DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 31st March 2023

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  • March 31, 2023
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  • Prelims –Science and technology

Context: Recently, Delhi reported an uptick in COVID-19 cases, compelling the health department to hold an emergency meeting.

About COVID-19:-

  • Covid-19 is spread via airborne droplets (sneezing coughing) or contact with the surface.
  • The incubation period (interval between being infected and showing symptoms) is not very accurately known.
  • Coronavirus is also known as COVID-19.
  • This disease is caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus(SARS-CoV-2).
  • It is an infectious disease that spreads from person to person.


IMAGE SOURCE: Trending Clinical Topic: COVID-19 (medscape.com)

  • The outer layer of this virus is covered with spike-like proteins which surround it like a crown, thus named COVID.

COVID-19 Diagnostic tests:-

  • Viral tests: Mainly laboratory tests done by doctors.
  • Antibody test:
    • It is a kind of blood test that determines the body’s status before exposure to COVID-19 and the body’s antibody stamina.
    • The body takes 12 days to make enough antibodies to get identified in a test.

Important Variants:-

IMAGE SOURCE: What is a variant? An expert explains | News | Wellcome

  • Over time, the virus may start to differ slightly in terms of its genetic sequence.
  • These changes to the viral genetic sequence during this process are known as
  • Viruses with new mutations are sometimes called Variants.
  • Variants can differ by one or multiple mutations.
  • All strains are variants, but not all variants are strains.

XE Variant of Coronavirus:-

  • XE is a sub-variant of Omicron, which caused the third wave of Covid-19.
  • It was suspected of a woman in Mumbai, India in 2022.
  • The Omicron variant, which is responsible for over 90% of the infections detected in 2022, has two prominent sub-variants, called 1 and BA.2.
  • The XE variant is what is called a ‘recombinant’.
  • This means it contains the mutations found in BA.1 as well as BA.2 varieties of Omicron.




Q.1) Consider the following: (2022)

  1. Aarogya Setu
  2. COWIN
  3. DigiLocker

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

  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) In the context of vaccines manufactured to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic, consider the following statements: (2022)

  1. The Serum Institute of India produced a COVID-19 vaccine named Covishield using an mRNA platform.
  2. The Sputnik V vaccine is manufactured using a vector-based platform.
  3. COVAXIN is an inactivated pathogen-based vaccine.

Which of the statements given above is correct?

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

Uncontrolled Re-entry of satellites


  • Prelims –Science and Technology

Context: Recent studies show that aeroplanes may face a growing risk of being hit by uncontrolled re-entries of rockets used to launch satellites.

About Uncontrolled Re-entry of satellites:-

IMAGE SOURCE: Everything about ISRO: History and Mission: Planets Education

  • In an uncontrolled re-entry, the rocket stage simply falls.
  • Its path down is determined by its shape, angle of descent, air currents and other characteristics.
  • It disintegrates as it falls.


  • As the smaller pieces fan out, the potential radius of impact will increase on the ground.
  • Some pieces burn up entirely while others don’t.
  • But because of the speed at which they’re travelling, debris can be deadly.
  • If re-entering stages still hold fuel, atmospheric and terrestrial chemical contamination is another risk.


  • There is no international binding agreement to ensure rocket stages always perform controlled re-entries nor on the technologies with which they can be controlled.
  • The Liability Convention, 1972 requires countries to pay for damages, not prevent them.
    • These technologies include wing-like attachments, de-orbiting brakes, extra fuel on the re-entering body, and design changes that minimise debris formation.




Q.1) Which one of the following statements best reflects the idea behind the “Fractional Orbital Bombardment System” often talked about in media? (2022)

  1. A hypersonic missile is launched into space to counter the asteroid approaching the Earth and explode it in space.
  2. A spacecraft lands on another planet after making several orbital motions.
  3. A missile is put into a stable orbit around the Earth and deorbits over a target on the Earth.
  4. A spacecraft moves along a comet with the same surface. speed and places a probe on its

Q.2) With reference to India’s satellite launch  vehicles, consider the following statements: (2018)

  1. PSLVs launch satellites useful for Earth resources monitoring whereas GSLVs are designed mainly to launch communication satellites.
  2. Satellites launched by PSLV appear to remain permanently fixed in the same position in the sky, as viewed from a particular location on Earth.
  3. GSLV Mk III is a four-stage launch vehicle with the first and third stages using solid rocket motors, and the second and fourth stages using liquid rocket engines.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct.?

