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

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  • August 22, 2023
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United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)


  • Prelims –Economy

Context: A new report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has stated that robust raw material supply chain is key to Africa’s growth.


  • Africa can emerge as a significant manufacturing hub for tech-intensive sectors like automobiles, mobile telephones, renewable energy, and health care by harnessing its vast resources of raw materials, according to the report.
  • The report provided insights into how Africa can diversify its supply chain in knowledge and technology-intensive sectors like automobiles, mobile telephones, renewable energy, and health care.

About United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):-

  • Established: 1964.
    • It is a permanent intergovernmental body established by the United Nations General Assembly.
  • HQ: Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Membership: it has a membership of 195 countries.
    • India is a member.
  • UNCTAD is the UN’s leading institution dealing with trade and development.
  • UNCTAD is part of the UN Secretariat.
  • It is one of the largest in the UN system.

Functions of UNCTAD:-

  • It supports developing countries to access the benefits of a globalized economy more fairly and effectively.
  • It provides economic, trade analysis, and facilitates consensus building.
  • It offers technical assistance to help developing countries use trade, investment, finance, and technology for inclusive and sustainable development.
  • Along with other UN departments and agencies, it also measures the progress made in the Sustainable Development Goals, as set out in Agenda 2030. (Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India)

Important Publications by UNCTAD:-

MUST READ: India-Africa: Challenges & Way Ahead



Q.1) With reference to foreign-owned e-commerce firms operating in India, which of the following statements is/are correct? (2022)

  1. They can sell their own goods in addition to offering their platforms as marketplaces.
  2. The degree to which they can own big sellers on their platforms is limited.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Q.2) Rapid Financing Instruments” and “Rapid Credit Facility” are related to the provisions of lending by which of the following: (2022)

  1. Asian Development Bank
  2. International Monetary Fund
  3. United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative
  4. World Bank



  • Prelims – Disaster Management

Context: Recently, the Central Water Commission launched Mobile App ‘Floodwatch’.

About CWC:

  • Establishment:
  • Ministry: Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  • Head: chairman, with the status of Ex-Officio Secretary to the Government of India.
  • Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • It is an attached office of the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Department of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation.
  • It is entrusted with the general responsibilities of initiating, coordinating, and furthering in consultation with the State Governments concerned, schemes for control, conservation, and utilization of water resources throughout the country.
  • It also undertakes the investigations, construction, and execution of any such schemes as required.

About Floodwatch:-

  • Launched: 2023.
  • Launched by: Central Water Commission (CWC).
  • Objectives: using mobile phones to disseminate information related to the flood situation and forecasts up to 7 days on a real-time basis to the public.

Salient Features of Floodwatch:-

  • It provides essential information regarding flood situations in the country. (Nature’s Warning: Floods)
  • Bilingual: The in-house developed user-friendly app has readable and audio broadcast and all the information is available in 2 languages, viz. English and Hindi.
  • Real-time flood monitoring: users can check up-to-date flood situations throughout the country.
    • The app utilizes near real-time river flow data from various sources.
    • It also provides flood forecasts at the nearest location. (Urban Flooding)
  • Flood advisory: users can check the flood advisory at the station nearest to them.
  • Forecast using an Interactive Map: users can check the CWC Flood Forecast (up to 24 hours) or Flood Advisory (up to 7 days).
    • They can do so either by directly selecting the station from the map or can search for the name of the station in the search box.
    • The location will be zoomed in on the map when the name of the station will be selected from the dropdown.
  • State-wise/Basin-wise Flood Forecast: The app provides State-wise/Basin-wise Flood Forecast (up to 24 hours) or Flood Advisory (up to 7 days).
    • This can be accessed by selecting specific stations, state-wise or basin-wise from the dropdown menu.
  • Easy access: The app can be downloaded free of charge from the Google Play Store.
    • The app will also be available on Apple iOS soon.
  • Advanced technologies: It utilizes advanced technologies such as satellite data analysis, mathematical modeling, and real-time monitoring to deliver accurate and timely flood forecasts.

