UPSC Exam Current Affairs and News Analysis (18-01-2020)

upsc exam current affairs 18-01-2020

Highlights |UPSC Exam Current Affairs 18-01-2020

UPSC exam current affairs 18-01-2020 The following article contains all the updated events and news for IAS Preparation. Our daily IAS Current Affairs and News cover the most important topics to give precise information to the reader and IAS Aspirants.

  • Yada Yada alphavirus
  • China’s coronavirus 
  • Taiwan, Hongkong and China
  • ASER lessons: Fix early learning in govt schools

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UPSC Exam Current Affairs 18-01-2020 are followed in the part below:

UPSC Exam Current Affairs and News Analysis (18-01-2020)

Yada Yada alphavirus

In news:

Scientists named a novel virus after Seinfeld catchphrase “yada yada,” because it isn’t that big a deal as far as humans are concerned.

From Prelims Point of View:

  • Whatever is an alphavirus, a gathering of infections that the analysts portrayed as “little, single-stranded positive-sense RNA infections (that) incorporate species essential to human and creature wellbeing, for example, Chikungunya infection and Eastern equine encephalitis infection.
  • Alphavirus is transmitted fundamentally by mosquitoes and (are) pathogenic in their vertebrate hosts”.
  • Whatever doesn’t represent a risk to individuals.

Green clearance for onshore and offshore oil and gas exploration

In news:

The Environment Ministry has absolved oil and gas firms, hoping to direct exploratory penetrating, from looking for ecological freedom (both on-shore and seaward boring investigations)

From Prelims Point of View:

Environment impact assessment (EIA):

  • Ecological Impact Assessment (EIA) is a procedure of assessing the reasonable natural effects of a proposed task or improvement, considering between related financial, social and human-wellbeing impacts, both useful and unfavourable.

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC):

  • Indian Multinational Crude Oil and Gas Corporation.
  • It is the biggest oil and gas investigation and generation organization in the nation.
  • It creates around 70% of India’s raw petroleum (proportionate to around 57% of the nation’s absolute interest) and around 84% of its flammable gas.
  • Maharatna status

A new Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Blockchain Technology in Bangalore 

In news:

  • Another Center of Excellence (CoE) for Blockchain Technology, which will endeavour to adjust developing innovation to make e-administration arrangements is set up in Bangalore.
  • The CoE by National Informatics Center (NIC) is the third such focus, following CoE for Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence.

From Prelims Point of View:

Blockchain Technology:

  • Blockchains are another information structure that is secure, cryptography-based, and disseminated over a system.
  • The innovation underpins cryptographic forms of money, for example, Bitcoin and the exchange of any information or advanced resource.
  • Led by Bitcoin, blockchains accomplish agreement among conveyed hubs, permitting the exchange of advanced merchandise without the requirement for brought together authorisation of exchanges.

National Informatics Centre (NIC):

  • National Informatics Center (NIC under Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India.
  • NIC gives a framework to help bolster conveyance of Government IT administrations and conveyance of a portion of the activities of Digital India.

China’s coronavirus 

In news:

A new virus has been identified by Chinese researchers which is responsible for a new pneumonia-like illness.

From Prelims Point of View:


  • Coronaviruses are a particular group of infections, with some of them causing less-extreme harm, for example, the normal cold, and others causing respiratory and intestinal maladies.
  • A coronavirus has many “normally orchestrated” distensions on its surface, due to which the whole infection molecule resembles a head’s crown, consequently the name “coronavirus”.
  • Aside from individuals, coronaviruses can influence warm-blooded creatures including pigs, cows, felines, hounds, martens, camels, hedgehogs and a few winged animals.
  • Up until this point, there is four known sickness causing coronaviruses, among which the most popular are the SARS coronavirus and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus, the two of which can cause extreme respiratory maladies.


International Affairs

General Studies 2:

  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interest 

Taiwan, Hongkong and China

Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 18th January 2020
Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 18th January 2020

Source of Pic


The avalanche re-appointment triumph for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan has given Beijing a subsequent squeezing challenge in its terrace (alongside continuous fights in Hongkong)

Likewise, star law based ideological groups cleared the nearby region gathering races in Hong Kong, which were generally observed as a choice on the fights occurring in Hongkong squeezing for more extensive Democratic changes

Brief Background of Taiwan

  • China’s patriot government, which was crushed in a common war by the socialists in 1949, had been ousted to Taiwan.
  • Taiwan has been altogether self-controlled from that point forward, in any case, China asserts the island as a piece of its domain.
  • Taiwan has a flourishing popular government and has held direct races to pick its pioneers since 1996. China is Taiwan’s biggest exchange accomplice.

