DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 22nd April 2023

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  • April 22, 2023
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Hakki Pikkis


  • Prelims – Current Affairs

Context: Members of the Hakki Pikki tribal community from Karnataka are stuck in violence-hit Sudan.

About Hakki Pikkis:

Source:            Indian Express

  • Hakki in Kannada means ‘bird’ and Pikki means ‘catchers’.
  • They are a semi-nomadic tribe, traditionally of bird catchers and hunters.
  • They are divided into four clans, called Gujaratia, Panwar, Kaliwala, and Mewaras.
  • There was a hierarchy among the clans, with the Gujaratia at the top and the Mewaras at the bottom.
  • They move in groups from place to place in search of livelihood.
  • Hakki Pikki people are believed to hail originally from the bordering districts of Gujarat and Rajasthan.
  • They arrived in Karnataka via Andhra Pradesh, as they still remember a place called “Jalapally” near Hyderabad as their ancestral home, where their forefathers lived for a considerable period.
  • They are now spread across south India.
  • Their population in Karnataka is 11,892, and they live majorly in Davangere, Mysuru, Kolar, Hassan, and Shimoga districts.

Source:    Indian Express

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Consider the following statements about Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in India:

  1. PVTGs reside in 18 States and one Union Territory.
  2. A stagnant or declining population is one of the criteria for determining PVTG status.
  3. There are 95 PVTGs officially notified in the country so far.
  4. Irular and Konda Reddi tribes are included in the list of PVTGs.

Which of the statements given above are correct? (CSP 2019)

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

SpaceX Starship


  • Prelims – Science and Technology

Context: SpaceX’s Starship, the world’s biggest rocket, exploded during its first test-flight to space.

About Starship:

Source:           https://c.realme.com

  • SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket – collectively referred to as Starship.
  • It is the first stage, or booster, of the Starship launch system.
  • Powered by 33 Raptor engines using sub-cooled liquid methane (CH4) and liquid oxygen (LOX).
  • The Raptor engine is a reusable methane-oxygen staged-combustion engine that powers the Starship system
  • Super Heavy is fully reusable and will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere to land back at the launch site.
  • Starship spacecraft is the second stage of the Starship system.
    • It is also capable of point-to-point transport on Earth, enabling travel to anywhere in the world in one hour or less.
  • It is a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
  • It is the world’s most powerful launch vehicle ever developed, capable of carrying up to 150 metric tons fully reusable and 250 metric tons expendable.


  • the goal is to make Starship reusable and bring down the price to a few million dollars per flight.
  • The eventual objective is to establish bases on the Moon and Mars and put humans on the “path to being a multi-planet civilization

Source:  Indian Express

Previous Year Questions

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 speed and places a probe on its surface.

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

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

Global Food Policy Report 2023


  • Prelims – International Relations

Context: Recently, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) published Global Food Policy Report, 2023 which said that investing in early warning systems is essential to save lives, livelihoods and money.

Key highlights of the report:

  • The report called for a more proactive response to food system shocks with a focus on three key areas:
    • Crisis prediction and preparation
    • Building resilience before and during crises
    • Making crisis response supportive and inclusive of women, forced migrants and other vulnerable groups.
  • It advocated for strengthening agrifood value chains to support livelihoods and food security during crises.
  • It advised governments to maintain a business environment that fosters flexibility, and technical and financial innovation.
  • In 2021, some 768 million people across the world were undernourished, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization’s State of Food Security and Nutrition Report.
    • This was well above the 572 million reported in 2014.
  • In 2022, the food insecurity was exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine war and related spikes in food and fertiliser prices.
  • In fact, the fertiliser prices rose by 199 per cent between May 2020 and the end of 2022, stated the World Economic Forum recently.
    • As a result, there has been an increase in the number of people at risk due to food insecurity, hunger, and malnutrition.
  • In 2022, as many as 205 million people in 45 countries experienced crisis-level acute food insecurity or worse, nearly double the number in 2016, the IFPRI report highlighted.

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI):

  • It was established in 1975 and provides research-based policy solutions to sustainably reduce poverty and end hunger and malnutrition in developing countries.
  • Headquarters: Washington, D.C
  • It is a research centre of CGIAR, which is the world’s largest agricultural innovation network.
  • Its research focuses on five strategic research areas:
    • Fostering Climate-Resilient and Sustainable Food Supply
    • Promoting Healthy Diets and Nutrition for Al
    • Building Inclusive and Efficient Markets, Trade Systems, and Food Industry
    • Transforming Agricultural and Rural Economies
    • Strengthening Institutions and Governance

Source:    DTE

Exobiology Extant Life Surveyor (EELS)


  • Prelims – Science and Technology

Context: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is developing Snake-like Robot Exobiology Extant Life Surveyor (EELS). NASA plans to send EELS to Enceladus.

