UPSC News Diary For Today” is every day published in the evening between 6-7 PM and contains all current affairs articles from the day on a single platform. ”UPSC News Diary For Today” covers various topics from UPSC Syllabus and is very helpful and time managing for UPSC Aspirants. The framing of this daily current affairs compilation article is easy to read and understandable also.

In the ”UPSC News Diary For Today” article, we focus on both UPSC Preliminary and Mains exam-oriented current affairs & prepare a gist of daily important news articles from leading National Newspapers, PIB, and other various official sources.


68th National Film Awards-2020


Soorarai Pottru

Tamil movie Soorarai Pottru won national awards for the Best Feature Film, Best Actor(Suriya), Best Actress(Aparna Balamurali), Best Background Score(G.V. Prakash Kumar) and the Best Screenplay(Shalini Usha Nair and Sudha Kongara).

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior

Tanhaji won the awards for Best Actor (Ajay Devgn) and Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.

Ayyappanum Koshiyum

Late Sachidanandan K.R. has got the Best Director award for Malayalam movie, Ayyappanum Koshiyum. The Best Female Playback Singer prize went to Nanjiyamma for the same movie.

Me Vasantrao

Rahul Deshpande was adjudged the Best Male Playback Singer for Me Vasantrao.

Testimony of Ana

It won the Best Non-Feature Film award.


Manoj Muntashir won the Best Lyrics prize for the movie Saina.


Sarna Community


Sarna Community: What is the Issue?

On November 11, 2020, the Jharkhand State Assembly, in a special session sent a resolution to the Union government asking for a separate religion code for the tribal population in the upcoming Census 2021 exercise. The resolution named it ‘Sarna Adivasi Dharam’.

Who are Sarnas?

  • Followers of ‘Sarna’ are usually nature worshippers. They have been demanding recognition of it as a distinct religion for decades.
  • At present, under the census, there are codes for only six religions: Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism.
  • While filling in these columns, a tribal resident has to identify himself or herself as one of these or as ‘others’, but cannot specify his / her religion as a different one.
  • In census surveys during 1871-1951, there was a separate category for the tribal population. But later, this was dropped. In independent India, the tribal identity has been about constitutional provisions promising to protect their rights and central laws promising to protect their land. Although recognised as an administrative and social category — Scheduled Tribes — these communities have never been recognised as a separate religious group.


Transitional Tax Credits


Why in the News?

In a judgement that could benefit many companies, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that businesses that were unable to claim tax credits when the indirect tax system switched to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) would be able to do so.


When India moved to the GST regime in 2017, companies had to transition the credit sitting on their books. So, the closing balance in the old tax regime would become the opening credit balance under GST.

What is a tax credit?

A tax credit is a component of a company’s tax payment that can be applied to offset a subsequent tax obligation.

Who will be benefitted?

The move is likely to benefit hundreds of GST assessees who had hitherto not been able to avail such credits, with a two-month window to claim them set to become available over September and October.




  • The world is caught up in a perfect storm. The climate crisis, a war in Europe, the long tail of Covid and changing geopolitical realities have given rise to energy and food insecurity.
  • While energy insecurity is being experienced by most countries in varying degrees, food security is going to be a central issue in Africa, Latin America, East Asia and West Asia.
  • It is increasingly clear that world must shift their economy to more sustainable pathways. However, not all countries are equally placed to make this transition, and I2U2 (Israel, India, US, UAE) grouping presents an important opportunity to rectify the situation.
  • I2U2 is an effort to channel investments and leverage innovation for new initiatives in water, energy, transportation, space, health and food security. The goal is near- and long-term food and energy security.
  • Success of I2U2’s efforts is critical, especially in light of the changing geopolitical scenario. It brings together two regions where stability and peace are often under threat – West Asia and the Indo-Pacific.




  • BA.5 is a sister variant of the Omicron strain that has been dominant worldwide since the end of 2021, and has already caused spikes in case rates – even with reduced testing – in countries including South Africa, where it was first found, as well as the United Kingdom, parts of Europe, and Australia.
  • According to the World Health Organization’s most recent report, it was behind 52% of cases sequenced in late June, up from 37% in one week. In the United States, it is estimated to be causing around 65% of infections.
  • Like its closely related sibling, BA.4, BA.5 is particularly good at evading the immune protection afforded either by vaccination or prior infection.


