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Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Exam – 20 January 2020


  1. Kotiyattam
  2. Libya summit seeks end to foreign meddling 
  3. Submarine launched ballistic missile K-4
  4. 146 Irrawaddy dolphins sighted in Odisha’s Chilika
  5. Social Mobility Index: India ranks low at 76th place; Denmark tops



  • Koodiyattam, also transliterated as Kotiyattam, is a traditional performing artform in the state of Kerala, India.
  • It is a combination of ancient Sanskrit theatre with elements of Koothu, a Tamil/ Malayalam performing art which is as old as Sangam era
  • It has a documented history of a thousand years in Kerala
  • It is traditionally performed in temple theatres known as Koothambalams
  • It is the only surviving art form that uses drama from ancient Sanskrit theatre.
  • It is officially recognised by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity
  • The main musical instruments used in Koodiyattam are mizhavu, kuzhitalam, edakka, kurumkuzhal, and sankhu.
  •  Mizhavu, the most prominent of these is a percussion instrument that is played by a person of the Ambalavas Nambiar caste, accompanied by Nangyaramma playing the kuzhithalam


Why in news?

World leaders made a fresh push for peace in Libya at a summit in Berlin on January 19, 2020


  • UN-led talks in Berlin is a bid to curb military interference, help relaunch political dialogue
  • The summit’s main goal is to get foreign powers wielding influence in the region to stop interfering in the war — be it through weapons, troops or financing
  • The UN hopes all sides will sign up to a plan to refrain from interference, and commit to a truce that leads to a lasting end to hostilities

Turmoils in Libya

  • Libya has been torn by fighting between rival armed factions since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
  • Lybia is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad to the south, Niger to the southwest, Algeria to the west, and Tunisia to the northwest.

Countries bordering Mediterranean Sea

The following countries have a coastline on the Mediterranean Sea:

  • Northern shore (from west to east): Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey.
  • Eastern shore (from north to south): Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt.
  • Southern shore (from west to east): Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt.
  • Island nations: Malta, Cyprus.


Why in news?

India successfully test-fires 3,500-km range submarine-launched ballistic missile K-4


  • The test was carried out by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from a submerged pontoon off the Visakhapatnam coast
  • Very few countries which have managed to achieve this technological breakthrough
  • Our Circular Error Probability (CEP) is much more sophisticated
  • Once inducted, these missiles will be the mainstay of the Arihant class of indigenous ballistic missile nuclear submarines (SSBN) and will give India the stand off capability to launch nuclear weapons submerged in Indian waters
  • INS Arihant, the first and only operational SSBN, is armed with K-15 Sagarika missiles with a range of 750 km.



  • India’s largest brackish water lake is home to their highest single lagoon population in the world
  • The Chilika Development Authority (CDA) is elated that the direct sighting of 146 dolphins meant that its population in the lake would stabilise well above 150
  • The total population of these aquatic mammals in the world is estimated to be less than 7,500. Of these, more than 6,000 Irrawaddy dolphins have been reported from Bangladesh
  • The water-spread area of Chilika varies between 1,165 to 900 sq. km. during the monsoon and summer respectively, making it the largest brackish water lake in the country
IRRAWADDY Dolphin Map Range Ocean Legacy IAS Academy Best IAS academy in Bangalore
Range Of Irrawaddy Dolphin


Why in news?

India has been ranked very low at 76th place out of 82 countries on a new Social Mobility Index compiled by the World Economic Forum


  • The report also lists India among the five countries that stand to gain the most from a better social mobility score that seeks to measure parameters necessary for creating societies
  • Increasing social mobility, a key driver of income inequality, by 10 per cent would benefit social cohesion and boost the world’s economies by nearly 5 per cent by 2030, the WEF mentioned
  • Five key dimensions distributed over 10 pillars – health; education (access, quality and equity); technology; work (opportunities, wages, conditions); and protections and institutions (social protection and inclusive institutions) – shows that fair wages, social protection and lifelong learning are the biggest drags on social mobility globally
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