DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 19th March 2021

  • IASbaba
  • March 19, 2021
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Stop TB Partnership Board 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – II – Health 

In news

  • Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare has been appointed Chairman of the Stop TB Partnership Board.
  • The Minister will serve a three year term, commencing July 2021. 

Important value additions 

Stop TB Partnership Board

  • Established: 2000. 
  • Objective: To eliminate Tuberculosis as a public health problem.
  • The organization was conceived following the meeting of the First Session of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Tuberculosis Epidemic held in London in March 1998.
  • In 1998, through the Amsterdam Declaration, it gave a call for collaborative action from 20 countries that bear the highest burden of TB.
  • It has 1500 partner organization
  • Secretariat: Geneva, Switzerland.

Do you know? 

  • India has committed to eliminating TB by 2025. 
  • Global deadline is 2030.

SC’s order on Rule Curve for the Mullaperiyar dam 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – I – Geography & GS-II – Judiciary 

In news

  • The Supreme Court said the Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary will be personally responsible and appropriate action will be taken on failure to give information on the ‘rule curve’ for the Mullaperiyar dam to the Supreme Court-appointed Supervisory Committee.

Important value additions 

  • The ‘rule curve’ in a dam decides the fluctuating storage levels in a reservoir.
  • The gate opening schedule of a dam is based on the ‘rule curve’.
  • It is part of the “core safety” mechanism in a dam.

Mullaperiyar Dam

  • It is a masonry gravity dam built at the confluence of Mullayar and Periyar rivers.
  • Location: Kerala 
  • Operated and maintained by: Tamil Nadu.
  • It was constructed between 1887 and 1895 by John Pennycuick 

Initiatives for development of Nomadic Tribes

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – International Relations 

In news

  • Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment informed Rajya Sabha about initiatives for development of Nomadic Tribes.

Key takeaways 

  • The Development and Welfare Board for De-notified (DNTs), Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities was constituted in 2019 for three years extendable up to 5 years.
  • Objective: To promote the socio-economic development of De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities
  • The following schemes are being implemented by the Central Government through State Government/UT for the DNTs:-
    • Ambedkar Pre-Matric and Post-Matric Scholarship for DNT Boys and Girls.
    • Nanaji Deshmukh Scheme of Construction of Hostels for DNT Boys and Girls.
  • A Committee under the Chairmanship of Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog has taken up the task of identification of DNT communities which are yet to be formally classified.
  • NITI Aayog has assigned the task of ethnographic survey of 62 tribes to the Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) to conduct the studies of these communities in different parts of India 

ILO Report on Indian Workers

Part of: GS Prelims and  GS – III –  Economy; Employment 

In news

  • ‘Global Wage Report 2020-21: Wages and minimum wages in the time of COVID-19’ was recently released.
  • Released by: International Labour Organisation 

Key takeaways 

  • The Report comments on various issues including on Indian workers having low average wages, longer hours. 
  • It also reported that the workers in Asia and the Pacific enjoyed the highest real wage growth among all regions over the period 2006–19.
  • The report has taken into account the National Floor Level Minimum Wage which is Rs.176/- per day. 
  • However, actual wages are far higher.
  • If the median of the minimum wages in different states is drawn, it would be Rs.269/- per day in India.

Do you know? 

Code on Wages, 2019 

  • It universalises and creates a statutory right of minimum wages for all workers whether in organized or unorganised sector.
  • A new concept of statutory floor wage has also been introduced in the Code on Wages.
  • The Code also provides that the minimum wages are to be ordinarily reviewed and revised by the appropriate Governments in intervals not exceeding five years.

(Mains Focus)



  • GS-3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment. 
  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

One Nation, One Gas Grid

Context: In January 2021, Prime Minister inaugurated the 450-km natural gas pipeline between Kochi in Kerala to Mangaluru in Karnataka. The event marks an important milestone towards the creation of ‘One Nation One Gas Grid’

Key Features of the pipeline

  • Constructed by: The 450-km pipeline has been built by GAIL (India) Ltd
  • Transportation capacity: 12 million standard cubic metres per day
  • Destination: It will carry natural gas from the liquefied natural gas (LNG) regassification terminal at Kochi to Mangaluru
  • Geographical Challenges: Laying of the pipeline was an engineering challenge as the route of the pipeline necessitated it to cross water bodies at more than 100 locations. This was done through a special technique called horizontal directional drilling method.
  • End Users: The pipeline will supply environment friendly and affordable fuel to households, transportation sector and to commercial and industrial units across the districts along the pipeline.
  • Employment: The construction of this pipeline has generated 1.2 million man days of employment 

One Nation, One Gas Grid

  • The Indian Power system for planning and operational purposes is divided into five regional grids.
  • One Nation, One Gas Grid refers to the integration of these regional grids thus establishing a National Grid for providing energy produced by natural gas to various stakeholders like the central government, the state governments, the public and the private sectors.

