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UPSC Prelims News 1 February 2023

UPSC Prelims News of 1 February 2023

Trishakti Prahar

Context: The Indian military recently concluded the exercise Trishakti Prahar — a joint training exercise which began in North Bengal.

  • The aim of the exercise was to practice battle preparedness of the security forces, using the latest weapons and equipment in a networked, integrated environment, involving the Army, the Indian Air Force and CAPFs.
  • The exercise showcased the joint application of various ground and aerial assets including the latest generation fighter aircraft, helicopters, tanks, infantry combat vehicles, medium and field artillery guns, infantry mortars and various new generation infantry weapons and equipment in a networked environment.
  • The exercise also witnessed the participation of newly-inducted weapons and equipment made in India as a part of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’.
  • The Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force conduct several joint military exercises to enhance inter-service coordination and jointmanship. Some of the other important joint exercises are:
    • “Trishul”: This is an annual joint military exercise conducted by the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force.
    • “HimVijay”: This is a joint military exercise conducted by the Indian Army and Air Force.
Trishakti Prahar
Trishakti Prahar

UPSC Prelims News 31 January 2023


Sena Spectabilis

Context: The Nodal Centre for Biological Invasions (NCBI) at the Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI) has come out with a management plan to eradicate Senna spectabilis.

  • It is an exotic invasive plant that is posing a severe threat to the State’s wildlife habitat.
    • An invasive species is an organism that causes ecological or economic harm in a new environment where it is not native.
  • Senna spectabilis is a deciduous tree that belongs to the Fabaceae family and is grown as an ornamental plant across tropical America.
  • It can grow 7 – 18 metres tall; is evergreen in climates with rain all year round, but can become deciduous in some regions, and produces yellow flowers.
  • The thick foliage of the tree arrests the growth of other indigenous tree and grass species. Thus, it causes food shortages for the wildlife population, especially herbivores.
  • It adversely affects the germination and growth of native species.
  • It is categorised as ‘Least Concern’ under IUCN Red List.
Sena Spectabilis
Sena Spectabilis


Kerala’s Eradication Plan

  • The management plan stipulates that there should not be an attempt to kill the trees before a detailed reforestation programme and the resources for implementing it are in place.
  • The plan envisages landscape-level management of the tree.
  • Once the resources and material for landscape restoration are ready, the invasive species has to be removed using a threefold approach for large trees, large saplings, and small saplings.
  • The large trees would take a minimum of 18 months to completely dry up after debarking.


Neglected Tropical Diseases

Context: Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) continue to disproportionately impact the most impoverished members of the international community, said a new WHO report.

About NTD

  • NTDs are a diverse group of 20 conditions mainly prevalent in tropical areas — caused by various pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi and toxins.
  • NTDs are especially common in tropical areas where people do not have access to clean water or safe ways to dispose of human waste.
  • NTD Burden: NTD affects 1 billion people worldwide, and the poorest and most vulnerable communities suffer the most.
    • India has the world’s largest absolute burden of at least 10 major NTDs, including hookworm, dengue, lymphatic filariasis, leprosy, visceral leishmaniasis or kala-azar and rabies.
  • Control: Controlling the vectors (e.g., mosquitoes, black flies) that transmit these diseases and improving basic water, sanitation, and hygiene are highly effective strategies against these NTDs.
    • Innovation in diagnostics, treatment and prevention will help create solutions that are effective, relevant, locally feasible, and sustainable to treat NTD.
  • SDG Target 3.3 is to end neglected tropical diseases NTDs by 2030.
Neglected Tropical Diseases
Neglected Tropical Diseases


Shumang Leela

Context: Shumang Leela is Manipur’s traditional theatre form, which aims to inform, as well as entertain people down the ages.

About Shumang Leela

  • Shumang Leela is a traditional form of theatre in Manipur where the roles of women are all played by men, called Nupi Shabis.
  •  In the case of women’s theatre groups, the roles of men are played by women.
  • Shumang Leela translates to “courtyard performance” and it is performed in an open courtyard surrounded by spectators on all four sides.
  • The tradition is believed to be descended from Lai Haraoba, a ritual of the Meitei community of Manipur.
  • The plays serve as a medium to spread awareness among people of social, political and economic issues, along with moral values, unity and integrity.
  • Contemporary themes, along with music, dance, action, martial art sequences and stunts have become part of the folk theatre form with constant evolution.
Shumang Leela
Shumang Leela


National Commission for Women

Context: The President recently graced the Foundation Day Celebration of the National Commission for Women in New Delhi.

  • The National Commission for Women was set up under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990, as a statutory body.
  • The First Commission was constituted on 31st January 1992 with Mrs. Jayanti Patnaik as the Chairperson.
  • The commission consists of a chairperson, a member secretary and five other members. The chairperson of the NCW is nominated by the Central Government.
  • Its mission is to strive towards enabling women to achieve equality and equal participation in all spheres of life by securing their due rights and entitlements through suitable policy formulation, legislative measures, etc.
  • Functions:
    • Review the constitutional and legal safeguards for women
    • Recommend remedial legislative measures
    • Facilitate redressal of grievances
    • Advise the Government on all policy matters affecting women
National Commission for Women
National Commission for Women

Constitutional Safeguards for Women:

  • Fundamental Rights:
    • It guarantees all Indians the right to equality (Article 14), no discrimination by the State on the basis of gender (Article 15(1)) and special provisions to be made by the State in favour of women (Article 15(3)).
  • Fundamental Duties:
    • It ensures that practices derogatory to the dignity of women are prohibited under Article 51 (A).
  • Legislative Framework:
    • Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
    • The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961
    • Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013.
    • The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO), 2012



Why in News? Recently, The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) told the Delhi High Court that the PM CARES Fund is administered on the pattern of Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) as both are chaired by the Prime Minister.



