Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Sarat Chandra IAS Current Affairs of 2nd December 2020


Sarat Chandra IAS Academy brings to you the daily current affairs keeping in mind the changing pattern of the UPSC civil services exam. UPSC Prelims and Mains exams mix the current affairs with static core concepts. So, we give the background explanation for every current topic.



  1. The Fifth BRICS Media Forum
  2. The first ever SCO Online International Exhibition on Shared Buddhist Heritage
  3. Mission Covid Suraksha
  4. Honey FPO Programme inaugurated under NAFED
  5. Hayabusa2 spacecraft


1) The Fifth BRICS Media Forum:

Relevant to: Prelims GS

Context: The Fifth BRICS Media Forum was held virtually recently.

Highlights of the forum:

Representatives of media organizations from BRICS nations have decided to address the virus of disinformation during the pandemic.


  • Rigorous fact-checking and investigation by well- trained teams of journalists.
  • Specialised fact-checking organisations could be supplemented by technological solutions, with the deployment of technologies like AI.

About BRICS media forum:

  • The idea of a BRICS Media Forum was brought in 2015 by china to promote media cooperation.
  • The forum aims to: Establish an efficient coordination mechanism among BRICS media.
  • Advance innovation-driven media development. Gather stronger momentum for the development of BRICS countries through exchange and pragmatic cooperation under the mechanism.


2) The first ever SCO Online International Exhibition on Shared Buddhist Heritage:

Relevant to: Prelims GS

Context: Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India & Chairman of the SCO Council of Heads of Government in 2020, launched the first ever SCO Online Exhibition on Shared Buddhist Heritage.

Highlights of the exhibition:

  • In this exhibition, the national museums of all the SCO countries will exhibit their Buddhist art antiquities on a single platform.

Buddhist art antiquities of SCO countries:

  • Buddhist treasures from India through the Gandhara and Mathura Schools, Nalanda, Amaravati, Sarnath etc…
  • The life of Gautama Buddha and Buddhist Art from Pakistan through a collection of impressive Gandhara art objects from Karachi, Lahore, Taxlia, Islamabad, SWAT and Peshawar museums.
  • These include fasting Siddhartha and footprint of Buddha from Sikri, meditating Buddha from SahriBahloi, miracle of Sravasti from Gandhara etc.
  • Buddhist Buriyat Art of Russia through icons, ritual objects, monastery traditions etc.
  • The rich digital collection on Buddhist Art from Dunhunag, China like ingenious architecture, resplendent murals, decorative designs, costumes etc.
  • The marvels of Buddhist art from ancient Termez, Karatepa, Fayaztepa heritage sites from Uzbekistan. The Buddhist art objects from various heritage sites and museums of Kazakhstan and Kyrygstan.
  • The 13-meter-long reclining – ‘Buddha in Nirvana’ from Ajina-Tepa in Tajikistan.

Significance of this cultural exhibition?

  • Buddhist philosophy and art of Central Asia connects Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) countries to each other.
  • This gives the knowledge about the artistic wealth across Asia
  • It showcases the artistic excellence through the historical timeline about the development of different Schools of Buddhism.
  • This transnational online exhibition also has potential to connect, heal and rejuvenate communities in current pandemic times.

About SCO

  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an intergovernmental international organization founded in Shanghai on 15 June 2001 by six countries China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
  • At the summit in Uzbekistan in 2016, the SCO leaders signed memorandums on the accession of India and Pakistan to the organization.
  • In 2017 in Astana – status of a full member of the Organization was granted to the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
  • Organization now covers 60 percent of the Eurasian continent and nearly half of the global population after India and Pakistan became members in June 2017.
  • Observers Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia

Aim of SCO

  • Tackle peace and security
  • To tackle the challenges of terrorism o extremism and separatism to promote trade, cooperation and cultural partnerships.


3) Mission Covid Suraksha:

Relevant to: Prelims GS #Mains:GS 3

Context: The Government of India (GOI) has announced the third stimulus package of Rs. 900 Crore for the Mission COVID Suraksha


  • As the world races to develop the vaccine for Covid-19, India is looking to be self-reliant in both its development and production.
  • The government has initiated a robust Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing and delivery ecosystem to meet the demand.
  • Government has launched Mission COVID Suraksha to accelerate Indian COVID-19 Vaccine Development.
  • Mission COVID Suraksha is the targeted effort to enable development of indigenous, affordable and accessible vaccines for our country and will complement the National Mission of Atmanirbhar Bharat.


