DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 14th February 2023

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  • February 14, 2023
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Skye UTM

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  • Prelims – Science and Technology

Context: Recently, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways unveiled Skye UTM, confirmed as the most cutting-edge unmanned traffic management system in the world.

About Skye UTM:

  • It is a Cloud-based aerial traffic management system.
  • It integrates unmanned air traffic with manned aviation airspace.
  • It is capable of handling 4,000 flights per hour.
    • In a day, it can handle 96,000 flights.
  • It will help drone operators with situational awareness, autonomous navigation, traffic management and risk assessment.
  • It will aid in real-time monitoring and speed up highway construction while keeping a check on fatal road accidents.
  • It will display real-time UAV movements and provide verified paths.
  • It captures over 255 parameters of UAV movements and stored them in its ‘Blackbox’.
    • Blackbox: small machine on an aircraft that records the details of each flight and is useful for finding out the cause of a plane crash
  • It will offer the first 3D view of drone airspace.

Source:  Business Standard

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Consider the following:

  1. Aarogya Setu
  2. COWIN
  3. DigiLocker

Which of the above are built on top of open-source digital platforms? (2022)

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

Q.2) Consider the following communication technologies:

  1. Closed-circuit Television
  2. Radio Frequency Identification
  3. Wireless Local Area Network

Which of the above are considered of the Short-Range devices/technologies? (2022)

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

Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP)

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  • Prelims – Geography

Context: The Union government has proposed a mega project to merge two projects – Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) and the Parbati-Kalisindh-Chambal River Link.

About Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP):

  • It is a project aimed at harvesting surplus water available during the rainy season in southern Rajasthan and using it in the water-scarce south-eastern districts of the state.
  • Districts covered: Jhalawar, Baran, Kota, Bundi, Sawai Madhopur, Ajmer, Tonk, Jaipur, Karauli, Alwar, Bharatpur, Dausa, and Dholpur.
  • Rajasthan’s geographical area of 342.52 lakh hectares equals 10.4 per cent of the entire country but holds only 1.16 per cent of India’s surface water and 1.72 per cent of groundwater.
  • Among the state’s water bodies, only the Chambal River basin has surplus water, but this water cannot be tapped directly because the area around the Kota barrage is designated as a crocodile sanctuary.
  • The project will have components including diversion structures, intra-basin water transfers, linking channels, and building pumping main feeder channels to create a network of water channels.
  • Although the project was approved by the Central Water Commission in 2017 it had been put in limbo by the Jal Shakti Ministry of the central government till the “inter-state issues” are resolved between Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

Source:   Indian Express

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Gandikota canyon of South India was created by which one of the following rivers? (2022)

  1. Cauvery
  2. Manjira
  3. Pennar
  4. Tungabhadra

Q.2) Consider the following pairs:

Reservoirs        :     States

  1. Ghataprabha :     Telangana
  2. Gandhi Sagar :     Madhya Pradesh
  3. Indira Sagar :     Andhra Pradesh
  4. Maithon :     Chhattisgarh

How many pairs given above are not correctly matched?

  1. Only one pair
  2. Only two pairs
  3. Only three pairs
  4. All four pairs

microLED display

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  • Prelims – Science and Technology

Context: Apple has recently shifted to microLED display technology.

About microLED display:

  • They are self-illuminating diodes.
  • They are brighter and has better colour reproduction than Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) display technology.
  • It is filled with small sapphires that have strong light.
  • Sapphires shine on its own forever.
  • The picture in it is generated by many individual light-emitting diodes.
  • It is as small as cutting a centimetre of hair into 200 smaller piece
  • Each microLEDs are semiconductors that receive electric signals.
  • Combined microLEDs forms a module which are then combined to form screens.
  • They are resolution-free, bezel-free, ratio-free, and size-free.
  • It does not require backlighting or colour filters to produce red, green, and blue colours.

