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Current Affairs 27th March 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam

Current Affairs 27th March 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam

World’s Highest Rail Bridge – Chenab Bridge

Context: A railway bridge, which is taller than the Eiffel Tower, and happens to be the highest in the world, is set to open soon in Jammu and Kashmir.

About Chenab Bridge

  • It is the world’s highest railway bridge and is part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project (USBRL). The Project was declared as a Project of National Importance in March 2002.
  • This bridge is 1,315-metre long and is the highest railway bridge in the world being 359 metres above the riverbed level. Chenab railway bridge soars above the Eiffel Tower in Paris by at least 35 metres.
  • It is arguably the biggest civil-engineering challenge faced by any railway project in India in recent history.
  • Chenab railway bridge connects Katra and Banihal and has cleared all the necessary tests.

Features of the Chenab Bridge:

  • It is designed to withstand high wind speed up to 266 Km/Hour.
  • It designed for blast load in consultation with DRDO for the first time in India.
  • It is also designed to bear earthquake forces of highest intensity zone-V in India.
  • Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing machine first time used in Indian Railway for testing of welds.
  • First time on Indian Railways, National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited lab established at site for weld testing.
  • Extensive health monitoring and warning systems planned through state of art instrumentation.

About Chenab River

  • Chenab River rises in the upper Himalayas in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh state.
  • The river is formed by the confluence of two rivers, Chandra and Bhaga, at Tandi, 8 km southwest of Keylong, in the Lahaul and Spiti district.
  • It flows through the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir into the plains of Punjab, Pakistan, before flowing into the Indus River.
  • Tributaries of Chenab River are Jhelum, Tawi, Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej rivers.
Chenab River
Chenab River

About Udhampur Baramulla Link Project

  • It is a National project undertaken by the Indian Railways for construction of broad-gauge railway line through the Himalayas, with the aim of connecting the Kashmir region with rest of the country.
  • Construction of the first three phases of the project has been completed and the line is in operational use for running of trains between Baramulla-Banihal in Kashmir valley and Jammu-Udhampur-Katra in Jammu region.
  • Work on the intervening 111 Km section Katra-Banihal, the most arduous and treacherous portion due to its geology and extensive riverine system replete with deep gorges, is also completed.
  • There are several iconic bridges and tunnels coming up in this section. Most of the rail track is slated to be in tunnels or bridges in this section.

Current Affairs 25th March 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam


Captive Investors

Context: EPFO subscribers are ‘captive investors’ of two Adani stocks

About Captive Investors

  • “Captive investors” refers to individuals, institutions or organizations that invest their funds primarily or solely in a particular company or group of companies.
  • Captive investors are somewhat limited in their investment options, as they are not diversifying their portfolio across a range of companies or sectors.
  • Captive investors may be bound by legal or contractual obligations to invest in a specific entity or group, or they may simply have a preference for investing in a particular industry or company.
  • Employees who invest heavily in their employer’s stock or pension plan, as well as venture capital firms or private equity funds that invest in a portfolio of companies within a specific industry or geographic region are the example of captive investors.

About Captive Funds

  • A captive fund is a private pooled investment fund that is managed for a select group of investors or in affiliation with a single entity.
  • It is often created for the benefit of an organization’s members or a firm’s employees. These funds are “captive” since they are limited in who can invest and in their transferability.
  • Investors in a captive fund can only cash out by selling shares back to the fund members or administrator.
  • Captive funds can also be created by companies to manage targeted investments, such as venture capital assets invested in private market companies.
Captive Investors
Captive Investors


Gandhamardan Hills

Context: Recently, Odisha’s historic Gandhamardan Hills has been declared as biodiversity heritage site.

About Gandhamardan Hills

  • Gandhamardan Hills are located in between Balangir and Bargarh district of Odisha, India.
  • These hills are well known for medicinal plants.
  • There is a Bauxite reserve which is planned for exploration by the state government through a private venture.
  • Lord Hanuman is believed to reside here and in the Piduru Mountains in Sri Lanka.

About Biodiversity Heritage Site (BHS)

  • BHS are well-defined areas that are unique, ecologically fragile ecosystems with high diversity of wild and domesticated species, presence of rare and threatened species, and keystone species.
  • Under Section 37(1) of ‘Biological Diversity Act, 2002’, State Government may, from time to time in consultation with the local bodies notify these sites.
  • Creation of BHS may not put any restriction on the prevailing practices and usages of the local communities, other than those voluntarily decided by them.
  • Nallur Tamarind Grove in Bengaluru, Karnataka was the first Biodiversity Heritage Site of India, declared in 2007.
  • There are total 37 Biodiversity Heritage Sites in India.
Gandhamardan Hills
Gandhamardan Hills


China + 1 Strategy

Context: The China+1 strategy has been gaining prominence, owing to geopolitical clashes between the US and China.

