16th March, 2021 | UPSC Current Affairs

16th March Current Affairs MCQs 

Daily Current Affairs MCQsHistory MCQPolity MCQ Video Series

Sangay volcano

Relevance: Geography

Context: Ecuador’s Sangay volcano erupted.

About Volcano Sangay:

  • Sangay volcano is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world.
  • Location: Ecuador, South America.

Note: Study the chapter of Volcano and similar geological events.

All India Tourist Vehicles Authorization and Permit Rules, 2021

Relevance: Government Schemes and Initiatives

Context: The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has launched an All India Tourist Vehicles Authorization and Permit Rules, 2021.

All India Tourist Vehicles Authorization and Permit Rules, 2021:

  • The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has announced a new scheme, under which any tourist vehicle operator may apply for an “All India Tourist Authorization/Permit” through online mode.
  • It will be issued, after relevant documents are submitted and fees deposited, within 30 days of submission of such applications.
  • The new rules will be applicable from 01 April 2021. All existing permits shall continue to be in force during their validity.
  • The new rules for permits are expected to go a long way in promoting tourism across the States in our country, while simultaneously, growing the revenue of state Governments.
  • The scheme allows flexibility in the form of authorization/permit being granted, for a period of three months or its multiples thereof, not exceeding three years at a time.
  • It will also consolidate a central database and fees of all such authorization/permits, which might give a sense of tourist movements, scope for improvement, promotion of tourism.

OTPRMS certificates and DigiLocker

Relevance: Government Schemes and Initiatives

Context: Ministry of Education has decided to link Online Teacher Pupil Registration Management System (OTPRMS) Certificates with DigiLocker.

More on News:

  • The issued certificates will automatically be transferred to DigiLocker and the same may be traced at the website of National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE).
  • It will ensure hassle free access to the verified documents.


  • DigiLocker is a flagship initiative of the Ministry of Electronics and IT(MeitY) under the Digital India Corporation (DIC). 
  • It is a platform for issuance and verification of documents & certificates in a digital way, thus eliminating the use of physical documents.
  • Indian citizens who sign up for a DigiLocker account get a dedicated cloud storage space that is linked to their Aadhaar (UIDAI) number.
  • Organizations that are registered with Digital Locker can push electronic copies of documents and certificates (e.g. driving license, Voter ID, School certificates) directly into citizens’ lockers.
  • The Citizens can also upload scanned copies of their legacy documents in their accounts. These legacy documents can be electronically signed using the eSign facility.
  • The main technology components of the DigiLocker system are:
  • Repository:Collection of e-documents that is exposed via standard APIs for secure, real-time access.
  • Access Gateway:Secure online mechanism for requesters to access e-documents from various repositories in real-time using URI (Uniform Resource Indicator).
  • DigiLocker Portal:Dedicated cloud based personal storage space, linked to each resident’s Aadhaar for storing e-documents, or URIs of e-documents.

Digital India Corporation (DIC)

  • Digital India Corporation (DIC) is a not for profit Company has been set up by Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY).
  • Mandate: To innovate, develop and deploy Information & Communication Technology (ICT) and other emerging technologies for benefits of common man.

Lunar polar exploration (LUPEX) mission

Relevance: Space Technology

Context:  Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) reviewed cooperation on LUPEX mission.

About Lunar polar exploration (LUPEX) mission:

  • LUPEX is a joint robotic lunar missionof India and Japan.
  • Objective: To send a lunar roverand lander to explore the South Pole region of the Moon in 2024.
  • JAXA is likely to provide the under-development H3 launch vehicle and the rover.
  • ISRO would be responsible for the
  • The Lunar Polar Exploration mission would demonstrate new surface exploration technologies related to vehicular transport and lunar night survival for sustainable lunar exploration in Polar Regions.

Aatmanirbhar Niveshak Mitra portal 

Relevance: Government Schemes and Initiatives

Context: Ministry of Commerce and Industry is set to launch Aatmanirbhar Niveshak Mitra portal for Domestic Investors.

More on News:

  • The portal is in testing phase and the final version will be ready for launch by 15th May 2021.
  • The webpage will also be available in regional languages and mobile App in due course.
  • It aims to be used for handholding, information dissemination and facilitation of domestic investors.

About Aatmanirbhar Niveshak Mitra portal:

  • The portal will be an all-in-one information, facilitation zone for Domestic investors.
  • The portal will have a dedicated digital investment promotion and facilitation team at ‘Invest India’, and will facilitate domestic investors to directly connect or request meetings with the ‘Invest India’ experts and discuss their specific investment/business related matters.
  • It will digitally support investors and help them get all the information, starting from finding an investment opportunity to exploring incentives & taxes applicable to their businesses, information and assistance for doing business in India, information on raw material availability, training, management requirement and tender information.
  • The portal will have daily updates on policies and new initiatives by the Central and State government.
  • There will be an AI (Artificial Intelligence) based chat bot for resolving queries.
  • It will be an ‘all-in-one’ zone to access all MSME portals like Champions Portal, MSME Samadhaan, MSME Sampark, etc.
  • Investors can explore incentives and schemes across different sectors and States and do comparisons.
  • There will be information on manufacturing clusters and land availability too.

Sounding rocket (RH-560) 

Relevance: Space Technology

Context: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched Sounding rocket (RH-560).

More on News:

  • Objective of Sounding rocket (RH-560): To study attitudinal variations in the neutral winds and plasma dynamics.
  • ISRO has developed a series of sounding rockets called Rohini series, important among them being RH-200, RH-300 and RH-560.
  • ISRO started launching indigenously made sounding rockets from 1965 and experience gained was of immense value in the mastering of solid propellant technology.

Sounding Rockets:

  • Sounding rockets are one or two stage solid propellant rockets used for probing the upper atmospheric regions and for space research.
  • They also serve as easily affordable platforms to test or prove prototypes of new components or subsystems intended for use in launch vehicles and satellites.

2001 FO32

Relevance: Geography

Context:  2001 FO32, the largest asteroid will pass by Earth.

 More on News:

  • It is predicted to pass by Earth on 21st March, 2021.
  • It won’t come closer than 2 million km to Earth, but it will present a valuable scientific opportunity for astronomers who can get a good look at a rocky relic that formed at the dawn of our Solar System.
  • There is no threat of a collision with our planet now or for centuries to come.
  • It will pass by at about 124,000 kph – faster than the speed at which most asteroids encounter Earth.

 Inner-line permit (ILP) system

Relevance: Society

Context: Uttarakhand state government will withdraw inner-line permit (ILP) system in Niti Valley of Chamoli district and Nelang Valley of Uttarakhand.

More on News:

  • It results better border management and expansion of tourism and other economic activities in villages located there.

About Inner-line permit (ILP) system:

  • The main objective of the ILP system is to prevent any settlement of other Indian citizens within the States where the ILP regime is prevalent.
  • ILP is a document required by the citizens outside of the protected states to enter and stay in the area for some time. It determines both the duration of stay and the areas allowed to be accessed for any non-natives
  • This is done to protect the indigenous/tribal population of that area.
  • The Inner Line used to separate the tribal-populated hill areas in the North-Eastern parts of India from the Great Indian Plains. 
  • The Inner Line Permit is an extension of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act 1873.
  • The Britishers framed regulations restricting entry in certain designated areas. This was done to protect the Crown’s interest in certain states by preventing “British subjects” (Indians) from trading within these regions.
  • In 1950, the term ‘British subjects’ was replaced with ‘Citizens of India’. Today, all non-natives require the
  • Currently, four Northeastern states are covered- Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland.
  • The ILP is issued by the concerned state government and can be availed both by applying online and in person.



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