  • The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund) was created on 28 March 2020, following the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • It will be used for relief efforts against the coronavirus outbreak and similar pandemic-like situations in the future.
  • The Chairman of the PM-CARES fund is the Prime Minister of India.
  • PM CARES Fund allows the option for Micro donation, one can donate as low as Rs 10 to the PM CARES Fund.


  • Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) was established in January 1948.
  • PMNRF in India is the fund raised to provide support for people affected by natural and man-made disasters.
  • It was first created by Jawaharlal Nehru to support the displaced people from Pakistan during Partition.
  • The Chairman of the PMNRF is the Prime Minister of India.
  • The minimum amount one can donate to the PMNRF is Rs 100


Tree Walk Initiative

Why in News? The giant, small-leaf mahogany in Thiruvananthapuram has been witness to many strikes and protests for more than five decades.


  • Tree walks initiative is to save rare, endangered and endemic trees of Thiruvananthapuram city.
  • Tree Walk has been documenting the plant diversity in the city and campaigning for the protection of trees since 2012.
  • Tree Walk has been holding walks to create awareness about these trees and has saved several of them from the axe.
  • Alarm bells began ringing when a Honey Tree ( Ilippa/ Mahua) on the NORKA (Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs) campus at Thycaud was chopped down.

Tree Walk identified trees in three categories:

  • Commonly found across Kerala but not much within the city, such as Aanjili or Wild Jack.
  • Trees that are endangered, such as Agarwood and Thycaud.
  • Trees that grow in a rare ecosystem, such as Malabar Ironwood.
Tree Walk Initiative
Tree Walk Initiative


Amrit Udyan

Context: The Mughal Gardens at Rashtrapati Bhavan were renamed ‘Amrit Udyan’ in keeping with the theme of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

About the Mughal Gardens at Rashtrapati Bhavan

  • Edwin Lutyens had finalized the designs of the Mughal Gardens in 1917, but it was only in 1928-1929 that planting was done.
  • It is spread across 15 acres and it incorporates both Mughal and English landscaping styles.
  • The main garden was designed in the Charbagh Styles – a typical characteristic of Mughal landscaping.

About the Charbagh Style

  • Origin: The Char Bagh style originated in the Mughal Empire and was inspired by the traditional Persian style of gardening.
  • Design: The Char Bagh style is characterized by a square or rectangular garden, divided into four sections by walkways or waterways. Each section is further divided into smaller beds, which are filled with flowers and plants.
  • Symbolism: The four sections of the Char Bagh are believed to symbolize the four rivers of paradise in Islamic mythology. The central water body and the fountains in the garden are also symbolic of the life-giving water that is central to all gardens.
  • Examples: Some famous examples of the Char Bagh style can be seen in the Mughal Gardens of the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, the Taj Mahal in Agra, and the Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi.


Kawal Tiger Reserve

Context: Rare birds were recorded in the water bodies inside the core area of the Kawal Tiger Reserve during the Asian Water Bird Census (AWC) 2023.


  • The Kawal Tiger Reserve is located in the Telangana State along the banks of river Godavari, forming part of the Deccan Peninsula-central highlands.
  • The reserve is nestled in the Sahyadri Mountain Ranges. The reserve is the catchment for the rivers Godavari and Kadam.
  • The reserve has geographical linkages with the Tadoba-Andhari (Maharashtra) and Indravati (Chhattisgarh) tiger reserves.
  • Flora: The vegetation is classified as Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Forest. Bamboo and Teak are found extensively.
  • Fauna: Cheetal, Sambar, Barking Deer, Nilgai, Sloth Bear, Indian Bison, Panther and Tiger are some major species.
  • Threats: Sand mining, destruction of teak forests, poaching, migratory cattle, vehicular disturbance, lack of water and fodder, and forest fires are major threats in the reserve.
Kawal Tiger Reserve
Kawal Tiger Reserve



Context: A fortnight-long leprosy awareness campaign commenced in Thanjavur district on Anti-Leprosy Day (January 30) under the National Leprosy Eradication Programme.

About Leprosy

  • Leprosy is also known as Hansen’s Disease & is a chronic, progressive bacterial infection.
  • Pathogen: The bacteria named ‘bacterium Mycobacterium leprae’.
  • Areas of Infection: Skin, Peripheral nerves, Upper respiratory tract and Lining of the nose.
  • Mode of Transmission: Mainly by breathing airborne droplets from the affected individuals. It can be contacted at any age.
  • Symptoms: Red patches on the skin, skin lesions, numbness in arms, hands, and legs, ulcers on the soles of feet, muscle Weakness and excessive weight loss.
  • Diagnosis: It usually takes about 3-5 years for symptoms to appear after coming into contact with Leprosy causing bacteria. The long incubation period makes it difficult for doctors to determine when and where the person got infected.
  • Risks and consequences: If not treated on time, Leprosy can lead to significant disability, disfigurement, permanent nerve damage in arms and legs and even loss of sensation in the body.
  • Cure: Leprosy is curable with the combination of drugs known as Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT).

About the National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP)

  • The program was launched in 1983 with the aim of providing early diagnosis and treatment of leprosy cases, as well as creating awareness about the disease and reducing its stigma.
  • The program provides free diagnosis and treatment for leprosy, including multidrug therapy (MDT), which is the most effective treatment for the disease.
  • The NLEP also provides rehabilitation services, including physiotherapy and vocational training, for patients who have developed disabilities as a result of the disease.

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The Indian military recently concluded the exercise Trishakti Prahar — a joint training exercise where?

The Indian military recently concluded the exercise Trishakti Prahar — a joint training exercise which began in North Bengal. 

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