1. ISRO’s ‘GSAT-31’ launched

  • ISRO successfully launched its 40th communication satellite GSAT-31 from the spaceport in French Guiana.
  • The satellite with a mission life of 15 years will provide continuity to operational services on some of the in-orbit satellites and augment the Ku-band transponder capacity in Geostationary Orbit
  • Weighing about 2,535 kg, the satellite was launched onboard the Ariane-5 (VA247) from Kourou in French Guiana.


  • The satellite provides Indian mainland and island coverage.
  • GSAT-31 will be used for supporting VSAT networks, television uplinks, digital satellite news gathering, DTH television services, cellular backhaul connectivity and many such applications.
  • The satellite will also provide wide beam coverage to facilitate communication over a large oceanic region comprising a large part of the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean using a wideband transponder.

Topic- GS-3- Science and Technology

Source- DD News

2. National Film Development Corporation of India has been selected as Winner under the Miniratna Category (Category II)

  • National Film Development Corporation of India has been selected as Winner under the Miniratna Category (Category II) by Ministry of MSME.
  • This has been done as part of endeavour by Ministry of MSME to felicitate select CPSEs to recognize their exemplary work towards promotion of SC/ST entrepreneurs.

NFDC (National Film Development Corporation Ltd.)

  • It was incorporated in the year 1975, was formed by the GOI.
  • It incorporated with the primary objective of planning and promoting an organized, efficient, and integrated development of the Indian film industry.
  • These films, in various Indian languages, have been widely acclaimed and have won many national and international awards.  

Topic- GS Paper 1 – Art and Culture


3. Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana

  • This scheme was launched by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in 2017.
  • The objective of the scheme is to provide Senior Citizens, belonging to BPL category and suffering from age-related disabilities/ infirmities, with such physical aids and assisted living devices which can restore near normalcy in their bodily functions.
  • Under the Scheme, assisted living devices such as Walking Sticks, Elbow Crutches, Walkers/ Crutches, Tripods/ Quadpods, Hearing Aids, Wheelchairs, Artificial Dentures and Spectacles are provided free of cost to the beneficiary senior citizens.
  • The Scheme is being implemented through the “Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO)”, a Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of SJ&E, as the sole Implementing Agency.
  • For the senior citizens aged 80 years or more, the devices are provided at their doorsteps.

Topic- GS Paper 2 – Scheme for Vulnerable section of Society


4. PM-JAY app

  • The PM-JAY app launched by Union Minister under the scheme Ayushman Bharat.
  • The app is helping users to get easy access of information about the scheme, check eligibility, find hospitals nearby and get assisted help.
  • The app will provide a way to connect and get all important information on the Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY.

Topic- GS Paper 2 – Governance

Source- The Hindu

5. Bullet train gets green light via flamingo haven, national park

  • Recently, a committee, chaired by Union Environment Minister has accorded wildlife clearance to the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed train corridor that encroaches upon a flamingo sanctuary and the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, the home to leopards, in Mumbai.

Mumbai–Ahmedabad high-speed Rail (MAHRS) Corridor

  • This project for one of India’s first ‘bullet trains’ was inaugurated by Prime Minister and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Ahmedabad in September 2017.
  • It is expected to be ready by 2022.
  • The train will cover a distance of over 508 km from Sabarmati (Gujarat) to Bandra (Mumbai, Maharashtra) in around 2.58 hours at high speed of 320 kph from the existing 7-8 hours.
  • In this project, around 80 % cost will be provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as a soft loan at an interest of 0.1% per annum.
  • This loan will be repaid to Japan in 50 years, with 15 years grace period.

Topic- GS Paper 3 – Economics and Development

Source- The Hindu

6. 100% use of VVPAT for Lok Sabha polls: EC

  • The Election Commission informed the Madras High Court that it had made it clear way back in 2017 that there shall be 100% use of the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system during the Lok Sabha election 2019.
  • The usage of VVPAT machines of the Election Commission is expected to ensure free and fair elections.

Related Information

Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)

  • In the VVPAT system, when a voter presses the button for a candidate of his choice in the electronic voting machines (EVM), a paper ballot containing the serial number, the name of the candidate and poll symbol will be printed for the voter.
  • The voters will be able to view the voter-verifiable paper audit trail slip for seven seconds after which it will get deposited in a sealed box.
  • VVPAT machines can be regarded as an independent verification system as it
    • allows voters to verify that their votes are cast correctly,
    • detects possible election fraud or malfunction and
    • Provides a means to audit the stored electronic result.

