DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 31st August 2021

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  • August 31, 2021
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National Small Industry Day

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-III- Economy

Context: Every year on August 30, the country celebrates National Small Industry Day. 

  • India is home to more than 6.3 crore MSMEs and contributes 45% of the total exports.

Some of the key reforms introduced by Ministry of MSME are:

  • Revision of MSME definition:  The Government revised the MSME classification by inserting composite criteria of both investment and annual turnover. 
  • Udyam Registration: Udyam is an online and simplified procedure of filing of registration which enables MSMEs to obtain registration without any documentation and fees. Ministry of MSME has also commenced integration of Udyam Registration portal with GeM so that MSEs can participate in Government procurement easily.
  • Champions Portal: The platform facilitates a single window solution for all needs of MSMEs. It is an ICT based technology system aimed at making the smaller units big by solving their grievances, encouraging, supporting, helping and handholding throughout the business lifecycle. 
  • National SC-ST Hub (NSSH): It has been launched to promote entrepreneurship culture in the SC-ST community and cater to the challenge of market linkages, finance facilitations, capacity building etc. It helps fulfill the 4% procurement target mentioned in the Public Procurement Policy order, 2018.
  • Self-Reliant India (SRI) Fund: The scheme is expected to facilitate equity financing of Rs.50,000 crore in the MSME Sector. The infusion of equity will also facilitate MSMEs to scale-up their business & growth and provide an opportunity to get MSMEs listed in stock exchanges.
  • Procurement Policy: For providing marketing support to MSEs, all Central Ministries/Government Departments and Central PSUs are required to procure 25% of their annual requirements of goods and services from MSEs including 4% from MSEs owned by SC/ST and 3% from MSEs owned by women entrepreneurs under the Public Procurement Policy. 
  • Establishment of Enterprise Development Centers (EDCs): With a view to provide Information related to MSMEs at one place, Enterprise Development Centres (EDCs)have been conceptualized. Till date Ministry of MSME has set up 102 EDCs across India. The aim of these centers is to build a network of entrepreneurial leaders by providing professional mentoring and handholding support services to existing as well as aspiring MSMEs with special focus on rural enterprises on continuous basis.

Rights to free movement and residence

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-II- Fundamental Rights

Context: The Supreme Court has held that the power of the State to pass an externment order (direction restricting certain people entry to specified areas) should be exercised only in “exceptional cases”.

Key Takeaways

  • The judgment was based on an appeal filed by a journalist, Rahmat Khan, who received an externment order passed by the Maharashtra police. He was banned from entering Amravati City or Amravati rural district for a year.
  • The court said externment orders have their use in maintaining law and order. However, they cannot be employed as retaliatory measure.
  •  A person cannot be denied his fundamental right to reside anywhere in the country or to move freely throughout the country on flimsy grounds

Do You know?

  • Article 19(1)(d) of the Indian Constitution entitles every citizen to move freely throughout the territory of the country.
    • This right is protected against only state action and not private individuals.
    • Moreover, it is available only to the citizens and to shareholders of a company but not to foreigners or legal persons like companies or corporations, etc.
  • According to Article 19(1)(e) of the Constitution, every citizen of India has the right “to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India.”
    • The object of the clause is to remove internal barriers within India or any of its parts.
  • Restrictions on these fundamental rights can only be imposed on two grounds that are mentioned in the Article 19(5) of the constitution -the interests of the general public and the protection of interests of any scheduled tribe.

N. Korea may have restarted N-reactor: IAEA 

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-II- International Organisations

Context: IAEA has reported that Nuclear-armed North Korea appears to have restarted its plutonium-producing reprocessing reactor indicating that North Korea is expanding its banned weapons programme.

  • The development on the 5-megawatt reactor in Yongbyon — North Korea’s main nuclear complex — comes with nuclear talks between North Korea and US at a standstill.
  • IAEA inspectors were kicked out of North Korea in 2009, and the agency has since monitored it from outside.