About Exobiology Extant Life Surveyor (EELS):

  • EELS is a mobile instrument system built to explore internal terrain structures, assess habitability and ultimately search for evidence of life.
  • It aims to examine the moon’s surface and determine whether life is present.
  • EELS architecture is a snake-like, self-propelled robot.
  • It uses first-of-a-kind rotating propulsion units that act as tracks, gripping mechanisms, and propeller units underwater, enabling the robot to access a plume vent exit and follow it to its ocean source.
  • It can traverse ocean-world-inspired terrain and fluidized media.

Source:   Hindustan Times

PSLV-C55 mission


  • Prelims: Science and Technology

In News: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is scheduled to launch the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C55 (PSLV-C55) mission with Singapore’s TeLEOS-2 as primary satellite and Lumelite-4 as a co-passenger satellite.

  • The PSLV-C55 mission has the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM), where the spent PS4 of the launch vehicle would be utilised as an orbital platform to carry out scientific experiments through non-separating payloads.
  • This is the third time that PS4 will be used after satellite separation as a platform for experiments.

TeLEOS-2 satellite

  • Primary Satellite
  • Support the satellite imagery requirements of various agencies within the government of Singapore.
  • Carries a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload.
  • Provide all-weather day and night coverage, and be capable of imaging at 1m full-polarimetric resolution.

Lumelite-4 satellite

  • A co-passenger satellite
  • An advanced 12U satellite developed for the technological demonstration of the high-performance space-borne VHF Data Exchange System (VDES).
  • Aims to augment Singapore’s e-navigation maritime safety and benefit the global shipping community.

About Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle(PSLV):

  • PSLV is known as the ‘workhorse’ of ISRO.
  • It is the third-generation launch vehicle of India.
  • It is a four-staged launch vehicle with first and third stages using solid rocket motors and second and fourth stages using liquid rocket engines.
  • It is the first Indian launch vehicle to be equipped with liquid stages.

News Source: The Hindu

Sloth Bear


  • Prelims: Environment

In News: A report has been sought after a sloth bear trapped in a well died during rescue operations in Kerala.

About Sloth Bear

  • Primarily eat termites and ants
  • Routinely carry their cubs on their backs.
  • Known as “Honey Bear” for their love for honey.
  • Do not hibernate
  • Found in: Sri Lanka, India, Bhutan and Nepal, predominantly in lowland areas.
    • At least 90% of the present Sloth Bear range occurs in India.
    • Sloth Bears have been extirpated from Bangladesh.
  • Scientific Name: Melursus ursinus
  • Habitat: A forest-dwelling member of the family Ursidae (comprises 8 species of bears) that inhabits tropical or subtropical regions of India and Sri Lanka.
  • Threats: Habitat loss, poaching for body parts and are sometimes captured for use in performances or hunted because of their aggressive behavior and destruction of crops.

Protection Status:

Additional Information

About IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

  • It was established in 1964, by the IUCN and has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global extinction risk status of animal, fungus and plant species.
  • The IUCN Red List is a critical indicator of the health of the world’s biodiversity.
  • It uses a set of quantitative criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of thousands of species.
  • It provides information about range, population size, habitat and ecology, use and/or trade, threats, and conservation actions that will help inform necessary conservation decisions.
  • It is used by government agencies, wildlife departments, conservation-related NGOs, natural resource planners, educational organisations, students, and the business community.
  • The Index is available for five groups: birds, mammals, amphibians, corals and cycads.


  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is part of a multilateral treaty that includes plant, animals and birds under varying categories of threat of extinction and which will be jointly protected by members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  • India is a signatory to CITES.

News Source: Hindustan Times

Kamakhya Temple Corridor


  • Prelims: Indian Culture

In News: The government in Assam is planning to construct a corridor at the Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati on the lines of the Kashi-Vishwanath Temple Corridor in Varanasi.

  • The project will transform the grandeur of this major ‘shakti peeth’ significantly while also improving the accessibility for differently abled and aged devotees and tourists manifold.

About Kamakhya Temple:

  • Located on Nilachal Hill in Guwahati, Assam
  • Considered one of the oldest and sacred places of worship.
  • Millions of pilgrims and tourists visit the temple every year, especially during the Ambubachi Mela held in June every year.
    • Ambubachi Mela, is a four-day fair to mark the annual menstruation of the goddess
    • One of 51 shaktipeeths or seat of Shakti followers, each representing a body part of Sati, Lord Shiva’s companion. The temple’s sanctum sanctorum houses the yoni — female genital — symbolised by a rock.
    • Temple priests said the ritualistic fair celebrating the goddess’ period is one of the reasons why the taboo associated with menstruation is less in Assam compared to other parts of India.
    • The attainment of womanhood of girls in Assam is celebrated with a ritual called ‘Tuloni Biya’, meaning small wedding.
    • A centrepiece of Tantrik Shaktism cult in India
    • Nilachala Style of Architecture: It had been modelled out of a combination of two different styles, namely, the traditional nagara or North Indian and saracenic or Mughal.
    • The main temple is surrounded by individual temples dedicated to the ten Mahavidyas: Kali, Tara, Sodashi, Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Chhinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi and Kamalatmika.

