UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS| PRELIMS & MAINS | 8th May 2020

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Daily UPSC Current Affairs | 8th 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.

Without passion, you don’t have energy. Without energy, you have nothing.– Warren Buffett

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.

Aarogya Setu app privacy concerns

      HEADLINES:

COVID-19: Aarogya Setu app privacy concerns deepen despite govt assurance

      WHY IN NEWS:

The app — launched on April 2, 2020 to inform the public about the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic — was said to have a security issue by a French hacker, who goes by the alias Elliot Alderson . Ravi Shankar Prasad may call app robust but hacker Elliot Alderson has raised unputdownable flags.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:3:Privacy : Data Surveillance : Science and Technology : Digital India

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS we have collected a conversation between French hacker and the NIC (developers) of this application . Go through them and note worthy points .

For MAINS can you explain few more issues related to other applications ?

      ISSUE: 

Experts have pointed out technical flaws in the Union government’s contact-tracing Aarogya Setu app that allegedly puts the personal data of the almost 90 million Indians who downloaded it, at risk.

PRIVACY CONCERNS :

  • The hacker — taking to social media site Twitter on May 5 — said the privacy of the users who downloaded the app, was at stake and asked the app’s operators to contact him in private.
  • The Aarogya Setu app tells a person if she is at risk of contracting COVID-19 by taking a simple test.
  • It needs the user’s global positioning system (GPS) location and requires the smartphone’s Bluetooth function to be switched on, after which it traces people who have come in contact with the user and if they have COVID-19.
  • An internal file of the app that hosted private information was opened up with just a single command, the hacker had claimed on April 4.
  • The NIC team that developed the Aarogya Setu app -“No personal information of any user has been proven to be at risk” as claimed by the hacker, the statement said, adding that the team continuously tested and upgraded its systems and did not identify any data or security breaches.
  • Alderson explained the problems with the app and claimed to have easily bypassed some of its security restrictions and received information on the following:
  • Number of infected people
  • Number of unwell people
  • Number of people said to be COVID-19 positive, according to the app
  • Number of self-assessments made around the user
  • Number of people using the app around the user
Alderson also claimed that the information on “who is infected anywhere in India, in the area of their choice” can be discovered with a little more probing.

CONCERNS :

  • This data that can be retrieved from the app using its location-based filtering and was already available to the public.
  • Experts, however, have pointed out major issues with the app’s privacy policy and the user terms of agreement.

The app was closed source, which means the algorithms run by the app cannot be viewed by anyone.

  • “It makes it more difficult to uncover and discover vulnerabilities,” .
  • “This simply shows it is very easy to obtain personal information from the back end (where data is stored and most of the processing occurs) of the app,” .
  • “Ultimately, it means that the police and executive can routinely abuse their authority and discriminate and target people for any reason.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Alderson, on Twitter, also called for opening up the source code of the app to the public.
  • “When you ask (force) people to install an app, they have the right to know what the app is really doing”, he said, citing examples of countries including Singapore, Israel and Iceland that made the source codes of their contact tracing apps open to the public.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Encephal

      HEADLINES:

IIT Delhi startup created new mask ‘EnSafe’, can be used up to 50 times by washing

      WHY IN NEWS:

Startup NanoSafe Solutions of IIT Delhi has created a new mask ‘EnSafe’, this mask can prevent 3 micron-sized particles up to 99.2 percent

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Recent Innovations

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS just remember the name , developers and its working . This should suffice .

For MAINS What is ideal mask as per you ? Can poor purchase a mask after lockdowns are lifted ?

      ISSUE: 

IoT Delhi startup NanoSafe Solutions has created a new mask, which can be used even after washing 50 times.

  • He has named this mask ‘encephal’.
  • The startup claims that this mask can contain up to 99.2 percent of bacteria (up to 3 microns).
  • It is also very comfortable.
  • This mask is a premium product.
  • For which you may have to pay around Rs 299 for a pack of 2 masks and Rs 589 for a pack of 4 masks.
  • However, this mask can be used up to 50 times, so it reduces its price considerably.
  •  This is the reason that single use masks are also a problem for the environment.

MASK WORKS IN THREE DIFFERENT WAYS :

  •  In which the lowest layer has been made hydrophilic keeping comfort, which makes it more comfortable on the face.
  • While the middle layer is designed keeping in mind to prevent germs.
  • While the top layer is designed to contain liquid such as water and oil.
  • At the same time, it decontaminates microbes.
  •  Also, the top layer prevents aerosols from entering.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

After each use (approximately 8-9 hours), the mask has to be handwashed in cold water with mild detergent and then dried thoroughly in sunlight.

