DAILY UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS | The Hindu Analysis | PRELIMS 2020 | 21st 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.

The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.– Winston Churchill

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.

Gram-negative sepsis

      HEADLINES:

Indian Initiative to fight COVID-19

      WHY IN NEWS:

  • CSIR supports efforts to develop a drug to save lives of critically ill patients suffering from Gram-negative sepsis
  • CSIR, is now initiating a randomized, blinded, two arms, active comparator-controlled clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of the drug for reducing mortality (deaths) in critically ill COVID-19 patients
MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Science & Technology
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS understand what is sepsis and its treatment is given below !

For MAINS hmm its the right time to write an answer on comparison of immunity throughout the globe and how to improve infant mortality rate for the same .

      ISSUE: 

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), through its flagship New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI) program, has been supporting Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Ahmedabad since 2007 for developing a drug to save lives of critically ill patients suffering from Gram-negative sepsis.

GRAM-NEGATIVE SEPSIS

  • Gram-negative bacteria cause infections including pneumonia, bloodstream infections, wound or surgical site infections, and meningitis in healthcare settings.
  • Gram-negative bacteria are resistant to multiple drugs and are increasingly resistant to most available antibiotics.
  • These bacteria have built-in abilities to find new ways to be resistant and can pass along genetic materials that allow other bacteria to become drug-resistant as well.

THE NEW DRUG:

The drug has been shown to reduce the mortality of critically ill patients by more than half.

It also leads to faster recovery of organ dysfunction seen in this condition. It is now approved for marketing in India.

It will be available commercially as Sepsivac from Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
  • In Gram-negative sepsis as well as in critically ill COVID-19 patients, there is an altered immune response leading to a massive change in their cytokine profile.
  • The drug modulates the immune system of the body and thereby inhibits the cytokine storm leading to reduced mortality and faster recovery.
  The drug contains heat-killed Mycobacterium W (Mw). >It is found to be extremely safe in patients and no systemic side effects are associated with its use.It can be used concurrently with any other therapies required in the management of such critically ill patients without any restriction.
  • Its unique properties include boosting protective immunity (Th1, TLR2 agonist) and suppressing non-protective response (Th2).

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

CSIR has also planned to evaluate Mw for faster recovery of hospitalized COVID-19 infected patients and minimize the spread of disease through them as well for providing prophylaxis to persons coming in contact with COVID-19 infected patients like family members and health care workers.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB || DAILY UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS ||  CSE Prelims & Mains 2020

New model to predict ionospheric electron density

      HEADLINES:

New model to predict ionospheric electron density can help communication/navigation

      WHY IN NEWS:

Hot from PIB !

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

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS well it is important to understand the global modelling for ionosphere here. The research finds some important clues and corrections on communication and navigational satellites.

For MAINS can you think how earths magnetosphere and navigation are inter related ?

      ISSUE: 

Researchers from Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG), Navi Mumbai, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, have developed a global model to predict the ionospheric electron density with larger data coverage—a crucial need for communication and navigation.

Figure : Architecture of the neural network used in ANNIM  development

MODELLING GLOBAL IONOSPHERIC VARIABLITY: 

  • ANNs replicate the processes in the human brain (or biological neurons) to solve problems such as pattern recognition, classification, clustering, generalization, linear and nonlinear data fitting, and time series prediction, and very few attempts have been made to model the global ionosphere variability using ANNs.
  • Tracking the variability of the Ionosphere is important for communication and navigation.
  • The ionospheric variability is greatly influenced by both solar originated processes and the neutral atmosphere origin, therefore, difficult to model.
  • Scientists have tried to model the ionosphere using theoretical and empirical techniques; however, the accurate prediction of electron density is still a challenging task.

RESEARCH RESULTS:

The researchers developed a neural network-based global ionospheric model by using an extensive database consisting of nearly two decades of global Digisonde (an instrument that measures real-time on-site electron density of the ionosphere by sending the radiofrequency pulses), Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) radio occultation and topside sounders observations.
  • Day number, Universal Time, latitude, longitude, F10.7 index (responsible for Photo-ionization), Kp (represents the disturbed space weather conditions), magnetic declination, inclination, dip latitude, zonal and meridional neutral winds were taken as inputs in the study.
  • The target (output) of ANNs is the electron density as a function of altitude for any given location and time.
  • The ANNIM predictions done by the IIG team matched with the incoherent scatter radar and the satellite in situ electron density observations.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The  ANNIM also captured the general morphological features of the ionosphere during the disturbed space weather periods, such as geomagnetic storms which occurs when the magnetic cloud originated from Sun (known as Coronal Mass Ejection (CME)) interacts with the Earth’s magnetosphere.
  • The model developed by IIG researchers may be utilized as a reference model in the ionospheric predictions and has potential applications in calculating the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) positioning errors.

