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Published on Apr 20, 2024
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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 20th April 2024




Report flags sweetened Nestle products


  • Prelims – Science

Context: Nestlé’s products for babies in Asia, Africa and Latin America were found to contain added sugars, while the same products sold in Europe did not have it, according to a recent report.


  • The report (‘How Nestlé gets children hooked on sugar in lower-income countries’) faulted Nestlé for employing different nutritional standards in its offerings, depending on the country it served. Nestlé also did not make the quantity of sugar content clear on the products’ packaging, it said.

Key Takeaways

  • Sugar is a simple carbohydrate.Some food items have sugar that is naturally occurring.
  • According to the American Heart Association (AHA), it is “found in milk (lactose) and fruit (fructose). Any product that contains milk (such as yogurt, milk or cream) or fruit (fresh, dried) contains some natural sugars.”
  • Free sugar or added sugar is added separately to a food item during preparation or processing.
  • In 2015, the WHO’s guideline recommended that “adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake.”
  • WHO advises against the introduction of added sugars before the age of 2.
  • Excessive sugar consumption can lead to increased overall energy intake in a person’s overall diet. It may be at the cost of food items having nutritionally adequate calories, eventually leading to an unhealthy diet.
  • The risks of contracting non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, obesity and heart-related ailments, are then increased.
  • Tooth decay is also associated with early exposure to sugar.
  • A 2017 report from the WHO (‘Incentives and disincentives for reducing sugar in manufactured foods’) said, “The fact that sugar is a relatively cheap and abundant ingredient is not a direct incentive to use it, but means there is little incentive from the supply side not to use it.”
  • Adding sugar to a food item often makes it more palatable, meaning consumers will opt for it repeatedly.

Source: Indian Express

Anti-Maoist operations


  • Mains – Internal Security

Context: At least 29 alleged Maoists were killed in a gunfight with security forces in the forests of southern Chhattisgarh’s Kanker district on Tuesday (April 16).


  • The operation is the largest (in terms of Maoists’ bodies recovered) since the creation of Chhattisgarh in 2000, and among the biggest successes for security forces in their decades-long fight against left-wing extremism (LWE).

What happened in the operation?

  • The operation saw security forces push deep into the Maoist stronghold of Abujhmad (literally, “the unknown hills”) — a 4,000 sq km swathe of forest land in southern Chhattisgarh’s Bastarregion, mainly covering the districts of Narayanpur, Bijapur, and Dantewada, just south of  Only a small part of the forest falls in Kanker.
  • The difficult terrain, absence of roads, and presence of LWE has meant that 90% of Abujhmad, bigger in terms of area thanGoa, remains unsurveyed by the government.
  • These jungles are, thus, used both as safe havens and transit corridors by Maoists to travel betweenMaharashtra (to the west), Andhra Pradesh (to the south), Telangana (to the southwest), and Odisha (to the east) via Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district.

LWE in Chhattisgarh

  • Chhatisgarh is the only state in which Maoists continue to have a significant presence, and retain the capability to mount big attacks.
  • According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) website, there are 70 LWE-affected districts in the country. Of these, 15 are in Chhattisgarh alone. Of the 25 “Most LWE affected Districts”, seven are in Chhattisgarh, while eight are in Jharkhand.

The government’s ‘final push’ against LWE

  • Chhattisgarh, and to a lesser extent Jharkhand, is a part of the government’s “final push” against LWE.
  • This has seen central forces such as CRPF setting up bases deeper inside Maoist strongholds such as the jungles of Abujhmad. In the past few years, more than two dozen bases have been set up in Abujhmad, with Kanker’s Rowghat jungles too seeing new camps.


  • Critics say that there are major flaws in the government’s approach to tackling the Naxal problem. There is no overall strategic plan and the states have been tackling the challenge as per their perception and the political appreciation of its gravity.
  • States consider LWE a national problem. The problem will not be conclusively dealt with until state forces take the lead in anti-Naxal operations and the central armed police forces play a subsidiary role only.
  • India’s forest cover is being gradually denuded. Tribals inhabiting these forest areas were displaced in the process. Deprived of their land and any regular means of livelihood, many of them gravitated towards the Naxals.

Source: Indian Express

Cervical Cancer


  • Mains – Health

Context: The first-ever Global Cervical Cancer Elimination Forum took place in Colombia last month.


  • The Forum aimed to catalyse governments, donors, civil society, and others to commit to cervical cancer elimination and galvanize the global community.

Cervical Cancer:

  • Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. When cancer starts in the cervix, it is called cervical cancer.
  • It occurs most often in women over age 30 and is the fourth most common cancer in women globally.
  • It is the second most common cancer among females in India.
  • The main cause of cervical cancer is the persistent infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Initiatives for the prevention of cervical cancer:

  • The Cervical Cancer Elimination Initiative (by the World Health Organization) has outlined the ‘90-70-90’ targets for each country by 2030 –
  • 90% of girls fully vaccinated with the HPV vaccine by the age of 15;
  • 70% of women screened by the age of 35, and again by the age of 45;
  • 90% of women with pre-cancer treated and 90% of women with invasive cancer managed.
  • The Union Government in India proposed it in the Interim Budget 2024-25. The programme will be for girls in the age group of 9 to 14 years for the prevention of cervical cancer.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV):

  • HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection that can affect the skin, genital area, and throat.
  • In most cases, the immune system clears HPV from the body.
  • Persistent infection with high-risk HPV can cause abnormal cells to develop, which go on to become cancer.
  • There is currently no treatment for HPV infection.

