UPSC Daily Current Affairs - 21st February 2023

UPSC Daily Current Affairs – Prelims [21st February 2023]

Geomagnetic storm hits Earth

Source: HT

In News

A G1-class geomagnetic storm was sparked as the solar wind passed through a gap in the Earth’s magnetic field, according to a recent report.

What are Geomagnetic storms?

  • Geomagnetic storms, also known as magnetic storms, refer to a transient disruption of the Earth’s magnetosphere resulting from the interaction between a shock wave in the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetic field.
  • The Earth’s magnetosphere acts as a protective barrier against harmful solar particle radiation and prevents the erosion of the atmosphere by the solar wind.


  • The cause of these storms is typically linked to Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) from the Sun, which involve the arrival of billions of tons of plasma containing a magnetic field at Earth.
  • Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are massive eruptions of plasma and magnetic fields that originate from the outermost layer of the Sun, known as the corona.

The effects of geomagnetic storms on Earth include

  • Disruption of space weather in near-Earth space and the upper atmosphere.
  • Impairment of satellite, GPS, and radio communication. For example, in 2022, over 40 Starlink satellites malfunctioned due to a solar storm.
  • Creation of disturbances in the magnetosphere, which is the protective shield surrounding the Earth. This can lead to the formation of bright auroras.
  • Exposure of astronauts on spacewalks to health risks from solar radiation, as they are outside the protective atmosphere of Earth.

Privilege panel

Source: TOI

In News

  • Jagdeep Dhankhar, the Chairman of Rajya Sabha, has requested a parliamentary committee to probe into the alleged violation of privilege by 12 MPs who disrupted the House proceedings by repeatedly entering the well of the House and shouting slogans.
  • The Indian Constitution’s key provisions regarding parliamentary privileges are Articles 105 and 122 for the Parliament and Articles 194 and 212 for the states.
  • A “Privilege Motion” can be employed to censure a minister for breaching parliamentary privilege.

About Privilege Panel

  • The Privilege Panel is a semi-judicial committee known as the “Committee of Privileges.”
  • Its objective is to investigate breaches of privileges.
  • The Lok Sabha’s Committee of Privileges consists of 15 members, while the Rajya Sabha‘s has 10 members.

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