UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS| PRELIMS & MAINS | 27th May

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Daily UPSC Current Affairs | 27th May

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.

Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better.– Jim Rohn

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.

 Chamba Tunnel:Chardham Pariyojana

      HEADLINES:

Gadkari inaugurates the breakthrough event of Chamba Tunnel under Chardham Pariyojana

      WHY IN NEWS:

Project to be completed by October 2020, three months ahead of the schedule

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Road Transport & Highways
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Infrastructure

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS there are two angles to these kind of issue :

  • One Geographical aspect
  • Type of Tunnel (Infrastructure)

      ISSUE: 

  Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and MSMEs Shri Nitin Gadkari today inaugurated the breakthrough event of Chamba Tunnel under Chardham Pariyojana

 CONSTRUCTED BY:

  • Border Roads Organisation (BRO) achieved this major milestone by digging up a 440 m long Tunnel below the busy Chamba town on Rishikesh-Dharasu road Highway (NH 94).

CHALLENGES :

  • The construction of tunnel was a challenging task in terms of weak soil strata, continuous water seepage, heavy built up area on top thereby chances of sinking of houses, land acquisition issues, restrictions during COVID lockdown etc.

IMPORTANCE:

  Rishikesh-Dharasu-Gangotri road in Uttarakhand has a very significant role from socio economic and religious point of view.

  • Opening of this tunnel will ease out congestion though the Chamba town and reduce the distance by one kilometer .
  • BRO is a key stake holder in prestigious Chardham project and breakthrough of this tunnel has been achieved by Team Shivalik.
  • Latest Austrian technology has been used in its construction.
  • Under prestigious Chardham Project costing around Rs 12,000 Crore with approximate length of 889 Km, BRO is constructing 250 Km of National Highways leading to holy shrine Gangotri and Badrinath.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • This is a Horse shoe type tunnel with 10 mtr carriage way width and 5.5 mtr vertical clearance.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Molecular shock absorbers:Spectrin

      HEADLINES:

Molecular shock absorbers buffer axonal tension of nerve cells

      WHY IN NEWS:

Scientists from Raman Research Institute (RRI), an autonomous institute under the Department of Science &Technology along with IISER Pune and Paris Diderot University, have found out that spectrin, which are flexible rod-shaped molecules present in axons, act as ‘shock absorbers’ to protect axons from stretch-induced damage.

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

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS you have to analyse the role of spectrin in our body .

      ISSUE: 

THE STUDY CAN HELP IN UNDERSTANDING AND TREATMENT OF CONCUSSION FROM HEAD INJURIES AS WELL AS STRETCH-INDUCED NERVE INJURIES.  

  • Axons are long tubular extensions of nerve cells that transmit electrical signals across long distances and can be up to a meter long in the case of humans.
  • At such lengths, they are subjected to large stretch deformations during limb or other bodily movements.
  • Probing into what special strategies axons adopt to protect themselves from damage during such stretch deformations, the scientists zeroed in on the molecule spectrin, a cytoskeletal protein.
  • Piezo drives attached to optical fiber is used to stretch on axons where optical fiber acts as a force-sensing cantilever.
  • The resulting tension measured along the axon comes from the axonal cytoskeleton (consisting of biopolymers), of which spectrin is a part.
  • Earlier single-molecule experiments had shown that spectrin molecules contain several folded regions which can unfold when the protein is stretched and refold when released, thus acting as molecular bellows.

  This suggests that spectrins can act as axonal ‘shock absorbers’ to protect axons from stretch-induced damage.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The brain undergoes significant shear deformations (up to 5% of strain) even under normal activities such as jumping.
  • This study will have significant implications to our understanding of concussion that result from head impacts as well as stretch-induced nerve injuries.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Wild Meat Consumption

      HEADLINES:

Banning bushmeat could make it harder to stop future pandemics

      WHY IN NEWS:

Bushmeat is popular. Consumers believe that eating wild animals is normal, respectful of traditions, medicinal and even healthy

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases:Trade

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS how bushmeat is harmful to human beings ?