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

Climate change impact on Salt Marshes


  • Prelims –Environment and Ecology

Context: Recent studies show that more than 90% of the world’s salt marshes may soon succumb to sea level rise.

About Salt Marshes:-

  • These are types of wetlands.
    • Wetlands: Lands transitional between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water.
  • These are periodically saturated, flooded, or ponded with water.
  • They are characterized by herbaceous (non-woody) vegetation adapted to wet soil conditions.
  • They are further characterized as tidal marshes and non-tidal marshes.

Marshes are often divided into:-

Freshwater Swamps

  • These are often found hundreds of kilometres from the coast.
  • These are dominated by grasses and aquatic plants.
  • These marshes often develop around lakes and streams.

Saltwater Marshes

  • These are some of the richest ecosystems for biodiversity.
  • They are dominated by grasses.
  • They provide food and shelter for algae, fungi, shellfish, fish, amphibians, and reptiles.
  • A few mangrove trees may dot saltwater marshes, but they are dominated by grasses and a layer of algae called an algal mat.
  • This algal mat is home to many insects and amphibians.

Wetlands in India

  • Globally, wetlands cover 4 per cent of the geographical area of the world
  • The ‘Convention on Wetlands’ is called the Ramsar Convention.
    • It was signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971.
    • It is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

Ramsar sites in India:-

IMAGE SOURCE: Ramsar Convention | The Official Website of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India (moef.gov.in)

MUST READ: India Designates 5 New Ramsar Sites



Q.1) “R2 Code of Practices” constitute a tool available for promoting the adoption of (2021)

  1. Environmentally responsible practices in the electronics recycling industry
  2. Ecological management of ‘’Wetlands of International Importance” under the Ramsar Convention
  3. Sustainable practices in the cultivation of agricultural crops in degraded lands
  4. ‘’Environmental Impact Assessment’’ in the exploitation of natural resources

Q.2) Consider the following statements: (2019)

  1. Under Ramsar Convention, it is mandatory on the part of the Government of India to protect and conserve all the wetlands in the territory of India
  2. The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 were framed by the Government of India based on the recommendations of the Ramsar Convention
  3. The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 also encompass the drainage area or catchment regions of the wetlands as determined by the authority

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

EOS-06 Satellite


  • Prelims –Science and Technology

Context: Recently, ISRO released images captured by EOS-06 SATELLITE.

About EOS-06 Satellite:-

  • It is the third-generation satellite in the Oceansat series.
  • This is to provide continuity services for Oceansat-2 spacecraft with enhanced payload specifications as well as application areas.
  • Payloads:-
    • Ocean Color Monitor (OCM-3)
    • Sea Surface Temperature Monitor (SSTM)
    • Ku-Band Scatterometer (SCAT-3)
    • ARGOS

Mission Objectives:-

  • To ensure the data continuity of Ocean colour and wind vector data to sustain the operational applications.
  • To improve the applications.
  • Some additional datasets such as Sea Surface Temperature and more bands in the Optical region for fluorescence and in the Infrared region for atmospheric corrections are accommodated.
  • To improve related algorithms and data products to serve in well-established application areas and to enhance the mission utility.

MUST READ: Satellite Broadband Services



Q.1) Which one of the following is a reason why astronomical distances are measured in light-years? (2021)

  1. Distance among stellar bodies does not change
  2. The gravity of stellar bodies does not change
  3. Light always travels in straight lines
  4. Speed of light is always the same

Q.2) With reference to the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), consider the following statements : (2018)

  1. IRNSS has three satellites in geostationary and four satellites in geosynchronous orbits.
  2. IRNSS covers the entire India and about 5500 sq. km beyond its borders.
  3. India will have its own satellite navigation system with full global coverage by the middle of 2019.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 1 and 2 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. None

Piezoelectric effect


  • Prelims –Science and Technology

Context: Researchers have reported evidence of the Piezoelectric effect in liquids recently.

