DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 19th April 2023

  • IASbaba
  • April 19, 2023
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Farm Distress Index


Context: Recently, Farm Distress Index reported farm distress in different parts of the country.

About Farm Distress Index:-

IMAGE SOURCE: farmer-suicide-info.jpg (800×729) (yourstory.com)

  • Farm Distress Index is developed by Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA).
    • CRIDA:-
      • It is an institute under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.
      • It was est. 1985
      • HQ: Hyderabad
      • It is a constituent organisation of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), an autonomous body of the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India.
      • It is part of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) funded project on ‘Farmers Distress and Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY)’.
    • Farm Distress Index is an early warning system based on a 21-question survey that captures the financial, economic, and emotional health status of farmers in vulnerable areas.
    • The index can sense imminent distress at least 3-4 months ahead of its actual occurrence.
    • Significance: This index can be used by policymakers and the government to plan and design a timely and targeted method of supporting distressed farmers.
    • Farm distress continues to be reported from different parts of the country.
    • Left unattended, the distress can lead to suicides by farmers.

MUST READ: Farm reforms



Q.1) Which of the following activities constitute a real sector in the economy? (2022)

  1. Farmers harvesting their crops
  2. Textile mills converting raw cotton into fabrics
  3. A commercial bank lending money to a trading company

A corporate body issuing Rupee Denominated Bonds overseas

  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) Under the Kisan Credit Card scheme, short-term credit support is given to farmers for which of the following purposes? (2020)

  1. Working capital for maintenance of farm assets harvesters,
  2. Purchase of combine tractors and mini trucks requirements of farm
  3. Consumption households
  4. Post-harvest expenses
  5. Construction of family house and setting up of village cold storage facility

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Harpoon missiles


  • Prelims –Science and Technology

Context: Recently, China warned the U.S. as Taiwan mulls buying 400 Harpoon missiles.

About Harpoon missiles:-

IMAGE SOURCE: Harpoon Missile – Think Defence

  • Harpoon missiles are the Torpedoes lightweight missiles and Harpoon air-launched missiles.
  • The Harpoon is a U.S.-designed subsonic antiship cruise missile.
  • It has been in service since 1977.
  • Numerous variants have been produced since its inception, including air-, ship-, and sub-launched versions.

Salient Features:-

  • PAYLOAD:224 kg
  • PROPULSION: Turbojet, solid propellant
  • RANGE:90 – 240 km
  • SPEED: 0.85 Mach (High subsonic), 291.55 m/s
  • RANGE: 250 km
  • OPERATORS: United States, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom, and Venezuela.

MUST READ:  Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile



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) The experiment will employ a trio of spacecraft flying in formation in the shape of an equilateral triangle that has sides one million kilometres long, with lasers shining between the craft.” The experiment in question refers to (2020)

  1. Voyager-2
  2. New Horizons
  3. LISA Pathfinder
  4. Evolved LISA

Malcolm Adiseshiah Award 2023


  • Prelims –Important Awards

Context: Recently, Utsa Patnaik, a renowned economist of national and international repute, has been selected for the Malcolm Adiseshiah Award 2023:-

About Malcolm Adiseshiah Award 2023:-

  • The award is given every year by the Malcolm & Elizabeth Adiseshiah Trust.
  • It is one of the most prestigious national awards in India.
  • It recognizes and honours the outstanding contributions of social scientists to the field of development studies.
  • The award includes a citation and prize money of Rs 2 lakh.
  • The Malcolm Adiseshiah Award for distinguished contributions to Development Studies carries a cash award of Rs. 1 lakh and a citation.
  • Malcolm Sathiyanathan Adiseshiah (1910 – 1994), was an Indian development economist and educator.
  • Past Indian recipients:-
    • Bina Agarwal, Professor, in 2002
    • Jandhyala B G Tilak, Professor, in 2003
    • Dipankar Gupta, Professor, in 2004
    • Amita Baviskar, Associate Professor, 2005
    • Prabhat Patnaik economist and political commentator, 2022

MUST READ: Digital India Awards



Q.1) Consider the following statements in respect of the Bharat Ratna and Padma Awards. (2021)

  1. Bharat Ratna and Padma Awards are titled under Article 18(1) of the Constitution of India.
  2. Padma Awards, which were instituted in the year 1954, were suspended only once.
  3. The number of Bharat Ratna Awards is restricted to a maximum of five in a particular year.

Which of the above statements is not correct?

