DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 17th February 2023

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  • February 18, 2023
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Payment Aggregators

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  • Prelims – Economy

Context: The payments arm of big technology companies Amazon and Google have been given in-principle approval by the RBI to operate as online payment aggregators.

About Payment Aggregators:

  • A payment aggregator or merchant aggregator is a third-party service provider that allows merchants to accept payment from customers by integrating it into their websites or apps.
  • A payment aggregator bridges the gap between merchants and acquirers.
  • A merchant need not have a merchant account directly with the bank.
  • At its core, payment aggregators bear the heavy load of integration with various payment providers to provide an all-inclusive solution for payment acceptance.

Types of payment aggregators in India

  • Third-party payment aggregators:
    • Third-party PAs offer innovative payment solutions to businesses.
    • Their user-friendly features include a comprehensive dashboard, easy merchant onboarding, and quick customer support.
  • Bank payment aggregators:
    • They lack many of the popular payment options along with detailed reporting features.
    • Bank payment aggregators are not suitable for small businesses and startups because of the high cost and difficult to integrate.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Which one of the following situations best reflects “Indirect Transfers” often talked about in media recently with reference to India? (2022)

  1. An Indian company investing in a foreign enterprise and paying taxes to the foreign country on the profits arising out of its investment
  2. A foreign company investing in India and paying taxes to the country of its base on the profits arising out of its investment
  3. An Indian company purchases tangible assets in a foreign country and sells such assets after their value increases and transfers the proceeds to India
  4. A foreign company transfers shares and such shares derive their substantial value from assets located in India

Q.2) Consider the following:

  1. Foreign currency convertible bonds
  2. Foreign institutional investment with certain conditions
  3. Global depository receipts
  4. Non-resident external deposits

Which of the above can be included in Foreign Direct Investments? (2021)

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

Thwaites Glacier/ Doomsday Glacier

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  • Prelims – Geography

Context: Scientists studying Antarctica’s vast Thwaites Glacier say warm water is seeping into its weak spots, worsening melting caused by rising temperatures.

About Thwaites Glacier/ Doomsday Glacier:

  • Thwaites Glacier, nicknamed the Doomsday Glacier, is a broad and vast Antarctic glacier flowing into Pine Island Bay.
  • It is part of the Amundsen Sea.
  • It represents more than half a metre of global sea level rise potential, and could destabilise neighbouring glaciers that have the potential to cause a further three-meter rise.

International Thwaites Collaboration:

  • As part of the International Thwaites Glacier collaboration, a team of 13 U.S. and British scientists monitored the glacier using an underwater robot vehicle known as Ice fin.
  • It was established in 2018.
  • Thwaites Glacier is closely monitored for its potential to raise sea levels.
  • Along with the Pine Island Glacier, it has been described as part of the “weak underbelly” of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Source:  The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Which one of the lakes of West Africa has become dry and turned into a desert? (2022)

  1. Lake Victoria
  2. Lake Faguibine
  3. Lake Oguta
  4. Lake Volta

Q.2) The term “Levant” often heard in the news roughly corresponds to which of the following regions? (2022)

  1. Region along the eastern Mediterranean shores
  2. Region along North African shores stretching from Egypt to Morocco
  3. Region along Persian Gulf and Horn of Africa
  4. The entire coastal Mediterranean Sea of areas

Exercise Dharma Guardian

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  • Prelims – Current events of National and International Importance

Context:  The joint military exercise, “EX DHARMA GUARDIAN”, between India and Japan recently held in Japan.

About Exercise Dharma Guardian:

  • It is an annual training event which is being conducted in India since 2018.
  • The exercise covers platoon level joint training on operations in jungle and semi urban/urban terrain.
  • The joint exercise schedule includes house interventions drills, raid on terrorist hideouts in semi urban terrain, combat first aid, unarmed combat & close quarter combat firing where both sides will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well-developed tactical drills for neutralisation of likely threats.
  • Special emphasis is being laid on enhancing tactical skills to fight global terrorism and on enhancing inter-operability between the forces and to promote Army to Army relations.
  • Troops of the Garhwal Rifles Regiment of the Indian Army and an Infantry Regiment from the Middle Army of the Japan Ground Self Defence Force are participating in the exercise this year to share experiences gained during various operations in order to enhance inter-operability in planning and execution.