China’s One Country- Two system model

  • This strategy was initially proposed by Deng Xiaoping not long after he steered of the nation in the late 1970s. Deng’s arrangement was to bring together China and Taiwan under the One Country Two Systems approach which gave self-governance to Taiwan.
  • Under this framework, Taiwan could follow its industrialist financial framework, run a different organization and keep its very own military yet under Chinese power. Taiwan, be that as it may, dismissed the Communist Party’s offer.
  • The possibility of two frameworks in a single nation is recreated again in Hong Kong and Macau when Britain and Portugal, who were running these domains under rent (since frontier times) returned it to China in 1997 and 1999 individually. These domains were additionally given independence in its working as a byproduct of acknowledgement of China’s Sovereignty over these regions.

Election results in Taiwan a referendum on China

  • In the event that the nearby races in Hong Kong were a choice on the fights, the races in Taiwan wound up turning into submission on China — and explicitly, on the “one nation, two frameworks”.
  • The occasions in Hongkong whereby Chinese specialists were scrutinized for their treatment of protestors (not calling for harmony talks) renewed the counter China battle in Taiwan (Independence from China).
  • The resistance KMT (star China) – in power from 2008-16-had decided to fabricate financial and political scaffolds with China. The KMT’s position depended on the need to help Taiwan’s monetary chances.
  • Surveys led in Taiwan by the National Chengchi University in June 2019 demonstrated that 56.9% recognize as being just ‘Taiwanese’, up from 54.5% per year sooner.
  • On the decision among autonomy and reunification, 86.1% favoured keeping up the norm (Not acquiesce to China’s model).

Consequences for Taiwan

  • With Ms Tsai who is in charge of Taiwan since 2016 and she expressed the enemy of China sees, Beijing has pushed with energy a worldwide procedure planned for disengaging Taiwan.
  • Before the finish of 2019, Taiwan was left with just 14 UN part expresses that keep up political relations, subsequent to losing the Solomon Islands and Kiribati which both moved to perceive Beijing.
  • China accepts that the nation’s “incredible restoration”, which President Mr Xi has pronounced as the “China dream”, won’t be finished without Taiwan’s arrival.

Consequences for China

  • China accepts the tide of history is their ally (with financial and military may), and that the island (Taiwan) of 23 million individuals (generally the number of inhabitants in Beijing) will unavoidably come back to the crease.
  • In any case, China needs to offer more than the strength, security, and monetary development that its model guarantees, when issues of character, suffrage and qualities are included.
  • With China forcefully pushing its uber foundation venture Belt and Road activity and focusing on superpower status, it needs to show to the world that it can take care of its own inward issues in a tranquil way before setting out on taking up Global pioneer status.

Lessons for India

  • India likewise follows topsy-turvy Federalism whereby numerous states appreciate more noteworthy independence in their working when contrasted with different states (Article 371, Schedule V and VI).
  • These unique arrangements are additionally expected to manage issues to personality and culture. India hence needs to deal with these in a popularity based way in order to not see Taiwan/Hongkong kind of fights occurring in India.
  • In International Politics: India can generally utilize the influence of Taiwan and Hongkong at whatever point China intrudes in India’s very own inner issues like Kashmir/Naga agitation.62

Connecting the dots

  • China’s other internal issues – Tibet and Xinjiang province
  • Why there are no protests in Macau which also enjoys special powers under the One Country-Two system mode
  • How the US is trying to exploit this situation? Resolution/laws passed by the US legislature aimed at Hongkong/Xinjiang.

Governance: Education

General Studies 2:

  • Government approaches and intercessions for improvement in different segments and issues emerging out of their structure and execution.
  • Issues identifying with the improvement and the executives of Social Sector/Services identifying with Health, Education, Human Resources.
  • Welfare plans for powerless segments of the populace by the Center and States and the presentation of these plans;

ASER lessons: Fix early learning in govt schools


ASER 2019 shows how poor the quality of education in government schools is even at the foundational levels.