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

Q.2) One of the implications of equality in society is the absence of (2017)

  1. Privileges
  2. Restraints
  3. Competition
  4. Ideology



  • Prelims –Art and Culture

Context: India will be hosting a two-day international Buddhist conference soon.

About Buddhism:-


  • Buddhism is based upon the teachings, and life experiences of its founder Siddhartha Gautam, born circa 563 BCE.
  • Buddha asked his followers to avoid the two extremes of indulgence in worldly pleasure and the practice of strict abstinence and asceticism.
    • He ascribed instead the ‘Madhyam Marg’or the middle path which was to be followed.
  • Four noble truths of Buddhism are: They are the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering, and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering.
  • The path to nirvana is the Noble Eightfold path– Right Understanding (Samma ditthi), Right thought (Samma sankappa), Right speech (Samma vaca), Right Action (Samma kammanta), Right livelihood (Samma ajiva), Right effort (Samma vayama), Right mindfulness (Samma sati) and Right concentration (Samma samadhi)

Buddhist Councils:-

There were four Buddhist Councils. They are as follows:-

First Buddhist Council:-

  • Venue: In Sattaparnaguha Cave situated outside Rajgriha (the modern city of Rajgir).
  • Year: 486 BC.
  • King: Ajatasatru, son of King Bimbisara (Haryanka Dynasty).
  • Presiding Priest: Venerable Maha Kasyapa with 500 monks.
  • Resulted in:-
    • Vinaya Pitaka which mainly contains the rules of the Buddhist order.
      • This was recited by
    • Suttapitaka was recited by
    • It contains the great collections of Buddha’s sermons on matters of doctrine and ethical beliefs.

Second Buddhist Council:-

  • Venue: Vaishali
  • Year: 386 BC
  • King: Kalasoka (Shisunaga Dynasty).
  • Presiding Priest: Sabakami
  • resulted in the split of the Buddhist order into Sthaviravadinis(Theravada) and Mahasanghikas.

Third Buddhist Council:-

  • Venue: Pataliputra (today’s Patna).
  • Year: 250 BC.
  • King: Ashoka (Maurya Dynasty).
  • Presiding priest: Mogaliputta Tissa (Upagupta).
  • Resulted in:-
  • Made Sthaviravada School an orthodox school which is believed that the past, present, and future are all simultaneous.
  • Codification of Abhidhamma Pitaka, dealing with Buddhist philosophy written in Pali.

Fourth Buddhist Council:-

  • Venue: Kundalavana, Kashmir.
  • Year: 72 AD
  • King: Kanishka (Kushan Dynasty)
  • Presiding Priest: Vasumitra; deputed by Asvaghosha.
  • Resulted in:-
    • Sarvasthivada doctrines were organized into three large commentaries on the Pitakas.
    • Final division of Buddhism into Mahayana & Hinayana sects.

MUST READ: Neo-Buddhism



Q.1) With reference to the religious history of India, consider the following statements: (2020)

  1. Sthaviravadins belong to Mahayana Buddhism
  2. Lokottaravadin sect was an offshoot of the Mahasanghika sect of Buddhism
  3. The deification of Buddha by Mahasanghikas fostered Mahayana Buddhism

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

Q.2) Consider the following: (2019)

  1. Deification of the Buddha
  2. Treading the path of Bodhisattvas
  3. Image worship and rituals

Which of the above is/are the feature/ features of Mahayana Buddhism?

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

Supercritical carbon dioxide


  • Prelims –Science and Technology

Context: Recent studies have found that Supercritical carbon dioxide can flush out oil from depleting wells.

About Supercritical carbon dioxide:-

  • Supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) is a fluid state of CO2 where it is heated and held at or above its critical temperature(31C) and pressure(73 atm).
  • In this supercritical phase, CO2 exhibits properties and behaviours between that of a liquid and a gas.
  • Supercritical CO2 possesses liquid-like densities with gas-like diffusivity, surface tension and viscosity.

Use of Supercritical Carbon Dioxide (CO2):-

  • It is used in the oil and gas industry for gas injections during enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques.
  • When supercritical CO2 reacts with water, carbonic acid (H2CO3) is formed.
    • Carbonic acid lowers the pH in the reserve and creates an environment that is corrosive to metal equipment.