Other Military Exercises between India and Japan:

  • Malabar: India and Japan with the United States and Australia participate in the naval wargaming exercise named Malabar.
  • JIMEX (naval)
  • SHINYUU Maitri (Air Force)

Q.1) Consider the following in respect of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS):

  1. Inaugural IONS was held in India in 2015 under the chairmanship of the Indian Navy.
  2. IONS is a voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region.

Which of the above statements is/are correct? (2016)

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

Source:  NewsOnAIR

Mental Healthcare Act, 2017

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  • Prelims – Governance

Context: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in a report flagged the “inhuman and deplorable” condition of all 46 government-run mental healthcare institutions across the country.

About Mental Healthcare Act, 2017:

  • The act provides for the rights of persons with mental illness, including the right to access mental health care and treatment, the right to make decisions about their treatment, the right to confidentiality, and the right to legal aid.
  • It establishes mental health services at the district level to provide access to mental healthcare and Mental Health Review Boards (MHRBs) to oversee the treatment of persons with mental illness and to protect their rights.
  • It decriminalizes attempted suicide, recognizing that suicide is often a symptom of mental illness, and provides care and treatment for persons who attempt suicide.
  • It establishes a Central Mental Health Authority and State Mental Health Authorities to regulate mental healthcare and services and to promote mental health.
  • The act prohibits the use of Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT) without anaesthesia and the use of seclusion and restraint in mental health establishments, except in exceptional circumstances.
  • The act provides for advance directives, which allow individuals to express their preferences for treatment and care in the event that they are unable to make decisions for themselves.
  • The Act discourages using physical restraints (such as chaining), unmodified electro-convulsive therapy (ECT).
  • This Act makes provision for the appointment of nominated representative by the mentally ill person.
    • In case of absence of any recommendation by the mentally ill person, any relative, care giver, suitable persons may be appointed to act as the nominated representative.
  • It provides for the setting up of Central Mental Authority Fund and State Mental Health Authority Fund to keep an account of all the grants, loans, fees, charges, sums etc., made by the authorities under this Act.
  • Provision for Mental Health Review Boards – are quasi-judicial bodies shall be mainly responsible for:
    • Registering, reviewing, altering, modifying or cancelling an advance directive appointing a nominated representative.

Source  TH

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding the Maternity Benefit Amendment Act, 2017? (2019)

  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


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  • Prelims – Science and Technology

Context:  The Prime Minister has shared aerial coverage of Ground and Air display captured from indigenously developed Medium Altitude Long Endurance TAPAS UAV during rehearsal from a height of 12000 feet.

About TAPAS:

  • Tactical Airborne Platform for Aerial Surveillance-Beyond Horizon-201 (TAPAS BH-201) is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
  • It is being developed in the country by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE).
  • It operates at altitudes between 10,000 and 30,000 feet and has a flight endurance of up to 48 hours.
  • It has the capability to fly autonomously or via remote control, allowing for pre-programmed flight plans and operational use in daylight or darkness.
  • However, the Tapas BH-201 drone, equipped with foreign engines and mission sensors

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) With reference to Agni-IV Missile, which of the following statements is/are correct? (2014)

  1. It is a surface-to-surface missile.
  2. It is fuelled by liquid propellant only.
  3. It can deliver one-tonne nuclear warheads about 7500 km away.

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

Source: Financial express

Man Made Fibre

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  • Prelims – Economy

Context: Textile Minister holds first meeting of the newly constituted Textile Advisory Group for Manmade Fibre (MMF).

About Man-made fibres (MMF):

  • Man-made fibres (MMF) are fibres made by man.
  • MMF can be organic or inorganic.
  • Organic MMF can be made from natural materials like wood, or are made from synthetic polymers.

Classification of Man-made Fibres

Synthetic Fibres:

  • Synthetic fibres are synthesis from chemical processes.
  • Examples of synthetic fibres are nylon, acrylic, polyester etc.

Regenerated Fibres:

  • These are semi-synthetic fibres that are made from the raw materials having long chain polymer structures.
  • Modified and are partially degraded during the chemical processes.
  • Made from cellulose polymers that are naturally occurring in cotton, wood, hemp, flax etc.
  • Cellulose is first converted into a pure form of viscous mass and is then converted into fibres by extrusion through spinnerets.
  • The first man-made regenerated fibres are rayon and acetate.

Advantages of MMF: High strength, Retains their original shape, Elastic, Soft, Low cost, Colours can be easily incorporated into man-made fibres, They are lightweight materials and easy manufacturing.

