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

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  • May 17, 2023
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  • Prelims – Economy

Context: WPI slips into negative territory for the first time in three years, falls -0.92% in April

About the news:

  • The decline in the rate of inflation in the month of April is primarily contributed by the fall in prices of basic metals, food products, mineral oils, textiles, non-food articles, chemical and chemical products, rubber and plastic products, and paper products.
  • The country’s WPI inflation has been easing continuously for the last 11 months.
  • The depreciation in WPI is in line with the decline of retail inflation, based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which eased to an 18-month low of 4.7 percent in April.

What is WPI?

  • The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) is an index necessary for calculating inflation in a country.
  • Released by: The Office of the Economic Adviser, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
  • It measures the changes in the prices of goods sold and traded in bulk by wholesale businesses to other businesses.
    • But the general public does not buy products at wholesale price. So, it is not useful for calculating market prices of goods for common people.
  • It is the most widely used inflation indicator in India.
  • The base year of All-India WPI has been revised from 2004-05 to 2011-12 in 2017.


Parameters WPI CPI
Indicates average change in prices of commodities at the wholesale level. average change in the prices of commodities at the retail level.
Prices paid by Manufacturers and dealers Consumers
Goods & Services Only goods are covered Goods and services both are covered
Released by Office of Economic Advisor (Ministry of Commerce & Industry) ·       National Statistical Office (NSO) (Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation) calculates CPI (Rural/Urban/Combined)

·       Labour Bureau calculates CPI for Industrial Workers (IW), Agricultural Labour (AL) and Rural Labour (RL).

Types of Commodities covered Manufacturing inputs and intermediate goods like minerals, machinery basic metals, etc. Education, transportation, recreation, apparel, foods and beverages, housing and medical care
Base year 2011-12 2012

Note: CPI is chosen by RBI as the key indicator of inflation and is more important in policy making.

Source:  NewsOnAir

Eretmoptera murphyi


  • Prelims – Environment and Ecology

Context: Eretmoptera murphyi, a tiny flightless insect has come to be an invasive species in Antarctica and is now changing the soil composition and ecosystem there.

  • Animals and plants that are unintentionally or purposefully brought into a natural setting where they are not typically present and have severe negative effects on their new ecosystem are referred to as invasive alien species.

About Eretmoptera murphyi

  • It is a native of South Georgia, a sub-Antarctic Island.
  • It is a midge i.e., small insects which bite
  • It was accidentally introduced to Signy Island in the 1960s during a botany experiment. It is believed that people might have carried the insects on their shoes accidentally. Given the favorable conditions, it flourished there later.
  • Eretmoptera murphyi feasts on dead organic matter. This has led to faster decomposition of plant materials which led to increase in the soil nitrate levels by three-five times compared to places on the island where it is absent and only native invertebrate species live.
  • High levels of nitrate can:
    • Be toxic for other plant species,
    • contaminate groundwater.
    • lead to excessive algae growth, which can deplete oxygen levels and harm aquatic life. (eutrophication)
  • Concerns:
    • The midge invasion highlights that even harsh conditions can no longer protect Antarctica from the threat of invasive species.
    • The midge can also survive in water, which raises concerns that it could spread to other islands.
    • The activity of the midges, along with climate change, may also create conditions for other invasive species to become established and accelerate the effects of climate change.

Source:   DTE

Samudra Shakti-23


  • Prelims – Defence

Context: The 4th edition of INDIA-INDONESIA BILATERAL EXERCISE SAMUDRA SHAKTI – 23 commenced recently.

