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UPSC Prelims News 10 February 2023

UPSC Prelims News of 10 February 2023


Context: In the latest development, the Sangam age has been pushed to 800 BCE based on the archaeological findings from Keeladi site.

About Keeladi Site:

  • Keeladi is a hamlet located near Madurai city in Tamil Nadu.
  • It is along the banks of River Vaigai.
  • The ASI started its excavations in Keeladi in 2014.
  • Evidence was found that the civilization at Keeladi, that is, the Sangam Age civilization is older than thought before.
  • It has been classified into three periods:
    • The pre-early historic period between 800 BCE to 500 BCE
    • The mature early history between 500 BCE to the end of 1st century BCE
    • Post-early history from 1st century BCE to 300 CE

More Information:

  • Items found: Brick structures, terracotta ring wells, fallen roofing with tiles, golden ornaments, broken parts of copper objects, iron implements, ear ornaments, black and red-ware, and semi-precious stones.
    • Skeletal fragments of cow/ox, buffalo, sheep, goat, nilgai, blackbuck, wild boar, and peacock were also found.
  • Long walls, well-laid floors along with roof tiles in a collapsed state, and iron nails fastened to the poles and rafters prove a high standard of living during the Sangam age.
  • Graffiti marks are found in earthenware, caves, and rocks in or near the excavation sites.

Vaigai River

  • It is an east-flowing river.
  • The Vaigai river basin is an important basin among the 12 basins lying between the Cauvery and Kanyakumari.
  • This basin is bounded by the Cardamom Hills and the Palani Hills on the West and by the Palk Strait and Palk Bay on the East.

UPSC Prelims News 9 February 2023


Global Quality Infrastructure Index (GQII) 2021

Context: India’s national accreditation system under the Quality Council of India (QCI) has been ranked 5th in the world in the recent GQII 2021.

About GQII:

  • The GQII ranks the 184 economies in the world on the basis of quality infrastructure (QI).
  • The GQII rankings are published and presented post-facto for each year based on the data collected till the end of that year.
  • It is an initiative on metrology, standardization, accreditation, and related services, supported by Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany.

Outcomes of the Report

  • India’s overall QI system ranking continues to be in the Top 10 at the 10th position, with the standardization system (under BIS) at 9th and the metrology system (under NPL-CSIR) at the 21st position in the world.
    • QI is the technical backbone for international trade, with metrology, standardization, accreditation, and conformity assessment services providing reliability and trust between trading partners.
  • The top 25 countries are mainly located in Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific, with some exceptions, such as India (10th), Brazil (13th), Australia (14th), and Turkey (16th).



Context: According to data provided by the government in Rajya Sabha, more than 16 lakh Indians renounced their Indian citizenship since 2011.

About Citizenship

  • Citizens are full members of the Indian State and owe allegiance to it, and they enjoy all civil and political rights.
  • In Constitution: The India Constitution deals with the citizenship from Articles 5 to 11 under Part II.
    • However, it contains neither any permanent nor any elaborate provisions in this regard.
    • It only identifies the persons who became citizens of India at its commencement.
  • Powers: The constitution empowers the Parliament to enact a law to provide for such matters and any other matter relating to citizenship.
    • Accordingly, the Parliament has enacted the Citizenship Act, 1955, which has been amended in 1957, 1960, 1985, 1986, 1992, 2003, 2005 and 2015.
  • Acquiring citizenship: The Citizenship Act of 1955 prescribes five ways of acquiring citizenship viz, birth, descent, registration, naturalisation and incorporation of territory.
  • Renouncing: Through renunciation, deprivation and termination.
  • Single citizenship: It is to be noted that, though the Indian Constitution is federal and envisages a dual polity (Centre and states), it provides for only a single citizenship, that is, the Indian citizenship.



Context: Researchers have confirmed the detection of a star system that will one day end in a kilonova.


  • Labelling it CPD-29 2176, scientists believe that only ten star systems that exist in the Milky Way will end in kilonovae.
  • It has been and is located about 11,400 light-years from the earth.
  • CPD-29 2176 is currently a neutron star and a star orbiting each other.
    • Neutron stars are formed when massive stars explode in a supernova while their cores implode, crushing their constituent protons and electrons together into a super-dense ball of neutrons.

