DAILY UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS | The Hindu Analysis | PRELIMS 2020 | 20th April 2020

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IASbhai DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC (THE HINDU+LIVEMINT+PIB)

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Daily Current Affairs for UPSC is an initiative to dilute major articles from leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Hence we choose articles on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC PRELIMS2020.

Press forward. Do not stop, do not linger in your journey, but strive for the mark set before you.- George Whitefield

HIGHLIGHT INFO:

ORANGE COLOUR: Important for Prelims.

RED COLOUR: Important for Mains.

BLACK COLOUR: Must Read !

BLUE COLOUR : Important Links/Survey.

PINK COLOUR: Reports/Themes/Summits.

Bug sniffer

      HEADLINES:

ARI researchers develop bug sniffer for efficient detection of pathogens

      WHY IN NEWS:

Researchers at the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science &Technology, Govt. of India, have developed a sensitive and low-cost sensor to rapidly detect bacteria. 

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Science & Technology
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Science and Technology

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS it is important to understand the principle and working of bug sniffer !

For MAINS do you think bug sniffers like gear could be manufactured for viruses too ? If yes then how should be this crowdfunded ?

      ISSUE: 

BUG SNIFFER

FEATURES :

  • The portable device can detect as low as ten bacterial cells from a sample size of one milliliter in just 30 minutes.
  • At present, they are working on a method for simultaneous separation and detection of Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium.

PRINCIPLE :

On applying an external magnetic field, the bacteria attached to the peptide were isolated and immobilised.
  • Finally, the peptide tagged with quantum dots was passed through the microchannels to complete the sandwiched peptide assay.
  • After capturing the bacteria, microchannels exhibited strong and stable fluorescence due to the quantum-dot-tagged peptides.

WORKING:

  • This is a biosensor that uses synthetic peptides, magnetic nanoparticles, and quantum dots to detect the presence of bacteria, providing a cost- and time-effective way of screening water and food borne pathogens.
  • The researchers also developed a chip comprising of microchannels made from copper wires and poly (dimethylsiloxane)
Peptides, which are highly specific to the bacteria to be detected, have extremely low cross-reactivity. 

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The conventional techniques available for pathogen detection are less sensitive and cannot detect low cell numbers, besides being time-consuming and laborious whereas the ARI device, can detect pathogens with a limit of detection of 10 cells per 1 mL within 30 minutes.

The bug sniffer is affordable, and the raw materials required for making it are readily available.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Indian Naval Hospital Ship Patanjali

      HEADLINES:

Indian Naval Hospital Ship Patanjali at the Forefront of Fight Against Covid-19 at Karwar

      WHY IN NEWS:

Indian Naval Hospital Patanjali at Karwar has been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, by treating the patients from the Uttara Kannada district.

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Defence
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Defence

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS this is not an important issue but still we had to cover it ! Map them out .

      ISSUE: 

Acting on a request from the Karwar District Administration upon announcement of nation-wide lockdown on 25 Mar 20, INHS Patanjali was prepared in every aspect within 24 hours to receive the first group of COVID-19 positive patients on 28 Mar 2020.

THE INDIAN NAVY CURRENTLY OPERATES THREE COMMANDS:

  • Western Naval Command located at Mumbai,
  • Southern Naval Command located at Kochi and
  • Eastern Naval Command located at Visakhapatnam.
The Andaman and Nicobar Command, a unified Indian Navy, Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Coast Guard Command was set up in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 2001.

A team of three doctors, nine medical staff along with and nine support staff has ensured 24 x 7 care to the nine COVID-19 positive patients admitted thus far.

Out of the nine patients admitted at the hospital, eight have been cured and discharged so far.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

INS Patanjali has made alternate arrangements for routine medical attention to the large population of service personnel and families dependent on the hospital.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 Blazar emission mechanisms

      HEADLINES:

Gamma-ray flux variability of luminous and high energy blazars: clues to blazar emission mechanisms

      WHY IN NEWS:

Hot from PIB !

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Science & Technology
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Science and Technology

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS it is important to understand the concept of Black Hole and AGN ! This can be asked in Prelims 2020.

      ISSUE: 

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bangalore, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, have conducted the first systematic study on the gamma-ray flux variability nature on different types of blazars.