About Piezoelectric effect:-


  • The Piezoelectric effect was discovered in 1880, in quartz, by Jacques and Pierre Curie.
  • Piezo’ meaning to press or to squeeze.
  • Piezoelectricity is the generation of electric charges in certain solid materials in response to applied mechanical stress.
  • Piezoelectric property essentially is based on the interplay between mechanical and electrical features of a material.
  • The bonds that keep materials together are electrons and these electrons are the basis for electricity.
  • There exists a connection between material mechanics and material electronics.
  • Therefore, changing one will impact the other.
  • The effect has been known for 143 years and in this time has been observed only in solids.
  • Uses:
    • Piezoelectric materials are used in a variety of applications, such as in sensors, actuators, and energy harvesting devices.
    • Some examples of common piezoelectric materials include quartz, ceramics, and certain types of crystals.

MUST READ: Lithium-Ion Batteries



Q.1) Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) are used to create digital displays in many devices. What are the advantages of OLED displays over Liquid Crystal displays? (2017)

  1. OLED displays can be fabricated on flexible plastic substrates.
  2. Roll-up displays embedded in clothing can be made using OLEDs.
  3. Transparent displays are possible using OLEDs.

Select the correct answer using the code given below

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

Q.2) With reference to ‘fuel cells’ in which hydrogen-rich fuel and oxygen are used to generate electricity, consider the following statements : (2015)

  1. If pure hydrogen is used as a fuel, the fuel cell emits heat and water as by-products.
  2. Fuel cells can be used for powering buildings and not for small devices like laptop computers.
  3. Fuel cells produce electricity in the form of Alternating Current (AC).

Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

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

Rajender Prasad


  • Prelims –(Important Personalities)Modern Indian History


About Rajender Prasad:-

  • He was the first president of India, in office from 1952 to 1962.
  • A supporter of Mahatma Gandhi, Prasad was imprisoned by British authorities during the Salt Satyagraha of 1931 and the Quit India movement of 1942
  • In the early 1920s, he became the editor of a Hindi weekly Desh and an English biweekly,
  • Indian National Movement:
    • He attended the 1906 Calcutta session of Indian National Congress.
    • He joined the party in 1911 and later elected to the All India Congress Committee.
    • He was highly impressed by Mahatma Gandhi and he supported Gandhi during the Satyagraha Movement against Indigo Planters in Champaran, 1917 ,Bihar.
    • He later quit his lucrative career as a lawyer in 1920 and jumped into Freedom Struggle Movement and participated in the Non-Cooperation Movement.
    • He led the Non-Cooperation Movement in Bihar
    • He started the National College in Patna in 1921 to promote Swadeshi asking people to boycott foreign goods.
    • He set up the Quetta Central Relief Committee in Sindh and Punjab under his own presidency after 1935 Quetta Earthquake.
  • Hewas elected as the President of the Bombay Session of the Indian National Congress in 1934.
  • He was also elected as the President for second time in 1939 after Subhash Chandra Bose resigned from his post
  • He became president of INC the third time President of INC in 1947 when J.B.Kripalani resigned from his post.

Contribution to Constitution Making:-

  • In 1946, Rajendra Prasad joined the Interim Government of India as the Minister of Food and Agriculture.
  • As a firm believer in the maximization of agricultural production, he crafted the slogan “Grow More Food.”
  • He was elected as a member of the Constituent Assembly from the Bihar Province where he served as the president of the Constituent Assembly from 1946 to 1950.
  • On 24th January 1950, at the last session of the Constituent Assembly, Prasad was elected as the President of India
  • He has the distinction of being the only President to have been re-elected for a second term.
  • Committees of Constituent Assembly under the chairmanship of Dr. Prasad includes:
    • Ad hoc Committee on the National flag
    • Committee on the Rules of Procedure
    • Finance and Staff Committee
    • Steering Committee