Disadvantages of MMF:

  • Man-made fibres do not absorb moisture and traps heat in our body.
  • Some man-made fibres cause skin allergies due to their dermatological actions.
  • Man-made fibre fails to absorb the perspiration

Source   PIB

Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor 2023

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  • Prelims – Environment and Ecology

Context:  Corporate climate efforts fall short; 24 major companies will be able to reduce only 36% emissions. Only five of 24 companies hit the 90% emission reduction projection by their respective target years.

About the Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor 2023:

  • Published by Germany-based think-tank New Climate Institute (NCI),
  • Objective: To assess the climate strategies of these industry-leading companies, critically analyzing the extent to which they are meeting their climate goals.
  • Findings: The combined Net Zero pledges of 24 major global companies will reduce their total greenhouse-gas emissions by 36 per cent by their respective target years, typically 2040 or 2050, compared with the reduction of at least 90 per cent that is needed.
  • Climate pledges for 2030 fall well short of the economy-wide emission reductions required to stay below the 1.5°C temperature limit.


Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Consider the following statements:

  1. The Climate Group is an international non-profit organisation that drives climate action by building large networks and runs them.
  2. The International Energy Agency in partnership with the Climate Group launched a global initiative “EP100”.
  3. EP100 brings together leading companies committed to driving innovation in energy efficiency and increasing competitiveness while delivering on emission reduction goals.
  4. Some Indian companies are members of EP100.
  5. The International Energy Agency is the Secretariat to the “Under2 Coalition”.

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

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

Q.2) Statement 1: The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the Arbor Day Foundation have recently recognized Hyderabad as 2020 Tree City of the World

Statement 2: Hyderabad was selected for recognition for a year following its commitment to grow and maintain the Urban forests.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements? (2021)

  1. Both Statement 1 and Statement 2 are correct and Statement 2 is the correct explanation for Statement 1
  2. Both Statement 1 and Statement 2 are correct but Statement 2 is not the correct explanation for Statement 1.
  3. Statement 1 is correct but Statement 2 is not correct.
  4. Statement 1 is not correct but Statement 2 is correct.


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  • Prelims – Governance

Context: The role of welfare schemes and policies for the Parhaiyas of Jharkhand.

About the Parhaiyas

  • Parhaiyas is one of the nine Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) of Jharkhand state.
  • Mainly concentrated in Latehar and Palamau districts of Jharkhand state
  • Parhaiyas are still lagging behind on most of the important indicators of development such as health, education, and income.
  • Parahiya literally means “the burners of the forest” or “hill dweller.”
  • People rely on the forest for their sustenance.
    • Collecting various types of forest produce such as roots, fruits and leaves and sell them at the local markets.
  • Hunting is also one of the major sources of income.

About PVTGs

  • Sub-classification of Scheduled Tribe, who are most vulnerable in certain parameter then the other Scheduled Tribe community.
  • During the fourth Five Year Plan a sub-category was created within Scheduled Tribes
  • Created based on the Dhebar Commission report.
  • The features of such a group include
    • a pre-agricultural system of existence,
    • that is practice of hunting and gathering,
    • zero or negative population growth,
    • extremely low level of literacy in comparison with other tribal groups.
  • Groups that satisfied any one of the criterion were considered as PTG.
  • There are total of 75 PVTGs in India.

Source –   TH


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  • Prelims – Art and Culture

Context: The article is based on the controversy surrounding dance form,  “ Lavani “, which has come under criticism for being ‘vulgar’ and ‘obscene’.

About Lavani:

  • Maharashtra folk dance
  • The word Lavani comes from ‘lavanya’ or beauty.
  • Traditional folk art form in which women dancers wearing nine-yard-long sarees in bright colours, make-up, and ghunghroos perform on dholak beats on a stage before a live audience.
  • Lavani has a history going back several centuries
    • It attained particular popularity in the Peshwa era in the 18th century.
  • Traditionally, performances were held in front of kings or lords, and for the entertainment of tired soldiers resting during breaks in fighting.
  • There are several types of Lavani:
    • Most popular is the Shringarik (erotic) kind.

Source –  Indian Express

Recent trend of Current Account Deficit (CAD)

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  • Mains – GS 3 (Economy)

Context:  The recent data indicated that the current account deficit (CAD) will moderate despite the global slowdown triggered by rising inflation and interest rates.

  • According to the RBI, the CAD is expected to moderate in the second half of 2022-23 and remain eminently manageable and within the parameters of viability.

