Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - August 29, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

Covid-19 takes Odisha’s primitive tribal groups into its tentacles

Focus: GS1.

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


  • After remaining untouched for long, primitive tribal groups of Odisha in remote habitations have reported half a dozen Covid-19 cases recently, triggering concerns over the infection spreading to other such tribals in the state.
  • Five Didayi tribals in Oringi and Muduliguda villages have tested positive for the virus over the last couple of days, officials said.


  • Didayi is a particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG).
  • The first case of infection among tribals was reported recently from Khairput block of Malkangiri district, where over 12,000 Bonda tribals, one of the 13 PVTG of Odisha, stay in hilltop villages.

About the Bondas

  • The Bondas scattered across 32 remote hilltop villages on in the Eastern Ghats of Malkangiri district are believed to have come to India as part of the first wave of migration out of Africa about 60,000 years ago.
  • They were the first forest settlers in India.
  • Though the state government set up the Bonda Development Agency in 1977, there has not been much progress in the community with malnutrition still rampant among the children.

Source: The Hindu.

NRI unified portal

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


  • In Uttar Pradesh, the State Government will prepare a database of the migrant workers of the state working in different countries of the world.
  • It will help in providing them assistance during any emergency.
  • Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched an ambitious NRI unified portal.
  • Speaking at the launch, Yogi Adityanath said that this portal would not only help in investment in the state, but also provide an opportunity for those who want to go abroad.  

About the Highlights

  • The Chief Minister said that the portal would also prove helpful to overseas Indians and NRIs to get their problems with the local administration or the State Government resolved.
  • He said that many people who are living abroad, but are in constant touch with their village and family.
  • Sometimes, they could not find a platform to help their families resolve the problems related to their house and issues with local administration.
  • The website - nri.up.gov.in - will also provide a platform for NRIs keen to know about their roots or those seeking help from the UP Government related to their homes or families in the state.
  • The NRI department of state will use festivals to connect with Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in other countries.
  • The NRI department in the state will be live streaming the Deepotsav festival in Ayodhya during Diwali and then the Holi celebrations in Vrindavan too.
  • Other Uttar Pradesh festivals and cultural events will also be a part of this initiative.

Source: AIR News.

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Global tourism industry

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


  • The tourism global industry has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, with USD 320 billion lost in exports in the first five months of the year and more than 120 million jobs at risk, the UN chief said.
  • Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a policy briefing and video address that tourism is the third-largest export sector of the global economy, behind fuels and chemicals, and in 2019 it accounted for 7 per cent of global trade.


  • It employs one in every 10 people on Earth and provides livelihoods to hundreds of millions more.
  • In addition to boosting economies, it allows people to experience some of the world's cultural and natural riches and brings people closer to each other, highlighting our common humanity.

About the Tourism industry

  • Tourism for some of those countries represents more than 20% of their GDP.
  • USD 320 billion in lost exports from January through May is three times what was lost during the year 2009 at the height of the last global financial crisis.
  • And according to the policy briefing, "export revenues from tourism could fall by USD 910 billion to USD 1.2 trillion in 2020" and that "could reduce global GDP by 1.5 per cent to 2.8 per cent."
  • In addition to tourism jobs that are at risk, the policy paper said jobs in associated sectors, including food service, that provide employment for 144 million workers worldwide are also at risk.

Source: Business Today.

E-auction portal launched to promote trading of GI-tagged ‘Kashmir Saffron’

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.


  • Jammu and Kashmir's agriculture department has created an e-auction portal to promote trading of GI-tagged ‘Kashmir Saffron’.
  • The Department, under the aegis of India International Kashmir Saffron Trading Centre (IIKSTC), has created the portal in collaboration with NSE-IT, with the sole motive to assure buyers to have access to quality ‘Kashmir Saffron’.

About the portal

The Saffron growers of Kashmir valley and buyers across India have been requested to register themselves as sellers and buyers for E- trading on www.saffroneauctionindia.com, so that hassle free e-Trading between registered growers and buyers is ensured.

Source: AIR News.

Global team of scientists discovers one of the earliest galaxies using India’s AstroSat

Focus: GS3.

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


  • In a major breakthrough, a global team led by scientists of the Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) has discovered one of the earliest galaxies in extreme ultraviolet light.
  • AstroSat, India’s first multi-wavelength satellite that has five unique X-ray and ultraviolet telescopes working in tandem, has detected extreme UV light from a galaxy called AUDFs01, 9.3 billion light-years away from Earth.


  • The discovery was made by an international team of astronomers led by Dr Kanak Saha, associate professor of astronomy at IUCAA, and was published on August 24 by Nature Astronomy.
  • The team comprises scientists from India, Switzerland, France, USA, Japan and Netherlands.