Source: The Hindu  

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) With reference to Web 3.0, consider the following statements:

  1. Web 3.0 technology enables people to control their own data.
  2. In Web 3.0 world, there can be blockchain based social networks.
  3. Web 3.0 is operated by users collectively rather than a corporation

Which of the following given above are correct? (2022)

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

Q.2) With reference to street lighting, how do sodium lamps differ from LED lamps? (2021)

  1. Sodium lamps produce light at 360 degrees but it is not so in the case of LED lamps.
  2. As street lights, sodium lamps have a longer life span than LED lamps.
  3. The spectrum of visible light from sodium lamps is almost monochromatic while LED lamps offer significant colour advantages in street lighting.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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


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  •    Prelims: Polity and Governance

Context: Union Budget 2023-2024 has allocated nearly Rs 100 crore for the National Action for Mechanised Sanitation Ecosystem (NAMASTE).

About NAMASTE Scheme:

  • It was launched in 2022 as a Central Sector Scheme.
  • The scheme is being undertaken jointly by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (MoSJE) and aims to eradicate unsafe sewer and septic tank cleaning practices.

Objectives of the scheme:

  • Zero fatalities in sanitation work in India.
  • All sanitation work is performed by skilled workers.
  • No sanitation workers come in direct contact with human faecal matter.
  • Sanitation workers are collectivised into Self Help Groups (SHGs) and are empowered to run sanitation enterprises.
  • Strengthened supervisory and monitoring systems at National, State and Urban Local Body (ULB) levels to ensure enforcement and monitoring of safe sanitation work.

What are the Key Features of the Scheme to be Implemented in all ULBs?

  • Identification: NAMASTE envisages identifying the Sewer/Septic Tank Workers (SSWs).
  • Occupational Training and distribution of PPE Kits to SSWs.
  • Assistance for Safety Devices to Sanitation Response Units (SRUs).
  • Extending Health Insurance Scheme Benefits to identified SSWs and their families under the Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY).
  • Livelihood Assistance: The Action Plan will promote mechanization and enterprise development by providing funding support and subsidy (capital +interest) to the sanitation workers, to procure sanitation related equipment’s.

IEC (Information Education and Communication) Campaign:

  • Massive campaigns would be undertaken jointly by the ULBs & NSKFDC (National Safai Karamcharis Finance & Development Corporation) to spread awareness about the interventions of NAMASTE.

Source:     NewsOnAIR

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) In India under cyber insurance for individuals, which of the following benefits are generally covered, in addition to payment for the loss of funds and other benefits? (2020)

  1. Cost of restoration of the computer system in case of malware disrupting access to one’s computer
  2. Cost of a new computer if some miscreant wilfully damages it, if proved so
  3. Cost of hiring a specialized consultant to minimize the loss in case of cyber extortion
  4. Cost of defence in the Court of Law if any third party files a suit

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Q.2) Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding the Maternity Benefit Amendment Act, 2017?

  1. Pregnant women are entitled for three months pre-delivery and three months post-delivery paid leave.
  2. Enterprises with creches must allow the mother minimum six creche visits daily.
  3. Women with two children get reduced entitlements.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

Inclusive Forum on Carbon Mitigation Approaches

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  • Prelims – Environment

Context: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OEDC) launched Inclusive Forum on Carbon Mitigation Approaches.

About Inclusive Forum on Carbon Mitigation Approaches:

  • It aims to help improve the global impact of emissions reduction efforts around the world through better data and information sharing, evidence-based mutual learning and inclusive multilateral dialogue.

Objectives of the Forum:

  • To take stock of mitigation policy instruments that countries use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and estimate the emissions.
  • To develop and apply a consistent methodology to assess the effects of mitigation policies and policy packages on emission reductions at the country level.
  • First meeting: Paris, France
  • It will help policymakers to showcase and discern good practices and adopt and adapt mitigation policies.
  • It will complement other international efforts on climate policy data, including in the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Enhanced Transparency Framework.
  • 133 countries around the world, representing around 91% of global GDP and covering around 83% of global emissions, have adopted net-zero carbon emissions targets.

Source: OECD


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  • Prelims: Environment and Ecology

Context: The blackbuck population has increased threefold in Odisha’s Ganjam district.

About Blackbuck:

  • The Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra), or the Indian Antelope, is a species of antelope native to India and Nepal.
  • The blackbuck is a diurnal antelope (active mainly during the day).

Protection Status:

  • Wildlife Protection Act 1972: Schedule I
  • IUCN Status: Least Concern
  • CITES: Appendix III
  • It has been declared as the State Animal of Punjab, Haryana, and Andhra Pradesh.