In recent years, the Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) are showing potential to handle more complex and non-linear problems.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB || DAILY UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS ||  CSE Prelims & Mains 2020

Fish gills used to develop efficient low-cost electro-catalysts

      HEADLINES:

Fish gills used to develop efficient low-cost electro-catalysts for rechargeable metal-air battery

      WHY IN NEWS:

Hot from PIB !

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

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS this is an interesting research, just dive in !

      ISSUE: 

Scientists at the Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST), Mohali, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, have recently come up with an efficient, low-cost electro-catalyst from fish gills that can help develop environmentally friendly energy conversion devices.

SIGNIFICANCE :

  • This bio-inspired carbon nanostructure can help overcome the bottleneck in the realization of several renewable energy conversion and storage technologies such as fuel cell, biofuel cell, and metal−air battery.
  • The present strategy enriches a route to synthesize low-cost, highly efficient bioinspired electrocatalyst that is better than commercial Platinum on carbon (Pt/C) catalyst and could be utilized as next-generation nonprecious carbon-based electrocatalyst for energy conversion and storage applications.
PRINCIPLE USED:
INST have explored a highly active Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) electrocatalyst based on binary transition metals Iron (Fe), and Manganese (Mn) and N-doped porous carbon (Fe, Mn, N-FGC), derived from fish gills (FG) acquired as animal waste, which has a unique porous structure and could provide conductive carbon networks after heat treatment and could be an efficient electrode material.
  • The catalyst was able to show active oxygen reduction reaction in a wide range of pH (pH < 1, 7, and >13) and outperformed the commercial Pt/C catalyst.
  • They fabricated a homemade rechargeable Zn−air battery (ZAB) with the catalyst as an air cathode, which showed almost stable charge−discharge voltage plateaus after rigorous cycling for a long duration.
  • It surpassed the commercial Pt/C based ZAB performance.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The scientists found that the reason behind the outstanding performance of this catalyst is the presence of Fe−Mn based binary moiety, which is actually beneficial for the Oxygen (O2) binding and boosting Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) catalytic performances in alkaline medium by weakening the Oxygen-Oxygen bonds.

The researchers have suggested that the careful selection of transition metals and heteroatoms together with engineering the synthesis protocol can pave a new way for exploring highly active low-cost electrocatalyst for efficient and environmentally friendly energy conversion devices.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB || DAILY UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS ||  CSE Prelims & Mains 2020

Speed of virus infections slows

      HEADLINES:

Speed of virus infections slows, doubling time rises in 18 States

      WHY IN NEWS:

Kerala leads with 72 days; five States with lower rates have 60% of all cases

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases

      ISSUE: 

Eighteen States and Union Territories have “shown improvement” in containing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, with Odisha and Kerala leading the pile, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday.

 

These were States with a ‘doubling time’ (an indicator of how quickly cases increase) of more than 8.5 days which is higher that the national average of 7.5 days.

  • Kerala leads the list with a doubling rate of 72 days, followed at a considerable distance by Odisha at 39.8 days.
  • The Ministry confirmed 17,655 cases, with 14,255 active infections and 559 deaths on Monday.
  • Reports from States show a jump of 1,214 new cases and 33 deaths in the past 24 hours.
  • The nationwide death toll was 592, with 14, 913 active cases out of 18,509 confirmed COVID-19 infections.
  • Maharashtra recorded 466 new positive cases, including 155 in Mumbai, taking the number of the infected people to 4,666, health officials said.

FEWER CASES

  • On the other hand, just five States with a lower and hence faster doubling rate than the national average account for about 10,000 or about 60% of the case-load.
  • As of Monday, Maharashtra had the highest number of cases at 4,666 and it reported a doubling of cases in six days.
  • Gujarat’s 1,800 cases had doubled in 4.5 days and Madhya Pradesh with 1,407 cases had doubled in 5.5 days.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

These numbers are dynamic and liable to change everyday. The epidemic has affected 32 out of 36 States and UTs.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB || DAILY UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS ||  CSE Prelims & Mains 2020

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