About the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER)

  • This is a yearly review (since 2005) that plans to give solid appraisals of kids’ enrolment and essential learning levels across rustic India ( Statewise and region shrewd).
  • ASER is a family unit based as opposed to a class-based review. This structure empowers all youngsters to be incorporated – the individuals who have never been to a class or have dropped out, just as the individuals who are in government schools, tuition-based schools, strict schools or anyplace else.
  • Kids in the age bunch 3 to 16 are overviewed to discover their enlistment status in school or pre-school. Kids in the age bunch 5 to 16 are surveyed one-on-one to comprehend their essential perusing and math capacities.
  • It is the biggest resident-driven study in India encouraged by Pratham NGO. It is additionally the main yearly wellspring of data on youngsters’ learning results accessible in India today.

About 2019 report

  • The 2019 report centers around ‘Early Years’ (ages 4-8) since these are basic to later-arrange learning
  • Generally speaking. Over 90% of small kids in the age gathering of the 4-multi year tried out some kind of instructive foundation (91.3% at 4 years to 99.5 at 8 years).
  • Sex holes are unmistakable even among these small kids with a larger number of young ladies than young men tried out government foundations and a greater number of young men than young ladies took a crack at private establishments.
  • Disparity between Government & Private schools:
    • Only 6.7% of government school students in Std I who were aged 4-5 could correctly do early language tasks, this figure was 24.1% for private schools 
    • Similarly, only 16.5% of 4&5-year-olds in Std I in government schools could demonstrate early numeracy competency, compared with 35.3% in private schools. 
    • In cognitive skills, too, government institutions lagged their private peers by six to 18 percentage points when the performance of 5-year-olds was compared


  • The Right to Education law and the new National Education Policy both set 6 years as the age when a kid ought to enter formal tutoring (Standard I).
  • Subjective advancement in the pre-school years is vital to learning results in school.
  • Uniqueness in learning levels: A higher populace of 4&5-year-olds study in standard I in government schools (26.1%) contrasted and non-public schools (15.7%)— to a great extent due to the absence of moderate and open pre-essential establishments—it very well may be contended, the feedstock in government schools sets them up for the divergence in learning levels.
  • High dropout rates at a more elevated level: With the poor learning levels at the essential level (joined with no confinement till class 8) numerous understudies just will be unable to adapt to the educational plan at the optional and senior auxiliary levels in this way prompting the high dropout rate.

Reasons for poor early learning outcomes is primarily two-fold

  • India’s Anganwadi conspires: India has one of the biggest pre-school care programs on the planet—the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), yet it remains principally focussed on sustenance/medicinal services/inoculation, with early adapting frequently disregarded at the Anganwadi.
  • Mutilated Pedagogy: Content information and guidance us the favoured strategy when research shows that play-based exercises equipped towards building memory, thinking, and critical thinking capacities have a lot bigger effect on building the establishment for later learning.

Way Ahead:

  • Financing: India needs to forcefully reinforce its initial training program—in FY20, the Center planned $3.9 billion for the umbrella ICDS program while in 2017, China was spending about $19 billion on simply early youth instruction.
  • Reorient Anganwadi focuses as places for sustenance as well as habitats for early learning
  • Training Pedagogy ought to depend more upon play-based adapting as opposed to instructional philosophy.
  • Return to State and National standards for age section to class: Performance on intellectual, early language, early numeracy, and social and passionate learning errands is firmly identified with youngsters’ age, with more seasoned kids showing improvement over more youthful ones. Allowing underage youngsters into essential evaluations puts them at learning hindrance which is hard to survive

Connecting the Dots

  • New Educational Policy
  • Operation Digital Board


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in the comment section)

Q 1. Which of the following diseases can be transmitted from one person to another through tattooing?

  1. Chikungunya                
  2. Hepatitis B

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

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

Q 2. Consider the following statements:

  1. NTPC is the largest power utility in India
  2. ONGC accounts for half of the LPG production of India
  3. Indian Oil Corporation operates all the refineries in India
  4. The Indian Ordnance Factory is the largest departmentally run industrial undertakings in the country

Which of these statements is/are correct?

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

Q 3. Consider the following pairs of Terms sometimes seen in news vs Context /Topic:

  1. Belle II experiment: Artificial Intelligence
  2. Blockchain technology: Digital/ Cryptocurrency
  3. CRISPR – Cas9: Particle Physics

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

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

Q 4. With reference to ‘Bitcoins’, sometimes seen in the news, which of the following statements is/are correct? 

  1. Bitcoins are tracked by the Central Banks of the countries.
  2. Anyone with a Bitcoin address can send and receive Bitcoins from anyone else with a Bitcoin address.
  3. Online payments can be sent without either side knowing the identity of the other.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

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