About Exercise:

  • In pursuance of India’s Act East Policy, Exercise ‘Samudra Shakti’ was conceived in 2018 as a bilateral Indian Navy-Indonesian Navy exercise.
  • The exercise aims to strengthen the bilateral relationship, enhance mutual understanding and interoperability in maritime operations between the two navies.
  • India’s Participation:
    • INS Kavaratti: India’s indigenously designed & built Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) stealth corvette is the main highlight.
      • It is one of the 4 corvettes built under Project 28 (Kamorta class). The other three are INS Kamorta, INS Kadmatt and INS Kiltan.
    • An Indian Navy Dornier Maritime Patrol aircraft and Chetak helicopter is also participating

Other Exercises with Indonesia:

  • Garuda Shakti (Military Exercise)
  • IND-INDO CORPAT (Maritime Exercise)

Source: PIB

Unique Economic Offender Code


  • Prelims – Economy

Context: The government plans to introduce a new mechanism whereby companies and individuals accused of economic offences will be assigned a unique code called the ‘Unique Economic Offender Code’.

About Unique Economic Offender Code:

  • The code will be alpha-numeric and system-generated.
  • It will be issued once the police or central investigative agency sends the data about an offender to the National Economic Offence Records (NEOR).
  • It will be specific to each offender and will be linked with his/her Aadhaar number in the case of an individual or PAN in the case of a company.
  • Under NEOR, this codification will provide a 360-degree profile of the economic offender and their record.

What is the benefit from such a classification?

  • With this mechanism, multi-agency probes will be launched against individuals or companies swiftly.
  • Authorities from different agencies won’t have to wait for chargesheets to be filed by one agency before starting a probe.

What is the National Economic Offence Records (NEOR)?

  • NEOR is a central repository of all economic offences.
  • It will share data related to each economic offender with all central and state intelligence and enforcement agencies.
  • The Central Economic Intelligence Bureau has been given the task of coordinating and completing the NEOR project with the help of the National Informatics Centre (NIC).
  • Once completed, all data from central and state agencies will be migrated to the national repository using the API (application programming interface) software, reducing any scope for manual interference.
  • The NEOR will be a showcase project for India to be displayed at its forthcoming Financial Action Task Force (FATF) review.

Source:  Times now

River Mandovi/Mahadayi Water Dispute


  • Prelims – Geography

Context: Goans are worried after the Central Water Commission (CWC) approved the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for Karnataka’s Kalasa Bhandura canal to divert water from the upper reaches of Mahadayi to the Malaprabha basin.

About Mahadayi river:

  • Origin: Mahadayi river rises in the Western Ghats, from the Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary in Belagavi district, Karnataka.
  • The river travels 35 km in Karnataka; 82 km in Goa before joining the Arabian Sea at Panji (North-Goa).
  • Also called Mandovi in Goa, Mahadayi is a rain-fed river that is shared between Karnataka and Goa for their water needs.
  • The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is located on the island of Chorao in the Mandovi river.
  • Major Tributaries: Kalasa Nala, Banduri Nala, Surla Nala, Haltar Nala, Poti Nala, Mahadayi Nala, Pansheer Nala, Bail Nala, Andher Nala.

What is the Kalasa-Banduri project and Mandovi river dispute?

  • The project involves the construction of dams and a canal system to divert water from the Mahadayi River, located in Goa, to the Malaprabha River (a tributary of Krishna River) basin in Karnataka.
  • The main goal of the project is to meet the drinking water needs of the districts of Belagavi, Dharwad, Bagalkot, and Gadag in Karnataka.
  • The project was proposed by the Karnataka Government in the 1980s, but faced opposition from the state of Goa.
  • This project on the Mahadayi river has been a source of dispute between Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra.
  • In 2018, the Tribunal awarded 13.42 TMC water from Mahadayi river basin to Karnataka, 1.33 TMC to Maharashtra and 24 TMC to Goa. But all the parties challenged this verdict.

Importance of Mandovi to Goa:

  • The Mandovi and the Zuari are the two primary rivers in the state of Goa.
  • 79% of the total catchment area of Mandovi lies in the state of Goa.
  • Mandovi sustains agriculture, fisheries and tourism, the latter two being the mainstay of Goa’s economy.

