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Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Exam – 18 January 2020


  1. The Global ocean heats up
  2. Company Painting
  3. Space Programmes of 2020
  4. Karnataka ranks sixth in justice delivery: India Justice Report
  5. ISRO’s GSAT-30 Launched  to replace ageing INSAT-4A


Why in news?

One of the biggest revelations of the Special Report On The Ocean And Cryosphere In A Changing Climate, released in September 2019 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was how much the global ocean has heated up.

How is it heating?

  • Since 1970, the report said, 90% of the excess heat generated due to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has been absorbed by the ocean.
  • 2019 also showed the largest single-year spike in ocean heat.
  • The heat is mostly trapped in the top 2,000m of the ocean, which is also home to the bulk of marine life forms.

What it tells us?

Marine heat readings offer a more comprehensive idea of global heating, since surface temperatures are also affected by periodic weather systems like the El Niño effect.


  • Marine heat readings offer a more comprehensive idea of global heating, since surface temperatures are also affected by periodic weather systems like the El Niño effect.
  • Warmer ocean is a major contributor to Polar ice melt, which in turn contributes to sea-level rise.
  • The biggest immediate effect of a warming ocean, though, is the worldwide decline in coral reefs
  • Loss of tiny marine organisms which form the bedrock of the global marine food chain
  • Fish stocks worldwide have been falling, and as fish species migrate to cooler waters, livelihoods are affected

Way forward

Countries and industries must slash their GHG emissions and move to non-fossil fuel energy



In the 18th and 19th centuries, Indian artists were employed mainly by the British East India Company, and, to a lesser extent, by other European East India companies to record picturesque sites, monuments, festivals, royalty, zenana and nautchkhana

Some Insights:

  • A blend of Indian and European styles, these works are known as the Company painting or the Kampani Kalam in local parlance
  • As Muslim Rule saw its dusk, Many of the artists flocked to newer patrons—the East India Company officials based in Delhi, Lucknow, Patna, Murshidabad, Kolkata, Trichy and other places
  • This brought them under the influence of European counterparts such as Thomas and William Daniell, William Hodges, Johann Zoffany and Frans Balthazar Solvyns
  • Visual vocabulary in painting transformed to include the use of perspective, the move from gouache to watercolour and softer palettes.
  • An example of this was a depiction of the marriage procession of a Muslim bridegroom (Day Scene, Patna, circa 1813) by Sewak Ram
  • In the Company paintings, artists captured daily life for British sahibs to share with their families in England, or the scientific studies of flora and fauna in an age of discovery
  • The stories of artists such as Sewak Ram and Shaikh Muhammad Amir of Karraya lend insight into the lives of Company painters—the former, who worked from 1790-1826, used to be the most prolific and influential of the Patna painters


Summary of some of the space launches scheduled for 2020

NASA Mars Rover

  • Atlas v rocket will be the vehicle in July 2020
  • Planning to land in Jezero crater of Mars
  • This can collect rocks, soil samples and store them in a cache
  • Also understanding that whether the earlier environment were conducive to life forms
  • Identifying possibility to test oxygen production

ESA Solar Orbiter

  • From Kennedy space center in Florida in February 2020
  • High resolution studies of Sun and inner heliosphere
  • It will cover 1/5th of distance between sun and earth
  • 2nd mission after parker solar probe of 2018
  • It will have to face 13 times more intense heat than on the surface

ISRO Aditya L1

  • To study the sun’s corona
  • Will be inserted into a halo orbit around the langarian point L1
  • Primary load will be a coronagraph


 Why in news?

Country’s first-ever ranking on justice delivery, “India Justice Report 2019” supported by Tata Trusts.


  • Report is based on performance of four pillars – police, prisons, judiciary, and access to legal aid
  • Each of these pillars are evaluated on six parameters including budgets, human resources, diversity, infrastructure, workload, and trends over the last five years
  • Non-utilisation of funds, vacancies and lack of infrastructure in rural areas, that have emerged as trends across the country
  • Daksh, a Bengaluru-based organisation working on research in judiciary, a partner with Tata Trusts in bringing out the report



  • Launched from Guiana space centre in Kourou
  • The 3,357-kg satellite will replace INSAT-4A which was launched in 2005 and marks the first mission of the year for Indian Space Research Organisation
  • The high-power satellite is equipped with 12 normal C band and 12 Ku band transponders
  • GSAT-30 will provide DTH (direct to home) television services, connectivity to VSATs (that support working of banks’) ATMs, stock exchange, television up linking and teleport services, digital satellite news gathering and e-governance applications
  • The satellite will provide communication services to Indian mainland and islands through the Ku band and wide coverage over Gulf countries, a large number of Asian countries and Australia through the C band
  • Arianespace, the European launch service operator, said it has now sent 24 Indian communication satellites to orbit over the last 30 years; the APPLE experimental satellite of 1981 was its first Indian contract.
July 2024