What is China+1 strategy?

China+1 or Plus One is a global business strategy in which companies avoid investing only in China and diversify their businesses to alternative destinations.

Reasons for the Strategy

  • Overconcentration of business: Many multinationals have invested heavily in China due to its low production costs, making them over-dependent on China.
  • Resilient supply chain: The recent pandemic showed the need for an alternative supply chain, which would be resilient in the long term.  It would reduce business vulnerabilities considerably.
  • Geopolitical clashes: With rise in China’s economic might, clashes with western nations have increased. Diversifying business away from China is a way to counter China’s influence.
  • Stringent domestic laws: China’s domestic laws have been made stringent, making it difficult for MNCs to freely transfer data abroad.
  • Stakes for India
    • India’s cost advantage in manufacturing is still a crucial factor for global investors to shift production to India.
    • However, so far, India has been unable to benefit from China+1 strategy due to its declining participation in global value chains and protectionist measures.



Context: Parsi community in India, which follows Zoroastrianism, celebrated Nowruz on March 21.

About Nowruz/Navroz

  • Nowruz marks the beginning of the Parsi New Year. Nowruz begins on the first day of the Farvardin, the first month of the Iranian solar calendar at the spring equinox, and continues for 12 days.
    • It is also celebrated by the ethnic Iranian population every year in various parts of the world.
    • For the Kurds, Nowruz stands as a symbol of resistance.
    • For Persians, Nowruz is purely a cultural festival.
  • Celebrations: In India, people visit the Fire Temple, the place of worship of the Parsi community, decorate their houses, prepare delicacies, and perform rituals based on the movements of the sun during the course of the day.
  • Tradition across world: Across Central Asia, it is celebrated by weaving Toran, an ornated gateway;
    • Chalk making (similar to the Hindu tradition of making rangolis)
    • Taking around the Loban (frankincense) in the act of ritual purity.

Recognition of Nowruz

  • United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the International Day of Nowruz in 2010.
  • The festival had also been listed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2016.
  • UNESCO describes it as a festival which “promotes values of peace and solidarity between generations and within families as well as reconciliation and neighborliness.”


  • It is one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions. It was founded by the Prophet Zoroaster (or Zarathustra) in ancient Iran approximately 3500 years ago.
  • For 1000 years Zoroastrianism was one of the most powerful religions in the world. It was the official religion of Persia (Iran) from 600 BCE to 650 CE. It is now one of the world’s smallest religions.
  • The Zoroastrian book of Holy Scriptures is called The Avesta.
  • Zoroastrians are roughly split into two groups:
    • The Iranians
    • The Parsis


New Development Bank (NDB)

Context: Former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has been “unanimously elected” as the head of New Development Bank (NDB).

About New Development Bank (NDB)

  • It is a multilateral financial institution set up by the five BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) countries.
  • Purpose: It was established with the purpose of mobilising resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging market economies and developing countries.
    • NDB’s work complements the efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions, toward global growth and development.
  • Headquarters: Shanghai, China.
  • Recognition: In 2018, the NDB received observer status in the United Nations General Assembly, establishing a firm basis for active and fruitful cooperation with the UN.
  • Membership: In 2021, NDB initiated membership expansion and admitted Bangladesh, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Uruguay as its new member countries.
  • India’s K.V. Kamath was elected the first president of the bank.
  • Lending in India: The NDB has so far approved $7.2 billion for over 20 projects in India.
BRIC'S Development Bank
BRIC’S Development Bank


Marburg Virus Disease (MVD)

Context: Marburg virus disease outbreak has killed five in Tanzania.

About Marburg Virus Disease

  • Marburg virus disease (MVD), earlier known as Marburg hemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal hemorrhagic fever.
  • Causative agent: Marburg, like Ebola, is a filovirus.
  • Hosts: Rousettus fruit bats are considered the natural hosts for the Marburg virus.
  • Origin: It was first detected in 1967 after simultaneous outbreaks in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany; and in Belgrade, Serbia.
  • Fatality: The disease has an average fatality rate of around 50%. However, it can be as low as 24% or as high as 88% depending on virus strain and case management.
  • Symptoms: MVD can manifest itself in the form of high fever, muscle aches and severe headache. Around the third day, patients report abdominal pain, vomiting, severe watery diarrhoea and cramping.
    • Between days five and seven, patients report bleeding from the nose, and gums and blood appearing in vomit and faeces.
    • Severe blood loss leads to death, often between eight to nine days after symptoms begin.
  • Treatment: There is no approved antiviral treatment or vaccine for MVD as of now. It can be managed with supportive care.
    • Rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids, and treatment of specific symptoms can help prevent death.
Marburg Virus Disease
Marburg Virus Disease

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