Source:   Indian Express

Central Consumer Protection Authority


  • Prelims – Governance

Context: CCPA asks e-commerce sites to stop selling car seat belt alarm stoppers

About CCPA:

  • Central Consumer Protection Authority is a regulatory authority set up under Section 10(1) of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
  • It regulates matters affecting the rights of consumers by individuals or entities following improper trade practices or by the display of inappropriate or wrong advertisements affecting public interest and helps promote consumer trust by enforcing the rights of consumers through effective guidelines.
  • Members:
    • Chief Commissioner
    • Two Commissioners – One commissioner for goods and one for services.
    • The CCPA will have an Investigation Wing that will be headed by a Director General.
    • Al of them are appointed by Central Government.
  • Central Consumer Protection Authority has the following powers:
    • Inquire or cause an inquiry, either on receipt of complaint or suo moto or as directed by Central Government.
    • It can order an investigation by the District Collector or by Director General. They have powers of search and seizure, and authority to ask submission of any record or document.
    • The commission can direct recalling of any dangerous, hazardous or unsafe goods or withdrawal of similar services and order refunding of the amount collected.
    • The commission can involve in consumer advocacy, suggesting remedial actions, involving itself in related research, creating awareness and guiding consumers on safety precautions.
    • The commission can direct to a trader or manufacturer or endorser or advertiser or publisher after investigation to discontinue advertisements which are wrong or misleading or prejudicial to consumers.
    • The commission can also prevent the endorser of an advertisement which is wrong or misleading from making the same in relation to any product or service for a time period ranging upto one year, and three years in case of subsequent contravention.

Source: Indian Express

Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuary


  • Prelims – Environment and Ecology

Context: The Assam government successfully conducted an eviction drive at Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuary

About Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuary

  • It is located in the Sonitpur district of
  • It forms an integral part of the Laokhowa-Burachapori eco-system and is a notified buffer of the Kaziranga Tiger reserve.
  • Vegetation: It comprises of a mosaic of wet alluvial grassland, riparian and semi-evergreen forests dotted by wetland and river systems.
  • Brahmaputra River flows through the sanctuary.
  • It is considered to be an ideal habitat for the Bengal florican (IUCN, Critically Endangered).
  • Important fauna: Indian-one horned rhinoceros, Asiatic water buffalo and Bengal tiger.

Source:   The Print

Data Governance Quality Index


  • Prelims – Governance

Context: The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) has secured the second position among 66 ministries in the highly influential Data Governance Quality Index (DGQI) assessment for 2022-2023 (Q3)

About Data Governance Quality Index (DGQI):

  • The DGQI is a comprehensive framework that evaluates the data governance practices of various ministries and departments of the Government of India.
  • It covers aspects such as data quality, data security, data sharing, data analytics, data innovation and data literacy.
  • The DGQI assessment is conducted by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in collaboration with the NITI Aayog.


  • To assess the data preparedness of various ministries and departments on a standardized framework.
  • To drive healthy competition among them and promote cooperative peer learning from best practices.


3 key pillars: The DGQI assessment covers three key pillars of data preparedness:

  • Data Strategy: It evaluates the existence and implementation of systemic guidelines for data governance.
  • Data systems: It assesses the processes of data generation, management and use.
  • Data-driven outcomes: It measures the extent to which data is utilized and widely shared by institutions to drive decision-making.

Source:  The Print

UNESCO World Heritage Site Tag


  • Mains – GS 1 (Art and Culture)

Context: Santiniketan in West Bengal has been recommended for inclusion in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

About Santiniketan:

  • Santiniketan is a renowned cultural and heritage place located in Birbhum District, West Bengal, India.
    • It holds historical significance and is known for its association with Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.
  • It was the home of Rabindranath Tagore, where he lived and composed many of his literary works, including songs, poems, and novels.
  • The Santiniketan campus is adorned with splendid sculptures, frescoes, murals, and paintings created by renowned artists such as Rabindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, Ramkinkar, Binodbehari Mukhopadhyay, and others.
  • Santiniketan celebrates unique festivals like Briksharopan (festival of Planting Saplings) and Halakarshan (festival of Plowing the Fields) on the 22nd and 23rd days of Sravana (August), respectively.
  • Varshamangal, the festival of rains, is celebrated during August/September.
  • Poush Mela is an annual fair and festival held in Santiniketan, starting on the 7th day of the month of Poush.
    • The fair officially lasts for three days, but vendors may stay until the end of the month. It is known for live performances of Bengali folk music, particularly by bauls (traditional wandering minstrels), and also features tribal dances like Santali.

