DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 29th January 2021

  • IASbaba
  • January 29, 2021
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National Marine Turtle Action Plan

Part of: GS Prelims and GS- III – Environment; Biodiversity

In news 

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has released ‘Marine Mega Fauna Stranding Guidelines’ and ‘National Marine Turtle Action Plan’.

Key takeaways 

  • The documents contain ways and means to guide improved coordination amongst the government, civil society, and all relevant stakeholders on the response to cases of stranding, entanglement, injury or mortality of marine mammals, and also conservation of marine turtles.
  • These two documents highlight:
  1. actions to be taken for handling stranded animals on the shore, stranded or entangled animals in the sea or on a boat,
  2. management actions for improved coordination,
  3. reducing threats to marine species and their habitats,
  4. rehabilitation of degraded habitats,
  5. enhancing people’s participation,
  6. advance scientific research and exchange of information on marine mammals and marine turtles and their habitats.

Important value additions 

Status of turtles in India

  • Five species of Indian turtles along with their IUCN status are as follows: 
  1. Olive Ridley – Vulnerable
  2. Green turtle – Endangered
  3. Loggerhead – Vulnerable
  4. Hawksbill – Critically Endangered
  5. Leather back – Vulnerable
  • They are protected in Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, under Schedule I.
  • They are also protected under the Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation programme.

Related articles:

2021: Year Of Indo-French Alliance Towards A Greener Planet

Part of: GS Prelims and GS- II – International Relations

In news 

  • Union Minister for Environment and French Minister for Ecological Transition launched the Indo-French Year of the Environment recently.

Key takeaways 

  • Objective: To strengthen Indo-French cooperation in sustainable development, increase the effectiveness of actions in favour of global environment protection and give them greater visibility.
  • The Indo-French Year of the Environment over the period 2021-2022 would be based on five main themes: (1) Environmental protection; (2) Climate change; (3) Biodiversity conservation; (4) Sustainable urban development; (5) Development of renewable energies and energy efficiency.
  • It is also a platform for engaging in discussions on critical areas of collaboration relating to the environment and allied areas.
  • From the Indian side, it will be coordinated by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) along with the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and other concerned Ministries/Departments/Organisations.
  • A joint screening committee will also be set up to finalize the calendar of the events for the Indo-French Year of the Environment.

Do you know?

  • India-France alliance is the main pillar of the International Solar Alliance launched by Inidan PM.

Restoring Cross Border Mobility by WEF’s Common Trust Network 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS- II – International Relations

In news 

  • Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare addressed the event on Restoring Cross Border Mobility by World Economic Forum’s Common Trust Network through Video Conference.

Key takeaways 

  • Background: As countries around the world work to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and restart their economies, they all face the challenge of how to reopen their borders and allow travel and commerce to resume while protecting their populations’ health.
  • To address this challenge, The Commons Project Foundation and the World Economic Forum have launched the Common Trust Network in collaboration with a broad voluntary network of public and private stakeholders.
  • The Common Trust Network is designed to:
  1. empower individuals with digital access to their health information,
  2. make it easier for individuals to understand and comply with each destination’s requirements, 
  3. ensure that only verifiable lab results and vaccination records from trusted sources are presented for cross-border travel and commerce.
  • The Network is enabled by a global registry of trusted laboratory and vaccination data sources, standard formats for lab results and vaccination records, and standard tools to make those results and records digitally accessible.

Framework for Strategic Partnership signed between the International Energy Agency and India 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS- II – International Relations

In news 

  • The Framework for Strategic Partnership between the International Energy Agency (IEA) members and the Government of India was signed.

Key takeaways

  • Aim: To strengthen mutual trust and cooperation & enhance global energy security, stability, and sustainability. 
  • This partnership will lead to an extensive exchange of knowledge and would be a stepping stone towards India becoming a full member of the IEA.

Important value additions 

  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) is a Paris-based autonomous intergovernmental organisation.
  • It was established in the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1974 in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis.
  • The IEA is made up of 30 member countries.
  • Also, the IEA family includes eight association countries which include Brazil, China, and India.
  • Three countries are seeking accession to full membership, Chile, Israel, and Lithuania.