About Current Account and Current Account Deficit:

  • A nation’s Current Account maintains a record of the country’s transactions with other nations. It comprises the following components:
    • trade of goods and services,
    • net earnings on overseas investments and net transfer of payments over a period of time, such as remittances
    • This account goes into a deficit when money sent outward exceeds that coming inward.
  • Calculation:
    • It is measured as a percentage of GDP.
    • Trade gap = Exports – Imports.
    • Current Account = Trade gap + Net current transfers + Net income abroad.

Current Account Deficit:

  • When the value of the goods and services that a country imports exceed the value of the products it exports, it is called the current account deficit.
  • CAD and the fiscal deficit together make up the twin deficits – the enemies of the stock market and investors.
  • Difference with the Balance of Trade:
    • It is slightly different from the Balance of Trade, which measures only the gap in earnings and expenditure on exports and imports of goods and services.
  • Whereas, the current account also factors in the payments from domestic capital deployed overseas.
  • For example, rental income from an Indian owning a house in the UK would be computed in the Current Account, but not in the Balance of Trade.

Significance of CA:

  • If the current account – the country’s trade and transactions with other countries – shows surplus, that indicates money is flowing into the country, boosting the foreign exchange reserves and the value of rupee against the dollar.
  • These are factors that will have ramifications on the economy and the stock markets as well as on returns on investments by people.

Indicator of Economy:

  • CAD may be a positive or negative indicator for an economy depending upon why it is running a deficit.
  • Foreign capital is seen to have been used to finance investments in many economies.
  • It may help a debtor nation in the short-term, but it may worry in the long-term as investors begin raising concerns over adequate return on their investments.
  • India’s current account position is largely on the deficit side because of the country’s dependence on oil imports.

Ways of reducing CAD:

  • The Current Account Deficit can be reduced by boosting exports and curbing non-essential imports such as gold, mobiles, and electronics.

The moderation in CAD, expected to be aided by the following factors:

  • The fall in commodity prices,
  • Rising worker’s remittances and services exports, and
  • Abatement of selling pressure by foreign investors, is set to boost sentiment on the investment front, as it will also bring the pressure off the currency.

Reasons for narrowing trade deficit in recent times:

  • The trade deficit (for Jan 2023) narrowed to $17.7 billion, led by a sharp fall in imports, while exports fell by a smaller amount.
  • The sharp drop in imports was due to:
    • Non-oil imports falling, mainly due to a price impact (softening in coal prices from mid-December),
    • Likely softening in domestic demand post the festive season (such as lower imports of transport equipment), and
    • Seasonal impact of the Chinese New Year holidays.

WAY Forward:

While rising CAD raises concerns among investors as it hurts the currency and thereby the inflow of funds into the markets, a notable decline in CAD has improved market sentiments. Experts believe that CAD is very important for the currency. The value of an economy hinges a lot on the value of its currency and thereby, it also supports the equity markets by keeping the fund flow intact.

Source:  Indian Express

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) With reference to the Indian economy, consider the following statements:

  1. An increase in Nominal Effective Exchange Rate (NEER) indicates the appreciation of rupee.
  2. An increase in the Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) indicates an improvement in trade competitiveness.
  3. An increasing trend in domestic inflation relative to inflation in other countries is likely to cause an increasing divergence between NEER and REER.

Which of the above statements 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 the Indian economy, consider the following statements:

  1. If the inflation is too high, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is likely to buy government securities.
  2. If the rupee is rapidly depreciating, RBI is likely to sell dollars in the market.
  3. If interest rates in the USA or European Union were to fall, that is likely to induce RBI to buy dollars.

Which of the statements 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

Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) Consider the following statements regarding Payment Aggregators”

  1. A payment aggregator or merchant aggregator is a third-party service provider that allows merchants to accept payment from customers.
  2. A merchant must have a merchant account directly with the bank

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) Consider the following:

  1. Exercise Dharma Guardian
  2. Exercise Malabar
  3. SHINYUU Maitri

Which of the exercises mentioned above is/are coordinated by the members of India and Japan?

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

Q.3) The Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor 2023 report was recently released by

  1. United Nations Environment Programme
  2. Germany-based think-tank New Climate Institute
  3. International non-profit organisation – the Climate Group
  4. NITI Aayog

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

ANSWERS FOR ’ 17th February 2023 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.st

ANSWERS FOR 16th February – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – c

Q.2) – d

Q.3) – b

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