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Current Affairs 23rd May 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam

Current Affairs 23rd May 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam

Narco Test

Context: The wrestlers protesting against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief have agreed to undergo a narco test under the supervision of the Supreme Court.

What is a Narco Test?

  • In a ‘narco’ or narco-analysis test, a drug called sodium pentothal (sodium thiopental) is injected into the body of the accused, which transports them to a hypnotic or sedated state, in which their imagination is neutralized.
    • In this hypnotic state, the accused becomes incapable of lying, and is expected to say the truth.
  • Sodium Pentothal: It is a fast-acting, short duration anaesthetic, which is used in larger doses to sedate patients during surgery.
    • It belongs to the barbiturate class of drugs that act on the central nervous system as depressants.
    • As it is believed to weaken the subject’s resolve to lie, it is also referred to as a “truth serum”, and is said to have been used by intelligence operatives during World War II.
  • Significance:  Investigating agencies conduct these tests as a “softer alternative” to torture or “third degree” to extract the truth from suspects.

How Polygraph Test is different?

  • A polygraph test is based on the assumption that physiological responses that are triggered when a person is lying are different from what they would be otherwise.
  • A polygraph test does not involve injecting drugs into the body.
  • In this test, instruments like cardio-cuffs or sensitive electrodes are attached to the suspect, and variables such as blood pressure, pulse rate, etc  are measured as questions are put to them.
  • A numerical value is assigned to each response to conclude whether the person is telling the truth, is deceiving, or is uncertain.
  • It is believed to be first done in the 19th century by the Italian criminologist Cesare Lombroso, who used a machine to measure changes in the blood pressure of criminal suspects during interrogation.

Restrictions on such tests:

  • In the ‘Selvi & Ors vs State of Karnataka & Anr’ (2010), the Supreme Court took into consideration international norms on human rights, the right to a fair trial, and the right against self-incrimination under Article 20(3) of the Constitution.
  • SC ruled that no lie detector tests should be administered “except on the basis of consent of the accused”.
  • Those who volunteer must have access to a lawyer, and have the physical, emotional, and legal implications of the test explained to them.
  • ‘Guidelines for the Administration of Polygraph Test on an Accused’ must be strictly followed.
  • The subject’s consent should be recorded before a judicial magistrate.


  • The results of these tests cannot be considered as confession as these tests are done in a drugged-induced state when the accused cannot exercise a choice in answering questions.
  • However, any information subsequently discovered with the help of such a voluntarily-taken test can be admitted as evidence.

Current Affairs 22nd May 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam



Context:  The Education Ministry organised a workshop on PARAKH with the aim of unifying school examination Boards of various States and Union Territories under one umbrella.

What is PARAKH?

  • Definition: PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development) is India’s first national assessment regulator.
  • Aim: According to the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, PARAKH will function as a standard-setting body for student assessment and evaluation for all school boards in the country and will put an end to the emphasis on rote learning.
  • While the NCERT is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Education, PARAKH will be a constituent body of the council.
    • The consulting firm will initially be selected on a three-year-contract, which will be renewed each year based on its performance.
  • Functions: 
    • PARAKH will manage India’s participation in international assessments like the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), or Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).
    • It will provide technical guidelines and inputs for boards to design, develop, and implement state-wide systems for measuring student learning aligned with state and national curricular standards.
    • It will support examination boards regarding new assessment patterns (both for internal and external assessment), evaluation process, and practices, result in calculation and compilation, post-result practices, and the latest research.
  • Significance:
    • Uniformity: PARAKH would be expected to address the issue of differences in scores among students associated with different boards, who are at a disadvantage during college admissions when compared to their CBSE peers.
    • Standardization: It will establish and implement technical standards for test design, administration, analysis and reporting at all levels of schooling.
    • Skill Development: It will encourage and help school boards to shift their assessment patterns towards meeting the skill requirements of the 21st century.


Machilipatnam Port

Context:  Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister will be inaugurate the Machilipatnam port construction works at Manginapudi in Krishna district.

About Machilipatnam Port

  • It is one of the three non-major ports (Ramayapatnam in Nellore and Moolapeta in Srikakulam district are the other two), being developed by the AP Maritime Board (APMB).
  • It’s being implemented by Machilipatnam Port Development Corporation Limited, a special purpose vehicle floated by the State government.
  • It will handle total cargo capacity of approximately 116 Million Tons Per Annum (MTPA).
  • It will have four berths in the first phase handling 35 MTPA and 12 additional berths handling 81 MTPA in the next phase.
  • These berths will cater to coal, general and container cargo.


