UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS| PRELIMS & MAINS | 7th June 2020 |

Daily UPSC Current Affairs | 7th June 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.

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” –Walt Disney

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.

 

More effective RT-PCR method

      HEADLINES:

CCMB finds cheaper, more effective RT-PCR method to test COVID-19 samples

      WHY IN NEWS:

The procedure would be useful in the face of increasing need for testing across the country

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Diseases :Science and technology

      ISSUE: 

  Researchers from the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, have studied such a method, also using RT-PCR but with dry swabs, bypassing the RNA isolation stage, which they find consumes less time and is less expensive.

Variant method: Steps involved in the testing protocol studied by CCMB.

CONVENTIONAL METHOD:

  • In the usual method of testing, nasal swabs collected from a person are placed in a viral transport medium (VTM). 
  • From this, a part of the liquid is taken, the viral RNA is extracted and RT-PCR test is carried out.
  • The remainder is stored.
  • It is the step of isolating the RNA that takes time and is expensive.
  • So, the authors have proposed an alternative method.

DRY SWABS

PRINCIPLE :

  • Instead of placing the nasal swabs in the VTM, they are put in a Tris-EDTA (TE) buffer solution, protected by ice.
  • “Virus in dry swabs can stay for several days at 4 degree [ice temperature].
  • For longer storage, it can be kept in minus 80 degree.
  • A small part of the dry swab-TE extract was taken in a new vial and heated to 98 degree C.
  • This destroyed the protective wall of the virus particles, releasing its RNA and this was sent for the RT-PCR test.
  • In all, 40 patients were put through both testing protocols (heated TE without RNA extraction and current standard method).

RESULT :

  • While 22 tested positive and 18 negative in the new method, the standard method yielded 23 positives and 17 negatives.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • “This is an improvised method, makes the COVID-19 testing rapid and less expensive.
  • Both are welcome considering limited availability of reagents for VTM and RNA isolation,”
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 Russia oil spill

      HEADLINES:

What does the Russia oil spill mean for permafrost

      WHY IN NEWS:

The leak, in the Ambarnaya river, has put local ecology at risk, forcing the Russian government to impose an emergency in the area

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Disaster Management : Oil Spill

      ISSUE: 

Melting permafrost may have resulted in the leak of approximately 20,000 tonne diesel over 350 square metres of the 60-kilometre-long Ambarnaya river in Russia’s Norilsk — known as the country’s nickel capital

Around 20,000 tons of diesel leaked and spread to over 350 square metres of the 60-kilometre-long Ambarnaya river in Russia’s Norilsk Photo: Federal Marine Rescue Service / WWF Russia

  • The oil was stored to ensure uninterrupted supply for a nickel factory.
  • The exact reason for the spill has not been ascertained yet, but the Norilsk Nickel Group — the company that owns the factory — claimed the leak occurred because of collapsing permafrost.

WHAT IS PERMAFROST ?

  • Ground that remains frozen for two or more consecutive years is considered permafrost.
  • Permafrost is composed of rock, soil, sediments and varying amounts of ice that bind elements together.
  • Some permafrost is frozen for tens, hundreds or even thousands of years.
  • Norilsk is constructed on permafrost and there is a threat to its existence because of melting ice due to climate change.

Satellite imagery showing successful spot localisation. But this did not mean pollutants did not enter the river.

IMPACT:

  • The diesel leak can have a serious impact on the local ecology.
  • The Ambarnaya river flows to the Pyasino lake and river Pyasina, which connects it to the Kara sea, a part of the Arctic Ocean.
  • Norilsk Nickel claimed 500 cubic metres of pollutants were already removed and cleaning efforts were ongoing.

  “The most toxic components of diesel fuel are light aromatics (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene), which in significant quantities, will nevertheless dissolve in water and can in no way be collected,”.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Experts emphasised the need to quickly establish monitoring of water quality downstream up to the mouth of the Pyasina river.

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

‘Race to Zero’ campaign

      HEADLINES:

New ‘Race to Zero’ campaign needs to leverage optimistic messaging into concrete climate action

      WHY IN NEWS:

Messaging needs to be leveraged to put pressure on holdout national governments to increase climate ambition

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases

      ISSUE: 

 ‘Race to Zero’ campaign launched on June 5, 2020 describes itself as an “international campaign for a healthy, resilient zero carbon recovery”, which “brings together an unprecedented coalition of net-zero emissions initiatives, covering 996 businesses, 458 cities, 24 regions, 505 universities and 36 of the biggest investors”.  

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted during World Environment Day Photo: Twitter / Boris Johnson

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted during World Environment Day Photo: Twitter / Boris Johnson UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted during World Environment Day

KEY FEATURES OF THE CAMPAIGN:

  • This seems perilously close to the messaging around the UN Climate Action Summit in New York in 2019, which was itself built on the messaging approach of business-led movements such as the We Are Still In coalition.

MESSAGE OF THE CAMPAIGN

  • This messaging for the campaign — carried out under the aegis of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

FOCUS :

  It emphasises the potential for non-state actors (businesses, investors, cities, and other sub-national entities) to raise climate ambition.

  • The current campaign refers to these as ‘real economy actors’, noting they “cover just over half the gross domestic product, a quarter of global CO2 emissions and over 2.6 billion people”.
  • As a substitute for real ambition led by national governments — especially major polluters such as the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, the European Union and increasingly China — this approach tends to fall well short.
  • The New York Summit was noted more for youth-led protests than for true advances in climate ambition.
  • Business coalitions are much needed, but they sometimes obfuscate more than clarify climate action.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • We need to cut global emissions by 7.6 per cent each year for the next ten years, to stay within 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century.
  • After all, as the campaign notes, two-thirds of those polled worldwide are in favour of prioritising climate concerns in the economic recovery from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
     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

 

DISCOVER MORE : Important Daily Current Affairs for UPSC PRELIMS 2020

 

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