  • Phase-I of the COVID Suraksha Mission has been allotted Rs.900 Crore for a period of 12 months.
  • This grant will be provided to the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) for Research & Development of Indian COVID-19 vaccines.


Led by Department of Biotechnology and implemented by a dedicated Mission Implementation Unit at Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), the existing activities under National Bio Pharma Mission (NBM) and Ind-CEPI Mission will provide complementary strengths to this Mission.

The Important Objectives of the Fund

  • Accelerating pre-clinical& clinical development.
  • Licensure of covid-19 vaccine candidates that are currently in clinical stages or ready to enter clinical stage of development.
  • Establishing clinical trial sites.
  • Strengthening the existing immunoassay laboratories, central laboratories and suitable facilities for animal studies, production facilities and other testing facilities to support COVID-19 vaccine development.
  • Supporting development of common harmonized protocols, trainings, data management systems, regulatory submissions, internal and external quality management systems and accreditations.
  • Capabilities for process development, cell line development and manufacturing of GMP batches for animal toxicology studies and clinical trials will also be supported under the Mission.
  • A key element will be development of suitable Target Product Profile so that vaccines being introduced through the mission have preferred characteristics applicable for India.


4) Honey FPO Programme inauguarated under NAFED:

Relevant to: GS Prelims and GS-III – Agriculture

Context: Recently, the Honey Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO)Programme of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED) was virtually inaugurated by: Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.

Key points

  • The programme has been launched under the Formation and Promotion of FPOs.
  • It is a new Central Sector Scheme for the promotion of 10,000 new FPOs.
  • Under it, the National Level Project Management Advisory and Fund Sanctioning Committee (N-PMAFSC) had allocated FPO clusters for 2020-21 to all implementing agencies.
  • FPOs will be developed by specialist Cluster Based Business Organizations (CBBOs) engaged by implementing agencies.
  • NAFED has initiated the formation and promotion of FPOs of beekeepers and honey collectors in 5 states of India.
  • 5 locations: East Champaran (Bihar), Morena (Madhya Pradesh), Bharatpur (Rajasthan), Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) and Sunderbans (West Bengal).
  • The first Honey FPO has been registered in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Benefits: (1) Skill Upgradation in scientific beekeeping; (2) State of the art infrastructural facilities for processing honey and allied beekeeping products; (3) Quality upgradation by quality control laboratories; (4) Better supply chain management

National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED)

  • It is an apex organization of marketing cooperatives for agricultural produce in India.
  • It was founded on 2nd October 1958.
  • It is registered under the Multi-State Co-operative Societies Act, 2002.
  • NAFED is now one of the largest procurement as well as marketing agencies for agricultural products in India.
  • Objectives: (1) To organize, promote and develop marketing, processing and storage of agricultural, horticultural and forest produce; (2) To distribute agricultural machinery, implements and other inputs; (3) To act and assist for technical advice in agricultural production


5) Hayabusa2 spacecraft:

Relevant to: Prelims GS

Context: Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft left the asteroid Ryugu a year ago and is expected to reach Earth and drop a capsule containing the precious samples in southern Australia on December 6.


  • The Hayabusa2 spacecraft is a mission to analyse the composition of asteroid 1999 JU3 (Ryugu) and return samples from it to Earth using the MASCOT (Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout) lander.
  • The mission will shed light on the origins of the solar system.
  • Agency:Hayabusa2 was launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the Japanese space agency.


It was launched on 3 December 2014 and reached 27 June 2018. It carried multiple science payloads for remote sensing, sampling, and four small rovers that will investigate the asteroid surface to inform the environmental and geological context of the samples collected.

Significance of the mission

Ryugu is a C-type asteroid – a relic (from the early days of the Solar System Scientists think that C-type asteroids contain both organic matter, and trapped water, and might have been responsible for bringing both to Earth, thereby providing the planet with the materials necessary for life to originate


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