MoU signed between India Textiles Ministry and Nissenken Quality Evaluation Centre Japan

Part of: GS Prelims and GS- II – International Relations; GS-III – Economy

In news 

  • A formal MoU signing ceremony was held between Textiles Committee, Ministry of Textiles, India, and M/s. Nissenken Quality Evaluation Centre Japan.

Key takeaways

  • Objective: To provide the required support to the textile trade and industry for ensuring quality as per the requirement of Japanese buyers through Testing, Inspection & Conformity Assessment.
  • It is expected that the MoU will strengthen the bilateral trade by enhancing India’s export of Textile and Apparels (T&A) to Japan, which is the third-largest export destination of the world.

Do you know?

  • The Textiles Committee was established in the year 1963 by an Act of Parliament.
  • It is a statutory body under the Ministry of Textiles to ensure the quality of all textiles and textile products for domestic and export markets.
  • The Textiles Committee is the only body providing for all the quality-related needs of the entire Textiles Value Chain (TVC) in an integrated format on a pan-India basis.

(Mains Focus)



  • GS-1: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country. 

Patharughat Uprising in Assam

Context: Nearly Twenty five years before the Jallianwallah Bagh massacre (1919), more than a hundred peasants fell to the bullets of the British on January 28, 1894 in Assam. The unarmed peasants were protesting against the increase in land revenue levied by the colonial administration, when the military opened fire. 

What led to the Patharughat uprising?

  • Assam Annexation and Survey of Land: After the British annexation of Assam in 1826, surveys of the vast lands of the state began. This was primarily intended to make accurate assessment of land so as to increase the land revenues from the region.
  • Levying of Land taxes: On the basis of such surveys, the British began to impose land taxes, much to the resentment of the farmers.
  • Increase of Taxes: In 1893, the British government decided to increase agricultural land tax reportedly by 70- 80 per cent.
  • Raij Mels across Assam: Up until 1893, peasants would pay taxes in kind or provide a service in lieu of cash. Across Assam, peasants began protesting the British move of increasing taxes by organising Raij Mels, or peaceful peoples’ conventions
  • Repression by British: Despite these gatherings at Raij Mels being democratic, the British perceived them as “breeding grounds for sedition”. So whenever there was a Raij Mel, the British used to come down on it with a heavy hand to disperse them.
  • January 28, 1894 firing at Patharughat Protest: When the British officers were refusing to listen to the farmers’ grievances, things heated up and there was a lathi charge, followed by an open firing which killed many of the peasants who were gathered at Patharughat, a small village nearly 60km northeast of Guwahati.
  • High Casualties: Official placed the casualties in the Patharughat incident as 15 killed and 37 wounded, however it is estimated by eyewitnesses that close to 140 people were killed.

Significance of the Incident:

  • Inspirational for Assamese Community: For the larger Assamese community, Patharughat comes second only to the Battle of Saraighat, when the Ahoms defeated the Mughals in 1671. It was considered extremely inspirational for the Assamese community, like a national awakening.
  • Mass protest against British: It was one of the few occasions in the history of the pre-Congress, pan-Indian anti-imperialist movement, when, in the absence of a well defined leadership, the masses organised themselves to resist the autocratic designs of the British.

Critical Analysis of incident:

  • Means adopted: While many often refer to the episode as the “Patharughat Ron” or the “Battle of Patharughat”, it is a “misnomer.” The mass protest was a peaceful one and a precursor to the Civil Disobedience movement, which was later propagated by Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Doesn’t feature in Mainstream Historical Discourse: The incident is considered as one of the most tragic and inspiring episodes in the saga of the Indian freedom movement. However, it rarely features in mainstream historical discourse of the freedom struggle.