About Kilonova

  • Kilonova is a cosmic event that occurs not when stars die but when a neutron star smashes into another neutron star or a black hole.
  • To create a kilonova, the other star would also need to explode as an ultra-stripped supernova so the two neutron stars could eventually collide and merge
  • Kilonova releases heavy metals like gold, silver, and selenium into outer space at tremendous velocities, as well as radiation, to the accompaniment of a gamma-ray burst – one of the most energetic cosmic events ever known.
  • Radiations that are released when two neutron stars or any other binary system merge are known as kilonova emissions.
  • Events like kilonovae are windows into the formation of the universe.

Equalisation Levy

Context: Central Board of Direct Taxes has introduced fresh norms for filing statements for equalisation levy by companies.

About Equalisation Levy

  • Equalisation Levy was introduced in India in 2016, with the intention of taxing digital transactions i.e. the income accruing to foreign e-commerce companies from India.
  • It is aimed at taxing business-to-business transactions.
  • It is a direct tax on consideration received from non-residents for specified services.
  • It is included in Chapter VIII of the Finance Act 2016 but does not form a part of the Indian Income Tax Act, 1961.

Characteristics of Equalisation Levy:

  • It is taxed on the digital commerce transaction conducted without regard for national borders.
  • Specific services refer to online advertisements and any digital advertising or any other facility/service used for online advertising.
  • Applicability of Equalisation Levy: It applies to an Indian resident who is engaged in any profession or business or who has a permanent business in India or if:
    • The money has been paid to a non-resident service company.
    • A service provider’s total annual remittances are greater than Rs 1 lakh for a single financial year.
  • It will be inapplicable in the following situations:
    • The non-resident service provider concerned has a permanent office in India. Also, the requested service is linked to that permanent establishment.
    • The total amount of the consideration to be paid for the specific service received or payable is less than Rs 1 lakh.
    • The service described is not intended to be used to pursue work or profession.


Ellora Caves

Context: Former US Secretary of state visited the famous Ellora Caves in Maharashtra.

About Ellora Caves

  • Location: Ellora caves are a UNESCO World Heritage site located at Charanandri hills near Aurangabad in Maharashtra.
  • Sect: The site contains architectural activities carried out by the followers of three prominent religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.
  • Patronage: Ellora monuments were built during the Kalachuri dynasty (Shaivite), Chalukya dynasty (Buddhist), Rashtrakuta dynasty (Hindu and Jain) and the Yadava dynasty (Jain).
    • The Buddhist group reflects the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions. The Jain groups of caves are dedicated to the Digambara sect.
    • The rock-cut Ellora caves served as a group of monasteries (viharas) and temples (chaityas).
    • The Hindu group contains temples dedicated to both Shiva and Vishnu. The temples are decorated with erotic sculptures.
  • Famous structures in Ellora
    • Kailasa temple (chariot-shaped monument dedicated to the god Shiva.) constructed by Rashtrakuta King Krishna I.
    • The sculpture depicting Ravana attempting to lift Mount Kailasa
    • Indra Sabha (Jain)
    • Chhota Kailasa (Jain)
    • Vishwakarma Cave (Buddhist)
Ellora Caves
Ellora Caves


Gram Ujala Scheme

Context: Around one crore LED Bulbs have been distributed in rural areas under the Gram Ujala Scheme.

About the Scheme:

  • “Gram Ujala” is an LED bulb distribution program launched by Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL) in India.
  • Aim: To provide energy-efficient LED bulbs to households in rural areas at an affordable price, in order to promote the use of energy-saving technology and reduce energy consumption.
  • The distribution of LED bulbs was carried out through local distribution centres and retail outlets in villages, making it easier for rural households to access them.


  • Energy Efficiency: The LED bulbs distributed under the scheme are more energy efficient compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, thus reducing energy consumption and helping households save money on their electricity bills.
  • Improved Quality of Life: By providing access to efficient lighting, the scheme can improve the quality of life for people living in rural areas, especially in terms of safety, health, and education.
  • Job Creation: The implementation of the scheme has created jobs in rural areas, as local distribution centres and retail outlets were set up to distribute the LED bulbs.
  • Promotion of Clean Energy: The “Gram Ujala” scheme promotes the use of clean energy and helps reduce the country’s carbon footprint by reducing overall energy consumption.
  • Cost-effectiveness: The scheme makes energy-efficient LED bulbs affordable for rural households, as the bulbs are sold at a subsidized price.

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