Monday, 25th December 2023

Table of contents

1   Daily Current Affairs

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CISF Enlisted for Enhanced Parliament Security

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India's Inaugural Winter Arctic Research Expedition

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R21/Matrix-M Vaccine - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Hindustan Republican Association and the Kakori Train Action

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Sahitya Akademi Awards 2023 - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Queen of Millet - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary - Edukemy Current Affair

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Project PRAYAS - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Turquet's Octopus - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Sone River - Edukemy Current Affairs

2   Daily Editorial Analysis

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Transforming Indian Education: A Vision for Change

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Daily Current Affairs

CISF Enlisted for Enhanced Parliament Security


In News: Following the recent Parliament breach, MHA instructs CISF survey for enhanced security. 

Central Industrial Security Force (CISF): Safeguarding Critical Assets 

Establishment and Growth 

Initially formed in 1969 with just three battalions, CISF, a Central Armed Police Force, now boasts a robust strength of 1,63,590 personnel, offering integrated security cover to sensitive public sector undertakings. 

Operational Spectrum 

  • Critical Infrastructure 
    • Providing security to 353 establishments, including Atomic Power Plants, Space Installations, Defence Production Units, Mines, Oil Fields, and Refineries. 
  • Fire Protection 
    • Equipped with a dedicated Fire Wing serving 104 establishments. 
  • VIP Security 
    • Mandated to protect VIPs of Z+, Z, Y, and X categories nationwide. 
  • Airports 
    • Entrusted with airport security since 2000, following the Indian Airlines Flight IC-814 hijacking. 
  • Private Sector 
    • Authorized to offer security to private and joint venture industrial undertakings on a payment basis. 
  • Overseas Deployment 
    • Contributing contingents to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). 
  • Public Interface 
    • Sole Central Armed Police Force with a regular public presence, securing airports, Delhi Metro, and iconic monuments. 

CISF Boosts Parliament Security 

Union Home Ministry sanctions CISF deployment in the Parliament complex, addressing security gaps exposed by the December 13 breach. 

Existing Security Structure in Parliament 

  • Delhi Police currently handles access control, including frisking and baggage scanning. 
  • Eight Delhi police personnel suspended post-breach. 
  • Parliament Duty Group (PDG) of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) intervenes if armed response is necessary. 
  • Overall security oversight lies with the Parliament Security Service (PSS) under the Lok Sabha Speaker. 

Understanding Parliament Security Service 

PSS, a specialized department, manages security within the Parliament House Complex. 

Decoding MINUSTAH 

MINUSTAH, short for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, operated as a peacekeeping mission from 2004 to 2017, aiming to establish stability and security in Haiti under transitional governance. 

Source: TH 

Keywords: GS-3 Security and Defence
Daily Current Affairs

India's Inaugural Winter Arctic Research Expedition


In News: Recently, The Union Minister of Earth Sciences launches India's maiden winter research mission to Himadri, the Arctic Research Station in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard. 

Importance of Winter Arctic Scientific Expedition 

  • Exploring Polar Nights 
    • Indian winter expeditions to the Arctic provide a unique opportunity for scientific observations during the polar nights, characterized by almost 24 hours of darkness and sub-zero temperatures. 
  • Enhancing Scientific Capabilities 
    • Venturing into winter research in the Arctic expands India's scientific prowess, focusing on key areas such as climate change, space weather, sea-ice dynamics, and ecosystem adaptations. 
  • Comprehensive Understanding 
    • The initiative contributes to a broader comprehension of the Arctic's intricacies, influencing weather and climate patterns in the tropics, including the crucial monsoon dynamics. 
  • Extended Research Base Operation 
    • India's Arctic research base, Himadri, established in 2008, traditionally hosted scientists during the summer months (April to October).  
    • The winter expedition marks a significant expansion in operational scope. 
  • Multidisciplinary Research Areas 
    • Priority research encompasses atmospheric, biological, marine, and space sciences, environmental chemistry, cryosphere studies, terrestrial ecosystems, and astrophysics. 
  • Global Participation 
    • India joins a select group of nations operating Arctic research bases throughout the winter, showcasing its commitment to year-round exploration and study. 

