UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS| PRELIMS & MAINS | 16th May 2020

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Daily UPSC Current Affairs | 16th May 2020

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.

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.– Paulo Coelho

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.

INAE Young Entrepreneur Award 2020

      HEADLINES:

INAE invites nomination for INAE Young Entrepreneur Award 2020

      WHY IN NEWS:

Hot from PIB !

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Science & Technology
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1: Awards

      ISSUE: 

Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE), Gurgaon, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), has invited nominations for INAE Young Entrepreneur Award 2020.

KEY POINTS :

AWARD:

  • The award would carry a citation and a cash prize of Rs 2 lakhs to the selected individual candidate or to be shared by the group of individuals not exceeding three persons.

ELIGIBILITY : 

  • The award presented to upto two candidates in a year has been instituted to encourage and recognize innovation and entrepreneurship among young engineers.
  • Engineering innovations and concepts that have been actually realized and implemented in the industry either in new processes or products are preferred, and Indian citizens not older than 45 years as on 1st of January 2020 are eligible for consideration.

PREFERENCE :

  • Both innovation and entrepreneurship together would be considered important and young innovators from academia/research organization or industry whose novel engineering/technology ideas have been translated into successful start-up enterprises would be given preference.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The institute has sent a letter seeking nominations for INAE Young Entrepreneur Award 2020 to INAE Fellows.
SUGGESTED READING : www.inae.in 
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 Lightweight carbon foam

      HEADLINES:

DST INSPIRE Faculty from Bhopal develops lightweight carbon foam that can replace lead batteries

      WHY IN NEWS:

The carbon foam will also be cost-effective for the removal of arsenic, oil, and other metals from contaminated water

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

      ISSUE: 

Dr. Rajeev Kumar from CSIR-Advanced Materials and Processes Research Institute, Bhopal, a recipient of the INSPIRE Faculty award instituted by the Department of Science &Technology, Govt. of India, is developing porous carbon materials which have the potential to replace lead grid in lead-acid batteries.

KEY FACTS FROM THE RESEARCH :

WHAT IS CARBON FOAM ?

  • These carbon foams are non-toxic, easy to fabricate, affordable, and insoluble in water.
  • It can also be useful for heat sinks in power electronics, electromagnetic interference shielding in aerospace, hydrogen storage and electrode for lead-acid batteries and water purification systems.
  • These carbon foams are non-toxic, easy to fabricate, affordable, and insoluble in water.
  • ADVANTAGES OF LITHIUM ION BATTERY : The present grid-scale energy-storage sector is dominated by lithium-ion batteries, because of their higher energy density & specific power and long cycle life.
  • DISADVANTAGES : However, there are some serious concerns regarding Li-ion batteries, such as safety risk, limited resource supply, high cost, and lack of recycling infrastructure.
  • This necessitates the development of an alternative battery system with lower environmental concerns, economic and higher energy density.
  • As a result, lead-acid batteries are still one of the most reliable, economical, and environmentally friendly options.
  • However, electrodes in the lead-acid batteries suffer from the problem of heavyweight, corrosion, poor thermal stability, and diffusion of electrolytes in one dimension, which ultimately affects the output power.

INNOVATION :
The research group, have developed lightweight carbon foam with a density of less than 0.3g/cc, high porosity of over 85%, good mechanical strength.

  • The foam is highly resistive to corrosion, has good electrical and thermal conductivity with high surface area, and have recently attracted a lot of attention owing to their potential applications in various field.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The raw material for the fabrication of carbon foam is easily available everywhere, and there is no requirement of any costly equipment for the fabrication of carbon foam and filtration.
  • Such materials can be safely used in remote areas where power supply is scarce.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Injectable Silk Fibroin-based hydrogel

      HEADLINES:

JNCASR scientists develop injectable Silk Fibroin-based hydrogel for sustained Insulin delivery in diabetic patients

      WHY IN NEWS:

Scientists at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), an autonomous research institute under the Department of Science and Technology, have recently developed an injectable Silk fibroin-based hydrogel for sustained insulin delivery in diabetic patients.

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

      ISSUE: 

Prof. T. Govindaraju and his research team from JNCASR have developed the silk fibroin (SF) formulation using biocompatible additives and prepared an injectable SF hydrogel (iSFH) that can ease insulin delivery in diabetic patients.

