Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 31st January 2020

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  • January 31, 2020
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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 31st January 2020
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 31st January 2020




Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Security

In News

  • It is a joint military exercise between India and Bangladesh which is hosted alternately by both countries.
  • The ninth edition will be conducted at UMROI, Meghalaya, India from 03 Feb to 16 Feb 2020

Martyr’s Day

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I- Society, Modern History

In News

  • It is observed on 30th January every year in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi and his contributions to the nation.
  • He was assassinated by Nathuram Godse in the Birla House during his evening prayers on 31st Jan 1948
  • 23rd March is also observed as Martyr’s Day to pay tribute to three revolutionaries of India namely Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar.

Basant Panchami

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I- Society

In News

  • Basant Panchami or Vasant Panchami celebrated on 30th Jan marks the beginning of the spring season – Basant means spring and Panchami means “the fifth day”
  • The day is also celebrated as Saraswati Puja
  • It is more popular in Bengal, Odisha and North Indian states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh.

Beating Retreat Ceremony

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I- Culture

In News

  • It officially denotes the end of Republic Day festivities.
  • It is conducted on the evening of 29 January, the third day after the Republic Day.
  • It is performed by the bands of the three wings of the military, the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force, and pipe bands from the Army, and from 2016 a massed formation of bands of the Central Armed Police Forces and the Delhi Police
  • The chief guest of the function is the President of India.

E-flows in River Ganga: 4 hydropower projects in upper Ganga violating e-flows

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Environment Conservation

In News

  • According to the Central Water Commission(CWC), the hydropower projects violating Ganga ecological flow (e-flow) norms.
    • Vishnuprayag Hydroelectric project – Alaknanda
    • Srinagar Hydroelectric project – Alaknanda
    • Maneri Bhali Phase 2 – Bhagirathi
    • Pashulok – Ganga Mainstream
  • Centre’s ecological flow notification (under Environment Protection Act of 1986) mandates that project developers ensure a minimum supply of water all through the year
  • CWC is the designated authority responsible for the supervision, monitoring, regulation of flows in the rivers

About Central Water Commission

  • Central Water Commission is a premier technical organization of India in the field of Water Resources, formed via notification in 1975
  • It is presently functioning as an attached office of the Ministry of Jal Shakti

Country’s First Fruit Train

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Infrastructure

In News

  • This is the first time in India where ‘fruit train’ i.e. an entire train is being sent to the gateway port (JNPT) for export.
  • From: Tadipatri Railway Station in Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh
  • To: Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai, from where the consignment will be exported to Iran.
  • Cargo: 980 metric tonnes of locally (AP) grown bananas under the brand name “Happy Bananas”
  • The train helps save both time and fuel as 150 trucks would have been required to send a consignment of this size by road to JNPT, which is over 900 km away


International Affairs

Topic: General Studies 2

  • India and its neighbourhood- relations

India-Australia Relationship

India-Australia relationship has been traditionally characterised as one of the perpetually unfulfilled promises

Historically, India-Australia relations suffered from at least four deep structural impediments. They are:

  1. The logic of the Cold War
  • After the end of Cold war, Australia aligned with USA & sided with Pakistan whereas India adopted Non-alignment policy (at times tilting towards USSR).
  • This prevented the growth of India-Australia bilateral relationship

Progression in recent times

  • With the end of Cold war in 1991 (disintegration of USSR) and simultaneous opening of the Indian economy, the logic of cold war has vanished
  • India’s adoption of a free-market economic model and India’s growing closeness with the USA has enabled both India & Australia to come out of cold war closet and nurture their relationship
  1. India’s nuclear status outside the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
  • This resulted in Australia taking a particularly strong stance against India’s 1998 nuclear tests, which came soon after French nuclear tests in the South Pacific.

Progression in recent times

  • However, the 2008 waiver granted to India by the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the subsequent lifting by Australia of its uranium ban against NPT non-signatories, and a bilateral civil nuclear agreement between India & Australia in 2014-2015 largely addressed the matter.
  1. Absence of people-to-people content – “
  • The backdrop to this was the “White Australia” policy, which discouraged immigration from Asia

Progression in recent times

  • In recent years, however, Indian immigrants have been among the largest contributors to Australia’s population growth.
  • In addition to the massive influx of Indian students, Indian tourists are also visiting Australia in larger numbers.
  1. Lack of economic content – It is here that both Nations are yet to exploit the full potential
  • The trade between the two countries has been at a modest $31 billion, largely composed of resources like coal and other minerals.
  • Negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement, which began in 2011, have not moved forward significantly.

Weak Spots in Trade relationship

The weakest link in India’s exports to Australia is in merchandise. India needs to look at three broad areas

  • First, despite globalisation, markets are country-specific and culturally sensitive. Therefore, Indian companies need to research on Australian consumer expectations and lifestyles before entering the Australian market
  • Second, Australia is a brand-conscious market while India has not created a single consumer brand of international acceptance.
  • Third, innovation is emerging as the single-most-important factor for sustained success in every sphere. Innovation in Cricket like 20/20 format has kept the game alive and popular. Global trade cannot be different.

Brighter Prospects in Future with regard to Trade

  • India-Australia trade has been steadily evolving into a new architecture underpinned by developments in digital technology. There has been a noticeable shift in the trade basket from resources to services.
  • Young Australians, like young Indians, carry the compelling vision of 21st-century globalisation, multiculturism and quality education.
  • As a result, the young can see issues like immigration and outsourcing with far more equanimity than the older generation.
  • India Economic Strategy 2035 Report prepared by Peter Varghese, a diplomat and former Australian High Commissioner to India. It observes that no single market over the next 20 years will offer more growth opportunities for Australia than India.


In recent times there has been a Strategic Convergence between India & Australia due to China’s assertiveness and economic profile, shared concerns about Southeast Asian cohesion, and anxieties about US’s strategic commitment to the Indo-Pacific.

This strategic common interest should be expanded to increase the economic interlinkage between the two countries.


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in the 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 Central Water Commission

  1. It is a premier technical organization of India in the field of Water Resources, formed via notification in 1975
  2. It is presently functioning as an attached office of the Ministry of Home Affairs

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) Exercise Sampriti is a bilateral military exercise between India and which other country?

  1. Sri Lanka
  2. Nepal
  3. Bangladesh
  4. None of the above

Q.3) Consider the following statements about Beating Retreat Ceremony

  1. It officially denotes the beginning of Republic Day festivities.
  2. It is conducted on the evening of 23 January, the third day before Republic Day.

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 A
4 C
5 C



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