  • Road Connectivity: The port is connected to National Highways 65, 216 and 216-A, and a 6.50 km four-lane road has been proposed to be laid from the port area for connecting it to NH-216.
  • Railway connectivity: port has Machilipatnam and Pedana stations in close proximity (towards Vijayawada, Bhimavaram and Nidadavolu).
    • A 5.5 km dedicated railway line is proposed to be laid from a point, 3 km away from Pedana station, on the existing Gudivada-Machilipatnam line.


  • It will not only help AP but the states like Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka etc.
  • The port-based industries will help generate employment to lakhs of people in Machilipatnam itself

History of Machilipatnam Port

  • The Machilipatnam port served as the principal seaport of the Golconda Kingdom.
  • Within 1610, East India company first factory in south India was set up in Machilipatnam (in modern-day Andhra Pradesh) along the Coromandel Coast.
Machilipatnam Port
Machilipatnam Port


Orang National Park

Context: Recently, a Rhino dies due to infighting in Orang National Park and Tiger Reserve.

About Orang National Park

  • It is located on the north bank of the Brahmaputra River in the Darrang and Sonitpur districts of Assam, India.
  • The Orang National Park also known as Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park .
  • It was established as a wildlife sanctuary in 1985 but was declared as National Park in 1999.
    • It is also 49th Tiger Reserve of the country, being notified in 2016.
  • It is also known as the mini Kaziranga National Park (IUCN site) since the two parks have a similar landscape made up of marshes, streams and grasslands and are inhabited by the Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros.
  • The park is bordered by the Pachnoi River, Belsiri River, and Dhansiri River, which flow into the Brahmaputra River.
  • Flora: Bombax ceiba, Dalbergia sisoo, Sterculia villosa, Rewia nudiflora, Zizyphus jujube, Litsaea polyantha, Phragmites karka, Arundo donax, Imperata cylindrical, Ipomea reptans, and Enhydra flushians.
  • Fauna: Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros, Pygmy Hog, Royal Bengal Tiger, Wild Buffalo, Asiatic Elephant, Wild Boar, Leopards, Barking Deer, Rhesus Macaque, Small Indian Civet Otter, Gangetic Dolphin, and Fishing Cat/Jungle Cat.

About One-Horned Rhino

  • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable.
  • CITES: Appendix I (Threatened with extinction and CITES prohibits international trade in specimens of these species except when the purpose of the import is not commercial, for instance for scientific research).
  • Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I.
Orang National Park
Orang National Park


Territorial Army (TA)

Context:  Recently, Territorial Army (TA) stepped in and took control of oil installations in Manipur.

  • They ensure oil marketing operation and augmented manpower where there is a shortage to ensure supplies of essential petroleum and oil products, and refuelling of aircraft.
  • 414 Army Service Corps Battalion Marketing (TA) unit is deployed.
    • It is one of the battalions raised in 1983 to handle both internal and external emergencies, which is affiliated with the marketing division and has over a hundred employees of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).

About Territorial Army (TA)

Background: Territorial Army was raised by the Britishers in 1920 through Indian Territorial Act of 1920 and it was org into two wings namely:

  • ‘The Auxiliary Force’ for Europeans & Anglo-Indians.
  • ‘The Indian Territorial Force’ for Indian Volunteers.
  • After Independence Territorial Army Act was passed in 1948 and the Territorial Army was formally inaugurated by the first Indian Governor General Shri C Rajagopalachari on 09 Oct 1949.
  • Detail: The Territorial Army is part of Regular Army and its present role is to relieve the Regular Army from static duties and assist civil administration in dealing with natural calamities and maintenance of essential services in situations where life of the communities is affected or the Security of the Country is threatened and to provide units for Regulars Army as and when required.
  • Presently the Territorial Army has a strength of approx. 40000 persons comprising of Departmental TA units such as Railway, IOC, ONGC, Telecommunication and General Hospital and the non Departmental TA units of Infantry Bn (TA) and Ecological Bn (TA) affiliated to various Infantry Regiments.
  • Achievements: The TA units were actively involved in 1962, 1965 and 1971 operations.
    • The “Terriers” have also taken part in OP-PAWAN in Srilanka, OP RAKSHAK in Punjab & J&K, OP RHINO and OP BAJRANG in North East in a most active manner.
    • Departmental units came to the aid of the civil authorities during Industrial unrest and natural calamities, most famous being earthquake in Latoor (Maharastra), Uttarkashi in Garhwal Himalaya and the Super Cyclone in Orissa.
    • The Ecological units have arrested man made environmental degradation by planting 2.5 crore trees over 20,000 hectare of land in Mussoori Hills & Pithoragarh (UP), Bikaner & Jaisalmer (Rajasthan) and ravines of Chambal in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Significance: Many industrialists, politicians and eminent personalities have been members of the TA.
    • The force also has the honour to appoint 11 officers as Hony ADC to the President of India.
Territorial Army
Territorial Arm

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