About International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

  • It is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons. 
  • The IAEA was established as an autonomous organisation on 29 July 1957
  • Though established independently of the United Nations through its own international treaty, the IAEA Statute, the IAEA reports to both the United Nations General Assembly and UN Security Council.
  • The IAEA has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria. 
  • India joined IAEA in 1957.
  • In 2005, it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work for a safe and peaceful world.

Leaded petrol eradicated – UNEP 

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-III – Environment

Context: There is now no country in the world that uses leaded petrol for cars and lorries, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced.

Key Takeaways

  • Lead started being added to petrol in the early 1920s in order to improve engine performance.
  • Leaded Petrol has contaminated air, soil and water for almost a century.
  • It can cause heart disease, cancer and stroke, and has been linked to problems with brain development in children.
  • The UN’s environmental body UNEP has worked with governments, private companies and civic groups to end the use of leaded petrol since 2002.
  • Most high-income countries had banned the fuel by the 1980s, but it was only in July that Algeria –  the last country to use the fuel — exhausted its supplies.
  • Ending the use of leaded petrol will prevent more than one million premature deaths each year from heart disease, strokes and cancer, and it will protect children whose IQs are damaged by exposure to lead

About United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

  • The UNEP is a leading global environmental authority established on 5th June 1972 in the aftermath of Stockholm Conference (Declaration on the Human Environment).
  • Functions: It sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for global environment protection.
  • Major Reports: Emission Gap Report, Global Environment Outlook, Frontiers, Invest into Healthy Planet.
  • Major Campaigns: Beat Pollution, UN75, World Environment Day, Wild for Life.
  • Headquarters: Nairobi, Kenya.
  • The UNEP engages in developing global conventions on the environment and related issues. It hosts the secretariats of various conventions such as:
    • Minamata Convention on Mercury
    • United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity
    • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
    • Basel Convention- Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes
    • Stockholm Convention – on Persistent Organic Pollutants
    • Rotterdam Convention – on Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade
    • Vienna Convention – Protection of the Ozone Layer
    • Montreal Protocol – on reducing substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
    • Convention on Migratory Species

West Nile Virus Infections

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains GS-II- Health

Context: Recently, Russia warned of a possible increase in West Nile Virus (WNV) Infections this autumn as mild temperatures and heavy precipitation create favourable conditions for the mosquitos that carry it.


  • It is a member of the flavivirus genus and belongs to the Japanese encephalitis antigenic complex of the family Flaviviridae.
  • WNV was first isolated in a woman in the West Nile district of Uganda in 1937.
  • It was identified in birds in the Nile delta region in 1953. Before 1997, WNV was not considered pathogenic for birds.
  • Human infections attributable to WNV have been reported in many countries for over 50 year. WNV is commonly found in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America and West Asia.
  • WNV is an infectious disease spread by infected mosquitoes. It spreads from birds to humans with the bite of an infected Culex mosquito. It can lead to a fatal neurological disease in humans.
  • Symptoms:
    • Those infected usually have no symptoms or mild symptoms.
    • The symptoms include a fever, headache, body aches, skin rash, and swollen lymph glands. They can last a few days to several weeks, and usually go away on their own.
    • If West Nile virus enters the brain, it can be life-threatening. It may cause inflammation of the brain, called encephalitis, or inflammation of the tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, called meningitis.
  • Treatment:
    • There are no specific vaccines or treatments for human WNV disease.
    • The best way to avoid WNV is to prevent mosquito bites.

(News from PIB)

Groundwater Mapping

Part of: GS Prelims 

Context: Government says, mapping groundwater sources by CSIR will help utilise groundwater for drinking purposes and supplement “Har Ghar Nal Se Jal” Mission

In News:  

  • Latest state-of-the-art technology is being employed by Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) for mapping ground water sources in arid regions and thus help utilize ground water for drinking to supplement “Har Ghar Nal Se Jal” scheme.
  • In just two years of the Jal Jeevan Mission, more than four and a half crore families have started getting water from taps.
  • Govt. of India has entrusted the responsibility to CSIR-NGRI for mapping ground water sources in arid regions.
  • The entire work will be completed by 2025 with more than 1.5 lakh square kilometers of area with an estimated cost of Rs. 141 Crores. 