It is worth noting that even before this, a professor at IIT Delhi and his startup ‘Itex’ developed a mask ‘Kavach’.

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

AYUSH Sanjivani

      HEADLINES:

Dr. Harsh Vardhan launches the ‘AYUSH Sanjivani ’ App and inter-disciplinary studies involving AYUSH interventions for COVID 19

      WHY IN NEWS:

“The alliance between technology stakeholders will help the traditional knowledge of AYUSH to reach a large global population”

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Science and Technology

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS just remember the aim and developers . This is not an important application at all . But UPSC is fond of asking such questions only !

      ISSUE: 

AIM:

  • “The ‘AYUSH Sanjivani ’ mobile app, which has been launched today, will help to generate data on acceptance and usage of AYUSH advocacies and measures among the population and its impact in prevention of COVID 19.

DEVELOPED BY:

  • It is developed by Ministry of AYUSH and MEITY and shall reach out to a target of 50 lakh people.”

KEY FACTS:

  •  It is a potent platform for alliance between MoHFW, MoAYUSH and technology organisations such as CSIR, ICMR, and UGC to develop interventions and solutions.
  • These organisations are joinging hands today and are being supported and guided by ICMR and DCGI in propagating the wholesomeness and holistic health benefits of the age-old traditional medicinal knolwedge of Ayurveda.  

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The technology alliance provides valuable opportunity for such knowledge based solutions to continue to benefit us even after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, by possible integration of AYUSH in the mainstream scientific efforts.

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

Surging glaciers in Karakoram Range

      HEADLINES:

Seasonal rapid advancement of surging glaciers in Karakoram Range: A potential natural hazard

      WHY IN NEWS:

Scientists from Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology(WIHG), Dehradun an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology have found a seasonal advancement in 220 surge-type glaciers in the Karakoram Range of Ladakh through detailed assessment of some major surging glaciers of the Karakoram range using satellite images and thermal data. ‘Surging’ or ‘Surge-type’ glaciers are a certain type of glaciers that have shown advancement in volume and length over a period of time.

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

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS what do you mean by GLOF is explained below .

For MAINS note down the necessary conditions for formation of GLOF .

      ISSUE: 

SURGING GLACIERS :

  • The behaviour of these glaciers, which represent 40% of the total glaciated area of the Karakoram goes against the normal trend of considerable reduction in volume and length of most glaciers in the Himalaya in recent decades.

EFFECTS OF SURGING :

  • Surging of glaciers is potentially catastrophic as it can lead to the destruction of villages, roads and bridges.
  • It can also advance across a river valley and form ice-dammed lake.
  • These lakes can form catastrophic outburst floods.
  • In 2017–2019, a surge of Shispare Glacier, a former tributary of the once larger Hasanabad Glacier (Hunza region), dammed the proglacial river of Muchuhar Glacier, which formed an ice-dammed lake and generated a small Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF).

WHAT IS GLOF ? WATCH THIS :

  • The team detected three major surges from 1973 to 2019 using satellite images.
  •  Surge movement produced the highest recorded Karakoram glacier surface flow rate and resulted in a glacier frontal advance of around 1500 m.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Therefore, monitoring of glacier surges, ice-dammed lake formation, and drainage is of paramount importance.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Clouds seen over Sun’s neighbour

      HEADLINES:

Band-like clouds seen over Sun’s neighbour

      WHY IN NEWS:

They were found in the latest study of one of a pair of binary brown dwarfs

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Space : NASA

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS you should remember Luhman 16A. Some key-facts have been mentioned below .

      ISSUE: 

A group of international astrophysicists have identified cloud bands on the surface of Luhman 16A, one of a pair of binary brown dwarfs in the Vela constellation.

A depiction of Luhman 16A. NASA

But what is special in the newest study of Luhman 16 is that the researchers have found the actual structure of the clouds — that they form bands over one of the pair (Luhman 16A) of brown dwarfs.

LUHMAN 16:

Luhman 16 is a binary star system, the third closest system to the Sun after Alpha Centauri and Barnard’s star.

  • At a distance of about 6.5 light years from the Sun, this pair of brown dwarfs referred to as Luhman 16A and Luhman 16B orbit each other, casting a dim light.
  • Brown dwarfs are also called failed stars, because their masses are intermediate to the largest planets and the smallest main sequence stars.
  • Their masses being too small, they are unable to sustain fusion of their hydrogen to produce energy.

It is believed that some of the more massive brown dwarfs fuse deuterium or lithium and glow faintly.

  • The faintness of the glow proved to be providential in finding the cloud bands.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Unlike a star whose brightness would be too high, or an extrasolar planet orbiting a star, where the extra light from its star would have to be cut off to make the measurement, the light of the brown dwarfs was just right.

     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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