DIABETES :

  • Diabetes affects more than 70 million people in India, the second-highest in the world.
  • It results from inadequate production of insulin due to loss of beta cells or insulin resistance within the body, which imbalances the glucose homeostasis is leading to an abrupt increase of blood glucose level.

CONVENTIONAL WAY :

  • The conventional and last resort of treatment involves repeated subcutaneous insulin injections to maintain the physiological glucose homeostasis.
  • The multiple subcutaneous insulin injections are associated with pain, local tissue necrosis, infection, nerve damage, and locally concentrated insulin amyloidosis responsible for inability to achieve physiological glucose homeostasis.
  • This problem can be overcome with controlled and sustained insulin delivery.

FINDINGS : 

  • The iSFH has demonstrated successful delivery of active insulin in rats, and the results have been published in the journal ACS Applied Bio Materials.
  • The viscous additives used by the team restricted the mobility of SF protein backbones and results in the rapid gelation.

The microstructures provide mechanical strength (to support injectability), and porous morphology of iSFH allowed the encapsulation of human recombinant insulin in its active form in diabetic rats.

  • Thus, encapsulation and sustained delivery of insulin in its active form (without loss of activity) is the key to the development of such controlled and sustained in vivo delivery of Insulin.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The iSFH has proved to be an effective insulin delivery tool for diabetic patients with excellent mechanical strength, biocompatibility, encapsulation, storage, and demonstration of its sustained delivery of active insulin in the diabetic animal.
  • The active encapsulation and delivery of insulin by iSFH may also have implications for the future development of formulations for oral insulin delivery.
  • The JNCASR team hopes that pharmaceutical companies will come forward and further develop it for human use.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 

Rapid melting in the Himalayas

      HEADLINES:

The curious case of rapid melting in the Himalayas

      WHY IN NEWS:

Nearly one-third of the world’s population depend on the Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) for water.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1:Geography

      ISSUE: 

It is not only the youngest mountain range, but also the Third Pole.Glaciers in the Hindu Kush Himalayas might contain 27 per cent less ice than previously suggested, according to an international study on the world’s glaciers published in journal Nature Geoscience.

The curious case of rapid melting in the Himalayas

 The Hindu Kush Himalayas are the freshwater towers of South Asia and parts of Southeast Asia.

 

  • Within this, there is a little understood core area known as the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region.

WATER TOWER OF ASIA
The region, spread over 3,500 square kilometers across eight countries including India, Nepal and China, is also known as the Water Tower of Asia due to its reserve of frozen water.

  • According to an estimate, HKH has the maximum snow storage after the poles.
  • Being a major source of water for the rivers, these glaciers are the lifeline for one-third of the population across the globe.
  • Not just this, the region is expected to lose half of its present-day glacier area by 2060, a decade earlier than the previously expected deadline of 2070.
  • However, according to the first-ever assessment of climate change impacts on the HKH region by the regional intergovernmental body International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), the number of glaciers in the Himalayan area has increased!

Eastern Himalayan glaciers have tended to shrink faster than glaciers in the central or western Himalayas. This is natural because when there is an increase in the surface area or the surface exposed to the sun, the fragmented and smaller glaciers shrink faster than the larger ones. (Illustration credit: Ritika Bora)

SOURCES : DOWNTOEARTH 

NOW, HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?

It’s possible because the increase in the number of glaciers is primarily due to glacier fragmentation.

  • In other words, the big ones are splitting into smaller ones.
  • And this is happening due to global warming and consistent loss in areas the glaciers occupy.

The assessment observed that based on a compilation of area change studies, eastern Himalayan glaciers have tended to shrink faster than glaciers in the central or western Himalayas.

  • It’s natural because when there is an increase in the surface area or the surface exposed to the sun, the fragmented and smaller glaciers shrink faster than the larger ones.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The assessment establishes the HKH region firstly as an incredibly important asset for Asia and the world.
  • It is a key source of water, energy, carbon stocks, as well as rich biodiversity.
  • For example, rivers starting from the HKH region sustain over 200 crore people and have a hydropower potential of 500 gigawatts (GW).
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

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