligence Unit (DIU) to work with law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, and telecom service providers for investigating fraudulent activities involving telecom resources. Read More

Topic 17: Major Port Authorities Bill 2020

Rajya Sabha passed the Major Port Authorities Bill 2020 on 10 February 2020 that now requires the assent of the President of India to become an Act. It will replace the Major Port Trusts Act of 1963. The aforementioned Bill now requires the assent of the President of India to become an Act. It is to be noted that 84 members voted in favour of the Bill while 44 members voted against Bill. Read More 

Topic 18: Carbon Watch- India's first Mobile App to assess individual carbon footprint

Chandigarh has become the first place in India to launch the Carbon Watch. It is a mobile application used to assess the carbon footprint generated by any individual. 

The application can be used by anyone and everyone but has specific features for the residents of Chandigarh to compile a study. As per World Health Organization, (WHO), a carbon footprint is the measure if the impact created by people's activities on the amount of CO2 generated by buring of fossil fuels. It is expressed in terms of weight of carbon dioxide in tonnes. Read More

Topic 19: India's New Mapping Policy

On 15 February 2021, the Government of India announced changes to the country's mapping policy by liberalising regulations on geospatial data and maps. It is in line with India's vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat and a 5 trillion-dollar economy. 

The existing regime imposed significant restrictions on the Indian mapping industry-- from creation to dissemination of maps, requiring the Indian mapping companies to go through a cumbersome system of pre-approvals and permissions to get licences. Read More

Topic 20: Draft National Policy on Migrant Workers 

NITI Aayog has launched first migrant policy draft. It enables to vote, map skill, inter-state teams. As per NITI Aayog, the Government's goal must be to provide a limited approach. This means 'Don't give the boy a fish, rather teach him fishing'. The Government must not provide permanent or social aids to migrant workers rather create opportunities for them. This act was subsumed in the Occupational Safety Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020. 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. 

GK Quiz on Daily Static and Current Events