Image Source: ICIS

Benefits of One Nation One Grid

  • Connecting the nation: With one nation and one gas grid, the energy produced from natural gas will be supplied to the whole country via a single source.
  • Helps Accelerate Rapid Expansion: In the 27 years before 2014, only a 15,000 km natural gas pipeline was built. But currently work is underway on more than 16,000 km of gas pipeline nationwide which will be complete in the next 5-6 years
  • Addresses regional imbalance: It will help in improving the regional imbalance of gas availability as currently the natural gas is only in limited pockets of the country.
  • Gas Based Economy: The grid will be step towards gas-based economy by increasing the share of natural gas in India’s primary energy mix from 6.2 percent to 15 percent by 2030.
  • Cleaner environment: In times when conventional Sources are depleting and mining is being extended to a greater depth and area, natural gas can prove to be a boon by preventing deforestation and desertification.
  • Helps achieve Paris Climate Goal: India has made a commitment in COP21 Paris Convention in December 2015 that by 2030, it would reduce carbon emission by 33% of 2005 levels. Natural gas, as domestic kitchen fuel, as fuel for transport sector as well as a fuel for industries and commercial units, can play a significant role in reducing carbon emission.

Way Ahead

  • Investing in natural gas should be more encouraged with focus on smaller firms
  • Government should also indulge in educating people about the natural gas economy and its benefits.
  • There is a need more LNG terminals for more upstream production of gas
  • Various players like Union Government, Private Players, State Governments, R&D Organisations (ex: CSIR) and Foreign Players needs to collaborate effectively to make this programme a success.

Connecting the dots:



  • GS-2: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries 

Digital Green Certificates by EU

Context: On March 17, 2021, the European Commission proposed to create a Digital Green Certificate to facilitate the safe and free movement of citizens within the European Union (EU) amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The certificates are expected to be rolled out by the summer, after countries have had the time to set up the required digital infrastructure.

So, what exactly is the Digital Green Certificate?

  • No danger of COVID-19 transmission: A Digital Green Certificate is proof that a person has either been vaccinated against COVID-19, has received a negative test result or has recovered from COVID-19. 
  • Digital Format & Free: The key features of the certificate are that it will be in digital or paper format complete with a QR code and will be free of charge.
  • Issuing Authorities: The certificate can be issued by authorities, including hospitals, testing centres and health authorities. 
  • Lifting of restrictions in coordinated manner: Once the proposal for digital certificates is finalised, it will be accepted in all EU countries and will help to ensure that the restrictions imposed in different areas within the EU can be lifted in a coordinated manner.
  • Eligibility: All EU citizens or third-country nationals who are legally staying in the EU will be able to use these digital certificates and thereby will be exempted from free movement restrictions.
  • Notifying Commission: In case an EU member country requires a person to quarantine or undergo a test, it will have to notify the Commission and all other member states justifying its decision

What is the need for such a document?

  • Waives free movement restrictions: In the EU and across the world, the tourism industry has been severely impacted due to the spread of the disease. Many countries have, therefore, been contemplating digital certificates or passports that will be proof that a person has been vaccinated or has recovered from COVID-19.
  • Israel’s Vaccine Passport Model: In February, Israel became the first country to issue certificates called “vaccine passports” that will allow vaccinated individuals to use some facilities and attend events. 
  • Global Practice: Denmark also said that it was in the process of rolling out digital passports that would act as proof for those individuals who have been vaccinated. Even so, as early as May 2020, countries such as Chile had proposed “release certificates” meant for those who had recovered from COVID-19


  • Stance of WHO: However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had advised against using such certificates because of lack of evidence that a person infected with Covid-19 could not get the infection again.
  • Possibility of re-infection: However, it is now known that re-infection in case of COVID-19 is rare. Research published in the journal Lancet recently points out that most people who have had COVID-19 are protected from re-infection for at least a period of six months. However, the study says that elderly patients are more prone to reinfections.

Connecting the dots:

Can SAARC/BIMSTEC Nations also come with such certificates which helps movement in the subcontinent leading to faster integration of Nations in post-COVID-19 situation?


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 regarding Mullaperiyar Dam:

  1. It is located in Tamil Nadu. 
  2. It is operated and maintained by Kerala

Which of the above is or are correct? 

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

Q.2 Consider the following statements regarding Code on Wages, 2019: 

  1. It creates a statutory right of minimum wages for all workers in organized sector only. 
  2. A new concept of statutory floor wage has also been introduced. 

Which of the above is or are correct? 

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

Q.3 According to IQ Air’s Global air pollution Report, which of the following country has the most polluted cities in the top 15? 

  1. China
  2. India
  3. Bangladesh 
  4. Pakistan


1 D
2 A
3 B

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