About CSIR initiative:

  • CSIR, along with National Geophysical Research Institute NGRI, have undertaken High Resolution Aquifer Mapping & Management in Arid Regions of North Western India to augment the groundwater resources. 
  • The ultimate aim of this project is to map the potential sites for groundwater withdrawal and conservation and results will be used to meet the broader objectives of aquifer mapping, rejuvenation and management of groundwater resources in the arid areas.
  • The Heli-borne geophysical mapping technique of CSIR-NGRI provides a high-resolution 3D image of the sub-surface up to a depth of 500 meters below the ground.
  • This technique is cost-effective, precise and is useful to map large areas (districts/states) within a short time to map the vast extent of groundwater resources in arid regions of our country. 

Water issue in the North Western India:

  • Arid areas in the north western India spread over parts of states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab cover nearly 12% of the total geographical area of the country and is home to more than 8 crore people.
  • With an annual rainfall in the range of less than 100 to 400 mm, this area faces acute shortage of water throughout the year and it is proposed to take up high resolution aquifer mapping and management to augment the groundwater resources.

News Source: PIB

(Mains Focus)


  • GS-2: Fundamental Rights
  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

Delhi High Court on Right to be Forgotten

Context: The Delhi High Court, in a recent case, upheld the view that the “Right to Privacy” includes the “Right to be Forgotten” and the “Right to be Left Alone”.

What are these rights?

  • Right to be forgotten or the right to erasure, is the right to have personal information removed from the Internet and other directories.
  • Right to be left alone – The State or the society will not interfere in the individual choices of a person so long as they do not cause harm to others. State intrusion is allowed only if necessitated by a just, reasonable, and fair law

What is the High Court Case all about?

  • A Bengali actor had filed a petition in the High Court to remove her audition/demo videos of the web series that were circulating on the internet.
  • The videos are being portrayed in a manner that infringes her privacy.
  • Even though the project fell through, she had not permitted the producer of the videos to publish them.
  • Similarly, Ashutosh Kaushik who won reality TV shows Bigg Boss in 2008 and MTV Roadies 5.0 approached the Delhi High Court with a plea saying that his videos, photographs and articles etc. be removed from the internet citing his “Right to be Forgotten”.

What are the Court’s remarks?

  • The Court has already held that “right to privacy” includes the right to be forgotten and the right to be left alone as “inherent aspects”.
  • The court held that explicit videos that are being circulated have a clear and immediate impact on the reputation of the person seen in the videos.
  • The court thus called for protection of the plaintiff from invasion of her privacy on account of such publication/transmission of the videos.

Do You Know?

  • The Right to be Forgotten falls under the purview of an individual’s right to privacy, which is governed by the Personal Data Protection Bill that is yet to be passed by Parliament.
  • In K.S.Puttaswamy Case of 2017, the Right to Privacy was declared a fundamental right by the Supreme Court. It held that the right to privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Connecting the dots:


  • GS-1: Issues relating to Women
  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

Marital rape: an indignity to women

Context: Based on the allegations of wife, charges were framed on husband by a trial court under 

  • Section 376 (rape), 
  • Section 377 (carnal intercourse against the order of nature) 
  • Section 498A (cruelty towards wife by husband or his relatives) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). 

The Chhattisgarh High Court upheld charges under Sections 498A and 377 but discharged the husband under Section 376 

  • Reason: Exception 2 to Section 375 (the definition of rape), sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife (provided she is over the age of 18) would not amount to the offence of rape. 


