Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - September 07, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

EESL to procure 250 electric vehicles from Hyundai, Tata Motors

Focus: GS3.

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


Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a Super Energy Service Company (ESCO) under the administrative control of Ministry of Power has announced that it will procure 250 electric vehicles from Tata Motors and Hyundai Motor India.


“The companies were selected through an international competitive bidding process, which was aimed at increased participation. Tata Motors Limited and Hyundai Motor India Limited won the tender and now will supply 150 Nexon electric compact SUVs & 100 Kona electric premium SUVs respectively for government use,” an official release said.

About the procurement

  • This procurement will utilize 5 Million USD from the recent grant provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
  • EESL has received financing from ADB towards the cost of scaling up and financing high priority areas like Demand Side Energy Efficiency Sector Projects.
  • EESL will procure Tata Nexon at Rs 14.86 lakh each, Rs 13,000 cheaper than its ex-showroom price of Rs 14.99 lakh whereas, Hyundai Kona, which offers a higher range, will be procured at an 11% lower price band of Rs 21.36 lakh and with a standard three-year warranty.
  • These electric vehicles will replace the existing fleet of petrol and diesel vehicles of the Central and State Governments.
  • EESL has already received an order for 300 Long Range EVs from The Agency for Non-Conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT), Kerala to be supplied in initial phase.

Source: The Hindu.

Trial run on new river route connecting Bangladesh with Tripura starts

Focus: GS2.

Topic: India and its neighbourhood- relations.


  • The trial run from Daudkandi in Bangladesh to Sonamura in Tripura started as the MV Premier sailed from Daudkandi with 50 metric tonne of cement cargo. 
  • It is scheduled to arrive in Sonamura in Tripura after covering a distance of 93 kilometers through river Gumti. 
  • The route will connect Tripura with Bangladesh using the inland waterways for the first time. 
  • This is yet another recent connectivity initiative with Bangladesh, which will greatly enhance connectivity between Bangladesh and the North Eastern states of India boosting bilateral trade with Bangladesh.

About the route

  • The opening of the new route follows the signing of the 2nd addendum to the Protocol for Inland Water Trade & Transit (PIWTT) in May 2020 which opened two new routes.
  • The PIWTT was signed between India and Bangladesh in 1972 to connect the two countries through inland waterways. 
  • In 2019-2020, approx. 3.5 million MT of cargo was transported between India and Bangladesh on the protocol routes.
  • Enhanced connectivity through inland waterways in the present Covid–19 scenario will provide an economical, faster, safer and cleaner mode of transportation for traders and business communities of both countries.

Source: AIR News.

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Data for Accidental Deaths & Suicides released by NCRB shows India doing better than global rate

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.


  • The data for Accidental Deaths and Suicides released by the National Crime Records Bureau, NCRB shows that India is doing better than the global rate.
  • The rate of road accident deaths per thousand vehicles in India is 61, while the global rate as per the WHO Report is 64.


  • The NCRB report also shows that there has been a reduction in the number of Traffic Accident cases and persons injured in the country.
  • Road accidents in most States have declined.

About the data highlights

  • Road accidents form 92.2 percent of the total traffic accidents and have consistently declined.
  • This may be attributed to better implementation of laws such as the Motor Vehicles Act, MVA.
  • Road accidents due to over-speeding, which was a major cause of road accidents in previous years and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol have declined nationally owing to amendments in the MVA.
  • The rate of road traffic deaths per one lakh population over the last 15 years has approximately been 18. 
  • The rate of road accident deaths per lakh population in 2019 in the country is 11.6.
  • This rate is very close to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs which calls for reduction in the number of deaths by half which comes to 8 by the year 2020. 
  • According to World Health Organization, WHO - Global Status Report on Road Safety - 2018.
  • In the national capital, Delhi, deaths in cases of road accidents have seen a major decline from 1,734 to 1,508.
  • This was largely due to focused enforcement drives carried out by the Delhi Police in black spots and accident prone areas, road safety awareness campaigns carried out across Delhi, placement of CCTVs at important traffic junctions, amendments in the MVA and suggestions given by Delhi Police in aspects related to road engineering.
  • Delhi Police have also been carrying out accident cause analysis of each fatal accident and rectification measures are being taken accordingly.

Source: AIR News.

Modi govt climbs down on Question Hour, will allow ‘unstarred questions’ in monsoon session

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.


