Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - July 01, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

National Statistics Day

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.


  • The National Statistics Day to commemorate the birth anniversary of PC Mahalanobis, often referred to as the 'father of Indian statistics', is being marked today.
  • On June 29, 2006, the first Statistics Day was observed.

About the Background

  • "Good Health and Well Being and Gender Equality", is the theme for National Statistics Day 2020, tweeted Union Minister for Environment, Prakash Javadekar.
  • "Tribute to Prof PC Mahalanobis for the notable contribution made by him in the field of economic planning and statistical development on his birth anniversary," Mr Javadekaer wrote on social media.

About the Day

  • This year, National Statistics Day is being observed through a series of virtual events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The day is dedicated to statistics in daily life and creating awareness among people on how statistics helps in framing policies. 
  • The key contribution of PC Mahalanobis is known as "Mahalanobis distance'. The formula is used to find the distance between a point and a distribution, based on measurements in multiple dimensions.
  • It is widely used in the field of cluster analysis and classification.

Source: NDTV.

Lost continent of Zealandia mapped in unprecedented detail

Focus: GS1.

Topic:Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.


Earth's mysterious eighth continent doesn't appear on most conventional maps; that's because almost 95% of its land mass is submerged thousands of feet beneath the Pacific Ocean.

About the new land

  • Zealandia — or Te Riu-a-Māui, as it's referred to in the indigenous Māori language — is a 2 million-square-mile (5 million square kilometers) continent east of Australia, beneath modern-day New Zealand.
  • Scientists discovered the sprawling underwater mass in the 1990s, then gave it formal continent status in 2017.
  • Still, the "lost continent" remains largely unknown and poorly studied due to its Atlantean geography.
  • Now, GNS Science — a geohazards research and consultancy organization owned by the government of New Zealand — hopes to raise Zealandia (in public awareness, at least) with a suite of new maps and interactive tools that capture the lost continent in unprecedented detail.

Source: PIB.

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Sanskritik Sadbhav Mandap

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.


  • Union Minister of Minority Affairs has recently inaugurated “Sanskritik Sadbhav Mandap” at Rampur, Uttar Pradesh. 
  • It is constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karykram (PMJVK). 
  • This community centre will be utilised for various socio-economic-cultural activities, skill development training, coaching, relief activities during disaster such as Corona and different sports activities. 

About Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram

  • The erstwhile Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP), a centrally sponsored scheme has been restructured and renamed as Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram. 
  • MsDP, a centrally sponsored scheme, launched to address the development deficits in 90 minority concentration districts in the country to address the development deficits. 
  • It has been identified as one of the Core of the Core Schemes under National Development Agenda. 
  • It aims at improving the socio-economic parameters of basic amenities for improving the quality of life of the people and reducing imbalances in the Minority Concentration Areas. 
  • Minority Concentration Areas have been identified based on both population data (25% of the total population belongs to minority communities) and backwardness parameters of Census 2001 of these areas. 
  • The projects considered are additional class rooms, laboratories, school buildings, hostels, toilets, buildings for Polytechnics, ITIs, Community Health Centres, Primary Health Centres / Sub-centres, Anganwadi Centres, Rural Housing etc. 

Source: Indian Express.

Galvanized Rebar Production Facility

Focus: GS3.

Topic:Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.


  • Union Minister of Steel Dharmendra Pradhan today inaugurated Continuous Galvanized Rebar Production Facility at  Mandi Gobindgarh in Punjab.
  • Steel in general, and galvanized steel in particular, is a material of strength which is environment-friendly and cost-effective.

About the Highlights

  • The focus is on large-scale expansion in infrastructure sectors and driving steel intensity, the demand for galvanized steel is set to rise.
  • The Continuous Galvanized Rebar production facility will support the much awaited need of supplying galvanized rebar to the construction industry.
  • The facility inaugurated is a step in the right direction towards making of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
  • Several steps are being taken by the Ministry including setting up of steel clusters, steel scrap policy and steps taken to ensure raw material security to make the sector more vibrant and self-reliant.

Source: PIB..

International Asteroid Day

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.


