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Prelim Bits 20-05-2023 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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May 20, 2023

Clean Note Policy

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to withdraw the Rs 2000 denomination banknotes from circulation.

  • The Clean Note Policy seeks to give the public good-quality currency notes and coins with better security features, while soiled notes are withdrawn out of circulation.
  • The RBI had earlier decided to withdraw from circulation all banknotes issued prior to 2005 as they have fewer security features as compared to banknotes printed after 2005.
  • However, the notes issued before 2005 continue to be legal tender.
  • They have only been withdrawn from circulation in conformity with the standard international practice of not having notes of multiple series in circulation at the same time.

Indian currency system

  • As per Section 22 of the RBI Act 1934, RBI has the sole authority to issue banknotes in India.
  • RBI Act 1934 empowers RBI to issue all the banknotes except 1 Rs. note.
  • Every currency note, other than Rs. 1 rupee note, bears on its face a promise from the Governor of RBI.
  • The one rupee note, carries the name of India's Finance Secretary.
  • Coins and 1 Rs. notes are issued by the Government of India under the coinage act 1909.
  • One Rupee note is considered as coins as per the definition of coins given under Coinage Act.
  • One Rupee note is issued by the Ministry of Finance and it bears the signatures of the Finance Secretary.


  1. The Indian Express │Why has the RBI withdrawn Rs 2,000 notes?
  2. RBI │ ₹2000 Denomination Banknotes – Withdrawal from Circulation

World Bee Day

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW), Government of India is celebrating World Bee Day.

  • World Bee Day is observed on 20 May each year to draw attention to the essential role bees and other pollinators play in keeping people and the planet healthy.

Importance of bees

  • They are important pollinators, ensuring food security, sustainable agriculture, and biodiversity.
  • Bees significantly contribute to the mitigation of climate change and the conservation of the environment.
  • Protection of bees can help reduce poverty and hunger, and help preserve a healthy environment and biodiversity.

National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM)

  • The mission aims for the promotion and development of scientific beekeeping in mission mode to achieve the goal of Sweet Revolution in the country.

Sweet Revolution in India also known as Honey Mission or Mithi Kranti is launched to increase the promotion of the development of scientific beekeeping and production of honey and related products to double the farmers’ income.

  • The scheme is implemented by the National Bee Board (NBB) and is approved for three years from 2020 to 2023.
  • The scheme works under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.
  • It is a central sector scheme (100% central government funding).
  • The scheme will work in tandem with the various other schemes related to beekeeping such as:
    1. KVIC’s Honey Mission,
    2. Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH),
    3. Ministries of rural development, MSME, AYUSH, commerce and industry, tribal affairs, etc.


  1. PIB │World Bee Day
  2. NBB │National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM)

Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) Program

Ministry of Education and World Bank organised a one of its kind workshop on School-to-Work Transition under the STARS Program.

  • It is government of India approved education reform initiative in India which is financially aided by the World Bank.
  • The program aims to improve the assessment system in schools and to ensure equal education for all.
  • The program comes under the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education (MoE).
  • The programme aims at working on similar objectives as followed by the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020
  • There are six Indian states which will be covered under the STARS Project are:
    1. Himachal Pradesh
    2. Rajasthan
    3. Maharashtra
    4. Madhya Pradesh
    5. Kerala
    6. Odisha
  • STARS Program is carved out of Samagra Shiksha Scheme.
  • It focus on those elements of Samagra scheme that will support school education enhancement.


  1. PIB │ STARS Program
  2. DSEL │ Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS)

Mand-Pishin Border Sustenance Marketplace

Pakistan and Iran inaugurate border market.

  • In a bid to boost cross-border trade, both countries inaugurated the first border market at the Mand-Pishin crossing point of the Pakistan-Iran border.
  • It is one of the six border markets to be constructed along the Pakistan-Iran border.
  • The market would enhance cross-border trade, foster economic growth and open up new avenues of opportunity for local businesses.
  • The market is located at Mand town in Pakistan’s Balochistan province and adjacent to Pishin city in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan province, has been set up on 10 acres of land.
  • The decision to open border markets was first taken by the two countries in 2021, when they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish six such facilities.
  • The countries had also agreed to inaugurate the Mand-Pishin border crossing point to boost trade, it was the third border crossing point to be opened along the 959 km-long border between Pakistan and Iran.
  • Three Border Markets are now being established at Gabd, Mund & Chedgi in Balochistan, along the Pakistan’s border with Iran.

Pakistan Iran border market 2023


  1. The Indian Express │ Pakistan and Iran inaugurate border market
  2. Tehrantimes │ Iran’s Raisi, Pakistan’s Sharif inaugurate border projects

Ocean Leak

A leak at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean is spewing warm tectonic lubricant.

  • The leak off the coast of Oregon in US was originally thought to be water.
  • It was previously believed the chemically distinct fluid” was 16 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the surrounding ocean water.
  • However, recently it is found that the liquid is coming from the Cascadia megathrust, where temperatures are estimated to be around 300 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

A megathrust earthquake is a very large earthquake that occurs in a subduction zone, a region where one of the earth's tectonic plates is thrust under another.

  • The leak was first identified in 2015, and it is called Pythia’s Oasis after the Greek oracle, it was found on top of the 600-mile-long Cascadia Subduction Zone fault.
  • The researchers believe this is the first known leak of its kind in this ocean.


  1. Forbes │A Leak at the Bottom of the Pacific Ocean
  2. Wion │ Ocean Leak along Oregon Coast
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