Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 1st January 2020

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  • January 1, 2020
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 1st January 2020



Swachh Sarvekshan League 2020: National Cleanliness Rankings Part of:

GS Prelims and GS-II- Health and Sanitation

In News

  • Jamshedpur and Indore have emerged as the cleanest cities with a population upto 10 lakh and upto 20 lakh respectively in India.
  • Swachh Survekshan League 2020 (SS League 2020) was introduced with the objective of sustaining the onground performance of cities along with continuous monitoring of service level performance when it comes to cleanliness
  • SS League 2020 is being conducted by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in three quarters (April-June, July-September and October-December) 
  • Sustainability of the sanitation chain has been focused in SS League 2020 whereby parameters such as wastewater treatment and reuse, and faecal sludge management have been given special attention.
  • SS League will be integrated with Swachh Survekshan 2020, the 5th edition of the annual cleanliness survey of urban India.
  • The performance of cities in SS League 2020 is crucial to their ranking in Swachh Survekshan 2020 due to the 25% weightage of the quarterly assessments to be included in the annual survey scheduled to commence from 4 January till 31 January 2020.

Bhima-Koregaon battle of 1818: 202nd Anniversary

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains I- Modern History

In News

  • The battle was fought on 1 January 1818 between the British East India Company and the Peshwa faction of the Maratha Confederacy, at Koregaon Bhima,  a small village in Pune district of Maharashtra,
  • A few hundred Mahar soldiers of the East India Company, led by the British, defeated the massive Peshwa army, led by Peshwa Bajirao II
  • The Vijay Sthamb (victory pillar) was erected by the East India Company in memory of those who fought the battle. The names of the Mahar soldiers who unknowingly brought an end to the Peshwa rule in 1818 are inscribed on the pillar.
  • The Dalits who follow BR Ambedkar view this battle as a victory of Mahars over the injustice and torture meted out to them by the Brahminical Peshwas.

Chandrayaan-3: Launch this year

Part of: GS Prelims and GS Mains III- Space Science & technology

In News

  • India will launch Chandrayaan-3 in 2020, government stated, asserting that the mission cost will be less than Chandrayaan-2. The experience gathered from Chandrayaan-2 and available infrastructure would bring down the cost of Chandrayaan-3

Value Addition for Prelims

  • Chandrayaan-2 mission was India’s first attempt to land on lunar surface. The ISRO had planned the landing on the South Pole of the lunar surface. However, the lander Vikram hard-landed.
  • Nevertheless, the Chandrayaan 2 orbiter remains in good health
  • ISRO’s new commercial arm New Space India Ltd. (NSIL) will oversee the technology transfer to the private sector and manufacturing of space components by the industry.

Department of Military Affairs (DMA): Created in the Defence Ministry,

Part of: GS Prelims and GS III- Security

In News

  • The Department of Military Affairs (DMA) has been created in the Defence Ministry, and General Bipin Rawat who is the new Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) will head it.
  • The DMA will be the fifth department in the Ministry after the Department of Defence, the Department of Defence Production, the Department of Defence Research and Development and the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare.
  • The DMA’s mandate includes promoting jointness in procurement, training and staffing for the Services; facilitating restructuring of the military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about a jointness in operations, including through the establishment of joint/theatre commands and promoting use of indigenous equipment
  •  The DMA would deal with
    • The armed forces; 
    • The integrated headquarters of the Ministry, comprising the Army, Naval and Air and defence staff headquarters; 
    • The Territorial Army; and 
    • Works relating to the three services and procurement exclusive to them, except capital acquisitions.

National Population Register(NPR): Trial form gets governments approval

Part of: GS Prelims and GS II- Governance

In News

  • NPR form used at the trial stage in September 2019 is likely to be finalised as the authorities did not receive any adverse feedback from a sample set of respondents.
  • Around 30 lakh people responded to the “pretest” form that was used to collect data in 74 districts.
  • It sought details on 21 parameters, especially the “place of birth of father and mother, the last place of residence”, along with Aadhaar (optional), voter ID card, mobile phone and driving licence numbers.

