IASPOINT Daily UPSC Prelims Current Affairs – January 5, 2021 [Lexicon]

IASPOINT Daily Current Affairs Lexicon is suitable for UPSC Prelims Examinations. Here are the important terms in news for January 5, 2021.

Central Vista judgement

The Supreme Court gave its go ahead for the central vista redevelopment project in a 2:1 verdict. The projects seeks to demolish old structures and bring in new constructions, including a new Parliamentary building, in an 86 acre land in the Delhi NCR. The court held that the change in land use in the Master Plan of Delhi 2021, for the project, is a lawful exercise of the centre’s power.

Avian influenza

Avian influenza, commonly called the bird flu, is a viral disease caused by Influenza Type A viruses. It is highly infectious and affects poultry birds like chicken, ducks and turkeys. In its milder forms, the virus leads to a drop in egg production while in its more severe forms, it can be lethal. Wild aquatic birds are natural reservoirs of these viruses. As the virus can spread through bird droppings, these birds spread the disease over wide areas as they migrate long distances.

Libya Ceasefire Agreement

The Libya ceasefire agreement is a historic deal struck between the 2 warring sides of the Libyan civil war in October. This is a war that has been raging between the UN backed government in Tripoli and the rival authorities in east Libya since 2014. Recently, the UN chief recommended the establishment of a ceasefire monitoring arrangement with a base in Sirte, a city strategically situated with respect to the country’s pol fields and export terminals.

Uranium enrichment

Uranium enrichment is the process by which one isotope of uranium (U-235) is concentrated relative to another (U-238). The U-235 isotope is used for generation of nuclear energy but constitutes only 0.7% of natural uranium. The remaining 99.3% is U-238 which does not directly contribute to the fission process required for energy generation. The Iranian government has started enriching uranium with 20% purity at its underground Fordo Nuclear Facility. This brings Tehran just steps away from obtaining weapons grade uranium.

Kamdhenu Gau-Vignyan Prachar-Prasar Examination

The Kamdhenu Gau Vignyan Prachar Prasar exam is a national-level online exam on ‘cow science’ to be held to generate interest in indigenous cows and their benefits among students and the general public. The study material for the exam is published by the Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog. This is to be a voluntary exam that would help infuse curiosity about the subject and create awareness about the unexplored business opportunities presented by the sector.

Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs

CCPA or Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs is the cabinet committee concerned with drawing the schedule for parliamentary sessions and monitoring the progress of government business in the Parliament. It also decides which bills and resolutions are to be presented and scrutinizes non-government businesses. Recently, the CCPA recommended the dates for commencement of the Budget Session of Parliament. The final decision regarding the session’s commencement is made by the Union Cabinet of Ministers.

Toycathon 2021

Toycathon 2021 is a hackathon event held by the Central government with an objective to promote the use of toys as pedagogical tools in schools and colleges. The event was virtually inaugurated by Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ along with Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani. The event also seeks to promote the domestic toy market in order to reduce the import dependence. Various initiatives to promote the use of educational toys were taken in line with NEP, 2020.

Electronic warfare

Electronic warfare is the use of directed energy or electromagnetic spectrum to attack the enemy. The main tactic in this type of warfare is impeding the enemy and ensuring the friendly, access to the electromagnetic spectrum. One of the approaches in this warfare is the targeting of radars which are required for guiding missiles. Recently, the CBI booked a scientist in relation to import of equipment used in radar based electronic warfare.

Vero cell line

The vero cell line in a cell lineage used for cell culturing in labs. Culturing is the process of growing cells outside their natural environment but under controlled conditions. This lineage of cells was isolated from epithelial cells in the kidney of African Green Monkey. This is one of the most commonly used cell lines for molecular biology research. This cell line was recently used for culturing the UK strain of the SARS CoV 2 virus by National Institute of Virology, Pune.

Halal Certification

The term ‘halal’ is used to label those meat products that are allowed for consumption under Islamism. Eg: meat that is slaughtered in a certain way is labelled as ‘hahal certified’. Certain Islamic countries import only halal certified meat products. Recently, the APEDA (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority) removed the term from its ‘Red Meat Manual’.  The manual now simply requires the animals to be slaughtered according to requirements of the importing country.

Atta Dal Scheme

Atta Dal Scheme is a food security scheme of the Punjab state government. The scheme is also known as the Smart Ration Card Scheme under the National Food security Act. Under this scheme, the government provides wheat and pulses to its beneficiaries. Along with this, the government is also going to distribute tea leaves and sugar. The wheat is procured under the De-centralized Procurement Scheme. The distribution is via fair price shops.

Saka Nankana Sahib

Saka Nankana Sahib or Nankana massacre is an event in 1921 which saw the killing of over 260 Sikhs including children. It took place at Nankana Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan. The event marks the first big attempt by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee to take back control of gurudwaras from the British-backed mahants.  February 21st, 2021 marks the centenary of the even and an event is being planned to mark the day.


Monal or Impeyan pheasant is the state bird of Uttarakhand and is to feature on the state tableau for the Republic Day Parade. It is also the national bird of Nepal. Is belongs to the pheasant family and is found in the Himalayan forests and scrublands. It is also found in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal. It was earlier threatened in Himachal Pradesh due to demand for its feathers but the population improved after the imposition of a hunting ban in the 1980s.

Harop Loitering Weapon System

The Harop Loitering Weapon system is a loitering munition i.e. a weapons system that moves around a target area to locate a target for attacking. It was developed by Israel Aerospace Industries. It detects targets by homing in on radio emission. It is also known as a suicide drone as it dives into the target and detonates the war-head upon impact, thus self-destructing in the process. It is to be used for attacking high value targets with precision.

Cognitive warfare

Cognitive warfare is a type of information warfare where tools like misinformation and trolling are used to wage war instead of the conventional weapons. A Taiwanese think tank has warned about China’s use of cognitive warfare against Taiwan to sway public opinion in Beijing’s favour. The think tank noted China’s use of social media platforms and media organisations to feed misinformation to the Taiwanese public to create anti-government sentiments. It recommended the use of a comprehensive fact checking system to tackle the threat.

Current Affairs