 MUST READ: Urbanisation and Urban floods



Q.1) Gandikota canyon of South India was created by which one of the following rivers? (2022)

  1. Cauvery
  2. Manjira
  3. Pennar
  4. Tungabhadra

Matti banana


  • Prelims –Geography

Context: Recently, the Matti banana variety was granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.

About Matti banana:-

  • They are indigenous to Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu. (Dragon Fruit)
  • Kanyakumari was then part of Travancore.
  • It thrives in the unique climate and soil.
  • It flourishes mainly in Kalkulam and Vilavancode taluks.
  • It is known as ‘Baby Banana.
  • Its low total soluble solids content (TSSC) makes it suitable as a baby food.
  • There are six known types of the Matti banana:-
    • Nal Matti: a yellowish-orange colour and fine aroma.
    • Theyn [honey] Matti’s: pulp tastes like honey.
    • Kal Matti gets its name from the calcium oxalate crystals forming in its pulp and black dots on the skin.
    • Nei Matti: exudes the aroma of ghee.
    • Sundari Matti: a Matti clone, with its elongated fingers, thick peel, and creamy white rind.

MUST READ: Crop in news: Jackfruit



Q.1) With reference to, the “Tea Board” in India, consider the following statements:

  1. The Tea Board is a statutory body.
  2. It is a regulatory body attached to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
  3. The Tea Board’s Head Office is situated in Bengaluru.
  4. The Board has overseas offices in Dubai and Moscow.

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

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

Q.2) Consider the following statements: (2021)

  1. Moringa (drumstick tree) is a leguminous evergreen tree.
  2. Tamarind tree is endemic to South Asia.
  3. In India, most of the tamarind is collected as minor forest produce.
  4. India exports tamarind and seeds of moringa.
  5. Seeds of moringa and tamarind can be used in the production of biofuels.

Which of the statements given above is correct?

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

Madan Lal Dhingra


  • Prelims –Modern History

Context: Recently, a massive memorial was dedicated to  Madan Lal Dhingra on his 114th in Amritsar, where he hailed from.

About Madan Lal Dhingra:-

  • Birth: 18 February 1883
  • Born in Amritsar.
  • Death: August 17, 1909.
    • He was hanged at the age of only 24 for killing British official Curzon Wyllie.
  • He was an Indian revolutionary.
  • He protested against British policies, was expelled from college, and engaged in revolutionary activities.
  • He was disowned by his family for his anti-British leanings.
  • Even after his death, his family refused to take his body.

Political Career and Activities:-

  • He enrolled at University College, London, where he studied engineering.
  • While in England, Dhingra became deeply involved in the activities of the Indian independence
  • He came in contact with the revolutionaries like Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Shyamji Krishna Varma, the founder of Indian House, and several others.
  • He joined Vinayak Savarkar’s Abhinav Bharat Mandal in London.
  • He participated in discussions at India House, a hub for Indian nationalists.

Assassination of Curzon Wylli and trial:-

  • On July 1, 1909, Dhingra shot and killed Wyllie during an event.
  • During his trial, Dhingra defended his actions as justifiable in the context of fighting against British oppression.
  • He was found guilty and executed on August 17, 1909, in London.


  • Dhingra’s remains returned to India in 1976, and a memorial was erected in Amritsar’s Golbagh area to honour his sacrifice.

 MUST READ: Role of Bengal in the Freedom Movement of India



Q.1) Consider the following freedom fighters: (2022)

  1. Barindra Kumar Ghosh
  2. Jogesh Chandra Chatterjee
  3. Rash Behari Bose

Who of the above was/were actively associated with the Ghadar Party?

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

Q.2) With reference to the history of India, Ulgulan or the Great Tumult is the description of which of the following events? (2020)

  1. The Revolt of 1857
  2. The Mappila Rebellion of 1921
  3. The Indigo Revolt of 1859-60
  4. Birsa Munda’s Revolt of 1899-1900

Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden


  • Prelims –Environment and Ecology

Context: The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden has earned a prestigious spot in the World Book of Records (London).

About Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden:-

  • Location: Jammu and Kashmir. (New genus of parasitic flowering plant)
  • Opened in 2007.
  • Objective: to boost floriculture and tourism in Kashmir Valley.
  • Area: 30 hectares.
  • Mountain Range: It is situated on the foothills of the Zabarwan Range with an overview of Dal Lake.
  • It is the largest tulip garden in Asia.
  • The garden is built on a sloping ground in a terraced fashion consisting of seven terraces.
  • The garden houses about 48 varieties of tulip flowers.
  • Other flowers: daffodils, hyacinths, roses, narcissus, and other ornamental plants.

Tulip festival:

  • It is an annual celebration to showcase the range of flowers in the garden as a part of tourism efforts by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • It is organized during the onset of the spring season in Kashmir Valley.

 MUST READ: Neelakurinji’ Blooms



Q.1) With reference to “Gucchi” sometimes mentioned in the news, consider the following statements: (2022)

  1. It is a fungus.
  2. It grows in some Himalayan forest areas.
  3. It is commercially cultivated in the Himalayan foothills of north-eastern India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Q.2) Which of the following are nitrogen-fixing plants? (2022)

  1. Alfalfa
  2. Amaranth
  3. Chickpea
  4. Clover
  5. Purslane (Kulfa)
  6. Spinach

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1, 3, and 4 only
  2. 1, 3, 5, and 6 only
  3. 2, 4, 5, and 6 only
  4. 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6



  • Prelims –Environment and Ecology

Context: The Hangul population in J&K has seen an increasing trend in recent times.

About Hangul:-

  • It is the state animal of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • The hangul is also called as Kashmir stag.
  • Hangul, or cervus ellaphus hanglu, a sub-specie of the European red deer.
  • It is known to be existing only in Kashmir.

Habitat and Distribution:-

  • It is restricted to the Dachigam National Park.
  • It is located some 15 km northwest of Jammu & Kashmir’s summer capital
  • The Hangul was once widely distributed in the mountains of Kashmir and parts of the Chamba district in neighboring Himachal Pradesh.

Conservation Status:-

MUST READ: Wildlife Protection



Q.1) With reference to India’s biodiversity, Ceylon Frogmouth, Coppersmith Barbet, Gray Chinned Minivet and White-throated Redstart are (2020)

  1. Birds
  2. Primates
  3. Reptiles
  4. Amphibians

 Q.2) Recently, there was a proposal to translocate some of the lions from their natural habitat in Gujarat to one of the following sites (2017)

  1. Corbett National Park
  2. Kuno Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary
  3. Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary
  4. Sariska National Park


Constitutional Morality


  • Mains – GS 2 (Governance) and GS 4 (Ethics)

Context:  Recently the High Court bench of Telangana opined that constitutional morality must outweigh the argument of public morality, even if it were the majoritarian view.

  • The court passed the order while decriminalising gay sex among consenting adults, which was earlier a criminal offence punishable with even life imprisonment.

About Constitutional Morality:

  • Constitutional morality refers to the principles and values that underlie the constitution and guide the actions of government and citizens.
  • It encompasses the idea that the constitution is not just a legal document but also a moral one that reflects the shared values and aspirations of a society.
  • It also encompasses the idea that the constitution should be interpreted and implemented consistently with these fundamental principles and values rather than simply as a technical document to be followed literally.
  • The term Constitutional Morality is not mentioned anywhere in the constitution.

Evolution of Constitutional Morality over the period:

  • Origin: The doctrine of Constitutional morality traces its origin back to the work of English Historian George Grote.
  • He used ‘constitutional morality’ to describe popular sovereignty, governed based on ‘freedom’ and self-restraint.
  • Constitutional morality, for Grote, also meant citizens’ right to criticize public officials.
    • Therefore, highlighting the limitation to the power of public officials and their duty to respect the Constitution.
  • Constituent Assembly: In the Indian context, this word was first used by Bhim Rao Ambedkar during the Constituent Assembly debate to justify the inclusion of administrative details in the Constitution itself.
  • According to him, constitutional morality was the solution to the existing inequality in society.
    • It primarily meant respect among parties in a republic for constitutional democracy as the preferred form of governance and administration.
  • Kesavananda Bharati Case(1973): It was subtly indicated by the Supreme Court when it propounded the conception of the basic structure of the Constitution.
  • Constitutional Morality was also mentioned in the First Judges case (1982).
    • Thereafter, it was mentioned in Naz Foundation v. Government of NCT of Delhi (2010), where it was used antithetically to popular acceptance and social morality.

