06 May, 2020 51 Min Read
|GS-I||Enhancing Erosion in Himalayas||Geography|
|GS-II||Kerala model to contain COVID-19||Good Governance|
|Bioterrorism or Biological Attack||International treaties and conventions|
|GS-III||Bois Locker Room||Internal security|
|Land management body||Economy|
|Corona-Killer 100||Science and Technology|
|Dekho Apna Desh webinar||Economy|
|PT Pickups||Maple syrup urine disease (MSUD)||Diseases|
|Operation Samudra Setu||India and its neighborhood|
GS-I : Geography
Enhancing Erosion in Himalayas
Part of: GS-I- Geography (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
The scientists and students from the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG) have explored the Zanskar catchment area. The study was conducted to understand the landform evolution in transitional climatic zones, using morphostratigraphy, Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating and provenance analysis of landforms like valley fill terraces and alluvial fans.
Valley Fill Terrace: The fill terrace is created either a stream or river starts to incise into the material that it deposited in the valley. Once this occurs benches composed completely of alluvium form on the sides of the valley. The upper most benches are the fill terraces.
Alluvial Fans: Triangle-shaped deposit of gravel, sand and even smaller pieces of sediment, such as silt.
Note: WHIG is an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India.
Morphostratigraphy: The organization of rock or sediment strata into units based on their surface morphology (landforms).
Optically-Stimulated Luminescence: It is a late Quaternary dating technique used to date the last time a quartz sediment was exposed to light. As sediment is transported by wind, water or ice, it is exposed to sunlight and zeroed of any previous luminescence signal.
Provenance Analysis: It aims to determine the source region (provenance) of a sediment sample. It is aimed to reconstruct the parent rock or rocks of sand bodies, the time of deposition of the sand and, if possible, the climate conditions during the formation of the sediments.
Part of: GS-I- Geography (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Scientists at the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG) have developed a generalized one-dimensional fluid simulation code capable of studying a wide spectrum of coherent electric field structures in near-earth plasma environments or earth’s magnetosphere.
Regions of the Earth’s Magnetosphere:
The schematic diagram of Earth’s magnetosphere shown consists of different regions namely,
Significance of Study of Plasma Processes:
The plasma processes have the ability to hamper the working of a number of satellites that have been placed in orbit in the magnetospheric region. However, the morphology of these plasma processes changes over space and time. These changes can be ideally deciphered only through computer simulations.
The study will help advance the knowledge of plasma waves, instabilities, and coherent effects associated with wave-particle interactions that are useful in planning future space missions. It can also lead to precisely controlled fusion laboratory experiments for ever-expanding energy needs of humanity.
Indian Institute of Geomagnetism
GS-II : Good Governance
Kerala model to contain COVID-19
Steps taken by Kerala
The small number of cases reported so far — 499 — demonstrates how excellent its containment efforts have been. What is more remarkable is that 462 of those infected have fully recovered, including an elderly couple, aged 93 and 88 years, and there have been just three deaths — a case fatality rate of 0.6% against the national average of 3.3%.
Part of: GS-II- Polity-J&K (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Recently, in a reply to a Right to Information (RTI) query “if the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be part of the Electoral College for the election of the President of India”, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has asked to refer to Article 54 of the Constitution of India.
Election of the President of India
Bioterrorism or Biological Attack
Part of: GS-II- International issues (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of several world powers in the event of use of biological weapons against them by rogue states and terrorist groups. The United States, Britain and the Soviet Union were involved in developing complex biological weapons programs after World War II and several nations continue to do so currently as well.
Bioterrorism or Biological Attack: It is the intentional release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs that can sicken or kill people, livestock or crops.
Biological Weapons: They use microorganisms and natural toxins to produce disease in humans, animals, or plants.
It is a substantial threat because small amounts of biotic agents can be effortlessly hidden, transported and discharged into vulnerable populations. It can impact and expose military and civilian susceptibilities to biological weapons and to the complexity of offering ample safeguards.
Covid-19: Bioweapon or Not
Combating Bioterrorism (PT)
The studies conducted to assess the actual efficiency of counter bioterrorism measures are insufficient which needs to be changed. It becomes important that engaged and methodical efforts in studying the efficiency of counter bioterrorism measures are applied in a meticulous way.
It should be taken into account that the implementation of some specific counter bioterrorism practices can possibly have consequences with respect to human rights, institutional liberties, fundamental democratic values and the Rule of Law.
GS-III : Internal security
Bois Locker Room
The Delhi police Cyber Cell has registered an FIR after following a complaint about an online Instagram group, police have also apprehended a 15 year old boy from South Delhi for his alleged involvement in a viral Instagram group named ‘Bois Locker Room’, where a bunch of school going boys objectified young girls and discussed their body parts.