MUST READ: Soil carbon sequestration



Q.1) Which one of the following best describes the term “greenwashing”? (2022)

  1. Conveying a false impression that a company’s products are eco-friendly and environmentally sound
  2. Non-inclusion of ecological/ environmental costs in the Annual Financial Statements of a country
  3. Ignoring the consequences of disastrous ecological while infrastructure development undertaking
  4. Making mandatory provisions for environmental costs in a government project/programme

Q.2) What is blue carbon? (2021)

  1. Carbon captured by oceans and coastal ecosystems
  2. Carbon sequestered in forest biomass and agricultural soils
  3. The carbon contained in petroleum and natural gas
  4. Carbon present in the atmosphere

Marketing and Logistics Development for the Promotion of Tribal Products from North -Eastern Region (PTP-NER)


  • Prelims –Governance

Context: Recently, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India has introduced a new scheme “Marketing and Logistics Development for Promotion of Tribal Products from North -Eastern Region (PTP-NER)”.

About Marketing and Logistics Development for Promotion of Tribal Products from North-Eastern Region (PTP-NER):-

  • The scheme is for the benefit of Scheduled Tribes of the Northeastern Region.
  • It has the vision to strengthen livelihood opportunities for tribal artisans through increased efficiency in procurement, logistics and marketing of tribal products from North Eastern States.
  • The scheme will apply to the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.
  • The scheme shall be launched by Ministry for Tribal Affairs.
  • The scheme PTP-NER will facilitate tribal artisans to avail opportunities of enhancing income through the provision of backward and forward linkages through incubation support, aggregation, skill and entrepreneurship development, sourcing and procurement, marketing, transportation and publicity.
  • As a part of this scheme, it is planned to initiate empanelment of tribal artisans from the North Eastern Region by organizing 68 Tribal Artisan Melas (TAMs) w.e.f. 18.04.2023 onwards during the month of April –May 2023 at various districts of the Northeastern Region.
  • TRIFED, the nodal agency under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, continues to strive in endeavours to improve the quality of life of the tribal people, while preserving their age-old traditions.

MUST READ: National Commission for Scheduled Tribes



Q.1) If a particular area is brought under the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of India, which one of the following statements best reflects the consequence of it? (2022)

  1. This would prevent the transfer of land from tribal people to non-tribal people.
  2. This would create a local self-governing body in that area.
  3. This would convert that area into a Union Territory.
  4. The State having such areas would be declared a Special Category State.

Q.2) With reference to India, the terms ‘Halbi, Ho and Kui’ pertain to  (2021)

  1. dance forms of Northwest India
  2. musical instruments
  3. pre-historic cave paintings
  4. tribal languages

Ninth Schedule


  • Prelims –Polity

Context: Recently, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister wrote to Prime Minister seeking the inclusion of two amendment Bills in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution.

About Ninth Schedule:-

  • The Ninth Schedule contains a list of central and state laws which cannot be challenged in courts.
  • They are shielded from judicial review.
  • The Schedule became a part of the Constitution in 1951 when the document was amended for the first time.
  • It was created by the new Article 31B, which along with 31A was brought in by the government to protect laws related to agrarian reform and for abolishing the Zamindari system.

Article 31A

  • It extends protection to ‘classes’ of laws,

Article 31B

  • It shields specific laws or enactments.
  • Article 31B also has a retrospective operation
    • It means if laws are inserted in the Ninth Schedule after they are declared unconstitutional, they are considered to have been in the Schedule since their commencement, and thus valid.
    • Although Article 31B excludes judicial review, the apex court has said in the past that even laws under the Ninth Schedule would be open to scrutiny if they violated fundamental rights or the basic structure of the Constitution.

Supreme Court and  I R Coelho v. State of Tamil Nadu (2007):

  • It was held that every law must be tested under Article 14, 19 and 21 if it came into force after 24th April 1973.
  • In addition, the court upheld its previous rulings and declared that any act can be challenged and is open to scrutiny by the judiciary if it is not in consonance with the basic structure of the constitution.
  • In addition, it was held that if the constitutional validity of any law under the ninth schedule has been upheld before, in future it cannot be challenged again.

Chattisgarh legislative assembly bills:-

  • Two amendment Bills that pave the way for a 76% quota for Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes were passed unanimously by the State Assembly last December.
  • The two bills are Chhattisgarh Public Service (Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes Reservation) Amendment Bill and Chhattisgarh Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) amendment bill
    • It is related to quota in government jobs and admission in educational institutions in proportion to the population of different categories in the state, he said.
  • This increased reservation for OBCs to 27% from the existing 14%, while for the SC community to 13% from 12% in the public employment and admissions.
  • The 32% reservation for the ST category was kept unchanged.
  • Besides, a provision of 4% reservation was also provided to the Economic Weaker Section (EWS), taking the total extent of the reservation to 76%.
    • However, the bills are pending with the Governor for assent.

