UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS| The Hindu Analysis | PRELIMS & MAINS 2020 | 24th April

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IASbhai DAILY UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS  (THE HINDU+LIVEMINT+PIB)

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.

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.– Dalai Lama

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.

 

Indian Initiative to Fight COVID-19, Enhancing Natural Defense

      HEADLINES:

Indian Initiative to Fight COVID-19, Enhancing Natural Defense

      WHY IN NEWS:

(CSIR) has decided to develop/repurpose an approved immunomodulator, Sepsivac®, to enhance innate immunity of the body to limit the spread of COVID-19 and fasten the recovery of the patients of COVID-19

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

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS it is important to note the significance of this new drug . Go through the details in depth ! Tricky questions are usually framed in UPSC from unexpected issues only.

For MAINS nothing much here as the study is still on ! Let us hope this medicine can release a little stress of COVID-19 reach .

      ISSUE: 

New clinical trials are now approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI)

WHY CLINICAL TRAILS ?

  • They will be randomized, double-blind, two-arm, controlled clinical trials .
  • These two clinical trials are in addition to the recently announced trial on evaluating the efficacy of the drug for reducing mortality (deaths) in critically ill COVID-19 patient.
  • Natural defense mechanism of the body (innate immunity) plays a key role in the fight against COVID-19 and other viral infections.
  • It is a fast, first and efficient immune response for identifying and eliminating COVID-19 and other viruses.
  • The majority of persons coming in contact with COVID-19 or other viruses either do not get the disease or get a milder form of the self-limiting disease as Innate immunity is adequate.
Cells of human immune system like Macrophages, NK cells offer such protection.

ROLE OF SEPSIVAC:

  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has decided to develop/repurpose an approved immunomodulator, Sepsivac, to enhance innate immunity of the body to limit the spread of COVID-19 and fasten the recovery of the patients of COVID-19, through its flagship New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI) program.

SEPSIVAC IS EXPECTED :

1. to protect the close contacts of COVID-19 patients and health care staff by boosting their innate response and thereby preventing them from acquiring the disease.

2. to provide quicker recovery to the hospitalized COVID-19 patients, who are not critically ill.

It will also prevent the progression of disease wherein patients will need ICU management.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

SEPSIVAC

Sepsivac contains heat-killed Mycobacterium W (Mw). It is found to be extremely safe in patients and no systemic side effects are associated with its use.

Sepsivac was also developed under the NMITLI program of CSIR and is manufactured by Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Ahmedabad.

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

‘Super-luminous supernovae: SN 2010kd’

      HEADLINES:

Exploring ‘Super-luminous supernovae exploded rapidly and decayed slowly’

      WHY IN NEWS:

Hot from PIB!

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

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS you should remember what is SN 2010kd and the element ejected ! This can be asked in form of snippet in Prelims.

      ISSUE: 

Researchers at the Arayabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) Nainital an autonomous research institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST) Govt. of India found that SN 2010kd, a super-luminous supernova stands out with the amount of mass as well as Nickel ejected during explosion, which is much more than seen in case of normal core-collapse supernovae.

 

SUPERNOVAE
Supernovae are a kind of energetic explosions where the core of massive stars (a few times to that of mass of our Sun) go to a catastrophic phase of explosion liberating huge amounts of energy.  These events are visible through very far away distances much beyond our own solar system.

SUPER-LUMINOUS SUPERNOVAE:

  • Super-luminous supernovae are a special type of stellar explosions having energy output 10 or more times higher than that of standard supernovae.
  • The scientists said that the larger ejected mass of Super-luminous supernovae SN 2010kd indicates that the related star evolution might be different from other possible progenitors of normal core-collapse supernovae with a different possible underlying physical mechanism responsible for producing such energetic supernovae with large ejected mass and Ni.
  • It exploded with a larger velocity but decayed shower than other similar supernovae.

