PIB Analysis : 16th, 17th 18th & 19th January

PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Cellular Jail
  2.  Assam Inland Water Transport Project
  3. GSAT-30
  4. Hindustan Urvarak&Rasayan Limited (HURL)
  5. Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Blockchain Technology 
  6. Facts for Prelims

1 . Cellular Jail

Context : The Vice President calls for organizing student visits to Cellular Jail and other historic places linked to the freedom struggle;

About Cellular Jail

  • Andaman Islands were used by the British as a prison soon after the Indian Rebellion of 1857 (the Sepoy Mutiny), the foundation of this jail was laid in 1896.
  • Completed in the year 1906, Cellular Jail, also known as ‘kala pani’ or the ‘black waters’, derived its name from the small, individual cells that housed prisoners. Of the three-pronged tactic of hunger, torture and isolation, it was the isolation from fellow beings that acted as the harshest of punishments to inmates.
  • Apart from Veer Savarkar, many distinguished people were imprisoned in the Cellular Jail. They included Diwan Singh Kalepani, Fazl-e-Haq Khairabadi, Yogendra Shukla, Batukeshwar Dutt, Maulana Ahmadullah, Movli Abdul Rahim Sadiqpuri, Ali Ahmed Siddiqui, Maulvi Liaquat Ali, Babarao S
  • The Cellular Jail also houses the Eternal Flame and Martyrs’ Column as a tribute. Originally the jail was a massive three-storeyed structure with seven wings radiating from central fulcrum on which stood a watch tower. The jail could accommodate 690 inmates.   

2 .  Assam Inland Water Transport Project

Context : The Government of India, the Government of Assam and the World Bank signed a loan agreement of $88 million here today to help modernize Assam’s passenger ferry sector that runs on its rivers including the mighty Brahmaputra.

About the Project

  • A majority of Assam’s more than 361 ferry routes cross the Brahmaputra or serve its islands, providing a crucial means of transport to thousands of commuters in both the urban and rural areas of the Brahmaputra Valley.
  • The Assam Inland Water Transport Project (AIWTP) will help Assam improve the passenger ferry infrastructure and its services and strengthen the capacity of the institutions running the inland water transport.
  • Technically better designed terminals and energy-efficient vessels (both new and retrofitted) will make the ferry services more sustainable with least disruption to nature.
  • The project will support the Government of Assam’s efforts to corporatise its own ferry activities. The Assam Shipping Company (ASC) will operate the government ferries and the Assam Ports Company (APC) will provide terminals and terminal services on a common-user basis to both public and private ferry operators.
  • Inland Water Transport is also a more sustainable mode of transport. It provides low-carbon and low-cost options when compared to the cost of constructing and maintaining flood-resilient roads and bridges across the long stretches of the Brahmaputra river.

3 . GSAT-30

Context : India’s  latest  communication  satellite  GSAT-30  was  successfully  launched  from the  Spaceport  in  French  Guiana  during  the  early  hours  today. The  launch  vehicle  Ariane  5  VA-251  lifted  off  from  Kourou  Launch  Base,  French Guiana  at  2:35  am  IST  carrying  India’s  GSAT-30  and  EUTELSAT  KONNECT  for Eutelsat,  as  scheduled. 

About GSAT 30

  • With  a  lift-off  mass  of  3357  kg,  GSAT-30  will  provide  continuity  to  operational services  on  some  of  the  in-orbit  satellites.  GSAT-30  derives  its  heritage  from ISRO’s  earlier INSAT/GSAT  satellite  series  and  will  replace  INSAT-4A  in  orbit.
  • GSAT-30  has  a  unique  configuration  of  providing  flexible  frequency  segments and  flexible  coverage.   
  • The  satellite  will  provide  communication  services  to Indian  mainland  and  islands  through  Ku-band  and  wide  coverage  covering  Gulf countries,  a  large  number  of  Asian  countries  and  Australia  through  C-band”
  • GSAT-30  will  provide  DTH  Television  Services, connectivity  to  VSATs  for  ATM,  Stock-exchange,  Television  uplinking  and Teleport  Services,  Digital  Satellite  News  Gathering  (DSNG)  and  e-governance applications.  The  satellite  will  also  be  used  for  bulk  data  transfer  for  a  host  of emerging  telecommunication  applications.”   

4 . Hindustan Urvarak&Rasayan Limited (HURL)

Context : The Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Shri D.V. Sadananda Gowda launched the “APNA UREA – SonaUgle” brand of Hindustan Urvarak&Rasayan Limited (HURL)

About HURL

  • HURL is Joint Venture Company promoted by the three Maharatna Companies i.e. Coal India Limited (CIL), NTPC Limited (NTPC) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) as the lead promoters with FCIL and HFCL as other two partners.

