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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC – 30 March 2023

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC 2023

Q) Which one of the following statements is not correct with respect to ‘piezoelectric effect’?

  1. In this effect, a body generates electric current when it is squeezed.
  2. Quartz is the most famous piezoelectric crystal.
  3. This effect is used in analogue wristwatches and clocks.
  4. This effect can only occur in solids, not in liquids.

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC – 29 March 2023


  • Option (1) and (2) are correct: In the piezoelectric effect, a body develops an electric current when it is squeezed. The piezoelectric effect was discovered in 1880, in quartz. Quartz is the most famous piezoelectric crystal. Quartz is silicon dioxide (SiO2). When a mechanical stress is applied – i.e., when the crystal is squeezed – the position of the charge is pushed further from the centre, giving rise to a small voltage. This is the source of the effect.
  • Option (3) is correct: The quartz crystal consists of silicon and oxygen atoms at the four vertices of a three-sided pyramid; each oxygen atom is shared by two pyramids. These pyramids repeat themselves to form the crystal. It is used in this capacity in analog wristwatches and clocks. Such crystals are also used in cigarette lighters, electric guitars, TV remote controls, audio transducers, and other instruments where converting mechanical stress to a current is useful.
  • Option (4) is incorrect: This effect has only been expected in solids thus far because the body being squeezed needs to have an organised structure, like pyramids of quartz. For the first time, scientists have reported evidence of the piezoelectric effect in liquids.

Q) Consider the following statements about Big Tech:

  1. The ‘Safe harbour’ clause gives big tech companies legal protection from being held liable for user-posted information on their platforms.
  2. In India, the Digital Markets Act regulates online businesses and big tech companies.
  3. Big tech companies directly influence societal change and can shape political opinion.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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


  • Statement 1 is correct: Big Tech, also known as the Tech Giants, is a term used to describe the most dominant companies in the information technology industry, majority of who are centered in the United States. The Big Tech is further classified as Big Four or Big Five presently consisting of Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, Meta (Facebook)—with Microsoft completing the Big Five. In India, antitrust issues are governed by the Competition Act, 2002, and the Competition Commission of India checks upon monopolistic practices. So far, big tech companies in India are protected by the safe harbour of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) of the USA along with its Indian counterpart Section 79 of India’s Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act). Safe harbour – as prescribed under Section 79 of the IT Act, 2000 – is legal immunity that online intermediaries enjoy against content posted by users on their platforms.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: In Europe the Digital Markets Act (DMA) directly ban harmful business practices by very large digital players, create a fairer and more competitive economic space for new players and European businesses. The Digital Services Act (DSA) in Europe targets category of online services, from simple websites to internet infrastructure services and online platforms.
  • Statement 3 is correct: The impact of Big Tech is felt on a global level. They are continually looking to expand their reach, influencing domestic economy of almost all countries. Big Tech influences societal change by being accessible to the masses. The products of these companies are widely used and can impact the consumer choices. Big Tech has the reach and capability to create political opinion. These can be in form of political ads on their platform and also promoting opinion of certain political leaders on social media. Since Big Tech operates across the world, countries claim that these companies support rival economies, which ultimately affects national security. Ex: Huawei was blamed by the US for spying on behalf of China. The Big Tech is well known for their innovation and technology development. They are the first to introduce ground-breaking technologies.

Q) With reference to ‘Upward Lightning’, consider the following statements:

  1. It is a phenomenon whereby lightning develops from a tall object and travels upward towards an electrified storm cloud.
  2. It can also develop as a response to a change in the electric field created by a nearby lightning flash.
  3. A stepped ladder trigger is a phenomenon related to upward lightning.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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


