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Daily Newsletter | TPS 20 Daily Current Affairs | 6th March 2020



Main Topics

National Interlinking of Rivers Authority (NIRA)

Why in news?

Centre working on exclusive body for river-linking projects.

National Interlinking of Rivers Authority (NIRA)

  • It is a proposed body to execute inter-State and intra-State projects.
  • It will also make arrangements for generating up funds, internally and externally.
  • It is being assisted by a Task Force for ILR, with committee of experts essentially drawn from the Jal Shakti Ministry, Central Water Commission and the NWDA.

What are the Projects under Examination?

  • As of now, six ILR projects — Ken-Betwa, Damanganga- Pinjal, Par-Tapi-Narmada, Manas-Sankosh-Teesta-Ganga, Mahanadi-Godavari and Godavari-Cauvery (Grand Anicut) — have been under examination of the authorities.
  • With regard to the peninsular rivers, the Centre choose on Godavari-Cauvery link than the earlier proposal to link the Mahanadi-Godavari-Krishna-Pennar-Cauvery Rivers.

The National River Linking Project (NRLP):

  • Formally known as the National Perspective Plan, envisages the transfer of water from water ‘surplus’ basins where there is flooding, to water ‘deficit’ basins where there is drought/scarcity, through inter-basin water transfer projects.
  • It links rivers by a network of reservoirs and canals that will allow for their water capacities to be shared and redistributed. 

Interlinking of Rivers (ILR) Programme:

  • The mission of this programme is to ensure greater equity in the distribution of water by enhancing the availability of water in drought prone and rain-fed area.
  • The project comprises 14 rivers in the peninsular region and 16 rivers of Himalayan origin.

National Water Development Agency (NWDA):

  • It was set up in July 1982 as Autonomous Society under the societies registration act 1860.
Geo Imaging Satellite (GISAT-1) 

Why in news?

ISRO postpones launch of geo imaging satellite Gisat-1 due to technical reasons.

Geo Imaging Satellite (GISAT-1): 

  • GISAT-1, the first state-of-the-art earth observation satellite, which would be placed in a geosynchronous transfer orbit.
  • The GISAT-1 will be carried by the three stage geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV-F10).
  • It is expected to reach the final orbit through the use of an onboard propulsion system.
  • Operating from geostationary orbit, Gisat-1 will facilitate near real time observation of the Indian subcontinent, under cloud free condition, at frequent intervals.
  • The GISAT-1 will find several applications in agriculture, forestry, mineralogy and disaster warning.
  • This is the fourteenth flight of the GSLV.

Note- A satellite in geostationary orbit (about 36,000 km above earth) has an orbital period equal to earth's rotational period.


Why in news?

Supreme Court removes ban on cryptocurrency trading in India.

From the news:

  • The ban proposed on trading of virtual currencies was not proportionate and that the RBI itself had not found any adverse impact or harm done by the activities of these virtual currencies exchanges.


  • Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of currency units and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.
  • Cryptocurrencies, have an extra layer of security, in the form of encryption algorithms.
  • Cryptographic methods are used to make the currency as well as the network on which they are being traded, secure.
  • Most cryptocurrencies now operate on the blockchain or distributed ledger technology, which allows everyone on the network to keep track of the transactions occurring globally.
  • Popular forms of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum.

What are virtual currencies?

  • A virtual currency in simple terms is a digital currency, which is not a legal tender, meaning it does not have the backing of a central bank, like the Reserve Bank of India.
  • A virtual currency is used by the community of developers who create it.
  • Cryptocurrency is a form of virtual currency which is protected by cryptography.
  • Virtual currencies are mostly created, distributed and accepted in local virtual networks.

Note- Satoshi Nakamoto, widely regarded as the founder of the modern virtual currency bitcoin and the underlying technology called blockchain.

  • Defines bitcoins as “a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party (central regulator)”.

Reasons behind banning Virtual Currencies:

  • Lack of any underlying fiat, episodes of excessive volatility in their value, and their anonymous nature which goes against global money-laundering rules.
  • Risks and concerns about data security and consumer protection.
  • Potential impact on the effectiveness of monetary policy.

To know more on Blockchain Technology-

Red-crowned roofed turtle

Why in news?

Family adopted a turtle in another continent.

Red-crowned roofed turtle:

  • It is a freshwater turtle species, and found in deep flowing rivers with terrestrial nesting sites.
  • The Red-crowned roofed turtle is native to India, Bangladesh and Nepal.
  • Historically, the species was widespread in the Ganga River, both in India and Bangladesh.
  • It also occurs in the Brahmaputra basin.
  • Currently in India, the National Chambal River Gharial Sanctuary is the only area with substantial population of the species.

Conservation Status:

  • IUCN: Critically Endangered
  • Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I
  • CITES: Appendix II

Major Threats:

  • Loss or degradation of habitat due to pollution and large scale development activities.
  • Sand mining and growing of seasonal crops.
  • Drowning by illegal fishing nets.
  • Poaching and illegal trade.
Freedom in the World 2020 report

Why in news?

Freedom in the World 2020 report ranks India among least free democracies.

Freedom in the World 2020 report:

  • Released by Freedom House, a U.S. ­based watchdog, which has been tracking global pol­itical and civil liberties for al­most half a century.

Indian and the report:

  • The Freedom in the World 2020 report ranks India at the 83rd position.
  • India’s score fell by four points to 71 from last year’s score of 75, the worst decline among the world’s 25 largest democracies this year.
  • The annulment of autono­my and the subsequent shut­down of Kashmir, the Na­tional Register of Citizens and the Citizenship (Amend­ment) Act, as well as the crackdown on mass protests have been listed as the main signs of declining freedom.
  • The report slammed the Internet blackout in Kash­mir, terming it the longest shutdown ever imposed by a democracy.
  • India scored 34 out of 40 points in the political rights category, but only 37 out of 60 in the civil liberties cate­gory.
  • The report treats “Indian Kashmir” as a separate terri­tory, which saw its totals core drop precipitously from 49 to 28 this year, mov­ing it from a status of “Partly Free” to “Not Free”.