RESEARCH AND FINDINGS:

  • The super-luminous supernova titled SN 2010kd is rather nearby — approximately at a distance of 1.5 Giga light-years discovered by Robotic Optical Transient Search Experiment (ROTSE-IIIb) telescope as a part of ROTSE supernova verification project in the USA on 14 November 2010 embedded in a dwarf host galaxy towards Leo constellation.
They carried out analytical light-curve modeling of the optical data taken from ROTSE IIIb and 1.04m Sampurnanand Telescope and spectral modeling of the data taken using 8-10m class optical telescopes for this supernova.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

OTHER OBSERVATIONS:

  • Comparing the line velocities as obtained using spectral modeling, the scientists showed that SN 2010kd exploded with a larger velocity but decayed shower than other similar supernovae.
  • The elected mass of the Oxygen and estimated values of luminosity of other spectral lines was also found to be higher for SN 2010kd.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Virucidal coating to prevent COVID transmission

      HEADLINES:

Virucidal coating to prevent COVID transmission

      WHY IN NEWS:

A team of researchers at Faridabad-based Regional Centre for Biotechnology (RCB) led by Dr. Avinash Bajaj has initiated a study to engineer virucidal coatings to prevent the COVID-19 Transmission.

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

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS there are two aspects defined here . The first one is VIRUCIDAL COATING and the next one is development of a protein .

      ISSUE: 

The study is being conducted in collaboration with Dr. Milan Surjit from Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) and Dr. Samrat Mukhopadhay from Department of Textile Technology, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

VIRUCIDAL COATING:

  • Regional Centre for Biotechnology (RCB), is an ‘Institution established by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, under the auspices of UNESCO.
  • Here, the group will be extending their expertise on developing the molecules that will target the membranes of Covid-19 viral particles selectively.
These molecules will then be used for engineering of different surfaces like glass, plastic and textiles including cotton, nylon, and polyester to provide virucidal coating that can potentially inhibit the viral transmission.

NSP12 PROTEIN :

  • In another effort to help fight the pandemic, a research group led by Prof. Deepak T. Nair at the Centre is trying to find out how to inhibit the activity of a protein called nsp12 protein that houses the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase activity responsible for the duplication of the RNA genome of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The group has used computational tools to build a homology model of the three-dimensional structure of the nsp12 protein.

  • The model was then used to identify possible inhibitors of the nsp12 protein.
  • The studies predict that the methylcobalamin form of Vitamin B12 may bind to the active site of the nsp12 protein and inhibit its activity.
  • The group has also initiated efforts to purify the nsp12 protein to develop high throughput plate assays that can be used to identify different inhibitors of the protein.
If found effective, methylcobalamin may be immediately be deployed in the field since it is already a part of many drug formulations.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The group is now seeking to carry out further experiments to validate this hypothesis.
  • The available genome sequences of SARS-CoV-2 are also being analysed to identify regions in the genome which may be structured and can be targeted using small molecule to perturb translation or replication of the genome.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Anti COVID drugs using garlic essential oil

      HEADLINES:

Scientists working on anti COVID drugs using garlic essential oil

      WHY IN NEWS:

Department of Biotechnology’s Center of Innovative and Applied Bioprocessing (DBT-CIAB) at Mohali, has planned a bouquet of research projects aimed at generating products that could be used for prevention,  diagnosis or cure of for the deadly COVID 19 infection that is currently sweeping over the entire world.

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

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS note down the material science and the elements in use ! Quite laborious work ; We will try yo simplify it in our videos .

      ISSUE: 

The plan has been designed so as to utilise the expertise of its scientists, who come from a diverse range of research backgrounds including chemistry, chemical engineering, biotechnology, molecular biology, nutrition, nanotechnology.

PREVENTIVE PLATFORM:

  • The institute has planned to work on lignin derived Noble metal nanocomplexes for developing antiviral coating materials, and rose oxide-enriched citronella oil, carbopol and triethanolamine formulated alcoholic sanitizer.

THERAPEUTIC PLATFORM:

  • The effort will be focussed on polypyrrollic photosensitizers and their nanoformulations for antiviral photodynamic therapy, microbial production of immunomodulatory and antiviral fructan biomolecules, and development and commercial manufacturing of nasal spray kit to ease chest congestion suffered in Corona Infection etc.