5 . Centre of Excellence in Blockchain Technology

Context : National Informatics Centre (NIC) has set up the Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Blockchain Technology in Bengaluru, Karnataka

Benefits of the Centre

  • Main aim of the centre is to provide Blockchain as a service and allowing all stakeholders to benefit from shared learning, experiences and resources.
  • Blockchain technology is upcoming & niche technology and adoption of the same in sectors such as health, finance, agriculture and various other sectors would aid the government in implementing various programmes and provide trust and immutability to the assets.
  • The CoE has developed Blockchain based Proof of Concepts (PoCs) for select government use cases to understand potential benefits provided by this emerging technology.
  • New and previously unforeseen applications of Blockchain in the Government are expected to enhance transparency, traceability and trust in e-governance systems.
  • The Centre of Excellence will facilitate the Government Departments in building proof of concepts for use of Blockchain technology in different dimensions of governance leading to large scale deployment of some such applications.
  • With National Informatics Centre (NIC) providing a robust and an agile infrastructure, the CoE shall also provide Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) for efficient hosting of Blockchain network.

6 . Facts for Prelims


  • L&T Defence is currently executing the ‘K9 VAJRA-T’ Tracked, Self-Propelled Howitzer Guns program – the contract awarded to the company by Ministry of Defence through global competitive bidding.


  • Saksham’, an annual one-month long fuel conservation mega campaign of Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, 

Vigyan Samman

  • In order to highlight the value and impact of fundamental research to a broad cross-section of audience including students, academician and industry, and to further strengthen India’s participationin mega-science Projects, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Department of Science andTechnology (DST) have jointly organised a multi-venue mega-science exhibition, VigyanSamagam.
  • VigyanSamagam exhibition is showcasing India’s contribution to international collaborations on fundamental science and research, and providing a common interactive platform for mega-science Projects, industry, academia and institutions.
  • It is a science communication platform for policymakers, representatives of print and electronic media along with members of civil society
  • Mega-science collaborations proposed to be showcased in VigyanSamagam include:
    • European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
    • Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR)
    • India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO)
    • International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER)
    • Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)
    • Square Kilometre Array (SKA)
    • Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT)


  • DGTR has launched an online portal – ARTIS (Application for Remedies in Trade for Indian industry and other Stakeholders) to enhance transparency, efficiency and provide expedited relief to the domestic producers for different trade remedies like anti-dumping duty, safeguard duty and countervailing duty.
  • Applicants can also monitor the current status of their applications through this portal.
  • The portal will be further improvised so that it can in real terms bring about transformative change in the process of filing, tracking and monitoring the Trade Remedy applications.

Z-Morh tunnel Project

  • Z-Morh Tunnel is a road tunnel project and is the first step toward ensuring all-weather connectivity between Srinagar and Kargil in Ladakh region of India. The tunnel gets its name from its Z formation between Sonamarg and Gagangir.
  • The 6.5 km long road tunnel is being constructed near Gagangir or Gagangair in Ganderbal district of the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It has a high strategic importance for India. The tunnel would avoid the regions of snowfall and avalanches.
  • Along with Zoji-la Tunnel (which is 22 km from Z-Morh tunnel towards Leh), the Z-Morh tunnel will ensure year-long road connectivity between Srinagar and Kargil which currently remains closed for about seven months due to snow.
  • Z – Morh tunnel project includes construction, operation and maintenance of the tunnel with approaches on NH-1 at Srinagar-Sonmarg-Gumri Road from 61 km to 89.30 km on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) Annuity basis.

Second Premium Tejas Train

  • After the successful run of semi-high speed and fully air-conditioned Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express, the second premium Tejas train is ready to run between Ahmedabad and Mumbai. 

Wings India 2020

  • Wings India 2020, a flagship event of the Indian Civil Aviation industry will be held at Begumpet Airport, Hyderabad from 12-15 March 2020. 
  • ‘Wings India 2020’- a four-day event themed: “Flying for All’’ is an international platform focused on the new business acquisition, investments, policy formation and regional connectivity in the civil aviation industry. 
  • This summit aims to bring all players, facilitators, and regulators of aviation fraternity under one roof to explore opportunities together. It’s a platform for all civil aviation sector stakeholders to achieve greater synergies; learn from best practices of each other”.
  • Wings India 2020 is also Asia’s largest and most popular gathering in the industry. Organized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Govt. of India, AAI and FICCI the event is expected to attract top leaders, special invitees in foreign ministers for civil aviation and global CEOs, suppliers, strategic partners, organizations and the media. 

Maroon Beret Ceremonial Parade

  • Maroon Beret Ceremonial parade is organized to mark the successful completion of training of Air Force Special Forces (Garud)
  • The Maroon Beret Ceremonial Parade is a moment of pride and achievement for the Garuds marking the culmination of their intense training and transformation from Young Boys to Young Special Forces Operators joining the elite Air Force Special Forces Garud Commando force.  


  • ELECRAMA is the flagship showcase of the Indian electrical industry and a platform to connect the world with Indian industry in respect of technology, new trends and innovation for future energy transition.

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