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Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – June 30, 2024

{GS1 – A&C – Architecture} Somanathapur Temple or Keshava Temple

  • Context (TH): The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Somanathapur will be the focus of the Mysuru Tourism Circuit initiated by the Karnataka Tourism Department.

About Somanathapur Temple

  • The Keshava Temple at Somnathpur is a part of renowned Hoysala temples.
  • The temple is dedicated to Lord ‘Keshava‘ (one of the names of Lord Vishnu).
  • It was constructed under the patronage of King Narasimha III of the Hoysala dynasty around 1268 CE.
  • Three garbhagrihas of the temple house beautifully carved idols of Lord Kesava in different forms.
  • The temple’s outer walls are adorned with intricate sculptures of gods, goddesses, celestial beings, and episodes from Hindu epics like the Ramayana and Mahabharata.
  • The temple’s star-shaped base is a unique architectural feature.

Source: The Hindu

To know more about Hoysala Architecture, refer > Hoysala Architecture

{GS2 – International Institutions} Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

  • Context (TH): India achieves an ‘outstanding outcome‘ in FATF evaluation.
  • The FATF plenary concluded that India had reached a high level of technical compliance with its requirements and successfully deprived criminals of their assets.

FATF and India

  • India became a full member of FATF in 2010. As a member, India participates in FATF’s decision-making processes and contributes to developing international standards.
  • The evaluations have highlighted strengths and areas needing improvement in India’s anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) framework.
  • India has strengthened its legal and regulatory framework in response to FATF’s recommendations.
  • Key legislations include:
  • India has established the Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND) to receive, analyse, and disseminate financial information concerning suspected financial crimes.
  • FIU-IND is crucial in implementing India’s AML and CTF measures.
  • India cooperates with other FATF members and international organisations to combat financial crimes.
  • This includes sharing information, participating in joint investigations, and contributing to global efforts against money laundering and terrorist financing.

To know more about FATF, refer > Financial Action Task Force

{GS3 – DM – Floods} Flash Floods **

  • Context (TH): Five soldiers, including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO), drowned in Flash floods near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Nyoma-Chushul area in Ladakh.

About Flash Floods

  • They are sudden increases in water levels that occur during or immediately after intense rainfall.
  • These are highly localised events of short duration with a very high peak, typically occurring within six hours of the rainfall.

Causes of Flash Floods

  • Intense Rainfall: Heavy downpours, often from thunderstorms, can overwhelm the soil’s capacity to absorb water and the drainage system’s ability to manage runoff.
  • Rapid Snowmelt: A sudden increase in temperature can lead to the rapid melting of snow, causing a surge of water that can overwhelm rivers and streams.
  • Dam or Levee Failures: Structural failures of dams or levees can suddenly release large volumes of water, leading to flash flooding downstream.
  • Urbanisation: The proliferation of impervious surfaces like roads and buildings increases runoff, reducing the ground’s ability to absorb water and exacerbating flood risks.

Impacts of Flash Floods

  • Property Damage: Homes, infrastructure, and agricultural lands can be severely damaged or destroyed.
  • Economic Losses: The destruction of infrastructure and properties leads to significant economic losses and livelihood disruptions.
  • Environmental Impact: Flash floods can cause soil erosion, sediment deposition, and contamination of water supplies.
  • Human Lives: Flash floods can lead to loss of life due to their sudden onset and high velocity.

Mitigation Measures

  • Implementing advanced weather prediction and early warning systems to alert at-risk populations.
  • Designing & maintaining robust drainage systems & infrastructure to manage excess water flow.
  • Planting trees and vegetation to improve water absorption and reduce surface runoff.
  • Educating communities about the risks and safety measures during flash floods.
  • Enforcing land use regulations to prevent construction in high-risk flood zones.

Measures Implemented in India to Address Flash Floods

  • Prediction and Early Warning
    • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) uses Doppler radars.
    • They also employ flash flood forecasting and warning systems to predict flash floods.
  • Preventive Measures
    • The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) provides recommendations to state governments, State Disaster Management Authorities, and District Disaster Management Authorities.
    • These recommendations include regulating habitation in low-lying areas along rivers, nullahs, and drains, which helps mitigate flood risks.
  • Monitoring and Assessment
    • The Central Water Commission (CWC) and the National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) work with state governments and SDMAs for this purpose.
    • Satellite imagery monitors landslides and river blockages to identify potential flood hazards.