After we came to know, we registered an FIR under Sections 465 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and Sections 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) and 67A (publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act in electronic form) of the IT Act.
Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, also responded to the matter and said, “We absolutely do not allow behaviour that promotes sexual violence or exploits anyone, especially women and young people, and have actioned content violating our Community Standards as we were made aware of it. We have policies that disallow the sharing of non-consensual intimate imagery, as well as threats to share such imagery and we take this issue very seriously. Ensuring our community can express themselves in a safe and respectful way is our top priority.”
Land management body
Part of: GS-III- Economy-Land (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
The task force noted there is a need for a separate organisation, which can work with various government departments including Railways and Defence Ministry to utilise their surplus land assets.
A government panel on boosting infrastructure investment has recommended setting up a National Land Management Corporation, which would help in monetising state-owned surplus land assets in a systematic and specialised way.
Will help in raising funds from market
Along with monetisation of land assets, the task force on National Infrastructure Pipeline, in its report submitted to the government last week, also suggested measures including strengthening of the municipal bond market, deepening of corporate bond markets, and setting up Development Financial Institutions for infrastructure sector. The task force pegged the total expected capital expenditure for infra sector at Rs 111 lakh crore in the next five years.
Having income earning inventory of assets would enable the Corporation to raise equity capital or debt from the markets. These funds can be deployed for development of surplus land assets, creating a pipeline of developable assets. The Corporation may adopt different models for land monetisation, including securitising a pool of assets through structures like REITs and InvITs. Successful bidders in projects could either make large upfront payment for the assets combined with annual payments, or small or zero upfront payment with annual payments.
Part of: GS-III- S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Corona-Killer 100 is an automated disinfecting Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) developed by Garuda Aerospace - an ISO- 9001 company.
Drone as a Service
Dekho Apna Desh webinar
The 13th session of the Ministry of Tourism’s Dekho Apna Desh webinar titled, ‘Destination- Sariska Tiger reserve’ was held recently. The objective of the Ministry of Tourism’s webinar series is to create awareness about and promote various tourism destinations of India – including the lesser known destinations and lesser known facets of popular destinations.
Dekho Apna Desh
Dekho Apna Desh is one of the three components of the Paryatan Parv.The other two are Tourism for All and Tourism & Governance. It intends to encourage Indians to travel their own country.
PT Pickups : Diseases
Maple syrup urine disease (MSUD)
Maple syrup urine disease (MSUD) is a rare genetic disorder characterized by deficiency of certain enzymes (branched-chain alpha-keto acid dehydrogenase complex) required to break down (metabolize) the three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) [Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine] in the body.
The result of this metabolic failure is that all three BCAAs, along with their various byproducts, accumulate abnormally throughout the body.
In the classic, severe form of MSUD, the plasma concentrations of the BCAAs begin to rise within a few hours of birth. If untreated, symptoms begin to emerge, often within the first 24-48 hours of life.
Symptoms of MSUD
The “non-specific” symptoms are those of increasing neurological dysfunction and include lethargy, irritability and poor feeding, followed soon by focal neurological signs such as abnormal movements and increasing spasticity, and shortly thereafter, by convulsions and deepening coma.
If untreated, progressive brain damage is inevitable and death ensues usually within weeks or months. The finding that is unique to MSUD is the emergence of a characteristic odor, reminiscent of maple syrup that can most readily be detected in the urine and earwax and may be smelled within a day or two of birth.
The disorder can be successfully managed through a specialized diet. However, even with treatment, both affected children and adults patients with MSUD remain at high risk for developing episodes of acute illness (metabolic crises) often triggered by infection, injury, failure to eat (fasting) or even by psychological stress. During these episodes there is a rapid, sudden spike in amino acid levels necessitating immediate medical intervention.
Types of MSUD
Operation Samudra Setu
Indian Navy on Tuesday launched 'Operation Samudra Setu' (Sea Bridge) sending naval ships INS Jalashwa and INS Magar to the Port of Malè, Republic of Maldives
The Operation Samudra Setu will commence evacuation operations from 08 May 2020 as part of Phase-1
INS Jalashwa (Landing Platform Dock or LPD) has a full load displacement of 17,521 tonnes and INS Magar (Landing Platform Tank) is an amphibious warfare vessel with a displacement of 5,750 tonnes.
INS Jalashwa is the largest amphibious platform in the Navy and is based at the Eastern Naval Command headquarters in Visakhapatnam.
The other three amphibious ships are Landing Ship Tanks of the Shardul class and Magar class has set to sail to UAE.
From the western Indian coast to the Fujairah port in the UAE would take about three days to reach and Jebel Ali port in Dubai would take about four days.