Honouring Partharughat Upsiring: 

  • Martyr’s Column: In memory of farmer martyrs of the historic Patharughat uprising, a “martyrs column” stands where the incident took place. This helps recall the sacrifice and valour of the farmers in fighting against the colonial rulers.
  • Krishak Swahid Diwas: Every year on January 28, the government and local people pay respects to the martyrs of the incident (Krishak Swahid Diwas) in an official function. On January 29, the Indian Army pays its respects in military style.
  • Popular Culture: Over the years, films, theatre, folktales and, serials have been made on the subject which is how it’s slowly entering popular imagination.
  • Skill Development Centre: On January 28, 2021, Assam CM inaugurated an Integrated Training and Skill Development Centre for the farmers near the site that will be equipped to teach farmers new skills and technology.



  • GS-2: India and its neighbourhood- relations; Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements affecting India’s interests. 

India-GCC Relations

Context: The pandemic has brought to fore new possibilities for cooperation between India and the GCC countries more specifically in Health and Education Sector.

Gulf Cooperation Council

  • It is political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries—Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. 
  • The GCC was established in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in May 1981. 
  • The purpose of the GCC is to achieve unity among its members based on their common objectives and their similar political and cultural identities, which are rooted in Arab and Islamic cultures.

Areas where India and GCC can cooperate for better future are: 

  • There is immense scope for investments in the healthcare and the pharmaceutical industries. 
  • Attracting investments from GCC countries fits well into Government of India’s initiative to develop the industrial and manufacturing base in India under the Atmanirbhar Bharat program
  • India is already a popular regional destination for medical tourism. 
  • Digital healthcare services are an area that are likely to witness immense growth in the near future. 
  • The demand for hygiene and personal protective equipment (PPE) products has already skyrocketed. India has emerged as a major manufacturing hub for these products, apart from its strengths as a pharmaceutical manufacturing hub. 
  • There are also possibilities to attract investments in the Ayurveda healthcare ventures which has a growing market in the Gulf region.
  • Higher education is an area that remains under-exploited, despite the potential for enhanced cooperation. 
  • The vast network of professional colleges and universities in India can be an attractive destination for GCC students.
  • Given that the Indian ‘Institutions of Eminence’ have now been given the green signal to set up branches outside India, IITs and IIMs should look for possibilities for opening branches in the GCC countries which will attract both the local and expatriate population.
  • The field of digital education services can also be an area to attract GCC investments and strengthen bilateral cooperation
  • India and the GCC countries have witnessed an extraordinary growth in bilateral defense relations.
  • Liberal FDI Policies can be a major area to attract investments, especially as the GCC countries are among the world’s top defense importers. 
  • There is also a possibility of a multilateral cooperation among India, the UAE and Israel, given that India already has strong bilateral cooperation with both these countries in the defense and security fields.
  • Niche areas such as space exploration, artificial intelligence, cyber security, bioinformatics, renewable energy etc. can be the new areas for cooperation between India and GCC countries.
  • The UAE is fast emerging as a space exploration leader in the Arab world. 
  • The GCC countries, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia, have in recent years invested significantly in the renewable energy sector. 
  • India, being an energy-deficient country with a walloping hunger for energy, should explore possibilities for enhancing cooperation in renewable energy sector.

Connecting the dots:

  • On Gulf reconciliation summit: Click here


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 Which of the following Species of turtle is/are found in India?

  1. Olive Ridley 
  2. Green turtle
  3. Loggerhead 
  4. Hawksbill 
  5. Leather back

Select the correct code:

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 3, 4 and 5 only
  3. 1, 2 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Q.2 Recently, Indo-French Year of the Environment was launched. Consider the themes covered under the same:

  1. Environmental protection
  2. Climate change
  3. Biodiversity conservation
  4. Sustainable rural development

Which of the above is/are correct?

  1. 1, 2 and 3 only
  2. 2 and 4 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1 only

Q.3 Common Trust Network is recently launched by which of the following?

  1. World Economic Forum
  2. World Bank
  3. International Monetary Fund

Q.4 International Energy Agency was established in the framework of which of the following?

  1. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
  2. Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
  3. Association of Southeast Asian Nations 
  4. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development


1 A
2 A
3 A
4 D

Must Read

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