For MAINS take a note on myths and superstitious beliefs on wild meat consumption.

      ISSUE: 

 Last month, more than 300 conservation groups signed an open letter asking the World Health Organization (WHO) to take measures to prevent new diseases emerging from wild animals.

BUSHMEAT :

  • Banning the sale of wild animal meat, also known as bushmeat.
  • At these markets, finding civet cats, turtles, bats and pangolins kept alive in small cages, often in close proximity, is not uncommon.

Live turtles on display at the Chaoyang wet market, Zhuhai, China.

OUTLAWING BUSHMEAT IS TRICKIER THAN IT LOOKS

  • Previously adopted behavioural change campaigns, policy lobbying and law enforcement have failed to reduce the consumption of wild animals over the past 10 years.
  • Consumers believe that eating wild animals is normal, respectful of traditions, medicinal and even healthy.
  • Part of the problem in China specifically is that wild animal products form an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine and in supplementing diets.
  • For some, bushmeat is consumed daily as the only accessible and affordable protein source.
  • For others, it’s a luxury product, enjoyed to celebrate special occasions or to boost health.
  • It would also likely encourage unregulated underground markets.
  • This happened in the west African Ebola outbreak in 2013-16, where underground markets for bushmeat began to appear after it was banned.
  • And this is being seen during the temporary ban in China too, as some sellers have started dealing online instead.
  • In February alone, 140,000 webpages and 17,000 online trader accounts relating to the sale of bushmeat or wild animal parts for medicinal use were removed, deleted or blocked by China’s State Council.

HOW TO REDUCE THE DANGER OF BUSHMEAT

  • The Chinese government banned the consumption of civet cats following the Sars outbreak, for instance, but later overturned the ban.
  • Instead of a ban on all wildlife, the government could consider increasing regulations around the trade of certain species that pose the highest risk.
  • It could also, as some have suggested, provide seeds for agriculture and fish for aquaculture, to lessen the reliance on bushmeat as a food source.
  • The government will also have to increase consumer education and food safety standards, and provide alternative livelihoods to hunters and market traders.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Lessons can be learned from the PREDICT programme, run by the United States Agency for International Development, which used broad surveillance to hunt for dangerous pathogens in animals.
  • Between 2009 and 2019, it collected over 140,000 biological samples from animals, finding over 1,000 new viruses, including a new strain of Ebola.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Germplasm

      HEADLINES:

Uttarakhand’s tulip garden offers glimpse into state’s largest germplasm collection

      WHY IN NEWS:

The garden is minor part of state’s largest germplasm collection of rare, endemic vegetation, put together by Uttarakhand forest dept in last 3 yrs

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Conservation of Flora and Fauna

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS go through the definition of germplasm and take a note of important fauna of UK.

      ISSUE: 

GERMPLASM
Germplasm is living genetic resources such as seeds or tissues that are maintained for the purpose of animal and plant breeding, preservation and other research uses.

Ficatum, Lalkuan Range. Tulip garden is a minor part of Uttarakhand's largest germplasm collection of rare and endemic vegetation biodiversity.

Ficatum, Lalkuan Range Ficatum, Lalkuan Range
  • Tulip garden is a minor part of the state’s largest germplasm collection of rare and endemic vegetation biodiversity.
  • These resources may take the form of seed collections stored in seed banks, trees growing in nurseries, animal breeding lines maintained in animal breeding programmes or gene banks, etc.

CONSERVED SPECIES

  • Medicines prepared with the bark of Texus Beccata, also known as Himalayan Yew, are considered one of the best cure for breast cancer.
  • Locally herb Van Kakri remains in great demand because of its enormous medicinal benefits, like lowering cancer risk, detoxification of body, and maintaining kidney and intestine health.

Pteroceres Teres, Orchid Conservation Area, Lumti

SPECIES PUSHED TOWARDS EXTINCTION

  • Over grazing, excessive extraction of medicinal vegetation, deforestation and climate change variation has pushed numerous into extinction.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Hence, it has become vital to conserve gene pool of existing indigenous and introduced species for posterity.