Elements of Constitutional morality:

  • Constitutional morality involve adherence to constitutional principles like:
    • Commitment to liberty
    • Constitutional supremacy
    • Parliamentary form of government and self-restraint
    • Rule of law
    • Equality
    • Intolerance for corruption, to name a few

Significance of Constitutional morality:

  • Protects rights of citizens: It helps to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens by ensuring that the government is held accountable to the rule of law and the principles of democracy, justice, liberty, and equality.
  • Promoting democratic ideals: It helps to maintain the integrity of democratic institutions by ensuring that the government is constrained by the will of the people and the principles of the constitution.
  • Bring positive change in society: It can be used to interpret laws or statutes no longer consistent with recent times, thus bringing positive societal change.
  • Creates Inclusive Society: It helps to promote social cohesion and respect for diversity by recognizing and protecting the rights of all citizens, regardless of their background or identity.

Supreme Court Landmark Judgments Upholding Constitutional morality:

  • Khushboo vs Kanniammal & Anr. (2010): Declared sexual relations between consenting adults outside marriage as legal and within the right to privacy.
  • Naz Foundation vs Government of NCT of Delhi (2009): Decriminalized consensual homosexual acts between adults, declaring Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code as a violation of rights.
  • Joseph Shine vs Union of India (2018): Decriminalized adultery and declared it a violation of the rights to equality, dignity, privacy, and autonomy.
  • Navtej Singh Johar vs Union of India (2018): Affirmed the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals to express their sexual orientation and identity with dignity.
  • Shafin Jahan vs Asokan K.M. (2018): Upheld the right to marry a person of one’s choice regardless of religion or caste, nullifying the annulment of a Hindu-Muslim marriage.
  • Shakti Vahini vs Union of India (2018): Condemned honour killings and violence against inter-caste and inter-religious couples, issuing guidelines for prevention and protection.
  • Indian Young Lawyers Association & Ors vs. The State of Kerala & Ors., (2019) (Sabarimala Case): The Supreme Court ruled that the exclusion of women between the ages of 10-50 years from the Sabarimala temple violates four key principles of constitutional morality: Justice, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.
    • The court observed that the term “morality” in Articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution refers to constitutional morality rather than popular morality.

Challenges pertaining to Constitutional morality in India:

  • Lack of clarity: Some argue that the concept of constitutional morality is not clearly defined and that it can be used to justify a wide range of actions and decisions, which undermines the principle of predictability and the rule of law.
  • Subjectivity: Some argue that the concept of constitutional morality is highly subjective and that it can be used to justify different actions and decisions depending on the perspective of the person or institution interpreting it.
  • Can lead to judicial overreach: If this doctrine is used without limits or restrictions, it could amount to judicial overreach. This can lead to a violation of the separation of powers.
  • Selective application: There have been instances where constitutional morality has been selectively applied to certain groups or issues, undermining the principle of impartiality and the rule of law.
  • Lack of popular legitimacy: Some argue that constitutional morality is not based on popular consent and is imposed on society in opposition to public morality.

Way Forward:

Constitutional Morality is a sentiment to be cultivated in the minds of a responsible citizen. Upholding constitutional morality is not just the duty of Judiciary or state but also of individuals. The preamble of the constitution explicitly mentions the type of society we wish to establish; it is only through constitutional morality it can become reality.

Constitutional morality should be flexible and adaptive to evolving societal norms, values, and challenges. The courts and institutions responsible for interpreting the constitution should embrace a dynamic approach that considers contemporary issues and developments.

Source:    Deccan Herald

Expansion of BRICS


  • Mains – GS 2 (International Relations)

Context: Recently there have been internal conflicts about the nature and scope of the potential expansion of BRICS ahead of 15th summit, which is going to be held in South Africa.

