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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC – 2 February 2023

Q) Which one of the following is the main objective of the ‘PM VIKAS’ scheme?

  1. Development of motorways in the country
  2. Skill development and women’s entrepreneurship
  3. Development of artisans and craftsperson in the country
  4. Employment generation for transgender.

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC – 1 February 2023


  • Option (3) is correct: PM VIshwakarma KAushal Samman (PM VIKAS) caters to the artisans and crafts people of the country. It will particularly help the artisans coming from the SC, ST, OBC communities and the weaker sections. The scheme is developed to allow the nation’s craftsmen to enhance the caliber, scope, and reach of their goods. They will also be incorporated into the Micro, Small, and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSME) value chain. It will unlock the potential of thousands of artists and craftspeople around the country, through the provision of skills training, technology, and the opening of credit lines to them.

Q) Consider the following statements about ‘Operation Smile’:

  1. It is an initiative of the Ministry of Women and Child Development to rescue missing children.
  2. As a part of this operation, all children residing in shelter homes are screened by trained police personnel.

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 incorrect: Operation Smile also called Operation MUSKAAN is an initiative of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to rescue/rehabilitate missing children. It is a dedicated campaign for a month (January) where several activities are taken up by the State Police personnel to trace and rescue the missing children and reunite them with their families. It is conducted every year in January to trace and rescue missing and trafficked children.
  • Statement 2 is correct: All children residing in shelter homes, platforms, bus stands, roads, religious places, etc. are to be screened by trained police personnel. Before the operation, the Police personnel from each State are properly trained in methodology to extract information from such children tactfully without getting intimidated, as well as in various provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) JJ Act, Protection of Child Right Act, relevant sections of CrPC& IPC and Advisories issued by MHA etc. To know the magnitude of the problem, data with full details of the number of cases of missing children will be maintained and shared at the intra-State and Inter-state levels. During the operation, the particulars of such identified children will be uploaded on the ‘Missing child’ portal of the Ministry of Women and Child Development by the respective State Police. Rehabilitation measures, whenever needed, are to be taken up in coordination with the other line Departments like the Department of Women & Child Development, Police, Labour, etc so that scope of re-victimization is eliminated. Public awareness is to be increased by way of national campaign, advertisements on national media, etc.

Q) With reference to ‘Lab grown diamonds’, consider the following statements:

  1. They are created by applying high pressure and high temperature to graphite.
  2. They have the same optical dispersion as natural diamonds.
  3. They have high electrical conductivity but low thermal conductivity.
  4. The basic customs duty on seeds used in the manufacture of lab-grown diamonds was recently increased by the Indian government.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

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


  • Statement 1 is correct: Lab-grown diamonds (LGDs) are diamonds that are produced using specific technology which mimics the geological processes that grow natural diamonds. There are multiple ways in which LGDs can be produced. The most common (and cheapest) is the “High pressure, high temperature” (HPHT) method. As the name suggests, this method requires extremely heavy presses that can produce up to 730,000 psi of pressure under extremely high temperatures (at least 1500 Celsius). Usually, graphite is used as the “diamond seed” and when subjected to these extreme conditions, the relatively inexpensive form of carbon turns into one of the most expensive carbon forms. Other processes include “Chemical Vapor Deposition” (CVD) and explosive formation that creates what is known as “detonation nanodiamonds”.
  • Statement 2 is correct but statement 3 is incorrect: The first-ever LGD was created in 1954 by scientists working at a General Electric research laboratory in New York. They are not the same as “diamond simulants” – LGDs are chemically, physically and optically diamond and thus are difficult to identify as “lab-grown.” While materials such as Moissanite, Cubic Zirconia (CZ), White Sapphire, YAG, etc. are “diamond simulants” that simply attempt to “look” like a diamond, they lack the sparkle and durability of a diamond and are thus easily identifiable. LGDs have basic properties similar to natural diamonds, including their optical dispersion, which provides them with the signature diamond sheen. However, since they are created in controlled environments, many of their properties can be enhanced for various purposes. LGDs are most often used for industrial purposes, in machines and tools. Their hardness and extra strength make them ideal for use as cutters. They have high thermal conductivity, but negligible electrical conductivity. This combination is invaluable for electronics where such diamonds can be used as a heat spreader for high-power laser diodes, laser arrays and high-power transistors.
  • Statement 4 is incorrect: India is a global leader in cutting and polishing natural diamonds, but as its resources are becoming scarce, the industry is shifting towards LGDs. The 2023 Union Budget reduces the basic customs duty on seeds used in the manufacture of lab-grown diamonds in a bid to popularise their production in India— the duty on seeds for rough LGDs will be reduced from 5% to nil. The change will come into effect starting February 2, 2023.

Q) Consider the following statements about ‘iCET’ initiative:

  1. It is connected to the development of cutting-edge technology in the space and defence sector.
  2. It is a joint programme of India and ASEAN countries.
  3. It is operated by the Ministryof Electronics and Information Technology.

Which of the statements given above are not correct?

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


  • Statement 1 is correct but statements 2 and 3 are incorrect: Initiative for Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) initiative was launched by India and the US in May 2022 and is being run by the National Security Councils of both countries. Under iCET, both countries have identified six areas of cooperation which would include co-development and co-production.The six areas for cooperation are Scientific research and development, Quantum and artificial intelligence, Defence innovation, Space, Advanced telecom which would include things like 6G and Semiconductors. The objective is to provide cutting edge technologies to the rest of the world which are affordable.

Q) With reference to ‘Mahila Samman Savings Certificate (MSSC)’, consider the following statements:

  1. MSSC is a small savings scheme that is available for only two years.
  2. MSSC will offer a deposit facility at a five percent fixed interest rate.
  3. The MSSC does not provide early withdrawal facility.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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


  • Statement 1 is correct but statement 2 is incorrect: Mahila Samman Savings Certificate (MSSC) is a one-time new small saving scheme Mahila Samman Savings certificate will be available for a 2-year period up to March 2025. This newly introduced women-oriented scheme will help women investors to start investing for their short-term financial goals and needs. This will offer a deposit facility of up to Rs 2 lakh in the name of women or girls for a tenor of 2 years at a fixed interest rate of 7.5 per cent.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect: The MSSC has a partial withdrawal option. Compared to other small savings schemes like Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna which has a maximum investment limit of Rs 1.5 lakhs in a financial year, and also has a long lock-in period of 21 years, MSSC provides an opportunity to invest up to Rs 2 lakhs for a tenure of 2 years, making it a better investment option for female investors. Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme account matures after 21 years from the date of opening or on marriage of the girl child under whose name the account is opened, whichever is earlier.

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The main objective of the ‘PM VIKAS’ scheme?

Development of artisans and craftsperson in the country

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