About the observations

  • The team observed the galaxy, which is located in the Extreme Deep field, through AstroSat.
  • These observations lasted for more than 28 hours in October 2016.
  • But it took nearly two years since then to carefully analyse the data to ascertain that the emission is indeed from the galaxy.
  • This is a very important clue to how the dark ages of the Universe ended and there was light in the Universe.
  • Since UV radiation is absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere, it has to be observed from space.
  • Earlier, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (HST), which is significantly larger than the Ultra Violet Imaging Telescope (UVIT) on Astrosat, did not detect any UV emission (with energy greater than 13.6 eV) from this galaxy because it is too faint.

About the Highlights

  • A statement issued by IUCAA explained that after the Big Bang, the Universe was a hot soup of particles (i.e.,protons, neutrons, and electrons).
  • As the universe started to cool, the protons and neutrons began combining into ionized atoms of hydrogen (and eventually some helium).
  • These ionized atoms of hydrogen and helium attracted electrons, turning them into neutral atoms — which allowed light to travel freely for the first time, since this light was no longer scattering off free electrons.
  • The universe was no longer opaque.
  • But there were no stars, and no galaxies, and the Universe was dark.
  • A while after this, maybe a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, the dark ages ended when the first stars and galaxies formed and the energy pouring out from them ionized the hydrogen and helium, splitting the atoms back again in protons and electrons, — this is the epoch of reionization.

Source: Indian Express.

NITI Aayog to virtually launch India component of NDC- TIA

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India's interests, Indian diaspora.


  • NITI Aayog will virtually launch the India Component of the Nationally Determined Contributions - NDC-Transport Initiative for Asia –TIA.
  • The event will inform the transport, energy, and climate stakeholders in India about planned project activities for the upcoming year.
  • It will also offer the opportunity to provide input about India’s transport challenges and how they relate to CO2 reduction ambitions.
  • The discussion will help focus the programme further on India’s specific needs and circumstances.

About the Highlights

  • The NDC-TIA India Component will focus on establishing a multi-stakeholder dialogue platform for decarbonizing transport in India and providing technical support on Green House Gas emission reduction measures.
  • The NDC-TIA programme team will work in close cooperation and coordination with India’s government agencies, local decision-makers, researchers, industry experts, think tanks, and civil society organisations.

Source: AIR News.

The Ministry of Culture has announced 7 new circles of Archaeological Survey of India.

Focus: GS1.

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


  • The Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (IC), Shri Prahlad Singh Patel has announced 7 new circles of Archaeological Survey of India. 
  • These new circles have been formed in Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal and Gujarat.
  • Along with the 7 new circles, the minister also added that the Hampi Mini Circle in Karnataka has been converted into a full fledged circle.


  • Ministry of Culture has taken this step in accordance with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to facilitate and strengthen the process of preservation and registration of archaeological monuments along with registration of artefacts with self-declaration.
  • Earlier there were 29 ASI circles across the country.

About the Highlights

  • In a large state like Tamil Nadu which has thousands of temples and glorious memories of the Chola kings, Trichy has been made a new circle along with the circle of Chennai.
  • Karnataka is an important state in terms of holiness.
  • Hampi city in Karnataka is a place of international importance from the point of view of archaeological heritage therefore the Hampi Sub-Circle now has been made a new full-fledged circle.
  • In West Bengal, Raiganj has been made a new circle along with Kolkata, this will eliminate geographical inconvenience in a big state like Bengal.
  • In Gujarat, Rajkot has been announced a new circle along with Vadodara.
  • Jabalpur has been announced a new circle along with Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.
  • This will include the monuments from Jabalpur, Rewa, Shahdol and Sagar divisions.
  • Jhansi in Bundelkhand and Meerut in western Uttar Pradesh has been announced two new circles along with Lucknow and Agra in Uttar Pradesh.

Source: Zee News.


Test your Knowledge

  1. Consider the following statements wrt “KIRAN” TOLL-FREE Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline :
  1. It is developed by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  2. It aims at providing support for early screening, first-aid, psychological support, distress management, mental wellbeing, preventing deviant behaviour and psychological crisis management.
  3. The helpline will offer support in 13 languages for any individual, family, NGOs, DPOs, parent associations, professional associations, rehabilitation institutes, hospitals or anyone in need of support across the country.

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:

  • The helpline 1800-599-0019, is developed by the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry.

Export Preparedness Index is prepared by:

       A. ISRO
       B. Statistical Institute of India
       C. NITI Aayog
       D. PMO

Solution: C

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