Topic- GS Paper 2 – Governance

Source- The Hindu

7. Russia racing to develop new missile systems to counter the US by 2021

  • Russia announced that it is planning to develop two new land-based missile launch systems in response to President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. will withdraw from a landmark nuclear weapons treaty.
  • Moscow intends to develop the systems by 2021 in order to counter U.S. developments in its missile capabilities.
  • The U.S. and others in the international community have accused Russia of violating the treaty, which prohibits nuclear and conventional ground-launched missiles with ranges between 300 to 3,400 miles from being deployed in Europe, since 2014.

Related Information

Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty

  • The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 between US President Ronald Reagan and USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev.
  • The treaty aimed to end arms race between USA and USSR during the cold war and to ensure some strategic stability in Europe.
  • The INF treaty banned the development, testing and possession of short and medium-range ground-launched nuclear missiles having ranger between 500-5,000 km.
  • And also, all the nuclear and conventional missiles, as well as their launchers, with ranges of 500–1,000 km or (short-range) and 1,000–5,500 km (intermediate-range) were banned under this treaty.
  • The Treaty proved to be a potent deterrent against any full-scale nuclear war in Europe.

New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty)

  • It is a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation with the formal name of Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms.
  • It was signed on 8 April 2010 in Prague, and, after ratification, entered into force on 5 February 2011.
  • It is expected to last at least until 2021.
  • New START replaced the Treaty of Moscow (SORT), which was due to expire in December 2012.
  • Under terms of the treaty, the number of strategic nuclear missile launchers will be reduced by half.
  • A new inspection and verification regime will be established, replacing the SORT mechanism.
  • It does not limit the number of operationally inactive stockpiled nuclear warheads that remain in the high thousands in both the Russian and American inventories.

Topic- GS Paper 2–International relation

Source- The Hindu


8. NTA Students App

  • National Testing Agency (NTA) recently has launched a ‘mobile app’ through which students can practice or take mock tests on their own computers or smartphones.
  • Now the students across the country can register themselves online at NTA Website or ‘NTA Students App’ for visiting the TPCs.

Related Information

National Test Agency

  • The Union Cabinet in November 2017 approved the creation of the National Testing Agency (NTA) as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the country.
  • It will be chaired by an educationist who will be appointed by the MHRD.
  • The agency will have a board of governors who will represent the member institutions.

Topic- GS Paper 2 – Governance

Source- The Hindu

9. Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan

  • Department of School Education and Literacy has launched an Integrated Scheme for School Education-Samagra Shiksha, subsuming three erstwhile Centrally Sponsored Schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE), with effect from 2018-19.
  • The new integrated scheme envisages school education as a continuum from pre-school to senior secondary level.
  • Its aim to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels. 
  • It will also support to states in the implementation of RTE Act, 2009 and strengthening of teacher education institutions.

Topic- GS Paper 2 – Government Scheme


10. ‘Earthquake swarm’ in Palghar

  • The Palghar district in northern Maharastra was rocked by a series of minor earthquakes.

Related Information

Earthquakes swarms

  • NCS (National Centre for Seismology) has categorised the unusual tremors as an ‘earthquake swarm’ which is a series of low magnitude earthquakes that occur in a localised region and over a period of time ranging from days, weeks to even months.
  • When seismic energy piles up inside the Earth and is released in small amounts from certain points, such a series of earthquakes can occur.
  • Sometimes, these rumblings of the Earth are also accompanied by acoustic or sound emissions.
  • They are differentiated from earthquakes succeeded by a series of aftershocks by the observation that no single earthquake in the sequence is obviously the main shock.
  • It is believed that these are caused by the movement of tectonic plates which is normal in the Indian peninsula.

Topic- GS Paper 3 – Disaster Management

Source- Indian Express

11. Shehri Samridhi Utsav Launched

  • It is an initiative of the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
  • It is the National Exhibition and a sale of Self Help Group products and National Street Food Festival organized in New Delhi.
  • It aims to extend the outreach of Deendayal Antyodaya Mission – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM), to the most vulnerable, showcase its initiatives and facilitate access of Self-Help Group (SHG) members to the other government schemes.

Related Information

Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM)

  • It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme implemented by Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation.
  • Its objective is to uplift urban poor folks by enhancing sustainable livelihood opportunities through skill development.
  • Its intended beneficiaries are urban poor (street vendors, slum dwellers, homeless, rag pickers); unemployed and differently abled.
  • It also provides social mobilization and institution development through the formation of Self-Help Groups (SHG) for training members and hand holding, initial support of 10, 000 is given for each group.
  • It also provides subsidy to urban poor i.e. interest subsidy of 5% – 7% for setting up individual microenterprises with a loan of up to 2 lakhs and for group enterprises with a loan limit of up to Rs.10 lakhs.
  • PAISA Portal a centralised electronic platform is launched for quicker processing of loans under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Urban Livelihoods Mission 

Topic- GS Paper 1 – Art and Culture

Source- Indian Express

UPSC Current Affairs in Hindi PDF 06.02.2019

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