Value Addition for Prelims

  • NPR is a register of usual residents of the country. It includes both Indian citizens as well as a foreign citizen.
  • According to the Citizenship Rules, 2003, a usual resident is a person who has resided in a local area for the past 6 months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next 6 months or more.
  • The entire NPR exercise will be conducted by the Office of the Registrar General of India (RGI) under the Union Home Ministry.
  • The first NPR was prepared in 2010 and updation of this data was done during 2015 by conducting door to door survey.
  • In the last NPR done in 2010, the data was collected on the 15 points and it did not include ‘date and place of birth of parents’ and last place of residence. The present NPR has a database of 119 crore residents.

5G: India decides to include Chinese telecom major Huawei in the 5G trial

Part of: GS Prelims and GS III- Science & Technology

In News

  • 5G is the 5th generation mobile network which will take much larger role than previous mobile network generations 
    • 1G delivered analog voice.
    • 2G introduced digital voice (e.g., CDMA).
    • 3G brought mobile data (e.g., CDMA2000).
    • 4G LTE ushered in the era of mobile Internet.
  • 5G supports new services (like IoT), uses spectrum better than 4G, faster than 4G(up to 20 Gigabits-per-second) and has more capacity than 4G (it will support a 100x increase in traffic capacity and network efficiency)
  • Inclusion of the tech giant in the Indian scene had become a diplomatic issue with opposition from the U.S. and Japan. 
  • The Chinese major was banned by the U.S. in May 2019 on issues of security & privacy which led to an international campaign to stop other countries from including it in 5G projects



TOPIC: General Studies 2:

  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS): Gen. Bipin Rawat Appointed as first CDS


  • General Bipin Rawat (December 30) appointed the first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), a newly created post meant to enhance the quality of military advice to the political leadership through integration of service inputs.
  • The CDS is a high military office that will oversee and coordinate the working of the three Services, and offer seamless tri-service views and single-point advice to the Executive (in India’s case, to the Prime Minister) on long-term defence planning and management, including manpower, equipment and strategy, and above all, “jointsmanship” in operations.

Need for Chief of Defence Staff

  • In general, the policy formulation is done by Defense Secretary, who is a bureaucrat, while its execution rests with Chiefs of armed forces. This makes defence policy incoherent.
  • The emergence of modern warfare domains like Space, Cyber etc, requires a more integrated approach to defense strategy.
  • group of ministers that was formed in 2001 to explore necessary reforms required to improve India’s national security had also favoured creating the post of Chief of Defence Staff.
  • In 2012 Naresh Chandra task force recommended the appointment of a permanent chairman of chiefs of staff committee.
  • The permanent chairman of chiefs of staff committee is the senior most of the three Chiefs.
  • The CDS is also one of the 99 recommendations made by the Lt. General D.B. Shekatkar (retd.) committee (2016).


  • The creation of the CDS will eventually lead to the formation of tri-service theatre commands intended to create vertical integration of the three forces.
  • This is expected to save money by avoiding duplication between the Services, at a time of shrinking capital expenditure within the defence budget.
  • It will help India in Defense diplomacy.

United States: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

  • According to the US Department of Defence website, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) is the nation’s highest-ranking military officer and the principal military adviser to the President, the Secretary of Defence (equivalent to Minister for Defence in India) and the National Security Council.

United Kingdom: Chief of the Defence Staff

  • The Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) is the professional head of the Armed Forces and principal military adviser to the Secretary of State for Defence (equivalent to Minister for Defence in India) and the government.
  • The UK CDS reports to the Defence Secretary and the Prime Minister.

Australia: Chief of the Defence Force

  • Australia has a diarchy system, under which the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) and the Secretary for the Department of Defence (a senior civilian public servant in the Ministry) jointly manage the Defence organisation, per the Department of Defence website.


  1. The KRC Report pointed out that India is the only major democracy where the Armed Forces Headquarters is outside the apex governmental structure.
  2. It observed that Service Chiefs devote most of their time to their operational roles, “often resulting in negative results”.
  3. Long-term defence planning suffers as day-to-day priorities dominate.
  4. Also, the Prime Minister and Defence Minister do not have the benefit of the views and expertise of military commanders, in order to ensure that higher level defence management decisions are more consensual and broadbased.
  5. The CDS is also seen as being vital to the creation of “theatre commands”, integrating tri-service assets and personnel like in the US military.

Connecting the dots:

  • Do you think CDS is required for India?
  • Do you think CDS will create co-ordination between all the three wings of the defence?