About World Heritage Sites:

  • World Heritage Sites are places of exceptional cultural or natural significance and are recognized by UNESCO under World Heritage Convention of 1972 for their outstanding universal value.
  • Cultural heritage consists of monuments (such as architectural works, monumental sculptures, or inscriptions), groups of buildings, and sites (including archaeological sites).
  • Natural Heritage consists of natural features (consisting of physical and biological formations), geological and physiographical formations (including habitats of threatened species of animals and plants), and natural sites which are important from the point of view of science, conservation or natural beauty.
  • The World Heritage Sites list is maintained by the international World Heritage Program administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 “states parties” that are elected by their General Assembly.
  • As of April 2023, a total of 1,157 World Heritage Sites (900 cultural, 218 natural, and 39 mixed properties) exist across 167 countries. The countries with the most sites are Italy (58), China (56), Germany (51), France (49), Spain (49), India (40), Mexico (35), the United Kingdom (33) and Russia (30).

About Nomination process:

  • A country must first identify its significant cultural and natural sites in a document known as the Tentative List. A country may not nominate sites that have not been first included on its Tentative List.
  • Next, it can place sites selected from that list into a Nomination File, which is evaluated by the ICOMOS and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  • ICOMOS and IUCN make recommendations to the World Heritage Committee for new designations.
    • The Committee meets once a year to determine what nominated properties to add to the World Heritage List.
  • To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria.

10 criteria for determining Outstanding Universal Value (OUV):

  • to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
  • to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;
  • to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
  • to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;
  • to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
  • to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria.
  • to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;
  • to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;
  • to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, freshwater, coastal, and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;
  • to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.


  • The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) is a professional association that works for the conservation of cultural heritage places around the world.
  • ICOMOS was founded in 1965 in Warsaw (Poland) as a result of the Venice Charter of 1964 and offers advice to UNESCO on World Heritage Sites.
  • It is now headquartered in Charenton-le-Pont, Paris (France).

World Heritage Sites in India:

Image Source:   Tourmyindia    

News Source:Times of India

Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs)


  • Mains – GS 2 (Governance)

Context: Karnataka Legislative Assembly elections’ results were released recently. There were allegations that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) from South Africa were being used for voting.

About Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs):

  • Electronic Voting Machine (also known as EVM) is voting using electronic means to either aid or take care of the chores of casting and counting votes.
  • An EVM is designed with two units: the control unit and the balloting unit. These units are joined together by a cable.
  • The control unit of the EVM is kept with the presiding officer or the polling officer.
  • The balloting unit is kept within the voting compartment for electors to cast their votes.
  • This is done to ensure that the polling officer verifies your ident
  • With the EVM, instead of issuing a ballot paper, the polling officer will press the Ballot Button which enables the voter to cast their vote.
  • A list of candidates names and/or symbols will be available on the machine with a blue button next to it.
  • The voter can press the button next to the candidate’s name they wish to vote for.
  • MB Haneefa invented the first Indian voting machine in 1980.
  • It was first used in 1981 in the by-election to North Paravur Assembly Constituency of Kerala in 50 polling stations.
  • The EVMs were commissioned in 1989 by Election Commission of India in collaboration with Bharat Electronics Limited and Electronics Corporation of India Limited.
  • The law was amended by the Parliament in December, 1988 and a new section 61A was inserted in the Representation of the People Act, 1951 empowering the Commission to use voting machines.
    • The amended provision came into force with effect from 15th March, 1989.

Voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT):

  • Voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) or verified paper record (VPR) is a method of providing feedback to voters using a ballot-less voting system.
  • A VVPAT is intended as an independent verification system for voting machines designed to allow voters to verify that their vote was cast correctly, to detect possible election fraud or malfunction, and to provide a means to audit the stored electronic results.
  • It contains the name of the candidate (for whom vote has been cast) and symbol of the party/individual candidate.
  • The VVPAT offers some fundamental differences as a paper, rather than electronic recording medium when storing votes.

Advantages of electronic voting machines:

  • Many developed countries have adopted ballot paper: It is the constitutional duty and the responsibility of the Election Commission and the Central government to introduce such a transparent system of voting and counting in the elections which can be evaluated by the public, the voters, themselves.
  • Difficult for the hackers to hack: In most of the advanced versions of electronic voting machines, there are no external communication paths which make it difficult for the hackers to hack the machine and tamper the count numbers.
  • Electronic voting machines are cost effective and economical: In the paper ballot, the amount of raw material used is higher. It directly impacts the environment as paper ballots use papers to cast votes.
  • Time savers: one can count the votes in a few minutes which make life easier for the election officers on duty. In a paper ballot, the vote counting process is quite tedious and time-consuming.
  • Electronic voting machines are quite effective against bogus votes: Electronic voting machines are programmed to capture a maximum of five votes in a minute. Due to which a single vote cannot cast fake votes.

Concerns of using electronic voting machines:

  • No certification: No nationally or internationally recognised institutions or governments have certified the EVMs as cent per cent accurate.
  • Vulnerability to malware: Many software programmers have claimed that the electronic voting machines are vulnerable to malicious programming and if it gets affected then any hacker can hack the machine and can tamper the vote counts easily.
  • Manufacturing: Most of the electronic voting machines used in the country were foreign manufactured which means the secret codes that control the electronic voting machines are in foreign hands and they can be used to influence the election results.
  • Loss of data: The biggest change with technology is that no matter how much data it records, a single virus can destroy the entire data storage.
  • Not suitable to Humid places: The highly humid area and those areas which receive frequent rainfall are not suitable for casting votes using electronic voting machines.
  • As machines are prone to damage due to high humidity level, thus usage of electronic voting machines is not advisable in such areas.
  • Fake votes: Most of the electronic voting machines used in the country do not have any mechanism by which the voter can verify their identity before casting the vote due to which fake voters can cast numerous fake votes.

Suggestive Measures:

  • Rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater, a couple of procedural changes will bring in credibility to the voting process.
  • The EC has already operationalised the voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) with an attached printer that provides a paper trail for those who have cast their votes.
  • At present, after casting the vote in EVMs, the printed paper is directly dropped in the box (the voter only has seven seconds to see this).
    • Instead, the paper should be given to the voter who should then drop it in the ballot box.
    • This was the procedure before the introduction of EVMs.
  • In the current system, to ask for a counting of ballots from the VVPAT, one has to move the courts.
    • Instead, the ECI should introduce a new procedure wherein the manual counting of the printed ballots has to be done before announcing the result if the difference between the winner and the loser is less than, say, 10%, and the loser demands a recount.

Source: Indian Express

Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuary is located in

  1. Arunachal Pradesh
  2. Assam
  3. Jharkhand
  4. Maharashtra

Q.2) Consider the following statements regarding the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA):

  1. It a regulatory authority set up under Section 10(1) of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
  2. It functions under the guidelines of The Minister of Commerce and Industry.
  3. Consumer Protection Act, 2019 defines a consumer as a person who buys any goods or avails of service for final use.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

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

Q.3) The Mandovi/Mahadayi River Water Dispute associated with

  1. Maharashtra and Telangana
  2. Goa and Kerala
  3. Karnataka and Goa
  4. Jharkhand and Odisha

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

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

ANSWERS FOR 16th May – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – a

Q.2) – d

Q.3) – a

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