About Shyok River

  • The Shyok River flows through the region of Ladakh in the northern part of India.
  • It originates from the Rimo Glacier, a part of the Siachen Glacier complex, in the Karakoram Range.
  • It flows eastwards through Ladakh and joins the Indus River near Skardu.
  • The river’s course and the area around it hold geopolitical importance due to its proximity to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China.
  • Due to its glacial origins and unpredictable flow patterns, the Shyok River is at risk from flash floods and glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs).
  • The river is also significant culturally, with local communities along its banks relying on it for various aspects of life, including agriculture, transportation, and cultural practices.

To know more about Floods in India, refer > Floods in India, Glacial Lake Outburst Flood

{Prelims – In News} Mars and InSight Mission

  • Context (DTE): Seismic data from NASA’s InSight mission shows Mars’ thin atmosphere leaves it vulnerable to frequent meteorite bombardments.


  • Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in our solar system.
  • Its soil contains iron oxide, which gives the planet its reddish appearance and thus the name Red Planet.
  • Its surface is covered with craters, valleys, volcanoes, and canyons.
  • Mars’ atmosphere is very thin, consisting primarily of carbon dioxide. Due to this and the lack of a magnetic field, the surface of Mars is exposed to high levels of radiation from the Sun and space.
  • Mars has the tallest mountain in the solar system, Olympus Mons.
  • Liquid water may have existed on Mars, and there’s evidence of ice caps on its poles.
  • Mars has two small, irregularly shaped moons called Phobos and Deimos. They are thought to be captured asteroids.

Insight Mission

  • The InSight mission (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport) was a robotic lander launched by NASA in 2018.
  • It was designed to study Mars’ seismic activity, core, and crust to understand its evolutionary history.
  • The lander carried two key instruments:
    • a seismometer to detect Marsquake.
    • a heat flow probe to measure the heat coming from Mars’ interior.
  • It also found evidence of a liquid magma ocean in Mars’ past, suggesting that the planet had a much more dynamic geological history than previously thought.

Some other important Mars Mission of NASA

  • Viking 1 & 2: The first spacecraft to land successfully on Mars and search for evidence of life.
  • Mars Pathfinder: The first mission to deploy a rover (Sojourner) on the Martian surface.
  • Mars Exploration Rovers: Spirit and Opportunity rovers analysed Martian geology and searched for evidence of past water.
  • MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission, 2013-ongoing): An orbiter studying the Martian atmosphere to understand how it changed over time.
  • ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (2016-ongoing): An orbiter studying the Martian atmosphere and searching for signs of life.
  • Perseverance Rover (2020-ongoing): A rover collecting Martian rock samples for return to Earth.

Mangalyaan (2013-2022)

  • It was India’s first interplanetary mission, also known as the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM).
  • The Mangalyaan spacecraft was designed and built by the ISRO for $74 million, which is considered a low cost compared to other Mars missions.
  • Launched in 2013, the Mangalyaan spacecraft entered Mars orbit in 2014, making India the fourth nation to reach Mars, after the Soviet Union, the United States, and the European Space Agency.
  • During its orbit around Mars, Mangalyaan studied the planet’s ionosphere, surface features, and atmospheric composition.
  • The spacecraft continued to transmit data until August 2022, longer than its initial design life of 6 months.

{Prelims – In News} INS SHIVALIK

  • Context (PIB): Indian multi-role stealth frigate INS Shivalik has reached Pearl Harbour in Hawaii to participate in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.


  • INS Shivalik is the first indigenously designed and built 6000 tonnes guided missile stealth frigate.
  • It was built at the Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL), Mumbai. It is deployed in the South China Sea and the North Pacific Ocean.
  • Shivalik features improved stealth and land attacking features over the preceding Talwar-class frigates.
  • The Shivalik-class frigates were conceived as part of the Indian Navy’s Project 17, which aims to create a class of stealthy frigates to be designed and built in India.