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

Rise of the mosquitoes

      HEADLINES:

Rise of the mosquitoes

      WHY IN NEWS:

Scientists have mapped how rising temperatures will impact the population and distribution of mosquitoes in the world

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS Can you name the only mosquito-free country in the world?

For MAINS So, how come this country has no mosquitoes? Let us find out.

      ISSUE: 

Rise of the mosquitoes

Tropical weather, characterised by warm temperatures and rainfall, help mosquitoes spread and grow. This is why mosquitoes are more prevalent in Asia, Africa and the Americas. (Image credit: iStock) Tropical weather, characterised by warm temperatures and rainfall, help mosquitoes spread and grow.
  • Floating on the North Atlantic Ocean, it is a small island country with a population of over 3 lakh,which has no mosquito ! Yes .

 

  The name of the country is Iceland.

  • Located 2,780 km south of the North Pole, it is one of the colder regions of the world where the maximum recorded temperature has been 30.5°C (1939).

TEMPERATURE EFFECT :

  • Though it is not ideal for them, mosquitoes can survive in colder temperatures.
  • That’s why they are found in countries like Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia located in the Arctic tundra region.
  • Now, Iceland is also a part of this region but unlike other places, there are sudden changes in temperature.
  • Being cold-blooded, mosquitoes fail to adapt to these temperature changes and hence avoid the country altogether.
  • India, home to around 400 species of mosquitoes, is the ideal home for the winged creatures.
  • Tropical weather, characterised by warm temperatures and rainfall, help mosquitoes spread and grow.
  • This is why mosquitoes are more prevalent in Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Illustration credit: Vijayendra Pratap Singh

  • However, global warming adds an interesting twist to the tale of mosquitoes.
  • As temperatures rise due to high carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, regions that have so far been too cold for the mosquitoes are getting warmer.
  • As a result, regions like Europe may see unprecedented growth in mosquito population in a few decades.

Illustration credit: Vijayendra Pratap Singh

HUMANS VS MOSQUITOES

  • Today, we have developed genetically modified (gm) mosquitoes to check the growth of deadly mosquitoes in our neighbourhoods.
  • Yet, we are the ones who create these mosquito-friendly spaces.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Dirty ditches, open drains and water accumulated in tyres, coolers, tanks and air-conditioners help mosquitoes grow and spread.
  • And thanks to the unhindered production of CO2, we are creating new homes for one of the deadliest predators known to human beings.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Aarogya Setu app :“Bug Bounty” programme

      HEADLINES:

Aarogya Setu app is now open source, says govt.

      WHY IN NEWS:

Amid concerns over privacy of data being collected by its COVID-19 contact tracing app, the government on Tuesday said it was open-sourcing Aarogya Setu.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Science and Technology

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS very important ! Kindly remember all the facts mentioned below .

For MAINS what are the most important necessary features that Indian application miss out every time ?

      ISSUE: 

Researchers can suggest improvements to the source code of the app.

“Bug Bounty” programme

The government has also launched a “Bug Bounty” programme wherein financial rewards will be given to security researchers for finding any vulnerability in the application or suggesting improvements to the source code.

  • While the source code for the Android version of the application will be available for review on GitHub, the iOS version of the application will be released as open source within the next two weeks.
  • Almost 98% of over 11.4 crore users of Aarogya Setu users are on Android platform.
  • This will improve transparency on how the data is used, improve security by minimising bugs and empower experts to improve the app via public contributions,”.
  • The “Bug Bounty” programme will be open to Indian and foreign nationals, but only Indians will be eligible for rewards offered under the scheme.
  • Anyone who points out a security vulnerability in the app source code will be eligible for a reward of up to ₹3 lakh, and up to ₹1 lakh for pointing out a suggestion or improvement in the source code.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

“With the release of the source code in the public domain, we are looking to expanding collaboration and to leverage the expertise of top technical brains amongst the talented youth and citizens of our nation and to collectively build a robust and secure technology solution to help support the work of frontline health workers in fighting this pandemic together,” .

     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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