Impact of Arctic Warming 

  • Temperature Rise 
    • Arctic temperatures have increased by an average of 4 degrees Celsius over the past century, with 2023 recording the highest temperatures on record. 
  • Declining Sea-Ice 
    • Arctic sea-ice extent is decreasing at a rate of 13% per decade, as reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 
  • Global Ramifications 
    • Melting sea ice in the Arctic has far-reaching consequences beyond the region, influencing global sea levels and atmospheric circulation patterns. 
  • Tropical Influence 
    • Warmer tropical sea surface temperatures may lead to increased precipitation, a shift in the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone, and higher chances of extreme rainfall events. 
  • Changing Arctic Dynamics 
    • Global warming could render the Arctic more habitable, prompting increased exploration and exploitation of its resources, potentially impacting trade, navigation, and strategic sectors. 

UPSC Previous Year Questions 

Prelims (2015) 

Q. The term ‘IndARC’, sometimes seen in the news, is the name of 

(a) an indigenously developed radar system inducted into Indian Defence 

(b) India’s satellite to provide services to the countries of Indian Ocean Rim 

(c) a scientific establishment set up by India in Antarctic region 

(d) India’s underwater observatory to scientifically study the Arctic region 

Ans: (d) 

Mains (2018) 

Q.1 Why is India taking keen in resources of Arctic region?  

Mains (2015) 

Q.2 What are the economic significances of discovery of oil in Arctic Sea and its possible environmental consequences? 

Source: PIB 

Keywords: GS-3 Environment, Science and Tech.
Daily Current Affairs

R21/Matrix-M Vaccine - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: The World Health Organization (WHO) has added the R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine to its prequalified vaccines, marking a significant stride in the global battle against malaria. 

Significance of WHO Prequalification 

  • Ensuring Safety and Efficacy 
    • WHO's prequalification of the R21 vaccine provides a robust assurance of its safety and effectiveness, reinforcing its credibility in the global fight against malaria. 
  • International Credibility 
    • Products achieving WHO prequalification adhere to rigorous international standards, gaining wider acceptance in international markets and becoming prerequisites for procurement by organizations like UNICEF. 
  • Global Immunization Inclusion 
    • WHO prequalification enhances the likelihood of vaccine inclusion in global immunization programs, ensuring a broader reach and increased impact. 
  • Gavi Support Facilitation 
    • WHO prequalification is instrumental in securing Gavi support, facilitating vaccination programs in resource-limited regions through the Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. 

Understanding Malaria 

  • Life-Threatening Disease 
    • Malaria is a potentially fatal mosquito-borne blood disease caused by Plasmodium parasites, predominantly found in tropical regions of Africa, South America, and Asia. 
  • Transmission and Symptoms 
    • Spread through infected mosquito bites, malaria symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue, with parasites multiplying in the liver and attacking Red Blood Cells. 
  • Global Burden 
    • Malaria disproportionately affects children in Africa, causing nearly half a million child deaths annually. In 2022, there were 249 million malaria cases and 608,000 deaths across 85 countries. 
  • Initiatives for Control 
    • Global Initiatives 
      • E-2025 initiative. 
      • Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016–2030. 
    • India-Specific Initiatives 
      • National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME). 
      • National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination (2017-22). 
      • Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)’s Malaria Elimination Research Alliance-India (MERA-India). 

UPSC Previous Year Questions 

Prelims (2010) 

Q. Widespread resistance of malarial parasite to drugs like chloroquine has prompted attempts to develop a malarial vaccine to combat malaria. Why is it difficult to develop an effective malaria vaccine? 