WMD & their DS (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Amend Bill, 2022

  • The Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Amendment Bill, 2022 amends a 17-yr-old law, enacted in 2005.
  • The Bill amends the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act, 2005.
  • The 2005 Act prohibits unlawful activities (such as manufacturing, transport, or transfer) related to weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.  Weapons of mass destruction are biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons.
  • It’ll boost national security and strengthen India’s credentials and global image.
  • The Bill bars persons from financing any prohibited activity related to weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.
  • To prevent persons from financing such activities, the central government may freeze, seize or attach their funds, financial assets, or economic resources (whether owned, held, or controlled directly or indirectly).
  • It may also prohibit persons from making finances or related services available for the benefit of other persons in relation to any activity which is prohibited.


NITI Aayog Report on Digital Banks


Digital banking in India: Relevance

  • GS 3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

Digital banks in India: Context

  • Recently, NITI Aayog has released a new report on digital banks where it has offered a template and roadmap for a licensing and regulatory regime for digital banks.

NITI Aayog Report on Digital Banks: Key points

  • The report also focusses on avoiding any regulatory or policy arbitrage, besides offering a level playing field to incumbents as well as competitors.
  • The report studies the prevailing gaps and the global regulatory best practices in licensing digital banks, given the need for leveraging technology effectively to cater to the needs of banking in India.

NITI Aayog Report on Digital Banks: Recommendations

  • The report recommends a calibrated approach, which comprises the following steps:
    • Issue of a restricted digital bank licence: It means the license would be restricted in terms of volume/value of customers serviced.
    • Licensee enlistment in a regulatory sandbox framework enacted by the Reserve Bank of India.
    • Issue of a ‘full-scale’ digital bank licence: The license should be contingent on satisfactory performance of the licensee in the regulatory sandbox, including salient, prudential and technological risk management.
  • The report also maps prevalent business models in the digital segment and highlights the challenges presented by the ‘partnership model’ of neo-banking.
  • Neo banking has emerged in India due to a regulatory vacuum and in the absence of a digital bank licence.

Digital bank regulatory index

  • The methodology for the licensing and regulatory template is based on an ‘digital bank regulatory index’.
  • It is comprised of four factors
    • entry barriers;
    • competition;
    • business restrictions; and
    • technological neutrality.
  • The elements of these four factors are then mapped against the five benchmark jurisdictions of Singapore, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Australia and South Korea.



What is Digital Banking?

  • Digital Banking refers to present and future electronic banking services provided by a licensed bank for the execution of financial, banking and other transactions through electronic devices over web sites (i.e., online banking), mobile phones (i.e., mobile banking) or other digital channels as determined by the bank.

Digital banking in India

  • Strengthened financial inclusion: Schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, India Stack, Jan Dan-Aadhar-Mobile (JAM) trinity, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has made financial inclusion a reality for Indians.
  • Implementation of schemes: A ‘whole-of-India approach’ towards financial inclusion has also resulted in Direct Benefit Transfer through apps such as PM-KISAN and extending microcredit facilities to street vendors through PM-SVANIDHI.
  • Open banking: India has also taken steps towards operationalizing its own version of ‘open banking’ through the Account Aggregator (AA) regulatory framework enacted by the Reserve Bank of India.


Read current affairs for UPSC

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Water Harvesting Techniques in Rajasthan, Gujarat and the Western Deserts



Tankas are underground small tanks and are popular in Bikaner. Tanka is a round or rectangular underground room in a house that functions as a water tank. Rainwater from the roof or terrace is directed towards an opening in the floor that leads to the Tanka. Rainwater is collected in these circular holes, lined with fine polished lime, made in the ground.