Literary Works:-

  • Satyagraha at Champaran (1922)
  • India Divided (1946)
  • Atmakatha (1946) his autobiography written during his 3 year prison term in Bankipur Jail
  • Mahatma Gandhi and Bihar, Some Reminiscences (1949)
  • Bapu Ke Kadmon Mein (1954)
  • Since Independence (1960)

MUST READ: C.Rajagopalachari



Q.1) Who among the following was associated as Secretary with Hindu Female School which later came to be known as Bethune Female School? (2022)

  1. Annie Besant
  2. Debandranath Tagore
  3. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
  4. Sarojini Naidu

Q.2) He wrote biographies of Mazzini, Garibaldi, Shivaji and Shrikrishna; stayed in America for some time; and was also elected to the Central Assembly. He was (2018)

  1. Aurobindo Ghosh
  2. Bipin Chandra Pal
  3. Lala Lajpat Rai
  4. Motilal Nehru

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)


  • Prelims –Disaster Management Institutions

Context: NDRF, SDRF and Army contingent were called in during rescue and relief operations after an accident took place during a Ram Navami function at a temple in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

About the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF):-

  • It is an Indian specialized force .
  • It was constituted “for the purpose of special response to a threatening disaster situation or disaster” under the Disaster Management Act, 2005
  • It comes under Ministry of Home Affairs
  • It is the only dedicated disaster response force in the world
  • The Apex Body for Disaster Management in India is the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
  • The Chairman of the NDMA is the Prime Minister.
  • The head of the NDRF is designated as Director General.
    • The Director Generals of NDRF are IPS officers on deputation from Indian police organisations.
    • Director General is a three-star officer.

Working of NDRF:-

  • The responsibility of managing disasters in India is that of the State Government.
  • When ‘calamities of severe nature’ occur, the Central Government is responsible for providing aid and assistance to the affected state, including deploying, at the State’s request, of Armed Forces, Central Paramilitary Forces, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and such communication, air and other assets, as are available and needed.


  • National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is a force of 12 battalions, organized on para-military lines, and manned by persons on deputation from the para-military forces of India.
  • These include:-
    • three Border Security Force
    • three Central Reserve Police Force
    • two Central Industrial Security Force
    • two Indo-Tibetan Border Police and
    • two Sashastra Seema Bal.

MUST READ: State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF)



Q.1) In the South Atlantic and South-Eastern Pacific regions in tropical latitudes, cyclones do not originate. What is the reason? (2015)

  1. Sea surface temperatures are low
  2. Inter-tropical Convergence Zone seldom occurs
  3. Coriolis force is too weak
  4. Absence of land in those region

Q.2) Consider the following pairs : (2014)

Programme                                                                                  Project Ministry

  1. Drought-Prone Area Programme                                                 Ministry of Agriculture
  2. Desert Development Programme                                                 Ministry of Environment and Forests
  3. National Watershed Development Project for Rainfed Areas       Ministry of Rural Development

Which of the above pairs are correctly matched

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 1,2 and 3
  4. None

Time to Break Away from the Colonial Legacy of ‘Homophobia’


  • GS-1: Effects of globalization on Indian society; Social empowerment
  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Context: On March 13, the Supreme Court referred a batch of petitions seeking the legal recognition of same-sex marriages to a Constitution Bench.

  • The Union government has opposed the petitions. In its affidavit to the Supreme Court, it argued that the traditional concept of marriage, consisting of a “biological man, woman and child”, cannot be disrupted.
  • It further claimed that recognising same-sex marriages could cause havoc in the system of personal laws.
  • Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said that marriage is a matter of policy to be decided by Parliament and the executive alone.

The government must think twice before arguing in court that same-sex marriage would “wreak havoc” in India.

  • Same-sex marriage is a matter of life and death for crores of Indians affected by the decisions made about their lives, unfortunately without any representation from their community.

About Same-Sex Marriage:

  • It is the practice of marriage between two men or between two women.
  • Same-sex marriage has been regulated through law, religion, and custom in most countries of the world.
  • As of 2023, marriage between same-sex couples is legally performed and recognized in 34 countries, constituting some 1.35 billion people (17% of the world’s population), with the most recent being Andorra.
  • Marriages in India are categorized under Hindu Marriage Act, Christian Marriage Act, Muslim Marriage Act, and Special Marriage Act. None of this permits marriage between same-sex couples.