(a) Malaria is caused by several species of Plasmodium 

(b) Man does not develop immunity to malaria during natural infection 

(c) Vaccines can be developed only against bacteria 

(d) Man is only an intermediate host and not the definitive host 

Ans: (b) 

Source: TH 

Keywords: GS-3 Science and Tech.
Daily Current Affairs

Hindustan Republican Association and the Kakori Train Action


In News: December 1927, four revolutionaries from the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) were executed, two years after their participation in the Kakori Train Action, a bold heist targeting a train transporting funds for the British treasury during the Indian independence movement. 

Key Points Regarding Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) 

Background 

In the aftermath of the Chauri Chaura Incident during the Non-Cooperation Movement, disillusioned by Gandhi's abrupt halt, young activists formed the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) in 1922. 

Founders 

Notable founders included Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqulla Khan, Sachindra Nath Bakshi, and Jogesh Chandra Chatterjee, with later additions like Chandra Shekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh. 

Manifesto and Vision 

  • The HRA, in its 1925 manifesto titled "Krantikari," aimed to establish a federal Republic of the United States of India through organized, armed revolution.  
  • Their vision prioritized universal suffrage, socialist principles, and the eradication of systems enabling human exploitation. 

Evolution into HSRA 

Transforming into the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) in 1928, the organization shifted toward socialist ideologies, broadening its focus from political independence to socio-economic equality. 

Kakori Train Action Incident 

  • Background 
    • The HRA's first major action in August 1925 was the Kakori Train Action, targeting the Number 8 Down Train between Shahjahanpur and Lucknow. 
  • Objective 
    • Revolutionaries, including Rajendranath Lahiri, seized the train carrying government funds, intending to fund the HRA and draw attention to their cause. 
  • Crackdown and Arrests 
    • A harsh British crackdown followed, leading to the arrest of numerous HRA members.  
    • Forty individuals were arrested, with four receiving death sentences, including Ashfaqullah Khan, Ram Prasad Bismil, and Thakur Roshan Singh. 
  • Impact 
    • Chandrashekhar Azad evaded capture, and the incident marked a pivotal moment in the HRA's history, bringing attention to their mission for Indian independence and socio-economic equality. 

Source: IE 

Keywords: GS-1 Indian National Movement, Modern Indian History
Daily Current Affairs

Sahitya Akademi Awards 2023 - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: The Sahitya Akademi recently revealed the Sahitya Akademi Award 2023 across 24 languages. 

Understanding the Sahitya Akademi Award 

  • Overview 
    • Established in 1954, the Sahitya Akademi Award is an annual literary honor presented by Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters. 
  • Recognition 
    • The Akademi awards 24 honors each year for outstanding literary works in recognized languages, including literary translations.  
    • English and Rajasthani, in addition to the 22 languages outlined in the Indian Constitution, are acknowledged. 
  • Significance 
    • Ranked as the second-highest literary honor by the Indian Government, following the Jnanpith award, the Sahitya Akademi Award is a prestigious recognition. 
  • Selection Criteria 
    • To be eligible, authors must be Indian nationals, and their work should be a remarkable contribution to the language and literature it represents 
    • The selection process considers factors such as total literary contribution and the standing of authors in cases of equal merit. 

Additional Awards 

  • Sahitya Akademi Bal Sahitya Puraskar 
    • Recognizes an author's overall contribution to children's literature, focusing on books published in the five years preceding the award year. 
  • Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar 
    • Honors books published by authors aged 35 and below, encouraging young literary talent. 

Source: PIB 

Keywords: GS-1 Art and Culture
Daily Current Affairs

Queen of Millet - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Raimati Ghiuria, a tribal farmer hailing from Odisha's Koraput district, has conserved 30 millet varieties and provided training to numerous women in the cultivation of these unique millets. 