TOPIC: General Studies 2:

  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora.

US-China:  ‘phase one’ trade deal to be signed January 15


  • United States and China recently   announced a “Phase One” agreement 
  • With this US will reduce some tariffs in exchange for increased Chinese purchases of American farm and energy goods.


  • Donald Trump in 2018 began setting tariffs and other trade barriers on China with the goal of forcing it to make changes to what the U.S. says are “unfair trade practices” of China
  • Among those trade practices and their effects are the growing trade deficit, the theft of intellectual property, and the forced transfer of American technology to China
  • The trade war has brought struggles for farmers and manufacturers and higher prices for consumers. 
  • It has also caused economic damage In some countries, some countries have benefited from increased manufacturing to fill the gaps. It has also led to stock market instability.

Impact of trade war on India :

  • The US manufacturers are setting up their bases in India. For India, this will be beneficial as it would create more jobs for us.
  • There is a possibility that China could soon start flooding excess steel and aluminium into India’s market after this raised tariffs on Chinese products by US.
  • Mobile phones, refrigerators, washing machines, ACs, water purifiers, and possibly electric vehicles will now see increased investment flow directed towards India.
  • The Indian consumers will get the products at a cheaper rate but the domestic producers of India will have to compete with the Chinese imports or else face loss.
  • Indian producers will get an opportunity to fill this generated gap and penetrate in the US market. This will increase their trade and profit.
  • There will be a short-term impact on the stock markets. 


  • The US will halve its 15 per cent tariff on about $120 billion in Chinese goods

China has agreed to increase its total purchases of US goods and services by at least $200 billion over the next two years. Also included is a commitment by China to increase its buying of US agricultural products

  • Addresses unfair currency practices by committing to refrain from competitive devaluations and exchange rate targeting. “This approach will help reinforce macroeconomic and exchange rate stability and help ensure that China cannot use currency practices to unfairly compete against U.S. exporters”
  • China have agreed not to pressure foreign companies to transfer their technology to Chinese companies.
  • The agreement also  include a dispute-resolution mechanism that will serve as the enforcement arm.


  • It would bring only temporary relief in the over 18-month-old trade war between the US and China.
  • Does little to resolve the United States’ biggest concerns about China’s trade practices, including its use of industrial subsidies and state-owned enterprises to dominate global industries like steel and solar panels.
  • The deal would increase Chinese purchases of American agricultural and energy products,
  •  It limits on China’s  ability to weaken its currency and provide greater protection to US companies that are operating in China.

Way forward:

  • China and the United States, the world’s two largest economies, must deal with bilateral economic and trade relations with the big picture in mind. 
  • Reaching the agreement will serve the fundamental interests of the people of the two countries and the world, 
  • It is expected to bring positive influences on areas including economy, trade, investment and the financial market


  • The economic and political benefits of de-escalation in the trade war have become readily apparent
  • A rollback of tariffs and cancellation of new levies, makes sense for the US economy and for the World economy. 

Connecting the dots:

  • Do you think Phase One” agreement make a positive impact on Indian economy?
  • How does this impact India- US relations?


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)


  • Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers. 
  • Comments Up-voted by IASbaba are also the “correct answers”.

Q.1) Consider the following statements about Chandrayaan-2 Mission

  1. Chandrayaan-2 mission was India’s first attempt to land on lunar surface. 
  2. The ISRO had planned the landing on the South Pole of the lunar surface

Which of the above statement(s) given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q.2) Consider the following statements about Military Affairs Department

  1. The department will be headed by Defence Secretary
  2. It will facilitate restructuring of the military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about a jointness in operations, including through the establishment of joint/theatre commands

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q.3) The National Population Register exercise will be carried out by which body/Ministry?

  1. Office of the Registrar General of India, Union Home Ministry
  2. National Sample Survey Office
  3. Prime Minister’s Office
  4. None of the above

Q.4) Consider the following statements about 5G

  1. While 4G LTE focused on delivering the data much faster, 5G will also support new services such as mission-critical communications and Internet of Things (IoT).
  2. 5G has lower latency than 4G i.e. it has the potential to deliver more instantaneous, real-time access: a 10x decrease in end-to-end latency down to 1ms.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2


1 A
2 B
3 B
4 B


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