Homophobia is a Colonial Legacy – India needs to break away from it

  • British imperialists became the prime exporters of the most acute form of homophobia.
  • So vicious was the homophobia in Britain that in 1952 their government prosecuted war hero, genius, and the father of modern computer science, Alan Turing, for his homosexuality and forced him to undergo chemical castration. In 1954, days before he turned 42, Turing committed suicide.
  • The British showed a willingness to reform, and today, Britain ensures a life of basic equality and dignity for its queer citizens.
  • Yet, the system of laws and attitudes that the British imprinted on their colonies wreaked havoc on the lives of queer people elsewhere.
  • No community bore a greater brunt than India’s Hijra community, targeted under the Criminal Tribes Act 1871, with the movement and freedoms of the community as a whole severely curtailed.
  • While such laws have been removed, the stigma that they brought to the community has not faded away.

Queer In India

Queer people have existed since the dawn of humanity. They are so fundamental to the makeup of society that indigenous cultures and faiths have accepted them matter-of-factly, like any other gender or orientation.


  • The Kama Sutra, a treatise on the private lives of people in Pataliputra in the 3rd century BCE, devoted an entire chapter and more to same-sex relations and courtship and passingly mentioned the customary practice of Parigraha.
  • Parigraha, where two people of the same gender cohabited for life. As there existed no codified sanction of marriage in pre-modern India, all systems of marriage, including Parigraha, were customary.

Current Situation in India

  • Nearly one crore young Indians (15 to 30 years old) are likely to be gay, lesbian, or transgender (roughly 3 per cent of the total population aged 15 to 30 – 35 crore), and many more are bisexuals.
  • India’s total queer population is even larger, although most live in the closet, discreetly. They grew up when being gay was a criminal act, facing a world where institutionalised homophobia at all levels of society was normal.
  • While things have improved in the last few years (since Navtej Singh Johar vs.Union of India, 2018), it does not imply that queer people can now live fearlessly.
  • Many challenges still exist, like the structurally imposed isolation that most queer people face daily.

The Way Forward

  • The government should have made a minimal effort to consult India’s queer citizens before making ahistorical, unscientific, and grossly insensitive statements, such as it does not condone or legitimise the “conduct” of queer people just because such conduct is decriminalised.
  • The government must develop some sensitivity to realise the far-reaching impact of its words on the lives of young queer people, who need hope — not government-sanctioned humiliation.
  • Same-sex marriage is not a matter of policy, introducing it will change personal laws minimally, and traditional values are irrelevant in matters of determination of rights.
    • With respect to the right to privacy: The Supreme Court recognised this right to be part of the right to life and liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution in the celebrated Puttaswamy (2017) verdict.
      • The court said: “Privacy includes at its core the preservation of personal intimacies, the sanctity of family life, marriage, procreation, the home and sexual orientation.”
      • The right to privacy entails the right of the citizens to make decisions about their family life and marriage.
      • The state currently denies same-sex couples this right.
    • Same-sex marriages can be recognised under the Special Marriage Act.
      • The Act already speaks of marriages between “any two persons” which are solemnised under it.
      • Any two persons can include two persons of the same sex.
      • A change in the Special Marriage Act does not change religious personal laws at all.
    • The “traditional concept of marriage” and the argument that same-sex marriage goes against prevailing social values.
      • In this context, the Supreme Court has repeatedly made it clear that the yardstick has to be constitutional morality rather than popular morality.
      • The government cannot deny anyone their constitutional rights to equality and privacy simply because this would challenge popular morality.
    • The government holds the responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of all its citizens.
      • If the government cannot recognise the full dignity of queer people, it should at least not get in the way of their right to build a family so that they can find support among each other and create a place they call home.
      • Queer people are not asking for more, just for the same rights that everyone else already has.

ANSWERS FOR 30th March – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – c

Q.2) – b

Q.3) – a

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