BACKGROUND

  • At the center of most galaxies, there’s a massive black hole that can have mass of millions or even billions of Suns that accrete gas, dust, and stellar debris around it.
  • As these material falls towards the black hole, their gravitational energy gets converted to light forming active galactic nuclei (AGN).
  • A minority of AGN (~15%) emit collimated charged particles called jets travelling at speeds close to the speed of light. 

WHAT ARE BLAZARS ?

Blazars are AGN whose jets are aligned with the observer’s line of sight.

Blazar - Wikipedia

  • Some blazars are thought to host binary black holes in them and could be potential targets for future gravitational-wave searches.
  • Their study could provide clues to the processes happening close to the black hole, not visible through direct imaging.

REASEARCH FINDINGS :

  • The results of this work will thus fill the gap on the knowledge of the high energy flux variability nature of blazars.
  • Blazars are the most luminous and energetic objects in the known universe were found to be emitters of gamma-rays in the 1990s.
  • It is only with the capability of Fermi Gamma-ray space telescope (launched in 2008) to scan the entire sky once in three hours.

CHALLENGES TO ASTROPHYSICS:

  • One of the open problems in high energy astrophysics is to localize the site for the production of gamma-rays.
  • Gamma-ray band is one of the bands of the electromagnetic spectrum on which there is limited knowledge on the flux variability of blazars.
  • With the availability of near-simultaneous data covering the gamma-ray, X-ray, ultra-violet, optical, and infrared bands, the existing notion on high energy emission in blazars is challenged.

WAY FORWARD

  • This band needs to be explored as this is the energy range where the high energy emission from blazars peaks.
  • Exploring this band of the electromagnetic spectrum will provide key inputs to constrain the high energy production site as well as the high energy emission processes.
  • The expertise of handling high energy data from celestial sources gained in this work will build capacity to interpret the gamma-ray data that will emerge from India’s upcoming facility, the Major Atmospheric Cerenkov Experiment Telescope as well as from any X-ray missions by India in the future.
Major Atmospheric Cerenkov Experiment Telescope (MACE) is an Imaging Atmospheric Cerenkov telescope (IACT) located at Hanle, Ladakh, India.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The results obtained from this particular piece of work will provide key inputs to the problem of finding the high energy gamma-ray production site in blazars.

Variability studies in the high energy gamma-ray band can help one to locate the high energy emission site and the high energy emission process.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

COVID-19: Curves that matter

      HEADLINES:

COVID-19: Curves that matter

      WHY IN NEWS:

Projected paths of the pandemic

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS it is important to understand the relation between COVID-19 and algebra ! Yes they are inter related .

For MAINS do you think this uncertainty will follow till the vaccine comes into existence ? What are your thoughts on possible sine curve graph for such pandemic ?

      ISSUE: 

If a sick person infects two others in a day, there will be 16,000 cases after 14 days.The infection rate, though varies from country to country, is higher for COVID-19, suggesting a steeper infection curve.

Source: How will country-based mitigation measures influence the course of the COVID-19 epidemic?, published in The Lancet on March 9, 2020

 

EXPONENTIAL CURVE

  • This offers the worst case scenario, where the virus spreads uncontrollably.
  • Since the word “exponent” is grounded in algebra, the curve suggests a rapid increase of the infected, as is typical of exponential growth. Let’s take a conservative estimate.
  • During this rapid infection growth phase, the number of people needing hospitalisation can grow in leaps and bounds, overwhelming the local healthcare system.
  • More hospitals may run out of basic supplies they need to respond to the outbreak.

FLATTEN THE CURVE

  • Since there is no vaccine to medicine to treat COVID-19 and only limited testing kits to diagnose the virus, flattening the curve is the only effective intervention to limit the spread of the virus.
  • The infection rate can be reduced through a combination of collective actions, such as social distancing of the entire population, case isolation, household quarantine and school and university closure.
  • Though the same number of people may get infected in a flatter-curve scenario as in the exponential-curve scenario, a slower infection rate ensures a less stressed healthcare system, fewer hospital visits on any given day and fewer sick people being turned away.

SINE CURVE

  • This is the basic example of a periodic curve, a graph that keeps repeating.
But there will still be the risk of resurgence once interventions are relaxed. Interventions like social distancing may thus need to be in place until a vaccine is developed—after 18 months or longer.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Flattening the curve can help reduce the rate of transmission.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 Let us ‘Discuss’

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Let us know what you think about this in the comment section.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 

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