Raimati Ghiuria: Guardian of Traditional Seeds 

  • G20 Summit Recognition 
    • Invited to the G20 Summit in commemoration of the 'International Year of Millets,' Raimati Ghiuria, also known as the 'Queen of Millet,' showcased her expertise in preserving and cultivating 72 traditional paddy varieties and over 30 millet types like Kundra bati mandia, jasra, juana, and jamkoli. 
  • Seed Conservation Pioneer 
    • Acknowledged as a trailblazer in native seed conservation, Raimati Ghiuria has garnered acclaim for her dedicated efforts in safeguarding traditional crops. 

About Millets 

  • Drought-Resistant and Versatile 
    • Millets, cultivated by Raimati Ghiuria, exhibit resilience to drought, requiring minimal water, and thrive in poor soil conditions. 
  • Nutritional Powerhouses 
    • Millets serve as excellent sources of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals, contributing to a well-rounded and nutritious diet. 
  • Gluten-Free Option 
    • Naturally gluten-free, millets cater to individuals with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, offering a wholesome and inclusive dietary choice. 

Source: IT 

Keywords: GS-3 Agriculture
Daily Current Affairs

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary - Edukemy Current Affair


In News: Recently, elephants in a residential area bordering Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary fatally trampled a watchman employed by the irrigation department. 

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS): An Overview 

  • Geographical Location 
    • Situated in the Upper Gangetic plain within Uttar Pradesh, Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary spans an area of 400.6 km2 in the Bahraich district.  
  • Conservation Status 
    • In 1987, it became part of 'Project Tiger' and, along with Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary and Dudhwa National Park, constitutes the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. 
  • Connectivity and Purpose 
    • Functioning as a crucial link between the tiger habitats of Dudhwa and Kishanpur in India and Bardia National Park in Nepal, KWS serves as a strategic corridor. 
  • Diverse Ecosystem 
    • Encompassing a fragile Terai ecosystem, KWS features a diverse landscape of sal and teak forests, lush grasslands, swamps, and wetlands. 
  • Floral Composition 
    • The sanctuary predominantly hosts Sal Forest, accompanied by tree species such as Terminalia alata (Asna), Lagerstroemia parviflora (Asidha), Adina cordifonia (Haldu), Mitragyna parpiflora (Faldu), and Gamelina arborea (Gahmhar). 
  • Rich Fauna 
    • KWS shelters endangered species, including the Gharial, tiger, rhino, swamp deer, hispid hare, Bengal florican, white-backed vultures, and long-billed vultures. 
  • River Sanctuary 
    • The Gairwa River within KWS is designated a sanctuary for Mugger and Gharial, hosting rare turtles, freshwater fish, and various aquatic life. 
  • Unique Residents 
    • Notably, KWS is one of the rare locations in India where freshwater dolphins, known as Gangetic dolphins, thrive in their natural habitat. 

Source: IE 

Keywords: GS-3 Environment
Daily Current Affairs

Project PRAYAS - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has recently initiated Project PRAYAS, aiming to facilitate the secure, orderly, and regular migration of Indian workers and students. 

Project PRAYAS Overview 

  • Launched in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Project PRAYAS, or Promoting Regular Assisted Migration for Youth and Skilled Professionals, stands as one of the initial endeavors to consolidate state-level initiatives for the secure, orderly, and well-managed international migration of Indian workers and students. 

Objectives 

  • The primary goal of Project PRAYAS is to facilitate safe, orderly, and regular migration for Indian migrant workers and students.  
  • Achieving this involves collaborating with the MEA and state governments to provide policy recommendations, thereby fortifying international migration governance. 

Implementation Strategy 

  • Project PRAYAS endeavors to conduct a comprehensive study capturing essential migration trends, the needs and aspirations of migrants, and significant international migration and mobility initiatives undertaken by both union and state governments.  
  • The findings from this analysis will be shared with the Ministry. 