News Source: Hindustan Times

Coalition to Facilitate Cleaner Energy Transitions


  • Prelims: Environment

In News: A transition to Net Zero by scaling up wind and solar energy projects would be significantly less damaging than other renewable pathways, stated a new report by non-profit World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and intergovernmental organisation International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The Report Stated

Adopting the right mix of low-carbon technologies to meet energy demand can help stabilise global temperatures and protect ecosystems.

  • Solar and wind energy-based transitions can help achieve global energy authority
    • International Energy Agency’s standards of a power system capable of holding global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
    • This United Nations-mandated Paris Agreement goal is a crucial threshold to avoid the most disastrous consequences of climate change.
  • Though wind energy is often accused of its detrimental effect on bats and birds, its impact is minimal compared to other major energy technologies, such as fossil fuels, bioenergy and nuclear energy.
  • Construction of other renewable energy projects, such as hydropower dams and associated reservoirs, often leads to the inundation of vast swathes of natural habitat and alters natural flow regimes and downstream habitats.
  • Bioenergy, in all its forms, including biomass, biofuel and biogas, has a larger biodiversity impact per unit of energy than that of wind and solar.
    • However, the consequence of bioenergy cannot be generalised as this depends on the feedstock involved.
    • But in some instances, it added that bioenergy and hydropower could also provide local renewable energy options with relatively low impacts on nature, depending on the local conditions.

Suggested Way Forward

  • Urged governments to consider the impact on nature at the earliest stage by evaluating the renewable energy value chain (from sourcing material to disposal) and developing national regulatory schemes that require energy developers to contribute to national conservation targets.
  • Fossil fuels lie at the heart of energy and climate crises, so a shift to renewable energy is the only way out. But the expanding renewable energy projects should consider their impacts on climate and biodiversity.
  • Adopting a circular economy model prioritising material reuse can help avoid and minimise impacts on nature. Such models can contribute to nature-positive outcomes.

Note: CLEANaction is a partnership of several non-profits and organisations like WWF, IRENA and BirdLife International formed to protect nature during energy transition.

MUST READ: Carbon Trading Policy + India’s higher Climatic Targets

News Source: Down To Earth

Wastewater could be a future resource


  • Mains – GS 2 (Governance) and GS 3 (Environment)

Context: Water quality and the availability of freshwater are serious concerns across the globe and threaten to disrupt life on the planet. India, too, has serious water woes, some of which were recently captured in an independent study by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).

  • The CEEW in its study Titled “Reuse of Treated Wastewater in India: Market Potential and Recommendations for Strengthening Governance”, has offered some pertinent solutions.

Highlights of the CEEW Report:

  • Using the Central Pollution Control Board’s 2021 data, the report reflected on the fact that India treats only 28 per cent of the total sewage it generates per day from its urban areas.
    • Of the 72,368 million litres per day (mld) of sewage produced in these areas, only 20,236 mld is actually treated.
    • Tier-1 and -2 cities, which make up 72 per cent of the urban population, produce an estimated 38,254 mld of sewage, of which only 30 per cent is actually treated.
  • The report assessed that India will produce over 35,000 million cubic meters of wastewater by 2050, and currently, only 10 States have treated wastewater reuse policies.
  • The CEEW researchers analysed — using Central Water Commission estimates — that 11 of the 15 major river basins are likely to face water stress by 2025.
  • They felt it was “essential to explore alternative sources of water to address the demand-supply gap.”
  • “Reusing treated wastewater for irrigation could have generated 28 million metric tonnes of fruit and vegetable produce and ₹96600 crore in revenue in 2021 alone.
  • Using wastewater for irrigation in 2021 would have saved 1.3 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and ₹5 crore in fertilizer use.”
  • The “market value of treated wastewater in India will be ₹83 crores in 2025 and Rs ₹190 crore in 2050 if the mechanism to sell it to select sectors is developed.”

About Waste Water:

  • Wastewater is the polluted form of water generated from rainwater runoff and human activities and is also called sewage.
  • It is typically categorized by the manner in which it is generated—specifically, as domestic sewage, industrial sewage, or storm sewage (stormwater).
  • The excess nutrients thus generated cause eutrophication in the water body and gradual deterioration of the water quality.
  • Eutrophication is the process of a water body becoming overly enriched with minerals and nutrients which induces excessive growth of algae or algal bloom, thereby, leading to oxygen depletion of the water body.