Kunds or Kundis

In the western arid areas of Rajasthan, kunds are water-harvesting structures. Kunds have a saucer-shaped catchment area that gently slopes towards the centre where the well is situated. A wire mesh across water-inlets prevents debris from falling into the well pit. The sides of the well-pit are generally covered with lime and ash. Most pits have a dome shaped cover or a lid to protect the water. Kunds are constructed where the groundwater availability is limited and salinity is moderate to high. Locally available material like pond silt, charcoal ash and small gravels are used to make catchment areas of the Kunds. The depth and diameter of Kunds usually depend on consumption patterns. It is an ideal system for desert areas where rainfall is scant.

Kuis or Beris

Kuis or Beris dug mostly in western Rajasthan, the Kuis are 10-12 metre deep pits in the vicinity of tankas to collect leaking or oozing water. When 6 to 10 Kuis are constructed together, the entire system is then called Paar system. Rainwater harvested through such system is called Patali Paani.


The Khadin system is a runoff agricultural system, in which, the runoff water from the high catchment area is stored with the help of a Khadin bund where it is impounded during the monsoon season. This water is then used for irrigation. The Khadin soil remain moist for a long period because of water storage and chemical weathering, decomposition along with the activities of the microbes, which eventually raise the organic matter and other nutrient content of the soil.

Khadin have functioned efficiently for centuries maintaining the soil fertility. The Paliwal Brahmins of Jaisalmer are said to be the pioneers of this technique in the 15th century. The king gave lands to the Paliwals and asked them to develop Khadins on the land.


A nadi is the local name of a village pond used for storing rainwater from the adjoining natural catchment areas. These were very common in Jodhpur. Based on available natural catchments and its water yielding potential, site for a nadi was selected. The location of the nadi had a strong bearing on its storage capacity due to the related catchment and runoff characteristics. Unfortunately, because of poor maintenance and negligence, destruction of catchment areas and unplanned urbanisation, most of the nadis have been severely polluted.


A talab is a water harvesting structure constructed in valleys and natural depressions. They are used as reservoirs. Some talabs have wells in their beds. Such well-decked talabs are called beris. The existing oldest talab in Rajasthan is Ranisar. It was constructed in 1490 AD.


Virdas are shallow holes, which are made in the sands of dry riverbeds and lakes for collecting drinking water. They are found all over the Banni grasslands, a part of the great Rann of Kutch in Gujarat.


Naada/Bandha Naada/bandhas are found in the Mewar region of Rajasthan. It is a stone check dam that is constructed across a stream to capture monsoon runoff on a stretch of land. Because of submergence in water, the land becomes fertile as silt deposits on it and the soil retains substantial amount of nutrients.


Johads are small earthen check dams that store rainwater. They constitute high elevation in three sides; a storage pit, and excavated soil on fourth side. Some johads are interconnected through deep channels, with a single outlet in a river or stream to prevent structural damage.

Stepwells or Baoli

Stepwells are India’s most unique contribution to the water architecture. They are called vav or vavadi in Gujarat, and baolis or bawdis in northern India.

Eleventh century made Mata Bhavani’s vavat in Ahmedabad is said to be one of the earliest stepwells. Rani ki vav (Queen’s well) at Patan was built few decades after that is the grandest among all vavs. Some other fine examples of stepwells in Gujarat are Dada Harir’s vav in Ahmedabad, and the octagonal vav at Adalaj, Gandhinagar.


Bawaris were unique stepwells used for water storage in the cities of Rajasthan in medieval times. Scant rain received would be diverted to these man-made tanks through canals built on the hilly outskirts of cities. These, like all traditional water harvesting systems, helped in recharging a deep and intricate network of aquifers.


Jhalara is also a local name given to manmade stepwells used for community water needs and for religious rites purposes. Often rectangular in design, jhalaras have steps on three or four sides. These stepwells collect the subterranean seepage of an upstream reservoir or a lake. Jhalara in Jodhpur is Mahamandir Jhalara, which dates back to 1660 AD.


Chauka System In Jaipur, Rajasthan, degraded pastures have been dyked to form Chaukas to harvest rain. The Chaukas are rectangular plots arranged in a zigzag pattern and lie along a small gradient. Dykes with height of 1.5m are built along the three sides that lie towards the lower part of the gradient. Trees are also planted on the dykes to withstand rain. When it rains, water gets collected in the dyked lower half of the Chauka.


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