DRUG DISCOVERY PLATFORM:

  • Under the Drug discovery platform, in turn, the research will explore separation of therapeutic and valuable medicinal components from the peel and seeds of fruits and utilisation of natural garlic essential oil as a ACE 2 protein inhibitor for preventing SARS-CoV-2 invasion.
  • Besides, studies are to be conducted for development of lignin derived nanocarriers (LNCs)  with potential for antiviral drug delivery and using curcumin fortified whey protein Powder as a nutraceutical.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The researchers would endeavour to come out with products that are biocompatible, low cost and scalable and have set out with a timeline of six months to one year.

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

Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series: विरासत, संस्कृति और व्यंजन’

      HEADLINES:

Ministry of Tourism organises 7th Webinar of Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series- ‘Photowalking® Varanasi: A Visual Treat, विरासत, संस्कृति और व्यंजन’

      WHY IN NEWS:

Hot from PIB!

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Tourism
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases

      ISSUE: 

As an initiative to celebrate India’s diverse touristic and cultural landscape, the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has taken the initiative of organising  a series of Webinars under the overall theme of ‘Dekho Apna Desh’.

FOCUS:

  • This platform is connecting a large number of tourism enthusiasts to hear and watch experts talking about their region, city, tradition, culture, heritage, and history.
  • The 6th Webinar of the series was organised on 22nd April 2020 on the subject ‘Making India an Inclusive Travel Destination For All’.
  • In this series, the Ministry of Tourism presented its 7th webinar on ‘Photowalking® Varanasi: A Visual Treat, विरासत, संस्कृति और व्यंजन’, on 23rd April 2020.
The webinar was presented by the team of City Explorers Private Limited, a parent organisation under which a special city brand ‘Varanasi Heritage Walks’ introduced Varanasi’s diversity, mysticism, spirituality, cultural literacy, life experiences, and personal memories.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Vibrant colours on the plate and explosion of taste buds with kachori sabzi, malaiyyo, lassi, jalebi-dahi, tamatar chaat, palak patta chaat and Banarasi paan!

The food route went from one stop to another, zig-zag through the alleyways – Ram Bhandar,  Blue Lassi, Deepak Tambul Bhandar to Rajesh Chaurasia Paan Wala (chowk area), Baba Thandai, Bhartendu Bhawan, Deena Chaat Bhandar and Kashi Chaat bhandar, all famous for their traditional recipes!

Finally, the surprise of the walk was encapsulated in the rich festivals of Varanasi, with anecdotes on each – Nakkataiya, Nag Nathaiya, Bhasm Holi and Dev Deepawali.

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

Devanahalli chakota

      HEADLINES:

Karnataka gives Devanahalli chakota new wings

      WHY IN NEWS:

Bengaluru airport is helping to grow the citrus variety, which enjoys a Geographical Indication tag

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1:Geographical Indication

      ISSUE: 

Endowed with a unique taste and flavour, and a Geographical Indication (GI) tag, the Devanahalli Pomelo, the citrus fruit popularly known as chakota, is getting a fresh cultivation push.

 

Fruit punch: A photo of chakota on sale in Devanahalli.
  • The Karnataka Horticulture Department is set to provide the plant to interested farmers in Devanahalli and Doddaballapur regions.
  • As urbanisation grows and the landscape changes, the number of farmers growing the fruit has dropped over the years.
  • The fruit is localised to around 13 villages in Devanahalli taluk, eight villages of Sidlaghatta taluk and seven villages of Doddaballapura taluk.
 “Farmers in these areas grow chakota on the borders of their fields or near their houses. After the fruit received the GI tag, they are coming forward to grow the plant more widely. The department is using its farms in Chikkaballapur and Bengaluru Rural district to provide plants and promote it.”

MASSIVE NURSERY

  • At Soppahalli farm in Chikkaballapur, the department is growing 5,000 plants, to provide them to interested farmers.
  • Guru Kumar, a farmer said, “Devanahalli is known for chakota.
  • During the summer season, farmers sell it on the Devanahalli main road, on the National Highway and other areas.
  • Each fruit is sold at around ₹ 80. But there are no buyers during the lockdown.”
  • Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), which operates the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) too is cultivating the fruit. BIAL said in a statement that under its CSR programme ‘Namma Ooru’, it will have 500 chakota plants.
BIAL aims to promote cultivation of the fruit and form a viable market in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and other institutions.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

It would work with farmers in and around Devanahalli to promote cultivation through self-help groups.

     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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