  • The International Asteroid Day is observed on June 30 to spread awareness about the possible hazards of an asteroid impact and create information about the role of asteroids in the formation of the universe and provide a way for future exploration.
  • The Asteroid Day was co-founded in 2014 by musician Dr Brian May of QUEEN, Apollo 9 Astronaut Rusty Schweickart, Filmmaker Grig Richters, and B612 President Danica Remy.
  • Asteroid Day was created to encourage the public and governments to learn more about asteroids and to support resources necessary to find and deflect asteroids.

About the History and significance of Asteroid Day

  • In December 2016, the UN declared the Asteroid Day as an international day of education and awareness initiated in part, following the 15 February 2013 meteor impact in Chelyabinsk, Russia.
  • June 30 was declared as the International Asteroid Day by a UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/71/90 proposed by the Association of Space Explorers and endorsed by Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).
  • The day marks the anniversary of the 1908 Tunguska impact when the largest-ever explosion occurred on June 30 over the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in Siberia, Russia.
  • As per NASA estimates, the  220-million-pound asteroid entered the atmosphere of the Earth at a speed of about 33,500 miles per hour, heated the air surrounding it to 44,500 degrees Fahrenheit and at 28,000 feet height annihilated from the heat and pressure to produce a fireball and energy equal to about 185 Hiroshima bombs. 
  • The blast destroyed 80 million trees over a forest area of 2,150 square km but no crater can be found on the site because of its disintegration before the strike.

About the Asteroids

  • Asteroids are rocky-metallic celestial bodies, small enough to not be considered as planets, revolving around the sun.
  • They are mostly found in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
  • Asteroids can be understood as minor planets that did not evolve when the solar system was born.
  • Asteroids are also referred to as leftover from the Big Bang of rocks and there may be several hundred thousands of asteroids holding the secret of the early universe that are still undiscovered.
  • On July 1, Asteroid 2019 AC3, measuring between 9.2 metres to 21 metres in diameter, will fly past and slow down at 12,060 kmph.

About the Asteroid day

  • Different talks and panel discussions are held among eminent experts in the particular field as a part of International Asteroid Day.
  • This year, all events and discussions will be held online due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
  • Topics of discussion this year include the acceleration in the rate of our asteroid discoveries and why it is set to accelerate even faster, the imminent arrival of samples from asteroid Ryugu and Bennu, the exciting preparations for the joint US-Europe mission to binary asteroid Didymos, and much more.

Source: Times Now.

India bans Chinese apps

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.


India banned 59 apps originating from China, including very popular ones like the short video platform TikTok, UC Browser, file sharing app ShareIt, and CamScanner, which allows iOS and Android devices to be used as image and document scanners.

About the legal basis for India’s action
  • The ban has been enforced under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (“Power to issue directions for blocking for public access of any information through any computer resource”):
  • “Where the Central Government or any of its officers specially authorised by it… is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient so to do, in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to above, it may… by order, direct any agency of the Government or intermediary to block for access by the public or cause to be blocked for access by the public any information generated, transmitted, received, stored or hosted in any computer resource.”
  • The Ministry of Information and Technology has said that it “has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps… for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India”. Since this “ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures”, it has said.

About the ban enforcement

  • The notification is expected to be followed by instructions to Internet service providers to block these apps.
  • Users are likely to soon see a message saying access to the apps has been restricted on the request of the government.
  • However, while this will impact apps like TikTok and UC News that need a live feed to serve any purpose, users might still be able to continue using apps that don’t need an active Internet connection to be used.
  • But further downloads of these apps, like CamScanner, are likely to be blocked on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store.

Source: Indian Express.


Test your Knowledge

  1. Consider the following statements:
  1. The Balochistan region is divided almost evenly between Pakistan (where it's called Balochistan) and Iran.
  2. Its provincial capital and largest city is Quetta.
  3. Balochistan lies at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz and provides the shortest route from seaports to Central Asia.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

     A. 1 and 2 only
     B. 2 and 3 only
     C. 1 and 3 only
     D. AOTA

Solution: D

  1. The theme of International Day of Parliamentarism 2020 is:

     A. Are parliamentary democracies in danger?
     B. Parliaments in a time of Pandemic
     C. transparency and accountability at national and global levels
     D. Climate Action for Peace

Solution: B


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