Habitat of Blackbuck

  • They inhabit grassy plains and thin forest areas with easily available water resources.
  • It inhabits several protected areas of India, including:
    • Gir National Park, Gujarat
    • Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary, Bihar
    • Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
    • Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
    • Ranebennur Blackbuck Sanctuary, Karnataka
    • Vallanadu Wildlife Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu


  • Habitat Fragmentation, Deforestation, Natural Calamities, Illegal Hunting.
  •  Blackbucks were sighted in the Balukhand-Konark wildlife sanctuary in the Puri district through 2012-13

Balukhand Wildlife Sanctuary: 

  • The Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Odisha,  along the Bay of Bengal coast, between the towns of Puri and Konark.
  • Important Species found: Blackbuck and Spotted Deer.

Source:          Down to earth

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Which of the following is not a bird? (2022)

  1. Golden Mahseer
  2. Indian Nightjar
  3. Spoonbill
  4. White Ibis

Q.2) Certain species of which one of the following organisms are well known as cultivators of fungi? (2022)

  1. Ant
  2. Cockroach
  3. Crab
  4. Spider


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  • Prelims – History

Context: Rakhigarhi is an endangered Harappan site in Haryana.

About Rakhigarhi:

  • Rakhigarhi is an archaeological site located in Hisar district (Haryana), in the Ghaggar-Hakra river plain.
  • Rakhigarhi is the largest Harappan site in the Indian subcontinent
    • Dating back to 2600-1900 BCE.
  • The site is in danger of being destroyed by rampant soil mining, encroachment, and theft of excavated artefacts for sale.

Major Findings of the Site:


  • It is a mature Harappan phase and is represented by a planned township having mud-brick as well as burnt-brick houses with a proper drainage system.

Seals and Pottery:

  • A cylindrical seal with five Harappan characters on one side and a symbol of an alligator on the other is an important find from this site.
  • The ceramic industry was represented by red ware, which included dish-on-stand, vase, perforated jar among others.

Rituals and Burials:

  • Animal sacrificial pits lined with mud-brick and triangular and circular fire altars on the mud floor
  • Two female skeletons, who were buried with a plethora of pottery and adorned jewellery like jasper, agate beads and shell bangles, have been excavated.

Other Antiquities:

  • Blades; terracotta and shell bangles, beads of semi-precious stones, and copper objects; animal figurines, toy cart frame and wheel of terracotta; bone points; inscribed steatite seals and sealings.

Source –Times of India

Previous Year Questions (PYQ)

Q.1) With reference to the difference between the culture of Rigvedic Aryans and Indus Valley people, which of the following statements is/are correct? (2017)

  1. Rigvedic Aryans used the coat of mail and helmet in warfare whereas the people of Indus Valley Civilization did not leave any evidence of using them.
  2. Rigvedic Aryans knew gold, silver and copper whereas Indus Valley people knew only copper and iron.
  3. Rigvedic Aryans had domesticated the horse whereas there is no evidence of Indus Valley people having been aware of this animal.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Q.2) Which of the following characterizes/characterize the people of Indus Civilization? (2013)

  1. They possessed great palaces and temples.
  2. They worshipped both male and female deities.
  3. They employed horse-drawn chariots in warfare.

Select the correct statement/statements using the codes given below:

  1. 1 and 2 only9
  2. 2 only
  3. 1, 2 and 3
  4. None of the statements given above is correct


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  • Prelims – Science and Technology

Context: US Scientists discover new ‘quasicrystal’ in Nebraska, US.

About Quasicrystal:

  • Quasicrystal is essentially a crystal-like substance.
    • However, unlike a crystal, in which atoms are arranged in a repeating pattern, a quasicrystal consists of atoms that are arranged in a pattern that doesn’t repeat itself regularly
  • It’s also the first time that researchers have found a quasicrystal somewhere other than meteorites or the debris from nuclear blasts.
  • Notably, scientists have been producing them in laboratories for years now, but it’s quite rare to discover naturally occurring quasicrystals.
  • For the longest time, physicists believed every crystalline arrangement of atoms must have a pattern that repeats itself perfectly over and over again.
  • However, this changed in 1982, when material scientist Dan Shechtman discovered crystal structures that are mathematically regular, but that do not repeat themselves.
  • For his discovery, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2011.
  • Quasicrystals known to “possess novel electrical, photonic, and mechanical properties that aren’t found in other materials, making them an attractive prospect for materials scientists”.