Wastewater Management in India:

  • Under Namami Gange Programme, around 164 Sewage Treatment Plants are being constructed worth Rs. 25000 crores that will help to treat around 5000 MLD of wastewater, resulting in major savings of freshwater resources.
  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, amended 1988
    • It was introduced to provide for the prevention and control of water pollution and the maintaining or restoring of the wholesomeness of water.
    • It also provides for the establishment of boards for the control of water pollution.
  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977, amended 2003
    • It binds consumers who are carrying on an industry that falls within the provisions to affix meters for the purpose of assessing the quantity of water used in the act.
    • Industries also have to include operations or processes or treatment and disposal systems which consume water or give rise to sewage effluent.
  • Only one-third of India’s wastewater is currently treated, leading to the high burden of water-borne diseases.
  • While urban water access is high on average, significant gaps remain across the country, and wastewater treatment remains stuck at the national average of around 33%.
  • Large wastewater generators—Punjab, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and UP—can potentially treat 65-100% of their urban wastewater.
    • Despite this, many populous states, such as Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and Andhra Pradesh, have only enough installed capacity to treat less than half of their wastewater.

Benefits of wastewater reuse:

  • Reduce Water Bills
  • Use Fewer Water Resources
  • Irrigate the garden during drought or water restrictions
  • Cut down the amount of pollution going into waterways
  • Help save money on new infrastructure for water supplies and wastewater treatment
  • Decrease demand on infrastructure for sewage transport, treatment, and disposal, allowing it to work better and last longer

Challenges in India’s Wastewater Management

  • A suitable wastewater treatment infrastructure is a prerequisite for effective wastewater management.
    • In India, there is a severe dearth of this infrastructure. India’s present capacity for water treatment is only 27.3%, according to a recent assessment by the Central Pollution Control Board (March 2021).
  • Many of India’s existing garbage treatment facilities are not even operational.
    • They either require urgent maintenance and repairs, or they never took off.
  • Water is designated as a State topic in Schedule 7 of the Indian Constitution, but it is expressly bound by the rules listed in the Union List.
    • It gives the Parliament the ability to pass laws governing the development and regulation of interstate waters in the wider public interest.
    • While the State still has the authority to create its own rules governing how water is used in the State, including for irrigation, drainage, embankments, water storage, and water supply.
    • Due to the power disparities between the Centre and the States caused by these constitutional procedures, there is uncertainty regarding federal jurisdiction.
  • The absence of duties and responsibilities for all parties involved that are clearly defined leads to either duplication of effort or truancy.
  • According to the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts, local, rural and urban levels of water resource control are increasingly fragmented.
  • Water governance must be recognised at all levels for the effective operation of policies and the general development of water bodies, even though a decentralised approach is required for better assessment and resolution of wastewater concerns.

Way forward:

  • Make a paradigm shift in policymaking: Wastewater needs to be recognised as an integral part of water resources and hence addressed in all water management-related policies.
  • Invest in technological developments: Dedicated funds should be allocated for the research and development of wastewater treatment technologies, which can optimise resource efficiency.
    • State Governments need to come out with a clear strategy for research and development in this sphere.
  • Frame water quality standards: Water quality standards for both safe discharge and reuse need to be well defined.
  • Establish institutional mechanisms: Urban local bodies should be empowered to formulate and adopt long-term, city-level wastewater reuse plans, with roles and responsibilities clearly defined with active engagement of end-user groups.
  • Optimal use of financial resources: Targeted performance-based incentives should be provided for the operators/end-users of wastewater treatment plants and an effective pricing mechanism should be established, considering different categories of end-users and their paying abilities.
  • Incorporating the public as a stakeholder: Responsible authorities should develop effective public outreach plans to build public confidence and develop responses for the successful implementation of wastewater reuse projects.

Source:  The Hindu

MUST READ: Water stress in India

Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) The Global Food Policy Report 2023 recently released by

  1. UN Food and Agricultural Organization
  2. United Nations Development Programme
  3. International Food Policy Research Institute
  4. None of the above

Q.2) Consider the following statements regarding the Kamakhya Temple:

  1. It is situated on Nilachal Hills in Assam
  2. It is regarded as one of the oldest of the Shakti Peethas in India.

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.3) Consider the following statements regarding the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle(PSLV):

  1. It is the third-generation launch vehicle of India.
  2. It is a five-staged launch vehicle
  3. It is the first Indian launch vehicle to be equipped with liquid stages.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

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

ANSWERS FOR ’ 22nd April 2023 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.st

ANSWERS FOR 21st April – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – a

Q.2) – b

Q.3) – a

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