MUST READ: Constitutional (127th) Amendment Bill, 2021



Q.1) Which one of the following in Indian polity is an essential feature that indicates that it is federal in character? (2021)

  1. The independence of the judiciary is safeguarded
  2. The Union Legislature has elected representatives from constituent units
  3. The Union cabinet can have elected representatives from regional parties
  4. The Fundamental rights are enforceable by Courts of Law

Q.2) A legislation which confers on the executive or administrative authority an unguided and uncontrolled discretionary power in the matter of the application of law violates which one of the following Articles of the Constitution of India? (2021)

  1. Article 14
  2. Article 28
  3. Article 32
  4. Article 44

The future of India’s civil society organizations


  • Mains – GS 2 (Governance)

Context: Central government has been accused of weakening India’s civil society organizations (CSO) both in the pre legislative stage and in the redress of lacunae in the implementation of government schemes.

About civil society organizations:

  • According to the World Bank: “Civil society refers to a wide array of organizations: community groups, non-governmental organizations [NGOs], labor unions, indigenous groups, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations, and foundations.”
  • When mobilized, civil society sometimes called the “third sector” (after government and commerce) -has the power to influence the actions of elected policy-makers and businesses.
  • But the nature of civil society – what it is and what it does – is evolving, in response to both technological developments and more nuanced changes within societies.
  • Examples of well-known civil society organizations:
    • Amnesty International,
    • International Trade Union Confederation
    • World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
    • Greenpeace
    • The Danish Refugee Council (DRC),
    • Reporter without boarder

Role of CSOs:

  • Plugging the Implementation Gap: NGOs play important role in the promotion and implementation of important rights-based legislation such as RTI, FRA 2006, RTE 2010, and the MGNREGA.
  • Support for sectors untouched by the state: Providing aid to migrants, human and labour rights, Tribal welfare (Nilgiris Wynaad Tribal Welfare Society (NWTWS)), Women advocacy (ActionAid India, Sewa, Eklavya, Sathin, Disha work for women empowerment).
  • Promotes community-based organizations such as SHG, and Farmer’s organizations: these organizations are critical in bringing about changes at the grass-roots level
  • Work as Pressure Group: NGOs mobilize people for their rights as well as educate communities against harmful policies of government e.g. Narmada Bachao Andolan work for the rights of displaced people.
  • Bring about behavioural changes: NGOs work against superstition, false faith, Beliefs, and Customs e.g. Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti (MANS); or Committee for Eradication of Blind Faith, CEBF).
  • Promoting Environmentalism: e. Green Peace, Vanashakti NGO, etc.

Civil Society in India:

  • The third sector / civil society organisations promote cooperation between two or more individuals through mutual cohesion, common approach and networking. Democracies inherently encourage such cooperative behaviour.
  • The Indian Constitution too explicitly recognizes “right to freedom of speech and expression and to form associations or unions” as one of the core rights of its citizens under Article 19(1) and hence encourages formation of civil society groups and community organisations.
  • In the current model of economic growth, the voluntary/ civil society sector has been recognized as a key player in achieving equitable, sustainable and inclusive development goals.
  • Both the State as well as the market-led models of development have been found to be inadequate and there is an increasing realisation that active involvement of the voluntary sector is needed in the process of nation building.
  • Civil Society plays a crucial role in the good governance.
    • As India is not a participative democracy but a representative democracy, government takes all major decisions by itself.
    • Civil Society act as interface of interaction between the government and the governed.


  • The challenge is multidimensional, and is compounded by the ‘unorganised’ nature of the sector, lack of regulatory frameworks and the fact that India boasts of more than a million NGOs of different roles, structures and sizes.
  • The general lack of transparency in the functioning of a large proportion of civil society organisations leads to aversion in donating funds for charitable causes since the general public is largely cynical about the ‘genuineness’ of the non-profit spirit of the sector.
  • Recently, the Union Home Ministry has identified some NGOs as security threat to the country.
    • Such security considerations have underscored the rising need of improving the governance practices in the Indian NGOs and exercising better regulatory mechanisms, disclosure norms, and management processes including financial management and budgeting systems as well.
  • Recently decades have seen a spurt in civil society organizations across the country; Many of them do not server the larger interests of society such as lobbying for industrial groups or foreign nations by advocating a policy.