  1. Inconsistent provisions
    • Other sexual offences make no such exemption for marriage.
    • Thus, a husband may be tried for offences such as sexual harassment, molestation, voyeurism, and forcible disrobing in the same way as any other man.
    • A husband may be charged and tried for non-consensual penetrative sexual interactions other than penile-vaginal penetration with his wife under Section 377 (before Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India, 2018, consent was not relevant to Section 377, but it is now).
  1. Patriarchal beliefs
    • The marital rape exception is an insult to the constitutional goals of individual autonomy, dignity and of gender equality enshrined in fundamental rights such as Article 21 (the right to life) and Article 14 (the right to equality).
    • Non recognition of marital rape means that women’s husband is her sexual master and his right to rape her is legally protected.
    • Presently, marriage signifies perpetual sexual consent by women. This reinforces Patriarchal belief and violates individual autonomy of woman.
    • In Joseph Shine v. Union of India (2018), SC held that the offence of adultery was unconstitutional because it was founded on the principle that a woman is her husband’s property after marriage. Similar principle is not applied while recognising marital rape.

Arguments for providing exemption to marital rape

  • Recognising it destroy the institution of marriage. This was the government’s defence in Independent Thought v. Union of India (2017)
  • Since marriage is a sexual relationship, determining the validity of marital rape allegations would be difficult. 


In 2017, the Supreme Court, in Independent Thought, said that husbands who raped their minor wives could no longer hide behind exemptions provided in Section 375 of IPC. It is high time adult women are afforded the same protection and dignity in marriage.

Connecting the dots:

(AIR Spotlight)

Spotlight 29 (Aug): Discussion on PM Man Ki Baat



  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Discussion on PM Man Ki Baat

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation on the 80th edition of Mann Ki Baat. 
  • The prime minister touched upon a host of topics, including India’s rich spiritual tradition and the boost the sporting culture has received after its performance in the Tokyo Olympics, in the address and also paid glowing tributes to hockey legend Dhyan Chand, saying he conquered the world of hockey for the country.
  • During Sunday’s ‘Mann ki Baat’, Modi also added that the advancements accomplished in the space sector in the country have caught people’s imagination and expressed confidence that a large number of satellites in the coming days will be those on which youngsters from universities, labs and other sectors would have worked upon.

key takeaways from Modi’s address-

Olympics and sports:

  • August 29th is celebrated as National Sports Day in India and also marks the birth anniversary of legendary Major Dhyan Chand.
  • PM Modi said the passion for sports in the youth of the country at the present times is the greatest tribute to Major Dhyan Chand further adding that Indians managed to win a medal in Olympics in the game of Hockey after 4 decades and Major Dhyan Chand will be extremely proud of this young generation, who are working hard to ensure a medal for the country and are putting their best foot forward at the international games.
  • “Irrespective of the number of medals won, no citizen of India enjoys victory until a medal is won in hockey. And this time, in the Olympics, the medal that was won for hockey came our way after four decades,” PM said.

Janmashtami and Iscon

  • Extending greetings for Krishna Janmashtami, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged the countrymen to carry forward the great traditions of the nation.


  • Stating that the toy industry has a huge market of around Rs 6 to 7 lakh crore in the world, the prime minister said that the country’s youth have resolved to make an impact of Indian toys globally and that youth today is focussing on improving the processes, variety and technology in toy-making and experimenting with new things.

Swachh Bharat

  • Lauding the ongoing Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in the country, he lauded Indore city’s progress and talked about the city’s decision to maintain a ‘Water Plus City’.


  • Urging the citizens to cherish and preserve Sanskrit, he said the language helps nurture knowledge and strengthens national unity as Sanskrit helps nurture knowledge and also national unity, strengthens it. 


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.

Q.1) Consider the following statement about Article 19(1)(d)

  1. It entitles every citizen to move freely throughout the territory of the country.
  2. This right is protected against only state action and not private individuals.
  3. It is available to both citizens and legal persons like companies or corporations.

Which of the above statement is/are correct?

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

Q.2) Consider the following statement about International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

  1. It was established by resolution of United Nations General Assembly and reports to UN Security Council
  2. The IAEA has its headquarters in New York 
  3. In 2005, it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work for a safe and peaceful world.
  4. India joined IAEA in 2008 after signing Nuclear deal with USA.

Which of the above statement is/are incorrect?

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

Q.3) Consider the following statements about United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

  1. It sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for global environment protection
  2. It was established in the aftermath of Rio Summit of 1992

Which of the above statement is/are correct?

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


1 C
2 C
3 C

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