Following backlash from opposition leaders over the decision to scrap Question Hour from the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament, starting 14 September, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said that he has requested the Lok Sabha Speaker to allow unstarred questions by members.

About the Highlights

  • Unstarred questions are those where a minister gives a written reply to questions asked by MPs, whereas starred questions get verbal responses in the House.
  • All questions for Question Hour — the first hour of business every day when Parliament is in session — have to be tabled 15 days before the session.
  • Unlike Question Hour, members can raise any current issue related to any ministry for discussion during the Zero Hour.
  • But the minister concerned is not bound to respond.

Source: The Print.

Maharashtra Government Declaring 'Aarey' as Reserve Forest is Getting the 'Green Signal' From Netizens

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


  • Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced that the state government has decided to declare 600 acres of Aarey land near Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) as a reserve forest.
  • This will be done by applying Section 4 of the Indian Forest Act (IFA) to almost 600 acres of the land.
  • Aarey comes under the Dairy Development Department, and the Forest and Environment departments.
  • In November last year, the Maharashtra government decided to stay the construction of the metro car shed in the Aarey Colony as the project faced protests for cutting trees for the work.
  • However, the state government did not halt the work of the Mumbai metro rail project.

About Aarey forest

  • Aarey Colony falls within the eco sensitive zone of Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) and is an urban, unclassed and degraded forest.
  • It is classified as mixed moist deciduous type forest.
  • It acts as a buffer between SGNP and the city, being one of the few green spaces (spread over 2000 acres) left in Mumbai.
  • It was established in 1949 to revolutionise the processing and marketing of dairy products in the city.
  • It was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

Source: Indian Express.


Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.


  • Last month, Hollywood actor William Shatner took offence to being called ‘CIS’, short for ‘cisgendered’.
  • “Some need labels and categories to separate people in order to harass or debase them… Do we need these labels in order to communicate? No. So those that use them when describing others are doing it for neg[ative] reasons,” Shatner tweeted.


  • In a Twitter battle that raged for days, many pointed out to him that cisgender was not a pejorative at all, that it was simply a descriptor.
  • But Shatner persisted: “It’s used as a slur & term of harassment.”

About Cisgender

  • The term cisgendered is used to define people whose gender identity matches the identity assigned to them at birth.
  • When a child is born, it is assigned a gender identity based on its physical characteristics.
  • Many believe that gender is a social construct, and growing up, the child may or may not confirm to the birth identity.
  • Children assigned male at birth can feel they identify more authentically as a woman, to give one example.
  • For transgender people, their sense of gender identity does not match the one assigned to them at birth.
  • The latin prefix ‘cis’ literally means ‘on the same side of’, while ‘trans’ means on the other side.

Source: Business Standard.


Focus: GS3.                                 

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


  • Recently, the scientists have announced that the discovery of a black hole(the oldest ever detected) that shouldn't even exist according to the current understanding of cosmic monsters.
  • The born of a merger between two other black holes, GW190521 weighs in at 142 times the mass of our Sunand is the first “intermediate mass” black hole ever observed.


  • The LIGO-Virgo team has also measured each black hole’s spin and discovered that as the black holes were circling ever closer together.
  • It is a supermassive black holes found at the centre of most galaxies, including the Milky Way, range from millions to billions of solar masses.

About the Highlights

  • The findings support the idea that supermassive black holes could be formed through the repeated merger of these mid-sized bodies.
  • GW190521 was detected in 2019 by three interferometers, which can measure a change thousands of times smaller than an atomic nucleus as gravitational waves pass Earth.
  • In 2019, signals from these waves were detected at the gravitational wave observatory LIGO (United States) and the detector Virgo (Italy).

Source: Indian Express.


Test your Knowledge

  1. Consider the following statements wrt Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council:
  1. Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) is India's Apex body of Gems & Jewellery supported by the Ministry of External Affairs.
  2. The GJEPC is the apex body driving India’s export-led growth in the gem and jewellery sector, since 1966.
  3. Headquartered in Mumbai with regional offices across the country, the Council has over 7,000 members in its fold.

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: B

2. Consider the following:

  • Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) is India's Apex body of Gems & Jewellery supported by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. Of India.

Exercise INDRA NAVY is conducted biennially between India and :

      A. United States
      B. China
      C. Australia
      D. Russia

Solution: D

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