A large military ship in the ocean
Description automatically generated

Source: Wikipedia


  • It is the world’s largest international maritime exercise.
  • Led by the US Navy, 29 countries are participating in the current edition.
  • It will help ensure the safety of sea lanes and the security of the world’s oceans.


  • RIMPAC-24 contains intense operations and training to enhance interoperability and build trust among the navies of friendly foreign countries.
  • The exercise will involve an aircraft carrier battle group, submarines, maritime reconnaissance aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and remotely piloted surface ships.
  • It also includes amphibious force landing operations, including joint operations with special forces of multinational navies.

{Prelims – In News} Yuga Yugeen Bharat Museum

  • Context (PIB): The Ministry of Culture organises a four-day Brainstorming Session for the upcoming Largest Museum in the world.
  • The new National Museum of India is set to come up at the North and South Block as part of the Central Vista Redevelopment project.
  • The Museum will be developed through Adaptive Reuse in collaboration with France, as both governments signed a Letter of Intent in 2020 that emphasised Museum & Heritage cooperation.
  • The Museum will stand as a testament to India’s rich heritage and its unwavering spirit of progress.

Also refer > Redevelopment of Central Vista Master Plan

{Prelims – In News} Amarnath Temple

  • Context (PIB): PM conveyed his best wishes to all the Amarnath pilgrims.

Amarnath Temple

  • It is a cave in the Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir. It is known as the abode of the Mahamaya Shakti Pitha, one of the 51 Shakti Pithas.
  • The shrine has a ‘Swayambhu‘ or self-manifested Shiva lingam, a physical manifestation of Shiva in a solid dome shape. It is a stalagmite formed by freezing water drops falling from the cave’s roof.
  • The lingam waxes from May to August, as snow melts in the Himalayas above the cave, and it is the time for the pilgrimage called ‘Amarnath Yatra‘.
  • Shakti Pithas commemorates the location of the fallen body parts of the Hindu deity Sati.

Amarnath Yatra

  • Pilgrims visit the holy site during the 45-day season around the festival of Shravani Mela in July–August.
  • It coincides with the Hindu holy month of Shraavana.
  • The iced stalagmite Shiva lingam reaches the apex of its waxing phase through the summer months.

References on Amarnath

  • The book Rajatarangini, written in the 12th century CE by Kalhana, refers to Amarnath.
  • Prajna Bhatta‘s book Rajavalipataka, written in the 16th century CE, contains detailed references to the pilgrimage to Amarnath Cave Temple.
  • Abul Fazl mentions the cave and the Shivling in ‘Ain-i-Akbari‘.
  • François Bernier mentions Amarnath as “grotto” in his book ‘Travels in Mughal Empire’.

{Prelims – In News} Statistics Day

  • Context (PIB): 18thStatistics Day” was celebrated with the theme “Use of Data for Decision-Making“.

Statistics Day

  • Annually celebrated since 2007 to recognise the notable contributions made by Professor (late) Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in statistics and economic planning.
  • MoSPI released three progress reports on SDGs with time series data during the event:
    • Sustainable Development Goals – National Indicator Framework Progress Report, 2024
    • Data Snapshot on Sustainable Development Goals– National Indicator Framework, 2024
    • Sustainable Development Goals– National Indicator Framework, 2024
  • The event also launched the eSankhyiki portal.

eSankhyiki portal

  • Objective: To establish a comprehensive data management and sharing system to easily disseminate official statistics in the country.
  • The portal will provide timely input for planners, policy-makers, researchers, and the public.
  • The eSankhyiki Portal has two sections facilitating easy access and re-use of data, namely:
    1. Data Catalogue:
      • The catalogue lists the major data assets of the Ministry, such as National Accounts Statistics, Consumer Price Index, Index of Industrial Production, Annual Survey of Industries, Periodic Labour Force Survey and Household Consumption Expenditure Survey in one place.
    2. Macro Indicators:
      • It offers time series data of key macro indicators with features for filtering and visualisation.
      • It also allows users to download custom datasets and visualisations and access them through Application programming interfaces (APIs), thereby increasing the reusability of data.
      • This section includes four major products of MoSPI: National Accounts Statistics, Consumer Price Index, Index of Industrial Production, and Annual Survey of Industries.
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