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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC – 16 February 2023

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC 2023

Q) Recently seen in news, the term ‘Volatiles’ is best related to which one of the following?

  1. They are a new category of semiconductors.
  2. They are radioactive wastes emitted by a nuclear plant.
  3. Carbon compounds which shift their state of matter very easily.
  4. Elements that change from solid state to vapor at low temperature.

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC – 15 February 2023


  • Option (4) is correct: Volatiles are elements or compounds that change from solid or liquid state into vapour at relatively low temperatures. Planetary scientists often classify volatiles with exceptionally low melting points. The most common volatiles include carbon dioxide, nitrogen, ammonia, hydrogen, methane, sulfur dioxide and water. A new research of meteorites suggests that some of the well-known volatiles may have come from outer solar system, i.e. from beyond the region of Jupiter planet. Without the contribution of outer Solar System material, the Earth would have had fewer concentrations of volatiles, making the planet drier and potentially unable to nourish and sustain life. They play a major role in pollinator attraction by terrestrial plants and as insect pheromones, becoming a mediating agent of so-called ‘tritrophicinteractions’. In Geology, they play a major role in magmatic differentiation, collection of ore-forming materials, the heat budget of igneous bodies, fracturing of surrounding rocks, and emplacement. Deep volatiles play critical roles in driving volcanic and plate tectonic processes on our plane.

Q) With reference to defence sector in India, consider the following statements:

  1. In comparison to the previous year, the Union Budget 2023’s defence sector allocation has increased by approximately 25 percent.
  2. The iDEX framework aims to works with MSMEs and start-ups to promote innovation in the defence industry.
  3. The Chief of Defence Staff executes the Technology Development Fund, which is used to fulfil the defence requirements of Tri-Services.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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


  • Statement 1 is incorrect: Finance Minister announced the allocation of Rs 5,935.38 billion to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in annual budget 2023-24. This represents a 13-percent increase over the previous year’s allocations. All the three key components of the MoD’s budget—MoD (Civil), Defence Pension, and Defence Services—have contributed to the upward revision. Large increases are due to hikes in the pensionary benefits and the non-salary revenue expenditure of the defence services. Pay and Allowances (P&A) of the armed forces has grown marginally (by 3 percent) from Rs 1,494 billion to Rs 1,545 billion. Depletion of the armed forces’ strength is caused by the pandemic-induced restrictions on recruitment and the unveiling of the Agnipath scheme.
  • Statement 2 is correct: Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) framework was launched by the Government with the aim to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace Sector by engaging Industries including MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, R&D institutes and academia and to promote self-reliance.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect: Technology Development Fund (TDF) has been established to promote self-reliance in defence technology as a part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative. It is a programme of MoD (Ministry of Defence) executed by DRDO meeting the requirements of Tri-Services, Defence Production and DRDO.

Q) Consider the following statements about Marburg Virus Disease (MVD):

  1. MVD was first identified in the equatorial regions of Africa.
  2. MVD is spread by the Filoviridae viruses and is a highly contagious disease.
  3. World Health Organisation recently approved a vaccine for immediate use to treat MVD.

Which of the statements given above is/are not correct?

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


  • Statement 1 is incorrect: Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) is a severe illness that causes viral haemorrhagic fever in humans (it was formerly known as Marburg haemorrhagic fever). The virus was first identified after simultaneous outbreaks in Frankfurt and Marburg, Germany, from where it derives its name and Belgrade, Serbia in 1967. Those first infected were exposed to Ugandan imported African green monkeys or their tissues. A person infected with the virus experiences sudden illness with symptoms like high fever, severe headache and discomfort.
  • Statement 2 is correct: Like Ebola, the Marburg virus is transmitted to primates from bats which are considered natural hosts of the virus. It spreads among humans via direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected bats, or surfaces contaminated with fluids, like bedsheets and clothes. The disease can also spread during burial ceremonies if there is direct contact with the body of the deceased. Both the Marburg and Ebola viruses belong to the Filoviridae family and the diseases caused by the two present clinical similarities.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect: The Equatorial Guinea has recently confirmed its first outbreak of the highly infectious Marburg Virus Disease. The virus takes between two and 21 days to incubate. As of now, there are no authorised vaccines or drugs to treat the Marburg virus disease. According to the WHO, rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids and treatment of specific symptoms can improve chances of survival.

Q) With reference to ‘Liquid Nano Urea’, consider the following statements:

  1. The size of the nano-nitrogen particles in the urea is less than 50 nanometers.
  2. It is usually applied directly to the roots to reduce any waste.
  3. It significantly increases the crop yield and also improves the quality of farm products.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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


  • Statement 1 is correct: Nano Urea is essentially urea in the form of a nano-particle. Urea is a chemical nitrogen fertiliser which artificially provides nitrogen, a major nutrient required by plants. The size of a nano nitrogen particle varies from 20-50 nm. (A nanometre is equal to a billionth of a metre.)
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: Nano Urea is aimed at reducing the unbalanced and indiscriminate use of conventional urea, increase crop productivity, and reduce soil, water, and air pollution. Liquid nano urea is sprayed directly on the leaves and gets absorbed by the plant. Upon penetration, these nano-particles reach plant parts where nitrogen is required and release nutrients in a controlled manner, thereby reducing usage while also reducing wastage into the environment.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect: While conventional urea has an efficiency of about 25 per cent, the efficiency of liquid nano urea can be as high as 85-90 per cent. It is proven to have increased the crop yield by an average of 8 per cent (not significantly) along with improving the quality of farm produce by providing better nutrition to crops. Costing proposition of nano urea liquid should make it more favourable over conventional urea as its 500 ml bottle will be priced at Rs 240.

Q) Consider the following statements about ‘Sulfate Aerosols’:

  1. Inactive volcanoes also release significant amounts of sulphate aerosols into the atmosphere.
  2. Sulfate aerosol emissions are also derived from sources such as dimethyl sulphide released by oceanic phytoplankton.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2


  • Statement 1 is correct: New study reveals that inactive volcanoes contributed 66% of sulphate aerosols emissions suggesting they were more abundant than previously estimated. Previous studies estimated that the amount of sulphur dioxide released by volcanoes is smaller compared to anthropogenic sources.It has been found that inactive volcanoes release up to three times the rate of sulphate emissions than previously believed. This new finding is important for global climate models as current models underestimate volcanic sulphur emissions from passive degassing (non-eruptive volcanoes) during the preindustrial era.
  • Statement 2 is correct: Sulfate aerosols are mixtures of solid or liquid particles that include sulphuric acid. The main sources of sulphate aerosols are sulphur dioxide (SO2), of which volcanoes and fossil fuels are the major natural and anthropogenic sources, respectively. Dimethyl sulphide (DMS), which is emitted from oceanic phytoplankton and land vegetation, is also one of the natural sources.

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Elements that change from solid state to vapor at low temperature.

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