Join Our Telegram : Prelims Telegram Group

Daily Newsletter | TPS 20 Daily Current Affairs | 12th March 2020



Main Topics

Sir Creek

Why in news?

Former Pakistan Minister recalls plan for Sir Creek pact.

Sir Creek:

  • Sir Creek is a 96-km strip of water disputed between India and Pakistan in the Rann of Kutch marshlands.
  • Originally named Ban Ganga, Sir Creek is named after a British representative.
  • The Creek opens up in the Arabian Sea and roughly divides the Kutch region of Gujarat from the Sindh Province of Pakistan.

What's the importance of Sir Creek?

  • Apart from strategic location, Sir Creek is considered to be the largest fishing grounds in Asia.
  • The possible presence of great oil and gas concentration under the sea.

The dispute:

  • Pakistan claims the entire Sir Creek based on a 1914 agreement signed between the government of Sindh and rulers of Kutch.
  • India claims that the boundary lies mid-channel, as was depicted in a map in 1925 and implemented with pillars placed to mark the boundary.
Young Scientist Programme / YUVIKA (YUva VIgyani KAryakram)

Why in news?

ISRO shortlists 368 student ‘scientists’ for YuViKa.


  • A special programme for school children launched by Indian Space Research Organisation.
  • The Program aimed at imparting basic knowledge on Space Technology, Space Science and Space Applications to the younger ones with the intent of arousing their interest in the emerging areas of Space activities.
  • The program also aimed at creating awareness amongst the youngsters who are the future building blocks of our Nation.
  • ISRO has chalked out this programme to “Catch them young”.
  • 3 students each from each State/ Union Territory will be selected to participate in this programme covering CBSE, ICSE and State syllabus.


  • Those who have finished 8th standard and currently studying in 9th standard will be eligible for the programme.
  • The selection is based on the academic performance and extracurricular activities.
  • Students who are studying in India including OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) are eligible for the programme.

Note- The second session of the programme is scheduled to be held in May 2020.   

National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS)

Why in news?

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has sanctioned Rs 7.25 crore to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi to establish a Technology Innovation Hub (TIH) under the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS).

More about

  • The major focus of the TIH will be on human-computer interaction (HCI) research, where projects will focus on design and development of computer technology (interfaces) and the study of interaction between humans (users) and computers.

Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS)

  • Cyber-Physical System (CPS) combines digital/ cyber elements with physical objects (e.g. machines, autonomous vehicles) and data with capabilities of communication, data collection & processing, computing, decision making and action.
  • CPS is an integrated system involving Sensors, Communication, Actuators, Control, interconnected computing networks and data analytics.
  • The CPS systems are intelligent, autonomous and efficient and are expected to drive innovation in sectors as diverse as agriculture, water, energy, transportation, infrastructure, security, health and manufacturing.
  • It allows organizations to take timely and optimal interventions/ actions.

National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS)

  • The NM-ICPS is a comprehensive Mission which would address technology development, application development, human resource development & skill enhancement, entrepreneurship and start-up development in Cyber Physical System (CPS) and associated technologies.
  • The Mission aims at establishment of 15 Technology Innovation Hubs (TIH), 6 Application Innovation Hubs (AIH) and 4 Technology Translation Research Parks (TTRP).
  • These Hubs & TTRPs will connect to Academics, Industry, Central Ministries and State Government in developing solutions at reputed academic, R&D and other organizations across the country in a hub and spoke model.
  • It will be implemented by Department of Science &Technology under Ministry of Science and Technology for period of five years.
  • The first phase of NM-ICPS will be implemented by Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB).
  • Specific Objectives
  • Knowledge Generation
  • Technology/Product Development and Commercialisation
  • HRD and Skill Development
  • Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Start-up Ecosystem
  • International Collaboration
  • Technology Innovation Hubs (TIHs) will be the nodal centres spearheading the activities in a specific domain.
‘United for Biodiversity’ Coalition

Why in news?

The European Commission (EC) launched the ‘United for Biodiversity’ coalition on World Wildlife Day.

More about

  • It was launched by European commission on World Wildlife Day (3 March).
  • The coalition includes zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, national parks, and natural history and science museums from around the world.
  • The coalition urged for all institutions to join and boost public awareness about the nature crisis, ahead of the crucial COP-15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China in October 2020.
  • The coalition adopted a common pledge, citing the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Global Assessment finding that one million species were already at risk of extinction, and appeals to visitors to each of their institutions to raise their voice for nature.

Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

  • It is an independent intergovernmental body established by States to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • It was established in Panama City in 2012 by 94 Governments.
  • All States Members of the United Nations are eligible for IPBES membership.
  • It is not a United Nations body.
  • But the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) provides secretariat services to IPBES.
  • IPBES focuses on assessments, building capacity and knowledge, policy support on Biodiversity.

Current Affairs Capsules

Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR)
  • Location- Bihar
  • VTR borders Nepal’s Chitwan National Park to its north and Uttar Pradesh to its west.
  • Gaur, native to South and Southeast Asia.
  • The species is listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species since 1986.