Preventive steps taken regarding HPV:

  • There are 6 HPV vaccines available globally. All protect against the high-risk HPV 16 and 18, which cause most cervical cancers.
  • HPV vaccines (1 or 2 doses) should be given to all girls aged 9–14 years.
  • Screening, every 5-10 years, from the age of 30 (25 years in women living with HIV) can detect cervical disease, which when treated, also prevents cervical cancer.
  • Early detection is followed by prompt quality treatment. There is no treatment for the virus itself. However, there are treatments for the health problems that HPV can cause like cervical cancer.

Source: WHO



  • Prelims – Current Event

Context: The government under its flagship Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana has been able to extend the benefits of clean cooking fuel to 103.3 million households between the start of the scheme and the end of 2023-24, according to data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell.


  • This significant achievement underscores the positive impact of PMUY in improving the lives of millions of families by ensuring access to LPG connections and reducing reliance on traditional solid fuels.

About PMUY:

  • The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) is a flagship scheme introduced by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MOPNG) in India.
  • Its primary objective is to provide clean cooking fuel, specifically liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), to rural and deprived households.
  • These households were previously reliant on traditional cooking fuels like firewood, coal, and cow-dung cakes, which had adverse effects on both women’s health and the environment.
  • The applicant must be an adult woman belonging to a BPL household. The scheme prioritizes women from SC, ST, and other marginalized communities.

Key features of the PMUY:

  • Empowering Women and Health Protection: By making LPG available, the scheme aims to empower women and safeguard their health. Traditional fuels often led to respiratory illnesses due to indoor air pollution.
  • Reducing Deaths: The PMUY seeks to reduce deaths caused by unclean cooking fuels in India.
  • Financial Support: The scheme provides a financial support of ₹1600 for each LPG connection to below poverty line (BPL) households.
  • Ujjwala 2.0: Under this extension of the scheme, beneficiaries receive a deposit-free LPG connection, the first refill, and a hotplate at no cost.

Source: Financial Express



  • Prelims – Current Event

Context: Sweden has officially joined the Artemis Accords.


  • Sweden became the 38th country join in Artemis Accords.


  • The Artemis Accords are a set of principles for space exploration cooperation among nations, particularly those participating in NASA’s Artemis program.
  • The Artemis Accords were established by the U.S. State Department and NASA in 2020, with seven other founding members: Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the UAE, and the UK.
  • They aim to set common principles to govern civil exploration and use of outer space, the moon, Mars, comets, and asteroids for peaceful purposes.
  • The Accords build upon the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, emphasizing space as a shared resource for humanity, prohibiting national appropriation, and encouraging the peaceful use of space.

Key Commitments:

  • Conduct space activities for peaceful purposes and in accordance with international law.
  • Recognize the importance of common exploration infrastructure to enhance scientific discovery and commercial utilization.
  • Ensure registration and data sharing of relevant space objects and openly share scientific data in a timely manner.
  • Preserve heritage, including historic landing sites and artifacts on celestial bodies.
  • Support sustainable and safe utilization of space resources without interfering with other signatories’ activities.
  • Plan for the safe disposal of spacecraft and limit the generation of harmful debris.
  • Significance for India:
  • India joined the Artemis Accords in 2023, becoming the 27th country to sign the nonbinding agreement.
  • This will involve collaboration between NASA and ISRO, including sending Indian astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2024.
  • By joining the Artemis Accords, India agrees to follow the finest space exploration practices and firmly backs a US-led alliance on space issues, which currently excludes significant spacefaring states like Russia and China.

Source: Wion



  • Prelims – Geography

Context: The Lakshmana Tirtha River has completely dried up due to severe drought conditions and intense heat.


  • This year, by early April, the river has run dry, leaving no trace of water. The drying up of Lakshmana Tirtha can be attributed to the extreme weather conditions exacerbated by last year’s deficit rainfall in Kodagu, which recorded only 40% of its average rainfall.


  • The Lakshmana Tirtha River is a significant river in Karnataka.
  • The Lakshmana Tirtha River originates in the Brahmagiri hills of Kodagu (Coorg) District, Karnataka.
  • It flows eastward, traversing a flat area south of Coorg.
  • Eventually, it joins the Cauvery River in the Krishna Raja Sagara Lake.
  • The total length of the Lakshmana Tirtha River is approximately 180 kilometers.
  • The Lakshmanatirtha Falls, also known as the Irupu Falls, is located on the river. It borders Kerala and lies on the way to Nagarhole National Park.
  • It is a significant tributary of the Cauvery River.
  • Notable tributaries of the Cauvery River include the Harangi, Hemavati, Shimsha, and Arkavati on the left bank, and the Lakshmantirtha, Kabbani, Suvarnavati, Bhavani, Noyil, and Amaravati on the right bank.

Source: Hans India

Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q1.) With reference to the Artemis Accords, consider the following statements:

  1. Artemis Accords are a set of principles for space exploration cooperation among nations.
  2. The Artemis Accords were established by the ISRO.
  3. The Accords build upon the Outer Space Treaty of 1967.

How many of the statements given above are not correct?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. All three
  4. None

Q2.) Consider the following rivers:

  1. Lakshmantirtha
  2. Kabbani
  3. Bhavani
  4. Amaravati

How many of the above-mentioned rivers are the tributaries of the river Cauvery?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. Only three
  4. All four

Q3.) With reference to the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), consider the following statements:

  1. It is a flagship scheme introduced by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
  2. Its primary objective is to provide clean cooking fuelto rural and deprived households.
  3. It aims to empower women and safeguard their health.

How many of the above statements are correct?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. All three
  4. None

Comment the answers to the above questions in the comment section below!!

ANSWERS FOR ’  20th April  2024 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.st

ANSWERS FOR  19th April – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – a

Q.2) – c

Q.3) – a