International Organisation for Migration (IOM): Key Details 

  • Establishment and Mission 
    • Founded in 1951, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) operates as a dedicated United Nations (UN) agency, committed to promoting humane and organized migration. 
  • Definition of Migrant 
    • As per IOM, a migrant is an individual who relocates from their usual place of residence, whether within a country or across an international border, temporarily or permanently, for various reasons. 
  • Scope of Support 
    • IOM extends its support, at the request of states, not only to migrants but also to internally displaced persons, refugees, and other uprooted individuals.  
    • Its focus areas encompass migration and development, facilitating migration, regulating migration, and addressing forced migration. 
  • Membership 
    • With 172 member states and 8 states holding observer status, India is a member of the IOM. 
  • Headquarters 
    • The IOM's headquarters are located in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Source: BS 

Keywords: GS-2 IR
Daily Current Affairs

Turquet's Octopus - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: A recent publication in the journal Science revealed an unexpected link between the movements of Turquet’s octopuses and the stability of the West Antarctic ice sheet. 

Turquet's Octopus: Overview 

  • Distribution and Depth Range 
    • Turquet's octopus is a benthic species with a circumpolar Antarctic distribution, thriving in depths ranging from shallow waters to as deep as 4,000 meters. 
  • Distinctive Characteristics 
    • Characterized by the absence of a skin ridge around its body and nearly smooth skin adorned with low granular bumps, Turquet's octopus exhibits unique physical features. 
  • Natural Predators 
    • In its natural habitat, this species faces predation from Patagonian toothfish off South Georgia and Weddell seals off the South Shetland Islands. 
  • Historical Navigations 
    • These cephalopods, native to the Southern Ocean, navigated the region during the ice sheet's melting around 125,000 years ago. 
  • Conservation Status 
    • Designated as "Least Concern (LC)" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Turquet's octopus currently faces no imminent threat. 

West Antarctic Ice Sheet: Key Facts 

  • Geographic Division 
    • The Transantarctic Mountains act as a natural divide between the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. 
  • Extent of Ice Coverage 
    • Approximately 97% of West Antarctica is covered in ice, with significant ice flows into the Bellingshausen, Weddell, Amundsen, and Ross seas. 
  • Sectorial Flow Patterns 
    • The ice sheet primarily comprises three sectors that flow northeast-ward into the Weddell Sea, westward into the Ross Ice Shelf, and northward into the Amundsen/Bellingshausen seas. 
  • Circumpolar Circulation 
    • Surrounded by a robust clockwise circumpolar circulation, West Antarctica experiences influential currents that play a crucial role in the global thermohaline circulation, contributing to Antarctica's extreme cold climate. 

Source: IT 

Keywords: GS-3 Environment and Ecology
Daily Current Affairs

Sone River - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: In a significant operation targeting illegal sand mining on the Sone River, Bihar police apprehended 20 sand smugglers and confiscated 40 boats loaded with sand.

Sone River: An Overview 

  • Significance and Course 
    • The Sone River stands as one of the principal southern tributaries of the Ganges, following the Yamuna River in size.  
    • Originating from the Amarkantak highlands in the Maikala range of Bilaspur district, Chhattisgarh, at an elevation of 640 m, it travels eastward through multiple states. 
  • Geographical Features 
    • Cutting through the Kaimur Range, the river traverses a 487-mile (784-km) course, eventually merging with the Ganges above Patna in Bihar. States through which the river flows include Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand. 
  • Catchment Area 
    • Encompassing a total catchment area of 70,055 sq.km, the Sone valley shares geological similarities with the Narmada River, featuring a largely forested and sparsely populated landscape. 
  • Geological Surroundings 
    • The valley is flanked by the Kaimur Range to the north and the Chota Nagpur plateau to the south, with a narrow floodplain spanning 3 to 5 kilometers 
    • The river's flow is seasonal, and it holds little significance for navigation. 
  • Major Tributaries 
    • Key contributors to the Sone River include the Rihand River and the Koel River, alongside other tributaries like the Gopad River and the Kanhar River. 
  • Prominent Town 
    • Dehri emerges as a major town situated along the course of the Sone River. 