  • Statement 1 and 2 are correct: Upward lightning is a phenomenon whereby a self-initiated lightning streak develops from a tall object that travels upward toward an overlaying electrified storm cloud. For upward lightning, storm electrification and the resulting presence of a cloud charge region are enabling factors. The vertical elevation of a tall object accentuates the electric field locally on the ground, resulting in conditions favourable for the initiation of an upward streak (called a leader) from a tall object. It can also develop in response to an electric field change created by a nearby preceding lightning flash. Brazilian researchers recently succeeded in taking pictures of positive upward discharges of electricity from lightning conductor rods.
  • Statement 3 is correct: Stepped ladder trigger is related to Upward Lightning whereby the latter process is triggered by the development of the stepped leader (essentially a channel of negative charge that travels downward in a zigzag pattern from a cloud, nearly invisible to the human eye) travelling to the ground in a millisecond, leading to an intensification of the positive charge on the ground. As the streaks of the stepped leader keep streaking towards the ground, the electrical charges between the leader tips and the tops of tall objects on the ground keep on increasing. In due course, these forces cause the air above these tall buildings or towers to ionize and thereby turn more conductive. With the negative charge repeatedly moving toward the ground, the channel of air just above the tall objects turns positively charged, which starts streaking upwards and is called an upward streamer. In due course, the negatively-charged, downward-moving stepped leader makes contact with one of the developing positively-charged upwards streamers.

Q) Consider the following statements about Tactical and Strategic Nuclear Weapons:

  1. Strategic nuclear weapons refer to a category of small nuclear warheads and delivery systems that are used for limited strikes.
  2. Tactical nuclear weapons usually weigh up to 1000 kilotons and are launched from a longer range.
  3. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is the first legally binding international treaty that comprehensively bans nuclear weapons.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Answer: C


  • Statements 1 and 2 are incorrect: Tactical nuclear weapons refer to category of small nuclear warheads and delivery systems that will be used on the battlefield or for limited strikes. Strategic nuclear weapons are those nuclear weapons that cause greater, large-scale damage. The smallest of a tactical nuclear weapon can be “one kiloton or less”. The largest can be as big as 100 kilotons. Strategic nuclear weapons are larger (~ 1,000 kilotons) and are launched from longer range. Russian President has stated plans to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. This is for the first time that Russia is deploying nuclear weapons outside its borders. Currently, there are no arms control agreements between the U.S. and Russia on tactical nuclear weapons unlike in the case of strategic nuclear weapons.
  • Statement 3 is correct: Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is the first legally binding international treaty that comprehensively bans nuclear weapons. The development, testing, production, stockpiling, transfer, stationing, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons are completely prohibited by the treaty. The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is an international treaty that stops the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to achieve the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. Currently, four UN member states, India, Israel, Pakistan and South Sudan, have never signed the NPT. The treaty defines nuclear-weapon states as those countries that have built and tested a nuclear explosive device before 1 January 1967. United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China are countries defined as nuclear-weapon states.

Q) Consider the following statements:

  1. It stretches from the Brahmaputra River in the north to the hilly forests of Meghalaya in the south.
  2. The main flora types in this area are Sal, mixed deciduous forest, and semi-evergreen forests.
  3. Tree yellow butterflies, which are indigenous to Thailand and Malaysia, can also be found here.

Which of the following Wildlife Sanctuary/ National Park is best described in the statements given above?

  1. Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary
  2. Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary
  3. Nameri National Park
  4. Raimona National Park


  • Option (2) is correct: Recently, Assam High Court has sought a report on demarcation of borders of Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary (AMS). The Amchang Wildlife sanctuary is located on the eastern fringe of Guwahati. It comprises three Reserve forests-Khanapara, Amchang, and South Amchang. It stretches from the Brahmaputra River in the north to the hilly forests of Meghalaya in the south, forming a continuous forest belt through Meghalaya’s Maradakdola Reserve Forests. It was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 2004 by Government of Assam. Khasi Hill Sal Forests, East Himalayan Mixed Deciduous Forest, Eastern Alluvial Secondary Semi-Evergreen Forests and East Himalayan Sal Forests is the main flora type in this WLS. It is home to Mammals (Flying Fox, Assamese Macaque, Slow Loris, Hoolock gibbon etc.), Birds (Lesser and Greater Adjutant, White-backed Vulture, Slender-billed Vulture), Reptiles (Python, Monitor Lizard, Indian Cobra etc.). Tree yellow butterflies (gancanaharina) are found at the Amchang wildlife sanctuary which is indigenous to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and northeast India.

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