Source –  Indian Express

Previous Year Questions

Which one of the following is the context in which the term “qubit” is mentioned?

  1. Cloud Services
  2. Quantum Computing
  3. Visible Light Communication Technologies
  4. Wireless Communication Technologies

Q.2) With reference to visible light communication (VLC) technology, which of the following statements are correct? (2020)

  1. VLC uses electromagnetic spectrum wavelengths 375 to 780nm
  2. VLC is known as long-range optical wireless communication
  3. VLC can transmit large amounts of data faster than Bluetooth
  4. VLC has no electromagnetic interference

Select the correct answer using the code given below

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

Market Access Initiative (MAI)

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  • Prelims – Economy

Context: Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) inaugurated the first edition of up next India 2023 in presence of international buyers and exhibitors.

  • This initiative is in the form of a series of Reverse Buyer Seller meet under the name of “UPNEXT INDIA”.
    • Reverse Buyer Seller Meet is to provide an opportunity for prospective importers (Buyers) to interact with their Indian counterparts (sellers) about the requirements, instead of sellers going to buyers to sell their products.
  • Up next India is organised by AEPC and supported by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry under the Market Access Initiative (MAI) Scheme.

Market Access Initiative (MAI):

  • It is an Export Promotion Scheme. The scheme aims to act as a catalyst to promote India’s exports on a sustained basis.
  • The scheme is formulated on the basis of the product and country focus approach. It will evolve specific markets and specific products through market studies/surveys.

Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC):

  • Incorporated in 1978, AEPC is the official body of apparel exporters in India
  • It provides invaluable assistance to Indian exporters as well as importers/international buyers who choose India as their preferred sourcing destination for garments.

Source – PIB

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Which of the following is/are the aim/aims of “Digital India” Plan of the Government of India ? (2018)

  1. Formation of India’s own Internet companies like China did.
  2. Establish a policy framework to encourage overseas multinational corporations that collect Big Data to build their large data centres within our national geographical boundaries.
  3. Connect many of our villages to the Internet and bring Wi-Fi to many of our schools, public places and major tourist centres.

Select the correct answer using the code given below :

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

Q.2) With reference to organic farming in India, consider the following statements:

  1. ‘The National ‘Programme for Organic Production’ (NPOP) is operated under the guidelines and ‘directions of the Union Ministry of Rural Development.
  2. ‘The Agricultural and Processed Food Product Export Development Authority ‘(APEDA) functions as the Secretariat for the implementation of NPOP.
  3. Sikkim has become India’s first fully organic State.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (2018)

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

India - USA space cooperation

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  • Mains – GS 3 (Science and Technology)

Context: India and the United States agreeing to advance space collaboration in several areas, under the ‘initiative on critical and emerging technology’ (ICET) umbrella, including human space exploration and commercial space partnership, comes at a crucial time for both countries.

  • This follows from the eighth meeting of the U.S.-India Civil Space Joint Working Group (CSJWG), that was held on January 30-31, 2023.

Space research cooperation:

  • In November 2022, the U.S. kicked off its Artemis programme by launching the Orion spacecraft towards the moon and bringing it safely back to earth.
  • India itself is set to embark on its first human spaceflight mission (Gaganyaan) in 2024.

  • The two countries have also taken significant strides in advancing the private space sector.
  • Together, these endeavours will shape and impact S. and Indian space policies and programmes over the next decade.
  • In this context, a S.-India collaboration seems straightforward.
  • India could secure technologies and expertise by collaborating with an advanced spacefaring nation; the U.S. could strengthen its relationship with India on a matter that seems less controversial than others.
  • But it is not straightforward: certain structural factors limit the extent to which the U.S. and India can collaborate in the short term.
  • This is why India-U.S. cooperation can advance at a measured pace, to enable sustainable long-term civilian and military space partnerships.

Structural factors which hinders sustained long term cooperation:

The mismatch in the two nations’ interests in outer space:

  • India’s scientific community is, at present, focused on building the nation’s capability in and under earth orbits (such as low earth orbit).
  • But The US has committed to returning to the moon — and this time to stay there for the long term.
  • Thus they are not focused on, as India is, maintaining capabilities in low-Earth orbit.