Need of realignment:

  • Because of the financial and structural constraints imposed on them, CSOs/movements are bleeding conscientious youngsters, who naturally need some financial sustenance.
  • Without sustained support, CSOs cannot positively mould public discourse or make a tangible impact on the nation at large.
  • With governments consciously avoiding CSOs/movements, their ability to shape policy is diminished which adversely impacts organisational morale.

Way Forward:

Civil society that can be subverted, suborned, divided, manipulated to hurt the interests of a nation. So there is need to civilize civil society in the promotion of “good governance” civil society can play an important role in reforming the state in the badly governed countries and through interrogation and collaboration can help promote democracy, rule of law and social justice.

Source:   The Hindu

Carbon Border Adjustment Tax


  • Mains – GS 3 (Economy and Environment)

Context: The European Union has proposed a policy called the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) to tax products such as cement and steel that are extremely carbon intensive, with effect from 2026.

About Carbon Border Adjustment Tax:

  • A carbon border adjustment tax is a duty on imports based on the amount of carbon emissions resulting from the production of the product in question. As a price on carbon, it discourages emissions. As a trade-related measure, it affects production and exports.

Need of Imposition of Carbon Tax:

  • Climate Change Mitigation: European Union has declared to cut its carbon emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. Emissions from imports contribute 20% of the EU’s CO2 total emissions.
  • Carbon Leakage: Businesses when finding more suitable business alternatives shift their operations which results in carbon leakage and increases the total emissions in the world without paying for the damage.

Issues associated with Carbon Tax:

  • Most Affected Countries: The BASIC Group (Brazil, South Africa, India, and China) has opposed the EU’s proposal terming it discriminatory and against the principles of equity and Common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
  • India’s exports: Exports from India will come down as EU is India’s third-largest trading partner. The imposition of tax will increase the prices of India-made goods making them less attractive for importers.
  • Violation of the Rio Declaration: Article 12 of the Rio Declaration says that standards applicable to developed countries are not applicable to developing countries. The EU’s proposal seems uniform for all the countries.
  • Non-Tariff Barrier: The policy can be regarded as a disguised form of protectionism.
  • The carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism may spur the adoption of cleaner technologies but without adequate assistance for newer technologies could rather become disadvantageous for developing countries.

Impact on India:

  • As India’s third largest trading partner, the EU accounted for €62.8 billion ($74.5 billion) worth of trade in goods in 2020, or 11.1% of India’s total global trade.
  • India’s exports to the EU were worth $41.36 billion in 2020-21, as per data from the commerce ministry.
  • The CBT would cover energy-intensive sectors such as cement, steel, aluminium, oil refinery, paper, glass, chemicals as well as the power sector.
  • By increasing the prices of Indian-made goods in the EU, this tax would make Indian goods less attractive for buyers and could shrink demand.
  • Sadly, India’s many ‘self-reliance’ tariffs are also a contributor to this.

Way Forward:

A global view on this topic should include an alignment of key parameters applicable to them, as well as agreed standards for measuring carbon that is emitted in the production of goods. Transparency and non-discrimination should remain key principles of any global understanding, and that should also ensure that carbon-related measures do not unnecessarily restrict trade.

Source:   The Hindu

Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) The famous I R Coelho v. State of Tamil Nadu case is related to

  1. Ninth schedule
  2. Anti defection
  3. Sixth schedule
  4. Reservation of Other backward classes

Q.2) Consider the following pairs:

Buddhist council and place of meeting

  1. First Buddhist Council – Vaishali
  2. Second Buddhist Council – Rajgriha
  3. Third Buddhist Council – Pataliputra
  4. Fourth Buddhist Council – Kundalavana

How many pairs given above is/are correctly matched ?

  1. One pair only
  2. Two pairs only
  3. Three pairs only
  4. All four pairs

Q.3) Consider the following statements regarding Supercritical carbon dioxide:

  1. Supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) is a fluid state of CO2 where it is heated and held at or above its critical temperature(31∘C) and pressure(73 atm).
  2. It is used in the oil and gas industry for gas injections during enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques.

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

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

ANSWERS FOR ’ 19th April 2023 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.st

ANSWERS FOR 18th April – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – b

Q.2) – d

Q.3) – b

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