About BRICS:

Source:  CGTN          

  • BRICS is an acronym for five regional economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
  • The first four were initially grouped as “BRIC” in 2001 by an economist Jim O’Neill, who coined the term to describe fast-growing economies that would collectively dominate the global economy by 2050.
  • Summits: The governments of the BRICS states have met annually at formal summits since 2009.
  • India hosted the 13th BRICS summit in 2021 virtually.
  • China hosted the 14th BRICS summit in 2022.
  • South Africa will host the 15th summit 2023.
  • BRICS is an important grouping bringing together the major emerging economies from the world, comprising:
    • 41% of the world population,
    • 24% of the world GDP
    • Over 16% share in world trade.
    • Total combined area of 29.3% of the total land surface of the world
  • Over a period of time, BRICS countries have come together to deliberate on important issues under the three pillars of:
    • political and security,
    • economic and financial and
    • Cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
  • New Development Bank and BRICS: Formerly referred to as the BRICS Development Bank, is a multilateral development bank established by the BRICS states.
    • The Bank shall support public or private projects through loans, guarantees, equity participation and other financial instruments.

The need for BRICS expansion

  • Economic strength: The economic strength of the five members of the grouping is not as promising as it was when the platform was first announced in 2009.
    • Though the BRICS nations certainly represent 43% of the world’s population and around 30% of the global economy, their economic weaknesses are certain.
  • China’s anti-western orientation: China is focused on a quick expansion of BRICS with the aim of giving the platform a distinctly anti-western orientation.
  • Prevailing Anti-Western sentiment: Many realize that the doors of other groupings are closed to them.
    • The clamour reflects prevailing anti-western sentiments and a pervasive desire to create a sizeable forum of the Global South.
  • Global challenges: Russia is being marginalised in the global economy, while China is facing a difficult economic environment with the west turning against it.

Challenges with expanding BRICS grouping:

  • An increase in membership is likely to weigh the group in favour of China because some countries waiting to join are also part of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative.
    • This raise concerns that an expanded BRICS could be seen as a Chinese-led anti-American bloc.
  • India, which has been strengthening its bilateral relationship with the US, has been concerned about expansion.
    • India views China’s role in driving these countries for membership of BRICS along with the support of Russia.
  • India also raised its concern in last year’s BRICS that any addition of new members must follow the carefully thought-out objective criteria for membership.
    • This should be mutually discussed among the present members, so that all are of the same view regarding expansion.
  • Further, at the BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting last month, India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar emphasized the need to consider the ways in which existing BRICS countries collaborate with each other and engages with non-BRICS countries.

Way Forward:

The 15th BRICS summit holds multifaceted importance for India, offering a platform for addressing geopolitical concerns, facilitating bilateral talks, and advancing economic collaborations. As the global landscape continues to evolve, BRICS remains a critical forum for emerging economies to engage and collaborate on key global challenges. The outcomes of this summit will not only affect the member nations but also shape the broader trajectory of international relations and cooperation.

Source: Economic Times

Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q1) Consider the following pairs:

GI Tag Location
1.Rasagola Odisha
2.Palani Panchamirtham Telangana
3.Matti banana Tamil Nadu

How many of the above pairs are correctly matched?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. All three
  4. None

Q2) Consider the following statements


Madan Lal Dhingra was born on 18 February 1883, Ludhiana.


He was hanged at the age of only 24 for killing British official Curzon Wyllie.

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

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

Q3) Consider the following statements


UNCTAD is not a part of the UN Secretariat.


The United Nations General Assembly established it.

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

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

Mains Practice Questions

Q.1) Constitutional Morality is rooted in the Constitution itself and is founded on its essential facets. Explain the doctrine of ‘Constitutional Morality’ with the help of relevant judicial decisions. (250 words)

Q.2) What significance does the 15th BRICS summit hold for India in terms of addressing geopolitical shifts and the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine? Examine the challenges and benefits of expanding BRICS membership beyond its core group and its implications for global dynamics. (250 words)

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

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

ANSWERS FOR 21st August – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – c

Q.2) – c

Q.3) – d

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