The asymmetry in capabilities:

  • The U.S. has the highest number of registered satellites in space.
  • It also has a range of launch vehicles serving both commercial and national-security needs.
  • The American private sector has also assumed the challenge of replacing the International Space Station by 2030 with many smaller stations.
    • The greatest challenge for India here is lack of capacity.
  • The country has just over 60 satellites in orbit and cannot undertake double-digit launches annually.
  • The Indian government also opened the space industry to the private sector only in 2020.

NASA’s Artemis Programme:

  • NASA’s Artemis mission is touted as the next generation of lunar exploration, and is named after the twin sister of Apollo from Greek mythology.
  • With the Artemis programme, NASA aims to land humans on the moon by 2024, and it also plans to land the first woman and first person of colour on the moon.
  • NASA will establish an Artemis Base Camp on the surface and a gateway (the lunar outpost around the Moon) in lunar orbit to aid exploration by robots and astronauts.
  • Canadian Space Agency, the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are also involved in this mission.

ISRO’s Gaganyaan Mission:

  • Gaganyaan is an Indian crewed orbital spacecraft that is intended to send 3 astronauts to space for a minimum of seven days by 2023, as part of the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme.
  • It will be for the first time that India will launch its manned mission to space, making the country fourth in line to have sent a human to space.

Solutions lies ahead:

  • Sustain the engagement between academics, the private sector and state-led entities in the two countries.
    • For example, collaborating on highly specialised projects such as the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission.
  • But these solutions are slow and not entirely suited for the new space age, where diplomacy struggles to keep up with the rate of technological innovation.
  • Promoting partnership between state and private entities.
    • For example, recently signed a convention of American and Indian aerospace companies to advance collaboration under the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) programme.
  • India could send its astronauts to train at American private companies.
    • This could help India reduce its dependence on Russia while ISRO builds its own astronaut training centre.
  • Promoting a consortium led by the government-owned NewSpace India Limited which involves private companies in the U.S.
  • This setup could accelerate India’s human spaceflight programme and give the U.S. an opportunity to accommodate Indian interests in earth orbits.

Way Forward:

India and USA can break new frontiers in space research and strategic cooperation as ‘natural allies’. But for that, Indian space agency and private sector must build their capacity and bridge the existing gap with USA.

Space industry observers believe that the space sector is poised for a three-fold expansion in the next two decades, propelled by the miniaturisation of satellites and the growing presence of a range of private players. As a result, India must rapidly develop its space capabilities, and cooperation with the world’s largest and most advanced space nation is the need of the hour.

Source : The Hindu

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) If a major solar storm (solar flare) reaches the Earth, which of the following are the possible effects on the Earth?

  1. GPS and navigation systems could fail.
  2. Tsunamis could occur at equatorial regions.
  3. Power grids could be damaged.
  4. Intense auroras could occur over much of the Earth.
  5. Forest fires could take place over much of the planet.
  6. Orbits of the satellites could be disturbed.
  7. Shortwave radio communication of the aircraft flying over polar regions could be interrupted.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1, 2, 4 and 5 only
  2. 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 only
  3. 1, 3, 4, 6 and 7 only
  4. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7

Q.2) Which one of the following is a reason why astronomical distances are measured in light-years? (2021)

  1. Distance among stellar bodies do not change
  2. Gravity of stellar bodies does not change
  3. Light always travels in straight line
  4. Speed of light is always same

Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) Consider the following statements regarding National Action for Mechanised Sanitation Ecosystem (NAMASTE):

  1. It was launched in 2022 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
  2. The scheme is being undertaken jointly by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Q.2) The Inclusive Forum on Carbon Mitigation Approaches aims to help improve the global impact of emissions reduction efforts around the world through better data and information sharing, evidence-based mutual learning and inclusive multilateral dialogue. It was recently launched by

  1. World Bank
  2. World Economic Forum
  3. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  4. United Nations Environmental Programme

Q.3) The Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary is located in

  1. West Bengal
  2. Odisha
  3. Karnataka
  4. Rajasthan

Comment the answers to the above questions in the comment section below!!

ANSWERS FOR ’ 14th February 2023 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.st

ANSWERS FOR 13th February – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – b

Q.2) – c

Q.3) – c

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