Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - May 18, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

Sikkim statehood day

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.


  • The 45th State Day of Sikkim was observed in a brief function held at Chintan Bhawan.
  • The function was attended by Governor Ganga Prasad as the chief guest, while chief minister Prem Singh Tamang was present as the guest of honour.

About the accession

  • The Kingdom of Sikkim was founded by the Namgyal dynasty in the 17th century.
  • It became a princely state of British India in 1890.
  • Before Indian independence, Jawaharlal Nehru, as the Vice President of the Executive Council, pushed through a resolution in the Indian Constituent Assembly to the effect that Sikkim and Bhutan, as Himalayan states, were not ‘Indian states’and their future should be negotiated separately.
  • A standstill agreement was signed in February 1948.
  • Meanwhile, Indian independence and its move to democracy spurred a fledgeling political movement in Sikkim, giving rise to the formation of Sikkim State Congress (SSC).
  • The party sent a plate of demands to the palace, including a demand for accession to India.
  • The palace attempted to defuse the movement.
  • The demand for responsible government continued and the SSC launched a civil disobedience movement.
  • The Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal asked India for help in quelling the movement, which was offered in the form of a small military police force and an Indian Dewan.
  • In 1950, a treaty was agreed between India and Sikkim which gave Sikkim the status of an Indian protectorate.

About the Statehood day

  • Sikkim came under the suzerainty of India, which controlled its external affairs, defence, diplomacy and communications.In other respects, Sikkim retained administrative autonomy.
  • A state council was established in 1953 to allow for constitutional government under the Chogyal.
  • In 1975, thePrime Minister of Sikkim appealed to the Indian Parliament for Sikkim to become a state of India.
  • In April 1975, the Indian Army took over the city of Gangtok and disarmed the Chogyal’s palace guards.
  • Thereafter, a referendum was held in which5 % of voters supported abolishing the monarchy,effectively approving union with India.
  • On 16 May 1975,Sikkim became the 22nd state of the Indian Union, and the monarchy was abolished.
  • First, the 35th Amendment laid down a set of conditions that made Sikkim an “Associate State“, a special designation not used by any other state.
  • A month later, the 36th Amendment repealed the 35th Amendment, and madeSikkim a full state, adding its name to the First Schedule of the Constitution.

Source: AIR.

National migrant information system

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.


The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has written to states to upload data on NMIS dashboard for better coordination, movement monitoring and contact tracing of migrants.

About the portal

  • The portal will maintain a central repository of migrants and help sending as well as receiving state or district to ask for and give their acceptance in an online format seamlessly.
  • This system will help in speedy communication between states and also aid in contact tracing of migrants.
  • The states can upload the batch file of individual data such as name, age, mobile no, originating & destination, date of travel, etc of the migrants which the states are already collecting.
  • The states can visualize how many people are going out from where and how many are reaching destinations through GIS.
  • A unique ID will be generated for each migrant which can be used for all transactions, including contact tracing.
  • The central government nodal ministries can also monitor the movement of migrants through this portal.

Source: The Times of India.

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Troglomyces twitter

Focus: GS3.

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


People often use social media platforms to keep themselves entertained but in a bizarre incident, scientists have discovered a new species of parasitic fungus on the micro-blogging platform Twitter.

About the research

  • According to the study, published in the journal MycoKeys, the researchers spotted an image of a millipede while scrolling through the site and noticed a few tiny dots near the creature’s head, something that has never been seen on the American millipedes.
  • The newly discovered parasitic fungus has now been given its official Latin name, Troglomyces twitter.


  • The research team discovered several specimens of the same fungus on a few of the American millipedes in the Natural History Museum’s enormous collection - fungi that had never before been documented.
  • This confirmed the existence of a previously unknown species of Laboulbeniales - an order of tiny, bizarre and largely unknown fungal parasites that attack insects and millipedes.
  • The researchers point out that discovery is an example of how sharing information on social media can result in completely unexpected results.
  • This is the first time that a new species has been discovered on Twitter.
  • It highlights the importance of these platforms for sharing research - and thereby being able to achieve new results.
  • Social media is generally playing a larger and larger role in research and stresses that the result was possible because of her access to one of the world’s largest biological collections.

Source: Hindustan Times.

MoodofIndia portal

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.


The Indian Institute of Technology-Tirupati (IIT-T) has developed an interactive web portal that can gauge the prevailing mood of any region in the country based on real-time analysis of Twitter data.

About the portal

  • The portal — https://moodofindia.herokuapp.com— has been built by the Research and Intelligent Software and Human Analytics (RISHA) Lab of IIT-Tirupati.
  • Users can log on to the portal and select a location and particular date and see the prevailing mood in that region, based on tweets made using a set of hashtags.
  • Based on the tweets, results are classified into seven categories — six basic emotions and one ‘neutral’ category.
  • As per the professors of IIT-T, “across India, 4,64,933 tweets were posted during March 14 to May 9 under the hashtags #Indiafightscorona, #Covid19, #coronavirus and #lockdown, of which 29% sounded positive, 20% were sad, 11% expressed surprise, 5% anger, 2% fear and 1% disgust, while 35% remained neutral.”
  • A list of ‘trigger events’such as the announcement of the Janata Curfew in March, extension of the lockdown, Prime Minister’s call for lighting lamps, and lifting of the ban on the export on hydroxychloroquine, among others, has been specified, which allows users to view the country’s reaction to specific events during the COVID-19 situation.
  • The portal will continue to gauge the public mood as long as the fight against COVID-19 is on.

Source: The Hindu.

Subsidiary General Ledger

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.


Reserve Bank of India has imposed a penalty on UCO Bank for bouncing of Subsidiary General Ledger (SGL) forms.

About the issue

  • Public sector lender UCO Bank said the reserve Bank has imposed a penalty of ₹5 lakh for violating norms on government bond holding.
  • The Reserve Bank of India has imposed apenalty of ₹5 lakh on UCO Bank for bouncing of Subsidiary General Ledger (SGL) forms.

About the SGL

  • SGL account denotes Subsidiary General Ledger which is maintained with Reserve Bank of India for holding Government Securities and T-Bills in paperless form (or what in retail is called the demat account for G-secs!). The account is used for facilitating delivery and payment trades.
  • UCO Bank shares were trading 26% down at ₹11.78 a pieceon the BSE.
  • In exercise of powers conferred by Section 4 of Government Securities Act 2006,Reserve Bank of India had notified the conditions applicable for opening and maintaining of Subsidiary General Ledger (SGL) Accounts and Constituents’ Subsidiary General Ledger (CSGL).

Source: Hindustan Times.


Test your Knowledge

  1. Consider the following statements wrt Kalapani disputed region:
  1. The Kalapani region is an area under the administration of Indian as part of Pithoragarh districtin the Haryana state, but is also claimed by Nepal.
  2. It is marked by the Kalapani river, one of the headwaters of the Kali River in the Himalayas at an altitude of3600–5200 meters.
  3. The valley of Kalapani, with the Lipulekh Pass at the top, forms the Indian route to Kailash–Manasarovar, an ancient pilgrimage site.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

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

Solution: C

2. Consider the following:

  • The Kalapani region is an area under the administration of Indian as part of Pithoragarh district in the Uttarakhand state, but is also claimed by Nepal.

Which of the following is not a Baltic states?
    1. Estonia
    2. Latvia
    3. Lithuania
    4. Belarus

Solution: D


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