UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS| PRELIMS & MAINS | 24th May 2020

Daily UPSC Current Affairs | 24th May 2020

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Daily Current Affairs for UPSC PRELIMS & MAINS 2020 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 PRELIMS 2020.

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.– Napoleon Hill

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.

Kangra Tea could lower coronavirus activity

      HEADLINES:

Kangra Tea could lower coronavirus activity better than HIV drugs

      WHY IN NEWS:

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is likely to replace hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) with anti-HIV drugs to improve immunity and possibly reduce viral replication, in the revised protocol.

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

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS some key facts about Kangra Tea have been mentioned below . Let us dive in !

      ISSUE: 

KEY FACTS :

  • The chemicals in Kangra tea could also be effective in boosting immunity as they can block coronavirus activity better than anti-HIV drugs .
  • The benefits of Kangra tea for society and industry,  medicinal properties of tea for human health and the technologies developed and transferred by IHBT for combating COVID-19 disease.
  • “Using computer-based models, the scientists screened 65 bioactive chemicals or polyphenols that could bind to a specific viral protein more efficiently than commercially available anti-HIV drugs approved for treating COVID-19 patients.
  • These chemicals might block the activity of the viral protein that helps the virus to thrive inside human cells” .
  • Tea vinegar has anti-obesity properties.
  • Also Herbal Green and Black Teas blended with AYUSH-recommended herbs were launched.

  Most Kangra teas boast a green, vegetal aroma that follows through in the taste, along with a subtle pungency that is quite understated and pleasant.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Today, there are around 6,000 tea gardens in Kangra. Nearly all of them produce the orthodox black tea.
  • But estates like Mann Tea Estate of the Dharamsala Tea Company have expanded to produce limited quantities of exception handrolled oolong tea and silver needle white tea, while estates like Wah produce high quality green teas as well.
  • In 2005, Kangra tea was accorded the GI status.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

“Hunar Haat”

      HEADLINES:

“Hunar Haat” to restart from September 2020 with the theme of “Local to Global”

      WHY IN NEWS:

“Hunar Haat”, which provides market and opportunity to master artisans and craftsmen from remote areas of the country, has become a credible brand of rare exquisite indigenous handmade products

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Minority Affairs
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1:3:Tribe:Tribal Affairs:Artisans:Scheme

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS this scheme is old ! Let us revise this once . No new parameters have been added up .

      THE SCHEME: 

AIM

  • Hunar Haat is an exhibition of handicrafts and traditional products made by artisans from the minority communities.
  • HUNAR HAATH aim to provide market exposure and employment opportunities to artisans, craftsmen and traditional culinary experts.

ORGANIZERS 

  •  Ministry of Minority Affairs under USTTAD (Upgrading the Skills & Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development) scheme.

FEATURES 

It envisages boosting the skills of craftsmen, weavers and artisans who are already engaged in the traditional ancestral work.  

  • ‘Hunar Haat’ has proved to be “Empowerment Exchange” for master artisans and craftsmen.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The USTTAD scheme aims to promote and preserve the rich heritage of the traditional arts & crafts of the minority communities.

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

Trial of COVID-19 vaccine gives positive results

      HEADLINES:

Early human trial of COVID-19 vaccine gives positive results

      WHY IN NEWS:

Developed by Beijing-based firm, the vaccine shows development of both forms of immunity

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases

      ISSUE: 

The “first” human trial of a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine has found that a candidate developed by the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, China, has been able to generate an immune response against SARS-CoV-2, according to a paper published in journal Lancet.  

Administering a vaccine. Photo: Flickr

The results of the trial conducted on 108 patients in Wuhan have been published in the Lancet and released on May 22, 2020.

This vaccine candidate adenovirus (Ad5) is a weakened common cold virus that would create genetic material to fight off the novel coronavirus.

  • “The Ad5 vectored COVID-19 vaccine was immunogenic (produces immunity), inducing humoral and T-cell responses rapidly in most participants,” .
  • Humoral immunity’ is induced by antibodies.
  • The antibodies bind with antigen outside the infected cell that are freely circulating in the blood.
  • Once they bind, they end up neutralising the antigen.
  • ‘T-cell immunity’ or ‘cellular immunity’ is the one when the antigens present inside the infected cell are neutralised by these T-cells.
  • An antigen is a substance present in a pathogen, in this case a virus, and is recognised as ‘foreign’ by the immune system of the body against which it has to fight.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

There are more than 100 candidates in various stages of development but eight have moved to the first phase of clinical trial.

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

China suggests shift in BRI approach

      HEADLINES:

China suggests shift in BRI approach amid debt concerns

      WHY IN NEWS:

‘We will focus on quality in the joint pursuit of the BRI’

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:IR

      ISSUE: 

In recent weeks, China has faced calls from countries in Asia and Africa to delay or waive debt repayments.  

In recent weeks, China has faced calls from countries in Asia and Africa to delay or waive debt repayments.
  • China has hinted at a shift in how it will pursue its signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) amid growing concerns about debt repayments from many partner countries because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • China is open to talk with debtors on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.”

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

  • If any debtors encounter difficulties to pay on time, there may be tailored plans including rescheduling or China increasing funding to help related projects resume operation and return profits.”
  • epayments could be solved “by multiple financial or other approaches, such as China adding grants to help bring projects back to life, conducting debt-to-equity swaps, or hiring Chinese firms to assist operation”.
  • China’s grants and loans totalled $354.4 billion between 2000 and 2014, of which 23% was grants while the rest were commercial loans at market or close-to-market rates.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The world’s debt to China grew 10 times between 2000 and 2017, with developing countries owing $380 billion to China, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy in Germany said in a report last year.

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

New plant species found

      HEADLINES:

New plant species found in Western Ghats

      WHY IN NEWS:

More detailed botanical exploration of the area is crucial for documentation

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Fauna

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS just remember the region . Such questions are rarely found but important to be noted down !

      ISSUE: 

A team of scientists of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have reported the discovery of three new plant species in the evergreen forest patches of the southern end of the Western Ghats in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Eugenia sphaerocarpa.

Goniothalamus sericeus.

Memecylon nervosum.

 

The three species — Eugenia sphaerocarpa of the Myrtaceae or Rose apple family, Goniothalamus sericeus of the Annonaceae family of custard apple and Memecylon nervosum of the Melastomataceae (Kayamboo or Kaasavu in local parlance) family — were discovered.

EDIBLE FRUITS

  • A good population of Eugenia sphaerocarpa is growing in the Kakkayam area of the Malabar wildlife sanctuary in Kerala above 800m.
  • The epithet ‘sphaerocarpa’ denotes to the large, showy lemon-yellow spherical fruits.
  • The fruits of Eugenia species are known for their palatability.
  • A small number of Goniothalamus sericeus plants has been found in the Kanyakumari wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu at an altitude of 1400m.
  • Mature flowers with characteristic greenish-yellow to beige petals are fragrant while the fruits are very showy and an attractive golden yellow in colour.
  • Sericeus refers to the presence of dense silky hair on petals.
  • A small population of nervosum was also found at the same sanctuary at an altitude between 700-900m with more than 10 sub-populations located along the banks of a perennial rivulet, Ragesh G. Vadhyar, a researcher involved in the study, said.
  • The species has showy purplish-blue flowers and mauve to purplish red fruits.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Nervosum refers to the presence of prominently raised lateral and intramarginal veins on the lower surface of the lamina.
  • As these species are small trees or shrubs, a more detailed botanical exploration of the Western Ghats is crucial to document them.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

DISCOVER MORE : Important Daily Current Affairs for UPSC PRELIMS 2020

 

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