Source: DTE 

Keywords: GS-3 Environment
Daily Editorial Analysis

Transforming Indian Education: A Vision for Change


In News: The article highlights the education sector's crisis due to commercialization and politicization. It proposes a step-by-step strategy and a national consensus for a rebuild, free from narrow political influences. 

Education in India: Current State and Challenges 

Historical Overview 

  • In ancient India, the 'Gurukul' system fostered education with students living alongside their gurus.  
  • Nalanda, the world's oldest university, attracted learners globally.  
  • British-led reforms, like Macaulay Committee recommendations, shaped the colonial-era education system. 

Present Landscape 

  • While the gender literacy gap has narrowed since 1991, India's female literacy rate lags behind the global average.  
  • Overall literacy stands at 74.04%, below the world average.  
    • Varied state literacy levels contribute to this disparity. 

Legal and Constitutional Frameworks 

  • Legal provisions include the Right to Education Act's Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan for primary education, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan for secondary education, and Rashtriya Uchhattar Shiksha Abhiyan for higher education.  
  • Constitutional amendments transformed elementary education into a fundamental right. 

Issues in School Education 

  • Election-driven priorities, a crisis in the education sector, reliance on technology over quality investments, and the burgeoning tuition industry underscore challenges.  
  • Parents' preference for tuition centers widens the educational divide, impacting student mental health. 

Quality Variance and Societal Involvement 

  • Quality variance in public and private schools, insufficient education spending, and a lack of societal involvement contribute to the sector's struggles.  
  • Infrastructural gaps persist, dropout rates remain high, and the educational system faces a widening divide between the rich and poor. 

Long-Term Solutions 

  • Solutions entail an experiential learning approach, aligning with the National Education Policy, integrating vocational learning, reducing language barriers, and drawing inspiration from ancient education systems 
  • Government initiatives, such as the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning, Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, PRAGYATA, Mid Day Meal Scheme, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, and PM SHRI Schools, aim to address these challenges. 

Towards a Transformed Future 

For a transformed future, there is a need to link artificial intelligence with education, implement the National Education Policy effectively, establish an education-employment corridor, and reduce the language barrier in education. Learning from ancient education systems can guide holistic development, emphasizing values and practical skills. 

UPSC Previous Year Questions 

Prelims (2012) 

Q. Which of the following provisions of the Constitution does India have a bearing on Education? 

  1. Directive Principles of State Policy. 
  2. Rural and Urban Local Bodies. 
  3. Fifth Schedule. 
  4. Sixth Schedule 
  5. Seventh Schedule 

Select the correct answer using the codes given below: 

(a) 1 and 2 only  
(b) 3, 4 and 5 only  
(c) 1, 2 and 5 only 
(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 

Ans- (d) 

Mains (2020) 

Q1. How have digital initiatives in India contributed to the functioning of the education system in the country? Elaborate on your answer.  

Mains (2021) 

Q2. Discuss the main objectives of Population Education and point out the measures to achieve them in India in detail.

Source: IE 

Keywords: GS-2 Education
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UPSC Daily Current Affairs focuses on learning current events on a daily basis. An aspirant needs to study regular and updated information about current events, news, and relevant topics that are important for UPSC aspirants. It covers national and international affairs, government policies, socio-economic issues, science and technology advancements, and more.

UPSC Daily Current Affairs provides aspirants with a concise and comprehensive overview of the latest happenings and developments across various fields. It helps aspirants stay updated with current affairs and provides them with valuable insights and analysis, which are essential for answering questions in the UPSC examinations. It enhances their knowledge, analytical skills, and ability to connect current affairs with the UPSC syllabus.

UPSC Daily Current Affairs covers a wide range of topics, including politics, economics, science and technology, environment, social issues, governance, international relations, and more. It offers news summaries, in-depth analyses, editorials, opinion pieces, and relevant study materials. It also provides practice questions and quizzes to help aspirants test their understanding of current affairs.

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